Category Archives: Nerdy TV
Marvels’ Agents of SHIELD Trailer Hints at Lots of Action!
After a quick six-second promo, ABC released the first thirty second trailer for SHIELD. The Agents of SHIELD trailer promises lots of great moments for the series! Keep reading for the video and more fun info!
Heroes Withered and Died, But Will Microsoft Resurrect It?
Heroes is one of those shows with which I have a love/hate relationship. On the one hand, the first season was a spectacular piece of genre fiction that successfully (well, mostly) wove together numerous plot threads, developed a fairly diverse cast of characters, and lead audiences to become intimately familiar with both a couple of memorable heroes and a very memorable villain. On the other hand, past the first season, the show wandered aimlessly, almost as if it had been bludgeoned half to death and could no longer navigate successfully. After limping across the finish line, I honestly never expected to hear another word about it–but according to TV Line, we may be getting more Heroes after all. Read on to get the lowdown and share your thoughts!
Two episodes of pure puppet silliness and Neil Patrick Harris in Neil’s Puppet Dreams
Over here at All That Nerdy Stuff, we’re big fans of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along. We’d heard that Neil Patrick Harris had other projects in the works, but never expected naughty puppets! Check out more info on Neil’s Puppet Dreams after the jump!
Fanboys Weep as Images of Joss Whedon with a SHIELD Logo Appear on Toast
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
I just wet my pants: Joss Whedon, one of today’s hottest writer/director combo superguy thingies, is confirmed to be returning to television for the first time since his troubled series “Dollhouse” limped to the finish line in 2010. But more importantly, in the time since his last high-concept show’s death, Whedon’s gone on to direct a tiny little movie you may’ve heard about: Marvel’s The Avengers, the third highest grossing movie yet produced. Pretty slick.
According to the release, Whedon will write and may direct the pilot episode of SHIELD, if his schedule permits. In addition to “the Man himself,” Whedon’s brother Zack will also write and produce the show, along with his wife Maurisa Tancharoen. Besides sharing in common writing duties on the aforementioned “Dollhouse,” the younger Whedon and Ms. Tancharoen also co-wrote the cult favorite web series, “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog,” which took the web pretty much by storm back during the writer’s strike. Read on after the break for more details!
Xbox 360 Solidifies Position as Media Console Leader…Again
Microsoft has, for at least the past couple of years, banged the drum of “Media hub” when talking about Xbox 360. Each year the “core” gamers have moaned as Microsoft increasingly focused on building up Xbox 360′s street cred as a legitimate living room jack-of-all-trades, but for the most part it’s worked out well for the big M. Truth be told, it’s worked out well for gamers, too. We’ve gotten the ability to cheaply stream gobs of content from the likes of Hulu, Netflix and other sources to any TV, all while continuing to enjoy a wealth of high end games content and a great online service that still can’t be beat by any other console. So it should come as no surprise that this E3, while bereft of surprises and relatively light on new games franchises or non-sequel IP, has nevertheless delivered a plethora of cool stuff for the media consuming masses. I’m gonna take a moment to summarize a few of these right after the break, and I invite you to join me and share your thoughts on Xbox 360′s latest bounty.
King of the Nerds Promises to be a…Show About Nerds
An interesting tweet caught my attention today, so I thought I’d share. Lindsay Casting is on the lookout for Nerdy folks from age 18 to 30. Well, that rules me out, dammit, but maybe you’ll have better luck. Apparently there are prizes to win and fame to gain. Again, though, if you’re 18-30, as all nerds naturally are. AHEM.
Here’s the full tweet with all the details if you’re interested. I’d retype it out but I’m really lazy and have spent much of my day doing a fair number of nerdy tasks, from SEO to watching the Avengers again!
There are few characters from the 1980′s more iconic and beloved than Ferris Bueller. The movie is one of those rare gems of cinema that can delight audiences born well before and long after it was introduced. For as long as I can remember, I’ve heard people rumor, hope and ask for a sequel to the film. I’ve never thought a sequel was a particularly good idea–some kinds of lightning, you can’t bottle twice.
But Honda’s new CRV commercial is a real treat, for the most part, recreating classic moments from the original film in a nostalgic, yet still “in” on the joke sort of way. I have only one complaint: that Ferris is driving a CR-V sport utility vehicle. Really, Honda, you have a great new car that Ferris might actually be seen in: the CR-Z. That one little change would have made this commercial just about perfect.
