2017: The Revisiting

We here at Gabbing Geek like to look at Geek Entertainment and discuss it in the Geekiest Way possible.  Last year, we put up a “Year of Anticipation” post or two.  True, we didn’t quite get to everything on last year’s list for a variety of reasons, and there will be another for 2018, but how did the stuff we listed for 2017 turn out?

Let’s take a look!

Film

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

Tom says:  This was one controversial movie here at the Gabbing Geek home office, but I thought it had a unique look that really worked for me, explored new corners of the Star Wars universe, and was just a blast as far as I am concerned.

Jimmy says:  I’ve landed in the middle of this (star) war.  I thought it was good but not “a blast”, but I’m not one of the many, many haters out there.  Seriously you guys, let it go…Disney is not going to strike Episode VIII from canon and remake it.

Watson says: I am one of the rare people who didn’t like it for non-fanboy reasons. I am ok (hell I welcome) handing the torch to a new generation. I just thought the film had poor plotting and characterization. Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley were two highlights.

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2

Tom says:  Sequels are tricky, especially for movies that catch you off-guard with a weird, unique feel like the first Guardians of the Galaxy did.  The sequel mostly managed to do right by that feel, giving Star-Lord a chance to meet family he didn’t know he had, and adding some good humor with Baby Groot and Drax, giving the group a new member in Mantis, giving Gamora a chance to bond with family she did know she had, and finally giving a big emotional arc to Rocket Raccoon of all people.  While it may not have been as memorable or unique as the first movie, it certainly was a fun one.

Jimmy says:  It was more of the same from Vol. 1, but more of the same of something so good leaves you satisfied in the end.

Watson says: This one was higher on my list earlier, but fell the more I realized that it was GotG1 but with a good performance by Kurt Russell.

The Fate of the Furious

Tom says:  When 2017 started, I had only ever seen one of these movies and hadn’t cared much for it.  But with help from my good buddies Ryan and Jimmy, I was able to catch up on this fun and exciting series.  Granted, The Fate of the Furious was a bit weaker than a few of the previous movies, at least until the balls-to-the-wall screwiness of the final act, but I’m rather glad to have caught up on this.  Now maybe I can get some folks to help me do the same with the Mission: Impossible movies…

Jimmy says:  I can help you with that Tom.  Hell, it’s in my name.  As for Fate, it was a let down after the tour de force that was the Paul Walker send off in Episode VII.  (Seriously, who would have thought that we’d ever have 8 successful and continuing Fast and Furious movies?)  That said, while it starts off slow, the final act is fantastic.

Thor: Ragnarok

Tom says:  While I never disliked the Thor movies, the Thunder God’s solo adventures were always the most generic-looking movies in the MCU.  Then Marvel hired Taika Waititi to direct the third one, giving it the sort of weird New Zealand feel of the man’s own work, with a bit of throwback to 80s sci-fi and fantasy films, lots of laughs, and a bit of Planet Hulk thrown in for good measure.  It’s a shame that this is probably the last Thor movie if Marvel is sticking to trilogies.  It would be a blast to see Waititi do more with the cosmic stuff.

Jimmy says:  I haven’t got much to add besides what Tom says, because he nailed it.  And writers of Star Wars Episode IX take note, this is how you make a movie funny.  Also, major kudos for the fantastic use of Immigrant Song.

Watson says: The second best surprise of year. Funny, thrilling, and excellent usage of CGI.

The Dark Tower

Tom says:  Here’s a brilliant idea:  take a multi-novel fantasy epic from Stephen King and boil it down to about 90 minutes’ worth of screen time.  Wait, did I say “brilliant”?  I meant “asinine”.  What a dull waste of talent given both Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey were no doubt excellent choices for their respective roles as Last Gunslinger Roland and the Man in Black.

Jimmy says:  If you know nothing about the saga of The Dark Tower, or can someone set all notions of it aside, The Dark Tower is a perfectly cromulent film.  It’s not really great, but it’s not bad.  But if you know Roland’s story at all, this is nothing short of disastrous and probably destroys all the long term plans for sequels and related TV series.

War for the Planet of the Apes

Tom says:  Here was another series I am glad I caught up on.  Though the last act does look a lot like a standard big action showdown all too common in the summertime, the final part of the Apes trilogy tied a neat bow on Caesar’s storyarc, offering an honest and emotional climax in a series that made the viewer feel more for an ape than any human character.  Kudos to Andy Serkis as Caesar, though I could have done with a lot less of Bad Ape.

