Howdy my buddies out there in the blog world. July was a VERY slow movie watching month for me. I feel like I barely watched or reviewed any. Which as you all know, in our world, that is a sad, sad feeling. Getting back on track this month though and hoping to go see Guardians of the Galaxy this weekend to kick my lull out of its’ boat. July was a great month for TV watching though, so many new shows popped up and some faves returned for another season. I also caught up with some shows that I had missed, as I renewed my Showtime and Starz subscriptions, so I will be including some of those as well. Let the games begin!
1. Black Sails: Season 1
Airing on Starz, this drama depicts the Golden Age of Piracy and focuses on Captain Flint and his rag tag crew of pirates. Set in New Providence Island, drama ensues on shore as much as on the ship. On the island, Eleanor Guthrie runs her father’s affairs with various ships and imports and exports. The show also focuses on other pirates like Captain Vane who runs around on the island with Jack Rackham and Anne Bonny, plotting various schemes to take over ships and treasures. This show is fun to watch if you are into pirates and those kinds of stories. Toby Stephens is wonderful as Captain Flint, although he surprised me in the beginning with one of the most gruesome scenes on the show. I was expecting him to be prim and proper and he proved me wrong! One of my favorite aspects of this show are the female characters, Eleanor is tough as nails, Anne is pretty bad ass, Miranda is wise and Max is beautiful and tenacious. They are strong willed, fierce and are not afraid of any old dirty pirate who puts a knife in front of their face. They put up a good fight and seem to teach the men a thing or two about life and being a decent human being.
Now who doesn’t like a sexy pirate?
2. Penny Dreadful: Season 1
Finally caught up with this show, as I had been wanting to check it out and I really enjoyed it. I pretty much binge watched this in a matter of a few days. The show takes classic British literature as the basis for the story and then twists and turns it into something original. The show is set in the Victorian Era, Sir Malcolm Murray’s daughter Mina has been kidnapped and he is on the hunt to find her. He overturns every stone with the help of his daughter’s friend Vanessa Ives and together they uncover the depths of what appears to be a mysterious underworld filled with vampires and blood-sucking crazy creatures. Mina is somewhere trapped in this hell of a world, is she alive or is she merely an apparition of what she used to be? The power of the underworld is strong and they enlist the help of American sharp-shooter, Ethan Chandler and the young, egotistical doctor Victor Frankenstein to further find her.
The supporting cast of characters feature Dorian Gray, Van Helsing, Brona Croft and Caliban. Each character has their own story to tell and each one is weaved in with main characters. Season 1 seemed to set the scene for what will be a tumultuous and dark Season 2, where I believe more secrets will be revealed and each character will come closer to realizing the true nature of who they really are and what they can become. The best part of the show hands down is Eva Green who plays Vanessa, she is electrifying and intense, her stare is magnetic and she encapsulates the dark side of her character perfectly. Harry Treadaway who plays Victor is also my other favorite on the show, he is maniacal in a sense, yet deeply poetic and he really shines as the Mary Shelley version of Frankenstein.
3. The Strain: Season 1
Anyone who watches the FX channel, knows that they are able and very willing to push every button there is, never holding back any blood and gruesomeness that a regular channel would. Given that detail, it is no wonder that they chose Guillermo Del Toro’s, The Strain, as their Summer hit. At the moment, I am super into this show and I probably have asked everyone I know, have you seen The Strain? To which as it usually happens to me, they answer no. Insert sad face there. Ok people if you haven’t seen this, you must watch it!
The show is based on Del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s horror novel trilogy. The show begins with a strange plane disaster, as the plane lands on the tarmac, everything goes dark and everyone, well almost everyone, on board is suddenly killed. A special CDC unit that handles biological threats is called in to inspect the damage. Dr. Ephraim Goodweather or “F” as he is called and Nora Martinez discover 4 survivors, none of the dead looked to have any damage done to them and the plane is filled with a strange, ammonia smelling, liquid that is only visible with a UV light. An old man named Abraham Setrakian, a Holocaust survivor hears of the news and goes to the airport to warn the doctors. They think he is crazy and they turn him away, but he warns them what is happening is dangerous. From there, strange things start occurring to the survivors and the two doctors start investigating what appears to be a parasitic worm that they believe may be behind the disaster. What is really happening is that these little worm-like creatures are infecting and living off the bodies of the dead and survivors and turning them into vampires slash demons. Ok now the whole thing is sounding pretty crazy, I know, but regardless it is fun to watch and if you like these types of stories it is worth giving it a shot. Some of the scenes are pretty gross, so you have been warned!
4. The Bridge: Season 2
Again another FX show, last season ended on a really sad and depressing note and the show picks up right where we left off. I like when shows bring us right back to the end instead of 10 years later or something along those lines. The show focuses on the crimes that occur in El Paso, Texas and its’ Mexican border town of Juarez, one of the most notorious cities known for its violence and drug affiliations. American detective Sonya Cross and Mexican detective Marcos Ruiz, team up again to uncover and dig even deeper into crimes that were presented in the first season. Sonya is an odd duck, she has issues being a normal, functioning person, but her prowess for being a detective, who is unafraid of anything makes up for her lack of social abilities. Marcos is filled with deep secrets and rage, but he is compassionate and always fights to protect the people that matter most to him. In season 2, they face a new drug lord, but this time it is a strange woman with an odd past who has a harsh way of dealing with co-workers and enemies. A young man accidently spilled tea on her and she had his ear cut off, to say she is ruthless is a nice way to describe her.
The actors on this show are phenomenal, Diane Kruger plays Sonya perfectly as someone who is riddled with emotional baggage and Demian Bichir as Marcos, stands out as a rugged and real detective. I also like the fact that the stories that play out on the show, very much mirror actual incidents that have occurred. All the gruesome, crazy tales of Mexican drug lords and the crossing of drugs in underground tunnels is true. The border town for San Diego is Tijuana and I live fairly close and travel often to see relatives and can tell you that a lot of these types of stories are published on a daily basis in Mexican newspapers. Also, many times I watch shows with people speaking Spanish and it just doesn’t sound like how actual Mexicans or Latin people speak. I can vouch that they have kept the dialogue consistent with Spanish dialect and Mexican culture.
Most Disappointing of July: True Blood: Season 7
I have to say this show has really gone down hill. The storylines are disjointed and nothing from the previous seasons ever seems to matter in the next. This only further makes me care less about what happens this season. What happened with Lilith, Warlo, the panther people, the witches, the werewolf peeps, the fairy town, the shifters, Luna’s daughter? All these interesting characters have their moment and then the storyline is done. It never migrates to the next season and seems to rarely ever even be brought up again. The fact that there were witches in the town, that seemed like a really interesting aspect that could have been played against the vampires, but rarely do we see Holly ever even bring up the fact that she has powers.
What about the shifters? They had their day in the sun and then just like that they haven’t been brought up again, other than Sam. Despite hating on it, I will keep watching because this is the final season of True Blood. Also because Alexandar Skarsgard, Ryan Kwanten and Joe Manganiello and pretty much every other actor and actress on the show is hot. Muy caliente! Also, I already invested so much time into it that I do have to see it all end. I just had to take a moment to vent my frustrations with what could be and what was a really cool show. Anyone else frustrated with True Blood?