Posted on June 23rd, 2022
One of my favorite TV shows of all times is Scrubs
Every two or three years I take a run through the entire series just because the writing is so incredibly smart and creative (even though some of the language is less than PC and hasn't aged well). After work I started the series again because I saw Brendan Fraser in something and was reminded how he was in the best three episodes of Scrubs that ever aired...
It's kinda a minor miracle that this show was so good from the very first episode. That doesn't happen very often. Veronica Mars... The Finder... Limitless... Sports Night... and, unlike other TV shows that started amazing with the first episode but then took a nose-dove after a few seasons (Alias, Twin Peaks, and the rest), Scrubs was relatively consistent until the end. And then the very end after the show was canceled and renewed on another network.
Oh crap. Now I want to watch all these other shows for the hundredth time.
Posted on June 22nd, 2022
Last night I waited until midnight for Ms. Marvel, as usual, then saved everything else for today when I could find time. It was a lot of TV packed into a day...
Umbrella Academy Season 03
While it had some very good moments, this fell short of the first two seasons for me. Not as twisty, smart, and interesting. But there were also some changes that surprised me. In the first two seasons I loathed Vanya and loved Allison. This year that completely reversed... Loved Viktor, outright detested Allison (fucking hated her this season). But my favorite in all seasons is Number Five, even though he had less to do this time around. I can't go much further without delving into spoiler territory, but suffice to say I enjoyed the third season and sincerely hope we get a fourth.
Ms. Marvel Episode 03
Beautiful, joyous, and clever. And boy did they really go there with Kamala using her powers! Really great to see, as I was starting to worry that they were going to pull a Moon Knight and not really do anything interesting with her. I don't know if this quite eclipses how amazing I found Hawkeye to be, but I am already hoping for another season after she appears in The Marvels.
Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 06
I've enjoyed every episode of this series despite the fact that there really couldn't be any surprises since we know how everything has to turn out. Even the "surprise" at the end wasn't much of a surprise because it was foreshadowed heavily in one of the earlier films. Despite this being a series that was meant to be complete, I would not at all object to seeing what else happened with Obi-Wan before Star Wars happened. Ewan McGregor is just too darn good to let go.
Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness
On second viewing, I actually appreciate this movie more than I initially did... even though I still think that Wanda was done dirty. I enjoyed this flick the first time around, sure, but it just didn't feel that the multiverse was used to great effect. Spider-Man: No Way Home was smarter about it, and this one just felt like an afterthought. That being said, America Chavez managed to fit into the story in a way that felt meaningful, and seeing the Illuminati portrayed so beautifully left me wanting more. A lot more.
And now... it's 1:00am and time for bed. Past time for bed. I'll just have to make up for all the sleep I didn't get tomorrow night.
Posted on June 21st, 2022
Just mentally preparing for tomorrow
That's when Umbrella Academy Season 03, Ms. Marvel Episode 03, Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 06, Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, and who knows what else is releasing.
I'd take the day off from work... but, alas...
Posted on June 19th, 2022
Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there! As for me? I don't get to celebrate being a cat-dad... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Tokio! I first heard of the German band Tokio Hotel years ago when I was in Italy, I think. They were getting some notice from their debut album Schrei (probably because they were so young when they recorded it). It's a dang good album if you like hard rock. Fast-forward to yesterday and I happened across a new song from them called When We Were Younger which was quite surprising for three reasons. 1) It's in English. 2) It's pure pop. 3) It's actually really good, and I've been playing it on repeat for a day now...
Great, right? But it's the end where they say "Together since 2001" where it kinda gets you. All those photos are of the band as kids... essentially growing up before your eyes...
I love stuff like this.