Jimmy says:  Heading into this year I had not watched any of the newer Ape films.  Which was a big strange seeing I had seen all of the originals and the Burton/Whalberg version.  But I’m also glad I caught up.  Fantastic series.  While I think this final installment was a step down from part two, it was still excellent.

Watson says: Not a bad movie but a huge drop off from Dawn.

Logan

Tom says:  Speaking of conclusions, you’d need something spectacular to have a better superhero movie than Wonder Woman this year, and Logan was it.  Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart may have kicked off the superhero movie craze, and here they say goodbye to their respective characters in a movie that is equal parts Western, character piece, and showing an old man handing the reins off to a younger protege.  And it helps that X-23 kicks some serious ass on her own.

Jimmy says:  What Tom said.  I loved Wonder Woman, but this is still my number one film of the year right now.

Watson says: I always liked the X-films but never cared for the Wolverine standalones. This one changed all that. The best film of the year and a candidate for my all-time top ten.

Blade Runner 2049

Tom says:  The rewatch discussion for the original Blade Runner had myself, Jimmy, and Watson all basically admit we weren’t really fans of that movie.  As such, director Denis Villeneuve took the themes of that movie, refocused the story to make some artificial people the protagonists, and asked the Big Questions that good sci-fi does so well, namely, what it means to be human.  A more-than-worthy follow-up, and a better sequel to the original if you’re like me and didn’t care that much for the original but liked the questions it asked and tried to answer.  This one seems to answer those questions better.

Watson says: A smart movie that deserved a broader audience. Not a fan of the first (confirmed in a Geek rewatch) but this one was excellent.

Kingsman II: The Golden Circle

Tom says:  Apparently, 2017 was the year for me to catch up on stuff so I could see more sequels.  Though not as fun or funky as the original, Kingsman II still had the same over-the-top violence, weird camp, questionable politics, and willingness to take a crap on traditional spy movies that will at the least satisfy fans of the original.

Watson sayA passable follow up to a superior original.

John Wick:  Chapter 2

Tom says:  Picking up more or less exactly where the first chapter ended, John Wick: Chapter 2 expanded the world of John Wick, showing the shadowy society of assassins and criminals that somehow exists below and next to our own.  I saw the first one at home alone on HBO.  I saw this one in a packed Drafthouse full of fans.  I loved the hell of this one.  And Chapter 3 can’t get here fast enough.  I never thought I’d say that about a Keanu Reeves movie…

Jimmy says:  I’m not as high on this as Tom, but it was still quite good.

Watson says: This is my guilty pleasure series.

Wonder Woman

Tom says:    Let’s face it:  no one really expected this movie to be as good as it was after Batsoup and Suicide Squad.  But a highly engaging performance by Gal Gadot anchored a movie that reminded me a good deal of Christopher Reeve’s first turn as Superman.  Wonder Woman comes to Man’s World, learns to be a little less naive, and becomes a real hero in the process.  About the only real weakness is an ultimately forgettable villain, but Ares was almost beside the point in the end.

Jimmy says:  Good point, Tom.  Wonder Woman was sensational, though the final big fight scene almost felt like the studio said “we need this, it is a super hero movie”.

Watson says: This top surprise of the year. Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman is the modern day Indiana Jones.

Justice League

Tom says:  This may be the 2017 movie that divided the Gabbing Geek office the most.  I don’t think any of us outright hated it, but there were degrees of affection for it ranging from adulation to “meh”.  I know I dug it for the most part, even if the movie doesn’t exactly pass the fridge test (do you realize after seeing it while getting a snack from the fridge that parts of it don’t make much sense, i.e. Bruce Wayne’s beard?).  Gadot and Affleck were fine, Momoa looks like he’ll be fine in 2018, Jenny might have changed her mind on Ezra Miller, and Henry Cavil was finally allowed to play a character that acted like Superman.  Budgets and advertising may make a sequel unlikely given box officer performance, but after 2016, it was not a bad year for the DCEU.

Jimmy says:  I think heading up to the release of Justice League, I was the only one in the office that had hope and was willing to give this film a chance.  Ironically, I think I was the one who liked it the least.  Ok, maybe that honor belongs to Ryan.  This film just had so many issues.  It’s not a trainwreck, but like most things DCEU, it could have been so much better.

