Post by A. Blackwood on Jan 18, 2017 2:51:06 GMT -6
1.05 "Black Widow" Review
As Bionic gears up for the sequence finale two episodes away, I have to say that 'Black Widow' very much felt like a filler episode. Besides it being confirmed that the Black Widow project does, in fact, involve the black liquid from the previous episode, there's not a lot that happens here.It felt like there was in the beginning, with Billy kidnapping Dane, but considering it was all a plot to get Bionic on camera, the episode just felt very underwhelming and in all honesty felt like it could have even been left out of the sequence without it changing much of anything.
This episode was interesting, don't get me wrong. I was really enjoying what was happening and getting to see Justin act as Bionic once more, but the end of the episode took a lot of the excitement out of what came before. It's a little like the 'it was all a dream' ending, where you end up wondering what exactly the point was.
The other part of the episode that was kind of throwing me was Billy's behaviour. I get he never seemed to be a super nice guy, and I can also get him being hell bent on revenge after what happened to his girlfriend (which I still think was Biotech/Deacon by the way), but he has seemed to make the jump right into cliche cheesy villain territory with all the evil smirks and melodramatic lines. Hopefully it's just a one episode thing, because I was really liking Billy as a bad guy and would find it hard to take him seriously if he's evil grinning every other scene.
Sorry for the mostly negative review on this episode, it just wasn't really one that stood out at all to me. That said, I have high hopes for the final two episodes of the sequence and finding out just what is going on with Justin and with Biotech!
Post by A. Blackwood on Jan 17, 2017 17:48:58 GMT -6
5.02 "Acting 102" Review
I'm back! and reviewing Auditions second episode of season five, 'Acting 102'.
So the episode opening with the closing down of their acting class I think is a great way to move the story forward and put Alex and Alisha into a new, and probably uncomfortable for them, situation. It was a really smart move to make sure that their acting classes wouldn't become stale, and it also gave a great opportunity to introduce a whole cast of interesting new players, but more on that later.
A quick interlude with Mia and David, and again I really like their dynamic and relationship. It feels very natural and I like that they're very different people and a bit part of their relationship so far as been them showing each other their interests and the other embracing it. It's really nice to see a relationship like that, and here's hoping there's not too much drama for them in the near future, because I do really like them together.
I must admit, seeing Michael really interested in doing something is adding a lot to his character that I felt was lacking in earlier sequences. Again, it's nice to see him and Paula still getting on like 'besties' but I'm interested to see when this romantic undertone/tension that is being played out, especially on Paula's side at the moment, will come to a head.
And back to Alex and Alisha for their new acting class. Hopefully this new acting class will be just what Alex and Alisha need to get out of the rut that they seem to have fallen into. We're introduced, like I said, to a whole host of new characters, and while we didn't get a lot of indiction about their personalities, they come off as different enough from each other to create some interesting situations or conflict. I look forward to seeing each of these new fellow acting students elaborated on in future episodes.
Post by A. Blackwood on Jan 17, 2017 1:25:02 GMT -6
1.04 "New Player" Review
Okay, so my last review of the night is on Bionic's fourth episode 'New Player'. Another solid episode with a bit more of the action creeping back in with Cody and Justin sneaking into Biotech to meet another person working on the inside for them, Frank. We find out a little bit more about what's going on and my guesses at this point are that Lisa is Frank's daughter, Frank was involved with creating or turning Justin into Bionic, and that Bionic Justin might just be a vessel for flesh and blood Justin's consciousness. I might be way off, but hey, that's why they're guesses!
The one thing that really had me investing in this episode was the very end with Deacon and the aquarium of black stuff (Black Widow?). I feel like Biotech on the whole is one of my favourite things because of the strange technology and the mystery surrounding what they're doing.
One small odd thing I've found, and I think Jack kind of touched on it in his review, but there seems to be a lot of characters saying things that Justin is not supposed to know right in front of him? For example, Frank talks about seeing Justin again, how he shouldn't have certain memories, and how memories are stuck inside the 'real' Justin, but then acts like it's something he doesn't want Justin to know. Cody has had some similar moments to that too. It's just a little odd that on one hand everyone is determined to not let Justin know things, but at the same time are constantly giving him hints and clues about what's going on with him. I figure this is more for the readers sake, so we are able to start piecing things together, but it makes for very contradictory actions from some characters. As a suggestion, if you want to do things like that in future, have characters who are in the know have these conversations with each other. For example, there could have been a whispered conversation between Cody and Frank about how Justin is getting memories from his real self. It gives the readers this extra information, but allows the characters to continue to keep Justin in the dark, which is seems is their goal. Now take all this with a grain of salt, I'm far from an expert and like I've said before you have a better idea of your series than me, but I'm a firm believer that if you're going to provide criticism you should also provide some suggestions or alternative approaches so people can improve!
