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STAR TREK: PICARD | SEASON 2: A Personal, Intimate, Mind-bending Adventure

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Star Trek: Picard season 2 marks the successful return of Jean-Luc Picard played by the legendary Sir Patrick Stewart. Debuting today on Paramount Plus in the States and March 4th on Prime Video in the UK. In season one we saw a new side to the character after being absent on screen for over 20 plus years. It featured Picard now retired from Starfleet following the destruction of the planet Romulus and living on his family’s vineyard comfortably with his loving dog named Number 1 and his staff assistants. Picard is drawn into a new adventure and season two promises for more to come. Picard has a new crew, each a lost cause. They have a ship and a whole galaxy to explore the second season boldly goes where no man has gone before.

Before this review I was lucky enough to see the first three episodes of Star Trek: Picard season 2 and going forward will be reviewing and recapping each episode individually, but for now here are my spoiler-free thoughts on the episodes that I have seen.


I won’t delve into too many spoiler details but after vanquishing a Romulan threat in the first season, Jean-Luc is about to encounter another old enemy whilst on a time-twisting, mind-bending mission. Thematically Star Trek: Picard season two is quite the emotional experience, especially for the audience and Picard himself as he takes the road not taken. Picard is someone who seems to be broken by the experiences that he dealt with at the end of his career and now as a 94-year old, the Admiral is reflecting on the life he’s lived, the lives he’s saved, the galaxy’s he’s explored, and the regrets he holds.

Season two is about to explore some strange new worlds. Just what he’ll be discovering is his own love life. This new understanding relates to individuals and close relationships with people. The highs and lows of relationships are explored with every character in season 2, however when season 2 picks up we see a time jump and already relationships are getting complicated, with the amount of time that’s passed between seasons, each member of the crew is now in a different place. The time jump that happened off-camera between the releases of the first two seasons is a wise choice that provides fresh stories and fresh perspectives. Picard’s showrunner Akiva Goldsman says that the time jump in empty space allows the audience to play catch-up and gets us imagining.

This new Picard is the same man because of Sir Patrick Stewart, who himself has undergone some changes and drama in his life which has been intertwined with Picard’s own experiences. We see him in a new light as themes of mental health and trauma continue from season one. There is some kind of trauma going on that drove Picard to become an explorer in the first place, which we have yet to find out, especially since it was long before he encountered the Borg. Season two is about an older Picard who doesn’t have much time to come to grips with personal matters. The game is afoot, the trial has begun, and the clock is ticking.

The passionate and incredible writing and storytelling continue in season 2, especially throughout the three episodes I’ve watched. The first episode alone titled “The Star Gazer” re-introduces Picard as if we’re catching up with an old friend. The writers cleverly allude to upcoming narratives from the get-go as Jean-Luc is thrust back into the firing line. It’s a very cinematic and serialised show that spans one big storyline that blends 400 years from now with the present day. The advancements in filmmaking also astound me, as the production levels are sky-high and much easier than it was during the last twenty-five years, it’s made to look more real than ever before.

Star Trek: Picard Season 2 continues to explore uncharted territories especially seen in episodes two and three from the new season. Picard and his crew Agnes, Raffi, Seven of Nine, Rios, and Elnor all face a certain turmoil which gets stirred up, and what the outcomes of that is, well you’ll just have to tune in and see.

Overall, I for one am so excited to return to this world, especially since it brings a sense of belonging and comfort. I also love that it is universal and can enjoy watching with my dad who grew up with the original series and has been a Trekkie all his life, it was astonishing to see both seasons of Picard through his eyes and point of view as his childlike qualities came out when easter eggs and references from the expanded universe appeared. As a new final frontier dawns upon us I can’t wait to see what the remaining seven episodes have in store.

For more in-depth coverage of Star Trek: Picard Season 2 please stick around on Coastal House Media as I bring you recaps/reviews each week.

Created by Akiva Goldsman, Michael Chabon, Kirsten Beyer, and Alex Kurtzman, Star Trek: Picard Season 2 premieres March 3 on Paramount+ followed by a release on Prime Video March 4th in the UK.

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Streaming & TV

‘Knuckles’ Review | A Warrior’s Journey of Self-Discovery

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This review was made possible by advance screeners of all six episodes of Knuckles. All episodes of Knuckles release on Paramount+ on April 26 and April 27 in the UK.

