Thursday, May 29, 2014

Spring Anime Review: Kamigami no Asobi

Another new anime premiering this spring/summer: Kamigami no Asobi. In case it wasn't really

REALLY

REAAALLLYYY obvious - THIS IS A SHOUJO ANIME.

I'm going to be honest; this anime is so silly I can't even do a full review. I couldn't get past three episodes. You have your basic shoujo/harem ingredients; pure, honest Japanese school girl is sucked into another world. And the premise is just as ludicrous as the pictures up above. Zeus (yea, the Greek god Zeus? That one) decides for whatever reason (the world ending, bla bla bla) that Yui whatshername is the ONE. The ONE human girl who will teach an assortment of pretty boy gods how to 'love' humans. Oh God, it sounds like a horrible dating sim (was it? It wouldn't surprise me) and just goes to prove that Japan reaaaally needs to stop making anime out of dating sims.

First off, our girl Yui has a mullet. Anime mullets on girls DON'T WORK (see: Hikaru from Rayearth. Bugged the SHIT out of me when I watched that anime). Second of all the anime is getting their gods wrong; Thor has blue hair, a cold personality, doesn't carry a hammer and is best bros with Loki. Loki, Loki looks like a cat girl with red hair and is called the 'god of fire' which, bwuh? Pretty sure Loki was universally known as the trickster god.

That's just a small sampling of the pure fuckery of this anime. Zeus snaps his fingers, creates a Japanese school system complete with fake students and says, 'get learning about human ways'. To which 1/3 of the pretty boys are like, yea-no. And that's it, I can't get past the ridiculousness of this anime. To try and lure the gods into liking humans Yui and Apollo try to do a summer vacation to the beach and that's as far as I got before the spams from laughter overcame me.

IF you like this genre; empty, follows a harem formula, has the archetype male characters (Host Club much?) has a pure Japanese school girl at the center of the harem, ect. ect. hey you'll love it. I think I'll be moving onto something with a little more substance.

I give it a C.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Watership Down Chapter 13 & 14 Recap

Chapter 13 Hospitality

The Fellowship of the Cottontail has gone to check out this supposed heaven on earth invited by the fat and beautiful Cowslip. All along the way everybody is noting small little things that juuuust aren't quite right.

The warren is out in the open, unprotected.

The bunnies of Cowslips pad are super relaxed, unheard of for twitchy little rabbits.

But as the rain starts to fall everybody mingles and plays and nibbles on grass that has been stored in the warren and generally has a grand old time. Why do I sense impending doom?

Chapter 14 'Like Trees in November'

Things get a little stranger; Hazel tries to recount their harrowing tail of survival in the big bad world but the Other bunnies are all, 'meh, don't care'

Hazel wants to feed about ground, even though its raining, and Cowslip laughs at him - laughter is not something animals do and it freaks Hazel out.

It seems the Other bunnies have been picking up some very human traits; laughter, singing and for some weird reason, shoving bricks up a dirt wall.

But our Fellowship are dumbasses and let all this slide under the bridge of suspicion. Morning arrives, Hazel awakes to the smell of cigarettes and freshly laid out food. Delicious, delicious food. Cowslip and the Others scramble outside and beg the Fellowship to help them squirrel it away like....well, squirrels. Another odd behavior.

At this point Hazel notices the complete non-activity on Fivers part and the strangely ambiguous answer he's getting (rather, not getting) from Cowslip - who would rather go, OH LOOK AT THE SKY when asked specific questions.

Fiver isn't happy. The Tingle is acting up something fierce and even the lurid call of carrots and grass cannot persuade him to stay at this warren. But instead of further plot development we're getting another stupid story. Tune in next time.

Monday, May 26, 2014

The 100 Episode 10 Review

Previously on The Future is Filled With Rage Filled Sociopaths,

The world ended and now the fate of humanity is in the hands of teenagers. Diplomacy failed the Teens and the Grounders are gearing up for a slaughter. Which…isn’t really any different from the very beginning of the series. Treason on the Mother Ship and there is not ONE space craft in this universe that can apparently land without killing someone, or in this case, everyone.

Episode 10 I Am Become Death

So in the last episode the runaway ship to freedom crashed and burned horribly. We open this episode with the Teens sifting through the charred remains of the ship and the passengers, and supposedly Blondie’s mother.

Random arm is reaching for a feasible plot line.

Blondie ain’t happy (but then she never is) and Raven discovers rocket fuel, or whatever it was is leaking and is very explosive, HMMM I wonder if that will be a plot line later!?

Back at camp, Bellamy is stepping up in his leadering role and is actually doing a decent job of it.

