Tag Archives: Television

TV Review: Arrow S4E12 Unchained

arrowThe team faces off against a formidable villain nicknamed The Calculator (guest star Tom Amandes). Meanwhile, Nyssa (guest star Katrina Law) makes her move and Roy Harper (guest star Colton Haynes) returns to Star City.

Arrow is an interesting episode with a goofy plot about the threat of a gigalapse type event, or that occurring to the sity itself. There’s also Felicity attempting to deal with running her company. There’s Thea having some issues with her bloodlust. Finally, there’s the return to Roy.

The episode is better than last week, but not by much. The big focus of the episode is really to get Felicity, now with the horrible codename Overwatch, back in to the thick of things. The episode sees the heroes relying heavily on her knowledge and technical abilities pitting her head to head with The Calculator.

There has been a very noticeable issue this season of the action coordination with fight scenes, and generally the action, being heavily choreographed to the point it doesn’t feel natural at all and actually really stiff. This episode is a bit better in Roy’s return with his use of parkour creating a more natural flow to the movement. Juxtapose that when three of them are running from a building and they all stop and pivot at the same time. It’s not a natural scene at all.

The episode isn’t bad, it’s just not great. There’s some decent movement in some of the various plots, it’s what I’d call a bridge episode. It doesn’t stand on its own, but it does its job in moving the bigger plot along.

Overall rating: 6.9

TV Review: iZombie S2E11 Fifty Shades of Grey Matter

normal_izombietv_s01promo_001-1~0Live and Clive investigate the murder of a young librarian who was secretly an erotic fiction writer. Meanwhile, things heat up between Blaine and someone unexpected; and Major is hit with an unforeseen snag in his plan.

iZombie is an interesting one tonight with Liv getting down with her dirty side as she eats the brain of an erotic fiction writer after a murder. As usual, it’s Rose McIver as Liv that’s the draw as she gets down with her sexy self.. and says some hilarious stuff while doing so. I actually found myself laughing at some of what she says, and how she says it. If it was written that way I won’t know, but the delivery is spot on.

The other big thing in the episode is Blaine’s story as detectives begin to circle around him and wanting to peg him for the various murders.

This plot line of the series is getting much better, especially where Major is concerned. He has to make some decisions about something that’d tie him to the murders, and it’s a bit heartbreaking. But, it also gets rid of a rather idiotic part of the plot and that character.

The series is doing a good job pivoting. While Liv is still the star, this season is focusing elsewhere a bit as various stories from last season are moved forward. This episode especially shows off how to do the show without everything circling around her.

Overall, after another break, a solid return and episode.

Overall Rating: 8.1

TV Review: Agent Carter S2E4 Smoke & Mirrors

Agent_CarterAgent Carter and the SSR learn there’s more than just a pretty face behind Hollywood star Whitney Frost, Peggy’s most dangerous foe yet.

I’ve been pretty down on the first three episodes of Marvel’s Agent Carter, but this fourth episode gets us closer to last season’s solid performance. The episode slows things down slightly, and instead of just focusing on the present, it also takes us back to the past revealing a lot of Peggy and Whitney’s pasts.

The episode does a good job getting back to the show’s feminist roots, especially comparing Whitney and Peggy’s experiences growing up and getting to where they are. Both have issues with their relatives telling them what they can and can’t do. In one case it’s their fiance, and in the other it’s their mother. Setting the two characters up like this is fantastic, and I wish this was done earlier this season and carried through the entirety.

I’m still not a fan of Whitney’s powers, and where that’s going I’m a bit weary, but this is much more to form and what I’d expect of the season. Here’s hoping they keep this up instead of going back to what we’ve seen.

Overall Score: 7.4

TV Review: Supergirl S1E12 Bizarro

Melissa Benoist Supergirl 1A twisted version of Supergirl, one who’s the mirror image of the Kryptonian hero, sets out to destroy her national city counterpart. Meanwhile, Kara grows closer to Cat’s son Adam.

CBSSupergirl has some good and some bad in this episode which revolves around a different version of the classic character Bizarro than we’re used to.

And the episode really fails with the concept of Bizarro who isn’t the opposite of Supergirl at all. She just talks in a stilted speech pattern. That’s part of the charm of the actual character. Instead of saying he hates someone, he says he loves them. And that can create some pretty funny moments. Here, we get none of that, just really bad makeup and horrible writing that misses the point.

