Monday, May 23, 2016

2016 TV Fall Season Sneak Peek

This new TV fall season is a first for me - there are more new shows I'm interested in than shows I'm not interested in. If I end up liking all of the new shows I've decided to check out, my DVR is going to be full all of the time. However, the chances of that happening are pretty slim - based on the past.

So, below is a list of the new shows whose pilots I'm interested in watching. It will be interesting to see how accurate my predictions of which shows I'll keep watching will be. I'll keep you posted - in about six or seven months. *wink*

New Shows
CW
No Tomorrow
What it's about: Sarah, a risk-averse quality-control assessor who falls for Xavier, a free-spirited thrill seeker who believes the apocalypse is coming and helps her learn the true meaning of "seizing the day."
My thoughts: I’m all for watching TV shows about seizing the day. Since I don’t do it enough in my own life, the next best thing is watching others seizing it in a TV series. I’m curious if the show will last long enough to make it to the day of the apocalypse because I’d like to see what the end of the world looks like, or what Xavier looks like when he realizes the world didn’t end. 
Chance I think I'll keep watching: Moderate

Frequency
What it's about: Set in 2016, Detective Raimy Sullivan discovers that she is able to communicate via a CV radio with her long dead father, who is speaking to her from 1996. Raimy takes advantage of the opportunity and warns him of his impending death, but when she is able to save his life, she also changes her own history. Based on the 2000 film of the same name, starring Jim Caviezel and Dennis Quaid. 
My thoughts: Frequency is one of my all-time favorite movies. The preview for this series looks really good, and seems to follow the movie very closely, other than changing the main character to a woman. I don’t know what they will do to stretch the premise out for an entire season, let alone additional seasons if it gets renewed, but I’m interested in finding out. I hope it will deviate enough from the movie to add some surprises.
Chance I think I'll keep watching: High

CBS
Bull
What it's about: Inspired by the life of Dr. Phil before he became a favorite of Oprah, the series follows Dr. Bull, head of a trial consulting service that analyzes juries to help develop defense strategies. 
My thoughts: I’m glad this series is about Phil McGraw’s career prior to his TV career, because the whole idea of analyzing juries sounds very interesting – more interesting than a series about a psychologist who has his own daytime series.
Chance I think I'll keep watching: Moderate

Macgyver
What it's about: A reboot of the popular 1980's television series, if you don't know what this one is about, then you probably won't be interested in it. Just think of bubble-gum and paperclips.
My thoughts: Macgyver was one of my Dad’s favorite TV shows. I never watched it, but I knew what it was about - bubble-gum and paperclips. I’m going to check this one out for my Dad. And if I feel like he would have been disappointed in it, I will be too. 
Chance I think I'll keep watching: Moderate

Fox
Pitch
What it's about: Pitch is about a young pitcher who becomes the first woman to play in the major league when she's chosen to play for the San Diego Padres.
My thoughts: It’s surprising to me that I’m interested in a show about baseball. But I am. It would be nice if this show became prophetic.
Chance I think I'll keep watching: Moderate

Son of Zorn
What it's about: Son of Zorn is a hybrid live-action/animated comedy about an animated warrior from a faraway island in the Pacific Ocean, where everything and everyone is animated. He returns to Orange County to win back his live-action ex-wife and teenage son.
My thoughts: I It looks like a cross between Enchanted and He-Man, and I have to admit that this shows looks hilarious. This coming from someone who has never seen He-Man, nor has ever had an interest in seeing He-Man.
Chance I think I'll keep watching: High

ABC
Conviction
What it's about: The brilliant, but rebel daughter of a former President (Hayley Atwell) is blackmailed into taking a job as the head of Los Angeles' newly created Conviction Integrity Unit. She, along with her team, works to examine cases where the wrong person may have been convicted of a crime.
My thoughts: I like Hayley Atwell. I’m sorry Agent Carter was canceled, but I’m glad she has another part. 
Chance I think I'll keep watching: Moderate

Speechless
What it's about: Minnie Driver stars in this comedy about family dealing with the challenges of having a special-needs child. 
My thoughts: Minnie Driver is really funny in the preview. I like her quirkiness. 
Chance I think I'll keep watching: Moderate

Notorious
What it's about: This series is based on the true-life stories of famed criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos and cable news producer Wendy Walker, and explores the interplay of criminal law and the media.
My thoughts: No real thoughts about this one. I’m just interested in checking it out.
Chance I think I'll keep watching: Moderate

