Five of the most underrated TV performances of 2017

Some television accolades have already been handed out for 2017 and more are coming soon, but some of the best performances of the year are the ones overlooked by major award ceremonies. These were some the best performances of overlooked genres and shows this year:

Iain De Caestecker and Mallory Jansen – “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D”

“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” is one of those rare shows that just keeps improving season after season, the latter half of their fourth season earlier this year being the best it’s ever been. When the agents found themselves thrust into the framework, everyone in the series upped their game, but none more than De Caestecker and Jansen. Jansen played the role of LMD Aida in numerous forms to chilling perfection week after week while De Caestecker completely deconstructed his beloved character Fitz. After three and a half seasons of watching the sweet, brilliant Fitz, De Caestecker made him ruthless and downright scary.


Stephanie Beatriz – “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”

“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” truly has no weak link in its cast, but in its fifth season Beatriz had shined more than anyone. In the latest handful of pre-midseason episodes Beatriz’s character Rosa Diaz came out as bisexual to her co-workers, friends and family. It was written in the most respectful and honest way possible as well as acted with such truth by Beatriz you couldn’t find a fault in the storyline or in her performance. The performance was probably only uplifted by Beatriz’s personal experiences as a bisexual woman herself. It was an important move in much needed representation handled beautifully.


John Cho – “The Exorcist”

“The Exorcist” overall is probably the most overlooked show on television. In its second season they raised the stakes and the quality even higher, most notably with the addition of Cho. Portraying Andy Kim, Cho was given a lot to work with emotionally and physically as the loving and eventually possessed single father and did not miss a single mark. For ten enthralling episodes watching the story of Andy Kim and his family play out was intense and heartbreaking to watch largely because of the incredible work Cho put in. Right down to his final scene of the season, arguably his most beautifully acted scene of the season, you couldn’t take your eyes off of him.


Harry Shum Jr. and Matthew Daddario – “Shadowhunters”

They may not portray the couple that’s considered the main pair of the series, but as far as the fans are largely concerned that’s exactly what they are. And that only became more true in the shows second season. Shum Jr. and Daddario individually portray their characters Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood with honesty and tenacity taking on new leadership roles and even a horrifying body swap. Then when they come together to show their characters romantic relationship it’s some of the best chemistry on television. This season that romantic relationship was put in the forefront and was portrayed by the two with what might be the best healthy, strong romantic development given to any LGBT couple out there.


Rose McIver – “iZombie”

In what is the CW’s most overlooked show, and definitely the most overlooked zombie show ever McIver has managed to portray the shows lead character Liv Moore perfectly season after this season. In the shows third season she brought that perfection up to a new level taking on a much more eclectic array of personalities (most notably a D&D dungeon master) and personal struggles for the character. McIver essentially plays a new character every week, this season she had the added pressure of a wildly game changing overarching storyline for the series and she did it all without fault.



REVIEW: ‘Star Wars The Last Jedi’ takes some gambles and most pay off

 To keep this spoiler free this is gonna be kept short.

After 2016’s “The Force Awakens” the Star Wars saga could have been in for a similar round of films to the original trilogy and while that’s not a bad thing it would have felt a little predictable. That however is not the case with “The Last Jedi.” Director Rian Johnson has created a unique, different film that still feels like it truly belongs in the universe but has its own edge.

“The Last Jedi” sets up twists, a bit of humor that fall flat at first but picks up quickly and new characters and expansions upon the universe that builds more of the world Star Wars takes place in.

Performance wise new characters especially take the spotlight, Laura Dern is a standout as the new vice admiral in command that makes unexpected choices with that brilliant Dern style of acting she does. Kelly Marie Tran’s Rose is a delightful and important for diversity addition to the world.

Carrie Fisher’s last time as Leia Organa is just as perfect as Leia always is. While what their plans are to do with her character for the next film aren’t yet decided one thing is for sure: her presence in the Star Wars saga will be deeply missed.

Returning characters Poe and Rey both shine. Oscar Isaac was a bit underused in the first film, but this time around that was not the case. Poe became a more fully formed character who’s both a leader and a fun, ever so slightly cocky pilot. Daisy Ridley continues to embrace the role of Rey showing her as both strong and a bit naïve to the world she’s found herself in. The only returning character that continues to be a little underwhelming is Kylo Ren. Adam Driver is just very difficult to take seriously as a vicious villain when he doesn’t have the mask on, but everyone around him makes up for it.

And of course there’s Mark Hamill, this time getting to do more than stand on a cliff. He brings back the Luke Skywalker we all loved, but changed enough due to his time cut off from everyone he knows. He’s the same Luke, but hardened by his choices and regret.