Watson says: I loved it and all you haters can suck it. DC fanboy for life!

Power Rangers

Tom says:  So, this is a movie that exists.  I think Watson saw it.

Alien: Covenant

Tom says:  I’m no Alien superfan (that’s Jimmy), but this was OK.  It was at least a step up from Prometheus.  Still had far too many dumb people getting picked off by a xenomorph or two, but the dark ending suggests we’re not done with these things yet for better or for worse.

Jimmy says: Yes, I’m a big Alien fan.  I thought this was an ok sci-fi thriller, even if it couldn’t decide what it wanted to be.

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Tom says:  We got a fun Spider-Man back in the MCU with a real compelling bad guy.  Then again, the Spider-Man movies tended to do better by the bad guys anyway.  Sure, Sony is building a Spider-based cinematic universe without Spidey, but at least this Spidey can play with Iron Man and not be obnoxious about it.

Jimmy says:  Yes, I’m a big Spider-Man fan.  Surprisingly, there were others here that I think liked it more than me, but I still have it ranked pretty high on the year.  And how awesome was Michael Keaton as the Vulture?  A villain I never thought would have worked on screen.

Watson says: It was good but had one hyphen too many in the title.

Kong: Skull Island

Tom says:  Skull Island was, in many ways, not an overly remarkable movie.  It was a standard giant monster movie with a big ape smashing things.  Sure, there was a great cast in the center of it, but the thing that stood out to me most and that lifted the movie at all above a run-of-the-mill giant monster movie was the Vietnam time period and allegory.

Jimmy says:  What Tom says.

Watson says: This movie gets better and better the more I see it or think about it. A film that doesn’t take itself seriously but doesn’t require you to check your sensibilities at the door.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Tom says:  Based on a globally popular series of sci-fi graphic novels, this movie was a bit of a snore.  Plus, Valerian’s attempts to seduce his partner/underling doesn’t play well in the #metoo era.  Not the worst movie I saw this year, but certainly the most underwhelming in many ways.

Jumanji

Tom says:  This wasn’t bad.  Hardly a classic, but the original wasn’t either, and the cast buoys a so-so script, leading to a decent time at the movies.  I actually saw this twice when I took my nephew out for a birthday treat and liked it more the second time.

Watson says: Similar to Skull Island. Fun but not calculus.

Cars 3

Tom says:  There’s an audience for these movies, but most of them tend to be about 30 years younger than me.  The one Pixar franchise I will skip without regret.

Coco

Tom says:  A movie vibrant with color and Mexican culture, Coco may not have been as good as, say, Inside Out, but it was still a fun and touching movie, like most of Pixar’s better movies.  Though I could have done without the overly long Frozen short.

Despicable Me 3

Jimmy says:  I don’t see a lot of kids movies because I don’t have kids.  But the Ms. and I tend to take our niece and nephew to see these DM movies and I generally enjoy them.  This one was no exception.

Lego Batman

Tom says:  Spinning off from the successful Lego Movie is this, a tribute to all things and all eras of Batman.  Batman fans will get an extra special treat.  Gabbing Geek staff will get an extra special treat asking Watson about the Ninjago movie and seeing how long it takes him to stop twitching.

Jimmy says:  I can’t believe I haven’t seen this yet…

IT

Tom says:  Hey, a good Stephen King adaptation also came out this year!  Well, half an adaptation.  Going with only the kid-portion of King’s magnum opus and resetting it from the 50s to the 80s, this creepy movie may be a horror classic in the making, with an off-putting and inhuman thing that mostly looks like a clown as much as possible.  And you know, I felt like cheering when the Stranger Things kid grabbed that baseball bat.  Here’s hoping the promised Chapter 2 can conclude things just as well as Chapter 1 set them up.

Watson says: Grabbing the back of Jenny’s neck during a creepy part was worth all the punches.

Great Wall

Tom says:  Three words:  Matt Damon’s accent.

Seriously, did he lose a bet and that was why he made this movie?

Watson says: Yes he did, Tom.

Pirates of the Caribbean:  Dead Men Tell No Tales

Tom says:  If you’ve seen one of these, you’ve seen all of them.  If you like the Pirates franchise, this will work out just fine.  If you don’t, don’t bother.

Jimmy says:  On par with the last one, and way better than parts two or three…but that doesn’t make it all that good.

