Some Random GOTHAM Thoughts…

Hmmm. So, even though I’m not fond of their “news” division’s endlessly dreary antics in keeping people misinformed and angry and frightened half to death, I have to give it up for some of Fox’s TV lineup on the pure entertainment front. The new DC Comics-inspired drama GOTHAM is actually quite good, but I see some critics have no idea who’s who in the Bat-verse. Edward Nigma is NOT going to be the Joker unless he’s got a split personality and all those riddles he’s telling turn to worse jokes. I thought they introduced a wee bit too many characters from the comics in that pilot, but I guess they had to because it’s best to throw out as many cards onto the table as possible and get those arcs going. We got young versions of Catwoman, Batman, Poison Ivy, The Riddler, Penguin, the future Commissioner Gordon and an already dirty cop Harvey Bullock. I’d gather the guy who shot Thomas and Arthur Wayne may also be from one of the comic’s versions of the origin story, but we’ll see where that goes during this season. There’s more to say, but I’ll let a few episodes sink in before I make more noise.

Well, I do have one other goofball complaint – 8PM means I can’t see the show when it airs. I need to hit up the On Demand channel and catch this show the day after. Given the content, it should go on at 9, but the silliness that is Sleepy Hollow takes up that time slot. So, a day late and a dollar short is my way of experiencing this new take on an old classic comic story for the ages. Okay, back in a bit…

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The Walking Dead Season 5 Tease: Sixteen Seconds Of “Wait Until October…”

And here we go (again)… Yep, we’re all settled in with this show now, and it’s pretty much the two camp thing going on here. People either like the show because it’s expanded past the comics and changed things up a bit to a lot or they hate the show because it strays too far from the comics, the people have become scarier than the walkers (which makes sense at this stage in the game) and they just want an action movie every week with explosions and last-minute escapes or whatever. Being in the former camp is the smarter move here, as you can go in and just enjoy what the writers have cooked up and not worry about some seething fanboy or girl raaaaaaging on a keyboard somewhere from the comfort of a zombie-free zone. Funny how some of these folks dislike the show yet keep watching it anyway, huh? Yeah, it just sucks to be them, but hey – it’s their time to waste and it does help the ratings stay in a good spot, I guess…

AMC Wants You To Stay Home Scared This Weekend (Or: Zombies Are Safer Than Fireworks)

TWDS5_DeadWhiteAndBlue_014 
If, for whatever reason you still haven’t seen AMC’s The Walking Dead and are now interested in playing a bit of catch up binge-watching or you’re a fan wanting to stay in one place and practice for some “actual” zombie apocalypse by hunkering down with some rations and camping out indoors while all hell breaks loose outside, here you go. AMC will indeed be running EVERY episode of the show starting Friday at 9AM/8c. Right after the final episode of Season 4 ends on Sunday night at 9pm, there’s some NEW contest afterwards – a Talking Dead Season 5 Preview Special, hosted by Chris Hardwick with guests The Walking Dead Showrunner and Executive Producer Scott M. Gimple and actress Aisha Tyler. I’ll probably catch that special just because all of the shows I normally watch are on hiatus and I’ll be bored to tears (unless I have a game or movie to occupy me of course).

I generally avoid these pre-season antics because as I’ve noted countless times, I prefer to go in cold to a new season of a favorite show, not get a head full of information swirling around for months or a year or however long it takes to complete a season of shooting. Of course,I could simply forget what I’ve seen by the time Season 5 rolls around, as there’s so many other things going on…

GOTHAM Trailer: Fox Wants To Make Me (And Other Bat-Fans) Nuts In A Few Ways (Good & Bad)…

Hmmm… this extended trailer for Fox’s upcoming GOTHAM looks REALLY good, but has me concerned about a few things. I dislike the whole concept of these “origin” reworkings because all these writers seem to LOVE throwing together every character they can write in who they think need to be in these shows with an intent to show how they came to be from nearly every angle. Sure, the fact that young Bruce Wayne is probably going to be VERY important to this series is a selling point, but do we REALLY need to see a young Catwoman as a fence-hopping Hot Topic outfit shopping (or shoplifting) kid, what looks like a too-tall Penguin and other characters who really don’t need full-on “Hey, we were in Gotham City, too!” stories? Granted, like the other DC shows, none of this will be seen as “canon” by many, but the show WILL be seen that way to younger fans growing out of the cartoons and into the Nolan films (like them or not, they’re important for a few reasons).

