Television

Mon
08
Aug

Why Adam West is Secretly Everyone's Favorite Batman

Adam West Batman

In 1939, the world was forever changed by the creation of the caped crusader. Batman debuted in the 27th issue of the comic book Detective Comics and soon evolved into the vigilante with a stringent moral code as well as a sense of justice.

The name Batman truly became a household name in 1966 with the creation of the live-action television series starring Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin. This series managed to bridge the gap between teenage and adult fans as the show gave something to everyone.

Despite only having three seasons and a few spin-off movies, Adam West’s portrayal of Batman is still beloved today with many people still claiming that he is their favourite Batman. Ultimately, this begs the question of why this campy version of Batman favoured over the darker portrayals.

Wed
01
Jun

The Power of Series: This is Why Viewers Stay Tuned

Why Viewers Stay Tuned

photo by Efraimstochter (Author), Pixabay Licence (License)

Series are an unmistakably hot trend in the media world. Currently, the last season of "Better Call Saul" is entering its mid-season break, and fans have to wait weeks for the actual finale. The first season began airing in summer 2015, and viewers have remained loyal ever since. At first, the drama series was simply seen as a prequel to the series smash "Breaking Bad," but it has since developed its own momentum. This means that even before it started, there was a potential, hooked audience that actually got involved with "Better call Saul" for the most part.

Thu
17
Mar

Final Season of Supergirl Lands on Blu-ray

Supergirl 6

The Supergirl series is one that will be remembered as beginning with an entertaining, if light, introductory season, before spiralling uncontrollably into overworked, overwrought, identity-driven episodes. And, like most CW shows, once the series migrated from NBC to the CW, it was yet another opportunity for a lead character to take a back seat to a team of lesser heroes loosely based on other DC Comics trademarks.

The sixth season opens with what would have been the final episodes of the fifth season, cut short for Covid precautions. Kara (Melissa Benoist) must face down a now god-level Lex Luthor (Jon Cryer), sacrificing herself to the Phantom Zone, where she remains for a few episodes until her friends get her out.

Thu
10
Feb

Stargirl Second Season Now on Blu-ray

Stargirl Season 2 on Blu-ray

Keeping with the 13 episode format of the previous season, I'm still left wanting more Stargirl. But perhaps the leaner season prevents any of those unnecessary padding episodes; there are almost no lulls when you have a half-season to deal with the big bad.

The new JSA -- Courtney / Stargirl (Brec Bassinger), Beth / Doctor Mid-Nite (Anjelika Washington), Yolanda / Wildcat (Yvette Monreal) and Rick / Hourman (Cameron Gellman) find themselves taking classes in summer school together since their grades slipped due to the time spent saving Blue Valley and the rest of the country from the threat of the Injustice Society -- a battle that left emotional scars on some of the team members.

Sat
05
Feb

Bad Boys Win Big: Loki's Tom Hiddleston is Best Series Actor of 2021

Tom Hiddleston Best Series Actor 2021

It's the year of the villain for the Critical Blast Best of 2021 Awards. After tabulating the votes that awarded Willem Dafoe our award for Best Film Actor, we turned toward the category of Best Series Actor -- those men and women who bring our episodic fantasies and adventures to life.

Not only did superhero actors dominate the category, but the Disney + coterie of streaming shows nearly swamped the nominations. While Luke Wilson took 8.7% of the vote for his work on Stargirl (tying with Ted Lasso's Jason Sudeikis), from that point forward every vote was for an actor on a Disney + MCU series.

Hailee Stanfeld claimed 10.14% of the vote for her work on Hawkeye, and Elizabeth Olson took a sizeable portion of the ballots to earn the second top spot for WandaVision.

Thu
03
Feb

Squid Game Squeezes Out Competition as Long-Form Storytelling Dominates Best Series Awards

Squid Game - Best Series of 2021

When Critical Blast began our "Best of Year" awards in our first year, the category was "Best Television Series." It didn't take long before the advent of streaming services turned the entire paradigm of home-delivered episodic storytelling on its head. Netflix, Hulu, Disney +, Amazon, and a host of others have all become de facto television networks, each putting out exclusive content that drives viewer counts. It's become such a go-to choice 

for so many that this year we only had one traditional television network make the cut with enough votes to earn a spot in the rankings: CW's Stargirl, which took 4.41% of all votes cast, tying with Netflix's Lupin, IMDb's Alex Rider, and Apple TV's Ted Lasso.

