So I am changing up the format of this weekly post. Instead of what is on this weekend (read hardly anything). I'm changing it to what has been on all week. Still working on some formatting ideas but for now this will have to do.
We start of with a quick rundown of all the news you need to know and than get into the reviews. Which include, Dallas, Tron:Uprising,Legend of Korra, Deadman Wonderland, and Ultimate Spider-man.
- Ultimate Spider-Mangets a second season.
- House Hunters is fake....whaaa but it’s REALITY TV. This video seems appropriate
- Showtime picks up Masters of Sex and Ray Donovan. Sex will star Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan as William Masters and Virginia Johnson who researched human sexuality in the 60’s. Showtime ordered 12 episodes. Ray Donovan will feature Liev Schreiber along with Jon Voight and Elliott Gould in a family drama. Schriber will play a L.A. fixer who just can’t seem to fix his family.
- Well Young Justice won’t be back in 3 weeks as previously hoped. It’ll be back on September 29. Showrunner Greg Wiseman also gave his monthly update on the show. A couple good tidbits about where episodes are in production and the comic tie in. My previous statement still stands, If the episode is one I think deserves extra thought I’ll give it that.
- What if Pixar were to make a Justice League movie? Well Pixar artist Daniel Araya was bored and did some sketches. I am digging the Batman. You can see more of his artwork on deviantART. Ok that isn’t technically TV related but pretty picture is pretty.
Wednesday June 13
Dallas S1 Ep01-02 "Pilot: Changing of the Guard" "Hedging Your Bets"
I was but 9 months old when the original Dallas ended its 14 season run in May 1991. I have never seen an episode of Dallas. I am aware of the “Who shot J.R.?” cliffhanger but that is more from The Simpson parody “Who Shot Mr. Burns?” two part episode. Soap operas are also not in my general repertoire of TV to watch, but this is summer and there isn’t shit on so I’ll take what I can get. A little under 2 hours later (thank you DVR) this is now going to be a guilty pleasure.
The Ewings are a cantankerous family based in Texas and apparently were once titans of the oil world. Now they are merely a bunch of rich senior citizens who have children of their own. What a self righteous deplorable bunch. You have John Ross Ewing III constantly bellowing about how “oil is in my blood. It is my birthright” blah blah blah while making vaguely racist remarks about his adopted cousin Charles. J.R. looks like the cryptkeeper and is still trying to get his hands on Southfork. His ex John Ross’ mother Sue Ellen appears to be a political mover. Bobby Ewing refuses to tell his family about his cancer. Adopted son Christopher is trying to run a alternative energy scheme. It’s honestly odd that these people and the people around them haven’t realized that they should just stay away from each other. They all just politic and bicker over petty things.
There is a central plot to all this. John Ross has discovered lots and lots of oil under Southfork only his grandmother Miss Elliot said no drilling on the ranch and the “good brother” Bobby means to keep it that way. At the same time J.R. has come out of a catatonic state and started his own war for Southfork. This is of courses sandwiched by multiple subplots ranging from a love triangle to various cons. The amount of backstabber-y and double crosses in the first two episodes came quick and with little context to how exactly it they were planned. Dallas just seems to be inhabited by people who love Game of Thrones a little too much.
This show isn’t what I would call good story telling. It is a soap opera the drama is thick, ludacris, and totally manufactured. It is however enticing to watch and for some reason I find myself looking forward to episode 3, "The Price You Pay". Technically speaking the show is solid the acting across the board isn’t what I’d call good, it is still watchable. Early standouts though are Josh Henderson as John Ross Ewing III Patrick Duffy as Bobby Ewing. Henderson gets across the many daddy issues that are most likely deep down in a character like John Ross. Duffy on the other hand just looks sad all the time. The reason to watch is Larry Hagman as J. R. Ewing, that man is at home as the elderly J. R. who never dropped his claim for Southfork. Hagman just looks like the devil when he smiles.
What is with everyone calling each other by their full names? And why do you go meet someone to plan your con with IN THE MIDDLE OF AN EMPTY COWBOYS STADIUM?
B- Trashy drama seems mighty watchable given my options and dem eyebrows
Thursday June 14
Tron:Uprising S1 Ep02 "The Renegade, Part 2"
The tale of the Renegade concludes this week and from the previews we will be going into more single episode superheroics.
Like most two part arcs part 1 was more set up for part 2 to be the action heavy payoff, and that's just what we got. Beck has to get Cutler out of the city and away from a public execution.
