AMC’s Preacher May Be the Best Comic Show Yet

        When AMC announced that it was going to be launching a “Preacher” TV series, produced and developed by Seth Rogan no less, my first reaction was disbelief mixed with a heavy HEAVY dose of skepticism. There was no way that this show, in all of it’s wacky, off the wall, batshit crazy randomness was going to be broadcast on tv. Even for a network that recently finished airing the adventures of the Sons of Anarchy and Walter White, and are currently showing the perils of Rick’s group on the Walking Dead were going to get away with the irreverence that is rife within the off=the-wall comic. I purposely avoided as much as I could any types of development news, because I was so certain that it was going to be a show that would almost immediately  be warped straight into development hell and then we would just sit on the sidelines and watch as it died a slow, censored death. Yet here we are, one day after last nights premier, and man am I happy to report that I was wrong. Not only did the show get off with a damn strong first episode, but it did it while honoring the source material in a better way than any other comic series show than I have seen in awhile.

This is not going to be your normal Sunday sermon to say the least

        It had it all: the extreme violence, the borderline sacrilegious humor (one VERY funny joke about a priest and an engagement ring comes to mind), the over the top characters (including the one with an asshole for a face), and the compelling storylines made for a great first hour and a half of viewing. You can tell that the creators have a true love of the source material and by-God (yes I did just put that pun in there) AMC is letting them run with it. My wife, who had absolutely no experience with the series prior to last night, told me before the show started “oh no I’m not watching this one, I saw the advertisements and that one is gonna be scary”. 90 minutes later, she was still sitting there next to me on the couch. There were a couple times that she started to get up and head upstairs, before some new craziness would happen on the screen and she would sit back down to see what would happen next. Welcome to  The Preacher lady, the whole show is gonna be like this. Look, I know it is just the first episode, and a great pilot does not a good show make, BUT I will say that if this show is ever going to have a chance on network TV, this is probably going to be it’s best shot. It has true fans producing it, a network willing to let it ride, a well done cast, and a willing audience. Fingers crossed it stays around for the long haul and doesn’t just become a one-off like Constantine (and don’t get me started on that one).


Let’s Hear it For Hawk, the (Badass) Talking Pig

SPOILER ALERT: If you have not watched/finished either the Seven Deadly Sins Manga or Anime and don’t want to have anything spoiled, don’t read further, instead go watch Seven Deadly Sins and come back and read later! You will thank me.

        So the Seven Deadly Sins anime popped up on Netflix a couple months ago and Amy could not get enough. She binged the whole show when she was out of town and tried to get me to do the same. Unfortunately I was trying to make my way through Dark Souls 2 at the time in order to prepare for the release of Dark Souls 3, and although I had it in the background my attention was too divided for me to truly pay attention and so I stopped watching a few episodes in. It’s not that I thought it was a bad show, I was just too involved in my game to genuinely to enjoy anything else that was going on in the room at the time. That all changed this weekend when she asked me to give it another shot without dividing my attention and holy shit, I was blown away. The animation, the personalities, the engaging world, and the moving story had me just as engrossed in the show as she was back when she started watching it. Fast forward 2 days and 24 episodes and I am already dying waiting for the new season. Sure, I can’t wait to find out what happens with Meliodas, Ban, Diane and the others, but even more than that I can’t wait to get more of the Great Leftovers Knight Hawk.

        He may not look like much, but that chubby pink pig was by far the most charming and engaging character in the whole show, at least in my opinion. This came as a shocker to Amy, because she knows how much I typically LOATHE characters with crazy high pitched voices who serve to only try to add a little cuteness to a scene without actually bringing anything meaningful to the story. This is something of a trope in most modern animes and video games, especially if they are created in Japan. Sometimes they are put with a character in order to give them advice or point them in the right direction throughout their journey, but more often than not they just serve to provide some misguided sort of comedic relief. I know that some people get a kick out of these characters, and I am totally cool with it. To each their own, but as far as I am concerned those characters can seriously ruin my experience.

