Tag Archives: Black Mirror

Jonjo’s Best Of 2018!

2018 has come and gone! While we have massive events such as Avengers: Endgame, the return of Mr. Robot and the new core Pokemon RPG to make this year an awesome one, this is the perfect time to reflect on what I thought was the best of the past 12 months!

Which film did I most enjoy? What was the best book I read? Which show on Netflix was my go-to binge? What TV show made a massive impact to me away from the online giant? These questions and more are about to be answered in the First Annual Singing Whovian Awards For Excellence And Quality!

Best Film – Avengers: Infinity War

This was not easy! 2018 brought us such gems as Black Panther, Creed II, Mission Impossible: Fallout and Bohemian Rhapsody which I am sure will all do well when it comes to the award season in the US. But, for me, the culmination of ten years in the MCU being presented in this epic movie could not be ignored.

Beginning with Thanos taking down the Asgardian refuge ship and killing half of those on board, we see him begin his quest to wipe out half of all life as he sacrifices everything to achieve this goal. Iron Man, The Guardians Of The Galaxy and the other Avengers all come out to fight in this film which truly is bigger than any other that has come before it.

Could you get a more sympathetic yet terrifying antagonist than Thanos? Has there truly been a better film series which has managed to bring together such a huge list of characters that fans have loved over the past decade? Anthony and Joe Russo show that Marvel Studios can not only create a brilliant film, but have truly made the biggest shocker since Luke Skywalker found out his Dad was Darth Vader!

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Best TV show – Better Call Saul

Well, who thought this would happen? Could it be possible that the spin-off to one of the most successful TV shows of all time may actually be just as good or maybe even better than its predecessor? The tale of Jimmy McGill took possibly its most dramatic step this year as Jimmy has to deal with the loss of his brother and try to get his licence back to practice law.

With Season Four taking the biggest time jump so far, we see Jimmy and Kim slowly grow apart as the lives they live continue to divide them as the Saul Goodman persona begins to emerge as a force to be reckoned with. Kim tries to support Jimmy the best way she can, but can she possibly save him from the man he is destined to become?

While the couple may be on the rocks, we also get to see Gustavo Fring as he begins to grow his empire with the help of the fantastic Mike as he has to deal with the operations and tie up the lose ends. Also, as the series prepares for its fifth season, will we see the show eventually come up to Breaking Bad or even fully embrace a more sequel-based setting? I would like to see the show meet a satisfying conclusion with the chance to tie up all storylines for the man we have come to know as “Slippin’ Jimmy”.

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Best Netflix Film – Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

2019 may be the year we will get the new series of Black Mirror emerge on Netflix, but I can’t see many people would have expected this to emerge. A late Christmas present from the streaming giant was definitely welcome when Netflix announced that Bandersnatch was to premiere on the 28th December…but the biggest surprise was yet to come.

When the film premiered, it was later discovered that you could choose the path that the episode was to follow. Whether it was what cereal that central character Stefan would start his day with, what cassette would be blasting from his Walkman or even how you would finish a fight scene, Charlie Brooker has given us yet another classic.

While we may be waiting till later in 2019 for a full Season Five of the hit show, I can safely say that this special will keep many people entertained for hours while they attempt to get all the endings.

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Best Netflix TV Show – BoJack Horseman

Can you believe we have already had five seasons of this fantastic series? BoJack Horseman is the perfect show to blend comedy, drama, speak about everyday issues such as anxiety and depression and also involve anthropomorphic animals who inhabit the world that is so similar to our own. If you’ve never seen the show before, its main star is a Horse-Man who used to star in a sitcom which was a big hit and he now gets by each day as a semi-functioning alcoholic with more mummy issues than Norman Bates.

Will Arnett continues to shine as the troubled star who has to not only deal with his own personal demons, but he also has to get through the loss of his mother in what is possibly one of the finest episodes of TV that I have ever witnessed. The supporting cast all bring their best performances in this season, whether its Alison Brie as Diane begins to deal with her split from Mr. Peanutbutter or even Rami Malek or Stephanie Beatriz for their roles as the workforce behind BoJack’s new series called Philbert.

I honestly could not have thought anything would have beaten season four of this fine show, but Arnett and the rest of the stars are all on top form. BoJack Horseman continues to tackle themes that many other shows would never touch, yet we seem to take it in just as much with these animated creations as we would if the people were real. Bring on Season Six!

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Best Playstation 4 Game – Spider-Man

The PS4 has been possibly the greatest console to come out from Sony, with many games that push the boundaries of what we would consider the standard. In the last few years we have had Bloodborne terrify the masses, The Last Of Us bring people to tears and even the latest God Of War show that it just gets better and better.

