Fandom-meter Readings

The winter hiatus is upon us.  With several posts sitting in my Draft box, perhaps it’s time to try a new tactic. The authors at Previously.TV use several different formats for their reviews, one of the being “Rankled,” in which characters (and maybe events?) are ranked according to their actions in various episodes.

Now is the perfect time to reflect on the shows I’ve been watching.  What are these shows and how do they fare on my current “fandometer”?  More importantly, which shows are interesting enough to cover?  (The photos below should give you a hint.A)

(How funny that these three shows are on the CW, because I am far from the demographic they’re aiming for.)

1.  The Flash is living up to its pre-season hype.  It’s been rather light-hearted (for a series that deals with crime, death, and evil).  Will that continue now that we’ve had two (re-)defining episodes?  More thoughts will be forth-coming.

2.  Arrow.  Yep, The Flash/Arrow crossover did exactly what it was supposed to do—pique my interest in a show I hadn’t watched recently.  I don’t know if Arrow will remain in the #2 spot, but since I’ve been watching seasons 1 and 2 nearly non-stop, this is where it stands as of today.  Again, more thoughts will be posted during the hiatus.

3.  Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  (That’s the last time you’ll see me type out the “official” title for a while.)  This show has been so good this season, it’s currently out-ranking Supernatural on the fandometer.  But a great first part of the season does not guarantee a great second part, especially given a watershed episode such as “What They Become.”

4.  Supernatural.  It’s hard to maintain momentum when a show’s been running as long as Supernatural.  The second half of season 8 proved the show still has some juice in it, and the Dean’s Mark of Cain could prove to be as engrossing as the Trials of season 8 if the show doesn’t veer too far into its “brother lying to brother” mode.

5.  Gotham.  Unlike The Flash, it hasn’t quite lived up to its pre-season hype.  The show has become so bogged down with the “Making of the Penguin” story, I’m not sure I’ll continue watching.

6.  Constantine.  It might have been ranked higher than Gotham, but I’ve yet to watch the latest episode, so how high can my interest be?  Actually, “A Feast of Friends,” in which John Constantine convinced an old friend to host an unbeatable demon nearly turned me off the show.  But the subsequent “Danse Voudou,” along with the introduction of recurring character Joe Corrigan, changed my mind.

7.  Grimm is another show I watch, but am seldom moved to discuss.  Nor do I see that changing in the near future.

8. Sleepy Hollow.  I’ve officially given up on the show.  “The Akeda” was yet another “end of the world is nigh” episode, and was a solid zero on the fandometer.  Not only did I stop watching after the first three minutes, I immediately deleted it from the DVR.

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A Gotham Quickie

Spirit of the Goat (106)

Hey!  Ben Edlund’s script for Gotham finally aired.  And it was surprisingly… not funny.  Granted, Gotham’s tone doesn’t lend itself to humor, but it does have its moments.  Take last week’s attack on our heroes (Detectives Gordon and Bullock, in case you were wondering who the heroes of this show are) by an elderly professor and his walker, and Bullock’s interrogative “What’s altruism?”  This week’s comedy came in the form of an interchange between Jim Gordon and Bullock’s wheelchair-bound ex-partner, Dix (delightfully played by Dan Heydaya) about Bullock.  And let’s not forget Bruce Wayne’s “I don’t know why he chose an ungulate for his totem?”  Ha!

Harvey Bullock investigates a murder scene on Gotham.

Look at that. Harvey Bullock has a heart.

Harvey Bullock was given some depth of character which actually made him not only sympathetic, but also pretty savvy.  Ten years ago, Harvey was a go-get-em policeman, which got his partner (said Dix/Dan Heydaya) confined to a wheelchair.  It turns out Harvey is not only paying for Dix’s care, he also supplies him with questionable (meaning “girlie”?) magazines.  And Bullock actually figures out who’s really behind the murders.  You know, detective work.

So where’s Jim Gordon in all this?  Having a snooze-inducing conversion with his fiance, the show-sucking Barbara Kean.  She wants him to “let her in,” to tell her hisss…zzzz.  Then she has another useless conversation with her former roommate/lover, the even-more show-sucking Montoya, to leave Jim alone.  Montoya tells Barbara to .. blah blah blah.

