Television

Tue
01
Jun

Oh Devil, You God! Lucifer's Fifth Season Second Half Goes from Sublime to Ridiculous

Lucifer 5B

When Lucifer went on hiatus in the middle of its fifth season on Netflix, I had the distinct sense that I heard Fonzie revving up his motorcycle in the distance while a crew of marine biologists wheeled back the cover on a tank of sharks. And with the drop of the second half of the fifth season, I can't say I was wrong.

Fri
28
May

MacGyver's 4th Season Arrives on DVD; But Can He Save Himself from Cancellation?

MacGyver Season 4

With the Phoenix Foundation having been disbanded at the end of MacGyver Season 3, the team members find themselves forced to work in the private sector -- until newcomer Russ Taylor (Henry Ian Cusick) approaches Angus MacGyver (Lucas Till) with an offer to get the band back together. Taylor has a condition that gives him hyper-acute pattern recognition abilities, and what he has uncovered is a vast global conspiracy by an extremist group to Thanos-snap half the population of the world in the name of saving the world from global warming. Throughout the season, the concept of doing "the wrong thing for the right reason" gets used, becoming the mantra of this arc which sees Mac reunite tragically with his father (Tate Donovan), discover an aunt he never knew (Jeri Ryan) working for the bad guys, and a tenet of beliefs driving the terrorists that was authored by no less than Mac's own mother.

Wed
26
May

Thirteenth Season of Ancient Aliens Lands on DVD

Ancient Aliens SSN 13

When I was a kid, I gobbled up all my grandmother's discarded World Weekly News copies. The stories in them were so fantastic and inspiring, I was surprised they didn't make the nightly news. To be fair, this was around the time Close Encounters of the Third Kind was huge, and the Betty and Barney Hill story, and Project: Bluebook, glued me to my television set. I'd cut out all the articles and paste them in a scrapbook. I would later go get books by J. Allen Hynek and Erich von Däniken.

The aliens were here, and I was going to be prepared.

Sat
08
May

Long Form Storytelling a Positive for Millar, Netflix Jupiter's Legacy

Jupiter's Legacy

If you're a fan of superhero stories, but require a more intricate level of storytelling than the standard fare, Netflix delivers. Mark Millar's Jupiter's Legacy makes its first season drop this week, and gives the reader a world fully-populated with powerful beings, good guys and bad guys, with a traditional flavor of comic book morals juxtaposed against the reactions of a real world backdrop.

Taking a page from the first seasons of Arrow, the series jumps back and forth between where we are today and how we got here -- which entails a span of nearly 100 years.

Sat
08
May

Don't Let Her In Part Two Slips Into Mediocrity

Don't Let Her In

PREVIOUSLY, ON THE FIRST EPISODE OF DON’T LET HER IN:

Perky blonde twenty-something artist Amber (Kelly Curran) and her rock-band boyfriend Ben (Cole Pendery) have the call for a roommate answered by Serena (Lorin Doctor), a sultry, doe-eyed, black-clad “New-Age nerd girl” who keeps a collection of odd crystals and a grotesque stone idol and indulges in witching-hour chants and who quickly succeeds in seducing Ben one evening while Amber sleeps beside them. Once Ben’s band suddenly scores a month-long touring gig and Amber is left alone with an ever-more-domineering Serena, it’s revealed the new lodger’s humanity may only be a mask for something far more diabolical…

Thu
06
May

Don't Let Her In a Witchy Single White Female

Don't Let Her In

Certain storytelling formulas are eternal; a mysterious stranger coming to town, two-timing lovers, jealousy, suspicion, manipulation, betrayal--it’s the stuff of Greek tragedy and the Shakespearean stage, reflective of the darker aspects in human nature and cornerstones of dramatic tension. Endless permutations can be cooked from such simple ingredients, and a textbook recipe is this: take an ordinary, everyday couple, content if not happy, add the presence of an alluring, dark-hearted seductress, bring to a boil and relish what follows. For extra potency, add a dash of supernatural menace and serve immediately before the audience has a chance to notice how half-baked it all really is.