Jasper is reaping the rewards of being a hero (or at least someone whose spastic aim accidently ended up saving Blondie in the previous episode) and it’s gone to his silly head. Jasper is being a douche. Like, a mega-douche. First he calls one of the girls who is interested in him ‘low-hanging fruit’ and then alienates and throws out his only friend, Engineer Guy when he points out the obvious that Octavia has zero interest in him, having found her own sexy kidnapper to boink. Jackass.

Awaiting retribution the Teens stalk about their camp with edgy nerves and twitchy trigger fingers. Hark! From the Dark! Who is it!?

Why, it’s Bellamy’s Hyena – returned from the wilderness. Or in this case he has returned from being tortured by the Grounders which smacks of shenanigans.

Why release him, or let him escape? Because those sneaky murderous Grounders infected the Hyena with a virus and now the whole camp is going to get it.

Ho, shit – Blondie starts bleeding from the eyes. That doesn’t bode well for her. Plague!!

So now blood is spurting everywhere, people are bleeding from the eyes, puking up blood and the Teens round up those people who have touched or been in contact with the Hyena. Including Octavia.

She isn’t showing any signs of infection but ho! Blondie is sneaky and sends Octavia away on a mission to speak to Silent Dude going under the command of Bellamy, who would never stand for it. Damn, I like Blondie.

But her efforts are to no avail because Silent Dude says there is no cure but no worries – its fast moving and if you don’t die puking blood within a day you’ll probably survive. Then he asks Octavia to run away with him. So romantic.

Octavia is being torn between her love of her kidnapper and loyalty to her brother and the other Teens. She returns to warn them that the Grounders will be attacking at dawn, when the virus has incapacitated almost everyone.

The Hyena, in the meantime, seems to have found a heart; his blood puking phase seems to have passed and he helps those around him.

The camp is in chaos, Mama Blondie is not happy with their misbehavior and Octavia returns with the good news and the Finn/Raven combo comes up with the idea to take out the bridge to slow down the Grounders; using up all the gun powder that they have left. What they will do AFTER they blow up the bridge and the Grounders keep coming and they have no weapons now is anybody’s guess.

Bellamy starts the ol’ bleeding from the eyes and before he goes down puking blood gives the responsibility of shooting the homemade bomb from a distance to Jasper, as he is the only one not ill.

This should be interesting.

Finn volunteers to set up the bomb but Raven takes off with it, refusing to let him put himself in danger. Except now SHE’S sick and stumbling all over the place. It seems the sickness also induces terrible strategy choices as she crashes through the forest with a flashlight.

Oh no, Raven, NO. Why are you setting up in plain sight on the middle of the bridge where anybody can pick you off with an arrow!? Seriously, I have doubts about their self-preservation skills.

The Hyena attempts to care of Bel and Bel ain’t having ANY of that and says, ‘yea I’m still gonna kill you when I get better’.

Dawn approacheth and Raven has the bomb set up and ready to go. Then she collapses. Good thing Jasper and Finn are right behind her. Finn pauses as he hears something. DRUMS! DRUMS IN THE DEEP! The Grounders are coming. With torches.

Raven crawls along the bridge to pick up the automatic rifle, attempting to sacrifice herself?

The Grounders leap through the woods and seriously; is this show TRYING to imitate the Uruk-hai?

Finn dashes into the rescue and drags her off the bridge (the tiny bridge, the tiny bridge that shouldn’t matter strategic-wise if it was blown or not because people could just walk down the small gully it sits over to the other side….)

Jasper is set up for the shot. Shooting a stationary, unmoving completely hittable, easily shootable target. SHOOOOT HEEERRRR!! SHOOOOOOOOT HEEEERRR!!

He misses.

But he DOES manage to warn the Grounders away from the bomb. Nice going. THEN he runs out of ammo. All seems lost until! Engineer guy pops out of the woods with another gun. SUCCESS!! The power of friendship prevails over all.

Everyone from camp watches the fireball rise into the sky and Blondie has an uncharacteristically creepy moment quoting Oppenheimer and the whole ‘I am the destroyer of worlds.’ Five bucks on Blondie taking over everything.

The camp is back to normal, the Grounders have been (momentarily) stopped and Octavia meets up with Silent Dude. She decides not to go with him as he runs for the hills. He tells her they are going to die and that the ‘mountain men are coming’ which conjures up some hilarious images, let me tell you, all to do with beaver skins, santa claus beards and antler horn helmets.

Poof. Finite. End of that relationship, Silent Dude heads for the hills and Octavia heads back to camp. They are not the only couple to end it; Raven can’t take the jealousy monster anymore and tells Finn that he can’t love her the way she wants him to (which I guess means that he must never look another woman in the eye EVER AGAIN and must stay within touching distance at all times) and ends that relationship too.

