Category Archives: t.v.

Kevin Couldn’t Save Television

Kevin Probably Saves the World is the kind of television show that we really need more of.

It’s a unique hour-long drama that is fully of charm and humour. It has elements of fantasy and spirituality in every episode that could be a little off-putting to some people. Maybe that is the reason we won’t be getting a second season of it. However, if you get a chance to see the first (and now only) season of it, I think you will fall in love with it like I did.

It starts out with Kevin, being extremely down on his luck. After a suicide attempt, he moves back to his hometown and in with his widowed twin sister. There he meets a person that no one else can see. She claims that Kevin is one of thirty-six righteous beings and he has a duty to find the others and save the world. She is there to protect him and make sure he can complete his mission.

The interesting thing about the show is that his guardian angel had to leave heaven to help him in this mission and she can never return. As Kevin becomes a more angelic person, she starts to become more human.

Upon learning of this series, I immediately drew connections to Joan of Arcadia. Jason Ritter, who plays Kevin, was also in that series. It was about a teenage girl who was regularly visited by God and given special missions to complete. Each mission had huge impacts for both Joan and the people her deeds touched. The same thing happens with this series. And Kevin is finding redemption and becoming a better person.

The final episode actually brought tears to me eyes. I really hope this series gets a longer run than Joan of Arcadia, which only lasted two seasons. The show is amazing and I probably haven’t done it justice in this post.

I was really looking forward to a second season of Kevin Saves the World (Probably). Unfortunately, the show has not been picked up and we are left with only the first outing of a series that should have continued for a few more years. Maybe it is my fault for not posting about this sooner. If you love something, you need to support it and let people know. This is the day and age we live in. Maybe we could have saved Kevin. Maybe he could have saved television.  Maybe.

Everwood is Perfect!

Everwood is perfect television and hands down one of the best programs of all time.

I recently finished watching the entire series again, this time with my wife who had never seen it before.

It was nice being able to watch it again with a fresh set of eyes. This was my fifth time making my way through the whole series. There are only two shows I have seen more times, My So-Called Life, and Star Trek, and while those are great shows, the completeness of this one makes it superior.

The four year story arc for this show is incredible. All the loose ends get tied up. Each and every main character’s story get resolved, and the closure feels great. I especially love the way the finale ties into the pilot. It’s not often that we get television that is able to tell a complete story like this.

It’s hard not to love Doctor Brown, either. His journey is heart-warming and heart-breaking. We get to see him grow into the man his wife always wanted him to be while she was still alive.

I am really surprised that this show is not available of Netflix. It deserves a wider audience. Most people I talk to have never heard of it and that is a shame. It was created by Greg Berlanti who is ruling television now with his roster of DC superhero shows. And speaking of superheroes, Star Lord of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Chris Pratt, is one of the stars of this show. Why isn’t this more of a classic?

Do yourself a favour and find a way to watch this. You won’t be disappointed.

 

 

Fan Expo 2016 Highlights

542-fan_expo_shieldFan Expo is a great comic book and science fiction convention that happens the last weekend of summer every year in Toronto. It is always a lot of fun dressing up in cosplay outfits, attending panels, meeting celebrities, getting comics autographed, and buying some new collectibles. Here are some the highlights from last weekend’s event.

ninth-doctor

This is my family in  our Doctor Who cosplay finest. I am dressed up as the 9th Doctor, my son is The Empty Child, and my daughter is a gender-bent version of the 11th Doctor. Thanks to the Doctor Who Society for letting us pose with a Dalek!

alex-kingston

We attended the Alex Kingston panel. She plays River Song on Doctor Who and was an absolute pleasure to watch. She told some great stories and interacted with the crowd in personal ways.

