Category Archives: Television

TV Review: Constantine S1E5 Danse Vaudou

CONSTANTINE-First-Official-Image1In New Orleans, Constantine’s unusual knowledge of a string of crimes gets him into trouble with Detective Jim Corrigan. He must form an unholy alliance with Papa Midnite when a voodoo ritual to help people communicate with their dead loved ones takes a deadly turn.

Its taken about five episodes, but Constantine I think has finally found its groove. This episode has a really solid mix of paranormal ghost busters, but wrapped in that is a bigger story, and direction for the series. That comes at the end of the episode where Constantine asks Papa Midnite for some help to figure out about a “rising darkness.” All of that sets some tension, as Constantine gets a hint at some of the adversity he’ll face. But bigger about the episode, is the sense of world building.

The first four episodes can all really stand on their own, but with the introduction of Papa Midnite, and now Jim Corrigan, we’ve got characters we can expect to see multiple times, and an ongoing narrative, other than the mystery that is Zed.

The series is getting much stronger, and that’s actually pretty impressive since it stumbled so much from the start. I’m crossing my fingers that the series gets the chance to show us what its fully capable of.

Overall rating: 8


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Who is Raina?

raina002Perhaps lost in the near-certainty of the revelation of Skye’s lineage in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is the question of who Raina is and where she fits in?  Now that the mysterious “alien writing” has turned out in fact to be the directions/blueprints to a city, and what many consider to be Attilan, the ancestral home of the Inhumans, it would seem that the answer to the question of Skye’s background of the character has never been very far away from Earth after all.  Skye is half-Inhuman.

As was introduced in the most recent episode “The Things We Bury” the Diviner (or obelisk) is shown for the first time that it is not truly lethal to everyone, and not even to those that have been trained to use it.  Skye’s mother was shown for the first time, and she was immune to the effects of the Diviner, and thus likely it is through her that Skye has lineage of something other than only human.  Forgotten among this though is that Raina as well has touched the object and also without any ill effects.  Perhaps she was taught how by Skye’s father, as he has said that he knows how, but maybe she wasn’t and maybe she didn’t need to be.

raina003Tracing back the character’s past is not easy as little has been revealed about her since the beginning of the series.  What can be tied together though might support the fact that she at least knew about this city, if she is not an Inhuman herself.  In her initial appearances she was working on behalf of Project: Centipede, run by the man known as the Clairvoyant.  As became known later this was in fact just the rogue agent John Garrett, except the question should maybe have been why Raina was so interested in him anyway.  As was proven by her discovery of his lack of powers, Raina was disappointed by his lack of true clairvoyant ability.  So was she acting in her own self-interest all along, not as a member of an evil organization (as she said, she had nothing to with Hydra) but instead trying to find her own keys to the city, albeit by less scrupulous means than others are.  The clairvoyant’s powers could have been a path to what she wanted, but when they weren’t she abandoned him quickly.  This same interest could have been what brought her to Skye’s father, clearly only a human, but still one in possession of knowledge which Raina required to complete her search.

Although she has been a small player so far in the series, she could in fact be a key to what the true meaning of the city is.  If the city is in fact Attilan, and if she is in fact an Inhuman, then she might even be related in some way to Skye, which could also explain her interest in her and knowing more than what she seemed to all along.  In what may not be a coincidence, removing the last letter of the names of both Skye and Raina reveal related objects (sky and rain.)  Fans of the series might want to be on the lookout for the character to resume an active role in the series, especially considering the intersection of so many other players and organizations.  As the story leads into the question of the mysterious city, both for this series and presumably spilling over into at least one of the Marvel movies, Raina seems to be playing a part, and perhaps playing a larger role than people might have suspected.

Key & Peele Shows us Stan Lee’s Superhero Pitch

Stan Lee stops by Marvel Comics headquarters to pitch some new characters, but all of his ideas seem to be inspired by his own life.

