Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Season's greetings

Since I am still resolutely avoiding finishing out the True Blood recaps, all I've got for you a premieres list of new and returning television shows in which I will be indulging.  Clearly I have too much time available to watch television.  (Also, judging from the length of this list, I better buckle down if I want to get through at least one Farscape season before regular t.v. starts up again.)

American Horror Story - 9/14 and I have no idea what this season's theme is (ridiculous show)

Gotham - 9/19 and yes, I am going to give it another shot although it may have to go

The Good Place - 9/19 with Kristen Bell, a resurgent Ted Danson and pretty good initial reviews

New Girl - 9/20 although I may take this off the list and just catch up on-demand

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - 9/20 although I will be mourning Agent Carter for the duration

Last Man on Earth - 9/25 which Mr. Mouse watches with me (yay!)

Luke Cage - 9/30 (on Netflix) can't wait can't wait can't wait

The Flash - 10/4 and I hope they crossover a LOT with Supergirl

Arrow - 10/5 and I've forgotten where we left off story-wise but don't imagine it much matters

Supergirl - 10/10 and I will be paying close attention to the stunts because Jessie Graff kicks ass!

Legends of Tomorrow - 10/13 but this is another bubble show for me and is totally on probation

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend - 10/21 and my new favorite, now that I binged S1 this summer

The Walking Dead - 10/23 and yes, we will be picking up the grim recapping right away

There are a couple other shows (on SyFy? Falling Water?) that I don't know much about other than marginally intriguing trailers, so we'll see how the season shapes up.  Mr. Mouse will be complaining that Better Call Saul and Fargo aren't back yet ... we'll add those in when they get here.  What will you be watching?

Sunday, August 21, 2016

I got nothing

I got nothing for you here, I'm afraid.  We've been watching a bunch of the Olympics (and being annoyed that so little variety has been televised; I KNOW I can stream the more esoteric sports but do we really need to see RERUNS of fucking rhythmic gymnastics when they could actually be showing LIVE mountain-biking or rowing or sailing or something?) and I'm finishing up a second read of the second book in The Expanse series:  Caliban's War.  But that's really it.  Unless you're just dying to hear about the cookbooks I'm reading, trying to find ways to eat more vegetarian dishes that we can actually stand.

But bear with me.  I may try to get a headstart on the horror movies for October, plus The Walking Dead starts up again soon, so we all have that to look forward to.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Embarrassment of riches

Preacher may be over for now but I am having no trouble putting off the watching and recapping of the final True Blood season as there is such a wealth of good television out there - just mostly not on, you know, television.  Besides Mr. Robot (which, forgive me, I keep falling asleep during), I've watched the BBC's incredible 2015 And Then There Were None.  With a stacked cast, including Charles Dance, Miranda Richardson and Sam Neill, this version of the darkest of Agatha Christie's tales is marvelously well acted, suspenseful, bloody and funny.  Highly recommended.

Also highly recommended:  Stranger Things, of course.  The full-on 80s nostalgia, the homages to some of my very favorite movies, the perfect cast, the fact that I had to watch a scene or two through my fingers ... this has got to be one of the best things Netflix has ever done, and ranks way up there as far as any excellent episodic television goes.  Unless you're living under a rock, you've probably already watched it.

Finally, I am tearing through the CW's Crazy Ex-Girlfriend on Netflix just as fast as I can.  This show is so smart, so funny, so uncomfortable and so honest about its exploration of mental illness (the main character is a stalker who suffers from anxiety and depression) that I can scarcely believe that it is on the CW.  Plus it's a musical comedy and the original songs are fantastic.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Preacher recap "Call and Response" S1E10 7/31/16

In Annville, Jesse Custer is on the run, laying low until Sunday morning when he has promised to bring God to the townspeople.  Just in case it actually happens, all the women in town are getting their hair done, which is where Tulip finds the whorehouse's madam.  Tulip's all, WTF is going on and where's Jesse?  The madam tells her that rumor has it Donnie has him.  Later that morning, Tulip busts into Donnie's house, waving her gun, breaking Betsy's nose and shouting for Jesse.  Who comes out of the bathroom, just having showered.  Hey, Tulip, he says, clearly under no duress.

A now-healed Cassidy is under a little duress, being held in the jail.  Sheriff Root comes in with a gun, a box of ammo and a thermos of blood.  He's figured out that Cassidy is a vampire and he alternately shoots him and then feeds him blood (to facilitate healing), asking over and over again what has happened to Eugene.  Cassidy is all, you really don't want to know.  [I adore Joseph Gilgun in this role; he was a little much to take in Misfits but he's wonderful here.  Even if I can't understand much of what he says.]  After an unknown period of time, blood is splashed across the walls of the jail cell and the floor is littered with red-stained Dixie cups.

Donnie, Betsy and Jesse explain to Tulip that [Donnie has found God and since Jesse showed him mercy in the men's room that time, he's showing him mercy now].  Tulip can scarcely roll her eyes more and asks Jesse to come outside with her.  She's got Carlos tied up in the trunk of her car, you see.  And she wants Jesse to kill him.

Flashback to when Carlos screwed Jesse and Tulip over:  it was during a bank robbery in Dallas.  He was the lookout/driver and when he overheard them laughing together as they wait for the vault to blow, he got jealous, untied the guard and took off in the getaway car.  Jesse shoots the guard and Tulip screams after Carlos and the stress and anger causes her to miscarry Jesse's baby.

Back in now/Annville, we check in with the guy keeping an eye on the control panel; it's for a huge underground vat of fermenting cow shit, part of the Quincannon Meat & Power conglomerate, and when the alarms go off, it's because the methane is building up too much.

Cassidy tells the sheriff that the good news is that Eugene is alive.  Although, he muses, on second thought that might not actually be good news.  He presses, asking if Root is maybe a teeny tiny bit relieved that the boy is gone.  This pushes Root's buttons and he shoots Cassidy a bunch of times, then unlocks the jail cell and tells him he can go.  "Good," groans the wounded vampire, "I got someplace I gotta go."

Jesse and Tulip argue about Carlos for a while, plus she disparages his plan to use a dead angel hand to call God down to town.  He points out that killing Carlos won't bring back their baby but she rages that someone's got to pay.  So he gathers up a trash bag and an oven mitt, and goes out to the car.  He wraps the trash bag around Carlos's head, cocks his handgun and places it in the oven mitt.  At the last moment, she stops him, saying that it's enough that he would do it for her.  [Which seems a little out of character.] So instead they just beat the shit out of Carlos and then let him go.  That all seemed ... pointless.

In the morning, Betsy and Donnie sneak Jesse and Tulip into the church.  They clean up and Betsy, being a secretary, helps Jesse figure out the God-phone: it's got video-conferencing.  Tulip's all, what do you think is going to happen here? and Jesse confesses that he honestly has no idea.  Tulip: "Well, no matter what, we're gettin' french fries after."  The church fills up; Cassidy sneaks in and finds Tulip to stand with.  Everyone who we've ever seen in Annville is there and Odin Quincannon is right in the front pew.  Jesse comes out but before he can get started, Quincannon jumps up and is all skeptical about the preacher calling down any sort of God.  In fact, he goes on to say, there is no God but the God of Meat!  To which the congregation says: .....?

Jesse brings out the God-phone and the angel hand and fusses about for quite some time [there's an old school modem sound effect, which is excellent].  Finally, just when the congregation is restless and he's about to quit, the lights in the church go out and the God-phone emits a blinding light.  And there, projected on the church wall, is God: old, white, male, sitting on a throne and dressed in flowing robes.  Everyone is completely gobsmacked (except for Cassidy, who just sits there, giggling).  "I AM THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA ... I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD.  MY CHILDREN, WHY HAVE YOU CALLED ME?"

Jesse, not really believing what's going on, says that they've got questions.  And so God entertains some questions, telling the people that He loves them.  He even tells Quincannon that his little daughter is in Heaven, which seems to relieve him.  God asks Jesse if he has any questions.  The preacher does: he wants to know what God's plan is for him and why did He give him the Genesis-power if he cant use it to help people.  God says that Jesse hasn't failed and that because of Jesse, all of Annville is saved.  Everyone screams and cries happily.

Jesse, disturbed: "But I sent him to Hell!"  God: "And how did you do that, my son?"  Jesse:  "With Genesis."  God: "Oh, yes, of course.  Does anyone else have any questions?"  That finishes it and Jesse gets angry: "You're not God, you're an imposter!"  God tries to dissemble and so Jesse used the Genesis voice:  WHERE IS GOD?  As it turns out, God is missing and no one in Heaven knows where he is ... "God is gone!"  The congregation is stunned.  Jesse turns to Tulip and Cassidy:  "Let's go.  Tulip wants french fries."  And they walk out.

Behind them, the town falls apart.  People cry and wreck the church.  Quincannon makes a mannequin of ground beef and cuddles it in his office.  A bunch of schoolgirls stab pervy bus driver Linus to death on his schoolbus.  Donnie can't get it up with Betsy.  Tracy's mother smothers her comatose daughter while her son takes a selfie.  And the control room guy orders a hooker and then dies while having S&M-tinged sex with her.  And the methane builds up - and the hooker doesn't know how to release the vents - until a huge explosion obliterates the entire town.  Gone.  Wiped off the map.

Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy apparently decided to get french fries at an out-of-town diner, however, because they're fine.  Tulip's like, what now?  Jesse says that they might as well drive around the country and look for God: if He wants their help, they'll help Him, and if not, they'll kick His ass.  Cassidy finds the prospect of a road trip quite appealing.  They head out to the car and Tulip asks Jesse to show her how the Genesis voice works.  So he tells her "KISS ME" and she does - and when she breaks away, she punches him right in the nose and tells him not to ever do that again.  And then they drive off into next season.

But that's not quite the last scene.  Fiore comes back from Hell, without Deblanc.  And in the wreckage of Annville, the seraph wanders around, looking a little stunned.  Then she gets shot in the back, blowing a huge hole in her chest.  She collapses and behind her is the Cowboy.  He growls, "Preacher," and the hunt is on.

And to tide myself over until S2, I've got the first two Preacher TPBs on order at the library ...

Previously on Preacher / next time on Preacher