Buddy Steps Out (1935)

Buddy Steps Out ReviewBuddy Steps Out Review

Buddy Steps Out is a 1935 animated short film from the Looney Tunes series. It is a really dull, weak entry.

Yes, Buddy Steps Out is in my opinion the worst Looney Tunes as well as Merry Melodies entry of 1935. Nothing happens here, nothing original, nothing interesting and nothing fun or funny. Buddy is as weak and as dull as ever and the storyline itself is nothing to write home about.

I also really disliked its animation which is weak and again the video quality is quite poor. The same goes with the sound and score, both far from great. This short bored me immensely and that bird character is fine, but not utilized properly at all. It is a proof that Buddy shorts were finishing their run and I am thankful for that.

Buddy Steps Out is weak, dull and uninspired leading to a very mediocre Buddy outing that is thankfully his second last.

My Rating – 3.1

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Hunter x Hunter (Greed Island) Season 4 (2012)

Hunter x Hunter Season 4 Review

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Hunter x Hunter (Greed Island arc) Season 4 Review

The fourth season of Hunter x Hunter is an incredibly disappointing one and a huge let down from the previous seasons.

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You are my best friend.

Stop, it’s embarrassing

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Hunter x Hunter Season 4 Review

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Yes, I wasn’t that big a fan of Phantom Troupe arc, but Greed Island arc is new low for the once great anime. So what I didn’t like here? Well, basically its entire storyline. It is honestly a rip-off of Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh with all the cards and the duels and collecting cards. I just found it incredibly uninspired and of all the ways they could have handled this game, they chose the most anime cliched and that was a problem as this series was once incredibly inventive and original.

The characters do not help either. Bisky is the only truly excellent new character in this saga and I really liked her and her interactions with Gon and Killua were great. The boys were likable as always, but other new characters did not get much to do and were ultimately forgettable.

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Hunter x Hunter Season 4 Review

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There are some pretty great episodes here and that is why this season is ultimately solid. It has pretty good action at times and I loved its ending and particularly some of Gon’s great fights, but its story is so uninspired and almost came as a detour in a way that it significantly hurt the entire season. I can’t wait for the next arc as I do think it will get much better and that we will finally meet Gon’s father, but this one wasn’t a great build-up towards that goal at all.

In the end, Greed Island is the weakest arc so far in Hunter x Hunter and I do think that it will be the weakest of them all when I watch the rest of the two sagas. It does have its pretty good episodes and some fantastic fights, but most of the episodes weren’t all that great and of the new characters only Bisky is memorable with others being dull. It is such an uninspired card collecting story that came as a detour and I disliked it to be honest. Not a proud moment for once great anime. It isn’t bad at all and is rather solid, but I expect much greater things from Hunter x Hunter and solid just ain’t gonna cut it in this series.

Worst Episodes: Bid and Haste and Reality and Raw.

Best Episodes: A Heated Showdown and Guts and Courage.

My Rating – 3.7

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Home on the Range (2004)

Home on the Range Movie Review

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Home on the Range Movie Review

Home on the Range is a 2004 animated musical western comedy film which is the 45th Disney animated feature film and one of their weakest.

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Call me crazy, but I think these cows got it in for me!

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Home on the Range Movie Review

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This is one of those films that are perfect for kids and I could see myself loving it as a child. I do think that kids should see it regardless what adults think and yes, adults are harsh to it. A bit too harsh if you ask me. Yes, it is one of the worst films to come from Disney Animation Studios, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad as even the weakest Disney flicks are passable and okay as is the case with this one too.

The film is a comedy for sure and it is a musical owing to an abundance of songs, but more importantly it is a western film and that is rare for animation which is why I loved those elements here. ‘Spirit’ from DreamWorks is certainly an infinitely better western film, but this one manages to recreate the 1890s period really well thanks to solid imagery and good southern accents.

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Home on the Range Movie Review

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The plot itself certainly takes the backseat to all of the action which is a big problem but it has its moments such as a memorable villain, somewhat well executed last chase and a wonderful ending that is emotionally resonant and sweet. But yes, the film is way too short in its running time to be having this much action in it.

Home on the Range features solid characters in my opinion. Not the greatest, but not bad either. I really liked the dynamic between the three cows and they serve as solid protagonists. Grace is somewhat typical, but Mrs. Caloway is charming and Maggie is quite good, though over-the-top at times. The relationship between the two is the strongest in the film and the casting of Judi Dench and Roseanne Barr certainly helped the movie a lot as they’re great.

