Riverdale Season #2 is my guilty pleasure show

River Dale

Photo from Netflix

In October 2017, I wrote a blog post talking about the Archie comics based show Riverdale. Season #2 has been put on Netflix and I spent two days watching the show. Although season #2 started off mediocre, I must say the second half of the season redeemed the first half. I started typing this post with full intention of saying I would abandon Riverdale. I was wrong as I’m happily looking forward to season #3.

Riverdale picks up with Archie Andrews holding his bleeding father in his arms. Fred Andrews indeed survives his ordeal, however “The Black Hood” is stalking Riverdale citizens to rid the town of sinners. Betty Cooper gets caught up in the madness as “the Black Hood” seems to take special interest in her. Veronica Lodge has been dabbling in her father, Hiram Lodge’s affairs whether they’re legal or not. Jughead Jones attempts to gain leadership with the Southside Serpents the gang on the south side of Riverdale.

SPOILERS FROM HERE ON OUT:

 

 

 

 

 

It’s revealed that Betty’s own father Hal is the man in the black hood. Betty’s grandfather murdered a family because they “sinned” leading her grandmother to instill this mythology of ridding Riverdale of sinners into Hal as a child. I wasn’t sure who to expect as the Black Hood, but I’m pleased with how this was all linked together.

Additionally, we truly see how villainous Hiram Lodge can be. This isn’t shown until the last episode when Hiram takes responsibility for everything Archie accuses him of. The final five minutes of the season finale show Archie being arrested as it’s clear Hiram planted evidence on Archie to initiate this. I am patiently waiting for the episode that shows Hiram’s downfall even though it wasn’t in this season.

One of my favorite characters this season is none other than Cheryl Blossom. Cheryl was obnoxious in season #1 which is surprising to me how I enjoyed her presence in the show. Cheryl takes ownership of her needs by seeking emancipation from her abusive witch mother. Besides being a gossip, she practices her archery which helps her shoot an arrow through Hal Cooper as he’s attacking her as the “Black Hood”. Cheryl was a bad ass this season which was not what I was expecting. Also Cheryl & Toni are the cutest lesbian couple on TV.

Now what was wrong with the first half of the season? I didn’t like where the story was going. It seemed like the group (composed of Archie, Betty, Jughead and Veronica) were going their separate ways when I really enjoy the chemistry they have together. I had to to be patient because the four of them do team up again to help save Riverdale from a gang war Hiram Lodge funded. Some story lines in this season were unbelievably corny such as Betty having to abandon her friends to save them. An honorable mention goes out to Alice Cooper for not realizing how creepy Chic was. There was a distinct reason Betty didn’t want to be in her house. Alice should have listened to her daughter because Betty was right, Chic was dangerous.

Riverdale’s current season could have been worse instead it captivated me in the last couple episodes. If you’re on the fence about this show, I get it because I was too. Season #2 did recover it’s bearings which is why I will continue with season #3 when it’s uploaded to the CW’s website. Please leave a comment if you want to discuss season #2 in more detail than this post.

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Netflix’s Thrilling Show; Mindhunter

Me and the boyfriend have made regular plans to binge watch a series together. After just coming off of Parks and Recreation, it was my turn to pick the next show to watch. I had seen Mindhunter on my Netflix feed and it attracted my interest. depepi wrote about Mindhunter on her blog and described it as “witty, harsh and intriguing”. The boyfriend was all for watching this show. By the end, he was disappointed as there was only one season. Mindhunter has been picked up for season #2 and I know me and the boyfriend will be anxiously awaiting it’s release date.

SPOILERS AHEAD OF COURSE 😀

Mindhunter Image by Netflix.jpg

Mindhunter gets its inspiration from a book written by FBI agent John E. Douglas. Douglas has interviewed Charles Manson, John Wayne Gacy, Richard Speck and more psychotic individuals. Thomas Harris based his character Jack Crawford off of John Douglas (the author who wrote the Hannibal book series). I haven’t personally read the book myself, but it might be a book I may be interested in.

