The Badger On: iZombie (TV Series)

I have been a fan of this show since it premiered in 2015 and watch it through the Australian streaming service Stan. We are now into its third season but I am not going to review the season per say but the show as a whole.  I am not sure I will call it a review either as I did considering putting this up on my other blog but thought it was be better situated here.

Though I am not really a zombie person, despite watching the first 4 seasons of the Walking Dead, I was attracted to this show for a couple of reasons. Two of the main character were involved in another show that I enjoy in Once Upon A Time that being Rose McIver and David Anders. The second being that it is based on a comic book by the same name distributed by Vertigo which is an imprint of DC comics.

Well any who the show follows Liv Moore (Rose McIver) who was well on her way to becoming a doctor when is scratched at boat party by a zombie and as such becomes one. The zombie thing works a little different in this universe as a zombie can look and act like a normal human being but will become more like a stereotypical one if deprived of brains. When brains are consumed they take on the personality traits of the one who has died and will occasionally have flashes of their lives.

Liv quits her promising career and takes a job in the city morgue so that she can have ready access to brains. She also breaks her engagement to Major Lilywhite (Robert Buckley), who Liv turns into a zombie later on to save his life. Her boss at the morgue Dr Ravi Chakrabarti (Rahul Kohli) works out that she is a zombie and assists her while also trying to find a cure. With the flashes that she gets from the deceased she then uses what she knows to help police detective Clive Babineaux (Malcolm Goodwin) solve murders. She passes herself off as a psychic to begin with though by the end of season 2 Clive finally finds out that she is a zombie.

The show is a comedic police procedural with the supernatural thrown in. Though there is a case of the week there is an over-arching story involved. Seasonally it tends to change a bit though usually it has to do with finding a cure and David Anders character Blaine DeBeers is usually involved as the antagonist though he is kind of an uneasy ally at the moment as he is no-longer a zombie as Ravi found a cure but the side-affects result in retrograde amnesia.

This is a great show. It is funny, has heart and the acting performances are wonderful and the concept as whole is wonderful and fresh. It also has a wonderful opening theme in Stop, I’m Already Dead by Deadboy & the Elephantmen. Another plus is that David Anders gets to sing every now and again and that is a treasure on its own.

 

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Opening Theme

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The Badger On: Riverdale (TV)

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Two in one week, I am not sure if I have done this before and if I have it is definitely been a while. Admittedly my writing motivation/inspiration has been waning a bit. I think my depression for the first time is overtaking my anxiety. Hopefully I will kick both in the ass and my need to write whether it be reviews, my regularly blog, general writing or return to Harry Potter RP will return.

 

Well any who, todays review is on the Archie comics TV series Riverdale which is shown here in Australia as a Netflix original series though in America it is shown on the CW, the network responsible for all those wonderful DC related shows that I do love so much. I can’t say that Archie is a big thing here in Australia, I mean I am aware of who the characters are and their character tropes, if that is the right word to use. I think though it is more through cartoons and such and not the actual comics that I am aware of who they are.

 

This show has come as a little surprise to me as I expected that I would treat it very much like I did the Shadowhunters TV show, a guilty pleasure, but it is so much better than that. The characters are well defined and that acting is generally very good and the writing is also very good and the show seems to be run well but then Greg Berlanti and his crew generally do a good job.

 

This show is narrated by Jughead (Cole Sprouse of the Sweet Life of Zack and Cody from Disney TV fame) and tells the story of the mystery of high school football star Jason Blossom murder and the general goings on small town Riverdale. Archie Andrews (KJ Apa) a normal boy who is/was having an affair with his music teacher Miss Grundy and was on the riverbank when they heard a shot fired. Jason Blossom was reported missing and then found dead from gunshot. Due to their illicit relationship they did not report hearing a shot, though Archie wanted to due to guilt.

 

The story follows the various relationships in town and what involvement if any they might have on the death of Jason. Surprisingly enough it is not so much Archie that it is the most interesting character of the show but the females of Riverdale and Jughead. Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart) though is still the girl next door and in love with Archie is stronger than I thought her to be. Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes) is strong and not as bitchy and more vulnerable than I thoughts she was.  Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch), Josie McCoy (Ashleigh Murray) and Valerie Brown (Hayley Law) make up the other interesting and strong girls of the show.

 

All the parents in this show are horrible except for probably Fred Andrews (Luke Perry) Archie’s dad and Hermione Lodge (Marisol Nichols) Veronica’s mum, though admittedly Hermione can be questionable unlike Fred. All the other parents seem to be more interested in themselves and their image than actually anything beneficial to their children.

 

Even if you are not a fan or overly aware of Archie comics I would recommend this show as it is enjoyable and dramatic and well-acted.

