Tuesday, October 17, 2017

"Freakshow" Is Fresh Legends Of Tomorrow!


The Good: Good character development, Fun casting
The Bad: Very lame tiger effects, Very basic plot and villains
The Basics: Legends Of Tomorrow returns to fun while actually making its characters deeper in "Freakshow."


Legends Of Tomorrow comes with a surprisingly strong flexibility to it. As an ensemble piece with a cast that can be changed out and pull both established characters from the Berlanti-DC Television Universe or adapting characters to it, Legends Of Tomorrow can be pretty much anything it wants to be. So, when the show makes an attempt to do something smart or deep, it is well within the show's range to do so. "Freakshow" has the show's familiar use of humor that it blends with a decent level of adult conflict and serious moments.

Following on the events of "Aruba-Con" (reviewed here!), which saw most of the Waverider crew coming back together in the wake of Rip Hunter forming the Time Bureau to fix the damage the crew did to time itself, "Freakshow" puts the focus on Dr. Nate Heywood and an anomaly of the week. The anomaly is a sabretooth tiger, which affords Legends Of Tomorrow the chance to insert P.T. Barnum into the narrative.

Six months ago in Central City, Amaya Jiwe and Dr. Heywood are living together. While Heywood runs out for doughnuts, Jiwe sees a television report on Vixen and she freaks out and abandons the doctor. In the present, Dr. Palmer perfects his shrink ray and the Waverider crew attempts to evaluate the anachronism files from Rip Hunter's Temporal Bureau. The Waverider crew heads to Wisconsin, 1870, to P.T. Barnum's circus. There, they discover the anachronism is a sabretooth tiger and they unwittingly make it large and it gets loose. Sara Lance heads back to 1942 to enlist Jiwe in the mission. When Jiwe joins the Waverider crew on the mission, the distance between her and Heywood leads Heywood to go out drinking.

In the process, Palmer and Jackson are captured by P.T. Barnum, who adds them to his freakshow. While looking for the pair, Lance notices her crew is being surveilled by a member of Rip's Time Bureau. Lance captures Gary and in the process draws the attention of Agent Sharpe, who boards the Waverider. Dr. Stein and Rory manage to rescue their teammates and when the crisis abates, Jiwe confesses to her friends what has been going on with her since she left the team.

"Freakshow" has a very familiar plot to several other episodes of Legends Of Tomorrow and the novelty of P.T. Barnum being played by Billy Zane does not wear thin over the course of the episode. The impressive aspect of "Freakshow" is that the relationship between Heywood and Jiwe is adequately explored in a compelling and adult way. Abandonment is a huge issue for adults in romantic relationships and Heywood's sense of loss is realistically portrayed in "Freakshow." Beyond that, Nick Zano and Maisie Richardson-Sellers manage to portray their characters with an exceptional sense of on-screen chemistry, making the depth of Heywood's loss seem plausible.

The plot of "Freakshow" is yet another simple "rescue the crew from a historic problem" episode, but most of the episode feels fresh. Sure, Billy Zane plays another villain and Brandon Routh plays Palmer as more dippy and humorous than smart and professional, but Caity Lotz finds the right balance of kicking ass and humor in "Freakshow." And Victor Garber comes through with his usual coolness. Dominic Purcell has yet another moment where he is given a joke that is seriously telegraphed, but he pulls off.

"Freakshow" manages to continue developing Sara Lance as a true hero and reasonable timeship captain. Lance wants to know what is in store for the Waverider crew the moment Agent Sharpe slips up. Lance is starting to see the big picture on the Waverider's mandate and it is refreshing to see her developing as a leader. Lance starts to trust her crew and use their talents by the end of "Freakshow" and that is real development for both the character and Legends Of Tomorrow.

Ultimately, "Freakshow" manages to take the familiar plot of Legends Of Tomorrow and infuse it with enough character development to make it feel fresh again.

For other works with Paul Lazenby, please visit my reviews of:
Star Trek: Beyond
Deadpool
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

6/10

For other television season and episode reviews, please visit my Television Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
| | |

Low Durability Makes The Wheeler Rex 24" Hand Saw A Disappointment!


The Good: Handle actually holds up, Inexpensive
The Bad: Blade bends with even limited use, Cheap
The Basics: The 24" Hand Saw from Wheeler Rex has limited use and ended up disappointing me with even casual use.


Recently, I decided to take on a big project outdoors. The complex I live in has a forest, which is pretty awesome for my dogs. Shortly after Myah died, however, there was a huge storm and two trees fell and obscured the path that was her main route from our home to the clearings where she had been used to bathrooming. Benny has been with us for a few months now and I've been taking him all over for bathrooming. Recently, I felt the pull to recover the pathway Myah had used for Benny and that meant doing the hard work of cutting up the felled trees. For that, I needed a saw. After going through my tools and discovering I no longer had a hand saw appropriate for cutting through a downed tree, I went out to buy one.

When I found the 24" Wheeler Rex Hand Saw at my local discount store, I was a bit apprehensive. Ironically, my sense of apprehension that the 24" Wheeler Rex Hand Saw would be the right tool for the job came from the plastic handle. The plastic handle was attached to the metal blade by three screws and my feeling was that even for a comparatively small project like sawing through two trees, there was no way the tool would hold up. I was wrong.

Unfortunately, I was also correct.

The 24" Wheeler Rex Hand Saw absolutely failed on the durability front. It took less than a week of daily use (one to three hours each day) before the steel blade of the 24" Wheeler Rex Hand Saw was warped and bent in a way that was problematic.

The 24" Wheeler Rex Hand Saw is 28" long from the back to the tip and it has a 5 1/2" tall grip. The grip is wide enough to accommodate an adult hand in work gloves. After several days of use, the grip remained tight and firmly attached to the steel saw blade.

Unfortunately, despite the ridiculously easy ease-of-use of the 24" Wheeler Rex Hand Saw and the surprising strength of the grip, the saw blade was hardly durable for practical, continual, or professional use. After getting through the first tree and returning to a less thick tree for sawing, the blade quickly exhibited warping at its midpoint, which made it very hard to start new cuts midway through the second tree.

As a result, it is impossible to recommend the 24" Wheeler Rex Hand Saw for even moderate home use, much less a professional setting.

For other tool reviews, please check out my takes on:
Coleman 2000008547 Rechargeable LED Lantern
Stanley Tools 66-183 6 3/4" Flathead Screwdriver
Gator Grips Universal Socket

3/10

For other home and garden reviews, please check out my Home And Garden Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
| | |

The Flash Stays In Its Rut For "Mixed Signals"


The Good: Good initial humor, Therapy scenes, Performances are fine
The Bad: Forced humor as the episode goes on, Very generic metahuman plot, Gloss over all the best character moments
The Basics: "Mixed Signals" keeps The Flash mired in being a genre show without committing to its own inherent complexities.


