The Pros and Cons of 2018

With the year winding down and just a few weeks left (still plenty of time for more surprises to be fair) let’s look at some of the notable events that occurred this year.




Red Dead Redemption 2: A world that not only meets the status quo of Rockstar, but exceeds it with the amount of detail, depth of story, and seemingly endless hours of game play (with online still on the way).

Synchronizing online play: Despite some disputes on how it will all work, there has been a rise in cross-platform online play. While Fortnite is currently the only game to work across all platforms, Rocket League, Minecraft, and Hover are examples of games that play with more than the platform you may own them on.

With Microsoft supporting purchases across PC and Xbox with their play anywhere initiative, it looks to be a positive future regardless of your platform of choice.

SSBU: Possibly the final entry in the series (at least with Masahiro Sakari at the helm), this game delivers every single good thing you’ve experienced in a Smash Bros game and then some.  Touting an epic proportioned story mode and the largest cast of fighters yet, this is a must grab for any Switch owner out there.

Spider-Man: Although this is only for the PS4, when a Spider-man game is good, it’s great! Everything you could hope for in a sandbox superhero game and a bit more.


Tell Tale: The company hit it big years ago with their Walking Dead series and came out with some promising titles after including their takes on Minecraft, Batman, and Game of Thrones. However, their lack of game play variation and poor management saw a very ugly end to the company.

Fall Out 76: This game was either going to be a hit or a miss.  Unfortunately, the launch was a huge miss.  Between the messy BETA, the amount of glitches, and the over reliance of multiplayer to compensate for the lack of story and NPC’s, the launch has been messy to say the least. It’s now lead many players to wait until Bethesda can provide more incentive to dive into their new Fall Out experiment.




Honestly, this has been a great year for music in this writer’s opinion.  With releases like Kid Cudi’s Kids See Ghost,Anderson Paak’s Oxnard, Pusha T’s Daytona, Idles Joy as an Act of Resistance, Portal’s Ion, Sophie’s Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides, Kanye’s Ye, and Brockhampton’s Iridescence to name a few album titles there was really at least two albums in most genres this year that were great to amazing to listen to.


The cons aren’t long in length, aside from some inflated drama with celebrities, the biggest hits came in those who passed in 2018.  One of the most tragic losses being that of Mac Miller who passed away due to an accidental overdose. Mac Miller’s untimely passing was felt by many, and his positive influence on the world will be missed even by those who never got the chance to meet him.

Cinema and Showtime

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Marvel, hands down the current king on the super hero genre and Infinity War was a true epic to everything that had come before, with more to come this next year.  Worth catching in the theaters and a fresh take on the whole Avengers formula.

Broly is coming, again.  With the mixed success of Dragon Ball Super, a new movie is on its way and while it has yet to hit, the impact of the trailers alone is palpable and is promising an anime movie release to rival that of the Pokémon franchise.

Whether it’s via broadcast or streaming service, television shows may be at its peak right now.  The only real problem is there may be too much worthwhile content.  It’s hard to keep up with things on Netflix, Hulu, and network shows from Fox, NBC, Showtime and so on.

With a controversial split between Marvel and Guardians of the Galaxy’s director James Gunn, Warner Bros. wasted no time in penning Gunn as the new director of the sequel to Suicide Squad. One of the silver linings of the fall out is the sequel to one of DC’s bigger disappointments is getting a promising upgrade in direction.


Marvel is also on the con side of things.  The whole franchise is huge and has plans to keep growing, but the burn out can be felt by some casual movie goers and fans alike.

To bookend the Marvel expansion issue, is the seeming end of the Netflix Marvel universe with the end of Iron Fist, Luke Cage, and Daredevil, all announced this year.  It’s not too surprising considering Disney is now going forward with their own streaming service, but is still a blow to those that enjoyed what some of these series offered on the service.

YouTube may not be considered a television or movie source (at least not legally), but it is becoming harder for new content creators to be interested in coming to the site. YouTube’s ability to pay its creators has been coming under repeated scrutiny over the past few years it does not seem to be heading for a positive resolution, especially with the EU’s Article 13 (see more here). There is some worry about any appeal to this platform’s future.


All in all it has been an eventful year yet again in all types of ways. We had so much to be thankful for with new groud breaking in all areas of pop culture. The bad always comes with the good and it can only be taken in stride as we continue to see and enjoy the  innovation in what we as consumers enjoy so much. We can only hope for more of the good (without more of the bad) as 2019 quickly approaches. So lets say a so long to 2018 and embrace the new year with open arms.