Truly, the best of all these in my opinions is Spider-Man! The 2018 game which reinvents all we know about the wall-crawler and provides possibly one of the tightest and most enjoyable gaming experiences ever. The game looks visually amazing and it handles almost as well as a certain caped crusader and his series of games set around the famous prison based in his world.

While not the most original idea brought to the console, the execution of the title character and his world is just stunning. The story is indeed a unique one to any Spider-Man canon that has come before it and I am sure there will be millions of people eagerly awaiting the sequel when it his the Playstation 5 in the future!

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Best XBOX ONE Game – Dragonball FighterZ

This is not a console exclusive, its not the biggest title of the year and it may actually not have sold super well compared to others, but I really really really loved this game. Taking on a more hand-drawn style that reflects the anime has really gone in FighterZ favour to produce the most exciting figher of the year.

While it has come out on the PS4 and also amazed me on the Nintendo Switch too, it is the XBOX ONE which sees it really shine with the 4K visuals on the XBOX ONE X and just bringing back the greatest memories of watching the show. When you get such seemless gameplay and beautiful art design like this, how could you not love it?

Including some great multiplayer options and a story mode from original creator Akira Toriyama is indeed the greatest strength of this game. It takes what has come before from titles in the Budokai and Xenoverse series and really puts you into the action in a way that has never been possible before.

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Best Nintendo Switch Game – Super Smash Bros Ultimate

Was there any other choice? Octopath Traveler was a deep tale with some of the best music in video game history, the Bayonetta 2 port was so much fun to play through and Pokemon: Let’s Go Pikachu was a fun nostalgic trip to Kanto and I loved throwing all my Meltan into the park. While these games scored high for me, I got my biggest joy from bashing buttons as I took either Kirby or Richter Belmont to victory against the 70+ challengers over them 100+ stages.

When this game was first announced, my only experience in the Smash realm was with the Wii edition in the late 2000’s. But with each Nintendo Direct, the excitement just kept getting higher. The idea of throwing these characters from countless franchises to see them fight it out on these wacky stages shouldn’t be so appealing, but it does work well.

Whether you play alone, with friends or with that pro online who kicks your arse every single time, you can’t help but love this game. It’s simple and complex at the same time. It is visually beautiful and straightforward to play.

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Best Book – The Walking Dead Vol. 30: New World Order

I will admit, I haven’t read a lot of books that actually came out this year. The Walking Dead comic series has got a book edition every six months and never fails to succeed in terms of storytelling, intrigue and character development. For a comic that has been going for over 15 years, the concept is still as fresh as ever and the latest chapter has been indeed ambitious.

As Eugene leads the group to Ohio, the survivors are invited to a community that has many people within its walls, approximately 250,000. While the gang begin to learn about the people in Ohio, Michonne discovers that her daughter has come to this settlement and may still be alive.

Like any Walking Dead story, you find that it is the living characters that are dangerous and unpredictable. Where the story will surely only develop further in the next volume, it is good to see more characters enter the fray such as the unhinged ‘Princess’ and the Commonwealth’s governor Pamela Milton (not another Governor!!!!!). Bring on book 31!

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That was my list, did you agree with any of my picks? Are you upset that I didn’t include Red Dead Redemption 2 on my list of games or that I left Venom out of the running? Let me know.

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

Black Mirror – Bandersnatch. REVIEW

Netflix, how do you do it? You bring back possibly my favourite show on your platform with the choose-your-own-adventure format and I admittedly had a great time watching this epic. With many choices, both seemingly meaningless but fun and the more tough and game-changing decisions blend well to create a tale which is as fun to watch as it is to play.

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We are taken to 1984 in this film/special when we meet Stefan, a programmer who is attempting to make a video game of Bandersnatch, a book that allows its reader to choose the path they take. While Stefan looks to take this idea to the video game company Tuckersoft, he also begins to develop a friendship of sorts with creator extraordinaire Colin Ritman. While the story starts off fairly relaxed, the mystery and the intrigue behind the characters and the world they live in slowly takes you as your choices truly shape the world you see.

I really don’t want to give too much away, but even from the first mundane decision you make, it will impact on what you are seeing from that very moment. From choosing the music you hear and even the way you deal with some big revelations is just hard to think you are actually making a right decision. This film is possibly best described as in the same vain as a release from Telltale Games, most notably The Walking Dead and Batman: The Enemy Within.

