What’s Good? (End of Summer… Spring 2017) Mega Post

Hello, dear readers.

I’ve been away. But I’m back now. Sorry about the wait.

“We missed you soooo much.”

Okay. Yeah. So I haven’t been on social media a bunch of late. I’ve been working on the way I relate to it. I’m addicted in a bad way. Addicted to likes. Addicted to views. And while it’s now no longer my only connection to the outside world, it serves an important purpose in my life and I’ve grown to like a lot of the people I’ve met on here.

You had me at hello, Tom?  “No.”

Especially people who follow and interact with my blog (you know who you are). And while I haven’t quite figured out how I will reconcile this, I have found that the people I meet in the real world (now that I go outside more often) aren’t really as interested in talking about movies and TV shows and books and games as you guys. So I think I’m here to stay. I just have to curb my attachment and stay away from politics.

“Did you get to the part where he says he’s gonna stay away from politics online? Isn’t that the cutest thing? Bless his heart.” “There’s no way.” “No fucking way.” “So cute with his little plans.”

While I’ve been offline, I’ve been watching a lot of good TV. And I also saw a lot of movies (good and bad). Thinking about it though, I haven’t read a book in years. (I don’t know what the fuck’s up with that). And as far as video games go… shit, I’m still trying to finish the first Bioshock (don’t judge me).

“No judgement. You suck at video games. Not a judgement. Just a fact.”

But anyway, there is so much good stuff to talk about from the Spring and the Summer just from TV and movies. So let’s get right to it.

But why don’t we get the bad stuff out of the way first this time around shall we?.

“You mean… that?”

Here’s a top ten list of the movies that I saw on my break that were pure shit.

THE WORST

Counting down…

10. Spider-man: Homecoming

Okay. That wasn’t Spider-man. Spider-man was in Captain America: Civil War. Russo Brothers gave us Spider-man. Whatever that was in Homecoming, I don’t know. Trying to start over with the web head learning how to use his powers is one thing. Having him hold his own against Captain America, Bucky, Falcon, et al and then having him go back to being inept is just confusing. Nope. Did not like what they did to my friendly neighborhood Spider-man.

9. Assasssin’s Creed

Ass-Ass-In’s Creed is fucking awful (double ass in). How could they not have known? Great action sequences and cool fights but little else. Confusing and infuriating and disappointing. (I absolutely love the video game series though even though I suck)

8. Sing

Let’s call this one Ringtones: The Movie (they cut off every song before they would have had to pay for it). This movie is annoyingly bad. And for a music lover, frustratingly music-less. Three second clips don’t make a musical. They make a medley.

7. Personal Shopper

Kristen Stewart is decent but the movie is boring as fuck. It doesn’t know what it wants to be. A thriller? A supernatural tear-jerker? A mystery? A stalker drama? A supernatural murder psycho stalker drama? Personal Shopper spends way too much time texting itself and not enough time making love to Kristen Stewart. This is like if Brian De Palma made a movie while he was asleep. Just directed the whole thing from bed. Never bothering to wake up at all. Personal Shopper was booed at film festivals and it’s easy to tell why. The main character spends most of the movie on her phone. Booooooooo.

6. The Dark Tower

Here is another perfect example of a movie that doesn’t know what it wants to be and just ends up being nothing. Is it sci-fi… horror? Is it for kids? Is it not? Make up your damn mind. The film-makers have forgotten the faces of their fathers. (Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Ridley Scott, Stanley Kubrick… [The paterFILMilias])

5. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter vs Underworld: Blood Wars

I was going to do a film comparison game show of these two films because they are essentially the same movie. But I got bored because they both sucked ass… equally. If they don’t do a crossover then they have no idea how completely similar these franchises have become to each other.

4. Colossal

Great idea but horrible ending. Anne Hathaway is fantastic as always but the ending of Colossal is so damn sloppy. It ruins what was good about it in the first place. Worth a look but prepare to be let down by the end.

3. Silence

Long, boring, confusing and racist as hell. I appreciate the artistry of Martin Scorcese but every time he does a movie about religion he seems to lose his fucking mind. Silence is so fucking racist. And there is not a character in it who has a basic understanding of either religion. I hate the movie Silence. And I wish it didn’t exist. I’m angry with everyone responsible for making me sit through it. The film-makers, the actors and the historical figures. Fuck em all.

Missionaries are awful racist people with awful racist agendas in places they should not be. Awful. To call the evil that these awful people encountered as being done by Buddhists is a new kind of evil. Those Buddhists are as much Buddhists as these racist missionaries are Christians. I hope they all burn in the hell of the other’s religion. That would be Karma. If you don’t understand what Karma is, Marty, Google it. That would also be irony. And if you… you know what, just look it up. Look everything up.

2. XXX: The Return of Xander Cage

XXX The Return of Vin Diesel is an international mess. Culminating in an appearance by Ice Cube at the end where he’s not even in the same country as the other actors who are in the same shot as him and it’s so annoyingly obvious and bad. The writing is bad. The acting is bad. The stunts are unnecessary and the fight choreography is impractical. XXX is fucking awful.

And the number one worst movie I saw this Spring and Summer was…

1. The Mummy (2017)

Swing and a miss. Honestly. How do you have Tom Cruise in your film and then not give him a character to play. Who the fuck is he? Also, is he comic relief? Is he anti-hero? Is he romantic lead? What the fuck? There is nothing good about The Mummy. It is confusing and over-simplified. How can a movie be this boring while at the same time being non-stop mindless action sequences. How did they even accomplish that?

Okay that’s over with. You can breathe now. The worst part is done.

Those movies were bad. Just set them all on fire and start over.

Burn Bitches

Moving over to the small screen for a second…

There was a lot of good TV this Spring & Summer. Here are a few honorable mentions.

Doctor Who came back with a new companion and although this was the weakest season of the new series, it was still ambitious and entertaining. I enjoyed Peter Capaldi’s Doctor even though he “petered out” toward the end. And I am really excited about the gender switch. I hope that’s why this season was so weak. They were saving the best stories to introduce the new Doctor.

The Leftovers ended its run just as strong as it started. This was a hugely satisfying series that took on some major taboo religious subjects and didn’t get all holy and preachy and in fact was always amazingly non-denominational and spiritually trippy. Very good show.

Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD gets a bad rap. I love this show. I enjoy the way every half season of this show has a different feel and theme. Drastically different from anything they’d done before. I love the characters and I love the quality of the writing. And of course the Fitz-Simmons love story is still getting the full Joss Whedon treatment. Meaning it’s FUCKING BRUTAL.

Fargo was sensational yet again. Here is an anthology series that keeps it tight while still being fucking insane. There were no performances this year like Kirsten Dunst in season two or Billy Bob in season one. but it was still thrilling and immensely entertaining. One of the best shows on TV.

The Americans is consistently good and in my opinion hasn’t lost a step. Things are coming to a head and this season mostly set up the end game but it was still great. Some of the best acting and writing on television.

Gotham is crazy. Crazy good. It wants to be ALL Batman versions at the same time and it does a great job. I really enjoyed the Penguin & Riddler story line this past season. I really liked the actress who played the young Poison Ivy but I’m fine with her having “sprouted” so to speak.

Sense 8 wasn’t as good as the first season and then it lost its Netflix funding. It’s an expensive show. Shot on location in several countries at once. Still one of the coolest concepts around but we can expect a finale movie and that’s it for Sense 8 (single tear). Season two was still quite enjoyable. Even if it had no chance to live up to the amazing first season of this sci-fi action drama.

Preacher is frustrating. I have to say, the first season of Preacher, the supernatural comic based crazy fest, really pissed me off. I couldn’t stop watching but it annoyed me, while still being intriguing and annoying and cool and annoying. The second season is a thousand times better, keeps the cool, drops the annoying. Well done guys.

Bosch continued its quality storytelling. This is a gritty procedural and murder mystery detective show with fantastic performances. If you haven’t seen it. Check it out. It’s very good. High on the cool factor. Like Justified meets True Detective.

Dark Matter wasn’t at its best this season either. There were a little too many running story lines and very little character development. But I still love these characters. Still love this show. And the character Porsche Lynn (or Number Two if you will) is a straight up goddess. Definitely wifey material. Just hot as all hell.

*And I just learned that they’ve cancelled it. YOU BASTARDS!!!

But anyway, that’s not why we came.

Those TV shows were entertaining but not the best. That’s not what’s good.

Here comes the best stuff now. I’m just gonna need for you to ask me the question before we get started… You know the one.

“What’s Good, Motherfucker?”

Don’t be shy. Say it out loud.

What’s Good?

I’m glad you asked.

Bring on the good shit.

THE BEST MOVIES

Zootopia (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Directed by Byron Howard & Rich Moore

Written by Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush, Jim Reardon, Josie Trinidad, Phil Johnston & Jennifer Lee

Starring Ginnifer GoodwinJason BatemanIdris ElbaJenny SlateNate TorrenceBonnie HuntDon LakeTommy ChongJ. K. SimmonsOctavia SpencerAlan Tudyk & Shakira

Zootopia is a very good movie about racism and prejudice using cartoon animals to make its poignant points. We do a meditation in my Tibetan Buddhist class that imagines all sentient beings living in peace and compassion. By all sentient beings we mean animals too. It’s a difficult thing to imagine soberly. So for me I always default to cartoon animals in movies like this where different species live and work together and don’t eat each other. Something that really shouldn’t be that hard to contemplate seriously.

If humans had spent their time solving problems for peace on the planet instead of making problems for profit these last few thousand years, we could have created the very balance that I have to imagine as a cartoon. Oh my god. I’ve really gotten off on a tangent, haven’t I? Zootopia is a good movie. If you haven’t seen it… do.

