FIRST LOOK: Dorohedoro (TV Series) – Netflix

Saturday morning cartoons … for adults!

Stop watching all the depressing real violence on the news in Minnesota and get yourself on some fictional lizard head manga.

Seriously, I was hooked when the lizard-head man sliced and diced this guy Hellraiser Pinhead-style in the first couple minutes of the pilot episode (keep reading).

Oh, yeah!

I know, I know, somehow missed — argh — this uber-violent, bloody anime Netflix series (see: WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND #22 of 2020 Movie and TV Streaming Picks – Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, IMDB TV, Shudder, HBO Max, DC Universe), but it’s here and on my watchlist now.

Dorohedoro, the long-running manga created by Q Hayashida, tells a quirky tale set in a post-apocalyptic landscape where a form of magic called “Smoke” exists. Smoke is wielded by Sorcerers, who have special organs in their bodies to produce this form of magic. The story centers around a lizard-faced man named Caiman. Caiman and his friend Nikaido navigate a dangerous world ruled by magic, searching for a way to reverse Caiman’s condition.

Dorohedoro FINALLY Hits Netflix in May – Here’s Why You Should Be Excited

No official trailers to share, but have some bloody episode 1 screencaps for fellow adult animated fans. If this is what the rest of the first season is like, it’s good.

The lizard man Caiman putting the bite and blades on somebody in The Hole that he doesn’t “need”

Along with his female friend Nikaido, he violently assaults sorcerers in the Hole, with the aim of taking their heads into his mouth, where a strange face will appear and confirm whether the sorcerer he has bitten onto was the one responsible for his transformation or not. Somehow, Caiman is immune to magical effects and as a result is extremely dangerous to sorcerers.

Wikipedia description of Dorohedoro

“Is the man inside my head actually me?” — when you look in the mirror and see a reptilian staring back at you.

Originally this TV series appeared in Japan from January 20, 2020 – March 29, 2020. It’s an adaptation of a serialized Monthly Ikki Japanese magazine publication.

Have said this before, in America we think of Disney/Pixar and Dreamworks — and they are top notch for primarily children’s animated films, but Japan has some of the most bizarre and wild adult animation around.

Caiman after a heavy night of drinking throws up … himself?!

Dorohedoro season 1 (12 episodes) is available for binge streaming on Netflix as of May 28, 2020.

FIRST LOOK: Reality Z (TV Series) – Netflix

Zombies and reality television are not a new concept, but a new series called Reality Z is coming from Netflix to make a dead finger stab at the genre.

…it is possible to cross the walls that isolate the reality show participants from the exterior world and get to know the great self-sustaining fortress, now threatened by the zombies outside and by the vile human nature inside. Witness what other survivors are willing to do to take over the Greek-inspired palace. In addition to satire on reality shows, the series delves into what is the most profound aspect in the zombie genre: the human drama.

Video: Welcome To Olympus. Unprecedented “Reality Z” Trailer Reveals Disputed Fortress in the Middle of a Zombie Apocalypse | TheFutonCritic.com

The trailer for the short five episode series looks promising.

Are zombies still fairly popular? Recently, I watched all three seasons of Santa Clarita Diet (see: FIRST LOOK: Santa Clarita Diet (TV Series) – Netflix) and that showed Drew Barrymore can still flat out act in whatever she wants. Here? I don’t recognize any of the cast, but will still watch at least the pilot and see how it goes.

Are you interested in this one?

Reality Z season 1 (five episodes) is available for streaming on Netflix on June 10, 2020.

TV SERIES Review: Harley Quinn S2E9 – Bacherlorette ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½

Talk about a provocative episode thumbnail for S2:E9 “Bachorlette”

Season 2
DC Universe exclusive
May 29, 2020

Episode 9 – “Bacherlorette”

Harley has arranged an elaborate bachelorette party on Wonder Woman’s Amazonian all-women island. They take the invisible plan and en route, of course, birds crash violently into the plane and splatter violently.

Once on the island, they take an invisible car to the hotel. Catwoman makes sure to put Harley on the spot on her and Ivy, “you two hooked up” — Harley admits that they just kissed.

Meanwhile, the bachelor party aboard is on a ship with Frank The Plant, Kite Man.

King Shark gets a fairly detailed side story underwater where he’s part of a forced marriage. His bride is Tabitha, a hammerhead sharkette that can chainsmoke underwater lol.

Naturally neither one wants to get married, but it’s part of a family tradition.

Meanwhile, Harley tries to convince Ivy that their relationship, now intimate, can add a new dimension to their friendship.

Animated pillow talk, no. More like horror (from Ivy) and delight (from Harley)

Ivy is plagued with guilt and wants to escape the island. Harley convinces Ivy to enjoy the rest of the bacherlorette festivities she has planned, including some killing and foiling an eco-terror plan on the island.

