Posts tagged season 1

The Walking Dead: A Look Back, Season 1

I was going to write about the last episode but I lost track of time with the holidays and I moved and whatever else occupied my time in the last couple weeks.  Either way I figured, why spoil the ending?  If you want to see it you have full reviews from every other episode from me and if you have gone 5 eps deep then watching the finale will be well worth it.  I did really enjoy this arch but of course like any new show there is always a testing ground.  I still have not read the graphic novels but plan to, to get more in depth with the series for when it returns for its second season.  Yes, it was picked up and why shouldn’t it?  I really enjoyed what they did with this season and I am happy to call myself a fan.

From what I have read the second season will be twice as long as the first and, sorry to say, but we have no set date as to when it will air.  I feel like we may have gotten a taste of what this show has to offer and if you ask me most of us will be out for flesh if it doesn’t have a date set in the near future.  It is always terrible when you have a show you are falling for and have no idea when you will get more.  There are a few snags that could cause the new season not to air until October of 2011 though.  Frank Darabont, the executive producer/director, has let go of his entire writing staff and there are talks of not bringing on another one.  Instead he is commissioning out freelancers to write the episodes.  Also, AMC is the new hot place to be if you are an awesome tv series that has style and substance.  They already have two hit shows coming back in 2011, Mad Men and Breaking Bad, and they will be airing a new series called, The Killing, sometime in the new year.  That is quite a full plate for a network that used to show nothing but classic movies.

This show is looking like it will have quite an impact.  The first episode was released at the perfect time, at the end of the spooky Halloween season, and I really believe that gave this show a leg up to get the buzz out there.  I can only speculate what the next season will look like with all the freelancing and amazingness that will bring.  From what I have reviewed and what I was excited about from this show I was totally blown away.  From the beginning to the end you really see the relationships opening up and even the violence, which was something I knew AMC could handle, has been tasteful and gruesome at the same time.  The entire cast has been a great choice so far.

There is a soap opera kind of feel to it with some of the characters, but I think that makes for good drama.  As the show started, and since I am a proclaimed nerd, I had no problem believing there were crazy zombies running around out in the world.  The characters react exactly how I would expect them to and there are some tough decisions shown that really make you step back and contemplate how you would handle it.  Let’s be honest here, no real situation is ever so cut and dry.

So let’s get into the meat of it all.  When the series starts you are kind of a time before when you get to meet Rick Grimes, a cop, and his partner, Shane.  When Rick is put into a coma and wakes up mysteriously alone in the hospital the reality of a world alone sets into place.  The story leads us to Rick searching and eventually finding his family, which include his son Carl and wife Lori.  Lori was under the impression he was dead and so has sought comfort in Shane.  As time goes on you realize that Shane is not happy to be left at the wayside when Rick returns, but this is all under Rick’s nose and he has no idea the turmoil both of them are going through now that he has returned.

Not only are you dealing with betrayal on some level but in other stories you are seeing the decisions of deciding on death as a viable option to living in this hell.  What is there really to live for in a world like this?  You see everyone around you die eventually and so why wouldn’t it be a good option?  Well, that is unless you have someone to live for.  These people are all they have and at this point if they don’t have each other there is no reason to go on.  Not all of them have the strength to be optimistic like Rick and push on thinking they can save the world.  This innate American idea that we are bigger and meant for more definitely resides in a guy like Rick, a leader.

Then you see the struggle that comes over Andrea when she does realize she is that person for someone, Dale.  He had seen his entire family die and yet kept going.  He let Andrea and her sister, Amy, into his heart and gave that place to them.  Those relationships become stronger as time progresses.  Bonds formed through great tragedy are stronger because you can really see someone for who they are.  Sometimes though that isn’t the person you thought you would see.  A really great example of that comes out in Carol’s husband, Ed.  Now it is possible that he could have been this way before the world ended but her transformation is what really struck me.

Carol seems like a simple housewife who does what she is told.   Ed is her overbearing abusive husband.  They make a good couple until the sisters, who are definitely more outspoken and liberated, interfere to make Carol feel ok about laughing and having fun despite this dark time.  You may think that she may not change because she runs to the side of him even after he beats her, but when he turns and has to be taken down she is the one to do it.  The escape!  Not only an escape and a victory but one she can feel good about and not snap to obtain.  Slight victories like this are well deserved by these travelers and when they get them you must believe they will take them.

