Things I’m Looking at # 37

Preacher:

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Aaaaaah!!!!

The second season of Preacher arrives just in time to take up the slack after the full-course meal that was American Gods. I was really looking forward to this new season. Last season was a bit of surprise hit for some people, and even though I was really enthusiastic about it, I’m surprised how much I enjoyed the characters. I was pretty much just expecting crazy plot, but I fell in love with Cassidy, Tulip, and Jessie, and I’m really looking forward to their interactions this season.

Last season, Jessie was possessed by an escaped Angel, named Genesis, that gave him the power to compel people to do his bidding, got assaulted  by two other Angels, named Fiore, and deBlanc, who were after their lost charge, was invited by Tulip to get back on the road to vengeance against some guy who betrayed them,  and being friended by an Irish vampire, who then fell in love with his best girl. The three of them, Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy, met a fake God, and the town where all these events,  occurred was blown to smithereens, after things went horribly wrong at the local slaughterhouse. Now the three of them are on the road, looking for the real God, because they got questions they need answered, and I’m certain that yet more batshit adventures will ensue.

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Season two has introduced one of the characters from the books called The Saint of Killers. We get our first glimpse of him when the three buddies are pulled over by some cops, and The Saint guns everybody down. In the first episode alone we’re treated to the sight of one of the cops macing his own balls, Tulip siphoning gas through a piece of intestine (lost by one of the cops during the shooting), while Cassidy tries to get out of the sunlight by hiding under the cars, a man getting his tongue ripped out, a preacher who exorcises his parishioners demons by locking them in cages, and Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy sharing a bed, with Cassidy letting them know that he wouldn’t mind if the two of them had sex in front of him. Sent there by the Jesse’s preacher friend, the three of them visit a Jazz bar/Strip club, where one of the patrons claimed she met God. Cassidy’s shenanigans gets their witness killed.

So the usual, all-around batshittery, really!

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Like I said, when I reviewed the show in the first season, I was not that big a fan of the books because I’m an artistic snob, and hated the artwork. I knew enough about the books to know who some of the characters were, and be excited by Cassidy’s appearance. I have no idea who the Saint of Killers is, or if its an accurate representation on the show. That said, The Saint is really terrifying. As Cassidy would say, “That’s some Terminator-type shite!

Yes, this series can actually be classified as Pulp, and yeah, I do remember from one of my last reviews, that I said I wasn’t a huge fan of Pulp, since I hated Blood Drive, but since I am a fan of Preacher, I guess that means it depends on one’s definition of Pulp. Preacher is everytihng tht Blood Drive isnt. Better acting, writing, cinematograghy, special effects, and characters, go a long way towards a better class of Pulp.

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I mean, Blood Drive and Preacher are basically the same type of show, involving people on the road, doing crazy-ass shit, or having crazy shit happen to them. But Preacher is just much better at it. I guess it’s the difference between an asshole with charm, manners,and a several thousand  dollar suit, compared to an asshole in cheap sneakers and a backwards baseball cap, who keeps spitting on your floor. One of those you date. The other you don’t. Which one you choose is entirely a matter of personal taste.

 

In the second episode we learn that the Saint of Killers was hired by Fiore, who is determined that Jesse not be allowed to keep his superpower, lest he abuse it, which he is already doing. Fiore, in mourning over his dead partner, deBlanc, is working a magician’s show at Mumbai Sky Tower, where he gets killed on stage and keeps coming back, because Angels can’t die. Well, rather they can die, but the only thing that can kill them is The Saint of Killers.

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Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy petition Fiore to call off The Saint, but he refuses. Cassidy asks Jesse for permission to try to persuade him to change Fiore’s mind. There follows one of the funniest, most delightful, interludes I’ve ever seen in a show! Initially you think Cassidy plans on torturing Fiore, but the show uses that as an opportunity to turn a trope on its head, by having him get Fiore high on heroin, and then  romping with him around his hotel room, like two over-sugared toddlers, for three hours. Fiore who was depressed enough to attempt killing himself hundreds of times, since losing hs partner, is having the time of his life. My favorite moment is the two of them building a pillow fort in the middle of the room, and eating ice cream in it.

Jesse asks Tulip to get married and she accepts at first but when an old acquaintance from New Orleans (her old stomping grounds), shows up at the Mumbai, she tells Jesse she has changed her mind, after beating the holy hell out of the man. I love to watch tulip kick ass, with her little tiny self. She must weigh all of a buck’o five. Tulip’s got a lot of secrets, though. Jesse has an epiphany about how to find God, since they learned in the last episode that God loves Jazz. He figures that God might decide to visit New Orleans, someplace Tulip is  reluctant to go. At the end of the show, Fiore’s last request is for The Saint to kill him, since Jesse commanded him to “Find Peace”.

And that’s just the second episode. We got nine more episodes of this crazy shit, people.

 

Cleverman:

Last season we saw the introduction of a new superhero show, set in Australia called Cleverman. All of the primary characters, including the hero are all Native Australians. The show works along the themes of colonization, erasure, and assimilation of Native people into a violent dominant culture.

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*The Cleverman is an important figure in many Australian Aboriginal cultures. Series creator Ryan Griffen describes the Cleverman as “like the Pope of the Dreamtime … the conduit between the present and the Dreaming”.[6] The version in the television series combines many Cleverman traditions from different Aboriginal clans to create a superheroic version, with powers relating to the Dreaming’s connection to past, present and future.[7]    ——–Wikipedia

 

Koen has reluctantly accepted his position as the new Ceverman after the death of his uncle, who was the last one, and has begun to take steps to protect The Hairy People from a culture of exploitation and enslavement by the government. I didn’t review the last season and there’s a lot to explain, since its a very dense show, that requires close attention, especially if you’re not Australian. So here’s the Cleverman page on the Sundance website, which will give you a quick 101 on who the characters are, what’s going on and who’s is doing what to whom. The first episode of this season drops you right into the middle of everything, so if you didn’t watch the last season, you will need a quick catch-up:

http://www.sundance.tv/series/cleverman

 

And an AVClub review:

http://www.avclub.com/review/aboriginal-fantasy-cleverman-too-busy-building-wor-237354

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This season, Cleverman is attempting to foil a plot by the Australian  government, to destroy the Hairy People, by giving them a drug that will assimilate them into human society. So they’ve introduced a sickness they claim to be curing, and giving them this drug. They’ve also been kidnapping them, breaking up their families, and conducting medical experiments  on them. All of this is fairly graphically shown, so  keep that in mind while watching. At last some of this is being facilitated by Cleverman’s cousin, who  last season, used to hold a  Hairy People Fight Club, in the area of town where the Hairy People, and the Indigenous population, had been corralled

I’m having some difficulty watching the show because it just strikes too close to home, on a realistic level, and I can’t make it through a single episode without yelling at the TV, so I had to cut my viewing short. And I was also having trouble watching the fascistic nature of the plot. Its the reason why I’m not really into watching dystopias right now.

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But this is a great show. It’s very deep. It has good representation for my criteria although, if you’re a member of an Indigenous culture of any kind, you may have more stringent criteria than I do. It might also be too upsetting to watch because the plot does not mince around.

 

 

Will/ The Strain

Other shows I’ve checked out, and won’t be watching again, are Will, a show about the life of William Shakespeare which I found too dense to get into, and The Strain, which I continue to hate despite its change of venue, to Philadelphia, after NY blew up.

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Now, If you’re a student of Shakespearean Literature than you will  love this show because it chronicles the writing of his various plays and whatnot. its written by a couple of scholarly type guys and it shows. Its also full of pretty people being loud and boisterous,, and lots of ribaldry. I guess this is the show’s attempt to seem racy. I tried to like it, but I don’t think I was in the mood for it, as all that authenticity was giving me a headache.

I tried to watch the first episode of The Strain’s fourth and final season. I didn’t get past the first twenty minutes. I figured out what it was I hated so much about this show. Its the characters. I just hate them. Outside of Quinlan, and Fet, none of the characters are even trying to be compelling, and the villains are just ridiculous. The show also just isn’t scary. At least not to me, but the one review I read of the show the reviewer loved it. I just can’t agree. If you like the show, there’s nothing wrong with that, but  you have very different criteria, than I, for liking it.

Since NY blew up last season, the apocalypse has started t in earnest, as the resultant ash cloud has blocked out most of the sun’s UV rays, allowing the Strigoi, as the vampires are called, to walk around in daylight, menacing the populace. The setting has moved to Philly, and the first annoying thing I saw was an ad for a vampire/human organization called The Partnership, which is mostly designed to separate humans from their blood.

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Let me get this out of the way first: Many of the people in the ad were Black, although no more Black people were seen in the rest of the episode, even though it takes place in Philly, which has, quite possibly, one of the most recalcitrant Black populations in America. Apparently, rebellion against authority is only for White guys, since the two Black people I saw are shown  just rolling over for it.

This really pissed me off because I know, in the real world, you can’t even get Black people to do things they want to do, if you  give them an order to do it. Black people (and Puerto Ricans) will decide NOT do something, just to spite you. So I found it hard to believe there were no Black or Brown people rebelling, or creating some kind of Human Underground. C’mon! Marginalized communities would be the first ones to act up. And no explanation is given for why they’re all absent. Were they all wiped out? Eaten? Maybe we’ll find out later in the season but I won’t know because I’m not watching.

 

Castlevania: 

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I watched the first few episodes of this series, which is based on the arcade game from the 80’s. I do have fond memories of watching my brothers play it,  because I wasn’t particularly interested in playing it myself. I’m not that type of gamer, really. I don’t get attached to characters too much, or follow plots that closely, so I can’t tell you if the anime has anything to do with the plot of the game.

But I enjoyed the cartoon, which is about a guy named Belmont, a monster hunter from a disgraced family, going up against Dracula, and the Church. The Church is responsible for burning Dracula’s wife as a witch, and he’s so pissed off that he didn’t receive an apology, or even a tribute for his dead wife, that he unleashed a horde of batlike demons into the world to destroy humankind.

I spent a not inconsiderable time muttering at my TV about this one too because, as is natural, the villains are villainous, and  annoyingly unreasonable bullies. The Church is trying to use the approach of the demon horde to consolidate their power, and deflect attention away from the fact that the release of the demons is their fault. There’s another group of monks, truth tellers, that the Church is trying to wipe out because church officials don’t want word getting out that the demon apocalypse is their fault.

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The animation is very good, with some nice fight scenes. I usually avoid a lot of anime series because they’re too fast paced, and the characters have a tendency to talk too much, in extremely high pitched voices, which just makes my head hurt. But I liked this one. The people have actual motivations for doing stuff, even if I disagree with their actions, and they all talk like regular people.

So, if you’re a fan of the game, you could do worse than spending an evening with Belmont, who is a total bad-ass, and  Dracula. Castlevania is available now on Netflix.

 

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I also watched The British Baking Show and Game of Thrones. I enjoyed the Baking Show because British reality shows are wholly unlike American reality shows.  For one thing, there’s less bragging, and competition from the empty headed contestants, and more a feeling of camaraderie. The British shows don’t look as if they’re trying to get rid of the Black people and women as quickly as possible and the hosts are really funny.

I like the process of watching the contestants learn to bake something, I like looking at the inventiveness of the end results, the judges aren’t mean for meanness sake, but seem honest and forthright, about the results, and the way they choose the winners seems fair. If you have a bad episode, as a baker, that doesn’t automatically mean you’re out. It has to be a consistent thing. By the end of the series some of the baker’s have had several bad events.

 

I have no idea what to think of Game of Thrones. I want to like it. I like parts of it. I’m mostly a casual viewer, who has only watched a few of the more popular episodes. I know who the top five characters are, and the ones I like the most, Jon Snow, Brienne, and Arya and Sansa Stark. I’m much more interested in what’s happening in the north, at The Wall, then I am with what’s going on in the south, even though I realize all of these things are linked.

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 I don’t know who that guy is that’s been stalking Brienne.I think his name is Torm, or Torman) but he is hilariously, and very obviously, smitten with her. Brienne mostly looks annoyed and puzzled at his insinuations, and I can explain why that’s funny. I often have that same look on my face when people flirt with me. I can’t imagine why they think such a tactic would work with me, and puzzled about whatever I might have done, to make them think it would.

He longs for eve nthe faintest scrap of attention from her. Last night, after Brienne thoroughly trashed some guy  she was training with the sword, he walked up to the man and happily told him how lucky he was.

And of course, Twitter was right on it!

