So, yes, I and this blog site, are alive. Because the internet doesn’t really kill anything until the servers break down. Or you’re a popular superhero MMO that people still miss to this day.
I have missed writing reviews and the like for the site, but life’s been interesting and kept me away; mainly doing the podcasting and posting over on the social media, aka Facebook. I have been posting my thoughts on the TV shows that I’m watching over there, and it suddenly occurred to me “Hey, why not post them on that blog thing you’ve been neglecting for three years!?” This way, I have stuff for people to read here, and I can expand/expound a bit more than I can over on the FacBoo. So that is what I’m going to do!
Now, while I can say more here, I fully intend to still keep these as short reviews, so I can keep up with them as I watch the shows, and not fall behind as might happen if I were to try and do an in-depth look at each show. I want these to be a quick hit of what I’m enjoying (or not) in each show. I was thinking of calling this Blipviews, in reference to Max Headroom’s Blipverts (kids, ask your parents), but it doesn’t quite work for me. If I do come up with a clever name, I’ll let you all know; or if you have a suggestion, please leave a comment! Now let’s get started!
Channel Zero – Watched the first two episodes, and it’s okay. Not good, not bad, just ok so far. I like how it seems to be merging two Creepypastas, Candle Cove and the Tooth Fairy, but some of the “weird-for-weird’s sake” feels forced. The jumping back and forth chronology and flash-cuts to cause confusion, tension or jump scares could also be handled better. And the show is desperately trying to grab the “Stranger Things” vibe, and not doing that so well. On the other hand, it does have some great visuals, and they’re doing a great job with the Candle Cove show inside the show itself. I’m going to stick with it, as I like anthology shows, even in the AHS-season story vein, though my preference is the one-and-done Twilight Zone style.
American Horror Story – Speaking of which, this season continues to be f’ng amazing! The “twist” of turning it into a “reality” show is a bit of genius, and gets the whole cast into the house. There were two bits that surprised me, but should not have, was seeing the “actress” Kathy Bates is playing. I forgot that her scenes were “re-enactments”, so of course she’s an actress. Though her going bug-nuts in the role is brilliant. The other was related, in that the the real crazy nurses were different, and much scarier in appearance, which made me happy. Other things that I liked: When the PA acted like a normal person and decided “Fuck this, I’m out of here.” “Fuck her, I’m don’t care who that is!” and “Oh fuck, there’s a pig headed ghost in my car!” The text cards explaining that the show never aired and we’re seeing the footage stitched together (though I wonder then, who’s watching this?) was a nice touch. The glimpse of the “real” professor’s tape, and that Angela Basset directed it. My only question is why the husband came back to the house. I know the actors don’t believe in the ghosts, the wife wants to get back with her husband and the sister wants to clear her name, but why in the world would the husband willingly come back to this place? Still, this show is just killing it this year (ha!) and I am so sticking with it to the end.
Ash vs Evil Dead – At last, this show finally feels like what I was expecting! Episode two fully embraced the old “Splatstick” description of the original movies. The big fight between Ashy Slashy & the possessed intestines was horrifying and hilarious. I was right there with Ash in screaming “Not up the butt! Not up the butt!” And yeah, it’s nice to have a show brave enough to balance female naked with full Monty pierced male naked, even if it was on a corpse. For episode three, everything with the possessed Olds killing the teens was great, it’s always good to see Ted, even with the weird blonde hair, and it was nice seeing Ash make up with his dad, before waxing him, which they telegraphed five miles off, but it was still funny/shocking. I’m loving Bruce and the gang, the show is the mix of funny/gory that we’ve been promised, and I can’t wait to see where this all goes, though I really am gonna miss Lee Majors.
Gotham – This show continues to be amazing. It’s grabbed hold tight onto the Bat-Guano crazy rail, and the more it does so, the better it gets. Gordon continues to be the most boring guy on the show, but Bruce is coming along nicely (as well as growing like a weed!) The Cobblepot/Nigma bromance is the best thing on the show, and I know the shipping community must be having a field day. I almost bought that Nigma was going to turn on Penguin, because of how crazy that would be, but I was glad that it was a fake-out. When it was over and they were talking at Casa Penguin, his and Nigma’s embrace at the demanded to end with a kiss. I’m also wondering where they’re going with Chief Chickles and Alice’s blood in his eye. I hope they don’t kill him off, but I’m not sure he’s gonna survive the season.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – The show continues to improve! The story is getting a lot more interesting, and I’m glad they’ve forced the band back together so we stop having dueling storylines. I’m still highly annoyed with Daisy/Sky/Quake, but I liked Simmons standing up to her, and I loved Ghost Rider facing off with explosion guy. The look on his face when he held the flaming chain was perfect. I’m not sure where they’re going with AIDA, but I’m guessing she’s gonna be more of a back-end of the season story arc thing, with all the setup going on while we deal with these Physics Ghosts/obligatory tie-in to Dr. Strange. And while I kinda hope he sticks around, my feeling is that G-R is gonna be G-one when this arc is finished.
