TV Binge: On My Block (Season 3, 2020)

Check out TV binge for previous 2 seasons below:

Season 1
Season 2

On My Block (Season 3, 2020)

on my block s3

Creators: Eddie Gonzalez, Jeremy Haft, Lauren Iungerich

Cast: Sierra Capri, Jason Genao, Brett Gray, Diego Tinoco, Jessica Marie Garcia, Peggy Blow, Julio Macias, Paula Garces, Reggie Austin, Ada Luz Pla

A coming-of-age story about four bright, street-savvy friends navigating their way through high school in the gritty inner city of South Central Los Angeles. Dealing with the danger of getting their friend out of a gang and friends turning into romance, danger is constant. – IMDB

Picking up right after the shocking ending of the four friends getting kidnapped off the streets, On My Block Season 3 starts off with them kidnapped to see Cuchillos, the head of the Santos, who end up thanking them for getting rid of The Prophets and then of course, just like expected, sending them on a much more dangerous task: finding Ricky who is probably not dead (contrary to what is believed). This mission is one that they not only have a time limit with some serious consequences if they don’t achieve it but at the same time, one that they must tackle without anyone else knowing but having to find somewhere to start despite their own arguments among themselves and get back together to face it together with the help of Spooky and Jasmine.

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The writers of this show actually did a really great choice at this point as while the four friends, Cesar (Diego Tinoco), Monse (Sierra Capri), Ruby (Jason Genao) and Jamal (Brett Gray), are all still our main set of characters, they decided to write in much more depth continuing on from Season 2 for Spooky (Julio Macias) and more importantly, Jasmine (Jessica Marie Garcia) who turns out to be so much more than where she started in Season 1. Its knowing when their problems can’t be the only things in the picture that it gives the show a lot more boost with those two as it turns into a team of five tackling this with a little outside/family help from Spooky. There are still a lot of the familiar problems carrying forward between the four. Monse and Cesar are tackling their relationship and whether they should be together because of bad decisions and other factors as well as family issues; Ruby still has a lot of inner troubles from the trauma he experienced but in this one, he’s also realizing his problems has caused real financial problems for his parents while Jamal tackles girl problems and figuring out his priorities. While Monse used to be the glue for the group, surprisingly, everyone has some healing and Jasmine ends up really getting them straight on what’s more important and how to set their problems aside and work together, even if by the end, things don’t quite work out as intended, which will make Season 4 an interesting change in events for these characters, if it happens. The new group dynamic did give a good boost.

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Another great writing is really giving a lot of balance to the characters. Its a quick 8 episodes every season but getting to see equal doses of these characters for their own quirks and problems is the first step to lead to a realization that this group is not as solid as it used to be in Season 1 especially as they grow up and face more problems. In this one, this mission takes them on some crazy locations and meets some funny and at times, over the top, people that truly give this season a lot of charm. Its the process of this mission that makes more of a bang than how it ends, very in tune with how this show does manage to give it a humorous mostly because of not understanding the seriousness of the situation right from the first season. In that sense, the tone here is darker but still has that balance of light-hearted and awkward humor to make it a fun watch especially in the case of Jamal and Ruby who come together in this one a lot and really come up with some crazy ideas. Together they can make all kinds of bad logic work out in their minds that its okay and that is rather incredible despite things usually not going the way they expected.

On My Block S3

With that said, while the whole series does move fairly quickly and is overall, a fun trip with roles like Jamal, Jasmine, Ruby really having some shining moments as well as giving a lot more for Spooky to do that makes him such a deeper character that would be nice see further how it all plays out in the next season. While its not exactly a downfall, the more lackluster characters do go to Cesar and Monse mostly because they seem to always revolve in the same problems since end of Season 1 to this season and they  have the same struggles, which gives them less character development than before. With 8 episodes though, its definitely a bingeworthy show for fans of the show.

TV Binge: Nailed It! (Season 3, 2019)

You can find previous Nailed It reviews below:

Season 1
Season 2
Holidays
Mexico

Nailed It! (Season 3, 2019)

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Host: Nicole Byers, Jacques Torres

Home bakers with a terrible track record take a crack at re- creating edible masterpieces for a $10,000 prize. It’s part reality contest, part hot mess. – IMDB

Nailed It has been doing really good. While the series itself really follows one simple formula and stays in the fairly small season batches of only about 6 episodes and a special here and there, it seems to work very well especially in small doses. This TV binge is going to be fairly short because there isn’t a whole lot of different to say about the show. That isn’t a criticism in any way because why fix what isn’t broken, right? To me, that applies very well in this situation.