NBC
Timeless
What it's about: A criminal steals a secret state-of-the-art time machine, intent on destroying America by changing its past. A soldier and a history professor use the machine's prototype to travel back in time to critical events, hoping to stop him. They must make an effort not to affect the past themselves as they try to stay one step ahead of the dangerous fugitive.
My thoughts: This is the first of three series about time travel. I don’t know why the sudden interest in time travel, but I’m interested in the series for the history aspect of it. I want to see what historical events they will be a part of, and if and how they will change anything.
Chance I think I'll keep watching: High

This is Us
What it's about: This dramedy centers around a group, several of whom share the same birthday, and follows them as their paths cross and their life stories intertwine in curious ways.
My thoughts: I’m curious to see how the lives of these very different people intertwine. I just hope it won’t get too “soap opera-ey.” We’ll see.
Chance I think I'll keep watching: Moderate

The Good Place
What it's about: The Good Place follows an ordinary woman (Kristen Bell) who enters the afterlife, where she comes to realize she hasn't been a very good person. With the help of her afterlife mentor (Ted Danson), she is determined to shed her old way of living and discover a better person within.
My thoughts: This show looks like it could be very funny. I like Kristen Bell.
Chance I think I'll keep watching: Moderate

Midseason Shows
Fox
Making History
What it's about: This series centers on three friends who find a way to travel through time in search of truth, justice, and riches, which complicates their lives in 2016. They visit some of the greatest moments of the past as they try to resolve their personal problems, while history and pop culture comically collide.
My thoughts: Another time travel series. More history. These characters aren’t traveling to save the world (or America), they are traveling for a more personal reason – the resolve their problems. We’ll see how much different this will be from Timeless.
Chance I think I'll keep watching: Moderate

CW
Riverdale
What it's about: Betty Cooper likes Archie Andrews, but isn't ready to tell him, Archie wants to pursue his music and figure out how to repair his fracture friendship to Jughead Jones. New student Veronica Lodge feels a spark with Archie, but doesn't want to risk her new friendship with Betty. It all sounds like typical teenage drama. However, the town of Riverdale is still also reeling from the tragic death of Jason Blossom during the summer. Riverdale may seem like a quiet town, but there is darkness hidden underneath the shadows.
My thoughts: Comic book adaptations are big nowadays, so why not Archie? I’ interested in checking I out, but I am a bit annoyed that they’re trying to make this series something the comic is not – a murder mystery. They’re making Riverdale the next Twin Peaks.
Chance I think I'll keep watching: High

Still Star-Crossed
What it's about: This period series picks up where Romeo and Juliet left off, charting the treachery, palace intrigue and ill-fated romances of the Montagues and Capulets in the wake of the young lovers' tragic fate.
My thoughts: Even though this series looks interesting, I do have a question to the writers of Still Star-Crossed. Have you read Romeo and Juliet? The play ends with the Montagues and Capulets making peace with each since it was their feud that killed the young lovers. I hope this isn’t just another story of Romeo and Juliet with different characters. I would hope that their families learned their lesson and made progress. However, I’m interested in seeing if this story can bring anything new and surprising.
Chance I think I'll keep watching: High

Time After Time
What it's about: This drama promises a fantastical cat-and-mouse adventure through time when famed science fiction writer H.G. Wells is transported to modern day Manhattan in pursuit of Jack the Ripper. Once H.G. arrives in New York City, he finds a world he never thought possible - and a young woman who captivates him. But then there's still Jack, on the loose in Manhattan. 
My thoughts: Time travel – again. But this time the main character is the “king of time travel” – H.G. Wells. I’m really interested in this concept. H.G. Wells traveling to our time trying to catch Jack the Ripper. I wonder if he will be traveling to other times as well as our own modern day.
Chance I think I'll keep watching: High

NBC
Emerald City
What it's about: In the blink of a tornado's eye, 20-year-old Dorothy Gale and a K9 dog are swept into a world far removed from our own - a mystical land of competing realms, lethal warriors, dark magic and a bloody battle for supremacy. As Dorothy navigates this dangerous world, we'll see there's no place like... Oz.
My thoughts: Another reimagining of a classic story. I’m all for mystical realms, warriors, magic and battles for supremacy (not much one for blood, however). I’d like to see familiar Oz characters, and it would be nice if they have characters from other Oz books also. (Ozma is one of my favorites.) One last thought, I just can’t imagine a K9 dog being named Toto.
Chance I think I'll keep watching: High

Sunday, May 22, 2016

1986 Fall TV Season Sneak Peek

Here's a blast from the past.

The major networks have announced their new fall season. I've watched previews of many of the new shows on the internet, and I'm interested in many of the shows. In fact, I don't know when I've been interested in so many new shows in a long time. (That's another post for another day.)

