Television Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (AoS) Season 1

I adore Coulson, he’s my favorite avenger/super hero. He has the best wit. Clark Gregg has an amazing face and I love love love him as Agent Coulson. I mean, how can you not love this face? Adorbs!

clark-gregg-marvels-agents-of-shield-newscom-325So, I haven’t not been keeping up on all my superhero movies. My husband is not a fan of them. I know, right? So I have yet to see quite a few of them. BUT, he cannot stop me from watching copious amounts of TV while he is at work. Working retail means working weekends and a lot of evenings. This means sometimes we are more like strangers passing in the night than a couple living together, but it does makes watching vastly different types of TV shows easier. I’m sure I’ll catch up on my movie watching soon, but for now here are some of the best things about AoS Season 1.

The Cast

I was absolutely sold on all of the characters right from the beginning, except for Skye. I grew to accept her and appreciate what she brought to the crew, but it wasn’t until the last two or so episodes that I really saw her as a great character and understood what Whedon saw in Bennet. I have a huge crush on Agent Coulson, so it was no surprised I loved Gregg reprising his role on the small screen. But I was also quite drawn to Ming-Na Wen as May. She is so tough and smart and bada$$ in such small and quiet ways, that she is all that much more powerful in her being. Baugh! I cannot get enough of her! I love how Ward starts off as a very static character that appears to have a particular story arc, but one that way outside the norm of such a character. It was kind of mind blowingly amazing how Brett Dalton took such a character and brought his story arc to life. Kuddos to you sir. Kuddos. 

But my absolute favorite characters where of course FitzSimmons, the nerds who were more than that. The nerds who were the heart of each and every episode. Of the entire season. The people who made me laugh and smile and cry. Their characters absolutely resonated inside of me. Just. ::Sigh:: Yes, wonderful beautiful thoughtful full bodied characters. My absolute favorite moment of the season was when Simmons was asked, “You wash up on a deserted island alone. Sitting on the sand is a box. What is in that box?” And she says, “That’s a hard one. Let me think. The TARDIS.”

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The CG and Backdrop

The ship that the crew live on was such a big part of the show and made each episode feel bigger and grander than some dinky little TV show. Whedon is masterful at the use of his stage and backdrop and incorporating them as characters into his show. I loved it. I thought the CG was all done wonderfully and only once or twice was a bit hokey. I like that there were new places where the story was told, but that everything was brought back to a home base. It kind of reminded me of another story about an amazing crew on a flying ship… ::coughfireflycough::

The Storytelling

While not every episodic story was extremely strong, the overall story arcs for the characters in season one were excellent. I love the slow build to find out what happened to Agent Coulson and how he died and was brought back into the series. There was well drawn out suspense with a good payoff. Each of the characters grows wonderfully and I’m super excited to see what Season 2 brings and how the crew grows and changes over the season.

Television Review: Witches of East End

After the bar I needed something to help me decompress from an extremely stressful summer and keep me occupied as I made boutonnieres, glued burlap and lace to jars, and created bridesmaids bouquets for my upcoming nuptials. Netflix kept recommending I watch Witches of East End and sometimes Netflix is right, so I decided to give it a chance and I’m really glad I did. 

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Julie Ormond (First Knight, Legends of the Fall, and Sabrina) stars in this show as a powerful witch who is keeping a secret from her two daughters, that they too are witches. Joanna has many secrets from her grown daughters, Freya and Ingrid. But when the girls start exhibiting powers, she can no longer act dismissively and must begin to reveal to them their heritage. Then her sister shows up at her doorstep as a cat, and Joanna’s life becomes even more complicated. 

I really enjoy this series. I think it is an incredible cast of characters and as the season goes on they become more of an ensemble cast than it just being about Joanna. Plus, the series pulls in some serious acting power! Each of the girls characters takes shape and they each have their own story lines that are interwoven with the family and magic. Ingrid is a librarian and her geeky side really helps her understand the Latin spells, plus the library she works in is just amazingly beautiful! Freya is  a free spirited bartender who is engaged to one man, but starts to fall in love with his brother who shows up in her premonitions. Everything gets wonderfully complicated in a this-would-never-happen-in-real-life-i-hope kind of way. And Joanna’s sister, Wendy, sticks around for the season and her character beautifully complements Joanna’s. Where one has a weakness the other has a strength. They don’t just blindly follow each other, but discuss and disagree with respect. Most of the time. 

Witches of East End reminds me of Charmed in that it is a female ensemble cast with their own problems that comes together and help each other out. Often women on television are shown as katty and unhelpful toward each other, so it is quite refreshing to see a cast of women actively and sincerely involved in each others lives. However, unlike Charmed, this show is less campy and more on the dark side. For example, Ingrid brings someone back to life and there are some really serious consequences I thought the show would gloss over, but did not. Some of the choices the women must make are heartbreaking. 

