Captain, we have a spaceship on screen!

22 07 2017

New Dark Matter, new Killjoys, new Dr Who. Yeah, not everything is the best show ever and not all of them are at the height of their quality. But there was a time when spaceships on TV happened only in reruns and it went for a good while. We accept every mediocre superhero movie but somehow sci fi needs to be perfect. Well, right now it ain’t. But it’s amazing.

And and while we’re at it, if you claim you miss sci-fi why don’t you go watch Valerian this weekend?


Gotham, Arrow and the case of the evil lesbian ex-girlfriends

17 10 2014

Bashing on DC does sort of feel like stealing candy from a child. It is just too easy. On the other hand the child is a world-class asshole so it’s not like I have to feel bad about it. The screwed up relationship between DC and homosexuality is nothing new. I’ve even talked about it on this blog HERE, which is amazing considering I miss every other relevant topic ever. Then of course there was that whole Batwoman who can’t get married business. The only truly noteworthy thing about the whole “Training to be Batman’s wife” shirt issue recently was that it was just misogynist not homophobic. Well except if you put it into context with the Batwoman issue from before then it suddenly looks even more shitty because it could mean the actual Batwoman who’s not allowed to have a woman for a wife. If these people would do this on purpose I would be awed at just how well all their shittyness connects. Maybe they want to combine it all to form Shitron the giant robot and attack Marvel Headquarters with it?

I don’t want to talk about the comics though, I’ve found those unreadable ever since DC has basically started hating and deconstructing their own product which started about then I was born I think. This is about their TV shows Arrow and Gotham, both of which are ashamed of what they are too, or they’d be called Green Arrow and ..Batbrat? I’m not sure about the second one but I’m reasonably certain they could have come up with something a little more “Batman-ish” than a cop show. Still, to be fair I enjoy both of those shows. Much more than Agents of Shield since unlike that show they avoid the main crime entertainment can commit. Being boring. Yet, I remember how some story rally grated on my nerves in Arrow and I could finally nail it down then the same thing happened in Gotham and it’s just so appallingly ugly and no one has mentioned it yet.

The story in Arrow was the relationship between Black Canary and Rhaz Al Gul’s daughter. Since I’m about as deep as a puddle the first thing that bothered me was that they somehow made an afraid between the Black Canary and her assassin lover be as sexy as a dead fish, mostly by starting with a terrible choice for Canary herself and going with no chemistry at all from there. And to be honest that still amazes me. Especially then people worry that the planned Supergirl series is all about fanservice. I’m not sure these people would even know how to deliver that (weirdly for such a sexist company they are amazing at delivering fanservice for women because they did apparently figure out how to do every scene possible with their main character shirtless).But while that’s waste for me personally it’s not the part worth talking about. No, that would be the weird way a love between two female characters is portrayed here. You see our Black Canary in this case just wants to be with Oliver Queen, in a nice little straight relationship. But her evil lesbian lover can’t let go and even goes so far as to threaten her mother’s life to force her to come back to her. Admittedly this ex lover is a criminal and a killer.. just like her boyfriend. Still, we can accept that the League of Assassins are bad customers so there’s something here. This would just be a completely weird mess that makes no sense if Canary did hook up with her again in the end oh screw you, I’m not even going to try to make sense of this.

Let’s move to Gotham. In which the lover of our main character also had a past relationship with a woman (something she is clearly ashamed of because you know that’s WRONG!) who can’t let go and while she doesn’t go as far as taking family member hostage Montaya does try to discredit Barabara’s boyfriend and get him into jail. See the pattern here? Clearly DC has figured out that most lesbians are realy just confused and just want to be with nice guys but the few who really are into women prey on them and they are some evil psycho bitches who just can’t let go and will go to any length to force these poor girls to come back to them. They probably demand they renounce their savior Jesus Christ too. And play video games. The monsters! So currently the two main love interests in the DC shows are both either “cured”lesbians or bisexuals who finally made the “right” choice but their former lovers try to force them (in one case literally) to stay with them instead of being happy natural straight girls.

I’m a terrible judge but considering just how generic and boring Gordon looks she just had to be the better company.

Like everything DC does I don’t believe there really is a system behind this shit but the fact they can be so amazingly offensive without even noticing it says a ton about the people behind these shows and whoever checks what they produce under the DC name.

Let’s see if the Flash will also have a girlfriend who’s stalked by her female ex-lover who just won’t accept her life choices. I’m almost rooting for it just so it becomes obvious enough to blow up in the producer’s bigoted faces.

