TV Superlatives are a pain in the ass. I love coming up with them–I kind of love superlatives in general–but it’s hard to keep up when there are, at any given time, 87 different TV shows to watch, and they can start any month and be any episode length, and available all at once or only week-to-week. I tried for a couple of years and eventually gave up.
Now, I’m going to try something new, and we’ll see if it works or not, but here it is: Quarterly TV Superlatives! Or, who knows, maybe Occasional TV Superlatives! Look, it’s a work in progress. But the idea is to discuss whatever TV I’ve been watching recently (whether it’s currently airing or not) and come up with fun awards like Best Musical Number, Worst Death, or Best Reaction to a Supposedly Dead Parent Coming Back to Life.
For today’s post, we’ll be focusing on the television I’ve been watching during, say, the past two months or so. Any spoilers, as always, will be clearly marked in the very hard-to-miss Spoiler Section.
It’s been years since I’ve been to Comic Con, but my little nerd heart still fills with envy every July. All that cosplay, all those panels, and so many, many trailers.
Fortunately, you can get most of that online now.
This looks pretty damn awesome.
I’m not gonna lie: I never actually watched Iron Fist. I figured I’d at least try it, but I read so many crappy things about the show that my already lukewarm interest just fizzled out. There are so many shows that I’m actually interested in trying; I couldn’t make myself waste time on one I just didn’t care about.
I have, however, read a bunch about the show (and have, of course, watched Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Daredevil), so I’m hoping I’ll be more or less prepared for The Defenders because it looks pretty great. Evil Sigourney Weaver looks AMAZING, and I’m absurdly excited by the shot of her and Madame Gao together, like, holy shit, BADASS VILLAINESS ALERT. (I should probably be counting Elektra in that, too, but I had very mixed feelings on Elektra after the giant mess that was Daredevil’s second season.) Meanwhile, our heroes–well, the three I actually care about anyway–are just perfect. I like all their banter, the not-exactly-camaraderie between them. (Particularly, “God, you’re weird.” Jessica Jones is the best.) I am, as ever, super excited about the team dynamics.
But. One thing? It has occurred to my sister and I that Claire is the only character who’s crossed over to all four shows, the only character currently connecting all of our heroes together, and I need to be absolutely clear about this: if Claire dies so that our heroes can have a thematically relevant “push,” I willburn things to the fucking ground.
Otherwise, I’m into it.
I almost didn’t watch this trailer. They already sold me with the teaser, and once I’m hooked, I usually try to avoid seeing too much before watching the actual film itself. Ultimately, though, I caved and I’m actually glad I did because this is a spectacular trailer. Still. It’s the last one I’ll watch voluntarily. (I mean, within reason. If a Ragnarok trailer plays while I’m at the movie theater or something, I’m not, like, gonna close my eyes, stick my fingers in my ears, and sing “LA LA LA” to avoid it. Mostly because I’d rather not get murdered by angry nerds. Or at all.)
But man, this looks great. I’m into ALL of it: Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, Jeff Goldblum as Alien Jeff Goldblum, a team-up between Thor and Bruce/Hulk, another team-up between Thor and Loki, Cate Blanchett as the Goddess of Death. (Seriously. I NEED that hat. I NEED IT.) The action looks spectacular, the music is perfect, and oh my God, Hulk talks! Like, for more than three words at a time!
I’m ready for this, you guys. I’m so, so ready.
Eh. Flash made me laugh a couple of times, especially the line, “It’s really cool you guys seem ready to do battle and stuff, but I’ve never done battle. I’ve just pushed some people and run away.” HA. I suspect that he and Wonder Woman are easily going to be my favorites. And I’m definitely into J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon.
Still, I feel like my reaction to this trailer was more lukewarm than most, partly because some of the action feels muddy to me, or perhaps because I just couldn’t get past the line: “Superman was a beacon to the world. He didn’t just save people. He made them see the best parts of themselves.”
Cause like, no? I mean, traditionally, sure, that’s exactly what Superman’s supposed to be around for, but you don’t get to just throw in a bullshit line like that after Man of Steel and Batman vs. Superman, where Superman was kind of a glum asshole and half the country didn’t trust his alien ass. That is some what-the-fuckery of the highest order. I am not okay with this.
Ready Player One
This is . . . sort of interesting? It’s been quite a while since I’ve read the book, which if memory serves was enjoyable enough, though I liked it more in concept than execution. That’s kind of how I’m feeling with this first trailer: I’m still interested in the world, in OASIS, in catching all the many, many pop culture references. Considerably less into the VO, however, and many of the CGI/action scenes. I’m not exactly blown away by the look of the film, which is a unfortunate. A story like this, you kind of want it to look spectacular. You want it to look like nothing you’ve ever quite seen.
Then again, it’s only the first teaser. I might be more impressed with other trailers down the road. All I know is, at this point, even I’m starting to get a little tired of everyone’s 80’s fetish. Can we finally skip forward a decade, please? (In the film’s defense, there are 90’s references here: the most obvious one being The Iron Giant. But that line “I wish I’d grown up in the 1980’s like all my heroes” . . . yeah. Cue some serious eye rolling.)
Speaking of 80’s nostalgia.
I’m definitely more excited about this than Ready Player One. Cause, like, c’mon. Thriller. Plus, so much great spooky imagery and just . . . I don’t know, neat stuff. Sorry, apparently I have no articulation today.
I’m super interested in Will, which is cool because last season was mostly about the people around Will. (That’s not a knock. That’s what first season needed to be. I’m just happy to see second season move past that.) I completely forgot they got Sean Astin for this, which is obviously perfect 80’s casting. And Eleven! ELEVEN!
