Category Archives: Television

Supergirl S2E9 “Supergirl Lives” Takes the Show to Space with Mixed Results

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Unlike director Kevin Smith’s two stellar episodes of The Flash, his directorial debut on Supergirl is a little bit of a mixed bag. Writers Eric Carrasco, Jess Kardos, and Andrew Kreisberg give the show more of a sci-fi bent as Supergirl (in disguise as reporter Kara Danvers) and Mon-El chase down a lead on a missing girl and end up on a planet called The Slaver’s Moon. They have to liberate a coterie of missing humans from Roulette, played by a woefully underused Dichen Lachman, and the twist is that this planet has a red sun. Without her abilities to back her up, Supergirl relies on her power to inspire  Plus Mon-El has a sketchy connection to the Dominators from the “Invasion” crossover, which could play a bigger role in episodes to come.

The villains of “Supergirl Lives” are kind of an intellectual and physical snore. Roulette seemed otherwordly earlier this season when she was running an alien fighting ring, but being on another planet has kind of ruined her bite. Her scientist henchman is just plain creepy and not really threatening like an annoying guy on a subway whereas the alien guards are there to get punched over and over again by depowered Kryptonians, random civilians, and Winn. But, luckily, Supergirl has a stellar cast, and character development given to Alex Danvers, Winn, Supergirl, and especially Mon-El keeps this episode from being a disaster. Plus Ian Gomez returns as Snapper Carr, and his cynical attitude towards Kara’s reporting skills thaws just a little while he goes on a hilarious rant about wanting to be left alone with his coffee and Danish.

Up to this point, Mon-El was a character that I kind of detested as he came across as an overprivileged douche from another planet and not a good romantic match for Kara. However, in 2017, it seems like the writers have decided to make him a little likable and more heroic while using his laziness and obliviousness to some things on Earth for quick bits of humor. For example, there are running gags involving club soda and Highlights magazine that create a real bond between him and Kara to go along with their teaming up to save runaway aliens. Mon-El truly changes in “Supergirl Lives” as he goes from trying to run through the portal back home to covering the runaways’ escape routes with some well aimed blaster bolts. He is inspired by Supergirl’s optimism and willingness to take multiple energy blasts to become a hero in his own right. But his work ethic is still terrible (He takes a day off on his second day as a bartender who doesn’t know the difference between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.), and his connection to the Dominators is a little unsettling. Maybe, he is not all he seems to be.

Even though they gets the C-Plot of “Supergirl Lives”, Smith, Carrasco, Kardos, and Kreisberg nail the dynamic between Winn and James Olsen with all the fear, anger, and adventure of being a superhero team. The opening car chase scene featuring him, Guardian, and Supergirl gave me chills as Smith ably switched angles to show Supergirl’s epic poses and heat visions before swooping in up, close, and personal for some street level vigilante action. Also, Winn gets his face bruised, and a jewel thief puts a gun to his head.

Even though he’s relegated to comic relief for the most part in Supergirl, Jeremy Jordan channels pure fear in “Supergirl Lives” in the opening scene, and also when Alex decides to take him along as tech support. He kind of nails what I would be feeling if I had to go into action against criminals or aliens with a bit less vomiting and promptly quits being a team with Guardian. However, going on the off-planet mission gives him a surge of confidence that he shows off to James in a meeting where he is ready to go back into action as “Agent Schott, Defender of the Stars”. Alex and Winn have had a special bond in Supergirl, and her little nudge to get him into to go into the field is a nice payoff for this.

As usual, Chyler Leigh gives the best performance of Supergirl and has the most emotionally powerful arc as she struggles with her newfound happiness with Maggie Sawyer. This can be seen in the lighting used by Smith to film the morning after their first sleepover, which is filled with super cutesy, rom com-ish dialogue. But this is kind of the point. Alex has only recently come out of the closet and gone through a crazy “will they, won’t they” thing with Maggie, and it’s nice to have them pleasantly chatting over coffee. However, Alex is new to romantic relationships and feels insecure about letting Maggie into her problems rebuffing her at the DEO when Kara goes missing.