• Smooth! Welp. Cooper Raiff has 1000% done it again. How he manages to not take the easy or expected route... but still manages to create such satisfying movies is beyond me. All this and he's actually a really good actor on top of of being an exceptional writer and director. The setup for Cha Cha Real Smooth is like films you've seen dozens of times before... and yet the payoff is so much better because it's not like films you've seen dozens of times before. You end up feeling completely different about some characters at the end than you did in the beginning, and that takes true talent to accomplish because most times when this is attempted it just feels so fake and unearned.
In both Shithouse and Cha Cha Real Smooth there's that one scene which really crushes you. And in Cha Cha Real Smooth you never see it coming. Really looking forward to whatever Cooper Raiff does next.
• She's a Beauty! Well, you are (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
You are beautiful❤️ from “Man of the World”♬ Sunroof - Nicky Youre & dazy
Ukrainian and Czech are close enough to Russian that I got those. I haven't studied Japanese in forever, but that one was easy. I thought I would have had a shot at Chile, Puerto Rico, and Spain... but the only other one I got was USA!
• Raise the Roof! I've never been to The Palace theater in New York City. But I have stayed at The Doubletree hotel that was built around it. I had read a while ago that they were planning on doing something extraordinary... raise The Palace 30 feet in the air so they can build a new hotel and entertainment complex around it. That's now been completed, and how they went about it is fascinating...
I'm not a "Broadway guy" but I admit to wanting to see how this all works out. It all looks pretty darn incredible.
• Oh Jodie! I missed the entire last season of Graham Norton because Philo didn't record it. On the episode I'm watching now, Coldplay is singing "My Universe" (with a cool BTS video background) and it's great. BUT THE BEST PART is that Coldplay super-fan Jodie Whittaker from Doctor Who was on the show, and this happened...
After it was over, they went back to the couch and Jodie mentioned that she has her alarm set for next week so she can try to get tickets for when Coldplay is playing Wembley. Well, needless to say, Jodie now has tickets to go to see ColdPlay. And it will be one of the greatest missed opportunities ever if they don't get her on stage!
• Seriously? BWAH HA HA HA HAAAAA! no.
• This time... There's a very good sleight of hand magician on TikTok named Mat Franco who is constantly having to re-do his tricks because people believe that he's not being honest about what he's doing. Like this one, for example (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
@matfrancomagic Reply to @everythingballard ♬ original sound - Mat Franco
And here we go again (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
@matfrancomagic Reply to @dembirdsbedirty ♬ nhạc nền - AK乂Duty
Fortunately, the guy is patient enough to keep humoring everybody. But you'd think that eventually people would just enjoy the show.
• Pixar! I responded to a meme where people were ranking all the Pixar films. My Top 5 hadn't changed in years... until Luca came out, which I loved...
Yeah, not a fan of the Cars films. But even a bad Pixar film is better than most.
And now back to your regularly scheduled Sunday.
Posted on June 14th, 2022
The second episode of “Ms. Marvel” was wonderful from start to finish. AND YES I STAYED UP UNTIL MIDNIGHT SO I COULD WATCH IT! The cast... story... cinematography... all incredible. This is quickly getting to be right up there with Hawkeye as the best Disney+ series for me. It's inconceivable that this is Iman Vellani's first acting job! She plays Kamala Khan so effortlessly and believably. Well, as believably as you can get with a comic book movie...
There have been numerous changes from the comic book to accommodate video media... but there were more than a couple scenes in the second episode that were right out of the source material, which was wonderful to see. The showrunners are absolutely respecting the spirit of the original character in very good ways.
If you're not watching Ms. Marvel, you really should be.
Posted on June 12th, 2022
It's another cold and rainy Sunday, but I'm not letting it get me down... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• More Bargains! ZOMFG! Keith, Evan, and Shea are back with more Bargain Block! Easily my favorite home renovation show, I was thrilled that it was renewed for a second season... and would subscribe to discovery+ just to watch this one program!
It will be interesting to see how the concept of the show has to change to meet with rising house prices. The entire show was built around the idea of taking homes so trashed that they could be bought for almost nothing and turning them around. But now even trashed houses cost money.
