Hey, we’re up to 5 shows this week, which means that Best Of and Worst Of comes back. Starting this week, the new Fall season gets into full swing so this list will balloon once again, even though I hardly have time to watch what’s on now so this ought to be interesting. Therefore, without further ado, here’s TV Thursday – 9/18/14, already in progress.
Doctor Who #8×04 – “Listen” – I think I’ve decided, I just don’t like this new season of Doctor Who. I really can’t stand any of the people in it. I hate Clara. I detest that idiot Danny Pink character. I don’t even like Peter Capaldi’s Doctor, as much as I’ve tried to give him every possible chance. And, of course, I hate Steven Moffat with a passion, he’s ruined the show as badly as Russell T. Davies ever did. In fact, that brings us to this episode. See, some of the best episodes Moffat ever wrote, back when he was just a writer and not a Doctor Who fanboy turned show runner, were episodes like “Blink” and “Silence in the Library”, where there were things lurking in the shadows that were out to get you. That’s how this started, with the Doctor asking what if evolution had created a creature with the perfect ability to hide, what if we’re never really alone, these perfect hiding creatures are always with us. What then? That’s a great place to start, too bad it all goes straight to hell along the way. But while the Doctor is noodling his navel, Clara is out on a proper date with Danny and things don’t go well. Why? Because there is no chemistry whatsoever between the two characters and they’re both dicks. That pretty much sums it up. Danny is telling stories about his war days and Clara gets mad, gets up and storms off. Then, after she and the Doctor go galavanting around to the end of time, she makes him take her back to the date, just after she leaves and she tries it again, but this time, because she won’t tell him about her time with the Doctor, it’s his turn to run out on the date. They both suck. They’re both painfully shallow and Moffat’s writing makes it even more annoying. So anyhow, the Doctor becomes convinced that because everyone has nightmares of something under the bed, that there’s something real under the bed. He makes Clara stick her hands in telepathic goo so the Tardis can home in on her dream, but instead, it homes in on Danny Pink’s dream as a child, back when he was called Rupert and he wants to change it, but keep the stupid last name. What a wanker. So anyhow, Clara and the Doctor hang out in Rupert’s room, after he’s had the dream and suddenly, whatever creature it is appears on Rupert’s bed and the Doctor forces them not to look, no matter what they do. The creature, almost entirely unseen, runs away and Clara shows Rupert how to line up plastic army men to protect himself in the future. Then, it’s off to the date again, as described above, but after dipshit Danny runs away, Clara sees a spaceman in the restaurant and follows it into the Tardis, expecting it to be the Doctor. Instead, it’s a future relative, Orson Pink (the names keep getting stupider), who is the first time traveler. The Doctor picked him up at the very end of time, which honestly, haven’t we been to the end of time enough in this stupid show? Anyhow, the Doctor pretends the Tardis has to recharge to take Orson home and Orson is terrified to be on the last planet overnight because there’s something outside. Of course, the Doctor gets knocked out and it’s up to Clara to get the Tardis out of there, but she ends up on the planet we last saw with the War Doctor, where a young Doctor Who is sleeping in the barn because he’s afraid of the dark and Clara ends up under the bed, grabbing his let, starting his intense fear of creatures under the bed. She ends up explaining to the young Doctor that fear is a good thing, the same line the Doctor uses on young Rupert, and the whole thing turns out to be the Doctor’s fear. But that doesn’t explain anything! What about the whole creature in Rupert’s bedroom? If the whole episode was supposed to be about perfect hiding creatures, how did the Doctor’s fear of the dark play into it? It makes no sense at all. It’s like Moffat forgot what he had written and went off on another tangent. Utterly idiotic. The whole opening monologue was a complete waste of time. The whole episode was a complete waste of time. I wish I hadn’t bothered. And Clara and Danny, what the hell is up with them? They wouldn’t know chemistry if it bit them, they are horrible together, Danny comes off as bordering Asperger’s territory, he’s a pathetic loser and his progeny isn’t any better. I mean, Clara isn’t exactly a prime catch, but seriously? This guy is a complete loser! Everyone on the show is a loser now, but none so much so as Moffat himself. This is an hour of my life I can’t get back. What a load of crap.
