Tag Archives: Lee Toland Krieger

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TV Review: Superman and Lois S1E2 Heritage

Superman and Lois "Heritage"

Superman and Lois‘ second episode does a solid job of building off of the extended debut taking the series in a few focused directions. What’s impressive, much like the first episode, is the series’ ability to juggle and balance time for each of the characters. Each feels like they’re getting enough focus. Each plotline feels organic and makes sense. There’s nothing forced in at all. Most importantly, everything in the episode feels like it fits the episode’s title “Heritage“, a concept explored in multiple ways.

With the discovery of Jordan’s powers in the previous episode the lives of the Kent boys diverge a bit. Clark spends time attempting to teach Jordan a bit more about his heritage while also figuring out what he can do.

But, in Jordan’s absence, Jonathan is the one suffering for actions from the first episode. It’s clear that the crap is rolling over with Jordan’s issues impacting Jonathan. Jonathan suffers for his brother setting up the conflict to come between the two. It’s real world friction and something so many can relate to.

Clark has his own issues concerning the mysterious Captain Luthor doing… something. We get teases and hints as to what’s going on there. It appears this Luthor is from a different world and that Superman destroyed his. He’s now attempting to prevent that from happening to this planet as well. I’s an interesting plotline and leaves viewers wondering what about this world’s Luthor? We get our first idea of that.

But, the most grounded direction is that of Lois. Her examination of Morgan Edge, his promise of jobs, and whatever else he’s doing to Smallville, is the type of story that so many have experienced. There’s a real-world aspect to it that’s nice and brings the otherworldly aspects of the show into our world. The over-promise of large corporations and their lack of delivery is something we see in the real world. Exactly where this goes should be intriguing.

Superman and Lois does a great job of giving each of the characters screen time. “Heritage” allows the exploration of the Kryptonian aspects of the characters as well as their history in Smallville and that of their family. It easily moves around all of those effortlesly and does so in a way that everything works to enhance each other. While there’s flashy action sequences, Superman and Lois‘ best moments are the grounded ones.

Overall Rating: 8.0

Superman and Lois Delivers a Near Flawless Pilot

Superman and Lous

Summary: Superman and Lois’ return to idyllic Smallville is set to be upended by mysterious strangers.

Positives

The Superman and Lois Pilot gives an exceptional angle on the relationship between its protagonists. The previous live-action iterations have shown a more idyllic interpretation, but this one shows more of a partnership. It’s also clear that Clark is smitten with Lois. Elizabeth Tulloch’s portrayal of Lois is more grounded than every previous one by other actors. It’s more in line with her current portrayal in the comics. The introduction of their children gives me vibes of a show which I actually liked, Jack and Bobby. It also stands out in giving one of the children a disability, something we have not seen at all in any of the shows about superheroes. 

Tonally, this show is much different than the other CW shows, which actually is great. Many of Berlanti’s shows tend to take the same tone after a while. It feels like something that was conscientiously done differently in this debut. The casting in this show is phenomenal, as everyone in this, fits perfectly, especially Emmanuelle Chriqui, as Lana Lang, and Tulloch as Lois Lane. Tyler Hoechlin is probably the most natural casting of Superman since Christopher Reeve wore the tights. Hoechlin gives both gravitas and relatability in the same breath. The fact that the show introduces relevant issues, like predatory lending, reverse mortgages, and xenophobia, puts a spotlight on societal ills much like Black Lightning has done in their previous two seasons.

Negatives

Superman and Lois is a near flawless pilot. The only things I can really gripe about is some of the story choices. The first being that his child doesn’t know his true identity. I’m guessing this is something that they are using as a plot device and will explore further in the future. The second one being that Clark’s parents have passed away. I would have loved to see more of that dynamic in this series.

Verdict

The Pilot for Superman and Lois is an extremely compelling and remarkable episode that proves the hype is to be believed. This is a very unique show which mixes family dynamics and superheroes, improving on Black Lightning’s formula. This is one that everyone should be watching.


