Posted on Friday, January 30th, 2015
My favorite television show of all time bounces between Cupid (the Jeremy Piven original, not the shitty 2009 remake) and Veronica Mars. Interestingly enough, they were both created by the same guy... Rob Thomas (not the singer from Matchbox Twenty).
Cupid has never been released on home video, so the only way I get to see it is to watch digital recordings I copied from VHS tape. Needless to say, "crappy" doesn't even begin to describe their quality (or lack thereof), so I am always on the watching for an officially release on iTunes or something.
It never comes.
The good news is that over the past decade we've seen a number of shows I've been waiting for finally get a release. Once I noticed the fantastic Now and Again was out last Fall, I decided to see what else was available...
And here's a list of shows I'm still waiting for...
And I don't get why they haven't been released. The process for converting old TV shows to digital video is undoubtedly fully automated by now. I can't imagine it costs very much to do... especially since you don't even have to press DVDs any more.
I dunno. Maybe television studios don't want the money?
Because I'd be happy to pay.
And so would a lot of other people, I'd imagine.
Posted on Sunday, February 8th, 2015
Don't let the Grammys get you down... because Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Rescue! Here's the best thing I saw all week...
Heroes come in all shapes and size. Heroes are around us every day. Heroes inspire everybody to be heroes too. Heroes like this make the world a better place with their actions... no matter how small.
• Ravaging! Somebody finally said it...
Our thoughts are also with the measles-ravaged country America. I hope we are screening them before they come to Africa.— Elnathan John (@elnathan) February 1, 2015
LOL! ROTFL! LMFAO! I'm guessing this will be all the excuse ignorant morons (and FOX "News") need to restart their idiotic rants on quarantining Africa thanks to an ebola outbreak happening in a tiny piece of the continent.
• Super! Ever since I returned from safari in Africa, I've become a little obsessed with African wildlife photography. My favorite images yet come from Will Burrard-Lucas, who managed to get some of the most amazing shots you'll see...
He has a YouTube video up that shows some behind the scenes footage that's pretty great...
Will has a blog that is well worth checking out.
• Cuusoo! Two new LEGO sets I'll be adding to my collection...
• Bad! My entire weekend was made when a guy commented and told me that his kid's school lunch menu was recalled after it was discovered that somebody put a DaveToon of a gun-toting Bad Monkey on it...
Genius. And then it hit Reddit where a disturbing yet somehow beautiful insanity ensued.
• Sirens! When the show Sirens debuted on USA Network, I read that it was a shitty remake of a UK television series, so I didn't even bother tuning in. Then, every once in a while, somebody would mention how funny it was and how much they loved it, and I regretted not giving it a chance...
And then I noticed that it was recently added on Netflix.
Nothing groundbreaking... a situation comedy built around three EMTs in Chicago... but I actually find it kinda funny. So now I'm addicted to the show and binge-watching the ten episodes from the first season while adding the just-started second season to my DVR. If you're looking for a distraction from daily life, this might be worth a look (NSFW language included).
And... we're done. More bullets in a mere seven days.
Posted on Tuesday, February 10th, 2015
Today was most definitely not a good day.
Try as I might, I could not seem to get ahead... and having to deal with boatloads of crap from too many people didn't help matters.
When I finally had a moment to catch up with the internets and what's been going on in the world, I was shocked to find out all the stuff I've been missing.
As if all that was enough drama, new Matt & Kim...
Geez... can Kim cut a rug or what?
This happened last month but I'm just seeing it now. If you're a fan of David Tennant... and why wouldn't you be?... here he is being surprised with a rather prestigious award...
I really, really wish he'd return to Dr. Who.
Posted on Sunday, February 15th, 2015
Don't let radical winter weather get you down... because Bullet Sunday starts... now...
They're both robot movies starring Hugh Jackman. Since I never even saw Real Steel it took me a while before I even knew they were different films.
• SNL 40! Overall, the 40th Anniversary Celebration for Saturday Night Live was a winner. Plenty of famous SNL performers and guests and a look back at some truly amazing sketches that have come out of the show in its long history. And Betty White saying she'd guest-host again if she were asked. How could you not love that? EXCEPT... no new Eddie Murphy Sketch? What the hell? Maybe he refused to do something, but how fantastic would that have been? All we got was some kind of awkward speech that left me dying to have him host the show. Oh well. If you're an SNL fan, The Hollywood Reporter has a lot of cool stuff you should check out.
• Balls! ScreenCrush unleashed something I've been waiting decades to hear: Mel Brooks is Developing a Sequel to Spaceballs, Finally...
With John Candy and Joan Rivers gone, it's hard to know if they will be replaced... or if their characters are going to be dropped. All I know is that Sarah Silverman would make a killer Dot Matrix 2.0. And even though I'm not a big Josh Gads fan he'd make a pretty good offspring of Barf the mog. Really hoping this gets off the ground.
• Carter! I have been loving, loving, loving the Marvel's Agent Carter mini series. Everything about it has been beautifully crafted and highly entertaining...
I'm hoping quite badly that it gets picked up for another run in 2016.
If you're liking the show as much as I am, you may be interested in an article from The Mary Sue which investigates the real "Agent Carters" from history.
• Thanks! And here we go...
Guess that's the last word on that meme.
• UNCLE! After Avengers: Age of Ultron, one of the films I am most looking forward to is The Man from U.N.C.L.E. remake...
Incredible stuff. Few people know retro classy like Guy Ritchie, and it looks like he's done a remarkable job. Kinda sad we have to wait until August 15th to see it though.
And away we go... stay cozy out there.
Posted on Monday, February 16th, 2015
I just watched the SNL 40th Anniversary show for a second time and think it holds up. Sure, there was easily an hour that could have been cut for more sketches, but I guess we should feel lucky we got as many as we did.
Rolling Stone has a list of all SNL cast members throughout the history of the show ranked from best to worst. It's a good list that's surprisingly agreeable to me. There are notable exceptions, of course (Dennis Miller would drop from 34 to the low 80's for me since I never found him very funny)... but I'm onboard right up until the top 20, which Rolling Store ranks thusly...
Here's what my Top 20 would look like...
And that's a wrap. Here's hoping Eddie Murphy guest-hosts the show before too long.
Posted on Tuesday, February 24th, 2015
Well done to the entire team behind Marvel's Agent Carter series, which was amazing from start to finish. Many thanks to ABC Television, Tara Butters, Kevin Feige, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, Gabriel Beristain, Christopher Lennertz, Hayley Atwell, and the entire cast and crew who made the series possible. Agent Carter exceeded my every expectation (which were admittedly low after the disaster that is Agents of SHIELD), and I am hoping with everything I've got that we get another season...
...a season that preferably has more than a mere eight episodes.
Posted on Sunday, March 1st, 2015
Don't let the drone surveillance get you down... because Bullet Sunday on Monday starts... now...
• Vaccinate! Classic...
And yet... the measles epidemic rages on. Thanks, Jenny McCarthy!
You're a horrible, horrible person.
• MURICA! Because nothing says "freedom" better than being able to scream "YOU'RE FIRED, FAGGOT!" when you find out that one of your employees is gay, and being 100% within the law... Arkansas has passed an anti-non-discrimination bill SB 202...
I've heard of legislating morality... but legislating immorality? Way to go, Arkansas. There's some terrific things about your state, but this is a fucking embarrassment. Shame on everyone who had a hand in dragging "The Natural State" back to less enlightened times.
• Widow! The hype machine for Avengers: Age of Ultron is really amping up, with individual character posters being released this week. Could not possibly be more excited to see this film come May...
Looks like Black Widow may finally... finally be getting some tech that ups her game. They showed her using a built-in taser in the last Avengers film, but that's a far cry from the "Widow's Bite" blasters she sports in the comics. I certainly hope it comes to pass, because it seems completely illogical that Tony Stark wouldn't give her some advanced weaponry to make her a stronger part of the team.
• Laugh? The Matthew Perry version of The Odd Couple finally debuted and it's far, far worse than I imagined. Mostly because they're using a frickin' laugh track. This idiotic and antiquated method of attempting to make unfunny crap seem hilarious is just pathetic, and only serves to underline how funny something is not to modern audiences...
What kills me is how Matthew Perry can't seem to find a lead role in a vehicle that's worth his talent lately. He was essential viewing in Friends, he was a revelation as Joe Quincy on The West Wing, he was bordering on genius on Studio 60, and he was terrific on The Good Wife... I even liked his movies okay. But when it comes to finding a new show, he's been rolling in shit. Mr. Sunshine was abysmal. Go On was horrific. And now there's this hot mess? Sad. Just sad.
• MARCIA MARCIA MARCIA! Hot on the heels of Snicker's awesome Brady Bunch/Danny Trejo mashup comes this epic art installation...
I love it when companies create ad campaigns you actually want to see. In case you missed the original commercial, here you go...
The teaser ad was equally filled with awesome...
Yep. That's advertising done right, right there.
