Thursday, December 4, 2014

10 Things We Loved About "Flash Vs. Arrow"

Flash Vs Arrow Barry Oliver Grant Gustin Stephen Amell photos pics screencaps crossover comic book episodes

"The Flash" and "Arrow" exist in the same universe, but the tone of each show is quite different. Bringing the two together for a crossover two-episode event was a challenging proposition, but we gotta say it was a pretty big success. The blend of action, drama, humor, and even soul-searching was highly entertaining, and left us wanting more Barry and Ollie team-ups in the future. Here are 10 of the things we loved best about "Flash Vs. Arrow" and "The Brave and the Bold":

Arrow Vs. Flash Oliver Queen Stephen Amell motorcycle photos pics images

1. Ollie as the older and wiser sage. Former rich playboy Oliver Queen has been around the Island a few times, in contrast to the naive and nerdy Barry. It was fun seeing Arrow take on the big brother role to The Flash, teaching the young'un a thing or two about battle strategy and the dangers of rushing headlong into a fight. And like any big brother, Ollie didn't pull any punches, shooting Barry in the back just to make a point. Well, two points, to be precise. Ouch.

Arrow Stephen Amell leather hooded outfit bow costume pics screencaps

2. The badass fight between Flash and Arrow: Fans were waiting for a really good reason why our two heroes would be battling each other, and we got it. Barry got "whammied" by a metahuman who could bring out someone's anger issues with just a meaningful stare from his glowing red eyes. A simmering Barry got a lot of his inner angst off of his chest, telling off his boss, roughing up Iris' boy toy, and eventually trying to beat the crap out of Arrow with a thousand angry super-speed punches.

The Flash Grant Gustin red leather mask lightning bolt

Barry may have superhuman abilities, but as we saw in the training scenes, Oliver has heaps more experience and intuition. It was a worthy battle, where we could see the true power and danger of The Flash's epic speed, but also the way Arrow's ingenuity and intuition could still best the blur in front of him. Entertaining stuff. And best to leave the friendly battle at the end to the imagination....more fun for us to all keep arguing over who would really win a fight to the finish with these two.

Cisco Carlos Valdes Arrow Stephen Amell Flash pics screencaps

3. Cisco geeking out over the Arrow cave: Cisco is a man who loves his job. It was entertaining as hell to see him squeeing like a fanboy when he got allowed into the Arrow hideout where he could lust over gadgets and sleek leathery outfits. It was also amusing to see Ollie flabbergasted at Roy adopting that whole "Arrow Cave" nonsense the ever-nicknaming Cisco came up with.

Arrow Vs Flash Roy Harper Arsenal wide eyes Colton Haynes photos
Are we showing *everyone* the Arrow Cave now?

Diggle Felicity Arrow Vs Flash bewildered David Ramsey Emily Bett Rickards

4. Digg's reaction to seeing The Flash: Since we're so used to Barry, we kind of forgot not everyone has experienced that streaky dude kicking up a cloud of dust (or pile of paperwork) everywhere he goes. Digg's stunned, babbling reaction, "I knew someone who got struck by lightning. He just ended up with a stutter," was pretty hilarious. It's not often we see tough-guy Digg this befuddled.

Diggle David Ramsey Carlos Valdes Cisco Caitlin Danielle Panabaker phtoos Arrow Vs Flash

5. The teams combining their mad skills: Arrow and Flash get a lot of the glory, but it was cool to see Cisco, Caitlin, Felicity, Digg, and Roy teaming up to get their bosses in and out of trouble. When you've got scientific, mechanical, medical, and tactical skills all coming together, those bad guys don't have a chance in hell.

We also loved that Oliver's Arrow senses were tingling over Dr. Wells...something about that scientific mastermind ain't right for sure, Ollie!

