Thursday, July 14, 2016

2016 Emmy Nominations: My Reaction (and Prediction Results)

So, the Emmy Nominations have been announced, and there are a few surprises. Sure, it was mostly who and what were expected, but there were a few surprises. As far as my predictions from yesterday went, I went 47 for 62, or 76% for the more statistically minded readers out there. Not as good as my annual Oscar predictions (I usually range around 86% to 88% there), but this was my first time officially predicting the TV awards, so give me a break. I did better in the comedy categories (81%), than in the Drama 71%), especially after my pathetic 3 for 6 attempt at Dramatic Supporting Actor. Anyhoo, here are my thoughts, along with a pic of, I mean Peter Dinklage, holding his Emmy from last year. It seemed appropriate since Game of Thrones led with 23 nominations.

The Good

Even though it meant lowering my prediction percentage, I am glad to see that I was wrong about The Big Bang Theory sneaking back in this year, after their first non-nomination year in five years, last year. I figured with Louie on hiatus, and Parks & Rec gone, it would leave a couple slots open for TBBT, and Parsons for actor since Louis C.K. And Matt Leblanc are on hiatus, and wouldn't be eligible this year. But hey, the show jumped the shark years ago (why is this still on the air? - I know why, just being rhetorical) and does not deserve nomination here. In fact, other than Bob Newhart's nod for Best Guest Actor, the show was completely snubbed. Ha Ha! 

Also in the good is the amount of love toward Game of Thrones (again). Joining prior nominees Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, and perennial nominee, and two-time winner of Best Supporting Actor (and current reigning champ), Peter Dinklage, are first time nominees Maisie Williams and Kit Harrington.

I am also thrilled with Constance Zimmer's nomination in Supporting. Her show, Lifetime's UnREAL ,is one of the best shows on TV (yeah, true story, go watch it), and it is good to see some recognition. Granted, I would have loved to have seen it up for Bets Drama and Best Actress for Shiri Appleby, but we can't get everything we wish for.

Oh, and kudos on Sarah Pulson's double nominations, as well as Thomas Middlemarch's Best Comedy Actor Award for Silicon Valley, and Louie Anderson for playing Zack Galifianakis' mother on the criminally underwatched Baskets. Also to The Americans, up for Drama, Actor, and Actress. And a huzzah for Mr. Robot (the best show currently on television?) and it's Best Drama Series and Best Actor nominations.

The Bad

Speaking of Mr. Robot, the lack of a nod for Christian Slater (the goddamn Golden Globe winner!!), is criminal, but the lack of recognition for Michael McKean as Best Supporting Actor on Better Call Saul, after giving one of, if not the best goddamn performance of this past season, should be punishable by death. Ka-Rayzeeeeeeee! Also, not they were to be expected, but the lack of love for shows such as Broad City, Jessica Jones, Penny Dreadful, The Knick, The Walking Dead, and for the most part, Baskets and Orphan Black, is still annoying. And then there is Orange is the New Black. Yeah, season 3 may have been a lesser season that one and two (or the recently released season 4, but still, Uzo Aduba was snubbed? Sacre bleu!

The Ugly

Did I mention the snub of Michael McKean? Yeah.

So, there are my reactions to everything Emmy-wise. I will be back on Emmy Night (Sept. 18th), to do some live-tweeting of the show (and give my predictions of who will win). As for my own choices for the best in TV, that will have to wait until the end of the year, as that is when I (and everyone except the damn Emmy's) hand out my kudos and awards and other such stuff. Seriously, no Michael McKean!!?  

For now though....That's it gang. See ya 'round the web.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

2016 Emmy Nomination Predictions

So, the Emmy nominations are scheduled to be announced tomorrow. Therefore, it is about damn time I hand out my predictions for tomorrow's said Emmy nominations. So, without further ado, here are those predictions.

