Tag Archives: critique

TV Review: House of Cards (Season 1)

“The road to power is paved with hypocrisy, and casualties.”

I love me a good drama. I love that nail biting feeling you get after a cliffhanger. But politics? Not so much.

I think it’s safe to say that AMC’s Breaking Bad changed the realm of serial entertainment for the better, and I’ve noticed a large amount of shows focusing on stories similar to it, with the spotlight being given to people with dreams of climbing up the ladder of power and becoming the “kingpin” of sorts. The difference between Breaking Bad and House of Cards, however, (besides the fact that one takes place in a meth lab and the other takes place in the White House) is that while Walter White took his time becoming the revered Heisenburg, right from the beginning of House of Cards, we know exactly who Frank Underwood is; scheming, hungry for power, ruthless, ambitious in all the wrong ways, a villain, essentially. And just like Walter, you just can’t help but love Frank, with his 4th-wall-breaking quips to the audience and all.

Frank Underwood isn’t satisfied with his role as a congressman, and he’s set on getting to the top, whatever that may lead to. His wife, Claire, is ambitious too; perhaps not as mercilessly, but she believes in power. When House of Cards focuses on its characters, I feel it shines brightest. When the political complexities and democracy take the front stage is when I feel my attention wavering, and this seemed to happen more frequently in the first few episodes than anywhere else. But later when things inevitably heat up, I found myself thoroughly enjoying myself.

There’s one thing I noticed that I’d like to mention:

Let me bring up Breaking Bad again. Walter White was oddly successful most of the time, and it was always deeply satisfying watching him succeed. Of course, there would be instances where everything blowed over and he had to take drastic measures, but overall, he was very good at achieving what he wanted. The funny thing about Frank Underwood is that even though he seems all-powerful, his plans almost never go smoothly. He’ll ask the President for his trust, his plain will fail completely, and he’ll go back and ask for his trust again. Frank is not invincible. He’s extremely persuasive, but he can’t always rely on this to get out of trouble. He really is balancing a house of cards. When I think of Breaking Bad, I think of a Jenga tower that keeps getting taller and taller until the very end where it all just topples over. A house of cards much better fits Underwood’s situation, as everything definitely seems likely to collapse, and the wind is always blowing. This makes for good drama.

The performances are great all across the board, I absolutely love the soundtrack, the picture is fantastic, and I found myself watching episodes fly by because I enjoyed watching so much. That really is a testament to how good this show is. However, I found myself losing interest when the politics would take over and it took me a while to even realize what was going on a lot, mostly because I instinctively turned my brain off when people started talking about passing bills and acts and “Wait, what is this about?” was a question I asked an embarrassing amount throughout the thirteen episodes. All that aside though, I’m excited to dig my teeth into season 2 and the soon-to-be-released season 3.

So, what do you think of House of Cards? Perhaps you have yet to see it, and if so, are you interested?

Did you enjoy this little ramble? If so, consider following The Critic’s Canvas for all your critical needs.

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The Future of The Critic’s Canvas

“Hello, long time no see, it’s nice to see you again, where the hell have you been?”

Yes, I kinda fell off the face of the earth. And if anything, that time floating through the vast emptiness of space gave me lots of time to think about what my vision for The Critic’s Canvas was gonna be. My overall web traffic has been dropping tremendously over the past couple months (because I’ve been posting much, much less) and it kinda sucks. I had a good thing going for a while! My Adventure Time reviews were reeling in good views, and most importantly, I had lots of fun writing them! Eventually I became confident enough to think that I could handle covering two shows at one time, and it went pretty well. However, there would be times when I just didn’t feel like writing, and that would cause me to put off an episode review, and eventually I’d find myself forcing myself to do a review just so I could get to the next deadline. It wasn’t fun, and that’s when I stopped caring as much. My hobbie had become a job, in my mind at least, and one that doesn’t pay at that. I begun to feel like I had gotten ahead of myself; thinking I could handle all these deadlines all by myself. I mean, I probably could. It’s definitely not impossible, but I just lacked the motivation and passion I used to have.

Now understand, I’m still very much interested in keeping The Critic’s Canvas alive, but I think I’m done with scheduled episode reviews; even though they were my main source of views. But ultimately, this blog isn’t about getting views (even though I love people actually seeing my work), it’s about practice; refining my talent. Something I can show to a possible employer, to show them my worth. It’s me writing for the long run. What I want to write are series reviews (instead of individual episode reviews), Thinking Out Loud pieces, game reviews, updates about the books I might write, etc. I sincerely apologize for disappearing for so long without notice. I hope you understand.

Oh yeah, and this blog has been around for about a year now that 2015 has rolled in! I started this blog January of 2014, kind of as a “New Year goal” to better my writing ability and hopefully garner some attention. It’s been fun. Let’s see where the next year takes us.