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While the storytelling method may be unconventional, it does keep you hooked throughout. Though Charlie Brooker’s writing is as sharp, funny and terrifying as ever, you can’t ignore the impressive cast involved. Fionn Whitehead impresses as Stefan and the ever-fantastic Will Poulter really does a great job in a role I wish I could describe more. Also, Craig Parkinson (one of the greatest actor’s in Britain and awesome in ‘MisFits’) takes the role of Stefan’s Dad and his story also can be made dependent of what you decide.

The episode is also crammed with easter eggs and references to the past, with more than a few mentions used in the video games presented and even a couple of images that will be familiar to fans who have stuck around since the beginning. Similar to the episode ‘Black Museum’, the episode likes to remind you of the show’s past and not cram it down your throat.

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While we may not have Season Five just yet, this is the perfect taster to prepare us for the next lot of episodes that will be unleashed upon the world in 2019. But until we get this next lot, I will happily keep that tape cassette playing that certain band and I look to see every option that is possible.

Final rating: 9/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

 

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The 12 Best TV Characters Of The Past Year

TV has once again gone all out to entertain us all. This year has shown more great revelations, some gripping edge-of-your-seat moments and the most baffling of all, the renewal of Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. for a fifth season (WHY!!!!!!!!!!!). But, we know that after the writing for the shows, it all comes down to the actors and actresses who bring our favourite characters to life. I am happy to share with you the characters who have stuck out for me in the last year, and who I think make these shows so good!

Jeffrey Dean Morgan – Negan on The Walking Dead

How could I not put this guy on the list? Jeffrey Dean Morgan managed to not only become a fan favourite within minutes, he took out two full time characters with thanks to Lucille in his first full episode. Negan has spent most of season seven being the one man you don’t f**k with. Morgan showcases a new kind of charisma and installs a fear which hasn’t been seen on the show previously. With season eight promising to be one very tense showdown, look forward to seeing Negan front and centre of this list next year!

Pearl Mackie – Bill on Doctor Who

It was going to be tough to get someone who could fit into the shoes of Jenna Coleman’s Clara, but then we didn’t know what Pearl Mackie was going to bring. With Bill, we got a great new companion who is clued up and ready to challenge everything. There was a lot of focus on Bill being a lesbian, but this is hardly scratching the surface. Even though the series hasn’t finished yet, Bill looks to be one of the best new companions of all time!

Tom Hardy – James Keziah Delaney on Taboo

Tom Hardy is indeed able to make almost any character he plays a fantastic one to watch, and James Delaney is no exception. Given Hardy co-created the show, he manages to make Delaney a great person that you would be happy to have on your side, and will never be able to turn your back if you ever cross him. He has survived years in a wild land, being shot and…long enough to make it to season two! I…CAN’T…WAIT!

Ian McShane – Mr Wednesday on American Gods

American Gods was a show I waited to see for years. Based on my favourite ever novel, the series focuses on an ex-convict Shadow who is caught up in a battle between the old gods and the new. While Ricky Whittle plays Shadow well, it’s Ian McShane who steals the show as the man who can out-con even the most experienced scam artist. Mr. Wednesday is one of the most unique characters in the show, he manages to shine in every scene and provides plenty of laughs amongst the gritty and bloody moments of this awesome show!

Bryce Dallas Howard – Lacie Pound on Black Mirror ‘Nosedive’

There are a lot of great characters in Season 3 of Black Mirror, it was hard to narrow it down to one. Where I really enjoyed Jerome Flynn and Alex Lawther in ‘Shut Up and Dance’ and Gugu Mbatha-Raw in ‘San Junipero’, it was Bryce who really got under my skin and won me over. She is hungry for attention and the Instagram-like app that takes over the lives of so many in this episode is one that many can relate to. To see her flying so high to suddenly crashing into obscurity was a sight to behold. ‘Nosedive’ may not be the best episode, but it had the best character.

Grant Gustin – Barry Allen/The Flash on The Flash

OK, I am sure I have placed Grant Gustin on a list previously, but he does deserve a lot of recognition this year. Season Three may not have been an overall strong series, but there was plenty to applaud from Barry Allen. In this series, he had to fight the “god” Savitar, find a way to stop his fiancée Iris from being killed and then face off with himself in the future and in the present. We see someone who lives with the pain of creating Flashpoint and basically changing the Arrowverse forever in a way where it will never be the same again. Also, we need that cliffhanger solved!

