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Dead Fred (2019)
Absolutely dreadful!
18 February 2020
Don't be fooled by the shill (fake) reviews posted mid-June on this page - obviously written by people connected with this pitiful excuse for a film. From the get-go the script and acting are of a school play quality, although I've seen school plays better than this drek.

Preposterous, derivative and just plain dumb are words that come to mind. "Black comedy"? "Bleak comedy" more like. It's reminiscent of an especially bad episode of Rosemary and Thyme or whatever interminably cheesy and boring '80s TV series you can think of.

These poor women must have been desperate for a paycheque to sign on for this. Not a laugh in the whole thing, groans of disdain more than anything. OTT acting, ludicrous plot, and thumb on "fast forward" just to make it to the end.

I'm sat here trying to think of one redeeming feature of Dead Fred... Nope, I got nothin'.
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Knives Out (2019)
Nothing Special
27 December 2019
I say it's nothing special and I'm not a Star Wars fanatic. I've never even seen the film people are so angry about, so my review is based purely on my experience of watching this film, Knives Out.

I definitely expected more. If it's meant to be amusing, it pretty much failed on that score. This film would be better suited as a TV movie, if they even make them anymore, or something to pop up on Netflix. I didn't pay to see it and I'd feel I'd wasted my money if I had.

Visually it was enjoyable-I mean the location, the house, the production values. the family members were an unattractive bunch, so nothing to look at there. Daniel Craig's "southern" accent became grating after awhile, and I was squirming a bit with boredom, waiting for it to be over. And, when it was, my reaction was "So what? Who cares?" I can hardly remember any of it and I just watched it in the last couple of hours.

Convoluted, unrealistic and tedious, like a lot of Agatha Christie stories. How this has ended up on some people's Best Films of 2019 lists is beyond me. It was okay; nothing special.
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Derek (2012–2014)
Would be a 10 without the repulsive Kev character ***SPOILERS***
5 October 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Series 1 was brilliant. All the 10 reviews are correct, BUT all the focus on Kev ruined Series 2 for me. When did it turn into the Kev Show? And why? He was absolutely disgusting and served no purpose that I could see, other than to highlight that Hannah was far more tolerant (and foolish) than she ever should have been.

It was completely unrealistic that nobody complained about his repulsive behaviour. Why on earth should anyone put up with a disgusting pig in their home? A pig who neither worked there nor lived there, he just drank, farted, soiled himself, said disgusting things, sexually harassed several women, never washed, stank up any room he was in and slurped up spilled beer off the carpet.

As a fleeting side character he could have been mildly tolerable, but Series 2 focused far too much attention on him, which made it not worth watching. I hoped he'd be gone after the wonderful first series, only to discover Series 2 was mainly about him, for some bizarre reason!!!

Series 1 = 10 Series 2 = 4 so I split the difference at 7.
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Schitt's Creek (2015– )
A granny crushing on David Rose! :)
1 September 2019
I'm one of the many who, I admit, expected absolutely nothing from a show called Schitt's Creek, so never bothered to even have a look in. Well, I'm here to say I have never been more wrong about a television program!

Absolutely love this, and I feel sorry for those who don't get the abundant clever-but-subtle humour that has obviously gone straight over their heads and caused them to leave bitter, whining, negative reviews. Too bad for them, but it's their loss.

Schitt's Creek grew on me episode by episode, so much so that I binge-watched the first 4 seasons on Netflix over a weekend! Once in, I couldn't leave! It just gets better and better and I didn't want it to end. I am now watching series 5 and will be awaiting the sadly final series come January 2020 (I hope).

I read too many negative reviews from people whining about CBC nepotism and the fact that Dan Levy got a job on this show through his father, so please take note: Dan Levy is the creator of Schitt's Creek, so it could be said he gave his father this job. Together they put this show together, and by bothering to read the credits it's clear that Dan wrote and directed (I think) many of the episodes.

On top of that, he plays David brilliantly! His sweetness, fashion obsession, insecurity, need for approval and wit are so cleverly played. People complaining about Dan Levy and his facial expressions: Hello! Those are part of his brilliant performance as David. All the characters express so much with just a glance, an eyebrow twitch or the sardonic curl of a lip -- words aren't even necessary with actors this accomplished! Daniel Levy: you have brought joy to my heart with your writing and portrayal of David Rose!

