You, Me & the Apocalypse: An Erotic Odyssey – The Comedy Continues

You, Me & the Apocalypse continues its journey to the comic end of the world with An Erotic Odyssey. The simultaneous timeline of the twin brothers, Father Jude and Sister Celine, Rhonda and Leanne moves along with hilarious consequences.

 You, Me and the Apocalypse - Season 1

You, Me & the Apocalypse continues its journey to the comic end of the world with An Erotic Odyssey.  The simultaneous timeline of the twin brothers, Father Jude and Sister Celine, Rhonda and Leanne moves along with hilarious consequences. Added to the mix this week are the president, Scotty McNeil and General Gaine.

In England Jamie searches for his birth mother and in America Ariel lets Spike’s mother go,  once he learns that she did not hack the NSA, the president learns of a top-secret plan and in Italy Father Jude gets a change of mission.

Sidenote: Honestly. One leaves the country for two short years and suddenly the Lloyds horse becomes white when in reality it was always black.  Perhaps the silver horse, and knight, for Anglia TV was the equestrian image that popped up in this writer’s mind’s eye…Thanks to Susan Marshall who pointed out the incorrect colour of the previous article and also explained that these are the English episode with a bit of ADR work for American sensibilities.)

In the US, Rhonda (Jenna Fischeris on the run with Ariel (Mathew Baynton) and Leanne (Megan Mullally) until he releases her. Jamie (Baynton) stops to speak to his adoptive mum (Pauline Quirk) and get a lead to his birth mother. His roommate  Dave (Joel Fry) accompanies him to the “hippie commune” where Jamie’s real mum was last seen. 

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Dave doing “Teen Wolf.”

Father Jude (Rob Lowe) is taken from his current duties of sullying potential saints and their reputations and is sent out to find the messiah.  The skeptical priest decides that the first order of this new tasking is to find the false messiah who will appear before the real one. Jude warns Sister Celine (Gaia Scodellaro) about how harrowing this mission will be, but she decides to accompany the “renegade” priest regardless of his fears. 

Back in America, Rhonda’s brother Scotty (Kyle Soller) briefs the white house and the president on what will occur when the comet hits the Earth.  Scotty and the general also reveal a secret program (located under the Blue Ridge Mountains) and a fake one; that is designed to give the world hope. 

In England, Jamie and Dave leave the crowded, narrow, roads where the drivers start attacking one another, and encounter a naked couple who are embarking on their own bucket list (an erotic odyssey in this instance) and as the two attempt to drive around the fornicating couple they run out of petrol.

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Jamie caught in an end of the world traffic jam…

Meanwhile, in New Mexico, Rhonda has returned and released Leanne from the wrecked ambulance and  leaves. Later the two women reunite. The white supremacist has appropriated a truck and the librarian mother takes over the driving duties. It seems that their journey may not be a happy one:

Leanne: “This is going to be fine, like Driving Miss Daisy, only without all that civil rights bullsh*t.”

Rhonda: “Shut up!”

Jamie and Dave arrive at the deserted commune and as they discuss their next move are shot with tranquilizer darts. The two men wake up in a bathroom, Dave is  in the tub, and a heavily pregnant blond woman comes in. The expectant mum obviously thinks Jamie is Ariel. As the two chained men look on in horror, the woman asks if there is any reason why she should not remove “Ariel’s” balls…

Standout Moments:

The entire Father Jude/Sister Celine storyline.

Dave’s “Teen Wolf” backstory…story.

The “They will need a leader” gag where the president agrees to the 15 women and one male plan.

Father Jude (again) and his “freak out” during and after reading  Revelations.

Final thoughts:

This very English comedy, despite having storylines in three different countries, is funny, clever and, not unlike Shaun of the Dead, gives the viewer a slice of Britannia. At the same time it reveals an American “everywoman” who is desperate to save her son and an unlikely priest with a very strong sidekick.

You, Me and the Apocalypse - Season 1
Rhonda (Jenna Fischer) releasing Leanne…

You, Me & the Apocalypse airs Thursdays on NBC.  Tune in and see this English series, with an American “overhaul,” and enjoy the show.

The X Files: My Struggle and Founder’s Mutation – A Slow Burn Start (Review)

Mulder and Scully are back, treating The X Files fans to a slow burn start versus rocket ride back into the world of the weird, wonderful and conspiratorial.

