Category Archives: television

F Is For Family Season 5: A Bittersweet, But Insightful Finale

The following is a video from my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. It is my full review, reaction, and analysis of season five of “F Is For Family,” the Netflix show from Bill Burr that threatens to put us through a fucking wall. Enjoy!

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Jack’s World: The Harsh Truths Of “Daria” And Why They Still Matter

The following is a video from my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. It’s my first video about “Daria” and was based on an earlier article I wrote a number of years back. I reworked it a bit to make for a better video. I’m very pleased with how it turned out. Depending on the response, I may make more “Daria” videos. Enjoy!

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X-Men The Animated Series Is Coming Back! (And All The Politics Therein)

Every now and then, some news comes along that is so incredible and so exciting that words simply fail to convey the joy I feel. I could spend hours on end on multiple blog posts trying to do justice to those feelings and it would still fall short.

Just a couple days ago, some news came about with Disney’s annual Disney Plus Day that just filled my heart and soul with omega level joy. I’m still buzzing from it, so I’ll just say it outright.

X-Men: The Animated series is coming back, former producers and voice actors and all!

Just typing that out put a smile on my face.

Seriously, this is the kind of news you have to shake your head several times to be sure that it’s real. I’ve since lost track of how many times I’ve pinched myself or slapped my own face, on the off-chance that this is a dream. I’m now convinced that this is the real deal. The same X-Men cartoon that got me into X-Men and comics, in general, is coming back in all it’s 90s glory.

Now, rest assured I will be following this story. Before I wrote this, I began work on a script for a video on my YouTube channel. I have every intention of making that video a priority. It should cover the full breadth of my reaction, as well as my hopes and dreams for this series.

However, even before I could fully process my excitement, some assholes and whiny grifters began making content of their own. I won’t give their names or link to their content, but they’re the same assholes who whine about everything being “political” or “woke” or just plain “Too different/diverse for my liking.”

First off, fuck these people. Fuck them to the end of the multiverse.

Second, the very fact they’re whining about X-Men being “political” is definitive proof that they don’t know shit about X-Men or why this show was so groundbreaking. Thankfully, I’m not the only one who noticed that. On Twitter, stuff like this began popping up the day after the announcement.

Now, make no mistake. This sort of thing does nothing to temper my joy and excitement for this announcement. However, I’m already expecting asshole grifters like this to whine as loudly as the internet will allow, harping on everything they deem too ”political” for their liking.

They’ve done that with every franchise for the past six years and I don’t expect them to stop. Grifters will never stop, so long as there’s a grift to be maintained.

For that reason, I want to make one statement to these assholes and anyone who might take them seriously. Brace yourself because this might be a distressing revelation for some of you. It’s simply this.

X-Men was ALWAYS political.

I’ll give you a moment to pick your jaw up off the floor, but it’s true. Take it from someone who has been following X-Men since Clinton Administration. As a franchise, a concept, and a narrative, it was always political to begin with.

It’s not about some handsome square-jawed demigod coming down to Earth and saving the day. It’s about people born different, using their extraordinary powers to find their place in a world that hates and fears them. It was always about minorities and their struggles. It was always about civil rights and social issues.

That’s not just my opinion. That’s exactly what Stan Lee and the creators of the original series have stated outright. It’s not exactly a secret, nor is it subtle. Hell, there are multiple episodes of the original show that belabor and explore that. It’s pretty overt, as it should be. After all, that’s what X-Men has always been about.

Now, I don’t expect this revelation to stop asshole grifters from doing plenty of grifting. I know the second someone in this show says something about social justice, racism, bigotry, or anything else that might offend you’re typical racist asshole, grifters are going to melt with the force of a trillion snowflakes. It’ll be infuriating and pathetic, but it will happen.

Never-the-less, I will NOT let that stop me from getting excited about this show, nor will I let it undermine everything I love about X-Men. This show is coming back in all its 90s glory and I, for one, am eager to celebrate!

Stay tuned for a more comprehensive reaction on my YouTube channel. In the meantime, let’s all just take a moment to appreciate this moment and the catchy opening theme that we’ll be humming until 2023.

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Filed under Marvel, Marvel Cinematic Universe, politics, superhero comics, television, X-men, YouTube

The Dragon Prince: A Case Study In Developing (Quality) Romance

The following is a video from my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. It’s my first video about a show I discovered on Netflix called “The Dragon Prince.” It’s very likely it won’t be the last because this show has captured my heart in all the right ways. There are many things that make it great, but one of the best happens to involve romance. Given my fondness for romance and writing romantic stories, that definitely adds to the appeal.

