Firstly, I've finally sat down and watched Friends, and yeah, it definitely lived up to the hype and praise from its fans! The show's twenty years old now since its inception, yet it still holds up as one of the best comedies I've ever seen! Watching ten seasons of a show in eleven or twelve days was rather surreal, especially for a show in the comedy genre, something that I've only ever really experienced with Frasier, and Parks and Rec. The biggest surprises I got out of watching Friends were the attention to continuity, character, and plot, things that don't normally crop up too often in weekly comedy shows. By the end, this show could arguably be called a sit-com drama; there were so many tear-jerking moments in here and most of the characters on the show were lovable and remained consistently funny throughout the show's run. Moreover, the show itself never really dwindled in quality; everything about this remained solid and tight right up until the end, something that surprised me given how terrible The Big Bang, Frasier, and other shows had become once they'd reached past a certain point. Long-lasting repercussions and plot points weave through this show pretty well, and the funny factor, while not as gut-busting as Frasier (the only other show that I really consistently go back to for laughs), the humor felt more-- valuable I guess is the right word, or more substantive. Anyway, if you haven't yet watched Friends, I really recommend it. It's on Netflix instant streaming which is why I was so excited to finally sit down and see what all the fuss was about. Totally worth it! If you can only watch comedies in small doses, then do so here especially, because things can and will definitely blend together if you're up at like four in the morning still staring at the screen.
Secondly, I have to just talk about this now-two-year-old web serial called Worm! In lieu of trying to explain it in terrible fashion, here's the official blurb from the site's "About" section:
"An introverted teenage girl with an unconventional superpower, Taylor goes out in costume to find escape from a deeply unhappy and frustrated civilian life. Her first attempt at taking down a supervillain sees her mistaken for one, thrusting her into the midst of the local ‘cape’ scene’s politics, unwritten rules, and ambiguous morals. As she risks life and limb, Taylor faces the dilemma of having to do the wrong things for the right reasons."
It's an almost laughably plain blurb of text, because while I'm only on Arc 9 (of 31... yeah, really), I can tell you that this story is one of the best realizations regarding the concept of the superhero in recent memory! Clocking in at roughly 1.7 million words, this thing is massive, and the scope and scale of the piece just get larger and more complicated as you move along! The strengths of this series are a lethal combination of strong character development, intense plot, atmosphere, and action, and a firm grasp of its own universe, with many of the powers, costumes, politics, and morals are original and/or creatively used so as to be engaging and fun. This story is really good and I'm enjoying it a lot mainly for its originality and brazen attempts to veer away from superhero cliches and its many victories in doing so. Just awesome! The guy who wrote this is looking to get it published officially in physical form and whatnot, but if you don't mind the occasional misspelling or typo, check out the complete series here! (No spoilers please for those who have read all of it, or for those who read faster than I do!)
Also, I finally saw Interstellar literally one day after I posted my Top 7 Best Movies of 2014! One day after, man! Had I seen this prior to putting up that list, this would have made the list, probably pushing Guardians back a peg! Bit of a Mini-View thing here as I talk about this movie, but whatever; I didn't want to devote a whole post to this because I don't have too much to say about it. I can say that this thing was what 2001: A Space Odyssey should have been and wasn't. For one, this had pretty good characters, a functional moral dilemma, intriguing-as-hell physics puzzles, and a nice overall message to it that helped keep the wholly justifiable nearly three-hour fest focussed and on point, all of which were missing from 2001 (for the most part- I still love you, Hal). I was not confused by the end (and no, it wasn't complicated; if anything, it helped tie up some loose bits from the first two acts of the movie), and I enjoyed this a whole lot. Chris Nolan really put himself into this, I could tell, and while I don't think it's as strong as most people say it is, this is still a very good movie that deserves high marks, especially in the effects category!
On the opposite end of that spectrum, I also saw The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies movie shortly after Christmas as well. Unlike Interstellar, I do have a lot to say on this movie and on the Hobbit films as a whole, so I'll be saving that for another post down the line whenever I decide to touch this subject that has gone from putting a smile on my face to really pissing me off. All I'll say here is that this last outing is thankfully just that, the last revisit to Middle Earth ever. Somewhere, Tolkien is stirring in his grave.
I read a pretty interesting article the other day regarding the amazing comic book series More Than Meets the Eye and why you should read it despite it bearing the rather stigmatized Transformers title! The article discusses the strengths of the book, of which there are many, and also talks a little bit about the reputation of the brand's name and the effects it does or doesn't have over the masses now that Bay has had his hands in it for seven years. Anyway, it's an interesting read, similar to the interview with James Roberts I mentioned a long time ago. Check it out if you want here, and please, if you're into comics, you owe it to yourself to pick up an issue of MTMTE and read it! So good!
That's about all I got for now! I'm starting school up next week; second semester of college! Whew! Super stoked but also really intimidated! I'll hopefully keep this blog active more so this semester than I did last semester; probably do more stuff like this rather than full-blown reviews, so keep an eye out! See you all soon (hopefully)!