Thursday, 24 December 2015

I wanted to get you a bazooka but apparantly there are laws

A bit of seasonal cheer from myself and Lee Robson in the shape of a strip we ran up what you can read, like...

It's aptly a space-y thing because Christmas for me is defined by memories of one of the Star Warses being repeated for the umpteenth time, which I mention as a seamless intro into reviewing the latest Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens, as it is a law that internet reviews of TFA start with an anecdote about the franchise's personal connection with the reviewer.
I did not think The Force Awakens was very good.
I couldn't get the feel that this was actually Star Wars, it just felt like someone doing a homage to the Star Wars I remember but not quite getting it right because they aren't really emulating the old stuff, they're just using the trappings like the ship designs, the laser noises, and the names of characters - fanfiction, basically, and if you've ever seen one of the half-decent Star Wars fanfics available, you'll know what I mean when I say it's nice to look at, but the tiny things here and there undermine the proposition that you're watching something official.
I fully appreciate that this is a minority opinion, all the same, as the vast majority of people seem to be over the moon about The Force Awakens, or at the very least they're over the moon that it isn't the prequels, as every review seems to be born of some variation of the same basic conceit that this one wasn't made by George Lucas so it is automatically good, and never mind the slapdash art design, the rehashing of the Death Star plot yet again, a McGuffin that makes literally no sense whatsoever, massive coincidences stringing together the various scenes rather than actual plot connective tissue, and a villain whose entire deal is that he will never be as good as Darth Vader from the original trilogy, which is awful to behold onscreen and yet at the same time a brass-balls level of self-awareness of a kind the rest of the script might have benefited from experiencing.  Ironically, The Force Awakens' biggest problems are the exact same problems that plagued the prequels (such as the impression that it is a remarkably small galaxy in terms of characters crossing each others' paths), and yet this time audiences and reviewers are happy to hand-wave away such concerns, where before they were baying for the blood of George Lucas.
Mind you, the prequels grew on me over time, so perhaps The Force Awakens will do the same, as it seems to rely entirely on nostalgia as its one selling-point, and that takes time and distance to develop.

Friday, 11 December 2015

What will we do without a shower - where am I supposed to cry?

It would certainly have made the uneven and cliched Jessica Jones a lot more enjoyable if I'd got that memo everyone else did telling me I was supposed to be enjoying rape backstories for tough female characters now, rather than finding them tiresome and lazy storytelling, but here we are again with Into The Badlands.  A post-apocalyptic martial arts series based on Journey To The West - the only Chinese story that has ever been written apparently - it's not always misogynistic trash, it's just that those elements tend to stick out more amongst the mish-mash of other things appropriated from elsewhere.  The kung-fu is often inventive and fun, and carries the rest of the show well, though mostly it's just a nice-looking power struggle in a setting that looks like a conflation of a stereotypical Asian culture and Depression-era America.  It's not rocket science, but it's engaging enough to hold the attention so far, coming off as a well-made late-80s/early-90s straight-to-video post-apocalyptic action film - and lord knows, I do like me some of them.
Of the aforementioned Jessica Jones, I can only say that while by no means a poorly-made show, for me it is likely the weakest of the Marvel offerings so far, reliant as it is upon well-worn storytelling tropes and the dubious novelty of a female lead in an age where roughly 90 percent of television has a female lead.  To make their female lead more distinctive in a crowded field, they make her unlikeable and give her many character flaws - yes, you can already see where I'm going with this, can't you?  There is nothing new to be seen in Jessica Jones, though its attempts to second-guess its audience's tolerance for spandex-clad adventurers might be noteworthy, as it has spectacularly bet on the wrong horse in a tv season notable for having quite a few successful and highly visible superhero shows in contrast to JJ taking the well-worn "it's a superhero show but we don't do superheroes in it" beloved of Smallville and Heroes, now possibly as much an embarrassing anachronism in itself as adventurers in primary-coloured unitards once were.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Atlas Shrugged - and so did most of its readers

Well, there's nothing like a well-maintained blog, and this is nothing like etc etc
Why did no-one tell me about Blood And Oil?  A tale of rich white trash and their literal/figurative catfights, starring Don "I survived the eighties but you can't tell by looking" Johnson and various b-listers I recognise from television shows I presumably watched during a period where I was questioning my sexuality such as "him from Greek", "her from Jane By Design", and a whole bunch of "that one from that thing that was crap but I watched all the way through anyway", it's just the kind of awful I can't resist.  Obviously, this likely means it's been cancelled already, but I am enjoying playing catch-up so far, even if watching episodes without the stopgap of a week in between does tend to highlight how quickly it loses its most interesting elements, especially the setting of the opening episode, where the locale is painted as a kind of gold-rush era frontier town never more than a hair's breadth away from lawlessness (a fictional oil find in Dakota replacing the factual gold of old California), which falls by the wayside along with the broke-as-heck young couple who land in town with only the clothes on their backs and yet can manage to take out a hundred thousand dollar loan before the end of the pilot and are buying a half-million dollar house by the second episode, thus further robbing USTV of money-poor characters - but this is about a fantasy version of America, not the daily experience of 95 percent of its population, so all is forgiven, Blood and Oil.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

As they say in my native South Carolina, "It's time to marry your brother-in-law"

Covert Affairs was shit, and Quantico is some next-level Godawful shitness I can't even bring myself to tear apart piece by shitty piece lest I be responsible for someone reading my words and deciding that it sounds so bad it must be good rather than just so bad it's bad - but to clarify, there is no hypothetical scenario in which there is a dial measuring Quantico's quality which features a needle swinging all the way around on some imaginary dial from "bad" until it gets to "good" and then keeps going until it becomes "bad" again, because that would imply that at some point the needle nestled in the "good" area, and with Quantico that never happens, not even in the hypothetical realms of fantasy, because Quantico is never less than terrible.
Homeland aside, it is not a good time to be a female-led espionage series, so I do not even know why I decided to watch Agent X, which I knew ahead of time was Sharon Stone slumming it in tv because Hollywood does not forgive female actors for getting old.  I am glad that I did, however because Agent X is a hoot, and is a welcome antidote to the charmless po-faced faux-grimness that is live-action television's current default state outside Disney programming - did you know The New Girl was commissioned as a comedy?  Crazy.  What Agent X makes me think of is a Disney programme whose greenlit proposal has sat on a shelf for a while until it became apparent that the Mouseketeer for which it was originally written has decided to become batshit insane on a full-time basis and will not be available for filming because she's drunk-driven a car into the line outside an Apple store or married a badger or something so the script has been made anyway, with adults, only no-one has changed any of the preposterous premise before things went before a camera, so Agent X is the tale of Sharon Stone becoming Vice President of America which also means that she is now secretly M from James Bond, as was intended all along by the Founding Fathers when they wrote it down in the original draft of the Declaration of Independence, which the VP has in her secret Vice President Cave under the Library of Congress.
You really know all you need to at this point, it's a nonsense of a show and highly enjoyable for it, even if I am not quite sure where it's going in its portrayal of women types, as despite Stone being the headline act, this is a very male fantasy about a daring he-man saving young women from nasty Russkies.
It's early days and the rough edges could still be hewn off, but it seems to be off to a good start.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

It's not for me to say, but have you considered investing in food and running water?

Not much to report today, as real life stuff had to be taken care of, so I couldn't sit down and construct one of my usual blogging masterpieces.  Still drawing away, though, so there's that.  Got a ton of Hawaii Five-0 to catch up on, so plenty of blog filler to come as I try and fail to disguise my man-crush on Scott Caan - a man so ludicrous that his own father showed up in his show once to tell the character played by Scott Caan that his dad must think he's ludicrous.  Yes, I am waffling away about the new series of Hawaii Five-0 and I haven't even watched an episode yet, so just imagine how fun the blog will be once I've actually binged on a couple of hours' worth of it.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Seems like a nice guy apart from the armed robberies and stuff

Blessed be!
I usually post an old supernatural-themed strip or two here on the blog around Halloween, but of late my older work is increasingly embarrassing to me so I have to churn out new material if I want to have a seasonal strip now and then, hence the above: The Next Life, a two-page script by my personal writing mule of ill omen, Lee Robson.  It's a year or two old, this one, being one of many things that once "in the bag" never seem to venture out of it ever again, usually because of some minor quirk that I find unbearable to look at - such as my fluffing the perspective on that very last panel.  Yes, I am that bloomin' precious - lord only knows how I ever released War Cars into the world.

There are no chicks with dicks, only guys with tits

More Twilight Zone episodes today:
Elegy - 200 years after Earth's atomic holocaust, a trio of astronauts land on an asteroid and find a perfect recreation of an American small town populated with unmoving humans, seemingly frozen in time.  It transpires the whole thing is an elaborate cemetery/taxidermy exercise for the rich, the existence of such a place being lost to the chaos that followed the war centuries earlier.  The caretaker of the cemetery poisons the three and preserves their bodies at the controls of their spacecraft, just as they foolishly mentioned in passing to be their preference.  I admit I am a sucker for a good cemetery planet story, but this one kind of mixes a few different TZ staples and comes up with a muddle of a plot where nothing quite sticks.  It's kind of like Die Another Day in that regard, as there's nothing wrong with the different stories at play, they just don't mesh into a coherent whole.  It also seems heavily influenced by Ray Bradbury's Mars Is Heaven/The Third Expedition.  As with most par/sub-par TZs, though, it's hard for it to outstay its welcome.
Mirror Image - waiting for a bus at a lonely depot, a woman becomes increasingly convinced that she's being stalked by a doppelganger determined to kill and replace her, and is eventually carted off to the booby hatch while her lookalike takes the woman's luggage and catches her bus.  Then a bloke chases his own alternate in vain down a street because Something Or Other.  If it had ended with the dark other catching the bus out of town, I think it might have pulled this off, but as it is, I like that the script hand-waves any attempt at hard science in favor of existential panic, but there's quite a lot of that building-to-hysteria stuff that populates a lot of Twilight Zone episodes, and I don't really see that as drama so much as I see it as shouting.  To me, drama isn't someone raising their voice, it's conflicts of interests between characters and how that conflict plays out over time.  An okay episode, but not great.
The Monsters are Due on Maple Street - a power outage leaves a street in a small town isolated and the residents begin to speculate causes such as terrorism, atomic war, and flying saucers - before the night is over, paranoia causes things to escalate.  On a nearby hillside, beneath their spacecraft two figures watch the riot unfold and sneer at how easily humans can be manipulated into destroying themselves.
More building-to-hysteria stuff here, but this time it's the whole point of the story, and it's actually pretty good, with Rod Serling's closing narration morosely opining of prejudices that "the pity of it is that these things cannot be confined to... the Twilight Zone (DOODOO DOODOO, DOODOO DOODOO DANDANDANDAN)", although the reveal of aliens being behind it all was a bit goofy, as I think the idea of people destroying themselves is undermined a bit by their being pushed towards it by outside agents - but I suppose it might have been necessary to have that component to dilute the bleak premise of the plot, in case the broadcasters of the time didn't want to show it.  A dang good episode.
A World of Difference - A man planning a vacation with his wife suddenly finds himself on a movie stage where he is an actor playing the part of the man he thinks he is, and those around him are so convinced he's having a nervous breakdown that the film is cancelled.  Seeing the loveless and joyless life of the "actor", the man flees back to the set and rejoins his wife as they embark on their vacation, the movie people confused as to where their washed-up actor has gotten off to.  I don't know if I enjoyed this one or not, so horrible was the actor's "real world" wife that I found it impossible to objectively evaluate what I was watching, such was my overpowering compulsion to reach through the screen and throttle the life from the money-grubbing harridan.  The upshot was that when the guy escaped her forever by entering a world of fantasy, you feel really good for him.
Seriously, what.  A.  Bitch.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

All the broken glass is like a puzzle for the kids - you give 'em a tube of glue and you watch 'em go

I Shot an Arrow into the Air is the "our rocketship got lost in space and we crashed on some planet or asteroid that has a suspiciously breathable atmosphere" story and it has just the twist you'd expect it to have, but as ever the tale is in the telling rather than gimmicks, and the story wisely concentrates on being about a cowardly, murderous crewman picking off his crewmates in order to make supplies last longer on this suspiciously Earth-like planetoid on which they find themselves marooned without hope of rescue.
The Hitch-Hiker - the tale of a woman driving alone who keeps seeing the same lonely figure trying to hitch a ride, no matter where or how far she drives.  It meanders a little, but the twist is solid, as there's some doubt where it might be going as you probably think it's a more obvious twist than the one they go for.
The Fever - too comical to be convincing, this, for me, is probably the first outright turkey of TZ's premiere season.  The story of an uptight skinflint who accompanies his wife to Las Vegas on a free flight and who succumbs to the gambling bug and blows all the couple's cash on a one-armed bandit that begins to follow him around, eventually causing him to fall out a window to his death.  Not great.
The Last Flight - a WW1 pilot lands his plane in the 1950s after passing through a mysterious cloud while deserting a comrade in the midst of an air battle.  When the people of the future tell him his comrade made it out alive, the pilot can't believe it was possible to survive such odds - at least, not without help...  A solid take on the predestination paradox plot, as usual TZ buries the quirky sci-fi in a more accessible allegory, in this case the story of the cowardly pilot's redemption.
The Purple Testament - a soldier sees the mark of death on the faces of those of his comrades who are about to die and starts to lose his marbles.  Eventually seeing the mark on his own face, he glumly accepts his fate and boards a jeep driving towards a road rumored to be littered with mines.  I didn't really get along with this one, as it didn't seem to be going anywhere in the end, and the main character just accepting his coming death seems kind of daft, especially as it means taking someone else with him when he goes.  An okay episode, I guess, but this is the TZ equivalent of landfill.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

I knew a little girl looked enough like you it makes my memory water

Back to my Twilight Zone watching, if you don't want the endings to episodes of a 56 year-old tv show ruined for you, best read no further, but if you're one of my fellow small pressers and you're stumped for a short story idea, you can do worse than read my shite:
Perchance To Dream - a man visits a psychiatrist and insists that if he falls asleep, he'll dream that he dies and will thus die in the real world FOR REAL.  Driven paranoid by lack of sleep, he throws himself to his death through a window after a couple of minor coincidences, and it is revealed that he was dreaming his entire session in the psychiatrist's office, having fallen asleep the moment he lay down on the couch.  This was a twist that came across as a bit comical in practice, but the episode was entertaining enough.
Judgment Night - a guy with no memory of how he got aboard but who has a German name and a German submarine officer's uniform is on a British freighter during WW2 that's being stalked by a submarine.  Yes, the twist you're thinking of is the twist that happens, but it's played very well right up until its natural end point where the sub's first officer announces "I worry there's a special kind of Hell for men like us" but keeps going for about two minutes anyway, really hammering the thing home to the point it risks becoming parody.  A decent episode, but nothing special.
And When The Sky Was Opened sees an astronaut trying to convince his best friend and co-pilot that there was a third man on their manned space flight.  It's a typical "people are forgetting I exist" plot, that ends with the expected twist of the main character disappearing as well.  I am not sure the science holds up, and the drama is of the hysterical type where the actor(s) work their character into a lather until they're screaming, which I find gets old quickly.
What You Need is one of those episodes that centers on an unlikely series of events putting someone in the exact place at the exact time to meet their maker, but it's not as well-constructed a series of events to get them there as it could be, essentially rambling in the second and third acts as it puts a panto villain center-stage to get his contrived and unconvincing comeuppance because of, I dunno, hubris probably.  Not great.
The Four of Us Are Dying is another episode that centers on an unlikely series of events putting someone in the exact place at the exact time to meet their maker, only this time it adds a central character who has the ability to change their face to resemble anyone they've seen in a photograph, right down to changing their voice to perfectly match the person in the photograph, apparently.  Also not great.
In Third From The Sun, some blokes escape a nuclear war on a rocketship and head for a new planet that's called Earth.  That's it.  A warhorse of a plot/twist this one, I have a suspicion that this might be the sci-fi writers' equivalent of The Aristocrats, as it's in the telling rather than the twist itself that we find our entertainment, and as tellings go, this one plays a decent shell game by concentrating on the intrigue of getting everyone on the rocketship in time.  A pretty good episode, although right at the end when they're talking about it being Earth, they don't seem terribly enthused about selling it as a twist, making me think that it was a warhorse even in the 1950s.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