TV Review: Arrow S3E7 Draw Back Your Bow

arrowOn this episode of Arrow Oliver must stop an Arrow-obsessed serial killer, Carrie Cutter, who is convinced that The Arrow is her one true love and will stop at nothing to get his attention. Unfortunately, her way of getting his attention is to kill people. Meanwhile, Ray asks Felicity to be his date for a work dinner with important clients. Thea auditions new DJs for Verdant and meets Chase, a brash DJ with whom she immediately clashes.

I’ve never heard of Carrie Cutter/Cupid before this episode, but watching the episode had me want to check out the character more and see the comic portrayal.

Amy Gumenick, the actress who plays Cutter/Cupid, does a fantastic job playing the Arrow obsessed nutter than a loon character. She’s pretty fun to watch, and takes what could easily be a goofy character and makes a little something of her. I’m kind of hoping we’ll see more of her down the road, especially since where she winds up.

The bigger story and theme of the episode is the relationships of a few characters, especially the triangle that is Ray Palmer/Felicity/Oliver. Who’s interested in who, and who will admit what is mixed around a bunch. Oliver is still struggling with his feelings towards Felicity, and to see things not going perfectly for him is actually really nice.

As usual the last moments of the episode is where it’s at. Not only do we get to see a bit of the rendering of Ray Palmer’s Atom suit, but also our first look at Captain Boomerang, the Flash’s Rogue, who’s debuting here instead, further intertwining the two series.

Overall rating: 7.75

TV Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S2E8 The Things We Bury

Agents_of_SHIELD_logoCoulson and team find themselves in an epic face-off against Hydra to uncover an ancient secret, while Ward kidnaps his brother, Senator Christian Ward, for a violent trip down memory lane.

Coulson and his crew are in a race to find the city that matches the map they discovered in the last episode. At the same time Hydra is also on a mission to discover some secrets for their whole evil plan. There’s some solid action, some interesting moments as far as all of this, but it’s just a small piece to the bigger puzzle, and not really an interesting piece either.

What I really found interesting was Ward’s kidnapping of his brother the Senator. This season we’ve been lead to believe by Senator Ward that Grant was the crazy one that couldn’t be trusted, but maybe that’s not totally the case? The truth is found out here! The big question I have is where the show is going with Grant. There’s got to be some sort of redemption right?

My guess is the show is heading towards some Attilan city, and likely terrigen mysts, both tied to Inhumans who we know are coming. The show would get a big boost from Marvel cinematic fans by having the Inhumans debut here. We’ll see though.

Overall Score: 7.5

FX is developing From Hell

fromhell_cover_lgDeadline is reporting that FX is developing From Hell to be a television drama. The show would be based on the graphic noel by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell. The graphic novel was adapted into a 2001 movie from 20th Century Fox and starred Johnny Depp and Robbie Coltrane. This would the another comic that went from comic to movie to television, Constantine currently on NBC would be the other.

Don Murphy, who produced the film, is executive producing. David Arata will write the adaptation.

From Hell tells the tale of Jack the Ripper with the killer himself as the main character. Detailing the events leading up to the Whitechapel killings and the cover-up that followed, the 572-page graphic novel is a meditation on the mind of a madman whose savagery and violence gave birth to the 20th century. It was also the inspiration from a recent sleuth who claims to have figured out the identity of the killer.

The film is very underrated, and one of the better comic to movie adaptations. The graphic novel itself is a favorite of mine, and well worth the read, especially due to its historic research.

This is the latest in what feels like dozens of comics currently in the process of being adapted for television.

TV Review: Gotham S1E9 Harvey Dent

gotham cast Trying to close the Wayne murder case, a young Harvey Dent and Gordon team up, much to Mayor James’ chagrin. Meanwhile, Penguin makes contact with Mooney’s secret weapon, Liza.

The latest episode of Gotham gets back to its solid roots focused as a crime/cop drama with a familiar setting and characters. The episode really moves Fish Mooney’s moves to become to new crime boss forward, as well as introducing Harvey Dent to the television world.

