Category Archives: Television

TV Review: The Strain: S3E5 Madness

the strain s2 imageNew information surfaces from the Lumen, forcing Setrakian to seek out lifelong rival Eldritch Palmer for help. Also: Eph’s new experiments take him to the brink of sanity and Fet tries to unearth strigoi movements in New York City.

The Strain really emphasizes how much things have spread and changed in this episode. The first few minutes tell us that as Setrakian in a voice over tells us how much things have spread and how much of a losing battle it is… and this episode is just eight days since the last, so yeah.

Things are falling apart, but this episode also gives us a lot of hope in what Setrakian and Eph both discover.

The Lumen reveals its secrets as Setrakian finally figures out the secrets it holds as to how to defeat the Master. The discover is a “no duh” moment once you see it. I kind of feel like an idiot not thinking it through. The actual how to defeat him too is a bit of a “no duh.” But, now there’s at least a goal in a way.

Eph’s discovery is more scientific and interesting. Through some experiments, and accident, he learns some of the weaknesses of the strigoi, and this one was really interesting. How it’ll all be used will be interesting, but it’s a new weapon to use in the war.

Then there’s Fet who is down in the tunnels of New York and makes a rather grim discovery. That’s the holy shit moment of the episode where you know some epic battle is coming.

What’s interesting is this episode sets up an endgame in many ways. We now know how the enemy can be defeated, so, if the series is wrapping up this season, we now can see how it’ll happen. I hope we get another season, but if this is the beginning of the end, it at least looks like it’ll be a hell of a battle to come.

Overall rating: 8.15

TV Review: Fear the Walking Dead S2E13 Date of Death

fear-the-walking-dead-posterRefugees flood into the hotel, include an unexpected refugee from the group. Meanwhile, Madison struggles to cope with the situation.

Fear the Walking Dead is an interesting episode as we open up with refugees (or whatever you want to call them) attempting to get into the hotel. The fence is rather flimsy so the fact it was holding up feels a little silly. But, the scene is really to set up the return of Travis, who appears in the crowd.

The episode is really about parents and what they are or aren’t willing to do for their kids. The episode flashses back and forth between the present and past as we see Travis trying to talk sense into his son who is in with a group of kids.

That’s one of the most interesting things of the entire series so far. Seeing the anguish Travis goes through in this episode where he realizes he needs to let his son go, it’s heartbreaking. He feels like he’s actually breaking down and has had to make a horrible decision. It’s some of the best acting of the series.

It’s also a very slow episode. It just really focuses on Travis recounting his story to Madison, which then gets Madison to reveal the truth about something to her daughter. The episode emphasizes this show really is about family, parents trying to protect their kids.

There’s just one expanded episode left and a lot of ground to cover, so it’ll be interesting to see what next episode brings as the second season wraps up.

Overall Rating: 7.65

The Walking Dead: “Secrets” Season 7 Official Trailer

Don’t miss the Season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead on Sunday, October 23 at 9/8c on AMC.

TV Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S4E1 The Ghost

agents of shield season 4In light of the Sokovia Accords, and with Hydra obliterated, S.H.I.E.L.D. has been legitimatized again and no longer needs to operate in the shadows. Since the world presumes that Coulson is dead, the organization needed a new Director to be the face of the organization. Coulson finds himself back in the role as an agent and teamed with Mack, and together they are tasked with tracking down and confirming the presence of Enhanced people, aka Inhumans. Agent May is tasked with training specialist strike teams, and Fitz and Simmons have taken a big step forward in their relationship.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. kicks off its fourth season with what might be its strongest episode and one of its best episodes. With things shaken up, some clear budget changes, and new characters, the episode really sets things up with a great flow and little cheese.

The episode dives right in and introduces us to Ghost Rider, teasing just enough to get us intrigued by what’s going on. And it’s a bloody introduction driving us towards a horror vibe of it all. It’s a much more violent opening than we’ve seen (thanks 10pm time slot!). The issue is Quake is on the run and Ghost Rider’s bloody path is pointing to her being the cause, on top of the fact she’s labeled a terrorist. All of that causes issues for the SHIELD team who don’t want to kill their friend, want to bring her in safely, which doesn’t jive with other’s plans.

The series also touches upon the events of Civil War which has impacted how things role. There’s new restrictions for Inhumans working with the team and new processes that have to be followed. It feels like the show has been brought more into the live action universe more due to that simple decision.

There’s new roles for folks, Life Model Decoys, some solid humor, it all really works in this episode, the first I’ve enjoyed from start to end all the way through. I don’t know what changed during the break, but please keep it up!