Tormund be looking at Brienne like

I’m going to keep watching it (not reviewing it) because I’m curious as to where it’s going to end, and how my favorites end up. Notice that there are some popular characters I didn’t mention, and that’s because I don’t care a single bit, about what they get up to, on the show.

 

State of the Onion:TV

Whoa! I’m very behind this week, but it’s okay, I’m not panicking, as I’ve gotten a lot of other things done  like charity work, and sometimes, sleep. I also have some holiday time to look forward to.  I sometimes have to remind myself that my  reviews won’t be obsolete just because I waited a week. Here’s a list of shows I’m actually paying attention to, some that I’m sort of paying attention to, and some that I’m not. At least one of these shows I’m  actively in hate of (and I bet you can guess which one.)

American Horror Story : Chapter 8


In last week’s episode, the killing continued with the deaths of Shelby and Dominic.  It turns out that Lee is still alive and in the clutches of the Polks. It’s no accident that Lee and the Polks are the main story this evening, and no accident that we’re seeing a middle class Black woman being consumed by these very working class (or below) White villains. There’s a message in there I’ll have to parse at a later date. Anyway, Lee manages to get free by seducing and manipulating one of the younger Polks, who has become attracted to her. Humanizing herself to the him was a good tactic, getting him to see her as a human being, rather than just meat, and this helped her to escape.

But before that, as he was filming her, she confessed in a video she wanted sent to her daughter, that she killed her husband Mason, because he threatened to take sole custody of their daughter. I was more than a little shocked at this revelation, as she swore up and down she didn’t do it, and that was part of her reason for coming back to the Haunted house, and being on the show. She kept filming because she wanted to control her own story, and I believed her. See what I mean about my complete inability to speculate about a show’s plot. 

In the meantime, Audrey and Monet are being tortured by the other Polks, but Monet manages to free herself. She runs off, leaving Audrey behind, but Audrey is saved by Lee, who kills Mama Polk during the event.  Back at the house, Shelby and Dominic are in a panic, after watching Agnes be killed by the Butcher, and they try escaping through the tunnels under the house, but get chased back through the house by all the entities that have come out during the Blood Moon. The Japanese ghosts, the Pig- headed Man, and the nurses stalk them through the house, and a chandelier falls on Shelby’s leg. 

Later, distraught at the fact that she killed her husband, Shelby, in a fit of grief, slits her throat,  while Dominic watches helplessly. When Audrey and Lee return to the house, Lee is horrified to discover Matt’s body in the basement, and Audrey is equally horrified to find Shelby’s body. Naturally, she makes it all about herself. Neither of them believe Dominic’s story of what happened, thinking that he killed everyone. They exile him to the non-existent mercy of the Ghosts, and the Pig Man kills him while he screams outside the door. I was kind of rooting for Shelby. I thought for sure she’d be a survivor. If not her then Lee. But since Monet is in the wind, it might turn out to be her, instead.

Audrey and Lee decide it’s time to go. They attempt to leave, but encounter a “fake” Pig Man at the front door. One of Sydneys assistants,who has no idea that nearly everyone is dead.  Now, they have to try to convince any of the crew left alive that all of these deaths happened, and that it’s too dangerous to stay. 

We’ve got about two more episodes left, so we know that the ending is going to be a bit drawn out. We won’t find out who lived, or if anyone lived, until the final episode, so I suppose we have more running and screaming to look forward to.

Supergirl:


 I’m still sort of watching this. I like the queer representation going on in the show. At least that’s different, as a lot of very popular shows don’t have any. I do wish there were more WoC on the show, though. (Why won’t Hollywood hire Latinas and Asians? Really it’s becoming extremely obvious that they’re being really weird about it?) The action is pretty good. The actress playing Supergirl starts to grow on you after a bit. I dont think I’m ever gonna really like her but she’s less annoying to me than before. 

The surprising break out character for me was Cat. I really thought I’d hate this character, and yes, she is an asshole, but I like how she stans for Kara, gives her good advice, and tolerates none of her flibberty nonsense, which is exactly the kind of female in Kara’s  life that she needs. Cat’s tough on her because she cares and knows she can do better, not just because she’s a mean ol’ witch, who likes yelling at people. I think her new male boss at the newspapaer is kinda the same way. He is a pusher, who doesn’t coddle her, but will back her up when needed.

 This week Kara got her first real news story published and  I was really happy for her. I caught myself smiling at my TV. I see why people like this show, as it has lots of positive moments,and sometimes some afterschool special life lessons, which are eyeballrolling for me, but good for people in general, I guess. I’m never against positive things just because they’re positive.

The show needs to work on its plotlines though, because every genre show, that has ever existed, has done a fight club episode, but I like how Kara makes a friendly overture to her cultural enemy at the end of the episode. It’s a nice message about being a mature, and tolerant  person.


The Flash:


I’m really starting to like this show, now. I know why I ignored it for so long. I didn’t have time to watch it.  Now, I just record it, and watch it later, because I’m not reviewing it. I see why people like it. The villains are interesting, it’s got good action scenes, and special effects, but most importantly, the relationships between the characters are compelling and most of them are positive. I like that the  characters actually talk to one another to solve their problems, rather than acting cold, snarky,and snappish to indicate their displeasure.Its easy to tell who the villains are, until you find out, through some mature insight and tolerance, that maybe they’re not the villain, which is kinda cool. In other words, people act like grown folks, most of the time.  This is much the same formula as Supergirl. I see what DC is trying to do here, trying o make all their shows seem like they happen in the same universe, by giving them the same flavor and formulas. 

This week Caitlin Snow was going through some angsty shit with her mom because she has developed superpowers. Apparently, this is something that’s going around, like a virus. I kinda got into it a bit because I kept yelling at the two of them for being such asshats to each other, after Caitlin’s father died. They both handled their grief badly, and then blamed each other for it. Barry raced around trying to find a holographic monster, but the emphasis was mostly on his relationship with his irritating co-worker, who doesn’t like him. Barry is one of those people who really needs to be liked, and that’s an interesting character trait for a superhero to have, as he spends a lot of time brokering peace between squabbling individuals.

I love Iris, Joe, and Wally, and I’m glad Iris isn’t just some lone Black woman,  floating in a sea of Whiteness, although I do wish there was more of a community of Black people on the show, sort of like how Agents of Shield centers Robbie Reyes’ life around his community. He hangs with, and knows, people in his neighborhood, you see him and his brother out and about, and people know the two them.  It’s not that I want The Flash to be all Black people, all the time, but one of the problems we run into when White people write PoC, is that the PoC never seem to come from a community of people similar to them. They don’t have extended families, or other Black people that know them. All it takes is a throwaway line here and there, or a few phone calls back home, to indicate they live in a wider world, of aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.

Then I remember that the vast majority of white people don’t ever see us in our communities. Their personal encounters with us usually involve one or two Black people, who are just sort of floating through their life, without family or friends attached, so White people tend to reproduce that exact same narrative when they write PoC, especially Latinos, and Asians. (Y’all know there no such thing as a lone Latinx. You know they got fam.)

I’m still not sure how to feel about it when Joe calls Iris and Barry his kids, and I’m reminded that Iris and Barry grew up in the same house. That feels a little weird to me, although since the two of them are completely unrelated, I can find no objection, other than me feeling odd about it.

Agents of Shield:


I’m totally geeking out over the Ghost Rider storyline. I’ve only just started watching the show this season after a disastrous first. I see why people love Daisy, as I’m starting to really like her. When the show started, the only character I could regularly stand was May. Melinda May has always been my best girl and and I hope Robbie becomes a more permanent member of Shield, even though Melinda would like to kick his ass. I love his relationship with his brother (family is important to me, too) and I was on the edge of my seat when he revealed what he was to  Gabriel, this week. I was completely whiteknuckling that scene. 

I love how television presents more nuanced versions of teenagers, probably because the writers are younger.  Movies usually settle for the cliched, sullen, whining, and utterly selfish, teen. I’ve never met any teenagers like that. All the ones I’ve met, as an adult, have been fascinating, with interesting things to say, once you get them talking. I think that cliche says more about how the writers think about teenagers, than how teenagers actually are, and I love the way Gabriel is written, on the show, as he reminds me of teenagers I’ve actually met. He obviously loves his brother, and is generally positive around Robbie, probably as a way of anchoring him, and alleviating Robbie’s guilt, over what happened to them. See? That’s how you write a teenager. 

I could do without the persecuted mutants,  X-Men/Inhumans style storyline, though. I’m really tired of racial allegories, at this point, so I haven’t been paying a lick of attention to that part of the plot. I’ve been mostly enjoying the special effects, the characters relationships, and just not thinking too deeply about the plot line.

What?! I’m waay too old and tired to get  heavily worked up about the plot of every single show I’m watching. 

Channel Zero:

I stopped watching this. I tried picking it back up, and watching it again, but my mind just wasn’t into it. I don’t think I’m in the right mindset for the kind of ominous, slow burner, type of show like this. I just end up falling asleep on them.

From Dusk Til Dawn:


This show has really gotten back to the basics this season. It’s been a lot of fun, with a plot just heavy enough to be interesting, and compelling, without being too intricate and boring. I love it that the Gecko brothers are fighting side by side this season, so we’re getting a lot of brotherly lovehate, hatelove. And yeah, they literally are fighting side by side, as the action scenes are the best part of this season. I don’t care for the villain too much. But at least she found a goal this week, of putting her real body back together, so that she can open he gates of Hell, or something. At the beginning of the season, she seemed kind of purposeless. Its cliched, but I love this Gecko Brothers save the world stuff.

 The show seems to have found its groove, with just the right mix of zaniness, and seriousness. The addition of Tom Savini, as a demon hunter from Xibalba, seems to have added just the right element of crazy to the storyline. I’ll be sure to give you guys the lowdown on whether or not this season’s finale is any good. It’s coming up soon.

The Strain:


I know there’s a contingent of twenty somethings on Tumblr, that seemingly hate all of Pop Culture, and I don’t wanna be that person. Even if they don’t hate it, they seemingly find little to like about it, and I’m just not like that. I try to be positive on here, and mostly lightweight, and informative. I also  grew up having no choice but to try to mine what goodness I could out of Pop Culture, and to appreciate that it was being made at all.

I suppose its a good thing that we have so much television geekery to choose from, that we can afford to be picky and contentious, to make demands that suit us. Since I was a geekgirl before the internet, and there was precious little to choose from, I’m just not where they are mentally, so it can be hard for me to relate to their many, many, many, concerns. But am I really that different from them?

I think that if this show had been on the air twenty, or thirty years ago, I would think it was the absolute shit. But I guess I can afford to talk smack about this show, because there’s so much else to choose from and the stuff I can choose to watch is so much better than this, that I can get snarky about it. Also I just like making fun of the show. It hones my snark skills.

Now I have heard that season four is this show’s last season, and that the shortening of the season to only ten episodes has  tightened its plot, somewhat. So that’s not an issue. My issue is character motivations that are really just plot points and don’t seem to derive from actual characterization. People simply do what it’s convenient in the plot for them to do, and I do like some character consistency, even when I have to do the headcanons myself. Also the acting on this show is really dodgy. It’s gotten to the point where I just hate Zack whenever I see him. He is, arguably, a worse actor than that little boy from the Phatom Menace, and that’s saying something.

Normally, I’d just ignore shows like this, but I had a lot of  hopes for it, and I’ve been very disappointed. The show just aired the last episode of its third season, and every moment I watched it, I found some new fuckery to be pissed off about, including its final moments. On the other hand, I don’t need to be raising my blood pressure over a TV show. If it is the last season, next year, I’m going to have to give considerable thought to watching, or ignoring it, based on whatever else is airing at that time. We’ll see.

 

Legends of Tomorrow:


I’ve  come across people who inexplcaby hate this show. I don’t find that the show is weighty enough to spend that level of energy on. This is really the lightest of lightweight shows, that’s not trying to be anything more than what it claims to be, which is fun entertainment, with occasional positive messages. The substance of this show is as ephemeral, and calorie-free, as cotton candy, and  I love it just for that reason. It’s got pretty people, kicking ass, and cracking jokes. I can sit and enjoy the characters interacting with each other, the plot’s not deep enough to give me angst, and they just added another of my favorite characters to the crew, Vixen. She is awesome! I love how they show her superpowers, too.

Last week’s episode was some lightweight fluff about some of the crew getting trapped in Feudal Japan. The plot was silly and didn’t make one ounce of sense, but I enjoyed it anyway, because apparently,  I’ll watch damn near anything,  if it’s set in Feudal Japan.