Overall “The Last Jedi” is an excellent addition to the ongoing Star Wars saga setting up a nice plot for episode nine and not at all feeling like the two and half hour run time it boasts.

Golden Globes nominations: snubs, surprises and when will they figure out what a comedy is?

This morning the 2018 Golden Globes nominations were officially announced. A lot of things were to be expected, such as “Call Me by Your Name” earning its share of nominations. But of course like every year there are plenty of snubs, shocks and the biggest question of all concerning the Golden Globes, why can’t they figure out what a comedy is?

The biggest snubs come in the form of directors, with Jordan Peele and Greta Gerwig being the most blatant missing nominees. “The Big Sick” being entirely absent on every level is also a huge movie snub you can’t overlook.

Surprises aren’t as many but “Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri” making the number of nominations it did definitely comes as a surprise. And in the television arena Kevin Bacon being nominated for his series is honestly flabbergasting.

And of course then there’s the comedy category in movies which gets more hilarious in terms of what’s considered a ‘comedy’ and less funny in terms of the actual comedy in the films. This year only one of the movies in the category can even truly be categorized as musical or comedy, that’s “The Greatest Showman.” You definitely weren’t laughing during “Get Out.”

While the fact of the matter is that these films end up submitting themselves in the comedy category because they know the drama category will be filled, it’s still ridiculous. The easy solution would seemingly be to expand the drama category because what’s bothersome about non-comedies being nominated isn’t that these films don’t deserve recognition it’s that actual brilliant comedies never even stand a chance of being nominated. This year an ideal actual musical or comedy category would include the brilliance of “The Big Sick” and the hilarity of “Girls Trip.” Instead movies that might have a couple jokes get nominated because they won’t likely make the drama cut leaving actual comedy out in the cold.

Overall the nominations aren’t all that surprising, nor undeserving, but at some point the Golden Globes really need to be willing to expand the number in their film categories.

REVIEW: ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ is a wild, fun and unique ride

Spoilers Ahead….

The god of thunder is back for his third solo run and better than ever before. “Thor: Ragnarok” achieves what the most recent solo films haven’t, managing to be both fun and action packed while being wholly focused on the individuals name that’s in the title.

Thor films have often been my personal favorite for the simple fact that they’re set apart and there’s little chance of me having to see Tony Stark or any other random Avenger for no reason. I just get to enjoy a godly adventure where Thor actually gets to develop as an individual throughout the films. And while there were a couple other’s in this one that was still absolutely the case this time around (though I could have done without the Strange cameo).

With the apocalypse looming Thor sets out to save his people and Chris Hemsworth gets to embrace this character for what will likely be the last time in his own film. Hemsworth is funny, a thing more people need to realize, and while previous movies have only somewhat capitalized on that fact director Taika Waititi ran with it brilliantly. The humor, not just from Hemsworth, isn’t constant but it’s there and it’s always funny.

One of the funniest parts being the sibling banter that’s always been delightful between Thor and Loki. Tom Hiddleston has been playing the conniving Loki for a while now and this film did something unexpected: it let his character grow. Whereas the last film duped growth, this one actually showed him being more than just a trickster; it let him be the man that Thor believes him to be.

The women of this film however are the ones that truly steal every scene. Cate Blanchett is devilishly divine as Hela, not only looking like a conqueror but sounding and carrying herself like a true evil threat. Tessa Thompson is fantastic as Valkyrie, she’s fun, she’s badass and she manages to outshine every man in this film with ease simply through the way she commands the screen.

Waititi directed this movie in inventive ways that made it stand out from the other Marvel films in tone. He used the fact that these characters are in other realms with fantastical things to his advantage, giving the film a slightly wild look that visually appealed. Waititi also managed to be a scene stealer playing the delightful revolutionary Korg.

Other bits you have to love: seeing the warriors three even if they all die immediately, Idris Elba being the ultimate kind badass Heimdall who frankly should be ruling the Asgardians, Anthony Hopkins final bow as Odin, Jeff Goldblum being just delightfully Goldblum and the surprisingly well done use of Hulk/Bruce Banner.

Overall Thor movies just keep getting better. Some people will probably hate this one, they’ll say it’s too funny or the use of music should be kept to “Guardians of the Galaxy” films but that’s what makes the one so great. Every Thor film feels like a unique experience and this one might be the most unique film in Marvel’s entire universe.

I look forward to seeing Thor, now all ultra-powered to the point that he’s rendered all the other Avengers practically useless and one eyed, again. It’s a shame this is likely the last Hemsworth led Thor film but if it is the last they truly went out of the highest of high notes.

