The relentless march of time continues and we have just wrapped another season. A month ago. Oops. Let’s see what was worth watching, what wasn’t and what hot takes I have.
Also a CW that a show this season deals with some very heavy/controversial sexual themes so, uhhh, be forewarned!
Horimaya- this show is wholesomeness incarnate. It maybe gets a bit weak towards the end when we shift focus from the main couple to the wider cast but the first 2/3 where we focus on Hori and Miyamura is so fucking good. From the dichotomy of Hori’s in-school and at-home personality, to the revelations about Miyamura, to their interactions (both between the two of them but also as Miyamura moves into Hori’s circle fo friends) just make you feel so warm and fuzzy inside . Of particualr note to me is a really brief scene where, after Hori and Miyamura bone (which was done so tastefully and unexpectedly) Miyamura has a conversation with Hori’s little brother and has to assuage the brother’s concerns he is going to lose his beoved big sister. My only complaint is that given how elegantly and interstingly/differently the Hori-Miyamura romance was done; the last arc where there is the generic clusterfuck of teenage inaction and mixed messages and misunderstandings and such between the larger cast was a bit, well, generic.
Mushoku Tensei- the progenitor of the entire isekai genre finally got its own anime adaptation and it is fantastic. While the things that followed in it’s footsteps had to differentiate themselves by doubling down on the excesses of the ‘real world loser becomes a pseduo (or literal) god in a fantasy world (and then gains a harem)’ trope; being the pioneer of the genre means that Mushoku is much more grounded and realistic. And it has an actually interesting world and well developed characters because the isekai tool is being used to tell a story rather than it being the entire fucking story. In particular I want to highlight how this show unashamedly empahsises that the MC is a weirdo and pervert and that this is bad. And then shows his gradual redemption into being a (mostly) good person through his second chance at life. His personailty flaws don’t make him a god here like in a typical isekai, what makes him , uhhh. be heaps-better-than-avergage-but-not-OP-as-hell is the fact he has a mental 40 year head start on most people and he has some really supportive people around him who help him deal with a truck full (truck-kun full) of emotional baggage. I also love that he isn’t just naturally fantastic and OP but that it is through using his adult brain to take full advantage of the learning capacity of a child’s brain (and the adult ability to call BS on things) that let him develop crazy strong magic powers. But he still easily beaten at other things e.g. physical combat. And all the female characters are, well, characters not eye candy who fall over him. Damn this show is so good. Only bad thing is that it is split cour and is currently on break. Also that it feels like we could have an FMAB size and length awesome story here and I just dunno if it’ll have the populairty/finance to actually be fully adapted.
Inu Neko- fun little shorts about a person with a dog and cat and how they are different pets with vastly different attitudes. Random huge world building reveal in the last episode (that doesn’t really make a difference to the story or epsiodes) that it isn’t a young adult living alone but a (I presume) older teenager still lviing with their parents. But just a fun little serious that make me really, really want to get a pet..
Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken S2- I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this season. There was actually a couple points where I finished an epsiode early on in the season and found myself really frsutrated I couldn’t go straight to the next episode. But it wasn’t because I wanted more- it was becuase I wanted something to fucking happen. There were two big things that happened here (Rimuru fighting the Holy Church lady who knew Shizu and the attack on The Nation of Tempest) and while these were great, there was a whole lot of not much happening in between them. And before each epsiode of cool stuff happening there was an episode of set up where literally nothing happened but talk. Particualrly bad was an epsidoe between the two events where a bunch of people were dead and we had an epsiode of people sitting around a table calmly talking about what happend and planning what to do next as a massive enemy army marches towards them. But if you are clever enough to bank up a couple episodes so you can smash through them in a chunk and skip the wheel spinning ‘pad out for a ful cour’ episodes it is pretty fun. Although by the end I felt that there was a bit too much of the ‘Great Sage’ skill talking/explaining things that were going on rather than them, you know, just showing what was happening in a way that made sense. You know, ‘show don’t tell’. Also in chatting with a friend who has read the original material, apparently they did a good job rearraning events at the start of S2 to accomodate the changes made at the end of S1 without interuptting the overall story direction. I don’t really understand what prompted the S1cchanges (nor do I rememer what exactly they were- I think it was part of the weird teacher arc at the end of S1 that was super weird and rushed). Really they should have just ended S1 with the Charybdis stuff (i.e. given it a couple extra eps of breathing space), taken the rushed teacher stuff and the OVA series (see below) to be the start of S2 and then ended S2 at the post-Tempest first attack. But yeah, it’s the same shit as S1 so if you like it you like it and if you don’t you don;t
Re Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu (S2 pt 2)- I feel like I should have put this in the ‘Good’ caterogry but I am honestly struggling to remeber what actually happened here. i remember the end was really fucking good (great final episode) and there was some cool stuff Subaru did manipulating the various chess pieces to deal with some of overhwelmingly number of problems he had to deal with (fortunately no deus ex-machina’s as I feared… I think. I literally can’t remember how he won over Garfiel and that was pretty much essential to Subaru managing to solve any of the problems- Garfiel stopped the mansion stuff which let Beatrice solve the Rabbit Mabeast thingy problem. While Rem and Subaru dealt with Roswaal… i think that was what Subaru was doing. I personally found that the Emilia stuff with her trials and backstory dragged out a bit but it did fill in a lot of back ground world building so if that stuff pays off it could become good in retrospect. Again- it’s Re:zero so by this stage you know if you like it or don’t. I do feel a bit for whoever did the Op/ED songs coz they barely get used as somhow this show has thrown off the TV cultural/predent/requirement to have an opening theme and closing theme/sequence. So episodes that are 27-28m each week rather than like, 24-25m. Which did feel a bit weird.
Maybe follow up later?
2.43 – Seiin Koukou Danshi Volley-bu- an anime about highschool boys in a failing volleyball team? Isn’t that just Haikyuu?! Well, yes and no. While Haikyuu is a sportball anime about action and sports with some comedy in there, this is up and down a character drama show. So it is pretty different to Haikyuu. The first 3 or 4 eps were pretty good and i can see I’d have watched more if I’d been in a different frame of mind or not had such a fucking crazy busy March 2021 but no such luck
Kemono Jihen- an interesting first episode, especially towards the end when the detective bloke head-capped the weird kids and killed him. Then less interesting when the kid came back to life and it became a mix of detective/mystery and whacky-slice-of-life. Normally I love these ‘young-ish adult becomes reluctant parent to a young child and they grow together’ shows but it didn’t quite work here. Mainly webcast the adult (the aforementioned detective) has already gone through the experience with two other weird, uhhh, devil-kids (not devils, more like poltergeists and supernatural stuff) introduced in episode 2. So the growth is all very onesided in a dumb 10 year old kid rather than having some self-reflective growth in an adult which is way more engaging as a fellow adult.
Wonder Egg Priority- this show gave me real big Flip Flappers vibe and dealt with some incredibly fucked and traumatic themes (a lot of young girls using the wonder egg system to deal with some super fucked up trauma they’d suffered to save their friends who had committed suicide, with the type of trauma escalating exponentially in the first 4 episodes that I watched). Again would have watched it if I wasn’t so busy and mentally exhausted in March 2021. Definitely has the vibe of something that’ll be played at my local anime club so I’ll catch it there. But is definitely something you need to watch at your own pace, which for me is big chunks so I don’t get worried about these children suffering traumatic events and can get, hopefully, to a relieving resolution at the end ASAP. Or be fucking devastated but a bandaid riping immediate devastation not a protracted 3 months of dread.
Uraseki Picnic- this started off interesting but then petered out in the middle. Another supernatural mystery thing, unusual in that it had two female leads AND they were university aged which gave it a different dynamic/vibe to normal anime. Might check it out one day in the future, maybe as a gym show? Probably not enough interestingness to hold my undivided attention.
