2019 Media in Review: TV and Books

This was a weird year. In the past, TV and/or movies have dominated my media intake, but not only did I see comparatively few movies, I only finished one season of a non-current TV show (that I’d been slogging through for years), struggled mightily to keep up with my currently-airing shows, and didn’t finish reading any books. I guess I played a lot of Splatoon in between complicated apartment hunting and eventual moving.

Time to finish up the 2019 Media posts and look forward to a more robust 2020.

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All about the Arrowverse

CW’s Arrowverse kicks off its 2019 season tonight with the series premiere of Batwoman, and I could not be last-minuting this wrap-up of last season’s shows any harder. It turns out these shows that are usually my happy-place brain candy TV options really kind of let me down.

Legends of Tomorrow, mostly delivered a fine season but the landing was rough. The Flash was the opposite with the bulk of the season dragged down by elements I didn’t care for, but it pulled up before completely crashing.  And then there was Arrow. Poor Arrow that started it all. After years of defending it against criticism, it’s finally become something I just want to be over because I can’t imagine there’s any saving it. There might be a speck or two to look forward to in the shortened final season, but for the most part, it has failed me hard.

So let’s break it down.

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Fall TV is here again

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Photo by Erik Dungan from FreeImages

I almost didn’t make this post about what I’m planning to watch this TV season. Mostly because I couldn’t find a source I trusted for premiere dates, scheduling and comprehensiveness after I realized so many of the returning shows on the TV Guide roundup had blurbs that were just not at all accurate. And also, from what I did find, there just wasn’t a whole lot of new stuff that I was that interested. Or there was Prodigal Son, which I won’t watch because Fox has broken my heart my too many times and the cast isn’t quite Must-See enough for me to do that again.

But TV Guide has updated, the Fall TV season writ large kicks off today, and here’s what’s on my schedule (all times central). What are you watching?

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It Chapter Two floats a little higher

For how middle-of-the-road I felt about It Chapter One, I was really surprised by how excited I was for Chapter Two in the weeks before I saw it. And for the most part that excitement ended up being warranted. A lot of the issues I had with the younger cast were mostly resolved with the older cast, and even though it was a long movie that felt long, it was long in that sort of way that makes you glad you’ve got more time to spend with these people.

But it kind of failed at being scary.

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At no point was The Passage what I thought it would be

It might not come as a shock to anyone who’s been following the woeful state of my books posts, but I don’t read nearly as much as I used to.  So when I heard Mark-Paul Gosselaar was going to be in a new series called The Passage, based on a best-selling trilogy, I didn’t know anything about it. And honestly, the first trailer I saw didn’t really prepare me.

I don’t know, maybe I blinked or something during the combined seven seconds of screen time for Fanning and Shawna Babcock in a three-and-a-half minute trailer, but my takeaway was that Mark-Paul Gosselaar worked for some shady people, got cold feet about abducting a kid and then spent life on the run with her.

Which, okay fine. I’ve watched worse for MPG. But then somebody in a forum mentioned vampires and I was all “The who with the what now?”

Anthony Carter (McKinly Belcher III), The Passage (FOX)
VAMPIRES, WHAT?!!

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2017-18 TV Wrap-up: The Beeboverse

Yeah, yeah. That trio of CW shows comprising DC’s Arrow, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow may officially still be known as the Arrowverse, But Cuddle Me Beebo, the lovable Elmo knockoff off that flew from the shelves, was a god for a little while and even sort of…you know, I can’t spoil it…but suffice to say that Beebo has made its presence known in two of the three series and has to exist in the third, since they’re all connected.

So, I’m calling it: The Arrowverse is now the Beeboverse, and I’ll fight you over it. But since it’s all so much better when we get along, let’s take a look at three shows that, even when they’re not perfect, never fail to entertain me.

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Beebo loves you!

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State of Leisure: Let’s talk about stuff.

Hi, again! So, let’s be real. Marvel kind of broke my brain for a bit. I mean, I binged a lot.  I was going to be all “Oh, look, every word in that sentence is its own link, ah, there are so many!” but…there were so many. So, check out my Marvel tag for the Road To Infinity War series if you missed it real-time. I didn’t take it to the extreme like those people who spent 30+ hours at a theater watching every MCU movie before Infinity War, but I did watch every movie (except The Incredible Hulk) and I think I watched at least six movies in the last day and a half leading up IW.

Watched them. Wrote about them. Ranked them. And then lost the will to write anything else.  Until now! I’ve noticed a trend over the last few years where I’ll basically hiatus from about March to June  and then October to January, and even though every time I come back and am all “This time I’m not going to abandon the three of you who still read what I have to say!” … I kind of always do.

So, I’m going to try to be better about that. I’m aiming for two posts a weekish. One sometime during the weekend and one sometime during the week. We’ll see how that goes. If I get a good backlog of posts built up, or I get bitten by something amazingly timely, I might do more, who knows.

But here’s what’s in the pipeline right now:

2017-2018 TV season wrap-up. I just finished Supernatural, and now I’m caught up on everything I decided to stick with except for The Orville. I think I’m four episodes back on that still.

2018-2019 TV season preview. New stuff’s coming! Old stuff’s returning! Let’s make the annual, sure to change before the season’s out calendar of far too much television for one person to consume.

2018 Leisure Time Movie Challenge. I need to go through my list of movies I’ve watched this year, see if any of them count against the challenge, and make posts for them. (Sidenote: My Media In Review post is going to be all kind of messed up this year. I got the the Marvel Experiment and just stopped tracking things. And months after it closed, I just now went back all “What did I see?  When did I see it? Why did I see it?)

Mission: POSSIBLE. I, uh, only sort of learned my lesson from the Road to Infinity War. In preparation for Mission Impossible: Fallout, I’m going to revisit the other six movies in the series before seeing it (but I’m totally not seeing it opening week). I’ve seen the original a bunch, M:Iii once when it came out, and I thought I’d seen the third one, but apparently not because I was very confused when I watched Ghost Protocol. Still haven’t seen Rogue Nation.

Other books. I read books this year! And there wasn’t a glorified comic strip or children’s book in sight! After hating Anger Is A Gift so much, I actually dusted off my GoodReads account to warn more people that it might not be the book they’re looking for, and I realized just how much stuff I’d put on my To Read shelf without ever actually reading it. I’m hoping some of them are available in my library’s ebook collection, and I’m going to try to get at least two more in before the year’s up. *Sigh* I remember the days when four books was like a two-week adventure or something.

So, that should keep me busy along with work, helping friends move and trying to make my own apartment look like something a human being lives in and not a cave troll. Yay!

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