Tag Archives: Aaron Paul

Review: BoJack Horseman Season 3

bojack s3 poster
via iMDB

BoJack Horseman (Season 3) (2016)

Netflix / TVMA

Animation / Comedy / Drama

Starring: Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie

Creator: Raphael Bob-Waksberg


I was already in love with Netflix’s BoJack Horseman after its first two seasons, but lo and behold, the show’s third season made me love the show even more.  I didn’t think it was possible.  The show manages to stay fresh while delivering its trademark dark and dry humor.  It’s a show that’s brutally honest and bend over backwards hilarious.  It also isn’t afraid to get real…super real.  (You already got a taste of this towards the latter half of season two) Show creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg has a true bona-fide hit on his hand and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be slowing down any time soon.

bojack s3 1
via Webthieunhi

This season we have the post-Secretariat aftermath that BoJack (Will Arnett) has to maneuver himself through.  If you’ve been keeping track, the show has pretty much taken us through the gauntlet of what it’s like to be an actor in Hollywood.  The show’s first season portrayed the trials and tribulations of being an old washed-up actor while season two dove head first into the world of filming a movie.  This season, we get to watch as BoJack deals with press junkets, award shows, and the brunt of execs who want to throw script after script at him because he’s made it big with Secretariat.  In true BoJack fashion, he seems to be handling everything well (relatively, of course) but then things take a turn for the worse as friendships get tested and tried.  Remember when I said this show isn’t afraid to get real?  Yeah…this show gets pretty sobering in the later episodes.  BoJack might have approached his lowest point yet.  That says something, especially considering the fact that last season he was caught in a yacht with a teenage girl on prom night.  Just watch season two to see for yourself…

All your favorite characters, both big and small, make it back for season three.  BoJack’s feline agent, Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris), is facing some hard times with her new agency and she starts to question herself as well as others.  She even finds new love.  Diane (Alison Brie), one of BoJack’s best friends, is helping him with his social media outlets, among other things.  Her and Mr. Peanutbutter’s (Paul F. Tompkins) relationship is tested once again as they continue to work out the kinks in their estranged marriage.  Finally, everyone’s favorite lazy roommate Todd (Aaron Paul) is…well, not so lazy this season.  He still has his fair share of wacky off-the-walls adventures, but the main portion of the season focuses on his new tech start-up, which focuses on giving woman a “safe place” in the cab industry.  Although it soon starts to evolve into some crazy directions.

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There aren’t too many new characters introduced this season, besides BoJack’s publicist Ana Spanikopita, voiced by Angela Bassett.  Bassett does a great job with the character, who has to put up with BoJack’s crazy shenanigans and bloated persona.  Instead, this season mainly focuses on the character we already know and love and develops them even deeper, giving us some much appreciated backstory in the way of flashbacks.  It felt like I knew the characters even more by the end.  There’s a whole episode that’s totally devoted to each character’s backstory, which happens to be one of the best episodes of the season.

I was constantly amazed by the fresh ideas that were brought to the table over and over again this season.  The same familiar humor is still abundant and healthy, but we get some cleverly written episodes that demonstrate the show’s prowess.  There’s an episode that rewinds time back to the year 2007.  Not only do we get to see all the characters and where they were at during this time, but it’s also chock full of 2007 references.  Everything from the music to the billboards.  I was laughing out loud for the entire episode.  On the other hand, we got an episode in similar vein to the silent films of the Golden Era of Hollywood.  BoJack takes a trip under the sea for an underwater film festival, but things go south as he has to care for a newborn seahorse.  He’s unable to speak (because he’s underwater), which makes for an episode devoid of conversation but full of heart and hilarity.  Despite the lack of words, it might have been the most well-written episode of the season.

