Recap Finale Fever (Castle & Arrow)

While I’ve been a bit behind, here are the recaps for the Castle season 7 finale and the last two episodes of Arrow Season 3!

Castle 7.23 Review: “Hollander’s Woods”

Castle ends an imbalanced season with a decent episode that could have served as the series finale had the stars not signed their contracts and the network had decided to cancel the series.

NOC Recaps Arrow 3.22: Don’t Stab Yourself In the Foot

NOC Recaps <i>Arrow</i>: Don’t Stab Yourself in the Foot

This episode is a bit of a mess and introduces a ridiculous plot twist that doesn’t serve the rest of the story.

NOC Recaps Arrow 3.23: The City’s Under Attack, Must Be May

NOC Recaps <i>Arrow</i>: City’s Under Attack, Must be MayThe Arrow season 3 finale finally gets us out of the Ra’s al Ghul arc that has been killing the shows cred with fans. Now that we’re moving on, hopefully season 4 will be better. That said, this episode splinters our main characters that could lead to interesting places come season 4. I’m also proud of an Aladdin joke and a Captain Planet joke that you should click-through to enjoy in its full glory.

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Last Week in Recaps (Castle & iZombie x2); plus a look at Netflix’s Sense8

It’s almost the end of the TV season, and thus the end of my mad dash for recap updates here on the blog. Here are the recaps I did last week, for Castle and iZombie. Still working on that Arrow recap and this week’s Castle season finale. Also, I took a look at the trailer for Sense8, the new Netflix series coming to Netflix this June directed by the Wachowski siblings (you know, The Matrix). Click on through!

Castle 7.22 Review: Dead From New York

CastleThe penultimate Castle of the season dealt with the death of late night comedy mogul Sid Ross, a Lorne Michaels proxy. With all the shots taken at SNL in the episode, it makes me wonder if there’s a writer who was jilted by the show at some time in their career. While it starts off as a fun episode, it takes a few kind of unnecessary turns before turning into a minute long Carly Rae Jepsen show (a desperate attempt for younger viewers?). Still a fun episode.

NOC Recaps iZombie: Baby Mama Brain Drama

NOC Recaps <i>iZombie</i>: Baby Mama Brain DramaiZombie is continuing to win me over. Though the cases are fairly uninteresting, I love the characters and the way they weave Liv’s lessons with the power of the week, even if she usually regresses afterwards.

NOC Recaps iZombie: Shock Jock

NOC Recaps <i>iZombie</i>: Shock JockRAVI NOOO! That was my main concern as I ended this week’s iZombie. That and: hey if Ravi becomes a zombie, maybe we’ll find out if zombies of color turn pale and have to do some absurdly unreal tanning in order to remain their beautiful brown selves.

Netflix’s Sense8 Trailer

I wrote about the trailer for Netflix’s Sense8, from the producers of the Matrix and Babylon 5 for HelloGiggles. They sent me the trailer and it looks really cool! Hopefully it pulls its mystery threads together in a way that a lot of shows post-Lost (and including Lost) never did.

Recap Catch Up (Arrow and iZombie); plus Some TV Hiatus Plans

The week before last was my birthday (ahh!) and I was working the final week of my time at the Tribeca Film Festival, so I had to spend last week catching up on writing recaps. I managed to do 3/4 (this week’s iZombie is coming soon-ish) and so here they are! Over hiatus, I’ll be working on having more original content for the blog, some binge watch TV thoughts (maybe some Daredevil), hopefully more consistent ConStar Clicks, and more adventures in speccing. Until then, recap city it is!

NOC Recaps iZombie: Death by Birthday CardNOC Recaps <i>iZombie</i>: Death by Birthday Card

iZombie is slowing coming into it’s own. Liv eats her grossest brain yet and the show taps into a good murder weapon but a bit of a convoluted plot. But the characters are still great with strong, quippy dialogue. I love Ravi.

