Second Chance – will it get one?

second-chance-posterSecond Chance may be one of the most interesting shows nobody watched in the past six months. There’s very little likelihood it’s going to get any more than the (shortened) 11 episodes that have just finished airing, because no one is talking about it. The Wikipedia episode entries stopped being updated at episode five. That’s a pretty damning indictment. And yet, despite a few reservations (and let’s face it, we have those even about the very best, most popular shows), I’ve looked forward to watching it every week. It’s been engaging and action-packed and character-driven and fascinating. And it’s based on the story of Frankenstein. What’s not to like?

Warning, there will be general spoilers for some aspects of the show contained below!

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Squeeing over Supergirl: Human for a Day, S01E07

David McDonald and Tehani Wessely have been squeeing about the new Supergirl television show for months, so they decided to take time each week to discuss the new episodes as they air. They may occasionally rope in their friends to get excited too.

Supergirl_1920x1080_586896_640x360Supergirl – Episode 7, “Human for a Day”

TEHANI: I have watched this episode three times and I’m still struggling to come up with anything terribly *interesting* to say about it! I mean, it wasn’t awful. The dialogue didn’t suck horribly. The effects weren’t eye-rollingly bad. The characterisation stayed true to the established story so far. So why do I feel so “meh” about it?

DAVID: I don’t know! There was actually a lot happening in this episode, and some really good moments.

127966TEHANI: There were some very cool bits. I LOVED the reveal at the end that Hank is J’onn J’onzz – I got goosebumps! Although tell my why Alex has to keep it secret from Kara? And I teared up when Supergirl talked down the thugs in the store, and James’s face when he took those photos was great.

DAVID: Well, I am big enough to admit when I am wrong! I didn’t see that coming at all, so it was a great reveal to me. Now that it doesn’t matter, a bit of background. Hank Henshaw is a scientist/astronaut who is rescued by Superman when a space mission goes wrong, but his wife dies and he goes insane and blamed Superman—it’s a bit like the story they gave for Reactron. He comes back as cyborg, and is one of the Superman impersonators in the Death of Superman story arc. So, when I heard the name and saw the red glowing eyes, you can imagine what I assumed.

J’onn is a great character, so I am excited to see what they do with him. But, I am a little worried that it will suffer in comparison to Smallville where he plays a similar sort of protector/guide role. I am going to suspend judgement though.  

TEHANI: Here’s where my advantage of not having seen Smallville pretty much at all comes in handy – no preconceptions! I think maybe it was just that the episode felt a bit scattered? Even after my second watch I still had to go to Wikipedia to find out what the explosions were from – I couldn’t figure it out myself, and had assumed some villainous incident that wasn’t explained. And some things actively made no sense – a fire on the floor above but not a problem for Kara and her crew? What?

CBS_SUPERGIRL_107_CLEAN_IMAGE_thumb_MasterDAVID: They were from an earthquake, right? That’s what I assumed, anyway. With most of these television shows, though, you they don’t always bear close examination! But, the disaster was really a plot device, rather than being the main focus—it was just there to give the rest of the events a reason to happen.

TEHANI: Yes, they were, but I couldn’t TELL. I did like the exploration of Kara without her powers, and the parallel of Cat inspiring people to do good, and be good. It was also nice to see James, Winn and Cat making stuff happen, which dovetailed neatly with the idea that a superhero at your service doesn’t necessarily equate to a populous unable to save themselves, as sleazy (but over-qualified for everything) Max Lord suggested. Also, pretty heartbreaking to see Kara realise she can’t save everyone.

Screen Shot 2016-01-30 at 10.03.22 amDAVID: Those are two things that every superhero story needs to explore—are they more than simply the sum of their powers, and dealing with the realisation that they can’t save everyone, that they aren’t God. I thought they handled both pretty well in this episode. I found the scene where Kara was almost begging someone to save that heart attack victim more powerful than the one with the robber, but they both were very well done.

Screen Shot 2016-01-30 at 10.04.14 amTEHANI: Agreed, they were well done.

