Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: My Ranking Of THE FAST SAGA


Hello again! Since big big movies are finally starting to slowly trickle their way back into movie theaters, I am here to let you know that I am still only doing mainly smaller 3-4 sentence Background reviews that I am posting on my Facebook page Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews, on my Instagram @zachszanymoviereviews, and my newly relaunched Twitter @zachzanyreviews. BUT…every now and then, like the Friends Reunion review about two weeks ago, I’d like to do something special, like now, and do a ranking of THE FAST SAGA before F9 is released on June 25th, and then I will update the list shortly after I see the film (NOW UPDATED 7/21/2021). I just rewatched all 8 previous movies + Hobbs & Shaw, so I’d like to think that this list is final in a way. Anyway, my rankings from lowest to highest are before you, with a little explanation on why I put them where I put them!


If you go down to the next ranking, you’ll see why I had initially put that movie last on my list because “I realized I didn’t give a shit about any of the other characters.” With F9, I not only didn’t give a shit about ANY of the characters, but everything was so bonkers unbelievable Looney Tunes bullshit, that none of the characters, even John Cena, had any sort of believable character arc, I didn’t care who lived or who died, and I was laughing at literally almost every other bat shit crazy action sequence. Han’s return from the grave was absolutely horseshit, and oh God, don’t get me started on Tyrese and Ludacris going into space. I cringed every time it would switch to them near the end of the movie and laugh when my brother, who I saw this with just for the laughs, started laughing. Also, I had said on the #9 ranking that ‘visually the movie looks nice but there is almost no substance here to hold on to.” There is NO SUBSTANCE here, and the movie wasn’t visually nice…at all. It’s as if they rushed through production just to get a product out on time, but because of COVID, wasn’t nearly on time as they thought, was it? They couldn’t have done some reshoots after delaying the film for over a year? Clean up some of the spotty CGI? That’s really hard to believe. The main problem with this movie? Letting Justin Lin co-write the script and not bringing Chris Morgan back, who has wrote nearly all of the movies in the franchise. And while I didn’t care for The Fate of The Furious or Hobbs & Shaw (Morgan wrote both of these), everything that happens in those movies are masterpieces in believability when you compare it to this giant waste of space. I can’t see how the final two movies in the saga could get any worse, but hey, seeing how I couldn’t stand this movie…it’s entirely possible that family could fuck it up beyond repair. This isn’t beyond repair…but it’s close.


You thought it was going to be 2 Fast 2 Furious or Fast & Furious here huh? Nope. I’m going with Tokyo Drift. My last choice is a very controversial one to fans of the franchise, as this entry has gotten more love over the years. But when I watched it again a week or two ago, I realized that I didn’t give a shit about any other character in the movie other than Han, who isn’t really in the film all that much anyway (**spoiler alert** especially because he *dies* a little over midway thru the movie, and we now know the death is bullshit based on his character just magically showing up unscathed in F9 trailers and tv spots). I don’t like Lucas Black’s character, Lil’ Bow Wow’s character, and I can’t even tell you the name of the love interest’s character or the name of the actress that plays her (nor do I really want to look it up). Other than a mildly interesting opening car race and climatic giant hill drift race, the rest of the movie, other than Han’s character few lines of wisdom (let’s face it, nobody really paid his character any attention until the incredible Fast Five), is very dull, boring, and frankly, stupid. Visually the movie looks nice but there is almost no substance here to hold on to. How director Justin Lin got the job to direct four more movies (2 of them the best of the series) in the franchise and it not sizzle out there is astonishingly shocking.


The only thing that keeps 2 Fast 2 Furious above water from time to time is the chemistry between Paul Walker and Tyrese Gibson. I also like the race to win better cars for their mission midway through the film. Eva Mendes also is hot as hell in the movie. Other than that, ho-hum at best. I don’t even know if Vin Diesel being a part of the story would’ve helped matters, as the standard “bust the bad guy” plot is very, very dull, boring, and stupid. Again, visually, the movie looks nice and bright but other than the camaraderie between the two leads, again…no substance. John Singleton should’ve said no to directing.


The really only thing that is noble about the 4th entry in the Fast & Furious franchise is that it brings back all the original central players in a bridge movie that no one new would lead to one of the greatest sequels of all time. Their chemistry and being back into the swing of things is the only slight notch this film has over the last two movies on this list. The last three could easily be shuffled over re watches but will always be the last three, unless F9 sucks a big dick. “Killing” off Letty (we didn’t know at the time that it would turn out to be bullshit when F6 came along) was lazy, stupid shock value writing at its worst. Mia just gives herself to Brian after only one scene of being pissed at him, and the climatic cave race to the death is so fucking fake looking you wonder why Justin Lin even agreed to return as director. This movie is usually at the bottom of all lists because of how fake everything looks and the ho-hum bridge to a better movie story, but for me, it’s slightly above the bottom just because the movie’s producers got the band back together again. P.S. Vin Diesel saying “pussy” to a bad guy as his one liner at the end of the film is almost unforgivable.


This and #5 could be switched around if I ever…ever come back to giving these yet another rewatch, but The Fate of the Furious gets the short end of the stick here because none of the action is memorable other than Dwayne Johnson steering a submarine torpedo off course with his arm, hanging off the side of his vehicle in a massively overdone ice chase. You don’t cast Charlize Theron as the villain and have her behind a desk the entire film. And whenever Johnson and Vin Diesel have scenes together, it feels so off kilter because you know that behind the scenes drama led to them not really having any scenes together, it’s all just blatantly edited movie magic…because egos. And changing Jason Statham from a villain to an anti-hero just because the franchise is afraid of killing anyone off that famous is stupid and then when you put that together with the Luke Evans’ cameo, where he ends up saving the life of **spoiler alert** Vin Diesel’s love child, changing his villain character from part 6 into an anti-hero as well (not to mention being out of a coma so suddenly) is just down right God damn abysmal. The very beginning of the movie where they do another street race is a strong opening highlight, but the rest of the action sequences look too CGI’y and I just didn’t care about the stakes. I get that making a “Diesel versus his team” movie was too irresistible to ignore…but separating the group like that just doesn’t work (whether that plot turn was because Johnson and Diesel still hated each other around that time is anyone’s guess). I guess now they know huh? So why isn’t this lower the the last three on this list? Because even though the action isn’t memorable, it is watchable. The other movies the action isn’t really that watchable.


Or the movie Vin Diesel doesn’t want existing in the franchise and doesn’t want YOU to see! Hobbs & Shaw is only okay, and that’s only because the chemistry between Johnson and Statham is electrifying and I love me any kind of Idris Elba, even if his “Black Superman” villain is really not all that menacing or memorable. The action was a little too goofy here for me even though it was all watchable and mildly entertaining. Even though the action was too goofy, all of the sequences, from the climax, to the elevator chase, when put together, beat out any of the action sequences from my #6 pick, to my bottom pick, combined. Would I have preferred that this movie didn’t exist as well so that Statham and Johnson could’ve been in an already too packed F9? Yeah, actually. Unless a Hobbs & Shaw 2 is so overwhelmingly good, this movie could’ve honestly not been made and the only thing I would’ve missed was any Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham screen time.


Okay, so by the end of June there will be 10 movies on this list? If F9 is any good whatsoever, that will mean that The Fast Saga has half excellent to good movies, and half okay to downright blah ones (UPDATED 7/21/2021, it’s not, The Fast Saga has more blah movies than good ones). So until that movie comes out and I can give a true verdict of its value, that means that The Fast Saga has more misses than hits…yikes. Well, the first “hit” on my list is the original. The most grounded (obviously) of all the Fast and Furious movies. The one that made both Vin Diesel and Paul Walker household names. Where it was nothing but street races, vandalism, grand theft auto, and small high speed heists for a bunch of (now) low-tech electronic equipment. But just watching it again recently, the film still holds up because of the characters and the opening street race still gives me chills, especially, after having lost the race, Brian points at Dom and says, “dude, I almost had you” with a smile on his face, even though he just lost his car. It’s the simple things really, and since this movie is so simple, it still has that nice sheen and shine to it that is unlikely to become tarnished anytime in the years to come.


