TV SUPERLATIVES: June, July, and August – 2019

Summer is almost over–not that you’d know it in sunny ass California–so it’s about that time for my Occasional TV Superlatives. If you weren’t around for the last time I did this, it’s pretty straight-forward: I just gush and/or rant about whatever TV shows I’ve recently been watching (whether they’re currently airing or not) with awards like Favorite Ship, Favorite Fight Scene, Most Disgusting Moment, and Most Comically Tragic Character. As always, any awards with spoilers will be very clearly marked.

As a reference point, here are the shows I’ve been watching for the past few months:

Agents of SHIELD, Season 6
Into the Badlands, Seasons 2 and 3 (currently still watching)
Good Omens
Dark, Season 2
Stranger Things, Season 3
Kingdom, Season 1
Yuri on Ice
Infinity Train
, Season 1
13 Reasons Why, Season 3
Los Espookys, Season 1
Hotel del Luna (currently still watching)
Young Justice, Season 3B

With that in mind, let’s get started, shall we?

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My Own Dream Show – A Cast of Characters

Last week, I asked for everyone else’s dream casts. Today I provide my own.

Instead of a team-oriented space opera, as I’d originally intended, I came up with the idea for a Twin Peaks-esque show, only with less icky rape and molestation stuff and more werewolves and random musical numbers. There will be a murder investigation. There will be iconic costumes. Lots of food. ALL the offbeat, deadpan humor. I’m not gonna lie, people: I think I’ve got a winner here. This is absolutely a cult classic that gets cancelled in its first season in the making.

A few disclaimers first:

The clips I’ve chosen do not always match the show I pulled the actor from. I didn’t pick a Chris Pratt clip from Parks & Rec, for instance, because I haven’t watched Parks & Rec. Other times I just liked a different clip better for that actor. I’m fickle.

Also, some clips may include SPOILERS. You’ve been warned.

Now! Introducing your Cast of Characters:

The FBI Agent. Also, The Unlucky Magnet For All Things Weird.

Allison Janney (The West Wing)

(The problem with embedding clips is that you never quite find the one you’re looking for. I was hoping for a specific scene with turkeys, but hey, I like this one too.)

The FBI agent fled this strange little town long ago, hoping for a life of normalcy and law enforcement and chain restaurant options; however, the strange and supernatural follow wherever she goes. If handed a simple home-invasion-gone-wrong homicide, you can bet that psychic clowns are somehow involved. Has long since accepted this, and basically everything else that happens. Weary and cynical. Will always make time for breakfast.

Quote: Yup. That’s a werewolf, all right. Look, I believe I was promised donuts?

The Small Town Cop. Charming, But Slightly Tortured. Also, Psychic.

Theo Rossi (Luke Cage)

(Ugh, forget about the turkeys. It is stupidly hard to find Luke Cage scenes with Shades in them on Youtube. This is probably not the representative example I would have given, but I didn’t have much to work with. You can find the “lawyer” scene here at the 7:05 mark, though, and that one always makes me laugh.)

The FBI agent’s liaison/local partner during this investigation. Does the majority of his casework by reading the cards, looking for omens, having creepy dreams, and speaking to ghosts, who unfortunately aren’t always as helpful as you’d expect them to be. Has far more hobbies than any one person could realistically have. Begins a romance with the ghost of the current murder victim.

Quote: The mime in my dream told us we’d find a clue at the old sawmill. Then the Dark Mime God came and punished the mime by erasing his mouth from existence . . . but that part wasn’t real, probably.

The Hot Mechanic Werewolf Ghost, AKA, The Murder Victim

Chris Pratt (Parks & Rec)

Doesn’t know who murdered him. Doesn’t know why anyone would, and is, all in all, pretty outraged by the whole thing. Otherwise affable. Appears in two forms: his Hot Mechanic form (jeans, dirty white tank, the perfect amount of sweat) and his Awesome Werewolf form (an actual wolf). Falls hard for the small town cop. Misses food.

Quote: I’m supposed to be eating tacos today. Everyone should be clear on that.

