World’s Worst Trekkie: Carlie Takes On “The Return of the Archons”

You ever play that game where someone writes the first paragraph of a story and hands it to the next person, who writes the second paragraph of the story and hands it to a third person, who–while looking only at the directly preceding section–writes the third paragraph of the story, and so on and so forth? Usually, you get something that only kinda/sorta makes narrative sense, and not just because Janet tried to skew the whole collaboration into a string of alien sex jokes. Don’t try and look innocent, Janet; there were no aliens OR butt stuff anywhere in the six preceding paragraphs!

Well, that’s kinda what this episode reminds me of. Minus Janet and the butt stuff.

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The 2015-2016 TV Superlatives!

The time has come, my friends. The moment that maybe one person ALL OF YOU have been waiting for: the 2015-2016 TV Superlatives.

Rules are basically the same as last year, with a few little tweaks. To be eligible for these super duper prestigious awards, a show must have begun its season sometime between June 1st, 2015 and May 25th, 2016. This means that the first seasons of shows like Killjoys and Dark Matter (which came out last summer) are actually eligible for this year’s awards, as is the most recent season of Game of Thrones. Shows like Preacher, meanwhile, didn’t begun until after May 25th, so they won’t be eligible until next year. The only other shows outside this timeline that will be considered are shows that were completely unavailable to me prior to June 1st, 2015: Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, for example.

I’m gonna be honest with you, guys: I could have done a better job of keeping track of these things over the course of the last year. There’s been a lot of frantic scrambling over the past few weeks to try and remember things like, “Shit, who had good season premieres again? SEPTEMBER WAS SO LONG AGO.” I am dedicated to creating a better system for myself next year. (But I’m pretty sure I said the exact same thing last year, so. We’ll see.)

For those of you who–like me–primarily watch genre shows that never get nominated for shit: well, my friends, these are for you.

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Season Finale Round Up: May 20th-May 27th

Another week of Season Finales, this time all from CW shows. And maybe I’m just being an incredibly cranky bastard lately, but I really only liked one of them. Again! Come on, finales, stop letting me down!

As always, SPOILERS, SPOILERS EVERYWHERE.

The 100

100

The 100 had a problematic third season: sometimes exciting, sometimes infuriating. I’d had doubts that Jaha’s subplot was ever going to pay off, but boy, did it ever: I loved almost everything about the AI storyline. I was less enthused, unfortunately, with the first half of the season; which means pretty much anything Pike brought to the table. My most serious Season 3 complaint was not Lexa’s death, but Bellamy’s OOC choice to participate in the grounder massacre. The 100’s MO has always been characters making hard choices, and I like that they sometimes make the wrong ones. But I still have to buy the choices, and I just never quite did with Bellamy. The 100 fumbled this execution almost as badly as they fumbled Finn in Season 2, and I find I’m even less willing to forgive them this time around.

Still, the finale itself was enjoyable. I always figured one of our main players would end up putting the chip in their head, and I’ll admit, I really wanted that person to be Raven. (Because she’s the best, and also because I was always bummed they never really went anywhere with the fact that Raven was the only person who could throw off ALIE, at least initially.) Clarke, sadly, was the incredibly obvious choice. I was way more interested when she was just the ‘flame keeper,’ not ‘temporary inheritor of the flame.’ Still, her taking the chip meant we got a better sendoff for Lexa, and while Lexa’s death didn’t personally trouble me to the extent it angered much of the fanbase, it was still really nice to see her return, kicking all kinds of ass. Damn you, Walking Dead spin-off, for taking Lexa away from us.

Other random notes:

A. Oh, Paige Turco, don’t make me tear up. Come on, don’t . . . damn it, Turco.

B. I’m not a medical professional (I only work with them) but I remain skeptical about the validity of this blood transfusion. Also, why exactly does Murphy have to be the one to pump the heart? Shouldn’t the only doctor in the group be doing important things like that? Oh, I see, the doctor’s too busy looking at Clarke’s face and saying things like “fight it” or “stay with me” or whatever she actually says. Yeah, okay. That makes sense.