Transformers:  The Last Knight

Tom says:  Take everything I just said about the Pirates movie above, swap out “Pirates” for “Transformers,” and that’s all you really need to know.

Jimmy says:  This is the first Transformers movie I haven’t seen.  I’ve had issues with them outside of the first one (similar to Pirates), but the last one was so painful, I’ve been turned off from watching any more of them.

Watson says: Humanity is the real loser.

Beauty and the Beast

Tom says:  I don’t have kids and was a little too old for this one when it first came out as a cartoon, so I’ve never seen the original.  This was fine, all things being equal, though I don’t know why they needed Dan Stevens considering any bland-looking handsome guy would do for the handful of scenes where he’s human.

Jimmy says:  Basically what Tom said, but even less so.  I haven’t seen the original and I don’t know who Dan Stevens is.  I’m not a fan of musicals and the most enjoyment I got out of this was the songs I “knew” because of The Simpsons.  On a side note, Ms. Impossible LOVED it.

Watson says: A really nice film that will lead a live action version of EVERY 90s Disney musical.

Ghost in the Shell

Tom says:  This movie sure did capture the look of an anime film, but that’s about all I would say.  Stick to the original if you care to see this story done at all, and the original ain’t bad.

Jimmy says:  Have to agree with Tom here.  I’m not a big anime fan, but this film does nothing to capture the spirit of the original.

Dunkirk

Tom says:  Christopher Nolan had a dream project, and this was it.  Playing around with time and space, Nolan tells three stories over three different periods of time about the evacuation of Dunkirk.  This isn’t really a military triumph by any stretch, and Nolan hammers that home with the last few lines of the movie, Churchill’s famous speech on where the English will be fighting the Germans, by putting the words in the mouth of a scared solider who barely survived the evacuation.  Churchill could talk a good game, but it was young men like the soldier who would be following through on those promises.

Watson says: Smart movie but I’m frustrated that it’s existence cost us a Nolan-like Nolan movie. I’m selfish that way.

Silence

Tom says:  Martin Scorsese’s meditation on faith in the face of a silent God while the faithful suffer torments as a punishment for being the wrong religion.  I loved it.  Ryan hated it.  Draw your own conclusions.

Watson says: This was released in 2016. Boooooo….

Tom adds:  Not in my neck of the woods, it wasn’t.

Atomic Blonde

Tom says:  Based off a graphic novel titled The Coldest City, Charlize Theron is back to kicking ass in this 80s punk German aesthetic spy story about the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin Wall.  The trailer made it look more of an action film than it was, but what action it did have was spectacular.

Watson says: A spiritual cousin to the John Wick series.

I Am Not Your Negro

Tom says:  This is one of those sobering documentaries designed to make you wonder how far race relations in the United States have actually gone as images of both modern and Civil Rights Movement era scenes flash onscreen while Samuel L. Jackson narrates all the work writer James Baldwin managed to finish for a work on the lives and deaths of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and Medgar Evers.  This is not a movie to make you feel good, nor should it be.

xXx: The Return of Xander Cage

Jimmy says:  Since Tom never commented, I guess neither of us saw this sequel that no one asked for.

Resident Evil:  The Final Chapter

Jimmy says:  As predicted, I still haven’t seen this yet.  Though I still want to and will at some point.  I’m a bad Resident Evil fan.

 

The Girl With All The Gifts

Jimmy says:  I reviewed this earlier in the year and thought it was quite good.  I understand it not catching on with a wider audience, but you’ll probably like it if you liked the book.

Watson says: Good early film, but fell on my list as better contenders debuted.

The Mummy

Tom says:  Is it too much to ask that the old Universal monsters be used for horror movies and not some sort of superhero-ish action films?  This one was about as bland as they come.  The Dark Universe may be (un)dead before it even started.

Watson says: Let’s hope…

Television

Watson Note: This is where I leave you…

Star Trek Discovery

Tom says:  I may not be the biggest Star Trek  fan out there, but I suspect I would have liked this show.  The one episode that CBS aired (half of the pilot!) was fine with an interesting set-up of making the main character the ship’s first officer instead of the captain and giving the great Doug Jones a nice role as an alien whose race can sense when they could die in order to avoid danger.  But I’m not paying extra for a streaming service for one show, so I have to go on Jimmy Imposssible’s word for it how the rest of that pilot turned out.

Jimmy says:  I’d be curious what Tom thinks of the rest of the season if he ever gets a chance to see it.  I’ve had a few problems with it, and I’m not sure if I will continue on come 2018.

