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TV Review: Marvel’s The Punisher S2E1 Roadhouse Blues

Punisher Season 2 Episode 1

While driving through Michigan, Frank stops for a beer at a roadside bar. But staying out of trouble has never been his strong suit.

After a surprisingly strong first season, the Punisher is back for a second that has him wandering. He’s cleared of charges from last season and has no roots to ground him. And, it’s clear he’s looking for that, looking for a purpose. Stopping in Michigan he might have found those roots but trouble is not far behind when he gets caught up in an attempted abduction. A young woman is being pursued by individuals who either want her or something she has. It’s all mysterious for the most part.

That set up isn’t anything new, exciting, or all that interesting, it’s pretty standard. And honestly, the episode is fairly boring until the last 15 minutes or so when the fighting begins. And that fight is what’s needed to wake you up from the sluggish and slow start. It’s brutal, really brutal, and in many ways creative. It’s what the Punisher is about in some ways. It’s an over the top jolt to get you to take notice.

The episode revolves around Jon Bernthal in the title role. He grumbles and mumbles his way through his lines and as a whole there’s issues with that from multiple characters. While some are easy to understand, others are too quiet, too mumbly. But, everyone is good in their roles.

The episode isn’t necessarily bad start. When the fight breaks out, it grabs your attention, but it takes a bit to get going and spends a lot of time setting up where Frank/the Punisher is with things. Pacing seems to be the issue because that latter segment is the exact opposite of the earlier and maybe that’s on purpose. But, when there’s so much on tv to choose from, it may not have been the best choice.

Overall Rating: 7.0

TV Review: Deadly Class S1E1 Pilot

Deadly SyFy

A disillusioned teen finds purpose and fights for survival at an elite academy for the Deadly Arts.

The latest comic adaptation to come to the screen is here as the much beloved and praised Deadly Class has officially debuted on SyFy.

Based on the comic series by Rick Remender with art by both Lee Loughridge and Wes Craig and published by Image Comics, the series focuses on a school that teaches kids to be the next generation of assassins.

Set in the 80s, there’s a lot taken from tropes of the time and a soundtrack that’ll take you back the 30+ years. As it’s set in high school, there’s the usual cliques and lots of references to the socio-political situation of the time.

The pilot is a slick debut that belies the fact it’s on SyFy, a channel I don’t usually associate with quality. Great looking, solid direction, and some animation thrown in, the pilot is a debut that immerses you into the world introducing you to it as it introduces our initial main character Marcus, played by Benjamin Wadsworth.

And this show is very much about the characters. This is an ensemble show featuring Benedict Wong, Lana Condor, Henry Rollins, and so many more. And the show nails the characters. Their tone, their look, it all feels like the comic come to life. Deadly Class is one of the finest comic adaptations to have come out on multiple levels.

The show knows its strength in the material with Remender involved that’s not surprising. There’s a certain cool about it all, not that we haven’t seen parts of this story elsewhere. Still, this combination, this world, is something interesting and to see it live and breathe on the small screen is pretty impressive. Here’s hoping what follows the pilot keeps it up and can deliver on what this initial episode promises.

Overall Rating: 9.0

Get a Sneak Peek of the Walking Dead Creator Robert Kirkman’s New TV Series Debuting Sunday

Dead by Dawn, the first-ever horror nature series produced by Skybound Entertainment and Love Productions, premieres on Nat Geo WILD on Sunday, January 13 at 9/8c. Two episodes will premiere back to back on the 13th.

Inspired by classic, modern and cult classic films, Dead by Dawn uses innovative storytelling techniques to infuse suspense, tension, and eeriness into the terrifyingly real stories of life in the wild…after dark. Each episode will feature wildlife in different countries, from Costa Rica to Indonesia to the swamps of the USA. Once the sun goes down, creatures of the night battle for survival.

Check out a ten minute preview.

The Hills Have Eyes

Sunday Jan 13 9/8c

The Arabian Desert comes to life at night, but where there’s life there’s death. After the sun sets, specialized predators emerge to take advantage of the cooler temperatures to feed through the night, from lizards that swim under the sand to spiders that run ten miles an hour.