NOC Recaps Arrow: The Weight of ExpectationNOC Recaps <i>Arrow</i>: The Weight of Expectation

Arrow suffers growing pains in it’s most recent two episodes. Thea’s resurrection episode left me conflicted, concerned with the plotting of the episode, but accepting what the writers intended for the story, even if I didn’t buy the execution. However…

 NOC Recaps Arrow: Darth Oliver’s Inferno

NOC Recaps <i>Arrow</i>: Darth Oliver’s Inferno

Oliver’s first “evil” League of Assassins episode, while strong with potential and great character interactions, swerved into uncharted territory that leaves a sour taste in my mouth as we ramp towards the finale. But I think this is my favorite recap because I reference smart hoity-toity literary works, the Bible, and Aladdin.

And as always, check my blogger friend Jenn’s site Just About Write for my weekly TV MVP choices.

Three-cap City: Game of Thrones, iZombie, and Arrow.

I did THREE recaps last week, all for my friends over at The Nerds of Color! I might be a little insane. If you watch Game of Thrones, iZombie, or Arrow, I’ve got recaps for you! (I feel like a dude with a trenchcoat on the train selling watches.)

NOC Recaps Game of Thrones: Control Your DragonNOC Recaps <i>Game of Thrones</i>: Control Your Dragon

I connect the major stories of this week’s Game of Thrones to find the common thread: everyone has lost control of their source of power and now they need to rein it in. Daenarys and her dragons, Tyrion and Jon and their compassion, and Brienne’s loyalty have gotten them this far but are now getting them into trouble they need to get out of. Clearly this is what we should expect from season five.

NOC Recaps iZombie: What About the Zombies of Color?NOC Recaps <i>iZombie</i>: What About the Zombies of Color?

Over on my iZombie recap, I care less about the case of the week and more about knowing more about Ravi. Also, I question why the zombie of color on the show don’t change when the Liv and the other caucasian zombies do. Have they just not figured it out yet?

NOC Recaps Arrow: Pulling out the Arsenal

NOC Recaps <i>Arrow</i>: Pulling Out the Arsenal

Finally, on Arrow, I predicted half of what happened and was shocked (and pleasantly surprised) by the other half. Join me in pouring out a little liquor (or sparkling grape) for our absent soldier from Team Arrow.

Soon I’ll have an Orphan Black post or two to share with you and as always, check out my TV MVPs for the week over on Just About Write!

NOC Recaps iZombie: Where Veronica Mars Meets Chuck Meets Pushing Daisies

I am now recapping iZombie for The Nerds of Color! (Making that 3 recaps a week, plus occasional 4ths (there may be a Game of Thrones recap in my future), plus a 5th nostalgia recap I should be doing for another blog but haven’t started yet, plus TV MVPs at the end of the week for Just About Write… Someone will hire me to do this full-time eventually right?)

NOC is recapping iZombie! Here’s a bit of background on the show before we dive in to this week’s episode.

iZombie is The CW’s newest series. Based on the DC comic book of the same name, it tells the story of Olivia Moore (she goes by Liv. Liv Moore), a former heart surgeon, who went to a boat party that went badly. The boat was attacked by some dudes on an experimental drug and she was swiped in the arm on the way over the side of the boat. She wakes up with white hair and an intense craving for BRAAAINNS.

So far, I’ve been enjoying the show. It reminds me of three other shows:

  • Veronica Mars — Clearly this is the strongest and most obvious. Both shows were run by Rob Thomas and Liv’s pale shoulder length locks and her snarkiness are very reminiscent of Veronica Mars’ style.
  • Chuck — Liv’s Skill of the Week reminds me of the show Chuck where the lead character downloaded the Intersect 2.0 which gave him new temporary skills as the plot demanded.
  • Pushing Daisies — A supernatural detective using skills related to death to find out how someone was murdered? A live man and a dead girl can’t touch for fear of something bad happening? One brown man who knows crime fighter’s secret? Too bad Washington’s dreary rain is the opposite of Couer d’Couers.
  • (Also, fake psychic detective? Very Psych.)