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Mulder and Scully are back, treating The X Files fans to a slow burn start versus rocket ride back into the world of the weird, wonderful and conspiratorial. Episode one of the two part pilot for season 10; My Struggle, reminds us that it is Fox’ obsession with UFOs, governmental coverups and that burning need to know. Founder’s Mutation steps forward at a snail’s pace and takes us back into “Toomy” land.

Granted, the second half of the two part open is not as disturbing, or downright creepy, as Toomy’s tale, it reaches back into the yesteryear propensity of Chris Carter, and now James Wong as well, to lead the viewer by the nose to whatever odd thing comes up next.

The latter episode also puts Dana and Fox into the world where they belong.  Sure Scully turned her back on much more than just her old partner, and father of her child, heading on a path where she did a lot of good. Regardless of her samaritan standing in the medical community, the ties between her and Fox had not been completely severed.

After all, only she knows how to get in touch with Mulder, something she points out when Skinner tried unsuccessfully to call Fox regarding “scare monger” newsman Tad O’Malley (Joel McHale).  Tad, who Mulder feels is an alternative Bill O’Reilly (surely the name similarity is no coincidence…) promises to have information that will change everything and O’Malley swears that he will reveal all.

Tad’s rant about the secret agenda of the American government, militarizing local police, fattening and dumbing down the denizens of the country and erecting prison camps.

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Fox and Skinner

Like the previous seasons, before the show’s long hiatus, the message in episode one, My Struggle, is this:

Do not trust the government. They do not have your best interest at heart and they lie.

Mulder believes this with all his essence and Scully continues to be in a form of denial.  The counterbalance of the two is back in place, her pragmatic and agnostic attitude about the unexplained still tempers her behavior and belief system. Fox, who suffers from depression, is in full “survivalist” costume in the first opening segment.

Unshaven, wearing jeans and a combat fatigue jacket, Mulder looks similar to every other Area 51 conspiracy junkie out there. Scully is the very picture of respectability and has trouble getting back, as does Fox, into the swing of things.

My Struggle starts as a history lesson; Roswell, an injured alien (murder of same), questionable DNA and those decades old conspiracies.  It also entails a young woman with scoop scars on her abdomen, a string of abductions and stolen fetuses, She is convinced her DNA has been added to and after the “men in black” learn of what O’Mallory, Mulder and Scully have been up to, they clean house…

With extreme prejudice.

The first episode ends with the Smoking Man (William B. Davis), face covered with scar tissue and looking like death personified, smoking his cigarette via the hole in his neck and stating that the X Files have been reopened. 

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William B Davis returns as the Smoking Man…

Founder’s Mutation shoves a badge back into the duo’s hands and starts going into a true X File non-UFO-type case. Although the entire episode is focussed on another conspiracy; one that ties in to episode one, to huge degree, with a storyline dealing with experiments on children and a brother and sister with special abilities.

By the second episode, Mulder has cleaned up and lost the scruff. Scully learns that like the doomed Sveta she too has alien DNA. Dana also steps back into the role of medical expert, performing the autopsy on the show’s suicide victim.

The mind control aspect is disturbing, as is the manner of the first man’s death. It also features a “mad scientist” type (Damon) who meets a fitting end…

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Death by letter opener.

As the two part premiere ended, each of the duo were back in their old shoes and leading us back into the world of The X Files.  

A number of familiar faces joined the premiere as guest stars (and it was brilliant to see Mitch Pileggi back as Skinner). Joel McHale from Community, Christine Willes from Dead Like Me (As Dolores Herbig with the “big  brown eyes.”), Doug Savant from Desperate Housewives and Vik Sahay

There were a number of other notable appearances by names well known in the industry, for example, Rance Howard (father of Ron and Clint) also shows up in the credit list.  The appearance of so many known performers signals an acceptance of Carter’s world back into the fold of television.

The X Files, with its slow re-emergence, has not pleased all the television critics but fans are excited, and so they should be. Sure the dynamic between David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson may feel a little clunky but the chemistry is still there. Fox and Scully still have the bond that made them work so well together.

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Mulder and Scully…

The series airs Mondays on FOX.  Tune in for some nostalgic vibes as well as superb television and watch the new tales of The X Files unfold.

