Saturday, December 29, 2012

Red Dwarf--"The Beginning"

“The Beginning” ends the rather uneven tenth series of Red Dwarf on a high note. The plot revisit’s the old standard of Rimmer never being able to please his overbearing father no matter what he does with the twist of finally letting him come out on top for once.

A strange cyborg arrives on Red Dwarf seeking revenge on Lister for the death of his brother. The cyborg agrees to a cook off instead of murder with the prize being a map he stole from Simulants. Right on cue, the Simulants attack, forcing the crew to retreat and Rimmer to face past humiliation inflicted on him by his father in orer to save the Dwarfers.

There are many good scenes in “The Beginning:” the cyborg plugging a hull breach with his butt, the Dwarfers arguing over who will have the best death, and Cat playing with string while psychoanalyzing Rimmer among them. The climactic action sequence with all its CGI is incredibly well done. Cat finally has something important to do as he serves as the kick in the pants Rimmer nees to get himself together. The result is a welcome change for Rimmer.

As I sai above, the uneven series ten on a high note. I am uncertain there will be a series eleven, but I would like to see more Red Dwarf, particularly if Rimmer’s newfound confidence remains. We shall see.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Red Dwarf--"Dear Dave"

You may recall writin a review for the previous Red Dwarf episode was the last thing I did before being overwhelmed with pain an nausea and headed to the hospital for emergency surgery. That was eight weeks an a day ago. Now, we are back to a rather depressing installment of the show. Yeesh. Like I need that right now.

While Lister is in the midst of a deep depression over the loss of the human race, he receives a letter from his girlfriend three million years too late claiming he may be the father of her child. Lister’s memories of the girl and the possibility he may have had a child grow up with him are hanle in a highly bittersweet manner for Red Dwarf Meanwhile, Rimmer receives word he is to be demoted for missing three million years of work and schemes for a medical excuse, which he gets when he sees Lister apparently making love to a vending machine. I kideth thee not.

The laughs are few nd far between with “Dear Dave.” The episode suffers from a recurring problem this series--joke sequences stretch on too long. In this case, it is a game a charades acted out by Cat. Danny John-Jules hams it up the best he can, but its stretching. He has been terribly underutilized this series. Really, has Cat told any jokes that could not have been said by another character? For the most patt, he shows up, tells a joke, and leaves. Very disappointing.

Disappointin is a good word to describe “dear Dave” in general. There are some funny bits, but not enough to overcome the unexpected melancholy. There are two few episodes in a six episode series to hide such a dud.

Rating: ** (out of 5)