REVIEW: NEW GIRL – SEASON 3

Starring

Zooey Deschanel (Bridge to Terabithia)
Jake Johnson (Jurrasic World)
Max Greenfield (Veronica Mars)
Lamorne Morris (Game Night)
Hannah Simone (Oldboy)

Zooey Deschanel and Jake Johnson in New Girl (2011)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Merritt Weaver (Signs)
Dreama Walker (Compliance)
Eva Amurri Martino (Saved)
Curtis Armstronng (American Dad)
Brenda Song (Dads)
Riki Lindhome (The Lego Batman Movie)
Jon Lovitz (Happiness)
Taye Diggs (Go)
Damon Wayans Jr. (Let’s Be Cops)
Jessica Chaffin (The HEat)
Brian Posehn (The Big Bang Theory)
Bob Gunton (Daredevil)
Gillian Vigman (The Hangover)
Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween)
Ben Falcone (Enough Said)
June Diane Raphael (Year One0
Josh Gad (Frozen)
Prince (Graffiti Bridge)
Adam Brody (Jennifer’s Body)
Mary Elizabeth Ellis (Santa Clarita Diet)
Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip)
Linda Cardellini (Scooby-Doo)
Alexandra Daddario (Baywatch)
Stevie Nelson (The Mad Ones)
Kerri Kenney (Wanderlust)
Rob Reiner (EDTV)

Zooey Deschanel, Mark Proksch, Angela Kinsey, and Dreama Walker in New Girl (2011)Coach’s return was a little unexpected, there was already a great ensemble, why mess with it? For those who don’t know, Coach was one of the original characters from the pilot. Wayans’s was already cast in Happy Endings, but with Happy Endings suffering in the ratings, it was expected to be cancelled, leaving Wayans’s free to find another role. It didn’t get cancelled, and New Girl even benefited with the addition of Winston. Eventually, Happy Endings was cancelled, and Coach comes back. Coach’s return to, guess what, coaching was inspired, and his slight change in focus really benefits both him and Schmidt, as well as the show as a whole. By the end of the season, it feels like Coach has always been there!Max Greenfield and Jake Johnson in New Girl (2011)Then there is Winston. It really is a testament to Lamorne Morris’s ability as an actor and comic that he has got so much out of character that doesn’t really have much to do. I think he’s one of the least developed characters, and with so much focus on Nick & Jess, the re-introduction of Coach and Schmidt’s all round issues, he’s left to fill out episode storylines without getting much development himself. The comic relief Winston provides is necessary to balance out the drama with the other characters, but it’s a shame so much of it is just short story arcs or lasts just a single episode. If there’s any area I’d like season 4 to develop, it’s Winston. There is just too much talent and comedy to ignore.Zooey Deschanel, Max Greenfield, Damon Wayans Jr., Lamorne Morris, and Jake Johnson in New Girl (2011)New Girl continues its solid track record, producing a classic relationship season without losing the fact it’s a comedy at heart. Well executed by all involved.

REVIEW: THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART

Starring

Chris Pratt (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Elizabeth Banks (Power Rangers)
Will Arnett (Blades of Glory
Tiffany Haddish (Night School)
Stephanie Beatriz (In The Heights)
Charlie Day (Pacific Rim)
Alison Brie (The Post)
Nick Offerman (Good Omens)
Brooklynn Prince (The Angry Birds Movie 2)
Maya Rudolph (Happytime Murders)
Will Ferrell (Anchorman)
Richard Ayoade (The Watch)
Channing Tatum (G.I.Joe)
Jonah Hill (Cyrus)
Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother)
Jason Momoa (Game of Thrones)
Margot Rubin (Margot & Marie)
Ike Barinholtz (Suicide Squad)
Ralph Fiennes (Harry Potter)
Will Forte (Booksmart)
Bruce Willis (Glass)
Ben Schwartz (Sonic The Hedgehog)

