Billionaire shaming

One of the most interesting TV shows this past few months is a mid season replacement called APB. The plot can basically be summed up as ‘Elon Musk buys a police station’. Literally, that’s it. Barely fictionalised billionaire spends his money and his genius to help poor but honest cops fight crime in one of Chicago’s worst precincts.
When this show started I was certain there was a ‘political’ motive, sort of a shaping of public opinion, going on, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. It took me a few episodes but I believe that it
might be ‘billionaire shaming’. Why should Elon Musk ‘waste’ money going to Mars, and Bill Gates ‘waste’ money eliminating diseases in the third world, when there are issues right here in the States that could benefit from their money and technical expertise. Continue reading

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Enterprise Rewatch, Pt 2

crying spock

One of the things I had forgotten in my years away from enterprise is how shabbily they treated the Vulcans. JJ may have nuked their whole planet, but Enterprise turned them into villains.

For a species that prides itself on its intelligence and logic, Enterprise has sure made them a bunch of superstitious, judgemental dicks.

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Enterprise Rewatch, Pt 1

s-l225

I watched Enterprise back during it’s original run and it was definitely my least favourite of all the Treks. Setting it before TOS was always going to be problematic due to technology outstripping that of TOS, but I remember it having other problems as well. Recently, with all the Treks on Netflix we decided to have a re-watch of Enterprise. Currently we are halfway through season two and I wanted to share my thoughts.

I like most of the characters more than I remembered, particularly Phlox and Mayweather. Even T’pol, who I did not remember with fondness, is more than just a tight jumpsuit (they really did her character a disservice with that costume) but boy do I dislike Archer.

My bff once gave to me the postcard pictured above, somewhat ironically as she loved Archer and she knew I am a Kirk girl til I die. Archer is supposed to be a contrast with the conservative, logical reasoning of T’pol, but it’s amazing how often she is right. He frequently jumps straight in when he should be a bit more cautious. He often doesn’t take the accepting new cultures thing to heart, frequently going the “well, we’re humans and that’s not the way we do it” approach. I regularly wish Trip was captain and not Archer.

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2015/16 TV Retrospective, Pt 2

Testcard_F

Lucifer
Rating: A
This show came out of nowhere. I only started watching it because the plot was so preposterous, but the subplot (or is it the main plot, who can tell)
about Satanic existential angst is so thoughtful and well written that you overlook the somewhat mundane murders of the week. Even those though, show a
writing staff determined to make snarky in-jokes about Hollywood. And on the back of this, Tom Ellis should be the new Benedict Cumberbatch (i.e. considered
for everything). I already want him as Captain Laurence if they ever make a Temeraire movie.

Shield
Rating: C+
I don’t know why this hasn’t grabbed me this season but it hasn’t, and it bothers me that I can’t actually put my finger on it. With the exception of
Bobbi and Hunter, who are now gone, the characters are just kind of vanilla. There are action sequences worthy of the MCU, so that’s not it. Maybe it’s the rapid
fire pace of plot development means you don’t have time to get used to a status quo before it’s changed. Lost people are found. Good characters turned evil are
good again. I’m iffy on this one.

Flash
Rating: A
Nothing specific to say, except I really like this show. Barry loses his speed, he gets it back again, life goes on. It’s solid popcorn fun with extremely likeable characters and decent writing. For no real reason it is less soap opera-y than Arrow, with a lot of solid humour. Carlos Valdes as Cisco is especially good, as is Tom Cavanagh. The Supergirl crossover was entertaining, though it didn’t make me want to watch Supergirl.

Legends of Tomorrow
Rating: B
I like the premise of this show, I like the characters, and I like the futuristic universe with the cool ship and the AI Gideon. But the plots of this show are, well, not terrible, but not coherent. Pretty much every problem could be solved by time travel, but the rules of the universe somehow prohibit it. We don’t know how because the rules have barely been explained. Rip “not-the-Doctor” Hunter says they can’t do it, and everyone pretty much just buys in. I find it hard to blame the writers as good time travel is difficult to write well, plus they have an ensemble cast who all need decent airtime. Still, I read that season two might have more self contained episodes, so this might help. At any rate, I’m looking forward to it.

