Triskaidekafiles is a love letter to cheesy cinema from the 80s and 90s, with the occasional dip into other eras.  if you're a fan of MST3K, Elvira, Joe Bob Briggs, or just bad horror movies in general, Trisk is the place for you.

Filtering by Category: Television

What I'm Watching: Mystery Science Theater 3000 - Experiment 1101 - Reptilicus

MST3K is almost back, and the Kickstarter backers got treated to an early look at the first episode of the new season.  Which means *I* got to watch it, and here's my thoughts on the return of one of Trisk's biggest influences.

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What I'm Watching: The Quest

Gasp!  ANOTHER post about something recent!  ANOTHER tv post!

ANYways, I wanted to talk a little about ABC's new show, "The Quest".

If you don't know, "The Quest" is a reality show with the usual format of completing tasks and voting someone off the Middle-Earth. The 12 competitors are normal people from the 'real' world, playing along, and the world is populated by actors to add flavour.

I can sum this show up in two words, "dopily entertaining".

Having something that's a twist on the usual reality show style is a nice change of pace. And making the very obvious dichotomy of a reality show in a fantasy realm is a great way to go with.

Can you sense the 'But' coming?, it just doesn't work. The mythology is bland and generic, the actors filling up the world are mostly lackluster, and the logic of the show is pretty meh. I guess some of that is to be expected, however, things are just kinda there.

The show is HIGHLY MST3Kable, which fills in a lot of the entertainment, so there's that.

My biggest problem is that for a quest, it's pretty boring. So far, in the two episodes, these great heroes that we're supposed to be see trying to save the realm have basically been doing training, or so they want us to believe. In reality (Hah), it amounts to little more than busywork, IMO. Sure, you can't just drop untested rubes from Jersey (And beyond!) into an adventure, and training is probably good, but it comes off as SO tedious and boring.

And having the losers of the busywork having to do MORE busywork to try and not be the person sent home this week is no less tedious.

A better way to do things, and I'll even keep some stuff!, is okay, let's still have them do a training mission to kick things off. That's fine, and makes some sense. But instead of then trying to show the Fates that they're still worthy by nailing horseshoes to a wheel (WHY), you could at LEAST try and dress things up and make things, oh I dunno, more QUEST LIKE and make their later test some sort of adventure type thing.

Instead of having someone voted off the castle, have then grabbed by an orc in battle, or SOMEthing instead of just walking out an arch.

NOW, all that said? The ending of the second episode, and the promo for the third, actually start to make things look like they're going in that direction in a big way, and actually going on a quest for stuff. That could be a HUGE step up, and I really hope it is. The shoe desperately needs something beyond making fun of it for laughs.

There is legitimately a decent idea back there, but they just seem to be going about things the wrong way.  It's not terrible, it has some moments, and there's hints that it MIGHT veer in a better direction very soon, but so far it's just kinda goofy.

What I'm Watching: The Strain

Hey look, I did it!  Two in a row!  And this one is current events!  AND tv!  Don't do enough of that...

ANYways, The Strain!

It's no surprise that I'd give a horror show by Guillermo Del Toro a shot, considering my love of Pacific Rim, and Hellboy, and so many other things.

The Strain focuses on an aircraft that is mysteriously attacked from within, touching upon modern fears, and tapping into that zeitgeist.  It's made all the more palpable after recent events in the Ukraine, and the timing is downright creepy.  But I digress.

A lot of horror deals with our fears, and shit going wrong on airplanes is a big deal in the last decade, and this plays into them well.  Fortunately, rather than a bombing or crashing, it's a viral outbreak, which also ties in well with our fears of disease.  The two dovetail well with each other to create something of a mystery that we don't see very often, since the days of Fringe.

The mystery slowly unfolds, but any horror fan should be quick to pick up on some familiar bits of lore, and I love those little touches.  So yeah, we're pretty much dealing with vampires, but they are not your familiar bloodsuckers.  They are also most emphatically NOT prettyboy sparkling love interests.  Which is so welcome, for me.

