Does Jessica Jones Season 2 Just Suck? (Spoilers Ahead)

So far, Marvel’s Cinematic Universe (MCU) seems to be getting better, as they have been taking ideas that seem weak like Ant-Man or Black Panther and milking billions out of them. A few years ago, when Daredevil hit Netflix, it was proof that this more mature and darker branch of the MCU could be just as successful.

Marvel’s Jessica Jones

Daredevil‘s Season 1 was a huge hit, and Jessica Jones Season 1 was an even better step up (in my humble opinion). The reason Jessica Jones was so successful is because Season 1 ignored the conventions of superheroes, as it spent very little time on heroic origin stories or dressing up in a costume. Instead, Jessica Jones first season story was about how she was victimized by a mind-controller known as Kilgrave, and how she rose from this. It was a more character-driven story that still had plenty of action and introduced the audience to interesting characters like Trish Walker, Jeri Hogarth, and even Luke Cage (before he got his own decent series).

Jessica Jones Season 1 just sucked me in, but Season 2 had the opposite effect on me. There were scenes in this season that just made me say: “man, this is terrible”. Instead of interesting characters and story, Jessica Jones Season 2 made these characters a mockery and had very lame plot elements. Even though an attempt at a story-length season was made, it still felt like things were just happening during each individual episode.

I’m going to bring some spoilers here, so don’t hit the jump unless you want to see Jessica Jones Season 2 for yourself to see if you thought it was as bad as I thought it was. What is interesting is how Rotten Tomatoes gives Jessica Jones Season 1 a 92 percent, while Jessica Jones Season 2 is given an 86. That is not much of a decrease, but I would given it a decrease of double digits.

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Final Space and the Difficulty of Science Fiction Epics

The thing about science-fiction epics on television is that it is starting to be done more successfully, but this is only a recent development. It was a quarter-century ago when Babylon 5 was released, an epic science-fiction series that had a definite beginning and end in mind. It lasted five years, but it was a gamble back then as TV audiences were not very committed to programs for the long-term. This was the days before streaming TV, so each TV show was planned to exist for the casual viewer.

If you aren’t familiar with Final Space, it is a new animated science-fiction series on TBS that is pretty imaginative and appears to have one giant storyline in mind. The difference between it and the aforementioned Babylon 5 is that Final Space is made to be a half-hour comedy show.

I should probably get this out of the way and say that it feels like Final Space was made to fill in the gap between seasons of Rick and Morty. The animation looks similar, even though it has a brighter color palette, and the show even had a cameo appearance from Rick’s saucer ship. Something tells me that was how the show was pitched, and fans of both science fiction and animation will be drawn to this show like a magnet.

The show is created by Olan Rogers, a name that I was not familiar with, but it is very apparent that he is giving his heart to this work. Olan plays Gary, a man who is serving a five-year prison sentence in space. Gary’s crime is that he blew up a lot of stuff in a vain attempt to impress a girl. Gary has gone nuts during his space solitary confinement, but he has this incredible spirit of optimism that seems to come out of nowhere. He is such a great character that he could probably carry the show on his own.

On the first episode, it is revealed that Gary’s sentence is almost over, but then a cute small alien comes into his life. Gary calls this alien Mooncake, because it reminds him of a pet bug that he had once as a child. Mooncake is followed by a group of bounty hunters, who know that Mooncake is a planet-killer capable of launching much energy out of his eyes. The first episode consists of Gary escaping from the bounty hunters, but one of them, a cat-man named Avocado, becomes Gary’s partner.

As you might have guessed, this show takes place in some future world with faster-than-light spaceships, aliens, and all other sorts of science fiction machinery. There is no shortage of voice talent here with Tom Kenny as HUE, Gary’s ship’s computer, Fred Armisen as KVN, Gary’s annoying robot sidekick, and David Tennant as Lord Commander, who appears to be the main villain on the show. Lord Commander’s name is pretty weak (not to mention redundant), and the character itself doesn’t appear to be anything more than a funnier version of the Emperor from Star Wars. What is really odd is how Olan Rogers’ name is third-billed, because he is the creator of the show and the main character.

So, is the show good? Honestly, I was pretty surprised by it, as there are genuine great levels of action and comedy. There are even moments of extreme drama, as it is clear Gary has some daddy separation issues. Avocado also has a missing son that tears him apart as well.

Similar to other science fiction series, Final Space is off to an awkward start, but something like this has never really been done before, and that goes for its beautiful animation. I’m personally anxious to see where this show is going, and I’m hoping that when this show is over, I can look back at it and say it is one of the best space sagas ever.

