Crisis on Earth-X

The four-way crossover of CW’s superhero shows. It has Supergirl, Arrow, Flash and The Legends of Tomorrow and is pretty much a long, made-for-TV movie. It’s great, fun, charming and embraces the wackiness of multiple universes and heroic deeds. I can only imagine what this would be like with a greater budget and effects. That would be so awesome. What we got as great, though.

This time, the crossover feels like a real crossover. Not everyone is there, but the main characters are in all the shows all the time instead of sometimes dropping out. It’s more cohesive than last year’s crossover. Supergirl is featured a lot more, here, and she’s not the only character from her show to show up!

I’ll go episode by episode. There will be some spoilers here, so I hope what I had above was enough to entice comic show fans to see it.

Part 1 starts off a bit slow, but it’s more of a laid-back introductory episode where everyone gets to know everyone and have some fun. All of the heroes are going to Barry and Iris’s wedding, and I almost said Barris. They meet up, they have fun, Sara (from Legends of Tomorrow) and Alex (from Supergirl) get to know each other. Everything is great. Until suddenly Nazi invasion.

Yes that’s right, it’s an attack from Earth-X, the one place every other dimension wants to ignore and forget because it’s too horrible. The episode ends with a big fight between our heroes and the bad guys, and it was great.

Part 2 is the heroes recovering and wondering what’s going on. I’m pretty surprised that Alex gets a lot of development here. It makes these crossovers feel more important than just being their self-contained thing. Jax and Stein (Firestorm from Legends of Tomorrow) also gets a lot of time spent on their story.

The rest of the episode is about our heroes trying to figure out what their evil versions from Earth-X are up to. Oh yes, there’s evil Green Arrow, evil Supergirl. The last one is Reverse Flash, who is actually the one from Earth-1, somehow still alive and making trouble.

I think the episode feels the least impactful out of the four, but it does have quite an ending.

Part 3 is really great. They add a lot of fun characters and we get to see what Earth-X is like! I think more time could have been spent on seeing the normal parts of Earth-X, but we did get to see the military parts, both of the bad guys and of the resistance.

The parts on Earth-1 were weaker, though. It’s mainly Felicity and Iris somehow beating out trained soldiers while all of the heroes that were not captured to Earth-X were imprisoned in the pipeline instead.

While it started in Part 1, I really enjoyed seeing Earth-X Green Arrow and Supergirl. They care for each other, have strong beliefs based on the world they grew up in and are pretty good representations of how the characters could turn out if their world was really dark and bad. They make for more compelling characters than the dominators, that’s for sure.

And wow, the entire assault sequence on the portal facility was great.

And now, Part 4. Our heroes are back and they are ready to defeat their evil dopplegangers. All of the Legends are here now. I can understand why Nate, Amaya and Zari weren’t invited to the wedding neither Barry nor Iris really knew them. But Ray wasn’t invited either! He comes out to help in an awesome way.

Jax and Stein’s storyline comes to a conclusion here, and it really tugs at the heart. It was emotional. I would have liked something happier, but that’s my preference.

Everyone else takes the fight to the Earth-X invasion force, and we get a fight scene worthy of the climax battle. While the tactics of the enemy could be better, the action and special effects was top-notch all throughout.

This crossover felt like it had some real meaning and thought put behind it. There was more than just an excuse to get everyone together for a fun teamup. There were smaller storylines running through things, some that worked well, some that didn’t. It feels like what happened during the crossover will impact the characters for a while.

Whether that’s the case or not is to be seen, but this event really feels important to the development of the characters. And it was fun all around.

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Inhumans

Inhumans is over. It was only 8 episodes, yet it felt long and meandering without much of a point. The characters were just kinda there. Some of them had cool points, but not enough. The largest problem with the show, for me, is that it just feel too normal. For a show about super-powered people from a moon kingdom, it was really mundane.

There will be some spoilers in here, nothing major. More of the spoilers will be from the earlier episodes.

So the show Inhumans centers around the royal family, King Blackbolt; Queen Medusa; the king’s brother, Maximus; their cousins Karnak, Gorgon and Triton; the queen’s sister, Crystal; and Crystal’s Dog, Lockjaw. And they decided to separate all of them before we even got a chance to see much family dynamics. That gets filled in later, but even then, not good.

