In this week’s The Weekly Set, Edward joins Kat, Will, and I to discuss what we have been watching on TV, and the recent Evil Dead TV series news.
Tyson: Lets start off with what we are all watching this week?
Edward: Currently I’m watching Hannibal, The Mindy Project, and The Flash. I love The Flash because it’s got some great humour, the action is fun for a TV show, and I like that it ties in with Arrow. Hannibal is all around great horror drama. Mads is a fantastic Lecter. It pretty much does what the Hannibal films post Silence of the Lambs should have done.
Tyson: This week we will be handling the round-table like a loosely structured podcast, so we’ll go through and discuss each others current watch list 1 at a time. Ed, you mentioned that you have been watching Hannibal, how far are you into the series?
Edward: I’m halfway through Season 1 and I plan to finish it this weekend to write a review on it.
Tyson: Sounds good. I am up to date with the series, and I adore it. Have you watched it Kat?
Kat: I haven’t.
Edward: It’s such a great show.
Kat: Serial killers don’t really appeal to me. It’s why I’ll probably never watch Dexter.
Tyson: It is from Bryan Fuller, who did Pushing Daisies and Wonderfalls, so it is absolutely stunning.
Edward: I feel like the fact we actually get to see how Lecter lures and kills his victims adds a lot to the character and how we fear him.
Tyson: The mind games… just wow.
Edward: Kat, it actually focuses a lot on Detective Will Graham and how his ability to understand serial killer mentality wears him down. It’s very psychological
Tyson: You are in for a treat, the later episodes of season 1 are great, and season 2 is a massive step up from season 1.
Edward: Really eh? I’m super excited.
Tyson: I look forward to your review.
Tyson: Personally, I am dying with the wait for season 3, this fall TV season hasn’t done much for me unfortunately. Kat, what have you been watching?
Kat: I’m watching Sleepy Hollow, The Flash, and Arrow (and Agents of SHIELD, though I’m starting to slip away from that one).
Tyson: Ed also mentioned The Flash, so lets jump in on Sleepy Hollow first. How do you like the direction it has taken this season?
Kat: I think it’s still decent fun – I know a lot of people hate Holly, and I can understand why. The show is at its best when it has Ichabod reacting to the modern world, and then pulls out crazy concepts and plot twists. It hasn’t been, perhaps, quite as successful as the first season was, but I’m still in.
Tyson: I feel like we are still waiting for a big development to upend us and our expectations. Are you watching Sleepy Hollow Ed?
Edward: Sadly no. I’ve been meaning to watch it but i just haven’t gotten around to it. I’ve been hearing good things.
Tyson: Ichabod is a great character. He has that whole Captain America culture clash thing going on. Last season ended on a pretty big plot twist. To me, it feels like they are treading water a bit after that, but I’m still waiting to see where things go.
Kat: Agreed about Ichabod. Tom Mison is perfect in the role.
Tyson: So I have been watching Showtime’s The Affair? have either of you watched it?
Kat: I haven’t. How is it?
Edward: My buddy just recommended it to me, so I was planning to check it out when I get back home. Currently in Vancouver till Sunday.
Tyson: It is interesting, kind of a Rashomon story. Every episode is split in 2 parts. One from the guys perspective, and the other from the girls.
Edward: The recommendation caught me off guard, because he would normally only watch fantasy or sci fi. He hates drama so I’m very intrigued.
Kat: Oh, that sounds likes an interesting premise.
Tyson: But they don’t match up, things happen differently in each telling. There are little subtle differences too, the female character dresses more provocatively in the parts from the guy’s perspective.
Edward: Like when they tell the events from different perspectives?
Kat: It reminds me the X-Files episode – Bad Blood. I love the differing perspectives idea.
Tyson: Yeah Ed. I watched it because of the actors involved.
Kat: Who’s in it?
Tyson: McNulty from The Wire, Alice from Luther, Peter from Fringe. You see a lot of other notable people popping up in supporting roles too. Have either of you see Akira Kurosawa’s film Rashomon?
