Review: The Big Bang Theory, Season 10 – even more (b)romance

…that all started with the big bang, bang!

We are already two episodes deep into the 10th season of probably one of the best comedy TV-series ever made and it is already making us wish for more.

Last Monday, “The Big Bang Theory” started its new season with the wedding ceremony of Leonard and Penny; this Monday, it continues with the developing plot of Howard, Leonard and Sheldon´s involvment in the military and the consequences of Bernadette´s pregnancy at work.

The Bromance which is one of the most important characteristics of this show is stronger than ever: Sheldon got even included into the symbolic wedding ceremony of Leonard and Penny and declared as “the third husband” during the season premiere. That the writers are able to keep this aspect of the show so long alive, makes it so much more enjoyable to watch.

But that´s not the only core element the writers keep bringing up in new ways. Summarized in a hilarious, speechless (!) scene of Sheldon, his beliefs, values and norms are being humorized in the 2nd episode of the season. Whether it´s the strict seperation of Star Wars and Star Trek history or his constant conviction of him being better than anybody else – also very comically brought out with his usage of the German word “Besserwisser” (Know-it-all) -, Dr. Dr. Sheldon Cooper doesn´t lose a single bit of annoyance and brilliance, even after nine years.

The aspect which pleases me the most however, is the new focus set on Bernadette. Even though she has been very important in the previous seasons, due to her pregnancy, she gets a whole new profile. Interestingly, it´s not really the fact that she is pregnant and will therefore become a mother which is being thematized, but much more what it means for career women to start a family without being discriminated because of it. The 2nd episode shows very clearly what fears women have to confront themselves with, while men get to pursue their career without a single worry. I sure hope this critical notch will be continued in the following episodes, as it makes not only the characters, but the TV-show itself stand much stronger.

My rating for the 10th season, little ducklings: fun and smart as ever.

 

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Shamy is back – all you need to know about the HUGE historic TV-moment!

Hello, little ducklings – and fans of the Big Bang Theory (and/or Star Wars)! As many of you might have known for a while, the Star Wars themed episode “The Opening Night Excitation” (Season 9, Episode 11) featured probably one of the most remembarable moments in american TV-history.

Or in other words: Sheldon & Amy finally did it.

Though this dull statement isn´t very fair to this very delicate and authentic way the writers of The Big Bang Theory managed to conduct viewers into really accepting this huge step for both characters. The viewers got to be a part of Sheldon´s decision processes which helped a lot of us understand why and how this was the best moment for the very atypical couple to finally consumate their relationship.

Also, the fun wasn´t left out at all! So for all of you who are skeptical about watching the episode because of possible akwardness, there is nothing to fear. The classical element of drawing parallels and transfering one situation into a completly different one makes the overall episode a very traditional one.

So my tip for you: If you haven´t watched it already, shame on you! And otherwise: Open up another window in your browser up there and watch it NOW! Have fun!

The Hunger Games – Mockingjay Part 2 Review

After years of following the tragic, suspenseful fight against tyranny and inhumanity, the dystopian series based upon Suzanne Collins´ trilogy comes with “The Hunger Games – Mockingjay Part 2” to an end as true as the first part of the whole franchise.

Overall, the mega-blockbuster is a hit. It has everything that theatre audiences love: the action, the love-triangle and of course the happy ending. Though, through the brilliant acting job by Jennifer Lawrence, admirers of the art of visual storytelling won´t be deceived. Her anti-heroism does not losen up until the very last scene – which very different and somehow better than in the book – seems to highlight her true, but deeply hidden motive of her fight and to finally crown her with a heroism which is much more personal and everyday-like: to love.

However, let´s not forget some incoherences in the story-telling of the motion picture. While in the first part of “Mockingjay” Katniss seemed to be more obsessed about Peeta than anything else going on around her, his presence in the second installment made her mostly want to kill him until she suddenly changes her mind and loves him. Their difficult relationship was rather poorly portrayed and explained and is only sustained by the fact that the audience knows they´ll end up together. This is enhanced by the way Gale is changing from the strong, powerful hunter to the vulnerable, weak and coward-like soldier. Especially the scene where Katniss appears to be a reenactement of President Snow displays the shift of power.

