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A place to unleash opinions.

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John Kidman
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Toy Story to Wall-E, Pixar animation has always ridden a fine line between entertainment for children and messages that resonate more with those accompanying the children. The ability to express and cope with a wide range of feelings seems to be Pixar's prime directive and it is this space that we find Inside Out.

 

Inside Out follows a little girl named Riley who deals with some emotional issues, prompted by life-changing decisions by her parents. Pixar Animation Studio's President and the Director of Inside Out mentioned that a sequel is not currently in the books, but “never say never.é We are, after all, receiving a sequel to Finding Nemo in 2016.

 

Let's take a look at a few possible underlying plot lines that Inside Out 2 could tackle based on Inside Out:

 

Puberty. Changes are coming. This would have to be the frontrunner for the theme of Inside Out 2. Inside Out already portrayed Riley as dealing with issues of leaving behind her childhood, but a few events in the film makes it clear that her issues are compounded by the advance of puberty. The sequel would, in all likelihood, place an even bigger spotlight on this change.

 

Identity. Riley's brain is controlled by five emotional characters, but Inside Out temporarily visited the brain of three characters beyond Riley. The mother, the father and a boy on the hockey team. As you can see below, the brains of the father and mother are controlled emotions containing uniform characteristics. The boy on the hockey team may have a brain that is out of control, but it is also filled with uniform characters.

 

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Could Pixar be hinting at gender identity as a potential underlying story line in the sequel? Pixar is generally known for their subtlety, as they do not generally bash children over the head with messages that may be portrayed as inappropriate for the targeted audience. I am expecting to see both of these as driving forces behind a new story for Inside Out 2, even if the main story for the children becomes little more than introducing a handful of new emotions.

 

 

What did you think about Inside Out? What do you think will take center stage for Inside Out 2?

John Kidman
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Meet Kimmy Schmidt.

 

Kimmy, portrayed by Ellie Kemper of The Office and Bridesmaids fame, is out of touch with the modern world. She is labeled as one of the 'Indiana Mole Women,' a group of women lured or kidnapped by a doomsday preacher and kept in a bunker for upwards of 15 years. Sounds dire, right? It's not.

 

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is a comedy, available on Netflix, and created by 30 Rock's Tina Fey. Kimmy decides that she does not want to be defined by what has happened in the past and decides she wants to remain in New York rather than move back to her hometown. The show draws a lot of its comedy by highlighting Kimmy's stunted educational and emotional growth, but also features a healthy lack of familiarity with technology and social changes in the last fifteen years.

 

My typical routine for a new show is to watch three episodes before passing judgments on it, with the exception of atrocities like CSI: Cyber. Kimmy Schmidt kept me actively interested after the first three episodes, but ultimately set the stage to binge watch the entire 13 episode season over the course of two days. The show does provide a bit of situational comedy, but its flippant approach to serious issues through sharp one-liners should also keep you in stitches.

 

 

Comedies have taught us that not every single bit is gold and Kimmy Schmidt is no different. Tina Fey, despite co-creating a rather impressive comedy, also posted one of the most disappointing performances with her cameo. These minor missteps became more frequent as the show developed, but they are quite easy to overlook given how quickly the show bounces back through its dialogue. This show has all the hallmarks of a hit for Netflix original programming and is already slated to receive a second season.

 

I don't generally push subscription services in my recommendations, with the exception of Playstation Plus. This show, however, is delightful and Netflix currently offers a free initial month of service. If you were a fan of the humor on 30 Rock, then this is an opportune time to test drive.

 

 

 

JUDGMENT ON THE UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT (90/100)

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Watch it.

John Kidman
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The CSI: Crime Scene Investigator franchise and subsequent spin-off series have always been a roller coaster of quality. CSI shows reached some amazing heights despite television line-ups being riddled with a multitude of competing procedural shows. New York and Miami held out for 9 and 10 seasons respectively before receiving the axe. Meanwhile, the flagship show is currently enjoying its 15th season and continuing its new found tradition of cycling show headers. The entire CSI lineup is home to atypically lengthy runs, but CSI's newest spin-off Cyber simply does not offer the same hook as its predecessors.

 

Spoilers ahead, you've been warned.

 

The series premier lobbed its audience into the world of cyber crimes and the team responsible for solving those crimes. CSI: Cyber boasts Academy Award Winner Patricia Arquette as Avery Ryan, a special agent who is driven by revenge because her secrets were 'stolen at the beginning of the internet' by hackers. Her entourage includes an obligatory 'elite' gamer named Elijah Mundo, played by James Van Der Beek. Charley Koontz, also known as Fat Neil from Community, makes his presence known as a "good guy" hacker responsible for capturing the department's criminal informant played by Shad Moss (Lil' Bow Wow).

 

The characters represent everything one might expect from a group of writers straight out of 2001, but the amalgamation of this band of cliché crime fighters is not even the show's biggest sin. That award belongs to the horrendous writing and performance. The pilot drops the audience into the world of cyber crimes as the cyber division races to unravel a gang of kidnappers. Straight forward, right? Wrong. These kidnappers are using technology found in baby monitors to keep tabs on the babies they hope to kidnap and perform live baby auctions at the same time.

 

An extremely convoluted plot begins to unfold, but here are a few of the highlights: James Van Der Beek uses his elite gaming knowledge to bond with a neighborhood child in an effort to obtain valuable information about the kidnappers. Patricia Aquette uses profiling techniques one might expect from a bad episode of Criminal Minds to narrow down the location of the kidnappers location to specific bar. A shooting occurs and one person remains standing up and audibly questions why the other person was being shot. A major issue arises after a successful raid on the gang's warehouse, a password protected computer. Thankfully, Lil Bow Wow rhymes his way to figuring out the password on the first try using clues in the gang leader's tattoos. By the end of the episode, Van Der Beek was pulling the baby from American Sniper out of a submerged car and it was receiving CPR.

 

The writing is so much worse than what can be found in those highlights. In fact, the writing is so poor that one could legitimately entertain the idea that Avery Ryan's secrets stolen at the 'beginning of the internet' to be little more than compromised AOL, ICQ and Geocities accounts or stolen X-Files Fanfics. My typical stance on a new show is to wait three-to-five full episodes before forming an opinion on a show, but CSI: Cyber is already so spectacularly terrible that it is difficult to fathom the show will hold the same level of success as its predecessors or retain its 10 million viewers from the series premier unless there are some major changes to its current formula.

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