Ranking ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s’ Halloween heists

In a world where not enough comedies tackle a Halloween themed episode every season, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” never disappoints in its annual Halloween Heist episodes. Episodes that if you’re not one for parties and too old for trick-or-treating are perfect for a fun Halloween binge. Each season, the heist competition amongst the members of the 99th precinct gets more outlandish, competitive and hilarious. Not one of the episodes are bad in any way truly, but which one is the best?


5 – Halloween – Season 1

The first Halloween Heist sets the tone for all future heist’s to come. Jake’s insistant to prove that he is an amazing detective/ genius by stealing Holt’s medal of valor. Unlike some future Halloween Heist’s there are actually multiple storylines going on within the episode, Terry is determined to learn more personal information about Rosa and Charles tries to show Amy that Halloween isn’t so bad. Looking back now Jake falling through Holt’s ceiling is so tame compared to the future lengths they go to for victory.

Best Line: “Look, Jake I love you like one of my daughters.” – Terry, attempting to let Jake down easy.

Episode Highlight: Charles Mario Batali costume definitely makes you laugh every time you see it and Jake’s sad attempt to flush Holt out of his office by sticking pigeons in the ducts is absolutely ridiculous.


4- Halloween III – Season 3

In what they claim to be the final heist, Holt and Jake up the stakes once again picking teams but leaving Amy out of it thinking she’s a liability on both sides. Roaches, Terry’s twin girls, a complete ‘failure’ in the vents, and an ironic foreshadowing almost proposal are all used as distractions. Amy is the real hero of the episode though completely playing everyone in her meticulous way the entire time.

Best Line: “If I die turn my tweets into a book!” – Gina, screaming her dying request.

Episode Highlight: The cold open for Charles is hilarious and every single time that someone yells at Amy’s boobs because they think she’s hiding a camera in her cleavage.


3- Halloween II – Season 2

Jake ups the ante in the second heist by challenging himself to steal the watch off of Holt’s wrist. He enlists an actual criminal to help which goes awry when the criminal does what criminals do and actually runs off with watch. Of course it’s all a part of Holt’s plan when he claims the victory this time around since he’s been planning it all for a year. Meanwhile, Terry is forced to reprimand Gina who claims she has more important things to do than her job which leads to him being a dancer with her.

Best Line: “Look, I can’t help it if my life is literally a ‘Step Up’ movie.” – Gina, speaking the truth.

Episode Highlight: Terry and Gina’s winning, unforgettable dance number that closes the episode is everything.


2- HalloVeen – Season 5

In the shows latest Halloween Heist Charles, Rosa and Terry band together to form ‘The Tramps,’ Cheddar is replaced by an imposter, Terry may have radiation poisoning from tracking devices, Hitchcock and Scully as usual have no clue what’s going on, Fake Charles returns to play a Gina in wolves clothing and Jake seems more determined than ever before to be the champion. His reason behind needing to win? It’s all a part of his grand marriage proposal to Amy.

Best Line: “This bitch? Please!” – Holt, in reference to fake Cheddar.

Episode Highlight: While there are endless funny moments, the honor has to go to the proposal scene. It’s sweet, funny and a little bit weird just like Jake and Amy. Though Holt being in Jake and Amy’s bedroom and having already eaten their breakfast is pretty damn great too.


1 – Halloween IV – Season 4

Tired of the squad only fighting for who the greatest detective is Gina plans the ultimate coup. Just as every year before the stakes get higher and higher. Three separate announcements for the heist occur, Terry believes that heists are dumb, Cheddar becomes a great accomplice, a fake Charles is brought into the game and Holt steals Jake’s closest and greatest weapon Charles. But nothing can stop Gina’s secret plan after she fakes a dental emergency. It’s tough to choose between the latest heist and this fourth one, but it’s all so outlandish and never endingly hilarious the fourth heist has to be the finest.

Best Line: “I will split you both open from mouth to anus and wear you as jackets.” – Holt, said so beautifully deadpanned.

Episode Highlight: Holt breaking through that glass window like a wild animal to stop Jake is so unexpected and hilarious and you can’t deny when Holt whispers ‘yes, pork chop, yes’ to Charles.

Other notable Halloween episodes to watch this October 31st:

  • “Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s” – ‘Halloween’ and ‘Fear Itself
  • “Parks and Recreation” – ‘Greg Pikitis’ and ‘Meet n’ Greet’
  • “Boy Meet’s Word” – ‘And Then There was Shawn’
  • “Friends” – ‘The One with the Halloween Party’

Tips to surviving the long ‘Shadowhunters’ hiatus

When your favorite show announces its return date you get excited, but when that date is a lot later than you expected you have to brace yourself. We ‘Shadowhunters’ fans are right there as we speak. While an April return date means that there’s likely to be little to no break between season halves it’s still one hell of a wait. So if the show is your #1, your absolute TV obsession that long 20+ week wait is going to get rough, trust me I know cause I’m right there with you. The break between season 1 & 2 was tough, but we survived so here’s a few tips on how to get through this long hiatus.

