Coming Soon to a Television Near You

Are you getting tired of all he Supernatural-only coverage here?  Well, September is almost here, and that means a slate of new television shows. This year many shows fall under the science fiction genre, and there are five that I’m especially looking forward to watching.   I listed them (and two others) on my personal blog yesterday, as part of my Sunday Seven series.  Some will become hits, and some will be misses—only time will tell.  All of these shows appear on Wired’s top 10 list, with varying degrees of endorsement.

Let’s discuss.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:  Who doesn’t want to watch this??  The pilot was shown at Comic Con, but I haven’t been able to wade through the thousands of terabytes of Comic Con data to find any specific reviews.  I did find one headline which said it was as awesome as expected.   But can I find that site again?  Nope.

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland:  It wasn’t at the up fronts, therefore it’s not been reviewed.  But its OnDemand preview is very appealing, even if Wired puts it in the possible car crash category.

Dracula:  It too looks lavish, but TV.com gave it a 3 (on a scale of 10).  Hopefully Jonathan Rhys Meyers’s talent will make up for Katie McGrath’s (Merlin’s weakest link) lack of it.

Almost Human:  The Huffington Post gave it mostly negative reviews.  The Daily Beast was a bit more forgiving.  And Wired said it’s “Must-See TV.”  (Wasn’t that phrase coined by NBC?  And they didn’t trademark it?)  One of the problems with pilots is there’s so much to set up and so much exposition, it’s often not a fair indicator of the the series itself.  I never judge a show by its pilot.  Well, except for Do No Harm, which was so awful, I couldn’t even force myself to watch the entire episode.

Sleepy Hollow:  It’s received crappy reviews all ’round.  Even though it’s on Wired’s top 10 list, it too is in the potential car crash category.  It doesn’t appear to have the high style of S.H.I.E.L.D., Wonderland or Dracula; nor the star power of Dracula and Almost Human. But you know us sci fi geeks. You can never tell what will float our boat.

Honorable Mention:  The Tomorrow People has received limited good reviews. Both The Daily Beast and Wired both give it higher marks than Sleepy Hollow (Wired also rates it higher than Wonderland), so I might check it out, even though I’m far beyond the CW’s targeted age group.

I won’t be watching The 100, Star-Crossed, or The Originals; so don’t ask.  One show on the CW is about all I can handle.  Maybe two, max.

How am I going to cover all these shows?  I likely won’t.  It’ll depend on which shows I find the most appealing and going from there.  Any suggestions?

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A SciFi Sunday Seven

[Note:  Awhile back—ok, 2 years ago, I started a “Sunday Seven” meme at Stream of Conscience.   It was supposed to be like the old “Thursday Thirteen” only shorter.  And on Sunday.  🙂  Like all things me, I wasn’t consistent.  But let’s try again, shall we?]

I adore How to Train Your Dragon, both the movie and the books.  And now I get a weekly dose of Toothless and Hiccup and the gang on the Cartoon Network.  The series has proven to be a true little gem.  The animation is excellent, the lovely music is familiar while having its own nuances, and the stories have been exciting, humorous, and heart-warming.  (More on that in a later post.)

Toothless watches Hiccup draw him

Toothless the Night Fury and Hiccup the Viking begin their epic friendship in “How to Train Your Dragon”

My favorite episode is “The Terrible Twos.”  In it, Hiccup finds a small injured dragon, unlike any he’s ever seen before.  He brings it home and much of the story revolves around finding out the dragon’s characteristics.  Oh yeah, and Toothless is not happy about it.

There were so many laugh-out-loud moments, I decided to do a Sunday Seven around the episode.  And so, I give you:

Seven Great Lines from Dragons: Riders of Berk “The Terrible Twos”
  1. Stoic:  He’s not staying here.  I’ve got a one dragon limit.
  2. Stoic (after naming the new little dragon):  Well, can’t throw him out now.  We just named him.
  3. Fishlegs:  You know what’s next, don’t you?  Only the most important test to determine a dragon’s reaction to eels. (pause)  The Eel Reaction Test.
  4. Hiccup:  It’s like Toothless is jealous. My first girlfriend is a dragon.
  5. Gobber (confronting an angry Toothless):  You want to dance, big boy? ‘ Cause I’ve got my dancing shoe on.
  6. Gobber (having been thrown to the floor in a dragon chase):  My panpipes!  Now I can get the band back together!
  7. Hiccup (to Toothless):  I should have known you were just trying to protect me.  That’s what you do.  (Toothless regurgitates half a fish.) Then you do that.

Supernatural S08, E02

What’s Up, Tiger Mommy

I give it 4 out of 5 starsJared Padalecki’s hair aside, Supernatural appears to be heading in a good direction.  Granted, two episodes does not a season make, but still, I’m optimistic.  Kevin is proving to be a resourceful and street-savvy character.  I wasn’t particularly impressed with him last season, but he’s survived on his own for a year, outsmarting Crowley and the Winchesters.  Not bad for a kid from upper-middle class suburban Michigan.

