Season Premiere Round-Up: 1/1/16-1/22/16

Loving TV, as I do, I found myself writing mini recaps/reviews of all the season premieres I watched last fall, up until December, anyway. Then I kind of forgot about it because, really, not much premieres in December. (Other than The Expanse, of course, because the executives at Syfy are apparently contrary bastards.) And I went right on forgetting it, too, until the other day when I was watching the third episode of Teen Wolf, Season 5B, and was like, “Oh, yeah. I was doing kind of a thing, huh?”

And so. A handful of season premiere impressions: some timely, some belated, and all, rather obviously, with SPOILERS.

The 100

100

Mek and I found The 100 last year on Netflix and quickly marathoned through two seasons. While the show started a bit slow for me (if I could have murdered Octavia and Bellamy in the first couple of episodes, I would’ve, and probably wouldn’t have wept for Clarke, either, if she just happened to, I don’t know, fall victim to a herd of rampaging wild deer or something), it definitely got SO much better, and I spent most of last year looking forward to a new season.

This is a pretty solid start, letting us know what all our characters have been up to for the past three months after the devastatingly brutal events of “Blood Must Have Blood, Part II.” Clarke has become everyone’s Most Wanted and, also, a redhead! (Disappointingly, it appears she’ll be going back to blonde soon.) Raven’s leg has gotten worse (which I’m happy about it because I love that it’s a continuing storyline, not just a bullshit Magic Heal). Bellamy has a girlfriend! (And I bet the Bellarke shippers are pissed.) Lincoln and especially Octavia are struggling with their identities as somewhere between Sky People and Grounders. And the gang goes on road trips and listens to the Violent Femmes! (I mock, but I actually enjoy CW’s anachronistic music for the most part, and this scene totally amused me. Also amusing: the kid who plays the piano at the end. Raven asks for a song, and I’m immediately like, “Oh, is this the infamous Montage Boy?” Turned out, it was. Also, apparently, a real musician whose stunt casting, predictably, went straight over my head.)

In fact, I only want one character to get brutally trampled upon and die in a stampede of angry rhinos now: Jasper, who has, unsurprisingly, not taken Maya’s demise very well and has become a suicidal drunk who’s mean to Monty. (He’s also shaved his head, which is obviously the second best Grooming Option for the Depressed, next to growing an Angst Beard. Surprisingly, it looks decent on him.) And the thing is, I get his trauma and I should feel sorry for him, but I’ve never particularly liked Jasper and his whiny “Only My Love Life Matters” approach to moralism, and seriously, anyone who’s mean to Monty DESERVES TO DIE. (I’m seriously hoping he gets more to do this year. Monty is the best. He deserves his own angst time, damn it.)

I’m kind of interested in the weird Jaha story because I want to know where it goes (presumably, he and ALIE will become the show’s Big Bad?), but anytime The 100 cuts away to him, I’m immediately like, “No, no, go back to the characters I actually care about!” But it’s great how much I’ve 180-ed on Murphy, who started life as a totally boring antagonist and now I’m very much rooting for. “I’m so out of here,” Murphy says, and yes, YES, Murphy. This is the proper reaction to Crazypants Jaha, the psychotic AI, and Johannes Brahms. (Of course, then he changes his mind because of a girl. Oh, Murphy. I am disappointed in you, buddy.)

FAVORITE PART:

I did love Murphy’s line, “Pain. Hate. Envy. Those are the ABC’s of me.” Still, my favorite part was probably when Monty unsympathetically threw the bucket of cold water at Jasper’s face. Here’s to hoping he upgrades that to a punch across the kisser next.

TENTATIVE GRADE:

A-

Agent Carter

carter

Yay, Agent Carter is back! “The Lady in the Lake” and “A View in the Dark” was a solid two-hour premiere, although honestly, I’m not sure how much I really have to say about it. Nothing about it seemed particularly ZOMG AMAZEBALLS, but I had a good time watching it regardless. It was nice to see Peggy Carter back in action, crisp and kickass and fashionable as ever. Punching everyone in LA seems like a fabulous hobby, and I would happily watch her take it up.

