Category Archives: TV

Vendettas: Mercenaries of Mayhem

The mercenaries come in to wreak havoc on our poor Challengers while Kam does her best Fire Marshall Bill impression. A new challenge proves very difficult for everyone, with broken glass and stitches and ambulance rides galore.

Karate Kid sequel crane kicks its way onto Youtube Red

Look,  we’re sorry about that awful title too, OK? But we’re a legit site, and all the legit sites do the awful headlines like that. We’re rolling with the times, folks.

Alright, let’s get serious here. Guys, the first trailer for the Karate Kid sequel dropped today.

Behold the 48 seconds of pure nerdgasm…or nerd rage, depending on which side of the fence you find yourself.

It’s a teaser, so we’re only getting a taste, but let’s break it down anyway.

Camera flies over the California hills. Screen fades in from black on a handful of trophies before the black curtain drops and we see the All Valley Karate Championship tournament tree revealed. Some newspaper clippings of Daniel and Mr Miyagi. A taped up yellow flyer of Johnny, the new master of the Cobra Kai dojo, inviting you to join.  Freshly stenciled mantra in bold black on a white wall:

STRIKE FIRST, STRIKE HARD, NO MERCY

All the while Johnny is shouting out orders. Then Daniel questions Johnny’s judgment…

We’re 14 seconds in and the nostalgia meter is already off the charts.

Inside a building, more trophies, with two people sparring in the back.  Now a cliffside where two are practicing moves in sync. A stark contrast in teaching styles. Johnny’s stern voice reminding everyone that mercy isn’t a thing. Daniel telling someone that the fundamentals are all that matters.

Over the shoulder shot of Johnny looking on at his students. A yellow tinted shot of the outside of Cobra Kai, insinuating we’re getting an origin story for the best blonde haired bad guy 1984 had to offer.

Now it’s Daniel’s turn with the back of the head shot as he ties up that iconic black and white Hachimaki.

Some Rivalries. NEVER END.

The music crescendos as we finally see them. Daniel and Johnny. Face to face. Daniel makes a fairly standard threat as the 30 year old tensions reignite.

Cut to black.

Fade in the Cobra Kai logo.

Cue the drums.

CUT THE CHECK.

We’ve always been staunchly opposed to the rebranding, repackaging, and reselling of our youth…

(Ed. note: This doesn’t count.)

That said, we were genuinely disappointed that the Danny McBride Crocodile Dundee reboot turned out to be nothing more than a crummy commercial.

But this, we can’t decide on. It would be good to see what became of both Johnny and Daniel after that fateful night…besides the misadventures in Japan and that, of course. But is it worth it?

This leads into the other “problem” with this new series: It’s a Youtube Red exclusive.

Youtube is making a run at getting their paid service off the ground for good, and they’re coming at the one thing so many of us can’t resist: Our childhood.

Diabolical…

Personally, the draw of the new adventures of D and J won’t be enough to get us to buy in. Not right away at least. If it turns out to be the next Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones…(it could happen) then a re-evaluation will be in order.

How about you? Is the site of the immortal, always perfect Ralph Macchio enough to convince you? At least it isn’t a Smith spawn on the screen, right?

The 10 episode Cobra Kai series is set to drop all at once later this year on Youtube Red.

Vendettas: Pulling The Strings

We get to see Brad and the selected Challenger enter an elimination.  We do find out who is leaving the notes in Britni’s bed.  Some drama in the kitchen makes Devin and Banana’s vendetta even stronger.  And in the elimination TJ drops a surprise on everyone before a challenger gets an injury that might take them out of the game.

Dear Jerks: An Open Letter to the CW.

Hi CW,

It’s me again. This is my 14th letter to your company despite my 13 previously unanswered correspondence.  I write to you, as always, a loyal member of the Arrowverse Aptly Ambling Society, but with a level of concern for your product that should surpass that of a 38 year old. I am well aware that I am outside your marketing demographic, and my words will fall on deaf ears. At least they have 13 times prior. That said, I find myself week in and week out further questioning my allegiance to your shows.

You know what? Let’s stuff the formality. YOU clearly have.

