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What’cha Watching Wednesday #15: Cancellations

I still don’t really have a plan for this year, procrastinated most of my remaining holidays instead of finishing anything. Yet, that let me to muse about some things I watched.

WWWWhat is this about?

Every other Wednesday I will publish a post in which I talk about (the latest or any episode of) a series or a (series of) movie(s).

In most cases this will be a collection of thoughts that cross through the different media.

You’re warned: There might be Spoilers.

Let’s start

One of the things I procrastinated with was Scorpion – a show about a group of geniuses accomplishing quite implausible feats – and as I’ve mentioned in previous installments, do I enjoy checking out other things interesting actors were in. In this case: Ari Stidham aka Sylvester Dodd (and I’m still not over the fact that he looks older than me in the show, but is ~two years younger than me in real life …).
Looking through his IMDB page I discovered a show that again reminded of something that seems to happen to me a lot:

I find an interesting show and then it’s cancelled.

The show I decided to watch was Huge, about a camp full of overweight teenagers trying to loose weight. At first I only wanted to watch the first episode to see if it was as tropey and full of cliches as I anticipated. Turned out it wasn’t. Turned out it had great characters and a well balanced way to deal with the teenagers different problems, which weren’t solely their weight. Insecurities, gender-identities, trust issues and many more. Sure most of the stuff wasn’t fully covered and only hinted at, but what can you expect to be accomplished in ten episodes that only run 35-40 minutes each? (Do I need to mention that I binged it in half a day – only paused for teatime cookies and dinner?)

Sure not everything was perfect. The revelation that one of the characters is asexual could have been more than just a passing note basically declaring „Nothing will happen between us, because I’m not into that sort of thing“, which would also have been more sincere if the character didn’t look like she was swooning over the other character most of the time (I know, you can be ace and still be in love with someone, but in this case it seemed only like a lame excuse to not have those two characters hook up.)
And don’t get me started on the movie from movie night … that horrible Ghost-Twilight thing of a crappy love story … I only know, that if I would have been there to watch it, I would have found a way to excuse myself from it … it was just so … wrong … I don’t even want to think about it …
I’m just glad the Bachelor – version they showed seems to be fake … though I wouldn’t put it past American television to have a show like that …
I just really hope those two things were intentionally exaggerated.

Anyway, this isn’t the first show I watched that got cancelled – and it probably wont be the last.

Agent Carter, Galavant, Undateable, Sense 8, Girlboss, …, they all suffered the same fate.

But why?

Why do incredible shows get cancelled?

There is one thing that all of the shows I mentioned above have – more or less – in common: Progress.
They aren’t your run off the mill show. They aren’t procedural cop show number 5364. They are different.

They have strong female lead characters, diversity, humor, critical topics, unusual concepts and many, many more things, but it doesn’t matter. It’s either not enough to make the average viewer enjoy it or the networks place the shows in slots that would basically make them invisible. All in all it’s not enough to continue.
And that’s the worst thing about it. Even if the fans love it, it doesn’t mean the networks will continue them, because they don’t have faith in them.

And here’s how these shows went down:

Agent Carter, an incredible show about an incredible character in its first season, got changed into a show about a woman finding love again in its second season.

Galavant, a fun musical extravaganza that didn’t take itself too serious and made some questionable choices in the second season. It simply stopped when it got interesting, when we finally would have had the chance to see the grown Tad Cooper

Undateable, used many tropes and wasn’t always funny, but they clung to life with the live improvisation strategy towards the end of their run, but it didn’t help them.

Sense 8’s fans managed to get them a last finishing hurrah, but after that we won’t see them again. We won’t know what will happen with Hernando and Leto, with Nomi and Amanita and all the other Sensates … it’ll be over …

Girlboss retold the success-story of self-made woman, but show wise, we’ll never know how and if Sophia accomplished her remaining goals.

