mirzya trailer #2

I don’t plan on doing trailer reviews all that often (if at all), but this one was excellent.

I liked this much better than the first trailer. Not that I didn’t like the first trailer, which was really good, just that this one was excellent, as I said above. Trailers that are cut to the music are always better, in my opinion, and in this one ROMP used “Hota Hai,” which is my favorite song off of the Mirzya album. (Also this was just cut superbly.) This is the best Bollywood trailer I have ever seen (yes, INCLUDING Bajirao Mastani‘s (2015), which gives me tons and tons of feelings but is not as great).

Best moments: 0:38, because timing.

0:57, again, timing. (They used the gun noises so well, honestly.)

1:30, because the transition between the wedding/mehndi and the dancing that’s part of “Chakora” got me good.

2:21, because Mirzya (Harshvardhan Kapoor) sounds so young as he denies his love for Sahiban (Saiyami Kher). Good stuff, Harsh.

Last notes: at the end, are there white people? Are they the ones dressed in red, with Sahiban on their side? Why?

Mirzya’s bow looks quite cool with the blue accents. Sahiban’s red Sabyasachi lehenga is the bomb. It’s gorgeous and beautiful and perfect for this film (I have a deep obsession with Sabyasachi, my dudes). 17/10 would wear at my wedding. (maybe. pants option?)

And Saiyami Kher is so pretty! And, so far, believable as both past- and present-Sahiban. Where did she come from—she’s not a star kid, so…?

Guys, breaking, I just fact-checked myself, she’s basically a star kid. Also, Saiyami has been a model for a while, which I should have totally guessed, because her bone structure is Matt Bomer-level. Her aunts are Tanvi and Shabana Azmi. The former was in Bajirao Mastani  as Bajirao’s nasty mom, and in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013) as Bunny’s mom, and in Darr (1993) as no one’s mom. The latter Azmi has been in over 120 (!!) Hindi and Bengali films, including Umrao Jaan (2006) and Neerja (2016). She’s also a prolific activist.

Oh, man, but wait, Shabana is also Farhan and Zoya Akhtar’s stepmom, the connections never end. For my non-indoctrinated readers, Farhan is an actor and a singer, and Zoya, his sister, is a director. So then is Saiyami cousin to Farhan and Zoya? My thinking says yes. Let nepotism prevail so Saiyami can do a Zoya movie and be successful.

This has become a tangent, and I’m going to exacerbate it. Zoya’s next is a film called Gully Boy (not galli, which pisses me off), based on the lives of the Indian rappers Naezy and Divine. Ranveer Singh is basically #confirmed to star, and with all hope Fawad Khan will join him. Here’s some info; the photo they use of Ranveer is hilarious. So what if Saiyami got in on this action and played a rapper alongside Ranveer (and Fawad)? This is some real deal fantasizing and 100% will not happen but I’m knocking on wood anyway. I can dream.

Okay, good night guys. Book reviews tomorrow maybe? Oh, no, comics tomorrow. Books later. Sleep well. (Listen to the Mirzya soundtrack; the movie comes out on October 7th.)

premiere week review

I know I said I was only going to review Empire and Bull, but a few short blurbs never hurt anybody.

Sorry it’s been a while—when I started this post I forgot to take into account that premiere week had to actually end.

BULL (CBS)

Like, it’s fine. This pilot episode (“The Necklace”) felt nothing like a pilot episode in that virtually nobody besides Dr. Bull (Michael Weatherly) was introduced by name. The other characters were just tropes: youthful punk hacker, tough ex-cop, lawyer lady (though all three are women, which is a plus)… The defendant and his father were more fleshed out than the series regulars. This felt more like the sixth episode of the season and not the first.

However, Chris Jackson is a funny, funny man. I can’t decide if his outfits are great or terrible.

