Monday, 24 April 2017

Doctor Who 'Smile' Review

In this week's episode, The Doctor and Bill venture into the future, arriving in a city where there is no-one to be found apart from a group of emoji robots. As The Doctor grows increasingly concerned about the whereabouts of the colonists who were meant to make the city their new home, Bill continues to ask questions about The Doctor, helping to cement the pair's friendship.

Writer Frank Cottrell-Boyce explores how humanity uses technology and how that evolves and develops. It's a fascinating subject and used to great effect. There are similarities to how artificial intelligence's works; in order to achieve their goal, they can create new actions in which to achieve them, developing a self-evolving process. 


... on the run – Smile – Doctor Who: Series 10 Episode 2 – BBC One

The script is sharp, intelligent, witty and flows wonderfully. Bill continues to ask the questions many of us have always wanted to ask The Doctor. Why the police box? Shouldn't we call a helpline? 

Indeed, these questions provide much of the engaging conversations between The Doctor and Bill. Their friendship is unique, charming, eccentric and warm. Peter Capaldi and Pearl Mackie perform with creativity, intelligence, imagination and spontaneity. 

Doctor Who: Pearl jellies out - Smile - Series 10 Episode 2 - BBC One

'Smile' is a disturbing yet engrossing story that leaves The Doctor faced with an impossible situation. The consequences feel raw and emotional. Technology can never truly be trusted because the bottom line is: they are not human.  

The plot was harrowing and gave us an exciting new twist with regards to why the microbots were killing the colonists. Grief as a virus gave new insights into the perspective of technology and how it perceived the situation. 

 Doctor Who series 10 episode 2 Smile: when is it on? Who's in the cast ...

There were some smashing moments of comedy especially when The Doctor and Bill had to keep smiling as they were escaping from the emoji robots. Bill's enthusiasm and joy were infectious; making me love her even more. 

Episode 2 has taken a global communications phenomenon and explored its form producing give a dark, funny, smart and gripping story that questions the future of technology and our relationship with it. 

Watch out for the elephant!

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Doctor Who 'The Pilot' Review

After sixteen months since series nine, Doctor Who finally returned with The Pilot, its title being one that would let new audience members know that this is where they could start their journey as a viewer/fan.

Even though I've been an obsessed fan since I was nine-years-old, I still felt like I was watching the show for the first time because even though I know about the mythology and what came before, the show has completely rejuvenated itself, much like the Doctor himself. 

10 More Teasers for The Pilot | Doctor Who TV  

As Bill encountered the Doctor for the first time, there was a clear difference to their relationship. One that factors into the Doctor wanting to guide and teach Bill about the universe and show her her own potential. 

The set up of Bill's life was shot beautifully; the cutting between the Doctor explaining the TARDIS anagram interceding with Bill locking eyes with a girl she likes was really cool. Writer Steven Moffat has done a fantastic job creating Bill. She has a youthful cheekiness and sincerity to her which makes her feel real and relatable. 

Doctor Who spoiler-free review: "The Pilot explores afresh the key ...

The plot was very imaginative and explored the idea of reflections and something being on the other side of it. However, I felt the motivation of the alien threat wasn't explained which made their role feel less threatening than they could have been.

But having said that, there were some creepy moments, when the creature inhabiting Bill's love interest Heather's body, the constant dripping made me wonder if they were connected to The Flood, last seen in The Waters of Mars. 

The scene where Bill returned home and realised it wasn't her foster mum that was having a shower was atmospheric and effectively creepy and tense. Bill's reaction really added to the surreal moment when she sees an eye looking back at her from the plug hole.  

Whatever life forms they may be, it's possible we'll see them again in the future. Another aspect of the plot which left me unsure was The Doctor travelling to Australia, then to a planet in the far future and into the midst of a Dalek War. I presumed he was testing if the creature would follow him across time as well as space. I think it's a positive thing that the audience can be confused yet engaged and interested enough to analysis the story further. 

Doctor Who Series 10 Opener The Pilot to Feature the Daleks – The ...

The script was fast, witty, emotional and explored new ways of introducing Bill as the companion. Bill and Heather's separation was tragic yet beautiful in the sense that the alien who killed Heather had latched onto the emotional connection Heather felt towards Bill, almost like it was something new that it wanted to hold onto. 

Seeing Bill take her first step into the TARDIS was moving and funny as she compared the console room to a 'posh kitchen.' The glee and wonder in her eyes were clear, allowing fans new and old to rejoice in the beginning of the show's magic all over again. 

