How Excited Am I for Angel Season 6?

September 21, 2007

If you haven’t heard yet, hot on the heels of the not only successful but also truly exciting Buffy Season 8 comic book comes the continuation of Joss Whedon’s other big creation. In November, IDW will release Angel: After the Fall which continues the story following the classic conclusion where Angel and the team prepare to “slay the dragon” and includes all your favourite Angel characters. Here’s the cover of the first issue:

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Also, if you haven’t been reading Buffy: Season 8 and you’re a fan then you will soon have a chance to catch up. The graphic novel compilation of the first story arc will be released in October.  It perfectly captures the characters and effectively builds on the mythology of the show by finally answering the question of what happened after the Hellmouth was destroyed.  Check both out.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Season 8, Episode 1 – The Long Way Home Part 1

March 16, 2007

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It’s been a long 5 years but the Scoobies are back and they look and sound better than ever. As much as seeing the cast reunite on screen big or small would have been fantastic, that possibility is long dead as the cast has moved on to other things, some bigger and better, others not so much. Fortunately Mr. Whedon is not one to take resistance lying down – cancel Firefly on Fox, resurrect it on the big screen; Buffy ends and the cast isn’t interested in TV movies – continue the story in comics.

This was a hard book to find.  I went to a whole lot of stores yesterday until I finally found a copy.  I’m not surprised that with the huge number of Buffy fans out there that the entire 100,000 print run is now sold out and going into a second print.

So how was it.  Excellent.  First let’s start with the look since comics after all are a visual medium.   The artwork by Georges Jeanty really captured the look of the characters and at the same time did a great job with the widescreen moments like the crater that once was Sunnydale, the Slayer aerial assault or the Dawn Giant.  Each page was a treat to look at.

As for the story, it really is a bit too early to tell.  Like all good first episodes of a new season, this one caught us up on what has happened to some of our favourite characters and launched a few new storylines.  Buffy is now the leader of an army of slayers fighting evil across the globe supported by her new watcher – Xander.  As an aside, that was perhaps my favourite moment of the issue, seeing Xander in his new leadership role, a natural evolution of his character and extension of his place in the Scoobies.  Dawn has turned into a giant after having what was apparently a Season 2 Buffy-Angel moment.  We haven’t seen Willow or Giles yet but we know they’re still involved in the fight.  Angel fans will appreciate the reference to the Immortal mentioned in season 5.

The fight scene wasn’t that exciting but it was only a lead in to what is sure to be the real battle.  I’m not expecting the real big bad to show his or herself for a few more issues but we have a few good contenders in a pair of floating feet, General Voll and an old friend-enemy who survived the collapse of Sunnydale.

Unfortunately with comics the weight between episodes is more like a month than a week but I can’t wait.

Avi’s Episode Rating: A


Scrubs – Season 6, Episode 6 – My Musical

January 20, 2007

I know I haven’t written about Scrubs yet this season but don’t take that to mean that it isn’t one of my favourite shows on TV. How much do I love the Scrubs?  When it ends its run either this season or next, without a doubt it will be in my TV Hall of Fame.  I own the first 4 seasons on DVD and intend to buy the rest when they come out.  There is no other comedy that blends humour, fantasy sequences and emotional moments portrayed by one of the best ensemble casts on television.

Which is a perfect segue into a discussion about Thursday’s brilliant musical episode which was a great reminder just how big (and of course talented) the Scrubs extended cast is (although I missed Jordan’s presence).  I have a soft spot for musicals so I was somewhat predisposed to liking this episode but they really knocked it out of the park.  For those who haven’t seen it, the premise was a woman with a brain tumor who heard everyone around her speaking in song and let me say it just worked.

The songs were written by the creators of the Broadway show Avenue Q which is essentially a musical adult version of Sesame Street.  The influence of their previous work was best highlighted in the sure to be best selling, Everything Comes Down to Poo where JD and Turk explained how “they can find what’s wrong with you by looking at your poo” and Man Love.  They didn’t just draw influence from their own show as many other great musicals got their own homages.  Like the Les Miserables influenced group march to When the Truth Comes Out to the Rent influenced You’re Going to be Okay to the Grease We’ll be Friends Forever – all toe tapping numbers that will find their way on to my MP3 player in short order.