Thinking about the 2016 fall season, I thought it would be fun to take a look at another fall season, more specifically the 1986 TV season - 30 years ago.

When I was young, I never knew what new TV series were making their debut in the fall until the Fall Season TV Guide issue came out, usually a few weeks before the new season started. I was always excited to see what shows would make their debut that year, and wonder which shows would become hits and which ones would fade into that black hole of canceled shows no one would remember in years to come.

In those days there was no internet where you could watch preview of the pilots. You only had a synopsis of each series with a picture of the main characters. From those few sentences, and one picture, I would decide which shows I would be willing to take a chance on.

Here is a list of the shows that started 30 years ago, the fall of 1986, See how many of these shows sound familiar to you (these were only on the three major networks: ABC, CBS and NBC):
  • Valerie (with Valerie Harper and Jason Bateman)
  • Perfect Strangers (with Bronson Pinchot and mark Linn-Baker)
  • You Again? (with Jack Klugman and John Stamos)
  • The Heart of the City (with Christina Applegate)
  • Life with Lucy (with Lucille Ball, who else?)
  • Downtown (with Mariska Hargitay and Robert Englund)
  • The Ellen Burstyn Show (with Ellen Burstyn, Elaine Strich and Megan Mullaly)
  • Amen (with Sherman Hemsley and Clifton Davis)
  • Our House (with Wilford Brimley, Deidre Hall, Shannen Doherty and Chad Allen)
  • Easy Street (Jack Elam and Loni Anderson)
  • Alf (with Alf)
  • My Sister Sam (with Pam Dawber and Rebecca Schaeffer)
  • Designing Women (with Delta Burke, Jean Smart, Dixie Carter and Annie Potts)
  • The Wizard
  • Matlock (with Andy Griffith)
  • Crime Story
  • Jack and Mike (with Shelley Hack)
  • Together We Stand (with Elliot Gould and Dee Wallace)
  • Head of the Class (with Howard Hesseman)
  • Better Days (with Raphael Sbarge)
  • Kay O'Brien 
  • Side Kicks (with Gil Gerard)
  • Sledge Hammer!
  • Starman (with Robert Hays)
  • L.A. Law (with Jimmy Smits, Harry Hamlin, Corbin Bernsen and Jill Eikenberry)
As with any new TV season, a few shows were renewed after their first season, a few had a good run before being canceled, a few are still in syndication, and the majority of them have been lost in obscurity.

Do you remember watching any of these shows? Did any of them become a favorite?

Friday, May 13, 2016

Favorite TV Series: What's Renewed, What's Canceled

R.I.P.
It's that time of year. The networks have announced the shows they have renewed and the shows they have canceled. This means I am happy and a little bit sad today.

Reasons I am happy (favorite shows that have been renewed for the 2016-2017 season):

  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • Arrow
  • The Flash
  • Legends of Tomorrow
  • Supergirl (It's been both canceled and renewed. The series is moving from CBS to the CW, where it will join its other DC shows)
  • Grimm
  • Jane the Virgin
  • So You Think You Can Dance
  • Sleepy Hollow

Reasons I'm sad: (favorite shows that have been canceled):

  • Castle
  • Nashville

It's surprising to me that over half of my favorite shows that have been renewed are based on comic book characters. I'm not surprised they have been renewed, just surprised that they've become some of my favorite currently running TV series. I've never read superhero comic books, and I never considered myself a real fan of the superhero movies that came out when I was young, such as the Superman with Christopher Reeve, or the Batman movies with Michael Keaton, George Clooney and Val Kilmer. It wasn't until The Avengers was released that I found myself really enjoying a superhero movie. It could be that it was written and directed by Joss Whedon, the creator of my much-loved Buffy-verse and Firefly. Or, maybe it was Tom Hiddleston. Yea, it could have been Tom Hiddleston. Anyway. So, when I see that five of my favorite TV series are based on comic books, there's no one more surprised than I. I know that it's because of the characters on the show. Sure, I want interesting plots, but unless a show has characters that I care about, then it doesn't matter how good or exciting the plots, I won't want to tune in every week.

Arrow was the first of these current comic book-based series to catch my interest. I watched its first spin-off, The Flash, because they introduced Barry Allen in a few episodes of Arrow. I really liked his character, and how he was played by Grant Gustin. Because I liked these series so much, I was excited when they announced that Supergirl would be getting her own series, and it quickly became one of my favorite new shows of the season. The second spin-off of Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, started out a bit weak, with a couple of characters that I totally cannot abide (and wish they would just abandon them somewhere to live out their destined lives together away from our other "legends of tomorrow), and I fast forwarded through many an episode this season. However, as the end of the season comes closer, the episodes have become more exciting and compelling, and I haven't fast forwarded through an episode in while.