Paramount+ has made a triumphant return to the Sonic the Hedgehog universe with their latest event series, “Knuckles,” celebrating the 30th anniversary of the beloved character this year after his first appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 back in 1994. Knuckles the Echidna, portrayed brilliantly by Idris Elba, truly gets his time to shine in this six-episode streaming series that I thought truly delivers a fresh and captivating take on the iconic Sega character. Plus It’s only fitting that Paramount’s version of the character should get a chance in the spotlight, and boy do they deliver. 

This series stands out as one of the best interpretations of Knuckles we’ve seen thus far, capturing his stoic and proud nature while also infusing moments of comic relief. Throughout, the six episodes seamlessly weave an original narrative while simultaneously staying true to the essence of Sonic’s world, and the Paramount franchise offers a cohesive and visually striking continuation of the previous two Sonic movies. 

Paramount

The second installment of Sonic the Hedgehog found Knuckles (Idris Elba) choosing to remain on Earth and guard the master emerald. The Paramount+ series begins with Knuckles getting used to life in Green Hills and is ultimately tasked with mentoring the bumbling sheriff’s deputy Wade Whipple (Adam Pally). Knuckles takes on the role of a guide and leader as the series takes them both on a hilarious and action-packed road-trip journey of self-discovery as he agrees to train Wade (Adam Pally) as his protégé and teach him the ways of the Echidna warrior. The series takes place between the films Sonic The Hedgehog 2 and Sonic the Hedgehog 3. However, despite Knuckles being the title of the show, Wade Wipple plays a significant role, adding to the dynamic and charm of the storyline as a beloved character from the previous movies.

Paramount

Wade is on a journey from zero to hero in a tale of self-discovery. Whipple is an underdog in every sense of the word, and while he has a good heart, he’s significantly lacking in skills and self-confidence. The dynamic between him and the lovable Green Hills deputy Wade Whipple, portrayed by Adam Pally, adds depth and humour to the storytelling. Pally’s portrayal of Wade as an underdog on a journey of self-discovery brings a refreshing and endearing touch to the series, balancing the comedic elements with heartfelt character development.

While Sonic is cheerful and embraces Earth’s pop culture, Knuckles is a lot more dis-trusting and judgmental. Meanwhile, Wade’s pretty much a Sheriff’s deputy and fits none of the cop cliches. He’s nothing resembling a warrior, and he’s underestimated by every single person in his life. Knuckles and Wade are both remote in unique ways, and that’s the key to the series’ success. Both Pally and Elba are outstanding but as a result, Pally ends up stealing the show. By adding layers to the character and driving the narrative with humour and heart. The series is arguably more about Wade than it is about Knuckles, but Idris Elba does get some moments to shine another favourite of mine was Stockard Channing as Wade’s Mum, Wendy Whipple. 

Director Jeff Fowler expertly reintroduces familiar faces like Sonic, Tails, and Maddie Wachowski, grounding the series in its established universe while creators John Whittington and Toby Ascher explore new depths for Knuckles and Wade. The offbeat and unpredictable dynamic between the two leads sets the series apart, offering a fresh perspective on the Sonic universe that fans will appreciate.

Paramount

Idris Elba’s portrayal of Knuckles shines, showing a different side of the character. Ultimately, the incorporation of comedy, action, and heartwarming moments kept me engaged throughout the series. With warming themes on finding ones home, it is apparent that Knuckles is the last remaining member of his species, and from the beginning, it is evident that he holds the belief that “an echidna warrior has no home.” Therefore, it is expected that by the conclusion of the season, we will witness his transformation as he embraces a newfound sense of belonging. Whipple is instrumental in facilitating this change by providing Knuckles with the support of a loving family, complete with Stockard Channing, as I’ve mentioned being a standout in the role of his mother, who introduces him to the comforting embrace of their Jewish-American customs.

Paramount

We also witness the family and sibling dynamic, especially at the dinner table between Edi Patterson’s Wanda and Pally’s Wade, which is delightfully juvenile and petty. Though they both portray cops in this, she gets to one-up him a bit as an actual FBI agent, rubbing that in her brother’s face. The Whipple family, I found, brought further depth and entertainment to the series, enhancing the overall viewing experience. Episode three is a firm favourite.

