Nov 24, 2017

[TV] Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Season 2 Review

We initially got on board watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend because of the music. The show is pretty much what happens when you turn a musical into a long-running romantic comedy television series in a great way. But initially there wasn't much else to enjoy apart from those musical interludes as the protagonist had lot of problematic moments and everyone seemed to be enabling here.

The second season of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is when things really get serious and they get down to business in terms of presenting a more realistic story. The music remains as awesome as ever but now it really feels like the show is going somewhere serious and is using its viewership as a platform for something bigger. And it's all amazing.

Don't get me wrong - this is still a comedy and the show is crazy fun (I keep using the word "crazy" that it's starting to get weird) and the music really adds a special dynamic to things. But it's the writing that really brings things home into a truly special place.

Nov 23, 2017

[Theater] Hair (Repertory Philippines) Review

Hair is one of those musicals that I had only seen as a movie up until this point. The 1979 film is a classic in its own right but of course it had a somewhat more controlled (and perhaps focused?) narrative as it was meant for commercial release bu even then a lot of what made the story such a representative of the era still sang through clearly.

But Hair as a stage musical is a completely different animal with a drastically different story. If the movie already felt rather fun and free, the musical is all that and more as it's certainly turned up to eleven. And that is both a great thing and possibly a confusing thing depending on your perspective.

It was interesting that a play that involves depictions liberal recreational drug use and a message of freedom and peace has been staged during a time when the government has been cracking down on illegal drugs with rather lethal results. Whether or not the message of the play directly applies to our country's situation I'll leave to you to determine for yourself.

Nov 22, 2017

[Movies] Reservoir Dogs (1992) Review

It was watching a not quite recent Nerdwriter video that I was reminded that I had yet to watch Reservoir Dogs, the movie that helped put Quentin Tarantino on the map for many. And thus an exploration of the iflix library led to a sudden viewing session as I wanted to scratch this particular itch. This was especially pressing given how often I had encountered references to movie in so many other works of fiction.

Despite the mentions and how long this movie has been around, I largely had no idea what the movie was about apart from everyone having a color-based alias and that's it. I went in with a general expectation of violence and something somewhat akin to a heist and I suppose I wasn't too far off the mark in the end.

It's interesting how he movie in itself didn't feel too old but the way it was directed sort of did, at least with respect to Tarantino's body of work. And that was rather striking about it as well, I suppose. There's a lot of pick apart in this movie.

Nov 21, 2017

[Books] Loving Lakyn Review

As much as any creative work has a message that it hopes to impart, it was the movie Ang Araw Sa Likod Mo that proudly proclaimed itself to be an "advocacy film" in its marketing and that term really captured what it was. It had a story to tell but it was also very proud of its message and it wanted to make sure people knew that it wanted to tackle its subject seriously.

Loving Lakyn is a similar work in the sense that its also a story with a strong message empowering it. More than you're typical LGBT coming-of-age romance story, this book was also made in cooperation with The Trevor Project - LGBT crisis intervention and suicide prevention services.

I wasn't expecting an easy read given the book did intend to address suicide and other mental health concerns. But it's a book with a good cause and I wanted to see how they'd address which is quite typically a complex subject to write about. The resulting was better than I had expected and quite the strong piece when it comes to tackling suicide in a work of fiction.

Nov 20, 2017

[TV] BoJack Horseman: Season 3 Review

If the second season of BoJack Horseman had given me a more solid reason  to watch the show, the third season  make me fall in love with the show entirely. And that was a totally unexpected turn of events for me given my initial resistance to the show when I first started exploring it on Netflix.

In these reviews I always concede that BoJack Horseman is not an easy show to get into and it's not even a show I could universally recommend to people. It features a lot of negative behaviors that  some may consider to be triggers including foul and hurtful language, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and other negative forms of escapism.

But when you get past all that and the fact that the show features anthropomorphic animals of an odd sort, then what you'll get is a show that is more than just a silly shits-for-giggles comedy but is in fact a fairly thoughtful show that has a strong message hidden in a very coarse and bristly packaging.

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