This week was a little heavier with Jackson and Maya visiting the Civil War era. Jackson makes the point to the Professor that there’s no moment in American history where he would’ve fit in, when he suggests that Jackson stay on the ship, to avoid the trauma.  At one point Jackson and Maya have to stand and watch a slave woman be whipped, and are utterly helpless to stop it, or they would jeopardize all of history, and they have to sneak onto a plantation disguised as slaves, and Jackson gets beaten by a bully. I think  the show handled this as sensitively as it possibly could considering it’s on the CW. I suppose the writers could’ve chickened out and avoided this era entirely as they have all of history to choose from , but it’s okay. The show doesn’t usually get this heavy.  

Here’s another show with yet another male/male friendship that I adore. I love how the writers have built on the relationship between Martin and Jackson, the two characters who make up the superhero Firestorm. Martin genuinely cares about Jackson’s feelings, and Jackson seems to be learning some valuable life skills from the old gentleman. These two guys couldn’t be anymore different in lifestyle and outlook, and I like how the writers took an intitially antagonistic relationship, in that first season, (Jackson resented having to share a Firestorm with Martin), and transformed it into an actual, caring, friendship between the two.  I’ve been a Firestorm fan since I was a kid and I’m glad the show has decided to go with the black version of this character, as I remember reading those books. 

There were also Confederate zombies, so…make of that what you will. There are very few eras of history that cannot be made more interesting with the addition of Romero style zombies.

Plus, Vixen was on the show! She’s also going to be on the show this Thursday and…get this! probably the following Thursday, too! Whoop whoop!

The Exorcist:

Yeah, I just stopped watching this. I’m not too good with shows about possession, I guess. The shows either get too heavy, too religious, or I get bored with all the ponderous omens, and actors whispering in dark corners. I stopped watching Outcast on Cinemax for the same reason.  I think its because these types of shows are trying too hard to be scary, or trying too hard to be the second coming of The Omen from 1972. In this case this show is trying really hard to recreate that ominous feeling of the original movie, and as I’ve stated before, I’d rather just watch the original movie.

The Strain Season 2 – First Born

Okay, this is my last review for a couple of episodes because I’m going to be reviewing other stuff. It doesn’t  matter too much as the show, even though its season has been shortened by a couple of episodes, still insists on meandering its way towards the plot. I think I can skip at least a couple of episodes, as nothing important is likely to happen. I don’t dislike this season  exactly, but everything that was most annoying about the last season, is pretty much still happening, only with slightly quicker editing.

I was really hoping, with it’s emphasis on Quinlan and Gus that I wouldn’t need to look at either Zach or Kelly during this episode, but the show decided to torture me anyway by opening with a completely unnecessary scene of Zach and Kelly hanging out.

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In the last episode, I noped out before the scene where The Master infected Zach with a single worm.The writers seemed to consider that some sort of cliffhanger (not realizing we don’t give a shit what happens to Zach) and left that scene until now, where we find that Zach is fine. Well, at least we got the two of them out of the way. We don’t see them for the rest of the episode.

Setrakian finds the Occido Lumen has been stolen. Fet’s conclusion, jumped into with both feet and a yahooo, is that Quinlan did it. Well he’s not wrong. Quinlan and Eph did it, so that Eph could trade Zach for the Lumen. And this is yet another reason why the writers need several good punches to their necks. Eph clearly  and succinctly outlines to Quinlan, why giving the Lumen to the Master, is a bad idea.  He could be dooming the entire human race if he does so, but decides to go along with his plan anyway because he’s a parent, he loves his boy, blah, blah, blah. Honestly, if Eph isn’t the most irritating white male protagonist I’ve ever seen in a show, I don’t know who is. I’m guessing he’s meant to be unlikable.

Quin gets some backstory outlining how he was found by an old witch woman and given civilized behavior, in an effort to fulfill the prophecy that he would one day kill the Master. The Master, discovering his existence, traps Quin and the old woman in a cave. She feeds herself to Quin before he can starve, and become too weak to fight the Master, when he returns.

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Its nice to see Eph and Quinlan bonding like this (NOT!). Quin has no patience for Eph’s general foolery. Yeah, Quin doesn’t like Eph very much either. I quite understand.

Plot is  still dawdling along despite having only 7 episodes left.

We go to Gus’ circumstances as he and Angel try to hide his mother from the local security patrols who are going from building to building looking for vampires, I guess. I’d have more to say about this but I was distracted by all the garbage strewn throughout the halls of Gus’ apartment building. I kept wondering if it looked like that before the apocalypse, and if not, when did the apartment dwellers find time to leave all this loose trash all over the building. Its just a tiny thing, but it strikes me as some white middle-class set designer’s idea of extreme poverty. Lots of trash everywhere.

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Gus is successful at letting his mother get away, but he and Angel get conscripted by the local police to do patrols. Actually, that isn’t a bad idea. The guy who conscripts them says it doesn’t make any sense to have able-bodied men just sitting in jail, when they could be out fighting the plague. Its heartless, but sensible.

Eph makes a deal to exchange the Lumen for Zach at a neutral meeting place. Eph is so dumb that he takes the real book with him trusting that the Master is going to live up to his end of the bargain. Setrakian and Fet track the book to the meeting place.

Glowing red eyeballs on the vampires still make me laugh, tho’!

All these forces converge at the meeting, and the show keeps teasing us with  wonderful ideas, like an infected SEAL Team, that we will never get a show about. Naturally, the Master betrays Eph. That was to be expected. (Just not by Eph.) All the vampires get poisoned when Setrakian, bad-ass that he is, sets off several silver grenades. He even manages to poison the Master enough to slow him down long enough for Quin to chop off his head. So the master appears to be dead, but since its only the third episode and I did read the books, I’m pretty sure he’s not, as most of his worms got away. And we’ve seen him switch bodies before, so…

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So really, it was just an okay episode. Not bad, but nothing really great.I liked all the Quinlan stuff because that’s always cool. Ephraim Goodweather is an annoying idiot that needs a good face-punching. Setrakian continues to be OG, while Fet, Gus, and Angel are his smaller, less intelligent, backup gangstas. Zach needs to be burned in effigy, thereby exorcising him from the show. And no Palmer, Eichorst or Dutch, so that’s in the plus column. I hope this episode isn’t as good as the show gets though.

 

The Strain Season 3: NY Strong

So, I watched the first episode of season three and I can’t say I was impressed. I didnt hate it, but it wasn’t exactly memorable either. The show picks up very close to where it left off in the season two finale, when Eph’s vampirized wife, Kelly, finally kidnapped her son, Zach, and killed Nora. Setrakian finally managed to gain The Occido Lumen, and we had no idea where Gus went.

Eph is, predictably, getting drunk and waiting at his home for Kelly and Zach to drop by. We know this because he has a nightmare that Zach has been turned into a vampire and he has to shoot him. Its a very harrowing dream and this is one of the few times I actually felt for Eph. I want to snark about how it’ll be the last time I have feelings for Eph, beyond wanting to punch him in the throat, but I’m gonna let it go because he’s discovered snark and  actually made me laugh during the following scene.

Setrakian has a voice-over about the sitrep in NY. Its been 23 days, the plague has spread to other cities, and we get some shots of people running about, some fires, and military vehicles, and personnel. Its good that the military has gotten involved but they have their own agenda which doesn’t seem to involve wiping out the vampires, but only containing them.

The Navy Seals are working with Fet, who is their guide around the underground places of NY. I think that’s an excellent use for him, and he is still one of my favorite characters, but he doesn’t work-work with them. He’s  in contact with the Seals by radio, so you know they’re expendable. Like a lot of military personnel in movies they are overconfident. They do make a point of stating that they should be careful not to get any fluids on them, as the fluids from the vampires contain the worm infection, but none of them are wearing contamination gear, even though there’s fluid flying all over the place, when they shoot the vampires.

So, its especially eye-rolling watching Eph get into a fistfight with one of the vampires later in the episode. If you’re trying not to get infected with the worms, fist-fighting the vampires is not the way to stay uninfected. (Yet, Eph does remain so.) Eph fighting in an abandoned parking garage, while trying to steal gas, is one of the better action scenes in this episode, though. He spends a lot of time running around alone as if he were daring the vampires to attack him. Anyway between running about gathering up supplies, and drinking, he works on his bio-weapon against the vampires, a bio-weapon which is beginning to be less effective as the vampires evolve into something else.

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I would prefer that he worked out some kind of inoculation against the infection, instead. That seems like it would be easier to accomplish than killing the vampires one by one, or making them sick. Perhaps a combination of both, so that when they bite people, the people don’t become infected, and make the vampire sick too, but I’m not writing this show, so that idea is gonna die in its infancy.

The show is still taking a pretty casual attitude towards the apocalypse, even though the season has been shortened to just ten episodes. On the other hand, this particular episode was fairly tight, there wasn’t a lot of filler, and we didn’t have to spend any time on Dutch’s boring-ass social problems. We’re introduced to the characters again, find out where they are and get some idea of the problems that will beset them at some point during the season. The trailers for the rest of the season look great, but I have it on good authority that the next two episodes are just as casual in their approach as usual.

We got to see Kelly and Zach interacting. Yes, Zach is still awful, so there’s some consistency there. Now that’s he’s with his Mom, he’s begun whining about his Dad, but at least there’s less of him. Eventually, Eph does get a visit from Kelly, who tries to bargain with him for The Occido Lumen in exchange for their son. There’s a brief appearance by Eichorst baiting a Navy Seals team into following him into an abandoned church, which I could see was a trap as soon as Fet mentioned that it was an abandoned church.

Setrakian and Quinlan teamed up at the end of season two and we get some scenes of Setrakian reading The Lumen and talking about how we aren’t going to get any action scenes out of him this season because he’s got reading to do, while Quinlan looks on impatiently. Quinlan goes to visit the vampire authorities in order to have something to do in this episode. I still think its hilarious how everyone else is deathly afraid of the authorities, but Quin acts like he’s having a friendly conversation with his uncles, or something. He’s totally not scared of them.

The councilwoman, Ferraldo is as spunky as ever. She seems to care deeply about her city and is trying really hard to convince people outside of it, that it needs to be saved. If only politicians acted like her in the real world.  I could’ve done without some of the jingoistic dialogue and cheer-leading by the citizens of NY yelling “NY Strong!” at each other. That was deeply cheesy and they sounded like NY cavemen.

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A lot of information is imparted during the episode, while almost none of it is shown. Its mostly characters talking about how bad things are. This plague is supposed to be a countrywide thing but the show only seems to have enough budget to show snippets of the carnage, and I wish we could get a better overview of what was going on in other cities. We see some fires in the distance and there are lots of sirens. So basically, a louder, smokier version of present day NY city.

One way the show conveyed how dire things have become is when Eph goes to trade medicine for food on the streets. The quarantine of NY mostly just caused a supply shortage, so the citizens have set up a brisk trade market of supplies.

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Gus is back home and trying desperately to save his  mother from her vampiric condition. Even going so far as to give her his own blood. He can’t save her and he knows it, but he tries anyway. He’s as devastated by his loss as Eph and I wished the writers had shown more of that last season. As it stands, Eph barely mentions the death of Nora.

Well, with a shorter season, the plot will have to move forward, and we won’t have much time to watch Gus trying to feed his mom for five episodes, or Setrakian reading until episode nine.

So, while not a bad episode, the show really has not changed too much from the rather casual management of the apocalypse of last season either. The action scenes are always well done, when we can get them, but once again, the acting and dialogue need some help. At least there’s a lot less Zach, and that is a blessing.

Our Semi- Regular State of the Onion Address – TV

Its time for my however many  annual list of “shows that I’ll start out enthusiastically watching, but then falling asleep on in a month, becuz I’m old and can’t stay awake”.

*Luke Cage:

This will be released on Netflix on Sept. 30th.: This shit is lit! I am here for this binging the whole weekend. It better be good! I’ve been a fan of Power Man since I was a kid, so, bear with me, as this is making me just a little bit giddy.

I probably won’t fall asleep on this one unless Jessica Jones shows up.

 

 

Iron Fist: will be released on Netflix sometime in 2017.

*I’m a lot less enthused about this teaser trailer for Iron Fist. Power Man and Iron Fist was one of my favorite superhero comics back in the day, so my problem isn’t that Danny Rand is White (although I find that disappointing) but that the actor playing him is so unremarkable. Let’s just say, he’s not as impressive, (or handsome), as Danny Rand should be.I’m going to give it a try but I’m not getting enthused about it until I see more footage. Its a good sign that Claire Temple will be in the show too, hopefully with more interesting things to do, and better treatment, than in Daredevil.

