ellestra: (slingers)
The one good thing about CW shows killing many cool secondary characters is watching the actors go for better things.

I was very happy to learn Tracy Ifeachor is going to be on new ABC show Spark (since it's only been written about on Deadline and for some reason Livejournal hates that site and flags any link to it as spam you have to just believe me - or replace @ with a in this url http://de@dline.com/2016/02/tracy-ifeachor-cast-abc-pilot-spark-brianne-howey-the-exorcist-1201708583/). But there is finally a little more known about the show and io9 picked up the story so I can link to that. The lead will be played by Antonia Thomas (Misfits) and the show is to be set in alternate Steampunk universe.

Set in an alternate history where gas and coal fuel the world, the drama centers on the battle for power between two rival families and a rebellious young woman with a spark of invention that could level both their empires.
...the drama centers on the battle for power between two rival families and Pin (Thomas), a rebellious young woman with a spark of invention that could level both their empires. Thomas’ Pin is the smart, driven, fiercely independent young woman whose mission it is to bring back electricity to the masses no matter the cost.


Lincoln is still alive but Ricky Whittle has been announced to be the lead on Starz's adaptation of American Gods so his death can't be far off (it seems like the actor actually quit because he was fed up of being sidelined to 5 seconds in prison every 2 episodes and disagreements with the producer). Ian McShane has been cast as Mr. Wednesday. He was pretty popular fan choice and I can see his Kings character when I think about this.

In more news about British actors finding work - Finn Jones, the guy who plays Loras on Game of Thrones, has been cast as Danny Rand the title character in Iron Fist. This of course means a great disappointment to everyone who hoped they would change his race. Hard not to agree - it's not like MCU has a shortage of white guys from all over the English speaking world so one less wouldn't make a difference. On the other hand, while there are some Asian women in MCU the only male, non-evil one is also an alien. Marvel seems to want to placate fans by adding supporting characters some of whom are Asian. Also Mike Colter has announced the premier date for Luke Cage - it's coming to Netflix on September 30. Daredevil is of course dropping this Friday.
ellestra: (tiger)
Since I'm back here is a first trailerspam - both new trailers for second season of Daredevil

Punisher


Electra
ellestra: (charlie jade)
The world is covered in yellow-green pine pollen that feels like inhaling dust and the oak and birch trigger the actual allergies. I can't walk far in this environment so I spent most of the weekend at home watching Daredevil.


We get only tiny mentions of the larger MCU - the destruction of New York by Chitauri gets the plot rolling (the bad guys earn their money rebuilding it) and Avengers get few jokes but the action is very localised to the small part of Manhattan and it feels very organic. Matt Murdock is a hero of Hell's Kitchen both as Black Mask and attorney so the large picture doesn't impact him much (yet). Unlike Agents of SHIELD he doesn't deal with world conspiracies and threats so absence of the larger MCU slate of heroes doesn't seem as obvious.

There are also hints of larger story and some Easter Eggs. We get first encounters with what is almost certainly Hand - Nobu is one of them and I'm sure that whatever the Black Sky is, it's nothing good. Whatever it is on the other side of the Gate Stick and his friend are talking about also doesn't seem fun (Matt needs to be ready for it). Madam Gao who obviously isn't who she seems as she speaks all the languages, can disappear into thin air and is from a place considerably further away than China. All this is probably connected to Iron Fist origins and will play important role in putting The Defenders together. There are also some other foreshadowings - like Matt's thing for bad girls, especially the Greek one he took Spanish for, and connections - like St. Agnes’ Orphanage where Skye was raised for a while. But all of this is only lightly hinted at and never plays any main role.

It's all about Fisk in this. And he's both an intriguing character and least interesting of the villains. We get to learn a lot about his childhood and how he became who he is and we get to see his courtship to Vanessa (which is the only real romance storyline and the most compelling part of Fisk story) but we don't really see him as any type of criminal mastermind. I suppose because he still sees himself as hero of his story despite all the brutal murders he commits and pays for but I was counting on more scheming than outright violence. Wesley does a lot of more planning and threatening and applying pressure on people to get the things he needs. He is the manipulative mastermind we see on the screen and therefore much scarier than Fisk who seems just unstable with his rage killings and mood swings. Too bad Wesley gets killed - he was the coolest villain of this series. I'm not the only one thinking that. This is one bad thing about Netflix model - it's all done before audience feedback so they can't react to audience reaction to any of the characters. But maybe that's for the best - so many other series only get worse after the feedback.

Other people in that criminal enterprise were also interesting (and dead). Leland is this kind of old, white, rich , slightly racist guy, a kind of executive, money guy stereotype that also has some of the best lines. He is the most normal person in the whole thing but also is kind of badass for an old accountant (he tasers both Matt and Fisk and almost gets away with it). The Russians are almost likeable (for a people who deal in human trafficking) with their prison backstory and I almost wish Vladimir survived so he could have more frenemy adventures with Daredevil. Nobo was kind of non-entity but Madame Gao as I mentioned is pretty awesome and she is still alive so we may one day learn who she really is.

For the good guys - I found MAtt Murdock surprisingly likeable. He has some of those Captain America qualities that make what he does seem completely justified - he's just standing up to bullies. Foggy is perfect - he's smart and funny and he cares about people in just the right way - we'd all want to have a friend like that (and also one of those moments when you feel old when you realise that the guy from all those kid movies is now in his late 30s but he looks good - he's 5 years older than Cox and 8 years older than Woll and still can play being the same age as them). Karen is obviously hiding a dark past (from whatever Ben found to killing people) but she also can't turn a blind eye to the injustice around her no matter the cost. Unfortunately the cost is high and people keep dropping dead around her - Wesley might be dead and unable to carry out his threats but people around her keep dying anyway. Like Ben Ulrich who has this almost retired but dragged into this vibe (he even tries to leave the investigation couple of times). His world is ending in many ways - his wife id dying, newspaper business is dying and his career is dying but he can't really let go, a case like that keeps nagging him and Karen pushes him on and in the end he dies too.

Unfortunately this is part of the issues this series has. I'm not sure if the series passes Bechdel Test at any point. In fact any meaningful interaction between female characters is Karen and to Mrs. Cardenas and even their talks are mostly about man. All the female characters barely even meet each other and hardly ever talk to any other women, even the background character ones. Most of the recurring characters are dead but the non-white ones get the short stick. Nobu only gets to stand there and say things in Japanese in a grumpy tone every now and than and then have a long fight scene with Daredevil and die. Russians at least get to have backstory and some character developments before they die. Claire is barley there once the romantic subplot dies (and she wasn't even supposed to be a love interest) and then just leaves which is too bad because - one - Rosario Dawson and - two - she's supposed to be also Night Nurse so this is her origin story too. The most angry I am at them killing off Ben Urich. At least the two black cops (the bad one and the good one) and Madame Gao are still alive. Let's hope A.K.A. Jessica Jones and Luke Cage will do better.

May 2016

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