Archive for the 'Television' Category

Oct 23 2014

The New Boondocks vs. Black Jesus

Published by under Debate,Television


As usual, the last year of Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block didn’t pass without controversy. Given the lengthy gaps between seasons for Aaron Mcgruder’s suicidally-offensive animated racial satire The Boondocks, any new season has been cause to celebrate over the last ten years. After a four year hiatus the show returned for a fourth season, but it wasn’t quite intact. The man who created the legendary comic strip in college and eventually brought it to the small screen in an even more in-your-face form was no longer involved.

The exact reasoning behind this decision remains a mystery, but Cartoon Network wasn’t done with the radical satirist yet as McGruder was slated to return to television with a bizarre live action series, Black Jesus. The Boondocks has been one of my favorite animated shows since the day it premiered, but could such a unique project survive the loss of the man who built it almost entirely with his own blood, sweat, and tears? And could McGruder possibly duplicate his success in the animated medium in live action? Now that both seasons have run their course, let’s see which one got the better. Continue Reading »

2 responses so far

Oct 16 2014

The 2014 Fall TV Season: What I’m Looking For

Published by under Television


It’s that time of year again – your favorite TV shows are back, or about to come back.  Yes, the huge, big deal shows – Mad Men, Game of Thrones – are approximately 46 months away from just starting to think about a teaser trailer for the new season, but the “kick back and enjoy it” shows have either started up again, or are about to.  Archer will be back in a few months.  New Girl is a few episodes into the new season.  Community is coming early 2015.  Parks and Rec will be back mid-season for a last hurrah.  Bob’s Burgers just came back about a week ago.

When it comes to shows like these, where I’m pretty much in it for the sheer entertainment, I tend to care about what happens and what direction the series is going.  This is a pretty odd stance – I didn’t care about The Wire or Breaking Bad in this way.  It has something to do with the fact that those shows were so good, I didn’t need to care – I trusted them enough that I knew wherever they went, it would be awesome.  I know it doesn’t make any logical sense.  It’s kind of like how you don’t want to step away from the TV during an important game, because your team is somehow affected by the invisible Concern Rays shooting out of your head.  If your team is really, really good, they don’t really need your help.  Which is to say I don’t feel particularly concerned with how Mad Men is going to wrap up; it’s a brilliant show, I’m pretty sure whatever they do is going to be awesome.  But New Girl could so easily become terrible – it’s already kind of teetering on the edge.  I feel like I have to care about it more.

So, in the spirit of those Invisible Concern Rays, here are a few things I hope happen to my favorite underdog shows.

Continue Reading »

One response so far

Oct 10 2014

Flash! Aaa-ahhh!

Published by under Reviews,Television

1 (1)

Since 2012, Arrow has remained the gold-standard in live-action superhero television.  Between its dynamic cast of characters, Shakespearian narrative and gripping action, there’s no real question as to why that is.  In light of that series’ success and in conjunction with DC’s other small screen debuts, the CW launched its long anticipated Flash spin-off series on Tuesday night.  The only real question going into its first episode was whether or not Barry Allen, the fastest man alive, could hold pace with Arrow‘s high quality output.

As a child, Barry Allen watched his mother’s mysterious murder before his very eyes: a crime that his father was wrongly convicted of.  As an adult, he channeled his need for answers into a career as a forensic scientist for the Central City Police Department.  But after a particle accelerator at S.T.A.R. Labs explodes, feeding unknown energies into a thunderstorm, Barry is struck by a bolt of lightning that leaves him in a coma for nine months.  When he awakens, however, he discovers that he can now run at supersonic speeds and heal at an accelerated rate.  With the help of a team of disgraced scientists with everything to prove, he becomes the Flash: a masked vigilante who fights other metahumans that were created by the same storm of cosmic energies that gave him his powers.

At its core, difference between Arrow and the Flash is difference between Batman and Superman.  Arrow is the Dark Knight of television: dark, brooding and intense.  Oliver Queen is an urban commando, stalking white collar criminals who have fundamentally failed the city and pin-cushioning them with arrows.  His actions are fueled by redemption: cleansing himself of the vapid playboy that he used to be through selfless dedication to the common good.  Like Tony Stark, he realizes what his narcissistic inaction has done to both his home and to the people he cares most for, and dedicates himself to reversing the moral entropy that has gripped Starling City. Continue Reading »

2 responses so far

Oct 09 2014

Five Characters Who Would Make Fox’s Gotham a Better Place.

Published by under Comics,Lists,Television


I definitely had my doubts about whether giving Batman the Smallville treatment was the best idea, but after a few episodes, I think it’s safe to say that the approach they came up with for Fox’s show about the formative years of Gotham’s most famous residents is shaping up pretty well. But there’s always room for improvement.

Although the show predictably opens with the fateful night at the theater that led to the eventual creation of the Batman, rather than focusing on young Bruce Wayne the star of Gotham is a rookie James Gordon, still many years away from being the Commissioner, making his way through the mire of corruption that is the Gotham City Police Department. Naturally, our heroes split time with some of Batman’s rogue’s gallery, who occupy various stations around the city prior to their eventual rise to supervillaindom.