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The forgotten show

Robert Carlyle as Mr Gold from Once Upon a Time

Robert Carlyle as Mr Gold, Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time premiered its second season Sunday.  I’d forgotten to list it on the page of shows covered here because I’d forgotten I watched it, having not watched the reruns this summer.  (Were there reruns?)  It’s one of those Sunday evening shows I would watch to mentally unwind before Monday.  (ABC is even advertising it as such now!)  Along the way last year, there were some mighty enjoyable episodes.

In reading the Television Without Pity recap and some of the forum, I realized how few season 1 details I remembered.  Like the name of Rumpelstiltskin’s son.  And Snow White’s one night stand with Dr. Whale (and Dr. Whale’s name).  And exactly how the chipped cup became chipped, even though “Skin Deep” was one of my favorite episodes.  (Robert Carlyle so deserved an Emmy nomination for it.)

Season 2 has elevated a couple of my favorite recurring characters (and cast members) to regular status, most notably Belle (Emilie de Ravin) and Ruby/Red Riding Hood (Meghan Ory).  We were introduced to Mulan (my favorite line from the movie Mulan?  “You’re da man.  Sort of.”), and are promised Captain Hook, Lancelot, and a host of others.

Once Upon a Time isn’t “must see tv” for me’ and yet the premise intrigues me.  Before last fall I couldn’t comprehend how the fairy tale world and the real world could be simultaneously depicted, but the dichotomy was handled nearly seamlessly the first season.  Given the new circumstances of the show, with the characters remembering their pasts (as well as their presents), where would the drama come from?  There’s only so much Evil (Regina/Queen & Gold/ Rumpelstiltskin) vs Good (town/everyone else)  I can take.

I shouldn’t have worried. The powers behind Once Upon a Time appear to be great story tellers.  They take much of what we loved about our childhood fairy tales, but have added enough modern day twists to surprise us.  The annihilation of most of Fairy Tale Land, the separation of Snow White and Prince Charming, and what looks to be the Battle of the Princesses (Show & Emma vs. Sleeping Beauty & Mulan) should keep us entertained for more than a few weeks.  I just hope Phillip isn’t dead forever.

What is Sci Fi?

Question mark

What do you think?

With the new tv season in full swing, I decided to take a look at a couple of highly recommended (by Television Without Pity) shows which have already premiered.  Now I’m trying to decide if they’re sci fi or not.  TWoP classifies one of the shows, Revolution, as sci fi; the other, Last Resort, as simply drama.

Wikipedia defines science fiction as the genre of fiction that depicts imaginary but plausible content.  While fantasy and the supernatural are not technically considered sci fi (because they’re not plausible), several web sites/people/groups include them under the sci fi umbrella because 1) they are based on an alternative reality, and 2) the genres often overlap. Also, a lot of the fans of one genre are fans of one or both of the others.

I understand TWoP’s classification.  Revolution depicts an imaginary future, in which no electrical or motorized power exists.  In Last Resort, the technology and geography exist today; but the political environment is so fantastic, it’s hard to call it simply fiction.  Both shows begin with huge mysterious events that have long-term, possibly permanent ramifications.  The question of why these events occurred will likely be the overarching theme for at least the first season of each series.

For now, I’m going to include both of them here at SciFi Chick(s).  Do you agree?  Take the poll.

On final note:  the Washington Post wasn’t as generous with their praise as TWoP.

W13: Did not see that coming!

Warehouse 13:  The Ones You Love
Mrs Fredrick and Leena

CCH Pounder and Genelle Williams and Warehouse 13’s Mrs Fredrick (no first name) and Leena (no last name?)

The proverbial “they” say one is entertained not only when the story takes a surprising turn, but also when you predict the outcome. For the most part, I agree.  I usually enjoy an unexpected plot twist; but am equally pleased when I predict it (probably because I think I’m so smart).  That’s not to say it’s 100% accurate—it depends on how good the plot is.  But for the most part, it works.  That said:

WHOA!

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Warehouse 13: Season 4

[From now on, abbreviated W13. Just because I’m lazy.]

I’m not a big fan of this show.  I like it, but apparently not enough to watch it live or soon after it airs. For example, I finally watched the Sep 17th episode, “Second Chance” last night.  (Only 5 days late.)  And yet, I tend to enjoy most of the episodes (to varying degrees).  With “Second Chance” I actually enjoyed the B Team (Claudia and Steve) more than Pete and Myka.  Probably because their “investigation” was much more personal and poignant.  And Laura Innes (from ER) played Steve’s mother.  Good casting!

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