For instance, Medusa and Crystal are sisters, but they barely act sisterly to one another, or have many scenes. Medusa and Maximus are apparently childhood friends, but we don’t get to see that.

Medusa is good with Blackbolt, though. ThoseĀ  two work well together. Karnak and Gorgon are fun to watch when together, too. Unfortunately, they’re rather dull apart. Blackbolt and Maximus was done well, though. I enjoyed seeing the brothers fight with each other.

Individually, I really liked Blackbolt, Medusa and Maximus. I originally thought Medusa was rather boring, but she really grew on me later in the season. Blackbolt worked well for being unable to speak. He really had good movements and facial reactions. And I liked Maximus because he, overall, seemed to have the best motivations for doing things out of any character. I don’t think even he can discern when he’s doing things for himself and when he’s trying to be a good king to the people.

The problem with the show is how mundane it actually is. Maximus stages a coup, and most of the royal family escapes to Earth to plan a comeback. Oh, but they remove the powers of Medusa and has Gorgon put on boots. How does Gorgon, a guy with hooves on his feet, even wear boots normally? And most of the Inhuman’s sent to hunt them down just looks like normal people. That makes it looks like just normal people fighting other normal people, since powers are so rarely used.

With all of the royal family separated for a good half of the season, it made each episode feel disjointed and pointless. They meet a bunch of characters for some personal growth, but I barely knew them from before. And they have main characters interacting with a bunch of people that you know aren’t important and won’t be seen much. It just lowers the feels made because one side is really important and the other isn’t. Gorgon and Crystal gets the worst of the side plots. Karnak’s is only slightly better because he’s more entertaining by himself.

I did really like Medusa’s, actually, which I didn’t expect. Overall, Medusa really grew to be my favorite character of the show despite the lack of her using powers. She seems to get the most growth, and it helps that the scientist she interacts with actually feels important and relevant.

I also likes some of the side Inhumans, such as Mordis and Locis. Mordis had sass and a good reason for fighting the royal family.

For a show being only 8 episodes long, it felt like too much filler and not enough important stuff. Towards the end, things get pretty sloppy and jumpy with things just happening to get people where they need to be. They could have spent more time on Attilan rather than on Earth.

So, unfortunately, the show about a royal family from a moon kingdom deals mostly with normal stuff and doesn’t show off enough powers or interesting people.

Inhumans, Season Premiere

So, the much talked about Inhumans. Most of the talk is bad. But hey, it’s on, so let’s see how it goes! I guess this will be a spoiler-filled review for the first two episodes in that I’ll talk freely about events that happened.

So, the opening. Triton looks like that handsome Squidward image. It just looks so silly. He looks nothing like his comic-book self. Most of the characters look rather like rubber-forhead alien type makeups. And the costuming looks bland to bad as well. The action during that part was alright, I guess. Nothing stands out. Somehow, I actually liked the inhuman Triton was trying to save more than most other major characters in the show.

After that, we jump to Attilan, the hidden Inhuman city on the moon. The view of the city looks pretty cool, actually. Maybe I wasn’t paying enough attention, but I wanted a clearer shot of it. So I can tell where the palace is in relation to the lower caste center and whatever else is in there. But I think the sets were done well and it looks pretty fancy.

The costumes, on the other hand, were not. Most of the main characters have pretty silly-looking clothes, Medusa especially. Her dress is mostly one tone and the fabric looks cheap. Her hair was also not as impressive as it could be due to a TV budget and effects. Probably due to the budget, the bad guy decided to cut off her hair. It was the most ridiculous scene of the two episodes. There was ridiculous sad music and slow motion, and Medusa’s super hair could be removed by a simple electric razor. Maybe I would have taken it more seriously if I hadn’t just met the character and saw the hair in use twice.

Most of the characters have rather bland acting and they don’t interact with each other well. They’re supposed to be the royal family, but they feel more like coworkers, even during private times. Crystal and Medusa are supposed to be sisters, yet I’ve seen no sisterly actions between the two of them before things start going bad.

The fight scenes are pretty bad. Too choppy and hard to follow.

