Category: TV

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #016: To Binge or Not To Binge

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #016: To Binge or Not To Binge

As of late, I’ve been lucky to consume a metric ton of digital media. For those in-the-know, I tend to operate on two screens; one primarily for the drawing work I’m doing for the evening, and the second monitor to play something to keep my ears happy. I tend to toss on Netflix, YouTube, or Hulu, and let a show run while I draw. It’s good for when I need to take a mental break — no, seriously, drawing causes me to intensely focus so I need to take it easy every few minutes — and it’s good to catch up on all the shows in the zeitgeist.

Recently this has meant consuming the second season of Iron Fist, the third of Daredevil, and as of a few days ago… giving Runaways a try over on Hulu. And it got me thinking specifically about the shows I consume week-to-week versus multiple-episodes-a-night— The Flash, The Gifted, and Legion being the most well-known.

Binge-Culture is a thing now, isn’t it? Shows being made specifically to be absorbed en masse as quickly as possible. It allows for motifs (be they visual, auditory, or a combination) to form, fire, and be appreciated far easier than for shows where you return, at most, once a week. But just because binging exists doesn’t mean it’s a valuable tool for every show. Case in point: The Flash (or really any CW show).  Continue reading “So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #016: To Binge or Not To Binge”

Working Title #004: The Doctor and the Judge

Working Title #004: The Doctor and the Judge

Two big events occurred last weekend: Judge Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed as a Supreme Court judge and the first woman to play Doctor Who (Jodie Whitaker) debuted. One event delighted me and the other appalled me. Can you guess which was which?

There is something that connects the two. Bear with me.

I’m a LONG time fan of the British SF show and this weekend the new season debuted on BBC America (and, indeed, around the globe). Lots of new things – new companions, new composer, new showrunner and chief writer (Chris Chibnall) and, most importantly, a new Doctor. Now, for those of you benighted souls who may not be aware, the show has had a very long run because of a very clever concept. The main character, the Doctor, is an alien, and every so often the Doctor’s body regenerates into a wholly new one with a completely different persona and this has kept the show fresh. This time, the Doctor also changed sex and became a woman, played delightfully by Jodie Whittaker.

Capsule review: I was very pleased. The show had mystery, suspense, humor, darkness, death and a sense of freshness. Mr. Chibnall’s script had a different feel than former showrunner Stephen Moffat that was very welcome and Ms. Whitaker makes a wonderful Doctor.

Not everyone will agree. How do I know? Because some fans were opposed from the moment she was announced, some going so far as to say they will never watch it. This is not altogether unusual; every time someone new steps into the TARDIS, a certain percentage of the fans voice their displeasure and/or anger and vow never to watch it again (their loss).

There was an undercurrent, however, to Ms. Whitaker’s selection and sometimes that current was not so under. It came down to her gender. A certain percentage of that certain percentage of fans said that the Doctor couldn’t be a GIRL. Eeeeuuuhhh!  Continue reading “Working Title #004: The Doctor and the Judge”

Brainiac On Banjo #015: Doctor Who – Without A Punny Headline!

Brainiac On Banjo #015: Doctor Who – Without A Punny Headline!

The Doctor: Why are you calling me Madam?
Yasmin Khan: Because… you’re a woman?
The Doctor: Am I? Does it suit me?
Yasmin Khan: What?
The Doctor: Oh yeah, I remember! Sorry, half an hour ago I was a white-haired Scots man.


Jodie Whittaker/Doctor Who
at Comic Con 2018 Photographed by Andrew H. Walker/Shutterstock for Variety

We don’t know how to handle pronouns these days. That’s a transitional process as we evolve our language to more inclusive and less presumptuous forms. In the case of Doctor Who, that’s not as much of a problem. There have been 13 Doctors thus far — give or take — and the new one is the first to be a woman, at least as a matter of outside packaging. We really don’t know how Gallifreyan genders work, and their men and women alike are mostly brilliant and largely insufferable.

Yesterday, Jodie Whittaker debuted as our current Doctor, and did so pretty much all over the world, at pretty much the same time. Now that’s the way to launch a series. OK, I’m a fanboy and I’ve been watching the show since it first crossed the Atlantic. I haven’t seen an actor turn in a less-than-great performance in the lead role, even in spite of some less-than-great stories. More to the point, I haven’t seen a transitional episode where one Doctor regenerates into another that was less than entertaining by the standards of its time. In these two considerations, Whittaker fits in perfectly.

Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo #015: Doctor Who – Without A Punny Headline!”

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #013: Venture Brothers vs. Rick and Morty

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #013: Venture Brothers vs. Rick and Morty

Because when you want to create a great debate and piss off a multitude of hyper-focused fanbases? You go for the jugular, kiddos!

As I’ve been enjoying the latest season of “The Venture Brothers”, I denoted a few pals in my feeds proclaiming the superiority of the Venture clan to what I assume is its closest animated kin, “Rick and Morty”. And where I’d anticipated a litany of back-and-forth from our social circles coming to the defense of Mr. (Doctor…?) Sanchez, I was met only by Venture-centric lads and lasses singing continuous praise only for their cartoon of choice.

How disappointing.

Now, let me cut myself off before I get too knee-deep in rage-quit commenters below; I actually love both shows. And were someone to put some form of mega weapon to my forehead and force me to choose one over the other? I’d let them liquify my innards rather than be forced to make a choice. Or, more likely, I’d blurt out “The Good Place is better than both of those shows!” before the gentle zzzzzap! would turn me into fish-paste.

The fact is, the shows are only comparable on the surface alone; because I view them at their cores to be wholly separate entities when it comes to their end-game. Simply put? Rick and Morty is nihilism made blue-haired and drunk. The Venture Brothers is eternal optimism packaged in perfectly pitched pastiche.  Continue reading “So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #013: Venture Brothers vs. Rick and Morty”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #013: Kavanaugh and Cosby’s Innocent Merriment

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #013: Kavanaugh and Cosby’s Innocent Merriment

My object all sublime / I shall achieve in time / To let the punishment fit the crime / The punishment fit the crime; And make each prisoner pent / Unwillingly represent / A source of innocent merriment! / Of innocent merriment

-William S. Gilbert, The Mikado, 1885

The oft-suggested de facto position of the Republican Party is that rape really isn’t such a big deal. They are mistaken. In fact, rape is obscene, lawless, hideous, dangerous, dirty, violent… and extremely pervasive.

On Fox News Monday evening, Supreme Court Justice-wannabe Brett Kavanaugh offered as his defense against two charges (quickly upgraded to three) of sexual assault his claim that he was a virgin all the way through college. The mere fact that he thinks this is any sort of a defense makes him lower than pond scum, yet only half as intelligent. Although many of his Republican friends backed this defense until they were told, possibly by their daughters, to shut the hell up. I believe Brett when says he was a virgin because, quite frankly, with his attitude I’m amazed any woman or man would ever want to fuck him. But as a defense, his alleged virginity is completely irrelevant.

Brett, you birdbrain, here’s the bird’s-eye lowdown on sexual assault. You can, and according to your very own behavior most likely did, commit sexual assault while still maintaining your virginity. There’s a term for this: it’s called attempted rape. It’s a felony. It appears, Brett, from the very words you uttered during the past two weeks that you are a failed rapist.

Well, after all, Republican boys will be Republican boys. 

The Kavanaugh cover-up almost interfered with the story of Bill Cosby’s sentencing for the rape of Andrea Constand in 2004. He had been found guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault which, combined, carries a maximum sentence of 30 years. On Tuesday, Judge Steven O’Neill sentenced Cosby to three years.

Judge O’Neill, whose office telephone number is 610-278-3985, was appointed to the bench in 2002 by Pennsylvania Governor Mark Schweiker, then a prominent member of the Republican Party. You know, the party that is anti-abortion but pro-rape. As Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” Judge O’Neill will be on the bench until 2023, in case you’re planning on drugging and raping somebody but you’re not sure where best to do it.

“Well, he’s an old man,” some say. “Fuck you,” I say. He’s an old rapist, and three years in prison does not pass the Mikado test. If Cos is an unruly bastard in the slammer, his sentence might be extended up to 10 years. My guess is that he’ll remain under house arrest until his appeals have been exhausted. At his age, Cosby’s likely to have been exhausted before his appeals are exhausted.

Oh, yeah. Cosby must register as a sex offender. As Noah said, “Riiiight.” This will fuck up his ability to land a job. Quite frankly, registering as a sex offender is redundant. He’s already registered as “Bill Cosby.” America’s Dad has got himself a problem.

