AMC

June 21, 2017

Mythbusting Season One of ‘American Gods’

The higher the concept, the bigger the risk. That’s been the play for Starz for a while now, and most of those have ended abruptly. From ‘Camelot’ to ‘Da Vinci’s Demons,’ Starz hasn’t had the same success that networks like HBO and Showtime have had recently.

Sure, ‘Outlander’ has been a success, and ‘Black Sails’ ran it’s course, but Starz has always lacked that one show that would make people coming back to the network season after season, ala, ‘Game of Thrones’, and perhaps they’ve found that one show in ‘American Gods.’
Spearheaded by Bryan Fuller and Michael Green with Neil Gaiman serving as Executive Producer, there are some heavy hitters involved in ‘Gods,’ but can and will it be enough to actually save the series and allow it to continue even after a relative cliffhanger to end the first season.

The long and short of ‘Gods’ can be as complicated or as simple as you want it to be. Simply, we follow a just paroled man named Shadow Moon get involved in things far beyond his comprehension that involved Old Gods, New Gods, and other mythological beings. Add in a powerful revenant from beyond the grave and trippy flashbacks, and you have ‘Gods’ in a nutshell.

If you look at the series numbers, they dropped week after week, which is never really a good thing, but considering the high productive value and the high concept, you have to believe that Starz has big plans, and high hopes for the show that could be their own water cooler show.

What ‘Gods’ has going for it are a couple of things. One is certainly the shock factor of seeing some truly crazy things, ie, women swallowing people with their vaginas, genie fellatio, and even a game of checkers, it gets really wild. The second, and third, biggest things are the visuals and the story composition of each episode that includes visuals out of a Tarsem Singh film mixed with the work of Clive Barker and even Jim Henson. Most episodes begin with a flashback that usually preludes the actual content in said episode and introduces us to a new character, new superstition, or new religious belief. These are some of the strongest aspects of the show, if you’re into the folklore element of the show. This is where the divergence can stem.

A show that is so reliant of flashbacks and exposition can really drag a show into the muck and perhaps that is why the ratings steadily declined week to week. Shows like ‘Game of Thrones’ usually always had forward momentum even with the large amount of characters to juggle. The characters in ‘Gods’ are pretty minimal, yet there is a lot of exposition to deal with and with a limited amount of episodes in season one, there are only eight, the start and stop aspect can be hard to deal with at times.

However, this doesn’t mean ‘Gods’ isn’t interesting, in fact, it’s very interesting and I’d love to see where it goes from here, especially being a non-book reader and from what I’ve heard, there are a great deal of divergent stories and a ton of extra stories to be told. The good thing about a show that deals with mythology and theology is that there are 1000s of years to draw from and 100s of religion and belief structures to draw inspiration.

The fact that we actually had a show created out of the vivd and lush dreamscapes of Neil Gaiman is a miracle. ‘Sandman’ has been stuck in development hell for the longest, and will likely continue to be, and I’m sure the relative success of ‘Preacher’ last year over at AMC helped in getting ‘Gods’ green-lit and put into production. But the question will be; how long of a leash will Starz give these ‘Gods,’ and can it go the distance in giving the definitive version of one Gaiman’s best works to date.

June 21, 2016

3 Simplistic Things: May 2016

May came and went, and with June on the way out as well, it seemed only natural to talk about stuff that happened almost a month and a half ago, so we are go with another 3 Simplistic Things that happened in May.

PREACH!

For a show that could have easily failed, there really isn’t anything bad to say about AMC’s newest graphic-novel-to-TV adaptation, “Preacher.” Dominic Cooper encapsulates Jesse Custer, and showrunners, Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg obviously have a love for the source material, and anyone who thought, how are they going to do Arseface…well, they did it.

Apocalyptic Blowback 
It almost seems like this one was bound to fail. Yes, “X-Men: Apocalypse” is a huge mess on screen, about three movies rolled into one, confusing make-up design, odd voice modulation, numerous extreme close-ups, and just some overall weird choice, but while this film has problems, it’s still pretty watchable despite it’s flaws.
Depp Trouble
The creepy smile says it all.
Til next month….kthnxbye.
December 30, 2012

The Simplistic Reviews Podcast: December 2012

You’ve all been clamoring for it, well here it is.  The Simplistic Reviews Podcast for December 2012!  In this sophomore edition we dig into the holiday season with what made us happy in the cinema during 2012.  From “The Dark Knight Rises” to the re-release of “Pulp Fiction” we touch it all, and not in that inappropriate way….okay, just over the pants, but give us a break.
We also give AMC, Nerds, “The Vow”, and British -Voiced Nazis a hard time in our newest segment, “Sincerely.”

All this and more on The Simplistic Reviews Podcast for December 2012.

Click on the link below to download the podcast and enjoy folks!

FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY.
 

Show Notes:

 Click HERE to listen to podcast

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December 9, 2012

The Simplistic Reviews Podcast: November 2012

Welcome all to the inaugural Simplistic Reviews Podcast.  This is something that we had been planning for a while, and we finally got it done.  This edition we talk James Bond, namely, his newest adventure “Skyfall,” and remember some of his greatest villains and which James Bond theme song speaks to us.  Not in that creepy way that your uncle used to when he was drunk during Thanksgiving.

We also talk TV, where DJ explains why “Arrow” is his newest guilty pleasure, Justin talks about balls dropping, and why Jewish people aren’t allowed to watch “Mad Men,” while Matt asks “Why is AMC so stupid!”

