Archive for the ‘Tv shows’ Category

Where’s my Queer Positive Hero?

I miss Torchwood!!

Torchwood S3

You know what I miss this show more and more for one major reason, a queer positive relationship in a show that didn’t ever go into the awkward coming out storyline, where being gay or bi didn’t define the characters or their actions it was just part of who they were. Being LGBT in Torchwood didn’t have any effect on the ability to fight aliens or save the world! Torchwood may have started with a small fan base but by the time it got to BBC one it was pretty mainstream, I mean I watched Children of Earth with my Dad! No one complained about the relationship between Jack and Ianto, there was no backlash at having two characters in an open and comfortable gay relationship in lead roles saving the day. No one ever had a problem with Captain Jack Harkness and his omnisexual presence, even in doctor who no one was upset with him flirting with everything.
jack
Doctor Who is a family show and it happily showed Jack flirt with boys, girls, robots and aliens. He was open, out and proud and most of all loved by all. He was a true hero for queer positive media and his sexuality and behaviour never overshadowed the fact that he was a hero. He didn’t angst over his sexuality, who he dated or slept with had no effect on his ability to save the day and I miss him and everything he represented so much. TV lost a great queer icon and hero.

slash8

Where has queer positive TV gone? I’m a rabid slash fangirl so I do love my fandoms and bromance pairings like Mcdanno from H5.0 and the enormous slash potential of Destiel from Supernatural but they are beginning to feel more like teasing slash fans and us audience members that don’t identify as straight. As someone who identifies as Bi and enjoys non heteronormative story telling I am feeling a void. I slash a lot of shows, White Collar, Suits, Flash, Merlin, Sherlock, True Blood, Castle and Angel/Buffy but as much as I love them and reading my fanfiction I want something more!

slash9

I’m tired of being teased I want some real honest gay heroes and I’m starting to see the reality of queer baiting in TV shows. I loved Spartacus especially when they didn’t kill of the gay characters and a show that had gay gladiators every bit as capable as the rest of the cast was amazing.
slashS

I love Sense8, Brothers and Sisters and Six Feet Under but again these cater shows all have the “trial of gay character”. Where are my Captain Jack Harkness’s? I love that some shows are fleshing out gay characters more, making them confident in their sexuality. Shows like How to get away with Murder and the character of Conner are very positive but still I want a hero!
140132_2785

I won’t even get started on movies. Thank god for Star Wars and the stormpilot phenomenon as it has opened the eyes of creators to the fact that there is a huge cry for LGBT in movies and we want to see more diversification.

slash6

The evolution of the star wars fandom is amazing and I’m so glad to be part of it and whiteness Hollywood and its directors and actors see how popular queer fandom is and how in demand it is. SWFA went from the behemoth that is the stormpilot fandom taking over online, the lovefest for Poe Dameron to now Poe having his own spinoff comic and actual talk of changing the script to include LGBT in the mainstream movie canon verse. What started as a slash pairing, went to Oscar saying he was playing a romance, to reports that such a romance was just in Oscars head and they denied any Poe/Finn romance, to JJ Abrams saying it’s about time SW got LGBT characters, to it will definitely get LGBT characters to now discussions on Luke Skywalkers sexuality.

slash14

So media needs to stop with the queer baiting and just give us some positive LGBT characters, characters confident in their sexuality so other aspects of their personality and their place in the world they inhabit can be explored. So we can have depictions of non-heteronormative relationships like the ones you get in Sense8 (which really is a break through show). Arrow is setting up its first gay hero, Agents of Shield has a new gay member of the team, Jessica Jones has a great Lesbian character (even if she is a horrible person and villainous she is a solid character and being lesbian has nothing to do with the fact that she is power hungry and ambitious), Gotham too so come on movies catch up.

slash16

As for the rest of TV give us some fresh takes on LGBT characters where their sexuality isn’t their personality and what defines their actions, it’s just part of what makes them who they are.

For more TV shows with Slash potential and gay characters check out my fangirly list here: http://www.lzsy.co.uk/2012/12/my-slash-bromance-and-gay-tv-and-movie-list/

Also follow me on twitter @lonedreameryaoi

Post to Twitter Post to Delicious Post to Digg Post to Facebook Post to MySpace Post to StumbleUpon

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

My Slash, Bromance and Gay Tv and Movie List

I am trying to compile a list of all the Tv shows and movies I slash as well as some good shows with canon gay couples that I enjoy. If like me you are trying to find new shows to watch that have that slash element then I hope this list helps you.

1. Hawaii 5.0 – Steve/Danno
TV New Season CBS Glance

2. Supernatural – Dean/Castiel
SUPERNATURAL

3. Angel - Angel/Spike
03

4. Torchwood – Jack/Ianto, Jack/John, Jack/Captain Harkness
04

5. Doctor Who – Doctor/Master, Doctor/Jack
05

6. Merlin – Arthur/Merlin
06

7. Oz – Keller/Beecher
07

8. Brothers and Sisters – Scotty/Kevin
117065_D_0033comp

9. Heroes – Nathan/Peter
09

10. Six Feet Under – Keith/David
10

11. Star Trek – Kirk/Spock
11

12. Nip/Tuck – Christian/Sean
12

13. Lord of the Rings – Aragorn/Legolas
13

14. White Collar – Peter/Neil
NUP_135879_1132

15. Suits – Harvey/Mike
15

16. The Eagle – Marcus/Esca
16

17. Spartacus: Blood and Sand – Barca/Pietros
17

18. Spartacus: Vengence – Agron/Nasir
18

19. Spartacus: Gods of the Arena – Barca/Auctus
19

20. Glee – Blaine/Kurt
20

21. Sherlock – Sherlock/Watson
21

22. Sherlock Holmes – Sherlock/Watson
22

23. Stargate SG1 – O’niel/Jackson
23

24. The Lair – Damian/Thom
24

25. Dantes Cove – Toby/Adam, kevin/Bro
25

26. Vampire Diaries – Damon/Alaric
26

27. Alexander – Alexander/Hephistian
27

28. Troy – Hector/Paris
28

29. Kingdon of Heaven – Bailin/Imad ad-Din
29

30. Pirates of the Carribean – Jack/Will
30

31. LA Confidential – Bud/Exley
31

32. Matrix – The Twins
32

33. Boston legal – Danny/Alan
33

34. Common Law – Travis/Wes
34

35. Night at the Museum – Jedediah/Octavious
35

36. I love you Phillip Morris – Steven/Phillip
36

37. Kiss kiss Bang Bang – Perry/Harry
37

38. Starsky and Hutch – Starsky/Hutch
38

39. Boondock Saints – Connor/Murphy McManus
39

40. Interview with the Vampire – Lestat/Louis
40

41. Harry Potter – Sirius/Lupin
41

42. Queer as Folk – Vince/Stuart
42

43. Partners – Wyatt/Louis
43

44. The New Normal – David/Brian
44
45. Gangster Number 1 – Freddy/Gangster
45

46. Donald Strachey Mysteries – Don/Tim
46

47. Yasha –Moichi/Sei, Sei/Rin, Takeru/Rin
47

48. Master and Commander - Aubery/Maturin
48

49. Grimm – Monroe/Nick
49

50. Castle – Esposito/Ryan
50

51. The Krays – Kray twins
51

52. True Blood – Eric/Bill
52

53. Community -Troy/Abed
53

54. Sense8 – Lito/Hernando
slash2

55. How to Get Away With Muder – Connor/Oliver
slash1

56. Flash Harry (earth 2)/Cisco
slash3

57. Flash – Captain Singh/Rob
slash4

58. Arrow Curtis/Paul
slash5

59. Star Wars Force Awakens Poe/Finn aka StormPilot
slash6

60. ShadowHunters Magnus/Alec
slash7

61 – The Flash Captain Cold/Flash
tvslash

62. Legeds of Tomorrow Coldwave
tvcaptain_cold_and_heat_wave-t2

63. Legends of Tomorrow ColdAtom
tvLGN104A_0079b.original

64. Legends of Tomorrow AtomWave (my fav LOT pairing)
tvRay_Palmer_Brandon_Routh_and_Mick_Rory_Dominic_Purcell

65. Rogue One Baze/Chirrut
Rogue-One-baze-chirrut-og

66. Due South Fraser/Kowalski
slash 65

66. The Men From U.N.C.L.E Solo/Kuryakin
slash 66

67. Jeeves and Wooster Jeeves/Wooster
PD*15703940

Dont forget to follow me @lonedreameryaoi and the Let Zoe Spoil You facebook page.

