Monday, February 8, 2016

Happy New Year

It's Lunar New Year, celebrated by many Asians around the world, not just the Chinese. There was a pretty good Fresh Off the Boat episode about the holiday last week, though it's a continuity error that no other Chinese people live near them. (Jessica enrolled the kids in a special Chinese school, after all, when she wanted them to do extra homework last season.) I'm lucky to have this day off from work, so I'll probably go see Hail, Caesar later today. I also hope to see the Jesse Owens movie The Race when it comes out soon. The trailer looked good.

As for TV, the second episode of You, Me, and the Apocalypse was pretty good. When the US President learned of the top secret survival bunker, I thought the show was being feminist when they said that 15 women would be chosen, but no men, because they could just use a sperm bank to repopulate the world. However, then the guys suggested that the President could join the women and be their "leader" making it into a creepy harem situation. Why couldn't one of the women be their own leader? Ugh. So sexism might survive the apocalypse. However, I did find the UK plot with Jamie and Dave interesting. I also liked that Rhonda realized that White Horse was lying and rotten; she needs to go save her son, and I hope there will be more from the nun soon.

In its fourth episode, Second Chance improved somewhat by letting Otto show some emotions and interest in the case, with Mary giving Jimmy some family advice. There were some flashbacks and fun interaction with Duval's family, to help round out some characters. Now Jimmy's going to be an official FBI consultant? I still don't know where the show is going. Sleepy Hollow came back, and they thankfully toned down Betsy Ross to dress appropriately and be business-like instead of flirty. I hope Abbie comes back soon, though.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Wow

I saw Kung Fu Panda 3 today, and loved it. It's been so long that I don't remember what happened in the second movie besides the tease about Po meeting his biological father. Maybe I'll do a rewatch if I can. The new movie was really excellent, with beautiful artwork. I was glad that they included Master Oogway, the old tortoise, in the Spirit World to bring things full circle.

The previews before the movie included lots of animated films, such as Zootopia. I'm not sure I like the premise, but I guess I'll see it since Jason Bateman is one of the voices. He's also supposed to appear in the TV special about director James Burrows. I suppose he'll reminisce about his 1980s sitcoms, and I think he directed one of the Hogan Family episodes while a teenager. I hope Bateman's segment won't be too brief, given how many other stars are supposed to show.

Speaking of television, the third episode of Second Chance shocked me by letting Duval in on his father's secret so soon. I would have thought they'd keep up the half-brother pretense for longer and save the truth for many episodes later. I'm not quite sure what the show will do now, but I guess they're going to be bold in burning through some plots. At least Mary did seem to be more active and to object to Jimmy misusing his strength. Her secretary is so amusing with all her concern for her boss. Otto didn't even orchestrate a fantastic escape this time, which is an improvement too. I'll hope for the best in the remaining episodes.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Apocalypse

Finally the UK show You, Me, and the Apocalypse premiered and I enjoyed it. It was vastly better than Last Man on Earth, which had become so insular and repetitive, never caring about how to actually survive or rebuild civilization. It was just an empty, boring world for a bunch of people to have stupid relationship fights, so I stopped watching early in season 2.

In contrast, the Apocalypse show had way more action and actually felt fresh and interesting. The characters were from around the world, and we saw glimpses of the global reaction to the comet. (I didn't like the U.S. President being a nondescript white guy, and there being no response/confirmation from other world leaders.) Sure, some characters had personal problems like the banker being adopted and discovering his missing wife, but it never felt trivial or petty compared to the impending doom; it felt like great motivation to do something while he still had time in the world. There's urgency for everyone, even for those women prisoners who didn't want to die incarcerated.

I don't mind that the show is more like a dramedy than a sitcom; in fact I found the show most clunky when it tried to be funny with Rob Lowe's character. He was so intent on shocking the nun with his outrageousness, and he was sexist and insulting during the job interview. I wouldn't mind seeing less of him and exploring the nun's journey more. I like the drama and mystery about White Horse, the hacktivist twin, and Rhonda the librarian who went to prison for her son. We might learn more about her sick husband and her bad ex-husband too. I'm curious about how the show will go, and trying not to spoil myself by reading about how it aired in the UK already.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Political Wars

In political news, I'm glad that the Texas grand jury indicted those anti-abortion activists who made those videos about fetal tissue at Planned Parenthood. So many GOP governors were looking for excuses to smear Planned Parenthood and shut it down, but they've been cleared of wrongdoing by everybody.

