Santa Clarita Diet: We Can Kill People – Cole (Review)

Drew Barrymore in Santa Clarita Diet

Episode three of Santa Clarita Diet “We Can Kill People” jumps things into high gear as Sheila’s appetite gets almost out of control. It has been days since she ate parts of Gary. (She moans about all the meat that she wasted to Joel who replies that there was over 150 pounds of Gary left, there was no way she could have polished the new realtor off.)

The couple decide that since the meat must be fresh, it is now okay to kill people who are evil or the dregs of society. Meanwhile Dan is still sniffing around and asking questions about that ant spray.

Abby and Eric decide to help Sarah take revenge on Cole after he dumps the teenager. He is a guy who sells pot to minors, according to Sarah and while the kids plan their revenge, Joel and Sheila decide that the “drug dealer” and “pedophile” will be the perfect snack to end Sheila’s enforced diet.

This episode of Santa Clarita Diet was a real treat. The sight of the real estate couple dressed in clear rain macs, with hoods and rubber gloves, was funny but not as funny as Joel bonding with Sheila’s not so “happy meal.” He learns that Cole sells great weed and that he is not a “pedo” and that he dumped Sarah when he found out she was not 21.

After Joel and Sheila let Cole go, Abby and her friends stage a commando type raid on Cole’s house, where Abby dons a gas mask and rescues the blue sweater she bought her BFF Sarah. Out of the three main characters, Abby is turning out to be the coolest in a crisis.

Her parents continue to adapt to their new lifestyle. Sheila realizes that  frozen food is almost as good as fresh and she decides that they will buy a new freezer to keep her next meal in. She can then carve off what she needs with less waste.

Another comic highlight of the episode has Sheila attacking the douchebag driver of the car that Joel bumps into. The man is aggressive and foul and Sheila leaps on him in mid-rant and bites out his carotid artery.

While it still seems like Dan, the policeman neighbor who is far too interested in what Joel was spraying on his lawn, could be in-line to be a meal for Sheila, the newest victim may keep him alive that little bit longer.

Santa Clarita Diet has managed to mix slapstick type comedy with odd and quirky. It also gives us a chance to laugh at incongruity of the situation. Joel’s calm, yet glassy-eyed, acceptance of his wife’s new condition as a zombie and Abby’s confidence in going along for the ride.

The series is on Netflix, as an original offering and can be streamed or downloaded to watch offline.  The show’s creator; Victor Fresco, has knocked it out of the park with this one and this comedy horror is genuinely funny. Head on over and check this one out. 

Cast:

Guest starring Matt O’Leary as Cole, Kaylee Bryant as Sarah and Richard T. Jones as Rick

Powerless: Sinking Day – Daddy Issues and Secret Superheroes (Recap/Review)

 Powerless - Season 1

After last week’s somewhat lackluster offering, this episode of Powerless offers up a secret superhero mystery and looks at Van’s daddy issues. Corben Bernsen guest stars as the senior Wayne who started the company that Van is running so badly.

At the start of the episode Van manages to lose an account worth millions; one that has been with the company since its inception. Vanderveer Wayne Sr. swoops in to express his disdain and anger at Van’s mismanagement of the situation.

Van retreats into himself and Emily offers to bail her boss out. She tells him about her father’s flower shop, much to his chagrin, and promotes a positive attitude and strong work ethic in order to get Van moving.

Meanwhile, Jackie, Ron and Teddy believe the new guy in the office; Alex, is actually the new superhero in town; The Olympian.  As the trio try to work out if Alex really is the new very active superhero, Ron sets up cameras in the men’s restroom to catch Alex changing into The Olympian.

Emily realizes that Atlantis’s upcoming celebration of “Sinking Day” offers a great opportunity to get a new client to replace the one that Van lost earlier in the episode.  She and Van work together and he almost jeopardizes the whole thing when he lies and says that Aquaman will be attending their own Sinking Day celebrations.

The Atlantians (Ron claims he comes from Atlantis although everyone swears he said he was from Atlanta) ask to attend the Wayne party and Van manages to win them over despite Aquaman not turning up.

Vanderveer intercedes to close the deal, upsetting his son Van in the process, but has to back off when the group insist that they will only deal with Van. The younger Wayne almost gets a compliment from his father but blows it.

Emily has saved the day and as this drama played itself out, Ron, Jackie and Teddy learn that Alex is not The Olympian. (Wendy gets to the root of the matter by knocking the suspected superhero out cold.)

