Television

Wed
12
Jun

Save the Best for Last: Game of Thrones Season 8

On April 17th, 2011 HBO premiered a show that would raise the bar for television so high, you'd need to mount a dragon to reach it. And season 8 was the perfect swan song.

Base on the popular (unfinished) book series by George R.R. Martin GAME OF THRONES has captivated audiences around the globe for eight seasons. Its long break between season 7 and season 8 only served as a way for fans to debate at length over how the Night King would be defeated and who would sit on the Iron Throne.

Sun
09
Jun

The New Scooby-Doo Movies Come to Blu-ray -- Almost Complete, Almost Perfect

The New Scooby-Doo Movies Almost Complete

Let's face it. Even the youngest of television viewers can figure out the plot of a Scooby-Doo cartoon after seeing three or four of them. The Mystery Inc gang was a group of meddling kids who knew how to ride mine cars, run back and forth across the screen, and drop a net on a ghost who would end up being a guy in a rubber mask.

Something had to be done to keep the kids coming back.

One of the ways the folks at Hanna-Barbera stroke to keep Scooby-Doo fresh and relateable was to bring in guest stars, people or characters whom the viewers already knew. Thus was born the New Scooby-Doo Movies, a series where the gang would meet up with famous celebrities or other Hanna-Barbera cartoon properties. This added a new layer to the mysteries -- which, nonetheless, involved the being taken for accidental rides, running back and forth across the screen, and dropping nets on ghosts who ended up being someone in a rubber mask. Only now they had help.

Tue
21
May

Capes, Cowls, and Coming Out: History of the Batwoman

Batwoman from then to now

When the superheroes became popular, lo many decades ago, an attempt was made to draw in more readers by adding characters that would be (or so the theory went) relateable to girls. There was already Wonder Woman, Phantom Lady, and others, but none of them had quite the popularity of a Superman or a Batman.

And so the quick-and-easy path seemed to be to create female versions of these characters. It was a hit-or-miss process, with more misses than hits. In the Superman comics, a Superwoman was introduced in Action Comics #60 in 1943. She was easily forgotten (although has resurfaced in one incarnation or another over the years), and largely eclipsed when sixteen years later Kara Zor-El made her debut as Supergirl in the pages of Action Comics #252.

Mon
20
May

Game of Thrones Finale Was The Final Piece of a Beautiful Puzzle

A Song of Ice and Fire. For many people, including myself, we thought that meant Jon and Dany would rule the Seven Kingdoms together, happily ever after. A fairytale ending for a fantasy series. Even though nearly every episode in the series bludgeoned us with the idea that there is no truly happy ending.

In reality, this show has done everything to show us there is no "happily ever after" and yet we still held out hope it would happen. There are real consequences to the conquest of a kingdom. Robert Baratheon rose an army to stop the "mad king" and ended up sitting on a throne that was less than rewarding. He hated politics. He was a soldier, a lover, a hunter, a drinker, and was never fit for the throne. However, the Lannister's had other ideas as they saw him as a pawn to have their family sitting on the Iron Throne for all time.

Tue
12
Mar

SUPERGIRL: Shackled by the Chains of Politics and Bad Writing

Supergirl in political chains

The current season of Supergirl has gotten so political, it has become difficult to watch. But the most recent sin was so bad that I can honestly say that other than character names, this isn't a show about Supergirl.

Pitting Aliens against Earthlings in some political parallel with today's issues that face America is stomach turning to say the least. The show spent the first couple of seasons introducing alien threats so menacing, the plot centered around Supergirl's coordinated work with the DEO. A department specifically designed to police the activity of aliens.

Let's restate that, shall we?

Supergirl established a plot where aliens are considered threats. Threats that are so big, an entire organization was needed to police their activities.

Tue
05
Mar

Is This DVD Set Fun to Watch? Ancient Astronaut Theorists Say, "Yes."

Ancient Aliens Season 11 V 2

It is within reason that one could make a series all about the mysterious places and events on the planet that feed into and support the notion that we've been visited by alien intelligence in the distant past.

It beggars comprehension that there would be enough of this to support eleven whole seasons of television. And yet that's exactly what the History Channel has accomplished. (We can argue the merits of the discordant marriage of ANCIENT ALIENS and the concept of "history" another time.) It's become such a popular series that series regular Giorgio Tsoukalos has become a popular meme.

Mon
25
Feb

From House of Cards to Bringing Down the House, Rachel Brosnahan is Our Marvelous Best Series Actor of 2018

Rachel Brosnahan Best Series Actor 2018

Our hours spent in front of our television screens and monitors would never be nearly as entertaining without the vast array of talent that makes that glowing square of light so compelling. So at this time of year, we find it necessary to recognize those who turn us into the moths attracted to their flames.