Director: Lee Toland Krieger
Writers: Greg Berlanti and Todd Helbing
Starring: Tyler Hoechlin, Elizabeth Tulloch, Erik Valdez, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Jordan Elsass, Alex Garfin, Katrina Kwan, Inde Navarrettem, Julie Nolin, Joselyn Picard, Adan Rayner, and Dylan Walsh

Get a First Look at Origins #1

BOOM! Studios has revealed a first look at the premiere issue of the science fiction comic book series, Origins. The limited series by creators Arash Amel, Joseph Oxford, and Lee Toland Krieger, with acclaimed writer Clay McLeod Chapman, illustrator Jakub Rebelka, colorist Patricio Delpeche, and letterer Jim Campbell, and producer Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, presents a stunning view of a future where humanity’s last hope may be the person who brought about its destruction, available in November 2020.

One thousand years after humans have gone extinct and artificial intelligence has taken over the world, a single man is brought back to life—David Adams, the genius whose technology was responsible for the destruction of his species, and who has been given a second chance at life in order to save mankind and undo his biggest mistake. 

But even with the help of Chloe, his first creation and the android that revived him, he may not be enough to reignite the spark of humanity or stop the AI overlords who plan to eliminate the last hope for mankind. David and Chloe must embark on the greatest journey of their lives, as he seeks to find redemption and discover if humanity can—or should—have any kind of future.

Origins #1, featuring main cover art by Rebelka, will be available for sale on November 4, 2020

ORIGINS #1

Sci-Fi Epic Origins Debuts As New Limited Series in November 2020

BOOM! Studios has announced the launch of science fiction epic, Origins, as a new comic book series. The limited series by creators Arash Amel, Joseph Oxford, and Lee Toland Krieger, acclaimed writer Clay McLeod Chapman, illustrator Jakub Rebelka, colorist Patricio Delpeche, and letterer Jim Campbell and producer Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, presents a stunning view of a future where humanity’s last hope may be the person who brought about its destruction, available in November 2020.

One thousand years after humans have gone extinct and artificial intelligence has taken over the world, a single man is brought back to life—David Adams, the genius whose technology was responsible for the destruction of his species, and who has been given a second chance at life in order to save mankind and undo his biggest mistake. 

But even with the help of Chloe, his first creation and the android that revived him, he may not be enough to reignite the spark of humanity or stop the AI overlords who plan to eliminate the last hope for mankind. David and Chloe must embark on the greatest journey of their lives, as he seeks to find redemption and discover if humanity can – or should – have any kind of future.

Origins #1 features main and variant cover art by Rebelka.

Origins #1

Your First Look at Origins from BOOM! Studios

BOOM! Studios has revealed a first look at Origins, a brand new original graphic novel by Arash Amel, Joseph Oxford, and Lee Toland Krieger, acclaimed writer Clay McLeod Chapman, illustrator Jakub Rebelka, colorist Patricio Delpeche, and letterer Jim Campbell, that presents a stunning view of a future where humanity’s last hope may be the person who created its destruction, available in October 2020.

One thousand years after humans have gone extinct and artificial intelligence has taken over the world, a single man is brought back to life—David Adams, the genius whose technology was responsible for the destruction of his species, and who has been given a second chance at life in order to save mankind and undo his biggest mistake. But even with the help of Chloe, his first creation and the android that revived him, he may not be enough to reignite the spark of humanity or stop the AI overlords who plan to eliminate the last hope for mankind. David and Chloe must embark on the greatest journey of their lives, as he seeks to find redemption and discover if humanity can – or should – have any kind of future.

Origins will be available for sale on October 14, 2020 at local comic book shops and on October 20, 2020 at bookstores.

Origins

Discover the Birth of Humanity in Origins

BOOM! Studios announced today Origins, a brand new original graphic novel by Arash Amel, Joseph Oxford, and Lee Toland Krieger, acclaimed writer Clay McLeod Chapman and illustrator Jakub Rebelka, that presents a stunning view of a future where humanity’s last hope may be the person who created its destruction, available in October 2020.

