Recently there is a brand new show I have been paying a lot of attention to (gotham), a few I have been following for a little while (The League, Marvel agents of Shield, Hell on Wheels) as well as a couple of shows that have just started their final season (boardwalk empire, Sons of Anarchy). Lets review them so far.
**** warning, spoilers below *****
The first two episodes were good, not amazing, but you get the feeling that it might actually have been slightly better with no connection to the batman universe. The stuff with Bruce and Alfred just doesn’t strike me right for some reason. First of all the connection between gordon and bruce seems forced. The show is named Gotham and is all about the batman universe but I kind of feel it would be better if they didn’t have weekly updates with Bruce wayne and Alfred.
I could be wrong though and maybe my opinion is based on wanting to see more grown up batman. The idea of how his younger years transpired is an interesting idea, but maybe it would be better as it’s own series. I also don’t like how unloving and lost Alfred seems. Once again, I’m probably wrong about this and just reacting to what i’m use to seeing from Alfred. If this was a story about young bruce wayne, way before the whole bat man begins tour the world and join the league of assassins thing, then having an Alfred who is out of his depth and more emotional is a great way to go. I guess I wasn’t really ready to invest that much thought into their characters. I would either like them to go almost completely away or have the show feature them predominantly.
It’s like when there is a movie or TV show and there is an ancillary character where you go, hey they should make a movie about him. Granted, that rarely works when they go do it, but i still don’t know if I like these quick little glimpses into the bruce and alfred relationship/dynamic. They are too long to be considered a tease/nod/cameo but too short to really sink your teeth into what might be a great story.
The rest of the show is good, not great, but i think right now they are doing a lot of building of the city and the characters. Not a lot of depth yet to the characters, which is to be expected, and i’m not sure if I can deal with a villian of the week approach with cameos by future gotham royalty like cat woman, poison ivy, the riddler, etc… that we have seen so far. I think the ongoing mob storylines are good thgouh, especially watching how the Penguin becomes a crime lord. The guy who plays him is perfect.. way better than Danny Devito.
I didn’t even realize this show was back on till someone reminded me last week. This show really is a crass football version of Seinfeld. That’s a good thing btw. So far the season is strong, and I love all the cameos in the first episode. I also love Ruxins wife. Check out the begining of the movie… Flight? shit i don’t remember the name, but its the Denzel washington is an alcaholic airplane pilot movie. My point is that she gets crazy ass naked in the begining of that movie because denzel likes being in bedrooms with latina actresses making their film nudity deput.
Think about it. Training day – Eva Mendez naked in the bedroom with him near the end of the movie.
Flight – Nadia vasquez… i think that is her name, she is all the way naked in a hotel room bedroom.
2 Guns – Paula Patton (wait is she latino, ok, light skinned dark skinned girls then) is topless in a cheap motel room kind of near the begining of the movie.
I really wonder if Denzel puts that as a rider in his contracts. Has he ever done a movie with Jennifer Lopez, or Eva longoria?
Marvel Agents of Shield
Last season finished pretty strong especially compared how lack luster the middle portion was. It kind of seemed like they were spinning their wheels until Captain America the winter soldier came out. This year the villain of the week(s) is better with the absorbing man being kind of interesting and with decent special effects to boot.
I like the stuff with fritz, but the handsome black dude sounds like he is sexing him up with his deep baritone voice every time he was talking to him in the 2nd episode. It seemed like the actor didn’t know the difference in how to add gravitas and a sense of urgency to your voice compared to adding a sense of “hey girl, i’m going to sex you right, boys II men walking on the beach talking portion of the song” inflection to his voice.
I digress. I’m not sure how I feel about the Ward being in love with sky thing since he is now coming across as super creepy and any thought of using him to create tension with Sky and hear feelings for him is just shot now in my opinion. She can’t ever say anything like “I still feel for him” and they can’t have him turn good and have a redemption arc since it would be just crazy after he sounded like a crazed stalker in the prison cell. I really hope they decide to just build him as a true villian capable of taking on their whole team.
Hell on Wheels
I originally started watching this show thinking it was going to be a guilty pleasure… which is a stupid term and a stupid reason to watch something. The first season was kind of up and down, but for the most part I lied it and the subsequent seasons seemed to get better as they went. The show never got to a point where it was great, but it was much better than a lot of other shows on TV. This season may be the best yet and kind of reminds me of the last season of Deadwood where a new big bad has come to town and it really shakes things up in a great way.
Plus, the whole thing with Eliam.. Elom? Elam… whatever, Common the Cowboy, that was good cause his death was probably the biggest death of the show in terms of a prominent character and what he meant to every one. I was surprised by it, but also thought they did a good job of tossing plenty of shades of grey all over that episode so you didn’t know who you really sided with at the end. All you know was that it was a sad event in the show.
The season is drawing to a close and I’m hoping that they don’t get rid of the big bad, unless they are going to bring the swede back for next year. If they do keep the big bad of this season I just hope they don’t keep him around for next season but in a nuetuered way. That would be lame.
This is the show at the top of my “What I want to watch each week” list. Previously it was mad men or game of thrones before they wrapped up their seasons. Before that obviously it was True Detectives and before that Breaking Bad. There is usually one show that draws my interest more than any other each week, and even if this wasn’t the shows final season, it would still win this prize even over the entry that is next on this list.
Last year was fantastic, particularly the stuff with Richard Harrow, so it’s going to be tough to live up to that now that he is gone. There are still plenty of characters, and having Nucky’s wife come back to AC was fantastic. The back and forth between them was fantastic, and reminded the viewer of how far each had fallen. Neither might admit it, but they aren’t in better places. Speaking of better places, Al Capone seems to be doing all right and the coming war between him and Lucky Luciano is something that we knew was coming since the first few episodes of the series.
Chalk White is still out there as is Dr. Narcists and i’m hoping their conflict gets resolved before the end of the series. With so many moving pieces it’s hard to imagine everything will get wrapped up in one tidy bow, but kind of like “The Shield” it might not need to. Many of the characters are going to keep moving through life after the show ends, so you don’t have to give them a definitive ending.
I still don’t understand why they can’t have this show go on another couple of seasons, but maybe I can hold out for a spin off where Chalky and Capone drive cross country where Al Capone goes around scaring the shit out of people with his mood swings and Chalky just quietly stares at people in an equally menacing way.
Sons of Anarchy
ughhhh. I don’t even know any more. I really like the first few seasons when Jax was the intellectual trying to pull his club out from the gutter while being spoken to by his shakespearean like ghost dad via a journal. Probably around season 4 they moved away from that and made it a dude soap opera where motivations aren’t nearly as important as cool or wtf scenes. I understand it has become a huge ratings hit for FX once they started targeting the show to the type of people who would un ironically wear SOA merchandise out in public. Still the show has really suffered.
The scene with Vennus Van Damme and Tig might be a perfect example. It had the undertones of something uniquely emotionally and powerful, but in the execution and the surrounding context just came off as bizarre. It just feels like there is a disconnect between the person who comes up with the outline and the person who writes the actual scenes. One person has an idea like “Holy shit wouldn’t it be awesome if Tig made out with Venus Van Damme” and then there are a bunch of Bro Cheers in support of the idea, and then some one else who is probably a phenomenal writer and knows how to build a moving story through subtlety of action and dialogue is assigned to write the scene.
Kind of like how Hell on Wheels is was better than most other shows on TV, SOA is better than a lot of stuff out there, just not that much better any more.