ODDS 'N' ENDS Page 2

Biased Musings Of Anything On My Mind


2016 - 2017 TV SEASON


2017 - 2018 TV SEASON


2018 -2019 TV SEASON

My thoughts on the 2016 - 2017 TV Season. All times are Eastern Standard Time (EST): Since most of the new genre shows of the beginning of the season are based on movies or previous popular TV series, let's get started. First up: FOX's LETHAL WEAPON (Wednesdays 8:00pm) is almost an exact replica of all four LETHAL WEAPON movies, with just a few small changes. Clayne Crawford (THE DONNER PARTY - 2009) portrays Martin Riggs, who in the beginning of the first episode, is chasing a truck full of bad guys through the Texas desert, when his pregnant wife calls and tells him to meet her at the hospital because she is having the baby. Riggs stops his vehicle, pulls out a sniper rifle from the back of his truck and with one shot overturns the bad guys' truck over 200 yards away. He races to the hospital, not knowing that his wife and baby were just killed by a 18-wheeler slamming into her car at an intersection. Riggs loses his will to live after losing his wife and baby. Six months later, 22-year police veteran Roger Murtaugh (Damon Wayans; BULLETPROOF - 1996), who is about to rejoin the Los Angeles police force after recuperating from a heart attack, learns that he has been assigned a new partner. I'll give you one guess who it is. Their first case together is a bank robbery with three masked robbers, one with a bomb strapped to his chest and carrying a kill switch. Riggs walks into the bank carrying boxes of pizza (Murtaugh has yet to meet Riggs and none of the other police know what he is doing) and Riggs eventually kills the three robbers, but sets off the timer on the bomb and all of the hostages run out of the bank. Riggs non-chalantly walks out of the bank eating a slice of pizza and introduces himself to Murtaugh, the bank exploding and one of the flying pieces turns into the show's title (a pretty good effect). The rest of the first episode is Riggs and Murtaugh trying to prove a guy didn't commit suicide, while Murtaugh tries to talk Riggs from acting suicidal in some touching scenes featuring Murtaugh's family, including a newborn baby (Murtaugh had the heart attack in the hospital while the baby was being born!). It all has to do with a pile of heroin, while Riggs takes chances no sane man would take and there is action aplenty. Those who are fans of the four movies will probably like this series because it keeps the humor along with the death and the action (Although Clayne Crawford and Damon Wayans are no Mel Gibson and Danny Glover), but those who have never seen the films will never buy that Damon Wayans is getting "too old for this shit" (since this series is shown at 8:00pm, you will not hear this iconic piece of dialogue, even though the series is Rated TV-14). Action specialist McG (CHARLIE'S ANGELS: FULL THROTTLE - 2003) directed the pilot and Shane Black (The screenwriter of the first LETHAL WEAPON - 1987) wrote two of the episodes, so it is not a bad way to introduce the premise to those unfamiliar with the films. I have seen a lot worse action series make it past one season and I am dying to find out if Leo Getz (played by Joe Pesci in the films) will make it into this series and who will play him. One bit of trivia: In the series, Riggs talks with Murtaugh's teenage daughter about the legalization of pot, a scene which was cut from the first film in the series for its U.S. release (in the film it was a "should marijuana be legalized" argument between Murtaugh and his daughter.), but remained in all the foreign releases. My verdict: Worth your time if you have nothing better to watch. NOTE: Since the series delivered Fox's highest fall premiere in two years, FOX has ordered a full season of episodes, if 18 episodes is considered a full season. NOTE #2: On February 21, 2017, FOX renewed the series for a 22-episode Second Season. NOTE #3: It looks like LETHAL WEAPON 5 will go into production starring Mel Gibson and Danny Gordon and directed by Richard Donner for a theatrical release in 2019.  *  Fox's THE EXORCIST (Fridays 9:00pm) is based on the classic 1973 film, and on the 1971 novel and screenplay both written by the late William Peter Blatty, but it really has nothing to do with it besides a few Easter Eggs. This version takes place in Chicago 40 years after the film and finds Father Tomas Ortega (Alfonso Herrera; DEMON INSIDE; a.k.a. ESPECTRO - 2013) having a crisis of faith because he has romantic feelings for the married Angela Rance (Geena Davis; THE FLY - 1986), whose oldest daughter Kat (Brianne Howey) killed her best friend while she was driving in college, so she took a leave of absence, came home and is beginning to show signs of demonic possession. Angela tells Father Tomas that she believes Kat is possessed, because the furniture rearranges itself in an instant and other strange things are happening in her house. None of this began to happen until Kat returned home. Just as Father Tomas tells her that demonic possession is usually a psychological disorder, a black crow flies into the window and gets stuck, bleeding all over Father Tomas' Bible. Meanwhile, 18 months ago in Mexico City, Father Marcus Keane (Ben Daniels; DOOM - 2005) is performing an exorcism on a young boy, much to a visiting priest from the Vatican's displeasure (Father Marcus pulls a gun on the visiting priest when he says he is taking the boy to a hospital). Father Tomas has dinner at the Rance's house, where he finds Angela's husband Henry (Alan Ruck; THE HAPPENING - 2008) in a catatonic state and Kat slapping her father in the face to prove it. As Father Tomas is leaving, Henry mentions that he can find Father Marcus a few miles away at a religious retreat, because the exorcism he was performing on the boy in Mexico City failed and the young boy died. How did Henry know this, since Father Tomas has been having nightmares about Father Marcus' failed exorcism for the past 18 months? Father Tomas drives to the religious retreat to find out if exorcisms are real and if demons can possess the human soul. He is not happy with Father Marcus' answer and leaves the retreat. Father Tomas goes to the Rance household and tells Angela that God spoke to him today and told him that he wants Father Tomas to stay at the Rance House and help them in any way he can (Is this a lie or is this true? You will find out in future episodes.). Almost immediately, Father Tomas has a supernatural experience with Kat (who begins to look like Linda Blair in the original) in the attic of the house, but when Angela comes up and turns on the lights, Kat looks normal and tells her mother that she and Father Tomas were killing a rat (which Kat had partially eaten!) and ends it with, "Don't they say when there is one there is probably a whole bunch?" As Father Tomas is throwing away the partially eaten rat, Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells" plays on the soundtrack (the only overt reference to the 1973 film) as Kat (or is it Angela?) watches him through the window as he walks away while Father Marcus puts together his exorcism kit and is on his way to Chicago. While the pilot tries to cram a little too much information into 43 minutes (like the homeless man that seems to be following Father Tomas and why Henry is in a semi-comatose state), this is an effective little shocker that does improve as the series progresses (I was sent the first 5 episodes by FOX as screeners and there are some legitimate jolts and a huge surprise and once you find out who Geena Davis really is, it throws a welcome monkey wrench into the proceedings) and if you like supernatural horror you could do much, much worse than this. I am not going to tell you anything, but the series is full of little Easter Eggs, dedicated to the original film. Just keep your eyes on the background, like photos hanging on the wall and some of the location work. My verdict: A must-see. NOTE: Even though the 10-episode first season has been getting abysmal ratings (about 2 million viewers per episode), the Executive Producer of the series, Jeremy Slater (who is leaving the series), is asking for viewers' help in giving the series a Second Season by using Twitter and other social media sites. With numbers as low as that, it doesn't look like FOX will renew it. The 10th (and maybe final) episode airs December 16, 2016. Too bad. NOTE #2: FOX has yet to cancel the series, so don't give up hope yet. FOX is one of the few stations to give their new series a chance to catch on. A decision on the fate of the series will come sometime in May 2017. Keep your fingers crossed! NOTE #3: Miracles of Miracles, on May 12, 2017 Fox announced that the series would return for a Second Season!  *  The CW's FREQUENCY (Wednesdays 9:00pm) is based on the 2000 film directed by Gregory Hoblit, where young man John Sullivan (Jim Caviezel) was able to talk to his 30 year-dead firefighter father Frank Sullivan (Dennis Quaid) using a ham radio. He tries to use the ham radio to save his father from the fire he died in (it was arson) and change time so his father was still alive. The film had its moments (especially when a cigarette burns the father's table and the same table the son uses 30 years later suddenly has a burn mark on it and the highly emotional ending), but this new show is one of three new series based on time travel (one of my favorite subjects) and is probably the weakest. In the new show, female NYPD detective Raimy Sullivan (Peyton List) is able to contact her 20 year-dead detective father Frank Sullivan (Riley Smith) through a ham radio. Raimy was estranged from her father when he died in 1996, but she tries to put that all aside (sometimes unsuccessfully) to help her solve crimes today and his murder in 1996; sometimes using her father to stop the crime from happening at all. But when you screw with time, there are bound to be some changes, some good, but mostly bad (known as "The Butterfly Effect"). Although the new series has a promising premise, the pilot episode frankly smelled worse than fish left in the noonday sun and I am surprised The CW picked it up for series, so I hope future episodes get better. If future episodes are as bad as the pilot, expect this series to be cancelled quickly, even if this is The CW. What surprises me most is that the pilot episode was directed by the usually dependable Brad Anderson, who was responsible for such spine-chilling films as SESSION 9 (2001); TRANSSIBERIAN (2008), the excellent VANISHING ON 7TH STREET (2010) and plenty of TV, including 12 episodes of FRINGE from 2008 to 2011. Here, he seems to be directing on auto-pilot because he is really never given anything exciting to do (thanks to a teleplay written by Jeremy Carver, bastardized from the 2000 screenplay by Toby Emmerich). Believe me, when Brad Anderson is on his game, you won't sleep for a week. My verdict: Skip it, unless you have hopes of it getting better. Her father comes back to the present when Raimy successfully stops her father from being murdered, but Raimy now has two sets of memories: Those where her father has been alive all the time and her mother is murdered by a serial killer named The Nightingale, and a second set of "remnant memories" from when her father was dead. How will Raimy handle these two sets of memories (or is all this nothing but a strange time-traveling nightmare?) Anyway you look at it, this is just a series populated by young people, something The CW is famous for. I had high hopes for this, but The CW's insistence on casting young people dashes any hope of making this show different then their dozen other series (mostly superhero related). NOTE: The pilot episode of FREQUENCY opened with a measly 1.4 million viewers. It may survive on The CW with those numbers for a few weeks (CBS, NBC, FOX & ABC would have cancelled it immediately), but look for it to be cancelled soon unless it gets at least 2 million viewers the next episode. NOTE #2: November 16, 2016: The CW announced its MidSeason schedule and it looks as if this series is not getting any additional episodes and will end after the original 13 episodes air, leaving the fate of the show up in the air. The CW hasn't announced a cancellation, but it doesn't look good. NOTE #3: on May 9, 2017, The CW officially cancelled the show.   *  HBO's WESTWORLD (Sundays 9:00pm) is vastly different, yet vaguely similar to the famous 1973 movie. I know that may sound confusing, but I think you will get what I mean after watching the first two episodes. The first episode shows the inner workings of the world's most vast and violent amusement park, where people (called "newcomers"; the robots are called "hosts") pay dearly to live out their fantasies. The park is run by Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins), who we first encounter talking to one of his oldest robots (probably from as far back as the 1973 film, since director/screenwriter of the original film, the late Michael Crichton, wrote this and all the episodes, as interpreted by Executive Producers Jonathan Nolan & Lisa Joy Nolan [J.J. Abrams is also an Executive Producer]). Dr. Ford and his crew (which includes Jeffrey Wright, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Simon Quarterman and others) can control the robots by using certain phrases, but Dr. Ford still has feelings for one of his first creations, an old, grizzled Wild West gunfighter (who zips himself into a body bag after his conversation with Ford, which is a terrific analogy between the old and the new robots, who bleed and "feel emotions" just like humans). The problem is, the robots (or androids, if you like) are becoming self-aware (In the telling beginning of the episode, none of the robots would even swat an insect away if it landed on their face, adhering to the law of not killing any living thing, but at the end of the episode, robot Dolores Abernathy [Evan Rachel Wood] kills an insect when it lands on her neck). All while all this is happening, robot "The Man in Black" (an excellent Ed Harris and, yes, the first episode ends with a Johnny Cash song) travels the vast Western countryside searching  for malfunctioning robots to kill (He scalps one of them and attaches the scalp to the saddle of his horse), while talking in smooth Shakespearian dialogue (he really is something). But maybe he is doing something more sinister. There is a lot to recommend here, including a rambunctious Wild West shootout/safe theft set to an orchestral version of The Rolling Stones' "Fade To Black" (other modern songs are heard on a player piano) with a zinger of a conclusion. Also, other "people" to look out for are Maeve Millay (Thandie Newton), a "host" barmaid/prostitute, who is beginning to remember her past "lives" (all robots are recycled from other "worlds", including one that deals with a mad doctor in a horror film setup) and malfunctioning robot Peter Abernathy (Louis Herthum), who warns Dr. Ford he will not be able to contain what is about to come (Dr. Ford doesn't take him seriously and has him operated on and "fixed"). A lot happens in the first episode, including several ways that robot Teddy Flood (James Marsden) is killed in Westworld and how Dolores may really be falling in love with him. Like I said, the first episode deals with the way human scientists deal with their robots, but the second episode will deal with the exploits of newcomers named William (Jimmi Simpson) and Logan (Ben Barnes), who are there for different reasons. The mysterious Lawrence (the always interesting Clifton Collins Jr.) appearance and purpose in Westworld slowly unfolds. This is a series everyone should be watching, because it is dark (it is obvious Dr. Ford doesn't like windows or real people, but it is also dark in other ways), intelligent and suspenseful (Just where exactly is Westworld located? Is it a real place or a VR illusion?). It is also filled with little tributes to the original film. My verdict: Highly recommended. NOTE: It turns out that The Man In Black is not a robot at all, but human. He is traveling throughout Westworld looking for "The Maze". What it is and why he needs to find it has not been explained...yet. Also, the story is not told in linear fashion, as the parts with William and Logan takes place decades before the present (For those of you watching the series, think about this. Why don't William and Logan interact with any of the robots in the present? And the final expanded episode of the series debut season showed us who William really is.). A near-perfect series for those video detectives looking for clues. NOTE #2: On November 14, 2016, HBO renewed it for a Second Season, but it may not air until sometime in 2018. NOTE #3: December 12, 2016: The show was nominated for Golden Globe Awards® for Best Television Series - Drama and Evan Rachel Wood for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama. NOTE #4: July 13, 2017: The series was nominated for an amazing 22 Emmy Awards®, tying it with SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE (thanks to Alec Baldwin's Donald Trump impressions, Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer and a talented cast that was not just funny, but also very emotional, like the singing of the late Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" in the cold opening of one episode. SNL is now relevant again!). NOTE #5: September 18, 2017: WESTWORLD failed to win any of the major Emmy Awards®, but won three lesser ones. SNL managed to beat WESTWORLD in the amount of Emmys won, (including Best makeup Effects!) , but it was Hulu's Dystopian series THE HANDMAID'S TALE that walked away with most of the major awards.  *  CBS's MACGYVER (Fridays 8:00pm) is a reboot of the long-running Richard Dean Anderson series, which ran from 1985 to 1992 and then had two made-for-TV movies in 1994. I was never a fan of the first series, but when I did watch it, Anderson was a caring, unassuming man (who very rarely used a gun) who could always make something out of nothing (and showing us how he did it, unless it was making something like a bomb which children in real-life could copy and get hurt), women he saved loved him, saving innocent people in trouble and turning his name into part of our verbal venacular ("I can MacGyver this fanbelt until we get to a gas station." and was one of the most frequent series to be mentioned in movies and TV Series, especially THE SIMPSONS, since it is Selma & Patty's favorite TV show. It was also mentioned in BAD ASS 2: BAD ASSES [2013] where Danny Glover calls Danny Trejo a "Mexican MacGyver"). In this reboot, Lucas Till portrays Angus MacGyver, a brash, braggart of a man (who also narrates part of every episode) who still can make something out of nothing, but we don't see how he does it (Mainly because some of his on-the-spot inventions would take days to complete, yet he does it in 5 minutes or less. The only similarity with the two series is both MacGyvers carry Swiss Army knives. but it ends there). He lacks any humility, which does the audience no favors. At least Anderson had the ability to show genuine human emotions. Also terribly missing from this reboot are the talents of the late Dana Elcar as MacGyver's boss of the secret agency they both worked for (They actually liked each other). Here, ex-CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION co-star George Eads (Who refused to participate in the series closing two-hour episode because of money and lack of screen time. He was one of three original cast members left [the others being Robert David Hall & Eric Szmanda], who did 335 episodes [more than any other series regular] from 2000 to 2015, yet the bastard refused to participate in the finale!) is MacGyver's boss Jack Dalton, who works for a U.S. Government secret clandestine organization and blackmails MacGyver into joining it to save innocent lives. There is something sinister about the organization and future episodes may get the chance to expose why, but ratings have gone down as the episodes progress (the first episode got an amazing 10.9 million total viewers, but it is rapidly declining). The pilot episode is a total mess (James Wan, who was a huge fan of the original series, directed the new pilot, as the old pilot, directed by David Von Ancken, was scrapped. And it shows. In the original pilot, Till sported much longer hair.) and, although it has some good action scenes (CGI enhanced, of course), the story is vanilla and from MacGyver's opening narration, he comes off as an egotistical jerk, not a hero or someone you would want your kids to emulate. Here's my verdict: Change the channel when this show comes on, because it defaces Richard Dean Anderson's legacy as the character. I have suffered through three episodes and that is my limit with bad TV. And believe me, this is bad TV. Do yourself a favor and buy the box sets of the original show's seasons. I can't see this reboot lasting more than one season, if that long, if ratings keep declining. But it is a Friday Night series, one of the least-watched days of TV besides Saturdays, so who knows? NOTE: On October 18, 2016, MACGYVER was given a full season order, along with Michael Weatherly's new series BULL (based in the life of the abysmal person Dr. Phil McGraw when he was a Jury Trial Consultant for a company he and a partner created in 1989 called CSI [Courtroom Sciences, Inc.], which is still going strong, but Dr. Phil has not been associated with CSI since 2002.), which I will not be reviewing for this season. I just can't stand Dr. Phil because of all the bad things he has done in the past (Google him) and the wrong advice he gives to his guests on his TV Show (Those who live in glass houses...), so I will not promote him in the present. NOTE #2: March 23, 2017: CBS has renewed the series for a Second Season.  *  The reason why there are no new reviews of premiering TV Series is due to the fact that most networks are giving the new shows a chance and there has been a lack of cancellations, leaving behind a logjam of new TV Shows waiting in the wings. Some new shows that were due to premiere in the Winter have been pushed back to the Spring or Summer and some are going to premiere during the 2017 - 2018 TV Season. The fact is that the networks ordered too many new series and don't know where to put them. The only new shows I reviewed that are probably going to be cancelled are FREQUENCY (but all 13 episodes will air) and THE EXORCIST (which may be toast already since at the time I am writing this it is Winter Hiatus and it doesn't look like FOX is going to air the last 5 of the series' 10 episodes [FOX changed its mind and will let it run for the entire 10 episodes]). Neither one has officially been cancelled at the time of this writing (November 23, 2016), but there are dozens of new show waiting to air, yet there are no time slots available. This is the first time I ever saw this happen. We are in the new Golden Age of Television, but programmers have to take into consideration that some series are going to be hits (about 80% of new show are just that)., It is just like one executive of a network proclaimed last year: "There is too much on TV to watch." Most other people made fun of him, only for his prediction to turn out correct. While there are lots of new series premiering this year (not to mention quite a few series lasting five years or more still going strong), only a handful will appeal to readers of this site. That is also something new. All the decent horror/sci-fi/action series are not on the top networks, but on cable, where an audience of 2 million is considered a hit. That is why cable is able to take chances networks can't. Two million viewers on a network, which is about what THE EXORCIST is receiving, usually means instant cancellation, but FOX decided to let it run for the entire 10-episode First Season, leaving other new series waiting to premiere sitting on a shelf collecting dust (Even the Second Season of SCREAM QUEENS is only averaging a measly 1.5 million viewers weekly, but FOX has no plans to pull it off their schedule.) and the fate of the show, which still could be renewed according to FOX executives, won't be decided until May, 2017. Hopefully, the New Year of 2017 will give me something to write about. I still have TIMELESS to review, but I am going to wait so my readers have something new to read after Christmas. I predict that the top 4 networks will start following what streaming services and cable have been doing for years: Every new show will only run 10 to 13 episodes a season, leaving room for other series to air all year long. Doing this will also cut down on the "fluff" episodes, that are filmed using previous footage because the budget allotted for the series was running low. This way you get all of the cream and none of the crap.