In contrast to the previous films, “The Hunger Games – Mockingjay Part 2” features multiple perspectives instead of focusing on Katniss´s which at multiple occasions makes it difficult to fully identify with the hero and thus understand her deep motives and feelings. Expect her one and only outburst towards the end, the “Mockingjay” seems to be getting colder and harder every second, only displaying emotion as a way to make a point instead of really feeling the pain.

But one element has been brilliantly achieved with the last part: the paradoxic parallel opposition between Katniss and Snow expressed through their gradual approach in their thinking-patterns. While they are very different from each other in their way of being – good versus evil, hero versus tyrann, human versus cruel – they each represent one pole of morality which comes to a final meeting point during the scene in the rose garden. Katniss is the expression of the other extreme of Snow, thus filling his place for the better and thereby realizing that she or anybody else is not better than he is. Instead, she finally sees the similarity and understands that those who want to be better than him, don´t want to be different, resulting in her decision to assasinate President Coin.

This episode which is thinly described in the book is greatly shown in the visual adaptation making “The Hunger Games – Mockingjay Part 2” a honorable end of the franchise.

To conclude, my tip for you is: Go see it and feel it. May the goosebumbs always remember this great cinematic achievement.

The Dark Too/Two – Once Upon A Time, Season 5, Episode 8 and 9 Review!

Normally, I wouldn´t write about one specific episode of a season as it is much to detailed and would reveal a lot of spoilers. But I guess by now (be careful now comes the spoiler), everybody knows that during the double episode (episode 8: “Birth” & episode 9: “The Bear King”) in the fifth season  of ONCE UPON A TIME, a lot of appearently “juicy” infos were revealed.

There comes my review: Coming from the creatores of “Once upon a time” and their previous fantastic double episodes, this one was a very big disappointement to me. The revelation of Emma having turned Hook into another Dark One in order to save his life (may I remark here that even though he might be dark, he is alive, but he´s still complaining?) is somehow a little bit out of the ordinary, but nothing which made my heart beat faster. It´s evident that everyone would choose drastic measures to keep their loved ones alive and I am sure that Hook would have done the same thing for Emma (he just doesn´t want to admit it).And plus: What´s so dramatic about it? I mean, okay, it´s maybe not that wonderful and sweet to be dark, but wouldn´t it be awesome to see Captain Swan as the Dark Duo being crazy villian and all (after all, what are TV-series for if not showing us the things we actually wouldn´t really like to see in real life!). Anyway, the whole over-the-top drama made the episode “Birth” look more like a failed attempt to keep the “Dark-Swan”-plotline interesting – which for the moment is not really a burner – than an actual revelation. The only good thing about it all was probably seeing Zelena back as the Wicked Witch from Oz, because, let´s be honest, she IS the best villian the show has ever had!

Now, let´s move on to “The Bear King”. Not that I don´t like Merida and her story, but the plot of this episode was pretty shallow and actually, Merida hadn´t played that much of a part in the overall storyline. To get a whole episode for yourself…well that´s something to be jealous about, Zelena! However, the comebacks of Mulan and Red and their women-power were pretty great (though the scene between Mary-Margaret & Red was not that good) and produced enjoyable scenes to watch. But that thing with Arthur and the helmet…how irrational was that please? He took it from Merida´s father and it didn´t work and now he stil comes back for it…even though it didn´t work? I mean, could he be anymore contradictive? (see that “Friends”-reminiscence here?)

To sum up: If you haven´t seen the double episode yet, don´t put your hopes up too high. Let´s just hope there will be either some juicy, awesome Dark Duo scenes…or wish that the midseason finale arrives ASAP.

PS: In case you have been wondering, if they are not running out of ideas (appearently Cruella de Vil is coming back), what about the whole Aladdin-story? Just hit it in the comments, in case you would enjoy to see the evil Dschafar with his parrot in the TV-series!

Feel-Good-Movie-Time!

Hello, little Ducklings! After having watched the new Disney-Pixar production “Inside Out”, I just couldn´t resist to write a little bit about it!

