Tag Archives: Television

TV Review: Gotham S1E13 Welcome Back, Jim Gordon

gotham cast When the key witness in a homicide ends up dead while being held for questioning by the police, Gordon suspects that it’s an inside job and looks to an old friend for information.

Gotham was in top form tonight with two vital storylines running, and a third that’s a bit meh.

The meh is the story with Bruce and his search for Selina. Overall, it’s the weakest part of the series, and the less it focuses on Bruce Wayne and the murder of his parents, the better the series is. It’s particularly weak when it deals with the young Selina or Ivy. They, along with Bruce, feel a bit forced.

The other two storylines have to deal with Gordon’s return to the police force as well as the rise of the Penguin. Both were solid here, moving along each respective plotline well, especially when it comes to the characters themselves.

We slowly see how Gordon becomes the leader we know he becomes, slowly winning over his fellow police, and fighting against the odds and system. This is a great spot of the series, and I think brings some of the strongest character aspects to the series.

Penguin has also risen, taking over Fish’s club, except Fish isn’t exactly out of the picture. Watching Robin Lord Taylor’s Penguin is fantastic. He’s probably the best of the series, and to see him grow has been fascinating.

Where these two stories intersect are particularly interesting and some of the strongest things of the series. When it does the mob/cop aspect it shines.

This episode shows what the series can be, and at the same time seems to be phasing out some of the weaker elements. Gotham is back, and it is stronger than ever.

Overall Score: 8.25

TV Review: King of the Nerds S3E1 Judgement Day

king of the nerdsTwo nerds enter and one nerd leaves as the third season of King of the Nerds kicks off plunging the new contestants into the world of steampunk, and then the losers into the world of anime.

The choices this year are interesting, with some variation and some nerdoms that have been underrepresented in the past or not appeared before making a more high-profile appearance.

What strikes me in this season are two things. Folks seem to be “nerdier’ this year, than in years past. The other thing is that folks are coming into it right away understanding that it’s a competition and some forgoing friendships, instead focusing on winning. This creates an emotional disconnect between the viewer and the contestant, something that I haven’t experienced in years past. And that disconnect creates a bit of a negative opinion, though their viewpoint is solid.

The other thing that sticks out is a “men vs women” underlying theme in the episode, whether this was true, or fancy editing, there’s a hint of the women teaming up to fight the male nerds to prove something. Nevermind women have won the first two seasons.

There’s usually one person I cheer for each season, or at least a few I like, this year I haven’t found that person yet, but it’s early in what looks like an interesting season.

Overall rating: 7

TV Review: Constantine S1E10 Quid Pro Quo

CONSTANTINE-First-Official-Image1When thousands of people in Brooklyn – including Chas’ daughter – slip into comas, John must locate and defeat the evil forces responsible.

Constantine is an interesting show. It’s rather hit and miss for me, with glimpses of what it can be, and then as soon as that excellence begins, the show veers into rather forgettable safe horror. It did that numerous times in the episode while ignoring its greatest strength, the characters and their relationships.

We see that here tonight as there’s lots of talks with souls, and some demons, as Constantine battles Felix Faust. But really, the show is about Chas, and specifically shows off how Chas can die and keep coming back.

Through clips, we see what’s made Chas rather resilient, something that could have been pushed much further. And with Chas’ ability and partnership with Constantine, we see how its impact his relationship with his family. If the episode really focused on that more, it would have been all the more stronger.

Instead we get Zed and Constantine having a chat about her role, and why she was attacked… that’s not brought up for the rest of the episode. We get their battling some demon due to a deal with Faust. And we have extraneous moments that could have been cut out. The episode would have been strongest focusing on Chas’ relationship with Constantine and his family and leaving the rest as extraneous stuff. The battle to free everyone’s soul could have lasted 5 minutes if the rest was strong enough.

