Friday, September 28, 2012

I Hate Your Face: Nate, Revolution

The I Hate Your Face Segment

Welcome to the ongoing I Hate Your Face segment, where we at Strange Broadcasts partake in venting about characters on television that bring out a rage that could only on be described, humbly, as righteous rage. Some characters are simply destructive to a series overall health with their incredibly boring, useless, or annoying existence. The actor is not necessarily the issue, just the character.

“I Hate Your Face Segment” Nate, Revolution

Revolution is the new sci-fi/mystery series about a sister trying to rescue her brother with the help of her estranged uncle and a few other misfits in a future where all technology and power mysteriously shut down. From the beginning, the series had its fair share of problems, but the most unforgivable mistake is Nate. Nate is the bow carrying militia member pursuing our heroes in an attempt to capture uncle Matheson and bring him back to his evil leader. In reality, Nate is actually a ridiculously annoying character who is completely unnecessary and only exists to pander to a broader audience. Nate is the pretty boy love interest of the main character (Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Matheson) and that is all he is. All attempts to reconcile this fact with the development of the show have failed so far.

Nate’s scenes are out of place and confused, to the point where they make the entire episode less watchable. He is an empty character with no conceivable emotional range, and every time this empty stereotype walks into a scene and makes Charlie Matheson swoon, and you can’t miss it because they fixate on it for what feels like forever, Nate takes that character right down with him. Nate, you are a relic of 90s television and a terrible by-product of Twilight/The Hunger Games fandom. You are a sad creation of pop-culture that must be snuffed out for the benefit of storytelling. Everything you say makes no sense. You have the complexity of five year old boy. You are an obstruction to the series, and everyone despises your vacant stare. Every moment you are on screen is agony. Nate, do everyone a favor and befall a tragic death by falling into the nearest wood chipper, or since there is no power in Revolution, some sort of manual grinder.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

So Opie Got His Skull Bashed In | The Latest on The Sons of Anarchy

The Sons of Anarchy has been plugging along for the first two episodes of Season Five but the death of one of the show’s most liked characters was quite unexpected in the third episode, appropriately titled “Laying Pipe”. Sadly for fans of the show, this episode’s content was not as whimsical as the title might have led you to believe. As many long-time viewers of the FX series Sons of Anarchy would attest to, Opie as a character has always been a favorite. From his initial struggles in the first season about whether or not to return to his former criminal life, to the brutal death of his wife, Opie has always been this show’s emotional redshirt. The poor bastard had yet to get over his father’s murder before he met his untimely demise at the business end of a steel pipe.  Some people may have half expected a feet of strength.  Wherein Opie defied the odds and beat all of his death match opponents, ending his final foe with a swift neck snap and the fight being broken up with some CIA assistance.  

An interesting connection between the death of Opie and his first wife Donna is how Trager (Tig) played such a pivotal role in both their deaths. Think about it, if it weren’t for Tig killing the head honcho’s daughter of the One-Niner’s there would be no need for a blood tribute of one of the MC’s members. There is a more obvious connection between Donna’s death and Tig, but those pesky MAC-10’s can get away from the best of us.  Tig’s character has in a very real way orphaned an entire family within the SOA, so any hope that his character is going to be living past this season of The Sons of Anarchy is not very likely.  The death of Opie will no doubt be the emotional motivation for Jax throughout the rest of Season Five, and that can only mean that the rest of this season will have a lot of blood and very little mercy, which sounds pretty good to me. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Revolution Episode 2 Review: Sword Fights Just Got Boring

After a mediocre first episode, Revolution comes back swinging with an even more mediocre second episode. Revolution had some promise but much criticism in its debut episode. Critics pleaded with the creators to correct the short comings prevalent in the pilot, and the creators responded by doing nothing of the sort. The second episode “Chained Heat” followed our group of post-apocalyptic heroes as they searched out help from another person (Norah, a women and freedom fighter from Miles’ past) to save Charlie’s kidnapped brother Danny. Danny, meanwhile, spent more time with his captor (actor Giancarlo Esposito) as he kills random resistance members (patriots trying to bring back America) and euthanizes one of his comrades when he gets shot in the process.

The episode was filled with long walks through the forest, long sits at a camp site, and long, oddly boring, sword fights. The series showed signs of attention deficit disorder by getting side tracked yet again and losing sight of whatever direction it was headed to. The focus was mainly on Charlie’s flashbacks of childhood, most likely to give the character some actual character, which has been seldom seen so far. The pace only picked up in the last ten minutes of the episode with a rescue operation to save prisoners from the militia and from lugging around a helicopter. What followed was an extend battle between the evil militia and our group of heroes. What should have been the saving grace of the episode turned out to be a moment of sad realization that the one thing the series had going for it was already tedious, the sword fights. Revolution is filled with elaborate sword fights, which, understandably, would seem like a good thing, but have already become old. They are not intense and make the show feel more like Xena: Warrior Princess. The creators should seriously thinking about turning this series around in the next episode or risk losing its audience.  

Monday, September 10, 2012

Revolution Pilot Review | If You Like Machetes and Plots Holes

Revolution is the post-apocalyptic series created by Eric Kripke and produced by J.J. Abrams (just produced, no input what so ever). It follows a daughter, Charlie Matheson, who must seek the help of her estranged uncle after her father is killed and her brother is taken by militia 15 years after a mysterious worldwide catastrophe that left the world without power or technology.  At first glance, the series has a decent introduction of a city deprived of power while multiple planes fall from the night sky. The concept of a world stripped of technology when the laws of physics go topsy-turvy is definitely interest worthy.  The characters play the part of disaster survivors well enough. It had a great final fight scene, epic in fact. A dozen bad guys were killed, muskets were shot, and machetes were used in elaborate machete fights, machetes being the swords of the future of course.

The down side is that a series like this seems unsustainable. Money was spent on the pilot, but Revolution, and all other post-apocalyptic shows, involve disaster set pieces that are too expensive to maintain. This always leads to forest settings and shanty towns that always look peculiarly the same. Expect a much less polished look in the next episodes. Also expect to become annoyed by the asthmatic character. He sounds like the perfect person for saving, but when you think about asthma attack he will likely have every episode it makes you cringe. One thing that does stick out is the oddly stylized outfits worn in Revolution. It’s nice that the top leather makers survived the disaster so our protagonists work in style, but the tailored look in this particular setting boggles the mind.

Something sure to become an annoyance if not fixed would be the believability of the characters. Character development was scarce even for a pilot episode. Their actions seemed to develop the over the top end fight scene more than anything else, but their motivations are nonsense. The battle hardened uncle decides to fight a dozen soldiers instead of simply leaving and then decides to leave because a battle royale is only silly the second time around. As a pilot episode, Revolution failed to deliver the promise pilots are supposed to have. There is a mystery about the sudden loss of power, but the protagonists do not seem interested in solving it. Their main purpose is to save an asthmatic from captors he already escaped from once, which really lessens the gravity of the situation when you think about it. Revolution had some flaws in the execution of the pilot. Since this is an Eric Kripke production, and it looked like studio hands were all over this thing, we’ll hold out hope for some retooling from the upcoming episodes.  Who knows, maybe weekly machete fights are just what the TV gods demand or maybe Revolution will be the blood sacrifice that will usher in another Fall TV season.