The Flash got off to a rough start for the fourth season. The impact of Barry Allen's sacrifice and even the idea of the Speed Force prison was severely undermined in the fourth season premiere when Cisco managed to get Barry Allen out of the prison exceptionally quickly. As "Mixed Signals" begins, it is hard for fans of The Flash not to feel like they have invested in something that has gone completely to pot.

"The Flash Reborn" (reviewed here!) precedes "Mixed Signals" and the whole purpose of the fourth season premiere was, ostensibly, to reunite the entire S.T.A.R. Labs team (less some version of Harrison Wells), seed that there continues to be a problem with Dr. Snow and her metahuman powers, and introduce DeVoe (The Thinker) on screen. The magnitude of Barry Allen's sacrifice were completely undermined by "The Flash Reborn."

When an arrogant, rich young man comes to Central City and attempts to buy the most expensive apartment there, he is killed in the building's elevator by a man whose eyes indicate he has the ability to manipulate electronic devices. Barry speeds through his morning and catches up on all he missed while trapped in the Speed Force. When Barry has to run off to work, Iris is miffed that Allen has already completed their wedding plans. Cisco Ramon arrives on the scene and discovers that the elevator has malicious code in it - that it has been hacked.

While Barry is slow to adapt to the new dynamic in the S.T.A.R. Labs team, Ramsey Deacon strikes again, rewriting the code in a car being driven by Tim Kwon, a tech genius. Gypsy comes to visit Ramon, while he spends his time trying to track down the connection between the tech geniuses who have been targeted by Deacon. When Ramon discovers there is a third person on the team with the two prior targets and Deacon, Wally and Joe West work to protect her. With Ramon distracted by not being able to be with Gypsy and Allen and Iris West experiencing relationship problems, the S.T.A.R. Labs team needs to regroup to try to stop Deacon.

"Mixed Signals" actually starts to deal with some of the effects of Barry Allen being returned to Earth and normal speed. Barry is not exactly listening to Iris through most of their interactions and as a result, Iris decides to take Dr. Snow's advice and go to couple's counseling with Barry. The idea that Barry did not come back the same is a smart one and the episode works to explore consequences. Despite the happy initial tone of "Mixed Signals" with Barry Allen dancing and lip synching, the episode turns to a darker tone with Iris listing off all the people they know who have died.

The Flash is hampered by the expectations placed upon it in "Mixed Signals." The best moments of "Mixed Signals" are when Iris West works to reconcile her problems with Barry, both from his leaving and how he has acted since his return. Because The Flash is regarded as a genre work for late-teens, early twentysomethings, "Mixed Signals" is unwilling to commit to its best aspects. Iris and Barry have compelling, real and very adult problems and watching an honest therapy session between them could have been a truly compelling hour of television for a series that committed to being an adult drama.

The Cisco Ramon and Gypsy subplot is similarly forced. The idea that Gypsy has visited Earth-1 in the prior six months enough to build a relationship with Ramon is a fine one; the idea that she has only visited on the few moments when Central City is not being menaced and Ramon is busy is just utterly ridiculous. As a result, up until the moment when Gypsy actually explains why this particular day is important to her, the relationship moments between Gypsy and Ramon fall flat.

Ramon has upgraded The Flash's suit and the idea is initially good, but it quickly turns to parody. The Flash's new suit features pulse cannons that are reminiscent of Iron Man and a flotation function that stretches the limits of what the show's special effects can handle. The idea behind Cisco's upgrades to the suit are all solid, but the suit being co-opted right away seems far too plot-convenient. All of the suit's upgrades make Barry Allen seem far less impressive - he does not need to think as much or use his innate skills; his suit can do so much more now.

Even Wally West is undermined as he stands around waiting for Barry Allen to act as opposed to acting like (one presumes) he was for the past six months . . . like a fully actualized speedster.

"Mixed Signals" earns some geek points for the introduction of Warden Wolf and it seeds well the idea that Central City is soon to be overrun by more metahumans. The acting in the episode is fine, but because the plot quickly takes precedence over the character aspects, none of the performers are afforded truly deep opportunities to show off range.

Ultimately, The Flash could have grown quite a bit from the set-up and inherent conflicts in "Mixed Signals," but it treads toward the familiar instead of the audacious.

For other works with Dominic Burgess, please check out my reviews of:
"Eye Spy" - Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.
"Bad Wolf"- Doctor Who
Batman Begins

4/10

For other television reviews, please visit my Television Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
| | |

Pantene Pro-V DreamCare Smooth & Sleek Shampoo Delivers Average Results


The Good: Cleans hair well, Good lather, Appears to work to diminish frizz
The Bad: Expensive! No recognizable scent.
The Basics: Pantene Pro-V DreamCare Smooth & Sleek shampoo lacks a compelling scent, but cleans well-enough to justify its price.


Lately, I've been doing a lot of yardwork and the truth is, my hair has begun to see the strain of being outdoors. My hair had begun to get a little frizzy when I started using the Pantene Pro-V DreamCare Smooth & Sleek Shampoo. Pantene Pro-V DreamCare Smooth & Sleek Shampoo is fine, but the truth is that in recent years, I have come to expect more of shampoos that bear a premium price tag. I tend to want more clear cleaning and conditioning properties and/or a scent that infuses the shower experience with a wonderful and memorable scent.

Pantene Pro-V DreamCare Smooth & Sleek Shampoo did a fairly good job of cleaning my hair and reducing the frizz of my dry, weather-beaten hair. My hair was noticeably cleaner, less dry and my hair was far less brittle after using the DreamCare Smooth & Sleek Shampoo for a month. This shampoo, on its own, always left my hair perfectly clean and far less oily than when I began. Given how much I have been working outside of late, my hair is usually sweaty and gross, so the cleaning power of this shampoo cannot be understated.

I tend to like shampoos that both clean and leave hair smelling good. The Pantene Pro-V DreamCare Smooth & Sleek shampoo did the former well, but the latter poorly. After my first use of the shampoo, my hair was perfectly cleaned and smelled clean and neutral. After my first week of using the shampoo and conditioner, my hair was clean, bouncy, more manageable and looked better. The shampoo on its own effectively reduced the brittleness of my hair while cleaning my hair.

Since starting to use Pantene Pro-V DreamCare Smooth & Sleek Shampoo a month ago, this shampoo has adequately protected my hair from further breakage. Instead, in conjunction with the DreamCare Smooth & Sleek Conditioner, my hair has not returned to a place where it is frizzy or damaged again.

