Friday, October 9, 2015

TV for the Woman Who Hates TV

I used to never watch tv, but in the past few years there have been so many comic-related shows,  SF/Fantasy related dramas, and even a few shows that really featured strong females that I've been spending far too much time in front of the tube (I know, it's not a tube anymore, right?) Anyway, this year in particular had me very excited, with Dr Who coming back with the fabulous Peter Capaldi and my new favorite villain Missy  (I loved the Master, but Michelle Gomez has given new life to the frenemy relationship that the Doctor & the Master/Missy enjoy. 

Michelle Gomez as Missy on Doctor Who.  Image credit: BBC

 Arrow's premiere showed us that a much lighter Ollie is the way to go, that  Felicity could go back to being herself and make the show infinitely better, and that there are surprises in store for us this year.  Agents of SHIELD's premiere focusied on plot developments and character development alike, with Chloe Bennett's Daisy/Skye becoming a leader, Clark Gregg's Coulson getting back to being the guy we know and love, and Ming-Na Wen's Agent May showing her more human side.  One or two big surprises in the episode, I won't spoil it for you. Finally, the Flash gave us a glimpse into future without yet getting into Flashpoint, and gave us a starting point for this season given the big events that happened at the end of last season.

Blindspot image credit: NBC

I loved the premieres so much that it prompted me to extend my time in front of the tv by checking out two new shows, Blindspot and Quantico, both of which promised a strong female lead.  Blindspot in particular had so much potential, with Jaime Alexander (SIf in the Marvel Universe) playing the main character, Jane Doe.  Sadly, the three episodes I watched did not live up to their potential.  I love JA as Sif...but watching her explore her sad doe-eyed look for three hours straight was more than I could bear.  While she seemed to come out of that for a few moments in the middle of the episode, back she went by the end of the story.  Her co-lead Sullivan Stapleton, who plays the tough guy with a heart FBI Agent Weller, delivers his lines with intensity, which kind of tells me that he knows how bad the script is and is trying to compensate.   Again...the premise is so good...but the writing just isn't.  The show would benefit from not only better writing, but a consultant with some kind of FBI or military background (if they already have one, they're doing a very poor job.  There's a scene with an explosive where Weller can't take the blasting caps--which are right there, in plain view, off because of some unexplained trick of the guy he just caught with it, but he can tear off bits of the plastique to make a smaller blast. Picture my skeptical face here.)

Quantico star Priyanka Chopra. Image credit: NY Times
As disappointed as I was in Blindspot, I'm giving it another shot--one more episode to iron out "the kinks."  In contrast to my disappointment with Blindspot, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed Quantico.  Given that there are definitely a few spots where believability has to be suspended, I liked it much more than I thought I would.  Priyanka Chopra is oddly compelling to watch, and the twists and turns in just two episodes have been enough to keep me guessing.  By the end of episode two the show is very reminiscent of "The Fugitive", where the main character can trust no one and every step forward sends her two steps back.  I do wonder if the show wil remain that way, in which case I wonder how long it can live up to its prpmise, but for now it's definitely on my very selective watch list.

Kristen Ritter as Jessica Jones. Image credit: IMDB

Coming up:  I can't wait for Jessica Jones on Netflix.  Given the character's very dramatic and adult-themed issues and her relationship with Luke Cage/Power Man, I am looking forward to binge-watching the season when it comes up in November.  

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