We've seen the 'vampire as virus' idea played out in other places, and it's a natural fit with the whole blood angle, but The Strain takes things to this whole other level with details and science rarely seen in stories before this, and still manages to make their vampires stand out in a crowded field.  These harken back more towards the Nosferatu type, while picking up on details from Stoker's novel, and the more classical lore, while not relying on it heavily.  These creatures are entirely their own thing with just enough familiar DNA (Ahem) with the classics to please the big time horror fans.

Also pleasing to the big time horror fans are the use of scares and blood in the show.  There's not a lot, but what there is, well...they say go big or go home, and The Strain goes big.  The pilot episode slowly draws you in with flashes and teases for over half the extended running time, and then explodes for a few seconds of bloody ultraviolence when the main creature strikes.  It's well paced and does a great job laying things out before that moment, and it strikes at a perfect moment and works as a great reveal.

I'm also quite pleased that this is a series, and not a movie, because the expanded format gives us great character moments where we can just sit down and have our leads talk about their lives, and get involved in widely unrelated things, all for the sake of building these people up and getting into their personalities in more ways than a shorter runtime would allow.

I can't give this anything but one of my strongest recommendations.  I'm intrigued to see where things go, it's pleasing to old horror fans, while still delivering something new and doesn't feel stale.  There's a lot here to like, and while it doesn't lay the groundwork of possibilities that something like Sleepy Hollow's pilot did, this is well-crafted from the ground up, by some masters of the genre.

The biggest shame in all this is Syfy's "Helix".  Sorry, but a WAY better horror based medical outbreak drama just came along, guys!  And I enjoyed Helix, so no slight against it.  The Strain just blew it out of the Arctic.

What I'm Watching: Almost Human

This past season saw the end of one of the best science fiction tv shows of the 21st century when Fringe drew to a close.  I wasn't immediately on board, but I saw the potential behind the series, and the show quickly grew on me, and eventually dealt with themes I love (Parallel timelines!) and got very deep with the symbolism, metaphor, and allegory.

My life has been lacking a decent scifi series in the same vein, but fortunately now we have Almost Human.

Now, Almost Human is NOT Fringe 2.0.  I could see some stories being done on either show, and the creators are some of the same people, as well as there being those similar thematic links, but ultimately Almost Human is...well, nothing like Fringe.

But, the two shows do sit nicely next to each other, like brothers that went into similar but different careers.  You know they're related, and yet they are SO different.

Almost Human is a story set in the near future, after science has begun to outpace our morality and our laws.  Quite frankly, we're already starting to see this, and AH posits it is only going to get worse from here before it gets better.  And I'm on board with that viewpoint.

The show picks up after detective John Kennex is involved in a failed raid where he lost his partner, and his leg, and slipped into a coma for 18 months.  After a period of recovery, John returns to the force, and even in that brief period of time, things have changed; every officer is now partnered with an android.  John is immediately frustrated with this restriction, and its not long before his MX unit has an 'accident' and falls out of the car and needs to be replaced.

John's new new partner is a DRN unit, or just Dorian, a run of androids that were too human, given a bit more free thinking, creativity, and emotions.  And just like humans, this gave them a tendency to be unstable, so the line was scrapped.  Dorian's ability to be more human, and less cold, as well as keep up with Kennex and his ways actually makes the two quite the pair.

With that setup, the show then delves into your usual cop show tropes, but with a scifi bent to them.  Now, I'm not a fan of the police procedural.  I have nothing against them, but in a day and age of three Law & Orders, three CSIs, and two NCISes...well, the market is kinda flooded with the same stories retold over and over, and this is just in recent years.  We've been seeing these stories for ages.  And me, well, it's obvious I like a little gimmickry, a little scifi, and this show delivers just the right added touches that keep me interested.

Yes, this show has the weird science that made Fringe come alive, and that is the biggest connective tissue between the two shows.  The science isn't QUITE as mad as Fringe was, and mostly sticking to the realm of just advancing what we can do now with tech and drugs and such.  Still plenty of time for gooey moments with chemicals and diseases and androids with their skin ripped off, but so far there's no sign that we'll delve into alternate realities here.