We should try Australia - I hear they speak English there

Blindspot isn't taking any chances with its star Jaime Alexander, as it starts off getting her naked and then crafts a premise from there that allows for numerous instances of enforced nudity such as people having to "scan" or "consult" the mysterious tattoos on her body that contain clues as to her amnesiac character's true identity and/or violent crimes that are about to happen, combining the Bourne Identity with Memento I don't know.   There's a bit where it probably said in the script "and then she like takes off her clothes and checks herself out in the mirror, just totally looking at her boobs and stuff" and by that point I am pretty sure that the fictional version of Patrick Stewart from Extras is writing this show.  There's a plot to blow up the Statue of Liberty and all Asians are martial arts experts - you now have enough information to decide if this show is for you or not.
Limitless is based on the film of the same name, which is based on a book of a different name, but that name was changed to "Limitless" in later printings to cash in on the film with which it has only passing elements in common, and yes, I did bring up the book so that I could use the phrase "cash in on the film with which it has only passing elements in common" because I thought that would be clever of me, even though I haven't actually seen the film so I cannot speak as to how accurate this phrase may be in this context, making my opinion/insight on the matter utterly unreliable, but hey, I'm still not as big a windbag as that Guardian writer who, on the day Terry Pratchett's final book was released, dismissed Pratchett as a mediocre writer in the same paragraph he let slip that he'd never read anything by Terry Pratchett (and whose name I have hilariously/aptly forgotten) because at least I don't expect to get paid for shovelling my horseshit opinions through the monitor at those unfortunate enough to come to my blog during a perfectly innocent Google search for - I dunno - inter-racial dwarf pornography thanks to my random use of tags to attract pageviews like flies to shit.  Limitless is, however, not going to be much like the film, I can at least reasonably speculate, because Limitless the film is a high-budget allegorical drama with an A-list cast, while Limitless the tv show is a low-to-medium budget odd-couple buddy cop drama starring Dexter's skinny sister because of course it is.  It's not terrible by any stretch, though it does often display an expedience in jogging through its plot beats that is as admirable as it is an admittance of its own unoriginality: we, the audience, know that the dedicated cop will be teaming up with the slightly unlikeable junkie guy to solve crimes because The Series Premise That's Why, but you know, the show could at least pretend there's a chance it might not happen, for like, tension reasons or something.
I'm not crazy about the superdrug McGuffin, either, as I am pretty sure the reason no-one does that whole "this drug will let you use one hundred percent of your brain instead of the five percent that normal humans use!" plot thing anymore is because it was thoroughly debunked many, many years ago, firstly on the basis that people pointed out that you didn't use 100 percent of your brain because you don't actually need to do so on account of you have bits of your brain that does different stuff at different times, like dreaming, reading, pooping, swimming, masturbating, running, martial arts, urinating, erm... origami?  And secondly because some doctors and boffin types hooked up someone's brain and watched it for a bit before deciding that, yep, that was how a brain worked: one problem at a time.  I suppose you could do all those things at once, and admittedly it would most likely be spectacular to watch, but not in the way that Limitless seems to think would be the case - though it's certainly lively enough on its own terms, interspersed with action beats for the main characters to negotiate in inventive fashion because someone opening up their brain's full potential also seems to make them a super athlete because of course it d-- you know what?  Fuck it.  I'm no scientist, that is probably how body science works for all I know.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

I'm going out tonight to find a hot chick or two uggos

Ghosts of Mars was originally written as a Snake Pliskin outing, but the studio didn't want another Pliskin movie after Escape From Los Angeles bombed, so Pliskin was changed to "Desolation Jones" and the studio cast Ice Cube in the role because they wanted "an A list actor" to draw the crowds.  Crazy times...  The actress playing the main character in the film wasn't even considered for the part until the original actress who was cast in the role (the fifth choice for the part) injured herself and one of the male cast mentioned his girlfriend was free, so yes, you can go ahead and call this one as an utter car crash of a project, I nonetheless love it to bits.  It's just such a wonderfully trashy b-movie, although reminiscent of other John Carpenter outings like The Fog and Assault On precinct 13.  I'm actually on a bit of a Mars kick at the minute, and this seems like it's a huge homage to Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles canon, though the influence of Nigel Kneale can be felt on the edges, too.

Friday, 23 October 2015

The thought of seeing your unwaxed lady parts gave me superhuman strength

From the original novel, the latest film adaptation of Z For Zachariah changes the setting, the age of the protagonists, the personalities and relationship between characters (and thus the story), adds another character, discards the ending - I imagine there's a good chance at this point you're thinking "in which case why adapt the book at all?  Why not make your own entirely unrelated film?" and I have no answers for you there, beyond perhaps the observation that director Jake Paltrow already made this movie a couple of years back and putting the name of a property that predates that movie on this one helps avoid uncomfortable questions.
The whole thing goes absolutely nowhere, seeming to set up multiple strands of narrative that remain both unexplored and unresolved.  It reminds me most of all of one of those admirably competent fan movies based upon Hunger Games or the like that have no resolution, they merely depict some events occurring within the fictional world and then end.  That, I think, adequately sums up the experience of watching Z For Zachariah.  The acting is a bit over the place, with Chris Pine's Caleb - yes, there is a character called Caleb in Z For Zachariah now - eliciting actual laughter from me on two occasions, and I suppose it's nice to see Margot Robbie in something before she becomes overexposed as the sexed-up version of Harley Quinn in the Suicide Squad movie and I can never look at her in anything else ever again without my teeth grinding together.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

I'm very sorry but I just caught two of my friends doing drugs off this picture of your parents

I suppose I do have an opinion on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, seeing as I have - like many - been waiting the better part of three decades to see it, and it certainly looks like a JJ Abrams entry in an existing sci-fi franchise going by the trailer alone, as what can be gleaned from it simply by looking seems to include a youngish person on a desert planet joining up with an old man from the previous trilogy to go on an adventure in the Millenium Falcon before running afoul of white-armored  stormtroopers who can't hit a barn door led by a black-clad evil Jedi, then some general stuff like X-wings in a battle with TIE Fighters against a backdrop of some kind of huge trench, the youngish person crying over what looks like one of the older characters taking a nap in the dirt in the same locale as we see them encounter the evil Jedi character - I mean, it's all very grandiose-sounding, and as you would hope of something that cost 200 million dollars to make it looks very nice, but is also very familiar and self-referential in the same way JJA's work on the Star Trek reboot was, and we know how that ended up.  Say what you will about the prequel trilogy, but they went their own way for as long as they could before everything had to connect back into the original films.
I am sure it will be just fine and dandy, mind.  I'm sure this will be at least as good as JJ Abrams' Star Trek, and not in any way as terrible as JJ Abrams' Star Trek Into Darkness.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