C. Seeing Clarke and Jasper and everyone else in a modern-day city was a little jarring, but also kind of neat.

D. I see that electrocution is once again being used to conveniently hold off our enemies instead of frying them dead. Oh, handy electrocution.

E. I love that Monty somehow remains the optimist of the show, despite the fact that he had to kill his mom twice during this season. Still, I think maybe it’s time for Jasper to pull his head out of his ass and comfort Monty for once next season? I do love this exchange, though: “I’m sorry I stabbed you/I’m sorry I shot you.”

F. I don’t know why everyone’s looking all horrified that Octavia killed Pike after all; that was obviously how this story was going to end, and thank God, too. If we’re supposed to be hinting that Octavia is going to emotionally suffer from this decision next season, like, oh, she has a guilty conscience now, or killing Pike has left her more emotionally hollow and evil or whatever, I don’t buy it. Pike needed to die. I’m just happy no one else did. We had enough death this season. (I do wish we could have seen Indra, but at least we got verbal confirmation that she made it.)

I’ll definitely be back for next season (have to see how that whole potential nuclear apocalypse plays out, after all), but I’m hoping The 100 is a little less problematic next season. Maybe less of our heroes engaging in genocide for obviously stupid reasons?

FINALE GRADE: B+
SEASON GRADE: B

Arrow

felicity

Oh, that was just dull. Arrow started out the season pretty strong for me, and there were, as always, a lot of moments and characters I enjoyed. Curtis is a great addition. Neal McDonough, as always, is a goddamn delight. I could watch Domestic Oliver forever, and who doesn’t like Donna Smoak and Quentin Lance? Plus, when Felicity was on, she was ON.

But fourth season started fizzling out in the middle, as it is wont to do. Between Oliver’s dumb ass secret, Oliver and Felicity’s annoying breakup, Felicity’s miracle cure, and the flashbacks that, at this point, I’ve actively started tuning out . . . yeah, we had problems going into this finale. And there was an idea in “Schism” that I really liked, with everyone ending up in almost exactly opposite places from where they were a year ago, but because the execution throughout the season was so flawed, it all kind of fell flat for me. It seemed like it took forever for Andy to die, but Diggle’s turn to the Dark Side afterwards somehow still felt rushed, and seriously, Lyla. Even if he wasn’t lying about the whole ‘murder vs. self defense thing,’ come on: Diggle killed his brother, what, a month ago? Shit, I’m still upset about mean things people said to me last decade. Why are you so surprised he isn’t back to normal yet?

Thea, too, has just been all over the place. I don’t think the show has any idea what to do with her, which is annoying. I could potentially really like Thea if the creators could just settle on a decent storyline for her. Oliver’s stop-and-go journey towards the Light could use a fair bit of work, too. (It’s nice that Felicity stayed with him, though, despite the fact that they aren’t currently together. Emotional maturity? What a concept for this show.)

And as great as Damien Darhk has been, that’s entirely because Neal McDonough is a charming madman who I would watch read the phone book, presuming he could find one. By the end, his whole plan and dead wife and death-to-the-world shtick were all pretty boring. Worse, I couldn’t buy into Oliver’s speech, like, at all, and it had nothing to do with the acting. The speech was just so hilariously mistimed and silly. I’m really all for the idea of the Green Arrow being an inspiration (instead of a symbol of violence and fear and all that), but dude, a hint of practicality would not go amiss.

And while I’m totally down with the concept of HOPE defeating DARKNESS, Jesus Christ, you guys. This might have actually beaten out Supergirl in ridiculous word repetition, which probably shouldn’t be so surprising, considering this is a Greg Berlanti show. And Berlanti’s superhero shows have a lot to recommend, they do, but he and all his writers should have to sit in a dark room listening to nothing but yowling cats and endless bagpipes until they’ve figured out a way to write a script that has no key thematic word used more than three times per episode. Preferably less.

But why get worked up, right? After all, who knows if any of this even happened? Thanks a lot, Barry Allen. (See below.)

