My Sherlock series 3 review is up at The Movie Waffler. It was a somewhat unpopular series for some people but, I found it enjoyable. If you want to see more specifically what I liked about it, you can check out the review here.
In news that would make the Dead Television Society happy, two genre tv series may be returning from the great beyond. News stories recently broke for the two series Farscape and Heroes.
Starting with Farscape, it looks like a script by series writer Justin Monjo is getting some serious attention. It apparently takes place 19 years after the end of the Peacekeeper Wars and features John and Aeryn’s son D’Argo who they hid on Earth to keep him off the radar of people like Scorpius. I guess the story would be about D’Argo discovering his true heritage and going from there. The news at this point is that this would be a feature film shot in Australia. While this would be nice I would prefer a new series myself (remember the name of this blog) but, at this point I’ll take any new Farscape I can get. Of course, this is only the most preliminary of stages of the project so I’m not going to get too excited until I see more activity.
The second bit of news is that NBC just announced it will be bringing Heroes back for a thirteen episode run in 2015. I wasn’t a Heroes fan the first go round for a bunch of reasons but, before I go into those, I just wanted to say that I’m a live and let live kind of guy when it comes to tv shows. If you liked Heroes, that’s great. Not all genre shows are going to appeal to all genre fans. So, while I’m going to talk about the problems that kept me from enjoying the show, I want to make it clear that these are my idiosyncrasies and mine alone. I am perfectly comfortable owning them. Like I said before, if you liked the show, I’m honestly happy for you. This is the same view I have about the series Revolution that my wife and older son watch and I’m glad they enjoy it. Ultimately, more genre tv is better than less in my book.
For myself, I got about a third of the way through season one of Heroes before I basically got bored with it. As I’ve said before, I’m a bit obsessed with superhero literature so, this along with Diane’s recommendation were probably the two factors that overrode my normal prejudice against a network show enough for me to give it a shot. Unfortunately, a bunch of things went wrong for me that I mostly blamed on network requirements at the time. This might have been unfair but, then again, because of their size they are kind of an easy target. So, what went wrong? Well, a lot of it has to do with the characters. I really liked the cheerleader. She was easily the person whose story I was most interested in. Unfortunately, there was another major character that had pretty much the exact opposite effect on me and that was Peter. For some reason Peter was a colossal turn off for me. I remember not liking him or his older brother or his mother. It was pretty much a clean sweep for the whole Petrelli family I guess. I vaguely remember thinking he whined too much but, I honestly don’t recall at this point. Then there was Hiro. They naively, in my opinion, gave this guy the power to travel throughout all of time and space. You know who else has that ability? The Doctor from Doctor Who. The problem is that this ability makes The Doctor so cool that he has an entire series devoted solely to him which has been successful enough to be running for the better part of 50 years now. So, obviously this is a popular enough character concept that it’s going to be really hard to avoid having Heroes turn into Hiro. Oh yeah, I also wasn’t super fond of Hiro as character either but, he didn’t inspire me to switch the channel like Peter did. As if this wasn’t enough already, they kept introducing new characters at a pretty alarming rate so the one character I really liked kept getting less and less air time. In any case, after episode eight I was pretty much done with the series largely due to lack of interest.
As a side note, I’m also puzzled as to why they are calling it a 13 episode miniseries. A six episodes series strikes me as pushing the upper limit of what one could reasonably describe as a miniseries. Given the current American network season consists of 22 episodes, you can’t even call it a half-season anymore. In fact, most of the cable channel original series I watch have operated on 13 episode seasons for quite some time now. Even Sleepy Hollow had a 13 episode first season and that was on a network. Maybe they are calling it that as the plan is to not have a following season but if the show ends up getting good ratings that’s not likely to remain the case. Just look as what CBS did to Under the Dome when it proved to be a hit.
So, will I check out the new Heroes when it arrives? I’ll probably surprise a bunch of people by saying maybe. It still has the network strike going against it for me but, on the flip side, Tim Kring has had the opportunity to learn from his mistakes on the first series which I obviously found more plentiful than most other Heroes viewers. People tend to learn more from their mistakes than successes so that may be enough of an incentive for me to check out the new Heroes.
Since enough of you liked my review of Sherlock’s first season here is my review of series two. I say it in the review itself but, as everyone around here should be aware, any season after the first of a series that I am talking about basically opens the door for spoilers and I’m really not kidding this time around. So, if you have any interest in catching this series you might want to skip this one or, at least the don’t read what I write about The Reichenbach Fall. Enjoy.
So, I finished season one of Arrow (which is still conveniently available on Netflix) and liked it so much I decided to catch up real time like I have done in the past with other shows like Supernatural.
