Coming Soon-Ish: Okja, Star Trek, Superheroes, And Lady Wrestlers

Star Trek: Discovery

I’m gonna watch this cause, like, Star Trek, but I’m only so-so on the trailer and it’s probably gonna need to hook me fast. Cause this CBS All Access crap? Bullshit.

Initial random thoughts:

A. Great to watch awesome ladies Sonequa Martin-Green and Michelle Yeoh share the screen.

B. Wish I had some measure of assurance that Michelle Yeoh is going to make it past the first episode, considering her ship isn’t the titular Discovery and it looks like something bad is about to go down. (IMDb has her listed for 13 episodes, but . . . IDK. I still worry. If she makes it past the pilot, then I guess I can graduate to concern about her surviving the first season . . . assuming the show does well enough to have a second season, which I think is a big if at this point.)

C. I’m totally cool with James Frain as Sarek.

D. I’m interested in our MC’s backstory. Is she a human raised on Vulcan? She seems to have rounded ears, so I’m assuming she isn’t half-human and half-Vulcan, although introducing more genetic diversity into the universe wouldn’t be the worst idea ever.

E. Still kind of bummed this is a TOS prequel.

F. Still deeply not okay with how we’ve changed the Klingons AGAIN. How do they keep looking worse? (TNG Klingons for life!)

G. Happy to see Doug Jones appears, as always, to be playing the weirdest and most ominous character in the show. Love you, Doug Jones.

The Orville

Can’t discuss Star Trek without discussing our new Star Trek spoof, The Orville.

I could give this a try. I’m not sold on this being the next Galaxy Quest or anything, but parts of it did make me laugh. Like the crew listening in on the captain and his ex-wife XO (Bobbie!) arguing, and acknowledging, oh, this is gonna be a fun trip. That whole part was great. Also, the anti-banana ray bit. Other jokes fall pretty flat for me, though, so my interest is there . . . but mild.

Okja

I’ve been interested in this one for months, so I’m excited to finally see a full-length trailer for it. The story presented thus far is only so-so for me, but I like the look of the trailer, I’m interested in seeing more of Bong Joon-ho’s work (I swear, I SWEAR, I will finally watch The Host this year), and oh my God, the cast is amazing: Tilda Swinton, Steven Yeun, Paul Dano, Giancarlo Esposito, Jake Gyllenhaal, Shirley Henderson, Devon Bostick, and Choi Woo-sik, who I just watched in Train to Busan. (Although, not gonna lie: I’d probably just watch this for Steven Yeun alone.)

GLOW

OOOH. This looks FUN.

Like Okja, I’ve been interested in this one for months, ever since looking up what Betty Gilpin was up to and finding out she, Alison Brie, and Ellen Wong were all going to be in a show together, like, YES, these are all ladies I’ve hoped to see more from. (Maybe especially Wong, who sadly doesn’t really feature in this trailer, but who I adored in Scott Pilgrim and haven’t seen much of since, with the exception of her guest-starring in Dark Matter.)

But it’s not just the cast. This show looks funny and feminist as hell. I love the bit about the man’s part versus the woman’s part (it’s funny because it’s true). Also: the alpha/omega/submit joke, the blood/tits/storytelling joke, and the ‘you mean stereotype’/’exactly!’ joke. Plus, just some of the ridiculous costumes: sexy lady astronaut, anyone?

This is the extremely rare non-speculative and/or non-mystery show that I’m actually geared up for. I definitely plan to check this one out.

Dark Matter

Speaking of Dark Matter.

I was pretty lukewarm on this show during the first season (although it did pick up towards the end), but I really enjoyed the hell out of second season, and now that we’re back for a third? Baby, I’m there. This trailer doesn’t tell you too much, other than Ryo has become our new villain. Curious to see if he’ll stay that way; he did betray the team, although not quite to the extent that they believe. Doubt Ellen Wong is going to make it, but happy to see that she’s coming back too.

Looks like I’ll be marathoning this on Netflix to remind myself of everything that happened. And to watch every Android scene possible cause let’s be real: we’re ALL here for the Android, right? She’s the best.

The Gifted

I’m . . . sort of interested in this? Like, I kinda like that it centers on a family, specifically a brother and sister. Mom is the most interesting, of course, because she’s played by Amy Acker. Bill from True Blood is fine, too. But there’s nothing about it that’s exactly drawing me in, either. Perhaps even I’m getting a bit worn out on new superhero shows, or at least ones that aren’t doing anything fantastically different. This is kinda different, but . . . I don’t know. I might try it, but if I do, it’ll probably be mostly for Amy Acker.