Wed
02
Feb

Top 10 Gambling TV Shows of All Time

Top 10 Gambling TV Shows

It’s always interesting whenever two worlds collide. Gambling has always been one of mankind’s favorite hobbies and recreational activities. However, as the 20th century rolled along, people started indulging more in content consumption in the wake of the release of a certain device called the television. These days, gambling movies and TV shows make up a huge part of pop culture and mainstream media. So many people are reliant on television to keep them engaged and entertained on a daily basis. One of the most beautiful aspects of television production is that there’s practically a show for any kind of person. And in this article, we’re going to tackle some of the most prominent gambling-related TV shows of all time. 

Sat
01
Jan

Vote for the Best of 2021

Best of 2021

It's a brand new year, and no doubt there nothing anyone wants to do less than to look back at 2021, the year that looked at 2020 and said, "Hold my beer."

But in terms of entertainment options, 2021 had a better turnout than its predecessor, due in part to the reopening of movie theaters (although a good number of great stories were told through streaming services as well). Likewise, there was many good things in broadcast and streaming series to capture the attention, and a swell of wonderful stories in the comic book industry, largely bolstered by a rise in indepently produced products.

So we urge you to take a deep breath for one more last look at the year, and select the best among the nominees below to determine which ones deserve a Critical Blast Best of 2021 trophy.

This voting also includes the voting or our annual Bombshell of the Year, selecting among the twelve cosplayers who were each spotlighted in our monthly Bombshell of the Month feature.

Wed
15
Dec

Monsters in the Closet a Savvy Take on Horror Anthology Movie Genre

Monsters in the Closet

Variety, so the saying goes, is the spice of life. So, too, in cinema--particularly horror cinema, where triteness sometimes reigns--is diversity a welcome feature. The anthology format, so common in the grindhouse and VHS days of yore in films such as Black Sabbath, The House That Dripped Blood, Creepshow, and Tales from the Darkside: The Movie, has experienced a revival in the past decade through the V/H/S series, Trick r’ Treat and the recent (and excellent) Grave Intentions. As a narrative form, the anthology delivers a quick-jolt of instant terror gratification; there’s precious little time to establish Exorcist-level mood, suspense and characterization in a fifteen-minute segment. Its storytelling stripped to the barest of bones, and individual tales are often hit-or-miss.

Sun
28
Nov

Hawkeye: What to Expect from the Latest MCU TV Show

Hawkeye on Disney Plus

The latest Marvel TV show is one that many didn’t expect to see. After years in the MCU as the target of countless jokes, Hawkeye has finally been given his own solo series, just in time for Christmas. Yes, Clint Barton is shooting to be home for the holidays and he’s got a secret weapon in his quiver; new protege Kate Bishop. Hawkeye has often felt like a secondary character when compared to more flamboyant MCU alumni like Iron Man, Thor and the Scarlet Witch, so it came as a surprise for many fans when Disney made the announcement that the faithful SHIELD agent would be given his chance to be the main man.

Tue
09
Nov

Kung Fu Only Feels Like a CW Arrowverse Series

Kung Fu Season 1 BD

Billed as a reboot to the 1970s western series starring David Carradine, CW's Kung Fu bears little resemblance beyond the name. The tale is set in current year, and gets rolling when young Nicky Shen (Olivia Liang) discovers the real reason her mother sent her from San Francisco to China was to introduce her to someone who was husband material. Ducking out and hiding in the back of a truck, Nicky finds herself hiding out at a Shaolin monastery overseen by Pei-Ling Zhang (Kheng Hua Tan). Something about the training Nicky sees speaks to her, and she stays with the monastery for three years, only returning to San Fransciso after the temple is attacked and destroyed by Zhilan (Yvonne Chapman) who comes seeking a sword hidden there -- one of eight weapons of power that, when united, will make the bearer unstoppable.

Fri
05
Nov

Why 'Spartacus' is the Underrated TV Gem of the Decade

Spartacus

Across the annals of TV history, there are a few television shows that, despite showing such promise, were abruptly and cruelly taken away from us. Such is the case with Spartacus, the gladiator-themed TV show which ran on Starz from 2010 to 2013.

Despite the big-budget, gory, and gritty series fast becoming a critical darling, as well as the most-watched TV show on the Starz network by a very wide margin, it was abruptly announced after the second season that the show was being canceled and that season three would be the last, much to the chagrin of fans the world over.

Whether you have already binge-watched Spartacus or are considering dipping your toe in the waters, just know that you are going to be experiencing one of TV's hidden gems of the decade.