Also nice to see Souza (whose new, adorable GF, I’m desperately hoping, is not secretly evil), two strong female antagonists (especially Dottie! Hi Dottie!), and the return of Jarvis, bored out of his mind and occasionally chasing flamingos. I also quite enjoy Jarvis’s wife, Ana, although I am a little disappointed that Angie’s disappeared into the television void. And Rose, the SSR telephone operator/receptionist, has come to play! I’m super jazzed about that.

Wilkes, Peggy’s new love interest, has supposedly been killed, although I don’t buy it for a second. (Although, to be fair, I’ve been wrong about that kind of thing before. Still. An explosion that’s evaporated his body? Yeah, okay, guys.) And I’m kind of waiting to see where Jack’s storyline goes (though I’m not nearly as interested in him as I am in Peggy, Jarvis, and Souza). Is he going to become a bad guy, do we think? Or is he going to realize he’s joining Hydra and eventually get murdered for it?

FAVORITE PART:

Hm, I’m not sure. I couldn’t help but adore Peggy and Jarvis looking at the flamingo in the car. They’re just so charmingly . . .British together. I don’t know. Also, Rose telling Souza that he should tell Peggy about his girlfriend, and then offering him a snarky cookie when it ends up being too late. (And this exchange too: “Daniel, you’re a nice guy.”/”Oh, that’s just mean.”)

TENTATIVE GRADE:

A-

Teen Wolf

parrish

Oh, Teen Wolf, how I have missed you!!! It’s lovely to have you back.

This is a solid season opener, although–like many of the season premieres–it spends most of its time setting things up, so you know the really exciting things are coming later. Scott has started the uneasy quest of getting the band back together after Theo so easily and thoroughly divided them last fall, and it’s not off to the best start, since his Super Angst is (likely) what’s preventing him from healing properly. (Like in Season 3A, when Derek was supposedly but obviously not actually dead. Can’t Heal With a Broken Heart was incredibly silly then, but it’s pretty much just canon now.)

I like a good deal about this episode: Scott and Stiles being forced to work together again (especially after Stiles throws Scott against a wall and slams him to the ground, which, not gonna lie, I kind of enjoyed watched), Scott offering to listen to Malia if she needs it, Mason’s reaction to Liam tearing a page out of a library book instead of using the copier like a civilized werewolf, and, obviously, all of Stiles’s stuff with his dad. (The repeated head injury/blackouts made me laugh a little–it’s really just a matter of time before this kid ends up with brain damage–but I totally adored the moment when the Sheriff woke up, so. I let it slide.) I was less impressed with the fact that all you need to do to find the Nemeton, apparently, is use your Werewolf Eyes, cause, seriously, nobody thought of that before? And I still think it’s weird that Stiles and Malia apparently broke up last season because that’s really not what I got from that scene, but all in all, I was pretty into the premiere.

Especially that last flash-forward, where Theo and His Evil Chimera Pack slow-mo walked into Eichen House to get Lydia, and a seriously pissed off hellhound came to meet them. Hot damn, Parrish. (Sorry for the pun. Heh, no I’m not.)

FAVORITE PART:

Oh, probably when the Sheriff wakes up. Sue me; I’m a sucker for Stilinski Family Feels.

TENTATIVE GRADE:

B+

The Shannara Chronicles

sc

This isn’t bad, so far. Some things I like; other things, not so much. Shall we good/meh/blarg it?

THE GOOD:

Amberle. Of the three main characters, Amberle’s easily my favorite so far. I question some of her decision making skills (like, maybe we should talk to someone about these visions before immediately running away?), but I buy her badass moments, and I adore her silver elf-ear jewelry. (Seriously, I want these.)

Amberle’s handmaiden. Is she coming back? She oughta come back.

The cinematography/special effects. MTV shows don’t usually have a gigantic budget (hence the shitty green screens and often laughable CGI on Teen Wolf), but this show looks pretty damn great, especially given its network.

Ander. I like this guy, and I really hope he doesn’t end up dying or turning out to be a Big Twist Bad Guy.

Manu Bennett. Allanon is gruff and enjoyable, and it’s nice to see Slade as a good guy this time around.

The surprising amount of bloody violence. Maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I wasn’t expecting Teen Wolf levels of violence from YA high fantasy. I’m happy to have been wrong and hope the gory fun continues.

John Rhys-Davies. Less because he does anything worthwhile (I’m basically just waiting for him to get horribly murdered) but because I like the actor.