Black Lightning

Speaking of superhero shows.

I’m actually a little more interested in this one, despite the very CW voiceover that I’m hoping will go away after the pilot. CW superhero shows generally skew young, so having a middle-aged family man and high school principal as a superhero is kind of a bold move for them. Also nice to see what looks to be almost entirely a black cast. I am disappointed, though, to hear that Black Lightning won’t be a part of the CW superhero multiverse, like, that just feels like a missed opportunity to me.

I’m not sold, but I’m sure I’ll check this one out for at least a few episodes.

The Crossing

Meh. I might try this. The shot of all the bodies in the water is great, like, that’s just a fantastically haunting, creepy image. And this could be an interesting way to tell a story about refugees and the serious problems with our established immigration system . . . but for some reason, my hopes aren’t high. Obviously, I like me a good speculative element, but the whole ‘time travel into the past to escape the war that’s coming’ thing isn’t quite working for me, maybe because it seems like a pretty short-sighted plan for time travelers, or maybe just because as much as I like trying them, most time travel stories don’t end up working for me.

If I hear good things, I might give this a whirl, but as is, I’m not that interested.

The Good Doctor

Although. I would watch The Crossing 24 billion times over before I watched this show. No. So much no.

This is one of those shows that looks like it’s going for inspirational (admittedly, not really my bag) and is landing somewhere around offensive instead. And let me be clear: I am absolutely not an expert on autism, and I welcome the comments of anyone who knows more on the subject than me, but . . . we seem to have problems here. Briefly putting aside that this is yet another show about A Super Special Dude With Poor Social Skills Who Sees Things No One Else Sees, and even putting aside that this show appears to be portraying autism in the Standard Hollywood Way (savant, speaks in a stilted, almost robotic manner, etc.) . . .  what I mostly take from this trailer is that people on the autism spectrum aren’t capable of being surgeons, and the only reason that this guy can is because he’s a savant, like, no one else on the spectrum could possibly do it. Which, like, no. Pretty sure that’s not the case.

To be clear, a show about the difficulties that people on the autism spectrum face, specifically in regards to workplace discrimination, would be totally fine. I think that maybe that’s what this show is trying to be, but based on the trailer, I don’t think that’s what it is. There are a lot of solid actors in this–Freddie Highmore, Richard Schiff, Antonia Thomas, Nicholas Gonzalez, Tamlyn Tomita–but not one of them would make me give this a shot. No, Richard Schiff, not even you.

American Assassin

Man. I want to be interested in a movie where Dylan O’Brien is playing both a grown-up and a badass, but . . . oh God, not this.

Generic ass title? Check. Refrigerated girlfriend? Check. Angst beard? Double check. Islamophobia? Probably. I’m torn on Michael Keaton’s character: he could be a mentor that dies, but I’m kind of getting a diabolic double agent twist or something from him? I don’t know, maybe not. I’m pretty sure I’m not going to watch this movie to find out, either. I’ll just be here, re-watching the episodes of Teen Wolf that make me happy, like, mostly ones prior to 6A. Sigh.

Finally . . . Blade Runner 2049

I kind of need to watch the original Blade Runner again. It’s been years since I’ve seen it, and I feel like I missed half of what was going on anyway, since I had to keep the volume real low (I was trying not to wake somebody up).

The look of this sequel is pretty great: dark, gorgeous, uber cinematic. But because I don’t have much feeling about the original film one way or another, my interest in this is only mild. At this point, I figure I’ll probably watch it eventually, but I doubt I’ll see it in theater unless somebody I know really wants to go.

“Mornings Are For Coffee And Contemplation.”

Man, I’m behind on so many things for this blog: I’m way off schedule for my Disney Princess Movie Challenge, and I definitely should have watched Revenge of the Sith by now for my ongoing Star Wars Re-Watch. But today, at least, I’m finally getting around to reviewing a show that I did have the opportunity to check out (forever ago): Stranger Things.

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There are, admittedly, a few things I’d like to change. Overall, though, I’m pretty into it.

