Wandavision

Marvel is back…with a…sitcom?! Yes you heard correctly, two of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes from the Avengers, Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) are back, starring in a sitcom. Now when I first heard of this concept, I definitely said, “this sounds stupid”. When I saw the trailer for Wandavision, I definitely said, “this looks stupid.” Needless to say, when Disney Plus released two episodes this weekend, despite my feelings, I watched Wandavision anyway, because hey, it’s Wanda and Vision from the Avengers! So for those of you who don’t know, Wanda, the Scarlet Witch and Vision a powerful robot made by Tony “Ironman” Stark himself are superheroes from the Avenger films. In the Marvel films, Vison and Wanda are romantically linked, and Wandavision continues this romance, although Vision was killed in Avengers: Infinity War…right? Hmmm a mystery.

Wanda and Vision appear to be trapped in some form of 50s/60s reality where they are living life, like a sitcom. Wanda and Vision appear to be oblivious to this fact, but clues and circumstances begin to happen that begin to make them question their reality. Wanda appears to be more aware than Vision, but she realizes something is amiss when a colorful toy helicopter crashes into the yard of her black and white world. However, her main priority is to focus on the love and companionship she shares with Vision, although neither one of them can remember when they got married, or any important details about their lives. This is the story so far in the two episodes released.

Wandavision is truly a sitcom that borrows unashamedly from classics like Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, The Dick Van Dyke show and probably a host of others, along with it being shown in black and white. The question is why? Why would Marvel do this to fans? Well, like I said there is a mystery, but will anyone stick around to see what the mystery is? If a viewer turns on this show and sees Wanda and Vision prancing around in black and white, doing 50 and 60 style sitcom pranks, and scenarios will they roll their eyes and turn the show off? I would be hard pressed to see a regular viewer want to stick around and watch this. I struggle to see young Marvel fans stick around to watch Wandavision. I myself, have become intrigued, so I know I will stick around to the end. The creator of this show will either be classified as a mad genius or fool, for bringing such a unique and creative show to streaming. The question is…are we ready for it? If you are invested in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, then definitely SPEND THE CASH, to see this because it definitely ties in, but where and how remains to be seen. Regular non-MCU fans may want to MAKE THE DASH.

raising dion

Raising Dion can be found on Netflix. Although I enjoyed the first 9 episode season, I can see how adults would not want to invest the time to watch this show. Raising Dion is made primarily for kids, in elementary, early middle school, or for adult big kids like myself who just like a decent superhero yarn. Dion (Ja’Siah Young) is a 7 year old boy, whose father allegedly drowned under some strange circumstances. Dion is raised by his mother Nicole (Alisha Wainwright), who is struggling to keep the household and job together, while she mourns the loss of her husband Mark (Michael B. Jordan). Dion begins to manifest special abilities and his mom, is not sure how to handle it. Nicole eventually turns to her deceased husband’s best friend, Pat (Jason Ritter) who watches over Dion as the godfather, and ensures that Dion has a father type figure in his life. Just like any superhero show, if there is someone with budding superpowers, then of course there has to be a villain, and Raising Dion does not disappoint in this area either. I found the villain concept to be rather creative and intriguing, and it has a pretty good payoff at the end of the season. The show is definitely about Dion, but to me the focus is on Nicole and her difficulty accepting the reality of her situation, and that life is much more complicated than it already is. As much as I enjoyed watching this series, and my wife enjoyed it too, I did find Dion and Pat the godfather to be rather annoying at times. Despite these annoyances, and the kid friendly approach, I found it to be engaging, and very interesting towards the end. However, would I recommend you purchase a Netflix subscription just to see Raising Dion? No! SAVE THE CASH AND MAKE THE DASH! Grade C+.

The Third Day

The Third Day is a six episode limited series, that is one of the weirdest shows I have ever watched. Jude Law plays a character named Sam, who lives in England. Sam is out near a river mourning the death of his son, who had been murdered years before by an immigrant. As he reflects on his sons death, he is startled by the voice of children. He goes to investigate and stumbles on a teenager named Epona who has just attempted suicide by hanging herself. Sam saves her, and takes her home. Epona lives on a small island called Osea, which is only accessible by a 2 mile long winding, causeway. A causeway is a road that goes across a water way, that is accessible for a time before being covered by water. The causeway in Osea is open for four hours and then it is closed because the road is then completely covered by water. (Special note- the island of Osea and the causeway really exists!) Once Sam arrives on the island, the people act strangely towards him, and seem to hide Epona when he tries to check on her, which makes him suspicious. Epona’s father seems bent on hurting him for some reason, and Sam prepares to leave the island, only to be trapped when the causeway recedes. Sam soon discovers that there is more to the island of Osea and its inhabitants than he could ever have imagined. Although he wants to depart the island, and leave the mysteries of Osea unsolved, every attempt to leave the island is thwarted. After three episodes, you may wonder where the show is going, but if you power through to the sixth episode, the ending will be satisfying to say the least. If you have exhausted all of your shows, and are looking for something to take you through the weekend, then it is okay to Spend the Cash on this one. Grade C+.

