Sherlock Finale: It Wasn’t That Bad

The season 4 finale of Sherlock aired on Sunday night and it wasn’t exactly a resounding success. Firstly, Russian hackers leaked the episode online before its release resulting in the smallest audience in the show’s seven-year history. Secondly, a large number of people were already feeling let down by this season and didn’t embrace the latest instalment with quite as much gusto as usual. Finally, the finale wasn’t that great an episode.

It hurts me to say it – I adore the show – but the finale simply wasn’t of the quality that I have come to expect of Sherlock. However, it wasn’t that bad.

If you haven’t seen the episode yet, I suggest that you close this page now because the following will contain spoilers.

Previous seasons of Sherlock have always had a big, bad villain at the end. Somebody that tests Sherlock and really allows him to stretch those clever, brain muscles. Normally, the entire season would be leading up to that but the writers called an audible this year and changed up the structure.

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Unfortunately, people don’t tend to embrace change.

The first episode served to clear up some of the plot holes from the previous season and then they killed off John’s wife. I loved the second episode – it felt very old-school Sherlock and included Toby Jones’ villain that had been marketed as the season’s big nemesis. However, it turned out that a previously unknown Holmes sibling was to be Sherlock’s final foe.

A lot of unbelievable things happen in Sherlock but by virtue of excellent writing, you find yourself completely believing it. At the end of the second episode I was completely ready to believe that Sherlock had a secret sister but the third episode simply did not lay out a convincing argument for it at all.

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The sister herself wasn’t a particularly good villain, either. A mixture of casual cruelty and a campness that paled in the wake of Moriarty, made her seem like a throwaway villain. The question of how she escaped her island prison and wreaked havoc in the Holmes boys’ lives was never really answered, and it turned out that she only ever really wanted a friend.

It wasn’t a normal episode of Sherlock. However, I don’t think that it was supposed to be. Everything about this episode seemed like the closing of a book to me. The creators, Moffat and Gatiss, have reported that they have a fifth season plotted but have not yet decided whether or not to produce it.

My opinion? Don’t. As a strange, final episode, The Final Problem works. John and Sherlock are raising a baby; Sherlock is more human than ever; all is well at 221B. Euros Holmes felt like the show was grasping and I don’t think that there needs to be a further four and half hours of Sherlock made it that manner.

What did you think about the final episode of the season? Should they continues to produce episodes of Sherlock? Let me know in the comments.

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Reasons To Be Excited In 2017

By all accounts, 2016 was a rough year. Fortunately, 2017 promises to be a lot better – or at the very least that’s what people are saying and blind faith is currently preferable to painful realism.

At the very least, in our geeky, little bubble, there are plenty of reasons to be excited about the forthcoming year – so many, in fact, that narrowing it down to 17 was a challenge but that is what has happened. Here are 17 things to get excited about this year.

Wonder Woman (2 June)

This is the first time that I’ve truly been excited for a project by the DCEU and I’m really hoping that they don’t screw it up. Just give us a female hero and let her be as bad-ass as she was originally written to be.

Beauty & The Beast (17 March)

Disney classic, music from my childhood, Emma Watson: what isn’t there to love about this movie? Even Gaston looks good (in a he-seems-to-be-a-more-well-rounded-character kind of way, don’t worry – it looks like he’s still a total bastard).

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Sense8 (5 May)

After the Christmas special at the end of December, I’m absolutely buzzing for this new season. Sense8 is hope and light but it’s also painful and terribly, terribly sad at times. Essentially, it’s the best thing being broadcast at the moment.

Spider-Man: Homecoming (7 July)

Sure, it’s the third reboot of this hero’s franchise but he’s still my favourite and I still can’t wait to see him again.

Cars 3 (14 July)

Never in a million years would I have thought that any member of the Cars franchise would be making it onto a list like this but… never say never. The first teaser trailer got me hooked and now I absolutely have to see it.

Coco (8 December)

I can’t talk about Cars 3 and miss out the other Pixar release for this year. Not a lot of people are talking about Coco at the moment but it’s about the Mexican Day of the Dead and that alone has me very interested. Plus, it’s Pixar – it’s going to be fantastic.

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Orange Is The New Black, Season 5 (June)

The last two episodes of the most recent season of Orange Is The New Black were viewed behind a curtain of tears which is basically the highest praise from me. They ended on a cliffhanger that I couldn’t stop thinking about for days. Dammit, now I’m thinking about it again.

Star Trek: Discovery (May)

I am a part of a new generation of Star Trek fans that jumped onboard after the Pine movies. That huge market is probably one of the main reasons that they decided to launch a new series and I am very grateful for that.