You’ll need to tune in to this episode to learn what Ivy thinks of Harley’s plan to take their relationship to the next level, whether or not they successfully foil Lex Luthor’s diabolical plan on the Amazonian island and if King Shark gets married.

Summary

No other episode of Harley Quinn to date has been as provocative before it has aired based on a thumbnail screencap as this one showing Harley and Ivy in bed and looking very much like, “um, what are we doing here?” The title of the episode suggests there was a party, perhaps numerous libations and the end result was sleeping in the same bed together. Is that what happened or just what looked like what happened?

This episode takes us there — and then some — with Harley and Ivy’s complicated, yet loving relationship. It also gives King Shark an odd, but charming side story, oh, and can’t forget the off the chain bacherlorette party, complete with Catwoman, Mr. Freeze’s wife and some gal named Jen, that doesn’t want to be called Jen.

I love this wild, crazy show. The great stories just keep coming every week. Taking a half star away for the King Shark story which was less compelling than the bizarre bachelorette story. Would rather have seen something involving Kite Man a little more interesting instead of him just putting a puzzle together with Frank The Plant and Clayface.

Overall episode rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ 

WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND #22 of 2020 Movie and TV Streaming Picks – Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, IMDB TV, Shudder, HBO Max, DC Universe

Weekend #22 of 53 – 5/29 – 5/31/2020

Every week on Thursdays movies and/or TV shows — mainly new, but also some older titles — at various streaming channels (these will change periodically) will be selected to watch/rewatch. The goal is to highlight some noteworthy movie and/or TV shows to check out for the coming weekend.

Movie theater new releases are covered already under the opening week posts that we do on Wednesdays (as soon as theaters reopen, these posts will resume), this new pics feature is strictly for streaming releases.

Some of these streaming services you may subscribe to, some you might want to check out a free trial and check out.

NOTE: If you’re coming to these posts weeks or months later, some and/or all of the picks listed below may no longer be on the streaming services indicated. Anything marked as “Original” typically doesn’t expire on the streaming service.

KEY
*Title with asterisk – newly released
Title is linked and has star rating – already watched, rated and reviewed
Title bolded – on our schedule to watch/rewatch, rate and review (or in progress)

ALL Week #22 of 53 for 2020 Picks By Streaming Service

With this week’s launch of HBO Max (see: HBO Max Launches – Here’s What Everything Looks Like Inside #HBOmax), Netflix continuing to crank out new original programming and YouTube’s We Are One Film Festival (see: YouTube Hosting We Are One FREE Digital Film Festival with 20 Partners May 29 – June 7, 2020) this weekend leaves plenty of viewing options.

A number of movies that have come out in the last year are available streaming through HBO Max (Ready or Not, The Art of Racing In The Rain), Netflix (Uncut Gems) and Amazon Prime Video (Rocketman, The Goldfinch).

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NETFLIX Movies

  1. Intuition (2020)
  2. All Day And A Night (2020)
  3. John Henry (2020)
  4. Nezha (2019)

NETFLIX TV

  1. *Space Force Season 1 – 10 episodes
    Comedy, Deadpan – Original
  2. *Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich – 4 episodes
    Docuseries – Original
  3. *Dorohedoro Season 1 – 12 episodes
    Manga, adult animated

Binge watched both seasons of Selling Sunset over the last week. A reality TV series featuring the high priced world of real estate in California that has been greenlit for a third season later in 2020. High commissions and drama inside a real estate office that deals primarily in selling homes worth millions. I thought at first this would be a really shallow show that wouldn’t maintain my interest, but somehow it did.

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AMAZON PRIME Movies

  1. Come To Daddy (2020)
  2. The Tracker (2019)
  3. The Hustle (2019)
  4. Zapped (1982)
  5. Black Sunday (1977)

YouTube: We Are One Film Festival (FREE)
https://www.youtube.com/WeAreOne
Friday May 29 – June 7, 2020

  1. *Crazy World (TIFF) – Film
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r713MM-dJMg
  2. *Egg – Short
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qg4jtCq9DtE
  3. *Toto – Short
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1eh0wlWwp_M
  4. *Marooned – Short
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9jU2KqamuE
  5. *No One Left Behind – Short
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=243Y9xoREvw

Just a few of many films at the co-curated virtual festival that caught my eye. Similar to how SXSW was handled here (see: Afterthoughts on SXSW 2020, er, Going To The Dogs), the plan is to watch, rate and review several of the films being presented during the festival and share back the experience. Hope others reading will join in and share back as well.