Ex-Arm- probably a future case study about why you don’t give a heap of money to people who are experts in one field to do something in a field they know nothing about. Somehow this makes early RWBY and Berserk 2016 look like visual masterpieces it is made so poorly. Watch one episode just for the awareness of what people are talking about and then tell… uhhh.. Crunchyroll/Netflix (can’t remember who made it) to stop being fucking morons and put that money towards *checks notes now that Devil is part Time S2 has been announced* Haruhi S3)
Hortensia Saga- generic fantasy show where no-one puts together that the weirdly feminine “guy” who looks very similar to the missing princess, is the same age, has a similar name and mysteriously appeared when the princess disappeared is NOT a random peasant allowed to get close to Lord MC-kun but actually a very important character. Won’t say who coz it’s a spoiler.
Quintessential Quintuplets S2- why did I like S1 of this? Did I like S1 of this? This is utter trash. Paper thin characters falling head over heals over an un-sympathetic MC for no real reason. And the constant flashbacks to the childhood promise are so fucking annoying given there is no actual fucking detail in these flashbacks that move things forward (coz moving things forward would rule out some of the harem members as the true waifu’s which we can’t have! Although around the time this season premiered the manga wrapped up where apparently the author made literally 5 endings for each of the girls. very Mass Effect 3 given the success route for each of them was like 99% identical and I fucking love that XD.
I’m A Spider So What- see the thing that Tensei Slime etc got right was it quickly figured out that the novelty isekai twist of ‘I’m super weak not super strong’ is a great concept for a full cour of 2-5m shorts. Or about 1 full length episode of an anime. So it quikcly ran the joke through and then just made Rimuru OP as fuck and went into safe isekai territory. With occasional slime-based references/jokes. This Spider thing did not get the memo and was still running the ‘spiders are weak, this sucks’ joke like… 4 or 5 eps in (they kind of blended together so couldn’t give you an exact number). Which is made worse by the VA for the spider person being an incredibly irradiating screech. And then we get a b-plot where actually it’s a whole class of kids who have been reincarnated but it turns out all of them were dickheads and cunts so have been punished in their isekai-ed lives or something and none of them are interesting/sympathetic. Alternated between boring/bland and actively annoying.
Jaku-Chara Tomozaki-kun- some dickhead is the greatest Not-Super-Smash-Bros player in the world and is a loser in everything else in life. Turns out number 2 is an overachieving pretty girl who happens to be in his class at school. And out of disgust for how his drop-kick-status in life makes him being number 1 a bad reflection on the game/her as number 2 she bullies him into not being a piece of shit. Everyone sucks here.
Ore dake Hairweiru Kakushi Dungeon- a paper thin excuse of a story where the whole point is a bloke has OP magic that is powered by how often he can does lewd things with the increasing harem of inexplicably obsessed pretty girls around him who could be generously described and nonsensically characterized. With a great dose of MC-kun is inexplicably oblivious to, well, everything around him. Shit house mess of a show.
Skate Leading Stars. Hey you know how Yuri on ice was supper popular? Lets rip that off with our own ice skating show. But lets make it about a completely made up type of competitive ice-skating so that a) it’s not a direct rip off and b) we don’t have to learn any actual sports rules/techniques and put them into the anime.
Last Dungeon Boonie- I guess this was an interesting concept (“whats up with those villages you can buy supplies at before raiding the final boss dungeon? those people must be OP as hell”) but the Village Chief character made this pretty fucking irredeemable to me. An old lady in the body of a 10 year being a weird lecher who kept randomness assaulting the female witch lead and trying to pick up her underage student MC-kun.
Heavens Design team- offensive to both people who believe in God and people who accept evolution. Rinse and repeat thing where the three ‘designers’ are given a breif and there are two stupid ideas and one actual animal. Over and over. Guess it shows that designers have been useless since literally the beginning of time.
Vlad Love- I can’t remember what this one was about but all my notes say are ‘blood + smut = uncomfortable as hell’. So lets just bin this and not think about it again.
Promised Neverland S2- I still think S1 was largely overrated and way too slow. Turns out S2 was an incredible mess and did the worst ‘shit the bed’ in years according to people who actually liked S1. So hard pass from me,
High Rise Invasion- honestly maybe I’ve being overly harsh on this one. It’s a pretty standard ‘battle royale that make no fucking sense’ so, yeah, i dunno. It’s probably fine if you want mindless sfights between single-use characters.