CW's ARROW made a strong showing this year, with STEPHEN AMELL pulling in 13% of the vote. He was outpaced, however, by KIERNAN SHIPKA's portrayal of Sabrina Spellman in Netflix's CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA (15%) and AMY ADAMS in HBO's SHARP OBJECTS (16%).

However, it was THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL who drew the most attention from our readers this year, driving them to choose series' star RACHEL BROSNAHAN as our Best Series Actor of 2018. They like you, Rachel. They really, really like you!

Mon
25
Feb

Best Series of 2018 Goes to Netflix and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

While Archie and the gang are going through subversive retranslating on The CW, the comic book publishing company's teenaged witch has had such a magical transformation that her adventures have gone over to Netflix.

The show is definitely catching on with our readers, despite some very strong competition from shows like HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE,  TITANS, and THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL. Ultimately, however, CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA managed to pull out a narrow victory over all comers, taking the top spot this year as BEST SERIES OF 2018.

Fri
15
Feb

New Transformers: War for Cybertron Series Coming to Netflix

Teaming up with Polygon Pictures for animation and Rooster Teeth producing, Netflix will take the robots in disguise back to their roots.

Labeled a "trilogy" the series looks to explore the early days of Cybertron, as there has been much talk about how the world was in turmoil during the Cybertronian Wars. While there are not many details available as to which transformers will appear in the show, it's said to be very "fan friendly". One should expect to see a lot of familiar Autobots and Decepticons.

Or at least references to them.

Thu
07
Feb

Doctor Who Season 11 Not as Bad -- or as Good -- as Previously Reported

Doctor Who Season 11

Much ado was made about the iconic British sci-fi show, DOCTOR WHO, when the Doctor regenerated once more, this time into female form and played by JODIE WHITTAKER. More than that, the former showrunner, STEVEN MOFFAT, was leaving as well, putting the new direction of the show up in the air. Some fans were prepared to love the series, no matter what; others seemed determined to hate the series, no matter what.

The true measure of this eleventh season fell somewhere in between--not as bad as the naysayers put it, but nowhere near as good as the positive numbers indicated.

Wed
30
Jan

Catching Up: The Flash Episode 512, "Memorabilia"

Flash Memorabilia

With this episode, we finally delve deeper into the mystery of why Nora Allen (JESSICA PARKER KENNEDY) is visiting from the future -- and it's not just because she wants to capture Cicada (CHRIS KLEIN). She's taking direction from none other than Eobard Thawne, the Reverse-Flash (TOM CAVANAGH), to change history.

Of course, stopping Cicada is part of that, and the hope is that they can appeal to him to stop his meta-killing crusade if they can resolve the core of his motivations: his comatose niece, Grace (ISLIE HIRVONEN). To awaken her, the team utilizes a memory machine from another Earth, brought over by Sherloque Wells (also CAVANAGH), that will allow them to enter Grace's memories. But when Nora learns that it will also allow her father to potentially see her own memories, she decides to go in early, and alone, becoming trapped in Grace's mind.

Wed
16
Jan

Catching Up: The Flash Episode 510, "The Flash & The Furious"

Flash 510

THE FLASH has been having some really great episodes in this fifth season.

"The Flash & The Furious" is not one of them.

This mid-season premiere introduces us to the Silver Ghost (GABRIELLE WALSH), whose meta-tech ability is...a key fob that controls any car. She's a car thief.

And when she steals a Lamborghini while Barry Allen (GRANT GUSTIN) is supposed to testify in court as a CSI for the trial of the Weather Witch (REINA HARDESTY), he gets paged to deal with it as The Flash.

Let's reiterate: a CAR is stolen, and because it's faster than a standard issue police cruiser, S.T.A.R. Labs thinks it's important enough to buzz in a pair of superheroes.

What next? Shining the Batsignal in response to a stickup? Firing up Jimmy Olsen's signal watch for a kitten in a tree?

Tue
01
Jan

Voting Open for Best of 2018 Awards

2018 Award Voting

Another year has come and gone. 2018 is officially in the rear-view mirror, and we've gone hurtling into 2019 like the Sweet Meteor o' Death.

But before we get too deep into the New Year, we've reached that point where we reflect on all that happened in the previous year that was good and notable, and cast our votes as to what was the best of the best ("of the best, sir!")

