TV Review: Breaking Bad (2008-2013)

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UNMISSABLE

Breaking Bad is a crime drama about Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher diagnosed with cancer who starts cooking crystal meth, and I regard it as the closest to perfection any filmmaker has ever gotten, especially on TV. The acting and characterization are outstanding and the writing is beyond phenomenal. The cinematography as well as the music, original and otherwise, are extremely favorable. Breaking Bad is unparalleled as the best Television series I’ve ever watched so I strongly urge you to start binge-watching right away if you haven’t already seen it.

I wouldn’t advise kids younger than 13, maybe 12, watch Breaking Bad.

Available on iTunes, Netflix, and Amazon.

TV Review: Babylon 5 (1994-1998)

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Babylon 5 is a complex space opera that centers around the space station known as Babylon 5 and it’s mission to create piece between humans and aliens in the year 2258. Unlike most science fiction TV at the time this series was created, Babylon 5 is set in a “five season video novel format” which entails that the many plot lines of the series last multiple seasons and aren’t wrapped up in 40 minutes. You may dislike or even hate the pilot episode but if you stick with it you will be rewarded with great character development and a startlingly realistic tense political drama, in space. My only large complaint about Babylon 5 is that season five feels very tacked on, this is because during production of season four it was looking like the series was going to be canceled, so nearly all main plot lines were wrapped up before the final season even started. Overall I think Babylon 5 succeeded at its goal of creating a long novel-esque political space opera with very good characters, so if you can find it I recommend giving it a try, and remember it gets a lot better than the pilot.

All of the content in Babylon 5 is likely suitable for kids 10 and up, however they may not enjoy it until around 13.

Available on iTunes and Amazon.

TV Review: A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017-)

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Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events is an extremely unique and whimsical self-aware story about three siblings orphaned by a deadly fire uncovering dark family secrets and it is based on the book series of the same name. Neil Patrick Harris and Patrick Warburton are great, the child actors are pretty good and I really loved the soundtrack. The story is told/narrated by Lemony Snicket (Patrick Warburton) in a way that gives a feeling of peculiarity and freshness to the show. I highly recommend trying A Series of Unfortunate Events on Netflix because you have without a doubt never seen anything like it, at first it will seem very strange and unusual but you will quickly get used to it’s unique atmosphere and learn to embrace it by the time you finish season 1.

Although intentionally dark and despairing, this series is actually kind of lighthearted, kids 9 and up can probably watch it without a problem.

Available on Netflix.

TV Review: How I Met Your Mother (2005-2014)

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How I Met Your Mother is a sitcom told almost entirely through flashbacks about a man recounting to his kids the very long story of how he met their mother. It’s fairly entertaining throughout but the last season goes downhill, especially the last episode, which does a pretty bad job of wrapping up the story. Easily the best part of this show is the running gags of which there are many. If you need a nice 20-minute show to binge for a while then maybe give How I Met Your Mother a try.

Kids 13 and up should be fine watching this.

Available on iTunes, Amazon, and Netflix.

TV Review: Colony (2016-)

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Colony is a fairly unique sci-fi drama series that takes place in the near future and centers around a family trying to stay together in an occupied Los Angeles. The show was created by Carlton Cuse (Lost) and Ryan J. Condal, it stars Josh Holloway (Lost) and Sarah Wayne Callies (The Walking Dead). The acting and the characters are decent but what I really liked about this show is the mystery of how Los Angeles came to be the way it is, which keeps you coming back for answers. Overall Colony isn’t amazing but it’s solidly entertaining and has a fresh story so I suggest trying season 1 on Netflix if you haven’t already!

Most or all of the content in Colony is appropriate for kids 13 and up.

Available on iTunes, Netlfix, and Amazon.

TV Review: Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (2016-)

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Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (based on the novels of the same name by Douglas Adams) is a Sci-Fi Mystery centered around a self-proclaimed Holistic Detective by the name of Dirk Gently, his reluctant “assistant” Todd Brotzman, and many other strange characters. It is very weird in a very good way and the acting, writing, and music all perfectly set the tone of the show. The diverse group of intriguing characters and complicated mysteries will almost definitely keep you hooked, so if you like offbeat or unusual shows I recommend you try this rare and peculiar series.

There is a decent amount of violence but nothing that kids 12 and up won’t be able to handle.

Available on iTunes and Amazon.

TV Review: Lost (2004-2010)

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UNMISSABLE

J.J. Abrams applies his exceptional handling of mysteries, secrets, and unanswered questions to Lost, a very mysterious series about a group of plane crash survivors on a deserted island. It has very rich mythology and greatly developed characters. I really can’t say much about this show other than watching the whole thing many times over is practically a necessity. You’ve probably heard from at least 5 different people that the ending sucks and while its not as bad as they say, don’t expect a satisfying finale. I still recommend watching Lost and NEVER looking at anything on the Internet relating to airplanes, islands, J.J. Abrams, or Michael Giacchino until you are done binge-watching.

I think 11 and up could watch Lost if they are good at following insanely complicated plotlines.

Available on iTunes, Netflix, and Amazon.