X-Doria Defense Lux and Defense Shield for the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

It’s nice that we can review another X-Doria product again, and not have to wait so much time. This time, we get to review a case for the new Galaxy S9 and S9+, and in case you are thinking it, we will be reviewing more of them in the near future (like next week). We’ll start with the Defense Shield.

The Defense Shield is aptly named, as it has military-grade protection. It is good for drops of 9.9 feet or 3 meters, on concrete. It has a rubber bumper around the perimeter, as well as an over-sized raised lip for protecting the screen from drops as well as surface scratches.

What is interesting is not only does the Defense provide protection, but it somehow has some integrated sound channel to amplify the bottom speaker and redirect sound to the front. I am not certain how it does that, but I think that it is odd that no one has addressed this for the new S9 and S9+.

You can get the Defense Shield on the X-Doria website for $29.99 for the Samsung Galaxy S9, and the same price of $29.99 for the Galaxy S9+.

As far as the difference between the X-Doria Defense and the X-Doria Defense Lux, there seems to be some kind of texturing going on with the front. I mean, there is a Black Fiber and Ballistic Nylon, and I suppose this has been made for a better grip?

Yeah, this seems to be the point. It has the same measurement of protection with 10 feet (3 meters) of dropping. Oh, it also has that special ability that can project sound to the front, and I am really to have to see if this is one of those features that every Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ case has.

Well, they are some really cool cases, and I’m glad we got to try them out. Yes, X-Doria sent these for an unbiased review, and if you want to get in on the Defense Lux, it costs $34.99 for the Galaxy S9 and $39.99 for the Galaxy S9+

Creative Labs SoundBlasterX Siege M04 Precision Gaming Mouse

I might as well say that the Seige M04 Precision Gaming Mouse feels like some kind of sidekick to the SoundBlasterX Vanguard K08 keyboard that I reviewed earlier. It has the P.R.E. (Perceive, React, and Execute) features of that keyboard, and it is a product of some serious hard work.

So let’s start with its features. We are talking a gaming grade PMW3360 IR LED sensor with 32-bit high speed MCU with low lift-off distance. It also has 7 fully programmable buttons full of internal memory, as well as 3 level DPI cycle button for on-the-fly DPI switching. The Siege M04 also can’t help but feel good in the palm of your hand thanks to its comfortable right-handed design for palm and grip.

Oh yes, and let us not forget about the Aurora Reactive Lighting System, good for 16.8 million colors. I’ve sort of gone into detail on that when discussing the Vanguard K08 keyboard, so I’ll touch on the 32-bit high speed microcontroller good for a polling rate of 1000 Hz, 12,000 native DPI, and low 2mm lift-off distance.

All of that adds up to a gaming mouse you want to keep around the house. Yeah, that is a pretty lame slogan, but hey, it is good enough for a recommendation with the other gaming mice.

It is available for $64.99 on the Creative Labs website, and this is as good of a time to say that the SoundBlasterX Siege M04 was given to us for an unbiased review.

Creative Labs SoundBlasterX Vanguard K08 Gaming Keyboard

All right, it looks like we are reviewing another fine product from Creative Labs, and this time, it is the SoundBlasterX Vanguard K08, a gaming keyboard. Well, if you are familiar with any keyboard reviews that I have done in the past, then you know that I am going to type my report using the product.

So how does it fare? It feels like I can type a lot faster on this guy. Part of it is that its design with OMRON, PRES (Perceive-React-Execute Switches) which allows for rapid-fire keystrokes. Yeah, there is a diagram showing how fast a typical key gets pressed versus one from the SoundBlasterX Vanguard K08. The shaving of a few seconds really makes it faster, by about 25 percent.

Let’s talk about the keys, and not just the speed. There are 109 fully programmable keys on this guy, with five of them on the left side as M1-M5. This is really designed to up your game, and the game it seems designed for is Final Fantasy XV (the Windows version).

Since this is a gaming keyboard, then you know what that means, a lot of pretty lights on the keys. It has this Aurora reactive technology which gives it the power of a lot of colors similar to the northern lights themselves with 16.8 million colors.

It is because of this wonderful glow that comes with two USB plug-ins to make it work. I’m grateful that my computer recognized it right away, but I had to wonder why the cables were so darn thick.

It’s quite something, and I’m not even finished writing about the benefits. It has some buttons made for media playing, and this really cool rotary volume control. I forgot to mention the detachable wrist rest.