The Hotel Owner. Also, The Badass Pack Leader Seeking Vengeance.

Shohreh Aghdashloo (The Expanse)

Owns the only hotel in town. Courteous, elegant, and seeks rampant, bloody vengeance for the murder of one of her wolves. Frequently annoys her guest, The FBI Agent, by keeping tabs on the investigation. Never impressed by its progress. Dresses fabulously.

Quote: So, you see, I cannot stand about forever for your clumsy investigation to conclude. There is a throat out there, waiting to be torn out. My teeth will only wait so long.

The Eccentric Heiress. Possibly A Vampire.

Gina Torres (Firefly)

The richest woman in town. Easily owns half the land, and is fond of popping up at night to remind people of that. Her clothing is always expensive, no matter what she’s doing, and highly unpredictable: she might show up in a black dress and matching feather boa one day, a plush white bathrobe the next. Longstanding enmity between her and The Hotel Owner. Never leaves her mansion during daytime hours.

Quote: You absolutely must come to my party. I’ll just have your head if you don’t.

The Postman/The Guy Who Can Get It For You

Michael Emerson (Lost)

Only seen in his USPS uniform. Delivers letters and packages from the normal mail, plus whatever anyone else needs on the down low. Friendly, almost always willing to engage in small talk, but takes his job very seriously. Will become quietly, abruptly, horrifyingly violent if someone maliciously tries to interfere with his legal or illegal deliveries. Eventually revealed to be the right hand man of The Eccentric Heiress.

Quote: Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night will stop me, sir. It was foolish of you to try.

The Local Witch Who Owns The Diner

Kate Mulgrew (Orange Is The New Black)

Plainspoken. Profane. Calls everyone hon or honey or sweetie. Has cast a spell on her restaurant that causes the patrons to talk about all their secrets and/or confidential business in public. Most customers aren’t aware of this, and the few who are put up with it because it’s the only diner in town. Wears an old fashioned waitress uniform with sensible shoes, and frequently decides for people what they want to eat.

Quote: Hon, I’ve worked here 30 years. I’ve seen some weird shit. I know when my customers need blueberry pancakes, and you don’t deserve them yet.

The Baker/ The Guy Who Automatically Makes Every Scene A Musical

Jesse L. Martin (The Flash)

Intelligent, funny, generally delightful. Frequently shows up to distribute baked goods in places that a baker really has no business being in: crime scenes, for instance. Also, funerals. Whenever he arrives, everyone spontaneously bursts into song. No one will ever acknowledge this during the course of the show.

Quote: There are vanilla cupcakes here/and mocha cupcakes there/it’s hard to deliver when there’s blood everywhere. 

(Look, don’t judge. If this was an actual thing, I’d hire someone to write better lyrics for me. It’s not exactly my forte, okay?)

The Investigative Reporter Seemingly Stuck In the 1940’s

Michael Kenneth Williams (The Wire)

Favors trenchcoats, fedoras, suspenders, white tank tops, and cigars. Pants, too. Frequently speaks in hardboiled noir slang. Writes for the local paper and takes every article equally seriously, whether it’s the murder of a mechanic werewolf or how the next-door-neighbor’s cat came to be stuck in that tree. Enjoys appearing out of nowhere whenever possible. Also writes the newspaper’s horoscopes.

Quote: Scorpio, you weasel. You’re behind the eight-ball this week, all right. Better lay dormy somewhere until it blows over; otherwise, you’re liable to face some serious chin music. Avoid cinnamon.

The Town Librarian. Also, The Town Secret Assassin

Lena Headey (Game of Thrones)

Glasses. Dresses almost entirely in black. Ace/Aro. Leads a reading group of young girls from ages 4-17, exposing them to different types of literature, as well as the many different ways to kill someone. When in assassin mode, may vary wildly from Victorian elegant poisoner to exuberant punk overkill, depending on what the client wants and her general mood at the time.

Quote: Excellent progress, girls. Now, who can tell which poison Merricat Blackwood used in We Have Always Lived In The Castle, and the pros/cons of that particular poison?

