Author Archives: Kyle

If We Controlled Your Remote… 11/13/20

Have you ever been at a loss as to what to watch? Too many shows to pick from? We’re here to give you our opinions on what we feel is worth watching. Check it out and then let us know in the comments below what you’re choosing for tonight!

Kyle’s Choice

Today, Amazon’s free IMDb TV service launches its first original series, Alex Rider, which is based on Anthony Horowitz’s best-selling teenage James Bond-like spy novel franchise. (The author also serves as an executive producer on the TV series). Alex Rider (Otto Farrant, Mrs. Wilson) is just your normal London teenager, who enjoys hanging out with best friend Tom (Brenock O’Connor, Game of Thrones, Dickensian), and deals with normal teenager problems. But all that is about to change.

Alex lives with his uncle Ian (Andrew Buchan, The Spanish Princess) and American housekeeper Jack (Ronke Adekoluejo, Been So Long). When Alex’s uncle is brutally murdered, Alex discovers a secret that shatters his seemingly-normal world. Ian Rider was actually a spy, and he had been secretly training Alex in all aspects of espionage since his childhood. Now MI6 wants Alex’s help to investigate his uncle’s death, which they believe is connected to the assassination of several high-profile billionaires. They ask Alex to go undercover, posing as a new student at Point Blanc, a mysterious, elite boarding school in the French Alps, where the ultra-rich send their troubled teenagers to be reformed. However, Alex soon uncovers something much more sinister going on at the school. In order to survive this deadly, dangerous situation, he’s going to have to utilize all the skills his uncle had taught him over the years. At the same time, Alex doesn’t necessarily know who he can trust as it starts to look like his uncle’s death may have been an inside job.

I have been a fan of the Alex Rider novels for a long time, so I was really excited to check out this series. Fortunately, I was far from disappointed — it successfully translates all of the action, tension, and drama from the novels onto the small screen, with top notch production value. As each episode ended I was excited to keep binging to see what happened next. In this series, Alex has been aged up slightly from the books, but the casting was well done — Otto Farrant gives an excellent portrayal of this iconic title character. The rest of the cast is also great — Ronke Adekoluejo’s casting as Jack is probably the most drastic difference from the books, but I quite enjoyed the actress’s take on the character.

In 2006, the first Alex Rider book was adapted into the feature film Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker. The first season of this series adapts the second novel, “Point Blanc,” across eight episodes. However, Alex’s origin story has been reworked into this first season, so there is no need to have seen the previous movie. The series includes several iconic scenes and action sequences from the book that are faithfully re-created for fans of the novel. Alex Rider has a great blend of action, drama, mystery, and even some humor, and should make for an exciting and entertaining binge. I am thrilled that the series has already been renewed for a second season — I look forward to many more Alex Rider adventures!

IMDb TV programming is available for free with ads and can be viewed the same way you watch other Amazon Prime programming. However, it does not require an Amazon Prime subscription to access. You can find the new Alex Rider series here:

I’ll also be watching/recording The Blacklist, The Graham Norton Show, Inside Pixar, and Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey.

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If We Controlled Your Remote… 10/29/20

Have you ever been at a loss as to what to watch? Too many shows to pick from? We’re here to give you our opinions on what we feel is worth watching. Check it out and then let us know in the comments below what you’re choosing for tonight!

Kyle’s Choice #1

Tonight, Superstore returns to kick off its sixth season on NBC. Star America Ferrera was supposed to exit the show at the end of last season, but due to the sudden production shutdowns last spring, Amy didn’t get her proper sendoff. When we last left off, Amy was planning to take a position with Zephra corporate, as Director of Customer Experience for Cloud 9. However, this would mean that she would have to relocate to California. She was nervous about telling Jonah, but it turned out that he was on board to move as well. Just like how the TV season was interrupted, so were Amy’s plans. As the new season opens, COVID has hit, and Amy’s transfer has been delayed — just two episodes for the viewers but several months in Cloud 9 time.

