Game of Thrones Red Band Trailer (Season 6)

Embedded below is the red band trailer for the sixth season of HBO’s Game of Thrones. There are some pretty cool reveals in the trailer. Before I get to that, let’s get the red-band content out of the way — there’s some blood and Melisandre starts to show her boobs. There’s a lesbian kiss too, but I don’t consider that “red band” material. As far as red band trailers go, this one is pretty tame. Now let’s move onto the big reveals! (Raise your spoiler shields, please!)

The first, and probably the most obvious, is that Jon Snow is not dead. Yeah, there are a lot of bits in the trailer that (amusingly) try to suggest that Ned Stark’s presumed bastard is sleeping with the daisies (or whatever flowers they have in Westeros), but if you pay attention then it’s pretty obvious that Jon Snow is alive. Some of the dialogue that suggests he’s dead is clearly mashed together from different scenes (that likely have little to do with each other). Most importantly, there’s a quick bit of a man with frizzy hair charging into a battle. I’m positive that man is Jon Snow. Actor Kit Harrington’s hair (which always looked like long pubic hair to me) is easy to spot.

The part that I’m most excited about is the Tower of Joy. Long rumored to be in Game of Thrones season six, the trailer has what appears to be two flashback scenes featuring a young Ned Stark at the Tower of Joy. As fans of George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books know, what happened at the Tower of Joy is a huge deal. The books haven’t revealed the full details yet, but season six of Game of Thrones will have content that has yet to appear in print. Many book fans are hoping that the flashback scenes will show Jon Snow’s true parentage and what was behind the weight on Ned Stark’s shoulders all those years. As a fan of the books myself, I can’t wait for the Tower of Joy flashback.

There’s lots of other cool stuff in the trailer and I’d love to hear what stood out the most to you. Kindly give it a peep and let me know what you think in the comments section.

Daredevil Season Two Trailer is Full of Elektra

The lovely (and deadly) Elektra Natchios gets the spotlight in the latest trailer for Daredevil season two. Elektra  was mentioned in passing during a flashback scene in season one. This year, she’ll be brought to life by Elodie Yung. (Don’t ask me why a Greek assassin is being played by a Cambodian-French actress. White people take roles from minorities all the time!) The new Daredevil trailer shows Elektra asking for Matt Murdock’s help, kicking ass alongside the hero, and getting some sexual healing. Hopefully she ends up reconnecting (biblically) with Murdock. That guy needs to get laid.

The two-and-a-half minute clip shows much more than Elektra. It also has clips of Matt having issues with longtime companion Foggy Nelson and nurse Claire Temple. The former laments walking up to Matt’s apartment and eventually finding him dead, while the latter chastises the hero and tells him that Manhattan is no longer his city. Bits of the Punisher and Karen Page are shown as well.

The juicy stuff is, of course, the ninja stuff. Elektra tells Matt that Daredevil didn’t defeat the Yakuza; they’re just hanging out in the background while DD beats up their enemies. The Yakuza appears to be back with a vengeance, accompanied by some menacing buddies — the Hand. In the comics, many of Daredevil’s best stories have to do with the Hand. The trailer shows the mystical ninja clan storming up a building. Daredevil’s mentor Stick makes a brief appearance, warning his disciple about the Hand. Glimpses of fight scenes are shown, with Daredevil and Elektra taking on Hand ninja.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of Daredevil season one was its realistic and bone-crunching combat. While I’m greatly looking forward to glorious ninja battles in season two, I hope that the fights retain the impact of their forerunners and aren’t overly choreographed.

Anyway, please check out the new Daredevil season two trailer when you have a chance and share your thoughts in the comments section.

Zoom Theories Revisited (The Flash CW)

After hypothesizing on the identity of archfiend Zoom on The Flash last week, this week’s episode straight-up revealed his face. While more information was given to viewers, more questions were raised. Let’s use this space to continue to figure out the mysteries behind the identities of Zoom, Jay Garrick, and Dude in a Mask that’s stuck on Earth-2. Naturally, it’s time to activate your spoiler shields. Let’s use a Dothraki theme to indicate the things that are known for sure.