The many triumphs and disasters that these people go through are shown on their faces and their reactions and actions throughout every situation.  You really feel what they are going through.  An amazing moment is when the group is in the city together and they have to escape somehow.  An option is to walk among them but how is that possible?  Well, take a clue from Shaun of the Dead, act like them, and of course smell like them.  The hacking of an already dead body is a head turner but touching at the same time.  Rick memorializes the moment and makes them remember that life in this afterlife is all about survival.

Some amazing revelations have been made through all of this as well.  We are finally clued into how long this has all been going on in the end of this season.  They meet a scientist in the CDC named Dr. Jenner.  Now, in my life previous to becoming obsessed with zombies I had a phobia.  After seeing 28 Days Later and saw how fast they could be and the fact that maybe this could happen something came over me.  I didn’t like that thought and eventually had to overexpose myself to the whole thing so that now, maybe it is still kind of a phobia, but at least I know what I can and am ready to beat the hell out of some stumbling brain eaters.  In this series we learn a little more about what is happening physiologically.  It is a spark in the brain that goes out.  Where there were so many neurons and electrical impulses lighting up before there is only one area that seems to be relit and it is the basic most primal area.  No function but survival is left.

The first season comes to DVD/BluRay March 8th, buy it, rent it, netflix it and help this series spread a widely and quickly as the disease they portray.  Remember to also like them on their facebook page and follow them @WalkingDead_AMC on twitter.

A Nerdy Girl Reviews Bleach – Season 1 Part 2

Welcome back, dear readers to my second part of reviewing Bleach Season 1. When we left off, I was discussing Urahara and his mod soul Kon. I will pick up from there, if you don’t mind.

In the next episode, we get a glimpse into Kurosaki Ichigo’s past. His mother was killed when he was a young boy by a Hollow. When he was a boy, he did not realize it was a Hollow. He was only able to see ghosts; he did not know Hollows existed until he met Kuchiki Rukia. He had been walking home with his mother when the Hollow came and took her away. Ichigo had to watch this happen in front of him. In this episode, it is the anniversary of her unfortunate death, and we see the human side of Ichigo and his family, including his father. It is the one day a year where his father acts somewhat normal to him, and smokes his only cigarette for the year. You can tell that Ichigo’s father – Isshin – was very much in love with his wife.

As they are visiting the grave, they are confronted by the same Hollow that attacked his mother. The Hollow is called the ‘Grand Fisher’ and he tricks people with his lure, hence the Fisher title. Ichigo is able to attack him and cause him immense damage, but is unable to kill him. He disappears and makes his way back to where Hollows reside – a place called Hueco Mundo. We’ll be seeing much more of this plane later on in the series, but for now – it is where Hollows live.

Next, we are reintroduced to Ishida Uryuu, the last Quincy. We learn that Quincies are the sworn enemy of shinigami’s, and will do anything they can to destroy them. Ishida releases a potion that will draw Hollows to the area, so they can have a competition to see who can hurt the most Hollows. Karakura Town becomes overwhelmed with Hollows, making it so neither of them are able to contain them. We find out that Chad can see Hollows now, in order to help protect Ichigo’s sister Karin, and fights back. As he does this, he develops a new power – his right arm is transformed and is able to shoot energy at the Hollows to destroy them. So, now we’ve got two of Ichigo’s friends (or enemies) that have powers to help his fight as well.

Following this episode, we find out that Rukia has broken Soul Society’s law by giving her powers to Ichigo. A shinigami by the name of Abarai Renji appears to take Rukia. Ichigo is enraged and challenges him to a battle. They are well-matched until Renji releases his zanpakuto’s (sword) first form, and Ichigo realizes that he is no match for him. He finally finds his footing and becomes more confident, but then a new shinigami comes to collect Rukia. In the process, this new shinigami – Kuchiki Byakuya – severely injures Ichigo, so Ichigo cannot follow. Rukia says she’ll return to Soul Society only if Ichigo’s life is saved. Ichigo has been stripped of his powers. Just as Rukia returns to Soul Society through a sliding gate, the shopkeeper Urahara appears. He says he will help Ichigo train to save Rukia.