Alexis Rose is annoying, dreadfully so at first. But she learns, she evolves, she grows as time passes. As does David. They are very believable as brother and sister, even sometimes displaying similar mannerisms and expressions. Such clever writing, acting and directing.

I have laughed out loud watching Schitt's Creek. I have felt delighted, annoyed, surprised, cringey, charmed and deeply touched. Season 4 episodes Open Mic and The Olive Branch brought tears to my eyes. "That" scene in Olive Branch I have rewatched about a dozen times and will watch again and again. (Avoiding spoilers here so not saying more than that.)

David Rose. I just want to put my arms around him, give him a big hug, tell him he's beautiful and good and right and that everything will be okay.

Love, love, love Schitt's Creek. Love the humour, the satire, the subtle jokes and the big, fat broad ones, and most of all I love the love. It's a beauty!
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Spoiled by Gordon Watson's OTT Ego
31 July 2019
The antiques, art, great homes, artists, collectors, etc., are all very interesting and make this show worth watching. BUT there's a big but, and his name, as he so often reminds us, is Gordon Watson. At one point he actually says "Me, me, me, me! Gordon Watson!" Yes, Gordon, we do know your name. I lost track of how many times he tells us what high opinions others have of him and his knowledge of antiques. He says things like how he wants to get a bit of himself into this or that fine home; instead of just wanting to sell a piece to the collector, he seems to want his name attached to it in perpetuity. You're just the middleman, Mr. Watson. You didn't create the thing.

Best to just watch for the aesthetics and try to ignore him, if you can.
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Harper (1966)
13 July 2019
Seems like this thing has gone on for about 3 days now. What a convoluted, meandering bore it is! Two stars: one because I get to look at Paul Newman, and another because I get to look at the California coastline (somewhat briefly).

Huge box-office hit, apparently. I actually DO remember the '60s, and people were perennially stoned, which one would have to be to sit through this and find it enjoyable. Stoned people are easily entertained; everything is amusing, and this must explain the popularity of Harper in 1966.

Every character in this thing is unlikable, so it's impossible to invest in the outcome. Basically, who cares about any of it? Did I say boring? Yes, boring is what it is. Even if it does have Paul Newman.
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Bill Nighy and Marmite
12 July 2019
I will watch pretty much any film with the wonderful Bill Nighy. Just watched this one and not sure what I think of it. His character, wildly knowledgeable when it comes to Scrabble, was 100% wrong when he stated that Marmite is banned in Canada. No, my friend, it definitely isn't. I have a jar in my own cupboard. I actually had to have a look and confirm that it is, indeed, Marmite, and not the poor substitute Vegemite (which he claimed was the only option for Canadians). Marmite has been available here for at least 10 years and, since the film obviously takes place in the present, he was just plain wrong.

Now I'm thinking that if the availability of Marmite is my lingering thought after seeing this film, how memorable was it? It DOES meander, as others have said. It DOES try awfully hard to be visually quirky to the point of being absurd at times. It does convey somewhat the damage done to people when someone they love goes missing. There's no closure; they spend their lives from that point on grieving, wondering, blaming, searching and, likely, never really having a carefree moment again. That was certainly brought home to me in all its sadness. If you need cheering up, this is not the film for you.

Is this a vitally important film? No. Not even sure why it was made. It's like reading a short story, which is what it was based on, finished in 90 minutes or so and easily forgotten.
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A Current Affair: Wacko Jacko 10 Years On (2019)
Season 40, Episode 126
Grow up, Current Affair!
26 June 2019
Referring to anyone as "Wacko", particularly one who is not here to defend himself, is disrespectful and displays your pettiness. Yes, he was called "Wacko Jacko" for years by people who didn't bother to understand him, people who thought they were witty, and people who didn't care whether they offended him or not, they just wanted to sell their sleazy papers or their trashy TV shows.