 

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Trailer

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The Badger On: Your Lie In April (Anime)

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Another anime and another re-watch. This one however is nothing like Fairy Tail and based entirely in the real world and has not magic or supernatural elements to it. It is however an absolutely beautiful and moving story that on both watches I have cried.

The story centres on Kosei Arima, who is a piano prodigy who dominated competition when he was young. After his mother and instructor dies he has a breakdown and stops playing as he can no longer hear the notes when he plays, though there is nothing wrong with his hearing. He also starts to see the world in monochromatic tones.

Two years later he meets a free-spirited violinist named Kaori Miyazono who brings the colour back into his world and shows him that music is not meant to be structured and rigid as he was taught by his mother and that music shows who they are by the way that they play and slowly Kosei falls in love with her.

Of course there is more to this but I don’t want to give too much away as you really need to watch it for yourself. It is a beautifully told story of love, loss, friendship and music. There is only one season of 22 episodes so it is not a slog like Fairy Tail is.

I have watched this twice, first when it was released on AnimeLab in Japanese with English Subtitles and again last week though this time with it dubbed in English and the dub is just as good. It available through Crunchyroll, Hulu and Viewster if you would like to give a go and please do as I can’t stress how wonderful this show is.

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Trailer

The Badger On: Fairy Tail (Anime)

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This is my third attempt to write a review for this show. There are just too many episodes and seasons/arcs to cover not to mention all the characters involved. Well at least I can name most of them unlike some other long running anime ( eh hem Bleach) that I have watched where there are probably only a couple of names that I remember and mainly because their roles are big and/or I like the character. It helps when you have a 8 year old niece that also loves the show and constantly grills you on it so that you don’t forget the characters.

The problem with the other attempts was that I was getting to bogged down with the characters which was making the post be way to long for my liking. I have decided instead to see if I can put together a little pro and con list and see how I go. But first maybe a little bit of an overview.

Fairy Tail Overview

The shows is set in the Kingdom of Fiore. Now everyone in this world has magic inside of them but only 10% of the populace actually use it. Those that do are called wizards and they either strike out on their own or they form/join guilds. There are three different forms of guilds Legal, Dark and Independent. The Legal ones are approved and registered by the Magic Council. The Dark ones obviously are not and are treated as criminals. Independent guilds are not approved but are not seen as criminal. There are other guilds that are non-magical guilds as well.

The purpose of the legal guild is for wizards to work together, learn their art and to get jobs. Fairy Tail is one such guild and is one of the strongest if not the strongest and one of the most well-known mainly because of the trouble and damage they cause when out of said jobs.

The Positives of Fairy Tail

If you have read my other blog you will know that my first fandom love is Harry Potter and as I have watched this show I have come to see there are some similarities between the two and I am not just referring to main characters having and using magic. For one thing Harry and the main male character of Fairy Tail Natsu Dragneel couldn’t be less alike. Same goes for Hermione and Lucy Heartfilia or if not Lucy then Erza Scarlet  and there is no Ron equivalent, well maybe Happy but I doubt that Ron would like to be compared to a flying blue cat that can talk.

The reason why I see them as been very similar is because the themes of friendship and love are both very prevalent in both stories. Though the Fairy Tail story has not finished yet but from what I have seen there seems to be another Harry/Natsu connection in that Harry was the only person that could defeat the big bad in Voldemort and it seems that Natsu is also the only one that can defeat the Fairy Tail equivalent in the Dark Wizard Zeref, though it seems that this is Zeref’s wish, which naturally was not Voldemorts.

Another thing I like and noticed is that like J.K Rowling, Fairy Tail’s creator Hiro Mashima likes to drop breadcrumbs along the way. What I mean by that is J.K would mention something early on and then it would come back up further down the track. Mashima has done the same thing along the way and I really like that in storytelling and it is shows just how much the author has thought about the story and the world that they are building.  It makes me wonder if he got a little bit of inspiration from Harry Potter when he began writing Fairy Tail.

The Negatives of Fairy Tail

My biggest gripe that I have with the show and this is not something exclusive to Fairy Tail but all anime that is based on still running manga and that is when the show defers from it the story lacks big time. The same can be said for Bleach and even one of my favourite anime’s of all time that being Soul Eater, which they really need to remake and stick to the original story like they did with Full Metal Alchemist. The Daphne Arc in Fairy Tail,  would have been so much better if Daphne was actually not in it as I am sure that Gray could have found a way to force Natsu to remember and keep the promise that he made. The Key of the Starry Sky Arc was way too long, had too much going on and even with that was still not very interesting. I can sort of forgive the Eclipse Celestial Spirit Arc but only because I love Loke and the battle between Gray and Cancer is hilarious.