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It’s not often that we get TV shows that consistently nail it out of the park every single episode.  With its third season, BoJack Horseman truly makes the mark.  It’s brilliant up and down the board.  There’s lighthearted episodes mixed with some sobering episodes, all with a heavy dose of clever and relevant humor.  The writing this season is top-notch and almost all the characters elevate in terms of development.  This season’s finale is both sad and optimistic for BoJack, who goes through a whole arsenal of emotions of the course of the season.  It only got me hopeful for what is next in the already confirmed fourth season.  You know your killing it when your fourth season gets green-lit before the premiere even airs.

bojack s3 score

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Review: Breaking Bad Season 4

via Meet in the Lobby
via Meet in the Lobby

Breaking Bad (Season 4) (2011)

AMC / TVMA

Crime / Drama / Thriller

Starring: Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn

Creator: Vince Gilligan


With season four of Breaking Bad, we’re starting to see a changed Walter White.  He has had numerous close calls, successes, and hardships that have grown to shape the person he is by the credits of the season’s finale.  We have a much different Walt than the one we had back in the show’s first season…and boy have we come along way.  Season four has probably been my favorite season of Breaking Bad so far…and I still have the final season to get through.

via Pop Screen
via Pop Screen

I should probably start off by talking about the one blemish in an almost perfect season.  The previous season had a great ending with some tense episodes leading up to the finale, which included a pivotal moment for Jesse (Aaron Paul).  Because of the season’s finale, the beginning portion of season four was a bit slow, tying up loose ends that were not taken care of in the previous season.  These first couple of episodes were absolutely necessary to the story, but they would have fit better in a longer season three.  I know things like this are not really possible, but they should have thought about that going into the third season.

It’s around episode four when season four of Breaking Bad technically begins and it keeps rolling all the way till the finale.  Things pick up quickly as Hank (Dean Norris) starts a brand new investigation after the wake of his big accident.  The “blue” just can’t leave his mind and he starts to look into the events that took place at the end of season three.  He believes that Gus (Giancarlo Esposito), the supposed charitable owner of the Los Pollos chain of restaurants, is the brain behind the operation.  As one would expect, this makes way for a lot of problems.  Walt (Bryan Cranston) has to desperately pick up any crumbs that he might have left.  The same goes with Gus, who noticeably looks a lot more concerned as time goes on.  That isn’t normal for the guy that always maintained a somewhat unbreakable facade.

via AMC TV Blog
via AMC TV Blog

Skylar (Anna Gunn) also plays a big role this season when she starts to dip her toes full force into the mess that Walt has gotten himself into.  She begins to take over the operation of a local car wash, the fuel to their money laundering schemes.  Out of nowhere however comes her old boss, who presents her with more problems that could potentially lead to trouble down the road with Walt’s operation.  Because of this, she has to cover her tracks as well.  With all of these people covering their tracks, it’s only a matter of time before someone forgets a crumb.  As one would expect, the finale was the end of the road for one important character and it was a spectacular end.  They went out with a sort of comedic bang…in a messed up sort of way.

What made this season stand out the most however was the stockpile of great moments that kept flying in left and right.  Walt had some touching moments with Walt Jr. (RJ Mitte), Mike (Jonathan Banks) and Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) continued to have great scenes, the flashback to Gus’s older days was fascinating to watch, and Jesse had an amazing monologue at his group therapy session.  Let’s also not forget Walt’s powerful speech about how “he’s the guy that knocks people off.”  It was a chilling chain of words that left even Skylar speechless.

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This brings up the point of Walt’s changed persona.  So far, Walt has been levelheaded and cautious, always aiming to please.  He was always careful to get on everybody’s good side.  With season four, Walt takes a turn down to the dark side.  His speech to Skylar was just a starting point.  The act of killing someone starts to not faze him as much as it used to.  He starts to pack heat in order to protect himself.  He frequently gives the bird to the cameras that are scattered throughout the meth lab.  He even brings a bomb into a children’s hospital.  How evil do you have to be to bring a bomb into a place full of children?  Even Jesse realizes that’s a certain level of messed up.

Walt’s taking a journey down a dark road, and the fact that season four ended with little to no loose ties makes the prospect of the final season even more enticing.  What decisions is Walt going to make in the future.  How is he going to alienate his family who he is growing detached from more and more?  What is Jesse going to do in all of this madness?  He seems to be the wild card at the moment.  Say what you will about the slow nature of the season’s beginning or perhaps the comical ending, but season four felt like a complete package full of tense and memorable moments.  How come I have the feeling that there’s going to be exponentially more great moments in the final season?

breaking bad s4 4

Review: Bojack Horseman Season 2

via seriouslyawesome.tv
via seriouslyawesome.tv

Bojack Horseman (Season 2) (2015)

