Saturday, October 11, 2014

Newsy News!

 I am going to do reviews again. Soon. Next Week, hopefully:

 My plans are to review Sherlock Season 3, first.

Then I'm going to review three Supernatural episodes form Season 9:
  • 'Bloodlines" (to discuss how the pilot ultimately failed)
  • "I'm No Angel" (because I need to rip that abomination to shreds myself)
  • "Blade Runners" (I need to squee about this... So much)
As for those reviews of Marvel movies, I'll get to them when I get to them.

Same for the Supernatural recaps. Just not feeling them right now.

And I hope to start reviewing Hannibal episodes after Christmas, since hopefully I'll have the Season 2 DVD by then. Then I may review other shows. (If it's over 13-ish episodes a season, the review will be an overall, with maybe some episodes worth talking about getting individual reviews, if it's 13-ish or less, it'll be episode-by-episode most likely.

 Also, I might do a thing talking about my impressions on Constantine. That show looks pretty promising.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Editorial: Moffat Takes (Canonical) Female Victiories Away In Sherlock

 So, two days ago, while at work, I was thinking to myself, when I realized something, something slightly troubling, about one of my favorite shows, Sherlock. And I thought I would share it.

Spoilers for "A Scandal In Belgravia" and "His Last Vow"
 Oh, Steven Moffat. Where do I even begin with you?

 He's kind of become rather infamous for his sexist comments (and other very terrible comments in general), and his writing (which can also be quite sexist). As for me? Well, I don't agree with a lot of what he says. A LOT of what he says. And I will admit: his writing isn't as good as it was to me three years ago. Though I will give him credit: he has written some of my favorite Doctor Who episodes and my favorite Sherlock episode. And I think season 8 of Doctor Who is showing signs of improvement from the last two specials (though part of that could be the new Twelfth Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi). Other than that, I have noticed a decline with his work. And I do think he needs a ego/reality check. I may even be so bold as to compare him a bit to Frank Miller. Sort of.

 But anyway, when I was thinking, I realized something about Sherlock:

 Moffat took away two female characters victories from canon, and gave them to Sherlock.

 Okay, hear me out: let's start with the one that got me thinking of this: "His Last Vow".

 So, in that episode, it's revealed "Mary Morstan" was actually a former secret agent and assassin, who was being blackmailed by Magnussen. When Sherlock discovers this, she's about to kill Magnussen, but is unsuccessful because of Sherlock's intervention. (I'll go more into my thoughts on this twist on Mary's character in my review of the episodes, which I hope to start next week).

 Now, I know some people bring up that she's a lot like Canon!Moran, but honestly, I think these people overlook that she's sort of a compostion of Mary and one of Milverton's (the character Magnusson is based on) victims, who is actually successful in her attempt on Milverton's life.

  Anyway, later, towards the end of the episode, it's Sherlock who gets to kill Magnussen, sparking all the in-universe drama and blah blah blah, stuff I'll get into in the review. Anyway, it's something I noticed. Mary, one of quite a few women who's been directly victimized by Magnusssen, doesn't get to kill the man. No, instead our male hero (who's not as victimized, IIRC) gets to kill him because... Protagonist.

 That feels sort of wrong.

 But then there's the even worse offender. The often criticized "A Scandal In Belgravia". At the end of my second least favorite episode, Irene Adler is inexplicably turned into a damsel in distress for Sherlock to somehow miraculously save. Really.

 Now, in the Canon, it was not even remotely like that. Canon!Irene is never captured by terrorists, she gets away to America safely with her not-Sherlock husband to live happily ever after, taking and disposing of the photo that Sherlock, Watson, and The King of Bohemia (long story) are after. She never needs Sherlock. Heck, she was even bold enough to follow Sherlock in disguise (as he is high off his assured victory over her), and TELL THE MAN GOODNIGHT before leaving. It was really awesome, both for how subtle it is, the fact she got one over on SHERLOCK, and that this was written in the Victorian Era, which I don't usually associate with feminism.

 (This is part of the reason I take offence to this comment I heard Moffat make in a panel about the ending to "A Scandal In Bohemia" being boring.)

 Anyway, I think it is worth noting is both episodes are written by Steven Moffat. While, as I've said before, I'm not sure how the episode writing goes for the show (for all I know, Gatiss suggested the ending of "Belgravia" and Thompson suggested Sherlock shooting Magnussen), but I'm more inclined to point the finger at Mr. Moffat.

 I will admit, Molly does get some victories, but she's an original character to the series. These are characters based on charcaters hundreds of years old.

 I think this is a rotten thing, and something I hope they avoid in the future. Though, given Moffat's track record, I ain't getting my hopes up. Hey, BBC, Thompson, Gatiss! If any of you happen on this, can you slap some sense into Moffat?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Top 9 Things That Were Actually Okay In Supernatural Season 9

 Some time ago I ranted into the wee hours of the night about everything I thought was bad about season nine of Supernatural. But in the spirit of fairness (and because I try to be an optimist) I thought about what things that happened in season 9 that actually, well, worked in my opinion. So, here it is: the top nine things that were okay in season nine.