Agends of Shield: First episode review

25 09 2013

Well this is going to be short. It was everything I expected after the first trailer and talked about HERE. It also neatly ties in with the Marvel movies, going so far as to have the first source of superpowers that shows up in the show be Extremis from Iron Man 3. You can read about that HERE. It’s a bit like Firefly in that it has a huge cast right from the start and gets to use them real quick. The dialogue is snappy, the characters are quirky and the only real question is if Coulson can stay being so sympathetic if he has to lead the team from episode to episode instead of just being background noise in one of the main hero movies. Oh and Mariah Hill shows up in the first episode which already made the whole thing better for me. More of that please.

The only downside: It looked a lot like a guest appearance. I don't epxect to see much else form her until we get more of SHIELD in the movies.

The only downside: It looked a lot like a guest appearance. I don’t expect to see much else from her until we get more of SHIELD in the movies.

J. Michael Stracynski explains why most TV scifi is awful

9 08 2013

Crazy-making? Seriously? And I have to argue with potential employers if my English is good enough to write for them? Anyway, the rest here seems sadly true but in no way surprising. The one hope I do have is that he is wrong about crowdfunding since I suspect that will proof a whole lot of assumptions about what people want wrong.

The problem is that the networks still don’t take SF seriously, or even feel threatened by it. I’ve had executives say that a space-show doesn’t work because people don’t care about what happens to characters in space, it has to be on earth or nobody’ll be interested. I’ve had them say “you can do whatever you want, it’s scifi, it doesn’t have to make sense.” Because it’s SF they always think that somehow or other The Fate Of The World has to be at stake. If you’re doing a drama, no one suggests that solving the relationship problems of the murder has to save the world, but they feel that it has to be that way if you’re writing SF, which is why it’s also so often the rule in SF movies. It’s absolutely crazy-making. 2001, one of the most classic SF motion pictures of all time, could never get made today. Not a chance. Too cerebral, they’d say. Not enough action. All the crowdsourcing in the world won’t rewire the neurons engaged in that kind of thinking.

I keep waiting for a paradigm shift to happen that will let network and studio execs see that SF is the same as any other genre in terms of how you approach it – logically, character based, with challenging ideas and forward thinking – but I worry that it might never happen in my lifetime.

Star Trek and the nature of hate

29 06 2013

by AngryPanda

Why I hate Star Trek (Part 1)

PicardIf you read this blog you may have caught some subtle hints that I am not exactly a positive person. There are a lot of things I dislike and usually I take this to extremes that are entirely out of proportion to the subject matter. The reason for this is simple: I have infinite capacity for hatred and anything that ticks me of risks accesing that wellspring of unfocused aggression and negativity. That said I don’t really hate most things I rant about on this blog. I just voice my dislike in pretty aggressive terms. I don’t hate the silliness that is the grimdark universe of Warhammer 40k I just dislike a lot about it and this dislike is probably a lot stronger than most people’s. Same with let’s say Neon Genesis Evangelion. These are generally things I dislike so much that I will in a casual conversation say I hate them. But that’s just hyperbole, real honest hate is something far stronger, something ugly, something that causes aggression and despise for the subject itself and anyone connected to it. Real hate kills friendships, causes strife and often enough results in violence. IF all the people who claim to hate Michael Bay’s Transformers really hated it instead of just disliking it someone would have set him on fire by now. Hate is an overused word that we apply to lesser feelings that are not worthy of the feeling that causes strife, murder, wars and all sorts of other things that are a bit over the top while talking about something like a TV Show, a movie or a book. I would go so far as to say that claiming to hate something like this is most likely hyperbole or a lie and if not it might be a sign of insanity.

Now that we have that out-of-the-way let me be clear: I HATE Star Trek. To say I dislike Star Trek would be like saying the sun is pretty warm. No, I hate it with a passion that should be reserved for people who have actively tried to make my life miserable or various sorts of extremely unpleasant criminals. Star Trek gets my blood pressure so high that if anyone praises it in my presence I end up being both surprised and disappointed that I’m not breathing fire on them. It’s not enough for it to go away, I want it erased from human history, burned from all memory, its influence on any other media and the perception of sci-fi eradicated from reality. If I were presented with a big red button that would cause anyone ever involved in the development of Star Trek, from Gene Roddenberry to the last extra in Into Darkness to die a horrible death as a child and prevent this franchise from every existing I would most likely press it with only a minimum of hesitation. Yes I’d send a Terminator after George Takei as nice as he seems to be. Star Trek fills me with a level of fury that makes it impossible to keep my good intentions of not ranting about things my friends like or even to simply ignore it. The raw aggression builds up until I have to vent it someway, even if it means pissing of people I care about.

