Media Consumption 10/17/2015

WalkingDeadSeason6

Television Lite Week

This week has been one that has seen me absolutely consumed with Destiny on the PlayStation 4, and as such I have simply not spent much time watching television.  I have however watched quite an excessive amount of YouTube videos, namely as I try to find information about Destiny.  There is this shift that is happening where certain games with certain audiences… simply do not have information blog posts about them.  I’ve gotten spoiled in a world with Dulfy.net and WoWHead.com in that I expect pretty much every game I have to have this quality of resources.  Instead for many games lately all I am ever able to find is YouTube videos on a given subject.  I am sorry to all the YouTubers out there… but I am of a generation where I feel like a video is the least useful way to disseminate information.  I will take a written explanation and some good screenshots any day over a lengthy video walk through.  At some point in the near future I hope to take some of these things that I found frustrating and attempt to write some blog posts outlining how to do this thing or that thing in Destiny.  Granted that is not to say there are not a lot of really good Destiny YouTube channels…  but I would still rather have an informational post.

Destiny Lore

The first time around when the AggroChat crew played Destiny… we joked that it was a game almost entirely devoid of story.  That apparently is not the case…  they just go to strange lengths to hide it from you.  The story of the game is told through a series of grimoire cards, item descriptions, quest text, and hinted at in cinematic scenes.  In fact there is actually apparently a TON of information about the characters in the game, their background, how they arrived at the tower… and all sorts of legends from the golden age, the city age, and the now tower age.  In my search for information about Destiny I happened to stumble across a really awesome YouTube channel called Myelin Game… which is not to be confused with long time friend Mylin1.  The channel is chock full of videos where Myelin digs into the lore of Destiny and connects the dots, weaving all of the known information… and speculated information into a narrative around a certain subject.  I linked the Black Garden video since the game does a pretty poor job to explain what the hell it actually is…  but I also highly suggest the trilogy of videos talking about thorn, last word, and first curse.  I have always guessed there was this rich story somewhere behind Destiny… because the dots connected too neatly at times not to be well planned, but now that I am starting to learn some of the actual story I am loving it.  I still feel it is a strange choice to make players dig for this knowledge, rather than letting you experience chunks of it through the story.  The Fallen King expansion does a much better job of being more forthcoming with information… and it gives characters that previously did not have much of a personality… plenty of chance to show it off.  I’ve spent a lot of time listening to these lore videos while doing other things and I highly recommend them.

Star Wars Minute

Another thing that I stumbled across this week is Star Wars Minute, which is a great YouTube channel that takes segments of the Star Wars universe and condenses them into roughly one minute long narrative explanations.  Much like the Destiny Lore, this feels as much podcast as it does YouTube video because the narrative explanation is the important part… and the images going along with it are nice to have but not 100% necessary.  I ended up finding this as I started doing some googling related to the Star Wars universe, namely for the upcoming pen and paper game that should have its first session tomorrow.  The funny thing about this is how much of the universe I already had a full grasp on but have no clue why.  I guess even though I have been a sleeper Star Wars fanboy since the prequels… I was still subconsciously hungry for knowledge about this favorite of universes.  Star Wars Minute is great to play in the background as you do something else and they release three new episodes a week, so there is a silly amount of content available already.

Arrow Season 3

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Be warned I am going to go into some serious spoilers here, so if you have not watched Arrow Season 3 or if you intend to at a later date…  you might want to skip this section.  Here is the point at which I get really frustrated with this show.  Generally speaking I am all for a television show deviating from the source material to make the universe work better for the TV audience.  For example most of the Batman movies have worked really well… and they are essentially a condensed soup version of the batman universe…  gathering up all the good bits and trying to weave a story out of them.  You have a very limited amount of time on television, and what might work fine to slowly build over the course of several years of a comic run… needs to happen in an under two hour long movie.  Television shows have a bit more leverage when it comes to pacing something out, and this is also cool.  The thing that apparently pisses me off though… is when you take actions attributed to one character and apply them to a completely different character.

What I mean is that this story line that has played out throughout the season around R’as al Ghul didn’t happen to Green Arrow…  ever.  Essentially this is a Batman storyline, and all of the events that are playing out happened at one time or another to Batman.  This caused me to think about Arrow the television show in a different light and realize that essentially… they have been turning Arrow into Batman this entire time.  Maybe it is because Batman has been tagged as a “film” universe and is not available to be done in a Television version that they feel the need to create someone that is Batman-like.  Green Arrow was admittedly a comic that I did not really follow.  I mean I knew that him calling his sister Speedy when that was the character that would ultimately become Arsenal was wrong… and I knew a few other points seemed less than correct.  However I lived in this world of relatively little knowledge about the show so I was able to pretty much ignore any differences… until they started stepping foot into the Batman universe.  THAT is a universe I know considerably more about, and after a whole lot of research and the council of Thalen…  I pretty much determined that nope…  Green Arrow has never really interacted much with R’as al Ghul at all.  So I am sitting here two episodes away from the end of the season… questioning if I care to finish watching it.