Instead of pointless drama, Carrasco, Kardos, and Kreisberg go for more nuance with Maggie and Alex’s relationship as Alex feels like she doesn’t deserve to have an amazing glow on her face when she describes Maggie as her “girlfriend”. Her work and protecting Kara has been her life so far, and she doesn’t feel like she’s entitled to this kind of relationship so Alex pushes Maggie away when she wants to help her find Kara. However, at the end of the episode, Alex realizes this is kind of ridiculous and has a cute, touching reunion with her where Maggie reveals that she knows Supergirl’s secret identity. There is room for Alex to care for both Kara and Alex in her life.

“Supergirl Lives” has a nifty car chase scene and some great hand to hand fight scenes featuring Alex Danvers, and the red filter used by Kevin Smith and Shamus Whiting-Hewlett brings out Kara’s vulnerability as she and a depowered Mon-El wander Slaver’s Moon. This combined with the strong characterization of Winn and Mon-El along with the continuing acting brilliance of Chyler Leigh balances out a weak bad guy and a yawn of an alien infiltration arc to make a decent hour of Supergirl.

Overall Rating: 7.5

Legion Asks “What Have You Been Told?”

Legion follows David Haller, a troubled young man who may be more than human. Diagnosed as schizophrenic, David has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals for years. But after a strange encounter with a fellow patient, he’s confronted with the possibility that the voices he hears and visions might be real.

Watch Legion Wednesdays at 10:00pm/9c on FX starting February 8

Powerless Gives us a Wayne Security Commercial

Watch the series premiere of Powerless, Thursday, February 2 at 8:30/7:30c on NBC.

Powerless Gets an Extended Promo

Meet the team that protects us from super battles! Powerless premieres Thursday, February 2 at 8:30/7:30c.

TV Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S4E10 The Patriot

agents-of-shield-lmdSeparated from their team, Coulson and Mack discover a shocking secret about Mace, leaving all of S.H.I.E.L.D. in a precarious position.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. focuses on Mace this episode as the episode primarily is about Coulson, Mack, and Mace after they’re shot down and have to survive.

It’s an interesting episode in that it reveals the truth about Mace and we learn more about the character, his background, and the secret he’s been hiding. For most of the season Mace has felt like a suit playing the person in charge and this episode is where it all comes together and makes a lot more sense.

It’s not bad and an interesting twist to everything that sets up yet another dynamic to everything. Who knows if that’s good or bad, we’ll see where it goes and how it does that.

There’s some bad in the episode.

The LMD aspect of the story feels a little plodding and it doesn’t really move along at all. May fights her captivity but overall it’s thrown in there. Instead the episode should have just ignored it as little actually happens it feels like. Everything could have been added to another episode and up the pacing a bit.

I was worried Hydra would rear its ugly head this season and they come up… a lot. Which makes me feel like we’ll see them as the main villain before the season is over. It’s a little boring at this point and it’d be nice if the Watchdogs were a thing on their own instead of being a part of some bigger conspiracy.

For as good as last week was, this week was a step back in too many ways. The series this season as a whole has been uneven and we see that here. The episode ends on a high not though with a creepy horror like tinge that the series would do well to follow. Hopefully, things will pick up from here.

Overall Score: 7.55

TV Review: Lucifer S2E11 Stewardess Interruptus

Lucifer TVThe tension between Lucifer and Chloe makes it difficult for them to investigate the murder of two victims who happen to be Lucifer’s old flames.

Lucifer lays it all out there in this return episode after its winter break. Let me start by saying, hells yes. This episode is fantastic in so many ways. There’s the fun performances of the characters, the interesting case, and the focus on Lucifer and Chloe… especially Lucifer.

For its two seasons the series has hinted that Lucifer is at least bi-sexual (though could be something else), basically he’s not hetero. This episode throws that in front of us with Lucifer having to deal with past lovers, both female and male. It’s fantastic to see and to see his, and Chloe’s reaction, shows how far some have come when sexuality is involved. His mentioning his having been with men and Chloe’s reaction is very modern and in the end feels as natural as anything else.

