A Challenge, Of Sorts – Cast Your Dream TV Show

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.

Your shows to choose from:

Luke Cage
The Walking Dead
The Expanse
The Flash
The Wire
The West Wing
Person of Interest
Parks & Recreations
Orange is the New Black
Grey’s Anatomy
Game Of Thrones

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.

7 Things I’m Grateful For This TV Season

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.

And with that in mind, I present a new list . . .

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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: April 4th-14th

It’s that time again. We have some finales to discuss: some of them good, some of them bad, most of them with zombies. SPOILERS abound.



All in all, both “Dead Beat” and “Salivation Army” were pretty damn awesome. I struggled at the beginning of this season with Major’s “Chaos Killer” storyline, but by the end, the show really managed to sell me on it, and it’s impressive just how much iZombie managed to pack into two hours, especially since the CW cut its initial episode order from 22 to 19.

There were exciting reveals and developments all over the place. Liv telling Clive that she was a zombie was great. I really loved both his reaction to her seeming-crazy and her no-nonsense approach when he (quite naturally) didn’t believe her. (I hate it when people insist on trying to verbally explain the supernatural when visuals are both faster and far more effective.) The mass zombie outbreak at the concert was great too; also, Rob Thomas. My inner 13-year-old Matchbox 20 fan weeps at his demise. My inner amateur TV critic figured he’d be eaten by zombies since hearing the casting announcement and is still cracking up about it. Also, as a huge Ravi fan, I really loved the scene where he accidentally kills the mercenary dude in self-defense, and particularly how shaken he is afterwards. You know, as one might be. I suspect the show will never go back to this again, but they really should. More Ravi in Season 3!

I do have some problems with the second hour of the finale, though, mostly in how Peyton, Blaine, and Ravi’s story felt way out of balance to me with all the exciting zombie stuff going on at Max Rager. Over there, all sorts of things were happening: Vaughn died, Gilda/Rita died, Liv was forced to kill Drake in order to save Clive, and we found out that there are zombies in charge who are looking to make Seattle Zombie City. Meanwhile, Peyton was pretty much only kidnapped so that Blaine could rescue her and we could initiate a love triangle between them and Ravi? Nope, not interested, not even a little bit interested. Both Ravi and Peyton deserve to have bigger storylines than some BS love triangle with the Charming Antichrist. (I mean, I love Blaine. David Anders is freaking amazing . . . but come on. Does anyone actually want to see this nonsense?)

And Blaine, himself, really threw me this episode too. There’s been a lot of back and forth on whether or not he’s faking the amnesia, and the way he’s been portraying it for the last few episodes, all Helpless Baby Duck, I really could have gone either way. But in this last hour he seemed wildly different to me in how he interacted with others, particularly Ravi, so I automatically assumed he’d either regained his memories or was just dropping the act entirely . . . but then neither of those things happened, and there was zero resolution on the efficacy of the cure, much less the fact that Major hasn’t taken it yet. It felt off.

Still, I had a great time with these last two episodes. I’ve been kind of bummed lately about my disappointment in shows and movies that used to be jam, but I am SO into iZombie right now. It’s funny as hell, doing some really exciting stuff, and only improving with time. I cannot wait until it comes back next season.


Hap & Leonard


This one was interesting. Episode 5 ended on a cliffhanger when Trudy drove away, leaving Hap and Leonard to die at the hands of Soldier. I suspected that Trudy would go back for them and die for it (though wasn’t sure, because she dies differently in the novel), but I thought the shoot-out would take the majority of the episode. Surprisingly, though, both Soldier and the previously-assumed dead Angel were taken out much earlier than I’d anticipated, and the rest of the finale was all about the emotional fallout. It was unusual, but I didn’t mind it. Actually, I mostly enjoyed it. The only thing I didn’t like was the vision/dream/hallucination of Hippie Trudy going into the Light. That kind of thing can be done well, but here it just felt like a boring cliche.