It is known: Zoom, Earth-2 Jay Garrick, and Earth-1 Hunter Zolomon have the same face

That was one helluva way to end a very cool episode of The Flash (the King Shark CG and Barry’s interpretive water-lightning dance were phenomenal)! Zoom returned to his lair, carrying Jay’s body while Dude in Mask continued to whimper in his cell. Zoom unmasked and revealed the visage of Jay Garrick!

Zoom Jay

As I mentioned last week, many people believe that Zoom is Earth-2 Hunter Zolomon. The new question is, “Why the hell does Zoom have the same face as Earth-2 Jay Garrick?”

Theory: Jay Garrick and Hunter Zolomon are twins

This is a popular theory that’s floating around on The Flash Reddit page. I’m not quite sold on it yet, but it would explain why Earth-2 Jay Garrick, Earth-1 Hunter Zolomon, and Zoom all have the same face. It would also explain why Guy in a Mask is being kept under wraps. Most fans are certain that it will be Teddy Sears under the iron mask, when all is said and done. (If that’s the case, hopefully Teddy Sears’ agent got him some nice money for playing four roles.) Perhaps I’ve watched too many episodes of WWE programming over the years, but having two sets of twins from multiple version of Earth seems a little too neat.

Theory: Guy in the Mask is Earth-1 Jay Garrick

By the process of elimination, it makes sense for this man to be Earth-1 Jay. That is, of course, assuming that you believe that Earth-2 Jay was who he said he was and Earth-1 Hunter Zolomon was who Earth-2 Jay said he was. (Confused yet?) Another interesting tidbit is that in the episode where Earth-1 Hunter Zolomon was revealed (season 2, episode 11), Earth-2 Jay said, “I couldn’t find a Jay Garrick anywhere on this planet.” That seems like a swerve. Surely there had to be some record of a man named Jay Garrick, unless Earth-2 Jay was a baddie all along.

Hunter Zolomon Flash

In a recent piece on VarietyThe Flash executive producer Andrew Kreisberg said, “Jay had been watching them and knew that so he was able to masterfully step into the role each of them needed. He became a friend and mentor to Barry. A love interest to the heartbroken Caitlin. He skillfully played them all.” What Earth-2 Jay said in episode 11 and what Kreisberg said to Variety has me sticking to my theory that Zoom is Earth-2 Hunter Zolomon, as well as the guy parading around Earth-1 as Earth-2 Jay. Of course that doesn’t explain the corpse Zoom carried to his hideout.

It is known: Earth-2 Jay Garrick is dead…

…or at least a guy that looked like him is dead. At the end of tonight’s episode, Zoom drops Earth-2 Jay’s lifeless body and says, “Well this…is a complication.” I’m not certain that Zoom was talking about Jay’s death; he could have been talking about all the breaches being closed. Keeping in mind that Kreisberg implied that Zoom and Jay are the same person, I’m not convinced that the corpse was actually in the Garrick or Zolomon gene pool. This season has a lot symmetry with last season, so it wouldn’t surprise me if the “Jay” that died (while standing in front of an ominous portal like an asshat) was a shapeshifter working with Zoom. Remember, the Reverse Flash had Everyman posing as him to distract the good guys. Symmetry!

Theory: The “Jay” corpse isn’t actually Jay

Jay Garrick Idiot

Even though Zoom was unmasked in this episode, there are still so many questions about the true identities of multiple characters. The first season of The Flash played around with time paradoxes. This season is playing around with the multiverse. Is it possible that the writers are combining the two in order to surprise the audience along about the “real” identities of Zoom, Jay Garrick, and Dude in a Mask? I’m still not completely sure, but I can’t wait for more episodes of The Flash to start in late March!

Given the big Zoom reveal at the end of this episode, what are your new theories on the true identities of Zoom, Jay Garrick (both versions), and Dude in a Mask? Please leave a comment and let me know!

Zoom Theories (The Flash Season Two CW)

The identity of Zoom has been one of the most fascinating aspects of The Flash season two. Episode 14 may have contained a few hints about the identity of this enigmatic speedster. I’m going to use this space to discuss a pair of Zoom theories and some of the circumstances that may support them. Naturally, please turn your spoiler shields on.