With a cost of approximately $5.99 for a 12.6 fl. oz. bottle, Pantene Pro-V DreamCare Smooth & Sleek is comparatively expensive. The bottle is smooth and is more flat than round. When wet, it slips out of the hands easily. The cap has a flip-top that makes it very easy to get the shampoo out with only one hand. As well, the large cap makes it even easier, though because the hole is still fairly small, there is no waste from the bottle.

The scent of Pantene Pro-V DreamCare Smooth & Sleek is entirely neutral. There is a vague fruity scent that comes out of the bottle the first moment the bottle is opened, but after that the scent dissipates and the shampoo has no discernible scent either from the shampoo or on the hair it is used on. Pantene Pro-V DreamCare Smooth & Sleek is a white, opaque shampoo that is creamy and smooth. It has a non-watery consistency and while it is not especially thick, it does not need to be watered down to get the most out of the product.

Like most shampoos, there is nothing mysterious to using this product. You wet your hair, lather it up with this shampoo and rinse. Like most shampoos, I can get away with using about a quarter-sized drop and that is so with the Pantene Pro-V DreamCare Smooth & Sleek. This is pretty consistent with other Pantene products I have used, but I have been impressed by how very well Pantene Pro-V DreamCare Smooth & Sleek shampoo lathered up. This becomes one of the most foamy shampoos when lathered into the hair that I have ever used. That also helps it wash out exceptionally easily.

This shampoo has an excellent lather quality. It took almost nothing to work it up to a lather and that lather spreads into the hair and cleans amazingly. Indeed, with average usage, the product was one of the easiest shampoos I have used to spread through my hair. This required very little agitation to lather it properly and the results were spectacular, especially for the minimal effort.

This shampoo rinses out incredibly easily, as well. When I am in a hurry and can only wash my hair, the Pantene Pro-V DreamCare Smooth & Sleek shampoo rinses out very quickly and leaves my hair quite clean. Moreover, the shampoo alone leaves the hair without any scent, so there is nothing to rinse out. The Pantene Pro-V DreamCare Smooth & Sleek required almost no effort to rinse it out, making is a quick shampoo to apply and rinse out.

The Pantene Pro-V DreamCare Smooth & Sleek Shampoo does not make my hair feel heavy when it is still wet, and once dry, the shampoo lives up to its promise of clean, smooth-looking hair. Washing my hair as much as I do, I have ended up with very dry hair in the past, but the DreamCare Smooth & Sleek Shampoo eliminates any adverse affects to washing hair so much. Restoring my hair to cleanliness and eliminating frizz is enough to recommend this shampoo, regardless of the price and despite its lack of a memorable scent.

Ultimately, the Pantene Pro-V DreamCare Smooth & Sleek Shampoo is an average shampoo at a premium price.

For other Pantene product reviews, please check out my analysis of:
Pantene Pro-V Daily Moisture Renewal Shampoo
Pantene Pro-V Repair & Protect Conditioner
Pantene Pro-V Repair & Protect Shampoo

5/10

For other health and beauty reviews, visit my Health And Beauty Product Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
| | |

Monday, October 16, 2017

"Triggers" Would Be Fine Supergirl . . . Had The Flash Not Beaten The Show To The Punch.


The Good: Acting, Special effects
The Bad: Entirely derivative plot, Glossed-over character conflicts and characterizations
The Basics: Supergirl presents an entirely familiar Metahuman Of The Week episode with "Triggers."


As is the trend with superhero television shows - both from the DC and Marvel Television Universes - the season might have lesser adversaries that endure for only a single episode, Supergirl tends to have a villain intended to ride out the bulk of the season. The third season of Supergirl is poised to feature Reign as its primary adversary and by the second episode, all that the viewer has seen of her is that she rescued her daughter from being crushed with what appears to be superhuman strength. Having read some Supergirl graphic novels, but not recalled at all Reign from them, I was eager to see how Supergirl would characterize and reveal Reign. All that viewers truly know is that Samantha Arias has super strength and that she is probably the Kryptonian alluded to in the final season of the second season finale.

"Girl Of Steel" (reviewed here!) led into "Triggers" and it almost instantly calls back to the events of the season premiere. Samantha Arias is confronted early on about her saving her daughter and she brushes it off and Lena Luthor arrives at CatCo, which she bought at the climax of the prior episode. The serialized elements in "Triggers" are minimized as the episode very quickly turns into a Metahuman Of The Week villain episode.

After the main characters wake up for the day, Samantha Arias goes to start her first day of work at a new job. Lena Luthor arrives at CatCo, much to the chagrin of James Olsen, to take over as the new CEO. Arriving at the DEO, where Detective Sawyer and Alex are arguing about wedding music, Supergirl learns that there is a thief in National City who has hit multiple banks by incapacitating the people in the banks. Supergirl attempts to intervene and stop the bank robber, Psi, but she is affected by Psi's power to manipulate emotions. When Kara is terrified by Psi and sees her mother and the crippling loneliness of being alone in the pod launched from Krypton, she turns to Winn for help in developing a psychic shield.

When Samantha's daughter shows rebellious tendencies because her mother is lying to her about her super powers, Samantha has to go looking for her. Kara, stressed over Lena actually keeping tabs on her at work, turns to Alex for emotional support. Psi continues to terrorize National City by robbing banks and stealing cash bags from armored car companies. When Psi attacks people near where Samantha's daughter has run, Samantha is called to rescue Ruby. Before Samantha can be outed, Ruby is rescued by Supergirl.

"Triggers" is an all right episode of Supergirl, but for anyone who is a fan of the DC Television Universe, it is entirely derivative. Psi is a metahuman and when Winn references the metahuman database, one has to assume that that was a gift from Cisco as a footnote in last season's crossover episode. Metahumans are not a typical problem on Supergirl, so the moment Psi pops up and is revealed to not be an alien it sits poorly with the viewer. Beyond that, Psi is essentially a recast of Roy G. Bivolo from The Flash episode "Flash Vs. Arrow" (reviewed here!). Roy altered emotions with a flash of his eyes and robbed banks . . . Psi does the same thing, without the flash of her eyes.

Somewhat disappointing in "Triggers" is that Kara is affected by Psi's powers the exact same way as humans. The episode does not offer a satisfactory explanation for why the metahuman's power has an effect on Kryptonian biology.

The acting in "Triggers" is solid, save that once again Katie McGrath's British accent makes an unexpected appearance. Melissa Benoist and Chyler Leigh have good on-screen chemistry and their scenes are well-executed. Regardless of how absurd it might feel that Psi is able to manipulate Supergirl using her psychic powers, Benoist plays shaken and horrified incredibly well. Jeremy Jordan does an excellent job in "Triggers" of providing a reasonable level of comic relief.