I see that after all these years you're still stuck in the '80s with your moronic name-calling. One would hope that some progress had been made and you would now know that such nasty attacks on someone, especially someone deceased, is despicable, even for cheap tabloid TV. Apparently not.

Sad state of affairs. :(
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Killing Michael Jackson (2019 TV Movie)
Respectfully done
24 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I was afraid it would be a morbid National Enquirer-style display of gossip and half-truths, but the three detectives interviewed told their stories of their investigation into the death of Michael Jackson with great respect for him, which I appreciate.

They showed no judgement of him, no segues into innuendo about his private life, just stuck to the facts of the case and how they quickly came to the conclusion that Conrad Murray was responsible for MJ's death, and grievously so.

They produced the evidence they found that showed Murray to be criminally and shockingly careless in his treatment of MJ, to the point of leaving him to die alone, unmonitored, on a Propofil drip of his (Murray's) own disastrous design. As long as he got his $150k a month, that's all he was concerned about. And he made sure he'd cleaned up some of the evidence of his wrong-doing BEFORE calling 911, probably half an hour or so after MJ had already passed away.

He should have received a life sentence for murder. Instead, he served only two years and is out walking around, free to enjoy life. Too bad Michael Jackson didn't get the same break.
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Movies for Morons
17 June 2019
Why anyone bothers making crap like this is beyond me! Another in the long line of "Stupid People Doing Stupid Things" fiascos. Jennifer Aniston just can't seem to catch a break in life and if this is the best of what she's offered, maybe it's time for her to find a more fulfilling line of work. Surely there can't be any satisfaction in making nonsense like this!

And Adam Sandler - seems to me that there was a giggle or two in some of his earlier films, but there's nary enough to crack a smile over in this silly mess, let alone a hearty laugh.

Pointless drivel, stupid, unfunny, boring and moronic. Movies for the lowest common denominator have sunk even lower.
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With all the writing talent in Hollywood...
17 May 2019
Couldn't they come up with a better story than the cheesy, preposterous "romance" portrayed here? Golly (as Robert Hutton's gormless Slim would say)!

And, with all the great actors in Hollywood, why, oh why, did the talentless Hutton get the part of the bumpkin Slim in the first place?

The film is a great tribute to the fabulous Hollywood Canteen, which is well worth remembering and is an important part of Tinseltown history. The endless parade of movie stars and musical talent is worth seeing, although some of the musical numbers run on a bit long and meander into tedium.

It's just too bad they couldn't have tried a little harder to come up with a more interesting story to hang the Hollywood Canteen history on. The made-up romance between soldier Slim and Joan Leslie is teeth-achingly corny. Apparently Ann Sheridan turned down the part filled by Joan Leslie because she thought it just too preposterous. How right she was!
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Undercover (2019– )
13 May 2019
The "English" version on Netflix (Canada) is dubbed, and done so poorly that it's not worth watching. And this is obvious from the very beginning. Two actors walk down the hall in a courthouse with their backs to the audience. Their dialogue is so flat it's clear it's not being spoken by the actors we see, but by voice actors reading lines they were handed upon entering the studio.

Subtitles are bad enough, but at least you hear the actors who are onscreen, the ones hired for their (supposed) ability to play the part. Dubbing is usually clumsily done by people who haven't even read the script and are just picking up a day or two voice work and have no vested interest in the story or the success or failure of the finished product.

Don't waste your time on this dubbed disaster.
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Line of Duty: Episode #5.6 (2019)
Season 5, Episode 6
Very disappointing ending! (S05E06)
5 May 2019
I won't say what's so disappointing exactly, because I won't be responsible for spoiling it for those who haven't seen it. It's just a very unsatisfactory cop-out (if you'll excuse the expression!), with a mind-numbing swirl of talk and forms and numbers filling the allotted time. Yawn. "Is that it?" we said. We'd hoped for/expected a whole lot more. Didn't get it. Will be interested to see what others make of it.
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Paradox (II) (2018)
Neil, Willie (and sons!) and Some Great Music
13 April 2019
The 5 stars are for the opportunity to see and hear Neil Young and his band, Willie Nelson and two of his boys, Lukas and Micah. Lukas does an amazing version of his father's song, Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground, which I thought at first was Willie. Beautiful voice, and so like his old man. What a gift!