Flash Iron Mask
Despite all his rage he is still just a dude in a cage.

Let’s start with one of Zoom’s prisoners — the guy in the iron mask. Using his keen and scientific mind, Barry deduces that Iron Mask Cage Guy is tapping out letters using a code favored by prisoners of war. The guy spells out “Jay” and has a fit when Barry says that Jay Garrick is safe on Earth-1.

Theory: The guy in the mask is the real Earth-2 Jay Garrick.

If that theory pans out, then who the hell is the “Jay Garrick” that has been hanging around with the Earth-1 heroes? Remember when Caitlin tried to find “Jay’s” Earth-1 counterpart? She ended up finding a man named Hunter Zolomon. “Jay” explains that Zolomon has a different name because he was adopted. Is it possible that “Jay” is a big fat liar? The answer to that would be no, because he’s a physically fit man, but he could still be lying.

Theory: The guy Earth-1 heroes think is Earth-2 Jay Garrick is actually Earth-2 Hunter Zolomon.

Comics fans know that Hunter Zolomon is Zoom’s Christian name, but there’s more to it than that. One of the more interesting Zoom theories I’ve read comes from this Reddit thread. A few posters suspect that Fake Jay Garrick is actually Zoom. He’s messing around on Earth-1 to monitor Barry’s powers and waiting for the right moment to steal them. Using my Seinfeld voice, “Did you ever notice that ‘Jay’ and Zoom are never in the same room together?” I’m going to zip through the old episodes to make sure, but the only time I remember them sharing a scene was during a flashback sequence narrated by “Jay.” That tale could be part of Zoom’s big ruse.

Theory: Fake Jay Garrick and Zoom are the same person.

Jay Garrick Idiot
I think I’ll just stand in front of this ominous portal, grinning like an idiot!

Fake Jay and Zoom being the same guy would also explain the scene above. The heroes have escaped Zoom’s clutches in Earth-2 and “Jay” has just closed the breech. While everyone else is standing a safe distance away, “Jay” is lingering in front of the yet-to-completely-close portal, smiling like a jackass. Seconds later, he’s impaled by Zoom’s arm and is dragged back to Earth-2. It all seems rather silly. Either Jay Garrick is a world class moron or he wanted the Earth-1 heroes to think “Jay” died. The way the scene was filmed, it was completely obvious that something bad was going to happen to “Jay.” Perhaps “Jay’s” fake death was another layer of Zoom’s master plan.

Theory: Fake Jay is Young Zoom

A few Reddit posters believe that Fake Jay is Earth-2 Hunter Zolomon, while Zoom is a future iteration. Fake Jay said that he was obsessed with getting faster, ergo his Velocity-6 abuse. Zoom is quite clearly obsessed with getting faster. I’m not as big on this theory, but it does have a certain symmetry with the baddie from The Flash season one.

Max Mercury
The zen master of the speed force.

Theory: Dude in a Mask is Max Mercury.

This is almost definitely not going to happen, but I would love it if Dude in the Iron Mask was Max Mercury. DC Comics’ “zen master” of speed has been a father figure to many speedsters. He’s also the most knowledgable person in the world when it comes to the “speed force.” That could explain why Zoom wants him locked up; he can’t have the Yoda of speed teaching young heroes how to defeat him.

The Flash television series will definitely have Kid Flash (Wally West) in the future and possibly Jesse Quick as well. The new speedsters could use a fatherly tutor like Max Mercury, while Barry is off doing the heavy hero work. But like I said, Max Mercury is almost definitely not going to happen. It’s a long shot, combined with wishful thinking on my part.

Anyway, those are some assorted theories on the identities of Zoom and Dude in the Iron Mask. I’d love hear some of yours! Kindly share your theories in the comments section.

Daredevil Season Two Trailer Focuses on Punisher

Embedded below is the latest trailer for Daredevil season two, coming to Netflix on March 18, 2016. The first season was a fantastic success, lauded by critics and comic-book fanboys alike. Daredevil season two aims to take the show to new heights with new characters and new conflicts on top of the series’ trademark device of hero Matt Murdock getting beaten to a bloody pulp. For comics fans, the trailer is particularly interesting because it focuses on the Punisher character and has a lovely surprise at the end.