A small-headed man of limited means who lost a fight with a chicken

Continuing the Halloween horror marathon, been watching:
The Pack - initially promising b-movie monster flick about a pack of wolves menacing a family - who are also a pack, so it's got levels - that lost me when it descended into predictable jump-scare cliche and the only unexpected moments came when characters or the script did things that were monumentally stupid and illogical even in the context of a slasher flick.  Shot in Rivendell and Parth Galen, it certainly looks nice, but in this day and age this means little in and of itself and the script fails to do anything interesting in the long run.
Lake Placid vs Anaconda - a mash-up of two different monster movie franchises, both of which started out as trashy-but-fun cinema-releases with bankable stars but which of late have been SyFy-funded, becoming increasingly tedious and aggressively poorer viewing experiences the longer they endure.  There are a great many attractive young women in this, in various states of undress, but any enjoyment you might hope to glean from this element is somewhat undermined by their being bumped-off in gruesome but not very inventive ways, making this a continuation of the popular trend of horror fantasy that doesn't seem to like women very much despite plastering their forms everywhere.  There's a bit where two characters sit around talking about teenage girls and laughing at how they like to get tattoos of butterflies on their ankles and pierce their navels and then they laugh at how vacuous such people are, and all I could think of was those teenage girls who cut themselves when their favorite boy bands break up and Twitterati laugh at them for doing so, responding to the confused pain of other human beings with a misplaced sense of superiority.  This is a paradigm for Lake Placid vs Anaconda's problems, in that it likes to pretend that its making fun of the shallow, characterless, unimaginative filmic and televisual landfill that comprises SyFy's output, but it would be a step up if it could only be as bad as that.  This is poorly-made, cheap, and lacking in even a single moment of wit, the equivalent of a sneering yob arguing with you by repeating your words back at you but garbling them a bit when they do so before announcing that they are doing this "because you're retarded."
I'm not saying Lake Placid vs Anaconda is shit, I'm saying if shit could shit, Lake Placid vs Anaconda wouldn't even be as good as that.
Live and Let Die - WHEN YOU WERE YOUUUUNG AND YOUR HEARRRRRT WAS AN OPENNNN BUWUK... an always-enjoyable warhorse of a 007 outing this one, despite featuring the best Bond YES YOU HEARD ME caps lock sticking a lot today it's often derided for the decision for the franchise to appropriate blaxploitation much as it had other genres, the wisdom being that if you have blaxpolitation with a white lead, you basically have racism.  Particularly in its excesses and casual sexism, blaxploitation as a genre actually shares a great deal with the Bond movies - just watch something like Black Samurai or Black Belt Jones to see what I mean - and so it's actually a more natural fit than many would like to admit.  Eight year old me took it deadly seriously even if viewing it as an anachronistic cartoon was probably the only sensible approach for the eight year old me who watched it earlier today.  Great fun, and I suspect as of this viewing that it may have contributed to my enduring love of wacky chase setpieces, too.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Can't a man eat a giant cheese wheel in peace?

Watching The Twilight Zone, I must say that I quite miss short stories that don't end with a punchline that's a black joke upon the lead player.  Whatever was so terrible about happy endings or lessons being learned that they became so rare, I wonder?  Almost every short story I draw seems to be one of those OH NO THE MONSTER IS ME type things - not that this is a criticism of any scripts I have worked upon in case you're reading this, depressingly long list of writers with whom I have collaborated over the years.
At the sketching/concept art stage of several projects before they all kick off in the near future, probably next week, so back to more waffling about the atterly shackin volume of television I watch in the average week and more bafflingly obtuse screen grabs of which you most likely never see anything of the end product.  Oh lordy I do so need to make a plan...

Monday, 5 October 2015

...when your Elvis dies, so does the private lie that someday you will be young once again, and feel at capricious intervals the weightlessness of a joy that is unchecked by the injuries of experience and failure

And with today's entry, I clock up my 1000th post on the blog!
I have wasted my life.

Watching: because it's Halloween at the end of the month...
Extreme Ghostbusters Back In The Saddle parts 1 and 2 - I don't think I've ever seen any of Extreme Ghostbusters until this point, but the episodes where they team up with the original characters from the 1980s cartoon-of-the-film seemed to be the ones to check out.  Seems a bit anemic compared to other 1990s cartoons like Batman, Superman, Gargoyles, Invasion America, or even the shallow but eventful Spider-Man and X-Men offerings, with the characters rather thin and the plots a bit messy.  I think it relies on familiarity with storytelling tropes alongside stereotypical characters so the audience can fill in the odd blank in the script from their own viewing experience, and the overall effect is quite charmless.  The visual design also lacks consistency, not helped by cheap animation.
The Snow Creature - a 1954 b-movie picture about some blokes finding an abominable snowman and trying to cash in by returning it to civilization - things go downhill from there.  You can find this on Youtube if you fancy, but it's not really worth it, lacking any nuance or charm and being a cheapo riff on the basic plot of King Kong.
Dark Moon Rising - "I am Dance.  We have literature together."  A film about werewolves with superpowers, including one who shouts out the name of every kung fu move he's about to bust on someone's ass, the most ridiculous thing about it nevertheless remains to be that that it stars Eric Roberts and I still thought it might be good.  When Roberts' character has a Vietnam War flashback in which he is attacked by werewolves, I decided that this may very well be one of the most amazing(ly terrible) films I have ever seen, elevating creative incompetence to levels I would not have thought possible when I awoke this morning.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

A 2AM dance-off? There are no winners.

I'm blogging again, which is a mixed blessing because it means that the paying/indie press work has dried up - kind of like that parable in the Bible about how when you masturbate it makes Jesus so angry he strangles a kitten?  It's give and take is what I am saying.  Possibly I should just have said that instead of the masturbating Jesus kitten strangling metaphor.  I don't know.
Watching: Falling Skies WHY AM I STILL WATCHING THIS?  Jesus kittystrangling Christ, it is just terrible - every time I try to review it, I just end up citing tropes it has recycled from decades-old sci-fi shows, and it makes me sad that all I can bring to the table is negativity, because this is still a significant creative undertaking for which a lot of talented people have made a considerable effort to construct sets, assemble the cast and film the story, and yet it is all for naught because so little has been invested in terms of effort or respect for the audience when it comes to the stinking, lowbrowed mess of a script, and rather than commend those that realised this edifice of popular culture for their efforts, all I can say is that I think that all involved deserve to be pissed upon and then set alight.
Graceland - a moronic, infantile show that I have never watched sober, I fear Graceland - a tale of hot undercover twentysomethings infiltrating the glossy world of organised Los Angeles crime - may not be an entirely accurate portrayal of law enforcement, but its dedication to glossiness and thin, easy-to-comprehend characters and motivations does at least have the advantage of distracting me from thinking about death.
Scorpion is a show about an elite team of crimesolving geniuses led by the incredibly unlikeable Walter O'Brien, a fictionalised version of a real-world (self-proclaimed) genius, and while the premise oozes a retro charm tying it to many televised forebears, the modern presentation and reliance on cynicism without self-awareness tends to make me think that (1) the makers are not quite as confident about their television product as they would have us believe and a significant portion of what we are viewing is rote act-mandated plotting resulting in it rarely - if ever - peeking above the parapets of competence, and (2) that we are but a conflation of the preserved thoughts of others, housed within a temporary material frame.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Nothing but make-believe will ever feel real again

I have found the Labour party leadership contest surprisingly exciting, but that's to be expected when every major media outlet is trumpeting about Jeremy Corbyn's ability to take us back to the 1980s.
See, I assumed Mr Corbyn would just become leader of the Labour party and then stay in the present and disagree with the government a lot, but according to everyone from The Guardian to the Daily Mail, he will, in fact, engage in some sort of Back To The Future-style defiance of the laws of nature and travel backwards through time itself - and to think people are actually surprised that everyone wants to vote for him now?  Of course they'd vote for him!
For too long has time travel been the preserve of the rich and the media elite of London who use it to travel forward in time to see that Corbyn will lose elections!  Time travel for the rich, and austerity for the poor?  Not if our boy Jeremy has anything to say about it!

