Category Archives: Television

Review/Recap: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow “Miss Me, Kiss Me, Love Me” S5E2

Since the second episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow season 5 didn’t air as promised because of the State of the Union, the CW slipped it on Sunday night with little fanfare. Luckily, I have Legends on my DVR’s always record list, so It was nice to see this episode when I came up for air after binging on Locke & Key. It also means that we get TWO episodes of Legends this week.

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In “Miss Me, Kiss Me, Love Me the Legends are on the hunt for the evil fresh from hell released souls. Constantine visits Astra in Hell and she is living her best demon life, living for all the power that she’s getting from the corruption her released serial killer souls are causing.  Nate is trying to find a way to replay the secret message from Zari that no one remembers but him and he goes to meet Z’s family with her brother, Behrad, who has taken her place on the ship and in the team’s mind. This makes things hella awkward when Zari shows up and is a social media celebrity and not a figment of Nate’s imagination like everyone thought.

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While Ava & Rory stay on the ship to provide “support,” Sara, Ray & Constantine, head to 1947 Los Angeles on the hunt for this episode’s encore, Bugsy Siegel and the latest timequake who’s using hellfire to take over the city after coming back from the dead.  The 1947 members of the team find themselves working as PI’s to help hide out Bugsy’s girlfriend who is very afraid of him and his new powers so Ava and Rory get to join the mission.

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WHAT WORKED: This episode was a beautifully crafted camped up film noir complete with double-crosses and more femme fatales than you could shake a stick at. It was so well written and cohesive that even in the scenes where Nate and B are in the future/past with B’s family the social media lite version of Z is acting hella femme fatalesque in her mission to find out what her brother is really up to.

Legend‘s manages to build a believable, interesting and clever story around what would under any other circumstances be ridiculous. From the way they introduced the characters to the way that they take them down, everything fits together in a way that makes sense and allows you to let go and become immersed in the world of the Legend‘s. I also love the way that each episode makes the story style conform to the period that the Legend‘s have traveled to.

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BEST MOMENT: When Zari gets beamed up to the Waverider after threatening to expose B as a fraud and freaks out. It was nice to have her back on board even if she isn’t Z that we grew to love and I look forward to seeing how this whole thing plays out.

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BEST LINE: Not a line so much as a whole scene of lines in the form of a song when Ava does a beautiful 1940’s version of Poison and I was living for it with complete jazz band and it was everything… especially when you realize that it was all in her head and she is in fact that worst singer on the face of the timeline!

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EPISODE MVP:  Ava. She doesn’t just take one for the team, she takes the whole episode with her do anything for the mission and her girl mentality. She was so open and honest about her feelings about going from the big boss to essentially a sidekick, she also talked about her uncertainty about what comes next and her need to be wanted and useful. Ava always comes off as a tough, headstrong cookie and to see her vulnerable side was refreshing especially since the writers wrote the scenes in such a way that there was a build-up to the emotional honest moment with Rory, making it so that she came out of that bar scene appearing stronger and even more badass than she already was.

It was also very nice to see her finally let go and to see how much Sara truly loves her, when she lets her keep on having fun and doesn’t give her crap about her bad singing and dancing or when she stops Rory from showing her the video of her beautifully tragic performance. It was loving and caring and beautiful to see on TV.

OVERALL: 9.2

Review: Locke & Key “Head Games ” S1E3

Locke & Key‘s third episode was all about the Head Key. The kids enter Tyler and Kinsey’s minds to dig up more memories of their father and deal with the trauma from their sudden loss of their dad. Bode finds the Ghost Key and uses it to talk to some of his ancestors since he can’t talk to his dad with it. Lady Dodge grabs the Fire Key from the ruins of Mark’s house and Kinsey literally buries her fears.

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WHAT WORKED: In Head Games  Bode finally comes clean about the Lady, which is some info that the older siblings should have had from the beginning since they had no idea what they were actually up against. The title is a play on words and gives off a lot of hints about things that directly affect the episode’s progression. We learn more about the Head Key, how it can put things into your head and take things out just as easily as it allows you to just look around. The episode also deals with trauma and recovery from it, in some very real and honest ways, Tyler and Kinsey have been holding a lot of emotions, from guilt to anger, about their actions when their father was being murdered.

All those emotions are pushed front and center as the kids use the keys to open up memories but, to confront their inner demons (Kinsey does this literally and figuratively, although not in the healthiest of ways) and try to make sense of things. Up until this point, the keys were just fun and games, an easy fix to their real-world problems but, in this episode, the other shoe drops and the kids are forced to get somewhat on the same page with the Lady Dodge threat becoming real for all of them.