However, hot on their tails are Agents Mason (Scott Mescudi, AKA Kid Cudi) and Willoughby (Ellie Taylor), who are in close pursuit, revealing the underlying tensions within the narrative. I found the Team Rocket-like dynamic of the G.U.N agents particularly engaging. However, I found some of the antagonists lacking in intrigue, especially when compared to the compelling portrayal of Jim Carrey as Doctor Robotnik in the previous films. The goals of these antagonists felt derivative, echoing a familiar yet diluted plot from the first Sonic the Hedgehog movie. The Knuckles trailer, featuring the iconic 1990s rap song “Knuck if You Buck,” showcased Rory McCann in a mysterious villain role. Known for his role as the Hound in Game of Thrones, McCann’s talent feels underutilised in this series. The character of The Buyer is disappointingly underdeveloped. However, Scott Mescudi (Kid Cudi) and Ellie Taylor deliver enjoyable performances as the antagonists, bringing a sense of fun and charisma to their roles. While their motivations are not deeply explored, their association with G.U.N. provides enough context for their menacing presence. Despite the lack of character development, the actors’ performances elevate the portrayal of these antagonists.

Paramount

As a fan of Sega’s iconic Hedgehog and the games I found that the series is enriched with thoughtfully placed Easter eggs and references, catering to fans like myself with a keen eye for detail. To my amazement, Knuckles undergoes a surprising transformation into a rock opera midway through, featuring spectacular needle drops and a soundtrack. The choice of the ’80s rock anthem ‘The Warrior’ by Scandal is a stroke of genius. It elevates the narrative and sets the tone for the action-packed adventure. The animated credit sequence features rewritable CDs organised in a binder, adds a unique touch to the overall presentation.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Overall, “Knuckles” masterfully incorporates humour, action, and heartfelt moments, providing a captivating portrayal of the beloved Sonic character. The series excels in storytelling, performances, and hidden gems, ushering in an exciting new chapter for the Sonic The Hedgehog Cinematic Universe and leaving audiences eagerly anticipating more. Adam Pally delivers a standout performance in the six episodes alongside Idris Elba’s Knuckles. This lighthearted and entertaining series strikes a perfect balance between adventure and emotion, making it a hit with families.

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Comic Book Movies

The Penguin | Official Teaser — HBO Max

Following the events of ‘The Batman,’ Oswald Cobblepot, aka The Penguin, makes a play to grab the reigns of the crime world in Gotham.

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Genre:

Crime, Drama, Fantasy

Release Date:

2024

Director:

Craig Zobel

Cast:

Colin Farrell, Cristin Milioti, Rhenzy Feliz

Plot Summary:

Following the events of ‘The Batman,’ Oswald Cobblepot, aka The Penguin, makes a play to grab the reigns of the crime world in Gotham.

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Action

‘Warrior ‘ Cancelled After Three Seasons

Netflix has acquired the rights to ‘Warrior’

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Ah Sahm (Andrew Koji) has fought his final fight over at MAX, as the beloved martial arts show, Warrior, has been cancelled after just three seasons. However, fans may be happy, and hopeful to learn that streaming giant, Netflix has recently acquired all rights to the three seasons of the show set to start streaming February 2024. Does this mean we could get a fourth season after all? Well as we’ve seen with previous shows like Cobra Kai, one of Netflix’s biggest successes’, if Warrior does become a successful addition to the Netflix catalogue, then a fourth season is all but guaranteed. But only time will tell.

Starting its journey on Cinemax for its first two seasons, before landing an temporary place on MAX for its recent third season, Warrior now finds its third home in four years. Its first season premiered in 2019 on Cinemax through to 2020 before the the network announced the cancellation of all original programming. A year later, in 2021, MAX announced a third season of the show which premiered this summer.

Still from Warrior (MAX)

Series creator Jonathon Tropper shared in an exclusive article from Deadline that “Warrior is a show that simply refuses to die. Through platform and regime changes, the writers, producers, cast, crew, and our stunt team continued to make something powerful, relevant, and wildly unique. And now, thanks to Netflix, we’ve been given yet another lease on life, and I’m thrilled for everyone involved that millions more viewers around the world will discover it”.

Based upon the writings of legendary martial artist Bruce Lee, Warrior follows Ah Sahm, a martial arts prodigy from China, who immigrates to San Francisco and a hatchet man for the most powerful Tong in all of China town.

For now though, Warrior is still available to stream on MAX

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