Overall, another good episode that continues to push the story forward, giving us some answers (or hints at answers) and also providing us with some new mysteries. Again I'm looking forward to continuing with the series and seeing if any of my guesses about what's going on are anywhere close to being correct.
Post by A. Blackwood on Jan 17, 2017 0:05:38 GMT -6
1.03 "Flashbacks" Review
First up, I was really impressed with this episode. It was much stronger than the previous episode and even episode one in it's own way. What I really loved about this episode was the opening scene with Justin showing us, and confirming in the series for the first time, that he's not entirely human- or that he's human but not all flesh and blood. I liked that we've got a bit more concrete detail about him now, and the dynamic between Cody and Justin is really interesting. Cody talks about how they're best friends and I believe that they were at one point, but it seems like there's a bit of resentment on Cody's side, which would explain some of the tension I feel like there is between them. It's very. very interesting, and one of the things I'm looking forward to finding out more in regards to that story.
On the other side, Billy appears to have gotten in way over his head with someone. If I had to guess I'd say Biotech, because what better way to draw someone into the secret side of your organisation by cutting them off from the person/s who care about them and might pry into what's happening. The voice message definitely gave that gut punch to the emotions by showing Nicole was trying to get in contact with him when she was attacked, and I'm sure that will be making Billy feel very guilty, even if there was nothing he could really do about it.
Oh, and leading into this episode the flashback at the end of the last episode made a lot more sense, but I still think it needed to have something to imply it was a memory/dream in the previous episode rather than relying on this episode being the explanation.
Not too many things that stuck out at me in this episode in regards to areas of improvement. The scene where Billy gets back to the apartment to find out Nicole was dead was possibly a little over dramatic, but hey, who doesn't want to write a character yelling 'no!' to the sky in dramatic fashion.
Overall very good episode and I'm looking forward to the rest of the sequence and hopefully unravelling some of the mysteries.
Post by A. Blackwood on Jan 16, 2017 23:28:51 GMT -6
1.02 "Broken Code" Review
So I jumped into episode two of Bionic, and while I'm liking overall what is being hinted at and set up for this series I felt this episode was a little bit all over the place. Don't get me wrong, I did like it, but some parts I found a bit odd or there were some errors in the script that kinda had me pulling back for a second and going 'huh?' until I figured out what you meant.
I'll get the constructive criticism out of the way first. While I felt that having the spotlight off who you have billed as your main character in the first episode worked, in this episode I found it a little frustrating that all we know about him at this point is that he is Bionic and is a bit angry at the moment. I feel like I have a better understanding of some of the characters that have only appeared in this episode than I do Justin and, like I said for a main character, I don't know if that's the best place to be. Now, this could be entirely deliberate on your part for reasoning that could become apparent later in the sequence, so forgive me if that is the case. The flashback at the end of the episode, while good in that it's starting to show some more of the mystery surrounding Justin, felt very out of place just tagged on at the end there too. Maybe it would have been better if we even had just a short scene with Justin before jumping into his flashback, so there was a bit more context for it. I know that's not really much help now since the entire sequence is already written, but hopefully it might help with future writing!
The other major sticking point in this episode for me was Billy's storyline. Again there were elements of it that I really liked- mainly that we're seeing Billy getting deeper into Biotech which means we as readers get to see what's happening at Biotech, which is one of the big mysteries at the moment. However, I felt that him being constantly knocked out and locked up was a bit redundant. Why keep him locked up for (what I felt was a really short time) only to then tell him he is trusted, then knock him out to take him home? Not a great way to inspire trust in someone you're exposing a lot of your secrets too. That's just my opinion though, and again, maybe there are reasons for this I'm not aware of. This series does seem to have a lot of mystery to attached it, so I do realise sometimes things won't make a lot of sense until later.
A couple of small errors on the technical side of things- there's a few characters who have their names supplied but their voice stays as 'Male Voice' or 'Female Voice' which got a little confusing, and just a few spelling errors or typos to watch out for too.