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For those following Nailed It, the mistakes that people make among the contestants do sometimes feel like they generally get repeated. However, the show still manages to offer tips in both cake decoration as well as the actually baking method and how to approach these intricate cakes. Let’s be fair that some of these cakes look like they probably take longer than the time allotted to them in these situations (but then what do I know, my baking is much less design and more simple practicality). However, it is the accidents and the silliness and in turn, the final results that make Nailed It so much fun to watch. It definitely feels like one of the few that focus on amateur baking. I had some criticisms about the season 2 breaking away from its formula and adding in other elements less baking and more fruit carving and such, however, season 3 finds itself back to its roots and I’m very happy to see it do that. While I think those other things have its potential to be fun to watch, just like its hinting at the DIY Nailed It idea, its a nice spinoff to do but just not as part of an amateur baking show.

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However, the heart of Nailed It still lies in its hosts. Nicole Byers, especially in Season 3, has truly found her place in it. Her humor hits all the time at the right places. Her pairing with Jacques Torres is starting to really also find its rhythm as well. At the same time, over these few seasons, they have also made a true character out of Wes and giving more screen time and having more creative ways of making an appearance with the trophy and whatnot. Its all in the name of fun and entertainment and its only 6 episodes but packed with a lot of it.

Are you a fan of Nailed it?

TV Binge: A Series of Unfortunate Events (Season 3, 2019)

You can find the previous season TV Binges post below:

Season 1
Season 2

A Series of Unfortunate Events (Season 3, 2019)

a series of unfortunate events

Cast: Neil Patrick Harris, Patrick Warburton, Malina Weissman, Louis Hynes, Presley Smith, K. Todd Freeman, Lucy Punch, Dylan Kingwell, Allison Williams, Kitana Turnbull, Max Greenfield

After the loss of their parents in a mysterious fire, the three Baudelaire children face trials and tribulations attempting to uncover dark family secrets. – IMDB

The third and final season of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events has now progressed to be the most dark of the three seasons. Rightfully so because the books also get quite dark in the last 4 stories. Its adapted well to the novels in a similar timeline. As with the previous few seasons, small changes have been made in each story but essentially to work up to an ending which feels much more exact than the one presented in the novels. Whether that is a good or bad thing is truly up for debate at this point based on your preference.  It keeps up with the vocabulary focus and the educational element and the clever puns used as well as keeping our narrator by Patrick Warburton ever so interesting and quirky to watch.

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The final season takes us for some dangerous rides through some odd locations as the Baudelaires now approach the whereabouts of VFD and what it is about. While previous seasons have been quite dangerous already, this one definitely takes a turn as all the characters: the Baudelaires and Count Olaf and his crew all have a decent amount of development. Its been a long time waiting to see how his minions play in the story because they have only been supporting characters at this point. As the story winds together, its good to see that the final season takes into account all these characters and gives them some resolution and ending, making sure that they were not disposable and had a key part (whether small or big) to the entire story. What works even better is how it makes sure to now pull in why Lemony Snicket decided to do all this and while we’ve already seen Jacques Snicket, here the mystery unravels further. All this works to round out what has already been presented as over the last 2 seasons, there has been a lot of questions and so few answers. The writing and storytelling has always been the strength of the show and it maintains it here.

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Moving on to the characters, The Baudelaires have all grown comfortably into their roles, whether it is Malina Weissman or Louis Hynes as they are the older kids who pass their characters’ birthday during this and the last season giving us a perspective of time for the series especially for the maturity and development of their characters, Violet and Klaus respectively. This story giving them somewhat of a love angle as well, inevitable with the amount of people that they do end up meeting along this series of unfortunate events. However, nothing quite beats having a much more understandable Sunny who is still a toddler but now we can get a good idea that she has some great linguistic skills as if you read the subtitles and whatnot, its another languages version in some cases (or maybe I’m hearing things). With that said, Count Olaf has had the darker development as each season progressed and in this season, he is the smartest that we have seen him and we start seeing his own motives which are more than just for the money. On top of that, as we would expect, some new characters appear and they include Kit Snicket (Allison Williams), the Denouement Brothers (Max Greenfield) as well a lot of familiar faces reappearing as well.

The third and final season of A Series of Unfortunate Events does a great job at wrapping up the series. It makes some choices especially in the ending that might not sit well with some people however, I thought it was pretty clever to add their own twist. Plus, its nice to see that they thought about all the characters that came into the Baudelaires lives that mattered and did a little mention for them.