Unfortunately, "Triggers" does not leave much for the viewer to consider as it is almost entirely derivative. J'onn J'onzz is used for humor and then set up in an awkward way and Psi is a terribly generic villain of the week. The episode is forced to resolve the Psi conflict fast, as opposed to actually wrestling in a compelling way with the feelings and memories Psi's powers bring up in Supergirl.

For other works with Odette Annable, please visit my reviews of:
Cloverfield
Transformers
The Holiday

3.5/10

For other television season and episode reviews, please visit my Television Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
| | |

Wild Ophelia Caramelized Banana Peanut Butter Cups Intrigue!


The Good: Good chocolate and peanut butter flavors, Great ingredients, Awesome corporate ethics
The Bad: Very weak banana flavor, Comparatively expensive
The Basics: Wild Ophelia Caramelized Banana Peanut Butter Cups are a good idea that Wild Ophelia does not quite pull off.


With the success of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, any number of chocolatiers have begun making peanut butter cups. Wild Ophelia, the high-quality chocolatier, is no exception to this trend. Tonight, I had the opportunity to try the Wild Ophelia Caramelized Banana Peanut Butter Cups and when faced with the full selection of Wild Ophelia cups, this was my first choice. The idea of peanut butter and banana sounded good and I eagerly tried these treats.

Unfortunately, the Wild Ophelia Caramelized Banana Peanut Butter Cups do not quite live up on the banana flavoring and as a result, they end up as a comparatively expensive peanut butter cup with little to distinguish them from other peanut butter cup candies.

Basics

Wild Ophelia Caramelized Banana Peanut Butter Cups are a fairly new candy. The Wild Ophelia Caramelized Banana Peanut Butter Cups are like mini-candy cups. They come as a quartet of treats on a thin cardboard tray. The 1.37 oz. package houses four candies which are each 1"in diameter and 5/8" tall, shaped like a traditional peanut butter cup. that are 7/16" thick.

Ease Of Preparation

These are candy, so preparing them is as simple as opening the wrapper, removing it from the cardboard tray, and then eating the candy. There is no trick or mystery to eating Wild Ophelia Caramelized Banana Peanut Butter Cups. The Caramelized Banana Peanut Butter Cups are a ready-to-consume candy.

Taste

The Wild Ophelia Caramelized Banana Peanut Butter Cups have the scent of buttery milk chocolate exclusively. While the cups might contain peanut butter and bananas, there is no hint of either in the bouquet. These candies smell entirely of chocolate, without any hints of anything else in them.

On the tongue, the Caramelized Banana Peanut Butter Cups are sweet and the outside does contain the strong flavor of bananas. The moment the Wild Ophelia Caramelized Banana Peanut Butter Cups break open, the peanut butter in the center completely overwhelms the flavor of the banana crumbled on the top. The sweetness of the chocolate blends nicely with the peanut butter in the center of the candies, though both entirely overcome the mild banana flavor on the top of each cup.

The Wild Ophelia Caramelized Banana Peanut Butter Cups leave a slightly sweet aftertaste in the mouth that does not last very long after the last of the candies are consumed.

Nutrition

Wild Ophelia Caramelized Banana Peanut Butter Cups are comparatively good on the nutrition front, which is unsurprising given how good the ingredients in this chocolate are. The primary ingredients are milk chocolate, peanut butter, and powdered sugar. There is nothing unpronounable in these candies; everything in them is easily identified, like dried banana pieces and sea salt.

A serving of the Wild Ophelia Caramelized Banana Peanut Butter Cups is considered one package (four peanut butter cups). From a single package, Wild Ophelia Caramelized Banana Peanut Butter Cups provides 220 calories and 15 grams of fat. There is 2% of the RDA of cholesterol and 60 mg of sodium. There is 2% of one's daily Vitamin A and Calcium in the Cups, as well as 10% of the RDA of Iron.

These are not Vegan-compliant, nor are they recommended for anyone with a nut allergy as they are produced on equipment that processes tree nuts and the cups contain actual peanuts! They are not noted to be kosher, though they are gluten-free and made using Non-GMO ingredients. There are allergy warnings for milk, peanuts and soy.

Storage/Clean-up

The package of these Wild Ophelia Caramelized Banana Peanut Butter Cups remain fresh for quite some time. The ones my wife got me for my birthday would have expired on April 30, 2018, had we not eaten it already. Given that they are wrapped in a very sealed package, it is hard to imagine just what it would take for these to go bad outside melting and refreezing. These Wild Ophelia chocolates do seem fairly susceptible to melting, though.

As for cleanup, I applaud those who actually throw the wrappers away in socially appropriate places, as opposed to litter. Outside that, there is no real cleanup needed, unless one is eating them in a hot environment. In that case, it is likely one would need to wash their hands. If this chocolate melts into most fabrics, it will stain, which is a legitimate concern given how the milk chocolate melts fairly easily.

Overall

Wild Ophelia Caramelized Banana Peanut Butter Cups do not taste bad, but the promised flavors are not all evident in the taste and as a result, they feel more expensive than satisfying.

For other Wild Ophelia candy reviews, please check out my reviews of:
Cold Brew Jet Black Chocolate Coffee Bites
Beef Jerky & Smoked Salt Chocolate Bar
District 5 Power The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Crispy Crunchy Caramel Corn And Dark Chocolate Bar

4/10

For other candy reviews, please visit my Candy Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
| | |

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Harry Mudd, On-Screen Beatings And Cursing Make "Choose Your Pain" Cringeworthy


The Good: Basic ethical dilemma, Saru's character, Most of the performances
The Bad: "Flashy" aspects fall flat, Poor continuity with the franchise, Redefining Harry Mudd works poorly.
The Basics: Star Trek: Discovery returns Harry Mudd to the franchise in "Choose Your Pain," which might be the best episode of the season so far, but it is still almost entirely unwatchable.


One of the inherent issues with creating a prequel to a work that has been analyzed and built upon is that there is the danger of creating something that is either derivative or illustrates a complete lack of understanding of the original source material. When the casting announcements were leaked last summer for Star Trek: Discovery, one of the two notable characters who were slated to appear in the show was Harry Mudd, this time played by Rainn Wilson. The use of Harry Mudd is not the worst choice for a character from Star Trek to appear in a prequel series, but the moment the first promos dropped for "Choose Your Pain" - the first episode with Harry Mudd in it - it was hard not to cringe.

For those unfamiliar with him, Harcourt Fenton Mudd III was a con man who appeared in two episodes of the original Star Trek. He was the last refuge of the privateers - old-style humans who were concerned with profit above all else. Harry Mudd was a buffoon whose planned "big score" was to make money marrying off women to desperate miners before they ran out of a drug that made the women look beautiful. It's a pretty low-level con and the con man was something of an idiot who was always in over his head.

