Killjoys: Season Two Premiere Dutch and the Real Girl (Preview) [Update]

 Killjoys - Season 2

[UPDATE] The actress playing Clara in this episode is Stephanie Leonidas and not Allie MacDonald, who was a different Clara from Season one. Mike’s Film Talk apologizes to Stephanie (who kicked arse in the role) and we have changed the information to reflect the correct performer.

Killjoys are back on 1 July and the season premiere “Dutch and the Real Girl,” has the team still split up. Last season saw the bombing of Old Town and while Pree, Johnny and Dutch got out Pawter did not.  D’Av is being “tested” by Khlyen while his brother and fellow killjoy work to find him. Pree is along for the ride.

The players return moving through the first episode at an adrenaline fueled pace.   D’Avin learns a quite a bit about Khlyen, including why the Level Six wants him to join the ranks.  Pree turns out to have a rather checkered past, something that helps Dutch and Johnny in their search for D’Av.

We also learn more about Level Six’s and this enhances their already impressive mythology.  Dutch, Johnny and Pree make a good team. The trio  are funny, especially the bartender/bar owner. Pree is funny and very entertaining in the quest to free the third killjoy.

Along the way another ally is picked up. A very special young woman who, after a moment of debate, joins the trio to help them find D’Av. London actress Stephanie Leonidas  is Clara, a strong character with an assist or two that makes her very formidable. 

On top of the Level Six threat there is, apparently, another more deadly group.  Red 17 (first encountered in season one) is still there and this is where the killjoys must go to find D’Avin.

All the humor from season one is still there as is the close bond between our heroes.  Without giving anything away, the first two episodes of season two reveals that Pree has been hiding his light under a basket. Past “skills” (or skeletons according to Pree) are many and this new information  seems  to quantify the feeling that there was always more to the bar owner than met the eye.

There is a touch of romance or,  at the very least, a mutual appreciation society of two (three counting Lucy) and  Dutch knows when D’Av lies to her.

The opening episode reveals a lot in terms of who the bad guy really is.

John-Kamen still is still one of the strongest female role models on television and Ashmore, along with Macfarlane continue to work well as her “cohorts in crime.” Thom Allison is still delightful as Pree and Rob Stewart continues to be mysterious and not a little scary as Khlyen.

This Canadian export, along with Dark Matter has returned to SyFy to make Friday nights fun again.  Killjoys has a good bit of subterfuge going on along with a lot of action.  Dutch is a tough leader who is not afraid to take on the giant in the room.

Show creator Michelle Lovretta (who also created Lost Girl ) has the series looking great and the characters acting as we expect.  The “bounty hunters” are still excellent entertainment value. Although it has to be said that Johnny is a little less flippant this go around. 

Killjoys airs Fridays on SyFy. Tune in tomorrow and get your fix. We will see you there.


Dark Matter: Season 2 Premiere – Slow Shocker (Preview)

 Dark Matter - Season 2

At long last Dark Matter is returning to our screens.  Co-creatorJoseph Mallozzi has kept his promise from last year’s interview with Mike’s Film Talk and kept the mystery burning bright.  The show’s season two premiere airs tomorrow; 1 July on SyFy and while it may be a tad slow, compared to last year.s finale it does manage to be pretty shocking.

Looking at the first two episodes, but not reviewing them yet (That would be spoiler city and very unpopular with everyone.) fans are in for a treat with season two.  The gang are all back and we learn more about their past lives.

Six is revealed to be a law enforcement official and the rest of the Raza crew are split into criminal and “not-criminal” quarters. Two, Three and Four are all placed in with the general populace while One and Five are in protected custody.

The Android is in a tech lab and proving to be a handful.

The first episode is slow, it is, after all, setting up this new predicament for the crew and it is a bit stationary compared to the fluidity of space.  This is prison and it entails rules, gangs and “fitting in.”

All the characters, with the exception of Six, are exactly as we remember them.  Three is irascible and quite comfortable in the stir.  Four and Two are equally at home in this prison environment.

More is  learned about the bombing, which so disturbed Six when he suffered from double memory loss.  There is a lot going on behind the scenes and it looks like a few more people may be joining the Raza crew.

