Tainted Victory – Chapter 4 Conclusion (Page-a-Day)

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Slowly, as the wine and ale ran out, and the food was picked clean did the group go to their chambers for the evening. The castle had two floors for bed chambers and bathrooms. Raisor, Siguard, Goblet, and Claudia took the middle floor while Colt and Olivier took the third. Evelyn made her claim early to the king’s bed. Olivier was the only one to object. “That is made for the worst of people!”

Evelyn shrugged and said that was what she must have been, then slammed the doors before taking a swan dive onto the softest blanket. No one else saw that moment. It was for her. 

Everyone else staggered their bedtime release. The ale did not affect the muscle bound as much as it did the slim, or magically inclined of the group.

Hounder slept at the foot of Colt’s bed. He had done so since he was a spirited pup who got on by chasing his own tail. That chasing evolved when his master taught him scents and supplied him with the tastiest of rewards for tracking each scent. Soon the rewards became what the scent came from. He would be able to rip, tear, and eat the catch. Sometimes his master would have to kill it first, but he would still get his fill. 

Colt got up throughout the night. That’s what it felt like to Hounder. Colt would get up and leave the room for ever, then would return and go to bed. One time he noticed the scent of fresh water, another was the scent of the older, scary magic guy, another was food. Hounder wagged his tail at that one because he craved some of the meat. The scent that made him get out of bed though was when the stale smell of blood. He was unsure of when it had reached his nose, but it hit him hard for it was not the scent of animal blood, but the blood master had. 

Hounder stood up. He looked to his master. His master just turned over in the bed. Hounder stretched his back out, then stepped onto the floor. His nails made a light clicking and clacking along the stones. He exited the room. The scent was all around, but was strongest from the lower levels. He strode through the hall, down the stairs, and eventually to the throne room. His eyes gave him some sense of the scene he had walked into, but his nose, and paws gave him much more. 

Hounder entered the throne room. The scent of human blood sat heavier on this nose than that of the dead dragon. He also got a scent of dirt, metal, ash, and fear. They overwhelmed him. He took a step forward. His paw stepped into a puddle. It was thicker than normal puddles, and carried the stench from humans. He took another step closer. The storm picked up and let out a percussive crash of thunder. The puddles got thicker the closer he got. The scent got close. He pointed his nose down. It touched the curtled finger of a human. He rubbed his nose against it for a few minutes. It was familiar. He gave a small bark, but it did not wake the person. He traced his nose down the person’s arm, to their torso, and to the sight of a cool metal blade protruding from his body.  He barked and barked and barked. When his voice was covered over by the crashing clouds he howled. He could tell the person on the floor was gone, and that it had not been natural.

Can Netflix’s Live Action One Piece Series Work?

Just like many of you who are reading this, I’m a huge fan of One Piece. I grew up reading it through school and continue to read it weekly. If you never got a chance to check out my Top 5 favorite manga series then I’ll tell you now that One Piece was number one for me. Keep that in mind when reading this because I’m also trying to be a realist while also balancing my love for the series. Let’s ask the question though, is Netflix’s live action One Piece series a good idea? Of course when I first heard this I was very excited because of the possibilities, but realistically is it a good idea? Are we going to run into a project that feels more like The Last Airbender movie or even the Death Note movie? 

Right off the bat, this has many differences than either of those two projects, one being that they’re giving this first season 10 episodes rather than making a movie. That tells me that they at least don’t want to rush whatever story it is that they’re telling like those two movies did. Now Death Note could have been done well as a movie, but One Piece doesn’t hold up as a live action movie. There’s just too much content and while the animated movies work, it’s mostly because they’re appealing to the fans that already know who these characters are. You could make a live action One Piece movie, but it will inevitably hurt by not having enough time to set up and explain this world. Going with a series certainly gives them plenty of time to flesh out the story, world, and characters. Now I think it’s safe to assume that they don’t intend on making just one season if they can help it, rather they would likely be intending on making multiple seasons pending on its success with viewers and ratings. 

With that in mind, we actually get to the important part of the question, is it a good idea? Look, as a fan I want to just jump in the air and say hell yes they should do it and that it could be the next Game of Thrones. Well, it could potentially be that, but there are still a lot of worries I have for that actually happening and whether or not it’s ultimately a good idea. Let’s break it down to a few points starting with the story. The story itself I won’t go into too much because I’m assuming if you’re reading this then you know generally what One Piece is about. In the simplest terms, it’s a pirate adventure. Now the problem with the story is that it comes from a manga/anime depending on which you prefer. What I mean by that is that the story is also affected by the characters and the overall world.

You have a main character who has the ability to stretch like rubber or a clown that can break his body apart into pieces. Okay, that wouldn’t be too bad if they have enough of a budget. Then you also have the fact that there are giants and also a talking reindeer who can turn into different forms of himself. Visually there’s a lot that can go wrong with this. Better yet, depending on how they choose to go about adapting the source material, there may be a fish man pirate crew. Maybe not the best thing to sell to an audience. Bottom line is that when it comes to characters and the overall world like the different species or Devil fruit abilities, the show has an uphill battle. Now I’m not saying that it can’t work, but it’s going to be extremely difficult to pull it off in a way that is both appealing and worth putting the money in to make it. 

Now I haven’t seen every single Netflix series out there and I don’t know the cost of every project, but I do think that The Witcher was a testament to what they can do when really diving into a project with a lot of source material and some fantastical visuals. The Witcher May be their most ambitious project to date with everything involved on the project. However, I feel that if they choose to go balls to the wall dedicated with the One Piece series, it will end up being their most ambitious project. I’ll be honest, as a fan I don’t want to see some half ass version where they didn’t want to spend the money needed. I don’t want a situation where I end up disliking the project because they didn’t want to spend the money to do it justice. I never asked for a live action series of the manga because I knew how much it would take to do it right, but given their recent track record with projects like The Witcher, I feel that they’re not going to half ass it. 

The next question I’m wondering is how they’re going to go about doing the story. 10 episodes certainly give you plenty of time to tell a good story and to develop the characters, but what story are they going to be telling? Are they going to play it safe and do a season that has a definitive ending in case they don’t move forward with a season 2? I’m not sure. A lot of where they go with the story depends on how they’re approaching the project as a whole in the future including future seasons. There’s a chance that they beer away from the manga and tell their own version of the story with the familiar characters. While that can work, I think that it’s a bit risky given the fanbase, but at the same time they need to do something that’s going to actually work and not appeal only to fans. I think there’s a way that they can adapt the East Blue saga as the entirety of season 1 and I think that should be the way they go, but again it depends on whether they can actually pull that off without it feeling rushed or feeling like The Last Airbender.

There’s a lot of thoughts I have to whether or not this will actually work and I’m incredibly nervous because of how big a fan I am. Eiichiro Oda has held on to the rights to his series for a very long time and it would seem a positive point that he chose now to make a deal with Netflix. I feel that he has confidence in the company to do the series justice and that certainly gives me a little more hope, but we’ll just have to see. Another aspect that I’m not going to get into too much is how they go about casting the project. Do you go with an all Asian cast? I think that you could, but Netflix will likely try to get known American actors mixed with an Asian cast. Ultimately there’s just a lot of possibilities and factors put into how they’ll figure this series out. 

Do I think it’s a good idea? Yes and no. It has incredible potential of being the next great series very much in the vein of Game of Thrones but with more fun and adventure. There are many great characters that they can introduce and a lot of awesome visuals if done right. I think that it’s incredibly risky and bold to tackle this project, but The Witcher gives me more hope than I had before. I think this project could end up being disastrous while also feeling it could be an incredible success. I think as more information comes out about the project, we’ll get a better sense of how their approach will turn out. Again, as a fan, I’m very excited to see if they can pull it off. As fans though, I think we need to be aware of the possibility that this doesn’t work. What do you all think? 

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Tainted Victory – Chapter 4, Part 5 (Page-a-Day)

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Hugh stood alone. Evelyn was on the far side of the throne room. He looked to the beheaded dragon carcass. It began to rot and stink. The stench covered whatever burning was being done in the kitchen. His gaze shifted to Evelyn. She beckoned him over. He followed the stench of the dragon and moved to her. She had finished writing in the ledger. It was closed and gripped between her pale hands. The contrast between the ledgers thick leather and her hands struck him in an odd way. It made his stomach twist. He placed his healing hand on his stomach to no effect. “What is wrong?”

“Nothing’s wrong.”

“Should we be talking?”

Evelyn gave him a puzzled tilt. “Yeah. We just have a little longer to look out after Sir. Up His Own.” She pointed her quill behind her. 

“He really could be killed at any time. We must be vigilant.”

“Even after he’s left the job?” Evelyn slid the quill into the ledger. “I do not like him now. I could not stand being his partner in adventures.”

“I agree that it is hard to judge when we should stop trying to protect him. After the job if he’s killed he’s killed. Normally, unless I see it, I cannot help. But I know this person will die. How could I not help?”

“I thought I was going to have to pull him off the edge when he did his whole…” She twirled her finger upward. 

“Do you think he noticed you trailing him?”

“If he did, he did not let on.”

“Should one of us be with him now?”

“We know where everyone is,” Evelyn said. “He’ll be fine”

Night came faster than the storm could break. Every met in the kitchen after some healing and restorative magic by Olivier and Hugh to eat chicken. They sat around the royal dinner table. It stretched the length of the dining hall. Candles were placed all along the middle to cast the mildest of light on the festivities. During the perimeter search Siguard and Colt found the ale house in the back corner of the castle gates. They rolled the barrels in. By the time the dinner ended most of them were dry.

Discussions of what the next steps of their adventures took place. Goblet discusses returning home with his winnings and helping to build the town into something grand. Colt said that he and Hounder had a job tracking a Roostien nest, a gargantuan bird creature that sends its young to crush towns and take the cattle for god. Siguard mentioned his wanting to join one of the armies out on the front lines and kill the Blues. Claudia and Olivier discussed the specifics of her further education, while Evelyn said she knows that the East has some very rich treasures she had an eye on. Hugh said he just wanted to resupply and go to another town to help people. 

