12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: THE FLASH – THE PRESENT

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MAIN CAST

Grant Gustin (Glee)
Candice Patton (Heroes)
Danielle Panabaker (The Crazies)
Carlos Valdes (Vixen)
Keiynan Lonsdale (Insurgent)
Tom Cavanagh (Van Helsing)
Jesse L. Martin (Injustice)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Tom Felton (Harry Potter)
Mark Hamill (Star Wars)
Nicholas Gonzalez (Sleepy Hollow)
Danielle Nicolet (Central Intelligence)
John Wesley Shipp (The Flash 90s)

I’ll definitely say this for “The Present” – it takes a pretty eventful episode to make Mark Hamill reprising his role as the Trickster seem like a footnote. Apparently it’s becoming an annual tradition to celebrate Christmas with another Trickster appearance. This episode certainly shook up the formula by introducing the Earth-3 version of the villain. Hamill really went all-out despite his limited screen time, modeling this Trickster directly after Conrad Veidt’s character Gwynplaine from 1928’s The Man Who Laughs. This was the closest we’ll probably ever get to seeing Hamill playing the Joker in live-action. It was neat seeing him pay homage to Joker’s main inspiration, and neater still to see both Hamill and John Wesley Shipp reviving their rivalry from the 1990 Flash series.

It was frustrating to see so little of the Trickster this week. Hamill is too much fun in the role to On the other hand, how much could the writers feasibly focus on a character who’s clearly out of his pay grade battling two Flashes at once? And if Hamill got the short end of the stick, the same couldn’t be said for Shipp. This might have been the most Shipp-heavy episode of the entire series, regardless of which character he was playing. But that extra focus was certainly justified. Shipp is every bit as perfect for the role of Jay Garrick  as he was Henry Allen in the first two seasons. He was that natural charm and gravitas that befits the elder statesman of the speedster family.

Most importantly, Shipp succeeds in playing Jay as a much different character from Henry. He has the same fundamental decency, perhaps, but there’s a certain aloofness to Jay all the same. There’s a clear awkwardness between Jay and Barry. Barry is turning to Jay for advice almost in spite of himself, seeking fatherly support from a man who isn’t Henry, no matter how much he resembles him. And Jay, for his part, doesn’t seem quite comfortable in this mentor role yet. If there’s one thing this season has accomplished, it’s giving Flash fans the classic Jay Garrick Season 2 denied them.

“The Present” offered quite a bit of progress on the Savitar/Alchemy front, with multiple speedster battles and more insight into what makes both villains tick. The writers were able to retain Julian’s appeal with the reveal that he’s never been in control of his actions as Alchemy. He’s been little more than a pawn preparing the way for the self-proclaimed god of motion to enter this world. And now that Savitar has been exorcised, as it were, Julian seems poised to resume his old role as half friend/half antagonist to Barry. No doubt he’ll still have a major part to play once the Savitar conflict ramps up again, but for now I’m looking forward to seeing his prickly relationship with Barry become the main focus again.
Things are picking up on the Savitar front. The scene where Savitar possessed Julian and spoke to Team Flash was easily the highlight of the entire episode, as well as a reminder that less is often more when it comes to big, monstrous villains. The scene offered much more insight into Savitar’s background and reasons for targeting Barry. He’s not a god, despite his claims, but someone from Barry’s future who feels personally wronged by the Scarlet Speedster. Given his intimate knowledge of everyone in the room, it’s not much of a stretch to suggest that one of them will become Savitar.
Savitar’s cryptic tease about future tragedies awaiting Team Flash was a nice touch. With the Flashpoint conflict receding into the background now, it seems the driving force of the second half of Season 3 will be the question of whether the future is inevitable or if fate can be rewritten. Is Iris fated to be murdered by Savitar? Is Caitlin doomed to become Killer Frost? Actually catching a glimpse of what looks to be a pivotal scene in one of the final episodes of the season certainly lends an extra touch of impending doom to the series. Cisco had a solid subplot of his won this week, with Savitar preying on his grief over Dante’s death and using it to nearly usher in his second coming. Carlos Valdes is so often the designated comic relief on this show, so it’s been a refreshing change of pace seeing him explore Cisco’s mourning process and his rift with Barry over the past couple months.

And with all the doom and gloom this week, it was nice to see the writers take some time at the end of the episode to celebrate the holiday season and wrap up 2016 on a more upbeat note. The West family Christmas party was a fun, sentimental way to cap off the episode. We got to see HR get drunk on Grandma Esther’s eggnog, Julian get into the holiday spirit and Caitlin ensure everyone got to enjoy a white Christmas. Plus, Barry gave Iris a very romantic Christmas present. A great Mid-Season finale that keeps us waiting and wondering whats to come in 2017.

 

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REVIEW: MARVEL ANIME – X-MEN

 

CAST (VOICES)
Steve Blum (Wolverine and The X-Men)
Cam Clarke (He-Man 2002)
Danielle Nicolet (3rd Rock from The Sun)
Scott Porter (Speed Racer)
Fred Tatasciore (9)
Travis Willingham (Shelf Life)
Gwendoline Yeo (The Batman)
Troy Baker (Lego Justice League: Cosmic Clash)
Jennifer Hale (The Powerpuff Girls)
Laura Bailey (JLA Adventures)
really enjoyed this dvd. The animation is great, the story was ok. 4 out of 6 of the X-men they got spot on. They mixed a couple of classic X mythos stories together. It starts from the end of the Dark Phinex saga, and the i could tell you the other saga but that will give too much of the series away. The 4 character they got right were Wolverine, Cyclops, Beast, and Xavier. Storm and Emma Frost they made too nice (personality wise), where as in the comics both of these two are the more snooty and suppier members of the them. Yes both women look like they have has had enhancements surgery and Emma tends to display this as proudly as you can without actually revealing all, but in all fairness has Emma ever worn anything in the comics that would pass for PG? I don’t think so.there were silly little mistakes yes but I can over look them. Eg as soon as there is a new revelation it has to be explained again and again to all the characters not on the screen. Characters do get cut and bloodied in episodes but seem to heal during the credits. Also I am not quite sure what the X-men are fighting for, outside Japan mutants seem to be quite well accepted.

As I said the animation is great. The story starts from the “death” of Jean Grey. The whole team disbands to recover a year later they are needed again. Cyclops is obviously hit hardest by this and is most of the serise is based on him moving on from this tragedy, this affects his ability to lead, trust and just live. So there is some character development as well. Wolverine is perfectly just his surly rough self. Later on he even has a moment of beserker rage that they would not show in normal kid friendly show. For the sake of this serise imagin Muir Island is in Japan instead of Scotland, this is where most of the story takes place. It is even nice to see professor X contributing in the field. The only thing is they did not use many familiar X villains.

 

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: 3RD ROCK FROM THE SUN – THE CHRISTMAS EPISODES

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CAST
John Lithgow (Rise of The Planet of The Apes)
Kristen Johnston (Ugly Betty)
French Stewart (Mom)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Looper)
Jane Curtin (The Heat)
Simbi Khali (Plump Fiction)
Elmarie Wendel (The Loax)
Wayne Knight (Jurassic Park)
JOLLY OLD ST. DICK
GUEST CAST
Shay Astar (Ernest Scared Stupid)
Ian Lithgow (Rice Girl)
David Deluise (Vampires Suck)
Chris Hogan (EDTV)
Danielle Nicolet (The Flash)
Ileen getz (Changing Lanes)

The Solomons are excitedly preparing for Christmas. Sally has a festive job as a gift wrapper and Harry as Santa’s assistant in the mall, but their Christmas spirit is drowned when Dick is arrested for attempting to cut somebody’s tree down for his living room, Sally and her shoppers get into an argument and Harry discovers that the Santa he is working for isn’t the real one, while Tommy is frustrated that girlfriend August won’t tell him what she wants for Christmas. A classic Christmas episode teaching the Solomons what Xmas is all about. Sally working at the mall was a highlight and Dick thinking the mistletoe is weeds growing on the wood. all in all a great episode and I love watching it every year.

HAPPY NEW DICK
GUEST CAST
Ileen getz (Changing Lanes)
Steve Larson (Gia)
Jim Beaver (Mike & Molly)
Jeff Doucette (Bedazzled)
Nancy Yee (Enemy of the State)
Ron West (Anger Management)

As 1998 comes to close, Dick worries that he hasn’t accomplished anything worthwhile and struggles to do something to make the past year count. Meanwhile, Officer Don becomes annoyed with Sally after she uses her feminine wiles to persuade him to get tickets for Rutherford’s exclusive Starlight Room, then changes her mind when he succeeds. At Happy Doug’s bar, Harry and Tommy plan an explosive New Year’s party and Harry hires on his old night school friends, Larry and Mrs. Deguzman, but they turn out to be layabouts.

Another decent episode as always Sally trying to manipulate Don in buying her stuff is hilarious and Dick trying seek out meaning in the year that has just passed, only to find it in the woman he loves.

