State of the Unionizer (That Would Be Me)

Its time for my monthly analysis of all things television. Mostly its just me giving updates about the shows I’ve been watching, or monitoring, and things that will eventually get reviewed, at some point in the future.

I have watched a number of shows:

Rush Hour:

I went into this show really wanting to like it and tried to watch the pilot episode three times. I love that it has such a diverse cast. It should probably stay on the air just for that but the show just isn’t to my taste. I’m going to watch a couple more episodes and see how I react to those but I couldn’t get through the first episode. I want to keep in mind that pilots are just that. Pilots. And that sometimes a show improves after that.

I like the diversity of the cast and I actually like the characters but the humor just wasn’t to my taste. It really felt like some of the actors were trying too hard to be funny and the humor has a kind of 1980s feel to it that was unintentionally funny. I wasn’t so much laughing at the jokes themselves, so much as laughing at the joke itself, if you get my meaning.

In fact the entire flavor of the show felt like it stepped right out of the Asian Peril action films of the 80s. Its full of cliches like the Asian baddie who is bad just because he is, and  all of his faceless henchmen; the rebellious cop who doesn’t follow orders properly; his screaming supervisor, who keeps trying to bring him to heel; the straightlaced and humorless , Asian good guy who knows Kung Fu…in other words its just like the movies, which first debuted in 1998.

The actor who plays Detective Carter, Justin Hires, isn’t very funny. He tries really hard, but keeps hitting his lines the wrong way, some of which are recycled from the Men in Black films.  Every time he’d do or say something funny, I was reminded of how much funnier that line would be, if Chris Tucker said it. Hires doesn’t seem as committed to the utter ridiculousness of the show, or his character, the way Tucker approached it. Every time I’d start to laugh at something he said, his lines would fall flat, with no follow through. This is really the type of role where you have to either shit, or get off the pot, and Hires doesn’t seem willing to take a dump.

Contrast that with the actors and characters from Brooklyn 99. They all know their characters are utterly ludicrous, and every one of those actors thoroughly embraces that craziness, with total fearlessness. I like for my comedians to be fearless and Hires still seems too reticent.

John Foo, who plays Detective Lee is handsome and personable enough, but like I said, he is playing the straightlaced Asian guy and so doesn’t have much personality. In fact, I can’t remember anything in particular about him other than he knows how to fight. Even the fight scenes have a cheesy 80s feel to them and are uninspired. His fighting skills are acceptable but he ain’t no Martial Law.

For a moment, I thought the show would also adopt some of the misogyny of the moves as well, especially in Lee’s treatment of the female character, at the beginning of the show, but it turns out that the woman he’s treating so unprofessionally is his sister, and he vowed to protect her. So, when she is killed by gangsters, during the theft of  a shipment of visiting Terra Cotta Warriors, (naturally), he is highly motivated. (It turns out she wasn’t killed at all and is working with the gangsters.)

There’s not a whole lot  to keep me coming back, except I kind of like the feel of the show, which isn’t all Gotham-Grim, but isn’t exactly bubbly and lighthearted either. The plots are utterly ridiculous, of course,  and I wish the actors would embrace that. Hopefully, given time, the show will  start to develop its own personality, separate from the movies, and the actors will stop trying so hard to be like the movie versions of themselves. Also, maybe by mid season, the show can move its plots into the 90s.

I won’t be reviewing this show, but I will let you know if it improves.

 

Wynonna Earp:

Okay, I’ve been watching the show. It has improved a bit since the pilot. Wynonna is still kind of scratchy as a character but that actress seems to be hitting a groove and doing well. We get a little more information on what the revenants are and why they’re after Wynonna. I still don’t get it. It seems they want her demon killing gun, called Peacemaker, but it turns out that none of them can hold it without disintegrating so what’s the point?

The revenants are all people who were killed by Wyatt Earp, using that gun, and for some reason, they have returned to earth to seek vengeance. I didn’t catch why, but the plot seemed more than a little convoluted. There’s some Doc Holliday involvement, where he appears to be playing both sides, as an ally to Wynonna and the revenants. He still acts like he’s in some other, more serious show, so at least he’s consistent with himself.