Elizabeth Banks and Chris Pratt in The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019)Following the destruction of the Kragle, Finn’s sister Bianca has been invited to share their father’s LEGO collection; in the LEGO universe, this is represented by the arrival of Duplo aliens. Emmet builds the aliens a heart as a token of friendship, but when one eats it and playfully demands more, Lucy interprets this as an attack and retaliates. The Duplo creatures cry and invade, making a mess of Bricksburg. President Business unhelpfully tells everyone to “get along” before leaving to go golfing, but Emmet tells Lucy that “Everything can still be awesome”.Will Ferrell, Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, Charlie Day, Nick Offerman, Chris Pratt, and Alison Brie in The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019)Five years later, Bianca has taken some of Finn’s LEGO creations and other toys in their basement to play with. In the LEGO universe, the Duplo army’s invasions have turned Bricksburg into the post-apocalyptic wasteland Apocalypseburg, hardening its citizens. Emmet remains upbeat and wants to move into a dream home with Lucy, but he is troubled by visions of an impending cataclysm dubbed “Armamageddon”.Elizabeth Banks and Chris Pratt in The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019)A mini-doll named General Mayhem arrives and proclaims that Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi of the Systar System (Bianca’s bedroom) wants to marry Apocalypseburg’s leader. Mayhem’s forces arrests Batman, Lucy, Benny, MetalBeard, and Unikitty to the Systar System, where Batman eventually agrees to marry Wa’Nabi, while the others are placed in environments designed to tempt them, which only Lucy resists.In pursuit, Emmet converts his house into a spaceship and travels through “the Stairgate” – out of the basement – and is saved from an asteroid field by rugged adventurer Rex Dangervest. Emmet begins to mimic Rex, hoping to impress Lucy. Lucy and her friends are taken to a spa; seeing her friends enjoy the catchy pop music, Lucy thinks they are being brainwashed and escapes to find Emmet. Rex and Emmet evade Wa’Nabi’s forces and find Lucy. Emmet devises a rescue plan: Lucy will switch off the music, and Emmet will destroy the reception cake, encased in a temple, to stop the wedding.As Lucy fights Mayhem, she learns the Systar System never meant to antagonize Apocalypseburg, but merely failed to communicate their desire to coexist in peace – in the real world, Bianca simply wants Finn to play with her. She also discovers that Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi’s original form was the heart Emmet gave the aliens. Realizing Rex has sinister motives, Lucy tries to stop Emmet but, manipulated by Rex, he destroys the cake’s temple.In the real world, Emmet’s destruction is carried out by Finn angrily destroying Bianca’s LEGO creations. Emmet realizes his mistake but is seized by Rex, knocking Lucy onto a shelf. Now in the real world, she watches the siblings bicker. Aboard his ship, Rex reveals that he is an embittered version of Emmet from the future; abandoned for years underneath the dryer after crashing in the asteroid field, he became Rex – “Radical Emmet Xtreme” – and built a remote time machine to save Emmet. As revenge for being neglected while the other toys were played with, Rex has tricked his past self into bringing about Armamageddon.When Emmet asks Rex what Armamageddon really is, he gets his answer when Rex explains what is happening in the real world right now; Bianca and Finn’s mother halts their bickering and asks them to put away their LEGO sets, representing Armamageddon (as in “Our momma gets in”, as Lucy discovers). Everything in the Lego Universe begins to crumble and fall into the dark hole of the Bin of Storage, represented by Finn and Bianca taking their creations apart and putting them in bins. Bianca puts Lucy in storage last, and it all brings an apparent end to the LEGO universe that Lucy calls into question. In the real world, Finn hears Lucy and the others singing “Everything’s Not Awesome” as Rex knocks Emmet under the dryer. Lucy rallies the others into escaping from the storage bin in various spacecraft and returning to the LEGO universe to save Emmet and stop Rex. Evading Rex’s raptor Rexwing fighter squadron, Emmet and Lucy overpower Rex and sabotage his time machine. Rex redeems himself as he and his timeline fade from existence, and Emmet and Lucy reconcile.Wa’Nabi and Batman wed, as Finn and Bianca agree to play together again. Their mother returns their LEGO sets and Finn repairs Bianca’s creations, reversing Armamageddon. The LEGO universe is transformed into a mishmash of the restored Bricksburg and the Systar System: the peaceful “Syspocalypstar”. President Business returns from golfing but is immediately ejected from the LEGO universe by fireworks due to Benny accidentally setting fire on his hair. Emmet’s dream house is rebuilt, with an original album of “Everything Is Awesome” on his couch revealing that Lucy co-created the song, much to Emmet’s surprise.Overall, The Lego Movie 2 ended up being better than I was expecting it to be. It’s always going to be hard to top the original and yeah it doesn’t feel as fresh and they do reuse some ideas, themes, and jokes in it, but as an Animated sequel I think it delivers on giving us a movie in the same ball park that works both for kids and adults.