I had a really hard time with ranking my 2 and 3 picks. On the one hand, Furious 7 has a lovingly, if you don’t tear up during it you have no soul, tribute to the late Paul Walker, who tragically died in a car wreck (he was not the driver) when the cast was on a break from filming during Thanksgiving. On the other hand, Fast and Furious 6 has Paul Walker’s final completed performance, and almost any scene that blatantly isn’t Paul Walker in this movie is very noticeable and distracting as fuck. On a third hand, they did the absolute best with what they had already filmed with him, and the movie magic they were given (which included uses Paul’s brothers as body doubles and CGI’ing his face onto them) to give his character closure. And Jason Statham is fucking BAD ASS in this movie. And the cars parachuting from a plane and the subsequent long ass chase action scene in the middle of the movie is superb. And even though the climax is poorly edited with hardly any real Paul Walker footage, it is faced paced, entertaining and exciting. But I still have to give 6 the edge because of Walker’s completed performance and the three main action sequences…


which are almost perfectly filmed, edited, and executed. You have the near beginning chase sequence with the short, tiny, yet oddly personable and satisfying villain vehicles that can fling bigger vehicles up and over them, you have the breath taking climax with the never ending runway and the plane that the team doesn’t want to take off, and you have the extremely memorable, and laugh out loud (in a good way) action sequence in the middle of the film involving not only a tank, but a death and gravity defying mid way highway overpass life saving catch involving two of the main characters. It’s that goofy yet great, and even though the previous movie is the masterpiece that got the franchise back on track, this one was almost near perfect in replicating that sheer “I can’t believe this is a down the line sequel that is better than anything that came before it” joy that I can experience in a theater. This and my #1 pick shows why Justin Lin, when given the correct material, can make great action movie spectacles.


If you don’t have FAST FIVE at #1 or #2 on your ranking of The Fast Saga list, something is seriously wrong with you. They flipped a franchise, that was essentially only about which engines in which car was better mixed with testosterone, and turned it into an action heist mission series. Unbelievable how perfect this movie is. The opening train heist sequence? Masterful. The sequence mid way through the film running through the streets of Rio de Janiero? Masterful. The climax of the safe heist, where two cars are pulling a giant safe down the busy streets of Rio de Janiero? Masterful on top of masterful and easily the best action sequence the entire saga has to offer. I’ve seen Fast Five the most out of any film in the saga, and I honestly think it gets better every time I watch it. The movie is perfectly paced, plotted, and executed. I don’t think they could ever make a better entry. If you want a solid trilogy out of the 9 films thus far, Fast Five, Fast and Furious 6, and Furious 7 fit the bill, and it even somewhat has a beginning, middle and end if you wanted to JUST WATCH THOSE THREE AND FORGET THE REST. My top three picks are the reason why I end up loving this franchise, even if all 9 parts together only really get me a decent Hyundai.


Zach’s Zany TV Binge Watchin’ Reviews: A.P. BIO SEASON 3 (PEACOCK)

Prepare for a crap ton of reviews today because I am behind. First up is A.P. BIO SEASON 3, and the only reason I am reviewing these quick and funny eight episodes is because I signed up for a month of the new Peacock app for basically $1.99 after cash back, and my main goal is that I wanted to finish this series. Because I do not think it will be back for a Season 4. Not to say that it isn’t a good show, because it is, but because it isn’t a GREAT show. And it’s ratings weren’t that great in the first place. It’s a shame because I think the show was finally starting to find its groove, kind of like Seinfeld Season 2 and 3 back in the day. I wasn’t a fan of the show until about the last couple of episodes in season one and then the second half of season two (both seasons had 13 episodes each). Some people said that they like A.P. Bio more than they do It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (Glenn Howerton is in both series) and I took offense to that because there is NO GOD DAMN WAY this show is funnier than It’s Always Sunny. Just look at the statistics. It’s Always Sunny is going on to its fifteenth season, and A.P. Bio was at first cancelled but then the new and already failing Peacock app brought it back for an exclusive third. I was more offended by the fact that A.P. Bio Season 1 took away Glenn Howerton for a bit from It’s Always Sunny, resulting in Sunny’s worst season because the character of Dennis (my favorite) was barely in it. So when people tell me, A.P. Bio might not be funnier or better than It’s Always Sunny as a whole, it is better than several of It’s Always Sunny’s seasons…no shit Sherlock, it’s only better than the couple of seasons Glenn Howerton is almost nowhere to be found. Let’s get back to the basics though. I do not hate A.P. Bio, in fact, I do kind of like it, especially the latter half of Season 2 where they get Glenn Howerton’s character a cool and sweet girlfriend that has a satisfying story arc, and I really liked these eight new Season 3 episodes (except for a couple of minor nitpicks). In fact, I think these eight episodes were better than the entirety of Season 1 and first half of Season 2 combined.

What’s even more frustrating is that there was supposed to be 10 episodes this season but of course COVID-19 fucked everything up, and even though the show would end up leaving on a high note for me with the “Katie Holmes Day” fucking hilarious episode, I think the last 2 episodes could’ve expanded even more off that potential, and possibly those last two episodes could’ve made a great case for a season 4 to happen. I don’t have any insider information, but I do not think that they are going to be allowed to go and finish those other two episodes and I also think that with all the damn renewal reversals of television shows recently because of COVID-19 (like Netflix’s Glow), I think this will be on the new Peacock app’s chopping block, but don’t quote me on that, and I hope I’m wrong. If you live comfortably in your ignorant sports bubble, A.P. Bio is described by IMDB with the following: “A former philosophy professor who takes a job teaching AP biology, uses his students to get back at the people in his life who have wronged him.” Glenn Howerton plays that philosophy professor and he’s not quite Dennis because his character Jack actually learns lessons from his misdoings and has somewhat of a heart at the end of each episode. I thank God it’s not a retread of Sunny. What mostly didn’t work for most of the first season and some of the second for me was the sadistic, dry, revenge humor. Dry humor in general makes or breaks me. It’s got to be smart and it seemed like at the beginning of the show it was just juvenile and sloppily written. But again, that’s just me. I think, after watching these eight episodes, I should go back and give the first season and a half another try. It’s possible that I just warmed up to the humor and/or started reading in between the lines of the jokes and understanding them better. In essence, I’m saying that if you are a huge fan of A.P. Bio already, well, you are in for a treat for season 3, and if you are kind of lackluster on the series as a whole, since there are only about 34 half hour episodes total, I would encourage you to give it another shot.

I have also started warming up to all the other characters, mainly the students and Patton Oswalt. I do not really much care for, and still don’t, for the three other main women teacher’s that Howerton interacts with and I really still don’t care for and actually kind of hate Paula Pell’s character, the principal’s assistant, Helen. The three other main women teacher’s seem like they have nothing to fucking do and while I laughed at their shenanigans the very final episode of Season 3, which deals with a 55 inch big screen television donation mix up, I thought they have been completely useless time wasters the other 33 episodes. I thank God Paula Pell’s cliffhanger story arc at the end of season two was resolved quickly in the first episode of season three, because if she would’ve been in the class with Howerton and the other students the entirety of these eight new episodes I would’ve gouged my fucking eyes out. She is so fucking annoying and unfunny to me. I think the show knew that they couldn’t have her there that long too and works better with Patton Oswalt’s character, so even though they probably at first meant for her to join Howerton’s classroom for the long haul, they just couldn’t come up with enough material for it to stay that way. The kids’ personalities, while dull in Season 1, picked up great in Season 2, and were just starting to become masterful in Season Three for me, especially Heather, who is played to perfection by Allisyn Snyder. The show’s highlights are definitely whenever Jack interacts with them and whose adventures co-align with theirs. Jack and Heather have one of the series best episodes when they try and outsmart a writer, played by Jon Lovitz, that is getting Jack to ghost write one of his big so that Jack’s book can get published. Whenever Jack and the kids are together, that’s when the show is pure magic.

