REVIEW: SANCTUARY – SEASON 4

Starring

Amanda Tapping (Stargate SG.1)
Robin Dunne (Space Milkshake)
Ryan Robbins (Arrow)
Christopher Heyerdahl (Van Helsing)

Amanda Tapping in Sanctuary (2008)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Peter Wingfield (Highlander: The Series)
Ian Tracey (Bates Motel)
Pascale Hutton (Fantastic Four)
Agam Darshi (You Me Her)
Jody Thompson (The 4400)
Françoise Yip (The Predator)
Tom McBeath (Stargate SG.1)
Robert Lawrenson (Underworld: The Awakening)
David Milchard (Big Eyes)
Greyston Holt (Bitten)
Adam Copeland (Highlander: Endgame)
Pauline Egan (Home BEfore Dark)
Brian Markinson (Caprica)
Mig Macario (The Final Cut)
Lara Gilchrist (Battlestar Galactica)
Sandrine Holt (House of Cards)
Carlo Rota (Saw V)
John Novak (War)
Martin Cummins (Dar kAngel)
Charlie Carrick (Reign)
Kurt Evans (Izombie)
Jonathon Young (Antitrust)
Zak Santiago (Caprica)
Adam Greydon Reid (Izombie)
Caroline Cave (Van Helsing)
Brent Stait (Blade: The Series)
Jim Byrnes (Highlander: The Series)
Anjali Jay (Supergirl)
Gil Bellows (Jett)

At the end of the last season things were getting pretty hairy on a couple of different fronts. The subterranean abnormals who live inside the Earth have decided that they want their chance in the sun and three armies march out of caves in different parts of the planet. If that wasn’t bad enough, Magnus is battling an old companion, Adam Worth, who manages to open up a hole in time and slip back to the 1800’s with the aim of curing his terminally ill daughter. This will change the time stream irrevocably, so Magnus follows him on his one-way journey into the past in order to stop him.Christopher Heyerdahl in Sanctuary (2008)This season opens with Magnus in 19th Century London, following Worth. He manages to wound her and escape, so she turns to one person she knows she can trust, he husband at the time, James Watson Together they have to stop Worth, but even if they do, how will Magnus manage to return to the 21stCentury? She does manage it, but it takes a very long time. Meanwhile Will has been put in charge of the New York Sanctuary by the Sanctuary Network, that mysterious body that runs the various abnormal shelters around the world. He’s having a rough time, as the US military wants to actually attack the invading army, especially after there’s a revolt in the refugee compound that’s housing several Hollow Earth abnormals in which the subterranean creatures take hostages and threaten to kill them. No one in authority will take Will’s calls, and withMagnus MIA he’s clearly out of his depth.Robin Dunne and Pascale Hutton in Sanctuary (2008)After that crisis, and Magnus’ return, things are different. The government is very leery of abnormals and they create a department, SCUI, to hunt down the Hollow Earth creatures that are still on the surface. Either imprisoning the abnormals that they capture or using them for experiments it’s a race between the bad military and the saintly Sanctuary to see who can locate and capture the renegade abnormals first.There are some very good episodes in this season. Monsoon, where Magnus is held hostage by some abnormal crooks while in an airport in Africa was a high point. Seeing the unarmed Magnus take out a group of ex-military super-humans was delightful.Amanda Tapping and Pascale Hutton in Sanctuary (2008)The series does wrap up (though there is room for more adventures) It was nice that the show did get a coda. All in al lSanctuary was an excellent show that lasted four seasons and left room for more stories to be told shold Syfy every decide to bring it back.