 

REVIEW: TUCA & BERTIE- SEASON 1

Tuca & Bertie (2019)

Starring

Tiffany Haddish (Night School)
Ali Wong (American Housewife)
Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead)
Nicole Byer (All About Nina)
Richard E. Grant (Logan)
John Early (Late Night)
Reggie Watts (Pitch Perfect 2)
Tig Notaro (Star Trek: Discovery
Amber Ruffin (Drunk History)
Jermaine Fowler (Robot Chicken)
Tessa Thompson (Westworld)
Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians)
Michelle Dockery (Downtown Abbey)
Isabella Rossellini (Death Becomes Her)
Taraji P. Henson (Hidden Figures)

Bird Town is a strange place where the trains are slithering snakes, the neighbours are stoned plant-people and “sex bugs” get put on trial. Promising madcap adventures, this metropolis provides the setting for Tuca and Bertie, a new Netflix animation that feels like a natural successor to Broad City.Tuca & Bertie (2019)The show’s creator Lisa Hanawalt, known for her work on nihilistic cult favourite Bojack Horseman, has rendered this new universe with a lighter, fizzier touch. The result is a rare thing – an adult animation made by women about women (albeit women in bird form). And, in a particularly canny bit of casting, Tuca and Bertie has signed up two of the buzziest comics around.

Tuca & Bertie (2019)Tiffany Haddish, the breakout star of Girls Trip and the most extraordinarily candid celebrity ever, plays Tuca, a gobby, gumptious, hot-pant-wearing toucan who is in need of “constant positive reinfofo”. She gets it from Bertie the song thrush, her steadfast but neurotic BFF voiced by Ali Wong, the standup who soared to fame for her perineum-splitting comedy specials about pregnancy (Baby Cobra) and parenthood (Hard Knock Wife). Co-starring are Richard E Grant and Tig Notaro – and it’s clear they’re all having a clucking riot. Never have fowl been so foul-mouthed.Tuca & Bertie (2019)Bertie has always been there to buoy up Tuca with reminders that she won’t ever leave her – and that “most girls would kill to have such a curvy beak”. But Tuca is now moving out of their apartment to make way for Bertie’s boyfriend Speckle (played by Steven Yeun, AKA Glenn from The Walking Dead). By day, Bertie is trying to get a promotion in her office job at Conde Nest. By night, she’s desperate to keep the spark alive in her relationship (with help from Nests of Netherfield, her Downton Abbey-esque porn substitute) and fulfil her dream of being a pastry chef.  Tuca, never one to conform, ribs her incessantly for all this “normie lifeplan bullshit”. Eventually Tuca wanders into a neighbourhood called Adulthood, replete with shops called Matching Crockery and Furniture Already Put Together, but ends up committing instead to a new forever friend – a purple jaguar she names Jackie.Tuca & Bertie (2019)The whole show is a topical sendup of our age, tackling the cult of Facebeak, the #Metoo movement (via predatory rooster bros) and even Marie Kondo. But the writers have also put in the hours dreaming up every possible bird gag – from the local birdega to the musical Nest Side Story. So if bird-pun-spotting is likely to ruffle your feathers, you may be in the wrong place. In comedy terms it’s more rolling chuckle than laugh-out-loud, and there are sometimes slightly jarring shifts in animation to lo-fi claymation or even sock-puppet styles. Those aside, this is a chirpily realised world that stays true to its experimentalism – and its pleasures are consistent, if deliciously twisted, and very surreal indeed.At one point, Tuca and Bertie race past a woman on the street and the show morphs into a Mrs Dalloway-esque piece of metanarrative. For just a second, the action falls away as words ping up around the woman, sharing her story in a hilariously succinct way: “Sandy Q Piper. Rich interior life. Not part of this show. You will never see her again.” The series plays out like a feminist fairy tale, one “where Mother Goose is not defined by her ability to lay eggs.” At its core, Tuca and Bertie is about the many and complex joys of female friendship, about navigating the sometimes crushing world of adulting with your best bud by your side, about growing together, bolstering each other – and buying sex-bug ointment together.