I’m lookin at you you yappy little bi-… I mean fairy

        So that was my mindset when I first saw hawk waddle onto the screen and start talking with the mickey mouse voice and short little legs. “Here we go,” I thought “I hope you die soon.” It was all there. Innocent personality? Check. Silly body-type? Check. No practical skills? Check (I was dead wrong on this one by the way). I was ready to turn it off then and there. Thankfully (because Amy wouldn’t allow me to stop) I kept watching. Soon enough though, I started to realize there was more to Hawk than meets the eye. I found myself laughing at Hawk’s quirky mannerisms. I found myself enjoying the fact that all of the other characters seem to look up to the quirky little pig. Even Ban the roguish I-show-respect-to-no-one guy seemed to look up to him. I was laughing at Hawk’s antics and genuinely enjoying every time I saw him come on screen. I started chanting “piggy-trot piggy-trot piggy-trot” every time he was sprinting on screen. All of this was pretty much flying under the radar with me not really noticing I was joining the Hawk fanclub until the climax episode. You know the one I’m talking about.

        Hawk, the friendly talking pig, he loyal companion, the Knight of Scraps Disposal bravely sacrifices himself in order to save Elizabeth from insta-death. It was fucking glorious, and it completely crushed me. I looked at Amy and demanded she tell me if Hawk is going to come back to life in the last episode or not. She looked at me and just said “I mean, Hawk is definitely dead” and watched as I fumed over how bullshit it was that every other major character can somehow revive and heal themselves seemingly at whim and the BEST out of all of them is now a black corpse sitting on the battlefield. That is when I realized I had officially crossed over. You might as well give me the t-shirt, because I was now a Hawk fanboy. I was shocked. I was concerned. I was mildly amused. I guess this is how it happens. I stormed out of the room and said that if they had killed off Hawk it wasn’t even worth finishing the series. I almost immediately turned around and sat back down, saying “well I mean there is no way this show would kill off it’s best character, like they have to know what a terrible decision to it would be to Gurren Lagann this shit right now.” Luckily my perserverence was rewarded as at the end of the show, little mini-Hawk popped up and stated that it had no idea how it was still alive but it was and it was happy about it. Damn skippy Hawk. You ferry people around on your back, you stopped Ban from being a complete doucheface at the most inopportune moment, you are willing to piggy-kick enemies hundreds of times more powerful than you, you protect the ladies modesty, you sacrifice yourself for your friends, and dammit you are just awesome. So here’s to you Sir Hawk! Looking forward to seeing how many butts you save in Season 2!

 -CDL Hardcore Hawk Fan (apparently)

My Wife Has a Crush on a Famous Brit, and I’m Alright With That

        I’m pretty sure every woman has a famous crush. Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Pratt, Benedict Cumberbatch, the list goes on. My wife Amy is no exception. I don’t know if it’s the accent, the fact that he has traveled all over the world and filmed in all sorts of exotic locations, or that he loves to be photographed with cuddly animals all the time. Either way, every time he comes on TV we have to stop whatever we are doing so she can soak up all that suave, animal loving goodness. Did I mention that he loves animals? Cuz the dude loves the shit out of animals. Reptiles, amphibians, mammals, birds, insects, and fish he loves them all. His name is David Attenborough, and he is the guy behind almost every important nature documentary in the last 40 years.

My competition ladies and gentleman

        To say that Mr. Attenborough is a national treasure in the UK is a bit of an understatement. His lists of accolades and accomplishments is staggering to say the least, to try to list them all here would take WAY too long but believe me when I say you would be hard pressed to find a more decorated documentary filmmaker in all of cinematic history. To this day he remains the only person to have won BAFTAs in black and white, color, HD, and 3D. Dude is a straight up stud. The fact that he is pushing 90 and is still getting out there throwing on wet suits and swimming around in the ocean, trudging around in the sahara desert, walking around a frozen arctic tundra. He sees and does more in a month than I do in an entire year. Luckily he is considerate enough to film it all for us so we can learn a damn thing or two. Seriously, I am looking forward to his upcoming 90th birthday celebration more than I am looking forward to Game of Thrones coming back tomorrow night.

I will see your rugged explorer and raise you one kindly old badass

        So yeah, I don’t mind sharing the affections of my wife with you Sir Attenborough. You are the only man that can make two hedgehogs banging in your front yard sound interesting, and keep me feeling like a perv for watching. So here’s to you David! Keep doing your thing, we will keep watching, Amy will keep crushing, and your work will keep influencing the minds of children and adults the world over.


