Tuesday, May 30, 2017

TV Review: 2017 Season Finale

Several of the shows I'm going to list I haven't done a review of yet, so bear with me.

For example? I have not reviewed...

24: Legacy: It's ... okay. The basic setup hasn't changed. In this particular case, we have an Army Ranger who took out not-Osama knockoff #6. He and his Rangers are being hunted by not-Osama's son. The son is also looking for a list of sleeper cells they want to activate, and one of the Rangers have stolen. Miranda Otto plays a former CTU head who planned the mission. She's married to a Presidential candidate. Hilarious ensues. Our lead is married, and sends his wife to the protection of his brother, the gang leader, so that's another subplot.

Part of the problem with the show was our lead. Yes, they had traded Kiefer Sutherland for a younger black actor, but the problem isn't that he's young, black, or just not Kiefer. That isn't the problem-- it's that everybody was more interesting. Miranda Otto was interesting, her husband, played by Jimmy Smits (whose father was Gerald MacRanie, go figure) were interesting. Our lead's gangsta brother is more charismatic than he was. I also liked gangstas versus jihadis, that was fun. And we had Oded Fehr (The Mummy, The Mummy Returns) once again playing Middle Eastern.  It was all right. And it's renewed. We'll see how far nostalgia can take them. 7/10

Taken: Yes, this is supposed to be a prequel to the films, only they're really not trying that hard for accuracy. There is only one person who looks like he could turn into a character we saw in the films.

On the one hand, I like the cast. Jennifer Beals needs a career, and she's fun.. One or two characters from The Unit make a return in basically the same roles. And yes, I can see their lead growing up to be Liam Neeson.

Though the pace is incredibly different from the films, ponderous, and very slow some times. Though I must admit, Vince Flynn would be happy with the dead politician count. And it's supposed to be under a Hillary Clinton administration (the President is referred to as "she"), so the depth of the political corruption is hilarious, and I don't think they meant it to be so.

6/10, with room to grow.

iZombie: I originally tripped over this show on NetFlix, tried the first episode, and ended up binging the first season in on go. Then season 2. I was a little worried about Season 3. Would it hold up on a week to week format? Apparently.  The Premise of the series is simple: Zombies are only mindless killers under certain conditions -- but if they get their brains quickly enough, they can pass for albino humans. Olivia "Liv" Moore (yes, breath in the pun) works at a morgue, so she can get her brains. Her boss, Ravi, used to work at the CDC, caught on to her condition, and started thinking "cure." At the end of season 2, we were introduced to a PMC that is filled with zombies, and I thought "oh, come on, are these the bad guys in season 3? This is going to be cliche and sucky."  No.  It isn't. No, they didn't. They took the premise and went a direction I didn't even think of. It's awesome, really. It is funny as all yell, and smart. You might even say that have a really, really nice set .... of brains.


Go, watch it.

10/10... Yes. Really. There hasn't been a sucky episode yet. And it's still broadcasting.

The Arrowverse.

Sigh. I'm done with The Flash, Supergirl, probably done with Legends of the IdiotsArrow is the only one that's tolerable lately.

The problem is still that the season-long plot is overshadowing the villain of the week, and I liked the villain du jour method of handling problems. I remember when they used to be able to do both at once.
  • The Flash: They lost my interest early on this season. They opened with the "Flashpoint" alternate timeline, and made the start of the season so disorienting that people I watched it with were confused and turned off. Then it went totally downhill, becoming melodrama, and completely rejecting any and all sense of plot and story for the sake of whining. Then there's a vision of the future where Iris is murdered, and everyone's attention is focused on saving her.... it might have been nice if I cared about the character. Iris died in the comics, time for her to die in the show, too. Barry will get over it. 4/10
  • Legends of Tomorrow: Due to schedule conflicts, Arthur Darville, Captain Hunter, left for the first half of the season. This put Sarah Lance in charge of the ship. And I don't think I cared when she seduced a French queen while her colleagues were being shot at -- oh, wait, I really do. They plain old pissed me off when they put Guinevere in plate armor AND had her making out with Sarah. And their Union versus Zombies episode? Don't even get me started on that BS. Right now, I'd be more interested in a Captain Cold and Heat Wave TV show, except they already have that on Fox, and it's called Prison Break. 4/10
  • Supergirl: Agit-prop dumpster fire where they care less for plot and character than any of the shows above, and that is an extremely difficult challenge. 1/10
  • Arrow: Aside from some editing, and needing a shorter season, season 5 was fairly solid. And the return of Manu Bennett was nice to see. I only hope that means he can come back to the show on a regular basis now. But they lose an entire point for attempting to do a gun control episode, and doing it poorly; it was message fiction that barely had a coherent message. Also, for their torture Oliver episode. 7/10
MacGyver: I watch for the Murdoc episodes. That actor chews scenery in an entertaining fashion. It's fun to watch. And while it's gotten better than the first episodes, it's still mediocre. 5/10

NCIS: This was a strange season, and I think it took have the season for them to get their bearings. The cast seems tired of showing up, and Gibbs has less and less screentime. I'm waiting for them to have Gibbs die, set MacGee up as team leader, and we can close the book on this show before it turns into original CSI on us. Because right now, the minute that actors David MacCallum, Paulie Perrette, or Sean Murray die, or decide to leave the show, the producers had better hit the panic button, because I will stop watching soon after. 6-/10, depending on the episode.

NCIS: Los Angeles -- I say this every time, but someone has to stop pretending that LL Cool J and Chris O'Donnell are interesting. I watch for .... pretty much everyone else, really. There is some fun character byplay that, at times, reminds me of Homicide: Life on the Streets. 7/10

NCIS: New Orleans -- This was a very strange season. I'm not even sure if I liked where they ended up. At least they remembered to have New Oreleans in their New Orleans show.  6/10.