I liked the music, and seeing these people I was happy to see in a film (always great to see Willie, even if only briefly). Liked the ranch/old west location, the costumes, the wildlife and nature, the focus on sharing seeds and growing food, the lack of violence, some of the dialogue (there wasn't much).

This is like an overlong, surreal, poorly shot/directed/edited music video. If you are looking for a coherent story with a beginning, middle and end, this isn't it. If you like the people involved and their music and have nothing much to do, you could have this on and enjoy its special moments.
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Wonder Park (2019)
22 March 2019
If your kids are eager for 90 minutes of unrelenting despair, this is the film for you. As we left the theatre my 8 yr old companion declared "What a depressing movie!" How right she was! A perfect example of what is wrong with family films. Darkness, heartache, ugliness. Total waste of time and money! And boring, too!
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Grace and Frankie (2015– )
Series 5
20 January 2019
I certainly thought Grace and Frankie was fresh air during the first season, but it has deteriorated dreadfully since then. Series 5, and I endured the entire 13 episodes, was stultifying when it wasn't beyond silly.

Frankie is no longer just "endearingly kooky", she's deranged. Grace is still an uptight control freak well on her way to joining Frankie in Loonyland. Mental illness is not the laugh riot it used to be (<- sarcasm).

This show is allegedly a comedy. Apparently producers/writers/directors think idiotic, petty arguments are hilarious. They're not. Most of us get enough family drama in our "real life", so I don't know why anyone thinks audiences want to see a bunch of immature, selfish, delusional rich people argue endlessly. Comedy this is not. I kept waiting for at least a glimmer of humour, but very little ever showed up.

Grace and Frankie is now nothing more than a dumb sitcom. What a disappointment.
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Land Girls (2009–2011)
Stuck with it only due to its time and place
12 December 2018
I am a huge fan of British drama, especially WWII homefront stuff, which Land Girls is. I stuck it out only because of this and the lovely English village and countryside locations. It reminded me of series like Heartbeat, which have some heart-stirring bits mixed in with the silliness. Here, Mark Benton plays the Mr. Greenglass part of the "comic relief", only it's not so comic and nowhere near relief.

What kept coming to mind while I watched this whole series was "stupid people making stupid decisions and doing stupid things". If someone could mess up or make the wrong choice or do the dumbest thing possible, they would. Sometimes to "advance" the plot but sometimes just because they were annoyingly dumb. Some stuff was just ridiculous for the sake of being ridiculous. Or maybe the show runners thought it was funny, but it could only be interpreted as humorous if you like very juvenile, slapstick silliness. And I realise that some people do.

I'm not going to get specific to illustrate my point because 1. spoiler alert would be necessary, and 2. I just can't even remember much of what I found so objectionable because it's just not important to me.

What I DO recall is how annoyingly stupid so much of it was. And I'm not basing that on 20 minutes into the first episode and then giving up in disgust. I actually watched the entire 15 episodes and it was all cut from the same silly cloth.

Scenery was wonderful; acting was generally convincing; scripts generally dreadful.
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Typical Hallmark Cheese
22 November 2018
Watched this because it was filmed at Burnaby Village Museum in Vancouver, BC, one of my (and my granddaughter's) favourite places to visit. It was briefly entertaining to see the historic village decked out for Christmas, (although we can visit it for real in its Christmas glory over the holidays) but that's not enough to redeem the so predictable script and wooden acting.

It's hard to believe there's a market for this kind of twaddle, but apparently there is, as this is one in a series of such Evergreen Hallmark movies. Oh, well, there's no accounting for taste.

Three out of 10 for the pretty Burnaby Village Museum locale.
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Butterfly (2018– )
All the 1 star negative reviews prove Butterfly is needed!
23 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers

It is sad to see so many uninformed negative reviews filled with ignorance and intolerance on here, simply because the reviewers don't know any better. This lack of compassion and understanding shows very clearly WHY a show like Butterfly is so necessary.

And some of these 1 star reviewers admit they didn't even watch the show, they just have an uncontrollable need to badmouth anything counter to their own ignorant views! Wow!

