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“Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” Season Two: The Austere Academy Part 1: Cake-sniffers!

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Welcome to Prufrock Preparatory Academy! Or it would be a genuine and cheerful welcome, if it was being given to anyone else besides the Baudelaire orphans, Violet (Malina Weissman), Klaus (Louis Hynes) and Sunny (Presley Smith).

Then again, why would anyone want to go to a school where the Vice Principle is actually named Nero (Roger Bart) and insists on playing the violin, very badly? The one giving the tour to the flummoxed Baudelaires, Carmelita Spats (Kitana Turnbull), is the cutest girl to ever tap the halls of Prufrock Prep and don’t you ever forget it, cake-sniffer, which of course lets her get away with also being the biggest non-teacher bully in school too.

Mr. Remora (Malcolm Stewart) teaches language arts, though you wouldn’t know it from his real-life anecdotes, and Mrs. Bass (BJ Harrison) teaches math and the metric system, which involves measuring all the random things. The school librarian Olivia Caliban (Sara Rue) does her best to help and educate the students, but is severely hampered with the ‘Library is only open for ten whole minutes each day’ restriction placed upon her by Vice Principle Nero. Larry Your-Waiter (Patrick Breen) has managed to infiltrate Prufrock Prep’s school cafeteria, to try and finally get that damnably important book to the Baudelaire children, which is going about as well as can be expected in Lemony Snicket’s world. And lastly, what about the gym teacher and athletic team we saw in the beginning? Why, that’s the infiltration point made by the dastardly Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris) and his gang of miscreant actors!

A Series of Unfortunate Events

This world really does enjoy constantly reminding the Baudelaires that their secretive parents died in a bad fire and they’re now orphans, and the shack they have to live in at Prufrock Prep is a clear example of this. Crabs, fungus, even the warning tapping announcing the coming of Carmelita Spats are no match for the Baudelaire pluck and inventiveness, especially when they have new friends to cheer them on.

The Quagmire children are eerily similar to the Baudelaires, having lost their parents and triplet brother Quigley to death, too. Isadora (Avi Lake) and Duncan (Dylan Kingwell) seem almost tailor-made to be good to Klaus and Violet, respectively, and it turns out Isadora is carrying a telescope very similar to the one Klaus still keeps from the Baudelaire parents. Because, most likely, the Quagmires and the Baudelaire adults knew each-other. It’s a shame they couldn’t prepare for the Prufrock Prep motto, from the Latin, Memento Mori –remember, you will die.

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Why would Vice Principle Nero and the laughable rest of the faculty require everyone to attend a mandatory pep rally? To raise school spirit, of course! Well, not really. To beat the school mascot, a dead horse, of course it is what else would it be, and also to introduce the brand new unqualified gym teacher, Coach Genghis! Boy, he looks familiar. That shiny brooch covering a unibrow used to be on the throat of a certain poppy pink cake-sniffer, and those tall lace-up sneakers can easily cover an ankle tattoo, so at least this time a smidge of effort went into costumery and covering.

Mr. Poe (K. Todd Freeman) is as useless as ever, though you will gain super-secret bonus points if you recognize the book he was reading at the beginning, ‘The Pony Party’! His secretary on the other hand, Jacquelyn (Sarah Canning), after getting a call from Larry Your-Waiter stuck in the freezer after getting found-out, decides to call in for him a super special secret Snicket taxi cab, and driver, for rescue.

Come again to Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events season two on Netflix now, and remember, “In a world too often governed by corruption and arrogance, it can be hard to stay true to one’s literary and philosophical principles.”

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Caesar’s Reign Comes To The Big Screen With New Trailer For Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes

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Director Wes Ball breathes new life into the global, epic franchise set several generations in the future following Caesar’s reign, in which apes are the dominant species living harmoniously and humans have been reduced to living in the shadows. As a new tyrannical ape leader builds his empire, one young ape undertakes a harrowing journey that will cause him to question all that he has known about the past and to make choices that will define a future for apes and humans alike. “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” is directed by Wes Ball (the “Maze Runner” trilogy) and stars Owen Teague (“IT”), Freya Allan (“The Witcher”), Kevin Durand (“Locke & Key”), Peter Macon (“Shameless”), and William H. Macy (“Fargo”). The screenplay is by Josh Friedman (“War of the Worlds”) and Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver (“Avatar: The Way of Water”) and Patrick Aison (“Prey”), based on characters created by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver, and the producers are Wes Ball, Joe Hartwick, Jr., p.g.a. (“The Maze Runner”), Rick Jaffa, p.g.a., Amanda Silver, p.g.a., Jason Reed, p.g.a. (“Mulan”), with Peter Chernin (the “Planet of the Apes” trilogy) and Jenno Topping (“Ford v. Ferrari”) serving as executive producers.