 

Teen Wolf  Season Six: November

*I understand some of the fans are very, very upset about the prominence of Stiles, in a show that’s supposed to be about the Teen Wolf of the title, (Scott), and the return of a previous villain who killed Scott in an earlier season, (Theo), but I don’t care. I’m watching this anyway, (despite the less than stellar season five), because this is the last season of this show, and it features The Wild Hunt, and I’m interested in seeing how this show will mutilate that particular folklore.

One of the cons of watching this Teen Wolf is that  its a classic “bait and switch” show, where they keep swapping out the characters of color every season, in order to add more white characters. The formula seems to be to kill off a PoC, then add two white people. (The Walking Dead has this formula down.) Now normally, I would object, but I actually like Liam and Lydia. I also do not object to having Peter as a villain again, although I find Theo deeply boring.

Some fans are deeply upset about the departure of Arden Cho, but I never much cared for Arden Cho’s Kira, mostly because her storyline became more and more nonsensical in season five, and I got bored with it. I also was not a huge fan of her cheesy, overdone, fighting style, although I realize this is a show actually aimed at teens, so yeah.

On the other hand, I’m glad that Derek has left the show for greener pastures. He’s a grown ass man. He needs to stop hanging around these messed up kids and get a life. And with his departure, the Sterek fans can come down from their hysteria, and just chill the fuck out.

 

 

The Strain Season Three : August 30th

*Ooh, look! Its the show I love to hate. Yeah, I’m going to watch this, and in all fairness, I am going to go into the third  season of this show hoping its gotten rid of its dead weight and improved from the horrible plot developments of the last , although if the trailer is any indication, they haven’t. Nevertheless,  I’m going to jump into this third season hoping that it won’t be worse than the last one.

What I’m hoping for are bigger, better, and more, action scenes, better special effects, a plot that is more coherent, has clear goals, and gets to those goals a hell of a lot faster than in season two; less annoying, conistently written characters, who have clear goals, and a much faster pace overall, with less distracting, sideplot  bullshit.

If not, there’s always the Hate-Watch!

 

Pitch: Sept. 22nd –  Fox

*I’m totally not a fan of sports shows, and I hate Network television (and Fox in particular), but this looks really good. I’m definitely going to be watching the first episode. If it gets too soapy, I can always stop and pretend I didn’t see it, kinda like how I’m doing with the show Dark Matter, right now, (pretending like I ain’t watching it).

 

Supernatural: Oct. 13th – Mini-rant

Ultimately it doesn’t matter one bit  what this season is about. I came into this show the first episode, and I’ve been faithful ever since. This show has never completely disappointed me to the point of refusing to watch it. But then I’m a grown ass woman who doesn’t freak out when shows don’t do what I want. (When I don’t like a show, I stop watching them, or mock them.)

This show introduced me to the concept of fandom, I met some great people through this fandom, and that  inspired me to start this blog, so I’m in this til the end of the series, which is why I stay way the Hell away from any of the fandom that’s too busy shitting on it, to enjoy the fact that its still on the air.

Not to get off on a rant here but this show has been on TV for six or seven years past its initial deadline, and some people are simply loathe to appreciate that shit, considering the length of airtime most shows get. I still care about these characters, and I absolutely refuse to get bogged down in which actor gets more facetime, who is shipping who, or whether or not the show is scary. Shows that last any length of time will evolve and grow, sometime in ways fans don’t foresee or agree with. That doesn’t make it a bad show, it just means either you, or the show, have outgrown one another and you need to move on, instead of going into everyone’s message boxes or personal blogs and talking about how much it sucks. Who does that serve, exactly?

Brooklyn 99: Sept. 20th

Ahhhhhhhh!

American Gods: Jan. 2017 on Starz

I haven’t read this book yet, but I’m familiar witrh some of the characters from other books that Gaiman has written in this same universe. I do plan to read the book before the series airs. This is being produced by Bryan Fuller, who last show, Hannibal, was the shit. So I’m looking forward to this.

The Walking Dead: Oct. 23rd on AMC

That I will be back for this new season is without question.

 

Ash Vs. The Evil Dead Season Two :October on Starz

They had me with Motorhead’s Ace of Spades in the trailer! There’s another black woman in this one, hopefully they won’ t piss me off by killing  her off this season, the way they  pissed me off last season. It looks a zany as ever though.

 

American Horror Story: Sept. 14th

I got nothing on this show, yet. I may even be wrong about the date because that doesn’t sound quite right.

The Flash: Oct. 4th

I’m going to try to get into this show some more. I like Kid Flash and some of the villains featured last season. My problem is that I think most of the acting is pretty bad, and  the show seems aimed at a much younger audience than me.

Legends of Tomorrow: Oct. 13th

I’m still following this show. I just like some of the heroes that are featured and there’s been some interesting character growth for some of them since the beginning of the first season.

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency: Oct. 22nd – Douglas Adams 

I hope this is good.

 

Meh: 

These are shows I’m feeling rather lukewarm about. I don’t hate them, and I will probably watch the first episode, but I also anticipate not liking them enough to keep watching them, so they better wow me.

The Exorcist: Sept 23rd

*I love the original movie,but as a general rule, I do not watch devil possession films or shows, considering them to be little more than knockoffs of the original movie. Why watch knockoffs, when I can watch the original film, which still manages to be scary. Nevertheless, I will give it a try and tell you what-what. I know some of you are great fans of devil possession themes, so I’ll try to be as gentle as I can.

This show better be impressive because the trailer isn’t wowing me at all, although its really nice to see Geena Davis again, and the priest is really cute. Whether or not I like it will depend on what its trying to accomplish. Is it a philosophical discussion , or is it trying to scare me?

 

Lucifer – Sept 19th

Actively hated the first season, so I’m not feeling especially enthusiastic about the second, but I may watch it.

Agents of Shield – Sept 20th

I fear this show has gotten too convoluted to understand. I’m still not a fan of the actress who plays Skye, but I like The Inhumans storyline – is that over with now? I’d been following this show through social media, and the trailers looked exciting,  but everytime I looked at an episode, people I didn’t know were just standing around, talking in a non-urgent manner. So maybe it’s just me, then.

Gotham Sept. –  19th

This show is almost but not quite a hell no. I feel  some way about it but I don’t know what that feeling is. I’ll find out in the Fall, I guess.

Supergirl:

I really want to like this show. <Sigh!>

 

Does Hell Go with No!:

MacGyver: 

Nope with a side of fuck that shit! Scuze my French, but good gob!, does this look frickin’ awful.I hop

Lethal Weapon:

This is one of those nopes, where you make that “taking a shit” face, while you say it, because…

I liked the movie tho’.

Frequency:

<Gasp!> No!

Arrow:

Naw! I’m good.

The Strain: Night Train

I sort of stopped watching this show for a while. I wanted to give my outraged sensibilities a chance to calm down, having been presented with a subpar show that I really wanted to like. I mean it’s a f***ing VAMPOCALYPSE! And this show has done everything in its power not to give us an ounce of excitement. It’s a show that desperately tries to be The Walking Dead with vampires but is too cheap to show us vampires, action, or even be consistently written.

It presents some great ideas and then doesn’t follow through on most of them. The main characters are either deeply uninteresting or deeply stupid, sometimes  (incredibly) both. Even the villains are kinda dumb. I’m not religious but watching Carl, er Chad, or whatever the Hell his name is, trying to emote will make a person pray for death. Of that child!

Okay, well tonight’s the last episode of the season, and we’ll see if anything has been accomplished. All season long, Setrakian has been chasing the McGuff..I mean, the Occido Lumen. Gus has been sort of just wandering around. Fet’s been blowing up stuff. Eph has been trying to solve the problem between hangovers. Nora has only  looked worried. Dutch has has been…I don’t know what the Hell she’s been doing. She’s a totally unnecessary character. The only character that committed to some kind of action all season was The Master,who switched bodies. If we’re very lucky, something might happen in the finale.

Maybe.

Okay, things happened in the finale, that have been trying to happen all season.

Setrakian got his book, in the least exciting sales auction I have ever witnessed, with only Eichorst and Setrakian present, and the auction conducted through a banking version of the game 21, where whoever has the most money wins. Setrakian who was backed up by the Ancients didn’t and Eichorst won, only to have his money get pulled because Palmer got pissy because he wasn’t invited, even though its his money.

So, 12 episodes to retrieve a book, that could have been done in three, on a better show

KellyvampMom finally gets a hold of her spawn and takes him out of the picture. Yippee! I’ve been encouraging this all season because Zack is quite possibly the dumbest child that has ever been written for TV. But before that ,we spent some of the most gawdawful moments watching Nora and Eph blubber about how much they care for each other, after having not paid any attention to each other all season. Plus they have all the heat of a pair of titmice. So, no.

Then we spent I don’t know how long waiting for Nora and Eph’s train to leave the station so Zack could be taken to Georgia, only to have the train derail because vampires are on the tracks. So naturally, the thing to do is for everyone to get off the train and be attacked by Feelers and run through the dark tunnels. Well, Nora and Zack run off and Nora does a pretty good job of protecting Zack’s life, but  Zack is one of the most hard headed and obtuse children on TV, and once again, as in a previous episode where his Mom showed up, he just stands there looking at her.

Nora gets bitten and by  the time Eph gets to her, she’s already infected and she kills herself, rather than become a vampire.She managed to go out in style, which is I suppose, the best we can hope for, for the Latina to die, while protecting some guy’s snotty larva. It’s okay everybody!. Not to fret! Gus has joined Setrakian’s team, so our PoC Highlander rule is still in play.

Having lost the book to Setrakian, Eichorst tries to ambush him on the way home, and Gus and his fugitives from prison show up just in time to have a stand off with the vampires that are attacking Fet and Set. Quinn and Eichorst face off and its very exciting, but the writers don’t want us getting too worked up, so their fight only lasts a few seconds. The show doesn’t want us to break out the smelling salts, with too much excitement. But at least we got a one second shot of a Mexican wrestler twisting a vampires neck, before having to go take a nap.

Eichorst, pissed that Palmer was acting like a beeyotch,  costing him the Lumen, confronts Palmer, who makes demands of both him and The Master, who actually deigned to show up and give him some attention. Coco, who has suddenly been rewritten to behave like the femme fatale of the local mob boss, backs Palmer’s play, and in the highlight of the entire evening,The Master himself who bites her as punishment for Palmer being so cocky. This results in some delicious Palmer tears.

I’m not even surprised. I saw Coco’s fridging weeks ago.

I stood and I applauded!

Then I had to go take my blood pressure medication after getting all het up like that.

Set and Fet escape their ambush by, what else, blowing shit up and escaping through the sewers, but they are accosted by Gus, whose been hired to procure the Lumen for the Ancients. Instead, Gus and Quin team up with Set’s crew to take out the Master first.Its about the only thing that’s made sense and it took all season long to do this, with most of that time watching people sort of wander around getting into romances and shit.

Seriously writers! It should not take 13 episodes to get two or three things done. Are the writers just drinking their way through the script? And where the Hell did Coco’s new personality come from? And why was it so annoying? So that we could cheer for her death?

All I can say now is thank Jeebus the season is over, and thank her once again, that the show doesn’t last for 26 episodes.

The Strain : The Born

In vampire mythology, a dhampir  is the half living offspring of a human female and a male vampire. Usually a tragic figure, that attempts to reconcile its human side and vampire nature by becoming a vampire slayer. This is Quinlan’s story. A very popular character from the books, and The Ancients chief enforcer, he has agreed to help the Ancients bring down Sardu.

In the last episode, it was interesting to watch Quinlan speaking so  freely to the Ancients and one gets the idea that they’ve either known him since he was extremely young, or  that he’s just  very used to them and that they’ve been  like overindulgent uncles towards him. I don’t know if that’s true but that’s the dynamic I saw.

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The Born is a reference to Quinlan and this verse’s term for vampires who are born, not made.So that means the emphasis in tonight’s episode should be on Quinn, right?

Setrakian is narrating Quin’s backstory to  Zach. Where this could possibly be written, I don’t know, but Quin used to be a Roman Gladiator, that everyone knew was some kind of demon, that drank human blood. Apparently  humans throughout history knew about vampires and that the sun burned them, but since Quin doesn’t burn and wins all his fights for them, the Romans  don’t know what to make of him.