The Games is a great way to satirize an uninformed gullible public. It also lets writers just turn it into one long homage to The Gladiator. This isn’t a knock against the sequence but getting to the “are you not entertained” moment has been and could’ve been done better. Cutler makes the noble sacrifice of forfeiting in order for Beck to escape, giving Beck his weekly moral crisis. The ensuing rescue mission is a fun. The show seems intent on cramming every single Tron vehicle they can. The rating doesn't lend itself to much hand to hand combat but that has been some of the most interesting to watch visually. The cartoonish style lends itself well for action moments across the board.
The subplot involving Abels stolen classic bike is resolved and thankfully it does cross over into Becks escape. Not a lot but just enough to justify its existence. Mara and Zed are decent characters and getting to see another side of Argon City is fun, but the handling of their misadventures need to feel like they have consequence, not like wacky hijinks.
In the three episodes so far they have gotten across the dynamics between our trio of villains. Paige is the woman of action while Pavel is the paper pusher for Tessler. I can already tell they will have Paige, voiced by Emmanuelle Chriqui have at least a flirtation with good. Paul Reubens as Pavel did stand out this week as the cackling yet inept assistant villain to General Tessler.
Uprising isn’t offering any sort of unique take on a Zorro archetype so far. Playing within the genre box isn’t a bad thing but nothing in the writing is standing out, right now. Visually Uprising continues to look beautiful and the reason to watch. Hopefully it can add some substance and not just look like a beautiful sugar sculpture.
C+ Pretty to watch and with a good cast but not really doing anything with them
Saturday June 16
Young Justice is airing episode 19 “Misplaced” this weekend. If you haven’t watch YJ before, good episode to jump in on. It isn’t one though that I could get some deeper thoughts out of from rewatching. That said episode 21 “Image” is set to air June 30 which I KNOW I’ll be able to talk about more. Hopefully they will show episode 16 and 17 “Failsafe” and “Disordered” respectively.
The Legend of Korra S1 Ep10 “Turning the Tides”
As this season has moved on it has been interesting to see the lack of Amon overall. He was in nearly every episode until 6 “And the Winner Is...” blowing up the stadium. After he made that big move he was gone, Tarrlok became the main antagonist. Amon popped up at the end of “Out of the Past” but really returns with “Turning the Tides”. Turning the tide for his Equalist. with airships ferrying down his soldiers, and well planned sabotage, taking 90% of Republic Cities leadership, in the end only Tenzin is left.
This was a plot heavy episode. At one point we are cutting between events in the command center, Team Avatar, Air Temple Island, and the Equalist. Popping in for nonstop action spots. This episode still managed to have a really nice character moment involving Tenzin. He has been out all night looking for Korra and comes home in the wee hours of the morning, finding his family asleep together. The kids wake up, happy to see dad but they were scared things are getting heavy and this hasn’t been lost on the kids.
Team Avatar is also getting some development, mainly Asami and Mako, Bolin dose get some nice one liners. Asami is understandably perturbed that Mako has forgotten whole and paying a little to much attention to Korra. There was a point where I was expecting Asami to doublecross the group for the simple fact she is a villain. Now she has a decent reason to be angry and turn on them, mainly Mako.
The drama is pretty high with Pema finally going into labor at the most in opurtune time. Luckily for her and the kids they have Lin to protect them. She is only one person and can’t take out an army by herself. Lucky for her the airbender kids get their moment to shine, including a comical slow motion reaction shot of Meelo. By the end of that battle the new baby is in the world, named Rohan. Rohan is Sanskirt for “healing” but really your thinking of LotR. With everyone on the island it’s time for Tenzin and his family to get away from the battle. They escape but at a cost.
Lin BeiFong has been providing moments of bending badassery this entire series. She provides another moment this episode. With Amons airships gaining on them she sacrifices herself and starts ripping the airship from front to back. Even with her modest sucsess this was a one way trip and the Equalist soon neutralize her. Amon takes away her bending soon afterwords. They can’t “kill” characters but seeing her bending taken away, that was an execution. Meelo says it right “That lady is my hero”.
Tenzin eralier in the episode managed to get a message out to the General of the United Forces. Which it’s about tie the army was called in you’d think they would have done it sooner. We meet this leader and he sounds familiar. For the longest time fans have been waiting for “Skeletons in the Closest” since Dante Basco, the voice of Zuko, had recorded dialog for it. Was he coming back as Firelord Zuko, helping the Avatar once again? Nope he is voiceing General Iroh the leader of the Untied Forces. He will be in Republic City in 3 days and looks forward to retaking Republic City with the Avatar.
Amon turned the tide for his cause but as we end it in the run up to the finale, looks like the tide is starting to turn against him.
- I don’t want to see Amons face. Either I want him to disapear at the end, or have him be some spirit from the spirit world. There has been a real lack of Amon this season keep him as a mysterious man.