Many of the usual suspects are already accounted for at this point, but we’ve seen them all time and again in countless incarnations. Gotham represents a whole new approach to the Batman mythos; one that’s more down to Earth and character-based than what most of we’ve seen in the past. In a weekly serial format, that opens up a lot of possibilities for characters that often get overlooked in film or animated adaptations in favor of more recognizable or zany alternatives. Here are five characters I’d like to see from Batman comics that could help make the show a real winner. Continue Reading »

6 responses so far

Oct 09 2014

5 Amazing Episodes Of Television From Terrible Shows

Published by under Television


Sometimes I get sucked into bad TV shows.  I’m willing to overlook some pretty terrible flaws if a show has the right things going for it.  I mean, David Duchovny alone was enough to get me through several seasons of Californication, even after I realized it was basically a song stuck on repeat after a few episodes, and the lyrics were “Hank Moody’s penis gets him alternatively into, and then out of trouble.”

But every now and then, an otherwise insipid show will go nuts for an episode and play way about its head.  Unfortunately, you usually have to wade through a lot of crap to stumble on these hidden gems, and who has time for that?  Well, apparently I do, as when I started researching this article I realized that over the years, I’ve ended up watching a lot of of terrible shows.  But hey, my pain is your gain!

Here are a handful of episodes that manage to rise above they shows they were spawned from.

Continue Reading »

8 responses so far

Oct 06 2014

What’s Happening to Downton Abbey?

Published by under Television


Downton Abbey’s latest season recently premiered in the UK and it’s quite disappointing that US viewers would have to wait until the next year to see it. Interestingly, I was surprised to read that the ratings took a significant dip by the premiere of the second episode. This isn’t pleasant news for any loyal fan of the show, but I do understand that sometimes it’s better to end a show on a good note than let it blow itself up in the face.

I was worried that the departure of Dan Stevens would be a huge blow to the show. Now, I feel like it wouldn’t have made a difference if he stayed on or not. Here are my thoughts on Downton Abbey and its future.

Continue Reading »

One response so far

Oct 03 2014

A Western Cover of the Game of Thrones Theme

Published by under Television,Videos

I suppose Game of Thrones has a few things in common with Westerns of old. Proud families, lots of murder and revenge, and so on and so forth. Therefore, I suppose it doesn’t seem out of place that the show has now gotten a Western-style cover of its theme from Ben Dan.

It works shockingly well, almost, and you absolutely must watch the video above. Now all we need is an artist to go through and to western remake versions of all the characters that we can look at as we listenn to this track.

No responses yet

Oct 02 2014

The Newsroom: Aaron Sorkin’s Chance To Leave It All On The Field

Published by under Television


It seems like Aaron Sorkin can’t get a break.  Sports Night got the axe into just its second season, when the characters were really starting to gel, The West Wing was a massive success but Sorkin had to/chose to leave after Season 4 and didn’t get to see it to the finish line.  Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip kind of bombed in the ratings department and only made it one season, despite being (in my opinion) a better show than 90% of what’s on television right now.

It seems like Sorkin has been spinning different versions of the same tale for years now: astoundingly competent people in a very public industry (sports TV, politics, comedy TV, network news) struggle to do their jobs well against the backdrop of a fickle, uncaring public and power-hungry, amoral peers.  Their victories are few and far between, but always well-deserved because of their extreme integrity and dedication, and their almost unbelievable professional acumen is only matched by their comical ineptitude when it comes to personal relationships.  What’s frustrating is that he’s never been able to tell that story to a satisfying conclusion.  We’ve never gotten The Promised End.

Now, when The Newsroom airs its final 6 episodes (starting in just over a month – November 9th), Aaron Sorkin will have that opportunity, and we’ll get to see what it looks like when a great writer can leave it all on the field.  I don’t know about you guys, but I’m absolutely thrilled. Continue Reading »

6 responses so far

Oct 01 2014

Adventure Time Gets Badass-ified

Published by under Images,Television


Artist Shillustration has gone through and done some makeovers of all your favorite Adventure Time characters, given them tattoos, piercings, weapons and bad attitudes. It would obviously be a very different show if these remakes were implemented, but Adventure Time is such a random show, I can’t even say this will never happen.

The rest are below, though I can’t even feature the remakes of the girls, because they’re rather NSFW. Those can be seen here, because I know after that description you’re going to be curious. Continue Reading »

No responses yet

Sep 30 2014

Why You Should Watch Amazon’s Transparent

Published by under Television


I was always so skeptical of Amazon’s original programming ever since they launched pilot season. The company’s in-house content ranged from mediocre to good yet forgettable. Let’s not forget about how they made everyone disappointed about a Zombieland TV series. However, it seems like their luck is starting to change as they’ve gradually been producing great shows lately. Transparent is one of these gems and it’s something they can stack up against Netflix’s House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. The acting is phenomenal and props goes to Arrested Development star Jeffrey Tambor. At the same time, the writing possesses raw honesty and relevance that’ll suck most audiences in.

Transparent is basically about 70-year old divorced man who comes out as a woman and the aftermath of his revelations among his family. It’s not simply focused on Trans (forgive my knowledge of terminology) community since it also explores other aspects of sexuality. Heck, it’s appealing even if you’re straight because the show has universal themes regarding family, friendship, love, and identity. Still not convinced? Here are some reasons why I think you should watch this show.

Continue Reading »

One response so far

Sep 29 2014

Bad Leap Reading Meets The Walking Dead Season Four

Published by under Television,Videos

I feel like you should all be familiar with the concept of Bad Lip Reading by now, given that their channel has about 3 million subscribers their videos are scattered across the internet every other week or so.

This one? This is one of their best. They’ve taken on The Walking Dead season four (hardly their first visit to the show), but something about this one tops most of their other videos. I don’t usually just pull one example of a recurring video series, but given how much I laughed during this one, I figured that it was worth an exception.

No responses yet