March 26, 2014 was a sad day in television as it marked the final episode of Psych on USA Network. Millions of fans across the country thought that was the last they’d see of Shawn Spencer and Burton Guster, the duo responsible for the titular psychic detective agency. Little did we Psych-Os know the showrunners had another trick up their sleeve: a movie. Airing on December 7th, Psych: The Movie reunites the bulk of the main cast and I, for one, couldn’t be more excited.
In preparation of the movie, I sat down and revisited all 8 seasons of Psych, which was no easy task since the show was removed from Netflix and I had to watch everything on DVD. Can you imagine swapping out all those discs as each episode ended? It was exhausting.
Anyway, here are my picks for the top 15 episodes of Psych. Wait for iiiiiiit…
Season 1, Episode 1
Pilot episodes usually aren’t the best episodes of any series; it often takes time for the characters’ personalities to gel and worm their ways into our hearts. But in the case of Psych, the characters are pretty much as they are fresh off the page. Shawn Spencer (James Roday) is lazy and unambitious despite his gift of hyper-perception and deductive reasoning. He uses this gift to call in numerous tips to the police in an effort to collect reward money but when the cops start to suspect him as the culprit, his only out is to feign psychic powers. Though he’s met with some skepticism, courtesy of Santa Barbara head detective Carlton Lassiter (Tim Omundson), he convinces the interim police chief Karen Vick (Kirsten Nelson) to bring him on a case. At that point, Shawn drags his best friend and enabler Burton “Gus” Guster (Dulé Hill) along for the ride. We also get a look at Shawn’s strained relationship with his father, Henry (Corbin Bernsen), an ex-cop who is not too happy with Shawn lying to the cops, but when he goes to bat for Shawn and reveals what he’s willing to do for his kid.
Scary Sherry: Bianca’s Toast
Season 1, Episode 15
When a sorority hazing goes badly and ends with the death of a college girl, the incident is written off as a copycat suicide based on the death of Santa Barbara’s urban legend, Scary Sherry. Juliet (Maggie Lawson), however, goes undercover in the sorority to investigate deeper, asking Shawn and Gus for help. “Scary Sherry: Bianca’s Toast” doesn’t feature any big name guest stars or off-beat musical improv but the teacup scene is one of the funniest moments in the show and I’m including it on this list for that alone. Also, the B-plot with Lassiter training an elder rookie has some great moments.
Season 2, Episode 1
When a judge on the hit singing competition reality show “American Duos” has a few brushes with death, he goes to the Santa Barbara police for protection. A parody of Simon Cowell, Nigel St. Nigel is portrayed to perfection by a smug Tim Curry and his performance carries the episode. Bonus points for the second special guest star, Gina Gershon, playing a booze-riddled and absent-minded former pop star, a clear lampooning of Paula Abdul. Bonus bonus points for the episode also giving us James Roday and Dulé Hill dressed as Roland Orzabal and Michael Jackson while performing Tears for Fears’ “Shout.”
Disco Didn’t Die. It Was Murdered!
Season 3, Episode 5
“It’s a big birthday cake!” Taking its influence from the pop culture of the 70s, including shows like The Mod Squad and movies like Shaft, Shawn and Gus are called in to find new evidence in a case that was recently overturned, which just so happened to be the biggest case of Henry Spencer’s career. The trio need to track down clues which brings smack dab into the middle of the 70s; from the polyester shirts to a ’73 Mercury Cougar to a 70’s-themed disco run by a dude named “Pookie,” “Disco Didn’t Die” hits all the notes to fan the flames of nostalgia in the most humorous way possible.
Tuesday The 17th
Season 3, Episode 15
Written and directed by James Roday, “Tuesday the 17th” is the first episode that takes film homage to the next level by taking influence from classic horror movies. When an old camp friend approach Shawn and Gus to investigate the disappearance of a counselor at his new camp, they soon find themselves being stalked by a masked slasher. But the swerve, that the camp is meant to be a murder mystery camp where people figure out the identity of the killer, is met with another swerve, wherein a real killer is picking off the counselors one by one. The episode features almost every horror movie trope known to man and, in general, has a ton of fun with the premise.
