REVIEW: GIRLFRIEND’S DAY

CAST

Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul)
Amber Tamblyn (Two and a Half Men)
Stacy Keach (The Bourne Legacy)
Alex Karpovsky (Girls)
Kevin O’Grady (Fargo)
Rich Sommer (Mad men)
Larry Fessenden (The Last Winter)
Natasha Lyonne (Ameican Pie)
Andy Richtr (Elf)
June Diane Raphael (Year One)
Echo Kellum (Arrow)
Ed Begley Jr. (Veronica Mars)

In a city where greeting card writers are celebrated like movie stars, Romance writer Ray used to be the king. In trying to recapture the feelings that once made him the greatest, he gets entangled in a web of murder and deceit as writers vie to create the perfect card for a new holiday: Girlfriend’s Day.
Folks point out that the story is a bit confused… and they’re right. There’s a way of managing essential vs. negligible detail in a story. I suspect it can be rightfully and respectfully said that Odenkirk has a way of blurring that line; a way that some folks find off-putting and others find charming. Personally, I find it charming. You may not find it charming, so you’ve been warned. Girlfriend’s Day is a labor of love. Tune it in, hang with it, and it may pay off with the delight and warmth of a mystery greeting card, hovering preborn in the aethers, and whose message we may never know.

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12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: ARROW – WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND

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MAIN CAST

Stephen Amell (The Vampire Diaries)
David Ramsey (Con Air)
Willa Holland (Legion)
Emily Bett Rickards (Brooklyn)
Echo Kellum (Ben and Kate)
Josh Segarra (Trainwreck)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Rick Gonzalez (Pulse)
Joe Dinicol (Scott Pilgrim vs The World)
Maddison McLaughlin (Chicago P.D.)
Tyler Ritter (The McCarthys)
Carly Pope (Popular)
Katie Cassidy (Black Xmas)
Audrey Marie Anderson (The Unit)
Michael Dorn (Ted 2)

The Mid-Season finale of Arrow was a great way to cap off the first half of a season that’s been all about rebuilding, regrouping and looking to the past in order to shape the future. There was plenty of progress on the Prometheus front, all of which fueled a suitably dark and depressing ending that suggests things are going to get a lot worse before that light at the end of the tunnel appears for Team Arrow.
One of the few things the Arrow producers have revealed about this year’s big villain is that he has ties to Oliver Queen’s past. Those ties became much more clear in this episode, which featured one of the more memorable uses of flashbacks in the show’s history. In the last couple seasons, there’s been an odd obsession with drawing as many direct parallels between past and present, usually to the detriment of the flashback scenes. But here that approach made sense. In effect, the flashbacks were giving us a glimpse of a lost, early Season 1-era episode, one that also served as the beginning of Prometheus’ origin story.

On one hand, it was fun just to go back and revisit that simpler time. All the details were recreated perfectly, from Ollie’s original, mask-less costume and lair to his goofy interplay with a pre-sidekick Felicity to Diggle being the nonplussed bodyguard. On another, these flashbacks really emphasized how much Ollie has changed as a person and a vigilante over the course of four years. He may flirt with killing now, but back then he was a veritable murder machine. It was chilling watching him mow down those guards with impunity. Enough so that you can’t help but empathize with Prometheus a bit. Maybe Ollie had all of this coming. The way in which this episode regularly bounced between past and present helped build the tension leading into Ollie’s final showdown with Prometheus.

But before getting to that, it’s worth discussing the lead-up to that final showdown. This episode built up an engaging mystery as Prometheus attacked Curtis and then sent Team Arrow on a quest to uncover his identity and motives. There’s still plenty we don’t know about this villain. The implication is that he’s the bastard son of Justin Clayborne (Get Carter’s Garwin Sanford), one of the Hood’s first victims, though even that can’t be taken for granted yet. But even if that is the case, Prometheus’ actual identity remains a mystery. What we do know is that he harbors a serious grudge, and not an entirely unwarranted one, at that. Whomever is under the mask, Prometheus is one who will force Ollie to atone for his mistakes he made when he was still a killer, not a hero.
So after much soul-searching and one early brawl with Prometheus, Ollie finally confronted his foe at the exact spot where he shot down Clayborne four years earlier. And that’s where Prometheus really upped his game. He delivered quite the blow by tricking Ollie into killing Billy. But again, you can see Ollie proving Prometheus point for him. If he wasn’t so reckless and so quick to pull the trigger, Ollie wouldn’t have fallen for that ruse. He tried the killing game again, and this is where it led him. All of this makes Prometheus a more compelling villain because it’s so easy to understand his point of view. He may not be the hero of this story, but he makes a strong case for the idea that Ollie isn’t either. That, more than anything, is what’s distinguishing Prometheus from the rest of the show’s major villains.

