Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Monday Report: Or Chuck is Back!!!

You know, it's funny reading my posts from when I first started watching Chuck last year. In my memory, I saw Chuck and immediately fell in love and it was awesome. In reality, things moved much slower than that. I thought that the completely ridiculous story was kind of stupid. I thought that the action sequences were rather poor (but I pretended to tell myself that the poor action sequences were all part of the joke and so it was okay). In fact, the things that kept me giving the show extra chances were things like the random Stanford references and the silliness of his work at the Buy More.

Now, though, I've spent a whole season with the show. I've realized that Zachary Levi is hilarious. I love how often he gets to save the day. I thoroughly enjoy his pining for the hot spy and laugh at how he's always complimenting her and almost completely oblivious to the fact that she's always complimenting him as well. I admit that I was more than a little disappointed with the late season "twist" where we find out that his former roommate got him kicked out of Stanford so that he wouldn't be recruited by the CIA to "protect" him.

I thought that was lame for a bunch of reasons. The most important reason was that he is specifically not supposed to be spy material. This whole fantasy is based on the fact that Chuck is your typical nerd who by some magical intervention gets to be, not just a spy, but a super spy. Finding out that he was actually qualified to be a spy ruined that whole fantasy. That was a huge error on the part of the creators (it's like they don't even understand their own creation, I mean, seriously, what were they thinking?).

Oh, one more complaint before I go back to worshipping this show and its complete awesomeness. Because the writers had to finish last season with some sort of cliff hanger-type thing, they decided to give Jayne the order to kill Chuck once the new Intersect is completed. Now, season two has to deal with that decision (a classic example of, "hey, we'll just solve that problem later"). The result is that they have to keep coming up with excuses for the new Intersect to be delayed so that Jayne doesn't kill Chuck. That's annoying. Clearly, Jayne can't kill Chuck. Sooner or later, probably mid this season, they're going to implement some sort of excuse so that Chuck gets to be an official spy or something (or the three of them will go rogue, but that's less likely). The problem is that almost any of these solutions is going to break the structure and fantasy of the show (which would be bad). Okay, fine, I'll hold out hope that everything stays the same (with the addition of Jordana Brewster as his ex-girlfriend from Stanford, and might I add that Jordana Brewster is ridiculously hot...now if only she was capable of acting, at all).

Quick, random aside, I find it interesting that Chuck's character wants out of this fantasy world. That he wants out of this fake life and to start his real life. His life is a fantasy filled with excitement and intrigue and danger (but he always comes out perfectly okay) and he wants out. This fantasy is holding his real life in place and he's ready to move on and lead that life. He doesn't want out because it's scary and dangerous; he wants out because he's ready to take over his own life. I think it's interesting.

But, that's neither here nor there. Anyways, I hadn't really realized how much I missed the awesomeness of Chuck until I got to watch a new episode. And laugh at silly lines like, "I'm pretty sure my girlish screams in the face of danger give me away." and "How much do bad guys normally tip?" Okay, I admit I almost fell over from that one (I kind of replayed it a couple time because it was so awesome).

So, yeah, I'm glad to have it back.

Let's see, Terminator is currently focusing almost entirely on River, which is pretty awesome. Clearly, she is rather broken at the moment. But, if she can't keep her memories straight, it just means we get to see more of them. And, well, I'm enjoying them. Apparently the girl she was modeled after was John's girl. Interesting, don't you think? Not so surprising that she got reprogrammed, huh? Of course, if we start doing the math, it starts getting a little sketchy. That girl, Alison Young, is born this year-ish. I'm not sure how old John is in her timeline, but I would guess that it's something well past 30 when the bombs go off. Alison Young was 16 or 17 upon her capture. I think that qualifies as sketchy. Of course, considering that this is River we're talking about, I completely understand.

Otherwise, not much is happening in Terminator. They're definitely in stall mode while they develop River's character. We'll see where they go from there. Oh, admittedly, last week's only point was to kill off Sarah's ex-fiancee's wife so that he could give up his old life and go adventuring with them. But, I guess it'll be another week or two before they've finished filling in River's back story enough to get around to focusing on the present again and having them get around to learning about Shirley Manson.

