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Review: The Man in the High Castle

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What would have happened if the Nazis would have bombed the White House before the United States could bombed Japan during World War Two? That is the base question for The Man in the High Castle.

The Man in the High Castle is an Amazon Prime television series based on the book by Philip K Dick. In the year 1962 the United States as we know it no longer exists. The pacific states are under the control of the Japanese Empire. The eastern states are under control of the Nazis. There is a strip of states in between that are called “The Neutral Zone” where no one has control and it is more like the lawless Wild West of old.

There are many players in this show and they all contribute to the direction that the story takes. The Man in the High Castle, is at its heart, a story about stories. Different people reacting to the situations they are put in and how those actions affect those around them. There are also alternate versions of the stories, but we are just beginning to find out about those on the show.

Julia Crain has accepted the Japanese influence in her life. She practices aikido, looks after her mother and lives with her boyfriend. She has a fairly normal life for someone who is considered a second class citizen in her own country. There are other forces at play around her though. There are plots within the Nazi party itself and Hitler’s health is failing. The relationship between the Nazis and the Japanese are on shaky ground with the threat of war. The Resistance has something that they are trying to keep safely hidden. These are films. Films which show a different world. The question is whether these films a solution or are they something that should be destroyed?

The storylines in The Man in the High Castle are amazing. They take us from multiple people in the Pacific States, to the idyllic looking states under control of the Reich to Germany itself. All of the people from different countries and vocations are spun around each other seamlessly. The show keeps you guessing as it is filled with switches and turns. The characters are masterfully written.

The settings are also key to The Man in the High Castle. As the viewer travels from set to set we get an inside look at the lives which we are to be so invested in. Costumes let us know the show takes place in the past but also the status of the characters. Music is also a reminder that the sometimes familiar surroundings of our characters that what we are seeing is not what it seems. Everything in The Man in the High Castle is very delerate.

I would highly recommend The Man in the High Castle. It is a great story about alternative history with a rich cast of characters.

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ALWAYS KEEP SPARKLING.      

 

Top 10 TV Distractions From Gaming

*This Article Contains Spoilers*

Summer is over. Gone are the heatwaves and lovely days spent in air conditioned game rooms, typing away furiously at our keyboards. October, with its fall TV lineup beckons us to give our fingers a reprieve, even if briefly. Here are my choices for worthy distractions from gaming:

1. The Flash

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Season three is coming up and they’re starting off with “Flashpoint Paradox.” Barry’s lost his Dad, his Mom, and has experienced so much anguish due to what he perceives as his actions, that he’s gone back and altered the timeline. With the interconnectivity of the four DC shows on the CW, this will most likely have repercussions for the others as well.

2. Arrow 

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Oliver and Team Arrow have dealt with Damien Darhk, thwarted a global nuclear event, and lost a member of their own team. Has Team Arrow become unstrung? Hitting its fifth season, this gritty vigilante show is a can’t miss! I still believe that Oliver Queen was a replacement for Bruce Wayne, but the CW couldn’t get the IP rights to do a Batman show while the Dark Knight trilogy was on the big screen. There have been several names and organizations that were part of the Bat lore, and this only goes to support my theory.

3. Supergirl

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The Kryptonian 20-something finds herself switching networks this season, and possibly due in part to the repercussions of The Flash. Her cousin, Clark has been cast, and there are rumors that Batgirl and other female DC heroes will make an appearance. With a new network that has a good record with the genre so far, I’m hoping they lean away from the “After School Special” of Kara’s first season.

4. DC’s Legends of Tomorrow

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The fourth installment of CWs DC lineup has a time traveling spaceship with several of the network’s second string heroes bouncing through time attempting to fix timeline errors.

5. Supernatural

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The Winchesters and crew have put over a decade on the air dealing with all manner of monsters, reality bending magic, and even self-deprecating humor. A friend of mine has said they jumped the shark back when Chuck revealed himself to be the Creator. Happy Days jumped the shark in its fifth season and went on for six more after that. Not a bad record to follow. With Sam thinking Dean has sacrificed himself, Dean finding his Mother has been returned from the afterlife, and Chuck and Amara taking a powder and leaving earth on it’s own, season 12 has me chomping at the bit to see what becomes of Moose and Squirrel.

6. Luke Cage

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Netflix is doing great with their Marvel titles, and this one looks to be no different. A reluctant hero with impervious skin and great strength, Luke brings a cool element to the planned line-up that’s still rolling out. Next year we are scheduled to get Iron Fist and The Defenders rounding out the last of Netflix’s Marvel heroes and the aggregate team show.

7. Gotham

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This show has gotten a lot of hate, and going into its third year has been no different. Roles are being recast, leaving many fans to wonder if Batman will be fighting villains escaped from the old folk’s home once he gets his suit on. I am willing to let the storyline play out and see where the writers take us. DC is known for its alternate universes and I see no problem with that. I almost wonder if Jim Gordan and Bruce Wayne will be this Gotham‘s Batman and Robin.

8. Agents of Shield

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Marvel TV brings us the fourth season of this super-spy team. Phasing out their X-men comic titles due to property right arguments has brought the Inhumans to the forefront on TV. Things are still a bit rocky as the movie adaptions of the Inhumans has been delayed. I love the dynamic of Coulson, Fitz, Simmons, and the rest of the team, though, and I will be trying my best to fit them into my TV watching schedule.

9. Doctor Who

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What’s this? No capes? The Doctor is still a superhero in my book, and I regret that I must catch him after his seasons have aired.  When Season 10 hits this fall, that should unlock Season 9 on Amazon Prime which has acquired the airing rights here in the US.

10. The Walking Dead

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Rick Grimes is a badass. After dealing with Walkers, The Governor, and the Wolves, he now has to contend with the Saviors and Negan. Somebody will die, and possibly two as the show has a history of running parallel to the comics and making fitting substitutions. I also predict that AMC will be ending the show after this Negan plotline is dealt with.