Saturday, October 28, 2017

Rick and Morty 1.08

Rixty Minutes

Rick "fixes" the television so that the family now gets an infinite number of channels from an infinite number of realities. Jerry, Beth, and Summer get excited about seeing versions of reality where they are celebrities.

Funny but no where near close to my favorite episode. It felt a little too much like a joke stretched out longer than it should have lasted. I think I enjoyed it a little more than I did the first time I watched it, primarily because I knew that the finale wasn't going to satisfy me.


Continuity Corner: Morty tells Summer about the unmarked graves in the backyard, where he and Rick buried the versions of themselves who were killed in 1.06 (Rick Potion #9).

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Halt and Catch Fire 3.10


Donna, Cameron, Gordon, Joe, and Tom get together to talk about Joe's big idea, which is of course the World Wide Web. Things don't start off well, although the productions values wouldn't lead you to believe that. Things get better, in the sense that they stop talking at one another and start talking to one another, over the course of a couple days. Cameron visits briefly with Boz. Joe hints at what happened between he and Cameron to Tom. Tom reads Cameron's e-mails. Joe and Tom get into a fist fight. Donna and Gordon share a moment and it looks like they are about to get back together but then don't.

The weirdest moment was Cameron doing a 180 and telling Donna at the the end that she didn't want to work with her anymore. This is of course after doing a 180 in the last episode where she initially told her that she didn't want to have anything to do with her. Donna responds in the most rational way possible and plans a trip to Switzerland.

My favorite moment was Joe talking about building the door. There is something about the imagery of a door that seems like magic to me.

Didn't love it, didn't hate it. It felt like a big tease for what comes next. Since watching the last episode I learned that there is just one more 10-episode season. It has yet to drop on Netflix. I might just watch it when it does even though I previously said this was going to be it.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Young Justice 1.16


This is one of those episodes. I mean that in a good way. It is one of those episodes that you have to give yourself over to. Sink in to it. It seems a little crazy but it in the end it works out.

The team watches as the Justice League are killed fighting off an alien invasion. The team heads to the Fortress of Solitude to intercept some of the aliens. They fight the aliens with more success than the League but Artemis is killed. They head back to the United States where they join forces with the troops led by General Wade Eiling. Aqualad is killed as they attempt to escape an alien attack on the Hall of Justice. Robin and Kid Flash make a discovery that hints that their dead friends may not be dead after all but prisoners who were teleported instead of vaporized.

The team launches an assault on the mother ship in the hopes that they will be able to liberate their friends and others. The mother ship is destroyed but Superboy, Kid Flash, and Robin are killed in the fight. This leaves just Miss Martian and Martian Manhunter, who appeared to have been killed earlier in the episode but then mysteriously showed up at the Hall of Justice. This part of the episode ends with J'onn killing M'Gann which causes her to wake up

Miss Martian discovers that the whole episode up to this point was a training scenario engineered by Martian Manhunter. It was done by mind-melding the team members together. It got out of hand when Artemis was "killed". Miss Martian forgot that it was all a training scenario at that point and really believed she had been killed. It wasn't until all the others had been eliminated from the scenario that Martian Manhunter was able to reassert control and end it.

This is crazy to watch for the first time without any knowledge of what's going on. My recollection is that I knew something was up but I didn't guess exactly what it was. I thought it was a dream. It is also cool because the stakes seem so high even though something seems off considering how quickly and easily the League is killed off.

There are some moments and transitions that didn't make sense to me. Everything was moving so fast that I just went with it. It is hard to say looking back if those moments are badly written or rushed because of time constraints.

An incidental character (Jason Bard) is introduced by name. The name sounded familiar so I looked him up. I don't recall reading any stories in which he appeared but he does have a history in the DC Universe. He seems to have been a recurring character in Detective Comics and Batman (1969-1984) and then later (1999-2009) in Birds of Prey, Batgirl: Year One, and Robin.

Overall this is a much watch episode for me. I don't recall what fallout or follow up there is in subsequent episodes.

I talked about this episode on episode 52 of Dave Talks Comics (11/02/14).

Monday, October 23, 2017

30 Rock 2.15


Liz finds out she is pregnant. She's pretty sure that Dennis is the father. Jack is stuck in DC working at the Department of Homeland Security with Cooter (Matthew Broderick). Kenneth struggles to complete his application in time to work at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Tracy completes work on his pornographic video game.

This is not a great episode but I thought it was fun.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Rick and Morty 1.07

Raising Gazorpazorp

Morty fathers a half-alien child with a sex-doll from the planet Gazorpazorp. Rick and Summer travel to Gazorpazorp. There they find a society where men and women live separately. The men are extremely aggressive. The women are extremely petty. Both sexes have extra arms.