This episode moved back into the campy and unique verse of the superhero theme it promised. The Olympian saves a school bus and appears every time that there is a problem.  It put the show back on board and left the more mundane aspects to run along side the premise of Powerless.

Alan Tudyk was allowed to be hysterically funny this week. His song writing, as a reaction to his father’s rejection and condemnation, was spot on. While Tudyk’s comedic timing prowess is above and beyond the call of duty, the actor is also able to make himself look like a live muppet (All bulging eyes and downward turned mouth) which is the delightful icing on the comic cake.

The rest of the cast; Kirk, Pierson, Funches and Pudi, interacted perfectly after being allowed to move away from Hudgens’ Pollyanna (as in Sunnybrook Farm Pollyanna) attitude and influence. Zeroing in on Van Wayne made the entire episode funnier.

Powerless is faltering a bit as it heads into its first season. If, however, they move more towards including their original premise into each episode things should pick up.

The series airs Thursdays on NBC. Tune in and see what you think.

Cast:

Guest starring Corben Bernsen as Vanderveer  Wayne Sr and Matthew Atkinson as Alex.

The Expanse: Static – Becoming (Review)

The Expanse - Season 2

The Expanse “Static” sees Miller ostracized for killing Dresden, Holden is furious and kicks the former cop off the ship. The Earth votes to destroy the Martian moon and does so. Lives lost are not overwhelming and Mars has not yet responded with violence.

The one scientist left after Dresden’s death,  Cortazar, eventually explains exactly what was going on with regards with Eros. The protomolecule is, according to the sociopath scientist, “becoming.” He also seems to indicate that Julie Mao, despite all appearances to the contrary, may not really be dead.

She is still haunting Miller, he saw a live and unsullied Mao in the mirror as he started cutting his hair.

Avasarala commits treason, as does Col. Johnson, with her attempt to stop the upcoming war, which will encompass Earth, Mars and the Belters, and the two strange bedfellows work well together. Frederick responds to Chrisjen’s call for help despite being threatened with death.

Meanwhile Alex has loaded up the battle into the simulator. His guilt over loosing 25 combatants in the pod keeps him re-fighting the battle over and over. Each time Alex tries to save the pod the ship is destroyed.

Holden and Naomi get closer and deal with the completed mission differently. Miller is adopted by the belters and he starts searching for ways to destroy the protomolecule completely.

In a disturbing development, the young belter who was shot in the face with a paintball in the prior episode, music has been made based upon the noises made by the protomolecule as it takes over its human host. Miller and Johnson become allies.

The ex cop explains that he killed the scientist because he was starting to make sense.

 The Expanse airs Thursdays on SyFy.

Cast:

Guest starring Carlos Gonzalez-Vio as Cortazar

Face Off: All Stars ‘Monster High’ – Mattel (Review)

 Face Off - Season 11

Face Off: All Stars this week is all about Mattel and their doll based animation franchise “Monster High.” The game’s company is thinking of expanding the universe into life action and the contestants on the show will have the challenge of creating life versions of the dolls.

This week the series judges; Glenn Hetrick, Ve Neill and Neville Page were conspicuous in their absence.  Due to the challenge and the uniqueness of the application, the creations were rated instead by a focus group. These uber fans of “Monster High” all critiqued the final designs.

McKenzie Westmore was joined by Natasha Berling (vice president for “High” designs) who briefed the contestants on the challenge. Later Natasha helped present the winning team with a round up of what they had won.

Design Phase:

Two designers stop by and help out the teams. They provide some insight on the character’s portrayed by each doll. George and Cig are at a huge disadvantage as they know nothing about Monster High.

Adam and Logan have some difficulties with their choice, the abominable snowman’s daughter, and immediately have issues. A lack of conceptualization is the first problem they encounter, despite a helping hand from the designer.

Sculpting Phase:

Adam and Logan are still having real issues with their choice. Both men decide to add simian features, which results in the design losing its cute factor. Logan says that he is really looking forward to any advice that Michael Westmore can send their way.

Unfortunately, Michael’s guidance shakes the team’s confidence and Logan considers redoing the sculpt from scratch. This is what he ends up doing and while it sets the two men back in terms of time they do not do that badly.

Application Phase:

Keaghlan Ashley and Melissa Ebbe have to take off the face mold that they developed for their character. It is a last minute decision that means the team have to rush and use paint and makeup to create their doll’s face.

Judging:

All of the contestants are stunned to find that a focus group will be judging their creations.  On the plus side, each team watch the process from  backstage. The group looks at their work, up close, and then sit down and discuss with McKenzie and Natasha what they did and did not like.