REVIEW: STARGATE – SG.1 – SEASON 1-10

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MAIN CAST

Richard Dean Anderson (MacGyver)
Michael Shanks (Smallville)
Amanda Tapping (Sanctuary)
Christopher Judge (The Dark Knight Rises)
Don S. Davis (Andromeda)
Corin Nemec (Parker Lewis Can’t Loose)
Ben Browder (Farscape)
Beau Bridges (My Name Is Earl)
Claudia Black (The Originals)

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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Jay Avocone (Beauty and The Beast 1989)
Vaitiare Bandera (Out of The Blue)
Peter Williams (Catwoman)
Brent Stait (Blade: The Series)
Gary Jones (Highlander: The Series)
Alexis Cruz (Dark Wolf)
Rachel Hayward (Jingle All The Way 2)
Colin Lawrence (X-Men 2)
Adam Harrington (The Secret Circle)
Kevin McNulty (Elektra)
Alan Rachins (Batman: TAS)
Jorge Vargas (Power Rangers Ninja Storm)
Soon-Tek Oh (Death Wish 4)
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Mortal Kombat Legacy)
Crystal Lowe (Poison Ivy 4)
Teryl Rothery (Arrow)
Steve Makaj (IT)
Roger Cross (First Wave)
William Russ (American History X)
Harley Jane Kozak (Santa Barbara)
Gabrielle Miller (Highlander: The Series)
Bobbie Phillips (Two Guys and a Girl)
Galyn Gorg (Robocop 2)
Tamsin Kelsey (Needful Things)
James Earl Jones (Star Wars)
Keene Curtis (Lois & Clark)
Elizabeth Hoffman (Sisters)
Paul McGillion (Stargate: Atlantis)
Tony Amendola (The Mask of Zorro)
Katie Stuart (She’s The Man)
Tobin Bell (Boogeyman 2)
Ronny Cox (Robocop)
Douglas Arthurs (Act of War)
Bonnie Bartlett (Firefly)
Dwight Schultz (The A-Team)
Tobias Mehler (Wishmaster 3)
Peter Bryant (Dark Angel)
Chris Owens (Red)
Erick Avari (Heroes)
Tom McBeath (Bates Motel)
Sarah Douglas (Superman 2)
JR Bourne (Arrow)
Christina Cox (Earth: Final Conflict)
Matthew Walker (Highlander: The Series)
Eric Breker (X-Men Origins)
Marshall R. Teague (Armageddon)
Colin Cunningham (Elektra)
Carmen Argenziano (Identity)
Amber Rothwell (Andromeda)
Tom Butler (Blade: The Series)
Samantha Ferris (Along Came a Spider)
Mitchell Kosterman (Smallville)
Andrew Airlie (Final Destination 2)
Britt Irvin (V)
Ty Olsson (Izombie)
Sam J. Jones (Flash Gordon)
Dion Johnstone (The Core)
Megan Leitch (IT)
Jason Gray-Stanford (Bones)
William deVry (Earth: Final Conflict)
David Palffy (Blade: The Series)
Garwin Sanford (The Fly 2)
Kevin Durand (Dark Angel)
Terry Chen (Bates Motel)
Steve Bacic (Andromeda)
Anne Marie DeLuise (Smallville)
Rene Auberjonois (Star Trek: DS9)
Musetta Vander (Buffy)
Vanessa Angel (Puppet Master vs Demonic Toys)
Marina Sirtis (Star Trek: TNG)
Alessandro Juliani (Smallville)
Brian Markinson (Arrow)
Peter Wingfield (Highlander: The Series)
Willie Garson (White Collar)
Matthew Bennett (Battlestar Galactica)
Steven Williams (Jason Goes To Hell)
Anna-Louise Plowman (Shanghai Knights)
Paul Koslo (The Flash 90s)
Dion Luther (The Net: The Series)
Christopher Cousins (The Vampire Diaries)
Michelle Harrison (The Flash)
Elisabeth Rosen (House of The Dead)
Hrothgar Mathews (Deception)
Bill Dow (Legends of The Fall)
Sean Patrick Flanery (Raging Angels)
John de Lancie (Star Trek: TNG)
John Prosky (The Devil Inside)
Colleen Rennison (The Story of Us)
Jacqueline Samuda (The L Word)
Larry Drake (Firefly)
Garry Chalk (Dark Angel)
Bill Marchant (Chappie)
Michael Deluise (Lost)
Jill Teed (Arrow)
Courtenay J. Stevens (Beach)
Grace Park (Battlestar Galactica)
David Kopp (Blade: The Series)
Cliff Simon (Days of Our Lives)
Jennifer Calvert (Earthsea)
Obi Ndefo (Angel)
Rick Worthy (The Vampire Diaries)
Danielle Nicolet (3rd Rock From The Sun)
David Hewlett (Splice)
Aleks Paunovic (Mortal Kombat Legacy)
Aaron Douglas (Battlestar Galactica)
Dorian Harewood (Termiantor: TSCC)
Ona Grauer (V)
Blu Mankuma (Tin Man)
Michael Eklund (Arrow)
Dean Stockell (Quantum Leap)
Patrick Mckenna (Robocop: The Series)
John Billingsley (Cold Case)
Michael Adamthwaite (Tru Calling)
Peter Stebbings (Bates Motel)
Gwynyth Walsh (Taken)
George Wyner (Spaceballs)
Kendall Cross (X-Men 2)
Ian Buchanan (Justice League Unlimited)
Tahmoh Penikett (Dollhouse)
G. Patrick Currie (Smallville)
Francois Chau (Lost)
Sarah Deakins (Andromeda)
David Paetkau (Flashpoint)
John Novak (Wishmaster 3 & 4)
Thomas Kopache (Catch Me If You Can)
Michael Welch (All The Boys Love Mandy Lane)
David Richmond-Peck (V)
Christopher Heyerdahl (Sanctuary)
James Parks (Kill Bill)
Michael Rooker (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Kavan Smith (Sanctuary)
Jolene Blalock (Star Trek: Enterprise)
Christine Adams (Agents of SHIELD)
Emily Holmes (Dark Angel)
David Deluise (Vampires Suck)
Sebastian Spence (First Wave)
Saul Rubinek (Memory Run)
Adam Baldwin (Chuck)
Peter Flemming (Love Sick)
James McDaniel (Sleepy Hollow)
Jessica Steen (Armageddon)
William Devane (The Dark Knight Rises)
Torri Higginson (Highlander: The Raven)
Kira Clavell (Ninja Turtles: Next Mutation)
Alisen Down (Smallville)
David Kaufman (Superman: TAS)
Amy Sloan (The Aviator)
James Kidnie (Arrow)
Erica Durance (Smallville)
Derek Hamilton (Out Cold)
Charles Shaughnessy (Sabrina: TTW)
Barclay Hope (Paycheck)
Dan Castellaneta (The Simpsons)
Isaac Hayes (South Park)
Mel Harris (Thirtysomething)
Clare Carey (Hercules: TLJ)
Lexa Doig (Andromeda)
April Telek (Supernatural)
Julian Sands (Gotham)
Louis Gossett Jr (The Punisher 80s)
Maury Chaykin (Andromeda)
Sonya Salomaa (Watchmen)
William B. Davis (The X-Files)
Robert Picardo (Star Trek: Voyager)
Cameron Bright (Running Scared)
Tony Todd (The Flash)
Anna Galvin (Caprica)
William Atherton (Die Hard)
Reed Diamond (Dollhouse)
Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters)
John Aylward (Alias)
Peter Shinkoda (Masked Rider)
Tamlyn Tomita (Highlander: The Series)
Tim Guinee (Iron Man)
Daniella Evangelista (Edgemont)
Michael Ironside (Total Recall)
John Noble (Sleepy Hollow)
Katharine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps)
Eric Steinberg (Terminator: TSCC)
Noah Danby (Bitten)
Jodelle Ferland (Kingdom Hospital)
Joe Flanigan (Thoughtcrimes)
Sarah Strange (Dark Angel)
David Nykl (Arrow)
Chuck Campbell (Jason X)
Keegan Connor Tracy (Bates Motel)
Corey Monteith (Glee)
Morena Baccarin (Gotham)
Rudolf Martin (Buffy)
Scott McNeil (Beast Wars)
Aisha Hinds (Cult)
Mike Dopud (X-Men: Days of Future Past)
Ron Canada (Wedding Crashers)
Craig Fairbrass (Termiantor: TSCC)
John Tench (Andromeda)
Fred Willard (Anchorman)
Jonathan Walker (Flash Gordon)

Most TV shows spun off from movies are uninvolving and uninteresting, and hopefully die and are forgotten.

That wasn’t the case with the spinoff of the 1995 movie “Stargate,” a science fiction movie that spawned an excellent television series, “Stargate SG-1.” The first season is not nearly as brilliant as the ones that followed it, but it’s a welcome change from distant space operas — excellent writing, acting, and a sense of humor about itself and its characters.