Buck is annoying, I have to say. He is one of those sidekicks that only kids could like and to the rest of us, he is actually a waste of time here. Lucky Jack also wasn’t all that memorable and those two henchmen had some good moments, but were ultimately 101 Disney henchmen a bit too much. But I have to say that I really like Alameda Slim. He is a good mix of competent and goofy villain and I loved his singing and that it was used as a weapon. That needed to happen at some point in all these Disney musicals.

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Home on the Range Movie Review

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Home on the Range has one of the worst animations ever for Disney. I really did not care for it and it brought the whole movie down significantly. It does have some good details and, as I said, the period is recreated rather well, but the only standout scene is the villain song and the rest are forgettable and actually kind of cheap. Not only does the whole movie look too garish in its colors, but also quite unappealing in its characters as their angular designs are rather off-putting. That is something that ‘Hercules’ did well, but this one fails in my opinion.

Easily the standout aspect of the entire film is its soundtrack and the only truly good thing about it. I really liked it and these songs are very underrated in my opinion as they are not only a lot of fun, but refreshingly different in their country genre and fitting to the tone and setting of the film.

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Home on the Range Movie Review

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The titular opening number is actually incredibly entertaining and a good opening for a western film, very fitting to its style and I always say that I love when these films pay attention to its time period and setting which this one did tremendously. Will the Sun Ever Shine Again is very much the same case as with No Way Out from ‘Brother Bear’. It is just not needed as we can see the emotions ourselves and we don’t need the song to spell it out for us. Certainly the weakest song here.

Little Patch of Heaven is so good. Again very fitting in style, so well sung and with fine and charming descriptive lyrics, it succeeds as a very endearing and catchy country song and a very good theme for the entire film. Of course the highlight is Yodel-Adle-Eedle-Idle-Oo. I love this song so much and it is one of the best from Disney’s Second Dark Age. As I said above, it is a very effective scene for our villain and the greatest moment in the entire film, but I just love yodeling so I naturally loved this song as well. Again fitting to the film, it has good lyrics and the tune is just so damn catchy and the visuals are so psychedelic that you gotta love it.

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Home on the Range Movie Review

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Home on the Range is definitely too short and actually not all that engaging for that short a running time which is a big problem. The direction is quite weak but at least the performances are good. The dialogue is nothing to write home about too. In the end, it is in my opinion the ‘Oliver & Company’ from the 2000s – a Disney flick which is fun and with a great soundtrack, but so weak in almost every other way that it’s one of the company’s worst movies.

Home on the Range is definitely one of Disney’s weakest films owing to a standard plot, way too much action for its short running time, forgettable supporting characters and garish animation with unappealing character designs. But it is still not a bad movie as it is very good for kids owing to its cartoony and goofy approach, it has good performances and fine protagonists plus its country soundtrack is a lot of fun and quite underrated in its own right.

My Rating – 3

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Country Mouse (1935)

Country Mouse ReviewCountry Mouse Review

Country Mouse is a 1935 animated short film from the Merry Melodies series. It is a okay, but flawed flick.

First, what I loved about Country Mouse. I just loved its character designs as they are so different than your usual designs as the mice look very tall, somewhat ugly and even realistic to a degree. I dag that a lot. I also liked the ending which was fun although you could see it coming from a mile away.

The whole relationship between grandson and granny is sweet and amusing, but has been seen a lot of times in animation and it doesn’t add anything new to the table. But it would have been much better had it not been for such an annoying reliance on boxing. I am not a fan of that sport and thus those scenes bore me.

Country Mouse has good character designs, but way too much boxing in it that significantly weights down the whole thing.

My Rating – 3.3

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Ranking 1960s Animated Short Oscar Winners

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Ranking 1960s Animated Short Oscar Winners

The sixties proved to a bit of an improvement over the fifties when it comes to the animated short category at the Oscars as the films are more diverse. It is still not the greatest as half of these winners aren’t all that great, but half are very good and a couple are truly excellent. Ranking them was pretty easy in my opinion so here we go.

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Image result for the hole 196210. The Hole

The last place goes to this work from the Hubleys whom I just never got personally and I deem them overrated. Their ‘Moonbird’ got the second last place on my 50s list and this one gets the last as the discussions it gives us between two construction workers are just not all that interesting and again the animation is quite choppy and subpar.