Kat: That’s right – I remember Joshua Jackson was going to be in that.
Edward: Yeah I own Rashomon, love that movie. Hero is a similar style. Did u wanna do a first impressions article on it? I feel like it’s definitely a show with potential.
Tyson: Sure if you guys want to watch it too, we can do a first impressions on the Pilot. This series is a Rashomon concept, you see things from 1 perspective, and then the other. I have been wondering if, like Rashomon, a 3rd, more impartial, position could come into the picture later.
Edward: That could definitely happen if the different perspectives don’t line up. Kind of like it’s building to a more objective finale. How many eps have run so far?
Tyson: 5 so far, the 6th episode airs on Sunday. So, lets move on to Ed’s next. Ed, you mentioned The Flash, which is also on Kat’s list. I have been watching it as well. Tell us your thoughts.
Edward: Simply put, The Flash is currently my favorite show to watch.
Tyson: It is kind of refreshing to have a super hero show that is just unabashedly super powered. The pilot felt so much like Spiderman.
Edward: I think that’s where it succeeds so well. Because he’s a fish out of water thrust into this new world and he’s just now understanding his power.
Kat: The Flash is okay enough, in my opinion – but I’ll admit in the long run it might not really be my thing.
Edward: I also like how they consistently allude that Star Labs is more sinister than they let on.
Kat: Arrow is definitely more my style.
Tyson: The crossover is coming up soon.
Kat: Yes! I can’t wait.
Edward: Yup. Can’t wait for that crossover.
Tyson: That will be interesting, because Arrow is so much more grounded.
Kat: Indeed. I love plenty of superpowered stuff in comic books, but I actually really enjoy that aspect of Arrow.
Edward: Arrow is definitely superior, but it’s also been running longer. I look forward to The Flash because i think it set things up better than Arrow did at this point.
Kat: The Flash still feels a bit too much like Smallville to me.
Tyson: Arrow hit its stride, BIG TIME, in season 2.
Kat: It really, really did. Season 2 is excellent.
Edward: Deathstroke. That is all. (Laughs)
Tyson: It’ll be interesting to see where The Flash is in it’s sophomore year. Of course talking about Arrow and The Flash makes me a little depressed with DC in general.
Kat: Because of the films?
Tyson: It is funny how much Marvel has been able to do with their intellectual properties spread to the wind, and yet DC has always had theirs in house at Warner Bros. The films are a big part of it, and the way they aren’t connected to the TV shows. And then Gotham. I don’t know about you guys, but that has been a pretty big disappointment for me.
Edward: Oh yeah Gotham is so inconsistent.
Edward: I feel DC has the edge over Marvel on TV, but I do think they’re doing a disservice to themselves by keeping the TV and film series separate.
Kat: I thought announcing a Flash film a week after the series debuted (with a different actor) was just tasteless.
Edward: Totally Kat.
Kat: I think there’s good and bad to it – I love the interconnectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but at the same time, I feel that the need to fit into Kevin Feige’s vision is precisely what’s stifling Agents of SHIELD; and that creative freedom is what’s allowed Arrow to flourish.
Tyson: Agents of SHIELD has been hit or miss, but what they have coming up with Netflix is super promising, and I cannot wait for Agent Carter. On the other hand, my interest in Super Girl just nosedived.
Kat: Why? What happened?
Tyson: Just that it is a DC show that is not on The CW. After Gotham I just don’t feel confident in it.
Kat: I still need to catch up on Gotham – I’ve still only watched the pilot.
Tyson: It has its promise, but it just consistently has cornball writing.
Edward: Well Gotham is also on Fox and we all know how they’ve stifled shows before.
Kat: Ha ha – Fox will never live down Firefly, will they.
Edward: Nope Kat. Never.
Kat: I think Fox has gotten way better in recent years, and doesn’t entirely deserve the reputation.
Tyson: Not just Firefly, I cannot count the number of amazing shows I became invested in on Fox that got axed, but the thing is, that at least fox tries these crazy shows out.