While several new/returning shows (including comedies) have taken a more heavy-handed, somewhat political approach to incorporating the events of the past several months into their storylines, I appreciate that Superstore has managed to keep things much lighter, comedically paying tribute to those essential workers who keep our grocery stores going and have to deal with the unruly customers who try to hoard during product shortages or refuse to wear masks. I thought the writers did an excellent job of incorporating the pandemic into the series in a way that felt natural and organic. I’m curious to see if they continue to incorporate the workplace changes throughout the season or if tonight’s premiere is just a one-off. Next week we finally get part 2 of what was supposed to be last season’s finale, and it will be interesting to see how Amy leaves and if Jonah does join her—right now their relationship appears to be trouble-free, however, there has been no mention that Ben Feldman would also be leaving the series. I’m just going to enjoy these final two episodes with Amy and look forward to seeing how the series fills the void left by America Ferrera’s departure.

On tonight’s sixth season premiere, “Essential,” during the coronavirus pandemic, Amy and Jonah try to bring order to the chaos in Cloud 9 while being pulled in multiple directions; the employees learn what it means to be “heroes,” while Amy and Jonah’s impending move to California looms large.

Check out the season opener tonight on NBC at 8/7c.
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If We Controlled Your Remote… 6/25/20

Have you ever been at a loss as to what to watch? Too many shows to pick from? We’re here to give you our opinions on what we feel is worth watching. Check it out and then let us know in the comments below what you’re choosing for tonight!

Kyle’s Choice

Today the DC Universe original series Doom Patrol returns for its second season, and this year it also airs on HBO Max, which means a lot more folks will be able to see it! In the first season, over the course of several decades, wheelchair-bound scientist Niles Caulder (Timothy Dalton) welcomed various enhanced humans to live with him in his giant mansion, known as Doom Manor, where he tried to help them control their powers. It’s not unlike The X-Men, but these super-powered beings have a lot more personal and emotional baggage to deal with (which we found out about through flashbacks), plus they are a lot less heroic (at least initially).

The team includes 1950s Silver Screen starlet Rita Farr (April Bowlby), who, while shooting a film in 1955 in Africa, fell into the river and was transformed into Elasti-Girl. When her emotions run high, Rita loses control of her body and becomes a massive blob – a far cry from her normally-glamorous Hollywood self. In 1961, Air Force aviator test pilot Larry Trainor (Matt Bomer) was on a test flight in space and encountered cosmic radiation. A Negative Spirit entered his body, and his plane plummeted to Earth, bursting into flames, severely burning his body. Now Larry is constantly covered in bandages, looking like a mummy. The Negative Spirit inside of him can exit his body, but when it does so, it leaves Larry in a lifeless, immobile state – he has become dependent on this cohabitant to stay alive. In the 1970s, Crazy Jane (Diane Guerrero) found her way to Doom Manor. The troubled young woman has 64 personas, each with her own superpower. Jane cannot control which one of the personas controls her body – it could be anyone from the tough Hammerhead, to the teleporting Flit. Even Caulder hasn’t seen all of Jane’s personalities. In 1988, philandering race car driver Cliff Steele (Brendan Fraser) was in a horrible accident, and only his brain survived. Caulder built Steele a brand-new robotic body, turning him into Robotman. And the latest addition to the team is high school football star Victor Stone (Joivan Wade). An explosion at STAR labs left his mother dead, but Silas Stone (Phil Morris) rebuilt the majority of his son’s body using nanites and other high-tech means, turning Victor into the crime-fighting superhero known as Cyborg.

In the first season, the team found itself up against a powerful supervillain known as Mr. Nobody (Alan Tudyk), who had kidnapped The Chief (Niles). As they ventured out of Doom Manor and into the surrounding small town of Cloverton, Ohio for the first time in decades, things almost immediately went horribly wrong, as none of them really had control over their powers. The group soon found itself up against things like Apocalyptic cults and other inter-dimensional obstacles. At the same time, Mr. Nobody was playing mind games with them, trying to make them turn against one another, using their past emotional tragedies against them.