And Huge? Put in a slot that barely anyone could properly watch, it ended before it really began. There are so many open plot lines, it’ll probably take a post of its own to just discuss those – and I’m fairly certain someone else already did that. We’ll probably never know what changes lie ahead of Alistair, what becomes of Will’s and Becca’s friendship and so on …

It’s frustrating, it’s annoying, but – with the exception of Sense8 and some other miracles – the average watcher doesn’t have a chance to change anything. The more I think about it, the more I’m grateful for Zombie Orpheus Entertainment/Dead Gentlemen Productions that JourneyQuest and The Gamers are fan funded. That we help them directly to make the magic happen.

Nearly forgot, there is something even worse than simply cancelling the show:

Broadcasting cancelled shows in other countries.

Agent Carter, ForeverMoonlight and a couple of other shows not running on Netflix, where they usually get a German dubbing by default, were for example broadcasted in German television. Imagine the frustration of finding out that, no, there will not be another season of that show you liked!

A part of me understands this last attempt at grabbing audiences and maybe, maybe another small chance at a continuation of the story. But seeing as it might take a year and more from the original broadcast to the broadcast of the translated version I don’t think this is a lucrative endeavor.

The other part of me just considers this to be awfully cruel. Just make even more people suffer from the decision to cancel the show …

What (cancelled show) were you watching?

What episodes (or movies) did you enjoy/dislike throughout the weeks/months?
Anything you’d recommend checking out?
What was the most frustrating cancellation for you (except Firefly, please …)?
Let me know in the comments below!

Final Words

If there is one thing I could wish for my birthday (today), then I might wish for some of the more amazing shows (Agent Carter, Sense8) to be continued or at least a more resolved (Huge).

See you around,

PoiSonPaiNter

What'cha Watching Wednesday #14

I know I said, I didn’t want to blog for a while, but these thoughts won’t leave me, so I’ve decided to do another of these in the new version I mentioned last time.

WWWWhat is this about?

Every other Wednesday I will publish a post in which I talk about (the latest or any episode of) a series or a (series of) movie(s).
In most cases this will be a collection of thoughts that cross through the different media.
You’re warned: There might be Spoilers.

Let’s start

with a question this time:

What do the creation of an online shop for vintage clothing and a senior internship program for an online clothing shop have in common?

They’re both about clothes, duh.
No, that’s not what I was going for.
Both stories, the first one presented in the Netflix series Girlboss, the second in the movie The Intern, are surprisingly feminist. They don’t do everything right, but it’s a start. 😉

Why is that?

  • Both shows portray the life and work of a woman striving for her own dream – which in both cases is about selling clothes, but well.
  • In both shows there are several other named female characters (even more so in GB), that talk tons of other things that are not boys. So they both pass the Bechdel Test.
  • They show different sides of the female lead: Strength, cunning & stubbornness, but also vulnerability & love.
  • They didn’t change themselves for anyone (especially not Anne Hathaway’s character whose character in The Devil wears Prada disappointed me on this).
  • They are not perfect and aren’t portrayed that way. They are human.

And probably some other things someone better equipped to spot these could tell you. Since I’ve learned about the Bechdel Test I kind of started paying more attention to it – while watching, reading and writing. We are so used to all these female troupes that it’s refreshing to see things handled differently. Netflix does a better job at this than the studios that put together The Intern – maybe mostly because it’s based on a book by a real person and they’re doing a pretty good job at diversity anyway, even if they then cancel the promising shows like this one – and Sense8.
Anyway, there are some quite promising things in these two and it’s nice to see that there is at least some change once in a while.

