Okay, so, this is kind of late because I was busy last week. Also, I only just managed to watch the season premiere of The Walking Dead last Saturday, so, whatever. I’m sorry, okay? I have failed this blog, and this city.
Unfortunately, my failure means that some of my comments (like on Arrow) have already been proven wrong. I said to hell with it and posted them anyway. Please keep in mind the usual warning for SPOILERS.
All in all, this was a pretty solid premiere. I can’t pretend I’m terribly interested in Liv’s family storyline, like, at all, but everything else was great. Blaine as a funeral director, I mean, oh my GOD. He’s so good. Everything about Blaine is awesome. And Liv as a super cranky and racist old man was surprisingly hilarious. I thought that gag would give out early, but Rose McIver just nails it. I’m really glad they managed to get a lead actress with such strong comedic range for this show.
Major’s story, meanwhile, is interesting. I never quite know where they’re going with Major, which is exciting in and of itself. I don’t know if I want this Blackmail Zombie Hunting to be an all-season thing, but I’m curious enough for now. Also, I was happy to see that my immediate suspicions about the supposedly boring IRS roommate were correct, as well as the fact that talking zombie shop on a cell phone might be a bad idea.
I’m curious to see where Peyton has run off to — surely, she’s coming back at some point? — and I really want Ravi to have a little more to do this season because I just love that man, but overall, iZombie looks pretty good so far. (Although, seriously. Would it kill Liv to just tell Clive that she’s always acting so weird as a side effect of her psychic visions? It’s not actually that big of a stretch and might cut down a bit on all the understandable side-eye.)
Hard to say. Everything about Blaine is pretty awesome. Maybe just that whole scene. Especially Liv’s line: “Are you eating that or impregnating it?”
The Walking Dead
This is the thing: my interest in The Walking Dead has dropped considerably lately. And it’s not because the show’s gotten worse; actually, I generally enjoyed the last season overall. But there’s a limit to how long I can watch a show like this, I think, without everything just feeling a little repetitive. We’re going into our sixth season now, and if things went my way, we’d be ending the show this year.
Unfortunately, someone recently pointed me in the direction of this entirely depressing article where the creators talked about how they had plans for the series going up to twelve seasons, and once I read that, my excitement for the season premiere fell flat. But I made myself watch it anyway, and to be fair, “First Time Again” is a pretty decent episode. The ending was a great “Oh shit” moment and also a great setup for the season. I can’t help but wonder if the writers came up with this whole plot after hearing criticism about how Alexandria and its total noob residents hadn’t all been overrun and killed before Rick’s people showed up.
The thing about The Walking Dead is that so much of it’s about Rick’s questionable morality, and my interest in that is pretty minimal. Right now, I’m okay with it, mostly because I’m assuming he’s going to turn Chief Antagonist by the end of the season, or at least should. But I’m not really excited about the idea of Rick returning to Idealistic Rick again. Ideally, I think we should have a big civil war in Alexandria at some point, preferably this year . . . and then maybe we could finally kill off Rick. (I swear, I don’t hate the guy, but I’m just kind of over his moral dilemmas at this point. I could probably go at least eight seasons of The Walking Dead if we focused primarily on Daryl, Carol, and Glenn instead.)
A few last minute random things:
A. I might feel like Rick is going the route of Evil, but the moment he killed Ethan Embry? Yeah, that didn’t seem particularly disturbing to me, like, I didn’t quite take it as the sign of Dark Rick that Morgan and Michonne apparently thought it was. I mean, you can’t really amputate a cheek. (Also, Ethan Embry didn’t last very long, did he? Poor man.)
B. Morgan totally sees through Carol’s happy homemaker act. Heh.
C. I didn’t much care for Jessie last season, but I really liked the moment here where she tells Rick that he can’t put his hands on her son or expect him to listen to the dude who killed his dad. You know, stuff that really shouldn’t need to be said? Good on you, Jessie, for having a brain and possible character development.
D. The black-and-white flashbacks didn’t do much for me. I mean, the shots themselves looked great, but . . . we’re sixth season here? At this point, a sudden switch to black-and-white just feels a completely unnecessary gimmick. (Although, with all those bandages on Rick’s face, I couldn’t help wonder if we were doing a Sin City homage.)
E. I’m interested in Heath for purely superficial reasons. I’m not ashamed of this at all.
Hm. The mystery of Morgan’s disappearing peanut butter protein bar, perhaps?
Last season of Arrow was . . . challenging. Very challenging, and not the good kind of challenging, either, but the kind that turned your favorite character into the absolute worst character and made you want to tear your hair out in frustration. But “Green Arrow” was a pretty solid start to Season Four.
