Monthly Archives: March 2011

DVD Review – The Blue Planet: Seas of Life

Five years before Planet Earth there was The Blue Planet: Seas of Life.  Few would deny that the latter series is the better, but that doesn’t make this one any less fascinating.  The footage is as spectacular as it is unique and many of the episodes, particularly “The Deep,” capture creatures and behavior never before seen on film.  “Limiting” the series to the water in no way diminishes the scope or variety of this series as it takes us on a fascinating journey across 71% of our planet’s surface. Continue reading

If animal trapped call 410-844-6286

“Final Grades” is revelatory for everyone but our great detectives.  They spend the episode hauling bodies out of the vacant houses but they don’t learn any more than almost everyone else (including the audience) didn’t already know.  MCU remains blissfully ignorant of how meaningless their work is to middle school children beneath them or to the politicians above them.  Continue reading

That all there is to it?

As is so often the case with this series, all I can say is “wow.”  “That’s Got His Own” delivers the show’s most effective emotional beat down to date, which is really saying something considering how many we’ve had thus far.  What happens to Bubbles in tragic in the extreme, or at least it would be if it weren’t followed by what happens to Randy… and Namond… and Michael.  Continue reading

You play in dirt, you get dirty

“A New Day” keeps up the “promise made, promise kept” vibe we’ve been getting from Carcetti since the election.  His response to Burrell’s community policing is to directly and publicly countermand the orders, declaring that the devotion to stats is a thing of the past.  Of course, politics still plays a role in the decision making as the “correct” response to Herc’s harassment complaint won’t be enough to placate the Ministers.  Much as Carcetti may want to focus on real police work, he’s still a politician and political interests will colour his interaction with the department.  This may be the fact that ends up saving Burrell’s career. Continue reading

DVD Review: STNG Season One

Let’s face facts people, season one of TNG is bad.  Like, really bad.  As an artifact of a great show finding its way, it has some value.  As something to laugh at rather than with, it has a bit more.  But as a piece of entertainment in itself, it’s severely lacking.  The characters are ill defined and the stories are mostly ill conceived.  Cringes of note include “Code of Honor” “The Big Goodbye” and “Conspiracy.”  Sadly such poor, and often nonsensical, episodes are the norm this season.  Exceptions like “Where No One Has Gone Before” and “Heart of Glory” are pretty good, but nowhere near the heights this series would reach in later years. Continue reading

World goin’ one way, people another

What did I say in my last write up about pre-mature toasts?  Where “Know Your Place” illustrated how hard it can be for individuals to change course, “Misgivings” has the institutions proving they’re still the gods of intransigence.  Continue reading

Might as well dump ’em, get another

Damnit Daniels, why’d you have to go and jinx it?  I’m referring to his conversation with Pearlman regarding the possibility that things man actually be getting better in the city.  The two have reason to celebrate with their mutual promotion and the apparent willingness of the new administration to put the public good ahead of political interest.  Carcetti’s been giving us reasons to hope for several episodes now but toasting him seems a little premature, particularly when the rest of “Know Your Place” shows things taking a turn for the worse. Continue reading

We got our thing, but it’s just part of the big thing

“Corner Boys” sees an apparent breakthrough at both the highest and lowest levels of the game.  At the top, Carcetti’s continued observation of the BPD puts him into contact with Daniels.  At the bottom, Colvin hits upon a way to engage the corner kids by getting them to discuss the game.  It’s all more promise than action but, after seasons of dead ends in the drug war, it’s still different enough to provide some hope.  Continue reading

DVD Review: BtVS Season 3

While you could debate whether or not this is Buffy’s best season, no one can deny that it’s the most consistent.  This is the year that gave us “Band Candy,” “Helpless,” “The Zeppo,” “Earshot,” and “Graduation Day.”  I could easily mention another four (or eight or twelve) episodes that rank as classics but, more importantly, this is also the season that gave us Faith and the Mayor.  Either one of these villains were enough to carry a season on their own, but their evil father/daughter pairing help make this season’s arc the strongest of the series. Continue reading

Aw yeah. That golden rule

Much as The Wire qualifies as an exercise in stark realism, the characters most closely identified with the street, Omar and Bubbles, often stray into a romanticized image of it.  Don’t get me wrong, I love both of them as much as the next guy, but that’s the pitfall of inserting such likeable characters into a detestable setting. Continue reading