Nonetheless Weatherly is hilarious. I am so, so glad he got his own show. He is also being dressed much better than he was on NCIS, and blue is really his color, it seems. I’ll keep watching. (6.7/10 with room for improvement)

EMPIRE (FOX)

Okay, I won’t spoil anything about this episode but it was really intense. Edge of my seat, grasping at my face, gasping, etc. Songs were eh this week, but there’s a new voice that I dig. Luscious is as terrible as always, there is no end in sight to our torture. Jamal brings up the garbage can incident YET AGAIN. But good stuff overall; hopefully the show is back on track. (8.5/10 needed more lion imagery)

BLACKLIST (NBC)

Solid and classic. Gave a good amount of procedural B-ish plot while keeping the serial story going. Acting on point. Use of actual newborn baby a HUGE plus. This episode picked up right where we left off and it benefited from the steady action. Thing I liked/that stuck out: Samar’s (Mozhan Marnò) very valid enmity towards Liz (Megan Boone) for faking her death. I don’t know, I feel like these sorts of plot points (i.e., big earthshaking decisions by the protagonist) sometimes don’t get addressed properly or just get passed over and forgiven, so this was nice. But I don’t want what is literally the only female friendship in the show to implode because of this. I don’t think it will, but who knows. Best line:

KIRK: I have a blood disorder.

LIZ: Good.

(8.7/10 Spader’s hat game is unreal)

HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER (ABC)

This episode totally surprised me. Again, I won’t spoil anything, but what I thought would be the prevailing mystery this season was solved in about five seconds. Wes is still a sad boy, Connor’s long hair is weird but okay, and Laurel also did something with her hair and I a) can’t tell what it is and b) dislike it? This episode was light on OMG-style drama and heavy on emotions and relationships (Wes-Laurel, Connor-Oliver, Annalise-Keating 5) and the consequences of last season’s choices. Wes is also being a real jerk to Laurel. I honestly thought his girlfriend didn’t exist until she actually appeared.

A structural note: not only do we get flashforwards this season, we also get flashbacks! The flashbacks are not in this show’s characteristic teal mystery light, but rather in a warm glow that made me think that I’d left my computer’s night mode on. Over the summer, each of the five students met Annalise in some way, with some encounters ending amicably and others not so much. For a while I wondered if we were in fact going to get a big mystery because nothing was happening on that front, but I guess of course we had to, right? My big mystery theory (not spoiling anything, but for those of you who’ve seen it): it’s Wes, Nate, or Bonnie. I think. But I could be proven completely wrong next week, so.

Last thing: there’s a scene where Annalise is on the (flip!) phone with someone at the end, and I feel that it was shot very well.

True last thing/trivial detail: the opening credit where it shows the chalkboard now says “CREATED BY PETE NOWALK” after the show name disappears. Was he tired of his big work being mistaken for Shonda’s? I don’t know (yes).

(9/10 thank god these kids have finally reached their second year)

NOTORIOUS (ABC)

Goodness, this one is pretty bad. I have an idealistic hope that it’ll get better, but right now it is awkward and strange. Piper Perabo and Daniel Sunjata are charismatic enough to be fun to watch, but the writing is so stilted and cringeworthy (“Boss lady? How do you like your meat?”) that I found myself, well, cringing. Though when Louise dramatically tossed her phone behind her I laughed a good bit despite it all. The mystery in this episode was interesting, but they cut off in the middle in a weird, non-cliffhangery way. That is, they dropped a surprise, but then they ended the episode in an amicable and boring way. I want to know what happens! Also I want to know why this is so bad! One of the writer-creators worked on CSI:Bones, AND The Blacklist, so I am very, very confused as to why he’s (currently) failing at what should be a simple execution of an edgy procedural Sports Night. This show has a 26% on Rotten Tomatoes. I’m tempted to fly to L.A. and run/write Notorious myself. (4 or 5/10 for their version 10/10 for my theoretical one)

QUANTICO (ABC)

This premiere was the best episode of television I watched this week. I know, right? Quantico, of all things…

Firstly, I like the new thing they’re doing with the time jumps. The first ones said “THEN” and “NOW,” and from there they said either “1 YEAR LATER” or “378 DAYS LATER” with other figures on the periphery. These jumps came with a Blacklist-y sound effect.

As for the plot of this season, the present (with Alex at the Farm), involves her, and Ryan, because he had to be in there somewhere, trying to uncover a conspiracy of rogue agents who’d like total autonomy and no Patriot Act/laws governing espionage/what have you. This intrigues me. It’s super Jason Bourne-ian in that it’s the old free-range guard versus the new “constrained” set. Blair Underwood’s character, instructor Owen Hall, is supposedly the recruiter for this conspiracy. (Blair is great, but he sounds just like Miranda and Liam did last season. I guess that’s the point, though.) Aside: I always think of the “present” stuff as the past and the “future” stuff as the present, but I’ll stick to the official story to save confusion.