• RITZOREO? What the-?!?
Why? I'm not going to say it's terrible because I haven't tried it... but this just looks like a complete disaster. Even so, if I see these I will buy them.
• Strange! If the new Thor and Black Panther films weren't being released this year, this would be the movie I most want to see...
There needs to be more science fiction animated films. Let me restate that... there needs to be more good science fiction animated films. Hopefully this is good and performs well so we get more.
• Welp! This is actually kinda scary.
But what isn't scary now-a-days?
• Smart! Hacks fell apart for me in the second season. It just kinda meandered around, and the "life" that the first season excelled at felt more sporadic. But boy oh boy did they stick the landing on the last episode of this season. It really has me hoping that HBO Max picks it up for a third season, because the way it ended felt final... but actually opens up some interesting avenues for all the characters...
Plus... Jean Smart.
• Ouch! As a huge fan of Ben Wishaw, I was compelled to watch his latest series This is Going to Hurt. He plays a London doctor working in the gynecology department in a busy NHS hospital. It has graphic depictions of medical procedures that are tough to watch. The way that women get ripped into for caesarean births is unbelievably rough... almost violent. But even a straightforward birth looks double-tough. From this perspective, it's probably a good idea for men to watch this show and gain a new perspective on what women go through giving birth. It's probably NOT a good idea, however, for expectant mothers to watch this. Because... damn!
I honestly don't know how Ben Wishaw makes his roles look so effortless... even when they are wildly complex like this one is.
• Happy Tenth! This past week marked the tenth anniversary of my first tattoo! I had wanted a cartoon skull and crossbones tattoo forever, and the first drawing I made of it was 26 years before it was actually inked. The only thing I changed from my original drawing was that I made it bolder with much thicker lines because I didn't want it to look like something I could cover up easily. I never once changed my mind about what I wanted in 26 years, so I was committed and didn't want to half-ass it...
One of these days I really need to get back to San Francisco for another tattoo. I have zero regrets on any work I've had done, and my only true regret is that I didn't start getting tattooed earlier so I'd have more ink on me.
And on that happy note... hope your weekend was a good one now that it's almost over.
Posted on June 9th, 2022
When it comes to translating their comic book properties to non-comic media, Marvel has done a darn good job when it comes to the compromises which have to be made. The way costumes look... the way powers work... the way continuity has been built... choices have to be made every step of the way, and there has been shockingly little that I've not felt was smart, cool, and appropriate.
Ms. Marvel, based on a highly successful character from the comics, is an American girl of Pakistani Muslim heritage who idolizes Captain Marvel and wants to be a super-hero just like her. Then one day she gets her shot, and her life becomes a balance between being a hero and being a girl trying to fit into her life and school while still holding true to her family's traditions and values.
In the comics, Ms. Marvel is a "polymorph" who has the ability to stretch and embiggen parts of her body. She got her abilities after being exposed to the Terrigen Mists, which is how Marvel's Inhumans characters gain powers (meaning that Ms. Marvel is technically an Inhuman).
In the television series, Ms. Marvel finds a family heirloom (a "bangle") which gives her the ability to make cosmic energy constructs. You can see it on her wrist here...
Now, even though her powers are very, very different in the MCU, she still uses them in a way that harkens back to the comic books. If she wants to catch somebody, she generates a giant hand out of cosmic energy and stretches it out to make the catch. As opposed to making her actual hand grow to giant size and then stretching her actual arm out to make the catch.
I know some fanboys are going to be upset by this change, but I think it's pretty smart. First of all, her powers look kinda ridiculous in the comic books and probably wouldn't translate very well to television and movies. Second of all, part of her powers is basically a copy of Mister Fantastic's stretching abilities, which means that the Marvel Cinematic Universe would have two people with a confusingly-similar gimmick once The Fantastic Four movie arrives.
Which is to say that the MCU Ms. Marvel is more "Green Lantern" than "Mister Fantastic."