Second Verse, same as the first.

9. Cas understanding pop culture actually working

 Hold up, people who will no doubt call this blasphemy! I, too, was doubtful and annoyed when Meta Sue uploaded Cas's brain with every story ever so he'd get his references. (Seriously, even I try to not overdo it with references I know people won't get, or force them to get them.) But, the few times we've seen him use this new ability, it's worked. They haven't overdone or beaten us over the head with Cas getting story references now.

 Plus, it leads to this wonderful exchange where he and Gadreel are trying to sneak their way back to Heaven. Cas's suggestion? "Wookie!"

"Where did you find the handcuffs, Castiel?" "It's best not to ask questions, Gadreel..."

Gadreel's confusion at the reference just sells it. Cas gets to see what it was like for Dean when he didn't get his references.

 I know it's still soon to say they got this right (they still have season 10 to run the joke into the ground and ruin it), but for now, they got it pretty good. Gold star sticker! ...Bronze.

8. Richard Speight Jr/Gabriel's appearance and dialogue in "Meta Fiction"

 I know, I know. I put the Gabriel fakeout on my worst list, BUT. But. Before that horrible thing happened, it was really awesome to see Gabriel again. His dialogue was some of the best, helped out immensely by Richard Speight Jr.'s delivery. Seriously, he got some of the funniest lines of the season, some can be seen here and here.

 Seriously, they way he bounced off Castiel and just stole the entire episode was awesome. It made me miss the character even more, and hope he'll pop up next season or real, in all his trickster archangel glory. (And if he does, that he'll interact with Crowley. The sheer sass of that meeting would be glorious.)

7. Decent treatment of Charlie, Garth, The Trans, and Jodie

 Between fake-outs, destroying characters, and killing them, it's almost easy to forget that they treated some reoccurring characters pretty decently in their appearances, and didn't kill them off (well, in Charlie's case, not very long).

 Charlie, while having a fake-out death in her one episode of the season, "Slumber Party", still got some really decent treatment. Heck, in the end, after killing The Wicked Witch, she ends up going to Oz to have the adventure she always dreamed of with Dorothy. (And who knows, maybe they hooked up afterwards. It could happen.) Yeah, there's a good chance we may never see Charlie again, at least anytime soon (Felicia Day is starring her own TV series soon, so her availability may go down). But if we do end up never seeing her again, it's still a great send-off. And compared to Tessa's unceremonious departure, one of the better ones. Period.

 Garth was another one who was treated well in his episode, "Sharp Tooth". I was terrified when I saw the promos for that episode, with Garth admitting he was a werewolf now. If anything, reoccurring character on Supernatural + Becoming something supernatural seemed to spell death for the beloved guy who I swear is probably Supernatural's Jesus (I WILL STAND BY THIS HEADCANON UNTIL I DIE!). Then they revealed he had a wife and was generally really happy with his new life with werewolves. Naturally, I was already prepared to mourn and flip tables. But no, they let Garth live, and let him be happy. Which is really awesome.

 Now, it might be weird to include The Trans under "decent treatment", since, you know, Kevin died and Mama Tran, while not being dead like Crowley said, was still locked up in a storage unit for the better part of a year and most likely tortured, so... But, still, Mama Tran's not dead, so her awesomeness can still show up in the future. And Kevin's spirit got to go be with his mom until they figure out how to fix Heaven and such (or revive him? Maybe?), so they get to be reunited! And Kevin doesn't have to listen to another Winchester self-pity party. ;P

 And as for Jodie, not only does she not die (making her now among the quickly dwindling number of Kripke Era characters who've survived the Post-Kripke series, AND surviving reoccurring female characters for that matter), but she gets to be shown as a competent hunter. And in "Alex Annie Alexis Ann", she gets to bond with and possibly take in a young girl at the end. Plus, Jodie is just awesome. That is all.

6. Castiel Post-"Holy Terror"/"First Born"/Cas and Sam Actually Interacting One-On-One More

 This one, I decided to mesh the two things together, since they were in a similar vein.

 Castiel, after the tragic waste that was his human arc, was pretty awesome this season. Not only did he get a moment of awesome in "Holy Terror" when he stole another angel's grace to get some of his mojo back, but he stayed awesome after that. Like I said in the Bad Things List, while he didn't get to show him getting his development of "caring more for humans" and such, he does keep up said development. He even gets a lot of the angels to follow him simply because he doesn't want to fight anymore. He probably could've gotten it all done peacefully if it weren't for Meta Sue.

 And he does so many awesome things and moves along half the plot so much more than The Boys do, in my opinion. He's the one to kill Bartholomew and get most of the angels in-line. AND he's the one who ultimately stops Metatron in an admittedly satisfying (but sadly Meta Sue-gankingless) way. He breaks the angel tablet and hoists him by his own petard, ending the conflict without violence and getting Metatron locked up. (On a side note, I like to think of "Cas Vs. Meta-Sue" on a meta level being a well-written character triumphing over a poorly-written one.)

