Category Archives: TV

Super-Preemptive Strike

CBS just released their first trailer for their new DC product, Supergirl.  I have some brief thoughts:

1.  This trailer is SIX minutes long.

2.  WOW that was a harsh strike for Feminism there!  “If you don’t like it, you are sexist and wrong and evil. Want to watch our show now?”  I understand what they are trying to do – get ahead of the genuine sexist nonsense guaranteed to come in wake of this release – but swinging this strongly this early compromises the trailer’s ability to market the show.  I don’t really want to watch this, for numerous reasons…and I should feel bad because of that?

3.  They kept the “it’s not an S” thing….

4.  Is this from Hallmark?  The emotional journey they try to take us on!  I’m all for a trailer being its own work of art, and for trailers telling their own stories.   But this?  This is too much – it feels pandery, trying to appeal to a presumed “Female Market” while showcasing enough action to keep male viewers interested.  It undercuts its effectiveness to all markets and further complicates the gender politics they are navigating.

5.  Despite all of my snark, I really do hope this succeeds.  I don’t care if the show lasts 20 seasons and spawns two movies, but I do want it to show Hollywood that people are willing to support content with female leads.  Happy for once to say DC is beating Marvel to the punch.



It’s Got Me in an Alca-trance ;)

Hey all!  Trying to get back on schedule with the Art of the Trailer and my roommate and good friend Andrew turned me onto this teaser for a new JJ Abrams show coming to Fox. Now I know that this trailer debuted in May and I know that IMDB doesn’t list it coming out until 2013, but I wanted to take a look at this because a friend recommended it, and because I think that this could be the new Lost. That statement may come back to bite me hard so I will get to that shortly.  First things first though, please check out the trailer below and then keep on scrollin’ for my commentary and notes on Alcatraz:

Here is the gist of it:   Prison Break meets Lost.  This the MOST JJ ABRAMS you can get for your money’s worth!!!  It involves mystery, cover ups and conspiracy, time travel, Hurley!  What more can you ask for?!?!

Now, this trailer creates a challenge for me because it is a bit too long for me, but my friend Andrew thought it was perfect.  So then which opinion is correct?  Well I poured over the trailer again and again and this is what I came too:

  • < 0:53 = A really good teaser for the show (which is all I wanted).
  • 0:53 – 1:09 = When we start to get too much. It is still alright but it shows a bit too much.
  • 1:09 – 2:13 = When we see almost all of the pilot, which is far too much.

They do a great job of selling it as the filler for our Lost-shaped hole which is what they needed to do.  I like the simplicity of the premise (that the mass prisoner move from Alcatraz was a coverup) in that it plays perfectly off the “Hidden Knowledge” formula that we all know and love so much.  Honestly it doesn’t matter how or why they disappeared; just how we find out that information, and that is what makes this new genre appealing particularly to Hollywood Executives.

HOWEVER, and this is the BIG however, we all remember what happened with The Event. Most of us got very excited about it’s potential, but were sorely disappointed when the “Event” wasn’t explained in the first episode….or the second…..or at all.  There exists a razor thin line that must be walked between keeping the audience in suspense, releasing just enough, and losing us – either by giving up the mystery too early or by NEVER getting to it. Lost worked because most of us weren’t used to the genre and were willing to tag along for Six miserable seasons to finally start getting some answers.  Not so anymore.  We know what we want and we will kill shows that go too slow.

Very quickly here are two lists of what I think worked and what didn’t.
What they should have held back:

  • Jorge Garcia being in it
  • Set up for the “little black bag” line
  • Graveyard scene

What was good:

  • “Waiting for this for a very long time”
  • “Greatest criminals coming back…don’t exist”
  • Basically anything Sam Neill didd
  • Intro to the mystery
Ultimately I think they did a decent job, particularly as I am now intrigued and want to see the show (whenever it comes out).  My biggest fear though is that it will fall into the JJ Pattern: 1) Start well with interesting characters and good plot, 2) then JJ leaves for the “new toy” and this one slowly drowns itself (see The Event, V, etc).  I am afraid for Fringe right now because we arriving at the departure phase very soon, particularly with the super-shiny toys of Cloverfield 2, Star Trek 2, and MI3: Ghost Protocol looming soon.  Guess we will just have to wait and see…

Overall Rating:  3.5//5

Thanks again to Andrew Pelt for suggesting this one!  Good stuff. Below are some clickouts for other articles on this upcoming show, so check those out!

Next week I am thinking might get a little sad…like really…..MELANCHOLY…….you know………just sayin’…….
So check back next Friday and please check out my review of Assassin’s Creed II on the Soontobeangel blog — Coming next week.  K Bye!

