Last week’s post mentioned the ever-increasing fabulousness of each Outlander episode would likely come to an end. It did. But we can still count and discuss…
Freedom and Whiskey, Episode 305
1. It was better than expected
Faint praise for sure. After all, it featured my least favorite character, while my most favorite character was nowhere to be seen. (Well, he was likely at Helwater with his new wife and adopted child.) But this episode sufficiently held my attention upon first viewing so as not to seem to drag. Nonetheless, I have little desire to watch it again or listen to any of its podcasts, and no desire to discuss it on message boards.
Season 3 of Outlander just keeps getting better and better. Episode 301 was great; episode 302, better; episode 303, even better, possibly the best; episode 304, possibly the best, with a couple of exceptions. Unfortunately, the streak likely ends here. The second half of Voyager isn’t nearly as compelling as the first half, falling into some pretty terrible tropes. Plus, there’s no more Lord John Grey (for a while).
Last night The night before last (I’m really horrible about posting in a timely manner!) I was still up late enough to watch @Midnight live. It’s a fairly new quiz-type show on Comedy Central hosted by Doctor Who mega-fan Chris Hardwick. He poses questions to three guest comedians based on some of social media’s wildest postings. The guests compete for “Points!” and the honor of “Wins the Internet for the next 24 hours.” Unless it’s Thursday, in which case the winner gets to claim for the entire (extended) weekend, until a new winner is declared the following Monday. Unlike SyFy’s now-defunct The Wil Wheaton Project, @Midnight is hilarious. (Incidentally, Wil and Chris were roommates at one time. Scifi nerds, unite!)
The show is so hipster-oriented, I often have no idea what they’re talking about,. Not so much because of the social media stuff, but because of the slang used. This ignorance of course, is a product of age, which is something the show loves to make fun of. To which I say, “Just you wait!” Heck, if you don’t grow old, something’s happened—and it’s not good.
Nonetheless, I’ve learned many things from watching this show. One of which is a “furry” is a person with a fetish for dressing up like a stuffed animal, and seeking like-minded individuals for various forms of “social” intercourse. Which means, of course, there are indeed furry-dating websites. [All this makes me think I ought to change my “Furries” category here, because that is not what it refers to.]
From Television Without Pity’s Dancing with the Stars Forums:
Anyone who says they don’t have a crush on Charlie White is lying.
If you put the essence of sunshine, rainbows, and puppies in a jar and shook it, you’d pour out Charlie White.*
I started this post a couple weeks ago, about how I’d become smitten with the bowl of sunshine that is Charlie White, and that he’d be voted off Dancing with the Stars over my dead body. Well, it happened, so I must be dead. 😥
You know Charlie White, right? He’s the mop-top Olympic Gold Medalist for ice dancing (with his partner Meryl Davis, of course). Since I didn’t watch one iota of the Olympic coverage this year, I only “met” Charlie when he came to be on Dancing with the Stars. The funny thing is, I hate that show.
The second season of DreamWorks Dragons: Defenders of Berk wrapped up this week, and FX aired How to Train You Dragon last Friday. So this seems like a good time to return to my Dragons obsession. This week we’ll look at the television series. Next week we’ll revisit the movie, and after that we’ll take another look at John Powell’s fabulous soundtrack.
I wasn’t terribly consistent in reviewing the Defenders of Berk episodes at SciFi Chicks, but I never missed an episode (unless thwarted by electricity), and my obsession love for the franchise continues. And so I present…
Downton Abbey. It’s one of those shows I dislike, but always end up watching. Given the unremarkable season 4 finale of television’s Second-Most Overrated Show (Game of Thrones being the first), I’ve come up with some ideas to make next season less predictable, more enjoyable and unexpected.
I have nothing planned for today’s list, so I’m going to cull from elsewhere. Two recent posts at SciFi Chicks discuss the best episodes from season 4 of Supernatural (as determined by IMDB, TV.com and me). Now I’m going to focus on just me. Here are:
from “The Monster at the End of This Book”
from “In the Beginning”
from “On the Head of a Pin”
from “Monster Movie”
from “When the Levee Breaks”
My Seven Favorite Supernatural Episodes
from Season 4
Are you looking forward to the new television season this fall? Are there any new shows that pique your interest?
Defenders of Berk
Agents of S,H,I,E,L.D.
The Tomorrow People
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland
Every season I have a list of new shows to check out, although I rarely get to them all. This season may be different. Several new science fiction-oriented shows are on the agenda, and Sci Fi Chicks stands at the ready.
Seven New Sci Fi Shows to Check Out This Fall
(in no particular order)
[Caveat: This list does not include shows I have no intention of watching; nor does it include shows set for a mid-season debut.]
Let’s continue with July’s Sunday Seven Couch Critic theme with a list of episodes from my other favorite television show, Supernatural.
Supernatural‘s season 8 was one of its best. Here’s a list of my favorite episodes from this past season—although I had a hard time narrowing it down to seven.
