Well, for those just randomly clicking around the internet at 2:00 in the morning, and for everyone else, welcome to “The Review Nebula”.
This blog was started on Blogger in March of 2013 as a project for one of my high school classes. I was to post a few assignments on it, yet was also allowed to post about anything that peaked my interest. It just so happened that I wanted to post, well, reviews. After the assignments were done, I decided to keep going with the blog and review shows for fun – albeit with a couple of name changes along the way. In April 2017, I moved to the current URL, powered by WordPress.
According to Alexa, last time I checked, I am about the 20,000,000th most popular website on the web. Not too bad for a blog with rather humble origins.
I also run a Futurama retrospective blog on the side – called Blog of Wonton Burrito Meals. It’s not as big a priority, however, with updates being sporadic.
Who are you, anyway?
I am a geek. (Heck, this blog was originally called Geek Zone!)
More specifically, I’m an undergraduate at Stony Brook University, majoring in History.
So, what is it?
I’ve never seen one before. No one has. But, I’m guessing it’s a – hey!
Long story short – review blog. Mainly, but certainly not exclusively, sci-fi shows.
Where do you live?
Not getting too far into specifics, but I do live on Long Island, New York. I will be ambiguous concerning most other things, mainly because I generally like my privacy – a bit of a rarity on the internet.
Are you being paid to do these reviews?
Nope. I am not affiliated with anybody involved with these reviews. Also, this blog is not monetized because I don’t want to risk a lawsuit. Even if it were monetized, it still falls under “Fair Use”.
What’s Your Grading System?
Is there any bias in your reviews?
The long answer is that my reviews contain my analysis and opinions, naturally, so there is bound to be some bias. I do try and add some objective points in my reviews, but there are certainly objective-ish points where you might disagree with.
If you happen to disagree, please comment.
Don’t you think you over analyzed that particular aspect?
Maybe. Again, if you think I over analyzed, please comment.
What about mistakes in spelling or facts?
I’m not perfect. Nobody is. Again, please feel free to comment. If these mistakes are small, I’ll edit them, and might make a note at the bottom of the page. If on the other hand, they completely undermine the review, I’ll redo the thing.
Speaking of which… you seemed to anglicize your spelling in the first few years of your posts. What was up with that?
When I first started this blog, I was going through something of a heavy anglophilic phase. Coincidentally, that’s when I was obsessed with Red Dwarf and (to a lesser extent) Doctor Who. My Anglophilia has moderated since then – I just didn’t bother changing the spelling on this blog for quite a while. In early 2016, I decided to switch to American English for newer posts – older posts are slowly getting switched over.
(On a side note, as something of a historian – I’ve mulled over becoming a high school teacher of such, to be exact – I think Anglophobic sentiment amongst the US citizens, plus geographical differences, caused them to embrace the “newer” spelling very readily.)
(Second side note – when it comes to a form of payment, I’m calling it a “cheque” and a “cheque-book”, not a “check”. Why the word was de-formalized is beyond me. I can understand removing vowels and using “z” instead of “s”, but that just feels too awkward. Hey, we all have our quirks.)
Continuing on from that, why are your early posts so terrible?
First-year quirkiness, I guess. Even the better posts from early on, I think, are still weak. I was a slightly less mature person back then. Just assume every review posted before the spring of 2014 can be re-written.
Why don’t you post on a schedule?
This blog is something of a secondary thing for me – a hobby, to be exact. I don’t intend to make money off of it, but honestly, that’s not the most valid excuse. The closest I got to having a formal schedule was when reviewing Red Dwarf X, I reviewed the episodes on the two-year anniversary of their airdates. Also, I like to review earlier episodes before watching new episodes. This is why you won’t see reviews of, say, “Are You My Dad” or “The New Lars” for quite a while.
So, what is it?
What’s your policy on spoiling?
Originally, it was on a case-by-case basis. I considered restraining from spoiling to be an effective way to get people to watch an episode, if only just an episode, of a TV show. However, as my reviews got somewhat more analytical (I think), I realized that in order to do a more “proper” review, sometimes, things had to be spoiled.
In short, expect a few spoilers. I have added breaks to newer reviews to provide something of a barrier for spoiler zones.
Are you a Trekkie/Trekker?
Yes. I do consider Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan to be my all time favorite movie. I’m not a hardcore fan, and I do comprehend some of the faults with the shows and the franchise. Still, it really set the stage for televised Science Fiction. (Oh, and Trekkie and Trekker are both fine by me. I don’t care.)
Sort of. I actually consider it the first example of a modern sci-fi show – one with multi-episode characters, story arcs, and character development. (Feel free to comment if you have earlier examples.) I’m not reviewing the show (as of now) because reviewing every single episode/storyline would be quite an audacious (and, if you want to get technical, actually impossible) task.
Game of Thrones?
I don’t subscribe to HBO, so no. I’ve heard great things about it, though. I might consider buying Season 1 on DVD or something.
English/Irish breakfast blend, milk, two spoons of sugar, in a mug, brewed four-five minutes. The water is boiled using an electric kettle because I’m not a caveman!
Are you going to review any other TV shows?
I do intend to review The Prisoner in the lead-up to my review of “The Computer Wore Menace Shoes”. That should occur around the time dinosaurs come back and retake the Earth.