I'm not sure if I approve of the whole "cosmic bangle" source of her powers, but the powers she has been given I definitely approve of.
I also approve very much of the show itself.
Ms. Marvel streamlines the comic book narrative into something that works for television very well. The core aspects of her character are very much the same, and that's more important than most anything else because it's those aspects which make her unique.
Visually the show is quite good... using auxiliary graphic elements to give the series a unique flavor and make it fit the youthful vibe of the character.
The cast is phenomenal. Iman Vellani IS Ms. Marvel, and they fill out her family, friends, and acquaintances with equally-capable actors. It seems as if Marvel Studios is simply incapable of making bad casting decisions...
We've only gotten one episode to look at, but the storytelling is on-point and things move at a brisk enough pace that the episode doesn't feel bogged down (as what happens with so many origin stories). But the best surprise of all? MS. MARVEL IS ACTUALLY IN THE SHOW! After the way Moon Knight had practically no actual Moon Knight in it, I was mortified that this might be a new trend. But nope!
I don't know that Ms. Marvel will overtake Hawkeye as my favorite MCU Disney+ series... but maybe it will get there. The pieces are certainly in place to make it a fantastic show, so fingers crossed.
Posted on June 5th, 2022
Don't let the pouring rain, thunder, and lightning stop you from today's bullets, since it's not stopping me... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Best Trek! I cannot process the fact that there's a Star Trek show that I like better than the original series. It's inconceivable. But holy shit! Star Trek: Strange New Worlds on Paramount+ is blowing my mind episode after episode. And Episode 05 is just next-level good. Funny as hell, and incredibly satisfying to watch. How in the heck did they come up with this? And Spock... it's just... Ethan Peck is killing it. He's wonderful.
Now I worry that they're going to take a great show in its first season and flush it down the fucking toilet like they did with whiny, boring Star Trek: Discovery. Hopefully the show-runners think better than that, because I would sure miss Strange New Worlds.
• Marmalade! Okay... this is really great...
Wishing a happy Platinum Jubilee to Her Majesty.
• More Death! HBO has (finally) renewed Our Flag Means Death for a second season...
Probably the best show you haven't watched. Yet.
• TAPS! Pretty much this, yeah (Here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
@maxtheverygoodboy Is it working yet?? No?!? #satire #nyc #news #rip #texas #trending ♬ original sound - maxtheverygoodboy
So many of our politicians are useless pieces of crap. It's amazing that people have been conned into accepting it... even defending it.
• Helpless! Used to be that you just held down the sleep/wake button until your iPhone force-restarts. Now if you do that, you end up calling 911. I can never remember the new combo (you up, vol down, THEN hold sleep/wake) so I asked my iPhone. BUT OF COURSE THE FUCKING PIECE OF SHIT IS ZERO HELP...
Jesus Christ, Apple... just fucking give up on Siri already. She can't do shit.
• False Prophets! All these people reaching to find Biblical meaning in shit that is easily Googleable just to fit their idiotic narrative is mind boggling...
@maklelan Responding to @FedUpGear #maklelan836 ♬ original sound - Dan McClellan
Just fuck off with your stupid bullshit already.
And now back to our regularly-scheduled thunderstorm.
Posted on June 3rd, 2022
Today was the day that Amazon dropped the first three episodes of The Boys for their third season. As the first episode begins, it shows everybody's favorite sociopath, Homelander, on an apology tour for having dated Stormfront, who ended up being a psychotic white supremacist and literal Nazi in the previous season. It's told in montage, where Homelander is on several different television shows delivering the exact same talking points over... and over... and over... and over again.
Which is exactly how it works in Real Life.
We've seen it many times from disgraced politicians, actors, pastors, and anybody who achieves a bit of fame and then goes on to fuck it up.
At first I was upset at this, because it felt very much as if the show was fighting to get back to the status quo and the same old stories we've seen in the first two seasons. Homelander loves fame and adoration more than anything on earth, and he'll do whatever it takes to keep his hold on the people who love him.