High Top Fade-Out
Season 4, Episode 7
There are a lot of things to point to as making “High Top Fade-Out” a great episode. It features guest appearances by Jaleel White and Kenan Thompson as old college friends of Gus, as well as 50% of Gus’s college singing group, Blackapella. Tony Todd also makes an appearance though slightly less Candyman and more undercover cop. The episode marks the introduction of Kurt Fuller as coroner Woodrow Strode, a character that would make multiple appearances through the series and become more off the wall each time. The intro song was rerecorded by Boyz II Men as a way to cement the singing quartet theme. But probably my favorite part of the episode is Dulé Hill’s performance. Though he’s never been a slouch in any episode, he emotes a full range from anger to pain to concern as he works to repair his relationship with his friends. Every minute of it is fantastic.
Mr. Yin Presents…
Season 4, Episode 16
The second episode in the Yang trilogy, “Mr. Yin Presents…” is a love letter to Alfred Hitchcock. The murder of a waitress leads Psych and the police to discover that Yang was working with a partner, the mysterious Mr. Yin. After Shawn fingers Mary Lightly (Jimmi Simpson) as the killer, he realizes how wrong he is when Mary winds up dead, murdered in the same manner as Detective Arbogast from the Hitchcock film Psycho. The gang soon find themselves in a trap, each playing a role from different Hitchcock movies; Shawn as L.B. Jefferies from Rear Window, Henry as Mark Rutland from Marnie, etc. The episode is filled with references to Hitchcock, both visual and in dialogue. It’s a fantastic watch and leads to some great character development for the rest of the series.
Season 5, Episode 12
Despite the recent revival, Twin Peaks was one of those cult shows that had a rabid fan base but never really struck a chord with the culture at large. The showrunners of Psych however, found enough to work with and centered an entire episode around its atmosphere. Featuring many of the original stars of Peaks, “Dual Spires” plops Shawn and Gus in the center of a small mountain town where the people are a little off-beat, forcing them to dig through the residents’ idiosyncrasies to discover the truth behind the murder of a young woman. Dana Ashbrook, Ray Wise, and Sherilyn Fenn all make appearances, as well as Chris Isaak’s “Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing” in a nod to the 1992 Twin Peaks movie, Fire Walk With Me.
This Episode Sucks
Season 6, Episode 3
Don’t let the title fool you; the episode is actually pretty good. Admittedly, I almost didn’t put it in but the more I thought on it, the better it became. This is the vampire episode and the showrunners went all in making that apparent. The episode not only guest stars Kristy Swanson and Corey Feldman, both vampire famous in their own right, but Tom Lenk show ups, who had a recurring role in the Buffy TV series. “This Episode Sucks” essentially benches Shawn and Gus, relegating them to second fiddle as they freak out over the idea of vampires in Santa Barbara (though they do dress up as famous vampires; Shawn as Lestat and Gus as Blacula). Despite all of that, I like this episode as it gives Lassie a chance to shine. It introduces Marlowe as his love interest which sets up his character arc for the remainder of the series. Shawn and Gus may be the protagonists of the show but it’s nice when some of the other characters get the spotlight.
Season 7, Episode 3
There’s no denying the impact found footage films have had on the movie industry. Luckily, the writers of Psych recognized this and blessed us with their own take on the genre. Wrapped around the search for Bigfoot, “Lassie Jerky” finds Shawn and Gus in the woods with some college film students when they stumble upon three dead bodies. The episode is a masterpiece shot from all first-person perspectives and perfectly homages the classic found-footage film, The Blair Witch Project. It also guest stars WWE’s Big Show and has probably my favorite scene in the entire series, an impromptu acapella rendition of the Bangles’ “Eternal Flame.”