And then there's Heroes. We've comfirmed that Tracy is definitely not Nikki and my theory (which I didn't state in the blog, I don't think, but I stated elsewhere, so it's still mine, thankyouverymuch) that she and Nikki were both creations of the company is seeming rather likely. In other news we've gotten to see more Bea Grant (the hot girl from Jericho). That makes me very happy. In rather unhappy news, the random African dude who paints the future just painted her dead body in Matt's arms. I'm hoping that doesn't happen, because Matt really deserves to actually get to hold a relationship for at least a little while (considering that his wife left him between seasons 1 and 2, and Molly has disappeared from season 3, poor Matt can't keep any women in his life).

Peter got his body back, which is nice (but future Peter needs to go away already). Poor Francis Capra's already died (and his power was lame, that sucks too). And, per the rules, Peter is going to get to check out the future and get motivated to stop it from happening (but do we really need two Peters trying to stop it from happening). I'm kind of curious to see if he meets up with that Irish chick while he's there, but I'm not sure how that's possible (not that I would put that past the show or anything).

Let's see, um, Claire's mom's a bitch. Oh, and Angela Petrelli is freaking insane. Like, my God, what's the point of her? It's like she exists to sow confusion and anarchy and trouble and sadness. I really, really hope that Sylar kills her before the end of this season. She needs it. She's begging for it. Somebody just has to make it happen (and by somebody, clearly I mean Sylar).

Now for the people we didn't get to check in on. We barely got to see Nathan (no big deal) but that meant no Linderman (which sucks). We did get to see Micah finally, which was nice. I like him, but it feels like this was his exit episode (I'd like to see his cousin one more time, though). We only had to listen to Mohinder, but that was still too much of him.

Oh, and what are Hiro and Ando doing in Level 5? That is annoying. Somebody needs to get them out. Fast (Bea Grant, care to volunteer?). I mean, this very seriously. Hiro and Ando do not belong in Level 5, next to Sylar. That's not okay.

Alright. That is all.


PS- I'm serious. That's really not okay.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Heroes Impressions

Okay, before I talk about Heroes, I have a very serious complaint. NBC is apparently so excited about Heroes that they put off premiering Chuck, the most awesome show in existence, to air an hour long Heroes pre-premiere...thing. Maybe it was totally cool and awesome, but it couldn't possibly have been more awesome than Chuck. Admittedly, I didn't watch it because Terminator: The River is Really Freaking Hot Chronicles wins that competition hands down. Also, Big Bang Theory had a very funny premiere as well. I think it was the funniest episode of that show that I've ever seen (How I Met Your Mother...much less so). But, that's not relevant. The only thing that's clear is that NBC doesn't love me enough. But, well, I get my Chuck fix next week, so that'll have to do.

So, Heroes, season three. First off, I was very fortunate and got to re-watch the majority of season two yesterday (in HD, I might add). Some random channel was playing it and I realized that I basically didn't remember anything that happened, so it seemed like a good idea (and it was). I was pleasantly surprised by it, to be honest. It wasn't as bad as I remembered it (high praise, right there). So, yeah, I felt pretty prepared going into season three.

My thoughts: tentatively excited. From a focus perspective, they still can't really compare to the awesomeness of showing us exactly what everyone is going to have to come together to stop (the bomb exploding in season 1, is what I'm talking about, by the way). It's kind of weird to have everyone doing stuff, but with no purpose at all. I appreciate that they've created more bad guys (and established that they're bad guys, too). Although, they don't really seem all that dangerous yet. I mean, Peter or Sylar could kick their asses backwards and forwards if they so desired.

Anyways, a list of my thoughts, in no particular order.

Future Peter is back to having a scar, I guess that's to help us keep track of which is which (considering that one looks like a scary biker dude right now, it shouldn't be that hard). Disappointingly, future Peter is sticking with the short hair. Also, what ridiculous power did future Peter use to trap Peter inside the dude's body? And, if Peter's in that body, where is the body's former resident? Is he dead? Will he come back once Peter is able to go back to looking like himself? I dunno, but important questions all the same.

Also, why is future Peter still around? He really needs to go back to his own time. He's really annoying. I love the cool Peter, not the depressed and meddling future Peter. Also, on an unrelated note, how does it make sense at all that Angela Petrelli can see the future with her dreams? She says that Peter's first power was dreams that he got from her. But that's a lie. Straight up. He got his dreaming power from that De Veaux dude (who was awesome). He's never seen into the future with his dreams (except maybe when seeing Christopher Eccleston's character). He just has those insightful dreams that impart a lesson, nothing like Angela's dream where she sees the villain's attack on Level 5.