• Photographic! I used to carry a pocket camera with me everywhere I went to capture those unexpected moments that are begging for a picture to be taken. Then the iPhone 4 came along with its terrific built-in camera, and I started leaving my pocket camera at home more often than not. Why bother when I can get shots like this...
Then the iPhone 5 was released with an even better camera, and suddenly I found myself ditching the pocket camera completely. Now that I've got an iPhone 6 with its amazing camera, I've been doing something I never thought I'd do... go on some of my travels without taking my DSLR with me. It's a mind-boggling prospect, but the shots I can get out of a frickin' camera phone are so good that it's not a much of a sacrifice at all.
This week Apple finally realized what most of us already know... the iPhone is a really good camera. And they've started a nifty ad campaign to let everybody else know it too. They've also added an amazing "World Gallery" to their website...
Shot by Silke W. in Bali, Indonesia
A lot of people are carrying smart phone with them everywhere they go now-a-days. Which means a lot of people have a camera on them all the times. Which means a lot of photo opportunities that were once missed are being captured. It's an amazing time we live in.
And... I'm wrecked. See you next Sunday.
Posted on Friday, March 6th, 2015
So there I was discussing upcoming movies when The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel came up. I said that I was looking forward to the film, but had to question adding Americans to the largely British cast, saying "Do we really need Richard Gere in the sequel?" This caused someone to say "Ooh! I loved Richard Gere in Sommersby!... a film I had never heard of before.
Sommersby, as it turns out, is a 1993 romance/drama starring Richard Gere and Jodie Foster. It's the story of a woman (Foster) married to a complete bastard named Sommersby who leaves her to fight in the Civil War. Years later, after being presumed dead, Sommersby (Gere) returns to town a changed man. As in, really changed. He is, in fact, not Sommersby... he's somebody who looks a little similar and assumed the identity of the original after he died in the war...
After reading the plot summary, the first thing that went through my head was "Wait a minute! Wasn't that the same thing that happened with Principal Skinner from The Simpsons?!?
So I Googled that and was taken right back to the same Wikipedia page on Sommersby that I had been looking at. If you scroll down there's a "Related Stories" section where the episode of The Simpsons was mentioned.
I was shocked to learn that this episode, called The Principal and the Pauper, was roundly hated by critics and fans alike. In fact, it's widely seen as the episode that signaled the end of the "Gold Age" of The Simpsons, where the quality of the show began a steep decline into mediocrity.
I thought I remembered the episode fairly well, and didn't recall thinking negatively about it at the time. On the contrary, I actually thought it was a clever way of keeping the show fresh... taking a character from the periphery that you thought you knew and completely changing things up... but not in a way that drastically alters the show. In fact, by the end of the show everything pretty much went back to the way it was, so the episode really didn't make much of a difference in the grand scheme of things.
And then it suddenly struck me...
My moment of zen...
When I realized that Richard Gere had made a guest appearance on The Simpsons, that everything is connected, and all the world is one...
Kind of funny how that works.
Posted on Sunday, March 8th, 2015
You can stop being depressed that the end of Daylight Saving Time stole an hour of your life... because Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Saturday Night! How refreshing to watch an episode of SNL that doesn't have you fast-forwarding through the whole thing! The highlight of the episode, of course, was guest host Chris Hemsworth as Thor celebrating The Avengers' triumph over Ultron...
"Victory Party at Dave & Busters" is probably one of the best things to appear on Saturday Night Live in over a decade.
• Heroic! And speaking of Marvel comic book movie heroes named "Chris" doing amazing things... even though Chris Evans won his Super Bowl bet with Chris Pratt, he appeared at Seattle Children's Hospital in costume as Captain America anyway...
This is after he appeared with Pratt (who was in costume as Star Lord) at Boston's Christopher's Haven after winning the bet...
What a decent couple of guys. It would have been so easy to skip the effort involved in doing something so amazing... on top of raising $27,000 for these terrific children's charities... but they're using their fame and fortune exactly how it should be used, and that's the best kind of hero you can be.
• Super! Well, it's not as hideous as I feared... a little dark maybe... but the suit for the upcoming Supergirl television show has been revealed...
Costume designer Colleen Atwood has a pretty darn good track record with the costumes for Arrow and The Flash, and it looks like she's got another home run on her hands. Melissa Benoist is certainly looking super enough for the part, that's for sure.
• Presidential? HE'S offended?!? I don't know what offends ME more... that Rand Paul is a bigoted piece of shit... or that he's propagating anti-vax idiocy... or that his concept of foreign policy is so far removed from reality that he might as well live in Narnia... or that some of his domestic policy ideas are so impossibly naive that you have to wonder if he's switched bodies with his younger 13-year-old self like what happened in that Jennifer Garner movie 13 Going on 30... or... or... or... holy crap... he's probably going to run for president, isn't he?
She's just the absolute worst.
• Lonny! I have no clue how Next Time on Lonny escaped my notice... for two seasons... but catching up on the web series while working at work this fine Sunday was definitely the best part of my day. WARNING: Contains all matter of profanity, depravity, and violence... definitely NSFW...
Sure thing, Dog Moon! You can't just watch just one, because the insanity escalates with each new episode.
• Sausage! If Lonny wasn't enough to satisfy your comedy craving this fine Sunday, the guys at Nacho Punch have created a porn film "by Wes Anderson" that's beyond dead-accurate...
You know you're getting tired of the repetitive wackiness of Wes Anderson films when you can't tell the parodies from the real thing any more.
The end. I'd post more bullets, but with only 23 hours in the day, I haven't got the time.
Posted on Sunday, March 15th, 2015
All the world's troubles getting you down? Well, things are about to turn around... because Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• ELECTRA WOMAN AND DYNA GIRRRRRRRL! I don't know what's cooler... that they're resurrecting Electra Woman and Dyna Girl... or that they've tapped some amazing internet personalities for the leads. Daily Grace's Grace Helbig and My Drunk Kitchen's Hannah "Harto" Hart are (apparently) already filming the series...
Oh yeah! For the uninitiated, bask in the glory...
ELECTRA TRICKY! Can't wait.
• Gauntlet! I will never get tired of watching movie heroes being heroes in real life...
Robert Downey Jr.'s awesomeness really knows no bounds.
• John Lewis. And then there's real-life heroes. In case you missed it... so worth your time... so worth your time... so worth your time...
This terrific (albeit brief) interview from The Daily Show featured a mind-bogglingly good talk with Representative John Lewis, whose advocacy for civil rights is about as inspiring as anything you will ever find. As if THAT wasn't enough,.. John Stewart mentioned that Rep. Lewis had a couple of graphic novels out which presents his story in comic book form. And they are glorious. Fantastic art. Great story. Well worth your time to track down... and you can even purchase them digitally at Comixology... just $8 for Vol. One! Highest possible recommendation.
• Wonder? Where do I even start. Wonder Woman's new costume has to be one of the ugliest, most disorganized, least elegant, "toss in the kitchen sink" super-hero costumes ever. Just no...
The criticism has always been that Wonder Woman's costume shows too much skin to be taken seriously as a super-hero. Her costume is impractical. So, instead of tastefully updating her look to address these concerns, they just keep slapping more and more shit on her until now she looks like garbage.
And, as if that wasn't horrific enough, I give you the new Superman costume...
If that's what you can call it. More disturbing to me than this joke of a "costume" is that the artist has such a massively skewed idea of anatomy that Superman's legs are so long one has to wonder how he is able to sit in a chair. Who in the hell is running DC these days that total shit like this is seeing the light of day?
• Archie? Next up on the comic book makeover roster...
Now... this one I get. They're trying to shift Archie away from his 1940's comic strip roots and move him into modern comic book times. By creating a more "realistic" version of the character, they're obviously trying to keep the Archie gang relevant in the year 2015. I don't know if this will be a successful reimagining, but they certainly did a good job of it.
• LOL! Yep, this pretty much sums up my impression of the new MacBook... LMFAO! LOL! ROTFL! LTIP!
"That's an extra $79 accessory!"
It's only a matter of time...
• Lively! Murder. Uh huh. Genocide. Right. But is homosexuality worse than kicking a puppy? THAT'S what I want to know. I mean, come on, a little perspective here...
Disgusting. That people still listen to this bigoted piece of shit is just beyond my ability to comprehend. IT'S OVER, YOU STUPID FUCK! YOU LOST! SO JUST GO SIT IN THE CORNER WITH YOUR BIGOTRY AND BE THE PATHETIC LOSER YOU ARE!
Annnnnnd... Bullets, out!
Posted on Thursday, March 26th, 2015
I set my DVR to record The Late Late Show with James Corden because the guy has been part of some pretty great stuff (including Gavin & Stacey, a long-time favorite Britcom). He seemed an odd choice for replacing Craig Ferguson, but I thought the same thing when Craig Ferguson replaced Craig Kilborn, so why not?
I have to admit... the show was more entertaining than I anticipated. Mostly because Tom Hanks stopped by for one of the best bits of late-night television in recent memory...