I do, though. I love this guy. He’s basically like a White version of Blade, only more talkative and articulate, as if he’d been to college. (Blade is not known for his erudite speeches. He’s more the strong, silent type.)) Quin has got all of Blade’s attitude, though and the show could use some more Fet-titude.

It’s important to note, that part of the reason for The Master’s success, in the modern age, is modern people don’t believe in the existence of vampires. In the past, their numbers were kept under strict control, because not only did people believe in them, how to kill them was common knowledge.

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Fettutch are waking up together and being lovey-dovey, and planning their future together. Its not that I don’t buy their relationship. Its really cute and I actually like the two of them. Its mostly that I don’t care.

Next, we’re with Palmer and Coco, as he complains to his aid about losing Eph, but acquiring his formula. Pacoco is, quite possibly, the least interesting couple, ever. I wish I could say there was more to Coco than we see, but no, there doesn’t seem to be. I wish she was secretly a bad guy, or had an agenda or something, but so far, all we’re getting is a straight up romance and I couldn’t give two fucks whether or not Palmer gets his ashes hauled. I have absolutely no fucks to give, even if Palmer does.

Well, at least they’re not showing us Palmer’s flabby ass, hovering over Coco, in slow motion. The show hasn’t sunk that low yet.

Fet and Dutch go to pick up some things at Dutch’s old apartment and encounter Nikki, the woman whose flyer Dutch had been seeing all over the neighborhood, the woman she used to date and whose mother disowned her because she was gay. Fet is more than a little put out by this because apparently Dutch did not tell him she swung both ways.He’d met Nikki before but had no idea they were in a relationship, I think. Or if he did know, then he’s upset that she’s still alive.

Fet is being kind of a jerk. Who says a woman can only date one person at a time? Well, everybody, I guess, but they are all wrong.

Eph is in a bar, getting drunk because that’s his superpower. That’s the skill set that he brings to the Vampocalypse table.

Dutch and Nikki exchange stories and yep! I’m officially tired of talking about all these other side characters, when the show is, so obviously, about Quin. So let’s talk about him some more.

Fortunately,  the other characters remember that Fitzwilliam died last episode, because Set intends to visit the factory he told them about before he decapitated him. Fet, who is standing around giving everybody ‘tude because Nikki is back, elects to accompany Set on his errand,where he lets Fet know he doesn’t give two shits about Fet’s love life, as they all have more pressing concerns, echoing my sentiments, as well. Setrakian, is pretty much my favorite character in the entire series, even above Quin, for his superhuman ability to let people know, that he, simply, does not give a shit, about their personal problems.

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At the factory, they find the bus which transported the blind children, the vampire nursery which turned them into  Feelers and the Feelers, too.The Feelers are about to attack when Quin shows up and starts kicking ass,without any names, while Setrakian and Fet just stand there. Watching Quin go to work is like fine dining. You just want to savor that shit, because its such a joy and it’s also the only action we’re going to get in this episode. Afterwards, he tells Setrakian he’s impressed because he’s the only human to ever get the Master to involuntarily switch bodies.

Set and Quin talk and there’s a flashback to Quin, hunting the Master, in Albania.

Quin, having been told that the Master is on the premises, is there to take him down and the two of them, along with Eichorst, exchange taunts for a few minutes before getting down to the dirty, but Fet messes that up when he blows up the building and the Master (now Bolivar) escapes.

Quin is disappoint. So am I.

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I really wanted to see that fight to make up for being subjected to watching Zach and Eph, try to have chemistry.

Oh and Fet is an idiot because maybe Dutch might want to be with both of them. He should try to wrap his head around that and get along with Nikki for her sake.

The Strain: Identity

It’s official. The Strain  is now the Best/Worst apocalypse show on television. I thought Z nation took that vote but that’s a show that’s being bad on purpose. The Strain doesn’t seem to know any better or the writers are just punking us. I really wish the writers would just commit to being a bad show, though. I would like the show a lot more, then.

Hopefully tonight, the writers will stay on point and move the plot forward. I really don’t want to be subjected to anymore of Palmer/Coco (Pacoco; Palmoco; Idk!) What I’d like to see is some Mexican wrestling and vampires, Bolivar, and more ninja-vamps.

Also, since Kellyvampmom is making a cameo this week , if we’re really, really lucky, we’ll get to see Zack eaten by some vampires and finally become useful to the plot ,as he gets fridged to serve Ephraim’s emotional storyline. If the writers really loved us, they would  fridge Coco, too. (Gob, what a stupid name! Coco Marchand sounds like the name of a poodle, which is understandable, because she has all of a poodle’s brain power.)

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An old homeless man witnesses the arrival of Quinlan: The Vampire Slayer, to New York City, smuggled in via shrimp truck. Its broad daylight, but not sunny, so I guess vampires can go out when the sky is just overcast, although everyone in the show keeps saying the vampires only come out at night. I do think its a strong possibility that the reason why the vampires only come out at night is because they sleep all day, from having been up all night eating people, either that or Quinlan just has skills.

Also, Quinlan is a bad ass ninja-vamp, who can do whatever the Hell he pleases.

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Eph visits his friend Rob in DC. Rob has connections to the military and other medical people who can get Eph’s bioweapon some major play.Rob is a drunkard, too, as the first we see of him, he’s throwing up outside, in front of his car. He then proceeds  to walk up to Eph and give him a hug, directly afterward, which really squicks me out. I guess Eph must be used to this kind of behavior as he’s a hardcore drinker too.

We learn from Rob that there’s very little news coming out of NYC and Congress is trying to impeach the President because NY is under quarantine. I don’t know what kind of world  these people live in but how the Hell does that work? You can’t impeach the president because there’s an epidemic in one city! Hell AIDS was all over the country, thousands of people died, and no one started impeachment procedures against Bush or Reagan, back in the day, even though they didn’t do shit. So really what I gathered from Rob’s news is that thisi s a seriously fucked up ‘verse.

I guess if the internet is broken, this must mean the phones don’t work either? Wha?!!! The writers of this show are exceptionally vague as to exactly who knows, what, where and when. I guess this is supposed to give us the idea that this world has been thrown into a state of confusion, but really only succeeds in confusing the viewer. How far does Palmer’s corruption reach? Just how much information is out there? Are there vampires in other places? After all, infected people did travel before the city was quarantined.

We meet Rob’s blond lady friend, from the medical establishment whose name I never bothered to learn because hey!, Eph is going to be leaving DC by the end of the episode, so she means nothing.

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Fitzwilliam meets Fet, Dutch and Nora, for the first time and Fet throws some shade, until Fitz sets him straight .Zach does the same thing but he’s a baby,so Fitz, correctly, ignores the rude little snot, who is apparently a free-range rude, and can be a snot no matter where he is or who is present.I know the show keeps trying to create these tender moments between Zack and Nora but nobody cares because Zack is so unlikable and Nora deserves a better class of kid. Everybody likes Nora. She can get anybody to smile. She’s like butter.

Gus has been harassing Angel, in the diner,  and flirting with the serving girl, whose name I don’t care about because ,at some point, I’m sure she will be killed to further Gus’ story, and according to the Highlander Rule, there’s already one too many Hispanic women, in this show. Angel and Gus get their chance to work together when Gus offers to escort the diner waitress on a food delivery, and Angel objects and acts as their chaperon. He has nothing but contempt for Gus, who he thinks is bad news. Gus eventually confesses his shady past to the cute little diner girl, just before they are attacked by vampires. Angel is really crappy towards Gus because of his own shame, I think. He probably had the opportunity to save a life somewhere, couldn’t do it because of his bad leg, and refuses to ever mention he was The Silver Angel, since that event.

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Now, I’ve never been to NYC, but I’m pretty sure that deliveries of diner food generally do not cost about 150 dollars, for just the one woman we saw ordering. But then again, it is NY and I wouldn’t be surprised, if it did.

Eph thinks he’s having some success in having his voice heard in DC, but you and I both know nothing will ever come of it, because if he does, the show would quickly be over.He also gets his ashes hauled by the blond chick, which erases that pinched look on his face since season one. At least we weren’t forced to watch it in slow-motion.

Fitzwilliam outlines a tiny part of Palmer’s plans to Setrakian and the group, while Nora and Zach visit Ferraldo, at her headquarters. Zach is still a snot but we see him smile for the first time. At least we know he can do it.On their way home, they get attacked by The Feelers and Kellyvamp. We get to see the Feelers in action and yeah, they’re pretty hardcore. I’m impressed. I would love to see Quinlan and the Feelers throw-down. They corner Nora and Zach in a church and Nora calls Setrakian for help. Naturally, I was rooting for Kellyvamp. During the rescue, Fitzwilliam gets infected and Setrakian has to put him down.(Highalnder Rule #2)image

Quinlan meets withTthe Ancients and assures them he will hunt down and kill Sardu, for his own reasons.

Palmer confronts Eichorst about meeting with the Master, but The Master has much bigger plans than meeting with Palmer, who still thinks he’s going to be The Master’s partner. Eichorst asks him if he has any other booby traps in his office, right before Palmer has the gall to threaten The Master. Eichorst tells him that was a bad idea, so he’ll pretend he didn’t hear that. Palmer is definitely pushing his luck, methinks.

After Eph gets confirmation that the government will go ahead with his idea, an assassin is sent after him. Rob and Eph’s side piece both get killed. Eph finds the assassin was sent by Palmer or someone on his payroll.

Bolivar and Eichorst witness The Master’s transfer to a new body. Boy! is Eichorst surprised when he is completely overlooked in favor of Bolivar (which is what I had hoped for because I actually respect Bolivar) So now Bolivar is the new Master. Apparently personality can be transferred through worm vomit, which is a very disgusting idea, but is I guess, a good bookend to how the episode. began.

The Strain : Quick and Painless

Okay, this episode was slightly more on point this week. There was no Gus and no Ancients, but it neatly picks up where last episode left off, and there was some character movement with Ephraim, Fet and a couple others. Also, a new character was introduced that I was greatly looking forward to.

Under Councilwoman Faraldo, the police go from door to door looking for vampires and the sick. They do not, unfortunately, know about the Feelers, and we finally get to see those, in real action, when they attack some cops. They’re fast and lethal and they ramp the Vampocalypse up a notch. These ones in the apartment building must be on holiday from Kellyvamp. I know I don’t trust her around them, anymore, as I keep thinking she’s going to twist another one of their heads off.

Eph visits a niteclub, which I guess are still open for business, to get fake IDs, so he can go to DC. The forger recognizes him and urges him to change his physical appearance, too.

Setrakian visits a fence, I guess, (I’m not up on my underworld terminology here, despite whatever stereotypes exist about PoC), to procure the Occido Lumen for him. The roughs  try to rough him up but his cane sword changes their mind about that. Have I mentioned  how totally badass Setrakian is? And that it is not a good idea to underestimate him?

Eph makes plans with Nora to go to DC , with Zack. Zack is still a first-class, self involved, navel gazing, self pitying snot, so at least there’s some  consistency.  Nora throws cold water on Eph again, but actually does it in style, this time, as she makes a great argument for Zack staying behind with her. Eph needs to be fast and loose, like a  cheetah, and she and Zack will only slow him down.

Dutch stomps into this touching moment, to inform them all, that Fet has been arrested. Nora thinks she should go along, to keep Dutch out of jail, and puts her foot down about Zack. Good for her. I like it when she shows some backbone even though, sometimes, the writers forget she has one.

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Eph decides to baldify himself and Corey Stoll looks so much better without that roofrack perching on his head. Oddly, he looks a much more interesting character. I guess the actor must have been getting tired of wearing that raccoon, too. I like it. Zack is impressed and grudgingly hugs his father goodbye. Zack is a big poopyhead.

I guess Zack has to take the place of the “Killjoy Wife” trope that’s always present in these types of things. Her job is to nag the hero for never being home, leaving her alone, losing their kid, working too much, etc. as it provides some easy drama, for a plot often centered around something else entirely. This is Zack’s  job.

Hero trying to save the world,  (and it’s always a man), chastise him for never being at home!

Faraldo is trying to reassure the public that they are winning  back their neighborhoods. Nora and Dutch show up and tell them how to do this correctly. The officials know about vampires but apparently had disregarded (or never knew about) using UV lamps to detect if someone is infected. Fet tells the cops about his silver grenades and Dutch’s silver sword. Once again Fet gets the best lines in the show. The writers must really like him because they give all the shit lines to Nora. The  cops, in turn, inform Fet about “the spider kids”. The Feelers. They’re down two men and DuFet volunteers to help.