Still, the scifi elements definitely make this my kinda cop show, and boy am I grateful.  I am enjoying the heck out of this.  Not quite as much or as immediately as Sleepy Hollow, but there is a lot to love here.  If you're a fan of cop shows, you have got to watch this.  There is enough to keep those fans interested, and enough of its own take on things with the scifi that it is familiar and also unique on the modern landscape.

And I'm not gonna lie, I'm hoping the Bad Robot guys pull the same tricks they've pulled with Lost and Fringe before, where they start you off simply with character drama and not a lot of crazy science fiction and then...BAM hey!  Your show has massive amounts of time travel!  I love that method of keeping things basic and hooking the everyday viewers, and then opening up into something so SO much more.

Besides the stories, the clear attraction here is the cast.  Karl Urban is perfect as Kennex, and yes, you can see a little Dredd around the edges, but he's softer, more human, and without the facscism.  Michael Ealy as Dorian is also great, with just the right blend of android like calm, with slightly awkward stumbling towards humanity.  It hits the notes it should absolutely perfectly.  You know he's not human, but he's also not stiff and emotionless.  But besides the two on their own, I absolutely LOVE the chemistry the pair has with each other.  It's almost like watching two brothers at their worst, the way they bicker, but clearly like each other.  The banter and jokes between Kennex and Dorian is enough alone to watch this show.

My biggest complaint with the show is the secondary cast.  I'd like a little more balance to give them time to shine.  Minka Kelly is an incredibly underrated actress who feels almost completely wasted here as the tech girl who gets three lines an episode.  She's better than this, and I hope she gets a storyline soon.  And one that doesn't make her be the damsel in distress.  She's supposed to be a fellow detective, but they're not really selling me on that.

There is one character whom I think will end up being a breakout for the show, and that's Rudy, played by Mackenzie Crook.  At times you can tell he is trying SO HARD to be this show's Walter Bishop, and in some ways he is, being the slightly off mad scientist in the basement, but he's nowhere near as literally crazy as Walter was.  But he's a good actor, and a good character, with some good lines, and he provides some humour when it's needed.  He'll easily be the fun character on this show.

So, there's a new scifi show on the air, and it's surprisingly really good, and definitely worth your time.  There's a few flaws, to be sure, but since the show is only four episodes in, I am sure there is more than enough room for improvement!

What I'm Watching: Agents of SHIELD

Continuing along with the premiers I give a crap about, and fit vaguely with this site (The Blacklist is fun but predictable, by the way!), Marvel has finally done it, and made a prime time live action tv series, Agents of SHIELD.

Anyone who has listened to me for awhile has heard my rant how I long for a comic based tv show way more than I want another movie.  I'm not going to ge into THAT rant here.

The question is, does SHIELD fit the bill? comes close.  See, I'm gonna be THAT guy.  I'm not in love with the show.  It's good, but I didn't quite connect with it from the pilot.  But hey, the same thing happened with Fringe, and that became one of my favourite shows of the last few years, so initial impressions, ESPECIALLY of a pilot are always dicey.

Still, I was hoping for a little more, and I suspect its the expectations that hurt more than anything.  After the Avengers, the bar was set pretty high, and the show doesn't reach them.  But, it doesn't have to, does it?  It's a tv show.

And one of my biggest problems isn't even the show's fault, but the marketing.  I've been hearing about the show all year, seeing clip after clip, and even though I didn't even WATCH most of them, I *still* felt like I'd seen most of the show.

The other thing was, I was hoping for a little more comicbooky stuff.  I get wanting to use original characters for the team, it allows them free reign to do what they want, they won't be ruining say, a future appearance in the movies of Agent Carol Danvers (For example), and they have no expectations with the fans of what the characters might do.  But it still felt more like it's own universe more than anything TOO Marvel related.  There were moments though, and they did exactly what I prayed they would do with Lola.

It's funny that another problem I had was that there was TOO MUCH comicbooky stuff.  Not actual content, but the references were getting to be a bit TOO cutesy.  "Ready to joing us on our Journey Into Mystery?"  Iiiii see what you did there.

I hope they get stuff like that out of there system, because while I do actually like cute stuff like that, doing it too much can become too annoying with the constant winks to the audience.

The story itself in the pilot was decent enough, building on the movie universe's tech already, and each character has a bit of mystery and questions to explore, although nowhere near as with Sleepy Hollow.