 

 

 

Image result for a herb alpert and the tijuana brass double feature gif9. A Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass Double Feature

This is another short from the same two directors and even though it still doesn’t have the best animation and the storyline is non-existent, it is a better film than ‘The Hole’ as it is admittedly fun and it features an interesting approach with the music being basically the precursor to the modern music video.

 

 

Image result for ersatz 8. Ersatz

This Croatian short is wildly overrated in my opinion. Yes, it is very well animated and sometimes quite inspired, but ultimately pointless in its non-existent story and not as memorable. It has an inventive animation for sure, but I wanted more from it in terms of storytelling.

 

 

 

Image result for the box 1967 7. The Box

This is a wasted movie as it was immensely promising in its interesting concept and although it still has its moments and is ultimately pretty solidly executed, it should have been much funnier and much better given the great concept. Its couple of scenes with facial expression humor are the standout ones.

 

 

 

Image result for it's tough to be a bird 19696. It’s Tough to Be a Bird

This is your regular Disney educational animated short that gives us a very memorable protagonist, a couple of funny moments and it is very good for children, but again its format does not allow for much enjoyment for adults and I found the over-reliance on live-action instead of animated segments troubling.

 

 

 

Image result for the critic 1963 5. The Critic

This is another example of a great idea not greatly executed. It gives us art film screening where we listen to very relatable complaints from one viewer. The idea is ingenious and the film is very funny at times with some hilarious lines from our amusing hero, but it is overly short and should have been even funnier given the awesome premise.

 

 

 

 

Image result for munro 19604. Munro

Munro is very important in its message and storyline, though the narration and animation should have been better. But what I loved about it is how it managed to portray a difficult situation in a lighthearted, more humorous manner and it thus led to a much more successful film.

 

 

 

 

 

Image result for the dot and the line 19653. The Dot and the Line

Although surprisingly sexist in the portrayal of its female character, The Dot and the Line is still a lot of fun and very well executed and animated. But the standout aspect is of course its imagination as it is wildly inventive in concept and more than capable in execution leading to a well deserved third slot on my list.

 

 

 

 

Image result for winnie the pooh and the blustery day gif 2. Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day

It does have its issues, but Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day is still one of the best ever Winnie the Pooh storylines which gives most of its characters a lot to do and sure enough, Pooh, Piglet and Tigger are all very memorable and funny. Its two songs out of five are also pretty terrific and classics in their own right.

 

 

 

 

Image result for the pink phink gif1. The Pink Phink

This had to be the number one pick although it was a pretty close race. But The Pink Phink is a great example of how great Pink Panther is. It has amazing animation which is wonderfully simplistic and polished, very inventive action scenes and excellent humor and of course superb character interactions and that iconic score. The film is wonderfully comedic and superbly executed from beginning to end leading to what is arguably the best Oscar-winning animated short from this decade.

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Blade (1998)

Blade Movie Review

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Blade Movie Review

Blade is a 1998 vampire superhero film starring Wesley Snipes. It is a fun, but typical superhero flick.

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I’m gonna be naughty!

I’m gonna be a naughty vampire god!

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Blade Movie Review

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The story here is your typical vampire storyline which wasn’t really well crafted or original in any way. I’ve seen this stuff many times before in different franchises, but I guess it was one of the first of its type as it was released all the way back in 1998. Still, it has no meaning to it, it has too many characters and it is a movie where you can just turn off your brain and enjoy the action on screen.

And the action is very good. The film is overly violent in my opinion and I have to say that the special effects are mediocre and some of it felt incredibly dated and unappealing, especially the gore. But the action is fun, the fights are all very well shot and executed and the film is entertaining for featuring a bunch of memorable set pieces and different fights.

Blade features Wesley Snipes at the height of his popularity and though he did sell his action scenes very well and he gave a good physical performance, his acting abilities are quite subpar. The same goes for the other actors. There are some memorable characters here, especially the villains, but the actors do not excel at playing them.

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Blade Movie Review

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So Blade is mostly a fun little film that serves its purpose if you turn off your brain and do not expect much apart from action and solid entertainment. It is two hours long, but mostly pretty engaging and entertaining and it does have solid cinematography and action that pleasantly reminded me of the comic book style. Really well done except for the effects. I wanted more from the superhero genre and less from the vampire one as I am not a fan of it, but it is a passable film which is good for a solid fun night and nothing more. Just as I expected from it to be honest. It fulfilled all my low expectations.

