Scream Queens, Season 2

Oh yeah, another season of my favorite ladies on television. I’m talking about the Chanels, of course. They’re back and still bringing it. Also back for the second season is Doctor Dean Munsch, Zayday Williams, Denise Hemphill and Chad Radwell. Grace is no longer around. This time, they’re working at a hospital, so they’re joined by new cast members of hospital staff.

The Chanels still totally make the show for me. In fact, most of their strangeness is toned up. Number 5 is still my favorite, though now she’s the straight up butt-monkey of the Chanels. No one likes her or respects her despite her usually having the most reasonable ideas.

Chanel Oberlin is still great at being bad and refusing to get better. Even when life gets her down, she still finds ways to remain mean. And Chanel Number 3 still has awesome earmuffs and some hilarious interactions with the other characters.

And Number 6 is back! I’m talking about Neckbrace Hester Ulrich, of course. Spoilers for Season 1. But Hester is so good at being crazy. And only in this show can she be so unhelpful yet still be allowed to remain free.

Newcomers Cassidy Cascade and Brock Hought are both fun. Cassidy was a bit low-key in earlier episodes, but his character got more fun later in the season. Brock Hought stays pretty interesting throughout. And they both have the same flare of solving curing patients in the hilarious, apathetic style of Scream Queesn. I think both of them were fine additions.

Other new staff include the Chamberlain, a fun-loving guy and generally a good addition to a show full of narcissists. The other one is the head nurse, Nurse Hoffel. It takes a while before her character ramps up to just being in the background.

The show is still inconsistent on a few things, namely keeping its ideas straight. If you think a bit on how events are actually supposed to happen, they just won’t add up.┬áThis is not a serious show, and things like consistency sometimes takes a back seat to just trying to be funny or out there. I don’t think too hard about the show, so it’s fine for me. And I like the overall style.

The feeling of Season 2 is a bit different from Season 1 due to being in an entirely new setting. But as long as the Chanels still act like the Queen Bees despite being absolutely inept, it’ll be a fun show. I really could go for a third round of Chanel, Number 3, and Number 5. They are still among my favorite things to watch on TV.

A some spoiler thoughts. Not much. Not revealing who the killer is or anything.

The new Chanels were great. Yeah, they didn’t stick around long, but they’re still fun. And somehow, they already rank higher than Number 5. And a big hooray for Chanel Number 8 for not being dead!

Mars

Mars, a show on the National Geographic channel. Actually one of the few times I follow the shows on there. Usually, I pass by the National Geogrpahic channel and if there’s something interesting on, I stay there. Mars is a show I go there specifically to watch.

It’s really right up my alley. I’m interested in space travel and expanding the human race. Mars is pretty much our best educated guess at how we’re going to do that and when. The show takes is sort of part documentary part space drama. The going to Mars part takes place in 2033. Then there are scenes of 2016 and before showing all of the relevant research and experiments that helped us along.

It’s a pretty interesting format. I’m just going to take whatever happens in 2016 as real and not fiction, but I don’t know. At least I know that the people interviewed are experts in the field. And it helps lend an air of authenticity to the show and the techniques of how to live on Mars.

Then there’s the main part of the show, showing us what it would be like to set up the first colony on Mars. I haven’t read the book it’s based on, but I think what they say seems reasonable. The only real thing none of the shows or movies on Mars deals with is the gravity difference between Mars and Earth. I believe Mars has a bit over 1/3rd the gravity of Earth.

Now, I totally understand why no one references it. It would just be too hard to simulate that. The characters can’t talk about it either since the audience can’t see anything different with the gravity compared to how it is on Earth. It would just be confusing.

The style of the show is one of those slow, somber types. Characters take long pauses between speaking and there is a lot of silent scenes. I think it was executed well, and the look of Mars was good. It felt like a desolate world with only a group of people against the planet. I think the cast did a fine job.

Each episode is dealing with a problem that happens on Mars mixed in with something going wrong for good measure. I know things have to go wrong to have drama, but it would be cool to have a rousing success, too, show that it can happen. But the drama never got too heavy for me. All of the characters were competent and professional despite their stressful situations.

And I really liked their little video journals. It gives the characters a private outlet for whatever they’re thinking about the mission. The scenes back on Earth at 2033 were a good way to contrast what the people on Mars were facing with the realities of what it took to get them there. Which is basically a lot of support back home. The mission to mars would be a global effort.

Overall, I just really like the idea of this show. It’s about the future, about getting out there. It’s something I want to see happen in real life.