Felicity pink suit glasses Smoak Emily Bett Rickards Arrow Vs Flash

6. Girl power: Caitlin and Felicity may not be ninja assassins, but it was cool to see them turn that whole "damsel in distress" idea on its head. Lyla fended off their boomerang-wielding enemy long enough for Felicity to literally drop a bomb on the guy. Then Caitlin swooped in to treat Lyla's wounds until Barry arrived to zap her quickly to the nearest hospital. Nice to see the ladies saving their own bacon before the cavalry arrived.

Oliver Felicity Stephen Amell Emily Bett Rickards

And we always have to love Felicity for speaking to the fangirl population. We couldn't help sporfling in agreement when Caitlin asked about the salmon ladder in the "Arrow Cave" and Felicity sighed wistfully over the "distraction from work."

Flash Arrow Barry Oliver Grant Gustin Stephen Amell arrows leather suits

7. Creaking leather boy talks: When Barry and Oliver had their heart to heart, it was tough not to be reminded of the "Supernatural" meta episode that pointed out all those emotional boy talks next to the Impala. It takes metahuman manliness to pull off a scene with two guys in body-hugging leather and masks talking about their feelings. Somehow Gustin and Amell did it beautifully, and we were all better for it. I mean, Barry telling Ollie that he really does have a light inside made our little fangirl hearts expand more than we thought possible.

Oliver hooded vigilante darkness green costume Arrow Vs Flash

8. The light vs. dark: Putting the two heroes together really highlighted their contrasting styles. Arrow has always been hardcore, but he seemed pretty beastly through Barry's more innocent eyes. Like the Time Lord on "Doctor Who," it's not a bad idea for Ollie to be periodically reminded to scale back the violence a bit.

Cisco Carolos Valdes Arrow Vs Flash

On the other hand, Barry and his team realized they'd been playing heroes sort of like they'd play a video game, not entirely associating any of this mayhem with real life. They got a healthy wake-up call at the same time Ollie was learning not to take himself so damn seriously. It was a great way to play the different tones of the two shows off of each other.

Diggle Lyla Arrow Arsenal Caitlin Felicity Arrow vs Flash

9. Ollie's Roy Wonder: Despite the Flash Vs. Arrow focus, we got to see some cool moments with Arrow and his sidekick Arsenal doing damage together. Synchronized ass-kicking is twice as entertaining as the lone wolf doing his thing, must say. And Roy has become quite the sexy little demon in that totally hot red-fade-into-black hooded gear. Even Cisco couldn't find a way to improve on that laced-up costume perfection.

Roy Harper Colton Haynes red black Arsenal suit leather buckles laces hot sexy stuff photos pics screencaps Arrow

Sexy Oliver Queen Arrow versus Flash pics Stephen Amell

10. Ollie being Teh Sex: Excuse us while we continue our drool fest. Something about "The Flash" universe seems to make Oliver even warmer and dreamier than usual. Maybe it's the slight escape from his own dark reality that helps.

We get to see a lot more of that winning grin, and that affectionate admiration for Barry's squeaky shiny hero aspirations. It's nice to see the softer side of the man with the killer abs, and we swooned as much as Iris did over the famous Oliver Queen. We would so totally make him a fresh pot of coffee, too.

 What about you, "Flash" and "Arrow" fans? What were your favorite parts of the episodes?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Elsbeth Tascioni on 'The Good Wife' -- Too Much or Not Enough? Twitter Reacts...

The Good Wife Elsbeth Tascioni Old Spice Season Six Episode Six Carrie Preston photos pics

Fans of "The Good Wife" wait excitedly every season for a guest appearance by the quirky, whip-smart, and lovable Elsbeth Tascioni (Carrie Preston). With her bright red hair, frenetic approach, and hilarious non sequiturs, Elsbeth grabs your attention in every scene. What has always been the thread of her appearances on the show is that she is clever, sneaky, and the best secret weapon Alicia and her friends and colleagues have ever known.