Brit actress Melanie Liburd is Nyx; an inmate who appears to be a match for Two,  seems to be on board. Although things get off to a rocky start initially.  Gang leader Arax Nero, played by Mike Dopud, is also supportive after starting out on the wrong fool Nero and Nyx may be “on-side” but their   motives are a tad unclear at this point.  

There are a number of well known performers turning up in this season of Dark Matter.  Keep your eyes peeled for Franka Potente to make an appearance. The Run Lola Run and Creep actress (who was spectacular as the  hit-woman in The Bridge) shows up and knocks it out of the park.

The actors all continue to deliver in spades.  Even in this new setting they all maintain their characters and the paths they walk.  One crew member, however, shows a new side.  This surprising turn also shocks a little.

One slight word of complaint would be that there was not enough Zoie Palmer in the opening episode but that is rectified by episode two.  Before then the crew learn that there is much more going on their arrests and imprisonment.  A device must be found in order to stop a corporate war.

Dark Matter - Season 2
Zoie Palmer as The Android

Dark Matter airs Fridays on SyFy.  Tune in and be ready for a slow open but pay attention! If you have forgotten last season a lot of hints are hidden in plain sight in this show. Do not miss this season two open. In the mean time let your excitement build and watch this trailer. One more night…


Wayward Pines: City Upon a Hill – The Abbies Are Coming (Review)


After the Abbies attacked the cornfield in last week’s episode of Wayward Pines this week, in “City Upon a Hill” more are coming  to surround the beleaguered arc of “humanity.” Wayward Pines is struggling, not the town and its people but the series.  There is a problem with taking a show that was meant to be a “one-off” and bringing it back. For one thing all the plot devices   that worked so well in the first series are either watered down or disappear completely.

Losing Ethan Burke (and now all the Burkes) has not helped this FOX follow-up at all. Matt Dillon, who played Ethan,  was a strong protagonist.  He anchored the show with all its apparent madness.  Burke was a combination of Patrick McGoohan‘s character in the cult classic The Prisoner and Neo in The Matrix. (Incidentally, in the first season Wayward Pines felt like a brilliant blend of both.)

Sadly, despiteJason Patric being a personal favorite, Dr. Yedlin does not come across  as a strong rock of right and wrong. Instead the surgeon seems peevish,  petulant and snide. The medical man is not a patch on Ethan Burke.

As the Abbies arrive in droves to apparently finish of the denizens of the town the last Burke dies. Theresa (Shannyn Sossamon) expires as Adam Hassler (Tim Griffin) holds her hand and apologizes once more. 

“City Upon a Hill”l starts with the camera panning a serene group of Abbies in a forest setting. There are children, males and breastfeeding females. A helicopter arrives, above the tree line,  and begins firing indiscriminately at the peaceful creatures.  The Abbies panic and run. It is a massacre with only a few survivors. The chopper lands and Toby Jones steps out.

Once again it seems that the second series is attempting to hint at a deeper conspiracy. That the Abbies are “man-made;” an experiment gone awry. That Pilcher tried to sort out the post apocalyptic problem before the birth of Wayward Pines.

The death of Pilcher (Toby Jones), who was in the middle of killing off his second generation of townspeople,  left puppet leader Jason Higgins in charge. While Higgins (Tom Stevens) is clearly his own little Hitler now, he was inspired and guided  by Megan Fisher (Hope Davis). The brownshirt leader is out of his depth now that the Abbies have proven to be more intelligent than Fisher led  him and the other Generationals to believe.

It also looks like the creatures are telepathic or have some sort of hive-like existence (think the Borg from Star Trek: The Next Generation) and Margaret is either the queen of the Abbies or the central “hive mind” controller. (Which may be the same thing.)  Regardless of Margaret (or Boudicca if you will)  and her standing in the Abbie “community” it appears that the denizens of Wayward Pines are in deep trouble.

The “mindless creatures” have destroyed their crops and are amassing outside the gate in an ever increasing amount of red dots on the towns security feed.   The crop destruction shows the main  problem with Higgins as leader. While he worked out the importance of gathering the food there was no follow through.