Now, I say I didn't love the show, but I did absolutely like it.  I was mildly entertained, I enjoyed it more on my second viewing when I wasn't in critic mode, although still a few bland bits, but it was mostly solid for a pilot, and that's what I judge it on.

The first episode was not a home run, knock it out of the park affair, but it was good, it did what it needed to do, and I absolutely see the potential there.  I am just as sick of 'getting the team together' stories, as I am of origins, I guess.

Now, the second episode that I just got done watching?  A definite step up in quality, and they did a really good job of mixing the cool action with some solid character moments that really made these people more real in the context of the show.  It can be tough to strike that balance of action and talking, and this episode more or less got it right.  I'm not entirely sold on some of the directions they're *going* with the characters, but hey.  It's there show.

Overall, while I wasn't immediately grabbed, the show has potential, and I'm sure things will pick up.  The second episode made that pretty clear.

And I'll admit it, classifying the plane as SHIELD 616 made me grin huge.

What I'm Watching: Sleepy Hollow

Fall is here!  In all ways except it, y'know, actually technically *being* Autumn.  But that means the new season of fall shows begins, and oh, what a way to kick it off!

I literally just got done watching the series premiere of Sleepy Hollow, arguably the show I have been anticipating most since I first heard about it.

And to be blunt, it did NOT disappoint.

The general plot revolves around the familiar elements, with Ichabod Crane encountering the Headless Horseman (Before he lost his head, in this version), and making the first half of that name a most accurate description.

We immediately cut from the Horseman's beheading to modern times, where Crane awakens in a crypt in a cave, and stumbles around until he finds the plot.

Meanwhile, the Headless Horseman himself has too arisen, seeking his missing head, as he is wont to do in most versions of the story.

This gives us a pretty solid setup of a mystery of who this creature is, why Ichabod and he are in the present day, and VERY easy humour with Crane's culture shock, as well as the 'Odd Couple' style humour of his style with the leiutenant he runs into immediately upon arriving in our time.  Not to mention that since this ties back to the Revolutionary War, and there's a secret history to explore, there's even MORE of a tapestry to peel back and explore.

The mythology expands with one of those twists that is SO bloody obvious, I can't believe it hasn't been done before now; making the Headless Horsemen one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.  This expands things hugely, and hving his arrival being a harbinger of his brethren, but first their return must be prepare by more demonic forces make the show able to not make it JUST about the Horseman, but about the town and the weird shit about to descend on it.

All of this pretty much can be summed up by saying they came up with great ideas to give the series legs.  The mystery, the monsters, already lots of potential with that, the character interactions...all the elements are here.

My biggest disappointment at using such great actors as John Cho and Clancy Brown, and wasting them before the pilot is done.  I would have lvoed to have their presences around for a longer term, especially Brown whom I have loved since his role as the Kurgan in the original Highlander movie.

The pilot did everything it needed to do, set up a long term plot (And teased a seven year plot at that), with lots of avenues they can go down so clearly shown.  I have rarely seen a show jump out of the gate with so many ideas they can work with so soon.  The vision here is clear, and that is a plus.  I don't know how much they know about where the show is going, but it sure seems like they have some solid ideas.

A few things happened seemingly for plot convenience sake, and that bugs me just a little.  The pilot probably could have used some extra time to flesh things out just a little more.  Hopefully there's an extended version or deleted scenes that will do the trick somewhere down the line.  But a few storytelling shortcuts can almost be forgiven in a pilot, so I don't hold that against it too much.

I was looking forward to this all summer long, and I am definitely on board. I can't wait to see how this new show's mythology expands from here, and look forward to the adventures of Ichabod Crane and Abbie Mills.

What I'm Watching: Cloned - The Recreator Chronicles

Today on, "Movies no one has ever heard of..."  it is Cloned: The Recreator Chronicles!

Like most random movies, it was the trailer of this that caught my eye.  I saw the name, it sounds sciencey, and there's always fun stuff there, so I watched the trailer.  That was decent, and looked well made, AND there was the bonus of John deLancie!  Yep, Q from Star Trek: TNG wandered into this.

