Orphan Black Season 5 Review

by Matthew Thompson

I still recall watching the pilot episode of Orphan Black for the first time. I went in not knowing what it was about and found myself stumbling upon an intriguing new sci-fi thriller. The first season took me on a wild ride and was one of my very favorite shows that aired in 2013. It has never quite matched the heights of its daring freshman year largely due to some messy plotting and an ever-growing, overly complicated mythology with a conspiracy that always seemed to have one more layer. But it never ceased to entertain due to the amazing central performance by the series breakout star Tatiana Maslany. This year’s fifth season marked its final one. Despite a sometimes bumpy road to get there, it provided a satisfying ending to one of the best science fiction television shows of recent years Continue reading

Last Chance U Season 2 Review

by Matthew Thompson

The makers of Last Chance U struck sports documentary gold during the filming of Season 1. You had the less physically talented incumbent quarterback trying to stave off the super-athletic newcomer and the nation’s longest winning streak coming to an end in an overtime battle against their rival – both of which felt ripped straight out of a football movie. You had sympathetic characters to root for like Ronald Ollie and Ms. Wagner and a villain to hate in Buddy Stephens. And then of course you had the bench-clearing brawl that ended their season. It would have been hard to make up something this good. The recently released second season of the Netflix docuseries was always going to struggle to deliver on the same level. While it is certainly still entertaining to watch in year two – especially for a football junkie like me – it doesn’t come close to matching the brilliance of the first season Continue reading

Nier: Automata Review

by Matthew Thompson

In Nier: Automata, you’ll play as several different androids as they wage war against robotic foes. You fight on behalf of the humans. The robots, for alien invaders. This is the jumping off point for a moving narrative with a philosophical bent. While the story focuses on beings of artificial intelligence, it really utilizes them to explore various topics related to human nature. Love, the meaning of life, the concept of family and the fear of death are just some of the weighty subjects Automata tackles. The result is a journey that is often touching, occasionally uncomfortable and always thought-provoking Continue reading

TV Catch Up: Billions

by Matthew Thompson

Billions sees U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) going after hedge fund manager Bobby “Axe” Axelrod (Damien Lewis) for insider trading and other improprieties used to gain his fund’s considerable wealth. Making the whole affair all the more tricky is Chuck’s wife Wendy’s position as performance coach at the fund as well as her close relationship with Axelrod. This puts her smack dab in the middle of the two men as they wage war on each other throughout the series Continue reading