Shadowhunters: The Descent Into Hell is Easy (Review)

Episode two of Shadowhunters: The Descent Into Hell is Easy, finds Clary and Simon being allowed into the inner fold of the Shadowhunter’s “lair,” aka the Institute.

ALBERTO ROSENDE, DOMINIC SHERWOOD, KATHERINE MCNAMARA

Episode two of Shadowhunters: The Descent Into Hell is Easy, finds Clary and Simon being allowed into the inner fold of the Shadowhunter’s “lair,” aka the Institute.  This verse of magic, vampires, demons, warlocks and shape-shifters also includes an incredible amount of technology.  The headquarters of Jace, Isabelle and Alec may be hidden behind the derelict ruins of a building, but once the rune is lifted, “mundane” Simon and his “gal pal” Fray enter a world of high tech and magic.

Once again, not having read the books that the series is based on, it is interesting to note the dynamic between different factions.  Most notably between the Shadowhunters and the mundanes that they are pledged to save.  This episode takes up where the pilot ended, for all intents and purposes, and Simon can now see Jace, as well as the dead demon.

Fray (Katherine McNamara) and best friend Lewis (Alberto Rosende) are escorted to the Institute by Wayland (Dominic Sherwood) who then introduces the mundane buddy of Fray to Isabelle (Emeraude Toubia) and Alec (Matthew Daddario); the sibling Shadowhunters. Alec is the “leader” although he is constantly overruled by Isabelle and Jace. 

In terms of dynamic, no one in this magical verse, created by Cassandra Clare, gets along. It is a huge warring population of different individuals and groups attempting to control the world they inhabit.  Even factions that are “allies” do not get along. For example, the Shadowhunters, who are responsible for the safety of mere mundanes, treat their “charges” with contempt, derision and they are incredibly antagonistic toward them.

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Isabelle introduces herself to Simon and offers him breakfast…

The exception to this is Isabelle who, upon meeting Simon, is apparently attracted to this mundane with an “Indie band”even if Lewis is pretty much a buzzkill. Although, compared to “Mr. Grumpy Pants” Alec Lightwood, Simon is the life of the party. Granted, Clary’s BFF thinks he is amusing, although according to Jace, that is debatable.

Personality conflicts aside, quite a lot is revealed and one character close to Clary is killed. While Fray learns that the “big bad”  Valentine (Alan Van Sprang) is “Daddy Dearest.” The newest Shadowhunter also learns, via the auspices of the Silent Brothers in the City of Bones, that Jocelyn (Maxim Roy) wiped Clary’s memory and lied to her.

The main point of interest is still The Mortal Cup, which Jocelyn has hidden.  Mother Fray is in Chernobyl, still in a trance, or coma, and Dot (Vanessa Matsuiis taken there as well. Sadly for her, she does not stay there long and after a failed escape attempt, is taken out of the picture. Whether this is permanent or not remains to be seen.

Before Dot is removed, Magnus (Harry Shum Jr.) takes all his people and bolts, Dorothy  refuses to leave and is caught as a result, which is how she ends up in Chernobyl. The City of Bones and the Silent Brothers  become the next destination for the Shadowhunters and their “plus-one.

Sidenote: It is a nice touch, and a nod to the 2013 film “The Immoral Instruments:City of Bones,” that actor Stephen R. Hart is used to reprise his role of Brother Jeremiah here in this second episode of Shadowhunters.

Clary and Jace enter the city, to speak with the Silent Brothers, leaving Simon, Isabelle and Alec behind.  Jace tells Lewis that if he enters the City of Bones he will, as a mundane, die instantly. Simon, after being lied to about the runes at the Institutes, argues:

“No mundanes allowed, just like in the training room, right? Wrong! I’ve seen every horror movie ever made and the funny best friend who gets left behind… dead man.”  [Isabelle laughs]

Jace: “You’re not that funny.”

One of the more amusing exchanges in the series thus far and it opens up the possibility that more of these funny moments  might become a mainstay in this very serious shadow world.

Alec refuses to look after Simon, so Isabelle volunteers while Clary and Jace go to see the “brothers.” Once inside the area, Brother Jeremiah makes Jace step back and a dangling sword restores part of Fray’s memory.

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Clary leaning an unfortunate truth.