That dramatic twist led to a terrifically emotional scene as Ollie felt the crushing weight of his mistakes bearing down on him. To his credit, he didn’t try to hide the truth from Felicity, which is another sign of how much he’s matured in the past four years. But it was quite a depressing way to cap off the first half of the season. The montage where Ollie reflected on his knack for ruining lives while Curtis, Felicity and Diggle all dealt with their new tragedies was an extremely effective way of highlighting the darker turn the season is taking. Echo Kellum in particular gave a terrifically raw performance during Curtis’ breakup with his husband.  It’s funny to compare this episode to the mid season finale of Flash (Season 3). Both leaned pretty heavily on the Christmas motif towards the end, but where Flash tried to find room for hope and optimism in the midst of a dark new threat, Arrow just went all-in on the depressing darkness. But honestly, optimism probably would have felt forced given everything that happened tonight. The final scene was a shocking way to end the episode, seeing Laurel show up at the Arrowcave gives the episode one last WTF moment to see us into 2017.

Arrow has steadily been building steam over the course of Season 5, and that trend continued in the mid-season finale. This episode capped off 2016 on a fittingly dark and gloomy note. Viewers were given more insight into Prometheus’ background and motivations, while also getting the chance to revisit the show’s Season 1 status quo. Things are looking up for the series as it moves into the new year.

REVIEW: AMERICAN DAD – VOLUME 10

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MAIN CAST (VOICES)

Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy)
Wendy Schaal (Small Soldiers)
Scott Grimes (Robin Hood)
Rachael MacFarlane (The Batman)
Dee Bradley Baker (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Curtis Armstrong (New Girl)
John Cho (Sleepy Hollow)
Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass)
Larisa Oleynik (100 Girls)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Daisuke Suzuki (I Am Gangster)
Eddie Kaye Thomas (American Pie)
T.J. Miller (Deadpool)
David Koechner (Anchorman)
Patrick Stewart (X-Men)
Mariah Carey (Glitter)
Zooey Deschanel (New Girl)
Reggie Lee (Grimm)
Nancy Cartwright (The Simpsons)
Kevin Durand (Dark Angel)
Haley Joel Osment (A.I.)
Azura Skyke (28 Days)
Mae Whitman (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turltes 2012)
Danny Glover (Earthsea)
Daran Norris (Veronica Mars)
Joey King (The Dark Knight Rises)
Jonathan Kite (2 broke Girls)
Kyle Chandler (Super 8)
Megalyn Echikunwoke (Vixen)
Echo Kellum (Arrow)
Ellie Kemper (21 Jump Street)
Becki Newton (Ugly Betty)
Mike Henry (The Cleveland Show)
Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Game of Thrones)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)
Terry Crews (White Chicks)
Dean Winters (Terminator: TSCC)
Andrea Savage (Izombie)
Laura Bell Bundy (Scream queens)
Sinbad (Jingle All The Way)

Belly-laugh up to the bar, folks and satisfy your thirst for hilarity with the all-new collection of uncensored American Dad! episodes from the spirited minds of Mike Barker, Matt Weitzman and Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane. Loaded with celebrity guest voices, including Mariah Carey, Terry Crews, Mark Cuban, Zooey Deschanel, Danny Glover and Olivia Wilde, This volumes intoxicating highlights are.

STEVE AND SNOT’S TEST-TUBULAR ADVENTURE:  After failing to get dates for the high school prom, Steve and Snot try using the CIA’s cloning machine to make dates, but the machine produces two fast-growing newborn babies, forcing the boys to father them in time for the prom. Meanwhile, Stan takes home the CIA’s cloned pet dodo with disastrous consequences.

POLTERGASM: In a spoof of the movie Poltergeist, the Smith home is haunted by Francine’s unsatisfied sexual drive every time she is left having to fake it, so it is up to Roger – as medium Ruby Zeldastein – to eliminate the ghost. Meanwhile, Hayley dates a young, Hispanic man named Mauricio, and Klaus goes to Atlantic City for a self-help seminar, but ends up breaking his back and forced to watch the hotel guide channel in his room.

CROTCHWALKERS:Just to show Steve she is still a “cool” mom, Francine teaches him various shoplifting techniques at the local mall “The Gash”. However, their efforts to pull off the ultimate heist result in Steve getting captured and sent to a Venezuelan sweatshop. Meanwhile, Roger, Hayley and Klaus become Langley Falls’ first Russian balalaika trio and Stan injures his groin and must use a whiteboard to communicate.