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The Legend of Korra

This week I am trying something new – embedding the trailer I am reviewing in the post itself!  So check out the video below and then keep scrolling for my commentary and thoughts. Enjoy 🙂

My friend Ryan finished Avatar: The Last Airbender recently (the show not the bleep) and he suggested I do my Art of the Trailer review on the new Teaser for Nickelodeon’s upcoming spinoff show The Legend of Korra set to debut next summer.

I’m going to ask you to forgive me because I feel that this is going to turn out to be more of a fan’s analysis of the directions of the show rather than a detailed analysis of the trailer itself.  I think it is pretty obvious that this isn’t the best trailer ever made and I will touch on my thought on it for it’s own sake but I am going to speak a bit more about what I think they are going to be doing in the show.

First, I look at the trailer – though there is not much to do other than look at it.  There is absolutely no sound in the teaser other than a really kick-a score.  And I definitely do have to give it credit there – the score really gets your heart pumping and gets you excited for what this is going to be.  The animation is excellent as usual and we don’t really see much of anything that reveals too much of the plot but I think we get enough to satisfy us.

Now let me get to who “us” is.  Honestly this isn’t a trailer.  What it really is is an announcement for the fans and I want to talk about how that affects this.  Assume there are 3 groups of people in the levels of fandom of Avatar:

  1. The Never-heard-of-it’s
  2. The Sort-of familiar
  3. The Fans

Now for the first group, this honestly has little to no weight.  It would just seem like a well drawn anime that they might check out if they had time, but they wouldn’t be on fire to go see the original show or this new one (ie – trailer uneffective).  The second group is harder to pin because they might have seen some of the show or they might have seen that God-awful thing of Shyamalan’s which puts them in very different levels of interest.  However, this trailer doesn’t seem like it would appeal to either set of them as it lacks the punch to drive one into either finishing the show or to give it a second chance.  The trailer isn’t specific enough to be really interesting to anyone who hasn’t finished the story.

The final group is who this trailer is for.  People like me who love the original show really only needed the title card to get excited.  So the fact is that the rest is really just for us – the Fans.  And so, being a fan, I will spend some time looking at what the trailer does reveal about the continuation of the Avatar world.

Basics first, I think we all can assume that it follows the new Water Avatar, Korra, in the aftermath of Aang’s victory (don’t believe me? Check 1:16).  From the beginning we see that the settings will be vastly spread out.  One thing I am still trying to reconcile is that the Avatar is only reborn when the last Avatar dies.  So how is it that at the beginning of the teaser (0:07) we see Appa flying around, indicating to me that Aang is alive, and the very next shot is of a statue of him, indicating to me that he is dead and being commemorated.  It could be a statue placed while he is alive but I don’t know.  Still you can’t have a show about the new Avatar without the old one being dead, so how do they solve this one I wonder?

My real questions, however, begin at 0:31, when we see a rather large (and rather modern) city with floating blimps and everything.  The color scheme of the city indicates that it could be the new Earth Kingdom capital but the blimps really do throw me off and make me wonder if it is not the new Air Kingdom. However it seems a bit too…on the ground for the Air Society.  Wait….didn’t they all die off anyway?  Unless Aang and Katara got very busy in the 70 years between this and the previous show, and if the bending can be thus passed on, I don’t see how there could BE an Air Kingdom left anymore.  I am very excited to see what they say about this issue.

Two final thoughts.  First, we really only see Fire and Water bending in this trailer which feeds more to the fire of the above issue for me.  Did the Air bending die out with Aang?  Does he himself have to train her somehow in that art? Does he do that post-humously?  And what happened to the Earth stuff!?  They show a lot of what looks like Earth Kingdom towns but we see no rock bending.  Hmmm.  Second thought – it is interesting to me that they end on the bad guy.  He reminds me a lot of the Dai li in that he/she is hidden and thus mysterious – making them all the harder to find.  I expect it will be a very interesting antagonist in this new show.

So there you have it.  I know I am pumped for the Legend of Korra.  If you want to learn more about it, I recommend the Avatar Wiki – they have all sorts of info on the upcoming show if you want to find out.  It does seem a bit spoiler-ish so I will warn you that you might not want to look it all over yet, but they do have a lot of great info there like the lineage of the Avatars if you are interested.

Thanks for being patient with me!  I have been packing all week for my cross-country road trip back to College.  So it looks like…..again….my post might be late.  I am going to try to get it out on time – though I have NO idea what to review.  As usual I ask you to let me know what you want to see reviewed – old or new stuff – and I will certainly get to it ASAP.  Thanks again for sticking with me and I will see you next Friday…I hope 🙂

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