I need to look into messing around with some HTML and create a clickable Table of Contents since this is kind of a long read and I doubt people want to read about every show.
- zombie killing car will be revealed at Comic-Con. This is based on the Walking Dead #100 cover but it wouldn’t be a stretch that this shows up in the TV show or NASCAR eventually.
- Ray Romano is guesting on Parenthood! This will make my mom happy, she has been all bummed about the lack of Ray on TV since Men of a Certain Age ended.
- Daria RETURNS...along with Laguna Beach and The Hills. They will return a part of MTVs “Retro Mania” morning block(9am-12), which began on Monday. Daria will run from July 30-August 3. Retro Mania last until August 3.
- Barbarella is coming to a TV near you. Director of Drive,Nicolas Winding Refn is working with producers Gaumont International Television and Martha De Laurentiis to turn Barbarella into a TV series. Barbarella came out as a sci-fi film in 1968 starring Jane Fonda, based on the French comic book of the same name.
- Patrick Wilson is going to continue to look dreamy on your TV screen! Wilson will join the cast of Girls as a doctor in the show's second season. Also Donald Glover will be in the second season. #SixSeasonsandaMovie
- There has been one thing missing from Game of Thrones. Political Attack Ads.
Wednesday June 20
Dallas S1 Ep02 “The Price You Pay”
Mess with the Bull, you get the horns. John Ross tried to pull one over his old man and narrowly missed the horns. It probably makes J.R. proud that his own son would try and steal Southfork from under him. The Jr. still has plenty to learn from the senior and J.R. plans on teaching him all he knows about the oil business. Even a devil like J.R. realizes he was a terrible father. This is what I find interesting about Dallas, the father-son relationships. Even though they are at eachothers throats John Ross and Christopher really just want to please their fathers. The fight over Southfork is boring drama, the real drama lies between Father and Son, everything else is filler.
After a strong opening scene between J.R. and Son the episode settles into mediocrity. The scenes involving Hagman have a certain life to them that none of the actors are able to get across. Everyone is moving back to Southfork. J.R. returns home to Southfork, much to brother Bobby’s chagrin. Christopher and Rebecca are coming back after Bobby finally tells his son that he has cancer. The drama shall flow tenfold with everyone now living under one roof which could lead to comedy, something this show is lacking.
Another character returns to Southfork, Cliff Barnes. Now not seeing the original series my knowledge of him is limited but he was Bobby’s brother in law when he was married to Pam. Throwing another crazy,conniving,senile old man into the pot seems like overkill. If his interactions with J.R. are all like this it might not be so bad seeing them bicker.
Despite making a breakthrough in his patent, with the help of Elena Christopher doesn't have much screen time. The newly minted Rebecca Sutter Ewing gets more time. She is having a crisis of conscious over being a con woman in deep with Christopher. For someone playing a con artist Julie Gonzalo is not a good actor. Seeing her make nice with Elena was painful to watch. Same goes for her throwing away the magical USB hacking device. It’s all just so bland on her part.
Throughout the episode we are shown Patrick Duffy looking sadly at the floor. Seeming to be seconds away from grabbing his stomach in pain. He never does. In the end he just sits accepting his brother is the devil, and always will be. All he is trying to do is save John Ross and Christopher from a similar fate. A noble cause but it is so anti-confrontational, that files in the face of overdone drama that is Dallas.
The show can’t be running at 11 the entire time. When it is running at 8 I still need to be engaged as a viewer ⅔ of the drama in this show isn’t doing that. Dallas has a big cast with too many characters trying to be a “main character” that at this point aren’t interesting,sketched out, or entertaining enough.. Focusing the show on J.R. and son wouldn’t really make it Dallas but it might make it far more enjoyable.
C It’s watchable and competently done but the whole show isn’t grabbing me. J.R. and Son has me hook,line, and sinker now everything else needs to get me. Still 3 episodes in things have time to heat up.
Thursday June 21
TRON:Uprising S1 Ep03 "Blackout"
Blackouts are happening in Argon City, sounds like something for Beck to look into. “Blackout” is more plot heavy and less meditative on Becks growing weariness at being the hero.
General Tessler has some sort of mining project going in order to supply Clu more energy. It isn’t ever really explained. Tessler is the big evil of the show so his motives must be nefarious in nature. At the same time the Argon race, street racing on bikes, is coming up only with the discovery of tunnels the race will be taking place there. All of this will put the racers, among them Zed, in danger as Beck goes to blow the drill.
