Archive for September, 2014

Forever_(U.S._TV_series)_Title_Card

Episode: 103
Airdate: September 30, 2014
Directed by: David Warren
Showrunner: Matthew Miller
Written by: Janet Lin

Tonight’s third episode of Forever focuses on the theme of immortality. This is not surprising, given the premise of the show; but in this case, it’s the efforts of our ever-increasing aged population to find the secret to their own “fountain of youth.” But what happens when people taking a youth enhancing formula start to die? Click through after the break to read my full review.

<<Spoiler Alert: This review of Forever Season 1, Episode 3 “Fountain of Youth” will contain discussion of plot events in the episode. Click through if you dare.>>
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Gotham Splash

Episode: 102
Airdate: September 29, 2014
Directed by: Danny Cannon
Showrunner: Bruno Heller
Episode Written by: Bruno Heller

Last week’s series premiere did it’s best to establish just how dark and corrupt Gotham is, and how difficult the job Jim Gordon [Ben McKenzie] has in front of him is going to be. Tonight, as the episode title suggests, we get to know a little bit more about one of the characters who will likely be playing a major role in the series: Selina Kyle [Camren Bicondova], the young Catwoman. Last week I expressed concern over Bicondova – she is pretty good at doing set poses in conspicuous locations (and isn’t conspicuous kind of the opposite of stealthy?), but she wasn’t given a single spoken line. So the real question is: can this actor, who will play a significant role moving forward, actually act? Click through after the break to find out.

<<Spoiler Alert: This review of Gotham Season 1, Episode 2 “Selina Kyle” contains spoilers – click through only after you’ve watched the show!>>
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Z_Nation_promo_poster

Episode: 103
Airdate: September 26, 2014
Directed by: Michael Robison
Showrunner: Karl Schaefer
Written by: Eric Bernt, Craig Engler

While this could definitely have been a slice of “Philly Cheese Steak” based on how things have gone so far in the opening run of Z Nation, tonight’s episode may finally be showing hints of that thing the show has been lacking: a team-building episode that combines forgiveness, understanding, and a certain degree of kick-assedness that has, frankly, been missing so far. Is the show a contender with The Walking Dead? No, nor will it become one – but it might become something worth watching on its own merits, if the hints of promise here pan out. Click through for my full review.

<<Spoiler Alert: This review will discuss S01E03 of Z Nation, “Philly Feast,” including direct references to plot points and events in the episode.>>
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Forever_(U.S._TV_series)_Title_Card

Episode: 102
Airdate: September 23, 2014
Directed by: Sam Hill
Showrunner: Matthew Miller
Written by: Matthew Miller

The two-night premiere of ABC’s new series, Forever, concluded tonight with Henry Morgan [Ioan Gruffudd] working on a new case with Detective Jo Martinez [Alana De La Garza]. Since exonerating himself of murder in the opener, it is implied that the two have now formed a working relationship. Despite the end of last night’s episode suggesting that tonight would be about a rare missing sword showing up in a dead guy’s chest, the story had no relation to yesterday beyond the relationships already established. Click through for my review of the episode.

<<Spoiler Alert: This review of Forever Season 1, Episode 2 “Look Before You Leap” will contain discussion of plot events in the episode. Click through if you dare.>>
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AGENTS-OF-SHIELD-logo Season 2

Episode: 201
Airdate: September 23, 2014
Directed by: Vincent Misiano
Showrunner: Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen
Written by: Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen

Tonight marked the season 2 premiere of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., introducing a leaner, smaller, and frankly, more endangered version of the super spy agency. With Coulson beginning his tenure as Director, and HYDRA still a very real danger all around them, their job is not going to be easy. Consider also that the US military is treating every S.H.I.E.L.D. agent as though they were HYDRA as well, and the job gets nigh on impossible. Their first task, then? Get together the personnel and materiel that will help them survive – even if that means making sacrifices. Click through after the break for my review.

<<Spoiler Alert: This review of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S02E01 – “Shadows” – will discuss plot points and events in the episode. Read at your own risk!>>
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Forever Poster

Episode: 101
Airdate: September 22, 2014
Directed by: Brad Anderson
Showrunner: Matthew Miller
Written by: Matthew Miller

In an interesting move, one which I suspect we’ll see a lot more of in the future, ABC chose to release the pilot episode of Forever more than a month before the show’s network air date. I didn’t watch it at that time, catching it for the first time tonight. Episode two will be airing tomorrow night, meaning that we get to see a fair bit of development right away, and will thus get a sense of where this show might be headed. Click through after the break to get my full take on this new fantasy/drama.