Guess I'll keep tuning in. Though I think my DVR is quickly reaching critical mass... I'm dangerously close to recording more shows than I can comfortably keep up with.
Not that it's ever stopped me before.
Posted on Monday, March 30th, 2015
As a fan of the original Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts, I didn't warm up to the Comedy Central version right away. They were funny, but the celebrities weren't of the same caliber and too many of the jokes relied on being crass rather than clever.
But after the third roast (Pamela Anderson, of all people) I warmed up to the modern incarnation of the show and have been sure to watch each new edition when it's released. The material has been hit-or-miss, but always entertaining.
Tonight was the latest episode of the show, this time roasting Justin Bieber...
As somebody who has never been a fan of Bieber's "music," I have always been indifferent to his crazy antics. He's young, obscenely wealthy, and acts pretty much as you would expect somebody young and wealthy to act. End of story.
Also as expected, the roast was absolutely brutal.
Much of the material went over my head (Bieber bought a monkey he abandoned in Germany?) but was otherwise predictable. Chris D'Elia (Bieber's favorite comedian?) summed up the night with "I'm proud of you. You have it all. You are literally a guy who has it all, except for respect, love, friends, good parents, and a Grammy." Toss in crude jokes about Bieber's sexuality and call it a night.
And Justin Bieber took it all in stride. He had to, as the roast was his idea (apparently he had been begging Comedy Central to roast him for years). Then he had his chance at the podium. And was pretty funny...
"What do you get when you give a teenager $200 million? A bunch of has-beens calling you a lesbian for two hours."
And then something UNexpected happened.
Bieber then took time to apologize to his fans for his behavior and promised that he'd do better. That's he'd strive to be somebody you could be proud of.
He seemed genuinely sincere, so I guess we'll see.
Full marks, young man. Full marks.
Posted on Saturday, April 4th, 2015
I am a massive Star Trek fan.
If you were to look up "trekkie" in the dictionary, there's a photo of me making the Vulcon hand-salute.
Alas, I never cared for what followed the original series. Star Trek: The Next Generation was okay, I guess, but future viewings revealed that it was my thirst for new Trek that allowed me to tolerate it in the beginning. Star Trek: Deep Space Nice was about the most boring show on earth, featuring a non-shape-changing shape changer and stories that rarely went anywhere. And don't get me started on Star Trek: Voyager, which was near-agonizing in its banality. I pretty much gave up on all the spin-offs after a season or so. Everything in the future of the Star Trek future was way too sanitized and not at all Trek-like.
And then came Star Trek: Enterprise...
I admit to having very high hopes for the show. Scott Bakula seemed the perfect choice for captain, and the idea of setting the show before the original Star Trek hinted at a more adventure-filled, gritty series. And, indeed, it did end up being leagues less clinical and sterile than the three incarnations that preceded it.
Also... Jolene Blalock as Vulcan Chief Science Officer T'Pol...
Enterprise started off okay, but quickly slid into utter stupidity with its overreaching "Temporal Cold War" plotline that shackled the show to shitty stories that over-complicated everything. I was ready to give up after the first season, but the second episode of the second season, Carbon Creek, was so great that I decided to hang on.
It didn't last. A few episodes later and I stopped watching completely. I gave Enterprise another try when it was renewed for a third season, but the whole Xindi/Expanse storyline was worse than the "Temporal Cold War" crap, so I bolted for good.
Fast forward to last month.
A friend mentioned that they had been re-watching Deep Space Nine and had finally made it to the evil "Mirror Universe" episode that was their favorite. Since I never got past the first season, I was intrigued. I loved the "Mirror Universe" episode of the original series, and didn't realize it had been revisited...
So I watched the episode. After which I watched the follow-up DS9 "Mirror Universe" episodes as well.
Then my friend gave me a list of other DS9 episodes he thought I'd like... including an amazing one called The Visitor. Turns out once you ditch the crap episodes there's some gold in them thar hills.
And then my friend dropped another bombshell... "Did you know there were "Mirror Universe" episodes of Enterprise as well?" No I did not. I never watched any of the fourth season. But I signed up for a free week of CBS Streaming so I could check it out.
Only to discover that the fourth season of Star Trek: Enterprise is pretty darn amazing. Absolutely some of the best Trek I've seen since the series began.
What in the hell happened?
From what I can tell, they ditched Rick Berman and Brannon Braga as show-runners and replaced them with somebody who wanted to get back to real Star Trek by acknowledging the best of what had preceded him, but without all the hideous baggage that Berman & Braga had piled on over the previous three Trek shows. His name is Manny Coto, and he completely salvaged the Trek Universe.
Only I never knew about it until now.
So here I am... watching terrific episode after terrific episode of Enterprise Season 4, enjoying Star Trek in a way I haven't experienced in years. It's got so many beautiful hooks to the original series that I'm in Trek heaven! Even when they work in stuff from the three spin-off series, it's in service to the original show! How cool is that? It's all such genius!
Until I get to the last episode of the fourth season and the final episode of the entire series titled "These are the Voyages...".
Absolutely everything that had been improved over the past 21 episodes to fix the show had been abandoned for something so awful that I wish I had never seen it. Not only did it senselessly kill off a main character for no good reason, it wasn't even an episode of Enterprise... it was yet another fucking pathetic episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation! William Riker and Deanna Troi are the focus of the episode with Enterprise taking place entirely within the holodeck. The whole damn mess was a complete and total "fuck you sideways" to the cast, crew, and everybody working on the show... not to mention all the fans who kept watching.
What in the hell happened?
THEY BROUGHT BACK RICK BERMAN AND BRANNON BRAGA!
Who the fuck were those two fucking in order to get the right to come back to Enterprise in its final minutes to utterly destroy it? I have no clue. But I'm now beyond incensed.
But happy to have seen some new Trek that didn't suck.
Well, it was new to me.
Posted on Saturday, April 11th, 2015
For anybody not wanting to read my lengthy full review of Marvel's Daredevil, which is currently streaming its 13 episodes on Netflix, I'll just sum it up thusly...
Daredevil is a surprisingly violent show that's a very good adaptation of the Marvel comic book upon which it is based. Featuring some flawless casting with Charlie Cox as Hell's Kitchen lawyer by day and vigilante by night Matt Murdock... plus the ever-incredible Vincent D'Onofrio as brutal "Kingpin of Crime" Wilson Fisk... this series exceeded my every expectation and is well worth your time.
Assuming you can handle a show that's bloodier and more vicious than just about anything else out there.
Before we get on with things, I'm just going to put something out there because it's critical to understanding my appreciation of what Netflix has managed to do with Daredevil: I hate... HATE... Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Sure it has Clark Gregg and Ming-Na Wen in the cast (two actors I love to pieces), but everything else about it is total shit. The show's greatest sin is that it's boring as hell. Scenes which should be action-oriented where people are ACTUALLY DOING SOMETHING are instead dumbed down to lengthy expositional dialogue. Apparently, the show-runners don't have the budget to film what they need to film so they resort to talking heads. Over and over and over again. Then draw out plot points that should last one or two episodes to a half-dozen or more. And I get it. Network television demands 22 episodes a season, and you have limited monetary resources to spend over all that time. So a show like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. which demands expensive action shots to tell its story instead gets watered down to the point of pointlessness.
Then came Marvel's Agent Carter.
It was exceptional in every way S.H.I.E.L.D. is not. But it lasted only eight episodes.
And I think that's the key here.
Netflix spent a good chunk of money over a limited number of episodes instead of dragging things out to pointlessness. Sure, there's lengthy, dialogue-intensive scenes here, but they're not shoe-horned in with the intent of watering things down to meet a budget. They're critical to the overall narrative of the show. And that's the point... everything to do with Daredevil feels deliberate, planned, and (most important of all) necessary.
That's why it's so darn good.
So... minor spoilers, and all that...
Living amidst the violence and corruption of New York City's Hell's Kitchen, Matt Murdock's life is forever altered by two tragic events. The first is an accident which costs young Matt his sight (but enhances his other senses to super-human levels). The second is when his father "Battlin' Jack Murdock" (a boxer on the take) is murdered for not taking a fall.
Trained by the enigmatic "Stick" to be a stealthy ninja-like avenger, Matt hones his fighting skills to perfection and uses his gifts to become the ultimate crime-fighter.
Yada yada yada... Matt essentially becomes Batman.
Murdock is morally questionable in how he goes about his night-job that he could almost be considered a villain in his own right.
And speaking of...
When it comes to a "villain" for the series you have to use quotes around the word "villain" because Wilson Fisk is not your typical straight-forward comic book antagonist. In the comics, Kingpin is a (literally) larger-than-life criminal who masquerades as a legitimate businessman. In the Netflix show? It's more complex. Just like Matt Murdock, Fisk wants to make Hell's Kitchen a better place. But his approach is different in that he's willing to wade into the criminal underworld and do a lot of awful things to make it happen. And here's where it gets tricky. Unlike Matt Murdock (who admittedly likes pummeling evildoers in the name of justice), Fisk regrets having to get his hands dirty. In the beginning, anyways. As expected, Vincent D'Onofrio is excellent in the part, but he inexplicably plays all his dialogue with a hokey gruff voice (Holy Christian Bale, Batman!) which is distracting at times.
