And here we are for my second installment of Quick Reviews! I still need to get current on Flash, Supergirl, and Arrow, but I am keeping up with everything else. Mostly. So let’s get started!
Westworld — Seriously, this may be the best show on TV right now. This story is deep, the characters are well crafted, and it’s masterful in the art of the slow reveal. I love how we’re seeing more of the scary dark side of Dr. Ford; his lunch with Cullen was a beautiful depiction of how he may be playing the adorable grandfather, he’s using it to hide his keen and manipulative mind.
As a table-top RPG player, I’m also loving the exploration of people “playing” the park, with William as the type of gamer I prefer to be/have in my group, and Logan as the typical Munchkin who could care less about story, setting, morals, NPCs or other players, except in how he can use/abuse them for his own good time. Sticking Dolores in with these two is going to be interesting. Speaking of, I do wonder how she had her conversation with Bernard, while still out with those two. Is her “memory” being remote loaded into that little glass room with him? And it’s interesting that Bernard is keeping her clothed in these little secret meetings, against Dr. Ford’s insistence on keeping them naked behind the scenes to drive home his “these are things, not humans” agenda.
Getting back to the slow reveal side of the show, the hints on Harris’ Man in Black. He’s perfect in this role; the menace in his “Say another word and I’ll cut your throat. This is my vacation.” line gave me chills. I love that he’s searching for a game with real stakes, I’ve known that type of gamer as well. They can be a great addition, or poison, depending on what they’re looking for in your game. Then that end scene, I see a robot uprising in our future.
Supergirl — I finally got a chance to watch the first two episodes, and the move to the CW really hasn’t hurt the show at all. Mainly because it continues to be a show about optimism and heart, with a stellar cast. Losing Cat hurts, but at least she’ll come back for visits. Speaking of the cast, shuffling Jimmy to the new boss, the DEO into new digs and folding Winn in with them works for me. These first two episodes were full of fun, heart and Tyler Hoechlin is the Superman we need and deserve. He had great chemistry with the group, especially Kara, and he nailed both Clark and Kal-El. Like a lot of other people, I would be really interested in him having his own series.
As for the plots, I hope that Lena is not secretly evil, but she is a Luthor. I won’t be shocked if that reveal happens, though it would be a better twist (and fit the show’s heart) if she was legit. The worst would be if they play the “she was legit, but X happens, she blames Kara and turns evil” bit. It would mirror Lex’s story (some versions), but it’s a bit overplayed and hokey these days. I like Cadmus being the season’s Big Bad. They did a good job with Metallo, but he reminds me of a minor thing that’s been bugging me since the show started: they’re giving Kara a lot of Kal’s villains/stories in this series, which makes me wonder what he’s been doing/who he’s been fighting for the 12 years he’s been flying around Metropolis? (And yes, loved the “Moving back to Gotham” line)
Ash vs Evil Dead – The show continues to be so much better this year. Ash over his dead dad was the perfect mix of pathos and humor, and the line “Think of your life as a good time, not a long time,” was pure Ash. The addition of Ted Rami has been great, but I always enjoy his work. The rodeo with the Demon Delta was a blast, and intercut nicely with the ladies hunting down the spawn of the Necronomicon. It was also cool seeing the hell portal in the trunk of the car, and I can’t wait to see what trouble tossing the book inside is going to cause.
Gotham – The storyline with the Mad Hatter continues to be mildly interesting, but Gordon himself remains the least interesting guy on the show. The real reason I keep watching it Penguin/Nigma, and now it looks like the show is going to screw that up with a dumb love triangle storyline. Those always work out so well. Here we had a chance to have a show with a decent non-heteronormative relationship, and they’re gonna screw it up with a cheap attempt at manufactured drama. I’m going to keep watching, hopeful that the show is pulling off a cunning or crazy misdirection, but I’m worried. I’ve walked away from this show before, and if they screw this up, I’m willing to do it again.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – This show is still improving, but Daisy/Sky/Quake backslid again this week into “I hate her” territory. I’ll be glad when they finish off this self-pity arc they’ve locked her into. Ghost Rider continues to be cool, though I totally called him letting his uncle get grabbed by our physics ghosts while he killed off the gang guy. I also liked the new director facing off with the Congress lady on TV, but I’m not sure that I’m going to like the political angle they seem to be setting up between them in the end scene. Still, watching May & Coulson continues to make the show worthwhile.