My thoughts on the 2016 - 2017 TV Season Part 2: Renewals & Cancellations: Beside Spike TV’s upcoming rebrand to The Paramount Network, here are the renewals and cancellations of TV Series across the spectrum of TV and Streaming: FX has already given AMERICAN HORROR STORY a Season 7 renewal. Season 6, titled AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ROANOKE (partially based on a true story; the difference this time being that half the season is shot like a documentary, complete with re-enactments, but the series has not cut down on the bloody set-pieces), is averaging 13 million viewers per episode. NOTE: January 12, 2017: FX has renewed Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk anthology series AMERICAN HORROR STORY for Seasons 8 and 9. That’s in addition to the previously announced seventh installment.; Freeform has picked up STITCHERS for a Third Season which, it turns out, is Freeform's third most watched program. Proof that tastes has no bounds.; Freeform has also cancelled DEAD OF SUMMER after one season. NOTE: Freeform has changed its mind and cancelled STITCHERS.; Starz has renewed ASH VS. EVIL DEAD for a third season before the secondCancelled episode of the Second Season even aired. Wise decision. When you have Bruce Campbell starring in a funny/gory series that doesn't overstay its welcome every week (and for only 30 minutes for each 10-episode season, the equivalent of three 100-minute movies), you keep him as long as possible.; IFC has renewed its ASH retread STAN VS. EVIL for a Second Season.; AMC has renewed HALT AND CATCH FIRE for a Fourth and Final Season to air sometime in 2017.; FOX has given Season 2 of LUCIFER a full 22 episode order and then greenlit it for a Third Season. Tom Welling will join Season 3 as Police Lieutenant Marcus Pierce, who starts developing a connection with Decker (Lauren German) and brings out the beast in Lucifer (the excellent Tom Ellis).; The CW has extended the second season of LEGENDS OF TOMORROW for an additional 4 episodes, bringing its total to 17 episodes, still short of the 22 episodes of the other superhero shows (SUPERGIRL, ARROW, THE FLASH) shown on that station.; The CW has also cancelled REIGN after four seasons. The news came to the cast and crew as they were filming the final episode of the Fourth Season.; TNT has cancelled MURDER IN THE FIRST after 3 seasons. It was different from most series in that each season told a separate new season-long story set in San Francisco, not the usual "murder of the week".; On a good note, TNT has renewed THE LIBRARIANS for a Fourth Season, just two days after the Third Season ended.; MTV has renewed SCREAM for a Third Season, rebooting the series with rap stars like Tyga and children of famous rap stars. It will run for 6 episodes. Can that even be considered a series? Once you take out all the commercials, it is more like a two-hour movie. MTV is also set to air a two-hour installment of SCREAM on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. The Halloween special will pick up eight months after Season 2, which concluded in August 2016. NOTE: MTV is looking to reboot their reboot and Season 3 of the series will not feature any of the previous two season's actors. They have been told to look for other work. As you can possibly realize, MTV recently went through a regime change.; Little-known cable channel EPIX has renewed both BERLIN STATION and the Nick Nolte political comedy GRAVES for 10-episode Second Seasons (Nick Nolte has been nominated for a Golden Globe® for Best Actor in a Comedy TV Series, even though 80% of the United States doesn't have access to EPIX. NOTE: February 8, 2017: TV network EPIX is arriving for fourth-generation Apple TV users today with a new app on the App Store, but it will only be available to those already subscribed to the service through cable providers.).; NBC has renewed SUPERSTORE for Season 3, with a 22 episode season. This is a comedy I disliked when it first premiered, but I now find it one of the funniest sitcoms on TV. Never judge a show by its first episode. Get to know the characters before you pan a show. Lesson learned.; The new USA series FALLING WATER (A series close to my heart for reasons I cannot say) is going to have its first season streamed on Amazon Prime, which makes it almost a certainty that it will be renewed for a Second Season. (UPDATE: On April 3, 2017, USA announced it was greenlit for a Second Season.); USA has cancelled its freshman series EYEWITNESS due to low ratings.; Netflix has renewed LUKE CAGE for a Second Season.; NBC is in talks with Fremantle Media to resurrect AMERICAN IDOL. Christ, it hasn't been off FOX for a year yet and NBC now wants to have their own version of it. Don't they already have the long-running and popular THE VOICE? (NBC says that if they get it, their other singing series will change from two cycles to one cycle a year.) NOTE: It looks as if ABC beat NBC to the punch. The ABC version of AMERICAN IDOL will begin to air during the 2017 - 2018 TV Season. For Christ's sake, give us a break!; TNT’s MAJOR CRIMES has been renewed for a 13-episode Season Six.;  NBC has pulled its Donald Trump-inspired episode of LAW & ORDER: SVU, titled "Unstoppable", from its October 26, 2016 air date until sometime after the November 8, 2016 Presidential Election because of the plethora of women coming out accusing Trump of sexual assault (The new date is November 16, 2016). At first NBC wanted to pull the episode permanently, but level heads prevailed. Aren't some of the show's episodes ripped from the headlines? You don't shelve an episode because it hits its mark, but I can understand how they would prefer to air it after the election. You don't want to influence idiots. Expect Trump to sue NBC once the episode airs (Gary Cole plays an excellent fake Trump), even though his name is never mentioned (He fails to understand that once you become important, such as President of the United States, it opens you up for all types of lampooning). That is what he is famous for. And just like most of his other lawsuits, he will lose. He is so paranoid, he is blaming SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE for influencing the election (Alec Baldwin does a top-notch job of portraying Trump as a buffoon) and demands that the series be cancelled! He wants a 40+ Season series to be taken off the air because he can't stand to see himself lampooned on TV (Even though he was a guest host on the show two times, in 2004 & 2015!). NOTE: Now that Donald Trump has been elected President (that was extremely hard for me to type), the episode has been moved again until sometime in 2017, after his swearing-in. Now SVU is kissing Trump's ass and should be ashamed of themselves. Something tells me that the episode will be permanently shelved. NOTE #2: According to Ice-T, the episode may never be shown, not because of being scared of backlash from Trump, but because it was not one of their better episodes, Ice-T says he got paid, so he doesn't give a fuck if it is ever shown (It will probably not be part of the Season 18 disc set).; FOX has renewed THE SIMPSONS for an unprecedented 29th & 30th Seasons, which will pass GUNSMOKE's 635 episodes (It will have 669 episodes at the end of 30 Seasons, but the Western classic TV series reached its milestone in just 20 seasons [1955 - 1975], back when there were more episodes produced every season).; Showtime has renewed SHAMELESS for an Eighth Season.; NBC has renewed THE NIGHT SHIFT for a Fourth Season.; Finally, A&E has set the 11th Season of DUCK DYNASTY to be its last. The show will end April 12, 2017, followed by an occasional holiday special. Nice to finally have those religious bigots off the air. And I bet most of these fake-assed millionaire hillbillies are just itching to cut off their beards. NOTE: December 5, 2016: Scott and Deirdre Gurney, the founders of the reality TV production company Gurney Productions that produces DUCK DYNASTY and in 2012 was purchased by ITV for $40 million, have been temporarily suspended amid anRenewed internal fraud investigation. They have since been fired and sued for fraud by ITV (The Gurneys are filing a countersuit against ITV). It follows the DD creed: "Do as we say, not as we do."; Netflix has cancelled MARCO POLO after two seasons.; It looks as if FOX will cancel SCREAM QUEENS after two seasons. The Second Season finale ended with an anemic 1.38 million viewers. No major network would continue a series with those numbers.; FOX has renewed LUCIFER for a 22 episode Season Three. I love this series and am glad it will be continuing.; NatGeo has renewed their docudrama MARS for a Second Season.; TNT has given its freshman series GOOD BEHAVIOR and ANIMAL KINGDOM Second Seasons.; Amazon has renewed BOSCH for a Fourth Season, well before the Third Season even aired [Season 3 airs in early 2017]. I have always admired Titus Welliver's acting chops and am glad he has a series that is not only a winner, but is also a wonderful personal detective drama. I binge-watched the first two seasons (look for my review in the 2014 - 2015 TV Season section on this site) and was immediately hooked.; Netflix has renewed LONGMIRE for a 10-episode Sixth and final season in 2017 and promised delivering a dynamic and satisfying conclusion. God, I will miss that show!; Netflix also renewed FULLER HOUSE for a Third Season. Really?; Netflix also announced that the 11th Season of MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 will premiere on April 14, 2017. This series broke all Kickstarter records for citizens donating money to reboot the series after a long period of inactivity. First it was shown on a local UHF channel in Minnesota, moved to Comedy Central and finished its run on SyFy (then the Sci-Fi Network) in 1999, before 47,000 people donated $6.3 million to see another season (14 episodes) happen. Only Mike Nelson will not be part of it. All previous characters will return. Patton Oswalt has joined the cast as a regular and there will be an array of well-known guest stars, such as Jerry Seinfeld.; Amazon Prime has renewed their excellent series THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE for a Third Season. Unlike that revived sitcom on Netflix, this one actually entertains.; Netflix has also renewed Norman Lear's Latino version of ONE DAY AT A TIME for a Second Season.; CBS has renewed the popular multiple Emmy Award® winning sitcom-with-an-edge MOM for a Fifth Season. Worthwhile just for Allison Janney's performance alone.; It looks like The El Rey Network's FROM DUSK TILL DAWN: THE SERIES will not continue after Season 3. The network has released the cast of the TV Series ahead of the November 3, 2016 Season 3 finale. Word is that Robert Rodriguez (he directed the original 1995 movie), who created the El Rey Network will not make an official announcement until the beginning of 2017 whether the series is cancelled or not. He wants to change-up the series and make it a limited series or mini-series, using the same actors they are using now, which would explain why he released the actors from their contracts so they can find other work until a decision is made between El Rey and Miramax (who own the rights to the movies and series).; Bobby Cannavale joins the cast of Season 3 of USA's MR. ROBOT when it premieres in October 2017. I think Cannavale is a fantastic actor, but his last two series, HBO's BOARDWALK EMPIRE and VINYL were cancelled when he was starring on both.; The Second Season of AMC's PREACHER will debut on on June 19. 2017 at 9:00 pm EST. Don't be an Arseface and watch the series (a little in-joke for those who watched the First Season. The First Season can be seen subscribing to Hulu or buying the Season One disc set. Worth your time. It was also renewed for a Third Season in 2018.; The little-known cable station POP has renewed the absolutely hilarious SCHITT'S CREEK for a Fourth Season. The series stars Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara and Chris Elliott and is a co-production with the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC).; January 7, 2017: The CW has renewed ARROW, THE FLASH, LEGENDS OF TOMORROW, SUPERGIRL and SUPERNATURAL for another season. This is unusual because renewals are usually announced in May.; The CW also announced, in the beginning of March 2017, that their new series, RIVERDALE, based on Archie Comics (but much more darker), was renewed for a Second Season and THE 100 was renewed for a Fifth Season; Cinemax has ordered a reboot of the military action series STRIKE BACK with an entirely new cast and characters. They originally cancelled the series in 2015.; David Lynch's TWIN PEAKS revival series will premiere on Sunday, May 21, 2017 at 9 p.m. on Showtime. Lynch directed all 18 episodes and Lynch and Mark Frost wrote all the episodes as a team. There are over 200 actors who have speaking parts, one of the few series to claim that. And look for David Duchovny to put in an appearance as transvestite DEA Agent Dennis/Denise Bryson, the same as he did in the original series. This is going to be good. In advance of the reboot [David Lynch is actually calling it "Season 3"], Showtime will air the first two seasons of TWIN PEAKS and the film TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME (1992) as a primer for those who never saw the show before or need a refresher course. And Showtime announced that the series will not be shown like any of their other series, which is strange (and unknown at the time of this writing), but just like David Lynch (It has been revealed that some episodes watched on Showtime Streaming, Showtime Anytime and Showtime On Demand may differ slightly from the same episodes Showtime airs on cable. Only David Lynch can get away with that. I can't wait until the box set is released!).; Showtime has also renewed BILLIONS for a third season. The expert acting between Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis (late of Showtime's HOMELAND, which is still running) make this show a must.; AMC has agreed to a Second Season of THE NIGHT MANAGER (Hugh Laurie's best role since HOUSE), but are not rushing things. They want the Second Season to live up to the level of Season One. Now, that is the right way to do things (The Ink Factory and the BBC are the Producers of the series).;  SyFy has renewed their ultra-creepy anthology series CHANNEL ZERO for a Third and Fourth Season before the Second Season even airs. This is one series that deserves a review. Expect one here shortly. With EXPANSE and Z NATION, SyFy is returning to the channel that I once loved in the 90's.; SyFy has cancelled the Matt Damon/Ben Affleck-produced sci-fi business thriller INCORPORATED after one season.; ABC has renewed GREY'S ANATOMY, SCANDAL (its Final Season) and HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER for the 2017 - 2018 Season. Shonda Rhimes has also ditched ABC for Netflix.; CBS has pulled their new mid-season series DOUBT after just two episodes. CBS refuses to say the series is cancelled, but it got ratings that would make The CW turn it down. Expect the rest of the episodes (11 of 13 episodes) to be burned off during the Summer or on some streaming service. Right now, I am willing to bet that Katherine Heigl regrets quitting GREY'S ANATOMY and Dule Hill is kicking himself in the ass trying to find a series as popular as PSYCH. NOTE: On May 16, 2017, it was officially cancelled by CBS. On June 21, 2017, CBS announced they are going to burn off the remaining 11 episodes on Saturday nights at 8:00 pm beginning July 1, 2017,; AMC's THE WALKING DEAD was renewed for an Eighth Season, just a week before Season 7 premiered. Like this is a surprise. I find the series nothing but cliched junk (NOTE: In January of 2017, it was revealed that some of the more gruesome scenes in the first half of Season 7 [especially the premiere S7 episode] have been edited due to a few customer complaints. Hey, idiots, you are watching a zombie show. Zombies eat people! What do you want the walking dead to do, sit at a dinner table with napkins tucked-in at their necks and dine on the recently dead with knives and forks? Spoons for the eyeballs? Future episodes will not be as violent as they were before and repeats of episodes will have the violence "toned down". It should be noted that two other Producers of the show say that none of this is true. We shall see when the repeats are shown if what those two Producers are saying are "alternate facts".).; Speaking of zombies, SyFy has renewed Z NATION for a Fourth Season on November 29, 2016. Now here is a zombie show worth watching! I have also been meaning to thank SyFy for showing the entire series up to the middle of the Third Season during Thanksgiving Day 2016 and the day after, leading to the latest new episode. A perfect way for those who have never seen the show to binge-watch it and make it part of their weekly routine. AMC has also renewed FEAR OF THE WALKING DEAD for a Fourth Season.; HBO announced that a Second Season of THE NIGHT OF  (Riz Ahmed won a 2017 Emmy Award® for best Actor in A Limited Series and he deserved it, Fred Elmes for Cinematography on a Limited Series and Jay Cassidy & Nick Houy for Single-Camera Picture Editing on a Limited Series.) and a Third Season of TRUE DETECTIVE are not out of the question, as long as the creators of both series (Richard Price and Steven Zallian for NIGHT; Nic Pizzolatto for DETECTIVE) come up with good story lines. UPDATE: HBO is pairing up two of the marquee names on its talent roster, with veteran David Milch possibly joining TRUE DETECTIVE creator Nic Pizzolatto for a potential third season of the crime drama franchise.; FOX renewed EMPIRE for a Fourth Season, even though the ratings have dropped sharply since the First & Second Seasons.; CBS cancelled both of their new Summer series BRAINDEAD and AMERICAN GOTHIC. No surprise there, as both series were particularly rank. CBS did, however, renew ZOO for a Third Season. Don't ask Cancelledme why, but it was CBS's highest-rated scripted show of Summer 2016.; ABC has cut the season order on their new series NOTORIOUS from 13 episodes to 10. ABC has not said that this series has been cancelled, but it doesn't look good, even though it is sandwiched between two of ABC's most popular drama series, GREY'S ANATOMY and HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER.; ABC has also announced that they have opted not to pick up additional episodes of new legal drama CONVICTION beyond its original 13-episode order. ABC is moving QUANTICO from its Sunday 10:00pm timeslot to CONVICTION's Monday 10:00pm timeslot come late January 2017. CONVICTION will move to QUANTICO's time slot on January 1, 2017 to burn off the rest of the episodes, while ABC fills the Monday 10:00pm slot with specials until QUANTICO's January 23, 2017 takeover.; FOX has announced the 12th and final season of BONES (which will be 12 episodes long) will begin airing on Tuesday January 3, 2017 at 9:00pm. I believe this series has had the most day and time changes of any show on TV that I can remember, yet its faithful fans always followed it (all the day and time changes usually means the kiss of death, but this series bucked the trend, along with CW's SUPERNATURAL), giving up other series it played opposite against. I haven't watched the series in quite a while, but you have to admire a show where fans have kept it on the air for at least the last five years.; The CW has ordered a reboot pilot of the 80's series DYNASTY (1981 - 1989). If it is green-lit, it will be part of their 2017 -2018 TV Season.; WGN has cancelled their supernational witchcraft series SALEM after three seasons and OUTSIDERS after Two Seasons.; Amazon has renewed the Golden Globe-winning series MOZART IN THE JUNGLE for a Fourth Season.; Amazon Prime has renewed the streaming (and very good) series SNEAKY PETE for a Second Season.; Netflix's newest series based on a minor Marvel comics superhero, IRON FIST, will debut on March 17, 2017 (It is a punching bag from critics, most who say how bad it is, but are they watching the same show I am? NOTE: On July 21, 2017, Netflix renewed the series for a Second Season,). OK, Netflix, after my glowing reviews of DAREDEVIL and JESSICA JONES, also not mentioning LUKE CAGE (who will all get together in another Netflix series called THE DEFENDERS debuting in the Summer of 2017) and the upcoming THE PUNISHER, it is time to move away from the Marvel Universe and start making other non-superhero series.; It seems as if Netflix was listening. They have greenlit THE OA for a second season, just eight weeks after the first installment of the mind-bending supernatural drama debuted.; Netflix has also ordered a second season of Canadian sci-fi series TRAVELERS starring Eric McCormack and produced by Canadian production company ShowCase. The series is set hundreds of years in the future where technology has developed a means of sending people back in time to the 21st century to help save humanity from a grim future. I hope that also includes a Donald Trump episode.; To keep the Netflix ball rolling, they have renewed the animated TROLLHUNTERS for a Second Season. And much of Season 2's 13 episodes (Season 1 was 26 episodes) will contain the late Anton Yelchin's voice since he did a shitload of voicework for the series. Season 2 will debut later in 2017.; Netflix has also announced that they areRenewed prepping an animated series based on the video game CASTLEVANIA.; Showtime has opted not to renew MASTERS OF SEX for Season 5. Looks like we will have to find another way to perform sex correctly (I need some tips on masturbation).; FX renewed the supernatural drama THE STRAIN for a Fourth and Final Season. It was originally planned to only run three seasons, but the creators came up with ideas for a Fourth and Final Season.; FX has renewed the Tom Hardy (he also Executive Produces) period drama TABOO and the X-Men related series LEGION for Second Seasons. Ridley Scott was an executive producer of TABOO under his banner Scott Free Films and will reprise his role for the Second Season.; FX has also cancelled their drama series TYRANT after Three Seasons. It was FX's lowest rated original series.; Starz has cancelled their outrageous comedy series BLUNT TALK, starring Patrick Stewart [Data himself, Brent Spiner, appeared on four episodes], after two seasons.; CBS has announced that their new series PURE GENIUS would only last its initial 13-episode order. It doesn't take a pure genius to figure out that the series is being cancelled.; In some of the best news I have heard at the end of 2016, Bryan Fuller has said that there most probably will be a fourth season of HANNIBAL and maybe even more. Talks will start in 2017. The rights to SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991), which the fourth season was supposed to be based on, revert back to the De Laurentiis production company in August, 2017 (Martha De Laurentiis is Executive Producer of the series). Fuller has said that he invisions the series as an irregular-based mini-series, with 6 to 8 episodes each. Mads Mikkelsen, who plays Hannibal, says the series will likely return to television in the next "Two to three years". That is great new to fans of the formerly deceased series (of which I am one). Let's hope it comes to fruition. It was the most mature series on Network Television.; Arnold Schwarzenegger said he would not return as host for another season of NBC's THE NEW CELEBRITY APPRENTICE (if there is another season) because of the remarks of Donald Trump, who is still Executive Producer of the series. I hope the series dies a painful death and Trump will have one less thing he can't Tweet about. Trump thinks Arnold Schwarzenegger ruined his show (the show got the lowest ratings ever), when in actuality, no one wants anything to do with Trump (Trump said he fired Arnold Schwarzenegger a day after Arnold made his announcement. Who do you believe? If you believe Trump, I can make you a member of Mar-A-Lago for just $300,000!). He is such a sociopathic egoist, that he refuses to accept that people hate his guts. Enough so, that they will refuse to watch any TV show he is involved in. My best bet is that NBC will try to keep the show on the air because they don't want to get on the bad side of our batshit crazy President. Those chicken-hearted wimps.; FX has given their extremely weird comedy BASKETS the green light for a third season. The series stars  Zach Galifianakis as a rodeo clown Chip Baskets and Emmy Award® winner Louis Anderson as Chip's mother Christine Baskets (He deserved the Emmy®, showing the right mixture of humor and pathos.).; SyFy has renewed its excellent thought-provoking series THE EXPANSE for a 13-episode Third Season, to be shown in 2018.; SyFy has also renewed THE MAGICIANS for Season 3, WYNONNA EARP for Season 3 and, regrettably, renewed 12 MONKEYS for a Fourth, and Final, Season. I love this show and it helped SyFy re-enter its Golden Years, back when the channel (then known as the Sci-Fi Network) had series worth watching. Besides, I am a sucker for time travel stories and this series delivered the best. If I was given the choice of only picking one time travel series to watch (the Networks and Cable have more than three of them this year), I would pick this show. As a way of saying thanks to fans of the show, SyFy will premiere the show’s 10-episode Third Season over three consecutive nights, from May 19 – 21, 2017 starting at 8 p.m.; Believe it or not, NBC renewed SHADES OF BLUE for a Third Season after airing just two episodes of the Second Season. I'm sure this makes Jennifer Lopez very happy, because her singing career is at a pretty low ebb right now. I think most people watch because the character Ray Liotta portrays is gay, though.; March 20, 2017: CBS has renewed THE BIG BANG THEORY for two more seasons for 48 episodes, making it the 11th and 12th Seasons. Frankly, I thought most of the humor in the series was lost a few seasons ago.; In the biggest surprise in the world (sarcasm), CBS has renewed BULL for a Second Season.; March 23, 2017: CBS has also renewed 18 of their series, including BLUE BLOODS; HAWAII FIVE-O; SCORPION; all three NCIS series; MADAM SECRETARY and others already mentioned, both new and established, including CODE BLACK, which was renewed for a Third Season on May 13, 2017. On the bubble are ELEMENTARY Cancelled(Thanks Sunday sports games, including football, golf and basketball, for your constant time overruns. Very rarely has the excellent series started on time. Sometimes it started over 40 minutes late and a couple of times it wasn't shown on the East Coast at all, depriving us of some first-run episodes. NOTE: ELEMENTARY was greenlit for a Sixth Season, breaking the CBS Sunday 10:00 pm Curse! It seems the Jonny Miller/Lucy Lui series does very well internationally, which made CBS think twice about cancelling it.); CRIMINAL MINDS (Not its best season. The show really misses Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore.) and CRIMINAL MINDS: BEYOND BORDERS (I have no opinion of the fate of this show.) NOTE: April 7, 2017: CBS has renewed CRIMINAL MINDS for a 13th Season. May 14, 2017: CBS cancels CRIMINAL MINDS: BEYOND BORDERS after Two Seasons.; Hulu has given a second-season pickup to the supernatural detective drama SHUT EYE, starring Jeffrey Donovan (BURN NOTICE [2007 - 2013]) and have also renewed THE PATH for Season 3.; CineMax has decided to cancel THE KNICK after two season since the producers and writers can't come up with a good story since Clive Owens (who always planned on being on the series for only two