TVMA / Netflix

Animation / Comedy / Drama

Starring: Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie

Creator: Raphael Bob-Waksberg


Last year when Netflix released the inaugural season of Bojack Horseman, I was pleasantly surprised at the unexpected dark humor and meta-commentary on Hollywood culture that the show provided.  What made it even more peculiar and original was the fact that the show featured a mix of human characters and human-like animals.  The main character is a horse that is a “has-been” TV show actor.  It doesn’t get more original than that.  The show gained traction and rose in popularity, giving the show a chance to shine again with a new season.  With season two, I was pleased to realize that everything that I loved about the original season makes its return once again, this time better than ever.

via Immersion Online
via Immersion Online

Things pick up right where the first season left off.  Bojack, voiced by Will Arnett, seems to have it all.  Diane (Alison Brie) finished the book detailing the actor’s life and times and it is met with success.  It’s so successful in fact that it strikes a resurgence in Bojack’s career.  Bojack’s dream project, portraying the famous racehorse Secretariat, finally comes to fruition.  With the help of studio mogul Lennie Turtletaub (J.K. Simmons) and director Kelsey Jannings (Maria Bamford), Bojack ends up landing his dream role in his dream production.  Everything seems to be going right for Bojack Horseman.

Bojack seems to be a changed horse, spewing positive vibes all over the place in the first episode.  However, this doesn’t last long as Bojack starts to slip slowly and slowly back to his old self.  This is what makes the second season so fascinating.  Bojack seems to be riding cloud nine, but he still manages to fall into a pit of negativity and pessimism.  Classic Bojack Horseman am I right?  We soon see the Bojack that we all came to love from the first season, but things take a turn for the absolute worst towards the end of the season, a turn I was not expecting.  It’s almost hard to watch Bojack make the mistakes that he makes as things come to a close.  He almost manages to bury everything that he had with a few bad decisions.  You’ll know exactly what I mean when you watch the twelfth episode, “Escape from LA.”  The last minutes of that episode…are just plain difficult to stomach.  It made me want to punch through the TV and slap Bojack because of his blatant stupidity.

via Watch Cartoon Online
via Watch Cartoon Online

Most of the show’s favorites return for the second season.  Mr. Peanutbutter (Paul F. Tompkins), Todd Chavez (Aaron Paul), Diane, and Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris) all make a return.  Unlike the first season, the lens broadens as we dive into some of the stories of some of the side characters, which is really refreshing.  We see a lot more of Diane and the kinds of things that she has to deal with as a female writer.  Through her adventures, the show provides a commentary on some issues that women with a voice face in our society today.  The show handles these plotlines smartly and they provide some food for thought.  We also get to see more of Princess Carolyn, which was a joy to me since she was one of my favorite characters.  She’s pretty much an exact replica of the ruthless Hollywood agents that exist in the real world, and we get to see her start a new agency with the charismatic and talkative Rutabaga Rabitowitz, voiced by Ben Schwartz.  (It’s here that I should mention that the show still manages to create some pretty clever names for its non-human characters)  A newcomer that deserves some respect and a shout out is Lisa Kudrow’s character, Wanda.  Wanda acts as the love interest for Bojack this season.  The two meet after Wanda wakes up from a twenty year coma.  You can only imagine the kinds of jokes that stem from that.  I liked her character a lot and she ended up being one of my favorite newcomers to the cast.  Finally, we get to see more of Mr. Peanutbutter and his resurgence to fame with a hilarious new game show, the brainchild of the back-to-life author J.D. Salinger, because who else?

via Hit Fix
via Hit Fix

One complaint that I have is one that you have probably heard voiced by others who have critiqued the show, and that is how the second season has handled Bojack’s roommate Todd.  Todd was a fun character who managed to get himself into some pretty bizarre situations.  Aaron Paul takes the character and runs with it, putting a lot of life into the voice of Todd.  The second season however does not give him the love that he probably deserves.  A lot of his plotlines are insignificant to the story as a whole and pale in comparison to the amount of love that characters like Princess Carolyn and Diane received.  His character becomes a little more important during the last two episodes, but the majority of his time is spent getting into some pretty dumb, albeit pretty funny, shenanigans that don’t really mean anything to the larger picture.

