Currently Watching : Netflix’s JESSICA JONES


Netflix continues to just hit it out of the park these days. As smart and succesful as Marvel Studios has been crafting the most succesful movie Franchise in history, Netflix is making those kinds of historic strides in the area of streaming entertainment.

The quality of the projects they produce and they purchase is just phenomenally high. They know how to pick and make great projects, from HOUSE OF CARDS to LONGMEYER to DAREDEVIL they have not just made good shows for a streaming channel, they are making great and groundbreaking television… by anyone’s definition.

JESSICA JONES, the 2nd of their Marvel Universe properties, continues that midas touch streak. Three episodes in and I’m loving it. It’s a different beast from DAREDEVIL, perhaps not as compulsively brilliant, it’s more of a slow burn, but so far that’s working out just fine.

Brian Michael Bendis, the writer whose graphic novel ALIAS this series is based on, and the producer on this series, should be justifiabbly pleased. This series so far is doing justice to his acclaimed graphic novel, while being distinctly its own thing.

If you are not watching it yet, my recommendation is to start. It is very good. Oh, and for mature viewers only. :)

TV Review : TWILIGHT ZONE “The Invaders”


TWILIGHT ZONE “THE INVADERS” – This episode of Rod Serling’s aptly clasiic and legendary series is TWILIGHT ZONE at its best.

It’s hard to understand, to truly grasp, 60 years later, in a world largely shaped by TWILIGHT ZONES beats, how innovative and groundbreaking, and frightening, and wondrous, this show was to a generation, just starting to take real strides into exploring what lies beyond. Written by Richard Matheson and directed by Douglas Heyes, and starring Orson Welles favorite actress from the Mercury Studio’s days, the great Agnes Moorehead.

I don’t know of an actress of the period who could have carried this episode as well then, I scarecely can think of any one now.

All involved, working together to imbue what should be ludicrous with true dread and nail biting suspense and horror. Moorehead in a wordless snarling, unglamarous, terrified, wretched, and enraged performance, a vulnerable, naked, egoless performance, is largely the whole show here, and with typical gorgeous Twilight Zone cinematography, by George T. Clemens, and compelling music by Jerry Goldsmaith, she sells it, making this one of THE TWILIGHT ZONE’s best episodes.

Highest Recommendation.

Catch it on Netflix today!

Currently Watching : AGATHA CHRISTIE’S POIROT on Netflix VOD

Having exhausted all the episodes of many BBC shows, including both the seminal Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes and the inventive Benedict Cumberbatch series, I find myself using Netflix to find overlooked shows from yesteryear to give a try.

This weekend Agatha Christie’s POIROT finally made my radar. Initially viewed as a Belgium and more sedate and less exciting Sherlock Holmes, it grows on you none-the-less, six episodes in and I’m liking if not loving what I see, a passable, light-hearted comedy of manners, in a mystery setting.

The ratings so far with most of the first season done is:

1 1-01 101 08/Jan/89 The Adventure of the Clapham Cook ENJOYABLE INTRODUCTION
2 1-02 102 15/Jan/89 Murder in the Mews COMPELLING Locked Room crime
3 1-03 103 22/Jan/89 The Adventure of Johnnie Waverly INTRIGUING tale of a foretold kidnapping
4 1-04 104 29/Jan/89 Four and Twenty Blackbirds FORGETTABLE
5 1-05 105 05/Feb/89 The Third Floor Flat ENJOYABLE
6 1-06 106 12/Feb/89 Triangle at Rhodes PLODDING

Come by next time for more.

Television Review : CWs THE FLASH


Two episodes in and I like but don’t love CW’s THE FLASH. The casting of the lead actor, CW going for a 20 something Kid-Flash like Flash, does not initially endear.

It reminds too much of DAWSON’S CREEK meets ‘insert-superhero-title-here’. That said, actor Grant Gustin does have some range, and I can see him growing into the role. Particularly the dynamic between Gustin as the young Barry Allen and Jesse L. Foster as Detective Joe West, his Foster Dad, is particularly good.

However that inventive relationship is married to one that doesn’t feel inventive at all, the relationship between Candice Patton as Iris West and her triangle between Grant Gustin as Barry Allen and Rick Cosnett as Detective Eddie Thawne. I am not a fan of there being a distinct lack of representation on Film or Television of male characters of color getting the girl. It’s a bit tired all these shows with Black actresses tossing themselves at White actors.

