Happy Friday everybody, today we’re back with a classic Let’s Talk where we get all our talented writers together to discuss a current topic in the world of games, movies, TV and beyond.
This week saw the release of Altered Carbon Season 2 on Netflix, a show which is beloved by fans but suffers a lowly Metacritic score of only 64. With this in mind, we decided to get together and discuss our favourite TV series which are held in high regard by the fans yet destroyed by critics.
Right I’m going to trigger Luke now and come out with, Firefly. The genre mashing space opera from Joss Whedon, a man who has more ups and downs than an elevator convention. Firefly only got one series way back in 2002, Fox decided to cancel it before it really had a chance to actually find its feet but that didn’t stop it gathering a cult following that could give the Salem witches a run for their money. The key problem a first was that Fox just didn’t know how to sell the show to critics or the public, was it a drama? Sci fi? dark comedy? so all the ads just took a wild stab and sold it as a comedy series, when really its a much deeper product. Hitting hard with the Joss Whedon standards of witty dialogue, fun characters and entertaining capers, Firefly could have been the next big thing for Joss after Buffy. Unfortunately it just didn’t gather the traction needed, so rather than 5 seasons of Nathan Fillion’s most well rounded and acted character of Mal Reynolds, we got just 14 episodes. Maybe this helped though? since we got so little, it was like a forced economy, it was rare! Each episode is fairly self contained and an adventure in themselves so you can find a thrilling story with a satisfying conclusion each time. Shame the marketing teams and early critics couldn’t find the love for this, but I’m glad to see that people even now will fight the cause for this show and all it tried to do!
I love Shadowhunters and I was absolutely gutted when it came to an end. Critics however did not enjoy the first season with some discribing it as both complex and bland. I, however and many others found it a refreshing take on the whole vampire, angels, werewolf ect genre. I enjoyed the relationships and chemistry between different charecters including all the plot twists and turns. Unfortunately I don’t think we ever got to fully experience the world and its potential as the series was cancelled, luckily they did allow for a little wrap up episode which whilst it was not completely satisfying was at least something.
THE WITCHER. For some weird as hell reason I simply cannot comprehend the first series of The Witcher hasn’t had that many glowing reviews and it’s an absolute travesty because I genuinely believe it’s sucha fantastic translation from Book to TV that deserves all the recognition in the world as one of the best things that Netflix has produced in recent years.
Also because I am greedy, I am going to also throw an honorable mention over at the first season of Altered Carbon as I genuinely believe this to be a perfect sci-fi series and another best of show for Netflix.
TOSS A COIN….. Well thanks Luke for making me realise the critics incorrectly didn’t like one of the best things of last year! My choice is unsurprisingly Marvel related, The Punisher. Admittedly the first season was better than the second but neither, NEITHER, deserves the average of 6.5/10! The 1st series is arguably the best Marflix series that’s not a DD (ignoring that it’s an offshoot), I had a grin from ear to ear for the entire thing and just viewed it as a love letter to 90s action films. I loved their take on Frank Castle and the use of action and gratuitous violence, I am very sad there won’t be a 3rd series and I just pray they can bring him into the movie universe……Deadpool VS Frank Castle anyone?!
My turn! I’m actually gonna champion a new release, that I’ve not even seen all of yet. Hunters, currently available on Amazon Prime video. Hunters tells the tale of a rag tag group of ex concentration camp Jewish survivors, an MI5 agent, TV celebrity, street smart black rights activist and ex Army solider, (definitely rag tag) that are hunting down Nazi’s hiding in 1970’s America. And leading this group is Al Pacino. I don’t really have to say much more that to warrant a viewing of at least a few episodes.
But I will. The series is not afraid to hold back the violence that was inflicted on the prisoners, by means of flashbacks and exposition. The hunting and actual eliminations of the Nazis, is actually presented with a moral choice, provided by a character played by Logan Lerman. His internal conflict of wanting to see the Nazis dead for personal reasons, whilst also not being able to handle the torture of said Nazis at the hands of his companions, lends an interesting twist on what would probably be an easy choice, given their war crimes and suffering they inflicted. And did I mention Al Pacino? His character is the driving force of the group, at the time of writing this, his character is only now (five episodes in) being explored. His motives and drive are still some what of a mystery, but their is definitely more than just retribution driving his commitment to the cause.
This series has me hooked, and has me wondering if any of the stories told have basis to real stories, as I know there were documented cases of Nazi survivors fleeing Europe at the end of the war and hiding out in America. How entrenched they became in American society, as portrayed in the show, I don’t know. But anything that peaks my historical interest gets a thumbs up from me. I’m actually trying to avoid spoilers for either a stela or flop of a season one ending, as I hope season one ends well.
I’m going to add another Marvel Netflix show to the mix and that’s Iron Fist. Now admittedly, I didn’t love this show but I really didn’t understand the hate it got from everybody else. I had a pleasant time watching this one and although there were issues, I enjoyed my time with it. Maybe it helped that I watched it a few weeks after release so my expectations were drastically lowered by all the online hate. Hot Take: Iron Fist was better than Defenders!