If you’re not going to go all the way, why would you even give a nod to the character? It raises the bar for fans of Superman and Supergirl, and I’d imagine many will be disappointed for similar reasons that I am.

The rest of the episode is dealing with Kara and her personal relationship, and all of that is very predictable plotwise.

The acting, some of the action, it’s all pretty decent otherwise and rather entertaining. There’s just some big opportunities here that were ignored and thrown to the side. This is an example of why giving nods to the source material can backfire.

I will say that the turn with Maxwell Lord is welcome and nips the worry I had that he’d be dragged along as a younger hipper version of Lex Luthor. That’s not the case, which is a good thing.

I had high hopes for the episode. I expected Bizarro, we just got Supergirl in bad makeup.

Overall rating: 6.1

TV Review: Arrow S4E11 A.W.O.L.

arrowDiggle mus learn to trust his brother Andy when an enemy of their wartime past, an agent of the criminal organization Shadowspire, visits Star City. However, Diggle learns more than he bargained for about their shared time at war.

Arrow focuses on the Diggle brothers in this episode which dives deeper in to their history together and gives some background on each. The episode also focuses on Felicity who is now confined to a wheelchair after being shot in the spine.

Both stories are decent enough, giving us a break from the Dahrk story that has been the focus of the season. The Diggle history is interesting showing each during their tour of duty together, which is ok in the action, but feels a little empty in some ways. Similar to the secret history we’ve seen about Oliver, this doesn’t quite click like that. That may be due it feeling like it came out of nowhere.

Felicity’s story at first feels like a second rate knock off of Oracle/Barbara Gordon in Batman. In many ways it is, and there’s even a joke about giving her the codename of Oracle. It wraps up a bit quickly, and would be much better to have been dealt with for longer in the season. There’s a great opportunity in this aspect of the character, and her dealing with her being in a wheelchair, and figuring out her role is handled WAY too quickly. Growth doesn’t happen that quickly.

The episode also has issues with the death of an important character. It’s another example of minority characters being offed in television shows adapted from comics. A very strange move, but I can only think this was done due to the character soon being in Suicide Squad, you can easily figure out who it is.

An episode with some good. An episode with a lot of bad.

Overall rating: 6.8

TV Review: Agent Carter S2E3 Better Angels

Agent_CarterPeggy’s quest to learn the truth about Zero Matter steers her into a confrontation with her superiors, as barnstorming Howard Stark shows up.

I’m not quite sure what it is about this second season of Marvel’s Agent Carter, but it’s not capturing me as the first season did. The three episodes so far are much more in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. quality, and that’s a show I only watch because I don’t want to miss something when it comes to continuity.

This third episode has Peggy teaming up with Howard and Jarvis to infiltrate a club they are sure are is connected to what’s going on and they have clues as to what’s going on. It’s dumb luck and a bit too easy they figured that aspect out.

Then there’s this whole thing about gravity around Peggy. That aspect is beyond silly, and the reveal is so bad it’s almost comical.

The series so far has been taking some bad aspects and mixing them in. The Arena Club feels like a bad Hellfire Club knock off. The girl power from the first season is missing. The story’s progression is much too easy.

And when has Madame Masque had those powers?

Overall Score: 6.6

TV Review: Supergirl S1E11 Strange Visitor from Another Planet

Melissa Benoist Supergirl 1Hank is confronted by his painful past when a member of the alien race that wiped out his people kidnaps Senator Miranda Crane. Meanwhile, Cat’s estranged son arrives in National City.

CBSSupergirl has an interesting spin this episode. The majority of the episode doesn’t focus on Supergirl, but instead it splits its story between Cat and her estranged son and Hank Henshaw/J’onn J’onzz.

Both stories really are one in the same in that they are focused on family and dealing with your past decisions or events.

In Cat’s case it’s letting her son go to pursue her career. Through some meddling they’re reunited and it’s rather awkward at times. It’s an attempt to probably make Cat a bit more human, and there’s some tender moments, but something doesn’t quite sit right about it all.

The majority of the episode involves a new threat, a White Alien which we learn is from Mars and at war with J’onn J’onzz Green aliens. We learn his people were enslaved and murdered by the alien. This has him seeking both revenge against the White Alien and at times wanting for things to end so he can return to his family in the afterlife.

This is a bit better as far as the plot, but again, something is off. The story is a but predictable in how it ends and the lines and acting is a bit cheesy.

While the idea of the episode is cool, and it’s great to see other characters fleshed out, the acting, tone, and even some of the special fx, just aren’t quite up to snuff compared to previous episodes. Not all will be winners, and this one is a bit of a clunker.

