Thursday, October 29, 2015

Hear me Soar: SuperGirl debut delivers both strong ratings and message

The “S” in CBS is looking a bit redder these days. On Monday night, the latest addition to the DC Entertainment universe, SuperGirl, took off with 12.96 million viewers and a 3.1 rating among ages 18-49. That number ties the 2015 mark set by NBC’s Blindspot for the most widely watched series debut within the prized demographic. Overall, the pilot was a good episode and if this latest comics-to-TV franchise can maintain a healthy slice of its initial audience, CBS will also be seeing a lot of green. Below is my “Good, Bad & Ugly” review for SuperGirl’s first installment.

The Good: The show makes a point. While its DC breathren (Flash, Arrow, Gotham) focus on the mainstay elements of entertainment - characters, plots, effects - SuperGirl is adding a message. Kara Zor-el has all the same abilities as a certain cousin of hers (delightfully referenced as “the other guy”), so why don’t the people around her value what she offers and contributes just the same?  In the episode, Kara continually finds herself underrated, both from her “by-day” CEO at CatCO Media and from her “by-night” division head of the US Department of Extranormal Operations. The show seeks to be a story about equal opportunity for equal potential. In a year in which one of the major American political parties may nominate a woman for the presidency, it’s a particularly well-timed idea to discuss within primetime television.  

In its pilot, SuperGirl also managed to avoid several pitfall tropes for female lead characters. The first of them is what’s become known as the Bechdel Test (named for its creator, cartoonist Alison Bechdel). The question is: Did the show feature at least two named female characters who will interact with each other about something other than a guy? In a creditworthy twist, Kara only discussed other men when she spoke with other men. Her conversations with both her sister and her boss covered almost anything else. SuperGirl also avoided turning the alter-ego Kara Danvers into either a ditz or a neurotic. Staying true to the Superman-Clark Kent template, Kara is both innocent and sweet but not at the expense of either being competent or driven. Thus, her character is all the easier to cheer. Lastly, the pilot not only avoided sexualizing its hero, it subtly mocked prior generations of comics that did so, as Kara rejected a ridiculously exotic costume choice offered by her co-worker, Winn Schott.

While SuperGirl largely had a successful night at the plate, not every swing made contact.

The Bad: After SuperGirl’s first act of heroism, rescuing her stepsister Alex and the crashing commercial airliner she's on, Kara and Alex eventually meet back at Kara's apartment. Two problems arose. In the episode, rescuing her stepsister Alex and the crashing commercial airliner she’s on, Kara and Alex eventually meet back at Kara’s apartment. Two problems arose. In the moment, Kara was caught up in what she accomplished and seemed to give only cursory concern to the trauma her sister had endured.  Watching this dynamic felt jarring and in an episode in which I hoped to immediately invest in the main character, I was put off. In this moment, I also grimaced at a line of dialogue between Kara and Alex. Kara compared the feeling of exhibiting her powers to a first kiss. This simile was as dangerously close to the SNL parody of a female superhero show as SuperGirl should get. The Scarlett Johannsen comedy sketch famously identified some of the bright lines that audiences monitor when it comes to how females are portrayed on television, and I sincerely hope that SuperGirl doesn’t find itself in the crosshairs guarding those boundaries.  Fortunately, the end of the scene provided a course correction as Alex coldly dismissed Kara’s superhero coming-out. It was a gut-punch to Kara, re-establishing why you wanted her to triumph.

The final point to make on this episode is also a purely personal nit-pick and since it only involves demanding that TV cater to my own nerdish impulses, I’ll call it “The Ugly.”

The Ugly: Warner Bros, you had one job. I just needed one box checked if we’re going to have a show about a character with an “S” across their chest. You took it away from the needlessly dark Man of Steel franchise, so it was available and you didn’t use it. It’s been less than twenty-four hours since I’ve seen the pilot episode and I already have no idea what music was a part of it. Fortunately, YouTube fans are already getting it right. Don’t dis the John Williams.

On that last point about darkness, SuperGirl clearly wants to inhabit the same television space as The Flash. I hope there’s enough room to do so. Both series embrace color and provide pure heroes, breaking from the near-formulaic anti-hero that is part of every comic transition from page to screen. Shows like Gotham, Arrow and Daredevil absolutely have their place and I enjoy them. Every so often, though, I’d like an easy root. These shows provide it. If The Flash’s rise to becoming the ratings bell-cow of The CW is any indication, there’s a desire for it extending well beyond me. Here’s to hoping SuperGirl stays on and in the air.