Post to Twitter Post to Delicious Post to Digg Post to Facebook Post to MySpace Post to StumbleUpon

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

American Horror Story – the darkest of sensual dramas

American-Horror-Story-cast-FX-poster

If there is one of the new shows that came out that stands out it’s this one, my god did it grab me from the beginning and didn’t let go. This amazing piece of TV is from the awesome Ryan Murphy who gave me one of my all-time fav drama’s Nip/tuck and my fav comedy drama Glee. Yes this is a writer director of mixed tastes and has been able to appeal to both sides of mine. I love a dark and disturbing drama, full of violence, sexuality, menace and controversy but I also love a big bright camp spectacle and Murphy has given me both those. So when I found out he was doing a new show going back to his dark ideas and twisted worlds I was very excited. Also horror is one of my fav genres in fact horror is my fav genre and there aren’t enough shows that really get to grips with its true potential. Were lucky we are in an era of great horror TV such as Dexter, Walking Dead and True Blood an era that isn’t afraid to make TV shows for adults that really expose the darkness inside of us, not supernatural drama’s for teens but true horror. The dark desires and wishes of humanity, shows that push the boundaries and expose us to controversial sights and sounds that takes thing we all think about but because of our sense of morals and ethic know are wrong and therefore enjoy watching others get exposed to and cross the lines we can never. Horrors that take our insecurities and play on them, making a terrifying life events like a family death even more horrifying by bringing in a supernatural element. I digress American horror story is a modern embodiment of our dark desires run amok, out onto screen for us to witness and revel in while exposing our fears and appetites for the macabre. The plot for AHS follows the Harmon family: Ben (Dylan McDermott), Vivien (Connie Britton) and Violet (Taissa Farmiga), who move from Boston to Los Angeles after Vivien gives birth to a stillborn baby and Ben has an affair with Hayden (Kate Mara), one of his students. The family moves to a restored mansion, unaware that the house is haunted. The house also ‘comes with’ Moira O’Hara (Frances Conroy/Alexandra Breckenridge), a housekeeper who, to men, appears as young and seductive, but, to women, old and matronly. Ben and Vivien try to rekindle their relationship as Violet, suffering from depression, finds comfort with Tate Langdon (Evan Peters), one of Ben’s new patients. Constance (Jessica Lange) and Larry Harvey (Denis O’Hare) routinely and frequently affect the Harmons’ lives.

American Horror Story Poster 2

AHS is like watching the old 1970’s haunted house films, a house of secrets and sinister intensions like that of Amityville. A house of old and daunting architecture making it seem sort of out of touch with its own time period setting to further alienate the family living within from the world outside. The house has so much character that it itself is a character on its own and it’s fighting for dominance. There’s a mythology in japan that when someone dies it’s not just their ghost that can stay behind to haunt but also the ghost of the emotions born from their death. In other words if someone dies in a brutal and horrific way full of pain, regret and anger its these feelings that are left behind to haunt a place rather than the ghost of a person. This is what this house is like all the brutality and horror that it has seen has been absorbed as part of its own will giving it a conscience of itself a conscience that wants to cause more harm and continue the violent cycle within it feeding the darkness and misery within. The house only knows negative feelings and it lives for these dark desires and brutal endings, all it knows is what it’s feed off and that’s the darkness within humanity and negative emotion. Thus in order to keep living to grow and involve past its inanimate bonds it preys on the darkness within people promoting madness and violence so it can continue to feed and grow. In other words it’s a force born of evil, which only knows evil, wishes for evil and consumes evil only to create a cycle of evil for anyone who steps through its doors.

Every person who has stepped into this house has had their insecurities, pain and suffering exposed forcing them to face their fears and ultimately be driven made by those fears until a tragic and violent conclusion unfolds. This house has more ghosts than you could ever imagine and each has a tragic story to tell. As the episodes unravel you find out more about the various ghosts who they died and why they do what they do in death. Each character has their burden to bear and there is not a soul in this house that is without misfortune and sorrow. For example there is the tragic tale of Chad Warwick (Zachary Quinto) he put his heart and soul into the house making it a place to live in with his boyfriend, they were planning on adopting a baby and living a happy life. But the more he obsessed with the house and its decorating the more he alienated his boyfriend who began to stray and instead work on his relationship seek the attention he craved with another man. Before the two men ever had a chance to work out what was happening between them the house and its ghost saw they were drifting apart and saw fit to have them killed. Chad was murdered by one of the ghosts and his boyfriend brutally assaulted and killed made to look like a murder suicide. As ghosts they are trapped in a domed relationship, Chad wants to look after the house and dreams of children but has to face the reality that his boyfriend was about to leave him and he is stuck in a nightmare with a man that doesn’t love him only to watch his love go after any man but him in his need to escape chad’s obsession with a perfect life that neither can ever have.
American Horror Story Poster
There are so many ghosts in the house and half the brilliance of this show is trying to work out who is a ghost and who isn’t, which ghosts are in alliances, what are their own agendas and goals and how they came to be trapped in this possessive house. Some of the more terrifying ghosts are that of a gimp suited rapist, a pair of creepy ginger twins, some kind of deformed offspring lurking in the basement. What was brilliant about this show was that it gets under your skin and began to frighten even me. Now I’m a horror connoisseur I raised myself on a diet of Asian horror films like Ringu and Ju-on with dark thrillers like Silence of the Lambs. I’m no wuss, not easily scared and don’t shy away from violence and controversial viewing material. But AHS tested even me it has the unique ability to get under your skin to find the things that creep you out and wear down your defences until you are left feeling paranoid and unsettled. It’s a powerful drama it knows how to tackle the darkness inside us and at the same time make you feel very uncomfortable. It began to give me nightmares and I had to stop watching it at night. Once I started to settle with it and it finally started to explain its plot I was able to continue evening viewing but god did this show creep me out. Even the opening sequence with is surreal and disturbing images with the most unsettle score ever totally got under my skin. I had never seen an opening scene where they uses such harsh and disconcerting sounds to distress you mixed with images so unnatural you can’t help but feel scared and freaked out.
ahsposter1-top-600x350

The filming is also beautiful such sensual sights, beautiful dreams and grand aesthetics make for a mix of pure pleasure and horror. Moira is a great example, she appears to men as a beautiful and seductive temptress, a gorgeous red head who can make men’s fantasies come to life and is a walking vision of sexual desire but to women she is a scorned old women who wants to mother and nurture them, protect them from the predatory and infidelity nature of men and expose men’s bestial needs. She drips lust and seduction and at the same time warns just what men are like when exposed to the desire inside them and their weakness towards such a woman. While the show looks out of place in this timeline because of the house and its imposing manner that clings to its own history it does delve into all the modern concern of our reality. It has modern issues such as a gay couple, having children once you’re in your 40’s and loss of innocence of childhood as younger girls are exposed to the expectations of the modern day. It also has a brilliant concept on the pressure on youth and how their insecurities created by the modern world can drive them mad, a madness that seems to have no explanation but can create a child that is a beautiful monster, for all their tender loving nature they are missing a part of their own humanity and can do unspeakable evil with no regret simple because they can and nothing can redeem them not even love. It’s this lack of sentimentality that I love, love doesn’t save the day you do evil and there isn’t redemption but the knowledge that even your most beautiful and heart felt acts cant wash your soul clean and once your born a monster without the same morals of socially functioning humans you stay a monster.
american-horror-story-moira
What else can I say about this brilliant series, it looks good, it sounds good, it unsettles and terrifies, it delights and seduces, it exposes darkness and it exploits darkness and it enthrals and captures you. It is a must see who and I for one can’t wait for another season.