Morty tries to properly raise Morty, Jr., who grows up very quickly. He quickly learns that his son's first instincts are extremely violent and near impossible to correct. Rick and Summer get arrested once the women of Gazorpazorp discover that he is her grandfather.

Very fun and funny episode. I love the social commentary on men and women and raising children.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Sopranos 1.07

Down Neck

Tony flashes back to his youth several times as he tries to figure out what to do about AJ, his son. He is concerned that one day he will have to talk to him about what he does for a living. He tries to get Dr. Melfi to tell him what to do but she just keeps turning it around on him and asks him more questions.

AJ and a couple of his friends were caught with wine stolen from the church. The school psychiatrist suggests that he may have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and encourages Tony and Carmela to have him tested. This is the incident that seems to set off Tony's concerns. As he mulls it over he starts to have the flashbacks. He remembers the first time he saw his father (and Uncle Junior) beat someone up and the first time he saw them get arrested. He remembers watching his parents argue and how verbally forceful his mother could be to his father and also to him.

There's one scene that takes place at the Ba-Da Bing but for the most part this is a family-centric episode. Just about all the gangster related stuff that goes on happens in the flashbacks.

Another solid episode. This show really worked and works on a number of levels. Ultimately all these different levels are manifestations of Tony's life but they each have their own flavor. The fact that they all work and still taste good to me is a testament to the quality of the show.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Halt and Catch Fire 3.09


Four years have passed since the last episode. It is 1990. Gordon and Donna are divorced. She is now a partner in the same firm as Diane. Gordon is dating one of his employees but he still works for Donna. Cameron comes back to the States (from Japan where she and Tom live) for an appearance at COMDEX.

Donna encourages Joe to go to the show to see Cameron. She wants him to take her a message. He goes to the show but he doesn't read the message or take it with him. Cameron and Joe hang. Everything is cool between them until Donna shows up. Cameron doesn't want to see or talk to her and walks out. She ends up spending the night with Joe.

Gordon tries to entertain Michelle, the woman he's dating, but Joanie, one of his daughters, gets in the way. She wants to go to a party but Gordon says no when he finds out that there won't be any adults present. The situation gets very awkward when Joanie starts doing what she can to disrupt Gordon and Michelle's dinner.

I want to like this show. It has moments I like. I like some of the moments that Joe and Cameron share. I wish that this show was about the characters and not the computer industry. That's my read of course but in my opinion if it the characters were the focus of the show then the show would be more slowly paced and there wouldn't be as much fast forwarding as there is.

I think it is time for me to move on, after I watch the season finale.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Young Justice 1.15


Zatara vists the cave with Zatanna, his teenage age daughter. The team is still pissed at the League over what happened with Red Tornado in 1.12 (Home Front), mostly because the League doesn't want them to get involved despite their relationship with the android superhero. The team sneaks out behind the backs of the few League members (Zatara, Black Canary, Captain Marvel) who are at the cave at the time. They fly to Belle Reve and interrogate Professor Ivo who spills the beans (as to Red Tornado's likely whereabouts) thanks to a spell cast by Zatanna.

T.O. Morrow, the Red Tornado's inventor, is hard at work repairing his creation. He completes his work before the heroes arrive and then introduces him to his new brother Red Volcano. He reminds Red Tornado about the history of his androids. Red Torpedo and Red Inferno (originally named Firebrand), his two older siblings, were both heroes initially but neither was very successful. Morrow activates Red Volcano who quickly rips his "father" to shreds. It turns out that "father" was an android, too.

The heroes arrive and do battle with Red Tornado. It seemed like Red Tornado had switched sides, joined the bad guys, but Red Tornado was not brainwashed. He helps the young heroes battle Red Volcano and talks his other two siblings into joining his side. He reminds them that they too were heroes once. Together the trio of androids takes down their youngest brother. All but Red Tornado are destroyed in the process.

Not perfect but this episode had some moments that I really liked. The sequence where Morrow tells the story of Red Torpedo's and Red Inferno's origins brings in the Justice Society of America very briefly. The coloring for this sequence is faux black-and-white which makes sense considering that both of them were created during World War II when most movies were still in black-and-white. I was very surprised to see Firebrand (albeit an android version of the comic book character) make an appearance.

There was something about the music in this episode that I really liked. It helped to underscore some of the emotional or character moments that I thought worked quite effectively without overemphasizing them. The scene where Red Torpedo and Red Inferno drag Red Volcano down into the lava and they are slowly destroyed was surprisingly moving. I was also moved by the scene at the end where Red Toranado visits the real Morrow who is considerably older looking than the android version of himself.