In the future, there’s another explosion in New York, and wouldn’t you know, Alex is there to witness it! Also there is drama between her and Ryan. The writing implies Ryan is dating someone else, but they could be tricking us (I initially thought the “she” Alex kept mentioning was the First Lady, but, well, decidedly not). Alex and Shelby’s equation seems fine, if a touch cool, but I think that’s imposed by some superiors or something—Alex says “I know we’re not supposed to talk” during their conversation.

The terrorist group behind the explosions calls itself the Citizen’s Liberation Front, which I will be calling the CLF for the rest of the season. They wear funky masks with depressions for the eyes. Actually, how do they see through those? They look like solid carbon fiber… Anyway, there’s a bunch of mystery behind them as well, obviously.

Nimah’s outfit was on point, and apparently she speaks Swahili. Other than that, she didn’t have a lot to do this outing. There was no sign of Raina. I’m interested to see who in the supporting cast will get the most screentime given that there are like six new characters.

Also, what is it with this show and people jumping out of windows?

I saved my big peeve for last (this is just stream-of-consciousness rage folks): they changed the opening logo it is ugly and squat and it reads QUAN2CO. QUAN2CO! I thought this was just the hashtag they were using (read: something dumb Priyanka thought up) but boy was I wrong! There it was, on international television for everyone to cringe and laugh at! But the logo at the end was the same one! Seriously though why didn’t they use the same font as the original logo for this QUAN2CO mess? It’s so much nicer. I am mad as HECK. (9.5/10 0.3 points subtracted for lighting Priyanka in a way that made her look pinkish)

Okay sorry but are they going to do QUAN3CO? That doesn’t work! And this program is going to at least five seasons (knock on wood but also don’t because Priyanka needs to do a Bollywood movie), so QUAN4CO? Or will they just change it to THE 4ARM? What about season five?

___

Anyway. Two book reviews this week, hopefully, and maybe I’ll finally review my new pen. Next week I tell you what-all is in my pen case (so much, just so much stuff). Get excited, tell your classmates, GPs, Twitter followers, etc. Good night.

weekly comics review

And we’re back! I haven’t been busy, per se, but I’ve been tired. Here we go.

LUCIFER #10: Black, Garbett, Fabela

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This is another series I have to reread. That aside, the art is awesome, and I love Black’s storytelling. (I have loved it since The Spiderwick Chronicles, in fact.) Anyway, good stuff. I like where they’re going with this story arc, flipping everything upside down. It’s gonna be good. (8.7/10)

THE MIGHTY THOR #11: Aaron, Dauterman, Wilson

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Like Hollingsworth below, Matt Wilson’s colors are fantastic in this issue (in every Thor issue, actually). And Dauterman’s art! When Roxxon’s island burns, the reveal panels at the end…he is the real deal. Ever since I read the end pages of the last issue I have been antsy for this one. Aaron delivered, obviously. It also looks like we’re getting a new arc about the origins of Mjolnir that looks really interesting. (9.7/10)

PATSY WALKER, AKA HELLCAT! #10: Leth, Williams, Wilson

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I 👏🏾 love 👏🏾 Hellcat 👏🏾. Honestly, every issue just makes me happy (except #8, which was depressing as all get out). This was another fun romp through the world(s) of Marvel’s “street heroes;” i.e., the ones who don’t get in the big fights, who choose not to fight with their friends… Anyway, some of Hellcat’s old boyfriends show up, she ends up in another dimension, fun ensues. It helps that Williams’ art and Wilson’s colors are so bright and optimistic. Everyone go read Hellcat, you’ll enjoy yourselves.(9.7/10)

POWER MAN AND IRON FIST #8: Walker, Greene, Flaviano, Rauch

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This series is average. (Is that too harsh? Oh well.) Marvel released a new Heroes for Hire series on the heels of the success of Jessica Jones, and I was pumped for a Luke Cage comic, a black hero…it’s fine. I like all of the Marvel “street heroes” comics, as I mentioned above, so it’s got that going for it. Also currently tackling the problems with predictive policing, prejudice against former criminals, so that also. Good art, good diversity. (7/10)