TV Binge: Queer Eye (Season 3, 2019)

Queer Eye (Season 3, 2019)

Queer Eye

Hosts: Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Jonathan Van Ness, Antoni Porowski, Tan France

The third season of Queer Eye is finally here! If you read my Queer Eye Season 1 TV Binge (you can find it HERE), I’m a huge fan of the show. I’ve probably watched seasons 1 and 2 a good five times on and off. So good that I spent so much time rewatching it and haven’t written up the Season 2 TV binge. I did debate doing it first but oh well, let’s stay current and catch up later, right?

Season 3 moves the Fab Five to a new city. This time, they are helping out people in Kansus City, Missouri! Its nice to change the location, even if it means nothing to me because I don’t live in the US. However, other than location, there is a few little changes here and there which are subtle but contribute a lot to making this show even more powerful and effective than before. It didn’t really need to change anything but whatever it did, has given it a smoother execution.

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First of all, after 2 seasons, the Fab Five in Season 3 has really found their place in each of their domains. They jive together well and even better than before, making them even more genuine to watch and having that feeling of being approachable and knowledgeable makes their distance and a lot of the candidates undergoing these makeovers as they tell their stories even more relevant.  It is their dynamic and their experiences that lend to each of these stories and adds that personal touch. Its also the mesh of the more fun elements of the actual makeover and  then the more emotional elements of the candidates back stories and how they got to the place that they are in and the inner battles they have. Its the balance that the Fab Five and the show as achieved that makes the the more intriguing to watch.

The second thing that works here is that the show always picks a good balance of people doing it. They have zero boundaries in that sense. We see people of all ages, gender and race and then are able to see how they can help each of them improve themselves. This works because it also emphasizes that people shouldn’t see each other’s differences but rather see our similarities and that everyone tackles a lot of the same problems. It also works a lot on tackling feelings and inner (more psychological) issues while upgrading and educating on the outside beauty. It helps that Fab Five are genuinely supportive, encouraging and positive. The diversity of the people and families involved here make it really great to watch. In previous seasons, there was a bigger gap between how one story to the next would translate and connect but in this season, the stories all land in their own way, tugging those heart strings, breaking those boundaries and taking strides towards viewing this world and understanding the difficulties that a lot of people face and the hurdles that make them fall behind and need that nudge to move forward again in the right direction to find themselves, their identity and their confidence, etc.

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The last point is that each of these stories seem to have this family/relationship theme revolving around it. It is one of those subtle changes but a lot of these stories is about their family members or someone close nominating them due to whatever reason or anticipating an event or just being better for themselves so they can be their best selves for the next step in their lives. Its because of the choices in whose stories are told and those different stages in life that make them more poignant and touching.

Queer Eye has reached Season 3 and this is the best season so far. The Fab Five are great together and provide both heartwarming moments and comedic ones as well. Its a warm and show that aims to spread love and a lot of positive messages about acceptance in the society. Its one that needs a box of Kleenex but in such a satisfying way. Its bingeworthy and I can’t wait for the next season.

Have you seen Queer Eye Season 3 yet?

Ultimate Beastermaster: Survival of the Fittest (Season 3, 2018)

Ultimate Beastmaster: Survival of the Fittest
(Season 3, 2018)

Countries: USA, South Korea, Great Britain, France, Germany, Mexico, Brazil, Australia

Hosts:

USA: Tiki Barber, CM Punk
South Korea: Seo Kyung Suk, Park Kyeong Rim
Great Britain: Kate Abdo, Stu Bennett
France: Gilles Marini, Sandy Heribert
Germany: Micky Beisenherz, Jeannine Michaelsen
Mexico: Luis Ernesto Franco, Ines Sainz
Brazil: Rafinha Bastos, Anderson Silva
Australia: Dannii Minogue, Nick Cummins

Season 3 of The Ultimate Beastmaster is definitely a survival of the fittest. After last year, it seems they’ve spent those extra months to revamp the Beast. The show itself which felt more like the Ninja Warrior game show style is definitely feeling much more like a legitimate competition with a slight revamp in point system, modified obstacles and a new structure to the competition itself. There are more countries, less athletes, more possibilities to gain extra points based on speed and the show adds in a semifinals portion. For mega fans like myself who can’t help to binge the entire show over the weekend of the launch, its a lot to process whether all those changes made the show more competition or did it create an imbalance to the athletes in each round making it to the semifinals and then to the finals. However, I have to say, by the time I reached the finals, I was sold through and through on this new set-up for Ultimate Beastmaster.