Best Drama Series

Game of Thrones (HBO)
Downton Abbey (PBS)
Better Call Saul (AMC)
House of Cards (Netflix)
Mr. Robot (USA)
Orange is the New Black (Netflix)
Homeland (Showtime)

Possible Spoiler: The Americans (FX)

The Show That Should Get Nominated, But Won't: UnREAL (Lifetime)

My Dream Choice: Jessica Jones (Netflix)

Six of the seven nominees from last year are eligible again this year, and I am guessing all six of them will repeat. But what show will take place of Mad Men? The smart money is on USA'a fabulous Mr. Robot, so that is what I am going with. Oh, and Game of Thrones for the win. Sorry Downton Abbey. Mad Men couldn't pull it off in their final season, and you probably can't either.

Best Lead Actor, Drama

Kevin Spacey in House of Cards (Netflix)
Bob Odenkirk in Better Call Saul (AMC)
Rami Malek in Mr. Robot (USA)
Liev Schreiber in Ray Donovan (Showtime)
Paul Giamatti in Billions (Showtime)
Bobby Cannavale in Vinyl (HBO)

Don't Count Out: Hugh Bonneville in Downton Abbey (PBS)

Who Should, But Probably Won't: Clive Owen in The Knick (Cinemax)

Last year's winner, Jon Hamm, is not eligible this time around, so there's gonna be a new sheriff in town this year. I'm guessing Cannavale will take Hamm's place in the nominee list, with Malek slipping in Bloodline's Kyle Chandler's spot (the show ain't what it used to be?), but as for the winner's spot...that will probably be a battle between Spacey and Odenkirk, the latter of which has never ever been better than he was in the second season of Better Call Saul.

Best Lead Actress, Drama

Viola Davis in How to Get Away with Murder (ABC)
Taraji P. Henson in Empire (Fox)
Julianna Margulies in The Good Wife (CBS)
Claire Danes in Homeland (Showtime)
Robin Wright in House of Cards (Netflix)
Tatiana Maslaney in Orphan Black (BBC America)

Don't Count Out: Kerry Washington in Scandal (ABC)

Who Should, But Probably Won't: Shiri Appleby in UnREAL (Lifetime)

Dream Pick: Kristen Ritter in Jessica Jones (Netflix)

This is pretty much a repeat from last year, with the surprisingly snubbed Margulies popping back in to take the ineligible Elisabeth Moss' place. As for the eventual winner? It could be last year's winner, Viola Davis, or two timer Margulies (in her final season of the show), but I think this is going to be Taraji's award to win or lose. Go Cookie!

Best Supporting Actor, Drama

Peter Dinklage in Game of Thrones (HBO)
Jonathan Banks in Better Call Saul (AMC)
Christian Slater in Mr. Robot (USA)
Michael Kelly in House of Cards (Netflix)
Jim Carter in Downton Abbey (PBS)
Michael McKean in Better Call Saul (AMC)

Possible 7th Nominee (cause sometimes they do that): Jon Voight in Ray Donovan (Showtime)

Wildcards: Jussie Smollett in Empire (Fox) and/or Kit Harrington in Game of Thrones (HBO)

Who Should But Probably Won't: Thomas M. Wright in The Outsiders (WGN)

Dinklage, Banks, Cumming, and Carter will repeat this year, with Slater and McKean (one of last year's biggest snubs) filling in the other two slots. As for the win? I love Dinklage (and I wouldn't want those dragons on my bad side) but McKean's work this past season was pure brilliance.

Best Supporting Actress, Drama

Christine Baranski in The Good Wife (CBS)
Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey (PBS)
Lena Headey in Game of Thrones (HBO)
Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones (HBO)
Uzo Aduba in Orange is the New Black (Netflix)
Constance Zimmer in UnREAL (Lifetime)

Wildcards: Sissy Spacek in Bloodline (Netflix) and/or Maura Tierney in The Affair (Showtime)

Who Should, But Probably Won't: Sophie Turner in Game of Thrones (HBO)

My Dream Pick: Melissa McBride in The Walking Dead (AMC)

I am picking all five of last year's still eligible nominees, and filling in Christina Hendricks' vacant spot with UnREAL's only real chance at a major nomination this year. As for the winner, Uzo could easily repeat here (and deservingly so), but let's not count out the power of Cersei Lannister, and that spectacular season finale, to put Headey over the top.