There are lots of unanswered questions and jumps that I thought about as I watched this episode. It felt like it could have been longer. I'm not sure I would have liked how they filled in the missing parts but I can see how some might not like this episode or feel that it is weak. All in all not perfect but I found enough here to move me that I give it a thumbs up.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Parks and Recreation 6.16

The Slogan

Leslie has trouble letting the citizens of Pawnee select a new slogan for the city. Andy accidentally discovers Ron's secret life as a jazz saxophonist. April and Donna help Tom find a location for his Italian restaurant.

This show has gotten way too vanilla. It feels too much like they are going for the happy ending instead of for laughs. There are some laughs but on the whole it feels much more bland than it originally did. Just for the record, vanilla can be great. I'm talking about metaphorical vanilla, not the real stuff.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Rick and Morty 1.06

Rick Potion #9

Morty talks Rick into making a love potion for him that he can use on Jessica, the girl of his dreams. Morty takes it with him to the dance and uses the potion on Jessica. It works a little too well. Jessica is sick and spreads the effects of the potion to everyone else around the world. Everyone is clambering for Morty. They all love him and want him for themselves. The only ones unaffected are their family: Jerry, Beth, Summer.

Rick's attempts to fix the problem don't exactly work either as he turns everyone into giant praying mantises and then into monstrously ugly nightmarish version of themselves. Jerry gets jealous when Beth is called in to work late at night. He fights his way through hordes of giant praying mantises to reach the animal hospital just in time to save Beth from her co-worker. Rick ultimately solves the problem, kind of sort of.

Not my favorite episode but a very fun and surreal one. Rick is unable to save the day, for once. He has to resort to an underhanded trick to "set things right". He isn't unfamiliar with underhanded tricks but this was a new flavor that had not been seen before on the show. The ending was a game changer and gives the impression that this show is willing to go places that most shows would never go.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Halt and Catch Fire 3.08

You Are Not Safe

Cameron has left Mutiny. Ryan is on the run from the FBI. Gordon and Joe are working together again but their business plans are put on hold because of the investigation into Ryan. Donna is getting ready for the initial public offering (IPO) of stock of Mutiny.

Nothing really goes as planned. I enjoy seeing where this show goes but unfortunately I grow a little weary of the surplus of dramatic moments. The show does have the occasional quiet moment but there just aren't enough of them for me. The one that did do it for me this time around was the scene at the supermarket.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

30 Rock 2.14

Sandwich Day

Liz gets a visit from Floyd, the guy who left her for a job in Cleveland. He's in town for a day and needs a place to crash for the night. Jack can't cope with losing his office and being moved to the 12th floor. The writing staff go to extreme measures to get another sandwich for Liz because they ate the one the teamsters brought her.

Lots of laughs. I love how absurd and over the top the humor on this show can be at times.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Young Justice 1.14


The Super Society of Super-Villains makes its presence known by attacking 5 cities with giant tentacle-plants. While the boring old Justice League fight the plants the younger heroes attack the super-villains' headquarters, a swamp in Louisiana. The baddies (Joker, the Ultra-Humanite, Wotan, Count Vertifo, Black Adam, Poison Ivy, the Aromic Skull) prove to be formidable opponents. The young heroes destroy the master plant that is relaying instructions to the other plants but after that victory it seems like the heroes have bit off a little more than they can chew. Aqualad dons the helmet of Dr. Fate but even that isn't enough.

There is lots of action, fighting action, in this episode and not a whole lot of character moments but there is a nice one involving Artemis and Kid Flash. It happens during the briefing they get from Batman before they head to Louisiana.

I want to believe that the reason why the adults are so boring, including villains like the Joker, is because the stars of the show are teenagers. That said, I wouldn't mind it if the adults were played a little less stodgy. There were lots of cameo appearances by adult superheroes. I didn't recognize all of them. I think that at least a couple were Milestone characters.

The part at the end where Aqualad removed the Helmet of Fate seemed a little too quick and easy. There wasn't even so much as a warning of what might happen next time. There will be a next time, although I can't recall exactly which episode that will be.

The super-villains headquarters in the swamp reminded me of the Legion of Doom from Challenge of the Superfriends and the villains HQ from  season 3 of JLU.

This was a decent episode but not close to being a favorite of mine.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Parks and Recreation 6.15

The Wall

Leslie's attempt to bridge the divide separating Pawnee and Eagleton ends up causing just the opposite. Bees are released from the wall dividing the two towns. All but one of the victims are from Eagleton. Everyone thinks it was elaborate prank. Unrelated to the incident, Leslie gets a job offer in Chicago.

