Television

Thu
08
Nov

Pep Talk: Riverdale Episode 304, "The Midnight Club"

Riverdale Midnight Club

As dark as RIVERDALE has gotten -- and remains even in this episode -- this was a fun chapter in that we get to go back to the late 80s / early 90s and see all the Riverdale parents when they were high school students -- played by the actors who portray their children in the current-time setting of the series.

When Alice Cooper (MADCHEN AMICK) realizes Betty (LILI REINHART) isn't going to drop her investigation into the deadly game Griffins & Gargoyles, she sits her down and reveals to her a dark chapter from her past, back when she was Alice Smith, a southside teen who had just discovered she was pregnant. When she get into a catfight with uptight Penelope Blossom (MADELAINE PETSCH), involving Sierra Samuels (ASHLEIGH MURRAY) and Hermione Gomez (CAMILA MENDES), the four girls find themselves in Saturday detention, joined by Fred Andrews (KJ APA) and FP Jones Jr (COLE SPROUSE).

Tue
06
Nov

Christmas Comes Early with Batman: The Complete Animated Series on Blu-ray

Batman Animated Series

The year 1992 marked a turning point for animated superhero adventure. After years of shows like SUPER FRIENDS and THE NEW ADVENTURES OF BATMAN AND ROBIN, the time was ripe for the Dark Knight to return to the screen, especially after the second coming of Batmania that followed the Tim Burton film starring Michael Keaton. Rumors began swirling on the prenatal Internet (BBSs in those days) of an animated Batman in the works, and there was even leaked a writers bible for the series written by J.M. Straczynski.  

Wed
31
Oct

Catching Up: The Flash Episode 504, "News Flash"

Flash 504 News Flash

Sometimes I watch an episode of THE FLASH and I'm all excited about the cool things that happened in the story. And then I catalog them in preparation for reviewing, and I thing, "Yeah, it was great except for this... and this... and this..." Eventually, I've picked it apart enough to realize that maybe I didn't like the episode as much as I initially thought I did.

Which is why "News Flash," in retrospect, is such a stinkeroo.

Here's what you need to know: When Flash (GRANT GUSTIN) and X/S (JESSICA PARKER KENNEDY) punched The Thinker's satellite into smithereens, those smithereens -- all infused with the same dark matter that once bathed the city at the beginning of the series -- fell where they had consequences. One of them created Cicada and his lightning-bolt dagger-of-power-dampening.

Wed
24
Oct

Catching Up: The Flash Episode 503, "The Death of Vibe"

Flash 503, Death of Vibe

I'm going on the record right now declaring that this episodes title is (a) a lie or (b) better be a lie.

This season's big bad, Cicada, wants to finish what he started with Vibe: killing him. Why he picked Vibe over Flash, or even Elongated Man, we can't say. Guess a man's got to have his priorities. Meanwhile, Team Flash is on the hunt for Cicada, who we learn from XS is a sort of metahuman serial killer -- who was never captured; not by Team Flash, the Legends, even the League (yes, that's a reference to a future Justice League).

XS's plan to find Cicada involves bringing in a detective. And it's not Ralph, which has to sting. No, it's time to approach... the Council of Wells. Yes, the WORST idea ever to inhabit the Flash Writers' Room is back -- or at least one of them is back. And he refers them to yet another Wells we've not yet met: Sherloque Wells, consulting detective with a string of ex-wives to whom he owes alimony.

Thu
18
Oct

Is a SUPERMAN TV Series from The CW On The Way?

With all the buzz around the upcoming ELSEWORLD's storyline for this year's CW Crossover event, Superman seems to be leading the charge.

Pictures have been leaked of Tyler Hoechlin wearing the black suit, which many fans are aware was cut from the JUSTICE LEAGUE movie. While it feels like maybe the CW was just trolling the DC Cinematic Universe, now it's starting to feel like something more.

Thu
18
Oct

Pep Talk: Riverdale Episode 302, "Fortune and Men's Eyes"

Riverdale 302 Fortune and Men's Eyes

Okay, I've got to quit saying how messed up RIVERDALE is, because every time I do so the writers find a way to make things even darker and more twisted.

Last episode, Jughead (COLE SPROUSE) found two bodies in the woods, with runes carved into their backs, while Betty (LILI REINHART) saw her mother (MADCHEN AMICK) and sister Polly (TIERA SKOVBYE) drop Polly's twin babies into a bonfire -- right before they floated up into the air and Betty collapsed in a seizure.