At the end of the episode, the two men who admitted that they had no idea about the franchise or any of the dolls that make up “Monster High” actually won the challenge. George Troester III and Cig Neutron also managed to pull of beauty makeup on their design. This was something else that they knew little to nothing about.

Amusingly they practiced putting eye makeup on one another. Their concept bowled over the focus group and Natasha Berling. The winners of this week’s competition got a special prize. This bonus include dolls from the “High” franchise.

George looked into the camera and stated emphatically that he would be playing with the toys that he and Cig won in this competition.

Emily Serpico, easily the most excited of all the contestants about this challenge, and her team partner did well and it was fun to see her enthusiasm Keaghlan and Melissa were also quite pleased with this week’s contest despite their last minute decision to remove the face piece.

George and Cig now have immunity for the next challenge.

Face Off: All Stars airs Tuesdays on SyFy.

The Path: The Father and the Son – There Is No Light (Review)

Aaron Paul in The Path

As the title suggests “The Father and the Son” is all about Eddie and Hawk,  as well as the burgeoning relationship between the Lane teenager and Cal. The Path this week also brings Richard and Kodiak that bit closer to learning the truth about Steve and The Light.

It is interesting to note that this episode brings things full circle in terms of Eddie and his discovery at the start of season one that Steve was dead that there was no light. Lane is also being followed, like the young woman who thought her husband had been murdered by the cult last year.

Once again things are taking a more sinister turn and it seems that Richard has already worked out that Cal wrote the last rungs.  Like anyone who seeks the truth behind a lie,  Richard is stumbling a bit. He believes, to an extent, that Cal and his appointed “co-leader” Sarah wrote the last rungs.

Richard enlists the aid of Kodiak to bring Steven close enough to them to ask the question. He believes that Steve is not in the light and both men now think that the man who pushed their leader off the mountain was Cal and not Eddie.

As they perform the ceremony to ask Steve about where he is, Kodiak jerks and tells Richard that “there is no light.” He also reveals that Steve is not in the light since it does not exist. It looks like the whole organization is in danger of imploding.

Cal’s confession to Sarah has not, as he seemingly believed it would, brought Eddie’s wife closer to him. She now distrusts Cal more than ever and is becoming increasingly paranoid about his killing of Silas.

At one point the police show up at the gate as Sarah is returning to the compound. She believes they are there to arrest Cal.  Instead they inform the cult leader that Hawk and Noa were involved with breaking a window on the DaKeer mansion.

Meanwhile Mary seems to be leaning towards wanting Cal to be the father of her unborn baby and in the process is pushing Sean away. Abe is having issues with his wife about being undercover in the group and not spending any time with his family.

Hawk moves to be closer to Cal, whom he now sees as a father-figure since Eddie became a Denier. His father is less than pleased at this latest turn of events and threatens Cal, “I will murder you, before I let you take him away from me.”

Eddie is being followed by a member of the movement after his confrontation with Cal at the center. After getting together with Chloe at a local casino, he spies the man again. Confronting him angrily results in security intervening and punching Eddie out.

Lane awakens on a hospital gurney and is told that he reacted badly to all the alcohol he drank. Eddie spends most of this episode distraught that his son is cutting him off.

Hawk tells his father that it is too hard and it is tearing Eddie apart. Whether it is Eddie’s defection and the realization that Cal may not be telling the truth about Steve, the movement founder, but the whole thing appears to be falling apart.

Sarah expresses doubts to Eddie; most likely brought about by Cal’s confession of murder. Richard and Kodiak stumble across the same “truth” that Eddie saw in his vision last season. A truth that started the believer on his journey of self discovery.

Eddie’s journey has shown him that the entire movement was a lie and that Steve Meyer, at the end, realized that he put his faith in “the wrong son.” Cal is on a path that will lead to his self destruction and the downfall of the movement.

His “threatening” behavior in the parking garage proves that he is still capable of acting dangerously and unpredictably. Cal’s interests continually take precedence over that of the group’s.

Finally we have Abe, who talks about his father not wanting children as he spends no time with his own. The FBI agent appears to be faltering on his own journey to taking Cal down.

This episode also features two moments where men who love their wives come dangerously close to being physically abusive. Abe, who roughly grabs his wife’s arm and Eddie who roughly grabs Sarah, although he does let her go immediately. Abe, on the other hand, is clearly angry and it takes him a few moments to release his wife’s arm.

The Path airs Wednesdays on Hulu. Tune in and watch this fascinating look at cults from the pen of Jessica Goldberg.

Cast:

Guest starring Britne Oldford as Noa and Leven Rambin as Chloe.