If I had a negative–and I’ll admit there wasn’t much of one–my initial reaction to seeing Jonathan was this: Oh, right. So you still exist. *sigh*
But honestly, there’s so much awesome here that I’m pretty sure I can deal with Jonathan. And hey, there’s always the chance that he gets eaten by a monster!
Nice little teaser. Atmospheric. Violent. Solid music choice.
I don’t have too much else to say about this except that I’m interested, and for the love of God can we find Elsie yet? (Preferably alive, but I suppose I’ll take confirmation of her dead body, too.)
Voltron: Legendary Defender
VOLTRON! While I’m extremely bummed to hear that Season 3 is only 7 episodes, I’m ecstatic to hear Season 4 is coming out in October. So. Okay. I can handle this.
I’m pretty into this trailer. (Definitely more, anyway, than I was into that weird leaked footage or whatever that came out a month or two ago.) I’m happy to see that we haven’t just skipped ahead to a time where Voltron is up and running again, like, I definitely want to deal with Shiro’s disappearance, not just easily replace him and move on until he’s found. Hopefully found? I’m interested in seeing what the team dynamic is like without Shiro: like, there ought to be changes, not just a single scene of Keith angst–although I’m all on board for the Keith angst. Still, I don’t want Shiro to permanently vanish. I like Shiro!
Anyway. I’m jazzed. Less than two weeks to go!
I’m interested in this. I don’t know if I’m quite as sold as the rest of the internet, and the words “from the director of Suicide Squad” make me shudder just a bit, but a cop movie with orcs and elves and fairies and Will Smith? I mean, how could I not be at least a little interested?
Also: Toyota Corolla. Yes.
Star Trek: Discovery
I feel like every Discovery trailer leaves me feeling pretty iffy, and this one is no exception. Some of it looks interesting: casting, some nice shots. But the trailers still aren’t grabbing me intellectually or emotionally yet, and I really wish I could shake off all the ‘doomed Captain Michelle Yeoh’ vibes I seem to be getting.
Mostly, I have no new thoughts here other than disappointment that Jason Isaacs has an American accent for no good reason I can tell. Also, it’s been officially released that our hero Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) is Sarek and Amanda’s adopted daughter, and while the creators have promised that there’s a great, non-continuity-breaking explanation for that, I’m raising an extremely skeptical eyebrow here.
Come on, people. Haven’t we already deja-ed this vu? Have we not already learned our lesson that giving Spock a sibling that no one’s bothered to mention for decades is a really lousy idea?
Okay, I had my problems with this show by the end of the season, but I absolutely have to check out Season Two now. Oh my God. The melodrama. I laughed so hard at this one line. I’m not even going to tell you the line. I think you’ll know it when you hear it.
I’ll admit to some confusion: I thought Cheryl’s Evil Mom made it out of the fire unscathed? Maybe I’m remembering wrong? Or maybe she ran back into the burning house for some reason? (Perhaps to save Spooky Granny, who was the one I actually thought might have burned alive?) Either way, what matters it that Cheryl is as charmingly disturbing as ever. I appreciate this.
Also worth a mention: do they not have ambulances in Riverdale? Or was it actually quicker for Archie to pick up his bleeding and bullet-ridden father and haul him to that hospital from the 1950’s? Oh, Riverdale, and you’re amazingly outdated town aesthetics. On a positive note, I’ve discovered that my interest in Archie himself has picked up a bit, now that he’s possibly keeping dark secrets and there’s nary a hint of an acoustic guitar in sight. Maybe we can keep that up?
Meh. I mean, I’m still going to watch it. I think S2 was definitely an improvement on S1, but this trailer does so little for me. Normally I’m all about the weird, strange dichotomy between superhero and alter ego, but Kara acting like the decision she made to choose duty over love is an essentially alien choice, and how her whole life as a human has been a lie and angst angst blah blah, just, nope, not here for that. Besides, if two seasons have taught me nothing else, it’s that when Kara gets angsty about something, it usually means she reacts like a snappish 13-year-old, and it’s literally my least favorite thing about the show.
On the upside, I perked up considerably when Adrian Pasdar appeared.
Legends of Tomorrow
This looks like considerably more fun, although some of the footage is old, and I had to roll my eyes a little at the line “Rip has been hiding something from us,” because, like, of course he has. That’s basically what Rip does. (Also, Victor Garber’s Titanic joke, which made Mek laugh and made me go, “Oh, you assholes.” Although we both agree with the sentiment: never, ever step foot on the Titanic.)
I am, however, into Billy Zane and all the circus stuff. And “DIE, CLOWN” definitely cracked me up. Is that a band name? It oughta be a band name.
Aaaaaand back to the angst, although I’m actually a little more interested in this particular angst. Seeing the dichotomy between how Iris and Cisco are coping without Barry is kind of fascinating, and makes me wish that Barry was going to be gone for longer than an episode, which I seriously doubt. I love that Iris seems to be leading Team Flash, and I find myself desperately hoping she won’t just disappear on the sidelines when BA returns. I really shouldn’t let myself hope that hard.
I’m . . . okay that Caitlin appears to be on Team Flash again, but I need the show to actually address her dual nature, not just act like everything’s okay again. Cause, like, Jesus, that was one of the only things I praised about the goddamn finale. I’m also pretty bummed that her hair is brown again (c’mon, her Killer Frost look was the best!) and that Tom Felton is apparently leaving the show. That’s disappointing. I liked Julian, and if he’s not going to be around, I really need Caitlin to just be single for a year.
Bleh. Not really feeling it.
