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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CANCELLED!

Well crap.  Intelligence was cancelled in favor of another season of The Mentalist.  That makes yet another show down the drain.  My Current SciFi category is going to be significantly smaller next season.   Let’s look at the count.

Freshmen programs:

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Supernatural season 8 begins!

Sam and Dean hug it out on Supernatural

The biannual Supernatural hug

And with a bang.  Well, not literally.  But “We Need to Talk About Kevin” was probably the best season opener since season 4, when Dean mysteriously returned from hell.  Interesting that this year he mysteriously returns from purgatory.

I’m a little nostalgic.  I went looking for thoughts from former SciFi Chicks and found a mixed bag.  Suzanne liked it (for the most part), Sandy didn’t.  Sadder still, other chicks have stopped posting, the Supernatural Sisters have disbanded, and I’ve lost track of Natalie.  It makes me 😦 .

So,  about the season 8 premiere.  For  a semi-rehash of the season 4 opener (which worried me), it was quite good, and more original than expected.  Dean is on edge, rather than confused.  Sam is shacked up with a vet and a dog instead of demon.  So that’s an improvement.

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Dragons: Alvin!

[I was going to shorten the title DreamWorks Dragons: Riders of Berk to just Riders of Berk, but last night’s episode introduced the series simply as Dragons (as in “Previously on Dragons”).  Hey!  That’s even shorter! 😀 ]

I mentioned elsewhere my excitement of Alvin being introduced to the series, so I was looking forward to “Alvin and the Outcasts.”  Alvin plays a predominant role in the books, and I was delighted to find out he’d be on the series. And even more delighted that he’d be voiced by Mark Hamill.  As with Fishlegs, Alvin is a tad heftier on tv, but he’s still a force to be reckoned with.

Although not my favorite episode (probably because there was minimal Toothless), there was still plenty to endear it to me.  For one, Stoick’s concern for Hiccup:  Stoick has indeed become proud of Hiccup, and the series does a wonderful job of showing his attempts to be a good father.  For another, Fishlegs:  I adore Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and the series has given him some great scenes.  This episode provided us with a delightful girly scream, among other things.  And thirdly, we see a glimpse of the leader Hiccup will become.  His words to Mildew, “I will never forget,” delivered with such confidence and conviction, show us that Hiccup will be a good chief to the Hooligans.

But seriously? Alvin was voiced by Mark Hamill??  Gosh, he didn’t sound at all like Luke Skywalker.  Then again, isn’t creating another persona part of an actor’s job?  If anything, I respect him more as a (voice) actor for being unrecognizable.

Best of all, it appears that Alvin will be back.

We’re Back, Baby!

Yep, after a 2+ year absence, I’ve returned!  The impetus for this return is, surprisingly, a cartoon.

I’ve written a few posts about DreamWorks Dragons: Riders of Berk on my personal blog.  I was going to write more, but decided I ought to fire up the ol’ SciFi Chicks blog once more.  This way I can write about every single episode in a more appropriate forum.  And I can exercise my blogging muscles by writing about other sci fi shows I watch.

I’m in the midst of some blog housekeeping, but decided to begin posting again.  Otherwise, I’ll spend all my time organizing the site and never get any posts written.  🙂

Look for new content soon!

“Sabotage”

Here’s a first—SG: Universe made me cry.  Aw.

I really enjoyed this episode, but then I’m a sucker for love.  I knew I’d seen “Amanda Perry” before but couldn’t place her.  Then I saw the actress was Kathleen Munroe.  She played the desperate mother of a changeling in the Supernatural episode “The Kids Are Alright” and was superb.  I’ll get to her storyline in a moment.  First let me digress…

I love Camile and Sharon.  I like that the show has a lesbian couple, but it’s not a big deal.  While it’s part of Camile’s character, it’s never an issue and almost never discussed until Camile returns home. Of course, this time ’round, it was all the more poignant with Camille being in the body of a quadriplegic.

Poor Lt. James.  Lots of fans have been wishing she had a bigger role, and this episode gave it to her.  Too bad her freak-out was what caused the sabotage.  But in her defense, she did come forward and own up to it.  Time will tell if they make her a constant bumbler, or give her more character.  I think she has had a couple of good moments, recommending to Rush on planet to split up the teams (although I don’t remember what for), and the attempted rescue of the “3 stooges” plus Greer.

Of course, the star of the episode was Amanda Perry and her attraction to Rush.  Her delight at her mobility—feeding herself, running with the crew—was so wonderful it sparkled.  And the scene where she wanted to take advantage of her body to love Rush, and in the end simply giving him the hug she couldn’t when his wife died.  Yep, that was the tear point.  Like I said, I’m a sucker for love.

The immediate change in Rush’s personality when Camile returned was telling.  They’ve pointed to the complexity of his character before, but this gave us a direct comparison and it was fascinating.

The door is open for Amanda to return again, and I hope she does.  Kathleen Munroe is so good, and the possible story-lines are just too great to pass up.

What I’m watching now

The hacking of my website has given me renewed interest in (almost) all things web.  Including posting more regularly.  So, I thought now would be a good time to talk about some of the (other than Supernatural) scifi shows I’ve been watching.

  • Stargate: Universe—I’ve never watched any of the other SG shows, except for an occasional SG-1 episode, so I don’t really have anything to compare it to.  It’s one of those shows I watch on the DVR, so I can fast-forward through the stuff I don’t like, like the “3 stooges” (I didn’t think up this term, but it’s so appropriate!) who are currently lost from Destiny because they didn’t stay in one place.  What I do like is the juxtaposition of the military vs. the civilian scientists.  I’ll get into my thoughts on that in a later post.
  • Merlin—I’ve always been a fan of the Arthurian legend, so I’m glad I found this show.  I don’t know why I never found it on NBC.  And I’m ok with the changes in the mythology.  After all, we already know the outcome of the legend, so something new and original is always welcome.
  • FlashForward—yep, I’m still watching it, but only via DVR.  I do think it’s gotten better since its hiatus, and last week’s episode with Janis’s back-story was great.  I don’t think I hit the fast-forward button at all.  (I knew Janis  had to be a double-agent! )   But I still think it might be uneven.  I say this from a cursory look at this week’s episode.  It doesn’t look as compelling to me.  But I could be wrong.
  • V—another series that warrants viewing by DVR only, although I do think it, too, is getting better.  I’m particularly enjoying all the double & triple lying going on, particularly with Lisa, whom I never thought I’d like.  I missed the introduction of Hobbs, again failing to realize the show had come back from hiatus.  So he’s still an enigma.  But my favorite character is Joshua.  He really needs to be made a regular.  Perhaps he can replace Chad the reporter.  (Don’t like him, don’t trust him.)
  • Legend of the Seeker—I’ve already written about my mild enthusiasm for it this year.   And I got a comment that said my love life must suck because I criticized the show.  Hee!  I deleted the comment rather than post it because it violated not one, but two of my comment policies.  It was a personal attack (which actually made me laugh rather than bothered) and used “u” instead of “you.”  I still have access to it in my trash.  Perhaps I’ll pull it out one of these days to use as an example.
  • Warehouse 13—ok, it hasn’t started its second season yet, but I’ll be there when it does!
  • True Blood—the jury’s still out on whether I’ll watch the 2nd season or not.  I want to support Raelle Tucker, but I’m just not that into the series.

So, what shows are you watching?  Caprica?  Something else I’ve missed?  I’d love to know.