After episode 1 I was a huge fan. Now that I've seen episode two I'm feeling a tad frustrated with Mum's frenzied running off to Boston with Maxine. Doesn't tell Dad, doesn't tell daughter or anyone else, doesn't even call the Boston clinic for an appointment (which might be months away, if available at all), no, just ups and takes off in a mad dash for help.

Yes, for sure, that's the sane, rational way to get help for your child! I felt so disheartened by her rash, foolish, impulsive -- dare I say STUPID -- action that I may not continue watching. Sanity has left the building, along with some viewers, I hazard a guess, and may never return. Too bad. She was doing quite well, apart from her immature jealous sniping at her husband.

Regardless of all that, though, Butterfly is covering a very important topic that, very obviously, needs more public awareness. Proof is everywhere in the 1 star reviews on this board.
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Withnail & I (1987)
I feel utterly sad for those lost souls who don't appreciate it!
10 October 2018
Withnail and I is, without a doubt, the funniest film I have ever seen, and I've seen thousands. My best friend and I went to the Roxy Theatre in Victoria, BC, in 1987 on the recommendation of Roger Ebert, who called it a "hidden gem" or similar. I knew nothing about the film, but took Ebert at his word. And am I glad I did!

My friend and I were convulsed with laughter, practically falling out of our seats, slapping each other as we tried to catch our breath. Every line of dialogue is a thing of beauty. Not a word is wasted. It goes from one treasure to another, scene after scene of utter film-making bliss.

I see some low ratings here for this clever film, and I truly feel sorry for anyone who can't appreciate it. I know that different types of comedy appeal to different people, so exceptions must be made. But I honestly can't grasp what goes on in the head of someone who doesn't appreciate Withnail and I.

I once showed it to a co-worker who I thought might enjoy it. As it ended she said "There was one good line in that film: 'We've gone on holiday by mistake', but that was it."

Wow, I thought, I overestimated that one's intelligence and wit, can't possibly be friends with her! :)

Life must be dull for non-Withnail fans, and I pity them.
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A wonderfully touching film!
7 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers

Although it makes no sense for a Scotsman living on a remote island to travel to the US for (very expensive) health care when he could hop on a boat to Glasgow or, if necessary, London, I tried to overlook that and enjoy the story.

And enjoy it I did, although the appallingly misguided parenting choices of Thora Birch's character so annoyed me I almost packed it in after the first 15 minutes or so. Anyone who willingly leaves a baby to cry endlessly doesn't deserve to have kids and I don't want to watch a film about such people.

With that out of the way, I have to say, also, I've never liked Brian Cox much, but he is wonderful here as a grumpy, tell-it-like-I-see-it Scotsman, very much a fish out of water (in more ways than one), in sophisticated San Francisco.

Another thing that kept bugging me is why would this old guy fresh from his wee cottage in Scotland have dyed hair? Brian Cox may have dyed hair, but it's impossible to believe that his curmudgeonly character, Rory, would. Plus, it kept changing colour throughout the film. Weird.

Rory's growing relationship with his baby grandson was a precious thing to see, and I hope all those dimwitted parents who think it's a good idea to ignore a crying baby get the message that it is only okay if your intention is to teach your baby what it's like to feel unloved and abandoned.

If you love someone, tell them. Support your children to live THEIR dreams, not yours. Nobody is on this Earth to live up to YOUR expectations (except maybe YOU). If you love someone, tell them.

There are lessons to be learned in this film, along with the charm and the smiles and the teary eyes. Very much worth watching, I say.
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Tully (2018)
+++SPOILERS!*** So very disappointing!
7 May 2018
Warning: Spoilers
On the pro side we have a beautifully nuanced performance by Charlize Theron as the stressed out mom who, though near breaking point, receives next to no help or support from her clueless husband. He'd rather pay violent video games in bed at night than relate in any way to his exhausted, overworked wife. Heaven forbid he should take any interest in her day, the lives of his children or his wife's needs. Put down that joystick, fool, and give her a back rub!