Read more: NOC Recaps iZombie: Where Veronica Mars Meets Chuck Meets Pushing Daisies | thenerdsofcolor.

NOC Recaps Arrow: The Frustration of Justice

Well. That happened. This week’s Arrow threatens to turn the show in a whole new direction. I can’t even begin to guess where they take things next.

Getting to the episode itself, after watching it, I (and trusty Flarrow sidekick Christelle) went back to see a Facebook post Stephen Amell put up earlier in the week to describe the episode.

With this template, let’s break down the episode using the Captain’s own words.

Read the full recap here: NOC Recaps Arrow: The Frustration of Justice | thenerdsofcolor.

In Defense of Felicity via The Nerds of Color

I wrote a piece defending the writing of Arrow’s Felicity Smoak this season, because I think her storyline this season has been oversimplified by viewers who think that all of her actions have had to do with Oliver’s waffling over their relationship.

Badass Digest recently wrote a piece explaining how Arrow has “failed” Felicity Smoak in its third season. It brings up a lot of great points about the ways in which her character has changed, but I think it unfairly places the blame on the Oliver/Felicity relationship, when I think things are a bit more complicated than that. Sara’s death, pieces of Felicity’s (of the admittedly little) backstory that we know, and the overall darkness of the season all help push Felicity to a darker place this season. And I think that’s okay for the show overall.

Read more over on the Nerds of Color: In Defense of Felicity.

ConStar Clicks

gina rodriguez golden globes speech

Preach it, Gina!

Award season is here and after last Sunday’s Golden Globes and this week’s Oscar nominations, a lot of the articles going around have to do with the severe lack of diversity in Hollywood. Here are just a few (from before Oscar noms were announced — they didn’t change the conversation much anyway) articles on the diversity deficit.

This USA Today article talks a lot about the lack of diversity in Into the Woods and other fictional pieces, but also delves into the excuses made when diverse actors aren’t considered for roles and how even with a PoC director on a film or showrunner on a TV show, it’s still hard to achieve the diversity needed to match the actual demographics of this country.

♠ Here’s an interview with Selma cinematographer Bradford Young in the Huffington Post on how the lack of diversity in the industry spreads beyond even the top roles we normally think about, the above the line players (actors, producers, directors, etc). Here he points out that the lack of diversity exists below the line too — he’s speaking primarily as a cinematographer, but it counts for editing and sound design and costumes and all the rest of the crew. Most of the Selma crew was not people of color. Hollywood sets and Hollywood Academy voters, neither represent the diversity of America.

♠But it’s not all bleak, the Golden Globes honored my most recent fave Gina Rodriguez with a best actress in a comedy win — I literally screamed when they said her name. Her speech was amazing (see top photo and the one below for quotes).

gina rodgriguez i can and i will

Gina is full of inspiring quotes! Click the photo for the full video.

If only other people in power were more like those at CBS/CW and Jane showrunner Jennie Urman who took a chance on Jane. See what it gets you? A new hit show and award nominations! The CW is on the map now, all because they went with a person of color. Others networks could benefit from the same choice.

♠ Shameless self promotion of the week: After the Globes, I felt my post on New Emmy Categories was especially relevant. Let’s be honest, there were some weird category combinations — shows like Jane the Virgin, Orange is the New Black, and Transparent all in the comedy category? Jane is pretty funny, OITNB has some humor, but I’ve never, ever gotten the impression that Transparent was a comedy/musical. (Chelsea Peretti tweeted something about how even comedy and musical aren’t even similar — though it was in true Chelsea Peretti fashion) Ads always lean towards serious. And these shows submit for comedy categories because the drama categories are over-saturated and straight comedies have no room! All of this would be resolved with a Dramedy category. More shows get more recognition. No? We don’t want that?