Walking Dead Season 6 Premiere

WalkingDeadSeason6

Thank god Walking Dead is back.  “Fear The” was such a pale imitation of Walking Dead, and I am exceptionally happy that they chose to back up the start of Season Six to the end of the first season of Fear.  I do have to say though that it makes me extremely happy that Talking Dead has been pulled in officially for Fear as well, because for me at least that has become so much of that experience.  This is one hell of a first episode, and I really liked the way they handled Flashbacks in this episode by making them Black and White.  That is always the challenge with a show, how to visually tell the watcher that the events they are seeing are not happening in real time but instead an imagined replay.  When you are dealing with older characters and younger characters, it works naturally… but when you are dealing with only a few hours or days passing… it becomes much more challenging.  So the choice of black and white gave a nice clear demarcation point between the two time-frames.  As to the rest of the episode…  Rae sent me a text as the show as going on that simply said “Nosh Pit”.

The premise of the show has to be one of the most Rube Goldberg style plot devices I have seen in awhile.  To figure out a way to draw the walkers out of the pit and along a fixed path to get them away from Alexandria.  The parallels to herding cattle…  was extremely strong in this episode.  They even managed to draw them down a chute just like you do cattle for a period of time… and then cleared out the farm supply store just to make sure nothing would spook them and draw their attention away…  kinda like you do cattle.  The slightest noise can distract cattle and get them to move in a different direction, and that apparently is the case with walkers.  The thing is… going into this episode… you knew something was going to go wrong.  There were scenes in the Season 6 preview show of Walkers in Alexandria or at least the hint of that happening.  This show is really good about misleading us, for example the above poster would seem like we are heading towards some central conflict between Morgan and Rick… and in truth… it seems like Morgan instead manages to back Rick down from the ledge a bit.

The-Walking-Dead--Daryl-Zombies

As far as the walkers…  when they are nearing the clear zone…  someone sets off a horn in Alexandria, causing the mega horde to turn that direction.  So the question is… who did it.  At work the popular theory for awhile has been that Enid is a spy from the Wolves, and that the scenes of her in the car with the walker outside…  hint that she set off the horn.  My personal theory is it is Father Gabriel once again trying to destroy everything around him.  He wanted to go out on the mission to herd the walkers, but Rick shut him down immediately.  My theory is he is vindictive, and after being shut down by Andrea as well…  he is still on some mission to destroy this community and in the process allow himself to be kill in some sort of twisted act of contrition for letting his parishioners die.  In truth it could be the wolves themselves, who have been watching everything happening and see this as their opportunity to let the zombies batter down the defense of Alexandria and allow them to come in after they are done… and loot the resources.  If nothing else this episode explained why Alexandria had been left fairly unscathed… because the giant pit of zombies had been drawing in more zombies and keeping them away from the town.  It is going to be interesting to see how the next few episodes play out, and who we lose in the process.

 

Media Consumption 10/10/2015

Netflix Binge Time

This week things felt like they were starting to get back to normal.  Since last week was so freaking crazy I ended up taking Tuesday off and just hanging out around the house.  That meant it was the perfect time to binge watch something on Netflix.  Unlike the previous week there have been multiple times that I simply hung out downstairs with the laptop and television, and as such have some shows to talk about.  Of note, if anyone has something they suggest I watch feel free and chime in.  I am always looking for something interesting, but the caveat is it must be available either through Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime streaming.  I know iZombie has started back up, and I have the episodes recording to my DVR but am largely waiting on my wife to watch them since she also was able to get into the previous season.

Dark Matter – Season 1

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Dark Matter is one of those shows that folks had been suggesting to me for some time now, but I never really got around to watching it.  When I first checked to see if the show was streamable somewhere, I was only able to watch like the last five episodes through Hulu.  Now the entire series is on Netflix and it seemed like the perfect time to watch it.  I can’t think of this show without also comparing it to another SyFy channel show Killjoys.  There are moments where you wonder if this is set in the same universe, because they seem extremely similar.  Distopic future where corporations control pretty much everything, and folks are forced to carve out their lives on the fringe of society.  The twist here is that the  crew woke from out of cryosleep only to find that they have all had their memories erased.  During the first season we spend a lot of time trying to sort out who they are and what exactly they were doing, and at the same time blending together as a team.