The Undoing

I had heard a lot of hype about The Undoing, but it didn’t strike me as a show that was up my alley. I was wrong! The Undoing is a six episode murder mystery starting Nicole Kidman as Grace and Hugh Grant as Jonathan her husband. Grace meets a woman named Elena at a PTO style school fundraising meeting, and next thing you know the woman has been murdered. Somehow Grace’s husband Jonathan becomes a suspect, and the race is on to prove his innocence. Although this is a story that has been done a number of times, the acting is superb and the story is tense, which makes for an enjoyable six hours of television as you try to figure out Whodunit. If you have HBO Max, definitely SPEND THE CASH on this series.

Flight Attendant

I didn’t know what to expect when I saw the picture of Flight Attendant on HBO Max. This isn’t a show that I normally would watch, but the plot line intrigued me and I wanted to watch something that my wife and I could both enjoy. The series follows Cassie, Kaley Cuoco, a wild flight attendant whose life is filled with drinking and pleasure seeking. During a flight, she meets a passenger and has a brief kissing affair with him in the airplane lavatory before resuming her flight attendant duties. When the plane lands, she hooks up with the passenger, named Alex, Darios from Game of Thrones, and they have a dalliance in a penthouse hotel. Cassie wakes up the next morning and discovers Alex in bed next to her with his throat slit and blood everywhere. Cassie then begins to make one bumbling foolish decision after another as she attempts to cover up that she was with the dead man. Her various actions throughout the first three episodes, which make little to know sense, leads to some funny scenes. Flight Attendant is a mix of a mature themed dramedy, mystery, thriller. My wife and I are three episodes in so far, and I am in it for the duration. It’s funny because Cassie is very much like an even more over the top version of Penny from the Big Bang Theory, except she definitely has a dark side that is just beginning to be explored. SPEND THE CASH on this one.

The MandAlorian season 2: Ashoka Tano (Episode 5)

Live Action Ashoka
Clone Wars Ashoka

I have heard many people who are just general fans of Star Wars say they have enjoyed the Mandalorian, but true deep fans of Star Wars have found a true love for the show, and season 2 has continued to bring exciting Star Wars level experiences. If you have been a fan of the animated Star Wars Clone Wars and Rebels, then the last three episodes of the Mandalorian 3-5, are going to take you to Star Wars heaven. The big payoff comes in episode 5 as one of the most popular characters from the Star Wars animated universe makes her live action debut, and I am not talking about the awesome Bo Katan played by Katee Sackhoff who did a remarkable job portraying Bo Katan, the character she played in the animated Clone Wars and Rebels. True Star Wars fans rejoice! Ashoka Tano has arrived in all of her live action glory and she is amazing! Rosario Dawson does a fantastic job of bringing Ashoka to life. I have to admit I got emotional watching the first few minutes of the episode seeing a live Ashoka Tano wielding her twin light sabers. The history and the universe that has been created beyond the movies is rich, colorful and full of amazing stories, and now the animated and live action Star Wars Universe are finally connected. Hats off to Dave Filoni, John Favereau and George Lucas for having the grit to bring her to live action.

The actual episode itself was good as the Mandalorian, and Baby Yoda meet Ashoka as she battles a local warlord called the Magistrate. The Mandalorian’s quest and purpose from the beginning has been to deliver Baby Yoda to a Jedi. However, The Mandalorian learns a few things, one of which is Baby Yoda’s real name, and that his story his much deeper than he could have imagined. After helping Ashoka with the Magistrate, The Mandalorian discovers that his quest is not at an end, but is only just beginning. For fans of Star Wars lore, this episode is chock full of Easter eggs and information related to the Clone Wars and Rebels. Definitely SPEND THE CASH to see this!

Wayne: an amazon prime series

A friend of mine recommended this wild show. I liked it, although I struggled trying to fit the program into a particular genre. I would classify this show as an action packed, road trip, innocent teen romance, dramedy, mixed in with some extreme violence. The premise of the show is a about a 16 year old boy named Wayne who lives in Brockton, Massachusetts. Wayne is the neighborhood protector of those who are treated poorly and he uses his fists and other means to give payback to those who mistreat others. Although Wayne stands up for people, it doesn’t mean he is this super fighter. He is often getting pummeled for his efforts, but that never stops him. As a matter of fact, I am starting to believe he suffers from Congenital Insensitivity, a disease where a person doesn’t feel pain. Wayne meets a 15 year old girl named Del, who has her own issues with her family and the death of her mom. After an awkward meeting over buying and selling cookies, and an even weirder interaction in his bedroom, they decided to date. Wayne’s father dies of cancer, and after giving him a Vikings funeral in his home, yes it is strange, Wayne and Del decide to travel by dirt bike to Florida, where his mom, who abandon him at five resides with her boyfriend who stole Wayne’s dad’s 1979 Gold Camero. Wayne’s mission is to go down to Florida and retrieve the Camero, which his dad had wanted to pass down to him. Along the journey Wayne and Del meet a host of colorful and funny characters, while being pursued by Del’s obsessively protective father, and her two older twin brothers. They are also being followed by the depressed school principal that hates kids and his job with Wayne’s friend Orlando, and also two funny, but strange police officers from Brockton, Mass. Wayne and Del meet a few other colorful characters that make this one of the most memorable, fun, tragic, and violent shows I have seen, yet the love between Wayne and Del is innocent and free of any sex whatsoever. In order to classify it in my mind, to me this show is very much like a highly rated R version of, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (except no super hero powers here), Shameless (excluding the shamelessness and sex) and weirdly Everybody Hates Chris. I know it is a strange combination but it works. The budding romance between Wayne and Del is cute, powerful and it just works and I was pulling for them throughout the show. It runs 10 episodes, and I blew threw them in one day, yes that is a lot of tv, but I still managed to get in 20K steps! Wayne is truly a show I would SPEND THE CASH on!