But the thing you were supposed to remember was that Archie went to a juvenile detention center, framed for a murder he didn't commit (but certainly knew about).

Wed
17
Oct

Catching Up: The Flash Episode 502, "Blocked"

Flash 502 Blocked

The fifth season of THE FLASH makes it two-in-a-row with some great storytelling. With Team Flash now knowing that Nora (JESSICA PARKER KENNEDY) is not trapped in this time period but here because The Flash (GRANT GUSTIN) never returns from his disappearance in the Crisis that sits five years down the road, Barry settles into the role of mentor to teach his future-daughter how to become the best Flash she can be. But XS is too eager to prove herself, and takes chances that put both her and her dad in danger.

It takes a conversation with Joe (JESSE L MARTIN) for Barry to realize what XS is doing, with the understanding that all the knowledge of her father comes to a museum built in tribute to him. So he takes the time to show her some Season 1 highlights where he made mistakes on his path to becoming a capable hero.

Thu
11
Oct

Pep Talk: Riverdale Episode 301, "Labor Day"

Riverdale 301 Labor Day

There's so much jaw-dropping suspension of disbelief in this premiere episode of RIVERDALE's third season, you'd almost think it was based on a comic book.

Archie (KJ APA) has been on trial all summer long for a murder he did not commit. Of course, he was there when it happened, he told nobody about it, and he knew who did it, but other than that he was innocent. And sure, he really did organize two vigilante gangs and physically assault an injured, bedridden teenager, but at heart he's just the boy next door.

Archie's defense lawyer really has his back on this one. She's his mother, Mary Andrews (MOLLY RINGWALD). Normally I'd have thought a lawyer would have to recuse herself from representing a close family member, but I'll confess I could be wrong on that, since I'm not a lawyer but just a casual viewer of proceedings. And she puts up a pretty good defense, too, given all the rational arguments made by the prosecution.

Wed
10
Oct

Catching Up: The Flash Episode 501, "Nora"

Flash 501, Nora

If you’ve ever wanted a practical demonstration of Einsteinian relativity, you can always rely on the man’s simple explanation: “An hour spent talking to a pretty girl can feel like a minute. A minute touching a hot stove can feel like an hour.” For us fans of THE FLASH, a summer waiting for the new season to begin can feel like an eternity, and the hour we spend watching it can go by in a second.

We pick up immediately where Season 4 finished: with the family and friends all gathered at the West home, when a young lady shows up claiming to be Nora West-Allen — Barry and Iris’s daughter from the future. She’s also a speedster who goes by the name XS. This, and a throwaway reference to Lightning Lad means the future of the Legion of Super-Heroes is closer than we thought. It also means there’s a Legion on this Earth — or is it the same Legion we saw on SUPERGIRL last season?

Mon
08
Oct

Yes, There Were Problems with Doctor Who's Premiere, But Jodie Whittaker Wasn't One of Them

Doctor Who - Jodie Whittaker

Meet Jodie Whittaker. For the foreseeable future, she’s The Doctor — and I’m completely fine with that. The idea that Doctor Who could regenerate in a female form had been telegraphed ever since we learned The Master had been reborn as Missy all those episodes ago. It was an intriguing concept, and one that could open up a cornucopia of new story ideas. For my part, I was hoping that the female Doctor was going to be Jenna Coleman, who as a prior companion had announced “I’m the Doctor” on more than one occasion, so that I hoped it was a bit of foreshadowing.

Fri
28
Sep

Stranger Things Makes for Stranger Comics

Stranger Things issue 1

Okay, this is not going to sit well with my readers, but I have never watched a single episode of STRANGER THINGS.

I know, I know. Me and some guy in Alaska without electricity, we're the only ones.

So I thought I could at least get a flavor of the show through this new comic book debut from Dark Horse, penned by Jody Houser and illustrated by Stefano Martino and Keith Champagne. And after having read it, I can at least admit that the story is properly titled: STRANGER THINGS than this I've not seen.

The story follows young Will Byers, who has gone missing from his hometown of Hawkins, Indiana. But he's still in Hawkins -- or rather a mirror version of it, in a dark place called the Upside Down, where he's all alone except for some monstrous creatures.