The action is my favorite part of the show, with this episode consisting of mainly a set piece you would think it’s my favorite one yet. It isn’t. Action for the sake of action isn’t interesting, where are the stakes beyond a character's survival? Seein Beck and Paige run from a giant wall of death was fun and there was a little bit of work on their “love hate relationship”. This show just needs to find the right balance between action and storytelling. It does appear to be building up to bigger things with Zed joining Paige’s squad.
C+ Nothing was really bad but still trying to find its footing
Saturday June 23
Legend of Korra S1 Ep11-12 "Skeletons in the Closet" "Endgame"
Well that’s a wrap on Book one of the Legend of Korra. Finales can be a hard to pull off. You have to mix in enough fun character moments, close up storylines and perhaps set up the next season. Korra hits 2 for 3 and was an overall satisfying conclusion to what was supposed to be a one shot miniseries.
Ever since I had heard Dante Basco, voice of Fire Lord Zuko and Rufio in Hook, had lent his voice to an episode called “Skeletons in the Closet” I had guessed it would be Zuko coming in and lending Korra some sage advice and explain the past. He was in the episode as Zukos grandson General Iroh, but he did not give sage advice. It was Tarrlock who gives Korra the sage advice explaining the origins of Amon. Tarrlok blurts out that he is Amons brother and we cut to commercial, I tweeted “Zomg amons brother is tarrlock....seems like a cheap twist”. It kind of was but the end pay off wouldn’t of worked without it.
Tarrlock and Amon previously known as Noatak are the sons of Yakone. Yakone escaped prison and changed his face starting over in the Northern Water Tribe. Bitter over Aang taking away his bending trains his sons in bloodbending to be his tools of revenge. This explains how Amon is able to take away peoples bending by bloodbending a block in. Noatak grows bitter at the lack of of his own path and rebels, nearly killing Yakone and runs off, eventually becoming Amon. Tarrlok points that even if his brother is lying about his past he does believe that bending is the root of all evil in the world. With this knowledge Korra now moves to take on Amon.
The climatic fight between Korra and Amon wasn’t some sort of knock down drag out brawl. In fact Korra and Mako get handled pretty well due to Amons bloodbending. He even manages to take away Korras bending, which did not trigger the Avatar State. Only to show she can now airbend as Amon is about to do the same to Mako. Amon is blown out of the water (and into it) and revealed to be the powerful waterbender he is. Exposed as a fraud he has lost.
Creators Michael Dimartino and Bryan Konietzko said that season 1 would be the only time Amon is the villian. Now this was before Nick had ordered a second season so maybe plans change. Nope it’s extremely unlikely that Amon will be popping up. That moment surprisingly got to me. It was really sad to see what they had become.
Despite bloodbending being the route of Amons power even Katara can’t heal Korra. This would of been and interesting jumping off point for Book 2 since she so identifies as the Avatar. Only the fix everything in the last 10 minutes, ending on that note would've been such a bummer, sure they won but at a heavy cost. At her lowest moment Korra has finally been able to open up her spiritual half and we get the Aang cameo everyone has been waiting for (as well as the revelation that Jafar was an Avatar). He is able to restore her bending teaching her how to do it at the same time. We end on a happy note.
The battle for Republic City had a big epic feel to it. The opening set piece is Pearl Harbor. The action throughout the finale worked really well showing off new evil inventions by Sato. Even though they are shooting down planes and explosions abound don’t worry everyone has a escape shoot. It was kind of funny seeing the shoots open. I’m not sadist but this is war bodies have to drop. You could make a fun drinking game out of it.
The end of Korra Book 1 was everything people would want from a finale. Dimartino, Konietzko, and crew have built a new world in the already existing Avatarverse that I want to see more of . 12 episodes was really cutting it a little short though maybe 2 more episodes just to have some character stuff. Bolin became a joke machine in the background in the end.
I’ll probably write something more long and thoughtful once this hits Blu Ray, which is a day one buy for me. Fun character work may have been the meat of the show but god damn that show looked beautiful. I don’t get HDTV over cable but I have seen it in 1080p online and just wow.
A- Well it has been a great 3 months time to anxiously wait for news out of Comic-Con. It’s in Ballroom 20 4k capacity seating.
Sunday June 24
The Newsroom S1 Ep01 "We Just Decided To"
Well Aaron Sorkin is back doing the TV thing. I did not come to Sorkin through his TV work, it was through the movies he wrote that I was originally introduced. The Newsroom is Sorkin having people talk fast,intelligently, at a million miles a minute, while walking,making quippy sarcastic remarks, and riffing on recent events. Anyone expecting something differently should just leave. I have been hotly waiting for this show since Game of Thrones ended. So my interest was definitely piqued when I saw the internet go all sorts of internet once the pilot, “We Just Decided To” reviews started hitting. I didn’t pay that much attention to it, waiting another 5 days wouldn’t be too hard.
Having seen “We Just Decided To” all the fuss seems a bit odd. It was fine. Is he being a bit preachy and idealistic about TV news and journalism? Yes. But that’s what the show is about: the quest to do a good news show and fuck all the baggage.
Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) is an affable guy, to strangers. To the people that know him he is hard to work with, mean, angry, all around not someone one would willingly associate with. Despite all that he is the “Jay Leno of TV News” since he doesn't hurt anyone. Than he goes off on a ranting monologue about why America isn’t so great and suddenly he isn’t Jay Leno anymore.
Three weeks later his EP (Executive Producer) and most of the staff have jumped ship to a new show an hour later headed up by McAvoys protege. All that is left is the loyal Margaret (Alison Pill) and Neal (Dev Patel) along with some other people but they aren’t really characters. His boss Charlie Skinner (Sam Waterson) has already set about fixing everyting by hiring him a new EP Mackenzie MacHale (Emily Mortimer) who has a history with Will and not a good one. She is as idealistic as Charlie wanting to do a good show to inform people and make the news matter. She gives a big speech about it, it does nothing for McAvoy. Along with Mackenzie is Producer and news hound Jim Harper (John Gallagher, Jr.). From the outset John Gallagher seems to be the stand in for Jessie Eisenberg.
All this turmoil and drama happens just as the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is breaking. The show is set in 2010 which gives Sorkin ample time to riff on semi current events and write a bit of historical fiction, which is his prerogative. For a show like this to work though they would have to be right in order to make the point.
So far the only thing I don’t really like is them hinting at a Jim and Pam (The Office) type subplot between Jim and Margaret. The Office reference is apt since the editing and cinematography is reminiscent of that show sans the mocumentary. Everyone gets a close up from far away and actors are predominantly show in medium shots, there simply isn’t room for a long shot.
Things move fast and I had to actually pay attention and damn it felt good to actually focus and listen to what people were saying. This might be old hat for people who saw The West Wing and everything else but it has been just long enough for me to sit back and enjoy the simplicity of people talking.
A- It’s ep 1 so plenty of time for this to crash and burn like Studio 60. Lets hope not though. OK?
Avengers: Earths Mightiest Heroes S2 Ep09 "Nightmare in Red"
Now that is official that Earths Mightiest Heroes won’t be coming back in this form for another season it is with a bit of a heavy heart that I continue to watch this. This is made worse by watching this, seeing cool logical references to the greater Marvel Universe and the possibility of not one but 2 overarching stories and then watching Ultimate Spider-man and have my hand held.
Since the micro introduction season we haven’t really seen Bruce Banner. A shame since you need the character of banner to really contrast and show the character of the Hulk. Even if Hulk is the dominant personality 90% of the time he does let Banner out of the cage for one day a month. What would a man like Banner do with his 24 hours of freedom? Fish. The Avengers could really use the Hulk though with Black Panther and Iron Man off the team and preparing to fight the secret invasion.
The Red Hulk storyline with Jeph Loeb ( yes he who has killed this show) was largely enjoyable to me. It lasted maybe an issue to long but the constant question of “Who is the Red Hulk?” was a fun mystery to solve. Avengers:EMH begins to ask this question with “Nightmare in Red”. A mysterious Red Hulk runs amok on the Helicarrier. SHIELD isn’t buying that this isn’t the normal Green Hulk Bruce Banner. He did start out as grey after all. (50 Shades of Grey Hulk...the fanfic writes itself)
The Red Hulk is being ordered around by a mystery man who, ironically is voiced by Steve Blum, at least he isn’t in a mask this time. In the credits Blum is listed as Dell Rusk which is a anagram for Red Skull. Along with Doc Samson and Winter Soldier, Red Hulk wrecks the helicarrier and gets SHIELD and the army to team up and take out the Hulk with extreme prejudice. The Falcon also shows up and tries to kidnap Banner plugging him with an adrenaline inhibitor before being taken out by Hawkeye. Barton can’t stop the Red Hulk though and soon it appears Banner will be in the hands of this new enemy.
