Tag Archives: Netflix

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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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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Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Dragon Prince | Two Amazing Shows With A Strong Anti-War Message

The following is a video from my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. This video is an exploration and appreciation of two remarkable shows with equally remarkably anti-war messages. The way war is depicted in the media is often mixed at best and unhealthy at worst.

But “The Dragon Prince” and “Avatar: The Last Airbender” dared to offer a different perspective. They don’t just explore the more damaging, less obvious aspects of war. They do so in a way that perfectly complements their respective stories. Enjoy!

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Filed under Jack's World, The Dragon Prince, YouTube

Making Power Rangers A (Successful) Cinematic Universe

The following is a video from my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. This video is my take on the possibility of a Power Rangers Cinematic Universe. After the 2017 movie failed to launch a franchise, Netflix is planning to try again. And give the lengthy history and lore of Power Rangers, I think there’s real potential. But making Power Rangers a successful cinematic universe for a new generation won’t be like Marvel or DC Comics. I believe there will be unique challenges to taking Power Rangers to this level, but I believe it can be done. Hopefully, we’ll see it come together in the near future.

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Filed under Jack's World, superhero comics, superhero movies, YouTube

The Dragon Prince: Can Lord Viren Be Redeemed? (And Should He Be?)

The following is a video from my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. This video ponders a simple question about “The Dragon Prince,” as it stands after season three.

Can Lord Viren be redeemed?

Moreover, should he be?

With the recent announcement that season four is coming at some point in 2022, I felt like the time was right to explore this notion. He crossed a lot of lines in the first three seasons. And by season three, he became the greatest threat to humans and elves alike.

However, there are some larger complications to his descent. I try to break those down in this video while assessing both sides. We won’t know for sure what Viren’s fate will be until season four comes along. In the meantime, I hope this video offers plenty to think about. Enjoy!

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Lessons From Bojack Horseman: The Toxic Effect Of Celebrity

The following is a video from my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. This video is my first deep dive into Bojack Horseman, one of my favorite shows of all time. This Netflix series was so groundbreaking in how it told the story of a washed-up sitcom star from the 90s, who just happened to be a talking horseman. It was funny, but dark at times.

Okay, it was dark most of the time. But that’s beside the point.

There this show offered so many profound themes and insights on everything from mental illness to toxic cycles. But in this video, I focus on how this show depicted the world of celebrity and celebrity culture. Because Bojack’s story can’t be told without also telling the story of a celebrity with a great many personal issue. And while his story is powerful, I also think it sheds a light on the dark side of being a celebrity and how it affects people.

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Filed under Bojack Horseman, Jack's World, Uncategorized, YouTube

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

Why You Should Watch “Klaus” On Netflix This Christmas

Klaus' Director Reveals How Netflix Landed 2D Animation Film

Every year, once the holidays come around, I make it a point to check out at least one new Christmas special. Regardless of whether it’s a TV show or movie, I think it’s important to supplement your holiday collection.

There will always be a place for classics like “It’s A Wonderful Life” or “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” but we can’t be afraid to give other holiday specials a chance. Otherwise, we wouldn’t experience unexpected gems like “The Christmas Chronicles,” a wonderful Christmas movie from Netflix that I recommended last year.

I can attest that those who have seen this movie are grateful for that recommendation. My mother even checked it out and she thought it was delightful.

In that same spirit, I’d like to recommend another holiday gem that really flew under the radar. I actually watched it last year, but it kind of got overshadowed by “The Christmas Chronicles.” However, in re-watching it again recently, while I was wrapping presents no less, only made me realize how great it was.

That movie is called “Klaus,” an animated feature that’s also on Netflix and one that you’d never expect to be so great. That’s despite the rather impressive voice cast, which include the likes of J. K. Simmons, Rashida Jones, Jason Schwartzman, and the late Norm MacDonald.

It’s one of those movies that, if you just saw the trailer, you’d think it’s just some sub-par Pixar or Dreamworks wannabe. You know it’s a Christmas movie, but it’s not clear what kind of Christmas movie it’s supposed to be. I remember putting it on because I just wanted to have something on in the background while I wrapped presents.

Much to my surprise and delight, “Klaus” turned out to be so much more. What starts as a somewhat quirky story about a lazy, self-centered, self-absorbed postal worker quickly evolves into a unique kind of Christmas story, one that captures the spirit of the holidays in all the right ways.

The story begins with Jesper, the aforementioned postal worker who has largely coaxed his way through life because he was born in a privileged family. Then, his father decided to teach him a lesson and sends him to the postal station in Smeerensburg, one of the least jolly places in the world. It’s a harsh lesson and one he resents to the utmost.

While there, he meets Klaus, a mysterious recluse from the woods who makes toys in his spare time. His reasons for doing so aren’t clear at first. He even seems menacing, as tends to be the case with characters who sound like J. K. Simmons. However, as we learn more about him, we also learn the tragic nature of his story.

I won’t spoil it. I’ll just say that it’s one of those tragedies that serves as the foundation for something that’s genuinely heartwarming. It doesn’t happen all at once. The motivations involved aren’t even that noble at first. Then, as the story unfolds, the true spirit of the movie becomes clear.

You see selfish, arrogant people eventually become selfless, sincere, and genuine.

You see someone go from a liar and a fraud to someone willing to sacrifice all his comforts to do the right thing.

You also see someone turn their loss and heartbreak into something positive and beautiful.

There’s just so much more I could say about this movie. The last few minutes alone will bring a tear to your eye while enriching your Christmas spirit. While I still think “The Christmas Chronicles” is the better Christmas movie, “Klaus” is not that far behind.

If you’re going to try another Christmas movie this year, make it this one. It’s a uniquely heartwarming story that perfectly embodies the spirit of the season. After the past couple years, we could all use more of that.

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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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Filed under romance, television, The Dragon Prince, YouTube