It’s finally the finale and we’re here to break it out. We review the final, our favorite contestants, challenges and eliminations of the season. This officially wraps up Season 29 of The Challenge and Season 1 of Challenged. See you all next week for Season 2.
This week if you thought the titular “Knock, Knock” meant learning more about what’s in that mysterious vault then guess again! It’s a creepy “haunted” house story this time around and in this episode we get to see some of what makes up the best and worst of this era of Doctor Who.
We were out last week, but we make it up to you with this two-fer presenting the last 2 episodes. The Final begins, and as TJ says, it’s no joke. This episode we cover Nelson’s near death experience and Cory’s infinite disappointments.
It’s been awhile since we visited the trailer park so let’s get into it.
Where we last off with The Doctor and Bill, they were trying to get back from the future in time for tea only to find themselves landing on a frozen Thames River in Regency London. 1814 to be precise.
Doctor Who finally returns after a long hiatus for it’s tenth series (of the NuWho ones anyway) and as an avid Whovian: Attender of Cons I asked to tackle reviewing the current season and decided to review the first two episodes together to get a better sense of how this series, showrunner Steven Moffat’s last, felt at the kickoff. Initially I’ll say this, my feelings are mixed and traditionally I find myself more aggravated with Moffat than appreciative, but as I generally have kept my expectations low with Moffat!Who, I can say I have been pleasantly surprised so far.
We finally see the end of the Underdog eliminations and say goodbye to our favorite Underdog. The Champs fight for their last chance to pad out their team bank account. We start our final Champ elimination, but as per usual do not finish it.
We’re out next week, but hang tight for the finale.
In honor of the new season of MST3K dropping we’re teaming up with Comet to give away some pretty awesome swag. This is what you’ll get.
Now I want a real MST3K fan to get these so the contest is that in the comments below you have to leave a Space Mutiny nickname for yourself. The best nickname will win this awesome prize pack. A winner will be decided on May 1st. So get to it.
Each household is only eligible to win COMET / MST3K Classic Episodes Prize Pack via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.
Also this Earth Day Comet is doing an Earth Day Marathon. Check out their line up below:
PLANET IN PERIL EARTH DAY MARATHON
SATURDAY APRIL 22 STARTING AT NOON/11AM C
Saturday April 22 at NOON/11AM C
Die, Monster, Die (1965)
Saturday April 22 at 2/1C
Empire of the Ants (1977)
Saturday April 22 at 4/3C
Contamination .7 (1993)
Saturday April 22 at 6/5C
Marvel, Stranger Things, 13 Reasons Why, Santa Clarita Diet, Mystery Science Theater 3000, it seems that Netflix is suddenly becoming the go to media empire for sheer awesome, so how do you follow up a string of successes like that? Well, they bring back the Queen of 80’s Thievery, Carmen Sandiego.
Little is known about the show at this stage except that it will be animated and will follow closer to the legendary edutainment games from the 80’s. However they do have decades of material to pull from from animated shows, game shows and chose your own adventure books.
The Tracking Board is also reporting that Netflix has signed none other than Jane The Virgin’s Gina Rodriguez to voice the globe hopping, landmark pilfering master criminal herself.
DO IT ROCKEPELLA! (I just can’t resist)
I grabbed my co-hosts from Challenged and we sat down to talk about this season of The Walking Dead. One of us loved this season, one of us hated this season, and one of us was indifferent. Things also take a weird turn as this was the second podcast we recorded this night and were already well into our stock of alcohol at this point. It gets weird.
Music provided by The Fantastic Plastics. Catch them this summer at Warped Tour.
About a year and a half ago, I happened to be home sick from work. On that day (a coincidence, I swear) I noticed that Mystery Science Theater 3000’s Joel Hodgson was doing a Reddit AMA. I’d been a fan of the show since my local cable company added Comedy Central during season five (so I only knew Joel briefly before Mike took over — still, I loved them both like a parent refusing to choose between their children), and I paid close attention.
Then I paid Kickstarter, because it turned out that the AMA was to announce a campaign to crowdfund a revival of MST3K. Joel had made noise about bringing the show back for years, but I’d shelved it with the Gambit movie or a decent take on Fantastic Four in the “I’ll believe it when I see it” category. Joel laid out his case, though, explained what he wanted to do, introduced us to Jonah Ray as the new host and Felicia Day and Patton Oswalt as the new Mads… and damned if I wasn’t convinced. There was never any question of if I would contribute, just at what level. I wound up dropping the most I’ve ever contributed to a Kickstarter campaign (although not nearly as much as some people, whose backer rewards included a visit to the set during filming, along with my eternal envy).
Fortunately, the level I chipped at contained a perk that brings us together today: a week before the show’s April 15 debut on Netflix, Kickstarter backers were able to stream the first episode for 24 hours. I’m under oath to Joel not to divulge any secrets of the revival, but as a die-hard fan of the series for over two decades, I’m here to report that the show is in very good hands.
Jonah Ray quickly endears himself to us — he’s charming and quick-witted, with a casual, everyman appearance that belies series talent not only for comedy, but music as well. Oh yes, this incarnation of MST3K embraces the musical pedigree of the original, killing it in what is not only my favorite segment of this new episode, but one of my favorite musical scenes the series has ever had.
