The TV Week That Was

spoilers

Welcome back to the TV Week That Was.

Image result for carl walking deadJust finished watching the Walking Dead special 90-minute mid-season finale.  Most of the episode was leading toward a shocking ending, an ending that they were teasing that everyone would be talking about.  And what they were referring to is that Carl was bitten by a Walker.  After Negan had gotten free of the zombie trap, he came to Alexandria for vengeance.  However, Carl had gotten the others out and confronted Negan.  After that, in the sewers where the survivors were hiding, Carl showed the Walker bite to Rick and Michonne.  Carl is not dead yet, and, on the Talking Dead, writer/producer Scott Gimple teased that Carl will have something important to do when the Walking Dead returns in February.

 

Dirk Gently on BBC America continues to be solid television each and every week.  The show has tremendous humor, exciting action, twists and turns and some great characters.  This week, the violence capita went through the roof as several of the characters from Wendimore were killed.  Hardest of all, moments after the sweet reunion, Panto and Silas were shot to death.  However, the sight of Bart with a chainsaw preparing to unleash holy hell is really dramatic.  I am hoping that the Boy will be able to save some of these characters when Dirk rescues him from Blackwing.  Either way, we found out this week that Sheriff Sherlock Hobbs is not dead.  Whoo-Hoo!  Of course, he then promptly got shot along with Farrah and Tina.  This show has really been on a breakneck pace this season.

Agents of SHIELD was just off the charts again this week with the group still in the future and in space.  Not only did we get more awesomeness from the crew, but they officially introduced the concept of the Multiverse in the MCU.  It was a difficult week for Simmons, though she is just looking all kinds of beautiful with her gold trimmings.  She was brought out of her weird daze to help train an Inhuman with her phasing power. The girl wound up in a gladiator style showdown, eventually sending her fist through her opponent’s chest.  And what did she get for it?  Sold.  Besides this plot, Coulson came across some kind of strange message coming from the surface of what is left of the earth, that is covered with the roaches.  Agents of SHIELD is rocking season five hard so far.

On Gotham we had a bratty Bruce Wayne sighting this week.  Bruce’s bad behavior had Alfred very concerned, but Bruce was not in the mood to listen to his guardian/butler.  So Alfred got into some fisticuffs with Master Bruce and blackened the brat’s eye.  Because of that, Bruce got himself emancipated and fired Alfred.  Bruce’s evolution in Bratman is well under way.  Also on the episode, we saw he murder of Carmine Falcone, who arrived to retrieve his daughter.  Everyone believed that Penguin had ordered the hit, but it turned out that it was Sophia, his daughter.  Sophia blackmailed Jim Gordon into keeping it quiet.  Plus, she shot the escaped Pyg in the head.  That was my least favorite part of the episode, because I really enjoyed Pyg.  Then, with Penguin returned to Arkham, he wound up in the cell next to Jerome.

Image result for Speechless star warsStar Wars hype continued on the Disney owned network ABC on Speechless as JJ and his brother Ray were able to get tickets to the premiere of the new Star Wars movie.  This, of course, led to conflict when JJ wanted to use the tickets to get a hot girl to take him.  There is a funny cameo on the show by famous director Kevin Smith, which is even more ironic since Smith talked about not being invited to the Star Wars: The Last Jedi premiere on his latest Fatman on Batman podcast.

Related imageI tried to watch the new SyFy series Happy, which is based on a Grant Morrison/Darick Robertson graphic novel but I just could not get into it.  Happy starred Law and Order star Christopher Meloni and a blue, flying unicorn that only Meloni could see. 

 

Marvel’s Runaways took another awesome step this week as the group came together for the first time and showed off their powers.  And old friend of Alex’s father, who had taken the rap for him to get him out of prison, returned this week and grabbed Alex fro leverage.  Little did he know that the Runaways were here to take care of business.  We got a good scene between Chase and his father as well, as it turned out that Victor revealed that he had a brain tumor.  The show on Hulu has been really great so far and I have enjoyed the slow burn on it.

Image result for star wars schmoedownThe Movie Trivia Schmoedown continues its push towards its big show, The Schmoedown Spectacular on Dec. 22nd.  This week they had a number one contender for the Star Wars Championship, currently held by “The Pit Boss” Ken Napzok.  The fatal five way match saw Sam Witwer come out on top after a very dramatic match.  However, after the victory, they brought out Napzok who apparently turned to the Dark Side of the Force and joined the Lion’s Den.  Seemingly, Napzok’s Nerd’s watch partner Rachel Cushings talked him out of it, getting Ken to agree to team up with her again against the Lion’s Den team Blofeld’s Cat.  That match up is Tuesday, and I expect some shenanigans, especially if Ken and Rachel lose.

The week ahead features a sneak peak of the return of Movie Fights to Screen Junkies.  The show that has been off the air since the Andy Signore sexual harassment situation is on its way back and Thursday has a sneak peak.  Also more from Agents of SHIELD, a new Runaways, and more.

Happy viewing

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner Poster

I had a chance to attend a screening of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner today, and I was very pleased that I did.  I had never seen the film before, but I found it a fascinating look at the time.

Clearly, race relations remain at the heart of many of the problems we face as a society and it is vital that we face them head on and face them with honesty and respectfulness.  This film should be a cornerstone of that respect.

I truly enjoyed the movie.  A young white girl named Joey (Katharine Houghton) returned to her parents, Matt (Spencer Tracy) and Christina (Katharine Hepburn) Drayton, with her brand new fiance, Dr. John Prentice (Sidney Poitier).  They had fallen in love on a trip to Hawaii and the whirlwind romance led them back to Joey’s parents’ door.  The issue?  John was black.

The Draytons were a liberal couple, raising Joey to believe color of skin was not important in the value of a human, and Joey was sure that they would have no trouble with her marrying a black man.  John was not as certain.

One of my favorite parts of this film was how human it was.  It did not make the Draytons racists.  On the contrary, they were reasonable, friendly and truly believed in the equality of the races.  You could see how much respect they had had for John and all the wonderful things he had accomplished as a doctor worldwide.  And yet, the thoughts of the dangers and troubles that their daughter would face in a mixed race marriage caused even these progressive thinking people to take pause.  I liked how they approached this plot point.

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner would become the final appearance on screen for Spencer Tracy as Matt Drayton.  Tracy passed away not too long after the finish of the filing of the movie.  His performance is so great, as he embodied the struggle of his beliefs against his fears.  His longtime scene mate, Katharine Hepburn was beautiful throughout the entire film, with her tears just slightly hanging within her eyes.  You could tell how much of a connection these two actors had after years of working together.