Overall Score: 8.95

TV Review: Lucifer S2E1 Everything’s Coming Up Lucifer

Lucifer TVLucifer is distracted by his mother’s escape from hell, as he and Chloe investigate the murder of a stand-in actress. Meanwhile, Chloe’s faith in Lucifer is tested by the new medical examiner, Ella.  Also, Amenadiel hopes to rein in Lucifer’s wild side, as they both deal with the absence of Maze.

Lucifer kicks off its second season with all of the charm and fun that made the first season a hit. The team is back together and the beginning of the show teases a Lucifer/Amenadiel buddy cop team-up we all know we really want. Why are they working together? That’d be because their mother has escaped Hell.

All of that is explained in this episode which will entertain fans of the first season and should be easy enough to pick up for new watchers as well. The energy is all there. The charm of Tom Ellis as Lucifer jumps off the screen. It’s like no time has passed and the two seasons seamlessly flow together.

The first episode does an amazing job of setting up what we can expect for this second season without completely spelling things out. Chloe is still trying to figure out what Lucifer is, and the truth could threaten mankind. There’s Lucifer’s mom. Lucifer still in therapy dealing with his issues. Maze… doing whatever Maze does. Everyone is pretty much back and it feels like no time has passed at all.

There’s also a new character Ella who steals the scenes she’s in. So far she’s a great addition, adding a little human faith into the series, something surprisingly missing last season.

The first episode is fantastic nailing everything that made the first season so good and adding new elements that feel like they’ll make this second season soar.

Overall Rating: 8.75

TV Review: Gotham S3E1 Mad City: Better to Reign in Hell

season_3_posterGordon (Ben McKenzie) works in a monster-ridden Gotham as a bounty hunter and seeks to find Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) for answers about the Indian Hill escapees – and why their powers appear to be killing them. Meanwhile, Bruce’s (David Mazouz) doppelganger roams the streets, and Barbara (Erin Richards) and Tabitha (Jessica Lucas) open a new nightclub called The Sirens in the all-new “Mad City: Better to Reign in Hell…”

Gotham returns for a third season picking up where the second left off and setting up a lot of mysteries to come. The first episode is a mix of plotlines as the Indian Hill escapees are running loose in the city in a proto-Batman villain sort of way. There’s a guy that’s similar to Killer Croc, there’s a Man Bat knock-off, there’s a lot to make you want an actual series with the straight up rogue gallery we enjoy.

With the introduction of so many with varying powers, the first episode feels like the X-men’ing of Gotham, especially with Fish Mooney running around with her group of individuals. There’s a power for each moment’s needs and it includes some costumes that don’t help the comparison. And as far as that X-Men tone, the series feels more like X-Men: The Last Stand, than the more higher quality films. Watching the episode I awaited for the word “mutant” to be dropped at any moment. It’s a very odd tone and direction for the show, especially with Batman’s more horror roots, this at times camp feels a bit mixed in what it’s attempting to achieve.

The key players are back, though at this point Bruce is more front and center as he attempts to figure out the corruption at the heart of Wayne Enterprises. This mean David Mazouz has more on-screen moments, unfortunately known of that is good. Mazouz is the weakest point in the series with line readings that are flat and without any personality at all. Every scene he’s in drags killing any flow of the series.

Gotham is going in an interesting direction with a weird mix of Schumacher’s Batman and Ratner’s X-Men and in a way moving further away from the classic characters it’s based on.

Overall Rating: 6.75

Cake Wars Bakes Up a Wonder Woman 75-Themed Episode

Guest judge Nicola Scott poses for a photo, as seen on Food Network's Cake Wars, Season 4.

Guest judge Nicola Scott poses for a photo, as seen on Food Network’s Cake Wars, Season 4.

No ordinary dessert will do for the 75th Anniversary of Wonder Woman! Four special bakers will go head to head to create a cake fit for an Amazon Princess during a special Wonder Woman 75-themed episode of Food Network’s Cake Wars on Monday, September 19 at 9 p.m. PDT/8 p.m. CDT.

To honor Diana Prince’s enduring legacy as the global symbol for justice, equality and peace, competitors will use their super baking powers to create the ultimate celebratory cake. Current Wonder Woman series artist Nicola Scott will join host Jonathan Bennett, and judges Richard Ruskell and Waylynn Lucas, as a special guest judge for the wondrous episode. The winning cake will be used as a centerpiece for a 75th Anniversary celebration event, and the triumphant baker will also take home a $10,000 prize.

Check out Nicola getting her “lasso of truth” ready at the judges table!