THE MEH:

Will. When he’s going for comedic, I’m generally amused. When he’s going for emotional . . . yeah, I’m not quite there yet.

All the characters are . . . pretty damn trope-y. (Especially naive country boy Will and Ander’s annoying, I-Don’t-Trust-Druids-And-I-Wanna-Be-King-NOW brother.) Now, obviously, it’s extremely early, so maybe everyone’s going to end up subverting their tropes and end up in interesting places . . . but so far I’m not seeing much evidence to suggest that.

THE BLARG:

Eretria. I want to like her. I really do. Morally ambiguous thief girls? Totally my thing. But she didn’t strike me as tough or cutthroat or awesome; mostly, she just struck me as annoying and trying way too hard to seem badass. Perhaps the actress will settle into the character? I mean, there is definitely potential for growth. (Plus, she was Ofelia in Pan’s Labyrinth! Damn it, I want to like you SO MUCH.) It also probably doesn’t help that she and Will, who seem destined for one another, have about as much chemistry as a rock and bag of low-fat pretzels. (Eretria has far, far more chemistry with Amberle, so I could maybe be okay seeing them get together. Unlikely, perhaps, because I doubt that’s in the source material, but then again, this is MTV. The network gets a lot of shit from a lot of people, but they’ve done a pretty good job with gay and lesbian representation in their other shows, and I don’t think they’ll abandon that here.)

The annoying I-Wanna-Be-King Now prince. He’s not as serious of a problem for me as Eretria because I’m obviously supposed to actually like Eretria. But at present, he’s a one-note tool, and I have little interest in watching him snipe at his father and brother or betray his family and try to take the throne.

FAVORITE PART:

Hm, I’m not sure. Maybe the whole opener when Amberle wins the race? I enjoyed that. Also, whenever Allanon mocks Will. That’s obviously good, too.

Legends of Tomorrow

legends

You know how some pilots just scream PILOT? Yeah, that’s how watching this episode felt. It wasn’t terrible or anything, but it just felt so compressed, so basic. They had to spend a lot of time going over the character backstories for anybody who doesn’t regularly watch Arrow and The Flash, which makes sense, but I couldn’t help but feel that new viewers would still be like . . . wait, who in the what now? Meanwhile, the rest of us, presumably, just tuned out Hawkgirl and Hawkman’s reincarnation story because it was kind of boring and unconvincing the first time around.. (Yes, I remain bitter that we didn’t get JLU Shayera Hol. You’re my favorite, Shayera!)

My random thoughts:

A. Oh man, Stein is a DICK. Drugging someone so they’re forced to travel through time with you on an almost certainly doomed quest to try and defeat an immortal super villain, all so you can have a little adventure and meaning in your life? Wow, no. I mean, I forgive it because I like Victor Garber, but no. He owed SO MUCH more of an apology to Jax at the end of this episode.

B. I do like that not everyone is initially eager to jump on board because, like, dying isn’t fun. I also like that Captain Cold and Heat Wave tag along primarily to steal shit.

C. Much to my shock, Heat Wave actually made me laugh intentionally a few times. Could he indeed be turning down the TOTAL CRAZY just a little? Because if he does, I could potentially actually like him.

D. I was convinced that Rip secretly wanted Captain Cold, Heat Wave, and White Canary to leave the ship because, otherwise, it seemed like a monumentally stupid plan to leave them alone. Apparently, it was just a monumentally stupid plan. Worked for me, though: I love the scene with the three of them at the bar. How long do you figure before CaptainCanary becomes canon? (ColdCanary? WhiteCold? I’m not the best at shipper names.)

E: Finally, and unfortunately, Vandal Savage continues to underwhelm me as a Big Bad.

FAVORITE PART:

Probably that bar scene. Otherwise, one of these two Heat Wave lines:

“Deafness wasn’t one of the side effects.”

“Why did we become criminals?”
“Because we hate working and love money.”

TENTATIVE GRADE:

B

TENTATIVE GRADE:

B

Galavant

g2

Honestly, I was shocked that this show didn’t get cancelled, and I wasn’t sure I was going to pick it up again. But a season premiere titled “A New Season aka Suck It, Cancellation Bear” was too hilarious to pass up.

