Tag Archives: opinion

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?

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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.

Legend Of Korra Review: Book 3 Episode 10 (Long Live The Queen)

Airbending just got a whole lot more interesting.

The Plot

Korra and Asami are imprisoned on an Earth Kingdom airship and are being taken into the Earth Queen’s custody; Mako and Bolin are imprisoned by the Red Lotus and are being taken into the Earth Queen’s custody. To put it simply, things aren’t looking up for Team Avatar.

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Spoilers from here onwards…

Well, I think we all know why Nick pulled Korra off the air now. Yup. That happened. We saw a villain die a rather violent death on screen. Sure, the Earth Queen is a real ding dong, but you gotta admit, that death was just screwed up.

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Not to mention the fact that every young, innocent child who saw that is probably gonna have nightmares for the remainder of their lifespan.

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So yeah, Zaheer dethroned the Earth Queen, spreading anarchy throughout Ba Sing Se, with riots, looters, you know, the whole kazoo. Obviously, the Earth Queen’s rather disturbing death is the talk of the episode, and I really don’t know what else to say about it. The rest of the episode is really just the characters trying to escape their imprisonment only to find Ba Sing Se in crisis.

Nonetheless, the episode was very enjoyable, but not to the point where I feel the need to write pages and pages of analysis and opinions.

What did you think of the episode? Did it leave you breathless? Or did it actually, like, rip the air out of your lungs and leave you twitching on the floor? Let me know!

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Adventure Time Review: Season 6 Episode 12 (Ocarina)

It’s been awhile since we’ve seen Jake’s pups, and it’s been awhile since Jake’s pups have seen Jake. What happens when real life gets in the way of an adventurous lifestyle?

The Plot

It’s the birthday of Jake’s puppies and…Jake is nowhere to be seen. An outraged Kim Kil Whan decides that his dad might need a little tug in the right direction.

Is This A Good Place To Start?

You won’t be properly introduced to any of the characters and there is a big reference to previous Season 6 episode, Furnitere & Meat. The overall plot of the episode can be followed without prior knowledge of the series, though.

My Final Verdict (With Spoilers)

Jake is lazy, selfish, and morally hind sighted; these things never stopped him from being likable, though. Here, we see just how awful a parent Jake has been to his pups, with him showing up 3 hours late to their birthday celebrations, and only bringing a handful of crusty macaroni salad for them to eat. It’s quite understandable why this would piss them off.

Kim Kil Whan decides that Jake needs to be put through life’s harsh realities to see that his current lifestyle just ain’t cutting it. But Jake doesn’t fix himself to get his and Finn’s home back, even after Finn thinks that Kim is right and that it might be best for them to get a real job. This episode shows us that some people will never change, and it’s best to just accept them the way they are. Sure, it sucks that Jake won’t straighten up, even for his kids, but you just have to remember that he has always been able to stretch out of every situation, even if he occasionally decides not to.

I really enjoyed this episode, as it was both entertaining and thought-provoking. It was also really weird seeing a bunch of really minor side characters from past seasons suddenly walk into F & J’s treehouse.

I really feel for Jake’s pups after seeing this episode, and I hope we see more of them in the future.

So what did you think of this episode? Did you think Kim was being a real time jingle blaster? Or perhaps you felt that his actions were justified? Let me know!

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Legend of Korra Review: Book 3 Episode 4-5 (In Harm’s Way; The Metal Clan)

So it has been announced that Nick will be airing 60 minutes worth of Korra every Friday from now on! That’s really awesome, however, it makes my job a bit more complicated. I now have to review two episodes in one blog post, which can get pretty messy. However, through the power of organization, I will overcome this, one episode at a time.

In Harm’s Way

The Plot

Mako and Bolin return to Korra to tell her about the Earth Queen’s dirty deeds; how she’s been snatching up all the new airbenders to build the ultimate line of defense. Korra finds this unjust, and decides to locate these airbenders and free them with help from the whole gang.

My Final Verdict (With Spoilers)

I haven’t mentioned this yet, but the fight scenes in this season have looked amazing so far. The animation is just too great, and it makes the whole thing look really awesome. Speaking of which, there have been loads of fights so far, and we’ve only seen 5 episodes! There’s been at least one in each episode.