Raisor never made it to the dinner. No one had seen him since his tantrum and walk-off after their failure to move the dragon. They wrote it off as him just leaving before everyone else. Siguard reminded the table that he was a younger warrior, and not used to the demands of the crown. Olivier returned with his own anti-crown sentiment.

Hot 100 Review: Godzilla by Eminem (featuring Juice WRLD)

Watch the video: https://youtu.be/p8GR8B_3cO4

Eminem’s status as a rap god is basically cemented no matter the strange and undercooked music he has made recently.

I haven’t listened to much of his new stuff since Rap God. That song was pretty fun and just an excuse for Eminem to flex his flow and style, but had no substance.

Godzilla is another exercise to show just how fast Eminem can spit his rhymes. Godzilla is also the epitome of reference rap. I miss rap like this. Not this song, but like this.

See this song makes me legitimately angry because of how it wastes its potential. The first verse and the chorus works well to set up what the theme of the song should be. Not is, but should be.

The first verse starts really strong with the first line of “I can swallow the whole bottle of alcohol and I’ll feel like Godzilla.” This sets the idea that alcohol turns the narrator into the a monster. I assume this is the destroyer Godzilla from the first movie and Shin Godzilla. It focuses on being menacing as a monster. He says that his squad come in like zombies in an apocalypse, and sends his rage by calling out AA and Ray J (does anyone know who that is?). He ends the verse with a stellar transition to the chorus. Both bridges to the chorus are really solid.

The chorus is done by the late Juice WRLD. I never listened to him, but he’s really solid here. He talks about how he becomes a monster at night time, when the moon shines. This connects his monster to be a werewolf, but also to the alcoholism with moonshine. He even somehow makes the rhyme ice road truckers and blockbusters work through his delivery. I think the fact most modern rap doesn’t use the word “blockbuster” makes it feel refreshing, and paints a good visual.

The second verse focuses the monster as the past mistakes he’s made. He says that he’s said things that made people mad, he’s angry, and feels like someone in a mental hospital trying to see the future. This happens when her drinks a fifth of vodka and transition to the chorus perfectly.

The third and final verse is the worst. He is only a monster in so far as he can rap like a monster. It is technically impressive to see just how fast he can go, but it’s all such empty, uninteresting brag rap with really bad lines. He says he can getting cheese a cakewalk, and if that isn’t worse he then says cheese cake. Like yes, that was obvious. Other flows consist of saying his lyrics never sit well, so they’ll give him the chair like a paraplegic, or saying he’ll give everyone the finger like it’s a prostate examine (great Family Guy humor), and that every Tom, Dick, and Harry carry dictionary and that they can’t spit rhymes and how that’s funny. Yeah none of that is really all that interesting or clever. Just all lame, like the bad Godzilla film.

(And exhale. Okay, so what’s next? Right…)

So, the video for Godzilla cuts between a tribute to Juice WRLD on stage playing for crowds, Eminem rapping, and a guy getting drunk and high in a hotel before shooting people and getting killed by the police. It’s trying to tie the idea of alcohol and being monstrous even more. It tries to make the song feel like it’s disparaging to those attitudes. It does not work. I’m glad I nailed what the song was trying to do, but it feels too proud of its rhymes and flow to cast what it is saying negatively. That final verse might be trying to show just Eminem’s hubris. It also is some of his fastest flow work, and self congratulating. The video works fine to listen to the song, and gives the final line meaning, but doesn’t fix the song, or solve what it’s about like Life is Good did.

In the middle of his braggadocios tirade Em says that “I’m still the man you admire.” This song (and based on the reception of his last albums, lots of people) makes me doubt if that statement is true. The Eminem I admire was more clever than this. He had ideas to make his songs thematically cohesive, even as they devolved into total nonsense they were still on theme, and more clever and interesting than “Like a liar’s pants, I’m on fire” or “These chick are spazzing out, I only got more handsome and flier.” Those are not lines from someone who is a rap god, but instead a a novice.

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Tainted Victory – Chapter 4, Part 4 (Page-a-Day)

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“He apologizes,” Evelyn said. She pointed her quill at him.

“I can speak for myself!” 

“I’m sure you can.” Evelyn directed that comment to Siguard. “But he apologizes.”

“Are the beds all made up?” Claudia asked.

“Yes,” Hugh said. “We’re all adults so we can choose among ourselves who has which bed?”

“Can we share?” Evelyn said.

“Oh the Runocs,” Siguard massaged his temples. 

“I am a doctor, not a priest. I don’t care what you get up to in your personal time as long as it’s safe.”

“It do…”

“Just get the ducking thing done with!” Claudia yelled. “I’m getting sick of this stupid flirting nonsense back and forth.” She wagged her finger between the two. 

“I wasn’t flirting,” Hugh said.

“Neither was I,” Evelyn said, cocking her eyebrow for effects. 

“Runocs…” said Claudia with a sigh. 

A black mist wafted in from the kitchen. It was a thick black, and carried with the draft of the film. It stank of charcoal, burnt chicken meat, embers, and too much pepper. The scent crept up the nose and crisped the nose hairs. Claudia was the first to get the hit and began coughing. Olivier and Evelyn followed. 