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2014 Fall Premieres – The September Issue

The 2014-2015 Fall TV Season has begun. Sadly, many of the new shows I’m interested in won’t actually begin until after the new year (I haven’t forgotten about you, Galavant!), but I did get to see one pilot this week, along with a few returning favorites.

Here is my report card for the September premieres. SPOILERS ABOUND, PEOPLE.

Agents of SHIELD

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The second season premiere of SHIELD had at a lot going for it, I thought. Flashback Peggy, Dum Dum, and Fresno, for starters. (I’m sure this guy has an actual name, but I will always remember him as Fresno. I would be SO HAPPY if Fresno and Dum Dum ended up as regulars on Agent Carter.) Also Reed Diamond, who shockingly — shockingly — is playing a bad guy. And Clark Gregg facing off against Adrian Pasdar. (No, autocorrect, I do not mean Adrian Persuader. The hell?) And even Ward fulfilling the role of Skeevy Hannibal Lecter, complete with sexy Angst Beard! (Obviously a must have.)

Honestly, I thought this was a pretty good setup for the season. We’ve introduced some new bad guys and set up some new mysteries. I totally didn’t catch that Jemma was a hallucination, and that’s an awfully tricky stunt to pull. (I’m hopeful that they’ll also provide an explanation on why Jemma thought leaving would somehow help Fitz, since that seems like a spectacularly bad plan at this point. Poor Fitz. I sort of expect he’ll be magically fixed by the end of the season, but I kind of hope it isn’t quite that easy. I think it’d be fascinating to have a main character who has to actually live with his traumatic brain injury.) I’ll admit to being a bit bummed that Lucy Lawless died so fast, but I am always happy to see Lucy Lawless, even briefly. And I guess I have Attractive Accent Guy to take her place?

I know a lot of people are nervous about this sophomore season, but I thought this was a pretty good start and I have decently high hopes for what’s next to come.

FAVORITE PART:

Patton Oswalt mouthing, “What?” as Coulson badly pretends to be General Talbot over the phone

EPISODE GRADE:

A

Person of Interest

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All right, time for the show to start, and it’s . . . hey, Frederick Weller! Man, I haven’t you seen you since In Plain Sight! I’ve missed you! Are you going to — oh, no, you’re about to die in three, two, one — yep, there you go. Oh well. Bye, Frederick Weller!

Of all my returning shows, I was probably looking forward to Person of Interest the most, and all in all, I think this was a pretty solid season premiere. I feel bad that Shaw has to sell makeup while John gets to be a cop (and the asshole even whines about it, that loser), but I assume a master plan will emerge from this eventually. I love that John ultimately takes Carter’s place as Fusco’s partner, and I’m ecstatic that he hired Elias to do his dirty work. Please, show, please keep bringing back Enrico Colantoni. I love him in this so much.

I’m really interested to see how this season plays out with Samaritan hunting them down. (Although if they keep being idiots and refusing to come up with codewords or code phrases for the phone, I can only assume they’ll die by November sweeps. Seriously, John and Shaw. No wonder Finch doesn’t want anything to do with you two.)

FAVORITE PART:

I’m not sure. Possibly Enrico Colantoni’s facial expression when John offers to hire him.

EPISODE GRADE:

A-

Key + Peele

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I don’t know if I have anything deep or insightful to say about this because I’m better at analyzing shows with ongoing plot and character arcs than I am at sketch shows, but I’m so happy Key & Peele is back on the air. And I’m kind of liking this new setup where the skits are connected by two guys on a road trip somewhere, instead of the usual standup clips. Mek and I were wondering if they were going to arrive somewhere at the end of the season, and if so, where? Personally, I think it should be Walley World.

FAVORITE SKETCH:

Probably the aliens one, but the singing soldiers and liberal rednecks were up there too.

EPISODE GRADE:

A-

Gotham

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I’m only interested in two new shows this fall, and they’re both comic book shows. Overall, I thought Gotham was a fairly decent pilot with a good amount of potential but also some stuff that didn’t work for me. Like, dialogue. Good God. I read some early reviews calling Ben McKenzie flat, but I actually thought he did a pretty decent job with some of the lines he was given. That scene where he’s talking to recently orphaned Bruce Wayne about how there will be Light? No. That is shit dialogue. (Although I don’t know if anything made me groan as hard as that one Major Crimes guy telling Gordon and Bullock to “stay frosty.” Ugh. Guys, we have to retire “stay frosty.”) I’m also not entirely feeling Barbara Gordon at this point, although maybe her mysterious past with Renee Montoya will make her more interesting.