The Oscars (26/2)

Th glitz, the glamour, the terrible jokes: I live for this award ceremony. It’s the one night of the year that I can successfully pull an all-nighter so that I can watch the entire show all the way from England.

Stranger Things (TBC)

I don’t know where they’re going to go from the first season but I am more than happy to find out.

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Justice League (17 November)

My hopes for this movie are slightly lower than those for Wonder Woman but I’m trying to stay optimistic. Most of the characters seem great (with the exception of Batfleck) and if Warner Bros. can get their act together, this could be something amazing.

Hamilton, London (21/11)

I’ve adored this musical for the last year and it is finally coming to London! I won’t be able to afford tickets but at least I’ll be able to walk past the theatre…

Iron Fist (17 March)

Judging by Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage, this show is going to be amazing. What’s more, it’s the final piece of the puzzle before we get to…

The Defenders (TBC)

I love what Marvel are doing with their Netflix series and this seems like it’s going to be beyond amazing.

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Star Wars VIII (15 December)

My appreciation for the Star Wars franchise is an even more recent development than my enjoyment of Star Trek. For the first time, I will be waiting with anticipation alongside the other fanboys and fangirls.

Fast & Furious 8 (14 April)

I’m not going to pretend that these movies mean anything more to me than 2 hours of ridiculous stunts and cheesy one-liners but sometimes the world needs crazy stunts and cheesy one-liners.

Logan (2 March)

Is it weird that I feel a little bit scared of this movie? Like I know it’s going to be brilliant but I think that if Logan dies, a little part of my heart may also die.

So those are the 17 things that I am most looking forward to in 2017.

What are you looking forward to? Is there anything on my list that has you pointedly unenthused? Let me know in the comments.

The Best Of This Week’s TV

Happy Saturday everybody, all of the shows returned this week which was amazing. There was DC crossover week; Agents of SHIELD finally resolved that cliff-hanger; and Pitch aired their penultimate episode. Obviously the biggest question is which was the best but before we get there let’s talk honourable mentions.

Honourable Mentions

  • Phil electrocuted.pngAgents of Shield – for some sweet Doctor Strange tie-ins.
  • Modern Family – for proving that watching Ty Burrell get electrocuted never stops being funny.
  • Westworld – for managing to be objectively amazing yet subjectively underwhelming.
  • Pitch – for finally releasing an episode that didn’t stress me out or leave me an emotional wreck.
  • Black-ish – for elegantly dealing with some complex themes of identity.
  • Empire – for setting the standard for awkward family dinners.
  • Gotham – for the best episode since its first season.
  • Jane The Virgin – for catering to that burgeoning lapsed Catholic market.
  • Once Upon A Time – for confirming that nobody will ever carry a baby full term in this show.

Show of the Week: DC Crossover

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This week saw the first time in history that the DC shows on The CW – Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow – crossed over and it was perfect. Normally, this section is reserved for a single show but it is impossible to choose between the four episodes that aired this week because they all came together as one cohesive narrative. Separating them simply wouldn’t make sense.

When I heard that the main villain in the crossover was going to be aliens, I was less than enthused but I am happy to say that I was wrong to judge it so quickly. The aliens ended up being a very serious threat with believable motivations.

More than anything, I loved this television event because it felt like a massive pay-off for anybody that had been following these shows from the very beginning. Old characters were brought back; subtle nods were made to the wider DC universe; and they did an amazing job of analysing the relationship dynamics that form when you throw this group of people together.

The ending, with Oliver and Barry sat talking in a bar, felt like an wonderfully poetic way to wrap up the week. They were the two characters that began this wider universe and you were really able to appreciate that in how the wider team immediately deferred to them as leaders.

This Week’s Worst: No Tomorrow

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There’s no doubt that No Tomorrow has improved from when it first began this season but it still isn’t doing enough. The show has established what it’s about and at times it can be a fun thing to watch but it has no real bite to it.

It’s being sold as an hour-long dramedy when its story seems better suited to the half-hour sitcom format. With such a high-level of competition on The CW at the moment, I don’t know if this first-season show will be renewed next year.

Did you have a favourite episode from the crossover? Have you been watching No Tomorrow? What did you watch this week? Let me know in the comments.

The Best Of This Week’s TV

Happy Thanksgiving weekend to all of the people out there who celebrate the holiday. If you’re in a country like mine where we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, this holiday just meant that there was very little television and lots of online sales. Anyway, back to the topic at hand: let’s talk about what showed this week. Before we get to the best, we have to talk honourable mentions.