Complicated (this is the CW show)
Kaifuku Jutsushi no Yarinaoshi (Redo of Healer)- look this show is bad but not because of why you think. A pretty basic (and wrong) take is that this show is bad and irredeemable because of the extremely graphic and brutal rape scene at the end of episode 2. That is wrong. Including such content it, by itself, not what makes this bad. What makes this bad is that it didn’t do anything as a show that justifies it’s graphic and brutal coverage of such themes/content. Goblin Slayer is a bad show because it depicted a super graphic rape in a very erotic way simply to get attention and make people watch it. of a Shield Hero was a bad show due to the insane way it handled sexual assault and sexual assault allegations. It wasn’t that these shows did these things that was bad but how they did these things. And I would say that for the first two episodes, and possibly a few after that, Redo of Healer does a good and acceptable job of covering some really dark content. It doesn’t launch into the fucked up stuff in ep1 to get attention. It spends a solid episode and a half showing how fucked the world/country is (and why) and how the people fucking over the MC ‘Healer’ (forget his name) lead him to be very fucked up himself. So his burning desire to take brutal revenge on them makes sense. And then when he does take that revenge he does the exact same fucked things to the exact same people who did those fucked things on him (starting with the end of ep 2 rape) it is understandable and, well, logical/defensible. These are bad people in a bad world so having a bad person do bad things to them is fine. And it isn’t (to me at least) done with the intent to arouse- it is much more akin to (early) Game of Thrones where the villains doing bad shit was meant to be bad and not-enjoyable as a viewer. But this ‘acceptable’ justification for such graphic/brutal has a very strict set of parameters around it- it has to be done to the very bad people who we have seen be very bad. And in the very next arc following this opening/establishment arc it immediately falls apart where Healer diverts off his mission to fuck over a very specific group of people to instead sort of fuck over a minor town and then mind-break a very young looking wolf girl so we can have threesome sex scene with a big tit girl and a furry girl. This wolf girl has nothing do do with his revenge plot so his manipulating to fuck her over and make her his sex slave too means the whole show falls apart into a generic shitty fantasy hentai (with a TV broadcast budget) where retroactively the graphic rape stuff feels bad because the overall story didn’t approach the content with the respectfulness needed and was clearly just the author wanting an excuse to get away with depicting fucked up shit that gets their rocks off.
Who cares- if not mentioned above it was bland and uninterestingly average. or an idol show.
Dr Stone S2 was also this season I think but I didn’t finish S1 so whatever. Log Horizon S3 aired but it’s been so long since S1+S2 that I just couldn’t get into it and I feel the Iskeai genre has moved past it (also apparently it doesn’t really go anywhere and the subtitle spoils the entire season plot). Otona no Bouguya S2 was this season but it was the same as S1 and the joke ran dry halfway through S1.
Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken OVAs 4+5: Maybe just 5? These were release as a batch pre-S2 and I re-downloaded them and skipped the ones I remembered. So dunno if that was 3 or 4 of them. As I recall I’d stopped at the part where Rimuru’s students were being threatened by an unknown demon or something after curbing stopping random bandits. Well the students proceed to get curb stomped and then another random demon/devil came in and saved the day for reasons unknown. bBt he’s the same devil guy who is summoned by Rimuru at eh end of S2 so it’s kind of confusing why he’s hangin around here earlier in the story. Then they have some stuff happen that wraps up the kids education. Pretty meh. Would have worked better if watching it hadn’t been spread out over like, I dunno, 12-18 months?
