Netflix’s new addition is Disenchantment from Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons and Futurama. It follows the story of Princess Bean, not your typical princess, as she tries to find true meaning in her life.
Whereas I loved Futurama and The Simpsons (earlier seasons), it was quite hard for me to take. A lot of the humour feels forced, and the characters feel like stock characters – you don’t connect with anyone at all. Many of the storylines feel predictable, as does the shock twist in the latter part of the season. Whether the characters can achieve any growth or likability remains to be seen. I didn’t feel the plot was that engaging, I guess it only feels a little interesting in the last two episodes of the season.
It is a little disappointing, given that I liked Groening’s past efforts. Whether any improvement can be made in its next season remains to be seen. Perhaps after setting the scene and the characters, Disenchantment can move forward and achieve its success like The Simpsons and Futurama.
Season One of Champions is now available to watch on Netflix. Co-written by Mindy Kaling, from The Office and The Mindy Project, it follows the story of Vince (played by Anders Holm, best known for Workaholics) , who once had hopes of a long and successful baseball career but now runs his dad’s old gym with his brother. Vince’s life is far from aspirational and soon, his long lost son Michael appears to shake things up a bit.
Whilst the cast perform well, I felt the story was predictable and was lacking something. I liked The Mindy Project because you warm to the main character, but here the leads are unlikeable and almost like stereotypes. It seems like Kaling can’t write for a male-led comedy? Some lines did make me laugh, and I like the pop culture references (similar to The Mindy Project). On the whole, I didn’t think it was anything special, despite the cast’s best efforts, and I would be interested to see if would garner enough interest to get a second season.
Whilst scrolling through Netflix, I saw The Good Place, starring Kristin Bell and Ted Danson. I’ve been a big Kristin Bell fan since Veronica Mars, and the premise for this sounded interesting, so I decided to give it a go.
Eleanor Shellstrop has died and gone to the Good Place, a perfect place for good people. Everything you could possibly want is there, and the perfect soulmate is waiting to spend the rest of eternity with you. Except there is one thing wrong, Eleanor doesn’t belong there.
The show sees Eleanor try to avoid the truth coming out and being sent to the bad place, full of torture and misery. The show itself is well written and the leads are likeable. I was surprised to see Jameela Jamil in the show, I never thought she was an actress, and she is a little weak compared to the rest of the cast. I really like Jianyu/Jason – his comedic timing is spot on and he has some great lines!
I thought the “trying to hide the truth from everyone” would be stretched out over the course of the season, but things come to a head in the second half of the season. At that point, it was quite hard to predict where the show was going to go. I constantly binged on the show over the next few days, and I certainly didn’t see the twist ending!
I have started the second season now, and it is just as good as the first. I would definitely recommend the show. It’s a nice surprise and the story is a little different to the comedies out there.