Thursday, October 19, 2017


I saw a lot of negative comments about Marvel’s Inhumans before it debuted on ABC. I ignored the ones I read and didn’t read further comments. If there’s one thing we all know about the Internet, it’s that those negative comments on any creative work come mostly from individuals who have never created anything in their lives.

I have my own baggage when it comes to the Inhumans. I have almost always seen them as villains. For crying out loud, they created a slave race - the Alpha Primitives - to serve them. I hold Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in the highest regard, but what the heck were those guys thinking when they came up with that notion?

After watching the first three hours of Inhumans, I was pleased the show didn’t entirely shy away from the more villainous aspects of the characters. These Inhumans might not have the Alpha Primitives seen on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. a while back, but they have a caste system based on Terrigen Mist privilege. The royal family appears to be somewhat more concerned about their privilege problems than the plight of their people. And Maximus, though he purports to want to end the caste system, is just using the underclass for his own purposes and, by the way, is one of the most evil rat bags I have seen on TV lately. Right up there with Arrow’s Prometheus.

How much do I hate Maximus? I want to see Black Bolt have a long, whispered conversation with his brother. Starting with the knees. Working his way up. And, by the way, kudos to Iwan Rheon for doing such a great job making me hate his character.

Those first three hours were uneven, but they had some good moments in them. I was wide-eyed with horror when Maximus shaved Medusa’s hair. I delighted in Black Bolt’s occasional bemused reactions to a world he doesn’t understand and can’t communicate with. (Though I wonder why no one in authority has thought to give him a pen and paper or, conversely, that the writers didn’t establish he doesn’t know how to write English.) Gorgon and Crystal were full of royal privilege, though each of them and Medusa acted heroically, albeit in their own best interest. And I love Lockjaw. Shut up, naysayers. Don’t pick on the pooch.

Marvel’s Inhumans has flawed “heroes” looking out for themselves. The villains are much worse, so I’m rooting for the royal family. The earthlings, human and inhuman alike, are a mix of sorta decent folks and rotten folks. I’m not taking any of the characters to my heart - except Lockjaw - but I’m entertained and intrigued enough to keep watching.

While The Daily Show continues to impress me, I gave up on Jordan Klepper’s The Opposition after two weeks. Klepper is an immensely talented performer and writer. However, Comedy Central’s attempt to make him an alt.right, conspiracy-peddling talk show host is just a blatant attempt to copy the success of The Colbert Report...and it’s not working for me.

Klepper himself is somewhat tolerable on this new show, but he is undone by his so-called “citizen journalists.” They are, every one of them, terrible. Not just bad. Profoundly bad.

It’s a shame to see Klepper wasted on this dreck. Let’s hope some smarter producers find a better use for his talents.


I’m loving the new Duck Tales cartoons. Uncle Scrooge, the nephews, Webby, Mrs. Beakley and the transcendent Margo Martindale as Ma Beagle are a delight to watch. The characters are well-defined and true to their classic selves. The voice actors are as good as any on television, especially David Tennant as Scrooge and Kate Micucci  as Webby. A season-long mystery involving the mother of Huey, Dewey and Louie is intriguing. My only minor quibble is that, sometimes, Tony Anselmo’s Donald is hard to understand. I know that’s been a part of the character since forever, but maybe it’s time to take it down a notch in service of the excellent stories.

The Jim Jefferies Show is a fit companion to the legends that are The Daily Show, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. The Australian-born Jefferies combines the funny with righteous anger and genuine concern. He’s left of center, but doesn’t strike me as too far left of center, which, these days, is pretty much center. When he ends each show with “I think we can all do better,” I believe he’s absolutely sincere and I ask myself how I can, indeed, be better. I love this guy.


Gotham has gotten off to a crazy start in its fourth season. While I’m still not wild about young Bruce Wayne as masked vigilante - I had hoped Gotham would be a universe without Batman and with Wayne using his influence and wealth to be a hero to the city - I guess I’ll have to live with it.

The Penguin pretty much ruling the city with the tacit consent of the mayor and police commissioner is an interesting plot thread if it doesn’t run too long. Anthony Carrigan’s Victor Zsasz has become fun to watch. The dude loves his work.

