Part reality show, part social experiment, part work of (evil?) genius.
It’s impossible to describe exactly the kind of absolutely wild project this is, and it’s really worth your time to just watch the first episode blind and see for yourself.
Nathan Fielder might be a supervillain. There’s a lot of conversation to be had about the ethics of The Rehearsal, because on one hand it feels exceptionally manipulative, but it’s also hyper-conscious of exactly this fact and accounts for itself in frequently surprising ways.
Seriously though, check it out. It will make you say “What the fuuuuuuuuuuck…?”
A little janky to start, but otherwise a solid little sci-fi adventure.
Four girls on their paper route in 1988 end up thrown across time, on the run, in search of their future selves.
It’s a neat little exploration of expectations vs reality, and the possibilty of changing fate.
Already seems to have deviated somewhat from the comic series it’s based on, but I’m interested to see where it goes. The cast is solid, and the concept has enough of a spin on the usual time-travel tropes to make it feel fresh.
Super sweet and charming, plus it’s refreshing to have a completely different perspective in the MCU.
Strong emphasis on culture, history and family from a Pakistani/Muslim perspective, made accessible by an extremely charismatic performance from Iman Vellani.
There’s a bit of a change-up in her powers compared to the comic, but I kinda get why. It makes her a bit more unique in the MCU, since Reed Richards is due to arrive in the upcoming Fantastic Four movie, and Marvel seems pretty much allergic to using The Inhumans for anything. It works here to tie them back to her heritage, and by the end of the season she’s using them in a way that’s practically the same idea, only done with sparkly gemstone type effects instead of stretchiness/Embiggening.
The villain arc is a bit weak, but it’s got youthful energy to spare, and a lot of fun production design.
Young Avengers lineup is looking promising!
Still, it’s fair to feel fatigue with the endless parade of superhero stuff, and it’s nice to have something lighter on the roster.
Finding this post-cancellation was a damn shame, since it fairly abruptly comes to an end while it has so many balls still up in the air.
As a comedy, it’s perfectly written. There’s an expert balance with saccharine tone and dark subject matter that really works here — it’s a champion of the “yes, and” ethos in that it’s continually building off itself and reintegrating throwaway gags into the overall plot.
But, as mentioned, it died an unceremonious Netflix death while it still had a comfortable season or two worth of steam left in it, which is a damn shame. Not a lot of shows manage this level of sharp dialogue without feeling overwritten or trying too hard.
The practical effects are horrifyingly over the top, but it’s all anchored by Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant’s brilliant comedic timing (the whole remainder of the cast is pitch perfect too).
If you can handle the fact that it doesn’t have a satisfying conclusion, this is a really fun one and well worth your time.
Everything on show is bigger, wilder, more ambitious… and dammit if they didn’t manage to pull it off. It’s crazy that they can put together what is essentially an entire season of mid-budget movies and not have the thing collapse into itself like a dead star.
Of course, the performances and production design do a lot of heavy lifting, along with some incredible VFX and makeup work.
It’s always worn its influences on its sleeve, but more than any other point in its run, it really feels like its cohering into something more than just slick aesthetics and a stack of well-executed homages. Finally, it’s leaning confidently into itself, and is all the better for it.
If you like the show but thought the last two seasons were lacking somewhat in direction and growth: good news! It’s great.
Keeps going from strength to strength, and this was the season that finally tipped me over from just really liking the characters to loving them.
Yet again there’s an apocalypse to avert, so yet again the Academy has to work together to save the world. Only this time, they’ve managed to erase themselves from the timeline so there’s another family of dysfunctional heroes with weird powers to contend with as well.
Everyone’s grown and changed in some way, and so having the season remain relatively static in terms of locations allowed for more focused character work, dressed up in probably the best that the already-great production design has been for the show.
Casting and performances are pitch perfect, VFX are fun and creative, story’s weird and fun.
This is up there with Stranger Things and Dark as the more consistent Netflix fare, so hopefully we’re getting at least one more season, since it really feels like it’s moving towards another big shakeup going forwards.
Nice to look at, fundamentally pointless. The embodiment of all the the things wrong with modern Star Wars.
Rather than take this opportunity to tell smaller, self-contained stories within the broader universe (ala the first season of The Mandalorian), we’re instead given the same tired runaround of connecting every arbitrary object and event to something that already existed in the other films. It’s fan-service at its flattest and most uninspired.
VFX are excellent, but performances are mixed, some of the action sequences have absolutely horrible geographic logic and choreography, the plot meanders and then goes nowhere important.
How can it?
Given that this takes place between Episodes III & IV, nothing of the conflicts it chooses to explore can have any consequence, and therefore there are zero stakes. Why have Vader and Obi-Wan meet and fight now, since we all know that both will survive? Why have Obi-Wan and Leia go on adventures when they’re barely acquaintances years later?
If anything, forcing all these characters to meet up now undermines any of the impact of the later films, and in many ways directly contradicts pre-established story beats. They actively make the good parts of Star Wars worse by this incessant need to only ever revisit the same handful characters and locations.
For a franchise with this much (very much strained) goodwill and financial backing, it’s a shame that it’s so utterly allergic to doing anything interesting with itself.
Honestly, I wouldn’t bother with it, and would be highly skeptical of anything Star Wars yet to come.