Favorite Show – Galavant

If you haven’t been watching Galavant, well you’re too late now. Its season, and probably series, finale aired this past Sunday, and I’m sad to see it go. A half-hour medieval musical comedy series was never going to have mass appeal, but it was just the sort of thing I was looking for, and it rapidly became one of my favorite shows on TV. The idea of legendary songwriter Alan Menken doing a musical TV show was enough to pique my interest, but I quickly discovered last season that Galavant was more than just great songs from the Disney vet. It stylistically combined Disney musicals with Monty Python (specifically Spamalot), The Princess Bride, and Mel Brooks movies to create one of the funniest shows out there, but as the presumed series finale approached I wasn’t prepared for just how emotional the show could be, without losing its humor, nor how attached I’d become to these characters. Add in the fact that Galavant was perhaps the most self-aware and self-depreciating show in history and you’ve got a recipe for something unique. If this really is the end, and I hope it isn’t, I’m at least happy that Galavant existed and even got unexpected second season, and I hope more people will discover it as the years go by.

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I have mixed feelings about a new Star Trek TV series


Seven years ago I would have been beyond excited for a new Star Trek TV series, like the one just announced by CBS due to premiere in January of 2017. When Enterprise was unceremoniously cancelled in 2005, despite having hit its narrative and creative stride in its fourth and final season, I gave up hope of seeing Star Trek on TV again in my lifetime. For eighteen straight years, almost all of my childhood, Star Trek had been a staple with at least one or two series constantly on the air, and facing a world without Star Trek in my living room was a depressing prospect. So the me in the period of 2005-2009 would have been thrilled with today’s news. But the reality is that I’m filled with some strongly mixed feelings about the news, despite my undying love for (almost) all things Trek.

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Jon Stewart: How do we say goodbye?

I can’t remember the first time I watched The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I don’t know exactly at which point it became an obsession. I couldn’t tell you when I stopped watching it on a regular basis, or why. And I can’t exactly articulate my feelings now that Jon Stewart is leaving the show. But I can’t let this day pass without saying something about a man who had such an impact on me in some of the most important years of my life.

I think I was extremely blessed by the timing with which Jon Stewart took over The Daily Show. I’m 31 years old now, but when Jon aired his first episode I was 15, and just starting to look at the world around me. Continue reading

Star Trek IS Political, and That’s the Way I Like It

James T Kirk

The 2016 US Presidential race has already devolved into something of a circus, and while I generally stay out of politics on this blog a recent article about one of the potential candidates caught my eye. Republican Senator Ted Cruz, a conservative, recently did an interview with New York Times magazine where he talked about his preference for Han Solo and Spider-man, but what really stood out was what he had to say about Star Trek. Cruz has mentioned being a Star Trek fan before, and it wasn’t a surprise to hear him say he prefers Kirk to Picard, but he went on to make some very incorrect claims about Star Trek that came to the attention of none other than Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner. But before we get to Shatner’s response, here’s what Cruz had to say:

You’re also a fan of ‘‘Star Trek.’’ Do you prefer Captain Kirk or Captain Picard? Absolutely James Tiberius Kirk.

Well, that goes with being a Kirk person. It does indeed. Let me do a little psychoanalysis. If you look at ‘‘Star Trek: The Next Generation,’’ it basically split James T. Kirk into two people. Picard was Kirk’s rational side, and William Riker was his passionate side. I prefer a complete captain. To be effective, you need both heart and mind.

I thought your critique might go in a different direction, because ‘‘Next Generation’’ is more touchy-feely in its politics than the original. No doubt. The original ‘‘Star Trek’’ was grittier. Kirk is working class; Picard is an aristocrat. Kirk is a passionate fighter for justice; Picard is a cerebral philosopher. The original ‘‘Star Trek’’ pressed for racial equality, which was one of its best characteristics, but it did so without sermonizing.

Do you have a suspicion about whether Kirk would be a Democrat or a Republican? I think it is quite likely that Kirk is a Republican and Picard is a Democrat.