FINALE GRADE: C
SEASON GRADE: B-

The Flash

cisco

I disliked this finale. A lot.

Zoom, unfortunately, ended up being a pretty underwhelming villain, which is sort of what I feared from the very second I heard Tony Todd had been cast. Tony Todd has an amazing voice. Tony Todd has the voice of an evil and wonderful god. Anybody that does not match up to the glory that is Tony Todd’s voice is just setting himself up to be the next Darth Vader letdown. But in fairness to Teddy Sears, he was actually much more enjoyable once he became a villain. (As Jay Garrick, he was white rice on vanilla ice cream slathered on eggshell wallpaper.) A decent villainous performance, unfortunately, does not make up for the most boring of villain agendas, and 99% of this finale felt like it had no real stakes. This was a huge letdown after the tremendous threat that Zoom has been all season.

And Barry continuing to have the worst plans of all time did not help at all.

Frankly, I cheered when the rest of the team knocked Barry’s ass out and locked him away because, seriously, Barry’s plans are AWFUL. I feel sorry for the kid, and Grant Gustin does a hell of a job selling tears (like, he is really good at it), but Barry’s total failure to understand the potential consequences of his actions just kills me dead every time. This is actually worse than the Terrible Time Travel Plan of last season, except . . . oh, we’re . . . we’re going back to that, too?

Look, last season I was a little disappointed that the show didn’t having Barry rewrite time and reboot the whole universe, mostly because that would have been a pretty exciting shake-up. This season, however, I did not want that shakeup. This season came with a lot of things I really, really liked, like pretty much everything about Cisco’s meta-human powers, the multi-verse and all its potential, and, of course, Earth-2 Harry. I would honest-to-God watch a spinoff with just Earth-2 Harry and Cisco. I don’t know what the Harry Cisco show would be about, but by God, I would watch every second of it.

But now . . . who knows? Obviously, Barry still has to become The Flash somehow, otherwise the show will have significant problems. And the multi-verse has to stay open, or we can’t do our already-promoted four-show-crossover extravaganza. But who’s building the particle accelerator? Will Eobard-Thawne-Harrison Wells still kill Original Harrison Wells? Will I even get Earth 2 Wells? (I MUST. I MUST have him.) But how will Eobard know to kill Harrison Wells if his time remnant isn’t captured by the Flash team and told basically, well, everything? That’s how Eobard knows to kill Harrison, isn’t it? And that’s how he knows to hire Cisco for sure. Even if he does build the particle accelerator, who knows if Cisco is around to get affected by it. What if Cisco isn’t a meta-human anymore? (THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE.) And how will this affect the other superhero shows because it totally would. Everyone on Arrow is dead right now if Barry isn’t The Flash. Is everyone on Arrow dead right now, Barry? Did you kill everyone, you little shit? Actually, I’m pretty sure Kendra and Carter from Legends of Tomorrow would probably be dead too, so who the fuck even knows what just happened on that show. Vandal Savage is probably still alive. Then again, if Barry doesn’t save Team Arrow, that means Team Arrow can’t stop the nuclear apocalypse, correct? Everyone is dead right now, Barry, and it is ALL YOUR FAULT.

At this point, I’m hanging onto the hope that Barry’s rebooted timeline lasts for all of one episode before he realizes what a terrible mistake he’s made (or Rip Hunter and his Merry Team of Time Bandits shake some sense into him) and he fixes everything. Normally, ambitious cliffhangers that get easily resolved in one episode are a big annoyance for me, but honestly, I think it might be the best solution here.

Other things I’d like to see in Season Three:

1. More Iris being awesome and less of Iris as a love interest, because I’ve basically lost faith that anyone on a Greg Berlanti show can be both. I mean, except for Patty, of course, who was a way better fit for Barry, which is why we stupidly and unceremoniously shoved her ass out the door, of course. Iris, though, has had some pretty stellar moments this season, and exactly none of them have revolved around her potential romance with the Scarlet Speedster.