Season 7, Episode 5
The landmark 100th episode of the series. Shawn gets himself invited to a dinner party in a swanky mansion and tries to smooth his relationship woes with Juliet. When she can’t make it, he brings Gus along and discovers that the party was thrown by a recently released from jail rock icon, Billy Lipps, with all of the party guests tied to the case that sent him to prison. A riff on the movie Clue, “100 Clues” was promoted with a real-time contest that allowed viewers to choose who the killer of the episode really was by using a special hashtag on Twitter. Much of the humor in the episode is based on Clue and also includes three of the film’s stars as guest stars: Leslie Ann Warren, Martin Mull, and Christopher Lloyd.
Psych: The Musical
Season 7, Episodes 15 & 16
This might be cheating a bit as it spans two episodes but “Psych: The Musical” originally aired as a 2-hour special so suck it, I’m counting it. Though I’m not a fan of musicals, I wholly enjoyed this episode, if only because of how they made each of the musical interludes diegetic. Shawn and Gus are tasked with tracking down an escaped mental patient, a deranged writer who learns that a version of his play based on the Jack the Ripper murders, is premiering at the local playhouse. There are a number of highpoints in the episode, including the return of Ally Sheedy in her role as Yang, Anthony Rapp, best known for as Mark in Rent, and Dulé Hill as “Jamaican Inspector Man.”
Remake A.K.A. Cloudy…With a Chance of Improvement
Season 8, Episode 3
One of the more off-beat episodes of the entire series sees the gang remaking an episode from the first season as a commentary on Hollywood’s remake culture. “Cloudy…With a Chance of Murder” focused on a school teacher who was charged with the murder of the local weatherman, with Shawn and Gus assisting her legal team in getting her acquitted. “Remake” follows that same premise but peppers it by recasting the guest stars, many of whom had already appeared in other episodes as completely different characters. Thankfully, they also saw fit to change the murderer and the method behind the murder, so as to deliver an almost new mystery. My favorite part, though, was the appearance of Ed Lover as the court bailiff and his delivery of the classic “come on, son” line.
Nightmare on State Street
Season 8, Episode 9
I really seem to like the episodes that homage classic horror movies, huh? Anyway, “Nightmare on State Street” has a lot going for it, most notably guest star Bruce Campbell. The film focuses on Gus’s nightmares, which stem from Shawn’s absence and leads directly into the end of the series. As such, the episode devotes significant time to A Nightmare on Elm Street, and more than just the title. But the episode also references Night of the Living Dead and Texas Chainsaw Massacre, all while framed within Gus’s dreams. Other guest stars round out the fun, such as Dean Cameron, who played Chainsaw in one of Shawn’s favorites, Summer School, William Zabka, a.k.a. Johnny Lawrence from Karate Kid, and Phylicia Rashad, who returns as Gus’s mother. “Nightmare on State Street” aims for horror lovers and hits the mark with its numerous references. Oh, and zombie Curt Smith.
Season 8, Episode 10
I really needed to add the series finale here, mostly because of how well it ties up each characters’ arc. Shawn has a difficult time telling Gus that he’s moving to San Francisco to be with Juliet, especially after Gus manages to find a new job and get his life back on track. This episode shows the depths of Shawn and Gus’s relationship, with Shawn blaming himself for disrupting Gus’s life but Gus uprooting himself to be with his best friend. It also gives us closure to Lassie’s respect for Shawn when he refuses to listen to Shawn’s video confessional that he’s not a real psychic despite years of Lassie’s skepticism. We also get to see McNab finally promoted, assuming the title of detective despite having the worst score Lassie has ever seen. All of this is wrapped up alongside guest appearances by two actors idolized by Shawn; Billy Zane and Val Kilmer. “The Break-Up” is an emotional finish to a hilarious train ride and, in my opinion, the perfect way to end the series.