REVIEW: IZOMBIE – SEASON 5

Rose McIver in iZombie (2015)

MAIN CAST

Rose McIver (Power Rangers RPM)
Malcolm Goodwin (American Gangster)
Rahul Kohli (Happy Anniversary)
Robert Buckley (Killer Movie)
David Anders (Alias)
Aly Michalka (Two and a Half Men)
Bryce Hodgson (Kid Cannabis)

Rose McIver in iZombie (2015)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Jennifer Irwin (Bad Teacher)
Daran Norris (Veronica Mars)
Quinta Brunson (Lazor Wulf)
Tongayi Chirisa (Crusoe)
Francis Capra (Heroes)
Jessica Harmon (The 100)
Robert Salvador (Arrow)
Jade Payton (Good Game)
Adam Greydon Reid (Sanctuary)
Aaron Craven (The Predator)
Emy Aneke (The Drive)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Airplane)
Jackie Debatin (Switched at Birth)
John Emmet Tracy (Fifty Shades Freed)
Christie Laing (Arrow)
Stephanie Lemelin (Young Justice)
Gage Golightly (Teen Wolf)
Ryan Devlin (Veronica Mars)
Bill Wise (Boyhood)
Magda Apanowicz (Caprica)
Bill Dow (Stargate SG.1)
Ken Marino (Agent Carter)
Eddie Jemison (Waitress)
Molly Hagan (No Good Nick)
Laura Bilgeri (The Recall)
Valerie Tian (Juno)
Carrie Anne Fleming (Supernatural)
Doug Hutchison (The Green Mile)
Nick Purcha (Cold Zone)
Hanneke Talbot (Star Trek: Discovery)
Nemo Cartwright (Descendants)
Ari Cohen (IT)
Ellie Harvie (The New Addams Family)
Chris Lowell (Veronica Mars)
Alex Zahara (Horns)

Anyone hoping that Seattle’s new leadership would help ease zombie-human relations on iZombie was out of luck during the show’s fifth and final season. Sure, Peyton is now the acting mayor, and Major is a far more benevolent Fillmore Graves commander than Chase Graves. But six months after the Season 4 finale, the city’s problems remain: There aren’t enough brains to feed the undead, and tensions between humans and zombies are at an all-time high. When a video of the undead chowing down on a human woman’s brain goes viral, things only get worse. Even Blaine — who is living lavishly like a rock star — finds that his brain-smuggling business is in trouble. The border agents he’s paid off to look the other way are no longer OK with zombies, meaning Blaine’s operation isn’t delivering like it used to. And as he explains to Liv and Clive — whose wife Dale is pregnant! — when zombies get hungry, he gets sad. And when he delivers less brains, he’s less wealthy, which makes him even sadder.As per their deal, Major puts the pressure on Blaine to bring in the goods. “It’s why people are willing to pretend you’re Jack Sparrow and not Jack the Ripper,” Major reminds him. So Blaine kidnaps the five border security guards and threatens to turn them into zombies and kill all their loved ones. Four of them agree to resume their partnership, while the fifth never returns to work, if you know what I mean.Daran Norris and Aly Michalka in iZombie (2015)Meanwhile, the zombie-hating Dead Enders are going to extreme and violent lengths. A human man approaches one of the activist leaders at her food truck and is given a location and time. He then drives a van armed with explosives into a security checkpoint, killing several Fillmore Graves soldiers. With all the chaos, it’s easy to understand why Major is inundated with applications from people wanting to leave Seattle. At the same time, Liv is reviewing hopefuls who want into the city, including a video from a teen boy who’s terminally ill and stuck in a terrible foster home. When she sends Not!Weevil to get him across the border, Liv’s cohort finds a surprise waiting for him: two little girls from the foster home, who are also in need of saving. Even though he doesn’t have IDs for the girls, Not!Weevil takes all three kids with him. But alas, one of the other passengers on the bus tips off the police to the girls hiding in the bathroom.Rose McIver in iZombie (2015)Back at home, Ravi consumes the brains of a Vinnie Jones-type macho man and goes all aggro. Thankfully, he has a very understanding but no-nonsense girlfriend in Peyton. On the downside, he doesn’t get off to the best start with his new liaison on the cure, seeing as how he mostly just yells at her. The other doctor figures out the condition needed to derive the cure, but the real Ravi warns her that it would put 300 children’s lives in jeopardy. She eventually comes around to his side and keeps the information from her bosses. and thats just the opener.Rose McIver in iZombie (2015)The remaining episodes of the season bring some laughs, some sadness and more brain eating fun from our favorite Zombie. with the series coming to a close it will always remain a quirky entertaining show with a lot of heart and will be missed.