<<Spoiler Alert: This review of Forever Season 1, Episode 1 “Pilot” will contain discussion of major plot events in the episode. Click through if you dare.>>
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Gotham Splash

Episode: 101
Airdate: September 22, 2014
Directed by: Danny Cannon
Showrunner: Bruno Heller
Episode Written by: Bruno Heller, 16 other credits

Tonight saw the premiere of Fall 2014’s most anticipated show, FOX’s Gotham. Telling the story of a young Detective James “Jim” Gordon [Ben McKenzie], Gotham is going to show the origins of the members of one of the comic book world’s most storied rogue’s galleries of villains, not to mention that of a certain caped crusader. Comic book series, traditionally, have been somewhat camp, winking over-broadly at their origins, and the perceived audience for comic books – juveniles with juvenile sensibilities, ignoring completely the actual demographic of comic book readers. Finally, it appears that this is changing. Last year’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. showed that camp can be done with serious themes; tonight’s Gotham, taken from Marvel rival DC Comics, shows that this ante can be taken even higher: a show based on a comic book universe that is just as dark, just as serious, as the source material is. This is the comic book series we deserve. Click through after the break for my complete review.

<<Spoiler Alert: This review of Gotham Season 1, Episode 1 “Pilot” contains a thorough synopsis of the episode, and many spoilers – click through only after you’ve watched the show!>>
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agents-of-shield-season-2


At A Glance:

Title: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
New Season Premiere: September 23, 2014
Channel: ABC
Production Companies: ABC Studios, Marvel Entertainment, Mutant Enemy
Showrunner: Maurissa Tancharoen, Jed Whedon, Jeffrey Bell
Executive Producers: Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen, Stan Lee, Alan Fine, Joe Quesada, Jeffrey Bell, Jeph Loeb
Writers: Jeffrey Bell (4 episodes, 2013-2014), Monica Breen (3 episodes, 2013-2014), Daniel J. Doyle (1 episode, 2014), Brent Fletcher (3 episodes, 2013-2014), Shalisha Francis (2 episodes, 2013-2014), Rafe Judkins (2 episodes, 2013-2014), Jack Kirby (22 episodes, 2013-2014), Lauren LeFranc (2 episodes, 2013-2014), Stan Lee (22 episodes, 2013-2014), Maurissa Tancharoen (22 episodes, 2013-2014), Jed Whedon (22 episodes, 2013-2014), Joss Whedon (22 episodes, 2013-2014), Paul Zbyszewski (4 episodes, 2013-2014)
Starring: Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton, Chloe Bennet, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge, B.J. Britt

While a four month break between seasons can seem like a long time, at least fans of Agents don’t need to wait as long as fans of The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones. Of course, as this blog attests, fans of one are often fans of the others. Well then, good news: one of these shows is coming back with new episodes in less than a week’s time. This preview will contain some discussion of events from last season, so if you still aren’t all the way caught up, or are considering picking up this series in a marathon viewing session, don’t read past the break. And for those still on the fence: the beginning of Season 1 was fairly slow, but there is a payoff at the end. It wouldn’t be a Whedon (Jed, in this case) series if that weren’t the case.

<<Spoiler Alert: This preview of the second season of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will include discussion of events from Season 1. Click through at your own risk!>>
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Z_Nation_promo_poster

Episode: 102
Airdate: September 19, 2014
Directed by: John Hyams
Showrunner: Karl Schaefer
Written by: Michael Cassutt, Jennifer Derwingson (executive story editor)

Z Nation did not impress me in its debut last week on Syfy. I gave it a generous grade of “D” with the caveat that, if things didn’t improve dramatically in the next week, I wouldn’t be reviewing it past the second episode. So here I am, having just watched this week’s follow-up, and the question is: will I be reviewing this one still in week three? Click through after the break to find out.

<<Spoiler Alert: This review will discuss S01E02 of Z Nation, “Fracking Zombies,” including direct references to events in the episode.>>
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Gotham Splash


At A Glance:

Title: Gotham
Premiere: September 22, 2014
Channel: FOX
Production Companies: DC Entertainment, Primrose Hill Productions, Warner Bros. Television
Showrunner: Bruno Heller
Executive Producers: Bruno Heller, Danny Cannon, John Stephens
Writers: Brian Edlund (1 Episode), Bruno Heller (2 Episodes), Bob Kane (1 Episode), Ken Woodruff (1 Episode), Mitch Brian, Laren Bright, Howard Chaykin, Sean Catherine Derek, Bill Finger, Gardner Fox, Archie Goodwin, Robert Kanigher, David Mazzucchelli, Frank Miller, Sheldon Moldoff, Jerry Robinson, Greg Rucka, Dick Sprang
Starring: Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, Jada Pinkett Smith, Zabryna Guevera, Sean Pertwee, Robin Taylor, Camren Bicondova, David Mazouz

The premise behind Gotham is very simple: take a beloved fictional superhero, head to his hometown when he’s young, and follow the events that form both him, and his enemies, as they grow up. Wait, no – that’s Smallville. Gotham plays with that trope, showing us a young pre-Batman Bruce Wayne [David Mazouz], but its primary focus is not on the Bat; rather, it’s on his non-superhero friend, confidant, and sometime rival, Jim Gordon [Ben McKenzie]. By starting early in his career, we get to see how Gordon evolves from being a Detective in the Gotham PD, all the way to Commissioner (presuming the series runs that long). Click through for the actors, the trailers, and my thoughts.
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