2nd-doctor

Normally I just go for one day, but this year I bought a deluxe weekend pass and attended all four days. That meant four different costumes. Here is my take on the 2nd Doctor. One person recognized me and commented on my costume. That’s a cosplay win! Although, I think I can improve on this one in the future.

autographs

Klaus Janson autographed a Star Trek comic for me and Clay Mann autographed my TPB of Lady Bullesye from Daredevil.

tim-sale-autograph

Daredevil Yellow is one of my all-time favourite books. And I got Tim Sale to autograph it. Amazing!

daredevil-panel

Speaking of Daredevil. This panel with the actors who play Daredevil and Foggy in the television series was incredible. It was moderated by Joe Quesada as well.

daleks-and-whovians

Here we are again in Doctor Who cosplay. This time I am the 10th Doctor and my kids are Rory and Amy Pond. Next time, I shall have to try cosplaying the 11th Doctor for a more cohesive family cosplay. Still, I love this shot!

dw-and-tmnt

I couldn’t resist getting my picture with my favourite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle either.

stan-lee

Stan Lee was incredible. He was warm-hearted and hilarious. Just as I would have thought. I am so glad I got to see him in his last round of conventions.

tardis-10-and-companions

Here we are again. Our Tardis seems to have shrunk.

william-shatner

I am glad I got to see the original Captain Kirk, William Shatner, as well. It was a nice way to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek.

spock

Of course, I had to dress for the occasion.

Live long and prosper!

That’s the highlights of this year’s Fan Expo. I can’t wait to do it again next year!

Celebrating 50 Years of Star Trek

star-trek-50-1966-2016

50 years ago today, on this very date, September 8th, the world was changed by a little television show called Star Trek.

I have fond memories of the show even though I wasn’t alive when it premiered on that Thursday night back in 1966. My father and I used to watch the show together in the 1980s. I loved every minute of it. The interaction between the three main characters, Captain Kirk, Spock, and Bones was something magical. The stories were always well done and perfect family-time viewing as each episode was basically a morality tale.

For my eighth grade graduation present, I asked for a very expensive model from the Franklin Mint. My parents couldn’t afford it so I chipped in with allowance and birthday money to pay for half of it.

ncc-1701

A few years ago, I bought the digitally remastered DVD collection of the original series. They look fantastic and don’t distract at all from the original versions.

star-trek-dvd-series

I used to play this trivia board game with my dad. He was the only die-hard Trekkie in my circle of family and friends that I could actually play it with. I miss him a lot and wish he was still here to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek with me.

star-trek-the-game

He bought this really cool 3D Chess set. It’s incredibly difficult to play. Chess is hard enough without multiple levels to think about, plan, and defend.

star-trek-3d-chess

We also used to read every Star Trek adventure we could get our hands on. We read tons of the novels and I still have a few of them. We used to go to some flea markets back in the day and I discovered old comics. Gold Key published Star Trek and I bought all that I could afford.

star-trek-gold-key

I collected the Marvel series that ran for two years starting in 1979. I am only missing the last three issues.

star-trek-marvel

DC picked up the rights to Star Trek and published two volumes of the original series.

star-trek-comics

DC comics also published a mini-series of Star Trek: The Next Generation, which lead to a monthly title. I collected them all.

sttng-comics

I celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek this past weekend by attending Fan Expo in Toronto. I dressed for the occasion as well.

spock

I even got one of my comics signed by the one and only Klaus Janson.

klaus-janson-st-autograph

And I saw the original Captain Kirk, William Shatner.

william-shatner

I have written here about my disappointment with the latest film franchise and how it has failed to measure up to, or capture the magic and essence of Star Trek. It is possible that the film-makers listened to die hard Trekkies such as myself, because Star Trek: Beyond is the best film they have produced in the new rebooted universe.

netflix

Netflix has every incarnation of Star Trek right now to help celebrate this momentous occasion. You can stream all of the episodes from every series, including the rarely seen animated version.

And a new TV show is coming this fall. I can’t wait!

How are you celebrating Star Trek 50?

Please let me know via the comments or social media.

Smallville Season 11: Chaos

Smallville Season 11Smallville was a television series that ran for ten seasons and revolved around a young Clark Kent before he became Superman. I own every single season on DVD and really enjoyed watching it.