Season Six of "The Good Wife" has taken a slightly different approach with Elsbeth. We got a peek at all the swirling thoughts and wallpaper clowns residing in her mind, a revealing if perhaps overly comedic view of her unusual intelligence. She appeared across the aisle from Alicia for a case, and we saw that subtle distraction tactics can work to diffuse her brilliance. And her biggest distraction of all came in the form of AUSA Josh Perotti (Kyle MacLachlan), who continued to ramp up his aggressive wooing tactics.

AUSA Josh Perotti Kyle MacLachlan The Good Wife Old Spice episode photos pics screencaps images

In Episode Six, "Old Spice," Alicia and Elsbeth join forces against Josh, and so begins the delightfully crazy dance of business and pleasure between the AUSA and his ginger love. Josh and Elsbeth's flirtation on the street, which included sniffing each other for their signature scents of baby lotion and Old Spice, Elsbeth jamming to "Call Me Maybe," and the duo's passionate office sex had Twitter buzzing over this whacky and wonderful couple.

"The Good Wife" has forayed into the absurd before, something which gives the show part of its enticing charm, and a lot of the tweets scrolling for Josh and Elsbeth this week were positive:

Many were feeling the love so much, they wanted more:

The Good Wife Josh Elsbeth romance sniffing Old Spice and baby lotion

But not everyone was as impressed with the over-the-top portrayal of an iconic "Good Wife" character. Part of Elsbeth's greatness came from her mysterious genius, a feeling that you never knew whether you'd get the daffodil or the demon, or if her mind was even there at all. While there has always been an element of comedy to Elsbeth, "The Good Wife" has definitely pushed the envelope this year:

And those dreaded three words of condemnation...

My biggest concern was they were de-fanging our dear Elsbeth, but thank goodness there was a light at the end of the tunnel of love...or, erm, something like that.

Thankfully, the dalliance with Josh didn't make Elsbeth lose her edge after all. She had us terrified that she'd fallen for the same trick again, but no, she was as sneaky as ever. And her battle-winning mystique at least continues with Alicia, who stared at Elsbeth in wonder when the AUSA suddenly dropped the case.

Another thing that had me still believing in Elsbeth's magic was that she made me really feel the painful absence of Will, something that hadn't yet happened for me this season.

Diane Will Elsbeth The Good Wife screencap

The joy of Elsbeth was that despite her slightly cray personality, everyone that worked with her came to love her. Alicia had worried how Will in particular would mesh with Elsbeth when she first recommended the unorthodox lawyer to defend him. How he both admired and was amused by Elsbeth created some of the best Will moments on "The Good Wife."

One can't help wondering if that was the writers' plan all along, because we were already feelin' it when Alicia had that incredible moment taking over Will's old office. This is probably the right moment for the hashtag #AllTheFeels.

What do you think, "Good Wife" fans? Has this just been a fun romp with Elsbeth and her integrity is preserved? Or was it all a bit too much of a good thing?


Saturday, October 25, 2014

'Constantine' -- Don't Judge a Show By Its Pilot?

Constantine pilot reviews Matt Ryan photos trench coat pics

While there are shows that knock it out of the park with their very first episode, there are plenty of series with absolutely sucky pilots that still turned into must-see TV once they hit their stride. While it's generally wise not to judge a show solely on a so-so premiere, in the case of "Constantine," it's impossible to make that judgement call.

That's because the pilot of "Constantine" centers on a young woman, Liv (Lucy Griffiths), who producers then decided to eliminate from the series. Ordinarily a revamp of this magnitude after a single episode would seem worrisome, but in this case, it gives me a lot greater hope for the future of the show.

Constantine spends most of the show trying to recruit Liv, a normal gal who doesn't realize she had a dad with supernatural abilities that he passed on to her. Liv is a weird sort of normal, who stands and stares dumbly at a giant earthquake-level crack rumbling towards her in a parking garage, and then seems oddly unfazed after she's seen a crater open up in the ground with mile-high flames shooting out of it.

