Working Through The Queue: Love Death + Robots Season 3, Moon Knight, & Our Flag Means Death
Been a while since I've done one of these, eh? I just thought it was about time that I should do a little catch up on some streaming tv shows I've been checking out, plus I just really loved Taika Waititi as a pirate and want to try and get a few of you to check that out.
Love Death + Robots Season 3
LDR is an anthology and you can skip around to any episode that looks interesting, but I generally always recommend checking out the entire package because even the weakest episodes are still noteworthy for their animation. This season is the same with only one standing out as 'meh' to me (In Vaulted Halls Entombed), and even then the animation looked great and the creature design work was sharp so overall still worth checking out.
On the top of my list though I definitely recommend the David Fincher directed Bad Travelling, the adapted The Very Pulse of the Machine, and the uniquely animated supernatural tale Jibaro.
Bad Travelling is a perfect example of tone and atmosphere coming together to help support a tight and brisk 21 minute script. Everything just comes together nicely and you get a horrible crab monster to boot. Even though I feel that In Vaulted Halls Entombed was intended to be the Lovecraftian lead of the season, that one felt like the jock cargo cult version while this one understood the tone needed to tell a solid piece of Lovecraftian horror.
While at first I wasn't sure if I would enjoy the style of The Very Pulse of the Machine, its heavy Moebius influences blended so well with the storytelling that it came off as one of the more beautiful sci-fi episodes. Every season usually has a sad and haunting piece that's adapted from some sci-fi literature (Zima Blue in S1, The Drowned Giant in S2) and I'm glad to see that as a regular trend.
Jibaro caps off the highlight list as its unique animation style and character design work were just top notch. The studio that made it utilized a mix of keyframe animation, CGI, referencing recorded footage of dancers and actors to base the animation off of, and painted scenery for a lot of background/foreground shots. There's just a lot happening visually and it's a nonstop treat for the eyes.
Moon Knight Season 1
That was alright, wasn't it?
Moon Knight is one of those characters that I never really cared too much about but didn't mind him either, so it's not like this had anything to live up to for me. I like Oscar Isaac a lot and he did a great job, plus we got Hippo goddess Tawaret for some fun scenes, so I chalk this up as an overall win. The CGI around the midway point got kinda dicey, sorta of like the high end of a CW DC show which is definitely the low end for a Disney/Marvel show, so that was kinda odd. I just tell myself they needed to save money for the Tawaret scenes later on though and then it feels like a solid move.
I did appreciate that you didn't really need to watch anything else before this and that it doesn't feel like it's necessary viewing for future Marvel projects. That can all change for sure, but in the meantime it stands alone well. I also appreciate that it subtly started to move into a horror tone, which is something I want to see the Marvel films/shows delve into more if at all possible. That did fade away by the end as it turned into an action film by the end, but I always have that expectation so it was fine.
So yeah, not groundbreaking in anyway but I never expected it to be and didn't require it. A quick fun Marvel romp and I'm out.
Our Flag Means Death Season 1
Hands down one of the best if not the best show I'll watch the entire year. I can not stress how goddamn good it is. From its perfect cast (everyone is amazing) to the tight scripting and dialogue to the well crafted emotional character arcs and much much more, this is simply one of the best series I've seen in a long time. Plus it has great LGBTQ+ representation and doesn't queerbait you, so even more win.
As I said the entire cast is perfect, especially the leads of Rhys Darby as aristocrat-turned-pirate Stede Bonnet and Taika Waititi as Blackbeard, but I want to put a little spotlight on Samson Kayo real quick. I absolutely loved him in the horror/comedy series Truth Seekers, so when a friend told me he was in this as well that knocked me over into watching it ASAP. He's just a talent that I feel deserves the attention, and he's pretty great as the level-headed and weary character Oluwande.
Every once in a while I hit a show that helps during a tough time, be it through its comedy or through its incredibly well scripted emotional material. This is one off those shows that hit all the right spots for me. If you need a little bit of joy infused into your life right now (and I think many of us do), do yourself a favor and check this out.