Sidney Poitier also turned in a wonderful performance as Dr. Prentice.  You could see on his face how uncertain he felt when broaching the subject with Joey’s parents and how he felt when trying to avoid telling his own parents.  His strength of character really played through the film, making the struggle all the more challenging for Matt.

There were several other fun performances from secondary characters.  Isabel Sandford (from the Jeffersons fame) played housekeeper Tillie with all the sassy you would expect.  Cecil Kellaway received an Oscar nomination for his role as family friend and priest, Monsignor Ryan, who provided a neutral voice among the emotions.  Virginia Christine played the closet racist Hillary St. George.  Her firing by Christina was a highlight of the story.

At its time, this movie was very controversial, with the topic of interracial marriage being a hot one.  A few months after the movie finished shooting, the United States Supreme Court ruled the laws against interracial marriage as unconstitutional, making a line of dialogue about John and Joey being criminals in some states out of date.

Tracy and Hepburn together one final time made this film all the more powerful.  It was a real enjoyable film that I am glad to have had a chance to see.

vintage

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner Poster

Just Getting Started

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Just collecting a paycheck.

This film stars Morgan Freeman, Tommy Lee Jones and Renee Russo.  They’ve starred in films such as Nightcrawler, The Fugitive, Men in Black, The Shawshank Redemption, The Dark Knight, Lincoln, Captain America: The First Avenger and No Country for Old Men.

And Just Getting Started.  One of these things doesn’t go with the other.

What a waste of time.

Morgan Freeman stars as Duke Diver, the manager of the luxury Palm Springs resort, the Villa Capri.  Duke is eccentric and living the lifestyle of the alpha male of Villa Capri.  That is, until Leo (Tommy Lee Jones) comes along to steal his thunder.  Plus, Rene Russo arrives to give Duke a job performance review for the owning company.  Oh, there is a mob story and you are supposed to think that Leo was there to try and kill Duke.

Ugh.  This was written by the same man who wrote Bull Durham.  What happened?

Plus, in a world where sexual misconduct is being rightfully called out across Hollywood, both Duke and Leo treat women with a remarkably old time style.  And Rene Russo’s character of Suzie is played with such a weakness that she actually has to swoon over Johnny Mathias.

Suzie is such a caricature in the story that you cannot take her seriously, even for a moment.  She portrays everything that is opposite of a strong woman that it is appalling.

There is little to no humor in the film.  When the big laughs are having Graham Beckel’s character sit on a bucket lid to keep a rattlesnake from escaping.

Ha Ha Ha… ugh.

There is no sense being made.  You have elder statesmen of actors acting like middle school students in maturity level.  You got characters changing traits every five minutes and other characters that are supposed to be intelligent and well versed doing the stupidest things immediately.   Russo is a complete damsel in distress by the end of the film and a total incompetent, except of course when she is not and the film wants you to believe that she is more than what she seems.  And I have no idea what has happened to Freeman and Jones.

By the way, things keep blowing up and it never seems to attract the police.  Same with some high speed car chases.  I guess the cops have more important things to do than check out a retirement village.

Just Getting Started was done in the first ten minutes and the rest of the time was an unfunny, boring and predictable mess that had three actors who have seen WAY better in their time.

1 star

Top Streaming Services

This is the wave of the future. It is how we will all be getting our programming one day.  The number of streaming services have exploded over the last couple of years and there is no putting the genie back in the bottle.

I mean… Disney started talking about their own service in 2018, which is one of the big reasons why Disney is attempting to purchase such a big chunk of IPs from FOX.  It is not just about bringing the Fantastic Four and the X-men into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  It is about bringing content to their streaming service.

Yes, Disney is in the future, but for now, I have the list of Top 8 streaming services for 2017.  Again, it is my choices and you may disagree.  I am not a Game of Thrones viewer so the appearance of that show on a certain streaming service does not impress me.

Image result for youtube red#8.  YouTube Red.  This is an attempt by YouTube to cash in on the streaming service.  I have not purchased this, but the idea of YouTube without the ads is, I must say, appealing.  The series that they have for the service has not caught my fancy at this point and it may need to come up with something more interesting to really compete.

 

Image result for cbs all access#7.  CBS All Access.  Another one that I do not subscribe to, but the inclusion of the new Star Trek: Discovery series makes one think about it.  There are not enough CBS shows for this to matter to me either, but who knows.

 

 

Related image#6.  Starz.  I did have Starz during this year in order to watch American Gods, but I have not watched anything else on it.  American Gods was a tremendous show, though and it was well worth the price.

 

 

Image result for hbo#5. HBO.  There are great programs on HBO, but I do not subscribe here either.  I must say though that I have considered this several times.  I know that some day I will binge the seasons of Game of Thrones, but, with this series heading into its final season, I will not be getting HBO for it yet.

 

Image result for showtime#4. Showtime.  One reason for this to be as high on this list as it is.  It was the reason why I purchased the service.  It was for the 18 episodes of Twin Peaks; The Return.  After Twin Peaks ended its run, I cancelled my subscription to Showtime.  I am just not interested in the network outside of Twin Peaks.  I did watch the Putin Interviews while I had it.  Those were somewhat fascinating.  One of the biggest WTF moments of the year was watching Oliver Stone make Vladimir Putin watch Dr. Strangelove.

 

Related image#3. Amazon Prime.  This is with a bullet.  It has some great shows on it, especially the return of The Tick.  Amazon also outbid everybody for the rights to create a Lord of the Rings style TV show.  Another fun series here was Comrade Detective, showing us how to fight for the Communist ideals.  Amazon Prime is hot right now, but I am not sure it has enough oomph to get past numbers 1 and 2.

 

Image result for hulu#2. Hulu.  Hulu has really moved itself into a position of strength.  They had some great original series (Handmaid’s Tale, The Runaways, 11/22/63) and it offers you a chance to stream HBO, Showtime and the networks.  Hulu has been working on becoming a player to compete with the big dog…

 

Image result for netflix#1. Netflix.  Of course.  The king of the streaming service once again, Netflix is appointment TV.  Just this year they added such shows as Stranger Things 2, The Punisher, The Defenders, 13 Reasons Why, Glow, Big Mouth, Mindhunter, Santa Clarita Diet, A Series of Unfortunate Events, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Fuller House, Grace and Frankie, Bill Nye, Narcos, Castlevania, BoJack Horseman, Friends from College, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, The Crown, The Keepers… I could go on.  And that does not even include the new movies Netflix is putting out.  Or the old favorites that you can get.  Netflix is still the top of the line and it might take a lot to bump it off its perch.  We’ll see if the Mouse can do it.