IMDB TV Movies (FREE, ad-supported)
https://www.imdb.com/tv/

  1. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 
  2. The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
  3. Christine

IMDB TV (FREE, ad-supported)

  1. The Incredible Hulk – Season 1 –
    Superhero, Bill Bixby, Lou Ferigno
  2. The A-Team – Season 1
    Action, Mr. T

SHUDDER Movies
https://www.shudder.com/

  1. *The Last Drive-in with Joe Bob Briggs
    Season 2 Episode 6
    Horror films double-feature with host commentary
    Friday May 29, 2020 @ 6pm PST (GMT-8), 9pm EST (GMT-5)
    Discord chat via reddit/shudder group
  2. Confessional
  3. Turbo Kid
  4. Blood Machines ⭐️⭐️⭐️ [FIRST LOOK]

HBO Max Movies

  1. The Art of Racing In The Rain ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  2. Ready Or Not ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  3. Wonder Woman (2017) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  4. Suicide Squad

HBO Max TV

  1. *Love Life – Season 1 – Episodes 1-3
    Anna Kendrick, romance comedy – Original
  2. *On The Record
    Documentary – Original
  3. *Craftopia
    Children’s Game Show – Original
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DC Universe TV

  1. *Harley Quinn TV Series – Season 2, Episode 9: “Bacherlorette”
  2. *Stargirl – Season 1, Episode 3: “Icicle”

TV Time is useful for tracking your TV series watching

For some time I’ve been looking for something to track TV watching like Letterboxd does for movies. After using TV Time for a couple months, this feels like one of the better options available at this time. If anybody reading wants to recommend another, perhaps better option, please let me know in the comments.

The price is right: free. The site isn’t invaded by ads. In fact, I didn’t see any ads anywhere. That’s my kind of clean user experience.

One complaint. I don’t see an easy or intuitive way in the app or on the website to link to my individual TV series reviews (share links are available inside the app, so that’s probably one way to create the link, but I don’t want to share a link to a social media service every time, just to get a link), nor is there any way (that I see) to export my activity on this site, which is problematic for me using as a permanent source for reviews. Therefore, I’m going to continue to post TV series reviews here and use it primarily for tracking what’s been watched. TV Time is, however, very good as a watchlist tracker.

“There’s an incredible amount of quality TV being made today — some of the budgets are insane — and because all these different platforms are doing it, it becomes more confusing for the consumer to find out where to watch, to remember where they left off, and to remember when the premiere is,” says TV Time COO Dan Brian. “It’s hard to wrangle it all.”

TV Time, the TV tracking app with over a million daily users, can now find your next binge | TechCrunch

Some other things I’ve learned about TV Time. When you want to skip around and watch different episodes, click on the TV series title in the app and that will take you to the overall summary of the show. I don’t rewatch TV series episodes in order. Instead, I’ll rewatch my favorite episodes, jumping all around in between seasons. For example, when Star Trek: Picard was on recently, I went back into TNG and watched relevant episodes with Data and Bruce Maddox.

It is possible to track what you’ve watched this way in TV Time although the app by default displays the newest next episode, so if you watch something from season 5, it will show you the next episode following the season 5 episode you last watched. At first, this puzzled me, but it makes sense when you’re watching a series for the first time and you would want to see the next episode. Just keep in mind, you aren’t restricted to watch a TV series this way. Just click the title of the TV show and you’ll always return to the home which displays all seasons in the series. From there you can quickly find the episode you want.

As for movies, TV Time is just … OK. It isn’t nearly as useful either statistically or functionally as Letterboxd. I wasn’t looking for a Letterboxd replacement, anyway, especially when the name of the app has “TV” in it, but you can track, rate and review movies.

Following people on TV Time is not intuitive at all. You need to drill down on comments and look at the person and then click follow. It’s almost like following other people inside TV Time is an afterthought. What I’ve been doing is following those who leave great comments on TV shows I like a lot (Harley Quinn!).

Commenting in TV Time is a neat experience. You can leave memes and in some shows pick actual screenshots to include. Of course you can include your own screencaps from shows. I’ve found the phone apps Pic Stitch and Over useful for editing pictures (stitching multiple pictures together and adding formatted text).

Both apps are free and if you want to pay for additional features offer a pro version. I made the stitched picture above for Stargirl using both phone apps.

Speaking of Letterboxd, on 5/23/2020 I passed the four digit followers milestone.

Thank you to those following my movie reviews, it’s much appreciated. A friendly reminder to newer readers: all new and old movie reviews are posted to my Letterboxd account first. Maybe it won’t always be that way, but really dig using this site. It lets you export all of your activity any time you want, which is cool. If only it did TV shows too … alas, it’s only movies. TV Time scratches the TV itch, I guess. Not as well, but it comes close enough for now.

TV Time, again, as far as I can tell (corrections welcome in the comments), does not provide any sort of export function for your activity. If you’re looking at spending any amount of time creating content at another site, keep in mind that if the site/service goes away, you won’t have it any more without export functionality. Having your own blog at least provides a way to pull all content you’ve created together in one place.

I’m open to options that have both movie and TV review functionality as well as provide full export at any time (you should always own your own created content). I haven’t found any site or service which nails this for both … yet. Have you? Open to suggestions in the comments area, please. Will keep looking…

TV SERIES Review: Harley Quinn S2E8 – Inner (Para)Demons ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Season 2
DC Universe exclusive
May 22, 2020

Episode 8 – “Inner (Para)Demons”

Commissioner Gordon contacts the president and says he’s taken down the Injustice League. The president replies that there is one criminal left to deal with before “Gotham can be put back on the map” – Harley Quinn.

Harley & Ivy are sitting in the lair and talk about the kiss. It was just an impetuous moment is how they play it off and Harley kisses Dr. Psycho who spits out and says, “Ew! I’m not your type!”

Batgirl stops by to warn Harley and team. She quick kisses Batgirl because she “kisses people for no reason.”

Harley wants to amass an evil army. Meanwhile Poison Ivy and Kite Man are having dinner with Kite Man’s snooty parents. Kite Man only wants their approval, but they are disappointed in him for not having “real” superpowers.

Harley, Clayface, King Shark and Dr. Psycho access an inter-dimensional portal to face off against a super-villain in order to gain access to an evil army at the request of Darksied.

Will Harley & crew win the battle and command the army against Gordon and the Gotham police?

Granny Goodness vs. Harley Quinn with a great and powerful army of parademons as the prize

Will Ivy have a showdown with Kite Man’s parents or just deal with their awkward approval of Kite Man and her as a couple? Will Harley tell Ivy her true feelings or just keep making up excuses?

These questions answered and more, just tune in and check it out season 2, episode 8!

Summary

This episode has everything that’s great about this show packed in a mega-entertaining watch: a mission with the crew, tension, villains to defeat, the fate of Gotham hanging in the balance, a battle of good vs. sorta evil (Harley & team) vs. true evil. The signature snappy banter, Harley nervously avoiding her true feelings for Ivy and Kite Man trying to gain acceptance from his disapproving parents. Yeah, this is a gold star episode and one of the best of the two seasons. Top three for me to date.

Overall episode rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

FIRST LOOK: Santa Clarita Diet (TV Series) – Netflix

Drew Barrymore erotic finger sucking turns into … (see next photo)

Oh yes, these are unusual times.

The good news is if you’re looking for entertaining movies and TV shows to watch, there are tons of options. Shortly, we’re going to talk about one I somehow missed called Santa Clarita Diet.

When this blog started we didn’t do FIRST LOOK on anything except new movies coming to theaters, then because the last couple months we haven’t had any theaters open to watch new movies (except some scattered drive-in theaters in other parts of the country), we started covering new movies and TV series on streaming.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised how many entertaining TV shows there are to watch. Way too many for any one single person who works a completely unrelated full time job. So, what you get here, is me covering as much as I can of what hits my radar and either would like to watch or have watched. What I’m finding most interesting and entertaining at the moment, if you will. Most coverage will be new movies when the theaters reopen soon (still looking like July 2020), but sometimes you’ll get some of the “what we missed and caught up with.”

That’s the case here.

Santa Clarita Diet is a TV series in my wheelhouse that ran for three seasons and was not renewed for a fourth. I’m not a huge fan of zombies, but this offers a clever, often humorous take on them. It’s exciting to see Drew Barrymore, who was in Stephen King’s Cat’s Eye and Firestarter returning to her horror roots, even if it’s more satirical fare.

Meet Joe and Sheila Hammond — no, they very much are not the average couple!

I already have watched all 30 episodes of the three seasons, which again, is something I usually do only after writing a FIRST LOOK, but hey, let’s change with the times. Will there be reviews of all episodes forthcoming? Undecided.

As a mini-review of the entire three seasons of Santa Clarita Diet: the first few episodes were really interesting and super entertaining. As the series waned on, I think it sort of lost its way at times and became a bit too corny. By the end of the third season I can see why Netflix didn’t renew it, but if they change their mind and greenlight a Season 4, I’d probably see where those wild, wacky Hammonds go. Do I recommend watching this, if you haven’t seen yet? Check out the pilot episode to get a great idea what the series will be about.

Some of the screencaps that follow are going to be graphic, so proceed with that in mind…

So what does Drew Barrymore do in the pilot episode?

… ravenous finger eating, which turns into …
… a live human feast!

You can see how a long time dedicated horror fan would dig watching this. Even though I’ve been a subscriber to Netflix for many years, I somehow missed catching when it first came out. It’s a little ironically like finding out about a good restaurant in town that you’ve driven by many times and not noticed, then you try it out and it’s good, but not amazing. Is Netflix like this for anybody else?

All three seasons of Santa Clarita Diet are available on Netflix.