Embrace the New Year and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for the latest news @tehlunchboxpub!

What Would You Do if You Were the Last Human Being on Earth?

the-last-man-earth-nouvelle-bande-annonce_coverProducer Will Forte (Nebraska, Saturday Night Live) and directors/producers Chris Miller and Phil Lord (The Lego Movie,  21 Jump Street), brings you The Last  Man on Earth; a new comedy that will make you laugh your socks off.

wp_ss_20150307_0009[1]It’s the year 2020, and a deadly virus has swept the planet. Only one man is left on earth and his name is Phil Miller (Will Forte). He used to be an average guy with an average life. Now, in his RV, Phil searches the country for other survivors. He has traveled to every city, town and outpost in the US, Mexico and Canada, and has found no one. As he returns to his hometown of Tucson, Phil comes to the painful realization that he is almost certainly the last living being on the face of the earth. All he wants is for someone – anyone – to find him in Tucson – preferably a woman.


He got his wish, but not the one he really wanted. Carol (Kirsten Shaal) is the last woman on earth and she refuses to “act like an animal”.  She’s crazy uptight and Phil wishes to get rid of her. I found it quite hilarious how she gets on him about everything! The law and repopulating the earth. But before that, he must marry her… yes she’s serious. She wants him to get down on one knee and propose to her. This show has so much comedy, literally I’m laughing at this very moment while typing this.

wp_ss_20150307_0006[1]Verdict: In my opinion, Will Forte and Kirsten Shaal is perfect for these roles and work great with each other. They just bring comedy to a whole new level. This show is both interesting to watch and entertaining.

Last Man on Earth gets a 5 out of 5

+ Will Forte and Kirsten Shaal have great chemistry together

+ Has a high level of humor

+ Even with the humor it manages to be an intriguing watch

Last Man on Earth airs Sunday’s 9:30 PM Eastern/10:30 PM Central on Fox

Sherita M. is a contributing Editor for Teh Lunchbox Publications and she loves drawing… Follow us on twitter@tehlunchboxpub.

Avatar The Legend of Korra: Goodbye

The_Legend_of_Korra_Season_4_Trailer_Creates_“Balance”_For_Final____[1]I had to take a while to wrap my head around this (probably more than I needed) because this isn’t just the end of Avatar: The Legend of Korra, but more than likely the end of the entire franchise. While I do think it’s essential to talk about the end of the season there is just as much to talk about regarding the series as a whole and its proper place. No more, lets just get into it.

I just wanna get this out of the way now. I enjoyed the finale itself much more than I did the finale to end ATLA. I liked the balance of action and storytelling without having things happen for the sake of the plot. Some of what LOK get’s criticized for is the fact that things happen solely for the sake of plot and there’s no foreshadowing for it or justification. Well if you look at the finale of ATLA much of that happens in the finale. Some can say they can get away with that because of the job they did throughout the series but for me there’s always something to be said about finishing strong. That’s just me but feel free to say why you disagree.

What stuck out the most about the finale was how it wasn’t an over-the-top style of finale. It was not overly formulaic of the final villain going against the main character and went a different route with Korra as a character and her exchange with Kuvira. She showed Kuvira everything an avatar is supposed to be from the power and strength to the wisdom and courage and through all of that she realized that her efforts had been exhausted. I just wish we saw more of Kuvira’s history. Don’t get me wrong, there were standout performances  from characters like Bolin, Su, and Lin with lots of large-scale feats to speak of. I enjoyed Korra defending herself from a direct blast from the spirit cannon and Mako detonating the core of the giant mech. I think it’s just that it was less formulaic of a finale and more of an intricate and strategic resolution when the drama reached it’s climax.

There was still more than enough for the fans throughout the season as Varrick and Zhu Li finally made the jump as well as Korra and Asami. Korra finally rounded out as a character befitting the role of an avatar (even though it took a little longer than I had hoped). There was even some room to see Bolin as more than just comic relief and allow for Lin some much more development and time with Toph. Although the recap episode did not help the latter half of the season (like at all), in a vacuum it wasn’t that bad just (highly) unnecessary. The political commentary wasn’t lost as some (like myself) thought that the moments leading up to the finale had us believe that the Prince Wu would be receiving enough development to have us see him as the earth king by the end. I found it fresh and much more fitting to see them take another route as all of the things that took place were reminiscent of the inherent problems of the political landscape as it stood. Also, he just wasn’t ready and Wu even realized that and believed that a democracy would serve the people better.