So let me get quickly to my very minor complaints before I wrap this review up, because it’s getting a little too long. The season three finale doesn’t feel like a finale, even though it is a hilarious episode, but we can blame our buttfucking government and China’s buttfucking government for the way they handled COVID-19 for that. Paula Pell’s character is still so fucking annoying and stupid that she seemed even more annoying and stupid this season because I think she had more screen time than she’s ever had here. I don’t know why I hate her character so much, don’t ask. And then Jack’s love interest, Lynette, first introduced in Season Two and who completely stole that season out from everyone, is barely in this season. Her quirky yet down to Earth personality matched very well with Howerton’s, and their ‘will they are won’t they’ arc in the second season was some of the best romantic half hours of television in 2018/2019. She is in about half of these episodes but those appearances are a bit fleeting. I don’t know whether actress Elizabeth Alderfer wasn’t available or not, but it was disappointing that she didn’t partake in it more. I can only be happy with the fact that the writers didn’t just take the easy way out and have her break up with Jack, but that they are still happy and are still together and she’s just off doing other things. Maybe if we get a Season 4 we can get her in it more. The show is created by Mike O’Brien, who was a featured player on Saturday Night Live for a bit, and I couldn’t stand his humor on that series…whose humor was more miss than hit anyway. While it was just his SNL dry schlock in the first season and a half, I feel like it has transformed into something more…something smarter, and if the series would be given the green light with more seasons, I think it could end up schooling me in what a great television comedy could be.

Zach’s Zany TV Binge Watchin’ Reviews: THE UNICORN SEASON 1

My wife Diane and I just happened to come upon THE UNICORN SEASON 1 while perusing Netflix a week or two ago. This show is originally on CBS, and we do not have cable nor are we signed up for CBS All Access, although my father had mentioned that he and my mother watched and enjoyed it when they had CBS’s streaming service for free for a month back in June. We ended up pressing play based on that recommendation and also due to the fact that my wife and I are huge fans of anything Walton Goggins. If you don’t know who he is, it’s a real shame, but I’m sure that you do. He was one of Vic Mackey’s crew in the series The Shield, and he was also the main antagonist throughout the series of Justified and Vice Principals. He’s also been a supporting player in movies such as Shanghai Noon, The Hateful Eight, Tomb Raider, Ant-Man And The Wasp, Predators, Maze Runner, Words On Bathroom Walls, the list goes on and on, as he’s had a hell of a lucrative career. And to me, he’s an incredible actor that needs to win an Emmy or Oscar sometime in his career. He has yet to be the leading man in a movie though, but at least CBS is finally taking a chance with him as one on The Unicorn. And while this show is a typical sitcom that IMDB describes with the following, “A widower is eager to move on from the most difficult year of his life, only to realize he’s utterly unprepared to raise his two daughters on his own and equally unprepared for the dating world where he’s suddenly a hot commodity,” he makes the show rise above it’s done before premise and churns out very funny and endearing half hour episodes. The first season just ended a couple of months ago and it has been renewed for a second, which is due to film and premiere who knows when because of the asshole that is this country and COVID-19. But I very much am looking forward to it, and maybe we even wait for the episodes to hit a streaming service I do have, as this is a fantastic binge-able series.

A unicorn to a lot of women are men who are straight, attractive, single, monogamous, funny, employed, communicative, caring and interested in her. Walton Goggins character, Wade Felton, is the perfect example of one. He’s even more sought after because he is a widower and not a divorcee. The sitcom has a great supporting cast of characters, two other families that all became friends awhile ago because of Wade’s wife. They consist of known faces such as Rob Corddry, Maya Lynn Robinson, Michaela Watkins, and Omar Benson Miller, and in each episode they each have their side B and C plots that correlate and sometimes intertwine with Wade’s A plot. Thankfully, the show isn’t a multi camera sitcom and doesn’t have a laugh track, which proves that it is confident in its ability to make its audience laugh, which it does. Walton Goggins and co. provide a lot of laughs throughout the first seasons’s 18 episode run. The only thing I was disappointed in involving the show was a stronger season ender (I did my research and am pretty sure they got done filming before coronavirus hit). Yeah, they do a full circle character arc wise and they all reflect on how they have done the past year with the anniversary of Wade’s wife’s death and they all deal with Grace’s, one of Wade’s two kids, dance and there is a potential mystery woman that Wade meets up with and hopes to see again, but usually sitcom’s pack more of a punch with a bigger cliffhanger, especially in a premiere season. But that’s just me trying to find something to complain about as no television show is ever perfect or has the perfect season (Except maybe Breaking Bad). The creators of the show are also the creators of such classics like 3rd Rock From The Sun and Grounded For Life, so they know they’re comedy shit, even if they had misfires such as Cavemen. If you are reading this, don’t have anything to watch, and wanted something light and very funny to pass some time binge-ing wise, then you definitely should not miss The Unicorn. Can’t wait for Season 2 and hopefully it doesn’t get a renewal reversal because of Cunt Covid.

Zach’s Zany TV Binge Watchin’ Reviews: THE BOYS SEASON 2 (Amazon Prime)

If THE BOYS SEASON 2 made any mistakes from coming off an incredible first season is that they should’ve released all 8 episodes at once like they did last time, and not this “3 episodes the first week then one per week for five weeks” bullshit. Hey Amazon, we are used to binge watching, get with the program. We know why you did it, it’s to get more and more ratings and views each and every week. But enough is enough, next time, for Season 3, just release all the episodes at once, you’ll thank me later instead of bitching about being review bombed by trolls simply because you tried to take advantage of fans during a pandemic. That being said, I still thought the second season of The Boys was really good, just not as masterful as the first season, and that’s because instead of having all 8 fantastic and solid episodes like the first season had, this season only had 5, with three episodes where it didn’t seem like much was happening to advance the plot/story. But that may just be me. If you are living under a rock and don’t know what The Boys even is, it’s a very popular original television series on Amazon Prime, based on a popular comic book series, that IMDB describes with the following: “A group of vigilantes sets out to take down corrupt superheroes who abuse their superpowers.” In my other way of describing it, it’s the most realistic take on superheroes in our real world that I have ever seen. Even more realistic than Zack Snyder’s DCEU. Of course all superheroes wouldn’t be high and mighty like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, etc. Some of them would be just as nasty, evil, psychotic, perverted and corrupt like some of our celebrities and politicians in modern day. It’s a delicious idea that is executed brilliantly here with over-the-top action and violence wrapped around a “supe-terrorists”, conspiracy, and revenge plot.

