Travelers: Netflix’s Answer to Time Travel

TRAVELERS

CREATED BY: Brad Wright

STARRING: Eric McCormack, MacKenzie Porter, Nesta Cooper, Jared Abrahamson, Reilly Dolman, Patrick Gilmore

NO. OF EPISODES: 12 episodes

GENRE: Science Fiction

YEAR: 2016

COUNTRY: Canada, United States

A team of special operatives, sent back in time from the future, are tasked with preventing the collapse of society. These operatives, known as travelers, enter the body of a 21st century individual moments before the individual’s “recorded time of death” (although the transfer is not limited to only that moment). This process is referred to as a “transfer of consciousness” and requires the exact position of the target. Due to lack of precise location records prior to the 21st century (made possible by smart phones and GPS), this limitation prevents transmitting someone to an earlier year. For example, the travelers cannot stop World War II, because the technology of the 1940s did not provide sufficient data to determine the exact location of recorded death, thus preventing the possession of hosts by a traveler. Social media is also used to gain knowledge of the individual who will be dying, which helps the traveler prepare for the life they will inhabit.

The travelers must maintain their hosts’ pre-existing lives to avoid attracting attention while performing missions aimed at saving the world from a series of catastrophic events. As the series progresses, changes in the present make significantly unanticipated changes in the future.

Welcome to the 21st.

Now, we haven’t exactly been looking for a new show about beings from the future, but we figured that we should give Netflix’s Travelers a try. The show is fun, quirky, and light on the science as far as time travel shows are concerned. While it becomes a bit convoluted when it comes to the rules of sending back your consciousness, it makes up for it by setting a time where you don’t have to take the show too seriously. We would like to commend the entire cast for having fantastic chemistry and definitely making the show a solid 12 episode series.
However, if you are going into Travelers for the science and a serious time travel show, I urge you to pass on this one. While Travelers isn’t overly silly by any means, there is plenty of romp that it could easily fit into the “mission of the week” format. Kind of hard to believe when this show deals with mental illness and addiction so heavily. Just remember, “No more than 8 ounces of heroin, because then we know you want it not just to function.”

PROS:

  • Great chemistry.
  • Not overly scientific.
  • Balance between drama and comedy.
  • Fantastic main cast performance.

CONS:

  • Some episodes feel “Mission of the week”.
  • Tackle heavy issues with a light touch.

SCORE: 8.5 / 10

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Black Mirror (S3): Welcome Beyond the Twitter Age

BLACK MIRROR (Season 3)

black-mirror-season-3-poster

CREATED BY: Charlie Brooker

NO. OF EPISODES: Six episodes. Total= 13

GENRE: Science fiction, Satire

YEAR: 2011-14, 2016-

COUNTRY: United Kingdom, United States

landscape-1471553666-cqktqcnwyaazgihAs Black Mirror is an anthology show, I will give a quick summary of each episode.

  1. Nosedive: Insecure office worker Lacie (Bryce Dallas Howard) lives in a happy, smiley, status-obsessed nightmare world. Her old friend Naomi (Alice Eve) is one of society’s elites — and Lacie may have found a way to join her…
  2. Playtest: Thrill-seeking globetrotter Cooper (Wyatt Russell) visits Britain, hooks up with Sonja (Hannah John-Kamen) — and tests a video game so advanced, it’s terrifying…
  3. Shut Up and Dance: When withdrawn 19-year-old Kenny (Alex Lawther) stumbles headlong into an online trap, he is quickly forced into an uneasy alliance with shifty Hector (Jerome Flynn) – both of them at the mercy of persons unknown.
  4. San Junipero: California, 1987: San Junipero is a fun-loving beach town synonymous with sun, surf, and sex. And for recent arrivals Yorkie (Mackenzie Davis) and Kelly (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), it’s going to be a life-changer…
  5. Men Against Fire: Future soldiers Stripe (Malachi Kirby) and Raiman (Madeline Brewer) must protect frightened villagers from an infestation of vicious feral mutants. Technologically, they have the edge – but will that help them survive?
  6. Hated in the Nation: In near-future London, police detective Karin Parke (Kelly McDonald) and her tech-savvy sidekick Blue (Faye Marsay) investigate a string of mysterious deaths with a sinister link to social media.

Alright, I tried not to go too much into spoiler territory with those.

