Orphan Black Clone Rankings

four Leda clones dance with Felix and Kira

Over the past few years, I’ve been working my way through Orphan Black – Netflix’s sci-fi tale of a group of clones trying to figure out their origins and take control of their futures. I loved seasons one and two, but struggled a bit with the later seasons after the plot started becoming unbearably convoluted.

Nonetheless, one thing that we can surely all admire in this series is Tatiana Maslany, who skilfully played all of the adult ‘Leda’ clones, imbuing each one with such a distinctive character that it was easy to forget they were all being played by the same actress. With that in mind, I present the Orphan Black Clone Rankings – rating each of the Leda clones for personality and likeability. Continue reading

The Great BoJack Horseman Rewatch: The Face of Depression

BoJack has returned to LA, but when memories of his past make staying at home unbearable, he decides to travel round the country to visit his friends. Meanwhile, Mr Peanutbutter embarks on a tour as the new national face of depression.

BoJack season six was released in two halves, and we are almost to the end of the first half. Even though there’s another episode to go in this batch, much of this episode is about setting things up for part two. Continue reading

The Great BoJack Horseman Rewatch: The Kidney Stays in the Picture

Hollywoo is in chaos after some chance remarks from BoJack lead to all of the assistants going on strike. Meanwhile, Todd’s stepfather shows up to ask Todd to donate a kidney to his estranged mother, and BoJack faces the prospect of life after rehab.

I told you we were due a Todd storyline soon, and here it is. BoJack wouldn’t be BoJack without a wacky Todd storyline, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. This time around, we have another dose of zany antics, as Todd tries to retrieve the kidney he sold for money, so that he can donate it to his sick mother. Accompanying him for the ride is his stepfather, Jorge. Continue reading

The Great BoJack Horseman Rewatch: A Little Uneven, is All

Dr Champ talks to BoJack

The rehab program at Pastiches is meant to last six weeks, but BoJack has now been there for six months. Dr Champ decides it’s time to persuade BoJack to finally leave rehab, but BoJack is understandably nervous about taking such a big step. Meanwhile, Mr Peanutbutter faces a public backlash for cheating on Pickles, and Diane struggles to get started on her latest book.

Given that the first four episodes of the season were all focussed on individual characters, you might have been expecting a Todd episode here. However, that will actually be next episode, as we use this one to focus on BoJack while briefly checking in on the others. Continue reading

The Great BoJack Horseman Rewatch: Feel-Good Story

When Girl Croosh sends Diane to produce videos from across the country, she has a great time creating exposés of shady businesses and making out with her cameraman, Guy. But the trip loses its sheen when she’s asked to make more “feel good” content.

It’s Diane’s turn in the spotlight this episode, as we follow up on her being made the face of Girl Croosh’s video section at the end of last season. At first, we see Diane in her element – posting takedowns and exposing wrongdoing. Along the way, we also see the easy chemistry between her and Guy blossom into something more.

Everything changes, however, when the pair reach Guy’s hometown of Chicago. While struggling to define their romantic relationship, Diane and Guy are also under orders to make a lighter fluff piece for the website – a task at which Diane predictably fails. Her actions result in Girl Croosh being bought out by new mega-corporation White Whale, leading to Diane and Guy launching their own investigation into White Whale’s dodgy business practices.

I’m not really sure what I think of Guy as a character. Aside from being slightly weirded out by his enormous head, he does come across as quite bland and understated. On the other hand, he does seem to be exactly what Diane needs – not someone relentlessly cheerful like Mr Peanutbutter, but a person who provides a bit of calm space for Diane to be herself.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that Diane is immediately going to let her guard down and be accepting of this new situation. Her resistance to staying in Chicago is portrayed through her refusal to buy a warm winter coat – something she wouldn’t need back in LA. I really liked this touch – a stubborn refusal to do something that seems reasonably minor and sensible, because it represents something much more significant.

As with many Diane stories, this episode also takes the opportunity to parody a real-world issue – in this case, the effective monopolies and questionable treatment of workers by big businesses such as Amazon. Although a credible effort, this story thread didn’t hit home in the same way as those in earlier seasons, such as the abortion or gun control plots. Even the presentation felt a little bit out of place – admittedly, BoJack is no stranger to experimental animation styles, but Jeremiah Whitewhale and his rubber hose style company videos felt like the kind of satire one would have seen on early Simpsons. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, this won’t be the last time this season is evocative of classic Simpsons.

Other notes

  • Given the presence of Whitewhale Corporation in this episode, it’s no surprise that there are also some Moby Dick references.

First appearances

  • Guy: a bison from Chicago who starts out as Diane’s cameraman before becoming her boyfriend. He has a teenage son with his ex-wife, Lady.

Summary – Feel-Good Story: In which Diane meets a Guy.

The Great BoJack Horseman Rewatch: The New Client

Princess Carolyn looks after her baby while chatting to Todd

It’s tough working full time as a single mother – something an increasingly exhausted Princess Carolyn is only just discovering. Meanwhile, Mr Peanutbutter is having a hard time dealing with his guilt over cheating on Pickles.

At the end of last season, Princess Carolyn finally got her long held wish of having a child when she adopted Sadie’s baby porcupine, aka “Untitled Princess Carolyn Project”. Several months later, and the reality of motherhood has most certainly set in. Princess Carolyn was already a hard working career woman, so fitting in looking after a small – and spiky – new person might just push her to breaking point. Continue reading

The Great BoJack Horseman Rewatch: A Horse Walks into a Rehab

Bojack chats to Dr Champ

BoJack has checked into Pastiches, a Malibu rehab facility, in the hopes of addressing his alcoholism. But despite all that has happened to him so far, BoJack remains unwilling to truly bare his soul and explore the root of his problems.

Well, here we are, at the sixth and final season of BoJack. These episodes hadn’t been released when I did my Great Rewatch of seasons one to five, so before embarking on this final leg of the blog, I watched through this entire season once with my viewing companion. As before, I won’t be aiming to drop major spoilers from future episodes, but I will picking up on any themes I notice second time around. Continue reading

Love, Death and Robots

In this Netflix animated anthology series, sci-fi is the order of the day. From alien attacks to artificial intelligence, each story takes viewers on a unique and distinctive adventure.

Animated anthology series are always mixed bags, covering a wide range note of stories and visual styles. In the case of Love, Death and Robots, I came into having heard two opposing opinions on what to expect. On the one hand, a lot of people on Twitter seemed to really love it. On the other, an article I read warned that a lot of it was aimed at the male gaze, with lots of scantily clad women doing little other than existing to titillate both male viewers and characters. Having watched all of the episodes for myself, I can see both perspectives. Continue reading

The Orville season two

Even though I found The Orville season one a bit disappointing, by the time I’d finished watching it, season two had recorded itself to my Virgin Media box. Ever the glutton for punishment, I decided to press on and watch all fourteen episodes. The question is – was it worth the time?

To be honest, it didn’t start out well. The first few episodes of the season suffer from many of the same problems that plagued season one. Whenever two women are alone together, they pretty much always talk about men. Storylines are cringeworthy and silly – see, for example, the episode set on the high-gravity world of Xelaya, or the one about a planet where everyone takes astrology so seriously that people born under a particular star sign spend their lives in internment camps. Continue reading