The main overall story is best described on Wikipedia, “The story follows a small squad, informally known as “The Boys”, led by Butcher and also consisting of Mother’s Milk, the Frenchman, the Female, and new addition “Wee” Hughie Campbell, who are charged with monitoring the superhero community, often leading to gruesome confrontations and dreadful results; in parallel, a key subplot follows Annie “Starlight” January, a young and naive superhero who joins the Seven, the most prestigious – and corrupted – superhero group in the world and The Boys’ most powerful enemies.” Without any spoilers there are some plot threads left over from Season 1 that trickle their way into Season 2, along with new threads and new characters such as the vicious Stormfront and a former asshole seeking redemption, Lamplighter. Speaking of the latter, when he eventually shows up (Episode 5), played magnificently by Fox’s X-Men Iceman Shawn Ashmore (gotta love the coincedence on this) that’s when The Boys Season 2 gets masterful and special. The solid episodes are easily 3, 5, 6, 7, and 8. Episodes 1, 2, and 4 are what are called ‘bridge episodes’ to get to the better content later in the season, but they can be kind of a drag with plenty of pacing issues where nothing really significant happens. Where I end up do loving where the story ends up going this season, with the end game finally revealed around the end of the 6th episode, the story and plot are easily upstaged and stolen by the acting from all involved and the gleefully fun, over-the-top, gory, and shocking violence. For example, a face is ripped off, people spontaneously combust, heads explode, and one of our “Boys” is almost choked to death by another super’s giant cock. Yeah, that scene is shockingly hilarious as you’d expect it to be.

Tip of the hat mainly to Anthony Starr as Homelander and Aya Cash as Stormfront this season. While everybody is solid, those two stand out from the pack, especially the former. I don’t understand why Starr wasn’t nominated for a supporting Emmy last season, but if he isn’t for this season, something is truly wrong with the television organization. Homelander is a character that you love to hate and Starr’s performance is so pitch perfect, insane, and bizarre that it would be really hard at this point to imagine anyone else in the role. He is THAT brilliant. I think I enjoyed this season finale more than Season 1. There are several shocking character twists that happen that don’t co-align with what happens in the comics (note: I have not read the comics but know the gist of what happens) and that is a good thing. While enthusiasts of the comic book series might scoff at the changes, I would like The Boys to be its own thing and be unpredictable. This season finale is certainly that. And I was screaming things at my television such as, “YES!” “HOLY FUCK!” “GOD DAMN FUCK YEAH!” and haven’t been that into an episode of television in quite awhile. It also uses The Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” song perfectly, especially if you read between the lines with it when it comes to what certain characters will be without at the start of next season. The finale also felt like a series finale but then one last minute twist, that I didn’t see coming, hints at what is to come, and I’m very excited about Season 3 and where it will take us. I would just recommend the writers try not to make any bridge episodes and try to advance the plot, even just a little bit, in each and every episode like the first season. Even though the 2nd one didn’t quite match its predecessor, The Boys still very much fucking rocks, and was a nice distraction from this, what Billy Butcher would probably say, “Cunt year.”

Zach’s Zany TV Binge Watchin’ Reviews: MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. FINAL SEASON 7 (& series as a whole)

Ah, MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. what an interesting journey, both on screen and off. The real question remains: is it canon or is it not? I mean, the first several seasons, particularly the first and second, connected directly to Captain America The Winter Soldier and Thor The Dark World. Nick Fury and Sif even showed up for an episode or two! But then from each season on, the world outside the television show it took place in, started getting mentioned less and less, and even though Thanos was mentioned near the end of season 5…we never saw the series link to any of the later Marvel Cinematic Universe films, especially Infinity War or Endgame. After those movies went by before the shows’s sixth and seventh seasons premiered, the show runners and producers couldn’t even answer simple questions as to when all their events exactly took place. Is it still canon, or if not…is it now it’s own thing…it’s own timeline? Because with the last 3 seasons, we aren’t given any exact dates or years, any time that passes, it is just casually mentioned with a title card or two ‘one year later’, no big deal. So, that brings us to a new question: in SEASON 7, the final season at the very end, is everything connected? Does it concretely establish itself as MCU canon? My concrete answer: even if it does or doesn’t (it kinda sorta does and doesn’t), it doesn’t really matter. After the first three seasons, the show became its own thing, and without the constructs of having to adhere to the MCU theatrical timeline, its storytelling exploded with rich exposition, imagination, and character development. When it became it’s own thing, it was absolutely riveting. And although season 7 does have a couple of nods to the MCU, ESPECIALLY the last two episodes, at the end of the day, who gives an ultimate shit? Us still loyal viewers, we wanted an ending for the CHARACTERS, and not just placating fan service to Infinity War, Endgame, or even Spider-Man Far From Home. Did we get that character ending? Abso-fucking-lutely we did.

Not only do I feel safe in saying that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. had a fantastic series finale, but I’m quite confident that it was the best season out of the seven, a truly rare accomplishment indeed. Out of 13 episodes, maybe only one lost my attention a couple of times. The other 12? Some of the best episodes of the entire series, especially one directed by series regular Elizabeth Henstridge, that pays homage to Groundhog Day to absolute perfection. Most of the series maybe had about only half a really great season, and half a so-so season. Let’s do this in order shall we? The first half of the first season is absolutely fucking abysmal. But those last 11 episodes, especially when it ties itself to Captain America The Winter Soldier…solid. Season 2 takes season one’s momentum and ups it a notch, showing how Sky (Chloe Bennett) finds her lineage and her real name (Daisy), along with her superhero identity (Quake). It lagged a bit in the middle though. Season 3 takes the Inhuman story line and steps it up yet a tiny notch further, especially since the references to the MCU become smaller and smaller and smaller. Again, it lagged a bit during the middle though. Season 4 stumbles a bit with the Ghost Rider introduction, but once it gets to Life Model Decoy’s about half way through the season, not to mention almost no other connections to the MCU, the storytelling gets very, very good. Season 5 is the last 22 episode season that was my favorite until this last season. I couldn’t believe that almost each and every episode mattered, considering I think any show that goes over 13 episodes now per season is tiresome. But season 5, dealing with the team going way into the future and facing the ‘Destroyer of Worlds,’ was an excellent, excellent storyline.

And the ending of that season? It honestly could’ve been the end, but I’m glad it wasn’t. Season 6 was just a notch below, but that is mainly because I didn’t like how they made Clark Gregg (usually Agent Coulson) play a different character that also happened to be the villain of those 13 episodes. But the show now being only 13 episodes instead of 22 made it have more of a solid foundation and didn’t become tiresome. And it was still entertaining because the rest of the characters flourish, especially one that was introduced in season 5, Deke, shines here. Season 7 ties everything up, and without giving too much away, Clark Gregg is back as Agent Coulson, everybody gets a fitting ending, and the time travel to the past story line is fun and exciting. Even though the actor that plays Fitz was mostly absent, it made up for it when he finally appeared. Oh…and they pick up a character that was on Agent Carter, and actually give him an arc and an ending story line, which was nice considering that show was (rightly) cancelled abruptly after two seasons. If feels as though season 7 was completely pre-visualized before they even starting writing dialogue or full scripts. This final season has a very nice and tight arc, that while being extremely fun, especially the first 7/8 episodes, makes sure that the final 5/6 don’t rush everything. It plants seeds in the first half of the season that steadily grow into a flower that blooms the last 4 when it’s still fun, but taken more seriously, story line wise. It is hard to talk about without revealing anything, but I can say that the story involves the characters going through several different time periods in the past, and trying not to fuck up the main timeline, especially when the evil Chronicoms (you’ll have to watch the series to get what I’m even talking about), are intent on ending S.H.I.E.L.D. and possibly all of mankind in the process.

