I don’t totally geek out about many things these days. One of my most embarrassing interests is The Challenge.
In my defense, I started watching The Challenge when it was age-appropriate. The first season came out in 1998, when I was 18 and still way into The Real World and Road Rules. I enjoyed seeing my favorite cast members come back and compete with each other.
At some point, I got in way too deep. I watched every season. I couldn’t possibly skip an episode and miss out on the drama of it all.
And now, I’m closing in on 40 and still watch these kids get drunk and, most importantly, compete.
The point is, The Challenge is back with season 29, Invasion. The format is all about a bunch of new guys I don’t care about vs. old guys I’m excited to see again. Of course Bananas is back, hot off his Rivals 3 win where he took home the biggest prize in Challenge history. CT is back from semi-retirement. Darrell is back for the first time in several years to challenge Bananas. Before Bananas, Darrell was the Challenge’s biggest winner. It’ll be cool to see those guys compete against each other.
Also back is Shane for the first time in 10 years. I’m glad to see him back, but wondering what compelled him to return after all these years.
On the female side, my favorite female competitor, Cara Maria is back. Let’s hope he pulls out a win a little more impressive than the lackluster Bloodlines gave her.
More details are available over at MTV. Invasion premieres February 7th.
Full Disclosure: I labelled this a partial review as I am only 3 episodes into the series. Christmas time will do that to a man’s binging abilities.
I first caught wind of Brit Marling in the 2011 sci-fi drama Another Earth, which she starred in as well as co-wrote with director Mike Cahill. The film’s pacing is a slow burn, but the simple and immediate pay off of the film’s finale is so effective and impactful that you can forgive all prior sins it might have committed. I found the same to be true with her other 2011 sci-fi film, Sound of My Voice, (this one written with Zal Batmanglij). Also a slow burn, but this time I was ready for it. Again, simple yet impactful wrap-up that made the movie for me.
The other film she co-wrote with Batmanglij, The East, was a departure from sci-fi, and more political/thriller focused that was also an engaging story.
It was with these experiences that upon seeing her name, as well as Batmanglij’s attached to the new Netflix series The OA (pronounced Oh-Ay, not like the Green Lantern’s HQ), I immediately set aside the first hour to get started. I wasn’t concerned with what it might be about because as soon as I saw she was involved, I was in.
The OA begins when Prairie, a blind girl who has been missing for the previous 7 years, randomly shows up on a bridge miraculously with her sight. She returns home to parents’ house, and while her mother and father want to help her get back to normal, that is the furthest thing from Prairie’s mind.
What I can say so far is that the slow-burn style that Brit and her co-writers have used previously is much better suited for this type of format. This way frees them up to character and world build the way their kind of writing demands. They can still hit the cliffhangers and impacting moments every time they hit the hour mark, but they aren’t confined to the space the way they are with feature films.
So far, I’m really enjoying how the story is playing out. Each episode contains its own twists and turns that, for me at least, still have me guessing as to what the hell is actually going on.
So far, and I don’t see this changing over the next 5 episodes, it is a high recommend from me. It’s on par with Netflix’s earlier hit, Stranger things as far as the mystery/thriller aspects go. Furthermore, if you want an idea of how the show will go, but don’t want to commit the full 8 hours yet, I would suggest trying out Another Earth and Sound of My Voice because besides being great films, the tone and pacing of those are almost identical to this show.
All 8 episodes of The OA are currently streaming on Netflix. Check it out.
The Return of Doctor Mysterio hasn’t made its TV debut yet and details have already surfaced for the UK Blu-Ray and DVD.
Both the DVD and Blu-Ray will include…
The Doctor: A New Kind of Hero: The Doctor has no superpowers, but he can stand proudly alongside the greatest superheroes ever known. In this special program, we’ll ask what it is about the Doctor that makes him so heroic.
Doctor Who Extra: The Return of Doctor Mysterio: Join stars Peter Capaldi and Matt Lucas, showrunner Steven Moffat, and many more for this very special inside look at the making of The Return of Doctor Mysterio.
Doctor Who: The Return of Doctor Mysterio, will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray on January 23rd, 2017. Look for the US release on February 21st, 2017.