The Stargate has been inactive for a year — until it is activated, and a bunch of Egyptian-styled warriors come through and kidnap a young officer. General Hammond (Don S. Davis) pulls Jack O’Neill (Richard Dean Anderson) out of retirement to learn what really happened on the planet of Abydos, and where these mysterious aliens have come from. O’Neill and a small team go to Abydos and find Daniel Jackson (Michael Shanks) who has been learning about a vast network of Stargates over the past year. But when Daniel’s wife Sha’re and brother-in-law Skaara are abducted by the same warriors, O’Neill, Jackson and Air Force scientist Sam Carter (Amanda Tapping) use the Stargate to venture to where they’re being kept. What they find is an alien race who inhabits human hosts, the Goa’uld, and their ruthless slave warriors, the Jaffa. Carter, O’Neill and Jackson are captured by the powerful Apophis — but to escape, they must have the help of an unlikely ally: Teal’c (Christopher Judge), Apophis’ First Prime. Since Earth has now annoyed the Goa’uld, several exploration teams are formed to go through the Stargate and find weapons and allies.
And SG-1 — Carter, O’Neill, Jackson and Teal’c — encounters some very strange problems: a plague that turns people into savages, a people who live only a hundred days, a Viking planet, a Stargate explorer stranded since 1945, a little girl turned into a bomb, the seductive Goa’uld queen Hathor, and coming back as robots. And when the military shuts down the SG program, Daniel reveals that the Earth is about to be destroyed by Apophis’ armies. The first season of “Stargate SG-1” isn’t the most impressive, though the last three episodes hint at the series’ future greatness. And thankfully, it drops the usual space opera stuff — instead we get Stargates, real military, and a very plausible reason why everybody in the galaxy (more or less) looks just like us. It’s graced with kitschy Egyptian-styled sets, lots of shoot-em-up action from Marines and Air Force, and plenty of planets influenced by Earth cultures, like the Minoans and the Vikings. Best of all is the snappy dialogue, mostly from the tart-tongued O’Neill.

When we last left Our Heroes, they were on Apophis’ ship, facing the impending destruction and/or enslavement of everyone on Earth.
So unsurprisingly, the second season of “Stargate SG-1” can only get better from there on. In fact, this is when the clever, innovative sci-fi series really started to gel together, with more intriguing storylines, character arcs, and some new alien allies — basically, it all blooms.
Intending to blow up Apophis’ ship, our heroes get captured by the Jaffa and thrown in a cell — only to be unexpectedly rescued by Bra’tac (Tony Amendola), Teal’c’s old teacher. As Earth mounts a pitiful defense against the Goa’uld, SG-1 joins with a small band of rebel Jaffa to stop Apophis’ invasion — but they may have to leave one of their number behind.
Obviously the Goa’uld make things awkward throughout the season, with the second episode featuring Sam (Amanda Tapping) being possessed by a Goa’uld during a rescue mission — but it seems that it’s part of a rebel Goa’uld faction called the Tok’ra. Teal’c’s (Christopher Judge) son is kidnapped and brainwashed, and Daniel (Michael Shanks) finds that his beloved wife is pregnant with Apophis’ child.
And of course, SG-1 has to deal with lots of other stuff — insectile transformations, black holes, prison planets, Native American “spirits,” invisible bugs, hostile alien orbs, reliving their most traumatic memories in a VR world, and time traveling to 1969. And O’Neill (Richard Dean Anderson) gets an ancient repository of knowledge downloaded into his head — and he’ll die if they can’t reverse it.
“Stargate SG-1” really got into its stride in the second season — the basic Air-Force-versus-evil-headsnakes story gets expanded out into a bunch of arcs. We get new villains, some surprising new allies, hints about the true origins of the Stargates and the human race, and corrupt factions on Earth who use the spare Stargate for evil ends.

The writing gets even steadier and the alien worlds more interesting — even stuff that sounds goofy, like the planet of singing mushroom-people, somehow works. The drama is stronger, and the sci-fi usage of the Stargate ever more creative, such as when a black hole’s gravity well keeps the gate open, and is slowly sucking Earth through the wormhole.  Of course, all the action and sci-fi is heavily tempered with comedy. Even in grim situations, there’s usually at least a few funny moments, such as Daniel’s tour of the custodial closet. And of course, the dialogue is priceless — most of the good stuff comes from O’Neill, but Teal’c and the others usually get some good ones as well. Of the main cast, Amanda Tapping gets the juiciest role in this season — Sam deals with the impending death of her father, becoming a Goa’uld host, and trying to deal with the feelings it left behind. Including a Tok’ra boyfriend. Yet when we see Sam’s vulnerable sides, Tapping never lets her character be anything but a strong, capable military woman.

But the other actors aren’t neglected — Shanks’ Daniel grapples with the news that his wife is pregnant with Apophis’ baby, while Teal’c faces losing his entire family. Anderson is brilliant as the quirky, capable O’Neill, but he really gets brilliant when Jack’s brain is being overwritten — he has to emote and communicate without a comprehensible word. The second season of “Stargate SG-1” is where the story began to really get great, building up a series of strong story arcs, funny dialogue, and strong characters.

Many people believe that subsequent seasons of Stargate: SG1 get progressively better. So far, no arguement from me. Season 1 was good, 2 was better, and  season 3 is even better. Col. Jack O’Neill (Richard Dean Anderson), and his SG1 team of the now Maj. Samantha Carter (Amanda Tapping), Dr. Daniel Jackson (Michael Shanks), and Teal’c (Christopher Judge) continued their adventures through the Stargate to various old and new planets. The team, as well as the SGC in general, were tested in many more ways than ever thought possible. The team went to “Hell” in order to save Sam’s dad, who is still a member of the Tok’Ra resistance, Daniel suffered a major loss, and O’Neill was blended, albeit briefly, with a Goa’uld. One of the reasons that I personally liked this year was that many of last year’s conflicts were resolved (Lenea, Destroyer of Worlds), which made room for new plotlines (the Replicators), as well as continuing old ones (the search for the Harsesis child).

This is also the season when SG1 truly realizes that they truly have allies in their fight against the Goa’uld; the Asgard helped form a treaty between Earth and the Goa’uld, the Tok’Ra continue to offer their assistance and wisdom, the Nox have begun to reestablish contact with the SGC, and the Tollan.


Other good episodes include “Into the Fire”, “Fair Game”, “Legacy”, “Learning Curve”, “Point of View”, “Past and Present”, “Jolinar’s Memories”, “The Devil You Know”, “Foothold”, “Urgo”, “Shades of Grey”, “New Ground”, and “Nemesis”. Judging by the increase in quality each season.

he Replicators. The Russians. The Aschen. These are only a few of the new enemies presented this year, in Stargate: SG-1 (okay, so technically, the Replicators were introduced last year). These new baddies made a lot of trouble this year for the SGC in what is definitely the best season yet. We learn more about the Replicators this year when Sam (Amanda Tapping) is brought to an Asgard-controlled planet to help defend the O’Neill, the Asgard’s newest and most advanced ship ever. Also, the Russians retrieve the Giza gate from the bottom of the ocean from when Thor’s ship, the Beliskner, crashed, while the SGC is now using the Antarctica gate. And, 10 years in the future, an advanced race, known as the Aschen, are quietly wiping out the human race by making humans infertile.


These are just a handful of the amazing new stories that occurred this year. It seems that Col. O’Neill (Richard Dean Anderson), Maj. Carter, Dr. Jackson (Michael Shanks), and Teal’c (Christopher Judge) can never catch a break. This year, not only have their alien enemies become more powerful than ever, especially Apophis (Peter Williams), their enemies on Earth have truly become a threat. Senator Kinsey (Ronny Cox), the man who tried to shut down the SGC in Season 1, has been linked to the rogue sector of the NID, the civillian organization responsible for the theft of numerous alien technologies over the last few years.


The stories this year are better than ever, especially with an increasing number of arcs occurring. Episodes like “Crossroads” and “The Serpent’s Venom” were expertly executed, and had immense emotional effects on our heroes. However, I have to praise the stand-alones this year, especially “Window of Opportunity” and “The Other Side”, which have never been better.

Some other great episodes are: “Small Victories”, “Upgrades”, “Watergate”, “Point of No Return”, “Tangent”, “The Curse”, “Chain Reaction”, “2010”, “Absolute Power”, “Double Jeopardy”, and “Exodus”.

The year began with a cool premiere, “Enemies”,  There were some amazing story developments this year, beginning with the final demise of Apophis (Peter Williams), the Goa’uld System Lord who has been making life difficult for the SGC ever since the first season. Next, the Tollan, an extremely advanced race of humans who are allied with Earth, begin acting suspiciously, the SGC begins recruiting new officers, the motives of the Aschen from last season are revealed, the Tok’Ra are nearly destroyed, and the Jaffa rebellion begins to truly become a problem for the System Lords.

And then, Daniel is brought to a System Lord summit where he has the chance to wipe out the Goa’uld threat forever, that is until he learns of the return of Anubis, an ancient System Lord who was banished for his horrific crimes. Also, we finally learn the origins of the Replicators. Finally, SG-1 must endure a change that they never thought would happen in the episode “Meridian”, and then, Anubis and Osirus (Anna-Louise Plowman) reveal plans to attack the Asgard.


This is a very important season, good episodes include: “Enemies”, “Threshold”, “Between Two Fires”, “2001”, “Wormhole X-Treme”, “Proving Ground”, “Summit”, “Last Stand”, “The Warrior”, “Menace”, “Meridian”, and “Revelations”.

The season begins with SG-1 still trying to find a fourth man. Ever since the death/ascension of Daniel Jackson (Michael Shanks), they have been unable to find a suitable replacement. Refugee Jonas Quinn (Corinn Nemec) has expressed a desire to join, but Col. O’Neill (Richard Dean Anderson) never seemed to warm up to the idea. Also, Anubis (David Paffly) has found a machine created by the Ancients that uses one stargate to destroy another, and he used it to attempt to destroy Earth.