As the season came to a close, the metahumans learned that Niles Caulder had actually been involved in the accidents that caused each of them to obtain their powers. He had been using them as test subjects in his quest to unlock the secret to immortality, in hopes to prolong his own life long in order to protect his daughter, who has the ability to alter reality. Things got very odd and surreal as the team entered the painting of Danny the Street to take on Mr. Nobody and rescue Niles’s daughter, managing to escape just before a nuclear explosion collapsed the dimension inside the painting, trapping Mr. Nobody and the Bead Hunter in the White Space dimension. Afterwards, Niles introduced the team to his daughter, Dorothy Spinner.

The series has a very unique tone, which is largely comedic. The violence and language can be graphic and over-the-top at times, taking full advantage of the fact that this is not a broadcast network DC show. It has a very Deadpool sort of feel to it. The first season episodes were narrated by Mr. Nobody, who constantly made sarcastic remarks, often breaking the fourth wall, referring to the series itself. The world itself is also quite insane, from a flatulating donkey, to a sentient teleporting gender-queer street named Danny, to the talking Ezekiel the Cockroach (Curtis Armstrong) bent on world domination, to The Beard Hunter (Tommy Snider) a man with the power to learn everything about a person just by consuming their beard.

The show knows it’s crazy and embraces it and just has fun, while also exploring some really dark, dramatic moments. I’m curious to see where the series goes this season and what new characters will be introduced. Will the group still be bitter about Niles’s involvement in their conditions? How will Niles’s daughter fit in with the team? Is Mr. Nobody really gone, and if so, who will be the big bad this season and who will narrate the episodes? I am really happy that the series will be airing on HBO Max this year, as I don’t subscribe to DC Universe. Today the first 3 episodes (“Fun Size Patrol”, “Tyme Patrol” & “Pain Patrol”) will be made available, with a new episode launching each Thursday thereafter. Unfortunately, the second season is going to be short, with only 9 episodes, versus 15 in the first season.

I’ll also be watching/recording Holey Moley, Don’t, To Tell the Truth, Broke, and Celebrity Watch Party.
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If We Controlled Your Remote… 5/29/20

Have you ever been at a loss as to what to watch? Too many shows to pick from? We’re here to give you our opinions on what we feel is worth watching. Check it out and then let us know in the comments below what you’re choosing for tonight!

Kyle’s Choice

Today, Apple TV+ launched the new animated musical comedy Central Park, from Loren Bouchard, who also created Bob’s Burgers. Owen Tillerman (Leslie Odom, Jr., Hamilton) is the park manager for New York City’s Central Park. He loves flowers and nature in general and is devoted to his job. However, he finds that not everyone seems to care about the park as much as he does. He and his family live in Edendale Castle, a home adjacent to the park, though not actually a castle as the name implies. Owen’s wife Paige (Kathryn Hahn, I Know This Much Is True) works for a small weekly newspaper, What’s New New York?. She is eager to branch out into covering hard news and not just the puff pieces her editor usually assigns to her. The Tillermans have two children. Cole (Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) is a kind-hearted animal lover, while older sister Molly (Kristen Bell, Frozen, The Good Place) likes to draw comic books. The heroine of Molly’s comics is an idealized version of herself – Fista-Puffs can rewind time 5 seconds at a time, and her hair turns into giant fists to take down the bad guys. She often teams up with the handsome Kite Boy – who is based on a boy she often fantasizes about after exchanging just a few words in the park.

Living in the penthouse of a hotel overlooking Central Park is the evil Bitsy (Stanley Tucci, BoJack Horseman, Feud: Bette and Joan), a wealthy hotel heiress who only really loves her dog, Shampagne. Bitsy has come up with a secret scheme to buy Central Park and turn it into condos. Her loyal maid, Helen (Daveed Diggs, Hamilton, Snowpiercer), puts up with Bitsy’s poor treatment in hopes that one day she will inherit a fortune.

Leading the viewers through this story, and serving as narrator, is troubadour Birdie (Josh Gad, Frozen, Avenue 5). Birdie is a musician who hangs out in the park and often breaks the fourth wall to make puns and comment on what’s happening (or going to happen) in each episode.

