Sunday, August 07, 2011

A Sunday Review

TV this week:

  • Torchwood: Miracle Day: "Escape to L.A." - Ah, it's painful to watch characters making really stupid mistakes. But then, that's how real life works some times, too. Really stupid mistakes followed by other people paying for those mistakes. I like how they are keeping Rhys and Anwen in the show, but at the same time I'm not liking it at all. It seems like there wasn't a lot of forward progress in this one, so we'll have to see what happens next, if it gets a bit better.
  • Torchwood: Miracle Day: "The Categories of Life" - Ok, so they are categorizing people into different slots depending on how "alive" they are. And there is a deep and terrifying secret to the overflow centers they are sending "dead" people to. This was a painful and scary episode. Disturbing in almost every way.

  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: "Pawn of Shadows" - Best line of the series so far, Shaggy says, "Yeah, like, we've been teenagers forever" when giving advice to writer HP Hatecraft on current teens. That's just before the most scarring event of the series so far happens. Angel gets really involved in this one, and the end is a bit of a surprise. One more episode? I'm kind of excited to see it!
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: "All Fear the Freak" - Final episode. The group investigates Fred's dad, as the friction of the group comes to a head. Secrets are revealed, stories are told, and the series ends with the possibility open for a second (or more) season. Wow. Best Scooby-Doo I've ever watched. I'd gladly watch a second season.

This week's comic book related review is Aquaman: Death of a Prince. This collection features some of the most classic of Aquaman's tales, including Aquaman being deposed from his throne, Aqualad learning about his parentage, and the death of Arthur Jr. This is a very nice complete package, and I can say that those stories have probably never looked better. It's one of the best collections I've seen in a long time, and well worth it for Aquaman fans and just general comic book fans as well.

Agatha Christie this week was Nemesis from 1971. Miss Marple is called upon by a dead man to solve a mystery without any clues whatever, and agrees. Of course, the clues start arriving once she's signed on, and eventually she figures it out. I didn't. Anyway, this isn't her best, but it's not a bad Marple story. I feel like her writing is in a bit of a downward slide, but I hope that's just my misperception. There's a scant handful of novels left for me to read, and a bunch of short stories. I'm sure I'll continue to enjoy them because even the worst Christie mystery tends to be a bit better than average.

Finding Bigfoot - I was a little doubtful about this show, having heard allegations that parts of the hunt were misrepresented by the production crew to increase drama. I don't "believe" in Bigfoot, but I do accept the possibility of it existing. There's not enough evidence to prove anything, though, which is the problem. And that's the conceit of the show. The group is trying to prove that bigfoot exists by finding real scientific evidence. The catch-22 is that if the group proves the existence of bigfoot, the show is over... and we'll hear about it on the regular news before the show can air. So the fun of this show is the stories that people tell, because the show itself can never prove anything. Anyway, on to the episodes:
  • "Swamp Ape" - This episode starts with a family who is having night visitations and think they are being stalked by a bigfoot at their home in North Florida. The team spends the night, and has inconclusive experiences. The group then visits the Seminole nation and discuss the beast with some members. Then they follow-up on three witnesses in South Florida and do another search, this time with cool remote control drones.
  • "Bigfoot Crossing in Georgia" - Neat story about a cop with a passenger who spot a bigfoot crossing a road and catch the thing on the cop car's dashcam. The video is, of course, too grainy to use as proof, but it's still cool. Of course, they make someone run across the road in the middle of the night to try to duplicate it. Not dangerous at all, ha. They talk to some more witnesses, including one that isn't credible because he's easily led, then wander around the forests in the middle of the night.
  • "Caught on Tape" - A thermal video taken in North Carolina Uhwarrie National Forest seems convincing until the team duplicates the video almost perfectly... which they justify with a bunch of excuses. Then there's a chase up a hill that apparently was a human and the crew knew it, but they presented it as a mystery. At a townhall meeting they heard some good stories and follow-up on a few. I'm liking Ranae, as she's the only one properly skeptic.
  • "Fishing for Bigfoot in Oregon" - Another video, this one in central Oregon, that isn't exactly convincing at all. But the team goes and risks their lives in the middle of winter to duplicate the video, then hunt the bigfoot in the middle of the night. Again, Ranae is cool... Cliff and Bobo are ok, but Matt is actively annoying. Anyway, another area, another meeting with the locals to hear stories. The best part of the show by far, even if some folks are clearly not credible.
  • "Frozen Bigfoot" - Ah, my home state. The team goes to Southwest Washington, the Silver Star peak in the Cascades, in Gifford Pinchot National Forest. They go to investigate some interesting pictures taken by a hiker a few years ago, and are able to duplicate the images pretty well, although not perfectly. They go to Yacolt for another town meeting, get some more cool stories. I like them deploying the goosecam and the disguised canoe, hilarious. This is a funny show.
  • "Alaska's Bigfoot Island" - This one is a little different, as a community calls the bigfoot hunters in because a town is feeling threatened by unknown animals. They start with a witness to footprints and running around in the forest at night. Then another town meeting! Lots of good stories, particularly with the natives whose families have been in the area for centuries.
Conclusion: Overall, not a bad show, but not one that I would be inclined to watch much, especially if that Matt guy stays on it. It has a good format, but I need more skeptics like Ranae before it's truly watchable. I'm interested in bigfoot, but watching a couple of guys screaming in a forest in the middle of the night just isn't that interesting.


Sleestak said...

The finale to "Categories" was telegraphed (telecast?) pretty early on but what happened to one of the characters was surprising.