Wow. What a week.
Where to start? How about the Walking Dead? Last week, I wrote that I had been unhappy with the new season of the Walking Dead because the show had become boring. Just a few hours later, the Walking Dead would have the best episode of the season. Why? Easy. They focused on people that we knew– with stakes for them. King Ezekiel, Jerry, Carol, Rick and Daryl. Then, they gave us the most emotional scene of the year and it was about the death of Shiva, the CG tiger that had been prowling the Kingdom. I could not believe that Shiva died, even though it was a heroic death as Shiva saved Ezekiel from the Walkers. I was on the edge of my seat. More episodes like this one please.
The Punisher debuted on Netflix this weekend and… HOLY CRAP. This series was not what I was expecting. There was more character development and characterization than any of the Marvel Netflix series. It had remarkable writing and tremendous dialogue. I was very engaged by the story, even though some claimed that the early episodes were slow or boring. I love the character stuff so I was enthralled. Then, when it came time for the Punisher violence, this show went further than I ever believed it would. People who complained about Marvel/Disney not doing Deadpool right if FOX sells to Disney should just look here for the example. There was so much blood and there were several times when I had to look away because it was so graphic. This was easily the best version of the Punisher ever on film and Jon Bernthal deserves an Emmy nomination for his work as Frank Castle.
But the most emotional I was all week was at the end of the Winter finale of How to Get Away with Murder. All season we had been fed tragic scenes making us wonder what exactly had happened, and tonight we found out. Laurel passing out in a stuck elevator as she went into labor, giving premature birth. There was blood everywhere, and it was up to Annalise to try and save the baby… the baby that we knew had disappeared from the scenes all season. Those desperate cries from Annalise to the 9-1-1 caller and her yelling “live” at the baby was just unbelievable. Watching her give CPR to that tiny preemie was as emotional as you are going to get. I have never taken a deeper breath than when we heard the baby cry as the screen went black. Amazing.
We got a new series on AMC this week that I have enjoyed. Robert Kirkman’s Secret History of Comics told the story about the unknown back stories of the comic industries. The first episode talked about Stan Lee and the history of Marvel. There was a great deal of focus on Jack Kirby as well. There was a second episode that I saw this week with the story of William Moulton Marston, the creator of Wonder Woman. I had already seen the film Dr. Marston and the Wonder Women so I had a background on this story already, but it was cool to see it again.
This week’s episode of Ghosted was fun, but it showed the strengths and weaknesses of the series. Ghosted has a great cast, with some creative stories… this week dealing with an A.I. named Sam who went evil. The problem was that the show goes too fast. The half and hour show always feels that as soon as they get things properly introduced, the plot wraps up because the show’s time was over. Perhaps if Ghosted was an hour show, or they did two part episodes the show would feel less choppy. I really enjoy the humor of the show and the interaction with the characters, so I hope they figure out the pacing issues.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver ended their show for the remainder of the year and they did it with a great episode looking at the Trump presidency. Oliver showed clips showing how Trump and other Republicans use the techniques of “delegitimizing the media,” “whataboutism” and “trolling” as a way to distract and detour his opponents. It was a really funny show.
The Movie Trivia Schmoedown concluded their team and singles Ultimate Schmoedown tournaments this week and one person stood out as the highlight of the week, “The Inglorious One” Samm Levine. First, the team tournament finals happened where Above the Line, featuring Samm Levine and Drew McWeeney defeat the heelish Team Action. Then, later in the week, Levine won the singles tournament as he upended “Little Evil” JTE. So now, Samm Levine, at the December Schmoedown Spectacular, has two title matches. Above the Line takes on the team champions The Patriots, and then Levine takes on the Schmoedown Champion Kristian Harloff. Congrats to Samm Levine on his big week.
It seems as if Dirk Gently is having some serious trouble with all the death going on around him. He has really lost the sparkle in his eye and he has become tired of the mantra that “Everything is connected.” That is making the stakes on Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency all the more tough. There is a lot of strangeness going on on Dirk Gently and it is awesome fun. However, please do not let Farrah be dead.
Did Papa Pope kill the very pregnant Quinn? He supposedly kidnapped her in a way to get his freedom and his dinosaur bones back, but when Olivia did not fold, he shot her…off screen. Personally, I do not believe for one minute that he did it. I believe that Quinn and Pope were working together to try to save Olivia’s soul. However, her soul is very, very dark right now. Scandal is in its final season and will be off until January 18th.
I also sampled the first few episodes of Hulu’s new show Future Man starring Josh Hutcherson. After the first three episodes I had not been convinced to watch the remainder. It was not terrible, but it did not grab my interest as much as it needed to. I may still continue to watch it, but I am not feeling the need to binge it. Here is hoping that the next Hulu series, The Runaways which starts this week, is more engaging for me.
Survivor Series on WWE Network is happening right now.