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Arrow: Seeing Red Review (Article) - 4/25/2014 7:57:37 AM

Completely disagree. Was going for an F - until Moira got offed, so I’d give it a D. Horrible writing continues to plague this show. After Moira disclosed to Ollie, "I’ve always known," why would her death be a surprise to anyone? That’s Death Foreshadowing 101 (i.e., fake Aunt May’s death in ASM #400). And granted, the show doesn’t have a huge budget for extras, but a mayoral campaign in a city that large is going to involved dozens of aides who are around the candidate constantly, just like a mega-corporation is going to have dozens of lawyers running around making sure you don’t get your interests stolen away from you. If a candidate were to decide to drop out, they tell their staff they’re doing so and the information is leaked ahead of time. None of this dramatic last-second crap. We are much too knowledgeable about How Things Work for these things to be swept under the rug.

A repeated dopey theme on this show (and Smallville) was, "I’m too dangerous for love." Sara is going to leave Ollie because she’s a killer who won’t be reformed? Really?? Just a few episodes after dealing with the same issue in Huntress? Dumb, dumb, dumb. Perhaps that was just an excuse so she could go retrieve her "old friend," but then why not just say so? If she knows that Malcolm is still alive (presuming that’s who she’s going to get), then why not break it to Ollie instead of just having the guy show up? My only guess is that it’s because it would then deprive these moronic writers the chance to have Armell become enraged when the character walks in the room.

I’m also very disappointed in Roy’s storyline. Perhaps it could because the actor is terrible, but what is the point? He’s been the "angry young man" since Day One. It’s tiring. Similarly, while I’ve enjoyed Manu Bennett’s take on Slade, his "Shakespeare in the Park" manner of speaking is getting old. We all agree that his motive for revenge against Ollie is dumb, exacerbated by Ollie’s constant pointing out that one of the two women were going to die, he loved them both, and he didn’t fire the shot. I don’t care how mentally ill a person is, that level of blaming makes no sense.

And back to the crappy knowledge about law enforcement procedures. Cops do not draw their weapons on a suspect and then advance to the point of where they are within reach of the suspect. They order them to get on the ground, and then shoot them if they walk towards them. And if an officer were to approach, it’d be one with his weapon holstered. That’s so f—ing stupid the writers deserve repeated kicks to the groin. It was beyond stupid when the airport security officers did it to Nyssa al Ghul, but to now depict cops doing that? Again (ad nauseam), why aren’t there consultants who know something about law enforcement/legal procedures? It’s insulting.

Tjanson: I’ll take your bait. Skye is annoying every time she opens her mouth, and every time the AOS writers make her the focal point of the story, she’s not believable. Character is dumb and must be killed off (or dramatically altered). Thea is who she is - an annoying late teens/early 20s rich bitch. Sure, getting all angry because you weren’t told that a mass murderer was your real father is dumb, but that is one element. Having spoiled brat kids act like she is acting is not uncommon, nor is a mother-daughter spat at that age. Put another way, if you put in a different actress for Skye, or had her written differently, it might make the character plausible. Thea really can’t be written or acted differently, and the writers aren’t trying to get her to be something she clearly is not, or forcing the audience to like her, like they clearly are in AOS for Skye.

Arrow: The Man Under the Hood Review (Article) - 4/17/2014 11:54:04 AM

CaptAmerica04: Agree with most of your comments (especially about Diggle), but from your thoughts it appears you missed that Laurel was told by Slade that Ollie is Green Arrow; she didn't suddenly figure it out.  Her actions were merely her attempt to confirm what Slade told her.

Arrow: The Man Under the Hood Review (Article) - 4/17/2014 11:49:15 AM

Good review. I really like how they handled Laurel’s reaction, and agree that it was pulled off well. While Thea is really annoying, isn’t she supposed to be late teens/early 20s? If I keep that in mind, and add the fact that she’s grown up mega-wealthy, helps me to give the character some slack. Also, I know this is limited by budgetary reasons, but it would be nice if they could show her having a few girlfriends. Makes her seem very isolated, which is not believable.

Another thing I really like about the show is Armell’s portrayal of the character. Really sold on him as Oliver Queen, and hope that he is brought into the eventual DC movie universe. 

I do have to (continue, ad nauseam) point out how poorly the show depicts legal situations. Lance could never be arrested under the scenario they depicted, as merely responding to a call and arresting a suspect is not grounds to show conspiracy, especially when it turns out they were right about the suspect; you can’t secretly dilute shares of stock to a point of making it worthless - you have to increase the numbers of shares, which is done at public board meetings and publicly announced; can’t sign legal documents transferring ownership to a trust without the papers being notarized (and how that’s supposed to help makes no sense - idiot writers must have thought it sounded good, and thinks so little of the audience that we wouldn’t know better); and Laurel’s threat to the D.A. is beyond stupid - a prosecutor has no power to change a prisoner’s bail conditions (unless they dismiss the charges, which she did), and the threat to become a defense attorney and go public by someone who the show has spent time discrediting as an unethical druggie is laughable. Please, please, please - hire someone with a legal background as a consultant.


Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Providence Review (Article) - 4/17/2014 11:31:16 AM

tjanson:  Good review.  Particularly your criticism of Ward's apparent crush on Skye.  An example of my theory that the show runners are going out of their way to cram her importance down our throats in reaction to the people who can't stand the character and/or actress.  Their forcing her on us only makes me loathe her even more.  Was talking with my brother about the show for the first time after he saw CA:WS.  His first comment when I asked him how he liked the show was, "I can't stand the Skye character; they should kill her off." 

Also glad that the writer's are making Ward out ot be a bad guy, and that they're changing his personality for emphasis.  Also happy to see Horton, and hope minor characters will follow.

Announcing the Mania Comic Book Hall of Fame (Article) - 4/11/2014 5:38:51 PM

Good idea, Tim.  i've read comics for years, but never really paid attention to artists/writers.  Just learning who's who now.  Look forward to reading about your enshrinees.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Turn Turn Turn Review (Article) - 4/11/2014 5:36:22 PM

tjanson:  Bruce Lee beating up 50 people is far more believeable because he has stunning speed and ferocity, obviously knows how to fight, which all leads to a belief in having the power displayed on screen.  SKye has none of that.  Why is it so hard for you to see that we are being forced to accept that a worthless character who supposedly legitimately has the skills displayed on screen?  It;s like she's either related to someone in power or awfully good in bed.  Reminds me of Tori Spelling on "90210" - unattractive whiner is supposedly a head-turner.  Please.  But as I've said before, to each their own.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Turn Turn Turn Review (Article) - 4/11/2014 7:43:45 AM

Eldogg42: Perhaps I am looking at the character/show through a skewed lense (IIRC, Skye did pop off to May when holding the gun on her).  But the abysmal ratings show that I  am not the only one.  Hell, I stuck with Smallville and X-FIles through the end, and still watch Supernatural, so it's not like I give up on shows easily.  Will see how the season plays out.  Will say, again, that I'm not complaining about the season-long arc, and I  think that the show would have been more successful if it had run the arc in the back drop of introducing known comic heroes/villains to the world of live action.  Perhaps instead of just finding out heroes as they're developing their powers, but having the team deal with lesser known villains as well. 

Put another way, at times it seems like I'm watching a show that stole the tile SHIELD from Marvel, but is trying put its own spin on it (like what Hollywood did to "I Am Legend" and "World War Z").  If they called the show anything but MAOS, would it have the audience/hype that it does/did?   Of course not.  It's not as bad as my movie example, as they have Hydra, Sif, Fury, etc., but it sure does't look like a show set in the Marvel Universe as much as I  think it should.  Maybe I'm expecting too much.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Turn Turn Turn Review (Article) - 4/10/2014 11:46:17 PM

Eldogg42: I am great, hence my name. ; ) I think that they could have established the characters with a flavor of the week and done a better service to the fans (and perhaps make a better show). Why are most of us watching the show? Because of the characters or actors (aside from Coulson)? No, because it’s Marvel - because there was a hope to see some of heroes in a live action setting. Sure, seeing Agent Koenig and Talbot is interesting, but I think they could have done more with the costumed heroes that will never make to the movies. I didn’t realize that Blackout was going to be on, so thanks for mentioning that. I overlooked that there are other villains they could be using in addition to the heroes. Skye looks ridiculous with a gun, projects no competence, and looks like she’s more likely to shoot her own foot than someone else. Wasn’t suggesting that Ward should have held the gun, given his circumstances. Just another, "Let’s make Skye look like a badass by pointing a gun and talking tough to May." Please. I also had no idea that Ward would turn; just didn’t like the execution.


tjanson: It’s one thing to take Tae Kwon Do or Karate. It’s something completely different to train in combat techniques. And it’s something completely different to actually take those techniques and put them into real life. Look, I’ve trained in martial arts, myself for 15 years. I also have a relative in Special Forces. It’s not apples and oranges, it’s different planets. Maybe too much inside baseball on my part. On Buffy, it was a running joke on how one of the benefits of turning into a vampire was obtaining a 3rd Degree Black Belt. But Buffy became the Slayer and became stronger and faster. Don’t remember what training she had before Giles, but she did have some, as well as - most importantly - real-life combat experience. And they constantly showed her and Giles training in addition to regular fighting on patrols. I guess that’s what I’m focusing on. You don’t become Bruce Lee through training, but through training AND fighting. That’s what’s what missing with Skye. Not silly, crappy writing of the type that happens when the writers/producers want us to like a character that we’re not so inclined. Look kiddies! Skye knows Kung Fu and talk tough to May! Aren’t we beyond accepting people becoming bad asses just because they get powers? Even in the Captain America movie, they depict Steve Rogers as someone who was in a lot of fights as a scrawny wimp because he wouldn’t back down. They didn’t give him magical fighting abilities as in the comic book.