 

Stay tuned for Pt 3 in a few days.

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2015/16 TV Retrospective, Pt 1

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Now that the TV season is winding to a close, I am minded to post my ratings and reviews, in no particular order. (It should go without saying that spoilers follow).

Gotham

Rating: A

The writing continues to be top notch. It’s difficult to single out a particular actor from this panorama of great performances, but whoever found and cast David Mazouz and Camren Bicondova deserves a special gold star. It’s difficult, I’m sure, to cast kids and hope that they will pan out into good actors but these two are great. And past blog posts will tell you how I feel about Robin Lord Taylor.  The other thing I think deserves singular mention is the “look” of the show. I don’t know enough about TV production to know who is responsible for it, but the sort of modern-meets-art-deco really gives it an otherworldly feeling, that the city is of our time, but in another nearly-parallel-but-slightly-time-altered universe. Again, I’m not a DC fangirl, so any of the discontinuities with established canon, don’t stand out to me as they might do with others.

Elementary

Rating: A+

My sad little fangirl ravings cannot do this show justice. There has been solid character development without actually changing the fundamental character of Holmes. If Joan Watson is a little less buffoonish than John Watson, then that’s fine. I doubt you’d get to be a top surgeon as a slightly clueless buffoon anyway. And Lucy Liu is amazing. I shouldn’t say, who knew she had it in her, but who knew? I apologise for ever calling a female Watson stuntcasting. I also love John Bishop as Morland Holmes, a non-canon character, but his character very much explains the behaviour of his two sons.

Blindspot

Rating: C –

This is a show I had high hopes for that just hasn’t matched them, and maybe that’s my fault. The real star of the show are the tattoos, but the team seems to be solving them piecemeal, almost by accident and just in time to prevent the crime of the week. Only one woman, (and the ghost of her dead boyfriend) seems to be deciphering them, and though she keeps referring to her “team” we never see them. This should be a Lost-esque mystery with cryptologists, historians and cypher experts debating the tattoo’s meanings, but instead we get MOTW crimes with little relation to one another. The secondary problem is the lack of romantic tension which is clearly supposed to exist between the two main characters and is just not there. This is made even creepier by the fact that they last saw each other when they were ten year old tree climbing buddies, and yet that romantic tension is obviously supposed to exist. The only bright spot was John Hodgeman’s appearance as an Internal Affairs guy tasked with proving one of the team was a Russian spy. Never mind the fact that they usually leave IA subplots until the second or third season when the fans will be emotionally invested in the team, and care about the ramifications, they outed his character as the spy in his second episode and shot him dead. Hodgeman was a great baddie though.

The Magicians

Rating: A –

This show will teach me to keep my mouth shut. Despite initially saying I was underwhelmed, this show became one of my must-sees. I never did grow to like the characters, though their snarkiness was entertaining. The adult approach to a common plot (magic school) is interesting, as is the occasional twisting of the trope. All the acting is solid, and the lighting is quite interesting. This will be the rare show where I will go out of my way to not read the books. I want to experience The Magicians strictly in this medium.

Stay tuned for Pt 2 in a few days.

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The Colour of Money

crayons

To paraphrase the old axiom, ‘no one ever went broke trying to sell people’s childhoods back to them’. We are currently staggering under the weight of comic book movies, cosplay one-upmanship and adult Disney fandom. There’s even a word for it – kidult. I admit participating in some of the previously mentioned but the most recent kidult hobby has me concerned.
Adult colouring books are the latest hot hobby. Continue reading

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The Internet has ruined April Fools’ Day.

sad jester

I used to love April Fools Day. Pranks and japes, peanut butter on doorknobs, cling film on toilets; getting your friends good. Then came the Internet. Now the day is a minefield of “is it true or isn’t it” stories all over the place. Some of them are idiotic, while others are so plausible it hurts when you find out you’ve been pranked. Continue reading

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