seasons) died at the end of Season Two. It may be revived somewhere in the future, but as of now the series is finished.; AMC has renewed their series HUMANS for a Third Season.; Netflix has renewed the comedy with Drew Barrymore as a person who suddenly has the taste for human flesh, SANTA CLARITA DIET, for a Second Season.; ABC has cancelled TIME AFTER TIME after just five showings. The series, based on the excellent 1979 movie, was only averaging 2.5 million viewers a week. I was just about to write a lengthy review of this mid-season replacement, but that all seems moot now.; IFC has renewed their new comedy BROCKMIRE for a Second Season one day before the first episode of the First Season was even shown. The multi-talented Hank Azaria (many voices on THE SIMPSONS) plays the titled character, a once-popular major league baseball announcer who lost his mojo on-air when he found out his wife was cheating on him, turns into an alcoholic and does play-by-play for a bush league baseball team while trying to reclaim his fame 10 years later (The series is based on a Funny Or Die sketch created by Azaria).; Netflix has renewed Lemony Snicket's A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS for a Third Season (The Second Season hasn't even aired yet!). This series is weird to the extreme, especially the makeup Neil Patrick Harris wears as Count Olaf.; Bravo has renewed its freshman series IMPOSTERS for a Second Season.; Crackle has renewed SNATCH for a Second Season.; Freeform has renewed SHADOWHUNTERS for a 20-episode Third Season before the second half of Season Two even premieres.; NBC has yanked POWERLESS from its Thursday night 8:30 PM schedule. This DC Comics-based comedy is about a security company (Called "Wayne Industries". Wink Wink) that tries to protect average people from the superhero battles around them (those pieces of buildings falling to the ground must crush some people), by creating new technology and devices. It was full of little Easter Eggs about the DC superhero universe (even the print ads had some Easter Eggs as you can see if you click on the link), but the ratings were at the bottom of the barrel. The remainder of episodes will either be shown on Saturday Night or on a streaming service. This was a funny sitcom that was totally promoted in the wrong way on TV.; AMC has renewed INTO THE BADLANDS for a Third Season with a 16-episode order, the most the series has seen yet and amounts to adding the episodes of the first two seasons together.; Netflix has renewed their absolutely enthralling teen suicide mystery drama 13 REASONS WHY (I binge-watched the series in two sittings) for a Second Season. It will not be a whole new story next season, using characters from this season and resolving some situations from the first season, such as Jessica's rape by Bryce, but the prime story will be new (NOTE: Canadian schools are warning teachers not to discuss this series to their students, proving that Canadians can be dunderheads, too. This series should be seen by all students to learn how bullying and sexual assault can lead to suicide. This is a realistic teaching series, yet schools don't want teens to watch it! NOTE #2: Want to hear something ridiculous? "Researchers" believe that this show may have led to an "uptick" of suicide attempts! Too bad the names of these researchers weren't published. Blaming a show for causing suicides? Now I have heard everything. It's like blaming a thriller series like SHOOTER for causing an uptick in murder. NOTE #3: Now those "researchers" are backtracking on their comments and changing it to there being an "uptick" of "searches" about suicide on Google. These people are idiots!).; FOX cancelled the baseball drama PITCH, about a young pitcher becoming the first woman to play in the Major Leagues, after one season.; Hulu has renewed the perfectly fitting in today's society THE HANDMAID'S TALE, 2017's Emmy® winner forBest Drama, for a Second Season.; NBCRenewed has cancelled EMERALD CITY after one season. Hey, you! Get the hell out of Oz!!!; It looks like ABC is about to cancel ONCE UPON A TIME after Six Seasons. Jennifer Lawrence, who has appeared in every season, has said that she would not return for a Seventh Season. NOTE: ABC has renewed it for a Seventh Season, but it will most undoubtedly be it last since many of the series main stars, including John Dallas, Jared Gilmore, Ginnifer Goodwin, Emilie de Ravin and Rebecca Mader will not be returning for Season 7; USA Network is reviving its late, great private eye dramedy PSYCH via a two-hour holiday movie, and all the usual suspects will be back. PSYCH: THE MOVIE, which is slated to air in December 2017 will find James Roday‘s Shawn and Dulé Hill‘s Gus reteaming three years after the show’s 2014 series finale. Joining Roday and Hill in the 2-hour movie will be franchise vets Timothy Omundson (Lassiter), Maggie Lawson (Juliet), Corbin Bernsen (Henry) and Kirsten Nelson (Chief Vick).; The CW has cancelled the only series I liked from them, NO TOMORROW, in the middle its Freshman Season. The story was about a man and woman falling in love, even though the man knows the Earth will be destroyed soon by an asteroid. Just the right amount of fantasy, romance and drama. It, along with FREQUENCY, were the only two series never to get full season pickups in the CW's history. Hopefully some streaming station will pick it up. I'm not holding my breath, though. There is certainly too much TV on TV! NOTE: The CW has given fans a little surprise for both cancelled series. On FREQUENCY, Dad was able to fix the ham radio so his daughter could give him the info about the serial killer and murder him, so the present is now all happy (it was a four-minute addendum). On NO TOMORROW, it was shown whether the asteroid was real or not (A two-minute addendum, but you won't get the answer from me!). At least The CW cares about their viewers and decided to end both series properly.; FOX has cancelled ROSEWOOD after Two Seasons. My only question is this: How in the hell did it last two seasons? It could be because it preceded FOX's highest rated [but slowly declining] series EMPIRE last year but, this year, LETHAL WEAPON did and it was picked up for a Second Season. FOX also renewed GOTHAM for a Fourth Season and my personal favorite LUCIFER for a Third Season.; ABC's SCANDAL will end after the 2017 - 2018 Season, the series' Seventh Season. Word is that series creator Shonda Rhimes made the call to conclude the series, and ABC accepted her decision.; NBC has renewed THE BLACKLIST for a 22-episode Fifth Season and BLINDSPOT for a Third Season. No word about THE BLACKLIST: REDEMPTION...yet. Whoops, it has been cancelled after One Season. Ryan Eggold as Tom will return to the original series (NOTE: Tom was killed on a November 15, 2017 episode of THE BLACKLIST. Eggold was not surprised because in his own words: "Tom has done so many bad things, it was bound to happen he would be killed. Still, it was a surprise." Personally, I will miss him on the series. You never knew if he was a good guy or a bad guy. And how much pain can Liz take?). NBC has also renewed CHICAGO FIRE for a Sixth Season, CHICAGO P.D. for a Fifth Season (star Sophia Bush is leaving the NBC series after four seasons) and CHICAGO MED for a Third Season. No word on CHICAGO JUSTICE...yet. NOTE: On May 23, 2017, NBC has cancelled CHICAGO JUSTICE after just one 13-episode season, but some of the actors will become regulars on the other three CHICAGO series. (Dick Wolf, the Producer of the "Chicago" franchise, didn't have all winners in his LAW & ORDER franchise. Remember LAW & ORDER: TRIAL BY JURY and LAW & ORDER: LOS ANGELES? No harm if you don't because they only lasted a season. But at least Wolf still has LAW & ORDER: SVU going into its 19th Season next TV Season. It only needs two more seasons after that to beat its master series, LAW & ORDER). NBC also cancelled the freshman series TIMELESS, which I had a whole season story written. No use in putting it on now. Another time travel series that didn't last. As a matter of fact, all of them premiering during the 2016-2017 TV Season were cancelled this year. This NBC series was better than FREQUENCY or TIME AFTER TIME, but that is not saying much. Besides little pieces of funny changes the gang accidentally made in time, the plots were basic network fodder. At least we still have SyFy's 12 MONKEYS for one more season to entertain us. This is the way a time travel series should be done. NOTE: Three days later NBC "uncancelled" TIMELESS because of fan complaints. They are moving the production from Canada to California to take advantage of that State's new $9.9 million production tax credit called "Program 2.0". That doesn't happen very often. I remember when the original STAR TREK was cancelled after Two Seasons and fan letters of complaint made the Cancellednetwork give it a Third Season (actually its worst season). Now I can post my opinion about the series.; Season Two of THE SHANNARA CHRONICLES is moving from MTV to Spike. Why would a channel devoted to men want with a young adult series? NOTE: Spike will be rebranded "The Paramount Network" before the end of 2017.; CBS has cancelled RANSOM after One Season. The trivia question is: What was the first scripted series to premiere on Saturday night since WALKER, TEXAS RANGER ended? That's right, it was this series. NOTE: CBS changed their minds and renewed it for a 13-episode Second Season since it is so cheap to produce (It's a Canada-Hungary production).; Starz has renewed their fantastic series AMERICAN GODS for a Second Season before the third episode of the First Season has aired. I need to know what is up with the spoons!; FOX has cancelled SLEEPY HOLLOW after Four Seasons and APB and SON OF ZORN after One Season each. I gave up on SLEEPY HOLLOW after two excellent seasons and then the series went into freefall fast and the animated/live action ZORN was somewhat funny, but I got the feeling it was trying hard to be too funny. I tried watching the first episode of APB, but it reminded me too much of ROBOCOP (1987), minus Robocop himself. FOX also renewed BROOKLYN NINE-NINE for a Fifth Season, cancelled SCREAM QUEENS after Two Seasons and cancelled their pretty bad 30-minute time travel comedy, MAKING HISTORY, after One short Season.; ABC has renewed the Kiefer Sutherland-starrer DESIGNATED SURVIVOR for a Second Season (one of the few new full-season hour-long series to get a renewal), QUANTICO for a Third Season (but only 13 episodes) and AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. for a Fifth Season. ABC has also cancelled the critically well-received AMERICAN CRIME after Three Seasons due to low ratings, which makes me believe that TV is truly the boob tube.; NBC has renewed TRIAL & ERROR for a Second Season. This documentary-style sitcom is a take-off on all the real-life murder shows that are popular on TV. John Lithgow played the is he or isn't he murderer in the First Season (and was funny as hell), but since his storyline was resolved this season, he may not return for the Second Season. That would be a shame. NBC has also renewed TAKEN for a Second Season. The show is a prequel to the three Liam Neeson films of the same name. NOTE: Six actors have left the series from the First Season, since the Second Season is going in a different direction.; TNT has scheduled Sunday, August 20, 2017 for the 2-hour Fourth Season Premiere of THE LAST SHIP.; CineMax has cancelled their new series QUARRY after one 8-episode season.; Netflix has canceled SENSE8 after two seasons. Big mistake. I hope Netflix get a downpour of negative remarks about doing this. This is a show that everyone should have been watching! NOTE: Netflix did get a downpour of negative reactions for the show being cancelled, but Netflix said the show was not financially feasible to remain making new erisodes. Netflix loses money on every new episode. This is the fist time a streaming service has made any mention of ratings. Now there's a online petition site for Netflix to make a movie that closes all the loopholes. And Netflix is going to make it as a two-hour movie as a present to its fans to air sometime in 2018.; FOX has cancelled 24: LEGACY after One Season. FOX and studio 20th Century Fox Television are exploring future iterations of 24, possibly as an anthology built around the real-time storytelling format of the original series. Fox said it was already at work with 24 producers on that model.; Jennifer Esposito will depart the CBS procedural NCIS after one season as a series regular. Esposito played Agent Alexandra “Alex” Quinn, a quick-witted and talented agent who left to be an instructor at the Law Enforcement Training Center until Gibbs lured her back to the field. She was forced to leave CBS' series BLUE BLOODS in 2012 because she was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2008. Celiac is a disease where gluten in the diet triggers autoimmune intestinal damage. On diagnosis, patients remove gluten from the diet and the gut heals. She had too many absent days on the Tom Selleck series for them to keep her. In much bigger NCIS news, Pauley Perrette announced on October 4, 2017 that she will be leaving her iconic role as Abby sometime in the Spring of 2018, near the end of Season 15. Too many changes on the show, especially the exit of such a beloved character will undoubtedly lessen the series' ratings dramatically.; FARGO show creator Noah Hawley has said that Season 3 may be its last. I wouldn't count on it.; BBC America renewed the excellent Idris Elba series LUTHER for a Fifth Season.; Netflix has renewed BILL NYE SAVES THE WORLD for a Second Season.; ABC cancelled their freshman series DOWNWARD DOG.; AMC has renewed BETTER CALL SAUL for a Fourth Season. No surprise there.; Peter Capaldi is exiting his role as the 12th incarnation of DOCTOR WHO in the upcoming 2017 Christmas special after three seasons of time travel. The new Doctor will be historic. For the first time since the series debuted in 1964, the Doctor will be played by a woman, actress Jodie Whittaker, who has been an important part of the British TV Series BROADCHURCH since its inception in 2013.; HAWAII FIVE-O stars Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park are reportedly leaving the show over salary disputes and will not be in the cast of Season 8.  CBS just lost a lot of Hawaii in the series because there are a lot of Asians that live there (I have visited there many times and know that to be a fact). Big mistake, CBS!; TNT renewed ANIMAL KINGDOM for a Third Season.; Actress Maria Bello will become a regular member of NCIS during its 15th Season. She will be introduced during the fourth episode and then become a weekly regular.; USA has renewed QUEEN OF THE SOUTH for a Third Season.; Netflix announced that it is $20 billion in debt. That's not millions, it's billions! The question I would ask Netflix corporate offices is how they allowed themselves to gather up such a huge debt and how in the world do they think they will ever begin making a profit? Streaming companies like NBC's Seeso are closing down shop and Amazon and Hulu are doing just fine, but Netflix is going to have to be more frugal with their money and unfortunately cancel some series. Netflix was never one to give out their ratings, but being that much in debt tells me that not as many people we think have Netflix subscriptions. Those that do have subscriptions can look forward to paying a larger monthly bill. But that is like putting a band-aid on a bullet wound. The first major Netflix series to be cancelled is the Naomi Watts/Billy Crudup drama GYPSY, which was considered to be a shoe-in for a Second Season. They also previously cancelled GIRLBOSS (2017; One Season), THE GET DOWN (2016-2017; One Season) and SENSE8 (2015-2017; Two Seasons). The latter one is a series they shouldn't have cancelled, but it was an expensive series to produce (They are making a two hour movie to tie up loose ends in 2018.). They need to do a lot more trimming if they want to get out of this mess. Netflix has renewed its freshman series OZARK for a Second Season and STRANGER THINGS For a Third and Fourth Season (and then end.) NOTE: October 5, 2017; Looks like I was right. Netflix announced a 10% increase in the monthly cost to subscribe to the service. 4K Ultra High Definition is going up 17% to $14.00 a month from $12.00 This wil affect 53 million subscribers.; U.S.A. announced that SUITS would end during the Seventh Season in the 2017-2018 TV Season, but it will bear a sequel starring Gina Torrez. The backdoor pilot will air in the first quarter of 2018.; CBS has renewed the too-weird-for-words Ted Danson comedy THE GOOD PLACE for a Second Season. HBO Has greenlit it's freshman series THE DEUCE for a Second Season after only showing two episodes from the First Season.; AT&T's Audience Network (yes, there is such a thing1) has renewed MR. MERCEDES for a Second Season.  *  Happy Happy Dept: Talks are going strong for another "Event Series" of THE X-FILES, but it will not happen next season because getting everyone together (Gillian  Anderson [Did you see her in Season One of AMERICAN GODS? Fucking bloody brilliant!], David Duchovny [Who played Agent Dale Cooper's partner Dennis on a case where he had to pretend to be a transvestite and found he liked dressing as a woman, so now Dennis goes by the name Agent Denise Bryson on David Lynch's new Season 3 of TWIN PEAKS {2017} on Showtime. He also played the role infrequently on Season 2 of the series during 1990-1991.], Chris Carter, etc.) is proving quite a chore, but they are all excited to do it. Look for it to be filmed in the Spring/Summer of 2018, with an airdate of late 2018/early 2019 (Just not after the Super Bowl...please!!! Phew, the Super Bowl is on NBC in 2018.). I can wait. Just finish the arc that ended the first event series and then go back to the "monster of the week". Those were the strongest episodes. One on-line site named the 2016 revival of the series one of the "Bottom 5" series of 2016. Really? I will never go to that site again. NOTE: April 20, 2017: After a long delay, a deal is finally in place to produce a second edition of Fox’s THE X-FILES revival, this time being 10 episodes instead of six (FOX said that 8 of the 10 new episodes will be "monster of the week" episodes and, according to footage shown at the NY ComicCon, it looks like The Lone Gunmen will be back!.). The show’s three principals, stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, and creator/executive producer Chris Carter, are back for the new installment. The event series (which rabid fans call the "11th Season") is set to air during the 2017-2018 season (during mid-Season in 2018), with production set to begin in Summer 2017. Now that is what I call the power of positive thinking! Gillian Anderson wants more women behind the scenes (only two females ever directed an episode [over 220 of them] of the series and one of them was Anderson!) and has petitioned Carter to use female directors this season or else she will have nothing more to do with the series after this upcoming season. Note to Chris Carter: Listen to her! She is right and you know it. NOTE: Season 11 will be Gillian Anderson's final season. Carter should have listened. Don't fuck with Anderson!  Chris Carter on revisiting MILLENNIUM (1996-1999): "I think Millennium would be a show that would have more life in it but no one’s ever spoken seriously to me about that (That is bullshit! - Ed.). I always feel that there are more of those stories to tell as well. After three seasons, we pulled the plug on that show but the ratings were still very good so I think that there is a new approach to that show building on the solid foundation that was already there. IF this actually happens, I will kiss Chris Carter's ass in Macy's window! Now let's work on supporting the makers of HANNIBAL to give the series a Fourth Season and beyond. The last image of the third season was Gillian Anderson sitting at a dinner table, looking at her own severed leg! Talks are continuing on getting the show renewed, but let's do our part, too. NOTE: August 14, 2017: Bryan Fuller Says Revival 'Conversations' Are Underway!  Cameo Of The Year Dept: Am I losing my mind or was that Randy Quaid putting in a two second cameo in the first episode  of the second season of ASH VS. EVIL DEAD? It comes during the beginning of the episode, when Ash is partying in Florida. According to Vanity Fair, Quaid and his wife Evi were on the run from “the Hollywood Star Whackers” the couple had been talking about in television interviews ever since they arrived in Canada in October 2014, seeking asylum. The “Whackers,” they said, were the same people who may have “killed” David Carradine and Heath Ledger, possibly set up Robert Blake, and could now be targeting Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan. “Are either of you mentally unstable, schizophrenic, or on drugs?,” Andrea Canning asked on Good Morning America. “Do you think we are?” demanded Evi. “No!” said Randy. Wow, and here he turns up for a 2 second appearance on the Starz hit show. Could Randy be trying to make a comeback in the same business he accuses of killing actors (many people believe his wife is putting those crazy ideas in his head)? Believe me, I have heard more unstable comments from actors still working (Remember "the Hollywood Gay Mafia"?). Welcome back Randy!  *  Bad News Dept: Masi Oka (who also appeared in four episodes of the failed series HEROES REBORN [2015 - 2016] and was a regular on the original series HEROES [2006 - 2010), appearing in 66 episodes), who has been with CBS procedural HAWAII FIVE - O since the first season in 2010 as a recurring, then as a series regular from Season 2 on, is exiting the show. The upcoming 13th episode of the 7th Season (airing early in 2017) will be his last, as his character Dr. Max Bergman, moves to Africa with his new bride Sabrina (Rumer Willis). Good luck in the future Masi with the departure of Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park over payment issues, this once-popular series is going to lose a lot of viewers; DOCTOR WHO star Peter Capaldi said on January 30, 2017 that the upcoming tenthCancelled season of the British sci-fi saga “will be my last.” The upcoming season, which will air in 2017, also will be the final one for showrunner Steven Moffat. Capaldi assumed the role of Time Lord in 2013, taking over for Matt Smith. The BBC has announced that the 13th Doctor Who will be a female, a superb actress named Jodie Whittaker, best known for her work in the British TV Series BROADCHURCH (2013 - Present); SyFy has greenlit a fifth SHARKNADO movie from The Asylum, to be titled SHARKNADO 5: GLOBAL SWARMING. It will debut in the Summer of 2017. I think I have something better to do that day, like clip my toenails or manscape my genitals.; The last seven episodes of the CBS mid-season series TRAINING DAY have been moved to Saturday nights starting April 8, 2017 (the series is on hold until then thanks to "March Madness") since the unfortunate death of series star Bill Paxton, who passed away February 25, 2017 of a heart attack while having heart surgery in a hospital. THE AMAZING RACE will fill the Thursday 10:00 pm slot earlier than anticipated. NOTE: CBS officially cancelled the series on May 16, 2017.; I love FX's AMERICAN HORROR STORY, but the upcoming 2017-2018 7th Season I may skip because that ugly actress Lena Dunham (GIRLS - 2012-2017) has joined the cast. Hopefully, she will be forced to wear a mask and keep her body covered. I know that sounds mean, but she just rubs me the wrong way (not that I would ever want her to rub me). The name of Season 7? AMERICAN HORROR STORY: CULT   *  Troubling Trend Dept: In the early morning of November 20, 2016, supposedly "supernatural educational" cable channel Destination America aired The Asylum's A HAUNTING IN SALEM (2011), starring Bill Oberst (who publicly apologized for appearing in this film on IMDb) in a 90-minute spot and what they did to this film, even though it was from The Asylum, is not only troubling, it also harkens back to the old 4:30 Movie, where they edited movies to fit into 90-minute time slots. Destination America not only cut out the entire opening credits sequence (except for the film's title), they showed commercials every ten minutes, actually beeped out the foul language (rather than overdub them like most other stations do) and video created the end credits while the final scene played, destroying the surprise ending when Oberst flicks his Zippo (Then immediately went on to the next show). This was the first time I watched Destination America and it will be the last. It seems the channel deals mainly with ghost hunting "reality" shows, like one called GHOST BROTHERS (renewed for a second season), about a team of Black brothers and their relatives that search supposedly haunted places and sets back the Black race progress 30 years (one of them actually said, "Feets don't fail me now!"). The entire channel plays older shows based on "false trueness" (like Donald Trump), airing series about UFOs and abductions, monsters (especially Bigfoot), ancient mysteries and, of course, haunted structures (many of the shows taken from other channels who cancelled them). In other words, this channel is about as interesting as what comes out of my ass every morning. And what they are doing to the films they show is very close to criminal. If you see a film on that station that you want to see and DVR it (They only show films late at night), remember that you are only getting the Cliff Notes version of the film. The next film to get their Cliff Notes version is The Asylum's THE AMITYVILLE HAUNTING (2011; a "found footage" film with no beginning or end credits). Not to be outdone, WE TV has a new urban ghost-chasing series called GHOSTS IN THE HOOD, debuting in January 2017. The tag line for the series is: "Get Ready To Boo Your Pants." Simply shameful. And renewed for a Second Season.  *  Thank You Encore Dept: A big thanks to the Encore Channels (especially Encore Action) for showing the complete martial arts films of Bruce Lee's short action film career from 1971 to 1973. They even showed the piecemeal film GAME OF DEATH (1979), in which footage that Bruce Lee shot in 1972 was combined with new footage featuring a Bruce Lee lookalike (very easy to spot). When the film was over, Encore showed the complete footage Lee shot in 1972, much of it edited out of the 1979 film. You usually don't see pay cable pay this much attention to films made in the 70's. They ended it all with a 1984 documentary called BRUCE LEE: THE LEGEND, which was a nice way to end the marathon. Mixed with interviews with Bruce Lee himself and many of the people behind and in front of the camera, it was an interesting take of his life, including footage of a very young Lee starring in a bunch of Chinese "juvenile" films in the late 1950's and early 1960's, before he would become a legend on screen. And it doesn't hold back on how Hollywood turned their back on him, even after his success on the TV Series THE GREEN HORNET (1966 - 1967), which many people remember because of Lee's role of Kato and not the late Van Williams role as The Green Hornet. (Hollywood producers would combine episodes of the series in the mid-1970's as theatrical films after Lee's death and popularity. One of the piecemeal films was called KATO IN THE GREEN HORNET [1974] and another FURY OF THE DRAGON [1976], both in which Bruce Lee got top billing over Van Williams! Anything for a buck producers!). Thanks for the memories, Encore!

