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Powerless: Parks and Wreck

Powerless

For every super fight, there is a city. For every awesome altercation, there is destruction, and largely comic book films have only just begun addressing the fact that heroes like to break stuff. The good guys win and the bad guys get sent away to Arkham or some frightening super-max designed specifically for villain shenanigans. But the aftermath is always, almost the same. Powerless deals with the aftermath and the prevention of each violent event. Luckily, Wayne Securities is tasked with the burden of helping regular people deal with their weird, violent world.

Epi-Pens and plagiarism

This series takes place in the fictionalized Charm City, which is apparently the brighter, more colorful neighbor of Gotham. Day to day, Charm City is bombarded by villains and heroes come to save the day. Of course after a while, any person will get jaded when they have to live in constant fear of city level destruction. So as Emily, played by Vanessa Hudgens, watches in awe as her morning commute is disturbed by a massive fight, other citizens just try their best to ignore it. At work, it’s revealed that Emily is tasked with helping motivate the staff of the strangely start-up like Wayne Securities.

The company’s hugest accomplishment was the creation of the Joker gas epi-pen, but ever since that, Wayne Securities has been coasting and just choose to rip off Lex Corp. It’s a funny premise and the topic of people dealing with super hero destruction is unique. However, that doesn’t mean the series is wholly original.

Powerless

Powerless

Old Familiar Places

It’s not far-fetched to say that Powerless follows sitcom formulas quite closely. The cast is made up of familiar faces like Danny Pudi and Alan Tudyk, both of which bring their bubbly charms in spades. Vanessa Hudgens plays the quirky bright eyed, small town girl quite well but this is where the series kind of falls into same-y territory. There are inspirations taken from a number of other comedy shows like Parks and Rec, along with other series that feature quirky characters and goofy office shenanigans. At the same time, Powerless also leans heavily on wink and nod humor in its references to the DC universe at large.

DC's Powerless

DC’s Powerless

The Staying Power

At the end of the day, Powerless is an inoffensive sitcom with a lot of comic book references and a bit of potential. The first episode has just come out and a lot of other shows only find their stride after a few more episodes. It’s a fun watch and only the future will tell whether or not this show will get a bit cleverer. Try it out, because there are a few funny gags in its half hour run time and its closest rival, Marvel’s Damage Control, won’t be out for a bit longer.




Country Boy ethics with too much vague rhetoric. Plus video games, rap, rock, and films.
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Marvel’s Agent Carter: A Heroine in the making

Captain America is probably the most iconic superhero next to Iron Man, and Marvel’s move to play them against each other is a wise one. However, that doesn’t mean Cap and Iron Man don’t have long, storied histories. The First Avenger did a lot to solidify his reputation as the do-good freedom fighter with a strong sense of morality, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t have any help along the way. One of the most important characters who helped him build up his confidence is Peggy Carter. In the film, she takes a secondary role, but doesn’t act passively. She isn’t just the prize, she gives Cap confidence, all the while kicking ass all on her lonesome. So, how does her run on TV fare in comparison to the movie universe?

Peggy Carter, the founder of S.H.I.E.L.D.

A Bigger Role told in Smaller Parts
The show wouldn’t be called Agent Carter if the spotlight wasn’t thrown squarely in her direction. Taking place a few months after Steve Rogers’ death, Peggy is sent to the SSR, a secret government organization to continue her work. Here lies the twist, however, because the work she is assigned is far below her station. After helping Cap, fighting a war, and having a hand in the downfall of Hydra, Peggy becomes a glorified secretary. At the same time, Howard Stark plays a big role. Like his son after him, the weapons he creates are often sold, and because that, the US government see him as a merchant of death.

Not just a dame in a dress.

These are the main plotlines and intrigues the series unveils over its 8-episode run, and the writers give everyone justice. Instead of relying on standard story tropes, they subvert every character in one way or the other. Peggy, in particular, is a strong protagonist in that she doesn’t accept her new, secondary role in the office. At the same time, she doesn’t lash out or act irrationally in a situation where anyone who has already proven themselves, would. Peggy has to help Stark clear his name, and that means she can’t fall to the perils anger.

Forward thinking in an Older Time
One can’t help but praise the series and how it uses a few progressive themes to its advantage. However, most of them are mired in some of the old stereotypes which run perfectly with the 50’s environment. Every one of her peers thinks that because she’s a woman, she is supposed to be delegated to doing menial tasks. Peggy, after getting over the initial shock, starts using this to her advantage. In fact, many of the female characters in the series use their perceived weaknesses and turn them into strengths.

These guys start out looking bad, but you grow to like them as the series goes along.

Agent Carter is also about dealing with consequence in the wake of hard decisions. Characters like Sousa and Thompson, who are both war vets, have to deal with their situations. The former was crippled and faces discrimination because of his handicap. Thompson, on the other hand, has to deal with maintaining a war-hero facade while keeping a secret that racks him with guilt. Every character here is strongly written, but my favorite moments are when Peggy and Jarvis bounce off of each other during their conversations.

They truly do make the perfect foils for one another.

Conclusion
It stands as a testament that at the end of this series, most of the people doubting Peggy’s abilities take a 180 turn and are even awed at her ability to out-spy a spy agency. Every character has their faults and strengths which the writers consistently build on with well thought out character development. I would say that Agent Carter’s 8-episode run is its only fault, but truly, if the show ran the standard 23 episode length, the quality of the writing and the direction it took will surely have suffered. You’ll probably end up binge watching the series, and re-watching it because Agent Carter is highly addictive. Definitely watch the show when you can.