Tue
25
Sep

Truth, (Social) Justice, and a New American Way: Supergirl Season 3 on Blu-ray

Supergirl Season 3 on Blu ray

Of all the so-called Arrowverse shows, CW's televised adaptation of DC Comics superheroes, SUPERGIRL has been the most problematic. Besides taking place on an entirely different Earth than the other three shows, necessitating a cosmic crisis for the annual uber-crossover to occur, the show has a distinctly different feel to it. Perhaps it's because it's adopted into the Arrowverse, having been taken up after cancellation on it's original network. Perhaps its because the scripts have an undertone of agenda-driven plotting that shoehorns its way into the plots rather than rising organically out of the stories.

Whatever it is, it makes SUPERGIRL more difficult to watch, especially in binge-doses.

Wed
19
Sep

Why The Truth About Bert and Ernie Doesn't Matter

Anyone who knows anything about Frank Oz and especially Jim Henson should understand that they created the muppets to provide joy and entertainment to people of all ages.

What they mean to you is different than what they mean to your neighbor.

Recently former Sesame Street writer, Mark Saltzman, came out and said that Bert and Ernie are gay. What being gay means for a muppet is still yet to be determined, however, that was his point of view. Frank Oz, who created Bert and probably knows Jim Henson better than anyone outside of Henson's family, said that Bert isn't gay; he also questioned why their sexuality mattered?

Thu
13
Sep

Improvisation is the Plan in Second Season of MACGYVER on DVD

MacGyver Season 2

MACGYVER was one of those classic 80s shows that are often imitated but never duplicated. Attempts to make movies of THE A-TEAM never took off, and remakes of KNIGHT RIDER just didn't have staying power.

Wed
29
Aug

Netflix's Disenchantment Suggests the Messy Future of Princess Stories

Disenchantment

As time passes by, things change, and recently one thing that has begun to take a new direction are princess stories.

Mon
27
Aug

The Thinker Debuts Nefarious Plans in The Flash Season 4 Now on Blu-ray

The Flash Season 4 Blu-ray

For all it's many (many, many) plot faults, the fourth season of THE FLASH is one of my personal favorites. It's not just because the big bad of the season finally wasn't another speedster who was faster than the titular "fastest man alive," or because the villain was (at least at first) one scary AF adversary. No, the real joy of this season of THE FLASH comes from the introduction of HARTLEY SAWYER as Ralph Dibny, aka The Elongated Man. In the Silver Age of comics, Barry Allen and Ralph Dibny were best friends, and teamed up often on cases, so it was nice to see that relationship begin to develop in the television series, even if it did begin on strained terms. The special effects for Ralph's powers were also better than anticipated, and will hopefully be even better and more creative going into the fifth season.

Wed
22
Aug

The Big Bang Theory announces 12th will be last season

Warner Bros. Television, CBS and Chuck Lorre Productions released the followung statement this afternoon:

"We are forever grateful to our fans for their support of The Big Bang Theory during the past twelve seasons. We, along with the cast, writers and crew, are extremely appreciative of the show’s success and aim to deliver a final season, and series finale, that will bring The Big Bang Theory to an epic creative close.” 

Wed
22
Aug

Teaser and cast announcement for Power Rangers: Beast Morphers

Over the weekend at Power Morphicon 2018, we finally started to get a little more information about Power Rangers Season 26.  We had announced earlier that the series would be calling Beast Morphers, and now we have the casting announcements and a teaser!
 


 

Wed
15
Aug

Mego's Peggy Bundy and Nostalgia Go Together Like a Horse and Carriage

Mego Peg Bundy
Mego was the king of action figures in the 70's. The formula was simple: an 8-inch action figure line with soft goods clothing and doll hair for characters who benefited from it. To maximize their reach, Mego didn't specialize in one franchise, they made toys for every brand they could: from Marvel to DC, Star Trek to Planet of the Apes, and Charlies Angels to CHIPS.  If it was on a screen, odds are MEGO made a figure of it.
 
 
Mon
13
Aug

Fourth Season of Gotham Darkest Yet

Gotham Season 4

When we ended the third season of GOTHAM, it looked as though we were going to see Bruce Wayne (DAVID MAZOUZ) take up his night-stalking ways that will lead to his eventual identity as The Batman. Alas, as the season progresses, we find Bruce Wayne choosing to be more of a jerk, burying himself from his future by going full-bore into the playboy mode, spending nights on the town with drinking buddies and getting sloshed. He even ends up fighting with Alfred (SEAN PERTWEE) and ultimately firing him.

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