Olivier covered his nose and mouth with his hand. “We forgot the food we were cooking.” Olivier ran toward the smoke.

Claudia took a band that wrapped around her head and moved it down to her mouth. “Let me go help him.” 

“I’ll go too,” Goblet said. “Smoke does not bother me. That’s the way meat should taste!” His meaty feet shook the stones beneath him while he ran up the stairs and into the kitchen. 

Siguard waved the smoke from his face. He turned his back from Evelyn and walked toward Hugh and Colt. “I’m going to walk a perimeter around the castle.” He stopped in front of the two. Even a few steps below them he still stood taller than them. He rested his leg on a step. “Make sure none of those damn blues have invaded.”

“You’ll miss dinner,” Hugh said.

“It’ll take them more and more minutes to get that chicken cleaned up to eatability.” He adjusted the sword on his hip then rustled the hood along his collar and flipped it over his head. “Would either of you like to lend their eyes?”

“I’ll go. Hounder probably needs to go, and four eyes are much better than just two.” He raised the hood on his cloak.

“What about you, doctor?”

“I think I will go to the kitchen. Burning food usually results in people getting burnt themselves.”

“Fair.” Siguard opened the metallic door out to the elements. The metal was burnt, rusted, and flaking off with the slightest touch. His gauntlet scraped against the metal and flaked off. The pelting rain muffled any noise the contact would have made. The two looked at Hugh. They were both pennant. Their mouths were single lines. They sighed before breaking the barrier separating the wet from the dry, and quickly disappeared.

How Scooby Doo Mystery Inc. Solved It!

I love Scooby Doo!

Scooby Doo has been around for a long time and everybody knows what it is. Four teens and a dog go solve mysteries and discover that the haunted or supernatural evil was really just a human all long. It was a formula that worked, could be changed and adapted with ease, and completely repeatable till the end of time.

With its adaptive ease it had gone through multiple series before I even laid eyes on it. It went from the 60s classic, to the team up/ cameo show, to the gang as a group of children, to made for TV/home release films, to an updated series, and a couple mild films. They were all ranged from passable, to good or great, but none of them really dug into the potential beyond the characters. They were easy to love, but not easy to believe in.

For as much as I love Scooby-Doo this show finds ways to grow it and not spend the whole time earnestly ribbing it. Instead they set the series after the original run of episodes in the gangs hometown of Crystal Cove, dubbed “The Most Haunted Town.” They continue to work together and solve mysteries in their small town

With so many places to start I think the art design by Dan Krall sells the show through the whole experience. The idea to set this in an out of time, 60s/70s retro future aesthetic was genius. It allows the characters to dress in their memorable designs without needing to make any concessions for it. It also always the whole world to look distinct. They can have 8-tracks, records, CDs, and rotary cellphones all in the same show without it being hokey. It’s having your cookie cake and eating it to.

The designs also let the monsters be really terrifying, haunting, or interesting. It is able to balance gator people, witches, chimeras, a motorcycle driving Tory, a truly devilish freak, German robots, crab people, zombies, Lovecraft (Hatecraftian) abominations, and more to make them look cohesive and viable in the world they set up. They all have memorable designs, and gimmicks to change it up and bring that haunting atmosphere to this south western town of Crystal Cove.

Another part of the world and art that is a real win is just how dedicated the team was at making all parts of the Scooby-Doo and Hanna-Barbera universes combine into a cohesive place. Making places like Quest Laboratory and Johnny Quest an established part of the world as a former company that the villains of the show bought, along with a Yogi Bear cameo, and giving an origin for Batman stand-in Blue Falcon and Dynomut really shows how much the team loved all those properties and I could believe them having plans to adapt all of those properties.

One of the best episodes that exemplifies the love this group had for the old Hanna-Barbera series is Scooby’s fever dream “Mystery Solvers Club State Finals.” In that episode we see all the discount Scooby-Doo shows like Captain Caveman, Jabberjaw, Speed Buggy, and the Funky Phantom meet to solve a mystery, and eventually lead to all the side-kicks (mascots really) must solve the mystery for the episode. It would have been easy for them just to make easy jokes at how repetitive all those clones were. Instead the team tries to give those series justice by giving all the mascots a solid personality, show why they are part of the team, and give us viewers who watched those series on Boomerang some solid fan service. I also think this episode was the inspiration for the direction the final mystery would go in.

That’s right, I neglected to mention the biggest thing that set this show apart from all the other incarnations of Scooby-Doo (Except 13 Ghosts but that’s different). This series has an overarching mystery that builds up to a giant three part conclusion. The mystery, that starts with finding a spyglass locket with a picture in it and turns into a generational conspiracy about previous mystery solving groups, evil corporations, curses, an evil German bird, and ancient celestial entities. It’s a smoother transition than I made it sound, but it is jarring. The main piece this mystery serves is to mix up the standard Scooby-Doo Formula (something the whole show is about). The mystery gives each episode an additional subplot that gives all the characters something to be doing and working on, being proactive in one aspects, as they react to the crime of the episode.