The supporting cast is pretty great. Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page is very good and adds an additional human element to the show that's much needed. Elden Henson as Foggy Nelson I'm not so fond of, but it's probably not the actor's fault. The character is borderline stupid at random moments for no good reason, and I just couldn't warm up to him. Two stand-out characters that caught me a little by surprise are Vondie Curtis-Hall as reporter Ben Urich and Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple. Curtis-Hall (who I remember forever from a bit part in Eddie Murphy's Coming to America) is digging deep to flesh out his role. And it shows. Ben Ulrich is trapped in a profession that's rapidly disappearing and trying to hold on to his journalistic integrity on the way down. It's more than a little mesmerizing to watch. Rosario Dawson, who always seems more than capable in the roles she takes on, is at the top of her game in her limited screen-time as Claire (Holy Night Nurse, Batman!). Which is important because I'm assuming she's going to roll into Netflix's Luke Cage series down the road (she's an important part of his life in the comic books). Please please please let that be the case. And lastly, Scott Glenn's appearance as "Stick" was everything you knew it would be.
Moving on to the best character in the entire series... Hell's Kitchen, New York City. Daredevil is actually shot on location, and it adds a huge amount of atmosphere to the show. Partly because you can't fake NYC in the grand scheme of things, but mostly in the way that the city is shot. It's not quite noir, but it gets there from time to time and is always beautiful to behold. In the end, the authentic backdrop went a long ways towards selling the believability of the show.
Something that Daredevil surprised me with is having the balls to forgo yet another boring origin story in episode one. Instead, the details of how Matt Murdock became the titular character are artfully dispensed throughout the run of the series. His "powers," for example, are hinted at from the beginning... but aren't officially laid out until Episode 5. His training with "Stick" isn't revealed until Episode 7. To say I'm a fan of how it all played out is a massive understatement. Daredevil may not be as recognizable and well-known a character as Spider-Man (who got two frickin' origin movies!), but it doesn't matter. WE GET IT ALREADY! We've seen enough super-hero movies to know how the game is played. We know how super-powers work. There's no reason to spell it all out every dang time. Just jump into the action and reference back to how you got there... as needed... IF needed.
Another thing I like is the occasional nod back to the show's comic book origins. While at dinner, Wilson Fisk's date talks about "a tall man in a white suit and ascot" who once seduce her. A not-so subtle jab at his original appearance...
For all that Daredevil got right, there are a few things that they got wrong, however.
First of all, the show went to extreme lengths to distance itself from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which makes no sense at all. I was fully expecting them to at the very least reference the "Battle of New York" from the first Avengers movie (DAREDEVIL FRICKIN' TAKES PLACE IN NEW YORK CITY!!!), but it didn't surface. Or maybe it did and I missed it? I dunno I was working a lot as I was watching. All I do know is that they really should have made stronger ties to everything else "Marvel" out there. Instead all we got an off-hand remark about Captain America's helmet and a reference to Roxxon Oil. Lame. That's the shitty way DC Comics is handling their properties... Marvel's strength is that everything is connected. So it would be nice if that was acknowledged.
The other thing they got wrong with Daredevil was the costume. Matt Murdock started out in a Frank Miller/John Romita Jr. inspired "Man in Black" outfit, which I was begrudgingly okay with. Mostly because I kept assuming there would be a payoff when Daredevil actually becomes Daredevil in his classic red outfit. But when the moment came, the costume was hardly a payoff. And since Netflix has already plastered photos everywhere, I don't think I'm spoiling anything when I show it here...
While I think it's a bit over the top, I'm okay with the body armor. Whatever. But the mask?!? Awful. Just gut-wrenchingly awful. His eyes are practically recessed because they built it out so badly. Yes, Matt doesn't need eye holes to actually see, but it looks ridiculous. PEOPLE DON'T KNOW THAT DAREDEVIL IS BLIND, so isn't everybody thinking "How in the hell does he SEE out of that thing? I know I am. But what makes it go from "awful" to "tragic" is the stupid styling on it. Why in the hell are there those big triangular ridges above his eyes? Why is the forehead so flat? He looks like a frickin' neanderthal. It's just so horrible. Bash the Ben Affleck Daredevil movie all you like, but at least they knew how to make a Daredevil costume...
Ultimately Daredevil a very good effort that I really enjoyed and bodes well for the three remaining series in Netflix's contract. Next up is A.K.A. Jessica Jones with Kristin Ritter. After that is Luke Cage (YEAH!!!) with Mike Colter. And lastly, Iron Fist, which I don't think has been cast yet. Then all four series wrap up with a massive Defenders crossover that should be pretty great.
Especially if it features a guest-shot of Benedict Cumberbatch's Dr. Strange and Mark Ruffalo's Hulk... both of which were regulars in the comic book version of the team.
Posted on Sunday, April 12th, 2015
Don't let the crappy political landscape in these United State drive you to drink just yet... because Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Argh! While my politics are more inline with fiscal conservative ideals, I usually end up voting Democrat because I am a hardcore social progressive. Everybody's bought and paid for by lobbyists anyway, so what's the difference? That being said, I frickin' loathe Hillary Clinton and am absolutely gutted that she's almost certain to be the Democratic candidate for president. Not that I'm not ready for a woman in The White House... on the contrary, I totally am... it's just that I don't want this woman anywhere near the Commander in Chief's desk.
I just don't get it. Her foreign policy as Secretary of State was disastrous. Against all advice, she fucked up Libya so bad that the country may never recover. She's taken so much foreign money for her campaign that I find it laughable she could possibly have this country's best interests at heart. And anybody thinking liberal anti-war ideology factors into her thinking should take a look at the shit-loads of cash she's taken from defense contractors. You think the wars we're fighting are never-ending now? Wait until Hillary Clinton is running the show. And while you're at it, take a look at the piles of money she's taken from the banking industry cesspool... she's got funds from Goldman Fucking Sachs on the books! Much as she claims otherwise, the status quo for Washington politics and its filthy finances ain't changing one damn bit with her in office. Odds are, they'd only get worse.
But of course the idiot Republicans won't give us someone I can vote for. GOP candidates I could live with (like Jon Huntsman) are eviscerated by the party even though a progressive who embraces equality and diversity is the ONLY WAY they're going to take the White House. And so let's give it up for President Clinton!
The sequel, that is.
• Argh Redux. Case in point for the Republicans? So far we've got Ted Cruz and Rand Paul on the ticket. I'm sure Rick "Piece of Shit" Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and Chris Christie will be up next. No word from God as to whether he'll be asking Michelle Bachmann to run again. A sorrier lineup of assholes, bigots, and idiots you will not find.
Unless, of course, Sarah Palin decides to entertain us all with another run.
Shit. At this point, I'm actually missing Mitt Romney.
Not that he's any more a gem than the rest of the GOP freak show that seems intent to run unelectable candidates guaranteed to put Hillary Clinton in the Big Chair.
Meh. Guess I shouldn't be too torn up... in the end it doesn't seem to matter who gets into office anyway.
• Honesty. What we need is this guy...
At least then we'd know where we stand.
• Babe. Tell me something I don't know.
• Underline. A moment of silence for the passing of The Bold Italic... a San Francisco-centric web zine that quickly became one of my favorite things online. You will be missed.
• The Ant Man! Looking better and better with each new preview...
I had sincere reservations once Edgar Wright left the project, but it looks like Marvel has another terrific film under their belt.
• Fight! And speaking of Marvel Cinematic hits, this week we were treated to the longest look at the film yet...
And comic book geeks around the world just peed a little bit.
And then there's this...
Three weeks to go...
See you next week, True Believer!
Posted on Sunday, May 10th, 2015
Don't be intimidated by The Biggest Little City in the World... because Bullet Sunday from Reno starts... now...
• Love! Yeah. Uh huh.
• Carter! ABC has given Agent Carter a second season!
They also renewed Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which would be exciting if the show wasn't so awful. Who knows... maybe they'll actually do something with it this Fall to make it worth my valuable time. But somehow I doubt it.
• Dawson! In other terrific Marvel news, Rosario Dawson has been confirmed for Season Two of Daredevil... plus other Netflix Marvel projects! In the comics, she's kinda an important piece of the Luke Cage puzzle, so it will be interesting to see how they work that into his series...
One of my few regrets for Season One of Daredevil was that Rosario didn't have more screen time. Hopefully that will be rectified next year.
• Remember? I didn't read into Age of Ultron the anti-feminist viewpoint that has some people up in arms over how Black Widow was written. I save my rage for crap like this...
