Author Archives: ArmanM

VICE PRINCIPALS Review: “Think Change”

vice principals excerptSeason 2, Episode 4 – The origin of Lee Russell meets the emergence of Neal Gamby.

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STAR Review: “Insecure”

star excerptSeason 2, Episode 2 – It’s important to point out that this show is finally delivering on what it promised: a show about a girl group. It’s not about murder, or assault, or sex slaves or any of that – it’s a show about a girl group.

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EMPIRE Review: “Full Circle”

Empire-ExcerptSeason 4, Episode 2 – Empire is committed to this “Lucious-amnesia” plotline and at times it comes off as frustrating.

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QUEEN SUGAR Review: “Dreams at Dusk”

Season 2, Episode 10 – Queen Sugar is awesome. I previously described it as boring and cliché. Yes, that episode was, but this one, and I assume those going forward, will not be.

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THE GOLDBERGS Review: “Hogan Is My Grandfather”

the goldbergs excerpt codeSeason 5, Episode 2 – In a strong second episode for the season, things are changing as the Goldberg clan grows up and life has to adjust with them.

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VICE PRINCIPALS Review: “The Kings”

vice principals excerptSeason 2, Episode 3 – Allow me to introduce the kings of the dumbest kingdom.

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THE ORVILLE Review: “If the Stars Should Appear”

the orville excerptSeason 1, Episode 4 – The Orville delivers its best episode, with its best villain, and its best depiction of Liam Neeson as a god.

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STAR Review: “The Winner Takes It All”

star excerptSeason 2, Episode 1 – Star is back and full of drama, cross-promotion, and more drama.

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EMPIRE Review: “Noble Memory”

Empire-ExcerptSeason 4, Episode 1 – Lucious’s mind may be gone, but you can bet he won’t forget Cookie.

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VICE PRINCIPALS Review: “Slaughter”

vice principals excerptSeason 2, Episode 2 – Vice Principals returns to its roots by burning everything to the ground in more ways than one.

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THE ORVILLE Review: “About A Girl”

the orville excerptSeason 1, Episode 3 – The Orville leaves us in space wondering if anyone can hear us scratch our head.

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VICE PRINCIPALS: “Tiger Town”

vice principals excerptSeason 2, Episode 1 – Vice Principals is back! And though the premiere doesn’t pack much of a punch, the story is set for what’s to come. The world has changed quite a bit since the last time we’ve seen the miniseries, and it’s hard to tell if that might negatively impact the show, particularly the racist jokes – of which there are many.

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THE ORVILLE: “Command Performance”

the orville excerptSeason 1, Episode 2 – The Orville gives us a look into what not to do in your second episode. With a complete disregard to most of what was built in the pilot, The Orville struggles to find any footing going forward. Much of it relied on tropes, confusing references, and at times, a complete lack of comedy. It’s impossible to figure out who this show is for.

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THE ORVILLE Review: “Old Wounds”

the orville excerptSeason 1, Episode 1 – The problem with The Orville is that you’re left with nothing new. Most of what we’ve seen has already been on Star Trek and the jokes don’t lampoon it hard enough. Right now The Orville has no purpose, no mission in deep space and that’s a problem. The first person who can tell me the difference between Kirk and The Orville‘s Ed, I will give them a dollar.

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CASUAL Review: “The Hermit & The Moon”

Casual ExcerptSeason 3, Episode 13 – Casual‘s season finale is here and it’s not very good. Compared to other season finales of this show, this one falters, leaving a lot on the table and throwing a bunch more on that doesn’t really make much sense. The lack of character growth, resolving issues built throughout the course of the season and the overall tone make this episode feel more like a pilot than a season finale.

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CASUAL Review: “99”

Casual ExcerptSeason 3, Episode 12 – Casual gives us the weirdest episode yet, focusing on Valerie and Alex’s relationship in 1999. Though lacking plot, this episode serves as an interesting exercise to showing the genesis behind Alex and Val’s relationship. Unfortunately the episode falters after that and begins to further support a controversial taboo theory about this season’s finale.

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CASUAL Review: “Firesale”

Casual ExcerptSeason 3, Episode 11 – Casual opens with a major change of pace as two (important) side characters decide to tie the knot. Leah and Leon are getting married, and we notice a sudden shift in Casual‘s narrative, from a story about hookups to a story about love. Alex and Judy are growing while Valerie and Jack are falling and Laura is abandoning her life for a dream in Sacramento.

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CASUAL Review: “Cake Walk”

Casual ExcerptSeason 3, Episode 10 – Casual deals with a host of problems this week that all stand on emotionally shaky ground. There is a lot in this week’s episode of Casual that left me wishing things were handled differently. But hey, at least this week’s episode made me laugh.