"Choose Your Pain" follows on the events of "The Butcher's Knife Cares Not For The Lamb's Cry" (reviewed here!), which saw the spore displacement drive used effectively when Michael Burnham figured out that the alien life form recovered from the U.S.S. Glenn was essentially a navigator. The U.S.S. Discovery was then able to rescue a dilithium processing facility from destruction.

Michael Burnham has a nightmare about the new spore drive and she turns to Dr. Culber for aid in keeping the navigator healthy. Captain Lorca has a meeting where the Discovery is ordered to participate in fewer military incursions against the Klingons while the rest of the fleet develops the spore drive and finds navigators for their ships. Lorca is captured in a shuttlecraft by a Klingon ship. While Saru adapts to being in command of the Discovery in order to locate and rescue Lorca, Burnham crusades on behalf of the Tardigrade.

Lorca awakens in a Klingon cell with the civilian Harry Mudd. When a Klingon enters the cell and offers Mudd a choice, Mudd chooses another person in the cell and that person is beaten to death. Burnham and Culber convince Stamets that using the Tardigrade is unethical, but Saru is willing to take the responsibility and he orders another jump. Lorca and Tyler, another captive, manage to escape the Klingon cell, while the Discovery works to find Lorca while the Tardigrade is in hibernation.

The only real joy in "Choose Your Pain" comes from Saru's scenes. In addition to allowing for a moment of geek out for fans of Star Trek when all of the best StarFleet Captains are listed, Saru is presented in a way that makes him appear to be a well-developed character. Saru feels jealousy for Burnham's place in their former Captain's life, but he clearly wants to succeed as First Officer. Saru has a sense of ethics that he is trying to balance with his sense of duty and that conflict is well-developed in "Choose Your Pain."

Alas, Saru is essentially the b-plot in "Choose Your Pain." In the a-plot, Lorca is fleshed out as a Captain who destroyed his own ship so its crew could not be captured by the Klingons and the bigger gimmick in the episode than Harry Mudd's return is the fact that StarFleet officers say "fuck" twice in ten seconds. Wow, edgy. "Choose Your Pain" features "fuck" and people getting beaten to death and it's like the writers and director Lee Rose are hoping viewers won't question how a starving human who just had the piss beaten out of him can snap the neck of a Klingon.

"Choose Your Pain" makes a pretty explicit reference to the rest of the Star Trek franchise by including key names of prior characters. The episode lacks any consistent sense of ethics to indicate that the show and its characters are tied to those venerable Captains. While Captain Kirk once left Harry Mudd stranded, Mudd was not in mortal danger when he did. The spectacle of Klingon weapons that puff the victims out of existence and dramatic escapes overcome the moments of theme wherein characters actually take moral stances.

The performances in "Choose Your Pain" are fine, but only Doug Jones truly presents a character with real emotional complexity. Anthony Rapp is fine as Stamets, but he telegraphs the big moments for the character and his lines are revealing enough to leave seasoned viewers unsurprised by his character's actions. It is unclear whether actress Mary Wiseman is terrible or the material she is being given is horrible, but Cadet Tilly continues to be presented in a way that makes her feel entirely out of place on the Discovery, as well as in the Star Trek universe. Tilly is socially awkward and incredibly immature and one suspects that the writer's room for Star Trek: Discovery was tossing around having an autistic character or wanted to create their own Sheldon Cooper. Either way, Tilly does not measure up and in "Choose Your Pain," she is distractingly incongruent with the rest of the crew.

Ultimately, "Choose Your Pain" lives down to the fears one might have for Star Trek: Discovery. The most successful aspects of the episode involve a character unique to this series grappling with a compelling ethical dilemma in a way that is not easily solved. But much of the rest of the episode features the flash and the bang and bears the uncomfortable feeling that a number of creative people are playing in someone else's sandbox without anything substantive to contribute.

For other episodes with Harry Mudd, please visit my reviews of:
"Mudd's Women"
"I, Mudd"
"Mudd's Passion"

3/10

Check out how this episode stacks up against other Star Trek episode, movie, and seasons by visiting my Star Trek Review Index Page for a listing from best to worst!

© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
| | |

Another Good Idea With A Mediocre Execution: Dunkin' Donuts Coconut Caramel Coffee!


The Good: Decent aroma, Coffee flavor isn't bad
The Bad: Does not taste like coconut or caramel, Comparatively weak coffee flavor, Comparatively expensive
The Basics: Dunkin’ Donuts Bakery Series coffee blends makes an audacious promise with its Coconut Caramel coffee, which it is unable to live up to.


For the Dunkin' Donuts home brews, it is always interesting to me to see how creative the flavors become. The latest line of coffees released under the Dunkin' Donuts brand imprint are the Bakery Series blends. The Bakery Series flavors are pretty standard coffees with artificial flavors added intended to mimic delightful baked goods. When I saw the Coconut Caramel Coffee, it was instantly appealing to me. If any of the flavors in the Dunkin' Donuts Bakeries Series line was going to sell me on the concept, Coconut Caramel seems like it would have done it.

Alas, the Coconut Caramel Bakery Series coffee is not enough to thrill consumers or start a stampede toward the nearest Dunkin' Donuts (reviewed here!) coffee shop. Instead, it seems like Dunkin' Donuts put all their metaphorical eggs in the aroma basket and they failed to deliver on the promised flavors in the Coconut Caramel Coffee.

Basics

Dunkin' Donuts Coffee has several different flavors and I found the bag of ground Coconut Caramel flavor coffee at my local grocery store as one of their new Bakery Series releases. The Coconut Caramel flavored Dunkin' Donuts Coffee comes ground in a foil bag and the 11 oz. package we found was new for $8.50, which was much more expensive compared to comparable flavored coffees. The bright orange bag is easy enough to open and the eleven ounce standard package is resealable, thanks to a flat tie on the top of the bag.

Ease Of Preparation

Dunkin' Donuts Coffee is easy-enough to prepare. Two oz. of the Coconut Caramel Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee brews up with 48 oz. of water to make a full pot of coffee. We brewed up our full pot in our Hamilton Beach coffee maker (reviewed here!). The Coconut Caramel coffee comes pre-ground and smells powerfully of coconut and it is easy enough to scoop out and into a filter.

Taste

The steam from the Coconut Caramel coffee is sweet and inviting. The coffee scent from the mug is sublimated to a very sweet and buttery aroma that is quite clearly caramel. The smell of coconut that comes from the grounds the moment the package is opened is entirely absent from the scent that comes from the brewed coffee.