Otherwise, between Steven Universe, The Simpsons, and my occasionally updated Futurama blog (listed in order of importance from most to least), I have a lot on my plate. (Oh, and schoolwork and all that.) The answer right now is “uncertain”.
If I do start a new TV review “series” otherwise, it will likely be either Star Vs. The Forces of Evil, Blake’s 7, Twin Peaks, or Deep Space Nine.
How would you rank the shows you’ve reviewed or are reviewing?
On a personal level…
- 5. Scullyfied Simpsons (the episodes I’m covering)
- 4. Futurama
- 3. Red Dwarf
- 2. Steven Universe
- 1. Gravity Falls
Ironically, if you only count the first eight seasons of The Simpsons, that show takes 1st without much of a contest. Yes, the show was that good.
(I should disclose, though, that The Simpsons did get demoted in 2012 and 2013. Not only did “Lisa Goes Gaga” drive me away from watching new episodes, but I would wind up discovering Gravity Falls and Red Dwarf within the same timeframe. It was in 2014 that I truly was able to comprehend the impact the show had on my life.)
So, what is it?
“I think we’ve experienced this period of time before!”
Any other TV shows you like?
Quite a few…
- The Amazing World of Gumball is one of the smartest animated TV shows airing right now – in fact, it’s one of the few shows to ascend from “alright” to “sublime”. Compare the first season to the fifth season.
- Star Vs. The Forces of Evil has impressed me as of late, taking a quirky twist of the fantasy genre. While I try not to let “shipping” swing how much I love a TV show, I must admit the current discussions between the SVTFOE shippers is fascinating.
- It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is somewhat unusual for my tastes in that every single character is odious and depraved. They still manage to have their own fascinating plotlines, ranging from the depths of Dennis’s degeneracy to Mac’s deep-seated self-loathing. And it’s really quotable, as well.
- The first three seasons of SpongeBob SquarePants are among the greatest pieces of comedy ever made. I still have a spot in my heart for Battle for Bikini Bottom – one of my all-time favorite PS2 games. In fact, after the doldrums of Seasons 4-8, the show seems to be entering a “silver age” as of late.
- South Park, a show I respect for its mockery and analysis of both the American political left and right. My personal favorite episodes are from Seasons 4-9 – the perfect balance between the social commentary of modern episodes and the goofier comedy of the early seasons.
- I consider season 2 of The West Wing to be among the greatest TV seasons of all time. Special credit goes to “Two Cathedrals”, which had the audacity to mix in Latin in a rant to the heavens?
- While I won’t go out of my way to watch it, I will certainly watch Bob’s Burgers if I see it while flicking through the TV. What a nice, quirky comedy – it’s classic Simpsons meets 30 Rock, if I could best describe it.
- King of the Hill. I love how it doesn’t rely on silly plots, but rather, the small bits of loopiness found in our everyday life.
- Every episode of Breaking Bad that I’ve seen so far has impressed me.
- Top Gear – the Clarkson/Hammond/May version. Say what you will about Jeremy Clarkson and his politics, but no trio has provided such a brilliantly stupid form of escapism as these three lunatics.
- And my TV guilty pleasure? House Hunters. Yeah, it’s about as exciting as a trip to Target and is formulaic TV in its purest form. Still, to see what people would want in a house – not a bad way to waste a half hour.
My music tastes are somewhat eclectic. In layman’s terms, I generally will listen to at least a tiny bit of almost everything. Generally, though, I prefer retro pop, classic rock, new wave, disco, and some modern alternative.
As far as bands and singers go, my favorites include Pet Shop Boys, Billy Joel, Fleetwood Mac, ABBA, The Beatles, Elton John, The Smiths, and the Bee Gees. I also consider Rebecca Sugar a brilliant composer and performer in her own right, and quite like the Aivi/Surrashu soundtrack.
I was never athletic. So, no, I don’t play sports.
But I follow sports! I mean, this isn’t a sports blog, so don’t expect in-depth commentary, but I do love sports as a form of escapism. To be more specific, I am a fan of (in rough order of precedence)…
- New York Giants – Been a fan as long as Eli Manning’s been QB. I’ve seen joy, I’ve more recently felt pain, and I’m wedded for life… or until I can kick my addiction to NFL football. Favorite sports team, period.
- Arsenal FC – A more recent discovery (roughly around 2014), but one that’s made the Gooners slide into the spot of my second favorite… if only by the amount of agony I can expose myself to.
- Orlando Magic – More like Orlando Tragic, heh? A copy of NBA Live 07 brought me in, and I haven’t looked back.
- New York Yankees – Shoot me, I root for the “evil empire” (thanks, Jeter). To be fair, I don’t hate other baseball teams (save the Red Sox), so I guess I just like baseball and fell for one of my two local teams.
- Orlando City SC – Got into soccer around 2014, wanted to support an upstart MLS team, and instead of my local NYCFC, went with Orlando. It should feel like more of a mistake than it does.
- No definitive hockey team, although I guess Carolina Hurricanes…
Dear Sir, I wish to complain in the strongest possible terms about your reviews which I feel have severe flaws. Is there any way I can do so in private?
Sure! If you want to contact me privately, email me at email@example.com. Or use the contact form in the top menu.
As far as complaints go, I only ask that you raise them in a respectful manner. I’ll try my best to respond.
So, what is it?
I’ve never seen one before, no one has, but I’m guessing it’s a white hole!
A white hole?
Every action has…