Titans tv show

Let me start by saying Titans is not the lovable, funny and friendly show like you would see with Teen Titans Go, or the original Teen Titans cartoon. This is a gritty, mature themed Titans show that takes place in the DC Universe and it shares a connection with the Doom Patrol TV show. Titans follows Robin, the former Boy Wonder. Robin has grown disgruntled with his time with Batman and he has moved off on his own to Detroit to serve as a police officer and fight crime at night. However, no longer does he just fight to incapacitate the bad guy, he brutalizes criminals to the point of death! One scene in particular, which shows you the direction the series is moving in occurs when he is fighting a group of criminals and they are looking around in fear saying “Where is Batman?!”, and Robin replies callously “F@#% Batman!” as he beats the mess out of them. Dick Grayson (Robin) struggles with his dual nature, and realizes that he is beginning to like the violence more than just helping people. This is what makes the show interesting, it explores the motivations, and trauma of the characters and how their experiences shaped them. Robin primarily plays his real self Dick Grayson, as he tries to help a young girl named Raven who has demonic like abilities, but is on the run from “The Organization” that is trying to use her as a portal to bring her Father to Earth. Robin and Raven come across Kory who has amnesia, but has fire powers (Starfire for fans of Teen Titans), and Gar (Beast Boy) who help Robin protect Raven. It is not just a superhero show, it is a character driven show. I really love the real world take, that DC has taken with its properties, and the episodes are dark, brutal and bloody, but to me that is the reality of what getting into a fight with a real superhero or highly trained fighter would look like. This show is rated M for Mature and has some Game of Thrones and The Boys level sexuality and violence, so it is not for kids at all! However, if you love DC heroes or the genre, SPEND THE CASH!

Star Trek: Discovery

Star Trek: Discovery season 3 has entered the 32nd Century with a bang! The first two seasons of the show were hit and miss, but so far this season Discovery has found its space legs and is striding into the future. Sonequa Green, who plays Commander Michael Burnham, has led her starship Discovery and crew from the 23rd century through a wormhole to the 32nd century to escape “Control” a sentient computer program that was hell bent on destroying all life in the known galaxy. Think Skynet from Terminator on steroids! Now in the 32nd century, 900 plus years from everything they have known, the crew of Discovery discovers that the Federation and Starfleet they once knew is a shell of its former self. A catastrophe called the “Burn” has destroyed the majority of Starfleet vessels and the Federation has shrunk from 350 member worlds to 38 planets. Once valued allies have now become enemies. Burnham and the Discovery crew try to navigate in this galaxy while trying to figure out the mystery behind the “Burn”.

As a true fan of the entire Star Trek franchise, I thought Discovery was out of place in the 23rd Century, existing merely 10 years before the launch of Captain Kirk’s five year mission into the unknown. Discovery’s technology, uniforms and everything about it just did not fit in the established canon. Although they explained it away, by stating that Discovery was a state of the art unique science vessel, it just didn’t work. Putting Discovery into the 32nd century was a great move! It allows the writers to truly work on expanding the Star Trek Universe without being closed in by established canon! Definitely spend the cash on Star Trek: Discovery season 3!

Doom Patrol

A few years ago, Marvel blew away fans of superhero films by presenting a series of streamed superhero shows on Netflix that had realistic portrayals of heroes, with actual consequences, trauma and adult situations. The DC Universe has followed along with DOOM Patrol. Set in a universe where the Justice League and Batman exists, Doom Patrol is an odd grouping of individuals with powers that have traumatic experiences that led to their acquisition of powers. They are not really a superhero team, but a band of misfits that are recovering from their emotional and life altering experiences under the care of their Chief. The team consists of the Robot, a former Nascar driver, Larry Trainor, a former Air Force Pilot, Crazy Jane, a young twenty something with 64 personalities, Rita Farr a former actress, and the well known hero Cyborg. Under the care of The Chief, these five people try to heal their mental and emotional issues, while dealing with their tragic pasts, and present, and the various supervillians that pop up that are not necessarily after them, but their leader The Chief. The show is very quirky, dark and character driven, but it doesn’t take itself seriously whatsoever. I blew through the first season and a half in a few days! The first season villain, Mr. Nobody was hilarious. To me it is kind of a mix of THE BOYS and Umbrella Academy. It isn’t better than The Boys, but I like it better than the Umbrella Academy! If you are into this genre then definitely SPEND THE CASH!