Considering the nature of last season’s cliffhanger, I’m not surprised about how little we see from most of the cast. (Other than Black Canary, who apparently does survive.) Unfortunately, that means half this trailer is just summarizing the season finale, and the other half is all about Oliver’s relationship with his son. What’s interesting to me about this is that I probably could’ve been okay with William as a recurring character earlier, like Dad + Mayor + Vigilante could have been interesting to see if they balanced it right. But if their whole relationship is just gonna be William, like, semi-brainwashed and blaming Oliver for everything, up to and possibly including his mom’s death? Yeah, I’m not really up for that.
This trailer looks a little better than the first one. Unfortunately, Medusa’s already terrible wig somehow looks even worse in motion. The effects here are pretty awful, and this isn’t some low budget show on TNT or Syfy. I’m not forgiving that crap.
I want to be interested in this. I like superheroes. (Obviously, considering how many superhero trailers I just talked about.) I like Ken Leung and Iwan Rheon. There’s a giant dog. I’m excited about a hero who only speaks through alien sign language. Unfortunately, said hero is coming off awfully blah to me thus far. Rheon appears to be disappointingly typecast, like, I kind of wish he was playing Black Bolt instead. (Or if they actually got a deaf actor, maybe? I don’t know that much about Black Bolt, but couldn’t they use a computer generated voice for the few times he has to speak and kill people?) And I’m still not sure if the show is connecting to Agents of SHIELD, even though AoS is where we were introduced to the Inhumans in the first place. (Agents of SHIELD, man. They’ve been so screwed over by Marvel.)
Finally, Teen Wolf
This trailer isn’t from Comic Con. The season premiere is airing this Sunday, and I decided not to watch any more new footage before then. But I figured I’d post this trailer I saw a couple weeks ago, since it did manage to reignite my interest, what with Stiles and Derek and Jackson and everyone else who isn’t Danny coming back again. (Poor Danny. We’ll never know what happened to you, will we?)
The idea that all the humans are going to be, like, infected with fear or something and turn on all the supernatural folk is kind of fun. My obsession with the show has seriously waned after the last disappointing season, so I’m glad that this trailer has managed to grab me again. Cause, like. Final season. I have to finish it.
But people. I am not here for what appears to be a steamy Scott/Malia hookup in the shower scene. No. Don’t do this, show, not in the last season. Don’t be the Chakotay and Seven of Nine of MTV.
Be a dream sequence, or there will be fierce-if-relatively-impotent disapproval.
(Also, this is mostly spoiler-free, but it does assume you’re up to date on The Flash and iZombie. If not, you should probably skip those sections.)
1. Santa Clarita Diet
“Nice try blending in, you handsome, thick-haired son of a bitch.”
“Eric doesn’t own a football, or anything else that might make him come outside.” “That’s exactly what he said, only with less implied criticism.”
“Check this out. She said she started a new spin class, but really she’s having an affair with a guy named Bob” “No way.” “Yeah. She accidentally linked her cell phone to my computer so I can see all of her texts. Today Bob copied and pasted all of the lyrics to Stevie Wonder’s “Part Time Lover.” Which seems lazy and on the nose.”
My favorite thing about this is that, for the first time ever, I got to use the BOB pseudonym for a character named Bob.
I binge-watched this series in, like, a couple of days, and while it sometimes relies a little too heavily on its “we’re not equipped to handle zombie life/we’re realtors,” hook, for the most part I really enjoyed the show. The dialogue is snappy, Timothy Olyphant is hilarious, and I love the family dynamic between Sheila, Joel, and Abby: it really anchors the whole show. I’m particularly eager to see how the second season resolves that last cliffhanger. Curse you, cliffhangers!
2. The Flash
“Okay, let’s just try it again. This time up the creep factor, like, a lot more, and make it a little more sincere, like you really love me but you’re going to have to kill me anyway.”
“Do you think your guns can stop God?” “Why in the hell would God need to rob banks?”
“I’m so glad you’re back cause we’re about to die.”
Oh, The Flash. You can be so vexing sometimes! Still, I hold out hope for Season Four. I am entirely delighted that our Big Bad isn’t going to be a Speedster for once. (Seriously. You can’t just keep making faster and faster villains without losing serious credibility. What would the next one even have been? A literal speed demon?) I’m excited that Caitlin isn’t completely back on the Side of Good; hopefully, that will allow her more time for character development. At this point, I’ve basically given up on the idea of Iris having character development, but I’d loved to be proven wrong about that. And when Barry inevitably escapes or gets released from Speed Prison, I think we really need a full season free of time travel.
Musicals, yes. Crossovers, absolutely. But definitely let’s take a huge pause button on the time travel, please and thank you.
“Well, I hope you like jagerbombs and homoerotic subtext.”
“Really? You’re gonna go with the Boy Named Sue defense, huh?”
“Well, I appreciate the pep talk, big fella, I really do, but I don’t think there’s an emoji that rightfully expresses my feelings about losing $50k a month, you know?”
One of the few shows that nobody got, which only proves to me how tragically underrated it really is. iZombie’s third season was probably my least favorite, unfortunately, but there were some great standout moments, and I love how witty and ambitious the whole series is. This is a procedural that isn’t afraid to change the status quo from season to season, and that’s exciting to watch. I’m definitely interested to see where things go in Season Four, now that the whole world knows about zombies. I’m also really happy that Bozzio’s back, because I always really liked her and Clive.
If we can just avoid any unnecessary love triangles in the future, though, that would be great. Also, funny as the show often is, sometimes Liv’s case-of-the-week personalities are frustratingly one-note. Like, okay, maybe I don’t know any dominatrixes personally, but I feel reasonably confident that they’re not in Dominatrix Mode during every aspect of their lives. Same goes for the D&D Master. Personality traits aren’t quite the same thing as hobbies or professions. (That being said, the group playing D&D was definitely one of the standout moments of the season. Clive, man. Clive is the best.)