Rogue One

This is a large shift in tone for the Star Wars universe. Instead of something fantastical, this movie is more down to earth, so to speak. The Jedi are once again a mysterious presence. It’s like some old story again, like how it was in A New Hope. Though I still consider that strange since come on, it’s been less than 20 years since the Jedi Order was destroyed. How does everyone ┬áthink it’s just a legend?

Anyway, Rogue One is about how the rebels got the plans for the Death Star. It has a lot of more, I’ll say, realistic fighting. It’s like soldiers fighting other soldiers. There’s no Jedi holding off entire battalions at once, though it comes close with a few of the characters. But a lot of people get gunned down, both good guy and bad. It feels like a big sacrifice just to get the Death Star plans.

You know, it really feels like a realistic version of the Endor battle. Instead of ewoks taking out walkers with swinging logs, it’s the rebels desperately trying to survive the assault to get their stuff done.

The idea of the movie is alright, and the actual mission to steal the Death Star plans worked really well. Before that it was sort mixed. The beginning jumps around a lot to set up the story instead of happening an opening word crawl. We get introduced to the main character, Jyn, and her father.

After that, things ramp up fast. We don’t got too much time for character development here. There is an esemble cast, but not all of them are used to their full potential. I’m mostly speaking of the guy with the big gun (whose name I don’t even know), and Cassian, the only actual member of the Rebellion at the start of the movie. The big guy with the gun is mostly just there. And after the midway point of the movie, Cassian just loses his position of being in charge to Jyn.

Jyn is alright, though. I do think it was strange how she went full in on the Rebellion enough to lead the Rogue One instead of Cassian. I did like the character of Saw. He really gives a bleaker look into the rebels.

Overall, none of the characters stand out to me as being super beloved. I think it might have to do with the more serious tone. The robot member is probably the one that stands out most to me followed by Chirrut, the blind, uh, force-believer.

But like I said, the actual part where they try to steal the Death Star plans is fantastic. It assumes all of the characters are built up well enough when they aren’t, but it was still great. They should have a scene earlier in the movie to show the team starting to work together, though. That never really happens.

Onto some spoiler thoughts. If you don’t want that, know that Rogue One is a side story, one that didn’t necessarily need to be told but is pretty good. The characters are a bit underdeveloped, though.

Now then, is that Tarkin? Whoa. I remember hearing his actor had died, so I was really surprised to see that. I did notice he was off at times, but not enough to take me out of the movie.

And I really liked Vader’s scenes, though they are such a tease for A New Hope. The only good thing is that I don’t have to wait years for A New Hope since I’ve already seen it.

But tell me this, would it be too dark if Vader faced the heroes directly instead? He has a great scene of cutting down entire hallways of rebels. Instead of that, how about Jyn and Cassian get off the planet with the plans? But Vader boards their vessel or something. They have to sneak the plans away while Vader is marching through the ship taking care of everyone. It would be a much more direct threat from him and be really chilling since you know Vader will win.

And I think one of the reasons the writers chose not to develop the characters as much was because they knew all of Rogue One would be dead by the end of the film. I did appreciate them not being afraid to just kill off the entire team since that’s pretty much how it was said to have gone down. I still would have liked more reasons to care about the characters, though.

I would like to see more side stories within the Star Wars universe. Sure, there are books, but movies are fun. Rogue One worked really well from the third act on while being a bit spotty in the character parts.

Oh, I love all of the Star Wars Rebels references. That show is fun, and I’m glad to see or hear it in a major movie.

Supergirl, Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow Winter Finale

One week after the Heroes V Aliens event, it’s time for the winter finale of Flash, Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow. Supergirl had hers the same week as Heroes V Aliens.

I’ll go through my thoughts on the season so far for each show separately. I will say I’m glad that the Heroes V Aliens event is still being referenced. It helps make a cohesive universe instead of making the crossover just feel like a lonely event.

Supergirl, pretty fun season so far. Some of the enemies are still defeated too easily, but I put that down to not having the budget for big, superpowered-level fight scenes. The story is fun and I’m really like all the new characters added.

Lena Luthor would be my favorite new character. She just has great scenes with Kara and Supergirl. I just want her to interact with more characters sometimes. The one time she spoke with Winn, that was cool. I hope she gets more chances to speak with other characters besides her mother or Kara.

Mon-el is a fun guy. He has powers and no desire to help people, which is perfectly fine. I like how he wants to do his own thing despite Kara trying to push him into being a hero. He also gets some great scenes with Winn.

