Television

Tue
03
Nov

Jon Stewart signs four year deal with HBO

According to the Hollywood Reporter, former Daily Show host (and part time WWE superstar) Jon Stewart just signed a four year deal with HBO...

Jon Stewart has a new home: HBO.

Stewart has signed a four-year production deal with the premium-cable network and will kick off the pact with the creation of topical short-form digital content.

The deal will see the short-form digital content showcased on HBO Now, HBO Go and other platforms. Also included in the pact is a first-look option for other film and TV ventures.

Tue
03
Nov

Discussion Thread: Supergirl Takes Flight in a way Superman Cannot

Last night debuted the second episode of Supergirl's maiden voyage and it continued to soar. SPOILER ALERT: Don't participate in the discussion unless you've seen the episode or don't care to have elements of the show spoiled!

Well, they finally said it.

Superman.

While there were many references and mentions of the Man of Steel in last night's episode titled 'Stronger Together', it was primarily focused on Kara stepping out from his shadow. This episode gives us a reason why Supergirl's story can be told in a way her cousin's never can.

Flashbacks.

Mon
02
Nov

Star Trek Returns to CBS in 2017

Star Trek CBS 2017

STUDIO CITY, CALIF. AND NEW YORK, N.Y. – Nov. 2, 2015 – CBS Television Studios announced today it will launch a totally new “Star Trek” television series in January 2017. The new series will blast off with a special preview broadcast on the CBS Television Network. The premiere episode and all subsequent first-run episodes will then be available exclusively in the United States on CBS All Access, the Network’s digital subscription video on demand and live streaming service.

The next chapter of the “Star Trek” franchise will also be distributed concurrently for television and multiple platforms around the world by CBS Studios International.

Thu
29
Oct

The Truth is in There: THE X-FILES FAQ

X-Files FAQ Book Review Chris Delloiacono Critical Blast

Within the last year I've finally gotten into THE X-FILES with a vengeance. I'm not a complete noob to the seminal series, but I had never been a regular viewer either. I had seen some episodes and caught both films in theaters, but that's about it. My wife was an immense fan growing up, and I had other friends that swore by the series, so I was pretty aware of much of the mythology, the best episodes, and even the big baddies like Krycek and Cancer Man (i.e. Cigarette Smoking Man). I always planned on hitching my wagon to the series and watching it through. A while back I purchased the first few seasons on DVD, but I never went on a huge run. Finally, Netflix made it simple to digest each episode.

Now, I don't want to come on like the mayor's wife or anything, but aren't you excited for the six-episode event in January?

Wed
28
Oct

Catching Up: The Flash Episode 204, "The Fury of Firestorm"

Flash Fury Firestorm Critical Blast RJ Carter

Okay, Flashophiles, there's a lot of story happening in this episode that pre-empts a lot of the "How do we take down the bad metahuman" game. However, it's definitely worth the time -- and the closing 30 seconds is probably the biggest OMG moment since Harrison Wells stood up from his wheelchair and showed us his newspaper from the future.

For the past few episodes, Martin Stein (Victor Garber) has been declining in health. With Ronnie Raymond out of the picture, there's no stabilizing factor for his half of the Firestorm persona, so he's breaking down. Doing some of their patented superspeed research, Team Flash finds two people affected by the Dark Matter Explosion of two years ago in such a fashion as to be potentially a match for Stein to merge with -- which isn't creepy at all.

Mon
26
Oct

Fifty Years Later, My Favorite Martian Still Out of This World!

Favorite Martian Ray Walston Bill Bixby MPI DVD Critical Blast

Never mind Matt Damon. The Martian at the top of my list will always be Exigius 12 and a half -- but every else just calls him Uncle Martin.

With his lengthy and historical life span, his pithy wisdom of the ages, and his technology that was so advanced as to be indistinguishable from magic (HT: Arthur C. Clarke), MY FAVORITE MARTIAN was a trendsetting show. While it only lasted three seasons, it predated both BEWITCHED and I DREAM OF JEANNIE -- shows with similar constructs, similar effects, and featuring producers and directors whose names also conveniently appear from time to time in the credits of MY FAVORITE MARTIAN. (In the third season, Martin's "levitating finger" is put out of commission, so he decides to try using his nose -- something he says he saw on one of our American television shows.)