Liv Constantine fireball fire pit crater Lucy Griffiths
Ain't no big thang...

With Liv intermittently screaming like a ninny over some supernatural events and then going, "Like omg, blood and demons and stuff!" in a childlike voice over other terrors, it's no wonder the producers looked at their pricey pilot and rewrote her out of the ending. But this 180 turn of "really important girl" to "ah never mind" didn't help an already muddled pilot.

No one seems to be interested in the slow burn anymore. It can be tough to sustain mystery without irritating people, but you can spread the mythology out over a few episodes rather than trying to cram 40 pages of exposition into two minutes of screen time. Though criticized for not being so faithful to the comic, the movie version of "Constantine" at least had weight to it...there was an ominous mood and a real feeling of fear and agony and imminent doom.

So far "Constantine" the TV show is a bit hollow...the title character is supposed to be tortured emotionally and really dangerous...but right now it's all just words and nothing we actually feel from the character. That could come with time, and hopefully some dialogue that doesn't require rambling off a bunch of mumbo-jumbo lore that feels like a "required element" that is reluctantly added in a half-hearted attempt to add narrative to all the REALLY COOL SPECIAL EFFECTS AND PEOPLE WITH BLOOD DRIPPING OUT OF THEIR EYES!!

Constantine John in the rain trenchcoat blond hair pilot reviews premiere episode

And I couldn't help feeling like all those "mates" were added to the dialogue to ram home the "oh cool accent!" for #Mericans, so much so that I looked up actor Matt Ryan to make sure he wasn't an American faking a Brit accent. Turns out the Welsh Ryan is legitimately from Across the Pond, but it can't be a good thing if we're suspicious of his authenticity.

Clearly the pilot was not a convincing start to the series, but one hopes a few more episodes will give us some more to sink our teeth into. While #Constantine fans are legitimately annoyed at misinformed "'Supernatural' was first!" tweets about the show, there is something the new series can learn from the CW staple. The dialogue matters. The relationships matter. All the intricate lore matters. Awesome special effects are icing on the cake, but it's not what makes an audience fall in love with a show.

What did you think of "Constantine"? The show airs on NBC, Fridays at 10/9c.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

'Sleepy Hollow' -- Are Writers Paving the Way for an Abbie/Ichabod Romance?

Sleepy Hollow Weeping Lady Season Two Episode Five Abbie Mills Ichabod Crane Nicole Beharie Tom Mison

Abbie (Nicole Beharie) and Ichabod (Tom Mison) are Witnesses in the lore of "Sleepy Hollow," connected on a much higher level than a mere romance, where every choice they make together has repercussions toward, yah know, minor stuff like the Apocalypse. As Beharie herself says, impending doom tends to be a bit of a “mood killer” when it comes to flirtations between these two characters.

Still, despite the dire circumstances, most fans of a show like this can't help wanting their favorite duo to get together. So the writers gave Ichabod a witchy wife, and that's not just metaphorical. This is a woman Ichabod digs up graves for demon heads and takes possibly one-way trips into Purgatory for, so that instantly put the kibosh on any sort of romantic feelings for Abbie from the man-from-the-past.

Sleepy Hollow Weeping Lady

This week, however, *SPOILER ALERT* the marital bliss between Ichabod and Katrina took a major hit. Considering Mrs. Crane's been living with and batting her eyelashes at the Headless Horseman for some time now, that's saying something. In the episode "Weeping Lady," a former betrothed of Ichabod's turns up as a vengeful spirit, thanks to some black magic from Henry.

The spirit goes on a rampage of attempting to kill every woman that is close to Crane, and only when he and Abbie work together to save Katrina is the full truth of the Weeping Lady revealed. Ichabod had thought that the fiancee he'd ended things with had gone back home to England. Now he finds out that she died, albeit accidentally, and Katrina hid the death from him with a fake letter--all to avoid him taking off back to England to console with her family--thus abandoning his mission--and Katrina.