DAVID: And, I have to say, a superhero with Kara’s idealism and hope is a breath of fresh air given the current focus on grim and gritty! I like the fact that her failure to save that guy, and her loss of powers, reinforce her desire to help rather than diminish it. Maxwell represents cynicism, and the “if you can’t save everyone why bother,” and Kara represents hope and the “make whatever difference you can and if everyone does that it will all add up”.

TEHANI: The DEO parts were a bit odd – just one long set up for Hank’s reveal, I think, and it showed. Overall? A bit of a meh episode, with a fantastic payoff in the reveal, and then finally some more Kryptonian presence to cliffhang us into next week!

Supergirl-Episode-7-Robbery-PhotoDAVID: Perhaps that’s why you thought it was a bit “meh”? It really is two episodes in one, and the jump between the two is often quite jarring, throwing us out of the episode a little every time it flicks back and forth. But, the DEO stuff was worth it if we got J’onzz out of it in the end!

Previously, in “Squeeing over Supergirl”…

Pilot

Stronger Together

Fight or Flight

Livewire

How Does She Do It?

Red Faced

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And the winner is…

Liz Barr! Congratulations Liz on being the 2016 NAFF delegate to attend Contact 2016 in Brisbane next Easter!

More information here.

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Squeeing over Supergirl: Red Faced, S01E06

David McDonald and Tehani Wessely have been squeeing about the new Supergirl television show for months, so they decided to take time each week to discuss the new episodes as they air. They may occasionally rope in their friends to get excited too.

Supergirl_1920x1080_586896_640x360

Supergirl – Episode 6, “Red Faced”

DAVID: Well, we are now at Episode 6, and in some ways the show is starting to hit its stride—but in some ways not so much. I feel like the show is trying to say some really important things about sexism and equality, but I’m afraid that sometimes the execution doesn’t measure up. I know the feeling, sometimes when I am writing I feel like I can’t do certain subjects justice, that I don’t have the the necessary tools or ability, and it can be incredibly frustrating. But, I am not a professional screenwriter, either!

Supergirl S01E06 Army Lucy
TEHANI
: Did you catch the line about the President being a woman? It was blink and miss, but cute. I agree though, the spirit is definitely willing in what they are trying to do but the flesh is sometimes weak. Having said that, I think it’s great that the attempt is being made, particularly considering the audience the show is aimed at.

Supergirl S01E06 WinnDAVID: I liked the exploration of acceptability of being angry, and I think Cat nails it when she says women can’t be angry in the business world. You only have to look at the difference in terminology that people use to describe the same mood depending on gender, or even the jokes about hormones etc that men never get, to know how true this is. James makes a good point though, about black men not being encouraged to show anger either, and I think that is probably one of the best lines of the episode—subtly inserted in to point out an inequality, lacking some of the clumsiness of other equally valuable societal observations.

Supergirl S01E06 JamesTEHANI: Agreed! This stuff was handled well, I thought. Cat Grant is totally my favourite thing ever – they are using her as a mouthpiece and doing it quite successfully. And isn’t it just so fantastic that we HAVE James to be able to say these sort of things? Red-headed, white Jimmy Olsen wouldn’t quite get away with it. Oh look, diversity, see what can be done?!

DAVID: The romance elements were handled quite well. Seems that maybe Maxwell Lord will be a love interest—but not for Kara!

Supergirl S01E06 Alex-MaxTEHANI: I like to hope Alex is smarter than that – surely she’s just playing him, right?

Supergirl S01E06 AlexDAVID: I thought the scene with James and the Kara was excellent, where their friendship and willingness to be vulnerable with one another was the focus, rather than the URST, and Kara had a bit of an epiphany about what she is looking for. This scene felt much more real to me than some of the others we’ve seen with these two. And, of course, James and the General over dinner was great viewing, I almost thought the General was going to say something much nastier! He did have a good point though about James surrounding himself with special people to make himself feel special. There might be an element of truth in that.