In this particular video, I highlight and celebrate how the show’s main romantic sub-plot involving Callum and Rayla raised he bar for love stories everywhere. Seriously, if you’re a romance fan, this show is worth watching just for that. Hopefully, this video helps make that case. Enjoy!

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Lucifer Season 6: A Devilishly Divine Finale

The following is a video from my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. It is both a reaction and review to the final season of one of my favorite shows, “Lucifer.” I’ve been following this show since it debuted on Fox. I was among those who celebrated when it was saved by Netflix. Now, after six seasons, it has come to an end.

It was an emotional, dramatic ending to say the least. It brought with it many feelings and emotions, which I try to explore and celebrate in this video. Enjoy!

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Filed under Jack's World, Lucifer, television, YouTube

“Rick And Morty” Season 5 Finale: What Do We Make Of Rick Sanchez’s (Confirmed) Backstory?

Rick and Morty season 5 finale broke Rick to save the show from burnout -  Polygon

When it comes to season finales, most TV shows are hit-or-miss. More often than not, we get more misses than hits. That’s to be expected. Capping off a season of any show, no matter how acclaimed or celebrated it might be, is exceedingly hard. There’s bound to be a sizable portion of fans who don’t care for it.

When a finale does turn out to be a hit, though, it’s all the more precious. Most of us can count on one hand how many genuinely incredible finales we’ve seen over the years. Some shows are better at it than others and even they’re not always consistent.

Then, there’s “Rick and Morty.” Between its colorful fanbase and unique approach to adult animation, it’s one of those rare shows that dares to raise the bar in unexpected ways. It can be obscenely absurd one minute and genuinely heartfelt the next. You just don’t know what you’re going to get, but you often find yourself wanting more.

I’ve praised this show before for is eclectic insights on everything from romance to nihilism. I’ll probably praise it again in the future for its uncanny ability to raise the bar for absurdity, insight, and pickle-based humor. I consider myself a big fan of the show and the events of Season 5 only made me a bigger fan.

Now, I know I haven’t touched on “Rick and Morty” that much since Season 5 began. A while back, I did post my overall reaction to the Season 4 finale and the intrigue it offered. The underlying theme of that season seemed to revolve around Rick gradually losing control over his family and his ability to manipulate Beth, Morty, Summer, and even Jerry.

Relative to previous seasons, this was a major shift. For the first three seasons of the show, we got used to seeing Rick being nigh-invincible in his ability to control a situation. It seemed like nothing anyone did, including his family, could hope to escape is influence.

Then, after Jerry came back into the picture, it seemed to unravel. We saw Rick becoming more and more vulnerable. He could no longer hold his own against big time threats. It all came to ahead when Space Beth returned in “Star Mort: Rickturn of the Jerri.” This episode established clearly that Rick, as brilliant and capable as he is, cannot handle everything by himself.

While I thought that finale was good, I didn’t think it was great, especially compared to the dramatic finale we got at the end of Season 2. I honestly didn’t know what to expect from the Season 5 finale. That’s the main reason why I didn’t speculate on it or post my reactions to the various episodes leading up to it.

I was tempted. Believe me.

This season had some incredibly memorable episodes. Between giant incest babies and replicants, “Rick and Morty” once again pushed the envelope, as only it could. However, it was the finale that made this season one of the most memorable to date. A big part of what made it so impactful was how it finally confirmed the details of Rick’s backstory.

It played out in a recorded memory that had some elements from “The Rickshank Rickdemption,” but we were led to believe that was mostly fabricated. Now, we know the truth and it’s actually a lot more tragic than we thought.

In case you haven’t seen it, here is what Morty saw of Rick’s story when it played out in his mind.

There’s no way around it. This revelation about Rick’s history has a lot of implications. Suddenly, Rick’s behavior and outlook on life throughout the course of this show has a whole new context to it. This is one of those scenes that can completely change the way you watch previous episodes.

Now, we know what makes this Rick, also known as Rick C-137, unique within a vast multiverse full of Ricks. He was once similar to the many Ricks like him. He was a super-genius capable of creating his portal gun to traverse the multiverse. Many other Ricks walked this same path.

Then, another Rick entered the picture. He offers him a chance to join other Ricks, explore the multiverse, and become godlike in his abilities. However, he rejects that offer, choosing instead to remain close to his wife and daughter. That’s not a trivial decision in the grand scheme of things.

The bigger picture implies that no other Rick has walked this path. They all freely abandon their families and their home universe in order to join this unique segment of the multiverse where they reign supreme. Together, these Ricks ensure that they remain at the top of the pecking order.

Then, this one Rick dares to defy that.

He dares to go against what everyone else does.

Unfortunately, he pays a price for that choice. It costs him his family.