Mindhunter takes place in the 70’s where Charles Manson’s recent crimes shocked the United States. FBI Agent Holden Ford (played brilliantly by Jonathon Groff), admires from afar as to why the killers do what they do. He wants to understand these violent criminals to help prevent the crimes from happening in the first place. When he brings this idea of criminal profiling to his director, his director rebuffs him saying the FBI is only meant to solve the crimes when they happen. Holden is eventually paired with special agent Bill Tench (played by Holt McCallany) who’s job is to reel Holden in before he does something he regrets.

The drama from the show stems from Holden Ford’s actions. In one such episode, he secures a confession from a man who rapes and kills a 12 year old girl. As Holden interrogates him, he appeals to his mind by talking about how the 12 year old looks older and how fresh her vagina is < not even joking this was how he secures this confession. His mode of questioning works, but at what cost. Holden is an FBI agent can he really talk this way while representing the federal government?

David Fincher is an executive producer on this show which probably explains why I enjoyed it so much. Fincher is a miraculous director and has created some of my favorite movies (Se7en, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo adaptation, Gone Girl and Fight Club). If I were to become famous and could appear in any movie I wanted, I would want to star in a movie directed by David Fincher.

To be honest with you, this show starts off extremely slow. Me and the boyfriend were three episodes in when we contemplated starting another show. Once you watch the episodes, they get more intriguing as Holden discovers more cases to get involved with. The season ends with a cliff hanger as Holden appears to be having an extreme panic attack after visiting with Ed Kemper and scenes showing the BTK killer in Kansas.

I encourage you to give Mindhunter a chance. It starts slow, but the pace picks up rapidly leaving me and the boyfriend wanting more to watch. If you have ever been a fan of Criminal Minds, think of this as a prequel to that show. Without the impact of Mindhunter, Criminal Minds wouldn’t have ever existed.

 

 

Parks & Recreation is Amazing

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I find the Office both the British and American versions to be overrated. I know a couple of you reading this are already thinking, “how could you say that?!?!”. I have seen both versions and sure, there are some funny bits, but it’s still a mediocre show *in my opinion*. When me and the boyfriend were debating on what to binge watch, he had suggested Parks and Recreation. I told him because I disliked the Office, I didn’t think this show was for me. He persuaded me into watching the first season and I was hooked. I cannot believe I missed out on this show when it originally aired, but I finished season #7 a couple days ago and I wanted to sum up why I love this show so much.

Parks & Rec is filmed similarly to the office, but instead takes place in Paunee, Indiana in the Parks & Recreation department of the local government. Leslie Knope, (played wonderfully by Amy Poehler) is an over-achiever who is passionate about having clean parks for her town. In the first season she meets Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones) and they work with the local government to fill this big hole outside of Ann’s house. Ann’s fiance Andy Dwyer (played by Chris Pratt) fell in the hole and was seriously injured. This show tells their stories and how they get into a bunch of  shenanigans.

What’s so endearing about the show is all the characters. Leslie is a feminist who believes women belong in the government. Ann Perkins really makes Leslie more level headed which helps her succeed. Ron Swanson (played by Nick Offerman) is the realist who believes the government shouldn’t be so involved in his affairs. Also he enjoys breakfast food, bourbon and living in the outdoors. Tom Haverford (played by Aziz Ansari) is the sophisticated wannabe socialite who helps Leslie live a little. Andy Dwyer is the lovable goof who’s kind of an idiot. April Ludgate is the person who you really identify with. She hates everyone and initially isn’t all that driven. Donna (played by Retta) is confident and emphasizes that you “treat yo self.” All of these characters help create the love for the show.

I can’t talk about Parks and Rec without including Leslie & Ben’s relationship. Ben Wyatt (played by Adam Scott) is Leslie’s husband and her other half. He’s introduced in season #2 and I don’t think I have ever “shipped” an on screen couple more. He allows Leslie to achieve her dreams while also being successful in his own field. As an added bonus, Ben is a real geek. He comes up with his own board game series, makes a great calzone and is from Minnesota. They are so perfect together.

I could write way more about how I love Parks & Rec, but my post has to end sometime. Me and the boyfriend have different TV tastes which comes in handy when he introduces me to a show I wouldn’t have normally watched. With that said, leave me a comment about why you adore Parks & Recreation.