The Pilot succeeded in introducing Bill to the Doctor's world and gave a clear sense of who she is and how she's going to test the Doctor through their travels together. The alien threat didn't feel like much of a threat but did give the episode some intense and scary moments. The raw emotional beats were engrossing and the music certainly uplifted the atmosphere and wonder of the episode.

Rating: 9/10

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Supergirl Season 2 'Distant Sun' Review

Distant Sun leaves season two with some unanswered questions as to where the season is heading as a whole. This episode left us with multiple threats which could ultimately culminate towards this season's final threat. Could it be Cadmus, the alien disguised as the President or Mon-El's vengeful mother, Rhea?

Firstly, this episode explored the fractured relationship between Mon-El and his parents as his mother, Rhea, places a bounty on Supergirl's head. Her motivation certainly gives a relatable context to her paternal control and dominance.

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From a wider social perspective, Rhea's beliefs that Earth's cultures have poisoned Mon-El is an interesting avenue to analysis how certain social groups may believe in something even if it's immoral. 

Supergirl's hope to change Rhea's mind about allowing her son to remain on Earth was an inspiring moment, proving the difficult situations Supergirl has to contend with everyday.

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Even though Alex/Maggie's drama didn't connect with the main plot, it was really engaging to learn more about Maggie and her past. The awkward confrontation of Alex meeting Maggie's ex-girlfriend lead to an important development in their relationship, strengthening it for the better.

 Likewise, Kara and Mon-El's separation and reunion was emotionally apt and proved Mon-El's acceptance into the 'Super' family. The themes of change and Mon-El questioning whether people can ever really change provided the foundations for his mother's decision to murder her husband, because his perception began to shift.

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It raises questions as to the people who are willing to change, whether other members of a social system will retaliate because they are afraid of the new change. In this case, Rhea felt betrayed and sought to avenge her family's split by taking revenge on the Earth, her fear evidently propelling her into revenge mode. 

Finally, this episode gave us some wonderful moments between Kara/Mon-El and Alex/Maggie as both explored the strengths of their relationships. There was engaging drama involving Mon-El's parents which raised questions of patriarchy and whether people can really change. 

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Beauty and the Beast Review

The live action version of the much-loved Beauty and the Beast has finally arrived, but was it worth the wait? A resounding YES!

The film follows the basic structure of the animated original but adds its own flaw of relevant themes that continue to affect our society today. Belle's thirst for adventure and something more than 'this provincial life' is something many can relate too. 

Emma Watson's portrayal is gracious, strong, intelligent and curious, which in comparison to Gaston's egotistical and selfish nature, is sublimely an inspiring character for everyone to look up too. 

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 More so, the musical elements are simply beautiful, voracious and funny, culminating in one of the most addictive and heartwarming soundtracks. The soothing rhythms and tinkly softness of the music sets a rich atmosphere to the character's stories. 

Belle and the Beast's relationship is portrayed beautifully and truthfully; the progression of their feelings towards one another is true of the song, 'Just a little change/Small to say the least.' The lyrics movingly describe the relationship with clarity and rawness.

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One character that added a fantastic diversity to the fairytale community is LeFou. His undying love for Gaston was sweet and tragic, especially when Gaston led his hideous march to the Beast's tower, hell bent on destroying his adversary. The positivity he brought to every scene was lovely; his happy ending was much deserved!

 The ultimate battle between Gaston and the Beast was an epic and incredibly emotional story as Belle pleaded her love for him before his last breath. As the sorrow intensified, the uplifting vision of the Enchantress (who was actually Agathe) brought new life to the Beast, making him human again. 
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Belle's friendship with Cogsworth, Lumiere and Mrs Potts was endearing and further explored the deeper meaning of how social status can make people only feel 'useful' if they serve others.  

It was wonderful to see all the characters have a happy ending; to see them all dancing in the most dazzling ballroom was like watching melting chocolate falling into pieces of gold.

Personally, I think it would have grounded the theme of beauty coming from within more powerfully, if the Prince had remained the Beast, because the juxposition was that once he fell in love with Belle, he was no longer a Beast and so his appearance didn't matter.

Disney's live action of one of the most beautiful and inspiring musicals is an elegant masterpiece of beautiful storytelling, playful humour and teaches an important theme of self-value and that beauty is not about not being what you are but who you are. 


Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Supergirl Season 2 'Star-Crossed' Review

'Star-Crossed achieved some enticing emotional moments with Kara and Mon-El as his Daxamite parents- the King and Queen of Daxam, arrived on Earth searching for their Prince. 