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

You sound like the kind of man who goes to Jerusalem and doesn't visit the Sexateria

Tony Blair had this to say on the matter of the British electorate wanting to exercise their right to choose their own representatives rather than having those representatives chosen for them from a vetted pool of establishment-approved ringers:

“It is like a driver coming to a roadblock on a road they’ve never travelled before and three grizzled old veterans say, ‘Don’t go any further, we have been up and down this road many times and we’re warning you that there are falling rocks, mudslides, dangerous hairpin bends and then a sheer drop’; and the driver says, ‘Screw you, stop patronising me. I know what I’m doing’.”

I find this parable quite fascinating, partly because it explicitly states that these grizzled veterans promise a plague of misfortunes upon anyone who dares question their divine infallibility, but mainly because it is a parable that explicitly acknowledges that the hypothetical driver does not believe what the three grizzled veterans are saying.  Sadly, the parable does not contain an additional verse wherein the driver elaborates upon his stance by admonishing the three grizzled veterans for killing hundreds of thousands of brown people and destabilising the Middle East for decades whilst personally cashing-in by advising dictators in the region - that would be too perfect - but I think the basic premise of subconscious projection is established in what is already there.
People just do not want to do what Tony Blair tells them and he cannot fathom why this might be - he's on the cusp of a realisation, but he never quite puts things together because I don't think he can.  This is the man, after all, who has gone on record as saying in his memoirs that he had dreamt that former Labour leader John Smith would be struck down by an act of God so that Tony could become leader in his place, and who latterly preaches parables to the masses because that is how a man who travels the land of the Israelites in the guise of a peacemaker rolls.  A moment or two of feigned self-awareness cannot disguise that Tony B and his followers look upon the father of ISIS as a messianic figure, while the rest of us merely see a cunt.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Sexy people deserve second chances

I won't lie: I am totally watching Devious Maids right now.  It has a scene where a character expresses his concern that someone might be faking having cancer, and to explain his suspicions, he says he checked the person's internet browsing history - he then points to a web page called "how to fake cancer".
I mention this because I read a Tweet from Seth McFarlane where he says "there's no such thing as "hate watching" you just like watching bad shows", but this sadly cannot be entirely accurate because it implies that there are people somewhere who enjoy watching Under The Dome.
I watch Under The Dome and I hate myself for doing so almost as much as I hate Under The Dome.  I am almost 100 percent certain my experience is a paradigm of UTD's audience.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

If I wasn't so lazy I'd punch you in the stomach

Yep.  Forgot again to update yesterday.  I suppose I shouldn't worry seeing as it was because I was working, but dang it, I just have so much wisdom to share with the world it is a crime when I don't post here about how bad the latest UStv shows are even though I don't seem to actually stop watching them.  Alternatively, it is stupid that I divide my time at home between drawing comics and playing videogames and it wouldn't kill me to branch out a bit and remind myself how to string sentences together now and then.

Monday, 31 August 2015

I'd like us to get to know each other before we commence the sacred dance that is "slamming"

If such things distract you, it may come as a surprise - to me especially - that it's not laziness that stopped me updating the blog lately, I just kept forgetting to do so.  Whoopsy.
Still, it's probably for the best that I update infrequently, as the world of the web already has plenty of people telling you how terrible Under The Dome is, so the vast majority of what I post is redundant even before I do so.  I'll try to remember to keep the cobwebs off my little corner of the web as best I can, though.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

You know how much I hate the Russian people

Been watching the first season of The Odd Couple remake, and boy, Matthew Perry is just terrible in it.  To be fair, the scripting isn't exactly Shakespeare, but even so, Perry is usually much more emotive and engaging than this, particularly in shows like Mr Sunshine and Go On.  His delivery here seems to be him talking loudly to his co-stars like they're a bit hard of hearing, and I can't help but think he'd be better off finding a character to play rather than just flatly and loudly saying his lines.
Also been watching Scream: the Series, the tv version of the original self-aware teen horror movie, and good for the producers for not letting the fact that the world has moved on considerably in the years since Scream first appeared deter them from rehashing material that is now incredibly dated and irrelevant.  I like that someone has told them words like "hashtags" and "trending" and they clearly do not understand what these words mean in practice, though someone on staff makes a good fist IRL by putting up relevant hashtags onscreen during scenes in which children are stalked and murdered such as "#runrileyrun", which is in no way a sign that our civilization deserves an apocalypse.  I did laugh at a scene which hinged on a character explaining to someone that storytelling narratives had moved on and evolved, which is funny in itself in the context of Scream: The Series, but he continues to explain that videogames feature some of the most innovative storytelling of the last decade and cites The Last Of Us as an example - while waving at a bunch of Xboxes, the one console on which The Last Of Us will never, ever appear.  It's this kind of ineptitude in recreating the world of teenagers that makes Scream: The Series fail to convince even before getting to how unoriginal it all is.  Shows like Pretty Little Liars and 90210 have trod these paths with more confidence and conviction, and the videogame references are unfortunately more apt than I think was originally intended, because this is the tv equivalent of shovelware.  A good thing for those involved, then, that it airs on MTV, where the bar is not so much low as nonexistent.

Monday, 24 August 2015

You sure do talk funny

Don't mind me, I'm just surreptitiously slipping back into the blogging while nobody's looking.  Not a lot been happening around Chomhgaill Way, but some deadlines for stuff approach with more alacrity than I find to be ideal, so it's back to the routine of draw/screengrab/fill a blog post with waffle at some point in the day - until Fallout 4 drops, naturally.
It was the last Aqua Teens last night and I almost don't want to go grab it from the web and watch it because once it's gone, it's gone forever.  Ah geez... it wasn't exactly the most regular thing in the world, with some seasons being over a year apart and when they did appear, they were only about ten episodes long, but that show was a big influence on me, showing that you could do stupid and funny rather than stupid or funny.  I will miss it so...

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Those who survived are going to need our prayers just as much as those who didn't

Did you know that the Nazis were elected with only 32 percent of the vote?  The Tories got 37 percent, but I'm sure there aren't any holocausts in the works from them - well, not unless you're sick, disabled, elderly, unemployed, young, a woman, a third child, a child, a low-paid worker, or an immigrant.  I don't even know why I brought up this irrelevant analogy, I mean, what have the Tories possibly got in common with a minority group of empire-building elitists who peddled racism and xenophobia while imposing forced labor upon social groups deemed an acceptable target for demonisation by society?  I'm going mad trying to fill blog posts, that's what's going on here.  I should have stuck to the original plan of just spending the post calling Iain Duncan Smith a pig-faced murdering scrounging cunt, I mean that's a plan, at least.
"The Tories are Nazis" - tch.  I don't know what I was thinking - I suppose it would explain why the Daily Mail supports them, but they're not really the same - the Nazis at least had an ideology.  And Hitler was a vegetarian, so he's automatically a better human being than David Cameron.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

I was hallucinating from semen depletion

Watching the 2015 emergency austerity budget, I think George Osborne is off to a good start, but he doesn't go far enough to address the mounting debt crisis for the poor, which I think calls for decisive action.  Suppose you have nothing but.. well, nothing but you -  shouldn't you have the option to sell your property?  I propose entering into law the provision to allow a person to enter into a fixed term of servitude in return for a one-off up-front payment made to that person's creditors.
There would theoretically be safeguards against people being pressured into doing it, of course, and some kind of rules on the work that you would undertake - nothing hazardous for which you were insufficiently skilled, for example, and nothing which violated your moral codes - but otherwise you'd be the responsibility of whomever saw fit to purchase your service and they'd be tasked with feeding, sheltering, and seeing to your general health, which presumably would include your personal security and require some kind of dedicated and secured housing complex in which you could reside when not working off your debt.
You would have more dignity, more pride, and more self-determination than offered by a life on benefits.  I think the time and the national mood is right for an idea like this.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

I have too much money and my wallet's so heavy my back hurts

Joker goes on the list of things I can't draw.