Best Comedy Series

Modern Family (ABC)
black-ish (ABC)
Veep (HBO)
Transparent (Amazon)
Silicon Valley (HBO)
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

Wildcards: Mozart in the Jungle (Amazon) and/or Master of None (Netflix)

Dream Picks: Baskets (FX) & Broad City (FX)

With the ending of Parks and Recreation, and the hiatus of Louie, there are two open spots to join Modern Family, Veep, Silicon Valley, Transparent, and Kimmy. I am guessing they will be filled by a pair of Network shows. Yeah yeah, Network television is a dying breed, but this is the category they are most likely to still live on. I would love to see Baskets or Broad City, but who are we kidding? Oh, and Veep for the win (again).

Best Lead Actor, Comedy

Jim Parsons in The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
Aziz Ansari in Master of None (Netflix)
Jeffrey Tambor in Transparent (Amazon)
Anthony Anderson in black-ish (ABC)
Will Forte in The Last Man on Earth (Fox)
William H. Macy in Shameless (Showtime)

7th Man Award: Don Cheadle in House of Lies (Showtime)

Shoulda, but Probably Ain't Gonna Happen: Zack Galifianakis in Baskets (FX)

With both Louis C.K. and Matt LeBlanc taking hiatus' from their respective shows, we could see last year';s non-nominee, but past winner, Jim Parsons sneak back in. Aziz Ansari is also an obvious choice for this category.

Best Lead Actress, Comedy

Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Veep (HBO)
Tracee Ellis Ross in black-ish (ABC)
Amy Schumer in Inside Amy Schumer (Comedy Central)
Rachel Bloom in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (CW)
Lily Tomlin in Grace and Frankie (Netflix)
Ellie Kemper in Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)

Wildcards: Jane Fonda in Grace and Frankie (Netflix) and/or Constance Wu in Fresh Off the Boat (ABC)

Should but Won't: Gillian Jacobs in Love (Netflix) and Aya Cash in You're the Worst (FX)

Dream Girls: The Broads from Broad City (FX)

I am predicting four repeat customers here. It's an all new game this year. Newcomers Bloom and Ross will join Tomlin, Kemper, and Schumer, in watching Julia Louis-Dreyfus accept her fifth consecutive Emmy (and seventh overall).

Best Supporting Actor, Comedy

Tony Hale in Veep (HBO)
Tituss Burgess in Umbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
Louie Anderson in Baskets (FX)
Laurence Fishburne in black-ish (ABC)
Ty Burrell in Modern Family (ABC)
Keegan-Michael Key in Key and Peele (Comedy Central)

And in case they do seven this year: Hugh Laurie in Veep (HBO)

Dream Pick: Hannibal Buress in Broad City (Comedy Central)

A pretty solid line-up, even if we have to stretch it to seven to squeeze everyone in. My favourite pick here is Louie Anderson, who I believe is the rightful frontrunner, and the guy who will beat Tony Hale this year...not that he isn't fantastic in Veep.

Best Supporting Actress, Comedy

Allison Janney in Mom (CBS)
Mayim Bialik in The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
Anna Chlumsky in Veep (HBO)
Jane Krakowski in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
Judith Light in Transparent (Amazon)
Kate McKinnon in SNL (NBC)

This Category Had 8 Nominees Last Year, So: Julie Bowen in Modern Family (ABC) and Carol Kane in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)

I can really see all eight of these ladies' names being called tomorrow morning. 'nuff said.

Well, that's about all I have time for. I could go on and make predictions in the Limited Series Categories (People vs. OJ Simpson, Fargo, Show Me A Hero, The Night Manager, American Crime, Roots) or the actors in said shows (Sarah Paulson, Tom Hiddleston, Kirsten Dunst, Courtney B. Vance, Bryan Cranston, Oscar Isaac, Lili Taylor, Hugh Laurie, Lady Gaga, Felicity Huffman, Kerry Washington, Riley Keough, Jesse Plemons, John Travolta, Cuba Gooding Jr., Jean Smart, Regina King, Melissa Leo, and Sarah Paulson again), but I'm going to stop here. I'll be back tomorrow with some thoughts on how I did.

