New TV show reviews because I got to let my geeky side out once in a while.
Who doesn’t love the end of the world? Well I sure do, at least watching it in a movie or on tv– I just love a good apocalypse story. The ultimate hope lies in the most desperate of times, doesn’t it? Inspiration, courage, strength, it’s all there. After all, if we can survive the end of the world as we know it, we can survive anything.
So I’m going tell you about three great new cable shows filled with the mass loss of mankind, possible end of the world, God, the Devil and his vampire rat minions and the hope that life will continue on despite it.
None of these shows of course entails a nuclear bomb-type apocalypse, (but in one, France gets one, but everyone’s already dead there anyways so it doesn’t count) because then well.. your SOL buddy, all hope is, well, nuked. I mean, unless you are a year old when that happens and say you do end up in a bomb shelter, by the time you finally see the earth again, have neighbors or any sense of normalcy, you’ll be damn old. I mean, you have to spend like 25 years down there. What if you run out of food? Also, lets face it, there’s gonna be idiots who leave their shelters early. Then, they’ll turn into mutants… oooo.. starting to get ideas here and off track. Sorry. Okay, continuing on.
TV tends to circulate themes, depending on the trend, and finally the TV trend has landed in the Apocalypse Zone -woot woot (thank you Walking Dead)! While I do also love a good vampire, werewolf and zombie story, for all the Twilight haters, the vamp love is giving way to apocalypse love. But luckily, there’s even one that’s a combo of the two, for us supernatural freaks. Isn’t that great?Also, parental discretion advised and I don’t recommend two of the three for anyone under 14. When I was about 8 years old, we saw this movie about the real rapture in a church by our house. I had nightmares for years, and I’ll never let them tattoo a bar code on me, even if I meet a guillotine. I must also warn that as much as I will try to give you an idea without giving it all away, these reviews will contain spoilers.
The Leftovers is a twist on the Rapture, and a great book. I found it actually in a Oprah magazine book review, and as soon as I read the summary, I ran out to buy it and devoured it. It was a short read, 368 pages I think. Since I read a lot of Stephen King, I’m used to like 1,368 pages. That kind of stunk, so I was thrilled HBO made it into a series and also that the leading man is so damn cute (Justin Theroux). It makes a lot more sense seeing it on the screen and I wasn’t ready for the book to end, so I’m glad now (they were picked up for a second season) it will continue on.
So, our story is based on one day out of the blue, people disappeared all over the world, ala Rapture style. However, the people who were taken were not all God-fearing good Christians. Some were even murders, rapists, cheaters, etc. This story begins three years after the “chosen” were taken. It centers around people in a small town called Mapleton and specifically, a broken family (cue the cute cop 😉 ) and the effects the event had on their lives and the lives of those around them. Burdens is a big theme in this story. (by the way Chris Brake Show, I accidentally spelled effects- affects and my spell check changed it and then I remembered that podcast last night…lol.).
It’s a slow, often too cue-the-violiny-mellowdrama-music, but if you stick with it, the payoff is great. There’s a priest, struggling with keeping folks believing, a woman who hires strippers to shoot her while she wears a bulletproof vest (her two young children and husband disappeared) a group called the Guilty Remnant who only wear white, stalk people and smoke, and a guy called Holy Wayne who hugs people’s burdens away and has a thing for teenage asian chicks. They are all trying to make sense of how to go on with life after this. Also, Justin Theroux is even hotter naked ladies (well, almost naked) and has this huge back covering tattoo.
Written and directed by Damon Lindelof, the man behind Lost! and the most recent Star Trek movie as well as other great geeky shows, you’ll find plenty of easter eggs and shout outs to Lost, etc., as well as clues in everything, like Jill Garvey’s science project before the event (The Garveys at their best, Ep 9). It’s worth a watch twice even, and I give it a geek HUGE green light!! Sunday is the season finale so you still have time to binge-watch the other 9 episodes.
There’s a lot of debate on one of my favorite podcasts, Post Show Recaps, about what exactly is going on here, but for those of us well versed in christian rapture theory, its easy to see. Besides that, almost every character has a biblical name. This story starts off with a plane of dead passengers, a creepy carved huge box on the plane with an evil creature in it who’s the master I guess, a guy from the CDC named Dr. Ephraim Goodweather played by Cory Stoll (who is apparently an actor who wears a wig for this role because Josh Wigler cannot stop talking about the wig. I never saw the actor in another series bald, so I kind of like his wig and don’t notice it but if you click the link he looks way better with hair). There’s this oh so evil dude, Thomas Eichorst, once a Nazi Leader and now the Masters main guy and a former Hobbit! Yes, Sean Astin plays Jim Kent a CDC fellow worker of Dr. Eph, who made a deal with the devil to save his dying wife and has now unleashed this virus on New York City. There’s no stopping the Devil, or the rich man who somehow summoned him to help save his dying life.. or is there? There’s an old man who knows Eichorst from way back in the holocaust days Abraham Setrakian, who leads the fight and a rebel Russian? rat catcher Vasiliy Fet (here I thought Post Show recaps gave him the Fet part kind of Boba Fett style, but no, that is his full name. Ha.) as well as some other really great characters and stories still unfolding, as New York City continues to be infected with this strain.
This show is extremely gory and not for the faint of heart. But if you stick with it, it gets more plot based and less gory. I usually just cover my eyes cause I don’t need to see that yucky stuff and the story is really good. Written and directed by a horror/vamp veteran.. Guillermo del Toro. It’s also based on a book, that turned into a graphic novel series. I definitely give this a HUGE geek green light. We just saw Episode 8 out of 13, so this one is still in play, and won’t take long to catch up on. It airs Sunday nights at 9 PM central.
I found this when I was on IMDb when I was looking up The Strain to see if infact, all the characters had biblical names (which they do), and it was offered as an “if you like The Strain, you’ll love this” recommendation.. I thought, how and I don’t think so, this looks like just one of those war guy shows I could care less about. Then I read the bio and it all changed, heh heh.
The Last Ship starts with this ship, USS Nathan James, a U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer and its crew, far from civilization on a missile exercise mission, who is also host to a scientist gathering data from the icy land they are near. When they are ready to return, the get a huge wake up call that most of the entire world died due to a freak virus and the woman scientist has been searching for the primordial strain this whole time and their mission was just a cover. She finds it, and the crew must get back to civilization with her, while she’s trying to develop a cure. Along the way, there’s a master Russian war guy who will stop at nothing to get this doctor and the prime strain and the fact that they run of gas and supplies, etc. It’s not by any means a thinking man’s show, as it is a bit on the cheesy side, but definitely worth watching. I’m so glad to see Adam Baldwin again (I miss Chuck) and while I’m not familiar with the guy who plays CO CDR Tom Chandler, he does it so well, with such a commanding yet kind presence. I especially enjoyed this because my dad was a Navy man and I get a much wider view of the world he lived in when he served. He was a jet mechanic and stationed on ships like these.
The Season finale was a couple of Sundays ago, but you can catch the episodes online, so again another great binge-watch, lighthearted and cheezy but that’s okay, we get enough thinking with the other two shows. In my research I come to find this is also a book. Guess I will be visiting Half Price Books soon, I’ve been looking for new reads. This is my last geek green light, for now. I’d say anyone over 8 can watch this because it’s not too gory or violent and its totally Yay Navy! Also, some really great one liners. I love it.
So let me know if you check these three great shows out, and what you think. Or, if you’ve watched them already, I’m always up for discussions and theories, so feel free to leave a comment!
Happy Thursday all!