Again, there could be a serious opening for an alternative relationship but no – we go with good ol’ heteronormative relationships because the Apocalypse killed off everyone on the one side (and the middle) of the Kinsey scale.

Oh look, it’s the Hyena! Our sweet, reformed Hyena who has recovered from his illness and has been caring for people and has been acting like a proper human being. What? What’s this? He’s wetting a towel to wipe away sweat and blood from a previous enemy who would have strung him up. He’s wiping his face, he’s….smothering him to death.

O….kay, not reformed but back to his old sociopathic, power-hungry routine.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Anime Review: No Game No Life

One of our spring/summer anime lineups for 2014; No Game No Life. I feel kind of like this is a warped version of Yu-Gi-Oh (just a bit). In the 'real' world two genius siblings Sora, older brother, genius at reading people/manipulating people and Shiro, younger sister, unrivaled calculation genius are bored to death of everything and everyone except for gaming.

They are Neets (Japanese term for Not in Education, Employment or Training - in other words a shut-in geek/otaku/unable to be social person) who spend five days straight at a time playing half a dozen online MMORPG's and winning at all of them. Together they are BLANK - unbeatable, untouchable, an urban legend too cool for this planet.

So what do two untouchable geniuses do? Get sucked into another world where conflict is settled by gaming. Of course.

I admit I had a rough start with the first episode. One thing that bugs the hell out of me is blatant, terribly obvious fan service and when you are doing crotch shots of a fucking ten year girl (Shiro, within the first ten minutes of the episode) it really pisses me off. I will never understand that aspect of Japanese culture where you are sexualizing CHILDREN, fucking children who are far below the age of sixteen. How the hell is this NOT pedophilia and how does this become so pervasive in a culture? So it took an effort to continue with the series.

But I did and I'm mostly glad I did. Hulu is currently streaming the first episode but if you look around you can find up to five episodes which is where I'm at right now. Let's start with; Characters

Sora

He almost has two distinct personalities. The first is a goofy, hilarious, pervy happy-go-lucky type of guy who is interested in normal things, like having a girlfriend. The second is the manipulative as hell, take-no-prisoners master chess player who can turn your head on its heels. Its a bit of a whiplash to go from super-serious Sora who is making you dance like a puppet to the goofball perv who is spazzing out about something ridiculous. Good for comedic effect, a bit tough on the serious to comedic back to serious whiplash effect.

Shiro

Shiro is the extremely young, super genius laid back part of the duo Blank. She is untouchable in chess and calculation. You don't really get much of a feel for her personality; she doesn't say much, likes gaming and is content to let Sora do the talking. She only really comes alive when Sora is stepping out of bounds and is trying to engage in pervy behaviors in which then she usually comes down hard on him (painfully). I should mention that both siblings are completely reliant on one another and cannot be without the other because of extreme anthropophobia.

Steph

Poor Steph is just a normal girl in a world full of super geniuses. She doesn't stand a chance against the Blank duo and therefore gets outshined and often looked down upon. She's also the fanservice character; giant perfectly spherical tits, miniature skirts, stripperific outfits and major plunging necklines indicates fanservice to the T.

Steph is the granddaughter of the previous king and is on the verge of losing her kingdom (the kingdom of humans which is about to get overrun by all the other races of the world) when Blank show up and Sora decides to take over and be king. She loses rock-paper-scissors against Sora who then orders her to 'fall in love' with him and by the laws of this gaming world she is forced to do that although she fights against it with hilarious results.

Overall

No Game No Life has slick animation with bright and vibrant colors, it has good world building (familiar for anybody who has played a fantasy RPG) and interesting and dynamic characters. The dialogue is quick and witty and often hilarious; there is a good balance between seriousness and comedy. The plot moves fast and centers around the monumental task of taking the kingdom of the despondent human race and turning it around to be a major power in a world full of powerful creatures.

This is looking to be one of the better anime of 2014. The only thing that irritates me is blatant fanservice, mostly centered around Steph and her wonder-tits and the occasional crotch shot.

Overall I would give the anime an A and will continue with the series.

Monday, May 19, 2014

The 100 Episode Nine Review

Previously on Drug Addled Teens and Torture, The world ended and now the fate of humanity is in the hands of teenagers. Silent Dude remains a prisoner, Blondie and Bellamy bond over corpses and weapons, everybody gets high, Silent Dude escapes and now everybody has guns.

The 100 Episode Nine: Unity Day

(Is it strange I kept remembering that one scene from Firefly when Mal and Co. are in that bar and it’s Unification Day? And that drunk guy goes ‘UnifiCATION Day!!’ Yea, I kept hearing that as I watched this episode.)

