Mel’s 5 Second First Impression: The Shannara Chronicles

The Shannara Chronicles (2016-present)
(Season 1 cast) Austin Butler, Poppy Drayton, Ivana Baquero, Manu Bennett, John Rhys-Davies, Aaron Jakubenko, Daniel MacPherson, Marcus Vanco, Emilia Burns, Brooke Williams, James Remar, Jed Brophy

the-shannara-chronicles

I read about half of the first book in the series more than 12 years ago. I don’t remember much about it, nor do I know why I stopped reading it, since I was really enjoying it. I do remember enough, however, to know that this series takes place in the second generation of books. Wil, our hero, is the son of Shea, the youngster in the first books (of which there are 3, I think). I’ve recently re-bought The Sword of Shannara, and plan to read it soon, which has me wondering how much more of this show I want to watch before I do so. But for now, let’s talk about the first episode, the two-hour pilot, called Chosen.

They certainly packed a lot of info into that 2 hours (or hour and a half, once commercials are removed). There are no less than 5 characters that seem like they’re going to be important, although with already one unexpected death under their belts, it may be that this show is going to be more surprising than anticipated. Which is good. The acting is pretty good all round, if a little melodramatic at times. The effects look pretty stellar so far, the makeups on the demons are great. The only thing I’d have to say about it is that it seems to be the same old story again. There wasn’t much that happened in the show that wasn’t in The Lord of the Rings and other such titles. But, this was only the first episode. I’ll definitely continue watching, and hopefully it’ll grow it’s own two legs to stand on.

M.

Mel’s 5 Second First Impressions: Jessica Jones

Jessica Jones (2015 – )
(Season 1 cast) Krysten Ritter, Rachael Taylor, David Tennant, Mike Colter, Carrie-Anne Moss, Erin Moriarty, Eka Darville, Wil Traval, Robin Weigert

Jessica-Jones

So, I didn’t want to watch this. I saw the previews, and meh. I love a lot of stuff to come out of the Marvel Universe, but the tv shows have all left me cold. But then I realized David Tennant is in it. Playing the villain, no less. So after talking to a few friends about it, I decided to finally go ahead and give it a shot. I’m 3 episodes in, and here’s what I think so far:

– My friend was right; David is much too rapey for me to find him yummy in this show.
– Unflinchingly shows what it’s like to have PTSD, hard to watch at times.
– The acting is pretty good all round, which I really wasn’t expecting from anyone save David.
– While Krysten is doing a good job in the role of Jessica, the character is a little abrasive sometimes, and hard to like or care about. I hope she changes a bit as the show goes on.
– I really hope we see cameos of other superheroes. So far we only got a mention of The Avengers (“the green guy and his crew”), I hope we get more.
– Kilgrave’s powers are so awful, especially in the hands of a psychopath. But it did make me daydream for a solid half hour at least about what I could do with power like that…

So, all in all, I did enjoy the episodes, but I’m not 100% sure that I’m going to like the show as a whole. I guess I gotta keep watching to find out!

M.

Mel’s 10 Things About… Penny Dreadful, season 2

Penny Dreadful (2014 – present)
(Season 2 Cast) Eva Green, Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton, Harry Treadaway, Reeve Carney, Rory Kinnear, Danny Sapani, Helen McCrory, Billie Piper, Simon Russell Beale, Sarah Greene, Douglas Hodge, Jonny Beauchamp, Hannah Tointon, Patti LuPone