 But the other thing I liked with Cas was that he ACTUALLY INTERACTS WITH SAM ONE-ON-ONE THIS SEASON. One of the things I really wanted to see was Sam and Cas getting to interact more. They rarely ever seem to interact with each other by themselves: either Cas is having "profound bondtime" with Dean or when they do interact, Dean or some other character is there. The few times I do recall them talking one on one is in season 6, when he tells him "you can stay soulless if you do something terrible like kill Bobby", or when he pretty much tells him "hey, your soul was in The Cage with Lucifer for months while your soulless body ran around being terrible! Oops, I shouldn't have said that. K bye!" And he kinda had ulterior motives with those actions.

  But here, they do get to talk and interact one-on-one more, mainly in "First Born" and... "Stairway To Heaven"... *sighs* ... And it's great. I like seeing them interact more. Don't get me wrong, I love brotherly banter and hunter/angel bromance as much as the next fan, but its nice to see this, too. And given what the storyline's supposedly supposed to be next season, I'm sure we'll get more of it in the future.

5. Gavin MacLeod
 Speaking of future, here's a character who gets sent to the future! Well, the future for him, anyway. It's just present day for us... I am the best at transitions...

 Anyway, in "King Of The Damned", Abaddon decides to take advantage of Crowley's status as an Emotionally Compromised King Of Hell. She figures by taking his son (from his human life), Gavin, from his time period (1723) to theirs as leverage, the more emotional Crowley will decide to go along with her in killing The Winchesters.

 Oh my gosh, I love this character and all he presents.

 First, there's his whole "fish out of water" status in the present day. It's just hilarious.
Gavin: [upon realizing he's in a skyscraper] We're among the heavens! Oh, you must be angels!

 Crowley and Abaddon: Seriously?

And I love his interactions and banter with Crowley, as well. It's one of the highlights of the episode, seeing the two bond. Needless to say, they hate each other a bit less, now.

(Though I could've swore his ghost looked older in "Weekend At Bobby's".... Eh, I'll let it slide. Besides, it could just be timey-wimey stuff)

 Plus, there's hisstatus at the end of the episode. Crowley decides when all is said and done, and Abaddon dead (alas), to keep Gavin around rather than send him back in time to die. Hopefully this means he'll appear again. And maybe we'll see what happens to the timeline when Gavin's largely gone. Is that why Bobby was stuck in hell in "Taxi Driver"? Is Gavin being free what causes Dean's death or any of the boys' issues? Will he be Crowley's undoing? C'mon!

 So, yeah, I like Gavin. Though I must admit, Crowley should know better than to mess with the timeline, given certain things...

C'mon, Canton's like one of my favorite companions, I can't NOT make a reference.

4. The Mark of Cain Story Arc
  Let's face it, a lot of story arcs weren't handled well this season, and were generally lackluster. But I thought The Mark of Cain arc went well. And mostly, I like what it gave us. It presented a lot of world-building: it gave this universe's version of Cain and Abel (though, I admit, Cain's motivations here for killing Abel  made me roll my eyes a bit, and wonder if next Judas would be revealed to have taken the pieces of silver for an orphan puppy's operation.), more information on The Knights of Hell, and introduced, you guessed it, The Mark of Cain and what it does to its bearer.

 I liked it, most of the episodes in this arc were solid. And because at the end of the season, it left us with the awesome story possibility. At the end, The Mark turns Dean into a demon. The story potential here is awesome (if they don't end it unceremoniously soon like I hear they might). The only other downside is that Abaddon dies in this arc. I liked her as a villain and honestly wouldn't have been disappointed if she'd won (unless Crowley died to do so). (And yet Metatron's story "isn't done yet". *flips table*). But overall, it was solid, and the best arc of the season.

3. "Mother's Little Helper"

 Hey, here's an episode I adore for reasons you may not expect! Okay, so this was the episode Misha Collins (Castiel) directed. And while it was well-directed (but I'm admittedly not skilled enough to fully critique such things), that's not why I love this episode. Heck, despite the world-building through flashback and clever call backs, it's not those that sell this episode for me. No.

 It's that Sam gets to be awesome here.

 Yes, an episode featuring Crowley, and Sam's the one who steals the show. You see, half the episode is Sam going solo on a hunt, while he and the audience learn more about Henry Winchester and Abaddon's vessel, Josie. But boy, does he get to show off his great traits:
  • He sticks up for and protects a woman in the diner from a soulless man
  • He's freaking clever against a demon, using a pre-recorded exorcism on his phone to distract her
  • He ultimately manages to hunt and kill the demon all on his own
 With the Post-Kripke Eras, it's pretty easy to forget that Sam is not only a capable hunter on his own, but a freakin' bad mutha-jumpa. It feels like he spends most of the recent seasons as the troubled ill-boy little brother Dean has to self-destructively protect. It's nice to see Sam be capable again. And I'm hoping season 10 keeps this up.

