Sisters is that Tina Fey/Amy Poeher movie from last year that I thought was like a romantic comedy where two divorcee sisters try to figure out life or something, but it’s actually middle-age Project X (the crazy party one, not the Matthew Broderick chimp one). If I didn’t still find Tina Fey super hot, I might not have enjoyed it, but… I do, so it wasn’t so bad.
Unrelated, but upon looking up Project X to make sure that was the right title, I was reminded of Alexis Knapp, the hot girl in it, and she did some terrible looking movie about Vampires that had this scene in it (semi-nsfw) which is awesome.
MacGyver reboots the 80s series about a guy who saves the world with paper clips and chewing gum. Havok from the X-Men movies plays Mac, that guy from CSI is Jack Dalton, It’s basically the same, but with a faster pace, better looking people, he doesn’t seem to be embarrassed by his first name, and it has what looks like a plot arc that’ll span multiple episodes. Nothing too special, but since it’s in a non-crowded timeslot, I’ll probably watch it until it either turns to shit or something else comes on at the time.
Shadowrun: Dragonfall is the sequel to Shadowrun Returns, and uses the same engine. It was originally a DLC but later released as a standalone, which Steam had for $3 during the summer sale. So this is again isometric, no voice acting, no videos. It’s quite a bit longer than the first and has more characters. Oddly, though I enjoyed the first, I felt like the second being longer was a detriment. The text-based story and turn-based combat were more satisfying when I got a complete story in about 12 hours than in 24.
This one sees you as a shadowrunner in Berlin, running into legends of a dragon thought dead decades ago who might still be alive. There are some good side characters and loyalty mission type things, and the main plot has a couple good choices to make, but I was actually a little disappointed in the explanation of the consequences. I had to google a bit to see how things could have gone differently, and I suppose I’m satisfied that they did matter for the story.
Still one more of these to play, but I’m gonna do Telltale’s Walking Dead: Michonne first.
Pitch is Fox’s new series that tells the story of the first female Major League Baseball player. Made with the participation of MLB, they get to use actual team names and the real PetCo Park, so she’s on the Padres instead of the San Diego Knights or whatever, which is cool.
It stars a girl who looks kinda like young Gina Torres, the dad from The Wonder Years, Ali Larter, the black guy from Third Watch, Kelly Ripa’s husband, Bob Balaban, Mark-Paul Gosselaar with a baseball bro beard, and basically everybody involved baseball coverage or analysis for Fox because cross-promotion (the FS1 channel logo is also everywhere).
The pilot is pretty good, but I wonder about the series going forward. They manage to effectively build up excitement and the whole significance of the first woman pitching. But… once she has her initial success, it’s mostly just a baseball drama I guess? I’m not sure if that’s going to be all that good. But we’ll see.
Some gripes, mostly baseball: I’m not sure a screwball is that much of a “secret weapon,” since there are always at least one or two pitchers in the majors that throw it. Pretty sure Yu Darvish does currently. Knuckleball would have made more sense, since they do talk about her lack of MLB velocity. We’re supposed to believe Zack Morris is an older catcher (he’s 40-something but I guess we’re supposed to believe he’s about 35) who drives in 130 runs a year, but they haven’t moved him to first or left field to preserve his knees? Or traded him to the AL to DH? Mike Piazza is likely the best power hitting catcher of all time and never drove in 130, and by 34 he never drove in 70. Joe Mauer switched to 1B at 31, Bryce Harper quit catching in the minors, Yogi Berra quit catching full time at 35, and Buster Posey’s getting more and more time at 1B still in his 20s. Why do they use a cover of “Sympathy for the Devil” on the soundtrack when she finally gets her shit together and starts pitching well? I think they thought “pleased to meet you” worked as a “this is my introduction to the world” type thing, but the narrator of the song is literally Satan.