Using the new X-302, a craft capable of aerial combat and intersellar travel, O’Neill successfully avoids disaster, but the Antarctica gate is destroyed. After that, we don’t see Anubis for a while, but the threat of his powers is always hanging over the heads of the SGC.


With Jonas as the new member of SG-1, the team embarks on another year of amazing missions. This year, we see the end of the exiled System Lord Niirti, known for her attempts to create a superior human host through genetic experimentation, we are introduced to some technology of the Furlings, one of the members of the intergalactic UN group who rallied against the goa’uld, Earth’s first interstellar capital ship, Prometheus is unvailed, the Replicator threat is ended, and, in one of my favorite episodes, Gen. Hammond (Don S. Davis) discloses the existence of the SGC to representitives of the UK, France, and China.


Some great episodes include “Redemption Pts. 1 and 2”, “Descent”, “Nightwalkers”, “Abyss”, “Shadow Play”, “Allegiance”, “Prometheus”, “Unnatural Selection”, “Smoke and Mirrors”, “Disclosure”, “The Changeling”, and “Full Circle”, the best episode of the season.

That is the season when Daniel Jackson (Michael Shanks) returns from being an ascended being, albeit on an alien world without his memory (“Fallen”). This required getting rid of Jonas Quinn (Corin Nemec) to get the old gang back together again, which happens when Anubis download Jonas’ memory and the Goa’uld attack Kelowna (“Homecoming”). Wisely, this is not the last appearance of Jonas for the season (“Fallout”) as he becomes another one of recurring guest characters that are a major strength of the series.

There are several Daniel Jackson stories that make a point of giving the actor interesting things to do, such as “Lifeboat,” where his mind becomes a resting place for a bunch of alien minds, “Enemy Mine,” which requires Jackson to show diplomatic skills, and big time flashbacks in “Chimera,” to before Daniel first saw the Stargate.

Overall, Season 7 is really Samantha Carter’s season and Amanda Tapping has several episodes where she pretty much goes it alone. “Space Race” has her joining an alien pilot for a little intergalactic competition, while “Death Knell” finds Carter being hunted by the supers soldiers of Anubis after an attack on Earth’s secret off-world base. In “Grace” Carter literally ends up alone when the Prometheus is attacked and she wakes up to find herself the only one on a ship drifting in deep space. The other characters show up as the angels of her better nature, which is the only way that Sam and Jack are ever going to have an honest conversation.

The whole Anubis/Lost City bit ends up being equal parts time to beat another bigger and badder system lord and find a fitting end point for the series that can also work as a transition to the spinoff.

Stargate has retained a massive level of consistency over the years, staying at the same level of quality, if not getting even a little bit better: it has always retained the humor, the characterization and the excitement and the action that has made it so loved.

Since season seven, there has been more of a focus on characterization and a tad bit more humor: and i for one welcome this, as the characters have always been the best aspect of the show: season eight continues this trend, and also the trend of even better quality than ever before!
Highlights include the opening two parter: New order Parts one and Two which is very exciting with plenty of plot twists. Affinity is another highlight for me as it is an episode with very little action, it is a mystery with a huge focus on characterization and intrigue, and manages to be very intriguing, with, again, some brilliant little character moments. Prometheus unbound is a highlight.

Reckoning parts one and two are possibly the best episodes of stargate ever made; they wrap up most of the major storylines, bringing the end to both the main enemies in the show, and are impossibly epic: there is so much going on, so much peril and a sense of doom, that you are kept on the edge of your seat the whole time, with some humour thrown in for good measure.

Avalon, Part 1 is a great season opener, introduces  new kid on the block Ben Browder,  as the season progresses the character is definitely fleshed out more and he soon fits in nicely with the tightly-knit S.G.1 team.

However, the bottom line is that this is still a character who bares a striking similarity in disposition to Browder’s other well-known TV personality- Farscape’s John Crichton- with that same irreverent humor and easy-going attitude, but it’s a style that clearly works for Browder and it’s difficult not to find that likable. Beau Bridges’ introduction is made with equally good fanfare, his character is one who I found myself liking more readily- he approaches the role of the General of the base differently to Don S. Davis, with more of an every man approach, although he never hesitates to exert the full force of his office against unfriendly aliens, or humans when required.

Largely thanks to the development of this season’s main story-arc with the introduction of God-wannabes the Ori and their powerful minions known as Priors, this ninth season becomes surprisingly mesmerising in very short order. Beginning with the concluding part and then into episode 3- `Origin’, this season soon establishes itself as one of the best `Stargate: S.G.1′ offerings in years. The use of Arthurian legend in this season is spread pretty thickly in the beginning and had me worried that this fantasy element might not work in a predominantly science-fiction-oriented series, but very soon the parallels the writers draw between the Arthurian myth and the familiar Stargate set-up, become very inventive and come to work surprisingly well at contrasting against the new and growing force of evil spreading through the galaxy. In the first five episodes that other recognizable `Farscape’ regular Claudia Black and her seductively disobedient alter-ego Vala are another reason to be enchanted by this season. Vala brings such humor and life to the series that I was really disappointed when she parted company with S.G.1, despite the welcome return of Sam Carter following her brief career change. Thankfully Vala returns towards the end of the season and here’s hoping it’s not the last we see of her.

This season’s other major success is in its stand-alone stories that continue to present unique, punchy and creative sci-fi ideas to its audience. In particular episode 9- `Prototype’ and episode 13- `Ripple Effect’ are a couple of my favourites, the first of which concerns the discovery of a prodigy of Anubis frozen on a distant planet and the second has multiple S.G.1 teams pouring through the Stargate from diverse alternate realities , both of which had me glued to my seat.

Largely thanks to Vala (Claudia Black) who’s as charming as she is side-splittingly, ingeniously, flirtatiously funny and who now becomes a credited member of the main cast, season ten gets off to a brilliant start  as the action picks up right where the previous season left-off with episode 1- Flesh and Blood and doesn’t decrease in pace.

It explores the continued threat of the Ori and their ever-increasing capture and control of worlds unable to mount any effective resistance against such a seemingly omnipotent foe. Episode 3- The Pegasus Project  is also very gripping with a finale that’s both surprising and tantalizing.

episodes 10- The Quest, Part I and 11- The Quest, Part II both of which work well in continuing SG-1’s discovery & unravelling of Arthurian-inspired mysteries surrounding their search for a weapon capable of destroying their enemy. Episode 14- The Shroud  sees Daniel in a unique position to deal a crippling blow to the Ori, which is also solid.

while episode 20- Unending is a wonderful episode- with a story that’s not just dramatic, but explores sides to the main characters never seen before, it ends the season with so much unresolved that it’s difficult to appreciate this tenth season as it should be appreciated as the final outing of SG-1. Obviously a great deal has been withheld to be used in the TV movie The Ark of Truth.

REVIEW: THE FLASH – SEASON 1

CAST

Grant Gustin (Glee)
Candice Patton (Heroes)
Danielle Panabaker (Sky High)
Rick Cosnett (The Vampire Diaries)
Carlos Valdes (Arrow)
Tom Cavanagh (Scrubs)
Jessie L. Martin (Injustice)

NOTABLE / RECURRING GUEST STARS

Chad Rock (Sanctuary)
Michelle Harrison (Tru Calling)
Patrick Sabongui (The Cabin In The Woods)
John Wesley Shipp (90s Flash)
Stephen Amell (Arrow)
Michael Smith (Fringe)
William Sadler (Iron Man 3)
Anthony Carrigan (Gotham)
Wentworth Miller (Prison Break)
Emily Bett Rickards (Brooklyn)
Dominic Purcell (Blade: Trinity)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
Kelly Frye (Rake)
Greg Finley (Izombie)
Robert Knepper (R.I.P.D.)
Michael Reventar (Kidnao Capital)
Morena Baccarin (Gotham)
David Ramsey (Con Air)
Anna Hopkins (Defiance)
Robbie Amell (Scooby-Doo 3 & 4)
Amanda Pays (90s Flash)
Andy Mientus (Smash)
Victor Garber (Alias)
Malese Jow (The Scoial Network)
Britne Oldford (AWOL)
Liam McIntyre (Spartacus)
Nicholas Gonzalez (Sleepy Hollow)
Peyton List (Smallville)
Mark Hamill (Star Wars)
Matt Letschr (The Mask of Zorro)
Viro D’Ambrosio (90s Flash)
Devon Gaye (Dexter)
Brandon Roth (Superman Returns)
Emily Kinney (The Walking Dead)
Brandon Routh (Superman Returns)
Katie Cassidy (Black Xmas)
Paul Blackthorne (The Dresden Files)
Peter bryant (Dark Angel)
Martin Novotny (Art History)
Paul Anthony (American Mary)
Doug Jones (Hellboy)
Ciara Renee (Legends of Tomorrow)

The Flash was unique in its first season in the sense that it never really needed to find itself or grow into something better. It simply started strong and continually got better over the course of seven months. Much of the credit rests with the fact that the Flash was hardly starting from scratch. This show is the first spinoff of Arrow and its growing superhero universe. It features many of the same producers as Arrow and several writers responsible for Arrow’s stellar second season. Not only did The Flash not have to waste much time establishing its universe, it didn’t even have to introduce viewers to its protagonist. Grant Gustin debuted as a pre-speedster Barry Allen midway through Arrow’s second season, culminating with the accident that created the Flash. By the time this show came around, viewers already knew Barry, what made him tick and what fueled his particular quest.