Verdict: The biggest thing to take from this is that the series (save for the comic book) is done. The comparisons between ATLA and LOK will continue for the most part and as such I think we all know where the favoritism will lay. I personally won’t do too much of it because it’s kinda unfair. The latter of the two had to deal with things the former never had to and was still able to put out a competent product at the least. For me it isn’t about which one was better or not, instead it is appreciating the superior quality the series as a whole has given and how it stacks up as a great animation. It stands out to many as possibly the best western animation in the last decade and a half and has accolades to support that claim. It has captured many and has easily branched far beyond the audience it targeted when it all began. Very few western animations have the following this series has and will continue to have. It is unique unto itself and as someone who has followed the entire series since it’s beginning, I have been reminded by it constantly of what a series can be when an artist has respect and passion for their craft, vision, and their fans. From the production team to the voice actors and everyone in between, this series has heart and a commitment to quality in a way that few series (animated or not) seem to maintain. I have heard that this doesn’t feel like the end or that the finale didn’t have a definitive enough finish. For me it did. I’m done with the series; but not in a bad way. It’s done far more than I could have asked for and I am beyond content. Some can’t let a good thing go forgetting that all good things must come to an end. The series has run a remarkable course and honestly, I have no problem letting go.


“When you base your expectations off only what you see then you blind yourself to the possibilities of a new reality” – Zaheer

 Avatar The Legend of Korra Book Four: Balance stays at a 4 out of 5

+ Very cohesive finale without it being excessive

+ Solid fanservice to round out the series

+ Bolin and Varrick both were better characters for the series

+ I liked the political aspects that played out

+ I finally really saw Korra as the avatar in more than just name

– It just took a little too long for my liking to see Korra be the avatar

– Recap episode was unnecessary (Don’t worry, I know why they did it though)

– Needed a little more Kuvira backstory

What? it’s done.

The Flash Update: Exactly What I Need In My Life

You know how people envision things and then they come out even better than when what they thought it would. Well, for me that realization comes to me in the form of CW’s The Flash. I cannot put into words exactly what I was initially feeling by the end of the mid-season finale. What I can say thus far is the show has been an enjoyment to watch from week to week. There’s so much to get to so lets begin.

Probably the biggest question out there was who exactly was the guy in yellow and we got an answer… sort of… not really, but the mid-season finale puts us much closer to one as we see Dr.Wells (Tom Cavanagh) with the suit of the Reverse Flash. Also getting a preview of Ronnie Raymond (Robbie Amell) as Firestorm put an exclamation point on what has been an amazing start to the series.

From episode to episode villains come out of nowhere presenting a new challenge as Barry and his team at S.T.A.R. Labs try their hand a the superhero business. There are times even with Barry where they question themselves at different times (which they probably should). Cisco (Carlos Valdes) with the cold gun or Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) seeing what is now the holding cell for meta-humans, or Barry not being fast enough to save someone, everyone goes through a moment that establishes the reason why they do what they do and don’t just do it because that’s what the show demands. There’s a bit of depth to the characters which is even more of a surprise given what the CW usually puts out.

Things even begin to clear up between Barry and Iris which is good because I didn’t need that hindering the series longer than it should. Iris at the beginning seemed somewhat irrelevant but as the series went on you begin to see her motives to learn more about The Flash and I guess that alone is enough for viewers like myself. All the relationships beyond that seem fairly organic especially between Barry and his father as well as Barry and Joe. Joe is great in his role of being the caretaker for Barry and being the only linchpin he has between his life as a superhero and a normal person and more importantly is someone he can trust.

Even though there is good chemistry between much of the regular cast, the real reason people watch is because we want to see the villains and we want to see The Flash in action. Both were in top form throughout the first half of the season. I think it is fair to say that even in its early juncture that this show has some of the best villain encounters and special effects of any of the shows that may be included in its class. There’s very little wasted screen-time for villains and when they encounter The Flash the sparks fly. Every villain while different is handled with the same care and provide more than their worth in quality. The only one I wasn’t a fan of was the Clock King but only because of his secondary role and I hope he is a reoccurring one as well. Dr.Wells though takes the cake because every time he’s having one of those one-on-one convos with someone (if you’ve watched you know what I’m talking about) I fear for their lives and that is some special stuff.

Verdict: If you’re a fan of comic books and superheroes there’s actually quite the selection out there with many more to come. The ones that are to come may be just as good as The Flash is but right now there is none better, Thus far it has far exceeded my expectations in every facet. Even the crossover event with Arrow was more than great and I expect more in that aspect as well. Yeah the dialogue can still be a bit cringe worthy at times and Cisco as a whole can be the same (I hope he gets better). However, If those are the biggest shortcomings then it’s gonna be just fine, Ya know what, I’m done. Just go watch the show if you haven’t. It’s worth it.

