Category Archives: TV Premiere

Louise recaps the ‘Salem’ premiere for EW Community

Photo credit: WGN America

In case you hadn’t heard, Louise is taking part in Entertainment Weekly’s new EW Community blog! You can check out her recap of the first episode here. It’s totally worth watching just for Shane West (Nikita) and Seth Gabel (Fringe).

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Premiere – “With Great Power Comes…A Ton of Weird Crap”

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Photo source: abc.com

From Guest Blogger: Chad Gingrich

There is no one that was as excited for the premiere of Marvel’s foray into live-action TV as much as me (well maybe except for the 11.9 million other viewers who tuned in).  I’m an avid fan of Marvel films, comics, cartoon properties, video games, action figures, and anything else they might decide to churn out.  I’m also a huge supporter of Joss Whedon, who not only directed one of the greatest action movies of the last 10 years (The Avengers), but is also producing the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. television show.  Having said that, I entered this pilot with a modicum of trepidation because, let’s be honest, there’s no way this could possibly live up to my hopes.

The Bigger Picture: Bringing the Marvel Universe to the “Real World”

The premiere picks up right where Marvel’s The Avengers left off.  We’re in a different world, one full of super heroes where the attack on New York is now part of the public lexicon and the effects are felt in the way of a black market for the salvaged alien technology left behind by the Chitauri.  It’s this particular angle where I think Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D really shines.  It progresses the Marvel universe forward, giving us a context and reason for what’s going on outside of the big tentpole franchises.  The show could have easily been a safe cash-grab with no connection to the larger universe, but I’m glad Marvel decided to use it as another platform to move the story forward.

We also get a glimpse at the idolization of our favorite superheroes in the form of action figures in store front windows, which is a much more refreshing take on the superheroes-in-the-real-world trope we’ve seen murdered to death the past few years.  This is not your typical superhero story!  The pilot brings up a lot of interesting questions and perspectives from the other side of comic books, such as what the average citizen thinks about all of this superhero activity and how people view S.H.I.E.L.D. as a shady government organization.  There were also some pretty profound statements about what it actually means to be a hero and how just possessing power alone does not necessarily make a superhero.

The Whedon Factor

It’s clear that this pilot has Whedon’s hands all over it.  There are some great lines of dialogue that felt very Whedonesque like, “Sorry that corner was really dark and I couldn’t help myself,” and “no red tape…this is where they actually make the red tape isn’t it? Always wondered.”  We even get to see the genius at work playing with cultural references like, “With great power comes…a ton of weird crap,” and a great shout out to Back to the Future to close out the episode.  It’s this type of comedic banter and self-aware filmmaking that really transformed The Avengers into more than just an action blockbuster.  The action shouldn’t be ignored either, with great hand-to-hand combat that feels right out of a Bourne movie.

Not-So-Super Character Development

Unfortunately, not everything from the pilot was a homerun.  Characters have little to no development and are essentially thrust into the story all too conveniently.  I hope over the course of the series we get to see more behind what makes these seemingly weak characters tick.  Two of the weaker players in particular,  the show’s two scientist characters, felt way too out of place for me.  For Whedon, who usually boasts strong, multi-dimensional characters, I was a little surprised by this and I hope it was simply an attempt to make for a more digestible pilot.  Some other minor gripes would be the special effects which in some instances felt very network TV, but this is ABC so, naturally, it’s more forgiving.

Movie Tie-Ins as Plot Points: Driven Harder Than the Hammer of an Angry Thor

While I did appreciate a lot of the attempts to tie this to the larger universe, it seemed a little overt and in your face at times with a main storyline revolving around the Super Soldier serum from Captain America, Gamma Radiation from Hulk, and Extremis from Iron Man 3.  I’m a fan of Easter eggs as much as the next geek but after the first couple “odd coincidences” it got a little tired.  Let’s save something for the rest of the season!  They did manage to hold onto some mystery and intrigue with hints that Coulson is secretly a Life Model Decoy (possibly Vision?) and inklings of a larger organization at work behind the scenes.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Despite its flaws, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a great commentary on the human condition and why superheroes have become such a force in our pop culture.  The ending exchange between Agent Coulson and Mike Peterson was a brilliant personification of the middle class stating that simply doing what you’re told and working hard isn’t quite enough anymore and everyone is striving to be more.  Unfortunately, I think the only thing holding back this show from transcending into the upper echelon of TV entertainment is its place on ABC.  I can’t imagine what a production from AMC or HBO would have looked like but for obvious reasons, Disney isn’t going to go that far out on a limb—they are a business after all.  I’m excited to see what’s to come and how they manage to weave in and out of Marvel’s Phase Two movies and at the very least, I have something new to replace the void that Breaking Bad is about to leave.

About the Author: Chad Gingrich writes for Dish Systems, a source for satellite television packages, DishNet high speed internet, and other specials and promotions.

Favorite Moments from Castle 6×01 “Valkyrie”

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Castle is back! And we finally get Beckett’s response to the VERY, VERY important question. Will she be Castle’s lifelong laser tag partner? She says yes! Beckett says yes to the marriage proposal, they kiss, and they live happily. HAHA This is the season premiere folks! It can’t be that easy. Beckett moves to DC to become a federal agent and Castle reunites with her after finishing his book tour. They kiss again. (I doubt fans will complain seeing more of that winking) Unfortunately, Castle can’t be involved in the investigation but he does his own snooping and gets into MAJOR trouble – like “I’m gonna die in 24 hours” trouble. Welcome to a new season everyone!

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TV Twitter Reactions: How I Met Your Mother 9×01 & 9×02

Image source: cbs.com

Image source: cbs.com

The final season of How I Met Your Mother has begun! We finally know who the mother is and fans are not shy about sharing their reactions.

[WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW]

  • @CaptainJack4 At first I had doubts, but I’m loving Cristin Milioti as the Mother. #HIMYM
  • @chrstyschitz Ted and the Mother have chemistry. It makes me happy, and it’s making me cry a little bit. Stupid emotions! #HIMYM
  • @ashnesta My review on #himym: I didn’t cry so it wasn’t good enough
  • @AlexTerruso Ah, #HIMYM – good to have you back. Even though you make me reassess my life with every good episode. Ted Mosby, you bastard.
  • @psshutup smart to have lily meet the mother before ted b/c she’d be the hard ass when it comes to ted’s wife so that’s already resolved #himym
  • @lawrencedng #HIMYM the tears…. they are real…
  • @digi_smile I can tell this last season of #HIMYM is going to give me all kinds of feels.
  • @number1rold King Joffrey reference during the #HIMYM season opener. Slowly winning my heart back.
  • @mgirman One of the worst #HIMYM episodes. Maybe it’s a good thing that it’s ending.
  • @DoctorJPH She’s had about five lines of dialogue, and I’m already in love with the mother. #livingvicariously #HIMYM
  • @HelloDawley12 As much as I hate Ted it was great to see that very first scene with #TheMother. #happiness #HIMYM #greatepisode
  • @Rhowdy17 She’s not good enough for you, Ted! #overprotectivetvwatcher #himym
  • @AmberFry #HIMYM , nervous how I’ll feel about the new character…
  • @MrsPoshClarke Cried at #HIMYM and felt compelled to drink wine!

What Will You Be Watching This Fall?

PopCultureNexusLogo

In just a few short weeks, a new TV season will begin filled with tears, cheers, squeals, and every other emotion fandoms are known to have. Are you ready? Pop Culture Nexus is preparing by exercising: 3 miles a day to run to the TV faster, thumb crunches to flip through channels, and yoga to relax those nerves during sweeps period. Check out our TV schedule below and for those who were wondering, Mary’s Castle photo captions and Louise’s photo recaps will return. We hope you join us this season!

*New shows are linked to their previews.

Sunday

  • The Good Wife, CBS, Sep. 29 at 9/8c

Monday

  • How I Met Your Mother, CBS, Sep. 23 at 8/7c
  • Castle, ABC, Sep. 23 at 10/9c
  • Hostages, CBS, Sep. 23 at 10/9c
  • Almost Human, Fox, Nov. 4 at 8/7c

Tuesday

Wednesday

  • Survivor, CBS, Sep. 18 at 8/7c
  • Arrow, The CW, Oct. 9 at 8/7c
  • Back in the Game, ABC, Sep. 25 at 8:30/7:30c
  • Modern Family, ABC, Sep. 25 at 9/8c
  • Super Fun Night, ABC, Oct. 2 at 9:30/8:30c
  • Nashville, ABC, Sep. 25 at 10/9c

Thursday

  • Parks and Recreation, NBC, Sep. 26 at 8/7c
  • The Vampire Diaries, The CW, Oct. 3 at 8/9c
  • The Crazy Ones, CBS, Sep. 26 at 9/8c
  • The Michael J. Fox Show, NBC, Sep. 26 at 9/8c (moves to 9:30/8:30c on Oct. 3)
  • Reign, The CW, Oct. 17 at 9/8c

Friday

  • Raising Hope, Fox, Nov. 8
  • Dracula, NBC, Oct. 25 at 10/9c

Tell us what you will be watching in the comments section.

Twitter Reactions to Continuum 2×01 “Second Chances”

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Continuum‘s season 2 premiered Friday night on the Syfy channel and delivered a lackluster season opener. I jumped into the Continuum universe a bit late, watching all of season 1 on Netflix two weeks ago, but I quickly became a fan. I was quite eager for its return tonight, however, the episode was a disappointment. It actually didn’t feel like the same show. Surely, each character is facing new, dire prospects of the future – Alec’s message from his older self and Keira’s realization that she is not returning home any time soon – which explains the slower pace but there was an unnecessary extra dose of brooding. The characters reunite to investigate the mayor’s murder but by the end of the episode, it is still not clear if some semblance of the old relationships would be restored. Alec is hesitant to work with Keira and Keira wants to be a free agent instead of Carlos’ partner. Each season should be different but such a drastic shake-up worries me. Nevertheless, I have faith the show will dive deeper into the mythology and deliver strong episodes.

Here are other reactions from fans on Twitter:

  • @JuliaMetzler And there’s @TahmohPenikett on the wrong side of the law. Loving the future Mr. Mayor! #Continuum
  • @cheesybones What they don’t have Batman in 2077 lol #continuum
  • @MerinoMedia Alec has a real job. Why do I feel like this is going to totally ruin his awesomeness with Kiera? #continuum
  • @lorenbhollander #Continuum this Episode is so good .Love it. A+++++
  • @BrianInHD Great start to season 2! Looks like we’re in for an intense season. #Continuum
  • @pt447 #Continuum is spectacular. What a great season premier! Even if its basically Fringe, at least they copied a great show!
  • @Janeen_FluffyJ I have been completely pulled into the rabbit hole in this show. Don’t know what’s coming, but can’t wait to find out! #Continuum
  • @theClurichaun Great start to S2 of #Continuum! This is going to be a great season!
  • @Glen_Christo Can’t wait for the rest of @ContinuumSeries Season 2 after that ep!! #Continuum
  • @LaurenHollyArmy That was just an awesome season opener! #Continuum
  • @islandsnoopy Fantastic start to @ContinuumSeries Season 2! Bring on episode 2. #Continuum
  • @Kyle_Roark Oh how I missed you #Continuum
  • @Miss_Sheepie Really enjoyed this first episode of #Continuum. I can’t wait to watch this season!