Remember the scene where Black Widow drops out of the jet on the motorcycle? Well fuck you the toy is Captain America pic.twitter.com/juefiCqlX8— Zac Shipley (@zacshipley) May 8, 2015
I'm guessing this is a case of "manwashing" the character of Black Widow so it will better appeal to young boys. Meanwhile, young girls that are into comics and super-hero movies get shitted on. Not that they can't enjoy a Captain America toy too... but come on.
• Lucifer! UPDATE: This doesn't look like it's going to be a faithful adaptation of the comic book of the same name, but I'm excited to see it nevertheless...
I don't suppose it's too much to hope that we get an appearance of Constantine in this series now that his own series has been canceled? It's a natural fit.
And... so much for bullets this week...
Posted on Sunday, May 17th, 2015
Rainy days and Sundays shouldn't get you down... because Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Carson! This clip is SO good. Makes me realize how much I miss Carson... and how much I'm going to miss Letterman...
As much as I'm looking forward to seeing what Stephen Colbert is going to do in late-night space, I am gutted at the prospect of Letterman closing out The Late Show. I may not be a consistent viewer, but I go on Letterman binges that make me very glad he's around. Until he won't be.
• Slider! Before I became a vegetarian, I was a fan of White Castle and their infamous mini hamburgers, better known as "sliders." There's no White Castle near me... I only got to eat there when I went to the coast, so it was a rare treat. After I became a vegetarian, White Castle (and my beloved In-N-Out Burger) were off the menu. Earlier this year White Castle did the unthinkable... they released a VEGETARIAN SLIDER! And I was beyond thrilled. Until I went to actually order one. Instead of a mini vegetarian burger topped with onions and a pickle like a real slider, you got a vegetable patty packed with carrots and peas and shit topped with your choice of honey mustard, ranch or Thai sauce. WHAT THE FUCK, WHITE CASTLE?!? I don't want that vegetable shit with salad dressing... I want a damn WHITE CASTLE SLIDER! To say I was disappointed is a massive understatement. Once again a restaurant tries to do a good thing badly by grossly misreading what vegetarians want. We don't want a vegetable version of what everybody else is getting... we want what everybody else is getting without having to kill an animal to get it. McDonalds totally nailed it with their "McVeggie Deluxe," but White Castle... like Burger King before them... failed utterly with their vegetable-infused monstrosity. Enter Gardein's "The Ultimate Beefless Sliders"...
They're perfect. And delicious. Add some lightly grilled onions and a pickle and it's the slider I've been wanting all along. Except... holy crap are they expensive. $6.00 a box! That's $1.50 a slider! Isn't a White Castle slider like 50¢ or something? All those government subsidies for America's toxic beef industry must be nice.
• Kingsman! I had rather high expectations after viewing the trailers for Kingsman: The Secret Service... and Michael Vaughn blew past every one of them...
Such a great movie! It's a smart, funny, action-packed spy thriller with a cast to die for, a really good story, and violence so over the top it verges on comedic.
Following in his father's footsteps, Eggsy Unwin trains to be an elite agent in Britain's premiere secret spy organization: Kingsman. And it's a good thing too... evil internet billionaire Valentine (played to the hilt by Samuel L. Jackson) has plans to wipe out the human race! Features epic appearances by Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Jack Davenport, Mark Hammill, Jack Davenport, and Michael Caine... along with strong breakout performances by Sofia Boutella and Taron Egerton. The film did some major box office action, so I'm hoping for a sequel. If you've read the comic book version, this is considerably different, but not in a bad way at all.
• Seventh Son! Unfortunately, another movie I had been looking forward to did not fare so well...
Despite a really good cast, Seventh Son ended up being a complete and total turd. Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore are great actors that defy all expectations by turning in truly awful performances. And while the story (based on a series of books) had huge potential (an 18th century evil spirit hunter learning his trade), it was utterly wasted in this mess of a film. Fortunately, like Jupiter Ascending, it bombed at the box office so we'll be spared any sequels. Avoid. Avoid. Avoid.
• Super! When I saw the extended "First Look" for the new Supergirl series, I was pleasantly surprised...
Looks like the team behind Arrow and The Flash have done it again! And then I watched the first actual trailer... only to discover that, apparently, we're getting "Team Supergirl." Which sucks ass. "Team Arrow" I get... it was core to the concept of the show's take on the character. But "Team Flash" is just unnecessary layers of shit, as Barry would have been much more interesting figuring out everything on his own. And "Team Supergirl" is an even worse idea. Why in the hell can't super-heroes exist on their own without some kind of stupid "team" there to constantly steal their thunder? Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg are clearly out of ideas here, and I wish that they would stop being called in to rehash their same tired concepts over and over again on new super-hero shows.
• Toys! Ending things on a down-note... I was sad to learn that F.A.O. Schwarz will be closing their doors come July. This iconic toy store is probably best remembered for it's part in the movie Big, but I'll better remember it as "that one place I visit every single time I'm in New York."
On one hand, I get it... online shopping is rapidly displacing retail shops for things like toys, so profits can't keep up with the cost of rent... but it's still sad that such a special part of New York City is going to evaporate. I mean, damn, 145 years?
And... back to my rainy Sunday...
Posted on Thursday, May 21st, 2015
"Red Nose Day" is a British charity telethon event from Comic Relief that has been going on for years. If you're ever in the UK during the middle of March, there's quite a big deal made about it. The country's most famous comedians and celebrities perform sketches, parodies, and informational spots all in the name of soliciting donations from viewers. In addition, retailers sell Red Nose Day merchandise with proceeds going towards the charity.
All in all, it's a fairly entertaining event for a good cause...
It was only a matter of time before the USA imported the idea (don't all British television shows make it here eventually?), and I was looking forward to seeing how the American version would up the ante.
Except they didn't.
The show was total crap. Seth Meyers, who has a stellar history as a presenter, was inexplicably awful (he spent most of his opening denigrating the UK Red Nose Day efforts in a way that was supposed to be tongue-in-cheek, but felt mean-spirited to me). Sketches were just plain bad (all your favorite celebrities have funny voices and their movies are dubbed!). The only thing that was even remotely funny was a Billy on the Street bit, but it was sabotaged by Martin Short being Martin Short.
After what seemed like an eternity (but was probably more like 40 minutes) I couldn't take it any more and turned the channel.
So... I guess this is yet another case of American television ruining a British import.
How sadly typical.
Posted on Sunday, May 31st, 2015
Don't dream it's over... because Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Selfie! As somebody who narrowly avoided getting smacked by somebody unable to control their selfie-stick this past week, I applaud Pizza Hut for their PSA...
When I have completed my bid for world domination, possession of a "selfie stick" will be punishable by death. If somebody ever smacks me with one of these things, that stick is going straight up their ass.
• Wha-?!? CatDuck!
• Reality? The Briefcase, a new "reality TV" show on CBS, is one of the most disgusting things I've ever seen on television... and that's saying something. "Let's exploit people with financial troubles for entertainment value!" — Holy shit. THIS is where we're at? Really?
The concept of the show is that a struggling family is given a briefcase full of money and introduced to another struggling family. They then have to decide how much of the money to keep and how much to give to the other family. BUT LITTLE DO THEY KNOW... the other family was given a briefcase full of cash too! Oh the drama!
You just KNOW that eventually one family is going to keep all the money while the other family will give all the money, creating a briefcase super-villain family that will be absolutely crucified by social media. As if keeping free money you desperately need is some kind of pure evil. I bet this show does gangbuster ratings. Human beings are the absolute worst. Fuck CBS for this disgusting, horrific exploitation of the poor.
• Wait! New music just dropped from one of my favorite bands, Postiljonen...
Beautiful, as always. Can't wait for a new album to hit!
•Giddy! Twelve. More. Days.
YOU CAN PLAY AS A LEGO DINOSAUR, PEOPLE!
And that's all the bullets we have today... move along, there's nothing to see here...
Posted on Friday, July 10th, 2015
One of my favorite animated series of all time is Invader Zim.
Created by Jhonen Vasquez for Nickelodeon Animation Studio, the show was about as strange as a cartoon could get... with visuals and stories that have to be seen to be believed. Chronicling the never-ending schemes of Irken alien invader Zim (along with his faithful robot sidekick GIR) to conquer the earth, Invader Zim ran for a heartbreakingly short 27 episodes before being cancelled by the complete idiots at Nickelodeon.
But now, thanks to the magic of comic books and a return by Jhonen Vasquez, Zim is back...
And it is glorious.
If you are even a passing fan of the cartoon (and how could you not be?) it is well worth picking up at your local comic book shop... or online digitally via Comixology.
Posted on Monday, July 13th, 2015
Don't you love a good TV ad?
Given that almost every ad you see is complete shit and totally the interruption it is designed to be... it makes me fall hard for ads that are actually good.
Like this one, which is currently top of the heap for my favorite ad of 2015...
Barely edging out my previous favorite for 2015...
Perhaps I'll be adding it to this one, my favorite from 2014...
