TV has certainly “upped it’s game” the past 10 years or so. From “The Sopranos” to “Breaking Bad” to “Orange is the New Black” to “Game of Thrones” to “The Walking Dead”, TV has almost – ALMOST – pushed its way past movies for the better entertainment value (this is a topic for another post in the future). We are truly in a “Golden Age” for television these days, and the good shows just keep on coming. For me, the best two new TV shows in some time are both right in my dork wheelhouse – “Ash Vs. Evil Dead” and “Supergirl”. As they both made their series premieres recently, the jury is obviously still out, but from what I have seen thus far I am more than impressed. For those of you who haven’t seen these shows yet, I thought I would offer you the “Red Pill Talent Review” on both of them so you can decide for yourself if you want to get on the bandwagon at the beginning (or not). As most of the readers here know, I am an unabashed fan of both Superman (so Supergirl by proxy) and of the “Evil Dead” movies which the new “Ash Vs. Evil Dead” show is a continuation of. You might say I am biased towards both, but the reality is that with things I am overly passionate about I actually have a much tougher grading system for them. For example, I wanted nothing more than to LOVE the “Avengers 2”movie but went in with very high expectations and was very disappointed (see my review here). In short, the following reviews come from someone who has the highest of standards for these genres, and from someone who is very let down when these don’t produce. “Flash” – I’m looking at you. With that out of the way – “Let’s go!” as Ash would say.
“Ash Vs. Evil Dead” – The show premiered on Halloween, and to say I was excited for it is a massive understatement. As I have written about prior, Ash Williams is one of my favorite movie characters of all time . The “Evil Dead” movies (not counting the recent remake which was just “OK” and didn’t capture the spirit of the first three) are some of my favorite movies ever. I had seen some of the promos starting back at Comic-Con for this new TV series and admit I was getting really excited. The show starts some 30 years after we last left Ash and the Deadites at the end of “Army of Darkness”. Ash, to no one’s surprise, is still a wise-cracking meathead with a knack for doing dumb things. He is still working in retail (although no more “S-Mart”) and is still putting forward the least bit of effort forward except when it comes to scoring with the ladies. We come to learn Ash is still in possession of the Necronomicon, AKA The Book of the Dead. In true Ash fashion, he has it stashed under some nudie magazines. We come to find out pretty quickly that Ash, in a very stoned attempt to bed a woman, starts reciting some of the words from the book and……unleashes the Deadites on the world once again. This first episode had it all – Ash in his ass-kicking one-liner prime, really scary scenes combined with lots of trademark “Evil Dead” humor and of course, TONS of carnage and gore. Seriously – some of the best “kills” on TV in some time. The characters they have started to build out around Ash are interesting, especially Pablo. Pablo idolizes Ash and sees in him the greatness Ash refuses to acknowledge, calling him “El Jefe”. Pablo is also a great source of comic relief and clearly a newbie at fighting Deadites. I loved this first episode far more than I expected to. Sam Raimi directed it (and he directed all the “Evil Dead” trilogy) and you can tell he had a blast revisiting this franchise. I literally got chills when Ash became ASH again, getting his trusty “boomstick” and chainsaw out and dispensing the evil Deadites one by one with classic Ash one liner after another. If this first episode is any indication of what’s to come, consider me really pumped up. “Groovy” indeed.
“Supergirl” – I must admit, as excited I was for “Ash Vs. Evil Dead” I was as skeptical for “Supergirl”. The movie from the 80s, if you remember it, was horrendously bad. The comic books also were never up to par with her Super cousin’s either. I remember seeing the trailer for the show and my first impression was “Ally McBeal meets Superheroes” – and that wasn’t a good thing. You can’t keep a superhero geek down though, so I decided to give it a watch. Man – I am glad that I did. This show is way more fun than it has any reason to be. The casting of Kara (AKA Supergirl) is superb. This actress really nails the naiveté and “coming of age super hero” thing. It doesn’t hurt that she is also “super” hot too. The origin story of the first episode was great – and the show put a new spin on it too. She grew up on Krypton and was actually older than Superman when she was sent to earth – with her mission from her parents to watch over her baby cousin. The change comes in that the show has her trapped in the phantom zone by fault of the explosion of Krypton, and thus has her arriving at Earth well after Kal-El becomes SUPERMAN. She grows up under his massive shadow, and while we only see fleeting glimpses of him, it is very obvious that he is the prototype for which she aspires to one day be. They have Jimmy Olson on the show – but now he is “James” and not nearly the bumbling idiot he was in the Superman cannon. Nope – here is poised, cool and intelligent. Supergirl works for a rival periodical to the “Daily Planet” and is an assistant to “Ally McBeal” herself. Kara longs to be super, and in the first episode she, rather cleverly, fumbles through learning how to do the whole “super” thing. We also become aware of other Kryptonians on Earth and a larger threat that looms over her and the planet. The second episode improved on the first, with good effects, equal powered villains and the introduction of a “Shield”-like agency that has lots of kryptonite on hand in case any of the super stuff gets out of hand. I must say, I am quite impressed with this show and am looking forward to seeing what’s to come in the rest of the first season.
Two really good new shows! I am more excited for what’s to come on “Ash Vs. Evil Dead” but I must say “Supergirl” is off to a very strong start. Hopefully, these two shows can carry their early momentum into long standing greatness like “Game of Thrones”, “The Sopranos” and “Breaking Bad” before them. What do you think? Have you seen these two new shows? Have a great weekend and until next week, there is no spoon.