My thoughts on the 2016 - 2017 TV Season Part 3: The End Of The Season: As I write this, it is May 15, 2017 and most of the Networks have decided what will be renewed and what will be cancelled. What surprises me is that only four new Network hour-long dramas have made the cut for a Season 2: MACGYVER; TIMELESS, DESIGNATED SURVIVOR and LETHAL WEAPON (besides one that wouldn't interest readers of this site, THIS IS US, the #1 new show on any of the five Networks). Two of these renewed series were based on an older series with the same name and another based on a series of movies also with the same name. This is a very bad time to be a Network. because Pay Cable and Streaming sites are producing series that could never be made on Networks and a lot of them are superior to Network fluff. This proves one thing: There IS too much TV on TV and people would rather watch the quality stuff over fluff (although fluff is fine once or twice a week). This is what is going to have to happen if the Networks want to compete: The FCC will have to loosen their over-tight belts and let some things that cable shows do be shown on Networks. When Stephen Colbert gets investigated by the FCC for saying the word "cock-holster" after 11:30 pm, there is a big problem, because children should be in bed and only adults watching. I think we can handle someone saying "cock-holster" (The FCC decided they wasted enough time and did not fine Colbert). The FCC also has to stop investigating Network shows for content because some uptight Bible Belt assholes decide to Tweet that they don't like what they see because it is against their religious beliefs. For Christ's sake, there are many religious channels to watch and no one is forcing you to watch anything you don't want to. Which brings up another valid point: Quit listening to the Internet. They don't speak for all of us and I hate to see shows like LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT completely delete an episode (or as NBC described it early in 2017, "shelved indefinitely") called "Unstoppable" because they are afraid of hurting Number 45's feelings. All the time and work that went into that episode will not be seen this year on TV. Maybe never any year. I  am not even sure it will be part of their Season 18 Box Set. This is deplorable. That is not to say that the internet is all bad. At first NBC cancelled TIMELESS, but three days later they "uncancelled" it because of all the fans that used Twitter or some other social networking program to discuss their displeasure of NBC's decision to cancel it. I haven't seen a Network reverse itself so fast. Sure, it is one of those fluff shows that displays a bit of comedy and intelligence every once in a while, proving what I said before, every TV viewer needs some fluff in their week. And this is the show. I guess the point I am trying to make is this: Loosen up FCC and let Network TV get away with stuff you would have never let them get away with before. Otherwise, all the advertisers will be on the Internet, since Pay Cable and most Streaming services don't have advertising. The first quarter of advertising hasn't been this low on Networks in many years. If not, within 10 years, there will be no ABC, CBS, FOX or NBC on the air. And that makes me sad. When new shows are just getting ratings of 2 million viewers or less (ratings not even good for regular cable shows), that should tell the FCC and Networks that their days are numbered unless they do something to change the way programs are shown. Since all these Networks are advertiser-driven, it will not be long before they jump ship for a cheaper and more looked at staple in our lives, the Internet. I want less advertising on the Internet, not more. All we will be left with is The CW with their low-rated superhero shows. Do we really want that to happen? I don't. I've never seen a flatter year for TV until this 2016-2017 Season and I hope I never see it again. I grew up with TV and it taught me some valuable lessons; lessons I didn't know I learned until they actually happened, but there is nothing to learn from TV today unless you want to be a gangster and that is so unrealistic, it will get you killed. TV can entertain and also teach, but there was none of that this year on Network TV. The worst TV year in my entire life. Right now all the good stuff is non-Network: AMERICAN GODS on Starz (Gillian Anderson as Lucille Ball, David Bowie, Judy Garland and Marilyn Monroe? Fucking Brilliant! I also love when Ian McShane says, "Who came first, the Gods or the people who believe in them?" There's something to chew on.); 13 REASONS WHY, SENSE8 (Now cancelled in one of the worst blunders of the year.) and DAREDEVIL on Netflix; WESTWORLD on HBO; PREACHER on AMC; BOSCH on Amazon; SHAMELESS and TWIN PEAKS on Showtime, 12 MONKEYS on SyFy, FALLING WATER on the USA Network, AMERICAN HORROR STORY on FX and a few more (I was never a big fan of GAME OF THRONES or THE WALKING DEAD), none of them on Network TV. The FCC has no problems with advertising commercials saying "Food you want to fork" or tell you that your shit stinks, so let the Network shows get away with some risque stuff and let them say "shit" from 9:00pm-on (Remember when 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm was considered "Family Time" by the FCC? That didn't last long, did it? FOX's EMPIRE will be airing at 8:00 pm starting next Season. That is definitely not family fare.). Non-pay cable does that and a whole lot worse, but they aren't controlled by the FCC. I remember not long ago watching an episode of the late AQUARIUS on NBC and seeing David Duchovny's lips say "shit", but he was now saying "shoot" on the audio. It takes you right out of the moment. That is what Network TV does to me at this moment. Rebooting old series like WILL & GRACE (NBC renewed the rebooted series for a Second Season before the First Season even aired. They also increased the First Season from 12 episodes to 16.) and ROSEANNE is not the answer. It will never be the answer.  *  Another thing that really bothers me is that A&E announced after the finale of the excellent series BATES MOTEL, that they will not produce scripted series any more. They will go back to making reality series (some of which are more scripted than drama series) and leave scripted series up to other cable channels. Count me out as an A&E watcher from now on. Some entertainment web sites are saying that MTV, Freeform and other cable stations are slowly backing off scripted series and will soon be all reality shows (I remember when MTV began and was nothing but music videos, but they stopped that a long time ago. I bought a lot of music thanks to 120 MINUTES.). Now is the time for Networks to put on their big boy pants and step up to the plate. I wish I could delete these channels from my cable line-up, but most skinny bundles contain cable stations I have never watched in my life and never will. Skinny bundles are cheap because the channels are very rarely watched (Have anyone seen the channels offered by Sling TV as part of their $20 skinny bundle? I think I watched just one of them years ago and it doesn't include local channels of the Networks.). Why can't cable give us only the channels we want? Because they would lose money, that's why. What people don't understand, if you add up the cost of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and other streaming services so you can watch on your TV and see the programs you want (I use the Roku 3, which is an excellent device), it costs just as much, if not more, than what you are paying for cable or satellite service. Add in charges for internet and what you have is a mighty expensive alternative.  *  One thing that made me laugh out loud was reading that Snoop Dogg will be hosting a revival of the old game show THE JOKER'S WILD daily on TBS during the 2017-2018 TV Season. For anyone who remembers the show, this is how I think it will go now: The winning player presses a button to spin the playing card wheel and Snoop yells out, "Joker...Joker...Joker...Blunt! Here, take a puff off this!" I love Snoop and he's not afraid to make fun of himself, so this game show may be fun to watch. Time will tell, but it's a genius decision to make Snoop the host.  *  Summer Series You Should Be Watching:  SyFy's BLOOD DRIVE (Wednesdays 10:00pm) is probably SyFy's best series since BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (2003 - 2009), but both series are like comparing apples and oranges. This new series is perhaps the bloodiest, goriest and sexiest (Although the censors cover the women's and men's naughty bits with black bars rather than optically fogging them out. The Season 1 Blu-Ray set, when released, better restore all the nudity!) ever on non-pay cable TV and that includes THE WALKING DEAD! The premise of the series may remind you a little bit of DEATH RACE 2000 (1975), but after a short period of time it has a face of its own. In the alternate dystopian future of 1999, water and oil/gasoline are hard to find and expensive due to climate change, so street racer Grace D’Argento (Christina Ochoa) and by-the-book cop Arthur Bailey (Alan Ritchson) are forced to work together when they are kidnapped and must participate in a road race from Los Angeles, California to Phoenix, Arizona, the losers losing their lives. The rules: Kill as many people as you can along the way, because all the cars' fuel is human blood (and some of the dead are cannibalized)! The more human blood you collect, the farther your car will go (Grace and Arthur have a blood red Chevrolet Camaro). Arthur soon learns that there is no by-the-book in this game, so he and Grace join together and do their best to kill only the people who deserve killing. And believe me, in this future, there are many freaks, thieves and psychopaths to kill, while the other drivers (such as the freakishly weird stovepipe hat-wearing Julian Slink [Colin Cunningham] and ruthless killer Aki [Marama Corlett], a synthetic being created by the ironically named Heart Industries) have no problem killing innocent people and enjoy it just a little too much. The blood flows like water, there are some amazing torture devices and limbs and other body parts fly through the air. There is a reason why this series is Rated TV-MA. So far I have seen three episodes of the first 13-episode season and I have been blown away. SyFy said about a year ago they were going to go back to their past and this series is a good starting point. There have been trouble with censors and the amount of sex, blood and gore shown, but since it has a TV-MA rating (and, again, we will probably see what had to be cut on the Season 1 Blu-Ray set), it still gets away with a lot more than most any series on non-pay TV. This is 70's and 80's storytelling in the New Millennium and I couldn't be happier. I never thought SyFy would keep their promise of returning to their roots, when people use to watch the channel for the old sci-fi/horror films and new TV Series like LEXX (1997 - 2002) and others, but they seem to be off to a good start with this series. Watch it and be amazed that you are watching this on a channel that doesn't cost you extra to subscribe to. My highest recommendation. The pilot episode first appeared on "The Bloodlist"; the list of the best unproduced dark - genre scripts and pilots of the year. NOTE: The SyFy Channel had to set up a complaint line for viewers to call and vent/complain what was offensive to them. Calling this number gave you choices on which was most disturbing. The voice on the recording is that of Slink. (325) 400-3423 is the hotline for BLOOD DRIVE and was the idea of the censors for the SyFy Network/NBC Universal.  *  Summer Series You Should Be Avoiding: Spike's THE MIST (Thursdays 10:00 pm) first episode of this Stephen King story bored me to tears. It was more soap opera than horror and besides a woman pressing her face against a supermarket window with her lower jaw missing at the end of the episode, there was really nothing to offer here. If you have seen the 2007 movie, you remember the heart-breaking and surprising climax, as well as some good creatures and deaths, but all this TV Series offers is talk, talk, talk, (so far), with a little horror thrown into the mix. The story concerns a deadly mist encasing a small town and the unseen horrors that hide in it. I will be watching future episodes to see if the series gets better, but from what I have seen so far, the acting is vanilla, the story crawls at a snail's pace and there are way too many people to keep track of. Remember the CBS Summer series UNDER THE DOME (2013-2015), also based on a Stephen King story? It started like gangbusters and slowly developed into a mess of soap opera-like situations and ideas that triggered confusion in our brains. Well, this new series starts off with nothing to offer except to introduce us to the many residents of the small town and the problems they have. Remember when you wanted to rip Marcia Gay Harden's head off because of all her religious rants in the 2007 movie? Well, there's also a religious woman trapped in the grocery store here, but she just doesn't have the chops to hate her like we did Harden. I can't see this 10-episode series lasting more than one season unless something amazing happens in future episodes. I can guarantee that those who watched the boring pilot of this series will probably be avoiding it in the future. If you are going to introduce a new series, the first episode has to grab you, not want you to slit your wrists if you have to watch more. But that is my job. To watch shit to tell you if it gets any better. I hope it does, but I'm not counting on it. There are some Stephen King movies that are very good, but I have yet to see a King TV series that was able to maintain interest. TV Guide loves it, of course. NOTE: September 27, 2017: Just like I thought, Spike cancelled the series after One Season. TV Guide doesn't know their ass from a hole in the ground.  NBC's MIDNIGHT,TEXAS (Mondays 10:00 pm) is a pretty idiotic supernatural TV series based on the series of books by Charlaine Harris, who also gave us the fantastic TRUE BLOOD (2008 - 2014), only this time, the series is on Network TV and holds back when it should push forward. Just the premise of the series begs ridiculous: The titled town is a safe haven for all kinds of monsters and supernatural beings (called "Midnighters"), including fallen angels, witches, were-tigers, vampires, psychics, ghosts, a gunfighting Wild West preacher and other types of beings of yore who live together in relative peace with each other (If you can get over that premise, which I couldn't, you may enjoy this series more than I did.) until "Outsiders" (living humans) come to their town. The premise is how these creatures interact with living human beings and the pilot (made over a year ago and just being shown now; the problem of there being too many Series on TV) barely delves into it because it spends way too much time spent on introducing the Midnighters in the town. There is a little more blood than you would normally see on Network TV, but not enough to make you believe the premise. At least Harris' HBO Series had blood and guts galore, along with plentiful bad language and nudity, but NBC toned down her new series of books until they are nothing but a shell of themselves (And, yes, I read the ones released, so far). The only positive thing I can say about this series is that it contains some very good actors and actresses including Yul Vazquez (SOUTHERN GOTHIC - 2006) as the gun-toting Wild West padre; Dylan Bruce (who starred in last year's failed Summer Series AMERICAN GOTHIC) as Bobo the Strong Man; François Arnaud (RABID DOGS - 2015) as Manfred Bernardo the Medium (actually the series's lead); Peter Mensah (instantly recognizable from the late, lamented Starz TV Series SPARTACUS - 2010-2013) as vampire Lemuel; Arielle Kebbel (THE GRUDGE 2 - 2006) as Olivia; Jason Lewis (THE JACKET - 2005, one of my favorite time travel tales) as Joe Strong, the fallen angel and many others. This may last for more than one season for the sole reason that it is based on a series of popular books by Charlaine Harris, but I won't be watching it. It just doesn't contain Harris' spirit in the books.

