New shows are coming!

3 Aug

It’s almost time for a new TV season to start, and with it comes a glut of new shows.After discounting all the things I knew I wouldn’t care about, I was still left with a fairly lengthy list of things I’m at least interested in checking out. I know they won’t all hold my interest, and even if they did, I REALLY know they won’t all hold the studios’ interests. But in a season that includes new dramas, comedies, a handful of reboots and an awful lot of time travel, it’ll be fun to see what sticks.

The following is my list, organized by premiere date rather than degree of interest. Trailers are included where possible.

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Star Trek Beyond is underwhelming in its excess

26 Jul

I should preface this review by saying that, after talking to other people, it’s possible some of my experience was negatively affected by the 3D conversion. My suggestion would be to see it in standard: What you gain in depth of field during the quiet moments of 3D (which really is quite something) isn’t worth what you lose overall.

But I can’t judge this movie on the experience other people had, only on the one I had, which is to say that Star Trek Beyond is a bunch of great character stuff surrounded by…I don’t even know what that mess was.

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Ghostbusters: I ain’t afraid of no haters

26 Jul gb cstumes

Wow, I actually really enjoyed the new Ghostbusters movie.

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How I grew optimistic for the Ghostbusters reboot

15 Jul

Well, I can’t put this post off anymore. It’s been sitting on my computer in bits and pieces pretty much since the new Ghostbusters movie was officially announced and garnered instant-hate. And to be honest, I was kind of one of the haters. Something about it felt exploitative. Like, there was nothing wrong with the original Ghostbusters. Sure, it was a product of its time, but it held up okay. Rebooting it — now with female ghostbusters, what a twist! — seemed like pandering, blatant attempt to catch the social justice wave. Like the movie was being made not because it was needed, not because it was wanted, just because it could be.

And for a while, that didn’t sit well with me. And when images of the new costumes started being released – costumes that looked more befitting of a I don’t even know what – I doubled down on my ire.

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Independence Day: Resurgence was everything I thought it would be

11 Jul

I saw Independence Day: Resurgence over my Fourth of July weekend. I didn’t go in expecting the next great American Sci Fi movie, or even something that would surpass the original in anything other than scope, and I think that probably played a good role in why I enjoyed it so much. ID4-2 is what it is, and unashamedly so: A tentpole summer movie (that wanted so very badly to be a blockbuster) full of nostalgia, patriotism a healthy dose cheese and melodrama. And, honestly, it was just a little bit surprising in places.

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I guess I’m watching DS9 now

24 Jun

While I wouldn’t quite call it a binge, I’ve certainly been enjoying a steady diet of Star Trek that started last year with The Next Generation and has grown to include Deep Space Nine this year. I’ve got one season left of TNG, and just finished the first of DS9, and that’s the one I want to talk about. Because for a while rhere, I wasn’t at all sure I was going to make it.

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I guess it might be time to cancel Hulu

21 Jun

I haven’t done a “What I’m Watching Next Season” post, because I haven’t even finished my “What I Watched Last Season” series, but with five of the shows I was looking forward to (and one I was resigned to watching) being on The CW, this news has me thinking it might be time to drop Hulu and reconsider cable/DVR (or perhaps buying seasons from Amazon).

In short: Next season, The CW is ending its deal with Hulu for next-day streaming of the most recent five episodes of series and instead will make the whole series available on Netflix about two weeks after seasons end, instead of 3-4 months.

Apparently, you still can do next-day streaming through the CW site and apps, but my experience with those in the past have been really glitchy and awful.

I might make a list of everything I want to watch, do the math, and see if it’s actually cheaper to just buy seasons outright from Amazon. I hesitate to do that, because it makes me less likely to then buy the DVDs, so I miss commentary and other features, but honestly, I think I’m done buying physical TV seasons for things that are still airing. Teen Wolf and Castle really burned me in that regard with some severe quality drops.

And my quick mental estimate is that I could get all the shows I want to watch for the year and avoid the temptation of getting lost in hours and hours of HGTV, DIY and Food Network shows for the same cost as less than six months of cable. And to think, I was seriously considering upgrading to ad-free Hulu in the fall.

So, big loser here, Hulu; big winner, Amazon? We’ll see.

Why you should watch TitansGrave: The Ashes of Valkana

16 Jun

Earlier this year, I started watching TitansGrave: The Ashes of Valkana, a webseries for the role-playing game Wil Wheaton created with his son Ryan. It’s 10 episodes of Wil playing Game Master as Laura Bailey (Dragonball Z, Fruits Basket, Full Metal Alchemist), Yuri Lowenthal (Naruto, Ben 10, Code Geass), Alison Haislip (Attack of The Show) and Hank Green (vlogbrothers, Crash Course, Hank Green and the Perfect Strangers) make their way through a campaign with characters they created. The popularity of Wheaton’s other webseries Tabletop notwithstanding, in general you might not think watching people play an old-school, tabletop  RPG  would be all that fun.

And  you would be wrong.  I was late to the party when I started, and even later to finally finish, but what a treat it was.

titansgrave logo

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I live in Smallville this weekend

11 Jun

EDIT: This post as been updated with more links to Smallville ComicCon coverage. (6.12.16)

A couple  guys in my town put a lot of work into convincing people Hutchinson, Kansas, should be considered Smallville, the earth hometown of Clark Kent. They based it on everything that could be gleaned about the town from the comics, movies, and TV shows, and the equivalents Hutch has. Some are a little dubious. We also have an grand old movie theater like The Talon from The CW series “Smallville,” but fortunately it hosts a variety of live shows and movies both large and small, and nobody has turned it into a coffee shop with an out-of-place Egyptian theme. But some are more interesting, like one comic where Superman flies along the Arkansas River (which is real) over a town called Hopefield (which is not, but Mount Hope sure is).

Four years ago they succeeded, and the mayor signed a proclamation declaring Hutchinson Smallville for a day. The following years, it’s been two days that coincide with Smallville ComicCon, which debuted here in 2014 and is back this weekend.

Guests at this year’s event includes Helen Slater, who’s left her mark on a variety of Super-products (read more here), actress Leslie Ann Brandt (Spartacus, The Librarians) and voice-over actor Derek Stephen Prince (Kill La Kill, Power Rangers, Kingdom Hearts). There are also a host of things to see and do, from a 10-foot-tall Lego Clark Kent to panels, cosplay contests and, of course, vendors.

My newspaper, The Hutchinson News (which, full disclosure, I work at), goes all out for this event. Here’s the cover of our paper today.

I’ll update this post with more links to stories as I have time, but if you want to get the early scoop, hop over and poke around. I think you get five free clicks a month before hitting a (not unreasonable) pay wall.


Five of the coolest things about Smallville (tops for me: Today we can get a Smallville postmark on our mail).

Photos galleries from ComicCon in general and the costume contest specifically.

A feature story on cosplay

No time to make this a flashy post. I’ve got to get to work.

Leisure Time is on Twitter! Follow @theLTtweet for post updates and smaller thoughts.

TV Roundup: Everything’s the same; nothing will be the same

30 May

Well, my fall/spring TV season is officially over, and it’s pretty easy to say my three favorites of the year were The Flash, Agents of SHIELD and Arrow. In general, I felt like they all had strong seasons, and if I liked one, it’s easy to see how I’d like the other two, because they all had some awfully similar things going on. Spoilers here, obviously.

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