That's it gang. See ya 'round the web.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

The 10 Coolest Peeps Born in 1967, Myself Humbly Excluded

So yeah, I was born in 1967. It was a great time indeed. Anyway, the reason for this post is to highlight some of my fellow 1967 birthees. And there were a bunch of 'em. From Pamela Anderson to Dave Navarro. From Vin Diesel to Mark Ruffalo. From Jimmy Kimmel to Tino Martinez to Ashleigh Banfield, Ty Burrell, Nicole Kidman, Will Ferrell, Lisa Bonet, Guy Pearce, Lauren Graham, Paul Giamatti, Mira Sorvino, Lili Taylor, Sheryl Lee, Rhys Ifans, Matt LeBlanc, and Neon Deion Sanders! That's a lot of 1967-birthed celebrity star power right there - and I haven't even gotten to the top ten yet. Oh, and definitely not on that list, are some of the least cool kids born in 1967, Dave Matthews, Chriss Angel, and Vanilla Ice Ice, Baby! But enough of all this preparatory mumbo jumbo. Let's get on with the damn list, already! The 10 Coolest Peeps born in 1967. And yes, I am keeping myself off this list. Ha! So let's get on with gettin' on.

And awaaaaaaay we go...

10. Louis C.K.

There are few stand-up comics who can make me laugh and laugh and laugh, and Louis C.K. is certainly one of them. Yeah, perhaps cool isn't quite the right word here, for Louis (or Louie, if you go by his hit show) is rather geeky and awkward (like me!!), but he should still be on this list. This comic doesn't beat around any bush. He says what's on his mind. Sometimes this gets him into trouble, which I suppose makes him kind of a bad boy, and in turn, kind of cool. So there! He does belong on the fucking list after all.

9. Billy Corgan

My wife balked at Billy Corgan making the list (especially since I left Dave Navarro off, in order to include him), claiming he is just an arrogant has-been. Obviously I have a little more faith in the cool factor of Billy Corgan. Sure, maybe The Smashing Pumpkins didn't change music the way a band like, say, Nirvana did, but hey, he's tall, bald, and has a suitably creepy singing voice. That alone is enough for me to place him on this list...and above Dave Navarro. And hey, I even chose a pic with his kitties. Maybe that way, my lovely wife will possibly accept his inclusion on the list.

8. Benicio del Toro

He's played the Wolfman, Che Guevara, and Dr. Gonzo. How can this guy not be cool? This Puerto Rico-born Academy Award winner has given some pretty stellar performances in some pretty stellar films. From The Usual Suspects to Traffic to Sin City, Basquiat, and Inherent Vice, where he rocks the house once again. And just to make him a bit cooler (at least in my opinion) he made his film debut playing the dog faced boy in a circus, opposite Pee Wee Herman. Howzabout that!?

7. Harry Connick, Jr.

Not only a smooth as silk Jazz pianist and crooner, but Harry Connick, Jr. is also quite the funny comic actor. granted, his Hallmark/Lifetime films are unexpectedly terrible, but hey, when ya need the money, ya need the money. Connick was great as Grace's hapless doctor hubby (and ex-hubby - spoiler alert!) on Will & Grace, but it's his piano playing and cool 'Nawlins breeding that put this guy on the list.

6. Philip Seymour Hoffman

One of two list makers who are no longer with us. I know such a thing sounds a bit corny, but to put it as simply as possible PSH was one of the finest actors of his (and mine, obviously) generation. Seriously though, the guy is indeed just that. His work with Paul Thomas Anderson alone (Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Hard Eight, etc) is enough to put this guy on the cool list, but then you add in all the other roles he has played (Talented Mr. Ripley, Almost Famous, Flawless, Doubt, his Oscar winning performance in CapoteJack Goes Boating, which he also directed, the oft-overlooked Synecdoche, New York) and list worthy he damn well be!