Season 3 doesn’t show any signs of slowing down and that makes it so exciting because it gives this Netflix reality show not only an international twist but also has the perk of having the countries involved be hosted with their own languages. It is something I’ve appreciated from the first season and highlights some fantastic athletes. This season’s athletes are simply incredible. A lot of them that made it through really showed resilience, perseverance, motivation and even packed in some incredibly inspiring stories from different backgrounds. I might never train to conquer the Beast, it feels a little late but it did give me such an appreciation of the obstacles and respect for these fantastic athletes.

If you are like me, well, lets take a look at some of the changes more in depth and how I feel its improved Ultimate Beastmaster as a whole both from the entertainment value like the hosts and countries as well as the competition set-up itself. Note that there will be no spoilers. I won’t tell you who wins the season, who makes it to whichever part or mention particularly any athletes. The joy is letting their abilities and successes surprise you when you go watch it for yourself.

Ultimate Beastmaster

Contestants & Hosts

This year’s new addition is Australia and Great Britain for starters. They bring in their own rivalries along with some of the other countries also falling into their own competitions especially propelled by the hosts as they fight in their booths in past year. To be honest, the hosts themselves bring in some screen time and they are full of life. One of the features of Ultimate Beastmaster is that each country gets their show hosted by that country or the language the hosts are speaking. For me in Canada, well, we always get the US version of things which is not a bad thing. This year, Tiki Barber makes a return and CM Punk replaces last season’s co-host. I don’t know who he is but hearing Tiki Barber have the chance of calling him “Punk” all the line legitimately because its his name makes it kind of entertaining at times. There is a fair screen time for other hosts too.

In terms of contestants, this year’s is all about who they are. I like the fact that they decreased the amount of contestants making it one per country but adding 2 extra countries (I believe) to have 8 countries instead of 6 with 2 contestants to make it even more diverse and of course, the decreased amount lets us see more lengthy versions of their Beastmaster run in each level while also seeing more of their back story. In the previous seasons, it would favor over the country we were watching but in sportsmanship like manner, which makes this more of an actual competition, it gives the feeling of equal emphasis and that adds so much to the competition. Honestly, I have my more favorite contestants because we learn more about them and watch them through the levels so everyone gets to cheer for everyone or someone when we reach the semifinals or even the finals. It got me more involved. Sometimes the drama is a little heavy handed but I think in some cases, Ultimate Beastmaster also doubles as motivation that working out is a positive thing and inspiring as different outlets for different people in different country having different reasons that pushed to the sports and fitness that they choose to excel in.

Point System & Tournament Structure

In the past, from what I remember at least, the point system was accumulative over the 3 rounds and the lowest contestants like 2 or 4 or something would get eliminated. I did wonder on how I felt for the first few episodes when I saw that each round resets the points to zero and makes it structured around their successes in that round so that the contestants all get a clean slate for the next part and not have a head start on their points giving them an advantage to move on to the next round. At the same time, point thrusters are present as usual while they added something called mega point thrusters which count down and encourage the contestants to be faster to get there and maximize their points. Its good because while caution is important, the same amount of points is differentiated by their time in who comes out first. Mega thrusters also give the contestants a way to who is willing to make those risks to get ahead and sometimes, especially with one contestant this season, it cost them a lot.

What makes this more like a tournament is that every episode yields the top two to go into the semi-finals. And semi-finals are after each set of 3 episodes bringing in 6 contestants to do pretty much an endurance run of the entire obstacles as far as they can with on restart from a checkpoint. This is what makes it more like a tournament. The top few will go to the finals which now isn’t a race to the top but how far or how fast they can get to the top with any points as possible.

Obstacle Course

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Finally, its impossible to not end this without talking about the obstacle courses. If you follow it like myself, you will see that some of the obstacles especially the particularly challenging ones are still around. It is nice to see that while this course is very favoring towards those with upper body strength, some of the courses are changed a little more to be a little easier but making some other parts also more challenging. Its these changes that give it a nice twist and refreshing to watch. Sometimes the little changes are all you need to round out the experience.

Overall, I’m a big fan of Ultimate Beastmaster. I love the new structure and the whole tournament style works really well. The new system and less countries and having more time to see the contestants and the obstacles in general all contribute to a better experience. Its an awesome change.  I’m hoping that it gets renewed again.

TV Binge: Gilmore Girls (Season 3, 2003)

Continuing on with the Gilmore Girls, Season 2 ended on quite an odd note. Marriage, broken hearts and conflicted feelings pretty much wraps it up. Heading into Season 3, Gilmore Girls has a lot in store as it would seem as it picks up months later when summer is at its end.