PUNISHER #5: Cloonan, Dillon, Martin

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My friend Mary and I were big fans of the Punisher in his incarnation on Daredevil this year. This comic appropriately fills the void for me as we wait for the Punisher tv series to appear. (Reading the letters section of this issue, it seems Daredevil brought a lot of Frank fans to the comics party.) It’s action-packed, well-drawn, and suitably messed-up. This issue was kind of the end of the arc? Maybe? Either that, or the equivalent of a midseason finale. Cloonan does a great job with this series. I’m always very excited to get to the end and see what happens. However, the main antagonist’s name is Face, and he’s a very sadistic/gross dude, which is weird for me because of Face from the A-Team. Also I just realized that Frank’s hand is escaping his straitjacket on the cover, so watch out criminals everywhere. (8.7/10)

SEVEN TO ETERNITY #1: Remender, Opeña, Hollingsworth

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Firstly, Matt Hollingsworth is on point here with his colors. Secondly, I’m not super sure why I decided to add this series to my list—I kept seeing the ad for it in the back of Tokyo Ghost and some other Image stuff, and it looked cool? I really enjoyed Ghost, as well. Suffice to say I’m glad I grabbed it, because this was awesome.

The worldbuilding alone is just incredible. Add Opeña’s art (I’ve never read a work illustrated by him, but I’m gonna be on the lookout now) and it looks like this is going to be a hit. I don’t really want to say anything and spoil the fun of seeing it yourselves, but some things I liked about the art was the use of light, the way Opeña drew Adam’s steed, and I loved Rus Wooton’s lettering. Writing-wise, this is like your favorite fantasy novel, but as a comic. And aside from the sci-fi bit, it’s a story about family, morals, manipulation, and honor maybe? Pick this one up. (9.87/10)

THE WICKED + THE DIVINE 1831AD: Gillen, Hans, Cowles

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The Wicked + the Divine is the first comic series I started picking up on a regular basis. So basically I have been waiting impatiently ever since Kieron announced (a while ago, I feel like) that the team was doing one-shots with past pantheons. This did not disappoint! I had no idea Hans was doing the art for this one, so that was also a welcome surprise. Her variant cover for issue #3 of this same series is one of my favorites, and her work on Angela: Asgard’s Assassin is just so so so so good. This description is from the official solicit:

“Critically-acclaimed THE WICKED + THE DIVINE goes back to the nineteenth century, to see what became of the Romantic poets one infamous night on Lake Geneva…”

Basically, Mary & Percy Bysshe and co. were all part of a past pantheon, and the whole Lake Geneva thing was part of them spending their last days together. This was fabulous, as it always, always is. The only bad thing that I have to say about this issue is that Kieron didn’t have a commentary section. (Also Ananke, but whatever.) This made me laugh (spoilers, though). NONE MORE THOTH (10/10)

Soon: movie review, Bull pilot review (if my cable provider will come through), Empire premiere review, and a book review or two. Spread the word!

eddie daniels quartet

There’s an Artist Recital Series at my college, and the first concert this year (on what happens to be my siblings’ birthday, hooray hooray) was played by the Eddie Daniels Quartet. Eddie Daniels on clarinet and sax, Darek Oles on the bass, Alan Pasqua on the piano, and Joe La Barbera on the drums.

I’m going to start with the visuals. Daniels’ clarinet is made of a dark red wood and the rim of the bell was thicker and rounder than I am used to seeing. His sax—well, it was a sax, and the way it gleamed made me miss playing the trumpet. La Barbera’s drum set was probably made of some light wood or something, but under the stage lights it looked rose gold, though; not Apple’s rose gold, which is super pink, but like real rose gold, which is barely pink at all and in fact is quite peachy. Oles was playing Milt Hinton’s bass, which was bequeathed to the college upon his passing in 2000. The bass was beautifully worn, and its strings looked like spun gold under the light. Pasqua was playing a Steinway. Now I’ve seen Steinways before, but this one was something special. Steinways make me feel a certain kind of way. This one shone so well I could count the strings on the underside of the lid, black and glossy like some fancy space abyss. The neat gold logo, the good font—Steinways sing richesse to me, and I love it.