Anohana the Flower we saw that day- I have been told by several people that this show is an incredible emotional roller coaster and I’ll be in tears by the end but I just didn’t get that. Like the big emotional moment at the end was when all the kids could see the ghost girl and say their goodbyes and let her spirit move on (or whatever) should have been jam packed with emotion. But I’d been frustrated the whole 10 episodes before that point that no one except for MC (Jintao) had even accidentally seen clear evidence of ghost girl given she was clearly physically interacting with objects, eating things, laying shit around. Like some basic deliberate action would have the whole problem resolved in two episodes (“Hey look at that floating pot, ghost girl is holding it. Now lets figure out what is going on!”). And they even obfuscated it when Menma was shown to be able to write in a diary with none of the characters thinking to try ‘confirm’ it was Menma by asking for specific info or her giving information in a non-cryptic manner.
Susei no Gargantia- this was really fun to watch. Ep1 struck me as super interesting given it was entirely a fake out setting up a sci-fi battle series in space and that is very much not what this is. It was also animated incredibly well in a way that holds up over time AND the art style had fantastic little touches eg sunburnt shoulders/noses, rusting metals that made it just visually engaging. Ep3 had a bit of a weird vibe where it seemed like the Villain of the Week was parading around domesticated sex slaves…. but then it maybe turned out to be a consenting BDSM thing. Very heavy usage of chains and collars. Also was funny how much it was stressed “oh no oh no what if we get into a fight with the pirates, they are vicious” when Ledo easily curb-stomped them without even trying to fight. Weird sex stuff happened again in Ep6 when the underage girls did a lot of highly detailed/animated belly dancing in very revealing clothes. Which was literally interrupting plot progression/world building conversations. . And then idiot locals storyline was repeated in Ep7 when the ship people were shocked that the spaceman who kept taking about his war with squid creatures goes and murders a bunch of squid creatures that he finds. Although this middle/late arc that ep7-9 cover really hit me differently this time. Specifically, the Galactic Alliance were 100% right to try fight the squids off because they had absolutely cowed the human race on earth into being entirely subservient and dependent on the squids good will and mood to survive. Originally I when I watched it originally I thought it was a ‘don’t destroy nature for tech’ storyline where the Galactic Alliance were in the wrong, any maybe that was what is intended, but seeing the whole thing in one chunk rather than spread over weeks makes that very much not the case. . . Also should note that a) the ‘twist reveal’ in ep8 is a bit cheap given how obviously baby-like the infant squid were (“suspiciously baby like” in my rough notes). And that in ep9 Pinion is an inexplicable moron who’s actions makes things worse even though, given any consistent character or rationale thoughts, he wouldn’t have been so committed to bad ideas that are so risky to everyone he knows/cares for. But anyway, the Kugel left turn in the plot direction was really disappointing as it meant this really interesting question of ‘was the Galactic Alliance right?’ was just… dropped. . And the reveal that Kugel was dead and his robot was acting on its own was fairly obvious… but it also didn’t make sense. Given the orders Kugel gave to Ledo back in Ep1, the order that he gave to Stryker before he died and the ‘standing orders’ Chamber explained in ep2, Stryker really should have just joined up under Ledo as the senior ranking officer in the area. Not go against orders and try kill everyone/everything/its allies. So while BEST BOI Chamber’s death is FUCKING TRAGIC, it’s also nonsensical by the rules established in the world. Which makes it very fucking annoying.
Gargantia OVAs+ “S2”- the two extra OVAs I can imagine would have been great when they came out afterwards, but watching them straight after the series showed them to be pretty empty. Once I skipped past the restbalishing Gargantua shots we get a massive cocktease Chamber is still around. And then suddenly we have a side quest where the characters go looking for ghosts on an old ship and Ami in inexplicably scared despite that not really fitting with any of her character. Then the second OVA was cool in concept of showing Kugel’s journey but the weird victim blaming on the humans (and specifically women characters) for why things went fucked was… well… weird and fucked. Having the ‘Sky God’ Stryker blitz the ‘Sea God’ squids was actually funny, given the arrogance the Sea God ladies had that it would win. But yeah this OVA just really re-emphasised how stupid Stryker’s attacking decisions were and also how right the Galactic Alliance is given how fucked the squid worship requirements/activities were. Then there we a further pair of OVAs labelled as ‘S2’ by Crunchyroll for some reason which are very skippable. . The first one is mainly a boring flashback that try to do drama ‘oh no there is a big storm, how will our super OP robot easily stop anything bad from happening this time’ and then a big coward move where the animators didn’t have the tearful Ledo+Ami reunion include a kiss, just a hug. There was also a new blonde character who is mysterious and hiding something (and is a convenient excuse to introduce new viewers to the world) and has a BIG TWIST at the end. Then the second one introduced the concept of land and some big suss ‘Dragon Palace’ for training. It did talk about how fucked the food supply situation was(and thus how important land was) which was something I wondered about given that, well, metal ships would seem to have limited agriculture capacity. And not much of a dirt supply. There’s another obvious twist of “who is this mysterious pretty women Pinion is chasing that happens to have the same hair and eye colour as another female character who we haven’t seen much of”. Oh and the last minute heel turn of the new blonde character to try replicate the emotional impact of Chambers death by literally doing the ‘robot sacrifice’ thing again with a more primitive robot was lazy and cheap.