Let’s start with the Punisher. In the comics, Vietnam War veteran Frank Castle becomes an unhinged vigilante after his family is gunned down in Central Park. Daredevil season two Punisher looks the same, with the dead family, wanton violence, and ridiculous ordnance. (Seriously, how does he afford all those guns and bullets?) The Punisher aims to kill bad guys and doesn’t care what he has to do in order to get the job done. Daredevil, while a vigilante, prefers to keep his villains alive and let the legal system rehabilitate the baddies. As a lawyer-by-day, Daredevil — perhaps hypocritically — considers the Punisher an outlaw. On the flip side, the Punisher considers Daredevil a pussy.

What’s really juicy is that Daredevil seems alone in his Punisher angst. The Daredevil season two trailer showed clips of his nearest and dearest empathizing with the Punisher. This includes his business parter and best friend Foggy Nelson, his receptionist and future romantic interest Karen Page, and the lovely nurse that patches him (after getting his ass kicked engaging in illegal activities) Claire Temple. Their sentiment seems to be along the lines of, “Yeah, the Punisher dude is breaking the law, but he’s doing what’s necessary for Hell’s Kitchen. If he keeps killing bad guys then maybe this awful lightbulb shortage will finally be over!” (I may have made up that last part. Seriously though, I’ve lived in Hell’s Kitchen and it never looked that dark.)

In addition to some glorious fight sequences, the Daredevil season two conflict between the hero and the antihero allows for lots of dramatic possibilities. My fear is that it will get overbearing, with Matt whining about what the Punisher is doing and getting all uppity about his way of breaking the law being a vigilante. In some ways, I foresee a Bret Hart vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin situation developing. In this case, Daredevil is the good guy that fans will get sick of and turn on. The Punisher will be the cool “heel” character that fans will love. Besides, dude has a cool logo and lots of guns.

Closing out the trailer is a quick glimpse of Elektra Natchios. *schwing*

Anyway, check out the Daredevil season two trailer when you have a chance and let me know what you think (please!).

Coffee Talk #668: Thank You Daniel Bryan!

The first time I saw Daniel Bryan wrestle was at a Ring of Honor show in Chicago Ridge, IL in 2006. He was still working under his real name, Bryan Danielson. My excellent friend Justin and I were there to support our buddy Austin Aries (the greatest man that ever lived). As expected, Aries killed it. The bonus was the hours of spectacular wrestling I wasn’t expecting. The guys from Japan — Genki Horiguchi, Dragon Kid, and Blood Generation — were spectacular. Delirious totally cracked me up. Most importantly, that night made me a mark for Bryan Danielson and Claudio Castagnoli. The two would go on to have tremendous success in the WWE as Daniel Bryan and Antonio Cesaro, respectively.

Last night on WWE Monday Night Raw, Daniel Bryan announced his retirement. He’s only 34-years old, but due to multiple concussions, he has to call it quits as pro-wrestler. It’s sad that he won’t be able to do what he loves. Selfishly, I’m bummed that he won’t be able to sports-entertain me any longer. Still, his short career in the WWE was a remarkable one. He connected with the fans in a powerful and unconventional way. While he was always among the best technical wrestlers in the WWE, he didn’t have “the look” or the size of a typical WWE headliner. Instead, Daniel Bryan connected with the fans with unusual honesty and earnestness. He was amazing in the ring and went about his work with a contagious joy. While I thought he would do well in the WWE, I never imagined that he’d headline WrestleMania and become the most “over” guy on the roster.

In addition to the Chicago Ridge show in 2006, I also saw Daniel Bryan wrestle in Detroit in 2007. There was so much I enjoyed about this guy. As a hair metal connoisseur, I loved that he used “The Final Countdown” as his entrance song. I got a kick out of him grabbing the mic from the ring announcer so that he could append his introduction with, “The best wrestler in Chicago this weekend.” His in-ring style was fantastic — a wonderful blend of technical wrestling and high-flying. His use of old-school moves, like the airplane spin, was outstanding. I loved when Daniel Bryan would remind the ref, “I have ’til five!” While he was still Bryan Danielson, Daniel Bryan was everything I wanted from an indie wrestler.

