Five Years of The Review Nebula

…whod’ve thunk it?

Five years and two days ago, if you told me that I would be regularly updating a review blog of my favorite TV shows, I would have laughed at you.

Then I got assigned a class project to start a blog and post assignments on them (assignments that have been lost to the etches of time), was given the option to post whatever else crossed my mind onboard, and the rest is history.

Yeah, my first reviews were pretty thin on actual content – it wasn’t until 2014 when I really began emphasizing the actual review of my reviews – and my opinions on some episodes covered may have shifted quite a bit. (I would probably have been less caustic against “Time Travelers Pig” and probably a bit more critical about “Boyz Crazy”, but that’s more in hindsight.) Still, to look back at what I’ve accomplished so far…

…and really, it’s all thanks to you guys. Every single person that’s read my reviews, that’s followed this blog, from London to LA, Warsaw to Wellington, through the name changes and the URL moves, I can’t thank you enough. I might not be the most clicked-on blogger out there, but that doesn’t lessen the thanks I have for you guys.

(Also, mad thanks to Rebecca Sugar, Matt Groening, Alex Hirsch, Gene Roddenberry, Rob Grant, Doug Naylor, and everybody else involved, all for creating the subjects of these silly little reviews. Even when I’m critical of the end result, it’s you lot who make the art and put it out for public analysis. Mad kudos to you guys.)

A toast to the lustrum, and hopefully the blog will thrive to hit the decade mark.


Where Did I Go?

…yeah. It’s coming up on two and a half weeks since I last posted something. Not the first time I’ve gone a rather long stretch without an update, but probably the longest in some time.

I am deeply sorry for the radio silence. There are a few things that did go on over the past couple of weeks in my personal life – a couple of projects, some midterms, and a rather wonky schedule. Not helping matters was a small malaise – a cold, I think – that I came down with last week that sapped my energy for a couple of days. (I’ve rebounded since.)

Also, my next review is looking like that of “Maximum Capacity”. And, to be honest here, the last few episodes of Steven Universe have varied considerably in their quality. StevenBomb 5 was “very good, but not as great as the prior StevenBombs”, same with “Room for Ruby”, “Tiger Philanthropist” was a dud, and “Rocknaldo” irritated me. There have been some great episodes  – “Storm in the Room” was disquieting, for example – but I think SU‘s been off-balance so far this season, and I think it’s quieted my enthusiasm for this thus-far brilliant series a little bit.

Still, that’s no excuse. I should’ve updated a bit earlier as to what is going on, and I am sorry.

Thankfully, I have Spring Break this week. Hopefully, I’ll be able to focus and finish up my “Maximum Capacity” review by St. Patrick’s Day.

Happy 29th, Red Dwarf!

The Boys are Back in Town!!!!

Twenty-nine years ago today, Red Dwarf made its debut on BBC Two.

It’s actually rather incredible that it even debut – according to the Red Dwarf website, production was almost killed off due to several strikes. Who, from the head honchos at the BBC, to Grant/Naylor, to Craig, Chris, Danny, and Norman, all the way to even the casual viewer, would’ve thought it would still be in production today? Continue reading

Red Dwarf Review: “Can of Worms” (Series XI, Episode 6)


“How do I break this to you… you’re a moron!” – Rimmer, to the Cat after his date.

Oh, Rimmer. Go easy on him. Let me handle this. Cat, man, you’re a moron!” – Lister, for once, agreeing with Rimmer. Bring on the giant meteor.

Airdate: 27 October, 2016

Written By: Doug Naylor

Plot: While cutting across an asteroid belt to get back on course, Starbug winds up coming across a largely deserted ship. It’s crew – a mercenoid and a prisoner. After some confusion, the crew take out the mercenoid, and the prisoner is rescued. Said prisoner, Ankita, happens to be of the Cat’s species. Cat becomes smitten with the very similar prisoner – assuaging his own anxieties regarding his love life (or lack thereof) – and goes on a date with her.

Unfortunately for him, Ankita happens to be a Polymorph who intends to deposit her eggs into the Cat. Ergo, the end of the Cat’s first date results in him becoming pregnant – thus becoming the third person on board Red Dwarf to become pregnant, and the second male.


Well, here we are. The last episode of Series XI. Hard to believe that it’s been almost 4 years since I began looking at this silly little sci-fi show – one that is more than the sum of its parts. And, so far Series XI has been rather solid. There’ve been no truly spectacular episodes, but I would argue that a couple of episodes have been great, and the rest, so far, have been good.

So, will Series XI continue the trend of stable quality? Will it break my expectations and be one of the most spectacular episodes of the series? Or will XI putter to the end?

