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11/30/2015 Post con catch up

I spent much of the weekend at an anime convention. It was a nice change of pace, but now I'll busy catching up on a few things that I left undone so I could have a more relaxing weekend. I'll have a write-up for the con on Wednesday. In the meantime though, I've had way too many late nights over the past week, so I'm going to get some rest.


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11/27/2015 More TV

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Hope all my US readers had a great Thanksgiving. Mine was a lot of fun. I even baked a turkey by myself for the first time.

As a followed up Wednesday's post, here's the new TV shows I've been watching this season. I'll leave out a couple anime (Akame ga Kill and Parasyte Maxim) on Cartoon Network's Toonami block, since those aren't technically new, though it's their first time on American TV.

Heroes Reborn
The original Heroes was always a show that had its ups and downs. Some of the characters and story arcs were great, others were kinda dull, and there were way to many plot holes that worked their way in. Heroes Reborn is a mini-series that picks up several years after the original show ended. Many of the original cast have returned, which is cool, though a couple of the most important and powerful characters are MIA. So there's always that nagging question in the back of my mind of why Peter and Syler don't just show up and solve everything. That aside, Heroes Reborn has a lot in common with the original show. Some characters are great, others are a mess, and the plot bounces back and forth between gripping and mediocre. And, once again, there are a number of plot holes that keep popping up. So yeah. I'm enjoying it, and it's fun to see some favorite characters back, but it's a shame they never fixed any of the problems that dogged the original show.

I first got a look at Limitless at the Hawaii 5-0 premiere a few months back and I liked it enough to start watching. It's actually a spin-off / sequel to the movie of the same name. Watching the movie isn't required, but it'll give you a lot more insight into one of the characters. Anyway, Limitless is about a guy who ends up in possession of NZT, a drug that, for 12 hours per dose, essentially makes him the smartest person in the world. Due to his seeming immunity to its side effects, he's recruited by the FBI as a consultant. It's mostly a crime or mystery a week format, though there's a larger plot involving Senator Mora (the main character from the movie) and the origins of NZT. So far, Limitless provides a solid mix of mystery / crime drama and humor, kind of like Castle though a bit more free form All in all, it's the strongest new show I've see this season.

The Muppets
The recent movies got me back into the Muppets and I really like them and the old Muppet Show. But while The Muppet Show was a variety show, The Muppets is trying to be The Office. The setup is that Miss Piggy and Kermit have broken up, but he still acts as producer for her new late show. From that point on, it follows the format of The Office (complete with monologues). Anyway, it keeps the Muppets' personalities intact, which is good, and it has some laughs, but I never got into The Office and I don't especially appreciate the format or the primary type of humor. As such, I think The Muppets is ok (mainly for the characters) but I would have much rather had a revival of the original Muppet Show format rather than this new "modern" version.

If you're not up on DC Comic's lore, Supergirl is Superman's cousin, Kara, who was also sent to Earth before the destruction of her home planet. However, her spacecraft got stuck in limbo for a while, resulting in her arriving many years after Superman. In this new take on the Girl of Steel, Kara is assistant to the head of a media conglomerate and trying to live an ordinary life without her powers. But when her adopted sister's plane is about to crash, Kara reconnects with who she really is and decides to follow in her cousin's footsteps. There's some plots going on with escaped prisoners from the Phantom Zone and the mystery of what happened to her adopted father and how he was connected to the secret government agency she ends up working with. So far though, the whole show is just ok. A lot of people are giving it props for focusing entirely on a female super hero, but the story and characters just don't stand out. It's got the potential to pick things up, but it's hard to say whether or not that will happen. Either way, it's got a number of things that bug me, even as only a casual super hero fan. For example, going to such efforts to give Kara a support network rather than having her go it alone (they're pulling a bit too much from the structure of Arrow and The Flash). Then there's the fact that Jimmy Olsen left the Daily Planet to work at the same company as Kara. Plus he somehow became black. I mean, I've got nothing against racially diverse casts (Heroes, Lost, SHIELD, etc.), but I dislike it when they change the race of a well established character in the name of political correctness. Anyway, I'll keep watching Supergirl for a bit, but right now I don't know if I'll stick with it for very long.


11/25/2015 TV

The new TV season has been going on for a couple months now, so here's a rundown of what I've been watching (specifically currently running TV shows, not reruns or the stuff I watch on Netflix and Blu-ray).

