Our TVs Are Filled With Horror
It’s been a banner year for horror/sci-fi TV, the nightly news notwithstanding. While I’ve dipped my couch into stuff like The Strain, Preacher, Van Helsing and Outcast, due to there being only 24 hours to a day, I was only able to watch 1,825 hours of quality genre programming. Doesn’t scratch the surface of what’s out there. That established, here’s a few 2016 horror/sci-fi viewing habits…
THE WALKING DEAD
Like it or double love it, season seven’s opener was one of the all-time jarring shockers of this or any other year, setting the bar unreachably high on all out line-crossing torture porn. New hammy villain Negan (rhymes with “vegan”) makes season three’s Governor look like a Wal-Mart™ door greeter.
FEAR OF THE WALKING DEAD
Barely made it through season one. Then I watched the season two opener and walked away from it. Too many unlikeable characters in implausible circumstances. The zombies, ironically, are the most believable aspects of the show.
By far and away THE best new horror/fantasy series hit of the year. A monster called Demogogon exists in an alternate dimension called the Upside Down. (I’ve been visiting there every since discovering alcohol.) The darn thing gets into the regular dimension and all mystery heck breaks loose with pre-teens — and the magnificent Winona Ryder — Scooby-Doo’ing the heck out of said mystery. P.S. The Upside Down would be a great name for a dive bar.
AMERICAN HORROR STORY: MY ROANOKE NIGHTMARE
Like goat cheese on pizza, this season did not work at all. The problems? Start with the first episode and end with the last one. I’ll give ‘em props for trying to mix a reality show premise with found footage. But there’s a reason why reality shows and found footage suck. And the muddled, no questions answered season end was indeed a nightmare. P.S. Lady Gaga was vastly underused this season.
ASH VS. EVIL DEAD
As amazingly corny, campy and killer as you’d expect. Why didn’t they think of doing a TV series years ago? (Ash should’ve been elected president.) The evil dead still have it in for Ash after all these years. Good for us. Not so good for him.
STAN AGAINST EVIL
Stan Miller, a grizzled, forced-into-retirement redneck sheriff, Archie Bunker’s his way through an inexhaustible stream of demons stinkin’ up his New England town. One great crack after another: “My shirt smells like low tide at A**hole Beach,” and “Ever been beaten with a bag of oranges?” An easy and obvious successor to Ash.
FROM DUSK ‘TILL DAWN
On its third season, the Gecko Brothers really flesh out the franchise’s storyline and take it to new extremes with a shocking (and satisfying) amount of blood and violence. Pushing the boundaries of censorship, TV vampires have never looked this nasty cool.
One of the quiest, unsettling and beautifully creepy made-in-France eight-episode series (based on a French movie of the same name) in 2016. Will make you rethink what a zombie is/should be. Don’t worry about moving your lips to the sub-titles; there’s not a lot of wordings. Or screamings. As I said, quiet.
Who knew they could take one punchline and make a tense and nervewracking TV series out of expunging demons from beleagured souls every week? Looks fun. Wonder if I can schedule an exorcism appointment for myself? My stupid health insurance probably won’t cover it, though.
A tooth monster. Yep, you read me right. There’s a monster made of human teeth in this slow-burn awesome SyFy Channel™ original series. The show has bite. C’mon — how could I not say that? The joke was sitting right there.
Tried to get through the first season of Salem a while back. Even with plenty of icky, gnarly witches and the demonic gunk/insects drooling/crawling out of their orifices, was not able to emotionally invest in it, which is why I haven’t pursed it in subsequent seasons. Probably should should go back and recommit to evil and see where the show takes me.
Of the sci-fi superhero stuff, watched most but not all. (Looking in your direction Arrow season 5 and D.C.’s Legends of Tomorrow.) Speaking of Arrow, his famous line before shooting criminals in the chest with his name always says, “You have failed this city…” At the beginning of season 4 his girlfriend attempts to make him breakfast. He looks at it and says, “You have failed this omelette…” That’s not just funny, it’s dang funny.
Anyway, here’s what else I warmed the couch cushions to…
Season 2 episode (“Changing”) is where Supergirl gets drunk — on one drink — and her Black-Ops step-sister tells her she’s driving her home. Supergirl: “Well, I’m sure not flying!” I LOL’d over that one. Supergirl gets smacked upside the “S” in almost every episode, sometimes by space alien criminals instead of delicious adult beverages. I’ll give it to that super cutie — she can take a punch. Just not from the punch bowl. Heh.
P.S. Digging the crossover stuff, like when The Flash showed up in Supergirl’s world. Her day job boss at Catco (media conglomerate), not knowing who Flash is, named him The Whoosh. Priceless.