 

The Disaster Artist

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I never knew that Tommy Wiseau was inspired by James Dean.

There was a lot shown to us in James Franco’s new movie, The Disaster Artist, based on the creation of Tommy Wiseau’s movie, The Room, which is considered one of the worst movies ever made.  Franco, who directed and starred in this, did a very smart thing.  He did not spend the whole film making fun of Wiseau and The Room.  Instead, he showed us the humanity of the man and his dream.

Tommy Wiseau (James Franco) and Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) met each other in an acting class in San Francisco and Greg was immediately taken by Tommy’s passion and his ability to put himself out there.  It was something that he was struggling doing, so, despite the fact that Johnny clearly did not have any acting skill, Greg went to Tommy and asked to be his scene partner.

A friendship grew from that unlikely meeting, as Greg and Tommy moved to LA to pursue their dream of becoming actors.  However, as the pair found that it was not easy to break into show business, Tommy decided to skip the line and write, produce, fund, direct and star in his own movie.

What came forth was a movie that was downright terrible, but became a cult classic, including midnight showings that are consistently selling out.  The filming of the movie had plenty of troubles, but the result of this is hilarious.

Playing a real life character such as Tommy Wiseau is a challenge, but James Franco is sensational in the role.  James Franco morphed into Wiseau. His accent, his mannerisms, the way he is was just perfect.  Franco did not create a parody of the man.  He became him.

And Tommy Wiseau is an enigma.  The fact is that we do not know much of anything about him.  He has, what sounds like, a thick, perhaps, Eastern European accent, but he claims to have been born in New Orleans.  It is not known where Tommy gets his money and how he seems to have an endless supply of it.  He financed The Room, rumored to be over 6 million dollar, by himself.  Tommy refuses to reveal his age, as Tommy tries to pass himself off as a much young man than he appears to be.  The film does a really strong job of playing these odd mysteries off as more than just eccentric behavior.  We never do find out the answers as Tommy refuses to give any straight answers to these questions.

The movie was really funny, but there was way more depth to it besides just the humor.  The movie looked closely at the relationship between Tommy and Greg, and they were able to connect the audience to these people.  Honestly, there were several moments in this movie where I truly felt for Tommy, despite the fact that he was ridiculous and very unaware of his short-comings.  The scene where Tommy was at the premiere and the crowd was laughing, the film took several moments to focus on James Franco and his reactions were just crushing.  That would not mean near as much if this was simply a satire of Tommy Wiseau and this terrible movie.

Fact is, it is clear that James Franco and everyone involved in The Disaster Artist has a healthy respect for Tommy Wiseau and the movie that he made, even if it is the worst film ever made.  That respect comes through in the film.

Seth Rogan and Paul Scheer are in the film as part of the crew that questions the insanity that was everywhere.  They were wonderful, and it might have been my favorite Set Rogan performance ever.  They were the voice of the audience as we wondered exactly what was wrong with Tommy Wiseau.  Rogan’s delivery was pitch perfect.

The movie also showed the other side of Tommy Wiseau as well.  There were many times where Tommy was jealous or was vengeful.  He wanted things his way and if there was anything that he did not like, he did not respond well to it.  Petty things such as not allowing the crew to have water in the hot studio or verbally abusing the actors because Alfred Hitchcock did it too.

The Disaster Artist is a great movie.  I loved it.  There are so many great moments of heart and humanity, along with the humor and the oddity that made The room such a cult classic.  James and Dave Franco are great in the movie, anchoring a cast of huge acting stars, including a group of filmmakers (including Kevin Smith, JJ Abrams etc) opening the film with words about The room.

And the Disaster Artist is not only funny, but it is strangely inspirational.  Tommy Wiseau did not allow the problems circling him to stop him from reaching for his dream of making a movie.  Despite it being perceived in a manner that Tommy did not want, no one could take that fact away from him.

The Disaster Artist is a great film about the making of a terrible one.  I would recommend seeing The room before you go to the Disaster Artist because seeing The Room does help in certain moments.  The end of the film features several of the most infamous scenes from The Room side by side with recreations in The Disaster Artist and this shows the level of commitment by this cast of actors.

By the way, stay through the credits to the every end as there is a post credit scene.

The is one of the best movies of the year.  I was remarkably entertained.

5 stars

The Room (2003)

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Getting ready to watch the comedy The Disaster Artist, starring James Franco, this weekend, I pulled up The Room, written, directed and starring Tommy Wiseau, to wacth once more.

I saw The Room once before, as one of the RiffTrax Live showings and it was unbelievably and unintentionally funny.  The thought of watching the Room without some aid was harrowing.

Fortunately, three of the personalities at Collider Video, Mark Ellis, Dennis Tzeng and Ashley Mova recorded a movie commentary about the Room, with Mark and Ashley never having seen it before.  So I pulled both of these videos up, played them simultaneously and watched away.

The Room truly is one of the worst movies of all time.  It is either this one or Birdemic: Shock and Terror that take the crown.  It really is hard to say.

There is not much of a story.  Johnny (Tommy Wiseau) is a successful banker and he seems to have a strong relationship with his future wife Lisa (Juliette Danielle), but Lisa is not happy.  She engages in an affair with Johnny’s best friend Mark (Greg Sestero).

Did I mention that Mark is Johnny’s best friend?

The Room is so bad that you have to laugh at it.  You can really have a good time watching this because it is so horrible.  The acting, the dialogue, the plot, the sex scenes, the multiple establishing shots are all just terrible.

Honestly, I can’t imagine how a film like this gets made.  And yet, here it is.

Tommy Wiseau put his heart into this project, and he has given the world, unintentionally, something to laugh about.

I am very excited about seeing the Disaster Artist this week.  The film that is the making of the worst film ever.  James Franco seems to be channeling the mysterious Tommy Wiseau and could be nominated for an Oscar.  Is that ironic, that a film about the worst movie ever has a chance to be an Academy Award nominated film?

Thanks to Mark Ellis, Ashley Mova and Dennis Tzeng for doing this commentary.  Their reactions really helped me get through the film.  Because The room is definitely…

putrescent

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EYG Top Ten Sports Biopics

EYG23

Welcome back to the EYG version of the Top Ten Show.  This week’s topic is Sports Biopics.  Again, thanks to John Rocha and Matt Knost for their entertaining weekly podcast that provides us with the topic for the week.  Here is a link to their show.