Remember to follow me on twitter @lonedreameryaoi of the Let Zoe Spoil You facebook group!!

Post to Twitter Post to Delicious Post to Digg Post to Facebook Post to MySpace Post to StumbleUpon

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Teen wolf – exactly what it says it is and yet somehow I didn’t hate it!!

Teen-Wolf-MTV-15-11-10-kc

I was going to stay away from this series I mean I loved the 80’s films they were great but without Michael J Fox and the good old 80’s effect and music I didn’t see a reason to watch this show. But alas curiosity got the best of me and I thought why not give it a go it’s gonna be terrible but maybe at least cheesy fun after a long day of work. So it turned out to be just that so bad it’s kinda good like a terrible B-movie that you just can’t help but like even though it’s possible the worst movie ever made. The plot is a simple one and revolves around social outcast Scott McCall, a young lacrosse-playing student at Beacon Hills High School. His life drastically changes when he is bitten by a werewolf one night. Upon discovery that he is a werewolf, with the help of his best friend, Stiles, and the mysterious werewolf, Derek, he is forced to learn to balance his newfound identity among the many dangers that it presents with his teenage life. He must keep his loved ones safe and balance the relationships he shares with each person around him.
48957-tyler-posey-teenwolf__crop-landscape-534x0

As you can imagine this is basically a teen drama the usual thing I stay away from being neither a teenager nor that much a fan of drama’s like the OC. But this is the high school with werewolves and if I can love a high school drama because they break into song and dance I can love one where people get eaten. They really are a bunch of annoying teenagers dealing with their teen angst and all the social problems you get form being 16. You have the jocks, the pretty girls and the social outcasts and you have the theme of trying to fit in and be part of a community. This is mirrored in the plot line of becoming part of a werewolf pack, do you leave the friends you’ve started to make or do you join a pack with others like yourself, where does a person really belong.
Although they do have this little social message it’s kind of out shadowed by the pure silliness of this series. First thing it took a while to get into because I just didn’t like Mr teen wolf himself much and they concentrated a lot on the romance between him and the new girl and their sappy boring hetro growing love. I have to admit whenever they were on screen together and the producers were shoving this budding relationship down our throats I may have skipped on a bit. I’m way too old to watch annoying teens be all giggly and silly in their experience of first love. God this relationship is so boring it’s all perfect and shiny and happy and just not me in the slightest. Luckily teen wolf’s best mate is a sarcastic, joke cracking geek who is far more interesting to watch and seem to actually care a little more about the whole werewolf thing rather than the girlfriend thing. Then there is the jock that I would have overlooked until he starts getting a little manipulative, arrogant and not such a nice guy but a guy with his own agenda. Plus there’s hot anti-social werewolf Derek with a past, he comes back to town all attitude, and angsty and brooding, in control of his werewolf powers and has a tragic past. I like an attractive guy with issues and being a bit older I much appreciate it when he takes his shirt of, why look at a skinny 16 year old when I can look and a 20 year old who works out.
derek_37
derek_3
We also have the hunters, can’t have werewolves without those that hunt them especially when one is a hot dad, a very attractive man who may have been the reason that I thought ok I’ll keep watching this if he has more screen time. Everything is of course connected and histories between all the characters are all mixed up which means at least it get past the boring romance but you expect all the clichés to pop up. Oh who would have thought that girlfriend is actually indeed daughter of hot hunter dad or oh no hunter family is behind the tragic events from angsty werewolf’s past never saw any of that coming. Put aside the predictable plot, annoying couple and did I mention the terrible graphics, no well I’ll get to that. At least there are some other attractive characters and some decent killing. Characters do get hacked in half, eaten, dragged screaming into the words and ripped apart by angry werewolves. So it doesn’t shy away from the violent nature of werewolves and it gives us some teen frights. If I was a teen ager and not part of the generation that grew up with Scream than maybe I would have found some bits scary. I mean they do the good old slasher homage of a bunch of teenagers trapped in the school at night being hunted by a savage killer. It’s actually done pretty well just like all those great 90’s horror films about teens so it made me feel nostalgic over a period where I watched a lot of slasher films and was a teen myself.
13_hunters
It does do the werewolf clichés; they howl, have glowing eyes, don’t much care for silver bullets, have increased senses and strength and go a little mental on the full moon. But there’s a mixed bag when it come to the transformations. They have the decency to not give us a full “werewolf in London” stretching out scene most of the changes happen behind sights. I think it’s a clever way to save budget and keep a sense of mystery to have a character walk past a pillar one side human the next wolf man. And the make up for the wolf man phase isn’t that bad their not too hairy with big ears and teeth they look more like wolverine with just a little more wolf. Derek really does tend to have a bit of the Hugh Jackman wolverine look going on which may be another reason why I liked this show.
wolverine
Then there’s the good old Alpha the proper big bad wolf who transforms fully more beast than man. At first they did try to keep some mystery behind him only showing him in reflections or blurred camera shots but then they started giving too much away and he was there on screen. You can tell this series is low budget with very obvious CGI. Oh the bad CGI and green screens where guys jump up on roofs just doesn’t look good. The fun spurty blood and gore is fine but not the CG werewolves prancing about.
Oh well I knew it wasn’t going to be big budget so I’ll forgive them that it is harmless fun and if you just want some no brain entertainment then give it a go it’s not that bad.

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter @lonedreameryaoi

Post to Twitter Post to Delicious Post to Digg Post to Facebook Post to MySpace Post to StumbleUpon

, , , , , , ,

Falling Skies – a bit of a lacklustre sci-fi that had so much potential.

falling_skies_xlg
Ok so as much as I love sci-fi and Steven Spielberg there was something missing in this show. Now from the premise it sounded amazing and I knew it had the budget to pull off a great sci-fi show for the small screen. Falling Skies tells the story of the aftermath of a global invasion by several races of extra-terrestrials (including the lizard-like beings known as Skitters; a race of seemingly humanoid grey-skinned beings that seem to be their commanders; and mechanical Attack Drones called mechs) that neutralizes the world’s power grid and technology, quickly destroys the combined militaries of all the world’s countries, and apparently kills over 90% of the human population within a few days. The invasion and the objectives of the Aliens is not explained, though the aliens try to round up children between 8 and 16 and attach a metallic obedience device onto (and into) their spines. The aliens use mind control to control the children. Forcibly removing the device instantly kills the child. The story picks up six months after the invasion and follows a group of survivors who band together to fight back. The group, known as the Second Massachusetts (an allusion to a historical regiment from the Continental Army), is led by the retired Captain Weaver and Boston University history professor Tom Mason who, while in search of his son Ben, must put his extensive knowledge of military history into practice as one of the leaders of the resistance movement. So with a producer such as Spielberg I was expecting good things I mean I’ve loved all his films even the War of the World’s re-make (and I hate remakes and Tom Cruise is not an actor I like). But with this background I was expecting a rather bleak tale of humanities struggles and the breakdown of family units when faced with such a depressing world full of hard choices and extreme situations.
falling-skies-01