“Inside Out” tells the story of our emotions: anger, disgust, fear, joy and sadness. They direct our feelings and our perception of other people´s words and actions. In this case, we as viewers get a closer look on young Riley´s emotions (and yes, it is a girl – weird name though). Even though the introduction to how it all works and who is who takes up a felt eternity of the movie, it´s still worth the attention in order to understand the whole concept “Inside Out” is based upon.

We do not get to see  well-balanced, ethically good and heroic characters we might know from other movies – no, we get to see the actual emotions and thus only them. Joy is bossy and very egoistic, Sadness is annoying and disregardful, Anger is very sensitive, Disgust is Miss Know-It-All and Fear is pretty realistic. And we come to think about it, it adds up! When we feel happy, it´s mostly all about our own accomplishment or maybe the ones from our closest friends and family. In sad times, we do not care about what other people say and even annoy others around us. Especially on sensitive subjects, we may tend to get quickly angry and when we feel disgusted, we are always 100 % sure that only WE are right. And when we´re scared…well, we would never argue with reality.

This means that the real heads behind “Inside Out” analysed all those emotions and made real characters out of them in order that we could reach identification and even the classic moment of catharsis (I won´t spoiler that for you!). All the little details and the whole base on which the story is based upon just shows how much creation and imagination the creators had to bring up and makes “Inside Out” even more authentic.

So for those of you who thought “Frozen” was awesome and new and shiny, here comes “Inside Out” with a beautiful new perspective of Disney´s and Pixar´s future (as well as how boys appearently react when they see a girl – a must see!).

My tip for you, Ducklings: Go to the next movie theatre or wait for the DVD/VoD-version to enjoy “Inside Out”!

Run, Barry, run!

What a time to be alive and see on the screen DC´s classic story of “The Flash”. Yesterday evening, “The Flash” premiered its second season on the CW and won – at least – me over.

In the about 45 min. of the first episode of the second season, we can see the most classic and characteristic elements of a superhero story: the superhero can´t save everybody on his own, is sad and thinks he can protect those he loves by ignoring them. But just as we have seen this happening with Superman, Batman, Spiderman and co., it´s clear that won´t work out for long. I believe that using the same patterns of superhero movies makes this series that interesting, exciting and of course successful. Also, instead of only getting to know the character in a few hours of film material, viewers have the opportunity to see develop a superhero on a regular, weekly basis and really understand what makes “The Flash” a real superhero.

However, there is a downside to the whole story: women don´t really get much out of their relationships as in 100% of the cases (there are only two women in the series!) their fiancés or husbands…die.

Oh, and by the way: Nice Batman reminiscence with the spot & the lightning in the sky, Cisco.

So my tip for you, ducklings: Buckle up, because this is going to be a hell of a Flash season!

 

Has “The Good Wife” gone bad?

Yesterday, Sunday the 4th of october, the lawyer-drama-series “The Good Wife” started its seventh season on CBS with not so much of a “big bang” than a “huge sigh”.

After already having lost one of the key elements of the show during the fifth season with the tragic and sudden death of Will Gardner, but successfully having regained wit and character sometime around last year, the show is on its last breath.

The first episode of the seventh season can be summarized really easy and I can guarantee you that you´d wish there´d be more interesting spoilers: Alicia is being a saint as always, the double D´s – alias Diane & David – only increase the atmosphere of annoyance the viewer might perceive and the only good thing is that Eli is back on track.  I´d really hate to miss all the bitch-fighting he´ll have with Peter´s new campaign manager as he has been missed since Peter won the election first as State attorney and then as Governor.

An interesting point might also be the replacement of Kalinda to keep up the “women power”-theme in the series, though this is certainly NOT a reason to continue watching “The Good Wife”.

It is obviously difficult to make a series work over so many years and not repeat anything along the way. Sometimes, repetition can even be an asset and bring perspective. However, in this case, the finale of the sixth season was a very bad move – especially when in the first episode of the new season, Michael J. Fox is still referred as a “guest star”.

So my tip for you is: If you really having nothing better to do, go on and watch how “The Good Wife” is probably on its way to end next May. Perhaps, Eli´s new declared war will make the trip a little bit more amusing, though only function as the motivation to endure the general boredom of the new season.