Mon
26
Oct

Arya Stark meets The Doctor ( Doctor Who Series 9 - Episode 5 and 6)

Doctor Who Series 9 - Episode 5 and 6 – The Girl Who Died/The Woman Who Lived

The Girl Who Died

Written by: Jamie Mathieson and Steven Moffat
Directed by: Ed Bazalgette

Cast:
Peter Capaldi - The Doctor
Jenna Coleman  - Clara Oswald
Maisie Williams – Ashildr
David Schofield – Odin
Simon Lipkin – Nollarr
Ian Conningham – Chuckles
Tom Stourton – Lofty
Alastair Parker – Limpy
Murray McArthur – Hasten
Barnaby Kay – Heidi

Mon
26
Oct

STAR WARS ON TRIAL--The Blog Tour Charges Star Wars with Dumbing Down Science Fiction

CriticalBlast.com prosecutes the charge of STAR WARS dumbing down science fiction with the STAR WARS ON TRIAL BLOG TOUR

The charge is "STAR WARS has dumbed down the perception of science fiction in the popular imagination." Jeff Ritter of CriticalBlast.com represents the Prosecution. 

The very notion of STAR WARS being somehow responsible for “dumbing down” modern science fiction seems preposterous. Of course, the notion is not entirely objective—how does one quantify merit or mediocrity in art, which by its very nature is subjective? How does one quantify the tangible effect of a film from 1977, that wasn’t expected to do much business itself, has had on movies, television, video games, novels, graphic  arts, American and even global pop culture more than 30 years later? I’m sure somebody with a better mind for statistical analysis could find numbers to crunch in this regard, but I find it to be less of a matter of arithmetic and more of a matter of personal taste. Since I can only speak for myself, allow me to take you on a little flashback to the halcyon days of my youth.

Fri
23
Oct

Marvel releases full Jessica Jones trailer

After a series of really cool teasers, Marvel has finally released the first real trailer for Netflix's Jessica Jones:


 

This is a real good trailer.  David Tennant seems like he's going to be absolutely terrifying as "Purple Man."  And Krysten Ritter looks like she is going to be perfect as Jessica Jones.  That has to be a real tricky role to play.  Jessica is a character with great physical strength and a strong cynical shell, but inside, she's dealt with great trauma that continues to haunt her and effect her judgement.  Ritter seems to have all that down pat, and even if this quick trailer shows that she's going to be very different from anyone else we've seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Thu
22
Oct

Catching Up: The Flash Episode 203, "Family of Rogues"

Flash Family of Rogues Season 2 RJ Carter Critical Blast

Family matters on both sides of the law become the focal point of this latest episode of THE FLASH, "Family of Rogues." Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) grapples with the unexpected return of his wife, Francine (Vanessa Williams), who abandoned the family when Iris (Candice Patton) was just a child. He's told Iris that she died and painted a picture of her as a perfect mother, rather than tell her the truth -- that she was an addict who fled from rehab. Now Francine is back in Central City, and Joe has to decide whether or not to tell Iris the truth.

Thu
15
Oct

Catching Up: The Flash Episode 202, "Flash of Two Worlds"

Flash of Two Worlds CW Critical Blast

The world of THE FLASH just got infinitely more diverse with the arrival of Jay Garrick (Teddy Sears, 666 PARK AVENUE), who comes from another Earth where he was called The Flash. But after his arrival on our Earth, shortly after his battle on his world with Zoom, he was brought to our world through the singularity that Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) fought at the end of Season One.

He comes with a warning, but the team doesn't know what to make of him -- and Barry certainly doesn't trust him. In fact, he's a real jerk towards Jay. So their response is to run tests on Jay -- and keep him locked up in the STAR Labs facility.

Tue
13
Oct

Ghosts in a underwater mining base...who you gonna call? The Doctor (Doctor Who Series 9, Episodes 3 and 4)

Doctor Who Series 9 - Episode 3 and 4 - Under the Lake/ Before the Flood

Writer: Toby Whithouse

Director: Daniel O'Hara

Cast:

Wed
07
Oct

Catching Up: The Flash Episode 201, "The Man Who Saved Central City"

Flash 201 Man Saved Central City

So last night was the hotly anticipated return of CW's hit series, THE FLASH, now entering its second season. When we open, we are well past the cliffhanger ending of season one, which saw Central City, the Earth, and everything else about to be sucked into a singularity caused by the wormhole opened by the Reverse-Flash. In fact, Central City is preparing a "Flash Day" to present their hero the key to the city for having saved them.

So why doesn't Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) want to attend, and why is he moping around, pushing away all his friends and rebuilding Central City building-by-building every night?

Well, it turns out Barry doesn't think he saved Central City -- that it was accomplished by someone else, at a great sacrifice. And when we flash back to the events to see them play out, he's partly right. He did get help, and that help came with (apparently) tragic losses.

Wed
07
Oct

Netflix Exclusive: The Mr Peabody and Sherman Show

Following up on the 2014 hit movie MR. PEABODY & SHERMAN, Netflix has announced an all-new original series titled: THE MR PEABODY & SHERMAN SHOW. Adding to their growing list of original content, the show will debut on Friday, October 9th. This will be Dreamworks Animation Television's seventh show, quickly making them a leader in producing high-quality television series.

Netflix continues to provide content that sets them apart from cable providers and other digital subscription services. Adding to a growing list of kid-friendly shows such as SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED and DINOTRUX, Netflix has solidified itself as the leader in original digital content. Chris Parnell will lend his voice to Mr. Sherman, while Max Charles reprises his role from the movie as Sherman.

Mon
28
Sep

Has the Doctor come to praise Davros or bury him? (Doctor Who Season 9, Episodes 1+2 review)

This was probably the best season opener since The Eleventh Hour. It gave us some real depth to dig in to, and showed us some new tweaks on the Doctor’s relationships with his enemies, Davros and Missy. There was quite a few genuinely funny lines in the episodes, and the story was pretty easy to follow. Moffat can get a little far out there at times, but he kept things under control and the end result was one of the best Dalek stories since Doctor Who returned.

Fri
25
Sep

ABC's 'The Muppets' Was Missing One Key Element

Disclaimer: I won't bury my thoughts in this article. I absolutely loved the premiere episode and cannot wait for more. However, I understand that many people weren't happy with it and feel there was something missing. So I'm attempting to take an objective look at THE MUPPETS, to find out what prevented many fans from enjoying the show. With that out of the way...

It's time to get things started.

Fri
25
Sep

Eighth Season of The Big Bang Theory Distills Comedy onto High Definition Blu-ray Discs

Big Bang Theory Season 8 Blu-ray Critical Blast

In the annals of television comedy, some pairings are simply classic to the point of everlasting. I thus posit that the partnership of Leonard and Sheldon has already made that list (although Sheldon might point out that it would be more proper to call the team Cooper and Hofstadter, because traditionally comic pairings are known by their last names, the listing would be alphabetical, and -- most importantly -- it would list him first).

However, to simply reduce THE BIG BANG THEORY to nerdy roommates Leonard and Sheldon (Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons) would be grossly unfair, because the show's success is due to its ensemble nature. The science squad would be woefully incomplete without the acerbic man-child Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) and innocently naive Raj Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar).

Mon
21
Sep

THE FLASH Season One Races Onto Blu-Ray

The Flash Season One Blu-Ray Grant Gustin Tom Cavanagh CW

His name is Barry Allen. And he is the fastest man alive.

When CW's SMALLVILLE began to introduce additional DC Universe characters, the trend was to stay away from anything that looked like a costume if a hoodie could suffice, finally giving way to the traditional Superman costume in the final episode. When ARROW debuted, it was, to a degree, still the hoody look, with some leather armor and facepaint added. It seemed the super-suits were definitely a no-go area for the network. So when they announced THE FLASH was coming, I was wondering what the new outfit would look like. I was ecstatic to see that it looked very Silver Age -- and that Grant Gustin was able to pull the look of Barry Allen off without it appearing to be a convention cosplay (which I love, but not in a television show).

Mon
21
Sep

The 5 Most Anticipated Shows of the 2015 Fall Season

With television premieres starting this week, let's take a look at the top 5 most anticipated shows for the 2015 Fall season. With two returning series, and three new ones, I've compiled a list that's diverse in both genre and network.

 

 

The Muppets - ABC (premieres 9/22 8:00 pm)

Mon
21
Sep

2015 Emmys Put Pressure on Traditional Networks

2015 Emmys HBO Game of Thrones Veep

Didn you notice someone missing from last night's Emmy Award ceremony? How about the former "Big Three" -- ABC, CBS and NBC? Oh, they were there, but with the onset of original programming offered through Internet channels, their presence is more of a token than ever. (We've discussed in the past, at length, that this was coming.) It was hard enough for traditional, free broadcast channels when the cable networks entered the fight, but with the advent of Netflix and Amazon, the competition for market share just got that much stiffer.

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