Monday, October 17, 2016

DOA On TV Skull Report


The theme on Gotham is Mad City and how appropriate is that?  A sly, unfathomable Bruce look alike who escaped Indian Hills fancies Selena Kyle and poses as Bruce to steal a kiss.

The Mad Hatter character pursues his sister Alice for hideous reasons.  Her fate is almost a relief, as her character had a permanent deer in the headlights thing going.  Painful to watch.

Oswald Cobblepot is now Mayor of Gotham, having credited himself with cleaning up the "Monsters" from Indian Hills and making the city safe.

Madness!  Oswald's Main Man is The Riddler, freed from Arkham by Oswald.   Second banana Butch is now on the outs and could potentially ally once again with Fish Mooney.

James Gordon continues to growl his way through his scenes.  How he can possibly get a redemption arc is hard to imagine.  I'd almost like to see him get killed off.  Taking Barbara with him, agh.


This continues to explore Lucifer's mommy issues.  The emphasis on how "insanely hot" she is when she seems pretty middling to me is old already.  There is potential in her character and story line but it hasn't been touched, really.


The new season on the CW network is off to a good start.  I didn't think I'd like the actor portraying Superman, but he was actually a good, heroic, wise Superman.  It was funny to see how people were hero worshiping him, making Kara feel a bit like chopped liver.

You could see how nice it was for Kara to have someone like her by her side, a team, a little less lonely despite her excellent friends and family on the show.

Having Kara suddenly dump James before they even began was beyond annoying.  There was zero believable reason for it.   Very weak.

I loved seeing Cat Grant again though she seemed not herself, not the relaxed in her character woman we've seen all along.  Clearly she's going to go offstage on some venture that will explain why she is rarely if ever on the show again because of the move to Vancouver in real life.  Poorly handled.

The Flash

One of the things I've been worried about since the opening of portals to Alternate Earths was that the well honed Star Labs team, who can take on anything together, would be toyed with and we'd lose this version of these people.  The Alternate Earths story line didn't do that, but Flashpoint, this season's look at the perils of altering time seems to be doing just that.

We're getting, and seem to be stuck in, a Flash Verse that is just a bit different.   Problems between Iris and Joe. Cisco's dead brother coming between he and Barry, because Cisco wants Barry to time travel and undo his brother's death.  Kaitlin exhibiting early signs of becoming Killer Frost.  Because of course this sweet woman must become a villain. 


Marvel Agents Of Shield

I'm liking the new Director.  Oily when he needs to be, tough when he needs to be.  It's so much better that he be someone that is a good fit in the job so we don't just wish Coulson could have the job back.  Coulson is so much better in the field.


The individuals on the Gen X and Millennial tribes continue to be painful to watch as they're all so unlikable.    I don't mind when anyone at all gets booted.  They all deserve it.   I like the challenges this time around, they're a good mix of physical and problem solving.


I love Oliver, that's what keeps me watching.   I'm happy to see him building Oliver's Army to help combat the eternal stream of Bad that Star City attracts.  Maybe they'll get closer to triumphing with more bodies out there.


Love the show.  Not happy with Raimy throwing her dad to the wolves all the time, and really disliked her not speaking when her mom was there to hear her on the radio.  Back your dad up and talk to your mom, you brat.  The dual mysteries of the Nightingale Killer and who set up Raimy's dad to be killed are playing out so well.  I've seen comments that they shouldn't have revealed so soon who the Nightingale killer is, but I think maybe Thomas Goff is either not really the Nightingale killer, or that he will shift around to various places and circumstances over time depending on progress made by Raimy and her dad.

Lethal Weapon

This has been given a full season order.  It remains action packed and so very funny.   Murtaugh and Riggs have a great love/hate relationship.   Riggs is obviously a sucker for children, but shouldn't be left to feed the baby.

Designated Survivor

The show is such a continued delight and surprise and also has a full season order.  Just when it seemed there was a dead end to the "Who Really Blew Up The Capitol" subplot, a Mysterious Phone Call comes in.   I love Sean Wright to death as the new Press Secretary.  The man has such calm and intellect and presence.  Just what beleaguered President Kirkman needs, more guys like this, less like Aaron and his faithful assistant Emily, who are a bit too busy making googly eyes at each other to be helpful.   I was supremely disappointed in Kirkman not honoring the agreement Emily brokered with Rogue Horror Boy Governor Royce of Michigan.  I would have preferred Kirkman use the astonishing diplomatic skills he possesses to change the governor's mind and actions.