No score

+ Good Characters and meaningful interaction

+ Villains and action scenes are amazing

+ Good drama when needed

+ Just The Flash overall

– Cisco’s character could use some tweaking

The Flash returns will all new episodes January 20th 8PM Eastern/9PM Central on the CW

Agents of SHIELD Update: My How You’ve Changed!

With Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. hitting the halfway mark for this season I can’t say that I was expecting to see what I saw, However, at the same time I also can’t say I was immediately shocked at it either. Doesn’t mean I didn’t like it though as it hit on many of the notes that I along with many other fans wanted. With so much surrounding HYDRA and the reformation efforts of S.H.I.E.L.D. you would think it would try to leave some things to the waste-side (such as the mysterious blue alien) or just not touch on entirely (all the stuff Fitz is going through) but no, they even found suitable time throughout the first half to clean that up. From the episodes of Ward doing what he does best to the revelation of Skye and her connection to the images Coulson and so many others seemed consumed by, this show has taken a 180 from where it began. So let’s jump to it.

C’mon, we all knew it was coming so its no surprise that Skye isn’t normal. Being the only one that didn’t completely freak from the side effects of the serum that saved her life would say so and her (along with Raina) going through the transformation of sorts in the ruins of the city would suggest that we’ll see a bit of what she can do once the series picks back up.

I was in the majority in saying that Skye and Ward were two of the worst characters in S1, but I think I’m also in the majority when I say that they have turned into two of the best and most consistent characters worthy of the increased face time they relished in this season. It’s no surprised the season is better when two of your central characters become the most intriguing and with Ward still on the run I expect to see more of him and his encounters with HYDRA and S.H.I.E.L.D. He fits perfectly as an independent agent working with others to suit his needs and aligning with those who may prove useful for him at any given time. Skye is much more of a serious character setting the tone for the season from the beginning and with the depth given from her backstory and her encounters with her father makes her future actions well worth the anticipation for next season, I even enjoyed Mac as the sort of “Fitz whisperer” to get Fitz’s character back into good graces. Unfortunately, it was stalled a bit by awkward scenes when Simmons returned.

I also enjoyed seeing Bobbi Morse on the show as Mockingbird is one of my favorite female marvel heroes. The more screen time she gets the better. There are other characters to enjoy but the plot involving the obelisk and its connection to the markings and hidden city is what drove the show. I know people wanted some Inhumans teasers and they got a bit of that but not too much which was the way to go. You don’t wanna show too much before the movie debuts but casual fans get to know the lore of a fairly unknown product in a very accessible fashion, There was no dragging of the plot (which was one of my fears) and instead made for quite the drama going into and all throughout the mid-season finale.

Unfortunately, one of my other fears did come to fruition as we kinda saw the last of agent Tripplett which for me opens up a whole other discussion of which I do not want to get into as this is not the arena for that. However, for what it’s worth, I did enjoy the time he had with the other cast members especially considering he had some type of connection with Skye which no one really saw coming until it was unexpectedly too late.

Verdict: Much of what plagued the series early on is finally coming around to the point where it is making the show work. Still there’s some tweaks as this season was understandably more drama and plot driven. The second half will definitely have more action and move even faster than the first half. I was uncertain if I would keep up with AOS even after its first few episodes of its series premiere, but unless a series is outright unbearable I tend to give it a chance to find its footing. AOS with this second season has not only found its footing but has taken off running. It’s got some extended time to figure out more of what will go on in the second half of the season with Agent Carter (another must-see show for Marvel) taking its slot for a little while which is great. It along with Avengers: Age of Ultron will begin the next phase for Marvel which is expected to be absolutely amazing.

AOS didn’t need to be fortunate. It was more than good enough to stay at a 4 out of 5

+ Skye and Ward (nuff said)

+ Good balance of drama and action

+ Actually able to maintain a plot without pulling too much from the MCU

+ Good tone setter for the pace of the second half of the season

– Tripplett (also nuff said though for different reasons)

– Kinda floundered on the Fitz/Simmons front (but a good attempt)

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. when it returns March 3rd on ABC, 9PM Eastern/8PM Central

Gotham Update: It’s About Time!

