When it comes to TELEVISION, normally I’m not much of a binge-watcher. But last week I was stuck at home for two days straight, and my only options were

  1. Spend all day navel gazing, and feeling sorry for myself or
  2. Try to sidetrack myself through the power of Netflix.

I’d seen a trailer a while back for “The Umbrella Academy” that fascinated me, so I thought, “Why not give it a shot?”

I wound up binging on the show and I have not quit thinking about it since. While “The Umbrella Academy” might not be for everyone, it absolutely got my interest. Now it could be because I’m a fan of the superhero genre, but the personalities and characters are just so engaging I couldn’t drag myself away and had to see how it finished.

I do not think I have actually ever before seen a program like “The Umbrella Academy.” Probably the absolute best method to cover one’s mind around it is to consider it as a fantastically eccentric mix of the X-Men meets Harry Potter with a bit of The X-Files thrown into the mix. It has some enjoyable, silly scenes throughout. It also offers some heartbreaking as well as remarkably dark sequences.

To summarize the story: in 1989, roughly 43 females all over the world became pregnant. This happened simultaneously. Now while this might not be surprising, they also gave birth to children that very same day. A somewhat mystical billionaire – Sir Reginald Hargreeves – takes on 7 of these children as well as develops “The Umbrella Academy,” an institution for training superheroes.

“The Umbrella Academy” is the perfect job for Netflix. This concept possibly would have really felt rushed as well as unfulfilling in a two-hour movie as it needs time to really explore the characters. In addition, regular television networks with their 20 episode seasons would have dragged this to death – look at what happened to Heroes Reborn for example. The 10-episode very first period really feels excellent; you get to dive deeply into the personalities yet the story maintains a decent clip without any unnecessary filler episodes.

Both unsociable and also rigorous, Hargreeves supplies the youngsters numbers instead of names. He is also not reluctant to place them in harm’s way as a means of training and education. He suspects that the youngsters’s weird beginnings have actually offered them all distinct powers … with the exception of Number 7, that shows up totally normal as well as is frequently left out of her bro or sis’ journeys.

Naturally this training does not specifically engender a cozy feeling between the brother or sisters, as they at some point go their own way. It’s not till the unpredicted fatality of their papa that they are rejoined together. While the death of dear old ‘dad’ might be what brings them together, they have to come up with a way of stopping an oncoming Armageddon.

The characters are all unique and interesting in their own rights. Each has a unique gift or story which we gradually get introduced to over the course of the series.

There is Vanya/Number 7, that differs from her siblings in that she was birthed without any special power. She has in fact educated to wind up being a violinist as well as is trying to make tranquility with her past. Naturally, there is much more to Vanya and under the surface than Vanya herself understands.

Klaus/Number 4 is a shocking addict that acts not to value anyone or anything, yet is in fact simply terrified of his power to talk with the dead. Number 5 (that’s never ever provided one more name) is a world-weary grown-up embedded in a teen’s body, and also Ben/Number 6 with the power of a beast.

Luther/Number 1 struggles to be the accountable one, trying to maintain the goals of the Umbrella Academy long after every person else has actually surrendered as well as come to be frustrated with their daddy’s initial vision. Diego/Number 2 is a crime-fighting vigilante with temper issues, while Allison/Number 3 is a renowned starlet with an excellent heart as well as a brilliant smile … as well as the power to force individuals to do anything she needs simply by whispering some words.

These brief descriptions do not actually do the characters justice, but I do not wish to hand out much of the plot. I loved each of these characters and the journeys that they went on. Even though I did see many of the plot twists coming, that didn’t eliminate from the effect of the story.

While the Hargreeves brother or sisters are the stars of the show, there are some enjoyable side characters as well, particularly the time-traveling assassins Hazel and Cha-Cha. To say more about them would, regrettably, also involve spoilers.

While the story is certainly going to continue in a 2nd season, it has an ending that is satisfying enough that I will not be going nuts for a year until the next chapter in the story is launched. I highly advise giving “The Umbrella Academy” a shot!

Amazon Prime’s Hanna: reintroduces the visitor to the story-line of the original film in direct style, foregoing the flash-backs used in the source material. Though this story-telling choice alleviates the episode, not every narrative and editorial-choice works similarly.