It takes a new Nerdy TV show to pull me out of hiding it seems, and tonight’s premiere of Tom Wheeler’s new NBC show “The Cape” has managed to do just that. So without further ado, I present my review.
First, the impression: The Cape has all the makings of a great superhero show, but like a new package of Legos, those pieces have been poured onto the floor in a big, incomprehensible mess. Let me explain.
Let’s start with a discussion of what was wrong (I prefer to end on a positive note, so bear with me,) which can be summed up in a word: Pacing. The show’s pace was all wrong, racing along at breakneck speeds as it tried to get Vince Faraday into his outfit quickly–too quickly. In the space of about twenty minutes we went from a basic character introduction to a man in an outfit, with only snippits in the way of explanation. Sure, we get the gist–Vince is a good cop, most of the rest are scumbags, and then bam-his partner, who’s barely introduced at all, becomes his betrayer.
Faraday’s introduction to the carnival was interesting but raced by too quickly, his “training” barely existing at all. The characters who make up the circus and its various abilities had too little screen time, with virtually no motivation to actually help Vince, much less teach him the secrets of their trade. The security card was nice, sure, but in reality it would have been deactivated before the frame job even happened, useless for a bank robbery, much less several, but we can chalk that up to “suspension of disbelief” and move along.
It’s a shame, really. I do love the cast and characters (except Kate–I hate Kate for being a stereotypically weakfemale lead, always making stupid decisions that seem to illustrate that “if she’d just listened to the man” things would have been better), who’ve managed to grow on me, each in their own, wonky ways, over the course of the six seasons leading up to the Lost Series Finale. The drag is that the resolution was disappointing enough that I really will never recommend anybody start from the beginning of the series and watch it. Great acting is always wonderful, but without a well executed overall story, what’s the point?
But enough about the cast and characters; everyone already knows those are wonderful. The problem with Lost was always in its plot, or more accurately, lack thereof. In the end it sort of works out, in some sense, because Cuse and Lindelof successfully managed to explore a number of interesting themes both in the main body of the series and in the finale, not the least of which are those about personal choice and sense of self in the formation of identity.
Like life itself, Lost ends with no real revelations, no magical key to sudden knowledge or wisdom, and with countless plot threads utterly ignored. Lost can be summed up as a “beautiful cacaphony,” leaving you starved for a melody, yet mesmerized by its absence. As a series, Lost is chaos incarnate, with very little meaning in most of its machinations. It’s like Cracker Jacks: tasty by the handful, but ultimately you really do need to eat a real meal.
Is it worth the time investment? If you got into the series at the very beginning and already had a sizable time investment, say maybe, the first 3-4 seasons, I’d say yes. If you’ve never seen Lost and are wondering if you should start, I’d say no. Why? Simply put, you can get all the major philosophical themes of Lost via countless other stories or films and understand its meaning in a few short hours, whereas the series will leave you, most of the time, confused and spinning your wheels. I submit that life does that enough already.
In the interest of helping you, dear reader, avoid spoilers in the event you haven’t seen the finale but plan to, this is your last chance. Beyond the break you’ll find a list of top Likes and Dislikes about the finale, and I hope you’ll share your thoughts on this non-event Event in the history of television.
Update: I noticed you seem to like Heroes quite a bit! Did you know that Microsoft and NBC are talking about reviving the series? Check out my post about the possibility of Heroes Season 5!
Heroes Died On Its Own Sword
I remember when I began watching the first season of Heroes, a little nervous of this seeming X-Men Lite show from the very beginning. But over the course of that first season I found that very shortly I could scarcely wait to watch the next episode as the mystery of the villanous Sylar and his role in destroying New York City unfolded. The show seemed to have everything it needed: an engrossing plot, a frighteningly powerful villain with a plan, a cute girl, comic relief, political tension, the mysterious Mr. Linderman, and of course, a character with the proper soul of a Hero, Peter. I’ve talked about Heroes before, of course, and like the show itself my hopes and thoughts for its future have fluctuated from the positive to the abysmal. So goes the nature of a show that nobody had a clear vision for, and as much as I sort of wish I was, I’m not remotely surprised that it’s now officially been cancelled by NBC.