Seriously, is there any reason for this MCU sub-plot?  Isn’t there enough dramatic material with all the city corruption, warring mob-bosses, and nemeses to be?

Procrastinator’s Roundup, Part 3: Meh Monday

So many shows to watch on Monday.  So little to say about them.  Which is why I won’t be covering any of them in any regular manner.

Gotham

I continue to watch Gotham, but in general have little to say about it.   What I enjoy most about the show is what critics seem to dislike, the inclusion of young Bruce Wayne.  But this is what gives the story its heart.

Alfred accompanies Bruce Wayne to a corporation board meeting.

Alfred & Bruce: The best (i.e., my favorite) reason to watch Gotham

We’re told Jim Gordon is a decorated combat veteran, and the son of the city’s one-time District Attorney who was killed before his time, yet these haven’t been addressed since the pilot.  Nor has there been much effort to portray him as a lone policeman fighting corruption.  The only depth of character we’ve seen is his relationship with his fiance Barbara Kean, and that’s not only boring, it’s currently on the outs.  (And will hopefully remain so.)  I’d love the writers to explore the history of Gordon’s father.  Was it really a random car accident that killed him?

Gordon’s partner Harvey Bullock is an enigma.  He may not be on the take, but he’s not a do-gooder like Gordon.  We’ll likely learn more about him as the series progresses, which might add some depth to him.   Supposedly the next episode, “Spirit of the Goat” (106), explores some of Harvey’s history.

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Doctor Gotham Hollow SHIELD

A Roundup of Doctor Who, Gotham, Sleepy Hollow, and Agents of SHIELD

(Guess I better get this posted before another week goes by.)

Doctor Who: The Caretaker (106)

Peter Capaldi’s Doctor makes me smile.  Until he gets all pissy and judgemental.  His new found dislike of soldiers doesn’t make sense.  But I enjoyed the episode.  Clara admitted she loved Danny (although what’s been shown of their relationship really hasn’t borne that out).  Danny learned about the TARDIS.  I’m not sure where the show will go from here.  Surprise me, Steven Moffat.  In a good way!

An Eleven look-alike!  When I first saw him in the teacher’s meeting, I thought it was just a tongue-in-cheek nod to the past.  But he turned out to have a slightly larger role to play.  It was cute, even if a little egocentric for the Doctor.

There as a new creature to cause havoc with the world, but I kind of felt sorry for it.  It had to play third string to the Doctor wreaking havoc with Clara’s classes, and the whole Doctor/Danny debacle.  Surely something so destructive should be seen again.  Yes?

Gotham: Selina Kyle (102)

The mayor of Gotham hold a press conference.

Would you believe anything out of this guy’s mouth?

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Catching Up with Monday

I’m sure this is an easy question for any Whovian.  What’s the connection between Gotham and Doctor Who?

Gotham:  Pilot (101)

All of Gotham's big wigs turn out for the funeral of Mr. and Mrs. Wayne.

It’s a grand turnout for the funeral of Thomas and Martha Wayne.

Yes, it’s dark and dreary, with a film noir/graphic novel feel, but it fits.  I’m on board, at least for now.

Not having an in-depth knowledge of the Batman legend, I may be at a disadvantage, but I don’t see it that way.  Yes, I know about the major villains, but not their backgrounds; and I know next to nothing about James Gordon.  So I can watch the story unfold as its told, without the quibbles that happen when shows depart from well-known (and well-loved) stories.

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What’s New This Fall?

Last year, the 2013 television season brought us several new scifi-oriented shows.  Only a couple of them survived.  Does this year bode as well (or as poorly) for the genre?  I’m not sure.   I’ve been checking out some of the new show previews on Xfinity.  Here’s what I’ve gleaned so far.  Interestingly, these three remind me of three current shows.

Gotham (Fox)

The cast of Fox's Gotham are featured in this poster for the tv show.

The Gotham cast: All the main players are here.

The most highly-anticipated show of 2014 is a prequel to the Batman saga.  As with Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., I’m behind the power curve, having seen only a handful of the many Batman movies made in the last several years.  Ratjer, my exposure to the Batman world came from the Adam West Batman series of yesteryear; and its campy, cartoonish vibe was much different from the dark, forlorn tone of the movies and (I suspect) the comic books.

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