And I got to mention that Superman appearance in the first two episodes. That was super great. He smiled, was charming, liked helping people. He works great in the Supergirl show as both Superman and Clark Kent. Though, I mean, they’re just cousins, have some major difference in personality. But still, he was done really well.

The Flash, you know, I was kind of disappointed by Flashpoint. I thought it should have been a two-parter at least. The first one would be Barry, no powers, getting used to his new life. He has to get powers at the end of episode one because the world is a lot more messed up than just Kid Flash getting hurt by the Rival. Episode 2, he tries to fix the world so he can stay there but fails and has to reset Flashpoint. Not as extravagant as the comics but still more of an event.

Still, I like how Flashpoint remains important by being the reason everything is happening. And that Savitar appearance. He is just always menacing and imposing. Really great-looking with some great action scenes.

Arrow has been pretty good so far. Out of all the shows, I think I like Arrow’s fight scenes the best just because they can’t rely on flashy special effects. Their fighting would be the most realistic. They use guns and bows and stuff to take down criminals.

I thought Church was a good villain. It’s a shame he had to go so soon, but his final scene was pretty chilling. It was horror-movie lite.

I’m enjoying most of Arrows new team. Wild Dog can be annoying, but he’s still fun to watch. Ragman is great. Artemis has seemed to just be there in the beginning, at least until she starts getting more involved with the plot later on. Mister Terrific, though, he seems to be the most useless out in the field. He has no weapons while everyone he tries to fight does. And his hand-to-hand combat skills isn’t antwhere near enough to make up the difference. He needs some gear upgrads and fast.

I’m sure the Prometheus storyline would be more effective on me if I’ve been watching since season one. As is, he’s still a skillful and sneaky villain that works well against the Green Arrow.

Legends of Tomorrow, as goofy and dumb as the first season. Yet it’s not nearly as frustrating. It’s mainly because now, when the Legends fail during an episode, they get to fix it. That’s due to not having a villain that they can clearly beat yet needs to get away. Now, we get to see them have some triumph and mess-ups each episode.

New additions Nate and Amaya are both pretty fun. I really like Nate and his friendship with Ray. While I like Amaya, her power could be used better.

Still, Legends of Tomorrow is the most fun out of all the shows, I feel. It’s just a great excuse to romp through history, have great costumes and zany situations. And it all happens while dealing with the troubles of time travel.

In conclusion, all four shows are pretty good. You have to stand a certain level of cheesiness, though. You also have to stand for the characters being dumb just for the sake of drama. Because let’s face it, if the heroes did everything smart, Flash and Supergirl could easily solve certain episodes within the first ten minutes. Less so for Arrow. Legends of Tomorrow is somewhere in the middle since certain members are pretty powerful.

Hairspray Live!

Ahahaha, live. I didn’t watch this live. I recorded it to watch later. But I really enjoyed Hairspray Live! Out of all the live musicals I’ve watched, this one felt the most, well, Live. The others all had a sort of perfectness that comes from doing multiple takes, but this one had mistakes and all like people blocking shots, a bit of messing up from the actors, a bit of techinical problems. I feel it really adds to the live feel to not have everything rehearsed to perfection.

Also, I know most people don’t like product placement, but I thought it was pretty fun to have it in the commericals. To have it done in the 60’s style with the people being in character and being ridiculously blatant made me watch it. Totally not being sarcastic in this paragraph.

But now on to the actual show. I have seen the Hairspray with John Travolta, but that was a while ago. Aside from the major plot points, I don’t remember much about the play, so this will just be my thoughts on this version, no comparisons.

I had a lot of fun watching Hairspray Live! I thought everyone did a really good job. Tracy Turnblad was great and adorable. I really liked Corny Collins. Mama Turnblad was really good. Everyone really looked the part, too. The hair was high and on style. The outfits were fun. The sets were good, too, and I liked being able to see a behind the scenes transition.

The songs are all pretty good. The dancing is a bit more simple compared to some of the other musicals I’ve seen, though. It’s not as fanstatical. Sure, entire scenes pull away to reveal a whole host of background dancers, but it still feels more grounded in reality. That’s fine for the type of story Hairspray is.

Overall, I really liked this live musical production. I had fun. Still would not watch it live.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Winter Finale

Agents of SHIELD is still my favorite comic-book-based TV show. It just has fun characters, great fight scenes, interesting villains, and some really emotional scenes. Sure, there are no actual superheroes, but these Agents are a good substitute.