If you like magic, ensemble shows, and empowering female characters who are multidimensional with their own vices and problems, check out Witches of East End. 

Whedonistas

A book created by a collaboration of women who explore Whedon’s body of work. You can buy it in Amazon.

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Television Review: Bitten

After catching up on some of my Netflix series I decided to check out Bitten as it keeps popping up on Netflix as something I might like. But Netflix can be wrong and so I was a bit wary when I started the series. I’ve watched three episodes, my usual requirement to adequately determine if I do or do not like a show (versus whether or not I like the pilot). My initial reaction, as brought on by the very first scene and many thereafter is: That’s a lotta nekked. And the boys are not afraid to show their butts. (Their very nice nekked butts.)

bitten-castWhile not as gory as True Blood’s vampire and werewolf series, nor as sexually explicit, Bitten definitely dances on the edges of overly sexualized characters as substitute for plot. However, as the series progresses and the characters become a bit more fleshed out (or clothed out?) it gets more and more interesting. 

SyFy’s Summary

Based on the Women of the Otherworld novels by #1 NY Times best-selling author Kelley Armstrong, Bitten is an emotionally charged supernatural thriller starring Laura Vandervoort (Smallville, Ted) as Elena Michaels, the lone female werewolf in existence. Desperate to escape both a world she never wanted to be part of and the man who turned her into a werewolf, Elena has abandoned her pack and taken refuge in a new city. There, she works as a photographer and hides her werewolf existence from her new boyfriend. When bodies start turning up in her pack’s backyard, Elena finds herself back at Stonehaven, the werewolves’ ancestral domain. Torn between two worlds and two loves, she quickly realizes that – when push comes to shove – she’ll stop at nothing to defend her pack.

Laura Vandervoot plays her character smart and grounded, and she is what saves this show from being overly campy. Thought I admit to laughing at the show on a number of times in the pilot especially. I really like Elena’s relationship with her boyfriend Phillips. They seem to trust and take of one another on a day to day capacity that isn’t just about danger saving, and Phillip genuinely cares about her for her whole well being not just her sexy side. I hope they last, but I’ve a feeling it might not. Especially with Elena’s incredibly sexy (and hairy) ex-boyfriend back in the picture. 

The human’s change into wolf is painful for them, and painful for the viewer to watch. The graphics are just not that great. All of the wolves are glaringly CGI. But when there is no CGI to mess it up, the cinematography is excellent, with the use of light and shadows to aid in the story telling. The mythology is a bit vague and not as well narrated as it could have been done. Also, I like all the different characters and how the “cousins” interact with one another. Just like any dysfunctional family.

But I do like seeing a female lead in a werewolf show and I’m willing to continue to give the show a chance. Seeing as there are now two seasons, other people must have agreed with my assessment. I definitely see potential for the cast to grow and for the story about the “Mutt” to unfold over the series. It also makes me want to see if I can find the books, usually characters are better developed on the pages of a book, though not always. Poignant at times, a little cheesy in others, Bitten is a decent supernatural series with potential for stronger plot and deeper character development. 

Also, nice butts on both genders. 

Read another review here

TV Show Review: The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead is an American post-apocalyptic horror drama television series developed by Frank Darabont. It is based on the comic book series of the same name by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard. The series stars Andrew Lincoln as sheriff’s deputy Rick Grimes, who awakens from a coma to find a post-apocalyptic world dominated by flesh-eating zombies. He sets out to find his family and encounters many other survivors along the way. (Synopsis from Wikipedia)

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Well, these zombies are no Hessius Man detective Chakz. They are flesh eating zombies, some in the shape of children. (Which was not a surprise fyi, that first bit was way predictable.) I’ve watched the first four episodes of The Walking Dead, and I’ve yet to be hooked. (Actually, by the time this posts, I may have seen a few more.) I know, I know, season three is this amazing epic season of television and if I can just get through it, I’ll be astounded by the writing and what happens. Awesome. I’m pushing through, but I’m also rolling my eyes a tad.

The eyes rolling bits include: drama because I slept with the person I wasn’t supposed to sleep with, a person is bitten but we don’t kill this person because he/she is one of us so lets go find a cure, and lets through an abusive husband into the mix so we can have all the feels. Though the vibrator bit was funny.

The reasons I’m sticking with it: strong characters with potential for interesting things to happen that aren’t predictable, Glenn (I know that people love Daryl because he’s so…. big strong handsome man, but I would expect nothing less from a McManus brother) because I love when the underdog (pizza delivery guy) is given the opportunity to make something of himself and he shines, and I’m glad I accidentally started watching season 2 episode 2 once, it has relieved some of my general anxiety. But then I’m the girl who reads the end of books before starting them, so that may not be a plus to other people.