For those that don’t know, Harvey Dent is fated to be attacked by the mob, horribly disfigured he becomes the villain Two-Face. The episode shines with Dent, especially as we see his signature coin, and hints at his split personality. For fans of Batman, it’s pretty awesome, and a welcome addition to the series. Seeing Dent, and Gordon work together, knowing what’s to come creates a sadness to it all.

Also of note in the episode is Selina Kyle’s move to Wayne Manor. Again, it’s great to see her and Bruce flirt back and forth. In some versions of the Batman mythos there’s a strange romance between Wayne and Kyle and their alter-egos. To see that begin here is an interesting take to it all.

It’s episodes like these that I think are the best of the series. The show is best when it doesn’t focus on freaks of the week type stories, and instead gives us a grounded(ish) world… that just so happens to be set in Gotham.

Overall Score: 7.25

TV Review: Comic Book Men S4E6 Bat Prints

comic book menIn this episode of Comic Book Men, Walt considers buying hand and footprints of Adam West and Burt Ward from the “Batman” TV series. Then, a customer sells a rare set of “Star Wars” comic strips.

In the sixth episode of Comic Book Men, things get back to basics, as there’s no campy adventures, or trips places, this is just simple people coming in to sell items and a bit of history of things. And when Comic Book Men gets simple, it also gets much stronger.

This episode has an interesting mix of items including the comics, some Batman memorabilia, and a G.I. Joe toy. Mixed throughout is the usual jokes and ribbing that makes these guys seem like fun folks to hang out with. Each item has a nice explanation as to what it is, and why it’s significant. Yes, the show then comes off as a Pawn Stars for geeks, but it’s the jokes and humor that makes it stand apart. There’s also the fact I actually like this stuff.

Overall, the episode is a back to basics one after some recent episodes that had a theme throughout, and that’s not a bad thing.

Overall rating: 7

TV Review: Comic Book Men S4E5 BronyCon

comic book menIn this episode of Comic Book Men, Walt and the guys visit BronyCon, a fan convention for “My Little Pony.” Also, a customer wants to sell a board game from the 1970s featuring Godzilla.

The episode is an entertaining one that I’m going back and forth about. A Brony for folks that don’t know, is an adult who is a fan of My Little Pony, a toy and animated show that’s geared more towards little girls, but has found an impressive fandom outside of that demographic.

After a person comes in to sell an item having to do with My Little Pony, the guys decide to head to BronyCon in Baltimore to check out the scene more and figure out if there’s a bigger market out there for them to cater to. They also decide to participate in the costume contest, and it’s interesting to see who takes that seriously, and who kind of mocks the Brony culture. What I also find interesting is the knowledge that some of them show, something they’re clearly not comfortable with showing off at times, especially I think because Walt shows disdain. It shows an interesting dynamic of the guys.

Overall, the episode is mixed for various reasons. I had issues with it because it seems to mock Bronies a bit. I liked it because it showed off the odd dynamic of Walt and the guys.

Overall rating: 6.9

TV Review: The Walking Dead S5E5 Self Help

walking-dead-5 photoAbraham and the group run into problems on their way to Washington, D.C.

For fans of The Walking Dead comic book, there’s some things we’ve been waiting for concerning the character Eugene. In this episode, the show drops, and the truth comes out as far as what Eugene knows. The moment is shocking for those who didn’t see it coming, and still a bit for those of us who did, but the show continues to shows off its strength. That strength is showing off the humanity in all of the chaos.

In this instance that humanity is focused on Abraham, who we get to see his past, and somewhat how he got to where he is. Through flashbacks we see Abraham’s past, especially his family, and what he had to deal with towards the beginning of the apocalypse.

Brilliantly though, the Abraham’s story is tied together with Eugene’s story, and we see what’s driving Abraham. It’s an amazing symbiotic relationship where Eugene’s misdirection is the driving force for Abraham. Whether or not he suspected the lie, Abraham needs Eugene, as that’s his motivation to keep going, as we see. It’s an amazing moment played out with subtle acting and writing, something the show isn’t given enough credit for.

The episode is an emotional one in many ways, and it’ll be interesting to see where this mission goes from here, and how Abraham’s group keeps going.

Overall rating: 8.5

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