I liked that the writers took time to showcase all forms of dealing with stress and emotional trauma, they seem to have carefully written the story to make it clear that there is no right, or wrong way, to grieve or deal with trauma and there are no short cuts to dealing with it either. What was great about the way they handled their trauma depictions was that they didn’t say there was a wrong way or a right way, they just showed what was and it made their pain understandable, heartfelt and sincere which created a connection with the viewer on a human level.

BEST MOMENT: When Lady Dodge snatches a kids key from him and throws him on a subway platform through a new door it was shocking. But, it also provided us with first-hand visual knowledge of how ruthless she was and it set the tone for her future interactions with the Locke kids and anyone else who gets in her way. This seems summed up everything that you really needed to know about who Lady Dodge was and in a few simple frames took Locke & Key from a fantasy kid’s show to a dark fantasy show where anything could happen.

OVERALL: 8.4

Watchmen on HBO: Black Wall Street, “Trust In the Law”, masks & politics

Victor Luckerson is writing a book about Tulsa’s Black Wall Street, which was highlighted by HBO‘s Watchmen series. Felicia Perez is the Innovation Director at the Center for Story-based Strategy. We team up to look at the real history and current politics behind the most 2019 of HBO shows. Also, check out Victor’s essay in the New Yorker: “The Great Achievement of Watchmen is Showing How Black Americans Shape History

Discussed:

  • Lady Trieu is Batman
  • Why it took me so long to cover this show (partially Alan Moore)
  • The power and danger of Nostalgia
  • America’s messed-up relationship with history
  • The problem with conspiracies
  • Ohhhhhklahoma! (is not OK)
  • and of course, the actual comics. 

Victor Luckerson: Twitter and newsletter runitback.substack.com.

Felicia Perez Facebook and Twitter 

and me, send me feedback! Twitter

Review: Locke & Key “Trapper/Keeper” S1E2

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In the second episode of Locke & Key “Trapper/Keeper” the Locke kids dig deeper into the mystery of the keys while dealing with their mom, Nina, who still has no idea that anything hinky went on with the mirror. Bode discovers the “head key” and takes a fun voyage around his mind to see lovely memories of his dad and they figure out that some keys don’t open doors with handles, some keys can open doors using your body as a keyhole. We also get to meet Lucas which means Bode gets a new friend and if this goes anything like the comics, he’s super important to the story.

WHAT WORKED: The siblings are really starting to work together, I also liked the slow intros of the new characters that are going to round out the stories. The show seems to be deviating a bit from the source material, which is to be expected, but they seem to be pulling it off flawlessly in a way that keeps source fans interested and on their toes and, allows new viewers to get immersed.

I thought that the acting, directing and writing were all spot on. The darkish colors in the production set against the brightness and hope that Bode seems to beam off of his ever-light face was visually brilliant and showed a literal light at the end of the tunnel. The story was easy to follow and engaging even if you didn’t know anything about the comic before your friend, or the internet, told you that you had to check the show out.

WHAT DIDN’T: It’s not so much that it didn’t work but, it just kind of annoyed me that Tyler lied about having sex with Eden. That was a trash thing to do especially when he knows how he would have reacted if anything like that happened to his sister and while I’m a fan of men/boys coming to a decision on how to treat people based on how they want to be treated based on their existence as a human being, it just stung a bit more because it was out of character for Tyler as a “person.” The whole thing kind of was a footnote and wasn’t really brought up, aside from Parker saying she knew what really happened, and if it wasn’t going to be a plot point or an impediment to Tyler and Parker, I don’t know why it happened at all. Especially since, in the real world, Parker would have avoided Tyler like the plague for that, whether he came clean or not, so it was just a bit unsettling.

BEST MOMENT: Kinsey on set helping Sam and the Savini’s make their horror movie magic. When she froze, covered in blood because of her trauma flashback, it was flawless, a moment filled with realness, emotion, and honesty. The talent that it took to make the viewers know what she was feeling and in some way feel what she was feeling while she sat there, covered in blood was beyond amazing. The show really has a way of making viewers connect with the audience and feel like they too are apart of the story and the key hunt is pure magic.

