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.

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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 TV Reviews: Face Off, season 1

So I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with competition shows. I love fashion and beauty stuff, so I enjoy watching things like RuPaul’s Drag Race and Ink Master, I love tattoos as well as beauty and fashion. But so many of these shows are 90% drama, with contestants yelling at each other all the time, putting each other down, sabotaging the other’s progress, etc. Even bloody cooking competitions have it, for fuck’s sake! America’s Next Top Model was so bad that I (barely) made it through just one season. I had to stop watching Ink Master about halfway through season 2, it had gotten way out of hand.

But then, something wonderful happened. They started playing reruns of Face Off on Space, which I’d only heard of in passing while zipping through the commercials (I never watch anything live, commercials make me violent, so I watch either on dvd or stuff I pvr’d). It looked really cool, though, so I decided to give it a shot. I started recording quickly, but I still missed season 1 and most of 2. But I watched all of seasons 3 and 4, and most of 7 (I think it was), and it was wonderful. Not only was there no drama (save one incident at the beginning of 3, I think it was, between contestants Tommy and Joe, and it’s still nothing compared to other shows, but I digress..), but the competitors actually helped each other! I was so happy to finally have found a competition show that was actually about competition, and not about drama. I won’t talk too much more about the later seasons, I’ll likely do a small review of each season.

No, this post (after my little intro) is about the horror that was season 1.

FaceOff s1

So, since I loved seasons 3 and 4 so much, I decided to go and, err, ‘acquire’ seasons 1 and 2 to see all the episodes that I missed. And man, I should have left well enough alone. Season 1 is awful. It starts with a few of the contestants bitching each other out, and it just went downhill from there. It’s like they had watched all the other competition shows and jotted down notes on how to make your show look as dramatic as possible. There was one girl in particular that I’m positive was kept on every week just to make sure it stayed dramatic. She had very little in the way of skill, and was in the bottom looks for almost every single challenge. Yet she stayed. If I’d seen season 1 first, there’s very little chance that I’d have kept watching.

So if you enjoy competition shows yet hate the drama, I highly reccomend you check out this show. Just skip season 1 😉

M.