Not surprisingly, Ichabod is a bit stunned and miffed at this revelation. When he tallies up all of Katrina's deceptions, it's a pretty striking list. She does get points for immediately saving him from the Headless Horseman's wrath, though.

Detective Abbie Mills Nicole Beharie photos pictures screencaps Sleepy Hollow images Weeping Lady episode 2014

With all that she's done now laid out for us, Katrina is looking pretty manipulative and more devoted to "the cause" than to Ichabod himself. As this compelling wedge is driven between the couple, we can't help wondering if this will open the door to a single Ichabod and a chance of him seeing Abbie as more than just a fellow Witness and friend.

As fun a couple as they make, do we really want the romance? As Vulture points out, Abbie is no mere sidekick or comic foil on "Sleepy Hollow." She's one tough woman, and she's strong and focused and not wasting time making googly eyes at her Apocalypse-fighting companion. While there's potential for it to be an awesome additional bond between the pair, there's also the potential that Abbie might be diminished somehow, relegated to emotional support as many cool female characters before her have been.

It is also pretty stellar to have a TV relationship with a man and a woman that have a deep love and affection for one another that has no sexual component. Men and women CAN be friends, and fight the Four Horseman without stopping to snog between battles! What could be more noble than that?

What do you think, "Sleepy Hollow" fans? Are we heading towards an Ichabod/Abbie romance? Do we want them to be together now, later, or never?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Matthew Goode of 'The Good Wife' -- Wait, I Know That Actor From...

One of the best parts of "The Good Wife" is its extraordinary range of interesting, complex characters that you love to watch interact. We first met Finn Polmar, played by Matthew Goode, in THAT episode of Season 5, when he shared a bloody courtroom with Will. Out of this tragic circumstance, Finn and Alicia have formed a friendship, a warm relationship that has just the tiniest but deliciously intriguing hint of flirtation.

The interaction between these two is a joy to watch, as they playfully banter with intelligence, challenging each other whether they're on the same side or not. And no matter how tense the situation, they are always a wry smile away from laughing at the absurdity of everything around them.

Finn also has fun duking it out with Diane...

As Goode has gradually gained more screen time on "The Good Wife," you may have wondered where you'd seen this man with the hypnotically soulful eyes and impish smile before. One of his best-known roles is on the big screen, in the 2009 film "Watchmen".

His purple-costumed Ozymandias was gorgeous, powerful, and more than a little morally ambiguous. "Watchmen" was no fluffy comic film, and Goode's performance was as mesmerizing as his molded abs. In the following vid you can hear him discuss taking on such an iconic role, and get a glimpse of the intellect, charm and humor that inform his current character on "The Good Wife":

Colin Firth was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe for his role in "A Single Man," though surely it wasn't too difficult for him to appear to be so in love with Matthew Goode's delectable Jim:

Though lesser known, Goode's film "Leap Year" is an adorable romantic romp with the lovely Amy Adams that's definitely worth a watch (or rewatch). This time Goode's character has an Irish accent and gives Adams' stuck-on-the-wrong-guy Anna a really hard time, but let's just talk about how steamy the couple is--even when they're just pretending to be married:

What else do you know Matthew Goode from? You can see his whole credits list over at IMDB.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

'Nashville' -- 5 Big Questions About the Season 3 Premiere

Nashville Season 3 Premiere Rayna Jaymes Connie Britton phone call decision smile screencaps pics photos

The "Nashville" Season 3 premiere was so full of emotional tears, we're surprised the episode did not float right off our TV screen. Rayna was torn between two men, Juliette was having Meltdown 5,673 over Avery, and Scarlett ended up on a soul-searching road trip home with two unexpected companions. With all the plot twists that happened on our fave musical melodrama, we're left with five burning questions...