So at first, I wasn’t sure I could find enough to make out this list, but then I did a little digging and discovered that there were more than I thought and that several of my favorite sports movies were actually true stories.

There are several on my list this week that might be closer to biopics on the whole teams, and, while the Top Ten guys eliminated those from their lists, I am keeping them on mine.

One big problem with my list in this topic is… technically I have never seen Raging Bull.  I know…I know… but I haven’t seen it.  So I am leaving it off the list with the full knowledge that it should probably be there.

Anyway… here we go.

Image result for the rookie#10.  The Rookie.  This is the story of a left handed reliever named Jim Morris, a high school coach who was, at one point, a former pitcher in the minors.  He had tore up his shoulder and had to retire.  Years later, Morris was coaching and his team seemed to believe that his fastball might still be there.  And this was his comeback as a 40 year old rookie.

 

Image result for beyond the mat#9.  Beyond the Mat.  Matt Knost included this one on his list and I thought it was a great choice.  It really showed the dark side of the world of professional wrestling.  Now, I do believe that it specifically went out of its way to look for the darkness and to target those at their lowest, but you cannot deny the drama of seeing Jake Roberts with his daughter or Mick Foley getting through the next match with so much pain.  I considered other WWE documentaries for this list, but in the end, I stuck with this one only.

 

Image result for the blind side#8.  The Blind Side.  Featuring the story of NFL player Michael Oher, who came from an impoverished background, in a home where his mother could not provide the kind of stable life needed, Michael wound up in the home of the Tuohy family.  They wound up adopting him and he found his way upon the grid iron.  Sandra Bullock won an Academy Award for her role in the film.

 

Image result for the fighter#7.  The Fighter.  David O. Russell’s film focusing on boxer Micky Ward, played by Mark Wahlberg, and his older half-brother, Dicky Eklund, played by Christian Bale.  Though much of the narrative of the film centers on Dicky, this is still the story of Micky Ward.  Wahlberg and Ward were apparently friends and that helped inspire Wahlberg to take the role.  I remember feeling so bad for Micky because of his brother that I was pulled in to the tale.

 

Image result for moneyball#6.  Moneyball.  Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane was at the head of a new push in Major League Baseball that would focus on numbers/stats that would become known as Sabermetrics.  Beane knew that as the GM of Oakland, he would never be able to compete with the big money teams like Yankees or Red Sox so he started to look at the numbers.  When a player became too expensive, replace him with less flashy players who you could combine to replace the missing stats.  This led to quite a revolution, whether good or bad, in MLB.  Brad Pitt was excellent as Beane.

 

Related image#5.  Rush.  I had no intentions or expectations of liking this movie.  I have never been a fan of auto racing and the trailers seemed to be heavy on areas that I did not like.  However, director Ron Howard brought the goods in this film detailing the story of Niki Lauda and James Hunt and the rivalry between the two of them during the Formula One seasons in the 1970s.  Daniel Bruhl and Chris Hemsworth really were fantastic in these roles and I loved Rush way more than I had any right to.

 

Image result for 42 jackie#4.  42.  I am a huge Dodger fan and the story of Jackie Robinson, MLB’s first black player, is a can’t miss.  I found this extremely entertaining, with great performances by Chadwick Boseman as Jackie and Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey.  There are some unbelievable scenes shown here describing the terrible things Jackie had to go through just to play the game.  It makes one wonder how people can be so cruel to one another.

 

Related image#3. Foxcatcher.  This is the tragic story of Mark and David Schulz and their relationship with wrestling enthusiast John E. du Pont.  A relationship that saw the creation of the Foxcatcher wrestling training camp but led to the shooting of Dave by du Pont.  Steve Carell showed off his dramatic acting chops with a role that few had expected from him as du Pont.

 

Image result for miracle movie olympics#2.  Miracle.  “Do you believe in miracles?” shouted Al Michaels as the US hockey team defeated the USSR Hockey team in one of the biggest upsets in sports history.  Miracle tells the story of this team and the coach Herb Brooks.  The film does a great job of capturing what was perhaps the USA’s greatest Olympic moment ever.

 

Image result for remember the titans#1.  Remember the Titans.  Another film that really focuses more on a team than an individual, but Remember the Titans is my favorite football movie and when I realized that this is a true story, I had to put it on this list.  Denzel Washington is amazing as Coach Herman Boone, an African-Amercian man who faced not only challenges on the football field, but huge divides within his own locker room of a racial nature.  This is an amazing story showing how people can overcome race and become more than just an individual.  “We are the Titans.  Mighty, mighty Titans.”

 

So there is my list/  I do not have much of a list of honorable mentions for this topic.  As I said, I considered some of the excellent WWE videos that they created on their stars such as Jake Roberts, Dusty Rhodes, The Road Warriors, Bret Hart, but I decided to leave those off the list.

Other possible honorable mentions:  Coach Carter, Concussion, Unbroken, Race.

What I realize really is that I have not seen enough of this genre because a bunch of these are missing from my viewing.  Maybe I have to watch a few more of them.

Best/Worst Villains of the Year

There were actually quite a few really good villains over the year of 2017.  Here will be the top 12 villains for the year.

Image result for clifford blossom#12.  Clifford Blossom (Riverdale).  Turns out that Daddy Blossom wound up killing his own son in the first season of Riverdale.  There were many throwbacks to Twin Peaks with this story, including the father being guilty.  The story was right before our eyes the whole time, as was the white hair (not red as you thought).

 

Image result for kai anderson#11.  Kai Anderson (American Horror Story: Cult).  I actually am in the middle of this season, trying to catch up with AHS: Cult and I am enjoying the performance of Evan Peters as the charismatic cult leader with intentions of a higher position.  I do not know yet how the season ends (I am in episode 7) but Kai is the heart and driving force behind this realistic and horrifying season.

 

Related image#10.  Penguin (Gotham).  Every year, Oswald Cobblepot is in consideration for this list and that is because he is one of the best written characters on Gotham.  He is deeply developed and the portrayal by Robin Lord Taylor is amazing.  He instills such pain and loss in Penguin that you can’t help but relate to him despite the terrible things he does to get ahead.  Penguin has shined brightly in season 4 of Gotham and he continues to be a standout character on that show.

Image result for thanos infinity war#9.  Thanos (Avengers: Infinity War trailer)  This is probably going to be someone who is considerably higher on this list next year as the actual movie comes out next May 4th.  Thanos stands out in this trailer as a serious threat to the MCU.  Josh Brolin does some great voice over work and the CGI looks tremendous.  Thanos is on the way up.