Kotoura-san- this show has the ubiquitous honour of being the first show I’ve tried rewatching at the gym and then jut, stopped, before finishing. I remembered it quite fondly as being quite funny (despite a very misleading and emotionally heavy first episode). And while it was kind of funny, it was also super awkward because the titular Kotoura’s “love” for Manabe honestly just seemed like her desperately latching on the the first person to not relentless hate her. And on the flip side, she is an absolute moron if she didn’t figure out at *some stage* before getting to high school that she should just not react/respond to what people think which she hears with her psychic powers and instead do *nothing*. Sure a five year old not getting it is fine but seriously take the hint. So I drifted off on the holiday arc where the ESP club is off with Kotoura’s crazy rich grandpa and we get hints of her cunt Mum being around and I was just like “…no thanks. Next”.”
Kyousougiga- this was fine. Had an ok start, an interesting middle and a stupid/boring deus ex-machina end. From memory the appeal of this back in the day was a) the banging OP/ED and b) the crazy good art/animation. But unlike Gargantia that didn’t translate onto an iPad sized screen at the gym. But only 10 eps so still finished it.
Tanya the Evil- this was pretty good. Although I didn’t remember episode 1 being so harsh and cynical. Definitely had a tonal shift to be less cunt-y as the show progresses, which si weird when you think about how the MC is a psychopath fighting in WWI on the German side (but with magic). So weird. Although I really felt for Tania in the finale when she had the chance to actually end/win the war but the incompetent buffoons at HQ entirely missed to point and actively stopped her from doing so for “stupid out of touch rick people” reasons. Although while I really liked the series, I found the movie not watchable/interesting afterwards. Mainly as it opened with a flash forward that establishes that Tania/Germany loses (which, uhh, I guess is good) but that really took the drive out of the underlying story (would Tania beat God and.or change world history)
Senyuu S1- great little short series parodying the heroes journey to slay the demon lord. Gets really meta, even with it’s own OP segment. Jokes a fast and go in unexpected directions constantly. Highly recommend.
Citrus- this show has the less ubiquitous honour of being the first new show I’ve tried to watch at the gym that I’ve just stopped watching. I got most of the way through it, about episode 10, before finding it was just getting too repetitive. Like it was really interesting to have some explicitly sexual themes dealt with by mature female characters. But there was some stupid stuff (like how two teenage girls were not only forced to share a room but share a bed) which seems, like, bad parenting. And then there was a stupid arc with some delinquent girl who was ‘like a younger sister’ to the MC girl who was just a weird and inexplicable cunt. But by episode 10 it became pretty clear where the story was going (the love interest sister’s dad came back and talked about how throwing off the grandpas strict live shackles had freed him and clearly the sister was going to eventually do the same over the next three episodes with the help of MC girl. So I dropped it.
In the chaos of me releasing the shackles of watching things through, I had a few ‘false start’ shows where I tried to watch an episode or 2 but didn’t find it catch me. Specifically: Slow Start, Chaos Child, Great Teacher Onizuka and Kaguya-sama S1.
