TV Show Review: WandaVision

Details: More information can be found at https://disneyplusoriginals.disney.com/show/wandavision and https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9140560/

Score: 7/10

WandaVision is the first production from the Marvel cinematic universe after the events of Avengers: Endgame. As a long time Marvel movie fan, I was looking forward to whatever hints Marvel felt like dropping for the future of their shows and movies. In that regard, I enjoyed WandaVision mostly as a prelude for what may come in the future. By itself, it is passable. What surprised me most was how I’ve read many opinions of people who enjoyed the show who did not keep up with the movies or even never saw the movies. Personally, I watched the show with someone who never saw the movies and even they somewhat enjoyed despite having no knowledge of the events that transpired before this show.

Like all the other Marvel movies, WandaVision belongs within the Marvel cinematic universe. This means that the events that took place in all the Marvel movies also occurred in the fictional universe that WandaVision takes place in. I won’t spoil what happens in the prior movies, but in the first episode of this nine episode show, Wanda — a superpowered heroine– finds herself in a 1950’s sitcom. The rest of the show explores this idea and explains the truth about how she got here.

The first half of the series emulate the sitcom theme and in my opinion, it gets old fast. I needed more plot development and reveals a lot sooner. I understand what they were trying to achieve with these episodes, but after the first episode, it was boring.

The last few episodes turn away from the theme of emulating old sitcoms and reverts to your standard Marvel movie plot structure. That generally means more action with a big, bombastic action scene at the end filled with special effects. It was ordinary, predictable, and uneventful. At this point, I’ve seen so many Marvel movies that a big action scene at the end actually bores me. I’ve actually gotten tired of action scenes and explosions thanks to Marvel. Give me plot reveals, drama and dialogue please.

My favorite episode was the one where they reveal and explain everything, including Wanda’s past. I won’t say more than that, but that was by far the most meaningful episode and emotional one.

Overall, this was a nice prelude to the future of Marvel movies and shows, but it was just okay on it’s own. It’s interesting enough that non-Marvel fans may enjoy it, but much of the connections to the rest of the Marvel cinematic universe will be lost on them and some things might not make any sense without some internet searching or someone who can explain things.

Anime Review: Jujutsu Kaisen

Details: Currently ongoing. More information can be found at https://myanimelist.net/anime/40748/Jujutsu_Kaisen_TV

Score: 7/10

One of the most important things for a successful shounen anime is that the fight scenes are animated well. Jujutsu Kaisen does exactly that. Jujutsu Kaisen is your stereotypical shounen anime whose story is kind of a mashup of Naruto and Bleach (at least the first story arc in Bleach).

Jujutsu Kaisen takes place in present day Japan. A high school student’s encounter with the supernatural leads him to join a world filled with curses, sorcerers and monsters. He must now enter this world, train and become more powerful in order to fight supernatural bad guys.

The story is a very generic shounen story, to the extent that the first few story arcs are copy and pastes of story arcs from other popular shounen anime. Some examples of this redundant story telling is that the protagonist has a demon inside him (like in Naruto), all the characters are part of a school for other students with super powers (like Naruto, My Hero Academia, etc.) and the protagonist goes through a training arc where they explain how powers work in this world. It’s very uninspired and repetitive for the shounen genre.

However, fans of shounen don’t become fans just for a unique story, they want to see impressively animated fight scenes and this anime delivers on that. There’s only fourteen episodes at the time this review was written, but we’ve already gotten a few well done fight scenes. It’s one of those situations where there’s an obvious jump in animation quality when a plot relevant fight scene shows up. Animation is more fluid and more details and frames are noticeably added in.

Overall, Jujutsu Kaisen is average in terms of story, but I’d still recommend it for the fight scenes. If you like shounen anime Naruto, Bleach, or My Hero Academia, you will likely enjoy Jujutsu Kaisen. It’s one of the most popular shounen anime to come out in the past year.

Comedy Show Review: 8:46

Details: The show can be viewed on YouTube for free. The above clip is the show in its entirety.

Score: 5.8/10

This show isn’t really comedic, but a rant by Dave Chappelle of his opinion on the George Floyd protests. I agree with what Chappelle says, I just didn’t want to hear it from Dave Chappelle the comedian. I’ll explain why.

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Musical Review: Mean Girls

Details: More information can be found at https://meangirlsonbroadway.com/#/?month=2018-07 and http://www.playbill.com/production/mean-girls-august-wilson-theatre-2017-2018

Score: 7/10

Mean Girls the musical is pretty much a scene by scene retelling of the 2004 movie of the same name, except with musical numbers. If you enjoyed the movie, then you’ll likely enjoy this show.

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Comedy Show Review: Chris Rock: Tamborine

Details: Released in 2018 on Netflix. About an hour long.

The biggest problem with this show is that I’ve seen this show before. A comedy show from the perspective of a rich, black comedian about race, politics, and relationships. The biggest problem with Tamborine is that Dave Chappelle has already done this show and he did it better.

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