Mostly, I’m in the same place I was last season. Some stuff cracks me up. I absolutely loved the opening song. And Galavant and Richard are fun to watch together. On the other hand, some of the humor feels tired and gets on my nerves. And my inner feminist sighed pretty heavily when Isabella, after mistakenly coming to believe that Galavant doesn’t love her anymore, decided to give up escaping her imprisonment/arranged marriage to her 12-year-old cousin because nothing matters if Galavant doesn’t love her. Like, really, Isabella? Really? It’s a fun enough show, and I will always be happy that Timothy Omundson has work, but even it miraculously makes a Season Three . . . I’m not sure I’m sticking around this time.

FAVORITE PART:

We didn’t actually see it, but apparently four pirates willingly walked the plank rather than hear the Galavant theme song one more time. Love it.

TENTATIVE GRADE:

B-

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4 Responses to Season Premiere Round-Up: 1/1/16-1/22/16

  1. eileenholmesss says:

    Awesome post- I haven’t looked into The 100 yet, but I’ll definitely be giving it a watch now 🙂 I would love to talk to you about sharing your work on Moviepilot, as well as some exciting opportunities we have coming up on the site. If you’re interested, feel free to drop me a line at eileen.holmes@moviepilot.com– thanks!

  2. Teacups says:

    Teen Wolf: I’m mostly enjoying this season, although I’m still confused about how precisely Theo’s chimera’s have been effected, emotionally and morally, by the whole being dead thing. Corey and Hayden still mostly act like themselves, and seem to feel like they don’t have much choice but to follow Theo if they want to live. But then Tracy’s turned into a cold-blooded killer, and is apparently really embracing her role as Theo’s thug. So… is Tracy just a terrible person? Was she effected the most because she was dead the longest? I do not get it.

    I liked the big Eichen House two-parter for the most part, but didn’t really appreciate the increasingly Stiles-focused nature of it, to the detractment of the others and their friendship with Lydia? Especially at the end, when she tells her mother that Stiles, specifically, saved her. Yuck. Where the hell was her mum before that, anyway? Was she driving to the clinic separately or what? I couldn’t believe that she wouldn’t insist on riding with her half-dead daughter, even if it meant she had to go pick up the car from Eichen the next day.

    Anyway, it looks like we’re headed back to full-on Stiles-loves-Lydia territory, which I’m not all that happy about, honestly. I prefer them as friends.

    Oh, I also found Hayden’s scenes were breaking the pace of such a big, action-heavy episode. Especially the sex scene. I usually roll my eyes through all of Hayden and Liam’s romantic scenes, and that applies double whenever they start making out (or boning, in this case) while some generic pop song plays. I aggressively do not care.

    • You know, if they could tie it to the longer you’ve been dead, the more evil you are? I would actually take that. It makes a certain amount of logical sense, all things considered . . . but I think they just needed Theo to have a loyal henchman and picked Tracy to be it. Which sucks, since Tracy was interesting, damn it. My guess: if they bother to go into at all, they’ll say Corey and Hayden are acting most like themselves because they have love interests. Or, excuse me. ANCHORS.

      I actually was totally okay with the Stiles-focus inside Eichen House because he and Lydia have a long history of trying to save each other (as love interests or otherwise) and I think I’d have been disappointed if he wasn’t one of the primary parts. That being said, when Lydia tells her mom that Stiles saved her? I agree that part felt off to me, mostly because it seems like, primarily, Parrish and Deaton saved Lydia. Not that she can’t still be grateful to everyone including Stiles. And I know Stiles has been the one Lydia’s mom has been most focusing her blame on, so maybe it was meant to sort of heal that rift? Also, Stiles has to save someone to feel better about killing Donovan, according to Papa Stilinski, so maybe that was also a motivating factor in the line? Regardless, while it didn’t bother me as much, it didn’t read right to me either. (And yes, I agree. Lydia’s mom’s scenes have serious editing issues.)

      I want to see Lydia in awesome full-on control mode again . . . but I admit, I kind of thought she would get at least a scene between Mistletoe-to-the-Brain and Totally-Composed-At-School. This show, sometimes, I swear to God. I daydream about being hired as a tie-in writer and all I’d do is write missing scene novels to make everything make sense. I will settle for fanfiction, I suppose.