In the mouth, the Coconut Caramel coffee is entirely coffee flavored, with a more dry aftertaste than is usual for a medium dark roast. The coffee flavor is not actually sweet or even rich in a compelling coffee way. Instead, this ends up as a medium roast coffee flavor with a slightly dry finish to it, completely betraying the consumer's initial enthusiasm for the beverage based on the aromas.

With creamer or sugar, no additional flavors are brought out in the Dunkin' Donuts Bakery Series Coconut Caramel coffee. All creamer or sweeteners seems to do is cut the dry flavor at the end of the taste experience.

The Coconut Caramel coffee does not have an aftertaste.

Nutrition

The ingredients to the Coconut Caramel coffee are simple: coffee, natural and artificial flavors.

In terms of nutrition, this coffee lacks any. One 8 oz. mug of this coffee provides nothing of nutritional value to the drinker. There are no calories (save what one adds from sugar or milk), no fat, sodium, or protein. There is caffeine, however, but it does not seem to be enough to even perk the consumer up.

Storage/Clean-up

Dunkin' Donuts Bakery Series Coffee is very easy to clean up after - the coffee grounds may be disposed in the garbage, or composted if you have a good garden and/or compost pile. The coffee itself is a fairly dark coffee and it will stain delicate fabrics, so if it spills, it ought to be cleaned right off things like tablecloths or light cottons.

Dunkin’ Donuts does not make a recommendation on refrigerating the bag, but ours remained just fine out of the refrigerator. This flavor maintains its freshness well.

Overall

Dunkin’ Donuts Coconut Caramel coffee is a disappointment for anyone purchasing it for its promised coconut or caramel flavors . . . and is a fairly unremarkable coffee otherwise.

For other Dunkin' Donuts coffee reviews, please check out:
Bakery Series Dulce De Leche Cookie Coffee
Chocolate Glazed Donut Coffee
Dunkin' Donuts Jelly Donut flavored coffee

3/10

For other drink reviews, please visit my Food & Drink Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
| | |

Saturday, October 14, 2017

A History Of Family Violence Is Revealed On Supergirl's "Childish Things"


The Good: Decent performances, Moments of Winn Schott's character
The Bad: Continued thematic bludgeoning of the audience, Weak villain characterization, Very basic plot
The Basics: "Childish Things" is a simple Supergirl "criminal of the week" episode that gives Winn Schott a chance for backstory revelations when his father breaks out of prison.


One of the issues with any ensemble piece is trying to find a good balance that allows a work to give each character a chance to grow and develop. Supergirl could have been a show that kept a tight focus on Kara Zor-El and her journey to heroism as Supergirl, but instead, the show quickly tread toward being an ensemble piece filled with not just one team of heroes, but two (Supergirl's crime fighting team and the DEO's anti-alien force). One of the most neglected characters in the first season of Supergirl was Winn Schott. Schott was familiar to fans of The Flash as he was created and written initially by the same person and fills the exact same niche in Supergirl as Cisco Ramon fills on The Flash. And, just as Cisco Ramon has a backstory that includes family angst, so too does Winn Schott. Schott's family drama comes in the form of an incarcerated father. "Childish Things" finally gives Winn Schott an episode where he is the primary focus and it uses that focus to introduce Schott's villainous father.

"Childish Things" picks up after "Blood Bonds" (reviewed here!) and it is focused more on Winn Schott in s a divergent plot than the main serialized elements of the rest of the first season. The main serialized element that is carried into "Childish Things" is the open acknowledgment of Hank Henshaw as J'onn J'onzz, the Martian Manhunter. Fans of the Superman-franchise will instantly recognize Toyman as an adversary of Superman and he enters Supergirl as Winn Schott's father, looking to return to his life of crime.

While Van Kull Maximum Security Prison experiences an odd prison break, Supergirl and J'onn J'onzz go for a fly together. Cat Grant interviews Lucy Lane and offers her a job at CatCo, which puts James Olsen on edge. The FBI arrives at CatCo to interview Winn, who knows nothing about his father's current activities. After a conversation with Kara, Schott agrees to wear a wire for FBI agent Cameron Chase and go to Schott Sr.'s probable lair for a meet. When an FBI tactical team follows Winn into the location, Toyman releases a gas weapon in the arcade and necessitates Supergirl's intervention.

Alex Danvers goes on a date with Max Lord in order to try to get information from the anti-alien industrialist. While Alex keeps Lord busy, J'onzz shapeshifts into Lord and infiltrates Lord Technologies. When he is discovered by a security guard while investigating the comatose woman Lord has in his lab, he is forced to flee the facility. When Winn gets a clue as to Toyman's location, Supergirl is lured into a trap. When the security guard J'onzz was forced to wipe the memory of wakes up, Max Lord learns of the existence of the mindwiping alien who invaded his facility. Ultimately, Toyman abducts Winn and sends him to a convention to kill his former boss, extorting him with bombs placed all over the convention.

Toyman in "Childish Things" is a psychopath who blamed his boss for stealing his toy designs and went on a bombing spree to try to get revenge. The concept is not a hideous one, except that it is exceptionally dated. Almost every worker in a corporate setting in the United States today who is working in research and development signs away their creative rights. In other words, a toymaker who goes to work for a toy company acknowledges that their creations are legally the property of the toy company for which they work. As a result, pretty much anyone who understands how big businesses work in the United States will see Winn Schott Senior simply as a guy who got pissed off because he didn't read his contract. It's hard to care about a villain who goes on a killing spree because he didn't like the terms of the license agreement he agreed to.

Fortunately, much of "Childish Things" retains a tight focus on Winn Schott. Winn is sympathetic in "Childish Things" and he is written in a completely sensible way. He was hurt as a child and he went no contact with his father the moment Schott Sr. was arrested. As a result, when the FBI comes knocking, Schott has no answers for Chase and that is a very realistic approach to the character. People who go "no contact" with their family have no relationship with them and it is refreshing to see a character who has effectively cut out the destructive influences in their life, like Schott. Schott has a legitimate concern that he might develop into someone as twisted as his father and that is a compelling arc for the character.

Jeremy Jordan plays Schott well in "Childish Things." When delivering his lines about his angsty past, Jordan goes through a realistic gambit of emotions. Jordan plays shock and confusion incredibly well in "Childish Things."

The b-plot in "Childish Things" continues to develop Max Lord's villainy and the idea that Lord is building a new adversary as part of his anti-alien campaign. Lord continues to be characterized as smart and resourceful and unfortunately, J'onzz is not characterized as nearly as smart. J'onzz encounters a security guard who essentially asks him for a codeword. J'onzz as a psychic alien dramatically overreacts by wiping the mind of the guard. The guard, asking for a code word, would naturally begin thinking of the word he expects to hear in response; J'onzz should have been able to read that response and not blow his cover. Sadly, the episode goes to the horrible overcompensation.