Office Christmas Party (Paramount Pictures)

Directed by Will Speck & Josh Gordon

Written by Jon LucasScott MooreTimothy Dowling and Justin Malen, Laura Solon, & Dan Mazer

Starring Jason BatemanOlivia MunnT. J. MillerJillian BellVanessa BayerCourtney B. VanceRob CorddryKate McKinnon & Jennifer Aniston

Office Christmas party is a funny movie with a talented and very funny cast. I usually don’t like your basic make it up as you go improvisational comedy but this one has a great cast, like I said, and they keep it fun and funny and really enjoyable. They’re all extremely likable and good at their jobs.

Kate McKinnon (from Saturday Night Live) is really coming into her own comically. (She’s the best thing about the horrible Rough Night and probably the only reason it doesn’t make the worst list). Olivia Munn, Jason Bateman (more from him later. HINT [It’s Ozark. Ozark is so good. I can’t keep a secret]) T.J. Miller (from Silicon Valley) and Jennifer Aniston are in their respective wheelhouses here and they make the movie surprisingly good. Rent it.

Paterson (Amazon Studios)

Written & Directed by Jim Jarmusch

Starring Adam DriverGolshifteh FarahaniBarry Shabaka HenleyCliff Smith, Chasten Harmon, William Jackson Harper & Masatoshi Nagase

Paterson is actually pretty good for a movie where nothing much really happens. Jim Jarmusch has created a little slice of a man’s life. Paterson is likable and affable and creative and his girlfriend is really creative and they are a fun couple to watch. Paterson drives a bus in Paterson New Jersey and he writes poetry in his notebook. He’s very Zen and very nice and while there are things that happen around him, he stays centered and it is enjoyable to watch.

His girlfriend, however, is a different kind of creative. She is a painter and a fashion designer and… I don’t know, a country music singer or something. They are an interesting pair. Paterson is a good movie. If you like James Joyce, you’ll like Paterson. It is a week in the life of an everyday creative, bar patron, dog-owning, bus driving romantic. Jim Jarmusch has done it again.

John Wick: Chapter 2 (Summit Entertainment)

Directed by Chad Stahelski

Written by Derek Kolstad

Starring Keanu Reeves, CommonLaurence FishburneRiccardo ScamarcioRuby RoseJohn Leguizamo & Ian McShane

Same old John Wick. This time the movie is a little light on substance. Not that the first one was deep or anything but I think I liked his motivation in the first movie more. They took his dog. However we don’t watch John Wick for the story. Do we? We watch it for the amazing Gun-Fu and John Wick Chapter 2 does not disappoint.

There are some epic battles in this movie. John Wick is wall to wall fight choreography much like the Raid martial arts movies (especially Raid Redemption). If you liked the first John Wick for the story. You may not like the second one. But also… what?

CHiPs (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Written & Directed by Dax Shepard  Based on CHiPs by Rick Rosner

Starring Dax Shepard, Michael PeñaRosa SalazarAdam BrodyRichard T. JonesKristen Bell & Vincent D’Onofrio

I read on the net that no one liked this movie. I don’t see why. It is what it is. And what it is… turns out to be very fucking funny. CHiPs is a lot of fun. It’s a little silly but with a really good heart. It is a direct reflection of its writer & director. Big, silly, good-natured, a little dumb, a little goofy (and married to one of the hottest women on the planet).

I enjoyed CHiPs because of the two stars; the amazing Michael Pena, who made Ant-man so funny, and the writer, director and star, Dax Shepherd. The two leads make the movie immensely enjoyable. And even though a few plot points are monumentally stupid, they are easily forgiven because of how good-natured and fun CHiPs turns out to be. I recommend it. It’s a fun and funny movie.

If someone told you that a movie based on the incredibly stupid TV show CHiPs was not going to be dumb, they lied to you. This is exactly what a CHiPs movie should be.

Kong: Skull Island (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts

Written by Dan GilroyMax BorensteinDerek Connolly, and John Gatins  Based on King Kong by Merian C. Cooper & Edgar Wallace

Starring Tom HiddlestonSamuel L. JacksonJohn GoodmanBrie LarsonJing TianToby KebbellJohn OrtizCorey HawkinsJason MitchellShea WhighamThomas MannTerry NotaryJohn C. Reilly

Wow what a great movie. Kong is a popcorn adventure with a great cast and story and some kick ass action. One of the best movies of the year. The soundtrack is phenomenal. The cinematography is gorgeous. It’s a throwback to the old monster movies and war films. One of the best over-sized monster flicks in a long long time.

Kong: Skull Island is like a cross between Apocalypse Now and Godzilla v Megalon. Skull Island is sensational. I was not expecting it to be as good as it is. And it plays itself down by not taking itself too seriously but that just adds to how good it is.

Kong: Skull Island is a sensationally fucking good movie.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Written & Directed by James Gunn  Based on Guardians of the Galaxy by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning

Starring Chris PrattZoe SaldanaDave BautistaVin DieselBradley CooperMichael RookerKaren GillanPom KlementieffElizabeth DebickiChris SullivanSean GunnSylvester Stallone & Kurt Russell

I am Groot. I am Groot. I am Groot. This is not your older brothers Guardians of the Galaxy. There was no godly way they could ever match the first film. This is the sophomore jinx at its worst. But it’s still a good movie. A lot more character development than you’d expect from a big budget blockbuster. And a lot of heart.

Volume 2 of the franchise is primarily about family. Fathers and Sons, Sisters, and Brothers in Arms. It’s a good movie considering that it will always be the lesser of the two cinematic siblings. But don’t talk to me about the music. There were a lot better 70s songs to choose from and the only stand out this time is Fleetwood Mac’s The Chain which is over-used. Still it’s good. Really it is.

Atomic Blonde (Focus Features)

Directed by David Leitch

Written by Kurt Johnstad  Based on The Coldest City by Antony Johnston & Sam Hart

Starring Charlize Theron, James McAvoy & John Goodman

Atomic Blonde is an epic spy thriller with some of the best fight sequences since The Bourne Identity. Charlize Theron is amazing. Like with John Wick, there isn’t a lot here except the kick-ass action. But that’s all you need.

Atomic Blonde fucks shit up. It also has one of the best 80s soundtracks around. The music plays a major role in the movie that takes place around the falling of the Berlin wall between the two halves of Germany at the end of the cold war.

As with all (good) spy thrillers, there’s a lot of twists and turns and intrigue and double and triple crosses and sexy sexiness and it is far from perfect but still pretty fucking good. And again, the fight scenes are amazing. Truly truly spectacular.

Wonder Woman (Warner Bros. Pictures)

What? You think I wasn’t gonna talk about it.

Directed by Patty Jenkins

Written by Allan Heinberg  and Zack Snyder and Jason Fuchs  Based on Wonder Woman by William Moulton Marston

Starring Gal GadotChris PineRobin WrightDanny HustonDavid ThewlisConnie Nielsen & Elena Anaya

Yes yes yes. Wonder Woman is the best thing since sliced bread… if sliced bread made you shit money the next morning. The bar was lowered by what came before it but honestly it didn’t have to be. I’ve seen the movie several times and it’s just a really good movie. Crowd-pleasing and exciting and fun and it doesn’t talk down to its audience. And yes it also had to make a lot of money to make sure that we get more like this and it has. It continues to break records. Do not hate it because it’s beautiful.

Wonder Woman did very well. So the Amazonians had to be more sexy than fierce. It had to have a big superhero ending. And if I’m reading the tea leaves correctly, I think this may save Warner Bros from itself and its massive “bro” attitude. I think they’re going to try to be a little more women friendly with their comic book movies.

Maybe they’ll give Lois Lane a bigger role next time around. I hear they’re making a Harley Quinn & The Joker movie. (The Sid and Nancy of comic book villains will get their own title). And they’re allowing Joss Whedon to do some character based re-shoots of Justice League to add more heart and give Wonder Woman a more central and leading role. These are all good things. because you know 300 boy, Zack Snyder, isn’t known for anything but testosterone based action. So Joss is the best thing to ever happen to DC and Warner. And I’m excited.

And yes yes yes, Wonder Woman is a very good movie. But at this point you really didn’t need me to tell you that. Do you?

Valerian and The City of a Thousand Planets (STX Entertainment)

Written & Directed by Luc Besson  Based on Valérian and Laureline
by Pierre Christin & Jean-Claude Mézières

Starring Dane DeHaanCara DelevingneClive OwenRihannaEthan HawkeHerbie HancockKris Wu & Rutger Hauer

Okay this is a tough one. Valerian and Laureline (what the movie should actually be called) is a well written and beautifully cinematic and picturesque space adventure. It reminds me of Fifth Element in a lot of ways. And it would be just as good if not for the bad casting. The casting is bad. They went for youth over experience this time around and the movie suffers because of it. The two stars have ZERO chemistry in their original language, Though they are fun to look at.

But I’m including it with my good movies because it can still be good with a little work on your part. Yes I’m talking to you.  I’m going to let you in on a little trade secret. All it takes to make this movie go from crappy to pretty fucking good is to watch a foreign language dub (preferably French)… with English subtitles. You’re welcome.

You see, sometimes when a director is working in a language that is his second or third, they can, while paying attention to stunts and marks and effects, let bad performances and crappy line readings slip through. A lot of it is left up to the performer. This isn’t Gary Oldman and Bruce Willis. This is two kids who made really bad decisions. So turn off their voices. Listen to the French (better line readings) and read the English subtitles. Now these two have gone from whiny little brats to cool young prodigies with just a flip of the switch. Again… you’re welcome.

Now somebody hand me the fucking remote…

“There it is again.”

This is where the good shit lives.

THE BEST TELEVISION

Turn: Washington’s Spies (AMC)

Based on Washington’s Spies: The Story of America’s First Spy Ring by Alexander Rose

Developed by Craig Silverstein

This brilliant show only lasted four seasons but we knew it wouldn’t be around long. it was about the American Revolutionary war. We know how that ended. We know when that ended. They didn’t drag it out. Four seasons. It was perfect.

I talk about TURN a lot because it’s really that fucking good. Turn: Washington’s Spies might have a strange name but it is one of the best shows in TV history. Fantastic from start to finish. This is one to binge and dive into head first, feet first, ass first, whatever.

