Author Archives: Kyle

If We Controlled Your Remote… 9/9/18

Have you ever been at a loss as to what to watch? Too many shows to pick from? We’re here to give you our opinions on what we feel is worth watching. Check it out and then let us know in the comments below what you’re choosing for tonight!

Kyle’s Choice #1

What would happen if you took Dexter and added elements of a dark rom-com? You’d get Lifetime’s new series YOU. Joe (Penn Badgley, Gossip Girl) is the manager at a small local bookstore and on the surface seems like your average nice guy next door. His neighbors in the apartment across the hall are always going at it, so Joe keeps young Paco (Luca Padovan, Super Wings!) company when he is alone and scared in the hallway. However, there is a darker side to Joe. When he crosses paths with aspiring writer Beck (Elizabeth Lail, Dead of Summer, Once Upon a Time), he quickly becomes infatuated with her. He utilizes the internet, social media, and good old-fashioned peeping Tom techniques to stalk her, learning every intimate detail of her life. His goal is to get her to fall in love with him, and so he arranges for serendipitous meet-cutes and manages to ease his way into her life. However, there are still some obstacles in their relationship, and he plans to remove them no matter what it takes. The series is based on the based on the novel of the same name by Caroline Kepnes and is produced by Greg Berlanti (responsible for the majority of The CW’s lineup) and Sera Gamble (The Magicians) and also features Zach Cherry (Crashing, Search Party), Shay Mitchell (Pretty Little Liars), and a special guest appearance by John Stamos.

I got to see tonight’s premiere back in June at the ATX Television Festival and have been anxiously waiting for the series to air – it was probably my favorite of the new shows I saw at the festival. It is disturbing, very dark, and sometimes a bit funny and romantic. I had oddly conflicting feelings while watching. Joe can be incredibly charming, and you kind of root for him to succeed as he and Beck would make a fun couple. However, at the same time, he’s a complete psychopath, so you don’t really want him in Beck’s life. In the pilot we just scratch the surface of the dastardly things he’s capable, and I can’t wait to see how this thrilling story plays out.

On tonight’s premiere, “Pilot,” Joe meets Beck, falls in love, and goes down a social media rabbit hole to learn everything about her. He becomes so obsessed that he tracks her IRL (and they meet again). This might be a real shot at real love. But there are some things standing in the way…like her ex, Benji.

Meet Joe and Beck tonight on Lifetime at 10/9c.
 
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If We Controlled Your Remote… 9/4/18

Have you ever been at a loss as to what to watch? Too many shows to pick from? We’re here to give you our opinions on what we feel is worth watching. Check it out and then let us know in the comments below what you’re choosing for tonight!

Kyle’s Choice #1

Tonight, USA Network kicks off the new 10-episode event series The Purge, which is an extension of the popular film franchise. The 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution established the National Purge, a 12-hour period where all crime, including murder, is legal and all emergency services are shut down. This series takes place 10 years after the events of The First Purge and follows the intersecting stories of some of this year’s Purge participants (some willing and some not so much).

As the series opens, we are just 97 minutes away from the Purge, and folks are getting ready for the night of mayhem. Miguel (Gabriel Chavarria, East Los High) is a marine who returns home looking for his missing sister, Penelope (Jessica Garza, SIX), who had been coerced into joining a Purge-worshipping cult run by the charismatic Good Leader Tavis (Fiona Dourif, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency). Rick (Colin Woodell, Masters of Sex) and his wife Jenna (Hannah Emily Anderson, Shoot the Messenger) are trying to climb the social ladder by attending their first pro-Purge party with the rich and elite. And Jane (Amanda Warren, The Leftovers) is a hardworking woman who seems to always get passed over for promotion, so she has hires a Purge-assassin to help her break through the glass ceiling at her firm.

I am a big fan of the Purge franchise and have been really looking forward to this series. I am curious to see how a Purgestory can be told in a much longer format, where we can get more character development and backstory. I’m happy to say that I was not disappointed with tonight’s premiere, which mainly concentrates on the events immediately leading up to the start of Purge Night. It sets up a lot of interesting characters and events and introduces several ominous and mysterious situations. The series will make use of flashbacks to provide more backstory into how each of these characters ended up where they are at the start of the series. I’m excited to see how the rest of the season plays out!

