PEN15 2019–2021 User Reviews
This is such an odd series but I have to say “truthful” and due to that — hysterical. Personally I was kind of put off by the first couple of episodes but after a while you will be drawn in. For me this was even more on the nose as my long time best middle school and high school friend was Korean and I think most modern shows might not think of that dynamic with girls.
The show is unique in that they have thirtysomething year old women playing their 7th grade selves along with real life 13 year olds. To my shock, it works well. I suspect they did so because no modern little kid could really capture the creators of this show at 12. Also, some of the plots are very grown up and that might not be fully available to real kids.
Its not just another comedy but instead an ode to the awkwardness and frustration of being a young teenager. While still achieving laughs, it can bring you back to the time you were naive, inexperienced, and uneducated about the world and society. People always like to say “it was so easy back then at that age. No real life problems. ” I think pen15 season 2 does a great job of showing that those problems back then while seemingly inconsequential had deep seeded meaning that molded us into who we all are today.
Plus being a 30 y/o man, the show is def geared towards a female audience so maybe I had a hard time relating for my first review lol. But I think anyone from that time or anyone who can still relate, sympathize, or recollect their inner teenager will find something to enjoy about pen15.
1883 TV Series 2021-
This is show piggybacking off the successful Yellowstone series by the same writer, director and creator Taylor Sheridan. I love nearly anything he does but this feels off lacking in quality.
The scenery is awesome as one might expect, but it is almost always accompanied by overused narration. It becomes grinding at times and is much longer than necessary. Some talented actors carry the scenes and Tim and Faith are a tough sell in my book.
This is a well financed series and to have these two as leads was a mistake, this needs a proper lead. Perhaps Jeremy Renner would make a better fit here than the dismal Hawkeye series he made instead where his talents are undercut by a teenage girl.
Billy Bob Thornton was needed as another cowboy in the posse instead of just a 5 minute Sheriff scene that goes nowhere.
On top of that this is a 1883 fantasy novel as others have pointed out. Poor research on the cost of living, the absolute naivete of the settlers and the gun play. Sure it was hard, but Taylor is just concentrating on a certain story line without bothering to be accurate to the timeline.
There’s not much more to say other than that 1883 episodes is quite simply some of the best television that has ever been produced. From the writing, to the cast, to the cinematography, every minute is a joy to watch.
For Life (2020) Reviews
There have been many shows and documentaries on how corrupt and broken the criminal justice system is in America. Even if you’ve never been there (America that is, not prison, though that may apply too), you get the picture and you don’t need really a great imagination for that either.
Having said that, the first season of for life season 2 is really well told. It may feel like it is stretched a few times to some, but the writing is really good. You are thrown in (no pun intended) – and you have to find your way and get into the mindset of our main character. There is an episode that goes back and shows us a bit of the how (not so much why) he got in prison. That works quite fine too … it is the circumstances … we will find out what made the police and the AG act the way they did. Not as an excuse, but more for the viewer to understand. But this doesn’t mean this case is an exception … unfortunately.
I think the depth of the great script, and the truth being portrayed by through these characters is captivating. It is for sure award worthy, and I’d love to see 50 cent get a nod for it. Defiantly one of my favorite series right now, like I said I don’t want it to end.