Designated Survivor stars Kiefer Sutherland as the Secretary of HUD who gets elevated to President after an explosion at the State of the Union address knocks out everyone else in the line of succession. He’s joined by Kal Penn, Natasha McElhone, Maggie Q, and some other familiar faces. It’s pretty promising. I mean, who knows if it’ll be good in the long run, but it has room for West Wing style political stuff, investigation into the explosion, intrigue as people try to undermine the unelected President.
The one thing that amuses me is that Kiefer Sutherland’s character wears brow line glasses. I think they specifically do this because everyone’s worried he’s too much of a wuss to be President, and if he reminded people too much of Jack Bauer, people wouldn’t buy him as a wuss. So… nerd glasses!
Lethal Weapon stars some guy and Damon Wayans in Fox’s adaptation of the movie series. It’s… ok. Buddy cops, car chases, shootouts, The “you’re gonna get me killed”/”you need to loosen up”/”you’ve got a death wish”/”you’re old” banter isn’t great. But I’m hoping that’s just for the pilot, to establish the characters, and that they’ll get a little more interesting going forward. So I’m going to tentatively follow this for a few episodes in the hopes that it improves.
I also never wrote anything about Son of Zorn. Zero laughs. Disappointing.
The Good Place is NBC’s new comedy starring Kristen Bell and Ted Danson, created by Michael Schur (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Parks and Rec, The Office). It takes place heaven kinda, with Bell the recently deceased, and Danson as some kind of angel type guy. It reminds me vaguely of Pushing Daisies, what with the magical stuff and the bright colors, but it’s less fairy-tale-ish and it’s more cynical. It’s fairly funny, and seems to have decent story potential.
Shadowrun Returns is an isometric turn-based RPG set in the universe of the tabletop RPG that is as cyberpunk but more fantasy than I thought it was. It’s pretty short, 17 hours, but probably could be done in 12. It was funded through Kickstarter by a small studio, which leads to low production values, no cutscenes, no voice acting. All sprites and text. And it has a couple bugs that involved googling for solutions and reloading old saves to follow the weird instructions (kill these two things on the same turn or the game locks up?) for workarounds. But the cyberpunk setting and the skill tree/stats/cybernetics/stuff was enough to make me want to progress.
You play a shadworunner in 2050s Seattle, with a message from a former colleague that he’s dead and needs someone to avenge his murder. So with the promise of cash you start looking into it, and of course it turns out to be a whole thing with megacorps and magic and the matrix. You do missions for cash, hiring squadmates to come along with you and fill in gaps in your skillset. I chose to play as a “Decker,” which is someone who hacks into stuff, and mixed that with rifle skills. Making myself Elvish seemed like the powergamer race, so I went with that, since I had max caps for Intelligence and Quickness. Anyway, that worked out pretty well.
It was $3 in the Steam Summer Sale, which is about right. Definitely no one should pay more than $10 for it. But not bad for $3. I picked up two sequels for $3 each as well, and I’ll play those at some point.
Quarry is a new vaguely First Blood-esque Cinemax series about a Vietnam vet who comes home to a world that doesn’t want him. But instead of becoming a drifter and fighting an entire police force, he ends up putting his Vietnam-y skills to use as a contract killer. It’s a little slower moving than I would have liked, but it’s still an interesting start, and cool 70s music is up my alley.
It stars some guy who I think they wish was Tom Hardy, but he’s not bad, Marlo Stanfield from The Wire, Dewey Crowe from Justified, and a kinda hot girl as not-Tom-Hardy’s wife.
Better Things is co-created by Pamela Adlon (King of the Hill, Californication, Louie) who also stars as a single mother of three girls who is an actor and voice actor and basically Pamela Adlon. It’s kinda more like later seasons of Louie, a half hour show with enough jokes in it that they’ll want to call it a comedy, but overly serious and more of a drama. Basically FX’s brand at this point.
Single motherhood is hard, folks! Which of course it is, but I think I’d rather get my entertainment about other topics.