Scorpion: I like the pacing. I like the characters, who have turned into entertaining people instead of the cardboard caricatures from the first episode. But good Lord, someone tell them to stop pretending to have something like science. The space rocket episode? No. Just no. Mileage may vary. 6-8/10

Hawaii 5-0: It's okay. Nothing really stood out about this season. Though I'm getting tired of the old married couple bickering of our main characters. You'd think they'd tone it down after a while. 6/10

Blue Bloods: Solid series. Generally sane. They usually deal with topics as apolitically as possible. But there were still a few elements of pure stupid in there. They avoided some of the SJW scripts this season, I don't know how, but they did. Congrats, guys.  9/10.

Criminal Minds: AAARRRRGGGGHHHH. If anyone does a repeat of this season, I'm done. While the season-long story arc had a satisfactory conclusion, good God, it was painful to watch .... I'm sorry, not watch, fast forward through. "Spencer in jail" was a waste of time, generally not interesting, and I was able to pick up on what was happening while I sped through the Shawshank sequences.  6/10, and don't do that again.

Bull: Eh. I generally like the series.  It's mostly a 6/10, though the last few episodes were closer to 8/10 -- mostly due to the introduction of Eliza Dushku, a character who could talk at least as good a game as Michael Weatherly. If we keep her for season 2, I'll probably even watch.

Lucifer: With the introduction of Tricia Helfer as Lucifer's mother, a goddess, they lost any pretense of this being the Judeo-Christian Devil, and basically turned the show into a straight-up urban fantasy. I guess that could be seen as an improvement, so they're obviously tossing out any standard mythology around Lucifer. Also, since there is no reference to Jesus as a historical event within the universe, it pretty much makes this more Zoroastrian than Judeo-Christian. Turn your brain off, enjoy the insanity. It's a comedy police procedural ... almost like Castle. Only more insane. 8/10

Elementary: It was okay. The season finale subplot was out of left field, and jarring, and I'm not sure I was a fan of the primary arch. Tolerable, and generally entertaining. 7/10.

The Blacklist: The second half of the season had nothing to do with the first half, and that's a positive. The war with "Mister Kaplan" was an interesting battle, and there's a glimmer of an explanation behind everything going on. But I think they have only one more season left to them. They've broken up the story into half-seasons, and it's getting a little tedious. Finish it, or ratings finish you, Blacklist. 7/10-- points deducted for the first half of the season sucking so much.

Lethal Weapon:  Still the best series of the season. 10/10. If you haven't watched, you're missing out. It has heart, humor, character development, and a great balanced between solo episodes and overall season plot. I miss this series, and next season needs more episodes. Watch it, and throw out the Mel Gibson films.

The Dragon Awards are open and ready for nominations, and I have a list of suggestions you might want to take a look at. If you already  have a good idea of what you want, just click here to go and vote for them. The instructions are right there.

The Love at First Bite series. 



  1. I remember looking up the concept of Lucifer's mother when Season 1 ended. If I recall correctly, it goes back to the earliest roots of Judaism, before it was a monotheistic religion. But now I can't find it. God's wife is a minor goddess, sh'es the mother of all of the angels, and she's not the nicest person (which is why she is in Hell).

    So, no, not modern Judeao-Christian theology, but still an interesting premise - that Lucifer is not evil himself, but is condemned to punish evil doers. He has the power to put temptation in your path, but you have to choose to do the wrong thing.

    1. Are you thinking of Lilith?

    2. No, it wasn't Lilith. That name I recognize. I can't find the name now, but she's referred to as The Goddess of All Creation.

    3. Had it been Lilith, I would have gone with it. But no, this is someone described as being God's equal.

  2. I don't know what happened to the Arrowverse this season. It was as if all the writers suddenly developed a mental fog that created them incapable of writing coherent stories. In one season they completely destroyed most of their shows.

    Arrow had a few missteps this season, but it was by and large an improvement over last season. The fact that standalone episodes were allowed to happen definitely worked in its favor. But it's the only Arrowverse show I was still watching for most of the season.

    The Flash got stupid. I don't mean that as a pejorative, I mean that the character lost all sense of rationality. Every other character was constantly given the idiot ball, and repeated that same tired shtick over and over again. It was like they forgot that the major problem with season 2 was that the last half was interminable and did it for an entire season here.

    Supergirl's best episodes were the first two with Superman. Every other one was a dumpster fire of forced politics, tired tropes, and dumb characterization. I dropped this just after the crossover.

    Speaking of which, the 3 way crossover was actually really well done. It was nice to see one complete standalone plot done from start to finish with a single cast of characters. I wish the shows themselves could do this outside of having everything NEED to last a whole season.

    Legends of Tomorrow was the only one I dropped after the first episode. I saw that they improved nothing from the first season, and just turned it off. This show had so much potential ruined by a staff that simply doesn't care enough about the concept.

    I'm not sure if I'll be watching next season. I might keep on with Arrow, but the other ones are done for me.

    And you do make Lethal Weapon sound so good. I hope that is put up for streaming so I can give it a go. Buddy cop shows and movies are irresistible.

    1. I think that they all came down with Flash disease. Let's face it, the last half of season 2 was probably easy to write-- "What do we do?" "What do you think we should do?" "I feel angsty about X." "I feel angsty about Y."

      And I noticed that even you referred to the crossover as a 3-way, not a 4-way, even though they supposedly had 4 shows to cross over.

      And yes, if you watch nothing else, I recommend Lethal Weapon.


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