So the Evil Overlord is broadcasting live over the screen to everybody both Space Above and Earth Below as they celebrate Unity Day (UnifiCATION Day!!) as 13 stations united to form the mother ship? I think that’s how it went.

Except everybody on Earth Below is having a way better time of things because now they have their own moonshine still to make alcohol. Better and better; now we have Teens, Sex, Drugs, Guns and Alcohol. I think our bingo card of Teenage Stereotypes has been completely filled out. It’s a wonder the camp hasn’t imploded yet.

While the teens watch the screen Finn happens to see Octavia be super stealthy (not really) and sneak out the back door. HMMM, I WONDER WHERE SHE’S GOING? Back in Space the two doppelgangers exchange not-so-subtle barbs as the Previous Counselor and Doctor Mama clearly dislike one another. Aw, look it’s time for the little tykes of the Mother Ship to reenact Unity Day (UnifiCATION Day!!), this should be good. And we’re not disappointed,

“Long ago, when the earth was on fire…”

Seriously, how can this NOT go wrong with a sentence beginning like that? Hold onto your butts because BOOM!!!

Terrorism aboard the space ship. Blood, bodies and mayhem everywhere. Poor Evil Overlord in Training loses his mother and – hey, where is the Previous Counselor? She has mysteriously disappeared right before the bomb went off.

The Previous Counselor shows her true colors; her and her blue collar cohorts set the bomb but lament that it wasn’t big enough to kill the Evil Overlord. ‘We should have built a bigger bomb’ she says. The Previous Counselor is out to hijack the drop ship and woe betide those who get in her way. On Earth Below party reveling is still going on, Raven is checking the gun powder and Finn is doing the earth loving hippy routine and is super upset at all the guns and violence. He wants a better solution when dealing with the Grounders.

Octavia, by this point, has made it to the underground bunker to her super-ripped boyfriend and they fall passionately into each other’s arms. Right after she tries to stab him. Foreplay, I guess, for Grounders.

And can we take a moment to acknowledge how FUCKED UP this relationship is? This grown-ass man stalks Octavia, kidnaps her when she is injured, drags her back to his man-cave, CHAINS HER TO A FUCKING WALL and now she’s madly in love with him?

Not to mention this grown-ass man is screwing a girl who isn’t even out of her teens yet, whose brain and decision making skills have not been fully formed yet, who is reckless, impulsive and immature? THIS RELATIONSHIP IS FUCKED UP. Just thought I would point that out.

Big Brother Finn finds them and nearly gets himself knifed. Again. Finn declares a truce and says he wants to find a way to forge peace between them (peace with the Grounders who are murderous and homicidal FOR NO FUCKING REASON – but we’ll get to that in length later in the episode)

Silent Dude agrees but says he doesn’t have the authority to make that call. So he will bring his leader if the Teens bring theirs. ‘Bellamy?!’ Octavia scoffs. ‘No,’ says Finn, ‘Clarke’ (also known as Blondie). Good call.

Back in Space the Previous Counselor proves herself quite the actress when the guard finds her. She pulls the, ‘Thank GOD I DID leave early, if I hadn’t, why I shudder to think what would have happened! I’m so glad you’re all okay!’ Like idiots, the guard believe her and allow her to plot more terrorist plots to get to the drop ship.

Earth Below Blondie grudgingly agrees with the Pacifist Plan but goes behind Finn’s back and informs Bellamy who responds with, ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND!!? They compromise that Bel and a couple of others (Raven and Jasper) will follow behind them, fully armed with their latest discovery – automatic rifles. This will end well, I’m sure.

Finn and Blondie take off in the middle of the night, Blondie leaves a trail of nuts (the wacky nuts that caused so much trouble in the last episode?) for Bellamy to follow. Which apparently he can- in pitch black dark, in rough terrain, without light...

Back in Space the Previous Counselor finally manages a hostile takeover of the drop ship and oops! Doctor Mama just happens to get stuck on the wrong side of the doors. The Evil Overlord is hilariously screaming through the glass door to let him in and the Previous Counselor basically goes, Nah Nah NAAAAHHH.

Back on Earth this is it; the big moment when the two leaders of opposing groups will come together and make history. Finn and Blondie meet up with Octavia and Silent Dude with the Bellamy and Co. entourage tagging along behind them, unbeknownst to everybody else. Now EVERYBODY knows about Octavia’s illicit sexy times as she’s all over Silent Dude like cat hair on a black angora sweater.

