TV Round-Up

It’s been fairly quiet over here on the Nerdgazzum blog.  I broke the silence over on my personal one where I have come to accept that I am suffering from depression and that’s put a bit of a stop on most things Nerdgazzum.  All of THAT noise will be over on my blog as this isn’t the place and  I wanted to break the silence on this blog by discussing what’s happening on TV at the moment.

First up, the return of The Flash.  Great mid-season premiere.  Kinda tugs at the heartstrings what with Patty and Barry and Joe and Wally but still a gripping watch.  The best bit by far had to be the credits scene with [su_spoiler title=”Spoiler!” style=”fancy”]Eobard Thawne as the Reverse Flash who has somehow returned and is rather confused…[/su_spoiler]

Next, we have Arrow and things are getting very interesting.   We have Damien Darhk and [su_spoiler title=”Spoiler!” style=”fancy”]his family who we assumed knew nothing of his activities and it turns out his wife is fully in the know and, possibly, in ordering him…[/su_spoiler] Then there’s the question of who is in the grave? Seeing as [su_spoiler title=”Spoiler!” style=”fancy”]it’s not Felicity who I think will go on to become Oracle as she’s lost the use of her legs. I reckon it’s either Oliver’s son or the boy’s mother. Felicity wasn’t wearing the engagement ring when Oliver got back into the car and see seemed mighty pissed but Oliver wasn’t THAT broken up for it to be any of the team. Perhaps, because Eobard Thawne has returned at the end of Flash, Thawne causes havoc in Star City to weaken the fledgling “Justice League”…[/su_spoiler]

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow premiered and all I can say is “WOW”.  Another great ensemble made up of familiar faces with our new acquaintance, Rip Hunter.  Action packed and gripping throughout, the episode also tugged at heart strings at a couple of different points.  I can’t wait to see where they go with this and how the other shows tie in going forward because they will, especially after [su_spoiler title=”Spoiler!” style=”fancy”]recognising Gideon’s voice who is then named later on as the AI onboard the Waverider which, as we should all know by now, was created by Barry Allen.[/su_spoiler]

It took me a while to warm to Supergirl.  I felt it was the weakest in the CW lineup but she seems to be coming into her own.  The incessant references and name-dropping alluding to her cousin, Clark, got rather boring and annoying.  But towards the mid-season break it really picked up.  Maxwell Lord and his dark plan drawing us in with great interest and, of course the reveal as to who Hank actually is.  The latest episode, “Strange Visitor From Another Planet” was incredibly strong and CW seem intent at tugging at our heart strings across all of their shows at the moment This episode was a reminder of some of the fantastic storylines in Justice League Unlimited where [su_spoiler title=”Spoiler!” style=”fancy”]we see the fate of the Martians and J’onn J’onzz (Hank) becoming the last son of Mars. The White Martians were really well done and a far better depiction compared to the animated iteration.[/su_spoiler] and then the show closes with Supergirl saving a bus [su_spoiler title=”Spoiler!” style=”fancy”]but as we know, it can’t be her as she’s sat eating ice cream watching the news as it’s happening. Looks like Maxwell Lord has created a Bizarro Supergirl which we kinda guessed when Hank infiltrated room 52…[/su_spoiler]

As stressful as having such a full TV calendar due to these fantastic shows starting back up, new shows announced and others returning soon (The Walking Dead) is,  I am still in awe that we are now in a world that accepts these bizarre storylines and characters as mainstream content and no longer a discussion kept at the back of class or away from the popular folk’s ears.  To see stuff from the comics and animated series make it to live-action and not on the “big screen” is truly amazing.   It’s an awesome time to be a geek.

Gotham – The TV Show We Do Not Need Nor Deserve

So, anyone that knows me knows I LOVE Batman and the DC Universe and very rarely do I have a negative thing to say about anything Batman related.  Aside from my major disappointment with Arkham Knight and the abominations that were the Schumacher flicks I have nothing but love for the variety of story arcs and depictions of my beloved childhood hero.  Yet I find myself struggling with Gotham.  I tried so hard to like it.  I WANTED to like it but the spoon-feeding of references and cheesiness is reminiscent of the classic TV show and that ship sailed decades ago.

I initially envisioned a Gotham that was dark, gritty and needed cleaning up.  Season 1 had me thinking that was the case and I defended the show as I so desperately wanted it to be what I thought it would become.  But then the villains started happening.  A new villain every episode with every single hint of who they are spelt out in blazing neon.  Unlike DC’s other efforts over on CW where Flash and Arrow intelligently give newcomers a treat yet don’t alienate the diehard fans with boring references and big arrows pointing at who this newcomer on screen is.

I thought this show would centre on Jim Gordon and his battle to clean up Gotham without getting too dirty himself.  I pictured a young, grieving Bruce Wayne trying to find his way in life and finding a means to overcome the loss and emptiness the demise of his parents brings him.  I pictured a gritty CSI Gotham with subtle references and indications of villains’ origins through well written stories and cameos.  I pictured a tightly woven pre-Batman world that would hold gems for fans and newcomers alike.