Bojack Horseman still retains the smart humor and sharpness from the second season while going in some pretty hilarious directions.  The portion of the season dedicated to Mr. Peanutbutter’s game show is pretty fun to watch and Diane and Sebastion St. Clair’s (Keegan-Michael Key) adventures in Cordova also provide some good laughs.  Bojack’s whole trip to New Mexico is also unexpected and pretty great as well.  It’s also fun to pick out the amount of guest voices that are featured over the course of the show, another thing that made a return from season one.  The voice cast broadens even more and there are some surprise voice performances from the likes of Paul McCartney and Daniel Radcliffe, among a treasure trove of others.

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One of the things I knocked the original show for was the seriousness of some of its plot points, a type of seriousness that makes its return again in season two.  This time however I managed to overlook this and realize that the story that Bojack Horseman tells is genuinely funny and pretty intelligent.  The show is a much stronger beast this time around and it provides us with a hilarious, and pretty accurate, scope into the fast-paced and hectic world that makes a residence in Hollywood.  Bojack Horseman is also as fresh and seaworthy as ever in today’s ocean of comedy.  It was announced this morning that the show would be receiving a third season, which makes me pretty happy.  After this second season, I only want to see more of what this show can do.

bojack season 2 score

Review: Breaking Bad Season 3

via TV Stock
via TV Stock

Breaking Bad (Season 3) (2010)

TVMA / AMC

Crime / Drama / Thriller

Starring: Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn

Creator: Vince Gilligan


Breaking Bad has come a long way since its inaugural season.  It has been a roller coaster ride of tension, chaos, and emotion.  Up to this point, Walt’s (Bryan Cranston) cancer has come and gone as a threat and he and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) have successfully built themselves some street cred among the drug trade.  The unlikely duo have created a product so top notch that it literally drives people insane.  The road has not been all rosy and clean however, with many crazy potholes along the way.  The funny part is, with the final episode of season three it only seems like craziness just begun.

Season three begins with the fallout of the airplane disaster that was teased heavily in the previous season.  Things have gone south with Walt and Skylar’s (Anna Gunn) relationship as he is forced to move out on his own.  This is a sad moment for Walt, who ended up getting farther away from his family instead of getting closer to them, but it also opens up the opportunity for increased meth production.

via Fan Pop
via Fan Pop

After watching the show’s second season, I started to believe that Walt and Jesse’s production had reached a new high.  They were making tons of product that was netting them a fair share of money.  Their little side project had finally taken off.  Season three makes the duo’s little operation seem like child’s play.  The two now have their own professional-grade lab hidden away in some laundry facility, provided to them by the stoic kingpin Gus (Giancarlo Esposito), who happens to be one of the best actors on the show.  He kills it with every episode that he is featured in.  (On a side note: Jonathan Banks, who plays the beat cop turned hitman and PI Mike, gets a lot of love this season, especially in the final episode.  He’s a bad-ass and quickly became another one of my favorite characters from the series.)

via Fan Pop
via Fan Pop

The season has a lot of highs and lows for both Walt and Jesse, but more specifically Jesse.  Jesse is going through the twelve step program for rehab, which means a ton of improvement from his drug junkie days from previous seasons.  His relationship with Walt still manages to be all over the place and his character dips a little bit towards the end of the season.  The lasting image that the season gives us of Jesse in the final episode is not only special and really moving, but also a good summation of Jesse’s character in general.  We find out that he might just be the thorn in Walt’s side after all, after all this time.

via Fan Pop
via Fan Pop

Another thing that we see is the effect that Walt has on his family and friends.  This has been true of previous seasons, but he is only getting himself deeper and deeper into a mess that will be hard for him to dig his way out of.  Walt’s relationship gets a little better with Sklyar as communication between the two deepens. (This might sound vague but I am trying to keep this as spoiler free as possible)  Hank (Dean Norris) also gets caught in Walt’s mess when the cartel decides to attempt to take him out of the picture.  This situation leads to a fantastic seventh episode which gives us a satisfying jolt to a season that takes some time to ramp up in intensity, which is one of the few complaints I have with the season as a whole.