Country Boy ethics with too much vague rhetoric. Plus video games, rap, rock, and films.
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Galavant: You have to Watch this Strange and Friendly Fairy Tale Mess

Monty Python, A Knight’s Tale, and Princess Bride are among some of my favorite movies of all time. Monty Python for its absurd and referential humor, A Knight’s Tale because it’s a classic underdog story scored by classic rock, and finally, Princess Bride because it’s a genuinely warm adaptation of a good book. So it’s no surprise that I find Galavant so endlessly charming and funny.

It wouldn’t be Fantasy without Random Musical Numbers
It really wouldn’t and in Galavant, we’re treated to satire rather than pop. It comes from a very unconventional set-up. Characters in the series end up filling their own standard fantasy trope. There’s the Hero, his faithful squire, the princess in need, the tyrannical king, and the mysterious maiden. Of course, it wouldn’t be a fun series without self-awareness and a ton of satire. Galavant, for instance, is washed up after getting his one true love stolen by the said king. In his drunken haze, he doesn’t realize that the king is a lot more incompetent than evil, and in fact, forced his beloved to become his queen out of a sense of kingly privilege. All of these plot lines are reviewed during the sickeningly catchy title song.

Less Once Upon a Time and more Stumbling On a Washed Up Drunk

There are around 3 songs per episode, cut into short 1-2 minute segments in order to accommodate episode length. A lot of them come with a Shrek/Disney vibe to them, but this is where Monty Python comes barreling in with a keg of ale. Every song has a comedic element attached to it, mostly discussing their current issues but not without a few self-aware pokes. The first track from the second episode ends with Galavant gasping for air, complaining that it was “a long song”. However, like most comedy themed off-beat shows, most of the jokes are hit or miss.

The Humor: The Gags are hard to Pin Down
Galavant likes to throw out its jokes quickly and with consistency. Because of it, the series does suffer some lapses in quality. In one minute, the show lampoons montages with a montage of its own, and in the next lie yo mama jokes. There are quality set-ups that take episodes before they pay off, but it is worth a watch even when you’re slogging through the second song during of the episode. However, what makes the difference here is that even the bland jokes feel sincere. Thanks to the chemistry of the cast and their genuine enthusiasm, Galvant’s songs and bad jokes become welcome.

His face speaks volumes on the art of Murder and Friendship

Conclusion
Galavant goes on my list of shows you must watch, but not because it offers top tier writing or for deep story lines. The show is funny and weird, foregoing and accepting genre stereotypes like the need for diversity or a mandatory love duet. Catch it while you can, you might even enjoy its unhinged humor. On that note, Vinnie Jones should be given an award for his impossibly quick switch from scary badass to big dumb sweetheart.

Now I’m off on a secret mission, I’ve got me a secret plan, I’m going to go and slay my foe, as quietly as I can. I’ll sneak up and then surprise him, before he has time to think. I’m off and away but first another drink!

Country Boy ethics with too much vague rhetoric. Plus video games, rap, rock, and films.
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In the Flesh: Whooping the Walking Dead’s Rotting Bum (A Review)

In The Flesh

In the Flesh opens like any other standard zombie fare would. A young woman rolls around on a shopping cart, gleefully collecting supplies. She’s having a conversation through a walkie talkie, and that provides enough distraction for the undead to get the drop on her. What ensues is a bloody scene, where one would assume the hero would be introduced. But not in the way you’d expect him to be.

Now I’m a firm believer of Internet rules, so here it goes. The show is great and the writing is brilliant, however if I mention the plotline, I’d be robbing you of a good hook.

So… LOL 5P01L3R5…

Are you still here? Well then, you must be interested in hearing the rest of the story. What happens in the grocery, as I mentioned, seems like a standard action set up, almost reminiscent of that one moment in 28 Days Later. However, instead of heroes popping in to kill the zombies, turns out it was all a flashback and the one having it is a reformed zombie. What follows next are a series of revelations about a Rising of the dead in 2009. How neighborhoods fought back, and how humanity managed to find a cure for the rotter disease.

In The Flesh

In The Flesh

Now a lot of you can probably figure out from here that this reintegration into society might be a heavy handed metaphor for racial integration. In fact, one of the major factions in the town is a local militia hell bent on keeping this from happening and that almost mirrors the equal rights groups during the civil rights movement. It might actually be a clever means of getting you hooked in, but I’ll leave the heavy thinking to you guys.

There’s a new level of drama to be had here that the Walking Dead television series has yet to touch. While WD is still one of the best currently running graphic novels around, its TV counterpart may need a little help with its inconsistent writing. Maybe they can learn a thing or two from In the Flesh’s well-paced and twist filled storytelling.

In The Flesh

In The Flesh

If you’re still interested in redemptive storylines, check out the returned. It’s a French zombie show that runs a lot slower, but boils a lot harder. For people who want a lighter twist on the cured zombie concept, you can check out Warm Bodies.

Country Boy ethics with too much vague rhetoric. Plus video games, rap, rock, and films.
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The Arrow And Batman Universe Make A Delightful Overlap

Arrow’s 3rd season trailer reveals a new villain borrowed from the Batman universe. We can’t help but giggle like excited school girls.

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