Tuesday, October 13, 2015

What's On TV 2015 Edition

People often say I need a life.  Ha!  I have too many lives!  Some of you may call them "fictional" because they are in the form of television, or movies, or video games, or (on rare occasions) you might call it a book.  Yes, books, because I can't completely subscribe to the immortal words of Dr. Egon Spengler who said that, "Print is dead".   

But for now, let's focus on television.  And to be clear, there is a LOT of crap on TV, so I try to choose my shows carefully.  At times, I still get wrapped into some stupidity, but if I'm going to be sitting and staring for an hour, I expect to be entertained.  So for the most part, I look for something with a bit of creativity and imagination.  This is quite a challenge, in a world filled with reality *cough* TV and faux news.  And considering how moronic most Hollywood producers seem to be, I have my work cut out for me.

Please note, the opinions listed here are not necessarily good... but they are mine.  I took some time to dissect my views and post them as clearly as my tiny brain allows.  So if you disagree and have a different opinion, I would love to hear it!  Just as long as your rebuttal consists of well formed thoughts and intelligently strung together brain cells.    

Heroes Reborn

Have you ever tried to re-animate a dead body?  It's never easy to do, but if you are successful, they never seem quite right.  Sure they may look and act like your loved one, but they're just wrong somehow.  Like they have no soul.  This is exactly how I feel about Heroes Reborn.  

I really loved season one of the original 2006 Heroes!  There are so many great moments of character development, and beautiful visual moments, and fantastic storytelling!  But then the writers strike in season two caused a painful downward spiral, until, like a coma patient, it was just time to pull the plug.  

And now, in some weird Faustian deal that us mere mortals can never begin to understand, creator of the series Tim Kring managed to revive the show.  I can give you a huge list of shows that should be brought back from the dead.  But Heroes Reborn seems to prove, this may not be such a good idea.

I'll continue watching (for some perverse reason that may make me part of the problem), but none of the characters feel so interesting.  It's lost that spark of life that made it so exciting in 2006.  The story feels as if it's floundering directionless, like a shambling zombie in search of brains.  I will say, visually it looks decent enough, which brings me to...  


In 2011, Bradley Cooper starred in one of my favorite underrated sci-fi movies called Limitless.  Originally based on a book called The Dark Fields by Alan Glynn, this was about a total loser that finds some pills that makes him super-smart for a certain length of time.  It was a great story, and a lot of fun, and director Neil Burger made it look phenomenal.    

Now we have a sort of sequel for TV, and it's close.  But is it the same?  Meh...  One of the biggest problems I have, is director Marc Webb, who made the not so Amazing Spider-Man movie in 2012, and the horrendous Amazing Spider-Man 2 from 2014.  When our non-Bradley Cooper hero is on this pill, we get a painful visual switch from the generic blue filter wash, to the amber filter wash.  This is not nearly the same effect as the movie.  Dare I say, the transition on TV just seems a bit... lame.  Some of the other visual moments are interesting as he thinks through problems, but this series has two other major strikes against  it:  1.) The producer, Roberto Orci is a clueless idiot.  2.) The series is on CBS... the same network that gave us the worst version of Sherlock Holmes ever made.  Don't agree?  Watch the CBS show Elementary, then Robert Downey Jr.'s version of Sherlock Holmes, then BBC's Sherlock, and tell me again how good CBS's version is.  Do not get fooled or distracted by Lucy Liu's appearance!

Speaking of movies suddenly made into sequel-ish television series... 

Minority Report

Based on a 2002 Tom Cruise movie, directed by Steven Spielberg adapted from a Philip K. Dick short story, Minority Report is another surprise television version sequel we never expected.  

Way back in 2013, there was a great show on Fox called Almost Human.  That show was set in the year 2048, and featured Karl Urban as a cop who is reluctantly partnered with an android to fight crime.  I LOVED that show!  It was cancelled after one season.  Sleepy Hollow, also on Fox, just began it's third season and I'm pretty happy about that.  It features Ichabod Crane, who was resurrected after sleeping over two centuries, and secretly hooks up with a female cop to fight against supernatural entities.

Minority Report the series, is set in the year 2065, and would be what you get if those two shows had a baby.

I'm kind of enjoying this show.  It gives us a unique view of the future like Almost Human did, and it's written well.  It looks great and is a lot of fun.  However, since it's on Fox, I'll be surprised if it lasts more than one season *le sigh*

Last Man on Earth

I started watching out of curiosity, and season two just began.  It is fun!  Not much to say about it really.  Imagine a complete idiot being the last man on earth (more or less).  It's a short waste of time and I giggle occasionally, but it also has some heart too.  So, there ya go.  