That was really all I needed to put this over from a strong maybe to a gotta see.

Cloned is about a trio of young adults heading off to a camping trip in the Adirondacks of upstate New York, to spend one last fun night together before one of them gets shipped off with the armed forces.

Once they make their way to their remote island, they find a home there.  One thing leads to another, and mostly thanks to a storm they take cover indoors.  The owners of the house return in the morning, chasing off their trio of Golidlocks.

Then things take a turn for the worst when the trio stumble upon a pair of dead bodies; duplicates of the people chasing them.  When the clone owners have the kids try and dispose of their originals' bodies, they are fortunately saved by more clones, their own clones.

So yeah, that is one lengthy set up.

Once the clones enter the scene, things really pick up.  The movie is nicely paced, with spending a good chunk of the first act introducing us to the three kids, then that opening twist that could have just as easily been a home 'invasion' gone wrong that then introduces clones, that then introduces MORE clones...  Yeah, fun stuff there.

The thing with the clones is that they're faster, stronger, smarter, and basically better in every way.  And they all know it.  They see themselves as superior, and want to be the ones to live, replacing the inferior originals.  Usually, it's the clones that are inferior, so it's a nice change up.

The actors do a good job of making the originals and clones different.  That can be a VERY tricky thing for actors, and they do a great job.  You never get confused about which is which, unless they want you to be confused.  Their personalities are distinct, and unique, so basically each person is playing two different characters.

Problems begin to arise when the plot tries to give us backstory, and I don't think it quite achieved that part of storytelling.  They drop bits and pieces here and there, and the narrative never really clicked.  I would've liked a little more time spent with the exposition, but when that takes away from the main focus, that does become problematic.  So it wasn't exactly my favourite way to get the story out, it's understandable why it went that way.

But the cast definitely carries the story through, and it is a fun journey watching both group fight for survival.  The originals wanting to live to continue living, and the dupes wanting their chance at life because they feel they're better.  If not for the clones being a bit homicidal, you can almost feel for them.

Naturally, the clones have the advantage, and since they are clearly on the stabby side, you want the originals to live.  But being the underdogs, the question becomes how, and will everyone make it out alive?  They find some good ways to make it believable that the originals can win, mostly due to being more knowledgable of the world than the clones.  The clones are smarter, but more naive in a way, and less aware of treachery.

Unsurprisingly, not everyone gets out alive, and the movie has a very nice, very dark twist to it, that both really wowed me at just how twisted it was, and made me shake my fist at the screen.  Overall, Cloned was a solid little movie that was a fun ride.  It ended up being very light on the John deLancie, and there's never really any threat from "The Recreator" like the back of the box warns, but oh well.  Taken for what it is, it's worth watching.

Whew, I made it through the entire review without mentioning the clones were created from DNA samples aquired via the home's septic system and were thus pooplicates.


What I'm Watching: Zombieland Pilot

Awhile back, I shared my thoughts on the awesomeness that was Zombieland.  It was widely known that they originally wanted to make a series, hence the Zombie Kill of the Week would've been a real thing, and other little touches.  But that didn't work, and they eventually got it to launch as a theatrical movie.

So, the wheel turns, and we come back around to...Zombieland being made into a possible series!  Go figure.  At Amazon, of all places.  But hey, if they get the tone correct, it's all good, right?


Well...  How can this feel so wrong and so right at the same time?  I really think the main problem here is the cast.  Now, there was NOOO way they were going to get the movie's cast back, clearly.  And other properties have transitioned well enough from movies to tv with a changed cast, like Stargate.  But Zombieland has SUCH an iconic cast, that it is tough, at least with this first episode, to get over that.  I hope that lessens as time goes by, because I would really hate to be constantly bothered by that.

Because really?  This was good.  This was GOOD.  This was, quite frankly, more Zombieland.  If you were to read the scripts, or if these were two separate chapters of a book, you would go, "Ah, yes.  These are two parts of a whole.  These are both of a piece."  I would be hard pressed to find someone who loved the movie that didn't at least like this, and at least be willing to give it a chance.

The cast is not bad, not really.  But yeah, hard to get by not having Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, and the rest.  And it's been awhile since I saw the original, and I know Tallahassee was never the sharpest blade in the scabbard, but did they dumb him down, or is it just me?