Penny-Dreadful 2

{SPOILERS INCOMING}

1. Not quite as good as season 1, but still bloody excellent! This show is so good that for a while after watching it, I have trouble enjoying other stuff, cause not much is as good!
2. Kinda disappointed they started a new storyline instead of continuing the one they left off. I mean what, are the brothers politely taking turns trying to claim Vanessa?
3. Eva Green is hot. So is Josh Hartnett. Meow.
4. Mrs Poole’s dolls were creepy as hell… right up to the finale, where Vanessa was arguing with her doll. It was supposed to be tense and scary, but unfortunately came off a little silly. It’s really the only really bad thing I can say about the season, though.
5. Speaking of the finale, with each character ending up completely alone, I hope it doesn’t take half of season 3 to reunite them!
6. The whole Angelique sub-plot felt kinda tacked on for no other reason than to shock the audience. I liked her, I did, but it always felt superfluous to the rest of the story.
7. Lily’s big reveal was quite something, very unexpected. A little sad, cause the blossoming love story between her and Victor was super cute, but I suppose no one can stay happy for long in this world.
8. I’m a bit sad that Dorian, whose character I loved in season 1, went so bad so fast. I know he was never a good guy, but I dunno. I just really preferred him in season 1.
9. Loved all of Vanessa’s back story. The episode about her and her mentor was absolutely perfect, start to end.
10. Looking forward to see what Hecate will be up to next. Here’s hoping they don’t just skip to the next story again, and just leave her hanging. I need to find out if Ethan will really be turned bad. I certainly hope not.

If you haven’t seen this show and like all things macabre, then I suggest you put down whatever you’re doing and see it, now! It’s playing in several country’s Netflix, and is also playing on On Demand.

M.

Mel’s 5 Second TV Review: Penny Dreadful Season 1

Penny Dreadful (2014 – now)
Season 1 cast: Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton, Eva Green, Harry Treadaway, Reeve Carney, Rory Kinnear, Billie Piper, Danny Sapani, Olivia Llewellyn, Olly Alexander, David Warner, Alex Price, Alun Armstrong

PENNY DREADFUL

So, I haven’t been keeping up to date on TV shows for a long time now. Even shows I love, like Supernatural and Doctor Who, I’ve completely slacked on. Not sure why. I still watch a lot of stuff, but it’s all documentaries and stuff like that. But slowly the fiction bug seems to be creeping back, with me watching more and more movies, and even some TV shows, like this one.

I’d been interested in it since the moment I heard of it (back when it was still in production, I did an article about teen hearthrobs, and Josh Hartnett was on the list), and I told myself I’d watch it when it came out. Of course, I didn’t. But speaking to my mother this weekend, she told me she tried to watch it, but couldn’t because it was too creepy. That immediately piqued my interest, and I just had to watch it.

Disappointingly, season 1 only has 8 episodes, but I absolutely devoured them, doing the whole thing in two sittings. I’d have done it all in one, but it was late, and I had to drive home the next day (3 hour drive), which is always hard on me. The setting and costumes are gorgeous, and the actors seemed perfectly suited for their roles. Even Josh Hartnett, who, despite his beauty, was never the best actor, has upped his game. The characters are all from classic horror, with Dr Frankenstein, Mina Harker, and a master vampire who has to be Dracula (but we still haven’t met him yet) rounding out the cast. And the story, there’s definitely no slouching in that department either, wonderfully complex yet simple at the same time. All said and done, this is, simply, a wonderful, wonderful show. 10/10. I can’t wait for season 2!

This series is currently streaming on Netflix Brazil, and is also on CraveTV. Enjoy!

M.

Top 8 Onscreen Angels

Warriors of God, beings of darkness, guardians, or agents of vengeance, angels come in all shapes and sizes. Represented well, angels make great characters. Here are my 8 favourite. Spoilers ahead.

NUMBER 8

The Crow, The Crow

8 The Crow

“People once believed that when someone dies, a crow carries their soul to the land of the dead. But sometimes, something so bad happens that a terrible sadness is carried with it and the soul can’t rest. Then sometimes, just sometimes, the crow can bring that soul back to put the wrong things right.”

Played by: A raven, actually.
Scary or sexy: Neither, he’s a standard black crow.
His Goal: To bring Eric Draven back to life to avenge the brutal deaths of his fiancée and himself.
Alive at the end?: Yes
If not, how did (s)he bite it, and by whom?: N/A

NUMBER 7

Michael, Legion

7 Michael

“This is not your test, Michael. How dare you presume to know His heart?”
“*Putting a hand to his chest* Because He made this one. And it tells me He shouldn’t lose faith now.”