OVERALL: 8.2

Review: Locke & Key “Welcome to the Matheson” S1E1

The premiere episode of Locke & Key kicks off with a man receiving a call from an unnamed caller informing him that “Rendell Locke is dead.” As he enters his home he inserts a key into his chest and immediately bursts into flames taking his home with him. We’re then transported to the back seat of a car where Rendell Locke’s three children and his newly widowed wife are headed from Seattle to Massachusetts, which sets up the catalyst to the events of the series.

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The Locke children Tyler, Kinsey, Bode, and their mother Nina, arrive at their new home and are greeted by their uncle Duncan who gives them the grand tour of the very large house where they’ll be staying. While Kinsey bonds with uncle Duncan over their artistic talents and Bode goes on a hunt for his new room, Tyler slips off into the woods behind the house to sneak a smoke and bask in teen angst while dealing with his feelings about his dad and his death.

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS: Locke & Key is heavy on the pop culture references both in the visual callbacks and the conversations without being too heavy-handed or obvious. It’s a slow start for a series premiere but “Welcome to Matheson” sets off a nice slow burn that shows a lot of promise for things to come in future episodes. I also thought that it provided a nice starting point to get you familiar with the characters and an idea of the plot so even people who aren’t familiar with the source material can follow along.

WHAT WORKED: The writers and director truly understand that television is a visual medium, so they played heavily on that. The subtle visuals that foreshadowed all that was to come and the flashback showing what happened to Rendell Locke, how he died, and what happened to affect his widow and the kids were equal parts heartbreaking and informative.

I also like how they deal with Tyler and Kinsey’s trauma from what happened when their dad died and they didn’t try to sweep it under the rug or create a cliched existence where they are boilerplate and tragic (not that that doesn’t happen). I liked that the episode showcases that there is more than one way to grieve, or not grieve, and any grief can have lasting consequences that we might not even know about until something happens that triggers a memory.

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EASTER TIME: There are so many Easter Eggs in this episode both book related and pop culture related. The book-related ones give a lot of hints as to what’s to come this season and the pop culture ones are just fun. I really dig that they didn’t make the pop culture related easter eggs

BEST MOMENT: When the older kids finally realize that Bode is telling the truth and work together to save their mom from the mirror. I know it’s cliched but there’s something to be said for the simplicity of this reveal and the way it sets the kids up as the heroes of the series. It wasn’t over the top or flashy, it was just common sense and teamwork which is a good starting point if they’re going to save the world.

BEST LINE(S) :

“Were you just flipping off the house” – Bode

” No, I was saying goodbye. There’s more than one meaning to the middle finger”- Uncle Duncan

“Like Aloha”- Bode

“Yeah, like Aloha” – Uncle Duncan

“Aloha” – Bode as he sticks up his middle finger

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“I like my fologna just fine” – Kinsey (regarding her faux bologna sandwich she’s eating alone in the stairway when Scott shows up)

“First of all fologna doesn’t even like itself…” – Scott

EPISODE MVP: Bode for being our guide into the world of the keys, for figuring out how the keys work and being a true believer in a house of skeptics. Sure, he makes some rookie mistakes but, he’s a kid and he seems to be lacking in supervision as he roams the grounds, and the city,  so he deserves an award for being so darn chipper and naive despite all the tragedy he’s been through. Yeah, he makes a lot of missteps but, there’s something refreshing about him not being a know-it-all or over precocious and I like that he’s just a kid trying to make his way through all the crazy things that are being thrown at him. Even though he screws up and hands the Anywhere Key over to the series big bad he is hella determined to make things right and he’s kind of fearless in the face of things that would destroy someone else.

OVERALL: 7.9

It’s Twins for Wanda and Vision?

Marvel released a teaser video showing off the upcoming shows The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, WandaVision, and Loki. While there were a lot of new things to see, it’s a scene about 22 seconds in that has us excited.

WandaVision shows off Wanda in various incarnations, including her classic red costume, in a domestic setting. It gives off a vibe of the acclaimed comics series The Vision by Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta. Wanda has reality-warping powers and the show seems to indicate we may see the use of those powers (and maybe their going out of control) during her grieving the Vision.

In some of it, she looks pregnant and rumors have swirled that the show would feature the “birth” and debut of her comics “kids” in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

In the teaser video, it seems like that just might be the case.

At about 22 seconds in we see Wanda and Vision looking proud over two pieces of furniture and then quickly two pacifiers are spit into the air.

Will we be seeing the twins Tommy and Billy? We’ll have to wait and see when WandaVision debuts on Disney+ later this year.

Review: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina “Chapter Twenty-Eight: Sabrina is Legend” S3E8

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We’ve come to the end of our journey and to catch you up on the key bits of what happened leading up to this point.