But, in all of that there’s a greater focus on Lucifer and the fact that in the end few people really care about him. There’s an obsessed individual who feels like a cultish stand-in representing those who say the worship the devil, but even that is fairly shallow. We get to see more of Lucifer the person and in that we feel a bit bad for him.

The episode isn’t all “awe,” there’s lots of humor, especially when it comes to Maze and Detective Douche. Their “buddy cop” relationship is fantastic and seeing Maze finally taking center stage is beyond welcome. It brings a levity to it all.

The episode is absolutely fantastic showing off all of the strengths of the characters and actors delivering one of the most fun hours I’ve had watching tv in a while. Lucifer remains my favorite comic television adaptation right now and this episode is a prime example why.

Overall Rating: 9.45

TV Review: Gotham S3E11 Mad City: Ghosts

season_3_posterFalcone (guest star John Doman) places a hit on Gordon (Ben McKenzie). ‎Gordon and Bullock (Donal Logue) discover a follower of Jerome (guest star Cameron Monaghan), who plans to bring him back to life. Meanwhile, Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) spirals out of control before the biggest television interview of his Mayoral career, and Bruce (David Mazouz) and Selina (Camren Bicondova) deal with Selina’s mom’s return to Gotham.

Gotham returns from its winter break with an episode that continues some things from before the break and head straight in to some all new things in an episode that absolutely reflects the ADD season so far.

After Gordon killed Falcone’s son at the end of the last episode it’s a focus on revenge in the absolutely silliest thing we’ve seen this season. Hitmen running around with automatic weapons lighting up places trying to kill a cop seems bizarre even for this series and a mob boss would be much more subtle than this is. Even for a show that’s over the top, this is a bit too much and it’s resolution is so quick that any actual drama is wasted.

There’s Selina’s mom’s storyline which is… a distraction it feels.

Then there’s a focus on Penguin which is actually interesting once it’s clear where things are going by the end of the episode. The build up had me scratching my head and thinking things were a bit silly until the payoff that actually is solid in how it comes together.

Finally, we get a whole new story about the dead rising and the eventual return of Jerome, aka proto-Joker. It’s yet another storyline thrown into an already packed episode and season. It ties into Indian Hill, but maybe it’d be better to save this for the next season?

That’s my issue with this episode, it attempts to do too much adding onto a season that’s already packed with storylines that aren’t focused enough on and not given enough depth. Focusing just on the Court of Owls, or just the rage virus, or just Falcone’s revenge, or the return of Jerome, or Penguin’s meltdown, or two of these things, it’d work and work really well. But packing too much makes the episode and series a master of none of them.

Overall Rating: 6.75

Riverdale Needs a “Moment” in this New Trailer

Discover what lies in the shadows of a perfect town. Riverdale premieres Thursday, January 26 on The CW!

The live-action series offers a bold, compelling take on Archie, Betty, Veronica, and their friends, exploring small-town life and the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale’s wholesome facade. The show will focus on the eternal love triangle of Archie Andrews, girl-next-door Betty Cooper, and rich socialite Veronica Lodge, and will include the entire cast of characters from the comic books—including Archie’s rival, Reggie Mantle, and his best friend, Jughead Jones.

Riverdale stars KJ Apa as Archie Andrews, Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper, Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge, Ashleigh Murray as Josie McCoy, Luke Perry as Fred Andrews, Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones, Madelaine Petsch as Cheryl Blossom, Ross Butler as Reggie Mantle, Casey Cott as Kevin Keller, Mädchen Amick as Alice Cooper, and Marisol Nichols as Hermione Lodge.

Riverdale is written by Archie Comics Chief Creative Officer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and produced by Warner Brothers Studios and Berlanti Productions and has been described as a subversive take on the classic Archie mythos. Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schecter, Jon Goldwater, and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa serve as executive producers.

If/Then: If You Like Grimm Then Check Out These Comics!

