Tag Archives: Television

TV Review: The Strain S1E8 Creatures of the Night

the-strain-logo1The Strain‘s eighth episode kicks off right where the last one left off, the team in the subway figuring out they can’t easily defeat their enemy with bullets. They’ll need to take them on by simulating sun light some how. To get what they need though they need to break into a building where they meet the exterminator, Visily, who also has been having some vampire issues in his work.

Again, the series ramps up the scares, as the supply mission leads to a gas station where they’re quickly surrounded by vampires, forcing the team to do some battle. It’s a solid sequence, and I’ve noticed the series has been slowly increasing the threats as the vampire disease spreads. It feels natural and there’s not suddenly 100s of vampires attacking.

Not only has all of this brought our key players together, we also get to see the female hacker from the earlier episodes, and I totally forgot about her. But, as far as new connections, the most interesting is Visily and Abraham who quickly bond. Visily believing what’s going on, a believer, to Eph’s disbeliever. Visily brings an interesting perspective, as he is not only a believer, but he also looks at them like vermin.

There is some toe-curling moments, such as when a member is infected, and some impromptu surgery has to take place.

The episode is really the one that ramps everything up. There’s a choice of life and death with everyone forced to make some hard decisions about who and what they kill. There’s even a major death. Overall, the series is getting better with each episode.

Overall Score: 8.5

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TV Review: Doctor Who S8E2 Into the Dalek

doctor who capaldiDoctor Who returned last week with the first full episode to feature the new Doctor Peter Capaldi. He quickly established himself, and what we can expect for his interpretation of the iconic character.

In the second episode the Doctor is in, and he has a new patient, a captured Dalek. The Timelord faces his greatest enemy with Clara by his side, but as he is forced to examine his own conscience, he will truly find out the answer to the question: Am I a good man?

But the big event of the episode is the debut of Samuel Anderson, whose Danny Pink is not just a new companion for the Doctor, but also a potential love interest for Jenna Coleman‘s Clara Oswald. The chemistry is there, and dialogue really solid. What really excites me about Anderson’s Mr. Pink is his likely experience as a soldier. Taking a solider, and mixing it with the Doctor who doesn’t know if he’s a good guy (and clearly is willing to get his hands dirtier based on the first episode) should lead to some fascinating moments. It’s also clear Clara’s role will be that of the conscience of the two. There’s lots of potential with the trio.

But the majority of the episode focuses on the Doctor and a team attempting to help a Dalek. The Doctor throughout is clearly conflicted about his actions, and what he should do with a Dalek who needs help, and is good in the beginning. It all is a debate about the nature of the Daleks, and thus the nature of the Doctor. Are Dalek’s inherently evil? Does that make the Doctor as well? It’s all pretty clear what the writers were getting at, and it keeps the theme of this season rolling, the nature of the Doctor.

But beyond themes, there’s also this mystery of Missy and “Heaven” that was presented in the first episode. We see it again after the Doctor gets someone killed. We have a theme for the season, as well as a pretty big mystery.

Overall, the second episode is solid, moving the season’s themes along and giving us an intriguing mystery. And there’s Capaldi’s Doctor which mixes some of the best characteristics we’ve seen of what’s come before.

Overall Score: 8.25

The Flash – The Future Begins Trailer

After a particle accelerator causes a freak storm, CSI Investigator Barry Allen is struck by lightning and falls into a coma. Months later he awakens with the power of super speed, granting him the ability to move through Central City like an unseen guardian angel. Though initially excited by his newfound powers, Barry is shocked to discover he is not the only “meta-human” who was created in the wake of the accelerator explosion – and not everyone is using their new powers for good. Barry partners with S.T.A.R. Labs and dedicates his life to protect the innocent. For now, only a few close friends and associates know that Barry is literally the fastest man alive, but it won’t be long before the world learns what Barry Allen has become…The Flash.

BOOM!/KaBOOM!/BOOM! Box/Archaia Comics We Want on TV

2014 BOOM! LogoLast week it was announced that BOOM! Studios had signed a first look deal with 20th Century Fox TV. There’s a chance we’ll begin to see some of BOOM! (and their imprints KaBOOM!, BOOM! Box, and Archaia) comics come to the small screen.

We’re big fans of the publisher and thought it’d be nice to help Fox choose some comics to turn into television shows. Here’s 11 (cause we go to 11) that’d be awesome (and there’s so many more to choose from). In no particular order…..

Black Market – One of the company’s newest releases, it deals with the fact that the cure for numerous diseases might reside in the blood of superheroes. This is the story of the guy, and his criminal brother, who work on making that happen. Two issues in it’s interesting, and the slight teases of the heroes will keep the budget down. This is a morality tale with some great character focus.