Related image#8.  Negan (The Walking Dead).  Negan was number one last year, but, oh how the mighty have fallen.  Negan has been a non-factor for much of the last year.  The show has slowly moved the main cast into a war with the Saviors and the charismatic Negan, but it is happening so slowly that the villainy of Negan is slipping away.  When you add in the greatness of Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Negan still makes this list, but at a considerably lower point than when Lucille crushed Glenn’s head in.

olivia skrull#7.  Olivia Pope (Scandal).  A few weeks ago in the TV Week That Was, I speculated that Olivia Pope has actually been replaced by a Skrull.  That is the only reason I can think of as to why Olivia Pope, who would speak about being a Gladiator and wearing a white hat, would become the leader of the black ops group B613, becoming as bad as her father was/is.   I don’t know what this character ever did to the writers of Scandal, but she is practically unrecognizable this season.  Truthfully, Olivia has never been the same since she was kidnapped in season 5.  So… though she is not really a Skrull, that makes more sense.

Image result for hela#6.  Hela (Thor: Ragnarok).  Cate Blanchett in the MCU?  Yes please.  And they made her Hela, the Goddess of Death.  She was one of the best villains of the MCU and really made a serious threat in Thor: Ragnarok.  She destroyed Mjölnir, she killed the Warriors Three with but a thought, and took over the throne of Asgard.  Could Hela return as the object of affection for Thanos?  Oh, that would be so epic.

Related image#5.  V.M. Varga (Fargo).  One of the slimiest, horrible villains of the year arrived on Fargo.  Just the teeth alone made this guy a disturbing persona, but there was so much more.  He did things and just expected to get away with it.  He cared only for his bank account and he was cruel and vicious.  David Thewlis does a great job in every scene that Varga appears.  You really want this guy to get his comeuppance and that is the key to a great villain.

Image result for Pyg gotham#4.  Professor Pyg (Gotham).  I love this guy.  Pyg appeared on this season’s Gotham and he has created a serious creep factor.  Not a well known DC character, Pyg really gave Jim Gordon an antagonist to play against.  The fact that Pyg did not see Jim as an enemy at first made this villain all the worse.  And then he made up some meat pies and forced people to eat them.  Absolutely brutal and gross and awesomely villainous.

 

Image result for vulture michael keaton#3.  Vulture (Spider-man: Homecoming).  When we heard that Michael Keaton would be joining the cast of Spider-man: Homecoming, everybody took notice.  And his ability elevated a character like Adrian Toomes aka the Vulture to another level.  The acting skills of Keaton made his car confrontation with Peter Parker all the more intense.

Related image#2.  Evil Dale Cooper (Twin Peaks).  Kyle McLaughlin had an acting tour de force this year as he played both the villain and the hero in the return of Twin Peaks.  The evil doppelganger of Dale Cooper (with Killer Bob inside him) was just wicked the whole time.  He had the best arm wrestling match of the year!  He was vicious and no one was really sure exactly what was happening.  Evil Coop wound up back in the Black Lodge, with Bob finally gone, but do you think that we could see him again some day?

Image result for pennywise#1.  Pennywise (It).  This was tricky.  If the new version of Pennywise, played by Bill Skarsgård, failed, then the new Stephen King adaptation of It would fail as well.  Bill Skarsgård had huge shoes to fill as Tim Curry’s appearance in the original mini series as the Dancing Clown was so iconic that he was remembered more fondly than the series itself.  Bill Skarsgård knocked it out of the park.  Pennywise was creepy, terrifying, funny and perfect.  And It was one of the best movies of the year.  Pennywise looked like he was a goner, but we know that there is a second It coming down the road.  Maybe Pennywise will be able to end at the top of this list once again.

 

Worst Villains of the Year.

I wanted to talk about three particular villains that were really bad.

Image result for black hood riverdale#3.  The Black Hood (Riverdale).  This one still has a chance to pull itself out of the crap that it is in.  The Black Hood killer started hot, but it has really become a flop of a character.  On the phone with Betty?  Um… In what could have been something worthy of Riverdale, so far, the Black Hood has been way too inconsistent.

Related image#2.  Alexandria (The Defenders) When the word came down that the villain of the Defenders would be played by Sigourney Weaver, we all got excited.  Then we saw her in the remarkably average Defenders and we wondered why we were so excited.  She did not even make the final battle, dying from Elektra’s blade a few episodes before the finale.  Definitely a disappointment.

Related image#1. Steppenwolf (Justice League).  Easy.  The worst villain of the year is Steppenwolf.  He was nothing more than a giant video game characters with no motivation, no reason, and terrible CGI.  This was not the type of villain that should have been facing off against the Justice League.  The look of the character was just the worst.  Steppenwolf was the most obvious problem the Justice League had, and was a terrible draw away from the positives of the interactions among the heroes.  I hated every scene that had Steppenwolf in it.

 

The TV Week That Was

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Good evening everyone.  Welcome back to the TV Week That Was.  First, a plug.  Here at EYG, December means it is time for the Year in Review for 2017.  There will be multiple categories in all areas of pop culture, including television,  So stop in and see where your favorites fall.

Image result for agents of shield premiere season 5Agents of SHIELD returned with a two hour block of episodes this Friday.  What a series premiere.  Just amazing.  Not only did the agents wind up in space (as in outer, like Coulson said), but also in the future, a future where the Kree had arrived to pick the bones of humanity after the earth was destroyed by, supposedly, Quake.  What?  Agents of SHIELD is consistently the best show Marvel out and it is full of action, drama and comedy.  Mack and Coulson were hilarious with their one liners and quips and it never fails that Agent May is destined to kick some ass.

Image result for runaways characters hulu episode 4Marvel’s Runaways continues to slowly build toward the eventual running away.  I like the fact that we are four episodes in and the kids have yet to leave their parents.  It allows some serious character development.  This week we see more with Old Lace, the mysterious dinosaur, and Karolina shared her powers with Chase.  It seems that Gert;s parents are not quite evil as much as they are trapped.  I did not read the initial comic run so I do not know what happens, but I am suspecting something more tragic with these two.  Each episode has been wonderful so far so I am looking forward to Tuesday on Hulu.

Image result for lennie james on fear the walking deadIt was announced on the Talking Dead this past week that the cast member that would be crossing over between the Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead and it turned out to be Lennie James, who plays Morgan.  How this would work out was not revealed as it looks as if there will need to be a time jump on Fear.

