Thursday, July 10

a tv-less summer

those of you that know me know that i fill my nights with two things: television and video games. what happens when one of the worst seasons of television (summer or otherwise) comes upon us, bringing with it retreads of reality shows copied from other stations or stolen from other countries? no, i don't play more video games (though i really should, my pile of games is becoming increasingly unmanageable) - i download and watch my own television series.

so here's what i've been watching this summer. the stuff on tv, and the stuff off my computer.

- Battlestar Galactica finished out its first half of its final (fourth) season, and it ended with a bang. seriously, the final episode was SO good (minus the out-of-place fast pacing - seriously, they took material that would normally have been maybe 3 episodes and packed it into 1) i can almost forgive the show for the rest of the season. almost. however, season 4 so far for me has had many more lows than highs. here's hoping the last half of the season (not on until next year sometime) is better. much better.

- Spectacular Spider-Man finished its first 13-episode season and it was, well, spectacular. it was a great blend of stuff for the kids and stuff for the adults. the stories were mostly based on classic Spidey, but with their own modern-day twist. there was one twist on a super villain that i liked, and i love classic Mary Jane (the one that's a free spirit, doesn't want to be tied down to anybody). and the action scenes - oh man. best action scenes in a cartoon, hands down. this is by far the best Spider-Man cartoon that has ever been - possibly even the best superhero cartoon that has ever been. well, besides The Tick. its reported that it will have a second season, but when is anybody's guess.

- stopped watching The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles - or maybe i'm just taking a break from it, i don't know. all i know is that i couldn't take "cute" Indiana anymore. if i were to start watching the series again, maybe i'd just skip ahead to when he's a bit older. as it is, i made it through only 4 of the 22 "chapters" (each 1 1/2 hours, with 2 stories a piece).

- started watching the X-Men cartoon series from the 90s. i'm about halfway through season 2 of 5. each season has around 15 episodes, with a grand total of something like 75 episodes. what's amazing is how much i remember of the show (i watched it when i was little). i'm not sure how much of it is nostalgia and how much of it is it being a good show, but i like it quite a bit. sure it's got its problems, but what 90s cartoon doesn't? the stories are condensed versions of comic stories, so that's cool. oh, and surprisingly it has an overarching story that takes you through an entire season - something i wouldn't have thought a 90s kids cartoon would have had (well planned-out plot points). probably the funniest thing is that Wolverine, arguably the strongest mutant on the team, continuously gets his ass kicked the second he joins a fight. he's damn near useless. oh, and Jean Grey is pretty useless too - though maybe this is before she's really learned what her powers can do. anyway, it's good fun.

- Hell's Kitchen Season 4 is over and all i have to say is this: Petrozza should have won. i don't know if FOX told Ramsay that this year a cute girl had to win, or if he had a sweet spot (i.e. the hots) for her, but Petrozza. should. have. won.

- been watching this new show on NBC called Fear Itself. each week is a new mini horror movie. the first episode was a sort of "cabin in the woods" tale, while the next week was about a haunting. as long as you go into it knowing what to expect - a pretty cheesy B-horror movie that is guaranteed to have a twist - it's sort of fun. actually, the last 2 weeks were pretty good because i didn't see the endings coming. next week is zombies. yay zombies!

- ok, so this past weekend i downloaded and watched the RoboCop movie trilogy. first movie, a masterpiece. second movie, a mess. third movie, a piece of... well, the furthest thing from a masterpiece (i actually almost stopped watching it after the first half hour). however, i love the world and character(s) SO much that i decided to download and watch the television series. yes, for those of you that don't remember, RoboCop had a tv series in the early 90s. it lasted only one season, so i don't blame you if you don't remember. so i've watched the first 4 episodes and you know what? it's still far from the masterpiece the first movie is, but it's WAY better than the movie sequels - if only because the writing is at least cohesive. it may not always be good, but it's cohesive. and it introduces ideas such as religion and cyborgs, cyborgs and humanity, etc. it may not always follow THROUGH on those ideas, but it at least brings them up and explores them a little. oh, and just like Wolverine in the X-Men cartoon, RoboCop gets his ass handed to him the minute he enters a fight (well that sort of happened in the movies too). and it's always in the stupidest ways too. learn how to fight Robo! then maybe you can be of some use for the majority of the episode instead of just sitting there being fixed/waiting to be fixed. still, i'm a fan.