The c-plot with James Olsen and Lucy Lane is disturbingly soap operatic and melodramatic until the final scene between them.

Ultimately, "Childish Things" feels very much like a filler episode in the first season of Supergirl and, despite a pretty solid rendition of the a-plot, the other plots serve more to undermine the heroic than elevate them.

For other works with Henry Czerny, please visit my reviews of:
The A-Team
The Pink Panther
Mission: Impossible

5.5/10

For other television season and episode reviews, please visit my Television Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
| | |

Friday, October 13, 2017

Wild Ophelia Cold Brew Jet Black Chocolate Coffee Bites Are Well Worth The Price!


The Good: Amazing flavors for the chocolate and coffee, Great ingredients, Awesome corporate ethics
The Bad: Comparatively expensive
The Basics: Wild Ophelia Cold Brew Jet Black Chocolate Coffee Bites are amazing, making them well worth hunting down.


When reviewing premium products, price is always a factor. Considering price as a factor, "cheap" tends to be a factor of both low price and low quality, while "expensive" tends to be the result of high price relative to the quality or size. In the case of some products, the price is higher than similar serving sizes, but that price is justified by the quality of the product and the net result is that the product is not, technically, expensive. Such is the case with the Wild Ophelia Cold Brew Jet Black Chocolate Coffee Bites. Wild Ophelia Cold Brew Jet Black Chocolate Coffee Bites have an amazing flavor and quality for the price, but despite how fair the price is for the quality, I kept finding myself wishing there were more of the candies for the price.

The Wild Ophelia Cold Brew Jet Black Chocolate Coffee Bites are damn near perfect for what they are!

Basics

Wild Ophelia Cold Brew Jet Black Chocolate Coffee Bites are a fairly new candy. The Wild Ophelia Cold Brew Jet Black Chocolate Coffee Bites are like mini-candy cups. They come as a quartet of treats on a thin cardboard tray. The 1.39 oz. package houses four candies which are each 1" by 1" squares that are 7/16" thick.

Ease Of Preparation

These are candy, so preparing them is as simple as opening the wrapper, removing it from the paper wrapper, and then eating the candy. There is no trick or mystery to eating Wild Ophelia Cold Brew Jet Black Chocolate Coffee Bites. As long as you have opposable thumbs and a mouth, the Cold Brew Jet Black Chocolate Coffee Bites are pretty much yours for the consuming!

Taste

The Wild Ophelia Cold Brew Jet Black Chocolate Coffee Bites smell delightfully, perfectly, of rich cacao and coffee. The chocolate component of the aroma is potent, rich and recognizable to anyone who loves dark chocolate. The dark chocolate scent mixes with the dark roasted coffee scent in the bouquet to be instantly inviting to the consumer.

In the mouth, the Cold Brew Jet Black Chocolate Coffee Bites are dry and sweet, flavored with a strong, dark flavor. The coffee and chocolate flavors are magnificently blended top embody both flavors without overcoming the palate with bitterness. By the time the chocolate coating cracks and the filling is exposed, the consumer is already overcome with the full, roasted flavors of coffee and the cacao which embodies the 70% dark chocolate wonderfully.

The Wild Ophelia Cold Brew Jet Black Chocolate Coffee Bites leave a dry aftertaste in the mouth that is not actually bitter. Instead, the aftertaste is smoky and dry without being unpleasant, much like if one has just finished consuming a truly potent dark roast coffee.

Nutrition

These are candy, so it is tough to look at these for something nutritious and then blame them for not being healthy. Wild Ophelia Cold Brew Jet Black Chocolate Coffee Bites are not nearly as bad as they could be on the nutrition front, which is unsurprising given how good the ingredients in this chocolate are. The primary ingredients are Bittersweet chocolate, caramel, and sugar. There is nothing unpronounable in these candies; everything in them is easily identified, like having 100% arabica coffee beans.

A serving of the Wild Ophelia Cold Brew Jet Black Chocolate Coffee Bites is considered one package (four pieces). From a single package, Wild Ophelia Cold Brew Jet Black Chocolate Coffee Bites provides 190 calories and 14 grams of fat. There is 1% of the RDA of cholesterol and 5 mg of sodium. There is 4% of one's daily Vitamin D and Potassium in the Bites, as well as 20% of the RDA of Iron.

Honestly, these are candy and anyone looking to them for actual nutrition needs to get a reality check. These are not Vegan-compliant, nor are they recommended for anyone with a nut allergy as they are produced on equipment that processes peanuts and tree nuts! They are not noted to be kosher, though they are gluten-free and made using Non-GMO ingredients. There are allergy warnings for milk and soy.

Storage/Clean-up

The package of these Wild Ophelia Cold Brew Jet Black Chocolate Coffee Bites remain fresh for quite some time. The ones my wife got me for my birthday would have expired on May 23, 2018, had we not eaten it already. Given that they are wrapped in a very sealed package, it is hard to imagine just what it would take for these to go bad outside melting and refreezing. These Wild Ophelia chocolates do not seem especially susceptible to melting, though.

As for cleanup, I applaud those who actually throw the wrappers away in socially appropriate places, as opposed to litter. Outside that, there is no real cleanup needed, unless one is eating them in a hot environment. In that case, it is likely one would need to wash their hands. If this chocolate melts into most fabrics, it will stain. Getting them to melt, though, takes quite a bit.

Overall

Wild Ophelia Cold Brew Jet Black Chocolate Coffee Bites have an amazing flavor, are made from high-quality ingredients and are enough to satisfy anyone who wants a powerful blend of dark chocolate and rich, dark roasted coffee!

For other coffee flavored candy reviews, please check out my reviews of:
Coffee Thins Espresso Chocolate Squares
Tcho Mokaccino
Lindt Coffee Lindor Truffles

9.5/10

For other food reviews, please visit my index page for an organized listing!

© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
| | |

Dull Inhumans: "Make Way For . . . Medusa" Sinks The Season Further.


The Good: Special effects are fine
The Bad: Dull story, Lackluster character development, Bored performances, Lens flares.
The Basics: Inhumans continues its fractured story of the Attilan Royal Family fleeing around Hawaii encountering equally boring humans.


It is hard to imagine a bigger conceptual failure for the Marvel Cinematic Universe than Inhumans. Within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there have already been Inhuman characters rooted in a far more practical "seeded alien DNA" concept within the otherwise grounded biology of the MCU (as opposed to a race of people living on the moon), there has been a Shakespearean royal coup (in the Thor storyline) and the viewer is expected to root against the guy who wants to abolish a caste system and free the lower classes from slavery in the mines. So, what exactly is the selling point for Inhumans? By the fourth episode, "Make Way For . . . Medusa" it is still not clear.

