Category Archives: Television

2020 Streaming Service Launches

You were supposed to watch Quibi during your commute
… except everyone is working at home or on semi-lockdown due to covid

The big Day One HBO Max content was supposed to be the much-awaited Friends reunion
… except due to covid the reunion has been delayed

Peacock was going to have all sorts of Olympics programming (and maybe even counter-programming)
… except the Olympics has also been delayed due to covid

Idea for Flash Season 3, Arrow Season 5, Supergirl Season 2

So I just watched the DC Animated Universe original movie The Flashpoint Paradox and it gave me an awesome (I think) idea for what the Arrow/Flash/and even Supergirl TV shows can do for their next season. Here’s the trailer for the animated film:

So at the end of Flash season 2, Barry goes back in time and saves his mother. This is the same thing that causes the Flashpoint Paradox story. What if the television show universe does the same thing. On Arrow, Oliver is darker. The world has changed. Maybe his dad or mom are still alive and Thea is dead or something? They could bring back Black Canary, too, and reset the “Olicity” relationship. The previous season was sort of a dud in my eyes and this could reset things. The finale ended with “Team Arrow” sort of disbanding anyway. Likewise on Flash they could follow the comic a little more and have Cisco and Caitlin reprise their evil roles as Reverb and Killer Frost, respectively. Considering they are moving Supergirl from CBS for the next season, maybe this Flashpoint could be an interesting way to reset that show, as well.

As for DC Legends of Tomorrow (which I also enjoy), considering it’s about time travel I figure it would be cool if it mentioned the Flashpoint but I wouldn’t be as disappointed if it wasn’t a major part of the story — though the fact that John Wesley Shipp, who played The Flash in the series from the 1990s is supposedly joining the cast as Jay Garrick could make for an awesome aspect to the Flashpoint storyline.

Either way, I loved Flashpoint Paradox and am really curious/excited to see how the TV show tackles this storyline. But considering how connected Flash and Arrow are, I would be disappointed if the Flash season finale only affected Flash/i>.

Fall 2015 TV Review

In case you all were wondering, here are some brief thoughts on the fall 2015 television season.

Favorite Shows

American Horror Story: Hotel – Even though I don’t know what is going on half the time I love the visuals and especially the music
The Leftovers – The opening scene of the second season was so surreal I’ve gone back to watch it a couple times now. Somehow this show feels perfect and magical. I enjoyed season 1 but I’m loving season 2.
PS: These two shows also have the best songs in them…

Favorite New Shows

Scream Queens – I’ve loved every Ryan Murphy show and this one is no different. Thankfully I went into it with enough American Horror Story experience so I knew not to worry about a coherent plot or anything like that.
Quantico – It’s cheesy but I dig it.

Shows I Dumped

The Blacklist – I didn’t understand or care what was happening and lost interest. I figure if after the show ends people say it was great I can go back and watch.

Shows I’m Wayyyyyy Far Behind On

e.g. shows that I figure I’ll watch eventually but let them build up on my Tivo

  • The Walking Dead – I started watching the season but it didn’t grab me and I’ve been bored with it the past few seasons.
  • Gotham – I watched the first two…
  • Fargo – I blame this on the episodes sometimes being so long. Plus I binged season 1 and I think that may be the best way to watch the show.
  • The Affair – Ditto. Binged this last year and even though I love it I figure it’s a good binge-able show.
  • Heroes Reborn – I got through the first 3 episodes and it didn’t grab me. I figure I’ll wait until it’s done and watch a couple episodes at a time.

Superhero Round-Up

Arrow and Flash – Love em! Some of my favorite shows to watch every week.
Heroes Reborn – See above. I’m behind on this one…
Supergirl – Somehow I remember the “leaked” pilot to be not as good as the one that aired? But I think I’m wrong. I’m enjoying it more than I expected.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – Unfortunately sort of “bleh” for me. I’m not loving the Inhumans stuff. That said, the where was Jemma? episode was absolutely amazing.
Gotham – See above. I want to love this show, I really do…

Best Shows I’m Not Watching

1. You tell me.
2. Anything streaming. I’ll watch those when I have days off later in the winter or something…

Nobody But Me

I always find it interesting when, seemingly out of nowhere, a song from the past suddenly starts appearing in multiple places. A few years back I noticed it was Frankie Valli (which I then figured had something to do with Jersey Boys).

Now the song “Nobody But Me” by the Human Beinz (originally by the Isley Brothers) is the “it” song.

I first heard the song a while back because a DJ I like named Pilooski included his own edit on one of his Dirty Edits mixes. (In what I can only call an awesome coincidence, Pilooski’s remix of “Beggin'” by Franki Valli was part of the reason I said Frankie Valli was suddenly popular last time…)

It wasn’t until The Office did their “lip dub” of the song in the season seven premier that I really noticed the song:

Also, around that time, the radio station I’ve listened to for years, KVI, switched from conservative talk radio to oldies so I started hearing the song on there, too.