I love this article on Hitfix on how it’s a Golden Era for geeky TV shows because I watch a lot of these shows. As I explained last week when I talked about the “mid-reputable” TV shows article, a lot of the shows I watch tend to be sci-fi/fantasy/mystery (most of whom are never Emmy/Golden Globe contenders), so it’s great that there are more and more “mid-reputable” shows that happen to be SFF/mystery on network television. If I have to deal with a continuing lack of diversity, at least part of my geek soul is being fulfilled.

♠ In that same vein, here’s an article in Ad Week about The Flash and the other DC Comics shows on The CW (and mentions of Supergirl coming to CBS) and the way they are bringing life to television. The article goes through a bit of Marvel vs DC in terms of their known strengths: Marvel excels at movies, while DC excels at TV. This, to me, has always been true. I don’t know a lot about the comics themselves, but each creator has shown their live-action/animated strengths known since the 90s. Marvel had massive success with the Blade movies, the Spiderman movies, even the X-Men movies even before the current MCU revitalized the superhero blockbuster. In the TV-verse, DC was always better: besides the X-Men cartoon series, Marvel didn’t really have any standout cartoons in the 90s; compare to the different Batman and the Justice League cartoons and their incarnations. In live-action, I was always partial to Lois and Clark, the New Adventures of Superman, whose 90s cheese was absolutely perfect the era. And of course there was Smallville. It’s great that each company, Marvel and DC, are succeeding somewhere specifically. It just means everyone has somewhere to go to get their superhero fix.

And for a random take away from that same article: “Under Time Warner, DC is tied to a broadcaster (the CW), cable networks (Adult Swim, Cartoon, TBS, TNT) and, of course, the movie studio.” Just a random fact for when thinking of your favorite DC comics and what networks you could match them with (don’t forget CBS, as they own The CW). Remember, of course, that Marvel is owned by Disney, so when mentally pitching Marvel TV shows, stick to Disney owned nets (though now there’s Netflix getting in on the Marvel game).

♠ Finally, how do I combine the two main themes above, diversity and geekdom? Easy, with this article by Daniel Jose Older in The Guardian on the lack of people of color in fantasy fiction. “And while “urban” has become publishing industry code for books by and for black people, throw the word fantasy on the end and suddenly the characters and authors are very white.” The work of achieving diversity is still being labored at in all media.

Oof, these Clicks are long. Should they be shorter?

NOC Recaps Arrow 3.08: A League of Their Own

*Mad props to my awesome Flarrow tag-team buddy Christelle for the subtitle. We are Flarrow. She’s The Flash, I’m Arrow and together we bring you these recaps. It’s our superpower.

The first thing I thought of when preparing for the Arrow portion of the crossover was how would they Flashify the title card? Instead of the arrowhead, we got a beautiful lightning bolt.

And so begins the Flash team’s adventure in Starling City! We’ve actually seen all of these characters here before. Barry, obviously in his debut last season, as well as Cisco and Caitlin when they briefly helped Felicity on a case also last season. But it’s our first time seeing them all together like this and It. Was. AMAZING!

[Read the actual recap: NOC RECAPS ARROW: A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN]

Phew! We did it! We survived the crossover and it was as awesome and epic (if not more so) than we could have dreamed or anticipated! Hopefully we get one at least once a season now (probably on the 8s) and some mini crossovers. Because while we may be getting a big budget Justice League movie, these boys have a league of their own right here on the small screen. (With what some say is better writing, action, and special effects than even the big movies have. Your mileage may vary, but I certainly enjoyed the last two episodes as much as I would a cinematic venture.)

I love writing about Arrow and can’t wait for the Fall finale next week that will certainly drive all us fans bananas with excitement and post ep-theories as to what will happen after hiatus.

Let’s chat about The Flash/Arrow. I can talk about them for hours.

NOC Recaps Arrow: A League of Their Own | thenerdsofcolor.