We also wonder “What is it about Ghost Dad that gets our motors revving?” And “What was Morgan Freeman really doing during his voice over sessions on “March of the Penguins?”

All this and more on The Simplistic Reviews Podcast for November 2012.

Click on the link below to download the podcast and enjoy folks!
FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY.

 Click HERE to listen to podcast
Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

December 4, 2012

Simplistic TV Happy Holidays: The Walking Dead Mid-season Finale

The Walking Dead, Season Three Mid-season Finale – Preparation

*Caution, spoilers ahead*

Whoa, well, that was one way to end a mid-season finale.  Through eight episodes of Season Three of “The Walking Dead” you can tell that AMC has taken the gloves off, and their wallets out, and told Robert Kirkman and his crew, “Look, “Breaking Bad” is ending, “Mad Men” only takes places in an office building, here is the cash that you need, and deserve.”  Basically, two-and-a-half seasons of preparation is coming together and come February 2013 I believe all Walking Dead fans will be very happy with AMC as they are finally figuring out a show that seemed to be aimless a year ago.

If you’re a comic book reader, which I’m not, I’m sure there are many things that you might like or dislike about this season, but as simply a TV watcher, I’m thoroughly enjoying myself and like the way the journey is shaping out.  The secrets of the prison are slowly being unraveled, and speaking of unraveled, the sanity of Rick seems to be heading in that direction after the death of his wife Lori, and birth of his daughter who I’ll just join Daryl in calling, “Asskicker.”

We finally meet The Governor, played by David Morrissey, and he lives up the hype as one of the greatest villians in comic book history.  He runs the town of Woodbury with not so much an iron fist, but a smile and brass knuckles behind his back.  He’s charming enough for you to trust him, but one misgiving and he’ll be feeding you to the”biters” or collecting your head to save in his zombified fish tank trophy room.  I did find myself feeling sorry for him when his daughter was killed by Michonne, which tells you how effective Morrissey is at playing the sociopathic Governor, but then you remember that he was one move away from raping Maggie while Glenn listened in the other room.

Merle Dixon also makes his grand appearance after his mysterious disappearance in Season One.  He’s almost in more piece and is now rocking a spiffy hand knife that would make Captain Hook blush.  What’s interesting about Merle is that while he is a blood thirsty, racist, psychotic redneck he still cares for his wayward brother, Daryl, and never gives up hope of finding him.  Given the way Episode 8 ended, will Daryl and Merle’s bond become stronger or will it break as the two brothers are forced to make a decision that will change one of their camp’s lives forever.  Even better is that fact that neither exist in the comic books so even die-hard fans don’t really know what will become of the Dixon brothers going forward.

What got me excited is the introduction of another gang of survivors lead by Tyreese, played by Chad Coleman, who you might remember as Cutty from “The Wire.” I remember hearing the casting choice and I thought it was spot on just reading about the character from the comic book, but not really knowing what will become of him in the future and if his and Rick’s camp can co-exist, given the looming menace of The Governor.

Overall, the first half of the season has been solid.  With a budget, good writing, and strong performances from all characters, even Carl, who I’m starting to warm up to now, the next eight episodes should be something to behold.  I hope you’ve been preparing  for the zombie Apocalypse, because it should be a hell of a ride.

Fun Fact:  This isn’t Chad Coleman’s first rodeo with the undead.  He provided the voice over talent for the character “Coach” in Left for Dead 2. 

October 15, 2012

Simplistic TV 31 Nights of Halloween, The Walking Dead, Season Three Premier

The Walking Dead, Season Three Premier – Solid

It’s about damn time AMC gave “The Walking Dead” the money it deserves.  Listen, I know that people love “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad,” I understand that, but out of the big three shows on AMC the last few years, “The Walking Dead” really got the shaft.  Season two came out of the gates strong, whimpered in the middle, and after AMC found some money to throw at “Dead,” it ended with a bang, literally.  If the first episode of Season Three, entitled “Seed,” is any inclination of what is in store for our survivors, I’d say this is a solid start.

*Keep this in mind while reading further; there might be a few spoilers from last season so if you’re new to “The Walking Dead” I would advise watching the previous two seasons.*

When we last saw our survivors the farm had burned down, Andrea was separated from the group, Rick got the pleasant news that Lori’s baby wasn’t his, and the rest of the group had found out that they were all infected with the “Walker Virus.”  Just another day in the zombie apocalypse.  We pick up roughly six months later with everyone grizzlier, Lori looking a little more pregnant, and Carl looking way older.  The one thing I found interesting, and real cool, was that no one spoke in the first five minutes of the show before the opening credits.  It shows what the group has been through and one of two things; there is a lot of resentment towards Rick after his bombshell at the end of Season Two, or the group knows what it needs to do and verbal communication has gone out of the window.  It was a nice touch and not something you see too often in character-heavy dramas.

This episode is probably one of the goriest episodes to date, with a ton of zombies meeting their demises, again, and a shocker of an ending that I won’t spoil, but I’m sure those who have read the comics (I’m not one of them) might have an idea, but apparently it deviates (cryptic, huh?)

Overall,  this was a solid episode, and it’s certainly planting the “Seed” for things to come.  What will happen to Lori’s baby (zombie baby), what will become of Herschel, who are the armless, jaw-less zombies on a leash, and so much more.

Fun Fact:  Robert Kirkman, the creator of “The Walking Dead” comic series is also a co-owner of Image Comics, known for it’s comic series “Spawn.”

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