What surprised me most

Girlboss is a horrible title. I didn’t want to watch it because it sounded girly and just like another „chick-flick“ with no story other than girl meets boy and is eternally happy. Oh dear, was I wrong. After I came across it again and again on Netflix I decided to watch the Trailer and I did not expect what I saw. It actually made me curious about the show and I binged it during the course of a weekend. Yes, it’s that good.
The cast was diverse, the majority of the few (~six) male characters where gay, otherwise oriented or (in the boyfriends‘ case) eye candy. The females were all over the place, as two headstrong-eccentric-„Love-You-In-Case-I-Die“-bff-„sisters“, as mothers, as barmaids, as musicians, as IT-girls, as annoying customers and so on… The usual „balance“ was tipped off and it was brilliant. Sure the main character is still a very annoying and exhausting person, but hey, at least she’s a person and not a cardboard cut out like so many before her. 😉
Even while told from the male perspective it sounded interesting enough to see Robert De Niro be Anne Hathaway’s intern. When the story began it felt like Hathaway’s character was in a relationship with one of her co-workers, turns out she was a married mother of a little girl and even my fears for her ending up cheating on her husband with said co-worker were diminished as the husband was revealed as the cheating party. Sure it’s annoying that there has to be a conflict through someone cheating on the other, but the solution – also in Girlboss – was interestingly handled.
There was also some nice scene where De Niro’s character reminded Hathaway’s that she’s the  feminist of the two of them and how incredible the stuff is she accomplished. Which she actually acknowledged and made her decision for herself and not to please others.

What could have been better?

You probably noticed the criticism already: Tropes.
The Intern has more of them then Girlboss, but they are there and often quite annoying. I didn’t need the elderly female intern with no clue even how to drive. I didn’t need the barely characterized seductive masseuse. I didn’t need the clueless nerd-boy being forced to leave home. I didn’t need the eccentric, potentially gay, artist living at home with his overly supportive mother.
And most of all: I didn’t need the cheating husband/boyfriend.
Why does every (fictional) success story of a woman involve the man feeling left behind and in need of a different companion? Is it really that bad for a them that the other one becomes absorbed with fulfilling their dream? Do they really crave attention that much? (I know this is also a problem with male success stories, but those wives are usually portrayed as not that faithful to begin with…)
I’m pretty sure the stories would have worked well without (most) those (artificial dramas)…

What were you watching?

What episodes (or movies) did you enjoy/dislike throughout the week(s)/month(s)?
Anything you’d recommend checking out?
Let me know in the comments below!

Final Words

I’m by far not a feminist blog, but I felt the need to introduce you to these two shows, simply because they surprised me that much. If you want another example where it’s even more obvious try the Spanish „No Filter“ (also on Netflix) or if you like it a bit more modern: Roller Girl with Ellen Page.
I’m going back to preparing for my vacation.
See you around.
PoiSonPaiNter

What’cha Watching Wednesday #13

As I’ve been putting up finishing this for quite a while now, I think, it’s about time to face the truth:
I’m bored by this segment.

I don’t really want to get rid of it entirely, but I do think I prefer doing it similar to what I did with the The Gamer’s saga and Attacking the Darkness.
In this one I’ll give you a brief overview of the backlog and starting with the next one the „Specials“ will be the normal version – hence the change of numbering, even if this one would have been #11. You will still get the occasional movie review, but I think I’ll use this segment more for talking about several things at once and not focusing on one thing alone as I do in those.

WWWWhat is this about?

Every other Wednesday I will publish a post in which I talk about (the latest or any episode of) a series or a (series of) movie(s).

In most cases this will be a collection of thoughts that cross through the different media.
You’re warned: There will be Spoilers.

Let’s start

JourneyQuest

A while after the successful Kickstarter for Season 3 I just had to re-watch the first two Seasons of JourneyQuest and with that link included I’ll leave you to read what I already wrote about this incredible show with many female leads, incredible characters and a hilarious and interesting story line.
By the way: In this campaign you had the chance to coin a new Orcish Word, which I didn’t do, I went for the „Bardic Immunity“ Badge instead. 😉

As I’ve already helped with the subtitles on Attacking the Darkness, it was a no-brainer that I’d also apply for Season 3. Let me tell you: It’s an epic (pun intended) Season and I’m proud to be a part of it, even if it’s only through contributing to the subtitles (Episode 5 and 8 are completely translated by me, Episode 9 until ~3/4 minutes and there are edits by me all over the place 😉 ). 🙂

Glitch

Another gaming related web series that was partly created by ZOE, featuring at least four of their returning cast members (Jesse Lee Keeter, Conner Marx, Brian S. Lewis and Trin Miller). The series is about a young Game Tester (Glitch) who’s bored with his life and wishes that it would become more like a video game – which of course becomes true, but different then he expected, as now he occasionally gets stuck in Glitches. The idea is fun and it has some funny moments, but also some really strange and weird ones. It is especially strange to see Keeter, the Glitch actor, out of his Rilk costume (though I have to admit, it took me a while to recognize him in The Gamers: Hands of Fate too…).

And now for the other stuff I watched in bulk, but was too lazy to discuss:

When you start a series, you have to catch up with new stuff, so of course I watched Orange is the New Black Season 4, started with Lucifer Season 2, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Season 4 (even if I forgot to talk about Season 3 – Episode 10-17 somehow) and Elementary Season 4 and continued with Marvel’s Netflix adventures and Luke Cage Season 1.

I think, I don’t need to discuss the horrible twist we saw in OITNB, it’s been discussed enough and I still think that losing Poussey (especially that way) was a bold, yet somehow necessary, move to stir up some things that are rarely talked about. She’ll be missed in the coming Seasons… (Did anyone read the book and knows if this really happened?)

Just as bold was the whole story telling of Luke Cage. I loved it. A cast true to the demographics of Harlem (even if that meant I had to watch it with subtitles, as I did not always understand people, but that’s a small price to pay), strong female leads that aren’t just there for the eye candy, important topics, no focus on unnecessary sex- (the one that we saw was an interesting contrast to the ones on Jessica Jones) or fight-scenes, everything that was said/done got straight to the point, interesting, multifaceted characters and all in all just an incredible narration (If your German is good enough, check out Joseph’s great review here: Luke Cage). The only thing I missed were comments regarding the Hulk who „broke Harlem“ during his last visit, though that was probably already water under the bridge.
As I summarized on Twitter, I’d quite like a show with this premise:

Daredevil’s theme song, Jessica Jonesdiversity & Luke Cage’s storytelling. Anyone knows something like that? 😀

S.H.I.E.L.D. and Lucifer had some nice turns this Season (Ward finally gone, Ghostrider, Uriel & Mom, telling Linda the truth), but haven’t gotten much different to what they showed last Season(s). Elementary is basically the same old story, but a nice diversion.

In addition to that did I also complete Dead Like Me (including the Movie), Lost Girl and got up to date with The Librarians. Where the first two had interesting premises the result was soon boring and weird (never entirely got over „Der Waffelhaus“, that grammar mistake just makes my skin crawl…). Both shows could have been something great the Grim Reapers and the Succubus? Yeah, that made for interesting story material, but it focused too much on trivialities and too little on actual character development. After Rube was gone Dead Like Me went downhill, probably even before that. Just like Lost Girl made a dive down with the whole Hades-thing and love-triangles/rectangle-thing and Bo’s horrible case of Main-Character-Syndrome, it got annoying after the second iteration of her saving the day because of … reasons … Other than that was it a great show, with a relatively diverse cast and an interesting premise. Even if again all the characters I liked either ended up dead or leaving the show…

The Librarians on the other hand still needs to find its footing. It’s fun and I really liked the movies preceding it, but there isn’t much in terms of character development. What little they had was either retconed or undermined by other actions. And the Point of Salvation was one of the better time-loop episodes I’ve seen so far and a prime example of what I just said. Both Season finales (And the Loom of Fate and And the Final Curtain) had me on edge and it’s generally great story telling, if I would get some deeper connection to the characters (and Agent Baird – I always want to hear/read Bard somehow – wouldn’t turn into a lovesick puppy whenever Flint is around…)…well, we’ll see what Season 3 brings.

I also tried Alphas for two episodes (two-parter unfortunately), but it didn’t quite catch me. My venture into Hemlock Grove lasted for Season 1 and the first Episode of Season 2, but I haven’t continued yet. Maybe it’s partly due to the fact that I want to know how it’s written after Season 1, as I’d like to see if the twist is as well written, as it is portrayed and partly because that ending was kind of good and I’m not sure I like the turns made in that first Episode of the second Season. Maybe I’ll try continuing one day, who knows.

When I’m not catching up with up-to-date shows I started watching Castle. Before I’ve only seen a few Episodes here and there when I was at my Dads at the right time, but now I’ve seen Season 1-4 and a couple of Episodes of Season 5, but I’m currently taking a break as a part of me is afraid to see what will become of Castle and Beckett and how it’s handled, while the other one wants to finally finish the Advent Calendar I have planned for this year. >_<

Hence my Tweet:

Is it weird that I started watching a show about a writer doing research, while I should be writing myself?

Different movies

Most of the movies in this list came through Netflix. I just scrolled through different categories and decided to watch them on a whim. This way I watched No Filter – I believe – my first Spanish movie (with subtitles) and I was highly surprised and amazed by the concept of a timid woman just blurring out everything that was on her mind. Some people need to do that more often. 😉 It was refreshing and well made, a recommendation for everyone who wants to try something different. 🙂

I also discovered Ellen Page’s Roller Girl and Tallulah through this. Roller Girl was great and it just shows that sometimes being yourself means becoming someone entirely different and that’s absolutely okay. More people should watch it. 😀 The pretty much only thing I got from Tallulah was an earworm of Sonata Arctica’s song by the same name. It was strange, jumpy, yet still well played, but not really my kind of movie.

Neither was The Fundamentals of Caring which felt like it wanted to capture the success of Intouchables, but failed pretty horribly. I did not want to see a five minute scenery shot of a boy peeing into a beautiful lake … Most of it felt forced and meh, not even close to the French stories‘ atmosphere.

Aside from new discoveries did I also re-watch some „old“ favourites. Namely Alfie and Avengers. Honestly I have to say that I did not remember Alfie as dark as it was and with a look into the Behind the Scenes stuff regarding the original version, I now know that it could have been worse. It’s a fascinating character study and known far too little. Unlike the other that is part of a high grossing franchise. I just felt like re-watching it.

It was a tiny bit a preparation for Doctor Strange that I saw in cinema earlier this month, but not really. The movie is visually amazing. The story is nothing new, Doctor Strange reminded me a lot of Cumberbatch’s other roles (mostly Sherlock though), but was still filled with some funny jokes and stunning visual effects (though – unlike Ghostbusters – they didn’t use the coming-out-of-the-screen 3D effect, at least not that I noticed… 🙁 ). My favourite was certainly the Cloak of Levitation. 😀
Only downside for me was, that you couldn’t really grasp the time line. Some say the initial accident takes place during Iron Man 2, potentially making the „man with the twisted spine from experimental battle armour“ the one from Hammer Industries – which is denied by Marvel – otherwise this could be Rhodey after Civil War, yet he is seemingly too old and it’s also denied or unconfirmed. We also see the Avenger’s tower which wasn’t really like that during the time – it wasn’t even Stark Tower back then if I remember correctly. If it all takes place after Civil War then the training sequence is far too short. Sure Strange might be skilled and desperate to learn, but mastering something in a couple of months, when he isn’t really mastering his own hands after weeks/months of surgeries and mistrials? Sound unreasonable to me – and I know we’re talking about magic, but come on…have at least SOME realism here….
(Again, if your German is well enough, check out Joseph’s review: Doctor Strange).

On an unrelated note do I now own an official movie poster after participating in a selfie-competition by Marvel and the KaDeWe (Kaufhaus des Westens, Mall of the West) Berlin. >_<

What were you watching?

What episodes (or movies) did you enjoy/dislike throughout the week/month(s)?
Anything you’d recommend checking out?
Let me know in the comments below!

Final Words

I hope you enjoyed this little look into the different stuff I watched throughout the last months.
Which version of the WWW do you prefer? The one were I split everything or were I focus on something?

No idea when I’ll even make one of these again, but make sure to keep an eye out for more information on my Advent Calendar. 😉

And I’m off now to attend the advanced showing of Fantastic Beasts and where to find them with Unmei and one of her friends as a birthday present for her. 😉

PoiSonPaiNter