Things only get crazier as the episodes start to become much more intense towards the end of the season.  “Fly,” season three’s tenth episode polarizes a lot of people in terms of its place among the other episodes in the season.  It manages to give us a look at the dynamic relationship of Walt and Jesse, while managing to take the story nowhere.  It’s a fun bottle episode that at times felt like a filler episode.  I liked it, but many question its place in the show.

via Deo Veritas
via Deo Veritas

Finally the last two episodes, “Half Measure” and “Full Measure,” are by far the strongest episodes of season three.  Some consider “Half Measure” the real season finale, with “Full Measure” providing the set up for season four, which is an interesting and valid point to make.  Things wrap up and come to a satisfying close in the twelfth episode, capping off another hell of season.  “Full Measure,” the season finale, gives us a peek at how insane things are going to get with Walt and Gus, as well as the future of their drug business.  The episode had a metric-ton of great moments, including the tense final thirty seconds of the season.  I mean, who did not do a quiet fist bump to themselves whenever Walt took one step ahead of everybody else by rattling off the address of his assistant Gale to a dumbstruck Mike and Victor.  It was an amazing moment, among many others.

I feel like I am going to end this review like my previous two reviews of the previous seasons by saying, “well, things are only going to get crazier.”  The truth behind this statement is real.  This is one of the few series that only gets better with time.  Some of the slower episodes in the beginning and in the middle of the season put the third season below the first two in my opinion, but that does not make it any less amazing.  The final couple of episodes, as well as the intensity of the seventh episode, make this season a truly memorable one.  Now, I am just going to sit back and see where the next two seasons take me.  Breaking Bad…what a show.

breaking bad s3 score

Review: Breaking Bad Season 2

via Film School Rejects
via Film School Rejects

Breaking Bad (Season 2) (2009)

TVMA / AMC

Crime / Drama / Thriller

Starring: Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn

Creator: Vince Gilligan


Heisenberg and Jesse are not just dealing off the block anymore, the game has changed.  Things are getting bigger and more out of control, and business is only getting better.  The first season of Breaking Bad might as well have been a preview of what is to come.  The show’s second season is where we start to take a dip into the craziness that will ensue in coming seasons.

The season picks up seconds after the drug deal between Walt (Bryan Cranston), Jesse (Aaron Paul), and drug kingpin Tuco (Raymond Cruz).  Thanks to Walt’s extensive expertise in chemistry, the unlikely duo have managed to create one of the hottest meth products on the market.  A better product means a bigger market.  Which means that it is time for Walt and Jesse to take their little side business to new heights.

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As Walt’s secret side job escalates to new levels, so does the family situation at home.  Skylar (Anna Gunn) and Walt Jr. (RJ Mitte) are going through a range of emotions in light of recent events.  Walt’s dual personality that he has to uphold really throws Skylar and Walt into a sort of taboo the whole season.  Skylar starts to get the suspicion that Walt is up to something, but Walt does the best he can to keep those questions diverted.  He can only uphold the act for so long though, as things start to catch up to him in the last couple of episodes.

Walt is not the only character with a dual personality.  In fact, season 2 really gave us a look at everybody’s dual personalities.  Jesse tries to play the part of Mr. Tough Guy, but reveals his softer side to his new landlord Jane (Krysten Ritter), Jesse’s first true love.  Skylar tries to stay faithful to Walt, but we start to see the brewing chemistry between Skylar and her new boss at her new job.  Walt’s brother in law Hank (Dean Norris), the DEA agent, makes it seem like he is a fearless individual, when we know this is not the case, when we see his anxieties start to kick in towards the middle of the season.  Skylar’s sister Marie (Betsy Brandt) is a loving and compassionate relative to the White family, but she shoplifts and does some things on the side that might make us think otherwise.  Even Walt Jr. has another side, preferring to be called Flynn among his friends.  Some of these personalities are more prominently featured than others, but the theme still remains clear.

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Jesse Pinkman probably had the hardest season out of all the characters however.  He goes on a wild character arc throughout the season, ending on probably the lowest we have seen him.  He starts off as the tough guy that we remember from season 1, but this act cannot be upheld forever when he is literally thrown to the streets by his parents.  With no car or house…or pretty much anything…he is left to his own devices to build his life back up again.  We then see him evolve into a fake kingpin as business starts booming.  This is another act that he cannot uphold forever though.  Finally, thanks to his new girlfriend that is his landlord, he devolves to the status of a heroine junkie and literally injects himself to the lowest totem on the pole by the end of the season.  The last episode however gives hope to Jesse, making it look like he will make a strong return in season 3.