Still, I enjoyed this. James Purefoy and Michael Kenneth Williams are a lot of fun to watch. I was happy that we finally got to see the full flashback of what happened to their fathers, and I was definitely interested in the tease of next season’s mystery, assuming the show comes back for a second season. I hope it does. I don’t love Hap & Leonard with all my geek heart (and sometimes it’s definitely uncomfortable to watch, like the flashback to the blackface comedy show Hap and his father were watching, God), but I do enjoy it and I’m curious to see where they go next.


The Walking Dead


So, I wasn’t a fan of this. At all. I wasn’t nearly as angry about the cliffhanger as other people were, but I suspect that has more to do with the fact that I’m just not that invested in the show anymore than because people are overreacting. I absolutely agree with them: the cliffhanger is bad.

Cliffhangers can be really effective when handled right, but this isn’t the way to do it. The show’s been pretty much teasing all season that one of our heroes is gonna die and gonna die badly. This is especially true if you follow any news about the show, know anything about the comic, or listen to interviews with the actors, who repeatedly promised the episode’s heartbreak and gruesome cruelty . . . only to not deliver on it in the slightest. Cliffhangers work best, I think, when you’re not expecting them at all, when you don’t know anyone’s going to die, much less who. But here we all already knew that someone was going to be murdered and that Negan would be the one to do it. So instead of hooking fans, The Walking Dead mostly just pissed them off because it didn’t feel shocking. It felt like a broken promise.

Negan, himself, was pretty great, though. Jeffrey Dean Morgan sure seemed like he was having a good time; perhaps he, too, was hoping to appear earlier in the season and was just like, “Sweet Jesus, FINALLY!” And for however much I haven’t bought Rick’s insane faith and overconfidence that his people can survive anything, I will say that Andrew Lincoln acts the holy hell out of that last scene. The despair and terror is all over his face, the knowledge that he was completely and utterly wrong. This death is going to break him. I just wish I cared.

But I don’t really. I am bored of Rick’s wildly swinging morality pendulum. I’m bored that the show can’t seem to figure out how to tell a new story. I was so happy when we first discovered Hilltop because I thought the whole world of The Walking Dead was opening up, and that was HUGE. Instead, the show just went back to same, tired ground, eschewing exciting world building in favor of the same old morality play, only now nearly everyone was acting like a complete moron purely to serve the plot. The conveniences in this season are ridiculous. Between the very abrupt food shortage, the decision to murder a bunch of dangerous people without doing adequate research, Carol abandoning the group because she can’t kill anymore (even though she pretty much immediately kills people after leaving), Denise’s sudden reckless streak, Daryl’s abrupt quest for revenge, and Maggie’s incredibly sudden miscarriage/pregnancy sickness . . . it all just feels really, really contrived to me. And I like Maggie, I do, but maybe we shouldn’t send ALL the best remaining warriors out with her in the RV, leaving the entire community in the hands of Father Fucking Gabriel? (Come on, show. It’s cool if you want to make him a redemptive character, but, like, you have to actually spend some time redeeming him first. The season premiere is not nearly strong enough to do that. In what world does Crazy Ass Rick trust Baby Judith and all his people to Father Gabriel’s protection?) Maybe they’ll all be dead when the show returns because of Rick’s poor decision making. Enid will, anyway, although that one’s because of Carl’s poor decision making. Carl, you’re an awful human being. I hope someone decides to protect you by locking you in a closet without food, water, or telling anyone what you’ve done.

ALSO, Carol and Morgan’s stuff felt disjointed and broke up the tension of the group trying to get to Hilltop. I think it would have worked better in its own episode. I certainly don’t think the finale needed to be 90-minutes long.

