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Monthly Archives: June 2015

Powers that be: Please give these shows a 2nd season

While I do enjoy the brainless crime procedural and comedy shows, my TV heart really belongs to the high concept/sci fi/fantasy genre. With the exception of Gilmore Girls, Friends, and Veronica Mars, all my all time favorites belong to this genre (Buffy, Battlestar, Lost, Fringe, X Files).

But it’s also that genre that is most difficult to get a second season. It takes time for the mythology and storytelling to kick in and sometimes the audience and networks are impatient and they want an instant hit instead of waiting for the series to get its footing. But thanks to the Syfy Channel and original programming from streaming services like Netflix, more and more great shows are being created and allowed to live. Here are some new shows and here are the ones that I hope get a second season.

BETWEEN

You’ve probably not heard of this because it is a Canadian sci fi show. Think of it as The 100 meets Under the Dome meets 28 Days Later but without zombies. In a town called Pretty Lake where everyone 22 years old and above starts dying from a mysterious virus and they get quarantined. So imagine the chaos that ensues when you get a bunch of kids running around and running the town. The storytelling is great, characterization needs a little more work, actors won’t win awards but they’re solid. The moral and ethical dilemmas make you think. There are just 6 episodes in the freshman season so it’s easy to catch up.

WAYWARD PINES

We all know that the rest of the world has given up on M Night Shyamalan after such a promising start. While he doesn’t direct this show, he is an executive producer, and this might be his redemption if it becomes a hit. It’s Twin Peaks meets Under the Dome (that show again) and a scarier Truman Show. There was a lot of secrecy involved in the shows promotion, and I had a lot of guesses as to what the town really is. But when they finally revealed it in episode 5 (there are only 6 episodes aired so far), I was nowhere near the truth. It may sound improbable at first but episode 6 explained a lot of things, and I’m officially hooked. Again, a lot of moral and ethical issues covered so it’s compelling. Oh, and Matt Dillon, enough said.

DARK MATTER

6 people wake up in a spaceship with no memory of who they are and how they get there. That’s all you need to know for now unless you want ot spoiled. Oh and a lot of space action going on, plus pretty and pretty dubious characters. Oh and that scary kid from the Silent Hill movie is all grown up with colorful hair. Just three episodes so far, and I’m willing to watch it all the way to the next season, if it gets renewed.

KILLJOYS

The other Canadian show that I’m enjoying, even though it’s just in its second episode. It’s about space bounty hunters, an almost always shirtless Luke McFarlane, a kick-ass female lead who’s sometimes subjected to the “male gaze” (my only complaint about the show so far), and the twin brother of IceMan (I’m talking about Aaron Ashmore of course). It may be too early to say that I love this show, but it has massive potential.

THE WHISPERS

I’m a bit worried about this show since its on a major network and the ratings aren’t that great, but given a chance, I think it will grow on viewers (I hope). It’s a bit creepy since it involves an “Imaginary friend” that tells kids to do awful things and possibly aliens. Oh and if you’ve missed having Milo Ventimiglia on your screen, he’s here, all grown up with a little boy and no cheerleaders to save. But of course he will always be JESS!!!

STITCHERS

It may be a little too close to iZombie (my favorite new network show) but it does have its own charms. It’s about a girl recruited by a shadow government agency that has the ability to go inside the brain of a recently deceased person and see their last memories before they hit the bucket. So yeah, iZombie but without the zombie part and with a heroine who has “temporal dysplasia” (a made up condition where you have no perception of time) and zero social skills (think Tempe Brennan but with even less empathy). Add cute nerdy guys and it’s in my wheelhouse.

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2015 in TV Shows

 

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Do we dare to believe again?

I cannot claim to have been a fan of the Azkals back during the time when there were only a handful (literally) of them supporting the team. I only got into football during the 2010 World Cup, and that same year, the so called renaissance of the Men’s National Football Team started with the Miracle in Hanoi. Wow, just looking at that statement made me realize it’s been five years since I started supporting the team. And by support, I don’t mean financial support. It means going to almost all their games, posting on social media about them, getting other people to start watching the games live, and yes, even so far as traveling where the team plays during big tournaments.
 

Those who aren’t football fans think we’re crazy, or worse, “groupies”. They don’t understand how a group of grown men and women would want to spend their own money (yes, contrary to what some other football fans are saying, we do spend our own hard-earned money here) just to go and cheer on these players, most of whom don’t even know our names or that we exist. But that’s because they don’t understand football culture. This is nothing new for the rest of the world. They follow their national teams and their clubs almost religiously whenever they can. Some do get support from the teams, but more often than not, they do so on their own dime as well.

 

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I can probably spend a few hours telling you why we do it, but this post is not about that.

 

Just like with any relationship, there are ups and downs. And for the past few months, I can admit that I temporarily fell out of love with Philippine football. Maybe it’s because of the heartbreaking losses. Getting us to the brink of victory in the Suzuki Cup semifinals and especially losing the Challenge Cup finals to Palestine was truly disheartening. Maybe it was finding out things you were not supposed to know. Maybe it was discovering that your “heroes” were human and had feet of clay. Maybe it was all the politics. Maybe it was seeing some fans lambast other fans, when we are already such a small community and it was senseless to have in-fighting. Maybe it was frustration at seeing the lack of visible progress in terms of “marketing” not just the team but the sport. Maybe it was a combination of all of those things.

 

Some of our football friends decided to start an informal podcast. I was part of the core team, but honestly, I couldn’t muster enough enthusiasm or even interest in talking about something I didn’t even like anymore.

 

But then, the same group of friends decided to come up with a social media campaign to hype up the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers. We brainstormed, researched, created the videos. I volunteered to be the one to post (the easiest job for me, promise). And somehow, just talking with these friends, reviewing past games, looking at past videos, there was a small, tiny spark that sparked again. Getting to do the podcast with Azkals captain Rob Gier and two of the new, young ones, Luke Woodland and Kevin Ingreso, made me excited once again. Getting to watch their practice match against the UFL All Stars got me hyped up again, as I also saw a new hunger and determination in the players, even the ones that only got to play a few minutes.

 

And suddenly, a tiny part of me started to hope that maybe I can believe again.

 

The politics are still there. The egos will always probably be there. The “warring factions” may still be there. Lack of friendlies before the tournament, some injuries, poor ticket sales, poor marketing, cynicism about what the team can achieve, pessimism about our chances – all of these are there and might get most people down.

 

But somehow, amidst all these, while looking at the words and images and videos we’ve made, there is that small voice whispering, “We still believe.”

 

I can now honestly say, whatever may happen, I am truly excited to once again cheer my heart out for our national team, on the eve of the celebration of our Independence Day.

 

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2015 in Uncategorized

 
 
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