Monthly Archives: October 2015

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Episode 43 – Fall Nerd TV Roundup

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Key and Peele say it better than we can:

Fall is here, and with it a downpour of new nerdy programming. Rob and Mary enthuse about various returning shows and a couple of new ones–check them out while they’re still hot. (Oh, and Rob has been burning up with shame over his inability to recall Harvey Bullock’s name.)

LINKS

NOTE / SEMI MEA CULPA
Rob here. Just last night I watched the pilot of Agents of SHIELD with my lady friend, who had never seen it but is a casual fan of the MCU (and a super fan of Mr. Whedon). I think maybe I’ve been selling it short. I may elaborate on this as I watch more, but my memory of the first half of season one is just filled to the brim with dogshit, and the pilot…wasn’t that bad. I think the worst that can be said of it is that it doesn’t know whether it wants to be a breezy, whimsical Whedon joint or a gritty, wisecracking MCU sidebar–and it falters when it tries to be both. Skye’s character in particular has the dorkiness dialed up way too far, but now that they’ve corrected that and unified the show’s mood, it’s terrific. But hey, maybe the first few episodes aren’t as oppressively terrible as I remember. Check it out!

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Fall 2015 Nerd TV Roundup

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It's a good time to be a nerd.
It’s a good time to be a nerd.

Another summer gone–and that means a new crop of season premieres for us to soak up as the nights get shorter and our affects creep towards disorder. Lots of favorites are returning while a few are either dropping off our radar (bye now, American Horror Story) or settling into the grave (it was nice while it lasted, Constantine). Here are the shows we’ll be watching at least for a few episodes:

Already running

  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Mary: The second season was much better than the first, and the first episode of this season indicates they may be able to keep up that momentum. If nothing else it’s nice to have something to keep my MCU hunger at bay while I wait for Agent Carter, Captain America: Civil War, and all the other goodies Marvel’s got lined up for us. Plus I’ll just never tire of Clark Gregg. Rob: Pretty much what Mary said. The show has definitely found its way and I recommend it w/o reservation to fans of the MCU.
  • Gotham: Rob: Last season got a little mushy up ’til the very end, but this year it’s focusing on the origin of its villains and feels crunchier. The story is darker for sure, but the producers are nailing that classic balance between gritty noir and Golden Age whimsy that best characterizes Batman. Should be a good time.
  • Heroes Reborn: Mary: So far I’m on board. We’ll see. I’m not super-wrapped up in it, right now my curiosity is propelling me along. But I still see potential! Rob: I’m a sucker for conspiracies, and it sure looks like this reboot is all-in on paranoia. The Japanese video game stuff is somehow both nifty and trite, but they may pull it off. Fool me twice, shame on me.
  • Sleepy Hollow: Rob: I’m in for sure. They wrapped up the show neatly last year because they weren’t sure they’d be back, so it’s not too far off the mark to call this a slight reboot. Mills is finally in the FBI and Crane is…well, it’d be disappointing if he changed too much. But Betsy Ross! Mary: ALL IN. I can’t wait for each episode, it’s every bit as fun as it’s been in previous seasons. It IS kind of a soft reboot, and that’s fine. As long as they continue the cool monsters, good chemistry, and their delightful sense of humor I think all us Sleepyheads will be happy.
  • The Flash: Mary: Every time I saw a commercial I got SO EXCITED, and last night’s premier did NOT disappoint! I’m looking forward to the crazy wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey, other-dimensional action! And Cisco’s smart-ass comments! I do hope they do better by Iris this season. But I think it’s gonna be great! Rob:  Harrison Wells was such a terrific villain that Season 2 has a massive hole to fill, but I expect we’ll see plenty to keep us coming back. More Mark Hamill, please!
  • iZombie: Rob: I thought I was out, but I somehow acquired hope. Maybe they’ll focus on the overarching zombie story and lay off the murder-of-the-week crap? Plus the dang theme song brings me a weekly jolt of dopamine, so I may as well stick around for another 43 minutes. Mary: I missed the premiere last night, but I’m planning on watching it. It’s not must-see for me, but I still liked it fine at the end of the last season. You could do worse for some zombie-genre fun.

Week of 10/5/15

  • Arrow: Rob: I wish I knew how to quit you. Arrow keeps losing its way and then finding its way back–or finding a cool new path. With Legends of Tomorrow set to launch midway through the season, I expect this will be the anchor show for an ever-widening televised DC-verse. Will it lighten up? Will the R’as al Ghul business settle down or influence the show for the long haul? Will Green Lantern ever show up? Mary: I’m more enthusiastic about The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow, but I’m definitely going to watch at least the first few episodes. I’m looking forward to the short-lived domestic bliss of Olicity, those bits where supers try to leave the super-life behind are always fun. (Remember the “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” montage in Spider Man 2?) Also can’t wait for the John Constantine cameo… I really hope that’s a nice long arc.
  • Supernatural: Mary: In an upcoming episode of our podcast I’ll explain all the reasons you should watch Supernatural. Right now I’ll say this: I think long-time fans will probably give this upcoming 11th season a go, and new fans should start at the beginning anyway. You could jump in with this season, but you’re missing a lot of good stuff, and based on last season I’m a bit worried about how this season will play out. Watch this space for details!
  • The Walking Dead: Rob: I just watched the finale of Fear the Walking Dead, and I think I may be more interested in that going forward. It’s not that I don’t want to follow Glenn and Michonne and even Rick–it’s more that their trauma and exhaustion get harder to watch with each new year. Maybe this time they’ll try something fresh.

Week of 10/26/15

  • Supergirl: Mary: I’ve held off on watching the pilot that’s widely available on the interwebs, but I’m looking forward to this show despite any misgivings I might have, like “will they rom-com it up too much?” I’m ready to be proved wrong! Rob:  I have seen the pilot and…well…my feelings are mixed. It’s got major problems, notably in the writing, but it’s got a lot going for it–the cast and the effects are largely terrific. If it can clean up its act in the first few episodes, it should be good fun.

Eventually

  • Agent Carter: Rob: Oooooh boy, they did it! This pops up in January during the season break, and it’s supposed to get spooky with the introduction of the Darkforce. This is essential to tons of Marvel characters, including good ol’ Dr. Strange, whose film comes out next Halloween. But honestly, I’ll take any hook to keep this terrific show alive.  Mary: CANNOT WAIT!!!! I have such a deep love for the current MCU, especially Cap and Peggy Carter. This show ranks second only to Orphan Black in my heart, and I’m so excited to see how Peggy kicks ass this season. (To hear a little of what Hayley Atwell–Peggy herself–is looking forward to, check out our post about her panel at ECCC 2015!)
  • Jessica Jones: Mary: More MCU! And it looks like we might be getting close to actually getting it, current internet searches indicate “late 2015.” If Daredevil is any indication of how Marvel conducts itself on Netflix I think we’re in for an amazing ride! Rob: The trailers have given me hope that this will hit the mark. I’ll likely burn my eyeballs bingeing it when it launches (I think I heard November).
  • Legends of Tomorrow:  Mary: As I mentioned, this ranks up there with The Flash as far as DC stuff I’m looking forward to. Very excited to see Arthur Darvill (Rory Pond from Doctor Who) again, and even if this whole show is a mess I have a feeling it’ll be fun and funny which might be enough to keep me hooked. Rob: This show has some great momentum, building off of the huge success of Arrow and The Flash–but I can’t see how it fits tonally with the other two. I think we’ll know after a couple of episodes if they know where they’re headed, and it’ll be fun to find out.