Iron Fist

Tom says:  Well, thus endeth the Netflix Hot Streak Marvel had going there.  There were, like, two or three moments in the entire 13 episode run I liked, but seeing as how Finn Jones didn’t seem to know nearly as much about the martial arts as the script said he did, the characters were dumb, and the subplots boring, I don’t know what else to say aside from it reminded me of the last show I watched from showrunner Scott Buck.  That’d be the last few seasons of Dexter, which I never did finish due to being far too stupid.  At least we got a good Colleen Wing out of this, and Buck isn’t responsible for season two.

Jimmy says:  The only thing I have to add to that is that Ryan loved it.  And Ryan also loves Krull.

Inhumans

Tom says:  I didn’t watch one second of this because the aforementioned Scott Buck was in charge of it, and quite frankly, I don’t see much appeal to the Inhumans as it is.  They are not a Thing, though Marvel keeps trying to make them a Thing.  Maybe with what looks like the return of the X-Men to Marvel Studios will get us some cool mutants in the MCU and less stodgy royalty with bad wigs.

Jimmy says:  What Tom says.  Thank the Gods Marvel has the mutants back and they can stop pushing Inhumans down our throats.

Curb Your Enthusiasm

Tom says:  True confession time:  I am way behind on this show.  But Larry David’s particular brand of cringe comedy is always welcome whenever he feels like making more of it, so I am sure this worked out fine for Curb fans.

Jimmy says:  I love this show…but somehow have not watched an episode of the current season yet…

The Arrowverse

Tom says:  The Arrowverse, named for the first series in this interconnected, live-action TV universe of DC Comics-based shows, is just a lot of fun.  2017 saw a bit of an uptick, especially with the current seasons.  Supergirl is introducing the Legion of Super-Heroes.  The Flash got his first non-speedster Big Bad and introduced the Elongated Man.  Arrow is largely done it’s flashback structure and got the creepy Michael Emerson as a Big Bad.  And Legends of Tomorrow continues to churn out fun, lighthearted adventures with a show whose roster was designed to have change over, dumping more problematic characters in favor of more charming ones, and then tossing time travel into the mix.  Plus, the shows somehow manage to top themselves with the crossovers most years, and this year’s mini-series style Crisis on Earth-X went all-out with evil versions of the good guys and lots of Nazis.  You can’t go wrong when you let your heroes beat up Nazis.  It’s a great antidote for anyone who finds the DCEU too dark.

Stranger Things 

Tom says:  Stranger Things was a surprise hit for Netflix, and it was a good show to boot.  Could the series get lightning in a bottle the second time with its 80s look and feel?  Mostly.  A distracting episode in the middle of a tense storyline with almost none of the many characters the show had built up didn’t feel quite right, but otherwise, Stranger Things continues to keep the good times rolling.

Jimmy says:  While some like Ryan and Jenny think this is as good or better than season one, I thought it was a bit of a let down.  Not bad by any stretch, but if season one was 10/10, this was 8/10.  It just never clicks the way the first season did in terms of story and the interactions of the cast.  And for better or worse the nostalgia factor is completely lost (I thought anyway) this go round.  Whereas season one felt like you literally found this show among a stack of 80’s VHS tapes, season two felt more modern.

Game of Thrones

Tom says:  Despite many who felt season seven was too rushed and the timeline didn’t quite work out, I would say Game of Thrones continues to be one of the best shows on television.  Besides, my good pal Jimmy is finally catching up on this one, and there’s something to be said about watching a friend discover something you love.  While the show may be turning more into a generic fantasy story at this point, it’s still a blast of dragonfire with the right twists and turns when it needs it.

Jimmy says:  *closing my eyes…I’m only on season four…*

The Defenders

Tom says:  Most of the Marvel Netflix crew meet up to finally deal with the Hand once and for all.  Good for them, mostly because I am rather tired of the Hand.  They weren’t the most of compelling of TV villains when you compare them to the likes of the Kingpin, Purple Man, or even Cottonmouth.  I’m hoping we don’t see the Hand again for a while if ever.  A shortened season and just about everyone telling Iron Fist what an idiot he was really helped this one out.