What’s interesting is, the episode ends with Constantine and Zed, and a nice moment between them, showing that folks seemed to get that the character interactions would have been the best route to go. This was an episode that would have been stronger shaking off the scares and horror and instead simplify itself by just focusing on the people.

Overall rating: 7

 

CBS Finds Their Supergirl

melissa-benoistMelissa Benoist will be going from Glee to capes, as she’s been cast in the lead of CBS‘s upcoming television series based on Supergirl.

The series is based on the characters from DC Comics, and is a project from Warner Bros. TV. The series centers around Kara Zor-El (played by Benoist) who also escaped Krypton before its destruction, much like her more famous cousin Superman. She’s been in hiding not using her powers, but has now decided to stop out into the world and embrace her abilities and chance to be a hero.

Benoist is best known for her role on Glee, which she joined in 2012. She played Marley Rose who was one of the numerous new faces cast to replace the departing series regulars. She can also be seen as Nicole in the Oscar Nominated Whiplash.

This gets CBS into the superhero television series which is all the rage now and includes The Walking Dead, Gotham, The Flash, Arrow, iZombie, and more to come.

TV Review: Arrow S3E10 Left Behind

arrowOn this episode of Arrow the team’s worst fears are realized when Meryln informs them of Oliver’s death. Meanwhile Ray Palmer tests part of his ATOM suit out and Laurel Lance decides to pursue justice outside of the law by taking up the mantle of the Black Canary.

Oliver is missing, and his team is melting down, not knowing what to do without him. That’s the point of this episode, what is Green Arrow’s team without Green Arrow?

The first episode back after the winter break is a bit of a mixed bag jumbling a lot of story-lines attempting to set up the remainder of the season. Some of it is good, some of it is meh.

The worst part is watching Felicity, Diggle and Roy attempting to deal with a rise of some villains. That, mixed with some past segments featuring Oliver is just too jumpy and disjointed.

What’s great though is everyone having issues with Oliver’s absence, especially after they learn he might have died. There’s some real pathos there and they really do feel like they’re not quite sure what to do now. Felicity’s breakdown is especially ice.

The episode is all about the set up, which is needed, but it’s almost too much packed into one episode, especially when we know Oliver will be back eventually. Not the best of the season.

Overall rating: 7

TV Review: Gotham S1E12 What the Little Bird Told Him

gotham cast In an attempt to get his job back, Gordon seeks to capture Jack Gruber, a deranged electrical genius who escapes Arkham Asylum. Meanwhile, Falcone struggles to hold onto his empire after Fish Mooney makes her next move.

Gotham really shakes things up tonight with some major movement on various plotlines. The biggest of those is the fact Fish makes her move against Falcone public. Falcone is forced into a tough choice and either has to save Liza, who’s kidnapped, or go to war. It’s a pretty bold move storyline taking a lot of the behind the scenes gamesmanship into the forefront.

And that shift also applies to Gordon who’s now a bit more balls out in fighting to good fight, taking his battle up to the current Commissioner of the police. It’ll be interesting to see where this aggressive version goes, especially with Bullock backing him up.

The low point of the episode is Jack Gruber who is still running loose. Again the show attempts to squeeze in a Batman-ish villain with a gimmick. For me, that’s usually where the series falter, unlike it’s focus on straight up mob issues, where it shines.

Really, the episode really comes to a head in its last 5 minutes which sees Falcone confront Fish and Gordon with his own confrontation. All of this sets up what should be one hell of a rest of the season.

Overall Score: 8.25

The Flash, Arrow, and Gotham Get New Seasons. Constantine in Doubt.

theflash_full_costumeJust before the Golden Globes, The CW confirmed it was renewing both The Flash and Arrow for new seasons. It’s not much of a shock considering both series have been juggernauts and a bright spot for the network.

Fox made it official that Gotham will also be getting a second season. The show based on Batman has had consistent and decent ratings making this not surprising at all.