I did like Blackbolt and Maximus. The two of them felt interesting to watch. Maximus is the unpowered brother to the King. So of course he wants power and leads a revolt. Blackbolt is the king and doesn’t talk because his power is his voice, and it’s really strong. I enjoyed all of his scenes and don’t mind his sign language communication. And I like his facial expression only means of communicating with people that don’t understand his sign language. The two of them are pretty fun.

What wasn’t needed were flashbacks. They were fast, but I also felt they added nothing. In the case of seeing Blackbolt’s powers, I think not showing their full effect would have been better. We get a hint that it’s from his voice when Blackbolt confronts Maximus. And then later on, we see a taste when Blackbolt gasps. That’s a great teaser for what he can do.

The rest of the episode separates the royal family with the chief of security, Gorgon, on the beach. Karnak, I don’t know his position, in the woods or something. Medusa with some tour group. Blackbolt in the city. Crystal in captivity back at Attilan. And Maximus trying to be the new king. I did not get enough of them together to care at all when they were separated.

That’s the problem. The characters didn’t endear themselves easily, and half of them are thrown into uninteresting situations. It doesn’t make me want to follow them, like Karnak wandering through the forest or Gorgon sitting on the beach. I think Crystal, Blackbolt and Medusa’s scenes were fine, and I really enjoyed Blackbolt’s. For Crystal, while I’m interested in her situation, the actress is rather bland.

I like Lockjaw a lot, but the lack of budget is apparent by how little they show people directly interacting with it. That kind of detail in CGI takes time to do, so they just offscreened it, and that’s disappointing.

There’s also some plot on Earth about scientists tracking things on the moon. No idea where that’s going, but I think the main female scientist will be the one to teach the royal family about how Earth works. It’s just a guess, so who knows.

Well, it’s eight episodes, I hear, so I’ll watch some more. But they need to get the main characters back together, and make them more likable. Fast.

Midnight Texas

Midnight Texas, about a small town where the supernatural gather. This show took a while to grow on me. I watched it because I I like fantasy and supernatural stuff, and this show seems pretty cool. But it did take a while for me to really get into it.

I think it’s mainly due to the characters. I’m not sure why, but they lack an endearing quality to them. It’s not that any of them are bad people. Most of them are pleasant and fine. They just lack a certain likeability factor that I find tough to explain. I think it’s because everyone has an air of sadness, even when they’re smiling. And they rarely smile early on.

Fiji, the witch, is the one character that I thought was instantly likeable. She’s happy in a genuine way, and the show feels lighter when she’s around.

Our main hero, Manfred, has his troubles and grows through the show. Later on, I started liking him. In the beginning, he sort of lacks being endearing, much like most other characters. Like, even when he’s with his girlfriend, his mind seems elsewhere and he’s not enjoying being in the moment. The main cast really came around later in the season, though, and I do like all of them now.

As for the plot, each episode the people of Midnight needs to deal with some supernatural threat while there is an overarching worry looming over them. It’s done alright. Nothing stands out, but I thought the creatures and monsters looked the part.

The season gets more enjoyable later on as the main characters start to become better friends and open up. Now, whether that makes the show worth a watch or not depends on how much you like supernatural stuff and what else you have to watch. It’s not a bad way to pass the time.

Oh, I do like how they keep the relationship drama to a minimum. It happens, but nothing frustratingly stupid. Thank goodness.

Hooten and the Lady

How should I put this. This is a quaint version of Indiana Jones. Hooten is a charming rogue that’s always in trouble. The Lady is Alex, a British museum staff member that goes out in search of new things to research. Together, they travel all over the world to find lost treasures. Hooten mainly wants to sell it while Alex wants to preserve them.

I think that due to each artifact taking only one show to find, there’s a lot lacking from the show. The two of them get thrown into a lot of dangerous situations, but quite a few times it’s luck that gets them out rather than anything they did. And finding the artifacts feel too easy. All to keep things at one episode long.

The show is mostly episodic. While there are two plots running through the season, one for Hooten and one for Alex, neither one feels important enough. The current week’s adventures is usually not overshadowed by the side plot.

The locations are pretty cool, though. The two of them go to a lot of places over the world. I don’t know if they’re sets or what, but I think they look alright. Hooten and Alex also have fun presence around each other and when reacting to all of their dangerous situations. How much you enjoy the show is based on how much you like seeing the main characters. The actual adventure part is too simple, and so are the dangers.