The Bartender/Coroner. Eventually Undead.

Sarah Shahi (Person of Interest)

Owns and runs a bar called Autopsy Room Four. Does autopsies in one of the back rooms when the town requires one. Friendly, personable. Enjoys geeking out over things, especially baseball, virology, and Stephen King. Murdered during the first season, but mysteriously comes back to life in her grave and crawls her way out. May or may not experience cravings for human flesh.

Quote: Last round, everyone! Hey, I’m disappointed, too, but this bag of meat isn’t going to autopsy itself.

The Wandering Armchair Psychologist

Sandra Oh (Grey’s Anatomy)

Chatty. Enthusiastic. Entirely too blunt. Has appointed herself the town’s therapist, and relies heavily on pop culture, particularly TV Tropes, for her evaluations. Whenever it becomes clear that an episode is going to primarily feature a main character’s emotional arc and/or backstory, the Wandering Armchair Psychologist will appear for a series of sit-downs with that character, whether he/she/they want it or not. Usually, not.

Quote: So, your father was horrifically dismembered and eaten by a flock of wereturkeys. Let’s talk about that.

The Stranger. Also, The Voice of the Audience

Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead)

No one knows who he is or anything about him. Pops up sporadically to either tell people that they’re doing something stupid and/or dangerous, or to help them come to a ridiculously obvious realization. Usually very dry, but every now and then becomes so aggravated with everyone’s stupidity that he has a full meltdown about it . . . before once again disappearing into the night.

Quote: Going there without calling backup, huh? Yeah, that won’t get you killed immediately.

I’m telling you, people: I want this show. I want it now. I already have possible theme songs in mind: “Jugband Blues” by Pink Floyd or maybe “Strange Days” by The Doors. Oh, the many unrealized dreams of the human heart.

And if you haven’t already done so, I’d still like to hear your dream casts. (Especially YOU, Mekaela! I let it slide last week because it was your birthday, but NO LONGER.) Feel free to comment here, or at the original post where I laid out the rules.

Coming Soon-Ish: Mockingjays, Teen Wolves, Regency Zombies, and Kidnapping George Clooney

Hail Caesar

I don’t wholeheartedly adore the Coen Brothers the way that most film nerds do, but I’ve got to admit: this looks pretty delightful. And dude, the cast is ridiculous: when I glanced at IMDB, I recognized 14 out of the first 15 stars listed. We’re talking George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, Josh Brolin, Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, Clancy Brown, and more. (The plot summary is also almost charmingly unhelpful: “A Hollywood fixer in the 1950’s works to keep the studio’s stars in line.” That is somewhat less specific than “George Clooney is kidnapped by The Future.”)

I’m definitely intrigued by this one. And it’s not just to watch Channing Tatum dance, either, although I’ve got to admit, that’s a pretty big plus, and this is coming from someone who hasn’t watched any of the Step Up OR Magic Mike movies.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Yay, it’s finally coming! I’ve been waiting for this one for a long while. I read the book when it first came out, enjoying it for the silly good time that it was, but this is definitely a story just screaming for a film adaptation. I mean, what’s not to love about mixing some Jane Austen with some zombie action? Plus, it’s got Matt Smith as Mr. Collins, Charles Dance as Mr. Bennett, and Lena Headey as Lady Catherine de Bourgh.

Now I just need Night of the Living Trekkies to become a movie, too.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay

I’d been avoiding trailers for this movie since almost clicking on one with supposed Big Time Spoilers — but I decided to check this one out, and I think I remain Spoiler Free, as the trailer is mostly just one big speech and a bunch of corresponding action shots. Although there are some totally creepy monster deals that I wasn’t at all expecting, since they look like they’d be more at home in a horror movie like The Descent than a blockbuster YA action franchise. Mind you, that’s not a complaint at all. Bring on the creepy monster deals!

I’m looking forward to watching this. I’ve seen all The Hunger Games movies in theater, and I’m trying to decide what the death toll will be. I’ll always remember talking for hours with Mekaela about who and how many of our favorite characters would die in The Return of the King, and actually being a little disappointed by the relatively low body count. It’s not that I wanted Pippin to die or anything, just, you know. Stakes. Price. All that jazz.