5. Carla Bruni

This Italian born singer-songwriter-model, was the first lady of France for a while. She was also the sister-in-law of Louis Garrel for a while too. I can't say there are many first ladies the same age as me (Michelle Obama comes the closest in my home country, but still beat me into the world by three years) and I betchya not many people can claim they share a birth year with a first lady whose nude photos went for $91,000 at auction. Yup. So there. First Lady of France is in da hizzouse! Yeah, I went there.

4. Jamie Foxx

Yeah, he was on In Living Color, and he won an Oscar for playing Ray Charles. He is a rapper and he even beat the crap out of Tom Cruise in a movie once. But hey, the number one reason Jamie Foxx is on this list (other than taking his stage name to honour Redd Foxx) is that he is Django. That's right. He is Django, and Django takes no shit from nobody. Django doesn't wait around for the white man to come and rescue him. Django arms himself, and kicks white southern ass. Django rules. Oh, and by the by, the D is silent.

3. Laura Dern

I've always loved Laura Dern. From Teachers to Mask to Blue Velvet, she was like a dreamy teen angel for the twisted set. Then came her performance in Wild At Heart. That is when she became a sexy powderkeg of raw acting emotion. She loved her Sailor, and she wanted everyone to know.  Hell, the girl even went and kicked some dinosaur ass in Jurassic Park...even when Samuel L. Jackson could not. And she's the daughter of Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern. That's some pretty cool lineage.

2. Anderson Cooper

Not only one of the most sought after gay men in the world (and equally loved by the ladies as well) but Anderson Cooper is one of those types of journalists who are quite rare these days - an honest, caring one. With his silver locks and boyish grin, Coop (can I call ya that?) is surely the coolest newsman out there today. Forget Wolf Blitzer (the idiot), it's Anderson Cooper who gives it to us straight. Well, not that kind of straight. You know what I mean. Yeah.

1. Kurt Cobain

It's hard to believe (at least to me) that the guy who helped change the very face of music, is the same age as me. Or at least would be the same age as me, if he hadn't been stolen from us at such a young age (one of those damned 27 club members). Basically, Cobain was one of the coolest guys in rock and roll, ever, no matter what birth year we are talking about. Kurt and Nirvana seriously changed music. Not many people or bands can say that. Maybe Elvis, The Beatles, Zeppelin, Velvet Underground, Madonna, Michael, and Nirvana. That's about it. Here's to Kurt Cobain, the coolest cat to come out of 1967. Huzzah huzzah hey!!

That's it gang. See ya 'round the web.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Nights & Days in the Burg: The Life & Times of a Harrisburger

I've been doing this blog for a little over two and a half years, and have had some sort of online presence, via past blogs and websites, for over a dozen years now. Most of the content of these twelve plus years of blogging and reviewing and list-making and what have you, has been about the world of pop culture. Either cinema or TV or comic books or music or other such pop cultury doo-dads. But every now and again, I go local. Every now and again, I post something about my home town of Harrisburg, Pa. Be it an edition of my 11 Question Interview with a local icon, or a list of the most pop cultury things in Harrisburg. And yes, I just used the term pop cultury twice. Or actually three times now. Anyhoo, in keeping with this now and again tradition, I offer up a new (now and again) recurring series, Nights & Days in the Burg.

In this new (now and again) series, I will highlight the things going on in and around my Harrisburg. And yes, the official term for we Harrisburg residents, is indeed, Harrisburgers. I kid not. But I digress, a thing I tend to do quite a bit. This series will touch on the nightlife of Harrisburg as well as the daylight hours. Maybe a look at the dinosaur sculptures strewn about the city during this Dynomite Summer (yes, really) or my take on the coolest things to do in town, or just a close-up look at one of my favourite fellow Harrisburgers. It could be anything, dammit! Anything!! But enough of this rambling on, I have other things to do right now (like post something fresh and new on Instagram) so I'm going to get going. But don't forget to look for the first of this (now and again) series, coming soon(ish). Oh, and look out for other posts coming soon as well. Like maybe my upcoming look at every single member of the Mighty Avengers. Yeah, that's coming up soon. So be here for that. But don't forget about the whole Nights & Days in the Burg thing. Yeah, those are coming too. But for now...I gotsa go! That's it gang. See ya 'round the web.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