And this one, my favorite from 2013...
And, lastly, the 2010 commercial that made me start keeping track of my favorite commercials...
It's hard not to love anything that features Betty White.
Posted on Tuesday, August 4th, 2015
Day. Ruined."After careful thought, thoughtful consideration and considerable squabbling, Miss Piggy made the difficult decision to terminate our romantic relationship. We will continue to work together on television (“The Muppets”/Tuesdays 8pm this fall on ABC) and in all media now known or hereafter devised, in perpetuity, throughout the universe. However, our personal lives are now distinct and separate, and we will be seeing other people, pigs, frogs, et al. This is our only comment on this private matter. Thank you for your understanding."
Posted on Wednesday, August 5th, 2015
When I heard there was going to be a Netflix series based on the cult movie Wet Hot American Summer starring the original cast, I was intrigued. Firstly, many in the cast have become massively successful in the fourteen years since the original film (Bradley Cooper, for example, had just started with Alias then, whereas now he's a major movie star). Secondly, the movie was a massive failure. And lastly, it's not a sequel... it's a frickin' prequel. That's right, even though the actors have aged a decade and a half since they first had the roles, they're actually playing younger than they originally did...
The age-defying angle is pretty funny.
Which is a good thing, because otherwise First Day of Camp isn't quit as funny as I was hoping for.
But the show is entertaining. And it wisely aims to provide backstory for the film. Mostly making sense along the way... assuming you've seen the original movie. If you haven't, many of the jokes will be over your head.
Ultimately, I think First Day of Camp was worth my valuable time (Josh Charles as a three-pop-collar-wearing preppy douche is worth the price of admission) but I admit to being disappointed that I didn't have as much fun in watching it as the cast did in making it.
If you've got a Netflix subscription, you should check it out. The first episode isn't that good, but things pick up in the second and start gelling around the halfway point (episode four of eight).
Posted on Sunday, August 9th, 2015
Bullets be bullets cuz the bullets be here... and because Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Daily? And so Jon Stewart has hung it up at The Daily Show. He will be missed. A lot. In so many ways he was a voice of reason in a world of utter madness, and the fact that it came from a comedy network tells you exactly how big a joke the media has become in this country.
I am having a difficult time imagining my life without Jon Stewart and The Daily Show in it.
And yet... there are others...
• Here it is... ...your moment of zen.
• Here it is... ...your moment of zen.
• Here it is... ...your moment of zen.
• Here it is... ...your moment of zen.
I'm all zenned out. Thank you for everything, Mr. Stewart.
See you in seven.
Posted on Sunday, August 23rd, 2015
Don't touch that back button... because Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Fighter. Before we get started... a huge thank you to the firefighters battling the very serious wildfires that have been plaguing us here in Central Washington State. The most serious being the Okanogan Complex fire, which is now the largest ever in state history (maps courtesy of the NIFC)...
Most of the smoke plaguing the valley where I live is from the Chelan fire, which is threatening a lot of people...
Three firefighters have already lost their lives. Hopefully these horrific fires will be contained before more lives are lost.
• Catastrophe! If you have Amazon Prime and don't mind a little adult-oriented humor, Catastrophe had me laughing all six episodes. When an American working in London accidentally gets an Irish woman pregnant, both their lives are turned up-side down...
The show's page is right here on Amazon.
• Naptime! Could the solution really be this easy?
Damn. Banned in Washington State!
It seems to get me great results with little hassle. I don't know that it can completely replace Noiseware, but I'm sure glad to have it in my Photoshop toolbox. Here's an old photo of me, BEFORE and AFTER at 200%...
Yeah, it looks a little soft... but at 100% it's actually useable. Here's another...
Night shots don't fare quite as well as photos that have enough light... you get some clumping in solid areas... but still, pretty nice work for a one-click fix.
HELPFUL HINT: If you want to save 20% on Noiseless Pro, just put the app in your cart then abandon it. Eventually you'll get an email with a 20% off code. I got one... AFTER PURCHASING THE PROGRAM... which is kind of shitty, but my loss is your gain.
• In-App. Looks like I'm not the only one pissed off by all these apps having stupid-ass "in-app purchases"... Apple has been running ads featuring games with NO in-app purchase...
I wish there was a way to turn off apps with in-app purchase so they don't even appear in the iTunes Store. I never download them.
• Freedom. If I ever have the opportunity to kick the ever-loving shit out of Donald Trump, please look at it NOT as a heinous act of violence, but as me making America great again.
And... it's too hot for more bullets. BS out!
Posted on Sunday, August 30th, 2015
Don't play with matches... because a smokey edition Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Horror! I was very sad to learn that famed "Horror Maestro," Wes Craven, passed away. While he was most famous for his Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream series of films, I'll forever think of him as the director of Vampire in Brooklyn. This "so bad it's good" movie was supposed to be a comedy-horror film, but came up a bit short in both departments. Even so, I've watched it a half-dozen times because my love of all things Eddie Murphy has no shame. Well, that... and ANGELA BASSETT...
Rest in peace sir. Yours is a legacy that shall haunt the night for a very long time.
• Denali. At long last, North America's tallest mountain, Denali, has its name back. I'm sure President McKinley of Ohio was a great guy and everything, but it's categorically stupid that an entire mountain which he never visited and had nothing to do with him or his legacy could be renamed without permission from the native people living there. This goes for a lot of lands and landmarks around the world similarly appropriated, so it's kind of nice to see the right thing happen every once in a while. Despite objections, of course. As noted in Wikipedia: Ohio Congressman Mike Turner vowed to fight the change, commenting that "I’m certain [Obama] didn’t notify President McKinley’s descendants, who find this outrageous." Which, so far as statements go, is even more outrageous given that McKinley's two daughters died as children, thus leaving McKinley with no descendants to notify. Just another piece of shit lying politician trying to manipulate people with bullshit. What a fucking surprise.
• NEVER GIVE UP!. I cannot decide if this is good news or bad news.
• BETTY! This, on the other hand, is great news. Even if I'll have to watch the horrendously shitty show Bones to see it happen.
• Soap. Nurse Kathy is high again!
• Hypocrisy. For the handful of county clerks saying "I'D RATHER DIE THAN ISSUE A MARRIAGE LICENSE FOR GAY COUPLES"... you're not the heroes you think you are. You regularly grant licenses for divorced couples, atheist couples, and a myriad of other couples who are getting married against "Biblical principal," so you are, in fact, just a bunch of pathetic hypocrites and certified assholes refusing to do the work your job requires. If marriage equality is SO offensive that you can't bring yourself to do what you're paid to do... then quit and find something that won't go against your hypocrisy.
Or just fuck off and kill yourself so you can be the martyr you profess to be. Except I think we all know that, in reality, it's more likely you're just being an attention-whore drama queen whose words are as hollow as your true convictions. Or whatever. I dunno. Feel free to prove me wrong.
Whichever. Totally up to you. Just so long as I don't have to see your "religious liberty" bullshit hypocrisy being applied to a government job that's supposed to be independent of your faith. Something you knew when you signed up.
And... I can't see to post any more bullets because the air has gotten too smokey.
Posted on Monday, August 31st, 2015
I've loathed Jared Fogle long before he was arrested for being a piece of shit pedophile and child rapist. It had nothing to do with him personally... just his idiotic Subway commercials where he'd whore out whatever exaggerations and lies he was paid to tell. You can't compare a Subway sandwich with no mayo, no cheese, and no flavor to a Big Mac and be taken seriously, yet this moron did crap like that all the time.
Of course, now that he's been exposed as a piece of shit pedophile and child rapist, my loathing for him has understandably increased. And this time it is personal. It's no secret that I think monsters like Jared Fogle need to have their dick cut off then be shot in the head. Not just because they've utterly destroyed the lives of the children they've abused... but because they've contributed to The Sad State of Modern Times, making it so that absolutely everybody has to be treated as if they were a potential child rapist. The consequences of not being suitably cautious are just too horrific to live otherwise.
And I fucking HATE The Sad State of Modern Times we live in.
About the only thing that makes it bearable is the unrelenting ridicule that these disgusting assholes get dragged through. Which is why Chris Hardwick's speech on @midnight a while back is so inspiring...
Posted on Tuesday, September 8th, 2015
Why I won't be watching The Late Show with Stephen Colbert...
(Hint: It's the same reason I stopped watching Ellen)
I just don't get it.
I mean, yeah, I get it. It's a live show and you want to remind the television viewers that it's a live show so you have to break in with the studio audience every once in a while... but this is fucking ridiculous. It's almost a full hour of people screaming, yelling, and chanting which completely overwhelms the actual show. Sure it's annoying on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, but at least there it's tolerable. On Colbert it absolutely is not.
And now that The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore is starting up with the stupid-ass name chanting as well ("LARRY! LARRY! LARRY!"), I'll probably stop watching it too. I know his fucking name is "Larry," I don't need the audience fucking screaming it every ten minutes WHEN HIS NAME IS IN THE TITLE OF THE DAMN SHOW!
