Sunday, July 16, 2017

Binge-Fests

Okay, it's been a little while since I've written any reviews for you kids, and I've come to realize that I/we've been binge-watching quite a bit of television lately, and y'all deserve to know both WHAT we're watching, and WHY.

So in no particular order (maybe), here goes:

Supergirl/Flash/Arrow: these are three CW (Warner Bros.) shows that co-exist in a few DC superhero universes.

  • Supergirl's universe is pretty self-contained; she (Kara Zor-El) followed her infant cousin (Kal-El) to Earth moments after he escaped Krypton, but as his pod broke through the Phantom Zone (releasing Zod and his associates), her pod got knocked off course, long enough for him to grow up on Earth and "rescue" her. So she grows up separately, and sort of "follows" in his footsteps, becoming a reporter at CatCo Worldwide Media in National City while Clark is over at the Daily Planet in Metropolis. Her adopted sister works for a secret government agency (DEO) that monitors alien life on Earth. We watch Supergirl for the "superhero" aspects, the "comic book" aspects, and probably also because I used to be a tour guide at Warner Bros. and was able to walk my guests through the DEO and CatCo sets, before the show moved to Vancouver to film alongside the other two^. We continued watching because the show is well-written, well-run, and it really strikes a lovely feminist chord without being too "in your face" about it. Also, Calista Flockhart!
  • Flash exists in a multiverse. Barry Allen is a "victim" of a huge explosion, causing him to be the "Fastest Man Alive". Other "victims" of the incident gain specific special "skills", like the ability to disorient you, or freeze you in your tracks, or meld into any reflective surface. All "victims" of the incident are called "meta-humans". Barry is a CSI with the Central City Police Department, and he also works with a group of humans and meta-humans to track the activities (usually criminal/villainous) of other meta-humans that appear on the public radar (usually because of a crime). We watch Flash because it's a comic book show. We continue to watch because Barry has a fairly bad habit of running so fast he alters his current timeline, trying to right wrongs or whatever, and the characters he interacts with have to either suffer the consequences or help him "un-right" the "wrongs" so he can "re-re-right" them. And he gets the help he needs by reaching out to different Earths and locating doppelgangers to bring back to Earth Prime. It gets confusing and convoluted, and we can't not watch them resolve that stuff. Plus the supporting characters are pretty damn cool.
  • Arrow is actually more of a Batman knockoff. Oliver Queen is a spoiled little rich boy who ends up castaway/stranded on a remote tropical island. His heroism doesn't really start until he gets back to Starling City, on a mission to right his father's wrongs. He's definitely only a great archer because of his time away, but he's still very flawed when he first returns. He doesn't really know how to channel his vigilantism for good. He gains a "team", of course, so we get to fall in love with people who will challenge him to stay on a "straight and narrow" path. Most of the criminals in Star City, as it comes to be known, are not "superpowered", but they do have access to cool tech. Oliver has access, too. And his team ends up including at least one "enhanced" crimefighter at a time. We started watching because Barry and Oliver live in the same universe, in the same way that Supergirl and Superman live in different cities but the same universe. When I first revamped my wardrobe, it was Moira Queen (Oliver's mom) that I attempted to emulate. We keep watching because there are often crossover episodes between Arrow and Flash, but also sometimes crossing over into Supergirl's world. We're "hooked", as it were. Also, John Barrowman. ;)
We have, at this point, finished ALL of the current Supergirl/Flash/Arrow timelines. We needed something else to binge!

  • GLOW: this show is So. Much. Fun. It's created by women, about women, mostly directed by women, and the stories are not "chick flick" -ish. It tells the story, primarily through the POV of one woman in particular, of the creation of the 1980's television show "Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling". There are very 1980's visual cues; I thought I caught a couple of anachronisms, but Stephen rebutted my concerns, and the show is too good overall to let the little things I thought were bothersome be bothersome. We started watching; Netflix just kept advancing to the next episode; after two or three "Are you still watching?" pauses, we discovered we'd watched the entire first season in one "sitting" (Friday). It's that good. You should definitely watch it. No, I don't care if you don't care about wrestling (neither do I) or female empowerment (well, I do care about that). If you don't care about either of those things, then you'll probably enjoy the costumes, makeup, and big hair. I mean, c'mon - hot girls in leotards and legwarmers? What's not to like? Watch it.
  • Spies of Warsaw: this show is heavy. Much heavier than the CW shows. Waaaaaaay heavier than GLOW. But it was episodic, and we'd had it in the queue for awhile, because David Tennant. I mean, wouldn't you, for that reason? C'mon. We made it through. It's set in Poland (obviously), among other places, just before WWII. It's a BBC show, so most, if not all, of the cast are Brits. There are a lot of familiar faces. The Nazis all sound German, whether speaking German or English (yes, most of the dialogue is in English, probably just as a convenience for us, the audience). The Poles all sound Polish. Most of the French we encounter sound French. Except for David Tennant. He's a French Lieutenant Colonel SPY who speaks all of the appropriate languages (as far as we know), but he sounds like... the 10th Doctor. Well, maybe not quite the 10th Doctor, but ... close. It's a bit disappointing, because the rest of the performances (including his) are fine. Perfectly believable. But c'mon! Sound French! So... it's a well-written, well-produced, well-performed heavy reenactment of that period of time in that part of Europe. But you do have to suspend your disbelief that DT is French. There are only four episodes, so we knocked this one out in two days.
  • ... and then we needed something new to watch, so I opted for something a bit "lighter": iZombie. Y'all, this show is intelligent and fun, and utilizes comic book segues, even though it's not related to any comics (to my knowledge, at least). And it's about the undead, of course. So it's not quite as "gross" as Santa Clarita Diet, and it doesn't have Drew Barrymore, but still. It's good, and we'll continue bingeing this one, probably.
What have YOU been watching?

4 comments:

  1. Just started watching the keepers on Netflix..I'm a Catholic school girl so this documentary really sucked me in. Especially since my whole Catholic upbringing was challenged when all the abuse allegations started..to me growing up priests were like gods..completely turned me against organised religion..hope you both are doing well..i was thinking of giving glow a shot.
    Sounds good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I definitely did not grow up Catholic, so any watching of something like that would just be educational for me.

      GLOW will be quite a different experience for you, I'm betting! 😉

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. I'm never going to "correct" a European spelling to 'Murican, FYI. 🤓

      Delete

I LOVE your feedback; give it to me, Baby. Uh-huh, uh-huh.