I Ain't No Negative Nellie: A Bunch of People I Genuinely Like

So, as my faithful readers already know, I do a regular feature here at the ole blog, entitled "People Who Need to be Punched in the Face." For those not in the know, this feature is just what it sounds like, a list of people who I believe need to be punched in the face. You know, people like Chris Martin or Lena Dunham or Ted Cruz. Now granted, this feature is all just tongue-in-cheek (all fun-n-games), and I do not really advocate punching anyone in the face, but it still might be construed as a bit on the negative side. So, to counteract this image, and to prove that I am not, as the title so eloquently reads, a Negative Nellie, here are a slew of peeps I genuinely like. Nothing negative here. Just positive thinking. And without further ado, here they are, in no particular order.

Norman Reedus
Hillary Clinton
Bruce Banner
Michael Fassbender
Tom Hiddleston
Kendall Jenner
Lady Gaga
Sterling Archer
Maurice G. Esworthy III
Whoever wrote that Shoop Shoop song
People who bring me cake
Chris Hardwick
Wil Wheaton
Jimmy McGill
Winona Ryder
Don Draper
Hasil Farrell
Holly Golightly
Female Leads in Star Wars Films
The 1988 Chicago Bears
Marcy Louise Proust
Hopey & Maggie
Fried Chicken
The Late Kurt Vonnegut
Jughead Jones (my Spirit Animal)
Vampires who do NOT Sparkle
Daniel Day Lewis
Liz Lemon
Leslie Knope
Gal Pal Rachel Greene
The Atari 2600
Pete Rose
Hypodermic Sally
The Little Missus (of course)
HAL 3000 from 2001
Aaron Sorkin
The Creator of the Spork
Leslie Jones
Linus Van Pelt
Ron Fucking Swanson
Rick Fucking Grimes
Bill Motherfucking Murray
The Funko Company
Jen & Gary
People named Pablo
Peter Pez
Matt Smith
Ben Affleck as Batman
The Gang at Comix Connection
Benedict Cumberbatch
Clark Gregg
Peggy Olson
C.T. Liotta
Mr. Spock
Rat Fink
Alan Moore
Yoko Ono
Tim Curry
Laverne Cox
Justin Timberlake
Dr. Peter Venkman
Jane Eyre (the Cat, not the Character)
Randy Macho Man Savage
Reina Wooden (aka the Artist known as r76)
That Guy who works with Flo at Progressive
Mayor Adam West
Carrie Fisher
Sliced Bread
Michael Stipe
Squirrel Girl
Esther Rosenblatt
Ryan Stroup
Ken Jennings
Sarah Paulsen
Zooey & Fanchette
Cap'n Smiley-Face
Chloe Sevigny
Jesus (He's just alright with me)

See, I really do like people. A lot of people.
Don't worry though, people will be getting punched in the face again soon.
That's it gang. See ya 'round the web.

Monday, April 4, 2016

The Walking Dead Season 6 Finale: Who Did Negan Kill ??

As those who watched the season 6 finale of The Walking Dead last night, already know (and yes, spoilers ahead), Negan has finally made his long anticipated TV debut. And as all of us know, he beats someone to death in the final scene. And, as we also know, the screen goes black before we find out just who gets the death sentence. Instead, we will have to wait until season 7, coming in October, to find out who the poor bloody victim is. I love me a good cliffhanger, so well played AMC. Well played.

Ok, so unlike the Season 6 finale of The Walking Dead, we are going to get all the suspense out of the way immediately. The probabilities of just who Negan killed, who Negan beat to death with the barbed wire wrapped baseball bat he calls Lucille, in that epic cliffhanger season finale episode last night, in order of likelihood,, maybe a little more suspense. But hey, please allow me to pontificate a bit, and explain my reasoning, and maybe even let ya'll in on who I think got Lucille'd last night.