I watched The Last Starfighter again, and it really is in need of a remake or a sequel, though should you wish to live the dreams of your 8 year-old self and play the Starfighter arcade game from the film for yourself, a near-perfect fan-made recreation (with sound sampled from the film) can be downloaded HERE.
As much as I still love it as an unashamed escapist romp, there's something a bit off about what a snob the main character Alex is to his friends, berating them for wanting no more than to enjoy their youth and making the best of their opportunities before he goes gallivanting off to space to be Jesus or whatever, but then a lot of films from this era are like that: overly-vocalising the internal struggles of a character with their status or station in order to better illustrate their later readiness to accept what Joseph Campbell called the "call to action", though is possibly better thought of as a conscious decision to move from the hated status of reactive victim of to active participant in the story cycle, so  before the protagonist can fully embrace a capacity for agency, they are kind of a dick.  I guess it was a thing in the 1980s.

Monday, 8 June 2015

The law was made for man, not man for the law

Sweet shimmering cripes, but my blog posting sure does take a hit when I'm not doing stuff for other people.  Luckily I have that Comicsy store to keep feeding books that no-one will ever buy, so there's no reason not to finish up a few projects laying around which I never put the finishing touches on for silly reasons like not being able to use my hands... hahaha, oh lordy but that was just an awful, awful time.
Been catching up with my Hawaii Five-0 viewing with the tail end of season five, and the sudden introduction of Kono's super-hot mum is hilarious for many reasons, but mainly for the fact that they clearly wanted to cast a younger woman so that she could look good in a bikini in the flashbacks and her grey hair in the present-day sequences is thus fried comedy gold that tanks even the most remote possibility of pathos.  My first reaction to giving Kono a solo episode to herself was understandably "WHY?" but then five seasons in and I still forget she's actually in this show most episodes, so some spotlight time is probably overdue - if only to take screentime away from McGarrit's dull girlfriend and her ongoing commitment issues... with actually starring in Hawaii Five-0.  We lost Lauren German for this?  Fuck you, McGarrit's dull girlfriend - piss off to whatever failed pilots you've been shooting and let my show move on to other characters.
It's hard to articulate my problems with Sense8, as unoriginality isn't really that big a sin when it comes to genre telly, but my overriding impression of it is of watching a movie-within-a-movie, like in that film Bowfinger, when we - the audience in the real world - can tell that the fictional film inside the film is terrible, but the people in the film watching the film in the film think it's great.  I think that Sense8 is aimed at that audience - an entirely fictional one that has never seen another sci-fi show, particularly not the crowded post-Heroes "disparate group thrown together" sub-genre of "not-superheroes" superhero television.  The only people I can see really enjoying Sense8 are professional critics used to turning off their memory of other, better shows so that they can make an objective evaluation that is largely unnecessary in this day and age when everything that isn't cross-referenced by its audience with similarities to other things is probably being sold on being a repackaging of something else by the makers "it's like The Matrix meets Heroes only with all the fun and joy removed" oh wait that would just make it Alphas, wouldn't it?  Well anyway, my general opinion is that Sense8 is not very good on top of having a stupid fucking name.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Why does every uncle I know try to screw me?

Between is basically Under The Dome without the scenery-chewing intensity of Dean Norris counting the seconds until he can go off the rails, or if you prefer, Between is Under The Dome done well, because as much as I love the scenery-chewing intensity of Dean Norris counting the seconds until he can go off the rails, this is literally the only good thing about the utterly awful Under the Dome.  Or if you prefer, Under the Dome is terrible.  Utterly terrible.  I saw a screen grab the other day from it - one with the girl back from the dead holding the pink glowing alien egg McGuffin thing - and laughed out loud because I had genuinely forgotten how side-splittingly hilariously stupid it could get when it wasn't about the scenery-chewing intensity of Dean Norris counting the seconds until he can go off the rails (copy and paste is such a great time saver).  Oh yeah, Between - it's no Under the Dome.
Mr Robot is similar to its fellow season debut Stitchers, only Mr Robot remembers to take itself seriously while Stitchers collapses under the weight of its own stupidity roughly 13 minutes in, and yes, I did actually check the time to see where I would think most people would call it a day.  They both begin with a similar premise of a socially-dysfunctional and unlikeable technological savant being dragged into the world of major crime, but Mr Robot sticks to its initial threads and weaves them into the narrative set in what is supposedly reality, while Stitchers instead plops for mild sci-fi and just keeps stacking tropes on top of each other like a Jenga tower, and I hardly need to tell you what the end result of even a well-played Jenga game ultimately is.  In the case of Stitchers, it crashes down around its own ears when it becomes The Cell - yes, The Cell, the movie where a writer person was paid to sit down and come up with a scene where a man drowns a woman in a Batman-style watery death trap and then hangs himself from meat hooks over her bleached corpse pleasuring himself.  That is what I took away from The Cell, and it is all that any sensible person should ever take away from The Cell, and certainly not any of the technological guff it uses to play out dying people's dreams onscreen or whatever that was going on in the rest of that film - I don't remember, really, and can you blame me what with the meat hooks thing?  The problem with Stitchers is really just that if you won't indulge its stupidity, it's embarrassing to watch.  Mr Robot fares a lot better, and while it's still slightly embarrassing that the show's idea of a social misfit is someone who says the things that can be read in any Twitter feed (the rich are jerks and people are stupid), it does at least have the charming new approach to this kind of material where its protagonist doesn't retreat into writing-crutch support structures and social interaction-enablers like higher education or "an elite strike team" (Stitchers manages to do both) but instead enters the world of employment and grinding drudgery, and the furrow it plows through this environment and the impact it has upon the protagonist and the narrative has turned up some interesting notions I won't mind seeing more of.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Love don't mix with this pimpin' man!

Because a man cannot live on hate alone - God knows I have tried - I have put some work up on Comicsy that you can pay for if you fancy.  No, I don't fully understand this concept of giving someone money in exchange for their creative work either and I'm not sure it'll catch on, but I've done it anyway so never let it be said that I won't try new things.

The creative work in question is a restoration of the first 21 pages (five chapters) of mid-80s toy tie-in comic War Cars, which you might remember I mentioned here on the blog on the first of Apr-- erm, back at the start of April this year.  I have made no secret of my affection for old UK comics and this project has been prompted by that, specifically Ian Rimmer and Simon Fuman's utterly bonkers Zoids run, as well as elements of Furman's Transformers comics from around the same time.  If you like the thought of a post-apocalyptic Whacky Races-type scenario, have £1.99 to spare and don't fancy waiting around until it turns up on scanning sites so you can read it for free, perhaps you might give it a try?

War Cars Collected 001 is available as a .PDF, .CBZ or .CBR for download to e-readers, tablets, and Borg Distribution Nodes HERE

Saturday, 23 May 2015

It was more of a drinking team with a rugby problem

Seeing as the pilot episode has been stolen from CBS servers and disseminated by pirates to the web and definitely not leaked in a deliberate ploy to drum up publicity ahead of time as has been the case with the producers' other shows, I gave Supergirl a look because I am basically pirate scum, contributing to the destruction of television by downloading pilot episodes that have definitely been leaked to drum up publicity ahead of time.
To start with, the pilot has one good thing going for it: in having a healthy, sexually attractive lead  who is above the age of consent, it will most likely help fill Google Image search results for "supergirl" with something other than pictures of grotesque waifs and the Superman logo photoshopped onto porn stars.  For this alone I am willing to watch at least four seasons of whatever CBS want to throw at me.