The episodic crimes are also used to sneak a part of the mystery in as the conclusion. Maybe the villain is the least obvious suspect, or maybe it has something to do with Mr. E, the old Mystery Incorporated group, or lost treasure. It makes a first watch feel refreshing, and not just easy to check social media and wait for the reveal. It’s engaging. On subsequent watches it becomes tracking that setup and payoff while enjoying the character growth.

Wait, character growth… that happens? Yes, this show manages to not only define and imbue our normal mystery gang with personality. Fred goes from the stock leader to a trapping expert, who can participate in trap battles, he’s tactical, and dense, but earnest in his affection for Daphne and the gang. Daphne is strong willed, perceptive, wants to follow her own heart, and does really love Fred. Velma is still the genius. She’s well informed, dry, analytical, goes for just the facts, but also can show frustration to the situations she’s in. Shaggy and Scooby-Doo are pretty similar. They get more courageous by the end, but do have some brains, and would help their friends in need.

This show also does the hardest task of making believable characters to inhabit Crystal Cove. The sheriff of the town, Sheriff Bronson Stone, both mayors Fred’s dad (Fred Jones Sr), and Mayor Nettles from season two, the previous mystery incorporated gang, the radio dj Angel Dynamite, and random reoccurring towns people like the teenagers and teachers at the school, and restaurant owners all get some distinct personality that makes them engaging to see. The fact Angel Dynamite is right out of a Blacksploitation film with the funky talking and karate skills, to how thick headed Sheriff Bronson Stone is, or money driven and tourist focused Mayor Fred Sr, or how much Mayor Nettles is really a secret action heroine all drive how believably unbelievable this city is.

It helps that the voice cast is absolutely killer for all involved. You get mainstays like Frank Welker to be Fred and Scooby-Doo like usual. You add biggest star Grey Deslile to bring some added life to valley girl Daphne. You get the best part of the live action films, Matthew Lillard to come back and voice Shaggy even more is all great. Only, it doesn’t stop there.

Someone must have called in all their Hollywood favors for this show. You get Patrick Warburton to come in and be that blockhead sheriff and give him lots of life even as he’s being two dimensional. Then add on Gary Cole as Fred Sr to be paternal and unreasonable, Vivica A Fox to be Angel Dynamite because who else would you get? Add onto that Lewis Black, Udo Kier, Tim Matheson, and Tia Carrere to show range in their skills. Only, the best is Linda Cardellini to come back and become a rival for Velma. That is great because played Velma in the live action films, and brings that same voice and sass back to a character that is set up to be her rival and kinda-sorta love interest (it was 2010, we were not going to get a full lesbian relationship on a kids show).

This is not to say the show is perfect. A lot of character work comes from very tedious love and relationship arcs that are obvious and make the characters feel unreasonable. They also fully permeate the show so it is hard to get a grasp of what the standard for the group before the show started. The easy solution is that this is a sequel to everything, and some of that tracks. But then there are references to Scrappy-Doo and Vincent Van Ghoul from 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, and the ending leaving me with lots of questions. It wants to be a simple everything you know happened but not exactly that way so we can change it, but then never establish what is baseline and normal for this incarnation of the mystery incorporated gang.

The mysteries in Scooby-Doo were never really complex or complicated. It was always just the guy you least expect doing it for money or fame of some kind. This show continues that, but oftentimes cheats with the reveals. Too often a character will also just happen to have a background in chemical engineering, or robotics, or be a super spy, or super mechanic, or great public speaker that makes the mystery seem unfair. How is the audience supposed to guess who the criminal is when this key part of their background won’t come out till the end. It only bothers me because it is a pattern, but it does not kill the show.

Scooby-Doo has always been a mystery series, and always will be. This series specifically solves more than just the truth of Crystal Cove. It solves the mystery of how to make something as timeless as Scooby-Doo feel relevant, real, and dramatic about the hokiest teens of all time by giving them interests outside of the mystery, but not exclude it. It says that this group will always exists because something will always be unexplained. No matter how big the mystery it can be solved through hard work, inductive reasoning, and friendship.

Grey’s Anatomy Is My #1 “Hate Watch” Show – Seasons 1-3(ish)

Just like most people, I’ve heard of Grey’s Anatomy for most of my life, but never found a real interest in actually watching it. It seemed like just some silly soap opera about a bunch of surgeons with no real substance. The demographic from my experience is primarily female and I’ve heard for years that I should give it a shot, but I’ve always leaned towards saying no ad that I just have no interest. It wasn’t until recently after finally succumbing to my girlfriends obsession with the show, that I finally took some time to watch a few episodes. I remember those episodes being somewhere around season 12 or 13, so I didn’t know exactly what was going on with each character or who has already had sex with who, so I got talked into starting from the very beginning with season 1.