It’s funny to see the scope that Walt and Jesse’s business has grown to by the end of season 2.  The two most unlikely criminals have pretty much rose to the top of the drug game.  However, just like any business, problems start to arise, especially when you try to take on new territory.  This presents us with two new characters, Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) and Gustavo ‘Gus’ Fring (Giancarlo Esposito), the owner of the Los Pollos Hermanos food chain.  Bob Odenkirk brings a great performance to the table as the shady criminal lawyer Saul.  He teaches Walt and Jesse a couple of lessons about the game, while providing some funny moments along the way.  What makes Gus interesting is his striking similarity to Walt.  The two are both very cautious with their business proceedings, while at the same time, trying to live normal lives.  Gus helps Walt make the biggest deal of the series, netting the two close to about $500,000 dollars each.

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This season was very well done.  It managed to tie up a couple of loose ends, while making room for new ones which will drive the series onward.  Towards the end, we see Skylar give birth to a newborn girl, and Walt even gets some good news of his own.  However, the finale is a tough one for Walt.  The show sets up season 3 to be a big season for Walt’s character.  With his new situation that is presented to him, is he going to try and fix it, or go all in with his business?

Season 2 was a hell of ride, providing me with some of the most intense and riveting episodes that I have seen from the series in a while.  It’s hard to pick out the faults from a season that did so many things right.  Time’s running out for Walt, and what he does with this time is going to be one hell of a ride.

breaking bad s2 score

Review: Breaking Bad Season One

breaking bad s1 posterBreaking Bad (Season 1) (2008)

AMC / TVMA

Crime / Drama / Thriller

Starring: Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn

Creator: Vince Gilligan


It’s about time I got around to one of the most highly regarded TV shows as of late.  Whenever Breaking Bad was running, I always regarded it as an interesting show…but nothing that I would sit down and watch. I never felt like I had the time to do it.  My friends and people around me would talk about it in a really good light.  After some thought, I have decided to give the series a try, and see what all of the hype is about.  It only took a couple of episodes for me to get hooked.  Literally two episodes.

via AMCTV Blog
via AMCTV Blog

Breaking Bad is a look at the life of Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a high school chemistry teacher who has been diagnosed with a terminal case of Lung Cancer.  It takes him a while to bring up the news to his wife Skylar (Anna Gunn) and son Walter Jr. (RJ Mitte).  He feels that in order to provide for his family after he eventually passes away, he needs to provide them with a good amount of financial security.  He decides to get into the methamphetamine business.  Coincidentally, he begins his work with an old high school student of his, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul).

The relationship between Walt and Jesse is bizarre.  It’s amazing that the two somehow turn out to get stuff done.  They’re polar opposites, and this causes a little bit of tension between the two.  Jesse is probably my favorite character so far.  He’s not new to the meth business.  He carries a “gangsta” persona that often rubs Walt the wrong way.  The part of Jesse’s character that sticks out to me is his relationship with his family.  We only see these interactions in one episode, but it’s clear to see that they are not too accepting of his tendencies.  I really hope we get more of this relationship in the upcoming seasons.  It showed the emotional side of Jesse, one that I didn’t see too often in other episodes.

via Top Ten TV
via Top Ten TV

We also get to see Skylar’s sister, Marie Schrader (Betsy Brandt), as well as her husband Hank (Dean Norris).  Hank is an agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration in New Mexico, which will most likely cause quite a few problems for Walt in his future dealings.  We started to get the sense towards the end of the season that Hank was starting to sniff Walt’s trail.  He hasn’t accused Walt yet, but it’s only a matter of time before Walt slips up and things get nasty.

Over the course of the first season, we start to see Walt and Jesse’s initial struggles with their venture.  Walt, using all of his chemistry knowledge, cooks the best batch of crystal that anybody in that town has ever seen.  This doesn’t help them however when it comes to their business interactions.  Their first deal with a drug dealer named Krazy 8.  Things don’t go nice and planned, causing Walt to kill Crazy 8’s partner and keep Krazy 8 in Jesse’s basement until they could figure things out.  It’s here that we get to see the kind of stuff that Walt will have to deal with if he wants to continue on with the business.  Things will most definitely not go as planned, but he needs to keep his composure through it all.

