Monday, May 20, 2024

Episode by Episode - Star Trek: Enterprise


Season 3

Episode 67 Harbinger

 


A MACO centric episode!!! The MACOs had a lot of potential at the end of season two but were seldom used as the season progressed.  Instead writers decided to waste their focus on random episodes devoted to kidnapped Earthlings reestablishing the old west of random planets, telepathic aliens kidnapping communication officers, and undercover alien sex slave spies.

 

So the episode focused on MACO and Starfleet tension, while not forced, could have been so much more.  The moments we did get with the MACOs were fun.  Perhaps that’s why they worked in season three.  They were seldom used and left the audience wanting more.  

 

The battle royale between Lieutenant Reed and Major Hayes was exciting.  They finally bond and walk away with a mutual respect for one another. 

 

In contrast and also an added bonus which hasn’t been discussed in other reviews is the culmination of the relationship between Commander Tucker and T’Pol.  The show had been building to a romantic relationship for most of the season.  In this episode they finally consummate.  It’s a solid TV romance since the characters are opposites who disagree.  Those types of relationships always make for great chemistry in media but are terrible in real-life.  

 

The biggest reveal in this episode is the mysterious Alien that’s dying and rescued by Enterprise.  It turns out his species is the big bad of the season and are manipulating the Xindi to try and destroy Earth.  

 

Written by
Joseph Ammendolea
Owner/President
“I Like To Play With Toys” Productions®
ILikeToPlayWithToysProductions@Yahoo.com

Friday, May 17, 2024

BanGos - Be With You

 BanGos perform Be With You live.


Wednesday, May 15, 2024

The DC Animated Universe Weekly Review - Batman: The Animated Series

Batman: The Animated Series

Episode 11

Two-Face, Part 2



The follow-up to such a great episode had a lot of hype surrounding it but unfortunately the second part isn’t as epic.  It certainly resolves the cliffhanger from the last episode but lacks the stakes.  

 

Harvey Dent has fully embraced his Two-Face persona.  He’s started his own criminal gang and is hitting up Rupert Thorne’s criminal enterprises.  Two-Face now makes his decisions via chance.  He flips his two-headed coin, one clean, one scarred to make all his choices.  Batman notices the pattern in his robberies revolve around the number two.  

 

Two-Face is having the feels for the fiancé and past life he’s abandoned. He tries to reunite with his Grace.  He arranges a meeting to see her, Thorne’s people trick Grace into narcing on him, Batman also uses that as his “in” to track Harvey Dent.  

 

A fight ensues between Two-Face, Rupert Thorne and his men, and Batman.  Two-Face has a chance to kill Rupert Thorne, Batman is incapacitated but still saves the day by throwing a bunch of coins in the air as Two-Face is trying to make a decision.  He goes crazy trying to find the right one.  The police arrive and take everyone to jail.  There’s some fluffy speech about love and hope.  

 

The episode does the job but is a failure compared to its first part.  The hopeful ending is ham-fisted given that Two-Face continues on as one of Batman’s greatest villains in the series.  This episode likely suffers from following such a brilliant first part.  Part 1 was done so well, it became almost impossible to follow it with any satisfying conclusion.  At least anything satisfying in a children’s cartoon.  The Dark Knight resolved Two-Face’s descent into evil in a more conclusive way but that wouldn’t have worked for BtAS because Two-Face needed to be a recurring villain, and regularly killing people on a kid’s show is a hard to sell.

 

Written by
Joseph Ammendolea
Owner/President
“I Like To Play With Toys” Productions®
ILikeToPlayWithToysProductions@Yahoo.com

Monday, May 13, 2024

Episode by Episode - Star Trek: Enterprise


Season 3

Episode 66 Stratagem

 


This is actually a brilliant episode with some nice twists.  Captain Archer tricks the creator of the Xindi weapon into telling Enterprise where it’s being built.  The level of subterfuge used keeps the audience guessing throughout the show, the dialogue, story, plot, characters are all well rounded.  It’s great progress for the overall plot of the season and pushes toward an actual conclusion for saving Earth.  