Legends of Tomorrow

I have some trouble with this show, one of the main things being the unlikeable captain of the Waverider, Rip Hunter.   Luckily he was taken out of the show with a rather weak but satisfying enough plot point.  The new "leader" is Nate Heywood.  Hmmf.  I liked the actor in last season's Minority Report, but I'm not sure he is a strong addition to what is already a rather weak cast of characters.   Surprisingly I like Rory best, someone who seemed like a cheapo gangster knock off early last season, but who has surprising depth and wit.   I am so not happy to see Eobard Thawne and Damian Darhk, two villains who have had more than enough air time on Arrow and Flash and should never be seen again.


Popcorn city.   Still watching.

Van Helsing

Why why why can't I like Vanessa?   She got herself captured by Vampires and is all cocky with them, biting her old apartment neighbor in the neck with obvious relish to show how baddass she is.  Then she flees into an underground tunnel the vampires themselves are afraid to go in, newly re-humanized neighbor in tow.   While in the tunnel, she and the neighbor act like two breathless scary movie bits of death bait.  Where's the bravado?  On the plus side she learns her daughter got out of her apartment and was taken away by police, so she may be alive somehow.   Maybe the daughter has Vanessa's secret vampire turning skill and has her own little band of vamps and turned vamps somewhere.   There's a Resistance but it is weak.  Alex and company have been overtaken by some refugees they let into the hospital.  Said refugees plan to kill and or boot Alex et all from the hospital.  Maybe they will reunite with Vanessa (who somehow makes it out of the cellar cause it's her show) and join the Resistance and go Vampire Hunting.  Well, well look at this picture.  I am right on the money.   At least the doc is still safe :)

Once Upon A Time

Hmmm.  On the plus side Jekyll and Hyde are gone.  What a painful storyline that was.   Everyone should be happy that Evil Regina and Rumple and chewing the scenery in completely villainous ways.  Honestly, even I am all admiration for how much fun the Evil Queen is having being Evil.   Rumple, not so much.   Belle should accept him as he is.  His best parts respond to her and keep him from all out villainy.  I like the kinder Rumple.  Nice haircut.

Monday, October 3, 2016

DOA On TV Weekly Skull Report


All caught up from the premiere and last week's Gotham.  I don't appreciate Gordon's continued descent into amoral bad guy.  I think his portrayal as Bounty Hunter Bad Ass who has left the police life behind is pretty gimped by the fact that he is constantly at the police station anyway.  Good cop, bad cop, not a cop at all? Get him out of there.

Although I liked the younger Poison Ivy, and think her transferal to grown up sexpot via an instant aging bad guy was weak, the new girl playing a teen? twenty something? Ivy had some depth to her new madness.  Maybe it will be ok.

Someone toss Barbara out a tall enough window to have her permanently go splat, please.

Bruce's new resolve to ignore the Court of Owls and the evil doings at Wayne Enterprises is hopefully doomed to failure.

Marvel's Agents of Shield

Another largely Daisy-centric episode.  Her Goth look and Bad Girl attitude don't make her any more appealing.  Ditch her story lines asap please.   I'm liking the Ghosts.


Wow. I was rooting for Mari the uber gamer in real life because she was great.  It did seem that school playground politics and cliques won the day.  Icky background schemer Michelle is showing some repulsive manipulative ways.  Hannah, who is supposed to be smart, let Michelle browbeat her into voting for Mari, completely against her best interests, right in front of everyone at Tribal.   She deserves the next boot.


Off to Venezuela where MacGyver's partner Jack gets to moon over and save his ex-girlfriend Sarah, played by Amy Acker.  I've been repelled by Amy Acker as the spidery soccer mom in Grimm and as the torturer and psycho Root on Person of Interest.  This is the first time I've seen her play a relatively normal, mostly likeable person.  The show is pure fluff, but it's fine for a Friday night.