Boom boom boom… Wrap up! I know a lot of my fellow Psych-Os out there may disagree with a few of my choices, which is fair. Narrowing down a list like that has been one of the hardest things to do, especially with a show as diverse as Psych has been through the years. So hey, if you disagree with me, let me know! What is your favorite episode? And what are you most excited for from the upcoming movie? Feel free to drop a comment down below or you can find me on Twitter, @IdiotAtPlay, and tweet me your picks.
BBC broke the internet when they announced this morning the casting news for the next season of Doctor Who. The Doctor, most previous played by Peter Capaldi, will now be represented by Jodie Whittaker, who is best known for her roles in Broadchurch and Attack the Block alongside current Star Wars actor John Boyega.
Of course, the news has polarized Doctor Who fans. Over the past few years, there has been a major online movement to cast a woman in the role of the Doctor. However, there are a number of Doctor Who purists who are disappointed by the casting, feeling that, in a show centered around a time-travelling alien who can regenerate into a new body once they die, the idea of a woman Doctor is unbelievable.
Unfortunately, much of the backlash isn’t all that civil, with many naysayers using outright misogyny to denounce the news. Which, in my opinion, is unfortunate as Whittaker is a talented actress and is sure to bring her own flair to the role.
Regardless of your feelings on the matter, the casting of Whittaker marks a new direction for the show, as not only will this season bring on a new Doctor, but also a new show-runner as well, with Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall taking over for Steven Moffat.
As has been the tradition, Whittaker will officially take over the role in the Christmas episode.
The news was announced in a promotional trailer that played after the Wimbledon men’s singles final. Watch the trailer below.
You can also read more about the announcement, including a short interview with Whittaker, on BBC’s website.
Will Jodie Whittaker’s take on the Doctor be as lovable as David Tennant’s, as memorable as Matt Smith’s, or as short lived as Christopher Eccleston’s? Only time will tell, but personally, I’m excited for the gender swap.
Star Trek Online’s Agents of Yesterday recently released and has been a callback to Star Trek’s origins on the year of Star Trek’s 50th Anniversary.
One of the big reasons I’ve been playing Star Trek Online for years has been for it’s excellent stories. The main reason that I still really enjoy playing video games *at all* is the stories. Fun game mechanics are nice, yes, and the exploration, puzzles, progression, and graphics are also a plus, but for me the story is where it’s at. If a game doesn’t have a decent or even passable story attached to it, you most likely won’t find me playing it. I’ll even forsake a lot of the other qualities just for a better story.
I’ve also been a fan of Star Trek since my father and I use to watch Next Generation together in the early 90’s. The way the episodes would flow, where in the course of 45 minutes the exploration of the deep grey area between good and evil, between right and wrong, was so thorough that it created such a lasting impression on me that I will forever be a ‘Trekkie’. Not all episodes were winners, but when Star Trek got it right, they really got it right.
With Star Trek Online’s latest release of ‘Agents of Yesterday’, the game’s storyline takes many cues and paths from the episodes, and many cues from the original series. Here is a list of the top Star Trek episodes to watch to get the most out of STO’s latest expansion, presented in the best order as they refer in-game.
Obviously, Spoilers Ahead, but I’ll try to keep them to a minimum.
The Galileo Seven – TOS, Season 1
A new character, created in the new 23rd century Federation faction, will find themselves soon after on the surface of Taurus II. This rocky, inhospitable planet was crash-landed on by Spock, McCoy, Scotty, and four other unlucky individuals. Soon after arrival a yellow-clad crewman (they weren’t always wearing red) takes a spear to the back thrown by a giant caveman-like creature.
Arena – TOS, Season 1
Arena is one of the most famous of all the original series episodes, so having an original series themed expansion and not including a reference to the episode would’ve been sacrilege. The lizard-like Gorn first appeared during this episode which had a beat-up Kirk hunting the surface of a mineral-rich planet for ways to defeat the rubber-suited menace. In Star Trek Online, the Federation returns once more to study the planet’s bounty.