REVIEW: IZOMBIE – SEASON 4

iZombie (2015)

 

MAIN CAST

Rose McIver (Power Rangers RPM)
Malcolm Goodwin (American Gangster)
Rahul Kohli  (Happy Anniversary)
Robert Buckley (Killer Movie)
David Anders (Alias)
Aly Michalka (Two and a Half Men)
Robert Knepper (Cult)

iZombie (2015)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Jason Dohring (Veronica Mars)
Adam Kaufman (BUffy: TVS)
Jessica Harmon (The 100)
Bryce Hodgson (Kid Cannabis)
Robert Salvador (Arrow)
Jade Payton (Good Game)
Daniel Bacon (Stargate SG.1)
John Emmet Tracy (Fifty Shades Freed)
Dawnn Lewis (Futurama)
Linda Park (Star Trek Enterprise)
Jake Manley (The Order)
Sam Huntington (Superman Returns)
Ryan Devlin (Veronica Mars)
Gerard Plunkett (Sucker Punch)
Christie Laing (Arrow)
Keenan Tracey (Bates Motel)
James Jordan (Veronica Mars)
Hiro Kanagawa (Heroes Reborn)
Daniel Bonjour (After The Rain)
Adam Greydon Reid (Sanctuary)
Francis Capra (Veronica Mars)
Bar Paly (Pain & Gain)
Ella Cannon (Supernatural)
Eddie Jemison (Waitress)
Izabela Vidovic (Veronica Mars)
Adam Tsekhman (Legends of Tomorrow)
Carrie Anne Fleming (Supernatural)
Enrico Colantoni (Flashpoint)
Al Sapienza (House of Cards)
Jill Teed (Battlestar Galactica)
Mather Zickel (Bones)
Paul Rudd (Ant-Man)
Nemo Cartwright (Descendants)

 

Rose McIver in iZombie (2015)Across its first three seasons, iZombie was largely Veronica Mars with zombies and that was no bad thing. It was consistently entertaining, offered a fresh take on the overpopulated zombie genre and had a cast of characters you genuinely engaged with, not to mention a hugely underrated lead turn from Rose McIver, who absolutely nailed every single personality she was asked to inhabit.  From superhero-brain to old-man-brain and many more in between, Liv’s (McIver) various personalities after eating the brains of victims to solve their murders have been a large part of the show’s quirky charm.Robert Buckley, Rose McIver, Aly Michalka, and Rahul Kohli in iZombie (2015)Yet you had the sense it was always building to a game-changing event – which came in the season-three finale as the existence of zombies was revealed to the world. Following a time jump, season four started with Seattle becoming the walled city of New Seattle as the US government contained the zombie outbreak, setting up a season-long conflict between zombies and humans that looks set to explode in the season four finale.More importantly though, the season has upped the stakes for Liv, where she’s not just a crime-solving zombie any more, meaning that the ‘Brain of the Week’ structure has taken a bit of a backseat. It’s a big change that is good for the show, especially now that it’s been renewed for a fifth and final season by The CW.iZombie (2015)This season has seen Liv become the underground leader Renegade after the previous leader was brutally executed, smuggling sick humans into New Seattle and scratching them to save them so they can start a new life as a zombie. It’s put her in the sights of Fillmore-Graves, who are responsible for controlling the population in New Seattle, with the penultimate episode seeing her turn herself in to protect her boyfriend Levon (Daniel Bonjour). Liv’s arc has helped to keep the show fresh, immune to the problems of predictability that can affect long-running crime procedurals due to the repetitive structure. Instead we have a show whose morally complex central storyline has a genuine sense of peril – tricky when your main character is a zombie, even though we can’t imagine Liv will be killed off in the season-four finale.iZombie (2015)The big change hasn’t been without its issues, though, as some overstuffed episodes in the second half of season four struggled to find the right balance between quirky and serious. However, when the show could easily have rested on its laurels, it decided to change things up. Surely it’s better for an established show to rip up the status quo? It’s not like fans haven’t had the ‘Brain of the Week’ to enjoy, either, as Liv has savoured hopeless-romantic-brain, germaphobic-brain and pick-up-artist-brain among others, and the rest of the cast have got in on the act too (Major’s wrestler-brain remains a highlight). The only difference is that these are now just the delicious sides to the meatier main course of the season.b7dab6_928eb416b1fb4db898d56136b89713f0~mv2And with co-creator Rob Thomas revealing before the show was renewed that he needed just one more season to get to the “end of our story”, iZombie’s move into a more serialised storytelling can pay dividends in the final season as it’s clear that it’s all been building to a planned resolution.izombie-season-4-finale-1111048-1280x0That’s likely to be the discovery of a workable zombie cure, and Ravi had a breakthrough in the penultimate episode – but iZombie doesn’t need to be cured. It’s never felt more alive.