-M

My Thoughts After Watching Continuum

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About a month after Fringe ended, I asked our Twitter followers to recommend a sci-fi show to fill the void Fringe had left. Many recommended the Canadian show, Continuum, which had only one season under its belt. I read the synopsis and swore to give it a try. I finally sat down to watch the show over Memorial Day weekend and I REALLY ENJOYED IT. It is an engaging show with the major elements I love of the sci-fi genre: A strong female character, males that support the female character, and a hero trying to save the world.

Here’s a recap of things I learned watching the show:

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD. STOP RIGHT HERE IF YOU HAVE NOT COMPLETED SEASON 1

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‘Arrow’ Premiere: Let’s Talk About It

Photo courtesy of The CW

Last night was the premiere of The CW’s new series Arrow, based on the comic book superhero the Green Arrow (AKA billionaire Oliver Queen). Not only did the pilot episode succeed in packing in some serious character development (see: Oliver’s party-girl sister, scheming mother, douchey best friend, and philanthropic ex), it also managed to find time for plenty of action sequences, a glimpse into Arrow’s origin story during his five-year stint stranded on an island, and of course The CW’s requisite shirtless-in-a-towel scene. I think the episode can be accurately summarized by this brief interaction between Oliver and his friend Tommy (who looks like Jon Hamm’s slightly-less-attractive cousin):

Tommy: “What happened to you on that island?”
Oliver: “A lot.”

Thank you, Captain Understatement. We’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of how Oliver became the bow-and-arrow-wielding vigilante Arrow, and as producer Marc Guggenheim has said, he is one of the only superheroes with five years’ worth of an origin story. Arrow seems to have some definite Batman influences, with subtle Lost overtones, but as a television series, it’s different from anything else out there right now. If it maintains the right balance of character development and action, I think it has the potential to fill the void on The CW left by Smallville. What did you think? Did you watch? If you did, will you keep watching? How do think Stephen Amell did that ascending pull-ups thing with the bar in his training montage? Leave your thoughts on the premiere (and/or Stephen Amell’s torso) in the comments, or tweet us!

-L

TV Twitter Reactions: Castle 5×01 “After the Storm”

Photo: abc.com

Castle Season 5 premiered tonight. Read the reactions from fans:

TV Twitter Reactions: HIMYM 8×01 “Farhampton”

Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS © 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc.

How I Met Your Mother returned for its eighth season. Read what the fans had to say about the premiere on twitter:

  • @KreeBeau LOVED the #HIMYM premiere! It’s nice when a show actually has a story line… assuming we’ll meet the mother soon! #yellowumbrella
  • @timmyodonovan That might be the best ending to a #himym episode ive ever seen
  • @Ariana_Joy #himym was pretty perfect
  • @TommyLuers #HIMYM just teases and teases and teases…….and teases#bestshow #iwannabemarshall
  • @cmcolcomb I’m not even sure that I understood the sequence of events in tonights #HIMYM#JUSTTELLUSALREADY.
  • @Blink_myEYES Sooo #HIMYM was exciting yet disappointing … I wanted more 😦
  • @abhimanyu_datta How come none of the kids has spoken anything in past 6 seasons in #himym
  • @austinburns #HIMYM is getting into jump-the-shark territory. :/
  • @duckduckgu #HIMYM is the only sitcom that can make me cry. It’s just so engaging!
  • @neil_lakdawala i literally hate that yellow umbrella #HIMYM
  • @pugnacity_ Ted. You kinda piss me off.. #HIMYM
  • @riseupbro Gotta give it to the #himym writers. Awesome premiere and a great step to the mother. Also I went on Price is Eight and won a dune buggy.
  • @cory_martin So in the season premier of #HIMYM, we learned that The Mother has canckles? Did I see that right?
  • @notBryBry #HIMYM season premiere was pretty good tho.
  • @nwahs086 Is Ted the protagonist anymore? #HIMYM
  • @MicheleShore Loved tonights episode of #HIMYM 🙂
  • @TheTVReferee Victoria makes me want to throw up. #justsayin #HIMYM
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