I’ve had problems with The Walking Dead all season and have been very much teetering on the edge of giving up the show entirely. This episode, unfortunately, did not convince me that I should continue. My friend Marisa plans to browbeat me into doing so, and I may attempt some sort of negotiation (recently, we traded shows: I made her watch the first season of Orphan Black, and she made me watch the first season of Girls), but . . . I don’t know. It’s been a while since I actively looked forward to watching The Walking Dead. The only person I’m particularly interested in seeing die is Rick, but unfortunately, he and Future Serial Killer Carl are the only ones who are safe. If Glenn dies, I walk. If Daryl, Maggie, or Michonne dies, I’m incredibly bummed and consider walking . . . because when you’re already not feeling a show, you kind of need every character you enjoy to live. Then again if anyone else dies, I just don’t care. (Actually, I’d feel bad for Rosita, too, but that’s mostly because they’ve yet to give the actress anything to do, other than react to Abraham’s needlessly brutal breakup.) While I’m incredibly relieved that Carol, at least, won’t die this way (because I was prepared to have serious problems with a past victim of domestic abuse dying from being beaten to death with a baseball bat), I just don’t know what the show could possibly do to win me back at this point.


Season Premiere Review Round-Up – Numero Dos: 10/3 -10/16

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

w 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.



The Flash


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.



The 2014-2015 TV Superlatives

So, at the end of every calendar year, I make my annual list of Book Superlatives and Movie Superlatives. But the thing is, I watch TV too, like, a lot of TV. So, I decided to try something new this summer: My Geek Blasphemy’s first TV Superlatives.

Unfortunately, I only came to this decision a few months ago, so I’ve been wracking my brain trying to remember shit that happened on shows I watched, like, eight months ago. Because the TV Superlatives are going to work a little differently than the my other lists, as TV is a total pain in the ass medium that you judge season by season — and those seasons might begin in fall, winter, spring, or summer, and may or may not be contained in one calendar year.

So. Shows qualifying for the 2014-2015 TV Superlatives will have to have premiered somewhere between June 2014 and June 2015. This will cover all normal fall and winter TV shows. As far as tricky spring/summer shows go, well, Game of Thrones Season 4 will not qualify because it premiered in April of 2014, but Season 5 will, because it aired in April of 2015, even though it didn’t end until after June. Meanwhile Season 4 of Teen Wolf will qualify, but not the currently airing Season 5 or the previous Season 3B.

Everybody got it? Excellent. Let’s begin.

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2014 Fall Premieres: The October Issue

In the interest of saving time, I usually do not post an individual recap for each season premiere that I watch. Instead, I briefly (well, somewhat briefly) summarize my initial impressions for all the shows that air in the same month. Then I lump these impressions together into a single post. It’s all simple and orderly, see?

The problem, I’ve discovered, with this approach is that it doesn’t matter if the greater majority of your shows began during the first week  of October; you still have to wait for asshole shows like Elementary to come back on October 30th. So by the time you finally do post your season premiere thoughts, many of these shows are already four or five episodes in, and you’ve suddenly become that writer who’s dated their timeless work of love and self-discovery with references to beepers and “MMMBop.”

With that in my mind, here’s what I’ve got for the October shows.


The Walking Dead


I don’t have very much to say about this episode, other than it was awesome. Carol is such a badass. I love Carol. Please don’t kill Carol!

Seriously, I’m trying to come up with things to say that don’t involve how awesome Carol is saving the day. I was a little surprised, though not displeased, that nobody important died. Well, Penguin. Yes. Funny thing: I remember thinking, you know, this actor looks a little like Robin Lord Taylor, but I didn’t actually think it was him until I checked IMDb later. But everyone else is alive . . . for now. Even Morgan’s alive, tracking the group’s movements after the end credits. (I totally would’ve missed that scene, if I hadn’t gone looking for it because I’d been spoiled for Lennie James’s cameo. Are there regularly scenes after the credits? Am I consistently missing shit?) Also, Rick, Carl, and Baby Judith reunite, which is kind of cool, I guess, but far more importantly, Carol and Daryl reunite. I heart that scene so much. They are the best.

In fact, I think the only thing I didn’t like about this premiere was that very last flashback when the cannibals decided to become the butchers instead of the cattle, or whatever. Other than telling us that the giant dude was originally one of their captors, I felt like that scene gave me nothing I didn’t already know, and it felt like a weird note to end the episode on. But this is a pretty minor nitpick.

