Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Batman-less Batman Show, Not So Bad

A new DC superhero (sort of) show aired Monday night on Fox.

"Gotham" tells the story of, well, Gotham, the home of Batman.

But, this takes place when Batman is less the Dark Knight and more the teenage boy.

I have said before how I'm over watching origin moments, especially the death of Martha and Thomas Wayne.

Well, Monday night we had to watch it again.

Fortunately, there were some nice differences with this version.

First, the scream by 13-year-old David Mazouz playing young Bruce Wayne was amazing.

Secondly, the scene ended and we weren't automatically transported 20 years into the future to see fully aged Batman terrorizing thugs.

No, we stayed right in the midst of the story to watch Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock investigating the murder.

Finally, according to the new show, the Wayne double homicide apparently had another witness: a young Selina Kyle.

Kyle, played wonderfully by Carmen Bicondova, looks the part of a miniature Catwoman.

In fact, all of the easter egg nods to Batman's supporting cast were amazing.

We get to see Edward Nygma (Riddler) working for the GCPD, Oswald Cobblepot (Penguin) working for organized crime and an unnamed comedian who might have been the Joker.

I will admit, I had a problem with a young girl introduced as Ivy playing with plants.

My wife immediately thought this must be Poison Ivy, but in the comics Ivy's real name is Pamela Isley.

The story itself is well done.

I also enjoyed the comic book-like color of the show which wasn't too bright like Dick Tracy, but also not too dark.

And, let's not forget the city of Gotham itself.

The flyover pans of a place which doesn't exist were very nicely done.

Overall, I guess I'll keep watching "Gotham".

However, seeing as how it's airing on Fox, we'll be lucky to get more than 11 episodes.

So, what did you think of "Gotham", Let me know in the comments...

Monday, September 15, 2014

"Listen" Gets It Right (A mostly spoiler free review)

The latest excursion with the Doctor and Clara sets a fantastic tone for the rest of the season.

Showrunner Stephen Moffat takes up the pen to write an amazing piece which takes us to new times and places.

The last time Moffat wrote an episode was the season opener, "Deep Breath".

I wasn't too fond of that one.

But, I think part of the problem with "Deep Breath" was Moffat had too much he wanted to stuff into Peter Capaldi's first outing as the Doctor.

"Listen" brings back the Steven Moffat of old.

Finally, we are treated to award winning episodes like "The Empty Child", "The Girl in the Fireplace" and "Blink".

All of them showcased Moffat at his storytelling best.

The latest adventture also gives a little more insight into Danny Pink who is rumored to become an eventual companion.

Capaldi once again proves why he belongs as the pilot of the TARDIS.

Jenna Coleman shines as Clara and continues to grow into an "incredible" companion.

I don't want to give away anymore, because some of the surprises will knock your socks off.

I will simply say, it's the first episode of the season which must not be missed.

Now, sadly, one episode does not a streak make, so it might be too soon to say whether the season is heading in the right direction.

Fortunately, the trailer for this week's "Time Heist" looks pretty good, especially with the possible return of Missy from episode one.

So what did you think of the episode? Let me know in the comments...

Thursday, September 11, 2014

"The Quest" Must Continue

Thursday night, ABC aired the finale for a massive experiment in reality television, The Quest.

The story began a few weeks ago when eleven normal people were chosen to visit the fantasy land of Everealm as paladins.

During each episode of the "reality" show, the paladins passed through trials to become the one true hero.

The show progressed with some wonderful effects and makeup.

We were treated to awesome spectacles like a fire-breathing dragon, a banshee whose cry sent chills up my spine and Verlox the Darkness who could have been pulled from any fantasy novel as the Big Bad.

There were also amazing moments from the contestants/paladins themselves.

Halfway through the show, one of them, Bonnie, sang a beautiful song she had written just about Everealm.

Near the end, Shondo gave an impassioned plea as to why he should be the one true hero to save the land.

The Quest also has a strong fan following already with the twitter hashtag #TheQuestArmy.

If you haven't seen it, you can watch the episodes on Hulu.

If you don't want to sit through the whole thing, just catch the last 30 minutes of the finale.

It is EPIC!!!

It even ended with a teaser at the end for a possible second season.

Sadly, while truly unique, the show has experienced low ratings even for a summer program.

If ABC doesn't choose to pick it up, someone must.

This show would do well on SYFY, but I would be willing to watch it on any channel chosen to renew it.

Whatever its fate The Quest must continue!

Did you watch the show? What did you think? Let me know in the comments...

Monday, September 8, 2014

What Happened to Who?

Doctor Who just finished airing its third episode in the strangely misnamed "Robot of Sherwood".

I have to admit, I am not thrilled with the direction this show is going this season.

First off, Peter Capaldi is still wonderful in the role of our title character.

We also have the same people involved with the show as we have for the past eight seasons.

But, something just seems off somehow.

Saturday's show was more of a fun-filled romp to visit Robin Hood.

I certainly don't have a problem with the fun episodes, and there were moments I enjoyed, but overall it just didn't work.

First off, the title gives the impression that Robin Hood is going to be a robot, but he's not.

Instead there appear to be many "Robots" of Sherwood rather than the one.

Purposeful misdirection aside, writer Mark Gatiss showed us a Robin Hood which was exactly like the legend including the stereotypical Merry Men.

The doctor admits to Robin Hood that he is forgotten in history and relegated to myth or legend.

Which isn't true.

Apparently the legend is spot on to the historical facts.

Robin Hood is Robert of Loxley who along with Little John, Will Scarlett and Friar Tuck robs from the rich and gives to the poor because of the oppression of the Sheriff of Nottingham,.

In fact, the whole thing was so unbelievable, the Doctor spent more than half the episode trying to disprove it.

Then there was the horrible ending which had the Doctor, Robin Hood and Clara teaming up to stop the robots taking their ship to "The Promised Land".

I think Gatiss and showrunner Steven Moffat failed to take advantage of an incredible opportunity.

In 1963, when Doctor Who was created as a children's show, the time machine was a plot device.

The TARDIS traveled back in time to teach kids about events in the past.

What was eventually dubbed "True Historicals" had the Doctor and his companions traveling to the French Revolution or ancient Rome or the OK Chorral.

These shows had no robots, aliens or spaceships, they just told the story of what historians believe happened.

Eventually the science fiction elements got added starting with the Meddling Monk in 1965.

The last True Historical of Doctor Who in my recollection was 1982's Black Orchid, a two part episode with the fifth doctor and companions traveling to the 1920s.

Gatiss and Moffat had an opportunity to do the same here.

If we suppose that Robin Hood, his Merry Men and the Sheriff were really this way, why add the robots and the spaceship.

All the elements were there, and the adventure could have ended with Robin Hood defeating the Sheriff like he did in Saturday's show.

Also, we could have done without that absolutely horrid ending with the gold arrow.

Overall I feel like Doctor Who is in a slump as everyone tries to figure out where the Doctor is headed.

I will continue to watch and have high hopes for this weekend's fourth episode: "Listen"

So what do you think of the season so far? Let me know in the comments...