Clearly, despite the truckloads of fresh produce shown being brought back into the fenced off area, there was still a lot that needed harvesting. Rather than concentrating on that, Jason sends out his horticultural expert to “colonize” another food farm. Apparently Fisher never taught her little leader about “one step at a time” management or following through.

There are not as many questions to be asked this season.  The first time Wayward Pines was introduced there was a lot of mystery around the town and its founder. Annoyingly the same mystery remains. What was Pilcher up to before his beloved ant farm ark? Did he create the Abbies?

More importantly are the creatures replacements for the citizens of Wayward Pines? Adam Hassler believes they are and told Dr. Yedlin this when he returned to the town. It makes for an interesting mental picture.

Wayward Pines being populated by a horde of hairless and fanged creatures who communicate telepathically but snarl and grunt verbally.  Will the nakedness disappear when clothes become available?  Will they all queue up at the hairdressers for a mani-pedi?

Perhaps some of these questions will be answered in the next episode “Time Will Tell.” Although from the look of all those red dots surrounding the town, it does not look like time is something the townspeople have a lot of.

Wayward Pines airs Wednesdays on FOX. Tune in and see if the Abbies win.

America’s Got Talent: Week 5 – Simon Cowell Stands for the Queen (Review)

 America's Got Talent - Season 11

Week five of America’s Got Talent  started out on a humorous note with an 18 year old homeschool graduate singing his own composition to rapturous applause and ended with Simon Cowell standing for the Queen. Or more accurately for a male  singer who did a cover of the Queen classic “Somebody to Love.” The final act of the evening was proof positive that there really is talent in “them thar hills” just waiting to be discovered.

The first act of the evening was Ryan Beard. The  young man combined “sit-down” comedy with playing the piano and singing a funny song about being home schooled.  All the judges were impressed as was the audience. Simon even told  the young man he would never forget his audition.

America's Got Talent - Season 11
Ryan Beard

Thankfully, this week did not have as many of the weird and wonderful acts from weeks past. No one slinging weights around with their sinuses or picking up heavy objects with their nipples. One man came out and devoured a dog food hamburger dipped in bile, which was revolting. In terms of shoving sharp objects in things, there was Dan Meyer, a 59 year old sword swallower who pulled  a car with the sword in his throat.

America's Got Talent - Season 11
Dan Meyer

While previous weeks belonged to the youngsters, week five of the auditions belonged to the mid 50 contestants.  Not in number but in acts that pleased. Each entertained but it was 54 year old Las Vegas denizen Christopher with his full-sized plastic puppets that had the crowd singing along.

Dressed as a Native American Christopher came on, to everyone’s delight, as the Village People. He synced, as did his  puppets, and they all danced and re-created the moves to “YMCA.” Apart from being a real show stopper Christopher also got a standing ovation and four yes votes. He promised to do something even bigger the next time.

America's Got Talent - Season 11

There were two youngsters; a brother and sister magic act. The children were 10 and 8 years old and the lad cut his sister in half. The Rockets, Kadan and Nicole were brilliant. The trick was more than impressive as  Nicole was shown in two pieces without a box or any other object obscuring the view.

Another dog act was passed through this week with homeless contestant, and OCD sufferer,  Pato and his dog Ginger.  The talented pooch rode a scooter and stood on a tight wire as part of this act and the audience were enthralled. So too were the judges who gave the act four thumbs up.

America's Got Talent - Season 11
Pato and Ginger

14 year old self- taught contortionist Sofie Dossi came on and wowed everyone. Her father made her props and the talented girl ended with a “Katniss Everdeen” Hunger Games style  bow and arrow display. Only this Katniss performed the trick with her feet.

America's Got Talent - Season 11
Sofie Dossi

It would have been nice to see more of the Arkansas choir that only got a snippet of air time. They sounded inspirational and impressive. They were certainly good enough that the judges all voted them through.

America's Got Talent - Season 11
The Gloryland Pastor’s Choir.

Two backup singers, The Smiths; a married couple,  knocked it out of the park with their duet. Singing a cover of the great Aretha Franklin’s “You’re All I Need to Get By” the couple killed it.