So here we go again! It's time to pick the Critical Blast Best of the Year for Movies, Television, Actors, Books, and Comics -- and, of course, to pick our CRITICAL BLAST BOMBSHELL OF THE YEAR! So use the handy form below to pick from this year's nominees -- or suggest one that you think is deserving that we missed (so long as the work happened during 2018). Voting is open through the end of January, and on February 1 we'll start tabulating the results and announcing the winners!

So long, 2018! You gave us some great entertainment!

Sat
29
Dec

Westworld Season Two Takes a Disjointed, Non-Linear Approach to Storytelling

Westworld Season 2

One of the frequently repeated questions during WESTWORLD is, "Is this now?" It's a question the viewer struggles with as well, as we are never quite sure where we are in the narrative. How many times do we have to see Bernard (JEFFREY WRIGHT) found on that beach after the massacre that occurred at the end of first season? How can we tell what's truly happening if he's with Elsie (SHANNON WOODWARD) one moment, and then with corporate goons in the next scene with no transition?

Fri
14
Dec

Voltron: Legendary Defender's 8th and FINAL Season Trailer Debut

Every battle. Every challenge. Every character arc. Every episode has led to this, the 8th and FINAL season of VOLTRON: LEGENDARY DEFENDER!

For eight seasons we have watched this re-imagination of the classic animated series exceed expectations. The character development, while demonstrating a love for the original series, has allowed the paladins to grow into themselves organically. The trailer offers no dialogue but delivers the synthesized music we've come to love, as it flashes images across the screen to offer a glimpse of what we can expect. First shown at the New York City Comic-Con, you can now watch the trailer for the upcoming epic finale to what has been one of the best re-imagined shows in recent memory.

Thu
06
Dec

Pep Talk: Riverdale Episode 307, "The Man in Black"

Riverdale 307 Man in Black

The boys from Riverdale fled across the country, and the Man in Black followed.

Archie (KJ APA) and Jughead (COLE SPROUSE) have headed out on foot, following Archie's escape from a corrupt juvenile detention facility. Despite Archie's exoneration and reversal of the verdict, Archie still has to be on the run or run the risk of Hiram Lodge (MARK CONSUELOS) finding him. It was Hiram who set him up for a murder rap in the first place, and the mob boss isn't about to let Archie free so easily.

Thu
29
Nov

Pep Talk: Riverdale Episode 306: "Manhunter"

Things are getting seriously weird in RIVERDALE as Betty (LILI REINHART) and Jughead (COLE SPROUSE) won't let go of their investigation into the Gargoyle King and the addictive role-playing game of Griffins & Gargoyles. With the Warden having commited suicide via the traditional means of ascendance -- cyanide and blue fruit-like-flavored drink (Kraft Foods will seemingly never break the link to them and the Jim Jones tragedy that forever tainted their brand) -- Jughead is left without a primary suspect for the Gargoyle King. But Betty uncovers that their parents knew the Warden when they were playing G&G in high school, when he was the RROTC instructor. She lures all the parents to Veronica's speakeasy through forged invitations from the Gargoyle King, intent on interrogating them to find out which of yhem might have committed the first G&G murder. The finger of suspicion points conveniently to Darryl Doiley -- convenient, because he killed himself years ago.

Wed
28
Nov

Catching Up: The Flash Episode 507, "Oh Come All Ye Thankful"

Flash 507 Come All Ye Thankful

It's Thanksgiving on THE FLASH, and the parallel themes running triplicate through this plot are all about fathers and daughters, and the relationships that build between them.

Thu
15
Nov

Pop Talk: Riverdale Episode 305, "The Great Escape"

For all it's suspense, this episode of RIVERDALE isn't without some problems.

Betty (LILI REINHART), having learned the dark secret behind the game Griffons and Gargoyles and it's connection to the last generation, finds Jughead (COLE SPROUSE) steeped in the lore of the game as he continues to progress in it, in his attempt to get into the mind of the person behind it -- and the murders that follow it. The game is so addictive that even the aloof Cheryl Blossom (MADELAINE PETSCH) has gone full-on cosplay geek in the roleplay involved. And Jug is already finding secrets that confirms Griffons and Gargoyles is tied specifically to Riverdale itself: the mythical land, Eldevair, is an anagram for their town.

Thu
15
Nov

SYFY's Groundbreaking Hit, KRYPTON, Coming to Blu-Ray

While it didn't get off the ground very fast, after it was announced, SYFY produced a planet-shattering 1st season that exceeded most expectations.

With jaw-dropping plot twists and shocking revelations, KRYPTON "flipped the table" and turned everything we knew about Superman's lineage and history on its head. Starring Cameron Cuffe as Seg-El, "Superman's Grandfather", Krypton features a clash of ideologies, as a society that thrives off of its caste system is threatened by multiple outside sources.

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