 

Written by
Joseph Ammendolea
Owner/President
“I Like To Play With Toys” Productions®
ILikeToPlayWithToysProductions@Yahoo.com

Friday, May 10, 2024

BanGos - Circle in the Sand

BanGos performing Circle in the Sand live 

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

The DC Animated Universe Weekly Review - Batman: The Animated Series

Batman: The Animated Series

Episode 10

Two-Face, Part 1



There’s a lot to unravel in this one.  This is the introduction of one of Batman’s biggest villains.  We get to see Harvey Dent as the good guy DA in earlier episodes which makes his transformation into a villain all the more tragic.  His switch to villain almost seems rushed but everyone knew it was going that way.  No reason to drag it out too long.  There’s a nice sense of irony that episode 10, the first double digit count, is Two-Face’s premier episode.

 

The episode sets up that Harvey Dent has multiple personality disorder.  The creators actually consulted a psychiatrist to craft an episode in a way kids could understand but also have some grounding in reality.  It worked in spades because Big Bad Harvey is actually far scarier than Two Face.  

 

Dent’s obsession with keeping his image clean and hiding his psychiatric troubles are his ultimate downfall.  It’s tragic because he had the best of intentions.  Dent was truly a good guy that Batman admired.  When he’s eventually disfigured in a fight with a mob boss trying to black mail him and becomes the scarred monster we all know, there’s a poetic tragedy to it.  

 

Part one does a great job of setting up this bad guy personality, his stress factors, job, fiancé, friends.  The dominos are carefully placed to be knocked over one by one if his secret ever gets out.  The audience understands his desperation to hide his secret.  A fight ensues where half his body gets blown up.  

 

Batman’s culpability in how it played out is questionable.  Batman tried to save Dent but ultimately failed.  As the henchmen goes to shoot Dent, Batman pushes the bad guy and he shoots a vat of chemicals which explode and burn off half of Dent’s face.  If Batman didn’t push the henchmen then he would have shot Dent in the back and died immediately.   

 

The episode ends on a great cliffhanger.  Dent sees his scarred faced breaks out of the hospital. As he is escaping he comes across his fiancé who faints at the shock of seeing him.  A brilliant, shocking, ending to a great episode.

 

Written by
Joseph Ammendolea
Owner/President
“I Like To Play With Toys” Productions®
ILikeToPlayWithToysProductions@Yahoo.com

Monday, May 6, 2024

Episode by Episode - Star Trek: Enterprise


Season 3

Episode 65 Proving Ground

 


The Andorians!!! We love them, they add tons of excitement whenever on the show. This episode with them is a bit slow and disappointing but overall solid.  They show up to fake help Enterprise get the Xindi weapon but really want to steal it for themselves.   Archer suspects Shran's betrayal and gets the one-up on him.   Shran secretly gives them specs on the weapon in the end to show no hard feelings.  

 

It’s probably the worst Andorian episode of the series but still very enjoyable.  

 

Written by
Joseph Ammendolea
Owner/President
“I Like To Play With Toys” Productions®
ILikeToPlayWithToysProductions@Yahoo.com

Friday, May 3, 2024

BanGos - In Your Room

BanGos perform In Your Room live.


Wednesday, May 1, 2024

The DC Animated Universe Weekly Review - Batman: The Animated Series

 Batman: The Animated Series

Episode 9

Be a Clown




 

Every time Joker pops up you’re going to have fun watching the episode and this is no exception.  The mayor of Gotham throws a party for his son.  The Joker crashes as the party clown Jekko.  He tries to kill everyone and fails.  His son, however is a complete idiot and doesn’t realize Jekko is the evil Joker and follows him to his hideout and tries to become his student.  Batman is able to find the Joker’s hideout and saves Jordon who learns that the Jekko is a giant douchebag.  

 

At one point during the episode Batman captures Batman and throws him in a tank of water to see if he can escape or drown.  Batman bust loose.  But you’re left to wonder why didn’t Joker unmask Batman or kill him straight away. The outright killing could be because the Joker wants to be poetic and have Batman die via a joke.  The unmasking is baffling.  Sometimes the Joker wants to know, other times he doesn’t care.  It’s the most inconsistent part of his character.  Let’s just chalk it up to him being crazy and thus has no rhyme or reason.  We’ll all sleep easier at night.

 

The episode works because Joker was always written so well and his jokes were spot on.  He’s evil, funny, and plays off Batman perfectly.  

 

Written by
Joseph Ammendolea
Owner/President
“I Like To Play With Toys” Productions®
ILikeToPlayWithToysProductions@Yahoo.com