Well, let’s start my analysis with the fact that this episode focuses on the Cat.

Continue reading

2016 Summed Up By Gravity Falls

As 2016 ticks down into fame/infamy, this is what I – and possibly, the rest of the world – learned this year, for good or for ill…
anthyding can hadplen
Taken from the Gravity Falls Wiki. Not my words.

I’m sorry. I just thought about this scene today. I had to post it.

Next review (almost certainly of “Krysis”) should be up in the New Year. Tonight, I urge you all to celebrate, reminisce, and if you are of age to drink, please do so responsibly.

Also, some words on the occasion from the President-Elect of the United States:

…yup, this was a strange year.

Carrie Fisher: 1956-2016

Taken from Wikipedia.

Carrie Fisher, Princess Leia Organa herself, has died today in a Los Angeles hospital. While not completely shocking – given that she had a massive heart attack a few days ago – it’s still gutting to hear about this death in a year that’s become infamous for the sheer amount of pop cultural icons just up and dying, seemingly out of nowhere. (At least there was some warning that she was ill.)

I don’t think I can contribute too much to the tributes that will be paid to Fisher over the next couple of days. Instead, I’ll try and connect it to a (rather small) aspect of this blog. I mentioned last year, when Leonard Nimoy died, that without him, several more logical characters in sci-fi wouldn’t exist. The same could very well be said of Carrie Fisher and badass women in science fiction.

Don’t get me wrong – there were probably quite a few kickass ladies in science fiction before A New Hope. However, with Princess Leia, mainstream audiences got a taste of a leading lady – a Princess, even – that wasn’t merely a damsel in distress. She was an active participant in the rebellion, shooting and plotting against the Empire alongside Luke. She wasn’t some prize for the hero to win (for good reason, as per the end of The Empire Strikes Back.) Leia Organa was a character in her own right, one that was so endearing, she returned nearly forty years later for The Force Awakens.

I don’t often talk about gender on this blog, mainly because I feel like it’s secondary to whether or not I enjoy an art. However, I wonder – would we have gotten endearing badass women in sci-fi such as post-70s Uhura, Turanga Leela, Rey, Princess Bubblegum, Ace McShane, and 80% of the characters in Steven Universe? (That’s just off the top of my head.) I don’t really know.

All I know is that Carrie Fisher was something of a trailblazer for the industry. While she took up many roles over the years – even in silly sitcoms such as Family Guy – it was as Leia that she has left her mark on science fiction.

May the force be with you, Carrie Fisher.

March 2016: Minor Hiatus

Haven’t dropped off the face of the Earth, guys.

I mentioned this at the start of February, but I think I should confirm it – because of upcoming deadlines in terms of schoolwork, I don’t think I’ll be posting anything until at the end of next week, the earliest.

Sorry for any inconvenience.

Real Life Interferes With My Review Plans… Again.

So, yeah… my plans to get my “Weirdmageddon” out by the week after it aired seemed to go off the rails a little bit.

Yup, real life happened. I had to write a couple of papers for school. Thus, I had to push my review of “Weirdmageddon” back a bit more than I wanted. It will go out tomorrow, but still. And if that wasn’t enough, I still have other papers to write for the rest of the semester.

It doesn’t exactly give me joy to announce that this will also affect my plans for my Star Trek movie reviews. My intent was to review the four TNG movies over December. However, with the amount of stuff I have to do involving school, I no longer see this as feasible or realistic without compromising the quality of the reviews.

Going further, to try and keep my time straightened out, I have decided to push my review of The Undiscovered Country back to late November. The earliest. It might wind up pushed back to mid-December – the latest. Reviews of shorter-length shows (such as my reviews of Steven Universe/Gravity Falls/The Simpsons) will almost certainly go out in the meantime.

Review "Schedule" Update

Just informing you that, due to some things I have to do for school (and some overall busyness in my life), my review of the newest Gravity Falls episode, “Weirdmmageddon Part I”, might not be out until sometime early next week. I do intend to have the “Treehouse of Horror IX” review out by or on Halloween, though.

Sorry for any inconvenience.

Score Adjustment Time

Just a quick note about some edits.

After a short period of thought, I have adjusted a few Gravity Falls scores to better fit their reviews… and pretty much all of those affected are taking a negative hit. Most of the changes in the scores are not radical changes – most of them are within half a point – but are done because I feel that, in hindsight, I was grading with a 6 or 7 baseline for passing, rather than a 5. I also want to let you know that a 7 episode is still a good episode… it’s just not a great episode.

Few episodes – only Season 2 of Gravity Falls, actually – were affected.