  1. Do a rewatch

Unlike the nine month break in between the first two seasons we’ve got a full 33 episodes to keep us busy this time. Now if you start you’re rewatch now there’s not quite enough for a weekly viewing, but instead you could watch a couple episodes a week or go crazy and binge watch it numerous times. Or be like me and get into a great space where you need to just rewatch every Malec scene for fun.

  1. Channel that obsession into something else for a while

It’s not easy to love a show as much as you love your favorite, but there’s usually something out there to ease it a bit. Personally I followed my love of John Cho into “The Exorcist” and found myself unexpectedly attached to everything about it.

  1. Check out other work the actors have done

While a lot of our cast don’t have a ton of previous work to re-visit, Harry Shum Jr. has done some great short films that can be found on YouTube, some film roles you can catch on Netflix and the fantastic web series “Single By 30.” There’s also “Glee” but you’ve probably already suffered through that. Isaiah Mustafa had a fun guest episode on the series “Chuck” back in the day and while they may not be the best movies ever made you can find a number of Matthew Daddario’s early roles out there as well.

  1. Venture into fanfic

It’s a bit of a scary world; I know personally I didn’t jump into until my obsession with Magnus and Alec become ridiculously high. It can be tough to find fic that characterizes well, but there are some excellent long term reads out there to be found that can help ease a hiatus just a bit.

  1. Look for similar shows to tide you over

We live in an era of ridiculous amounts of TV and tons of supernaturally inclined TV shows, my personal recommendations that give you “Shadowhunters” esque vibes: “The Magicians,” “The Shannara Chronicles” and “The Originals.”

“Shadowhunters” returns for its third season on April 3rd, 2018.

‘The Exorcist’ is must see Fall TV for horror fans and non-horror fans alike

While many first think of “American Horror Story” when they think of a great current horror series, the best horror show to be found is actually quietly airing every Friday night on network television.

“The Exorcist,” based off the film and book of the same name, is providing some of the best horror content television has ever had yet only seems to have the attention of a small but dedicated fanbase.

Centered on excommunicated priest Father Marcus Keane (Ben Daniels) and his protégé come best friend (and some other subtext we won’t get into) Father Tomas Ortega (Alfonso Herrera), the Fox series isn’t held back in any way by the censorship of a 9 o’clock network timeslot. Much in the way that any great horror film gives you glimpses of fear and provides a false sense of security early on the series does the same with its first few episodes. And then all glorious horror hell breaks loose.

Personally I found my way into the series in its second season when it was announced John Cho was joining the cast as Andy Kim, I’d watch anything Cho is in, but after the first episode I found myself so enthralled with the entire plot and the core priests that I went back and binged the first season before episode two had even aired.

The beauty of it is that I chose to watch season one but really didn’t have to, jumping into season two was as easy as paying attention to the ‘last season on’ opener. However, the content was so good, so smartly scary that I wanted to go back and see if for myself anyway.

While the first season heavily used character and reference from the book and film, season two has breached all new territory. They’ve introduced us to more twists and deception within the Vatican and a new diverse family who’s become befallen to a whole different kind of evil.

It’s scary, gory and well written. As the first season focused on mostly one major plotline, season two is slowly bringing our characters together in interesting and subtle ways that make you pay full attention to every detail. The characters are written in such a way that you want them all to be okay, even though you know they’re probably not going to be. You root for Marcus and Tomas at every turn, you fall in love with Andy and his foster kids instantly and god do you ever hope Father Bennet makes it out of Rome alive.

It does horror the way it should be done. It’s scary, but thought provoking and it does something that not enough modern horror does in my opinion: it doesn’t show all and pour everything in blood. Sure there’s blood and gore, but the series doesn’t rely on the gross factor to be the thing that scares you. The fear comes from the quieter moments, the whispers and the subtleties. It’s scary in the way that it feels real, not some unimaginable spewing of guts. Admittedly some of that might come from the fact they air on network television, but it’s working for them ridiculously well.

Horror fans should definitely be jumping on this show, and non-horror fans can find a thrill in the characters as well. Season two has really only just begun, so there’s plenty of time to catch up and jump in on this underrated horror gem.

“The Exorcist” airs Friday’s at 9/8c on Fox.