Banner eventually Hulks out and we get a pretty fun fight between Hulks. Seeing these two big guys throwing each other through cargo carriers isn’t something we see on this show much. Hulk has always been the get out of jail free hero since “Hulk is strongest there is”.
Introducing the Red Hulk and some new master group of villains should be a fun storyline while they continue to build to the secret invasion propper.
A- Groundwork was laid, Characters were explored a bit, Hulk isn't Strongest anymore
Ultimate Spider-Man S1 Ep11 "Venomous"
My DVR said this episode was called “Venom Attacks” but Wiki says it’s “Venomous”, The latter sounds cooler we shall stick with the cooler title. Venom returns and is now firmly in the hate part of its love-hate relationship with Spider-man. This had the grounds for a semi serious episode, we even had a rather violent opening. Crap fourth wall audience speaking sadly ate up time and killed the pace of the episode so that all we are left with is a decent idea but poorly executed episode.
Since the start Ultimate Spider-man has tried to put Norman Osborn over as one of the main big bads of the show. Norman is constantly trying to replicate Spider-man only he no longer has use for him once he discovers the Venom symbiote which just so happens to be worn by his son Harry. Sounds like a good opportunity to get Norman over and explore the toxic relationship between Harry and Norman. Well it is abundantly clear Norman is a colossal douche that has no care for his son's safety. That’s all there is to it though Norman is evil, you should hate him, where is the shades of grey? Where is the motivation? You could replace Norman Osborn with just about any villain in this show really.
Even if the plot and motivations in the episode are surface level at best the execution of it wasn’t terrible. Spider-man talking to the audience and explaining everything is what killed this episode. The episode probably lost 3 minutes in Spider-man monologuing this time could've been used elsewhere. Constantly saying “Harry is my best friend” gets annoying after you hear it for the fourth time in 2 minutes.
The episode should get props for even if a lightly looking at the trust issues found in a character like Spider-man. He was never on a team like this in the comics him dealing with suddenly being would be compelling and natural drama.
C- It is very clear what I loath about this show. I hate to constantly bitch about the “humor” and other stuff on this show but they have shown they can do it well why should I not hold them to a standard?
Toonami-Deadman Wonderland S1 Ep05 "Carrion Festival (Carnival Corpse)"
Another episode begins, Ganta is crying about how shitty his situation is only to end with him triumphing and monologuing about how “this is real. This is your whole world now...it’s hell”. If that sounds familiar, it’s because it should. That is basically how 3 of the 5 episodes have gone.
The Carnival Corpse has started and Ganta is fighting Crow. I had hoped these fights would be a mixture of Dragon Ball Z ,the non stand and talk for 5 episodes ones and Mortal Kombat. The fight played out like something from DBZ only it was one of the times they stood and talked with barely any action. There is some fighting but we are largely shown the after effects of the action, not the action. Them bringing up the fact that Ganta is literally shooting his blood and thus has a limited supply was good way to create drama. In the end an anemic Ganta outsmarts Crow and comes from behind to win.
Shiro and Yo are busy trying to break back into G-block. There is something slightly untrustworthy about Yo. Excluding the fact that he is in prison he has too many ways of getting information. Shiro is more than meets the eyes as well, she explodes/eviscerates a large number of guards. If flashbacks are to be believed she also has some sort of past connection to Ganta. Of course because when has that not happened in a show before?
The real highlight for this show was the “To Bad For the Loser Show”. Crow lost and was still alive which means he gets to play the slots and find out which body part is removed from his person. The slots tell him his right eye. It could be worse I saw stomach pop up on the dials. The reveal that this was going to happen and the horror that came out of it was surprisingly effective.
C When will Ganta stop being a whiny wimp and stop monologuing about how he will stop being a wimp ? DBZ+Mortal Kombat think of the possibilities.
If your reading this last bit well here are some cheap plugs.