Avatar: The Last Airbender, Book 1 Review



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Review:

Avatar: The Last Airbender is not just one of the best children’s tv shows I’ve ever seen, it’s one of the best tv shows, period. The worldbuilding and character development are amazing, the animation quality is good (and sometimes outstanding), and there’s an enjoyable blend of action, humor, adventure, and more.

I do consider Book One to be the weakest season overall, but it’s still highly enjoyable, for the whole family.

My rating: (4 / 5)

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The Borgias Season Three Review



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Review:

With Juan out of the picture, Cesare’s transformation into “The Prince” of Machiavelli’s famous political treatise is well underway and season three of The Borgias really belongs to him… and Francois Arnaud.

Cesare finally consummates his incestuous passion for his sister Lucrezia, raises his own personal army when his father refuses to give him control of the Papal Army, douses a traitor with sulfur and sets him alight, and generally becomes a force to be reckoned with for everyone from his old nemesis Caterina Sforza to the new King and Queen of France to his own father. His arc is compelling, well acted, and produces some of the best television of the show’s entire run.

On the downside, poor Lucrezia spends much of the season stuck in Naples with a wet blanket husband and his comically evil relatives (none of whom, alas, are even a tenth the fun of Augustus Prew’s cackling Alfonso back in season one), and you can almost feel Neil Jordan and his writers losing interest in some of the secondary characters. Giulia and della Rovere virtually disappear, and Micheletto gets saddled with a ludicrously improbable gay romance. Even Alexander himself gets a rather mixed bag, plot-wise, though a fairly entertaining one. (Madwomen! Scheming Jews! Murder in the consistory!)

Sadly, the fun is never to continue, as the show was cancelled by Showtime. Though uneven throughout its run, when The Borgias was good, it was very, very good, and its premature cancellation was a sad loss to its fans, and to television.

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My rating: (4 / 5)

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The Borgias Season Two Review



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Review:

Season two continues the saga of the Borgia family with enemies regrouping all around. Again, there are a few problems with pacing (most notably with the interminable and boring subplot about Lucrezia’s Genovese suitor and his brother in the second half of the season), but the season also contains some of the show’s best episodes. In particular, season 2 makes much better use of the awesome “Tigress of Forli,” Caterina Sforza (Gina McKee), than the first season did, and the tensions between Cesare, Juan, and Lucrezia come to a head.

My rating: (4 / 5)
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The Borgias Season One Review



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Review:

The Borgias is one of my favorite tv shows of recent years. Though its historical accuracy is mixed at best, it’s well acted, mostly well scripted, and gorgeous to look at in every respect. Jeremy Irons looks like he’s having the most fun of his career chewing the scenery as the notorious Borgia pope, Alexander VI, but the breakout star of the cast for me was Francois Arnaud as Rodrigo’s son Cesare.

The show did suffer a bit from uneven pacing throughout its run, and season one is no exception, but overall it was a strong start.

My rating: (4 / 5)

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