Played by: Paul Bettany
Scary or sexy: Sexy
His Goal: To save a chosen woman and her unborn baby from God’s temper tantrum.
Alive at the end?: Yes
If not, how did (s)he bite it, and by whom?: N/A

NUMBER 6

Horse, Winter’s Tale

6 Horse

“Don’t know who’s more foolish; The horse who won’t listen to his master or the master who listens to his horse.”

Played by: A horse, duh. (Couldn’t find the horse’s real name)
Scary or sexy: Neither, but he’s a gorgeous animal.
His Goal: To guard gold-hearted thief Peter Lake.
Alive at the end?: Yes
If not, how did (s)he bite it, and by whom?: N/A

NUMBER 5

Tyrael, Diablo III

5 Tyrael

“You cannot judge me, I am Justice itself! We were meant for more than this! To protect the innocent! But if our precious laws bind you all to inaction … then I will no longer stand as your brother.”

Played by: Jonathan Adams
Scary or sexy: Is strong and beautiful as an angel, and rugged and slightly worn out looking as a mortal.
His Goal: To bind Diablo and the other powerful demons to the black soulstone, then destroy them.
Alive at the end?: Yes
If not, how did (s)he bite it, and by whom?: N/A

NUMBER 4

Bartleby & Loki, Dogma

4 Bartleby & Loki

“You know, here’s what I don’t get about you. You know for a fact that there is a God. You’ve been in His presence. He’s spoken to you personally. Yet I just heard you claim to be an atheist.”
“I just like to fuck with the clergy, man.”

Played by: Ben Affleck and Matt Damon
Scary or sexy: One of them is sexy, the other is Ben Affleck :-p
His Goal: To get back into Heaven, no matter the cost (which, in this case, is negating all existence).
Alive at the end?: No
If not, how did (s)he bite it, and by whom?: Loki is killed by Bartleby stabbing him after cutting his wings off (making him human), and Bartleby, after having his own wings shot off, is killed by God’s voice.

NUMBER 3

Gabriel, The Prophecy

3 Gabriel

“I’m an angel. I kill firstborns while their mamas watch. I turn cities into salt. I even, when I feel like it, rip the souls from little girls, and from now till kingdom come, the only thing you can count on in your existence is never understanding why.”

Played by: Christopher Walken
Scary or sexy: Scary
His Goal: To unleash a second Hell on Earth.
Alive at the end?: No
If not, how did (s)he bite it, and by whom?: Lucifer rips out his heart and eats it.

NUMBER 2

Gabriel, Constantine

2 Gabriel

“If sweet, sweet God loves you so, then I will make you worthy of His love. I’ve been watching for a long time. It’s only in the face of horror that you truly find your nobler selves. And you can be so noble. So, I’ll bring you pain, I’ll bring you horror, so that you may rise above it. So that those of you who survive this reign of hell on earth will be worthy of God’s love.”

Played by: Tilda Swinton
Scary or sexy: Sexy
His Goal: To bring forth the son of Lucifer and make Hell on Earth.
Alive at the end?: Yes, but is now human.
If not, how did (s)he bite it, and by whom?: N/A

NUMBER 1

Castiel, Supernatural

1 Castiel

“She rises when Lucifer walks the earth. “And she shall come, bearing false prophecy.” This creature has the power to take a human’s form, read minds. Book of Revelation calls her “the Whore of Babylon”.”
“Well, that’s catchy.”

Played by: Misha Collins
Scary or sexy: Very, very sexy!
His Goal: To help Dean and Sam Winchester in any way he can. It’s way more complicated then that, but I don’t have 3 hours to explain it :-p
Alive at the end?: Yes, then no, then yes, then no, then yes….
If not, how did (s)he bite it, and by whom?: He’s been killed by multiple angels, and the Leviathan, but always comes back somehow.

M.

