Category: T.V. Series

Weird City (2019)

It’s now become an outdated cliché that technology is getting more encompassing in our lives. The videogame franchise Watch_Dogs took that concept to its frightening yet sometimes funny limit. While acclaimed TV series Black Mirror has been highlighting the terror behind upcoming tech for years now. It seems that not much can be said on the subject, yet in 2018 YouTube Premium took a more light-hearted take on the technocratic future by creating a hypothetical city of the future, where some modern problems still bother the supposedly enlightened populous… A place called Weird City.

Luckily YouTube has kindly made the first two epusodes free to watch for anybody…

In the early and eerily close future is the city of Weird. The city has a big Berlin Wall inspired divide between the two sections, one side populated with the Haves; Rich, privileged, typically civil-minded And the Have-nots; poor menial workers for the Haves. The first season pits six stories of life in the city of Weird. Season one shows off six stories following these people. As anthologies come, and anthologies go, there have certainly been stranger concepts.

So you’re free to check them out for yourself!

The show isn’t as doom and gloom as the plot description presents, with Weird City more of a jokey take on these dystopian tropes and everyday anxieties of living in a digital World. The Haves aren’t presented as cruel and wicked monsters, more misguided with more money than sense. The problems presented in Weird City feel all too current. Social responsibility comes up, the concepts of belonging and health and fitness are a central issue in the second episode and the show even goes fully meta with its last episode’s show within a show within a VR headset.

Though for this one you have to get YouTube Prenium…

The show’s modern humour speaks to a hipper young crowd, a crowd that likes its humour quirky, that said the show’s vibe may not appeal to everybody, but as with many anthologies, it is hard to write-off every episode as each one handles a little differently. A lot of big names from endearing Sci-Fi shows and Millennial pop-culture are prominent in each episode. Levar Burton plays a prominent role and Michael Cera shows up for major parts. Mark Hamill even puts his talented voice in action when he dons the personality of a possessive H.A.L inspired homestead.

…And this one… (which I enjoyed)

As creative anthologies go, Jordan Peele has been hitting them out of the park with his reboot of the Twilight Zone and now Weird City. Though it isn’t a sobering wake-up call nor is it an entirely light-hearted celebration… it’s just weird. For a futuristic vision of life to come, it certainly feels relatable. A nice place to visit nonetheless, though we soon may be living there.

But still two out of six isn’t bad…

If you want more positive reviews delivered to the e-mail box of your choice, you can click on that little text bubble at the bottom of the screen. Do you agree or disagree? or have a suggestion for another pop-culture artefact that needs a positive light shone on it? Leave a comment in the comment box below! But remember to keep it positive!

…And I liked the other four!

The X.F.L. (2000-2001)

When a new year dawns, it can become common practice to look behind and ponder “what could have been done differently?” (one of the main reasons why I started this blog was as a response to that question.)  This is doubly so with a new century. That is what W.W.E. C.E.O Vince McMahon did to the N.F.L. and the landscape of professional football when he unleashed his new dog in the ring, The X.F.L.

McMahon came from impressive circumstances, managing to defeat his TV rivals W.C.W. in the dawn of the millennium. He did so by embracing aggression, anti-heroes, and the allure X.F.L. is his attempt at applying these principles to professional league football.

While not a complete renovation, the X.F.L. adapts from professional Gridiron football in several ways. Professional skills determine the starting possession of the ball as opposed to the luck of a coin toss, with both teams trying to catch and possess a football on the field, just to determine ownership. While touchdown scoring remains the same, kicks for points after touchdown are also revamped. Even the games themselves were sped up with removals of valuable seconds off the game clock. These changes combined were a valiant attempt at injecting some much-needed action into each match. That ultimately led to more scrimmages and collisions, but really liven up the night.

The changes go beyond just the rules, as McMahon added an extra dose of his patented attitude to the proceedings. Players could have emblazoned nicknames on their jerseys. Sky cameras, capturing the details from up high, with various off-camera segments with the cheerleaders and the players themselves, really help sell the “attitude” personality that Vince McMahon tried to impart into Professional Wrestling. Even the team’s names screamed defiance with teams like The Las Vegas Outlaws, The San Francisco Demons, and The Orlando Rage. In short, this isn’t your every Monday-night N.F.L., but something that’s fresh and ready to embrace the heady future of Y2K. There’s no change without controversy, however, and these renovations amounted to metric tonnes of negative press, with concerns about the sleaze associated with Professional Wrestling potentially infecting the sport. Yet there are others who felt that the excitement is just what is needed.

The X.F.L. is a prime illustration of how even tried and tested institutions could benefit from a revitalisation. It charges full steam ahead of the opposition in terms of ambition. Making it a shame it got cut down before establishing its roots. The franchise only lasted a season, with the Los Angeles Xtreme taking “The Million Dollar Game”, yet there appears to be serious talk about bringing the league back in the very near future to try to take on the N.F.L. again. Maybe this time the audience will be ready, maybe newer changes have been conceived, Maybe the country will be ready for a football league that is a little more xtreme.

If you want more positive reviews delivered to the e-mail box of your choice, you can click on that little text bubble at the bottom of the screen. Do you agree, disagree or have a suggestion for another pop-culture artefact that needs a positive light shone on it? Leave a comment in the comment box below! But remember to keep it positive!