Extant #1×12 – “Before the Blood” – Odin is a dick. Last week, he planted a bomb inside Ethan, this week he gives Ethan a remote control that he’s supposed to press when he’s at the lab so that the bomb goes off and destroys the Humanix program. Sure, that’s cheery. And, of course, Katie isn’t quite as dead as we thought, she’s been floating around in her pod for almost 2 years, but now the station is missing and nobody knows where it’s gone. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, Katie is now on the Seraphim with her ex-boyfriend Sean, which seems pretty convenient until you think that it might all be an illusion. That actually would have made sense but the French who delivered Katie to the station actually have a record of her, which seems a bit strange when you think about it. After all, the alien illusions have been to bring people who are dead back into the lives of the living so they can do things for the aliens. Molly saw Marcus, Sparks saw his daughter, it would have made sense for Sean to see Katie because they were pseudo-involved. Sean could have just imagined the whole encounter with the French, but if that happened, Molly wouldn’t have discovered all of this was going on so I guess it had to happen the way it did. Anyhow, let’s get back to the story. Molly brought Sparks into ISEA and he’s being kept prisoner. Sparks doesn’t want to help Molly, he says that Molly entered codes that told the Seraphim computers to go off course and re-enter the atmosphere so the station will burn up. Why? We don’t know yet. But Molly learns that the French found Katie and delivered her to the Seraphim and therefore, Sparks is only too happy to help in any way he can. Of course, the communications gear on the Seraphim is out of order and the only way to stop the station from burning up in the atmosphere is to send an astronaut, specifically Molly, up to save the day. But Molly doesn’t want to go because she has problems of her own down on Earth. Her astronaut life is getting in the way of her marriage and she fights with John, who wants her to forget about Marcus and the almost-baby and just be part of the family that she has. Of course, Ethan hears this and thinks they’re talking about him. Julie realizes that there’s a 90-minute gap in Ethan’s recording while he was shut down and Odin was doing a little impromptu surgery. They call for John to bring Ethan into the lab, which of course, Ethan thinks they’re going to shut him down and almost triggers his remote detonator, but Julie talks him down. Julie finds out that Odin has been filling Ethan’s databanks with nonsense and she checks up on him, only to find out that his name isn’t really Odin, he’s a known techno-terrorist. She goes to his apartment and the landlady lets her in and she finds a manifesto that he recorded about blowing up the lab. Molly, still looking for her alien baby, hallucinates the son that she and Marcus were going to have as an adolescent. He tells her that body-less aliens are on the way to Earth and he can’t stop them. Back up on the station, it turns out that Katie really is dead, she’s stuffed in a closet in her surprisingly spacious rescue capsule and the Katie that Sean has been flirting with is, you guessed it, an alien. Oh, and there is alien mold on the Seraphim. One more episode and they still have a ton of loose threads to tie up. Hope they manage it.