What this episode allows is for Mon-El to confront his hidden identity; forcibly admitting all to Kara around a rather civilised dinner. More so, Kara and Mon-El's relationships falls into a mess of unknown certainty; one that is both relatable and truthful.


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This episode lacked the richer moments between what could have been a compelling piece of drama, between Mon-El and his parents. As of yet, their true intentions are faded but it felt right that they weren't another couple who wanted to invade or destroy Earth.

The decision to balance the episode's drama with Winn and Lyra's relationship felt out of sync with the main themes of the story, but it was interesting to learn more about Lyra's character, however, she still doesn't feel like a fully rounded character.

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 Lyra's betrayal led to strengthening her relationship with Winn, as he believed a woman who would sacrifice herself for someone she cared about was worth forgiving. (Yes to that!) I'm not sure where I see their relationship heading but I praise the writers for establishing a interspecies relationship.

Certainly, there's potential for their relationship to be a truly unique and amazing one; especially if they explore the cultural and psychological aspects of both characters.

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There were some subtle and brilliant moments with Alex and Maggie, an example being Maggie intentionally scaring Winn, and another, with Alex bargaining with a guy at the alien bar with Hamilton tickets. 

Kara's decision to end her relationship with Mon-El felt like it was an incredibly difficult decision, one that made the last scene heartbreaking for the both of them. I do agree with Kara that she deserves better, but I did admire Mon-El for standing up to his parents and even without Kara, begin to develop into the hero he's always wanted to be. 

This episode was a mixture of great relationship development and subtle humour but failed to balance Winn's relationship effectively to make his story as engaging as the rest. 

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Supergirl Season 2 'Exodus' Review

This week, Supergirl struggles to contend with Catmus's plans to deport the kidnapped aliens and Alex goes on her own mission to find her father. 'Exodus' delivers a relevant and compelling story as Catmus's diabolical mission to capture every alien and deport them from Earth explores the need for heroes like the Danvers sisters.

Immediately, there is a tense atmosphere as the DEO follows the abductions as they happen, propelling Kara to write her own news story to warn the alien community. At this point, Kara's career as a journalist doesn't seem to fit in with her role as Supergirl, but after following her own instincts and getting fired, it may be a good opportunity for Kara to write her own stories away from Catco.

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This episode was definitely Alex focused as her emotional turmoil over Jeremiah caused her to go on her own mission to find him, and with the help of Maggie, she does, resulting in an emotional and complicated confrontation, beautifully played by Chyler Leigh.

The emotional strain of her father's betrayal has definitely given her character lots of fantastic scenes where hope and loss have conflicted. Her rage against Catmus was strongly felt and the scenes with Alex/Maggie were both funny, sweet and empowering. 

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Alex's suspension at the DEO added to her faded logic but gave her the means to prove how resilient, strong and courageous she is that she would risk her own life to find her father and the alien community.

One of the most emotional moments was when Supergirl had to stop the spaceship, containing Alex and the aliens, from entering into space. The silent exchange between the Danvers sisters, and the Supergirl theme, blended to form a heartwrenching scene of self-doubt and support. 

 'Exodus' achieved some beautifully emotional scenes with Alex and her father. Her solo mission of self-discovery, bravery and love for her family showcased what a vivid and complex character she is.

Friday, 3 March 2017

Supergirl Season 2 'Homecoming' Review

The Danvers sisterhood is jeopardised when their father, Jeremiah, is found after Supergirl apprehends a Catmus transportation truck. The likelihood of Jeremiah being found after fifteen years of absense is at a low probability, which the episode addresses as Mon-El remains highly suspicious of his return. 

This allows for Mon-El and Kara's relationship to be further explored as his suspicion escalates at the Danvers homecoming gathering. Clearly, Mon-El has a long way to becoming the person he wishes he could be but his struggle is what makes him an interesting character. The conflict between his selfishness and heroism is a juxtaposing dilemma for his character to contend with.

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Besides the turbulent reunion, it did give Alex a chance to introduce Maggie to her father that was a truthful scene of reflection for Alex to connect with her father again after such a long time apart. 

Unsurprisingly, Mon-El's suspicions are proved correct but the discourse behind Jeremiah's motivations are left unclear which provides great psychological drama between Kara's doubt and Alex's trust. Chyler Leigh and Dean Cain performed a beautiful and tragic scene in the woods as Alex points a gun at her fleeing father. 