I get they're going for comedic effect, and it's like Randall getting a slight IQ downgrade between the Clerks movies and animated series and whatnot.  It's funny to have a guy that's clueless.  And the guy playing Tallahassee was pretty good, and the way they wrote him suited the actor's protrayal, so it all works in the end.

They also did a funny bit opening the episode, which was maybe a little on the slow side but it's easing you in I guess...  But they open up with a joke that ONLY works because they recast the role.  The whole joke is, you don't know the guy, but if you knew this was Tallahassee, FL, then you would know that was who that was!  That is so meta, and pretty brilliant, and a great way to say, "Yes, we know they're not the same actors, live with it."

Little Rock came off as a poor man's Chloe Moretz to me.  And that's not a bad thing.  She was probably the closest to the original actress, in my head.  But being compared to Moretz is a plus, in my book.

I don't really have much to say about Columbus and Wichita, but they did decently enough.  Columbus as our returning narator works well enough, and isn't terribly jarring, which is a plus.

Aside from Tallahassee being dumbed down, Wichita's casting throws me the most.  She is SO different from Emma Stone, but she delivers the lines well, as some decent awkward chemistry with Columbus, and is pretty funny.  So it's the most distracting, but she does a good enough job of both making the role her own, and feeling at home at the same time, that it almost works.  And will surely grow on me if this goes to a series.

But the biggest question I have on the plot side of things...who the fuck is keeping OnStar going in the zombie apocalypse?!  That's almost crazy to me, and almost demands having a story told just to explain the hows and whys, before my suspension of disbelief snaps like a rubber band.

But in short, this is good, VERY good.  Especially for a pilot, and one that has such expectations breathing down its neck.  It hits all the right notes, and has the same tone as the movie.  You get that mix of humour and horror that the movie excelled at, and knows when to switch between the two.  It gets right what it needs to get right, and the stuff it gets wrong can be ironed out.  No pilot is perfect, and while the cast is different, the story remains the same.

Definitely worth checking out, and giving Amazon your feedback.

What I'm Watching: The Following

Ahh, a little tv this time around, eh?

I'd been hearing about The Following for awhile, and it sounded more or less up my alley.  I like the occasional mystery, especially a good murder mystery.

The use of the internet for the criminal mastermind to build his cult was also a uniquely fascinating idea, although I did have the fear that it would come across as something talking about the evils of the internet.  Fortunately, they did NOT go that route, and in fact, the internet is a very small part of it.  It's a tool that is used, nothing more.  And that is exactly how it should be.

I've watched the first two episodes so far, but not the most recent.  The show centers around a serial killer who was captured eight years ago after a murder spree inspired by Edgar Allen Poe.  He escapes, but is quickly brought back to prison.  But that's when everything starts to go wrong.  While he was in prison, he established connections with various other like-minded individuals who want to be inspired by him like he was by Poe, and are his, yes, following.

They do some interesting tricks with storytelling, bouncing all around the timeline with pertinent information.  They have their share of decent twists, and some good murders already in the first couple episodes.  But it does have that vague feel of, "Well, we've seen all this before, haven't we?"

And yeah, we kinda have.  There is very little new here, it's quite derivative, and yet, it's well done.  The cast is great, headlined by Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy, and it's well made.  So while it is a bit 'been there, done that', it is at least very well done that before.

I'm also a huge Poe fan, naturally, and I am totally geeking out over all the references and fun little touches.  That brings a nice deal of unique voice to the show, and gives it that sense of being its own thing and not just "Seven: The Series".  Also, having both of the leads being authors, and having that sense of storytelling and the hero's journey being used deliberately by the villain gives it a great metatextual feel that I hope continues through the series.

It is definitely worth checking out, and I hope this is the case of a single season story and we're done.  I don't want to see this dragged out for years.  This should be done as a rock solid miniseries, not an ongoing, never-ending series like everything else.

I don't love it, but I don't hate it, and there's enough here to keep me interested, so give it a shot yourselves!


What I'm Watching: Revolution, Beauty & the Beast

I'm gonna give y'all a tv two-fer today, playing some catchup on the new season.