1. Will Scarlett ever become likeable again? At the start of "Nashville," we loved Scarlett in all her airy-fairy-lacy-dressed adorableness. There was the earnest Dolly-esque accent and the endless good cheer and the ridiculously beautiful music she made with Gunnar. And all went horribly wrong.

Last season Scarlett gave Juliette a run for her money in the hot mess department, with intense pressure from sudden fame, unclear life goals, and a wackadoodle mother making her completely unhinged. What was most upsetting was Scarlett had previously been the character that had more brains than most, and suddenly she made 700 horrible decisions and became an irritating, blubbering, oh-woe-is-me catastrophe.

In our "Nashville" Season 3 premiere, Avery hitches a ride out of town with Scarlett, and Gunnar's "I won't get out of the car until you agree to stay" plan turns into what he refers to as a kidnapping. No one seems too busted up about the threesome road trip, and thankfully there's not much exploration of the relationship tree to see how they've all intertwined with each other and others over the last two years.

The end result is, Scarlett realizes her problems will follow her everywhere. And sometimes being a nutcase amongst other celeb nutcases is the safest, most understanding place to be. And that Nashville maybe really is her home after all. If this leads to a kinder, gentler, less hysterical Scarlett pursuing her music in perhaps a newer, less stressful way, then I am totally on board. Give us our sweet and shiny Scarlett back, please!

2. How long will Will and Layla be able to fake it? We knew those creepy bedroom cams were going to come into play at just the wrong time. Not having a lifetime of sexuality deception in her skill set, Layla decides she wants to pull the plug on her sham of a marriage. Will agrees, but when they try to opt out of their reality show--oops, there's some blackmail on film right there. Time to pretend to be the happy couple for a year so the network can make its money.

Here's a tip for future reality stars--if there's something you don't want on camera, LEAVE THE BUILDING. Go to a lake and go skinny-dipping to remove any chance you've been secretly miked. Seriously. Be paranoid, people. Learn from Will and Layla.

3. Is there room in Maddie's life for two dads she's speaking to? Teddy makes a killer-asteroid-sized effort to be Cool Dad and tries to get his daughter to open up about her teenage angst. He's not thrilled about the whole "I want Mom to marry Deacon" information, but he takes the confession in the sharing spirit it was given. He even takes his two girls to see Deacon perform at the Bluebird, earning himself more brownie points.

We gotta wonder with Teddy possibly being back on the good list, how long will it be before Maddie finds something wrong with Deacon. Especially if Rayna really doesn't choose him after all. And how much will Teddy be laughing on the inside if Rayna ditches Deacon AGAIN for the "better" guy?

Juliette Barnes Patsy Cline Hayden Panettiere black lace dress audition tears pouty red lips Nashville Season three premiere screencaps pics images photos

4. Is the world ready for a pregnant and hormonal Juliette? I don't even care if Glenn is the father at this point, I think the question is how much self-destructive behavior Juliette will escalate to when facing impending motherhood? Considering they only had her hack off her split ends in a desperate "breakdown" scene, I'm guessing "Nashville" is leaving her room to build up to something spectacular.

Or will Avery come back to save her sanity, along with a role-of-a-lifetime as Patsy Cline? Can Juliette have it all? Will she want it? Will it ever be enough?

Nashville Season 3 premiere Tandy and Rayna Connie Britton Judith Hoag marriage proposal decision screencaps images photos

5. Did Rayna make the right choice in picking Luke over Deacon? This is the biggie. It was an interesting flashback to hers and Deacon's past...all the good and bad we've seen before on "Nashville," but this time we saw that Luke was there for her when Deacon was not. Other than him being what seems like a totally jealous control freak, we gotta admit Luke seems like the more sensible choice in that context.

Which is where it causes us angst. After all, Teddy was the smart choice, too, and look how that turned out. We can't help feeling a marriage proposal should be met with an enthusiastic "YES!" rather than, "Well, there's this other guy I have history with, but with you I can make a fresh start, so yeah, that seems better." Um, consider us underwhelmed by your outpouring of love.