(This review is spoiler heavy but, I won’t give away the full ending)

WHAT YOU MISSED:

Agatha went crazy thanks to Pan and killed Dorcas causing Prudence to kill her to save herself but, it didn’t matter because Blackwood snuck up behind her and killed her.

Priestess Marie stood guard over Zelda while she saw her actual dead and realizes that now isn’t the time and her brother Edward showed Zelda how to regain the covens strength but, it didn’t matter because Faustus was waiting for her when she came to and stabbed her in the chest.

Ambrose is hunting Blackwood with all the rage of a man who has lost almost everything.

The carnival pagans have captured their virgin sacrifice and are about to bring Greendale and the world to heel.

Caliban has the coins and tricked Sabrina, trapped her in the walls of a volcano in hell and stole the throne of hell.

Theo lost her first love because once the carnival pagans caught them, they killed him for his betrayal and are forcing Theo and Roz to watch as the tree drains Harvey and brings the green god to life.

WHAT HAPPENS NOW: The episode opens with Ambrose explaining what has happened since Sabrina was encased in the volcano. The Pagans won, beat back Caliban on his crusade to make earth the tenth circle. And, we find Sabrina in a time loop where she needs to get the Unholy Regalia but, hell has been abandoned and Caliban was destroyed by the archangel Michael. Sabrina has regained her full power after swapping places with her future self and is able to rule an empty, except for Judas, Pilate and Herod who she quickly brings to heel and that’s just the beginning!

WHAT WORKED: Sabrina’s very real pain, expertly acted and believably written, while she picks herself up after seeing what has become of Greendale and tries to figure out how to save all that she loves. The story in this episode is emotional, intense and rings true with sincerity beaming from every scene, word, and actor. There is minimal camp and more dark drama and it sets the stage for a fitting end to this season.

I also liked that Harvey got to wait until HE was ready to lose his virginity and they didn’t make a big deal out of it, body autonomy and consent is for everyone.

BEST MOMENTS: Watching the pagans bullshit fall apart when they swapped their virgin sacrifice for the witch who makes green things barren, Pesta, the witch of pestilence and killed the plant god.

Roz saved Harvey from a gorgon!

Hilda got mad! You wouldn’t like Hilda when she’s mad, I mean I loved her mad but, Circe wasn’t ready for it.

Prudence killed a whole damn god with the sword she’s been wanting to use this whole season.

Hilda gets the love of her life back and Zelda finds love with Priestess Marie and I’m here for all of the love!

Sabrina goes home AND stays in hell as queen because there’s future Sabrina and present Sabrina, who says a girl can’t have it all.

EPISODE’S MVP: Every witch on the screen that we met, were on some rise of fall together, sisters are doing it for themselves, badass magic and they kicked all the ass and I loved every moment of it. With a special mention to Zelda who woke up from the netherworld and WOKE UP, she slayed the patriarchy, got her sister back from the dead, helped put the town to sleep, figured out how to save the coven, stopped seeing other women as competition and became the unbothered and unfuckwitable role model we have been waiting for her to be for three seasons.

FINAL THOUGHTS: This episode, hands down was the best episode of the series, not the season but, of all the seasons and episodes Sabrina has had. The callbacks to previous episodes in this season and all the seasons was a well-crafted piece of cinematic magic. Everything that happened in these past three seasons has led up to this and it was worth it to see the show grow from campy fun time guilty pleasure to mature dark drama thriller and it was wonderful to watch Sabrina go on this magical do-over to find her path. The ride or die friends are family fight together love that binds them all was beautiful and watching Zelda pull all the magic in the world and taking her power back to fight the pagans and bring her sister back from the death itself. This episode is everything you have ever wanted in an episode of a supernatural show and I am all the way here for it.

Overall: 9.2

Review: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina “Chapter Twenty-Seven: The Judas Kiss” S3E7

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In the first five minutes of The Judas Kiss Sabrina finds Zelda’s dying body in the foyer and Ambrose calls for reinforcements in the form of Prudence who brings her newfound voodoo queen Marie along to help and banshee wails in the front yard. Madame Satan has separated Blackwood from Lucifer in exchange for him getting her pregnant with a male heir and Blackwood getting the mark of Cain. Lucifer sets out to fix the mess Sabrina made in hell while the Carnival Pagans ready themselves for their green god to return and Blackwood decides to join them in exchange for revenge against the witches.