I’m also a very cheap individual so I like to do this by spending as little money as possible which preferably means nothing. I’m discussing this project with Kevin Bachelder who points out to me that episodes five through nine of season two are available on Hulu. OK, time for a bit of background on myself. I really, really, really, no I mean REALLY, dislike watching tv shows or movies on my computer. It’s not that my work has me on the computer a lot (it does but it could be much worse). It’s more that when I’m being entertained I want to maximize the emersive experience. So, call me a prima donna. This doesn’t completely kill the project as I know that I can sample Hulu Plus free for one week which is more than enough time to cover five episodes of Arrow. That leaves episodes one through four to cover. Being, technically speaking, a tv network CW charges money to watch recently past episodes on my television service provider for the princely sum of two dollars an episode, or three if I want HD. At this point I decide eight bucks is a reasonable expenditure to catch up with a show that I find pretty damn awesome. After adding eight bucks to my Verizon bill for the month, I sign up for my free week of Hulu Plus. As a side note here, Hulu Plus is basically like Netflix streaming, except for the commercials. I’m going to hazard a guess that these only show up on the more recent programing as I really didn’t take the time to check out anything else but, I’m still not super happy with the idea of commercials interrupting a show on a service that I would be paying a monthly fee for. Anyway, like Netflix, Hulu Plus ends up doing a great job of keeping track of what episode of a series you are on. That is until I hit episode eight when I’m pretty certain I haven’t seen episode seven yet. Turns out that, for some bonehead reason, episode seven isn’t available on Hulu. So, “thanking” Kevin under my breath, I give a couple more bucks to Verizon. In any case, I’m finally caught up to real time with Arrow. It’s a show that you should definitely check out if you are late to the party like myself and, I want to thank Kevin for recommending it as strongly as he did as the quality more than makes up for the extra couple of bucks. The series does a spectacular job of integrating a large number of characters from the DC comics universe. I was totally stunned to see Deathstroke the Terminator (ok, so it turned out not to really be him) appear in the fourth episode of the first season. For those unfamiliar with him, he is a major villain in DC comics in roughly the same tier as The Joker.
The other thing I wanted to mention was a show I forgot in my winter “what I’m watching segment”. It’s a non-genre show, which would explain why I forgot about it, called The Americans. It’s an FX original series set in the early 80s about a deeply entrenched pair of Soviet spies posing as an American family. It’s a pretty outstanding show and, if you are at all into espionage stuff, definitely worth a look. The Americans second season begins on February 28th.
While not a genre show, the series Sherlock produced by the BBC is what I like to call an edge series. For people who haven’t been with me for awhile, an edge show is a series that while not a genre series is something that I think genre tv fans will enjoy anyway. Other examples of what I consider edge shows are Dexter and Leverage, the latter of which is loaded with genre in-jokes. Sherlock definitely fits into this category for me as well. The series is a 21st century re-imagining of Doyle’s classic character and is pretty awesome television in general. In celebration of the showing of the third series/season in the US, my friend Eric over at The Movie Waffler asked me if I would be interested in writing reviews for the three seasons (Hell, yes!) so, here is my review for the first.
Actually, it ended last weekend so I’m a little late but over the course of the mid-season break period I decided to take the time to check out some new series. It also opened up my viewing schedule enough to allow me to get back into Blake’s 7 which I reviewed series two of last post. There were two other series on schedule to look at, Revolution which I had already started and Arrow which I had not. I finished up Revolution in a timely enough fashion to take a look at Almost Human as well.
Starting with Arrow, for no particular reason, Netflix put season one up on its streaming service and Kevin Batchelder has been telling me over and over again how great the series is that I decided to take a look. I have to say that I was really blown away by this series which I didn’t look at it when it first premiered largely because it was on the CW, a network which tends to target a young adult audience. To be honest, something being labelled as young adult for some reason is a big disincentive for me. I could just ascribe this to me being 51 years old but, that would really just be a rationalization on my part. I feel it’s more honest and thus makes me feel more comfortable to just own the fact that the whole thing is just some bizarro prejudice on my part. Having said all this, Arrow is still awesome. There are some YA factors that are present in the show. For example, Oliver owns a club which is an excuse for the occasional scene set there and there is also a good deal of focus on dating drama but, these are infrequent enough to not take away from the rest of the series for me. This is one of the best pieces of super hero television I have ever seen and fans of that genre really owe it to themselves to check it out if they aren’t already watching.
Revolution, being a network show, is hampered by some of the standard tv tropes that result in some of the character’s motivations occasionally not making a whole lot of sense at times. It also seems to me that things happen by accident as much if not more so than design which I don’t personally find all that entertaining. Still it’s nice to see Giancarlo Esposito getting work as he is good at playing the villain. He played the awesome character Gus Fring in the equally awesome series Breaking Bad.
I also decided to check out Almost Human until I read about how Fox decided to pull a Firefly with the series and show the first season out of production order. Unlike Firefly, they did at least have the decency to show the actual pilot first so I settled on just watching that instead. I really enjoyed what I saw from the first episode which had a Blade Runner flavor to it. My friend Rich Chamberlain over at Monster Movie Kid has said that the messed up sequence hasn’t had an impact on his watching, I’ll still be waiting for Netflix streaming to watch the rest of it in its correct order. Yeah, I am well aware of my problem.
So, that’s what I did over my winter tv beak. I hope everyone out there had just as much fun as I did.