Flash vs Arrow: Two Different Hero’s Journeys | The Nerds of Color

Flash vs Arrow (Heroes Journey)

Click through to read the post I wrote on The Nerds of Color to celebrate the Flash/Arrow crossover happening this week. I love both of these shows and can write/talk about them for hours. I decided to delve into Barry Allen and Oliver Queen as heroes with different journeys. These differences will set them apart as they come in contact with one another, but eventually will unite them as a strong duo.

Oliver and Barry have very different hero’s journeys to make. One is about choosing to be a hero, the other is learning how to be hero. One is brave (def n: ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage). I believe this to be Oliver. He is prepared (both mentally and experience-wise) to face whatever dangers and has definitely endured a lot of pain in order to save those he needs to. The other is bold (def n: showing an ability to take risks; confident and courageous). This is Barry, he’s more about confidently taking the risk, regardless of if it’s the smart thing to do or not. Both words have slightly different definitions, but at their core mean the same thing, just like our two heroes have different methods, but at their core are just that: heroes.

These fundamental differences are what makes me so excited for this crossover. They may get in the way in the first part, divide them and put them at odds with one another, but with a combination of these personalities, a “two heads (teams) are better than one” mentality, they should be able to defeat any enemy that comes their way.  They will go from meeting as rivals in “Flash vs Arrow” to working in conjunction in “The Brave and the Bold.”

I am so excited for this crossover and can’t wait to discuss it to bits on the internet. Read more of my character analysis over at The Nerds of Color: Flash vs Arrow: Two Different Hero’s Journeys

PaleyFest Previews

Me at the Paley Center in front of their fun step-and-repeat.

Me at the Paley Center in front of their fun step-and-repeat.

The Paley Center for Media “leads the discussion about the cultural, creative, and social significance of television, radio, and emerging platforms.” There are two locations, in Los Angeles and in New York, the two entertainment capitals of the world. The New York Center has archives of classic TV shows, historical videos only found there, and has events and screenings dedicated to television and media. I’ve been there before for an airing of the Lost pilot that they did right before the series finale, and I think I went to a pilot previews event before as well. I think it’s a great institution to have, focusing on keeping records of media that can sometimes be transient—they have one of kind footage of early TV shows as a part of their collection and mission. The PaleyFest pilot previews are a great event to host, to get fans of television (if you know about the Paley Center and don’t work in the industry, you’re probably a big fan of television) to watch the upcoming season’s show; they also hand out surveys for feedback–not sure where they go, but it made me feel a bit like my voice was counted.

It’s always really fun to see shows with an audience and to see and build off their reactions. I did so once for a screening of Scandal and it remains to be a fantastic way to watch TV occasionally. There’s something different about watching TV than watching a movie—obviously people will shush you during both if you’re too loud, but it’s still more of a vocal atmosphere, even during dramas, probably a cultural sense memory of all television being live (that’s my crack theory anyway). I think it heightens the viewing experience, but could also skew the way I see a show, in that I laugh when others laugh, sometimes when something isn’t necessarily funny. But today, I think I was able to see those moments and grasp whether or not I’d laugh at home alone when there are other distractions available to me. There were some great shows though and I’ll go through the ones I saw (I missed Selfie and most of Manhattan Love Story, but I caught the end of that one) in various posts and some of my thoughts!

Links to each show are below as I post them through the day:

Some common things I noticed among the shows are a reliance on voice overs (done most cleverly by Jane the Virgin and most dryly by Forever) and I noticed there were a lot of fistbumps.

My top choice among the ten I watched? Jane the Virgin

My least favorite? Forever

Biggest Surprise? Cristela

Biggest Disappointment: Mulaney

Check each individual post to find out what I thought and tell me if they’re on your Fall Schedule or not! If you’ve watched any early (some are available on Hulu or their network website), what do you think? Am I right or wrong?

Let’s discuss!