FAKING BAD: In this parody of Breaking Bad, Hayley tries to fit in with her old high school friends and discovers Steve’s talent for creating fake IDs that can easily be passed for real ones. Seeing this as a business opportunity, Hayley builds out Steve’s operation, but find themselves up against another fake ID kingpin in Langley Falls: Kevin Ramage (another of Roger’s disguises).

MINSTREL KRAMPUS: A notorious Christmas demon known as Minstrel Krampus kidnaps a bratty Steve, so Stan and Roger must travel to the North Pole to save him with the help of Stan’s estranged father. Meanwhile, Hayley takes a job at the airport to get her family Christmas presents.

VISION: IMPOSSIBLE:  A car accident gives Roger the power to foresee the future, causing the Smiths to pester him with questions of what will happen.

FAMILYLAND: At Francine’s insistence, the Smiths go on vacation at a Disneyland-esque theme park called Familyland. Unfortunately, the visit turns disastrous when Roger, Hayley, Stan and Steve all separate to go to different regions of the park. Francine, disappointed in how the park broke up her family, complains in front of a statue of the park’s founder Roy Family. As Francine walks off with Klaus, the statue begins to cry and eventually crack revealing the original Roy Family inside. Roy, angry at how his park has failed to be a good influence over families decides to shut down the park and lock in all visitors. After one week, each member of the Smith family carves out their own personal “kingdom” out of the park while Francine struggles to find a way to end the chaos.

COCK OF THE SLEEPWALK: After Stan completes his 100th kill, he accidentally releases a benevolent persona of himself while sleeping, and this new incarnation goes on a spree of doing good deeds that the real Stan would never undertake.

Image result for american dad introducing the naughty stewardessesINTRODUCING THE NAUGHTY STEWARDESSES: In a parody of Face/Off, Roger switches faces with Steve to help him win over the hot girl at school, but soon decides he wants her for himself – until the girl reveals that she is pregnant with her jock ex-boyfriend’s baby. Meanwhile, in a parody of Charlie’s Angels, Stan and Francine’s vacation to Sacramento gets sidetracked when they befriend a quartet of sexy stewardesses and go undercover to help them thwart Mark Cuban’s plan to blow up the sun.

I AIN’T NO HOLODECK BOY: Against Francine’s wishes, Stan takes Steve and his friends into the woods for some outdoor playtime, where they wind up on the CIA’s holodeck. Meanwhile, Hayley claims she is Roger’s queen after purchasing his home star on an international star registry.

STAN GOES ON THE PILL: Unable to listen to Francine’s constant chatting, Stan takes an experimental estrogen pill which allows him to be able to listen to women without zoning out. Things get complicated, however, when Stan’s dosage turns him into a woman and Avery Bullock begins making romantic advances towards the now-female Stan. Meanwhile, Roger and Klaus start their own business selling the suits Stan wore as a male, which doesn’t go according to plan.

HONEY, I’M HOMELAND: Stan infiltrates an Occupy Wall Street protest and ends up being kidnapped and brainwashed. Meanwhile, Roger buys thousands of candles and is unable to sell them, resulting in him and Steve getting carried away while giving each other massages in the attic in an attempt to use them all up.

RUBBERNECKERS: CIA budget cuts leave Stan out in the cold, and since his company work record is classified, his only employment opportunity is at a local grocery store that is managed by Steve. Meanwhile, Roger and an annoying coffee-shop musician engage in a wager that leads Roger into a Faustian pact with an infomercial guitar instructor.

THE LONGEST DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP: is still heartbroken and trying to get over Jeff’s abduction, and meets a millionaire named Matt, who helps her deal with the tragedy. However, Steve and Snot discover that Jeff is alive and, along with the ghost of Sinbad, is trying to make his way back to her. Ultimately, Jeff learns that by the time he can make it back to Earth, Haley will be sixty and would have spent her entire life waiting for him. He goes back in time through the wormhole that he used to enter into Earth, and tells Hayley that he isn’t sure if he can make it back to Earth after all, and that he wants her to move on. She accepts, saying she will never forget him, and goes to begin life with Matt, only for him to be killed by Roger upon finding out he is an alien.

This has to be one of the best adult cartoons ever created. A great season fo episodes that keeps you wanting more… role on volume 11.

