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Rick and Morty (2013)
I do not see why I should be prohibited from using profanity in reference to a show that relies on it, but very well.
You should ask Rick why he drinks, really, why is it his thing, and maybe, reluctantly, he will tell you that he is an alcoholic in order to avoid being an obviously annoying Marty Stu. He is not quitting either, because he needs to forget that in spite of being able to slide between infinite universes (among other tings), he always ends up trapped in the same formula of a derivative animated comedy show, with it's lame dumb comic relief character, frustrated handler of said, evil genius something, and kids that have to keep the "nukular" family together. At least in SP the family was replaced by a school clique. He also has to drink away the shame of the string of gags and plots heavily lifted from other shows, and references, Kali (slayer of Raktabija) save us from the endless referencing. They will stop in the middle of minecrafting because SP "already did it" and yet have no problem getting schwifty, even though it is not nearly as good (understatement) as previous versions. Let us not forget the fans and merchandise. Soon they'll run out of material to rip and will have to resort to making another self referential joke about the lame drones buying and wearing their merch. I look forward to it.
On a positive note, battery was a remake done mostly right, mind blowers was slightly better than the other anthology ripoff, citadel was probably the most original and best of the lot and there were generally some decent gags in the second half of the third season, but that is not saying much given the ratio.
If it has one failing, it's too long
Think of it as a one man show, crossed with a cross-examination, with a twist, or two. The ques, the applause sign, the alien review. It's all great, except, very much like the original it goes on, and on. Just be patient and wait for that ending, it's worth it.
When Vice first came out on HBO, it simply begged to be parodied. Interesting topics mixed with titillation and freak show material, explored by ex-fratboys turned hipsters. Dude, it's Nelson Mandela, I can't believe we're gonna talk to Nelson "freakin" Mandela. Don't forget to ask him about his bong collection. After Moore came out with his brand of edutainment, documentary film making was taking a turn for the worse, but Vice is an all time low, in style if not entirely in substance. What substance. It makes Theroux look like a class act and a humanitarian by comparison. So why does it sound more like a review of Vice rather than Dronez, because it is a lazy parody, thoroughly reliant on the source. It hits all the right spots, though it does not get Smiths brand of duplicitous apologetics exactly right. There are laughs to be had, the problem is that I've already had them watching Vice when it first came out and I would not if I was not familiar with it. The coffee table gag was not bad, but overall it feels more like a heavy handed parody of a reality show than a documentary film. On a side note, Vice staff had to join in on the laugh, not because it has a self deprecating sense of humor but because that is what is expected. You can call it preemptive PR.
The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (2011)
Puerile and vacuous like the man himself
Morgan Spurlock like all of the other desperate Mickey Moore copycats, belongs on YouTube. No, he is not selling out, because there is nothing there to sell out of, just an empty suit and a handful of bad jokes. He is a social advocate in the same way that Tarantino is an advocate against violence. This "film" is a waste of time.
Just imagine if they had Dane Cook rip-off Talk Soup or some other show of the type. You could also imagine you are doing a youtube clickbait/autoplay run/crawl and read only the most obvious, cliched, pointless comments. This may pass for wit among the hordes of the tasteless, brainless jocks or stoners, but in no way is it clever. It must have been cheap to put together though.
The easiest way to put this is with those numbers that everybody likes so much:
stories 2/10 dialog 0/10 characters 2/10 animation 6/10 voice acting 3/10 side gags 7/10 original ideas 1/10 social commentary 2/10
This show is dumb, tedious, pretentiously provocative with nothing interesting or funny to say, but there sure is a lot of fast talking/reading. Some of the Family Guy style side gags are OK. Overall it is a chore to watch. There are better shows.
Heavy handed, but fun.
Fargo, in its best moments is beating Pulp Fiction at its own game, and that's quite a feat, but these are few and far between. I especially liked the undertaker with his own costume and sidekicks like some american wrestler. There are some other references and homages, like the one to the "Big Lebowski" (in S3) which is rather weak and superficial. The character of Mike Milligan (in S2) is also a poor and exaggerated imitation. There is some clever writing and appealing stylization in parts, but it's spoiled by a rather heavy hand in others. The "true story" angle is overdrawn and simply annoying, especially when a flying saucer immediately follows. Another great annoyance are the Jewish gangsters and the whole Jewish undercurrent. I get it, this was made by Jews, enough of this mishegas already. Not everything has to revolve around some recently mythologized ethnic identity, just as not all world events of all time have to revolve around the USofA, though try telling that to the Mormons. On the flip side, there is the brilliant parody of Reagan which has been done and overdone in the past but never with this degree of accuracy of bite. Very promising but too much stylization and pretense and not enough of that bite, suspense and for gods's sake, subtlety. A lot of it is cartoonish and not in a good way. What a shame.
Starship Troopers (1997)
It is a mixed bag of terrible acting and eye candy. Great special effects and repetitive action sequences. Poignant satire, boring American style futuristic totalitarianism and one dimensional characters.
Its worth a watch for the humour alone which matches that of robocop, the CGI and for the bodies, though there could have been more on the female side. It inherits the flaws of the base material and the little acting talent there is on the set (Michael Ironside, Clancy Brown) does not redeem it.
Stay away from the sequels, no joke.
Babylon 5 (1994)
It is very easy to get discouraged after trying to pick this show up off the shelf and dust it off, as the first season is rather terrible, boring and has easily one of the worst examples of dialog writing in sci-fi. Dialogs are a weak spot of the series in general but it gets much better as it goes. There is a lot of awkward, corny, lowbrow, fail sort of humor throughout which some might find appealing if only ironically. The acting talent is rather sketchy, with the main cast being mostly bad and the support cast, especially aliens mostly good or even great.
Story development, once it gets going, is the strength of this series. Drama with a capital D. Some awkward choices are made though as in the process of retooling of any show. As it starts to improve markedly in the middle of second season, they replace the telepath with a half baked plot and a worse actress, do the inquisition to highlight the mediocre talent of one of the main cast and then drop the Marcus-bomb, who can be described as the JJBinks of B5, cringe worthy in every scene. After the great climax of the earth and centauri subplots the resolution of the main one comes off as rather pathetic, an afterthought.
Despite being very uneven on all levels, this show is well worth a viewing or even two, but I do recommend skipping or fast forwarding through most of the first season as well as some of the choice episodes and scenes of the rest, so keep that remote handy.
Takes a while to ramp up, forever to die
It takes a while to get into, about half of first season. Notice that along with the juvenile and jock humor there is also some room for sophistication, wit or simply well crafted jokes. Its a little heavy on references so feels like namedropping or posing at times, but solid entertainment for the first 3 seasons. Then the quality starts to decline, slowly at first, but by season 6 the show hardly solicits a smile, not to even mention a belly laugh. You shouldn't have to force yourself to watch something out of a sense of nostalgia.
As for common complaints like Pam and the cocaine, it does get old fast, like fart jokes or for that matter Archers brand of douchebaggery and the supremely annoying voice. As with most good shows its the support characters that make the difference. With that said if Krieger makes the planet of the apes reference one more time it will be exactly three times too many.