The villains this season are good, and although I could get into who they are, it is best not to give any of the reveals away. So what I can talk about without giving much away is how I felt about the series character and acting wise, focusing on the main cast only. Chloe Bennett turns Sky from an ‘aw shucks, what is happening to me’ kind of one dimensional character, and transforms into ‘Quake,’ a bad ass heroine that rivals any of the female superheroes we have gotten in the MCU theatrical films. Clark Gregg was a side character in those films as Agent Coulson, but he and the showrunners took the several glimmers of personality we got in those films, and turned it into a full and satisfying emotional arc in these seven seasons of television. Ming-Na Wen, who played Melinda May, is yet another heroine, but without any powers, that rivals most if not all of the female superheroes in the MCU. She constantly surprised us every season with how deeper her initial one-dimensional hardened character could go. Ian De Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge as Fitz and Simmons were the true emotional heart of the series. Their friendship and maybe more than friendship was the one constant the entire seven seasons had. It never wavered once in its storytelling, even though Ian is mostly nowhere to be seen this final season (for a good reason it turns out). I don’t know whether he didn’t want to be in this final season as much because he got tired of being on the show, or if it was a creative decision. Either way, his arc here worked. And his arcs in the other seasons and acting were fantastic as well. Elizabeth’s really worked. She took a geeky girl scientist nerd and turned her yet into another strong and emotional bad ass heroine. And like I said before, she directs Episode Nine of this season titled, “As I Have Always Been,” that is easily my favorite episode of the series.

Henry Simmons as Mack was always the strong brute that could’ve also been just a two dimensional character, but in later seasons he got his emotional moments and brilliant one-liners enough to branch out on his own. And then finally Brett Dalton, Natalia Cordova- Buckley, and Jeff Ward, who were only in a third to almost half of the series episodes as Grant Ward, Yo-Yo Rodriguez, and Deke, all shined in whatever screen time they did have. Especially Brett after Grant Ward’s big reveal near the end of the first season and when Jeff Ward got to cut loose with Deke in season 6 and made him the comic relief. It was also nice to see that during these whole seven seasons, there was never any showrunner or writer shake up. They stayed put and got to do their vision their way, which is always commendable in the day and age of studio interference. The only thing the studio interfered with here was the uses of any character that the films maybe wanted to use down the line, which actually benefited the show, seeing it didn’t have any chains to weight it down. In summary, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. is one of those very rare shows that just got better and better as time went on. It will be known more for the second half of its life than its first, which is astonishingly unbelievable. Once the connections to the MCU went away, everybody got more creative and more time to play. And it shows. So in the end, who really cares if it is canon or not? I certainly don’t (even though in my mind I can argue and provide proof for both ways). When I just finished the series over lunch, the first thing that came to my mind wasn’t whether or not canon even mattered because of the confusing nature of where exactly this took place in the MCU. No, the first thing that came to my mind was how emotionally satisfying the arc of all the characters ended and how the storytelling really did become its own…Pandora’s Box, if you will. And it was all very…very satisfying and I loved that I got to open Pandora’s Box for seven years. Now if only they would let the two showrunners, Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen…write their own MCU script. Just imagine…

My personal rank of seasons of AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. :

  1. Season 7
  2. Season 5
  3. Season 6
  4. Season 4
  5. Season 3
  6. Season 2
  7. Season 1

Zach’s Zany TV Binge Watchin’ Reviews: THE TWILIGHT ZONE SEASON 2 (CBS ALL ACCESS)

This is a review as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the written middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of my opinions and the summit of my zaniness. This is a review of imagination. It is a review of…the Twilight Zone. Season 2 to be exact. And instead of one episode being released a week over the course of two months, like last season, all 10 episodes of this new go around were dropped on June 25th…and I have a feeling we can thank the Twilight Zone we are living in currently, that of the nightmare of COVID-19. Anyway, instead of doing a two episode, five part review like I did last year, I’m just dropping what I think of all ten episodes after I binged them this weekend. My reviews will start with the title of each episode, then an description, then a couple of sentences of what I thought, and then a letter grade. And at the end of the review, I will write a final paragraph of my overall thoughts and then an overall letter grade (also my overall grade of last season). So let’s begin:


Per IMDB, “A lonely bachelor makes a telepathic connection with a stranger, but not everything is as it seems in his new romance.”

Jimmi Simpson (the younger Ed Harris on Westworld) and a largely absent, physically wise (mostly voice over) Gillian Jacobs (Britta on Community) star in this overlong, but ultimately satisfying tale of two strangers that get to know each other by conversing with their minds. In part because of my ultimate disappointment of Season 1, there was several ways that I thought it would conclude, and if it had been one of those ways, I would’ve known that we were going to be on another very bumpy ride and ultimately ho-hum ride like we got in 2019. It even started out by one of those ways, but a very last minute twist, the ones that the old Twilight Zones with Rod Sterling were known for, puts everything into a different perspective, and the episode really sticks the landing. Jimmi Simpson, who is incredible in most of the supporting roles he does in other programs, is no different here, acting with his face and body movement, adding significant layers to his character where if it had been only dialogue, it would’ve completely failed his character. Gillian Jacobs at first sounds too much like Britta from Community, but that is just my minor stupid complaint, as I eventually got used to her voice and enjoyed her overall performance. The episode is well shot and looked stunning. But that wasn’t a surprise, considering one of the only saving grace’s from last season was all the episodes’ cinematography. To change it now would’ve been an unforgiving crime.

Grade: B+

S2, Episode 2: DOWNTIME

Per IMDB, “After a woman is promoted to hotel manager, the nature of her reality is called into question.”

The most important thing to note about this episode is it is the one that Jordan Peele actually had a giant hand in this season. He wrote it and he wrote it alone. The mastermind behind Get Out and Us wrote an episode of The Twilight Zone, and needless to say that when I heard he was writing just one episode this season, I knew that it would be my most anticipated new episode to watch. He didn’t write any of the episodes last season. My verdict? The best episode of the bunch, which makes me wish that Jordan Peele had more up his sleeve with this series than just being “The Narrator” and a co-creator/executive producer. Don’t get me wrong, he is absolutely fantastic as the narrator and sometimes gives Rod Serling a run for his money, but his writing skills are more what I look forward to these days. Now to reiterate, he only wrote this, did not direct, but he must’ve knew his script had been in good hands, as the imagery is perfect for the budget the show has, and it flowed well with Peele’s written word. Firefly & Deadpool’s Morena Beccarin stars in this, and she’s absolutely fantastic, one of her best roles. I am not going to reveal anything about the episode as I believe it is the shortest of the bunch (just a hair over 30 minutes) and that the surprises are too good to give out any sort of appetizer. Just bon a petite on this one.

Grade: A+

S2, Episode 3: THE WHO OF YOU

per IMDB, “A struggling actor risks everything to catch his big break, but an impulsive scheme takes a few unexpected turns.”

Actor Ethan Embry (Can’t Hardly Wait) made this episode what it is. Just to get the concept out of the way, because it is revealed early what exactly is going on, it is a twisted take on a Freaky Friday like situation. This episode has multiple instances of an individual switching between bodies, which allowed Ethan Embry to have to play multiple different characters, and he is absolutely perfect with each and everyone. So do some of the other actors. I don’t want to reveal the scheme or plot of this twisted Freaky Friday adventure, but needless to say, it is a episode that earned it’s tad above 40 minute run time. The ending is a tad predictable with you having to suspend belief on a small little twist revealed in the very last minutes of the whole thing, but the episode was entertaining, looked great, and was better than most of the episodes in season one, so my minor complaints are ultimately unwarranted.

Grade: A-

S2, Episode 4: OVATION

per IMDB, “A struggling singer’s music career takes off when she witnesses a tragic incident, but she soon realizes that her recognition comes at a steep cost.”

And we have our first meh episode of the season. Meh because it didn’t really bring anything interesting to the table when talking about fame and how it can be overwhelming, corrupt, and meaningless. The concept is that this street singer finds a magic coin that gets her fame and fortune. But she soon realizes that the fame coming from it is too manufactured, as common folk aren’t really listening to her music, just keep clapping and giving her standing ovations for no reason. It is an interesting concept and yet not fully realized or executed correctly. Jurnee Smollet-Bell (Black Canary in Birds of Prey) is a fantastic actress, and she is really the only thing that keeps this episode from being total garbage. A last minute Twilight Zone twist also degrades the episode, as it makes no sense to a supporting character’s motivations. At all. The episode is gorgeously shot though.