A photo posted by Raymond Padilla (@rpadtv) on

So yeah, those were the first two times I saw Daniel Bryan in person. The last time was in 2013. This time around, he was a full-blown WWE Superstar and a huge deal. I was doing red carpet interviews at a charity event for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Despite his crazy success, it was fantastic to see that Daniel Bryan was still a goofy, laid-backed guy. Off camera, we chatted about our mutual friend Austin Aries, as well as his suddenly-improved wardrobe. His then-girlfriend (now wife) Brie Bella gave him a fashion makeover. He was still proud of his corduroys, which he had for a long time (and totally didn’t match the rest of an otherwise slick ensemble). Daniel Bryan had made it big, but Bryan Danielson was still the guy under the new suit.

As many longtime RPadholics know, after Shawn Michaels retired, I put all my WWE hopes and dreams on Daniel Bryan and Antonio Cesaro. The latter is out with an injury and the former just retired. *sigh* I loved Daniel Bryan’s WWE run (despite the lack of “cattle mutilation“). It was probably the last time I greatly enjoyed the WWE product. While he didn’t have the longevity of many “top guys” in WWE history, his star was one of the brightest that ever burned.

Random Thoughts on Lucifer S1E1

As a huge fan of The Sandman: Season of Mists, I was curious about the Lucifer television series. In the comics, Lucifer Morningstar is the lord of hell and has grown tired of ruling the damned for 10,000,000,000 years. He absconds his throne, throwing the world of gods in disarray. His adventures continue in his own comic, which blends supernatural adventures with a core theme — predestination vs. free will. The first episode of the Lucifer television series touches on this theme, but adds a new dimension that could be possibly doom the series.

Here are some random thoughts on Lucifer season one episode one, brought to you in battle-tested RPadTV binary system.

Lucifer s1e1

Charming Cast (Good): Tom Ellis is absolutely delightful as Lucifer Morningstar. He’s charming, witty, and hilarious. As you’d expected from a devilish character, he’s dashingly obnoxious. He’s kind of a dick, but you can’t help but like him.

The rapport between Ellis and Lauren German (playing LAPD detective Chloe Decker) is excellent. They play off of each other well, in a way that you’d expect established characters in a third season of a TV show to work with each other. Their vibe is so strong in the pilot and I’m looking forward to seeing it burgeon.

LAPD What?!? (Bad): From what I’ve read, the former lord of hell will be spending a bulk of the season…assisting LAPD investigations. This seems idiotic and takes away from the character’s central theme. What made the books so enjoyable is the dichotomy of Lucifer’s life; running a club in Los Angeles and dealing with gods from different pantheons is a stark contrast.

My fear is that the LAPD angle will make the show seem too much like NYPD: Satan or CSI: Fallen Angel. If the show winds up being a procedural then that would be a big fail. At its best, the comics examine how much free will beings (human and otherwise) really have vs. everything being part of God’s plan. That’s what I want the focus of the show to be (set in the ridiculous backdrop of the ridiculous city of Los Angeles).

Lucifer s1e1

Great Cinematography (Good, duh): The visuals of Lucifer surprised me. My expectations for a Fox television show are low and I was impressed by Lucifer’s feel. The show favors an oversaturated color palette, giving Los Angeles a dreamy look. In some ways, the gratuitous portrayal of Los Angeles reminded me of how the city was used in Entourage, but in a more artful and less heavy-handed fashion.

Angel (Good): The angel Amenadiel was introduced early in the show, trying to get Lucifer back to his station in hell. I want more of this and less of the LAPD nonsense. Amenadiel is a proud angel and clearly hates Lucifer. He also seems annoyed with being tasked with getting a guy to do his damn job. Hell not having a ruler has enormous repercussions for the universe and God isn’t too happy about it. Since the protagonist of the show is supernatural, I want to see him in supernatural adventures dealing with angels, God, and gods. Hopefully Amenadiel play a bigger role in future episodes.

