Tag Archives: Television

TV Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S4E19 All the Madame’s Men

Daisy teams up with an unlikely partner; Aida prepares to put her endgame into effect.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is interesting in that the final game plan for Aida is clear and it doesn’t make a hell of a lot of sense when you think about it.

Aida is using Fitz to try to build a system to give her a real body, because? I don’t quite understand the reasoning behind it all since she’s a robot, has free will for the most part, and is in full control. Why would she want to make herself weaker? This also the question as to why she’s keeping everyone alive? Other than Fitz, I’m not really seeing the point at all.

But the episode is all about that build to the point where the team will eventually defeat her and escape. We know it’s coming, it’s just more of a question as a how and what the fallout will be.

What’s also interesting is so many characters being willing to accept that they don’t live in the real world and go along with things. There’s some serious flaws in Aida’s program apparently. You’d think she’d make it all work in her favor a bit more, wouldn’t you?

This part of the season has gotten to the point where the concept is better than the actual execution. It’s not bad and there’s lots of action but the holes in the plot are a bit too big to ignore.

With the future of the show up in the air, it’ll be interesting see how far the series will go, and maybe it’ll be able to revitalize itself a bit before the season wraps up. The story here had a lot of promise when it began but has quickly fallen into a lot of the issues that we’ve seen before.

Overall Score: 7.05

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TV Review: iZombie S3E4 Wag the Tongue Slowly

normal_izombietv_s01promo_001-1~0Liv consumers the brain of a murder victim who had the reputation of being an office gossiper; Blaine and Peyton grow closer as they wait to see if Ravi is able to reverse the effects of the cure; Major is one step away from fulfilling a promise.

iZombie gives us an episode that mostly sticks to its formula in this episode but what the series seems to be doing in its third season is adding in a bigger mystery, well really mysteries.

Most of the episode focuses on a murder which has Liv consuming a brain to help figure out who the murder is. It’s the usual for the show and Rose McIver is always fantastic playing off the various personality quirks of her new brain. That story is interesting and there’s lots of fun, and funny, moments that keep it interesting.

But, the episode is really about those ongoing stories.

The fix to the zombie cure, the zombie killer, Blaine and Peyton, that’s all explored here and then some. And I think that’s where this season is really standing out. It’s able to mix in four or five different plotlines in a way that’s not completely clear how they all come together and every single bit feels like it has more than enough time to move it forward and entertain.

As always, the cast is fantastic and how they interact always stands out. When it really comes to having fun and seeming like they’re having fun, this cast and show really stands out. And here too, we get that, even when the story itself is a little dark.

iZombie constantly entertains and this season has picked up after a slow and odd start. Consistently it delivers one of the most fun hours of television and consistently has me laughing and putting a smile on my face.

Overall Rating: 7.65

TV Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S4E18 No Regrets

The truth behind Fitz’s turn threatens to bring down all of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. builds towards the eventual battle with Aida as the team makes some moves to free some individuals and gain more allies. There’s also some questions as to Jemma’s loyalties and what she knows.

The episode to me is mostly forgettable though. There’s the return of Trip which is great to see since he’s a favorite of mine, but other than that, it’s rather blah as a whole. There’s action. There’s some solid sneaking around. But, it’s all about the end of the episode.

But, watching this episode, I can’t help but thinking, of all the holes that are in our faces. Aida is shown with the bodies of all of the individuals in the construct which had me wondering why she hasn’t bothered killing them? There’s also a character getting Terrigen mist around her, but she doesn’t die?

Both of those things were enough to take me out of the episode and at this point, I’m just waiting for the eventual battle and to see how everyone gets out of this simulation. We know it’s coming, so it all just feels like a build to something we know will happen, which unfortunately has me just counting down the episodes for what’s coming.

The series has lost steam as they’ve gone into this new world. The first episode of this specific arc sequence was full of possibilities and you can tell the writers were willing to do whatever they felt like. This and the previous episode though feel much more on the rails and by the book in many ways. The series needs to get back to that anything can happen and if they do that, this season will end on a strong note.