The only other issue is probably a strange one and that is Erza and Jellal. I love them don’t get me wrong and they make such a great couple but the two arc’s that they have had that feature these two heavily, The Tower of Heaven and Oracian Seis, I have not enjoyed all that much. Maybe it is because one or the other was seen as weak and especially the Tower of Heaven arc I did not like seeing Erza in particular that way. Both arc were important to show their growth and how they became what they are but still I did not enjoy them the way that I should have.

Another thing that I don’t care to much for is that Lucy seems to be the go to damsel in distress. So far in the series she has been kidnapped and held hostage at least 4 times, mainly due to the fact that she is Celestial Wizard. Admittedly Erza and Wendy as well but still I am not really a fan of that kind of trope.

Well there is my review. If you like or are interested in anime or even manga and have not given this one a go please do. It is fun show and I wouldn’t be in the middle of a re-watch for maybe the third of fourth time if I didn’t enjoy it. I am currently in the Grand Magic Games arc and the Dragon battle has begun. Did I mention that there are dragons in the show and most of them are not nice.

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The Badger On: The Magicians (TV Series)

There are things that just stick with you once you done with them. You know the kind the ones that you think about during of the day or in the middle of night when you can’t sleep. Entertainment of any kind can do that to you. Over the last year three TV shows have done that to me. They are the Netflix series Marvels: Jessica Jones (for obvious reasons I think), Mr Robot and todays review The Magicians.

Like my previous TV review on Shadowhunters, The Magicians is based off a book series by Lev Grossman. I do own a copy of the book but lent it out before reading it to my sister-in-law and have since bought a copy of the audiobook which has just become available on audible and have almost finished listening to it. I also have gotten the second book in the series now that Magician King.

Admittedly I torrented the first episode when the show was first aired as it was not available here in Australia and I couldn’t get invested in it to begin with it but I think that was again due to distractions and maybe a little to do with the quality of the torrent. It has become available here and I bought a season pass via iTunes and though only six episodes available so far I am enjoying it.

The show consists of 13 episodes and airs on Syfy. It is created for TV and produced in part by Sera Gamble who I know from my love of Supernatural and despite what she did with that show and the dislike most Supernatural fans have for her I have to say she is doing a good job so far with The Magicians. Like most adaptations is has deviated from the source material but for the better.

Speaking of the material it has been described as being like Harry Potter for adults or Harry Potter at university. Both are accurate to a certain extent. The story is about friends Quentin Coldwater (Jason Ralph) and Julia Wicker (Stella Maeve) who after attending a failed interview for Princeton (failed because the interviewer died) are instead whisked away to sit an entrance exam for Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy. Quentin is accepted and Julia is not and is supposedly wiped of her memory of the experience.

It show follows their experiences Quentin’s at Brakebills and Julia’s in New York as she remembers Brakebills and learns magic from Hedgewitches, led by Marina (Kacey Rohl). Quentin makes friends with Alice (Olivia Taylor Dudley), Eliot (Hale Appleman) and Margo (Summer Bishel) and is frenemies with Penny (Arjun Gupta).

As mentioned the show has deviated from the book in so much as Penny has a bigger part in the story than he initially did in the book and that is a much better character, so much so that he is probably my favourite of the main cast. They have added a the character of Marina and another called Kady (Jade Tailor). The main antagonist is a character called The Beast (Charles Measure) but he is much more scarier in the show.

The staff at Brakebills are aware of him from the beginning, however, unlike they are in the book. The staff including the Dean of Brakebills, Henry Fogg (Rick Worthy), teacher Pearl Sunderland (Anne Dudek) and the mysterious Eliza (Esme Bianco) who has been assisting Quentin from the beginning, seem to think that there is something special about Quentin, Alice and Penny as it relates to The Beast.

All in all this a very enjoyable show and I recommend it highly.

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Trailer

The Badger On: Shadowhunters (TV)

 

Finally something not a movie!! Though admittedly I have started a post related to a book series.

 

I have bene wanting to write about this show for a little while now but the thing is every time I go to watch it I get distracted by the people in my household asking for me to do something for them which takes me out of the show entirely. Last night was the first time in about 3 or maybe 4 weeks that I was able to watch an episode without being distracted.

 

First off I would like to say that I have read/listened to the source material, written by Cassandra Clare, though I have not seen the movie. I do own it and I am pretty sure it is available on Netflix or the other streaming service here in Australia called Stan. The series is available on Netflix as an original series.

 

If you don’t know anything about the show or the source material here is a little synopsis. Clary Fray is a ‘normal’ teenage girl living in New York with her single-mother Jocelyn but everything changes when she sees three other teenagers kill another teenager in a nightclub. Clary, however, is the only one that can see them though. The three teenagers are Shadowhunters and the other is a demon. It turns out that Clary, along with her mother, are too though Clary was unaware of this as her mother had brought her up as a mundane (human) to protect her from her father, Valentine Morgenstern, who is the big bad.