And speaking of no actual superheroes, we have an actual superhero in Agents of SHIELD now! Welcome the Ghost Rider. Not Danny Blaze but Robbie Reyes. Hey, that kinda rhymes. I don’t know much about any of the Ghost Riders other than they got the Spirit of Vengeance in them. Agents of SHIELD did a good job introducing him. And he has great effects whenever he transforms.

The plot of this first part follows Ghost Rider in his quest for vengeance. We slowly find out more about him and how he became that way. The actor, Gabriel Luna, does a great job. He can be really intimidating against enemies, even when not in Ghost Rider form. And he can show a lot of compassion for his kid brother. And he gets several awesome scenes.

During all that, our main agents are trying to adapt to a new SHIELD, one that’s supposed to be a legitimate organization again. The new director has put in a bunch of rules, none of which Coulson follows. That puts Coulson and the new director at odds.

I like the new director. He’s one of those obstructive types, but he also tends to have a point, especially if SHIELD is to be a public organization. I think he’ll end up being a good guy that’s friends with the rest of the group, like Gonzales from Season 2.

Also, I really enjoy the character of AIDA. She’s our newest Android, something totally against SHIELD regulation! And the actress was in Galavant. She plays a TotallyNotRobots type really well. She’s just fun to watch, sometimes in a creepy way.

I’m enjoying this season just like the previous ones. And the next part is shaping up to be a really wild ride, too. Also, Yo-Yo digital series! But it’s so hard to use the ABC go app. Aw man. Yo-Yo is great, though. Like, she might be the only superfast person that is slightly balanced so they don’t need to rely on the person being dumb to be defeated. So they can make her a much better character because of it.

Heroes Vs Aliens, CW Crossover

Why not do a review of the CW crossover between Supergirl, Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow? It’s a major event. It’s a full story. It’s pretty awesome to see a comic book universe (or multiverse) on TV. So yeah. Let’s do it. Here are my thoughts on the Heroes vs. Aliens crossover.

First, a bit about my watching history. I have seen all of Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow. I only started watching Arrow in the current season (5 I think it is). I watched the last two episodes of the Flash last season and all of this season.

Overall, it was really fun to watch. This kind of superhero crossover is something I didn’t think I would see on TV, but here we are. All of the major characters got their chance to shine and their own little stuff going on. Flash and Arrow had the most importance, I think, but no one was really left out as long as you originated in Earth-1. Sadly, only Supergirl gets to crossover. Maybe next year, Martian Manhunter and Alex, maybe next year.

Not having enough budget hurt the big action scenes, but the more toned down scenes were great. For being a crossover, a lot of really important things still happened that will affect individual shows. At least that’s what it feels like and I hope happens. And the action scenes were still good. And everyone looked to be having fun. Even Oliver at the end there. Man, if they could get a lot of money for these crossovers, just imagine.

Time for some individual episode thoughts. Spoilers ahead.

Supergirl. Only 1% crossover. The title of the show wasn’t Invasion! though so they didn’t consider it a full crossover. Having Barry’s portal appear multiple times before he finally succeeded was fun in how everyone reacts to it. And it actually does affect the plot at one point, even if just a distraction. Supergirl’s adorable as always.

Flash. This is my favorite episode of the crossover. It sets everything up, brings together the team and has a great introduction scene between everyone and Supergirl. Then, then we get the Dominators dominating. Seeing Flash vs Supergirl was the highlight of the episode.

Arrow. I actually really liked this one even though it was more low-key and mostly about Arrow. I know enough of the show’s story to still get really excited for seeing Laurel interact with both Oliver and Sara. And I think not being too far out there works well for Arrow as compared to the more crazy things of Flash and really crazy things of Legends of Tomorrow.

Legends of Tomorrow. I had hoped for a giant climactic battle, but alas, not in the budget. That they gave us was fine, though. New legend members Nate and Amaya got some good scenes, Nate especially. And the final fight was still pretty cool, even if it we mostly got to see one rooftop. Really like the Firestorm scene, though I don’t think Jax really interacted with the other characters that much. He should.

And I hope Cisco’s back to being friends with Barry now. I never got a taste of that before Flashpoint messed everything up.

It’s an amazing thing to have a Superhero crossover of this scale. I am hoping for more, bigger and badder crossovers.

You know what I want next time? Some well-defined roles and real teamwork. Oliver can be the tactician. Flash the hope guy. Supergirl the big guy. The Legends can be pretty much a bit of everything. I think it would also be cool if they were fighting just one super-powerful bad guy instead. Yeah, something like that.