Blade is a fun film that features very good and entertaining action sequences and a good comic book style to it, but it has a regular vampire story, Wesley Snipes is memorable in the role but not a great actor and the VFX are admittedly very dated. It is an okay film that serves its purpose to entertain and nothing more than that.

My Rating – 3

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Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (1968)

Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day ReviewWinnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day Review

Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day is a 1968 Oscar-winning Disney animated short film directed by Wolfgang Reitherman.

So this short is the part of a 1977 Disney feature ‘The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh’ and it is one of its four segments tied together. As I have already reviewed the feature, I will talk about this segment less. So the plot is excellent here and most of the characters get their proper due here. Owl is boring and I wanted more Rabbit and Christopher Robin, but Pooh is as memorable as usual and of course Tigger steals the show with his signature song and humor.

I loved Heffalumps and Woozles which is such a terrific, psychedelic Disney song, but the rest of the songs were forgettable, though they did progress the plot nicely. I loved Piglet and his self-sacrifice, but Pooh did not deserve a hero party and he annoyed me near the end for taking credit. What also annoyed me is how Eeyore did not receive credit at all for proposing the idea of Owl moving into Piglet’s house in the first place. It has those weird decisions in storytelling, but it is still a very strong plot with good atmosphere, animation and excellent character moments.

Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day thoroughly deserved its Oscar thanks to such strong characterization, fine songs and a heartwarming plot.

My Rating – 4.5

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Notorious (1946)

Notorious Movie Review

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Notorious Movie Review

Notorious is a 1946 noir spy film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant. It is one of Hitch’s best films up to this point.

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A man doesn’t tell a woman what to do. She tells herself

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Notorious Movie Review

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The story is interesting in that it is obviously a spy plot. This is a noir film with strong spy elements which was definitely interesting to see. I personally loved the spy elements and although the film doesn’t have that high of a rewatchability factor, it compensates for that by featuring a bunch of unforgettable, extremely memorable scenes that went straight into film history.

One of those scenes is naturally the prolonged racy scene between the two actors which is famous for being the longest kiss scene ever filmed during the classic studio age of Hollywood. The two have great chemistry and are amazing actors so that was for all the better. Another great scene is the ending, very well done and highly memorable. And of course the highlight has to be the key sequence as it is beautifully shot and highly suspenseful. The film isn’t as suspenseful and thrilling as his best works, but it comes close.

Ingrid Bergman is as great as she mostly was and she here gave a compelling, wonderful performance playing such a great and competent female character who obviously lead to this being such a great woman’s picture. But Cary Grant is also terrific and he surprised me with this highly unusual, dramatic role for him. He went against typecasting and it paid off significantly. The two are wonderful together. And of course the delightfully villainous turn from Claude Rains adds another strong performance to the film.

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Notorious Movie Review

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Notorious is beautifully directed by Alfred Hitchcock and this is surely his best directorial effort until this point in time. His direction is so sophisticated and fantastic that it lifts the material significantly. The script is very good, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes it wasn’t as involving and to me the entire first half was a bit boring and less engaging than the rest of the picture. That is why this is one of his better, but not one of his best films.

The great thing about Notorious is that it wonderfully capitalized on the end of war and brought us a Nazi-influenced film that isn’t set in World War II but just afterwards so that led to its unique, different appeal. The score is excellent and I thought that the cinematography was splendid. The film is simply put brilliantly shot and that amazing cinematography only brings to more suspense during those essential scenes such as the stellar sequence which is absolutely amazing to behold from beginning to end.

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Notorious Movie Review

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I also really liked its characters and they were all very memorable and so well acted by their actors and actresses. The movie is slower, but elegant and polished in its approach. I definitely did not love it upon a revisit as much as I loved it during my first watch, but I still think that it is his best 1940s film after ‘Suspicion’ and ‘Rebecca’. Definitely one of his most stylish and sophisticated outings.

Notorious is slower paced in the first half, but thrilling in the second one. It features many simply unforgettable sequences such as the stellar scene, the prolonged kiss and the ending. It is brilliantly directed by Hitchcock, so wonderfully acted by Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant who appears in a different role than usual for him and it is so suspenseful in some scenes and so exquisitely shot that it is one of the director’s best directed, most elegant and most stylish films.