Jimmy says:  I’ll emphasize that last line as they were big selling points to me.  I wish all the Marvel/Netflix shows would move to 8 episodes from 13.  And I haven’t finished Punisher yet, so I’ll skip the next write up…

The Punisher

Tom says:  I can honestly say I didn’t see this one coming.  Jon Bernthal’s Frank Castle was easily the best part of season two of Daredevil, but it would be so easy to screw this character up by just making him some guy killing criminals in creative ways.  Instead, we got a real human being in a lot of emotional pain, a show where the Punisher of all people was more interested in saving innocent lives than gunning down criminals.  This was a show about the effects of violence, and not just the physical ones.  Easily the best MCU show on Netflix this past year, and up there in quality for the MCU shows on Netflix in general with the likes of Jessica Jones and season one of Daredevil.

House of Cards

Tom says:  When I started my daily TV viewing and reviewing project, I thought Vikings was the weakest show and I would give it up eventually.  Now I actually greatly enjoy Vikings and have long grown tired of House of Cards political ridiculousness.  Even before Kevin Spacey was revealed to be a dirtbag, I was seriously considering giving this one up when season six came around because I was, quite frankly, tired of the Underwoods.  Seeing as how the show was built around Spacey, I don’t know what I will do for the shortened season six without him, but I think it speaks volumes when the British version, done 20 years ago, told the same story in less episodes than a single season of the American one, with a fraction of the budget, and probably did a better overall job.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Tom says:  Every spring, Ryan bemoans the fact that he thinks Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is just sooooo awesome but the ratings aren’t that good and it might get canceled.  Then it gets renewed again.  I’ve never been that interested in the show after watching season one and a bit here and there of season two.  I know they went all-in on the Inhumans (which aren’t a Thing) and this past season gave us Ghost Rider and the LDMs, but I never bothered.  Besides, Ryan loves Krull, so I always take his endorsements with a grain of salt.

Jimmy says:  I know you wrote that like a month before I did, but that’s my Krull  joke!  Anyway, I haven’t watched this in a long time either.  Not since…they went all-in on the Inhumans.  ZZzzzz.  Maybe I will get back to it.  Ryan still claims it is awesome.

Sherlock

Tom says:  What was (probably) the final season of the modernized Sherlock Holmes came and went with its usual three 90-minute episodes, and it at least ended with a controversial note by giving Sherlock a long-lost sister he never remembered existed, and then had him match wits with the character.  It was a bit convoluted, and the ending suggested the whole series was really about cementing the partnership of Holmes and Watson.  That’s fine, but the only reason we won’t be getting much more is due to both Cumberbatch and Freeman having film careers now.

Jimmy says:  The finale was a hot mess that Ryan loved.  But Ryan loves Krull, so…But it’s unfortunate if this is the end of the road for such a great show.

The Young Pope

Tom says:  This may be one of the most visually exciting TV shows of the past year, a joint Italian and British production that aired on HBO in the States about a (relatively) young man elected to the Papacy.  The show is mostly a character study, both symbolically and dramatically, of the Pope that gradually revealed what kind of man he is and what kind of pope he will be.  This is the kind of show the Netflix House of Cards  wishes it was.

American Gods

Tom says:  In terms of aesthetics, the biggest rival to The Young Pope this past year was clearly American Gods.  Beyond that, the stories could not hope to be more different.  Part road trip and part mythology lesson, American Gods postulates a world where the entities people believe in really exist, and how much worship/attention they get determines their power.  The short season had a lot of awesome casting, led off by Ian McShane as Odin/Wednesday.  We’ll see how season two turns out given the recent behind-the-scenes drama.

Ash vs. Evil Dead

Tom says:  OK, I only just started this show, and I haven’t gotten to season two yet, but c’mon, it’s Bruce Campbell fighting the forces of evil.  Of course it’s fun!

Jimmy says:  I really need to get back to watching this groovy show.

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Tom says:  Though I have never read the books the series is based on, the clever word play and an engaging Neil Patrick Harris, along with a lot of familiar faces in guest starring roles, made for a fun, family-friendly series that, we are told repeatedly, does not have a happy ending.  Lots of good visual gags to boot.

Handmaid’s Tale

Tom says:  A harrowing, well-done adaptation of the Margaret Atwood dystopian novel of the same name, this one may hit too close to home depending on your personal politics, but like all good sci-fi premises holds up a mirror to our society and asks us to consider where we might be going in this feminist view of the world and how it can treat women.