There will be a period of adjustment to get used to the new voices for the Bots, but there’s no way around that. That said, the upgrades to them are remarkable. The puppeteering on all three of the main robots is leaps and bounds beyond that of the original series, allowing a freedom of movement that opens up the comedic and character potential a bit more. If you’re afraid you’ll miss the cheese of the originals, though, there’s plenty of it elsewhere to latch on to. Baron Vaughn, the new Tom Servo, has a sassy wit that feels perfect even if the voice is new, and Hampton Yount’s Crow is as full of bizarre non sequiturs and head-scratching wisecracks as ever. The biggest departure, however, is Gypsy. Gone is Jim Mallon’s breathy faux-lady voice, replaced with Rebecca Hanson’s sweet “midwestern” tones.
Felicia Day and Patton Oswalt fall naturally into their roles, and the Mads’ base in this version is truly eye-popping. While the design still evokes the campy B-movie roots of the series, there’s so much going on that I want to watch their segments over and over again just to make sure I haven’t missed anything.
The biggest fault in this episode, to be frank, is that it moves a bit too quickly. The riffs during the movie are rapid-fire to the point where I occasionally wanted them to pull back a hair and allow us to catch our breath. Similarly, the host segments (especially the first and last one) moved very quickly, not giving us much time to feel out the nature of the relationships between Jonah, the Bots, and the Mads. The original series felt more intimate, this one expands the scope to a degree where I’ve actually got questions about the Mads’ operation that were never relevant before. (Yes, yes, I know — it’s just a show, I should really just relax.) That said, this is only episode one of fourteen. There’s plenty of time for the series to feel the characters out and build them following the lead of the performers, which is exactly what it did not only in the early seasons of the original, but virtually any time one of the hosts, Bots, or Mads was replaced.
In so many ways, so many great ways, this feels like time has barely passed. It’s not a reboot or a remake. It’s a revival, or a regeneration. The show has reconstructed itself like a season of Doctor Who where the Doctor and companions all switch at the same time. It’s different, and it needs a little help finding its legs, but its core is intact, strong, and ready for more. For the first time since the institution of the IRS, April 15 is a day to look forward to.
HUGE news out of Britain today as one of New Who’s most beloved villains de-generates. Not literally, of course, but yes, you read the head line correctly, John Simm’s incarnation of the insane villain The Master returns to face off against The Doctor and his new companions in the latest season in one of the longest running shows in television history.
John Simm: “I can confirm that it’s true, thanks to the power of time travel I’m back. It’s always a pleasure to work with this great team of people and I can’t wait for you all to see what The Master gets up to in the next series. “
Steven Moffat, writer and executive producer had this to say about the big news: “Nothing stays secret for long on Doctor Who but you’ll have to wait a little bit longer to see exactly what The Master is up to and how he makes his return to face the Doctor. It’s been a huge pleasure to have fan favourites John Simm and Michelle Gomez face to face in the same role! It’s not often you get to see a solo personality clash.”
No other details have come forth but from Moffat’s own words, can this be a hint that, much like the 50th anniversary special, we get to see The Master and Missy team up to take on The Doctor, His newest companion Bill Pots (Pearl Mackie) and Nardol (Matt Lucas)?
Of course the season will be chock full of other foes including the return of the Daleks, The Ice Warriors and, returning for the first time in nearly 50 years, The Mondasian Cybermen.
We finish the Bananas vs. Darrell elimination, and the Cara Maria vs. Laurel. The lesbian love triangle has been resolved but that doesn’t stop drama in the club. We watch the Challengers jump from inner tube to inner tube, but no eliminations. Next week: The Underdog Bloodbath.
This week on the show, we once again celebrate Bill Paxton by spotlighting a different actor. This time, it’s Gary Busey. We review Predator 2 and Silver Bullet, plus look at Time After Time and Shut In.
It’s a Champ elimination day, and the crew fights over a rope on a tilting platform to stay alive. A lesbian love triangle shakes up the house. An elimination is cut short and no one is sent home… yet.
Shane betrays his alliance… or does he? Everyone eats and pukes too much curry. People overreact to harmless pranks. All this and more on this episode of Challenged!
We’ve been waiting for it. Now it’s here. Well the trailer is here. But the show will be hitting Netflix on April 14th. For now you’ll have to settle for old episodes that are now back up on Netflix. Yay!
So from the title, you might surmise how well this article is going to go. Please do not judge too quickly though. We promise we will try our very best to be objective and cover it as fairly as possible. We good? OK.
From the screeching, hormonally charged, twittering brains with bank accounts behind the show-crushing beast that was and most assuredly will be again Ollicity, comes the inevitable response to hiring two former Glee castmates as your leads.
What? We said we would TRY to be objective. Not our fault that it didn’t take. Alright, fine. Come back. We’ll try to salvage this. Admittedly, we didn’t come into this with the most open of minds so maybe we’re not giving it a fair shake. Let’s try again and break this down to the good and bad.