Rukia had begun to go to school with Ichigo but when he returned to school the following day, no one except for Chad, Inoue and Ishida remembered her. This was thanks to a memory wipe done by Soul Society to make everyone forget who she was. Ichigo begins to train underneath Urahara’s shop in what amounts to a giant canyon. One would never suspect something this large underneath such a tiny shop. Urahara is full of secrets. Urahara pops Ichigo with his cane, which makes Ichigo’s soul leave his body. However, unlike when this occurred while he was a substitute shinigami, he is a normal soul now, who must regain his shinigami powers. We see Ichigo go through a lesson in his normal soul body. After he completes this lesson, he then has his chain broken (the chain that has been keeping his soul anchored to his human body) and it begins to eat its own links. Urahara drops him into a very large hole that his assistant dug (a very cute girl by the name of Ururu). We watch as the chain begins to disappear and then finally, Ichigo is left with a Hollow hole.

In the next part, we see that Ichigo is in a city, sitting on a skyscraper window, sideways. Above him is an older man who has long hair, a long billowing cloak and glasses. He tells Ichigo that he has always had shinigami powers – Byakuya only took the ones that he (Ichigo) had been borrowing from Rukia. He tells him that he needs to find the 1 box, out of the thousands that are falling from the sky, that contains his shinigami powers. He finds it, but it is too late. The Hollowfication process has begun. He shoots out of the hole and stands there with a Hollow mask, dressed as a shinigami. Ichigo then removes the mask and fights Urahara again. He attempts to draw his sword, but it is broken – it is not his true sword. The older man appears again and reveals his name to Ichigo – Zangetsu – Ichigo’s zanpakuto. Then, the real fight begins. Urahara has his own zanpakuto – which means he is/was a shinigami – but more on that at another time. For now, he uses his zanpakuto to protect himself from Ichigo’s power – he throws up a shield and still Ichigo blasts through it, and leaves a deep crevice in the ground behind where Urahara is standing. Ichigo is powerful – extremely powerful.

While Ichigo is training with Urahara, we see Orihime, Chad and Ishida begin training with their powers. A cat by the name of Yourichi trains them. And yes, the cat speaks. Orihimie is so trusting and childlike, it doesn’t even phase her. However, the men? They have minor freak-outs at the situation. So, Yourichi begins training Orihimie in using her powers (the two hairclips that she wears house 6 fairies that help her), as well as Chad with his powerful arm. Ishida trains alone in the way of the Quincy. They all decide to go to Soul Society with Ichigo.

We get a glimpse of Soul Society, only briefly, in the last couple of episodes of this season. We learn that Rukia is to be executed in 25 days for her betrayal of the shinigami. We also meet two other captains of Soul Society – Gin Ichimaru and Kenpachi. These two men, with Renji and Byakuya, will be pivotal agents in the next season.

At the end of the season, Urahara tells Ichigo to leave his bedroom window open at a specific time in order to receive a message. He receives the message and starts to leave, only to have his father stop him. His father gives him an amulet, saying that his mother gave it to him to protect Ichigo. Ichigo takes and it goes to Urahara’s shop, where he finds his friends there waiting, as well as Yourichi. And yes, Ichigo freaks out that the cat can speak. Urahara then opens a Senkaimon – a gateway that connects Earth to Soul Society. Then, Ichigo – Ishida – Chad – Orihime and Yourichi step through the portal, making their way to Soul Society. And that’s where this season concludes.

There is a lot of information that you receive throughout the last few episodes of this season. Bleach tends to do that. Information comes to you in droves. I think that’s one of the things I enjoy about this series. The information just doesn’t stop. And that’s what makes it great storytelling.

Stay tuned for my next review of Season 2. Until next time!

A Nerdy Girl Reviews Bleach – Season 1 Part 1

You ready to jump into some anime with me? Yeah? Good, let’s do this.

The first season of ‘Bleach’ is an attention getter from the get-go. For all intents and purposes, I will be referring to the characters as to how they are referred to in the Japanese version. I have only watched the Japanese version, so please forgive me if you watch the English version.