As you guessed this is not what I got, I got a far more uplifting tale of human triumph and families being brought closer together so kinda the opposite really. The show is cast completely by stereotypes and clichés. The good guy with strong morals not a soldier but ready to take up the cause so he can protect his family. The tough military leader who thinks civilians are a drag on resources, that shoots first and thinks everything would be better with military rule rather than democracy, the well-meaning kid who gets into trouble, the doctor out of her depth but doing the best she can offering moral support and a pretty face, the hardnosed bitch whose been through hell and is out for herself, despising men and trying to keep herself isolated from the group. Need to say any more about all the typical character types populating this series. It makes it so black and white good guys and bad guys, evil aliens and moral humans. I mean where is the depression, the moral decay of a population desperate to survive, where are the adrenalin junkies getting off on fighting the aliens, where are those using the hard times to profit, the corrupt and amoral. I know the world isn’t all doom and gloom and sometimes you want there to be light in a world of chaos and troubles but I’m a fan of films such as Blindness and 28 Days Later. Films that show when an apocalyptic event happens humanity tends to go to shit and the moral lines a crossed. The series has a little of this but no way in the kind of depth I wanted it’s all very clean and easy to see where the lines are and I believe that humanity lives in a much more grey area. I mean take the film District 9 and the blurring of morals plus the fact that the aliens have a side to tell in this story.
We never really see anything of the alien’s side of things and while that works in something like Cloverfield it didn’t in this. There was so much tension created in Cloverfield around the fact you had no idea where this thing came from, how it got there, what was going and what it wanted. Seeing everything from just normal people’s points of view made it so much more terrifying and real. But in Falling Skies its shows enough of what the aliens are up to, to expect some kind of insight to their goals and ambitions beyond the one dimensional desire to take over and enslave humanity. It’s so black and white, the aliens are bad, they’re here to enslave us and that’s that. I wanted to see a little more of their workings, their society and why they needed the children, they introduced the idea that there’s more than one race that they had already another alien race that now work for them. This could have been a really interesting concept but the show never wanted to be that dark instead it was about getting over adversity and saving children it was all so nice. These people never seemed that upset about food or the conditions they lived in, the threat hanging over the survivors, I mean why was no one having a mental breakdown over stress!!!
PHBA8wXUkauZFF_1_m
The major storyline was a lovely tale of a family trying to find each other and be reunited and even this never seemed that dramatic it was very mild and family friendly the show wanted a larger demographic as an audience so never really went where there was too much danger or real human pain. There was only one character who was grey area my fav character Pope who had his own moral code and did what he did to survive anyone else in his path be damned. He was far more interesting to watch more amoral but at the same time did things that helped the people he met and show his appreciation. You couldn’t hate him you respected him for making his own choices, for being a hero when he wanted but not being pressured to be a good guy as he had his own rules.

skitter_closeup

The series did have great effects and looked awesome, the aliens were well designed and original but effects are not enough to save a series from a bland cast and a lacklustre plot.

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter @lonedreameryaoi

Post to Twitter Post to Delicious Post to Digg Post to Facebook Post to MySpace Post to StumbleUpon

, , , , , , ,

Game of Thrones – the sexier more aggressive Lord of the Rings

game-of-thrones-poster

Ok so it’s easy to make the connection between Games of Thrones and LOTR’s as it stars the brilliant Sean Bean. Sean Bean is no stranger to period set shows and this seems like such a natural progression for Boromir and I can’t think of anyone else to star in GOT as Ed Stark. The show is based on novels by author George R. R. Martin’s. Set in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, where “summers span decades and winters can last a lifetime,” Game of Thrones chronicles the violent dynastic struggles among the kingdom’s noble families for control of the Iron Throne; as the series opens, additional threats from the snow and ice covered region north of Westeros and from the eastern continent across a narrow sea are simultaneously beginning to rise. This series is a brilliant medieval fantasy series that is epic and personal at the same time. It is up there with the likes of Spartacus not quite as aesthetically violent and it uses its special effects in a different way but it has that intense storytelling and beauty.

The story is rather complex with many characters and stories being woven together to create the bigger picture. The world is a complex and interesting place, the opening sequence along shows this diverse and growing land of great cities. I can’t even begin to tell you everything about these characters as I know the series is based on a much larger wealth of information from books yet to be adapted but there are a few key stories in this first series. We have Ed Stark’s family their trials and tribulations as they get mixed up in a plot of corruption that they never wanted to be a part of but seem to be the only ones with the strength of duty and morals to learn the truth. Sean Bean leads the first season cast as Lord Eddard “Ned” Stark, patriarch of the protagonist family of the series, the Starks. His wife, Catelyn Stark née Tully, is played by Michelle Fairley. Their children are Robb (Richard Madden), Sansa (Sophie Turner), Arya (Maisie Williams), Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) and Rickon (Art Parkinson). Kit Harington plays Ned’s bastard, Jon Snow, and Alfie Allen plays Theon Greyjoy, political hostage and ward of Lord Stark. King Robert Baratheon is played by Mark Addy, and his wife, Queen Cersei Lannister, is played by Lena Headey. Cersei has two brothers; her twin, Ser Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), and the clever dwarf Tyrion (Peter Dinklage). Cersei’s oldest child is Prince Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson), and his bodyguard is Sandor “The Hound” Clegane (Rory McCann). Aidan Gillen plays Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish, Master of Coin for King Robert’s Small Council. Across the Narrow Sea are Viserys (Harry Lloyd) and Daenerys “Dany” Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), exiled children of the previous king that King Robert overthrew, on the run for their lives and trying to win back the throne. Dany is married to Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa), the leader of the Dothraki, for the promise of an army for Viserys. Iain Glen plays exiled knight Ser Jorah Mormont, who is sworn to help and protect the siblings.

This is only the briefest summary of our main characters, the manipulative and highly corrupt Lannister’s are at the heart of much of the corruption and assignations in this series, so desperate to secure the power of the kingdom they use their fortune to win favours while sitting themselves high above those they seek to lead. They also hold much darkness about their own desires from the fact that the twins are in a sexual relationship and it’s their inbred son (which the King Baratheon believes is his own heir) they wish to seat as the next king.
20110810_thrones-9-incest<
Their son himself may act with dignity in front of his subjects but like his manipulative parents he knows how to play people and is in fact a weak and cowardly young man who has the capacity to be very cruel and hide behind the strength and brutality of those that protect him.
Joffrey-Baratheon-game-of-thrones<
The only member of this family that isn’t as ugly and cruel is in fact the dwarf brother of the Lannister twins, Tyrion. He is a brilliant character who knows who he is and is confident with the decisions he makes and the lifestyle he has chosen, knowing he will never have the adoration and respect of the people he chooses to use his wealth to drink and whore his time away but at his heart he is actually a decent man who does care for those he gets close to and has far more morals and honour than his siblings. It’s unfortunate that because he is not beautiful like his brother people only see the outside appearance rather than good man inside, which is an ironic twist as his handsome brother, is cruel and incestuous with a thirst for blood and by far more the ugly sibling. Tyrion is also the most amusing character with his great sense of wit and brilliant intelligence that is lost to people for they are unable to see past his stature, but it’s his brain and charms that has allowed him to live to the fullest and gain respect.
game-of-thrones-tyrion