Van Helsing

I don't care about spoilers, peeps, so I have to say my favorite thing about the episode was the restoration of Doc from vampirism.  I love her so much!  It will be interesting to see how much she remembers from her time as a vampire, and I'm hoping she can help defeat them with her vampiry knowledge, though Axel locked her up before she got to bite anyone.  Vanessa herself still hasn't much personality.    Axel hasn't much either, but now Doc is awake, we've got someone to root for.

Once Upon A Time

Emma decides she should tell her friends and family about her visions, guided by Archie (the Exceedingly Smarmy Cricket), yet she doesn't actually tell them.   The Evil Queen half of Regina busts in and bowls everyone over and leeringly threatens.  Speaking of leering, those Evil Queen outfits of hers with the push up bra action get thrust into Rumpelstiltskin's face, then the face of the Gold persona.  That's an aspect we haven't seen before.   The Count of Monte Cristo makes an appearance as the Big Bad with an Untold Story this episode.

Fear the Walking Dead Season Finale 

They pulled out all the stops this episode for gore, gushing blood and deadly rage.  Everyone who was all whiny because Travis tried to retain his humanity in the apocalypse should have been pleased when he killed his son's murderers with his bare hands.  A zombie bit off a guy's nose.  Nick, who I don't find as likeable or attractive for that matter as everyone else does, put a zombie to rights by gouging his eyes out in a rather prolonged bit with blood gushing from the eyes after he finally removed his thumbs from the sockets.  Eeeww.   Alicia stood by her family by knifing a doctor to death with a quickie to the chest.  Killing a doctor in the apocalypse...tsk.   Nick leads the citizens of Colonia towards the border only to be met with gunfire and potential execution.  Oops for the little kids in the group.  Don't get cocky, Nick.  Madison, Travis and Alicia leave the hotel with a still wounded Strand staying behind, tracing the route to Colonia, temporarily overrun by Drug Lords, now home sweet home for an army of the dead.


It appears Ash vs The Evil Dead is on Sunday nights this year instead of Saturday.  Too much on Sundays.  I have this and Elementary recorded to watch tonight.

Poldark agh, started season two in early September, so zzzzzzzz.   Oh well.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

DOA On TV What's Coming In 2017

I still think it is bizarre that the time period after Christmas has become so full of big time programming.

I'm unhappy to see what NBC did with Grimm since last season: Gave it a renewal (yay), then said it would have the number of episodes cut in half, then they said it would not appear till January and the show would end after its short episodic run.  What dirty behavior, seriously.

Also guilty of awful behavior, Sleepy Hollow which allowed Nicole Beharie, Abbie Mills, THE MAIN CHARACTER to be summarily killed off last season.  They return in January without her, and though I love Ichabod, he and Abbie were the show.  Now they're putting in someone who is supposed to remind you of X-Files Scully?  They have certainly lost completely the whole soul of the show and, I'll watch, but will be cringing.

With no explanation iZombie is renewed but pushed to January.   What does that mean?

Here's what's coming of interest to me, and to you, cause you love the same stuff I do, right?

12 Monkeys Season Three
Stranger Things Season Two
The Expanse Season Two
Shannara Season Two
Izombie Season Three
Orphan Black Fifth and final season
Zoo (summer 2017)
Colony Season Two
Sleepy Hollow Season Four
Grimm Sixth and Final Season
Wynonna Earp Season Two
Doctor Who
Fear the Walking Dead Season Three
Mercy Street  Season Two
Poldark  Season Two
Jessica Jones Season Two
Daredevil Season Three
Class (Doctor Who Spinoff with Teens)
Shadowhunters Season Two

Monday, September 26, 2016

DOA On TV: Show Notes

I've yet to see Gotham, but have caught up on the other shows I usually watch, plus I've added a couple of new ones.

Lucifer:   Lucifer oddly has a certain innocence to him, odd perhaps, but he is, after all, a fallen angel.  This season, his mother (who knew he had one!) has escaped from Hell, perhaps aided by someone in her escape.  Lucifer spends much of the episode rather hilariously thinking she is inhabiting the bodies of some very confused people.  Off to a good start.