So now the question is, why was Heroes cancelled? This is a topic that could go on forever, and I’ve already reviewed a few other blogs and media outlets dishing ever so briefly on the topic, so now I think it’s time I had a bit of say, myself.
1. Let’s start with the obvious: following the first season, the show failed to ever execute a cohesive, well-planned plot or villain again. Sylar, in season one, was a masterpiece of a television villain, played to near perfection by Zachary Quinto. Season 2 didn’t really have a villain at all, Season 3′s “Villains” arc suffered a similar fate (Arthur Petrelli was OK, but really just a crusty, much less intimidating retread of Sylar), and while Season 4′s Samuel character was an interesting character, he was a useless villain with an ability so lame that all anyone had to do was run away from him in order to take it away. And while it was clear early on that the writing team on the show really tried to make the final season much better, and to a large part they succeeded, there were simply too many other problems, which we’ll get to.
2. Character development. Perhaps only a little less annoying than its plot issues was the show’s character development, specifically because, there pretty much wasn’t any. By the end of the final season, Claire was still the same whiny, self-flagellating brat she’d been since season one, only by then it had gone from being the endearing mark of a character going through something new and scary, to that place where you’re just sick and tired of hearing her whine about being different. Come on, Claire, get over it and move on, already! The same was true of One-Note-Nathan, who like any living politician stereotype, wobbled endlessly between the side of good and the side of evil. By the time he died, I was glad to see him go, and a lot of other people were too. There are only so many times you can watch the same character flip-flop back and forth. Pick a damn side and let’s get on with it.
3. Meaningless deaths. In the first season, we got some real deaths, and they were pretty damn sad. Charlie, Isaac, Simone, all were reasonably well developed (less so in Charlie’s case, but she was developed very well in a short space) and that worked out. Unfortunately, nobody ever died and stayed dead again after that. Charlie ended up being brought back during the fourth season, which really served no greater purpose than to ruin the original story’s sadness; Nathan, even after being killed in season 3′s finale, kept right on coming back to life via Sylar in season 4; Nikki, the show’s most annoying character from the very first episode, came back as a clone. Time after time, characters were shot, beaten, maimed and blown to smithereens, only to somehow return again. If there are no real death stakes, what’s the point of killing the character at all?
4. Stakes and consequences. The stakes rarely got any bigger on Heroes, either in the sense of devastating plots or in the sense of transformational character events. No, Arthur draining off Peter’s powers does not count. What characters needed were life-altering events like you’d find on better shows such as Angel or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which was unilaterally a superior Superhero show to Heroes. There, we watched the writers do horrific things to established, recurring characters, killing off some, utterly reshaping the character of others. No character on Heroes ever faced stakes where they would have no choice but to cut down the person they love the most in order to save the world. No character on Heroes ever fell in love only to have that loved one brutally murdered before their eyes. And when Heroes characters died and returned, there was no price to pay, no shift in the balance of the world’s power, no consequences. When Buffy died while saving the world and was (months later) resurrected, there were consequences first for her character, which was fundamentally transformed by the trauma of death and bliss of Heaven, and later for an entire season as her return had triggered a shift in the balance of the world’s power that ultimately lead to the deaths of several of her allies and goodness knows how many additional innocents. Heroes never played with stakes like that.
5. Lack of advance planning. Heroes creator Tim Kring has said publicly that they do not plan the series very far in advance, preferring to write by the seat of their pants so as to always introduce new story possibilities. I suppose as theories go, that’s all well and good, but it’s still no excuse for not establishing an overall framework for where your story will go. How can you possibly write a series that says something if you don’t have anything in mind you want to say? And therein lay perhaps the root of Heroes’ problems: it doesn’t really have a message. Buffy was about female empowerment; Angel was about the neverending battle between good and evil; Star Trek was about an optimistic view of the future and humankind’s ability to succeed in it; Veronica Mars was about both female empowerment and the ability to understand and deal with the world logically even when it wasn’t very logical; Battlestar Galactica (new version) was about how humankind is a screwed-up mess with no true direction, just a fantasy.
What is Heroes about? I have no idea, and really, neither do its creators. And that was ultimately its biggest failure, and the most prominent reason why not only did it fail, but it earned its failure.