Across the seas plays out a very different drama from a rival bloodline to the throne in the brilliant story of the Targaryen family. Here is the brilliant story of a young woman sold by her brother to the leader of a powerful but rather savage tribe in the promise of gaining an army to fulfil his own selfish ambitions. Daenerys goes on one of the biggest journeys of the series from being nothing but an object to trade and essentially a sex slave to the tribe leader to being the most powerful women in this tribe’s history. She learns how to survive, how to be a true queen, how to use her sexuality to find love and respect, she learns to lead and most importantly how much strength and maturity she has, how the blood inside her grants her true nobility and you really feel that she has the right to be a queen and is far more deserving of the iron throne over the Lannister’s, if only she could cross the narrow sea and bring this strength and dignity to a country about to fall into war and infighting.
a-game-of-thrones-2

But the infighting between noble families and the literal game for the iron throne is only part of the threat to this world. Amongst betrayal and corrupt politics is also the creation of true heroes with honour and their futures being sculpted so that they can rise to the challenges that are about to rip the world apart. One of these challenges that the people are yet to be aware of is from beyond the wall, an area to the north separated from the rest, which contained ancient and almost supernatural threats. And in this frozen world an ancient horror is awaking and getting ready for its own invasion. It is said that creatures and monsters are coming back from hibernation and are ready to concur the wall and invade bringing un-told and unknown power. Only a few are beginning to see this threat but their voices are not reaching those in power, so while a war is being played out a possibly larger and more dangerous threat is being ignored.
0c246_game-of-thrones-Kings-Landing_510
The world these characters inhabit is amazing with scenery that rivals that in LOTR, from grand city’s and castles on pedestals of rock towering above the lands to the great site of the frozen wall and the beautiful architecture of the throne room there is a lot to admire. They really made an exquisite world the misc-en scen is divine with so much attention to detail. The weather, clothing, homes and peoples are all well-crafted and full of true feeling. You can identify the affiliations of the characters and the settings, which I can’t stress enough how beautiful these locations are, my favourite being an impregnable castle that sits high on a tower of rock with sheer drops all around and epic views of the mountain scape that surrounds it. The camera sweeps over the scenery offering the kinds of views you wish you could see of a vast and magnificent world.
the-wall1

Another aspect I like about this series is the gritty reality of it even though it’s based in fantasy. You feel the perils of this world and the toll it takes on the characters, from how cold the north is and the bitter fight against it to the green and lustrous fields of the tribes across the narrow seas and how it provides for the people that rely on it. The fact that this world can be unforgiving, that characters and families can go through trauma such as injury and death and that it doesn’t matter what role you play in the world any one can die and no one is safe including title characters. The violence whether it’s from punishing a criminal in accordance with the honour and respect of the law or the brutality of war is all shown equally. This world understand that violent acts exist if you break certain laws it’s a beheading for you and that is how peace is maintains. In war there is death and violence and GOT doesn’t shy away from bloodshed but doesn’t glamourize it, getting your head cut off is brutal and violent and death is never pretty. Also this show is very sexual and very erotic, it has such an attractive cast and it likes to sexualize its characters equally, it is comfortable to show all kinds of sex from glamorous encounters between lovers to the unfairty of rape. It treats each sexual encounter with respect never glamourizing rape but showing that it is a brutal truth of this world. It also represents all kinds of couples from mixed race, to incest to even a gay couple which is something I respect in a show.

I loved this series and now very much want to read the books and see how this huge and turbulent world grows and develops. How are these characters going to grow, who will survive and who will inherit the iron throne. I can’t wait for another series and to continue to be surprised by the trials of these characters and their quests both personal and epic.

Post to Twitter Post to Delicious Post to Digg Post to Facebook Post to MySpace Post to StumbleUpon

, , , , , , , , , , ,

Prison Break/Breakout Kings – basically the I love Robert Knepper AKA T-bag review!!!

prison_break

Now I’m a huge fan of series set in prisons something about how harsh and gritty they are with that beautifully twisted sense of morals and destruction of people both physically and mentally. I mean one of my all-time fav shows is Oz so I jumped up and got very excited when Prison break hit our screens years ago. Now Prison break came out not long after Lost offering us a more realistic based show with a similar us of flashbacks to explain character development and interesting twists and cliff-hangers leaving you desperate to know what is going to happen to these characters. Series 1 was pure genius and absolutely amazing it had amazing pace and was filled with suspense and tension. Every episode was edge of your seat and gripping with a very interesting array of characters all developing in ways I didn’t see coming. It was never the main brothers of Linc and Michael that had my interest it was all the other side characters and how they connected and why they were hear and what lengths they would go to see their personal agendas fulfilled. If you haven’t seen Prison break than series 1 really is amazing. The first season follows the rescue of Lincoln Burrows (Dominic Purcell), who is accused of murdering Terrence Steadman (Jeff Perry), the brother of the Vice President of the United States (Patricia Wettig). Lincoln is sentenced to death and is incarcerated in Fox River State Penitentiary where he awaits his execution. Lincoln’s brother, brilliant structural engineer Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller), is convinced of Lincoln’s innocence and formulates an escape plan. In order to gain access to Fox River, Michael commits an armed robbery which results in his being sentenced to Fox River. In prison, Michael befriends the prison doctor Sara Tancredi (Sarah Wayne Callies) when he pretends to suffer from Type 1 diabetes, in order to gain daily access to the prison’s infirmary. The brothers’ fight to ward off the execution is aided by their lifelong friend Veronica Donovan (Robin Tunney), who begins to investigate the conspiracy that put Lincoln in jail. However, they are hindered by covert agents, members of an organization known as The Company. The Company was responsible for framing Lincoln, and they did so because of Lincoln’s father, Aldo Burrows (Anthony Denison), and his former connections to the company. The brothers, along with six other inmates, Fernando Sucre (Amaury Nolasco), Theodore “T-Bag” Bagwell (Robert Knepper), Benjamin Miles “C-Note” Franklin (Rockmond Dunbar), David “Tweener” Apolskis (Lane Garrison), John Abruzzi (Peter Stormare), and Charles “Haywire” Patoshik (Silas Weir Mitchell), who come to be known as the Fox River Eight, work together to try and escape in the season finale.
prison-break-cast-of-prison-break-1

Now after series 1 I did enjoy the second series cause I was riding high on the kite of how awesome the first series was and the writers kept it fast and interesting with the inmates on the outside trying to escape and stay on the run. The third series was set back in SONA prison so I preferred it because it was again about trying to calculate a daring and dangerous escape from a prison without the rules and regulation of Fox River. Sona was run by the inmates and was a harsher environment with more edge and danger than the first prison but alas our protagonists escaped this prison too. Then I tried to watch the last series and after about 5 eps gave up until last week when I finally decided to finish the series. The problem with the last series is that again it was set on the outside and therefore didn’t have the harshness that comes from a prison setting. There was no insight into how the prison system works or doesn’t, no look at the interrelationship of prisoners and their cliques, no sense of imprisonment that sense of isolation from the world and everyday things. What was great about prison break was that you only had the prison and its walls you could feel the characters constrictions and seclusion it made it more interesting knowing that they had few resources, options and allies to help escape their confines. Michael seemed even smarter when he was trying to escape a prison as it was a far more difficult task than just being on the run, he has to be a step ahead of everyone know so many details and have so many contingency plans. The most amazing part of the first series was Michael’s tattoo and how it not only mapped out the prison but of how it was such an intricate puzzle and visual representation of the brilliance that was going on it Michael’s mind. Once they were out of Prison this brilliant tattoo lost its importance and meaning and was lost to the plot and development of the show.
103_cell test_mich tattoo