It would be different if these shows were offset by an equal number of shows and movies with actors of color getting the girl. Unfortunately there isn’t. It’s a telling and glaring discrepancy. In the absence of that parity, all this sameness of storytelling feels more like a programming/propaganda than storytelling. It seems more like Black Faces and White Messages.

It’s the reason shows like MARY JANE and ARROW (the only real standout CW show) work for me. They embrace a needed and neglected dynamic, of romance and sex being a purview of more than the White Male.

CW’s FLASH, if it was not engulfed by a sea of movies and tv shows selling the same dynamic to the same impressionable audience, would be easier show to enjoy on its own merits. However it’s only two episodes in and I’m hopeful the show grows beyond its sophomore ticks, to be something the equal of its sibling show… ARROW.





With Netflix and Marvel Studios currently hard at work on a live-action Daredevil TV series, I thought the time was right to highlight some of my favorite Daredevil comics.

This installment is on DAREDEVIL 126 and 127, from 1975, sporting great Gil Kane covers, and a fun Marv Wolfman story with Bob Brown/Klaus Janson, it is one of my favorite Daredevil two-parters. While written for a 1975 audience of kids, it still holds up and builds to a surprisingly poignant ending.



Netflix On-Demand Classic TV: KOLCHAK THE NIGHT STALKER Best and Worst Episodes

THE SENTRY episode of KOLCHAK THE NIGHT STALKER, the last episode of the short lived series and some would argue the worst, is actually a tense, atmospheric, well paced episode. What sinks it is the laughable ‘monster’ creation.

The director does what he can to underplay the ludicrousness of the ‘monster’, showing it as little as possible. I don’t think anyone would argue the monster creation was anything other than a pathetic disappointment even by 1970s standards, that someone should have been fired for.

It is so bad it makes the bargain basement cardboard creatures of early Doctor Who look almost good. Star Darren McGavin rightly pulled the plug on this series when he saw the quality not just dipping, but plummeting.

All that said, despite the poor monster design, this particular episode still works, and is quite engaging and fast paced. As opposed to the oft praised VAMPIRE episode, which I find to be plodding. A solid GOOD, and one that using CGI to draw in a better monster could only help. Grade: C.

THE SPANISH MOSS MURDERS- This is Kolchak at his best, as this episodes mixes the cutting edge dream experimentation studies of the day, with supernatural monster lore, to create a bigfoot sized dream assassin. Quite enjoyable and fast paced. Grade: B/B+.

THE KNIGHTLY MURDERS – the opening to this one does not fill me with confidence. An out of focus suit of armor dispensing out of focus death. But with the appearance of John Dehner as an erudite and forlorn and quixotic Captain, the stock on this episode begins to rise. Add the great Hans Conried as the curator and it becomes just a fun, enjoyable, well-written episode. Really enjoyable. B/B+.

HORROR IN THE HEIGHTS – A very imaginative and smart episode. Add the murder of Jewish elderly, rats, swastikas, Hindu spirits, death that comes like a friend, and the myth of the end of the world, and you have a particularly compelling and enjoyable episode. Of all the monsters that Kolchak has faced this one may be the most insidious. B+.

VAMPIRE – Just a plodding, overrated episode. The only thing this episode has going for it is the very ending, with the audacious, and possibly inappropriate visuals of a cross burning and staking as the solution to Kolchak’s problem.

In fact watching this series all together there is a lot of questionable but reoccurring Nazi and Klan imagery throughout (swastikas in CHOPPED, HORROR IN THE HEIGHTS and burning crosses in VAMPIRE). Grade: D-.


CHOPPED – An incredibly fake looking headless horseman helms this poor man’s version of THE WILD ONE. Like VAMPIRE this is a plodding, boring episode. Another embarrassment of a monster design. Grade: D.

You can view the episodes for yourself courtesy of ON-DEMAND or buy the DVD at a savings here:
Kolchak – The Night Stalker DVD

The DVD is worth owning just to have the episodes HORROR IN THE HEIGHTS and THE SPANISH MOSS MURDERS always at your fingertips.

Come back for more RATING THE EPISODES!