Marvel's Agents of Shield:  Coulson isn't Director anymore which allows him to be out in the field rubbing elbows directly with the bad guys.  Fun for him and the audience.  The new director has been unseen but appears to be heavy handed and running Shield with a hard hand.  Daisy (hate that name) is off on her own chasing down baddies with her hacking skills and her super powers.  The new Big Bad is Ghost Rider, a character I'm not familiar with, but who is able to become a flaming skull being at will and toss fire.  His disabled brother is Lorenzo James Henry who plays Chris the Psycho on Fear the Walking Dead fueling speculation Chris' character will be killed off.

Survivor:  Gen X vs Millennials.  Gen X is a sort of innocuous generation for me, and the age range spans quite a bit 33-52?  I assumed since the Gen-Xers were portraying themselves as hard working conscientious role models of the world that they'd beat out the ever so slackery Millennials, but no, the Millennials outsmarted and outplayed them handily.  Best up your game, Gen X.

MacGyver:  As we know I never saw the original, so I am not all whiny comparing the new and old.   I thought the plot and characters were much like Mission Impossible, and right after I watched it it was also reminding me of Magnum PI, though I couldn't say now why.   I thought at first the MacGyver character was a bit silly and vacuous, but he had me rooting for him by the end of the episode.

Van Helsing:  Man, this was so dark and grim, and hopeless for the first half hour or so, and I considered turning it off, but I stuck with it, even through the second episode which made me actually like it more as it explained how everyone got to where they are.  I need at least one really appealing character in a show, and in this one, I really liked the doctor, who is now a slavering vampire, but I'm hoping she can be turned back.  I also liked Vanessa Van Helsing's little girl, and I have hope as well that she is alive somehow.  I'll be there watching this week.

Once Upon a Time:  Off to an annoying start with Emma mysteriously having tremors and visions of her apparent death and stupidly hiding it from everyone except stinking creepy Hyde.  She does this every time, when she has plenty of people who could help her figure things out.  I did not like the Regina/Zelena immediate split.  Having them finally work things out between them would have been a nice story arc.

Lethal Weapon:   I'm a fan of the old movies and would have been critical, if Damon Wayans and Clayne Crawford were not both so immediately appealing in their roles.  They were both just great, I loved their characters and had a tear in my eye at episode's end.  Watching!

Designated Survivor:  What happens if things go bad and a really smart Sweetheart of the World is suddenly tossed into the Oval Office by tragedy?  Keifer Sutherland, I just wanted to hug him.  So sweet, so vulnerable, but under it, I think so very capable.   I never watched a single episode of 24 so I'm not biased into wanting him to reprise his Jack Bauer role at all. A real surprise must watch for me who despises politics more than anyone you know.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

DOA On TV: Fall TV, off to an Oopsie Start

Yikes, I missed the premier of Gotham, Lucifer, Agents of Shield, and Survivor (!!!!!!) this week because I haven't got my nice tv cheat sheet ready.   (Pulls head from Deep Place)  Good thing everything is set for series recording.  I'm just out of the habit of watching TV in the evenings, boink!


There are very few new shows I'm interested in this fall, worst new offerings in years.  Almost everything really good is pushed back to January.  Except for great things like the Flash...


Gotham  9/19  7pm Fox
Lucifer   9/19  8 pm Fox
Supergirl   10/10   7pm CW


The Flash  10/4  7pm   CW
Marvel's Agents of Shield    9/20   8pm


Survivor   9/21   7pm  CBS
Lethal Weapon  9/21   7pm   Fox
Arrow   10/5    7pm   CW
Designated Survivor  8pm   Fox
Frequency   10/5    8pm   CW


Legends of Tomorrow   10/13   7pm   CW


MacGyver     9/23    7pm   CBS
Van Helsing   9/23   9pm   Syfy
Luke Cage  9/30   Netflix 

Ash vs. Evil  Dead   10/2  8pm   Starz
Dirk Gently   7pm   10/22  BBC America


Once Upon A Time   9/25    7pm   ABC
Westworld     10/2   8pm    HBO
Elementary   10/2   9 pm    CBS
Walking Dead   10/23   8pm   AMC
Talking Dead   10/23   9pm  AMC
The Librarians   11/20   7pm    TNT

Monday, September 5, 2016

DOA's Podcast Recommendations

I've been listening to podcasts while I'm gardening and walking.  I'm trying to get back up to walking two miles a day, and listening to Podcasts while I stroll with my faithful Beagle is a nice way to pass the time.