Let's see, I guess I can't help feeling bad for Claire. I mean, Sylar finally got her. In her home. Just waltzed right in and cut open her head. That sucks. How did he find her? How did he get there so fast? Does the Heroes timeline make any sense at all? I can only surmise that he got his telekinesis back at the end of season two and the following day, he was chasing Claire down in her own home. Would he have known where she was from Suresh's place, somehow? Maybe? I don't know. It's pretty lame in either case.

Humm, I feel bad for Elle, but I admit I was really ready for Bob to finally bite it. I hope Elle doesn't become a bad guy, she's fun. And cute.

Also, Matt is hanging out in Africa with a dude who paints just like Isaac Mendes, only on rocks in the Sahara and warehouse walls in the New York docks. I think it's safe to call that random (and how many future painters do we really need, eh?). Considering that we've apparently got a clairevoyant and a version of Peter Petrelli from the future as well as Hiro, I think there's enough people who are supposed to know what the future is at this point (not to mention that Sylar and Peter are also future painters). Also, I'm still waiting for that image of the world splitting into two to take meaning beyond simply being the end of the world (Kaito did a better job describing it with the dark and the light than that image, and I didn't understand any of it).

Claire wants to join her dad in the hunt for the bad guys. I honestly have no idea why he didn't agree. I mean, she's basically immortal for goodness sake. That's useful. Instead, he's going to try to lock her up with her real mother, under threat of fire. I'm just going to assume she finds a way to get into plenty of trouble trying to join up with her dad.

Let's see, Nathan Petrelli's in an unusual situation. He's being visited by an imaginary(?) Linderman. I like Linderman so it's cool to see him back, but I'm really ready for Nathan to die (I swear, every season ends with me thinking he's finally done for). But, whatever. I guess him and "Tracy" are going to have fun together. I don't really know what he's up to, so his arc is definitely going to be very wait-and-see. I'm reserving judgement on Tracy as well, but she would be another example of someone who I thought was done (Ali Larter is actually what I'm referring to, being dead and all from either the virus or the building explosion should mean that the actress doesn't have to return). Instead, she's back, most likely as some secret clone or something of Nikki. Yeah, no matter where they go with her character it's going to be ridiculous, but that's life. Also, I'm annoyed we never got to check in on Micah or his cousin (okay, primarily his cousing). They better not be gone, because that would just be cruel (they show Ali Larter dying, but then the cool characters from that subplot get eliminated instead).

And then there's Suresh. Who never ceases to amaze me. I really don't like him. At least his stupidity is finally getting him in trouble (okay, fine it's always getting him in trouble, you're right). Now he finally actually has motivated to figure out a safe way to take away someone's powers. Hope he hurries. Also, Maya is apparently really easy (and pretty). I mean, I can kind of see her falling for Sylar when he's laying on the charm and spending time with her, but Mohinder? Really? C'mon. In the space of knowing him for...two days max. Also, why isn't Suresh back to trying to get the cure for the virus down to New Orleans to save Nikki, or does he just know that she's dead and it won't be a problem anymore? Or is he out of the cure and needs more of Claire's blood?

Moving on, Hiro is still Hiro (I hope he never changes). I hope he regains his faith in Ando soon, though, because I kind of feel bad for Ando. Also, the super fast girl is totally the babe from Jericho. That's kind of awesome and I'm glad she found new work. Although, I'm not totally into that short hair. She looked better in Jericho, but I'm still excited to see her (and now how many cute blond Heroes are there? I'm coming up with at least three right off the bat...not that I'm complaining).

Well, so in summary, I've got high hopes for this season. I think season two taught them some important lessons. I'm not convinced they really learned them, but I think it's safe to say that no season of Heroes is going to be as good as season one. It's just not really possible. Not that season one was a fluke, but everything that made season one good can't really be repeated, and so this is what we get instead. It's not bad and in fact it's got potential. But, it's just not amazing. In any case, I'll watch it. And enjoy it.

That is all.


Monday, September 8, 2008

Terminator's Back: Or, River, You Still Have My Heart

Well, the Fall TV season has officially begun with Terminator: The River is Really Freaking Hot Chronicles back and pretty much amazing. It'll continue with Fringe tomorrow, of course, but first I have to talk about Terminator. Or, rather, I have to talk about River. And how hot she is.

Oh, River, how I missed you so.