I really enjoy Oliver and Felicity being a happy couple and would like them to remain that way for sometime. Preferably, they won’t have any actual fights until Season 5, but they’re absolutely not allowed to have any (or, obviously, break up) before 2016. This isn’t even coming from an Oliver/Felicity shipping standpoint, either — it’s about keeping the show moving in interesting ways. Oliver/Felicity angst has been done to death, not to mention turned Felicity just awful last season. I don’t want another storyline about how Oliver can’t be with a woman if he’s still a vigilante. This episode looks like we’re moving on from that, and I would very much like that to be the case.
Diggle’s still whining and he’s got a stupid helmet, but I didn’t think it looked as terrible in motion as it did in the promo shots, at least. Thea suffering side effects from the Lazarus Pit could be awesome, as long as she sticks to super violent and cheerful instead of occasionally violent and petulant. (Also, I think she needs a voice changer too. Her voice at the train station sounded . . . I don’t know, weird.) Lance’s possible turn to the Dark Side is kind of interesting, depending on how they play it. (I’m really hoping this is how Sara gets brought back to life and that it has nothing to do with protecting Laurel or some bullshit.)
Also — and this isn’t really related to much — but when are people going to realize that putting engagement rings inside food is a terrible idea? You know Felicity would just accidentally swallow it. I certainly would. Probably for the best, she didn’t get to eat that soufflé.
Finally, the big question: whose name is on the tombstone? I was pretty excited about this — I just assumed the camera would spin to reveal Felicity’s name, and the whole season would be about how she supposedly died before coming back. (I did automatically assume it was a fake-out, which apparently it’s not . . . but I’ve heard that before.) Anyway, making “Who Died?” the big mystery of the season is a really fun way to start the TV year, but my enthusiasm just decreased by, like, a thousand because apparently the producers don’t necessarily know who’s going to die.
And that? That is a terrible way to begin a season, or a mystery. That does not give me a lot of confidence about how this is all going to shake out.
Probably when Felicity admitted how bored she was in their giant house in the suburbs and how much she missed crime fighting. It’s good to have you back, Felicity! (Oliver’s reaction to the friendly neighbors bringing up kids was pretty great too. I really enjoyed both of them in this episode.)
Oh, also, that no one wants to be the mayor. Good call, Walter Steele. I miss you and your amazing voice, but I don’t want you to come back just to die, either.
So, this was okay, though nothing particularly exciting. Barry’s decision to Go It Alone happens a lot, a lot, in superhero shows — which doesn’t mean you can’t do your own version, of course, but this was a pretty generic way to go about it, and with not very much heart, either. It doesn’t help that I don’t believe Ronnie’s really dead, either, like, not for a second, mostly because it’s such an amazingly lame character exit. Usually when you kill off a semi-important character, you know, you devote more than four seconds to the scene. Although that would hardly be the most questionable character exit in this episode, but we’ll get back to that in a second.
The best part about Barry’s totally by-the-numbers crisis is how Iris is like, “Dude, we care about you, but we also care about protecting the city and you don’t get to keep shutting us out.” That was pretty awesome. Let’s keep this upward trend for Iris West, please. (I also liked the flashback with Joe and Barry, less because it was truly necessary and more because Jesse L. Martin is awesome and his reaction face when Little Barry suddenly hugs him is fantastic.)
I was also pleased with Cisco’s brief vision of an alternate timeline. There wasn’t much to it, but I’m really into this storyline and can’t wait to watch as it unfolds.
But guys. GUYS. That bullshit with Henry Allen at the end — I mean what the shit was that? Hands down, I think that was one of the most unrealistic things I’ve seen on television ever, and yeah, I know I’m talking about a show where a guy traveled back in time AND stopped a singularity by running super fast. Sure, I get the supposed concept behind it — you can’t be the hero you need to be if I stick around, blah blah — but even if I completely bought that (which I don’t), no one, I mean, NO ONE makes that decision ONE DAY after a 15-year stint in prison. That is just not a decision a person makes. That is only a decision a character makes, and it drives me absolutely bonkers. Did John Wesley Shipp really hate working on the show or something? Could they not have found any less ludicrous reason to get rid of him?
Honestly, I would’ve taken, “You know, son, I’ve been stuck in a tiny gray cell for half of my adult life, and there are things I need to do now. Like Vegas. I definitely need to go to Vegas” over this. I still don’t know if I would have quite bought it, but I’d sure take “Central City Claustrophobia/Want to See The World” over “I’m Going to Leave You, My Only Son, Because You Can’t Be A Hero Without Me, Even Though We Haven’t Even Taken, Like, a WEEK To Test That Asinine Theory, And May I Just Remind Everyone I’ve Been in Jail And Have Barely Been Allowed to Hug You For the Past 15 YEARS.”
I know this is a small scene to get hung up on, but I almost knocked The Flash down a whole letter grade for it. Because it shouldn’t have been a small scene — Henry Allen getting out of prison and leaving Central City is HUGE — and it’s been a while since I so completely didn’t buy a character’s gigantic life choice. I mean, what is this, Arrow?
Cisco’s quick flash to the other timeline. Seriously, I’m all about this storyline.