So, my post on SEKIREI incited a heated discussion and that’s awesome - - the point of these posts are to start discussions. I started a response in the talkback, but it grew in the writing, and I quickly figured it’d be best to parlay it into a “state of the column” as this latest sampling period draws to an end. Anyway…
Anybody who thinks I'm a prude based on that review has a real short memory, because I've raved about CLAYMORE, PANTY & STOCKING and any number of unwholesome shows that push the envelope with sex and violence. T&A (which is what "fan service" is code for, 95% of the time) can be funny, sexy and, yes, even titillating if it's done well. My objection to SEKIREI is that it was seemed to be entirely about T&A, at the expense of other storytelling concerns, and I didn’t find that T&A to be particularly funny, sexy or titillating.
There has never been any pressure, nor even influence, from the rest of Whiskey about what shows I should praise, criticize or "support" on this site. My opinions are my own.
WATCH & LEARN is all about snap judgments, yes. It’s less a proper review column and more a record of a viewing experience. If you want measured and collected takes, look at my "Final Thought" videos and my longer reviews (like the one I just did for BADLANDS RUMBLE.) Is it brusque to dismiss a show after one episode? Yes and no. If I have as many options as I do regarding what shows I can follow for this column (close to twenty already in this latest sampling period,) then I simply can't watch them all and I'll express my reasons for why I'll pick certain shows over others. Sometimes you'll agree with me. Other times you won't. That's the fun of an opinion column.
However - - and I bring this up a lot - - but the notion that I need to stick with a show for several episodes before "it gets good" is really cocked up. It makes the viewing experience out to be like some charitable giving-of-time where I'm having to entertain whatever the show is trying to do, for however long, when it's supposed to be entertaining me. Are you going to buy an album if you don't like the single? Will you subscribe to a comic if the first issue turns you off? Of course not, and the same logic applies here.
Serialized entertainment competes in a ruthless fray for viewers’ free time and if a show doesn't put its best foot forward first, then it hasn't done its job and I won’t hesitate to pick another show that “gets good” in the first five minutes instead of the first five episodes. Even a tranquil, patient, show like MUSHI-SHI was still able to grab my interest from episode one. These are TV shows, after all, and I’m making a decision that’s the same as deciding not to tune in next week. If that’s dismissive of a show that needs time and space to properly unfold, then it shouldn’t have opted for a serialized format.
With that out of the way, here are the shows on the plate, with links to my respective thoughts.
Really Want to Watch
Maybe Want To Watch
Don't Want To Watch
I'll be posting on LAMB, WANDERING SON and REBORN! coming up before the sampling period ends. We'll see what brackets they fall into. I'll finally get around to long-form reviews of the two EDEN OF THE EAST movies, as well.
I'm also doing video reviews for the DVD's of CORPSE PRINCESS, SOUND OF THE SKY and the second season of DARKER THAN BLACK . If you have any questions about those series which you'd like to me address in the videos, fire away with them in the talkback. You know I'll address them. You know it.