4. Orphan Black
“I tried to say ‘eff it’ today, and I blew up my whole life. I just wanted to say ‘eff this’, ‘eff you’, and I effed it, I effed it all up.”
“What’s wrong with your voice?” “I have a cold.” “Yeah, it’s one of those really bad ones that messes with your . . . syntax.”
Orphan Black is one of those shows that I absolutely adore for the characters (and for marveling over the amazing talent of Tatiana Maslany) but not always for how it integrates those characters into the main plot. I’m actually several episodes behind in the current season. (They kinda pissed me off in the second episode, and then I got really into Avatar: The Last Airbender, so we haven’t quite gotten back to it yet.) Regardless, the show’s given me a lot of joy over the years: the various crazy Allison/Donnie scenes, the Helena and Sarah road trip, any of Siobhan’s many badass moments, the clone dance party, Felix’s truth voice, etc.
This is also the only show on this list that I’ve cosplayed a character from. (So far. Liv from iZombie could be fun to dress up as, and I’ve actively considered cosplaying a character from Show No. 9.)
5. Gilmore Girls
“I already wrote his name in my revenge notebook.”
“You do or say anything to upset Jess and make it harder for me to keep him on the right path, I’m gonna put your head through a wall, any wall, you can PICK the wall, but it’s gonna be a wall, okay?”
“What’s she like?” “She jogs.” “Enough said.”
As much as I didn’t like the Gilmore Girls revival–and with a few small exceptions, I really didn’t like it–I still enjoy watching scenes from the original show, especially the earlier seasons. The dialogue is spectacular, and I love so many of the characters: Paris and Emily and Lorelei and Lane and Luke and Mrs. Kim and even Rory, once upon a time. Though I think it’s fair to say that my least favorite part of the show was always Rory’s love life. I was probably the only person in the world happy to hear she didn’t end up with Dean, Jess, OR Logan, and I would have given a whole lot to see a season where she didn’t have a love interest at all. Alas.
6. The Librarians
“So, your explanation for having impossible grades is that you ‘O Captain, My Captain’-ed them?”
“I’m home. But before someone asks me to throw another shrimp on the barbie, just know I will punch you in the throat.”
“Cassandra, please do not fangirl over the arch-villain.”
I had delayed watching Season 3 because I assumed it would come to Hulu eventually. When it completely failed to do so, I just gave up and bought it on Amazon–and then ended up re-watching the whole series because I’d forgotten how much I liked my super silly fantasy-adventure show. In these dark times, sometimes what you really need is team dynamics, terrible CGI, and group sing-a-longs that can defeat mind control.
I still think first season might be the strongest overall (this is definitely a show that does better with its case of the week than its overarching season shit), but I’ve loved plenty of episodes from years 2 and 3 too. In fact, “And The Point of Salvation” still remains my favorite Librarians episode to date. (Side note: when I started the show, Ezekiel was easily my least favorite character, which was odd considering how much I should have liked him: I mean, a Korean-Australian thief? OMG, YES. After three seasons, however, he’s somehow become my favorite–or at least tied with my other favorite: Jenkins.)
(Actually, come to think of it, Ezekiel was never really my least favorite. Flynn has been, and forever will be, my absolute least favorite. Sorry, Flynn.)
“Everything’s going to change. Have a cluckity-cluck-cluck day, Hugo.”
“So, you wake up in the middle of the night, you grab your Jesus Stick, and you race off into the jungle. You don’t call? You don’t write?”
“What is that? Some kind of code?” “No, John, unfortunately we don’t have a code for ‘there is a man in my closet with a gun to my daughter’s head,’ although we obviously should.”
I honestly haven’t thought about Lost in a while. It, well. It obviously had its problems. But it is one of the rare shows I actually stubbornly stuck with from beginning to end, despite a couple of times I came awfully close to jumping ship. I didn’t hate the series finale quite as much as everyone else did, but that’s mostly because by the time we got there, I had pretty much given up on getting the answers to almost anything: after all, they had so many unsolved mysteries going into that finale that the only way they could’ve solved them all in time would’ve been to chuck any semblance of a script in favor of a Q&A with all the characters lined up on the beach. (In retrospect, that might have been absurdly meta and delightful.)
The show might have been frustrating at multiple points, but it did have some highlights: the pilot, for instance, is probably one of the most solid pilots in TV history. And if nothing else, I have to be grateful to it for introducing me to a number of talents, most especially Michael Emerson.
8. The 100
“You’re the most beautiful broom in a broom closet of brooms.”
“Without the treatments, we die. What are we supposed to do?” “Die.”
“Who we are and who we need to be to survive are two very different things.”
Another CW show that nobody got. The 100’s first few episodes were kind of excruciating, but it did quickly manage to jump from Exceptionally Generic SF YA to Gritty Badass Apocalyptic YA. And while third season was certainly marred by some poor storytelling decisions, I still find an awful lot to like about this show, especially the female characters. Who would have thought that I’d grow to like Octavia as much as I have? God, I hated her in the beginning. And from Octavia to Clarke to Abby to Emori to Echo to Raven (ALL HAIL RAVEN), these are some badass women who are constantly faced with ruthless decisions and hard choices that is their responsibility to make.
I’m just saying. Unlike some other CW shows I could name, this is NOT a show where the women are around only to define the men.
9. Voltron: Legendary Defender
“As everyone knows, vomit is NOT an approved lubricant for engine systems.”
“She’s not my girlfriend! She’s just a rock I met and admire very much.”
“How’s your wound?” “My wound’s great. It’s getting bigger all the time.”
I feel like I’ve talked a lot about Voltron lately, so I’ll keep this relatively brief: I tried this out on a pretty random recommendation, and while the first episode was basically just a bunch of setup, by the end of Season 1, I was pretty into it. By the end of Season 2? I was hooked. Season 3 comes out next month, I believe, and I’m super pumped. Must. Resolve. Cliffhanger.