The other comic turned television show Constantine isn’t looking as solid. NBC discussed the series’ future. The show has its Friday timeslot changed to an earlier 8pm from its 10pm time when the show returned from its winter break. That switch actually led to lower ratings and didn’t help.

NBC president Jennifer Salke at a TCA press tour said:

Still talking about [whether to renew the show]. We wish the show had done better live. It has a big viewership after [live airings] in all kinds of ways, and it has a younger audience. The live number is challenging. It hasn’t kind of come out of Grimm the way we wanted it to. We love the show. I think it’s fair to say we’re really still talking about it.

 

Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt added:

We got on the bandwagon of these shows based on comic books, and maybe there are too many of them. It’s a popular series of comics, but it’s not The Flash. It’s not Batman, so maybe it suffers a little bit there. But as Jen said, it’s a show we really liked. We love Matt Ryan, who is the star of it. I think we did right by the fans who didn’t like the film that was made of it, and I think the future is still up in the air on that show.

Not encouraging at all for fans of the show.

TV Review: Constantine S1E9 The Saint of Last Resorts Part 2

CONSTANTINE-First-Official-Image1

Picking up where the winter break left off, Constantine is shot, bleeding, and a weird demon thing is about to attack him and Zed is in the back of a van kidnapped being taken to her father. Basically, things aren’t looking good for either of them.

Constantine is back kicking off the rest of its first season and continuing on the two plot threads.

And what feels like the first time, the stakes are amped up a bit and it feels like Constantine might really screw up here and pay for it. Shot and bleeding, he decides the best way to survive and heal is to let a demon in his body. That turns him into a raving mad loon and winds up in jail, and putting the hurt on folks while possessed. The issue now comes up, how do you fight a possession and perform an exorcism when a person is in jail? That leads to the team coming together to help save Constantine.

The story itself is a bit choppy with Zed just kind of popping up to help them and Annie just kind of helping out after she shot him. It’s kind of odd with not enough of a build as to why and feels like a lot of things have been cut out. It almost feels like things are missing….

But, the highlight is Matt Ryan, who as Constantine gets to snarl, spit, and thrash about as a man literally possessed. He continues to be the best thing about the series, and no matter what happens, here’s hoping he gets to continue as John Constantine elsewhere if need be.

The episode had some of the better moments of the year, and it felt like there was actual danger for Constantine, any issues here seem to have fallen on whomever edited the two-parter.

Overall rating: 7.5

 

TV Review: Agent Carter S1E3 Time and Tide

Agent_CarterOn this episode of Marvel‘s Agent Carter, as Agent Carter closes in on Howard Stark’s stolen technology, Peggy’s secret mission could unravel when the SSR arrests Jarvis and a secret is revealed.

The third episode is an interesting one, that really emphasizes something that didn’t hit me until this episode. The pacing of the show is a snail’s pace and makes Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. look like a ADD kid. And that pacing is key, as it helps set the fact this is a period piece taking place in the 40s. That is, if the clothes, cars, and other visuals don’t tip you off to that.

What’s also solid about the episode is that it helps flesh out Jarvis’ history a little bit more, as it’s his secret that’s hinted at above. It’s a small detail that helps add a lot of depth to him, and does so in a simple way. It also helps forge the relationship between him and Peggy.

But really, the thing that sticks out the most to me is the fact the show is about a woman making it in a “man’s world.” The series continues the misogyny that Peggy faces at work, and the fact that because she’s a woman she’s not as good as her male counterparts, no matter how untrue it is. The show might be a period piece set in a comic book world, but it’s also a feminist call to arms. The fact it’s able to highlight gender issues in an entertaining package is a triumph.

The show builds, ad is a solid continuation of the first two, but where this all goes…. I have no idea really. Hopefully it sticks the landing, and we’ll see relatively soon.

Overall Score: 7.75

Surviving Together: The Walking Dead: Season 5

“Surviving together is all that matters.” Don’t miss the return of The Walking Dead, Sun., Feb. 8th at 9/8c on AMC.

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