Comet is back with some more giveaways! If you love Stargate Atlantis then this is your contest. All you have to do is take a look at the GIF below that shows the highlights of what Comet will be airing this month and in the comments below tell us what you’re looking forward to the most on Comet this month. Then on New Year’s Day we’ll pick one lucky winner to win a swag bag with the following!
One COMET / Stargate Atlantis Exclusive Shirt – This shirt features an exclusive design which will put you on the level of a Stargate traveler – you are officially part of the Space & Interdimensional Exploration Division!
One Comfy Alien Head Beanie – Perfect to set you apart from other boring humans and perfect for the chilly December evenings!
One Stargate Atlantis Necklace – Sure to make you the envy of all your friends!
Two Stargate Patches – Show that Stargate love and officially join up with the Space & Interdimensional Exploration Division!
One COMET Alien Head Stress Ball – because nothing relives stress like squishing an Alien head!
So tell us what you are excited for this month on Comet!
I was going back and forth on posting this but then realized “I’m for sure going to watch it so who cares?” Ducktales is coming back. Next year we’ll be seeing Scrooge and friends getting back into adventures and taking dives into the money bin. They have announced the cast in a fun way by having them all do a sing along to the Ducktales theme song. Instead of telling you the cast I’m just going to encourage you to check out the video below.
many recognise her as Sasha Williams on The Walking Dead, Sonequa Martin-Green will be taking on a pivotal role on the crew of the starship Discovery. Playing Lieutenant Commander Rainsford who serves as “number one”, a position first established by Majol Berett in the TOS pilot “the menagerie” and later as Captain Picard’s pet name for Commander Riker.
according to ex-showrunner Bryan Fuller, Rainsford will be the focus of Star trek Discovery. Describing her as a “lieutenant commander with caveats” he went on to tell Entertainment Weekly:
We’ve seen six series from the captain’s point of view… To see a character from a [new] perspective on the starship — one who has different dynamic relationships with a captain, with subordinates, it gave us richer context.
At first it may seem a bit disconcerting to have a star trek that won’t focus on the captain, however, keep in mind that previous star trek incarnations have ultimately been ensamble shows so this could be an opportunity for a unique perspective.
There has never been a star trek series without klingons. this will be no different as three Klingons have also been announced!
From the highly anticipated “American Gods” adaptation Chris Obi will portray T’Kuvma and Shazad Latif (Dr Jekyll on Penny Dreadful) will play his protege Commander Kol, the two are apparently trying to unite the Klingon houses (to find out how successful they will be check out he TNG episodes “Sins of the Father” and “Reunion”). Joining them is shakespearean actress Mary Chieffo as Battle Deck Commander L’Rell, at an imposing 6 ft Chieffo will no doubt channel a bit of Klingon antagonists Lursa and B’Etor into her performance.
Season 2 comes to a close with the return of several characters we thought were dead, and the death of characters that were also already dead.
The thing I loved about the original series of movies was the continuous ramping up of the absurdity. The over-the-top violence and gore and comedy from Army of Darkness had its humble beginnings as a straight-up, serious horror movie in Evil Dead. Evil Dead 2 split the difference, offering straight horror with some absurdly bad-ass moments and lots of comedy.
The TV series seems to be continuing the same path. All season, we’ve seen the blood and gore continue to ramp up, as well as the gross factor. In this episode, we got a little too close to Henrietta. As a horror movie nerd, not a lot makes me recoil in disgust, but this scene did it for me. Bravo to the writer who asked themselves the question, “what if Henrietta breast-fed Ash?”
The finale certainly skated the line between nostalgia and wondering if the writers had gone through their entire bag of tricks. It’s a delicate balance to strike, but since we saw a fight between Ash and Henrietta nearly 30 years ago, do we need to redo the fight exactly? The answer, of course, is yes. As long as you can balance out the references to the original with a new take on it.
Ash and crew return to a hero’s welcome with a parade and cheerleaders. Just as Season 1 ended in victory, so did Season 2. But Ruby’s reappearance in the crowd means maybe we shouldn’t get too comfortable yet. Will Season 3 Ruby be friend or foe? We’ve got a long wait to see.
Overall, Season 2 is better than Season 1, and gives me even more hope for the seasons to come.
And if you watched the episode and didn’t hang on tight for the post-credit scene, I recommend you do that.