StupidNow to get to such immense levels of hate it takes more than just a TV Series and a few movies I don’t care for. After all I don’t feel the same way about other stuff that is either full of plotholes or plain boring. You don’t see me going nuts about Twilight or Harry Potter. You see like most explosives it takes more than one ingredient to get the right mix here. In case of Star Trek it is three. Number one is public perception. Star Trek has and does dominate the view on what science fiction is and what fans of the genre like. As such I am immediately involved, the franchise spreads its wings over me whether I try to ignore it or not. That’s only a small part thought. The second is familiarity. I don’t despise Star Trek as someone who is only casual familiar with it and can’t bear watching it like so many people who dislike anime. I have seen all the movies and at least two-thirds of all the TV episodes of the combined shows. Just like with Christianity I have very specific reasons for disliking it. Generally I do not watch something just to rant and as such simply lack the familiarity that is needed for this kind of intense hatred with other things that may or may not tick me off. So why do I know Star Trek? The reason would be the third ingredient for my recipe for hate here. I can absolutely  watch an episode of Star Trek or one of the movies (or play one of their videogames as I’ve found out), cringe and the worst parts, laugh at some others and even appreciate the well done bits. I can after all also read about religion and be interested in the historical context. What is needed to set me of is someone who believes that shit right now. Translated into Star Trek (and as I will explain in this series of posts it is not much of a translation at all) this would be a Trekkie. They are the catalyst that make me want to stick various sharp objects in people and set them on fire. Hearing a Trekkie talk is like pouring gasoline of a candle flame for me. After a certain point I’m perfectly capable of hating people I usualy admire if Star Trek comes up. I’m not proud of this, and in fact I’d really prefer if I could get myself to not care. It would be more healthy, more reasonable and would get me into so much less trouble with friends. But I can’t. Don’t think I haven’t tried, but this hate is both too strong and in my opinion justified to be extinguished.

So now that we’re clear on how I feel about Star Trek we can get into what exactly it is I dislike about it next time. The follow-up should then likely be about Trekkies and what gets me so riled up with them. With hopefully  one last entry to wrap it all up.

“Beware the Batman” first teaser trailer

19 06 2013

by AngryPanda

About time DC played to its strengths again and as much as the hype around Man of Steel is going; it is not the silver screen. DC Animated has absolutely ruld the market of animated superhero productions for almost 20 years now, with Marvel only rarely delivering single shows that could match their quality. Unfortunately DC has neglected this a fair bit. Apart from their excellent Direct-to-DVD-movies we haven’t heard much from them. The amazing Young justice series is cancelled and Green Lantern never took of and despite some excellent writing I think that was deserved as their choice of going with CGI instead of animation really limited what they could do and made their universe seem empty and boring. The obvious choice then was a new Batman series that is also CGI. Wait what? Please guys, stop this. You do fantastic animation that is universally beloved, this just doesn’t make sense.

Despite my reservations the trailer does look pretty good and considering Batman’s theme is about dark cityscapes and loneliness their inability to show huge crowds might not be as bad for this series as it was for Green Lantern. It’s worth a shot but I’d trade it for another season of Young Justice any day.

Oh look, old “Shield” news

11 06 2013

by AngryPanda

I almost thought they hadn’t released my first article about the Shield series on Mad Mike’s and posted my own follow up right here on this site. Looks like I missed it though as I could find the thing now. So if you’re into yesterday’s news just click on the text below to get your dose!

Hey look it’s that dead guy from Avengers! The one with the Captain America trading cards who had to die to show how evil the villain is and to bring the team together. Looks like the Avengers get to have something to avenge after all.

the avengers agent coulson Agents of Shield

Poor Agent Coulson.  He had to die because people liked him, otherwise it wouldn’t have mattered. You’d think that’s tough luck but he  is one of the first characters to appear in what is now Marvel’s united superhero movieverse, a complete genre transferred to the big screen instead of just single little snippets in loosely connected movies in the past. And as any reader of comic books should know death is at most a minor inconvenience in such a world. Agent Coulson returns to us in the first teaser for Marvel’s “Agents of Shield”.