Bizarre Brunette Binges: Jessica Jones *spoilers*

 

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One of my goals I set for March was to watch season #2 of Jessica Jones. Jessica Jones is my favorite “Defender” introduced thus far on Marvel’s Netflix series. The first season did a fantastic job wrestling with PTSD, rape and abuse. Season #2 is phenomenal although, not all fans agree with me. I have heard the criticisms regarding this season, but I am going to offer my opinion as to why I enjoyed this season as much as Kilgrave’s season.

This season focuses heavily on Jessica’s past. Season #1 ignored how she got her powers instead focusing on how Kilgrave tortured her. The beginning of season #2 shows Jessica  drinking heavily, insulting Malcolm and trying to survive in NYC. She is approached by a man in a yellow coat claiming to have “powers” who believes someone is trying to kill him. Jessica unsurprisingly blows him off. When he dies in a terrible accident, Jessica starts to investigate and discovers a connection with IGH. IGH should be familiar as it was hinted at with Officer Simpson at the end of season #1.

Besides Jessica’s powers, we really see her relationship with Trish becoming more strained along with why Jessica named her PI business Alias Investigations. Additionally, Jessica meets her mother who apparently didn’t die in the car accident. Her mother gained powers through illegal experiments performed at IGH. Unfortunately for Jessica’s mother, she cannot control the people she kills and the anger she exhibits. Ultimately, Trish kills her in the last episode due to all of the crimes she committed.

One of the biggest criticisms for this show is there really isn’t a “big bad villain”. Kilgrave led season #1 while season #2 has Jessica’s mother. Karl Malus could be considered a villain, but his intentions are good. However, I want to argue the reason why season #2 is as great as season #1 is because of character development. Malcolm has a bigger role this season besides just being a drug addict controlled by Kilgrave. He takes charge of his future and eventually sticks up for himself telling Jessica he’s done being mistreated by her. He has a heart and even though Trish completely uses him, he still wants to make sure she’s okay.

Trish is one character who even though goes down the rabbit hole, I feel she is a strong character. I provided a link to an article regarding one particular scene in this current season: I don’t want to F*** Him, I want to Be Him. This post talks about a scene where Dorothy, Trish’s mother lures Trish to a restaurant to be proposed to by Griffin. Dorothy tells Trish a major news organization wants to meet with her in order to not hint to Trish about the marriage proposal. As Trish breaks up with Griffin she states, “I don’t want to fuck him, I want to be him.” She knows she’s not truly in love with him because she just wants his career. Trish is a professional woman who isn’t boy crazy and wants to save people by telling the news like it is instead of being a bubbly radio host talking about trends in clothing. Trish is a flawed character because of her past as a drug addict, but she knows what she wants in life.

One last thing I want to mention is I adore Jessica’s relationship with Oscar and his son Vido. Especially the end scene where Jessica has dinner with the two of them and talks about her day. She isn’t in a good place mentally so instead of drinking her sorrows like her usual, she spends time with them.

Season #2 of Jessica Jones has a different vibe from Kilgrave’s season, but I loved it. The acting is incredible, the scenery of NYC is gorgeous and I love how each episode is directed by a woman. Binge watch this if you can, it’s worth it.

 

Arrow; Why I’m Done Watching this Show.

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The TV show Arrow has a special place in my heart because it reminds me of my freshman year of college. I would watch the episode the day after at my desk in my tiny dorm room with some headphones on. I was a HUGE fan of Arrow back when season #1 aired. Season #2 is still my all time favorite season because of Deathstroke. Unfortunately, I really think the quality of Arrow has gone down to the point where I’m done watching this show. I wanted to rant about it in one blog post and maybe there are other disappointed DC fans like myself.

One problem I have with this current season on Arrow is the lack of a cohesive team. What worked with Arrow was the team and how they worked together. Now that White Canary is on Legends of Tomorrow, Laurel is dead *not really though..?* and Wild Dog has split off to form his own tribe, Team Arrow isn’t the same.

I also feel the writing on Arrow is not that great. If I were to re-watch Arrow, I bet I can find a lot of characters who didn’t have a proper story line. The one character arc I can think of at the top of my head is the Huntress. She could have been great if she was written better in the series.

It pains me to stop watching the show, but it honestly hasn’t been enjoyable to even watch it week to week. Why am I wasting my time watching a show I don’t really like when there’s so many good TV shows to watch!? I will admit I do still like the Flash, but that’s the only CW DC superhero show I still watch.