2. Jesus Christ, fix Caitlin. Commit to her being evil, or continue her post-Zoom PTSD, or give her any storyline that doesn’t revolve around a man, but something needs to be done about her, pronto, because she is an entirely useless character at this point who can’t even be counted on to not suddenly become horribly racist on occasion. Yeah, Flash, I haven’t forgotten that.

3. Less stupid decisions, especially from Barry? But I suspect that’s asking way too much.

4. More Cisco and Harry, Earth II. They’re the primary reason this season is getting as high of a grade as it is, despite the Zoom letdown and the Utter Fail of Caitlin Snow. They are the reason I get excited to watch The Flash every single week. THE HARRY AND CISCO SHOW FOREVER!

FINALE GRADE: C-
SEASON GRADE: B+

2015 Season Finales – The May Report Card

DISCLAIMER: SPOILERS, SPOILERS EVERYWHERE

Agents of SHIELD

shield bobbi

“She had a good heart, Phil. It was just torn out.”

Agents of SHIELD has done a lot of completely awesome things this year, especially with Fitz, who — like Cisco in The Flash — has somehow made the jump from being my least favorite character to my absolute most favorite character. That being said, I did struggle quite a bit with May in the back half of the season. In theory, I like the idea of May feeling betrayed by Coulson (an obvious reversal from last season), but in actuality, I never really bought her fury with him, nor did I buy her distrust of Skye or the Inhumans in general. Even when they brought in her Bahrain backstory, I didn’t buy it, and I think it’s because I agree with my sister: May’s suspicion of powered people — suspicion bordering heavily on prejudice — doesn’t really feel like something she’s been carrying around since before the show. It feels like something that abruptly appeared in Season Two for maximum drama. So when May (who I usually like) turns into kind of an asshole, it comes across as both annoying and artificial.

That being said, May vs Skye and May vs Coulson? Thankfully not a huge part of this action-packed two hour finale, so I was free to enjoy all the other awesome things that happened. Like Mac cutting off Coulson’s hand, I mean, holy SHIT. That was huge. I really like the turn with Cal; more than that, I’m impressed with it. I didn’t think I’d buy any kind of redemption storyline, and then I did. I also liked the reveal with Jiaying — turning her into a full-fledged villain made her about 18 times more interesting. The fight scene between Ward and Bobbi was great; also, Bobbi getting herself shot to save Hunter, May tricking Ward into killing Agent 33, and the moment with Jemma at the end — yet another holy shit moment. I will confess that I don’t care about Jemma and Fitz going on a date because I don’t ship them even a little, but that ending . . . Marvel, you bastards.

Theories on what’s going to happen to Jemma? I want to hear them.

FINALE GRADE: A
SEASON GRADE: B+

Elementary

elementary

“We both know it’s just a matter of time. So why not just cut to the chase?”

All this season, Elementary has been building to two likely possibilities: a) Sherlock relapsing, and b) Sherlock’s father coming to town. I wasn’t sure if the relapse was going to happen or not, but I was dead certain Sherlock’s father would appear, either in this episode or teased for the next. What I’m saying here is, ha ha, I’m awesome. Kudos for me. (Also, casting time — who do you want to see as Sherlock’s dad?)

I think I actually like that the relapse happens off screen, and I definitely like that it happens after Alfredo is found safe. It’s more of anti-climax, which works great because Elementary foreshadowed that shit way back in Episode 9. (I guess there is some debate whether it happened at all, but — yeah, I thought it was pretty clear.) I do wish Joan had a little more to do to wrap up her character arc this season, but I know it wouldn’t have fit well in the finale. (The penultimate episode, though, absolutely could have been hers.) The stomping scene, too, is pretty brutal, effectively bursting the quiet tension that had been building the whole episode.

I liked Season 2, but it did end on a down note for me — apparently, it did for a lot of people. Overall, I think I’ve enjoyed this season much more, especially with subplots that I didn’t think I’d get into (Kitty, namely — I was surprised by how much I liked her story and its resolution), and it definitely ended on a high note for me. There’s been a lot of focus on character, which I’ve really enjoyed, and I’m surprisingly excited to see how Season Four goes.

