Netflix is a great way of experiencing new and old TV shows alike, even if it means that not everything is worth watching, as could be seen in November 2017.
There was only one movie I gave a try, as I also wanted to get through my physical library of BDs and DVDs. Unfortunately it wasn’t a good one. The actors of the Trailer Park Boys TV show playing themselves might be an interesting idea, and the whole punch in the face of censorship worked to a certain degree, but the movie of the website-based show was nothing more than a Guinness Book of Records swearing marathon without any likable characters or even a story that was worth following despite almost running for 2 hours. Guest appearance of MTV enfant terrible Tom Green didn’t save this, either. I actually watched the two Wayne’s World movies afterwards just to realize that nonsense can actually be fun without annoying characters and a plot that moves along with the pace of a snail.
Swearnet: The Movie [4/10]
I still gave the guys a chance and continued watching Trailer Park Boys: Out of the Park – Europe, but as expected, the tasks they had to do in individual cities were as uninspired as the jokes, with only a few moments that were mildly amusing. The same held true for the newest Trailer Park Boys: Out of the Park – USA, so I start to wonder why I even bother about the new Netflix output, wishing back the old nonsense. The Trailer Park Boys Christmas Special was a much better effort, probably because it brought back the good old times when the series was worth watching, offering even some almost touching moments and social criticism (that would then again be ridiculed). Trailer Park Boys: Live at the North Pole wasn’t great, but it was interesting to see almost everyone on stage doing improvisations like the best of stand-up comedians.
Another comedy show but with more horror was Crazyhead, which was sadly a poor British Buffy – The Vampire Slayer/They live! (only with demons) attempt. While there were some good scary elements, the whole Sex in the City-like humor and forced drama elements ruined it for me. I don’t know what’s wrong with British horror comedies lately, but except for Shaun of the Dead, I found most of them lacked the right mix of gore and violence with situational comedy. It didn’t help the series to have less than great special effects. At least it was over after 6 episodes and there will (hopefully) be no comeback of the most annoying female leads I’ve encountered so far. Watching some of Archer‘s second season episodes was a fun no-brainer, though, even if it didn’t do much different in terms of very crude humor and a surprising amount of violence.
Sometimes memories can play tricks on you, and there’s nothing more nostalgic than the original Star Trek series. Only in my case I already found what I watched on television in my youth just another forgettable afternoon TV distraction. I’ve always been a Star Wars fan and there’s a reason for that, mainly that I found Star Trek’s whole serious science attitude unintentionally funny. Sure, there were always some comedy elements, but they rarely worked, and now I know why. After sitting through around 75 episodes with simply terrible acting of all involved (except maybe for Leonard Nimoy who sadly passed away and whose emotionless character Spock was easier to relate to than the rest of the crew of which one didn’t learn much anyway), make-up and special effects that were so bad that one couldn’t take the whole thing seriously. Even if some of the dialogue and the stories dealt with interesting classic sci-fi themes, these were always smashed by ridiculous fighting scenes and cringe-worthy wisecracking that it was a pain to endure the 50 minutes of each episode. Yes, some Trekkies might throw stones at me (or curse in Klingon who BTW looked as ridiculous as the other aliens) for this, but there’s no way around the fact that the old series has indeed lost its magic and hasn’t aged well at all, ending up to be nothing more than trash one can actually have a blast making fun of in almost every scene. My idea was to watch all Star Trek TV shows in preparation for the new Netflix Original. Maybe the others are better (at least I remember Next Generation and Voyager to be less irritating), but I doubt I’ll sit through such a long ordeal again. It’s not that I dislike Star Trek in general, as I found the new movies quite entertaining, but there are simply better shows and movies…
Being a Star Wars fan but not very happy about what George Lucas did with Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, I was quite skeptical about the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars show, and even if I found the episodes too rushed and especially the facial animations to look pretty cheap, at least it was 20 minutes of blasting action with a great soundtrack and good voice acting that might not be as thrilling and fun as Episode IV: A New Hope, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, and even Episode VII: The Force Awakens, but it was much more entertaining than going through the whole Jar Jar Binks disaster again.
Finally, after already having watched the first five seasons of American Horror Story in October, it was great to see what the next gory installment would be, and what a great one it was! Roanoke started out to be just another one of those haunted mansion flicks, but then it would turn into a documentary, then a reality TV show with Scream-like self-referential humor, and even a Blair Witch Project-shaky camera ride that made it one of the best shows yet. Seeing all the real actors and actresses meet the people they had to portray in the documentary gave it an interesting twist, with the violence and carnage coming from a supernatural force later made the show even more enjoyable for a slasher movie fan like me who appreciates productions that are experimental in breaking genre conventions. I can’t wait to see what the newest season has in store, as despite not always being perfect, American Horror Story has never shied away from delivering fresh ideas with good acting and high production values, while at the same time not holding back with the violence and scary elements.
American Horror Story (Complete Seasons 6) [9/10]
Archer (Season 2, Episodes 1-5) [8/10]
Crazyhead (Complete Season 1) [4/10]
Star Trek (1966-1969) (Complete Seasons 1-3) [4/10, 4/10, 4/10]
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Season 1, Episodes 1-5) [7/10]
The Trailer Park Boys Christmas Special [8/10]
Trailer Park Boys: Live at the North Pole [7/10]
Trailer Park Boys: Out of the Park – Europe (Season 1, Episodes 3-8) [5/10]
Trailer Park Boys: Out of the Park – USA (Season 1, Episodes 1+2) [5/10]
November 2017 might have been full of more disappointments than pleasant surprises, but then again I’m happy that I didn’t pay any money for a whole Star Trek box and trying out the Star Wars: Clone Wars episodes before deciding to get the rather expensive retail set was also quite nice. So let’s see what December will bring, especially with Christmas around the corner…
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