I was really disappointed in series 4 it got more and more complicated and it was just an over the top conspiracy thriller by the end. I really didn’t care about the plot by this point it was too convoluted, more and more characters were introduced, everyone kept betraying each other, you couldn’t trust anyone and there were random plot lines introduced. We had Michael with his strange neurological disease that he somehow developed, a mother that came back from the dead, an evil company selling environmental weapons to china and no prisons!!!!
Robert_Knepper

Now for the best thing about Prison Break and the reason I stuck with it to the end. The brilliant acting of Robert Knepper and his awesome character of Theodore “T-Bag” Bagwell. I can’t tell you how much I adored this character, by all accounts you should hate this vile creature and his awful crimes but you just can’t hate him. He is seductively charming, manipulatively brilliant, a genius and a terrifying man. T-bag is a horrific man with horrific crimes ranging from murder to rape; he is both psychotic and sociopathic. But he is a product of his father raping his mentally ill sister and therefore T-bag is a child of incest who was also abused by his father. This will never justify his action but it makes for a very conflicted, interesting and unpredictable character. There is something very charming about the man and also something in him that begs for redemption and a wish he had been dealt a better deal in life. I loved his character development, the way he spoke, the duality in his nature and his presence on screen and ability to steal any scene he was in. One of the things that I disliked by series 4 is how they downplayed his importance and after giving him some heart they just stripped it away and turned him into a monster again rather than showing how intelligent and calculating he could be. This nicely brings me onto Breakout Kings.
breakout-kings

When I heard there was going to be another Prison show from the team behind Prison Break I was intrigued by the premise and then I heard that Robert Knepper would reprise his role as T-Bag and I was sold. I had to see this series. The premise for the show is in order to catch escaped convicts; a squad of U.S. Marshals makes a special deal with several current prisoners. If they agree to help, their sentences will be reduced by one month for each fugitive they bring in, and they will be transferred to a minimum-security facility. However, if any of them should try to escape, they will all be returned to their original prisons, and their sentences will be doubled. The show was a strange mix of Prison Break and a harsher meaner version of leverage. It has a simple formula, each ep a convict escapes (American prisons need better security since so many high profile prisoners seem to escape) and this crack team that include convicts that were themselves the hardest to catch by the team leader are called in to track down and catch the escapees. Now the series lacks the polish of leverage and the intelligence of Prison Break but it’s entertaining no the less. It’s not really a prison show it’s more a cat and mouse chase show. But the reason I watch it was not disappointing, in the third ep we get the return of Theodore Bagwell and he does not disappoint. I do feel bad for Fox River prison this is the second time T-Bag has escaped from this facility, you’d think they would learn since it’s also now the third time he’s escaped from a prion in the last 5 years. Robert Knepper again performs brilliantly in his role as the very messed up, brilliant and determined killer and this one episode had everything that was missing in the entire last series of Prison break.
robert-knepper

T-bag’s dual persona is beautifully explored, how he is seen as nothing more than a monster, an animal that feeds of humanity but at the same time he has feelings and personal reasons for his actions. Even from the beginning of the ep when he tells his cell mate to keep the candle burning for him you know that his escape is about something more than him and he’s after revenge for someone else. We get to see both the vicious and brutal side of the man, always emphasized by the scoring of the episode as well as well as his lost and emotional side, triggered by his quest to revenge the treatment of his mother. Even with everything that he has done there is one thing that means he still has a soul and that is the love he has for his mother and the lengths he goes to to protect her. We learn so much about the man and all the conflicts within him as well as how others perceive him and how he perceives himself. Plus we see an amazing performance by Robert Knepper. But moving away from this one ep the series is pretty entertaining and I am enjoying the chase it provides me with each episode. I’m not as invested in the characters as I have been with other shows but the first series is only 13 eps so there’s room for development. The characters do interact with each other well and antagonize each other well so it does provide some good banter and dialogue but it needs some tighter scripts. There are some plots that even I think need more care, like the fact that they let these convicts out and about but haven’t put tracker bracelets on their ankles where shows like White Collar and Hawaii 5-0 have managed to put this into their plots.
breakout-kings-7

The one character that really does raise this series up is that of Dr. Lloyd Lowery played by Jimmi Simpson a convict who suffers from gambling addiction even though he was a child protégé and brilliant scholar. It’s his brilliant evaluation of the people he meets, the way he can detect and diagnose people’s problems, insecurities, mental health issues and behavioural patterns making him essential to the team. He really is an interesting character that comes across as intelligent and a little mental himself, his own social skills are lacking but his evaluation of cases is such a huge help to this team and while he seems to wind everyone up he tends to solve the cases and speak the truths. I know there are a lot of procedural cop shows out there such as CSI, NCSI, Law and Order, Hawaii 5 -0 this one is a little different as it does give us a different prospective by having cons helping to catch cons. But if nothing else watch ep 3 which really is brilliant and worth it.

Dont forget to follow me on twitter @lonedreameryaoi and the facebook page let zoe spoil you

Post to Twitter Post to Delicious Post to Digg Post to Facebook Post to MySpace Post to StumbleUpon

, , , , , , ,

Spartacus: Blood and Sand/ God of the Arena – the violent aesthetic perfectly poured onto our TV sets!!

Spartacus-Blood-and-Sand-Episode-5-Shadow-Games-Preview-Online

This is television at its best, this is being allowed to view what would normally be made for the big screen and giving us the ultimate visual experience. Spartacus is a true television spectacle not only for its aesthetics and use of modern filming techniques but also because it’s brave enough to go where so many shows don’t. It treats its audience like the adults we are not backing down and pandering to ratings, its brilliant and brutal, beautiful and excessive, not playing safe but exploiting our thirst for aesthetic violence and adult sensuality. No this is not TV for those under 18 it deserves it certificate and it makes sure it rewards its audience with all visuals we could ever want. As you can tell I loved this series, I have always been a fan of the violent aesthetic; I appreciate the line between brutality and beauty and love the use of a harsher sensuality, of glorifying the powerful beast that is man’s desire. Spartacus is a first on television for using techniques normally used for big screen adaptation of comic books, it has a unique style using the cg created world and populating it with some very well defined and imposing characters. This series is a must for fans of films such as 300, both visually and narratively.
Spartacus-Blood-and-Sand-wallpaper

The plot for Blood and Sand follows the rise of Spartacus through his imprisonment as a slave and gladiator. As he grows to become champion and wins the hearts of the people while searching for his wife and seeking revenge against those that put him into this life of servitude. Into this world are thrown the other gladiators he must train with and fight, his new master and his wife and those drawn into the web of lie’s and deceit as a clash between and search for vengeance and the greed for power becomes more entangled. All characters are very well fleshed out with equal opportunity for growth and development and you share a great deal of interesting and intense journeys. But be warned not to get to attached to anyone this series has a high death toll and no character is safe for the brutality and the dangers of the world they live in. Spartacus has to rise to fame through battles of the heart, mind and body being manipulated by the Lanista Batiatus, who will go to any length to gain fame, fortune and status, along with his equally cunning and seductive wife Lucrecia. Thrown in this mix of gladiators such as Crixsus (the current champion of the arena) are plots of betrayal and mistrust, of rivalry and hate. But also of love and companionship, of relationships between men that stand as brothers, lovers, husbands, warriors, slaves and friends. Everything about this series is steeped in blood and sacrifice the pure harshness of their lives and the burden of position in this society. The driving force of this show is one man rising up through blood and carnage to make a better place, to become the Spartacus we know of from legend the man that freed slaves and caused Rome to tremble.
Spartacus-Gods-of-the-Arena