HA HA! Laughs Raven, who stops laughing as Finn grabs Blondie’s hand and jealousy rears its ugly head. Goddamn love triangles. But no time for that – out of the woods, it’s the Grounders! On horses!

Surprise, surprise the leader is a badass looking Warrior Princess who has the visage of someone who is Perpetually Pissed. Blondie is up, this is it, the first opening sentence that will make or break a tentative peace between peoples or start another war.

‘I think, uh, that we got off to a rough start.’

Diplomacy at its finest. Perpetually Pissed does not look impressed. It’s an awkward downhill slide of hostility from there. Supposedly this is where in the point of the series where we get an actual explanation concerning the weird hyper-violent attitudes the Grounders have displayed towards the Teens; which has been horror-movie brutal and more-than-slightly unsubstantiated.

Instead we get serious Plot Holes. Gaping Plot Holes. ‘Your signals burned a village to the ground’ says Perpetually Pissed.

Can we point out that when the teens sent off the flares that was like, episode five or six? And the Grounders have been murderous from episode one? Jasper was harpooned just for standing around in a forest, then he was dragged all over creation then strung up on a tree while he was slowly bleeding to death for what reason now? None of this is adding up and it still comes off smelling like a poor antagonist prop. A really flimsy cardboard thin excuse for drama.

Equally, thinking about this logically their attitudes MAKE NO SENSE. Say they are the survivors of the apocalypse. They have been surviving this century basically living in the dark ages, presumably without modern medicine, technology or any of the advancements we had before the Fallout. Why in the HELL would they murderously slaughter the people who DO have that technology, who CAN put humanity back together and share their medicine and technology? Assuming that the human race is on the verge of extinction why THE HELL would you go and slaughter your own race into self-eradication?

The only reason Perpetually Pissed gives that kind of makes sense is that ‘You are invaders’

See, now THAT I can buy as a legitimate reason for retaliation except…they didn’t even wait to see what the People From Space would do, didn’t talk to them, or watch them, or try to initiate any sort of peaceful contact, they just went and attempted to kill one for the hell of it. And actually have killed quite a few since then while the Teens have captured one of them and let him live.

Bad Plot Holes piss me off.

Did you think that Blondie would make friends with the Grounders? You poor na├»ve sap, you. As the two hash out their ‘differences’ Blondie’s back-up group is scouting the area through the sight on the guns. Jasper finds there are three Grounders in a tree getting ready to feather Blondie with a dozen arrows. Our brave gangly stork runs screaming out of the bushes firing random bullets shouting for Blondie to get down.

Well, that escalated quickly. Guns win over Arrows and Perpetually Pissed skedaddles off into the sunset/heavily wooded forest but not before putting an arrow into Silent Dude. Seems like camaraderie was lost in the Apocalypse as well.

Okay, NOW they are at war.

Back in Space, things aren’t going so well either; Doctor Mama refused to join the Dark Side and gets zapped in response. Evil Overlord is doing his damndest to get the bay doors open and the Previous Counselor one-ups him by telling everybody the truth about the drop ship; only seven hundred people out of the thousands that live on the Mother Ship are going to survive and the Evil Overlord was going to let them die.

THAT threw a wrench in the works. Evil Overlord is betrayed by angry workers, the doors slam shut and the drop ship takes off – knocking the entire Mother Ship offline (how that works exactly is a mystery – who the fuck wires their life support system to a drop ship so that when said drop ship rips away from the mother ship prematurely it knocks out all life support?)

Back on Earth the teens have a giant lovers spat and everybody is pissed at everybody else. Finn is Disappointed in Blondie for having self-preservation and says (whines, really) ‘You didn’t have to trust the Grounders not to attack, you just had to trust me.’

WHHHAAAATTT THE FUUUUUUUUCCKKKK.

If she trusted Finn THEY WOULD ALL BE DEAD. HOLY FUCK I DISLIKE FINN WITH THE BURNING DISTASTE OF A THOUSAND SUNS.

We end this episode with, what’s that! In the sky! It’s the drop ship – but wait, it’s coming in too fast. Oh, crap it just crashed. So much for modern technology; apparently there isn’t one ship that exists in this world that can make a safe landing without killing a bunch of people.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Watership Down Chapters Eleven and Twelve Review

Chapter Eleven: Hard Going

Hardships with Hierarchy; Hazel is getting a revolt on all sides and Bigwig ends up biting a bunny. Desperate bunnies stagger their way through the night. Owls, stoats and cocksfoot, oh my!

Fear not, little rabbits - there is a light at the end of the tunnel - ahead! A glorious field beckons!