FINALE GRADE: A-
SEASON GRADE: A-

The Flash

flash

“Screw the future.”

Oh, The Flash. The Flash has done many things right —  a fun, joyous tone, an arch-nemesis who’s amazeballs, excellent character relationships (well, for the most part), etc. Hell, I was even okay with the Grodd episode, and I was wildly not excited about bringing in a telepathic gorilla. (In general, I’m not excited about apes as villains. I have a hard time taking it seriously.)

But I’ve struggled a lot with The Flash too, and I feel like my geek squee for the show has suffered considerably as a result. Iris, of course, is the biggest problem. And yes, her story has finally gotten a little bit better — but I can’t help but feel like the writers don’t have any idea why she was so maddening in the first place, and that leads me to worry about where her story will go in the future. (Seriously, no one even came close to a reason to keep her out of the loop. And that line where Joe’s basically like, ‘I’m the boss of Iris, Eddie, until you marry her, and then you can be the boss of her?’ Ugh. The level of disgust some people are having for GoT right now is honestly the level of disgust I had for that line.)

And while it’s to a much lesser extent, I think Caitlin is another problem because a) I don’t entirely buy the actress and b) her storyline, such as it is, is boring as hell. When I mentioned the character relationships/dynamics I liked above . . . well, Joe and Barry are great. Barry and Wells are great. Cisco and Wells are great. To an extent, even Iris and Eddie are decent. . . but Caitlin? She has one scene I really like with Cisco, and beyond that, not much. Caitlin and Barry do little for me. (Especially with that whole ‘you’re a hero so you deserve my body’ line, UGH.) Caitlin and Wells do little for me. Caitlin and Ronnie do NOTHING for me. There are a lot of superhero shows on TV right now, but The Flash and Arrow seem to collectively have the worst female character representation problems. I’m tired of it.

But moving on. The finale itself was pretty enjoyable. I don’t know if I ever thought Barry would actually save his mother, but I’ll admit, I was kind of hoping there would be big timeline changes anyway, like Barry goes back to the future and all kinds of things are different, like the real Harrison Wells is still alive (Tom Cavanagh, I don’t want to lose you!) and Caitlin Snow is now a villain (because maybe then she’d be interesting). I’ll also admit that my brain just doesn’t understand time paradoxes at all, so while I understand that Ancestor Eddie shoots himself to write Reverse Flash out of time, I’m still a little lost on why writing Reverse Flash out of time doesn’t pretty much scrap the whole season too. Also . . . if Reverse Flash is from 120 years in the future and he hates Barry Allen for . . . Reasons . . . does that mean Barry Allen is also alive 120 years from now, or did Reverse Flash go back in time (without losing his speed force) to 2024 and that’s when he started hating Barry Allen for . . . Reasons. (Seriously. I know Reverse Flash is supposedly Super Dead now, but I kind of need these Reasons to eventually be explained, or I will consider it a Problem.)

Also of note:

A) CISCO IS A METAHUMAN. This is the best news ever. (I was seriously getting concerned they weren’t going to address why he remembered things when no one else did.)

B) Aw, poor Eddie. That was sad. I’ll miss your not-American rasp.

C) While I’m glad some people brought up opposition to The Big Plan . . . I wish someone had brought up stronger opposition. Like if I was there, I’d totally be the asshole bringing up the Butterfly Effect. “Yeah, it’s cool you can save your mom, Barry, but what if Nora Allen falls asleep at the wheel two years later, and I’m in the other car, and I DIE. Is it worth it THEN, Barry?” And seriously, when a world-eating black hole is a possible consequence to going back in time to save a woman who’s been dead, like, 15-20 years? Nope. Nope, it’s not worth it. Somebody needed to say that.

D) “Don’t Dream It’s Over” is a terrible wedding song. Didn’t you people watch The Stand? This is the “happy music” they play during the Apocalypse when pretty much everyone is dead. Why would we choose this as background music for Caitlin and Ronnie’s wedding? Was “Rains of Castamere” too optimistic?

