Archive for the ‘TV’ Category

Guest Review: Daredevil Netflix series

Friday, May 8th, 2015

Priest asked me to put a couple of my “other-media” reviews up here as separate threads, so here’s the first:

Daredevil the series: Marvel/Netflix – Normally, I’d just wait for this to hit DVD, because I dislike watching streaming video for more than a few minutes at a time if I can avoid it.  But a friend sent me copies which I burned to DVD and watched on my TV anyway.  (I’ll still be buying the pro copies when they come out.)  Unlike what seems to be almost everyone else, I didn’t binge-watch it, so I’ve only gotten about halfway through the series so far.
What I’ve seen, I like.  The series is clearly set in the MCU, but has plausible reasons for not involving the fantastic (and expensive to film) stuff.  They even downplay the radar sense, primarily indicating it via sound effects and just leaving it as a given that Daredevil can somehow “see” without trying to get inside his POV like the Affleck movie did.  A good choice, really.  Avoiding looking cheap when translating something like that to live action is VERY hard, so they save it for rare occasions.
This season (S2 has already been greenlit) is basically an 11 hour (episodes usually around 50 minutes not counting credits) origin story for Daredevil and several of his supporting cast and villains.  This lets them avoid the kind of bare-bones shorthand seen in 90-120 minute big screen movies, develop some emotional content here and there, and still get in enough action and arc plot to satisfy.  There’s a few places where it feels like they didn’t QUITE have enough content to fill the 11 hours, and maybe the story could have been told just as well in 8-10 episodes, but it’s definitely better than they’re likely to have gotten with a 2 hour movie.

Recommended, currently on Netflix, but will eventually be on DVD.


Since posting that, I’ve watched a couple more episodes, including the very good Kingpin focus ep, which does a very good job of dealing with the “inevitable couple” problem that so many superhero shows founder on (i.e. spending a season or more pretending that Barry and Iris or Ollie and Laurel or Jim and Barbara won’t end up together), while still providing drama and uncertainty.

Please To Explain

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

Can anybody explain to me: (1) how they did this: I mean, this looks expensive and at least mildly technically difficult, and (2) why they did this? I mean, they can’t possibly be making money off of trademarked characters… or could they…? These shorts are a little silly, but only a little. The Batman guy is actually pretty good. Help an old guy out and explain what I’m looking at, here…? (more…)

Effing Wu

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Deadwood is a terribly uneven series, but the brilliance of the writing remains constant even though the third-season slog of episodes seemingly phoned in from some off-path motel Milch might have been staying in. Even when it bores, Deadwood is brilliant, due largely to Milch’s poetry (and, for all I know, the legion of writing assistants who assist and embellish). Regular viewers of network TV (which is beyond awful) simply won’t “get” Deadwood. It moves way too slow, the dialogue verges on indecipherable, the hero is a borderline idiot, there’s too many characters to keep track of, and there are few if any satisfying moments– Bullock kicking the crap out of Hurst’s sadomasochistic advance man being one of them. Warned that Hurst will seek retribution, Bullock snarls in gleefully satisfying hero-villain mix (in my paraphrase), “You draw a map and let him know where to find me. And tell him… I’ll be waiting.”

Huzzah, kids.

Trek: I Was Wrong

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

Worf actually has been seen on-screen commanding the Enterprise.

In the closing moments of the Season Four episode “Data’s Day,” Data arrives on the Enterprise bridge to assume command of the graveyard shift and relieves Worf, who is in command of the Enterprise and seated in the captain’s chair.

Meanwhile, the sequel to Abrams Trek has been pushed back (surprise) 11 months:

Where No Man Is Going

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

A couple years ago, I came up with my one and only original story idea for Star Trek, which I just tossed in a drawer and gave absolutely no thought to until I was approached, for whatever ungodly reason, by IDW, seemingly out of the blue, to develop something for them. We were not talking specifically about Trek, but IDW had the Trek franchise, and I said, “Oh, hey—you guys do Trek, right? Well I only have one idea for Star Trek, but I’d really like to do it.” So I pitched them the idea that later became Star Trek: Inquisition, which was to be a three and then later, per IDW’s request, a five-part story. But a couple things happened.

First, Paramount bounced the story as too edgy and controversial. Then, Abrams Trek came along and re-shaped the landscape. My story is TNG Trek. Once Abrams Trek became a going concern, director J.J. Abrams had the right to approve all Trek-related material, even stuff like my one idea which had absolutely nothing to do with what he was doing. So now we had to appease Paramount and Abrams, and the window for TNG material at IDW narrowed as Abrams Trek’s release date approached. That window remains narrow.   I always thought the best of Trek raised more questions than it answered. I hardly consider this script the best of anything, but the story does attempt to raise questions, not answer them.

It’s too Worf-specific to make a good movie, but it might have made an interesting set of episodes at one point and, I think, a fun comic book arc. Whatever it might have been, it is my one (and so far only) idea for Star Trek. I would have really enjoyed writing this.

Full Essay Is Here