I originally started watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. because it was a new series created by Joss Whedon (along with his brother, Jed). It has gone through rocky times, but I have enjoyed this season, and I find myself anxiously anticipating how this season will end, and what character (if any) won't make it to the next season. I think episode 5, "4,755," is one of the best episodes of any TV series, and the consequences of that episode led to the emerging of a formidable "Big Bad." One of the problems I have with the series, is that it's supposedly part of that big Marvel universe that wants to be connected with all of the Marvel movies, so the Avengers exist in this world, we just never see them in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Hive is the kind of foe that, if this really is supposed to be one big (Marvel) universe, you would think that Coulsen would have wanted to call in the Avengers to help him defeat him. However, since this is television, and the Avengers are only in film, those characters will never (I am guess never) be on this television show, therefore, they can't call them in, and it ruins the continuity they've tried to create in this universe.

It's hard to believe that Grimm is coming to the end of its fifth season. I remember five years ago when I was looking forward to a new TV season that had two series based on fairy-tales. Who knew then how very different these two series would be? Unlike Once Upon a Time (which I'm not going to talk much about in this post, except to say how disappointing it has been since its first season), Grimm has remained very strong in the five years it's been on the air. It has stayed close to its original premise, and it has been exciting, original, and well-written. It has given us some great characters (Nick, Monroe, Trubel, Renard, Wu),  a few surprises (good-bye Juliette, hello Eve), lots of interesting Wesen, and a relationship I really want to hate, but kind of like (Nick and Adalind). I really like episodic TV that has an arc that continues throughout a season, and Grimm does this so well. I look forward to seeing how this season turns out and seeing what next season brings.

It's hard to explain Jane the Virgin to people who don't watch it. It's a comedy, it's a drama, it's a mystery. it's a crime show, it's a soap opera (or should we say Telenovela?). It's nothing like anything else on television. It has a narrator who is not one of the characters in the show, and who has some of the best one-liners on television. It has romance, murder, kidnapping, an evil twin or two (or three), and a Telenovela superstar who has the other best one-liners in television.  It has dream sequences, daydream sequences, and flashbacks, and a TV show within a TV show. It has rich, beautiful people running an expensive hotel, and not-so-rich, average people just trying to make ends meet. It even has a child that isn't ignored by the writers or forgotten about entirely. In fact it deals head-on with single motherhood, postpartum depression, and a mother who would like to stay home with her child, but can't. And it all centers around Jane, an aspiring writer, college student, and mother of a one-year old. This show rarely makes a misstep, unlike so many other series that I watch on a regular basis. The writing is so clever, as is the format of the show. There is so much "meta" in this show that I wish I could think of a clever word to describe it that includes "meta" in it. Metatacular? Metacredible? Metasational? Metatastic? Metarrific? Metanificent?  Sorry, I could do this all day. But I won't. Suffice it to say, I'm so glad that it has been renewed for a third season.

I am very happy about So You Think You Can Dance being renewed. I have loved this show since season 1, and I look forward to many outstanding dancers and routines. I really hope they have good choreographers this year. The routines of the last few seasons haven't seemed to live up to the excellence of some of the early season routines. There have been some gems sprinkled here and there, but I'm hoping for some memorable routines, because we never know how many more seasons this show will last. This could its last.

I'm really happy that the CW decided to give Supergirl a new home after CBS decided to cancel it. I really like this show. Not just because its main character is a woman, but because Kara is a superhero who isn't full of angst. She's an orphan whose whole planet was destroyed, but she isn't fighting against something - she's fighting for everyone she can.

Sleepy Hollow's final episode of this season was hard to watch. Not only did Ichabod have to say good-bye to his partner, but we had to say good-bye to one of the best things about the show: Abbie. Who knows where it's going to go from here, but I hope it can not only survive, but thrive without her. I feel like the show was finally getting its footing back after a really rocky season 2, and then this happened. Oh, Nicole, I will miss you. If they only could have given Abbie the stories she deserved. I loved the chemistry Tom and Nicole had together. This could be such an awesome show, a combination of Buffy, the Vampire SlayerNational Treasure, and Grimm, however, much like Once Upon a Time, they just haven't been able to recapture the magic of that first season.