There is a debate raging right now in the U.S. Government about the safety of vapor cigarettes vs. regular cigarettes. The U.S. Government wants to ban the sale of vapor cigarettes and yet not do the same thing to regular cigarettes. Here's the way I see it: The government makes so much money from cigarette taxes that they never want Big Tobacco to go out of business, but since vapor cigarettes are slowly but surely catching on, the Government is losing a valuable (to them) taxation item, so they are trying everything in their power to declare vapor cigarettes dangerous and illegal. So they had Big Tobacco hire some "scientists" to declare that vapor cigarettes are more dangerous than tobacco (because they are losing billions of dollars a year to vapor products). That right there should throw up a red flag to anyone with even half a brain. Mainly unscented vapor is more dangerous than smelly tobacco that leaves its smell on your clothes? Vapor that leaves no black spots on your lungs, vs. the millions of people who died of lung cancer or disease because of tobacco smoking? It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the Government doesn't want to lose their billions in taxes due to cigarette sales (where a pack of cigarettes run over $10.00, over half of that going to taxes), due to regular taxes (just like any other item, vapor items are taxed like shampoo and peanut butter) that vapor products produce. Tell the government that even though we all know smoking is bad (same thing for alcohol consumption, which also has a vaporizer that has been declared illegal) for everyone's health, you would rather have an alternate means for people to smoke and not die from cancer. So far, there has been no proof that vapor cigarettes cause the body any harm, no matter what Big Tobacco's paid scientists say. This is just another reason why more and more people do not trust the United States Government. And rightfully so. Show me the unedited data. But we will never see it. The government would rather smokers get sick, so Big Pharm can charge an arm and a leg (literally) for their chemo and cancer drugs. I am an ex-smoker (since 2000), but I look at it this way: If Stephen Dorff can be the spokesmodel for E-Cigarettes, they can't be as bad as scientists say.