Night of the Living Dead

Sunday Jan 13 10/9c

As the sun falls on the island of Java that denizens of this jungle metropolis are on edge. Nowhere is safe. Just before darkness swallows daylight, the night stalkers of Indonesia awaken with a lust for blood. Bats that eat 6,000 insects a night, baby pythons, and a fish that can crawl on land.

Netflix Pulls Production from North Carolina

Netflix

Netflix is no longer in the North Carolina business and has ended their production in the state over the the state’s anti-LGBTQ House Bill 2. The legislation remains on the books even though it was partially repealed and replaced with HB 142. Opponents feel the legislation still can be used to discriminate. HB 142 prevents municipalities to enact nondiscrimination ordinances covering any group not included in state law until 2020.

Netflix was to shoot the coming-of-age series OBX in the state. The legislation cost the town it was supposed to film in 70 jobs plus the influx of business associated with production. Instead, locations in South Carolina are being scouted as a replacement.

(via The Advocate)

Graphic Policy Radio Talks The Punisher Season 1 with Sean T Collins

Marvel’s The Punisher Season 2 is coming so at the recommendation of our guest, Graphic Policy Radio finally decided to cover Marvel Netflix The Punisher Season 1.

Sean T. Collins is the co-editor of the comics and art anthology Mirror Mirror II and a critic for the New York TimesRolling Stone, VultureDecider and many other publications.

Can two leftists enjoy a TV show about a character beloved by the “alt-right”? Yes. Stay tuned for:

  • “Reclaiming Punisher for the goths”
  • Frank Castle is Sandor Clegane
  • Micro is Edward Snowden
  • Metallica
  • Punisher fandom explained
  • “Punisher as a symbol for unfettered state violence against people who aren’t white”
  • Season 2 Trailer: exposed!

PS I love Sean’s ASOIAF / Game of Thrones podcast, Boiled Leather Audio Hour. Listen to it!

The Walking Dead Teases the Whisperers and Its Return in February

The Walking Dead returns to AMC February 10 and with it the communities will face a new enemy in the Whisperers. This new threat debuted in the comics in issue #130 and was a group of individuals who lived within the herds of walkers by wearing the skin of the dead. Led by the leaders Alpha and Beta, they were unlike anything that’s been dealt with before.

The show has teased this enemy for a bit of time and we’ve seen them in a few episodes already, though they haven’t been explained.

Today, AMC released a teaser of what we’ll be seeing in about a month’s time.

Josh Blaylock’s Mercy Sparx is Being Developed for Film and Television

On the heels of the news that the hit indie comic series will return in 2019, Assemble Media has partnered with Josh Blaylock to develop his Mercy Sparx character across film, tv, and digital.

Mercy Sparx follows the hard-knock exploits of a bad-ass, quick-to-throw-down demon who is kicked out of Hell for bad behavior and banished to Earth, where she finds a new mission from the most unlikely of sources… Heaven. Now amongst mortals, she hunts down rogue angels who have fallen from grace. Or in other words… she’s doing Heaven’s dirty work.

The long-running, punk rock, action-fueled supernatural series, created by Josh Blaylock with the primary art team of Matt Merhoff and Greg & Fake Studio, has spawned over twenty issues, four collected volumes and a 400-page omnibus.

Heller and Assemble execs Scott Veltri and Brendan Deneen will produce alongside producer Daniel Alter.

Batwoman Starring Ruby Rose Gets a Pilot Order by The CW

Batwoman

It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise but The CW has given a pilot order for a new show starring Ruby Rose as Batwoman. The show will be guided by DC TV czar Greg Berlanti and being penned by Caroline Dries. David Nutter will direct the episode. Berlanti, Dries, Nutter, Sarah Schechter, and Geoff Johns are exec producers.

Batwoman/Kate Kane debuted on the Arrowverse group of shows and their crossover event “Elseworlds.” Green Arrow and the Flash were forced to travel to Gotham in hopes of figuring out what was messing with reality. There, they meet Kate. In this version, Batman is missing (and a myth) and Kate has stepped in to fill the void. The event was a trial to see the reaction, which was overwhelmingly positive.

The character is described as an out lesbian and highly trained fighter who has no problem speaking her mind. With Batman missing, she’s forced into life as a crime-fighter when Gotham is overrun by chaos. She must “overcome her own demons” before she can save the city.

There have been numerous versions of the character who debuted in 1956 for DC Comics.

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