Sidenote: Once again, not having read the source books, it is not known whether or not Clary Fray ends up with a  Harry Potter type scar on her forehead from the memory sword, (It may not be a lightning bolt but she does end up with a scar nonetheless) but it certainly seems that way…

By the end of this second episode of Shadowhunters Clary finds out that Valentine is her father (“Clary I am your father…”) the viewers learn more about family friend and cop Luke Garroway (Isaiah Mustafa), Dot dies and Simon is kidnapped by vampires who will trade the mundane for the cup.

Shadowhunters looks sharp, dark and intricate. It is a world where each faction fights the other and McNamara plays the plucky new hero who does not have enough memories to help her to fight.  The series airs Tuesdays on ABC Freeform, tune in and watch this catch YA program.

Jessica Jones: AKA the Crush Syndrome (Review)

The second episode of Jessica Jones on Netflix follows the aftermath of Hope shooting her parents to death in the elevator (lift). Marvel can do dark brilliantly and Jones as protagonist just does not get much darker.

Jessica Jones and Jeri Hogarth

The second episode of Jessica Jones on Netflix follows the aftermath of Hope shooting her parents to death in the elevator (lift).  Marvel can do dark brilliantly and Jones as protagonist just does not get much darker.  This noir-like offering gives us strong women in spades, albeit all are damaged somewhat, and two “stronger” male figures. Cage and Kilgrave (the latter is strong in will and his ability to make people act against their nature) are both arguably stronger than Jones, but then she has vulnerabilities because of David Tenant’s character.

In terms of overly capable performers in the dark series, Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones,  Aussie actress Rachael  Taylor as her sister (adopted) and Carrie-Anne Moss give us a trio of women who are strong, assertive and successful. (Although admittedly both Trish (Taylor) and Jeri Hogarth (Moss) are higher on the scale of “success” than Jones.)

The build up of Kilgrave (Tennant) is brilliant. Thus far, even though we have yet to see KIlgrave, apart from a very quick profile shot as he screams into Jones’ ear, the series is making him out to be a villain amongst villains. (This  lack of appearance is rectified by the end of the episode when he takes over  a family and shuts their children in a closet.)

As Jessica continues to track down Kilgrave we are treated to a number of moments that stand out.  Apparently even his near death experience, being hit by a bus may not have killed the baddy but it certainly messed him up, did not lessen his powers of persuasion.

Such as the poor man who gives up both his kidneys to Kilgrave. This particular sequence in the episode was as blackly funny as it was horrific.  Attached to a dialysis machine and trapped with his cloying mother, the man seems almost oblivious to his surroundings.

After his mother leaves to get Jessica a drink, she questions this victim of Kilgrave. The man motions for a pencil, taking the instrument, he then starts awkwardly printing on a scrap of a paper after Jones asks who did this to him.

K-I-L…

“Kilgrave,” Jessica prompts.

“KILL ME.”

This hapless victim of Kilgrave is clearly in his own personal hell with his  devoted mother, who believes his condition is God’s punishment for his previous indiscretions, as the jailer. What makes this scene so ironic is Jessica’s statement to Jack the victim.

“God didn’t do this to you, it was the devil, and I’m going to get him.”

How can you not love this type of sly black humor? It is obvious that poor Jack wants to die, not because of what Kilgrave has turned him into, but to get away from his suffocating overly religious mother.

Later we learn just what happened the night that Kilgrave was injured. It is also  made clear that Jones has a thing for Cage. She tells him about his married lover, whose husband, she says, hired Jessica to prove her indiscretions with Luke (Mike Colter).  

Another stand out moment shows us the mythos of the bartender. A man who is “unbreakable.” Certainly the power-saw scene was goosebump inducing, as was Jones’ reaction to his little display, but the use of the phrase brought up visions of Bruce Willis and M. Night Shyamalan. (As well as a delirious Samuel L. Jackson shouting out, “They called me Mr. Glass!”)

This display of invincibility, against a power-saw at least, is one of the more overt shows of power. So far, the series has downplayed Jones’ power. It appears in snippets, such as Jessica stripping off locks from the hospital lockers in the changing room, or her fight in the bar when she aids Cage, who clearly did not need it.

Jessica Jones so far,  is focusing on her relationships with Trish and the cool, aloof Hogarth (Moss) as well as her initial attraction to Luke Cage. There are brief flashes of life “under Kilgrave” and of course the Shlottman murders committed by Hope (Erin Moriarty) are part of Jones’ current workload.

