I do comedy, comics, and write about pretty much most things entertainment related. So that's nice.
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Cell Phone: (347) 742-8562
E-Mail: azalben (at) gmail (dot) com
Almost Human, “Simon Says”: Not the best episode of “Almost Human” so far, but this show is still a ton of fun to watch, and looks great. Karl Urban and Michael Ealy are fantastic together. They just need to figure out what to do with Lili Taylor, and they’re set. Watch it if you aren’t, it’s some good, fun scifi.
Gun Machine: Still reading this, still enjoying it. There’s a section I was reading before bed that was so tense, I had to finish before I turned the lights off. That’s good stuff, and Ellis’ characters (as usual) are top notch.
When you’re posting “Things I Liked Today” at 2pm the next day, you’ve got to change the name. Anyway, here’s some things I liked yesterday:
Ms. Marvel #1: As mentioned, I do AR Recaps for Marvel, so got to read the first issue script for G. Willow Wilson’s new series. This is a special one. Really. No spoilers at all, other than it has a beautiful, unique sense of character, and anyone who likes classic Marvel will love this book. You guys say you want different things in comics? This is completely different, and yet surprisingly familiar at the same time. It doesn’t come out until February, but you can reserve it at a comic book shop now. And you should.
Downton Abbey: This show is nowhere near where it was in the first season, but its gone from being a soap elevated by excellent acting and writing, to a soap that looks really good. That’s okay, though: it’s as comfortable as a warm cup of tea.
Masters of Sex, “Catherine”: I’ve been waiting the past few episodes for this show to go deeper, even though I’ve been enjoying it quite a bit; it’s just been slightly surfacey. This fifth episode, though, will rip your heart out, and follows through on all the character relationships and developments so far. The last moment is one of the most gut-wrenching, f-ed up things ever on TV, and it’s just two people standing in a room. No violence, nothing. Just ultimate sadness. Plus, this episode intros Allison Janney as a recurring character! Everything is better with Janney.
Gun Machine: I’m a few pages into Warren Ellis’ novel, but I can already see exactly why it was picked up as a TV series. Like “Crooked Little Vein,” it takes a few pages to get to the premise, taking time to set up its sad sack detective. But when it does get there, the simplicity and cleanness of the idea bowl you over. Really looking forward to getting further into this, as its just getting started.
Masters of Sex, “Race to Space” and “Standard Deviation”: There’s two big things that keep this show working for me:
1) It’s the least sexy show about sex ever, instead focusing squarely on the characters and their motivations, using sex as exposition even better than “Game of Thrones” does;
2) It’s funny. I’ve watched “The Wire” and “Mad Men,” and they’re undeniably great, but also dead serious, so I’ve had a hard time keeping up. “Breaking Bad” trumps those because it’s often extremely funny through the drama. “Masters of Sex” is the same way, and all the better for it.
I even found myself tearing up in the past two episodes, which is an insane amount of commitment to have for characters after only three hours.
Valiant Comics: Once a month, Valiant is nice enough to send me their line-up of books, and there isn’t a dud in the bunch. In particular, Archer & Armstrong and Harbinger stood out in the current bunch, but really, every bit of the line is great.
Parenthood, “Promises”: See above about drama leavened with comedy. This show is so good that Ray Romano, a recurring character got his own plot line at the expense of major other characters not appearing, and that was totally fine. And I’ve lived with the show long enough now that the Braverman family feels like friends.