Also loved the Cox rant and who knew what a pretty voice Carla had?  Her duet with Turk reminded me a lot of the Xander-Anya number from the Buffy musical episode (couldn’t not mention it) as they sang about just how little Turk knows of his bride.  Still they are a great couple and it’s hard not to appreciate how the writers have developed their relationship over the past 6 years.

In writing about shows like Grey’s Anatomy I’ve highlighted how annoying and pretentious the voice over is.  With Scrubs though I rarely have that feeling and in fact it is the closing voice overs that usually give me the lump in my throat and tonight was no exception.

Most shows can’t pull off what Scrubs does on a week to week basis – see Boston Legal, for example, as a show that just can’t find the proper balance between the ridiculous and the serious.  For most other shows what Scrubs did this week would be a risk where the odds of failure were really high.  Fortunately Scrubs isn’t like other shows.

Avi’s Episode Rating: A+


My Top Anticipated TV Events of 2007

January 10, 2007

I was reading this week’s Entertainment Weekly (the bible for pop culture junkies like me) and they had an article on their 20 big events of 2007 as well as a Winter TV preview and it got me thinking of what TV events I’m most looking forward to in 2007. So here, they are:

1. The final season of The Sopranos – After 5 1/2 seasons of therapy Tony and his two families are heading off into the sunset (or more likely for some the morgue and others witness protection). These final 9 episodes starting in April are surely going to cap off a series run that made a TV network the place to bring interesting projects but also cemented the difference between network television and cable. 3 months and counting.

2. Season 8 of Buffy – I’ve written about this before but in March Joss Whedon continues his epic show in comics. It’s been 4 years since we’ve spent time with our old friends from Sunnydale and I can’t wait to find out what’s happened to Xander, Willow, Giles and of course Buffy. If this isn’t enough here’s a summary of part 2:

The destruction of Buffy’s hometown, plus covert and powerful slayer “cells” around the world, add up to a new label for the Scoobies: Terrorist threat. Speaking of Sunnydale, the crater formerly known as, has opened to reveal the witch Amy, and boy is she pissed. Now: Giles, smoochies, a knife to the heart, and a big sleep. Season Eight continues.

Visit your comic store to reserve your copy today.

3. The return of The Shield – It’s been a long year waiting to see the aftermath of last season’s insane finale which killed off the conscience of the Strike Team. What’s going to happen when Shane learns that Lem wasn’t going to turn them in and even more important what’s going to happen when Vic finds out what Shane did.

4. New Babylon 5 on DVD – Just like with Buffy I’m looking forward to a return visit to the B5 universe. Read my earlier posting for details on Babylon 5: The Lost Tales scheduled for release in July.

5. The Simpsons Movie – The last few seasons have been generally forgettable. I still watch every week but there have been very few classics unlike the early days of the show. Still, advance buzz on this one is pretty good so I have high hopes that Groening will make the most of the bigger canvas to make The Simpsons movie the event we expect it to be.

6. Shows finally coming to DVD – As the publishers reach into their catalogues to release more classics TV on DVD here are some of my favourites scheduled to come out in 2007: Picket Fences (Feb), Twin Peaks (April) and WKRP in Cincinnati albeit with music changes (April).

Let me know what your most anticipated TV events for 2007 are.


More Information on Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8 – The Comic Book

November 26, 2006

Joss Whedon was interviewed by Entertainment Weekly and highlighted some of his plans for the new Buffy comic book coming out in March.  Some of the highlights from the article:

  • It will be a 25-30 issue saga with Whedon writing the first 4 issue arc and other writers under his oversight will continue.
  •  There are pictures so make sure to keep clicking Continue at the bottom of the article
  • His plan to have TV movies with the Buffy characters is now officially dead.
  • The comic picks up after season 7 with Buffy out of the country and training the next generation of slayers who were activated at the end of the final episode.
  • Time will have passed and we will get to see where the rest of the Scooby gang are.

Check out the article and make sure to buy the comic if you’re a fan.