Does anyone recognize this symbol? It has been haunting my dreams for weeks now and I drew it the best I could from memory. If anyone recognizes this image, please contact me by email!!!! The closest I could come to identify it is a dream I had where "Advocate of the Lesser Dignitaries" was spoken by a threatening shadow directly under a sign that contained this symbol. I seem to remember that the dream took place in 1985. I know it doesn't make much sense, but I feel my subconscious mind is trying to tell me something. Something important. If anyone could give me some help, it would be very much appreciated. It will end my nightmares. (Click on the image for a larger version.) UPDATE: A few days ago, my friend Walter Archinski came to me and said that the symbol is, indeed, real. The AotLD is an actual organization that has been around since the late-'50s. He explained their mission statement and it made a lot of sense. I actually met members of the organization when I was a child, where I witnessed a strange event in my hometown of Wanaque, NJ during the Winter of 1966, which was also witnessed by scores of other people, including the police. Wanaque was (and still is) a hotbed of strange events (Google Wanaque to see for yourself), a lot of them witnessed by me, some of which I detailed in the pages of WEIRD N.J. magazine (and their hardcover books). Like I said, what "Arch" told me made a lot of sense, but there is still one thing that bothers me. Arch has been dead for over three years.

If you are wondering why I haven't posted reviews for new TV Shows for the 2018 - 2019 TV Season, it is because there is nothing new worth mentioning. If I come across anything that floats my boat and I find worth mentioning, I will add a review here, but don't hold your breath. This has been a really dismal season for people interested in shows that fit the criteria for this site. It has been a year of remakes of old TV series and "feel good" shows, not to mention a really large amount of "Reality" shows. The only thing good about this season are the returning shows that are playing, but I already reviewed them in earlier seasons. A couple of things I am looking forward to are the third season of HBO's TRUE DETECTIVE and the DEADWOOD movie, which finally wraps things up after a really long wait.I am also looking forward to the return of AMERICAN GODS on Starz after a long delay (What a huge disappointment!).