Jessica Henwick – Colleen Wing on Iron Fist

Before anyone says anything, I do really like Iron Fist. It doesn’t compare to Daredevil or Jessica Jones, but it is enjoyable and a worthy addition to the line-up. While I am sure Finn Jones will shine more in The Defenders, it is Jessica Henwick who really stands out in this series. This girl can handle her own in a fight and shows she isn’t a damsel in distress. Also, we know her fight scenes in that cage were some of the best the show offered! Please keep Colleen in this universe!

Grace Gummer – Dominique DiPierro on Mr. Robot

Mr. Robot is one of them shows that I got hooked on, I remember binge-watching the show during the summer and I couldn’t get enough of it. While the first season got us to learn about Elliot, Darlene, Angela and Mr. Robot, the second season gave us someone who wants to take them down! Grace Gummer is an actress I have never really seen before, but she made Dominique DiPierro one of the most engaging characters the show has had so far. She is shown at her most vulnerable and we become so familiar with her that we hope she will succeed at the end of the day!

Justin Roiland – Rick Sanchez on Rick and Morty

Ok, only one episode has been shown of Season Three, but how bloody good was it? To see Rick and Morty back was a great delight and Justin Roiland has been missed very much. While Morty and Summer both do really well, it is Rick who gets the nod as we are believed to be seeing his life before he became the twisted genius that we now know. ‘The Rickshank Rickdemption’ has us laughing, gasping and lapping up every moment. It’s not everyday you can outshine Nathan Fillion, but you did it!

Dan Mintz – Tina Belcher on Bob’s Burgers

I love Bob’s Burgers. It is easily the best animated show from Fox at the moment (The Simpsons and Family Guy really need to pick their game up!). All the characters are so fun and give a lot to us in each episode, but my choice is Tina for one reason, you can’t help but love her. She lives like any teenager, but maybe is a bit more odd than what you may have been like. She’s eaten cat food (watch and you will understand), worked to get her own phone and even made some rather humorous fan-fiction. However you see her, Tina is truly the heart of the show and it would not be the same without her!

Sian Gibson – Kayleigh on Peter Kay’s Car Share

I have said before how much I love this show and I would say Kayleigh is probably the main reason. She is adorable, naïve, silly and fun. You fall in love with her just seeing her interactions in that car with her buddy John. In series two, we get to see the duo reunite and their “friendship” is getting a lot of people talking, you really want them to come closer. Then you have that last scene of the series, where you think John has finally sweeped Kayleigh off her feet and admitted his feelings…then it turns out to be a dream! PLEASE PLEASE PETER KAY, DON’T LET IT END THIS WAY!

Bob Odenkirk – Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman on Better Call Saul

When it first began, I honestly thought Better Call Saul was going to suffer as a show. Following Breaking Bad was never going to be easy, but luckily enough, the writing and the character portrayals have managed to almost make this its own entity even though you know how it must all end. While there are so many to choose from, the lead is definitely the strongest this time. He has done all he can to keep out of jail, prove his Brother is a deceptive scumbag and he continues his journey to becoming the criminal lawyer we know and somehow like to see!

OK, I said 12, but there is one more I want to mention!

Alanna Masterson – Tara Chambler on The Walking Dead

I find it sad that many wanted to bully or moan at this actress. Alanna is a lovely human being who truly shows her worth in this show! Tara begins this season away from the group with Heath on a supply run when Negan deals with the rest of the gang. During this time, we see Tara go on her own adventure when she ends up at Oceanside, a community that has only women after all their men were killed by the saviors. Tara not only has to deal with the group (who nearly kills her too) but she also becomes key to helping Alexandria prepare for a war with Negan. Also, she is a little bit of light in a show where many characters have shown or now live in their dark side. I don’t care what anyone says, Tara is a superb character and deserves more recognition and for those who bully Alanna online either for her portrayal or physical look (she looks fine, she just had a baby and that does not affect her acting, trolls need to get a life and f**k off!) you need to grow up! I look forward to see what Alanna does next on the show!

What do you think of this list? Is there anyone who you would put on here? Let me know!

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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The Biggest Moments On TV In The Last Year

This could be filled with some major spoilers, so read at your own leisure.

An EYE Popping Display – Gotham

after a number of deaths and multiple story threads, we finally get to see Miss Mooney as she goes from being at the top of her game to becoming a prisoner. When she is held by The Dollmaker and his mercenaries, she knows that they are taking body parts. Knowing they require an eye, she goes to scoop it out with a spoon and stomps on it. Not as graphic as you may think, but seeing an eyeball squashed is not a pretty sight (not an attempt at a joke there).