Fri
05
Nov

Yes, It's Been 25 Years Since Superman: The Animated Series

Superman Animated Series

Perhaps one is officially old when the best versions of their favorite things date back beyond twenty years. I was pleased to find that Superman: The Animated Series was getting a Blu-ray collection of all three seasons. But I did blink at the fact that it had been twenty-five years -- a whole quarter-century -- since the show had debuted on television. And while Superman hasn't really been away from the animated theater, this particular incarnation, a by-product of the success of Batman: The Animated Series, was a show that understood the character, what he was about, and was able to tell engrossing stories that challenged the hero.

Wed
27
Oct

Superman and Lois Turn Smallville into Riverdale (Season One Blu-Ray)

Superman and Lois S1 BD

Superhero fans have been largely accepting of the latest CW series, Superman and Lois. And while there have been those all-too-brief, bright and shining moments (that introduction scene of Superman in his Golden Age outfit is insurpassable!), I'm too much of a Superman fan to fully fall in love with this series. And I'll tell you why.

Mon
18
Oct

Running on Empty: The Flash Season 7 Released on Blu-ray

Flash Season 7 BD

COVID was not kind to the production of The Flash. Season 6 had to end abruptly with Iris (Candice Patton) trapped in the mirror universe by Eva McCulloch (Efrat Dor). The lack of closure of the "big bad" story of the season gave the seventh season an awkward start as the first few episodes are really the end of the previous season. After that, we meander aimlessly into a season where Barry (Grant Gustin) and Iris somehow give birth to an entire anthropomorphically personified "forces of the universe" family, including the reborn Speed Force (Michelle Harrison).

Fri
15
Oct

Death Cat's Grave Intentions Delightfully Dread-Inducing

Grave Intentions

It’s been said that anthologies are a tough creative sell to audiences. As movies they offer a quick-hit of variety that’s both the format’s most solid strength and its primary weakness, for while there may be several excellent proffered tales in any individual anthology film, there’s always (at least) one that a viewer may not find to their particular taste. Still, their premise, especially for horror cinema, holds potent storytelling allure. The descendent of the campfire fable of yore, inherited by the classic gothic- and pulp-era short story and sharpened to visceral perfection by EC Comics during the 1950’s, anthologies distill horror to its barest, essential elements: a grimly humorous host announcing a simple set-up, a twist, and (hopefully) a jolt of disquieting terror.

Mon
30
Aug

Second Season Prodigal Son Losing It's Allure -- But Prodigal Daughter Holds Promise

Prodigal Son SSN 2 BD

Warner Brothers police drama with a twist, Prodigal Son, gets the Blu-ray release for its second season. Malcolm Bright (Tom Payne) continues in his role of consulting profiler for the police department, bringing his unique perspective to the solving of unique homicides. That perspective comes from the fact that his father, Dr. Martin Whitly (Michael Sheen), is the infamous serial killer known as The Surgeon. From his special accommodations at the Claremont Psychiatric Hospital, Martin stands ready and eager to "help" his son get into the minds of the various psycopathies he must unravel, all while getting further into Malcom's head as he struggles with repressed memories.

Wed
11
Aug

Stellar Start to Stargirl Sophomore Season

Stargirl S2

After its premiere season, Stargirl had set a rather high bar for itself. But, at least with this initial episode of the second season, the show seems to be hitting on all cylinders, retaining the charm and nostalgia that fans fell in love with last year.

Wed
28
Jul

Pennyworth Season 2 Not Worth a Dime

Pennyworth SSN2

When I first heard that Gotham was going to be followed up by a series called

Pennyworth, I thought, "Okay, Gotham was a wee bit of a stretch, going back to a pre-Batman version of the setting, but going back to Alfred's younger days is probably beyond a capable grasp."

I believe I was correct in this assumption. Even with Bruno Heller attached, Pennyworth seems to very little connection to the Fox series.

In this second season, Alfred (Jack Bannon) is something of a war profiteer. He runs a night club catering to both sides of the war, and puts his former military skills to the test by taking on the odd mercenary job here and there. Some of these jobs are at the behest of CIA field agent Thomas Wayne (Ben Aldridge), who enjoys a tenuous romantic relationship with resistance fighter, Martha Kane (Emma Paetz).

Fri
23
Jul

Heroic Nihilism -- The Eternian Apocalypse of Masters of the Universe: Revelation

Masters of the Universe - Revelation

Kevin Smith's Masters of the Universe: Revelation dropped on Netflix today -- or, at least, the first five episodes have. And while many fans are already commenting and commiserating that He-Man is largely absent from this tale that is all about a bitter Teela's quest to save Eternia, there's a mix of good moments in this, albeit blighted by the nihilistic plot points that come up later in the run.

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