Posts

Netflix's Powerful, Controversial Series

Image
"I guess that's the point of it all: No one knows for certain how much impact they have on the lives of other people. Oftentimes, we have no clue. Yet we push it just the same." — Jay Asher, "13 Reasons Why"

According to statistics, April is the month with the highest instance of suicides. It seems like no accident, then, that "13 Reasons Why," Neflix's controversial new series based on the novel by Jay Asher, was released on March 31. The series, like the book, follows Clay (Dylan Minnette), a high school junior who receives audio tapes from a classmate who took her life.

Over the course of 13 emotionally testing episodes, the story of Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) plays out. At first, it feels familiar to anyone who attended high school. But as the story progresses, the events get darker and more difficult to watch.

Since its release, the show has been a trending topic on Social Media and in the news. And a controversial one, too. Some have…

2017 Broncos Season, the Draft's Opening Round

Image
The NFL draft began on Thursday night, with the first round. Over the course of nearly four hours, the first 32 picks came off the board. And there was plenty of intrigue.

The Cleveland Browns didn't draft a quarterback, but the Chicago Bears, Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans all paid a King's Ransom to move up and draft the quarterback of the future. Mitchell Trubisky for the Bears, Patrick Mahomes for the Chiefs, and DeShaun Watson for the Texans. Of the three, only the Texans seemed truly desperate, but all paid steep prices.

As for the Broncos, it was a day of a lot of rumors and wonder that ultimately ended up in a kind of safe pick that has fans and analysts split. Early in the day the rumor was the Broncos were in serious talks with the Tennessee Titans to move from No. 20 to No. 5 in the first round to grab Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey.

McCaffrey was a top draft target for the Broncos, which is no surprise. But the move likely would have cost at leas…

Summer Movie Preview, Potential Flops

Image
They can't all be winners... Earlier this week I looked at 10 movies that I think are must-see fare this Summer. Today I'll complete the summer movie preview with five movies I think could be bombs.

I know what you're thinking, that's unfair. Probably true. But history tells us that for every "Guardians of the Galaxy" there's an "Independence Day Resurgence." These are five movies I think are more likely to achieve the later than the former.

May Releases:
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Friday, May 12:
About: Second week of summer and we already have a potential disappointment. I know what you're thinking, on paper this has potential. King Arthur is always a good subject, Charlie Hunnam looks good in the trailer and it's directed by Guy Ritchie. But let's think on it some more. Ritchie's best films aren't exactly summer blockbusters. And his last few films haven't really won people over. His pair of "Sherlock Holmes&…

Best of the Small Screen, Comedies No. 8

Image
Over the next 18 weeks I'll be taking a look at some of my favorite TV series, broken down into three groups (Limited Run Series, Comedies, and Dramas). In my post on March 1 I laid out the ground rules for these categories and this exploration, the biggest of which is no series that are currently airing. To read the whole thing, check out the post "Best of the Small Screen" from March 1.

Today I continue with a very irreverent sports-related show.

The League (2009-2015)
Number of Seasons/Episodes: 7/84
Network: F/X
Starring: Mark Duplass, Nick Kroll, Katie Aselton, Stephen Rannazzisi, Paul Scheer, and Jonathan Lajoie
Creators: Jackie Marcus Schaffer and Jeff Schaffer
Favorite Season/Episodes: Season 3, 1.01 "The Draft," 3.03 "The Au Pair," 3.06 "Yobogoya," 3.01 "The Lockout"
About: This is probably the least traditional sitcom on this list. In fact, when it launched, I'm not sure anyone thought it would get the following that it did…

Spring TV Roundup, Week 5

Image
It's nearly May, but both Networks and cable channels are rolling out new shows. In these weekly posts I look at the pilot and second episode of new scripted series this Spring. Don't see a new show listed below? Check previous weeks.

Tuesday Nights:
Famous in Love, Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on Freeform (Premiered April 18)
About: "Famous in Love" is the latest teen soap on Freeform, a 10-episode series about a young college student (Bella Thorne) who lands a role in a big franchise film and finds her life changed. The pilot was fine, and about typical. The world is full of over privledged young actors, most of whom are having affairs with each other. The manipulative adults featured are no better. Then there's the lead and her friends, outsiders to the world who are about to be corrupted. Freeform released all 10 episodes on Hulu after the premier, so fans can binge the whole series (and doubtless many have). It's unclear what that means for the future of the show, b…

Summer Movie Preview, Pt. 2

Image
Summer is coming. In part one, I looked a five movies that have the potential to break out in May and June. Today, I complete my summer preview with five potential gems from July and August.

July Releases:
Spider-man: Homecoming, Friday, July 7
About: I know what you're thinking, "Spider-man" again? Really? It's a fair thought. Since the original "Spider-man" film debuted in 2002, there have been five films with two different casts. But that was before Marvel got the rights back. This latest incarnation first appeared in "Captain America: Civil War" and, frankly, was one of the best things about that movie. Now he gets his own solo feature, bringing Robert Downey, Jr.'s Iron Man along with him. The trailer looks great and I have faith this will be the best Spidey yet.

Dunkirk, Friday, July 21
About: Two words for you: Christopher Nolan. He's a master director, and his films are a love letter to the craft of filmmaking. And let's not forget…

Summer Movie Preview, Pt. 1

Image
On the calendar, Summer begins in mid-June. Conventional wisdom is that summer begins on Memorial Day weekend. But, of course, the Box Office marches to the beat of its own drum. At the movies, Summer begins the first Friday in May, kicking off four months of action blockbusters, outrageous comedies, and plenty of franchise features.

Over the next couple days I will highlight 10 films (five in May-June, and five in July-August) that will be worth checking out this summer.

May Releases:
Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, Friday, May 5
About: The first "Guardians of the Galaxy" is, in my opinion, the best of the Marvel films. This one looks to be on par, maybe even better. The trailers are outstanding and there's every possibility this will be THE film of the summer 2017.

Alien: Covenant, Friday, May 19:
About: Released in 1979, the original "Alien" is a sci-fi classic. It's a nearly pitch-perfect horror/thriller. But I was also one of those who wasn't thrilled…