- “Stay away from my Dad’s ex-girlfriend!” Jinora
- Moustache Man is a better name than Lieutenant...maybe he should be Lt. Mustache Man.
B Season 1 ends next Saturday
Sunday June 17
Toonami Deadman Wonderland S1 Ep04 “Crow Claw”
Man you miss one episode and what appeared to be a kind of interesting prison conspiracy show is suddenly all of those things plus Fight Club. Nope. Didn’t see that coming. At least they give the title Deadman Wonderland a deeper meaning. Yo is right “a wonderland indeed”.
Now Ganta could do this thing with his blood. He could manipulate it, kind of like bloodbending for lack of a better term. He isn’t alone in this trait coming across Kiyomasa Senji aka Crow. Crow instead of shooting blood bullets, like Ganta, turns his blood into razor sharp claws on his arms. They known as Deadmen. Deadman are people who were infected by Branch of Sin it’s a virus...I think. Yeah this is pretty convoluted. The Deadmen of the prison are held the mysterious G-block. From there they are forced to participate in the Carnival Corpse, where they fight one another to the death for massive amounts of candy,points,money, a quasi level of fame. This is why Ganta was framed for his classes murders.
When I last left Ganta he was saying FTW resolving to find the “Red Man”,somehow prove his innocence, and get the heck out of Wonderland. It was maddening to see his character once again regressing to that of a sniveling scared child. Things have only gotten worse yet he continues to whine about it all reacting out of fear. He threatens to kill everyone but he can’t even control his powers. Empty threats and cursing do not make a character. Greg Ayres voice doesn't help any of these problems.
What is up with the Crow? I’m glad someone called out Shiro for her crazy tight cat suit, but what's up with his fear of the female body? Was he some sort of crazy sexual deviant on the outside?
With the Carnival Corpse starting hopefully the fights will be a mix of DBZ and Mortal Kombat.
C This is just getting weird
Ultimate Spider-Man S1 Ep10 “Freaky”
After reading the description for “Freaky” my hopes for a good episode were very low. Body-swap humor can be done well, see Freaky Friday and Face/Off, or it can be done poorly, like The Change-Up. There is no way Ultimate Spider-Man could do the insane humor of the Change-Up but its use of comedy this season hasn’t been good to inspire hope. Consider me thoroughly surprised that “Freaky” is the best episode of Spider-Man in terms of sheer comedy.
Spider-Man gets involved with a riot led by the villainous mutant Mesmero. Like Pied Piper has the people hypnotized into robbing various places for him. This is all broken up by everyone's favorite Rajin Canadian Wolverine. Initially star struck like the rest of A list heroes Spidey is disgusted at WOlverines willingness to threaten Mesmeros life and civilians. Well jokes on them as Mesmero makes them switch bodies.
Face/Off is one of my favorite action movies. Mainly for Jon Trovolta and Nic Cage (our greatest living actor all glory to him) forced to impersonate each other. Both actors have their quirks and seeing them do impressions of each other led to some great laughs. The same goes for Steve Blum as Wolverine and Drake Bell as Spider-Man. Steve Blum would be my go to voice actor if I needed someone who is gravely and distinctive. Having listened to him as Amon on Legend of Korra and in Guild Wars 2 it’s pretty obvious when Blum talks. Having him change it up a bit by following Bells cadence and higher pitch was a nice change of pace. The same goes for Bell following Blums vocal cues.
The impersonations weren’t the only good source of comedic value this episode. The animators did a good job of visualizing Wolverine in Parker's body having him constantly try to pop his claws when he normally would. The physical comedy mainly came from Parker in Wolverine's body as he clumsily tries to control his claws and generally causing a mess. All of these things were funny, and better yet, the majority of normally terrible cut away humor worked. The longest being Spider-Man imagining his life as a soap opera One Life to Web.
Every episode needs a fight so they have Sabertooth show up. When are him and Wolverine not fighting? They battle across New York City making a mess and being extremely watchable. Maybe this show won’t be as bad as I thought.
B- It made me laugh instead of groan improvements
Next week The Newsroom starts on HBO. After Game of Thrones and the general lack of scripted TV on makes Newsroom look extremely promising. It also has a great team behind it but mainly it isn’t trite reality TV or reruns on Food Network.
Next Week also marks the end of Legend of Korra Book 1. They are sending it out in style with a 1 hour finale. By appearances things are looking like Pearl Harbor. When the show was initially billed as a 14 episode miniseries I was just happy to get some more Avatar in my life. Now that it will be returning for a second Book I will be impatiently waiting. Comic Con is coming up so hopefully the creators have something to show.
Yea this promo is better imo