The Outpost

The Outpost is a fantasy show with magic, swords and even some monsters. There are not enough of those shows on TV, other than the big Game of Thrones one, of course. So I checked it out. The show is on the CW, so it does go into some relationship drama and the characeters are all unusually attractive, even if they live in olden times. But they do throw in some other characters that I enjoyed.

The main character is Talon. She starts out as one of the most young adult story female protagonist I remember in recent times. Even the name is so young adult cool style. Tough, cynical, a better warrior than most, shows nothing but a scowl. Her character felt really uninteresting in the first episode, but later on, she really starts to grow on me. As Talon builds relationships with other characters, she starts to loosen up and open up. And I really like her character by the end of the season.

The Outpost takes place at a, well, outpost on the far edge of the kingdom. There, they stand watch against another race known as the greyskins. But there are more politics at play. The world is slowly introduced, starting at first with Talon’s personal quest. Soon, it gains more intrique and plotting.

Meanwhile, Talon is more focused on her mission, but she makes friends with a few characters. There’s Gwyn. I’m not going to go into her story too much, but I do want more interactions between Gwyn and Talon. They’re pretty fun together.

Janzo turns out to be one of her allies through all the trouble she gets up to. He’s an awkward character, but he’s done really well. And the actor can pull off some amazing eyebrow motions with him.

Then there’s Garret, a captain in the army. He’s a more straightlaced character, but somehow, I think he’s more interesting. I’m not sure why, since other times they make straightlaced characters I find them just there, but Garret has a bit of spark in there.

Another character I want to mention is Dano. He is a mute, but he shows a lot of character. And it helps he’s there in most episodes. I like his scenes and his reactions a lot, especially once he starts to interact with more characters.

The way the story goes makes me feel like this is based on a book, though I don’t think it is. Side plots carry on through multiple episodes and side characters get slow but decent amount of screentime showing their personality throughout the season. It starts off a bit cliche, but I think it turned out pretty well.

I’m interested in the world they built and I’m interested in the characters.

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Reverie

The Reverie, a computer program where you can create a world all your own. But what happens when people no longer want to leave? Their real bodies start to die, so it’s up to our main character, Mara Kint, to bring them out. She is a former crisis negotiator that quit her job after a traumatic experience, and helping people in the Reverie is just what she needs.

The concept of the show reminds me of other mind hacking shows. Usually, though, there’s no crime being committed. The ones in danger are the people that refuse to leave the Reverie. Though with such an experimental program, there are bound to be complications that need to be fixed. I do think they don’t push the dreamworld part of the Reverie far enough. I think it’s mostly budget reasons, but it is cool when the world shows that it is all a computer simulation.

I like the character of Mara, played by Sarah Shahi, a lot. She’s cheerful, helpful and well-meaning. It’s fun seeing her interact with the people refusing to leave the program.  Of course, there is that traumatic thing

Most episodes follow a similar procedure, so I guess this is a procedural, just not a crime one. Having the “victims” be the central story of an episode is nice, though. There’s a different approach that needs to be taken each time since people are different. And the episodes that don’t follow the formula are quite fun.

The rest of the main characters are the scientists and manager running the Reverie program. They’re all pretty cool in their own way. Charlie, played by Dennis Haysbert, is great. He’s tough, but knows people well enough to not be too tough. He knows how to get things done and is the primary guy talking to people outside of the company.

Reverie is a cool sci-fi procedural that’s not all about crime. It’s about people. If you want a different pace from other procedurals, this one is fun. There’s nothing must-see about it, but I enjoyed it.

Cloak and Dagger

A Marvel show for teens. But don’t be fooled. It has a lot of serious and crushing moments. The main characters can be angsty, but they have good reason to be.

Cloak and Dagger, or in their normal names, Tyrone and Tandy respectively, have been linked since they were young. Both of them were present at an accident, and in that event, both of them lost someone close. It’s also where they got their cool powers.

If you want super heroes and hero activity in your superhero show, you’ll want to look elsewhere. These young adults are focused on other things. One of them is actively a terrible person through most of the season. But if you want a character-based drama that shows the trials and growth of the main character, Cloak and Dagger does it fantastically.

The show is entirely focused on the titular characters. There’s only one side character that sort of has a plot not related to Cloak or Dagger, but also not really. I’m speaking of Detective O’reilly, how has her own reasons for being involved. But almost everyone else is only around to serve Tyrone and Tandy’s growth and development.

Which makes it a great thing that that Tyrone and Tandy are both great characters. I like Tandy better. She starts off as a sweet kid, but as a result of the accident, she grows up to be selfish and manipulative. As long as she gets what she wants, it’s fine. Over the course of the season, she fights with Tyrone, grows closer to him, pushes him away, pushes him to be better and comes to rely on him.