*I know I’m behind the band wagon on this tv show, so feel free to post spoilers in the comments (but let’s be nice and mark them so).*

Enjoy some fan art

By semie from DeviantArt

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Glen From Walking Dead Commisionby SonKiza

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Rick Grimes (The Walking Dead)by lerielos

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Sherlock Quips (My Own)

I once watched five seasons of Xena in six days, so I had a hard time computing my slow rewatch of Sherlock. It took me six hours to watch three hours of television. I blame my dryer, it sounds like is going to rattle through the floor, and it gave me a headache. I was forced me into my bedroom for 45 minutes during which time I fought with a website, wrestled with live clothes, and answered Facebook messages.

However slow, I steadily made my way through the first season. Here are some of my quips, where I try to be witty. I had a lot of fun, and I think some other people did too, even if it was just to poke fun -at me.

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Episode 1

Me: Martin is crying. Feel a little bit bad I was mad at him in my dream for being drunk.

Me: “Yes, he’s always like that.” Pretty sure people say that about me too. Sigh.
Sara: We do. ;)

Me: What a bachelor’s pad! Yuck. When I was younger I used to make my friends clean their rooms when I came over. #abitocd

@MomaWitchyWitch: Lol! I’m notorious in certain places for disappearing & ta-da! Clean kitchen! Now if they’d just keep it that way.

Me: I do that too. Especially if people are starting to overwhelm me. It’s off to the kitchen to do dishes.

Me: Omg! How did I miss the whole, state of her knees, insennuendo before? (That’s insinuate and innuendos in Jamism.)

Me: Serial killer sponsor, hmm… What I need is a cereal killer sponsor.

Episode 2

Me: Self check out machines are the loudest. I sympathize John.

Sara: That’s why the first thing I do is push the mute button. They’re SO LOUD.

Me: Not every machine has one though.

Sara: Thankfully I have never encountered such a hell-beast.

Me: Don’t you mean hell-hound beast? (I know that’s in the next season, but I couldn’t help myself.)

Me: John takes care of the $ just like Gus in Psych and Leo in The Finder. Another show I wish had lasted longer.

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Me: Ok. Momentary brain freeze on quips. Taking an online quiz to get back into the game. http://www.buzzfeed.com/alannaokun/how-much-would-ron-swanson-hate-you?bftw

[I'd get a grudging respect apparently. I suppose this is because I didn't want to tell where my money goes and I prefer silence to music.]

Me: “He got peckish.” Good word that, feeling peckish myself.

Me: Muddy buddies and sea salt vinegar chips. Not for everyone, but it satisfies my sweet and salty taste buds.

Me: Skinny belts on top of big sweaters. Sooo 2010 or still in vogue?

[Goes to investigate. (This is why the rewatch takes so long.)]

Me: Apparently 2014 is the year of the mid drift. Yes, I’m posting about fashion during the death scene. http://www.glamour.com/fashion/2013/09/most-wearable-spring-2014-trends-from-nyfw#slide=4

Sara: And by that you mean the midriff? Because “mid drift” would be “in the middle of a pile of snow” or “while sliding around a sharp turn in a vehicle.”

Me: Apparently mid drift and midriff are two different things. One is about sliding in the snow, and the one not to be worn near snow. 

Episode 3

Me: Episode 3 started while I was typing. I know some people who definitely related to the grammar correction. ::coughsaracough::

Rewatching Sherlock

I’ve decided to rewatch seasons one and two of Sherlock before I watch season threr, which I’ve TiVo’d. And I’ve decided to live tweet as I watch.

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This has nothing at all to do with my dream last night. Nothing at all. However, coincidentally, I dreamt last night that I was on a cruise with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Martin was drunk and Benedict was talking about how he wanted to get married. All I could do was sit there and think, ‘Didn’t I just get engaged? Where is Chris? Why am I dealing with trying to get a drunk guy to his cabin (Benedict was no help, he thought it was funny) and listening to a guy tell me way personal stuff I don’t care about. Like the time that 18 year old kid who just got out of the army started talking to me about his virginity.’

I always have strange dreams about celebrities. I once dreamt I shot Josh Hartnett because he was trying to hurt my sister. The only good dream I had was about the Winchester brothers, but it was not the actors in my dream it was the characters.

Suffice to say, I’ve had Sherlock on the brain for a few days, weeks, years. So I’m excited for the rewatch. As I said, I’ll be live tweeting my rewatch, so come find me at @JamiZehr to join in the fun. But no worries if you can’t make it right now, I’ll be compiling all my pithy (hopefully) remarks in a future post.