Day Men - Fox was ahead of its time with Kindred: The Embraced, a vampire television show based off of White Wolf’s World of Darkness. Day Men focuses on the human staff that deal with the day to day dirty work.

Evil Empire – Most stories start with the evil government already in power. This is the story about how it gets there. With the 2016 Presidential election coming up, this would be a perfect time to get a pilot going on this one.

Hacktivist – Speaking of timely stories… this one has Anonymous actually being the founders of a Facebook like company and dealing with revolutions in the Middle East. Maybe it’s too close to reality?

Hexed – A female thief that deals in the occult underground. Pair this with Sleepy Hollow (now a BOOM! comic series!) and you have an awesome two hour block full of diversity.

Imagine Agents – I really want this to be a Pixar like animated movie. The story involves agents who deal with the real creatures that we think are our imaginary friends. The series was adorable, and I just want more and more. This would definitely be best as an animated series.

Lumberjanes – Did you not expect this to be on the list? A bunch of girls at camp dealing with weird mysteries? Yes please! This feels like it could be The X-Files for the tween set, but I’ve seen the fans at comic conventions, it’s diverse. Forget television, I see big time franchise here.

Suicide Risk – A cop gains super powers, and there’s a whole lot more to it. Police procedurals always seem to do well in television, just stretch that part of the story out for a bit, then there’s a nice shift when your audience might begin to tune out.

The Empty Man – Speaking of police procedurals…. In this case it’s a cult meets disease aspect and the team is an FBI agent and a CDC agent. This also could do well paired with Sleepy Hollow. Take in the fact everyone is freaking out about diseases now, and you’ve tapped into the zeitgeist.

Thomas Alsop – Thomas Alsop fights spirits and protects Manhattan. He’s also a television celebrity. The potential here with some awesome meta/synergy is wide open. If Constantine is a hit on NBC, this is their answer.

The Woods – So this has an entire school being transported to an alien world. Lots of mystery. Lots of creepiness. Can we get this and Lumberjanes paired up for a two hour block? We’re even programming for you!

TV Review: The Strain S1E7 For Services Rendered

the-strain-logo1The Strain‘s seventh episode starts off with a solid scare as the vampire plague continues to spread, but what’s going on, and the extent of the issue is still not quite apparent to folks, especially due to cell towers being down.

From there the episode switches to Eph and Abraham discussing what is happening and how to stop it. Eph still isn’t quite sure how Abraham knows everything he does. What’s solid is that among all of the modern craziness we get flashbacks to just that, how Abraham has learned what he has. The scenes in the concentration camp is an interesting comparison to the craziness that’s occurring in modern times.

Not knowing where to go, Eph and his team seek out Jim to get a lead as to where they might find the Master, and through discussion Eph finally figures out Abraham has history with their adversaries.

What’s fascinating about this episode is that history. We get a pretty blatant comparison to Hitler’s Germany, and what the Master is doing as well. Reading the comics, the Nazi connection was present, but never so in my face. With the accents, and the flashbacks, the imagery use is much clearer. Often times we see vampire tales as a parable about disease, but here it’s clearly more than that.

Out of all of the episodes so far, this one is the strongest. It started off with scares, but by the end we’re shown something that’s so much more.

Overall Score: 8.5

TV Review: Doctor Who S8E1 Deep Breath

doctor who capaldiAfter months of waiting the new season of Doctor Who debuted tonight, featuring the new Doctor Peter Capaldi taking center stage. When the doctor arrives in Victorian London he finds a dinosaur rampant in the Thames and a spate of deadly spontaneous combustions.

This first episode has a few goals:

  • Introduce fans us to Capaldi’s Doctor
  • Introduce the Doctor and regeneration to new fans
  • Have fans accept the change, and where the series will go

The episode, and many of the events within are as much discussions between characters as it is between the writers and us the viewers. The beginning of the episode, and the end, focuses on the current companion Clara and her dealing with a new look Doctor. In fact much of the beginning of the episode is about looks. Comments between Clara and Madame Vastra, Strax and Clara, there’s much said about looks and appearances. This also serves the role to discuss regenerations to the audience, and it does enough that those who are new might understand what’s going on.

And all of that brings us to Capaldi and his Doctor. Out of everything, in this one episode, I love Capaldi and his depiction. This new Doctor is a bit mad scientist, reminding me of Doc Brown in Back to the Future. But he’s also one who’s weary, and worn, after years of battles. It’s clear this Doctor is feeling the weight of his actions, and going forward it looks like he’ll be attempting to make amends. If that’s the case, the choice of Capaldi to fill the role makes sense.

The episodes ending, and it’s interesting twist is as much a discussion between the Doctor and Clara as it is the writers, and us the audience. For the entire episode Clara is questioning this new Doctor, and in doing so is having us the audience doing the same. By asking Clara to give this new Doctor a chance, and go along for the ride, we’re being asked as well. And if this first episode is any indication, it’ll be a fun, entertaining, and interesting ride.

