banner

TV Reviews

This is the end, or close to it. Being the penultimate episode of Legion’s first season, “Chapter 7” was bound to be, ahem, more straightforward than its previous installments. Like trying to put one’s desperately fractured psyche together, Legion faced the ultimate test in its second-to-last hour: it had to start making sense of itself. Not an easy chore, but in the end, the show made it look way too easy. So much so that I wondered what exactly the show was going to end up doing with its last hour. I forgot the cardinal rule of anything X-Men-related though: there’s always another world ending problem to solve. (more…)

When we last left Twin Peaks (at least so far as the purposes of this series of recap), Agent Cooper had his big breakthrough in the case of who killed Laura Palmer, and it came from a weirdly disjointed, but code-filled, dream sequence. Who was Bob? Who was Mike? Who was the little man? And what did Laura/not-Laura whisper to him? If you thought the answers would be straightforward, then you must be thinking of some other show. But the consequential episode pushed on a key idea of the series so far, that there’s a lot more to Twin Peaks than meets the eye.  (more…)

If you thought you could predict where Legion was going at this point, you’ve clearly not been paying attention because while last week built to an uncertain confrontation between David’s demons, his friends, and his pursuers, we then smashed cut back to the mental hospital. So what was this psychic sojourn into the land of drugs and pie going to reveal? That’s not immediately apparent, but it appears that it involves fudging with time again, and given the fact that Legion was just renewed for a second season today, I’m not very optimistic that things will be tied off in a nice bow before this run is done. (more…)

It’s hard to say who’s in a lonelier place, as the title of this week’s Riverdale refers to. Poor Forsythe Pendleton “Jughead” Jones III, living under the stairs of the school like a poor man’s Harry Potter, is certainly in a lonely place, struggling to keep his family drama under wraps, and hoping that his father, living hopelessly and nearly always half-drunk in the family trailer, will pull his act together. Betty is also in a lonely place, wanting to desperately to help her sister but caught in the competing demands of two families that hate each other. Hey, someone give these two kids a break. (more…)

After weeks of “What the?” Legion finally started to make sense this week. I’m not sure if that’s a good development or a bad development (yet), but for a superhero show that has enjoy toying with your ability to believe what you’re seeing, as you’re seeing it, a little bit of clarity can be as surprising as the longest con game plot twist a writer can conceive. So just when you thought that David might have found some inner peace, comes the revelation that the powerful mutant everyone thought had schizophrenia but didn’t, might actually have bigger problems that aren’t too far off the original diagnosis. (more…)

Cadmus. Cadmus. Cadmus. It’s all about Cadmus, the super-secret, non-governmental organization created and run by Lillian Luthor (Brenda Strong), mother of Lex, wife of the non-dearly departed Lionel, and adopted mother to Lena (Katie McGrath), the one “good” member of the Luthor clan . In Season 2’s fifteenth episode, “Exodus” (not to be confused by the barely remembered Ridley Scott debacle, “Exodus: Gods and Kings”), Cadmus has put it’s anti-alien agenda into horrifying action, snatching unsuspecting, law-abiding aliens (of the outer space/interplanetary kind) from everyday activities like driving a car, having a drink in a “mixed” bar where aliens and humans freely mix, or calling a bookie to place a bet on National City’s Knights. It’s all bad news for the aliens and good news for Cadmus and their not-so-secret supporters in and out of the U.S. of A. (more…)

The Walking Dead trudges on in a mostly ho-hum season. ‘Say Yes” was not the worst episode audiences have seen during this boring season. Not by a long shot. However, there were some moments that could definitely have been edited down to something more poignant. While The Walking Dead is weakest when it follows individual characters, this weeks offering was not as bad as it could have been. Rick and Michonne are out on the prowl, looking for guns and love in all the wrong places, namely, a carnival where very bad things happened.

(more…)

For the most part, these first two episodes of Twin Peaks were straightforward. Yes, the characters are eccentric, but for the most part this was a by-the-book small town murder mystery. “When are things going to get weird?!” in other words. On cue, the third episode of the show has two scenes that you wouldn’t find in any police drama at the time, or perhaps since. For who needs crime scene units, behavioral profiling or the dull tedium of “pounding the pavement” when you can just throw rocks at a bottle, or have a crazy dream where the victim and a little person talk to you in disjointed English? (more…)

If there was a word to describe this week’s episode of Riverdale it’s “peak”. It was “peak Archie” it terms of the characterization of our comic book friends and how we remember them. It was “peak teen soap” in terms of the romantic melodrama and friendship dysfunction. It was “peak mystery” in terms of new revelations and long simmering confrontations. And it was “peak deconstruction” as the writers throw in some compelling hiccups in terms of the relationship dynamics of the show. Let’s just come out and say: Jughead kissed Betty! Passionately. And our lives will never be the same again. (more…)

There are two types of comic book shows: ones that revel in costumed heroes using their powers to defeat the bad guys and protect their friends and fellow citizens from  external threats, and then there are ones that send you down metaphorical rabbit holes in the deepest bowels of the psyche. Welcome to Legion, guess which one it is. The official halfway point of the show posed some seriously interesting questions that had some very serious implications. How can we trust anything that David sees in his own mind, even his memories, when it seems like the even the key people in his life may not have been exactly as advertised? (more…)