 

Legion

Tom says:  How do you portray the world to a mutant telepath with what may be schizophrenia?  That’s what this wonderfully bizarre series attempted to do, where series creator Noah Hawley took the illegitimate son of Professor X and built a series around him.  There are no slouches in this show, more representational than anything else (there are few big superpowered battles to be seen), but I’ll make special note for Aubrey Plaza’s character…and saying more than that is giving away a lot of the fun.

Voltron:  Legendary Defender

Jimmy says:  Unlike Ryan, I finished season one.  Like Ryan, I haven’t seen any other season.

The Walking Dead

Tom says:  I’ve never really seen anything of this show, but Jimmy Impossible suggested we do a rewatch together as I did for him with Game of Thrones, so who knows what I will be saying by this time next year?

Jimmy says:  Can we just kill Negan already?

iZombie

Tom says:  As much fun as iZombie can be, I have never actually seen a single, solitary one of its season finales.  Don’t ask me why.  I’m always glad to see the show return, and then the final episode of the season will come along and something comes up and I miss it.  Then I never go back and watch it later.  I have no explanation for how that happens.

Jimmy says:  …that makes no sense…

Books

Note:  Last year’s book section didn’t have a lot of books listed in it, and one of them was Winds of Winter, which I only put there on the off-chance it does come out.  But then most of the books I listed last year didn’t come out, so this will be a very short section indeed.

City of Miracles

Tom says:  Finishing out Robert Jackson Bennett’s “Divine Cities” trilogy, we get a focus on Sigurd, the lonely outcast warrior king of a viking-like land.  Bennett goes out with a bang, and there may not be much to do with his original characters, especially as the gods might finally be gone for good.  It was a great series that Watson will never know the joys of.

Comics

Paper Girls

Tom says:  For someone who hates nostalgia and doesn’t care if I ever see another 80s reference in a recent work again, I sure do enjoy a lot of 80s period pieces.  This one here is Brian K. Vaughn’s adventure of four 12 year old girls getting stuck in the middle of some kind of time travelers’ war.  Neither side seems particularly trustworthy, but the focus is really on the four girls and how their individual personalities play off each other and the various different people and places they keep encountering along the way.

Monstress

Tom says:  A great, feminist fantasy series (something like 75% of all the characters seen so far have been female) of a young woman searching for answers about what her dead mother did to her and the evil demi-god thing living inside of her.  This is a series where the great races are humans, divinities, half-breeds, and talking, multi-tailed cats.  Just sit back and enjoy the adventure combined with the gorgeous artwork.

Bitch Planet

Tom says:  There sure was a lot of high quality work last year about women fighting back against more literal patriarchies than exist in the real world where any such patriarchy is more of the metaphorical variety.  This one is set on a prison planet in the future where women are sent for being disagreeable.  But the thing is, when you put a bunch of women with nothing to lose and with a grudge against the patriarchy all in one place, you might just be asking for trouble…

…and you’ll deserve it for putting them there in the first place.

Star Wars comics

Tom says:  I don’t read a lot of licensed books, but I did enjoy the first Darth Vader series Marvel put out.  And then writer Kieron Gillen took the break-out original character from that series, Doctor Aphra, rogue space archaeologist, and spun her off into her own solo series with her merry band of funhouse mirror psychopathic versions of the regular Star Wars characters, and removing the need to keep the continuity between movies means we can see a lot more of the crazy.  It worked.

The Royals  and Black Bolt

Tom says:  Marvel keeps trying with the Inhumans, and my interest is generally nonexistent though they can make for good supporting characters, but I did try the first issue of a solo Black Bolt series.  It had an intriguing premise where the former king of the Inhumans wakes up in a space prison, stripped of his powers, not knowing how he got there or how he can get his deadly voice back.  It did allow him to talk, actually.  I may check that out again at some point in the future.

Video Games

 

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

Jimmy says:  Surprise!  I haven’t played this yet!  I’m a bad Resident Evil fan.

 

Gabbing Geek

Tom says:  Hey, the podcast came back, and there’s bound to be a lot more fun content in 2018, plus Ryan and Watson discussing the box office results for another year, which isn’t fun at all, but we can’t all be doing endless Simpsons  write-ups, now can we?

Jimmy says:  I just wanted to take my hat off here to Tom Kelly.  While the original Geek Trinity get all the accolades, this site would be almost completely dormant without the endless wonderful work Tom does.  Hear hear!  Pip pip!  Cheerios!  And all that.

Say goodbye to 2017, Watson.

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