2. "Blade Runners"

 This is probably my favorite episode of the season. For multiple reasons. Much like I plan to review "I'm No Angel" and "Bloodlines", I want to review this on its own. It's funny, it builds on the world, it's enjoyable, it's Crowley-centric, it's Mooseley fuel, I just really like it, and I'll preobably review it someday... Along with recap the other seasons... And review Sherlock season 3... And the rest of the X-Men movies I have... :/

 And what I felt was the best thing about season 9, to the surprise of no one, is...

1. Crowley

 Gee, the character I wrote a whole post about liking the most is the best thing? Who'd have thunk? Well, it's true. Crowley was the best thing this season. His storylines were great. His lines were the best (convincing me the writers give most of the good dialogue to Crowley). He stole the show almost every episode he starred in. Whenever Crowley showed up this season, I felt joy. He even got the best monologue of the season, topping his "I deserve to be loved" one from season 8 (starts at about 0:36):

 Also, Mark Sheppard does some great acting this season, too, given Crowley's situation. Besides his perfect delivery of his one-liners, Sheppard gets to show Crowley as vulnerable. And he does it really well. I know a good chunk of the fans were clamoring for Jensen Ackles to get a Emmy nomination, but HOLY CRAP MARK DESERVES ONE, TOO! His character was the one I was rooting for. I mean, Cas was gone a lot, Sam was either possessed or ticked at Dean most of the season, and Dean made a lo of questionable decisions. Plus, his best line:

 It sums up everything. I'm glad his promoted to regular for season ten, and I hope this means he won't be dying anytime soon.


 Well, I've said my peace. What did you think of season 9, if you watched it. What did you like? Dislike? Do you agree with me or want to launch a war with me on our opinions? Let me know! Meanwhile, time to move on.

(...And yes I'll still watch season 10. I'm still going down with the ship, m'lads.)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Top 9 Problems With Season 9 of Supernatural

 Season Nine… Just… Season Nine. This season just irritates me on so many levels. To disappointing wastes of story, to character issues, to just episodes in general. So, I decided to just list my top nine problems with season nine. These are going to go from minor, more personal problems, to things that fail even on an objective level (or in some cases, are just in poor taste).

 Of course, this being a list about the whole season, expect spoilers, both for the season itself and some seasons before. Here we go!

9. The Lack Of "Fun Episodes" (Decent Ones)

 One of the highlights of the show is how they can go from serious, angsty, depressing episodes to wacky, creative "breather" episodes. The most notable ones being the Trickster episodes (mostly "Tall Tales", "Mystery Spot", and "Changing Channels"),

Most Famous/Quoted line from "Mystery Spot".

 and "The French Mistake" (an episode where the boys are teleported to "the real world", where their lives are a fictional TV show.)

A surreal moment for the fans...

But there are still other ones that are really funny and full of wacky hijinks,  such as "Hunter Heroici" (where they deal with cartoonish situations popping up all over the town of the week), "Clap Your Hands If You Believe" (where they think they're dealing with alien abduction, but it turns out it's fairies),

Actual Dialogue Coming Out The Mouth Of A Gruff Voiced Thirty-Something Year Old Man.

and "Plucky Pennywhistle's Magical Menagerie" (where children's fears (unicorns (yes, I know. And it even shoots rainbows out its butt! :D), octopuses (octopi?), sharks in ball pits, and of course clowns terrorize a town).

 However, Season 9 doesn't have any stand out, "ha ha" episodes. Sure, it has funny moments (such as 90% of the dialogue out of Crowley's mouth). But there's no real shining comedy episode. There were ones I think were MEANT to be the big comedy episodes, "Dog Dean Afternoon" and "#THINMAN", but they both fell flat. "Dog Dean Afternoon", while having a funny premise (Dean links minds with a dog so they can communicate with him and he starts acting doglike, hijinks ensue). But it was kinda unremarkable and (to me) was tainted by Ezekiel/Gadreel showing up for the fifth episode in a row when it really wasn't necessary (other than to plant the seed of suspicion in Sam) (and I was already sick of him at that point. WE GOT IT AT THAT POINT, WRITERS! SAM HAD AN ANGEL IN HIM! QUIT BEATING US OVER THE HEAD WITH IT! WE ARE CAPABLE OF MEMORY!)

(on a side note: I would have included Gadreel on the list for his role in the first few episodes and his sudden but inevitable betrayal, but I voiced most of my complaints about the former months ago in my "Angelus Ex Machina" rant, and the character DOES slightly redeem himself in the end, so...)

 As for "#THINMAN", it was a really funny episode, and had everything going for it: The Ghostfacers returned, we had generic, off-brand Slenderman, and there was a lot of Internet humor. Heck, I remember seeing the first two things would be there and thought "okay, if this episode doesn't deliver..."  Yeah, halfway through, there's a huge tonal shift, with the Ghostfacers breaking up because of lies (in a less than subtle parallel to The Winchesters' own relationship at the time). While, granted, "Mystery Spot" and "Changing Channels" both had tonal shifts, too, the humor had been strong and notable enough before it that it didn't kill the humor. This one? not so much.