Honourable Mentions

  • No Tomorrow.pngJane the Virgin – for Bruno Mars karaoke.
  • Gotham – for confirming that it gets a hundred times better when watched as a comedy rather than a drama.
  • Supergirl – for Alex: she’s quickly becoming the best part of the show.
  • No Tomorrow – for fuchsia houses and party crashers.
  • Scorpion – for farting superheroes that save California.

Show of the Week: The Flash

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I didn’t like Caitlin last season: she was boring and superfluous and I didn’t really understand what she added to the show. The only time that that changed was when we saw her Earth-2 doppelganger, Killer Frost. The people over at The Flash have clearly taken that to heart and this season we’re seeing Caitlin wrestle against her inner Killer Frost.

The Flash is good at heroes but their villains are often just a little bit too campy to be taken seriously or seen as genuinely threatening. With Killer Frost, Alchemy, and Savitar, the villains in this series have reached a new level of awesome.

Also in this episode, we were able to see Wally finally get his powers and all the Kid Flash fans rejoiced. They have been teasing this story-line for the longest time and we finally get to see it play out – in my opinion, just in the nick of time, because Wally was beginning to come across more like a whiny kid than a young hero.

Finally, dues must be paid to Grant Gustin and Carlos Valdes who are two fantastic actors that are able to bring real emotion to what can sometimes be a light show.

This Week’s Worst: Westworld

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I have been praising Westworld since its first episode because it’s new and different and a very brave concept to invest so much money in, but as the plot unravels I am losing interest.

This is a show about robotics, artificial intelligence, morality, humanity, and so many other huge ideas. It does well exploring them but in the end I worry that it is more of a philosophical discussion than a compelling, narrative-driven show. Clearly there is a story, I’m just not sure that it’s as interesting as the concepts that it is trying to explore.

People were calling it HBO’s new Game of Thrones before it ever aired but by now I think that the world can agree that that simply isn’t true. Forgetting the completely different genres, Game of Thrones was always the sort of show that left you shocked and wanting more. Westworld is interesting and intelligent but it’s not addictive. I could stop watching it at any point and not care about what happens next.

Are you looking forward to next week’s four-way CW superhero crossover? Which of the shows is your favourite? What did you watch this week? Let me know in the comments.

The Best Of This Week’s TV

It’s Sunday evening which means that you’re likely trying to avoid thinking about the work week that begins tomorrow. Sorry for reminding you about that. If you want to think about something different then why don’t you join me in looking over the best of this week’s television. Before we get to the crème de la crème, let’s take a look at this week’s honourable mentions:

Honourable Mentions

  • raf.pngGotham – for a sublime anti-relationship PSA.
  • Once Upon A Time – for making ‘Darth Vader’ a verb.
  • Supergirl – for extra-terrestrial debt-collectors.
  • Empire – for taking the drama level from soap opera to telenovela real fast.
  • Jane The Virgin – for all the gratuitous male shirtlessness.
  • Pitch – for continually being so well-written that it makes me angry.
  • Black-ish – for trying to pass Laurence Fishburne off as somebody in their twenties.
  • Legends of Tomorrow – for not even slightly challenging my hatred of Westerns: that’s not a compliment by the way.

Show of the Week: Modern Family

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There aren’t many sitcoms that can continue to make you laugh after eight seasons but that’s exactly what Modern Family is achieving episode after episode. I mean, a dead goat and Nathan Fillion? There’s no way that that isn’t comedy gold.

Seriously, Modern Family follows a simple formula with every episode but it hasn’t gone stale. The show remains hilarious but heart-warming; interesting but comfortably familiar. This week was just an example of how there is still so much to be learned about the wealth of characters that the show has.

One of the wonderful things about a show about family is that they’re always growing and developing. New members come in and some people leave but the core unit is always there.

This Week’s Worst: Arrow

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I adore Arrow and I think that this season in particular has been fantastic for the show which just makes this week’s episode even worse. It’s almost bad in a funny way.

The realistic, hand-to-hand combat fighting style is what really sets this show apart from the other superhero shows on The CW but this week missed the mark – literally. So many of the hits clearly did not land, a standout was Mr. Terrific flying backwards when he was just barely touched by Vigilante.

Other odd moments include the use of a teenager as paedophile bait; Oliver’s obtuseness as to the identity of the man behind the Vigilate mask; and we can’t forget the cringe-worthy voice modulation of Oliver’s new team.

The next time we see Arrow will be in the four-way DC crossover event and it will hopefully be back to true form.

What did you watch this week? Are you excited for the DC crossover event? Let me know in the comments.

The Best Of This Week’s TV

If, like me, you were trying to pretend that a certain democratic process didn’t result in catastrophe this week than maybe you threw yourself into television. Fortunately, there were some very good shows on this week. We’ll get to what was best and what was worst but first let’s talk honourable mentions.