Grade: C


per IMDB, “A transfer student’s unusual interests make her an easy target at her new all-girls boarding school before she discovers her popular classmate’s special talent.”

But if you watch the series in episode order like I did, it does do a slight uptick with Episode 5 before we again get a couple of stinkers. And the funny thing about this episode is that it stars only unknown actresses, not a single recognizable face in the bunch. This episode is Carrie like, as it is revealed early on that the special talent might or might not involve mind reading, telekinetic like powers, etc.. It’s a nice little story that comes with a last minute twist that I should’ve seen coming but glad I didn’t. The young women in this could actually act and their characters were more than just one dimensional robots. It was kind of refreshing. The episode, of course, was also gorgeously shot. I only give it a little less than an A- because they could’ve done so much more with the concept. But if they did, would it have been bloated and convoluted? Who’s to say?

Grade: B+

S2, Episode 6: “8”

per IMDB, “A team of scientists discover a new highly intelligent species that may endanger more than their research.”

Alien/Life/Deep Blue Sea rip off but instead of an alien or shark it is a small octopus. I liked the visuals but the end twist is telegraphed from far away and nothing was unique about it at all. Also, Joel McHale is completely wasted in his talent here. Nothing much more to say about this disappointing episode. It’s just there.

Grade: C

S2, Episode 7: A HUMAN FACE

per IMDB, “A grieving couple are led to second guess what’s worth leaving behind when an otherworldly encounter interrupts their move.”

What is a great concept here of parents dealing with their grief of a child recently deceased is bogged down in lengthy scenes of snooze worthy dialogue and the fact that I was never going to buy the “otherworldly encounters” persuasion. You’ll get what I mean when it all presents itself. There’s no way. It would’ve been a three minute episode if I was the father. Great acting by Christopher Meloni and Jenna Elfman but this short “bottle” episode (takes place almost entirely in this couples house) was too long even at an even 30 minutes. And the boring dialogue, where an alien is literally just standing there and talking for almost 10 minutes just keeps going on and on and on and on and on. Great visuals, shoddy execution. The script needed more. But definitely not my least favorite episode…

Grade: C-

S2, Episode 8: A SMALL TOWN

per IMDB, “A church handyman discovers a magic scale that gives him the power to help his small town, but the mayor takes all the credit for his good intentions.”

Tricked you there didn’t I? You thought I was going to say that my least favorite episode was this one, but I fooled you, this is actually probably my second favorite. I don’t want to talk about it much because to do so would ruin the surprise that the church handyman comes upon. It has fantastic visuals and a wonderful ending that I didn’t see coming. The church handyman is played excellently by Damon Wayans, Jr., stretching out of his comedy chops for a change. This is also a shorter episode, coming it at just over 30 minutes, and it doesn’t waste a minute of it. Engaging, good story telling, and acting, make this one of the few episodes of both seasons that I wouldn’t mind checking out a couple of more times.

Grade: A

S2, Episode 9: TRY, TRY

per IMDB, “A man dazzles a woman with his seemingly miraculous abilities, but their encounter takes a dark turn when the true source of his charisma is revealed.”

Nope, still not my least favorite episode. In fact, I would say that this may be my third favorite and a “bottle” episode done correctly. I’ll just get the mans miraculous abilities out of the way, Topher Grace is a man that is going through a Groundhog Day like experience. And he’s trying to wooo this woman on a spontaneous date to the museum. I love Groundhog’s Day concepts when done correctly, and this one does. It takes place mostly inside the museum, hence why I called it a bottle episode, and the dialogue is witty, smart, and makes you think. This twist on that “living the same day over and over concept” is the first one to make me think hard what I would do in that situation since the Bill Murray early 90s classic. Also, this contains Topher Grace’s best performance. Ever.

Grade: A-


per IMDB, “A stay-at-home housewife is looking forward to acquiring a heavily marketed device that promises to make everything better forever, but the product has an unsavory truth.”

I thought they were supposed to save the best for last, not the worst. This episode is God fucking awful, and it might be the worst episode of The Twilight Zone from these two new seasons we’ve gotten. This or that ‘Not All Men’ Me Too piece of shit catastrophe we had to witness more than a year ago. And this one was written and directed by Osgood Perkins, son of Anthony Perkins (Norman Bates in Psycho). He wrote and directed The Blackcoat’s Daughter, which I heard was good but had never seen, and he directed Gretel & Hansel, of which I heard the visuals were great but the movie was boring and the script sucked. This is how I would describe the latter. And what is ultimately disappointing? This is a sequel to a very old Twilight Episode. I’ll let you do the research to find out which one, but it is a classic. This is not. The heavily marketed device is called and EGG and you can guess what it is right off the bat. The script kind of makes fun of commercialism, but its message is blurry and skewed and doesn’t come off across well at all. It is an episode weird for the sake of being weird, and I can’t stand that shit. Awful, awful, awful episode. The only thing stopping this from getting an F is the visuals, which are great. Mr. Perkins, don’t write anything ever again, get a good script from a good writer and you could do wonders. Gretchen Mol stars in this, and she’s a good actress and isn’t the problem here. Entirely the scripts fault.

Grade: D-

In conclusion, this season is a vast improvement over last season. I enjoyed 6 episodes out of 10 here, where in the first season I enjoyed maybe only 3 or 4 of ten. The show still needs some improvement (there should really only be one, maybe too iffy episodes, but what I liked about this season is that they mostly got rid of the political and Me Too themes and instead went with an overall human morality/consequences vibe. Stick to that kind of story telling please. We don’t need Trump bashing or man bashing episodes every other twisted tale. I really hope it is renewed for a season three. Maybe third times the grand charm with this. I did some research on the writers and some of them from the first season were recycled here. Might I suggest getting a whole new team and let them try their hand at conjuring up something demented and delicious? Maybe have Jordan Peele write two or three episodes? Maybe get actual masters of horror like Ari Aster or Alexandre Aja to try and give us nightmares for nights to come? Just don’t ever get rid of Jordan Peele’s involvement. He is the best narrator for the show since original creator Rod Serling. Just get him more involved. Also, make stories not just place their bets on a twist alone, the whole thing should be prepared well so that the twist is earned and doesn’t just feel out of left field. Until next time, I have to say, much more satisfied with my trip to The Twilight Zone. Since we are living one with COVID-19 right now. But maybe it’s only chance at a season 3 is that people discover this because they are so bored and new content is drying up. We’ll see if it can capture more imaginations.