 

After her mother is kidnapped, Clary and her best-friend Simon enter the world of Shadowhunters as they search for her mother and the Mortal Cup, one of three Mortal Instruments, that is able to make more Shadowhunters and control demons. Jocelyn had stolen the cup to keep it away from Valentine who wants it control the demons and rid the world of down-worlders (vampires, werewolves, warlocks and faeries) whom he hates as a werewolf apparently killed his father.

 

 

I consider the show a guilty pleasure as the acting in general is rather atrocious, especially the two out of the three male leads in Dominic Sherwood (Jace Wayland) and Matthew Daddario (Alec Lightwood) who are rather wooden though I guess Alec as a character is supposed to be a little repressed. Jace however isn’t and I just don’t get that from Dominic’s portrayal at all. Emeraude Taubia (Isabelle Lightwood) isn’t much better and Katherine McNamara’s (Clary Fray) is only just passable.

 

Alberto Rosende (Simon Lewis) and Harry Shum Jr (Magnus Bane) are pretty much the only reason why I am still watching the show as they both are superb as Simon and the out there warlock Magnus. Harry seems to be having a blast with this role and Alberto is just perfectly cast as the geeky and lovelorn Simon.

 

The only other characters of note are the vampires Camillie and Raphael which they seemed have swapped over from the source material. In the books Camillie is not introduced until the fifth book and is supposed to me a little more sympathetic than the horrible Raphael. In the show Camille is there from the beginning and is the one that turns Simon instead of Raphael. The last character of note is Luke Garroway who is a former Shadowhunter, who at one time was best-friends with Valentine, who was bitten by a werewolf and is now the head of the New York pack. He is also Clary’s father-figure and a policeman (though in the book he was a rare book and antiques dealer). To be honest he hasn’t made much on an impression on me in the show, unlike in the book/s who I really did enjoy. However that may have been more from the interruptions that I have had while watching the show than the actual actor.

 

Finally something not a movie!! Though admittedly I have started a post related to a book series.

 

I have been wanting to write about this show for a little while now but the thing is every time I go to watch it I get distracted by the people in my household asking for me to do something for them which takes me out of the show entirely. Last night was the first time in about 3 or maybe 4 weeks that I was able to watch an episode without being distracted.

 

First off I would like to say that I have read/listened to the source material though I have not seen the movie. I do own it and I am pretty sure it is available on Netflix or the other streaming service here in Australia called Stan. The series is available on Netflix as an original series.

 

If you don’t know anything about the show or the source material here is a little synopsis. Clary Fray is a ‘normal’ teenage girl living in New York with her single-mother Jocelyn but everything changes when she sees three other teenagers kill another teenager in a nightclub. Clary, however, is the only one that can see them though. The three teenagers are Shadowhunters and the other is a demon. It turns out that Clary, along with her mother, are too though Clary was unaware of this as her mother had brought her up as a mundane (human) to protect her from her father, Valentine Morgenstern, who is the big bad.

 

After her mother is kidnapped, Clary and her best-friend Simon enter the world of Shadowhunters as they search for her mother and the Mortal Cup, one of three Mortal Instruments, that is able to make more Shadowhunters and control demons. Jocelyn had stolen the cup to keep it away from Valentine who wants it control the demons and rid the world of down-worlders (vampires, werewolves, warlocks and faeries) whom he hates as a werewolf apparently killed his father.

 

I consider the show a guilty pleasure as the acting in general is rather atrocious, especially the two out of the three male leads in Dominic Sherwood (Jace Wayland) and Matthew Daddario (Alec Lightwood) who are rather wooden though I guess Alec as a character is supposed to be a little repressed. Jace however isn’t and I just don’t get that from Dominic’s portrayal at all. Emeraude Taubia (Isabelle Lightwood) isn’t much better and Katherine McNamara’s (Clary Fray) is only just passable.

 

Alberto Rosende (Simon Lewis) and Harry Shum Jr (Magnus Bane) are pretty much the only reason why I am still watching the show as they both are superb as Simon and the out there warlock Magnus. Harry seems to be having a blast with this role and Alberto is just perfectly cast as the geeky and lovelorn Simon.

 

The only other characters of note are the vampires Camillie and Raphael which they seemed have swapped over from the source material. In the books Camillie is not introduced until the fifth book and is supposed to me a little more sympathetic than the horrible Raphael. In the show Camille is there from the beginning and is the one that turns Simon instead of Raphael. The last character of note is Luke Garroway who is a former Shadowhunter, who at one time was best-friends with Valentine, who was bitten by a werewolf and is now the head of the New York pack. He is also Clary’s father-figure and a policeman (though in the book he was a rare book and antiques dealer). To be honest he hasn’t made much on an impression on me in the show, unlike in the book/s who I really did enjoy. However that may have been more from the interruptions that I have had while watching the show than the actual actor.

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Trailer