Before I forget, Creative Labs sent us the SoundBlasterX Vanguard K08 for an unbiased review. I am going to say that it is a good gaming keyboard and give it a good recommendation. It is available on the Creative Labs website for $139.99.

Review of The Station, a Sci-Fi Video Game!

As you might have noticed, we have been recently flooded with product reviews, and it has been a while since we have done a video game review. If there is one thing that takes up a lot of time, it is playing an in-depth video game. I’ll talk about that more when I discuss The Legend of Zelda: Meth of the Wild. (I didn’t misspell that in the title). Okay, enough of that tangent, let’s discuss The Station.

The Station is one of those games that doesn’t take long to play, and it is very in-depth. I’ll cut to the chase an give you the premise. The game begins when this one corporation discovers a planet that has a civilization, but this civilization is engaged in a huge, planet-wide civil war. This corporation, AXIOM, sends a space station to investigate the newfound planet, and it goes out of contact with AXIOM. AXIOM suspects the worst, because this titular station was supposed to be stealthy, so you play the astronaut who investigates it.

If you know anything about first-person puzzle-solving games, you can see where this is going. This is one of those games where you never see precisely who you are, as if you are invisible. It is also one of those games that you can interact with objects in the world, and they will float in front of you. In most games like this, you get objects, and then these objects help you solve puzzles later. In the case of The Station, there are only a few objects to get to solve the main puzzle of the game.

So the set-up itself may not be unique, but the way it is done really works. The game has a very dark atmosphere, and at first I thought their might have been something wrong with my television. I think that when the game started, my TV shifted into some HDR mode or something, but it didn’t seem to affect anything else that I wanted to do on the TV later. The game is all about exploring the hallways of this station, and I will give kudos to the graphics designer for making the darks really black. After all, space is a very dark place, and it makes sense that you wouldn’t see everything unless you had a lot of illumination.

This dark feeling gives the game a very scary atmosphere. I also believe that the lack of music helps, something that was a deliberate choice and not due to the game’s lack of budget. It looks like there has been a lot of time and love put in what was once a Kickstarter project, and I will have to say that it more than works. In fact, I had a difficult time playing this game at night alone, because it was rather unnerving.

Again, this unnerving feeling works to the game’s advantage. This is one of those games where you have to look all around you and find out what happened, and the main mission is to seek out the three people on the station. There are a lot of audio logs to help you out, and much of the game is just figuring out how to open the doors that will get you into the rooms to crack the mystery.

I was able to solve the game within a few hours, and I will say that is not time I regret using. In fact, the ending of the game has an incredible twist that I so want to spoil, but I think it is better that I don’t talk about.

You can play The Station for yourself on the PS4, Xbox One, and Steam. You can find out more information about it here.

Review of the Aventho Wireless from Beyerdynamic

In addition to the Beyerdynamic DT 240, we had a good time reviewing the Aventho Wireless. These Aventho Wireless are about the same weight as the one that I most recently reviewed, and besides the Bluetooth capability, there are some differences.

So, you will notice the design, and I suppose that I could describe it as minimalist, but in a very classy way. The earcups barely cover the ears, assuming that I have regular sized ears.

Beyerdynamic says that the sound adapts acoustically to the user’s hearing, but I am not certain how adaptable it is. Apparently, the sound quality is thanks to Tesla, but I am not certain how that applies either. It does use Mimi technology, which is apparently used by one million people. Yeah, I don’t feel right not knowing what that is.

One thing that I find most interesting is Beyerdynamic has offered a MIY application which is able to create a sound profile, track daily listening habits, not to mention adjust the sensitivity of the touchpad.

What touchpad? Oh, I probably should mention that the volume control of these headphones is on the right side, which you can discover pretty accidentally. All it requires is a slide of a touch. Oh, it comes with a microphone, so that’s good for taking some phone calls while you are listening to music.

You should be able to purchase the Aventho Wireless on the Beyerdynamic site for about $449.00.

Our Review of the Sennheiser HD 660 S

Well, it appears to be headphones week as we get to review another great pair of high-quality headphones with our old pal Sennheiser. The last time was the PC 373D, but this time it is the HD 660 S, the successor to the HD 650.

I’ll start by saying that the HD 660 S is made for serious audiophiles, which means that I might not be well-equipped to review it. I had an interesting thing happen when I tried to plug it in, as I could only get sound from one side. I really had to jam the cables in, which made things extremely tight, but it is working. Now, you can see from the picture that this guy appears to have speakers on the outside as well as the inside, but if that is the case, I couldn’t figure out how to blast the sound from outside like the inside.