Twelve: The Stranger in the Field

Sorry, but FINALLY something happens with this plot. Okay. Hooray, the bunnies are happy! They skip, they jump, and Fiver throws a wrench in it with gloom. They send a few bunnies out to scout and learn there is nothing here except for a Human path - no biggie.

Hark! What is that, there on the horizon? It's a new bunny, bunny that has never been seen before. How mysterious. Hazel goes to check it out.

The Stranger Danger bunny smells okay, isn't overly hostile and is super chill. Hazel is confused. 'WE'RE GOING TO LIVE HERE NOW, OKAY?!?' he shouts and the stranger bunny is like, 'lul, ok'

He follows Hazel back to meet the rest of the group and is all like, 'whuttup, I'm Cowslip, you can totes trust me - come back to the warren and meet the gang.'

The Fellowship of the Cottontail are not buying this.

He leaves them to mull things over and almost everybody says HELL YES but Fiver, that gloomy gus naysayer, says no - we should leave. So of course everybody ignores him and goes off to the strange warren. Ohhh foreshadowing is thick. What's going to happen?

Find out next chapter.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Fable 2: The Hero of Bowerstone Chapter Nine Update

I actually meant to get this up sooner but then math happened. And tests and many tears were involved but now that's over so more writing, yay! Sparrow meets Sister Hannah, who talks. A lot. Nine: The Hero of Strength up and at em' over at fanfiction.net

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Penny Dreadful Pilot Review

Penny Dreadful Pilot Review

Oh Showtime…

First, I would like to forward an apology to everybody who loves this sort of shock-effect genre of horror – I am indeed including my own biases in this review and it will color it greatly. Just because I don’t wholly enjoy something doesn’t mean another person should feel bad for liking it. I’m just seeing so many shows like this of late become super popular and it’s irritating me.

Spoiler Warnings ahead, be warned if you haven’t seen it and don’t want to know what happens.

Also: NOT FOR CHILDREN, NOT FOR THE SQUIMISH, HELL – I WISH I HADN’T SEEN MOST OF WHAT I JUST WATCHED, SERIOUSLY MATURE RATING FOR THE SHOW

Penny Dreadful popped up on my Hulu account the other day and I was honestly super interested. I love the name ‘Penny Dreadful’ and was expecting something from the Victorian era, something witty, something well put together and humorous and full of action and suspense.

Well, I was partially right.

Instead I got…vampires. FUCKING VAMPIRES. AGAIN. Can we please, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, put away the vampire genre for a good decade or so?

We begin with the confusing beginning of Random Victorian Chick who crawls out of bed and finds the outhouse only to be attacked by…something. The little girl who was sleeping next to her goes to find ‘mom’ (is this a historically accurate use of the word? I kind of don’t think so) and we last see her screaming as something swoops in to take her.

Better assemble the team.

We have Ms. Stoic who is a like a woman shaped carving made out of granite but filled with 90% snark.

The Cowboy who fucks random women because it’s Showtime and we need at least one uncomfortable sex scene. At least we have more peens than boob shots this time around. Equality on the rise, folks. Also more than slightly historically inaccurate; random proper Victorian women who sit in Wild West shows who appreciated your gun skills WOULD NOT hike up their skirts in the woods and be fucked against a wooden wagon. SO MUCH NOPE.

And we have Lord Kicks Ass and Takes Names whose daughter was the one taken, I guess. That plot point was a little murky because later it sounds like ‘Mina’ was a nearly grown woman, not the child from the beginning?

The three find a vampire den looking for said girl and stumble across a slaughter house. Seriously graphic, seriously disturbing, just plain GROSS. They fight a …vampire lord? Which goes down in a hail of bullets (I thought vampires wouldn’t be affected by bullets) but no girl.

Also in the slaughter house is Dr. Frankenstein, thereby hitting all the tropes of Monsterdom. We touch a little bit on where the vampires are coming from (also – hilarious kooky Egyptologist who says, ‘come back next week and I’ll tell you’) and a little bit on their backgrounds, Cowboy is wavering on whether or not to join the League of Extraordinary Gentleman, Ms. Stoic remains mysterious and snarky and Lord Kicks Ass is grizzled and troubled. We end the episode with IT’S ALLIIIVVEEE – Frankenstein brings the dead back to life.

The Good

For those who love gothic horror – fabulous! This is for you! We have dreary dark shots of Victorian London, slums, Opium dens and one grotesquely graphic fight with a pile of corpses – including that of mutilated children! Joy!

Ms. Stoic communes with spiders (I honestly expected her to either eat it or have it give tiny voiced commands for her to burn things)

For those of you who love vampires and can’t get enough of them, wonderful! We have a vampire show with a new twist – they can apparently be killed by bullets. There are some wonderful costume designs and strange and wonderful characters.

