norwich36: (Default)
norwich36 ([personal profile] norwich36) wrote2016-01-30 01:57 pm

Recent TV

There are too many new shows I want to check out--I always seem to be running behind.

I will probably watch the entire mini-series of the X-Files, but not because I am loving it. Probably spoilery comments on the first two episodes behind the cut.

In the first episode, I loved...the credit sequence? Yeah, I did love that they kept the old one (it gave me this overwhelming wave of nostalgia, honestly) and I'm glad they finally added Skinner. That may be the only thing I liked about the episode, though. I mean, any time Dana Scully is on my screen is a good thing, but even my love for Gillian Anderson didn't overcome the distillation of everything I hated about the show originally (Mulder falling for stupid conspiracy theories instantly and the inevitably coverup) ramped up to a thousand. The people who said that the 90s conspiracy stuff doesn't translate well to the modern surveillance state/political situation were correct, I think. And it feels like they're punishing faithful fans of the series by saying everything the first run of the show demonstrated about aliens and the conspiracy was wrong, so sorry.

And as the reviews I read said, the second episode was somewhat better--I did like the parts where they were focusing on the emotional fallout of giving their child up for adoption, and Scully responding to the idea that the government might have been experimenting on her--but watching this just brought back the frustration I had forgotten I used to have during the first run of the show, that they were never going to be able to really change anything. And I really don't know how they're going to get anywhere with just 4 more episodes. I don't know. It's just 4 episodes so I'll probably keep watching.

I also checked out Lucifer, because it sounded like it might be up my alley, but every time Lucifer just barged in on things it tripped my embarassment squick hard. Between that and the fact that I'm not really interested in any of the cast, I doubt I'll keep watching.

I also have very mixed feelings about Legends of Tomorrow. (Spoilers for the first two episodes)

I went into the show largely for Sarah Lance, Ray Palmer, Leonard Snart, and Professor Victor Garber. I was also favorably inclined toward Shiera and Jax. From the crossover Arrow/Flash event, I knew I already hated Hawkman and thought Vandal Savage was played by a terrible actor, and I wasn't looking forward to a whole show where he was the primary antagonist.

I have liked a few scenes in the past two episodes--like everyone else, I loved the barfight in the first episode where Sarah, Snart and Snart's partner whose name I never remember were fighting set to Captain and Tenille. I loved the scene where Laurel Lance encouraged Sarah to join the team. I also thought it was a little interesting to see the younger version of Professor Victor Garber. But honestly? Otherwise, I am not finding this very compelling. I still am underwhelmed and bored by Savage; I think the cast is too large for me to care, and characters I liked before (Victor Garber, Ray) keep doing really stupid things. Sarah and Snart liven things up, but I'm not sure that's enough to keep me watching, even though they killed off Hawkman, who was the "legend" I disliked most. (I doubt he'll stay dead anyway). I think I'm giving it two more episodes, but I predict I will be bailing on this show.

Shannara, on the other hand, seems to have actually hooked me. (Spoilers for the aired episodes so far possible behind the cut). I totally blame [personal profile] serrico for this, because I hadn't even heard of the show before I read her review. And I've never read the books (which is generally a plus in these sorts of things, let's be honest). And this show is completely predictable and so far kind of tropey and repetitive and full of the typical CW/MTV too-beautiful-to-be-real-people casting, and yet I find it completely fun and addicting, stupid love triangles and all.

For those unfamiliar with the show, the basic premise is that a long time ago the Elves managed to lock away a big demon army by using the power of the Ellcrys, a giant tree, which a community of Chosen Elves have defended ever since that time. Just as Princess Amberle manages to join the formerly all-male group of Chosen, she starts having visions that the tree is dying, so its protection is failing, and of course she has to go on a quest to save it or the demons will return and take over. So far the episodes have been about her discovering her destiny, aided by Druid Manu Bennett (who has a name of course but why would I call him anything other than Druid Manu Bennett? Especially when his name is Alanon or something like that, which always makes me think he must be in recovery), and meeting with the other folks who will of course be joining her quest, Dumbass Wil (ok, not his real name but that's what [personal profile] serrico called him in her first review and it has stuck in my head), a half-elf half-human with mystical powers he was unaware of, and Eretreia, a "Rover," that is, a human member of a group that seems to live by swindling/robbing travellers. She's an interesting character because she's mainly interested in getting out from under her father (stepfather? owner? I confess I don't necessarily pay 100% attention while watching this show)'s control, and to do so she keeps double-crossing Wil and Amberle, sleeping with them (whoops, only Wil, but making the stupid love triangle multidimensional could only improve this show), and then reluctantly saving them.

The plots so far have been kind of repetitive, but they're mainly setting up the characters at this point. Hopefully they will move toward actual plot soon--there was a promising development in the last episode, where a shapeshifter (who may have been longterm masquerading as Amberle's uncle--I'm not sure) killed her grandfather the king and took his place. Also Eretreia's rapey douchebag stepfather showed himself to be a potentially useful demon fighter, which was interesting--I wonder if that means he'll be sticking around longer.

They're also starting to develop a psychic idiotically named Bandon (what is it with the HORRIBLE names in this series? They all sound like names from badfic written by 11-year-olds) who can see people's deaths and is being trained by Druid Manu Bennett. It would, of course, be extremely WRONG to ship extremely hot death psychic with his extremely hot mentor figure. Just my kind of wrong.

So I'm not sure I would recommend this show, precisely--did I mention it's produced by Gough and Millar, who did Smallville, and has gorgeous production values?--but if it's your kind of thing you'll probably enjoy it. It's on MTV.
serrico: It's like TPTB were writing fic with the rest of us. (svhowcsaysl)

[personal profile] serrico 2016-01-30 10:43 pm (UTC)(link)
Ship Druid Manu Bennett with everyone! EVERYONE. (Except Amberle and Eretreia. Ship them with each other. :D)

The eps HAVE been very repetitive--this is supposed to be a quest show, LET THE PEOPLE QUEST--but everything's so tropey and ridiculous, somehow I don't mind the continuous stop-starting as much as I could.

Dumbass Wil's righteous declaration that He Won't Be Fooled By Eretreia Again! made me snort. Oh, Dumbass Wil. At least he's tall and frequently shirtless.
serrico: (dwwaves)

[personal profile] serrico 2016-01-30 11:11 pm (UTC)(link)
Re: Druid Manu Bennett's name, they could AT LEAST change the emphasis. Like, saying it al-AH-non instead of AL-anon would be the easiest thing in the world! And skirt around AL-anon's unfortunate association!

Yeah, not taking anything about this show seriously is the way to go. It definitely works best as utter candy TV.