In the first episode, we meet Kurosaki Ichigo and are introduced to his family. Kurosaki is a unique individual. He can see spirits that are lingering on Earth, the ones that don’t seem to want to move on to the next plane. He approaches an alleyway where a girl had been killed and keeps her spirit company. As he is keeping the spirit company, he witnesses a woman in black garb battling a monster of sorts. This monster goes after the little girl, and Ichigo does his best to protect her. After tending to the spirit, he heads back to his house where his deranged father attacks him, playfully – of course. His father owns a medical clinic, and their house is attached to it. He has two fraternal twin sisters – Karin and Yuzu. Later the same day, the woman in black makes an appearance in his room, asking him if he can see her. He tells her yes, and she then comes to find out he can see Hollows (the monster that had been in the alley) as well as spirits. She explains that she is a Shinigami – Soul Reaper – from Soul Society.  Soul Society is where souls go after they pass away. She explains that the being they saw was called a Hollow – who was also a soul, but due to their inability to get to Soul Society in a timely manner become a monster. Then, the Hollow they had battled earlier in the day shows up outside of Ichigo’s house and grabs Karin from inside. Ichigo goes and rushes outside, trying to save his sister. The Shinigami – Kuchiki Rukia – becomes severely injured and then looks to Ichigo, telling him in order to save his sister, he must take her power as a Shinigami to defeat the Hollow. He looks at her and nods his head, and throws himself on her sword (her zanpakutou), becoming a spirit himself – now dressed in the same black garb that Rukia had been wearing. He takes care of the Hollow, and seals his fate as a Substitute Shinigami.

This all happens in 22 minutes. A lot of information is thrown at you out of the gate. I mean, in 22 minutes, we see the “bad guys” and then learn about souls and a place called Soul Society. To see no hesitation occur in Ichigo is one of his strongest characteristics that carries throughout the show. He wants to protect everyone – no matter what the cost. We will see this happen again and again throughout the 15 seasons.

In the next few episodes, we’re introduced to Ichigo’s friends from high school – Orhime Inoue, Yasutora “Chad” Sado, and Uryuu Ishida. Each of these characters have special abilities, like Ichigo. Some we won’t learn about until the following season, but they are all very unique. Uryuu Ishida is the last Quincy in existence. A Quincy is someone who wants to rid all Hollows from existence. Quincys and Shinigamis do not get along – according to Ishida. Ishida, when we learn of his power, attempts to go after Ichigo.

One of my absolute favorite episodes of this season is with Sado. He finds a cockatiel that can talk, and he helps take care of it. It turns out that the  cockatiel is actually a soul of a boy who had been killed. It is said that this cockatiel is cursed, but he is only this way because Hollows continue to chase after his soul. With the help of Rukia, they are able to defeat the Hollows and send the child back to Soul Society.
When Ichigo becomes the Substitute Shinigami, he must find something to do with his body – a shinigami fights in their “soul” form. Rukia goes to a shop which is run by a man named Urahara. He is a very eccentric man who wears flip-flops and a green and white stripped hat, and uses a fan a lot. We don’t learn much about this man in this season, except that he carries items that Shinigami need. He sells Rukia some “Soul Candy”, which Ichigo is to pop into his mouth to become a Shinigami. Well, the candy turns out to be a “modified soul” – the candy was actually an artificial warrior that was created to help Soul Society get rid of Hollows. This modified soul, when not in Ichigo’s body, is stuck inside of a lion stuffed animal. The modified soul’s name is Kon. Like the true nerd that I am, a friend of mine went to Anime Expo right before my birthday and bought me a Kon backpack. I love that guy.

I’ll end my tale here, for now. The end of the season is packed full of lots of amazing things. I feel that if I go into those now, this review will be well over 2000 words. Come back in a few days and I’ll post the second part of my review. Until then…

LOST: For the First Time

Yes, that’s correct. I’m late to the game of watching LOST. I have just started Season one and was originally going to post a short WTF after finishing each episode, but when I started taking notes, I found that my brain went in all directions. I have shared my impressions with those in the Node, but for those of you who haven’t yet joined I figured I would make the doodles available for all.

Here is the only one I could post on here as all the others are incredibly NSFW. The gallery will grow in time, but if you want to catch glimpses into the opinions of someone staring at the show with fresh eyes, the gallery is here.
Enjoy, leave comments, but please don’t spoil it! I have managed to make it six years without knowing ANYTHING about this show!
Oh, for the big Jack and Kate fans… Yeah… I don’t like them. That’s my opinion for the moment. Who knows. Maybe in one of the future episodes Kate will burst forth from the jungle riding a polar bear while brandishing a spear and take out Charlie… then I will hate her.
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