(Also, in case it wasn’t obvious, Pidge is the character I’ve considered cosplaying from this show. Cause Pidge is the best. Although I’ve also found this Anti Mind Control Jellyfish Hat, and I’m trying to tell myself I don’t need it considering all the other things I want to buy . . . but it may be a losing battle.)
10. Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries
“So, if the compartment was locked, how did you get in?” “I hit the lock with me shoe.” “Your shoe seems to have the ballistic capabilities of a .38 revolver.”
“No. I mean, yes! Yes, but no, I’m supposed to ask you.” “Well, we could all die waiting for that to happen.”
“Oh, Miss Fisher’s gone on holiday again, sir.” “Huh. Anyone dead yet?” “Only one so far, sir.”
Finally, I was so-so on Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries during the first season, but I enjoyed it a lot more during the second. Not sure why, exactly: it just became a nice comfort watch for me. Phryne’s 87 million talents are sometimes a bit ridiculous, but she’s still a fun heroine to watch, and I absolutely ship her with Jack, who remains my absolute favorite. (What can I say? I’m a sucker for the dry wit.) And while I just can’t bring myself to care about Hugh one way or the other, I do quite like Dot and how her character has grown and changed over the past three seasons.
Well, that’s it for today, folks. Thanks, everyone, for playing!
Okay, people! It’s that time again: I present the 2016-2017 TV Superlatives!
Rules are basically the same as they were last year. To be eligible for these super duper prestigious awards, a show must have begun its season sometime between June 1st, 2016 and June 1st, 2017. This means that shows like Killjoys and Dark Matter aren’t eligible for their current seasons, but are eligible for seasons that aired last summer. Meanwhile, Voltron: Legendary Defender managed to sneak in both its first and second seasons, while shows that would normally be eligible, like Game of Thrones and Orphan Black, won’t show up here today because they both postponed their premiere dates. And because my fiendish buddy Alyc got me into kdramas, I’ll also be including any Korean shows I watched that originally aired within that June-to-June timeframe. (So far as I can tell, it only includes a couple. Most of the shows I’ve checked out so far aired in 2015 or earlier.)
Today is a good day. Not only is it my sister’s birthday (everyone say HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MEKAELA), it’s also a day in which I will bestow glorious power upon you. Like, okay, theoretical glorious power, but POWER NONETHELESS.
Here’s what I’d like you to do, if you’re willing to play along: cast your dream TV show. The plot of your show itself doesn’t matter so much and can be any genre–personally, I’m leaning towards team-based space opera myself, but to each her own–but everyone has to follow certain rules. You must cast at least 5 actors, maximum 13, from the 13 television shows listed below. Your actors must have either played a main character or a very prominent recurring character in these shows–don’t cheat by picking an actress who was in three episodes of a 150-episode show, people. Furthermore, you’re only allowed to cast 1 actor per show. That’s right, Firefly fans: you don’t get to have both Gina Torres and Alan Tudyk. You must CHOOSE. (The only exception to this is if you pick an actor who starred in two different shows from the list, in which case you could pick him from Show A and pick someone else from Show B. Otherwise, that’s it. No cheating.)
Don’t recognize a lot of these shows? Don’t worry, you can still play! Just check out the links to look at the actors involved. Even if you haven’t watched the actual TV show in question (I actually haven’t watched all 13 myself), I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll recognize at least 5 people among these casts.
I hope you play. I really love hearing about people’s dream casts. Feel free to be as generic or specific as you want. You can just comment with your list of actors, or you can go for broke and give them names and job titles and dark secrets and horoscopes. I’m not gonna lie: I’m gonna give bonus points for dark secrets and horoscopes.
Also! Apparently, my blog has been eating some comments because it doesn’t actually like me? So I’ve recently made some changes to my settings that will hopefully make it easier to comment. Just in case that’s been holding you back. Talk to me. I’m so alooooooooone.
Happy Thanksgiving, people who celebrate, and Happy Thursday, people who don’t! Even at the best of times, this is a fundamentally weird and kind of screwy holiday in America, and clearly, this is hell and gone from the best of times. But I do have a fondness for Turkey Day, partially because I was born on it (no happy birthday wishes, folks, it’s not actually my birthday yet) and partially because I’m just a big fan of stuffing and mashed potatoes. Also, I kind of like the idea of taking a holiday to list the stuff you’re grateful for, even if it’s just the little, supposedly insignificant stuff that helps you move forward through the day.
It’s been years since I’ve gone to Comic Con. I’m always deeply envious when it’s going on, but luckily, the internet provides some of the shiny without me having to get up at the crack of dawn for a 5:00pm panel in Hall H.
Here are a bunch of trailers that came from San Diego’s massive annual nerd convention.
I did not like Man of Steel. I did not like Batman v Superman. But God help me, Justice League actually looks pretty fun so far.
I mean, I’m not totally getting my hopes up. It’s super early days and, to my eternal disappointment, Zack Snyder is still at the helm. There is still the serious likelihood that this will be another stupidly angsty, convoluted mess.
But I actually liked Ben Affleck as Batman in BvS, and I really enjoy his chemistry with Gal Gadot. Ezra Miller is working for me, so long as they don’t push that whole awkward nerd thing too far into the ground. And Aquaman, naturally, looks all handsome and manly. Disappointingly, we don’t see much of Cyborg, but overall it’s not a terrible first look. If the movie can create interesting team dynamics and remember to actually be entertaining (and, you know, make sense), I could be into it.
And speaking of promising . . .
I have a lot more hope for Wonder Woman, although I have to say that if I don’t like it . . . I might not be going to see Justice League after all, cause, like, I’ve already given this franchise two chances and been pretty disappointed with both films. Fourth times the charm kind of isn’t a thing.