But then we get to the point where Homelander is no longer able to be kept in check by threats to his popularity, and I completely changed my mind. So long as The Boys doesn't try to backtrack their way out of this new development, this could make for a very interesting season.
And if it all falls apart?
Ms. Marvel is dropping on June 8th, so I think I'll survive.
Posted on May 29th, 2022
A three day weekend (for a lot of us here in the good ol' U.S. of A. isn't even the best thing to look forward to this fine Sunday... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• You're Our Only Hope! I was not expecting the world from the new Obi-Wan Kenobi series on Disney+, even though it was focusing on one of the best parts of the shitty Star Wars prequels. But, then again, The Mandalorian proved that it could be good if they wanted it bad enough...
Well, apparently they did want it bad enough, because the show is looking darn good from the first two (or six) episodes which have aired. I don't want to spoil a single frame, as I was careful to not learn too much about it before it started running. Suffice to say that the premise for the series is not what I expected, despite being a very good one (and kinda obvious). Even if you've given up on Star Wars, this might be worth a look.
• More Hope? This past week was Star Wars Celebration, the annual lovefest for A Galaxy Far, Far Away. The most interesting thing to come out of it was the trailer for Andor, which I've been anticipating for what seems like an eternity...
Looks great, doesn't it?
• Mavericky! Top Gun is one of those seminal 80's films that I have seen multiple times since first seeing it in the theater. When they came out with a sequel: Top Gun: Maverick I kept my expectations in check, because it seemed absurd that they could possibly have more to say. Or at least not enough to warrant a sequel. But it was actually quite good despite covering a lot of the same territory. This is largely thanks to very cool practical fighter plane shots which were far better than a bunch of CGI special effect shots could have ever been...
Tom Cruise was... well... Tom Cruise. Jennifer Connelly was good as she always is. And Miles Teller, who hasn't impressed me much in anything he's ever done, inhabited his role as the son of Goose in a way that really made you believe he could be the son of Meg Ryan and Anthony Edwards. Do I think it was risk getting COVID to go see? Probably not. But it should have no problem making my best-of list for 2022 because of the huge dose of retro thrills it provides.
• Thanks, Jims! While there's a lot of attention being focused on Obi-Wan Kenobi, Top Gun: Maverick, and the return of Stranger Things, I can tell you right now that the entertainment to beat is Shoresy. Based on the unseen (but not unheard) hockey-playing character from Letterkenny, it's a fantastic (and very funny) look at "the dirtiest player in the game"...
If you're a Letterkenny fan, this is a no-brainer. But even if you aren't this is nice diversion from the horrors of the real world.
• Fletch! I was very sad to hear that Andrew "Fletch" Fletcher from Depeche Mode had died. As one of my all-time favorite bands, I've collected all their music and have seen them in concert a half-dozen times. Rest in Peace, sir...
• Less Strange? And speaking of Stranger Things... I'm more than a little disappointed in Season 04. Each episode is bloated in a bad way, focusing more on distraction, filler, and "side-quests" than the show I was hoping to tune in for. And it's like why? Why deviate from what made the show so darn good in Seasons 01-03? I guess everybody wanted a bigger paycheck and the only way to get it was to film more material? I dunno. The show isn't exactly bad... but I'm really hoping they stick the landing in the final two episodes in five weeks to make this time investment worthwhile.
• Subway. This video from Last Week Tonight is fascinating stuff. And you OWE it to yourself to watch the Korean Meatball Drama at the end! Glorious...
The fact that Subway knew that Jared was a kid-raping pedophile and ignored it so he could keep selling their sandwiches means that they can fuck off forever. Interesting to note that Kidfuckers is the ONLY chain restaurant in my small town, which is just further evidence that they do indeed push their franchises to the breaking point and put them everywhere.
Until next Sunday then...