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CASUAL Review: “Fresno”

Casual ExcerptSeason 3, Episode 9 – Casual forces you to take a look at relationships. There are some stumbles along the way, but the meat of the episode, comparing Alex’s growth to Valerie’s regression, is proudly on display. Even Laura’s parts have some strong points, particularly when she asks Alex if they are “poisoned in their blood,” a strange phrase that requires quite a bit of unpacking.

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CASUAL Review: “Venus”

Casual ExcerptSeason 3, Episode 8 – Casual delivers its best episode of the season, giving an insight into each character’s motivations and personal flaws. Extremely different than last week’s episode, this week allows the characters to explore their own personal space in the world and pushes both plot and character growth forward.

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CASUAL Review: “The Rat King”

Casual ExcerptSeason 3, Episode 7 – This week’s episode is true “bottle episode” focusing itself on one location. Most shows have trouble with these episodes or try for something completely different, but it all came natural. Emotions played a very strong role as they always do, and the plot for this season was moved forward quite a bit, with a focus on the relationship between Valerie and Alex taking center stage.

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CASUAL Review: “Troubleshooting”

Casual ExcerptSeason 3, Episode 6 – In Casual, the moral complexities of the characters have reached a point where nothing makes sense. Valerie is selfish beyond belief and justified with every ridiculous decision she makes. Even Alex, usually a beacon of rationality is forced to contend with his new employees that report him to HR for talking to them about Hawaii.

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CASUAL Review: “Look at Me”

Casual ExcerptSeason 3, Episode 5 – Casual focuses on each character’s relationship pursuits and growth and it’s definitely for the better. This week allows Valerie, Alex and Laura to pursue what they want most, and have it blow up in their face as they all end up finding themselves knee deep in something else.

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CASUAL Review: “The Sprout”

Casual ExcerptSeason 3, Episode 4 – Casual dives deeper into the lives of their characters, but this choice leaves little in terms of plot development. Valerie, Alex and Laura are all dealing with their usual problems: Valerie is in a midlife crisis, Alex doesn’t prioritize his problems, and Laura is self-destructive. We follow them through this journey, but are left wondering why there isn’t more for us to sink our teeth into.

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EMPIRE Review: “Toil and Trouble Part 2”

Empire-ExcerptSeason 3, Episode 18 – Empire‘s season finale is here, and unfortunately it’s my least favorite episode of the season. Though we get endings to most plotlines this season, what’s particularly frustrating are the logical leaps we are forced to make in order to get there. From Charlotte to Guisi to the DuBois family, we are left with many unsatisfactory endings that do not do justice to many episodes this season.

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CASUAL Review: Episodes 1-3

Casual ExcerptSeason 3, Episode 1-3 – Casual introduces a trio of episodes that manages to meander throughout its own construct without ever really honing in on any one thing. You can’t help but feel like this show needs to comment more on the change in our daily lives that it does.

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WIZARD OF LIES Review

wizard of lies excerptWizard of Lies gives us a look into the lives of the Madoff family, leading up to, during, and after the revelation of the greatest ponzi scheme in history. The film tries to portray Madoff, not necessarily as a sympathetic character, but one whose own successes are not too far off from his fault. Regardless of what you think, Wizard of Lies paints an interesting picture that is worth a look.

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EMPIRE Review: “Toil and Trouble Part 1”

Empire-ExcerptSeason 3, Episode 17- Empire‘s finale has begun and boy is it a mess. But that doesn’t mean it’s not thoroughly entertaining. Alliances and destroyed, while some are made. Cookie tries to make her moves against Guisi, Lucious allies himself with his brother Tariq, Hakeem pulls himself from everything, and Andre finds himself in a bit of a relationship with Charlotte.

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EMPIRE Review: “Absent Child”

Empire-ExcerptSeason 3, Episode 16 – Empire introduces it’s penultimate episode until it’s two-part season finale. We begin to answer the question as to who took Bella, while also pushing a number of season-long plots forward. Andre seems to have a mental breakdown, Jamal reconciles with his father, Hakeem tries to be a good father and Cookie attempts to hold it all together.

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EMPIRE Reviews: “Civil Hands Unclean”

Empire-ExcerptSeason 3, Episode 15 – Empire picks up from where it left off last episode, with the DuBois family posing as the main threat to the Lyons. Lucious and Cookie are forced to navigate through the DuBois’ “revenge” tactics, and might have to rely on the help of their sons to get through this. Andre decides to enact his plan with Shyne and Hakeem feels that it’s finally time he becomes the father to his daughter that he always should’ve been.

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