REVIEW: LOST IN SPACE (2018)

 

Maxwell Jenkins in Lost in Space (2018)

MAIN CAST

Molly Parker (Pure)
Toby Stephens (The Machine)
Taylor Russell (The Maze)
Ignacio Serricchio (Bones)
Maxwell Jenkins (A Family Man)
Mina Sundwall (#Horror)
Parker Posey (Superman Returns)
Brian Steele (Terminator Salvation)

Maxwell Jenkins in Lost in Space (2018)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Raza Jaffrey (Homeland)
Ajay Friese (Riot Girls)
Veenu Sandhu (Ambrosia)
Sibongile Mlambo (Teen Wolf)
Kiki Sukezane (Heroes Reborn)
Amelia Burstyn (Defiance)
Yukari Komatsu (Godzilla)
Adam Greydon Reid (Izombie)
Iain Belcher (Ungodly Acts)
Rowan Schlosberg (The Crossing)
Selma Blair (Hellboy)
Bill Mumy (Babylon 5)
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (47 Ronin)
Shaun Parkes (The Mummy Returns)
Amelia Burstyn (Defiance)

Lost in Space (2018)After a large mysterious object called the Christmas Star collides with Earth, humanity is forced to look for a new habitable world to call home. When their mothership, The Resolute, runs into a spacetime disruption, all of the Jupiter ships, including the Robinsons’, are forced to evacuate, which results in their ship crash-landing on an uncharted planet. This is where the Robinsons encounter their greatest enemy…No, not Dr. Smith…We’ll get to her later. Their biggest stumbling block is themselves. Especially when it comes to working together. The writers’ effective use of flashbacks throughout the season offers vital information, which helps the viewer better understand what makes the Robinsons tick.Molly Parker, Toby Stephens, Ignacio Serricchio, Maxwell Jenkins, Mina Sundwall, and Taylor Russell in Lost in Space (2018)For instance, John Robinson, played by Black Sails alum Toby Stephens, struggles to be the father his children need him to be in times of crisis. We learn early on that he’s a Marine and rarely sees his children because he’s out on secret missions most of the time. When his son Will (Maxwell Jenkins) can’t find the courage to complete a difficult task, instead of being a comforting parent, John treats Will like a soldier, barking orders and telling him to follow protocol. Stephens deftly portrays John as a man who wants to do the right thing but doesn’t know how. It’s a dilemma that only gets worse once the robot shows up.“Danger Will Robinson” is back with a reimagined version of the hulking arm-flapping robot. The robot’s origin story is a bit different and more unique than its predecessors, but we won’t spoil the reasons why. In place of a distant father, Will’s relationship with the Robot becomes pivotal to the entire season, as John both loathes and respects the robot for looking after his son. Something John failed to do back on Earth. The Robinson women are equally fantastic. Maureen, the mom, is the leader of the group. Even John cowers in her wake. Actress Molly Parker (Deadwood) gives a fierce performance as the Robinson matriarch, who like John, finds it difficult to know when to trust that her kids will make the right decisions.Molly Parker in Lost in Space (2018)There’s also Penny (Mina Sundwall), the middle child, and Judy (Taylor Russell), the oldest. Of all the kids, Judy goes through the biggest transformation this season. At 18, she’s already a trained surgeon who carries the weight of the world on her shoulders whenever someone is badly injured. After going through her own traumatic event shortly after their crash, Judy experiences bouts of PTSD that impede her ability to do her job. Russell handles her character’s fragile emotional state well.Let’s talk about Dr. Smith, played by Parker Posey. In a series that has effectively resurfaced as a dynamic 21st-century drama, Posey’s Smith feels like she’s stuck back in 1965. Her version of Smith is always up to no good and it’s hard to understand why the Robinsons keep giving her chances instead of throwing her out of the airlock. Dr. Smith is just so obviously evil, with no complexity to her character. Even when the writers try to develop her backstory, it falls short. None of her motivations, except for survival, make sense. If you took Smith out of the picture, no one would miss her. Lost in Space is a stellar sci-fi adventure series that the whole family can enjoy. The Robinsons are a fascinating bunch that are fighting for their own survival as well as that of the human race. Over the course of its 10 episodes, you will be introduced to some other colorful characters like the roguish Don Smith, played by a charismatic Ignacio Serricchio and Victor Dhar, the political-type you just love to hate. If you take Smith out of the equation, the series is worth getting lost in.

