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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Fall TV is almost upon us

Last year I made this post ridiculously early, so I suppose its only fitting it comes ridiculously late this year. After perusing TV Guide’s fall schedule and premiere calendar, I’ve worked up my own weekly list of of things to watch. My eye is mostly on returning shows and those of a superheroic bent, but a few new comedies caught my attention, too.

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My finales did dumb things, how about yours?

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have noticed that about 10 minutes after expressing my general approval of the Grimm season 3 finale (despite a development that I will not be in favor of, if it results in a certain somebody dying), I realized something.

All the finales and penultimate episodes I’ve seen over the past few weeks have shared two common threads: Somebody did something stupid, and something bad happened. Not necessarily in that order. And while that doesn’t always result in a bad episode, it’s my least favorite way for stories to progress.

Let’s break it down by show. Spoilers, obviously:

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Fall TV: Here we go again…

UPDATED: Adds premiere dates, Scorpion.

Last year I did this post much closer to the start of the fall TV season, but I’m trying to do a weekly post, and the other two posts I’ve got could use some time to simmer.  So here’s all the stuff that caught my interest from the network upfronts last week. Again, like last year, I’m sure it won’t all stick, but there are fewer shows I feel that way about.  All times are central time.
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Dueling Peter Pans

pan2003Recently, I realized I had very few memories of the 2003 Peter Pan movie. So, rather than do any of the number of posts I have sitting around half-done on my hard drive or in my head, I decided to Netflix it. It started freezing up on me at the halfway point, but in general I was liking it. Jeremy Sumpter made a good Pan, and Jason Isaacs made a great Hook, and the film had a darker feel than the Disney cartoon while still capturing its fun. But I got a little bored with Wendy, Michael and John and the Lost  Boys’ desire to make Wendy their mother so she could tell them stories. It wasn’t a movie I felt bad about stopping partway through to do other things, but I did feel a little bad when it wouldn’t play properly after that.

I thought about sending it back to Netflix and getting a replacement, but instead I decided I wouldn’t mind throwing a buck to my local video store and renting it right now. (Support your local video stores, kids.)  You wouldn’t think a decade-old Peter Pan movie would be a title in high demand, but it wasn’t in. But that’s okay, because instead I rented Hook, and that’s a movie that holds up. Continue reading

OUAT are you doing to me, show?

Just when my interest begins to wane (again) on Once Upon A Time, an episode like Sunday’s pulls me back in. It was pretty predictable (as, I’m relatively certain, will be the “surprise” in next week’s episode), but I pretty  much loved it enough that I  may actually watch it again now that I can give it my full attention. There are spoilers for the episode and speculation based on next week’s promo here. That is your only warning.

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Once Upon A Time: Apparently the show you can’t quit.

With ABC’s Once Upon a Time heading into its season two fall finale tonight, I thought this might be a good time to talk about it. I liked the pilot and first few episodes — though I certainly found the stories in Fairytale Land to be far more interesting than whatever was going on in Storybrooke. But I quit watching about midway through the season when Mary Margaret Blanchard and David (aka Snow White and Prince Charming, even though they don’t remember those lives) were being horrible people.

I was happy to leave it there, and let Grimm be my tie to TV with fantastic elements (grammar note: while “fantastical” is technically a word, it’s also a waste of time). But then my friend Tim was all “OMG, we have to watch ‘Once Upon A Time!’  And wouldn’t you know, I got sucked right back in for season two. Continue reading