Over the years ESPN: 30 For 30 and E:60 series has released some fantastic documentaries and when it comes to wrestling ESPN isn’t afraid to cover such a great sport. First example would be The Wrestler, spotlighting Scott Hall (Razor Ramon) and his rise and fall in professional wrestling. Another example would be Behind the Curtain, looking at WWE’s developmental territory NXT and a handful of then up in coming talent trying to make it to the main roster.
With that said, February 2, 2017 ESPN will be releasing another 30 For 30 special but this time it’s for Vince McMahon’s football company XFL. The XFL only lasted one season back in 2001. Look for This Was The XFL coming in 2017.
Everything old is new again, and thank what ever god you hold dear for that! Like many of you, I grew up on a steady diet of The Disney Afternoon (my internet handle is DarkwingMantis after all) and one of the finest pieces of original Disney television animation is making a comeback!
Disney has been talking about a revival of the fan favorite Duck Tales in 2017 for a year or two and now we finally have rock solid confirmation in the form of a teaser.
Duck Tales centered around billionaire Scrooge McDuck and his clan having adventures, seeking out treasure and fighting an eclectic assortment of bad guys who all wanted a piece of his money bin.
Not much is known about the new revival or how many of the original cast will be returning. Alan Young, the original voice of Scrooge McDuck sadly passed away in may this year after returning to the franchise, reprising his role for the Duck Tales game remaster.
I personally am hoping that if this is a hit we could see a revival of some of the other Disney Afternoon franchises (Darkwing Duck especially)!
Just when I think I couldn’t love Ash vs. Evil Dead anymore, it turns out I was wrong. There’s always more love for me to give to the series.
I love the buddy/traveling aspect of the show, don’t get me wrong. But there’s nothing better than returning to the cabin and Ash going it alone for a while. So far each season has had a return to the cabin, and I hope this trend continues until the series ends. The cabin is where the story started, and it’s where the story should end.
Throwbacks galore in this episode. Enough for even those filthy casual fans to catch. They perfectly recreated the “Little Ash” scene from Army of Darkness with a new spin on it.
The cabin is so perfectly recreated, and we get another Evil Dead alumni reprising their role. This time it’s Ted Raimi as Henrietta.
One of my favorite aspects of this series is the perfect balance it carries between expanding the mythology but also revisiting old themes and throwbacks. This episode featured a lot of throwbacks, but also traveled back to the past to introduce us to Dr. Knowby, who previously we’d only seen in a few tiny flashbacks.
Next week is the Season 2 finale, so we’ll find out if this time traveling saves Pablo or undoes this evil. Will we see the old crew return to the cabin? Will Pablo come back? I, for one, can’t wait to find out.
I’ve always said that how I thought Arrow got on the air was that someone went and pitched a Batman TV show but got turned down as they felt that the Batman property was too big to be on TV. They looked at each other and said “Is there another billionaire hero we can just put in his place? Green Arrow is rich right?”
I’m not saying that that’s a bad thing as it has worked out perfectly. On paper there is no way this show should work. A super hero show on the CW where we explore the relationship between Oliver Queen, Laurel (Dinah) Lance, and their peers. Ugh. Sounded horrible. I passed until I kept hearing after the first season that it was actually pretty good. I saw it on Netflix and figured why not. After the first episode I was hooked.
Since then we’ve seen them borrow plenty from the Batverse. Deathstroke while not defined as a Bat Villian has played a big part in the Bat mythos. Rhas Al Ghul and the League Of Assassins were the center point of season 3. Similar starts being portrayed as a dark vigilante. A secret headquarters full of gadgets and weapons. Eventually creating a superhero family around him. Last season his tech savy girlfriend and side kick Felicity got shot and was in a wheelchair giving her an Oracle feel about her.
This week we’ve been watching a 4 part crossover between all the CW DC shows (which we can thank Arrow for all the spin off shows) called INVASION! Slight spoilers below.
On Flash we saw that a handfull of the heroes were abducted by the Dominators. On Arrow we find that the heroes (Oliver, Sarah, John, Ray, and Thea) were hooked up to a machine that put them in a dream state where they were living out what would be their perfect life. This immediately made me think of . . . yep something from Batman.
