Star Trek: Picard Season 1 Episode 3: The End is the Beginning Recap

mv5bmzuxztfknmmtmtawms00mzdkltlhmtetztc4zjblowjmnmyyxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvynjg5nje3mtk40._v1_

And we’re off! The action picks up in episode 3 of Star Trek: Picard, with Jean Luc acquiring a ship and skeleton crew, then setting off into space. Before that happens, the Romulan assassins find him and Agnes, he and Raffi negotiate a delicate peace, and we’re introduced to the eccentric captain of the new ship, Cristobal Rios, and his look-alike EMH.

Over on the Borg cube, Narek’s sister, Rizzo, arrives in person, Narek and Soji continue to grow closer, and Soji is allowed to interview an important ex drone.

Recap

Every episode so far, including this one, has begun with a PTSD vision of the destruction of Mars in 2385, an event which, 14 years later, collectively haunts the Federation the way 9/11/01 haunts the US and WW2 haunts the entire world. Once the worst of the nightmare recedes, the scene changes to Starfleet Headquarters, not long after the attack on Mars. Picard’s personal nightmare isn’t over yet.

Continue reading “Star Trek: Picard Season 1 Episode 3: The End is the Beginning Recap”

Movie Review: The Farewell

mv5bmwe3mjvinwuty2vjys00zdbjltllmzytn2fky2qwymrimdhjxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvyodqznte3odc40._v1_sy1000_cr006751000_al_

The Farewell * 2019 * Rated PG * 1 Hour 39 Minutes

😸😸😸😸½  4 1/2 out of 5 Happy Lap Cats

In The Farewell, writer-director Lulu Wang tells the true story of a giant fiction her family created together as a kindness toward her dying grandmother. It’s a complicated story, full of truths and lies and messy family relationships that aren’t easily pinned down into simple words, beyond the word “real”. Despite the fact that this is a story about lies, Wang’s film is painfully honest, showing the love that went into the decisions her family made when her grandmother was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.

Continue reading “Movie Review: The Farewell”

Movie Review: One Child Nation

mv5bndi3nwi0y2utzdriyy00ztg5lwizzdqtn2zmm2fmywviywq5xkeyxkfqcgdeqxvyode1mjmynzi40._v1_sy1000_cr006971000_al_One Child Nation * 2019 * Rated R * 1 Hour 28 Minutes

😸😸😸😸½  Rated 4 1/2 out of 5 Happy Lap Cats

One Child Nation is a very personal documentary, made by director Nanfu Wang when she had her own first child and began to seriously consider, for the first time, the implications of China’s one child policy, which she had been born and raised under. Wang had relocated to the US years before her son was born, so her pregnancy was unaffected by the harsh government program, which was in force from 1979 to 2015. But the internalized trauma from growing up in that environment, from events she didn’t even realize she’d absorbed, began to affect her attitude toward her own pregnancy, so she set out to examine the wide-ranging effects of China’s long-term push to gain control of its population size.

Continue reading “Movie Review: One Child Nation”

Emergence Season 1 Episode 12: Killshot Pt. 1 Recap

112_emergence_photo02_full

Episode 12 is part 1 of Emergence’s two part season (series?) finale, so it’s all about building the characters up for their big finish. Jo and Brooks go even more rogue than usual. Piper looks for an ally to help her save Benny. Helen wants what Piper has and will motivate Emily however she has to in order to get it. Chris monitors Benny in jail and does excellent police work.

I question how Brooks made it into the FBI and whether he’s secretly given Jo a lobotomy. Emily is a delight, as always. Someone give Maria Dizzia her own show.

Recap

Helen and Emily sit down for a meal and negotiations. An AI named Justin acts as their server, providing Emily with a huge, sharp knife that’s completely unnecessary for the meal. Helen prattles on about how she and Emily are both innovators, Mothers of the Evolution, who should work together and share resources rather than fight each other. Helen just wants Emily to give her Piper’s abilities, then she’ll share her considerable wealth with Emily and set her free.

Continue reading “Emergence Season 1 Episode 12: Killshot Pt. 1 Recap”

Manifest Season 2 Episode 3: False Horizon Recap

manifest-episode-203-false-horizon-promotional-photo-04_full

So many amusing things happened on Manifest this week that I can’t resist commenting on them, so here’s a recap.

Mick treats Jared like dirt in order to get Zeke out of prison, because those two are legitimately the worst. Grace’s baby makes her hallucinate black dragons. Mick, Zeke and Cal share visions of a horrific plane disaster, which they see as a positive bonding experience.

Ben and Vance decide that lying to Saanvi, tricking her into helping them find the Major and not telling her she’s in mortal peril is A-OK. Saanvi is not okay with this scenario and is smarter than the three of them put together. She has a plan for dealing with them.

Continue reading “Manifest Season 2 Episode 3: False Horizon Recap”

Book Review: When I Was You by Minka Kent

81zsw0cw63l

When I Was You, by Minka Kent, begins with the story of Brienne Dougray, a woman who is recovering from a brutal attack which has left her with severe migraines, memory loss and neurological issues. She is so disabled and traumatized that she almost never leaves the Queen Anne Victorian home she inherited from her wealthy grandparents. To compound her difficulties, she’s inexplicably lost all of her friends since her attack, leaving her with only her boarder, handsome and compassionate Dr Noah Emberlin, to depend on when she needs care.