Gustin rapidly grew into the role of Barry Allen once the spotlight was placed on him. Gustin brought a winning blend of youthful energy, latent pathos and Peter Parker-esque awkwardness to the table. He gave us a Barry Allen that’s impossible not to connect with. Barry is immensely likable. He’s less intense than Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen. He’s driven by tragedy but anchored by a small family unit. He’s faithful to the comic book Barry Allen. One of the main reasons for The Flash’s success, though, was its supporting cast. So much of the drama and the emotional core of the show centered around Barry’s ties to his core circle of friends, family and allies. There was his adoptive father, Joe West (Jesse L. Martin). There was his adoptive sister/unrequited love, Iris (Candice Patton), a dichotomy that never came across as creepy or incest-y as it could have. There was his newfound father figure/mentor in Dr. Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh). There were his new friends/partners in metahuman-busting, Dr. Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) and Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes). And rounding out the core cast was Eddie Thawne (Rick Cosnett), Barry’s colleague and sometimes rival/sometimes ally.

The show exploited these various relationships to great effect. Above all, the father/son relationships between Barry/Joe and Barry/Wells were the source of great drama. Martin and Cavanagh were the MVPs among the cast. Martin brought a crucial warmth to his role as a concerned father and a man simply baffled by the increasingly bizarre state of life in Central City. Cavanagh, meanwhile, helped mold Wells into the show’s most captivating figure. It quickly became apparent that Wells was far more than he seemed, eventually emerging as the primary antagonist of Season 1. But thanks to Cavanagh’s performance, it was always apparent that Wells cared for Barry even as he plotted and schemed and tormented the hero.

Caitlin and Cisco became increasingly compelling characters in their own right as the season progressed. Caitlin, initially cold and a little haughty, grew as her relationship with Barry blossomed and her past relationship with Ronnie Raymond (Robbie Amell) came to light. Cisco was largely a comic relief character at first. And while he remained the show’s most reliable source of comedy, he too was fleshed out and developed a father/son connection to Wells of his own.

Iris and Eddie were a little more uneven when it came to their respective roles within the show. At times it was easy to forget about Eddie given his tendency to drop out of view. However, he definitely became an integral player in the final couple months of the season. I appreciated how the writers never took a one-note approach with Eddie. He may have been Barry’s romantic rival, but he was never written as a bully or a jerk, just a guy with his own set of hopes and desires. As for Iris, there were some episodes where she filled what seemed to be a mandatory quota as far as superhero relationship drama. The Barry/Iris/Eddie love triangle definitely had its moments, but some weeks it came across as pointless filler. The big offender was “Out of Time,” which featured a terrifically epic climax but dull build-up. The premiere episode,  did a fine job of laying out the cast of characters and basic status quo for the show. The idea that the STAR Labs particle accelerator created a new wave of metahumans alongside the Flash offered an easy way to start building a roster of villains and put Barry’s growing speed powers to the test. Luckily, it wasn’t long before The Flash began moving away from the “villain of the week” approach and building larger, overarching storylines. Bigger villains like Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) and Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell) were introduced, paving the way for the Flash Rogues.

 

The show played its part in expanding the CW’s superhero universe, introducing Firestorm and crossing paths with Arrow at several points. The mid-season finale, “The Man In the Yellow Suit,” offered the full introduction of the Reverse-Flash and set the stage for a conflict that would drive the show all the way until the season finale. As that conflict developed, the question of just who Dr. Wells was and what he had planned for Barry became paramount. Wells symbolized just how much the show was willing to play with expectations and shake up the traditional comic book mythology. I noted in my review of the premiere episode that the show was showing signs of being too predictable for seasoned comic book readers. It wasn’t long before that concern faded away.

Looking back at these overarching conflicts and how they were developed over the course of the season, it’s clear that The Flash succeeded because it managed to adopt the serialized nature of superhero comics so well. Each new episode offered its fair share of twists and surprises, culminating in a dramatic cliffhanger that left viewers craving the next installment. It served as a reminder that, in many ways, TV is an inherently better medium for superheroes than film. A weekly series can do serialized storytelling in a way a couple superhero movies every year can’t. The show started out big with the premiere episode, pitting Barry against the first Weather Wizard and a massive tornado. Even that was chump change compared to later conflicts. Barry’s battle with the second Weather Wizard culminated with the hero stopping a tidal wave at supersonic speed. But the most impressive technical accomplishment was more subtle. The late-season episode “Grodd Lives” introduced viewers to Gorilla Grodd, a completely computer-animated villain who looked far more convincing than we had any right to hope.

Perhaps one of the strongest episode of Season 1 was “Tricksters.” That episode paid terrific homage to the short-lived 1990 Flash series as Mark Hamill reprised the part of the prank-obsessed villain the Trickster and former Flash John Wesley Shipp was given his most in-depth role as Barry’s father, Henry. Not only was “Tricksters” a fun love letter to the old show, it proved that this series can venture into full-on camp territory without losing sight of itself.

Ultimately, though, it’s the finale episode that stands out as the crowning moment of Season 1. The show bucked the usual trend by getting the physical confrontation with Reverse-Flash out of the way in the penultimate episode (via a team-up between Flash, Firestorm and the Arrow, no less). “Fast Enough” wasn’t concerned with the visceral element of the Flash/Reverse-Flash rivalry so much as the psychological one. The finale was intensely emotional, forcing Barry to decide just how much he was willing to sacrifice to save his mother. Just about every actor delivered their best work of the season. It was a tremendous payoff to a year’s worth of build-up.

The finale ended the season with a big question mark of a cliffhanger. The great thing about the way the season wrapped is that now the door is open for practically anything. The finale touched on the idea of the multiverse – other worlds inhabited by other Flashes like Jay Garrick. The Flash didn’t suffer from the familiar freshman growing pains most new shows experience in their first season. This show built from the framework Arrow laid out and made use of an experienced writing and production team, a great cast, and a clear, focused plan for exploring Barry Allen’s first year on the job. The show was never afraid to delve into the weird and wild elements of DC lore, but it always stayed grounded thanks to a combination of humor and strong character relationships.