The Overall Grade I Gave Season 1: C-

Zach’s Zany TV Binge Watchin’ Reviews: 13 REASONS WHY SEASON 4 – THE FINAL SEASON (Netflix)

Oh boy, here we go! A lot of you hate that I watch and review this show. 13 REASONS WHY in general, it’s a series that people love to hate. And I get why, but then again, I don’t. Some people say it glorifies suicide and violence, and I really don’t agree with that logic. But then, the people that say they hate the show because it makes them more depressed about life including graphic depictions of rape and bullying, that I can see their logic on. The show is quite depressing at times and the bullying does become a bit too much in some episodes. I considered the whole thing to be a entertaining binge-able cautionary tale…well…maybe until now. At points, during this final batch of episodes I wanted to jump on the hate train right along with ya’ll. SEASON 4, THE FINAL SEASON, is absolutely fucking abysmal at points, and I started this review not knowing if I would ultimately recommend it or not. There is a course correction almost half way through the season that gets it back on track but then when the giant movie length (98 minutes) series finale episode hits, it mildly becomes frustrating again. To pin point that frustration: one of the ending fates of one of the characters makes absolutely no fucking sense. Episode 1, 3, and 4 of the new season are so…so bad, that I’ve been told from certain people that they stopped watching and quit the series…so close to the end. I’ll ditch something mid series with no end in sight (like The Blacklist) if I have to, but if I’m only a handful of episodes away to the very, very end…to quit would seem like a wasted journey. There is no doubt in my mind that Season 1 of 13 Reasons Why will never be beat. It is near perfect in its storytelling and execution. Season 2 stretches out Hannah Baker’s story to the point where it sags all the way to the ground, and Clay seeing and talking to Hannah’s ‘ghost’ was kind of a buzzkill. That ghost bullshit almost almost got me to quit then. But then Season 3 got things back on track with a cool murder mystery and pacing that almost matched the first season. I don’t know where to put Season 4, the final one, as it’s easily a photo finish between this and the second one, but they are both so roller coaster bat shit on and off tone at times that I really can’t decide. Hopefully I can find the reasons why, to put them in a solid and concrete preferred order.

My reviews are usually long for this series, but that’s because I go into full on spoiler territory. For this final season, I’m not going to do that, instead I will just state in broad terms what worked and what didn’t work for me. Let’s get the shit out of the way, as since this will be my final say as the series as a whole, I’d rather end on something good than something where I just seem like an angry butt hurt fan. Season 1 dealt with Hannah Baker and why she ultimately decided to end her life. Season 2 dealt with the trail of Bryce Larkin, who is taken to court by Hannah’s parents as they and her friends had a confession and other evidence that he raped her. Season 3 was, “who killed Bryce Larkin?”. And Season 4 deals with all of our main characters dealing with the after math of Bryce’s murder and a frame job, graduating high school, moving on with life, and there is a mystery introduced in a flash forward at the very beginning of the first episode back, and that is: “who is in the coffin?” The answer to that mystery is emotionally sad, paced & acted to perfection, but logically it didn’t make much sense (especially when you think about the cause of death and modern medicine). But that one fate (the rest had pretty good endings) was not the worst part of this final round, oh no, that would be episodes 1, 3…and possibly the worst episode of the entire series, 4. I forgot to say the main character whose perspective we mainly follow throughout all 4 seasons is Clay Jensen played to top notch perfection by Dylan Minnette. He has been the one true voice of the show (except for sharing it with Hannah Baker in Season 1 and Ani in Season 3) and probably the most decent character out of the main group of friends that include Jessica, Justin, Alex, Zach, Tyler, Tony, and Ani. Now, remember in Season 2 when he was talking to Hannah’s ghost? Where it seemed like he was losing his fucking mind? The first half of the final season doubles down on that. You have Clay talking to both Bryce and Monty’s ghosts (both died last season) and then you even have some of the other characters, like Jessica, seeing shit as well. I get wanting the now dead actors to still come back and receive a paycheck but… it’s very odd and off putting.

It’s like they took the main tone of the series, which is supposed to be depressing teen angst, and tried to give it horror based elements, and it just didn’t work at all. When you think of 13 Reasons Why can you imagine thinking about Clay hallucinating that he’s seeing blood coming out of the school shower heads and being covered head to toe in red? No? Well then prepare yourself, because that is what happens at some point in the first handful of episodes. The sin of the first episode is just dragged out boring set up, the real crime is the entirety of episode 4. Episode 4, titled ‘Senior Camping Trip’, gets my nomination for one of the worst episodes of television…ever. Per, in that episode, “Clay is forced to confront his anxiety on the senior camping trip as a suspicious email threatens to turn the friends against each other.” This doesn’t even begin to describe the zaniness to come. All of the kids get freaked out and start seeing shit that isn’t there, and a couple even claim the woods are ‘haunted.’ I don’t want to spoil too much of it, you just have to witness this bat shit crazy bullshit on your own, but needless to say, the tone of this episode doesn’t match of the rest of the series, and it is glaringly noticeable. I know that the writers were probably trying to think outside the box to not get repetitive in their storytelling…but this was NOT the way to go…at all. So bad that if I ever decide to re check out the series, it’ll be a stain on my brain and I will make sure to skip it on my next go around. Episode 3’s crime deals with the blood coming out of the showers, but the main crime is that it centers on a Valentine’s Day dance…and then we get a Prom episode a little later. That was too repetitive to me. To have two dance episodes in the final season just seemed to point to lazy writing. The Prom needed to be the only one where a dance was involved because a lot of students look at Prom as an ‘end of an era’ like event. I know that some don’t but when you think about what Prom usually represents in movies and television for characters, it is THE rite of passage for young adults to move out of high school and into college and adult hood. Episode 3 should’ve been scrapped entirely and something else should have replaced it. I mean they came up with a college campus visit episode, you are meaning to tell me they couldn’t have thought up of something else other than a 2ND dance? Also, has any other high school in the world gotten in this much shit in such little time?

And even though there is a revelation in one of the final episodes why that fourth episode went down the way it did, the tone was just so off base for the series that the revelation did nothing to make me forgive that episode. Gary Sinese, aka Lieutenant Dan, shows up in this as Clay’s therapist, but with how little he is in it, it seems like he was an afterthought. Like they shot all of Clay’s scenes with an unknown, and at the last minute they got someone recognizable and re filmed all those scenes. Because if you look closely, he really is only in scenes with just Clay or his parents. I know that makes sense considering therapists not being too directly involved in kids lives but, the scenes just felt inserted. Fortunately, Gary Sinese does a good job where the awkward timing of the session are forgivable. I liked that his character had standards and rules and stuck with them and that they didn’t get his character too involved, it would’ve been…too movie-ish. If you know what I mean. Also, for non fans of Ani, who was an entirely new character in season 3, did some stupid shit and people didn’t like that she took over from Clay as narrator, she’s not in this season much. So you know that the creators definitely listened to fan input. She’s in it just enough though to have her and Clay complete their own little relationship arc, but when she’s sent to her mom’s mid way through the season and doesn’t come back till near the end, you know that she was sent away for the toxic fans of the show, and that shouldn’t have happened. Me? I thought Ani was fine, and the actress who played her did a good job in the role. I had no qualms with her and I’m disappointed that the show runners would listen to dumb feedback such as that.

Thankfully though, in episode 5, the series does a giant course correction and gives us two stronger episodes, Episode 6 maybe even being one of their strongest of the whole series. I’ll give you a hint what it is about: it deals with a possible active shooter on campus. It is also the only episode of the series so far where Clay talking to dead people is emotional and makes a bit of sense. And then after that, it stays consistently good, all the way thru the Prom and grand finale, which is basically graduation. And its consistently good, other than the tiny hiccup with the revelation of who ends up being in the coffin. It’s only because the matter of the death. If this character had died some other way, the whole finale, which the run time is a little too long in general, would’ve been 100% solid. If you want to discuss with me why or why not THAT fate bothered you and why it bothered me, message me up, I’m more than happy to describe why I didn’t think it made any sense. But other than that, it had a solid ending, and a solid very last scene. I’ve decided, I am going to barely recommend watching this last season, if only because I think I really enjoyed this series as a whole, especially the 1st. It might’ve been realistic at first and then gone off track with murder mysteries, characters losing their minds and talking to dead people, but it has remained consistently entertaining. Like watching a dumpster fire filled with teen angst. The acting has always been 100% solid too, no bumps in the road. But because of my frustration with some of the episodes, I can say with 100% certainty say that this was the worst season of the show. Should they just have ended it with season three and had wrapped up all the lose ends? Yes, that absolutely would’ve been the better choice, but I see their reasoning of wanting to end it when they all graduated high school. Definitely the perfect storytelling ending fork in the road for a lot of movies and television series. If you were to ask me, I would’ve said that it should’ve just been a one season kind of thing, loose threads be damned. Maybe they should’ve spent a little more time fine tuning this final season? Completely scrap the 1st, 3rd and 4th episodes and do some major rewrites? Doing some research I saw that this was the shortest amount of time of a wait between seasons (less than a year, the others were more). But then again, if they had taken more time they might not have finished filming because of the asshole that is COVID-19. Lose-lose situation I’m afraid. What will I remember most about this series? Probably that it was one of (if not only) high school television series about teen angst with real issues that I actually gave a damn about. Fuck you, Degrassi.