No need to put on airs at this point, as far as we are into the current season, so I’ll just out with it. What are you doing? Why are you doing it? What possessed you? Are you being stubbornly idiotic on purpose or is it laziness?

Not too long ago, the DC/CW universe was the strongest, most capable representation of DC properties going. It dominated over Fox’s Gotham, and even stood above the consistently ill aimed DCEU. Your stories were solid, your characters strong, and episodes tight and action packed. No one in the TV landscape could contend, not even the powerhouse that is Disney Marvel.

Perhaps, that was your own downfall.  Did the lack of true competition make you complacent? Is that why everything has fallen to pieces? If you don’t agree, rewatch the pilot of Arrow. It’s on Netflix.  Now watch ANY episode from this season.  Do you see the difference? Miles apart, isn’t it?

I am speaking specifically today about Arrow and the Flash. Supergirl is doing her best at staying relevant, if not a bit mundane, in an age where no one seems to know what to do with Kryptonians, and Legends, as I have already and will continue to shout, has figured out its voice and is being exactly what it was meant to be.

If you’ll indulge me, there are fixes here. I’ll cover two of them. One for each show.

ARROW

Make things matter again.  I know you thought that my fix for Arrow was killing Felicity. Well you would have had you read the previous 13 letters. But she’s not the probl…no, I can’t finish that sentence. I physically cannot. Because she absolutely is. You’ve gone GOTHAM levels of off canon there.  But,  she’s hardly the root of the problem.

Nothing matters anymore. There were at least 10 people on that island when it exploded at the end of the fifth season. Why are 9 of them still alive? I know you knew there were problems with the show. Your star said in more than one interview that there were, so it was at least discussed. Nothing says course correct like blowing up 90% of your cast.

I’m not suggesting kill all of them. But kill more than the woman who already wasn’t in the show. See where your biggest pain points are in the off season and simply stop writing them.  Thea hasn’t been relevant in 3 seasons. Let her go.

Example: Season 1, Oliver stopped the bad guy and saved the day. Well, he stopped the bad guy at least. He lost his best friend in the process, and the city suffered a horrific earthquake. Season 2, Slade killed Moira, a main character up until then, right in front of her kids. There were CONSEQUENCES. Stuff mattered because it could be lost in an instant. Yes, you killed off Laurel. Don’t think I’ve forgotten that.  But you still have a Black Canary.

That’s an entire argument of its own.

The point being is that now, every single character is too precious to lose, and as such, there’s nothing for them to do. People can’t even stay injured. Felicity is paralyzed. There’s a chip for that. Diggle has the shakes. Nah, there’s a chip for that. Seriously, knock it off. Kill a couple people.  Make the show mean something again. Let one of them be Felicity.

Flash

This same too many characters problem bleeds into the Flash. Everyone is a best friend now. We’re just best friends saving the best friend world all the best friend time. I mean, isn’t Joe’s fiance like a commissioner or something? How the hell does that work her dating a subordinate? Doesn’t she have other things to do besides be a pregnant, conveniently temporary psychic? Why is she always at S.T.A.R. Labs?

And help me out: what exactly does Iris DO? She’s a reporter, right? So why is she part of Team Flash? What expertise does she possess to be in a super secret science lab? Or coordinating operations? What the hell is going on here? Is she actually a double agent?

Back to my larger point.

Most recently, Barry helped save Goldberg who was serving a life sentence for jackhammering a cop. He got stabbed and Barry helped save his life. But it couldn’t just be that Barry saved the life of a murderer. We couldn’t have that. No. See the Allens, both Barry and Henry, wouldn’t save a person because its the right thing to do regardless of their crimes. It had to be that Goldberg was actually framed by Kickpuncher.

Barry doesn’t save murderers’ lives. That’s all there is to it. He will however release a man convicted of murder, run him to China and strand him there without money, passport, extra clothes, or even a small idea as to whether or not he even speaks the language, all the while foregoing the legal process because the system was wrong!

I’m not even getting into the trial, conviction and appeal of Barry. That was a joke, start to finish. I only have a baseline understanding of the judicial system, having logged well over 200 hours of Law and Order and its sister show, SVU, and even I understand how much of a farce that whole proceeding was…Alright, one note from it.