Eph manages to get on the train, while posing as a member of the CDC.

Dutch/Fet and the police go back to the apartment complex to finish off the vampires there. It’s  one of  the more  exciting parts of the show, especially when Fet drops a silver grenade into a pack of vamps, in an elevator shaft, and Dutch kicks some vampire ass with that very nice saber she’s been wearing, and yeah, I want it. I’d just wave it at  any people (patrons, co-workers), who walk up to my desk, to ask me questions, at work. If they are persistent, their questions shall be answered!

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Eph spends most of his time running back and forth, on the train,  trying not to be recognized by some guy he knows.

Nora shows Faraldo  how to determine if  someone is infected, using the UV lamp. The  councilwoman’s nephew shows as being infected and Nora has to explain, that by the time you can see the worms, the body is probably riddled with them, in places the UV lamp can’t expose. This is one of the most horrifying thing the show has ever presented because of what it implies. The medical officials know nothing. They’ve been kept in the dark about everything. And the sad thing is that they would have had the answers if Eph hadn’t been railroaded. But I guess that was the point of it all.

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Faraldo makes the decision to kill her nephew, rather than let him turn, but is unable to do the deed herself. Nora does it for her. They both really sell it and it’s touching and emphasizes the real toll of  The Master’s “Try to Take Over The World”, endgame.

Fitzwilliam decides to join Setrakian’s team. Hopefully, he’s not a plant of some kind because, otherwise, I wonder who got fridged to change his mind?

Eph confronts one of the government officials who sold him out first season, but I don’t trust that man, and apparently, neither does Eph, who beats the shit out of him, and then throws him off the train. Yay!  This will probably bite Eph in the ass later, though.

The officious prick, who tried to snitch on him, tries to make the argument that Eph is on the wrong side, failing to realize that there is no right side. If the Master has his way, nobody gets out of any of this alive. (Everyone will be vampires and under his thumb, except for the independent vampires who will, in all likelihood go to war against the Master. I’d love to see that movie, btw.)

Palmer and his secretary Coco, go to dinner. I’m noping the fuck out of this whole scene! It’s too disgusting to watch. I hate this character, , I hate Coco the Dummy, (who is  attracted to Palmer’s power), and there’s shit  on fire, in plain view of his condominium windows, while the two of them dance. Ugh! Talk about fiddling while Rome burns. I can’t help but think that’s the reason the writers put that scene in here.

Eph’s murder of the official does come back to haunt him. As he tries to make his escape, he sees people are looking for his victim. There was blood. Now, there will be repercussions.

A new character is introduced from the books. Quinlan. He’s like Vaun but younger (he’s not as deformed) and, I hope, just as bad ass. In the book he had very specific ties to the Master. The only other black woman I’ve seen, since season one, is his driver.

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This show has developed a troubling trend of showing black people  as only servants or criminals.  Fitzwilliam was Palmer’s manservant, there was a black maid earlier, and Regina King (of all people!) played an assistant to Bolivar, in season one. And then there are the criminals that Setrakian had dealings with tonight. The show needs to cut that shit out.

Yeah okay, I think the Mayor is black. But he’s in collusion with Palmer,  so that does not speak well of him. Oh, well! I guess I should be grateful that a Hispanic woman is one of the heroes.

As far as this being a casual apocalypse…it still is, but I’m actually not very bothered by that. In any calamity the people who have the most money, are going to be the people least affected by what’s going on, so when we see Palmer going to work and dinner, that makes sense to me. I suspect that the vast majority of the infected come from the poor and working class, so that all or most, of the people shown on the show would notice, is that a lot of their workers didn’t come into work that day.

If some kind of apocalypse started in some poor or working class neighborhood, somewhere in America, most of the surrounding areas wouldn’t know about it, unless and until, it directly hit them. Imagine if the media tried to tell you vampires were running around. Would you believe it? Some people would. I suspect, most people wouldn’t, though and just do what they usually do. Go to work, hang out with friends at the club, etc.

Theres no real communication going on since Dutch broke the Interwebs (WTF!), so information is sporadic, since the corrupt officials are controlling what the media gets told. For all anybody knows, there’s people attacking and rioting in the streets because there’s  an infection going around, rather those people being the source of the infection.

Some people know the truth. Some people suspect it, but don’t care , as it hasn’t impacted them yet, and some hear it of it, but are willfully denying it.

For example, for decades, black people have been trying to tell whoever would listen about police brutality and have pretty much gotten the above reactions from the rest of America. So it’s not outside the realm of possibility for an entire contingent of the country to be experiencing one version of the world, while dismissing experiences that are not theirs.

The Vampire Apocalypse!

Motto: Not that different from everyday life.

The Strain: The Silver Angel.

Okay, I might have to stop watching this series, if it doesn’t improve. The past week I haven’t been able to remember the name of a single casual acquaintance and I blame this show for destroying those memories. If this keeps up, by the end of the season, I will have the brain of a bowl of chocolate pudding. Likable but nutritionally useless.

We’re  only four episodes into the new season,  but I have noticed a distinct downturn in the quality of the series, since the first one. I don’t like to hate-watch a show, but I may have to, as a warning to others. (Once I’m a human pudding you guys can donate to my medical care.)

Well anyway I hope to get some answers to some of the questions presented last week, if the writers remember what they wrote.

An old overweight wrestler, Angel, is watching one of his old movies during his work break, at a family owned diner.I wonder if this is a new player in the fight against the vampires? If so, then this show has already jumped the shark by adding Mexican wrestlers, and hasn’t even hit fifty episodes yet.

Fet, Eph and Nora are  delivering their infected  vamp to the streets. But instead of running off to the subway, the vamp decides to do a little sightseeing. Actually, its just going off to a place it used to know. While tracking the vampire they are all attacked by some  free-range vamps, who do not know its almost morning.  Why are the vampires in the asylum asleep already, while others are still running around? Are the loose vamps cleaning up for the night? Running late? And why do the trio have to follow the vampire around on foot? Why didn’t they  tag it with a radio collar or something so they can track where it goes? That way they don’t have to run around trying to find it later.

There are more background sirens as Gus strolls through the neighborhood. Apparently, he just left the Spec Ops vamps to die and is just wandering around. What’s he going to do now? Eat, I guess. He stops in at Angel’s diner.

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Setrakian is studying, when Dutch comes to see him, about Palmer. She suggests they go see Fitzwilliam,  Palmer’s former assistant, now on Staten Island, with his brother.

Setrakian goes into flashback mode to the first time he met Palmer and Fitzwilliam. Palmer meets Eichorst for the first time, in this flashback, while searching a monastery,  for the Occido Lumen. The monastery is attacked by vampires and Setrakian is kicking ass with his sword came. Why do vampires spend time  hissing instead of biting? Eichorst suborns Palmer, who stops hunting for the book and throws his lot in with him.

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Gus goes back to his mother’s apartment. She is still there because he didn’t kill her when he first found her body, and he doesn’t want to kill her now. The Master speaks to him, through her, and apparently, felt it was necessary to  taunt Gus into joining his other enemies.  Sardu, like Palmer, is an arrogant tool.

This show is about forty minutes long, We are halfway through this episode and no questions have been answered from last week. On the other hand, there’s no Kellyvampmom.

Yet.

Best line of the evening, uttered by Vasiliy : Fet need food!

Where’s Zack, while everyone is out running around outide, and leaving him all alone, so he can run off and find his Mom, like he did in last week’s episode, but the writers have apparently forgotten all about that, too?

Oh, there he is! Jeebus , but  I despise this child and his hostile, accusatory interrogation of his father, every time Eph wanders into his orbit!. No hiya doing, Dad, or nothing. The two of them go out to a batting range, so Eph can pretend to be a Dad and Zack can be sullen. They couldn’t do that indoors, I guess.

The councilwoman is on TV promising to save NY by instituting marshal law.

THE STRAIN --
THE STRAIN — “The Silver Angel” — Episode 204 (Airs August 2, 10:00 pm e/p) Pictured: Jack Kesy as Bolivar. CR: Michael Gibson/FX

Palmer  has orchestrated a meeting with some bankers,  and the bankers are eaten by vampires on their way out of the building, also orchestrated by Palmer and Bolivar. I have mixed feelings about the whole event. Palmer’s ambition is the most terrifying thing in the entire episode. Just how far is he trying to go with this deal? What’s frightening is  this is only his first salvo, in the destruction of the country, not just NY.

On the other hand, YAY! Bankers getting eaten! That was  one of the funniest events this season.

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The Fitzwilliams meet with Setrakian, who tries to talk him into joining their team. He should reconsider, because when Palmer remembers how he walked out on him, he’s going to make a play to take him out. Yep! One of the Fitzwilliams is gonna die to further the other one’s story and get that one into the game. That is, if the writers remember they are in the show. I certainly hope the writers have some kind of endgame for all these plot threads they keep introducing.

Gus visits the diner again. Flirting with the serving girl, he is confronted by Angel. He figures out that Angel is the Silver Angel from the movies. What does this plot line have to do with the rest of the show, if Angel doesn’t join in to save NY? We are getting resolutions and callbacks from season one,  so I expect all my questions will be answered next season, maybe.

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Eph and Nora go check on their experiment, and they really should have tagged that vamp with a transmitter or something, because running around in the dark, trying to find the vampires who were infected, is just plain stupid and Fet, correctly, nopes the fuck out of that whole scenario and goes off to blow up the subway, which was his original plan before he got sidetracked by Dutch-angst and sex. What are the chances we can get a show with just Fet, Setrakian, Fitzwilliam and that one councilwoman, kicking vampire ass in NY?

And this is where Eph and Nora should’ve taken into account that whole ‘the Master can see and hear through his host bodies’ thing,  as Sardu quarantines the infected vampires, by making the host bodies kill themselves. This does make the two of them happy because The Master realizes the infection is an actual threat. They do need an infection that works fast enough, that he can’t simply quarantine the infection, by separating out the infected vampires. Yet doesn’t work so fast that it kills the infected vampires before they can pass it on.( I didn’t learn this from this show, though. I learned it playing Plague Inc, where I successfully destroyed the entire population of the world, with the Black Plague.)

Fet attempts to blow up the subway.Where did he get dynamite? The same place everyone picked up those swords, they’re all waving around? I know people think swords are not readily available in American society but that’s not true. You can walk into any of those little Asian bodegas, in the ‘hood, and buy a fake one, along with some very real  ninja throwing stars.

Fet gets attacked by …cops? Militiamen? Hell if I know. They have walkies but no badges.  He does successfully blow up the underground vampire route into the neighborhood before getting arrested. Fet is on point tonight. His scenes are hilarious and the  most entertaining part of the show. He’s also the only one who knows what type of show he’s in, it seems. I think Corey Stoll thinks he’s in some kind of Lifetime Channel tearjerker, though.

Eph  and Nora discuss going to DC because of some connections Eph has. Why hasn’t he ever mentioned or tried to use them before? I deeply suspect its because the writers are just making up his story as they go. Nora poo poos his idea, because that’s her purpose on the show, to throw cold water on people.

Yep! Zack  has shitty  taste in music too.  I should have guessed.

Kelly and The  Feelers  put in an appearance at the last minute, staking out the batting range where Eph and Zack got subjected to some flashbacks, earlier. I can see that the writers are really trying to get us to care about the relationship between Zack and Eph, but these two are so unlikable, that it’s impossible. Since the writers are trying so hard to get us to care about them I can only assume that Kellyvamp is successful in grabbing  her boy, and turning him into a vampire, which will be the impetus Eph will need to stop drinking, and fully commit himself to stopping the vampire menace.

<Sigh> Yeah, alright then.

The Strain: Fort Defiance

Oh good, this weeks episode is slightly better, and just as whacky as  last weeks episode, although there is still too much Zack in it for me. Along with Setrakian acting shady, I definitely got a bad feeling about this “drop”.

Setrakian is putzing around on the pier, hunting vampires so he can steal their worms, and turn them into sauce. And for reasons known only to God, the Devil, and Bob, the rock star vampire, named Bolivar, is wandering through alleyways toting a bag of dirt for the Mahster.

Set gets his vamp using some sword cane -fu, and engages in some SCIENCE back at the house. Bolivar gets stopped by the police, who, in keeping with the asshole behavior of NY cops, lately, decide to arrest him for…being outside? Walking while white? I mean he is alarmingly pale. One of them decides he must touch The Masters dirt and gets infected with worms, which becomes pointless anyway because Bolivar’s vampire entourage kills both of them.