REVIEW: CULT (2013)

cult-version2-TV-series-poster

MAIN CAST

Matthew Davis (The Vampire Diaries)
Jessica Lucas (Gotham)
Alona Tal (Veronica Mars)
Robert Kneppr (Izombie)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Marie Avgeropoulos (50/50)
Tom Amandes (Arrow)
Zak Santiago (Caprica)
Aisha Hinds (Star Trek Into Darkness)
Andrew Leeds (Bones)
Rebecca McFarland (Two and a Half Men)
Stacey Farber (Narc)
Spencer Locke (Resident Evil: Afterlife)
Ona Grauer (V)
Obba Babatundé (Half & Half)
Erica Gimpel (Roswell)
Brigid Brannagh (Angel)
Jeffrey Pierce (Bosch)
Teryl Rothery (Stargate SG.1)
Adam Greydon Reid (Sanctuary)
Eric Lange (Lost)
Michael Hogan (Battlestar Galactica)
James Pizzinato (Godzilla)

Cult is a TV show about a TV show. In TV Bizarro World, Cult was a show from The CW. It has a following so strong that a fandom-courting bar actually has an entire room dedicated to giving Cult fans space to geek out and obsess over details of the latest episode. Not only is the in-universe show crazy-popular but (some of) its fans are crazy-crazy. “Secret” websites lure unsuspecting LARPers into the role-play from hell. Fans and crew alike have a habit of disappearing under mysterious circumstances. Apparently the conspiracy has infiltrated the police force. The show’s creator is notoriously reclusive and doesn’t seem to mind the fervor with which the lines between his TV show and reality are blurred by his fans and/or followers. In fact, that might just be the whole point.

And our only hope lies with Jeff Sefton (Matt Davis), ex-reporter and general nitwit, who takes an interest in the series when his brother Nate disappears after making contact with “them” but continues to pop in from time to time with a staticky phone call to plead for help, or to plead for Jeff to stay away. The best representation of this in the pilot was the CD he left behind for Jeff to find, and then basically told him not to use.

Not gonna lie, there’s a lot of WTF. Jeff is joined in his quest by a sexy young research assistant for Cult. Skye Yarrow (Jessica Lucas), a.k.a. Jeff’s “future love interest in training,” grew alarmed when she discovered those creepy secret websites and then more worried when her boss was largely unconcerned with creepy fans doing creepy things and, you know, murderin’ people. Maybe. Probably.
Skye, it turns out, had personal reasons for initially joining the Cult crew—her father was a journalist who went missing years earlier while investigating Steven Rae, the creator of Cult, for corruption—presumably back before he ever had a TV series. Once you get the hang of jumping between scenes from the fake/show-within-a-show Cult and scenes from the real/debuted-on-The-CW-in-February-2013 Cult, the plot itself is fairly easy to follow, the plots of the TV show mirrored the plot of “reality” damn near perfectly with Alona Tal’s Marti Gerritsen’s Kelly Collins (yep, that’s real actress > fake actress > fake TV character) looking for her missing sister with 3D glasses while Jeff did the same for Nate. Both of their best leads blew their brains out after uttering the show’s apparent catchphrase, “These things just snap right off.” I appreciated the parallel narratives, and I think they could be fun from time to time.Suffer the ChildrenCult was cancelled sadly after 1 season so alot of the story arcs never get resolved, the story within a story concept was intriguing but it looks like its going to be a forgotten show, as we have yet to even get a dvd release.