Overall Score: 7.05

TV Review: iZombie S3E3 Eat, Pray, Liv

normal_izombietv_s01promo_001-1~0Liv consumers the brain of a murdered lifestyle guru; Ravi’s former boss gets closer to uncovering the truth; Blaine and Peyton grow closer.

iZombie continues to stick to its formula in the third episode of the season which feels like a more cautious set-up than anything too groundbreaking.

The episode involves the murder of a guy that feels like an over the type yoga instructor and that aspect of the episode isn’t too exciting at all. It’s easy to figure out who the murderer is early on and nothing adds a whole lot to Liv or Clive. There’s a few funny moments, but overall, it’s fairly blah when it comes to the whodunnit stories we’ve seen in the past.

The bigger part of the episode involves Ravi and Blaine, really Blaine’s father. We see a new operation being set up by Blaine’s father and it’s the early moments of the story, but it feels rather familiar and what we’ve seen before, because it just feels like something Blaine has done. So nothing really new there.

The bigger story involves Ravi and Peyton and Ravi being an utter douche towards her. This season is adding some depth to him, but he’s being a dick so it’s kind of hard to like him. And as it stands if Peyton winds up with him, it looks poorly upon her too. That’s the biggest fireworks on the episode, it’s all pretty bland otherwise.

This third episode isn’t bad per se. We get to see Major act out a bit as a zumba instructor, but for the most part, the episode feels safe, almost too safe. With the first episode of the season being so different and the second adding a decent amount to Clive’s story, this third one just doesn’t quite work. An entertaining hour, but one that’s rather forgettable.

Overall Rating: 7.15

TV Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S4E17 Identity and Change

As Daisy and Simmons struggle to discover an escape route to the real world, the identity of the Inhuman leader of the resistance is revealed.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. continues its adventures in the virtual world with a force gathering to take on Aida and free everyone. The episode is packed with action, but other than some twists and turns it doesn’t feel like a whole lot is done.

Overall, the episode is good, but a missed opportunity.

There’s a reveal of the underground SHIELD force and its director who is of course Mace. That should be a bigger surprise, but it comes off as a letdown. Some members are added to the team which is great, and needs to happen, but what’s stretched over an hour feels like it could be done in 30 minutes at most.

The big part of the episode is some of the team tracking down Radcliffe which leads to a showdown with Fitz and Madam Hydra. That’s the moment that the episode builds towards and again, the emotional payoff isn’t quite there. I’m not sure why, but the entire episode feels like it’s just slightly off as to how good it could have been.

That’s in contrast with last episode where everything is thrown out there and everything is on the table.

Here you can feel the rails get put back into place and the story getting focused on the eventual confrontation and escape. That constricts the story and removes some of the freedom that we saw in the previous episode. There’s also the fact that much of the episode is predictable. How interactions play out. How betrayals and presented. It all feels very bland and nothing too shocking. Again, where you can do everything and anything, this episode keeps things by the numbers without too many shocks or surprises. Still, it’s an entertaining hour and the shaking things up has done the series well so far.

Overall Score: 7.65

TV Review: iZombie S3E2 Zombie Knows Best

normal_izombietv_s01promo_001-1~0Liv, Clive, and Ravi suspect foul play was involved in a fatal car crash; Clive reveals his connection to a murdered family; Peyton tries to make peace with Ravi.

iZombie returns more to its normal formula with two cases that feel much more like the previous two seasons, but also with a twist as one ties into the greater narrative that began in the previous episode.

The first case is about a father and daughter who are killed in a car crash and things seem a little fishy. That leads to Liv and Major eating their brains with Liv taking on the father and Major the teenage daughter. That brings the humor as we get to see the two acting each stereotypical personality and delivering things in a way that had me smiling throughout the episode. Yes, it plays a bit too much into stereotypes, but it’s still entertaining in a way mostly due to the actors themselves, especially Major talking about abs and selfies.