But then the real strange thing happened and Nike started airing a commercial called “Throwdown” recently that used the song, as well:

I honestly think that The Office‘s use of the song inspired someone at Nike. It feels a little too serendipitous to me to think that the 2010-2011 television season suddenly realized that what it was missing was the song “Nobody But Me.”

Human Beinz performing the song:

Pilooski edit:
nobody but me (pilooski edit) by Pilooski (official)

The Isley Brothers original version:

Caprica Finale

Zoe and Lacey
I just finished watching the finale episode of Caprica (the spin-off/prequel to Battlestar Galactica) and my mind is whirling from it a bit.

This show, like Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles finds itself in the interesting position of existing within and challenging an extremely loved franchise. I’m fairly certain that with both Battlestar Galactica and Terminator there are a lot of fans who are drawn to the sci-fi elements, the cool special effects, the violence, etc. Then along comes this new television series for each that starts looking at the philosophical issues and complicate everything we knew before.

And, of course, both T:SCC and Caprica failed to attract the audiences of the original series and were ultimately canceled (at least T:SCC made it to season two… but to be fair the first half of season one was pretty by-the-book/boring/what people wanted).

So as I reflect internally on Caprica, I have a few thoughts that will mean nothing to people who didn’t watch the show (sorry 99.9% of the two of you who still read this blog…). SPOILERS AHEAD so if you haven’t finished the show or don’t want to, stop reading!!

Re: The monotheism/polytheism stuff: As an atheist I love anything that deals with religion (!!). The religious aspect was by far my favorite part of Caprica. I loved the mind-trip that was Zoe as the holy trinity (dead girl ghost Zoe, bodiless Zoe in the computer world, resurrected Zoe as the cylon). And I loved the conflict between one vs. multiple gods.

Re: the Willie is Bill Adama’s dead half-brother reveal: Based on what I’ve read around the internet, people hate hate hate this aspect of the finale. The more I reflect on it, the more I love it. Basically it’s showing how resurrection is accomplished without resurrection technology. “William Adama” dies and then a few years later he’s reborn as “William Adama” (though with different DNA, memories, etc. — unlike resurrection). The story also sort of parallels the Greystone’s loss of Zoe: a child dies and it’s unbearable to the point where replacing the child with a copy of the original is the only coping mechanism. To me it doesn’t feel like a cop-out or gotcha-storytelling. I think that had Caprica continued beyond season one some of this stuff might have been made more explicit.

Re: Lacey: I think everyone agrees that her story was the best. She went from Zoe’s sidekick/friend who was afraid to join the monotheist cause in the pilot, to unwilling participant in one terrorist cause to unwilling participant in another terrorist cause to leader of the monotheist movement. And she could control the cylons!

Re: “Trying to fit too many things into one show and not getting to the exciting stuff that would’ve been season two fast enough”: Sure, the epilogue at the end of the series that sort of gave us a hint of what season two would’ve looked like was totally awesome. And it seems that a lot of people are saying that they thought Caprica should’ve ignored all the other stuff in season one (Barnabus, the Vergis corporation, etc.) and gone straight to the juicy parts. I disagree because I really felt like throughout season one the creators were able to develop the characters and really build the world of Caprica. I really think the creators assumed the show would get multiple seasons and viewed the first season as a way to set up the rest of the series. Had they known the viewership would’ve been so low they may have opted to change things up a bit, but given the popularity and critical-acclaim of Battlestar Galactica I don’t think they could’ve foreseen the difficulties Caprica faced.

Re: “A sci-fi version of Dallas“: This is sort of how the show was first explained — that it would be a soap opera about two powerful families (Greystones vs. the Adamas) facing off and it just happened to occur with a sci-fi background. Well, this wasn’t what the show ended up being at all (to its benefit, I think). I wonder had they pitched the show as an examination of science and spirituality had it done better?

Re: Good. vs. Evil: I loved that I never could decide who was “good” or “bad” in Caprica. With Battlestar Galactica I always know that humans = good, cylons = bad. With Caprica it wasn’t so simple: While the STO were terrorists and did lots of bad stuff, I found myself really sympathizing with them or at least really loving Clarice and Lacey. As for the Greystones, toward the end of season one I was so sick of Amanda that I probably cheered when she presumably committed suicide during the mid-season finale.

That about wraps up my thoughts. I’m incredibly disappointed that I won’t be able to enjoy a second season of the show. If there is one light at the end of the tunnel, it’s that reading reviews of the finale sort of reminded me that I should pick up on Babylon 5 again. I stopped mid-way through season three and am thinking I should start it up again. Somehow, it seems, that show was able to start with a five-year plan and execute it (for the most part) without fear of being canceled. Everything is supposed to tie together much more neatly.