I was wrong.  I still watch it.  I don’t know why.  Perhaps I cling to the hope a new writing team and/or show runner comes in as the offscreen Jim Gordon to clean this mess up.  Every time a new villain casting is announce I die a little inside and the calamity grows.  I really enjoyed the Court of Owls run in the comics and, season 2 brought us a link to that arc and I am displeased with how it has played thus far.  The Order of St Dumas came into play, Edward Nygma’s license plate is “RIDDLR”, Penguin’s bizarre and annoying mother…so many let downs that I lose respect for villains I respected and loved in the comics and other media.

Season 1 was the closest we got to what I expected; the (short-lived) turf wars between Falcone and Maroni (and the wretched Fish Mooney that was not required at all).  It was all down hill from there.   Just look at little Bruce, not at all consumed by his parents’ death as he should be.  This is the defining moment in this child’s life and he’s acting more like what a young Alan Sugar would as opposed to the heir to millions who was face to face with his parents’ killer and, who was technically responsible for their death.

The freaks in masks shouldn’t appear until Batman does – the age old argument, is Batman friend or foe and do we need him?  If Batman wasn’t around, would the lunatics have come out of the woodwork?

I watch Flash and Arrow and every time Cisco drops a name reference or every time you see the likes of a pilot’s jacket with the name ‘JORDAN’ with no major focus or reference to it I get giddy and the fanboy gets excited.  I watch Gotham where everything is spoon-fed to the viewer and I yawn and feel no excitement for the next episode.  Perhaps we did need a Gotham TV series.  Just not right now.

Constantine (TV Show)

I watched the Constantine pilot a few nights back.

I really enjoyed it but I feel I probably would benefit from reading more of the comics (I’ve read the New 52 stuff such as Justice League Dark).  I got some of the references (such as Dr Fate’s helmet) and loved the dark, gritty look and feel of the show.

Not sure about the casting but it coulda been worse (Keanu Reeves…) I’m excited to see what else is brought to the table and how well this weaves into other storylines and characters.   James Marsters (Spike in Buffy The Vampire Slayer) is the type of figure I had in mind…

I have a sneaking suspicion that CW can’t be beaten in terms of intertwining characters and references – Arrow and the Flash are immense and go from strength to strength.

I have faith, however, and DC seem to be strengthening their TV presence.  In comparison to Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D,  DC are pwning the airwaves.  My main hope is that these shows then give DC the much needed clout in the movie business.  Superman and Batman (as much as I worship the Bat) have had too much attention in the movies and the way it’s going now, DC’s gallery of heroes and rogues are getting the attention they deserve as DC’s ever-strong animated presence is only going to skim the surface of viewers as not everyone will watch animation.

Constantine looks like it will be what I had hoped Supernatural would have been (after season 6 it went way downhill…it should’ve ended then and not continued).

So, fingers crossed but this pilot was very promising.  Roll on episode 2!

TV Show Soundtracks

So some TV series are good, some are some, and some are awesome!

One of the main things that make up a good show (or movie) is the soundtrack. Look at the phenomenal success of the Frozen soundtrack – mega weeks in the charts and great to have a sing-a-long to especially Love is an Open Door

In celebration of this here’s a little selection of some of my favourite tracks from my most recently watched TV series, enjoy!

First up is the amazing Tears For Fears track Head Over Heels recently featured in Orphan Black (which you should all be watching) you should also recognise from Donnie Darko’s epic slow-mo school opening scene

Orphan Black – Season 2 Episode 5
Tears For Fears ‘Head Over Heels’
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsHiG-43Fzg&w=420&h=315]

Orphan Black – Season 2 Episode 10
Adam Shaikh ‘Water Prayer (Rasta Mix)’
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ey1DuuJ6tGk&w=560&h=315]

American Horror Story Coven – Season 3 Episode 10
Stevie Nicks ‘Rhiannon’
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDkKyBU7GCs&w=420&h=315]

The Walking Dead – Season 4 Episode 15
A.C Newman ‘Be Not So Fearful
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LCm2KNXToU&w=560&h=315]

From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series – First Impressions

After recently discovering this had already started airing in March, I watched the pilot episode last night and I must say I was impressed.

The Gecko brothers are totally different to the original casting choices in the movie (George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino) but there are these little details that trick you into forgetting these are new guys.  Seth’s expressions, tone and pitch occasionally blur into that of Clooney’s performance and Richie is even more messed up (if that’s even possible) this time around.

There are a few niggles that bugged me in terms of consistency and continuity. For example, Richie has visions in Benny’s World of Liquor where they take two female hostages whereby they appear to become vampire/snake women – like in the movie.

Some of the action that plays out in the store is different to the movie as well.  For such a memorable movie scene with the shoot-out in the store, it kinda irks me.  But I get it.  To make a TV series based on a movie, sometimes you gotta change some things to make it work.  Plus, years after it happened, if the folks involved in the original iteration of it may have disliked some things and this is their chance to change dialogue/scenes to fulfil their original wish and so on.