Kat: Exactly. And it did well by Fringe – like, extremely generous to a flailing genre series.
Tyson: But going high concept is becoming less of a big deal. With HBO doing Game of Thrones, massive high concept shows are just par for the course. I couldn’t be happier about that.
Edward: It’s also because the risks don’t end up being very rewarding for audiences.
Tyson: The biggest issue is that shows are still trying to maintain a procedural element, that really hurts high concept shows, like Almost Human, for example. If they had abandoned procedural elements that show would have worked out better.
Edward: I think HBO and Netflix have been able to deliver the stories that we crave. They’re also not bound by prime time limitations.
Tyson: I am also super excited at Amazon’s upcoming slate, just a ton of really high concept stuff.
Edward: Upcoming slate?
Tyson: Oh yeah, Amazon has been ordering tons and tons of really interesting looking pilots
Tyson: They are adapting that Philip K Dick story about Japan and Germany winning World War 2, The Man in the High Castle.
Tyson: Back to the Gotham discussion though.
Edward: For me it’s that Gotham consistently teases supernatural elements but then tries to be gritty and realistic. And I never get fully invested in what’s going on cuz of the cheesy dialogue.
Tyson: Exactly. They keep taking a half step in.
Edward: And when they threw in the lesbian storyline between Barbara and Montoya, it got soap opera-ie.
Tyson: Yeah, and not in the good way.
Kat: To be fair…Arrow and Flash can be a bit soapy.
Tyson: Not like Gotham.
Kat: Ha. That bad?
Tyson: Oh yeah.
Edward: This is gonna sound so biased, and i can’t back it up, but because i know it’s the CW I tend to let the soapy bits slide.
Tyson: Also that takes itself too seriously, in the way that makes you cringe instead of laugh.
Edward: Yeah, those shows also don’t take themselves seriously like Gotham does.
Kat: Yeah, that’s a tricky balance, especially for comic book properties. How to take yourself seriously but not too seriously – how to incorporate humor without becoming cheesy or campy.
Tyson: It is the gentle art of ripping off Joss Whedon. (Laughs) He nailed it on his first try.
Kat: Well, Whedon’s the master.
Tyson: That balance is why I have high hopes for Agent Carter, the showrunners did Reaper, which also had a great balance. Though it leaned more towards comedy. So lets move on, I think we covered 3 shows there. Ed, you said you are watching The Mindy Project? that is one I don’t watch myself, though my sister loves it. Do you watch it Kat?
Kat: I don’t. Though I like that Mindy Kaling is striking out on her own.
Tyson: So Ed, what can you tell us about The Mindy Project?
Edward: Yes. 3 girls at work recommended it to me. And the scary thing that kept me watching it was that the things that happen on that show were verbatim to stories they told me. For me it’s a funny show and I like that the main character is female, and not white, and also very smart. But the experiences on the show compared to the real life experiences my friend’s have told me about are what keep me watching.
Tyson: I keep hearing good things, it might be a Netflix catch up show for me.
Edward: I was thinking of doing an article about what it is about that show that attracts a large female audience over males but i don’t want to generalize “all women can relate to it”.
Tyson: It would be an interesting article, coming from a male perspective.
Kat: Yeah, that can be a tricky line. But I agree that it sounds interesting.
Tyson: Sometimes shows get a gender specific label that they don’t deserve.
Edward: I know there are some things about it that are unrealistic, like how everyone in Mindy’s office is single, straight, and looking for love, but the stories on the show seem like things I’ve heard guys say, and women react to.
Tyson: It would be an interesting topic to tackle, and could stir up some discussion.
Kat: Ed, I I feel like what you’re getting at is that it offers up a truly female perspective. A lot of times, the male perspective can be a bit of a default – and having someone smart like Mindy Kaling running probably helps revert that.
Edward: Pretty much. It feels like it’s something that a lot of women can relate to.
Edward: Mindy seems to get at the heart of having unrealistic expectations in dating.