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Embedded within the episode was a fractured sense of vulnerability and loneliness felt by those betrayed. Catmus's presence didn't feel powerful in the threat they posed but this was probably because they weren't the focus here. 

Homecoming really tears at the core of the Danvers family; their disconnection from each other is both compelling and terrifying as this could be their greatest weakness. The family orientated drama was moving and complicated, providing some quality character moments.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Supergirl Season 2 'Mr & Mrs Mxyzptlk' Review

Love is in the air in this week's episode of Supergirl, where Kara meets fifth dimensional being Mxyzptlk, who spontaneously appears declaring his love with red roses and quartet galore. 

It was refreshing to have an episode based entirely around the character's emotions and relationships. Kara and Mon-El's turbulent conflict and complex coming together was played really well by Melissa Benoist and Chris Wood.

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 More interestingly, Maggie's reasons for not liking Valentine's Day was really fascinating, her bad experience with her parents opened up more opportunity to learn more about her character.

Alex/Maggie's relationship is wonderfully raw and unpredictable but there is an underlying respect and love that is undeniably adorable.  Winn's abrupt relationship with alien Lyra was another welcome addition, as politcally and socially it reflects society's transgression of other races.

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Additionally, the comedy elements were rather silly but served their purpose of providing light entertainment as Mxyzptlk kept clicking his fingers, desperately trying to make Kara his wife. 

The straightforward resolution didn't detract from the more layered character moments as it was nice to have the villian defeated rather efficiently.  Maggie giving Alex the Valentine's Day she always wanted was so heartwarming and strengthened their relationship further. 

 Even though it was great to see Kara and Mon-El finally admit their feelings, it began the long road of seeing how it will end, Mon-El is already hiding the fact that the aliens they encountered a few weeks back spared his life and he seems to be very important to some killer aliens. 

Overall, Valentine's Day provided some sweet and complex relationship developments, warming the heart and providing some laughs along the way.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Supergirl Season 2 'Luthors' Review

Lena Luthor takes centre stage in the latest episode as she is framed for working with Matello and her mother, albeit causing the whole of National City to believe she is guilty. It's only Kara who undeniably believes in her, demonstrating her loyalty and goodness.

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Katie McGrath and Melissa Benoist performances are incredibly charming as they showcase their friendship with donuts and a declaration of Kara being Lena's hero. There is a lovely bond between them which is both sweet and turbulent.

It was great to introduce the episode with Alex introducing Maggie to her friends, the warmth and familiarity of the 'Super' family is indulgent and cemented the strength of their friendships. 

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The flashback to Lena's childhood was an interesting insight into the fractured relationship between Lena and her mother. The cutbacks were edited together smoothly and gave an extra gravitas to Lena's character.

There were some quality character moments between Kara and James as he questioned Kara's lack of trust in Lena and not him. James' character was certainly more engaging than his Guardian persona.

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Mon-El and Kara's dynamic naturally took a huge stride as Kara admitted her feelings for him but didn't believe she could be Supergirl and be in a relationship. Chris Wood and Melissa Benoist's chemistry is always so charming and funny that it's hard not to become invested in their coupling.

Lillian and Lena's complex relationship became richer and more engaging which undoubtedly makes both characters better equipped to grip the audience. I just hope that the last scene with Lena was not an attempt to showcase Lena's true motivations. If she did turn out to have her own agenda which involved death, destruction and insanity, the friendship built between Lena and Kara would feel meaningless and betray Lena's journey to proving that being a Luthor does not always involve evil intentions.

This was one of the best episodes of the season with compelling character developments, emotionally driven drama and showcased Kara's heroic qualities beautifully.


Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Supergirl Season 2 'The Martian Chronicles' Review

The best aspect to this episode was the complexity surrounding Kara and Mon-El's relationship, Kara's confusion as to what she feels for Mon-El was wonderfully executed by the writers and Melissa Benoist's performance felt raw and truthful.

Supergirl Season 2 Episode 11 "The Martian Chronicles" Photos

There were specific themes incorporated in the plot; Kara and J'onn's loneliness being the focus point which converged on Kara's feeling of abandonment when Alex asks to reschedule Kara's earth birthday so she can go to a concert with Maggie.

It was interesting to see Kara's reasoning behind her insecurity but seeing how happy she was for Alex, she must have known that she would be seeing less of her and the fact that their sisterhood is really strong, that should be assurance that Alex would never abandon her sister.