The Muppets

Possibly one of the most controversial shows on television today.  Why is it controversial?  Because people can't accept "adult" oriented Muppets, (not 'adult' like that!).  In order for this show to be successful, they had to evolve in some way with their audience.  I think they did it well, but many people feel strange if they make sex or drug references.  Those innuendos are rare, but they happen and it isn't so adult that your kids shouldn't watch.  Your kids can enjoy the silliness and you can catch more of the hidden jokes easily, so it really is a win-win.  The first episode seemed a bit serious and focused more on the dramatic relationship issues between Kermit and Miss Piggy, but if they can steer away from those elements and stick to being fun, I think they'll do well.  I lol often.  

Scream Queens

YES!!  If you love horror movies, Jamie Lee Curtis, and hate sorority bitches, you will enjoy Scream Queens.  The characters and writing is so over the top, it's just outright fun.  But there is still a great horror mystery whodunit as well.  I really hope this sticks around for a long time.  

Fear the Walking Dead

I barely accept The Walking Dead, because there hasn't been any forward progress in this series since it began.  If this had been on regular television and not AMC, they would have been cancelled after the painfully disgusting season two.  But The Walking Dead endures... somehow.  

And now they have a spin-off... WTF TWD??? 

I hoped Fear would show us some insight in how the zombie virus began.  Instead we get a lame family with zero personality, who I really don't care about, and barely any zombies (aka walkers, aka biters).  My biggest fear of Fear the Walking Dead, is someone will give them approval to make season two.  

Better Call Saul

YES!!!  x2.  One of my favorite shows ever (Breaking Bad) got a spin-off for one of my favorite characters ever.  We get to see the origin story of Saul Goodman, (still brilliantly played by Bob Odenkirk).  Soooooo good!  It feels like a comfy new version of Breaking Bad, without all the pesky blue meth.  Visually beautiful, and so well written.  I love you with all my heart Vince Gilligan!

YES!!!  x3.  Season two is coming very soon.  I loved season one, and ironically, I was not a big fan of the original movie.  Another brilliant case of writing, directing, and acting that made this show one of my favorites. 

American Horror Story: Hotel

YES!!! x4.  

Official ranking:
Season one = blah.  
Season two Asylum = good.  
Season three Coven = good.  
Season four Freak Show = blah.  

After seeing the first episode of Hotel, I LOVE IT!  This is why I say movies and television really are a visual art form that few take advantage of.  Episode one was was soooooo pretty!  The OCD in me was soothed with all the perfect symmetry, and so many scenes were just really impressive looking.  I'm also curious about the stories involved, so I'm eager to see what happens here.   

Okay, I know this seems like a lot, but keep in mind, most of these shows are on a break for six months out of the year.  For example, BBC's Sherlock season one, had only three episodes airing in October of 2010.  Season two began, with three more episodes in May 2012  Of course that is an extreme example, but for most shows, it's fairly easy to binge watch and catch up with four or five of them in one afternoon.
And for all you idiots that say I hate everything, I only listed the most recent highlights.  Also falling into the YES!!! department are:  Game of Thrones, Penny Dreadful, BBC's Sherlock, Doctor Who, The Flash, and 12 Monkeys. 

Honorable mentions that I mostly like:  Dark Matter (if you can overlook the obvious and heavy Firefly influences), Killjoys (omg Hannah John-Kamen is so freakin' hot!!), Supernatural (which went from meh, to awesome!!  to... is this show still on??), and From Dusk Till Dawn (ironically, not a big fan of the original movie, but I loved Clooney, Tarantino and duh... Salma Hayek from it.  The remake is a cheap imitation but not bad). 

Falling into the "I'm just not feelin' it anymore" category:  The Strain and Grimm

You might notice, I did not mention Agents of SHIELD.  As a huge Marvel Movie fan, I have some legal obligation to continue watching.  But the writing has been all over the place.  Sometimes bad, sometimes acceptable.  But their biggest crime against humanity is the look of the show, with their heavy dark filters on nearly every scene.  Doesn't anyone know where a light switch is??  Your not Batman!  

 And finally... speaking of MarvelDaredevil season one (all available on Netflix), was awesome!!  Now let's talk about the upcoming Jessica Jones...

Okay, maybe I do need a life,

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