My Final Ranking Of The 13 Reasons Why Series:

  1. Season 1
  2. Season 3
  3. Season 2
  4. Season 4

Zach’s Zany TV Binge Watchin’ Reviews: LOONEY TUNES CARTOONS Season 1 (HBO MAX)

This will be a really quick two paragraph review of LOONEY TUNES CARTOONS Season 1 that just premiered along with the streaming service HBO Max. Because what is there to really say about Looney Tunes? This is your Dad’s Looney Tunes, not some revamp that might as well take the word Looney right out of it. Now this isn’t the entire old Looney Tunes library that you remember watching when we are kids, but NEW ORIGINAL cartoons featuring your favorite characters such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, Coyote & Road Runner etc. There are 10 episodes but they are only 10 to 12 minutes each (and split into 2-3 shorts that don’t over stay their welcome, you know, like the old days). It’s basically one big 2 hour movie full of shorts. And it’s great! Not only does my young almost 3 year old son Grayson pay attention to it, but he laughs right along with all the hijinks. Not only that, but I find myself laughing along too while thinking, “they didn’t change a thing, and that’s the best thing about it.” HBO Max and whoever wrote and animated for this new original series could’ve went the opposite wrong way for sure. And in this day and age, it’s shocking they didn’t.

In this you will see absolutely no jokes that try to modernize the cartoon. They don’t even utter any terms such as yolo, millenial, or even say the dreaded hashtag in front of other words. It’s literally new of more of the same from way back when. All the violence where all the cartoon characters are okay, but would literally die in real life, is all here in all its glory…along with your favorite dynamite sticks! All the characters still sound the same, you still get Daffy vs. Elmer Fudd, Daffy and Porky Pig messy mix ups, Bugs Bunny gaining the upper hand on every single obnoxious villain he comes across, and the damn Coyote still can’t catch the Road Runner. Giant rocks fall on characters, countless explosions, slapstick humor, all in tact. Nothing changed. I’m surprised that helicopter moms weren’t screaming from the rooftops from the beginning to make this project more accessible to younger viewers. It is all a hard TV-PG for sure. The only thing disappointing about it, is that it is only 2 hours of content right now. But seeing as this, and then that child like Elmo late show are the only things people are watching on the new streaming service right now, and that animation shows aren’t being affected so much by COVID-19, I think we can expect a season 2 sooner rather than later. Back in the day, this was a zany Saturday morning cartoon that the whole family could enjoy. It still is, just now with no commercials. Finally, something that feels fresh by still remaining the same. How looney is that?

Zach’s Zany TV Binge Watchin’ Reviews: SPACE FORCE SEASON 1 (Netflix)

Man…did SPACE FORCE pick the wrong weekend to debut or what, am I right? Not it’s fault though, but suffice to say that when viewing numbers for this weekend come out, I wouldn’t be surprised if Netflix, Greg Daniels, Steve Carrell and co. are disappointed with the ultimate results. Hope you all are staying safe out there and if you are protesting that you are doing it peacefully. Speaking of peacefully, I thought the show was going to have a lot more digs toward the government or those in charge of power, but everything was surprisingly tame and not controversial whatsoever. Which to be honest, was a little disappointing. Most if not all of the humor was tamer than some of the now tone deaf laughs that The Office gave us way back then. That being said, I still enjoyed Space Force for what it was and have to disagree with a lot of the critics that hated it. It is a different work place comedy from the creators of the ultimate work place comedy that people (including me) still binge watch constantly over and over again on Netflix (until it leaves that platform later this year, that’s when I’ll bring out the DVD’s!). While the show didn’t provide nearly as much laughs as I would’ve liked, the whole story was entertaining to me, and at least the first season was much, much better than the first season of The Office or Parks and Recreation. Remember how horrible those were but then those shows found their footing? Well if this show is already 10 times better than the 1st season of those shows, and it manages to find their footing in the next season or two, we could be in for something truly special. It remains to be seen, but I’m willing to give it a couple of more season chance. Right now it is passable okay bordering on good. And that ain’t bad.

Per Wikipedia, “Space Force is a workplace comedy series that centers on a group of people tasked with establishing the sixth branch of the United States Armed Forces. Carell’s character, Mark Naird, is the general in charge of the effort and the series follows his collaboration to get “boots on the moon” per the orders of the President.” To add to that description, needless to say, almost all the people in this special sixth branch (excluding only a few) are a few thousand gallons of fuel short of a successful launch. Thankfully, Steve Carell is definitely not just playing Michael Scott with a rough military scowl, but an entirely new buffoon altogether, one that you could definitely say has more smarts than Michael Scott with the same amount of heart. Really none of the acting is a problem here, everybody plays a colorful and interesting character, but if I had to pick an MVP of the series, it unfortunately would not be Mr. Carrell, it would easily be John Malkovich. I haven’t enjoyed John Malkovich this much since his days playing an over the top character in movies like Rounders or Con Air. Here, he plays it straight, but he plays it so straight that its absolutely fucking hilarious. He is one of the few exceptions to all the dummies he’s surrounded by in the new special military branch (the African American pilot played by Newsome is a close second in terms of smarts and laughs). And when he disagrees with anybody’s thoughts on the next step to a problem they are having to solve, his facial expressions, demeanor and dialogue are pure comedy gold. If there is any reason to give this entire season a watch it is for him and him alone. Fortunately, he isn’t an ‘AND’ character and is second billed in the series, so he almost has as much screen time as Carrell. If the series ever didn’t bring back Malkovich, I would probably stop watching immediately.

The series is entertaining on a story level, especially the B plot that turns into the A plot at the end of the American Space Force vs. The Chinese Space Force. It is just that all the laughs are more chuckle worthy than laugh out loud antics (all the laugh out loud stuff is mainly just Malkovich). I’d say the jokes are hit and miss, about a perfect 50-50 ratio. If I had to pick my favorite episode out of the ten it would easily be the 2nd episode, which deals with a monkey and dog in space. That is the one episode that had me shaking the whole house with my laugh and didn’t just elicit light chuckles that wouldn’t shake anything but my tongue. The problem with the humor and jokes is that they didn’t take it as far as they needed to. They needed more controversial umph. Maybe they were afraid of retaliation of our current president that they didn’t want the attention? If so, that is disappointing, there was plenty of opportunity to make fun of the politics of it all and also make people laugh their asses off with some smart jokes. Instead, everything is played a little too safe. Maybe the showrunners will receive that feedback and not pull their punches in future seasons. If so, and they land those with brass knuckles right on the political satire cheek, this series will go places. Right now, it was good and not pretty good. I think the critics were a little too hard on it to be sure, but they do have a point. When you are the creator of two shows (Greg Daniels) whose first seasons were downright terrible but somehow overcame cancellation and ended up winning a bunch of Emmy’s with smart future seasons, wouldn’t you think the third time workplace comedy would be the charm? Apparently not. But this season was better than the first season of Parks and Rec and The Office, the last two seasons of The Office and the last season of Parks and Rec. And to me, that’s something to go a little over the moon about.