Turns out there’s hundreds of Earths, each one accessible with the help of a user-friendly meta-human. This means more Flashie knock-offs, more meta-criminals, more storylines and more opportunities for the Flash to get beaten up every time he slows down. Quite nifty they’re invoking Flashpoint (time-travel and the Butterfly Effect) from the cartoons. Even still, a bit on the lightweight side. It’s not like I can change the channel or anything. Wait a sec…
Pleasantly graphic and unflinchingly violent re-imagining of the classic Dark Knight universe, with a pre-pubed Bruce Wayne (not quite Batman) sporting a bat-a-rang for Selina Kyle (Catwoman as a street kid), the Penguin (criminal turned mayor — there’s a stretch), Edward Nygma (Riddler), Joker (killed off way too soon, but coming back somehow), Poison Ivy (played by three different plant species), and a D.C. sampler of legacy super criminals (Mr. Freeze, Mad Hatter, Hugo Strange). Despite all these tasty elements, it’s police detective Jim Gordon and Bruce’s now-legal guardian/servant Alfred (cast as a former member of the the British Special Air Service) who are the standout ass kickers here.
Season one was good at establishing Matt Murdock — blind and struggling public defender — as a serious defender of justice with the business end of his fist. Season two’s storylines were better developed, but it’s the all-out slobber-knocking fight scenes, which often leave Matt a candidate for emergency medical attention, that leaves one’s mouth agape. Simply agape.
AGENT’S OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
This was a personal fav, but the storylines are jumping around like meta-frogs. Finding it interesting that Marvel and D.C., both of whom boast superheroes with the same abilities (Green Arrow/Hawkeye, The Atom/Ant-Man, Flash/Quicksilver, Hawkman/Angel, Aquaman/Sub-Mariner, El-Diablo/Human Torch), are using similar terms, if not story lines with Hive/H.I.V.E. It’s kinda like comparing apples to, um, windows. Heh. And an Aussie beer swillin’, womanizing, obnoxious Ghost Rider? Brilliant.
Best surprise hit of the getting-crowded-by-the-minute superhero TV series. Luke, first introduced in Jessica Jones as her “friend” with mattress benefits, returns as a super smooth, reluctant, big city neighborhood hero impervious to artillery and sharp stuff while dispensing much-needed street justice with super strength, all against a backdrop of current day Harlem. (You’ll forget you’re watching a contemporary show and not back in the ’70s. An excellent homage to Shaft.)
Besides being a top-notch African-American superhero, the show’s music, performed in a criminal’s nightclub with today’s artists (Raphael Saadiq, Charles Bradley, Faith Evans, The Delfonics and more), is beyond groovy. I could easily dance to it. That’s MY super power. (Yeah, I prefer metal, but that’s where I let my neck dance.)
P.S. And why the flip is there not a second Jessica Jones season? Do I need to go all Daredevil on someone’s decision-making process?
P.P.S. And where the flippin’ fudge is iZombie season three? The CW’s™ website says it’ll be a two-hour season premiere on Tuesday, April 4, 2017. Get your cookbook ready for more brain-eating recipes.
This entry was posted on December 27, 2016 at 4:38 pm and is filed under Aliens, Evil, Science Fiction, TV Vixens, Vampires, Witches, Zombies with tags Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Alfred, Aliens, American Horror Story: My Roanoke Nightmare, angel, Ant-Man, Aquaman, Archie Bunker, Arrow, Ash vs. Evil Dead, brain-eating, British Special Air Service, Bruce Wayne, Butterfly Effect, Catco, Catwoman, Channel Zero, Charles Bradley, creatures, D.C. Universe, D.C.’s Legends of Tomorrow, daredevil, Dark Knight, Demogogon, demonic, demons, Edward Nygma, El-Diablo, Evil, exorcism, Faith Evans, Fear of the Walking Dead, Flashpoint, found footage, French, From Dusk ’Till Dawn, Gecko Brothers, Ghost Rider, Gotham, H.I.V.E., Harlem, Hawkeye, Hawkman, heavy metal, hive, Hugo Strange, Human Torch, iZombie, Jessica Jones, Jim Gordon, Joker, Lady Gaga, Luke Cage, Mad hatter, Marvel, Matt Murdock, meta-humans, monster, Monsters, Negan, Outcast, Penguin, Poison Ivy. Mr. Freeze, preacher, Quicksilver, Raphael Saadiq, Riddler, Salem, Science Fiction, Selina Kyle, Shaft, Stan Against Evil, Stan Miller, Stranger Things, Sub-Mariner, Supergirl, superhero, SyFy Channel, The Atom, The CW, The Delfonics, The Exorcist, The Flash, The Govenor, The Returned, The Strain, The Walking Dead, Time Travel, TV Vixens, Upside Down, Vampires, Van Helsing, Wal-Mart, Winona Ryder, Witches, Zombies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.