Category Archives: Television

The Walking Dead S7E10 New Best Friends Review

walking-dead-5 photoWhile searching for a missing Alexandrian, Rick and his group encounter a mysterious collective, its inhabitants unlike any they have crome across.

The Walking Dead‘ Is building up and this episode really gets the ball rolling as we find out about the mysterious group that we were introduced to at the end of last episode. Much of the episode is the politicking and maneuvering for what will be the eventual conflict to come.

The new group is interesting in that it puts together a couple of different plot threads from earlier in the season and it’s a new type of group we haven’t seen before. They’re more of a collective and not very vocal which is unsettling for a few so many reasons. To me, this new group reminded me of something we’d see in a Mad Max film, and while different, it works. They are clearly the numbers that are needed for Rick to go unilateral, but adds some realism as to how Negan will eventually be defeated.

There’s also some movement in the Kingdom as Daryl bounces around talking to folks and finds there’s some allies, though they might not see eye to eye as to exactly how to go about things. But, the biggest thing of the episode is an eventual reunion between Daryl and Carol. The two are some of the cutest things on the show and there’s a bond there that puts a smile on my face every time we see them together.

The episode is a good on in that it sets things up for what’s to come and gives us something new, but it’s not the most exciting episode. The new group is interesting, we get a new walker, we get some plot lines answered, and Daryl and Carol are brought back together. There’s a lot, but it’s not all that great.

This episode is the set up episode building what’s to come. As a bridge, it does a solid job, but on its own, it doesn’t quite stand.

Overall rating: 7.85

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TV Review: Riverdale S1E4 Chapter Four: The Last Picture Show

riverdaleJughead fights to keep the local drive-in open after hearing an anonymous buyers’ plans to tear it down; Betty finds startling information about Miss Grundy’s past; Veronica confronts her mother; Alice finds an opportunity to destroy Archie’s image.

Riverdale answers so many questions in this episode full of so many plotlines it’s impressive. And the impressive part is that even with so much going on everything feels like it has more than enough time devoted to it.

As I said, there’s a lot packed into the episode and all of it’s quality. The revelation that Miss Grundy has a secret past is not only explored, but answered, and the situation between her and Archie goes through a hell of a lot. There’s also a secret with Veronica’s mother that’s explored and answered in one episode. Things not being dragged out? Mysteries being solved! Instead of dragging things out Riverdale is impressively delivering on mysteries instead of just building on them. It feels like a novel idea when it comes to television (when it really shouldn’t be).

But, the episode isn’t just about Betty, Veronica, and Archie. There’s some great moments involving Kevin Keller and Jughead. We get more info on Kevin’s world beyond just what we’ve seen as he hangs out with Betty. That includes an interaction with his father that’s really honest in a way I don’t think I’ve ever seen it on television before. Then there’s Jughead, a character that’s been woefully underused in the series so far. When it comes to characters this episode delivers the most as far as him as his home life situation is fleshed out with some twists I didn’t see coming until the final scenes. The series has shown it can keep us on our toes while delivering at the same time.

Riverdale is absolutely my new guilty pleasure of the tv season and it has delivered with every episode so far and is making its case as the best comic adaptation on tv.

Overall Rating: 9.65

TV Review: Powerless S1E3 Sinking Day

powerlessbigAfter the ream loses a client due to Van’s incompetence, Emily tries to clinch a deal with Atlantis; Van’s father gives him a chance to redeem himself; Teddy and Ron are convinced that new employee Alex is a superhero.

The third episode of Powerless continues to show improvement as the series finds its footing and this third episode brings the funny with a twisted humor mostly at display in the beginning.

I panned the first episode of Powerless. I hated it, really really hated it. That was to a point I almost didn’t watch the second episode. But, like the second episode this third one continues to improve and it’s clear the writers are getting a better sense of their characters and vision for the show.