Although Cruz is certainly welcome to prefer Kirk to Picard, there are several things very wrong with his assessment of Star Trek. Continue reading

On the end of Glee

My Life Would Suck Without You

Being with you is so dysfunctional

I really shouldn’t miss you

But I can’t let you go

The series finale of Glee airs tonight, and it has me thinking about my experiences with the show and what its legacy might be.  In many ways, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this, the lines above from one of the many songs performed onGlee over six seasons could sum up my feelings on the show.  It’s certainly been a roller coaster ride for the fans who have stuck with it, with some of the highest highs I’ve ever experienced from television, as well as some of the lowest lows.  And here at the end I find myself with two equally strong opinions that are battling for supremacy in my mind: I’m glad that the show is finally ending, and I’m going to miss it when it’s gone.

From the very beginning my relationship with Glee was unlike any show I’d ever experienced.  Continue reading

Recap: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – “What They Become”

Skye and her father, "What They Become"

The pieces were all in position, the stakes were set, and the drama had reached a fever pitch.  Everything was ready for a dramatic showdown in the midseason finale, and that’s just what we got.  The rules have been changed, and going forward nothing will be the same.  Characters died, mysteries were solved, new questions were asked, and things set off in entirely new directions for the rest of the season.  In short, this was a big, exciting, important episode for SHIELD, one that delivered on the promise of season two thus far in almost every way imaginable.  So without any further ado, let’s find out “What They Become”, written by Jeffrey Bell and directed by Michael Zinberg.

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Recap: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – “…Ye Who Enter Here”

Skye and May, "...Ye Who Enter Here"

With only a week to go before the midseason finale, things are really heating up on SHIELDOur last episode helped position the pieces for the endgame of this half of the season, and this week’s episode gave us what felt like part 1 of the finale.  This week had it all, with dream sequences ripe for fanfiction, fight sequences, possessed characters, two Melinda Mays, two Koenigs, the return of Raina, and some confirmation of a popular theory.  It’s all building up to an exciting midpoint next week, before SHIELD takes an extra-long break while Agent Carter gets a chance in the spotlight (I’ll be recapping Agent Carter as well).  So let’s jump into “…Ye Who Enter Here”, written by Paul Zbyszewski and directed by Billy Gierhart, and let’s do it quick before my local TV station cuts in with a random commercial at the worst possible time.

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Recap: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – “The Things We Bury”

Agent Carter

Things are starting to move quickly on Agents of SHIELDLast week saw the solution to the mystery of Coulson and the alien writing, even if it left many more questions in its wake, and this week’s episode continued along that path, providing some new revelations and lots of momentum heading towards the midseason finale.  Skye’s father played a big role tonight, as did the confrontation between Ward and his brother, and we finally got some answers about Whitehall.  Not to mention some mortal peril, humor, sex, and possibly the goriest sequence we’ve seen on the show yet.  And to top it all off, Agent Carter made another welcome appearance!  Things are definitely coming to a head with only two episodes left before SHIELD goes on its winter break, and I for one am as excited for the show as I’ve ever been.  So let’s jump into “The Things We Bury,” written by DJ Doyle and directed by Milan Cheylov.

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Recap: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – “The Writing on the wall”

Mack and Fitz

Agents of SHIELD took a week off and returned with an exciting episode that took a big step forward for some of the big story arcs of the season.  The last episode moved some of the key pieces around but this week gave us some big forward momentum along with a healthy dose of revelations, with presumably more to come.  We learned some new information about the Guest House, the alien, and TAHITI, not to mention a solution to the alien writing puzzle.  Ward got to stretch his wings, setting out on a plan that kept me guessing throughout the whole episode.  In all, it was a fast-paced episode that set the ball rolling for the second half of the first half of season two (the second quarter?) going into the winter.  So let’s jump into “The Writing on the Wall,” written by Craig Titley and directed by Vincent Misiano.

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Recap: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – “A Fractured House”

Phil Coulson in A Fractured House

After last week’s tense, exciting episode, it would have been tough for Agents of SHIELD to try to match that level of intensity.  The standoff between Raina and Coulson, with Simmons’ life hanging in the balance, combined with some new and emotional revelations about Skye’s father, would have been a tough act to follow.  Wisely, SHIELD charted a different course this week, giving us one of those all-important connect-the-dots episodes, that helps position the pieces for bigger things to come.  And while it might have been a slight but inevitable let down, it still packed in some great moments both fun and emotional, while setting up one big game changer that will affect how the rest of the season plays out.  So let’s take a look at “A Fractured House,” written by Rafe Judkins and Lauren LeFranc and directed by Ron Underwood.

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