Dr. Frankenstein is hell bent on crossing the line between life and death, at any cost. The Cowboy has a mysterious past, Ms. Stoic is hard as stone and snarky and I have to admit – I love this Egyptologist guy.

The Bad

Did this show mean to rip off a bunch of other ideas? Was it on purpose for this to be like a prelude to the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? Because really: Precocious Victorian Woman, Mad Scientist, Grizzled Old Man Leader, Sharpshooter Cowboy – uh, I’ve already watched the movie and it was better than this show.

Not to mention VAMPIRES!!!!!?? Vampires – DONE TO DEATH (pun intended).

I was SO looking forward to something fresh that it just adds to my extreme disappointment in this show. There is nothing new here; there is a PLETHORA of shows just like this. Off the top of my head, The Tudors, Game of Thrones, Dracula, Carnival. – I mean, COME ON.

I could have watched The Mummy and Extraordinary Gentlemen and Lincoln, Vampire Hunter back to back and have spent my time better. The story was a poorly rehashed version of everything I’ve named.

The Problem With Modern Horror

I am seeing a recurring pattern with modern story telling that is becoming to be a bad habit and Penny Dreadful falls under it.

It’s called Sledgehammer Horror.

There is no subtlety to this show, there is no delicate, delicious psychological horror that makes horror so fascinating without actually showing graphic details (The Monkeys Paw, The Tell Tale Heart, The Bell Witch – classics that remain classics for a reason), once upon a time those genius horror writers knew that if you only nudged the mind in that direction the imagination could do a far better job at terrifying you than any description of bloody bodies could.

This show, like many of the others I’ve named previously, go above and beyond to grind your face in absolute shock-value grossness. LOOOK, DEAD BABY!!!! DIDN’T LIKE THAT – LOOOOK, MUTILATED GIRL CHILD!!!! LOOOOK HORROR, HORROR!!!

Seriously, it’s almost degrading, almost insulting that the writers feel as though it’s not enough to guide the audience to horror; they have to spoon feed you absolute revulsion just so you REALLY, REALLY GET IT.

Even the glimpse of a bloodied child’s hand in a dark corner, barely discernible would have been better than the *SMACK* DEEEAAAD BAAABIIIIEESS *SMACK* LOOOOOKK, IT’S HORRIBLE!!! schtick they got going on in Penny Dreadful.

I will not be watching any more of this show. I will not be subscribing to Showtime because that subtle SUSCRIBE TO SHOWTIME TODAY!! Flashing at the bottom of my screen did not fill my heart with a warm desire for cable boobies and gore.

There, I’ve watched it, reviewed it, so you don’t have to. Sound like something you would be interested in? Go at em’

However, I, for one, kind of wish I could get those fifty minutes of my life back.

Monday, May 12, 2014

The 100 Episode Eight Review

Previously on The 100

The world ended and now the fate of humanity is in the hands of teenagers. A storm comes, Finn is (still) stabbed, Silent Dude is ripped like a greek god, oh and gets tortured, Blondie has a fallout with her mama and Back in Space the mother ship plans to Exodus down, except they forgot a few life pods.

Episode Eight: Day Trip

Silent Dude is still chiseled like a mofo and still chained to the wall, nothing new here. Surprisingly Bellamy is taking a ‘no kill’ attitude after his little spat, er, talk with Octavia but what to do with him?

Raven has graduated up from a Tonka toy radio that cuts out if you look at it wrong to full on video broadcast. So by this point the search for Mount Weather has been completely forgotten, or written out by the screen writers because it hasn’t been mentioned since that first episode.

Now the Council want Blondie to go and find a fallout shelter that should be nearby, as winter is coming and they will all likely freeze before they survive. Evil Overlord asks for a bit of privacy to speak with Clark; turns out he wants her to forgive her mother for shoving her father out the airlock.

That’s a no go.

Meanwhile Captain Intrigue (the very same guy who gave Bellamy the gun and instructions to kill the Evil Overlord) decides to do some more intriguin’ and gives the order to some poor sap on Earth to kill Bellamy before he can spill the beans on him to the E.O.

Awkward romance from Finn/Raven, more awkward romance between Octavia and Silent Dude, who, you have to admit, does have rather mesmerizing abs. Apparently it’s sexy bathing time with Octavia – ‘I should get you cleaned up’ riiiiiiggght.

Instead of going for say, the head of Silent Dude, which is looking like someone took a baseball bat to it, or even his hand which was previously stabbed, she goes straight for… THE ABS OF DOOM. Octavia is also apparently mesmerized by the abs.

