Genre Shows

I admit I love genre shows, fantasy, fantistorical, some sci-fi. What’s kind of random is how they end. Some of them are able to end on their own terms like Lost or Game of Thrones, but then you’ll get others that have a cliff-hanger season finale, but end up getting cancelled, like Alcatraz and Debris and then you’re left wondering what the hell to make of it.

Lately I’ve been luck enough though that two shows I’ve loved ended on their own terms and ended perfectly. Those would be Lucifer and the lesser-known fantasy tale The Outpost.

Lucifer was cancelled on Fox and was surprisingly revived by Netflix, going on to finish a few more seasons. Clearly Fox blew it. Big surprise, I know. All the surviving characters had a wonderful and character-specific happy ending. It is my sincere wish that lead actor Tom Ellis become the next 007.

The Outpost was a pleasant surprise as well. It just finished its fourth and final season, a lesser known fantasy tale from producer Dean Devlin of Independence Day fame. That one literally got better every season and dug deeper into its lore as opposed to an old show like Xena that just meandered until it died. The final season of The Outpost was so good that it gave context to all the previous seasons, making them more rewatchable as a result. I highly recommend getting your hands on this. I hope leads Jessica Green and Jake Stormoen go on to do even greater things.

A Path Forward

Let’s speak metaphorically for a moment. Our Universe is a place of extremes, both insanely hot and insanely cold. For the survivability of a planet’s habitat, it needs to be in a very slim “goldilocks zone”. The same can be said for our own weather. We can have burning summers and freezing winters.

Not exactly rocket science, right? Perhaps we need to apply that notion to ourselves as well. I’m going to keep it strictly to exterior for now but I’ll dig deeper in subsequent posts. Just with image alone, we don’t want to dress like people did prior to the 20th Century in ridiculous painful and restrictive corsets etc, but neither do we want to dress like a bunch of slobs like people everywhere essentially do now. In one century, the US alone went from restraints to a nation of slovenly Walmart shoppers. Don’t laugh and agree if it probably applies to you.

People now think a shabby tee shirt and jeans is appropriate attire for an office. There is no such thing as even business casual anymore, it’s more like a free-for-all of shabbiness. I get it if you’re a construction worker, that’s not really a time for a neck tie or sky-high heels. Keep in mind, though, however we present ourselves, that is what we will live up to. If we look like a bunch of shabby bums, we won’t behave much differently. When is the last time you can remember a standard office fellow wearing a tie though? When is the last time you saw a professional woman wearing beige nylons instead of displaying her bare, veiny, knobby legs? No points for Hooters girls because they wouldn’t do so if it wasn’t part of the uniform. Kudos to trans women who are often more likely to wear tights than their cis peers.

Up until 1990, even high school and junior high girls and boys dressed like young women and men, and they looked fantastic. It has since flipped so now grown-ups dress like a bunch of eight year-olds at a playground. You know I’m right, so don’t bother disagreeing or coming up with a clever retort.

Shame on all of us. We need a path forward out the decline of civility we’ve fallen into. Everybody pretty much hates everybody. Before we can begin to heal any and all social ills, we all have to first hold ourselves to a higher standard. Maybe then we can see each other as fellow upstanding citizens instead of dumbing ourselves down to the lowest common denominator. We need to step back from a perilous ledge.

Guys, please throw on that blazer and tie, and try sticking with a polo shirt on the weekends. Ladies, make your peace with the beige nylons with a classy dress or skirt suit. If we’re going to expect decency from each other, then we have to start right now by looking the part and slowly working our way inward.

Lost Scary Opportunities

I love all the classic scary/horror movies. If you really watch the first entries in any that became a series of films, though, a couple seem to have gone way off base.

Starting with Michael Myers in Halloween… The good doc played by Donald Pleasance makes it very clear there is something extremely wrong with Michael. He explains to an administrator that this person who’s been sitting there catatonic since the age of six mysteriously learned how to drive. Pleasance’s character acknowledged that’s impossible! Myers couldn’t have driven a vehicle unless there was something truly awful and supernatural occuring. My take is that the boy Michael Myers is the first victim. The boy as a living, thinking person disappeared. Something else is walking around in his shell. THAT should have been explored. What took him over? Could that happen to others? Imagine a sequel that had a handful of people now go catatonic and succumb to some murderous Samhain spiritual force. How do you stop them all?

Then there’s Friday the Thirteenth. Keep in mind the original producers didn’t stay. Whoever took the reigns and made copies with roman numerals doesn’t count. In the original movie, it was not Jason Voorhees that was the killer, it was his mother, seeking vengeance for her drowned and apparently developmentally disabled child. She implied in her final conversation that there was something weird about the lake itself. Whatever it was, it brought her son’s corpse back from the dead. Jason is not the antagonist, the lake is. What is in the lake? What happened that made Jason the revenant that he became? And why are the newer producers too stupid to get that and explore it? Because they’re shit z-list people just out to make a quick buck.

If someone isn’t brave enough to finish those narratives, then fuck it, I will!

Open Arms and Pop Tarts

It’s generally a pet peeve of mine anytime a classic rock song is covered by some R&B or pop tart. They never get the inflections right, and they usually throw in that horrible R&B vocal fill, you know the one I mean, “OH-oh-oh, OH-oh-oh, OH-oh-oh”. Lzzy Hale of Halestorm pretty much nails it on any song she touches. Miley Cyrus, however, is a complete failure (no surprise there).