... supergirl season 2 2.11 the martian chronicles promotional pictures

The psychological effect the DEO's lock down had on the characters was engaging and enforced some great horror elements; the gooey trappings of Winn and Alex and the burner testing were brilliant techniques which played with the audience.

Also, this gave the cast an opportunity to extend their acting abilities,  Jeremy Jordan and Chyler Leigh's portrayal of the white martians produced refreshing performances, drawing out Supergirl's confusion and loneliness.

... supergirl season 2 2.11 the martian chronicles promotional pictures

J'onn and M'gann's growing relationship was charmingly moving because it allowed David Harewood to explore the vulnerabilities of his character, albeit creating a more dynamic and complex character. 

M'gann's departure felt a bit rushed but it was inspiring to see that J'onn has had such a positive influence on M'gann that she would be willing to sacrifice herself for the opportunity to save her race from their own weaknesses. 

 The Martian Chronicles Supergirl Trailer

Overall, this episode had some fantastic character moments which developed and fleshed out J'onn and Supergirl's characters with clever construction. The horror themes emphasised the psychological tensions effectively and the action sequences were some of the best the series has produced. 


Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Supergirl Season 2 'We Can Be Heroes' Review

We Can Be Heroes plays with Mon-El and Kara's relationship as she reunites with her nemesis- Lvewire. 

This episode made me feeling relieved and surprised at Supergirl's reaction to James being Guardian. Happening by chance, it's understandable that Kara would be angry that her friends had kept this secret from her, but it doesn't explain why she would be so dismissive of Jame's justification for wanting to be Guardian.

We Can Be Heroes

Supergirl seems to think she has a right to tell James that he cannot be a superhero, while training Mon-El who only feels like he wants to become a superhero so he can work with Kara and gain recognition from her.

It is clear that Kara is worried about James being killed but de-valuing his motivations for wanting to be a hero doesn't feel like an action she would take. 

Title: Supergirl – We Can Be Heroes wiki: link

Elsewhere, with Kara thinking Livewire had escaped, when in fact she was kidnapped,  this was a clever twist which was entertaining and compelling because you're left debating how Livewire's imprisonment has changed her psychological condition.

Another successful aspect to the episode was the gradual evolution of Kara's and Mon-El's relationship. Kara's frustration that Mon-El wouldn't admit his true intentions for becoming a superhero was an interesting development to their partnership because it provided texture to the complications of their dynamic.

... Series) club tagged: photo cw supergirl season 2 2.10 we can be heroes

J'onn's complex relationship with M'gann produced a moving and uplifting dynamic to the narrative because the themes of forgiveness and the chaos of war featured heavily within J'onn's solution to accepting what happened to his people, and his commitment to forging a friendship with M'gann was indeed honorable and noble.

The visual aesthetic of M'gann's psychological attack was an intelligent technique to use to project the expansion of her memories and her internal torment, this was a great way to engage more effectively with her character.

Supergirl' Review: "We Can Be Heroes" But Literally Just For One Day ...

There were many strong elements to the episode; Mon-El's development, Kara/James confrontation and J'onn/M'gann psychic bond which beautifully explored the history of two aliens who have suffered greatly.

With gripping action scenes and engaging drama between Kara and her friends, We Can Be Heroes delivers on atmosphere, drama and action but fails to justify Supergirl's lack of empathy for James as Guardian.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Supergirl Season 2 'Supergirl Lives' Review

The mid-season premiere takes us to another planet (moon) where Supergirl discovers that her powers are not what makes her Supergirl. It is a fitting idea to take the narrative as it allows us to re-discover why Supergirl is an admirable hero.

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There are some wonderful moments with Alex/Maggie where we get to see them basking in happiness. Alex's declaration of 'I have a girlfriend!' was incredibly sweet and Kara's observation of her sister's glow provided some quality comedic moments. 

However, it felt strange to witness Alex's sudden insecurity when Supergirl became stuck on another planet, her albeit dismissal of her relationship with Maggie didn't feel natural for the characters at this point. But Alex's reasoning was understandable because she has always been relied upon to take responsibility for Kara, and so, when she is allowed to be happy, she instantly feels like something bad will happen.

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As Supergirl and Mon-El stumble upon a gateway to another world, searching for a missing girl, Winn is given a subtle sub-plot where he experiences a case of post traumatic stress after he is almost killed while on a mission with Guardian. 

This gave him an opportunity to develop and explore his psychological conditions which reflect our own experiences except with trips in space. There was a familiar spirit to Supergirl's optimism with her belief and faith in never giving up correlating to our current social crisis. 

