The Lela Shiba

A tumblr dedicated to TV show recaps, and random musings.

American Horror Story Recap (Episode 4.1)

Since the Powers That Be started rolling out teasers about this season of American Horror Story, and dropping hints about the freak show that is going to be this season, I was pretty stoked for the concept. There’s nothing creepier, in that “it’s supposed to be innocent, but there’s something kind of unsettling about this” kind of way, than a circus. This concept was always brilliant because there’s just so much to work with, but I have to admit, in the hands of Ryan Murphy, I had my doubts. Look, let’s face it, as far as being able to keep a once awesome show, awesome for more than two seasons, Murphy’s track record isn’t exactly stellar (*cough* Nip/Tuck *cough* Glee), and judging by the end of last season of AHS, I was certain this show was going the way of other Ryan Murphy shows, which was heartbreaking, because I’ve loved this show since day one. Still, when I was assigned to cover this show, I was optimistic, thinking that if it sucked, at the very least I could rip on it once a week in these recaps for a laugh.

I was still skeptical last night when the premiere started airing, with Sarah Paulson’s “Dear Diary” voice over, and the extremely saturated hues that looked like a knock-off Tim Burton film. But then, a milk man pulled up outside of a 1950’s Florida house and found the dead body of some poor old lady lying in a pool of her own blood and everything changed! Immediately after finding the body, the milk man started to explore the dimly lit house for the culprit, completely ignoring the fact that there’s some seriously sinister whispering going on down the end of the hall, and my thought process went from thinking, “Oh shit, maybe I shouldn’t be watching this alone in the dark” to thinking, “That’s one brave milk man” to thinking, “No, never mind, that milk man’s an idiot. Get out of the house, you dumbass!” and in the midst of all of those conflicting thoughts it struck me, that this season might just be extremely, extremely awesome!

Now, before we get too excited, we still have to wait and see how the rest of the season shapes out to be, but for now let’s focus on the positives of this episode, which are largely the characters. I think it’s only fair that we start our first grade of the season with our honorable, brave soul, the Milk Man…

For being a total dumbass who goes bravely strolling through the dark, creepy corridors of a house a gruesome murder took place in, in a horror show, and yet somehow managed not to get killed in some horrific, gory way by the end of the scene, there is only one thing to say: Bravo!

READ MORE

Dippy’s misadventures in Disneyland continues, this time he’s meeting the Avengers! “Found this round disk thing, it’s the perfect place to hide from the #disneyland madness…shame the man in the mask insists on sharing my hiding spot. #dippyshallpervail”

Dippy’s misadventures in Disneyland continues, this time he’s meeting the Avengers! “Found this round disk thing, it’s the perfect place to hide from the #disneyland madness…shame the man in the mask insists on sharing my hiding spot. #dippyshallpervail”

Dominion Season 1 Review

Dominion is the product of some guy over there at Syfy who thought it’d be a great idea to make a TV show out of the 2010 movie, Legion. That’s right folks, this show is based on a zombie-ish, biblical-ish, apocalyptical-ish, horror movie from 4 years ago, that about 20 people watched and out of the 20 only 5 actually enjoyed — everyone knows if you’re going to make a show you (presumably) hope to be a success, you pull out the most craptastic material you can find, and try to spin it into something that resembles a watchable TV show.

But here’s the real doozy, the only saving grace in the entire film, for those of you who have never seen it (good call!), were archangels Michael and Gabriel (that’s them on the right), played by Paul Bettany and Kevin Durand, respectively. The archangels, particularly Michael, weren’t just the only good things in a bad movie, good, they were good, good, as in if they had been in an actually good movie they would have been awesome! However, somehow in the making of this show the creators managed to take the only thing they did right in the movie, and do it so very wrong. So with all that in mind let’s kick off our very first “Tune In or Tune Out” by weighing in on the good, mostly the bad and the in between of Dominion!

This show takes place in a post apocalypse Las Vegas, now called Vega, and is run by the Lord of Vega, General Risen, played by That-Guy-Who-Plays-The-Stern-Boss Man-In-Everything, aka Alan Dale. In this world, following the events that took place in Legion, where Archangel Michael, then a tall, sexy, badass with abs so ripped, Taylor Lautner would cry himself to bed, went AWOL from heaven to protect the mother of an unborn savior boy, after God ordered the extermination of the entire human race. Dominion picks up 25 years later, where Gabriel, the Archangel who was sent to lead the extermination of the human race Walking Dead style (no, seriously, humans turned into angel possessed zombies, I’m not making this up!) in the film, is now the big bad guy; God has gone on a long vacation and isn’t answering his cell and the entire human race has shrunk down to a majority population of white Americans who are sitting around waiting for “The Chosen One” to come save them.

READ MORE

Penny Dreadful Season 1 Review

Those of you who know me, which is probably none of you reading this, except for my mother who always comes on to read everything that I write (Hi mom), know that I love horror shows! Extra points if the show is a period piece and extra, extra points if that period piece is set in a fictional gothic Victorian London and revolves around the sordid adventures of characters from gothic literature. Some of you may be familiar with my very special relationship with NBC’s Dracula, which aired in the fall of last year, and those of you who aren’t familiar with it, just know that when I say special relationship what I really meant is that I recapped all 10 episodes in the premiere season and complained and moaned about 8 of those episodes. Dracula had all the ingredients to be a show that I would have loved, but what they delivered was a massacre of the Dracula legend that was so tragic and hopeless, not even Jonathan Rhys Meyers and his big blue eyes could have made it watchable. It was devastating, beyond devastating, it was like the Red Wedding, met Eleventh Doctor’s regeneration and they had a big monstrous, heartbreaker of a baby. Little did I know, the fairies of TV Land would, in just a few months right the horrible wrong of Dracula and give us a show that is everythingDracula should have been, in the form of Penny Dreadful!