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via AMCTV Blog

 

By the end of the season, we begin to see the progression of Walt and Jesse’s relationship, and we also get to see how complicated their business is going to get.  Walt is going to need a lot of money for all of his treatments, which means he is going to need to cook a lot of meth, which isn’t going to be easy.

After the death of Krazy 8, Tuco is the man who takes over as the drug lord for the town.  After Jesse almost gets beaten to a pulp attempting to sell a batch to Tuco, Walt realizes that he is going to have to take the matter into his own hands to get stuff done.  This is when we see Walt don the iconic nickname of “Heisenberg” to mask his identity.  As silly as the name sounds, it’s the start of what will become bigger and better things for Walt and his partner Jesse.  They make a lucrative business deal with Tuco, which means production is going to have to ramp up.  The money starts to flow in.  Things are looking good.

via seriesly Awesome
via seriesly Awesome

As the future seasons come and go, bigger and better things will come with their bigger problems.  As we saw in the first batch of episodes, it’s not going to be smooth sailing for Walt.  He is going to have to attempt to live a double life, which will be close to impossible once production starts to ramp up.  He’s also going to have to watch his tail, especially with guys like Hank who are in smelling distance of catching Walt in his footsteps.  When I talk to friends about the series, they tell me that the show “just started”.  I can only imagine what ridiculous and crazy situations that “Heisenberg” and Jesse get themselves into, especially considering how crazy this first season got.

In the course of the first bunch of episodes, I have really grown an appreciation for Breaking Bad’s writing.  The show is brilliantly written and it’s as captivating as ever.  The pilot episode had a grip on me like no other, and the rest of the episodes so far have kept things moving.  All of the characters are nicely done and the relationships and conversations that they have with others is truly entertaining.

via Esquire
via Esquire

The first season of Breaking Bad has been a wild ride, and I expect it to shoot upwards in terms of insanity.  Walt only has a matter of time before his cancer starts to bring him down, and I am really looking forward to seeing the progression of his character.  We see him pretty low in the first couple of episodes, but he begins to brighten up after his treatments start to kick in.  I can only imagine the roller coaster ride that I have waiting for me at the start of season two.

breaking bad s1 score

 

Bojack Brings The Christmas Spirit

bojack horseman christmas coverIt’s been a while since we heard from Bojack Horseman and his bunch of weird and dysfunctional friends.  Bojack Horseman, a Netflix original series, starring Will Arnett as Bojack himself was surprisingly pretty good when it came out.  It offered a lot of laughs while poking fun at some of the most common (and mostly true) stereotypes that hover over Hollywood.

Season two was announced a while back, but it won’t be coming any time in the near future.  But that doesn’t mean that Bojack doesn’t have anything to give this Christmas season.  Bojack Horseman Christmas Special: Sabrina’s Christmas Wish appeared on Netflix as a surprise little treat for Bojack fans.

The Christmas special is about the size of a regular episode, but it felt like a little more.  The episode doesn’t feature the regular cast and crew, but instead Bojack and Todd (Aaron Paul), as well as the orphans from “Horsin’ Around”, the fake sitcom that Bojack starred in during his younger days as an actor.

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The episode kicks off when Todd invites himself into Bojack’s house with a candy cane, an episode of “Horsin’ Around”‘s Christmas special, and a bunch of holiday cheer.  As it turns out, Bojack isn’t much of a Christmas person…surprise, surprise.  After some persuasion from Todd, Bojack finally agrees to sit down with Todd and watch the “Horsin’ Around” Christmas special with him.

The nice thing about this episode is that we got to pretty much see an entire episode of the fictional sitcom.  During season one, we only got little snippets of the show scattered throughout the episodes.  This time we got to see a little more about what the show was about, as well as the three main orphan characters that star in it. Another thing that should be noted is the Full House vibes that the fake show puts off.  It’s easy to see where “Horsin’ Around”‘s inspiration came from.

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The one orphan that most Bojack fans are familiar with is Sabrina (Kristen Schaal).  She is the youngest, and probably the funniest, of the bunch.  The premise of the special revolves around Sabrina, and her Christmas wish for Santa to bring her parent’s back.  Bojack realizes how heartwarming it is, but also decides that the news that Santa isn’t real should probably be revealed to her, in order to save a broken heart.

