Direct Beam Comms #52
Ash vs Evil Dead – Grade: B+
The second season of Ash vs Evil Dead debuted back in October, so I’m a little late in reviewing this one. But that’s because I don’t get Starz, the network that airs this series, so I had to wait for a free preview weekend to catchup on this show.
I loved the first season of Ash vs Evil Dead from last year but with one caveat — the last 10 minutes of the last episode didn’t fit with what had come before whatsoever. So, rather than going into the this season as excited as I’d normally be instead I went into the latest Ash vs Evil Dead with a bit of trepidation. The good news is that it seems like the writers did a quick course correction on the show and brought things back into line. The bad news is, well, I’ll get to that here in a bit…
The second season of Ash vs Evil Dead opens a few weeks/months after the end of the first. Ash (Bruce Campbell), Pablo (Ray Santiago) and Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo) are living the a wild frat-boy 24/7 party live in Jacksonville, Florida when the truce they had with the evil things brought forth via the Book of the Dead from the first season is unexpectedly cancelled throwing the trio back into the fight and on the lookout for current possessor of the book Ruby (Lucy Lawless). They find themselves in Ash’s Michigan hometown where he’s known as “Ashie Slashie” from the what all happened in The Evil Dead (1981). Just when the trio are about the close in on Ruby and get the book back they find that things aren’t as clear as they seemed down in Jacksonville.
One thing I really appreciate about Ash vs Evil Dead is just how much abuse the actors of the show, and stunt people, take each and every episode. If the actors aren’t being covered in gallons upon gallons of blood, bile or pus, then the stunt people are being catapulted across rooms to crash through windows or onto walls. In an age where seemingly every stunt is done totally by CGI the ones in Ash vs Evil Dead are truly something to appreciate. And the story this season, of Ash returning home where he’s not welcome, even by his dad Brock (Lee Majors) is unexpected and clever as well.
The bad news, I don’t think Ash vs Evil Dead is going to appeal to anyone who’s not already in love with Ash or the whole Evil Dead franchise or doesn’t appreciate the seemingly never-ending gore/buckets of blood that permeate each episode of the show. Then again, if you don’t appreciate Ash vs Evil Dead then I don’t think we can be friends. 😉
Incorporated – Grade: C
The first episode of the sci-fi series Incorporated aired last week on SyFy. The series takes place about 60 years in the future where a warming climate has changed weather patterns that caused chaos around the globe leading to the fall of most governments with mega-corporations stepping in to fill in the void. Now there are haves like Ben (Sean Teale) who lives in gated communities, get the best food and generally don’t have to interact with the lower classes who live in septic, crime ridding slums. But Ben is hiding a secret that might threaten his comfortable life.
Incorporated has an interesting premise but fails in a big way in that the creators of the series essentially built their show by taking elements from other sci-fi movies to construct their own. So, instead of writing a traditional review I’ve decided to record all of the elements Incorporated “borrowed” to construct their own series that I happened to catch.
- RoboCop: Corporations are now more powerful than governments.
- Starship Troopers: People need a license to have kids.
- Dredd: There’s a drug that once taken causes people to experience life in slow-motion.
- Gattaca: A person from the lower-class is trying to break into the upperclass by hiding his identity. Also, blood is drawn by an automated finger prick to determine one’s identity.
- Running Man: Kids and teens are indoctrinated to join corporate armies/security forces.
- Johnny Mnemonic: There are corporate assassins.
- Elysium: Because of climate change, the slums of cities now resemble desert wastelands.
- Aliens: The ties businessmen wear have changed and are futuristic/odd looking.
- Minority Report: Computer displays are now so advanced that they’re everywhere and nothing looks like screens anymore. Also, cars and now driverless to the point that passengers no longer face looking forward, they now look at one and other in order to better converse.
So, rather than watch Incorporated I’d recommend checking out the movies that the series took from instead.
The Expanse season 2 TV spot
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 trailer
- Lost Minis Wiki: Lost Minis Wiki is a non-profit site dedicated to identifying, photographing and documenting fantasy miniatures.
The Reading List
- Alien 3: I Was There!
- ‘Rogue One’ Writer Tony Gilroy to Make Millions Off Reshoots
- MGM Sues ‘Buckaroo Banzai’ Writer and Director Over Right to Make New TV Series
On the Horizon
Last week I completed and turned in my last article of 2016 — “The Best TV Series of 2016” which will be published on December 16 via this site and The Fort Wayne Reader. I always start off each year thinking, “How in the heck am I ever going to think of enough things to write about this year?” Yet somehow I always do. I’ve already started mapping out dates and things to write for next year and am coming up with things to write about throughout the year. Since we seem to be getting more and more horror, sci-fi and comic book TV series and movies each year it means that I’ve already got more than half of my 2017 articles already planned out throughout the year. Which does concern me a bit since if I’m already planning on writing about things like the upcoming Power Rangers, Mummy and IT movies, am I making it so that I’m less flexible on what I can and can’t write about if something interesting comes out of nowhere? I think probably not since just because I’m planning on writing about something, doesn’t mean that I’ve actually written it, so I suppose I do have a bit of flexibility that way. And I remember a time too when I had to come up with alternate article ideas like “Disaster Du Jour” to be able to write about things when I couldn’t think of anything to write about. Now the problem’s almost that I have too many options and not enough weeks!
This week in pop-culture history
- 1952: Michael Dorn, Worf of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine is born
- 1979: Star Trek: The Motion Picture opens in theaters
- 1984: 2010 is released in theaters
- 1989: The last episode of the classic Doctor Who (the original series) airs
- 2003: The TV mini-series Battlestar Galactica debuts
- 2011: The first episode of Black Mirror airs
- 2013: Oblivion debuts in theaters