What I did really like about the episode was the interaction between our good guy team of Justin, Cody, Tom, and Jenkins. You get the sense that they've been working together for a little but but are still working on the finer aspects of their teamwork, and it will be interesting to see the development of that through the series. The Biotech storyline is also really interesting, and I'm eager to see what they're all about, especially in regards to the Trackers, who are super creepy.
There's also that hit of more expiation as to Justin's circumstances and the mystery woman Lisa which I'm looking forward to finding out about. Mystery woman seem to be a theme, with Billy's, I'm assuming disappeared, girlfriend Nicole.
Overall I don't think it was as strong as the first episode but if definitely does it's job of continuing to introduce relevant characters and add new elements to the mystery of the story.
Post by A. Blackwood on Jan 16, 2017 19:10:20 GMT -6
So out of curiosity I was having a look at your latest episode, the Christmas special 'Goodwill', and what was supposed to be a quick skim ended up with me reading most of the episode. I don't know a lot about the characters you've based the series around or their stories in your series up until this point but I found myself getting really interested in what was happening.
So I just wanted to pop in and say I really liked the episode and I should probably go back and read your first season now, haha!
Post by A. Blackwood on Jan 15, 2017 22:22:01 GMT -6
1.01 Breaking In Review
So I just read 'Breaking In', the first episode of Bionic and I have to admit I liked more than I thought I would. Opening with an action packed first episode for what I'm assuming is going to be an action packed sequence was a good decision, because it gets you hooked from the get go. The mysteries of what Biotech has to hide and what exactly Cody was stealing have me wanting to read more to figure out what is going on!
It was a pity that you couldn't establish your hero characters a bit more in this opening episode but in the end I think it worked, and you used the shifted focus well to set up the villain while we had time with him.
In some places the action lines seemed a little clunky or oddly worded but for the most part they were good. The only time I found it really confusing was with Bionic's fight with the Trackers. It might have just been me, but it was hard to keep track of three individuals when they were all referred to as just 'the tracker'. Perhaps labelling them Tracker #1, Tracker #2 etc. would help with that in the future, but it's not a ridiculously huge problem and in the end I was able to pick up most of what you were going for.
Overall this has me fairly intrigued with you show and hopefully I'll get the chance to read and review the rest of sequence one soon.
Post by A. Blackwood on Jan 15, 2017 19:32:41 GMT -6
So in an effort to get to know some of the people and the shows around the VPN I started reading Audition. Since it is a webisode series the shorter episodes made it less daunting as a starting point, even through it is into it's fifth sequence now (and hopefully I got all that virtual series terminology right!). I've actually read sequences 1-4 (and no, I don't read that fast, I started reading before I officially became a member) and just read 5.01, so I figured I'd include a little 'what I think of Audition so far' section before trying my hand at a proper review for 23 days.
Audition Sequences 1-4
So I'll be totally honest, Audition's genre and story probably isn't something I'd normally watch or read so that may colour my opinions and how I've perceived the series. That said, it was a very easy read and I did enjoy it for the most part.
One thing I noticed reading the whole backlog of episodes in a very short time was that your storylines and the characters have matured, for lack of a better term, with each new sequence. I found the series to be a little over the top and silly with the humour at first and felt the juxtaposition between that and some of the really serious storylines that played out in the first sequence or two didn't do the storytelling any favours. As you've progressed through the story though, that humour has kind of settled down into something that works a lot better with the drama aspect of the series and I found myself enjoying the later sequences a lot more because of that.
Character development has also been something that has improved a lot as you progressed through sequences. I felt that a lot of the characters outside your main cast (Alex, Alisha, Michael, and Paula) were very two dimensional in the first and second sequences, but in the current sequences side characters seem a lot more rounded out with interesting facets in their personality. Mia is probably my favourite example of this, where she was introduced as a typical bitchy young actor but over time it becomes clear that while she is bitchy and a little self serving, she can also be sympathetic and cares about her friends. Basically, with Mia I liked how you made her a character people can identify with and root for without doing a total one-eighty on her personality to make her likable.
Alex and Alisha have been solid leads and I'm always a fan of male/female relationships that aren't pushed as something romantic. Sometimes it's nice seeing just a solid friendship, which is what you provided with them. Admittedly I don't know much about acting and Hollywood so I can't comment on all their acting and filmmaking work, but I do like that they didn't, and you could arguably say still haven't, found much success yet and still need to work really hard to achieve their dreams, which seems to be an underlying theme for them. With their fair share of drama and arguments it's nice seeing them always come back to each other and they are both great gateways into this world you've build for Audition.