REVIEW: 3RD ROCK FROM THE SUN – SEASON 1-6

MAIN CAST

John Lithgow (Rise of the Planet of The Apes)
Kristen Johnston (ugly Betty)
French Stewart (Mom)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Dark Knight Rises)
Jane Curtin (The Heat)
Elmarie Wendel (Rumpelstiltskin)
Simbi Khali (Plump Fiction)
Wayne Knight (Jurassic Park)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Ian Lithgow (Rice Girl)
David DeLuise (Vampires Suck)
Chris Hogan (Edtv)
Danielle Nicolet (The Flash)
Jennifer Rhodes (Heathers)
Marnette Patterson (Starship Troopers 3)
Marla Sokoloff (Sugar & Spice)
Martha Stewart (2 Broke Girls)
James Earl Jones (Star wars)
Lauren Graham (Bad Santa)
Michael Milhoan (That 70s Show)
Kathryn Joosten (Desperate Housewives)
Ed Begley Jr (Veronica Mars)
Katherine LaNassa (The Campaign)
Shay Astar (All Cheerleaders Die)
Bronson Pinchot (Lois & Clark)
Ileen Getz (Changing Lanes)
John D’Aquino (Xena)
Dennis Rodman (Soldier of Fortune, Inc)
George Takei (Star Trek)
Brenda Strong (The 100)
Danny Strong (Buffy)
Tara Strong (Batman: TSA)
Jan Hooks (The Simpsons)
Nicki Aycox (Roadkill 2)
Linda Cardellini (Scooby Doo)
Mark Hamill (Star Wars)
Chrstine Baranski (The Big Bang Theory)
Roseanne Barr (Roseanne)
Emile Hirsch (Alpah Dog)
Jason Carter (Babylon 5)
Jane Lynch (Glee)
Marguerite Moreau (Easy)
Michael Deluise (Waynes World)
Dom Deluise (Spaceballs)
John Cleese (Rat Race)
Phil Hartman (Small Soldiers0)
Larry Miller (10 Things I Hate About You)
Erika Christensen (Swimfan)
Laurie Metcalf (Bulworth)
Larisa Oleynik (100 Girls)
Kurtwood Smith (Agent Carter)
Courtney Peldon (Frozen)
Ron Rogge (Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue)
Peter Jurasik (babylon 5)
Kathy Bates (Misery)
Kim Johnston Ulrich (Highlander: TS)
William Shatner (Star Trek)
Jim Beaver (Mike & Molly)
Billy Connolly (The Man Who Sued God)
David Hasselhoff (Knight Rider)
Emily Osment (Mom)
Genie Francis (Roswell)
Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: TNG)
Ana Gasteyer (Mean Girls)
Chyna (Sabraina: TTW)
Miguel Ferrer (Robocop)
Alan Cumming (Tin Man)
Bonita Friedericy (Chuck)
Enrico Colantoni (Powers)
Olivia D’ Abo (Conan The Destroyer)
Megan Mullally (Will & Grace)
Tracy Morgan (Little Man)
Harry Groener (Buffy)
Will Friedle (Batman Beyond)
3rd Rock From the Sun is one of the richest and hilarious television comedies to air. The series first aired in 1996 and lasted for a total of six seasons. The show molds science fiction into a sitcom and the results are a blast. A team of aliens from Mars take on human form in Rutherford, Ohio and integrate themselves into the local populace. Their goal is to learn everything they can about humans in a couple of days. Of course, it turns out humans are much more complex than expected and the team of aliens decide to stay a while longer. This first season is a great start to the series and with each episode, it only gets better.The strongest aspect of this show is its cast. They are remarkable together. From the very first episode, it is apparent how well they interact and play off of each other. Also as individuals they bring something special. The main attraction comes from John Lithgow’s role as Dr. Dick Solomon. Dick is the high commander and in charge of the other aliens. As a human, he assumes a role as a college professor of physics. Lithgow does his character well by providing great body language and delivering dialogue in a manner that just makes you smile. His lieutenant and second in command is Sally Solomon (Kristen Johnston). Sally can be an absolute riot, especially in the earlier episodes when she is coming to terms with being a female and all of the “things” that come with it. Harry Solomon (French Stewart), the transmitter/receiver, is another great character. He fills the oblivious to the obvious role for the show. Harry can be dumb, but it is always funny and never annoying like some characters in other series get because of overacting. In Harry’s case, Stewart fulfills his character to a tee. The last of the aliens is Tommy Solomon (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), the senior information officer and oldest alien of the group. Oddly enough, he ends up the young teenage boy with raging hormones. The struggle he endures as a wise old alien and a young teenage makes for a very interesting character.
Dr. Mary Albright (Jane Curtin). She is a professor of anthropology and shares an office with Dick. I wouldn’t count Curtin as a particularly funny person, but when she goes toe to toe with Lithgow, the outcome is always hilarious. The two have a wonderful chemistry together and they turn some of the lightest material into something wonderful. Nina Campbell (Simbi Khali) is also a fun character. She is Dick and Mary’s secretary and adds a tough personality to keep Dick in and his neurotic behavior in check when at the office. Additionally this season has Mamie Dubcek (Elmarie Wendel), the Solomon’s cigarette smoking landlord and a couple appearances from Officer Don (Wayne Knight), who turns out to be an odd love interest for Sally in future seasons.
These characters are the true strength of this series and their development as both individuals and as a group really make this first season shine. Since the four alien characters are relatively new and have no experience with human society, there is a lot of different material and directions for the characters to take. The initial episodes are really a handful, because none of the aliens are prepared or really understand the emotional states that come with their human bodies.For instance, watching Sally take on a feminine role and lifestyle is great. The alien has the personality to be more masculine than feminine, which makes for a funny result and Johnston carries the character well. Similarly, Tommy is a teenage boy going through puberty, but his alien personality wants him to be an old and wise man. Harry’s focus is also a riot. Unlike Dick, Sally, and Tommy, he doesn’t seem to have a real purpose. There are some hilarious events with him doing some pretty pointless (but funny) things with the hope to find out who he is.
All of the alien characters are quite fun to watch in the early stages of the season. Since they have no experience with anything, their reaction to some of the simplest things is fun. In most cases it’s because they overreact. This especially goes for Dick. He turns some pretty dull situations into a laugh fest as he tries to understand and seeks guidance from Mary, Nina, and even some of his students from his physics class. There is also plenty of character development with the human characters and it can be a lot of fun. It is mainly watching both Mary and Nina slowly learn to understand Dick and his neurotic behavior.As for individual episodes, it’s hard to pick out the best, because they are all quite good. The season premiere episode “Brains and Eggs” is worth noting. Obviously, it’s an important episode because it features when the Solomon’s first appeared in Rutherford, Ohio. The characters are introduced and the hilarious tone is set for the remainder of the season. The next episode “Post-Nasal Dick” is also a blast. The Solomon’s catch a common cold and being new to the human form, they fail to realize it is not fatal. “Dick Is From Mars, Sally Is From Venus” is another solid episode where the beautiful Sally goes out on her first date and gets the devastating “I’ll call you”. The episode “Lonely Dick” guest stars Phil Hartman and he does not fail to produce laughs. The “The Dicks They Are A Changin'” is simply ingenious. Mary comes to believe Dick is a man she knew in the 60s. The fun part about this episode is how her attitude towards Dick takes a 180. In “I Enjoy Being A Dick”, Dick dresses in drag, enough said. “Dick Like Me” is also a pretty remarkable episode that covers racial diversity. It tackles such a serious issue in a fun light hearted manner. Dick believes you can pick your ethnicity at will. Under such an assumption, the Solomon’s try out just about every ethnicity possible and their attempts aren’t well received, but it should still make you laugh.  Overall the first season of 3rd ock From the Sun is so funny it’s classic. This first season mixes together a great cast and puts them into one hilarious situation after another. The characters, their interaction and development, are incorporated into the stories quite well. If you enjoy great sitcoms, 3rd Rock From the Sun: Season 1 is a must own DVD box set.

I had a lot of fun watching season one and I’m wasn’t really surprised I had an even better time with season two. All of the actors and actresses give stunning performances. The season two writing is clever, witty, and most importantly, funny. I think Lithgow says it best in the interview featurette included as an extra with this set. He makes a couple of comments regarding just how good the show was and his evidence is the cast, the writing, and the unique and very absurd situations they were allowed to get away with. And the truth is that Lithgow was right on every level. 3rd Rock From the Sun is one hell of a funny show and this second season speaks wonders.

The second season picks up where the first season ended. In “See Dick Run – Part I”, the season one finale, Dick was replaced by Evil Dick after the Big Giant Head decided he was failing his duties as high commander. The second season concludes the story with “See Dick Continue to Run – Part II” and “See Dick Continue to Run, Continued – Part III”. In this three part episode Lithgow gives a stellar performance playing both his normal character and an evil diabolic version of himself. There are also some stunning performances with Lithgow and Stewart doing physical comedy. These episodes set a great tone for the rest of the season.

The episode “World’s Greatest Dick” is perhaps the funniest this season has to offer. Sally goes into a gay bar and meets a really great guy named Glenn. Unfortunately, he thinks Sally is a man. Of course it takes her the entire episode to realize what’s going on in his mind. What makes this funny is not that it takes the common stereotypical gay guy, but rather that Sally as an alien doesn’t understand the stereotype. She just thinks Glenn is the perfect guy. “Proud Dick” is another episode that will leave you chuckling. As we’ve come to know the high commander, he’s a bit of an egotist. In this episode Mary gets a better parking space and Dick is furious he didn’t get it. So he goes to the university president and quits his job over the matter. Dick ends up working at a fast food joint. What makes this a funny episode is simply how Dick carries himself and the way the other cast members respond to his situation. Another fun part about this episode is getting to see Harry in a different light. He hits his head and undergoes amnesia. After spending some time with the family, he begins to believe the world is being taken over by aliens.

The two holiday episodes, “Gobble, Gobble, Dick, Dick” and “Jolly Old St. Dick”, which respectively cover Thanksgiving and Christmas are also worth noting. The Solomon family having arrived on Earth in January, they haven’t experienced America’s two biggest holidays. Their inexperience makes both of these episodes a riot. In the Thanksgiving episode, Sally rushes home after going to the grocery store on Thanksgiving. Now think about the last minute crowds at the grocery, grabbing up turkeys, potatoes, cranberry sauce, and just about everything imaginable. So naturally when Sally runs into these crowds, she thinks something bad is on the horizon, like the end of the world. Of course the Solomon’s find out what is really going on and trying to keep their human facade going, invite Mary, Mrs. Dubcek and her daughter over for an authentic Thanksgiving dinner. The Christmas episode is also full of laughs. They all learn what the Christmas spirit is all about, which includes the truth about old Saint Nick. I’m not sure if there is anything quite as funny as a grown man, err… Harry, learning that Santa isn’t real.

The remaining season episodes are a blast. Our friend Wayne Knight best known for his role as Newman in Seinfeld appears in his reoccurring role as Don Orville, the cop who make san odd match for the beautiful Sally. He shows up in a number of episodes and the ridiculous and overzealous way he handles his character makes him a perfect match for the rest of the cast. This season also has a couple of big names as guests. In “Hotel Dick”, the Solomon’s go to a science-fiction movie about killer aliens and fear the general public has the wrong idea about them. In order to get the good word out, they go to a science fiction convention, where George Takei from Star Trek: The Original Series guest stars. In “Fifteen Minutes of Dick”, Sally punches out Star Wars’ Mark Hamill and becomes a local celebrity in Rutherford. The amount of attention she receives leaves Dick jealous beyond belief. In both episodes Hamill and Takei are portrayed in “I’m a washed up actor striving for attention” and damn it’s funny.

