I give the hardcover out as presents. I consider it, in an imperfect world, an arrow toward a more perfect union. So having it on a pedestal that high the audio book has to bring it. It was made into an audio book twice, the first was an abridged and hence flawed cassette version, but read by the author himself, I quite liked it. He brought something… wonderful to it.
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In the age of streaming there are very few ‘must see now’ shows.
MARS something of a docudrama, science fact/speculative fiction show, courtesy of National Geographic, about a possible future 17 years from today, that is intricately linked to the choices and sacrifices and personalities and visionaries of today.
You can argue on some level the show is an elaborate commercial for Elon Musk’s SPACEX. I personally feel that is the argument of cynics and the terminally short-sighted. This is a love letter to space exploration, and more than that, the better angels of our nature.
A nation is defined by the qualities of its dreams and dreamers and preoccupations. Its facts first given birth in its fictions, the zeitgeist of its preoccupations. In the 50s and early 60s we dreamed of the stars, and in the 60s we made those dreams into realities.
That is ever the way. That our occupations of the zeitgeist, our fictions shape our facts. Which is why the proliferation of Zombie and post apocalyptic and serial killer as thematic constants into our fictions, is something I find troubling. We dream of a cannibalistic future, where our worst aspect reign, and our facts follow in lockstep with our fictions. How else to explain a Trump in the Oval Office?
I’m being a little facetious, but my belief in our need for heroic and hopeful fictions to forge a heroic and hopeful future, I am in earnest about.
MARS is the type of show we need more of. STRONGLY recommended! Catch it courtesy of HULU today!
The shows were just plain fun. So when news came that one of the trinity was no longer going to be on the show, due to punching out one of the producers, and the other 2/3rds quitting to join him, I was dismayed. No more of the show that I had in quick order made a binge watch favorite.
And yes there was the American TOP GEAR, but the hosts there came off as annoying frat boys, making the show quite unwatchable. Nope it was clear that what made BBC’s TOP GEAR a long running hit, was the fun dynamic of the three hosts they had stupidly lost.
So when it was announced that AMAZON was giving the three ex-hosts a new car show, I couldn’t wait. Well tonight the waiting ended as the first episode of THE GRAND TOUR dropped. And it’s great. Different but great. There are minor quibbles, the biggest being the absolutely awful ‘THE AMERICAN’ driver.
Their take on the very popular “STIG’ driver of TOP GEAR, but a very poor take it is. Being something of a very unfunny send-up of Ugly American cliches. The ‘AMERICAN’ is very annoying, very unfunny, and is a bit that hopefully they will pull the plug on in short order.
That aside, the rest of the show and the skits and the cars and the banter of the hosts is great! And the opening sequence is quite frankly awesome. A welcome premiere and looking forward to the upcoming Friday release of new shows!
Here’s a minor recap of the eight episodes seen to date. It’s relatively innocuous comments, but to cover my bases I will say minor spoilers ahead, if you haven’t seen the episodes. But really I don’t think it spoils anything. But if in doubt, watch the episodes first.
Episode 1 and 2 written by Cheo Hodari Coker and directed by Paul McGuigan are exceptional. As strong, if not stronger of a start than the previous Netflix entries. It’s really some fantastic, rich, long overdue writing that touches on everything from Crispus Attucks to Walter Mosley to Dennis Lehane.
Episode 3 is good but I have minor quibbles with it. The first 2 episodes sets up Luke Cage as someone who doesn’t curse and doesn’t like profanity, so his going into a battle listening to a profanity laden rap song seems questionable.
Also the Director has the chance to make a pivotal action scene to match the wonderful episode 3 highlight of the DAREDEVIL season 1, and misses a mark with a pretty unremarkable action sequence. However the remaining episode, good dialogue, nice twists, and a literally explosive ending keeps this episode in the winner category.
Episode 4 is FANTASTIC. An excellent origin story. Superlative story
Episode 5 is FANTASTIC! Yes!
Episode 6 Wonderful wrap-up. If this was a 6 episode season it would rock! In many ways this is the end of the first story arc, if this was a comic trade-paperback. And episode 7 begins the 2nd arc.So you should really approach starting the 7th episode, after a small break, like you are starting a new story arc.
Episode 7 – Fantastic score highlights this episode. Probably the best score of any of the episodes. A fantastic origin story, this time for the antagonists. What makes a great hero, is a great villain. And this episode shows you the roots of two of them. One of the best episodes!
Episode 8 – The machinations against Luke tighten as his life, and the lives of those around him come tumbling down. Another engrossing episode, that I was thoroughly entertained by from beginning to end.
3/4ths done and I think this series is a Home Run. I like it much better than Daredevil Season II, and have to wait to see if it sticks the landing… to see if I like it as much as DAREDEVIL Season 1 and JESSICA JONES.
The Marvel/Netflix juggernaut continues to be, like Luke Cage, bullet-proof. 🙂
“Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a friend.” - E. Gilbert
A film fan who loves to write, talk and promote filmmakers
Cult, classic and crazy movies you must see, might see and maybe miss