FINALE GRADE: A-
SEASON GRADE: B+

Person of Interest

poi

“I didn’t know how to win. I had to invent new rules.”

I think “YHWH” might have been one of Person of Interest’s weaker season finales — but that says more about the strength of the finales over the past four years than the weakness of this one particular episode. Actually, “YHWH” is a pretty solid episode that manages to, once again, find a new way to reboot the concept for next season. I will always admire how they do that, and wish more TV shows would do the same. But while the majority of the episode is good, I don’t know if I’d say it’s brilliant — until the last ten minutes or so anyway.

For me, “YHWH” is all about two moments: a) when Dominick and Elias (NOOOO, Elias!!!) are unceremoniously taken out by Samaritan, and b) the Machine finally talks directly to Finch, calling him Father and asking for forgiveness. Oh. Oh, that whole scene just hurt. STOP TRYING TO BREAK MY HEART, PERSON OF INTEREST.

(Also, it’d be great for my soul if someone would rescue Control. She doesn’t exactly deserve it, and I wasn’t at all surprised she completely got outfoxed by Samaritan, but — please, please don’t let that be the last we see of the amazing Camryn Manheim. She is the best. It’s enough that we lost Enrico Colantoni, isn’t it?)

PoI will have a shortened fifth season (thirteen episodes, I think) which almost certainly means there will be no sixth season. Honestly, I’m okay with that — as much as I love this show, I’m not sure it would naturally stretch past five seasons anyway. I don’t know where you go past Samaritan, and really, I’d rather end on a high note. I just hope they can get the balance right for the fifth season. My biggest criticism of Season Four is that things felt rushed at the end, and that Shaw’s sorta-return felt very unbalanced. I almost wish we hadn’t seen her at all after the gloriously heartbreaking “If-Then-Else,” because while the concept of Brainwashed Shaw is interesting, the execution really seemed off.

FINALE GRADE: B+
SEASON GRADE: A-

The Blacklist

blist

“I’ll be playing right into their hands.”
“You’re already in their hands. The only thing they haven’t done is close their fists.”

Oh, The Blacklist. At Mekaela’s urging, I started watching this show on Netflix, and it was, for some time, an enjoyable guilty pleasure. Right now, though, everything just seems to be on a downward spiral.

The best thing I can say about the season finale is that it at least sets up an interesting premise for third season: Red and Lizzie on the run, Ressler hunting them down, and Cooper — presumably — out of a job. Unfortunately, I didn’t buy half the stuff it took to get there. I haven’t been very impressed with the last handful of episodes — for starters, can you believe no one’s been in a car accident in months?! Months, I say. But more importantly, the Lizzie/Tom stuff hasn’t been working for me at all since he came back from playing Nazi — he’s suddenly become the most boring version of Fake Tom ever. How? How did this happen? I was promised a damaged, twisted relationship between two complex characters and got . . . this. As such, their maybe-we-should-sail-away-together bullshit obviously did nothing for me, particularly because it took up a 1/3 of the episode and seemed really inconsistent anyway. (We can just go! No, you can’t go! Wait, why are you going?)

Also: Samar and Aram had virtually nothing to do, the extended car commercial chase scene was beyond lame, and Lizzie’s twitchy ‘I Look Like I’m About to Seize Out’ performance before killing Other, Not-Love-Interest Tom seemed like a strange acting choice. (And as much as Lizzie annoys me, I usually like Megan Boone.) The revelation that Lizzie killed her father was interesting — assuming it was even her father, or that he actually died from the gunshot would — but it was also pretty obvious from the second Red dramatically announced himself as a sin eater. I wish it could have been a bit more subtle. Which, admittedly, subtle is not The Blacklist’s bag. Still. I want better.

FINALE GRADE: C+
SEASON GRADE: B-

Arrow

arrow

“That is remarkably ruthless and cold-blooded. I approve.”

And talk about your downward spirals.