The method Erik Heller (Joel Kinnaman) infiltrates the modern infant baby room in Woodland is suspicious i.e. it’s far too simple. The staging of the exfiltration from the crashed vehicle right into the forest is down-right terrible. Exactly How did Erik Heller leave the car with a baby in his arms without Marissa Wiegler (Mireille Enos) seeing him?

The reality that quick TV editing and enhancing is used to promote this escape is unfortunate. Why could not David Farr intelligently create Erik and the child out of the scenario? Rather, a cut and paste editing work is employed to do so, which teases the viewer’s suspension of disbelief. When dad as well as child are ensconced in their forest house, this pressure on the well-known reality of the episode quickly dissipates.

This episode of Hanna is an origin story. It reveals where all of Hanna Heller (Esme Creed-Miles)’s abilities have actually originated from and exactly how they are feasible. There are various other genetic gifts, that are hinted at in the episode yet their full capabilities are not explored.

Forest has many surprises in its succinct storyline, among which specifying to girls of Hanna’s age. Hanna has her first menstrual cycle throughout the episode. From her response to it (touching her privates, smelling her blood-smeared fingers, sampling them), her father really did not prepare her for this. No matter whether he told her about it or otherwise, Hanna does not share the occasion with him.

This pattern, of concealing, maybe has actually only emerged as Hanna has actually grown. Or possibly she inherently recognized to keep this specific occasion to herself. I think it is the former as a result of what else happens in Woodland.

https://youtu.be/wp6myRLnhAs

The training montage in Forest is upgraded from the film version as well. It evokes memories of wilderness-based survival and determination educational program a Special Forces soldier could be put through.

It is ingenious as well as arduous, designed to develop strength, accuracy, hand-to-hand, marksmanship, and also endurance battle combating ability.
Hanna’s all-natural interest regarding the outdoors world starts in the second and also third acts of the episode. It is that interest that brings Hannibal Barca to their gates, exposing Hanna and also her papa to the outside world. Though informed in soldier craft, what Erik fails to teach Hanna, as well as what causes the failure of their woodland existence, is not effectively teaching her concerning the outdoors (e.g. about aircrafts, helicopters, music, courtship, candy bars, etc.), enough so that interest in it is quelled. Rather, the outside world is left ambiguous as well as Hanna’s interest and creative imagination.

Hanna’s naivete to the threats she has been safeguarded from is puerile however genuine. She suggests no harm but causes tremendous damages. Eating the nugget, talking with somebody apart from her father for the very first time, letting herself be touched, all new, attractive experiences, as well as all not what they proclaim e.g. a splendid new globe.

Marissa Wiegler, on the other hand, may be called lots of things but unaware and also inexperienced are not among them. A reconnaissance expert, Marissa’s skills are minimized in Forest with most of the narrative arc focused of Eric and Hannah. Marissa has yet to bare her claws. There is little doubt that those sinister talons exist but for this episode of Hanna, they are covered. What is on screen in Woodland is Marissa’s mind as well as her ability to think ahead while covering herself and also her activities.

Forest has lots of surprises in its concise story, one of which being particular to women of Hanna’s age. Hanna’s natural inquisitiveness regarding the outdoors world starts essential events. Hanna escapes the boundaries of her woodland haven through ingenuity, stamina, and also will-power. What truly waits for Hanna through her actions is the mournful world of her papa and by Forest’s end, that globe reveals all signs of obtaining darker.

Doctor Who is a long running British science-fiction series. In fact, it’s been nearly ongoing since 1963. The show follows the adventures of an alien from the planet Gallifrey known as The Doctor, who explores the universe in a time-travelling spaceship called a TARDIS. Now, that’s as far as we’ll go with the show’s bio. If you’re a fan of the show then you already know this and if you’re not, well, it just gets stranger (and more fun!) from there.

There have been 851 episodes to date, but we’re limiting our list to the new Doctor Who run (I suppose you could call it a regeneration) which began in 2005 and is affectionately known as ‘New Who’.

The show just finished it’s eleventh season, with Jodie Whittaker taking over as The Doctor (Thirteen), and Chris Chibnall now showrunner.

Change feels good.

Honestly, I haven’t been this excited about Doctor Who since David Tennant (Ten) left, but I do think some of the villains fell a little short of what we’re used to. In fact, most villains this season seemed to be, well, human. I’m all for social commentary, but sometimes you just want a good ol’ monster!