Tom asks Ben for some help in coming up with an idea to pitch to an angel investor. Ron bonds with his newborn son while remodeling part of city hall.

Middle of the road. Not perfect. Not awful. A few good laughs but nothing that really impressed me.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Rick and Morty 1.05

Meeseeks and Destroy

Morty gets to call the shots for once but things don't go exactly as he wants them to. The plan was for them to save a village in another universe by stealing some gold from a giant. Instead Morty and Rick almost get sent to prison for killing the giant. Before they can complete their mission things get a little darker.

Rick left Jerry, Beth, and Summer a magic box to help them get things done while he and Morty are off on their adventure. The box works for Beth and Summer but Jerry makes the mistake of asking for the impossible: he wants to take two strokes off his golf game. Mr. Meeseeks, the creature created when he presses the button, can't get Jerry to do what's needed to improve his golf game. Mr. Meeseeks flips out and creates more versions of himself. The situation quickly spirals out of control until Beth steps in and takes control.

Not my favorite or quite as laugh out loud funny as some of the earlier episode but this one was still fun to watch and worth my time.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

The Sopranos 1.06

Pax Soprana

Tony has trouble on two fronts: his relationships with women and his business relationship with Uncle Junior. His problems with women stem in part from the medication he is taking. He can't get it up when he used to be able to. Maybe it isn't the medication that's causing the problem but that's what he suspects. It impacts his relationship with Irina, his goomah or girlfriend. When he can't get it up when they are in bed together they get into an argument. Then he starts having erotic dreams about Dr. Melfi.

It also impacts his relationship with Carmella. She wants to get a room at the Plaza on the night of their anniversary but he isn't interested. Part of the problem there is the issue of him withholding the fact that Dr. Melfi is a woman. Over the course of the episode and after talking it over with Fr. Intintola she finds some internal peace. She tells Tony that she was jealous. Everything seems better between them but she does mention that she was talking to Fr. Intintola about their situation. Tony doesn't react and that surprised me. I thought that he would have a problem with her sharing his secret with the priest. Maybe Tony assumes it was during confession, but it wasn't.

Tony tells Dr. Melfi about how he feels about her. Clearly it is infatuation, not love, but that's how he interprets his dreams. He tries kissing her but she backs off and ends the session. She gets angry when he does things for her like have her car stolen and fixed in the middle of the night. Tony seems to accept her reasoning but is that it? Will there be anymore follow up?

Uncle Junior is acting too heavy handed. He taxes Hesh heavily. Hesh complains to Tony, Tony calls in a favor and has Johnny Sack intercede on Hesh's behalf. He gets Junior to cut the tax in half. There's a lot of back and forth to get to this point. Additionally, Junior has Mikey Palmice kill a drug dealer who sold drugs to the his tailor's grandson, just before the boy killed himself. This also causes problems for one of Tony's friends who counted on the income that the dealer provided. The episode ends with a dinner in Junior's honor. One of the waiters is secretly wearing a camera and the FBI gets pictures of everyone involved. They now know who is running things.

I liked both aspects of this episode. The character moments with Dr. Melfi, Irina, and Carmella help to make Tony seem real and not like a caricature. I don't think that has been a problem up to this point but it is good to see him continue to evolve. I also enjoyed the politics of the family business.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Halt and Catch Fire 3.07

The Threshold

Everyone finds out that Cameron and Tom got married. Different people react differently. Donna and Cameron make an attempt to reconcile but Donna still wants to push forward with an Initial Public Offering (IPO). Cameron seems to have softened on the idea of taking the public but before the company does so she wants to make some improvements. She anticipates that it will take about 2 years to make the improvements. Donna wants the IPO to happen in about 3 months.

Joe is still out at his company. His confession that he stole the company from Gordon turns things around. Gordon gets control of the company. He visits Joe and sees his board. There are no labels to explain what it is but it doesn't take Gordon long to figure it out. At first he lords it over Joe that he will be taking over the company. He changes his tune in the end and offers Joe 49% of the acquired company.

Things come to a head at Mutiny. Donna wants to go ahead with the IPO despite Cameron's opposition to doing withing 3 months. She tries to gather votes from the other shareholders in Mutiny, behind Cameron's back, but Gordon feels some shred of loyalty to Cameron and tells her. The board (Cameron, Donna, Gordon, Boz, Dianne) meets to air things out but things get contentious between Donna and Cameron. Boz tries to get them to take some time but Cameron insists on taking a vote immediately. Everyone votes for going public, except Cameron.