Written by:  Joseph Money


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Geek News: Captain America Civil War trailer will air during Star Wars the Force Awakens

There are two movies that I cannot wait to see and that's Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Captain America: Civil War.  Today, Disney released that Civil War would air during the previews during Star Wars.  Originally the trailer was to air before the new James Bond movie, and I think Disney made a much smarter choice with the audience size on this one.  I cannot wait to see a trailer of this movie and it couldn't be at a more perfect time.  At Salt Lake Comic Con this year during his panel, Chris Evans stated "I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the Captain America movies, but Civil War will be the best one yet." After reading all the new comics, and watching the other two Captain America movies, I am pumped for this movie.  Captain America: Civil War is scheduled to be released on May 6, 2016.  Stay tuned for more movie news updates!!

Written by: Gina at Geeking 4 Everyone

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Walking Dead: Season 6 Episode 2 recap and review "JSS"

Last week The Walking Dead came back for the Season 6 premiere and we captured 90 minutes of our favorite show.  This week, the group was faced with things not going according to plan and some outsiders cause the most turmoil that Alexandria has seen yet.  One thing I love about this show is how it gets better and better as we progress and it was one of the best episodes yet.

Throughout this season and last we see how Carl has developed a close relationship with Enid.  At
the start of this episode we see her story and how she got to Alexandria.  We find out that her parents get killed by walkers while they are standing outside the car and is on the inside of the car.  She then watched them get eaten by the zombies as her life is ripped apart.  After that she is on the road for a while, and it is very obvious that she knows how to protect herself unlike some of the other teens at Alexandria.  Everywhere she went she wrote "JSS" on everything and we don't find out exactly what that means until the end of the episode.  We then see some of Carols conversations with some of the other women and how she has a way of putting them in their place in the nicest ways possible.  We then start to see some of Jesse's life troubles with her son Ron, and she attempts to cut his hair to try and talk to him and he knew exactly what she was doing and refused.  It is obvious that Ron is very angry and gets in an argument with his mom about being friends with Rick.  Jesse comes to Rick's defense and points out that Ron can't even raise his arms because his dad Pete had beat him so badly.  After the confrontation with Jesse and Ron we meet the new doctor at Alexandria who was in med school to be a surgeon and quit and went to be a psychology major due to having panic attacks.  At this moment in the episode I had a feeling we would need a doctor at one point in the episode.  Karl is then walking Judith when the priest approaches him and asks for his help defending himself, Karl doesn't think too kindly of him when he sees Ron and Enid starting to get close and hugging.  After this scene absolute turmoil breaks out in all of Alexandria when The Wolves come in and start slashing and killing everyone with machetes, knives, and baseball bats.  Most people who got hurt or killed were none of the main characters, most people who we hadn't even seen before this episode. Of course the worst problem that Alexandria experiences is while the people who are gone who are the best at fighting back.  Carol is the hero of the episode when she kills one of the wolves and then takes his clothing to throw off the rest of The Wolves.  Carol then comes across Morgan a few times who isn't big on killing them just making them leave, and Carol shoots them with a gun which did not make Morgan happy.  She then told Morgan they needed to get to the armory before The Wolves did before they lost all their weapons, and given The Wolves stronger weapons.  Deanna's son was in the watchtower when a semi comes crashing through the walls of Alexandria with a walker inside. This is what made the horn go off in the last episode, and it takes him a minute to get to the truck and then is freaked out by the walker.  Then Morgan comes rushing to the truck, kills the zombie and then turns the truck off.  The Wolves not only killed a lot of people, but they also put a huge damper in Rick's plans to steer the zombies strait for Alexandria by the horn being set off.  Later in the episode Morgan comes across the same Wolves that had tried to kill him in the woods along with some others.  He gives them a good beating with his stick and then tells them to leave and never come back.  Before they left one of The Wolves said to Morgan that they didn't choose this life.  I'm not sure that Morgan should be letting The Wolves go when they may just come right back and kill more people.  Enid ended up leaving at the end of the episode to go off on her own, and left a note saying "Just Survive Somehow" which gave us the title of this episode, JSS.  Could Neegan be behind The Wolves or someone else that is forcing them to live this life?  Will Rick and the group be able to save Alexandria by being infested by zombies?

This was an incredible episode, and I don't think it could have been any better.  I give this episode a 10 out of 10.  The character development and plot continues to amaze me with this show.  I love how the characters in this show are constantly changing in either good ways or bad ways as the show progresses.  This group is constantly changing and learning and leaning on each other for guidance and it couldn't possibly be a better group than it is now.  Stay tuned tonight for another action packed episode, and don't forget next weeks episode is 90 minutes long.