Haven #5×01 – “See No Evil” – Well, Haven is back and… I hardly remember what happened last season. So they give us a quick recap. Last season, they were in a cave under the Haven lighthouse where the door to the other world is located. The door closed, locking William on the other side and this doesn’t please Mara, she wants to get him back, he’s hidden his supply of trouble-producing black goo and she wants to find it. When the doorway closes, the lighthouse explodes, scattering everyone present to the four winds. Duke goes hunting for Jennifer and Vince and Dave go wandering through the woods, with Dave badly injured. Audrey, now Mara, goes looking for Jennifer too and everyone is convinced that she needs to find her to open the door again to bring William through. Of course, with the lighthouse destroyed, the door is at the bottom of the Haven bay, nobody is going there any time soon. But there’s another trouble, one that results in people having their eyes and mouths sewn closed. Everyone thinks that Mara is responsible but Dwight isn’t so sure, he goes looking for another cause. Mara plays Audrey and goes into a coffee shop and demands that the owner move a heavy table. There’s a thin spot between worlds there, what Mara calls a “thinny”, but it’s locked closed and she can’t get through. So she steals the guy’s car and then shoots him in the head. Nathan is convinced that Audrey is still in there somewhere and goes looking for Mara. Vince gets Dave to the hospital where he’s placed in a medically induced coma. Now that they know there are thin spots, they go to Vince and he locates the Nathan Cabot journal that Dave said was lost, but he knew where Dave hides stuff, and it reveals that there are five thin spots. They know about a couple of them, leaving only three to go after. Nathan finds Mara and pleads for Audrey to come back to him but Mara shoots him in the shoulder. She’s about to finish him off when something stops her and she leaves him there bleeding on the beach. Dwight finds that there is a family who, in the past, had a trouble that resulted in eyes and mouths being sewn shut, but it hadn’t been seen since the 1920s when a great grandmother got pushed down the stairs by Duke’s grandfather. Dwight confronts Duke and he says that his family possesses all of the troubles that they had ever “ended”. He could manifest any trouble at any time. Mara finds that almost all of the “thinnies” are sealed but she says Jennifer is too weak to be doing this. We see that Dave, in his coma, is dreaming about sealing the thin spots, he’s probably the one doing it. You know, it’s cool that they’re finally exploring the real cause of the troubles in Haven but I’m not that thrilled with the Mara/William storyline. I like Audrey, the idea that she’s the mastermind behind it all bugs me, especially now that she’s turned into the cold-hearted bitch Mara. I hope they don’t spend the whole season with Mara, only to have her turn back into Audrey at the end. Not only is that painfully obvious, half the reason to watch the show at all is the Nathan/Audrey duo. Without it, Haven feels like half a show, just like at the beginning of last season while Audrey was stuck in the bar.
The Strain #1×10 – “Loved Ones” – Now I’ll be honest, The Strain used one of my least favorite TV tropes this week, the “X hours earlier” thing, not just once, but many times during this episode. We’ve been wondering what happened to Kelly, Zack’s mother, or at least you might have been wondering since I knew what happened to her by reading the books and comics. So anyhow, this week they get around to explaining exactly what happened when Zack finds that Kelly’s cell phone is still on and he can track it on an amazing website where you can just type “find Kelly Goodweather’s iphone” and it gives you access to the GPS data. Sure it does. But it lets Eph go out looking for her, he wants her to be alive, even though we all know she isn’t. So we flash back and see her encounter with Matt and the worm that gets into her eye. Seriously, she gouges his face with blender blades and it leaves two small cuts with no blood? Anyhow, we see the image that appears in a lot of the promotional material. It’s gross but that’s what this show is all about. Now Kelly has been a bit character throughout the series, just as she really was in the book. She exists to be a foil for Eph’s manhood in the largely throw-away custody battle that is now entirely moot. This episode gave her something to do and she plays a relatively large role that was hinted at in this episode toward the end of the season, assuming things play out the same way in the series that they do elsewhere. Anyhow, Eph finds a homeless woman who ended up with Kelly’s phone and after bandaging her leg, she shows him where Kelly’s car is located. Inside, we find some of Kelly’s blood and Eph knows what’s happened. Of course, through another series of flashbacks, we see Kelly start to change and she goes to see Diane, that stupid Bronx bitch, and luckily feeds on her and her spawn. Eph later comes along and puts bullets in their heads, which made me cheer. He finds Kelly’s necklace in Diane’s hand before he returns to Setrakian’s pawn shop but he never finds Kelly. Meanwhile, Dutch figures she can turn the Internet back on if she can get into Palmer’s high rise so she and Vasiliy try to get in by posing as health inspectors for the executive kitchens. Of course, this is a ridiculous plan and they get caught immediately and Palmer has a little chat with Dutch but she hauls off and slugs him and he doesn’t like that so he orders them killed. Luckily, Palmer’s head of security, Fitzwilliam, knows that Palmer has gone off the reservation and lets them go, his security forces are loyal to him, not to Palmer. Now one thing I noticed is that the news stations are still sending out news crews, even though the city is being looted and vandalized left and right, yet nobody has even noticed there are vampires running around the city, right out in the open, each and every night. Seriously, there are a bunch of pasty-white guys dripping blood wandering the streets, not being remotely subtle, and the news can only talk about the financial markets? Honestly, I think Kelly’s story was pretty worthless because Kelly was pretty worthless. The whole custody thing was a complete waste of time and if we were ever supposed to empathize with Kelly, I certainly never did. She was a shit, Matt was a shit and honestly, I celebrate their deaths. I know Kelly has one more semi-important part to play with Zack and Nora later on, but after that, I don’t have a problem with her being gone. Oh, and Eph, your apologies suck. After telling Diane last week that you love your ex-wife, just after having sex with Nora in your ex-wife’s bed, this week he tries to explain what he really meant and stuffed his foot even deeper into his mouth. Stop it, you’re being a douche. This was another character-driven episode, nothing that really advanced the overall story but it did give us a better understanding of the dynamics behind the individuals involved and let us get a breath before we go right back to more vampire-whacking next week.