Some other fun things that happen in this season include Sally coming to terms with being a virgin, Harry is pushed into running for city council, Dick learns what being a sports fanatic is like, Dick takes a sensitivity class, Dick tries to replace Nina with Harry, Harry gets a girlfriend, Tommy falls for glee club teacher, Sally finds out what it’s like to be a mother, Mary and Dick take the next step in their relationship, and plenty more. Overall this season promises to deliver even funnier and racier content than the first season. I repeatedly found myself laughing hysterical until it hurt and then rewinding the last scene to laugh just as hard again. Season two of 3rd Rock From the Sun is a must buy.

In the two-part finale of season two, our favorite aliens experienced dreaming for the first time. Not quite understanding the commonplace of dreams, the Solomons were under the impression they were defective and needed to return to their home planet for repairs. Dick decided to stay on Earth because of his undying love of Mary. In the last minutes of season two Dick proposed to Mary and said goodbye to Sally, Harry, and Tommy, only to find out dreaming was a normal human thing. However by this time Sally, Harry, and Tommy had already departed.Season three picks up with Dick engaged to Mary and lonely without his family. Dick’s agony disappears and turns into fear when his family returns with the Big Giant Head’s niece Janet (Roseanne Barr). Janet was sent to be his wife, and when Mary finds out about Janet it ruins their relationship. Sad for Dick, good for you. The end result is a comical mishap and a hilarious performance from Barr. At first she acts like the perfect housewife (funny because it seems completely out of character for her) and when she realizes she doesn’t have to be Dick’s wife, she turns into the Roseanne we know and love.   For the rest of the season, Dick tries hard to win back Mary’s heart. This produces several funny side jokes with Dick making an utter ass of himself, as he never really seems to understand the importance of the situation. One specific episode in the earlier portion of the season is “Dick-In-Law” where Dick and Mary spend the weekend with Mary’s parents and pretend everything is business as usual. Mary is afraid to tell her parents about her latest failed relationship. Dick gets this crazy notion that if he impresses Mary’s parents, she’ll have to take him back. Of course, things do not turn out as planned. “Moby Dick” is a fun episode, where Dick finds his clothes no longer fit. The loss of Mary makes him want to eat junk food. In “Tom, Dick And Mary” Dick finds out Mary is seeing another man named Tom. Oddly enough, Tom turns out to be Tommy. The season continues with plenty more fun with Dick and Mary working out the “kinks” in their relationship.
There are many more fun episodes dispersed throughout the season. “A Friend in Dick” is an awesome episode where Dick tries desperately to find a friend to join him for a night at the theater. There is this one scene where Dick inspires a group of strangers to tap dance. It’s funny as hell. “Jailhouse Dick” is another episode worth a few laughs. In it, Dick bails a criminal from jail and takes him home in an effort to rehabilitate him. And as usual, Dick blows the situation way out of proportion.
One of the greatest episodes of this season is the two-part Super Bowl episode “36! 24! 36! Dick”. In this episode aliens from Venus come to Earth with the intent to rob Earth of all material possessions. The aliens are beautiful women. Among the beautiful faces are Cindy Crawford and Angie Everhart. It is a truly hilarious and goofy episode. In “Pickles And Ice Cream” Sally visits the gynecologist and pretends she is pregnant for the attention from other women. The funny part about this episode is how Don, Mary, and Nina react. Also Harry’s pet Pickles comes to Earth to visit. “Portrait Of Tommy As An Old Man” is another strong episode, where Tommy retires from the mission and finds himself living with people his age, senior citizens in a retirement home. How he easily he fits into their routine is simply comical.
In “Just Your Average Dick” and “Dick And The Other Guy”, John Cleese guest stars as the great Dr. Liam Neesam, a visiting professor who is better than Dick at everything. Cleese gives a riveting performance as a nut who is even more bizarre than Dick. In the season finale “Eat, Drink, Dick, Mary” guest stars Phil Hartman in one of his last roles as Randy Vicki Dubcek’s jealous ex-boyfriend. They end the season with Randy kidnapping Harry.
Overall season three of 3rd Rock From the Sun continues the fun tempo set in the first two seasons. The characters continue to give great performances together and they are funny as ever. The way they deliver dialogue and utilize physical comedy will leave you laughing over and over again.

In the closing of season three, Harry was kidnapped by Vicki’s enraged ex-boyfriend (played by Phil Hartman). In the aftermath “Dr. Solomon’s Traveling Alien Show”, the Solomon family is saddened by their loss and determined to find Harry again. And of all places, they find Harry in a county fair as the alien freak show. It is a fun way to begin the season with the cast acting as goofy as ever.In the following episode “Power Mad Dick”, Mary is promoted to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Dick believes Mary’s promotion is his promotion. He takes it upon himself to act with full power and privileges as dean. Dick misuses his newfound power to fire employees he doesn’t like, give raises, and authorize other such things he probably shouldn’t have. Of course, it blows up in his face when Mary cuts him off. This leads to his arch-rival in the cafeteria becoming Mary’s secretary. Another fun part about this episode is that Sally decides to lose her virginity to Don. While the act is not so funny in itself, how the cast reacts to the decision is. Dick, Tommy, and Harry treat the event like a birthday.
In the episode “Feelin’ Albright” the realization of Mary’s new position kicks in for Dick when he is referred to as Mrs. Albright, which is of course a damaging thrust to his ego. Sally also realizes Don had previous relationships and like a jealous girlfriend, she tracks them all down. In the episodes “What’s Love Got To, Got To Do With Dick?”, “I Am Dick Pentameter!”, and “DIII: Judgment Day” Laurie Metcalf guest stars as Dr. Jennifer Ravelli. Metcalf temporarily joins the cast as a new officemate and love interest for Dick. Mary’s new duties have kept her busy and Dick finds himself in the middle of a new relationship that takes a turn for the worse. Metcalf gives a riotous performance and is a blast to see across Lithgow.
Image result for 3rd rock from the sun“Two-Faced Dick” is a chance for both Lithgow and Johnston to try different roles, each other’s. In this episode, the Big Giant Head grants a request Sally made three years ago to be given a man’s body. She didn’t want to be the woman on the mission, but after three years, she has grown to like being the woman. Unfortunately, the Big Giant Head grants the request and does it by switching Dick and Sally’s bodies. This mucks up their lives as they are forced to try to pretend to be each other. Both Lithgow and Johnston give some tremendous performances playing each other in terms of dialogue delivery, physical comedy, and other little quirks that make them so darn funny.
The next episode “Dick Solomon of the Indiana Solomons” is a great episode. Dick is mistaken for someone else and receives an invitation to a family reunion. No one has seen “Richard” since he was a baby, so Dick believes the Ohio Solomons will fit in perfectly. And it turns out, they do. The fun from this episode comes from everyone trying to fit in and having no problem. “Sally Forth” is an episode about relationships. Don proposes to Sally and it doesn’t end with a happy note. Vicki also returns to date Harry once again. In “Paranoid Dick” Mary loses her job as the dean after listening to one of Dick’s crazed ideas. The other side of the episode has Sally recovering from her breakup with Don. Vicki takes her out for a girl’s night.  “The House That Dick Built” has a bunch of big and fun changes for the cast. After an odd dream, Vicki decides she and Harry should have a baby together. Sally also decides she should move out and takes a room above the garage. Dick reacts in a bad way because he feels like everyone is leaving him. In “Dick ‘The Mouth’ Solomon” the two happy couples of the season, Dick and Mary and Harry and Vicki go on a couples’ retreat to learn to communicate better. Of course, Dick being Dick and Harry being Harry, it never turns out quite right. “Dick v Strudwick” puts Dick against a new rival, who happens to be Tommy’s new girlfriend’s father. It ends with the two duking it out on live television.
The two-part season finale “Dick’s Giant Headache” is a great way to finish the season. In this two-part episode, the mission gets a poor evaluation from the Big Giant Head. Dick is revoked of command and Sally is made high commander. William Shatner guest stars as the Big Giant Head, who is even more bizarre and wacko than Dick, Harry, Tommy, and Sally combined. It is a fun way to end the season with a few goofy surprises.

Overall this season was a lot of fun. Like past seasons, the cast gives great performances in their respective roles. The delivery of dialogue and physical comedy all add up to some hilarious fun. The stories in this season were especially riotous with some great tales about Dick, Sally, Harry, and Tommy get into a lot of crazy situations. If you have enjoyed past seasons, then season four should be a blast.