I've been watching Revolution for a few weeks now.  This is the new show from J.J. Abrams, and Erik Kripke.  The basic premise is that one day, the power goes out, and doesn't come back on.  The story picks up 15 years later, the power is still out, militias are slowly consolidating power, and the adventure begins.

That's a solid premise for a show, and I think for the most part, we've got something good here.  The acting is decent enough, the show looks fact, the biggest complaint is that it looks TOO good.  It has that 'pretty people in a post apocalypse' problem that is all too prevalent in visual media.  But for me?  I can live with it.  It doesn't really bother me that much.

The other big complaint is that comments have point out how things don't make sense, electricity doesn't work that way, why haven't they made more yet, etc.  But I do not get these complaints.  THE SHOW ITSELF is constantly pointing out how this is wrong, how unnatural it is, and how the laws of science are broken, because this is wrong!  This is a plot point, not a plot hole, people.  Granted, it will probably just be handwaved with a magic explanation, but I am not overly bugged by it.

They're slowly expanding the world, and things are mostly holding together.  I'm interested in where things are going, and so far, this is my fave new show of the season.

Meanwhile, on the CW, we have Beauty & the Beast.  This is a remake of the 80s series starring Linda Hamilton and the heavy makeup effects on Ron Perlman.

This time around, the show is about a cop who had a strange encounter that has haunted her life ever since; she was saved from an attack, by a strange, beast-like man.  Years later, she's investigating a case, and it leads her straight into that same man.  He's wrapped up in a government conspiracy, and now Catherine is drawn into it as well, although she may have a larger connection to it than she at first suspected.

I didn't watch much of the original, so I have no major connection to it, but I found this show to be mostly okay.  It didn't blow me away, I saw most of the twists coming, and I kinda roll my eyes at not going all the way with the Beast side of things, and leaving us with a handsome leading man to draw in the ladies.  Making him permanently and always a monster is more interesting, IMO, and showing that someone like that can still be a romantic lead as well.

But this is the hand we're dealt, and what we get is good enough of a start.  I'm not really as intrigued by what may come from B&B as I am by Arrow, but the mystery was nice.  And it feels like it has been a while since we've done the detective with a supernatural partern trope, so I'm gonna keep watching for now.


What I'm Watching: Arrow

The new fall season has begun!  There's new genre shows aplenty, and I'm going to try and run down the ones I'm watching, and gives my thoughts on them.

Hopefully before they're cancelled.  *coughcough666ParkAvenuecough*

Let's start off with Arrow, the CW's answer to a lack of Smallville, by reworking the DC Comics' character, Green Arrow.

The episode opens with Olivier Queen, a rich, spoiled kid, being discovered on an island where he was stranded five years ago.  He's been believed to be dead by the world at large, so his return is a shock to everyone who knew him.

Once he's back, he sees corruption everywhere in his home city, and sets about putting things right, by crafting the guise of...well, I'm calling him Green Arrow, for the sake of simplicity.

It was a solid pilot, laid out all the pieces well, and left a few dangling mysteries to drive the series forward.  The characters are decent enough, and the cast is mostly biggest problem is Olvier Queen himself!  He's not terrible, but he just seems to be lacking a certain quality.  He seems to just be reciting lines half the time.  I hope the actor settles in over the course of things, because that's something that can get better as he grows more comfortable to Ollie's hood.

I felt the pilot was a bit by the numbers.  There weren't any huge surprises.  There was no moment that made me really want to see the next episode.  There is a TON of stuff in there for the comic fans though, that have promise for things to come...but those are further down the road, and not here.  I can't judge the pilot on what MIGHT come some day.

The hour had that feel of television, which kinda made it feel small at times.  But at least they chose a character that works for.  If this was someone in space, or with amazing powers, it might suffer more.  But a regular guy who is an awesome archer...well, you can work with that on a smaller budget.  And hopefully the show lasts and the budget gets better.

There is a lot of room for improvement on the show, but it starts out with a solid base, so there is hope that these issues WILL improve.  It is definitely not bad, and certainly watchable.

But hey.  It's a pilot.  I do not expect perfection.  I'll watch more, definitely.