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Masterchef Is Back! For Halo Season 2

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A quick recap – Halo is set in a war-torn 26th century, where humanity led by the United Nations Space Command or UNSC and their supersoldiers known as Spartans, fights against the onslaught of the alien conglomerate known as the Covenant. The full dust-up of Halo Season 1, can be found here. Onward into the introduction of Halo Season 2!

It’s been six months since the forced separation of Spartan Masterchief John (Pablo Schreiber) and Cortana (Jen Taylor), and the Silver Team has been sent on a mission to evacuate residents of the planet Sanctuary before the Covenant glasses the whole thing. This comes with its own set of challenges, given the resistance of the planet’s inhabitants, and it doesn’t help that Masterchef starts seeing things right in the middle of trying to save some marines. Or is he? Those energy swords the squad of Elites were carrying looked worryingly real.

Back on Reach, the Silver Team is entirely dismayed to learn they have a brand new Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) representative come in as the new boss, to finally replace the traitorous Halsey, James Ackerson (Joseph Morgan). And of course, Ackerson manages to immediately get under Masterchief’s skin, by not only expressing far too much interest in John’s relationship with Cortana but also apparently disbelieving of John’s report of his encounters on Sanctuary. That just means Masterchief has to go around, if not entirely over, Ackerson’s head.

Elsewhere, Soren (Bokeem Woodbine) is trolling the slave markets in his boredom, only to stumble across a soon-to-be indentured servant who claims he knows the whereabouts of the UNSC’s most hunted human, Catherine Halsey (Natascha McElhone). That should bring a huge bounty, but really, Soren should’ve known better by now.

Halo Season 2 premieres Thursday, February 8th, 2024, and will continue to air every Thursday, only on Paramount+!

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Reborn as a Vending Machine I Now Wander the Dungeon’: I look forward to your next use!  

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If the title of this delightful little isekai anime entry didn’t give it all away, our nameless protagonist is a vending machine fanatic who, after being killed by a vending machine, gets reincarnated in another fantasy-style world as one! 

Japan has a tendency to give birth to all sorts of crazed fads that can last for decades, and no one does better when it comes to the vending machine industry, too. These days there are vending machines that will serve you sushi you can actually eat, hot pizza in the box, wagyu steaks, freshly popped popcorn, and a whole mind-boggling array of tasty treats, and other non-edible but still useful items! Umbrellas! Condoms! Oxygen masks, sterile bandages, shoes, and emergency clothing! Actually, far more things that we use on an everyday basis, could be considered as technically a vending machine, and the anime explores that beautifully. Into the world of vending machine fanaticism, we dive! 

So our poor protagonist never gave a name, and inevitably when he’s discovered by his first official friend the starving hunter Lammis, she dubs him “Boxxo”. Like many isekai that seem to take inspiration from video games and RPGs, Boxxo discovers he ways he can communicate, level up his existence, and even evince magic-like powers and attack and defend against monsters and enemies. Though in the beginning, and as an underlying theme throughout the show, Boxxo is primarily concerned with providing unique never-before-tasted-in-this-world food and drink to the amazed folk, human and otherwise. 

Boxxo’s prices are entirely reasonable and hey, he can even choose to give out his wares for free on occasion, so his popularity immediately skyrockets. Lammis with her awkward charm and prodigious strength blessing, introduces Boxxo to other friends of Clearflow Lake Village and associates along the way – Director Bear, an actual bear-monster who’s the head of the Hunters Association; Lammis’ friend Hulemy, the insane genius magic item engineer; the Bearcats Suco, Pell, Short and Mikenne, cheerful hunters with astronomic appetites; even suspicious Kerioyl, leader of the Menagerie of Fools party. 

The show approaches the practicality and versatility of the true vending machine with amusement, but also with the love true fans display for things they’re passionate about. Certainly, things like a brothel needing a condom vending machine exist in our world, but to toss them into a potentially more innocent other-world isekai is a welcome and often hilarious treat. The show celebrates the cheerful idiocy and devotion of the fans to their chosen fandom, in this case, yes vending machines, but also the spirit of the lonely otaku finally finding their Tribe! 

Pay your coins to watch ‘Reborn as a Vending Machine’ on Crunchyroll now! 

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