My Rating – 4.5

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Buddy in Africa (1935)

Buddy in Africa ReviewBuddy in Africa Review

Buddy in Africa is a 1935 animated short film from the Looney Tunes series. It is a pretty dull entry.

It is one of those African shorts where it isn’t stereotypical in the natives’ portrayal per say, but it is so boring and doesn’t utilize on the fun of its setting at all. The only really good thing here is that Buddy was voiced by a child for a change and that led to a much more endearing than usual character.

But other than that, this short doesn’t have much to offer. The dance the natives give us is so dull and takes too much of the running time, the ape conflict near the end is rather abrupt and pointless and the entire film is so weakly animated and the quality of the video was the lowest so far as it hasn’t received restoration thus far.

Buddy in Africa is weakly animated, dull and doesn’t utilize on the African setting whatsoever.

My Rating – 3.2

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Transparent Season 3 (2016)

Transparent Season 3 Review

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Transparent Season 3 Review

The third season of Transparent is another strong season for this very good series that is actually an improvement over its predecessor.

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I’m sorry I’ve been such a shitty parent

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Transparent Season 3 Review

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Let’s go through each and every character and what happened to them here. So Maura is strong here and I liked how a great focus was once again put to her journey. I don’t know what is going to happen with her as in the last episode it is hinted that she is probably going to abandon her journey to womanhood and that is troublesome as it is so obviously a plot ploy to keep Tambor to play the lead as he is a man and cannot play a woman no matter what. That is problematic and the reason why his casting was troublesome from the first moment.

But even though I disliked that choice, I liked her episodes quite a bit actually. Her breakup with Vicki was so well executed as the two just were not a good fit from the beginning. I loved their final argument. I also really admired that she finally acknowledged her terrible parenthood to Josh and of course the flashback episode into Maura’s childhood was excellent. Visually arresting, moving and so well acted by a trans child actor, that episode was a success all around and one of the best the series has done of that type.

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Transparent Season 3 Review

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Sarah continues to be obnoxious. Her BDSM part with Pony is somewhat ridiculous and underutilized and her relationship with spirituality and Raquel is all wrong and I did not like that storyline to be honest. She is a mess as she has always been, but at least her relationship with Len deepens and complicates once again and those scenes were the best concerning her character.

As for Josh, Rita’s death was an obvious plot device as they just did not know what to do with his character. He continues to be a mess just like Sarah is and his relationship with his son is well established and that final moment between the two was certainly tragic, but I thought that this story was prolonged too much and it thankfully ended finally. His episode with Shea is interesting and I liked their adventure and conversations, but it ended in a typical, though true to character fashion.

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Transparent Season 3 Review

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Ali is problematic. She is the most likable and happy that she has ever been and that is great for her, but not for us viewers as she is easily the dullest part of this season. She basically has nothing to do here apart from having relationship issues with Leslie who is such an obnoxious character whom I dislike more and more as the episodes go by. I would love to see Ali dump her in the next season to be honest.

Shelly, surprisingly enough, was the finest part of this third season and that I did not see coming. Her flashback was as great of an insight and even more important than Maura’s was in the same episode and I liked her growing confidence and it all led to that wonderful final sequence in the final episode where she sang beautifully to her family audience. Her relationship with Buzzy ended and I really liked Buzzy’s deceiving nature and it seemed realistic to me as there are a lot of men that are perfect seemingly, but are actually deceiving and broke. I loved her story here and she truly is the most tragic character on the show if you ask me.

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Transparent Season 3 Review

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Rabbi Raquel is also very strong here and I really liked the examination of her faith and how  shaken it became. A very complex character beautifully played by Kathryn Hahn who continues to be the best actress in Transparent which is no easy task as everyone is great here. Jeffrey Tambor is excellent as usual and Judith Light is especially strong during this season. Transparent truly is an exceptionally well acted, directed and edited series.

So this third season is a success despite its couple of obvious shortcomings such as Ali’s wasteful storyline, but I loved Maura, Raquel and especially Shelly here and this season is surprisingly poignant and filled with a lot of emotionally resonant and even tragic scenes. It is uneven, but so well acted and another strong addition for this great show.

Worst Episodes: When the Battle Is Over and Life Sucks and Then You Die.

Best Episodes: To Sardines and Back and If I Were a Bell.

My Rating – 4.3

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