 I think this season really could have benefitted from a good, old fashioned crazy comedy episode. (Especially if they got Crowley in it. I don't think we've ever seen him in one of those episodes. I want to see that.) It would have maybe made some parts of this season easier to swallow.
8. The Gabriel Fake-Out

 Hoo boy! So, in the episode "Meta Fiction", fan-favorite character Gabriel (AKA The Trickster) makes a sudden return after being believed to be dead (his dead body and wing outline shown and all). At first, this is great. He's just as hilarious as ever (his banter with Castiel being the highlight) and even seems to retain his character development from "Hammer Of The Gods" by telling Cas he's more or less going to stop running from Heaven and accept his duty as the sole remaining Archangel and run Heaven now. Then trying to give his "little brother" encouragement to rise up and take on Metatron himself when it seems Gabriel's backed into a corner by Metatron's goons.

 Then it turns out was all a dream.

 Well, to be specific, it was an illusion set up by Metatron to get Cas to lead his own flock of angels in his "elaborate plan" to rule Heaven, and... *sigh* I'll get to the Umbridge of Angels later. The point is, Gabriel wasn't there. WAY TO SAY "F YOU" TO THE AUDIENCE, GUYS! *slow clap*

 Well, they do make it ambiguous as to what Gabriel's real fate is, when Cas asks him if he's really still alive or not and Gabriel just gives him a look. And there is supposedly a tweet from a writer where they say Gabriel is still alive. But honestly, the damage is already done. They yanked the fandom's chain. And if that tweet was real, if I have to look at that stuff to get that sort of information, that's unfair to the people without the access. Heck, (Hannibal season 2 spoilers) even Bryan Fuller won't confirm if Chilton's alive, he just lets the fandom wait for the answer. And he didn't say "Freddie Lounds is alive, guys!" after loudly implying her death (even if it would've gotten him out of some of the hot water he was in for that episode...)

 Anyway, I just felt like that was pretty rotten of them to give the fandom what they wanted then take it away just as quickly.

 Now, the other problem that cropped up in "Meta Fiction"...
7. Metatron becoming a Mary Sue

 Yes. So, in "Meta Fiction", Metatron reveals that, since he has the Angel Tablet, he basically has power near God's. And he proceeds to show off his OP powers to The Winchesters by BLOWING OUT A HOLY FIRE RING THEY TRAPPED HIM IN and then, just to flip them off more, removes the warding and trapping sigils from The Impala's trunk and free Gadreel.

 Plus he makes Cas get pop culture references. The cad.

 Yeah, Metatron basically becomes a Mary Sue. (And from now on, I'm gonna call him "Meta Sue".)

 And it's not just the whole "way overpowered" thing. It seems like every little thing Meta Sue does completely works for him. His plan to paint Castiel in a bad light and make him loose his flock? Works. Get Gadreel to betray Dean and company even though Dean has been downright generous to the angel he barely knows? Works. Pretend to be a miracle-working hobo and thousands of homeless people (and maybe others) to be his own little overtrusting army of homeless people to protect him, beat up an angel who tries to expose him, and idolize him? Works. Fight Dean when he's all hopped up on The First Blade? Heck, he freakin' kills him. Yeah.

 And this is not at all helped by the fact Metatron was far from a popular character from the start of the season, probably being one of the few villains fans actually hate. Yes, people actually love Lucifer more than Metatron. (Hence my "Umbridge" remark.)

 Now, on TV Tropes's YMMV page for Supernatural, they say Crowley is a "Villain Sue". Well, I would agrue against that by saying Crowley does not always win. There are just as many times that the boys and company have got one over on him as he has them. Metatron, on the other hand? He's only beaten at the end of the season (in an admittedly satisfying and almost funny on a meta level way I'll talk about in another post). And even then he doesn't get ganked like most of the fandom undoubtedly thinks he deserves.

 It's funny, in "Meta Fiction" Meta Sue goes on about how he's "the hero" of the story and "what makes a story work'. Too bad he didn't know not to make his self-insert an overpowered Mary Sue.
6. Pacing

  The pacing is awful this season. It feels like no progress to start solving the problems gets done most of the season. Only towards the end. They either seem to forget "Oh yeah! we got fallen angels, Metatron, and Abaddon running around! Gotta do that!" After establishing the problem in the first three episodes until "Holy Terror". It's like, "Guys, can... Can we forget the boys becoming "born again virgins" on a case only for Dean to loose it instantly because lolz? You kinda got BIGGER PROBLEMS HERE!"

 I mean, say what you will about season 7, at least we had at some development to the conflict with the Leviathans (how to kill and fight them) before what I presume was the season break. Season nine? Nope! Little to nothing until "Holy Terror"!

 Then it seems like we have some progression in "Road Trip" and "First Born". But then we go forever before much of the plot happens, besides "yeah, Mark of Cain (and possibly no love from Sammy) make Dean go crazy". And what does happen feels more like repeating what we know they should be doing. "Metatron's a dick (pardon my language), we gotta stop him!" "Abaddon's evil as all get out, we gotta stop her!" Heck, to me, it feels like Castiel and Crowley move the plot along more when they appear than our heroes do.