I can't believe that rabid Bernie supporters tried to do the same thing. They got mad just because Planned Parenthood endorsed Hillary, so they ranted about not donating anymore. They complained that PP didn't hold a vote on it, and they concocted a conspiracy theory that Cecile Richards did it as a favor to Hillary. Saying she's "establishment" and not progressive. This is the same woman who was recently praised by progressives for being a strong advocate defending Planned Parenthood from the aforementioned fetal tissue videos! Fucking Berniacs! Everyone's corrupt, everyone's ruled by Wall Street and political favors except your guy. He's such a pure saint, is he?

I spoke too soon about sanity returning to Daily Kos, because the whole thing went to hell. They seriously had a recent diary praising some 2005 news article about Bernie in Congress, and said the article proved that Bernie could get things done. When actually the article showed that Bernie's hard-won amendments all ended up killed; so he didn't actually get anything done. He was soundly defeated. Where the fuck did these people's logic and reading comprehension go? I still blame Bernie for letting his campaign work his fans into such a blind frenzy. Daily Kos is thoroughly useless for any news now.

Needs More Work

Well, I heard about Fox moving Second Chance to Fridays due to low ratings. It's better for me than Wednesdays, so I won't complain. I disliked the second episode slightly with Jimmy torturing that prisoner in the hospital to get information. Yeah, I know he's a corrupt cop, but I was hoping for him to use his brains more to investigate. I also find it disturbing that Mary doesn't inquire about Jimmy's methods (or maybe she knows through Lookinglass surveillance but doesn't care about the ethics). It's a little annoying too that Otto can be the deus ex machina from afar. I hope it improves, like how Supergirl got better.

Meanwhile, Lucifer premiered. No explanation for why the Devil talks with an accent, but he is a charming guy. They're apparently going with the idea that Lucifer was declared evil for his rebellion, but he's questioning whether he really is that bad. Like, is his role as the devil forced on him, and we blame Lucifer for our sins? Sympathy for the devil and all that. It's okay, for a crime procedural and is full of puns and winks to him being Satan. I didn't like the gratuitous jokes about the cop's porn past, and I thought for a moment that her ex-husband was so discouraging because he was corrupt, and somehow in on the murder. They reused a thing from Forever, where the cop gets shot and the immortal guy gets the bad guy, but the cop has fuzzy memories of what she witnessed, so she never finds out that he's really immortal. What blatant theft!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Midseason

The TCA press tour is on, and new shows are finally starting to premiere. I'm still waiting for the Apocalypse show, hoping that it will have a more interesting plot then the endless Phil drama on Last Man on Earth. I was so disappointed that they dropped Phil's astronaut brother to go back to the same old characters from season 1. So boring.

Anyway, I watched the repeat of the pilot of Second Chance and kind of liked it. I don't know how long its ratings will keep it alive, but I'm willing to tune in even if its fate is like Minority Report's. I think the title would have been better and more unique as Lookinglass, but it's too late now. The idea of resurrection and superpowers was interesting, and I did like most of the characters. I thought this show would remind me more of Now and Again (the show staring Eric Close and Margaret Colin), and it did in some ways, but it also got me thinking about Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century of all things. In that cartoon, Holmes dies as an old man, then gets resurrected as a young guy by a scientist (and Lestrade's descendant). The scenes in the tank reminded me of that, as well as the first time Jimmy awoke and didn't recognize his body. But like in Now and Again, Jimmy keeps trying to reach out to his family. I was pleased that Mary didn't try to forbid him from interfering, insisting that he keep himself a secret, like Dennis Haysbert's character in Now and Again. I guess the writers don't need such a contrivance with all the other plots they have going.