I think TV movies would have worked much better. It gives each artifact and adventure the time and weight they need rather than just having it be a one and one.

Blood Drive

This show is quite something. It’s a lot of things, but for a huge amount of the time, it’s a violence extravaganza. Blood Drive is based on the grindhouse style where everything is hyper violent, sexual and stylized. It’s about a death race, of course, though the race is actually more of an excuse to go to many weird locales. This show has over-the-top absurdity, action with hints of under-the-top tragedy. And then it gets weird.

There are two plots running through most of the show. The A plot is with Arthur, Grace and their time on the Blood Drive. Oh, the Blood Drive is an actual in universe show, which gives it a great excuse to randomly throw obstacles into the way of our hero. Because it’s what the viewers want!

The guy that runs the Blood Drive is also the best character on the show. Julian Slink just has everything I want out of a guy that makes a killing show. He’s flamboyant, kinky and has all the right attitude. Even when he’s answering to his bosses, Slink is always the craziest guy in the room.

Some of the other racers feel underused. Of the ones that got special introductions, Fat Elvise did not have any real effect on the race. Ribbone could have used more scenes, too. Other teams were interesting to watch. The Gentleman and the Scholar were great. The married couple was fun, too.

Early on, each episode goes through a typical crazy scenario in different stops on the Blood Drive. Those, while fun, didn’t interest me as much. At the halfway point of the show, though, when things became more serious and focused, that was when I got engaged. The characters became fleshed out, they added depth and vulnerability, it got better than just mindless violence.

And I enjoy Arthur better than most good guy characters. He doesn’t hold back the action with trying to be good. Grace is usually fun to watch. She kicks a lot of ass and is not sorry for anything.

Now, what about the B plot? It’s far less interesting than the A plot, though there are still fun characters there. Aki is interesting to watch. Aki is a robot servant of Heart Enterprises, the company behind the Blood Drive, and she fully subscribes to their crazy practices. The other character is Christopher, the poor guy. He just gets abused the entire time.

The B plot is mainly about Christopher and Aki and their relationship with each other, but it could have been more. There’s quite a lot of world-building and crazy stuff just mentioned in passing. Christopher could have been investigating that more, instead, and filling out more of why things were happening. He should have gotten more people to interact with.

Blood Drive does throw a lot of weird surprises out that makes the world more than just anarchy. It makes the show worth a watch for those that can stomach all the body fluid being flung everywhere. And for those that enjoy this style of show, I think Blood Drive sets out to do everything it wants to (within the TV ratings system).

Killjoys, Season Finale

Mm, space battles, space battles everywhere. This season of Killjoys follows from a more coherent second season. Now, war is coming, and Dutch, D’avin and Johnny have to do all they can to prepare for it. Their enemy is Aneela and the Hullen, parasitic alien invaders.

I liked this season, much like the last one. It has a story running throughout, and we get a lot more of the universe as Dutch asks for help from everyone. The characters are all back in fine form. I think Alvis (the Scarback) was underutilized this season. He could have used more scenes and maybe a focus episode.

As for new characters, Aneela is interesting. She’s also played by Hannah John-Kamen, but the Aneela and Dutch are completely different. They sound really different. Aneela has a soft way of talking that’s still really dangerous. It works for her. Zef is a new biology girl for Dutch’s crew. She doesn’t get too annoying, but she is a bit annoying. Pip I liked better. Pip is their, uh, black market guy? He’s fun and it looks like he’ll have more of a role going forwards.

This season feels tight. After a bit of a slow beginning where Johnny was still separate from the group, things pick up as soon as he rejoins. Starting from then on, it’s fun adventures against increasingly dire situations.

Glad this show is renewed. *ahem*

Anyway, on to spoiler thoughts.

Fancy. I didn’t expect it, but he became a pretty big part of this season and he has a great plot. Turin is the jerk as always, but I do like him working with the main characters rather than against them.

The last episode, though, whoa. That changed a lot. I did not expect things to go that way, but I’ll say I was not disappointed. I am looking forward to seeing what’s coming next. The last few scenes were really well done, and I’m glad with the confrontation we got between Dutch and Aneela.

I’m expecting season four to continue with the setup they had at the end of season three.