Otherwise, this seems like a pretty solid effort and I can’t wait to watch the next five episodes I’ve got lined up!

Arrow – Episode 14 – Time Of Death

The latest episode of Arrow was fantastic to say the least.

The Clock King is the featured villain this time around with the show opening to his strict time management during a robbery that goes a bit pear-shaped due to the impatience of one of his lackeys.

Sara & Laurel are still not on speaking terms until a turning point later that looks to be about to set Laurel back on the path to recovery.

Felicity feels put out as she’s no longer “Oliver’s girl” but events later on show her in a new light – interesting full-circle from an earlier conversation in the episode around scars and Felicity’s lack of them.

The highlight for me was the ending…

[su_spoiler title=”Spoiler!” style=”fancy”]Oliver is duped into going back to the Queen estate by his sister, Thea, as she has sensed the tension between Oliver and Moira (after all, they’re hiding a huge secret that would rock Thea’s world if she knew the truth about who her father really is). Moira was in the middle of a meeting and you hear a voice from someone off-screen and already you know who it is…but then Oliver walks in to meet the deathly grip of none other than Slade Wilson. Oliver’s past from the island is well and truly catching up with him. Now that Slade has made his presence known, is this the path to a chaotic run up to the finale with Deathstroke The Terminator? All I know is, I can’t wait. After seeing Slade tooled up in ‘Blind Spot’ I need more Deathstroke in my life![/su_spoiler]

There was a very touching scene in an island Flashback with Sara and the downed pilot who is about to breathe his last breath and he asks that Sara looks out for his daughter…again, a nice little full-circle moment to explain a relationship Sara has after life on the island.

After the little break Arrow has had, this is a fully engaging and teasing episode to slam us back into the action.

If only the saying ‘Tempus Fugit’ were actually true!

 

The Walking Dead – Episode 11 – Claimed

Claimed, the latest episode of The Walking Dead , compelled me to blog about it.

I don’t intend to make it a regular feature but, if the episodes are anything like they have been then it may inadvertently happen!

Potential spoilers abound – I will hide them so your wandering eyes don’t stray over them.

The comic and TV show merge in a spectacular way.  Abraham, Rosita and Eugene feature prominently after their short introduction at the end of episode 10.  Appearances-wise, they look pretty bang on in regards to their comic book counterparts.  Eugene looks like your average douche (more on him in the spoilers), Abraham is hard-talking, no-messing and all-out bad-ass!  And, Rosita is just lovely and a welcome bit of eye-candy.

This episode was pretty frantic and, I must admit, the Rick scenes had my heart well and truly lodged in my throat.

[su_spoiler title=”Spoiler!” style=”fancy”]Rick is left alone whilst Michonne and Carl go out scavenging – we get to see more of Michonne and Carl bonding and seeing Michonne’s more humane side – could she be due to go off at the deep end as a result of her pre-crisis life now making itself known?

Rick is asleep only to awake with voices bellowing – at first I thought he had gone back to his crazy episode from the prison (in the comics he started to go on a wobbler when he and Carl stuck it out in a house after the Governor’s crippling assault at the prison.  But it soon turns out that Rick is actually under threat.

Hiding under the bed, soaking with sweat, some rogues are arguing downstairs whilst one is checking out the bedroom he is hiding in.  The guy finishes his recon and collapses onto the bed.  Shortly after, another one comes in and wants the bed for himself so a tussle ensues and just before the weakest one is incapacitated him and Rick lock eyes.  This was an exhilarating scene fraught with tension.

Meanwhile, Glenn awakes to discover the bus that Maggie and co were on is hours behind as Abraham tanks along in the truck on their ‘ mission’ to get to Washington DC.  A nice little scuffle takes place between Glenn and Abraham only to be disturbed by the obvious appearance of walkers drawn by the noise.

Eugene can’t shoot worth a damn and takes out the trucks fuel tank leaving the newly formed group to have to ‘hump’ it.  Glenn is determined to find his wife (Maggie).

The group Rick encounters made me think this could either be the cannibals the group encounters in the comics who decide to feast upon Dale, leaving him to a paraplegic (that obviously won’t happen seeing as he’s dead in the show) or the planting seeds to Negan’s appearance that may happen in season 5 (Kirkman has confirmed he shan’t be in season 4).

Time will tell.[/su_spoiler]

I know the majority of this blog post is hidden as a spoiler (oops) but in summary, this episode was amazing.  I’m loving the current way they’re treating the episodes (kinda like Lost by focusing on certain characters each episode).  Back to back with no interruption (cut out the opening and credits) and I think this half of the season would be even more epic.

It’s nice to see the show converge with the comics in a big bad way unlike what they’ve done before.  I loved (and was extremely frustrated) at the developments with Eugene.  Can’t wait for episode 12 (only a few days now).

Until then, keep on walking.