Who else is fed up with Arrow? If you’re still a fan, make me a case in the comments on why I need to keep watching other than Stephen Amell being the nicest person in the entire world.

 

2017 Pop Culture Year in Review

At the start of 2017,  I started typing a post summing up all the movies I saw in theaters, TV shows I watched and video games I played. I plan to do this again for 2018 to help keep track of my entire year. This post will be a little bit longer, but I think it perfectly sums up my geeky year. Here is my recap of the wonderful 2017:

Movies I saw in Theaters this Year:

  • Lego Batman
  • Logan
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (twice)
  • Wonder Woman (twice)
  • Spiderman Homecoming (twice)
  • IT
  • Thor Ragnorok (twice)
  • Justice League
  • Star Wars the Last Jedi

TV I watched:

  • The Tick
  • The Following
  • Iron Fist
  • The Flash Season #3
  • Arrow Season #5
  • Scorpion
  • Riverdale
  • Punisher

Video Games I played:

  • Gears of War 4
  • Overcooked
  • Life is Strange
  • Life is Strange Before the Storm Episodes #1 & #2

Most Thrilling New TV Show of 2017:

River Dale

Photo from Netflix

Riverdale is easily the best show I watched in 2017. It reminds me of a teenage version of Twin Peaks. The Archie comics are known for being light and the show takes the characters into a darker tone. I binge watched the first season over the summer and was waiting impatiently for the second season on the CW. It’s the one show I will watch the next episode the day after it airs.

Most Boring TV Show of 2017:

Iron Fist was easily the worst Marvel Netflix show for me. I find Iron Fist closely resembles the Green Arrow, but he comes across as naive and annoying. I was even more disappointed Iron Fist was the lead in the Defenders especially when his show wasn’t  great. If there is a season #2 of Iron Fist, the writers/producers/directors need to step up their game.

Most Bad Ass Superhero Movie of 2017:

Wonder Woman will always be such a bright spot in 2017. I will never forget the moment I watched Wonder Woman turn to Steve during the No Man’s Land scene and say:

Steve: No — we are doing something. We are! We just … we can’t save everyone in this war. This is not what we came here to do.

Diana: No. But it is what I am going to do.

Then Wonder Woman rushes onto No Man’s Land and kicks some serious ass. Wonder Woman is the movie all female geeks deserved. It also provides us DC Comics fans with hope that DC movies can be as great as Marvel movies.

Least Favorite Superhero Movie of 2017:

The only reason I’m going to put Logan for this award is because I’m also not the biggest X-Men fan in the world, so unfortunately, it was my least favorite movie.

The Last Jedi Thoughts:

I added this question because of everyone’s different opinions over the Last Jedi. I personally overall liked the movie, but I didn’t love it. I also didn’t hate the movie either and I disagree with fans who consider this as bad as the prequels. The Star Wars fans seemed to have mostly hated it considering there is a petition to remove Star Wars the Last Jedi as official canon. Personally, I think this is a bit ridiculous just because you don’t like the way the movie told a story doesn’t mean you have any right to remove it from being canon.

Podcast I Couldn’t Stop Listening to:

Adult Sh1T is the podcast by Kelsey Darragh & Kate Peterman from Buzzfeed. These two tackle a variety of topics in a fun way such as chronic pain, sex and mental illness. Every time I see their new episode appear on my podcast app, I make sure to put this at the top of my podcast feed.

Catchiest Song in 2017:

Lady Gaga Concert 3

Lady Gaga’s the Cure is my favorite song of 2017. I saw Lady Gaga live in August and it was one of my favorite concerts I attended. She’s so full of energy and made her concert personal. She told us the story of Joanne which she named her album after. Lady Gaga is one of my favorite pop artists.

Favorite Vlogger from Youtube:

Magic the Amateuring is my favorite vlogger of 2017! They also have their own podcast as well which is usually how I prefer to listen to their episode. This podcast is for anyone wanting to get into Magic the Gathering, but feels intimidated by the atmosphere. Bonus points because it’s two women co-hosting this podcast. I have considered for a while to donate to their patreon page because that’s how much I love their podcast / youtube channel.