During the show, while he was not playing, Daniels would drift off to the right (my right, stage left), nodding his head, saying things I couldn’t hear, exclaiming “yeah!” at his pals’ solos, gesturing for us to clap. He was very Springsteenian in that respect. Pasqua would lift out of his seat when he went for an emphatic high chord. Oles kept closing his eyes when he got really into his part. And La Barbera was just smashing away. I often wanted to get up and stomp around while he played. About halfway through, maybe 9:15, the people on either side of me left, so I started drumming on the edge of the pew, boppin’ about like no one’s business. (Almost nobody was nodding their heads or tapping their feet. It was really weird. The audience was mostly old white people—not that all old white people don’t nod and tap to jazz, but these old white people didn’t, which was weird to me. They did stand at the end though, and the couple behind me was tapping, nodding, drumming, mmhmming.)

The set was announced as they went, and it was:

“Three and One,” by Thad Jones

“Pretty Women,” from Steven Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd

“Duke at the Roadhouse,” by Eddie Daniels

“Rain Check,” by Billy Strayhorn

? (I liked it, but unfortunately the title wasn’t given)

“Barcelona,” by Alan Pasqua

“Turnaround,” by Alan Pasqua

“Tango Nova,” by Eddie Daniels

“Tricotism,” by Oscar Pettiford

“Rhythm-a-ning,” Thelonious Monk

and, after a standing ovation and the quartet’s temporary exit:

“What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life,” by Michel Legrand

In a word, it was awesome. I discovered that I like jazz this summer, and this was good jazz, great jazz, and I enjoyed every note. Daniels’ clarinet was like a river onstage, and his sax was brassy and bossy but still could be soft at times. You could tell they were all having fun, and Pasqua was getting his life up there, his fingers dancing on the keys, hopping around on his seat. His solos were bright and virtuosic, warm. Oles, as I said, closed his eyes when he got into a piece, and it reflected in his playing. He was solid throughout, and his solo on “Tricotism” was unbelievable. Hinton’s bass seems a little magical to me, and Oles found a way to draw that witchery out in full force. La Barbera also had a fantastic solo, but I don’t remember on which song (that was when I was most tempted to rise and stomp). In another solo he used only brushes, and I loved that one as well.

My favorite number was “Rhythm-a-ning,” probably because it was the fastest. “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life” was beautiful, as was “Barcelona.”

Daniels told us he played with Hinton, and Duke Ellington, and Gene Cipriano, too, I think. He told us stories about all three of them, along with Barbra Streisand. Hinton was called “the Judge,” and apparently he called everyone else “the Judge.” Daniels played with Ellington before his bar mitzvah, just him and Duke, New York, clarinet and piano. Gene Cipriano (“Cip”) once mumbled something as he walked past Barbra Streisand in a recording studio. She said, “What?!” and he said, “Yo Barbra, you’re beautiful.” According to Daniels, she melted. Also according to Daniels, Cipriano invented “yo.”

Milt Hinton was a jazz player, but he also was a photographer. The college has a bunch of his photos up in the conservatory lobby, and my favorite is this one, of Melba Liston (recording studio, New York, c. 1963):

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In all I really enjoyed the experience. Jazz is such a warm sound to me, and it was nice and cozy in the chapel. I bought the CD afterward, and after I save the songs I’m going to send it to my grandfather, a true jazz-lovin’ man.

Sleep well, y’all. Tell your bandmates, your college professors, your students.

weekly comics review

Comics come out on Wednesdays, so I think this post will usually appear on Wednesday evenings/Thursday mornings.

A-FORCE #9: Thompson, Siqueira

af9I dig the throwback aspect of this cover, specifically where it says “TERROR” in the scratchy font. I also just realized that the cover basically spoils the last page of this issue, but that’s another story. Civil War II makes me kinda mad, because did Marvel really need to kill another black superhero? Was it necessary to mess up She-Hulk? (The answer to both of these questions is no.) But this arc of A-Force has a lot more to do with bug people than Ulysses and all this Minority Report nonsense. I’m ambivalent about this issue—like it was fine, but it didn’t make my heart race or whatever. Plus, I really miss Ben Caldwell‘s art. For example:

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and

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He’s doin’ some funky stuff that I just LOVE, especially in that shot of Dazzler Thor. (7/10)

ALL-STAR BATMAN #2: Snyder, Romita Jr., Miki, Shalvey

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Like, what a nasty man.