Gotham-TV-Show-Fox-LogoWith all the holiday stuff going on, you kinda get caught up in all the things that go on so you hardly have time to yourself. When you do, you realize that we are in the midst of those mid-season finales of all those shows that came out of the gate with promise. Gotham was one of those shows that seemingly started without a bit of that promise but really came around as the season went on with an interesting set up for the coming episodes,

By the end of the first half of the season one of the biggest issues I had with the series seemed to work itself out which was the cluster of open and obvious easter eggs that were given so early. It wasn’t that they were given so early as much as they just tried to throw it in everyone faces that these characters were coming and this was the reason to stick around. No, not the plot or the interesting characters or even the development of Bruce Wayne, the anticipation of incoming side characters is the reason to watch. But anyway, they were more subtle and/or actually served to further the plot. Whether it was finally seeing Zsasz (Anthony Carrigan) go to work (which was sweet) or hints of Black Mask (without really mentioning him) for the future and even those assassins (which could be early signs of the league of assassins), the usage of the easter eggs and familiar characters alike were utilized much better.

As I mentioned before, the characters are what make the show and the slow inclusion of more characters was a great way to keep the show interesting. It is not that the plot is not interesting because it is. However, the plot itself can be seen as a bit bland and tends to jump around (just a little though) and if it wasn’t for superior efforts put in by multiple actors the show would not be something worth watching. I loved watching The Penguin scheme his way back into Gotham just as much as I enjoy Selina (Camren Bicondova) and her interactions with Bruce. I enjoy the larger role that Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) has begun to have which is good because I hate him (in the best way possible). Without going into more, the characters are the real reason to watch and to be honest, that’s kinda the way it should be.

Verdict: I will say that I expected the series to pick up and it did so in proper fashion. I like the Gordon against the world premise because it makes whatever success Gordon will have that much more important. The drama was better and the pace of the show was quicker which bodes well for the second half of the season. Speaking of drama, one thing I don’t think I’m looking forward to is seeing how this love triangle with Barbara (Erin Richards), Montoya, and Gordon; the former two I have really soured on as they are both more harm than helpful to Gordon’s cause in their own individual ways. I also didn’t really like Harvey Dent (Nicholas D’Agosto) and thought he was slim as a dynamic character and too forward. In the end the show has done wonders with what it has because it lacks a sort of precedent that other comic book shows like The Flash and AOS have in a shared universe. They have predecessors  (in CW’s Arrow and the MCU respectively) where Gotham is figuring things out as a unique standalone vision and the job to keep the show interesting (even with Batman’s name on it) is hard enough. And to those that say a Batman show without Batman isn’t interesting are missing the point of the show and need to be a bit more open-minded. The adversaries (or soon to be) of Batman were already severely broken in one way or another before the dark knight surfaced. To see the evolution of the characters and the city as a whole gives a new perspective on why Batman decided to do what he does and maybe if you see it as kind of a POV with yourself as Batman seeing the city work the way it does, then you’ll see why the show does as well.

No Score

+ More progression of characters and better Character interaction overall

+ More stable plot (although still a bit cluttered)

+ Better use of teasers and easter eggs

– Not a fan of love triangles (and no one should be)

– Harvey Dent didn’t really make an impression on me

Gotham returns January 5th at 8PM eastern/7PM central on Fox

The Walking Dead Update: Wait… What?

Well with the first half of the season of The Walking Dead over fans saw another character bite the dust as we say farewell to Beth (Emily Kinney). While it is never a good thing to see a major character leave, it does stand to say that it was met with some mixed reaction. Some lamented the death as a sad moment for a character that was beginning to come into her own while some agreed that her character served little more purpose than she already had and was relieved that she was gone.

It took me awhile to figure out where I fit in on either end, but truthfully speaking while I do appreciate what her character brought on screen I think her connection to Maggie (Lauren Cohen) was seemingly not important. Maggie became more consumed with Glenn (Steven Yeun) and his whereabouts and when she found him there was nothing else about her sister. I don’t mean to be critical of the writing, but it is a bit of an error in continuity to see Maggie so distraught over her sister when she herself never begged to look for her with the same fervor as she did her husband or even mention her.

I’m sure it was a bit of a shock (not to me) to finally find out that all of Abraham’s efforts to complete his mission were all for not as Eugene (Josh McDermitt) h finally spilled the beans admitting everything was a lie. What shouldn’t have been a shock was that epic beatdown Abraham gave Eugene after he found out… but getting back to matters, most see it as a good thing as they like the idea of a post-apocalyptic world where there is no fix. Like myself people would rather see the survival aspect of the show and the development of the characters and not what would be seen as the journey to the end. It just keeps the story less predictable.