Look, I was more than ready to give up on this show and throw it away in my personal mental trashcan, but season one actually starts a bit more tamed than the later season where I got my first taste of the show. It’s immediately clear that the show is very much a soap opera in the wrappings of a hospital drama. In the beginning we’re introduced to our interns who we will follow as they gain more experience. This was also a shortened season that seemed more of a test for where the direction of the series would go in the future seasons. My most noticed change was the character of Karev. He comes off as a real dick early on, but going into season 2, his character is altered slightly to be somewhat more compassionate and not so far a dick as he was in season 1. It was very reminiscent of season one of The Office. Other than Karev, O’Malley and Yang were the real highlights. Meredith, the star of the series, was good, but just didn’t feel as strong through these first few episodes.

Season 2 brought on the real drama of the show as it delved into the real soap opera like storytelling. We find out that Derek is married to Addison, but that she cheated on him, but he ends up picking her over Meredith. If you’re someone that has never watched this show for this specific reason and I’ve lost you then I’m sorry. This love triangle between Derek, Meredith, and Addison stretches through the whole season and is absolutely the worst and dumbest plot line through the whole season. Every character seems to take steps forward into growing and becoming better versions of themselves in a certain sense or expanding their range of acting except for these three. I can hear the arguments that Meredith has her moments in this season, but overall I just feel like she was a pain to watch in this triangle. The real highlights were the bomb in the chest episodes and the end of the season with Denny. Overall the season ended on a note where I told myself that I would keep watching for only a few more episodes to see of it gets better.

I have not completed season 3 yet, but if you’re familiar with the show then I just finished the three episodes centered on the ferry incident and Meredith drowning. I was going to wait until I finished this season before writing up a review of the first three seasons, but I got to this point and just had to type this out now. In my next review of the next few seasons, I will be sure to wrap up how this season ended, but I really needed to write this now. The season seemed to start off a bit slow with love triangles and stupid romance drama everywhere, and I mean EVERYWHERE. It was so much that I kept rolling my eyes and calling everyone stupid. I didn’t think that could be topped until we got to the ferry episodes. These episodes were so strong and so good for every single character except for Meredith. They have her accidentally pushed into the freezing cold water and staying under for god knows how long, not having a heartbeat for what felt like forever, and still somehow brought back to life.

These episodes frustrated me so much, because of how unnecessary Meredith’s storyline was and how much I just didn’t believe everything that happened. It was all completely over the top and made no sense when sit down and really think about it. It’s all used for the drama of almost losing a main character, but it’s done in such an over the top way that I kept getting frustrated at the TV. It’s unfortunate that they had to resort to telling this kind of lame and nonsensical story with one of our main characters, when the rest of the episodes revolving around the ferry incident were so good. Everyone had a chance to shine in their own ways, but all of it was brought down by how dumb I felt Meredith’s storyline was. These episodes are why I’m writing this so soon and why I am now considering this my #1 hate watch show.

If you aren’t familiar with what a “hate watch” is, it’s essentially watching a show that you know is dumb or has bad characters or bad writing but just love to watch it to see what comes next. A “hate watch” can be interpreted differently person to person since it depends on the actual reasons why they watch it and why they hate it. For me, there are several characters in this show that I really like and so many that I hate, there are some episodes that are very good, and others that are incredibly stupid. I’m so back and forth with whether to give up on this show or not because I know how stupid it really seems and how frustrated I get from the stupidity. With that said, there’s something about it that makes me keep coming back to watch the next episode, despite always telling myself that I’m going to quit.

I think it boils down to a few things as to why I continue to watch the show. As I said before, there are a lot of characters I like and some of which I know weren’t in the show when I first got a taste in season 12 or 13. Therefore, I want to see where these characters continue to go and how they end up off the show. I want to see what will happen next with these characters and if they’ll take some kind of unexpected turn. This also goes hand in hand with some of the incredibly stupid storytelling that comes in this show. I know that for the most part if a character goes for some kind of turn or has something happen to them, it’s typically a dumb reason but also sometimes good.

GREY’S ANATOMY “Testing 1-2-3” Season 3 Episode 24 MAY 10 2007 JUSTIN CHAMBERS

If you can’t tell by my back and forth in trying to figure out why I think certain things are good and why other things are bad, then here’s me telling you that I have a love hate relationship with this show that I’ve never had with anything before. Look, for the demographic they’re aiming for, this show hits every nail on the head and is quite good. It knows how to create drama and keep you on your toes with what’s going to happen to these characters. It’s about your love of the characters that really effects how good the show is. On top of that, it really does well in giving you some cool surgical cases that may end up saving an episode for you if the character drama isn’t working well. Despite my personal love/hate relationship with it, the show does do a lot of things very well and has a pretty balanced control over its storytelling and direction.

As I said before, I haven’t yet finished season three, but I’m almost there and I’ll cover that in my next review of the next few seasons. Up to this point though, I will admit that the show does do a lot of things well and I can easily see how it appeals to so many people. I will still continue saying that this show is 100% my #1 hate watch show. I absolutely hate that I continue to watch this show because it doesn’t work for me, but at the same time it does work for me. Even though I continue to tell myself that I’ll quit watching, I still end up going right back to it and I feel that I will most likely end up watching the rest of the series going forward and will continue this love/hate relationship I have with it. I will of course recommend this show to anyone that seems even remotely in the demographic their aiming for, but for those like me who kept writing it off, at least give it a shot and tell me what you think so I don’t feel completely crazy.