For an episode of The Walking Dead, this premiere was basically an upper. I fear for the rest of the season.


Carol and Daryl reuniting. But a close second place goes to Carol blowing up that propane tank.



The Flash


For the most part, I had a pretty good time watching this. Even with the mandatory CW pilot voiceover. (To my shock, the VO was actually funny for once. I could potentially deal with more of this.) Grant Gustin is very enjoyable as Barry Allen, and I look forward to seeing him in all of his CSI Jr. adventures. (Seriously, I know they’re skewing to a younger demographic than Arrow, but damn. Between him and Emotionless Science Girl and Surfer Dude Science Boy, I feel like all the superhero progress will have to stop for juice and snack breaks.) It was nice to see the “run, Barry, run” line finally, since that’s made me crack up through multiple promos. The ending was a solid twist, and I really like Jesse L. Martin a lot. At least, when he isn’t talking to or about his daughter.

Because, yes, my biggest concern about The Flash is the female characters, specifically, Barry’s unrequited love interest, Iris. (Who, shockingly, is dating Schmucky Cop.) I was actually liking Iris pretty well, until she made an impatient hand gesture for Barry to go chase after the guy who took her purse, presumably because this is a MAN’s job and never mind the fact that Gustin is as big around as my wrist. Real men run after purse-snatchers, whether they would be physically capable of stopping them or not.

And then Detective West (Martin) reminds his daughter that she isn’t a cop, and she’s all, “Because you wouldn’t let me,” and I’m like, “EXCUSE me? Are you a grown ass woman? What century are we in, you two?” This is made even worse when West tells Barry that he can’t tell Iris about his super abilities because he wants to keep her safe, which, how is this keeping her safe, exactly? Yeah, it’s not, so thanks for that fully unnecessary complication, West. (On the plus side, I was pleasantly surprised that he discovered Barry’s abilities so early.)

I’ll have to wait and see about Emotionless Science Girl. I actually didn’t mind her little speech, and I’d much rather her Lack of Giggles come from an emotional trauma, rather than any I-Don’t-Understand-Feelings-Because-I-Do-Science nonsense. Still, I’m not quite sold yet, either. And that’s about it for female characters thus far, unless we’re counting the protagonist’s tragically dead mother.

But this may improve with time. I hope so, anyway. This was a pretty fun premiere, and I have hope for this series. (Especially if there are more Flash/Arrow crossovers. That should happen, like, all the time.)


Oh, I can’t decide. It’s between Barry asking, “Lightning gave me abs?” and West saying, “Shut the hell up.” Although I did also like this: “Why the hell would God need to rob banks?”





When I initially read the setup for this season — with Sherlock coming back to New York with a new protégé in tow — I was not particularly interested. For me, this show is entirely about Sherlock and Watson’s relationship, and I wasn’t real excited to see a new player get in the middle of it, particularly if she and Watson were going to have awful cat fight friction.

However, I actually enjoyed this premiere quite a bit. I love that Watson is a competent detective in her own right, and that she has her own nemesis now. (I just assume Gina Gershon will come back at some point, despite going to jail at the end of the episode.) I like that Watson doesn’t automatically forgive Holmes for the bullshit way he left, but that by the end of the episode they’ve worked their way to some kind of (very tentative) middle ground. I didn’t hate Kitty like I feared I would, and while I’m not particularly interested in her backstory right now, I might eventually become so. And I like that Watson and Kitty had a nice moment, too, giving me hope that their relationship will not be all bitter and annoying.


Hard to say. I did enjoy the baton fighting, but I think I’m leaning toward the scene where Gregson interrupts Sherlock’s carefully crafted apology to tell him, in no uncertain terms, that they aren’t friends. There was something kind of awesome about that.





Ah, Arrow. Right back to wildly entertaining me and wildly pissing me off, all in the very same hour. It’s really almost impressive, how easily you do this.