Barry is at his sentencing. HIS SENTENCING, when the villain du jour was running amok and needed to be stopped. It went thus:

“We need a speedster!”

“Ok, cool. Someone call Wally and we’ll–”

“NO! Tell Barry about it. Have him do it. Have him asked to be excused from his own trial where he’s been convicted of murder and have him go do it.”

Again, I digress. It comes down to you have too many characters scratching for screentime, and you aren’t using any of them correctly. (Dibny aside. Dibny is damn awesome and when his time is up here, get his stretchy behind on the Waverider)   Tighten up the corners, let bad guys be bad guys, wrap this whole Devoe project up, and for God sakes stop this random pregnancy powers weird plot device from happening again. It’s cheap and lazy.

Look, I know this letter has only made it as far up as some 3rd AD’s secretary’s assistant. I know that none of this matters, end of the day. You’ll do what you do and that’s all there is to it.  But I ask, NO, I IMPLORE that you, Marybelle,  somehow get word from your little desk in an office in Vancouver to one or three of your writing staff and insist they go back and watch the first season of Arrow, and the first two seasons of Flash. Understand what is possible, and find your way back there.

And as always, kill Felicity.

Your friend in time,

M

 

Vendettas: Notes on a Scandal

WHO IS THE BLURRY FIGURE WHO LEFT THE NOTES? The world may never know, but that won’t stop us from speculating. We see a Challenge this week. It’s underwater and at night. But no elimination. Maybe one of these weeks we’ll see a full episode. This time around Shane and Victor are friends until they’re not, Britni and Cara make out, Nicole and Kyle make out, and our worlds are turned upside down.

Vendettas: Guilty by Association

Well, it’s a filler episode but maybe, just maybe it means next week we’ll get a challenge and an elimination. The rookie girls get riled up and fight, and we don’t really see much else going on otherwise. This elimination will go down as one of the most hardcore we’ve seen so far. We’ve listened to your feedback and we appreciate it. We’ll keep the long form episodes as long as no one complains.

Vendettas: Pizzagate

Pizzagate isn’t just a weird alt-right conspiracy theory. It’s also an episode of The Challenge, where Brad comes back as his intense, passionate self and starts a half-million dollar fight over pizza. Was it worth it? We get trivia and a food challenge combined, and a Challenger tries his best to redeem himself and win for his team.

Vendettas: Banatalie

It’s our goal this time around to make sure our recaps take less time than watching the actual episode. Do we succeed? Hell yes. We always do. We see a pathetic showing of an elimination and get some real-time behind the scenes about the elimination. We also see some of the very worst politicking in the history of The Challenge. We leave on yet another cliffhanger of an Inquisition. Who will the Troika end up sending in?

CvS: The Final Countdown

Well, we finally made it to the end of Champs vs. Stars. This poor show got lost in the other Challenge mayhem, overlapping the end of Dirty Thirty and the beginning of Vendettas. So far, the Champs have swept the series. Will that continue, or will the Stars actually win something? This also ends our double-coverage of episodes, thankfully.

Vendettas: The Power of Three

What in the world is a troika? And how do you pronouce it? We finally get some details on how this game works, including the troika, the inquisition, and the Ring. But what is the grenade and how is it used? I guess we figure it out eventually.

Animaniacs Get A New Season Thanks To Hulu

90’s kids rejoice, Warner Bros. and Hulu have come together to revive one of the most beloved cartoon franchises of all time.

On Thursday, Hulu announced that they were partnering with Steven  Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment and Warner Brothers to bring back The Animaniacs in 2020.

With a two-season, straight-to-series order, Steven Spielberg will return as executive producer of the series, with Sam Register, president of Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Digital Series, and Amblin Television co-presidents Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank also serving as executive producers.

For those of us not in the know, The Animaniacs was a Spielberg produced return to the classic Warner Brothers/Bugs Bunny style of animation shorts and comedy. Animaniacs was itself a spin off of the wildly successful Tiny Toon Adventures and itself spun-out Pinky and the Brain and the criminally underrated Freakazoid.