Adventure Time Review: Season 6 Episode 14 (Princess Day)

There are quite a few princesses in the land of Ooo, so wouldn’t it make sense that there is a special day where all the princesses get together and discuss princess-y things?

The Plot

Princess Day is being held in Breakfast Kingdom this year, so fittingly, Breakfast Princess is leading the charge. However, Lumpy Space Princess could do with out all that lame political princess stuff. Marceline the Vampire Queen feels the same way, and decides to team with LSP to cause ultimate mayhem upon the kingdom of butter, bacon, sausage, and juice.

Is This A Good Place To Start?

The more I think about it, the more I realize that this show never really had a beginning. There’s rarely ever a moment of introduction for any of the characters, and you kinda just go with the flow while you catch little tidbits of information about each character. Because of this, I think I’m gonna stop saying that an episode is inaccessible because it doesn’t introduce the many different faces that appear in each episode. So yes, this episode provides many different characters, but this shouldn’t stop you from checking out the episode. If there is one thing I could say to newcomers, it’s that this episode doesn’t really showcase the best of Adventure Time, nor does it feature these characters at their most intriguing. Nonetheless, the episode has laughs, a smart theme, and a big reference to a certain movie that I’ve never seen, but people who have will most likely get a kick out of it.

My True Verdict (With Spoilers)

There are two kinds of people in this world: People who love LSP, and people who hate LSP. I for one rather enjoy the character, however, there’s no denying that she might pop up a little too often. On the other hand, there isn’t a single Adventure Time fan I know of that doesn’t like Marceline. So what happens when you pair the two together?

Both being rebellious women, they enact malicious acts of vandalism and goofy antics, like sucking the syrup out of a guard and running over Breakfast Princess with a breakfast automobile. But none of this makes them bad people, right? At least that’s how Marcy sees it. However, they both agree that stealing that CD was crossing the line.

When I first saw the title of the episode, Princess Day, I had all these cool theories about what might happen, and the fact that it was just another LSP episode, just with Marcy thrown in, was kind of disappointing. The episode is still really fun and cheeky (like really, the animators of this episode really liked drawing big cheeks on the characters). I kinda wanted a little bit more from it though.

What did you think of the episode? Did you HATE IT exclamation point exclamation point? Or perhaps you really liked it? Let me know!

Did you enjoy this little ramble? If so, consider following The Critic’s Canvas for all your critical needs!

Flappy Bird is Satan.

satanDo you own an iPhone or Android? If so, then you’ve probably heard of Flappy Bird. This app has been the top free app on the app store for a while now, and everyone and their mom is playing it, well, trying to anyway.

Just in case you actually haven’t played it, I’ll give you a little summary. Basically, you repeatedly tap the screen to try and maneuver a 16-bit bird through very Marioesque pipes. Yup, it’s that simple. Except, there is a catch. It’s actually mind-bogglingly difficult. So difficult that it’s almost funny! And it’s this extreme sense of challenge that’ll either have you hooked, or shoving your phone through your buddy’s eyeball. Don’t believe me? Well, I guess you could go ahead and download the app, but I’d advise you to stay away and move on with your life. Once you flap, you can’t go back.

I bet you want to hear what my experience was like, actually, I doubt you care at all, so I’ll tell you. I saw my friend playing the game and to put it lightly, she was doing absolutely horrible. Of course, being the charmer I am, I laughed maniacally in her face. So, she said that if I could get 5 points on my first try, she’d give me five bucks. I figured she wouldn’t actually pay me, but I still wanted to prove my worth. So I played, and I scored a big zero! Now, I’m a relatively experienced gamer, and I’ve beaten some challenging games in my time, yet an iPhone game where I have to flap through pipes left me at zero! Quite a slap to the face, in my opinion.

Of course, that’s what all this is. My opinion. What do you think? Are you in love with this game? Or maybe you’re dangerously hooked and can’t ditch it? And if you have played, what’s your high score? Mine’s 29!

Also, is there anything I can improve on the blog? Does my writing need a check up? I could use the advice!

Did you enjoy this little ramble? Maybe you’d like more! Well, following The Critic’s Canvas is the right choice for you then! I’ll be here to satisfy your critical needs with a post every Tuesday and Thursday!

Woah! We got a newbie over here!

Hello there! My name’s ChronoPhoenix, and I’m sorta new here, and I’d like to start building upon this blog I’ve started here. The plan I’ve set for how my posts will work are as follows: I take a topic, whether it be a video game, a video game console, a piece of tech, music, a book, a current event, etc. and I will provide my thoughts and opinions on said topic. Sounds fun, right? Of course, I’d love to hear your guys’ opinions too, and spark all kinds of exciting discussions! So stay tuned and get ready to criticize!