Eh, we’ll see, as always. I probably just don’t trust Fox for other things entertainment-wise, so my bias is showing here. Or the show will stink despite the good looks. Eh, we’ll see. I’ll at least catch the first season and see if it stands upright. The casting seems solid here, so it’s up to the writing and directing to make or break this one…

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Trailer 1: Your Tuesday Fix Is On The Way…

Hmmm… I’d say this looks upcoming ABC series that’s drawing a ton of attention from Marvel maniacs looks a bit like a mash-up of Heroes meets the X-Files with a smidgen of a police or detective procedural show, but set in the Marvel Universe. That all of course means it has the potential to go a few ways under the right hands. Under the wrong hands it’s an expensive and painful to watch train wreck, but I think we’re over that stage when it comes to Marvel’s licensed properties. Then again, if Nicholas Cage needs some work, I can see him making a cameo as Ghost Rider just to scare fans into making sure they don’t skip the cameo he gets lest they drive the ratings down and get their show canned. Hell, I bet Marvel can use the show to foist all sorts of last-rate characters back into the Marvel Universe just to test the patience of the loyal Marvelites who won’t stop watching even if they see a glimpse of Howard the Duck’s shadow on a wall in a future show’s trailer or TV spot. OK, OK, I don’t think the show will go THAT low, but you never know what the “House of Ideas” has on that back burner…

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Promo: Seems Highly Interesting, Everything Looks Dynamic…

Forget the first ten seconds of tease above, as I’m betting we don’t see any of the first-stringers from the Marvel movies on the show at all during Season One. This frees them up for the money-grabbing they’ll do in feature films and also helps lessen any potential continuity errors in future films. That said, a cameo or two would be cool from a certain group of Four Fantastic folks who should be getting a re-reboot attempt at a film soon enough. of course, I could be all wrong and we’ll see a hero of the week popping in just to get the fans glued to the TV for every episode in droves, but I think Joss Whedon can get it done without all the super-powered assistance. As usual, We. Shall. See. I’m still flipping a coin and deciding whether or not to watch the show or wait for the INEVITABLE home video version that packs in more features and less stupid pop-up ads for other shows, live feedback crawls or whatever other junk ABC and Marvel pack onto the screen that distracts from the action and storytelling…

ABC & Marvel Say: “Don’t Yield, Back S.H.I.E.L.D.!” I Say “Hold On A Minute, Chief…”

Hmmm. I get the feeling that this would do much better as a pay cable series as opposed to being on ABC for a few reasons smarter comics fans can figure out, but let’s see if the disguise Disney/Marvel is putting up works. Sure, Arrow is doing fine on the CW, but I have a few issues with network and commercial cable TV in general (too many damn commercials, those stupid pop-ups that obscure the screen, censors and some parent groups being able to dictate content and so forth and so on, shows getting canned after less than a season once the ratings level off and the non-fans and curious are weeded out, et cetera) to get my hopes higher than a “Meh!” when all is said and done.

I’ll wait for the longer trailer to pop up on YouTube later tonight or tomorrow, as I’m sure as hell NOT going to pump the ratings up on a show they’re trying to get more people to watch (Once Upon A Time) just to see a longer clip. I have more interesting things to do at that time of the night (like finish some games I need to review). Of course, it’s GOT to be better than that action-packed but awesomely awful and hilarious Nick Fury flick with David Hasselhoff, right? RIGHT??

We shall see, I guess… And someone get Steranko on the horn! I think this is a HYDRA plan gone haywire…

Quickie TV Review: The Walking Dead: “What Lies Ahead”

Last year’s six episodes left millions of fans begging for more and with a baker’s dozen (that’s 13) new episodes, The Walking Dead is back and off to a bloody solid start. Season Two kicked off with an hour and a half long opener that flew by thanks to so much tension and all sorts of bad things happening to the survivors. From the opening scene when the group’s highway scavenging is interrupted by way too many zombies to the shocking final scene (nope, I still haven’t read the comic past the first two issues – I don’t want to ruin any surprises), this was a mostly excellently paced episode. The tension amongst the survivors was portrayed brilliantly and and some possible partings of ways seem inevitable through a number of methods natural and otherwise… Continue reading

Oprah’s Not Gay, But She May Be A Mutant…

How else does one explain her getting Wolverine to nearly kill himself without even lifting one of her very wealthy fingers? Poor (but very lucky) Hugh Jackman zip-lines right into a pole doing an opening for her show Down Under on Monday. I’m just getting to this now because I don’t watch Oprah and someone sent me the link to a clip this morning. Yes, I laughed for a good ten minutes… after nearly poking an eye out facepalming (ouch)… Er, get well soon, Hugh!

Quickie TV Review: The Walking Dead "TS-19"

Talk about an explosive finale – the first season, short as it was, went out with a bang as CDC headquarters was obliterated in a nice fireball of non-nuclear but still blazing proportions (along with two more characters). There were a couple of tense moments inside the bunker including an interesting look at the virus cycle that causes otherwise dead folks to pop up and start chomping on the living and Shane’s confrontation with Lori (the man needs a new fixation, pronto). While this one was superb from start to finish, the episode somehow felt too short for my tastes, as some old ground was retread (we get it – showers rock when you haven’t had one in weeks) and it would have been interesting to see more of the doomed scientist as a character.

Nevertheless, AMC clearly has a major smash with the series and the long, long wait until October 2011 is going to be hugely unbearable yet highly exciting for those of us looking forward to more Dead. Brilliant stuff (and thank goodness for AMC Free On Demand, as I’ll be haunting that channel for as long as they rerun episodes). Still… I’m wondering about the first season on DVD or Blu-Ray (whenever it hits), as a mere six episodes really isn’t enough to justify shelling out for a box set unless it’s packed to the rafters with bonus features… We shall see, I guess…

Score: A-
First Season Score: A