The characters are amazing. The situations are suspenseful. This is some early American spy craft, thriller, drama, espionage shit. And some of the best writing and coolest story telling around.

American Gods (STARZ)

Based on American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Developed by Bryan Fuller & Michael Green

American Gods is sensational. I don’t know if you know this about me but I am a polytheist from way back. My step-father (I refer to him most of the time as my father) was a worshiper of the old gods. The Egyptian gods and also the gods of the east. He knew them all. And he knew what they wanted from us in order to make them dance. I always respected that. There was a lot of power in the old gods. They made themselves known. Most people I meet are still waiting for Allah to say something. Still waiting for Jehovah to open his mouth. The so-called ONE gods. You don’t have to wait for them.

In fact I believe there are more gods than there are humans. Let me repeat that. I firmly believe that there are more gods NOW than there were ever human beings on the planet. But anyway. That’s not why you come here. (or is it?)

Do you guys like it when I start talking about spiritual stuff? Or am I just making you uncomfortable? I guess it doesn’t matter. It wouldn’t stop me either way.

But seriously, I love this show. I love Neil Gaiman. He’s responsible for several of my favorite fictional worlds. And responsible for some of my favorite TV shows (and Doctor Who episodes and comic books).

But American Gods is so fucking good, it’s like… It’s like… Well it’s like it was made by the gods. I would not be surprised if Neil Gaiman were a demi-god himself.

The Tick (Amazon)

Based on The Tick by Ben Edlund

Created by Ben Edlund

The Tick is one of my favorite absurdist comic superheroes. He’s an indestructible good guy with not much in the way of brains but the purest heart one can have. Ben Edlund created a character and a world that is and has been the source of hours and hours of amusement for me. The animated series was amazing. The first live action series was amazing. And this too is amazing.

However Ben has pulled a fast one on us and only released half of the first season. he doesn’t like binge watching and well he’s done something about it. FUCK YOU BEN!!! Please put out the second half of the first season, you incredibly talented pain-in-the-ass. No seriously I love you. I love you madly.

Now stop being such a dick.

Fleabag (Amazon)

Created by and Starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Fleabag is sensational and heartbreaking and funny and not funny and well-acted and well-written and so fucking good it hurts. And it also hurts because it hurts. It hurts.

First you fall in love with the character and then… and then you get to know her. And Fuck. You’re already in love with her. Fuck. What a great show. I swear I went to High School with this girl. You know who I’m talking about.

The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)

Based on The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Created by Bruce Miller

I get that it’s not as good as the book. The Handmaid’s Tale is one of my favorite books. A bit dated now. So if you’re reading it now you might ask now how is this so different from what we have now. And I might answer by screaming until my voice went out and then silently screaming until my jaw locked up and then quietly crying until my eyes went blind. And then banging my head until I passed out.

These fuckers made reading uncool. Nobody reads anymore. And now we’re stuck in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and George Orwell’s 1984 and slowly sliding into Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 because nobody reads those fucking books.

Game of Thrones (HBO)

Based on A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin

Created by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss

This season of Game of Thrones was satisfying as all hell. So good. You know what I’m talking about. I started watching reaction videos on YouTube just to see other people see what I saw when I saw that awesome shit. So incredibly satisfying.

Game of Thrones has gotten so good since they caught up with the books and they don’t have to wait for George to write. Hell…  you want to know what’s taking him so long. He’s sitting in a dark room crying to himself. Realizing they made something better than he could ever do. Sorry Martin fans.

And it is my understanding that most of what happens in the last two books will be different than what we see on the small screen. But really why bother George. Why bother. The show is amazing.

Book fans, hate me all you want. But really I don’t give a fuck. I probably won’t read the books anyway. Reading is for suckers. You heard me. (and yes I heard myself).

The Defenders (Netflix)

Based on  Daredevil by Stan Lee & Bill Everett  Jessica Jones by Brian Michael Bendis & Michael Gaydos  Luke Cage by Archie GoodwinGeorge TuskaRoy Thomas & John Romita Sr.  Iron Fist by Roy Thomas & Gil Kane

Created by Douglas Petrie & Marco Ramirez

One of the best things I’ve seen this year so far. The Defenders did not disappoint.

I especially loved Jessica Jones and the way she made fun of Danny and Daredevil. The Defenders was the right amount of light-hearted fun and action. Because I don’t know if you’ve noticed, the Netflix Marvel shows are pretty heavy on the heaviness.

I’m hoping The Defenders will be the occasional respite from all the drama, plus some kick-ass team-up action. Now bring on Jessica 2 and Daredevil 3… and Luke 2 and believe it or not I wouldn’t mind seeing Fist 2. The Defenders even made Iron Fist better.

Halt and Catch Fire (AMC)

Created by Christopher Cantwell & Christopher C. Rogers

One of the best shows on currently, in its fourth season (but honestly you can start any where) with some of my favorite characters on TV. Like Mad Men for the computer age, Halt and Catch Fire is some of the best drama on TV.

I love these characters. Joe and Cameron especially are amazing but so are the other three. AMC makes good TV. Like HBO good but without the fee. I love this show.

Ozark (Netflix)

Created by Bill Dubuque & Mark Williams

These next two shows are the best things I’ve seen in ages. Artistry level in the brilliant spectrum. Ozark is like if Breaking Bad started in the middle. You know. When shit was already crazy. Jason Bateman has created an amazing crime drama.

Ozark is phenomenal. Great acting. Great writing. Superb directing. Start lining up the awards. Ozark is going to sweep. I kid you not. It is as good as Breaking Bad (of course Breaking Bad was consistently good and this is just Ozark’s first season) and Breaking Bad was the best thing to ever appear on a television set since its invention.

Don’t sleep on Ozark. It’s pretty damn good. That’s an under-statement. Jason Bateman launders money for the Mexican mob and… It’s one of the best things I’ve seen in a long time. Watch Ozark before it wins all the awards and everybody’s pretending they been watching it from the start.

I Love Dick (Amazon)

Based on I Love Dick by Chris Kraus

Created by Sarah Gubbins & Jill Soloway

I Love Dick is not a TV show. It is an art installation. It is a sexual and sensual performance that is hard to watch and at the same time makes you hard while you watch it. It is juicy. I’m sorry if that word offends your sensibilities.

Juicy like a ripe melon. Juicy like a plucked peach being slowly peeled. (Do we peel peaches or am I mixing metaphors?). Juicy like the first bite. The first damn bite of anything. The first bite of fucking ANYTHING. But it’s not a TV show. So it doesn’t belong on this list. Ozark is the best TV show. I Love Dick is something else entirely.

I need you to force yourself to watch I Love Dick. I need you to tie yourself to the bed and watch it all. Take it all. I Love Dick. Say it. I Love Dick. Take it all.

You can thank me later.

Or don’t.

I don’t care.

Do what you want.

———————————————-

And that’s it. That’s all for the Summer (and Spring)

Fall TV shows are back. But of course they’re not just Fall shows. They’re Fall Winter Spring TV shows. The CW heroes are back. Dirk Gently is starting up again. FOX has got a couple of sci-fi and comic book shows that they will undoubtedly cancel before it’s even next year. It’s god damn FOX.

And before you know it, the Christmas movies will open and just you try to keep me from blogging about them. Go ahead. No wait. Don’t. That won’t end well for anyone.

Right, Jess?

Just click the like button and we’ll call it even.

I’m so addicted.

– Mel

 

“Y’all got any more of them likes?”

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What’s Good? (Best of Winter TV 2017… & Iron Fist)

I haven’t done one of these in a while.

I guess it’s hard to make lists of what’s good in the world of entertainment when the real world is going to hell in a hand-basket… a hand-basket made of shit.

Once again, Legion, you’ve summed up my feelings precisely.

I know we can’t read tone and inflection on the internet. And sometimes the actual meaning of what we want to say is lost in its misinterpretation. So I’m gonna need for all of you reading this to picture the next sentence with ALL the sarcasm. (ALL OF IT!!!)

“The United States is in a really good place right now.”

“Is that supposed to be some kind of a joke?” “Hey. Hey. Hey. He didn’t mean it like that.”

So instead of spending all day in fear, I have chosen to escape to the land of nod. You know what I mean. While we wait for the next embarrassment, the next offense or the next outrage, I’ll be looking for the next distraction until the revolution starts. (which will not be on TV by the way).

Personally I blame the internet for all of this, but that’s a story for another time.

“Does that mean we WON’T be needing the goat?”

The goat stays.

What follows is a list of TV shows that are freaking unbelievably good and entertaining and well-written and sexy and escapist and brilliant and words fail me. And while it is true that I have talked about most of these in the past… THEY’RE STILL AMAZING.

I think Winter is my favorite TV season.

Let me explain…

“Get on with it, Melvin.”

The Americans is back and better than ever. That show has been consistently good from day one and will go down as one of the best in history.  Bates Motel is having their best season as well. Vera Farmiga has actually turned it up a notch (give the woman an Emmy already). Girls on HBO, just a couple of weeks ago, aired the best episode in its entire series run. A brilliant stand-alone story, that featured Matthew Rhys from The Americans by coincidence, which was just a conversation between a young writer and her creepy literary idol. (Rarely do I watch a show and then watch it again right after. I’ve already watched the episode three times. I wish it were a movie). The Superheroes on the CW are kicking ass on a weekly basis (even DC Legends has gotten better now that it’s embraced its fundamental silliness and monumental nerdy-ness).

Jane the Virgin lost its virginity but did not lose its creativity or its charm. And there are lots of new bisexual characters on my favorite shows. (That list is coming soon… it’s mostly women this time. Not my fault. There’s a shortage of bi men and an abundance of bi women recently. I’m not complaining. Well, I’m kind of complaining. I’m both complaining and not complaining. It’s confusing… that’s a joke). Star Wars Rebels has been amaze-balls this season. Running almost parallel with the events of Rogue One and setting up A New Hope (I almost want to spoil it but I can’t). BEN!!! (I couldn’t help it). Black SailsHomeland the list goes on.