Wow, Silent Dude is no longer silent – his name is Lincoln (ha!) and he wants to impart his name for her to remember when he’s dead. Octavia pleads for him to speak to his captors, tell them that he isn’t their enemy but he replies,

“I am the enemy.”

I would like to take a moment here to ponder the question, WHAT THE HELL ARE THE GROUNDERS!?!?!

This is one plot device that is making NO SENSE WHATSOEVER. From day one they have been murderous FOR NO REASON. What- did they wake up one morning, see the drop ship fall from the sky and think, hmmm, I am offended by the ascent of that ship; I think I’ll skewer me a skinny rat teenager today.

And from henceforth they remain murderous and random and have NO REASON at ALL to attack these children who would probably have died from exposure or killed themselves anyway if they had left them alone.

And if these people are the survivors of the apocalypse (which obviously they are) uh, what the fuck – why are they so anxious to kill off the precious remaining few human beings that survived? Are they TRYING to extinguish humanity?

I DO NOT UNDERSTAND THIS RIDICULOUS PLOT DEVELOPMENT.

Anyway, back on Earth Blondie and Bellamy are in trudging in the forest – Bel volunteered to go with Blondie because he knows that the moment the Evil Overlord steps foot on earth his goose is cooked and he’s hoping to make an escape to… God knows where.

Back at camp, a mysterious nut is passed around as a snack and Raven gets it on with a previously stabbed Finn. Well, now we know THAT part of him isn’t broken. So, instead of saying, ‘Gee, Raven, I was kind of stabbed the other day maybe we could wait on the ol’ tumble in the hay’ he wants to…talk about his illicit sexy times with Blondie. Raven doesn’t care, they get it on.

Blondie and Bel find the shelter and it’s gutted like a century old corpse. Not much left except..! Inside barrels filled with cooking oil are semi-automatic rifles. Oh joy, just what Bellamy needs – another gun.

Back at camp the mysterious nuts turn out to be a powerful hallucinogen that has everybody trippin’ balls. Great; Teens on Drugs – we’re hitting ALL the stereotypes in this series.

Octavia is a smart cookie and realizes what’s going on and LIGHTBULB – has an idea. After giving the spazzing out Jasper an ‘anti-grounder’ stick to protect him she sashays herself on up to Silent Dudes guard, does a little song and dance and gives him the wonder nuts.

At the fallout shelter Blondie and Bel have also been snacking on the wonder nuts; that isn’t good news Would-Be Assassin Boy is still on the loose.

While Blondie is speaking to her dead father and Bel is off fighting the mother ship zombies and Evil Overlord our Would-be Assassin conks Blondie on the head and takes off after Bel.

The camp is having a good ol’ time and Silent Dude escapes with the help of Octavia. He grabs her face and gives her a kiss and skedaddles only to run smack into Finn. Finn is some kind of awesome because in a single moment he jerks his head, telling S.D. to go and forgives him for stabbing him all in one go. Away goes Silent Dude, into the night dressed in a hoodie.

Finally the drug is wearing off and Finn and Raven take over the camp as Mama and Papa giving us one hilarious moment of Raven telling a poor boy that he’s a ‘beautiful broom in a closet full of brooms’.

Bellamy faces his guilty conscious that blames him for the destruction of the radio and the consequent death of over three hundred people and begs for them to kill him. Well, someone answers him but it isn’t a hallucination it’s Would-Be assassin boy.

Scuffle, scuffle, scuffle – Blondie to the rescue and Bellamy stabs Would-be Assassin in the neck with… I didn’t see what it was – something sharp. Both collapse against a tree and have bonding time over yet another corpse. At least Charlotte isn’t around to pull a Psycho move on Bel this time.

Bellamy breaks down and admits he’s been pretty shitty to people, Blondie admits she can’t save people without him and they come to the agreement that both of them will return to camp and face their trials; Blondie with her mother and Bellamy with the Evil Overlord.

The B & B team return – with guns! Now is the time when we are no longer afraid of the completely random Grounders! Unite! We can solve everything with guns!

Yeah – can’t wait to see how that turns out.

Teens, drugs and guns – what a wonderful combo.

We end this episode with the B & B team on the intercom with Evil Overlord. E.O. does not look pleased to see Bellamy – he looks more like an alligator sizing up its next meal but Blondie steps in and says, ‘Look, we would have died without Bellamy here’ and Bel comes back with, ‘Yeah – AND you’ll never find out who was plotting against you unless you give me a pardon’

Captain Intrigues days of intriguing are up; he’s arrested and tossed into the slammer only to be visited by the ring leader of all the intriguing – Previous Counselor! I knew she was trouble.

Goodbye Captain Intrigue - your intrigue was short.