I had no idea that the story continued in the medium of comics. My brother surprised me with the first 5 issues of Smallville: Chaos since he knew I liked the TV show.

It turns out though, that there are many issues of the comic before this mini-series. I am interested in reading those too since this story characters from the DCU that never appeared on the TV series. I’d like to see how they came to be in the story.

I also like how Watchtower has expanded. It feels like it won’t be long till the have the space station as seen in the Justice League animated series. It really feels like this comic was trying to seamlessly bring to be part of that continuity.

I think I would have gotten more out of this story if I had read the title from the very beginning. That being said, just like the regular Superman title, you can jump in anywhere and still enjoy the story.

The fifth issue of this series was a stand-alone story focusing on Zatanna and Constantine, just to show you how much of a collaborative title this is. The show was moving that way too. I would have loved to have seen Batman and Wonder Woman in it like they have been in this comic book series.

My List of 2015 Reads – a detailed personal reading log

Life on Mars . . . Perfect Television

Life_On_MarsLife on Mars is a brilliant television series that I have only just discovered.

It centres around the character of Sam Tyler, a police officer played by John Simm. In the pilot episode, he gets hit by a car and wakes up thirty years in the past.

He has some visions and hears things that lead him to believe that he is actually in a coma. But try as he might, he can’t get out of his new reality, living as a detective inspector in 1973.

The show completely captured my attention and I worked through all of the episodes very quickly. I had no idea that the show was only on the air for two seasons. As I worked my way towards the end of the second series, it became clear that the show was wrapping up. I didn’t want it to. I had been enjoying it so much and was actually looking forward to more episodes.

The final episode of this series wrapped everything up beautifully. I love a great story and I especially love closure when it comes to television series.

There was an American remake of this series, which absolutely baffles me. I have never seen it, nor do I have any desire too. British television is great. I couldn’t imagine an American version of Doctor Who. It just doesn’t make sense. So , go watch the original and be amazed.

Writing by The Seat of Your Pants Can Work Wonders

There are two trains of thought when it comes to writing – Planning and Pantsing. The former involves writing outlines and breaking down all the elements of a story before putting pen to paper to begin the first draft. The latter involves flying by the seat of your pants and making things up as you go along.

Stephen King is a big proponent of the pantsing method. He likes to discover his stories like they were artifacts.

In his book On Writing, he states, “…knowing the story wasn’t necessary for me to begin work. I had located the fossil. The rest, I knew, would consist of careful excavation.”

I love to write this way too. I have an idea of where I want to go but I never have the ending written in stone. I discover it along the way.

The best advertisement for pantsing that I can think of is Breaking Bad.

Breaking Bad is quite simply brilliant television. I just finished watching the final episode and the bonus content from the DVD.

Creator, writer, director, and show runner, Vince Gilligan explains how he is a big proponent for pantsing and how it paid off in the final scene of his epic series.

Warning: Spoiler Alert – If you haven’t seen this series, do yourself a favour and buy the DVDs, rent  or borrow them from your local library. You’ll be glad you did. This is compelling television that is so well-written, performed, and produced that you will be glued to your television.

I cut up this “Making Of” featurette from the DVD just to show you how the creator of Breaking Bad is a pantser and how this method of writing is just as, if not more, effective as planning and outlining.

Enjoy and happy writing!

Comic Book Television: Phase 3

It’s so refreshing to see comic book inspired television hitting the airwaves with quality writing and production.

We are now in a third phase of this trend, and I really hope that this one proves to be more effective than the last one.

No Ordinary Family was a great show that grounded superheroes in a family setting.

The Cape was a comic book brought to life.

These two shows were really well done but never managed to find a big enough audience to stay on the air.

I hope these next three shows stick around for a while.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. picks up right where The Avengers left off. Agent Coulson is back from the dead and heading up a division. He was such a beloved character in the movies. That’s why it’s nice to see him on the small screen every week. The show has already had two other movie actors appearing in cameo roles. Samuel Jackson even showed up as Nick Fury. Very cool stuff!

The Tomorrow People are capable of telepathy, telekinesis, and teleportation. They refer to their power as the 3-Ts. The show is similar in tone to The X-men comic since people fear this new evolution of the human species. I like how the mutants in this series all have the same powers. The lead character seems to be the most powerful of them all, and he only just discovered this ability.

The show is smart, well-paced, and has a lot of potential. I look forward to a great season.

Arrow is now in its second season and never once has his character been referred to as Green Arrow. He is referred to as The Hood in the series, but in the last episode, he expressed dissatisfaction with that name. I really wanted someone to call him Green Arrow but it never happened.

Even cooler, in that same episode, there was a Flash reference. I can’t wait for the reboot of this series, especially if Greg Berlanti has anything to do with it. He executive produces both Arrow and The Tomorrow People and has writing credits on both of them. He also created my all-time favourite show, Everwood. 

The Flash only survived one season in its first go-round on television. This was during Phase 2 of Comic Book Television. I really enjoyed that program too.

I will have to write about the other two phases of comic book television a little bit later. I have always loved this genre of show. I hope this new phase lasts a long time. 

Once Upon a Time VS Fables

I just finished watching Season One of Once Upon a Time.

Once Upon a Time Season One

I really had no interest in watching the show, and it’s not because I’m not interested in fairy tales. In fact, just the opposite. I love the idea of exploring these characters within a modern world and I love the themes within the stories.

The reason that I never gave this show a chance before now is that I was loyal to the a different series.

Fables comic book series

Fables is an award-winning comic book series that has captured my attention ever since I got wind of it. I have read all of the issues and am currently working my way through some of the spin-offs.

The series has all of the storybook characters we know and love together in the modern world. However, the rest of society has no idea that these characters are indeed real.

So, when I heard that a television series was being developed around the same premise, I had no interest in watching it. The comics had done such a great job with this story. I would have loved to have seen an adaptation of this story on my television screen, but I didn’t want to see another take on it.

I’m glad I gave Once Upon a Time a chance, though. It is not the same story, but it is still a good one. In this version, the storybook characters are sent to a land that has no magic. They are banished there with no memory of their past and are torn apart from their families and loved ones.

I love the fact that this season ended on a happy note. It was a fairy tale unto itself. It was well done with great performances. Rumplestitskin is absolutely brilliant.

Once Upon a Time VS Fables

Why choose? They are both great.

Life Unexpected (Great Television)

I always borrow DVDs from the library and I’d seen this one on the shelf several times. I had no idea what the show was about, simply because of the way the library had packaged the DVD set, but something about it called to me. I just didn’t have the time to watch it until this summer. But I am so glad I did.

Life Unexpected was a pleasant surprise for me. It was brilliantly written and I fell in love with the characters, especially the main character, Lux Cassidy.

Britt Robertson plays 15 year old Lux, and she unexpectedly shows up at her father’s one day. He had no idea that he even had a daughter. Of course, she wasn’t planning on sticking around. She just wanted his signature so she could apply for emancipation and move out of foster care.

Things didn’t go as expected for Lux either. She ended up getting released into the care of her birth parents. One of whom was a hopeless bachelor, and the other a career-driven loner of sorts. They hadn’t seen each other since the winter formal in high school when Lux was accidentally conceived. Her mother gave her up for adoption but due to a lot of different circumstances, she never did find a good home. The writing makes this all come alive, even though it may sound a little complicated.

It’s a great series, with wonderful writing and brilliant chemistry between the actors. I really was quite invested in the show and am sad now that I’ve worked my way through all 26 episodes and the bonus features as well.

As I watched the DVD, I didn’t realize that this six disc set encompassed the entire series. Life Unexpected originally aired in 2010 and ran for two seasons on the CW Network and I am so thankful that the series finale was able to wrap up the major story lines and give a sense of closure to the whole show. It makes this DVD collection all the more valuable to me. I want to buy it now.