Everything that happened at the hospital seemed shortlived (as it should have) and I would guess served its purpose as it introduced a new character in Noah and puts into perspective the fact that all decisions (including the ones you don’t make) have consequences. Rick’s decision to not storm the hospital along with Beth’s decision to attack Dawn shows that you can’t go back on those decision and the consequences (good or bad) that you must deal with are an inevitability.

Verdict: I thought the final scenes in the mid-season finale were a little off to me but I did like most of what I saw including the continuous reminders that Morgan (Lennie James) is still out there and we don’t know his intentions, only that he’s following Rick and the gang. The second half of the season clearly deals with the fallout of not only Beth’s death but also with the rest of the gang finding out that Eugene was lying and where to go from there. Also, how will Gabriel change as he comes to terms with the world around him. I expect the mourning for Beth to be somewhat brief but, finding another direction to go with well… no direction will be the real story. I’m not gonna say (yet) what I expect or want to see when the series returns, but it will be interesting to see going forward.

Season five of The Walking Dead happily stays at a 4.5 out of 5

+ Still some good teasers for things to come

+ Good closure to plots already developed throughout the season

– No real surprising stuff in the mid-season finale (but that’s probably personal taste)

AMC’s The Walking Dead makes its return on February 8th at 9PM Eastern/8PM Central

NBC’s Constantine: Save Ourselves



A look at Matt Ryan as John Constantine

Based on the Hellblazer comic from Vertigo/DC Comics, NBC’s Constantine follows magician and con-artist, John Constantine (Matt Ryan). He is abrasive and not overtly heroic, but he will do whatever it takes to set things right. His life has been dedicated to the occult and it brings him all kinds of trouble. So, let’s talk about our show.


Here is Liv… er Zed… you know what, does it really matter?

The pilot was a mess and was compacted by the fact that the second episode wasn’t much better. In the first episode we are driven to find our psychic, Liv (Lucy Griffiths). Seeing as how the original character was written off, we pick up our new psychic in episode two. Zed (Angélica Celaya) is more appealing than Liv, but not by much. The best thing she has going for her is that she is comic canon. I was hoping that the chemistry between her and Constantine would improve. There was also the boring story of the week. It just wasn’t worth sitting through.


Do not expect this to be the last time we see Midnite… assuming there is still a show to see in the future

The third episode is where we start seeing changes. We go from our ghostly murder mystery into finding a record that plays the voice of the devil. Not only that but we also get to meet Papa Midnite (Michael James Shaw) for the first time. This Voodoo priest has so much personality that he makes the show interesting. The writing was better and the story more interesting. The exchanges between Constantine and Midnite were some of the best.

I gave it one last chance and I was surprised. In the fourth episode we get to see more of John’s personality. We learn more about the incident from his past that pushes him to do what he does. A friend comes out of the shadows to ask for help and we get into demon territory. The effects were believable, making it creepy and interesting. I just wish it would continue to follow this trend. Give us the best of what the source material has to offer.


If nothing else, it does deliver on the creep out factor

Verdict: Even though the series is new and still struggles, it isn’t 2all bad. I think it’s really important for the unique and darker aspects of the Hellblazer stories to jump out and bite the viewers. Some of the elements we have been shown so far can also be found in series that are already running. If Constantine doesn’t take root with its audience it risks getting lost in the primetime race and facing cancellation. We need more than a quirky spook show or another series based on comics. For anyone who is going to start watching this show, please start from the third or fourth episode. Please.

 NBC’s Constantine gets a 3 out of 5

+ Matt Ryan as John Constantine

+ Series has potential and does get better

+ Papa Midnite

– Zed is just okay

– Doesn’t really pick up until episode 4

– Doesn’t stand out against similar shows (Grimm, Supernatural, etc.)

See NBC’s Constantine, Fridays at 10PM Eastern/9PM Central

Avatar The Legend of Korra B4: Balance Is The Name of the Game I Guess


So, were about halfway through the final season of Avatar: The Legend of Korra (LOK) and I think it’s safe to say that since the beginning of book three, the series has found a groove and a method that works for them. People maligned the initial two books consistency and constantly made comparisons to its predecessor Avatar: The Last Airbender (TLA). While I feel much of it was unfair, what was undeniable was that the quality of the first half of the series was not up to par and left many with low expectations for the second half. Even though the network didn’t have as much faith in book three, (as evidence as how the season ended) it was clear that series had genuinely turned a corner and with book four it has seemed to continue to adjust and ride that wave of success.

