Friday, August 30, 2013

Fall Television Part 1: Nerdtastic Sci-Fi

        Now that summer is finally at a close, we can look forward to moderately cooler months with much cooler television programs.  Instead of listing every single new show I'm excited about, I thought I'd highlight a few of the most intriguing.  For today, I will focus on shows with a fantasy/sci-fi element.


       Jonathan Rhys Meyers is back as a Victorian era Dracula in NBC's new show conveniently named Dracula.  Premiering October 25, the spin on a classic character, especially in the hands of the charisma-overloaded Meyers has promise.  Check out the trailer here.

Almost Human

      I am absolutely ready to geek out over J.J. Abrams's next big show Almost Human.  Following a "broken/special" cop played by Karl Urban (Bones in Star Trek) and the almost human robot played by Michael Ealy, Almost Human comes from a long line of great shows from Bad Robot.  This looks like the perfect choice for fans of Fringe. Watch the show November 4th, but first check out the trailer here. 

Sleepy Hollow

      Ichabod Crane finds himself plucked from his time and placed in a modern Sleepy Hollow, burdened with the same supernatural problems.  Fox's Sleepy Hollow looks rather great and has received a fair amount of buzz.  Check it out on September 16th.  Watch the trailer here.

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland

      Once Upon a Time lost a lot of its magic in the second season, but that doesn't mean I'm not interested in its Wonderland spinoff Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. I hope it captures the whimsy and romance it alludes to. Watch the trailer here.

Marvel's S.H.I.E.L.D.

      Okay, I have to say I will be at least checking out Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  It's a given I shouldn't really have to explain.  Watch the trailer here.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Broadchurch Buzz


        Broadchurch, a tense British show featuring many players including David Tennant and Arthur Darvill of Doctor Who fame, amassed a great deal of critical and commercial success across the pond.  Following a murder mystery and the small community affected by it, the show will be premiering on BBC America this August.  Check out a trailer for the series (already greenlit for a second season) here.  I know I am very intrigued to see what all the overseas buzz about Broadchurch is about.

Monday, June 17, 2013

A Mixed Man of Steel

Man of Steel
           I went into Man of Steel yesterday with relatively high expectations.  While Superman isn't my favorite of the super hero legends (with his lack of complex, human weaknesses), the trailers built Man of Steel up as a human story worth seeing.  So the question is, was it?
          I'd say Man of Steel is worth seeing, but is not without flaws.  All of Clark Kent's human moments (growing up, facing his powers...) are told in glimpses and flashback.  These moments are the best part of his story and we are only given tastes of them.  Though I wanted more, I was at least able to enjoy what the film gave, especially the scene when young Clark is overwhelmed by his power, saying "The world is too big." Diane Lane as his mother tells him, "Then make it small."  The power of the film is in these human moments.
          A huge portion of the film focuses on Krypton, which is an interesting spin, especially as General Zod is a formidable foe for Superman.  Scenes with Lois Lane are a bit too rushed, as are scenes with both Clark's biological and adoptive fathers.  Instead, huge portions of the film are dedicated to destructive battle scenes.  I'm all for some action, but there must be plot and character development to accompany it.  (See Star Trek Into Darkness) Instead, sometimes Man of Steel just gives us more destruction.  Spoiler Warning: While the movie controversially allows Superman to kill a foe, in truth Superman probably accidentally hurts and destroys huge chunks of a city during his extended battle with Zod.
          The end of the film offers a glimpse into what the next film may look like, paying homage to his roots.  Even though I didn't absolutely love the film, I liked Henry Cavill as Superman, loved some of Hans Zimmer's music, and appreciated the almost poetic portions of Kent's backstory.  I would certainly see a sequel.  I would also see this, just because:

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries: A Fresh Approach to Entertainment

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

           I'd heard of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries before, but finally pressed play on more than just the first episode (bare in mind episodes are 3-7 minutes each and posted on Youtube). Believe me, the series gets better and better. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries follows Lizzie Bennet, a mass communications grad student living at home with her marriage-crazed mother, stoic father, crazed sister Lydia, and sweet sister Jane.  Lizzie chronicles her adventures and misadventures in  her vlog.  As a huge Pride and Prejudice fan, I was impressed with the fresh modernization of the story. No unforgivable changes were made, and in fact, some made for happier endings for certain characters and more realistic problems in the 2010's.  While the formidable Darcy doesn't make an actual appearance until episode 59 (out of 100), he is a strong presence in Lizzie's life.  The emphasis on friendship and sister relationships certainly honors a focus of Jane Austen's.  All in all the series was just plain addictive. Start watching here.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Orphan Black: Constantly Upping the Game

Orphan Black

               I don't want to spoil Orphan Black if you haven't seen it.  The fun of the new sci-fi/crime/British/American show is in not knowing and in constantly being surprised and invested.  When I first saw BBC America role out its mysterious ad campaign for the show, I wasn't sure what to think of it.  Trust me, it is better that way. Minus the fact that it (rather unnecessarily) adds gratuitous scenes that make it mature audience only, Orphan Black is entertainment at its finest.  Twisting genres and expectations, it zigs and zags as it pleases and keeps the audience coming back for more.  By the second episode, I was hooked.  Though the season isn't done yet, it has already been renewed for a second season by BBC America.  Huge props go to Tatiana Maslany, who plays'll see.  Watch, guess, and geek over Orphan Black.  After all, just who is Orphan Black?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Parenthood Renewed!


        NBC renewed the brilliant, heartbreaking, poignant, award-deserving Parenthood for a 22 episode season.  Yay NBC!  This past season was, for the most part, brilliant even though it was shortened.  Now we get a full season of Bravermen fun.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Thor: The Dark World Trailer Drops

Thor: The Dark World

         Thor was a surprise to many people when it came out a few summers back.  Somehow, it managed to be incredibly entertaining and sincere, avoiding cheese. (Impressive, when you consider there was literally a rainbow bridge).  After Loki, Thor's ultimate villain/brother/anti-hero took on the Avengers, the demand for the sequel intensified.  We all threw down the dvd and demanded another.  We got our request, as Thor: The Dark World is due this fall.  The trailer just debuted today and heavily features Thor dealing with a darkness older than creation.  He reunites with Natalie Portman's Jane, but is ultimately made so desperate he turns to Loki for help.  For all the Loki fans, this should be good.  Loki's chance for redemption is what makes him such a great villain.  Check out the great first trailer here.