God of the Arena came about because the actor who plays Spartacus himself was diagnosed with cancer so to give him time to recover they made a mini-series prequel. This prequel is every bit if not more violent and sensational in its depiction of sex and brutality. The mini-series features the bloody history of the House of Batiatus and the city of Capua before the arrival of Spartacus. Quintus Lentulus Batiatus becomes a Lanista (manager) when he takes over his father’s ludus of gladiators. He has ambitions of stepping out of his father’s shadow by seeking recognition for his own name and achieving greatness for his house. By his side stands his beautiful wife Lucrecia who will help her husband achieve his goal no matter what the cost. Batiatus puts all his fortunes on the man who will gain him fame and glory, his best gladiator, the Celt, Genius; a skilled warrior who wields his swords in the arena as if it were his last day alive. However, there are those who oppose Batiatus and his future champion(s) of Capua, plotting against him only to fail. Purchased as an undisciplined and dishevelled recruit in the first episode, the Gaul Crixsus endures mockery and threats of death to become the greatest gladiator in the house after Gannicus. As Batiatus fends off repeated attempts by his professional rival Tullius to obtain Gannicus, his relationships with his father Titus and friend Solonius begin to suffer the strain of Quintus’ relentless ambition. Former champion gladiator Oenomaus reluctantly retires from combat to become Doctore, while Syrian recruits Ashur and Dagan become fierce enemies as Ashur tries to prove himself worthy of being a gladiator. Veteran gladiators Barca and Gannicus accept the rising star of Crixsus but fear that their own careers will suffer, as the machinations of Batiatus and Lucrecia to court Capua’s elite end in tragedy for several members of the household. Against all of this, the city’s splendid new arena nears completion and with it the opening games that will make men into gods.
Spartacus-Gods-of-the-Arena-21-1-11-kc

Both series are amazing in their visual style and use of colours, everything from the colours in the sky that reflect the emotional turmoil of the characters and pre warnings of doom and blood shed to the tones of the land to shown this harsh and unforgiving land. The sets are amazing while much is rendered, the Ludus is very much a real and gritty place nothing is beautiful and safe in the walls that imprison these ferocious men. The home of Batiatus looks like it is beautiful and with the glorification of base pleasures and the enticing luxury of desire you may think this looks like a beautiful home if not for the amount of blood that needs to washes away from its floors each day. The characters always speak with purpose there are no pointless and uninteresting dialogues every word said has meaning and impact. The music is perfect mixing great orchestral choirs and orchestras to fan fair our battles in the arena as well as give more depth to scenes of a much more gentle nature. The costumes are beautiful, fully depicting the fashion of this period of time; in fact the Misc-en-scen is very well done truly given both the upper class richness of Rome as well as the squalor and depravity of lower roman classes. The whole series works dualities with magical precision. Gladiator may be brutal and violent in the arena but also can be full of love, compassion and tenderness outside. A good and very brave example of this is in Barca, The Beast of Carthage. He is one of the top gladiators and as you guessed from his name he is fierce, deadly and not one to mess with but he is also a man that greatly loves and is in fact gay. He has a beautiful and tender relationship with his younger lover and their story is touching and gently in so much contradiction to the man that stands in the arena with so much blood on his hands. I respect any series that shows a gay relationship that isn’t about coming out or just a walking gay cliché, to show love between 2 men standing as equals in the world is a far rarer thing on TV, so much respect to Starz for backing this series and this particular plot.
spartacus1x03--08

All in all this series is just great entertainment with more complications than some soaps, amazingly well fleshed out characters, beautiful settings and visuals, great scoring and acting it has everything. It shows us all kinds of desires and sensualities, lets us indulge in the glorification of the flesh and exhilarating rush of violence. The battles are wonderfully played out with both skill and ample blood letting, you are at the edge of your seat awaiting their outcomes. Yet it also keeps you well aware how dangerous such pleasurable and corruptible pursuits can be and that beauty may be only skin deep and perfection can cut all the way to the bone.
untitled

Dont foget to follow me on twitter @lonedreameryaoi and the let zoe spoil you facebook page.

Post to Twitter Post to Delicious Post to Digg Post to Facebook Post to MySpace Post to StumbleUpon

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sym-biotic Titan – an American cartoon by a team that clearly love anime.

Sym-Bionic_Titan_6568

I was told to watch this by a friend and my god am I glad I did. This series is from the people who bought us Dexter’s Laboratory, Powerpuff Girls and Samurai Jack so already it has a big draw as both those shows were great. And just like these shows they are clearly influenced by anime but also reference modern culture with appeal for both children and adult viewers. Its creator is Genndy Tartakovsky and it was produced for Cartoon Network.
The series follows the lives of Ilana, Lance, and Octus, two alien teens and a robot in the form of humanoids who arrive on Earth, an “identical” planet to Galaluna, while fleeing an evil general who has taken over their home planet with the help of monstrous creatures called Mutraddi. The three main characters include Ilana, princess of the royal family; Lance, a rebellious but capable soldier; and Octus, a bio-cybernetic robot, all of whom must now blend into everyday life in Sherman, Illinois. Posing as high school students, Lance and Octus work to conceal Princess Ilana from General Modula and his hideous space mutants sent to kill the sole heir of Galaluna. When called into battle, the Galalunans are outfitted with individual armour that provides more than ample protection. It is when the gravest of danger appears that Octus activates the Sym-bionic defence program and he, Ilana, and Lance unite “Heart, Body and Mind” and come together to form the spectacular cyber-giant Sym-Bionic Titan.
What’s great about this series is that while the anime influences are obvious it still looks and feels like an American cartoon. It’s a great fusion of styles from East and West that homages Anime motifs, styles, genres and themes while also very much being American. It is funny and exciting, mixing great action sequences, amusing side stories and a little bit of family drama. With anything that is set in a High School you get to explore the world of social clicks, the inevitable story line of people from another world trying to act like American teenagers trying to fit into their lifestyle. It has all the genre stereotypes and motifs of a High School drama, the jocks, nerds, cheerleaders, outsiders, unhealthy school meals, homecoming dance and trying to fit in. This is all made worse by the fact that not only are our heroes from another world but are being continuously (much like an episode of Powerpuff Girls) attacked by monsters and therefore have to disappear to form Titan and fight these monsters. Trying to hide a hidden life is always fun to watch especially when the characters don’t have all the human mannerisms and social behaviour acceptable to their peers, therefore they always state they need “toilets breaks” at the same time. There’s also a nice bit of romance that by all means should never have happened and yet somehow still works and is kinda realistic in its portrayal. You know that a lot of the stories are going to have clichéd plots, trying to go to the dance but a monster turning up, trying to join the Cheerleaders but them being vapid, populist and egocentric and then monsters turning up, going to school when you feel you have so much more you can be doing with your hidden abilities and fighting to introduce healthy food into the school only for it to be sabotaged by aliens.
There’s also lots of other great plots, as well as the more clichéd Military being heavy handed, arrogant and ignorant you also get the more interesting grey area secret organisation G3 that want to find out who is behind Titan and where they came from as much as the military do while investigating the alien attacks. Also this series is a little harsher than the average American cartoon, some of the aliens are truly freaky, like a weird squid insect that crawls down your throat and takes you over.
tumblr_lhz6foaW0J1qgijrgo1_500