The P.I. also discovers what may be Kilgrave’s achilles heel after learning that he underwent the kidney transplants sans anesthesia.  She learns that certain drugs  could leave him vulnerable.  Propofol or Sufentanil were the drugs he turned down before the operation.  She also learns what “Crush Syndrome” is; after one kidney is destroyed the other begins to shut down in sympathy.

The episode ends with Cage in her apartment, after Jones has that epiphany about the drugs being Kilgrave’s weakness and Luke get the last, and perhaps coolest line in the episode, with his, “You can’t fix me. I’m unbreakable.”

Jessica Jones is great small screen Marvel, darker than Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter, as both of these offerings contain an amount of overt humor, versus the black kind.  So far, Krysten Ritter rocks it as the strong, P.I. who has a personal demon to slay. The series is on Netflix which means that the whole thing can be watched without waiting. Tune in for the dark humor and a storyline that promises much.

The Expanse: The Big Empty – The Mystery Continues (Review)

In The Expanse: The Big Empty the mystery of the missing heiress continues and Miller (Thomas Jane) continues to investigate Julie Mao’s (Florence Faivre) puzzling disappearance amid water shortages and the continued rationing.

The Expanse - Season 1

In The Expanse: The Big Empty the mystery of the missing heiress continues and Miller (Thomas Jane) continues to investigate Julie Mao’s (Florence Faivrepuzzling disappearance amid water shortages and the continued rationing. The five survivors from the Canterbury struggle to stay alive and Christen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo) is reprimanded for her gravity questioning of the captured Belter. 

The magic of this series thus far is the lack of necessity to be aware of the source material.  Based upon the novels by “James S. A. Corey” (The pen name of two authors; Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) the science fiction show is more mystery and political thriller than space opera.  By focussing on the “Belter” cop Miller, and his new Earth partner, along side the cold war threatening to erupt into the real deal and the plight of the Canterbury survivors, the series has a three prong attack that is interesting without having prior knowledge of the novels.

Miller investigates missing water and visits the apartment of Ms. Mao. He finds a group of  low brow street criminals who are siphoning water from a park and he learns that the missing Julie not the average “poor little rich girl.”  He also learns that she was on the Scopuli, the ship destroyed along with the Canterbury by a Martian vessel.

Avasarala contines questioning the Belter, whom she suspects of being an O.P.A terrorist, and she decides to have the recalcitrant suspect removed for “deep pain” interrogation. She believes that the man and his organization have been funded by Mars. Sadavir Errinwright (Shawn Doyle) believes that the woman is overreacting and says so, along with his consternation at her total amount of power.

Errinwright believes that the “future” leader of Earth is chasing shadows:

Sadavir: “Cold War is a bloodless war.”

Avasarala believe that the “cold war is over” and that this is “something new.” With the overt actions of the Martian’s later in the episode it would appear that she is right.

As this second episode continues, it seems to be about the strong female characters in the show. Naomi Nagata (Dominique Tipper) who steps up to take control when things get drastic on the pod, Avasarala who will, it seems, stop at nothing to prove that the Belters have teamed with Mars to escalate the cold war and, lastly, Julie Mao who kept her facial scar as a badge of honor to reflect her disdain of rank and social status, in other words as a sign of her rebellion. 

James Holden (Steven Strait) loses control of his crew when Naomi proves to be of sterner stuff and takes charge. Nagata motivates the males around her to fix the oxygen problem and the communications issue. She also gets the power sorted, albeit with a limited and short termed fix. These actions allow the surviving crew to send out a distress call.

Unfortunately the message is picked up by a Martian Naval Cruiser the Donnager. Which, as Naomi find out earlier may have led the distress beacon that they answered on the Scopuli. 

The Expanse - Season 1

 

Before the end credits roll, the “smuggler” commits suicide, Holden comes within a whisker of being shot in the back of the head, the five survivors are boarded by their rescue party and taken prisoner and after warning the captured street punk about not stealing water, Miller lets his prisoner go. Miller also learns much more about the missing woman.

With the surviving members of the “Cant” taken prisoner by the Martian Navy, it appears that Avasarala is right, the Cold War has changed into something else. The Expanse airs Tuesdays on SyFy. Tune in and enjoy the mystery and the suspense.