Day 310: Daredevil

Daredevil on Netflix.

Daredevil on Netflix.

I recently posted about how much my wife and I are enjoying Gotham. After a few episodes, I decided to start watching Daredevil on Netflix.

Needless to say, the rest of Gotham has been put on hold.

I’m three-quarters of the way into the first season and so far Daredevil has been superb. He’s one of my favorite superheroes, but I put off starting the series because I was scarred from the Ben Affleck version. It was okay, but nowhere near as gritty as I thought it should be. And Affleck didn’t do it for me as a superhero (which is why I’m sure I’ll put off watching Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice).

I grew up on Frank Miller’s version of The Man Without Fear, which was gritty before gritty was cool. The Born Again storyline, along with The Big Three (Maus, Watchmen, and The Dark Knight Returns) changed the way I looked at comic books.

The Netflix series has been everything I wanted from Daredevil. It’s not about a superhero saving the world, but rather the story of a city, Hell’s Kitchen in New York, and the people trying to control it/save it. It’s more like The Wire, which is only the greatest TV show ever. There are no corny one-liners or sly nods to the audience. The fight scenes aren’t over-the-top, and the fight in episode two where Daredevil goes into the heart of bad guys’ sanctuary was an all-time great.

Yes, a show produced for the small (and mobile) screen has an all-time superhero scene. Television, or what we call TV these days, has come a long way and mostly for the better.

Day 303: Supergirl



What a great time to be a comic-book fan. It feels like there’s a constant supply of movies and TV shows featuring superheroes. Whether it’s Daredevil on Netflix or Arrow on the CW, the Avengers or Batman on the big screen, this has to be the Golden Age of comic book superheroes on the screen.

We had a minor comic book character like Ant-Man headlining a big-budget summer blockbuster and it was terrific. And as long as there’s money to be made, the studios will continue making this type of entertainment.

My question is, when does the bubble burst?

There have been some flops (John Carter, anyone?), but that hasn’t stopped Hollywood from bankrolling comic book superheroes. This is a good thing because Supergirl made it to the small screen this week.

I never read the Supergirl comic book. Or saw the 80s adaptation. But the pilot for the show was terrific: fast-paced, comic-booky, family-friendly, action-packed, and with enough plot to make me want to continue watching. And I loved the cameos from Superman-related actors as well as the reimagined Jimmy “James” Olson.

My wife’s not a big comic book fan or sci-fi fan, but she enjoyed Supergirl as much as I did. I know it’s only the first episode, so we’ll see how the rest of the season plays out, but so far I’m impressed.

Day 300: The Walking (Maybe) Dead

The Walking Dead Season 6.

The Walking Dead Season 6.

If you haven’t watched Episode 3  of Season 6 (“Thank You”) of The Walking Dead yet, skip this post.























My favorite character is dead. Maybe.

From pizza delivery kid to Rick’s right-hand man, I’ve rooted for Glenn since he appeared and loved how his character grew throughout the show. While Rick has slowly lost his humanity, Glenn has never lost his.

Nobody would have blamed Glenn for killing Nicholas in the woods, yet he gave the man a chance to redeem himself. It was this good deed that might have cost him his life.

It sure looked like Glenn was ripped apart by zombies after Nicholas offed himself. It was a terrible way to go as the horde of walkers closed in on them, Nicholas committed suicide, and his body fell into Glenn, causing them to tumble into the waiting zombies.

There are theories that Glenn isn’t dead, though. I haven’t read the comic books, so I’m not sure if that plays into this. One theory explains how he is actually underneath Nicholas, who is the one getting torn to pieces, while another theory points to the fact that actor Steven Yuen didn’t show up on the Talking Dead, the after-show where the actors who have been killed chat about their work on the series.

I’m open to believing that second theory. The first could be plausible, too, with some nifty camera work. I didn’t read anything about a dream sequence, but that might be another way to explain it since Nicholas was having those weird zone-outs prior to killing himself. Maybe Glenn woke up Nicholas before he put the gun to his head?

As I typed that last paragraph I realized dream sequence would be a pretty lame cop-out. The show is too smart for that. I hope.

Whatever the answer is, I expect most of the main characters to die eventually. It’s what makes the Walking Dead so great: nobody’s untouchable.

Note: I haven’t looked it up yet, but wasn’t the music in this episode reminiscent of the classic Romero movies? If the zombie apocalypse ever hits, you can bet the sound of synthesizers will be playing somewhere.

Day 284: Sunday Zombie Day

The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead

Sundays are always more fun with football and zombies. Although the Raiders lost again, at least season six of the Walking Dead was on tonight.

My wife and put together our zombie costumes with a little help from the 99 Cents Store and some of our old clothes. We went as slumber party zombies to the season premiere showing sponsored by our local comic book store.

As seen in the photo above, we ran into our friends Sasha, The Governor, and Michonne. Can’t wait for the mid-season party!