Mel’s 5 Second TV Review: Wildest Series

wildest-africawildest indiawildest latin americawildest arcticwildest islandswildest indochinawildest middle east

All narrated by Paul McGann, except Africa, narrated by Andrew Lincoln

I loved this whole series. Andrew Lincoln was alright as narrator, but I’m so glad that they decided to go with Paul McGann afterwards, his voice is perfect. He was the 8th Doctor! So I get a little more geekiness added as a bonus, hehe. The camera work is absolutely stunning, second only to David Attenborough’s work. The animal content was all amazing, but the human stuff was sometimes a little boring, and downright infuriating in some parts. Watching a human knock a baby baboon off a cliff with a rock while it’s family looks on with obvious grief is NOT my idea of a good time. And it’s scenes like this one that made me give all the series except one a score of 8/10. Islands gets a 10/10. It was the first one I watched, and still the best. If you’re a fan of nature documentaries, I highly recommend this series of shows. Absolutely wonderful!

The whole series is currently streaming on Netflix US. Enjoy!

M.

ps, The pictures are in order of release date, though they really don’t need to be watched in order.

Mel’s 5 Second First Impressions: Face Off, Season 8

Face Off (2011-present)
(Season 8 cast) McKenzie Westmore, Ve Neill, Glenn Hetrick, Neville Page, Laura Tyler, Rayce Bird, Anthony Kosar, and Michael Westmore

Contestants: Darla Edin, Emily Serpico, Gregory Hewett, Julian Bonfiglio, Stephanie Masco, Adam Milicevic, Anthony Reyes, Logan Long, Regina Jiganti, Rob Miller, Alan Carnes, Ben Peter, Daniel Prado, Jamie Leodones, and Kelly Harris

faceoff 8

So, as I’ve mentioned before, I like the idea of a good few of the reality shows out there. There are quite a few of them with themes that I’m interested in; makeup, fashion, tattoos, music, dancing, etc. But so many of them are all drama, no substance. Both Ink Master and America’s Next Top Model only got one season for how awful they were. My favourites, besides this one, are Dancing with the Stars and RuPaul’s Drag Race. Funny how a show about drag queens is one of the least dramatic ones out there… but I digress, as usual.

Face Off is my very favourite reality show. With the exception of the awful season 1 (which I’m glad I didn’t see first, for I wouldn’t have continued), there is no drama, save tiny personal conflicts very, very seldomly. The focus really is on the makeups and costumes, and that’s why I love it. Two episodes into season 8, I find the format much changed, and while there’s still no drama, I’m not entirely sold on the concept of returning champions. This season, three former winners form 3 groups of 5, and compete as teams. It’s not bad, but I figure the show was perfect as is, why fix something if it ain’t broke? But I guess I’ll see how it goes as the show continues, but unless they change it up a little, I certainly hope they’ll go back to their old format for season 9.

This show isn’t on Netflix, but YouTube has a lot of episodes, if you’re interested in checking it out. I definitely reccomend it if you’re interested in special makeup effects.

 

M.

Mel’s 5 Second First Impressions: Game of Thrones, Season 4

Game of Thrones (2011 – present)
(Season 4 cast) Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner, Charles Dance, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Natalie Dormer, Iain Glen, Gwendoline Christie, Jack Gleeson, Rory McCann, Aidan Gillen, Sibel Kekilli, Liam Cunningham, Stephen Dillane, Rose Leslie, Pedro Pascal, Alfie Allen, Diana Rigg, Michiel Huisman, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ian McElhinney, John Bradley, Ellie Kendrick, Iwan Rheon, Hannah Murray, Jerome Flynn, Indira Varma, Burn Gorman, Kate Dickie, Finn Jones, Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, and Conleth Hill (holy crap there are too many characters!! :-p )

GoT s4

So, I figured since season 5 is about to start, I should probably catch up on season 4 first. I’ve read all the books, so I wasn’t as gung-ho about keeping up with it as others seem to be. Don’t get me wrong, I love the show. Everything is absolutely perfect, the actors, the writing, the locations, perfect. But, as with all adapted stuff, the show has started to veer away more and more from the books. At first it was just little things, but now there seem to be whole story-lines missing or changed. And, as an avid lover of the books, it’s bumming me out a little.