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Finally, there were engaging moments with Alex/Maggie, Winn's traumatic experience and Mon-El's decision to become a superhero all adding to an exciting and compelling viewing, with a science-fiction aesthetic that blended well with Supergirl's moral expression.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

The Librarians Season 3 'And the Eternal Question' Review

At first, And the Eternal Question feels like a straightforward attempt at a fresh twist on vampirical themes through a naturalised religious setting, and indeed does, but embeds a beautiful examination of the psychological battle of a brain tumour sufferer. Krisha McCoy’s (2009) Brain Tumour: Boarding an Emotional Rollercoaster article analyses the emotions felt by Cassandra and why they are so varied.

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The audience is introduced to a case of self-combustion which instantly questions the force behind the eventuality of supernatural pressures dictating the death of specific individuals. As Cassandra glances at the obscene innocence of her tumour, her instant refusal to fight cleverly justifies her personal investigation into a resort run by vampires, where the combustion victims are used a test subjects.

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This is a personal story, bravely inquiring into the resort’s treatment of terminally ill residents and questioning the mental cruelty of hope being a false claim, a realistic exploration of a real dilemma far more fascinating to witness when Cassandra meets vampire bio-engineer- Estrella, who has an eclectic understanding of her situation.

The acceptance of her death is a difficult notion to understand because I wandered why she had given up so easily, the simple reasoning behind her decision was she was terrified. Her emotional journey reflects isolation being at the cause of her denial, but her capability to continue her investigation and use her intelligence to solve the case is a wonderful expression of human resilience.

Throughout the episode, she veers towards denial then bargaining with Estrella over whether immortality would be an unconventional path that may be the eternal question that the writers' wanted to ask.

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Lindy Booth’s naturalistic and raw performance seamlessly splits between Cassandra’s excitable and childlike enthusiasm to a grieving woman who has accepted her impending death. The exchange between the two facades is an impressive skill and ultimately reveals how her intentions change; from denying her true feelings with false excitement to achieving justice for the dead residents.

While the episode’s focus is, dark and moving, the other librarians- Jacob and Ezekiel balance the story’s themes with team quarrels and unavoidable capture. Their pre-conceived notions of vampires juxtapose Cassandra’s open-minded view. Dr Belisa Vranich’s (2010) Why we love vampires: The Psychology behind the obsession reveals psychological justification for why vampirical themes are commonly used.

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The compelling factors assimilate from who to believe as the owner of the resort, Estrella’s mother, explains the land’s gift motivated her and her children to live freely with their abilities without the need to stretch their vampirical instincts. The mystery of the orchestrator’s identity is brilliantly and subtly revealed by Cassandra, who observes Estrella’s brother-Tomas overwhelming curiosity into the real source of their freedom.

The relationship formed between Cassandra and Estrella lays the foundations for a diverse and unique relationship which is an alluring reflection of what a peaceful society would look like when people are accepted for who they are. Aaron Anson’s Huffington Post (2011) Coping with our judgmental society article provides detail into why society’s judgmental attitudes create non-productivity and prejudice.

Writer’s Katie Rodrick and Nicole Ranadive have showcased spectacular qualities storytelling, using supernatural themes to guide a character’s acceptance of their diagnosis, where they remind us that you can still be scared and survive. The episode is a remarkable adoption of bravery, intrinsically complex emotions and a romantic acceptance of immortality.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Doctor Who- The Return of Doctor Mysterio Review

This latest special is a love letter to the Christopher Reeve’s (1978) Superman film with a mix of alien parasites and a grieving Doctor. The self-contained story feels separate from the main series, which is a soothing addition to the light-hearted and comedic stories that are almost always present during the festive season.

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The superhero theme embedded throughout the story is a perfect fit within the Doctor Who universe because they both inhabit a sense of imagination and hope, that beings with superpowers can inspire greatness. Film Ink’s (2016) The Age of Heroes: Why are superheroes so popular? article states that during sensitive times in society, it is natural for our consciousness to latch onto the idea of a superhero healing society’s wounds.

Justin Chatwin plays the enigmatic and charming Grant/The Ghost, who meeting the Doctor as a child, swallowed a gem stone which caused his greatest wish to come true- becoming a superhero. Years later, the Doctor and Nardole investigate Harmony Shoal, a classic New York corporate company whose sinister plans to replace human brains with that of the alien parasites- the Shoals of the Winter Harmony, create the antagonistic conflict that the Doctor always finds himself encountering.