The one on my nerves currently is any cover of Journey’s Open Arms. Firstly, that’s one of the greatest rock ballads ever recorded so it better be a faithful (Faithfully?) adaptation in the first place. All over YouTube are numerous clips from shows like The Voice where some wanna-be pop tart does some mechanical or soulless version of that amazing song. I’d say Steve Perry would be turning over in his grave except for the fact that he’s still alive.

Journey deserves to be remembered better than that and we, the public, deserve better. Unless you’re one of the losers that watches those voice competition shows, then you deserve the trash you’re hearing, LOL.

Digital Art

I‘m quite fond of the digital stories from the Advantasy page on Facebook. They’re fun adventure tales, sometimes a little sci-fi, sometimes romance. The period stuff is usually spot on with ladies actually wearing nylons unlike the revisionist work of Patty Jenkins’ WW1984 and Stranger Things. This, however, is period done right, from a tale called The Cigarette Girl that takes place in the 1940s.

Creature Features

Not all great horror is just the classic stuff. There’s some really good modern tales as well. Vampires have redeemed themselves from Twilight hell with the current season of American Horror Story and the excellent Chapelwaite.

Chapelwaite is a really excellent expansion of the Stephen King short story Jerusalem’s Lot. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone that hasn’t seen it, but I will say that it does well what any horror show should, which is fill you with relatively constant dread.

There are some older little-known movies that I consider gems even though production maybe lower than that say on The Exorcist or The first (and only good) Amityville Horror. Case in point, The early 70’s film The Brotherhood of Satan. The dialog is far better than the dreadful films of the 90s, and Strother Martin is surprisingly intimidating in this. Forget cheesy Chucky, this has one of the freakiest evil doll I have ever seen.

That being said, I wish you all a fun and frightful October and Halloween!

Trolls gotta troll

I admit I don’t understand the vitriol in the past handful of years in so-called nerd culture. Once upon a time, it was hard to find good movies or television shows that catered to sci-fi or fantasy fans, at least of much quality. In the early 1980’s, people would eat up the likes of Empire Strikes Back or Excalibur (both great) because most of what was released was schlock. Catch a snippet of Space Crash and you’ll see what I mean about low quality.

Nowadays we’re blessed with an array of quality in the likes of the Marvel movies, The Witcher, and the Star Wars shows of the last six years. There is even good lighthearted fare in the likes of the recently concluded The Outpost, and Lucifer. I’m personally very fond of Britannia.

For whatever reason, though, we also have some outspoken internet trolls, let’s just call them whiners, that are all pissed off because television shows and movies don’t have the plot points that they think they should have. The most egregious whining has been from fans of Game of Thrones and the Star Wars sequels.

Firstly, oh my god, shut up, whiners! It’s freaking fiction! These are not documentaries that someone screwed up historical facts about! Rey does not exist! the Targaryans don’t exist! Raging nerds seem to think that filmmakers need to consult them about the path characters take. If you want a move to go the way you want it to, shut up and go film your own! Even some of the actors like John Boyega bitch about how they think their characters should have been utilized!

Look at any historical warfare for example. No WW2 veteran whined that their “role” in the conflict was not heroic enough for posterity. Do you think any of them said, “No, I shouldn’t have my leg blown off by a landmine here because I’m a main character and nothing bad happens to me, and I rescue a blonde that becomes my wife”. That isn’t realism! The downfall of Daenerys Targaryen at the end of GoT’s run is unfortunately very realistic. The heroic females of that show were Sansa, Arya, and Brienne! The character of Finn floundering around in The Last Jedi is very realistic because war often has very unfortunate setbacks.

If you watch any of these or other shows with an open mind and heart like I do, you’ll see how truly brilliant they are. I love how Game of Thrones ended because it was not a cartoonish fairytale ending. I love the Han Solo movie because it was lighthearted fun that gave us the back story we deserved. I LOVE the Star Wars sequels because they were gorgeously filmed and brilliantly written. Each time I see them, I catch a nuance to the tales I hadn’t noticed before, including a great symmetry with the original trilogy.

The most important thing to remember… it’s just entertainment. It’s just a way to pass the time, put a smile on your face, and forget your troubles for an hour or two. We are not owed more than that.

A Hidden Gem

This is for you classic rock fans. Do you remember that song “Brandy” by Looking Glass? It was featured prominently in the 2nd Guardians of the Galaxy movie (great soundtracks). Kind of a one-hit wonder but a really well known one from the early 70’s.

The condensed story about them is, at some point, the band decided they were tired of being so poppy and wanted to do something more rocking, so they fired the singer, got a new one and rechristened themselves as Starz.

You have got to get your hands on their albums! What great rock and roll! If you like Boston, Kiss, and Sweet, you will love Starz! Skip the album Attention Shoppers which was just a blah attempt at being more radio friendly. Start off with the eponymous first album from 1976 then head straight for Violation and Coliseum Rock. Those three albums are chock full of great rocking tracks!

If you need a sample, go to Spotify or Youtube and listen to Cherry Baby, Detroit Girls, and So Young So Bad. This is rock and roll at its best! For the life of me I don’t get why these guys were not more popular. They should’ve been huge. They are definitely one of my all-time favorite 70s bands, top five for sure.