SPOILER ALERT. Carmine Falcone is dying of cancer and more or less retired to Florida. I’m going to miss John Doman’s portrayal of a mob boss with a certain honor and one smart enough not to engage in a vendetta against James Gordon. (Last season, Gordon was forced to shoot Falcone’s son to prevent the drug-crazed doctor from killing Leslie Thompkins.) END SPOILER.

I am intrigued by the addition of Sofia Falcone [Crystal Reed] as a possible romantic interest for Gordon - Oh, Jim, you keep making bad choices. - and a possible successor to her father. The lady’s got iron in her spine. I’m eager to see where this goes.

SPOILER ALERT. She left us much too soon. Ilana Becker as Myrtle Jenkins, a former classmate and fan girl of Edward Nygma, rescued him from the Penguin. She was fun and quirky and I’m hoping Zsasz’s aim was a little bit off this time. SPOILER OVER.

I enjoy Gotham, but, four episodes in, I’m disappointed that some of the regular and supporting characters are not being used well. I’m also far from impressed with  Alexander Siddig’s Ra's al Ghul. Then again, in the DC comics, Ra’s has become one of those overused villains I wish would go away for about five years or until someone can figure out a new and interesting take on him.

Gotham remains on my watch list. But I think it can do better.

Vixen, who has appeared on Arrow and whose ancestor is a regular on Legends of Tomorrow, was launched as an animated web series in 2015. The first two seasons consisted of twelve short episodes and are available on Blu-ray and DVD. On August 30, the CW broadcast Vixen: The Movie, a compilation of all twelve episodes.

Mari McCabe [Megalyn Echikunwoke] is shown discovering and growing into her powers. The movie is an origin story, a family drama and a decent super-hero adventure with, for some episodes, an African setting. There are villains, of course, but there are also spiffy guest appearances by Green Arrow, the Flash and other DC/CW heroes. The live-action actors voice their animated counterparts.

I enjoyed the movie. I’ll probably buy the DVD or, at least, stick it on my Christmas wish list. If there is a third season, I’ll try to make time to watch it. 


Now starting its third season, Lucifer continues to entertain and fascinate me. Though his character’s “daddy issues” are getting a little tiresome, Tom Ellis is one of the most watchable actors on television. Every one of the regular cast members is terrific, but I have a special love for both Lesley-Ann Brandt’s Maze and Rachael Harris’ Dr. Linda Martin. If Lucifer were to ask me what I desire most - from his show - it would be that we get a resolution to the “daddy” stuff and find some new territory to cover.


I hadn’t watched Saturday Nite Live in years, but I did watch some  episodes of Saturday Nite Live Summer Edition in August. “Weekend Update” news anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che truly impressed me. I decided I would start recording Saturday Nite Live...if only to watch “Weekend Update.” Jost and Che haven’t disappointed me. They are terrific.

The rest of Saturday Nite Live is as I remembered it. The show runs ninety minutes and I’ve never seen an episode that featured a full ninety minutes of good material. Much to my surprise, I found Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump impersonation tiresome. I suspect whatever acclaim he’s received for these performances is due mostly to how much intelligent people despise the dumpster president.

I can usually watch Saturday Nite Live in under an hour. It’s easy to see when a sketch isn’t cutting it and fast forward to the next segment. I don’t watch all of the musical acts. But, as long as I can see Jost and Che, I’ll keep recording SNL.

That’s it for today’s bloggy thing. I’ll be taking a few days off to attend Grand Rapids Comic-Con, but I hope to be back on Monday with more stuff. Have a great weekend.

© 2017 Tony Isabella

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you on 'Inhumans', though I have a little more sympathy for Maximus than you do. I'm also loving 'Ducktales'. I think one of the funnier things about the show is that Catherine Tate is voicing Scrooge's nemesis, Magica Da Spell. I respectfully disagree about 'Gotham', which I dislike quite a bit, but I also hated 'Smallville', so these shows are not for me. I don't watch anything else on your list. Waiting with much anticipation for 'Black Lightning'!