Category Archives: television

Reagan Ridley: How To Craft A Damaged Character (The Right Way)

The following is a video from my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. This video is a deeper exploration into the character of Reagan Ridley from the Netflix animated series, Inside Job. She’s a very flawed character and a very damaged character, as well. A great many of those characters have come about in recent years.

However, what makes Reagan stand out is how her flaws and damage are channeled into her story. And it’s a story worth highlighting and appreciating.

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Filed under Jack's World, television, YouTube

The Dragon Prince Season 4 Comes Out TODAY!

Normally, I don’t go out of my way to highlight certain premiers or debuts of a TV show or movie. Yes, I’ve done so in the past. I allow myself to get a little giddy when I’m genuinely excited for a show. My reaction to the news surrounding X-Men 97 should’ve been proof of that. But in general, I try not to make it a regular thing, taking the time to articulate those sentiments on this site or my YouTube channel. If I do, it has to be an extraordinarily great show or movie that gets me seriously excited.

As it just so happens, “The Dragon Prince” is one of those shows.

I hope I’ve made my love for that show abundantly clear. Even though I didn’t discover it until 2019 when the third season came out, it has quickly become one of my favorite shows, animated or otherwise. It’s not just that it’s a wonderfully well-crafted show, born from the same creative talent that gave us “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” It’s not just that the show has built some truly incredible lore, building an entire fantasy world full of dragons, elves, dark mages, and talking toads.

The show is just uniquely special in how endearing it is, building up all these dramatic elements that really came together by the end of the third season. It’s the kind of show that feels like a kids show in the beginning. But it quickly grows into something so much more, hitting you with all these dramatic moments that are so well-developed from start to finish.

When season three ended, I genuinely thought the show was over. There was no confirmation it would continue after that. Then, a fourth season was announced, but it was all up in the air after all the upheavals caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. I genuinely doubted that a fourth season would ever come, given the lack of news surrounding this series since 2020.

That was then.

This is now.

And today, after a long wait, season four of “The Dragon Prince” has arrived!

I cannot overstate how excited I am to binge this new season. There has been a lot of speculation among myself and fans regarding where the show will go after the third season. The ending to that season wasn’t definitive and certainly left open ended for more conflict. Now, it seems the show and this remarkable world is set to continue evolving.

The only thing we can confirm is that this new season involves a bit of a time skip, which makes sense given how the last season ended. We also know that a lot has changed in that time. Callum is now a high mage. Ezren is now King of Katolis. Rayla is missing, having gone off to hunt for Lord Viren, who survived their last encounter.

Then, there’s the mysterious Aaravos. He’s been a sinister force since season two and he clearly wasn’t defeated along with Viren. He’s now set to take center stage in this new season. And I couldn’t be more excited!

There’s just so much to love about this show. If you’re a fan of fantasy, animation, and cartoons that can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike, this show has something for everyone. And if you’re a big romance fan like me, then this show has a lot to offer in that regard too.

I’ve already highlighted the love story that unfolded between Callum and Rayla. But there are other quality romances within this show, including a few non-heterosexual romances among its incredibly diverse cast of characters. It’s hard enough finding a show or movie with one quality romance these days. To have a show that manages multiple romances is exceedingly rare, but that just makes “The Dragon Prince” all the more special.

So, starting today and probably for a good chunk of my weekend, I’ll be eagerly taking in this new season and processing all it has to offer. And if you need a new show to watch for the next couple months that is not holiday themed, check this out. Its appeal and impact is nothing short of magical.

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Filed under television, The Dragon Prince

Why You Should Watch “Castlevania” On Netflix This Halloween

When it comes to certain holidays, I tend to be more proactive than most people. Talk to anyone who knows me fairly well and they’ll attest that I’m the kind of guy who has his Christmas tree up the first week of November. It’s just part of who I am. For certain holidays, I like to draw out the festivities and the spirit in my own unique way.

One of those holidays happens to be Halloween. I’ve always been fond of Halloween and its various spooky themes. While I don’t decorate my home the same way I do with Christmas, I still try to get into the spirit. A big part of that spirit involves watching a bunch of horror movies and Halloween specials.

To that end, I’ve always had my share of favorites. A good slasher movie like “Friday The 13th” and the original “Halloween” is usually a good place to start. Plenty of shows also have great Halloween special, like the many Treehouse of Horror episodes from “The Simpsons” and “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”

In more recent years, I’ve grown fond of some newer entries into my Halloween themed watch-list. Movies like “Happy Death Day” and “Hubie Halloween” have quickly become personal favorites of mine. But for Halloween this year, I’d like to offer another show that has steadily worked its way into my Halloween viewing list. It’s an animated series on Netflix called “Castlevania.”

Now, this is not a new show, relatively speaking. This show actually began airing in 2017 and when it began, it only had three episodes. Even though I watched those episodes and liked what I saw, it wasn’t even that clear that it would continue beyond that.

There was a good reason for that. This show was based off a video game by the same name. If you owned a Nintendo or Super Nintendo system back in the early to mid 1990s, you probably heard of “Castlevania” the game. And it was a damn good game, as well. It was often held in high regard for its gameplay and its monster hunting themes.

But since it emerged in the early era of gaming, it wasn’t particularly known for its story. I doubt it was ever at the top of anyone’s list in terms of video game franchises that deserved an adaptation. It certainly doesn’t help that video game adaptations have a rather nasty legacy of being terrible, regardless of whether they’re animated or live action.

Despite those limitations, Netflix dared to invest in “Castlevania.” It dared to give this franchise some full-scale world-building, taking iconic characters from the game and fleshing them out in a meaningful way. And the end result was truly remarkable.