What do you all think, "Nashville" fans? Here's a peek at next week's episode...

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

'Gotham' Premiere a Disappointment -- Is It Worth a Second Chance?

Gotham pilot Ben McKenzie Detective James Gordon soulful eyes bandaged hand hugging Barbara screencaps photos recaps review

I gotta be honest, the majority of my investment in "Gotham" came from lead actor Ben McKenzie's soulful-eyed trustworthy-guy face in the promos. The "Southland" vet has Dutch, English, and Scottish ancestry, the blend giving him the perfect blond, tough, noble bearing for those good Irish cop roles he's well-suited for. The thought of watching Gordon as a young detective, with his pure soul shining out in the dark and creepy Batman universe, suddenly seemed appealing.

And yet the premiere of "Gotham" seems to disregard its greatest asset, giving Gordon a lot rougher edges, murky motives, and moral compromises right from the get-go. He's sort of pre-jaded, and while he's definitely painted as a good and (mostly) honest guy, he lacks the warmth as yet that would make him a truly appealing central character.

Ben McKenzie angry Penguin Detective Gordon Gotham pilot screencaps

Not helping that appeal is Gordon's girlfriend Barbara (Erin Richards), who has the helium voice and demeanor of a Playboy model and of course had a possible relationship with Renee Montoya (Victoria Cartagena), a major crimes cop. A bit of sexual diversity is nice, but this feels more like comic book geek guys going, "Heheheheh, two hot chicks doin' it! And the guy might get a threesome!"

 Donal Logue Harvey Bullock Gotham pilot screencaps

"Gotham" is presented as a noir crime drama, and pairs Gordon with Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue, taking a little side-step over from his role on "Copper"), a veteran detective who lives in all the gray areas of police corruption and mob control of the city. Jada Pinkett Smith is a bright spot in the pilot, playing her head-cracking "legit businesswoman" role of Fish Mooney with just the right amount of flash and relish.

Jada Pinkett Smith Fish Mooney Gotham premiere episode photos

Like many pilots, in its effort to make an impression, "Gotham" threw as much paint on the canvas as possible. For a 7-pm-Central show that is going to get family viewers, there was a lot of emphasis on the "noir," which the show interpreted as dimly lit scenery and vivid blood, blood, blood. Let's see Bruce Wayne's parents actually getting shot, let's see blood on Bruce's hands, let's see a guy getting beaten with a baseball bat, then another guy beaten bloody, and another guy shot, and on and on. It felt a lot less noir and a lot more "gratuitously violent monotony".

Gotham pilot Bruce Wayne parents murdererd wrapped in blanket photos David Mazouz screencaps

We also got the usual "look how many comic characters we can throw into an episode!" issue, because the Gordon/Bruce intro wasn't enough for 45 minutes. We also had to have a young Catwoman, Penguin, Riddler, and Poison Ivy, and probably more that aficionados will pick up on. For all the dark and soulless feel of "Gotham," though, young Selina (Camren Bicondova) lurking around the edges of Bruce's life with large, sympathetic eyes inspired a few welcome notes of emotion.

Gotham Catwoman Selina Kyle Camren Bicondova screencaps leather jacket fingerless gloves goggles

"Gotham" also isn't quite sure of its tone or style yet. While largely sticking with a traditional cinematic look, the pilot suddenly interjected a few odd close-up perspective shots of Gordon during a chase scene. While you could imagine these views as frames in a comic book, they stuck out oddly in a show that hadn't really used any stylized shots beforehand.

All-in-all "Gotham" fell flat when presenting its first impression. But shows like "Arrow" and timeslot follower "Sleepy Hollow" were a bit slow out of the gate, as well, so it's possible that "Gotham" will hit its stride as the season progresses. There is plenty of opportunity for juicy character arcs here, with the intertwining lives of future heroes and villains, and a chance to see those well-worn stories get tweaked in new directions.