Book four entitled Balance picks up three years after the battle with the Red Lotus and sees Korra looking for a way to regain her physical and emotional stature.  Her struggles are clear in the beginning as she is in all parts of the world to fix whatever Legend_of_Korra'_Book_4_Spoilers__Was_A_Season_4_Kuvira_Scene____[1]is wrong with her. With Korra’s absence, the new air nation has taken the task of peace keeping. Elsewhere, one of Suyin’s brightest disciples Kuvira has been on a path to rebuild the earth kingdom as the “Great Uniter” in the wake of the Earth Queen’s death. With the help of Bhataar Jr (Suyin’s oldest son and Kuvira’s Fiance) and Bolin they have created an army which exchanges their assurance of protection and goods for their undying allegiance. It’s clear that Kuvira has plans beyond simply uniting the earth kingdom and with the amount of support she has obtained she is not far from achieving her goals.


Korra at the end of Book three


Korra at the beginning of Book four

What this book has going for it (as opposed to the previous one’s) was the development of the story at the end of the previous book. Given the different structure of this series in terms of episodes and season’s as opposed to the previous series there is not the same amount of time in season to develop the same way so there is even more emphasis on making the carryover from season to season seem fluid, While it wasn’t there as much from book one to two or two to three, it was there for this one. Better (not more) exposition also has to be a priority as there may be more seasons but there’s less episodes in the season and with the season’s change so does the antagonist and the journey. This has been much better in book three and the thus far in four as there are not a lot of side stories to congest the season and convolute the plot progression as a whole.

More character involvement and development is also at the helm of the first half of this season as we see Korra deal with a level of vulnerability she has never faced before. With Bolin we see that being apart of Kuvira’s army is to defend ideals he does not agree with as he begins to learn how she attempts to gain power. He is still the funny and aloof comedy relief that the series isLOK book 4 episode 1 bolin known for given its main audience is still towards a younger demographic (and a better one on average than Sokka but I know I’m in the minority on that one), but he has a sense of purpose now that he was looking for in the previous books. Whether it’s being apart of the army or rebelling against it it supplThe_Legend_Of_Korra_Book_Four_Official_Trailer_Has_E_At_Last[1]ies him with a much needed depth of character. Using secondary characters like Tenzin’s children or older characters like Katara and Toph for stretches provides freshness (especially in the case of Katara and Toph) for the season as it continues. The inclusion of Tenzin’s children was also necessary so we get know them a little more. In the end they resemble their father and grandfather very much and learning that can be a good thing for viewers as they identify with them better as they become larger parts of the story. Even though id still like to see more of some other characters like Mako and Chief Beifong, it’s been pretty consistent the entire way.

Some how some way the writers have found a way to make lemonade out of lemons as they conclude this series bringing together all the former antagonists (notice I didn’t use the word villains) and use them to make Korra a better character (which is also what they should’ve done in the first place). She is beginning to learn that it is not so much about who she is but what her job is. The Avatar legend-of-korra-season-4-episode-4-tophis much more than a person who bridges two worlds and “takes the bad guys out” when the world needs it. She is a symbol. As that symbol of peace and righteousness she has to inspire and realize that the world has changed and has to be a leader in that change. They still do need the Avatar just not in the way the used to (just as Toph tried to teach her when they met… man I love her). As with her previous adversaries, Kuvira presents a clash of opposing ideals (instituting a fascist-like regime to gain autonomy over the entire nation of people and probably all nations) and it remains to be seen if Korra can take what may have been mistakes (simply rushing in head first without understanding the ramifications of the actions) in the past and use them to usher in a new era for the world and show them how the Avatar and its relevance has changed. They kinda robbed Korra of that development by bailing her out with antagonist that started out with great potential but fell disappointingly flat (with the exception of Zaheer). With a more mature Korra and what is probably the most complex antagonist either series has seen in Kuvira, this could shape out to have the best finale either series has seen (which is good because I wasn’t a huge fan of the series finale of TLA, seriously I wasn’t).


Seriously, this show has taken some lumps in more ways than one

Verdict: As I have said before it is clear that this final book is great has all the makings to be mentioned in the same breath as its predecessor in terms of quality which is quite the turnaround from where it was before even book three. I’ve always seen LOK as being the opposite of TLA. Where the latter was essentially more plot driven with great characters to support the plot, the former seems to be more character driven as they use the plot to support the characters. Problem is that you still need a good plot to do that and while LOK has had its moments the plots fell short sometimes as they were never really explored by the characters to the extent they needed to thus inhibiting true development. One of the biggest reasons TLA is looked at so fondly is that because the plot was so important they gave the characters time to explore the finer points and create more time for characters to develop throughout the journey and make a good story a great story. It’s all relative now because the creators have found a way to still make the previous seasons worthwhile for Korra and the rest of the cast. If they have put as much effort into the second half of the season as they have this first it could save the series from a lot of ridicule and make its place beside TLA look quite a bit better.