Day 274: Batman Begins

Batman Begins

Batman Begins

My wife and I have been watching season one of Gotham. It’s a good cop drama based in Batman’s world, with lots of the DC universe re-told from the perspective of good cop James Gordon.

When I learned Batman Begins was streaming on Netflix tonight, I couldn’t resist jumping ahead in the Gotham timeline. It’s a terrific film, at the time the best comic-book movie I’d seen (and which would be surpassed by its brilliant sequel The Dark Knight). The Ra’s al Ghul backstory is terrific, as is the process of creating the Batman. And Michael Caine’s Alfred is still my favorite depiction of the character.

The re-imagined world of Gotham the TV series was a great prelude to Batman Begins and I have my hopes up for a mini-series starring the Dark Knight, a la Daredevil. Until then, Christopher Nolan’s trilogy is a good way to get my Batman fix.

Day 272: Boy II Man

Boy II Man

Boy II Man

I have to admit, I was apprehensive about the second season of Fresh Off the Boat (yes, I still get repsweats). Would it continue to deliver laughs along the lines of the first season? Or would it fall victim to the dreaded sophomore slump?

Two episodes in and all is well in the Huang world. The show, despite losing the real Eddie Huang as narrator, is still cracking me up. And tonight’s homage to the Boyz II Men classic “End of the Road” was nothing short of genius.

Remember in the movie Swingers when the guys joked about the Goodfellas steadicam restaurant scene and then re-did it a few moments later? Tonight was Fresh Off the Boat’s moment, when Eddie is down in the dumps about Nicole then he’s suddenly living out the Boyz II Men video.

Hilarious … and it only got better as the Huang men later sang an acapella version, complete with the “Girl …” breakdown. My wife and i were literally laughing out loud.

Shout-out to Phil Yu, Jenny Yang, and the #FreshOffTheShow crew for the best after-show wrap-up on the web. Go here next week to join the party; the show begins about five minutes after Fresh Off the Boat.

Day 170: The Beard Is Coming

Game of Thrones meme

Game of Thrones meme

I stopped by the library to find a copy of the Searching for Sugar Man soundtrack. I took it to the check-out counter, where I hadn’t seen one of the clerks in quite some time. She commented on my beard and asked the same question my wife had asked me recently: “Why grow it now? Won’t it be hot?”

I said something about protecting my face against the elements, but decided to come clean and got a good laugh from the entire front-counter staff: “Actually, we’ve been binge-watching Game of Thrones lately.”


Day 162: Metastasis



Thanks to Netflix, I’m practicing my Spanish. No, I didn’t find a streaming Spanish-language class. I’ve watched a few episodes of Metastasis, the Columbian remake of Breaking Bad. I love how close the producers stuck to the original; why ruin a good thing by remaking it?

Diego Trujillo is terrific as Walter Blanco (ha!). The scripts so far have been exact replicas of Breaking Bad, except for the language spoken. I’m surprised how riveting the series is so far, especially since I already know what’s going to happen. And while my Spanish hasn’t improved after a few episodes, hopefully that’ll change by the end of the series, or “El Fin.”

Day 141: Next Binge

The X-Files

The X-Files

My wife has never watched the X-Files, so we’re starting with the pilot and she’s leaving it up to me to pick-and-choose the best episodes to binge. It got me excited again for next year’s limited series and I’m going through articles with titles like “Best X-Files Episodes to Watch Before Next Year” and “Scariest X-Files Episodes Ever.” I’ll introduce her to Eugene Tooms next, then perhaps cool things off with Jose Chung.

I hope she takes to the show like I did so many years ago. It’ll give us another excellent series to binge together … and I definitely don’t want to watch Home by myself again.

Day 140: Letterman

David Letterman

David Letterman

Tonight’s the big finale for David Letterman, who wraps up his late-night run after 31 years.

My cousin showed me the way to Letterman back in the mid ’80s, when a wacky character named Pee Wee Herman was being introduced to America. I loved Letterman and his silly, genre-redefining comedy, from Larry “Bud” Melman to Stupid Pet Tricks, the Velcro suit to Mujibur and Sirajul. By the time he moved to CBS from NBC, I’d lost interest in late-night television, except for the occasional episode of Arsenio Hall or, later, the Conan O’Brien show. For me, staying up late back then was for doing anything except watching television.

There’s something to be said for Dave’s longevity. Late-night comedy has changed a lot in my lifetime and Dave was right in the middle of those changes, taking the torch (along with Jay Leno) from Johnny Carson (who took it from Jack Paar and Steve Allen) before handing it off to Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon and the rest of the digital-age hosts.

While Dave hasn’t had his best stuff in years, he was funny whenever I did manage to watch some of his show. It was comforting to know that he was there on CBS, plugging away and available if I happened to turn on the TV after 11:30pm. I’ll miss that.

Farewell, Mr. Letterman.