Flash – Episode two had the most awkward family dinner ever, but aside from that, it was a solid episode. Any appearance of Jay Garrick/John Wesley Ship makes me all kinds of happy. I also like that the Flashpoint event wasn’t just insta-fixed, and it looks like this is our new reality, at least until the big-mega-five-show cross-over happens. And while Berlanti keeps saying Supergirl is gonna stay separate, I’m hoping that it’s a cover, and the BMFSCO is a mini-CRISIS/multiverse collapse that merges things. And no, I still haven’t caught up on Arrow or Supergirl, as I have to find time to watch them. Though I have been watching…
Legends of Tomorrow – So far the show continues to be an improvement over the first season. I like Canary as the leader, though I didn’t enjoy seeing Stein struggling as the “ahh, ahh, I need a minute” guy. What I did enjoy was watching the JSA kick Nazi ass all over the place, even with the bad CGI on the Uber-Nazi. I would have also liked seeing Hourman, Dr. Mid-Nite and Obsidian have more to do. Or lines. But still, it was a fun romp, which is more I can say about most of season one.
I also watched some movies this week, and here are my thoughts on them.
Steve Jobs – The one with Fassbender as the tech/design guru. It was not your standard bio-pic. It plays in three acts, showing us Jobs backstage before three big events in his life, and the conversations he had with people before he headed out onstage. It’s a clever setup, as it gives everyone a reason to be there and have these talks that reveal Jobs, his mindset and the growth of his life. He talks with the mother of his child & the child, with the Woz, and others. The first act is before the introduction of the Macintosh, the second is before the introduction of the NeXT, and the last is before the introduction of the iMac. The movie does not sugar-coat Jobs, and shows that while he was brilliant in design and knowing what a computer can do, or how design matters in use, that he was also a bit of a condescending jerk, a control freak and be overly vindictive when he felt wronged. It’s a good movie, especially if you like bio-pics or have any interest in the history of personal computing.
Hatchet – This is one that’s been on my “I need to get to this list” for a few years, because I’m a huge fan of Kane Hodder, and this movie was pretty much built around him. That and as a throwback to “old-school” slasher horror. And it is pretty much that. We have about a 40 minute opening of meeting a bunch of thinly drawn characters, watch them venture they shouldn’t go, find out about our mad killer, and then enjoy his dismembering the poor doomed fools in various inventive ways. If you like this kind of horror, you’ll enjoy it.
Maggie – This is the zombie drama that’s notable in that it stars Schwarzenegger doing a fairly serious, dramatic role as a father who’s daughter is slowly becoming the undead. It’s an understated, indie drama, with a zombie frame, and it’s ok. Schwarzenegger gets to show off his dramatic chops, and while he’s not bad, it’s still hard to buy him as any kind of a “normal” guy and not the larger-than-life guy we’ve come to expect from him. The movie also suffers from an ending that is a mixed success in that it tries to make a statement on the power of family, but it also tries to be ambiguous and feels unsatisfying. I’m not unhappy that I watched it, but only watch if you’re a hard-core zombie or Schwarzenegger fan.
Z for Zachariah – This movie is apparently based on a popular book, and has Chiwetel Ejiofor, Margot Robbie and Chris Pine as survivors of some kind of radioactive apocalypse, living in a valley that was somehow spared the fallout that wiped out the rest of the world. Robbie is a devout Christian girl who grew up in the valley, Ejiofor is a scientist who makes his way there, and then Pine is a miner who gets there after Ejiofor & Robbie has been together for a while. This is a movie with three great actors, an interesting premise, and yet still manages to still be boring as hell. It wants to be a meditation on faith, science, love and relationships, but instead it was like watching paint dry. When the movie finally gets to the big climax between Ejiofor & Pine, it decides to be ambiguous (there’s that word again), and ends up feeling more frustrating/annoying than compelling/interesting. I hate to end on a downer, but don’t bother.