It’s hard not to compare this series to Bob’s Burgers. The Tillermans have a very similar family dynamic as the Belchers – son Cole is a lot like Gene Belcher, with a love of food and making sarcastic comments, and while the Tillermans only have one daughter, Molly is an amalgam of the boy-crazy Tina Belcher and the wilder, scheming Louise. The series does a nice job of balancing a serialized storyline with fun adventures and story-of-the-week arcs. Like with Bob’s Burgers, there are both stories involving the entire family at home, as well as multiple side adventures involving various combinations of the kids and parents.

While episodes of Bob’s Burgers contain a musical number here and there (or in the credits), Central Park is much more of a proper musical, with the characters breaking into song at least 4-5 times per episode. The original songs run the gamut of musical styles but are always thoroughly entertaining and catchy, with smart, witty lyrics and amazing performances by the show’s talented cast, all of whom have musical theater backgrounds. I especially enjoyed an amazing contrasting duet in episode 4, where Paige is singing about setting rat traps while Cole is singing about deactivating them to save his potential furry friend. The musical numbers don’t feel like a quick afterthought – they feel fully produced and enhance each episode’s story lines.

Apple TV+ released the first two episodes today, and additional episodes will be released each Friday. This is such a delightful show, and I highly recommend checking it out – especially for those who are already fans of Bob’s Burgers. The first season will be 13 episodes, and a second season has already been ordered, so there’s plenty of musical goodness to come.

I’ll also be watching/recording Space Force and The Graham Norton Show.

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If We Controlled Your Remote… 5/26/20

Have you ever been at a loss as to what to watch? Too many shows to pick from? We’re here to give you our opinions on what we feel is worth watching. Check it out and then let us know in the comments below what you’re choosing for tonight!

Kyle’s Choice

Last week, The CW kicked off its latest superhero series, Stargirl. (Episodes also air a day earlier, on Mondays, on the DC Universe subscription service.) In the premiere, we learned that a decade earlier, a band of heroes known as the Justice Society of America was protecting the Earth from a similar band of villains, known as the Injustice Society. However, the heroes were nearly all killed in battle. Just before he died, Starman (Joel McHale) gave his Cosmic Staff to his sidekick, Pat Dugan aka Stripesy (Luke Wilson), telling him it would find a worthy successor. However, the staff would just sit in storage, gathering dust for the next decade. During that time, Pat met and married Barbara Whitmore (Amy Smart), a single mother whose first husband mysteriously disappeared one Christmas, right around the time that the Justice Society of America was killed off (is there a connection?!).

In the present day, the newly-combined family – Pat, his son Mike (Trae Romano), Barbara, and her daughter Courtney (Brec Bassinger, School of Rock) – have moved across the country to their new home in Blue Valley, and Courtney’s first day at Blue Valley High School doesn’t go well. She’s picked on by the popular kids and forced to sit at the reject table for lunch (the future members of a new Justice Society of America?). After school, she stumbles upon the Cosmic Staff in the basement, which seems to come to life and flies her to the drive-in theater, where the cool kids are hanging out. Courtney is a bit of a gymnastics star, and her skills seem to blend well with that of the staff. However, the staff gets a mind of its own and blows up jock/bully Henry King Jr.’s (Jake Austin Walker, Rectify) car. It turns out that his father, Henry Sr. (Christopher James Baker, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) was a villain named Brainwave, and now, with this new turn of events, he’s decided to don his old costume and come out of retirement. Courtney eventually meets up with Brainwave and is about to lose their fight when she is saved by Pat, who is wearing a giant 15-foot robot Transformer-like armor.

I really enjoyed the premiere and can’t wait to see more of this series – it has the humor and lighter tone of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, so it should pair well with that on Tuesday nights. I am looking forward to seeing Courtney don the Stargirl uniform (I mean, despite Pat’s denial, Starman has to have been her father, right?), and form a new Justice Society of America to take on these bullies and actual villains.

On tonight’s episode, “S.T.R.I.P.E.,” after Courtney has an unexpected run-in with a member of the Injustice Society of America, Pat reveals the truth to her about their history; Barbara is elated when she sees Courtney making an attempt to get along with Pat.

To learn the truth about Pat and Courtney, tune in to The CW at 8/7c.

I’ll also be watching/recording DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.

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