REVIEW: ARROW – SEASON 4

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MAIN CAST

Stephen Amell (Screamers 2)
Katie Cassidy (Black Xmas)
David Ramsey (Con Air)
Willa Holland (Legion)
Emily Bett Rickards (Brooklyn)
John Barrowman (Torchwood)
Paul Blackthorne (The River)
Image result for arrow season 4 green arrowRECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Neal McDonough (Minority Report)
Grant Gustin (Glee)
Audrey Marie Anderson (Lie To Me)
Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Spartacus)
Enid-Raye Adams (Final Destination 2)
Echo Kellum (Ben and Kate)
Jimmy Akingbola (Holby City)
Alexander Calvert (The Returned)
Elysia Rotaru (Supernatural)
Jeri Ryan (Star Trek: Voyager)
Katrina Law (Spartacus)
Ryan Robbins (Sanctuary)
JR Bourne (Stargate SG.1)
Rutina Wesley (Hannibal)
Matt Ryan (Constantine)
Parker Young (Suburgatory)
Brandon Routh (Superman Returns)
Charlotte Ross (NYPD Blue)
Eugene Byrd (Bones)
Danielle Panabaker (The Crazies)
Carlos Valdes (The Flash)
Ciara Renee (Legends of Tomorrow)
Casper Crump (The Legend of Tarzan)
Falk Hentschel (Knight and Day)
Anna Hopkins (Defiance)
Peter Francis James (Oz)
Lynda Boyd (Power Rangers In Space)
Janet Kidder (Earth: Final Conflict)
James Kidnie (Robocop: The Series)
Colton Haynes (Scream Queens)
Celian Jade (Legendary Assassin)
Rila Fukushima (The Wolverine)
Tom Amandes (Brokedown Palace)
Daniel Cudmore (X-Men 2)
Rachel Luttrell (Stargate: Atlantis)
Megalyn Echikunwoke (That 70s Show)
Amy Gumenick (Greek)
Adrian Holmes (Smallville)
Jason Schombing (Mutant X)
Emily Kinney (The Walking Dead)
Madison McLaughlin (Major Crimes)
Alex Kingston (Flashforward)
Adrian Glynn McMorran (50/50)
Vinnie Jones (The Cape)
Nolan Gerard Funk (Riddick)

Image result for arrow RestorationMy name is Oliver Queen. For five years I was stranded on an island with only one goal: survive. Now I will fulfill my father’s dying wish. To use the list of names he left me and bring down those who are poisoning my city. To do this, I must become someone else, I must become … something else.” The quote that has started a journey of an era and for many of us introduced us to the “Emerald archer” . The Fourth Season sees our hero finally become Green Arrow as aposed to The Hood or just The Arrow.

Image result for arrow The season started was excellent we are introduced with change, the “relaunch” of Oliver’s identity and a brand new arrow cave. To top it all off we are finally introduced to Damien Darhk and the secret organization of HIVE. This all brings us one good big package of an extremely great season. The early part of the season was a build up to Legends and the huge two, night crossover event which introduced savage and the hawks. Then season gets back to the main story of Damien Darhk. With the Christmas episode of the Year being the mid season cliffhanger leaving Felicity Smoak at deaths door, Showing just how far Damien will go to get his way.Image result for arrow Legends of YesterdayHaving a Villain with magical powers was a nice twist for Arrow making him different from the villains that have come before. The theme of this season was tied in very good to be honest, through the main villain’s name and the character types of most characters on this show. Basically it was accepting the inner darkness within you, which was portrayed quite well throughout the episodes. On top of all this darkness, the main cast was trying to find hope in their struggles or the lack of hope more or so. Arrow was always a dark show even from season 1 it was pretty dark, so it was appropriate for season 4 to continue the trend. Towards the end you see other characters grow darkness inside of them, and team arrow slowly splitting apart during these dark times. Also we get to see more of the darkness that happened to Ollie back on the island which wasn’t great for the most part of it, but at least they got that dark message across.One of the biggest highlights this year was John Constantine played by Matt Ryan making an appearance. I was a huge fan of the short lived Constantine TV Show so it was to have him return on Arrow, which could lead to more appearances throughout the arrowverse.

Image result for arrow dark watersSara Lance’s resurrection is also a highlight, many were sad to see her killed off during the first episode of season 3. When Legends of Tomorrow was announced and the first teaser showed Sara Lance alive and well using the new hero identity White Canary, it left fans wondering how her resurrection would happen. Thankfully fans of the comics knew the powers of The Lazarus Pit, which was also used to help Thea (Speedy) during season 3. Having the pit destroyed was a good idea too. If it hadn’t been vanquished then you could use it as an easy to bring characters back.Image result for arrow Blood DebtsRay Palmer also gets a resurrection,. Although many knew he wasn’t dead and that he had most likely just shrunk, his return also led to his role on Legends of Tomorrow, which nice to see Brandon Routh getting a main role.