****Late note, currently watching while typing this, but….ARE YOU KIDDING ME?????? O’MALLEY HAD SEX WITH IZZY!??? COME ONNNNNNNN……WHYYYYYYYY********

If you’ve seen up to this point then make sure to comment below or send an email to TowerCityMedia@gmail.com make sure to not spoil anything that happens in later season, only keep it to the first three seasons. Also make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter @TowerCityMedia

Tainted Victory – Chapter 4, Part 3 (Page-a-Day)

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“Then he can move the bloody dragon himself!” Claudia said. 

“You know what? I’m with the girl on this one” Raisor said. He exited from behind the dragon. He walked passed the corpse and up to the divided piles of treasure. “I did my job. I slew the damn thing. Why should I have to count the stupid money.” He raised his leg up.

“Don’t kick it!” Evelyn said. 

Raisor lowered his foot. “You got a nice little ledger book of his reports and expenses so we don’t need the piles.” He gave the money horde the heel. They slid cacophonously into a pile at the bottom of the steps. “I’ve got other stuff to do.” He turned the corner, headed away from the kitchen and disappeared. 

“What’s been eating his food?” Claudia asked. 

“Who knows with him?” Evelyn said. She knelt over, and started scooping the piles back to their original location on the steps. The coins were the largest. They reached from the base of the step to the top, and far across. The jewelry ran across two steps and was a mix of gems, ornamental pieces, smooth and rare rocks, and other assorted shiny round objects it had spied. 

Siguard and Goblet emerged from the far side of the dragon. “I can tell you that,” Siguard said.

“Ah huh,” Evelyn said. 

“So how are we doing this?” Goblet asked.

“You pry it up with your axe. I’ll scrap them out with my sword. Seems easy enough.” 

“Are you going to tell me?” Evelyn said. 

Goblet approached the carcass. He scooped his hand under the scales and grabbed tight. He pulled it up. The beast itself did not move. Its flesh rose an inch. Goblet could feel how little ground the scales and tissue wanted to give. It relinquished enough. Goblet dug his axe blade under, dropped the flesh, then pressed down on the handle with both hands.  He grunted roughly. The reinforced wood of the handle began to creak and bend. The scaley tissue remained reluctant. 

“I am going to tell you in a moment.”

“You’re just watching him work.”

“Fine,” Siguard turned his attention away from Goblet. “He is like all soldiers. He has his mission. He accomplished it, and wants to go. Being a servant to anyway is hard on the heart of a fighter.”

Evelyn looked out the window. The only signifiers of rain were the splatters and streaks crossing the windows. “It would be a hard time to leave now with the rain and occupying force outside.”

Siguard rolled his eyes and returned to the dragon. Goblet gave a final press of the handle. The flesh gave up its hold and lifted enough. Siguard squatted, extended his sword to scrape away all the coins he could find. The noise was worse than the dragon’s lone claws against the stone. The noise was the last howl of life the dragon could give. It did howl. The scratching and scraping shook the windows. The occupance covered their ears for the limited protection it gave them. Siguard did a final check before counting. “We’ve got another fifteen gold here,” he said.

“Got it.” Evelyn wrote the number down. “You don’t seem to be bothered by these extra tasks placed on you.” 

Siguard slid his sword into its sheath. “I must just be used to it I suppose.” 

Colt, Hugh, and Hounder ran down the stairs from the bedroom. “What was that noise?” Hugh asked. 

“Quite. It sent some giant shivers and such down both my spine, and the spine of Hounder here.” Hounder looked up at him.

Tainted Victory – Chapter 4, Part 2 (Page-a-Day)

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“You’ll have to roll it toward you from the other side,” Goblet said. He picked up his axe and walked around to the far side. 

Siguard followed. “So no wars for you?”

“None I would say that are official like yours would be.” Goblet stopped on the broad side, took a long draw back before swinging forward and jabbed the blade into its body. “Just trolls and other assorted terrors.”

“Would you say they were doing what their nature was?” Siguard stabbed his sword deep into the broadside. 

“I suppose. Raisor,” he called, “get your twin swords here to roll him!” 

“I’m coming.” Raisor grunted, climbed onto the dragon’s mass, then slid down the other side. He gave a preformative twirl before stabbing his twin swords into the mass. The other men sighed. 

“On three,” Goblet said. “One, two, three!” The three men yanked down on the handles of their weapons. The only movement they could feel were the blades sliding through the meat. Raisor’s swords were the first to cut through the flesh before slicing out. Gobelt’s axe was next. Siguard was the last. He twisted his sword deeper. It didn’t work. The sword flew out and he stumbled back. Goblet looked at the freshly mutilated flesh wall. “Oh, right.”

Raisor and Siguard looked at him. “‘Oh, right,’ what?” Raisor asked.

“Someone has to push from the other side!” 

“Great,” Raisor moaned. He cleaned his blades off and returned them to his back. “Hey, Evelyn? Would you like to help us move this beast?”

“I’m busy,” her voice said from the other side of the dragon. 

Claudia approaches Evelyn from the kitchen. “How are the things going out here?”