This shitty TV season finally gave me the impetus to quit cable after over 40 years. I cannot justify spending over $200.00 a month just for the privilege of watching TV, many of the stations are free over the air. I cannot also abide by the fact when I asked my cable provider (Optimum) just for a single channel, but was told I would have to subscribe to a "package", which included several religious channels. Fuck them! I can get want I want to watch streaming on my Roku Ultra for just a quarter of what I was paying cable each month. Who wouldn't want to save over $150.00 a month? That's a car payment for Christ's sake. So cable, screw you and your system. I am over you for good. I am now part of the Streaming Generation!

"Steve McQueen died today." Season 3 of HBO's TRUE DETECTIVE is just as addictive as the first two seasons, if not moreso. The delayed third season concerns Detective Wayne Hays (an excellent Mahershala Ali; look for him to add an Emmy Award® to his Academy Award® [for MOONLIGHT - 2016]), as he remembers a certain case that has haunted him, through three time periods: 1980, when the crime happened; 1990, when the case is reopened because a new important clue is discovered; and 2015, when Hays is 70-years old, suffering from the onset of Alzheimers and being interviewed by a 20-20 like TV documentary crew about the case. The 1980 case concerns a a 13-year old brother and his 10-year old sister who go missing in the town of West Finger, a hick town deep in the Ozarks. State Detectives Hays and his partner Roland West (an equally excellent Stephen Dorff, who really surprised me here) are assigned to the case and begin by interviewing the children's father, Tom Purcell (Scoot McNairy, who really registers in his role), and whorish mother, Lucy (Mamie Gummer), who was out on the town with girlfriends when her children disappeared and hasn't slept with Tom for over six months (they sleep in separate bedrooms). Long story short, Hays finds the boy's dead body in a cavern next to a Ranger's station, his hands poised in prayer with strange handmade dolls made of straw positioned near the cavern, as if they were markers for some strange religious sect. The girl is never found. We learn in the 1990 segments that the girl's fingerprints have been found at a recent crime scene, which means she is still alive. Hays, who is no longer working on Major Cases, is interviewed about the 1980 case and he becomes suspicious about their motives and in the 2015 segments, we discover Hayes needs to speak into a tape recorder to remind himself about what transpired the day before, as he plays the tape every morning to "refresh" his memory, but he has no problem remembering the case, because it is forever etched in his memory. This season, like previous seasons, requires your full attention, so don't be doing something else while watching it because you will miss some very atmospheric photography (such as the overhead shot of the fog-shrouded marsh that the police search) and some very unique segues into the different time periods (one concerning the reflection of the moon in a puddle that really impressed me). This is not only a mystery, but also a love story, as the usually loner Hays (whose only friend is his partner) connects with pretty school teacher Amelia Reardon (Carmen Ejogo), who helps Hays on the case and they fall in love, get married and have two children of their own. In the 2015 segments, we learn that she has passed away, but we don't know how or why. What we do know is that she became an award-winning author, her first book dealing with the case and Hays has never read it, but wishes he did, because if he read it now, he wouldn't remember reading it. The old-age makeup on Mahershala Ali is excellent and believable, thanks to Ali's nuanced performance as a man who is not perfect and he knows it. This is the shining moment for the 2018 - 2019 TV Season for me and is the only "must see" show on my list. If you haven't seen it, I suggest you do as soon as possible. It is great television. Once again, Nic Pizzolatto wrote all the episodes (but only directs two of them) and it is as intricate as a plot can get, which is why you need to give it your full attention. HBO is to be commended for turning out one quality TV Series after another and entertaining the viewer in the process. This is not just HBO. This is great TV.