"Make Way For . . . Medusa" follows on the heels of "Divide And Conquer" (reviewed here!) and given how many disparate characters and plotlines are in play, it is impossible to discuss the new episode without references as to what came before. By "Make Way For . . . Medusa" most of the Inhumans are on Earth, in Hawaii, where they are interacting with humans and humans who became Inhuman when they underwent terrigenesis because of the poisoned fish oil supply.

Dr. Evan Declan rescues Black Bolt and his Inhuman friend from jail, while Medusa holds Louise at gunpoint to have her drive her in the same direction as their fleeing helicopter. On the moon, Maximus threatens his former friend from the Genetic Council. Crystal, in the meantime, has to deal with the fact the Lockjaw has been wounded and she sets about to getting him medical attention. Declan figures out what Black Bolt's abilities are and Black Bolt manages to communicate with Declan that he will help find Medusa. Declan reports back to Maximus, who urges the scientist to kill Black Bolt.

Meanwhile, Karnak teaches the weed farmers irrigation and Gorgon laments the death of humans on his account. When the police close in on Medusa and Louise, they are forced to flee their hotel while still hunting for the helicopter that took Black Bolt away. And Maximus finds his allies on Earth far more shifty than he would have hoped.

Maximus is characterized in "Make Way For . . . Medusa" as a pretty generic villain. Instead of developing Maximus as a genetically-wronged Inhuman who actually wants to create an egalitarian society for his people, Maximus is vengeful, inefficiently strangling his supporters and urging murder where it is not necessary. Maximus and Declan working together is introduced as if it were supposed to be audacious, but the revelation falls flat. Maximus wants to become a powered Inhuman again and he believes Declan's experiments might provide him with the genetic manipulation to undergo terrigenesis a second time.

"Make Way For . . . Medusa" plays the titular character's arc as a cheap buddy comedy. Medusa and Louise pal around with Medusa acting - predictably - like a fish out of water. Louise is basically pushed around by Medusa the entire episode. Their fleeing is dull and melodramatic, their jokes fall flat and Louise has a ton of moments when she easily could have escaped Medusa and the Queen's gun.

Inhumans continues to lack big character moments in "Make Way For . . . Medusa." None of the main characters are afforded the opportunity to portray any sort of truly deep emotions needed to make them appear empathetic to the viewer. Instead, the actors plod through "Make Way For . . . Medusa" as if they are waiting for the chance to shine.

Ultimately, "Make Way For . . . Medusa" is a dull waste of time. The viewer waits for any one of the many plotlines to matter and feel connected to the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a way that would justify their investment in the episode or Inhumans.

For other works with Henry Ian Cusick, please check out my reviews of:
Fringe - Season 5
Lost
Dead Like Me: Life After Death

.5/10

For other Marvel Cinematic Universe reviews, please visit my MCU Review Index Page for a relativistic listing!

© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
| | |

The First Real Dog Food Hit With Benny Is Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe


The Good: Very nutritious, Good ingredients, Benny enjoys it quite a bit
The Bad: Comparatively expensive, Benny does not absolutely love it
The Basics: Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe dog food is the first hard food Benny has gravitated to consistently, even if he is still not super-eager for.


Benny, my family's new English Setter, has been a picky eater the last few months since he joined us. When we first rescued Benny, he was very underweight and he was still resistant to trying new foods more than once. For the first month and a half of Benny being in our home, we worked hard to blend hard foods and wet foods in order to entice him into eating, getting hydrated, and getting his weight back up into a healthy bracket. The longer Benny has been with us, the more we have weened him off the inclusion of wet foods in his diet and worked to find him a dry food that he actually enjoyed on its own. Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe dog food is the first dry dog food that has succeeded on that front.

The Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe grabs Benny enough to bring him back to the food dish meal after meal and he always seems to get around to eating it. Benny likes and will eat the Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe food day after day, though sometimes, it still takes a little additional enticement in order to get him to eat his whole bowl's worth of food.

Basics

Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe dog food is a pricier dog food, though I picked it up as my local grocery store was putting it on clearance. The 28 lb. bag has lasted Benny a month and it is likely to take another month for him to finish it off.

A single serving of Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe dog food for a dog like Benny is supposed to be 3 cups per day, so the big bag lasts about two months! The Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe dog food is made up of little spheroids that are 1/2" in diameter (on their widest axis). The Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe smells more mealy than meaty.

Ease Of Preparation

Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe is a fully-prepared dry dog food; there is no preparation required for dispensing it. The Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe has directions for dispensing based on specific canine weight ranges. The amount of food a dog is given varies surprisingly little, but for Benny, in his weight bracket, Benny gets 3 cups over the course of the day.

Benny’s Reaction

The Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe smells more grainy than it smells like something meaty and inviting in that way. Despite that way, whenever Benny hears the little pellets hitting his metal dog dish, he comes running.

Benny eats the Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe dog food right away the majority of the time it is placed out in front of him. Despite him consuming this food frequently, Benny will not come running for the Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe. At least once a week, Benny will walk over to his dish, smell the food and then walk away. The fact that, even though Benny enjoys this food, he does not eagerly consume it each and every time is a little bit of a detraction for me. Despite that, Benny eats this food more consistently than any other dog food and he does not need it extensively doctored to bribe him into eating it, which is a nice change from every other dog food we have tried with him.

Nutrition

Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe dog food is actually very nutritious. Made primarily of lamb meal, brown rice, and ground rice the first seven ingredients are natural before becoming a chemistry equation I can only assume has to do with preserving the food and keeping it formed. The Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe dog food has no corn in it, which is good for a finicky dog like Benny who needs more protein!

According to the guaranteed analysis, Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe dog food has at least 20% crude protein, 13% crude fat, 1.5% Calcium , but no more than 7% crude fiber and 11% moisture. This is not a bad food for dogs at all. As a dry dog food, it is highly recommended that you have adequate water available for your dog when serving it Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe dog food. Because it is a hard dog food, the act of dogs eating it helps to clean their teeth, which is a nice benefit of the Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe dog food.

Overall

Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe dog food is a bit more expensive than some foods, but given that Benny enjoys it so much and has made it possible for me to finally stock up on some food for him, it is enough to justify the expense.

For other dog food reviews, please be sure to check out:
Purina Moist & Meaty Steak Flavor dog food
The Honest Kitchen Grain Free Base Mix
Cesar Canine Cuisine Filet Mignon

8.5/10

For other pet product reviews, please check out my Pet Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
| | |