Anyways, things start off with a bang. Well, I guess they finished last season with a bang, but since this season starts off from that same point, I guess it's still accurate to say that. And, well, the first thing I noticed was that apparently River is fire resistant. Yes, that's right, a car bomb goes off, with her in it, and the only damage she suffers is from the glass and metal flying from the explosion. I mean, I don't really mind since if she got all burned and disfigured and stuff, well, she might not be quite as hot, so I promise not to complain about this again (there's plenty of other things for me to complain about...and complain I will, no doubt about it).

So, the first thing I liked about this episode was that they didn't actually show the most traumatic thing that John went through that day (okay, he went through a couple traumatic things that day, so I can't say for certain that this was the most traumatic thing he did). I mean, knowing most TV, they'll wait a couple episodes and then show us what happened, just because they don't want people to get confused, but I really liked the decision in this episode not to show it.

John killed a man. A human. A human that wanted to kill him and his mom. I'm not sure he knew any more about the man than his last name.

I like that this decision not to show us what happened follows John's own unwillingness to talk about what happened (once again, reinforcing my position that Sarah Connor is not the main character in this show). John won't face it and neither will the audience.

The rest of the episode was dedicated to the obligatory sub-plot where River turns evil and tries to hunt down/kill John. Personally, we all knew this would happen sometime and I'm glad they only spent an episode on it. It was still fun watching River play and extra cold hard bitch, though. And to watch her hurt Sarah, that was fun too (I think I might be a bad person).

But, the best part of River's bad guy phase was her death. Yeah, that was awesome. She suddenly turns into the River that was naive and almost human and is capable of slowly seducing poor John (or, lucky John, depending on your position). We get to hear her beg for her life. I've never heard a terminator beg for its life. It was touching. Pleading that she's better now, that's she's not going to kill him. And then, when all else fails, she exclaims that she loves him...and that he loves her.

I smiled. The look in John's eyes. He wants to believe it's true, but at the same time, this is the first proof that she's not the Cameron that he has a crush on. That Cameron would never say such a thing. She's been programmed not to. By John.

But, here's where we get to play. What does it mean that she thinks this will sway John? Terminators don't really understand feelings, so why does she think it'll help? In almost any situation, this is a huge gamble on her part (and considering that it backfired, clearly it was a mistake). But, she thought it would work. She was using all the knowledge she had to try to influence John Connor into sparing her life. I can't help but think that her experience with future John made her think that this might work. Man, I want to know just what her experience with future John was...

Let's see, they also introduced Shirley Manson as our new over-arching bad guy. I'm not sure how I feel about her. I mean, she has very red hair, which adds some variety to the show, to say the least. She's also got a pretty ridiculous accent, so that's worth points, maybe, I think. In any case, at this point the jury's still out on her.

Oh, I guess I should talk about Sarah at some point, huh? So, yeah, my thoughts about her haven't really changed. I still don't really like her because she just doesn't kick enough ass. That really needs to change. All she ever does is react and it still feels like that's all she ever wants to do. That's the opposite of what Sarah Connor is all about. She's supposed to care about changing the future, not protecting it. But, well, I guess she has all season to get better. Too bad she probably won't.

Lastly, I just want to say that John Connor does just about the stupidest thing imaginable at the end of this episode. It's so stupid he really, truly deserves to get shot in the face. I mean it, seriously. River should just shoot him and say, something along the lines of, that was for your own good, because you're too stupid to lead the human race against the machines in the coming war. John has already gained experience hooking up the Terminators to computers and getting information off them. I feel like it shouldn't be too hard to find out what her prime directive is, you know, without putting a gun in her hand and hoping that you've cleaned the chip enough.

In any case, I hope we don't have to deal with too many more "River turns bad" episodes. But, well, this was a good start. It was definitely a fun episode. Depressingly, the ads for the rest of the season look, um, kind of bad. Apparently John is going to get a girlfriend? WTF? Seriously, that's just stupid (and it's just an excuse to add a blonde to the cast for a little while). And Sarah's ex-fiancee's wife is going to get kidnapped? I mean, come on. Shirley Manson better find out that John's playing around in her time period soon, because things are going to be kind of boring until she does. Also, I'm still waiting for that FBI agent to get around to joining their cause. That would be nice.

Well, I'm still satisfied and it looks like it'll be a fun show. Too bad once Chuck starts up in the same time slot in a few weeks, I'll have to just record Terminator and watch it later, but well, let's be honest here. Not even River is hot enough to make me not watch Chuck as religiously as possible.

That is all.