This isn’t just a series that makes for good viewing during Halloween.

This is a legitimately well-written, well-developed show on every conceivable level.

Yes, it still has the armies of monsters, goblins, and demons that made the video game so iconic. But it also has a genuinely compelling story with genuinely well-rounded characters. Trevor Belmont, Sypha, Alucard, and even Vlad Dracula himself are given distinct, multi-layered character arcs that are all distinct. They all exist in a dark, flawed, and corrupt world set in Medieval Europe. It’s not a world driven by good or pure evil. Everything exists in varying shades of both. And everyone has agendas, goals, struggles, and burdens.

It’s also a show that really hits the ground running. It’s not a slow build towards the action. Within the first few minutes of the show, an innocent gets burned at the stake and Dracula goes on a grief-fueled rampage against the whole of humanity. It gets bloody, violent, and dark very quickly, all of which feel very appropriate for Halloween. But it also has moments of heart, introspection, and melodrama.

Seriously, there are moments within the brutal violence that are genuinely heartbreaking. But those moments only make the horror themes work even better.

The early seasons were good. That, I never denied. But once the later seasons came out and really completed the story, “Castlevania” became much more than a video game adaptation that didn’t suck. To me, it became a perfectly crafted horror story that maximized the appeal of vampires, magic, goblins, ghouls, and monsters.

Seriously, what more could you want from a Halloween story?

While “Castlevania” was never marketed as a Halloween story, it definitely checks most of the necessary boxes. So, if you’re looking for something new to add to your Halloween watch list this year, give Netflix’s “Castlevania” a watch. Even if it doesn’t get you into the Halloween spirit, it’s still a damn good show.

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Filed under television, video games

My Trip To New York Comic Con 2022

As I promised, I’ve compiled some of the videos and images of my trip to the New York Comic Con into a video for my YouTube Channel, Jack’s World. Please note that this is only a fraction of the footage I took. There was just so much to see and so many people to meet. There was just no way I could fit it into one video, but I did my best to make sure it captured the experience. Enjoy!

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Filed under Current Events, DC Comics, Jack's World, Marvel, Marvel Cinematic Universe, movies, New York Comic Con, superhero comics, superhero movies, television, video games

Post-New York Comic Con Afterglow Setting In

Yesterday was a damn good day. Defintely a true return to form for the New York Comic Con. After two years of dealing with COVID-19, this felt like a truly complete Comic Con experience. For that, I cannot thank the fine folks who make the New York Comic Con experience possible every year. And I cannot thank enough the wonderful people who attend these conventions to make them so special.

From the comic book creators to the cosplayers to the celebrities to the food vendors to the security guards, I thank you.

This was truly special. As I’m typing this, I am nothing short of exhausted. Between navigating the Jacob Javits Center to traveling to New York City to finding appropriate lodging that won’t render me broke, it’s always quite challenging. But it’s still so worth it.

This year, I had a chance to meet a few of my favorite comic book writers. I managed to get some autographs, as well as a few special variant comics that I fully plan to frame. I met some amazing cosplayers who had some truly remarkable costumes. I also met a major celebrity. I won’t say who it is, but you’ve probably seen him in a several major blockbuster movies.

I’m going to take some time to rest and relax from it all. Then, at some point, I’m going to take the footage I captured and put it in a YouTube video for my channel, Jack’s World. I’m looking forward to sharing it. I’m also already looking forward to attending New York Comic Con next year, as well.

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Filed under Current Events, DC Comics, Jack's World, Marvel, Marvel Cinematic Universe, movies, New York Comic Con, superhero comics, superhero movies, television, video games

Better Call Saul Finale: Compelling Clarity And Closure

The following is a video from my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. This video is my general reaction and overall breakdown of the series finale to “Better Call Saul.” A lot transpired over the course of six seasons. In that time, we watched as James McGill transformed into Saul Goodman, as well as how his journey led him to crossing paths with the events of “Breaking Bad.”

Now, the story is just about over and there’s a lot to take in. Having been a fan of this show since the beginning, it was quite an experience and one I hope raises the bar for other shows like it. Enjoy!

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Filed under Jack's World, television, YouTube

John Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight” Brilliant Breakdown On Sex Work

I know it’s been a while since I’ve discussed topics like sex work on this site. It’s something I’ve touched on regularly, from why our current laws about it badly need reform to why it’s wrongly conflated with the evils of human trafficking. It’s also an issue I think is still subject to many taboos, plenty of which bring out the worst on both ends of the political spectrum. It’s one of the few issues you’ll find radical feminists being on the same page as right wing religious conservatives.

I get that talking about it isn’t easy. I’m certainly not qualified to do so and I doubt I’ve changed anyone’s opinion on the issue with the arguments that I’ve made, which is disappointing since so few pundits or news media talk about it. Thankfully, that changed recently with John Oliver on his show “Last Week Tonight.” He actually dedicated an entire segment of his show to discussing the issue, why it should be decriminalized, and why our current approach is so flawed.

Now, I have my share of criticisms of John Oliver. I’ve even referenced them a few times before. In general, though, he does a pretty good job of breaking down complicated issues in a way that makes sense for everyone, regardless of their political persuasion. If you’re at all curious or in need of greater understanding on the issue, I highly recommend you watch this clip.

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Filed under health, human nature, politics, prostitution, sex in media, sex in society, sexuality, 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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Filed under F is for Family, Jack's World, television, YouTube

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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Filed under Daria, philosophy, psychology, television, YouTube

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