TV Review: The Strain: S3E4 Gone but Not Forgotten

the strain s2 imageA new phase surfaces for the infection and Justine builds a new army while Eichorst plans a counter attack.

The Strain is an interesting one tonight. With the Master out of commission for now, Eichorst has taken control and has decided to make a move to strike back at those who have attacked him.

One can’t help but see some parallels in this episode between the vampire infection/world and that of religious extremism. There’s a mention by Eichorst of 70 virgins and the use of suicide bombers in the episode that makes it pretty clear one can make an argument that this series is a veiled allegory.

In both religious extremism and in this series we have individuals who have perverted a system for their own good, gathering devout followers who don’t question and are willing to give their lives for the cause. In both we see a clash between the factions and modern society. Both, it’s a battle over a book and what it says. In both the actions are unflinching and focused on a goal, while a few perversely gain from it all.

The episode is one that shakes things up a bit too. The infected are acting differently and Goodweather is a bit more focused on what he has to do. Justine too seems to finally come around.

This is a bridge episode, but one that really does a good job of getting things focused and exploring the bigger picture of what this series might be trying to say.

Overall rating: 8.35

TV Review: Fear the Walking Dead S2E12 Pillar of Salt

fear-the-walking-dead-posterMadison springs into action when one of the hotel residents gets violent. Meanwhile, Alejandro shows a darker side of himself at the Colonia.

Fear the Walking Dead is building towards the eventual explosion that’s going to happen and bring together various storylines in this second half of the second season of the show.

There’s a clash coming and it’s been pretty easy to figure out for some time. But, what’s been intriguing was seeing how the various groups might come together and we get our first hints of that in this episode.

While it’s not a great episode, it’s the calm before the storm. We get to learn a bit more about these characters and the world they’re now living in. Some are living in a fantasy land to deal with what’s going on while others are focused on the new reality. The clash of the two is what’s interesting.

The series is a rather uneven one this season, but it’s finding it’s groove and is showing improvement overall. Instead of focusing on dealing with walker directly, the walkers are more of a prop and the real survival is dealing with what amounts to drug dealers. It’s an interesting spin on the world and one that’s slowly getting more interesting overall. The characters are getting some more personality and the addition of some new folks are bringing out what felt lacking the first season.

In some ways this second half of the season has felt more like an anthology series, and now we’re seeing everthing coming together as expected with just three more episodes to go.

Overall Rating: 7.05

Constantine: The Complete Series coming to Blu-ray & DVD 10/4/16

constantine-blu-rayDarkness is rising, demons are everywhere … and one man stands between humanity and its worst nightmares: John Constantine. Warner Archive Collection and DC Entertainment bring the live-action television series, Constantine: The Complete Series, to Blu-ray and DVD on October 4, 2016 via, Amazon and popular online retailers.

Based on the wildly popular DC character, seasoned demon hunter and master of the occult John Constantine (Matt Ryan) is armed with a ferocious knowledge of the dark arts and a wickedly naughty wit. He fights the good fight – or at least he did. With his soul already damned to Hell, he’s decided to abandon his campaign against evil … until a series of events thrusts him back into the fray, and he’ll do whatever it takes to protect the innocent. With the balance of good and evil on the line, Constantine will use his skills to travel the country, find the supernatural terrors that threaten our world and send them back to where they belong. After that, who knows … maybe there’s hope for him and his soul after all.

Matt Ryan stars as Constantine, a role he has since reprised for Arrow and as the voice of the animated character in the upcoming Justice League Dark.

The cast features Angélica Celaya (Dallas) as Zed, Charles Halford (True Detective, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) as Chas and Harold Perrineau (Lost, Blade: The Series) as Manny.  Guest appearances include Jeremy Davies (Justified), Lucy Griffiths (True Blood, Preacher), David A. Gregory (One Life To Live), Michael James Shaw (Roots, Limitless), Claire van der Boom (Game of Silence, Hawaii Five-0), Skyler Day (Parenthood), Mark Margolis (Better Call Saul, Breaking Bad, Oz), Charles Parnell (The Last Ship), Michael McGrady (Ray Donovan, Southland), Joelle Carter (Justified) and Max Charles (The Strain, The Neighbors).

Writer Daniel Cerone (“The Mentalist,” “Dexter”) serves as executive producer with David S. Goyer (“Man of Steel,” “The Dark Knight Rises”). “Constantine” is produced from Bonanza Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. The show is based on the wildly popular comic book character from DC.

The release features the series’ 13 episodes, a trailer, on set featurette, the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con Panel and “DC Comics Night at Comic-Con 2014 Presenting Gotham, The Flash, Constantine and Arrow.”

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