Thursday, September 30, 2010

Smallville: Charade (s9 ep18)

The UK's Smallville is a little behind the US - who are now getting the first episodes of a Darkseid-infested tenth season - but only by about half a season. Over this side of the pond, this week's episode comes about two thirds of the way through Season 9 and again promotes the Checkmate storyline that has been running alongside the Zod & the Kandorians story this season. And, to be honest, it was pretty forgettable.

Now, Smallville is a guilty pleasure of mine. I like it and feel that these later seasons are probably the most comicbooky of all live action TV shows in the last few years. But this episode just seemed to be... "meh".

In it, it had something about Lois and Clark investigating why the conviction of an ex-DA had been overturned. Apparently, this DA had thrown Lois off a building at some point previously - can't say I remembered that so thankfully the pre-credits "Previously" bit reminded me. They find out only the governor could have released him and one of the governor's biggest backers is one Maxwell Lord. Aha! Another well-known DC character crawls out of the woodwork. I knew I had seen the guy who played Maxwell Lord before but it took me some time to realise he played Billy in Ally McBeal. To be honest, he's not who I would have considered for the part but he does the job, I suppose.

Not that this Maxwell Lord is the same as the comic book version, of course. This is Smallville after all, and here he seems to have the power of telepathy and making his hand glow blue. He's captured a number of people that the Blur (Clark) had encountered - including Lois - in order to extract the Blur's identity from the glimpses within their minds.

All very well and good, but this slight storyline was padded out with gooey emoting about the Lois/Clark/Blur triangle. I know the teenage relationship stuff is a big part of Smallville (even though the characters are surely now well into their 20s and Tom Welling might almost be as old as me - though somewhat more handsome) but I just thought it was a little too much this week. Perhaps it might have been better if the Checkmate/Lord storyline had been better?

Still, we were left wondering who the Red Queen was that Max encountered (it's sort of made to look like it could be Tess - although I know who it actually is). And it was good to see a Maxwell Lord, I suppose. The bit of action when Clark jumped into the slowly-resolving, holographic Blur identity thingy looked quite impressive too.

Let's hope things pick up in the last 3 (is it 3?) episodes and something actually happens with the whole Kandorian arc (because they just seem to have been kinda hanging around for half the season, poor chaps).

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Merlin: Goblin's Gold

Ah, back to the old burp and fart humour.

The first two-part story of season 3 of Merlin ("Tears of Uther Pendragon")
was a cracker. Generally dark, dramatic, entertaining, engaging and action
packed. The ending was perhaps wrapped up a bit too neatly - by which I mean
they pretty much hit the reset button - but otherwise enjoyable.

But this weeks episode took me back to season 1.

It was humorous and amusing in parts - like when Arthur (or should that be
Eeyore?) became a half-donkey - and it was good to see a little more of
Gaius (played by the lovely Richard "I don't believe it!" Wilson). The
goblin was reasonably well-animated - although they didn't quite manage to
pull off the integration of the CGI into the real world. And at least they
didn't overuse the crude humour.

Still, in the end, it felt like a filler episode and one that had no impact
in the overall story - if there actually is one in Merlin. This episode
could've taken place in any of the previous seasons and the only thing that
would have had to be changed was Gaius-Goblin's mention of Morgana's
darkness. Although even that could've been some handy foreshadowing.

So, although not bad, it wasn't great either. The preview of next week's
episode looks better, although the whole
"Arthur-targeted-at-tournament-but-is-saved-by-knight-of-round-table" seems
somewhat familiar. We'll see.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Thought I'd try a test post from my iPod Touch to see how easy it is. And whether it actually works! This is all in preparation for a forthcoming trip to Florida and the Land of the Mouse-ears (ie. Walt Disney World) where I might post something. If i have a wireless connection, that is.

Anyway that's it for now. Heck I might even do some other posts about Merlin or Smallville or something. :)