This trailer is decent. I don’t know if I’m totally wowed by it, but I am interested. I definitely liked that moment where Wonder Woman’s all, “What I do is not up to you.” YES. More of this, please. In fact, all of this.
I admit, I’m curious to how they’ll treat love interest Chris Pine: will he primarily function as a typical love interest, or will he get to do more just because he’s a guy? The latter would kind of annoy me, but so long as Wonder Woman’s motivation doesn’t solely revolve around him (and the movie doesn’t solely focus on leg shots), I could be into this. I desperately want it to be good, anyway, considering if it’s not, plenty of people won’t just consider it a bad superhero film. Rather, people will use it as “proof” that female-led superhero movies are terrible and don’t attract audiences. But we’ll have to wait a while to see how that turns out.
It’s interesting. I have the same casting problems that everyone has already mentioned, but . . . hot damn, are the visuals in this stunning.
I’m sure I’ll see this movie. It has a great cast, and it looks both beautiful and weird. Marvel meets Inception, you know? But as much as I love Benedict Cumberbatch and Tilda Swinton . . . I wish they weren’t in this particular story.
The LEGO Batman Movie
I’m still worried that this is going to be a one-joke story that can’t fill up a whole movie, but this latest trailer does make me smile. LIFE DOESN’T GIVE YOU SEAT BELTS. Although poor Robin. Someday, Robin will get to be cool on screen. You know, when Michael Cera isn’t the one voicing him.
I don’t think I have anything to say to this but DAMN.
I’m into it. I’m definitely into it.
Er . . .
I honestly don’t really know what to make of that. I know I watch basically every superhero show on television, but TBH, I didn’t really have any plans to watch Legion. A show about Professor X’s abandoned son who thinks he’s schizophrenic? Eh, no. Not my thing. Still, I figured I’d check out the trailer at least, and now that I have, I feel like I should at least check out the pilot. I like the cinematography, anyway, and it certainly looks . . . interesting . . . although I do find Dan Stevens’s American accent a bit grating.
So, yeah, I’ll probably try it. It could be entertaining, but if the whole show is about Am I Crazy/Am I Not? Yeah, I’ll probably fall out of it pretty fast.
The Flash (Season 3)
So, now we know what Barry did to the timeline.
Is it wrong that I’m still hoping this is all resolved in two episodes max? This could be temporarily fun, but please, please say we aren’t stuck in Flashpoint all season long. RESURRECT THE HARRY AND CISCO SHOW. Cause, yeah, this isn’t fully doing it for me.
Arrow (Season 5)
Eh. I’m always hot and cold on Arrow, often within the same episode, but this trailer is leaving me pretty much just cold.
I’m not particularly interested in New Team Arrow. Curtis, yes. Curtis can always stay. But that other dude seems annoying, and the girl . . . well, let’s just say that Artemis was my absolute favorite in Young Justice (well, her and Robin, anyway), so I’m far more likely to be critical of her. If they screw up Artemis, I’m going to be deeply unhappy, and if I’m being honest, I fully expect them to screw up Artemis. (Her background, for instance, is already completely wrong.) Not to mention, I’m not really looking forward to multiple scenes of Oliver screwing up as a superhero mentor and everyone threatening to leave him and blah blah blah. (I just assume.)
I’m still planning to watch, just . . . I don’t know how many more seasons of Arrow I have in me.
Kong: Skull Island
All right, I think we’ve finally gotten past the superhero stuff.
I’ve gotta admit: with a roster like Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, and John Goodman, this certainly has the cast to beat. And I like the general look of the movie. Still, my interest is middling at the moment: a rental, probably, rather than a theater visit. The last Kong movie didn’t do a whole lot for me, and I worry about the predictability factor: right now I’m predicting Goodman dead, Samuel L dead, a bunch of extras/minor characters dead, and Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, and their probable UST alone surviving to tell the tale.
This could be totally wrong, of course–in fact, I hope it is–but if not, I’m already yawning.
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them
So far, I haven’t been able to muster up much interest in this, despite how much I enjoyed both the Harry Potter books and movies. This trailer, though, is the first thing I’ve seen that makes me think, Okay, maybe I could check this out. On one hand . . . I kind of feel done with the HP universe, like, I love it, I’ll revisit it, I desperately want to go to Universal Studios and visit Diagon Alley–but I also don’t feel a lot of need to see prequels, sequels, side stories, etc. On the other hand, magic in this particular time period is always kind of fun, and I could enjoy this.
Although. I must say that while No-Maj didn’t bother me so much when I first read it . . . it’s kind of jarring to hear it out loud. It just really does not sound like American slang to me at all, and I hope that’s not a consistent problem throughout the film.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Well, this looks about as ridiculous as you’d expect a Guy Ritchie version of King Arthur to be.
I have no real plans to see this anytime soon, but I’ve got to admit: the trailer with its anachronistic music, super fast action, and 110% Guy Ritchie-ness did make me smile. Of course, I’m not a purist: Arthurian mythology, on the whole, has never done much for me, so I totally don’t care that Guy Ritchie’s probably going to mess it all up. And the cast is sort of fun: along with Charlie Hunnam, Djimon Hounsou, and Evil Jude Law, we also have Littlefinger, Roose Bolton, and Morgana . . . although, sadly, I don’t think Katie McGrath is playing Morgana here. Still, the actual story itself makes me just kinda shrug. I doubt I’ll pay theater prices for the experience.
Well, shit. It’d be really helpful if I had Starz, huh?