So, let’s countdown the top 5 New Who monsters and villains that I wish Thirteen could face off against as her previous selves once did.

Number #5: The Unknown Entity (Series 4)

When the Doctor visits the resort planet ‘Midnight’, a shuttle trip is scuppered by a break down and the emergence of a bodiless entity which repeats everything anyone says.

What sounds like an annoying playground game becomes very frightening very quickly, and hysteria descends on the Doctor’s travelling group. With Leslie Sharp playing a perfectly possessed passenger, things get really weird when the entity begins predicting what the Doctor says next.

The Unknown Entity

Source: https://docohobigfinish.blogspot.com/2013/10/midnight-written-by-russell-t-davies.html

Soon, the entity switches tactic, possessing the Doctor and forcing him to order his own execution. Terrifying for both Ten and Whovians alike!

Luckily, Ten escapes unscathed but is definitely traumatised. Can’t say I blame him. We never do find out what the entity really was, or how many of them are out there…

Number #4: The Boneless (Series 8)

The Boneless

Source: https://whatelseisonblog.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/flatline-doctor-who/

Two-dimensional beings invading our 3D world and disrupting the laws of size and scale to do it, the Boneless manifest their reality-warping powers in many unsettling forms – from turning one victim’s innards into an abstract mural in one persons’ room, to flattening many others in the walls and tunnels of London.

Their final form is the creepiest, a shambling mass of crawling, barely-there zombies who can only be defeated by the wave of the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver and a heroic speech.

Number #3: Vashta Nerada (Series 4)

Say what you will about Steven Moffat’s time running Doctor Who, he knows how to craft fantastic monsters by amplifying everyday fears into terrifying creatures. Take, for instance, the Vashta Nerada, the invisible creatures that live in the shadows and just wait for you to step out of the light to devour you whole. They’re an inventive creature even when they’re not animating skeletons in spacesuits to chase you down, gobbling up flesh as fast as they do a chicken wing.

Vashta Nerada

Source: https://www.geek.com/television/doctor-who-underrated-villain-of-the-week-vashta-nerada-1708120/

Let’s just thank our lucky stars that, unlike the Weeping Angels, Moffat didn’t run the Vashta Nerada into the ground.

Number #2: The Family of Blood (Series 3)

You don’t need creepy creature effects to make a good monster, and in fact Who often couldn’t afford them.

In season 3’s best two-parter, The Doctor uses a Chameleon Arch to turn human in order to escape the relentless Family of Blood – a group of aliens who seek the regenerative powers of Time Lords.

The Family of Blood

Source: https://tardis.fandom.com/wiki/The_Family_of_Blood_(TV_story)

The way the Family turned innocent people in WWI-era Britain – including a little girl carrying a balloon à la Pennywise from IT – into shrieking villains, made them so intimidating. Perhaps the creepiest thing about them isn’t anything they did, but the fearful rage they brought out in the Doctor himself, as the defeated Family are each subjected to a fairy-tale punishment you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy.

Number #1: Silence (Series 6)

You might think that a face like this is difficult to forget, but that’s exactly the power that the Silence possesses.

Silence
Source: https://zarbi.fandom.com/wiki/The_Silence
Text Box: Source: https://zarbi.fandom.com/wiki/The_Silence

With a look inspired by Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”, the Silence is a religious order which has plagued humanity for centuries, but everyone’s oblivious because it’s impossible to remember them. With electrokinetic powers and the ability to reduce anyone to ash at a moment’s notice, the Silence have supposedly engineered all of human history without us realising.

Which means you might’ve already seen them today. Maybe they’re right behind you, right now.

As a rule, anything which worries the Doctor is something worth worrying about.

Fans of this blog know that I love my strategy games. I’ve spent many an hour trying to defeat different leaders in Civ I to Civ VI and I expect that it will always hold a favorite spot in my heart.

Strategy video games provide gamers with the opportunity to really delve into a game’s world and characters and discover how certain aspects of them work. Some of the best strategy titles encourage resource and people management while others explore city building or wartime battle technique and planning.

Many strategy games often require that they be played online, or at least have a persistent internet connection, but there are still loads of fun titles that can be played entirely offline on mobile, PC, and gaming consoles.