I have to say I was quite surprised by CBS All Access' version of THE TWILIGHT ZONE. It is not only very well done, it is also very adult, especially in language, as the word "fuck" and terms for a woman's vagina are tossed around without any concern for the viewer. In other words, this is not Rod Serling's TWILIGHT ZONE, but actually flavor-of-the-year Jordan Peele's (GET OUT - 2017; US - 2019) version. Peele fills in for the long-deceased Serling, acting as on-screen narrator (and doing a good job). The first episode, which aired free for anyone to watch (CBS All Access is a pay streaming station), titled "The Comedian", is a very well done episode that leaves you thinking long after it is over. Kumail Nanjiani (HELL BABY - 2013) portrays stand-up comedian Samir Wassan, who can't get anyone in the audience to laugh at his "jokes", that is until he meets his idol, world-famous comedian J.C. Wheeler (Tracy Morgan), who just up and disappeared after gaining fame, at the bar. He tells Samir that if he wants the audience to laugh at his jokes, he has to put his life under a microscope and mention people who made a difference in his life, whether good or bad, in his set. But he has to be aware that once he mentions them, they are gone forever. So Samir goes on stage and mentions his dog, who he has named "Cat", in his set and the people laugh wildly, but when he gets home and looks for Cat, his girlfriend asks him what he is talking about, they never owned a dog. The next day he goes on stage and mentions his girlfriend's ten-year old cousin, who is visiting and staying with them, in his next set and kills it with the audience, but when he gets home, his girlfriend tells him she never had a ten-year old cousin and nobody is staying with them. When he mentions a photo hanging on the wall that contains the cousin's image, he then notices that he is not in it. It finally dawns on Samir that whomever he mentions in his set never existed after the set is over, so he writes down the names of people who wronged him in his entire life and then mentions them in his set, all of them disappearing and never existing. Is it murder if the person never existed? But doing this has dire consequences and changes the course of history (when he mentions the name of his girlfriend's mentor in a set, who he thinks is having an affair with his girlfriend, he discovers she is no longer a lawyer and works as a waitress in a greasy spoon!). What can Samir do when it gets out of hand? The only thing he can do, mention himself in his final set, so he no longers exists. This is a very well done episode (it runs 55 minutes in length) with a fairly shocking denouement in the final scene (check out the images painted on the comedy club's wall). I have to say if all the episodes are as good as this one, I may have to subscribe to CBS' streaming channel, but unlike most channels of this type, they are only releasing one episode a week and not all the episodes at the same time, so there will be no binge-watching (unless you subscribe late in the series and watch all the repeats). It may not be worth the money for one series alone (I am not interested in their STAR TREK DISCOVERY series or anything else they offer), so I may wait until the series is offered on disc. All in all, a unique spin on an all time favorite series, one CBS tried to revive in the mid-'80s and it failed. UPDATE: April 29, 2019 - CBS All Access renewed the series for a Second Season, a month after the series' debut.

Forget Network TV for quality entertainment. The year 2019 belongs to HBO, especially its 5-part miniseries CHERNOBYL, which will be a big winner come awards season. Rather than waiting each week for a new episode to be delivered, I watched the entire series streaming in one sitting on HBO's streaming channel HBO GO. Based on the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster, this miniseries will not only make your blood boil by the way the Russian government handled this disaster (putting millions of people's lives at risk), you will shed a tear or two (or more) for what happens to some of the characters herein. This is a highly emotional journey into one of modern-day's worst disasters. You have to admire how they show one of the major characters committing suicide (by hanging) in the beginning of the very first episode. In most cases, this would have set off alarms in some viewers who will think "Why should I watch this, I know how it ends?", but most viewers will want to know why he took his own life. This miniseries wastes no time showing the power plant going into meltdown stage, with people in charge refusing to believe it could ever happen, yet they begin dying in some of the worst ways possible (since this is HBO, nothing is held back, as people puke, have radiation burns all over their bodies and die of radiation poisoning, all in graphic detail). This is not for the faint of heart, yet this is required viewing for people interested in this planet's history and how man can permanently damage it to a stage that is almost irreversible (at least for a few hundred years). The Soviet government still claims that only 37 people died from this disaster, but we would have to be goddamned idiots to believe such a claim. Nearly all the firefighters that came to the plant to put the fire out died from radiation exposure and that number is well over a hundred. Not only will this miniseries give you the facts to what actually happened (it does mix fact with fiction, though), it will make you angry at how a government has very little concern for its people, putting communist party line beliefs ahead of human life. You don't just watch this miniseries, you become involved with it. Isn't that what good television is about? Bravo, HBO, for giving us another winner!

I have a lot of good things (and a few bad) to say about Amazon Prime's new streaming series GOOD OMENS, which I will expand upon after I'm done binge-watching the first 6-episode season. Stay tuned...

I'm putting GOOD OMENS on hold to heartily recommend Amazon Prime's 8-part series THE BOYS (The series is based on the long-running comic book series of the same name by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, giving the term "graphic novel" a literal meaning). It is an unflinching look at how superheroes (referred to here as "supes") are packaged for the Internet Age by a corporation based in New York known as  Vought-International. This is no Justice League, folks (even though many of the supes are loosely based on them)! The story is very complicated but absolutely fun to watch. It is also very, very adult in its depiction of sex, language and graphic violence, so be prepared to take the trip of your life. During the '70s & '80s, a bunch of babies were born with special superpowers, none of their powers the same as the others. The biggest group of supes are known as "The Seven", led by Homelander (Antony Starr) the only one of the seven that can fly, as well as emitting deadly lasers from his eyes (a twisted version of Superman). Also in the group are A-Train (Jessie T. Usher), the world's fastest men (The Flash); The Deep (Chace Crawford, who is really excellent), who can swim underwater without coming up for air (he was born with gills on his stomach and chest) and can talk to any aquatic creature (Aquaman); Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott), who is super strong (Wonder Woman); Black Noir (Nathan Mitchell), who is dressed all in black and also has super strength (as well as being an expert with knives); and Translucent (Alex Hassell) whose power is invisibility. When one of The Seven retires, they hold auditions for a new member and pick Annie January (Erin Moriarty), a.k.a. Starlight, who can blind people with a bright burst of light from her eyes and is also super powerful. Annie is about to get a rude awakening to what it means to be a corporate superhero. The Deep makes her give him oral sex, otherwise he will make sure she never works in New York again with The Seven, so she obliges, but it becomes a real problem for her. She was brought up very religious and, although street smart, she doesn't like to be used. The real boss of The Seven is Vought director Madelyn Stillwell (Elisabeth Shue as you have never seen her before) a normal human who controls everything The Seven do, down to the minutest detail. Being a supe is big business, so Vought has a cadre of employees who assign each supe what crime to foil and also controls every aspect of their lives. To say that these supes are despicable is an understatement, as The Deep proved with Annie. But the real story here concerns young adult Hughie Campbell (Jack Quaid) who works in an electronics store and is about to move into an apartment with his girlfriend Robin (Jess Salgueiro). As he is holding hands with Robin at a curbside, A-Train runs right through her, turning her into a fine mist of blood spray and loose flesh. When Hughie looks down he is still holding Robin's hands (and nothing else)! Instead of stopping, A-Train takes off and Hughie is really pissed off that a supe would leave the scene of a crime (and, of course, the cause of his girlfriend's bloody death). Vought's lawyers try to get Hughie to sign a non-disclosure contract for 45 thousand dollars, but he refuses, even though his father (Simon Pegg) tells him they could use the money. Then Hughie meets Billy Butcher (Karl Urban, who is simply awesome), who identifies himself as an FBI agent who wants Hughie to plant a bug into The Seven's office so he can keep a close eye on the supes and hopefully give Hughie some closure into Robin's death and to find out why A-Train was in such a hurry (there were no reported crimes in the area when A-Train killed Robin). Hughie reluctanty agrees and tells Vought's lawyers that he will sign the non-disclosure contract, but only if A-Train is there so they can look at each other in the eye. Long story short, Hughie plants the bug, not knowing that Translucent was watching his every move. Translucent attacks Hughie in the electronics store, but Butcher drives his car through thestore's front window and incapacitates Translucent. Hughie give him a big jolt of electricity and Butcher puts him in the trunk of his car. Even though electricity can stun Translucent, it doesn't kill him. He has an outer layer of special skin that is virtually impervious to any known weapon. Butcher takes Translucent and Hughie to the residence of a man named Frenchie (Tomer Capon, my favorite character in the series) a jack of all trades, who tries to find a way to kill Translucent. They take Translucent to an abandoned fast food joint (called "Tony Ciceros", who is the actor that played Paulie Walnuts in THE SOPRANOS!) and put him in an electrified cage so he cannot escape. Frenchie tries everything to penetrate Translucent's skin with no luck, but he watches a documentary on turtles and hits the jackpot with an ingenious idea. After shocking Translucent with a jolt of electricity, Frenchie shoves some C4 explosive up Translucent's ass, and if he doesn't tell them everything he knows about why A-Train was in such a hurry, he will blow him up from the inside out. That's all I'm going to give away, because this series should be viewed to be fully appreciated. I will tell you one These are "The Boys", not the supes!more thing and it's important: It turns out A-Train was juiced an a new steroid called "Compound V" and Butcher, along with Hughie, Frenchie, another member called Mother's Milk (Laz Alonso) and, later, the silent "The Female" (Karen Fukuhara), a.k.a. Kimiko, who only Frenchie understands, try to find a sample of Compound V and hand it over to FBI Deputy Director Susan Raynor(Jennifer Esposito) so she can shut down Vought and The Seven and expose them for the creeps and murderous lawbreakers they actually are. What they discover about Compound V will change the course of human history. This is only a small sample what goes on here, as this is a very explicit series, full of extreme violence and sex. At one point, A-Train's girlfriend, a minor supe called Popclaw (Brittany Allen) injects herself with Compound V and sits on her landlord's face, popping his head like a grape as she reaches orgasm! Believe me when I say kids should not watch this. One thing I really enjoyed about this series is that Hughie starts out as an inexperienced spy, but soon becomes a better agent than even the experienced Butcher, even resorting to murder when he is threatened. It is also filled with many cameos, including Billy Zane, David Andrews (what happens to him is hilarious!), Jimmy Fallon, Ann Cusack, John Doman, Giancarlo Esposito,Wallace Langham, Jim Beaver, Seth Rogan (who developed this series) and Haley Joel Osment, who portrays supe Mesmer, who with one touch can tell you your life story. Karl Urban is downright brilliant here as an "independent contractor" (not an FBI agent, which Hughie soon surmises) who has a hidden reason for getting even with the supes, especially Homelander. He calls everyone "cunts" and "twats" and does it in such a way that it does not seem derogatory. The entire cast is great and this series was so involving, I just had to binge watch all eight episodes. This series contains a lot of welcome humor (The Deep with a rescued dolphin and a grocery store lobster being prime examples) and extreme tragedy (Homelander and Queen Maeve trying to rescue a hijacked plane in flight, which will just break your heart, especially Homelander being a heartless prick who smiles at the passengers, knowing that they all are about to die). If you are not an Amazon Prime member, this is a great reason for becoming one! I'm not the biggest superhero fan (it's destroying movies and TV, in my opinion), but this is my favorite series of the 2018 - 2019 TV Season! UPDATE: It has already been greenlit for a second season, coming in 2020.