Niall is a somewhat mysterious figure himself, an oncologist at the local hospital who also seems to have few friends and sends Brienne decidedly mixed signals about what he wants from her. Is he a friend who pities her and gets carried away sometimes, so his attentions are easily mistaken for romantic? Or does he have feelings for Brienne, but thinks he should hold back because of her health status?

Continue reading “Book Review: When I Was You by Minka Kent”

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist Season 1 Episode 1: Pilot Recap

zoeys-extraordinary-playlist-episode-101-pilot-promotional-photo-12_full

There are worse things in life to wake up to than Alex Newell singing in the apartment next door. That’s what happens to Zoey Clarke (Jane Levy) when she develops a new musical superpower early on in the pilot of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, NBC’s new hour long musical series. Alex, who plays Mo, a DJ, fashion designer and artist, frequently sings and plays loud music even before Zoey develops her power. With her new talent, she can hear the songs that he only sings inside his head. Zoey is initially too much of a coding nerd to appreciate any of this.

When there’s an earthquake while she’s having an MRI of her head with a radio playing, Zoey acquires the ability to read minds, in the form of watching people sing fully choreographed musical numbers that explain their current state of being. The computer running the test does something funky as the world shakes, making portions of Zoey’s brain light up that shouldn’t be affected.

Continue reading “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist Season 1 Episode 1: Pilot Recap”

Raising Dion Season 1 Review: How Do You Raise a Superhero?

mv5bztgyyjzjmzktnjk1oc00zddmlthmodetnzuxmzcyy2y1yzbmxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvymjmznteymzk40._v1_sy1000_cr006751000_al_

Netflix’s Raising Dion is about 8 year old Dion Warren (Ja’Siah Young) and his mom, Nicole Reese-Warren (Alisha Wainwright), accidental superheroes who must rise to the occasion, and the superheroes who surround them. Some of them have superpowers and some of them are normal humans who are compelled to protect the people they love when danger strikes. Some succeed and some fail. Some turn evil. At the heart of the story are parents and children who are willing to do whatever it takes to keep the people they love safe.

That sounds cheesy, but Raising Dion takes the classic superhero origin story to a new level. Dion inherits his powers from his father, Mark Warren (Michael B Jordan), but they don’t manifest until after his firefighter father has died in an accident. Season 1 shows how the supernatural event which gives Mark his powers sends ripples throughout the group of people he was with at the time, his family and their community for years to come.

Continue reading “Raising Dion Season 1 Review: How Do You Raise a Superhero?”

Book vs Screen Review: A Discovery of Witches Season 1 vs Book 1

discovery-witches

It begins with absence and desire.

It begins with blood and fear.

It begins with a discovery of witches.

Both the book and the TV series A Discovery of Witches begin with this short poem, the key to the mystery that the All Souls Trilogy, by Deborah Harkness, spends solving. A Discovery of Witches is the first book in the urban fantasy series, which has now expanded beyond the original trilogy to include a fourth book. According to Deborah Harkness, several more installments, focusing on other characters and mysteries, are on the way.

A Discovery of Witches tells the story of Diana Bishop, a witch from a family of powerful witches in a world where there are three types of humanoid magical creatures: witches, vampires and demons. The creatures live secretly among humans, blending into normal human society. Under normal circumstances, members of each species spend time only with others of their own species. Intermarriage is strictly forbidden and even interspecies friendships are severely frowned upon.

Diana Bishop has always had difficulty wielding her magic. She turned away from the magical world almost completely after her parents died tragically when she was a child. She was raised in upstate NY by her mother’s sister, Sarah, and Sarah’s partner, Em. As an adult, she’s become a historian who is on the faculty and studies alchemy in the US at Yale and in the UK at Oxford. She sees herself as a non-magical person, but it overflows out of her at times when something unexpected happens, even though she is untrained in its use.

Continue reading “Book vs Screen Review: A Discovery of Witches Season 1 vs Book 1”

Hulu’s Reprisal Season 1 Review

Reprisal

This is a review of the entire season. Recaps of individual episodes are posted HERE as I complete them.

Hulu’s new retro noir series Reprisal is a unique show filled with unique characters. As such, it deserves a spot in their pantheon of shows such as The Handmaid’s Tale and Runaways which highlight complicated characters in fictional worlds that just keep improving the more involved the viewer gets. Altered Carbon is on Netflix, not Hulu, but it’s another show with a similar viewing experience, where it takes several episodes for the characters and the world to click into place and the plot to really take off. Then the viewing experience just gets better and better, as we’re plunged into an immersive world, where everyone has an agenda and anything can happen.

Reprisal takes place in an alternate universe that’s not set in a particular time period, but isn’t the future. It’s set in a neon swingers’ punk gangster scene that combines the look of the late 1940s- early 60s Rat Pack with a few more modern conveniences like 2000s flip phones and 70s muscle cars. It’s gorgeous and lives by its own rules, as this show does in every way.

Continue reading “Hulu’s Reprisal Season 1 Review”