Fri
05
Mar

CW App offers "Extended Cut" for Superman and Lois

Superman and Lois

While it's not known yet if this will be a weekly occurrence, it's a nice way to keep those streaming numbers up. Offering live viewers an opportunity to get additional content, could keep those hardcore fans watching two nights in a row. SUPERMAN AND LOIS already broke records for the CW when it comes to ratings for Live+3 (which factors in streaming numbers) with over 2.7 million viewers.

So what important scene was left out of the episode that aired on TV? It certainly wasn't a brief moment between Clark and Lana. Instead it was an important exchange between Sam Lane and Superman.

In just two episodes, we've come to realize that General Lane accepts Superman as an ally (see also: weapon). When Captain Luther fails, yet again, in acquiring kryptonite from a military complex, Superman demands to know what he's looking for. That's when General Lane comes clean about his dirty secret.

He's been stockpiling kryptonite.

Thu
04
Mar

The Resonator: Miskatonic U (Episode 2)

Wed
03
Mar

Catching Up: The Flash Episode 701, "All's Wells That Ends Wells"

The Flash 701 All's Wells That Ends Wells

The Flash returns to The CW with its seventh season, and -- for the most part -- it's back to firing on all cylinders.

The concept of Barry being on the precipice of using up his remaining Speed Force had drawn on overly long in season six, so it was a relief that the problem finally gets a resolution in this episode, even if it did come at the sacrifice of a major character. Or... did it? We'll get to that in a little bit.

Wed
03
Mar

The Resonator: Miskatonic U Brings Lovecraftian Horror to Episodic Streaming

Resonator: Miskatonic U

‘Horrible beyond conception was the change which had taken place in my best friend, Crawford Tillinghast.’

 

With that decidedly lurid line, visionary horror icon H.P. Lovecraft opened his 1934 mini-masterwork, ‘From Beyond’, a brief tale that features a scientist--the aforementioned Crawford Tillinghast--striving to invent a machine that stimulates a person's pineal gland, allowing them to perceive alternate planes of existence, which, unsurprisingly for the founding author of cosmic horror, invokes a menagerie of creepy-crawly, squiggling creatures into our own dimension with dire and deadly consequences.

Sun
28
Feb

For Mountain Monsters, Day of Wrath Just Another Walk in the Woods

Mountain Monsters day of Wrath Trapper's Initials

This fifth season of Mountain Monsters has seen production dial back the drama in a big way. In fact, to some degree, they've almost over-corrected from the season where every night was three or more mysterious encounters with demons, various bigfoots, and ghostly little girls. This seventh episode contains what might have been half-an-episode of those earlier seasons for all the revelations actually emphasized.

Wed
24
Feb

Up and Away: Superman and Lois Episode 101, "Pilot"

Superman and Lois 101

Superman and Lois finally gives Tyler Hoechlin a chance to fully flex his inner Superman. Sure, he's been okay in Supergirl and the other Arrowverse crossovers, but now he's got the whole show to himself -- shared, of course, with his family: wife Lois (Elizabeth Tulloch) and twin 13-year-old sons Jonathan (Jordan Elsass) and Jordan (Alex Garfin).

Sun
21
Feb

Mountain Monsters: The Coyote Killing Massacre

Mountain Monsters - Coyote Killing Massacre (S5E6)

The AIMS Team is, quite apparently, spending the entire fifth season in Tygart County, West Virginia. What began as a simple hunt for the presence of wolves -- itself an unlikely event given that wolves were historically hunted to extinction in the state -- has turned into a quest for yet another cryptid.

Sun
14
Feb

Female Fury: Batwoman Episode 204, "Fair Skin, Blue Eyes"

Batwoman 204, Fair Skin Blue Eyes

I've wanted to like Batwoman. Wanted to from the very launch of the series. But the first season steadily tanked midway through, and this second season hasn't done much to right the ship.

The new Batwoman, Ryan Wilder (Javicia Leslie) is personally moved by a missing boy when she sees the location from where he was taken. It turns out Ryan herself had been taken as a young girl at the exact same location -- a comic book shop -- by a woman who called herself The Candy Lady (Linda Kash). She would keep the children in her attic with a bowl of jellybeans, and then take a jellybean each day as a sort of countdown for two months to prove the child didn't matter to anyone -- as nobody would come looking for her.

And the Candy Lady isn't seen as a threat to her potential victims, because she's a nice white woman.

