Jul 20, 2018

[TV] The Magicians: Season 2 Review

So the first season of The Magicians was interesting but far from perfect and not an immediate favorite for me. The second season of the show helped elevate things to a new level and did a great job of deepening our understanding of the characters and pushing the story forward.

The show naturally has a lot going for it as it is based on a book series and has some great stories to draw from. As much as the show isn't a perfect adaptation of the books, a lot of book plot elements have made their way into the series and helped expand on things.

And then you have the acting talent brought together for this show. A lot of them were rather unlikable in the first season for various reasons (at least for me). But by the time you get to this second season, it becomes easier to appreciate their more grating traits as more like quirks or defensive mechanisms versus all that they've had to deal with in life. And this second season has a lot more in store for our protagonists.

Jul 19, 2018

[Games] Dungeon Lords: Happy Anniversary Review

As I had previously mentioned in my tribute to Bullfrog Games, Dungeon Keeper was definitely one of my favorite PC games back in the day. The way that it turned the tables and had you running the dungeon for heroes to invade was a great spin on things and a twist on the whole genre. Thus it was more of a city-building style game that had you preparing for the inevitable invasion of the heroes at the end.

Dungeon Lords surprisingly tried to capture that same experience in a board game and what you have is a pretty complex experience that also has you preparing your dungeon as best you can before the heroes come searching for adventure. And there are so many elements at play in this game that can make it feel like a bit of a logistical nightmare, but you can only do your best to manage things such that you don't suffer as much as the others.

Jul 18, 2018

[TV] Silicon Valley: Season 3 Review

Silicon Valley may not be the most dynamic comedy series out there but it's one that scratches a particular itch for viewers like me. It's funny, but in a rather different way than most. It's not just the technobabble and the constant profanity but something else that is all of that and yet beyond all that as well.

There's something about the journey of Pied Piper as a company that is oddly fascinating. I guess it has a lot to do with how the company feels oddly familiar in terms of their struggles as the writers have invested a lot into drawing from the industry in crafting its over the top characters and plotting their stories.

This season certainly threw quite the wrench into the works as the direction of the company no longer seems to be in the hands of our "heroes", for lack of a better term. But how they wiggle out of this one is just part and parcel for how this show is consistently entertaining.

Jul 17, 2018

[Books] The End (A Series of Unfortunate Events Book 13) Review

Wow, welcome to my review of the last book in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. And after all the clever titles used for the 12 other books before this one, they just went with The End.

And as much as things have been building up over the past few novels and all that had been revealed about V.F.D., I don't think anyone could have predicted that this was how things were going to wrap up. But I'm not complaining.

The books revealed a lot of depth to Lemony Snicket's writing and what I supposed you could surmise to be his thoughts on a number of subjects beyond the events in the book. And we'll probably spend a better part of our lives discussing the implications of what he managed to create across the 13 books of this series.

But we also get a satisfactory end for the journey of the Baudelaire children. We can't forget that important bit.

Jul 16, 2018

[Movies] Making Fun: The Story of Funko (2018) Review

I'm not a Funko fan since I prefer that my collectibles transform from one mode to another. But Funko toys have become quite the popular item across demographic groups and they're rather hard to ignore at this point. And it's not like I can't say that I've never been tempted - their ability to play on the power of nostalgia is pretty significant indeed.

So I wasn't sure how to feel when I started watching Making Fun: The Story of Funko as it wasn't something I was all that invested in. But at the very least it promised to be an illuminating documentary given what little I know about the company at that point.

And while this is hardly the most factual documentary about a toy line ever, it certainly managed to cover a lot of ground. But it also had a very strong sort of fan sentiment around it that was overly positive and not necessarily more objective, as you tend to expect documentaries to feel like.

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