 And of course this is in no way helped by the blatent (failed) pilot for a spin-off, "Bloodlines", that happens THREE EPISODES BEFORE THE END OF THE SEASON. If this had been earlier in the season, I'd be fine with this, but seriously! The season was almost over and things were down to the wire. Is that really the time to send everything screeching to a halt to try and test out your attempt at expanding the universe? But yeah, they leave everything to happen in the last three episodes.

 If they'd have tried harder to keep up the plot more often, I'd be more forgiving, but it was really bad this season. Too much filler, not enough plot.
5. Too Many Subplots and Plot Holes/Continuity Errors 
You and me both, Gabe.
 Speaking of which, there was a bit too many plot threads this season. To count, we had:
  • The Angels having fallen to Earth
  • Metatron
  • Gadreel's stuff
  • Abaddon trying to take over Hell
  • The Civil War between Bartholomew and Malachi
  • Cas running around on his own (then his Civil War with Metatron's forces)
  • The Mark of Cain
  • The Winchesters Fight For The Gazillionth Time

 That, coupled with the poor pacing, really hurt the season on an objective level. The Bartholomew and Malachi plot even proved to have little purpose, other than to push Cas to rise up and fight and give him some of his powers back. (You know they were useless otherwise when we need to be told Malachi was killed off-screen by Metatron to tie up the loose ends).

 To me, Supernatural works when it keeps its conflicts simple. Let's look at my three favorites: Season 2's conflict was stopping Yellow Eyes and finding out what was up with Sam and the Special Children. Season 5 was stopping The Apocalypse. And Season 8 was mainly sealing the Gates of Hell with the subplot of stopping Naomi and her brainwashing. That also helps make the "filler" episodes a bit more tolerable.

 Also, the story was riddled with plot holes and continuity errors, both for itself and the season. To name a few:
  • So if souls couldn't get into Heaven according to Kevin in "Captives", how is it Charlie clearly describes what matches the established canon for Heaven after she "dies" in "Slumber Party" way before that?
  • They establish that supposedly Heaven's doors are sealed to angels permanently to presumably everyone but Meta Sue with The Angel Tablet's translation, yet there's a portal later? (though admittedly, that one could be chalked up to Crowley or Metatron being a jerk or Meta Sue's typos people pointed out before the episode (see, he IS a Mary Sue writer!)...)
  • If the Angel Tablet can practically make and angel God according to Meta Sue, why didn't Cas exhibit that (or maybe, I don't know, USE IT TO STOP NAOMI, GATHER THE ANGELS TO WORK OUT THEIR ISSUES AND SAVE EVERYONE HALF THE CONFLICT THIS SEASON) when he was carrying the darn MacGuffin in his stomach a season ago?
 There's more, including one that I'll address later in the list, but those are the ones that come to mind most.

4. The Waste Of "Human!Castiel"

 At the start of the season (and end of season 8), it's established that now that Cas lost his grace thanks to Meta Sue,  he is now 100% human. I (and most of the fandom) were pretty psyched about this. The fandom because of the domestic opportunities (which, yeah, were appealing). And I for the chance to see Cas grow as a character. I wanted to see him adjust to human life, realize more about it, and use it to both develop and maybe strengthen his relationship with the boys, now that he can empathize with their human plights. It would've be cool to see Cas around more often, too, given that, as a human, he was no longer a game breaker and could help the boys out with "saving people, hunting things, the family business". And, of course, the humor of Cas trying to learn "how to human" and the brothers trying to help the adorkable fallen mess.

 Instead, Cas got thrown out the plot (again) unceremoniously, only popping up once more in human form before showing up again in "Holy Terror", where he steals an angel's grace and gets some mojo back, ultimately disappearing after "First Born" again until his off and on appearances until the end with his subplot, but by then he was pretty much a (nerfed) angel again.

 The cherry on top of this failberry pie came in "First Born", actually. In that episode, he and Sam work to extract the residual grace in him left by Gadreel to try and track down the turncoat. However, (in one of the narmiest (but in a sweet way) scenes ever), Cas decides not to extract further when he sees the process is not only killing Sam, and Sam is intent to continue. When Sam asks why, Cas says how his time as a human "changed him", how he "sees the value of human life" and how fragile they are and he can empathize and blah blah blah. While this is all well and good, the writers forgot one key rule of storytelling.


 Seriously. This scene would've been much more profound if we'd have seen this change over time. Instead of his two episodes "Heaven Can't Wait" and "I'm No Angel" then the writers assuring us, "yeah, he's changed." No. That's not how you do character development. While he keeps the development, they gave it to him in a bad way. And, of course, wasted a great chance for something new and exciting in the story for more of the same.
3. Overuse of show's clichés

  And more of the same is a problem. This season relied on the show's old clichés, essentially beating some dead horses one to many times for my tastes. "One of the brothers hides something from the other". "The brothers split up/fight." "Angels are terrible." "Dean is super-protective of Sam", "Cas is banished from the plot."

