31. How to Bond with your Father

My father and I love to watch TV together. Ever since we discovered AMC’s The Walking Dead, TV has been our primary go-to for relaxation after stressful days at school/work.

Between seasons five and six of The Walking Dead, my dad and I watched Breaking Bad, a show that continues to stimulate our everyday conversations.

We are now excited to be caught up with its spin-off series Better Call Saul, a show that takes place seven years before the notorious Heisenberg.

Now that season two of Better Call Saul and season six of The Walking Dead have finished, I have decided to suggest another show to fill in the time…

I’m pleased to inform you that after days of pleading, I’ve finally convinced my dad to watch Avatar: The Last Airbender!

Avatar the Last Airbender

Avatar was my favorite show growing up. It’s about a 112-year-old boy (yes… BOY) who possesses magical abilities of manipulating the elements (air, water, earth, and fire). I remember being fascinated by the different martial arts incorporated in the show, each art form subject to an element.

I’m excited most of all that I can enjoy this show with my dad. Although it’s not my dad’s ideal show, it will be interesting to see what conversations ignite concerning its plot, characters, and themes.

More than anything, though, as long as we can enjoy it together, it will be worthwhile.

After all, that’s what it’s all about…

What do you guys think? What are some cool aspects of Avatar: The Last Airbender? Are there other shows we should be watching instead?

Comments are welcomed…

 

 

26. Three TV Shows that Changed my Life

TV is amazing… There’s nothing like relaxing after a long day of work (or school) and watching an episode in your favorite series.

Although the number of shows is many, I must narrow my favorite down to three. These three have sparked countless conversations, and have helped create unlikely friendships.

No. 3: The Walking Dead

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I was introduced to The Walking Dead by my gracious neighbor who loaned me the discs. Within two months, my father and I finished the first five seasons.

The Walking Dead is all about survival. In a world dominated by “walkers” (i.e. zombies), staying alive requires salvaging skills, stealth combat, and a complete disregard for human life.

A fascinating aspect of this show is the character development. The characters start out normal, but as the apocalypse hits, they adapt to their dangerous surroundings.

No. 2: Breaking Bad

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In between seasons 5 and 6 of The Walking Dead, My father and I decided to watch Breaking BadIt didn’t take long before we were hooked.

In many ways, Breaking Bad did me a huge favor. It gave me an opportunity to spend time with my dad, and it added richness to our conversations. We would literally finish an episode, stare at each other in disbelief, and then discuss how the next episode might resolve.

According to my father, Brian Cranston (Walter White) is the greatest actor alive. But Cranston isn’t the only phenomenal actor in the show; the show has a great cast, giving viewers a list of relatable characters.

No. 1: Avatar: The Last Airbender

Avatar the Last Airbender

In my opinion, there will never be a show quite like Avatar.

I began watching it in 2005, and it remains my all-time favorite. The animation, characters and choreography combine to craft a beautiful story of a 112-year-old boy’s destiny to save the world. It’s packed with fantasy action, love, hate, betrayal, loyalty, and basically everything else.

The biggest reason for this being No. 1 is its fantasy/steam punk elements. Although the story is slightly cliché, the fantasy elements are completely original. The magic system (i.e. bending), for example, it absolutely flawless.

So what are your favorite TV shows? More importantly, what aspects of TV do you enjoy the most? Please comment.   

 

 

 

 

21. Alan Rickman, an Artist of Character

A couple days ago, the world lost a great actor. The countless tweets from his cast members were evident that Alan Rickman was endeared by everyone he came into contact with. 

As a Harry Potter fan, I enjoyed watching Rickman play the part of Severus Snape, a sinister potions professor at Hogwarts School. Snape was my favorite character in both the books and movies. And I say this with full confidence: the movie industry could not have picked a better actor to portray Severus Snape than Alan Rickman.

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I figured that blogging about Alan Rickman would be appropriate since his death has moved so many people. According to the Harry Potter cast, Rickman left a legacy that will never be forgotten.

My favorite Snape moment was in The Prince’s Tale (chapter 33 of the final volume) when Snape’s true purpose was finally revealed. Throughout the series, Severus Snape was portrayed as one of the “bad guys.” He even professed to be a death eater (evil follower of Lord Voldemort). But in The Prince’s Tale, you find out that Snape was actually working undercover for the “good side.” The brilliance of J.K. Rowling simply astounds me every time I read that chapter.

Dumbledore watched her fly away, and as her silvery glow faded he turned back to Snape, and his eyes were full of tears.

“After all this time?”

“Always,” said Snape. -The Prince’s Tale

For the Lingering Lamp, January 14 will be known as Alan Rickman Day, a day where we will remember those who portrayed such beautiful characters.

“Albus Severus,” Harry said quietly, so that nobody but Ginny could hear, and she was tactful enough to pretend to be waving to Rose, who was now on the train, “you were named for two headmasters of Hogwarts. One of them was a Slytherin (Severus Snape) and he was probably the bravest man I ever knew.” -The Deathly Hallows Epilogue

 

 

 

 

18. Character Will Always Beat Visuals

As a kid, I enjoyed Star Wars for its light-saber duels and the super cool thing called the force. In fact, the action was the sole reason I liked the movies…

Episodes I, II, and III naturally contained better action and visuals than the original Star Wars trilogy (duh). But the original trilogy is better at one thing: classic quirky awesomeness.

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Yes… When I say classic quirky awesomeness, I’m referring to the numerous scenes with R2-D2 and C3PO and the amazing contrasts between Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Luke Skywalker. As fantasy author Brandon Sanderson said, “It is better to have great characters and a dull plot than vice versa.”

