Monday, October 21, 2013


I’ve been writing about the new TV season because I’m addicted to
the wide-screen teat.  I think it of it as a blessing.  Were it not
for TV, I might be roaming the streets twerking.  I think we can
all agree no one wants to see that.

Thursday is a big sitcom night as I record The Big Bang Theory, The
Crazy Ones
and Two and a Half Men.  Barb gets a kick out of The Big
Bang Theory
, so we usually watch that together.  I know some find
the show offensive in its portrayal of fans, especially male fans,
but sitcoms are seldom kind to their lead characters and, for the
most part, I laugh as much with the characters as I do at them.  I
think comparing Big Bang to a minstrel show is as stupid as saying
the Affordable Care Act is as bad as the Fugitive Slave Act.  Get
a sense of perspective, people.

In The Crazy Ones, Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar are a
father-daughter team of advertising geniuses.  The show is uneven,
but every episode has had a handful of laugh-out-loud moments and
those are what have been bringing me back every week.  Some of the
moments are in the outtakes which end each episode.  The best one
of those came in the aftermath of an argument Williams and Gellar’s
characters had with another father and daughter.  When asked by how
she learned to stand up and be tough that way, Gellar responded:
“Sunnydale.” I have learned not to eat or drink during this show.

Two and a Half Men is a guilty pleasure, filled as it is with the
most sophomoric of sex jokes.  I am ashamed I enjoy this series as
much as I do, but the actors perform this sleazy comedy with such
skill and earnestness that they win me over week after week.  The
addition of Amber Tamblyn as the lesbian love-child of the dearly
departed Charlie Harper has been fun. 

Elementary continues to entertain and impress me.  Clever writing,
great acting, wonderful chemistry between the regular cast members.
It may now be my favorite cop show.

On the Syfy Channel, Haven changes the rules of the show and adds
new characters every season...and it still works.  The saga of this
small town in Maine and its many citizens with unpleasant powers is
loosely based on Stephen King’s The Colorado Kid.  I don’t usually
enjoy shows that have a lot of convoluted back story, but I don’t
think Haven is married to any of that.  The writers mix things up
in surprising ways and the talented cast pulls it off brilliantly.
I’m so in to this series that I’ve been tempted to write a series
finale for it.  Just for fun and because I totally know how to end
it on a high and satisfying note. 

These aren’t all the shows I watch, but I’m behind on some others.
When I catch up with them, I’ll likely write about them.  Because
my name is Tony and I’m an addict.


Moving on to other stuff...

I continue to read comic books months and even years after they’ve
been published and doubtless thoroughly discussed by online comics
reviewers.  This does not concern me.  As much as I sometimes wax
nostalgic about the thrill of riding my bike to the drug store to
get the new comics every Tuesday and Thursday when I was a lad, I
don’t really miss those days...and I especially don’t miss my years
as a comic-shop owner unpacking boxes of comics every week.  Those
comic-shop owners who faithfully serve their customers are genuine
treasures and, if I weren’t such a grumpy old man, I’d probably go
in search of one near me.  As it is, I borrow comics from a friend
of mine who buys a lot of them, buy some comics online and receive
others as review copies.  When I find something worth writing about
in these comics, I write about them.

This past week, for example, I read and enjoyed Captain Marvel #9-
12 [March-June 2013] by writers Kelly Sue DeConnick and Christopher
Sebela with art by Filipe Andrade. There is some fine writing and
drawing in these issues.

Carol Danvers, one of the more powerful Avengers, has an odd tumor
in her head that could kill her.  She has a hard time accepting the
limitations this puts on her super-hero stuff, especially not being
able to fly.  Anyone who has ever had things their bodies would no
longer allow them to do can sympathize with that.  How Carol deals
with this is the best thing about these issues, followed closely by
her interesting supporting cast.  I’m looking forward to seeing how
her situation plays out.


Remember my long-standing position that every Marvel title occurs
in its own separate universe? Uncanny Avengers certainly makes the
case for my view.  I can’t see any way of reconciling this series
with what’s going on in Captain America, Thor, or any of the seven
or eight ongoing Wolverine titles. 

Written by Rick Remender, Uncanny Avengers has an excellent notion
in the forming of a “unity team” to ease tensions between Avengers
and X-Men and between mutants and non-mutants.  I was also pleased
by Havoc’s little commentary on the “M” word, which, as I recall,
did not play well with online fandom.  Too many mutants might have
embraced the designation to roll it back to any meaningful degree,
but I can see where some mutants wouldn’t like it.

A memorable-but-gross development has the Red Skull body-snatching
the late Charles Xavier and using Chuck’s lifeless brain to control
minds.  Have I mentioned that I’m official tired of the Red Skull
and would love to see him dead for good?  I seek relief from those
overused villains that come back again and again.

I’m not sure what to make of the return of the Scarlet Witch, her
being referred to as Captain America’s girlfriend, Rogue’s enmity
towards her and the Wasp being all bitching towards mutant ladies
and cougar-ish towards Havoc.  I didn’t enjoy those parts of issues
#1-8 [December 2012-July 2013].  In fact, overall, I’m not fond of
Uncanny Avengers.

Two closing questions...

Is it some sort of federal regulation that Wolverine is a member of
seemingly every team?  I think Marvel should loan him out to DC and
let him join the Legion of Super-Pets.

Is there no end to “Age of Ultron” special issues? They’re like the
comic-book equivalent of herpes!

I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

© 2013 Tony Isabella


  1. People watch Big Bang Theory, I think, because it makes them laugh. I watch Big Bang Theory because it makes me laugh and I think it is one of the most cannily written TV shows in years. One easy example: Watch how many brilliant riffs they do on the Sheldon character's line: "I'm not crazy. My mom had me tested." Each one on point, in character, in context and laugh-out-loud funny if you follow the thread. it's high-craft writing at its very best, I think.

  2. Tony, just wondering if you have had a chance to catch the new series, THE BLACKLIST yet. This has quickly become one of the favorite shows at our house. - TOM HUNTER