I've been listening to a variety of things, as fits my ever so well rounded interests.  I've handily put my recommendations on the sidebar.  Give them a try!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Garden In August

I've been doing what the knowing Gardener About Town does in August: beginning the processes for putting the garden to bed for the winter.  I'd like to do it right just once, to say I've done it.

If you think it's too early even for the frozen north, you'd be surprised at all there is to do, and how slowly and carefully I do things I'm trying to do well.

All of my plants in pots need to come out of their pots.  I can store any plastic or metal pots in the garden shed, but clay pots only survive the winter in the house or in the garage ( on shelves off of the ground).  I empty my pots and wash them out in a big tub.  This takes awhile with my dozens of pots.

If they're a potential houseplant or tender perennial I'd like to overwinter, they need time to acclimate to their new surroundings.  I am beyond guilty of having a garage full of plants in November that still look sooo nice, surely I should bring them inside.

If they're an annual or herb, I will be giving them a spot in a garden bed where they can finish out the season.

There is the wisdom that hitting the weeds hard late in the season doesn't give them time to drop seeds or recover before winter.  I've been working on that, but as you can see in the pictures below, they are wily and determined.

I have some new daylilies and a few perennials that have been getting a start in the vegetable beds this season.  They need their own spot in the garden, and many established plants are overgrown and crowded and really need to be moved.  There's time between now and about September 26th to move, water in and establish new plantings.  That date is my own measure of the earliest date that I've seen the garden get shut down by the early arrival of winter.

I'll need to clear everything out of the vegetable beds once things finish there so it's all ready for spring plantings.  

It's time to update my garden maps so I know what might be added in the spring, and what is currently where.  I've gone back to trying to know each plant in the garden by its common and botanical names.

See why I need an early start?  Here's how things look today:

Monday, August 15, 2016

Jessica Robinson's Farmhouse Apple Crisp

I wrote about the New England Farmgirl Cookbook the other day on my Adventures of Merlyn Perilous blog, and today I tried the apple crisp.

It didn't seem likely I'd find granulated maple sugar at the store, and I did not.  I used an additional 3/4 cup of brown sugar instead.  I'll keep an eye out while shopping elsewhere.

I lack Apple coring skills, though I have a decent enough Apple corer.  Apples, as it turns out, don't like to stand upright.  They want to sit angled so you aren't certain of getting that problematic core.

Even so, the recipe was simple, and did not say you needed to cool before adding a scoop of ice cream, so I went for it.  Almost like a warm Carmel Apple, this is the best apple crisp I've ever had.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Orphan Black (Season 1)

I've seen the first three episodes of the twisty suspense series Orphan Black on Amazon Prime.  It has been on my radar for a long time, but I never took the time to watch it.

We're in a real television doldrums for the sort of science fiction/suspense/horror shows I watch.  Thank heavens for Netflix and now Amazon Prime for offering some good things I haven't seen.

The basic premise is that our protagonist Sarah sees a woman who looks exactly like her walk in front of a train.  Her moral compass is a bit off, so she steals the woman's identification and identity, hoping to get what she can from the hapless train victim.

The woman was a police detective, on administrative leave for shooting an innocent woman armed with nothing but a cell phone.  The detective's partner and shrink try to help her as she digs herself in deeper in the impersonation.

To complicate things, she begins getting demanding calls and texts from a woman desperate to get in touch with her.  When the woman tracks her down, Sarah sees she is also identical in facial features to herself, something she can barely register before the woman is shot in the head before her eyes.

There are at least two more of these women in the city, who grudgingly tell Sarah they're all clones, and someone is killing them (the series of clones) off.

Tatiana Maslany does an astonishing job of portraying multiple characters with the same face and completely different mannerisms and personalities.  I used to marvel at actors playing identical twins, but this goes way beyond that.  She's just fascinating.

Each episode is so suspenseful and fast moving.  Great for science fiction and mystery lovers.