It’s been quite some time since I re-read it (I’m trying to decide if I want to do it again before the show or not), but I picked up American Gods when I was, oh, 18? And I adored it. I’m so excited to see it come to life as a TV show. This is a pretty promising first look, and I’m very hopeful. I mean, the cast alone . . . damn. There are a ton of great people in it, but I’m just dying over these pictures of Gillian Anderson as Media. SUCH a lady crush right now.
I desperately want this show to be as awesome as it sounds. Please be awesome, show. Please be awesome like I know you can be.
Teen Wolf (Season 6)
Well, my friends. We have our first look at our final season–Teen Wolf is saying goodbye to us with Season 6, and much as I love the show, it’s probably time. Here’s to hoping it can end on a good note. (It’s always so sad when shows can’t.)
It looks pretty cool. I like the idea of a Big Bad that abducts and erases people from all memory. The story is Stiles-centric, which obviously appeals to me. And the Sheriff doesn’t remember him? NOOOOOOO! On the downside, we lost Kira and got Theo in return? BOO. This is not a great trade, in my book.
And finally . . . Dirk Gently
Oh, this looks kind of fun.
I’ll admit, I’m getting a little tired of that one genius detective character who does whatever they want and suffers no ill consequences. Still, this definitely looks offbeat and I think I was pretty much sold when Elijah Wood screamed, “I am NOT your Watson, asshole!” Plus, it looks like there are some interesting side characters (I’m already intrigued by the one kickass black lady near the end of the trailer) and . . . is that Richard Schiff? Hey, it is! YAY!
This trailer doesn’t really jive with what little I remember from The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, but it has been more than a decade since I read that book, so who knows. I’m sure I’ll try this one. I’m such a sucker for quirky detectives, although, historically, the weirder they are, the faster they get cancelled. (RIP forever, Terriers, The Unusuals, etc.)
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 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
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-
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!
Okay, so, this is kind of late because I was busy last week. Also, I only just managed to watch the season premiere of The Walking Dead last Saturday, so, whatever. I’m sorry, okay? I have failed this blog, and this city.
Unfortunately, my failure means that some of my comments (like on Arrow) have already been proven wrong. I said to hell with it and posted them anyway. Please keep in mind the usual warning for SPOILERS.
All in all, this was a pretty solid premiere. I can’t pretend I’m terribly interested in Liv’s family storyline, like, at all, but everything else was great. Blaine as a funeral director, I mean, oh my GOD. He’s so good. Everything about Blaine is awesome. And Liv as a super cranky and racist old man was surprisingly hilarious. I thought that gag would give out early, but Rose McIver just nails it. I’m really glad they managed to get a lead actress with such strong comedic range for this show.
Major’s story, meanwhile, is interesting. I never quite know where they’re going with Major, which is exciting in and of itself. I don’t know if I want this Blackmail Zombie Hunting to be an all-season thing, but I’m curious enough for now. Also, I was happy to see that my immediate suspicions about the supposedly boring IRS roommate were correct, as well as the fact that talking zombie shop on a cell phone might be a bad idea.
I’m curious to see where Peyton has run off to — surely, she’s coming back at some point? — and I really want Ravi to have a little more to do this season because I just love that man, but overall, iZombie looks pretty good so far. (Although, seriously. Would it kill Liv to just tell Clive that she’s always acting so weird as a side effect of her psychic visions? It’s not actually that big of a stretch and might cut down a bit on all the understandable side-eye.)
Hard to say. Everything about Blaine is pretty awesome. Maybe just that whole scene. Especially Liv’s line: “Are you eating that or impregnating it?”
The Walking Dead
This is the thing: my interest in The Walking Dead has dropped considerably lately. And it’s not because the show’s gotten worse; actually, I generally enjoyed the last season overall. But there’s a limit to how long I can watch a show like this, I think, without everything just feeling a little repetitive. We’re going into our sixth season now, and if things went my way, we’d be ending the show this year.
Unfortunately, someone recently pointed me in the direction of this entirely depressing article where the creators talked about how they had plans for the series going up to twelve seasons, and once I read that, my excitement for the season premiere fell flat. But I made myself watch it anyway, and to be fair, “First Time Again” is a pretty decent episode. The ending was a great “Oh shit” moment and also a great setup for the season. I can’t help but wonder if the writers came up with this whole plot after hearing criticism about how Alexandria and its total noob residents hadn’t all been overrun and killed before Rick’s people showed up.
The thing about The Walking Dead is that so much of it’s about Rick’s questionable morality, and my interest in that is pretty minimal. Right now, I’m okay with it, mostly because I’m assuming he’s going to turn Chief Antagonist by the end of the season, or at least should. But I’m not really excited about the idea of Rick returning to Idealistic Rick again. Ideally, I think we should have a big civil war in Alexandria at some point, preferably this year . . . and then maybe we could finally kill off Rick. (I swear, I don’t hate the guy, but I’m just kind of over his moral dilemmas at this point. I could probably go at least eight seasons of The Walking Dead if we focused primarily on Daryl, Carol, and Glenn instead.)
A few last minute random things:
A. I might feel like Rick is going the route of Evil, but the moment he killed Ethan Embry? Yeah, that didn’t seem particularly disturbing to me, like, I didn’t quite take it as the sign of Dark Rick that Morgan and Michonne apparently thought it was. I mean, you can’t really amputate a cheek. (Also, Ethan Embry didn’t last very long, did he? Poor man.)
B. Morgan totally sees through Carol’s happy homemaker act. Heh.
C. I didn’t much care for Jessie last season, but I really liked the moment here where she tells Rick that he can’t put his hands on her son or expect him to listen to the dude who killed his dad. You know, stuff that really shouldn’t need to be said? Good on you, Jessie, for having a brain and possible character development.