But I’m not talking about any of those shows here today.

“Am I wrong or did he not just talk about them?” “Here comes the part we’ve been waiting for, sire.” “Well don’t just stand there. Keep cranking that monkey.”

What follows is a list of ten absolutely fantastic (relatively new) TV shows (with one notable exception…One of these shows is actually complete and utter garbage. But we’ll get to that one later… okay it’s Iron Fist… I can’t keep a secret).

So ask me the question already…

Go ahead.

Ask me.

Not THAT question, you idiot.

WHAT’S GOOD?

I’m glad you asked.

The Expanse (SyFy)

Developed by Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby

Based on The Expanse series of novels by James S. A. Corey

Starring Thomas JaneSteven StraitCas AnvarDominique TipperWes ChathamPaulo CostanzoFlorence FaivreShawn DoyleShohreh Aghdashloo & Frankie Adams

“It’s been too long since we’ve had a really kick-ass space opera.”  – George R.R. Martin

We’re in season two now, so if you don’t know The Expanse, you’re a little late to the party but there’s still time for you to catch up. There are three main factions in the 23rd century: Earth (Earthers, Inners, Tumang), all the power, all the resources, United Nations controlled, corrupt bureaucrats and corporations;

“Is that a gun in my pocket or am I just happy to see you?” “It better be a gun.”

Mars Colony (Martians, Inners, Pomang), lacking in resources but making up for it in military might, they put all their effort into building a strong military because they were tired of being Earth’s red-headed step-child;

“Unte kowlting gut, to pochuye ke?”

and The Belt (Belters, Outer Planets, Beltalowda), the workers, born in space, mining asteroids and the moons of Jupiter for water and other resources, no resources of their own, no military, but without them Mars would have no way to get water. Without them Earth corporations would have no leverage over Mars.

Kewe to pensa ere The Expanse, beratna?

There’s a war coming between Earth and Mars. I don’t know for sure because I haven’t read the books but it’s like winter in Game of Thrones; that shit is right around the corner. And yes I just compared it to Game of Thrones. The Expanse is THAT good. Great performances, great story, great direction, fantastic special effects. The Expanse is quite possibly the best thing on TV right now with a language all its own.

But while The Expanse might be the best thing on TV right now, it is not my favorite thing on TV right now. My favorite thing is…

The Magicians (SyFy)

Created by Sera Gamble & John McNamara

Based on The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Starring Jason RalphStella MaeveOlivia Taylor DudleyHale Appleman, Arjun Gupta, Summer BishilRick Worthy & Jade Tailor

“Did you bring me little cakes?” – Umber (Horned Golden Ram God of Fillory)

The Magicians is like if Harry Potter and Buffy the Vampire Slayer had a baby and that baby grew up to be as hot as Emma Watson is right now. Oh my god, I love this show so much. Seriously.

Queen Margo and King Eliot

The Magicians is also in its second season and if you’re not watching it… I don’t know, I question your judgement. This show is sensational. And I know I’ve said this a bunch of times but I’m just going to keep right on saying it. I love everything about this show. I love the cast. I love the writing. I love the world. I love the story. And I love that it is the most bi-friendly TV show since True Blood (and you know how I love to see healthy bisexual representation on my TV).

“Is he talking about bisexuality again?” “We get it. You like guys and girls. We’re over it.”

This show has it all. Magic. Mystery. Adventure. Comedy. Time travel. Six-fingered bad guys singing show tunes. Large magical creatures wearing diapers. Hot teachers. Hot librarians. Hot students. Hot teachers and hot librarians hooking up with hot students. Little cakes. Did I mention the little cakes?

The Royal Family

Just watch the show.

Next… more magic.

Emerald City (NBC)

Directed by Tarsem Singh

Based on the Oz book series by L. Frank Baum

Starring Adria ArjonaOliver Jackson-CohenAna UlaruMido HamadaGerran Howell, Jordan Loughran, Joely Richardson & Vincent D’Onofrio

“Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.” – Dorothy Gale

Okay Emerald City just ended its first season and I see a lot of people putting it down but I, for one, enjoyed it. You know me. I’m all in for a good re-imagining of the classics. And with Emerald City, Tarsem Singh created my favorite version of the Land of Oz. A steam punk meets Song of Ice and Fire meets Cirque du Soleil, Land of Oz with giants and warring factions and flying monkey drones and outlawed magic and witches… and guns. And witches with guns. I really liked this show.

‘I am the Wizard of Oz.” “I thought you were the Kingpin.” “Can’t a man be both?”

In fact, I loved it. And I sincerely hope it comes back for another season and I hope Tarsem directs every episode again. Because it’s so gorgeous that I wanted to watch each one again… and I probably will. If I ever find the time. There’s so much good TV.

Next… I don’t even know what to call this one. It’s not a superhero show.

Legion (FX)

Created by Noah Hawley

Based on Legion by Chris Claremont & Bill Sienkiewicz

Starring Dan StevensRachel KellerAubrey PlazaBill IrwinJeremie HarrisAmber MidthunderKatie Aselton & Jean Smart

“What is your name?”  – Jesus (from the bible)

“My name is Legion. For we are many.”  – Legion (also from the bible)

Okay. Okay. I watched the first episode of Legion, the new comic book based show from the creator of Fargo, and I was like, wow that was pretty bland. Then after the second episode I felt like I knew more what they were trying to get at and felt it was worth my time. After episode three I was seriously hooked. I loved the characters. I loved the sixties fashion. The tongue-in-cheek attitude. It’s amazingly original and fun and I was completely wrong about it. Well anyway, we’re six episodes in and it’s the best thing I’ve ever seen in my fucking life… IN MY LIFE!!! It is frightening how good this show is. Frightening. (I think I’m gonna cry… seriously)

“So tell me are we inside your mind or outside your mind right now?” “I don’t know.” “Well that’s kind of scary don’t you think?” “Scary is not the word for it.”

Legion is about a powerful mutant. The back-story is that he’s Professor X’s kid (they may or may not keep this for the show but it doesn’t matter) and he’s got reality warping powers. Basically he’s the most powerful mutant on the planet (possibly in the universe) with awesome god-like powers. Now, that would be boring for a story because basically he can do anything he wants at any time but… you see… he’s not entirely sane in his mind. Also he’s not entirely alone in there either. So most of the comic book takes place in his mind. His main bad guy is inside him. And if you’re thinking, well how the hell are they going to bring that to TV and make it enjoyable. They did it. They fucking did it. And I think I’m going to cry. It’s so good.

“What’s for dinner? Is it chaos again? Are we having utter chaos again?”

Legion is really good and done very well. Noah Hawley has done an excellent job. Fargo is one of the coolest shows on TV and Legion is right up there with it. But it still kind of frightens me because it could go so wrong so fast. I really hope it stays grounded.

And I also like seeing heroes coping with mental disorders in my fiction (almost as much as I like seeing bisexual heroes) It’s refreshing and it’s identifiable.

Oh shit.

To the list!!!

Top Ten Fictional Heroes with Mental Disorders:

10. StormX-Men – Severe Claustrophobia

9. Martin RiggsLethal Weapon – Suicidal, Manic Depressive

8. Tony Stark/Iron Man – Extreme Narcissist (comics), PTSD (movies)

7. Carrie MathesonHomeland – Manic Depressive – Borderline

6. Jason BourneThe Bourne Identity – Amnesic, Dissociate

5. Bruce Banner/The Incredible Hulk –  Multiple Identity Disorder, (Split Personality)

4. David Haller/Legion – Schizophrenic, (see also Demonic Possession)

“That’s me. Everybody dance.”

3. Bruce Wayne/Batman – Obsessive, Compulsive, Social Phobic

2. Sherlock Holmes – Obsessive, Compulsive, Narcissistic, Sociopath

1. James Bond – Dissociate, Extreme Sociopath (Bordering on Psycho)

It was a quickly thrown together list with very likely mislabeled or misdiagnosed disorders but it was fun to compile.

But anyway. I love Legion on FX. I love the casting. I love the story. I love that it’s funny and absurd and romantic. I love that they respect the source material, making it the most original and creative television show in history. Legion is almost too good. Nope. It is literally too good. Because shows that are this good do not last for long (And just thinking about it going away makes me want to cry).

Next… Aliens

Colony (USA)

Created by Carlton Cuse

Starring Josh HollowaySarah Wayne CalliesPeter JacobsonAmanda RighettiTory KittlesAlex Neustaedter & Isabella Crovetti-Cramp

“I’m sorry if I still have a little crush on Sawyer and Carl’s mom.”  – Mel 

Colony is finishing up its second season and it was better than the first. Colony is the story of Earth after alien invasion. Humans are separated into colonies by force and into two factions; Collaborators and Resistance, by necessity.

“Sawyer?” “Yeah, Carl’s mom?” “Do you think Mel will be able to imagine us as anything other than those two characters?” “With our clothes on or off?” “Good point.”

The two lead actors are both very hot, which adds to my enjoyment of the show (sue me. I’d like to have sex with both of these people Is that so wrong? Should I keep that to myself?). Josh Holloway and Sarah Wayne Callies play Will and Katie Bowman. One works for the authority and the other runs with the resistance. But it’s not like they’re on opposite sides. They are on each other’s side. It makes for a great story. And the writing is what I like best. Colony has a good premise. And a good mystery. And Carlton Cuse doesn’t slowly drip out the answers like he’s done in the past. We start learning about the aliens early on. But there is still a lot more to learn.

“Just as long as nobody moves and nobody mentions Prison Break we’ll be fine.”

The stories are gritty and cool and suspenseful. And the action and the political drama make Colony one of the best shows on TV right now. And season two cranks up the suspense and brings the rest of the family into the story. So they’re turning into a family of bad-asses and I love that shit.