Image result for arrow takenDuring the first episode of the season we were shown a grave where Oliver and Barry are shown standing over it without giving away who was in it, then near the end of the season we find out. When it was revealed  that Black Canary aka Dinah Laurel Lance was the victim it sent shockwaves throughout the fandom, seeing as how They were regular lovers in the comics.  I see it as a nice change as not have to copy what the comics do. We know that Katie Cassidy will be appearing throughout the Arrowverse in the upcoming seasons of the various shows, so it will be interesting in what format she returns.

Image result for arrow SchismI’m a huge fan of the Arrowverse and love all the shows (Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl) Arrow Season was great it had great action, heartbreaking moments and a great villain. It will be interesting to see where season 5 takes the characters.

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: ARROW – DARK WATERS

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DARK WATERS
CAST
Stephen Amell (Screamer 2)
Katie Cassidy (Black Xmas)
David Ramsey (Dexter)
Willa Holland (Legion)
Paul Blackthorne (The Dresden Files)
Emily Bett Rickards (Brooklyn)
John Barrowman (Torchwood)
GUEST CAST

Neal McDonough (Agent Carter)
Eugene Byrd (Bones)
Charlotte Ross (Drive Angry)
Echo Kellum (Dead People)
Ryan Robbins (Sanctuary)
Parker Young (Enlisted)
Elysia Rotaru (Mortal Kombat Legacy)
Lynda Boyd (Power Rangers In Space)
Janet Kidder (Bride of Chucky)
James Kidnie (Smallville)

Oliver encourages citizens to clean up the bay, prompting Darhk to send a drone attack. Felicity takes it down, but many are injured. In retaliation, Oliver reveals Darhk’s photo, declaring him the leader of the Ghosts, on television and sets up a hotline for anyone who has any information about him. Darhk, watching on television with other HIVE members, is visibly enraged and breaks the television with his magic. Milo Armitage makes a sarcastic remark. Reluctantly, they go through with a Christmas party to show they are not afraid.

Andy Diggle continues to be uncooperative with his brother Meanwhile, Felicity’s mother discover’s Oliver’s engagement ring and shows her daughter. At the Christmas party, Felicity learns that her mother is dating Quentin Lance. Later, she and Oliver meet Curtis’s husband. During their discussion, Felicity realizes Oliver was going to propose the night Laurel and Thea came to get their help. Felicity asks Oliver why and he says that everything changed and he wasn’t sure he could anymore. Darhk breaks in despite high security, knocks out Oliver, and kidnaps Diggle, Thea and Felicity. Oliver and Laurel go out to beat on the Ghosts to get a location, but come up with nothing.Malcolm arrives in the Arrowcave, surprising Quentin, and provides a communicator that the Ghosts use. Oliver offers himself up to Darhk, who takes him back to HIVE HQ. Laurel and Malcolm, who is dressed as the Green Arrow, follow, using a nanotracker in Oliver’s bloodstream. Darhk demonstrates algae that HIVE is growing in the bay, which they are trying to adapt to make breathable. They test it on humans, who they put in a gas chamber. He lets Oliver have one last conversation with Felicity who says she would have agreed to marry him. Darhk decides that, although Oliver is agreeing to work with him now, it is easier to remove all motivation for resistance and kill Thea, Diggle, and Felicity in the gas chamber. Laurel and Malcolm arrive, with Laurel’s Canary Cry breaking the glass and freeing the captives. The other members of HIVE escape, while Malcolm and Oliver go after Darhk. After a fight, Malcolm leaves Damien pinned to the ground with arrows and right next to an exploding arrow. Quentin and a squad of cops help the others escape from the many HIVE pledges and later Oliver holds another tree lighting where he proposes. As the new fiances return home, their limo is attacked by Ghosts. The driver is killed and Oliver leaves Felicity in the back as he drives them to safety.Meanwhile, Damien enjoys decorating his Christmas tree with his wife and young daughter. Oliver opens the door to the limo and finds an unresponsive Felicity with blood coming out of her mouth.Image result for ARROW dark watersAnother classic Christmas outing for Arrow and one that leaves the viewer without a dry eye. Having to wait till January to find out Felicity’s fate is heart wrenching. The not knowing is what will keep viewers hooked. hopefully wont be long before we see some hurt on the big bad this season for what he did to Felicity.