It’s so amazing, that I don’t even dare to recap it on a weekly basis, because I feel such an honor should be given to one with the talent to write a decent recap without feeling the need to mock every inch of the show they are reviewing (aka basically any recapper who isn’t me). If you’re not watching the show, you really need to. Season one is over, but it’s been renewed for a second season, so you can use these long months before season two airs to catch up on what you missed. Granted, you might have to catch the show when the network reruns the episodes, or find a site online that streams bootlegged episodeswhich might be a hassle, but it’s SO worth it! This show brings the horror that American Horror Story gives us, without the camp and the occasionally cheesy writing. It also delivers a beautiful backdrop of a dreary Victorian London that rivals the set of Tim Burton’s Sweeny Todd. It’s a show that takes a variety of different well-known horror lits. like A Picture of Dorian GrayFrankensteinDracula, and meshes them up into one, surprisingly coherently storyline.

READ MORE

The Originals Recap (Episode 1. 15)

You know an episode of The Originals was a good one when I actually enjoyed the flashback portion of it as much as I enjoyed the main plot, and this week, I did! Amongst the family angst, the 1920’s wardrobe, and the return of the Villain of Awesomeness Mikael, do you know what my favorite parts of the episode was? Cami and Hayley! Just kidding — Cami and Hayley is nobody’s favorite part. Ever.

With everything else that was going on with the Mikaelson family both in the past and the present being far more dramatic and interesting, Hayley’s never ending cursed wolf family plotline (snore…) and Cami and her special Klaus Whisperer ability really just felt like a bunch of meaningless fluff. So enough about them, let’s get to the good stuff, starting with our honorary guest of the week Mikael!

When it comes to writing villains, Julie Plec and Co. are not the ones to go to for advice on how to craft good ones. Let’s be real… on both The Vampire Diaries and The Originals more than half of the villains they’ve ever written turn out to be better suited for runway modeling than plotting evil world domination. They almost always start out with a big introduction: Super evil! Hard to kill! Blood thirsty! Scary! And then you meet them and turns out they’re just a big, loveable, misunderstood package of angst and broodiness, packed with a tragic past and wrapped in a really hot body. Next thing you know, you’re in love with the big bad guy, Julie Plec is in love with the big bad guy. Suddenly, our heroes are knocking back bourbon on a bar stool with the big guys, and having hot tumbles with them in bed, (some of these former villains even get spin offs) and suddenly we’ve all forgotten how we could have misunderstood this beautiful, tortured soul to be evil in the first place.

But then, occasionally, magic happens, and Julie Plec, by some odd kink in the matrix manages to knock out a good villain like Papa Tunde and now, Mikael. You’re probably never going to see him shirtless, because he’s too busy wrecking havoc on peace and sanctity to work on a six pack; Romantic plotline? Pish Posh, he doesn’t have time for that shit. His wife cheated on him and he sent her packing right before he road off to pillage a village! Oh, what’s that? You want to grab a drink with the man and talk about how black your soul is because of that one time, 1000 years ago when the love of your life had her heart ripped out right before your eyes and now you’re stuck in a love square with her reincarnated soul and your brother? Can’t, because he’s too busy burning down a whole city! This man is awesome and completely unhinged and he’s just the sort of villain this show needs to deliver the sinister vibe it’s been missing since day one.

The Originals Recap (Episode 1.12)

image

image

For the past few episodes, Elijah had decided to ditch the suit and just hang out in cool, casual clothes. He spent much of those episodes lingering in the background, stepping forward only to offer words of wisdom and to restore the cool when things get too heated, like he’s some sort of sexy, undead Gandhi. But mostly he took on an attitude of just not giving all that much of a fuck. Two little kids were poisoned by his brother, only a tiny bit of fucks were given, just enough to protect one of them from getting killed; all of New Orleans is engulfed with supernatural-natural disasters, medium fucks were given just for appearances sake; hot girl he’s been leading on throws himself at his feet and zero fucks were givenI was starting to like this new Elijah, who was just to busy working his special brand of mojo on women everywhere that everything else was just not his division. Cool Elijah had an ability to pull off what Uptight Elijah never did: talk reason without being self-righteous. But now sadly, this week, Elijah’s suit is back and with that returns the stick up his ass and a shit load of fucks. It seems that the suit is the source of all of Elijah’s self righteousness and pompousness, and now that it’s been let out to play, after being stuck in the closet for a few weeks, it’s just bursting with energy. First, he gives Hayley a cop out by telling her that it’s not that he doesn’t want to be with her, it’s that he can’t be with her because he doesn’t want to agitate Klaus. And even in the flashback, the Gilded Age Elijah, was strutting around acting so above it all and looking down his nose at Klaus. When Klaus (rightly) suggested taking care of Papa Tunde, the psychopath, by killing him, or as Klaus puts it “going to war”, Elijah’s all, “War? Violence? Pish Posh! Let’s talk it out like civilized gents!” Right… so says the man who rips people’s hearts right out of their chests without breaking a sweat! But Elijah’s worst moments consisted of him chastising Rebekah for trying to provoke Klaus instead of supporting their crazy ass brother who’d turn on them both in the blink of an eye if he was in the mood. I know all of this was meant to show Elijah’s character as the sensible, noble and mature big brother, but really all it did was show us just how whipped Elijah is by Klaus.

READ MORE