Overall rating: 6.7

TV Review: Arrow S4E10 Blood Debts

arrowOliver seeks revenge and goes on a brutal manhunt to find Dahrk, after dealing with the devastating consequences of Dahrk’s latest attack.

Arrow returns after a break diving right into things and adding a new bad guy, Anarky, to the mix. But, the episode revolves around two things, a grave that Oliver stands over four months from now, and also Felicity being injured and in the hospital.

The episode revolves around those two things. Oliver is focused on stopping Anarky/Lonnie, but also torn as Anarky/Lonnie could also help take care of Dahrk. That back and forth as to whether they should use a “villain” such as Anarky to stop Dahrk is interesting.

How far folks will go to stop Dahrk is the center of the episode. It drives Oliver’s vowing of revenge. It drives Diggle’s dealing with his brother. It drives how they handle Anarky. That questioning of how far heroes will go is interesting and it’ll be nice if they keep that theme going for the rest of this season.

The episode really bumps up the series for me with a nice twist and a new mechanic in who’s in the gave that drives a nice mystery. It’s a good set up for what’s to come.

Overall rating: 7.7

TV Review: Agent Carter S2E1 The Lady in the Lake, S2E2 A View in the Dark

Agent_CarterIn the first episode, dedicated to the fight against new Atomic Age threats in the wake of World War II, Agent Carter journeys from New York City to Los Angeles for her most dangerous and bizarre assignment yet.

In the second episode, Peggy discovers her murder investigation has huge ramifications that can destroy her career, as well as everyone near and dear to her.

Agent Carter is back in a two hour episode that sees her heading across the country to Los Angeles to deal with a strange death that of course turns in to so much more. Making the debut might actually have been a mistake as I found myself spacing out as the show moved along.

The episode kicks off with a dead body and some weird ice like substance and spins out in to weird goo that looks like a certain black mass from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The episode is a decent follow up to last season, but the pacing, and action all fall a bit flat with both too much attempting to be fit in, and not enough at the same. Finishing watching the episode, I feel like I’m unsure exactly what I watched and it was all forgettable in a way.

The good of it is the characters themselves.

Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter is fantastic as usual. Her back and forth with James D’Arcy‘s Edwin Jarvis is excellent. I will say that an increased role for Enver Gjokaj‘s Daniel Sousa was a nice addition. He’s an excellent actor and using him more is great.

The acting and interactions are solid, the plot though is almost forgettable, like we’ve seen it before elsewhere. It doesn’t feel unique or intrinsic to her, unlike the first season. Also missing is that solid feminist message. Some guys give her a look and check her out, but that’s about all there is. When the second hour came to a close, I had mostly forgotten what I watched during the last two hours.

While it’s nice to see Agent Carter back, I had hoped it’d have been better than this.

Overall Score: 6.3

TV Review: Supergirl S1E10 Childish Things

Melissa Benoist Supergirl 1Kara does her best to support Winn when he hears that his father Winslow Schott Sr. breaks out of prison. His father looks for Winn for a reason to become like him. Cat offers Lucy a job working at CatCo and Alex asks Hank to use his powers to find out and uncover Maxwell Lord’s plans.

CBSSupergirl takes a bit of a darker turn this episode. The coloring and vibe reminded me much more of The Flash series from the 90s which had a darker palate and vibe.

The episode does a solid job expanding on a lot of the characters that haven’t gotten a ton as the show pivots a bit more to focus on Maxwell Lord’s plan (which you know will be evil).

The may thrust of the story is Winn’s father who turns out to be Toyman. There’s some nice nods to the character in comics and we learn a lot more about Winn. There’s also some solid moments where we reflect on Kara’s family situation. Of course Winn’s crush on Kara is addressed and the series goes where I was hoping it did.

Then there’s J’onn who we learn a bit more about his powers and what he is and isn’t willing to do with them. That’s clearly building and gives us more of the great power comes great responsibility aspect of having super powers.

The final thing is Lucy Lane being offered a job. There’s some solid exploration of women and jobs, with some really fascinating back and forth between her and James. I want more of this in many ways. It’s great in that in gives a lot more depth to the characters and also explores real world issues.

The episode brings the series back with what’s hopefully a long uninterrupted run. There was an episode two weeks ago after a break, then another break, now this. It’s a good episode to set up what’s to come in the second half of the season.

Overall rating: 8.1

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