Let’s move over to Netflix

Love (Netflix)

Created by Judd Apatow, Lesley Arfin & Paul Rust

Starring Gillian Jacobs, Paul Rust & Claudia O’Doherty

“I once had sex w/ a guy whose dick was so small I thought it was a clitoris.” – Bertie Bauer

Love is the story of two broken people trying to make a relationship work. It is quirky and funny and absurd (but in a yeah that could totally happen sort of way). It stars Gillian Jacobs and Paul Rust, one of the shows creators, who is not the best actor but embodies the character to a Woody Allen type level. But Gillian is the stand out here for me. She plays this fragile warrior sex addict to perfection and I just want to scoop her up and plop her on my couch. Him, not so much.

“Him not so much? What does that even mean?” “Well at least he doesn’t want to plop you on his couch. Plop me? Is that a euphemism? Is that a sex act?”

I find him more annoying than likable but it’s not a deal-breaker because it’s a very well-written show. And he is a three-dimensional character. I just sometimes wish he had cast another actor to play his part. But look at me, I’m finding fault in something I love. Blowing a little problem out of proportion. Like some kind of self-sabotage. Ignore me.

Do people still smoke? Is that like still a thing? I don’t get out much.

Love is very funny with a lot of great minor characters. The two main characters both work in entertainment, her in radio, him in TV. And the show spends a lot of time on their separate lives. On their work and on their friends. So when they come together, it’s almost like two separate shows connecting through them. It’s a brilliant structure.

“I’m not Woody Allen. I’m not even Jewish. I’m Catholic. And this… this is not Annie Hall.”

And I’m sorry I insulted it before. It’s always only been about them. I mean I like Catastrophe too. Catastrophe is a great relationship show on Amazon. But the characters aren’t as likable. Don’t get me wrong, I think Catastrophe is very funny. And it’s not like I like Amazon more than Netflix. And it’s not like me and Netflix were exclusive or anything. But look at me, talking about another show and another network in my review. I really suck at this.

“This oughta shut you up.” “You said that into my mouth.”

Let me explain. You see, I’m sort of TV addicted and it’s hard for me to commit to just one show or just one network. But I think I’m ready. Can we start over?

Travelers (Netflix)

Created by Brad Wright

Starring Eric McCormackMacKenzie Porter, Nesta Cooper, Jared Abrahamson, Reilly Dolman & Patrick Gilmore

“I distracted myself from the fear and terrorism by thinking about things like how the universe began and whether time travel is possible.”  – Malala Yousafzai

Here’s a show I just discovered on Netflix and was completely blown away. Travelers is a time travel drama like Continuum meets Quantum Leap meets 12 Monkeys. It is some of the tightest time travel writing around. This show is extremely well-written and intelligent and deals with Time Travel paradox in a smart and original way.

Protocol 4 – Don’t Reproduce

But, by far, the best thing about Travelers is the characters. Each of the “travelers” from the future assume the identity and take over the body of a person from our time who is about to die. Seconds before they die. So, first they have to save their own life and then they become that person. And from that moment on they have to pretend to be that person who should actually be dead, all the while knowing only what they learned about them from social media and computer databases in the future. Not the most accurate.

Protocol 1 – The Mission Comes First

The travelers have a precise list of protocols that govern their actions. This is another fantastic part of the show. Like mini prime directives (from Star Trek) that control their behavior so that they don’t do too much damage to the time-line. But if you know time-travel shows then you know that’s laughable.

Protocol 3 – Don’t Take a Life. Don’t Save a Life.

Travelers is an action and adventure show that’s good just from that perspective but it’s the drama in assuming and continuing the life of some one who would have died, that makes Travelers truly outstanding. This is some brilliant writing. With good performances. And a great cast.

Protocol 5 – In The Absence of Direction, Maintain Your Host’s Life

Travelers is fantastic and it has been renewed for a second season… THANK THE DIRECTOR. (that’s a Travelers joke. It’s very funny. Just watch the show)

Next… from Brazil…

3% (Netflix)

Created by Pedro Aguilera

Starring Bianca ComparatoJoão Miguel, Michel Gomes & Rodolfo Valente

“People who would go to an art house cinema and watch a (foreign) movie and read subtitles… it’s a small percentage.” – Steven Zaillian

The 3% is a science fiction drama from Brazil. Watch it with the subtitles people. I know that means you have to actually pay attention and you can’t look away for a few seconds to check your phones but it’s worth it for the original performances and not just the English dub. But if you need to watch it dubbed then watch it dubbed. I’ll just sit in quiet judgement. It really doesn’t matter. The story is awesome either way.

Michel Gomes as Fernando Carvalho

3% is an intriguing story about an overpopulated city in the future and a “process” they use to decide who gets to live in a Utopia just offshore. Only 3% get selected, young people, and they only get one chance to make it through the trials… the process.

Bianca Comparato as Michele Santana

Of course there are other things going on. There are machinations behind the scenes and politics and a rebellion against the process. And then of course there is a love story. And a story of survival. And redemption. And… the show is awesome. I kid you not.

3% has Tough Guys with pipes

But the main story follows several “candidates” as they go through the trials. It’s like The 100 meets The Hunger Games meets Logan’s Run. It’s very good. There are eight fantastically suspenseful episodes of the first season. But I honestly don’t know if it’s as good dubbed as it is with subtitles. I watched it with the subtitles on because I’m all like sophisticated and shit. But you can always switch back and forth, if you’re easily distracted. (I’m just kidding. I kept forgetting that there were subtitles. And I would look down to check my phone. And then realize that I didn’t actually understand what they were saying when I wasn’t looking. It was awful… the internet has destroyed us).

3% has Heartbreaking Romance

3% is a really cool Brazilian Netflix series that has been confirmed for a second season.

And then there’s…

Iron Fist (Netflix)

Iron Fist Poster Not Found. #IronFisted

Created by Scott Buck

Based on Iron Fist by Roy Thomas & Gil Kane

Starring Finn JonesJessica HenwickTom PelphreyJessica StroupRamón RodríguezSacha DhawanRosario Dawson & David Wenham

“His fist glows, he’s got a beard, he has enemies. Boom. Now let’s do the team-up thing.”  – Marvel Television

I know. I know. Let’s slam on the brakes for a second. Iron Fist is horrible. It is awful. It’s like instead of a script they had an eleven year-old kid flailing his arms and making kung-fu noises. “And then Iron Fist goes BAM. And then the bad guy is like POW. But Iron Fist’s got him in a headlock and WOOSH and then a kick and then a punch… got it? Okay? ACTION!!!” and yes the kid was also the director.

He actually farts and was trying to play it off by beating one of her students and that makes more sense than what happens on the screen in Marvel’s Netflix’s Iron Fist.

No honestly, it’s the worse show. But look at it this way. The Defenders can only be better. There’s no way it could be any worse. Iron Fist is total garbage. Netflix had painted themselves into a corner. Daredevil was amazing. And then Jessica Jones was even better than that. So then season two of Daredevil was only pretty good and we’re like maybe they leveled off but then… Luke Cage was fucking great too. It was too much good. And they had already committed to release The Defenders. So all they had to do was put out an Iron Fist series. And you get to a point where there is just too much good. And all that’s left on the creative pile is crap. The Defenders or Iron Fist or both was going to have to be crap. It’s the nature of the universe. It’s just basic physics.

Sometimes they have to sacrifice acting for fighting ability and sometimes they have to sacrifice fighting ability for acting chops. It’s rare when they sacrifice both for naturally curly hair.

So what Iron Fist did was it took one for the team. It used up all the negative space. It sucked up all the crap. And it lowered expectations for the team-up. Iron Fist is as relatively bad as all three of the other Marvel Netflix origin seasons are good… combined. It’s that bad. It’s so bad that The Defenders is going to be Earth-shattering by comparison. You can’t get worse than Iron Fist without losing subscribers. You also can’t make something that cheesy looking and not realize it. The sets are laughable. I thought I was watching old Star Trek reruns. They show the kid being beaten by monks in what’s supposed to be a monastery in a mystical city but they look like they’re in a re-purposed janitor’s closet. It’s bad.

Why does Iron Fist have an erection? Does anyone know? And why is he on a Star Trek planet?

It’s impressively bad. The dialogue is practically offensive. It’s so awful. They used to sneak out of the monastery to have donkey meat? Where is this donkey meat cart located? Or are they killing someone else’s donkey, eating a very small part of it and leaving the rest to rot? Unless he’s talking about sucking a donkey’s dick, it makes absolutely no sense. I can’t start talking about the show critically because I’m just going to get angry.

“No questions… yes, you have a question?”

But I’m still recommending that everyone watch Iron Fist. You’ll want to turn it off after episode three but don’t. And no it doesn’t get any better. It actually gets worse. There’s no humor. There’s no romance. And the so-called bad guys are totally right. Danny Rand is an awful person. As one guy puts it. He’s the worse Iron Fist ever. But… Oh my god. There’s a scene where Iron Fist is being chased through a crowd and to blend in he picks up a mask and puts it on his face. DOESN’T CHANGE HIS CLOTHES or his jacket or anything. He isn’t facing the guy chasing him… like as if that would matter anyway. But then he loses the guy because he doesn’t see him wearing that dumb mask. There is no way they couldn’t tell what they were making was garbage. There’s no way they couldn’t tell. It had to be made shitty on purpose.

“Yes we did just fly to China on a private jet and kidnap someone and take them back to America with us on that same private jet… why do you ask? Is that hard to do?”

So now I’m convinced that Iron Fist was made bad on purpose. And I want to thank the makers. They took a bullet for the team. Pour out a little for the dead on arrival Iron Fist. I mean it is monumentally awful. Truly, truly awful. But it can only serve to make The Defenders look incredible by comparison.

And lastly one pilot from Amazon…

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon Pilot)

Created by Amy Sherman-Palladino

Starring Rachel Brosnahan, Tony Shalhoub, Marin Hinkle & Alex Borstein

“Women are smart and funny. Get over it.”  – Eric Cartman

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is about a 1950’s housewife who decides to become one of the first female stand-up comics. It is a fantastic period drama about comedy from the creator of Gilmore Girls. And it has that quick-witted Gilmore Girls style to the writing and the dialogue. But the best part is the marvelous Rachel Brosnahan in the title role.