Seven Favorite Supernatural Season 8 Episodes
What’s Up, Tiger Mommy (802). Kevin Tran, the teenage prophet who can interpret the mysterious tablet introduced in season 7, wants to see his mother. When we meet Mrs. Tran, she proves to be totally hip and ready to join the fight. The second episode of the season included an auction of supernatural artifacts, Thor’s hammer, heaven’s most adorable angel, and a falling out between Kevin and the Winchesters.
Hunteri Heroici (808). Cartoon physics come to the real world; well, the “real” world of Supernatural. Painted black holes become tunnels, falling anvils crush humans, birthday cakes explode, Castiel interrogates a cat who calls the angel a “dumb ass.” Mike Farrell (B.J. Hunnicut of M*A*S*H) guest stars as Fred, an old Winchester friend with psychokinetic powers. Although I hate the show’s extreme ageist mentality, I love the humorous episodes, especially with guest stars I recognize and remember fondly.
As Time Goes By (812). The best Supernatural episodes are often the ones involving family, and this is one of them. Henry Winchester, Sam and Dean’s grandfather, falls out of a closet into the 21 century, searching for John Winchester. Instead of being the deadbeat dad John thought he was, Henry turns out to be an earnest young man who teaches the brothers there’s more to the supernatural world than just “saving people, hunting things.”
Trial and Error (814). Kevin has translated the first of three trials needed to close the gates of hell. The first trial leads the Winchesters to the ranch of a dysfunctional family in Idaho. Dean is adamant that he perform the trial alone in order to keep Sam safe. But things go awry and Sam ends up completing the deed. In addition to numerous twists and turns, and some delightful characters, we got not one, but two patented heartfelt Winchester brotherly pep talks.
Pac Man Fever (820). Computer whiz/hacker extraordinaire Charlie Bradbury shows up in Kansas (home of the fabulous Men of Letters bunker the boys now call home), and serves as Dean’s FBI partner while Sam recuperates from the second trial. Although there’s a monster-of-the-week, the episode is really about Charlie, her back-story and psyche, and her fear of letting her mother die. It’s funny, touching, and heartbreaking.
The Great Escapist (821). Castiel is captured by Naomi and tortured for the whereabouts of the angel tablet; then by Crowley, who knows where it is. Sam and Dean head off to Colorado in search of Metatron, the scribe of God—the angel who wrote the tablets. And Kevin outwits Crowley, although it takes an angel to save him from Crowley’s wrath. All three stories are intense and showcase some of the best characteristics of characters we’ve come to love.
Sacrifice (823). Although Sam has been given the trial to complete, it’s Dean who makes the ultimate decision. Detractors (aka Dean/Jensen Ackles fans) complained that all the “mytharc” stories go to Sam, relegating Dean to nursemaid status. But Dean had the final say in this one, and if that’s not mytharc-related, what is? Jared Padalecki was superb, we have a great set up for season 9, and the Men of Letter abode was not destroyed. (Phew!)
It bears repeating: Thank you, Jeremy Carver, for an excellent season!
Cartoon Network is showing reruns of DreamWorks Dragons: Riders of Berk nearly every day. If you haven’t seen this award-winning series, I highly recommend you catch up. Although it’s classified as a children’s show, just like the movie, there’s something for everyone.
The series picks up shortly after the end of How to Train Your Dragon. Now that the Vikings of Berk are no longer killing dragons, living with them takes some getting used to. Along the way, we watch Stoic and Hiccup become truly father and son. And so we have…
Seven Favorite Riders of Berk Episodes
(Although All 22 Are Worthy)
From “The Terrible Twos” (104)
From “Portrait of Hiccup as a Buff Man” (108)
From “Animal House” (103)
Animal House (103). The farm animals have to learn to live with the dragons before a severe storm sets in. Toothless leads the other dragons to protect the humans and animals when they get caught in the storm.
The Terrible Twos (104). Hiccup discovers a little dragon of unknown species, who causes all sorts of problems for Toothless. Toothless appears to be jealous, but he’s actually trying to help everyone, including the new little guy. (I loved this episode so much, I did a previous Sunday Seven on it.)
How to Pick Your Dragon (107). Stoic gets a dragon of is own, but not before riding Toothless ragged.
Portrait of Hiccup as a Buff Man (108). A inaccurate portrait of Chief and son leads Hiccup to believe Stoic would prefer a more Viking-like son. To prove himself, Hiccup and friends set off in search of a legendary treasure.
Thawfest (112). For the first time in history, Hiccup has a chance at beating Snotlout in the annual Thawfest games. But, as Astrid notes, Hiccup is not a very gracious winner.
When Lightening Strikes (113). Homes on Berk are being crushed by the weight of dragons sitting on roofs. After building iron perches, Berk is besieged by severe lightening strikes. The townsfolk believe the Night Fury is the cause, and force Toothless to leave the island.
Breakneck Bog (117). When Trader Johann is late in bringing something important to Stoic, Hiccup and the gang go in search of it. Hiccup learns the package is actually for him, from his mother. However, the package is trapped on Breakneck Bog, home of the fabled Fog Monster.