The episode ends with Ray revealing to Joe that he has taken the code for the security software and put it out there for free. I guess this would have been on a BBS or some such service. He also aired plenty of secrets that the company was harboring. Ray didn't know that Joe was talking to Gordon or that he cut a deal with Gordon. It's a little unclear on where Ray's story goes from here. I'm pretty sure that he just on the show for this season.

Not bad. This episode kept my attention. Not every moment was praise-worthy but there were enough good character moments to keep me excited. I'm still uncertain I will watch beyond the end of this season despite my general happiness with this one episode.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

30 Rock 2.13


Jack gets word that the chairman of GE is going to step down and have Jack take his place. Jack promotes Liz to take his place. Things don't exactly work out as planned. Also, Tracy decides to make a pornographic video game.

Will Arnett plays the part of Jack's rival, Devon Banks.

Not awesome but pretty good with some great over the top, ridiculous scenes.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Young Justice 1.13

Alpha Male

The team is sent to northern India by Batman. They are there to investigate a report filed my Hamilton Hill, the mayor of Gotham City. While he was hunting in India he encountered a gun-toting ape. Before they leave, their leader unintentionally reveals the fact that he has been withholding information from them. Aqualad was talking to Batman, off to the side. Superboy eavesdropped on their conversation using his super hearing and got enraged when he heard Aqualad tell Batman that there may be a mole on the team.

The team splits up once they arrive in India, before Aqualad can issue any orders. The only one who sticks with him is Captain Marvel, who is there to chaperone the team of younger heroes. Robin and Kid Flash take off in one direction. Artemis and Miss Martian take off in another. Superboy wanted to hang with Miss Martian but she gets angry at him when he gets over protective and so he takes off on his own.

They all encounter wild beasts in the jungle that attack them. The beasts are under someone's control using a technology similar to what Superboy and Miss Martian encountered in Belle Reve in 1.11 (Terrors). Captain Marvel is captured and almost gets lobotomized by one of the two villains behind the animal attacks, the Brain. Monsieur Mallah and the Brain prove to not be ready for a fight with the young heroes. Instead they run away.

The heroes head for home after freeing all the animals from the control collars and hearing Aqualad out. He explains that the source of his information was Sportsmaster. He wasn't sure how reliable the source was. He doesn't know at this point that Sportsmaster is the father of Artemis. He also didn't want to let the mole, whoever it was, know that he knew. The rest of team decides that Aqualad should continue to be their leader. They head for home with one new companion: a giant white wolf that Superboy names Wolf.

This is not my favorite episode but the character moments in this one work quite well. I liked seeing how Aqualad dealt with the team coming apart at the seams.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Parks and Recreation 6.14


On the eve of the 1st anniversary of Leslie's and Ben's marriage she tries to gets people of Pawnee and Eagleton to get happy about the merger of the two towns. Ben tries to surprise Leslie with gifts (a day early) but she is too busy to spend time with him. Instead he ends up spending time with Larry doing many things that he intended to do with Leslie. April tries to get back at Donna by writing anonymous Yelp! reviews about her.

A fun episode. Probably not my favorite but lots of fun.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

The Sopranos 1.05


Tony takes Meadow on a trip to visit universities in Maine. She starts asking questions about being in the mafia. He denies it at first and then says that some of their money comes from illegal gambling. He can't come out and own up to it to his daughter but she knows. The looks she gives him when he lies to her, she knows.

Tony spots someone (while they are on this trip) that he thinks he knows. Someone who used to be in the mafia and became a witness for the government. He tracks him down and confirms that it is the guy he thought it was. The guy gets wise to Tony before Tony finds him. In the end Tony gets the drop on the guy and kills him. This leads to more lying to Meadow about how he hurt his hand and got mud on his shoes. Things seem to come back to where they were at the beginning of the episode.

Carmella is home sick, while her husband and daughter are out visiting schools. Father Intintola, a young priest, comes to visit. She feeds him. They watch a movie together: Remains of the Day. He spends the night. Nothing happens but for a second it looks like it might and the next morning he admits to being physically attracted to her. He is worried that Tony will learn that he was there that night because his car was parked out front all night.

Carmella tells Tony about the priest. He jokes about it and doesn't understand. Then she tells him that Dr. Melfi called. He lied to her in an earlier episode and told her that the psychiatrist was a man. She was very hurt and was rude to Dr. Melfi on the phone. Tony loses his cool and doesn't know what to say. He begs for Carmella's forgiveness. She's got him over a barrel but I've got a feeling that he is going to do something to intimidate Father Intintola, if not in the next episode then before the end of the season.

On the whole a very good episode. I love the moment in the car at the beginning when Meadow starts asking questions. The looks she gives him, priceless. There is also some interesting camera work in this one.