By your command.

Finale Thoughts

After last night’s disappointing (to me, at least [but I don’t have any overly insightful thoughts on it so I won’t really elaborate — I just thought it was too normal/straightforward/not-twisty-enough]) Battlestar Galactica series finale, I started doing some thinking on the nature of series finales (I seem to be watching a few this season: Boston Legal, The L Word, and now Battlestar Galactica (but unfortunately not Smallville which seems to keep going and going and going…).

Overall, I’ve been watching so much television lately that I feel like I’m starting to uncover some of the basic formulas and tropes used so much in television: there is often a single home/gathering place that everyone hangs out at… and, well, that’s the only one I can think of now — but I know I had more at one time.

Anyway, in my “analysis” of series finales, I’ve noticed that they tend to fall into three main categories. I purposely didn’t elaborate on my reasoning behind the shows so as not to spoil them. I think it’s safe to continue reading even if you haven’t seen some of the finales for some of the shows, yet.

Also: there is a bonus “type” of finale: The Flashback. But in my “studies” this seems to overlap with the three other categories, so I’ll note the episodes that use flashbacks with a *.

Total War: Especially in sci-fi shows with a “big bad” or overarching enemy, the series finale will involve confronting this big thing in a huge all-out war. It’s almost certain that some of our favorite characters will die in the process and in the end good will win. In non-sci-fi shows, this could also be considered the Nothing Will Ever Be The Same Again ending: something huge happens that affects the lives of everyone on the show (someone gets married, the office where people work closes, etc.) and the show has to end because, like total war, the premise of the series would be so different if it kept going.

  • Battlestar Galactica
  • Buffy
  • Angel
  • Boston Legal
  • Star Trek: Voyager (my favorite ending to a sci-fi show so far, by the way)
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
  • Sex and the City
  • X-Files *
  • The L Word *

Just Another Day: As opposed to Total War/Nothing Will Ever Be The Same Again, the Just Another Day ending tries to show that while this may be the final episode of the series, the lives of the characters we’ve come to love will keep going on just like normal. That’s not to say there won’t be any big events or resolutions to long plot lines, but for the most part Things Stay The Same or don’t change too much. The show could conceivably keep going after the final episode.

  • Six Feet Under
  • Roswell
  • Roseanne
  • Veronica Mars (this one sort of doesn’t count since the show was canceled…)
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation *
  • Arrested Development
  • Knots Landing
  • The West Wing
  • The Sopranos (depending on what happens…)

The final type of series finale is by far the worst (depending on the circumstances): The Unresolved. Sometimes this happens when a show is unexpectedly canceled and the creators cannot create a proper ending. Or sometimes it happens when a show is unexpectedly canceled and the creators don’t want to do a proper ending. While I am usually a fan of twists and strange endings in a show, these endings are mostly “I wish it wouldn’t have ended so soon”-type of endings.

  • Millennium (I think the show should have ended with the Total War ending that season 2 had)
  • Twin Peaks

So what do you think about my categorization? Am I off the mark on some? (I’m sure I am!) Looking to the future, which finales am I most looking forward to based on the shows I watch now? Lost, Weeds (this show goes in all sorts of crazy directions!), Desperate Housewives (so long as it’s not an overly-sentimental flashback-based one), and Damages.

Everyone’s Waiting

The dinner for Claire in the finale
I watched the final episode of Six Feet Under again last night. This is the second time I’ve gone through the entire series start-to-finish. I’m not one to cry very often from movies/TV shows (I can pretty much count the times: I cried once during Buffy the Vampire Slayer and twice during Friday Night Lights). But both times now I’ve completely lost it during the final scene of Six Feet Under (the final episode is titled “Everyone’s Waiting”).

Spoiler alert: If you haven’t watched this episode, I wouldn’t continue reading…

Continue reading Everyone’s Waiting

Swingtown Canceled

First it was Dirty, Sexy, Money, now I find out that Swingtown is canceled.

Swingtown was a short-lived show on CBS about swingers (but not really) in the 1970s. The characters were fun, the production design was excellent (you really felt like you were in the ’70s!), and the politics were smart (lots of issues around “women’s lib,” censorship, Nixon, etc.).

Imagine my sadness when I found out via the Swingtown wiki page that it’s effectively been canceled:

Show admitted that the series is canceled. [1]

Excerpt from TV Guide interview with Grant Show (Tom Decker).

“ Is it safe to say that Swingtown is all swung out? Show: Yeah, unfortunately. I mean, they haven’t released me and they haven’t made any official statements yet, but our contracts are all up in December. They’d have to have us back working before then, and I don’t think it’s possible to do that.”

I’ve been hoping that the limbo-status of the show for the past few months has meant that it might be returning somehow magically. Looks like that probably isn’t the case…

At least I can look forward to the complete first season arriving in my mailbox sometime next week.