Z-Nation #1×01 – “Puppies and Kittens” – As much as I’m not a big zombie fan, if you remember I even dropped Walking Dead a season ago because it wasn’t actually good anymore, but when this popped up, from the producers of Sharknado, I had to give it a go. It’s a bit more tongue-in-cheek than other zombie shows and that’s a good thing. Several years after the zombie apocalypse, people are living in primitive camps, trying to protect themselves from the walking dead. We start off with our “hero” Hammond, a military officer working to protect a secret medical experiment. By injecting a new experimental formula into “volunteers”, they hope to find a vaccine for the zombie plague. The first two experiments fail but the third… well, it almost fails too, but as Hammond circles back to check, even though test subject Garnett is being chowed down on by 8 zombies, he isn’t turning. He’s immune to the zombie plague and Hammond rescues him. Now it’s Hammond’s mission to transport Garnett across the country to California where the last lab in the nation can use his blood to replicate the vaccine. Of course, Garnett is none too thrilled about this, especially since he wasn’t a willing volunteer to begin with, but Hammond has a way of ordering the scattered survivors to do what he wants. They come across a survivor camp made up of former National Guard troops and Hammond orders them to transport him and Garnett to a distant high school where he supposedly has a team waiting for them. However, while they’re gone, their camp is overrun and virtually no one survives. Only Welch, Smith, Mack and Addy make the trip to the high school and there, they find that the special forces team that was supposedly waiting is long dead. They also find a girl who locked herself in a cage to avoid the zombies and a young baby whose mother had died and while Garnett, always the misanthropist, wanted to let the baby die, everyone else insisted that they come along. Of course, things never work out as expected in zombie shows and the baby becomes infected. Yes, you heard me right, a zombie baby. I haven’t seen one of those since Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive. Great stuff. Unfortunately, the zombie baby and the infected girl spell the end of Hammond, which is a shame because I really liked him, but special forces radio operator turned hacker Citizen Z directs the survivors to take Garnett to the lab in California. He is humanity’s last hope, after all. Of course, this is a low-budget series, all of the effects are done by Asylum but they weren’t all that cheesy and they actually fit with the style of the show. Yeah, this isn’t a series to be taken seriously and the low budget effects actually add to the feel, the characters are decently fleshed out, although certainly not as much as Hammond was, but I hope that in future episodes, we’ll learn more about them all. It’s not really necessary though, they have a mission, get Garnett across the country, we don’t really need to know everyone’s backstory in great detail. They also don’t pull any punches, there’s zombie gore flying everywhere and they’re totally unapologetic about it. This is a fun, campy show that you can’t take too seriously and I’m just happy to be on the bandwagon, along for the ride. Give it a shot!
Best of the Week: Come on, zombie baby! Z-Nation takes the top spot, this was a really refreshing look at zombies from a fun and campy perspective. I didn’t know what to expect but this was absolutely great!
Worst of the Week: Doctor Who. There, I said it. It’s really too bad too because I really hate disliking it but so long as Moffat is involved, I fear that I will. There are touches of brilliance but it is always buried under tons of crap and often, it just isn’t worth digging through the feces to find those decent moments.
Other Stuff I Watched: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Bionic Woman #1×06-1×08