 On the subject of the brothers fighting, that especially irked me. I feel they dragged the already tired plot we'd seen many times before on the show, but usually contained to a few episodes before they reconcile. No, when they fight over Dean saving Sam against his wishes, it lasts the rest of the season, with Sam going so far as to say Dean is no longer his brother, say he'd let Dean die if he were in that position, and treat their relationship as just professional. It bugged me because, while in my opinion Sam did have some right to be angry at Dean for taking his agency (yeah, Team Free Will everybody!) (though he was a bit harsh), we KNEW they would make up. And you could SEE Sam still loved Dean, despite his words. But this lasted until the last episode. I spent most of the time wanting the boys to get over themselves and hug it out.

 I feel I should also mention "Bloodlines", since it, too, used show clichés, which is probably part of the reason it was so ill-received. The "the woman I love was killed and it forced me to be a hunter". "I don't want to be part of the family business, but I'm stuck like the mafia!" "My dad disappeared!" Blah blah blah...
2. "I'm No Angel"

 Okay, to be honest, these last two are interchangeable, I just sorted them by what drew more immediate anger out of me. This one, while initially infuriating (and by far a worse episode than the number one pick), is sort of a slow burn. It's like "The Blind Banker" episode of Sherlock: the more I think about it, the more it annoys/irritates me. (Heck, one of the things with number one makes this episode worse!) I feel like I need to review this episode on its own, just to fully discuss it, but besides the whole "Cas is kicked out by Dean and left to fend for himself" thing, this episode is rife with unfortunate implications and double standards. Mainly about men and sex. There's also a bit of out of characterness for Cas, and arguably a slap to the face for anyone who shipped Megstiel if you think about it too much. (And you know who loves to think too much!)

 Yeah, you know how I said "Bugs" was bad writing? Well, it still kinda is (Indian burial ground? It's the 21st century. And seriously, just Google when the sun rises in Oklahoma, writers...), but otherwise, it was just a bland episode. "I'm No Angel" is a heck of a lot worse. Trust me on this.

 Now, my number one issue:
1. "Stairway To Heaven"

 Now, before I begin, I'll admit this episode is a pretty decent episode aside from my main problem with it. Like "A Scandal In Belgravia" from Sherlock. However, "Stairway"'s issue is MUCH worse than "Belgravia"'s.

 It completely retcons Reapers into a faction of angels with no explanation.

 Seriously, there's no throwaway line of "Reapers are actually one of us" line from Cas or his flock. There's no reveal like there was for The Trickster being Gabriel in "Changing Channels". They just say "to the depths with continuity! It can stand in an endless line for eternity! Let's just act like this has always been!"

 To make matters worse, it's Dean who says this. Dean, who's had the most interaction with Reapers, especially Tessa (who he was addressing). It's just really bad, and I feel it's an unnecessary retcon, and (and I know I'll sound like a stereotypical strawman fangirl) spits a bit on the mythos established by The Kripke Era. Along with other complete contidictions to the mythos around Reapers. (This especially bugs me, since Reapers are among my favorite non-angel, non-demon creatures in Supernatural, along with shifters.)

 They could have had Tessa and the Reapers working with Cas some other way! They didn't need to make them angels. They could've just said "we had Reapers working for Bartholomew's flock, and when Cas killed them they joined us, too." Or "The Reapers have allied with us to stop Metatron, who they hate because he's keeping souls from Heaven, disrupting the natural order!" ANYTHING! But no. Retcon.

 And to top it off, they completely destroy Tessa's character. They have her brainwashed by Meta Sue to be his suicide bomber/"Castiel's reputation tarnisher". Then they have Dean kill her with The First Blade/her kill herself with the First Blade. Way to stay classy, respect a long-lasting character (and a female one, no less), and stuff another woman in the fridge, people! Have a cookie! Wait, I'm out of them. I gave them all to writers who earned them.


 Look, sorry I'm so filled with bile with this (I'm also kinda tired). This season just infuriates me more than any other season of the show. But were there an good things in this terrible season?

Well, that's another post...

Thursday, June 5, 2014


EMCEE FOUND MY REVIEW OF "THE FULL HOUSE"! (The link also has a link to the review) I just! I can't! This is awesome!

…Now I wonder who else from stuff I reviewed has seen my reviews?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

What Makes Hannibal So Great?

 Hey, long time no write! Sorry, had a lot of distractions.

 You know, with the second season of Hannibal going on, I've been reminded how much I love this show. It's on-par with Sherlock, if not better.

 I already sort of reviewed the show (after seeing two episodes) last year, but I want to talk about all the things this show does right. What makes this show so... erm... delicious!

 Oh, and their might be:


 This show has to have some of the most high-quality cinematography I've seen on network TV. It rivals Sherlock in terms of how it's shot. The people behind the show clearly put a lot of effort into making this show come to life. The show is loaded with symbolism, and it has lots of trippy imagery that really makes the show stand out from its competition.

 One notable trait of this show is the "death tableaus". Most of the time, when a murder's discovered, the body is always presented in a macabre sort of display. From totem poles made of bodies, to human cellos, to a body arranged into a saber-toothed tiger. They're are gruesome, but as you continue to watch, much like Will Graham, it gets easier to look. Plus, there's almost a twisted, dark beauty to the arrangements. They get away with a lot on the show. Really pushing the boundaries of network TV.