I guess I’ll find out this November. (Let it be Gale. Please let it be Gale.)

Ratchet and Clank

So, this looks cute. Very silly, very much like the video games. Actually, I’ve only played one of the them so far, but I found it pretty enjoyable — although Dr. Nefarious was easily the best character and, unfortunately, he’s not in this trailer very much.

Still. I could totally try this at some point. It seems like a good candidate for an  “I Feel Crappy, I Need Lighthearted Kids Fare” movie marathon. Also, it’s cool they got the original voice cast for the main players, while adding in other Hollywood actors (Rosario Dawson, John Goodman, Paul Giamatti, Armin Shimerman, etc.) for what I presume are supporting roles.

Teen Wolf

Well, this came out earlier than I was expecting. Season 5B returns in January, and for some reason I’d just assume I’d have to wait a little longer for any real footage . . . but I forgot about New York Comic Con. Bless you, New York Comic Con.

Despite a slightly uneven ending, I really enjoyed Season 5A, and this promo looks pretty great. On the downside, Deucalion appears to be back — which is actually probably for the best, considering the massively stupid way his storyline ended, but still, boo, Deucalion. On the upside, Papa Argent is also back, which is far, far more important. Also: Lydia’s continuing to have an especially lousy time at Eichen House, Stiles throws Scott to the ground in pretty spectacular fashion, and Kira continues to be a total badass.

I am pumped for January. Speaking of . . .

Person of Interest

Finally, I had to post this promo because it’s one of the best things I’ve ever seen. Well, for established fans anyway. I’m not sure the actor switcheroo would do much for anyone who’s just considering checking the series out, but for the rest of us die-hards . . . guys, it’s just delightful. I have re-watched this trailer a stupid amount of times. I will never get tired of seeing Michael Emerson and Amy Acker play Reese. Really, I could just watch that all day.

Today’s Dream Cast: SAGA

I’ll probably never be, like, an Authority on Comics — nor do I have any particularly deep need to be one — but I’ve really been getting into graphic novels the past couple of years. (Trades, primarily. Let’s be upfront about that. I wildly prefer reading trades to single issues.) One of my favorite comics right now is Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, and if you haven’t read it, Saga is one joyful mindfuck of space weirdness. It will never be made into a movie or TV show. I can’t even imagine what a translation of it would look like, not to mention Vaughan’s been pretty firm about keeping it out of Hollywood. I’m not sure I’d even want to see someone attempt it. And yet we dream-casted it anyway. Cause that’s what we do around here.

Alana

rosario

Rosario Dawson

Mek and I have been idly tossing back and forth casting ideas for months now, but Rosario Dawson was a pretty immediate lock. I don’t know what it is about her, but she has so much force of presence, and I can easily see her playing this romantic, sexy, badass mom and ex-soldier. Some actresses, I think, might try to paint Alana as either All Serious or super girlish and annoying, but Alana is the kind of character who can be violent, funny, and find inspiration in trashy romance novels. She’s a pretty great character, and I’m sure Rosario Dawson would be excellent in the role.

Runner Up: Lyndie Greenwood

Marko

alejandro

Kevin Alejandro

Kevin Alejandro is one of Those Actors — you know, the kind that pop up all the time on TV but usually as a recurring guest star, rarely main cast? (Honestly, a lot of this cast fits that bill, so much so that I’ve been playing with the idea of making a list of actors I’d like to see in bigger roles — call it ‘Always a Bridesmaid, Never Main Cast’ or something.) Anyway, I like the guy, particularly for the work he did as Jesus in True Blood. Jesus had a nice affability to him that I think could work particularly well for our funny pacifist Marko. Also, if there’s any way I could get Marko to say brujo for some reason, guys, I’d pay money to see it. I don’t know what it is — no one has ever said brujo as emphatically as Alejandro does. It cracked me up every single time he did it in True Blood.