Once again, we see a more emotional side of Rick. We see that this version of Rick that we’ve been following since Season One really did love his family. He really did opt to eschew the multiverse in exchange for a simple life with Beth and Diane. However, the rest of the Ricks couldn’t have that.

It leaves him broken, angry, jaded, and driven. Suddenly, his animosity towards other Ricks and the role he played in various interstellar wars has greater meaning. The same could be said with the general callousness and reckless disregard he often displays towards Morty and his family.

It’s not that he doesn’t care on some levels. The flashbacks make clear that he clearly does. However, no matter how much or how little he cares, they’re not the same as the family he lost. He never even found the Rick who killed them. It’s easy to see how that could break a man, even one as smart and capable as Rick Sanchez.

On top of how this re-contextualizes everything that has happened in the past, it has larger implications for the future. The finale ended with Morty opting to help his Rick and reject “evil” Morty’s offer to join him in venturing to a part of the multiverse where Rick isn’t the smartest being. It’s eerily similar to the decision Rick himself made, choosing his family over a chance at greater power.

This effectively gives new importance to Rick and Morty’s connection. Back in Season One, we’re led to believe Rick only hangs around Morty because Morty’s brainwaves block Rick’s from the various other multiverse threats that constantly seek him out. That might have been true to some extent, but this flashback offers greater insight into why he’s such a threat.

Whereas Season 4 made clear that Rick is vulnerable when he has nobody supporting him, Season 5 also makes clear that he’s still capable of so much chaos. After losing his family, he will cross lines that even other Ricks won’t cross. He’s willing to hurt himself and others to get what he wants because he’s already lost everything.

This opens the door for many more upheavals in future seasons. The Rick who killed his family is still out there. “Evil” Morty is now in a part of the multiverse where beings stronger than Rick exist. What happens if one of those beings finds their way back to Rick? What happens if “Evil” Morty is further broken by his journey?

I keep putting “Evil” Morty in quotes because this finale also accomplished something critical in that part of story. At this point, I don’t think it’s fair to call this Morty evil. He’s just sick of Rick and sick of living in a universe where he’s constantly manipulated by Ricks like him. All he wants to do is escape. If that means sacrificing other Ricks and Mortys in the process, so be it.

That final scene is ominous, but intriguing in so many ways. It leads me to wonder where this will take Rick in his never-ending struggle to maintain what little control he has over is world, his family, and all those around him. This finale reminded us that, despite all his genius and know-how, he tends to lose control easily. When he has no support from Morty or his family, losing control seems inevitable.

Even with all these revelations, Rick is still an asshole. There’s no getting around that. However, he’s now an asshole we can understand on a level that wasn’t possible until this finale. His various struggles and myriad of issues are far from over.

I has left me more excited and intrigued for the future of “Rick and Morty” than ever before. I know it may be a while before we get any details on Season 6, but after this finale, I’m willing to be patient.

To everyone else out there who saw the finale and Rick’s confirmed backstory, what do you think? How do you see Rick and Morty’s story playing out from here? Let me know in the comments.

Wubba Lubba Dub Dub!

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Malcolm In The Middle: Dynamics Of Poverty And Dysfunction

The following is a video from my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. It explores the depths, dynamics, and chaotic humor of one of my favorite shows of all time, “Malcolm In The Middle.” It also expands on a piece I wrote about this show a while back on what makes people deviant. In addition to being funny, this show reveals a lot about what fuels dysfunction. It also manages to be oddly uplifting in the end. Enjoy!

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Filed under Jack's World, psychology, television, YouTube

Post 4th Of July Celebration: An Ode To Ron Swanson

Please bear with me, people. I’m still digesting all the burgers, beer, and hot dogs I ate yesterday while celebrating the 4th of July and the country I love. My energy is lacking today and I don’t expect that to change for a while. However, even though today is the 5th of July, most places are still treating it as part of the 4th of July holiday.

Now, I’m never one to turn down an extra day off. So, I intend to continue enjoying it. I encourage everyone to do so. Celebrating America shouldn’t be confined to just one day. In that spirit, I’ll try contribute to that effort in the best way I can.

Since I’m still drained and tired, please accept these clips of Ron Swanson, on of the greatest fictional Americans of all time, to nourish your patriotic spirit. Enjoy!

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Filed under Current Events, television

Lucifer Season 5B: Review, Reaction, And Divine Revelations

The following is a video from my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. It’s a full review and reaction to the latest season of “Lucifer,” a show I’ve praised many times before. I already reviewed the first part of Season 5. It’s only fitting that I give the same treatment to the second part. This show just keeps finding devilishly delightful ways to explore the world of Lucifer Morningstar and this season is no exception.

Please note that this video does contain extensive spoilers. So, if you haven’t binged Season 5 yet, please do so before you watch this. You have been warned. Enjoy!