But before we get to all that, I would like to give a big ole shout out to the great Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who made one hell of a debut in last night's episode. In case you don't know, and why would you even be reading this if you did not, Jeffrey Dean Morgan has been cast as Negan, the most badass comic book antagonist this side of the Joker. Leader of the group called The Saviors, he is a true psychopath who kills with great glee, but Negan is also one of the most charming motherfuckers the zombie apocalypse has ever seen. Negan's (and Morgan's) highly anticipated debut, and killer (figuratively AND literally) seven minute monologue at episode's end, has abruptly made the guy my new favourite character on my current favourite TV show. But now, on with those aforementioned reasonings. Oh, and as always, spoilers ahead maties.

First off, let's face facts. Rick Grimes is not going down. He is the crux of the show. Maybe in the series finale, whenever in the future that may be, but Negan is not going to take Lucille to him right now. Anyway, the whole idea of killing one of the group, is to teach Rick a lesson. To make Rick suffer, so he tells his group to do as the Saviors say. Hence, Rick is not getting the business end of Lucille. Other unlikely candidates would be Carl and Michonne. True, they, especially Carl, would be the best ways to teach Rick that lesson, but neither one is likely to be the dead one come that season 7 opening scene. Rick losing two love interests so close together seems unlikely, and Carl, in the comics at least, becomes the co-lead as time goes on, and he may end up doing that n the show as well. And anyway, he has some unfinished business (cue sexytime music) with Enid.

A little more likely, but still not all that probable, is Maggie. In the comics, after losing everything, including her husband Glenn (more on that in a bit), the newly widowed Maggie becomes the leader of the Hilltop community, and it would seem that they are setting her up for that on the show as well. If that is so, then killing her here, does not seem plausible. Although, to play devil's advocate of sorts, this episode was really digging into how important Maggie is to Rick. So maybe this would teach him that lesson of which he is so in need. Still unlikely though.

Anyhoo, another possibility, and one that actually makes sense, is Abraham. He is a major enough character to be a hard enough hit for fans and characters alike, but not so major as to offend the fanbase. Now the TV Abraham has already cheated his comic death, as AMC gave his comic death to poor Doctor Denise a few episodes back. So to kill him here, kinda makes sense. Then again, series creator Robert Kirkman, has stated that he regretted having killed off Abraham, the one actual soldier in the group, right at the beginning of the comic story arc "All Out War," which is where they are right now on the show. So maybe not.

Then we have those minor (and minor-esque) characters in that final scene showdown. I don't think the deaths of Aaron, Sasha, Rosita, or even Eugene, would elicit enough of a reaction from the audience to merit being Lucille's first victim. So, making any of these characters the initial death in this new arc, may seem like a cheat of sorts. Then again, Eugene has finally come into his own recently, so perhaps his death would maybe elicit the proper response, in both viewers and his fellow characters. So maybe it is going to be Eugene after all. Abraham and the others had already said their goodbyes to him when he went off on an apparent suicide mission earlier in the episode.

And that brings us to Daryl Dixon. Since Daryl is an original character made for the show, he has no comic doppelganger, and therefore is a clean slate, whose death would not affect any future comic-related storylines. But, as we all know, Daryl is the most popular character on the show. Sure, Rick and Glenn and Michonne all have their own fandoms, but nothing like Daryl Dixon. Killing him off would take balls by Kirkman and AMC, and would be both awesome and horrific. But come on people. Killing Daryl could also ruin the show. Yes, the zombie apocalypse could easily go on without Daryl Dixon in it, but his popularity could see a severe backlash if Daryl were to go down. And there is also the branding of the show. Yes, Rick, aka Andrew Lincoln, is the star, but it is Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, whose face is splayed across all the show's merchandise. Would AMC have the cajones to kill off the literal face of the show? I think maybe not.

Which leaves us with our most likely candidate, Glenn Rhee. Now I know the show plays fast and loose with the comic book continuity (like Carol being a twenty something housewife, who dies by feeding herself to a walker she delusionally believes to be her friend, and Sophia growing into teenhood, and actually still being alive in the comic), but every once and a while (the taking back of Alexandria, Rick's taking down the Claimers) the show does match up with what Kirkman originally scripted. That being said, it is a strong possibility that this will be one of those match-ups, and just like in the comic, Negan will beat Glenn to death in front of the group. But come on guys, isn't that a bit too obvious? Yeah, who knows. From a narrative standpoint, the logical turn of events is to take down Glenn. But will they do it?

