Charles Sonnenburg‘s SF Debris’ Opinionated Reviews is the best online review series at Channel Awesome (along with Leon Thomas’ Renegade Cut) and possibly one of the best in the business. Simply because of amount of effort he puts in every episode. It combines highly informative and deeply personal approaches in the way other reviewer never try. You can feel his dedication to the subjects – it pours through the screen – whether it’s Star Trek or Doctor Who or Farscape or anything else.
His approach in reviewing TV shows and films challenge you – it makes you think, makes you reconsider this and that and most importantly – it shows you how deep or how shallow piece of art can be. And that’s a hard work that needs to be admired.
Some of his episodes delineate the scale of human animosity in pursuit of money (review of Godzilla 1985), while the others show the bizarre ways of inspiration (It: The Terror from Outer Space). Some episodes show the machinery of art works (in-depth review of World War Z). There’s even “Everything you wanted to know about Douglas Adams but were scared to start because of time-consuming possibility that may result in getting lost in the deep ocean of his body of work” and that just for starters.
His newest series “The Rise and Fall of the Comic Empire” kicks off with context-wise love-letter song “Captain Molecule” and covers the events that led to the darkest hours of american comic book industry – from the blossoming years of Jim Shooter reign over Marvel, the bloom of superstar artists like Jim Lee, Todd McFarlane and Rob Liefeld (the representation of the latter is comic gold) through Shooters revenge in Valiant comics, birth of Image Comics, over-saturation of market, cover gimmicks to the horrifiyng inanity of the storylines, ridiculous business decisions and finally – straigh-to-hell over-the-top take-no-prisoners total war between Ronald Perelman and Carl Icahn (which sounds like a top-notch political thriller as if it was written by Ionesco) culminating in Marvel Comics filing a bancrupcy. It ends with sad Peter Gabriel’s version of “Heroes” which glimmers with hope somewhere in the end. It’s fascinating document of human effort and mesmerizing story to listen. Look at the closing credits of episode 13 – it’s amazing how much material Charles had covered over the course of the series. Anyway, you can check it by yourself: