Winter TV Begins

TV Homer

Winter is fully upon us and it sucks. Even though we get 1 day of snow usually (think we are up to 3 this season) the wind is getting brutal and all I want to do is stay inside and keep warm in front of the glow of the TV. Here is what is coming up in the next couple of months.

Taboo (FX) – January 10 – 8 part miniseries starring Tom Hardy as James Keziah Delaney, an adventurer who builds his own shipping empire in the early 1800’s.

The Young Pope (HBO) – January 15 – HBO series focuses on Lenny Belardo, the first American Pope in history. Starring Jude Law

Six (History Channel) – January 18 – Centres around Navy SEAL Team Six who discover an American working with the enemy in Afghanistan.

Beware the Slenderman (HBO) – January 23 – HBO documentary focusing on two 12-year-old girls who lured a friend into the woods and stabbed her in attempt to appease the Slender Man from a Creepypasta tale.

Face Off (Space) – January 24 – Season 11 brings back the all-stars for one of the best reality competition shows.

The Magicians (Showcase) – January 25 – Season 2 of what I think of as the adult version of Harry Potter.

Cardinal (CTV) January 25 – Not entirely sure what this about other than a couple of detectives in Northern Ontario investigating the murder of a young girl.

Riverdale (Streaming on Nexflix Canada) – January 26 – Archie comes to the small screen and from the little that I’ve read, it has a bit of a Twin Peaks vibe.

Black Sails (SuperChannel) – January 29 – Season 4, the final season. Sad but I think it will be a great ending.

Legion (FX) – February 8 – X-Men comes to TV with a show a centred around the mutant Legion who is diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) – February 12 – Very interested in seeing how John Oliver’s show will be once the new president takes office.

The Walking Dead (AMC) – February 12 – The second part of the season begins. As much as I have not cared for the past couple of seasons, I have actually been enjoying this season.

Taken (NBC) – February 27 – Not sure what to think of this TV adaptation of the Taken movies but it does have Clive Standen (Rollo from Vikings) so I’ll give it a shot.

Marvel’s Iron Fist (Netflix) March 17 – Following in the footsteps of Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, I believe Iron Fist is the last character to be introduced before the next Nexflix Marvel series The Defenders brings them all together.

Twin Peaks – May 21 – I binged the original series one Christmas and loved it. Looking forward to seeing this one. Just need to figure out what channel it is airing on in Canada.

hans-holbein

 

 

Distractions

Dallas Road

Well, so much for writing and posting more. The title says it all: distractions. More accurately excuses but I prefer to say distractions. Work has been a major mental and emotional drain the past 4 months to the point where I just don’t want to think as well as being stressful with so much uncertainty floating around. The other new but good distraction is the little girl below, Jinx. She was born on April 1 and I adopted her about 2 months ago. Other things keeping me blocked are the usual – TV, movies, video games and sadly only a couple of books.

Jinx

 

TV/Netflix Series

Stranger ThingsFour pre-teen boys in the mid 1980’s are drawn into the world of monsters and alternate worlds after one dark and stormy night one of them goes missing and a strange girl with strange powers shows up. I didn’t like the first episode of this Netflix original but it grew on me after the next couple. There is a lot 1980’s nostalgia (which I think my husband appreciated more than me) and one of the characters played by actor Charlie Heaton reminded me of a young Stephen King. Overall, it was a pretty good series once it go going.

Preacher: Ugh…I had high hopes for this AMC series based off the graphic novels but it somewhat fell short. Dominic Cooper is great as Preacher Jessie Custer and Joe Gilgun makes a good Cassidy with the exception of the Irish accent he is trying to pull over his distinct British one. I’m not too crazy about the way that Tulip is being portrayed as a hard ass unflinching thief. Not how I remember her from the books. Also wasn’t crazy that Season 1 focused only on Annville, also a divergence from the books. The Saint of Killers stuff felt out of place because there was no context for it until the end. It felt like most of the time I had no idea what was happening. But the last episode leaves some promise that Season 2 will hit the mark. Maybe I just need to watch it again…

Penny Dreadful-Final Season: This final season that was only announced as the final season shortly before it ended also had a lot of promise but ended up being under-developed possibly because it seems that it was not intended to end the show. The introduction of Dr. Jekyll and Catriona Hartdegen would have added 2 interesting characters but sadly their time was too short and it almost felt pointless to bring them in, particularity Dr. Jekyll with his part in the story being ultimately useless. The show had such a divide between the characters that it didn’t work as well as when they were all together. And the Ethan/Vanessa love aspect felt off. I wish the show had continued and explored more of the Gothic Victorian monster mash that made it so good in the beginning.

Banshee-Final Season: Another good show ended this year and another disappointing season and ending as well. And the most annoying part is they never said what Hood’s real name was.

Outcast: Another Robert Kirkman based series. This one deals with demonic possession and one might say, mental illness. I have 3 episodes to watch still but it feels like there is something missing from the show to make it really good. I like it but it has that drag that The Walking Dead suffers from where it’s on the cusp of ramping up then has nothing but filler. I like the premise and will continue with it for now. As for as The Walking Dead, I think I still have the last 2 episodes to watch and I’m in no rush at all. Disappointing. Fear the Walking Dead has potential but again, too long to get on with it.

The Strain (Season 1 & 2 again): Season 3 premieres at the end of the month and I am looking forward to seeing how much of the 3rd book is in the show. Watching Season 1 again I recall now that the first couple of episodes were kind of meh but once it gets past the introduction and gets to the vampires and the hunters it improves.

Movies

Green Room: There have been a lot of really good reviews of this flick that takes place at an isolated white supremacist club in the pacific northwest. A low rank punk band gets a gig at the clubhouse, not aware of what they are getting into and becomes embroiled in murder and a desperate fight for survival simply by being in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Starring the late Anton Yelchin, I enjoyed this movie and it kind of makes you wonder how extreme these white supremacists really are.

10 Cloverfield Lane: I guess there are ties between this movie and Cloverfield which I started watching and promptly stopped. A woman is leaving home late one night (not sure why) and ends up in an accident. She awakens chained to a wall in what appears to be a basement. When her captor appears he informs her that the earth is under attack and the air outside the bunker is toxic. John Goodman is great as the captor Howard and the story makes you wondering if he is being truthful or if he is merely a psycho who kidnapped this woman for reasons unknown.

Hidden: Another bunker movie, this one stars Alexander Skarsgard and is written/director by the Duffer Brothers who are also behind Stranger Things. The primary location is in bunker as a family of 3 hide from an unknown and terrifying threat on the surface. They are eventually forced to flee the hideout and the truth of what has happened is revealed and is not what is expected but I rather enjoyed the twist and the general claustrophobic feeling of the flick.

Cell: I swear the only good Stephen King adaptation was The Mist. Cell was a good book, not great by any means but definatly better than this movie version of the story where cell phones drive people into a homicidal rage and then into a zombie like state. This reminded me of 1408 probably because it also starred John Cusack and Samuel L Jackson and the acting felt like the characters were trying to portray King’s vision of written stereotypes in the flesh. This was just not enjoyable.

Batman V. Superman: I didn’t hate it but it certainly wasn’t great. It was too long and hollow in story and I really disliked Lex Luthor. Wonder Woman was kind of cool but after the first 2 hours it needed to end.

Sinister 2: The follow-up to the creepy Sinister movie comes in as, meh. It’s sometime after the horror of the original and Deputy So-and -So is determined to end the nightmare of Bughuul. He comes across Shannyn Sossamon and her twin sons living in a house haunted by Bughuul and his ghost children. Much like other horror movies that impress with their mostly unique stories and then follow-up with a sequel trying to live up to that original splendor, Sinister 2 was OK but doesn’t really capture the thrill of the first and is unnecessary. 

Green Inferno: No, just no. I don’t mind gore, obviously, but there was nothing remotely interesting about this cannibal story.

Books

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins: Speaking of disappointment. This tale of librarians with special powers trying to find their “Father” failed for me. I didn’t finish it. I didn’t like it. The opening couple of pages were good but then it’s just magicians who are out of touch with humanity trying to be human. It felt childish even as the darker elements were played with on the surface.

Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes: I quite enjoyed The Shining Girls by Beukes but Broken Monsters is taking a bit to get into. A detective is on the case of  a dead boy who is murdered and mutilated by having his lower half meddled with the body of a deer. I think it’s the detective’s daughter’s story that is kind of interfering with the twisted and interesting story.

Games

Uncharted 4: I never played the first 3 but I really enjoyed this game that reminded in some ways of Assassin’s Creed.

Dragon Age: Inquisition: Finally, I have gotten into this game after 2 years. So far, so good.

Pokémon Go: Yes, I admit it, I’m playing this. I’ve caught 69 so far.

Listening

The Last Podcast on the Left: Still listening to it, still loving it – Megustalations!

Avatar

Sedge Warbler

hans-holbein

TV Goodness: Fall 2014 – Part 2 – October Premieres

Stalker (Series Premiere) – October 1

stalker

Criminal Minds (S.10) – October 1

CM

Gracepoint – October 2

gracepoint-poster

The Originals (S.2) – October 6

The-Originals

The Flash (Series Premiere) – October 7

the-flash

Supernatural (S.10) – October 7

Supernatural

Arrow (S.3) – October 8

Arrow

American Horror Story Freak Show (S.4) – October 8

AHS Freak Show

The Walking Dead (S.5) – October 12

The Walking Dead

The Affair (Series Premiere) – October 19

THE AFFAIR

Constantine (Series Premiere) – October 24

constantine

Elementary (S.4) – October 30

Elementary

Ascension – November 24

ascension

Stylized D

Salem (TV Series)

Theme song Cupid Carries A Gun by Marilyn Manson

The Witches & The Hunters: Janet Montgomery (Mary Sibley); Shane West (John Alden); Seth Gabel (Cotton Mather); Tamzin Merchant (Anne Hale); Xander Berkeley (Magistrate Hale); Iddo Goldberg (Isaac Walton); Ashley Madekwe (Tituba)

Salem

First Impressions: Salem is 3 episodes in and thus far, it is pretty good.  As the title suggests, Salem takes place in Salem, Mass. at the start of the witch trials that sparked paranoia, fear, murder and a community turning on its citizens under a threat, led by the word of God, of Satan worshipping witches.  While the true history of the Salem witches was hype and there is no evidence of supernatural influences during that time, the series is taking a very decidedly supernatural approach and portraying the witches as being in league with dark forces from the netherworld.

Salem

The series is manipulating history and it’s becoming an interesting tale with some facts mixed in.  It’s kind of a toss up whether or not to dislike the main character Mary Sibley. While she is orchestrating the murder of innocents as sacrifices and because she feels betrayed by her lover John Alden and saw the torture, humiliation and injustice that was inflicted on others in Salem for merely being human, she can also be seen as a kind of sad character because of her feelings of scorn and not being able to let go of the past.  What I’m wondering is how long the storyline can be stretched out beyond one season, let alone the second one that has already been confirmed.

Salem Hag

Final Thoughts:  After all that babble above, Salem is proving to be an interesting foray into witchcraft as it mixes history with supernatural fiction.  It’s not nearly as intense as I’m making it sound but it is a good and dark drama with a touch of sexy horror.  Check out that babe above.

hans-holbein

Thematic Musings 2014

themesongs

Here is another list of great TV opening credits/songs for 2014.  Enjoy!

Black Sails

Love the show, love the opening credits music and visuals

True Detective

Banshee

Vikings

Yeah, I did this one before it’s still one of the best opening sequences on TV

American Horror Story Coven

Same opening song, different opening sequence

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

An oldie but a goodie

Winter 2014 – TV for Cold Nights

Black Sails

Winter is still hanging around and one of the ways to escape the cold and wet of the season is to dive into some new and returning shows for Winter 2014.  I present a list of the TV goodness that I am enjoying.

Black Sails

Vikings

Hannibal

Justified

Banshee

Rick & Morty

Bates Motel

Game of Thrones – Not out til April but I can’t wait

Mid-Season TV Review

Christmas

Ahhh December.  Time for good cheer, good food and drinks and the end of new TV for a good 1 to 2 months.  I suppose you could spend time with family and friends and enjoying the season but wait, there is still Netflix and hockey, so all is not lost.  For your approval, or not, here is a rundown of some of what I’ve been watching in the first half of the 2013-2014 TV season.

The New

The Originals – A spinoff from The Vampires Diaries, this show is much better than where TVD has gone this season.  New Orléans.  Vampires.  Witches.  It’s all heart ripping goodness and Klaus is awesome.

the-originals-tarot-cards

Almost Human – Androids partnered with cops in the future and starring Karl Urban.  You had me at Karl Urban.

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Dracula – So far this show is not bad.  They have changed aspects of the Dracula universe like the Order of the Dragon seems to be made up of vampire hunters, ok and Renfield is a composed gentleman, ok.  I’ll continue watching because it looks beautiful with all the Victorian touches that make Dracula so moody and romantic.

dracula

Sleepy Hollow – Alright, so I was less than kind when I reviewed the first episode but I didn’t give up and I have continued to watch it.  I’m liking it more and appreciate how they don’t dwell on Crane being amazed by the way the world has changed.  They address it but they don’t overdo it.   The story is interesting with the Four Horsemen and I like the flashback scenes.

sleepy-hollow-

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D – Taking place after The Avengers, Agent Coulson is alive but there is something that is only being hinted at for how he is still alive.  Again, this show isn’t bad and what I expect from a primetime super hero offering that appeals to adults, kids and fans.

marvel_shield_

Comedy Trio:  Brooklyn Nine-Nine; Super Fun Night; The Crazy Ones:  I’ve grouped these together because there isn’t much to say other than they are 30 minutes of laughs (most of the time) and a refreshing break from life.

The Returned

SUPERNATURAL-

Supernatural – What are we in now, Season 9?  I was not impressed with Season 7; Season 8 started out not so good but started to redeem  itself with the introduction of the Men of Letters; I like the storyline and that the boys have a home in the bunker.  With the expulsion of all the angels from heaven and Castiel losing his grace, Season 9 is moving away from the past few seasons that found the boys in the middle of angels and demons and I like the way it is going.  I just wish they would have more Crowley in it.

Season-6-

Sons of Anarchy – The show has ended for the season and next year will the end of it all.  And holy crap, this season was so good.  So much has happened, so many departures.  Maybe next season will be all rainbows and unicorns….

Coven

American Horror Story: Coven – The third standalone season in this series is cruising along with witches, voodoo queens and witch hunters in New Orléans.  It has its ups and downs.  Not as good as Season 1 but better than Season 2.

Arrow

Arrow – What the hell is up with this season?  I swear Stephen Amell has only had his shirt off 2, maybe 3 times.  Why else would I watch the show?  A good season so far.  Lots of action and more insight into Oliver’s time alone (when was he alone?) on the island.

Season-4-

The Walking Dead – After the Governor’s failed attempt on the prison last season, did you really think this one would be peaceful for the survivors?  This series seems to go from good action to mediocre storylines to full throttle, holy crap they just killed so and so, for most of the seasons.  The mid-season finale left me cursing the fact that it is not back until February 9th; damn it.  And I have to say that, that one episode was probably the best one this season.

hans-holbein

Thematic Musings

music

There are a lot of really good TV shows out there these days.  I have said it before and I’ll say it again, TV has never been better.  Along with great writing and great acting, a lot shows also have wicked theme songs.  Songs that get in your head and that are just plain awesome (or whatever the word is that kids are using these days).  Here is a presentation of some of my favourites.  Note: Carry on my Wayward Son by Kansas is not the theme song for Supernatural but if you watch it, you get it.

Vikings

American Horror Story

Game of Thrones

Shameless (US)

Justified

True Blood

Sons of Anarchy

Orange is the New Black

Supernatural

 

The Season So Far…2012 TV Review

Cue Carry On My Wayward Son by Kansas…no?  Anyway, here is what 2012 had to offer for T.V.  Some have called it a season, others are taking us into the new year and some have perished.

Game of Thrones – Oh so much doom continues to befall Westeros.  Another stellar season let us loyal viewers see Dany’s dragons breathe fire and rescue her from enslavement and confinement and the last scene of the season with the army of white walkers was kick ass.  And joy, only 3ish months until the 3rd season starts. I still find the books boring.

SOA

Sons of Anarchy – Just like Game of Thrones, more doom and depression hits the MC in Charming.  This season had some truly shocking moments (I can think of 2 with Otto) and just when things are starting to look like they are settling down, the shit hits the fan to end it off.  I have to say I like the addition of Jimmy Smits as Gemma’s new toy Nero and my god, Jax has become brutal, cold and is showing his brilliance as President.  One of the most entertaining scenes was seeing Walton Goggins play a transsexual and watching Tig salivate over him/her?

Homeland – Another gripping season of Homeland found Brody’s split personality working over time and reuniting with Carrie.  I rather liked the introduction of Peter Quinn and the ending was so good.  All is happy, oh wait everyone’s life is thrust into despair.

Justified – I was very pleased with Season 3 of Justified as Raylan was back to his old cowboy self and was more like Season 1 Raylan.  Between Timothy Olyphant and Walton Goggins, this show is full of great one liners and swagger.  And double joy, Season 4 is starting on January 8.  Girly squeal.

Justified-Season-3-Wallpaper-justified-27943438-1600-1200

The League – Season 4 and I still think this is the funniest show on TV.  And the recurring appearance of Rafi makes it that much better and hilariously disturbing.  One thing I will say about this season was that the actual fantasy football stuff was not very overt.  Gattaca!

The Walking Dead – The show is finally living up to the comic books.  The season is about half over and we are being forced to wait until February for the rest of it. The Governor, Michonne and Tyrese have finally been brought in and Merle Dixon has returned.  So far, best season yet.

The-Walking-Dead-Season-3

American Horror Story Asylum – The much-anticipated follow-up season to Ryan Murphy’s hit, I have been somewhat disappointed by this season.  I like the idea of the haunted asylum and the killer Bloody Face but there is too much going on, too many diverting story lines and fucking aliens. It still gets a nod because I love the casting and the feel of the show.

Supernatural – I was very disappointed with Season 7 but so far Season 8 is slowly winning me back.  The saving graces are the introduction of Benny the vampire and the recurring appearances of Crowley and Castiel.  The downfall is the whole flashback to Sam’s “normal” life.  I am finding that just so dull.

Spn_season_8_poster

The Big Bang Theory – Yes, this has been on for 6 years but I only started watching it this past summer and I love it.  Every time I hear the name Penny, I think of Sheldon knocking on her door (Penny from The Walking Dead, at work).  And I like the soft kitty song.

The Finder – Cancelled – I really liked The Finder and I was quite disappointed when it was cancelled shortly before the passing of one of its stars, Michael Clarke Duncan. There wasn’t anything new by way of crime drama/comedy as it was created by Hart Hanson, the man behind Bones.  The detective was brilliant and couldn’t leave a case unfinished (kind of like Sherlock?) but it was still an enjoyable watch and the characters were likable.

Honourable Mention: Breaking Bad (last season divided by a year, boo); House of Lies; Veep; The Newsroom; Sherlock; Shameless; Wilfred; Face Off; Arrow (it fills the gap and he has his shirt off in all of the episodes, except for one so far).

And 4 years after it ended I finally watched The Shield and loved it!  Highly recommend this series, especially to anyone who watches SOA and/or Justified.

the_shield1

 Not So Honourable Mentions: 

Alcatraz – Cancelled – Ok, it wasn’t a great show and the lead actress was not really likable but I liked the idea that a bunch of prisoners and guards disappeared 49 years earlier and were then returned for some mysterious reason.  The individual stories were interesting and I like Sam Niell and Jorge Garcia.

The River – Cancelled – Another doomed supernatural/sci-fi offering on Network TV (they seem to not do well) this show was brought to us by Oren Peli and Michael R. Perry (Paranormal Activity & Paranormal Activity 2).  The show was a found footage offering that takes the viewer with a TV crew journeying down the Amazon River in search of a missing documentary, reality TV star.  Again, an interesting concept and decent acting but it took too long to get to the good parts.

 quill

 

American Horror Story

American Horror Story – Premiers October 5 on FX

The Gist – A couple and their teenage daughter move into a haunted house in San Francisco…seriously that’s about all I’ve been able to put together about this new series debuting on FX on October 5.  From the imagery it looks totally bizarre.  The Rubber Man, as pictured in the above advertisement, is a character in the series; to what capacity remains to be seen.  From the little I have read and seen in trailers, it kind of looks like a haunted house mixed with Twin Peaks.  But we shall see.

The Haunted & Haunters – Leading the cast is Dylan McDermott and Connie Britton playing Ben and Vivien Harmon, the couple who move into the haunted house along with their daughter Violet Harmon played Taissa Framiga.  Taking on co-starring roles are well known actors such as Jessica Lange (playing Constance), Denis O’Hare (as Larry the Burn Guy) and Frances Conroy (Housekeeper).

Why am I looking forward to this?  Well, just look at the imagery!  Totally freaky.  It’s worth checking out the 10-20 second sneak peeks on IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1844624/videogallery.  I can not wait to check this out.  October is already the best month of the year but with shows like this and the second season of The Walking Dead to look forward to…I love it!