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Its kind of a neat scene, because it’s a direct reenactment of the swarms of pale vampires from Blade 2. I wonder, though,  why is Bolivar different from them? Why are some of the vampires ravening zombies and others appear to be fully capable, like Bolivar and Eichorse? Or I would ask these questions,  if I thought they’d have a chance of being answered, and not just another one of the many plot points this show establishes just for funsies.

Gus is in training by the Spec Ops Ninjavamps. They are planning a mission to take out Palmer. Watching Gus kick vampire ass is the most exciting moment, in the show, because Gus is awesome!

On a side note, why does everyone have one syllable names? Eph,  Fet, Gus, Vaun, Dutch. While Nora and Setrakian have an excess of them?

Gus
Gus

Anyway back at the bBatcave,  Fet makes plans to blow up the subway, Setrakian injects his eyeballs full with distilled worm juice, and Zack has run off to join the circus. No, really he ran off to go find his Mum or something, forcing everyone to endanger their lives looking for him.( Of course,he does.)  During this pointless scene, we get another pointless scene, of Dutch finding a flyer about a missing friend. For some reason, she wants to contact the person who put it up. All of this comes to nothing, except to prove to us that Zack is a first class snot, which we already knew, and Dutch believes in subjecting herself to needless misery.

While the others are out wrangling Zack, Nora finds Setrakian dead in his makeshift lab. After resuscitating him, she makes him come clean about what he’s been doing. At first he’s reluctant, but after I threaten to bitch slap his wrinkled old ass through my TV screen, he changes his mind, the big fat liar, and confesses he does to stay healthy.Okay, I guess. I was kind of worried that he was too old to be doing this shit. So was Fet, I think. He looks like he’s about a hundred. (Close enough. He’s 94.)

But honestly, these are some of the dumbest apocalypse survivors, ever.

Palmer’s former assistant, that black guy that walked out on him in the first season, is shown going to Staten Island. His name is Fitzwilliam. He’s got a brother named Curtis and there better be some repercussion from this later, since they’re wasting our time with this introduction. Although, I feel pretty certain that one of them is going to get fridged, to further the other’s story, because you cannot have more than one black man in a show. It upheaves the laws of physics or something.

Ms. Marchand - Palmer's New Assistant
Ms. Marchand – Palmer’s New Assistant and a Dummy

Palmer is being his usual jackass self, when Eichorse shows up for his daily dose of threatening. He brings Bolivar and sets him to be Palmers guardvamp, which is another waste because we don’t get to see him guard Palmer when the Spec Ops Ninjavampires show up with Gus. He would’ve been useless anyway because Palmer, forewarned,  has this sweet little UV setup, that he was planning to threaten Eichorse with, and uses it to  take out the  Ninjavamps, instead, while Gus, who ain’t havin none of this, runs away.

initially, I was very upset about the deaths of the Ninjavamps, but I have heard the rumor that there will be more of them, in the future. The actor playing Vaun got called elsewhere, so I think he’s going to be replaced. But keep in mind, this is just hearsay. They’re the most fascinating characters in the show and I’d watch the hell out of a whole show that’s just about them.

On Staten Island, the councilwoman we saw last episode, claims to have rid the island of all vampires. Now I’m confused. On the one hand, that vampires are chomping on the citizenry seems to be common knowledge, but outside of a handful of people, most people act like nothing’s happening. For example, even though the creatures live in the subway system, people are still riding the subway and not even trying to leave the city.

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This is, possibly, the most casual apocalypse ever shown on television. Even if Dutch broke the Internet, people communicate using other means. Phones, letters, postcards, smoke signals, morse code? I could see if the vampires weren’t common knowledge but when the councilwoman, named Ferraldo, reveals some decapped  vampires during a press conference, (that is some hardcore shit ,right there. I love this woman! She’s so gonna die!) no one bats an eye. So are they common knowledge or not? Or is this one of those situations where some people witness it and tell people but no one believes them? I don’t know. You’d think people outside of NY would be asking questions, when their family members all go missing or that the vampires would be caught on film at some point.

And why are all the vampires white people? They can’t find any Extras of Color in NY. Really? Didn’t we have this same problem with the show Friends?

So the mayor talks Ferraldo into taking her show on the road to the mainland and she reluctantly agrees. I think I was yelling at my TV for her to not do it, but people on TV just refuse to do what I tell them. If they just obeyed me, they wouldn’t get into so much trouble (and the show would last about fifteen minutes.)

In an effort to reach out to Zack, Eph takes him to the lab and tries to show him what he and Nora are working on ,but Zack, who is a snot of the first order, just looks dumbly hostile during his father’s speech.(Lord save us from this child, heah!) And minutes later,Zack trashes the lab, which sets Eph off. He grabs him and sticks his face into the quarantine unit holding one of the vampires, like he’s punishing a dog, for taking a shit on the carpet.

I stood up and I applauded! Wow!

Dutch finds the woman who put up the flyers after Fet calls off the subway Op because people refuse to keep their asses at home, even though vampires are, literally,  running through the streets at night. She meets her friends Mom who castigates her for her daughters death, after which Dutch goes out to the car and makes out with Fet.

Thats it!

I am officially sick of Fetutch. Or DuhFet, if you prefer.

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This week’s episode was better than last week’s but not by much. It’s like Hannibal in that I have no idea what anyone on the show is thinking, but I can’t stop watching it. I’m addicted. Both shows are like those videos of people shooting fruit in slow motion. I have to watch The Strain because… Hey!Vampires!

But in Hannibal, I don’t understand whats going on because the characters are way smarter than me, whereas in The Strain ,they’re just way dumber. I don’t usually hate-watch a show, but this show is also Hella-fun, because…vampires!

I would settle for some kind of comfortable middle ground. Dumb down Hannibal just a tiny bit and smarten up The Strain.

A lot.

The Strain: By Any Means

HOLY CRAP! Was this episode bad!

Now normally, I don’t get negative on this site. We are all about the “squee” here at Chez Geek, hence the name. The closest I get is snarky, but from time to time, giving a bad review is unavoidable, and this week’s episode was awful . I can think of only one moment I truly enjoyed. I think I was cheering at my screen and I’ll get to that point in a moment. But it’s episodes like this one, that make me contemplate, never watching this show again. If there’s another episode like this one, I’m going to give serious thought to  pretending it didn’t happen.

So, lets get the least interesting portion of our evening out of the way-Kelly Goodweather’s campaign to turn her son into a vampire, by using some blind child vampires called Feelers. They’re blind, so they could  just as easily been called Smellers or Listeners or something, because that’s how it looks like they’re navigating the world. They scuttle around on their hands and knees and they only touch the floor and don’t have whiskers, so I don’t know where the name Feelers comes from. Anyway, Kelly kills one of them and I’m not sure if its because she thought she had one too many, to teach them who is top dog in this pack, or because she thought it was defective. I found their glowing red eyeballs distracting and kept laughing every time they flashed their “disco eyes”.Apart from that, this particular subplot is uninteresting, but I soldiered through it because, according to the books, it will be important later.

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Then we get Eichorst, anticipating being the  Master’s new vessel, when the old body dies. The Rock musician, from first season, who was among the first of the transformed, puts in an appearance, and it was kind of nice seeing him again. I had wondered what happened to him. He does not appear to be one of the mindless foot soldiers, that’s enslaved to The Master. He seems to have his own thoughts and those thoughts appear to be about taking Eichorst’s place at the Master’s side. I hope he gets to be the new Master. For one thing, he looks way cooler than the current Master as he’s still wearing the black lipstick and manscara, from when he was human. I don’t think that’s what will happen, because of Ms. Ex-Goodweather’s  future actions, but I can hope.

Setrakian gets caught in a flashback sequence, involving a younger version of himself, wearing a truly awful fake beard ,that I could not stop staring at (and laughing), meeting Eldridge Palmer for the first time and chasing after Sardu’s cane. No, seriously, he chases the guy who owns the cane through the streets of Prague, Warsaw or wherever and through several hotels.

See, one factor  I use, when considering whether or not an episode is any good, is the amount of distracting thoughts I have, while stuff is happening on screen. During the chase, the guy that  Setrakian is chasing, knocks over a bellboy who is pushing a huge luggage cart and he falls down and loses the cane, which Setrakian runs over and picks up, while the guy escapes, and all I could think was why doesn’t he help that poor bellboy pick up that massive luggage cart that he helped knock over. I guess this was in lieu of a fruit stand, though, and those fruit stand guys never get help picking up their stuff when it gets knocked over in chase sequences, either.

At one point they run through a grand dining room and I remember yelling encouraging stuff to them like “Okay! Now knock over one of the dining room tables!” And they didn’t do that and I felt deeply disappointed.

I consider that sort of behavior to be positive engagement, but it can also be seen as a sign, that the plot is less than compelling.

A minor or major McGuffin, is the special book that Setrakian is looking for, called The Occido Lumen, that may contain information about how to kill The Master. There are some more flashbacks involving Palmer hiring Setrakian to find the book for him. Later on, in the show, he meets Palmer, who is acting his usual cocky asshole self and  Setrakian teases him with the idea that he’s close to finding the book and Palmer looks like he just smelled a fart.

We also get also get some Dutch/ Fet action. Fet has decided to clear the neighborhood of vampires and vamp-proof the buildings, so the two of them break into the local rec center, and take out the vampires there, using silver dust.  Being covered in silver dust,  obviously demands, that they immediately get naked and go swimming. I lost interest after I got a good, long look at Fet’s naked ass, and wandered away from the TV, so I have no idea if they got it on or not and mostly don’t care. I’m not going to rewatch to find out.

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I really like Fet, and his ass muscles were truly impressive, but I really don’t want to watch him make out with  mannequin-girl. I keep trying to like Dutch. I want to like her because she’s snarky , and because she broke the internet (HA!) but that’s all she’s got in the personality department. There’s just no there there. At some point, the writers are going to have to kill her, or give her something to do besides being Fet’s lovely assistant. I strongly suspect, though, that Dutch is going to get fridged.

Eph and Nora torture that old couple that they found at the storage lockers and Nora angsts over doing it. At least they did the right thing and informed the couple that they were dying, that they would become vampires and they were going to do experiments on their bodies. Nora was back to her usual whinging behavior and Setrakian had to set her straight about what a good woman she was.

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You can tell that Setrakian has no patience with all these young people and their emotional dithering. He is a flatly pragmatic person. Part of it is just being old. I know this because, as I’ve gotten older, I have less and less patience with the emotional wankery of the young , too. Another part of it, is that he’s been through so much pain and grief, that he simply doesn’t understand what Nora is whining about. As he says, he’ss seen people be evil just for fun, so her fibrillations over whether or not she’s evil, don’t register to him as an actual problem.

Really Nora, you’ve got more pressing concerns, like trying to stop a vampire plague from taking over the world.

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At the top of the episode, I cheered during a meeting of  the mayor and various district heads, who are discussing the ongoing crisis. Once again, no one wants to mention exactly what that crisis is, except for one woman, whose district is being overrun by vampires. She is quick to name what’s happening and  asks some serious questions like, “Where are the National Guardsmen everyone keeps saying are out in force, but only really seem to be protecting City Hall? And why are the infected being warehoused, instead of being put-down?” She’s blunt and feisty and can tell that the other officials are trying to bamboozle her. She says if they don’t handle it, the people in her district will. I liked her. I cheered when she walked out, in the middle of the meeting, but I now suspect, she will end up on somebody’s death list.

The most annoying moment in this episode, is when Eph’s son wanders in from wherever he’s been just  sitting, sleeping or whatever and, once again, harangues his father about what he’s doing wrong. I guess that’s his purpose now that Nora has given up that game, because really, what does the boy do all day?They’e at Setrakian’s place, so I know hes not playing video games, or talking to his friends on the phone. He wanders in, shits on his Dad, then wanders  back out again, after Eph cops an attitude. WTF? I really wanted for Eph to go off on the boy and drop kick his ass into another plot, that only  involves him being present on paper.

Here’s me, offering major encouragement to Kelly VampMom, to please hurry up and  come eat her child!

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The second most annoying moment is when Palmer, still flirting with his real estate agent, whom he has hired to write speeches for him, has decided to create a series of depots, for people having trouble procuring food and other essentials, during the “crisis”. He gives a speech about how NY will come back from “this” and they take care of their own, pablum, which he didn’t write. His actual plan involves taking down the participants personal information in a kind of reverse Vampire Holocaust. I’m pretty sure all these people will be personally visited by the vampires later, in this much more efficient system, which I guess beats running around, breaking into random buildings and eating the inhabitants, which is what they’ve been doing.