Alright, I have been waiting for the newest season of Black Mirror to drop for ages now. With the show’s transition over to Netflix, it was kind of a toss up if it would still be good or not. This season blew me away, with some phenomenal acting from the entire cast. Very much a modern day Twilight Zone, this season of Black Mirror made me fearful for what the future holds including our continued integration of technology. As for what episode is my favorite, it would have to be “Hated in the Nation”.  It was scary and insane, but at the same time completely believable. Use hashtags wisely, people.

black-mirror-playtest

Honestly, there really isn’t much I can say negatively about this season.the only thing I can think of is that the messages of each episode were rather heavy-handed. I felt I was being beaten over the head until I ceded to their ideas. The problem is though, the whole series is like that. It’s just how the show is written. I mean some things can’t change. I just hope this was a plentiful experience and I will be rated a 5 star. I need to reach that 4.6 so I can move.

PROS:

  • Overall cast performance.
  • Very modern take on Twilight Zone.
  • Amazing storytelling.

CONS:

  • A bit heavy-handed in messages.

SCORE: 9.0 / 10

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House of Cards Season 3: Frank Underwood A Bad President?

Hello everybody! House of Cards is back for a third season. If you want to check out my reviews of the previous seasons, check them out here Season 1 and Season 2.

HOUSE OF CARDS (SEASON 3)

House_of_Cards,_season_3,_promo_image

DIRECTOR:   Carl Franklin, Jodie Foster, James Foley and Robin Wright

STARRING: Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, Michael Kelly, Michel Gil, Molly Parker, Gerald McRaney, Mahershala Ali, Sebastian Arcelus

GENRE: Political, Drama

YEAR: 2013- Current

COUNTRY: United States

The season chronicles the first few months of Frank Underwood as President. The new President faces immense pressure from the start of his term, as betrayal and opposition grows inside his party. Determined to leave a legacy not be a “placeholder” president after assuming the office, Underwood makes ambitious moves to march towards election in the 2016 Presidential Elections.house-of-cards

Doug Stamper recovers from his injuries by Rachel Posner, although struggles with alcoholism. Gavin Orsay helps Doug to find Rachel in exchange for lifting the ban on his passport, however, the findings he delivers is of a body reported as a Jane Doe but with matching fingerprints to Rachel. Distraught, Doug entreats his brother, Gary Stamper, to stay with him for the following two months. After fleeing to Venezuela, Gavin reveals he gave Doug false information and that Rachel was alive, and said he would reveal her location if he helped a compeer get out of jail.

Doug tracks down Gavin and brutalizes him for the information, then sets out to find Rachel, who is working odd jobs to pay for a false identity. Doug captures Rachel and drives into the desert with the intent to kill her, but Screen Shot 2014-02-22 at 5.31.23 PMreconsiders when she reveals she’s abandoned efforts to uncover Frank Underwood’s crimes and reveals her new identity to him. He releases her, but vacillates again and is last seen burying her body before returning to work for Frank Underwood as Chief of Staff after Remy Danton resigns, presumably jaded by the treatment Frank showed Jackie Sharp during the presidential debate.

Meanwhile, First Lady Claire Underwood is named the United States Ambassador to the United Nations and faces a crisis in the Jordan Valley, where Frank Underwood and the United States are pitted against the cunning President Petrov of Russia. Tensions rise between Frank and Claire, which culminates in Claire stating her intentions to leave Francis in the season finale.

The third season marks the possible end of the series, which it better not end on this note. This season was incredibly slow, while the series is not known for its fast pace it still could have picked it up just a bit. Story-wise, it was interesting enough to keep me binging five or six episodes a night. Towards the end of the season, it felt that it was trying to wrap up everything in a nice little bow. The main and supporting casts’ performances were phenomenal as usual, making the example the House of Cards is the cream of the crop.screen_shot_2015-02-14_at_2.25.02_pm

I was so excited for House of Cards to come back for its 3rd season. I do want to say that if what I heard is true (this is the last season for the series) then I will be severely pissed at the series creators.I wish that they incorporated Doug at least more of his character into the main story, and to forget about Rachel and Gavin. They should have either killed him off or given him a new story arc, we are tired of this cat and mouse game. While we did see Claire becoming more involved in the presidency, I wish she didn’t leave. She should have become to manipulative behind-the-scene first lady, suits Robin Wright’s character and style.

PROS:

  • Main cast performance.
  • Supporting cast performance.
  • Interesting story.
  • Pacing.

CONS:

  • Claire Underwood arc.
  • Doug’s entire story.
  • Cliffhanger.

SCORE: 7.8 / 10

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