What I have come to realize though is that there are many more strategy games out there to play with and explore so here are a bunch of others that I’ve ended up losing days of my life to.

Best Offline City Sim Strategy Game: Aven Colony

Avon Colony building strategy vidoe game on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.
Team17 

Aven Colony is an offline building sim video game that puts the player in charge of developing, managing, and protecting a human colony on an alien planet. The city planning and resource management will appeal to fans of the Sim City series while the science fiction setting sets it apart with its extreme natural elements and alien lifeforms.

Most-Unique Offline Real-Time Strategy Game: 8-Bit Armies

8-Bit Armies real-time strategy game on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.
 SOEDESCO

8-Bit Armies is a real-time war strategy video game where the player must command an army, research military technology, launch attacks on opponents, and lead their side to victory. The game’s retro-inspired art style is distinctive but also deceptive as there’s a surprising amount of content and depth beneath the cute exterior. This isn’t the basic kids game that it looks like.

The 40 or so single-player campaigns will keep most gamers busy when playing offline, however, the multiplayer is also recommended for those that can get an internet connection.

Best Offline RPG Strategy Game: The Banner Saga 3

The Banner Saga 3 RPG offline strategy video game on Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PS4, and PC.
 Versus Evil

The Banner Saga 3 is a popular strategic roleplaying game (RPG) that has won numerous awards for its strong storytelling, beautifully animated artwork, and strong turn-based gameplay. Each play through promises a unique experience due to the amount of character and game customization on offer and those who have played the first two Banner Saga video games will appreciate the respect for choices made in those games being reflected here.

Best 4K Offline Strategy Game: Halo Wars 2

Halo Wars 2 offline strategy game on Xbox One and Windows 10.
 Microsoft

Halo Wars 2 is a real-time strategy game set within the same universe as the popular Xbox Halo video games. Unlike the main Halo titles though, which are shooters, the Halo Wars series focuses instead on managing armies, building bases, and engaging in epic battles in the traditional top-down real-time strategy format.

There is a strong emphasis on online multiplayer with Halo Wars 2, but the single-player campaign can be played entirely offline and is worth experiencing for its story, characters, and impressive cutscenes which look like something out of a big budget Sci-Fi epic.

Most-Challenging Offline Strategy Game: XCOM 2

XCOM 2 offline strategy video game.
 2K

XCOM 2 is, as its name implies, the sequel to the original hit XCOM video game. Like its predecessor, XCOM 2 is a turn-based strategy game with a strong emphasis on its characters and science fiction storyline and a challenging learning curve that will keep players engaged.

Players can manage their own team of recruits and their individual skills, build facilities to unlock new abilities, and even strategize the best ways to increase support from the populace. There’s a lot more to this strategy video game than its trailers let on.

Best Offline Strategy Game for Anime Fans: Valkyria Chronicles 4

Valkyria Chronicles 4 is the fourth entry in the popular Valkyria Chronicles series of turn-based strategy games but it’s considered more of a direct sequel to the first game than the third due to being set within the same time period.

Valkyria Chronicles 4 is very much equally a roleplaying game as it is a strategy game with players taking control of a group of friends and guiding them through both personal and tactical decisions and even participating in the occasional third-person shooter action sequence.

The hand-drawn art style will appeal to fans of anime and manga series, however, those looking for an offline strategy game with a satisfying story will also find a lot to enjoy here.

Best Offline Strategy Game for Gamers: Game Dev Tycoon

Game Dev Tycoon offline sim strategy video game.
Greenheart Games

Game Dev Tycoon is a simulation strategy game that allows gamers to experience the life and career of game developers from starting out in your garage to opening your own major gaming studio. Players get to partake in every major decision involved in game making such as pitching ideas, researching new tech, responding to negative and positive game reviews, and even firing employees. This is a sim game with a difference.

Best Offline Sci-Fi Strategy Game on Mobile: XCOM: Enemy Within

XCOM: Enemy Within is a special mobile release of the XCOM: Enemy Withinexpansion for the XCOM: Enemy Unknown video game. Enemy Within is completely standalone though and features a full storyline, maps, characters, and weapons for iOS and Android users to enjoy.

Fans of turn-based action strategy titles will enjoy XCOM: Enemy Within while science fiction enthusiasts will be especially satisfied with its story, characters, and atmospheric world.