So far my two favorite characters are “Five” aka the hacker stowaway girl, and the Android…. that they sadly just keep calling Android.  I am hoping in season two they finally give her a name, because I like the character and actor playing her.  If you are a fan of Lost Girl it is the same actor that played the Fae Doctor on that show, and sometimes love interest of the succubus title character.  What is awesome is that obviously there is some malfunction with the Android as she is starting to develop emotions, which makes the experience very “Data” like.  As far as the hacker… I knew she looked familiar and it finally hit me.  She is the little girl that played Alessa in the Silent Hill movie, and I IMDB’d to confirm it.  There are moments where the show gives me very Cowboy Bebop vibe to it, as they wander around space looking for jobs to pull…. so you know they can eat and have fuel.  All we need now is a genetically modified Corgi.

Arrow – Season 3

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Also showing up on Netflix is season 3 of Arrow, which I somehow completely missed arriving until last night.  While playing SWTOR I binged my way through about half of the season and plan on trying to finish it up today.  So far I am liking it, but I am not super keen on some of the events that have transpired.  There is a lot of this season that just feels like it is set up material for future events.  I feel like I also really need to watch Flash after this to help piece together some of the parts that are missing when ONLY watching this season.  The cross over episode felt a bit odd, because I am assuming it started with Flash.  Also the lengthy set up for Atom has been interesting but a little contrived.  I am also not super sure what is going on with the character of Felicity this season, she seems to be shifting personalities a lot.  I am largely cool with Laurel taking the mantle of Black Canary as well.  The problem with the DC universe is that I only really know a shallow version of it that tends to be very Batman-centric.

Growing up I was a Marvel kid, and the only comics I really delved into were the Batman and Green Lantern universes…  other than Superfriends that is.  Marvel always felt like the universe of gritty anti-heroes and that was the sort of thing I thought was cool.  DC however tended to have much more detailed story arcs, and they obviously did a far better job of licensing their properties than Marvel since we have the ability to see all of these cross overs.  Obviously the whole handing Cupid over to Suicide Squad bit… is going to end up biting them in the ass.  I am hoping as the season goes on we see more of the Suicide Squad, especially as this season and season four probably really need to set up for the Suicide Squad movie, seeing as that is not a part of the DC universe that most people know anything about.  Well that is other than Harly Quinn… at this point everyone knows and loves Harly Quinn.  Looking forward to finishing the season today, as I continued to work my way through the Bounty Hunter storyline.

Fear The Walking Dead – Season Finale

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The funny thing about Fear the Walking Dead is how the episode finale had two vastly different effects on me and my wife.  Up until this point in the season she had been watching the episodes with me, and it seemed like maybe she was almost getting into the show.  Whereas honestly I was bored and kept waiting for the inevitable other shoe to fall, because having been a long time walking dead watcher…  you knew the bad stuff was coming eventually.  Finally in this episode everything starts to go wrong, and this is the point at which my wife completely loses interest.  It seems like she is fine with a world where people have to sort out how to survive, but not so much in a world where they are constantly being chased by the dead.  Daniel still rises from this episode as my favorite character, namely the only one who is truly prepared to exist in this world.  The only problem there is he takes what is a bad situation and makes it even worse by letting loose the first horde.

In earlier episodes we find that they were using a stadium as a shelter, much like they did in Katrina with the super dome.  Something goes wrong and people start turning, and the military is unable to sort out who is living and who is dead and just ends up chaining the entire contents in essentially assuring that all two thousand plus people end up as zombies.  So when Daniel turns them lose to use them to attack the military compounds, it gives us a hint and maybe HOW the hordes form.  Maybe they get started when zombies finally break out of places they have been pinned up in and keep wandering together because they don’t exactly have free will.  Which makes you wonder… where exactly did the mega horde near Alexandria come from?  The big thing I wanted from Fear the Walking Dead, was more insight into WHY the world fell to hell and that seems to be something that was not on the menu.  Largely I am disappointed in the show, and the lack of Talking Dead after it was a problem for me.  Talking Dead essentially played the role of having someone to talk about the show with, in a strange way.  I am hoping when Season Two comes around they will do a “Talking Fear” show or something like that.  In any case this week we get the return of the real Walking Dead show so in the meantime I am pretty amped for that since experiencing the watered down version.