Characters also bleed when hit, clothes get torn and faces bruise giving it a more realistic feel of what would happen if you were in a fight. One of the great things about the show is that while it’s episodic it does continue story lines introduced in earlier episodes, characters appear in more than one episode and are given development so it’s not all about our heroes and villains. Plots are allowed to play out and episodes link together more than previous series. There are also nice flashback episodes to give us more insight into the lives of the characters and how they became who they are, in particular Lance is a great character to explore, the difficult life he has experience and how he become the person he is now. The series defiantly has a darker side to it than the average cartoon and this is something that I really respect and it’s less clean and simple and has a little more grit to it. Lance is def my fav character but brooding difficult guy that isn’t very social but also kicks ass and is a skilled fighter and just really cool is always going to be a great character. The robot Octus is also a great character that is given a lot of thought and development and doesn’t just act as the regular robot sidekick but given real personality and a chance to grow just as much as the other characters.
Now for what truly makes this series brilliant especially if you’re as geeky as me and have watched a lot of Anime and Asian movies. The first obvious thing is that the creators are obviously Osamu Tezuka fans. This is very apparent in the character designs, the hair styles and facial characteristic are a dead giveaway as well as the costumes. In particular the military outfits of the Galalunians are dead ringers for the uniforms from Cyborg 009.
Untitled
Also with the more anime style is the scarfs and the movement of these scarfs and characters hair not something normally done in American cartoons. Aside from the Tezuka influence other obvious references have been episodes that clearly homage a particular series or movie, such as Initial D (this episode is great for D fans, or fans of racing games and movies such as Tokyo drift).
sym-bionic_titan_101015
Now you couldn’t right about a series that features characters combining to create a robot without noting the Mecha influences. For one thing Symbiotic Titan’s transformation is actually more original than some Mecha’s I’ve seen over the years and it uses the idea of combing the will of the pilots nicely as well, there’s more to piloting this robot than just each controlling a part. But you could reference all kinds of shows from Gundam (the weapons), Gravion (the combination) and Aquarion Mecha’s the Cherubim Soldiers (more than one pilot working together physically and mentally).
symbionictitan

All in all this series is fun, fresh and entertaining particularly if you want to play guess the reference!!!!
Now here’s the sad part cartoon Network decided to cancel this great series after 1 series and Genndy Tartakovsky is trying to get it revived by Sony Entertainment so please watch it and help the cause by going on Facebook to Save Sym-Bionic Titan and signing petition!!!!

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter @lonedreameryaoi

Post to Twitter Post to Delicious Post to Digg Post to Facebook Post to MySpace Post to StumbleUpon

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Top 5 TV comedies

how-i-met-your-mother-image3
1 – How I Met Your Mother – I got into the series for 2 reasons really the first was I love Neil Patrick Harris and because I was really hung over one day and there was a marathon on TV. This is such an easy to watch show its just fun the best of the sitcoms out there. I’ve never been that into sitcoms only ever watched friends, Frasier and Will and Grace so it’s unusual for me to want to watch one as much as I did this. But yes the pull of NPH was strong since I love him and wanted to check out this sitcom plus it has Willow from Buffy in it so was interested in what she was doing now. Well I fell in love with NPH character Barney he is just brilliant, very funny and played with perfection. The characters are all a little out there funny and geeky in their own special ways. It’s a lot easier to relate to than Friends was for a start they’re the same age as me. They storylines are funny and the relationships believable in that crazy sitcom kind of way. It’s the little touches that make it brilliant though like the fact since it’s Ted telling the story to his kids every now and then he replaces words and gestures. A great example is when he is talking about college and trying to hid the fact that he smoked pot so he says he was caught eating a very big sandwich after that all flash backs involving pot have the characters sitting around eating big sandwiches saying how great their “sandwich” is. It also got some great tag lines and phrases after watching all 5 series in a month everything became awesome and the use of Barneys Catch Phrase “ legendary” became rather prominent when I was out and about. It also dum dum dum has a musical number in one of the later episodes like all great shows, but you couldn’t really have someone as brilliant as NPH is a show and not have him sing a great song and it’s true nothing suits him like a suit!!!

20100816_glee_560x375
2 – Glee – You’ve all heard of it your all singing along to Don’t Stop Believing so this show doesn’t really need much of an introduction. If you hadn’t noticed by now I love musicals and love it when characters break out into song and dance during an episode. So when an entire show came out that did this I was so going to watch it. It’s funny and silly and wonderful, it’s everything that’s great about spontaneous singing on television. My fav character Kurt he is brilliant he has such an amazing and unique voice and they have given him such and intense and interesting storyline in series 2. He has gone through some of the most amazing character development and is a very strong actor really portraying all the vulnerability of a guy suffering from homophobic bulling and desperately trying to find his place. The numbers are always great fun as are the costumes, they know how to choose the songs perfectly for the episodes and there are some amazing performances for the regular cast and a host of awesome guest stars such as Neil Patrick Harris.

Judy_Reyes_in_Scrubs_TV_Series_Wallpaper_4_1024
3 – Scrubs – I love this show its one of those shows that whenever I want to just put on the TV and watch something while I eat some food or have a little chill I flick through the channels to find an ep of Scrubs. No matter how many times I’ve seen it I don’t get bored it’s too funny and too entertaining. Yes the characters are all mental and the show has some really silly going ons but it also has heart and does deal with some real issues as well as all the mental antics. The characters are all equally neurotic and extreme personalities but they mesh so well. The true love of this comes with the awesomeness that is Doctor Cox, he is brilliant, just the way he delivers lines, he is good cop/bad cop in one he has so much rage and hate and distance but is full of hope and passion and is a great doctor. I love watching him he entertains me to no end. And with all good shows there’s a musical ep!!!

frasier-episodes
4 – Frasier – This show has always been a fav because it had a little more sophistication and wit to it than the usual American sitcom. It had great writing and was always touching and funny without any real gags or pratfalls. The timing of the actors was always perfect and the mix ups that plagued their lives always hilarious. I found Niles brilliant and was a big supporter of him and Daphne. The show always entertained and did it with a touch of class. It genuinely is one of the best sitcoms ever made.

Ugly-Betty-vanessa-williams-1601801-1024-768
5 – Ugly Betty – Another show I started to watch because I knew there was a gay character in it. I like to track gay characters in the media because they are rather rare or always treated as stereotypes. Mark did start off as a bit of a stereotype but he worked for a fashion magazine you kind of expected it and he did have real heart and some great character development, especially acting as a mentor to Justin Betty’s amazing little brother. The show could be a bit embarrassing but it made me laugh and I was invested in the lives of these characters. It reminded me of a strange mix of the Devil Wears Prada and Desperate Housewives. I mean it’s about a fashion magazine mixed with a murder mystery and epic power play for company control. It’s a real shame it got cancelled it could have done with just another half series to finish off rather than the rush ending it got but it was still worth it. I like Betty she was odd and eccentric and got herself into stupid situations but she was a good person trying to reach her goals. I can understand that sometimes you work in places you didn’t think were for you to learn the skills you need to get to wear you wanted to be going. It’s a very bright and cheerful show but also has its little underside of double dealing to keep you guessing and it simply is just fun really.

Post to Twitter Post to Delicious Post to Digg Post to Facebook Post to MySpace Post to StumbleUpon

, , , , ,