New Seasons of Returning Shows

Adventure Time
Still weird, but entertaining and moderately funny. Some episodes, such as the recent multi-part story arc focused on Marceline, have been better than others, but so far the season has been solid.

The Amazing Race
For the first time in awhile, this season doesn't have any teams I actually hate, which is a definite plus. I'd still love to compete sometime, but for now I'll have fun watching it instead.

Bizarre Foods
This is one of those shows that never really changes but, being both a world traveler and a bit of a foodie, it's fun to see where Andrew goes and what he eats, whether those things look delicious or disgusting.

While I can't say I'm especially invested in the new "big mystery" they're slowly unraveling over the course of the season, the fun characters and solid mysteries keep this one of the more entertaining mystery series currently on TV. Though the whole "he's a mystery writer" angle seems to be all but forgotten, which is shame since, being a writer myself, I really enjoy that aspect.

Doctor Who
If you're a big fan of the darker scarier episodes of the series, this has been a good season for that. For me personally... I think the latest season is ok. I'm liking it better than last season, and it's given me a much more positive view of Capaldi as the Doctor. That said, he's still not one of my favorites and the series' penchant for plot holes and inconsistent writing continues. So yeah, it's a mixed bag. Though I should note that my opinion on the season as a whole could go up or down a bit depending on how they resolve the current story arc over the next couple of episodes.

The Flash
I really enjoyed the first season of The Flash, and season 2 hasn't disappointed. The new main plot line brings in a lot of classic DC elements and some cool new enemies and allies. It's an all around fun super hero adventure.

Elementary had a really late start this season, so it's hard to say much. Honestly, I don't find the characters nearly as engaging as the ones in Castle or many of the other mystery series I've watched over the years, the mysteries themselves tend to be clever though, which keeps me watching.

Gotham's second season starts to introduce more Batman villains, along with some solid original characters. This season is subtitled Rise of the Villains, which is fitting as it seems to be going even darker than season 1. Gotham is still a bit strange in that it tells the story of Gotham's biggest heroes and villains long before Bruce Wayne puts on his hood and cape, but it's got a lot going for it.

Hawaii 5-0
While the episodes remain moderately fun, and I'm a fan of some of the actors, one of the main reasons I watch Hawaii 5-0 is still for the local scenery. The story lines and characters are decent, but but not big standouts. If it weren't for the Hawaii angle, I'm not sure if I would have stuck with it this long.

Marvel's Agents of SHIELD
Season 3 of SHIELD revolves around the fallout of the events of season 2, specifically the rise of Hydra's new leader and the war with the inhumans. So far, this season hasn't grabbed me quite as much as the previous ones, but it's nice to see Colson back in charge and the show is still entertaining. I'm looking forward to seeing where the big new plot twist from last week goes once the show resumes after winter break.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
Honestly, I don't think this season of MLP is one of the better ones, but it still features solid writing and a good sense of humor. Enough to keep plenty of people besides little girls watching a show about cute magical ponies.

Once Upon a Time
The latest season of ABC's twisted fairy-tale series introduces new lands and characters (most notably from the King Arthur mythos and Brave), with the usual mix of big plot twists and the blurred lines between heroes and villains. I still enjoy it, but I have that nagging feeling from last season that they're dragging it out longer than they should. I mean, is there really any good plot reason for everyone to still be in Storybrooke? Plus, the whole amnesia element has been used way too many times, the writers really need to come up with a new approach.

Person of Interest
After the amazing fourth season, and its big cliff-hanger ending, I've been really looking forward to Person of Interest's return. And waiting and waiting... While the fifth season is confirmed (though with only 13 episodes), they still haven't announced the starting date. Guess I'll just have to anticipate it for a while longer.

The Simpsons
Everyone has their opinion of when the show was at its best, but I still find it funny and often quite clever as well. Nothing much has changed, but that's fine.

Star Wars Rebels
I never quite fell in love with Rebels like some Star Wars fans have, but it's a fun adventure in the Star Wars universe and a bit more even in plot and execution than Clone Wars was. The question is if they'll properly address the potential plot holes it introduces in regards to the films.

Whew, that's a long list... Anyway, that's all the returning shows (aside from a couple that won't be back until 2016 (Agent Carter and Galavant). Next time, I'm go over the new shows I'm watching.


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