I.R.W.Y.V. (I Review What You View) – The Killing Season 4

The real AMC zombie show returns against all odds but this time on the media streaming giant Netflix. After enduring yet another cancelation The Killing was given new life and a proper final season to conclude the mostly underrated crime drama. Episodes in the fourth season have a longer running time of approximately 55–59 minutes compared to 43 minutes when the series aired on AMC with commercials, and characters are able to use stronger profanity. If you have never seen this show then stop reading and scroll down to the verdict for further instructions.

The show the mood and atmosphere of the show remained the same (dark and depressing) as showrunner Veena Sud and writers and executive producers Dawn Prestwich and Nicole Yorkin all returned. The main cast member returned to reprise their roles as well as some new faces. Overall the season was a welcomed return to the gloomy and rainy Seattle where detective Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman) and detective Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) are covering up the murder of James Skinner, while trying to solve the slaughter of the Stansburys. Being limited to six episodes you can’t expect the same twists and turns that the first three seasons offered but it does keep you on your toes. Kinnaman and Enos continued their great on screen chemistry as their partnership was put to the ultimate test when detective Reddick started digging into the disappearance of Skinner.

There was a particular scene that made me feel quite uncomfortable in the sense that it was such a tense and horrifying act. This may have been unable to air the scene on their former network but it didn’t necessarily feel out of place. I also got a kick out of hearing Kinnaman swear. The atmospheric and haunting score continued to add to the bleakness of the scenes as the great writing and the combination of cinematography and acting made this show so emotionally captivating. In a world of detective shows that wrap up a murder in half an hour, this show stands as a remarkably realistic approach to this genre as the characters feel real as they have faults and limitations that lead to conflict with others and themselves. Their lives are consumed with the process of detective work as it shows how they struggle with balancing their professional and personal lives but at the end of the day the most important goal is to solve the case.

The ending was a fitting conclusion to one of the most intriguing and dark TV shows that I personally ever watched. The final episode is a combination of grief (something that is very common in the show) and joy (something that was very rare) as it’s sad they the adventures of detectives Holder and Linden are coming to an end (never will hear 1 900 Linden again) but it manages to sum up their time together in triumphant end which sees both get an ending they so deserve. I was hooked since the first episode back in 2011 and it’s a shame that it never quite rose to the popularity to keep it going for longer, I am however thankful that the show was given a chance to tell its final story, something that many great shows never got a chance to do.

This brings me to a score of a: MUST WATCH. This show might be too dark for some but if you are a fan on a good detective show then this should be on the top of your list so start from season one and make you way up to four.

I.R.W.Y.V. (I Review What You View) – Broad City Season 1

This new Comedy Central series from creators Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson is a like a breath of fresh air. The series follows two young best friends struggling though a life of low income in New York City. Broad City was actually developed from their web series of the same name that was produced from 2009 to 2011.

The show has a feminist bend on a traditionally male skewing network that actually is funny. The chemistry between Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson is great to watch but perhaps the best aspect of the show is the outrageous supporting cast. A personal favorite of mine is Ilana’s booty call Lincoln Rice DDS, played by Hannibal Buress. The character is pretty much modeled after the Hannibal I love that. He is a softly spoken dentist who wants to take their relationship to the next level, but continuously fails to do so. He comes across as the most stable character on the show which is even more intriguing as he is paired with the most unstable one. On top of that he is a comic fountain of jokes, just listen to this guy.

Overall the show delivers actual laughs although most jokes tend to be subtle which makes the show funnier if you watch it more than just once. Sometimes it suffer from the trying too hard to come across as a dirty show but it has more clever set up than those types of jokes and they fade out as the show progresses.

This brings me to a score of a: Watch if you are a general comedy fan and/or love Hannibal Buress.

Now here is a clip that pretty much sums up why I love the character of Lincoln.

I.R.W.Y.V. (I Review What You View) – The Strain Pilot

I recently watched the first episode of The Strain from Chuck Hogan and Guillermo Del Toro’s novel of the same name. In this review I’ll tell you if The Strain is Strainuous to watch. Now that I got the obligatory pun out of the way let’s get down to business.
The series debuted on July 13 on FX and began airing in Australia on FOX 8 a few weeks later. The appropriately named first episode “Night Zero” was actually directed by Guillermo Del Toro himself which is a testament to how close he is to the series. From the opening shot I could see that the series has a great cinematic value as the aesthetics were beautiful. You can tell that FX has faith in the show as everything seemed so expensive to shoot from a logistical point of view (Wait until I get to the CGI) as the plane inspection scene is a great example. Today no one can film in an airport so they build these sets to look like an airport. That seems expensive already well on top of that they had a bloody massive plane there. From the premise alone I wasn’t a 100% sold because I saw the word “vampire” and since those novels turned films that shall remain nameless killed my love for vampires, I was sceptical. Now that I’ve gotten a sense of what the show’s tone and mythology is, I can say that I will definitely be watch the second episode. These are the vampires I love, they are grotesque and evil, and even the way vampirism is spread is a fresh and more original take on an act that has been beaten to death.
The protagonist of the series, Ephraim Goodweather played by Corey Stoll is undergoing the classic struggle of balancing his job (CDC) and his family. It’s kind of the show’s way of grounding the character and they also seem to suggest that there is a history with his college, Dr. Nora Martinez played by Mia Maestro, which I don’t personally care about. I did however get a kick out of seeing Stoll with hair, but my favorite part was Professor Abraham Setrakian played by David Bradley. This character is such as bad ass, he even has a sword in his cane. The CGI was actually quite good as the creature look realistic and creepy which can’t be said of many other supernatural themed shows. It is reported that FX spent $500,000 on creature CGI alone so I can literally see where the money went. There are a few goofs that took me out of the moment a bit but I won’t get into too much detail (this is a spoiler free review after all). That being said, what the show did right far outweighed the bad.
Overall the show shows a lot of promise and I am curious in the direction it’s heading. The cinematic value is quite impressive for a TV show and with all the supernatural themed shows all over the air waves, The Strain manages to keep its head above water thanks to some real star power (It’s Guillermo). This brings me to a score of a: Watch if looking for a new show.