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The creatures imbue a fearful visualisation as the humans they have killed, unzip their own heads to reveal the parasite inside the skull. Their plans are predictable, they aim to infect every human on Earth so they can thrive, but the focus is intentionally on Grant and Lucy, a reporter who doesn’t realise she is in love with Grant until they are both almost killed.

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Charity Wakefield as Lucy portrays a clever, confident, strong-willed and curious character that even the Doctor finds himself impressed with. Her interrogation of the Doctor is one of hilarity as she uses her baby daughter’s squeaky toy to scare the Doctor into telling the truth.
The fact that she doesn’t know who the Doctor is cleverly allows him to become mysterious to the audience again through her eyes. Grant and Lucy’s relationship becomes rather complicated once Lucy arranges to meet The Ghost for an interview, which nostalgically resembles the rooftop scene between Clark Kent and Lois Lane in the first (1978) Superman film.
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Once the Doctor discovers the Shoal of the Winter Harmony’s plans, the pace quickens and their spaceship becomes the setting to its eventual demise. As it crashes to Earth, Grant uses his super strength to hold the ship in place, becoming the hero that Lucy has always known him to be which creates a joyful and satisfying conclusion.

Careful consideration has been taken to explore the Doctor’s psychological state as he grieves for River Song. There are snippets of his defensive behaviour as Nardole points out he would rather save a planet then admit his grief. Moffat, Steven (2016) The Return of Doctor Mysterio, “Which is what you always do when the conversation turns serious.”

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The story is a brilliant tribute to the superhero franchise, the humour and heart-warming romance between Grant and Lucy is magical and sweet. With the alien foes and the Doctor’s daftness bringing danger, fear and sadness to the narrative, this feels like an exciting beginning for the new series. 

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Happy New Year From 2017!

Happy New Year!!!

Here's to 2017! Let's hope it's a great year for everyone! :D

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from!

2016 has been an awful year for many, but here's hoping 2017 is a clean slate for all.

KW will hopefully be back from a couple of years of "sick leave" for more blogging (huge thanks to Winged Warrior for her continuous reviews) and a new Youtube channel (mostly gaming) too.

Have a good one! :D

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Supergirl Season 2 'Medusa' Review

The mid-season finale was a strong, moving and aesthetically successful accumulation of season 2's narrative arcs.  With Thanksgiving a time of gratification and grace, the Danvers family dinner was a heartwarming opener with touches of tension between Alex and James to exemplify the complicated atmosphere.

I was thankful for the medusa virus as it created an effective antagonistic rivalry for Supergirl to battle because it gave her the opportunity to discover that her father created the virus himself, which has now put Mon-El and National City's alien population in danger.

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Her disappointment and pain at how disillusioned her parents have made her was fascinating from a psychological standpoint because of how fragile a parents influence can have towards their children.  Lena herself had the opportunity to use this to her advantage as she manipulated her mother into thinking that she had become an advocate for Cadmus' cause. Personally, I had second thoughts about Lena's betrayal but she revealed herself to be her own hero, switching the isotopes and causing the Medusa virus to become inert. 

The developing relationship between Kara and Mon-El was endearing, allowing Kara's personal life to take an interesting direction. J'onn's mutating dilemma also packed emotional moments into the dire outcome of the virus. The return of mother Danvers was a welcomed treat. Her scene with Alex was stunning and powerful, I loved that she was able to come in, use her brilliant brain to cure J'onn and Mon'El and then depart.

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Another character arc which had a very joyful and wonderful resolution was when Maggie decided, after a near death experience courtesy of Cyborg Superman, that life was too short and realised her feelings for Alex. This was a really moving and sweet scene which I hope will not signify that terrible things are to come.......

This episode had a lot of character threads to tie up which was executed beautifully and the balance of the Medusa virus played a vital role, providing great conflict for Supergirl to conquer, when ultimately, it was Lena Luthor who saved the day. 

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Supergirl Season 2 'The Darkest Place' Review

In this episode, the Cadmus story line begins to take shape but the Guardian plot thread fails to deliver any valuable content, contributing little to the narrative.  The problem with James story line is it lacks credibility and his clear cut, 'Guardian is a hero, not a villain', motif is that he cannot call himself a hero just because he's thought, 'Being a hero sounds pretty cool, I'll do that.'