Cold Front – Enterprise, Season 1
We take a step backwards in time, but forward in the line of show production to Enterprise. Captain Archer is really excited to get to do what Starfleet wanted the Enterprise to do: Explore. A bolt of energy hits the ship, but disaster is stopped by a lucky junction having been disconnected. As it turns out, luck has nothing to do with it. The character known as Daniels is introduced, a time traveling agent from the far-distant future, who informs Archer of the most convoluted storyline in all of Trek, the Temporal Cold War.
Operation: Annihilate! – TOS, Season 1
There are only two episodes in all of Trek that feature an exclamation point in the title, and ‘Operation: Annihilate!’ is one of them. The Deneva Colony has seemed to be taken over by a bout of mass insanity. When they reach the planet, they find saucer-like single-celled organisms have attacked. In Star Trek Online, the player’s ship is called to investigate Deep Space K-13, where a bout of mass insanity has also taken hold.
Journey to Babel – TOS, Season 2
Th Enterprise is tasked with transporting a group of Federation diplomats to the Babel Conference, a meeting to determine whether to admit the Coridan system into the Federation. In the first episode of ‘Agents of Yesterday’ which features real time travel shenanigans, the player is taken onto the Enterprise itself.
The Tholian Web – TOS, Season 3
In ‘The Tholian Web’ the crew of the Enterprise are sent to search for their sister-ship, the USS Defiant. They find the ship adrift, with all hands on board deceased. Once more, it appears a bout of madness has caused all aboard to turn on each other, but this time it isn’t due to single-celled frisbees. The episode introduces the xenophobic and crystal spider-like Tholians. In Star Trek Online, the crew of the player’s ship finds the Defiant with all crew still alive as they once more encounter the Tholians.
Captain’s Holiday – Next Generation, Season 3
The entire Star Trek Online story arc ‘Future Proof’ hinges on this one episode. In Next Generation, Captain Jean-Luc Picard finds himself so stressed out that not even a cup of hot Earl Grey can help. Picard takes a vacation to the pleasure planet Risa for some much needed R&R. There he encounters a Ferengi, two time traveling aliens, a treasure hunter, and their target: the Tox Uthat, a weapon capable of destroying stars.
Future Tense – Enterprise, Season 2
Captain Archer’s Enterprise comes across a ship very similar to the Doctor’s TARDIS, a ship from the far future that is bigger on the inside. Inside they find a long deceased body, one who’s genetic makeup contains many elements of many different races. None of those races are Time Lord, however. Right when things start getting strange, both the Suliban, a shape-changing race, and the Tholians show up to attempt to recover the ship for themselves.
The Changing Face of Evil – Deep Space Nine, Season 7
In one of the final episodes of Deep Space Nine, at the height of the Dominion War, the Breen, a cold-loving warlike race that has aligned themselves with the Dominion, succeed where many others have failed. They successfully launch an attack on Earth and damage Starfleet Headquarters in San Francisco and, just for kicks, wreck the Golden Gate Bridge. It must’ve been for kicks because one would assume bridges have become antiques when flying shuttles and teleportation become the norm for transportation.
Azati Prime – Enterprise, Season 3
Finally, in the midst of the Temporal Cold War arc of Enterprise, the crew of Archer’s ship finds themselves investigating the multi-species Xindi’s construction of a weapon capable of doing serious damage to Earth. Captain Archer decides to pilot a suicide mission to destroy the weapon, but is suddenly transported 400 years to the future by Temporal Agent Daniels to the final battle of the war against the Sphere Builders in the Temporal Cold War. They arrive on board the Enterprise-J, a much flatter ship than most of the Enterprises that have come before.