The core entertainment of the show isn’t Vanessa Hudgens’ Emily Locke, it’s the trio of Danny Pudi, Christina Kirk, and Ron Funches as Teddy, Jackie, and Ron. The trio are nailing it when it comes to the comedy of the show and the writers are giving them solid material to work with. This episode displays a bite with running jokes about race and nationality and does so in a way that’s actually funny. Hudgens does show improvement too as her enthusiasm is dialed back making her character fit in a bit more with the rest of the ensemble.

The episode itself is goofy workplace comedy that mixes the company’s need to get a big client after losing Ace Chemicals (yes the company that created the Joker, with clown joke included), with the new employee who might be a superhero, and jokes about Atlantis. It all comes together and works in a non-groundbreaking but still entertaining way. The show is generally safe, though shows it might not always play it as such in the future.

The third episode improves on the second which was a massive improvement on the first. I’m hoping we see more of this as the show mixes a workplace comedy with nerd cred. While it looks like the writers are getting that down they’re also allowing its actors to begin to shine and doing that by delivering entertainment material to work with.

Overall Rating: 6.95

TV Review: Arrow S5E13 Spectre of the Gun

arrowAn attack on City Hall brings back painful memories for Rene; flashbacks reveals Rene’s transformation from family man to a hero named Wild Dog; Oliver realizes the best way to find the attacker is to do so as Mayor Queen.

Arrow goes “very special episode” with this entry that focuses on gun violence and the debate over gun registration. The topic feels about a year too late to be relevant and the actual politics of the show is muddled and summed up with “it’s a complicated issue” and “we need to do something.” About the one thing that the show does get right is the need to enlist gun supporters to figure out what an actual solution might be and make it happen.

At its core, the episode is about Rene and why he became Watch Dog. He represents the pro-gun side of the argument, but the story presented is a pretty tragic one. We learn about his wife, his kid, and his origin in many ways. It’s a pretty average origin, but as presented it adds some depth to a character that was lacking one.

Most of the other characters are in the anti-gun crowd or are used to give information about weapons and throw out stats about the increased likelihood they get shot, the police perspective, the military information, or more. It touches on “Blue Lives Matter” as well as “Black Lives Matter” without really saying much. It’s all pretty by the numbers.

And that by the numbers makes the episode both a success and a failure. It presents the difficulties of the situation. The shooters in the episode are white men. Some of the dialogue though is stilted and feels like stats just being thrown out, exactly like an Afterschool Special. The fact this episode airs today as opposed to a year or two ago is puzzling.

I went in hoping the series would take an interesting stand, but by the time it was through, it really said very little. Even issues like “Black Lives Matter,” though touched upon, isn’t given much play. There’s a lack of depth and emotion that fits such an issue.

The episode goes through the motions but in the end says very little.

Overall rating: 7.05

TV Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S4E14 The Man Behind the Shield

agents-of-shield-lmdCoulson and the team engage in a deadly cat-and-mouse game as they work to rescue Director Mace, who is fighting for his life.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. after what feels like forever we finally get the origin of the man who is obsessed with Coulson and the head of the Watchdogs. And after all of the waiting… it’s underwhelming. It’s underwhelming to an extent that Coulson even acknowledges it with a “cool origin bro.”

The episode focuses on a couple of things, two of which are trying to find individuals. There’s Director Mace who is being held by the Watchdogs and in usual bad guy fashion is toyed with for unknown reasons. Then there’s finding May.

There’s a lot to the episode that left me scratching my head. Quake fighting the non-powered Watchdog head in hand to hand combat when she could end it in two seconds by using her powers. Then there’s her leaving him after winning. And some of the other bad guys get away eventually!?

It’s all really choppy and weird with plot points that make little sense at all.

And then there’s those last ten minutes where a twist is revealed as to why things played out the way they did… which left me with… huh!?

For those who read comics, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. feels like it’s taking a lot of ideas from Marvel’s Secret Invasion storyline leaving viewers to question who’s real and who’s not. It’s fun, but the episode has also gone a bit over the top with it all giving us reveals at odd times leaving out the shock of it all.

While I generally like the concept of where this season has gone, it hasn’t quite played things the way I’d like, expect, or make sense. In the end, this episode left us with one too many decoys.