      Oh my GOD, Hayden’s sex scenes with Liam. SO DON’T CARE. Of course it would help if I cared about either character, but yeah, they wildly broke up the tension. That was just dumb.

      You think there’s any chance at all that someone besides Mason ends up being the Beast? I don’t want it to be Mason but am having trouble coming up with other viable suspects. There’s this one girl who pops up occasionally? There’s Brett and his sister. Beyond that . . . I’ve got nothing but wild daydreams. Jackson, come back. DANNY, COME BACK.

      Desperately ready for Kira’s story to advance meaningfully. Disappointed that her trip to New Mexico was ultimately pretty worthless.

      • Teacups says:

        Even Josh ended up displaying more of an individual personality (and more consistantly) post-death than Tracy did, which I found pretty surprising. Like, if they needed someone to be the loyal, heartless henchman, I would’ve thought it’d be the dude who received the least development pre-death, and was already an attempted murderer?

        Given her and Theo were smooching right before he killed her, maybe the idea was that her post-death behaviour was due to romantic feelings for him, but I think they still did a terrible job getting that across. That scene and an earlier moment of hesitation in the face of Deucalion’s monologuing were the only times she seemed like an actual person to me, instead of a character akin to a nameless minion from a Saturday morning cartoon. And yeah, this does suck. I was sad when Theo killed her; I’d still been hoping that she would regain a personality once Theo was defeated and stick around for next season – as improbable as such a scenario was. IDK, maybe the problem was that TPTB didn’t realise they’d hit upon an interesting and sympathetic character until after they’d already planned out her whole arc, if they ever did.

        It’s just that most of Lydia’s friendship moments are with either Stiles or Parrish, and I want some with people who aren’t her love interests, you know? (This also applies to Kira and Malia, although they had that story together in Eichen house, and Malia has Braedan.) So I was happy when the whole team was willing to storm Eichen House to get her out, and was desperately trying to get the plan to work. I didn’t mind Stiles being the one who was supposed to actually physically get her out – it was logically explained with the mountain ash thing, which was already an established fact about Eichen, and it made sense story-wise for that to be Stiles’ role in the heist, given he’s less physically capable than the rest of the team.

        But at a certain point in the second part, it started feeling less like a “Pack feels!” story and more like another story about Stiles (and to a lesser extent, Parrish) loving Lydia – especially towards the end, where almost everyone vanished without explanation so Stiles could be the one cradling Lydia on the way to Deaton. Even though he was a human and therefore in far more danger from her than say, Malia would’ve been. And like, I could definitely see Stiles coming along anyway, but A) he didn’t have to be the one holding her, and B) the same argument would apply to her mum.

        I do like Stiles and Lydia’s friendship usually, although I do really prefer the one in your fics than the one we see on the actual show – I can’t think of anything the show’s done with them that was as good as the crane fic or Bones, Hearts, Minds.

        I too found it rather jarring seeing Lydia out and about in the very next episode, with no mention of the mistletoe poisoning or the freaking hole in her skull. Oh, her finding Parrish at the end of the Totally-Composed-At-School scene cracked me the hell up – I kept imagining the wacky misunderstandings that would’ve happened if he’d been spotted by some random student looking for a book, Or a member of staff, who presumably would’ve been less understanding than Team Wolf about a filthy, half-naked cop turning up inside a high school. (At least he had his super flame-retardant boxers. I have to assume he buys those off of some kind of fire fetish website. In bulk.)

        I’ve been wondering – how aware are the nameless muggle students of the supernatural shenanigans, these days? And how aware are they of Team Wolf’s involvement, especially after so many of them witnessed Scott, Malia, and Liam changing and fighting the Beast in the library? Is it like Buffy, where they know something’s fucked in Beacon Hills, and that Scott and co. help protect them, but they’re trying to live normal lives until graduation? And what about the hospital, and the police station? Has anyone noticed that Melissa’s/the Sheriff’s kids and/or their friends are usually around when weird shit happens?

        Whenever my mind had drifted to “Who is the Teenage Beast?” I hadn’t really been able to come up with any good candidates we know except for Mason, yeah. Basically every named character except Stiles was already a supernatural creature.

        I was disappointed to get another of the increasingly irrelevant flashback episodes, and to be honest, it felt like such a chore I ended up just skipping through the flashbacks, just catching enough to get the basic backstory.

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