Lets talk about the third season!

Gilmore Girls [Season 3, 2003]

gilmore girls season 3

Creator: Amy Sherman-Palladino

Cast: Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Scott Patterson, Milo Ventimiglia, Melissa McCarthy, Liza Weil, Kelly Bishop, Keiko Agena, Edward Herrmann, Sean Gunn, Jared Padalecki, Yanic Truesdale

Season 3 starts with learning that Rory headed out with Paris for a learning experience. Her and Paris has grown closer a friends despite their personalities. They come back to head into the final year of high school at Chilton. Rory comes back to Stars Hollow with Dean eagerly waiting for her to come back but in her mind, she thinks about kissing Jess at Sookie’s wedding but realizes that he has moved on with someone else. Lorelai is healing from Chris showing his love and devotion to her but having to run off to be responsible and stay with Sherry and take care of her as she is pregnant. Over the course of the season, Jess experiences quite a bit whether with Rory or personally. Luke and Jess’s relationship grows. Emily and Richard Gilmore become more prominent in their lives as we can see their roles becoming more important as well. Finally, Lane commits to joining a band after learning to play the drums. As usual, the town of Stars Hollows has a lot of shenanigans thanks to Taylor and Kirk always has something funky to add.

What did I like from Season 3!

Jess/Jess & Rory

Gilmore Girls

Perhaps generic and easy to figure out but I love Jess as a character. Jess’s character has one of the most developments, particularly in this season. He’s troubled by his mommy issues which he tries to hide. He actually is really smart and loves reading inside his bad boy exterior. He challenges Rory but also likes her a whole lot that he’ll go through lots of situations for her. However, Jess is still young and he is not yet the guy for Rory yet. Will he be? Well, we’ll see, right? Still, his relationship with Rory is one that I love.

Jess’s relationship with Rory might not be very lengthy, at least not in comparison to Dean’s but it was a lot more impactful. Something about Jess and Rory really meshed well, but it also felt like they weren’t in the right place yet. Somehow it seems very similar to what we can say about Lorelai and Chris, who seems to mesh well but never in the right place to be together yet, no matter how much they loved each other.

Rory, Paris & Chilton

Gilmore Girls

 The friendship between Rory and Paris is a special one. Its competition and intellectual and awkward in so many ways and yet, somehow they’ve bonded in the oddest way. Paris is all work, high intensity all the time. Rory is also pretty intense about academics but together its hard to deny and they make a good team. Paris is efficient and all work where Rory is more of the appealing person and pulls everyone together but when times get hard, she stays loyal and steps up. That is the growth that Rory has in Season 3 and one that is pretty awesome.

Cameo performances

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Season 3 brought in some familiar faces as cameos. There was Adam Brody who played as Dave who has a relationship with Lane. There’s Billy Burke as Alex, a businessman who ends up dating Lorelai for a little bit. These two in particular have quite some fun moments from Lorelai trying to pretend to learn how to fish to Dave and Lane trying to hide their relationship not only from Mrs. Kim but also from their band. And while not exactly a cameo, Dean’s new relationship is with Lindsay, played by Arielle Kebbel. Not to mention Rob Lowe also makes an appearance as Jess’s father. I’m sure I’m missing someone else but please forgive me, as I type this up, I’m already at Season 7…

New Beginnings

Embracing a new stage is probably where season 3 is. Sookie and Jackson are pregnant with their first child. Paris is facing her relationship and her and Rory are preparing to apply for universities and choosing their next step to the future. Lorelai and Sookie and Michel are faced with Independence Inn’s accident and embracing their dream of opening their own inn. Opportunities come with hurdles and they face them head-on like they all should. Everyone is learning to be brave and doing what needs to be done to achieve their goals and find a place that is right for them.

Gilmore Girls

I don’t really have a whole lot to say about Season 3, mostly because while I find it a charming season, my favorite parts that I remember are the hectic moments and watching Jess and Rory and well, Jess in general. Luke and Lorelai are converging in paths but yet still finding their own partners and futures. Emily and Richard are becoming really fun to watch with their bickering and Friday night dinners and the friction of losing what they’ve built over the last two years. Everyone is picking up their courage to achieve their own goals and while there is still some conflicts, its a fun journey. There were some moments that really hit me and it shows a great world building and immersive characters. My favorite quote is by far the one on top when Rory does her graduation speech. Let me tell you, I got misty. That highlights the mother-daughter relationship that Lorelai and Rory have. Its pretty awesome!