Killjoys: Canadian Export Fun

Poster for Killjoys
SyFy is offering quite a number of fair to quality new programs this year and Canadian export Killjoys is a fun little series featuring some storylines that may not reek of originality but the cast make it work. Starring Aaron Ashmore (Warehouse 13, The Shrine), twin brother of Shawn (The Following, X-Men: Days of Future Past) as John, partner/employee of Dutch who are a couple of “bounty hunters” who work for the RAC.

Dutch, played by Hannah John-Kamen (Misfits, Dark Souls I & II), is a strong female character who has been trained by her father (Rob Stewart) as some sort of assassin from childhood. John’s brother, a decorated war hero with a kill order against him is rescued by the pair in the first episode. D’Avin, played by Luke Macfarlene, becomes a reluctant “unofficial” member of the bounty hunter’s team and in the second episode is actively helping on Dutch and John’s latest warrant.

The bounty hunter leader is surprised by her father’s re-entry into her life, Daddy dear is there to enlist her skills as an assassin and he drops off a red box. The receptacle is a reminder of her childhood and holds a weapon and a target that she has one week to eliminate.

During the latest warrant, D’Avin and Dutch bond as they try to complete the job and get off a warlike planet separated by crime lord areas and scavengers who steal anything, including things nailed down. The writing is not too shabby; episode two uses a Shaun of the Dead line, “Stop pointing that gun at my mother!”

Killjoys may not have a huge budget, but really how much is needed for a show set in a world that is dystopian at best with a lot of buildings in ruinous decay and Spartan decor for official offices and/or buildings. There are not a lot of gunfights so far and the FX are pretty impressive but nothing to write home about.

In this instance it is the actors, as mentioned before, that make this series work. Ashmore, an excellent actor by anyone’s standards, could interact admirably with a lamp. Given that his two costars are also capable performers the chemistry moves the plot forward with ease.

It is hard to pick on a program with a positive female character who is intelligent, can kick major bad guy arse and show just a bit of vulnerability. There may be a let down as the show progresses, after all this is only episode two and SyFy does have a reputation…

Before the end credits on episode two roll, there is a pretty decent shoot out and some mild hand to hand combat, performed by Ashmore, or his stuntman. The team now seem to be pretty comfortable with the two brother’s working for Dutch, after she makes the offer and those red boxes from Daddy look to be a future plot thread that will not go away.

Pretty entertaining fare, although nothing to induce too much in the way of thinking. Just a fun combination of good actors and action that does not, thus far, bore the viewer. Another SyFy offering that airs on Fridays.

Stitchers: Episode Two (Recap/Review)

ABC LogoAs Stitchers moves further into the first season with episode two, things are starting to come together. Although there is still a feeling that the series is rushing, by the end of this segment, Kirsten agrees very quickly to become a more permanent part of the program after being “lied” to.

The the full article at Viral Global News…

‘Stitchers’ ABCs Answer to Scorpion?

Promotional still from Stitchers
It may seem a bit unfair to maintain that ABCs Stitchers is the network’s answer to, or version of, Scorpion especially since the premiere has apparently taken several things from other shows as well. Scorpion, with its cast of socially inept geniuses, including the real life leader of the group Walter O’Brien (played by Elyes Gabel), is the closest match in terms of characters. It could also be said to borrow heavily from The Bridge with its “autistic” female lead, played very well by Diane Kruger, who is another social inept because of her mental issues.

Stitchers stars a group of relative newcomers with Allison Scagllioti (Warehouse 13, Redemption) being the most senior member of the cast in terms of experience. Emma Ishta (I Smile Back, Manhattan Love Story) is the incredibly attractive lead, Kirsten who suffers from “temporal dysplasia” which does not seem to really exist at least not according to Google. In the series it is an inability to sense time and also appears to prevent the individual suffering this mental problem unable to “feel” normal emotions, e.g. love, despair, grief, et al. There is a similar affliction which is a common symptom of ADHD but that is not mentioned in the show.

After the premiere’s teaser, or open, we meet Kirsten who is being accused by her housemate Camille (Scagllioti) of tampering with her PHD project. Unsurprisingly, Camille is also a brilliant student, again along the lines of Scorpion, with its genius level IQ cast of characters, and as Kirsten cannot prove her innocence she is suspended from the PHD program until she can be cleared.

She is approached by the local police about her “father” who apparently killed himself. She claims he was murdered, but never really explains why she knows this. After Camille suggests, sarcastically, that Kirsten should hack the police computer via the Head Instructor’s office computer which she then does, the temporal dysplasia suffering PHD student is kidnapped.

The upper graduate learns that her abductors are a “secret” government agency that puts or “stitches” someone’s consciousness into the brain of a recently deceased individual to pull out memories and help solve crimes. Not just who murdered the victim but, as in the first episode’s plot, other information that can solve other problems/crimes.

Ayo, the head of this secret agency’s LA branch (played by Sola Bamis) recruits Kirsten and the man who runs the stitchers program, Cameron (Kyle Harris) immediately fills the slot reserved for a “will they, won’t they” type interaction.

While the overall plot may seem new, it does appear to borrow from a lot of other shows, at least two of which were Eliza Dushku vehicles; Dollhouse and Tru Calling especially the latter show where the recently deceased were aided by the show’s heroine.

As mentioned above, the CBS summer replacement show Scorpion is the most obvious influence on the series as all the incredibly intelligent leads are socially inept, although heavier on the geek ratio, “Star log date…” It also seems to borrow a little from Prometheus where scientists “trick” the decapitated head of an alien into believing it is still alive in order to harvest its memories.

The show even appears to borrow from Avatar to a degree in that the protagonist enters another’s consciousness via similar methods as in the James Cameron film. This show could still prove to be entertaining and interesting enough to revisit as the season continues. Certainly all the main actors are attractive and if the writers can control their attempts at clever topical and pop culture references the series could be successful.

After all, who does not want to watch a beautiful blonde heroine waltz about in a skin-tight “cat-suit?” Joking aside, it would be nice to see more of Scagllioti, and not in a cat-suit sort of way, as this actress was brilliant in Warehouse 13. Yet, another “time will tell” new show that may not overcome their apparent lack of originality. Stitchers airs on June 2 on ABC Family.

30 May 2015

Michael Knox-Smith

Warehouse 13 Season Finale ‘Endless’ a Recap

Warehouse 13 Season Finale ‘Endless’ a Recap

As with all “last minute reprieves,” good things must come to an end and Warehouse 13 has finished its six episode season five closure period with the finale Endless working as a recap. This science fiction mystery/drama has been called a merger of The X-Files, Raider’s of the Lost Ark and Bones. Perhaps the Lost Ark reference should have been changed to the three season long Relic Hunter starring Tia Carrere which felt like a forerunner, at least in spirit, to Warehouse 13 in terms of production values and a certain amount of cheesiness.

Castle Season Finale ‘For Better or Worse’ Cliffhanger of Course *May Contain Spoilers*

Castle Season Finale ‘For Better or Worse’ Cliffhanger of Course *May Contain Spoilers*

After last week’s drama heavy episode of Castle the season finale, For Better or Worse turned out to not be the expected comedic end and instead turned out to be a cliffhanger, of course. This sneaky sucker punch was appreciated though. For a show that started like a homage to I Love Lucy, or perhaps Love American Style(and you are seriously showing your age if you remember this anthology television comedy) it certainly kept things interesting enough until that last minute swerve into drama land.