Spoiler-ish content ahead, nothing of concern really.
All my shows have gone into a break for the holidays, so I thought I’d re-evaluate what I’ve been watching by looking into the other series for which I haven’t been writing a Series Issues recap/review. Doctor Who has been amusing. Even when the episode was not the best it was still entertaining to watch. The Walking Dead started strong, then slowed down to a crawl, just to give us one final shocker. At best it was a mixed bag. Gotham on the other hand, didn’t seem to know what to do with its main characters so often enough relied on the mystique of its background ones to gives a few good episodes. The overall total wasn’t really positive. Basically the show is still trying to find its legs.
I though I’d give you a quick Viewer’s Cut of what other shows are out there, as I myself might consider replacing/adding another show when we come back from the break.
Arrow is now firmly on its third season. Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) as the vigilante named the Hood, now changed to Arrow. Initially, it was more than a bit of campy fun while we got flashbacks to Oliver Queen training from billionaire playboy to badass on a far away island. The show usually had a party scene because reasons. It slowly grew darker as more ominous enemies, including some known DC villains crossed Oliver’s path, both in the past and the present. The show has increased its main cast and created its own storyline. There are still the usual romantic liaisons in the background but a ton of backstory has come to the surface. A good contender for a weekly review that uses its DC environment without the need to hammer in the comic book . Gotham should be taking notes.
The Flash just started and it does feel a bit like a spin-off from Arrow, but it’s firmly set in its own universe. Crossovers between Arrow and The Flash are frequent and it does feel a bit like I’m watching indie versions of Superman (The Flash) and Batman (Arrow) interacting, but nowhere close to the heavy baggage that their mainstream counterparts will have. That is a good thing. The Flash is light, innocent, idealistic but there’s a dark secret concealed from view. Contrary to Arrow, we are witnesses to the hero’s origin. Barry Allen is very well casted (Grant Gustin), and does embody a more teenage nerd than any incarnation of Peter Parker I’ve seen so far. The result is that we really feel Barry is ill prepared for the dangers that await him and as we see him grow up into his red suit, he becomes more of a solid person.
Sleepy Hollow may feel like pure fluff. It is, but it’s potentially tasty. I do like the whole alternative history vein and the funny quirks of getting Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) adapted to the present. Furthermore, I love the idea that as awkward as he is, he’s not altogether lost. Whenever we deal with time displaced individuals, we’ve seen too many characterizations in which all inhabitants of the past are stupid, close-minded and incredibly superstitious. More so, Abby and Jenny Mills are actually three dimensional female characters. The storylines can be a little silly but the interaction is superb. I have to say I don’t really watch this show for the plot. I don’t care for the quest to prevent the end of the world, that’s a bit in the background for me. I forget that I did reviewed/recapped the first episode of the second season, but that’s as far as it went.
Star Wars Rebels is Disney. I’m going to start with that but despite their roots, remember Disney owns everything now and now I won’t mention it again. The cast is good, the action is not over the top and it does seem we’ve hooked on to the best characterization of a team of scoundrels with hearts of gold this side of the Outer Rim. Of course things work out in the end, don’t expect too much Dark Side in this one. The storylines are for the most part solid. It highlights the best parts of the old Galaxy Far Far Away without relying too much on a connection to the movies. Expect some cameos now and then. So far Vader has appear in a hologram (extended pilot) and the droids did make a guest appearance. It’s light fare but well built, meaning that you won’t get bored and it’s not dumbed down to preschool level.
Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD is in its second season, and you probably remember that I used to review/recap this show. The main plot is still extraterrestrial. Grant is still evil, which is good, because the character didn’t work as one of the good guys. I’m still following on to find out what happens to Fitz and Simmons. It’s a bit cruel that Fitz ended up with the short end of the stick, mentally affected by the issues from the end of the first season. However, I still find him really interesting and the fact that he was actually imagining Simmons when she wasn’t there was a cruel but ingenious mechanism for him to work out his issues. Simmons has become more of a dynamic agent, even going undercover. May is still a badass but other than that, she’s becoming stagnant in that character. Coulson and Skye are already standing still, seemingly waiting for some big reveal. We also have new characters that I haven’t gotten used yet. Overall, I usually can skip through half the show. Kyle MacLachlan now plays Skye’s recently revealed father. He actually plays him so over the top that it makes you cringe.
It’s not a series that I need to watch week to week, I just catch up with it from time to time. I’m not really expecting the coming finale to change my mind. After all, it’s not about clearing things up or big reveals. It’s about telling a story. When the show fails to entertain, you can’t really make it up to the viewers in the finale.
That will do for now.