D. The black-and-white flashbacks didn’t do much for me. I mean, the shots themselves looked great, but . . . we’re sixth season here? At this point, a sudden switch to black-and-white just feels a completely unnecessary gimmick. (Although, with all those bandages on Rick’s face, I couldn’t help wonder if we were doing a Sin City homage.)
E. I’m interested in Heath for purely superficial reasons. I’m not ashamed of this at all.
Hm. The mystery of Morgan’s disappearing peanut butter protein bar, perhaps?
Last season of Arrow was . . . challenging. Very challenging, and not the good kind of challenging, either, but the kind that turned your favorite character into the absolute worst character and made you want to tear your hair out in frustration. But “Green Arrow” was a pretty solid start to Season Four.
I really enjoy Oliver and Felicity being a happy couple and would like them to remain that way for sometime. Preferably, they won’t have any actual fights until Season 5, but they’re absolutely not allowed to have any (or, obviously, break up) before 2016. This isn’t even coming from an Oliver/Felicity shipping standpoint, either — it’s about keeping the show moving in interesting ways. Oliver/Felicity angst has been done to death, not to mention turned Felicity just awful last season. I don’t want another storyline about how Oliver can’t be with a woman if he’s still a vigilante. This episode looks like we’re moving on from that, and I would very much like that to be the case.
Diggle’s still whining and he’s got a stupid helmet, but I didn’t think it looked as terrible in motion as it did in the promo shots, at least. Thea suffering side effects from the Lazarus Pit could be awesome, as long as she sticks to super violent and cheerful instead of occasionally violent and petulant. (Also, I think she needs a voice changer too. Her voice at the train station sounded . . . I don’t know, weird.) Lance’s possible turn to the Dark Side is kind of interesting, depending on how they play it. (I’m really hoping this is how Sara gets brought back to life and that it has nothing to do with protecting Laurel or some bullshit.)
Also — and this isn’t really related to much — but when are people going to realize that putting engagement rings inside food is a terrible idea? You know Felicity would just accidentally swallow it. I certainly would. Probably for the best, she didn’t get to eat that soufflé.
Finally, the big question: whose name is on the tombstone? I was pretty excited about this — I just assumed the camera would spin to reveal Felicity’s name, and the whole season would be about how she supposedly died before coming back. (I did automatically assume it was a fake-out, which apparently it’s not . . . but I’ve heard that before.) Anyway, making “Who Died?” the big mystery of the season is a really fun way to start the TV year, but my enthusiasm just decreased by, like, a thousand because apparently the producers don’t necessarily know who’s going to die.
And that? That is a terrible way to begin a season, or a mystery. That does not give me a lot of confidence about how this is all going to shake out.
Probably when Felicity admitted how bored she was in their giant house in the suburbs and how much she missed crime fighting. It’s good to have you back, Felicity! (Oliver’s reaction to the friendly neighbors bringing up kids was pretty great too. I really enjoyed both of them in this episode.)
Oh, also, that no one wants to be the mayor. Good call, Walter Steele. I miss you and your amazing voice, but I don’t want you to come back just to die, either.
So, this was okay, though nothing particularly exciting. Barry’s decision to Go It Alone happens a lot, a lot, in superhero shows — which doesn’t mean you can’t do your own version, of course, but this was a pretty generic way to go about it, and with not very much heart, either. It doesn’t help that I don’t believe Ronnie’s really dead, either, like, not for a second, mostly because it’s such an amazingly lame character exit. Usually when you kill off a semi-important character, you know, you devote more than four seconds to the scene. Although that would hardly be the most questionable character exit in this episode, but we’ll get back to that in a second.
The best part about Barry’s totally by-the-numbers crisis is how Iris is like, “Dude, we care about you, but we also care about protecting the city and you don’t get to keep shutting us out.” That was pretty awesome. Let’s keep this upward trend for Iris West, please. (I also liked the flashback with Joe and Barry, less because it was truly necessary and more because Jesse L. Martin is awesome and his reaction face when Little Barry suddenly hugs him is fantastic.)
I was also pleased with Cisco’s brief vision of an alternate timeline. There wasn’t much to it, but I’m really into this storyline and can’t wait to watch as it unfolds.
But guys. GUYS. That bullshit with Henry Allen at the end — I mean what the shit was that? Hands down, I think that was one of the most unrealistic things I’ve seen on television ever, and yeah, I know I’m talking about a show where a guy traveled back in time AND stopped a singularity by running super fast. Sure, I get the supposed concept behind it — you can’t be the hero you need to be if I stick around, blah blah — but even if I completely bought that (which I don’t), no one, I mean, NO ONE makes that decision ONE DAY after a 15-year stint in prison. That is just not a decision a person makes. That is only a decision a character makes, and it drives me absolutely bonkers. Did John Wesley Shipp really hate working on the show or something? Could they not have found any less ludicrous reason to get rid of him?
Honestly, I would’ve taken, “You know, son, I’ve been stuck in a tiny gray cell for half of my adult life, and there are things I need to do now. Like Vegas. I definitely need to go to Vegas” over this. I still don’t know if I would have quite bought it, but I’d sure take “Central City Claustrophobia/Want to See The World” over “I’m Going to Leave You, My Only Son, Because You Can’t Be A Hero Without Me, Even Though We Haven’t Even Taken, Like, a WEEK To Test That Asinine Theory, And May I Just Remind Everyone I’ve Been in Jail And Have Barely Been Allowed to Hug You For the Past 15 YEARS.”
I know this is a small scene to get hung up on, but I almost knocked The Flash down a whole letter grade for it. Because it shouldn’t have been a small scene — Henry Allen getting out of prison and leaving Central City is HUGE — and it’s been a while since I so completely didn’t buy a character’s gigantic life choice. I mean, what is this, Arrow?
Cisco’s quick flash to the other timeline. Seriously, I’m all about this storyline.