The show is a blatant satire of the cheesiness of holiday specials on TV.  The 90’s sitcom is filmed in front of a live audience, and it is complete with all the laughs, “awws”, and that one guy in the audience that has to scream whatever is on his mind. (“Fire that Jew!”)  That “random guy” was probably one of the funniest parts about the episode.  We also get some outside commentary from Bojack and Todd, who feels he has to interrupt and spew his love for the show every “five minutes” according to Bojack.

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There’s a lot of fun stuff during the episode.  Some of the jokes don’t really work to well, but others hit it home pretty well.  There were a couple of parts involving Bojack’s job at Libitore’s, but those parts weren’t that necessary, or funny for that matter.  There is a ton of 90’s sitcom cheesiness that covers the episode, which may be a little off-putting for some, but I thought it just added to the charm of the show.  (Plus the TV-MA humor that the show is known for probably wouldn’t fly over to well on a sitcom made for kids).

Bojack may be a bit of a scrooge, but that doesn’t stop the Christmas spirit from seeping its way into the episode.  The special may not rank high on the list of “top Christmas specials” but it still offers a great time, even if Bojack and Todd are just “hate-watching” it.

Review: BoJack Horseman (Season 1)

bojack horseman posterBoJack Horseman (Season 1) – 2014

Animation / Comedy – TVMA


 

The story of the average Hollywood star is one that has been told numerous times in the past via numerous mediums.  The celebrity starts on top, living in a world of fame, vanity, and luxury.  From there, their life travels down a downward spiral till they have become a “has-been.”  How do you keep a story like this fresh and original?  BoJack Horseman, Neflix’s newest comedy tries to accomplish this goal, but ends up falling a little short, despite having it’s moments.

The story begins with BoJack Horseman (Will Arnett), a famous 90’s TV star from the past that has turned into a “has-been” with a drug and alcohol problem.  He lives in his mansion in the Hollywood Hills with his freeloader of a  roommate Todd Chavez (Aaron Paul).  BoJack’s washed up, but he wants to somehow save his career from going too far into the dumps.  He decides to have a book written about him, to perhaps get people interested in him again.  He hires Diane Nugeyn (Alison Brie) to ghost write the revealing and tell-all book for him because he can’t write the book himself.  Among other problems, he also has to deal with his nagging ex-girlfriend/agent Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris) and his friend/rival Mr. Peanutbutter (Paul F. Tompkins).

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The thing that is the most jarring about the world that BoJack lives in is the presence of anthropomorphic animals that live alongside humans.  There is some humor that goes along with this notion, which is probably the only fresh thing about this comedy that deals with the Hollywood lifestyle of a washed up star.

Don’t get me wrong, the show is funny.  There were numerous moments that had me laughing out loud.  The eleventh episode (out of twelve) was probably the highlight of them all.  It involved a massive drug trip that BoJack Horseman goes on with his roommate and the child star of the sitcom “Horsing Around”, in which BoJack was the main star.  The only unfortunate part is that most of these moments are spread out between the episodes.  I was not asking for a high laughs-per-second ratio but it would have been nice to see these moments closer together.

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Another thing that may detract viewers from the show was the turn that the series took a few episodes in.  The first couple of episodes gave of the impression that it was going to be a total comedic affair but then the plot started to get a little more serious as it started to dive into the story of BoJack Horseman and his quest for a renewed relevance.  Naturally, you can’t tackle this kind of story without getting a little serious so it’s hard to knock the show for this.  It almost felt like the show was turning from a comedy into a drama at some points.

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All of the actors did a pretty good job with their characters.  Given that the series has an all-star voice cast, this should have been the case anyway. Will Arnett was obviously the star of the show, providing the grizzled voice for BoJack that fit the part.  Paul Tompkins also did a good job with Mr. Peanutbutter.  His character was a surprise.  I didn’t expect him to be funny but he gives viewers a lot of comedic moments.

BoJack Horseman is a show that suffers a little from un-originality but it still turned out to have it’s moments.  The series got a generally positive response from viewers which warranted Netflix to pick it up for another season.  Season one ended in such a way that season two should be interesting to watch.  It’s hard to tell where the series will go from here, but I hope it takes a step on its own, without the help of all the similar shows of its kind.  I enjoyed my time with the show, and I look forward to what comes next.

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