One thousand years after humans have become extinct and replaced by artificial intelligence, a single man is brought back to life – David Adams, who created the technology that destroyed his people. Even with the help of the same android who revived him, Adams may not be enough to reignite the spark of humanity – and stop the AI overlords who plan to eliminate mankind permanently. Now Adams embarks on the greatest journey of his life, as he seeks to find redemption for his biggest mistake and discover if humanity can – or should – have any kind of future.

Sabrina the Teenage Witch Returns to Television Courtesy of The CW

Get ready for an intense look into the world of magic and witchcraft with The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, a new one-hour dark drama/horror project based on the classic Archie Comics character. The new project is eyed to debut in The CW‘s 2018-19 television season as a companion to Riverdale. It shouldn’t be surprised to see the series as Riverdale has been a hit for The CW and the comic series it’s based off of is well regarded.

The new show will be written by Archie Comics Chief Creative Officer and Riverdale Showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, directed by Lee Toland Krieger, and produced by Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Brothers Studios. Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schecter, Jon Goldwater, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Lee Toland Krieger serve as executive producers.

Sabrina will draw from the comic book series from Archie Comics written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and artist Robert Hack, detailing the compelling and shocking re-imagining of Sabrina the Teenage Witch’s occult origins. This dark coming-of-age story deals with horror, the occult, and witchcraft and will see Sabrina struggle to reconcile her dual nature of being half-witch and half-mortal while protecting her family and the world from the forces of evil.

Casting and additional news on the new series will be revealed in the months to come.

Archie Gets Hot in Riverdale S1E1 “The River’s Edge”

riverdalefi

In its pilot, ” The River’s Edge”, Riverdale wholeheartedly embraces the fact that it’s the part of the teen soap opera genre and kind of becomes the CW’s spiritual successor to the WB’s Dawson’s Creek.  There are cheerleading/football tryouts, queen bees, teacher/student affairs, love triangles, school dances and of course, existential crises. But writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who penned the excellent Afterlife with Archie comic, adds an extra layer with what looks to be a season-long mystery plot centered around the death of Jason Blossom, who died while on a boat trip with his sister and “soulmate” Cheryl Blossom. Yes, the incest vibes from Aguirre-Sacasa’s Afterlife with Archie series are intact, and Cheryl makes an excellent manipulative villain, but with an otherworldly gaze and speaking voice from Madelaine Petsch.

Aguirre-Sacasa and director Lee Toland Frieger are totally cool with Riverdale being a stylized teen drama. That’s what Archie Comics have been for years, a closed off fictional universe where the choices of “cool teens” (As described by Jughead writer Ryan North.) have the most important bearing. It’s a world where a ginger teenager’s choice between two girls, or in this case, balancing school, writing his own angsty, yet pretty good music, playing varsity football, and working at his dad’s construction business is the center of the universe. Seemingly mundane things are so epic in this universe and adding a dead student and a literally steamy affair between Archie and his music teacher (The extremely de-aged.) Ms. Grundy adds a touch of darkness behind the bright high school tropes, the small town setting, and loads of comic book Easter Eggs. There are obvious ones like Jughead’s crown hat and also more erudite ones, like MLJ Comics, or the original name for Archie Comics, being the name of the comic book store in town.

The best character in Riverdale is easily the timely film reference dropping, impeccably dressed Veronica Lodge, played by Camila Mendes. Aguirre-Sacasa doesn’t set Betty (Lili Reinhart) and Veronica up as rivals just yet as Veronica doesn’t want to be a vengeful ice queen like she was in New York and become a better person. The scene at the cheerleading tryout (Really, who approved them being called the Rivervixens. That doesn’t sound like a real animal to me…) cements their bond as Veronica stands up for Betty to join the squad. After losing most of her wealth and privilege when her father Hiram is accused of some kind of big ticket white-collar crime, Veronica wants to stop being a mean girl and become a good person with her fresh start in Riverdale. But then Archie and Veronica get stuck in a room playing Seven Minutes in Heaven, have an obvious spark as they move closer to each other, start to talk fast, and then slow. And they smooch, and the friendship between Betty and Veronica is shattered although Veronica tries to mend it by immediately running to Betty’s house to talk her down.