 That's another thing: the atmosphere. The show has this really fitting atmosphere. It's kind of this unsettling feeling, but it's not alienating. The world is dangerous, but inviting. A bit like the title character.

Oh, that reminds me:


 The show has a bunch of really good actors. The main focus here has to go to the two lead actors: Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelson.

 Dancy plays the tortured but gifted FBI consultant Will Graham. Will, as I mentioned in my brief review, is gifted with empathy. But as the show goes on, we learn how unstable he is. The first season is devoted to his downward spiral, due both to a medical condition and Hannibal's manipulations (which are further exposed through flashbacks in season 2). And Hugh Dancy plays it well. When he portrayed Will breaking down sobbing, begging Hannibal not to be lying, it honestly broke my heart. There's a reason one of the fandom's catchphrases is "somebody help Will Graham."

 And in season two, he does an equally good job playing the dark side of Will. You can believe he's been pushed to do the questionable things he does (manipulate, murder, lie) in order to expose Hannibal.

 Speaking of America's Favorite Psycho Psychiatrist, Mads Mikkelson plays him well, too. He makes the iconic role his own, and lives up to his well-known predecessor, Anthony Hopkins. He is able to be a despicable, intimidating human being, but at the same time cool, collected, and likeable. His Hannibal is like a Venus Flytrap: you're drawn in (like the characters), but he's deadly, and doesn't hesitate to remind us. But with how he portrays him, the audience is still able to come back to him, if that makes sense. Heck, the first time I think the fandom turned on him was after Will's aforementioned breakdown, and even then the fans eventually sort of got over it and accepted his being a terrible person.

  Some notable notable actors and their roles on the show include: Gillian Anderson as Hannibal's mysterious psychiatrist, Bedelia DuMaurier. Raul Esparza as Dr. Frederick Chilton (who plays him as both an absolute scumbag in season one, but also enjoyably pathetic in season two). Lara Jean Chorostecki as Freddie Lounds, the online reporter I personally love to hate. Laurence Fishburne as Jack Crawford. Hettienne Park as the beloved Beverly Katz, as well as the other two forensics guys Jimmy Price and Brian Zeller (played by Scott Thompson and Aarom Abrams. And finally, Michael Pitt as Mason Verger. Dear God, Michael Pitt as Mason Verger.


 Finally, there's the writing. Bryan Fuller, the man in charge. Has a clear vision of what he wants to do (having planned 7 seasons of the show). The writing is superb. I can not think of a single episode that didn't entertain me in some way. The story flows at a good pace, not dragging on, but not rushing either. And there never seems to be a useless episode either. Some people have mentioned the story takes some deviations from the books (which I have never read at the time of this editorial thing), but I'm fine with it. From what I do know, he does pay several homages to the original, as well. And I don't see anything wrong with his own interpretation. They are very clear on that. It's not like he's taking the story as is and butchering it, like several adaptions tend to do.

 But the best part is that the show is very unpredictable. Just when you think you understand where it's going: BAM! Something happens that changes everything. A character you thought was safe gets killed, one you thought you could trust turns out to not be so trustworthy, and one you thought was dead was alive all along. And you can never be certain what's going on, who's manipulating who. The only certainty is that Hannibal is a cannibal and The Chesapeake Ripper. And I love it.

 The show has also drawn actual reaction from me, too. From pleading for a character to turn around and leave before they get caught, to gasping at a character getting suddenly shot. The show gets more of a direct reaction out of me than "I liked this/didn't like this/was outraged by the writers doing this" than most of the shows I watch.

 Plus, the show knows how to leave off on a cliffhanger better than other longer-running shows I watch. The first season ends with Will locked up in BSHCI after Hannibal frames him, and the second... GAH! I DON'T WANT TO SPOIL IT UNTIL I REVIEW SEASON 2! It's so good! It leave you begging for another helping just to figure out what's going to happen. I remember reading a joke saying that the reason they renew the show is that the higher-ups watch the finales and want to know what happens, too.


 So that's my two cents on why Hannibal is such a good show. It's one of my favorite shows on TV right now. I highly recommend it, though the squeamish should tread carefully. It's truly a modern masterpiece, deserving of all the awards.

Look What The Cat Dragged In!

 Hey, I'm back! I've been busy this year, but I'm gonna try and remedy that! I have some reviews/plans.

  • A little thing about why I like Hannibal, and why the show is such a good one.
  • I am going to finish my Supernatural Recap/Retrospective/Review Things
  • I want to do a whole thing of the Top 9(?) Worst Things About Season 9 of Supernatural...
  • ...And a list of some of the  admittedly good things.
  • I'll review season 3 of Sherlock
  • I might possibly get around to reviewing X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men Origins: Wolverine (properly!), and X-Men: First Class
  • Heck, I might even review each episode of Hannibal, season 1! (It's about 12 or 13 episodes, I can manage it).
 That's the plan. Best get on it.