I liked the idea of Wynonna working with the government, as Agent Dolls teams up with her, teaching  her about her heritage, and  how to shoot. But she’s a rather hard-headed gal, who finds it difficult to follow orders. That explains why she has no government authority, I guess. I like their chemistry but I’m not looking for the two of them to become love interests soon. I think that’s what Holliday is on the show for, and maybe Agent Dolls can grow beyond being the gruff mentor.

The revenants themselves are not the brightest pennies in the wrapper. In one scene, one of the revenants picks up the gun, aims it at Wynonna, and gets melted into a puddle of goo. I remember thinking before he even picked the weapon up, that that probably was not a good idea, considering that the gun kills his kind. But okay!

I’m not in love with this show yet, so I’m going to have to keep watching it until I decide I’m committed, or I’m sick of it.

 

Vikings:

I’ve been watching Vikings all season. Why yes, I am baffled at the turns the plot has taken since the beginning of the season, (Thank you for asking me. You’re so kind!), and at what an utter dick Ragnar has become, since season one. Is this show chronicling his downfall or something? I’m starting to like Bjorn more, now that he has stood up to his parents and developed a self. I’m feeling very sorry for one of the most unlikely characters to receive my sympathy…Floki.

Floki got on my shitlist (and Ragnar’s too) for killing Athelstan, Ragnar’s *friend*, so I’m surprised at how bad I feel for him, and I really shouldn’t, because one could argue that he brought it all on himself, when he killed Athelstan, for his own selfish reasons, and then blamed it on the gods. Since then, Ragnar has just gone reeling all over the place, emotionally. I guess Athelstan kept him grounded, or something, because he has been  unhinged, since his death.

I’m glad Laegertha has her kingship back, even if she had to kill, yet another, husband to do so. This is not a surprise really, as she had told him she was going to kill him, when he stole her throne. He didn’t have enough sense to get out of Dodge (and really seemed to believe he had brought Laegertha to heel and that she loved him), so his death is…meh, who cares?

I don’t know what the Hell to think of what Rollo is doing in France, except that once again, he’s fucking up.

I think the season finale has already occurred, or is coming up soon, and perhaps I may have an update to the wacky proceedings on Vikings.

Fear the Walking Dead:

I have no plans to watch Fear the Walking Dead. I have reached peak Walking Dead and had enough of the zombie apocalypse for one season. I’m still recovering  from The Walking dead finale!  The trailers I’ve seen, for this show, look pretty good, but Good Gob! I’m tired of the dead, right now. I need a hiatus from the heavy stuff until Penny Dreadful debuts on May 1st.

 

The Magicians:

The season finale is coming up soon and I will review that. The past few episodes have deviated more and more from the books, as we get to the showdown between Quentin and The Beast (which is what everyone has begun calling the Mothman. ) No, Penny hasn’t become any more likable, but he has become an essential member of the crew, with his ability to travel between worlds. Quentin is starting to develop a backbone, which is good because he’s going to need it. The fragile fainting flower act was getting tired. I have never seen a hero of a show get damseled as often as Quentin, (except maybe Sam Winchester.)

It turns out that Margo has some serious balls, and  indeed Elliott is ,well I’m going to call him bi-sexual because although he had a boyfriend this season, (who got fridged almost immediately – BOOOOO!), I still think he has a sexual relationship with Margo, who is all kinds of annoying badass, btw. Its interesting because we were not invested in Elliott’s relationship with his new guy, but he certainly seemed to be, as the show has spent some time showing that Elliott is still traumatized from the man’s death.

Quentin had a brief but icky affair with Alice, who I still don’t like, because she  has no personality to talk about. The Dean of the school has more personality than she does and he’s barely in the show, making a cameo about every other episode. Contrast her lack of character with Penny, who is perpetually grumpy and annoyed with Quentin, but still considers him a friend; Elliot, the snarky, overly-romantic (and now traumatized) lover; Margo,  who is  the snarky, pragmatic “mean girl”, except her meanness serves a purpose. As a result, Alice comes across as eye candy in a pair of bad glasses.

But that’s enough until the finale review which should be coming later.

 

About Stuff:

Most of my favorite shows are either on hiatus, or  finished for the season, so I have a little bit  of spare time to do some movie reviews, before the next round of pilots in May.

There are  the drafts in my queue, which I already talked about in a previous post, but there are also things I’d like to do but haven’t written down yet. I always have ideas, and not enough time to work on them.

I wanted to do an essay about my process for writing various posts, (because I like to over-examine the things I do). I also wanted to do, and started work on, a Tucker & Dale vs. Evil review. I’m kind of scared to do The Blob vs The blob review because those movies scare the Hell out of me,  I’d have to watch them again, and I’m not sure I’m up for that yet. At some point, I’m going to have to talk about why those movies terrify me so much.

 

Damien

I’ve stopped watching Damien. Not because its bad. It still maintains the same level of quality as it did in the beginning. I just lost interest. It also isn’t really like I thought it would be, focusing more on the people and organizations surrounding Damien, that are either trying to stop him from coming to power, or push him into his true potential. If political intrigue is something that appeals to you, then by all means, check it out. I don’t particular enjoy shows about politics, though.

 

Hunters

Hunters has just aired on the Syfy Network and I haven’t viewed it yet. When I do, I’ll give a complete rundown. I don’t think I’ll be reviewing it for this blog, though.

Outlander:

The season two first episode aired this weekend and I was kind of frustrated and disappointed. I finally caught up with the last season this weekend  and I wasn’t expecting the first episode to start the way it did, with Claire coming back to her own time, trying to explain to people what happened to her, and everyone believing she’s crazy, including her husband. I really expected the show to just jump right into the plot to stop the Jacobite rebellion.

In the interests of full disclosure, I’ve not read any of the books in this series, so its all knew to me. I don’t know how close the series hews to the books, or what characters are from those, either. I’m familiar with the writer through the Lord John books, and know he’s a closeted, gay, English Lord, who  has a crush on Jamie.

This season seems to involve Jamie and Claire trying to start or stop the Jacobite rebellion, through some kind of deception, while visiting France, and really I was only going to watch this season because I’m a huge fan of French fashions. I don’t wear dresses (because I think I look stupid in them) but the French ones are gorgeous, when worn by people who are not me.

 

Preacher: 

Very much looking forward to checking this one out. Its on AMC, and based on the comic books. I’ve read a few of those, so I know a little bit about the characters, but it was a long time ago, so the series will be as much of a surprise for me, as it will be for everyone else, who hasn’t read the books.

 

Outcast:

This sounds intriguing. I love movies about the devil when they’re  done well, but I have no patience for demonic possession movies, considering them to all be ripoffs of the one, the  only, “The Exorcist”, (the Satanic possession movie by which all other Satanic possession movies will be measured.) I have absolutely no patience for backwards body contortions and screaming, which is all many possession movies seem to have going for them. That said, Outcast looks interesting enough to give it a try. It airs on Cinemax (which is a good sign considering I liked Banshee), on June 3rd.

 

 

Orphan Black:

No, I haven’t watched any episodes of this show. Perhaps, if I’m not too busy, I can catch up this Summer. People keep recc’ing shows to me, not quite understanding, that while I can watch a heck of a lot of stuff, I can’t watch everything, cuz I gotta work and stuff. Some shows are going to get lost in the shuffle. Even though I have tremendous respect for Orphan Black, I still haven’t any time to watch it. Currently, its one of those shows I monitor by looking at lots of trailers, and wishing I had time to sit down and look at it.

 

 

So that’s it until next next month.

Same BatTime, Same BatChannel!

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6 thoughts on “State of the Unionizer (That Would Be Me)

  1. Great write-up as usual.

    I don’t think Rush Hour is going to survive. The reviews are lukewarm, the fans don’t seem to love it and it went fractional on its second episode, I think. Mmm, I don’t know.
    I always root for shows with a diverse cast even when I don’t watch them (see Black-ish, my love for Tracee Ellis Diana Ross Jr couldn’t save it) and I’ve sat through some terrible shows for the love of Meghan Goode but I don’t know about this one…

    I gave Damien 15 minutes and * in Simon Cowell’s voice * it’s a no for me lol

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The problem with RUSH HOUR is that by the time the first movie came along in 1998, The Buddy Cop Action Movie was dead. The movies were sold strictly on the chemistry between Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker and that was the only reason people went to see those things.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That may be the reason for that late 80s vibe I kept gettin’. It’s a genre that can still work on TV. Witness Hawaii 5-0. It’s just not working here.

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