Oh, Arrow. There are things about this season that I’ve really enjoyed: Roy’s fake-out death twist. The automatic hilarity of putting Oliver and Ray in the same scene. Thea finally finding out who the Arrow is — and her reaction when she does. Laurel’s response to Thea’s confession. In fact, Laurel was SO MUCH BETTER this season — I’m a long way from calling her my favorite character, but she had some good moments, and I actually enjoyed her relationship with Nyssa. (Why did Nyssa go back home again?) If only she hadn’t kept Sara’s death from her father because yeah. That was awful and took way, way too long to come to fruition.

But Arrow’s third season also had a lot of problems, and most of them have revolved around Felicity. Which sucks because I LOVE Felicity, or used to. Once they officially made her the Primary Love Interest, though, things went to hell, like the Arrow writers couldn’t possibly imagine how to portray a love interest who’s actually a person and has reasonable responses to things all at the same time. I want to be happy that Oliver and Felicity finally got together and drove off into the sunset, but I’ve just been so annoyed with their bullshit that I couldn’t even bring myself to care. Which, again, this sucks. Oliver and Felicity are my OTP. You have ruined my OTP for me, Arrow. I didn’t even know that was possible.

Other problems in the season: Ra’s failed to be an intimidating villain in any way, the flashbacks grew stale because they stretched out way too long, and I wanted to knock Diggle and Felicity’s heads together in the last few episodes. Particularly Diggle, actually, because as stupid as Oliver’s plan was, I didn’t buy Diggle’s betrayal. I think I might have bought it if Diggle hadn’t been immediately pissed when Supposedly Brainwashed Oliver kidnapped Lyla, like he blamed his friend for being brainwashed in the first place. I needed his anger, instead, to come from realizing he’d been manipulated by his best friend — although I also feel the need to point out that Lyla isn’t a civilian, wasn’t hurt, and Diggle and Felicity held important information back from Oliver too, like just a few episodes ago, and they absolutely didn’t need to. (Also, seriously, I don’t understand why everyone in “Al Sah-Him” was all like, “Oliver can’t get brainwashed! Brainwashing doesn’t exist!” when Roy killed a cop last season and Thea KILLED SARA. Seriously, WTF.) I found the tension between the three of them extremely artificial, and I hated it.

Let’s see, what else — I like Thea becoming Speedy, but I wish that whole subplot had actually been given some considerable time on screen. (And we better talk about her whole tainted soul thing next season, or I will call bullshit.) The Big Fight between Ra’s and Oliver was extremely underwhelming. The Flash cameo was funny but felt ridiculously rushed and kind of unnecessary. I guess I did predict Malcolm might become Ra’s, but come on – it’d have been way more awesome if Thea had become Ra’s instead, right? Right.

Basically, I feel like I need to write a whole Season Three fix-it fic, at this point. That makes me sad.

FINALE GRADE: C
SEASON GRADE: B-

“There Are No Strings On Me.”

It’s 10:00 p.m. Thursday night. I’m sitting in an aisle seat at the Roxy Theater and the Marvel credits have just started to play. My little hands are clasped loosely together. I can actually feel the childish hope written all over my face.

Ignore Spider-Man. Spider-Man is a lie.

Overall, Avengers: Age of Ultron is fast-paced, funny, and pretty enjoyable, especially for a movie that’s 2 1/2 hours long. Despite that, I can’t help but feel a little disappointed with the finished product.

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“It Must Feel Like Your God Abandoned You.”

Just before I went to Clarion West last summer, a little movie called Prometheus came out.

Some of my fellow classmates went to see this movie that first weekend, while I skipped out — I was tired and, frankly, I’ve never been a particularly ardent fan of the Alien franchise anyway. (We’ll get to that.) Anyway, I apparently made the right call. For the next six weeks, I heard nothing but shit about what a complete and utter letdown Prometheus was. One student in particular was so disgusted that his frustration could be heard from pretty much anywhere in the house. (If you doubt this, you have clearly not yet met Indra and heard his awesomely deep voice. I mean, it booms. It’s fantastic.) I will freely admit to being amused by his outrage, and knew I would have to watch this movie myself one day and see if his fury was warranted.

Indrapramit Das, I dedicate this review to you.

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