Why don’t I just break this down into The Good, The Ambivalent, and the Downright Sucky:


Non-Island Flashbacks. A welcome change of pace.

The whole city loves Arrow! I wonder how long this can possibly last.

Ollie and Felicity are openly acknowledging Feelings! Seriously, I wonder how long this can . . . oh, really, not that long, huh? (See also: The Downright Sucky)

People are moving out of Starling City because they’re tired of dying in crazy supervillain terrorist attacks. LOVE THIS.

Pretty much everything about Brandon Routh. He was ridiculously energetic and kind of delightful in his smarm. I look forward to seeing more of him.


Dear God, Ollie got dosed with vertigo AGAIN? If it happens one more time before Christmas, does he get a prize?

Why isn’t Felicity working at Queen Consolidated anymore? I don’t see why she had to leave the company just because Oliver’s out, unless she chose to step down to help out at the Arrow Cave or was fired due to rumors of her sleeping with the boss. Waiting to see if this is addressed.

Sara’s death: on one hand, I actually really like the shot of her falling, and I’ll admit, that’s one hell of a way to end your premiere and set up your season. On the other hand, godamnit, I liked Sara. After she survived second season, I actually thought she had a chance. And is there anyone in the world, ANYONE, who wants to see Laurel become Black Canary? Because I’m pretty sure that’s where this story is going, and at this point, I think I’d be happier if Felicity became Black Canary, and that doesn’t even make sense. (Actually, Thea would be pretty cool, assuming Thea isn’t the one who shot her in the first place.)


Sweet Christ, it’s like Ollie can’t learn shit for more than twenty minutes at a time. One explosion, and that’s it? That’s all it takes for Ollie to be like, “Nope, I’m out. If wasn’t so busy HAVING FEELINGS, I totally would have seen this tracker.” Good lord, people. Must I quote Teen Wolf at you? Apparently, I must: “This whole women are a weakness thing is a little too Spartan warrior for me.” Ollie, you’re an asshole.

Also, Ollie overcomes the psychotropic drug simply by denying love. Which I guess would be an interesting inversion of the Power of Love, if I wasn’t so annoyed the above.

And I am SO NOT OKAY with Diggle basically saying, “Yeah, thanks for making this decision for me, Oliver. Before I was angry because I felt like hey, I’m a grown up, I should be able to make my own big life decisions, but now that I’ve seen this baby, I’ve decided that the white man was right all along. I can’t possibly have children and be a hero any longer.” Ugh.


Hm. Porcupine flatulence?



The Vampire Diaries


I only watched maybe a quarter of Season Five before I got bored with all the convoluted drama, but I found out what happened in the finale (Alaric came back!) and thought I’d try out Season Six fresh. And so far . . . it’s okay. I’m not real crazy about drug addict Elena — and it drives me nuts that losing Bonnie doesn’t seem to really bother her — but I did love that her big goodbye speech where she decides to let go of Damon doesn’t work at all. Jeremy’s predictably boring. I’ll probably be more interested in Stefan’s storyline when he inevitably returns to Mystic Falls. Tyler’s pairing with this witch girl seems really forced to me, but maybe they set that up last season in all the episodes I didn’t watch? Their chemistry just seems really artificial to me, especially in comparison to the chemistry he had with Caroline. Not that it matters, really. We all know that Tyler will be gone in a month or two anyway to do some BS thing for half the season, like he always does.

The very last scene with Damon and Bonnie and vampire pancakes is pretty awesome. And of course, Alaric. He is the best. He has so many awesome lines. I’m so glad he’s back — although I rolled my eyes pretty hard at the fact that he’s teaching at the college now. Of course he is. This is like Mr. Feeny all over.

I have this feeling I’ll eventually end up dropping The Vampire Diaries, but this was decent enough that I’ll keep up for now. (But seriously, can we lose Mopey Pants Jeremy? He is so boring.)


Probably the pancakes. It was hilarious, and that whole scene was a great way to end the episode. But I also liked this: “Okay, so when I lost my human nature, I also lost my game.”