Three other series that I've been watching, even though they are not "favorites," that have been renewed are Once Upon a Time, The Big Bang Theory, and Reign. I really think that Once Upon a Time has overstayed its welcome. I still watch it, but I get so infuriated with it. I've written a few posts already about my frustrations with this show, and I just don't see it ever getting better. I feel it will never be able to match the magic and originality of its first season. If it does, I'll definitely post about it. I can honestly say that I do not know why I even watch The Big Bang Theory anymore. Maybe it's because it's only a half hour show and it doesn't feel like I'm wasting that much time (or brain waves) watching it. I'm very surprised that Reign has been renewed, but maybe that means we'll finally get Mary in Scotland and we'll get into the real history that's more interesting than their fictional plots.

Even though Castle is one of my favorite TV shows, I'm not sure that I'm too broken up about it being canceled. It's had a good eight season run, and that's nothing to cry about. I've enjoyed watching Nathan Fillion as Richard Castle, and I've loved how you could have a crazy episode about an actor from a cult TV show being murdered at a comic-con-type convention, and also a serious episode where Rick's daughter is kidnapped, and Rick goes rogue to try to find her. I generally dislike procedural TV series, but when it has a great premise, such as a mystery writer teaming with a NY detective to solve murders, great characters, and not-your-run-of-the-mill murder plots, then I'll watch - for eight seasons.

Oh, Nashville, Nashville. What you've done in the name of prime time soap operas has really put the final nail in your coffin. This series started out great, as a story about the rivalry of two country singers, one who was an older, established superstar, and the other a young up-and-coming starlet. I was interested in seeing where these characters' stories would take them. I loved the original music from the show. I looked forward to going to iTunes every Tuesday so I could buy my favorite tracks. Three seasons later, I just get angry every episode at the choices the characters make. And if I'm not getting angry at the characters, I'm getting angry at the writers for not letting ONE character have any happiness or joy. It's become such a depressing show. Not even the music makes it enjoyable. So, why, you ask, do I still watch? Good question. I guess because I've grown to like a lot of the characters, and I want to see if any of them will have anything good happen to them this week. I'd just like to see one thing before this show goes away forever - Maddie, you have to see what a conniving, opportunistic jerk (yes, I could use another word here, but I won't) Cash is! If you don't, and you don't apologize to your Mama for being a selfish, teenage brat, then a shoe may make contact with my TV, and then I'll be really sad. If Juliette and Avery, and Scarlet and Gunnar get back together, and Will gets a number one hit, and Layla falls off the edge of the stage, and Daphne has a solo hit, and Rayna and Deacon have one moment of happiness, then that would just be icing on the cake. And Autumn? Well, she could just fall off the edge of the stage with Layla.

Another canceled show that I watched, but never really became a favorite, was Galavant. I was so excited when it was announced two years ago that Alan Menken would be writing the music for a TV musical set in medieval times. I am a musical junky, and thought it was such a great idea. However, there were only small bits of it that I liked. Most of it fell flat for me. I thought the music was quite generic, which was so disappointing because I usually love Alan Menken's music. I felt like he phoned most of it in. I did read that there is a possibility that it may be adapted for the stage, with a possibility of going to Broadway. If so, I hope that it aims much, much higher - especially the music.

Now, I'm looking forward to hearing what new series will be starting in the fall. I hope there are some gems in the bunch.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Jane Austen's Lady Susan Comes to the Big Screen


I had no idea that Jane Austen's short epistolary novel, Lady Susan, had been adapted to film. It opens in New York, Los Angeles and Paris this weekend, and opens nation-wide on May 27th. But don't go looking for a film called Lady Susan at the movie theaters. The title has been changed for the film to Love & Friendship (which is the title of one of Jane's early juvelinia works).

I am very encouraged after watching the trailer that this should be really good. It's also nice to see Kate Beckinsale in another Jane Austen adaptation 20 years after she was in a wonderful version of Emma.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

TV Review: 2015 Fall Season

It's that time again. The new television season has begun.

This fall season has been very different from previous seasons for me. There were only three shows I was interested in checking out. Of those three, there's one I quit watching, one that has yet to premiere, and one I like enough to actually set a scheduled recording for on my DVR. I also happened to catch the pilot of one new show on the plane to England in September, but I'm not really counting that one since I wouldn't have watched it if I wasn't trying to pass the time while I was on a plane for seven hours.

I'm not sure why there are so few new series I'm interested in, whether it's me - or the shows. I'm gonna go ahead and say it's the new shows. It certainly can't be me. *wink*

Last year there were seven series that I was interested in, and I ended up sticking with three (The Flash, Forever, and Jane the Virgin). I'm glad that The Flash and Jane the Virgin were renewed, but I was sad about Forever being canceled. I really liked it. And it had Ioan Gruffud in it. Come on!