Next up? Laugh tracks. If you have to tell your audience when to laugh, YOUR SHOW ISN'T FUCKING FUNNY!
P.S. Also... YOUR LOGO IS HIDEOUS!
LET'S JUST FUCKING JAM EVERYTHING IN THERE SO IT'S AN UNREADABLE WORD BLOB! THAT'S THE TICKET!
Posted on Monday, September 14th, 2015
I know that Subway is trying to reinvent their image with their latest round of commercials, but all I can think about each time their stinky sandwiches appear on my television is YOU WERE TOLD BACK IN 2008 THAT JARED WAS A PIECE OF SHIT CHILD-TROLLING PERVERT AND DID NOTHING. NOTHING, BECAUSE IT WAS FINANCIALLY LUCRATIVE TO DO NOTHING. NOTHING AT ALL!
Photo by Getty Images (??? Couldn't find a photo credit, but the filename had "Getty" in it)
FUCK SUBWAY AND THEIR SHITTY SANDWICHES!
Posted on Tuesday, September 29th, 2015
Too. Much. Television.
I really don't have time for this shit but, as I do every year, I try to watch every show that debuts just in case I end up not being able to live without it.
Here's the new crop so far...
Quantico. Kind of taking elements from How to Get Away with Murder and The Blacklist... yet not managing to screw it up as I fully expected they would. Keep the twists and turns coming, and this should be an interesting ride.
Blindspot. Hello, Jamie Alexander! I did not anticipate liking this show as much as I did. I just hope that they don't drag out the mystery of who Jane Doe is for so long that it becomes irrelevant. Get it wrapped up in the first season and move on to an even BIGGER mystery, and I'm yours.
The Grinder. Surprisingly good. Mostly due to Rob Lowe, who is charming as hell in just about every role he plays. Including this one. Fred Savage always seems like he's trying too hard, which can be annoying, but kind of works for his character.
Limitless. I held out zero hope for this show... but somehow they managed to enjoy it even though I wasn't very impressed with the movie it's based on. Dragging the FBI oversight into the game felt like it was going to be a bone-headed move... but now that I have a taste of how it could work, I totally get it. Now it's a concept that's sustainable. On a side note... I'm really glad that Jake McDorman got another shot at a show after the terrible Manhattan Love Story.
The Muppets. Not the Muppets I grew up with, but totally the Muppets I grew up with... if that makes any sense. I'm just glad to see them on TV again, even though the split between Kermit and Miss Piggy is very disturbing.
Scream Queens. I really don't know what to make of this show. It can be darn funny. It's fairly well-written and has a good cast. But it utterly fails as horror, which makes it come up short for me. Maybe a true "comedy horror" just isn't possible, but I can't say that they really even tried here. Still I like the whole serial murder mystery aspect, so I guess I'll keep watching.
Grandfathered. If it were anybody besides John Stamos in the lead, I'd probably drop this in "The Bad" column because it's such stale material. How can a baby joke be funny when you've heard it over and over again in every movie and television show ever? Still, Stamos delivers an easy charm as he usually does, so I guess I'll watch for a while.
Minority Report. I loved the original Ton Cruise movie and was curious to see how they could maintain a television show adaptation with a smaller budget and the pressure to write new stories in that universe week after week. Well... the smaller budget looks to be put to good use, but the stories? Not feeling it so far. I mean, mind-controlled pigeons? Really?
Life in Pieces. Unexpectedly fresh and funny. But, then again, I'd be entertained by a show where Diane Wiest reads the phonebook, so there's that.
Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris. Best time? Barely a good time. Despite their best efforts to keep things exciting, the show is one big snooze-fest to me.
Public Morals. Probably would have liked it better if my expectations for Ed Burns weren't so high. Looks beautiful, but everything else is a bit muted. Ultimately worth watching, but I can't get excited about it.
Rosewood. It's an interesting idea (Quincy, M.E. gone rogue!) but the implementation is just so bad. The lead character is borderline unlikeable with his cocky arrogance and the supporting cast drives me insane. Was really hoping to get a great new Miami-based show after Burn Notice left us. This isn't it.
The Player. How can you get Wesley Snipes into a network television show and it end up like this? The plot is nonsensical in the worst possible way. The writing seems recycled from shows you've seen a hundred times before. And I seriously don't get how the illuminati-like plot device is sustainable. Maybe there's a huge game-changing shake-up in the first couple of episodes that snaps everything into place but, if not, this is just a big ol' mess.
Blood & Oil. Yeah. Yeah. I knew going in that this would probably be crap.
Heroes Reborn. The show Heroes was a shitty effort with bland characters and no budget to make a show about super-heroes actually have super-heroics. I thought now that The Flash was nailing the special effects needed for a show like this that maybe Heroes Reborn would at least get that much right. Nope. Yet another shitty show where they do everything they can to avoid showing super-powers. As if that weren't enough, the story is a boring, convoluted crap-fest as well.
If past precedence holds, I'll be dropping half of the Great/Good/Okay shows by the end of October. Half of the remainder will be cancelled or dropped by the end of the year. If I'm lucky, I'll only be watching four of these in the new year. I don't need any more television in my life.
Still to come? Supergirl, Dr. Ken, Code Black, Truth Be Told, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Angel from Hell, Chicago Med, Jessica Jones, The Expanse, Ash vs. Evil Dead, and Wicked City.
Posted on Saturday, October 3rd, 2015
Saturday Night Live had a pretty good season opener with Miley Cyrus as host tonight. And while there was some drag at the end, overall is was one of the better SNL episodes in recent years.
Mostly because of one of the most perfect sketches in the history of the show. The Millennials is so dead-on that I was compelled to rewind the DVR and watch it again. Twice...
Yes, it's parody. But not by much.
This is exactly what I have to endure when dealing with the entitlement generation that's entering the work force now-a-days. They want tons of money, but don't want to work for it. AT ALL. And you absolutely cannot criticize what little work they actually accomplish or else they'll have a complete meltdown.
I can only imagine it's going to get worse from here, which has me seriously wondering what the future is going to look like.
Actually, I can't even imagine.
Posted on Tuesday, October 6th, 2015
Most. Adorable. Commercial. Ever.
LET THE DEATH THREATS AND CAMPBELL'S BOYCOTTS BEGIN!
Oh how I love a clever, smart commercial.
Obviously, this will be in the running for my favorite of 2015.
UPDATE: Oh wow... the whole series of commercials are fantastic!
Fantastic. Kudos to whomever came up with this bit of genius.
Posted on Saturday, October 17th, 2015
Trying to be a fan of Saturday Night Live is an exercise in futility. So much of the time it's just awful... but then they'll drop a gem so brilliant that it makes you believe again.
Tonight's episode was packed full of gems, and they didn't waste any time... the cold open take on the Democratic debate was genius...
I've never been a Larry David fan... but holy cats can he do a flawless Bernie Sanders impersonation!
The big attraction for tonight's episode, however, was the triumphant return of Tracy Morgan to the show as host after surviving a horrific car accident 16 months ago. To say he killed his monologue is an understatement...
Yes. Reuniting the 30 Rock cast for a guest shot is too good to be true.
The show itself was pretty good... featuring a return of Tracy's Brian Fellow and also the return of Tina Fey to the Weekend Update desk. But my favorite sketch had to be Family Feud, which is what you hope for when tuning in to SNL...
Next up? Donald Trump. That should prove interesting. Or disastrous. Or both.
Much like a Trump presidency, I'd imagine.
Posted on Tuesday, October 20th, 2015
I'm watching It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown while I type this.
I haven't seen it in at least a decade and had forgotten just how smart, funny, and entertaining it is. Even more amazing is that it debuted when I was born, which means it's existed as long as I have...
Halloween is eleven days away, which seems a bit early for Halloween cartoons. I can only guess they are moving it back so that Christmas programming can start on November 1st and not feel too close. But who knows, maybe they won't even have the decency to wait for Halloween to end before the Christmas assault begins. Frosty the Snowman could be playing tomorrow for all I know.
And speaking of insanity...
So much for Tuesday.
Posted on Sunday, October 25th, 2015
Don't worry... blogging isn't as dead as they say, because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Jones. I do not have the vocabulary to adequately express how much I'm looking forward to Marvel's Jessica Jones on Netflix this November 20th...
If it's even half as good as Davedevil was, I'll be ecstatic. Krysten Ritter and Mike Colter (as LUKE CAGE!) look to be knocking it out of the park.
• Outrageous. And so it turns out the shitty Jem and the Holograms movie adaptation is, in fact, shitty. Which was foretold by many, many people after watching the trailer...
IT'S NOT FUCKING ROCKET SCIENCE! RESPECT THE DAMN SOURCE MATERIAL OR FAIL!