Well where to start? The only place one should start with a musical: the singing. There is no doubt that the cast members of these shows are very talented musically, and they get to show off exactly what they can do with this episode.
While everyone who sang did a genuinely good job, the stand out for us was John Barrowman, normally playing Malcolm Merlyn in the Arrowverse, but this time playing club owner Cutter Moran. He didn’t have a lot to do, but he took what little he had and made the very best of it. Unsurprising really from such an amazing stage performer as he is. In a scene whose random and awful lyrics caused us to physically look away, his voice actually brought us back with eyebrows raised. Not damn bad, Captain Harkness. Not damn bad at all.
Jesse L. Martin nailed his part as well. Another great stage presence, the man can sing. We saw some of in last year’s Earth 2 episode, but he doesn’t get enough to do we didn’t feel for reasons we will come back to later.
Kara, Barry, Cisco and even Winn: They all sounded terrific and it was nice that they got to show off their great singing abilities. Melissa Benoist (Supergirl) does a beautiful rendition of Moon River right at the start and even though we knew she could sing, it was still a pleasant surprise to hear how well.
The Barry/Kara song at just over the halfway mark (the title we’re withholding for the sake of the reveal) did start to win us over, despite everything that came before it. Rao help us, the two have brilliant chemistry and you can’t help but love them together.
Darren Criss, this crossover’s villain Music Meister was a lot of fun to watch. Again, he didn’t have a huge amount of stuff to do as they tried to get in as much as they could, but the guy has charisma and charm oozing out of his little boyish face. He won us over fairly quickly in his introduction on Supergirl. His few minutes of screentime on that show actually had us anticipating what was to come.
There’s an action sequence here with Martian Manhunter teaming up with Wally and Vibe, and it is on par with the fun and excitement of the Flash’s usual action scenes. That was another great moment from the episode.
Now let’s get to it.
The biggest obstacle that this episode faces is time. It has 45 minutes to pull off a musical, as well as tie up subplots from both The Flash and Supergirl, and boy can you feel the time crunch. They have Kara and Barry play it off a few times with the meta joke that “wow, everything is so much easier in musicals”. Luckily, we were able to unstick our eyes after they rolled so hard up into their sockets, otherwise we’d have had to start the episode over.
So beyond skipping what should have been a longer, more complicated conflict, we got too easy resolutions for the sake of moving the plot along. If the resolution is so simplistic, it begs the question of why even bother? Individual shows’ subplots is why, but still.
What needed to be done, and once again wasn’t, is it being a true crossover. We had exactly 2 minutes of the plot discussed at the tail end of Supergirl, same as it was with the Invasion crossover last fall. Musicals take time to get everything explained, broken and fixed again. This is going to sound hypocritical after everything that’s come before it, but there needed to be more time for more songs. And the one thing this didn’t have was time. Were they to have stretched it out fully across both shows, we would still spend two hours cringing, yes, but the story would be a lot stronger than it was. It wouldn’t feel so hastily duct taped together.
If crossovers are going to be a consistent thing in the Arrowverse, (YES PLEASE) they have to let Supergirl come out to play for the whole recess. Her being on another universe isn’t excuse enough to hinder that relationship, especially now with Cisco’s doohickey.
The other bit, the one we’ll close with, was the writing. All the actors that they have hired in the Arrowverse are exceptional. If the actors don’t have long careers in the stage/fim business like Victor Garbor, Jesse L Martin, and John Barrowman, they have proven their abilities on these shows. They can act. We’ve seen it. But watching them try to choke back some of the dialogue from this episode made them look like amateur dinner theater workers.
We noticed it specifically with a few of David Harewood’s
(Supergirl’s Martian Manhunter) lines. He gets through them, same with the others, but it pulled us out of the moment with how clunky it was. Also, don’t get us started on the jokes. You want to? OK, fine. At one point Supergirl said, “My sister says I put the Kara in Karaoke.”
We literally almost closed the laptop and walked away at that. It was early in the episode though, and we thought of your faces, your sweet reviewless faces, and we knew we had to press on. So we did and what was our reward?
Honestly, we can’t tell you. Partially due to not giving away the ending of the episode, but mostly due to we don’t genuinely know what happened. Nothing is really explained, it simply transpired for the sake of transpiring. They knew they wanted to sing, but they didn’t know how to make that fit into a cohesive, solidly written story. It was like the ending of a Stephen Moffat Doctor Who episode: aggravatingly underwhelming.
Look, there are a lot of good moments in the episode. It was a fun little one shot stuck in the middle, but they once again did not utilize Supergirl’s hour to help flesh out their crossovers and the time crunch really cripples them from making a solid story. Perhaps though, given the rush job they did with the script, that’s for the better.
Our final analysis of this crossover is the same as our analysis of BvS’s handling of the Death of Superman: Everyone has been wanting it for so long, and yeah, that was not the best way to handle it, but hey, it’s out of the way now and we can move on to bigger and better things.
Supergirl returns Monday March 27th and The Flash Tuesday March 28th.
It’s Champion elimination day. The Challengers compete on a giant hamster wheel to see who will battle each other in The Fortress. We also go over Season 30 availability calls.