A close second would be Ash Hardell & Riley Dennis for all of their political / LGBTQIA+ videos. I feel I have learned a lot from both of these vloggers.

Top Video Game I played in 2017:

Life is Strange Photo from Wikia

Life is Strange was my favorite game of 2017 and even probably one of my favorite games of all time. I have linked my Life is Strange review on other articles so I won’t link it here, but you can find it on my gaming section of my blog. My friend recommended this game to me and I was addicted after the first episode. Max Caulfield was me when I was attending college; scared and insecure. This game is amazing please play it if you haven’t already.

Weirdest Video Game I played in 2017:

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Octodad is probably the weirdest yet most challenging game I played this year. You play as an octopus being a dad and doing “dad” things like taking your kids to the aquarium. Me and the boyfriend play this together as an added bonus.

Favorite Comic Book Convention I attended this year:

Convergence 2017

Convergence will always be my favorite conventions because this was my first convention I went to. I have gone for 4 years now and it’s always been a highlight of my summer. In the above picture is my aunt and uncle who both have attended Convergence longer than I have. We were in a Star Trek party room standing under the beaming portals *sorry I’m not a Trekkie* I’m counting down the days for Convergence 2018.

Personal Moments:

Top Three Memories of 2017:

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Graduating from College: I almost cried happy tears while I sat down at my school’s gym listening to everyone getting their degrees. Even though this was almost six months ago, I don’t miss college… yet. In a year from now, I’m sure I will have a random memory from college pop into my head and remind me how much my college years mean to me.

Kauffman Memorial Gardens

Road Trip in June 2017: Me and my family had such a great time driving around the US. This has prompted us to plan more trips together in the future. Hopefully they can be road trips because my car is great to drive around in.

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Moving Out: I love my new apartment. Me and the boyfriend have done some decorating and now our apartment feels like home. All we need is a kitty walking around the room.

The Worst Memory of 2017 / One Moment in Time I Wouldn’t Want to Re-Live:

All the moving! First, we moved all of my stuff from Winona, MN to the cities. Then we moved everything to our permanent apartment. I hate moving with a passion, thankfully I’m all done. That’s not something I want to do again.

My Resolution for 2018:

I don’t like setting specific resolutions so instead I will say a couple things. I want to read more books & comics, play my PS4 more and travel! I want to go to Harry Potter world, travel to the Carolina’s, see Seattle and more.

 

 

 

Breaking Bones in the Punisher

If a new Marvel TV show is released on Netflix, I will watch it within the week.  Daredevil blew me away with the inner battle between Daredevil & Wilson Fisk. The Punisher was officially introduced in the second season of Daredevil and Jon Bernthal blew me away with his performance of the character. One scene in season #2 I always think back to is when the Punisher is at a pawn shop when the owner acknowledges to him he’s selling child pornography. The Punisher barely bats an eye as he walks back to the owner and seals his fate. This is realistic to the Punisher as a character because of how he uses violence to achieve justice. The Punisher season #1 is addicting, thrilling and at times hard to watch.

The Punisher is probably the most violent and graphic show Marvel has to offer. Frank is often severely beaten in some episodes along with a video being shown of a man being tortured. If violence is something that provokes you or triggers any memories you may have, I do not recommend watching this and instead quickly scrolling through Wikipedia for a summary of the show.

The Punisher begins with Frank Castle attempting to live a normal life. He’s contacted by a super computer hacker named Micro who believes there is a conspiracy involving the murder of Frank’s family. This first season details Frank’s struggle of PTSD in losing his family and also trying to move forward.

At first, I thought the first couple episodes were a little bit slow. I did find by episode 3 or 4, I was more likely to binge the rest of the season. I also found 13 episodes seemed a little long. I would have been fine with 8 or 10 and I think it could have still effectively told the story.

I am so glad Karen Page is included in this first season. I like how Marvel turned her into a character that fights for the truth and she’s often seen defending the Punisher. My only wish is that she had a bigger role in the plot of the show.

I’m curious to know all of your thoughts behind this first season. I’m interested in having the Punisher cross over into Daredevil or Jessica Jones because I think Jon Bernthal does a great job at accurately bringing the comic book character to life.