Season five is the second to last season of 3rd Rock From the Sun. In this season, some crazy things happen with the cast. First off, there are several storylines about Vicki, the Big Giant Head, and their baby. Four of the season’s twenty-two episodes are used to cover it. The story makes for some great jokes and has Shatner giving an admirable performance as the Big Giant Head. There are also several stories scattered throughout the season dealing with Tommy and his relationship with Alissa. The heat between Don and Sally continues, especially when he becomes Rutherford’s lone motorcycle cop. And Harry lands himself a lady, Janice, who is Rutherford’s toughest (and hottest) female cop. The season also includes plenty of more tales with the family blowing nearly everything out of proportion. It is a fun season and should make any fan of the series laugh until it hurts.
The fifth season picks up where the fourth season ended,  In the conclusion to this three-part story, Vicki is in labor and the Solomon’s are desperate to prevent the public from seeing the baby. They fear the baby, having an alien as the father, will not be entirely human. Fortunately for our favorite Ohioan aliens, there is nothing wrong with the baby to indicate it is of alien lineage. Unfortunately, Vicki wants to sell her story about being impregnated by aliens to the tabloids. What is great about this episode is how over-the-top the Solomon’s reaction is to something most people wouldn’t believe even if they read it in a tabloid.“Dick For Tat” is one of my favorite episodes this season. It is a great story about misconceptions and adulterous affairs. While drinking heavily and playing an adult-oriented board game, Mary reveals her last “fling” was with Strudwick, who is the professor that Dick despises. The two just don’t get along. And when he finds out he had a thing with Mary, Dick goes over-the-top with jealousy and tries to fix the matter by sleeping with Strudwick’s wife. The situation is blown out of proportion and even includes Strudwick’s daughter Alissa and Tommy. Sally also becomes enchanted by the sight of Don, who is now Rutherford’s lone motorcycle cop. Both situations turn out to be a riot. The next episode “The Fifth Solomon” is a silly episode about car accidents and insurance. It is an important life lesson Dick never had the chance to get before. The story has two interesting angles, one with Dick getting adjusted to life with a modern car with all the features and Harry and his journey into acquiring all kinds of insurance. This episode was included in the series best of compilation 3rd Rock from the Sun: The Best Episodes in the Universe, Really.
“Dial M For Dick” is a story with a situation that I suppose anyone who did not know what was going on might react in a similar manner to the Solomon’s. When Mary invites Dick to a murder mystery weekend, he insists the entire family join them. All five gear up and head off for a weekend of fun. When they get their, Mary starts to feel under the weather and stays in the room. While Dick and the gang are in the mansion, someone gets killed. What they don’t realize is that the death was scripted and part of the murder mystery weekend. The Solomon’s get a little too serious about the killings and their overreaction to the situation turns out to be worth a few chuckles. In “Charitable Dick”, Dick goes head to head with Strudwick again. While at a charity auction, Dick bids on an ugly piece of artwork he does not want Strudwick to win. In the end, Dick ends up with a seventeen hundred dollar painter he can’t stand. It is not the season’s strongest episode, but it has a few fun moments with Dick’s ego getting the best of him.
In the episode “The Loud Solomon Family: A Dickumentary”, Mary receives funding to make a documentary about the typical American family, a.k.a. the Solomon’s. As an anthropologist she has been studying the family for the last four years. Since the family does not want the truth about their alien heritage coming out, they make up all kinds of things about each other to misdirect suspicion, which include Sally is a lesbian, Harry is an alcoholic, and other antics. “Gwen, Larry, Dick & Mary” is an episode with Dick and Mary trying to branch out their social circle. Mary is tired of always spending time with Dick’s family. So, they double date with Mary’s tennis partner Gwen and her husband Larry. They all have a swell time, or at least Dick and Mary think they did. Their new friends ignore them; Mary believes it is Dick’s odd behavior keeping them away, but she’s shocked to learn it is really her. The other plotline has Tommy, Harry, and Sally doing laundry at the laundromat since their washer and dryer broke. Tommy and Harry find out the public laundry facilities are a great place to meet women and Sally becomes the laundry police!“Dick Puts the ‘Id’ In Cupid” is an episode about teenage sex and the first time. Valentine’s Day is on the horizon and Tommy believes it would be the perfect time to consummate his relationship with Alissa. She agrees and he say he will get a nice hotel room for their first time. Tommy, however, finds out it is not her first time. Tommy becomes intimidated that he won’t be good enough. Fortunately for him, Mary’s niece Tiffany is more than willing. After losing his virginity to Tiffany, Tommy tells Alissa about it and believes everything is okay. What he didn’t realize is how she would react to his affair with Tiffany. And while the issue is fairly serious, the cast does a fine job putting in bits of humor. “The Big Giant Head Returns” sees Shatner returning to Earth as the Big Giant Head in human form Stone Philips and Vicki coming back into the Solomon’s lives. Stone wants both Vicki and the baby. Vicki, however, has no desire to be with Stone or give him the baby. To that end, Stone commands Dick to make Vicki love him or else. It is a silly story with Shatner making a royal ass of himself once again and finding true love, or so it would seem.
In “Frankie Goes To Rutherford”, Dick has a lesson about homosexuality and the misconceptions of being an “alien”. Frank, a former student of Mary’s, shows up to say hello and Dick becomes insanely jealous. Dick believes there is something between the two. Frank assures Dick he is not like other guys and he tries to reveal something about himself. Dick mistaken his hints and he falls under the impression Frank is an alien. Matters are complicated when Dick tells him he is one too. The fun part is watching Frank and Dick go to a gay bar, which Dick thinks is an alien hideout. The season finale is the two-part episode “The Big Giant Head Returns Again”. Hopefully not a surprise, but Shatner makes another appearance as the Big Giant Head. He returns to Earth with his marriage to Vicki on the rocks, as the two are not getting along very well. He confides in Dick (which includes a heart-to-heart moment and some song and dance) and reveals a big secret to him. Later he demands Dick ends it with Mary after getting to know her better. Sally also comes to believe Alissa is going to break it off with Tommy and does it for him, which obviously complicates their relationship. Tommy is also selected as valedictorian and gives a speech you will probably never hear at a high school. It is a riot! Harry and Vicki resume their relationship, sort of. There are some complications like Vicki’s spouse and Harry’s new girlfriend Janice. The story is pretty fun way to close out the season, with a lot of things going on for the cast.
Overall, season five sees has some big events for the cast and situations dealing with the Big Giant Head, Vicki, and their newborn baby, as well as the cast just getting mixed up into some good old fashion situations that can only happen when you have a cast of aliens pretending to be humans. As far as the quality, it is still quite good. Fans of the series should enjoy getting another twenty-two episodes of Dick, Tommy, Harry, Sally, Mary, Nina, Don, and all of the other supporting roles getting into one mixed up situation after the next.

The sixth season features the final moments of 3rd Rock From the Sun as the series’ last season. The season sees a few changes for the cast. Notably, Tommy goes to college and his role in the series is minimized in comparison to previous seasons. I wasn’t too happy with this change, but the general dynamic of the show still worked fine. As for the stories, they focus on the cast continually blowing common situations out of proportion, the cast and their relationships, and even some out-the-ordinary episodes. The season ends with the aliens being recalled to their home world.Season Six begins with the episode “Les Liaisons Dickgereuses”. It is a fun episode with Megan Mullally (Will & Grace) guest starring as Renata, Mary’s rich sister. Mary has always lived in Renata’s shadow and her latest endeavor is to build a library at Pembleton. Dick and Mary plot to get back at Renata by having Dick date and break her heart. Unfortunately, Dick finds himself overcome by Renata’s money and power. This is a fun episode with Dick and Mary at their best–goofy, over-the-top, and funny as ever.

The two-part episode “Dick’ll Take Manhattan” sees the cast going to a parallel reality, where they all have different lives in New York City. Dick is a trial lawyer, Harry is the president of television network NBC, Tommy is the freshest star on Saturday Night Live!, Sally is a columnist, Don is the mayor, Mary is a singer in a sleazy bar, and Nina is a judge. At first the cast believes they have found the perfect lives, but they soon find out that not everything is as good as it seems. It is a fun story to see Harry in a position of power and Tommy interacting with the SNL cast.


“B.D.O.C.” is an all-around fun episode that marks the reason Tommy does not have as strong of a presence in the show this season. Tommy goes off to college, which has great angle with Dick having a hard time letting go of Tommy. Meanwhile, Sally and Harry interview candidates to replace Tommy as the information officer. What makes this part of the episode fun is who Sally hires and how she decides to treat him.

Sally gets a job this season and a new reoccurring character is introduced. In the episode “Dick’s Ark”, she is hired to do the weather under the catchy name of Sally Storm. At first, the new job is fun and introduces an odd chemistry with anchor Chaz (Pat Finn). But it soon gets old with overplayed jokes and supporting characters that do not live up to the rest of the cast. Chaz is a limited character who pretty much serves as the butt of Sally’s jokes.

In several of the episodes, the focus is on the Dick-Mary relationship. In “Dick Digs”, Dick goes on an archeological dig with Mary and tries to make her dream come true by planting an artifact in her section. In “A Dick Replacement”, Dick believes he is going to die soon and tries to find a new boyfriend for Mary because he wants her to be happy. “Mary Loves Scoochie” is a two-part episode with John Cleese reprising his role as Liam Neesam. Other episodes throughout the season feature silly situations from the Dick-Mary relationship. The two have a great dynamic together and seeing them in one odd situation after another was hilarious.

The Dick-Mary relationship inevitably ties into the series two-part finale. In “Mary Loves Scoochie”, Mary witnessed something she was not supposed to see when Dick turned Liam into a monkey. In the two-part series finale “The Thing That Wouldn’t Die”, the brass (the Big Giant Head) find out about what Dick did and the entire team is recalled back to the home planet. The gang decides to through a massive going away party.

Overall, I was happy with season six, but I wasn’t nearly as moved by it as I have been with previous seasons. The season six writing felt different. Perhaps it was simply the fact that the show could only go so far with its premise and after five years of it, enough is enough. The situations the cast encountered this season offered a lot of laughs, but at the same time the strong chemistry, dialogue, and writing did not feel nearly as strong. In the end, I felt season six was good, but not great.