When it comes to suggesting comics for individuals to check out, it’s often good to start with what they like in other media like television, movies, books, or video games. Enter If/Then, where we’ll throw out suggestions for you to check out!

Returning to television last week was the popular television series Grimm!

Portland detective Nick Burkhardt, descended from a long line of warriors known as Grimms, defends his city from magical creatures known as Wesen, which are part human and part animal. Fighting alongside his partner, Hank, colleague Sergeant Wu and friends Monroe and Rosalee, Nick faces off against internal and external forces, including his police captain, Sean Renard.

If you like the idea of cops fighting demons and stuff like that, here’s some comic series for you to check out!


Pinocchio: Vampire SlayerPinocchio Vampire Slayer and the Great Puppet Theater/Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer Vol. 2: The Great Puppet Theater/Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer Vol. 3: Of Wood and Blood Part 1 and Part 2 – It’s Buffy… but a puppet…

After seeing Geppetto die at the hands of vampires, Pinocchio swears revenge in this darkly funny graphic novel. As the vampires plot the enslavement of mankind, only a one-puppet army stands in their way. But will a wooden boy and his endless supply of stakes – courtesy of plenty of lies and his elongating nose – be enough to save the day?

If the concept of Pinocchio and friends running around killing vampires doesn’t sound awesome, you probably should read more of this post. The comic series by Van Jensen and Dustin Higgins is so much fun and a great take on this classic character.


Black Magick Volume 1: Awakening, Part One – Rowan Black is a detective with the Portsmouth PD… and a witch, two aspects of her life she has struggled to keep separate. Now someone is targeting Rowan, someone who knows her secrets and means to expose her… or worse.

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Written by Greg Rucka with Nicola Scott, Chiara Arena, and Jodi Wynne on art, this series follows a bad-ass female cop.


Grimm Omnibus – I said I was going to try to avoid just suggesting comic versions of the television series, but lets face it, a lot of Grimm fans might not know this exists so it’s worth mentioning.

These original, in-continuity comics written by show creators David Greenwalt and Jim Kouf, plus show writers Marc Gaffen and Kyle McVey, the entire 2013-2014 Grimm comic book series is collected in this massive Omnibus Edition, assembled for the first time alongside the “Portland, Wu” one-shot special and “The Warlock” miniseries (by Bram Stoker Award-winning author Jai Nitz)!

At 496 pages, that’s a whole lot of comics to enjoy!


What did we miss in our suggestions? What would you suggest? Add yours in the comments!

 

 

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TV Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S4E5 Broken Promises

agents-of-shield-lmdCoulson is unaware of a dark secret May is hiding, even as the two grow closer; Aida is determined to find the Darkhold.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. picks up where the intriguing conclusion to the winter break left us with Aida running around trying to get the Darkhold and May replaced with a Life Model Decoy.

The episode basically runs two stories, both of which are pretty solid.

First, there’s Aida and trying to get the Darkhold. She goes with an all out assault and that gets the team working to stop her with a lot of action and some great jokes about the fact there’s a killer robot on the loose. There’s lots of pop-culture references that give the tone of the episode an entertaining one with jokes flying around, especially comments about the Terminator franchise.

What’s more interesting is the weaves this part of the episode pulls off. I’m not going to ruin it, but at first I thought things were wrapped up and settled, but boy was I wrong. In fact, what seems like the end is only the beginning as we learn more about what’s really going on as far as the Darkhold.

The second part of the episode has to do with Senator Nadeer and that mysterious Inhuman. We learn a lot there and again I don’t want to ruin things but Daisy, Jemma, and Director Mace go to deal with that. It’s an interesting new dynamic with Daisy back and not fully trusting her new boss and vice versa.

What I particularly enjoyed was this episode tying into something from earlier, the Watchdogs, that felt like it had been abandoned. They look like they’ll be the big bad for the rest of the season as there’s someone lurking in the shadows. As long as it’s not Hydra again, I’d be happy with that.

The episode is a pretty solid one coming back from an uneven first half of the season to deliver an entertaining hour that had a lot of action and more importantly really sets up where the rest of the season is going.

Overall Score: 7.70

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