But hey, all that matters is the sound that the user can hear. In fact, I’m watching The Cloverfield Paradox with it on now, and the crisp bass and mid-frequency response is quite something, all right.

When I first put on these guys, I was very pleased to feel the comfort of the earcups. I was able to adjust the size of the headband, but I’m not certain how comfortable the 660 S will be after a few hours of use.

So yes, for those that really want some serious sound, then your search may be over. I say may because you might be put off by the price, which is $499.99 on the Sennheiser site.

The Beyerdynamic DT 240 PRO Review

It looks like we have another chance to review another fine Beyerdynamic product with the DT 240 PRO. By now, I have lost track of how many of these headphones or earbuds that I have reviewed, honestly.

So, where should I start? I mean, I know that these headphones are surely made for professionals, but hey, they are made so anyone can use them. It has the over-ear design, and these earcups are made for comfort.

But hey, all that really matters about any pair of headphones or earbuds is the sound, right? Well, this has studio-grade reproduction, so you know that it is good. We are looking at clean, deep bass, plus a vivid midrange and precise treble as well.

Not only is the sound great, but there is also some great isolation to keep out background noise for minimal sound leakage. It feels like it has been made for podcasters, so I suppose that is the intended audience for the DT 240 PRO. I mean, it has PRO in the title so it must be made for professionals.

What I am not seeing on this is a gooseneck microphone, and I am quite surprised. I know that it isn’t wireless and all, but hey, the Beyerdynamic DT 240 PRO is something. It is available for purchase on the Beyerdynamic site for $99.99, which is a fair price for what you are getting, in headphones terms.

A Review of Cublets Robot Blocks Twelve Kit from Modular Robotics

I have to admit, when I received the Cubelets to review, I couldn’t help but compare it to the Makerblock Neuron Inventor Kit that I just reviewed. Is it coming to the point where I’m reviewing a STEM product every week? If so, I’m cool with it.

So, let’s talk Cubelets. I don’t think I could have done this review if it wasn’t for my son, because he was really into them. Unlike a lot of STEM toys, which seem to emphasize coding, the Cubelets emphasizes creation. When my son started working with the Cubelets Twelve Kit, it was difficult getting him to quit.

When you get the Cubelets, they come in this box where they are packed in a particular pattern. You see, these Cubelets essentially lock together with magnets, and they come in a 2 x 4 formation, with another 2 cubes on each side. I hope that isn’t too confusing of a description, and I might have to do some kind of unboxing to really show off this product, hmmmm…..

So here’s the deal. Each of the Cubelets has a function, and by connecting them together in different ways, you can make a kind of machine that can do all kinds of things. Fortunately, it came with instructions.

I’ll start with the Battery Block, which can be charged with a micro-USB. I noticed the Flashlight Block with a light bulb, and so I connected the Battery Block with it and turned it on. I saw a small green light on the Battery Block, and there was a small light on the Flashlight Block as well.

However, the bulb on Flashlight didn’t glow. I wondered if I did something wrong, but I then connected one of the Distance Blocks (yes, there are two of these particular Cubelets). This Distance Block had a sensor that could detect my hand in front of it, and when connected to the Battery Block and Flashlight Block, I created a luminescent flashlight that allowed me to change the brightness as my hand got closer to it. Granted, covering the Distance Block didn’t do anything, but you see what I am getting at. You see, I could magnetically lock these three blocks together in just about any order, and it worked.

So then I tried the Brightness Block, and I had a flashlight that was somewhat solar powered. The more light I shown on the brightness sensor of the Brightness Block, the brighter the Flashlight Block shone.

Are you getting this now? So let’s hook up the Drive Block, or two of them, because there are two. The Drive Block has these two rollers that look like small rolling pins. I can control their speeds in the same way that I controlled the brightness of the Flashlight Blocks.

So, yes, there is a lot that you can do with these. There are some other blocks like the Passive Block, which is like a wire of this Cubelets (that makes sense if you work with them). Then there is the Blocker Brick, capable of blocking a signal. What is really interesting is the Inverse Block, which essentially makes the Distance Block or Brightness Block have the opposite effect.

So there really is a lot you can do with this, and there is even a Bluetooth Block so you can sync it to your smartphone or tablet. To make this even more constructive, it comes with a male and female LEGO compatible brick. When you use these, you can make LEGO creations spin and go, just like some Technic or even MINDSTORMS creations.

I believe that the Cubelets is one of the finest educational toys, and the Twelve kits are available on the Modular Robotics site for $275.00.