Wednesday, September 21, 2022



The Youtube reviews for the new Star Wars series Andor that premiered today on Disney+ are all over the place.  Some people called the first couple of episodes slow-moving, boring, and possibly ruining Star Wars.  However, other people said that the show was exciting, especially in the third episode, and they liked having a series that is a change of pace from other Star Wars shows.  Almost everyone called it a slow burn.

Disney was smart to premiere the series with the first three episodes.  Together they form a single two-hour movie, with the first two episodes being the setup and the third episode the payoff.  Together they do not disappoint, although I feel like the story hasn't advanced very far.  They could have told it in less time, but the show succeeds in providing a rich atmosphere with a great many interesting fleshed-out characters all of which have their own individual motivations.  If the goal of a good science fiction show is to take you to a different time and place, Andor does it splendidly.

If I were to compare the first three episodes of Andor to another Star Wars series, The Mandalorian, I would say that it is less exciting but still interesting and richer in detail.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Ewan talks Kenobi letting Vader live

I get the impression that in the minds of the producers the continuity all makes sense.  The fact that it doesn't make sense to some or most viewers means that we don't understand the story from their perspective, or that they failed to explain it well enough.  Although I'm sure it could have been better, I was just happy to enjoy the TV series for what it was.  My expectations for TV series are always lower than major movies, which typically cost two hundred million dollars to make.
Every Star Wars story gets analyzed to death like it was the Zapruder film.

I have concerns that the Star Wars franchise has played itself out, with them essentially repeating old stories. We need something brand new that would be a breath of fresh air, but it seems like the studio is afraid to take risks.

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Renewing The Orville Season 4 - Everything You Need to Know!

If you haven't heard of The Orville, it is a bit like Galaxy Quest.  It started out much like Star Trek but it evolved into its own show and a pretty good one at that.

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Outer Range

You can tell the difference between excellent science fiction, which has many good ideas, and cheap science fiction which usually has just one good idea. I have repeatedly seen the same pattern where a mystery gets presented early on and this mystery does not get solved until the big reveal at the end of the movie, which is the one good idea. A movie that did this really well was the ultra-low-budget "The Vast of the Night". The problem with Amazon's "Outer Range" is that it takes eight episodes to get to the big reveal, although it does get much mileage out of its mystery along the way.

Royall Abbott, excellently played by Josh Brolin, is a Wyoming Rancher with a mysterious bottomless pit suddenly appearing on his ranch. Normally, this would be cause to contact the authorities, but he has his reasons for keeping this mystery a secret. He is approached by a young lady, Autumn, who wants to camp on his ranch. He doesn't want to allow it, but she has enough charm to talk him into it. She seems to know that something is going on, and initially, the two of them have the same goal of finding out what is happening. However, events lead to him seeing the future, where he discovers that he has died and she is still alive. Oddly enough, he thinks that he can change the future by killing Autumn, so she tries to kill him too. However, the two of them have a connection that isn't revealed until the finale.

There are parallel storylines, where Royall's two boys get into a barfight where somebody gets killed. The person killed is part of a family on a neighboring ranch that is trying to use the legal system to steal Royall's ranch.

The Orville

The season 3 finale of The Orville, called "Future Unknown", sadly feels like the series finale. The show has no immediate plans for renewal, although it could still happen, so it feels like they hastily closed all the pending plotlines.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

"People’s Rights are Disappearing," 'Star Wars' Show Introducing "Trumpian World" - Inside the Magic

Fiona Shaw shared with Empire that series writer Tony Gilroy has infused a "Trumpian" theme into the show:

"Tony has written a great, scurrilous [take] on the Trumpian world. Our world is exploding in different places right now, people's rights are disappearing, and Andor reflects that. [In the show] the Empire is taking over, and it feels like the same thing is happening in reality, too."

Sunday, July 10, 2022

The Orville - Singing In The Rain

The Orville is an obvious parody of Star Trek while being just as good as Star Trek.  I've been watching it on Hulu.

It borrows a plot from Star Trek The Next Generation where the robot develops a short-term relationship with a human, in this case, the ship's doctor, played by Penny Johnson who used to play a character on Star Trek Deep Space Nine.

For the mostly emotionless robot, this was more of a science experiment to study human behavior.  When he is finished with his experiment he breaks off the relationship but comes to realize he misses the relationship.

What was just an okay episode blew me away with the ending.

"We are without a doubt the weirdest ship in the fleet."

Friday, July 8, 2022

Obi-Wan Kenobi as a 2.5 movie

I am in the process of watching the Kenobi series for the 2nd time.  This project originally started as a stand-alone movie, but the failure of Solo got it changed to a series instead.

A fan has cut the series down to a 2.5-hour movie.  Presumably, the pacing is better.

I expect that Disney will shut this down as fast as possible.

I was disappointed that an early but important scene with a young Princess Leia got cut.