“Oh men being men,” Evelyn said. She took a note down in her ledger, then closed it. 

“I’d like to see you try to move this!” Raisor said.

“Just scrape the coins from under its belly,” Claudia said. “Everything else is just the sunk cost of a dragon invading.”

“Where is my helper!” Olivier poked his head out of the kitchen. “Oh there you are!” He moved to the doorway. He no longer wore his robes. He was in a tan shirt with the sleeves rolled up, and brown pants. “We were working on conjuring up some food for the lot of us.”

“I needed a break,” Claudia said. “There are only so many times you can tell me to tap into the fire within me before the fire is going to just make my blood boil.”

“It’s not that hard. We are all people of fire. That is what makes us, us. The ability to produce fire.”

“Is that the mage?” Siguard asked. 

“Yes,” Olivier replied. 

“Can you use your wind magics to help push this dragon on to its side,” Siguard asked. 

“Don’t help,” Claudia said. “Just scrape what bits you can and leave the rest.”

“Ha! You know just as little about royalty as you do magic,” Olivier said. “Kings want to keep their riches. 

HBO’s Avenue 5 Episode 2 Review

Where to start…I have no idea still how I feel about this show and whether or not I actually like it. I remember suing the same thing after watching episode 1 and I still feel the same after episode 2. This is such a unique and different kind of show that really knows how to execute a lot of things right while at the same time making me feel like they’re executing everything wrong.im trying to branch out and give different shows a chance and this one being on HBO is really what’s keeping me on board. HBO is known for its quality programming and while it has had its handful of missteps, I’m not sure yet if this is one of those and I may not be sure until the season is up. I’d be curious to see what the actual ratings are for it to see if it’s something that a lot of people came back for with episode 2. 

The comedy is definitely a specific style and taste that only works for someone that appreciates and understands what they’re going for. I can’t say that I don’t see what they’re going for because I understand their approach, but I’m just not sure if it’s working for me or not. There are several shows where I know that it’s funny and that a lot of people like the comedy involved like say Family Guy, but in the end it usually doesn’t work for me as a whole. Something about this show feels like a side series in the Family Guy world. It just feels like a live action Family Guy episode just without any of the characters from the show. I may be the only one that feels this way, but I think it ultimately boils down to the specific type of comedy they’re trying to go for. 

This episode continues where we left off and continues the whole thing of what the situation would be like if everything went the wrong way and if you didn’t have competent people in charge. I swear, the more I talk about it, the more I really feel like this is the same vein of comedy that Family Guy and American Dad go for. If not for the over the top stupidity of some of the characters, then it’s just the fact that they can’t get anything to go the way they want. It also kind of feels like the show Last Man on Earth. It’s a quirky style of comedy that makes me laugh but I don’t necessarily feel much smarter watching it. I’m not saying the show is dumb or goes for that kind of demographic, but it kind of feels like a dumb comedy. Not dumb as in bad, but dumb as in silly or over the top. 

I will admit that there were times where I found myself enjoying it and laughing like when they shoot the bodies out, but rather them being sent away from the ship, they actually end up orbiting it. A lot of that clever comedy though is ruined by some stupid comedy like when one of the passengers says that they’re zombies. There are a lot of moments when the show really hits the right note on the comedy, but then hurts itself by throwing in another joke that just doesn’t work along with the main joke. It’s a weird balance that again I know will work for some people but ultimately loses me in enjoying the moment. The problem I run into when deciding whether I like it or not tends to come down to the fact that even though the comedy doesn’t always work, the actual intelligence of what they do works. 

I want to make it clear that I’m not calling the show dumb, but that some of the comedy comes off as dumb. The point I’m trying to make regarding its intelligence is surprisingly how much sense it actually makes when you take into account the characters and story that it’s actually set up. For example, they make a point of saying how much heavier that golden casket is and since it wasn’t shot out with enough force, it actually didn’t go far and ended up in the ships orbit. Scientifically I don’t know how accurate it is, but I found myself thinking that it actually makes some sense in a certain way. Or another example is how Josh Gad’s character Judd, decides to tell NASA to go f themselves and that they have their own plan. Now I don’t think that’s a good idea, but they stay true to that character and it actually does make sense for him to do something like that. 

I have to say that the performances are surprisingly good despite being a little over the top. I still think Hugh Laurie is my favorite part and I can’t get enough of him, but everyone else hams it up enough for me to enjoy the performances overall. I’m still not sure whether I’m on board with this show, but again find myself pushed to next week to see how Episode 3 turns out. For some reason I feel inclined to see where this story goes just for the entertainment of the absurdity. There are certain moments that I find hilarious and other moments that just don’t work at all. There’s a lot this show has some well so far by actually making actions and events make sense in regards to what they’ve set up, but I think it needs more work before I can make a judgement. I think I may end up finding myself watching the rest of the season saying that I’ll keep giving it another episode but for now I’m going to stay mixed overall with the first two episodes. 

If you’ve seen the newest episode and have comments or questions then feel free to comment below or send an email to TowerCityMedia@gmail.com. Also make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter @TowerCityMedia