Some thoughts as they come to me (the following may or may not make sense if you haven't seen the Supergirl pilot):

So she has all these powers and abilities, but in order to "fit in" with normal people, she creates this illusion of someone weak, clumsy and servile because this is what she thinks human women are like?  What an elitist snob Supergirl is, and I am literally less than four minutes into the show. 
I know Clark Kent is categorized in popular culture as being the same kind of stumblebum character, but he's never actually been a doormat in the various tv shows and movies in the way Supergirl's alter-ego is - the closest he's ever come to that has been the Christopher Reeve movies, but those have the in-built rationale that Clark Kent spent over a decade in the Arctic learning to control his powers (and to be Superman) and forgetting what it was like to be around people so that when he has to be around them as one of them when he rejoins society, he genuinely is clumsy because he doesn't yet know how to function in this world where he can now knock walls down with a careless sigh, and so overcompensates with politeness that is usually thrown back in his face.  With Supergirl, she's grown up around humans and learning to be human all the while, which makes her alter-ego a conscious choice rather than a consequence of isolation, so this is what she thinks a woman should be like in order to blend in.  And why is she wearing glasses?  Clark wore glasses because he knew he was going to be Superman ahead of time, but Supergirl doesn't know she's going to be Supergirl yet, so why the glasses?  Is that what she thinks "forgettable" people look like or something?  What an asshole.  Okay I am probably overthinking this.
I like Dean Cain as her foster dad, though - partly because I like Dean Cain, so I don't mind such utterly daft stunt casting as this and Helen Slater as her foster mum - but mainly because when he's introduced he just shrugs like he could not give a fuck that an alien demigod has just landed in his front yard and told him to look after his cousin because he has cities to flatten and necks to snap.  Cain is just like "muhyeah okay then I don't care" and without speaking a single word, he is already my favorite character in the show.
Cat Grant is being set up as Supergirl's Lex Luthor or J Jonah Jameson already, and even before she's appeared onscreen I don't like this because it reminds me of a similar setup in the comics where the Cat Grant character was thrown under the bus to put Supergirl over with audiences, which I thought was pretty poor storytelling as the problem there was that Supergirl at that time was a pretty flimsy character who buffeted on the winds of each and every writer who took over her title, so what she really needed wasn't an outdated and embarrassing "mean girl" nemesis but a consistent character for more than two months at a time.  It also did a disservice to the relatively new character of Cat Grant who in the comics had a great deal of backstory compared to most of Superman's backing cast (though only ever broke out of the comics to become a one-note sex addict in Lois and Clark), so to see her reduced to petty jealousy of a teenage girl was actually kind of uncomfortable as a reader because it reminded me of how superhero comics generally encourage us to view women.

Oh hey, now I remember where I've seen this actor who plays Supergirl's bezzie - he was that super-unlikeable prick in Smash.  I'll be upfront and say he might have done too good an acting job on that, as I now instinctively hate this character he's playing, even before he says the line "if there was an algorithm for love I would know about it."

James Olsen is introduced as an impressive specimen of towering manhood - I'm not gay or anything, but yeah, I probably would - which seems a bit off to me as he's more well known as a scrappy gopher with lots of heart.  He's kind of one-note here, to be honest, and not very interesting.  Teen shows are literally choking on characters like this - though to be fair, they're choking on scrappy gophers, too (Supergirl's bezzie from Smash being a prime example).

Supergirl has just thrown herself on the sofa of her UTTERLY MASSIVE apartment saying "I don't think I'm living up to my potential", because we're not going to beat about the bush in Supergirl pilot land, we're just going to straight-up read our own character description from the show's PR material.  You know what?  I don't care.  It saves time.  But that apartment - Jesus.  Clearly this city doesn't suffer the same problems with housing that the rest of the cities of the Western world do.  An asshole and a contributor to the social cleansing of the modern urban environment - she needs to save puppies or something real quick, because I am not liking this woman so far.
I think the record will reflect that I am totally on board for superheroines doing plane rescues, but it is 2015 now and outside parody, I think we can do better for an origin story.  Before flying, Supergirl also throws away a perfectly good coat for some reason - more evidence she is stinking rich!  She was also wearing this huge overcoat while on a date in a nightclub for some reason - or was it a restaurant?  I literally could not tell what the set designers were going for just by looking.  Also I am not sure what to make of her clearly only taking an interest in a crashing plane when she thinks it has someone she knows on it.  Oh wait, I do: asshole.
Some of the effects work in the plane rescue sequence are quite good, but sexist pig that I am, I cannot help but notice that the CGI artists have lovingly crafted quite the CGI arse for Supergirl - a CGarse, if you will.  I like that they retain the old warhorse effect of head and shoulder shots of the actor in front of zooming backgrounds, too, though her hair doesn't seem to move very much for someone flying as fast as a plane.  I'm also not sure what her plan seems to be, as she grabs the wing and starts pushing - won't this just make it turn faster to one side?  Then she tries pushing it from below and instead of just making a Supergirl-shaped hole in the fuselage, this actually seems to work, which I have no problems with, as it happens, because despite nitpicking like a jerk, I like this bit of comic-booky logic in a superhero show.
What I do have a problem with, however, is the tremendously tasteless visual of the plane's wing scraping across the bridge.
The show doesn't seem to have any theme music, or they haven't bothered putting any in the pilot.  I suppose Supergirl doesn't really have any close association with any particular theme music, though it's a shame Jerry Goldsmith's superb Supergirl Overture never caught on, as I always like that it was identifiably a riff on John Williams' Superman score, but mostly lacked the militaristic undertones and replaced them with a sweeping sense of scale fitting for a credits sequence featuring light years of space travel.  They might give it a nod in the show proper, though.

Supergirl hugs someone and nearly breaks their spine, so I am expecting they will address The Sex at some point - specifically how she can have some with a normal human male or female (it's 2015, no reason the dramatic potential should be limited to one gender).  I picture her attempts to mate with a human man to end up with something like that time I accidentally stood on a slug when I was taking out the bins.
Supergirl has a 50 inch HDTV in her UTTERLY MASSIVE apartment, I'm just throwing that out there.  Supergirl's sister is all like "don't help people", fulfilling a role usually occupied by the imposing parochialism of Superman's dad in the various media adaptations of the Superman mythos such as Man of Steel and Smallville.  These characters usually serve a narrative purpose in holding the hero back from heeding the call to adventure, and in his dissection of the heroic monomyth, Joseph Campbell saw this as a necessary resistance that helped inform the character of the hero: "Walled in boredom, hard work, or 'culture,' the subject loses the power of significant affirmative action and (...) life feels meaningless" but I think the writers are just doing this because this kind of character is in every superhero show.  Her sister really just comes off as a dick, to be honest - an ungrateful one, at that (she was on the plane Supergirl saved from crashing).
Oh shit they are calling the place National City.  On one hand I like comic booky logic, but on the other hand fuck off.
"James" Olsen is totally dropping his friendship with Superman into conversation now.  What a cock.
Now he's saying Superman saved a plane.  Dissing the originality of the show he's on is a total cock move.  And also my job.

Her bezzie says Supergirl must be gay because she's not into him.  My personal theory is that she's seen Smash.  Her bezzie is also now sliding prickwards in the characterisation scale.
I could have done without that clumsy flying FX and the comedy mugging to the camera.  Also evil truck drivers are making some astounding leaps of logic and deduce within seconds of speculation who Supergirl's mum was out of all the millions of people on Krypton - they just pull it out of the air.
Supergirl is going on about her family's coat of arms being a giant "S" because they're "the house of L", and I quite like the idea of non-nerds being utterly stumped trying to figure this out.