If you have read any of my TV review posts, you may probably have already guessed which new series I decided to watch, and maybe which other shows I watched and dropped. And if not, you'll have to wait until the end of this post to find out.

First, let's talk about my favorite returning shows and how I feel in general about their new season.

****Spoilers ahead****

Arrow

This show just gets better and better with each new season. I've really liked seeing Oliver grow and change. I enjoy seeing an Oliver Queen that realizes how much he needs others to help him in his quest to "save his city."

I'm happy to see the old Felicity back. When she came on the show she was such a breath of fresh air, but then as she got more romantically involved with Oliver she became so judgmental and preachy. I'm happy to see that she's getting her old mojo back.

I like how Thea has grown, and her story is going in an interesting direction now that she's been affected by the Lazarus Pit. I hope they don't go too far with her though. I don't want her to do anything that she can't come back from.

The Big Bang Theory

We're now in season 9 of this show, and I'm so tired of seeing Sheldon pretty much in the same place as he was in season 1. He was funny in the first few seasons, going into the ninth season - not so much. His character hasn't had much growth in eight years. I hated the episode where he found out that Leonard wanted to move out and live with his new wife. I hated that he threw his little tantrum, just as he always does when he doesn't like things changing or doesn't get his way, and Leonard and Penny actually gave in to him. They treat him like a child. Sheldon is an adult, and he needs to be treated like one by his friends, or he'll never grow up. Life isn't always fair, you don't always get what you want (okay, you usually don't get what you want), and Sheldon needs to learn to deal with that.

I am glad that Amy hasn't gone back to Sheldon after she broke up with him. As much as her character annoys me, I feel that she deserves a relationship with someone who treats her the way she should be treated, someone who doesn't make her sign a relationship contract that's all about him. Amy needs to find a guy she can have a healthy relationship with, or Sheldon needs to grow up and realize how to be a loving, giving boyfriend. And if Sheldon can't change, Amy is better off without him.

There have still been some funny episodes when the focus is on the geekiness of "boys," but otherwise, it's just the same old, same old.

Castle

This is another show that I'm frustrated with the direction it's gone. Why can't a series actually have a happily married couple? We spend seasons and seasons waiting for main characters to realize they love each other, then we have a wedding, and then... one of them decides that it's "safer" for the other person if they separate. It's such a old trope, and this show didn't need to go there.

I still like the show, and the episodes have been good for the most part, but Rick and Kate just need to get back together.

Doctor Who

This has been a great season so far. I'm so glad the Doctor has become less curmudgeonly. I really like Peter Capaldi, and he is such a great actor. I just don't think last season did him justice. But so far this season, each episode has been tops for me.

The only complaint I have is that I'd like to see more episodes set on a different planet than earth, and where the Doctor isn't trying to save all mankind. I like more intimate stories where the stakes aren't so high, the threat is more personal, and we're introduced to new characters that we care about.

The Flash

The second season of The Flash has been really good so far. Since I haven't read any of the comics, I didn't know the significance of the hat that came through the wormhole at the end of season 1, but I know now, and I think it's great that we have two Flashes, except I'm sad that Jay doesn't have the abilities on our earth that he had on his own. I hope we find out why, and that he gets them back. I'd love to see both Barry and Jay working together.

The introduction of Earth 2 is a great twist, and I look forward to finding out what kind of man Harrison Wells from Earth 2 is, and I hope he's a good guy. Tom Cavanaugh is a great actor, and I was sad when his character died last season, more because the actor was gone, than the character. I loved the dynamic between Barry and Harrison before they knew he was a bad guy. I loved how he mentored Barry, and I look forward to seeing that again. I just don't want them to visit the same story and make him a bad guy.

Grimm

I was sad about the two deaths at the end of last season, and I was excited see what was going to happen with Diana. After the first episode of the season, we're not completely certain of one of the deaths (although I think she's dead), and we haven't seen Diana yet. The first episode wasn't the strongest I've seen from this series, but it was a good start for the upcoming season, and set up a lot for future episodes.

I'm interested in seeing how being a father will change Nick. Will they show him involved much in his son's life? Most series don't incorporate babies much into their story lines, until you forget there ever was a baby. It will be interesting to see what Grimm does with Kelly - and Diana, for that matter.

Jane the Virgin

This show has some of the strongest writing I've seen in a long time. The format is so clever. The story lines are interesting, and Gina Rodriguez is so good in her role as Jane. It hasn't yet gone through any kind of second season slump, and it doesn't look like it will.

