Season Premiere Round-Up: 1/23/16 – 2/5/16

I only have two season premieres to discuss with you today. I ought to have three, except that I haven’t quite made myself watch The Magicians yet. I had extremely mixed feelings on the first book, and while it’s a great concept for a TV series, I’m not sure I need yet another show where I want to strangle all the characters. The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow do enough to regularly raise my blood pressure, you know?

Unfortunately, I wasn’t too wild with the season premieres I did watch, either. Be warned: SPOILERS ahead.

Lucifer

lucifer

This was . . . okay. On the plus side, Tom Ellis is charming as hell and also has a British accent, which is rarely ever a bad thing. And I’m kind of a sucker for the angel/demon mythos, even if I don’t always like where people go with it.

On the negative side, the wacky, charming guy who partners up with the straight-laced female cop is a very, very tired trope, and this is hardly the most exciting example of it. (For my money, Sleepy Hollow probably did it best because Nicole Beharie was fucking amazing. Sadly, everything else in that show went straight to hell in the second season.) Lauren German isn’t bad, necessarily, but I saw nothing particularly interesting about her, either, and I’m not sure I could possibly express to you how little interest I have in her bullshit relationship drama with her ex. (Oh, Kevin Alejandro. Why are they wasting you like this? I weep for the memory of Jesús.)

Plus–and I say this as someone who’s enjoyed a lot of detective shows–I feel like we’re really limiting the the potential here by making the whole thing a police procedural. If Lucifer was a private detective who occasionally consulted with the cops, you know, maybe that would have worked for me, but this current setup feels tired and small in scope. It also kind of bugs me that Lucifer’s “I’m So Sexy” powers only apparently work on women (except the female lead, of course). And maybe this is just me, but I find myself slightly uncomfortable with his powers anyway. Like getting someone to blurt out their secret desires, sure, no problem. Being entirely irresistible to the opposite sex, though, is . . . trickier. I know the psychologist and her Basic Instinct moment was supposed to be funny, but I mostly just felt uncomfortable. You can argue that Lucifer can’t make the doctor do anything she doesn’t secretly want to do, but you know, your inhibitions aren’t just some silly, artificial thing society has thrust upon you. Inhibitions are a part of who you are. What you choose not to do means something. So, yeah. I kind of cringed at that part.

Lucifer wasn’t terrible and I’ve definitely enjoyed shows that started with far worse pilots, but time ain’t cheap, you know, and I’m just not sure I want to waste time on one that’s so by-the-numbers. If someone decides they want to make a series about The Accountant from Drive Angry, though? I would watch the HELL out of that show.

FAVORITE PART:

You know, I’m honestly not sure. It’s been almost two weeks since I watched it, and while I’m sure Tom Ellis had a few jokes that made me laugh, nothing stands out to me now.

TENTATIVE GRADE:

B

The X-Files

x

Wow. I know I was one of the few people who actually wasn’t looking forward to the show coming back, but I didn’t expect it to be this bad.

The second part of the two-part premiere was just kind of boring. I felt checked out during most of it and have very little to say, other than (a) stabbing yourself in the ear with a letter opener is always effectively creepy, and (b) the gay restroom joke felt really dated and weird to me. Oh, and I never actually watched the last X-Files movie that everybody hates, so when I found out about Mulder and Scully’s whole adoption storyline, I was pretty disappointed.

It’s the first hour, though, that is the true ungodly mess.

On the plus side, I always like seeing Gillian Anderson. (And I don’t see her as much as I’d like, because she does a lot of stuff I’m not terribly interested in.) I like Joel McHale too, and while his character is a very weird sort of hero to have (like, you go, 9/11 truther?), he might have been the only part of the story that felt updated or original in any way. At the very least, he had energy.

On the negative side . . . I mean . . . what the fuck? Seriously, did we just retcon, like, the entire show? I can’t decide what annoys me more: the giant ass retcon that the government’s been behind the abductions all along, or the fact that Mulder’s Big Revelation feels in no way earned. Like, he meets an unusual girl and sees a weird ship, and ten seconds later he knows without a doubt that everything he ever thought about aliens was a LIE? I never understood the jump in his thought process, and I’m thoroughly unimpressed with this weak ass writing. Come on, the takeover of America? Really? Really?

What’s funny, too, is that I was all about Mulder when I was younger. At 30, though, I’m like, “Whatever, Mulder, I don’t care about you and your man pain. Skinner, slap him around a little, would you? And Scully, let’s just focus on you, okay? Because you’re awesome, and because I feel that we need to discuss how you always manage to get blood on your neck during what are apparently very messy ear surgeries. Also . . . did you really never check yourself for alien DNA, like, even after all the crap you’ve been through? You’ve really never done that until now? Okay, then.”

I was only a mild Mulder/Scully shipper, so I don’t feel too invested one way or the other in their breakup. (Although I do get why the shippers are pissed.) But I was very annoyed by their big confrontation; it felt really cheap and weird and full of catchphrases instead of actual arguments. It was like the remix of a fight. It was fucking bizarre.

Considering that I wasn’t even excited about The X-Files returning, I didn’t think I could be disappointed by it. Apparently, I was wrong. If I hadn’t heard such good things about the third episode (currently living on my DVR with The Magicians pilot, the second episode of Lucifer, and half a dozen other things), I doubt I would even continue, even though I’m already 1/3 of the way through the series.

FAVORITE PART:

I’ll admit to laughing when Mulder told Tad, “My pursuit has not been so lucrative.”

TENTATIVE GRADE:

C-. And frankly, I think that’s generous.

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