Legends of Tomorrow – Another show that continues to improve in its second season. I’m happy that this Vixen is joining the team, and I loved their little adventure in Japan. Though I do have to wonder why a show that is strapped for the budget to do Firestorm on a regular basis added a guy who’s powers are another expensive CGI effect. Ray’s struggle of “am I a hero without the suit” arc is hopefully ending soon, with him building a better looking set of armor. I also hope they end the “Secret Message from Barry” thing quickly/the return of Hunter before they get tiresome as well (which won’t take long).
Arrow – I finally watched the first episode of the new season, and while Mopey Oliver is always a drag, at least by episode’s end he seems to be pulling out of it. I also got a little tired of their naear constant attempts at putting over Diggle. The guy doesn’t need it, we already know how good he is, was there ever a question about his skills? Still, I like our new bad guy in town, and the fact that we’re going to have both Wild Dog and Ragman, two of my favorite underutilized DC characters, makes me very happy and hopeful for the season.
American Horror Story: Roanoke – This season is amazing. I had wondered why on Earth the husband had come back to the house, as he was the only one I couldn’t figure out. The actors didn’t believe in the ghosts, and the wife wanted her husband back, but the reveal on why he went back into this merry land of murder made sense. As did his wife’s reaction, the poor dear. I’m wondering if she’s going to be our sole survivor. Speaking of, there were so many kills this episode, three before the opening credits! I’m so happy the producer died, but is it bad that I wish the jackass had suffered a bit more, at least on camera? I love the real Butcher, and felt so bad for Bates’ character at their fated meeting, especially her meek little “I just wanted to be on TV…” before her head was split from crown to nose. Though with the other three ladies being held by the murder hillbillies and the Butcher’s forces at the house, I wonder how they’re going to make this last for three more episodes.
Channel Zero – This show continues to be a slow reveal, slow burn kind of thing, and really working on the creepy vibe more than out and out scares, which is nice. I’m still trying to figure out how the tooth fairy fits in with Candle Cove, and we have the mystery of the teacher’s level of involvement. I like the twist that the main guy had to kill his brother because of what the show was turning him into, and I wonder now what it’s doing to his daughter. It still feels a little forced at times, but I’m still enjoying it enough to stick with it.
The Walking Dead – The hell with this show. And not because of the deaths of [SPOILERS], lots of people have died on this show. My issue with the show is that it’s fallen into a horrible formula. Unless it’s the first episode of the season, the mid-season finale, the return episode or the final finale, not one damn bit of real plot motion happens. There’s more life in the undead on the show than in its plot. All you need to watch for each season is those four episodes, and you won’t miss a damn thing, and that’s frustrating as hell. JDM was great as Negan, but I don’t think he’s gonna be enough to make up for the lack of plot progression and once more having to watch Rick suffer through a crisis of “Oh god, I can’t do/deal with this!” whining. And I’m also sick of his and Daryl’s plot immunity. Negan should have killed Daryl for slugging him, and the only reason he didn’t was the “If Daryl Dies, We Riot” crowd would turn on this show and tear it to pieces. Maybe this season will change, but I have my doubts.
Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s do the Time Warp Again – Someone at Fox has had a burning desire to remake Rocky Horror for at least 10 years, at least that when I first heard of their thinking about doing this. I’m personally not opposed to remakes; my favorite movie is a remake, John Carpenter’s The Thing. But if you’re going to do a remake, you should at least try and bring something new to the table, and this, well . . . it did add “Superhero” to the end, so that was new.
Most of the cast did their best, I loved Milian & Carny as Magenta & Riff Raff, the casting of Ben Vereen as Dr. Scott was genius, and it was cool that Curry was the Criminologist. Everyone else was pretty solid, though McCartan over-sold Brad’s squareness but did well after his tryst with Frank.
Speaking of, casting Laverne Cox as Frank seemed like a good call. And while she can sing, her Frank just didn’t work for me. Her Frank was sexy as hell, and had some great outfits, but Frank should feel dangerous, slightly crazed and have an edge. And she felt Hot Topic edgy. Especially with removing the cannibalization of Eddie. But, in a way, that’s my complaint with the whole thing. This was bloodless, toothless and somehow sexy yet nearly sexless. Most of the songs were decent, but overall, this is not gonna be the version anyone thinks about or requests when they wanna see Rocky.