Tag Archives: The Expanse

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TV Mid-Season Lightning Round

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Srs bizness. (l-r) Orphan Black, Legion, American Gods, Supernatural, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and The Flash.

We’re just popping our heads up from our long hiatus to tell you what nerdy stuff we’re watching on tv! Here is a super-quick round-up of what’s been draining our eyeballs*, in no particular order.

  • The Flash
    Mary: Still great and still fun! AND I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE ARROWVERSE MUSICAL CROSSOVER EPISODES NEXT WEEK!!!
    Rob: I hate to say it, but I may be peeling off from the Arrowverse. (Do I really hate to say it? Do I?) The good stuff is good–gotta love Jesse Quick–but the dialogue is insultingly bad across all four shows. At least one of them (see below) sometimes flips into camp, but Barry and the gang never quite get there. That musical could make it all right again, though.
  • Arrow
    Mary: SO morose, and SO hit-or-miss, but I’m still watching.
    Rob: If it weren’t for Mr. Terrific, I wouldn’t be watching. (Looking forward to Echo Kellum’s next role.) I do kinda like Ragman too, but he’s out until they need him to go bad or remind Oliver he’s a dick or whatever.
    Mary: Agreed about Mr. Terrific. That dude is great.
  • Supergirl
    Mary: I’m glad this show exists, but I’m only watching the crossover episodes now.
    Rob: IGTSE also. That said…meh? Bits and pieces are kinda neat, and there will forever be a Buffy-sized hole that needs filling, but inertia and my sick drive to complete sets is all that’s keeping me watching.
  • Legends of Tomorrow
    Mary: I mostly forget about this show except for watching the crossover episode with the Arrowverse.
    Rob: This is the one show out of the four in the Arrowverse that seems to enjoy being what it is–stupid, campy time-travel adventures. Some of the corn is just unbearable–when Dr. Stein started singing the Banana Boat Song in the control room of Apollo 13, to name a recent example. But it commits to the bit every week and it’s at its best when it’s diving headfirst into idiocy.
  • Supernatural
    Mary: Season 12 is the best in a long time, it’s really fucking good. I could do a whole post on this, and I might just do that.
  • Legion
    Mary: Holy shit this show is AMAZING and I’m obsessed. I love the styling, the music, the acting, the actors… I’ve described it as a dark Wes Anderson superhero show. And it just got picked up for a second season!
    Rob: I could not be happier that this show made it to air and is showing off what’s possible both in genre TV and in TV generally. Few shows step up to this level of extreme psychedelic weirdness. More than anything, I want tv to treat me like an intelligent adult, and Legion delivers. There is just so much to recommend this show, but I suppose the less you know about it the better. Check it out.
  • Lucifer
    Mary: There’s not a new episode until like May or something, but it’s still charming and I’m still on board mostly because of Tom Ellis.
    Rob: Ditto, though I’m a little concerned about the recent move toward Lucifer’s serious side. That could ruin the show for me. (if a show is going to be dumb, it has to know it and revel in it–see Legends of Tomorrow above.)
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
    Mary: I gave up. I’ll probably catch up someday. It just got to be homework and my tv schedule is already pretty full.
    Rob: They’re doing something interesting with long story arcs wrapping up in midseason finales, and of course they’ve got overarching plotlines and occasional movie tie-ins. But is it any good? Short answer: I guess? Clark Gregg is a gem, and the other main characters are all good fun, but like most other modern genre shows, everyone’s gotta have a dark side, yawn. The most recent arc touched very lightly on some Westworld-adjacent themes and delivered a few genuine surprises, so I’m staying in.
  • The Magicians
    Mary: I can’t explain why I like this show, and I’m not recommending it but I find myself compulsively watching every episode.
    Rob: I love this show, but they forgot to make Eliot the main character.
  • Colony:
    Mary: I haven’t been watching the second season in real time, but I really liked the first season on Netflix and will probably binge the second. It’s especially scary in light of current events.
  • Grimm
    Mary: I gave up but a friend of mine says I should get back in so I will probably catch up.
  • Sleepy Hollow
    Mary: I honestly didn’t know this was still on. I fizzled out midway through season 3, and really didn’t know they’d gotten a 4th. That being said, I’ve heard it’s delightful still and I might jump back in.
    Rob: Wow, I didn’t realize that season 4 had already started. The finale of season 3 seemed pretty…final, but I’ll give it a shot for old time’s sake.
  • Gotham
    Rob: This one is also taking a quick break, but I’m looking forward to its return next month. The triple-head-fake on the Joker has been marvelous to watch unfold, and Robin Lord Taylor is killing it as the Penguin. But as I’ve said before, Bruce Wayne is the Jar Jar Binks of Gotham.
  • The Expanse
    Mary: I watched a good chunk of the first season and then fell off, but I want to get back in. There’s a lot to love.
    Rob: Now that they’ve more or less unified the storylines, I’m loving season 2 without reservation. Solid dialogue, surprising plotting, amazing effects, and generally high-quality acting make this essential viewing. Of course, if hard sci-fi with deep roots in the Campbell tradition isn’t your thing, you’re excused.

Coming Soon

  • Iron Fist
    Mary: I’m really not looking forward to this. It sounds boring and Finn Jones needs someone to come pick him up because he is drunk and not helping his cause. I’ve taken to referring to Iron Fist as Kickpuncher because it sounds about as good.
    Rob: The initial reviews are scaring me off a little, but I know I’ll watch. Beyond the troubling cultural issues (I don’t think the showrunners could have made it work regardless of their casting, but we’ll never know), IF has the misfortune of having to tie together three very different, very well done shows and set the stage for the big crossover series The Defenders. That’s a big ask under any circumstances.
  • Orphan Black
    Mary: Coming back soon, yes? The third and fourth seasons were definitely not as strong as the first and second, but there’s no way I’d miss the final season.
    Rob: It’s coming out in June, and while it has meandered a fair amount latey, I’d watch Tatiana Maslany shop for USB cables for an hour a week if that was all I could get.
  • iZombie
    Mary: I had forgotten all about it and then I saw a promo on the CW and I’m probably going to watch the next season.
  • Preacher
    Rob: I had mixed but mostly positive feelings about the first season, and I’ll be watching when it drops again in June. The actors are so charming–especailly Ruth Negga as Tulip–that it should be good fun to watch even if it goes off the rails.
    American Gods
    Mary: My anticipation for this show is almost too much to bear. I honestly get chills thinking about it. The first trailer looks and feels perfect (the second is even better) and the casting is brilliantly on-point, I will be shocked if it doesn’t live up to expectations.
    Rob: See above.

* Look for Drained Eyeballs: The Story of Nerdhole, coming one day to herald the final true death of the publishing industry.

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Episode 52 – The Expanse

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Miller (Thomas Jane), Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo), and Jim Holden (Steven Strait)
Miller (Thomas Jane), Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo), and Jim Holden (Steven Strait)

Most of us lucky enough to have played in a kickass RPG campaign have dreamed of bringing our adventures to the page or the screen–and now we know that it can be done. The Expanse, currently running on Syfy, is based on a series of books with a storied RPG history. Paul schools Mary and Rob on that very engaging history as we explore our fascination and frustration with the show.

LINKS