The Orville on Fox

You guys are watching The Orville, right? The latest creation from the brilliant mind of Seth MacFarlane is awesome. It’s billed as a comedy, sci-fi comedy drama, and already into its 2nd episode, that’s a pretty accurate description. I won’t ruin it by getting into one of my rambling reviews, but I highly recommend you check it out, especially if you like Star Trek or Galaxy Quest, for that matter! In fact, I suppose this being a parody is what is keeping the Trek guys from suing MacFarlane and company. Great show so far, can’t say enough this early into the premier.

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Decaffeinated Review Taco

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If you get tired of hearing me drone on about everyday life, but still find a bit of humor (or even some enjoyment) out of reading my zany reviews of various media, might I recommend Decaffeinated Review Taco. This is a Tumblr page where I post nothing but my reviews of movies, books, tv shows, and video games.

I copy post the same reviews here, but if you just want the bare bones, quick and dirty reviews, feel free to head over there instead. No hard feelings, we’ll call it square. Just business.

Decaffeinated Review Taco on Tumblr

The Walking Dead Season 7 Premier (AMC)

** Possible Spoilers **

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I feel ya, brothers and sisters! We ended Season 6 of The Walking Dead with what is probably the crappiest of crappy cliffhangers. Our final moments were Negan beating the living crap out of the camera man for no apparent reason … and we were suppose to care about that. I think it’s safe to say we were all pretty pissed instead. Robert Kirkman and Scott Gimple have defended the decision to end Season 6 that way to their deaths, if need be, saying it was for the fans, a gift – if you will – and meant to keep us talking for 7 months while they were on hiatus.

What? Seriously?

I’ll be honest with you, friends. I’m getting a little burnt out on The Walking Dead. In fact, I’ve already stated to several folks that this may be my last season. Depending on how the next couple of episodes play out, I may not even finish Season 7 at all. That being said, let me get a few notes in about the actual premier, and that gift we were given.

First, I understand that we had a few things to take care of from Season 6′s cliffhanger, namely, the beat downs. But the 1-hour premier gave us a 42 minute (give or take a few more minutes for commercials during the hour) extended scene of Negan’s speech to the gang, then the subjugation of Rick in the last half. Well divide it up evenly and say they spent 21 minutes on the speech/deaths then 21 minutes breaking Rick and neutering him to Negan’s liking.

Well, I can see right off the bat (no pun intended) why we couldn’t work this out in the S6 finale! We were too busy spending 35 minutes watching the Scooby Gang in their Mystery RV Machine running through woods and getting cut off by roadblocks, basically running circles the entire finale. Then, we get the intro lines of Negan’s 21 minute speech before a poor camera man gets conked in the noggin.

Nope.

And I’ll admit, I was angry and devastated at the end of S6 when we didn’t get the big dramatic death/s we were promised. Then, I was left to stew in that anger for seven months. Know what happened? I learned I didn’t give a darn. By the time The Walking Dead premiered the 23rd, I was as far from disconnected from the show as you could get. When Negan swung the bat and took down Victim 1, I didn’t bat an eye. When he lined up to take the “surprise” swing at victim 2 … nothing. Not even shock. Not even anger. Not even a dramatic jaw drop. Didn’t even leave an impact.

The only thing I’ll give the entire episode credit for was Negan’s breaking of Rick. The whole scene with Carl and ordering Rick to make the cut clean. The scene where Negan gives a hearty speech, then tells Rick to “Go get my axe.” Those were probably the more decent scenes in my mind. Or maybe I’m just jaded by the fact that there are so many other good shows out there that haven’t – so far – pulled a TWDS6 cliffhanger, that I’m spoiled. Besides, after 7 seasons of the same thing – thinking they’re safe, having a bad guy come along and ruin it, then having to run and start over – the show’s getting a little repetitive. Yeah, I know, that’s my opinion, and other shows are just as guilty, but those shows haven’t tried to screw with my emotions like that S6 finale.

Ok, ok. Last time I’ll bring up that finale. In fact, I’m done. That’s my take on what we witnessed Sunday night when The Walking Dead returned for another season. Like I said, I’ll give it a few more episodes, but right now I’m about ready to get off at the next exit.

“But Have You Read the Book?”

I’m one of those Game of Thrones fans that has read the books. Yeah, one of those guys. Up until the current season, of course. All bets were off with this season, season six, and next season. The television series has passed George R. R. Martin’s writing speed, as was predicted back when the series first began by many. Martin has, of course, given the HBO series’ show runners his outline and told them the ending of the Game, as it where. How the television series gets to that finale scene versus how the books get there will be a fascinating journey, I’m sure. Most of what we’ve seen this season has been speculated and guessed at successfully by fans of both book and series, so has anyone actually guessed the true ending? I can’t wait to find out!

But now, an admission. I’ve not watched the HBO series any further than the first season. I have seasons one and two on Blu Ray, but haven’t even broken the seal on season 2, for whatever reason. I think the thing that has set me off from the fantastic writing and cinematography of the show is the unnecessary – in my opinion – gratuitous nudity and sex. Don’t get me wrong, I know we can go into the whole, “Well, it fits the period. It’s part of the story. It’s how times were back when Winter was Coming.” I know. But each season since season 2 seems to try and out-do the other on how much and what they can swing, bounce and jiggle in front of the camera. I’m no prude, but I feel that 95% of what GoT puts into the shows involving nudity and sex detracts from the fact that it is an extremely well written and filmed show. Excellent acting on behalf of all the cast, from the lowest extra to the biggest star. And while it hasn’t hurt the ratings or fanbase at all, it has pushed away a rather decent percentage of potential viewers.

I’m not saying I’ll never go back and watch the series for the reasons I spoke of above. I already intend to begin catching up at the start of season 7. With 6 seasons under the table now, I can marathon those suckers at my leisure, then be ready for a completed season 7 by the time I’m done. No, I don’t approve of the excessive show of skin, but I do appreciate the rest of the show, and while one may detract from the other, that doesn’t take away from the fact that this is a groundbreaking fantasy series that has crossed many a genre fanbase. Plus, it has brought book and series fans together – sometimes at odds with one another – to cheer on their favorite characters and compare notes. For 5 seasons, book fans got to knowingly smile and nod their heads as first time television viewers were shocked and awed by the twisting web of the Game. Now we can join hands and venture into the unknown together for a change.

Now all we have to do is wait on Martin to, eventually, finish The Winds of Winter, the next book in the Song of Ice & Fire series, which is what we know as The Game of Thrones. I’m excited and on the edge of my seat to read and compare. While I haven’t been watching the last several seasons, I have been keeping up with episode reviews online, filled with spoilers and other goodness.

What are your thoughts and opinions on The Game of Thrones? Have you even seen it? Do you care about the nudity, or do you feel it detracts from the story at times? Maybe the violence bothers you. It’s definitely a show with many aspects that can’t always be tackled at once. Either way, I’m a fan – sometimes a bitter one.