“I am so pleased and proud that Animaniacs will have a home at Hulu,” said Spielberg. “Together with Warner Bros., we look to bring new audiences and longtime fans into this wild world of Yakko, Wakko, and Dot. I am also excited that the full library of Animaniacs and Tiny Toon Adventures episodes are included in the deal.”

Hulu will also start streaming the entire back catalog of Animaniacs which debuted in 1993 and set the record for most Daytime Emmy Awards in the field of Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and Composition for any animated series, winning three times.

 

CvS: Sink, Purge, Repeat

Our coverage of Champs vs. Stars has been demoted to a short aftershow in the wake of Vendettas. This week we cover the purge in the swimming challenge and at least some of the Challengers who are on their way to the final next week.

Vendettas: When Worlds Collide

It’s a super-ultra long episode of Challenged to accompany the premiere of Vendettas. We love seeing midlife crisis Brad, as well as the new Challengers from other random shows in the US and UK. We have
to intro a bunch of newbies to this insane game and see how the vets fit into the equation.

CvS: Flagpoles and False Hopes

The Champs are heading for a shutout clean sweep, but can the Stars stop them? Are alliances strong enough to withstand a vote that may not go as intended? This episode is all about strength. Who is the strongest player, but more importantly, the strongest team?

Watching Doctor Who: Twice Upon a Time on a Broke Television

Christmas has ended and the Doctor Who Christmas special is over… I been waiting all day to watch Twice Upon a Time, after Christmas dinner I went home sat down turned on the television a couple minutes later the screen went dark and a loud pop came from it, the Tv died. I went into panic mode how am I gonna watch Doctor Who tonight? A few phone calls and hours later I got myself a mini TV. What a Christmas it has been!

I liked Twice Upon a Time, it wasn’t a adventure story but it filled my DW needs. This was Peter Capaldi last run as the Twelfth Doctor, his whole run is hit and miss for me. Series nine was his strongest. I may pickup series ten because I really enjoyed Pearl Mackie and glad she returned tonight. Another companion to show up was Clara (Jenna Coleman) her role was small, in and out that was fine by me, Twelve now remembers her.

We also got the regeneration scene for the Thirteenth Doctor (Jodie Whittaker). I’m really excited to watch her run and with a new show runner in Chris Chibnall I’m hoping he brings something new to DW without forgetting the past. It’s been said Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor will be a hard reboot for the series like Eccleston in 2005. Now it’s a waiting game for Doctor Who to return to TV.

Throwdown for the Cause: Yorkville

Challenged was fortunate enough to meet all the Challengers in Yorkville at the first event for Throwdown for the Cause. In this episode we talk about the event and our experiences in meeting Bananas, Cara Maria, Brad, Kelly Anne, Britni, Derrick, Zach, Jenna and Kyle. The Throwdown tour is coming to a town near you, so we definitely recommend going.

CvS: Playing Me for the Foos

ZACH ATTACK IS BACK. We have a special guest host standing up for Bananas during the conflict with Bananas vs. Wes. The group plays human foosball and of course can’t do anything without major conflicts.

Interview: Kelly Anne and Britni

We attended the Throwdown for the Cause in Yorkville, Illinois and had the fortune of meeting many Challengers. Unfortunately we had little luck in getting interviews, but Kelly Anne and Britni were nice enough to spend a little time chatting with us. Thank you to Kelly Anne and Britni! We did meet some other Challengers and put a bug in their ears for interviews, so we’ll follow up and try to get more interviews later.

CvS: When Push Comes to Shoving Stars

Hashtag BringHillaryBack2017 worked, and Hillary joins us. We get a new Challenger entering the game to replace the many who had to leave. An alliance breaks out on the Stars team, but do they have the numbers to change the game? Will the Stars finally break their losing streak? And will Riff Raff regain his memory?

Challenged: Did CT Say It

In this special bonus episode of Challenged Bryan plays a game show with his other co-hosts called DID CT SAY IT?  He reads off 15 quotes in his best CT voice and the others have to say if it’s a quote from CT or did another Challenge member say it.  Lots of fun was had.