- and finally, what prompted me to write this blog - Burn Notice Season 2 is upon us. how was the first episode? spot-on. it was everything i expected it to be. i was a little sad that things are basically back to the way they were at the start of last season (after some characters had grown over the course of last season) but it was expected. you can't really have your characters grow in a comedy/drama. so Michael is back in Miami, doing the same types of jobs he did last year (except with a steady stream of them this time supplied by a new boss), still trying to learn who burned him and - more importantly this season - why. and i'm fine with it. it's a great ride.

what's next? after RoboCop and X-Men i think i'll tackle either Time Trax (another 90s sci fi show most people don't remember) or maybe Deadwood. however, lately i've been on a huge sci fi kick, so it'll probably be Time Trax. and the fall season isn't that far away. FOX starts airing new episodes around Labor Day, with NBC following later in September. can't wait for Sarah Connor, House, and yes, even Heroes - though if they start doing stupid stuff, i'm done. DONE. oh, and later in the year - 24: the tv movie. hell. yes.

- k

9 comments:

djwormparts said...

I was seperately thinking of the X-men yesterday, wondering if they had a season DVD like amany old shows are getting a sthey are relaunched, flipped into new games / comics / etc.

How are you seeing these? - B

Big Andy said...

If I had the inclination to download stuff, I would totally download the X-Men cartoon. But I'll probably just end up waiting for DVDs, if that ever happens. I also find it interesting that they would have over-arching themes and plots spanning entire seasons. But I guess the execs at Fox realized that if the comic books could do it, there's no reason the show couldn't. However, it should be noted that comic books for the most part have an older audience than Saturday morning cartoons. So I guess they took a gamble. And it paid off, cuz the show was pretty successful. 5 Seasons is a long time for a cartoon to last.
And on Wolverine, I think it can be argued that he's kind of like that in the comic books as well. The thing about him is that he takes a lot more damage than any other character. And a lot of times it's his own fault cuz he runs in head first while other characters might strategize a bit more when they're in a fight. He also gets taken out pretty frequently in the comics as well. But one of the main things to remember about Wolvie is that he keeps coming back until the job is done.

kawitchate said...

@djwp

you know, i'm not sure if the 90s X-Men cartoon series is on DVD or not. if it is, i think it's just a collection of a handful of the episodes, not like entire seasons of the show. maybe it'll get the DVD treatment soon, as X-Men is getting a new cartoon series sometime next year, with Wolverine as the star (i hope he can kick more ass than in the 90s show - yeesh).

how do i watch it? well, i go and download torrents of old shows that i want to watch. sites like mininova.org and btjunkie.org have television shows, music, and movies to download. the quality isn't always as good as DVD, but whatever. is it illegal? you know, i'm not sure of the legality of old TV shows and old movies (i don't download new movies - movies released in the last several years). i worry more about the music if anything. it's probably all technically illegal, but whatever.

ps. long time no write. i've really got to get better at responding to comments and reading your blog more. hope all is well!

kawitchate said...

@big andy

like i said in my last comment, if the 90s X-Men cartoon series ever makes it to DVD, it'll probably be when the new cartoon comes out next year.

yeah i was surprised at the overarching stories. first season was the Sentinel program, and then second season it's that Professor X and Magneto are trapped in the Savage Land, so the X-Men are getting along without their mentor. it's interesting.

and i know comic writers are always coming up with ways to have Wolverine get his ass handed to him, but they do a way better job at it - a more believable job. i mean in the show he literally yells out some catch phrase at the bad guy(s), goes running right at them, then promptly gets laid out on his ass as he rubs his head and says "ugh, what happened." it's so bad it's almost laughable.

-k

Ben said...

I can see you twitter but can't comment. i am loving all the E3 news, I may trade in my 360 )(fixed in Feb.) for a bigger HD one (new plug in back and 60 GB) come xmas when money is better. as for your trips so close, "sorry bank account" was the funniest way in the world to face the facts. Hope to see batman with Big A, are you seeing it ASAP? I am also looking forward to the chessiness of Hellboy II, have had I on DVD for forever, got it for the Edgar Allen Poe shorts included (movie also good, I am sucker for dilluted lovecraft (Thing)).

-b - thanks for comments el mucho! i'll respond there too!

kawitchate said...

@ben

E3 post is incoming. hopefully should be up by the time you're reading this.

you know, i never thought of trading in my "old and busted" 360 and then buying a new one... maybe i'll look into that. i've been getting more and more disc read errors as of late. seems like this one may die on me as well.

hey man, you only live once, so if 2 major trips just happen to be within a month of each other, all you can do is say "sorry bank account" and goodbye money. :)

love Hellboy, looking forward to seeing the sequel - but i think i can wait until it's on DVD. i don't head out to many movies by myself anymore... though i'm going to have to for Batman. probably see it sometime next week before i leave for the San Diego Comic Con.

-k

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