At this summer’s San Diego Comic-Con, I got to speak with some of the cast and creators of the series. You can find my interviews at NoReruns.net.

On tonight’s episode, “What Is America?” Purge Commencement looms. Several characters find themselves venturing into the chaos of the night.

Catch the premiere tonight on USA Network at 10/9c.
 
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If We Controlled Your Remote… 8/31/18

Have you ever been at a loss as to what to watch? Too many shows to pick from? We’re here to give you our opinions on what we feel is worth watching. Check it out and then let us know in the comments below what you’re choosing for tonight!

Kyle’s Choice

Early this morning, Amazon released the 10-episode first season of the new original series Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan. Jack Ryan (John Krasinski, The Office) is a former Marine, the sole survivor of a helicopter crash that killed 12 of his fellow soldiers. For the past four years, Ryan has spent his days behind a desk, working as a CIA analyst, studying financial markets and transactions in Yemen, looking for suspicious activity. As the series opens, Ryan discovers an unusual pattern of bank transactions, and thinks he has identified the next Bin Laden, a possible terrorist named Suleiman. But when he takes his data to his new boss, he gets a lot of pushback. Ryan got off on the wrong foot when he first met his new boss, James Greer (Wendell Pierce, Suits, Treme, The Wire). Greer also has a chip on his shoulder – he was a former Base Chief who just returned from a forced leave after an incident and now finds himself demoted to Group Chief for a team of analysts. However, it isn’t long before Greer sees some merit in Ryan’s findings, and Ryan suddenly finds himself thrust into the field, ending up in the middle of a dangerous and deadly situation.

I had never seen any of the five Jack Ryan films, nor read any of the books, so I didn’t really know what to expect from the series or the character. However, John Krasinski is fantastic in this role, which is drastically different from his more comedic Jim Halpert on The Office. The pilot takes its time to introduce the characters and set up the premise, but by the end of the episode, it has really hit its action-packed stride, and I am really looking forward to checking out the rest of the season! The series comes from creators Carlton Cuse (Lost, Bates Motel, Colony, The Strain) & Graham Roland (The Returned, Almost Human, Fringe) and has already been picked up for a second season of 10 episodes, so there’s plenty more to come.

Binge-watch the entire first season now on Amazon!

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If We Controlled Your Remote… 8/22/18

Have you ever been at a loss as to what to watch? Too many shows to pick from? We’re here to give you our opinions on what we feel is worth watching. Check it out and then let us know in the comments below what you’re choosing for tonight!

Kyle’s Choice

Tonight, thriller Mr. Mercedes returns for a second season on the AT&T Audience network. In the first season, retired detective Bill Hodges found himself suddenly thrust back into one of his unsolved cases. Brady Hartsfield, the psychopath who mowed down a crowd of innocent people at a job fair with a stolen Mercedes, started taunting Hodges on a private message board, letting him know that he was planning something even more devastating. Hartsfield tried to manipulate Hodges into taking his own life and even murdered the love of Hodges’ life in the process. However, with the help of young assistants Jerome and Holly, Hodges managed to figure out what Hartsfield was up to and stopped him before he massacred hundreds more innocent people. However, in the process, Hartsfield got his head bashed in and fell into a vegetative coma that he was unlikely to ever recover from. However, Hodges vowed that he would keep visiting Hartsfield at the hospital so that the day he woke up, he would pay for his crimes.

While the first season of the series stayed very close the first novel of Stephen King’s Bill Hodges Trilogy, the second season borrows from both the second and the third books. As the second season opens, Hartsfield is in this vegetative state, but that doesn’t mean he’s not still plotting and planning his revenge on Hodges. D.A. Tony Montez (Max Hernandez) is anxious to prosecute Hartsfield, but there’s not much he can do with Hartsfield in his current state. At the same time, cocky brain surgeon Dr. Felix Babineau (Jack Huston, Boardwalk Empire) is being pressured by his ambitious wife Cora (Tessa Ferrer, Extant) to use Hartsfield as a human test subject for a new drug designed to counteract tumors. Over the course of the next year, Bill teams up with Holly to start a private investigative agency called Finders Keepers. As they solve whatever small cases come their way, Bill also picks up the odd repossession job. Meanwhile, the other folks affected by Brady’s actions also try to move on with their lives.

I loved the first season of this series and had been really looking forward to seeing what happens next. I was curious to see how the series could work with Hartsfield in a coma, but the writers have found a really unique, creative, and creepy way to show what’s going on inside Brady’s mind. And even though his physical body doesn’t work, there is a bit of a supernatural element to the series this season that allows Brady to resume his terror from his hospital bed. We will also see how the events of last season affected the rest of the characters – Jerome had a promising academic career, but the trauma of these events may have sent him in a downward spiral. And how will the one person you thought was your friend trying to murder you going to affect Lou? I’ve watched the first two episodes of the season and can’t wait to see more. The one disappointment is that the series only airs on the provider-specific Audience Network, so only those with AT&T U-verse or DirecTV as their TV providers will be able to watch.

At San Diego Comic-Con, I participated in roundtable Q&As for the series, with the series creator as well as several of the stars. Check out my videos from the pressroom at NoReruns.net: http://www.noreruns.net/2018/08/14/mr-mercedes-press-room-at-san-diego-comic-con-2018/

On tonight’s episode, “Missed You,” with Brady hospitalized, Hodges and Holly rebuild, opening private investigative agency Finders Keepers. Brady’s care falls to Dr. Babineau, an ambitious neurosurgeon, with input from his brilliant wife, Cora.

Don’t miss the exciting premiere tonight on Audience Network at 10/9c.

I’ll also be watching/recording Big Brother, MasterChef, Bobcat Goldthwait’s Misfits & Monsters, and The Sinner.

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If We Controlled Your Remote… 8/17/18

Have you ever been at a loss as to what to watch? Too many shows to pick from? We’re here to give you our opinions on what we feel is worth watching. Check it out and then let us know in the comments below what you’re choosing for tonight!

Kyle’s Choice

Early this morning, Netflix released the first 10 episodes of the new animated series Disenchantment. The fantasy series comes from creator Matt Groening (The Simpsons, Futurama) and follows the misadventures of Princess Bean (Abbi Jacobson, Broad City), a teenager who hates her depressing life in the medieval kingdom of Dreamland. Her mother passed away when she was a child, and her father, King Zog (John DiMaggio, Futurama), has since remarried. He has arranged for Bean to marry a prince from another kingdom in order to secure a political treaty, but Bean wants none of that. She just wants to drink, party, and do whatever she wants to. As the series opens, a demon named Luci (Eric Andre, Man Seeking Woman) attaches itself to Bean as her personal demon and is constantly encouraging her bad behavior. Meanwhile, an elf named Elfo (Nat Faxon, Married, Ben and Kate) is also feeling out of place in his home. He’s sick of eating candy all day and always being happy. He wants to see what it’s like to feel depressed…and he may soon get his wish when he manages to make his way to Dreamland.

The animation style of Disenchantment looks a lot like that of The Simpsons and Futurama. The series also has the same layered site-gag humor, such as the punny shop names throughout the kingdom. There are also some really fun new characters, with familiar voices – both from the voice cast behind Futurama as well as some from talented British comedians. Where this series differs from Matt Groening’s previous work is the tone and structure. The humor is a bit more adult – Bean is constantly getting drunk or high, there is some pretty graphic (though humorous) violence, and there are quite a few sexual jokes or situations. While some of this may go over the heads of younger viewers, the target audience definitely seems to skew older. Also, unlike The Simpsons and Futurama, this series is highly serialized. While Bean, Elfo, and Luci usually have some kind of misadventure or problem of the week, there is a deeper ongoing story arc and character growth that flows from episode to episode, and there are some mysteries set up early on that will hopefully be explained by the end of the season.

Disenchantment is definitely worth checking out for Matt Groening fans. It feels both fun and familiar but also quite different from his previous shows. At San Diego Comic-Con, I participated in a roundtable discussion with series creator Matt Groening and showrunner Josh Weinstein, so if you want more even more information on the series, check out my write-up/audio at NoReruns.net.

Check out Disenchantment now on Netflix!

I’ll also be watching/recording The Great British Baking Show.

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