All Magic Comes With a Price

Episode two, season five was put up on Netflix last night. It was entitled – The Price and the episode surrounded the price of magic. Both for previous events and for events that are yet to come.

I don’t entirely know what to say above the cut because of spoilers. Perhaps I could make a confession, it’s unusual for me to watch shows live. I usually binge watch because I have the DVD, waiting each week for the next episode is a little bit torturous.

Just randomly, I’m actually dictating this post using Dragon NaturallySpeaking. I usually type, and I have to say this is really weird, it’s almost a different process like my brain and my mouth aren’t connected the same as my brain and my hands. I have a shoulder injury at the moment which makes typing painful. If it isn’t fixed by next month then this will be good practice for NanNoWriMo.

I think I’ve rambled on long enough now. As always, consider this a warning of spoilers under the cut.

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Dark Swan Rises

There is no savior in this town anymore.

Season five of Once Upon a Time has started. Thanks to Netflix picking up distribution for the UK I only have to wait three days from the US broadcast to watch. That is just brilliant and makes me wish all my shows could work like that. I mean seriously in the days of the internet, I don’t see why it can’t. I’m permanently 18 months behind on some of them, not getting the previous season until they are halfway through the next one. However, that is probably a rant topic for another day.

I know I was going to post my thoughts on season three and four. Quite frankly I just haven’t got round to it yet and now I don’t know whether I should do it at all. The last post I made to wrap up season two was rather difficult, as I was halfway into season four at the time.

Perspective is everything and watching what happens later, does change my opinion about what happened before. I’ve been rewatching season one lately. First time through I hated Regina and was cheering for Emma. Now Regina is my second favorite character, I’m cheering for her and thinking Emma is the mean one. Perhaps I should do a post about that. I know, I know, I find it way too easy to ramble on about this show. It’s not my fault the show is so damn awesome.

Anyway, this post is supposed to be about season five, the premiere episode. Obviously, there will be spoilers for that episode under the cut.

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When do you get hooked on a TV Show?

On my Facebook feed today there was an article from Netflix. They have apparently analysed the viewing habits of their subscribers, to determine how many episodes it takes before someone is hooked. They defined being ‘hooked’ as the episode where 70% of those who watched it, went on to watch the rest of the season.

The numbers varied from episode two for a couple of shows, to up to the fifth episode for Marvel’s Daredevil. Obviously Netflix are trying to promote their model of business, where they give people access to the entire season at once. The binge watching model vs the new episode per week model. It’s no surprise that they would find the pilot couldn’t hook people, and that people needed more as that supports their business model. However, it did make me think about my viewing habits and at what point I get ‘hooked’.

You see I disagree with Netflix, I think people are far too different in their viewing habits and opinions, that something like this really can’t be quantified. There are shows that I couldn’t care less about, where I’ve watched entire seasons. I wouldn’t say I was hooked on them, I could never watch it again and not think twice. I watched them because I had a compelling reason to keep going back.

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Age of Ultron

Avengers: Age of Ultron was released yesterday on DVD. First thing in the morning I went to Tesco’s and bought a copy. I used to pre-order them from Amazon but after the last Avengers film got lost in the post, on release day I go and buy a copy to have in my hand. It’s literally the one thing I don’t wait for, release day is the day I get the film and the day I re-watch it.

Yes – re-watch. I know I didn’t post a review of Age of Ultron back in May. I did see the film at the cinema but I was physically unwell at the time. By the time I felt better it had been a while since I’d seen the film and I couldn’t remember half of what I wanted to say. Therefore I decided to wait until I saw it again before writing a post.

Age of Ultron, the end of phase two, the end of the road that Tony Stark/Iron Man started us on. At the end of the film things are different, it’s evolved and it’s not going to be the same from here on out.

What did I think?

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Never Thinking of Consequences

I haven’t blogged in a couple of weeks which was probably a bit of a mistake. In my last post about Once Upon a Time I was on episode 2.15, I’m now on episode 4.10, so I have nearly two seasons worth of comments swirling around in my brain, I don’t even know where to start. I can’t decide if it would be better to go by character, or chronologically – so much happened!

Best bet is chronologically in the hope I don’t forget anything. Not that if I do, that matters to anyone but me but then that’s kinda the whole point. The title of this post comes from a line of Regina’s in the season three finale. It’s oddly apt given that I clearly didn’t think of the consequences of not blogging about this show for so long. I was going to write everything today, in the one post. Given I’m at over 4500 words and I haven’t started season three yet, I figured I better split the posts.

Nearly two seasons of perspective have completely changed my view of Regina, I was starting to see her differently when I wrote the last post. Now? She’s my second favorite character. In my own words I’m on ‘Team Bad Guy’ which is funny as I don’t really see Regina or Rumple as out and out bad guys. They are complex characters but I’ll get back to this later on.

I was speaking with my friend the other day and we had an interesting discussion about character motives, and the writers opinion of characters vs the readers/watchers. This will probably be a topic of it’s own one day, but I’m going to mention it here too.

Get comfortable, this might take a while.

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A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

When I watch a show, I watch for the characters really. If the characters don’t get under my skin, then the show doesn’t either. I might still watch it but I won’t care, I won’t think about it afterwards, I won’t ever be desperate to watch more. Characters are compelling, plot happens but characters make it worthwhile.