Image result for season 8 walking dead episode 6Meanwhile, on The Walking Dead, a conflict on the Hilltop threatened to cause trouble.  Maggie, however, quashed the problem sending the snake Gregory into the prison camp that they had set up for the POWs.  We also got Daryl Dixon arriving at the perfect time to prevent the escape of some Saviors with sound equipment in a dramatic way and we also got a rocket launcher.  Then Rick gets himself taken by the garbage people who, apparently, do art in the nude.  This show has not had a great season so far with a few breaks.

Image result for designated survivor season 3 episode 8President Kirkman is showing his inner Jack Bauer on Designated Survivor taking a secret trip into Afghanistan to meet with the opposing sides of the war.  This is something that NEVER would have happened.  When the suicide bomber went off in the camp, President Kirkman stayed right there and dug in.  Any real president would have been on Air Force One and speaking to people on the phone.  I enjoyed the episode though it was perhaps the most unlikely and unrealistic one on TV.

Related imageI am working on catching up on American Horror Story: Cult on the FX app.  I just finished episode 7 of 11 in the season and I am really enjoying it.  I am not sure about the Zodiac Killer part of the story, but I really find Evan Peters transcendent this season playing cult leader Kai.  The realism of the year is also pretty frightening.  In the past, American Horror Story has had some trait of the fantastical about it, but this year, any of this could happen.  That make it all the more scary.

Image result for carol burnett showI am watching at this very moment, the 50th Anniversary of the Carol Burnett Show on CBS.  It is a basic clip show featuring Carol along with a bunch of special guests.  It is too bad that there is not a variety show like this in prime time any longer.  Carol Burnett, Harvey Korman, Tim Conway and Vicki Lawrence never failed to bring laughter, even if it was just themselves.  Jim Carrey is on the show right now, saying something strange.

Happy viewing.

 

Best 2016 films in 2017

Each year, there are films that are released in 2016 in limited release in order to qualify for Oscar races, but they do not go wide release may times until January.  That would make them 2016 films that I see in 2017.  Last year, I eliminated these films from my list of Top 30 films of the year because they were really films from the previous year.  However, I figured, why not recognize these films anyway.  All it would mean would be they can have a list all to themselves.

So here are the Top 5 films of 2016 that I saw during the calendar year of 2017.

Related image#5.  Silence.  Great performances from Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver was contained within the latest film from Martin Scorsese.  It had an epic feel to it, but it also had a lengthy feel to it.

 

 

 

 

 

Image result for the founder movie#4.  The Founder.  The story of how McDonald’s went from a small business in California to a worldwide conglomerate of fast food.  Starring Michael Keaton in a solid performance as Ray Kroc.

 

 

 

Image result for patriots day movie#3.  Patriots’ Day.  The story of how the police and the FBI were able to capture the terrorists who set the Boston Marathon bombs.  Inspirational while also brutal, Patriots’ Day nearly slipped into the #2 spot.

 

Related image#2. Hidden Figures.  How did NASA get a man into orbit?  This is the true story of how a group of African American women helped that to happen.  Hidden Figures is a fun and entertaining history lesson that we all should have known.

 

 

Image result for a monster calls movie#1.  A Monster Calls.  I was ridiculously emotional during this.  I loved this film and I thought the performance of Lewis MacDougall was beyond anything I had seen from a young actor.  The tree was great (although I did keep thinking about Groot) and this story was perfectly told.  The mystery of exactly what was happening really ripped out the heart of the viewer.  It was so great.  It deserves a number one spot.

Schindler’s List (1993)

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Oh my…

I had never seen Schindler’s List before.  It was one that I wanted to see and I found some time on this Saturday night.  It was on Netflix so I decided to give it a view.

I’m a wreck.

I have never seen a movie so brutally, numbingly sad and yet so unbelievably uplifting at the same time.  Never have I felt sick to my stomach directly because of actions of a movie, but now there were several scenes that ripped through my gut with devastation.

I teach a Holocaust unit at my school, but the scope of the loss will always be on the outside for me.  After viewing the film, I have just a little more understanding of the horrors that millions of Jewish people faced at the hands of the Nazi Party.

Which makes Oskar Schindler all the more of an enigma.  He was a member of the Nazi Party and he started out by taking advantage of the Jewish people on his own. His discovery that Jewish people would work for a cheaper wage made for good business.  Where he actually developed his desire to save the lives of these workers is not clear, but that is exactly what he did.

Liam Neeson was magnificent as Schindler.  Watching this man who had been so stoic and controlled for so long, break down and sob when he prepared to flee was just about more than I could stand.

The film was populated with brilliant performances from Ben Kingsley to Ralph Fiennes.  Fiennes was the quiet epitome of evil here as Amon Goeth.

Filmed in black and white, Schindler’s List was an astounding achievement in visual storytelling and it brought Steven Spielberg his Academy Award for directing as well as the Best Picture Oscar.

This is a masterpiece and as emotional as a movie could be.

paragon

Paragon is the highest rating that can be given and Schindler’s List deserves it.  I may never be able to watch it again, but it is a sad, beautifully tragic masterpiece.

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Everyone should see this movie and remember what happened so nothing like this could ever happen again.

2017 Year in Review

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It is now December, and where did this year go?  It seemed like we were just bidding farewell to the horrid pile that was 2016 and welcoming a new slate that would be 2017.  Where does the time go?

It is time to bid bon voyage to 2017 and begin to welcome 2018 into Geek Nation.  We do this every year, creating lists of the best and worst in Geek culture from the past calendar year.

We look at Movies, Television, wrestling, streaming services, the internet, pop culture, actors and actresses as well as many other areas of interest.

Again, these list are all the opinion of EYG and only of EYG.  If you are offended by something here, well… make your own list.

Over the next month, I will be adding to this on a regular basis, culminating with a look ahead to 2018 (Hello, Infinity War).

BY THE WAY… FROM THIS POINT ON… THERE WILL BE SPOILERS!!!!

SO BEWARE!!!!!!

Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Movie Poster

This is truly a terrible title for a really great movie.

Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri is a fairly accurate description of the initial set up for the film, but seems to be too much of a mouthful to do this justice.

Despite the clunky title, the film is a tremendous film filled with dark comedic elements (I hesitate to call it a dark comedy), shocking moments of unpredictability and sensational performances by just about everyone in the ensemble cast.