Jimmy Vs. Tuco: Battle For The Twins – Better Call Saul

Before becoming Saul Goodman, Jimmy McGill was a struggling lawyer who tried his best to climb the ladder. One scam he tried to pull went wrong when he hired Cal and Lars to do a “hit and run” con. The con goes wrong when they try to trick the grandmother of Tuco Salamanca. Tuco then abducts Jimmy and the twins and threatens to kill them all for the scam. Jimmy gets out of it because of his Lawyer status, and then manages to leave the twins with a broken leg each instead of a bullet in the head.

The Black Canary Comes Crashing Out Of The Sky – Arrow

Season Three of Arrow has provided many big moments. We had the return of Slade Wilson, the rebirth of a character via the Lazarus Pit and the exposure of Oliver Queen’s secret identity to the one man who could destroy him. But, in the opening episode we saw Sara Lance as she was confronted by a mystery assailant (worth checking out who did it) who then went to shoot arrows into her chest and Sara then fell from a rooftop to the ground below, and was found by her sister Laurel. A shock death, which may be far from the end if the Legends Of Tomorrow trailer is anything to go by.

Danny Dies…And Dies Again! – Doctor Who

Series Eight of Doctor Who was a big curve. We got a new Doctor in the form of Peter Capaldi and we also got some great stories in the form of ‘Listen’ and ‘Flatline’. But, we had possibly one of the most shocking moments when Clara Oswald’s boyfriend Danny Pink died after getting hit by a car. Death is not final, as we see Danny’s mind (attempt to) and body changed to become a Cyberman. The tragic character then gets a chance to finally shine as he saves the world from destruction and sacrifices himself to free the world from the plan created by Missy.

A Massive Headache For One Series Regular – The Walking Dead

Beth Greene has unfortunately never had a huge presence in her time on the show. Actress Emily Kinney is such a sweet star and I think demanded more of a role, which is possibly why it wasn’t until the prison was destroyed that Beth really shined. After being kidnapped, she ends up in a hospital in Atlanta and finds it is led by a group of survivors (a number of them formally cops). The leader Dawn is seen to take interest in Beth, and manipulates her to help her plans. Eventually, the two come head to head and Beth stabs Dawn out of anger with a pair of scissors. Dawn instinctively shoots Beth in the head and is shocked herself at her actions, which results in Daryl putting a bullet through Dawn’s head.

Bunkie Takes A Dunkie – Empire

Probably one of the biggest surprises in this TV season, Empire came from nowhere and became one of the most talked about shows of the year. Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson lead the fantastic cast about a former couple who own a record company and Howard’s character Lucious Lyon looks to name a successor between his three sons after he receives news that he has ALS. With all the clashes between brothers and the arrival of scene-stealer Cookie, it is when we see Lucious gun down Bunkie (Cookie’s cousin and his assistant) after Bunkie threatens him for three million dollars. Can you come back after committing murder?

Getting The Truth Without Saying A Word – Black Mirror

Black Mirror returned over Christmas with an extended special. We first see the two stars Matt (Jon Hamm) and Joe (Rafe Spall) as they are in a remote outpost. It is Christmas and they share stories about their pasts. It isn’t until the end we learn that the remote location is not real, and is in fact a digital creation which houses a copy of Joe’s consciousness. Matt is hired to learn the truth about the death of his former father-in-law and the child Joe believed to be his daughter. When the copy of Joe’s mind finally admits his part in the deaths, the real Joe is then arrested and Matt is then allowed to go after his own troubled past saw him arrested.

Foggy Can’t Turn A Blind Eye – Daredevil

Matt Murdock gets into a rather bad fight; he winds up nearly dead after facing off against Wilson Fisk. Struggling to get to safety after the attack, Matt escapes home before he succumbs to the injuries he has suffered. Matt then collapses in his apartment just as Foggy arrives there to go and see him. Foggy is shocked to see that the intruder in the apartment is actually his long-time friend. The shock is hard to take for Foggy, but the emotions really flare up when Matt is patched up and they finally begin to talk. It is at this time that Daredevil really hit a peak, and we get to see a friendship come to pieces.

The Snow Finally Falls – Game Of Thrones

Well, this is only a surprise if you hadn’t read the books beforehand (or saw the internet at any time between 2011 and now). Jon Snow met his end when the men of the nightwatch acted out mutiny against their Lord Commander and all got their opportunity to stab him “…For The Watch”. Whether or not this truly is the end for Jon Snow remains to be seen as the storylines in the books have very much been seen on screen up to date. 2016 should see what happens next in both Season Six of Game Of Thrones and the sixth book ‘The Winds Of Winter’. For now, let us remember that solemn oath…

“Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night’s Watch, for this night and all the nights to come.”

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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