Supergirl S01E06 Game NightTEHANI: I found that interesting, because James is a successful person in his own right, and it’s tricky to consider that he got there partly (or only) because of his connections. Because let’s face it, in real life how much of success is who you know, rather than what? I’m not sold on Lucy+James. I don’t know how the show is going to resolve this happily (for me), because I am shipping Kara+James pretty hard but Lucy is not an awful person and I’d really like to see she and Kara and Alex eating icecream and giving each other pedicures while talking about boys… But that scene at “game night” was fairly telling – James and Lucy clearly know each other very well and are extremely comfortable with each other again. That doesn’t, of course, mean a forever relationship, but it’s interesting to see the portrayal of their relationship changing.

Supergirl S01E06 Kara-CatDAVID: We finally got to meet Cat’s mother, and it does explain a fair bit about Cat. However, I don’t like the ongoing trend where we are shown a softer or more vulnerable side to Cat, and then meant to excuse her behaviour towards Kara and other employees. She may care under that gruff exterior, and have reasons for who she is, but it doesn’t change the fact that she is a bully and creates a pretty hostile work environment, is arbitrary in handing out discipline and has done some ethically questionable things. Maybe I am less forgiving of this because she is female, thus proving the premise of the episode, but I don’t think so—I dislike Peter Parker’s boss for exactly the same reasons. Anyone who has worked for someone like them would.

Supergirl S01E06 Cat-MotherTEHANI: But Kara snapped back at Cat! That was AWESOME! The ongoing presentation of a variety of women’s relationships are making me happy in this show. I hope at some point we get to see a mother/daughter relationship that is positive, though! I agree with your thoughts here, except that in this particular episode, I actually think it was a fair point. And I’m hoping that by having to interrogate her mother’s behaviour, Cat can also turn that spotlight on herself as well. Also? Cat’s mum is an EDITOR!

And Lucy’s dad is a focused and not-very-nice general. I agree with James and Kara – I don’t like him!

Supergirl S01E06 FightDAVID: The actual villain of the week is almost reduced to a sideshow by all this character development, which is a shame. Red Tornado is a great character in Batman:The Brave and the Bold and is used as a wonderful foil for Batman. Here he is just a remote controlled robot, and we don’t get the full value out of his sentience that we should.

Supergirl S01E06 Alex-SuprgirlTEHANI: Eh, I didn’t really care because I know so little about the villains of canon. I think we’re getting that a lot though, where the monster of the week is really just an excuse for all the character stuff. And I’m kind of okay with it, because I’d rather see those relationships develop and grow than care about the big bad of the episode. That may be just me… I do like how we’re seeing Alex portrayed. The fact she is so darn kick-ass and kills in the line of duty is not something we’re used to seeing in a female role, particularly on a show with this audience. But why shouldn’t we? If Alex was male, it wouldn’t even be commented on, so I’m all for it.

I also want to make note of the progression in the plot of who the heck is Hank, and what happened to Alex’s dad. I like that Winn got to show off his white hat hacker skilz to find that out. It’s quite nice to see things moving along, not being dragged out over an entire season (or more…). I’m still excited to find out!

Supergirl S01E06 HankPreviously, in “Squeeing over Supergirl”…

Pilot

Stronger Together

Fight or Flight

Livewire

How Does She Do It?

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Scattery all over the place

I’m trying to get things done this week, and I’m being successful in dribs and drabs. I scrubbed the floor in the bathroom (as in, with a scrubbing brush and bleach – who knew how satisfying that task could be??) and the living areas are all looking presentable. The washing and folding is up to date, with a basket of ironing beckoning me today. I’ve caught up on blog post scheduling and review writing, have made a little progress on some publishing things that are underway, and am on target to meet my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal (look, graphic novels count in my tally, and I am happy for them to do so!).

So far, I’m calling that a win. Lots of publishing tasks need to be done but I’m chipping away at those. I also need to do some prep for my library class next year, as I’ve got to rewrite a bunch of assessment to meet VET competency criteria. But this week is just about Christmas – am very glad I was pretty prepared gift-wise, and Miss 10 and I wrote up a shopping list to pick up a few food things we’ll need for Christmas meals, which we’ll pick up tomorrow. Another quiet Chrissy at home for us – lots of lolling about the house I reckon!

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