I found myself seriously bored throughout this film, so much so that I felt annoyed. I went to see it because a member of my family is in it, but as a mother myself I felt I could probably relate to it and might find it entertaining. The scriptwriter being Diablo Cody was, I thought, a plus. Yes, there are a few mildly amusing lines, a few somewhat charming moments. However, painfully not enough to hold my interest.

Tully herself was too forward for my liking. Waltzes in, bends down to get cozy with the new baby, tells Marlo to go to bed, and Marlo does! No questions about who the heck this woman is, where she comes from, what experience she has with babies (she's impossibly young looking for being a "baby expert"), does she have references, etc. Nothing. Marlo just drags herself off up to bed, leaving her newborn downstairs in the care of this total stranger. When her lazy husband asks about leaving baby Mia with the unknown nanny, Marlo agrees that she did and that's good enough for Dad. He's not even interested enough to drag himself away from his video game to go see for himself. Nuts, both of them.

Who this Tully is is never made clear, and some weird, disquieting things happen that don't ring true, demanding suspension of disbelief, which to me is just a filmmaking cop out. "Oh, like that would ever happen," the viewer says, to which the filmmaker replies: "Just go with it! It's just a movie!"

And what the heck are we to make of that bizarre ending? Tully (the film) takes a sudden gigantic leap into fantasy that is jarring and annoying. Was this the only way they could wrap this thing up? Throw on a Twilight Zone ending leaving the audience wondering "What the what, now"?

I left the theatre annoyed and shaking my head. They obviously think they're clever, these particular filmmakers, but leaving your audience baffled is insulting. I give Tully a generous 5/10, mostly for Charlize Theron's acting.
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Queer Eye (2018– )
Absolutely wonderful, warm, uplifting and lots of fun!
9 March 2018
Enjoyed this whole series even more than the first time around (Queer Eye for the Straight Guy)! The entire cast is enchanting and I hope the camaraderie we see onscreen is real, because it is delightful! This is a show for everyone, so if you're sneering a little at the thought of watching five gay guys offering advice to seriously-in-need-of-help straight guys, relax and give it a chance! I am a 72-year-old granny and I loved every minute of it!

These guys seem to genuinely care about the men they are sent to help, and help they do! Each episode is both light-hearted fun and serious, as they touch on topics of genuine concern to their "clients" with compassion and warmth. Plus, and a BIG plus, this time the guys dare to set foot in what might be seen as "alien territory" -- the southern US, where one gets the impression (from general news stories) that homophobia is rampant. And yet, they receive a warm welcome where one might expect otherwise would be the case.

It is an eye-opening experience to watch these five work their magic and, one hopes, make lasting improvements in the lives of those lucky (and smart) enough to be open to change.

Highly recommended and eager for a second season!
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Outlander: A. Malcolm (2017)
Season 3, Episode 6
Disappointing and Underwhelming
22 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
In an effort to avoid spoilers, I will just say this episode was underwhelming and disappointing. Quite flat and even boring at times. After waiting two weeks for this long-anticipated reunion, nary a tear is shed nor a squeal of delight heard. I expected explosions of pent-up emotion, yet there was next to none. Very flat, very disappointing.

And are we to believe that the exquisite, flawless, rosy-cheeked Claire is 50?!? Come on! Suspension of reality can only go so far!

The sex scenes contain gratuitous nudity and go far beyond what is necessary. How awkward and embarrassing it must be for the actors. Especially when the story could easily be told without it. Yes, show their passion and joy in each other, but it can be done without so much T&A.

Overall this episode left me questioning whether I will continue watching Outlander. They got it so wrong this time.
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Disjointed (2017–2018)
A laugh track doesn't make it funny
5 September 2017
Hoped I would like it, but it's a typically lame American sitcom that thinks it's funny but it's not. Does Kathy Bates really need money bad enough to sign on for this?

Obviously the producers are well aware of how dismal it is because the laugh track is amped up to 11, just in case the viewer doesn't realize when to laugh.

Dear Netflix: viewers laugh naturally when stuff is funny. Cranking up the canned laughter gets you nowhere. It just makes you look desperate.

P.S. An Iraq vet with PTSD is not the laugh riot you seem to think it is. Get a grip. Or have you all been smoking so much weed you will laugh at anything? That must be it.
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