Overall Score: 7.85

Recap: Supergirl S2E12 Luthors

supergirl-luthors-featuredThe latest episode of Supergirl dove deeper into the Luthor clan and their alien envy complex. We were treated to a meet up at the alien bar where Maggie gets to meet more of the DEO Scooby gang. Lena Luthor is having a huge PR problem thanks to her mom’s trial and Kara is stepping up her friend game. Lena unfortunately, isn’t handling all of the family legacy blowback very well and is having a bit of an emotional crisis of faith dealing with her mommy issues.

Lena visits her mom in jail and there is no love lost between the two of them. Mamma Luthor drops some family secrets into the mix and lets Lena know she’s not her real mom and they only took her when she was four to keep her from foster care. She blames papa Luthor for her estrangement from her and pretends to make amends. Things continue to go left as Metallo testifies at the Luthor trial using the witness stand as a pulpit for his anti-alien thinking he then breaks free and takes Lillian Luthor along with him.

The escape means that Lena is in the crosshairs and after Supergirl and the Metallic menace go toe to toe, Supergirl chooses to save the people in danger rather than go after the bad guys. Her act of heroism scores her more human fans but, Supergirl has more questions about how the bad guys gained access to Kryptonite. Kara has a heart to heart with Lena so she can get ahead of the rumors that she helped with the escape putting their friendship at odds when Maggie shows up to arrest her.

Kara tries to come to her friend’s defense when the paper wants to put Lena on the cover and James takes Snappers side and runs the article as is. James makes it his mission to prove Kara wrong, while Kara is having feelings about Mon-Els new alleged love interest. But, it turns out his date was a bust because all he did was talk about Kara leaving Kara to again rethink her feelings for him. Mamma Luthor sends her minion to free Lena and Metallo ends up going toe to toe with Guardian. Metallo defeats Guardian and escapes with the newly freed Lena.

Kara continues to defend her friend Lena and faces some harsh criticism for that choice from an injured Jimmy. Kara is still ticked off about Jimmy continuing to fight crime and she’s not sure if she should be mad about the Lena treatment or Jimmy getting hurt. Jimmy uses the Clark and Lex parallel to try to prove to Kara wrong about Lena and about him as Guardian. Mon-El shows up as a  surprise voice of reason and takes her side in the whole Lena situation. They attempt to have the hard talk about Mon-El and Eve dating and how it made her feel and Mom-El tried to understand in his clunky alien emotion manner. Lena is being held captive by her mom as she tries to bring her to the dark side but Lena just wants to be free and prove her innocence. Metallo is suffering from some really bad Kryptonite poisoning as they all hide out in one of Alex’s secret facilities. Mamma Luthor is ready to go to war and Lena appears to be playing possum while she tries to figure out her mom’s plan. Lena realizes that she mom is only using her for her DNA to open Alex’s vault. Winn cracks the footage and finds out that Lena is innocent and the raw footage proves it. They find out the synthetic Kryptonite stockpiles are unstable and Kara rushes to save her friend from the impending explosion with minutes to go despite the danger to her own safety.

Lena wants no part of mommy dearests anti-alien war games and Supergirl gets trapped with Lena trying to assist with her release. She warns them about the coming explosion with his Kryptonite heart starting to decay but, he chooses to fight her with his last breath. Lillian takes Lena along on her escape and J’onzz shows up to help her fight but, it’s beyond a close call and she isn’t able to find and rescue  Lena. But, it all turns out well because Lena escapes her mom’s clutches but, Lillian and OG Hank manage to get away and, Kara is sent by Snapper to get an exclusive. Jimmy and Kara have a heart to heart and decide to go back to being friends for real and start it off with a game night. Kara writes a glowing pro-Lana article and they reconnect over a nice chat. But,  there’s a bit of shade in the mix as Lana appears to be playing chess with Kara’s friendship and she might know more about the Kara / Supergirl relationship than she’s been letting on.  Mon-El and Kara make it officialesque and have a real talk before this episode closes and realize the differences between them might not be so bad. Unfortunately, this conversation comes as another mystery alien shows up to claim her heart.