After having her daughter raped and murdered seven years prior and seeing little advancement on the case from the local police, Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand) decided to take matters into her own hands and attempt to give the police a push into activity.  Mildred rented three little used billboards on a stretch of roads rarely used anymore and put up signs asking the question about why her daughter’s killer had not bee caught yet.  She called out popular local sheriff Bill Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) on the billboards by name, starting a storm of trouble throughout the small town.

Much of the trouble is stirred up by police officer Jason Dixon (Sam Rockwell), a racist, crooked cop who is known for reportedly torturing African-American suspects, but whom Willoughby keeps around because of his faith in the man inside of him.  Dixon is just about everything that you wish a police officer would not be.

Things happen in this film that you cannot believe as characters continue to escalate their behavior into ways that become worse and worse.  The film has many moments of humor, but, there are some times, when you will feel horrible for laughing.

There is no doubt that the three main actors here, Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell are absolutely brilliant in their portrayals of these complex and, and in many ways, disturbing characters.  You begin the movie expecting to be rooting for one character in particular, but not too long into it, your choice is uncertain.  All three of these actors have a really good chance of being nominated for an Academy Award for this work.

McDormand, in particular, is at her very best, arguably.  She brings such pain and unforgiving anger to her character of Mildred that, despite her doing some things that may weaken her support, you understand the lengths that she takes it.  She feels like a natural disaster, a tornado of some kind pointed in a certain direction.

Rockwell gives an impactful performance as Dixon.  This is a character that could easily become one of those one-note villains that is there simply to provide a counter balance to the justice warrior that is McDormand.  However, Rockwell creates a much more interesting character that is fully developed and one that you actually relate with, despite his own, deep seeded issues and his horrible acts of anger.

That is the truth behind this movie.  The movie is not about justice.  This movie is about grief and loss and how these emotions are capable of creating an anger that can fester and rot inside of you until it explodes, changing the person that you are and suddenly washed by a wave of hostility.

I was into much of this movie, but I must say that I did not truly like the way the film ended, leaving too much ambiguity for this film.  I am also unsure if what they were thinking about doing really fit with either character.  For such a strong film, the ending was not what I had wanted.

I was also not too impressed with the inclusion of Peter Dinklage.  His character felt like he was included because they had Peter Dinklage and they needed a role for him.  I mean, he does fine in the role, but, without this character, I am not sure how this film changes and that feels like a waste of talent.

There were other good performances in the film though.  Lucas Hedges (from Manchester by the Sea) is really good as Mildred’s son.  Zeljko Ivanek was here as another cop.  Caleb Landrey Jones has a vital role as Red, who rents the billboards to Mildred.  Red has one of the most human scene in the film, providing almost a redeeming nature for the film.  John Hawkes brings more to the role of Mildred’s abusive ex-husband than you would think possible and, Samara Weaving brings an innocent humor to the stupidity of his new, 19-year old flame.  Finally, Sandy Martin is a hoot as the trailer-park-like momma for Dixon.

This movie will certainly be discussed come award season and it will be well deserved.  With the exception of a misstep at the end, Three Billboards outside Ebbing County is a very strong film with dynamic performances.

4.2 stars

 

EYG Top Ten Pixar Movies

EYG23

Welcome to the weekly Top Ten list.  Last week, John Campea did a top ten Pixar movies list  but I decided not to do one as well since I have been following the topics of the Top Ten Show- John Rocha and Matt Knost.  So instead, I wound up doing a movie review of Ratatouille, which I had never seen before and Campea had at #3.

I said I would do the Pixar list when the Top Ten Show did theirs.

Lo and behold, the next week… here it is.

Image result for finding dory#10.  Finding Dory.  The sequel to Finding Nemo, featuring the side character of Dory sounded like a risky chance.  Many times, when side characters get their own movies, you find out why they are meant to be side characters (psst.  Minions).  However, Dory did fall into that trap as the character, voiced by Ellen DeGeneres, was charming and funny.  It was a huge financial success and beloved by the audience.  I will admit that this was my last minute addition, knocking a different film off the list.  This was a very good film and avoided any of the major problems some people thought was possible.

Image result for up pixar#9.  Up.  I considered leaving this one off the list too, but in the end, the first ten minutes or so of this movie won out and it made the list.  The first ten minutes of Up is just about the most emotional and gut punch of a film as you have ever seen.  The remainder of the film is average unfortunately.  Had the rest of the film matched the first part of the film, this could have been the best film of the studio.  However, it is not.  It is still somewhat decent and so…number 9.

Related image#8.  Toy Story 2.  The first of the Toy Story trilogy to appear on this list, Toy Story 2 was a solid sequel of the toys coming to life film.  The film continued to focus on Woody as he finds his way to the other toys in his series, only to find out that he was a valuable collectable from a TV series called “Woody’s Roundup.”  This was a creative way to continue the series and it also introduced us to the characters of Jessie the yodeling cowgirl and Stinky Pete (played by Joan Cusack and Kelsey Grammar, respectfully. 

Image result for ratatouille pixar#7.  Ratatouille.  The film that I just watched last week because I did not want to do a top ten list yet makes the list at #7.  I enjoyed this film very much and I am glad that I finally got the chance to watch it.  There were some things that I didn’t love (such as the constant yelling by Linguini), but I enjoyed the voice performance by Patton Oswalt and the use of the restaurant critic at the end of the film really brought the the heart it needed.  I never thought a cooking rat would be so much fun.

Image result for finding nemo#6.  Finding Nemo.  When a little fish gets lost in the great ocean, his father takes off to try and find his son.  The film has amazing characters, a dramatic story leading the characters through dangers (such as sharks) and so much emotion and charm that you can barely stand it.  The story of family is so important throughout Finding Nemo and you cannot help but cheer for these fish.

 

Related image#5.  Toy Story. The original of the trilogy has so much heart and set up one of the greatest friendships in movie history.  Woody and Buzz meet each other and they become such close friends once Woody gets past his jealousy over the new and cooler Buzz’s arrival.  The idea of the original is so creative and original and bring together the amazing Tom Hanks and Tim Allen in voice work.  Toy Story really helped put Pixar on the map and helped lead the way to two fantastic sequels (and apparently another one on its way).

Related image#4.  Coco.  John Rocha did not put Coco on his list because he did not want to spoil it as they were going to talk about it.  However, I have seen tweets from him indicating that he might put it at the top of a Pixar movie list.  There is no doubt that Coco is tremendous.  It is one of the most emotional journeys that you will ever take.  The ending of this movie, while somewhat predictable, will not fail to tear you up, in a good way.  Coco is a beautiful story of family and music.