Scott Snyder’s doing a great job with this one. I liked what he did with flashbacks in the first issue, and his plot pacing is solid. There isn’t much to say, sorry—I’m pumped to see where this goes, and to find out who Duke (his name is Duke, right?) is. I always love Declan Shalvey’s art, so it’s a welcome interlude in this series. (9/10)

BATGIRL AND THE BIRDS OF PREY #2: Benson, Benson, Roe, Paquette

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Jim Gordon hanging out of that car like a wild man makes this cover for me. The Birds of Prey are awesome, and I’m glad they have their own comic again. But I’m concerned because Black Canary is the only bird there, so what gives?!

I liked this issue. Dinah and Babs are getting along better with Huntress, yay team-building. There’s a nice car chase scene and a good explosion, too. (8/10)

BLACK PANTHER #6: Coates, Sprouse, Story, Martin, Stelfreeze

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I’m finding myself almost indifferent to T’Challa. I mean, he’s a badass and a cool dude, but I’m sympathizing more with the Midnight Angels than with the Panther. However I think that’s what Coates is trying to do—no one character is doing everything right. They are just people, after all, and we make mistakes.

Anyways, Sprouse is doing a good job during Stelfreeze’s absence. There’s a good action scene in the second half of this issue, and to be honest I haven’t really noticed the art shift at all. The Djalia section of this issue was beautiful and touching. (9/10)

DC COMICS’ BOMBSHELLS #17: Bennett, Andolfo, Jarrell, Broome, Fitzpatrick

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I’m weak in this post, I know. Nonetheless, this is (usually) a feel-good comic, and this issue was no different, with heartwarming tales of Jewish heroines throughout and a rousing rescue at the end. This was a touching issue that blended solemn moments with action scenes very well. (8/10)

DOOM PATROL #1: Way, Derington, Bonvillain

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I had clue what was happening in Doom Patrol #1, and I liked it. From the surprise under the burrito on the cover to the end of this issue, I enjoyed myself. Nick Derington’s art looked really familiar, but I couldn’t place it. (Still can’t; if you can tell me in the comments.) It’s probably reminiscent of some picture book I can’t recall.

I recently (five seconds ago) learned that Doom Patrol is not a new series. It’s just getting a reboot with the launch of DC’s new imprint, Young Animal. So hopefully they’ll give us some background in issue #2, because I was lost.

Our protagonist, Casey the EMT, reminds me a little of Leth’s incarnation of Hellcat in her steadfast optimism and unshakeable grin.

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I laughed really hard at this panel. (9.5/10)

GOTHAM ACADEMY SECOND SEMESTER #1: Fletcher, Kerschl, Cloonan, Archer, Msassyk, Hope, LaPointe

gaOlive has clearly never read a coming-of-age book geared toward younger readers or she would have known to stay away from Amy, who clearly has anger/manipulation issues and is a Bad Influence.

That aside, this issue nicely sets up more mystery and introduces a new character, Amy, who I assume is the antagonist for this arc (or at least one of them). Fun fact: the jacket Amy is wearing on the cover has Becky Cloonan’s “Stoked” Grim Reaper design she made for Rogue Screen Print (it also comes as a patch). (7.9/10)

LUMBERJANES/GOTHAM ACADEMY #4: Clugston Flores, Valero-O’Connell, Gonzalez, Cogar

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Natacha Bustos’ cover is my favorite this week, and my favorite Lumberjanes/Gotham Academy one so far. And Rosemary Valero O’Connell’s pencils warm my heart every month, along with Whitney Cogar’s vibrant colors.

I love this mashup. I was skeptical when I first heard about it, but it’s tons of fun. The dynamics between the campers and the Detective Club are great, and it’s nice to see familiar characters in new situations. All in all a fantastic read. (9.77/10)

SOUTHERN CROSS #7: Cloonan, Belanger, Loughridge

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Even though I’m super-confused about what’s happening in Southern Cross, I loved this issue. Belanger’s art is a perfect fit for this weird space-rigger dark-Firefly style plot, and the colors are great too. I miss Cloonan’s covers but Loughridge’s is fantastic. I need to reread the first arc stat. (Also Kyril is a damn liar.) I’m excited to meet these new characters and get into the dark heart of ZEMI. (9.5/10)

WONDER WOMAN #6 (YEAR ONE): Rucka, Scott, Fajardo Jr.