“Who makes a toast at her own wedding? I do.”

Mrs. Maisel is the story of the most amazingly funny and smart and cute and remarkable woman. It is hard (really hard) not to fall in love with her. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is like Mad Men meets 30 Rock meets I don’t know Buffy? It’s the story of a pioneering female comedian in the late fifties. Maybe she’s Phyllis Diller. Maybe she’s Carol Burnett. Maybe she’s amazing.

“Yes my phone has a cord connecting it to the base. That’s how you know it’s the fifties and not the eighties or the nineties. Why do you ask? And where the hell is my microwave oven?”

She’s awesome. I love funny women and the show makes you fall in love with her almost immediately as she deals with the 50’s era and then accidentally discovers that she has a talent for making people laugh. It’s just a pilot right now but please check it out. It’s the best they have this season on Amazon. I watched them all. There’s not a lot of good there. And I hope The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel doesn’t get buried in that pile because it’s great even when compared to established shows. It’s just a thousand times better than the other pilots this season.

“Dear Diary. I can do so much better than this schmo. Love Midge. PS. I have half a mind to tell the driver to take me to Mel’s house. But it’s the fifties and he’s a negro.”

And I really really really want to see more of her… of it… I mean the show… of the show… okay I’m in love with the character. Bring her back. I have a thing for funny smart women (Fictional, Non-fictional). I always have. It’s a sickness. I find smart and funny women sexy as all hell.

Watch The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime Pilot Season… please.

So that’s what’s good.

Find these shows. Watch these shows. Love these shows as much as I do. And then you’ll be all caught up and ready for the return of Doctor Who, Game of Thrones and Dark Matter. Just to name a few.

“Om Mani Padme… um… um… I want to say Om again but that can’t be right.”

Man. When I was a kid there was like a handful of superhero shows and a few more space adventures and a couple of sword & sorcery shows, but they were mostly all crap.

You kids have it so much better than we did.

We had to watch crappy science fiction on TV all the time.

AND YOU NEVER THANKED US!!!

– Mel

Spared or Spoiled Movie Reviews: Don’t Think Twice

The rules are simple. The good get spared. The bad get spoiled.

Don’t Think Twice (The Film Arcade)

Written & Directed by Mike Birbiglia

Starring Keegan-Michael KeyGillian Jacobs, Mike Birbiglia, Kate MicucciChris Gethard & Tami Sagher

It’s been proven that it’s hard to make a successful drama about comedy (or comedians) because the audience doesn’t know what to expect. Don’t Think Twice is a movie about funny people. The situations aren’t comedic but the characters in those situations are. It is a very good movie but as with all dramas about comedy; The King of Comedy, Jo Jo Dancer, Funny People, Obvious Child or Mike Birbiglia’s Sleepwalk With Me, it is a hard sell. It is a hard sell because it’s easy to expect a laugh a minute from these movies and be disappointed. Because serious movies about comedians are usually kind of depressing. Show me a comedian who isn’t quietly in pain and I’ll show you someone who only thinks that they’re funny. Don’t Think Twice handles this contradiction beautifully. The director Mike Birbiglia knows the subject well and does an excellent job of bringing it to the screen. Don’t Think Twice is really funny when it’s funny, but still really good when it’s not.

Verdict: SPARED

Don’t Think Twice is a movie about the skill of comedy improv and about a comedy troop of six friends. Each one, dreaming of success. And success for them is presented here as a call up to the show. (The Show is a baseball term for making it to the major leagues). “The Show” is an SNL type comedy called Weekend Live. They all dream about it. They all know someone who made it. And it all feels very real. Don’t Think Twice stars a bunch of funny people. Some stand-up comedians, some sketch comedy veterans, but all of them amazingly good in this as it hits close to home.

Mike Birbiglia plays the elder statesman of a group of twenty something actors. He was their improv teacher and he performs with the six-man crew at a little theater that charges five dollars for a chance to see extremely likable people make it up as they go along. It’s very cool. I wish I could do stuff like that. I love making people laugh.

One of the best things about Don’t Think Twice is that it is scripted. Completely scripted. I hate when directors turn the cameras on and let funny people wing it. As a writer (god I still call myself that), it’s insulting and it’s a continuity killer and stops the story in its tracks. In basketball it’s like passing the ball to a ball hog. You’re not getting the ball back without a fight. (a basketball is the big orange one that makes watching TV in March unbearable). I don’t know how this review became about sports but I’m just going to roll with it (like in bowling).

In Don’t Think Twice the theme is team work, one of the hallmarks of good improv. But as the group begins to compete to impress talent scouts, the idea of “Yes and…” (a central tenet of improv) becomes “No. But…” and the movie becomes a great example of how competition ruins friendships. Just like in sports, there is no I in team (a team is a group of athletes who work together to score points and win the game). Don’t Think Twice also shows us how not to act when a close friend succeeds and we don’t. And also how something like unilateral success can affect romantic relationships as well. Don’t Think Twice is a very good movie about the life of the show-biz adjacent.

Don’t Think Twice is wonderful. Great performances, great writing… and it’s very funny. It can’t help but be funny, it is about and it stars very funny people. But Don’t Think Twice is not a comedy. It is a great drama. There is pain behind the laughter and it’s beautifully performed. Keenan-Michael Key is fantastic, as is Gillian Jacobs as his girlfriend. I really loved Gillian in Community, but honestly everything she’s done since has been fantastic. I loved her on Girls. I love her in this. And the Netflix show Love (two seasons so far) is phenomenal. I love her in Love… love, love, love.

And Mike Birbiglia handles both of his jobs extremely well, directing and acting. I really like his direction here. You can tell it’s personal for him, and for all of them.

When you pull the drama mask from the actor, you find a professional at work. Someone who may be nothing like the characters they play.

When you pull the comedy mask from the fool, you find a comedian in pain. Someone who needs to make people laugh in order to keep from crying.

Don’t Think Twice is a funny drama. But make no mistake it is a drama. And also it’s very funny.  It is a beautiful, low-budget drama about show business and comedy and friendship and improv and varying degrees of success. And I enjoyed it profusely. It’s a really really good movie.

– Mel

Sense 8 Christmas Special (god bless us… every one)

So yeah I didn’t know this was happening. It’s like a Christmas miracle.

You guys know how much I loved Sense 8… well

Check this shit out.

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMFG

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMFG

It looks like it’s gonna be sappy… but like in a really good way.

I know what I’m doing the week between Christmas and New Years (AKA the year’s taint, AKA the dead zone, AKA the darkest week of the darkest year of the darkest timeline)

Watching This…

then The Doctor Who Christmas Special

And then this again and then Doctor Who again

And then…

– Mel

What’s Good? Fall TV Mega Post 2015

Okay guys. I’ve watched so much TV lately this is gonna be a big one. There is so much good TV now, I’m a little overwhelmed. TV is so good now and getting better all the time. Netflix, Amazon. I had to sample everything. All the comedies. All the dramas. Well not everything but everything that looked like it was aimed at my demographic. You know… the cool people like you and me… and maybe this guy.

limitless meditation

you are a blogger “I am a blogger.” you will complete what you start “I am a blogger.”

I got seriously overwhelmed and stopped working on this post because the list just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger. A while back I did a TV Mega Post in ten parts with more than 100 shows. I could seriously do another series and it would look completely different after just two years. So I just gave up for a while and let the bad guys win.

The-Man-in-The-High-Castle

Not those bad guys. I’m talking about laziness, frustration and doubt. Not Nazis.

But I’m back now. So a few times on the list I mention seasons and episode numbers but that was back when I started this list. I made some cursory updates but even that was overwhelming. THERE’S JUST SO MUCH GOOD NEW TELEVISION.

Luke Cage and Jessica Jones

“Cheer up, Luke. I think he’s talking about us.” “You wanna have sex?” “Again?”

And then of course there were all of my returning favorites, my court case and my Mets, not only making the playoffs but going all the way to the World Series. Woo hoo.

LET’S GO METS!!! (oh yeah, they lost long before I posted this)

Supergirl-pilot

“So you won’t be needing a cheerleader then. How embarrassing… Back to fighting crime.”

But first…

Before we get this epic party started, my girl, Nicki Minaj has a question for Miley Cyrus.

Go ‘head Nicki.

Miley What's Good

“What’s good?”

No fighting on my blog, ladies. At least not before we’ve poured the jello into the kiddie pool and listed all the great new shows. But if you were to ask me what’s good, Nicki. Now that I’ve finally compiled this list of new shows, I could tell you.

So go ahead.

Ask me.

No really. Ask me…

WHAT’S GOOD?

I’m glad you asked.

New Fall Shows are very very good. And there are so many of them.

THE INCREDIBLE NEW FALL SHOWS

There are a lot of new shows that have quickly become must see TV. It’s difficult to list them all. But I gave it a try. Starting with the enjoyable…

Limitless

Limitless (CBS) Limitless is a very funny show. I watched the movie to prepare for the series but you really don’t have to. Bradley Cooper has a cameo and the main character is sort of doing a Bradley Cooper impression but he’s extremely likable and funny. I also like that the pills don’t give him super powers but just better memory and concentration and yet I still think Sherlock Holmes would beat him in a mental powers of deduction battle.

Life in Pieces

Life in Pieces (CBS) This is a new turn on the sitcom. It’s more like a family sketch comedy with four short stories each episode from four families within the same extended family. Don’t look for the stories to connect much. They rarely do. There is more connection between episodes than within one. The cast is superb and the characters are fleshed out and three-dimensional. You know these people well within the first half hour. The acting and the writing of the sketches make this one of my favorite new shows.