The second story plays off of what began last episode with Clive and the family he found out were zombies. We get the full history here as they are unfortunately killed. There’s someone out there who’s killing zombies, but why? That seems to be the big picture, who knows, who’s killing, and how do they find the killers without causing a panic. The concept is a bit too much like the Chaos Killer story which I hated and who knows if that’ll play in here. It should since it’s really similar. The best part is that it gives a lot more depth into Clive who hasn’t had a lot of focus in the series. To see him pushed in the spotlight more is more than overdue as he’s been a great anchor and playing the straight man to the crazy.

The series is closer to what we’ve previously seen and it’s a stronger second episode than first due to that. I can see the big picture coming into focus with this episode and it feels like a bit old and a bit new. Hopefully, we get something that’s a bit different than the previous two seasons, but so far it’s an interesting start.

Overall Rating: 7.85

TV Review: iZombie S3E1 Heaven Just Got a Little Bit Smoother

normal_izombietv_s01promo_001-1~0Liv finds there are more zombies in Seattle than she previously thought; though exonerated for the Chaos Killer crimes, Major remains a pariah; Blaine is accused of lying.

iZombie returns for its third season with an interesting first episode that picks up on the end of the previous season while also setting the series into a new direction with a big picture story.

When we last saw the series Max Rager is done and a zombie outbreak has been stopped and now for the cover up. That goes pretty high up as we find out there’s even more zombies and they have a goal of making Seattle a zombie paradise/sanctuary.

The concept is really interesting, especially when you think about it in the bigger debate over sanctuary cities, but how things are laid out within the story feels a bit out of left field really shifting the series away from the whodunnit type stories we’ve seen in the previous two seasons. That aspect is jettisoned instead the entire episode is focused on wrapping up the previous season while setting things up for what’s to come in this third season.

That shift is good, because things need to be shaken up for formula, but the abrupt way it’s done doesn’t quite work here. The show usually shines when it focus on the characters’ eating brains and acting out their new personalities, and that’s not really here. The humor is gone and while this is a first episode of a season it feels like it’s more of an addendum to the previous one.

We’ll see where this goes, but the big concept doesn’t feel like it quite works, but the series at least shakes things up and takes things in a different direction. We’ll see how far they’re willing to try out new things as the season progresses.

Overall Rating: 7.2

TV Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S4E16 What If…

Daisy and Simmons are the only hope is to save everyone in a world controlled by Hydra.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is back after a brief break with a new episode that dives deep into the world Ada has created that has Hydra taking over into the role of SHIELD.

This is an alternate world episode and storyline that we’ve seen done before so many times and like so many of those previous times, this is really good and entertaining.

By twisting the characters we’ve known it feels like the show has really looked into this world and has gotten ahold of who they are and what makes them tick. The result is a mirror world and one that’s solid storytelling.

But, what really impresses me about this episode is the small details that it throws out there. There’s an entire debate about Hydra and their roots in Nazism as if a wink and nod to the real world debate going on about changes of Hydra presented by Marvel comics (yes they’re Nazis).

Jemma is the center of the episode and everything about her and this episode are the small details. From the dark circles under her eyes to the bruises to the fact her voice is messed up for much of the episode, it all comes together. Then add in the choices with the visuals as a whole with a slight filter to the color to let us know this isn’t the real world. It all adds up to the best episode of the season and one of the best of the series. This episode shows off what could have been with such a focus on the small details and how it rights it gets everything.

A lot of the episode is the fun of finding out what’s different and how it all shakes up so I don’t want to spoil too much of that, but the episode is solid with a great emphasis on what makes each character interesting. There’s intrigue, action, and some surprise twists.

As the title says, what if? And that’s the worst thing about the episode, is that it makes me ask “what if” the entire series had this much attention given to it. It shows off the flaws of what’s come before but at least we’re getting this and hopefully, what’s to come continues whatever new energy and vision the series seems to have.