Also, there has never been a character in a tv series or movie quite like Rogelio. I love him. His lines are as funny as his ego is big. The show juggles many plot lines, and not one of them suffers. It's just a great series.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

I love this show. The unevenness of the first season really turned many people off, and I'm sure many of those viewers have never returned to it, but they should. The writing is so strong, as are the characters. In a show that has many characters and can have several plots going on in each episode, last week gave us a very intimate episode where we found out what happened to Jemma after the monolith transported her to another world. The entire episode featured only two actors, until we see Fitz at the end with Jemma. It was a wonderful performance by Elizabeth Henstridge, and it was very well written. The episode also made us want to see if FitzSimmons can rescue Will, and if he does, will the Will they save be the Will Jemma came to care about on that freaky, evil world, or will Will be a freaky, evil Will? (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

One thing that Joss Whedon is good at is ensemble casts, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is proof again that when Joss has his in hand in a project, even though the characters may suffer, the characterizations do not.

Nashville

Oh, Nashville. Talk about characters suffering...Why does every character have to be so miserable? I don't know why the writers can't give anyone a happy story line. Juliette's postpartum depression is probably the worst. I don't understand why the writers have made everyone abandoned her when she needs her loved-ones the most. It's one of the most depressing and hard to watch stories I've seen on television. Especially since Hayden Panettiere (the actress who plays Juliette) has said that she actually has been suffering from postpartum depression since the birth of her own baby. It's so difficult to watch. And the suffering just doesn't end, it just gets worse for everyone. Especially the audience.

I'm not quite sure why I still watch this show. It's kind of like Once Upon a Time - I liked the first season, and I keep watching, hoping it will be good again, or at least until someone has a happy moment.

Once Upon a Time

I don't like Emma as the Dark One. I think it was a great idea to make her the Dark One, but I think the plot has been really boring. And I really don't like Jennifer Morrison's portrayal as the Dark One. It's been very one note. I'm thinking she's a better actress than the material they've given her, or the direction she's been given. I'm not quite sure what the deal is.

And why did they make King Arthur a villain!!!!???? That is one of the worst ideas the showrunners have had. I didn't like it when they made Peter Pan the villain, and this is even worse. There's also no reason to have him the villain. If they just concentrated on Emma being the villain, instead of wasting time on making Arthur bad, then Emma's plot might not be so boring.

Again, they introduce new characters to the detriment of the regular characters. Why even have regulars when they just keep adding new characters with new stories every 12 episodes, who we know will be gone soon? If the writers want it that way, why not just make it like American Horror Story and change everything up every season - or half season?

And where is Will Scarlet (Knave of Hearts)? He was the best thing in Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, and because he was an audience favorite, they brought him over to Once Upon a Time, only to give him nothing to do except be a possible romantic interest for Belle. Well, that went out the window quickly, as did he. I want him back, and I want him to have a good reason to be back.

I almost feel like I'm so jaded with this show that nothing is going to make me like it like I did season 1. They could have the best episodes, and I would still find something wrong. *sigh*

Reign

I enjoyed Reign for the most part its first season. I really didn't like it much the second season and I stopped watching it on a regular basis. This season they have added a new queen to the mix, Elizabeth II. I think it's a good idea, since the influence Elizabeth had on Mary (and vice versa) was huge, even though Mary and Elizabeth never met in real life, as far a historians know. Elizabeth was afraid that Mary was going to take her throne, and eventually Mary was executed to prevent this. No one knows if Elizabeth really wanted her cousin to die, but Elizabeth's advisers made sure it happened to remove a large threat to her crown.

I like the addition of Elizabeth, and her real relationship with Robert Dudley certainly makes for interesting drama. I'm just waiting for Amy to fall down those stairs (read up on Robert Dudley if you're curious about that).

So far this show has not been very historically correct (the closest they came was the death of Henry II), but this season the writers couldn't ignore one big event that happened in the real life of Mary, Queen of Scots. Her first husband died. King Francis died of complications from an ear infection when Mary was 18. Following Francis's death, Mary returned to Scotland. I'm actually ready for Francis to die, because the stories of  the relationships Mary had after she returned to Scotland are actually more interesting than what the writers could make up themselves. If we get that far, I'm interested to see how they deal with Lord Darnley, David Rizzio, and the Earl of Bothwell. Now, that's good television.

Sleepy Hollow

This has been an interesting season. I love the sub-plot with Jennie and Joe Corbin, and I'm excited to see where that is going to go. I love Ichabod and Abbie's characters and their relationship, regardless of the plot, but I really wish they would get to the point with Pandora. If every episode is just going to be about Ichabod and Abbie having to deal with the monsters that Pandora unleashes, then I'm going to be bored really quickly. I want to see them deal directly with Pandora, and then move on to something new.

