State of the Union: Summer 2016

We have an exciting crop of Summer shows to look forward to. Remember when there didn’t used to be anything but reruns during the Summer months? Well, cable turned all that upside down. Now some shows are regularly scheduled to debut during the Summer months, mostly on networks that don’t rely on ratings, or to avoid all the Fall competition for viewer eyeballs.

I’ve  been watching and waiting for some interesting shows. First up is

Houdini and Doyle:

An historical mystery show about the detective duo of writer, Arthur Conan Doyle,  and the magician, Harry Houdini. This looks really imteresting to me especially since I keep missing shows like Ripper Street and Hell on Wheels. I really like historical shows, but  I either keep missing them, or I choose really bad ones to get attached to like Bastard Executioner.

This was a nice try though. I will tune in next Monday on Fox, but since it is Fox, I’m not getting invested too in it because they will only cancel it, once people start liking it. But hey, it’s right up Fox’s alley, as it has two white guys as the entire focus of the show. I got nothing against Houdini or Arthur Doyle, but we already saw this when it was called Sherlock Holmes, on a better network. It’s not even a bad show. I rather like it.  It’s promising, but like I said, it may never realize its promise because, when people like stuff, Fox likes to get rid of it.

 

Penny Dreadful:

The new season has already begun and looks really good. See my reviews of last season, to catch up, and also my review of this season premiere, for a rundown on where the characters are, and the introduction of this season’s baddies.

 

Wynonna Earp:

Yes, I’m still watching this show. It’s not bad. It’s still a little unbalanced, but is finding its groove, improving episode by episode, and me and the show are now going steady, I guess. I felt the pilot was overcompensating things a bit, but it’s finally settled on how much humor vs. action it wants to have.

Once again, the show strongly reminds me of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, in its flavor of humor. Wynonna is actually pretty funny. She’s got good comedic timing but her jokes need to come more naturally. Her sister has settled into the role of a kind of Watcher/researcher. Dolls is Wynonna’s boss/ mentor, in the ultra-secret, monster-hunter agency that he belongs to, and he’s a lot like Giles, in that he plays all this completely straight, and that’s okay. Some of the characters are not in it for the fun, which makes what humor there is, stand out more. Not every joke works, but the show is working on it. Doc Holliday is still a cute mystery as he plays both ends against the middle in this narrative. He and Wynonna like to flirt, which feels a little icky, when you realize that is the real Doc Holliday, and he knew her grandfather.

The motives of the demons are still a bit of a mystery, but I like that the show’s creators aren’t afraid to make them funny, yet unpredictably scary, just like the monsters from Buffy. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that some of Buffy’s creators helped to make this show. I’m not reviewing it but that doesn’t mean I don’t like it. It’s light and funny, and just right for Summer viewing.

 

Person of Interest:

The final season for this show will begin airing this week. I know a lot of people stopped watching the show after Carter died, but I didn’t. I wasn’t greatly invested in her (probably because she wasn’t as well written as she could have been). I was invested in Reese’s and Finch’s relationship, and the two female characters they added were interesting. Root and Shaw also had some kind of slow burn romantce thing going on, which I found refreshing, in a show about spies and computers. Last season stopped on a real cliffhanger and now I just have to know how all of it ends.

 

Coming Soon:

Preacher :

Preacher debuts later this month. I’m looking forward to it and wonder how close it will skew to the books. I read the comic series off and on, so I don’t know as much as you’d think. Plus, shows like to change things. I thank the success of The Walking Dead for the creation of this show.

 

Roots:

I’m still not sure I want to watch this. I’m not into slave narrative movies. Most of them trigger depression for me and so it’s really difficult to get invested in them. On the other hand, the show looks gorgeous. I have another twenty or so days to think about it, so…

 

Cleverman:

http://www.mamamia.com.au/cleverman-review/

 

 

The trailer looks great. It seems to pick up where the last season of Heroes went so wrong. I’m going back give it a watch. It airs June 1st on the Sundance channel. The same network that brought us Red Road. (If you haven’t seen Red Road, check it out. Its a criminal suspense series, starring  a largely Native American cast, along with Jason Momoa.) Sundance doesn’t make the shows but it does seem to want to pick up shows that are doing diversity correctly. This particular show is about superheroes, based on the mythology of Australian aborigines. It looks kinda dark and there’s a fair amount of violence in the trailer, including violence against children. But the protagonists all seem to be indigenous peoples, so does its hero, and its rare that we get to see superheroes from a non-Western angle.

(I had this theory that if superheroes actually existed, there would be plenty of cultures, that we term “primitive”, that would take it all completely in stride, and not be particularly upheaved, or lose their shit about it. Probably a lot of western cultures would  either break down or devolve into what you see in the trailer for Cleverman. It’s a just thought.)

 

Outcast:

Will be appearing on June 3rd, on Cinemax, I think. It looks suitably frightening, but then I said the same thing about Damien. Damien may have improved since then but I don’t know, I haven’t watched it since. Well, anyway this looks intriguing, about a man who was possessed as a young boy and this  keeps attracting demonic creatures into his life. The trailers don’t give away much, but I hope it’s scary.

 

 

Books:

I’m  looking forward to Stephen King’s End of Watch, and his son, Joe Hill, has a new book this Summer called The Fireman. I’m looking forward to The Suicide Motor Club, about a cult of people who kill others on the highway, and The Perdition  Score by Richard Kadrey, another Sandman Slim novel, about Jim and Candy visiting Hell. I may review this book at some date.

Justin Cronin will be releasing the last book in his vampire trilogy, titled City of Mirrors, and Naomi Novik will be releasing the last Temeraire book, League of Dragons. I fell in love with this series from the first paragraph in the first book. If you loved Zen Cho’s last book, you might try the Temeraire series. Ben Aaronovitch and Sergei Lukyanenko will be releasing new books this Summer, too.

This is my idea of beach reading even though I never go to the beach, hate sand and mosquitoes, can’t swim, and don’t like getting sunburned. (Yes, black people can get sunburned.) I prefer a shady porch, a cool breeze, and some iced tea.  (As you can see, I’m definitely evolved from an indoor cat.)

 

 

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Coming Next Week

 

 

Reviews of:

Season Finale of The Walking Dead (I’m gonna need a minute for that one, while I catch my breath, so maybe more than a week.)

The last two episodes of Sleepy Hollow (possibly more than a week.)

The next episode of Supernatural

The Pilot for the Rush Hour series

The last five episodes of season two of  Daredevil

“Futamono” from season two of Hannibal

 

What’s in my draft queue for April and May?

The Redemption of  Mad Max on the Fury Road

The rest of season two of Hannibal

Fright Night vs. Fright Night

The Blob (1958) vs The Blob (1988)

Reviews of :

The Nutty Professor (1963)

Rock and Rule (1983)

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

Eight Legged Freaks

Jeepers Creepers

The Hidden (1987)

I was going to do a review of Ash vs. The Evil Dead but all of the episodes were inexplicably erased from my DVR before I could watch them, (Yeah, I’m lookin’ at you Tay). So now I have to find  some time to stream them online.

And at some point in the future:

It Follows

The Signal