bettyveronicaarchie

Frieger uses spacing to create relationships (and chemistry) between characters. For example, there are lots of quick camera cuts when Veronica is confronting Cheryl about not picking Betty for the cheering squad. Cheryl is using to having her way in Riverdale, but hey, there’s a new queen in town. He uses a touch of slow-mo early on in the episode when it seems like Archie and Betty are on a date, but then Veronica walks in with her mom, Hermione Lodge, and he forgets Betty even exists. Kudos to veteran TV sound editor Mike Marchain for making us feel like Veronica is the only person in the room, and she is in Archie’s eyes. Frieger also enjoys cutting to Cheryl Blossom in the background of drama heavy showing that she is puppet master behind the scenes of Riverdale High even though as far as being Jason’s murderer, she’s a fairly literal red herring.

Even though Molly Ringwald’s Mrs. Andrews character is light episodes away, Riverdale doesn’t fall into some teen movie/show’s traps and has some compelling adult characters to round out the cast of attractive twenty-somethings. Luke Perry as Fred Andrews is a dependable and pragmatic and is totally cool with his son choosing music over football and working for him. He gives great advice about to Archie about being “confident” in his interests and has a friendly vibe with Hermione Lodge even though he doesn’t trust her. Marisol Nichols as Hermione is a bit uppity, but I couldn’t hate her after she took Veronica to Pop’s early on in the pilot. But winning the award for the creepiest character in Riverdale is Betty’s mom, Alice Cooper. This is probably because she was waitress Shelly Johnson on Twin Peaks, and Mrs. Cooper is paranoid about everything ever since Betty’s older sister Polly ran away from home. She flinches every time she sees red hair because Polly used to date Jason Blossom and isn’t a fan of Basically, every time she catches a whiff of teen sexuality (Which is the entire pilot to be honest.), Alice clutches her pearls a bit more.

Chapter One: The River's Edge

At the end of the pilot, I realized that I was little underwhelmed by KJ Apa’s performance as Archie Andrews. He definitely has leading man looks, but is a bit douchey and seems overwhelmed by everything around him. Reinhart and Mendes more than make up for his shortcomings by giving Betty and Veronica tons of personality, and Aguirre-Sacasa enjoys messing with that love triangle by having him take them both to the dance while making his feeling about Betty just platonic for now. For now, he is an almost empty protagonist vessel, but his passion about pursuing music and secret affair with Ms. Grundy show that not-so-little Archie has potential as a lead.

josie

Even though most of “The River’s Edge’s” running time is concerned with the life and romantic foibles of Archie Andrews, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa fills the margins of the episode with some great Archie characters. Even though he occasionally falls into the “gay best friend” cliche (And Cheryl Blossom calls him out on this.), Kevin Keller brings some much needed humor to Riverdale and also is someone that Betty can bounce her feelings off platonically. Reggie Mantle is a total bro, but Josie and the Pussycats are fabulous as ever, and in one monologue delivered by Ashleigh Murry, they make a case for having their own spinoff far away from this small town drama. I was a little disappointed by Cole Sprouse’s Jughead, who narrates the episode and is an introverted blogger with a strained relationship with Archie. Hopefully, he becomes as endearing as the Jughead written by Chip Zdarsky and Ryan North soon.

“The River’s Edge” is a little dark, very soapy, and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa hits the target as far as the character of Betty and Veronica are concerned. Riverdale could definitely be your new TV guilty pleasure with a strong mystery hook, tons of angsty teen romances, and some pretty musical montages. (There should be a Tegan and Sara song every episode because honestly Betty and Veronica should ditch Archie and date each other.)

Episode Rating: 8.0

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