Episode 162: New Year, Same Buzzer — The gang jumps head-first into 2015 with a look back at the best of 2014, giving top 5 lists in an extended Countdown. Also, Chris bemoans the video game industry, Dave protects his daughter’s secret, Michelle gets to ask one question, and Shaun forgets what his final thought is.
“Main Theme (Rhythm Thief)” by Tomoya Ohtani
“Main Theme (Valkyria Chronicles)” by Hitoshi Sakimoto
“Arkham City Main Theme” by Nick Arundel
“Night at the Octodrag” by Thee Jaguar Sharks
Production Assistance: Tony Robinson, Executive Producer
Episode 161: ATB Christmas Special III — The gang welcomes the holiday season with a look at some specially themed headlines and their favorite movies in Rapid Reviews. Also, Chris struggles to maintain control, Dave sings a familiar tune, Michelle reviews the worst possible movie, and Shaun hates white elephant exchanges.
Episode 160: Crunked — The gang tries to follow through on their plans to do an episode while drunk with mixed results, then talk about putting different liquids in your body and make snap decisions in Saving Society. Also, Chris edits out a vote he doesn’t like, Dave finds out about a drunk baby, Michelle falls in love with “cough syrup,” and Shaun tries his luck with sound effects.
Episode 159: Fake Animals Unite — The gang devotes an episode to imaginary and cartoon and stuffed animals, all while trying to get the first official entry into the Time Capsule. Also, Chris makes an unpopular argument, Dave takes a pizza out of the oven, Michelle reveals her love of Big Bird, and Shaun puts his dad on blast.
We’ve made it to another day-after Thanksgiving, and folks, I am beat. I mean, no offense to the wild turkeys that roam our neighborhood, but this past week, I’ve been running around like a no-headed turkey doing this, that, and everything in between. Now that turkey day is over (and I hope you all enjoyed a good one), I’m relaxing in my warm, comfortable recliner and catching up on a number of TV shows that I’ve lost track of over the past couple months. I’ve seen the stray show here and there, but can now, with a little time off, indulge in a moderate amount of binge-watching to fully get back in the television game. Here’s what’s on my viewing plate at the moment.
Gotham just completed the first half of its first season, and have to say that I…I just don’t know. I want so badly to like it more than I do, but more often than not after watching, I find myself puzzled and confused. In what the show has given the world so far, I see shades of Almost Human (displaced buddy cop elements), the first season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (nonsensical boredom), and early Heroes (a few stand-out roles). Thankfully, the show has eliminated much of the camp that strained some of its early episodes. (If you’re going to be campy then be campy. Don’t half-ass it in favor misleading everyone.) Unfortunately, the camp seems to have been replaced by blatant overacting, so I’m not sure which is worse. I remain hopeful that the show will find its stride, because when it’s good, Gotham is very good. But when it’s bad, it’s horrible. At this point, I could live with Gotham focusing completely on the Bruce Wayne/Alfred dynamic, as they are both pretty phenomenal characters (and actors). Maybe that’s what it should have done in the first place.
Meanwhile, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. continues to make me happy. The show ran like a beautifully-controlled freight train through its second season with the culmination of a massive storyline around Hydra and S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s move to the underground. The fact that’s it has rounded into its third season with similar momentum is great. (Although I simply cannot abide Skye’s new bangs.) While I like the somewhat slower pace in storytelling surrounding the obelisk, its World War II origins, and a mysterious city, I’m not quite as engaged. Maybe it’s the lack of nail-biting action, or the change in the relationship between Fitz and Simmons (the show’s true highlight), or that Coulson’s not been his witty self of late. Whatever it is, it’s not enough to make me give up on the show, and I’m glad that it survived its initial growing pains.
Do I dare admit that I kinda like Scorpion? I can hardly believe it myself because the shows rides hard a number of smart-people stereotypes, but goodness is it bizarrely entertaining at times. Without getting to bogged down in all the (bad) details, Scorpion bands together yet another rag-tag team of highly intelligent people who help (and “help”) the FBI solve tech-related crimes. Collectively, and unfortunately, the folks in the group all fall under the Hollywood umbrella of “geeks and/or nerds.” But individually, the cast is quirky, smart, and is as chemically balanced as a tech-based dramady needs to be. Plus, it tackles, if awkwardly, the question of social aptitude when things like autism, introvertedness, disability, and even depression are involved. The show never goes so far as to become an after-school special, but those of us in the geek/nerd realm instantly recognize and identify with the issues that arise. The fact that the show has incorporated a character that “helps the others connect properly with the real world,” doesn’t make for the perfect equation, but as long as that function doesn’t veer into parody, it’s a step in a direction that I’m okay with.
In other news, The Flash has been added to the watching rotation, and I don’t have much to say about it…yet. I like the overall story that’s been presented, and I enjoy watching the young Barry Allen play around with his status as a “meta-human,” but not much else is catching my full attention. Then again, I have a pretty short attention span, soooo… Anyhow, that’s sorta how its big brother Arrow started out. It took a good season and a bit for that show to find its footing. Despite some considerable missteps (Felicity was a great character until they took away much of her backbone in favor of becoming the “pretty one” this season), Arrow remains a very solid and entertaining (if soapy) show.
That should be TV enough for one weekend. And frankly, just about everything seems like filler until (1) I can get around to new episodes of The Walking Dead and (2) the start of the third season of Hannibal some time next year.
What shows have been filling your television coffers lately?
Episode 158: Hairy Lips — The gang talks about hair in weird places as Movember comes to a close, then discusses unlimited amounts of snow and vacation, then reintroduces an old segment. Also, Chris gets more eternal damnation, Dave has a beard like a porcupine, Michelle actually takes a shower, and Shaun tries to add everything to Buzzerbeater.
Episode 157: Give and Take and Take — The gang returns to form with a look at some bizarre headlines and the introduction of a (somewhat) new segment called Real Talk. Also, Chris makes his life more difficult, Dave gets stuck taking tests as an adult, Michelle considers her ideal yearbook photo, and Shaun continues to spout more nonsense.