As we have already discussed, whomever goes down first (and yes, Negan will kill others throughout season 7, don't you think he won't) needs to be a major death. Glenn would definitely be that death. Of course so would either Carl or Daryl. Now, as we watched that final scene progress, and Negan finally got into his eeny meeny minie moe rap, the camerawork got very impressionistic - and that was on purpose. Director (and make-up guru) Greg Nicotero, who has helmed some of the best and most artistic of Walking Dead episodes, takes us on a ride again. No matter how much we Zapruder the footage, we can not get a real take on the angle, and who Negan beats before the screen goes black. As best as I can tell (and you really can't tell) it looks like the angle may say it is either Eugene or Carl. Could it be? Negan does say about cutting out the boy's other eye if anyone screams, which could mean that it isn't Carl who gets the beat down. But then who?

Well, logic says Glenn, but the safe bet would be either Abraham, who does appear to impress Negan at one point (take down the toughest first) or Eugene, who has become rather popular lately. Not too big, but not too small a kill either. But why would they want to be safe. My gut says it is Eugene, so that who we are going with here. I would love to see them have the balls to take down Daryl or even Carl though. Yes, I am going to miss any of these characters, but it would be nice to see them do the unthinkable. Maybe Daryl has run his course. Dwight has the crossbow now (a weapon he wields in the Daryl-less comic) and his character, though beloved, has the least amount of future possibilities. Yeah, that's right. But in the end, I don't think AMC has the balls for that one. Negan does say his victim is taking it like a champ, which could make one lean to the likes of Daryl or Abraham. Of course Carl could pull that off too. But hey, my gut says Eugene, so I'm sticking with that choice, even if it is a bit too safe for my liking.

Then again, I will probably flip flop between Eugene & Carl (who are still alive in the comic), Abraham & Glenn (who are not), and Daryl (who has never existed in the comic), all Summer long. Dammit AMC! Why do we have to wait six months. When Kristen shot JR (oh sorry, spoiler alert) back in 1981, we only had to wait four months. Anyhoo, there ya have it. Eugene for the, the loss. Whatever. That's it gang. See ya 'round the web. Wait...maybe it's Daryl. Aaaaahhhhhh!!! I want to change my answer!! No I don't! Yes I do!! Aaaaaahhhhhhh!! But Eugene hooks up with Rosita in the comics! We don't want to miss that! Could it really be Daryl!? Maybe they will riot after all. Now I am saying Daryl. Get the balls AMC. I dare ya to kill off your most popular character! I double dare ya! I triple dog dare ya!! Or maybe Abe!? Egads! Yes! Abe. Final answer! Abraham! Damn, I'm gonna miss that motherdicking galoot.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Just Who the Hell is the Best Batman!?

Okay, so since Batman seems to be in the air lately, why not have a poll about the Caped Crusader? Yeah, sounds good to this guy. So we here at All Things Kevyn, aka Me, pose this question to all my faithful readers and true believers out there. Just who the hell is the best Batman!? Is it the great campy Adam West from the sixties? Maybe it's the darker Michael Keaton version from the Tim Burton films, or perhaps Val Kilmer or George Clooney in the Joel Schumacher films. No really, it could be Clooney. Okay, okay. Maybe your choice is Christian Bale in the Christopher Nolan trilogy. But let's not forget the all-new Batfleck, aka Ben Affleck. Yeah, so these are your choices. 

Now all you need do is to head on over to the poll widget, found oh so conveniently near the top of this blog's sidebar, and get your vote on. And please feel free to tell all your friends about our little poll here. The poll will run for the entirety of the month of April (plus a few days into May), with the final results being announced here on the ole blog, on Saturday, May 7th, aka Free Comic Book Day. Okay, maybe the results will announced the following day. We all know I am going to be way too busy on Saturday, getting my Free Comic Book Day nerd on. Anyhoo, get on over there and vote vote vote. That it gang. See ya 'round the web.