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I love Nicola Scott’s art. It’s just gorgeous. This issue was funnier than the previous ones due to the language barrier between Diana and everyone else. She also received a visit from some gods in the guise of those animals on the cover, so I’m anticipating the consequences of that in the issue after next (right? this two-a-month thing’s got me confused). (9/10)

Alright folks! Tell your friends, teachers, acquaintances.

fall tv preview

I decided to skip a dedicated intro post. I found it a little awkward, to be honest. You’ll get to know me as we go (hopefully). But as a cursory hello–I’m Indrani. I love TV, pens and stationery, Bollywood, books, comics, movies, and I’m sure a lot of other things that I can’t think of right now. For one, the New York Times (specifically the Sunday edition).

Fall TV. Shall we?

New shows first.

QUEEN SUGAR (OWN)

Queen Sugar has already aired its first three episodes at this point, and I’d recommend that you watch them all posthaste. Ava DuVernay’s silver screen debut has everything I like—good soundtrack, good story, good color, and, most importantly (for me at least), a super-diverse, overwhelmingly majority non-white cast. Queen Sugar is a family drama about three siblings that inherit their father’s languishing farm after he passes. The acting is fantastic and the characters feel real, vibrant, warm. The rest I’ll let y’all see for yourselves. (10PM)

BULL (CBS)

I love Michael Weatherly. I have loved him since season one of NCIS. Look at his hair.

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Thus I was so super-excited when I saw that he had gotten his own show, and right off of leaving NCIS to boot. Bull is a procedural drama about a jury consultant—I know, yet another procedural? (I happen to love a good procedural. It’s art when it’s done right.) Weatherly’s trademark sass, along with Chris Jackson’s (Hamilton) existence, will probably make this a regular watch for me. (09/20, 9PM)

NOTORIOUS (ABC)

Even though I hadn’t watched it in approximately three seasons, I was pissed when Covert Affairs (USA) ended because it meant Piper Perabo was no longer on TV. But we’re saved! Notorious is here. Also starring is Daniel Sunjata, no less fun to watch for being slightly problematic (also was forced off of the small screen when the criminally underrated Graceland, also on USA, was canceled last October).

To me, this looks like a classic ABC-circa-2009/2011 program. Which means right up my alley, as I really got into TV with shows like Castle and Revenge (I know). I sense that it’s going to be a bit procedural with a serial arc, like most ABC dramas, including the two I mentioned above. Nonetheless I’m seriously pumped for another will-they-won’t-they show. But Indrani, you ask, aren’t you tired of the same rom-com trope in every program playing out over five seasons and then fizzling out when the characters actually admit their feelings?

Nope! (09/22, 9PM)

CONVICTION (ABC)

I have similar feelings about Hayley Atwell as I do about Piper Perabo, except slightly stronger, probably due to her time in the Marvel Universe. Conviction, another semi-procedural that will likely include a will-they-won’t-they storyline, is about a conviction integrity unit. Atwell’s character is a hot mess of a hotshot attorney who’s blackmailed into joining the team. Plus, she’s a former president’s daughter. I really hope they do something—interesting, for lack of a better word—socially conscious, maybe? I hope they snatch headlines like The Good Wife did and critique the establishment a bit. But that’s just me.

Another Graceland alum appears in this show, Manny Montana, whose performance I recall enjoying. Also CSI: New York‘s Eddie Cahill, who has aged well, along with Shawn Ashmore of FOX’s The Following and also some X-Men stuff I guess? His twin brother Aaron was on Warehouse 13 once upon a time. Anyway, no matter how much Atwell’s American accent weirds me out, the combination of a conviction integrity unit and White House connections should be fun. (10/03, 10PM)

Now for returning shows.