Quantico

Quantico (ABC) I have to admit that part of my enjoyment of this show is how hot the cast is. It sports a collection of very hot FBI trainees. (The FBI wishes it were this hot) But the story is interesting and the characters, although cliché at times, are designed to throw us off the scent of who is the real villain, as our lovely hero searches for the traitor who blew up Grand Central Terminal. The traitor from her graduating class at Quantico.

quantico-abc

It’s a flashback show where we jump back and forth from her time as a trainee and her life on the run, after being framed for the bombing. But really it’s just eye candy. They’re all so pretty. The main girl is gorgeous. Even their instructors are hot. Also they make good music choices on the show. But my favorite is all the jumping in and out of bed with each other. Quantico could have easily been called Young FBI Agents in Love.

Minority Report-FOX

Minority Report (FOX) I’m still enjoying this show. (It just ended) I liked the leaked pilot a lot. But the official pilot changed the ending completely and included more interaction between the other two pre-cogs (Good changes). Sometimes Meagan Good’s body is a little distracting because she’s just pow pow pow (damn) and every time Wilmer Valderama is on-screen I have to question myself because he’s actually pretty good in this and that’s confusing. But I like Minority Report because I like the world and the original story (by Philip K Dick. More from him later) and the original movie is one of my favorite films. And I hope FOX gives it a fair chance. I’d love to see a season two. (Probably won’t)

The Muppets

The Muppets (ABC) The Muppets is good. The Muppets would be a good show if it starred live actors. But these are puppets. Puppets we know. Puppets we love. Puppets with attitude. I love this show because it isn’t silly. It could have so easily been silly. It plays real with authentic emotions and relationships and I fucking love it. The whole thing with Kermit and Piggy being exes is sensational. And I get why it makes people uncomfortable. Muppets in adult situations. But I love this show.

Muppets with Cell Phones

I was not the biggest fan of the original Muppet Show (but I remember it, I watched it) This is something else entirely. Truly I can’t explain how genius this show is. I even teared up during an episode. I care about these characters. And not because I know them from the movies or Sesame Street but because of the show’s emotional honesty and realism. They’re not just puppets they’re *sniff* they’re family.

The-Grinder

The Grinder (FOX) Jake Kasdan is making good TV. He knocked New Girl out of the park and now he has another hit on his hands. Grinder is sensational. First and foremost the cast is amazing. Rob Lowe plays an actor who is famous for playing a lawyer on TV, the wonder years guy plays his brother; an actual lawyer, the waitress from It’s Always Sunny is the lawyer’s wife, The best friend from Eastbound and Down is his partner. What a great collection of TV actors (Of course I don’t know any of their names). The writing is good. It’s a family workplace hybrid. Very very funny. But it’s the cast that does it for me. Just perfect casting. Jake Kasdan does it again.

The Last Kingdom (BBCA) This is a decent show. Reminds me a lot of Vikings from The History Channel. Except that this one’s in England before it was one thing. A lot of great violence and drama. The Last Kingdom season one was fantastic. And now I can’t stop yelling “Arse-ling!” at everybody.

Jessica Jones

Jessica Jones (Netflix) Probably one of the best things you’ll see this year. Netflix’s new Marvel hero for hire is bloody fucking awesome. I knew I would like it. I just didn’t know how much. Here is a show that was made for me. With one of the most frightening villains on TV. David Tennant and Krysten Ritter do amazing jobs. I’ve watched the entire series twice and plan to watch it again. Fantastic in every way. Jessica Jones is a superhero show for adults. Even more than Daredevil. It certainly gets sexier than Daredevil.

Jessica Getting Busy

And much more brutal than Daredevil. And scary as fuck. I love Daredevil, don’t get me wrong. But after watching both series twice, I’m thinking Jessica Jones is a little better. (Jessica is definitely better the second time around because I spent the entire first viewing in sheer terror. It is some scary shit, people).

Jessica Jones and Kilgrave

I can’t wait for Power Man and Iron Fist. And I don’t expect any crossover episodes on any of the Netflix Marvel shows because Netflix is planning a separate crossover series called The Defenders. Which just going by how well it’s going so far, is going to be freaking fantastic. Netflix is re-writing the rules and doing a really great job.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (CW) One of my favorite new musical comedy shows. I am slowly falling in love with the crazy ex-girlfriend. She is amazingly wacky and relate able. Like a cross between Lucille Ball and Lilith from Frazier with a lot of musical theater thrown in. And the songs are outstanding. They are so funny.

Crazy ExGirlfriend

My favorite joke on the show has a rap star finding out what women go through everyday and saying to himself, “I gotta apologize to some bitches.” And it’s just a throwaway line but it’s so fucking funny. I love this show.

Scream Queens

Scream Queens (FOX) Emma Roberts is sensational in Scream Queens. The show is very funny. Extremely silly. It’s like that Agatha Christie comedy Murder By Death except updated for the 21st century. I love that somebody dies in every episode and the fact that it seems unsustainable because there’s hardly anyone left anymore. I wonder, if there is a season two, if they’ll pull an American Horror Story (same guys) and bring back the same actors in a different location, playing different parts. I hope so. The cast is the best part. And the writing. Cast and writing. The dialogue has me on the floor every episode.

Supergirl

Supergirl (CBS) Fantastic superhero drama. Just as good if not better than The Flash and Arrow. Love the cast. Love the emotional themes of each episode. Loving the superhero learning curve and the way that everyone in her life knows her secret. There’s no, barely believable and convenient, thing where her best friends don’t recognize her without glasses on. I mean there’s still a little of that but at least it’s not the people closes to her. Just her boss who never really looks at her anyway. A very good show.

Speaking of really good shows…

The Man in the High Castle

The Man in the High Castle (Amazon Prime) This fucking show is gonna win sooooo many Emmys. I’m not kidding. Just for costume and production design alone. But also for writing and acting and directing. High Castle is truly an epic TV show. Based on the story by Philip K Dick, The Man in the High Castle is the tale of a world where the Nazis and the Japanese won the second world war…

Aikido Class

…or did they? Maybe it just looks that way. Maybe some other kinds of shenanigans are going on. What a fantastic concept. And what a great execution of a fantastic concept. Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. This is some serious drama (with hints of science fiction… little hints). Watch this fucking show. That is an order.

The Man in the High Castle US Map

And now to the old favorites that are still going strong.

THE STRONG RETURNING SHOWS

Homeland

Homeland (SHO) I still love the show. Mostly because Clare Danes is still amazeballs as Carey Matheson, CIA agent extraordinaire. Though when I learned about the graffiti artists writing anti-Homeland graffiti in Arabic on the walls in the background of scenes and the show not having anyone on staff that could read it. I have to agree with the artists. Homeland is racist. If just for the fact that it’s set in and has characters speaking the language but had no one on staff that could tell them that the words on the walls were insulting the show to the Arabic speaking world. Sorry. That alone means you’re racist. Either no one on staff told you or no one on staff could read it. Both are bad.

Homeland Poster

Homeland is still a great show though. Does that make me a horrible hypocrite?

Gotham-season-2

Gotham (FOX) This show gets a lot of shit for being crazy and whacky but it’s just trying to be all things to all Batman fans at once. 60’s Batman (TV show). 80’s Batman (Burton, Schumaker), ’00s Christopher Nolan Batman. And the millions of comics and cartoons. It is the prequel to all the Batmans. All of them at once.

Gotham Season Two

And I love the look of it so much. The 50s clothing. The 70s cars. The 90s tech. I love the cast. I love this show like crazy even as it gets crazier and crazier. It is the prequel to all the Batmans. All of them. ALL of them.

Prequel All The Batmans Meme

Prequel All The Batmans!!!

Green Arrow

Arrow (CW) Loving this season though it might just be that I didn’t like the last season very much. However, I am aware that all they’ve done so far this season is setting up the new Legends of Tomorrow series. It’s still good though. And Felicity and Oliver together is pretty cool. They’re handling the relationship beautifully.

The Walking Dead (AMC) Yes you can tell that the show has a different person in charge and I, for one, think this is the best the show has ever been after just three episode. Three amazing episodes. (ah five weeks ago. How my views have changed) TWD had a flat Fall finale. But I remember how excited I was at the beginning of the season. It just didn’t maintain that level and I was disappointed. (What a difference five weeks make) Hope they get that magic back in the second half of the season. I was so disappointed.

The Leftovers

The Leftovers (HBO) Wow what a nice shift. This show is awesome now. It was okay last season but now it’s one of the best things on TV. I’m blown away after four episodes. Each one completely different than the next. Just wow. (Ah five weeks ago…

the-leftovers-season-2-texas

but since then it has only gotten better) Maybe the best thing on TV right now. Still good. Still very good. Still fucking good. Still fantastic actually.

iZombie cast

iZombie (CW) Also still good and fun and nerdy and my girl is doing great work with all the new personalities each week. My favorite line of the series was earlier this season when Liv is trying to explain her former roommate to her current roommate and she says “A long time ago we used to be friends.” I actually squealed in delight. It was embarrassing. The show is still fun and funny and cool. iZombie is cool as all hell. I love it.

Empire (FOX) It occurred to me that after five or six seasons they won’t have to write any more new songs and they can just have the characters play the hits for the remaining seasons. The music is great. The music is the best part. Timbaland is doing work.

Agents of SHIELD

Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD (ABC) The best I’ve seen this show so far. I knew all we had to do was to trust Joss and company and it would get better and better. The characters are all fully formed and I care about them and the stories are interesting. SHIELD is a great television show. Maybe one of the best.

Previously on Fitz and Simmons

But the Fitz and Simmons love story is heartbreaking. (We shipped them. They heard us. And now they are crushing our hearts) This is good stuff people. If you gave up on the series you’re missing out. It’s gotten seriously good.

Fitz Simmons Feeeeeels

Oh dear god, the feeeeeels.

Fitzsimmonsgif

Reign (CW) Reign is just as sexy as ever and with a few new hotties in the mix. The costumes are still gorgeous and I still love it. Reign is still a good show.

Speaking of good shows.