Written by: Gina at Geeking 4 Everyone

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Star Wars Force Awakens: New Promo Teasers and Trailer

Star Wars fans across the nation have been pumped for months for the new movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and yesterday they released three new promo teasers with a few seconds of footage and a new movie poster.  Also, tonight during Monday Night Football they released the new trailer.  I can say that I have not been this excited for a movie release in a long time.  Tickets also went on sale today, make sure to buy them soon if you want to see the movie close to when its released.  Check out the new and trailer, and Stay Tuned for more Star Wars: The Force Awakens news updates.  We will post an analysis and our thoughts on the trailer later tonight, but for now we wanted to get the trailer up for everyone to see.

Teaser Trailer #3

                                                                                    Teaser Trailer #4


Teaser Trailer #5

And the new trailer that we have all been desperately waiting for

Written by: Gina at Geeking 4 Everyone

Star Wars the Force Unleashed:

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Walking Dead Recap and Review Season 6 premiere, Episode 1: First time again

After months of anticipation Walking Dead fans everywhere watched the season 6 premiere last weekend, beating the football viewers with a total of almost 20 million viewers.  I absolutely love how much this show has improved the geek culture and drawn in fans across the globe.  Last season we watched all the drama in Alexandria go down, and see several people get killed.  This season is about the group being able to come together and work well with each other.

The Season 6 premiere was very creative in the sense that we were watching flashbacks of what had
happened after this episode and what was currently happening.  All the flashbacks were done in black and white, and what was currently happening was in color.  This was Greg Nicotero's way of showing the fans what was currently happening and what had happened after the episode from last season.   At the start of this episode it shows Rick and Morgan going to bury Pete Anderson in the woods dut to people didn't want to bury a "killer" inside the walls.  Morgan made an excellent point when he said that they were "all killers".  One thing I have always loved about Morgan is that he isn't afraid to speak up when something is morally against what he believes in.  Rick didn't even want to bury his body he felt that he deserved to just be left in the woods and get eaten.  As they were burying him, Rick discovers thousands of walkers stuck inside a canyon and realizes there is nothing but a semi holding them back from getting into  During this time he also discovers that Pete and Jesse's son, Ron decided to follow them to see where his dad was buried.  Rick got on his case about leaving unprotected as well as saved him from getting eaten.  Later in the episode Jesse and Rick who developed a relationship with last season got on his case about him being the one talking to her son.  It doesn't seem that after he shot her husband that their relationship will be the same or that they will continue to be able to have a romantic relationship.   He knew that it wouldn't be long before the walkers were able to get through and headed strait for Alexandria.  Then Rick and the others devise a plan to route the walkers in the other direction.  The whole episode shows the group getting the walkers in the other direction and each taking their part to make sure its done correctly.  There were several things that happened and Carter gets his face chewed off by a zombie, and then wouldn't stop screaming so Rick put a knife in the back of his neck and then ends his life. You could see the disappointment in Morgans face, but in reality after that bite there was no way to save him.  He was in excruciating pain and then he would have turned to a walker within a day or so.  As things were getting planned with the group at one point Glenn and Maggie agreed that she should stay behind   At the end of the episode someone blares a horn and steers the walkers right for Alexandria.  Who do you think blared the horn?  Was it the Wolves?  We will find out in tonight's episode what the group is going to do with hundreds of walkers headed towards, and maybe who blared the horn and turned their home from a safe camp to a walker feasting camp.

This episode was absolutely incredible.  I love how this show grows every season and gets better and better every episode.  The creativity and character development is better than any show I have ever watched and every weekend this is what I get pumped for.  I would rate this epsiode a 10 out of 10, I don't think they could have made this episode better than it was.  One thing I love to continue to see if Rick and Morgan's relationship.  Since the beginning of the show we see their relationship get confrontational at moments but we also see it grow so much in a positive way.  They teach each other when the other person is wrong, and their brotherly relationship is always amazing to see as their characters develop.

The Talking Dead is always something that I enjoy watching, they usually have some great guests on
there that most of the time will give us a behind the scenes perspective.  This week Greg Nicotero, Scott Gimple, and Ethan Embry (Carter) were all on the show.  Nicotero and Gimple gave us some great behind the scenes details as well as how they made this episode and their creative work behind the episode.  Ethan Embry was also on the show and had some great things to say.  I have always enjoyed his work and he is a great actor.  As much as I like him, it was a relief to see his character go. Stay tuned for the next episode tonight, and keep up with our reviews on The Walking Dead, other tv shows and book reviews.

Written by: Gina at Geeking 4 Everyone

The Walking Dead: