Thursday, May 5, 2016

Why Supergirl Still Hasn't Been Renewed 

For Season 2 Yet

Why Supergirl Still Hasn't Been Renewed For Season 2 Yet image
It isn’t surprising when we hear news that shows like Arrow and The Flash received season renewals, given how rabid the fanbases are, but somehow we’re still living in a world where CBS still hasn’t put in an order for Supergirl Season 2. The network has made decisions on the majority of its other series, but Supergirl’s fate hangs in the balance, and it looks like the cause for the delay is something that not even superpowers can help: money. 

CBS and Warner Bros. are reportedly in the middle of negotiation talks whereSupergirl is concerned, and though the network is on board with hosting a second season, the problem lies with the licensing fees that CBS is paying just to air the show, which is right around $3 million. That’s up there with the highest fees commanded by a freshman series in TV history, and while it might have been a feasible financial choice at the beginning of Season 1, when the premiere brought in 13 million viewers or so, the ratings have drooped ever since, particularly in the final two months of the season, where the live viewershiphovered between six and seven million. Hard to make money when viewers keep leaving. 

It’s absolutely a tough decision for CBS execs to make, since there isn’t much to inspire confidence that Supergirl’s audience will grow in the future. The finale, an episode that normally pulls in a bigger audience than other TV episodes, brought in less than the penultimate episode. Sure, that audience grew with delayed viewing, but not by enough to discourage worry within CBS prez Les Moonves. 
As TheWrap points out, the network upfronts will have CBS in the spotlight in just a couple of weeks, so the network will definitely need to weigh the pros and cons quite heavily in the coming days. Few things are more important than advertising dollars, and Supergirl is likely a big draw for companies, despite not matching the ratings of CBS’ other major dramas, since it’s a character with international recognition. 

Plus, Supergirl is now officially connected to the overall DC TV Universe, thanks to that crossover episode with The Flash, which gave the show a ratings boost that possibly helped the cause. Even if Season 2 doesn’t happen, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we’ll never see Kara flying around on other shows, but it’ll be a major bummer to not see Oliver Queen and more getting a chance to visit National City in future seasons. An oft-rumored solution to this problem would be for CBS to shipSupergirl over to The CW with the other super-shows, but that would mean and even more drastic budget cut. And there are big things planned for Season 2 that will likely require as much moolah as possible.


Scream: The TV Series |
Official Season 2 Trailer (2016) | MTV

Legitimate Game of Thrones Question: Is Hodor Actually a Horse?
Before you write this headline off completely, please allow us to make a case for the greatest Game of Thrones theory of all time: that Hodor (Kristian Nairn) is actually a horse.
The second episode of Season 6 revealed that Hodor wasn't always the simple-minded vehicle for Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) to get from Point A to Point B. Back in the day, he was Wylis, just your average stable boy at Winterfell with an apparent crush on Ned's (Sean Bean) sister Lyanna Stark.
So how did Wylis become Hodor? By being a horse, of course!
Two Redditors, TazoGreenTea and gbinasiaposed the theory that Hodor had been a warg growing up. And since he was a stable boy with a possible crush on Lyanna, it would make sense that Hodor would choose to warg into her horse as a means to be close to her.
Jojen Reed (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) previously warned Bran about the dangers of warging too long, as it could result in him becoming permanently trapped in the animal or even forgetting that he's human. But "gbinasia" has a different theory on how warging turned Wylis into Hodor:
"My guess is that the horse was slain during battle while Hodor was warging into it, which would explain why he is very much a simpleton now and is afraid of fighting and lightning. Would also explain why Bran is able to warg into a human, because the mind inside the human is an animal's mind (or the remnant of a mind trapped into a horse). Edit: not necessarily the actual horse's mind, but Hodor's mind mixed with a horse's instint [sic], like Bran feels what Summer feels in his 'dreams'. And, even more obvious, it would explain how Hodor has been such a fantastic person to carry Bran because it's litterally [sic] what horses do."
This whole theory actually makes a lot of sense. It's completely bonkers, yes, but Hodor's origin story clearly serves some purpose in the larger Game of Thrones mythos or else the showrunners wouldn't have bothered to include it. And if Hodor were a horse, that means he could have crucial knowledge about what happened to Lyanna and serve as a major warning to Bran about warging.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. "Failed Experiments" Review: Average Is Still a Passing Grade

Warning: The following contains spoilers for this week's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. So if you don't want to be spoiled, well, you know what to do.
"Failed Experiments" was itself an experiment in seeing how many characters could make questionable decisions for what they perceived and believed to be the greater good, but were actually very personal reasons. From Daisy to Lincoln to Mack, folks were jumping head-first into the deep end without floaties, and when you add in Hive's long-standing grudge against the Kree for changing his DNA and making him an Inhuman, this week's episode was a very personal hour for just about everyone involved—a personal hour that had the potential to affect every living human being on the planet, of course. Which means that it was business as usual for the series, I suppose.
If we've learned anything this season, it's that operating with a personal agenda in stressful conditions can lead to momentary lapses in judgment. Momentary lapses that lead to a good man killing a smug but good-looking murderer for killing a woman Good Guy said he loved, but come on, no he didn't. But by killing that smug but good-looking murderer, Good Guy allowed a parasitic creature who needed a dead body to inhabit to live—and who's already destroyed one planet!—to follow him home to his own world, thereby hand-delivering him his next tasty meal. I mean, yes, that's an extreme case of letting emotions crowd one's judgment, but it happened, didn't it? Coulson's arc this season is a cautionary tale, and no one appears to have listened. 
This was the final episode of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. before the release of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's latest big-screen endeavor, Captain America: Civil War,which meant that there were obvious remarks about how humanity's unwillingness to band together will lead to its downfall, as well as pointed comments about men in iron suits, government-created super-soldiers, and even an actual reference to a civil war that broke out thousands of years ago once it was discovered that Hive could control other Inhumans. As Hive told Daisy, the fear generated by his abilities led to paranoia, which eventually led to a civil war and him being booted from Earth to the blue planet he later turned into a desolate wasteland.
At the heart of Civil War, which is essentially an Avengers movie masquerading as a Captain America film, is a political battle between Tony Stark (Iron Man) and Steve Rogers (Captain America), and the men and women who side with each superhero over the Sokovia Accords, legislation that attempts to regulate the actions of enhanced individuals via a governing body. To literally no one's surprise, this is a theme that's present in some form throughout all of Marvel's current cinematic ventures, including Netflix's seriesJessica Jones and Daredevil, the latter of which tackled vigilantism as heroism and its place in Hell's Kitchen via both Matt Murdock and Frank Castle (the Punisher) in the show's recent second season. 
I suspect next week's S.H.I.E.L.D. will feature more overt references to the events of Civil War, so we'll table larger discussions of how the film and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are potentially intertwined until then, but the awakening of the Inhumans this season and the fear that sprung up in response to their inability to initially control their new powers added to a global feeling of distrust in the wake of the Chitauri invasion in The Avengers and what happened in Sokovia in The Avengers: Age of Ultron. And now Hive wants to turn everyone Inhuman in an attempt for a better tomorrow, one in which everyone has powers because as he put it, "The world fears our kind of power because not everyone has it. Only billionaires can build iron suits, only the military can make super-soldiers, which can only lead to a war of its own."
My God, Marvel. Did Jeph Loeb write that line and then hashtag it with "everything is connected," too? I would not be surprised.
On the surface, the idea that everyone should have powers looks like a nice argument for equality, and hey, who doesn't want equality? But that's not even remotely what this really is about, and Hive's ability to control Inhumans is just the beginning of the list of reasons why this is a terrible idea. Daisy was fully on board with his plan, though, and her solution to saving her friends at S.H.I.E.L.D.—who she argued were not soldiers who wanted to start wars but good people who wanted to end them or even prevent them—was to turn them into Inhumans to make them understand the importance of Hive's plan. The peace-seeking side of Daisy's brain has been flooded at the prospect, but Hive's just another jerk preaching peace and a better world and secretly thirsting for control and power.
Initially, Daisy's stance on Hive's agenda was an enhancement of her opinions regarding Inhumans and the way they'd been treated by outsiders, by the A.T.C.U., and by Coulson, who kept pushing back the Secret Warriors project for legitimate if frustrating reasons. But even through all of that, Daisy wasn't anti-S.H.I.E.L.D. and its practices. However, over the course of "Failed Experiments," that opinion disintegrated even as Mack tried to rescue her in a very noble if misguided attempt to clear his own conscience, which proved just how deep Hive had dug into her and that his power over her seemed to be growing. At the start of the hour Daisy defended S.H.I.E.L.D. and her friends who worked for the organization, but by the end of the hour she was arguing Hive's stance that S.H.I.E.L.D. turned people into soldiers for its war, thereby forgetting that she once had, at least in some fashion, free will to walk away from Coulson and his ragtag team. Her free will has been taken away from her by Hive more than it ever was by S.H.I.E.L.D., and now she's offering herself up to be drained of all her blood because she carries the Kree DNA necessary to turn all of humanity into Inhumans. 
It's frustrating to watch a woman who was so lost initially finally come into her own last season and feel like she had a home and a purpose as recently as 10 episodes ago, and watch her go down this path now, especially because it's a form of mind control that's led her to it. But at the same time, based on how Hive's powers work, we need to accept that she wasn't as changed as she'd let on. The specific digs at Bobbi and Hunter for leaving S.H.I.E.L.D. because the team didn't matter to them anymore reveals that Daisy still feels, whether she consciously realized it prior to Hive infecting her or not, somewhat adrift or unwanted within the team. People have a way of always leaving her behind, whether they mean to do it or not. On the one hand, I buy this sentiment and that it's a deep, deep fear of Daisy's that she'll never have a home with people who love and care about her. On the other hand, I really, really want to move past this part of Daisy's story. 
But Daisy wasn't the only person making bad decisions for personal reasons and saying it was for the greater good this week. In addition to Hive calling to Earth the two Kree reapers responsible for turning him into an Inhuman so he could use their Kree blood and also get revenge, Lincoln was so desperate to save his girlfriend of a hot minute, to contribute to the operation to save her from Hive's mental clutches, and to prove that he could be an asset to the team that he, a licensed medical professional, injected himself with an antitoxin that had the potential to kill him, all in the name of potentially saving Daisy. I would not go to Lincoln for medical advice, guys! The fact that he was disobeying a direct order from Coulson at the time did not help matters, and now he's out of commission because his immune system has been weakened. Oh, and the antitoxin doesn't even work. So, uh, good job, Lincoln?
Harsh snap judgments of his actions aside, this is actually in line with the character Lincoln has proven himself to be this season. He's a good man with good intentions, but he's never been well-adjusted and continues to struggle with his ability to control his emotions and his powers. He's placed a lot on Daisy's shoulders in just a short amount of time because the emptiness he felt prior to becoming an Inhuman never really went away, and he's trying to fill it with Daisy and love instead of alcohol and anger in an effort to prove to both himself and to the team that he can be better. It's unfair of him to rely on Daisy in that way, especially because he's actually a good man trying to do the right thing. When he fails, like he did this week, it only makes the struggle worse. But if Lincoln is still struggling, then it appears to support the argument that Daisy too was still struggling with her own emptiness despite appearances to the contrary and all the discussions of how she was stronger than Lincoln was. But why are we retreading the same story beats over and over again? Something new and definitive needs to come out of this renewed dive into Daisy's insecurities and a need to fit in and be fulfilled since apparently it's still an issue. Otherwise, we're just telling the same story over and over again and not moving forward.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Supernatural "Chitters" Review: A Bug's Life
Supernatural S11E19" "The Chitters"
And the verdict is... not sucky? "The Chitters" was definitely filler, but like so much of Supernatural's Season 11 filler episodes, it was surprisingly meaty on its own and when paired with detours from earlier in this season—like "Into the Mystic" and "Beyond the Mat"—forms a side-story of the Winchesters' own, parallel to the apocalyptic escapades of Amara and Casifer. 
All three of these episodes dealt with retirement and the sorts of futures that Dean and Sam figured were out of their own reach a long time ago. "Into the Mystic" gave us Sam secretly hoping for a boring and bittersweet end in an old folks home—a future so banal that it's made a place in Sam's fantasies that the likes of Stanford and family Thanksgiving once occupied. "Beyond the Mat" showed us the other side of retirement—this one a little more hunter bleak (which is like hunter chic except with spandex instead of flannel) and stomping all over Sam and Dean's childhood wrestling heroes, showing them for the flawed humans with messy human problems that their stage personas were designed to ignore. Sam and Dean chasing each other around with pimped-out rascal carts makes for a cute bedtime fanfic and the series has already given them retirements sadder than those of their wrestling idols. Going out in a blaze of glory is, of course, still on the table, but "The Chitters," even with it's cringe-inducing name and sex-crashed monster-cicadas, put another possibility on the table. 
Old hunters don't (always) die. They marry their partner and buy a horse farm in New Mexico. 
Supernatural brought more understated LGBT awesomeness to the CW with Cesar and Jesse—hunting partners turned happy husbands—whose relationship was not turned into an after-school special or "very special episode" or even treated like something out of the norm. They were about as far from stereotypical as it gets, and for (probable) one-off characters that we may never see again, their story felt complete. Cesar stood by Jesse during his quest to avenge his dead brother. They probably worked through a mountain of issues stemming from that and a host of other traumas, and in the end they, as Dean put it, "reached the finish line." I kept waiting for Supernatural to kill or turn one of them because that's how Supernatural rolls, but I think that would have been too much, even for Supernatural
In the end, Dean couldn't bring himself to drag Cesar and Jesse away from their end-game, even if they've been at an impasse on the Amara stuff for "weeks" as Sam put it. Get it together, guys. 
Coming back from the last hiatus of the season with a filler episode (hey, even good filler is still filler) and yet more lip service to Dean and Sam having zero idea WTF to do tainted an otherwise fine episode. At this point, I only vaguely recall where we last left Amara, and full disclosure: I forgot Casifer was a hostage until the opening montage. This is the home-stretch, Supernatural, and that's not cool. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Game of Thrones: Five Characters Not in the Premiere Who We Need to See in Episode 2

The Season 6 premiere of Game of Thrones was all kinds of things—Thrilling! Revealing! Kind of ehhh!—yet there was something missing from the episode that I couldn't quite put my finger on. And then I realized that I hadn't seen Littlefinger's well-sheered facial hair in the entire episode! For as busy and globe-trotting as "The Red Woman" was, several characters weren't seen at all, leaving us to wonder what they're up to as we move into the second episode of Season 6. Here are the five characters who didn't make the premiere who I need to see in Episode 2.
Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish
This guy gets a bad wrap because he speaks without hardly moving his mouth like he's a bad ventriloquist and has the little brother of Captain Morgan's goatee on his face, but for all of Littlefinger's self-motivated chess moves and slimy behavior, he's a fascinating watch and the purest example of the drive for power in the show. That's saying something, considering that the entire show is about the lust for power, but think of where Littlefinger came from: the dumps. And now he's the Lord of the Eyrie with his eyes on the North. Yeah it only took sleeping with a psycho hag and marrying off his crush's daughter to a sadistic torturer, but things are looking pretty good for him, I'd say! What devilish maneuvers will he masterfully unleash in Season 6? 
Bran Stark
Bran is 28 years old by now and has graduated from grad school after missing all of Season 5 due to... what was it again? Oh yeah, having too many characters in the show. But he's definitely returning this season and it was kind of a ripoff that he wasn't in the Season 6 premiere. How long has he been chilling out in that cave with the old tree man who is the actual embodiment of the three-eyed raven? (Yeah, George R.R. Martin may have been tripping when he wrote this part.) We can only assume that he's been getting the training he needed for his warging powers and will possess Hodor in order to reach things on the top shelf. Let's find out soon, Game of Thrones.
The sellsword-turned-almost-Lord is one of the show's most entertaining characters because of his roguish self interest, quick wit, and "awww f*** it" attitude. But even though he was on the boat with Jaime when Myrcella died, he wasn't anywhere to be seen in the premiere as they sailed into King's Landing. Maybe he was below deck face down in a barrel of wine? Moving forward, how will Cersei's reneg on their deal affect him moving forward? Will he continue his rise up the ladder or settle for slicing dudes up over bets? And will he ever re-team with his Butch Cassidy, the one and only Tyrion? 
Tormund Giantsbane
The part-time Wyndham Rewards Wyzard was a no-show in the Season 6 opener, but he and his people were hinted at playing a huge role in the episodes ahead. At this point, Castle Black is in a civil war, and Davos requested their help in securing the fort and kicking Alliser Thorne's ass. But the reason we're most excited about Tormund, in addition to his legendary beard, is that where Tormund is, Wun-Wun the giant is to follow. Go Wun-Wun!
Zombie Mountain

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Game of Thrones
The Season 6 Premiere 
Set a New Ratings Record

             A record-setting audience saw Melisandre's true form on Sunday night, as Game of Thrones set a new high for total viewers. Legal viewers, I should say. The Season 6 premiere of HBO's fantasy bonanza was watched by a total of 10.7 million viewers on Sunday night when the flagship channel and online streaming numbers were added up,says The Hollywood Reporter. That's more than the previous record of 10.3 million viewers who watched li'l Olly be a total dick to Jon Snow in the Season 5 finale. 
             Approximately 7.94 million viewers watched old-fashioned style on regular premium cable, with the rest coming from encore presentations of the episode and streams from HBO Go and HBO Now. According to TorrentFreak, the premiere was downloaded more than 1,000,000 times in half a day. 
            But how does that 10.7 million number compare to the rest of television? The biggest show on TV, The Walking Dead, just wrapped up its sixth season with 14.2 million viewers. But considering that's on basic cable's AMC, one could argue that 10.7 million viewers on a premium cable network is just as, if not more, impressive. 
WATCH Game of Thrones 6