Honourable Mentions

  • Frank.pngCrazy Ex-Girlfriend – for a tap dance about tapping ass.
  • Gotham – for the Penguin’s masterclass in holding down your man for all the high school girls out there.
  • How To Get Away With Murder – for making the absence of a beard the most upsetting part of a show about murder.
  • Supergirl – for embracing an open dialogue about sexuality and (fingers crossed) not killing their gays.
  • Scorpion – for allowing China to sabotage the election and giving Russia a much deserved break.
  • Legends of Tomorrow – for Reagan’s jellybeans.

Show Of The Week: Empire

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Even when this show has a lull it brings the drama more than most and this week was no different. The world of Empire is big and flashy which makes for great television but the reason that the show works so well is because it is about family. There is a real chemistry between the actors that shines in the intimate scenes but also in the incendiary, conflict scenes – much like the excellent argument we watched this week.

This show gets crazier and crazier but it continues to draw you in because it’s charming. Additionally, it helps that their music has only been improving as the show continues. Looking at shows like Smash you can see that it’s not always easy to incorporate music into the narrative and Empire not only does it but excels at it.

This Week’s Worst: ???

I honestly couldn’t pick a bad show this week. Can we just agree that the worst thing televised this was the election? Yeah? Awesome.

What did you watch this week? Do you think that Empire is too soap opera? What are loving or hating? Let me know in the comments.

The Best Of This Week’s TV

The Cubs won the World Series and apparently that’s a really big thing, so yay? Mainly I’m just excited that we get Empire, Modern Family, and Black-ish back next week. Regardless, even with those shows missing from the usual roster it was a good week for TV. Before we get to the best and the worst, let’s talk honourable mentions.

Honourable Mentions

  • Image result for arrow season 5 episode 7Jane The Virgin – for that shameless The CW promo.
  • Once Upon A Time – for bringing to life a Disney hero that I thought they never would in Nemo (I don’t care if it’s the wrong one, Nemo is Nemo).
  • No Tomorrow – for finally finding its niche and showing what it’s really about.
  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend – for an entire musical number based on trigonometry.
  • How To Get Away With Murder – for the most brutal verbal smackdown that I’ve seen in recent television.
  • Pitch – for maintaining its streak of bringing me to tears every episode.
  • Supergirl – for underground, alien fight clubs.
  • Arrow – for recovering the flashbacks, it was hard-going last season but they may have just saved it.

Show Of The Week: Atlanta

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Season 1 of FX’s Atlanta ended this week with a brilliant finale that solidified it as one of the best freshman series of this season. From its first episode, Atlanta showed that it was different to anything else on the scene: a dramedy about the Atlanta hip-hop scene could have taken a lot of different directions but I would never have imagined that one of those would be the show that I relished watching over the last three months.

This show never shied away from the darker elements of the lifestyle that it was portraying. Violence, drugs and murder were never off-limits and it was that honesty that made it so believable and really elevated the comedy.

In the season finale we watch our protagonist, Earn, search for a jacket he lost the night before but the reason that he is so frantically looking for it is not revealed until the end in what people are pegging as a “fairytale ending”. We see Earn reject two separate offers to crash at other peoples’ homes and then go to sleep in a storage space full of his own possessions.

Clearly this isn’t everybody’s idea of a happy ending but in watching how Earn’s situation has developed from the first episode in which he didn’t have a steady income or a home of his own, you can’t help but feel warm and happy for him.

For most people watching this show, they won’t be able to personally relate to Earn’s reality. However at the root of this show is a very human theme of just wanting to achieve something and to live a comfortable, safe life. The show has been renewed for a second series and I personally, cannot wait to see how it develops in the future.

This Week’s Worst: Legends of Tomorrow

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Legends of Tomorrow has never shied away from the issues within the time periods that they visit. As a diverse group that travels through space and time, sexism and racism are themes that crop up again and again but they are never the focus of the episode.

This week Legends had an episode set in Mississippi during the civil war and the two black Legends find themselves trying to infiltrate the home of a slave-owner. Also, there are zombies (I don’t why). This was the show’s first foray into a really heavy topic. A slave woman was whipped; slaves were tied up in an outhouse and whilst they didn’t bust out the ‘n’ word, they really went for it.

Normally I would commend this from a network show but it just didn’t sit right with me. Unfortunately the weight of this episode was on the shoulders of Franz Drameh, a young and fairly green actor that I don’t think sold it. I could see what they were trying to achieve but I didn’t feel the emotions that they were clearly trying to evoke.

What did you watch this week? What’s your take on this week’s Legends episode? Did you watch Atlanta this season? Let me know in the comments.