Tyrone changes a bit less. His emotions are in constant turmoil, but he pushes it down a lot. It leads to him lashing out, yet he’s the one that is always trying to be optimistic. He’s the one trying to keep Tandy a good person, and he’s the one that’s trying to be hopeful despite his feelings telling him otherwise. The actor, though, can come across a bit stiff at times.

The two of them work together really well, which makes the show work. Cloak and Dagger doesn’t have much heroics. This season is about their growth and learning about their powers. Both main characters are compelling. They’re flawed, but you want to see both of them happy and succeed, even when they’re straying into being full jerks.

So if you want superheros, this show will probably disappoint you. But if you want to see the characters react and grow after a horrible event in their lives, and for that problem to continue even during their current lives, this show does it well.

The Expanse

Thank you Amazon for giving this show another season! This is the best science fiction show on TV. It started off a bit confusing, but now, everything is settling into place and the bigger picture is being revealed. Season 3 finishes up the 2nd book and actually finishes the entirety of the 3rd book. That means the 3rd book is done in about half the season, making it feel a bit more rushed than the other parts. I’m still not sure why they didn’t do 1 season a book.

Anyway, this show is just getting better all the time. From the effects to the characters and the story, things are getting intense. And have I mentioned how awesome Amos is? Because he is.

The 2nd book ended a bit abruptly and the start of the 3rd book can seem kind of jarring. Since it happens in the middle of the season, people might feel that there’s just an unexplained timejump. Why is Prax just suddenly gone and all the other fallout of what happened skipped over? Because new book, that’s why!

Still, the second half of the season is fantastic. It gets so much more majestic now that the mysteries behind the protomolecule are unravelling. The pacing is faster, but it still manages to build up the new characters great. Ashford, in particular, is done really well. He’s a great foil to Drummer, who is now in command of the Belter expedition to the Ring.

What I wanted is a bit of a slowdown on two parts. One, I want to feel the full foreboding and strangeness of the space inside the ring. I feel everything happens too fast to give it the awe and anxiousness it deserves. They show people worrying a bit, but I really wanted more large shots of all the ships inside the space, trapped and unable to get out.

The second thing I needed slowed down was Melba. Well, this is going into spoilers, so I’m not going to say much. I’ll say that what the show gave us towards the end was enough, but more wouldn’t hurt.

The Expanse is fantastic, and I am so looking forward to what’s coming next. I haven’t read the books, so I have no idea! Let’s do this.

Legion, Season 2

This season is even crazier than the last, and it leaves a lot of stuff in mystery. This is one of those shows I try not to think to heavily on and just go along for the ride. Okay, I’ll admit I don’t tend to analyze any show too deeply, but I think this one gets especially strange if you do. There’s just so much going on and so much weird imagery. It gets totally strange.

This time, David and his friends are working with Division 3 against the Shadow King. Their goal is to find the Shadow King’s body and destroy it before the Shadow King can get back to it. To start of with, we get a dance battle. They upped the style this time around.

I liked the little lectures on human psychology they put in the episodes. I’m sure they have something to do with what’s going on in the season.

The show is strange in more than one. A lot of the episodes don’t really feel like they have a lot happening. It’s more style than things. But each episode still feels engaging. When taken together, though, I think a whole bunch of things could be cut out without changing anything. And the side characters feel really underutilized this time around. Melanie is barely there for the first 3/4s of the season. Ptonomy drops off later. I’m glad Cary and Kerry have a bit more staying power.

Lenny, though. She’s around and she plays a larger part. That’s great since she was engaging before and she’s probably more engaging now. I’m liking what they did with her, and I’m enjoying her interactions with both David and David’s sister.

I am enjoying Clark, and I really want more of him around. He acts as the normal man of Division 3, because the rest of Division 3 is wacky. They have androids running around all controlled by a mysterious man with a basket on his head. The entire place feels surreal. Really, the entire season feels surreal, more than season 1.

I think season 2 has some pacing problems with a lot of stylish episodes. When things happen, it’s great. When things aren’t happening, it’s entertaining, but afterwards I’m sort of questioning why it happened. Still, it was quite a great end to the season, so I’m interesting in what’s going to happen next.

Once Upon a Time, Series Finale

A magical and charming show closes it’s pages and perhaps lives happily ever after. Once Upon a Time is what happens when fairy tales are mixed together. It’s not necessarily more dark, since plenty of fairy tales were dark. But it is fun and adds several twists along the way. The fun was watching the magic, the hope and the fairy tale characters interact, though it recently moved more to the Disney version of characters. I’m fine with that.

For the final season, it acted as a next chapter, so to speak. Henry is now grown up with his adventures in a new city, new curse, mostly new characters. Regina and Gold are still around. And Hook is there, too. But Emma, Snow and Charming have all retired peacefully.

I actually enjoyed this season. I don’t put too much thought into things, just go along and enjoy the magical ride. If you seriously examine things, there will be a lot of stuff that doesn’t add up, and not even magic can explain it away. As long as it works in the moment, I’m fine with it as I’ve already expected it with this show.