• FAKE! Nothing like getting excited over a ton of five-star reviews on an item you're needing from Amazon... only to find out that every last one of them were from people who either got it for free or received a discount for their "honest and unbiased" review. Well screw that. Your "honest and unbiased" review is overwhelmingly positive because THAT'S how you get chosen to get free stuff for reviews! They're not going to choose people who are critical of the things they write about to review their product. I absolutely loathe this shit.
• Dull. Seems almost eerily accurate...
Dell. The pink slime filler of computer companies.
• Comeuppance. Oh. How sad for the price gouging little fucker.
• Force! This has got to be the single best video game commercials ever made...
The magic of video gaming is that it has the ability to put you in a fictional universe made real. Many video games have been advertising along these lines... this is the first one to absolutely nail it.
And I'm off. In the meanwhile, here's probably the cutest thing you've seen all week.
Posted on Saturday, November 7th, 2015
And so Donald Trump hosted Saturday Night Live tonight.
This has been a gig mired in controversy... with Trump being a big ol' racist and all. There's been calls for boycotts against the show, boycotts agains SNL advertisers, and boycotts against NBC. And it's all perfectly understandable. Bonus screen time for a racist presidential candidate is just not cool, and I totally sympathize with the sentiment of a boycott.
But there was no way I was going to miss another appearance by Larry David as Bernie Sanders in the cold open...
And it was awesome, as expected. As for the rest of the show?
Painfully bad and unfunny.
And Trump sucked. Sucked hard. S-U-C-K-E-D.
And something tells me that he's a better actor and comedian than he would be a president.
Posted on Sunday, November 8th, 2015
Time to lock and load, because Bullet Sunday starts... now...
Because of course she does.
First Michele Bachmann came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew.
Then Michele Bachmann came for the Muslims, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Muslim.
Then Michele Bachmann came for the Hindus, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Hindu.
Then Michele Bachmann came for me— and there was no one left to speak for me.
• Bond. The cutest thing you've seen all week!
Oh how I hope that Daniel Craig has a change of heart and gives us another Bond film.
• Latter. "For God so loved (some of) the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him (gays and children of gays excepted) should not perish, but have everlasting life (or not)." — You'd think a group that once fled persecution would be more accepting, yet here we are.
• Serious? Is there anything Aziz Ansari can't do?
Taste the fat, indeed.
• Horrific. Woman attacked diner at Applebee's for speaking a foreign language. — What a piece of shit. What a vile, worthless, disgusting, pile of shit! I sincerely hope this ignorant asshole gets put in prison for a long, long, time. This kind of absurd xenophobia is what happens when you have assholes like Donald Trump painting foreigners as bad people.
• Televised. Tonight's episode of Limitless just pushed the series to my favorite show on television. The Ferris Bueller parody was unexpected but flawlessly implemented.
Love. This. Show. If you're not watching it, you probably should be.
And... that's it for bullets today.
Posted on Friday, November 20th, 2015
Speaking of things I'm looking forward to...
Jessica Jones is premiering on Netflix this Saturday... and new X-Files is coming next January from FOX, for which the poster has just been released...
And lest we forget... Marvel's Luke Cage and Iron Fist are also on-deck for 2016 from Netflix.
Not to mention Daredevil Season Two!
Definitely a good time to be alive. Television-wise.
Posted on Saturday, December 12th, 2015
Compared to any of the Republicans running? ANY of them?
Yes. I'll take George W. Bush.
And that terrifies me more than I can say.
Posted on Tuesday, December 29th, 2015
And now is that special entry where I wrap up MY FAVORITE TV SHOWS OF 2015!
Which has a lot of new faces... eight of my top-twelve are new... to keep my television obsession interesting this year.
THE TWELVE BEST...
I was completely blindsided by this series, as I felt the movie from which it spawned was mediocre at best. Most of what makes the show so great is the awesome cast, lead by Jake McDorman, who is absolute magic in every scene. If you aren't watching Limitless, you need to get on that... starting with the first episode. It's smart, funny, and gets better with every episode.
Marvel is firing on all cylinders, producing one jaw-dropping film after another... and then burning up the small screen with fascinating renditions of their second tier roster of heroes. Daredevil's first season was a brutal take on super-heroics that managed to get just about everything right when it came to The Man Without Fear.
#3 Jessica Jones
As if Daredevil wasn't enough of a gift, Marvel also gave us an utterly fascinating adaptation of the Alias comics with Jessica Jones. Kristen Ritter so faithfully nailed the character that it's hard to believe the original comic wasn't written with her in mind. Dark, disturbing, unmissable television. Even better? We got a look at the next Netflix series with an appearance by Luke Cage!
#4 Master of None
As a huge fan of Aziz Ansar's stand-up, I was expecting good things with his new show. Totally blew past all expectations. Consistently smart and funny in a way television comedies should be, but usually aren't.
#5 Agent Carter
I loathe ABC Television's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which is why I expected an absolute disaster when the network announced a new Peggy Carter show. Fortunately, the two series couldn't be more different. Lush visuals, exciting stories, and amazing casting make this the show to watch.
#6 Mr. Robot
I don't even know how to explain this one. Defines compelling television.
I don't know how they managed to hang on to everything that made me enjoy the first season so much... yet turn in something quite different... but I am ever so glad they did.
The premise of this show... wacky American gets a woman pregnant while visiting London... didn't have me expecting much, but boy did it deliver. Beautifully-crafted dialogue keeps every episode entertaining from beginning to end. Kudos to Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan for unleashing the show I didn't know I needed all along.
One of the best shows on television came to a close this year with Season 6. I thought it was plotted out for seven seasons, so I'm not sure what happened, but I am really going to miss this series.
#10 The Flash
I am exceedingly tired of super-hero shows being built around a team of supporting characters... but it's kind of working here, unlike Arrow and Supergirl. The one part that falls flat every damn time is the show-runners insisting that everybody have a love interest (especially for Barry, which is ten shades of annoying and awkward as hell), but whatever. Fantastic special effects, nifty villains, and pretty good stories keep me watching.
#11 Orphan Black
What I said last year (and probably the year before still holds true: "Easily one of the most intelligent series on TV, it just keeps getting better and better. Where it's all leading to I have no idea, but it's a journey I'm definitely going to keep taking.".
#12 Ash vs. Evil Dead
Fun! It's just fun, escapist television that's faithful to the original films while striking out in new directions. Bruce Campbell has lost nothing over the years, and is able to deliver his brand of humor in a way most actors could only dream of. If you're a fan of Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead films, this will not disappoint.
SIX MORE WORTH WATCHING...
The Mysteries of Laura
This is a great show with a fantastic cast and entertaining stories. Really, really hope it gets a third season.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
While I am very much enjoying The Daily Show with Trever Noah, John Oliver has risen beyond his humble origins on that show and become a major force in TV news programs. His every episode is fascinating, and I can't wait to see what he'll tackle next. If only we could get more episodes per season I'd be very happy. You just can't get enough of this show.
Game of Thrones
Again, it's fantastic television. There's not much more I can say than that.
I am kind of late to the Transparent bandwagon. I had seen the show before, but didn't really get into it for some reason. Then I caught some episodes while on a business trip and had to start over from the beginning because I enjoyed it so much.
Orange Is the New Black
Yes, there are episodes that drive me batshit crazy, but overall this is a show that makes for some compelling television. The diverse set of characters just work, and it's magic on the small screen to behold.
ANIMATION WORTH YOUR TIME...
Still a lot of good shows out there...
Still brilliant. Still relevant. Still must-see-television for me.
Imaginative entertainment unlike anything else on television. Still going strong.
Couldn't possibly love this show more than I do. They just kill it each and every episode.
Plus three more...
Rick & Morty
Dan Harmon toon series that came out of nowhere to dominate Adult Swim. Back to the Future gone sideways.
Hasn't jumped the shark yet, thank heavens.
This show is absolute genius in the most bizarre way possible. If Ash vs. The Evil Dead didn't exist, Bojack would be my #12 show. Will Arnett is amazing as the voice of the lead character, and he's backed up by a fantastic cast (including Amy Sedaris!). Suffice to say you owe it to yourself to take a look at this show, because I have no idea how else to sell it to you.
IN WITH A BANG, DROPPED WITH A WHIMPER...
The first six episodes had me completely hooked. Then it just kept going in directions that lost my interest and the overall premise grew stale.
Quantico's earliest episodes were great, but in the back of my head I was wondering how they would sustain all the mysteries and intrigue that made the series so good. Turns out they couldn't. Eventually it all kinda collapsed, leaving me bored and frustrated.
How to Get Away with Murder
This show was my obsession last season. This time around it's just such a mess I can't find the energy to be interested.
The special effects are great. The stories aren't bad at all. But I hate the whole "Team Supergirl" bullshit. How much more interesting would this show have been if she was just Linda Danvers trying to figure out life as a teenager while secretly balancing out being one of the most powerful heroes on earth. But no. It's just so idiotic and forced that I can't watch. And I HATE how they keep taking good guys and making them bad guys. Vartox, one of my favorite comic book heroes was made a villain in episode one! No thanks.