I truly believe this is why so many people prefer the original Star Wars trilogy over the new one. Because although the new Star Wars movies have better action and visuals, the original movies have more in-depth character.

I feel like Hollywood is losing its grip on great character development. Instead it is being substituted for action and visuals.

Last night, as I watched Episode IV, I nearly cried due to the lack of choreography. Honestly, the fighting from Episodes I, II, and III are head and shoulders better than the fighting in IV, V, and VI. However, though the choreography stunk, I thoroughly enjoying the movie. But why?

Because visuals will never be able to tell a story as well as a character…

 

13. Movie Adaptations of Books (a brief observation)

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If you’ve been keeping up with this blog, you would know by now that I love books. I also love movies based on books, and video games based on movies. To enjoy these forms of entertainment, though, I have to differentiate between the three, and acknowledge the differences that make each piece great.

The hardest to differentiate: Books and Movies

Within the last decade, Hollywood has adapted many popular books into films; and most of them have proven very successful. However, a large portion of book worms are constantly dissatisfied with the adaptations. When asked why they were disappointed, their responses were always, “Well, it’s because the movies were nothing like the books…”

But honestly, was it really a bad movie? Or was it just bad because the kissing scene was more passionate on paper than on screen?

After frequently hearing these complaints, I realized that many book worms had no idea how to properly analyze a film. They judged solely based on the book instead of on elements crucial to a movie.

The number one problem that these book worms have is that they can’t differentiate between literary and cinematic components. Some elements that make a book great won’t necessarily emerge the same on screen. This is because people think differently while reading opposed to watching. While reading, people (more or less) are open minded. When watching, people want the story to progress quickly. For example, in Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game (definitely one of my favorite books), Peter and Valentine (siblings of the protagonist, Ender) spend six or seven chapters discussing ways they can take over the world. While reading the book, my mind allowed for additional plots to infiltrate my imagination, creating a broader picture of the story as a whole. If those seven chapters had appeared on screen, however, I would have died of boredom. They would have introduced something that had nothing to do with the main arc, therefore slowing the pace of the story.

The bottom line is this: movies can’t be books, and books can’t be movies. Since this is true, then judging movies based on their books is completely pointless. It would be like eating a hot-dog, then complaining that it doesn’t taste like a hamburger…

Instead we should enjoy the different interpretations, and discuss them accordingly.

So what do you guys think? Do you agree with my point of view? Or are the complaints valid?

I highly encourage comments!

 

 

10. Dumplings… Oh yeah… and Saving the World

Something is coming that is GONNA BLOW EVERYONE’S MINDS!

KUNG FU PANDA 3

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If you are a teenager or young adult, and haven’t seen Kung Fu Panda, I pity you. It’s one of the funniest, coolest fighting epics of the century. In my opinion, the Panda movies definitely rival all the classic martial arts movies (Karate Kid, Jackie Chan, etc.). Not only does it have legendary (animated) Kung Fu fighting, but it contains literally the BEST humor!

Honestly, I’ve said enough… Just watch the trailer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGPPfZIvtCw

My favorite part about the Kung Fu Panda movies are the characters (they may or may not describe my friends in real life ;).

Also, Kung Fu Panda 3 will be introducing a lot of new characters including Po’s DAD, whose voice is played by none other than Breaking Bad star, Brian Cranston. This, ladies and gentlemen, is reason enough to see the new movie.

I’m not sure if DreamWorks can top the original film, but I’ll definitely be buying a ticket to see this on the big screen. I’ll write an official review once I see it.

I want to know what you guys think… What are some expectations for Kung Fu Panda 3?

 

 

3. Breaking Bad: Observation on the Ending (spoilers)

Instead of aimlessly waiting for the sixth season of the Walking Dead to premier, my father and I decided to watch AMC’s second most popular show: Breaking Bad.

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At first, we were skeptical, unsure if Breaking Bad would deliver as much drama as the Walking Dead. But as the episodes flew by, we began to get hooked. Peaceful family evenings quickly turned into late night madness. With compelling characters, dramatic plot twists, and a whole lot of the blue stuff, Breaking Bad exceeded our expectations.

At first, Walter White was my favorite character. During the fifth season, however, as Walter slowly became a menacing, cold-blooded murderer, Jesse Pinkman became my new favorite. Of all the characters, Jesse had the most consistent standards. And as the fifth season progressed, I began rooting for him, and against Walt.

As the episodes got deeper with conflict, I couldn’t imagine how the writers could craft a satisfying ending. Honestly, I feared the worst: Walt’s family would die, Jesse would die, and the millions of dollars earned would be taken by the feds.

However, the final episode closed all major plot points in a satisfying manner. Yes, Walter died, but appropriate closer was presented before his death: he reconciled with his wife, he rescued Jesse (with flair) from a terrible imprisonment, and he even found a way to give his millions to his kids.

One of the best parts about the ending was the loose ends. Every great story resolves major plot points, and leaves some minor plot points open. This gives the viewers an opportunity to explore the story in their imaginations.

HOWEVER, one minor plot point that should have been resolved was Jesse’s future… His final scene was of him speeding away to who-knows-where. Maybe it’s different for some fans, but since Jesse was my favorite character, I was hoping for some clarification on his future. Was he going to visit Brock? Was he going to cook again? IDK! I wish the writers would have given Jesse a clearer, happier ending, especially since they killed off his girlfriend unexpectedly.

But what do you guys think about the ending? What were some other minor plot points that left fans hanging?

Thanks for reading, and have an A-ONE day… 😉