Runner Up: Pedro Pascal

Izabel

bex

Bex Taylor-Klaus

Izabel might be my favorite character in Saga, which is probably why we struggled so hard trying to find someone for the role. But I enjoy Bex Taylor-Klaus immensely (in Arrow, iZombie, The Librarians, etc.), and though Izabel’s a great deal, er, pinker than Taylor-Klaus’s usual roles, she’s spunky and sarcastic as hell and just a lot of fun. And, like Kevin Alejandro, I’d really like to see this actress in a main cast somewhere, preferably on a show that didn’t utterly suck. (So, don’t fail me, Scream.)

Prince Robot IV

picardo

Robert Picardo (voice)

You know, it’s harder than you’d think, casting a robot prince with a TV for a head. You’re automatically casting for voice, not expression, but the dude’s also a chief antagonist who’s rocking a hardcore case of PTSD, so you do want someone with a bit of range. Perhaps I was thinking of Picardo’s work in Justice League (where he voiced Amazo, an android who assimilates everyone’s superpowers), but as soon as I thought of him, I was like, “Finally, I got it.”

The Will

faran

Faran Tahir

I think I first saw Tahir in Iron Man, but he really impressed me in Star Trek, mostly because he only had about two minutes to make me care about him, and I did. And then I enjoyed him as Adwin Kosan, one of the regents in Warehouse 13, and I’m like, “You know, this guy is kind of awesome. I am officially ready to see him in bigger, more complex roles. Like an assassin who’s on a quest for revenge with a giant cat that always knows when you’re lying. Yeah, that’d be cool.”

Runner Up: Mark Strong

Lying Cat

k david

Keith David (voice)

Apparently — and I only just found this out — Lying Cat is female, something I either didn’t notice or completely forgot while casting. I’m going to go ahead and stick with my original choice, though, because Mekaela and I didn’t even have to discuss this one. My immediate instinct was to cast Keith David, and when I asked Mek, “Hey, you have anyone in mind for Lying Cat?” she instantly replied, “Keith David.” Mek and I agree on a lot, but this kind of ridiculous synchronicity is usually summed up as ‘fate.’

Gwendolyn

naomie

Naomie Harris

I know I fall back on Naomie Harris a lot, probably more than I should, but I can’t help it — I just like this woman. She won my heart forever in 28 Days Later, and nothing I’ve seen her in since suggests that her total badassary as Selena was some kind of one-off. Gwendolyn is completely in Harris’s wheelhouse, and I just know I’d enjoy the hell out of her performance.

Klara

ivonne

Ivonne Coll

I’ll be honest here — I’m really only familiar with Ivonne Coll from Teen Wolf, but I liked her in Teen Wolf (her performance was always solid and intimidating, even if some of her material was silly) and I definitely think she could play this pissed off, stubborn, warrior who’s contemptuous of her son’s pacifist ways and downright eager to engage in some bloodshed and do what needs to be done.

Gale

reed d

Reed Diamond

Okay, Reed Diamond could probably play this role in his sleep, but — fuck it, I like Reed Diamond, and he seems like he could be a good fit for the arrogant, snarky agent. Anyway, he seemed a touch less obvious than Mark Pellegrino.

D. Oswald Heist

glover

Danny Glover

Because when you think an old man who’s a trashy romance writer/secret pacifist revolutionary who’s also a cyclops, you think Danny Glover, don’t you? Sure you do.

The Brand

lena

Lena Headey

The Will and The Brand are siblings, and yes, I’ve cast actors from different ethnicities — because these are the actors I like best, and you know, why not? There are a bazillion families who don’t have the same skin tone — hell, my family doesn’t have the same skin tone, which is particularly noticeable in summer when my ghostly pale ass stands next to my mother. And dude, Lena Headey would ROCK IT as The Brand. Of this, I have no doubt.

Runner Up: Sarah Shahi

The Stalk

dormer

Natalie Dormer

Because look at this picture and tell me she wouldn’t be AMAZING.

That’s all for now, kids. If you read Saga, let me know some of your own casting choices, particularly if you have someone for Sophie. I couldn’t think of anyone for her.