The episode has a lot to bring in new fans, and hopefully keep them around, but also a lot for long time fans, and nods and things that have happened, and what’s to come. The Tardis has a new look, the Doctor has a new look, the title sequence has a new look, Doctor Who has a fresh coat of paint, I’m willing to go along and see where it goes from here.

Overall Score: 8

Crusher Creel aka Absorbing Man Comes to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

A new villain will be coming to the Marvel cinematic universe via the television show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Actor Brian Patrick Wade will be playing Carl “Crusher” Creel, also known as the Absorbing Man. He’ll make his debut in the season premiere Tuesday, September 23 at 9pm on ABC.

With his ability to absorb the properties of anything he touches, Creel will put Coulson and his team through their paces when their second season kicks off.

He’s the latest in numerous additions to the series including Adrianne Palicki (Bobbi Morse, a.k.a. Mockingbird), Lucy Lawless (Agent Isabelle Hartley), Reed Diamond (Daniel Whitehall), Nick Blood (Lance Hunter), Henry Simmons (Alphonso “Mack” Mackenzie), and Kyle MacLachlan (Skye’s father).

brian patrick wade absorbing man

Why Mockingbird is a Great Fit for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

palickiAgents of S.H.I.E.L.D. hit the gates last year full of momentum from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but perhaps too high on expectations. Inside of the shared universe, it faced stiff competition to meet the same level as the blockbuster movies while still maintaining the distinctly different world of television. In a certain sense, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. resembled something like an expansion draft for a professional sports team. There was the well-known though not as gifted veteran (Coulson) and a group of mostly unknowns. The story line was nothing special, especially in the televised world where we get movie-like experiences on a weekly basis from a number of television series (think Breaking Bad) and the production value while impressive from a television series, was still not what we expected coming from the Avengers or Iron Man. There were some notable guests stars, but to go back to the expansion team analogy, this is more akin to the new team advertising for other team’s stars rather that its own. With the news that Adrianne Palicki is joining the group (on a part-time basis for now) as the relatively well-known character Mockingbird, this signifies something else. To continue with the analogy, Palicki/Mockingbird is like the first signing of a major free agent.

There are two aspects to this signing, as it relates first to Palicki and then to Mockingbird. Palicki is well enough known to fans of television, though she has never really had a breakout role. Perhaps she is better known to comic fans as being the star of the never aired Wonder Woman series, which never got past a failed pilot. While comic fans can have a tendency to be overly picky in some regards, they also tend to stay loyal to actors and actresses who willingly portray themselves in roles that others might think to be too “geeky”.  In the realms of comics, sci-fi and fantasy, otherwise unknown names like Alan Tudyk or Summer Glau elicit at least recognition and more likely fandom (in this case because of their association with Firefly/Serenity). Palicki is likely not to that level of cult status, but she is well known due to Wonder Woman as well as appearances on Smallville and in G.I. Joe.

mockWhile this might perhaps bode well for her acceptance as an actress in the series, there is also the consideration of the character Mockingbird. One might be able to argue that Phil Coulson is kind of a member of the Avengers (at least as much as Jarvis is) but Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. seems to have been lacking a bit in superhero star power.  Mockingbird is by no means an A-list member of Marvel, but what she does bring is a degree of relevance and credibility which has been lacking in the series. She is after all the first real Avenger from the comics to make it into Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as a semi-regular.

This could mean more for the future of the Cinematic Universe as well. While it has not really been explored as of yet, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and other television series (such as the new Agent Carter series) have the potential to act as feeders for the films. One of the criticisms of the Avengers (and granted there were only a few) is that the team was primarily a boys’ club. It likely will be mostly for the second installment of the series as well, though with the addition of the Scarlet Witch to help balance things out a bit. With the upcoming Ant-Man film, it seems likely that the Wasp will also be joining the team. Might the same fate await Mockingbird? Unlike some actors or actresses that don’t tend to stray too far from either television or film, Palicki is at least somewhat of a crossover actress, having done both television and film to some degree. With the established credibility of Mockingbird as an Avengers character as well as eliminating the need for a background story (thanks to her appearance in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), she might be a perfect fit for a third Avengers movie, taking the total of female characters to four (unless we see Carol Danvers or Jennifer Walters at some point), and it might be done through the subtle addition of the characters into the shared universe.

Doing so helps not only the films but the television shows.  At the moment Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. seems light years away from a film like Guardians of the Galaxy, but with a bridge between the two, it allows the films to bring the shows to their level.  It might give fans of the show some hope, as well as providing a jumping on point for the more casual fans of the movie, all by way of a B-list actress and a mostly forgotten character.

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