On the other hand, I’m interested in the setup. I think primarily focusing on the cops in Gotham is an interesting way of looking at the city, although I still wish this was taking place during Grown Up Batman time where Batman himself occasionally reoccurs as a guest character. (Which is apparently the whole plot of a comic, Gotham Central, that I only found out about last week and now have to read.) Donal Logue is AWESOME as Harvey Bullock, and I really liked that scene with him and Gordon both hanging upside down in the freezer, all, well this could have gone better. I’m looking forward to seeing how their partnership unfolds. I enjoyed Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney, although I don’t anticipate her surviving past first season, and I thought Robin Lord Taylor was a pretty convincing and creeptastic Penguin. (The only other thing I’ve ever seen Taylor in was Would You Rather, where he was also a psychopathic little shit. I wonder if typecasting is going to be an issue for him.) And while I doubt anyone else cares, I kind of like that the show opened with Little Catwoman in what’s typically a very Batman shot. I’m curious to see what kind of relationship she and Little Bruce are going to form.

All in all, I think there’s material to work with here. We’ll have to see how it goes, but I’m hopeful this show can work out its kinks. Like the super clunky dialogue. Or the weird chase sequence action-cam.

FAVORITE PART:

Definitely Gordon and Bullock, waiting to be gutted. Although I was also impressed with Little Bruce screaming after his parents died — I was very happy it was a high-pitched, childish scream instead of some ridiculous Angry Roar that I would’ve laughed at.

EPISODE GRADE:

B

Sleepy Hollow

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This episode was decent, although I wasn’t particularly excited by it. As a season opener, I didn’t really feel like it accomplished as much as I wanted it to, although it did have a few pretty amazing LOL moments:

1. Headless Horseman firing a shotgun (because it will never stop being funny)

2. Realizing that Naked Benjamin Franklin is none other than Danny Concannon from The West Wing

3. The Shirtless Headless Horseman. I mean, holy shit.

I was also happy to see our weird subtitles back — how I have missed you, totally strange font. John Cho made a cameo appearance, which, YES! (Can Selfie get cancelled yet? I want him back.) And I’m always up for a good “there’s a storm coming” line. I mean, that will always make me happy. But I was really disappointed that they just got rid of the creepy Purgatory dollhouse, like that actually kind of bugged me. And oh my GOD, Katrina is a prisoner AGAIN? I was really hoping, after all this time off, Sleepy Hollow would have figured out a way to make Katrina interesting. Really, I would have settled for her simply pointing out to Asshole Abraham that she is not a thing that can be stolen. Instead, she remains the least interesting, useless, and most victimized character on this show, and my patience is wearing a little thin.

Since I’m losing hope that they’ll ever actually fix Katrina, I can only hope that they’ll remember they still need to save Orlando Jones next episode.

FAVORITE PART:

Probably the part where Ichabod realized his deathbed confession to Abbie didn’t record. Although I also loved the scene where she just straight up decapitated the thing pretending to be Ichabod because he said, “Lieutenant,” instead of ‘leftenant’. Jesus. I’m glad you didn’t just hear him wrong or anything, Abbie. I’m saying, if I decapitated somebody every time I misheard what they’d said, we’d have a LOT less people in Northern California. And I’d probably be in jail as a convicted serial killer.

EPISODE GRADE:

B

“To Hell With Dignity. I’ll Leave When the Job’s Done.”

When it comes to James Bond, I’m fairly ambivalent. I find a handful of the Sean Connery movies enjoyable enough — Goldfinger might be my favorite, or at least the one that sticks out the most in my mind — and I actually like Casino Royale quite a bit. But I’ve never felt any need to go back and watch every James Bond movie. Sorta, you’ve see one, you’ve seen them all, you know? Also, I never really liked the Pierce Brosnan films very much, probably because I don’t particularly like Pierce Brosnan — I don’t know; it’s irrational — and despite being a fan of Daniel Craig, I never bothered to see Quantum of Solace and felt vindicated when everyone said it wasn’t worth watching. (I can’t get past that title; I just can’t.)

However, I had some interest in Skyfall, and more to the point, my sister really wanted to see it, so last week we finally got around to watching it.

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It’s definitely a fun movie . . . but I do have some problems with it.

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