Michael I'm not really fussed about either way, and I know that's so horrible to say but there's nothing about him that has really grabbed me. He's felt very reactive for most of these sequences but I did start to enjoy some of his scenes in sequence four when he wanted to start working on scriptwriting. And, despite Michael not being a favourite character of mine, his scenes with the two pot smoking women who wanted write and film something were quite possibly the scenes I've found the funniest so far in Audition. Hopefully with Michael taking on a bit more of an active 'go get'ed' attitude I'll warm up to him a lot more.
Paula is the last major character I'm going to talk about or I'll be writing for ages! I felt Paula suffered a little from that two-dimensional thing I mentioned earlier in the beginning. I felt like she was only there to be crazy and outlandish which, personally, I found a little grating because I prefer a more subtle style of humour, especially in written works where you can't see and actor pulling of the physical movements/actions that may have made it funny to watch as opposed to read. That said, like most of the other characters, Paula has developed through the seasons and I feel like her craziness has been toned down to the point where I can appreciate it as a character trait of hers without feeling like I'm being hit over the head by it every time she enters a scene. I've gotten some genuine laughs out of some of her dialogue in the later seasons, even if I do find some of it still a little over the top.
On the technical writing front, I've noticed there's usually a couple of missing words or other typos/grammar per episode and while it's normally not a bother sometimes it really sticks out like a sore thumb and takes me out of the action. So as some constructive criticism I would just say make sure to watch out for those, because it makes for some really weird sentences or dialogue!
In conclusion, while Audition isn't my normal cup of tea it's enjoyable enough that I'd be happy to continue reading to see what happens to these characters. It's obvious that the series is improving with every sequence so I look forward to seeing what happens in sequence five and the storylines and character development that await!
5.01 | 23 Days Review
Okay, now to try and test out my reviewing ability on a single episode.
The first thing I want to point out is that I really enjoyed the flow of this episode. It read really easily and I didn't even realise until I got to the end that it was quite a few pages longer than a normal episode. To try and structure my review I'm going to break it down into the major storylines for the episode, so here we go:
Alisha and Alex
So as mentioned in my big Audition review I really like Alex and Alisha's relationship. It was nice to see them hanging out here and seeing Alex looking after Alisha who was very, very intoxicated. It was a pity Alisha was so drunk she wasn't able to take note of Alex opening up to her, but like it was mentioned in the dialogue, I don't think he would have said anything if he though she might actually be paying attention. I believe Alex spoke to Rose about how he was feeling a little bit in the last sequence, but it seems like his emotional state at the moment is running the very real risk of dipping into depression if it hasn't already. Also, here's hoping that this going out and drinking a lot trend isn't something Alex and Alisha use to try and deal with emotions they don't want to have.
Mia and David
I really, really like Mia and David's scenes. They just seem really genuine together here, what with Mia trying to learn all that comic book knowledge because she knows David likes it, and David really taking Mia's advice on board and trusting that she's trying to help him. Probably my favourite scenes in this episode.
Not too much going on here, but it's nice to see Rose pushing Robbie and Flynn to do more with their band and maybe take a few more steps closer to their dreams.
Paula and Michael
In a turn of events, Michael is the one dropping by unexpectedly at Paula's house. Obviously there are some feelings now happening between these two that either weren't there or were going unrealised before. It's been fairly obvious through the past sequences that this was probably where Paula and Michael were heading but I guess now the story evolves into 'will they act on it' and possibly even 'will it work'. I can't say this really came as a surprise, more of a 'oh, we're finally here!' moment, but I'm curious to see your take on this popular romance trope.
Overall a good episode to start a season as it opens up a lot of doors and poses a number of questions to be explored through the rest of the sequence. A good re-intoducton to all the characters and where they're at. Hopefully I'll be able to read and review some more episodes for you soon.
Post by A. Blackwood on Jan 15, 2017 18:08:16 GMT -6
So I just finished writing the first episode of a webisode series I would like to pitch here on the VPN. I was actually surprised at how easily I was able to get into it and get the whole thing done! I just need to do some editing now and hopefully I will have a pitch and pilot for you all to look at soon.
Post by A. Blackwood on Jan 12, 2017 0:23:00 GMT -6
This series looks really interesting Darrin and I'm looking forward to reading it! I love fantasy (and by extension supernatural) so this sounds like it would be right up my alley. Hopefully I'll be able to provide you with a couple of reviews once I start reading.