But That’s Not All
These ten episodes are far from the only ones referenced in the Agents of Yesterday expansion. More include TOS’s ‘Doomsday Machine’ and ‘Mirror, Mirror’, Next Generation’s ‘The Enemy’, Deep Space Nine’s ‘Once More Unto the Breach’, and Voyager’s ‘Year of Hell’. Also, the entire Temporal Cold War arc certainly wouldn’t hurt: Enterprise’s ‘Broken Bow’, ‘Cold Front’, ‘Detained’, ‘Two Days and Two Nights’, ‘Shockwave Pt 1 and 2’, ‘Future Tense’, ‘The Expanse’, ‘Carpenter Street’, ‘Azati Prime’, ‘Zero Hour’, ‘Storm Front Pt 1 and 2’, and ‘Harbinger’.
Live Long and Prosper.
It is not often that I am stricken with an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia. I love new things, new content, and new ideas; so while nostalgia does not elude me completely, it is hardly ever the feeling I am aiming for when digesting media. When something like Stranger Things comes out, it not only reminds me that the reminiscing on the past is great, but it is also a gateway into why we love the things we love.
Stranger Things is the orgy love child of old movies like ET, Goonies, and Monster Squad, with genetic hints of great directors like Spielberg and John Carpenter. While Stranger Things dances on the line of homage and Netflix original, it does so with extreme grace. And though it is going to be difficult to navigate around spoilers, as the premise of the show revolves around one giant mystery, I will not spoil this increasingly interesting series. The less you know about Stranger Things going in, the better for this fresh take on the thriller genre. If you were an 80s kid, strap on your denim jacket, your mop top, and your Duran Duran T-Shirt and prepare to get weird because as the title suggests, Stranger Things is a delightfully bizarre experience.
The show is elevated by an amazing cast of both familiar faces and new young performances. Winona Ryder and David Harbour carry the torch for the adult arcs while newcomers Finn Wolfhard (as Mike Wheeler), Millie Bobby Brown (as Eleven), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson), and Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair) all carry the very intriguing kid’s arc. Though the adult and child arcs are different in terms of characters on screen, everyone is working towards the same solution – finding the answers to the overarching mystery.
While the adults do great with their conflict, the real heart of the show comes from the child actors who feel handpicked by Spielberg himself. Finn Wolfhand really takes the role as the star of the show and plays well off of Millie, who is sure to have oodles of work here in the future. This dynamic duo has a bright career ahead of them as working actors.
Though shorter than most series at only eight episodes long, the viewer gets a satisfying ending – despite the elements of cliffhangers and eventual continuations. The creators of this show, the Duffer Brothers, have the elements of being the next Russo Brothers (Captain America: Winter Soldier, Civil War), and I have a feeling we will be hearing plenty more from this team.
I can’t help but have a rant about how this show tugs on the strings of nostalgia throughout its entire run time. The first episode opens up with the kids playing a session of Dungeons & Dragons and manages to recapture what it was for me to be a kid at that time. Drinking soda, riffing each other, and calling each other names while trying to figure out exactly what the Dungeon Master wants us to do. That opening scene has a flood of childhood memories flow into me that have a very homey feeling, just like movies like Super 8 did that tackle a similar story/era.
The music is fully synthed and harkens back to classic 80s horror and slasher flicks, and the way the sounds hits the ears is pleasing in every sense of the word. Hats completely off to “Survive,” a band from Austin Texas, who did the opening theme for this show, which is perfect in setting up the tone. The style of music chosen coupled with the aesthetic of the sets brings to life a lived in 1980’s style world that feels as real now as it did back then. The billboards, the store fronts, the wall posters, the clothing, and the lingo all work in tandem together to bring this era back to us in ways that will have our childhood racing to the forefront of our frontal lobes.
Background aspects can only add more realness to the story, and this is where Stranger Things really shines. In terms of plot, the mystery is solid, and has you guessing from start to finish. By the show’s finale, the viewer ends up in completely new spaces where the laws of our universe no longer apply to the ones previously created in this show. The journey is as amazing as the destination itself.
Stranger Things is a hard recommend for the consumers who love weird and outlandish mysteries. This Netflix Original is the embodiment of the 80s, and a reminder that this generation was the thriller genre’s golden era. Netflix has been on a roll over the last two years and Stranger Things continues that trend. We don’t get shows this special as often as I would like, so it’s an obligation to check them out whenever they manifest themselves into our dimension of consumerism.