Overall Score: 9.25

The Walking Dead S7E16 The First Day of the Rest of Your Life

walking-dead-5 photoThe stakes continue to grow higher as paths cross; the group enacts an intricate plan.

The Walking Dead‘ wraps up its seventh season with a bloody extended episode that teases us a quick war that may end before it even begins.

Last episode saw Dwight defecting letting Rick know Negan is on his way and allowing for Rick to plan with the Scavengers to take on Negan and his Saviors. Things don’t go easy with double crosses and a shootout battle that feels like the cathartic release we’ve been craving this entire season.

But, the episode is an interesting one as it really focuses on Sasha in her sendoff episode. We know her character has to take off in some way due to the actress being cast in the new Star Trek series, but how will it go down?

That’s where the episode is interesting in that it teases you the entire time taking us through a construct of Sasha as she talks to Abraham in a dream-like sequence where we don’t know if this is her imagining things and hallucinating or if she’s dead and that’s juxtaposed with moments between Sasha and Maggie. It bounces between the two and it’s touching in numerous ways as an almost angel and devil on the shoulder debate.

I’m not going to spoil the crosses or the battle, but it’s absolutely worth it and the best moment of the season. This is the first volley in the massive war to come and there’s lots of emotional moments and small nods throughout the battle to keep you wondering who is on what side. Is Dwight turning into a face? Is it a put on? There’s lots of clues. And who turns and when is most interesting.

What I think is solid in this episode is that I felt like I was on the edge. I didn’t know where it was going to go and who was going to get killed and who would live. That’s impressive. I’ve read the entire series and still this episode had me guessing. Would it vear from the comics?

What’s great too is the Kingdom and Hilltop each have their moments as they still debate their actions and decide if they’ll rally or not. It’s quick but also a build up to the release.

But, it’s the end that stands out as Maggie and Rick recount what they’ve been through. It’s not just Rick, Maggie takes center stage as in the comics the series becomes her story as much as his. She steps forward as the leader in ways and we see that here. It’s solid and touching and as the episode wraps up it’s emotional. We’re taken through where they’ve been and get glimpses as to where it’s going as we’re reminded for all of the bang, the show is still about the people.

Overall rating: 8.65

TV Review: Arrow S5E18 Disbanded

arrowOliver’s decision to call the Bratva for help taking down Prometheus surprises Diggle and Felicity; Felicity makes a shocking discovery at Helix.

Arrow has been a bit mixed the last few episodes but this one really rights the ship as Oliver calls in reinforcements in the Bratva to take on Chase while his teammates both question his decision to do so and also figure out a way to deal with Chase.

There’s a lot here and the episode packs in so much, I’d usually expect this amount to be spread out into multiple episodes. Diggle dealing with Oliver and confronting him might be an episode or in tow. Team Arrow dealing with the Bravta might be one. Team Arrow dealing with Chase might be one. The Bravta dealing with Chase might be one. There’s just a lot going on for the episode and for that, it’s one of the better ones this season. No time is wasted and by doing so the pacing really picks up, an issue for some of the episodes this season where things feel like they’ve been decompressed.

What’s also solid is how it deals with Chase with an ending that feels like it almost doesn’t belong on this series and shows off some potential that doesn’t feel like it’s normally tapped. I think that five minutes or so is some of the best of the entire series. How it’s directed and shot really breaks from the normal visuals of the series. I couldn’t say what was different, but it felt like it was.

The episode also really brings in the Bravta plot into the main story and does so pretty well with future repercussions that I can see driving the next season. It’s some good plotting when it comes to the past and present story threads that feels like it sometimes is lacking in previous seasons.

This is a solid episode that brings a lot of pieces of the puzzle together and sets the rest of the season off into a good direction, but what’s interesting to me is that Chase scene which shows off the potential of the series.

Overall rating: 7.95

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