And don't get me started on Betsy Ross. Arrrggghhh! First it was getting to be annoying that Ichabod was involved in every historical event during the Revolutionary War, and knew every founding father. Now, Betsy Ross is involved in everything and with everyone too. It's so annoying. And her dialogue drives me up the wall. It's so modern. Why is it that Ichabod is the only character who speaks so archaically? I don't think anyone else in the flashbacks speaks like he does, and they should - for consistencies sake.



And now, for two shows I checked out and didn't feel the urge to watch any more:

Grandfathered

This is the pilot I watched on my way to England. There were funny parts, but nothing about it grabbed my interest enough to want to watch anymore. Maybe I was overly tired and I should give it another chance, but I don't think I will.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

This has a very funny premise, as well as Santino Fontana (from Broadway's Cinderella), and it's a musical. What could be better? Umm, almost anything else. The cold opening was promising. The first musical number was funny, but it went downhill from there for me. The second musical number about getting ready for a date was excruciating. Paula's sudden change from disliking Rebecca to being her best friend was not believable. However, this is a musical sitcom, so I guess I should give it some slack. Okay, I'll give some slack, but I'm still not going to watch it.


And... the new series I'll keep watching...

Dun dun dun...

Supergirl

I've never reader of superhero comic books, but I certainly am a watcher of television adaptations of superhero comic books. For me it started with Wonder Woman when I was young. years later came Smallville, and most recently Arrow, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and The Flash. And now there's Supergirl. It's nice to have a female super hero again.

I enjoyed the pilot a lot. I think Melissa Benoist was a great choice to play Superman's "older" cousin. It's nice to see Jeremy Jordan on television again. Smash was a great show for him to make his television debut, because he is such a great voice, but his character was a bit infuriating on that show. Now he can play a lighthearted character, and hopefully show some depth also.

I'm not the biggest Calista Flockhart fan, and so far she's a bit one dimensional in her portrayal of Cat Grant, but I'm hoping that in future episodes she will have a chance to deepen her character and not just be an imitation of Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada.

I love how Kara is like Barry (the Flash) regarding her super-abilities. She is excited to be able to use her powers to save people. She isn't full of angst and meloncholy like the Arrow, or Batman. The tone of the show is really good, and I hope it continues to have humor and that it doesn't take itself too seriously.

I am glad to see Laura Benanti in the show. I really like her, and I'm excited that we get to see her play a villain, as well as Kara's mother.


The new series I want to see that hasn't started yet is...

DC's Legends of Tomorrow

Another series based on comic books. Surprise!

This show will feature characters that have already been introduced in Arrow and The Flash. That makes it more appealing to me, and probably to other fans of those two shows. I'm also excited to see Arthur Darvill in another television series. He played Rory in Doctor Who for three seasons. He is playing a time traveler in this new series, which is very apropos.


Shows I'll be watching when they return midseason:

Galavant

I was excited about this show when I first heard about it, but it didn't live up to my expectations - especially the music. I'm hoping that Alan Menken will write more memorable songs now that he has more time to work on them. I'm not saying that Menken can't write good music quickly. I'm just saying that I don't think any of the songs in Galavant were anywhere near his best work.

I really want to like Galavant, and I want good new Menken songs to download, so I hope this season gives me plenty to like about it.

Beauty and the Beast

I believe this is the last season for Beauty and the Beast. I'm surprised that it's lasted this long, just based on ratings. I have enjoyed this series better than I thought I would after I saw the first episode. I thought that Kristen Kreuk was totally wrong for the role of Catherine, but now I actually like her in the role. I excited to see where it goes in its last season. The last season of the original 1980's series, Beauty and the Beast, which I loved, was horrible. So we hope history doesn't repeat itself.


What new shows are you watching? What old shows are you still watching? Do you think this is a strong new season or weak?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

San Diego: Let's Get to Business

I was in San Diego last week at a conference for work, and it was the perfect setting. The hotel was right on by Mission Bay, near Sea World (I didn't have time to go there), and just a block from the ocean. It was really beautiful.

I've never really been much of a beach person. I guess not growing up near one, I never had a chance to become a beach person. Maybe it's all that sand that gets everywhere and in everything. *wink* However, I love looking out at the ocean and watch the waves. It’s especially beautiful at sunset. I just wish the camera on my phone was able to catch how truly magnificent the sunsets are. I could have taken my good camera with me on the trip, but I didn't want to pack it for a business trip. In spite of that, I'm really happy with the shots I got.

I’m also not much of a souvenir person, but I did buy one item. I got a cute little yellow bug with a surf board on it to join my little black bug by my desk at work. It was fun taking pictures of my new souvenir on the beach.