So if you want to see all of your favorite characters, half of them will be gone. But I enjoyed most of the new cast. I’ll go into each character individually later on in the spoiler section.

For the final two episodes, as a series finale, they brought things back a bit to what the original show was like, and it was great. I think it did cut into their original plans, so the new stuff kind of get brushed aside easily, but seeing all of the old group is like revisiting a magical cottage after some time away. It’s a place to kick up ones feet and enjoy.

I think the story ended in a good way. There’s always going to be more adventures, but we know the characters can get through them.

I enjoyed this final season about the same as I did the rest. It has the same problems and the same charm. But with a new location and a lot of new characters, it might not have the pull for long time fans. The plotlines are just as messy and intersects in strange ways, but I enjoyed the individual threads. Even with most of the season spent under a new curse, they still keep things interesting by having certain characters regain their memory.

Time for some spoilers! This will be about the new and different characters added to the cast for this season. The format will be curse name/real name assuming they have two names. Otherwise it’s just their name.

Henry, now all grown up. I think he’s a fine main character. I enjoyed his character, though there’s not that much to say about him.

Jacinda/Cinderella. She’s Henry’s wife, but the two of them don’t really gel together. The actress playing her seems forced in her interactions with everyone, actually. She doesn’t have that spark of magic, unfortunately.

Lucy. Henry’s daughter. Cute and determined. Somewhat annoying, but I didn’t mind that.

Sabine/Tiana. I felt she was underused most of the time, but a good character when she’s around.

Victoria/Lady Tremaine. I enjoyed her a lot. She was the villain for the first half of the season, and she does it well.

Ivy/Drizella. I liked her characer, too. She has some great scenes with Henry and has more chemistry with him than his wife. Unfortunately, her plotline ends rather weakly. It might have to do with this being the last season, though.

Eloise/Goethel. An alright villain. Unfortunately, her plan and backstory gets revealed late and feels even more like something out of nothing than usual. Not helped is that they definitely cut the plans for her short due to needing to make a proper series finale.

Tilly/Alice. One of my two favorite new characters. She’s just great all around. I felt bad when she’s in her bad states and how everyone ignores her. She has fun interactions and is a lot more connected to the story than I first thought.

Samdi/Facillier. He was the most shafted by having to turn the last two episodes into something else. All season long, they’ve been showing him up to something, but he wouldn’t make an interesing final foe, so he had to go. It’s unfortunate as he was pretty interesting.

Margot/Robin. This is Zelena’s daughter, not Robin Hood. And I remembered it’s Margot-with-a-T. The other of my favorite “new” characters this season. I wanted her to be around more and interact with more people. But all of her scenes with Tilly are just darling.

There are some other minor characters around, and a semi-important one too. But I’ll leave those as surprises for the viewer.

For me, the final season of Once Upon a Time is still magical fairy tale convoluted stuff. Most of the characters are good, though, and I’ll be sad not to see more of them.

Short Show Reviews

Here we go! A rapid-fire of shows I’ve watched. Some of the seasons aren’t done. Most are. But I feel like I have a good sense of how I like them. Some of these are things I’ve done previously, and my opinion hasn’t changed much on them. So this is a rapid fire round.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The best show based on a comic book on TV! This season is great, and with a reduced budget, too. They make it work with great twists and great character interactions.

Gotham: The second-best show based on a comic book on TV! This show gets a little spread out with all of the characters and side-plots, but the villains are always fantastic. Gordon is becoming quite jaded, yet he’s still the hero. And Bruce is developing along his path nicely.

Scorpion: I consider this a comedy show, and I liked the ridiculousness. Kinda bummed it’s not getting another season, but I can understand it. The show is pretty silly.

Deception: I liked the concept behind this buddy cop show. It was cool. Sad it only got one season.

iZombie: The show seems to be making the case of the week less important, and I think it weakens the show a bit. There is an interesting main plot going along with no clear antagonist and no real good decisions on how to deal with all the new zombies. Liv is still fun to see, though her original personality seems few and far in between now.

Supergirl: I’m liking the season. The World Killers are a strong enemy, and I think they’re working well, even with almost an entire season around them. Nothing really stands out about the show, but it is still enjoyable. This season has more reasonable relationship stuff, I think.

Timeless: More time travel shenanigans. I like them upgrading the ship to seat four people. It gives the rest of the cast a chance to do more rather than show up in the front and end of the episode. Everyone gets some time-travel fun! The mixups makes the missions more interesting.

Blindspot: Hmm. I’m not sure what it is about the show, but I really like it. All new tattooes this time around. There seems to be more relationship drama, though. I do like Rich dot com being a recurring character. He’s great.

The NCIS’s: I mean, what can I say about them? They’re here doing their thing.

Being the series finale, I’ll give Once Upon a Time it’s own post soon. Some other shows are more in the middle of the season, so I’ll do them later.