The first half of Avatar The Legend of Korra Book Four: Balance gets a 4 out of 5

+ Better direction for Korra and other side characters

+ Plot consistency

+ Great potential in antagonist and finale

– Would still like to see some more reoccurring characters get more screen time

Catch Avatar The Legend of Korra Fridays on

The Walking Dead: Back To Its Roots


It’s the fall season and that means premieres all over television. It’s one of the best times for comic book adaptations and there is probably not one more cherished than The Walking Dead. Despite its lapses from time to time it has remained one of the more consistent shows on television since its premiere and has become a bit of a phenomenon among fans of the original comic book series (like myself) and those who just wanna watch a really good show. It’s in its fifth season and four episodes in it looks like it is as good if not better than it ever has been.

wp_ss_20141106_0001[1]We started the season about as good as it can start with Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the gang beginning to make their play against their human eating captors and from there on the ride has been nothing but suspenseful, gruesome, and fast paced. The episodes have been consistent in their pacing which was what drew many to the series to begin with. It was constantly moving as the plot demanded although it is slightly different with the first season. There’s nothing wrong with establishing future plots while weaving seamlessly through the one that is already in place (talking about season 3 and a good portion of season 4). What a lot of people enjoyed the most about the show is seeing the constant struggles there are to survive in this sort of world and watching how it’s changed the characters from episode to episode. The problem I guess was that we saw the characters change yes but with that came a plateau in development when our characters became stationary for a good while. Well none of that anymore because now it’s all or nothing as they are on their own and it’s even better because we have a good grip on all of the main characters and now we’ve begun to see how they handle having to move from place to place with new characters to come and deeper plots to sort out.

Some actually may be sad that  hipster Gareth and his  cannibal crew are gone so soon but trust me that’s about as longwp_ss_20141106_0010[1] as they last in the comic book and they couldn’t have done a better job with it. The point of it is to show that there are different evils in this world and whether you believe you are capable of it or not doesn’t matter because even if you’re not someone else is. It’s all about living in this reality and doing what’s necessary without losing what’s left of your humanity. That seems to be the idea behind this season especially with Rick’s line “What have you done… everyone’s done something”. He has turned into one of the best characters on the show again as this season has given rebirths to others like Carl (Chandler Riggs) and Tyreese (Chad L. Coleman). But let’s be honest, seeing their escape and later slaughter the cannibals in the wp_ss_20141106_0006[1]end was as satisfying as seeing Rick’s “family” reunite (including Carol) was heartwarming. But enough of that as it’s not enough that they have to deal with life back on the road but also this thing with Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) and getting his “messiah” to DC so he can save the world and with Glen (Steven Yeun) and Maggie (Laura Cohen) joining him on his mission. Not to mention there’s Daryl (Norman Reedus) and his quest to find Beth (Emily Kinney) and what exactly she’s been doing since being separated from him and ending up in the hospital. All these plot lines can be interchangeable and still allow the show to keep a swifter pace and still be dynamic and fresh.

Verdict: This season has a lot of great things going for it and it seems to be well received thus far and I believe that’s because it’s gone back to what it’s done best and that is count on suspense and drama brought on by the environment to make this story work. Also its Rick’s ability to lead this group in a new way that sees him the unquestionable leader while allowing others like Glen and Carl to keep him from going off the deep end again that makes the group dynamic familiar and a welcome sight. But the biggest thing for mewp_ss_20141106_0011[1] was seeing something that also was lost return and that was hope. Things like Abraham and his mission and Officer Learner’s (Christine Woods) “willingness” to help people in the hopes that more will come clean up the world as she pioneers that movement at least bring a sense of optimism to an otherwise bleak outlook. Whether it’s simply blind idealism or a means to an end, it is a point that is not to be forgotten as the series continues. There are other things I haven’t touched on yet, but there will be plenty more to talk about once the season ends and I would expect to be just as impressed with the end as I am the beginning.

Season five of The Walking Dead gets a 4.5 out of 5

+ Rick’s reestablishment as leader

+ Pace and variation of plot

+  Back to more suspense and drama

+ Return of ideals such as hope

– Still in a wait and see mode for the rest of the season

Watch AMC’s The Walking Dead, Sundays at 9PM Eastern/8PM Central