The story here is cool too. The Dai Lee are awesome villains (however, I don’t feel they are quite as intimidating as they were in The Last Airbender) and Kai is much more like able than he was when we first met him.

It was really cool hearing Mako state what all TLA fans were thinking: “What about Lake Logai?” However, I kinda hoped it wouldn’t be Logai, because honestly, it just seemed a bit too obvious. So it was pleasantly surprising to learn that the Dai Lee’s old headquarters are now deserted, and the airbenders weren’t taken there.

I must say that my favorite part of the episode is when the airbenders accept Tenzin’s offer to stay at the Air Temple. His tears of joy and the way the TLA theme kicks in had me feeling emotional immediately. I’m so happy with how this season is playing out. It’s topping the previous seasons by far.

Overall, it was a really fun and action-packed episode. I liked how Kai was portrayed and how he helped the weaker airbender (the first noble thing he’s ever done in his life!).

Anyhoo, on to the next episode! Possibly my favorite so far!

The Metal Clan

The Plot

Team Avatar travels to a city made entirely of metal by the name of Zaofu, in order to locate another new airbender. Lin Beifong, however, isn’t too happy about it.

My Final Verdict (With Spoilers)

I absolutely love this new city! I absolutely love this episode! And holy hell, I need to know what happened to Lin to make her the way she is now! I need answers. Thanks to Nick deciding to air 2 episodes every Friday instead of just one, I can hopefully get those answers even quicker now.

Quick side note:
Opal is one of the most attractive pieces of animated work I’ve ever seen. Moving on

After meeting up with Lin’s half-sister, Korra is introduced to the new airbender (and also Lin’s niece), Opal! Okay, so yeah, Toph apparently got around in regards to her sex life as an adult, and ended up with two daughters, each from different men. My question is, who were her partners? Were they characters we knew in TLA? And also, it never clarified whether she even married these people. Her not wanting to get married is such a part of her character that I could see; not wanting to be tied down and all.

The whole thing with Lin is very tragic, and adds a whole new layer to her character. I’m really interested in learning what has Lin tangled up in emotional knots. I’m also hoping for a Toph appearance later in the season. That would just blow my socks off.

By the way, that guy’s banana sculpture touched me in a way only art can. Bravo, my dear boy.

Overall, I really enjoyed this episode. Zaofu is an extremely awesome city, and it’s really cool to learn more about the Beifong family.

So what did you think of these episodes? Did it leave you feeling as bubbly as Opal? Or perhaps as broken as Lin? Let me know!

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My Thoughts and Opinions on Math

mathI am a high school student, and for the most part, I don’t have too much trouble with my classes. However, there is one class that just about ruins my whole image of school. Math. I’d like to proclaim this subject as the bane of my existence. Yeah, I really don’t like it. “But why?” you might ask. Well, why don’t we discuss this like gentlemen.

Now, I don’t want to go on sounding like some arrogant, snot-nosed teen, so I’ll try to be as reasonable as I can.

Math is just one of those things that some people are naturally gifted at, or just flat out god awful at. As you can probably tell, I land in the lesser of the two. But here’s the thing; I don’t hate math just because I’m not good at it. The way I see it, the math you learn in grade school is really the only math you’ll ever need to use in your life. Now, obviously scientists and architects are going to need to know more advanced forms of math, but here’s the thing, most of us don’t go on to become scientists and architects. Why force every kid in America to master all these formulas when, most likely, we’ll never need to use them in our lives? I’ve mentioned this to some of my previous teachers before, and they would say

Math is here to strengthen your mind, and to get the gears turning in your head.

Well, if that’s the only purpose of math class, why can’t I just do crossword puzzles all hour?!

So now that I’ve given my thoughts, I want to hear from you! Do you actually like math? Am I just an idiot? Or do you actually agree with my opinion? Tell me!

Also, is there anything I should improve or add to my blog? Am I terrible writer? Or maybe you have an idea for something I could ramble about? By all means, tell me!

Did you enjoy this little rant? Maybe you want some more! Simple, all you have to do is follow The Critic’s Canvas for all those thoughts and opinions that you crave. Maybe you can even get in on the action.