It would be interesting if the actual director were to turn it into a 2.5 to 3-hour movie.  That is a bit long, but I watched a 4 hour Snyder cut of Justice League on HBO Max and I loved it.

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Obi-Wan Kenobi Series

When multiple people started describing the Obi-Wan Kenobi series as bad, my initial reaction was, "What is the problem?"   I found it to be a pretty entertaining show.  There are a few points here and there that don't hold up well to logical scrutiny, but some of that is dependent on interpretation.  I don't feel that the show technically violates canon with the original movies, but there are quite a few nitpickers who claim that it does.  For example, these people complain that the Empire now knows that there is an association between the young Princess Leia and Obi-Wan and some other force-sensitive refugees, but I think that this assertion is a big stretch logically.  There are reasons to think otherwise.

The most egregious problem is when Darth Vader chooses to chase after Kenobi's ship instead of some force-sensitive refugees in a different ship.  The powerful Empire could have chased after both.   Don't they have tie fighters?  This is followed by another problem where Kenobi chooses to let Vader live, without a really good explanation as to why.

I don't hold a TV series to quite the same standard as I would a movie.  The different Star Wars animated series have for the most part been pretty terrific, but you get away with things in animation that would look silly or impossible in live-action.  This is something that I also noted about the terrific series "Final Space", where there are monsters bigger than planets.

On Wed, Jul 6, 2022 at 2:30 PM Larry wrote:
I know you acknowledged there are plot holes and you don't worry too much about them.
Assume you won't want to watch them, but these 20 minutes of discussion of the problems with the writing and plot is good.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

TAXI...Jim with Latka's cocaine cookies.

Tony Danza discusses Andy Kaufman and Tony Clifton on "Taxi"

I had heard that Tony Danza thought that Andy Kaufman was an asshole, and maybe he was, but according to his comments, he warmed up to Andy Kaufman and became friends.  According to Danza, Kaufman acted crazy with the goal of getting people to talk about him.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Re: Kenobi

On Tue, Jun 28, 2022 at 2:05 PM Larry wrote:

In the comments to this video I already wrote:

I am going to concede that Obi-Wan Kenobi has a ton of logical problems. The question is whether it is still entertaining? Most certainly.

There is no shortage of people criticizing this show.   The Critical Drinker goes all out:

As I have already stated, I think that this is a pretty entertaining Star Wars television series.  I think that it is good but not great.  Some of the "logical problems" boil down to the interpretation of events.  There are things unstated that would have had to happen offscreen for it all to make sense.  This makes part of it bad writing, but I'm pretty happy with the rest of it.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Jason Alexander discusses 'George Costanza' being based on Larry David

Sunday, June 26, 2022

The Two Dark Rules Larry David Had On The Set Of Seinfeld

This reminds me of the movie "Uncut Gems."  I came so close to walking out on that film.  I felt that I was forced to spend two hours with horrible people.

However, now I want to watch more of Seinfeld.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Where Did Star Trek Actually Come From?

A large part of this video is dedicated to "Forbidden Planet", which was a 1950's movie that played like an episode of StarTrek.

In the video, he refers to actor Walter Brennan as a racist.  Brennan was a John Bircher who saw many things as a Communist Conspiracy, including the Civil Rights movement.  I liked Brennan as an actor, but he reportedly rejoiced over the murder of Doctor Martin Luther King, which is completely unforgivable.


Saturday, June 4, 2022

Re: Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Review | "Memento Mori"

Some people dislike Discovery for its obvious Woke agenda.  Nobody is against representation, since Lando Calrissian and Princess Leia are fantastic characters.  However, when it is obvious that they are pushing an agenda, the audience feels like it is being lectured to, like the time Disney/Lucasfilm said that they weren't going to hire white males.  Racial discrimination is still discrimination no matter who it is against.

I complained about Star Trek Discovery season 4 having a bridge crew that was all female.  It is The Ride of the Valkyries.  All the males were either passive or gay.  How is this "representation"?

Nevertheless, I think that Season 2 of Discovery is considerably better than Season 1.  I really enjoyed it.  I also think that Season 3 is an improvement.  I wasn't near as fond of Season 4, but I still found it enjoyable.

Season 2 of Star Trek Picard makes for passable entertainment, but it feels borderline mediocre.  It is essentially a remake of The Voyage Home with a Borg plot. 


On Sat, Jun 4, 2022 at 6:41 AM Steve wrote:

thanks john I will give s.n.w. a try   had not watched trek since discovery.

(yuk)  well I enjoyed picard season 1 havent paid for season 2 because of discovery

On 6/3/2022 7:18 PM, John Coffey wrote:

The new series "Strange New Worlds" has been knocking it out of the park.  This is interesting since I wasn't too excited about the first episode, and I assumed that people were drooling over it for the simple reason that it didn't suck.  It is certainly better than Star Trek Picard and less controversial than Star Trek Discovery.

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