American Horror Story: Freak Show


Oh, this show. I really feel like I need to give a full season of American Horror Story a try, and I figured evil circuses would be the time to do it, but . . . I don’t know.

There are some really cool things about the premiere. I like the opener, although obviously it’d be a lot more effective if we didn’t already know that Sarah Paulson was playing conjoined twins. The opening credits are pretty cool. And I really like the split screen from the POV of the sisters, when one is looking in one direction, and the other is looking somewhere else. I thought that was pretty clever. I’m less into them being randomly psychic, but it’s not a big thing. I just rolled my eyes.

The clown is admittedly pretty creepy, too. Not subtle — American Horror Story is many things, but subtle is decidedly not one of them. Good God. The music cues, alone. (While I’m thinking about music: I didn’t actually recognize David Bowie’s “Life On Mars” when Norma Desmond Elsa started singing it — sue me — but I started laughing hysterically when Fiona Apple’s “Criminal” came up in the preview.) But I can deal with not subtle. What doesn’t work as well — and has been a problem for me with past iterations of AHS — mostly has to do with weird sex stuff. I’m well aware there’s no way to say that without making me sound like a prude, and hey, maybe I am one. But the scene with Evan Peters satisfying women with his lobster hands . . . it feels cheaply artificial to me, like it was added purely so that the shock value might convince me that this show is so daring and bold and breaks down all kinds of barriers, and I’m like, Uh, yay? AHS has always struck me as incredibly satisfied with itself, and I’ve yet to become entranced by it the way it clearly wants me to. And don’t even get me started on the it’s-not-gang-rape-if-I-enjoyed-it-while-stoned-off-my-ass subplot.

I’ve set the series on record, but we’ll see. It would hardly be the first season I’ve let rot on my DVD for several months before deleting it, unwatched.


I’ve never been very seriously coulrophobic, but that clown was fucking creepy.





First: I have not read the comics. I have seen the Keanu Reeves movie, and I enjoy it for the guilty pleasure that it is, but I wasn’t looking for this show to be that. Actually, I don’t know exactly what I was looking for, but this pilot? Wasn’t it.

Look, pilots are often rough. I’m not giving up on Constantine immediately. I’ll give it a little more time to find itself — but I’ll probably give it on this well before I give up on Gotham, partly because I’m a Batman nerd and partly because I think Gotham’s pilot showed a lot more potential. (It’s not an entirely fair comparison, though, because Gotham is already starting to slowly improve, particularly with “Spirit of the Goat,” which was actually pretty great.) On the positive side, Matt Ryan seemed decent enough and I’m curious to learn more about the monosyllabic, very-not-Shia-LeBeouff Chas, who manages to survive his skewering with very little difficulty.

But oh my God, the pacing of this episode was ridiculously rushed. And there are a lot of benefits to fast paced shows when they’re done well (the earlier seasons of The Vampire Diaries, the first season of Sleepy Hollow), but this was so stupid fast that I just couldn’t engage with any of it. Certainly not the main girl, who the show sets up as super important, only to replace her in the very second episode. (I haven’t actually watched it yet, but I know that’s what happens. Hopefully, this one won’t react to giant sinkholes by threatening to mace the first guy she sees, as if she thinks he caused the sinkhole in the first place.) I’m also not really feeling the angel, despite the fact that I generally like Harold Perrineau. He may become more intriguing over time, but right now his constant smirk is only getting on my nerves. It’s like his one facial expression. Oy. Where is Tilda Swinton when you need her?


The initial setup at the mental institution was kind of cool. Unfortunately, it just all went downhill from there.



Post-Easter Reviews: Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead

Celebrating Easter has never been a particularly big deal with my family, so I spent the holiday working, sleeping, and watching television. In particular, I watched the season premiere of Game of Thrones and the season finale of The Walking Dead.


Cause shows about — or at least including — walking corpses should be watched on Easter, right? Right?

Spoilers for both TV shows — not the books — ahead.

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