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It's a plot point that lets the episode down and needs to be wrapped up before the mid-season finale. The conflict between Kara and Cyber Superman was very entertaining but I didn't understand why he had to so straightforwardly reveal, 'I'm not Hank Henshaw, I'm cyber superman.'  A little bit of mystery as to who he was would have made his presence more gratifying.

Also, J'onn's discovery that he's mutating into a White Martian was an effective technique to explore his character. Imagine if we were infected with our own worst enemy's blood? It would most definitely cause psychological damage, which makes his character's story arc worth investing in.

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Kara and Mon-El's interactions were suspenseful because there were more revealations to Mon-El's character which revealed a more honest and sensitive side. It was particularly harrowing to see Supergirl drained of her powers, her blood being visible and the use of flickering camera shots added to the disorientation and powerlessness she felt. 

Even though, Cadmus feels like it's going to become a better crafted villain I would like to see Lillian Luthor reveal some vulnerable and emotional aspects to her character rather than her approach at being a stereotypical insane scientist who believes she's saving the world. Maybe a flashback to her past could reveal why she has dedicated her whole life to experimenting on aliens?

The reappearance of Jeremiah contributed to a very moving scene where Jeremiah expressed how proud he was of Kara had become. However, I wasn't convinced that's he managed to avoid experimentation all these years.

I was glad to see that the aftermath of Alex's humiliation has made her stand up to Maggie. It truthfully depicted the awkwardness that can follow on from a complicated situation such as this. I'm still hoping something will happen because even though it's very sweet to see them playing pool, there needs to be more conflict between them if their relationship can continue to develop.

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This episode succeeded in driving the action towards Cadmus' ultimate goal and the vulnerability that Supergirl experienced was gripping and tense. Alex's continued struggle was very effective in showing the after effects of humiliation and her sense of loss.

Again, James story line failed to rise to the quality of the remaining narrative but did manage to explore a fraction of how Kara and her friends might be pulled apart when she discovers they've been lying to her about Guardian's identity.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Supergirl Season 2 'Changing' Review

The capability of what this show can offer has proven itself worthy of recognition for producing an astounding collection of character moments. With a menacing antagonist that acquired more than one dimension to its character, this episode is a brilliant example of what a superhero drama can offer.

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This episode encapsulated the fantastic relationship between Kara and Alex, their scenes were moving, heartwarming and truthful to what a sister relationship can and should be like. Both Chyler Leigh and Melissa Benoist performances were utterly stunning, raw and gripping.

It was fantastic to see Alex's inner conflict with her sexuality finally reveal itself, her bravery and obvious loneliness she's experienced was very connecting and made her character even more empathetic. The vulnerability and fear that she displayed, as well as her confusion, inspired a natural and beautiful expression of her character's complexity.

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Certainly, Mon-El's journey was a natural progression for his character and a welcoming addition to the conflict that he has begun to experience with Supergirl. He clearly knows Supergirl better than some of her other friends because he's an alien too, and can relate to her selfish reasoning behind being an hero, and how that cause negative choices to develop.

The villain for this week was one of the best the show has produced. It was creepy, compelling and there was a unique justification for why the parasite had infected the scientist, which when he mutated, made me feel pity for his character because Supergirl knew that she would have to kill a man who was trying to fix humanity's mistakes.

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Another beautiful and surprising twist came when Alex revealed her feelings for Maggie, and they weren't reciprocated! This came as a shock because I've become a fan of those two characters, but I valued the writers decision not to make their relationship predictable. Alex got to experience humiliation which though not a wanted experience, allowed for the reality of her situation to relate to the audience.

J'onn was thrust into a very dynamic predicament when his green martian friend, who is actually a white martian, brought him back to life with a transfusion of her own blood. This was a very clever story development which I think will take his character to some very dramatic and heartbreaking experiences.

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On the downside, Jame's story arc seems to be a lost cause with no justifiable end in sight. His motives for wanting to suddenly become a hero was extremely unconvincing because he's never been interested in being the hero, he's always had the unique opportunity to capture heroic acts behind his camera, inspiring cities all over the world. How is that not heroic and noble?

Also, his role at CatCo means that he possesses some of the most important power in National City, and could achieve so much within that position. His main goal to become like his friends isn't going to benefit him or anyone else. Why would he want to lose his individuality? I cannot understand it and find his whole journey emotionless and not interesting enough to hold my attention.

'Changing' felt like metaphor for the character's inner transformation which was beautiful, tragic and despairing. Jame's story arc either needs to find a resolution quickly or take a different path. I don't believe that his presence brings any dramatic need or purpose to the series which needs to change in order to play a valuable role.