Kaguya-sama was particularly surprising given how much I remembered loving the series… but the thing that I found unwatchable was how far behind the character were at the start in the titular Love War’ compared to where I remember them as of S2. going that far back for just showing how far they have actually come, and how interesting the characters/relationships have become because of that.
Onizuka being uninteresting was disappointing but not surprising given how old it is and different to how much modern anime works. Super slow start.
Speaking of slow starts, Slow Start also had a slow start and I hated all the characters. I swear I had the same reaction when it first came out. But a person who’d said Blend S was great (which I’d hated originally but loved when I came back to it) also liked this. Turns out lightning doesn’t strike twice.
Chaos Child was a weird mess with lots of child murder and/or suicide and I just didn’t really want to watch that at a gym. So no dice.
Umbrella Academy S1- this show was frustrating. Had a meh starting episode but episode 2+3 really kicked off some interesting story. Although that story became literally just Heroes S1 from the mid-2000s where the driving plot was one of the, well, heroes losing control of their powers and exploding. But then it had an even dumber, unresolved cliffhanger ending. Also given one of the MCs was specifically a world famous actress, she spent a lot of time walking around the streets of New York (I presume New York) without getting harangued by random members of the public. Leonard was a real weird creep and I can’t recall if that was a necessary thing in the way the story played out. The “plan” by Luthor to just strangle and lock up Vanya so she wouldn’t destroy the world was, well, super dumb. Klaus’ magic power of speaking to the dead was dramatically under used (could have solved the whole initial problems in like 5 minutes) to which the writers seemed to realise in like ep 8 (of 10) so suddenly came up with a reason for it not being used. or and the Temporal Agency as the villain is interesting but their internal logic (and processes) are so full of holes that it was nonsensical- they were ‘protecting the timeline’ by actively interfering with events.
Amazing Race S32- so I only watched this because it was discussed in a Dom& Colin podcast episode because of the controversy about the ‘Alliances” in it and if they wrecked the game. Because I’d taken from S31 that this game/show was fundamentally less interesting than Survivor given how everything was individual (and highly external/luck based). And turns out I was mostly right. There is no real social thing in this game. However an alliance of teams who are good in the… challenges (?) tasks (?) can then share the answers with each other (very powerful for puzzle tasks) and then the rest of the alliance can effectively skip it. Which led to the alliance of five teams overwhelming the other four teams and then the three within the five beating the other two. Most notably in the penultimate episode where the final task is a mess and the 3-team sub alliance cracked the puzzle through trial and error and the fourth/final team took a 2 hour time penalty coz they knew there was no point. A real dour end. And then the finale itself was super short and rushed. And very clearly not set In any event, I have no interest in S2 given how stupid the S1 ending was so people should skip this (in the unlikely event they have any interest in it given how long ago it came out…) up well as the team that won was very clearly winning the whole leg and obtained an unassailable lead very early. So while it was a fun show to watch in the sense of the broader meta of how the Amazing Race fundamentally does (or doesn’t) work.
Stargate SG1 S5 + Stargate SG1 S6- both very good. unfortunately as of the time of writing we’re hitting the finale of S7 so I can’t remember which episodes of note were in these two seasons. But they were both full of great stuff. Only thing I didn’t like (which is maybe more a S7 critique) is how they did Jonas/Corin Nemic so dirty bringing him in to replace Daniel/Shanksy for S6 and then knifing him in the back for the premiere of S7 just as they were finally getting s handle on the new dynamic. Also S5, by virtue of being the final season on showtime a (and with the S6 renewal and shift to ScFy not confirmed until very late into the S5 production, if not after it wrapped up) did a lot of wrapping up of storylines from the first four seasons which was really coo as it built for a big TV movie finale thing (which was then pretty clearly adapted for the S6 premiere). Then S6 spent a lot of its time setting stuff up so didn’t really have much long form story/plot progression so I can see why that combined with mixed Jonas reception (I personally love the guy)be considered a shitty season sandwiched between the gold of S5 and S6. Highly recommend people give this franchise a look.
(You can tell the football season has started up again because the amount of TV I’m watching that doesn’t require me to look at the screen i.e. no subtitles has collapsed XD)