CaptAmerica04: Why am I supposed to stop watching the show? Just because you don’t like/agree with my criticisms? Come on, now. And t.v. is replete with characters who clearly don’t work getting written out of the show; no reason not to admit a mistake and move on. Seriously - what does the character add to the show? If Skye were killed off, what function on the team would be missed (aside from an obvious attempt at being eye candy)? As others have said in defense of her, hacking is common place, so not hard to scare up someone else. She is not Willow, not even close. Tara is more like it, since we’re talking Buffy (aside from being Willow’s love interest, what did she add to the show/Scoobies - zip).


rougue188: If Hand is not truly dead, that would only add to my argument about the poor writing on the series. Who is going to be surprised if that occurs? Talk about being a show full of cliches. I will say that while the first shot was a gut shot, the way Ward walked up and shot her afterwards indicated head shots to me. Could be wrong (better not be). A LMD is the only plausible scenario.


Flyincloud: Great points! Completely agree.


Shogunn2517: Speaking for myself, no, I didn’t see any of the purported twists that occurred in the show coming in previous episodes. I’m saying that while watching Wednesday’s show, I could predict where they were going next. Very annoying. And they could easily go with "villain/plot of the week" while still having a continuous storyline. X-Files did it for years. It’s the Marvel Universe, and heroes/villains are everywhere. With the ratings tanking, ti’s obvious that people have not connected with the characters. Time to go in another direction.


Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Turn Turn Turn Review (Article) - 4/10/2014 6:50:33 AM

samson: The only reason why Ward’s true beliefs would be up in the air is because of the show’s crappy writing. They have so forced Skye down our throats that it is believable he shot the guy to protect her. Believable in the sense that the idiot writers would think it makes sense and be a surprising plot twist. Hand’s "Is she or isn’t she" falls under the same story - you’re a loyal S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, so your first step in finding out whether the other agents on the plane are loyal - after already determining that a member of the team was - is to blindly air out the plane with automatic gunfire? Please. Agreed that the other "twists" were easily foreseen. Love the Weird Science reference.


blankczech: When launching a t.v. show set in the Marvel Universe, it is beyond stupid to not have characters that even casual fans recognize be a part of the show while becoming familiar with the new characters. Show initially seemed to be a semi-"Monster of the Week" in finding people with abilities (Skye and Deathlok). They could have continued with that as a background story and bringing on known heroes in their early career stages. That would draw an audience in beyond adolescent comic book reading males.


Eldogg42: Different strokes for different folks. As someone who watched BtVS from Day One, and having a peripheral knowledge of Dollhouse, I reject the comparison of Skye to being a typical Whedon female. I’m sure he intended on her being that, but the execution has been so badly botched. Agree that Ward killing the agents is a Whedon move, but again, the setup was so bad. For Angel, his initial turning evil was a complete shock, but well set up in developing the character. His subsequent turns were also logically developed. There is no such background here. He’s been the loyal "heavy hitter" banging one agent, wanting another. Nothing to suggest he was acting duplicitous, as they did with May. Having him turn would have been no different, and no less reasonable, than Fitz or Simmons turning. And I can say poor writing. I am familiar with Whedon’s shows, and that is part of the reason I am still sticking around. I’m not calling for A-Listers - I’d just like to see someone from the Marvel Universe, like Deathlok, that is a known quantity that would be cool to see on t.v. (I think that Fox is missing out on Spider-Man - there are dozens of Spider-Man bad guys, why not show him beating up on some of the lesser-known guys, like the Beetle or the Prowler, in a montage?).


Mayhem: I hate the character of Skye because she is simply beyond believable, the writers are clearly forcing her to the forefront in order make her more important to the show, and I cannot believe they couldn’t find someone better than Ms. Bennet for the role (every other character was decently cast). If you know anything about martial arts, it takes years to become a competent street fighter. Same thing with being able to handle a firearm. Yet because the writers/producers want her to be a popular character, she’s out there taking on trained people twice her size. With May, entirely believable that she’s a badass. Clearly forced here. Just a botched character that needs to be eliminated, or sent in a different direction (like if she becomes Jessica Drew, as others have speculated). I laughed when Skye was the second gun on May - May would have taken out Coulsen and walked 10 feet towards Skye, and Skye would have missed every shot. Just stupid. I’m still watching the show, but patience wearing thin.


lazarus: Resorting to the "if you think you can do better" routine is juvenile. One doesn’t have to be Michael Jordan or Peyton Manning to comment on the performance of professional athletes.


Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Turn Turn Turn Review (Article) - 4/9/2014 6:46:36 PM

ElBaz13:  Good post.  I would love it if Skye turns out to be Jessica Drew.  At least initially.  Still concerned about Chloe Bennet's ability to pull it off, but the way they're handling the character right now is disastrous.  Hope you're correct about Ward (and Tripp and Deathlok).  Presume Ward's wanting to talk with Skye before he turned was supposed to be a sentimental gut bench when the revelation occurred.  Fell flat and, again, seemed forced; another crappy attempt to manipulate our emotions.  Poor writing is my biggest problem with the show.


Date Joined: October 17, 2010