America's Got Talent = Season 11
The Smiths

After an interlude of clowns, all of whom were buzzed off by Simon, who has a severe dislike of clowns, things progressed until there  was one act left.

Brian Justin Crum came out and told his story. Bullied as  child for being fat and gay, the young man worked to lose the weight and followed his dream to sing. The performer knocked it right out of the park and got a standing ovation after his rendition of  Queen’s hit “Somebody to Love.” Even Simon stood to applaud the young man’s skill.

America's Got Talent - Season 11
Brian Justin Crum

The talent level of this year’s America’s Got Talent is high and the acts varied.  So far in week five there have been a number of entertainers who have impressed the judges and the crowd. Last night another acrobatic act wowed the audience as well as a knife throwing act.

America’s Got Talent airs Tuesdays on NBC. Tune in and enjoy the talent on offer. For those who missed the performances there are a few videos below. A nice mix of what was on offer. Enjoy.

The Mindy Project: Freedom Tower Women’s Health – Jody (Review)

Osha Roquemore as Tamra

The last few episodes of The Mindy Project have not been kind to Dr.Jody Kimball-Kinney.  Last week,  after admitting he slept with his sister-in-law,  Jody was smacked in the face by his brother. This week in “Freedom Tower Women’s Health” his troubles escalate, while he attempts to get together with Mindy.

In the previous episode, Dr. Lahiri broke up with her football coach boyfriend (Jay R. Ferguson) and her son lost out on becoming a  star after Mindy’s actions got Leo fired. Jody stopped by to offer commiserations and the two kissed. 

After the romantic smooch, Mindy apologizes and Jody goes to break up with Courtney.  This goes awkwardly as she believes that Jody means to propose to her.  He gives up and later Courtney arrives at work furious. Her boyfriend has given her Chlamydia and Courtney confronts him in his office.

After her shock announcement Jody breaks up with her, or vice versa as she throws his drink in his face. Then  to add insult to injury  Courtney tells the reception area that  Jody gave her Chlamydia. Kimball-Kinney, via text message,  then informs Mindy that he and Courtney have broken up.

She insists they go out immediately but Jody suggests waiting for 7 – 10 days, giving the antibiotics a chance to work.  Mindy declines the wait.  After their meal she forces him to go upstairs to be ravaged. Meanwhile, Morgan and Jeremy go to see Danny about his edict that Mindy cannot date.

The two men meet with Danny and his girlfriend, Sarah. She has issues with Mindy as Danny still apparently has feelings for the mother of his child.  Sarah meets with Dr. Lahiri and after they  talk for a bit, Danny’s fiancee realizes that Mindy is clearly over  her intended.

Morgan goes back to see Danny and insists that he tell Mindy that he is engaged to Sarah. He also texts his boss to tell her that Jody has Chlamydia. This ends the evening of fun that Mindy had planned as Jody will not mention the STD until Mindy prompts him. She kicks him out of her apartment.

As usual The Mindy Project offered up some splendid bits of comedy.  Courtney storming through the office and tossing the drink in Jody’s face was funny. The entire STD thing, where she tells the world that Kimball-Kenney gave it to her,  is hilarious yet cringeworthy.

The reactions of his staff, especially Tamra, was equally funny and the text gag was brilliant. (After  Kemball-Kenney admits to having the STD he asks the staff to tell no one. The two women decide this does not include texting and they begin to type.) Jody’s increasingly desperate search for a condom at Mindy’s place was spot on right up to and including the banana and sandwich bag moment.

Garret Dillahunt does comedy brilliantly and his delivery in this episode was spot on. Mindy Kaling is, as usual, excellent as the sexually focussed ob-gyn and single mother. As Dr. Lahiri,  Kaling knocks it out the park weekly. She manages to convey  a certain amount of eccentricity along with her ability to turn every thought she has into sex.

Sadly, it appears that Jody’s reluctance to reveal his STD status to Mindy may have shot down this blooming romance and sexual pursuit in its first stages.  As she kicks Jody out of her apartment, she says, with disappointment and a bit of anger, “I liked you too.”

It appears that Dr. Kimball-Keney may have spoilt his chances with Mindy full stop.

The Mindy Project airs Tuesdays on Hulu.