Specifically Batman: The Animated Series. In an episode titled Perchance To Dream Bruce Wayne awakens to find that his parents never died. He’s happy and it turns out that someone else is Batman so he can just relax and enjoy life as Bruce Wayne. But of course nothing ever stays happy. What I didn’t know about this episode was that it was written by horror novelist Joe R. Lansdale.
There is always minor things like this that make me think more and more that I was right about the original pitch meeting. I’m not sure why I’m okay with that happening on this show as any other show stealing ideas, villians, or storylines I would not be very excited about it. But with the CW DC Universe I am perfectly fine. Maybe it’s my distaste of Gotham that lets me enjoy this as my Batman alternative. Regardless I’ll still be tuning in every week. What do you think?
Those of us on the edge of our seats waiting for star trek’s return to the small screen have new reasons to be excited! Star Trek: Discovery casting announcements have started.
Set to play Captain Georgiou of the star ship Shenzhou is international star Michelle Yeoh. No stranger to sci-fi, she has been featured domestically in movies such as “Babylon A.D.”, “Mummy: tomb of the Dragon Emperor” and “Sunshine” as well as international hits: “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, “Police story3: Supercop” and “The Heroic Trio”. While neither a lead nor a member of the Discovery’s crew, Captain Georgiou will be a recurring character.
Broadway star Anthony Rapp, best known for his portrayal of Mark in the musical “Rent” in both original cast and film adaptation has also joined the cast as starship Discovery’s openly gay astromycologist (space fungus expert) Lt. Stamets.
Legendary actor and man who brought respectability to the art of Mime, Doug Jones will also be joining the cast. With a credit list that is as diverse as it is extensive, Jones portraying Starfleet officer Lt. Saru (who, to the surprise of no one, is an alien).
Just over six month away, Star Trek Discovery will return us to the prime universe with stories taking place between Star Trek Enterprise and Star Trek TOS (roughly 2255). Premiering on CBS May 2017 and then streaming on CBS All Access. To get a feeling of what to expect from the new series Ffans have been told to rewatch TOS classic “Balance of Terror”
Seriously, 2016 can take a damn long walk off a short peer. Ron Glass, star of Barney Miller and the immensely popular Firefly has passed away at the age of 71. No word yet on the official cause of death, but Glass’ health had been steadily declining the last few years.
Though Glass had been reluctant to get into the Sci-Fi genre because of the heavy make-up involved, his first turn in the genre was a guest role on Star Trek:Voyager.
There was something on the bridge of my nose and then I had some ears, but the makeup was so good, it made a huge difference. The experience was really, really enjoyable. I just loved it.
Glass found a new fandom when he joined the cast of the wildly popular Firefly as the resident man of the cloth, Shepherd Book.
“The Firefly and Serenity fans are just unbelievable,” Glass said. “They are so loyal and supportive and enthusiastic. They have just kept me soaring.”
In a year full of losses this one hits me hardest. I personally grew up watching Barney Miller with my father and finally got around to watching Firefly this year, not to mention he is a native of Evansville, Indiana, my current home.
Lost my love, lost my land
Lost the last place I could stand
There’s no place I can be
Since I’ve found Serenity
The date is finally nearing and The CW has dropped a full length trailer for the Supergirl, Flash, Arrow, and Legends Of Tomorrow crossover. It shows us a lot more of what the threat is and what we have in store. How Supergirl makes it onto Earth 1 is still unknown but we’ll get to see what is probably our best bet for the live action Justice League on TV now with the DC movies in full swing. So feast your eyes below and get ready for November 28th.
Is anyone surprised that Ash isn’t quite as insane as it looks? His strange hunting outfit certainly didn’t fool this fan, although it look like Ba’al was adequately convinced.
Our limited time at the insane asylum looks like it’s coming to an end, and I for one couldn’t be happier because it looks like next week, they’ll be back in the cabin. Where it all started. Where we belong. Not only will we see the return to the cabin, but also the return of the Delta.
I was not sad to see Ba’al go, but he was not the only one to fall this episode. The other death left me a little sad, but excited to see what the loss of a friend has on Ash moving forward.
Let’s have a drink for our fallen Pablo. May he rest in pieces.
I’ll leave you today with a deleted scene of the summoning of Ashy Slashy.