Television

the-orville-about-a-girl

The third episode of The Orville makes a dramatic turn after two episodes setting up the show as sitcom with Star Trek trappings. “About a Girl” centers around the Orville’s second officer Lt. Commander Bortus (Peter Macon) and his mate Klyden (Chad L. Coleman) whose baby is born female – a cultural deformity according to the pair’s race. After Dr. Finn (Penny Johnson Jerald) refuses to perform a sex change on the infant, Bortus and Klyden request assistance from their government leading to a trial on their homeworld with Commander Kelly Grayson (Adrianne Palicki) pleading for the baby to remain female.

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the-good-place-everything-is-great

After the shocking reveal to end last season, “Everything Is Great!” resets The Good Place as Michael (Ted Danson) erases the memories of the four humans and reintroduces them to a heaven that is really anything but. There’s a bit of redundancy in the two-part premiere as the show gives us the perspectives of each of the main characters over the course of the first day in The Good Place. Despite his best efforts to separate the quartet, Michael watches despondently as his reboot doesn’t have the effect he had hoped. But when you fail, try, try again.

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voltron-the-journey

Whatever happened to Shiro (Josh Keaton)? The Black Lion’s paladin disappeared during the Season finale. While offering hints that there’s far more to the story than what we are seeing, “The Journey” picks up Shiro’s thread when the paladin breaks out of a Galra ship. After a crash landing on a frozen moon, dealing with a pair of resistance fighters, and stowing away on another cruiser, Shiro finally finds his way back to Voltron. It will take several days alone in the black of space, however, before his eventual reunion with his friends.

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the-flash-season-3-blu-rayWhile the Third Season of The Flash feels a bit too familiar with the introduction of yet another evil speedster, the show does provide several memorable moments including a dark turn for Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker), the death of a major character, a musical crossover episode featuring Supergirl (Melissa Benoist), and the shake-up of The Flash’s world following his Flashpoint adventure. There are a few clunkers here, but when it’s good The Flash can be awfully good.

Other highlights include a fun Christmas episode, characters dealing with the complexity of what Savitar is, a trip into the future, the season finale, meta-humans altered by Doctor Alchemy to match characters from the Flashpoint reality, Jesse Quick racing into action, the Invasion crossover, the two-part return of Grodd, the introduction of Gypsy (Jessica Camacho), and the first appearance of a classic Flash villain.

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rick-and-morty-mortys-mind-blowers

There are two interesting takeaways from Rick and Morty‘s version of a clip-show. After a troubling adventure involving Morty (Justin Roiland) looking into the eyes of an unknowing turtle, Rick (Roiland) offers his grandson the ability to have the memory removed and reveals and entire library of mind-blowing memories the scientist has taken out of Morty’s mind. Showing his grandson a few to demonstrate the point allows the show to offer us glimpses of several bizarre adventures without going into much depth while highlighting either the bad decisions of Morty, the questionable decisions of Rick, or something the scientist simply didn’t want his grandson to remember.

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The Insane Full House Theory That Might Be True

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elementary-season-5-dvdHoping to artificially instill some continuity to the show’s Fifth Season, the first episode of the year introduces us to Joan‘s (Lucy Liu) former patient and reformed gangbanger Shinwell (Nelsan Ellis). Shinwell’s issues will be a recurring theme throughout the year as Sherlock‘s (Jonny Lee Miller) attempts to help the man infiltrate and bring down a local gang have consequences for everyone involved. Sherlock’s odd behavior, getting even odder towards the end of the year, will culminate in his conversations with a stranger (Joanna Christie) and larger implications for his partnership with Watson heading into Season Six.

While far from the show’s strongest season, highlights include the death of a magician, murder and pirate gold, the return of Kitty (Ophelia Lovibond), a desperate client, Holmes struggling with attending his AA meetings, and the murder of a mathematician.

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Rick and Morty: Has Rick Changed?

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the-orville-command-performance

Half-assed. I’ve been searching for the right words to describe Seth MacFarlane‘s Star Trek rip-off and “half-assed” is about as succinct as I can get. There’s a reason sitcoms aren’t an hour long. Even at 20 minutes the lazy comedy can begin to stretch thin. At a full hour The Orville‘s latest episodes has more groans than laughs. If the whole enterprise was crap it would be easy enough to ignore, but what’s maddening is that there is some good acting and some interesting ideas that just keep getting mired in basic sitcom hell. The premise of “Command Performance” finds Alara Kitan (Halston Sage) in charge of the ship after Ed Mercer (MacFarlane) are Kelly Grayson (Adrianne Palicki) kidnapped and Bortus (Peter Macon) is unavailable while sitting on his egg during the misadventures which will follow.

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supergirl-season-2-blu-rayIn a year where both The Flash and Arrow found themselves recycling different versions of the same story (evil speedsters and archers), Supergirl took a definite step forward as the best of DC’s television line-up. Sure, the exit of Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart) as a regular after the first couple of episodes left a huge hole to fill and there were some clunkers early on, but this season saw Kara (Melissa Benoist) grow considerably over the course of the year take on Cadmus, get a boyfriend (Chris Wood) and deal with his evil mother (Teri Hatcher), and make an unlikely friend in Lena Luther (Katie McGrath).

Highlights from this year include the two-part season finale, the show taking a hard stand against anti-immigration policy, the first appearance of Mr. Mxyzptlk (Peter Gadiot), exploring what’s next for Superman’s best friend, Kara flexing her reporting muscles and standing by her friends, the return of Livewire (Brit Morgan), the introduction of Superman (Tyler Hoechlin), and a super-team-up against Metallo.

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