EMPIRE (FOX)

Will this be the year that Danny Strong, Lee Daniels, and the other folks at FOX realize no one is watching this beautiful, wild program for Terrence Howard? I hope so, but I think not. I don’t really think I can say anything to you about Empire right now that hasn’t been said already. I’m excited. They can bring the crazy, I’m here for it. I’m ready to Snapchat my pal Jess about all the nonsense this show throws at us. I’m ready to yell “leave Andre/Jamal/Hakeem alone” at my laptop. As a side note: Hakeem is kind of my favorite Lyon brother. I know, I know. He’s super problematic and he needs a stylist. But if he improves himself he could be truly great, you feel me? Yeah. Jess hates Hakeem. I also got slight chills at 0:24 in this trailer. Taraji P. Henson is a gift to us, and that’s all. (09/21, 9PM)

HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER (ABC)

First thought: not sure if I like Connor’s (Jack Falahee) longer hair. But otherwise this looks like another gripping season of a fantastic show. My grandmother thinks HTGAWM (along with Empire) went a little off the rails last season. I think that’s okay. I think this show survives because of Viola Davis, and she keeps it ticking, and she keeps me watching. (Along with Karla Souza.) I like a mystery, and HTGAWM is the best kind. Again, not much to say that hasn’t been said already. (09/22, 10PM)

BLACKLIST (NBC)

The trailer I’ve linked to is 2/3 season three catch-up montage, and 1/3 new stuff that I actually hadn’t seen. I’m happily anticipating Liz being back in fighting form (read: brunette). This show is usually a fun watch, mainly for James Spader, but also for Diego Klattenhoff’s facial expressions (and name). They’ll take care of the serial arc early, then go procedural with a slow burn on the main plot, then ramp it up for midseason (maybe) and May sweeps. I want answers! Liz’s dad! Who is Red! Etc. And more Dembe (Hisham Tawfiq), and lots of Mozhan Marnò, who should have her own program. (09/22, 10PM)

☆゚. * ・ 。゚QUANTICO 。゚・ * . ☆゚ (ABC)

Let me start by saying that Priyanka Chopra is my favorite. Period.

Okay, moving along. I missed the second half or so of Quantico this spring—I tend to lose steam/gain laziness at midseason. I also missed the second half of Blacklist and caught up on HTGAWM and Empire with some encouragement (read: peer pressure). But I finished Quantico around the beginning of September and I’m 100% ready for season two. As for last season, I already knew who the terrorist was, and I was happy because I hated that character with a hot fire. But my foreknowledge didn’t actually take away all of the surprise, which is impressive for this silly show.

I really got into the characters in the spring half. Specifically, Caleb (Graham Rodgers), who is over-vilified and underrated. But I’m miffed that they picked the title Quantico for this show because Alex (Chopra) is going to work at the CIA in this coming season. Will she move back to the FBI eventually, making the name of her show actually relevant (somehow I think not)? Will the show mutate and change its title to The Farm (again, I definitely think not)? Whatever, Josh Safran. You do you, I guess. I will watch as long as Priyanka is present.

But as a Bollywood fan, I wonder–how long can she stay? Her main fanbase, and her main source of income, still lies in India, and she can only turn down so many films—such as Mr. Chaloo and Padmavati—before directors stop coming to her (or maybe not. She is Priyanka Chopra, after all). Side note: both Mr. Chaloo (which I was pumped for) and Padmavati (which is having the most hilarious problems) are having issues. But also I just want another Bollywood movie from her. It’s been nearly a year. These A-list youths need to get the idea of one or two movies a year out of their heads and do four or five like the 50-year-olds.

Okay, Bollywood digression over. Why am I excited for Quantico season two? Why should you watch? The mystery will be good. I know they stole the present/past gimmick from HTGAWM, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t effective. It’s a decently funny show. Henry Czerny from Revenge is in it, joining as a CIA employee (director? I do not know). Anybody from Revenge gets a gold star, thumbs-up from me. Yeah, in sum: Priyanka. (09/25, 10PM)

MADAM SECRETARY (ABC)

I watched all of Madam Secretary this summer. I had seen most of season one and had caught glimpses of season two as my mother watched. It’s a decent show, and it’s at its best when Téa Leoni and Tim Daly (who play wife and husband for the uninitiated) are acting alongside each other. They have fantastic chemistry, probably because they are dating in Real Life. They are a joy to watch. This show can be a little awkward with foreign-policy jargon and some clichés and some optimistic/idealistic campiness, but the way Leoni just brushes it all off with her characteristic dry wit makes this a will-watch. Profusion of Broadway stars is a plus. My favorite character (besides Elizabeth and Henry) is Dmitri Petrov (Chris Petrovski). I have no particular reason for this. (10/02, 9PM)

Okay! That’s that! Tell your friends about this fabulous blog! And enemies! And families, etc. Good night.