A Product of the Times: Why The Newest X-Files Will Be More Frightening Than The Original

        Aliens, government conspiracies, viruses, mutants, the X files had it all. Although it originally began as a “monster of the week” type show, over it’s 9 seasons it developed a very strong ongoing storyline of a government trying to conceal it’s associations with extraterrestrial beings and the resulting scientific experiments and cover-ups. It was something that was just real enough for people to relate to, but was way too far-fetched to ever truly be frightening. It was just a damn good sci-fi show with memorable characters and the best theme-song in the history of theme-songs. Seriously, don’t try to argue this point, because it isn’t a question. Although it was a show with forward thinking ideas regarding the future of scientific progress and the dangers they would pose in a modern world, for the most part things were still so very stuck in the 90s.

I mean check out those shoulderpads, does it get any more 90s than that?

        I recently went back and started watching the show again from episode 1 to celebrate the upcoming new season that is being released in a few days. I know, I know, you don’t have to tell me that ridiculously nerdy it is to try to watch them all again but whatever, I’m a fanboy. This was all well and good, but a funny thing happened as I got farther into the show. Somewhere around season 3, right when the story starts shifting to the long term arc about Mulder and the alien conspiracy, the show started losing some of that “oh this is funny because it’s so out there” flavor and started to become a little bit more real. Real in a kind of scary sense. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that our government is in cahoots with an alien overlord and that the FBI is caught in the crossfire of a coverup, it was more the overall tone of the show. The way it treated it’s characters and the mistrust that is at play all the time. The truth of the matter is that many of the things that seemed to be purely tension builders back in the day are no longer outside the realm of possibility. Let me preface this next part by saying I am not trying to get political or voice my opinions in one way or another, I am just going to be pointing out certain situational similarities that I think ring more true today than they did during the show’s original run.

        The first most glaring thing is the way that as Mulder tries harder and harder to bring all of the coverups and illegal goings-on to the attention to the rest of the FBI, he is gradually pushed out and persecuted to the point of actually being labeled an enemy of the state and having to flee from the very government that he works for. It is basically the Edward Snowden story with a sci-fi twist. Of course they aren’t exactly the same but they are close enough that you could have slipped Snowden’s story into the show without missing a beat. There was also the fact that time and again, the higher up supervisors in the show were constantly portrayed as hateful, fear mongering men who were basically just a cartoon charicature of  whatever the general population’s fears were for that given episode. This was actually the thing that was hardest to swallow about the show even when I was a teen. I would always find myself thinking how the hell would someone like that ever actually be able to move into a position of power? Enter one Donald Trump. Even more so than the Snowden thing, if you were to take him and insert him ANYWHERE in the show as the smarmy I-don’t-care-what-evidence-you-have-Mulder-this-is-what-I-think-and-I’m-in-power-so-suck-it guy you would not even notice a difference. And Trump isn’t even just trying to be the head of a government agency, he is dangerously close to being the head of the freakin country. Holy shit. I can’t believe I just typed that. On top of it all is the fact that if you were to tell me tomorrow that the government had been covering up some crazy dangerous technology or disease that had accidentally gotten out and caused the destruction of a small town, I genuinely don’t even think I would bat an eye. That’s some scary shit right there. This is all taking place in between continuous threats from individuals and groups throughout the entire show to use things such as mutations, viruses, new technologies to wreak havoc and hurt innocent people in the name of various personal vendetta’s and causes. Considering the number of terrorist attacks we have seen take place in the last decade and the way we are constantly inundated with new threats from some group or another, this is probably the most unnerving of all. Now that’s not to say that this is something that is unique to the X-Files as it is a story device for countless TV shows but still, it just seems alot less far-fetched this time around than it did in the past.

        Hey maybe I am just looking too far into it. Maybe this isn’t a product of the times so much as it is me growing up and losing some of my childish nature. That certainly is a factor, but really even as I am typing this out I can’t help but think that the world is just in fact becoming a crazier place. I am still totally psyched for the new season of the show, but I can’t help but think that this time around the of the fiction will have lost some of its luster.