So, my impressions so far. I’m only one episode in, but damn, did it start with a bang. One story-line they’re getting perfectly is Arya’s. She is suck a kick-ass, it’s almost ridiculous. I absolutely CAN NOT wait for when she gets to Braavos!! Tyrion is wonderful as usual, and Shae is breaking my heart already, since I know what’s coming (I could barely read the book through my tears!). I love Jaime and Brienne’s relationship, but I really don’t like how they’re tweaking his story so much. And yes, I’ve heard what happens after Joffrey’s death. That’s just… unacceptable. Disgusting. He may be a lot of things, but that, he’s not! *stomps foot* And Sansa… Well, Sansa is Sansa, isn’t she?

One episode down, nine to go. I’ll be back in nine hours..!! 😀

M.

Mel’s 5 Second TV Review: Born to Kill?

Born to Kill?
(2005 – 2012) Christopher Slade, Katherine Ramsland, Louis B Schlesinger, Helen Morrison, and David Wilson

Born to Kill

This show, in my opinion, is one of the very best of it’s kind. Along with details of the horrible crimes, a lot of the focus is on the killers themselves, and that age old question: was it nature or nurture that drove them to kill? We’re treated to Forensic Psychologists and Psychiatrists, Criminologists, plus the police and detectives who were assigned to the various cases, who give us facts of the cases and their opinions on the killers. We’re shown locations of murders, and even a few pictures, but never the really disturbing ones. Well, I mean they’re all disturbing, but… bah, you know what I mean! :-p As far as I know, there are 25 episodes, and only one which I still haven’t seen (edit: wrong!! hehe). Killers included in the program are well known serial killers like Jeffrey Dahmer, Aileen Wournos, Ted Bundy, and John Wayne Gacy, and some lesser known, like Beverly Allitt, Donald Neilson, Donald ‘Pee Wee’ Gaskins, and Dennis Nilsen. You can see the whole list (edit: nope, a partial list) here. On the whole it’s a very well made and informative show, and I give it a well deserved 9/10.

This show is unfortunately not on Netflix. It currently plays on the Identification Discovery channel, but it may take a while to see all of them, since they’re played in random order all the time. And never mind that, I just checked on YouTube, and there’s a playlist of 31 episodes! So that means there’s more episodes than I knew of, which means I’m not done yet! More grizzly horror for me to watch, yay!! Uh… yeah. Maybe I shouldn’t sound so enthusiastic about that…

M.

Mel’s 5 Second First Impressions: Bates Motel

Bates Motel (2013-present)
(Season 1 cast) Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Max Thieriot, Mike Vogel, Olivia Cooke, Nicola Peltz, Nestor Carbonell, Keegan Connor Tracy, Brittney Wilson, Terry Chen, and W Earl Brown

Bates-Motel

I’ve wanted to watch Bates Motel since it came out, but I just never got around to it. But after finally finishing all 9 seasons of Criminal Minds that are on Netflix (and pissed off about having to wait months till season 10 is available), I searched through my watch list for something else in the genre. And I decided that I should finally start watching this show. And man, what a show! I could say I really should have watched it when it came out, but really, I’m kinda glad I waited. This way I have three whole seasons to watch before I have to wait, hehe. I’m four episodes in, and so much is already happening that it feels like each episode is the end of the season. Brutal at times, and skin crawlingly creepy at others, this show is definitely not for the faint of heart. The first episode alone boasts two murders, a rape, and a captive girl being drugged. Continue the story with a town thriving on corruption, icky incest undertones, and the first mentions of Norman’s “blackouts”, and it’s more than enough to keep me hooked. I’ve got 6 episodes left of season 1, and I absolutely can’t wait to see how it’ll all come together.

M.