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Filed under Jack's World, Lucifer, television, YouTube

How HBO Max May Prompt Me To Get A Bigger TV

TCL 6-Series (55R625, 65R625) QLED TV Review - Reviewed

In general, I try to budget my money carefully when it comes to big purchases. By big, I don’t mean things you’d splurge on like fancy shoes, custom suits, jewelry, or a lap dance at a strip club. Those are more akin to casual indulgences. There’s nothing wrong with those in moderation.

For me, a single guy who has a mortgage and his own place, major purchases tend to involve large appliances and utility upgrades. Those upgrades can be expensive. One of the biggest purchases I had to make after buying my place was a new HVAC system. That purchase cost thousands. I had to taper some indulgences, as a result.

It was still worth doing. I feel like those purchases have paid for themselves many times over, in terms of quality of life. That’s how I gauge every major purchase. If it has an overall positive effect on quality of life, then it’s worth budgeting for. I learned in college that sometimes you need to endure a few nights of Ramen noodles before you can enjoy a good steak dinner.

This brings me to what could be my next major purchase. Earlier this year, I had a few things in mind that I considered saving for. My plan was to re-evaluate my priorities around the summer before I made a choice. Well, after watching Zack Snyder’s “Justice League” and “Godzilla vs. Kong,” those plans may have changed.

These past few weeks, I’ve documented how watching these movies as they debut on HBO Max has changed the way I’ve consumed new movies. I think it’s safe to say that my approach to viewing new movies has changed in a big way. Now, when a new movie is set to come out, I’ll have to weigh whether I want to see it in a theater or create my own experience at home.

I’ll be facing that choice quite a bit this year. Warner Brothers and HBO Max have a very promising slate of movies. Some of these were movies I planned on seeing in theaters. Now, after “Justice League” and “Godzilla vs. Kong,” I’m not so sure. To complicate the choice even more, I’m no considering a major upgrade to my living room in the form of a new TV.

At the moment, I have a 55-inch HDTV that has served me well for about five years. It’s not the highest end TV, but it gets the job done. It has seen me through multiple NFL seasons and plenty superhero movie marathons. However, I know I’ll have to upgrade at some point. With more and more content coming out in 4K, the incentives are there and growing.

However, given my recent efforts to re-create the theater experience in my living room, those incentives increased considerably. After watching “Godzilla vs. Kong,” I really felt the limits of my current TV. It still looks great and thanks to the sound bar I bought a couple years ago, the sound felt very similar to that of a movie theater.

The only thing that didn’t quite match that experience was the screen itself. It was good, but not great. For that reason, a newer, larger TV might very well be the kind of major purchase that pays off big time, in terms of quality of life. It may ultimately change even more how I determine whether I’ll see a new movie in a theater or at home.

Before this year, a new TV was a low priority for me. It’s not that I don’t want a bigger, better TV in general. I just didn’t see much value, given how few shows or events are broadcast in 4K. That may be changing, but it just wasn’t happening fast enough to justify the cost.

For me, the tipping point was whether NFL games would be broadcast in 4K. Thus far, that hasn’t happened. I was waiting until that announcement became official before I got serious about a new TV. Now, I don’t think sports are the tipping point anymore. HBO Max has suddenly changed the whole value structure for a new TV.

It’s exciting. I love the idea of being able to watch new movies on HBO Max or some other streaming service on a bigger, better TV. Whenever the NFL or baseball joins the 4K party, then that’ll only add to the value.

There’s still a real chance that I might find there’s a limit to recreating the movie experience in my living room. Once the novelty wears off, I might find there’s just now re-creating that theater or IMAX experience. No matter what I do to my living room, it just can’t measure up. I’m prepared to accept that outcome, should that be the case.

On the other hand, there’s also a chance I might recreate that experience a bit too well. If I get a good enough TV with a good enough picture, then going to the movies might end up being a last resort instead of an option. If I find that the experience in my living room is more enjoyable than any movie theater, then that will be my first choice for new movies.

That raises the stakes even more for this new TV. For once, it’s not just about seeking a better way to watch football games. It’s about turning my living room into something that can recreate that cinematic experience in the best possible way.

I’ll certainly keep everyone updated on this effort. As of this writing, I haven’t made any purchases, nor have I set a date for making one. For now, I’m just focusing on budgeting my money appropriately so that when the time comes, I’ll be ready to take that plunge. If anyone has any tips or insights into creating that special theatrical experience in their living room, please share it in the comments. Like any major purchase, I value the expertise and experiences of others. If all goes well, then I hope to be watching “The Matrix 4” on an awesome new TV by Christmas this year.

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Filed under HBO Max, Jack Fisher's Insights, movies, technology, television