Sunday, July 28, 2013

Alternative Entertainment to 'The Wolverine'

Plans fell through to see the new X-Men movie, 'The Wolverine' starring Hugh Jackman. I felt a bit pessimistic to doing my usual original creative writing attempting to write a novel. Screenplays haven't been panning out so far. These were the television shows that I found to watch in replacement for the movie I desired to see.


The episode with the missile hitting the dome made me realize just how much this show lacks. Never at one point during the episode did I believe in anything happening with any of the characters. Everything rang false. I don't know what Britt Robertson did that got her that signature starring role in Tomorrowland, but she does nothing on this show to convince me she deserves it. Even good actors can somehow make mediocre material work. I was seriously just rooting for the other actress. Terra Nova wasn't much better, but I liked the actress there. Robertson's character in this show has amounted to being introduced in a sexual manner, and then being locked away whining repetitively. I know, I know, what else could she do? How about not accept the role in the first place?

I've come to accept that the main and likely only thing I like about this show is its central premise. Not a single character rings true in my mind. The writing is becoming intolerable in every sense. And this series is based on a novel by Stephen King! Of course he's not going to say anything bad about it, but perhaps the writing emulates that of the novel. Although I'm getting a similar vibe here that I did with The Walking Dead. But at least that show has Daryl.


After the disappointment above, (and I've skipped two episodes of Under the Dome, and I still didn't feel I missed anything important), I got to experience the surprisingly effective Dark Knight cartoon. It's 3 episodes in, and I believe it's getting better. Actually... it started out pretty good. We're progressing with the overall narrative. The Batman voice works, not making me crave the original and best (and Kevin Conroy remains the best). Certain DC animated movies made me wish Conroy were involved.

The villain here of course reminds one of the cream of the crop when it comes to Batman's rogues, but this series has started to use obscure antagonists to a more positive effect. We're also seeing all aspects of the Dark Knight 'detective'. Although Alfred hasn't fulfilled the promise yet of being younger and having a more interesting background. The animation can be jarring at times but I'm really close to completely adapting to it.


Aside from Avatar: The Last Airbender/Legend of Korra and the few episodes of Clone Wars I caught before it was criminally cancelled, there's one cartoon that I believe is making me jealous of some kids nowadays. (Of course I've watched these, so I can't be too jealous)

This new cartoon is probably the best animated interpretation I've yet to see. Also, there hasn't been a BAD episode yet to my recollection. The writing is definitely far superior to the original 80s-90s syndicated cartoon that I grew up on. I'm pretty sure everyone knows that it's nice to have Jason Biggs and Sean Astin as two of the turtles, but being former varying levels of movie star, it's obvious television is always a step back. Cartoons/voice acting could even be considered another step lower than that. I would love to be a voice actor too. The entertainment industry is nothing but appealing from the outside.


This Canadian import I've grown quite fond of, being a fan of Sci-Fi, (Lost Girl being the other great that comes to mind) has continued, hehe, to remain interesting even with uneventful episodes. It helps that Rachel Nichols is just lovely, as well as Victor Webster's extremely likable Carlos leading the charge. It's a testament that even predictable choices creatively don't di-minish my enjoyment. But I do get a little irritated that overall mythology characters appear every now and again, when they're needed. (the Liber8 characters)

I also want to point out other series I've been watching recently.


In the general sense, this show is pretty good. Some characters though just don't seem to work in my mind. It's a problem when the title character doesn't feel like a real human being. I can't quite place it, but he's just not that interesting. His brother played by Eddie Marsan remains the most likable of the family. Other characters are pretty terrible as well. That blonde chick that just wants Ray Donovan, I mean, come on! I feel a Joey Quinn-type vibe with this scenario. This actress must be desperate for work, cuz the material she's given is terrible.

I'm just confused by the prestigious nature of the show and yet there's characters that we, well I, think deserve a little more spotlight. Ray Donovan's woman co-worker, Steven Bauer's muscle guy, I mean, what drove that actor to this role? He was on Breaking Bad for crying out loud. I'm trying to think, but I also want to point out characters that just absolutely don't seem to fit in this show. Frank Whaley's FBI or whatever dude. Maybe it's just his hammy performance. What is he doing?

There doesn't seem to be an overall connecting narrative framework going on here. Sure, you could argue Jon Voight's role is that connection, but somehow I don't think we're getting the meat of it that we were promised. At least so far.


The other fresh show I've been watching. I like to reference IGN when it comes to shows that don't compel me completely or just to get their opinion, which I usually disagree with when they rate episodes highly (Dexter mostly). Apparently the 3rd episode (which I've yet to watch) is barely tolerable according to them. I do feel that this is a show that I can't really miss an episode though and it gets points for that.

Demian Bichir remains a compelling presence and probably worth watching the show alone for him and the general atmosphere. Diane Kruger's character is another one of those too out-there creations. I know shows want to manifest characters we can become attracted to for their originality in personality and feel like real people, but here, they dropped the ball.


I will admit that. Anime tends to be more mature and create premises that feel wholly unique. Examples: Death Note, Code Geass, DBZ (of course), Soul Eater, countless others. And cartoon network is premiering a new one called Sword Art Online. I'm excited for it. I've heard from anime fans that its first half is the half to watch, but from a creative mindset, if it holds my interest and doesn't derail completely (in my mind) then it's worth sticking out. There has been plenty of shows I've dropped because I lost interest, with Fringe being the only one I can remember regretting. Season 1 was very episodic, what can I say?

Anyway... thanks for reading this excessively long, (in my mind) post. I would love to discuss shows with anyone also watching them and get their takes on it. I'm not much of a forum commenter, because I can never tell how long the wait will be to get a response and the atmosphere just doesn't appeal to me for some reason. I dunno. I'm lazy in that way. Peace.
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