Star Wars Rebels

Star Wars: Rebels (Disney) Another great season of Star Wars Rebels. I love this show and I love that it’s canon. It fills the space between the prequels and the original series. The Clones Wars series covered from Attack of the Clones through Revenge of the Sith. This one picks up a few years after that with many of the same characters. It’s good.

The Blacklist (NBC) The Blacklist gets better every episode and it’s as good now as it has ever been. James Spader is awesome. That is all.

once-upon-a-time-season-5

Once Upon a Time (ABC) I’ve always loved this show and the way it reinvents fairy tales and Disney princesses and movies. But most of all, I love the way it reinvents itself. There are two themes per season, one in the first half and one in the second. The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, Frozen, Robin Hood, Brave. They put our heroes and those well-known characters through their paces and explore them and dissect them and flip them on their heads. But this season has been my favorite. Dark Swan in Camelot is the best.

American Horror Story Lady Gaga

American Horror Story: Hotel (FX) In my opinion this is the best season of American Horror Story so far. I thought I’d miss Jessica Lange but Lady Gaga has more than made up for her absence. I’m loving the music choices as well (Bela Lugosi’s Dead). And Mare Winningham is sensational. She makes me laugh so hard with that voice she uses. It’s so fucking funny. (“Sheed do anything forah dollah.”) This season is a nice change from Freak Show. I didn’t like Freak Show very much. Hotel is so sexy and so bloody and so funny. But you might as well just call it American Horror Story: Lady Gaga. The woman is riveting. Her screen presence is immense.

Fargo TV Poster

Fargo (FX) This season of Fargo is fast becoming my new favorite current show. Anthology series rock. This one is hysterical. And the performances are incredibly good. Kirsten Dunst is amazing. I smell an Emmy in her future.

kirsten-dunst-fargo

“Oh stop it, you.”

And Jeffrey Donovan and the whole cast, everyone is fantastic. I loved the first season of Fargo but the second season makes the first one look like public access cable.

Fargo

Extremely well done. The direction. The little Coen Brothers touches. How every song is from another Coens movie. Or the fantastic way that it feels like some of the scenes are lifted directly from their films.

Fargo Cabin Fever

I love love love Fargo. So much fun and so funny. But also very brutal and very violent. And very cool. Some of the coolest dialogue on TV.

Fargo-season-2-Waffle-Hut

Okay. There are even more shows. I just can’t list them all. So I’ve got to stop somewhere or this could go on forever. I need to move on.

The Knick (Cinemax), Nashville (ABC), Scandal (ABC) I need to move on.

Elementary (CBS)… Stop it!!!

Let’s move on.

To the real world…

Mets Winning

The Mets Win The Pennant!!! I was excited for my Mets but they weren’t ready for the big dance. They’re much too young. Too many rookies. First time in the playoffs. But I can still be happy that, in their first years, we made it all the way to the World Series.

Mets Celebrate

And with the pitching staff being as good as it is, my Mets will be in the race for years to come (at least five). But if you think about that World Series, (and I hate to think about that series) we were ahead in the ninth inning with at least one out in four of the five games. Our manager and our closer and then our hitters weren’t ready for the pressures of a late game comeback. Much like the Royals experienced last year.

The Mets Pitching Staff

We’ll be back next year. Mark my words. These pitchers are too good. It’s almost unfair.

My Court Case is Over My court case is over and I don’t have to pay the launder a dime. He lied in his deposition. Perjured himself for absolutely no reason. He had me dead to rights but he wanted more. He wanted revenge. He more than doubled his repair costs. I broke two window panels. He wanted me to buy him new doors. And he told the police he saw me do it personally. That he was an eye witness. When he didn’t. He wasn’t. He lied. He’s an idiot. He loses. I win. Game over.

And finally… What’s Good?

This song right here.

I love this song. I know it’s been out for a while but I’m really loving the Munster’s theme song sample. One of my favorite TV theme songs and they use it so well.

Fall Out Boy – Uma Thurman

“I slept in last night’s clothes and tomorrow’s dream but they’re not quite what they seem.”

And now for everything there is a dark side…

WHAT’S NOT so GOOD?

…or some shit that sucked.

THE BAD NEW SHOWS

I don’t have time for these shows. I tried them out. They were bad. Especially Heroes Reborn. Heroes Reborn is the worst big budget broadcast drama in television history.

Rosewood (FOX) Rosewood is a boring procedural. If I don’t like the characters, I can’t get into the show. He’s a pathologist with an incurable disease and she’s a hard-nosed cop with anger and trust issues. Will they make it work? I don’t really care.

Moonbeam City

Moonbeam City (Comedy) Bad animation art (Duran Duran?) and a twisted sense of humor. Some people will like this. I did not. I couldn’t watch more than one episode.

Heroes-Reborn

Heroes Reborn (NBC) I could dissect this show for all the things wrong with it. Logic, Writing, Continuity, Oh my god the Acting is so bad. Story, Music, The Special Effects are awful. Everything about Heroes Reborn is bad. It is so annoyingly bad.

Okay. No more TV shows. I can’t talk about TV any more. So on the lighter side…

The Eiffel Tower

The Paris Attacks First of all Daesh can kiss the crack of my shiny metal ass. I’ve never been to Paris. Though many of my friends have and I dream about going (I probably won’t. Just being honest). My good thoughts and well wishes go out to the city and to the people and to anyone who is living less of a life because of these attacks. To anyone who’s more afraid because of it, and anyone who feels like they have to keep their compassion in check to keep from being hurt again, know I love you. I hope you can find a way through the pain and the fear and into the sun and into the joy and into the light again. Because that’s what hurts the terrorists the most. That’s what hurts ISIS or Al Quiada or Christian Radicals or Misogynist Assholes. More than bombs and guns and angry words and fiery speeches and sanctions and no-fly zones, It’s Love… and Life and Liberty and Laughter… and Light. Vive la France. Vive la Paris.

Christmas Tree for One

The Holiday Season (or The Christmas Tree for One) Long time readers of my blog may know that this is my least favorite time of year. I’m sorry to all the Christmas lovers out there. But being alone for the holidays is the worst. Not because you’re alone mind you, but because the season constantly reminds you that you’re alone. I don’t mind being alone. Truly I don’t. But this season relentlessly hammers against the skulls of the solitary that they are the only lonely people in the world. That something must be wrong with them to be alone at Christmas. It’s annoying. And it gets to the point where you have to convince others (and even yourself) that you’re okay with it. That you’re okay alone. I’m okay alone. But people don’t believe it. You can see it in their pitiful eyes and their pained smiles. And it’s because every ad, every show, every song, every post, every little reminder of Christmas cheer screams at every reveler and every little Christmas elf to pity the lonely, to pity them to the point where you start to pity yourself. Merry Christmas.

Oh shit… Don’t look now. There are more TV shows coming up.

TOO SOON TO TELL FALL SHOWS

These are the shows on my personal bubble.

Blindspot

Blindspot (NBC) I was ready to hate this show after a few episodes but I love Ashley Johnson so much and I love her character. And they came with a couple of Ashley-centric episodes and I was hooked. So I’m still watching. Waiting for more Ashley.

Blindspot Ashley Johnson

The tattoo premise is played-out. The fact that they solve a tattoo minutes before an attack is too convenient to happen so often. But I’m going to keep watching. There are two new shows that feature the former kick-ass stars of the great Cinemax show, Strike Back (Now done). They’re both on the bubble. There’s Blindspot and also…

The Player NBC

The Player (NBC) The Player is getting better with each episode. I’m a big Wesley Snipes fan and I’m glad he gets to kick much ass in this. There’s a techie here too. You may notice that I have a thing for the techie character in shows (especially when it’s a hot girl). Here we have a hot British computer genius and she keeps me coming back. Also the fight choreography is very good and there’s an interesting premise.

The Player - Season Pilot

Just like the tattoo thing from Blindspot, it’s a played-out premise as well; a secret society of wealthy international crime bosses. But here they enjoy betting on crimes and that’s pretty cool. Plus, like I said, the fight choreography is great. And Snipes is a badass.

THE SHOWS WE LOST (GONE TOO SOON)

Continuum-The-Final-Season

Dominion (Syfy) 2 seasons

Defiance (Syfy) 3 seasons

Continuum (Syfy) 4 seasons

Lost Girl (Syfy) 5 seasons

May they rest in peace in rerun heaven.

All of the good science fiction shows are dying early deaths because they never have a big enough audience to justify their special effects budgets. Continuum ended well. Very satisfying. It was good to the last moment. In the end Lost Girl was a shadow of its former self but at least my girl Kensi came back. And she came back strong.

Defiance Syfy

Defiance was good until the end and I’m going to miss those characters a lot. But Dominion was just too biblical for its own good. However, the cast was very hot. All four shows are gone but not forgotten. And at least we still have Dark Matter. We do still have Dark Matter don’t we? Don’t cancel Dark Matter.

But so as not to leave you with a bad taste in your mouth. Here’s more Fall Out Boy. This song is from 2005. Didn’t know I was a Fall Out Boy fan did you. Well I am.

This here is one of my favorite songs of all time.

Fall Out Boy – Dance, Dance

“I’m two quarters of a heart down. And I don’t want to forget how your voice sounds. These words are all I have so I write them. So you need them just to get by.”

“This is the way they’d love if they knew how misery loved me.”

Coming Soon to What’s Good: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Agent Carter, 2016: AKA My Fucking Best Year Ever, The first chapter of my book online (coming soon I swear), a long snowy winter (fingers crossed), Doctor Who, Downton Abbey, Getting Back to My New York Museum Tour and The Expanse on Syfy.

Coming Soon to What’s Not so Good: A short brutally cold winter (because of global warming [more deadly than all the terrorists in the world combined]), Christmas, New Year’s and all the stuff that they bring. In particular, Heavy Drinking.

Told ya it was going to be a long one. (That’s what he said) Now here’s a little more Ashley for you guys. My girl is gorgeous.

Ashley Johnson

Until next time,

– Mel