The key will be for Gordon to be more engaging and likable, someone we can both identify with and cheer for amidst all of the chaos and crookedness around him. Maybe I'm crazy to wish for a smooshy moral center in a dystopian nightmare tornado, but a gal likes to have something good to hold onto in a show she invests in weekly.

"Gotham" airs Mondays at 8/7c on FOX.

PHOTOS: 2014 "Gotham" pilot screencaps, IGN promo video, 2014, fair use.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

'Arrow' Finale: Six Things We Totally Hated

Arrow Unthinkable season two finale Oliver Felicity Stephen Amell Emily Bett Rickards photos pictures screencaps images pics

*MASSIVE SPOILER ALERT* This season of "Arrow" built up to an unbelievable finale full of surprises, rescues, meaningful stares, kick-ass fight scenes, 120 ways to stab a guy with an arrow, and that whole "Save the World" kinda thing our heroes are so darn good at. There was so much to love, but we gotta admit, there were half a dozen things we soooo totally hated:

Felicity Smoak wrong girl scene surprised pictures blonde glasses cute photos Arrow finale Emily Bett Rickards

Stephen Amell Oliver Queen wrong girl love Felicity scene Arrow finale

1. Total #Ollicity fake-out, man. I mean, from a total shocker gasping drama moment it was AWESOME. But for our poor, long-suffering, Felicity-adoring hearts, it was so, so, so cruel.

Felicity Ollie scene on the island beach not love Arrow

No one wants that implied " a sister" after the abs-liscious man of your DREAMS tells you "I love you..." No one, I tell you!

Thea Roy hug Arrow finale Willa Holland Colton Haynes teary hug Unthinkable photos

Thea Queen Malcolm Merlyn Arrow Unthinkable finale photos pictures

2. Thea always takes the completely irrational route. Yes, Roy totally shouldn't have lied to her, as usual. And she's had her fair share of betrayals. But to respond by disappearing into the ether with creepy mass murderer dad who's so proud of you for shooting him and still disses Tommy even after he's dead? Oh yeah, that seems like a sound decision.

Roy crying tears streaming down face Colton Haynes Arrow

Plus, Thea made Roy cry. Now that's just uncalled for.

Isabel death scene Arrow Summer Glau photos images pics screencaps

3. Killing Isabel. Ollie totally needed to get slow, cruel revenge for her stealing the family company. And ya know, totally creeping Oliver out by sleeping with him...and his dad. Double-dipping in the Queen family line, soooo not cool.

Arrow finale Unthinkable Slade revenge Manu Bennett hot leather photos

Arrow prison scene Oliver Slade

4. Why does Slade have to stay evil? This buff, pirate-y, gravelly-voiced dude is too hot to be rotting down in an underground island prison. Can he and Ollie get together and play chess like Professor Xavier and Magneto? Can we get a crazy but hot girl in the cell with him for steamy conjugal visits? Give us something in Season 3 of "Arrow," please!

Sara Daddy Lance

Sara Laurel Lance

Sara hug dad Lance Arrow finale

5. The Lance family send-off. "Byeee Sara! Have fun being a sadistic, emotionless assassin!" How on earth does one go from lamenting her awful bargain to save the city/world to grinning and waving at the pier as you send your loved one off to a life of cruelty? So confused, "Arrow" writers, so confused!

Laurel Dad Detective shirtless hairy chest Quentin Lance Paul Blackthorne Katie Cassidy

6. Daddy Lance is in trouble! And we WON'T KNOW WHAT HAPPENS UNTIL SEASON 3!! AUGH!!! There'd better be some serious rescuing going on when we get back, no way they can deprive us of all that tall, cynical, hairy-chested DILF goodness.

So, "Arrow" fans...what did you hate -- or love -- about the Season 2 finale??

PHOTOS: "Arrow" finale "Unthinkable" screencaps, 2014, CW, fair use.


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