Sun
14
Feb

Snakes on a Train: Snowpiercer Collects Worst of Humanity as Planet's Last Survivors

Snowpiercer Season 1 Blu-ray

Snowpiercer is a television series based on the movie of the same name, starring Jennifer Connelly, Daveed Diggs, and an expanding cast of characters who, mostly, represent the less-than-respectable aspects of humanity.

The Snowpiercer itself is a train, 1000 cars long, that houses the last remaining humans on Earth. With the planet frozen over, one man's vision was to create a train that would keep traveling around the globe, generating heat and being a self-sustaining environment to support everyone until... well, until the world warmed up again, I suppose. As plans go, I'd have probably opted for a space station, or an underground bunker. But, hey, who doesn't love a train? And maybe we'll even get a toy line out of it.

Wed
10
Feb

Gina Carano Wins Award; LucasFilm Responds by Firing Her

Gina Carano Fired

On the same day Critical Blast announced that Gina Carano had been selected by our readers as the Best Series Actor for 2020 based on her work in the Disney Plus streaming series, The Mandalorian, came the shocking capitulation from Lucasfilm to social media outrage over postings by the actress. The postings addressed historical methods of the government dividing people by turning friends and neighbors on each other before moving in themselves to take over the process.

Wed
10
Feb

Critical Blast Readers Select Gina Carano as Best Series Actor of 2020

Gina Carano Best Series Actress 2020

Streaming services once again dominated the voting for the category of Best Series Actor of 2020, with not a single traditional broadcast medium making a statistical showing.

Hulu's The Great saw leads Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult both achieve 3% of all votes cast, in a three-way tie with DC Universe's Stargirl's Luke Wilson, while the superhero lead for the aforementioned Stargirl, Brec Bassinger, pulled in 4%.

DC Universe also saw Doom Patrol's April Bowlby stretch past the pack to nab 9% of the ballots, but Anya Taylor-Joy doubled that with 18% for her work on Netflix's The Queen's Gambit.

Tue
09
Feb

Looking for the Best Series of 2020? Disney Plus Says: This Is The Way.

Best Series of 2020: Star Wars The Mandalorian

When Critical Blast first published, we tried to create a category for every form of entertainment medium. A natural choice seemed to be television -- if you didn't see a movie in a theater or on home video, that seemed to be the default option.

Even when we began our annual reader-decided awards, "Best Television Show" seemed a natural category, even with streaming services firing up. But now it just seems strange to call it that -- anachronistic even, particularly in a year where not a single traditional broadcast network garnered enough votes for any series to make a sizeable showing in our results. Streaming has done to serial entertainment what crowdfunding has done to comic books -- it's widened the field of choices and the competition has gotten fierce.

Fri
29
Jan

Pep Talk: Riverdale Episode 502, "The Preppy Murders"

Riverdale 502, The Preppy Murders

The fifth season of Riverdale has only aired its second episode, and it already feels like all the air has been let out of its tires. "The Preppy Murders" wraps up just about every mystery that was left -- some of them too quickly and too pat -- in what feels like a rushed job of writing. Granted, it could be that these first few episodes might have been meant to be the last few episodes of the previous season, cut short by COVID-19, and perhaps that's why this episode has such a "finale" feel about it. But there wasn't much left to springboard out of for the rest of the season, let alone the next episode.

Mon
25
Jan

Female Fury: Batwoman Episode 202, "Prior Criminal History"

Batwoman 202 Prior Criminal History

Alice (Rachel skarsten) takes the next step in her plan to bring terror to Gotham. As she leans over the dead body of her former cohort, Mouse, we get a flashback to a scene where bats invade her hiding spot so that we can be reminded that 'bats eat rats.' This is important to what Alice is doing now, which is catching a rat and duct-taping it to Mouse's dead chest so that it will attract bats to come take nibbles of Mouse as well.

Cut to two months ago, and a pre-Batwoman Ryan Wilder (Javicia Leslie) being rescued from a Halloween night mugging by Batwoman (in shadow, so it's not a Ruby Rose cameo). We then see Ryan interview for a security job and being turned down for it because she pled guilty to 18 months in Blackgate. This is all to establish more of Ryan's backstory to provide motivations for why she would want to take over the role of Batwoman and what she might do with the title.

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