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IR TV Review: DOOM PATROL – EPISODE 4 (“S*x Patrol”) [DC Universe-S2]

The reasoning of “Doom Patrol” resides in what is the more bearable path, what life allows and what it takes to keep motion and emotion alive. While the texture of last season has not yet built this season, the eccentric nature of the comics is allowing itself to be seen. Each individual character knows that they are on a teetering path with one specifically trying to find the right way to evolve while the others look in the rear-view mirror about what holds them back and propels them. After the texture of Mr. Nobody which provided a wrap around shield , this season seems to lose itself in the insular when there are much bigger questions to ask. Hopefully those ideas are building. Vic is finding his way but it is undeniably not the most engaging conversation. Cliff’s problems are a little more variant but is restricted whether the story exists in the real world or his imagination. Rita too has her own issues. What is interesting is that that story crossing with Dorothy and her nature is the most interesting diametric of the season. In this episode “Sex Patrol” the story is more about trying to rescue a friend…and a rather esoteric one at that. Crazy Jane has some of the best bits in the episode but the reasoning is tricky. A small scene inside a tech platform with one of her personalities is one of the most dynamic in the episode because it paints what is going on in her head. A new personality not seen before comes out for a moment and it is a siren. The reality is that the adventure inside Jane’s head is the most interesting one. The battle for the primary is of course an overlay from Season 1.

The antagonist of the episode is interesting enough but almost seems like an abstract proponent that one would see in an “American Dad” episode. It is not that it is bad…it is simply very much out of left field. As the episode culminates, the reason for the actual tempest of sorts is two fold but they definitely react against each other. Another highlight is a small song that in context is the best idea of the episode if it pays off in a later episode which seems a possibility. There is some imagery that speaks to it especially with the hanging of a disco ball. What is missing in a certain way is a little bit more of the heartstrings or strife. Dorothy commands the compelling moments but the family really needs to work around her. “Sex Patrol” is an allusion to an almost tangent story line that no doubt was inspired by “Poltergeist”. Now whether the comic story was pre-80s is a matter of discourse. That said, hopefully the story that the season wants to tell reflects back with a more encompassing idea that takes advantage of its strengths. All the characters have more to explore but they need to be focused in an undeniable way. Most of last season’s story was existential without the characters actually realizing the path until it was right upon them. Dorothy needs to find her fate and the road can diverge into many paths.

C

By Tim Wassberg

IR TV Review: THE BAKER AND THE BEAUTY – EPISODE 8 & 9 – SEASON FINALE (“May I Have This Dance” & “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”) [ABC]

The progression of “The Baker & The Beuaty” is one of the modern dance: where is the balance between tradition and modern thinking. In the Latino community seen in this series, it is an ever evolving tendency, especially in the age of social media, what is considered traditionally acceptable versus long held ideas of what a family or a romance is supposed to look like. Having spoke to Victor Rasuk at the beginning of the season, his character has actually become more conservative. The story has taken a more diametric turn as the season comes to conclusion in his brother’s perception. The idea of familiarity breeding contempt or even interestingly enough acceptance in the same breathe is an interesting diatribe. Vanessa, whom Victor’s character left earlier in the season before he met Noa who is on her own trajectory creates an interesting dichotomy. Of course this is a romance so there is a distinct texture of wanting to provide a positive happy ending. But one knows that in real life, things aren’t that clean. Granted as the two part finale moves on, it gets slightly messy but nothing that can’t be remedied. It revolves around to that possibility of love lost which is that ideal of what can be gained. Or what the better outcome is or can be.

The idea of what is healthy and the psychology of success is actually an interesting subplot, that, although subtly addressed, is a very real defense mechanism for Noa. Nathalie Kelly plays this character bilaterally, whom you could see exist in both worlds but is not necessarily truly a part of either. She has to exist in between and find balance. Victor’s character by comparison , and maybe in a macho way, only see the black and white, even though it is a socially acceptable balance he is working in of preserving family. His brother though makes the leap in certain ways that he doesn’t. And their sister is the bridge of emotions. That is why that Quincidera aspect actually works very well. It is apprarent specifically in the quiet moments with the parents which ranks among the series’ best because it shows a slowed down balance that expands and shows time. While the lightness of the show is maintained, there are moments of depth without losing some of the bubble gum texture of the romance it is trying to show.

B

By Tim Wassberg

IR TV Review: PICARD – EPISODE 2 (“Maps & Legends”) [CBS All Access]

The essence of action is based on the motivation of the beholder. Within the continuing idea of “Picard”, the idea is what protest and the tenet of inaction as a form of progression become in the face of both genocide and politics. The series here integrates some of the more dynamic elements of The Next Generation including one of its episodes “Conspiracy”. While the progressive mythology of what is being shown here is much more dense, the tendency of ego is a very real presence. The way Stewart embodies this vision of Picard is not with regret but interestingly enough in a reflexive way one of self importance. While this was true in TNG, it came with the essence of him being the lead point on the flagship. The idea of the frustration is what propels him forward. And like the Shakespeare that Stewart loves so much, it is that ID that motivates him back into the realm that is most dangerous.

The second episode continues to progress out the idea of characters slowly, allowing the audience to become more comfortable with them. Yet on the periphery is some interesting cameos that hark back to certain times in Picard’s career. The parallel story with an aspect of Data’s past is being nicely contemplated without giving away too much. The action is not requiring the audience to dwell on it but it is the existential nature that has very interesting relevance. It won’t be a surprise but obviously an interesting irony when and if Q shows up. Because this texture along with the fact that the Borg relevance is already marked in the DNA here gives Picard a reason for being, even though the chorus around him, especially with his Romulan handlers in his house are warning him of the impending situation that he teeters on. The episode ends with a degree of human and lightness that shows that while the series is dealing with serious issues, there has to be the breath of humanity, that which Data always wanted.

B

By Tim Wassberg

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