Rumpelstiltskin has got under my skin.

I’ve watched up to episode 15 of season 2 now. I’m further on than I was when I wrote the last post on Once Upon a Time. I have some vague awareness about what’s happening next, but no real context to go with it. For me, that’s about as unspoiled as I ever really get, so I’m learning about the characters as I watch.

My last post was mostly about Rumpelstiltskin because, for me, he’s the most compelling part of the show. From the time of my last post to now I’ve watched another ten episodes, which include some pretty big revelations about Rumple’s past, plus some very difficult current events for him.

Yes I’m probably going to try and talk logic again.

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Stargate Universe

I’ve mentioned this show in my last couple of posts. First I said that I was going to try watching it again as I had Once Upon a Time withdrawal. Both shows star Robert Carlyle and I also figured it was about time I gave Universe another shot. Given what a self-professed fan I am of Stargate, it seemed a little wrong to have not watched every single one of the 354 episodes that were made.

Well I’m now on episode 17 of season one and I figured the show was overdue a post. When I first tried watching it I saw the first four episodes before giving up. I didn’t rewatch those episodes, instead continuing on from episode five. From description the last three episodes heavily lead into season two. I’m not sure when I’ll get a chance to watch the story arc through to conclusion, and I’d really hate to stop on a cliffhanger.

When I first tried the show I was bitterly disappointed, I really didn’t like it and I wrote it off. The question is, now I’ve given the show more of a chance, what do I really think?

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Are Named Actors Important?

Last night I watched Serenity, the movie that finished off the show Firefly even though it only ran for one season. That stars Nathan Fillion, who I’m much more familiar with starring as the eponymous writer in Castle.

I then really wanted to watch Once Upon a Time. However, I’m watching that with someone else and they are away for a week. Any episodes I watched now, I’d only have to watch again when they got back, so I might as well be patient. It’s only a week right? Well, yeah but when I really like something I want to watch it a lot. What I do is watch whatever the show is exclusively until I’ve seen it all, I then swap to another show and do the same. That’s why dvd boxsets are never wasted on me, I go back and rewatch entire seasons when I have a ‘season’ of that show.

Unable to watch Once Upon a Time I started browsing my Netflix queue for something I did feel like watching. That’s when I saw Stargate Universe. I am a mega huge fan of Stargate, I watched all of SG-1 and loved it, I watched all of Atlantis and loved it. I then went on to Universe, got four episodes in, and went back to start watching SG-1 from the beginning. I really did not like Universe at all. However, Stargate Universe stars Robert Carlyle, who plays Rumpelstiltskin/Mr Gold, aka my favourite character, in Once Upon a Time.

This made me think about the importance of named actors. Big movies like to put the stars names on the posters, to make a big deal about certain people being in it. True sometimes unknowns get to headline things but for any film that possibly can afford it, there’s a well known name cast somewhere.

That’s important to the studios but is it important to the viewer?

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Once Upon a Time

To save my friend from my endless walls of text on skype, I just had to write a blog post about the TV show Once Upon a Time. This isn’t my usual kind of show, over the past few years I have broadened my tastes and now I like a lot of Sci-Fi. However, this is fantasy, not something that would usually get my attention.

I subscribed to Netflix for the free month, I wanted to watch Marvel’s Daredevil. To give Netflix their due, they know what they are doing as I’m now past my free month. We even got an Amazon FireTV box, in the sale, to make watching streaming services easier. As I was now subscribed I went through their catalogue looking for other shows to try.

The first episode made me want to watch the second, within a couple more I was safely hooked. I’ve now watched all of season one, and the first few episodes of season two. Really Netflix is a good fit for how I watch TV, as I binge watch everything. I don’t watch anything live, as I live in the UK. I’m used to getting the dvd’s, now with the FireTV box, Netflix works just like a dvd.

Anyway, the show itself, where do I even begin? Fair warning, it might seem like I’m complaining. Although it might not seem like that, the more I like something, the more I pick fault. I think it’s because I care enough to bother, I actually think about it rather than just accepting it for what it is and moving on.

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Ant-Man: This time, embrace the change

I saw Ant-Man at the movies Monday night. I always go to the cinema for Marvel films, they are the films that I just can’t wait for to be released on dvd. I made the subtitle for this review a quote from Season 1 of Agents of Shield. Fitz says to Simmons, “This time Simmons, embrace the change.” and that just came to mind.

I know I still haven’t written about Age of Ultron. To be honest I’m now thinking that I saw it so long ago, I should wait until the dvd is released to remind myself of what I thought. I didn’t mean to miss reviewing the big Avengers mash-up, climax to phase two but I was ill and lazy.

Anyway, onto Ant-Man which has topped the UK box office, though it’s not done nearly as well as other Marvel films. Although, considering it’s still likely to make a good profit given it’s smaller budget, and the fact that it’s numbers could go up with word of mouth reviews, it’s not exactly bad news. It’s a bit like complaining you got an A on the test rather than an A* but Marvel is used to galactic success.

So what did I think? Oh and in the words of Coulson – “Spoiler alert.”

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