I guess Palmer doesn’t feel the Vampocalypse is happening fast enough and needs more assistance.
Palmer is such a smug bastard that he has totally forgotten that he’s actually expendable. He really believes he’s indispensable to The Master and I’ll be glad, when he realizes, just how shafted he’s about to be.  Setrakian  confronts him after the speech and when Palmer sends his goons after Setrakian to kill him, Fet proves, once again, what a complete and utter badass he is, by blowing up the place,  as a distraction for Setrakian’s escape.

Fet really cares about the old man, even though Setrakian tries really hard not to be close to anybody, and its really cute how he worries if Setrakian is eating properly.I have it on good authority that off screen, the two actors are very close friends and you can kind of see that onscreen, even though Setrakian is supposed to be a grump.

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So basically, there was no Master. No Special Ops vampires or Gus. All of the elements that make this show worth watching, were missing and I had to spend the evening with the show’s  least likable cast members. Most especially Zack, who is almost as horrible an actor, as the little boy who played Baby Vader. We didn’t even get any good vampire action, of random people, being attacked, in their homes and streets. This is one of those insidious apolcaypses, where you see a lot of smoke, and hear sirens everywhere, but there are no people on the streets.. The people from the suburbs are still showing up for class and work, but all the local people are hunkered down in their homes, without any food.

This is one of those episodes that’s basically a bridge to another, better episode. Every series has several per season and I can comfortably erase this one from the DVR. I’m not going t be hankering for a rewatch on this one, unless its to laugh some more at Setrakian’s false beard or hate-watch Zack.

The Strain Season Two: BK, NY

This is a short  primer for those who haven’t watched the first season, which can be watched on Hulu:

An old European vampire named Sardu, and his henchman Eichorn, begin their conquest of NY, aided by a dying corporate wannabe, named Palmer, who thinks  he will gain immortality, if he does the Masters bidding.

Ephraim Goodweather, (one of those smart, dumb people you just want to smack), Nora Martinez,( another dumb smart person, who mostly looks worried and was having an affair with Ephraim),  Abraham Setrakian,(who has met The Master before, in an encampment, during the war), and Vasiliy Fet, (who is one of my favorite characters, because he seems smarter than both Nora and Ephraim put together and has useful skills), are the only people who feel they can stop the plague from spreading, by stopping the master vampire and destroying the ones he created. Ephraims ex wife, now a vampire favorite of the master, is after their son, Zack.

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Unknown to them, is group of vampires, headed by Vaun, who work for a coalition of Elder vampires, and have recruited a human slayer, Augustin Elizalde, to take down the wayward vampire, who has disrupted their covenant.

That is the much simplified version of season one and coincides mostly with the first book in the trilogy.

Okay, this is going to be a long one because the show lasted about 60 to 70 minutes

Let’s ride.

Abraham Setrakian is having the flashbacks. He steps wayback to his childhood, with his Grandmaw, telling him the story of how Sardu became a vampire. He was a giant of a man, who loved children, (this is something that plays out later), and got violated by having a vampire vomit some worms into his mouth, while out hunting a Black wolf to cure his gigantism. Yep! All the worms, it looks like. After which he fed on children and no one ever saw him in the daytime, of course.

Then  Abe flashbacks to the more recent past to when he and Ephraim cornered the Master on a rooftop, last season, and the vampire was able to withstand daylight long enough to get away.

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You have to get, that while Abe is daydreaming about the past, he’s just wandering around in the streets of NY. He doesn’t actually appear to be looking for Sardu, but I guess he is because when he reaches the subway, he heads down into some untrafficked areas. That is a bad idea because he gets ‘napped by Vaun and the Special Ops Vampires, which is quite possibly the coolest shit ever put on TV, outside of Gullermo Del Toro’s Blade II, where that idea must have sprang from. I’d watch an entire show about these guys, alone.

Vaun takes him to visit Gus and The Elders,(which is a great name for a Rock band,) who explain far too much about themselves. There are only seven of them and they are a collective, like The Borg, but Sardu, used his Jedi Mind Tricks to break away from the group, and has gone rogue. They want to make a deal with Setrakian and Gus to hunt down Sardu and when they find him, alert them to his location.

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Abe agrees to this, but Hell, I would too, after they threatened to kill me for knowing too much about them, which makes no sense because they could have just kept their mouths shut and let Abe go on his merry, daydreaming way. I would definitely alert them to his location, but only after killing him. (Hey! Here’s the body of your boy!)

I  would certainly never voluntarily agree to meet with them again. Especially after the demonstration of their feeding techniques on some random naked guy in chains, which Abe takes great care to remind Gus what he’s watching. You know the story. Those who make deals with the devil usually end up on the  business end of his pitchfork.

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Fet and Dutch are trying to secure his residence against vampires. Actually it’s only Fet who knows what he’s doing. Dutch has no idea. She’s just doing whatever Fet asks her to do, while Eph gets drunk and Nora gives him the side eye. Fet says his plan is to eventually fortify the entire neighborhood against vampire incursions.

After a while, Eph goes upstairs and argues with Zack about his Mom. Can I just state how much I hate this child, and how much  I’d love for his mother to hurry up and find him and eat him quickly? I’m sure he’ll be a much less annoying character because he’ll be mute.

Fet gets worried about Abe and decides to go out and find him and Dutch gets one of the best lines of the episode when she describes Abe as a Samurai sword- wielding geriatric.

Abe comes back but doesn’t tell anyone about his meeting with Vaun and the Ancients.This is probably going to come back and bite someone in the ass later. Literally! He asks Fet and Eph to come with him to fetch something from an old storage locker.

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In the meantime, Palmer and Eichorn are buying a building and giving press conferences.Palmer ,who has gotten his health, after being sickly his entire life, is getting cocky and talking smack to Eichorn, who just smiles gently, while trying to warn him that he should probably not show his ass. Palmer has forgotten the first rule of being a traitor. After the people you work for have accomplished their goals, and your usefulness is over, you will be the first one eaten, under the new regime. That’s what I would do. After all, if you’ll betray one group of people you might betray me, too, and that needs nipping.

Palmer also takes the time to flirt shamelessly with the real estate agent, who is maybe half his age and I’d just like to say, “EEEWWW! Palmer is a disgusting asshole and this little meet-cute between him and this young lady is so boring and trite, that even Eichorn couldn’t stand there and watch it. He just wanders off, while they eyeball each other.At any rate, I feel sure Eichorn has plans for the young lady. Guess whose going to be eaten by vampires next? Hopefully it’s soon, so she won’t be subjected to any more flirtation from Palmer.

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None of the press and officials seem especially perturbed that vampires are running about. In fact, most of them are being especially careful never to mention the term at all. Everyone keeps making vague reference to “the crisis”, but no one will say exactly what that crisis is. And the National Guard gets a mention once. I think the press and politicians are still trying to make the people of NY think these are still just riots.

This does seem to be a rather lazy apocalypse, though.  There seems to be no particular urgency to anyone’s behavior, including Fet, Nora and Eph. At least not yet. I sort of understand that the creators of the show are not trying to show a complete breakdown that happens in a few short hours, but a slow buildup to the crash, instead. I can get that but it does make for some slow watching.

For example, children are still taking classes. There’s a roomful of blind students who are being told they are about to evacuate out of the city, but their transport gets hijacked by Eichorn, who takes them to Sardu, to implement the next stage of his plan, because although he was only in  the sunlight for a few minutes, he was very badly burned and he’s dying.

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As soon as I saw the class full of blind children, I just knew that wasn’t going to end well. They all get turned into some new form of vampire. Eichorn goes to awaken Zack’s mother, gives her a little of her mind back, and sets her to babysit the these new, blind vampires.

Ephraim and Nora make plans to try to stop the Vampocalypse by studying vampire physiology. Maybe creating some kind of immunity for humans while destroying them as they feed.  It’s not a bad idea but their attitude still seems rather leisurely, to me. I think these characters really need to rub some funk on it and step up the pace. At least panic a little bit or something. This is the calmest apocalypse I’ve ever watched.

Eph and Nora get attacked in the lab and Nora takes out several with her new found vampire slaying skills. I like her now that she whines less than she did in the first season.Nora has definitely been born-again hard, since the death of her mother. Yeah, that’ll do it.

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Everyone gets ready for their run to the storage lockers, where Setrakian can’t remember the number of his locker, so they just break into random lockers. Or rather Fet does because he’s their tool-man.They discover an elderly couple in one of the lockers before they all get attacked by vampires. The elderly couple gets bitten but our group comes through clean, especially Nora who turns into a sword-swinging badass. I wonder where she picked up these new skills.

It’s really nice to see a Latina in a genre TV show because it’s so rare that that they get to star in such things and I hope she doesn’t die soon, so they can swap her out for another, because, of course, there can be only one!

I have to say I love the vampires on this show. They’re like a cross between zombies and vampires. The worms and the tentacles are truly disgusting, even though the show doesn’t actually depict the vampires from the books, completely. The ones in the books liked to piss plasma all over everything. I guess you can’t show that on TV.

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The show isn’t actually scary (its been a long while since anything on TV scared me), but it is suspenseful enough and the action scenes are very well done. It’s just the stuff that happens between the action scenes that gets tiresome.

The previews for the  rest of the season had a lot more action in them, so I’m looking forward to the next few weeks.

So Stay Tuned!

ETA:  Palmer’s arch-nemesis, throughout the episode, is actually named Eichorst not Eichorn. Not that that makes the slightest difference to the plot.

Coming Attractions

I’m very excited about this summer. There are a number of movies and TV shows I’m geeking out about and I’ll be talking about them here. All of the Fall shows will be on hiatus, but that’s okay, because I’ll soon have some new/old stuff to geek out about.

Coming Soon:

The Strain

The second season of The Strain is on the FX network.

I very much enjoyed the first season, even though it was a bit uneven. I thought some of the characters were pretty dumb but it was very suspenseful and the vampires were awesome. Like a lot of shows, however,  it fell into the trap of having a couple of token POC,  but over time they  became a little more fleshed out. I love vampires as much as you guys do, and we’ll be seeing more of them in the second season as the Vampocalypse gets into full swing.

From Dusk Til Dawn The Series

I’ve  spoken to several people, who have no idea, what the Hell I’m talking about, when I mention this show. Well, for those not in the know, this is a new series based on the Quentin Tarantino film of the same name. Yeah, it’s about vampires too and they are very intriguing.

It’s produced and directed by Robert Rodriguez, for the new El Rey network. Going into its second season, the acting is alright, the Hispanic actors look very, very fine, and it’s just different enough from the film to make things suspenseful. There’s  plenty of vampire action, with just enough Mexican Supernatural Mythos, to make them fascinating.

And the entire first season is available on Netflix. It’s totally binge worthy.

Penny Dreadful

I very much   enjoyed the first season of this. The only part of it that got boggy for me was the Dr. Frankenstein storyline, but the rest was very well done and the show looks gorgeous. It stars a full cast of the supernatural – psychics, Dorian Gray, a werewolf, an African shaman, and of course, vampires.

It stars Eva Green, Josh Hartnett, and Timothy Dalton on the Showtime network. I don’t have Showtime, but  I do have Amazon. I’ll buy the whole season and recap/review each episode, right here.

Daredevil

This new version of Daredevil will be airing it’s entire first season on Netflix.Yet another story about a guy who puts on an odd suit and decides to go out and punch evildoers, because the police are horrible at their jobs. It will be interesting to see if it has any ties to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The trailer looks great, but really, all I hope is that its better than the movie and we get to see The Night Nurse. I’m  going to be binging this one and reviewing as I go along and as time allows.

Some forthcoming posts will discuss:

The different Blob movies,  including Rob Zombies new version, the upcoming Avengers film,  Mad Max’s Fury Road and Jurassic World. I’ll be having thoughts about the Captain America films, Black Women in Genre TV,  my niece’s favorite Anime, the world’s most beautiful films, the best movies about werewolves, and some Martial Arts favorites will be thrown in there,  too.

Future reviews of books will include: Nick Cutter’s Horror novel, The Deep, Clive Barker’s new Pinhead novel called The Scarlet Gospels, will be out this summer, Alan Smale’s Clash of Eagles, which I’m totally loving right now,  The Devil’s Detective by Simon Unsworth, and Richard Kadrey’s newest Sandman Slim novel will be released this summer, as well.

So stay tuned people!