I am loving the way that the show weaves the previously on info into the first few minutes of conversation between the characters. It makes it easier for those new to the show to catch up without missing a beat. I am also digging how they are handling Kara’s love life by giving her agency and her own life outside of the men who inhabit her world. There is no room for shipping from fans because the writers make her motivation known and the writers are keeping it about Supergirl coming into her own and not making it a live story or having her life be incomplete without a man. It makes for interesting tension and a deeper understanding of the idiocy behind the need for a love story or becoming a couple just because. But, the connection between Kara and Mon seems to be genuine and coming from a place of genuine emotion and not from a place of filling a couple void. So, while I’m not sure how this will all shape up with Kara’s love triangle becoming a love square but, I hope they continue making Kara a person and not an object to be won by a man or existing to be claimed by a man.  I’m also glad that the writers are so good at emphasizing female relationships with each other as friends, lovers, and sisters.

Overall: 8.9

Archie Inks an Exclusive Production Deal with Warner Bros. Television. Plus Mark Waid Takes on More Archie.

jughead-15-cover-by-derek-charmArchie Comics was filled with news this morning. Archie Comic Publications and Warner Bros. Television have signed an exclusive deal to develop new original programming and content based on Archie’s vast catalog of characters and properties.

This deal comes after years of work by Archie to bring the characters into the present day with such series as Death of Archie, Afterlife with Archie, and the recently relaunched Archie. Recently the comic company launched into television with Riverdale based on the classic characters that airs on The CW.

Also announced today, writer Mark Waid who has been writing the relaunched Archie will be brought further into the fold and will work on an expanded number of titles as well as serve as a writing mentor for young and upcoming talent.

Waid’s first step in this new role will begin in May as he takes over the ongoing Jughead series alongside new co-writer Ian Flynn. Additional titles and co-writers will be revealed later this year.

The Walking Dead S7E9 Rock in the Road Review

walking-dead-5 photoRick and the others are led to a new community, where they meet the residents and their ruler; a familiar face resurfaces.

The Walking Dead‘ returns after its winter break with kind of a new direction for the second half of the season. We left off with Rick and crew being reunited on Hilltop with a renewed vigor in a way.

Rick has a vision and that’s to unite the three communities to take on Negan and the Saviors, but will they go along?

The politics of the world is now in full display as each community leader is asked if they are willing to put their people at risk to take on Negan. The answers vary and the reactions differ showing off how different leaders view the threat in front of them. It’s nice to see things not go smoothly, but I think more importantly it’s nice that each answer has its own logic to it.

But, this is the beginning. For those who have read the comics, you know war is up next and the question is, will that war happen here or will we have to wait until next season? This episode gives some hints that it might be sooner than later with a pacing that’s much faster than much of the season.

Many have complained this season has plodded along and it would see the writers are addressing that somewhat. There’s some great action sequences with one in particular getting me to take notice and cheer along. But, what’s great is the series is really moving along as it sets up the showdown we all know is coming. The series is building up to an explosion and it’s one that feels like it can’t be missed.

The end of the episode really gets interesting as things can’t go smooth and a mystery builds involving Gabrielle. What’s he up to? I have no idea, but I’m intrigued as to where the story goes. Hopefully it’s not a distraction, but feeds into the greater story in an organic way.

If all of that wasn’t enough, that ending is an interesting one, one I didn’t even see coming. Who are the mysterious people? We’ll find out, but even when I thought I knew where things were going, the series zags.

The Walking Dead is back and it’s showing off it still has it.

Overall rating: 8.45

The Walking Dead: ‘Roadblock’ Official Mid-Season Premiere Sneak Peek

Rick is ready, but the Saviors do not want to be easily found. The Walking Dead returns this Sunday at 9/8c

Legion Second Episode Trailer

David reflects on his past with the help of new friends. FX has released a promotion for the second episode of Legion.

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