Recent comments made by numerous top-level Republicans including Senate leader Mitch McConnell and pussy-grabber-in-chief Donald J. Trump trivialize women’s experiences. They may or may not have a similar position about male rape victims. Mr. Trump, an admitted sex deviant, took pride in boasting about how he burst in to the girl’s dressing room to gawk at the semi-naked underage girls at his 1997 Miss Teen USA pageant. Perhaps where he’s headed, our nation’s top monster will learn otherwise the hard way.

If the punishment is to fit the crime.

(Our columnist would like to thank Marty Balin and the late Paul Kantner for the use of my favorite line from their song “We Can Be Together.”)

It’s official Marshmallows!!

It’s official Marshmallows!!

Source: kristen bell on Instagram: “Attention all Marshmallows: BREAKING NEWS!!!!! We are OFFICIALLY back in business!!! A new #veronicamars series is coming back, on @hulu…”

The Miniaturist Part 2 (episodes 3 & 4 US) Hot Take Recap

The Miniaturist Part 2 (episodes 3 & 4 US) Hot Take Recap

I did not know sugar could molder.

That seemed like a waste of a perfectly good millstone…

Now I want to see what The Miniaturist sent the Meermans

How are they going to explain the baby, even with Otto returned?

Wait, so was there magic or not?

 

Why did Emily Berrington do that weird dutch accent when everyone else used British ones?

You S1E2 Last Nice Guy In New York Hot Take Recap

You S1E2 Last Nice Guy In New York Hot Take Recap

Joe is obviously a psychopath right? He’s basically post-grad Dan Humphries (because being Gossip Girl is pretty stalker craycray when you step back and look at it gross)

Looks like he might have an interesting backstory tho.

Oh Benji, you are so wrong. He is so a killer and you just don’t know you’re dead yet.

Rich people, amirite?

Except in Frankenstein you truly sympathize with the monster, this show notsomuch.

Oh Peach, you just put yourself in the crosshairs…

Who keeps the phone?? And leaves it on with the battery in it? This is obviously not Joe’s first rodeo, he’d know better.

Pretty sure I don’t like a single person on this show, Greg Bertilani you’ve let me down for once…

Brainiac On Banjo #012: Streaming The Universe

Brainiac On Banjo #012: Streaming The Universe

The streaming service called DC Universe is up and running. Sort of. If you’re looking to discover why Robin angrily said “Fuck Batman!” you’re going to have to wait about a month, or fly to New York City, sneak into the New York Comic-Con (by all means, do not give those bastards your money), stand at the back of a cramped overstuffed under-air conditioned room and watch Titans about a week early.

Wow. I actually digressed in the lead paragraph. I’ll get back to my intended rant now.

The world of “television” changes every day, and where it’s heading right now seems to be an environment where you are getting a lot more entertainment and a lot more choice of where you want to get it. You also have a lot more hassle, signing up for Crom-knows how many streaming services. Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Sling, HBO Now, DirecTV Now, Showtime When, Playstation Vue, Acorn, WatchTV, CBS All Access, ESPN+, Cinephiles, YouTube TV, NuMedia, Mubi, Fandor, Sundance, and now DC Universe… I’m sure I missed a few. Hell, before I did my research I hadn’t even heard of six of them. But even if you have, do not relax: there are plenty more coming your way, including Disney, which may or may not include Marvel and/or Star Wars and/or Pixar and/or Fox.

Each of these services run between about $5 to $50 a month and while there is some overlap, you’ve got to join – and pay for – each one separately. I’ll bet dollars to donuts that we’ll see mergers and washouts and aggregating services to lighten the load. But it’s unlikely there will be a service that lets you triple your available viewing time.

OK. “It’s a brave new world, yadda yadda yadda.” Every day it’s a goddamned brave new world. No wonder our attention spans have been reduced to that of kittens.  Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo #012: Streaming The Universe”

American Horror Story: Apocalypse Ep1 The End Hot Take Recap

American Horror Story: Apocalypse Ep1 The End Hot Take Recap

Global nuclear annihilation. That was a little too real life scenario for comfort.

Genetic screening. A caste system. No unauthorized copulation. Did the world end or did Cult win?

It’s nice to see Sarah Paulsen play the heavy. But when do we get Cordelia Goode?

Kathy Bates can sure rock black lipstick.

“The Cooperative” sounds more menacing every time someone says it.

They totally made that dude into stew, right?

No idea what’s going on but the visuals are delicious as always.