Supergirl finally debuts in her fancy costume and is immediately kidnapped and tied up.
A character refers to Supergirl as an "immigrant", which just gets me wondering why she doesn't have an accent if she came to Earth as a 13 year-old.
I genuinely laughed at the "escaped space prison convicts" thing being Supergirl's fault, as it is exactly the same monster-of-the-week plot enabler used by dozens of other superhero shows too lazy to give their lead characters the virtue of altruism.  Lazy, unoriginal and stupid - they'd already got the character in costume and committed to being a hero, so why does that character need any kind of motivation now?  Why not move this reveal to before she becomes a costumed hero?

A character has just decried the power of coincidence.  I can't tell if this is a sly nod to the viewer about the quality of scripting or a Freudian slip.
A character is asking why the character is called SuperGIRL if she's a grown adult.  Again: nod/Freudian slip=?
I know I have been a total jackass about this show so far, but these bits where she just tears her shirt open and flies at top sped while the music blares - WAS THAT REALLY SO HARD TO DO, AMERICAN TELEVISION?  YES I AM LOOKING AT YOU, 10 YEARS OF SMALLVILLE.  These bits are awesome.

I am assuming these super-vision effects are at the unpolished stage and will be refined later, because they are kind of underwhelming as they are right now.

Supergirl has her first fight with a supervillain and is immediately beaten up and has to be rescued.
"Before you came to live with us, I was the star, but HOW COULD I COMPETE WITH SOMEONE WHO COULD TOUCH THE STARS?"  Holy shit - someone wrote that down.  Let it out of their head and wrote it down on a page.

Sadie Stone from Nashville!
 God she really looks like she thinks she made a terrible mistake in taking this role - and yet also looks bored at the same time.  I don't care, I love her, even if her spouse abuse storyline in Nashville felt like it went on forever and they never made more Go On.
You've probably seen the truck-scrunching bit in the trailer, it's fab.
It's the third act, so Supergirl is much better at fighting now.  Because.

But still gets beaten up.

Which was so inevitable that the characters who are supposedly on her side factored this into their master plan.

Like TV's The Flash, Supergirl needs someone to be talking to her over a radio telling her to do stuff that is both blindingly obvious and also the only possible course of action to take apart from "stand there like a fucking lemon."
Basically, this advice amounts to "use your powers."  So she does.
This is supposed to be a really tense scene where she's holding back a space axe that might kill her, but the makers really need to take a good look at re-cutting this somehow, or at the very least looking up "no sell".  Is it a nerdy complaint to say that "heat vision" shouldn't be blue?  I am pretty sure this is a subjective opinion, but I am also pretty sure it's one that will travel.
"Blah blah big bad threat is coming you have no idea" - tv pilot writing by the numbers.
Also what is it with teen shows and stabbing-related deaths?  Is it a sexual thing people over twenty don't understand?
James Olsen delivers a message from Superman to Supergirl about being proud of her, despite what can only be called a total absence from her life.  Isn't aliens wandering around a major city with a laser axe the sort of thing Superman should take a more active hand in, rather than leaving it to someone who's never even been in a fight?
 Also there's this bit where he makes it clear that he knows Supergirl is really Supergirl and then says "meet me on the roof" and the elevator doors close and Supergirl has this look on her face that says "if we're both going to the roof why didn't he let me get in that elevator with him?"  So now it's not just me attempting to skew events onscreen so that they support humorous hypotheses anymore, "James" Olsen is an in-canon straight-up prick in this show.
I genuinely laughed at Sadie Stone from Nashville playing the evil twin of Supergirl's mum - literally her twin, who is evil.  I cannot decide if this is brilliant or awful, but either way it's amazing that a writer in 2015 would put it down on paper and be like "Sadie Stone from Nashville's evil twin will totally be our show's Thanos."

So them's my impressions of the Supergirl pilot that was definitely not leaked deliberately - by which I mean it totally was leaked deliberately.  By which I mean it's only a possibility and I use phrasing to suggest it as being the case purely for the purposes of humor in case you're reading this Supergirl's producer's lawyers.
Overall, I thought it was at best average.  It lacked focus and a lot of elements seem to be there purely because they're staples of these kinds of shows rather than because they contribute anything at all to what I just watched - like the bestie played by the guy from Smash, who contributes literally nothing to the story beyond making an inappropriate costume for Supergirl to wear so meninists can reassure themselves that the female lead is still there to be ogled now and then and won't accidentally empower any female children that might be watching, but this is not actually contributing to the story so this bestie character is pretty much superfluous.
Supergirl is also kind of boring as a lead.  She doesn't seem to have any identifiable personality traits beyond what's needed for any given moment in a pretty rote superhero storyline.  The only relationship Supergirl seems to have with anyone at all is with her sister, which is a dynamic that Frozen has already proven to be doable in popular media without going over people's heads or lapsing into pantomime or parody territory, but here it seems pretty confused and doesn't go anywhere.  The dynamic with her boss seems to be getting compared to something women and gay men call "The Devil Wears Prada", but I've not seen it so can't comment upon the similarities, though it also goes nowhere in the end.  Nothing is resolved, really, it's just some stuff that happens and then it's over, but then it's maybe asking too much for a superhero tv pilot to be self-contained when superhero movies can't even manage that trick.
 I liked the overtly comic-book logic of a lot of it where they just don't bother explaining things and get on with it, like the plane rescue, the alien space prison that just lands fully intact in the desert and people walk out the doors like it ain't nothing, the evil alien trucker that needs an articulated lorry just to move his phone around, Supergirl deciding to be Supergirl for no discernible reason at all, the alien conspiracy having a top agent who works in the shadows to keep their existence a secret by attacking superheroes in broad daylight with a giant space axe made of lasers - this works for me because it's not supposed to make any kind of real-world sense, it's the right kind of goofy escapism, and for all my nitpicking, I like to see this kind of thing if only as an antidote to the usual teen show wangst.
When they try to overexplain things or create character logic, that's when it seems to me to fall apart a bit more than I'd like, and that bit with Supergirl's sister doing the "I believe in you" speech is beyond painful to watch and disintegrates at the point the writers give up and turn the chore of plot progression over to the Superman staple of holograms of dead parents, leaving the character elements unresolved in favor of Supergirl doing a crying bit that I am not sure would fly were we dealing with a male character.  It also brings up a recurring trope in superhero media where a lot of superheroes are orphans, but they have surrogate parents in their story (Uncle Ben, Alfred Pennyworth, etc) that they love just as much as anyone might be expected to love a parent, so the disregard for Supergirl's human family the moment she sees a hologram of her biological mother seems a bit of a disservice.
I don't like the costume, either - it seems too busy for the sake of being busy, because if you take the disparate elements it has, it's just the same Supergirl costume from the 1984 movie but with lots of unnecessary texture and piping and all the primary colours muddied down until it may as well just be black with a red logo on it.

I also liked the explodey stuff, like the refinery fight, which was well done even if you could see the joins between FX and live actors, and speaking of actors, Faran Tahir should get a medal for playing the same character in so many shows without snapping and going on an entirely justified murder spree of half of Hollywood, because he has a ton of presence and as usual it's wasted on a subordinate role - although I grant you any actor would be subordinate to not just one Sadie Stone from Nashville, but the two Sadie Stones from Nashville we get here.

So a resounding "meh" from my critical faculties for this one, though it'll probably get a pass for its many faults because it's a genre show and/or aimed at teens, both of which usually have pretty low standards as audiences.  It'll also likely get a free ride because it's the first costumed female superhero on USTV since Wonder Woman and female genre fans are treated so poorly that I can understand why they'd be happy enough being tossed a bone like this, as even if the show isn't much good and features a character derived from a male, it's still a lead female superhero on the screen, a feat that Marvel haven't managed in 11 movies - though to be fair to Marvel, they know what they're doing and I'm sure every last one of those billions of dollars their superhero movies made came exclusively from male cinemagoers.