The Leftovers

The Leftovers – HBO

The new summer TV shows have started so I thought I would begin writing some short reviews.  Note: The premise is SPOILED for some shows that aired recently.  If you want to see these shows and don’t want to know the premise than be wary.

The Leftovers

Pro’s:

  • Well HBO isn’t doing a free preview weekend on DirecTV for this show so I will have to give you my impressions from reading the reviews.  Why is that a Pro?  Well when you get to the Con’s you will understand.

  • This show is developed by two highly acclaimed TV vets, LOST’s Damon Lindelof and Friday Night Lights’ Peter Berg.

  • Based on the reviews, the show is artful and interesting in its premise of the people left behind after a Rapture like event.  The show is mysterious (good) but there is no assurance that the basic mysteries will be solved (not good, as far as I am concerned).

  • The show has Liv Tyler in her first big TV role.  We all loved Liv in Lord of the Rings and Stealing Beauty.

Con’s

  • From what I can tell the show is a lot like Friday Night Lights (small town setting with close knit community interactions) but with a dour almost hopeless tone.

  • I am pretty sure I don’t want to watch 10 episodes of hopeless people fighting and a general lack of progress towards the goal of the show.  Which by the way, what is the goal?  Maybe its like Under the Dome or maybe its like Lost, I don’t know.  By that I mean are they trying to escape the dome or the island and also figure out how they got there?

  • It’s a little unfair of me to criticize the show just based on other people’s reviews, so I would recommend you watch the show yourself.  All I can say is you might not like the serious nature of the show.

The Last Ship

The Last Ship – TNT

The new summer TV shows have started so I thought I would begin writing some short reviews.  Note: The premise is SPOILED for some shows that aired recently.  If you want to see these shows and don’t want to know the premise than be wary.

The Last Ship

Pro’s:

  • This is SciFy action adventure done with high energy and decent special effects.  This is what I want for a summer show!

  • Casey from Chuck playing a military guy, not a stretch for him but it’s credible.  Also Rhona Mitra who I just found out was the original model/actress for Lara Croft.  I knew there was something I liked about her.

  • The show is on the TNT channel and on-line.  The first episode is free.  I had never been to the TNT web site before so I need to see if all the episodes will be free in the future.

  • The first 30 minutes of the show are action packed,  I just wished the second part of the show was too.

Con’s

  • The second part of the first episode was full of clichés and rousing speeches (mostly be the Captain, who is actually a Commander in the Navy).  This is okay but if you just lost your family and had nowhere to go home, you might have wanted to slap someone rather than salute them.

  • The virus story is interesting to a degree but most of the action of the infected people happens off-screen.  I guess this is good if you are squeamish.

  • This isn’t really a complaint but didn’t external shot of the ghost ship look a lot like the Titanic (even though it was supposed to be a modern ship)?

  • I guess I will watch a little more of the show, but I am worried that most of the characters are just cookie cutter stand ins for now.  I also noticed that the bad guys can’t seem to hit their target while the good guys seem to manage to destroy them practically every time.

 

Dominion

Dominion – SyFy

The new summer TV shows have started so I thought I would begin writing some short reviews.  Note: The premise is SPOILED for some shows that aired recently.  If you want to see these shows and don’t want to know the premise than be wary.

Dominion

Pro’s:

  • Who here wanted to see a continuation of the movie Legion?  Well if you did this show may offer you something familiar.  Let’s face it very few people thought Buffy the Vampire would be an interesting TV show after the original movie.

  • Setting a sci-fy show in Las Vegas is kinda cool and so are the subtle references to the Hunger games city and culture.  (There is even a surprise love triangle that involves the pairing of two people based on political convenience).

  • The show is on the SyFy channel on Thursday night when the schedule (at least for me) is wide open with nothing all that great on to watch.

  • Also this show airs right before a first time basic cable showing of Spartacus (which aired originally on premium channel Starz from 2010-13).

Con’s

  • My first warning sign came when I got bored half way through watching the 4 minute preview trailer.  The trailer should be intriguing and filled with excitement.  This trailer was cheesy and the characters had nothing interesting to say.

  • The movie version of Legion didn’t really interest me.  I guess the story is the Angels are mad at mankind so they decide to destroy us.  Once we are all dead I guess they feel like God will return to them or something.  I am not sure what the point of that might be.

  • And except for the lead guy and maybe a young girl that looks and acts like Cosette from Les Mis, the acting is just standard and the dialogue is very banal.

  • So I am probably done watching this show.  The good news is that the CW’s The 100 is rerunning this summer.  I may give that a try as it is supposed to be good syfy survival story.

 

Penny Dreadful – The Two Sides of Vanessa Ives

Vanessa Ives – Showtime

The new summer TV shows have started so I thought I would begin writing some short reviews.  Here I explore the themes of Penny Dreadful’s main female character.

Vanessa Ives:

Major Themes:

  • Invitations to unexplored worlds – In an early scene, Vanessa invites a new acquaintance to experience a world beyond this one.  Here is the clip where that happens.

  • The border between what is known and unknown – Vanessa walks along the beach with Mina and asks her if she wants to go into the ocean.  Vanessa wants to go in.  The beach itself is the border between the safe known land and as the ancients called it, “the evil unknown sea”.

Vanessa and Mina - Showtime

Vanessa and Mina – Showtime

  • The Eye is the Window to the Soul – Vanessa stares into the lifeless creature she made.  It’s a bird of prey.  She puts a mirror behind the dead eyes to give them life.  When she stares at you she wants to see the part of you behind the physical shape.  The world of the ephemeral held still and studied.

Vanessa's Taxidermy - Showtime

Vanessa’s Taxidermy – Showtime

  • In Penny Dreadful, Vanessa is a our spirit guide between the worlds.

 

We Have A Winner – Penny Dreadful

Penny Dreadful is mysterious show and you never know if I character is going to a dark, dark place to die. But good news is here! Penny Dreadful the Showtime TV show was renewed for a second 10 episode season.

This is the first summer TV show renewed this year. And they did it after just four episodes. Last year, Under the Dome was quickly renewed after its premiere.

I have seen all four episodes and am liking the show so far.  The show seems to be focusing on a character at a time with each episode (which I liked from my early days watching LOST).  I am looking forward to see how they progress this season and set up season 2.

Crossbones

Crossbones - Season 1The new summer TV shows have started so I thought I would begin writing some short reviews.  Note: The premise is SPOILED for some shows that aired recently.  If you want to see these shows and don’t want to know the premise than be wary.

Crossbones

Pro’s:

  • Crossbones is about the British navy’s attempt to get rid of the famous pirate Blackbeard.  I liked this better than Black Sails which seemed to be similar in plot.  But this show is better executed (with Liz Sarnoff from Lost as co-producer).

  • There is betrayal brewing on all sides, both within the British and Pirate camps.  Also the women pirates play a very large part in the proceedings.

  • The show is on NBC and you can watch the episodes for free at their website or on Hulu.

Con’s

  • The main character has already survived being attacked and captured by pirates on the high seas;  he has been choked, tortured, beaten and even shot.  But he continues on at full strength, so much so that he can go swimming with a lovely lady.