Image result for the incredibles syndrome#3.  The Incredibles.  This is an amazing movie and perhaps the best version of the Fantastic Four ever seen.  Yes, I know the FF is not actually in this, but the family super hero team is represented her brilliantly.  The Incredibles have one of the greatest villains in any super hero film.  Syndrome is so relatable and understandable for his motives and he is truly scary with how he went from fan boy to villain.  Plus the line “Every one can be super.  And when every one’s super, no one will be.” is one of the best villainous lines ever.  Thankfully, they are finally getting around to making the long-overdue Incredibles 2.

Image result for bing bong inside out#2.  Inside Out.  I so loved this movie.  The genius of the set up is so amazing.  The emotions are inside your head and they are helping you live your life.  There was so much creativity in this movie that I can’t even imagine how someone sat down and created it all.  The functions that occurred in the brain is so clever that I could see ten more of these.  However, there is no doubt that Bing Bong is the moment that reached into your heart and ripped it out.  I bawled my eyes out every time I saw the film.  And it was over an imaginary friend.  Inside Out is brilliant.

Image result for toy story 3#1.  Toy Story 3.  Toy Story 3 is one of my favorite movies,not just Pixar movies, but movies of all time.  Toy Story 3 is just tense from beginning to end.  I believe that Lotso is one of the greatest villains of film history.  I love him so much and I understand the motivation of the character more than just about any villain.  Lotso is so great, but there is more here than just Lotso.  Our favorite toys find themselves in all kinds of horrible situations. In fact, there was one scene in particular where, when I watched it for the first time, I actually thought that Buzz, Woody and the gang were really going to die.  There are some truly dark moments that had so scare some of the kids watching.  Then, the ending when Andy gives his toys away before leaving for college crushes you emotionally.  Toy Story 3 may be as close to perfect as you will get.

Honorable mentions:  A Bug’s Life, Monsters Inc. and Good Dinosaur (a film that some people hated but I think gets a bad rap).

 

 

EYG23

The TV Week That Was

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Good afternoon, Geek Nation, and welcome back to the TV Week That Was.  Last week was a huge week, but this week was a little less.  Filled with holiday offerings and breaks for Thanksgiving, the TV was a bit less.  However, there were still several great things happening.

Image result for runaways marvel HuluLet’s start with Hulu dropping the first three episodes of Marvel’s Runaways, the new adaptation of the classic Marvel comic by Brian K. Vaughn.  The series has given us some of the best adaptations of characters we have seen yet.  The Runaways are a group a kids who discover that their parents are members of a super villain organization and they take off on the run.  We have yet to get the runaway part of Runaways yet, but I am enjoying the movement toward that.  We got to see Old Lace, the dinosaur partner of Gert.  There has been some changes to Molly from the comics, but they seem to work very well in the live action and as long as the changes to a particular character still encompasses the character’s basic vibe, then I am fine with it.  Nico is great.  All of the young stars have shown some impressive work so far and I am fully interested.  Hulu is not dropping the whole series at once in this case.  They will be releasing it weekly on Tuesdays.  I would have binged this fully had they dropped the whole season, but now… I must wait.

Image result for agents of shield 17 minute preview'Speaking of interested, ABC released the first 17-minutes from next Friday’s season debut of Agents of SHIELD, which will be two hours in length, and the debut is beyond epic.  Agent Coulson is back and seems to be in outer space.  Mac steals the entire segment with his quips and lines.  He was a complete riot in the short preview.  In the preview, I literally screamed out twice in shock and laughed I do not know how many times.  I have missed Agents of SHIELD and I am very sorry that there are so many people who do not watch this awesome show.  Seriously, the first half of season one was pretty weak, but as soon as they got through the Captain America: Winter Soldier, this show has been on fire ever since.  Last season with the shortened arcs that included Ghost Rider and the A.I.’s were amazing and this season’s space start was compelling, intriguing and downright scary.  All played with the typical wit and humor of Agents of SHIELD.  I believe this may be the show’s final season and if that is the case, you need to give this fun ride a chance.  Two hour premiere this coming Friday!  Be there!  This is a HUGE step up from the Inhumans.

Image result for professor pyg and meat pies Gotham'There was no Gotham this week, but I had missed the episode from the week before and…holy crap!!!  Professor Pyg returned and brought the chaos with him.  It was one of the best, downright disturbing moments of television this year.  Professor Pyg had taken over a party full of the high society of Gotham and forced them to eat some meat pies a la Sweeney Todd.  In other words, the pies are people.  I am not sure if that was the most disturbing aspect or if it was how the Penguin, trying to protect the boy Pyg held at knife point, grabbed a handful of the people pie and chomped it down.  Seriously creepy.  Jim Gordon got there soon after and was able to bring and end to the reign of Pyg, but not before some of the wealthiest of Gotham got their comeuppance.

Image result for wendimoor dirk gently episode 7“I’ve solved it!”  Dirk Gently yelled at the end of the latest episode of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.  It was especially sweet because Dirk had been in such a depressed mood recently.  It was truly a welcome sight to see him break free from the doldrums.   However, it may be too late since the warring factions of the fairy tale world Wendimoor attacked one another leading to major casualties on both sides.  Series creator Max Landis tweeted that he was really excited because the next episode (next week) is his favorite of the entire series run.  Dirk Gently is consistently one of the most fun shows on television.

Image result for walking dead negan and father gabrielThe Walking Dead’s latest episode was pretty average considering how great the week before was.  We got some information and progression on the Negan front, finally going inside the building where he was trapped with Father Gabriel.  Meanwhile, we returned to the Saviors who were having some extensional crises with who might be in charge without Negan.  That wasn’t working very well and was going to lead to some issues.  We also saw an apparent rift between Rick and Daryl as the two best buddies came to blows over a plan.  I found that to be pretty dull since we all know that there is no way any sort of rift will continue between Daryl and Rick.  In the end, The Walking Dead did not sustain the momentum from last week’s excellent show.

Image result for aj brock ssSurvivor Series was last week with a great match between Brock Lesnar and A.J. Styles on the card.  This might have been the best match Brock Lesnar has been involved with since CM Punk.  There was also an excellent match between the reuniting Shield and the New Day that kicked off the show.  The final match with Team RAW and Team Smackdown seemed a bit of a bungled mess as the people they should be making look great were not the ones there at the end.  However, Braun Strowman continues to be the best booked character in the WWE.

Can’t wait for Agents of SHIELD this week.  By the way…exactly, who is this guy from that 17-minute clip?  Friday can’t get here soon enough!  Happy Viewing.

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