WHAT WORKED: Theo and Robin’s organic relationship is sweet and refreshing, he accepts him as he is and Theo deserves it, even if Robin is a hobgoblin. Having Sabrina keep true to the character and choosing to go toe to toe with Vlad the Impaler instead of betraying her bestie Roz was touching.

UNHOLY CRAP: While Theo and Robin do the deed so that he can’t be sacrificed as he is no longer a virgin, Harvey’s safety might be in jeopardy when Roz sees Sabrina as they try to get down, causing Harvey to come clean.

Lucifer shows up in hell and starts cracking necks, literally, until he finds out of the quest for the unholy regalia has begun and he is going to need to put his powers into helping her if he wants to keep his throne.

Robin was not kidding when he said that hobgoblins were fast and when he showed up to save Theo and his friends, I almost cried and when Roz knew how to get ahold of Sabrina because she’s her best friend was next level beautiful sisterhood.

BEST LINE:

“Consent. It’s real!” – Sabrina to Vlad the Impaler as he chokes on her half celestial blood when he tries to drain her blood in his tomb. Yes, sis! YES!

BEST MOMENT:

Tie!

The Spellman Family reunited in the netherworld, Edward included and getting a taste of what their dynamic was like, helping Zelda come to terms with who she is and find out the truth of who Edward was.

Sabrina using the Ravenettes cheer squad to cast a spell to reenergize the coven by having then performed to “Oh, Mickey” while the coven chants in the background which gives the coven just enough juice to transport the coven to hell and the cheerleaders back to Baxter High just as Blackwood bursts through the doors.

EPISODE’S MVP: Ambrose is devoted, kind, intelligent and a force to be reckoned with. He always works in the shadows, never taking the glory but, happy to fight for who he loves and guide them on their quests. His selflessness is the stuff that heroes are made of and with all the actual hell breaking loose in The Judas Kiss this makes him this episode MVP.

Overall: 8.2

Review: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina “Chapter Twenty-Six: All of Them Witches” S3E6

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In keeping with the Odysseus story, Circe turned the towns jocks into pigs who are being held in Theo’s barn, which made Robin come clean about who he really is and Sabrina and Ambrose figured out a way to lure the Dark Lord’s residue out of Nick and use it to help the coven, which was a hell of way to leave things but, gave us so many juicy things to look forward to in All of Them Witches. Things are still tense between Nick and Sabrina and he’s still going it solo and wanting Sabrina to do the same and the witches that the covens transmission summoned is right pissed, which is where this episode picked up.

Zelda tries to convince the fringe witches to join their cause and save the Academy and what’s left of the coven from the wrath of Pan. Hilda tries to enjoy her last days a human witch with her fiance, Sabrina is trying to deal with her heartbreak over the Nick break up while engaging in final death with Caliban for the final piece of the Unholy Regalia while Madam Satan starts to get weird gifts from Lucifer marking his return for revenge.

WHAT WORKED: The sisterhood coming together to banish a bigger threat, the Pagans, and the old gods. Prudence showing compassion to Sabrina and offering a cord-cutting spell to rid Sabrina of her pain and challenging her to figure out what SHE wants instead of harping on the past with Nick.

WHAT I LIKED: Caliban coming through in the clutch to offer to help Sabrina and them having a moment as he lays out his plan to rule hell together by taking turning Earth into the Tenth Circle of Hell off the table. Sabrina and Caliban have a lot in common and I like their banter, I don’t think they belong together because Sabrina seems to need time to find herself but, it’s nice to have it on the table.

Prudence standing up for diversity and championing the black witch. It kind of felt like an ode to how white feminism works and excludes women of color and invalidates what they bring to the table and keeps the divide going that keeps us all down, witch or no witch, it’s the same story,  different battle and it always needs to be addressed because until witches, or women, get on the same page we/they will continue to fail.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE: Sabrina making a play for Harvey, not for a moral reason, do you but, for the fact that it’s a girl code violation of the highest order.

BEST MOMENT: Hilda and her beloved doing Sweeney Todd musical numbers were adorable and then she turned into a spider. There were a few things that happen in the interim before we go back to them but when we do and the initial shock has worn off Mr. Cee is just as all in for love as he ever was, human-sized spider body and all and it is pure, beautiful and everything!

EPISODE’S MVP: Gryla, I have loved her since the Christmas episode, she’s the epitome of every exhausted mother and I love for her no-fucks-to-give attitude. She loves her ghost children even though they’re mischievous and she’s a badass. Whenever she shows up, all other witches are irrelevant.

Overall: 8.1

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