Finally, my favorite water based game has been turned into a Netflix original series! Kidding aside, Marco Polo seems like one of those shows that you either hate or love. While I understand that this show may not be for everyone, I implore anybody who has a fascination with history, the Silk Road, or the khans, to check this show out because it offers so much more than other shows on TV at this time.
Marco Polo takes a page out of the History Channel’s show, Vikings. It takes real historical figures, real moments in history, and real locations, and mushes them all together in a period piece show that takes many liberties in the name of creating a more entertaining and interesting story. Marco Polo also studies at the school of Game of Thrones as it ties its story and pacing directly towards the political intrigue of the world they are building. Multiple scenes this season of Marco Polo had me thinking of Vikings and Game of Thrones, and while this show is not on the same level as those, I feel it is playing in a similar ball park in terms of production, wardrobe, sets, and props.
The show itself is called Marco Polo, but with limited clarification that the real Marco Polo ever even spent time in China looming over the credibility of the show, you have to go into it knowing that this series is not striving to be 100% historically accurate.
In the first season, the actor who plays Marco Polo, Lorenzo Richelmy, comes across as wooden, uninterested, and overall not a pleasure to watch play the character. Thankfully, though the show takes his name as its title, he has limited screen time despite being the starring man. Like many, I am of the camp that think the show should be renamed to “The Silk Road,” because the show is more about the Mongol and China war as well as Kublai Khan and his family. However, while watching Season 2 there was something so obvious in the changes Lorenzo Richelmy made to his performance. His line delivery was not as pain educing, and he showcased much more charisma that we all think of when pondering about the type of person the real Marco Polo probably was. Lorenzo did seem like he was in the shoes of the character more, and was having more fun walking in said shoes. By no means was this a memorable or amazing performance, but it was serviceable and that was enough for me to really get behind his scenes this season.
The real star of the show and ultimate scene stealer is Benedict Wong, who plays Kublai Khan. This guy has one of the most kinetic performances on TV right now. Every moment he is on screen he is oozing the great Khan of Khans which offers many memorable moments of a wide range of emotions on display. I could watch this guy act ALL day, and I think it would be a crime if he weren’t recognized by some sort of award, be it verbal or physical.
There is always one character that I do not get enough of, and heck could even use a spin off show on and that is Hundred eyes, played by Tom Wu. Tom Wu is relatively unknown in terms of leading man roles, however he did have short spots in movies like Batman Begins, 007: Skyfall, and Kick Ass 2. This surprisingly talented actor really shines as Hundred Eyes, the blind monk who “serves” for Kublai. Some of the most emotionally rich scenes this season are from him and the always lovely Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon) who continues her resurgence as the mighty protector, Lotus. There are so many great martial arts scenes with these two together as well as apart. The choreography really shines when either of these two are on screen.
Marco Polo is a show that looks good in terms of cinematography, set design, and wardrobe. Even though this show does not live up to the plateau that Game of Thrones and Vikings shows have created, it still stands on its own as a very intriguing and interesting “historical” show. The acting may not be perfect across the board, and some of the arcs may not bare fruit until late game but, the pacing always worked for me as a person who is deeply interested in the political and cultural nature of those times. While the show offers a somewhat high barrier to entry which relies on the viewer’s personal interest in this culture, the times, and political ongoings, I strongly suggest any and all who are interested in the Silk Road to check out this show. Start from Season 1, check out the Hundred Eyes episode in between season one and two and then finish off with 2, which ends on a major cliffhanger which has me hoping we will get plenty more of this show. It seems the viewers enjoy it more than actual critics, so it is just one of those polarizing shows that require your own eyes to see where your views align. Mine align strictly on the side of fandom and I could not be more hyped for more to come.
If you enjoyed it and want to chat, or need some convincing and want to ask questions, leave a comment for me below and I will be more than happy to interact!