Angels (Bad): The downer is that Amenadiel looks like he’ll be an amalgam of the various angels used in The Sandman and Lucifer comics. Instead of having multiple angels, the Lucifer television show seems to have one serving all of their roles. I’d rather see Amenadiel, Michael, Gabriel, Duma, and Remiel on the show separately than one Swiss Army Knife angel. Though I suppose the angel mash was necessary in order for Lucifer to romp around with an LAPD detective. *sigh*

Lucifer Amenadiel

Mazikeen (Bad): In the comics, Mazikeen first appears as a frail and deformed demon that’s completely devoted to Lucifer. She develops into a strong and powerful character with enough moxie to call Lucifer out on his crap. In the television show, Mazikeen already has the attitude and is tired of Lucifer simply being a nightclub owner. I’m bummed that the show won’t show this character’s interesting development.

Bottom Line: I went into Lucifer episode one with a lot of apprehension. The LAPD angle is infuriatingly stupid and I don’t see any way that it will work out. Despite that, I enjoyed the pilot. Tom Ellis and Lauren German were great. The imagery was surprisingly strong. While I don’t have high hopes for the series in the long run, I’m going to give it a few more episodes.

Coffee Talk #666: Random Thoughts on Jessica Jones

Following up on Marvel’s excellent Daredevil original series for Netflix comes Jessica Jones. While the titular heroine has a small following among comics readers, I expect that the general public will react to her name with a, “Who?” Thankfully, Marvel’s latest Netflix series allows people to get to know her intimately, in a fantastically cerebral ride. I was really impressed with the job Marvel did with Daredevil and while Jessica Jones isn’t as broadly appealing, in many ways it’s a superior show. Here are some random thoughts on the Jessica Jones Netflix series, using the trusty RPadTV binary system.

[Turn your spoiler shields on!]

Better Than Daredevil (Good): My biggest problem with Daredevil was that the supporting cast was better than the lead. Charlie Cox was decent, but not as good as the actors and actresses that surrounded him most episodes. That’s not an issue with Jessica Jones. Krysten Ritter was phenomenal playing a damaged, layered, and gritty hero. Her Jessica Jones was complex and interesting, powerful and vulnerable, charming and off-putting. Thanks to some great writing and a strong performance, Jessica Jones is one of the most fascinating characters the Marvel Cinematic Universe has ever seen.

As Good As Daredevil (Good): That isn’t to say that Miss Ritter wasn’t surrounded by similarly strong performances. Her antagonist and supporting cast were great too. Jessica Jones‘ Luke Cage and Trish Walker were a little bit better than Daredevil’s Foggy Nelson and Karen Page. Most of my nerd friend’s liked Daredevil’s Kingpin better than Jessica Jones‘ Kilgrave, but to me they were equally strong — but very different — villains. Similar to how Jessica Jones is one of the most unique heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Kilgrave is one of its most unique villains (more on him later).

Poor Hell’s Kitchen (Bad): People that aren’t familiar with New York City will think that Hell’s Kitchen is the most dangerous part of Manhattan. In reality, it hasn’t been dangerous for decades. On the plus side, Hell’s Kitchen in Jessica Jones wasn’t as ridiculously dark as it was in Daredevil (where apparently there was a lightbulb shortage). Still, the real Hell’s Kitchen is a gentrified neighborhood, complete with several Starbucks, Subways, and other soulless franchises. Seeing it portrayed the way it is in the Marvel Cinematic Universe makes me laugh.

Jessica Jones Kilgrave Purple Man

Kilgrave? More Like Deprave! (Good): Jessica Jones‘ villain, Kilgrave, is…f*cked up. With the ability to control minds, Kilgrave makes everyone do whatever the hell he wants. He’s depraved and debauched, enjoying his powers to the fullest. He has no problem making a daughter shoot her parents to further his goals. He’s fine with taking both of a man’s kidneys, leaving the victim to rely on dialysis for the rest of his life. He steals, kills (indirectly, most of the time), and rapes as he sees fit. You get the sense that he doesn’t feel like he’s doing anything too wrong; he’s just using the powers he ended up with. Actually, you get the sense that he doesn’t think about the consequences of most of his actions. Kilgrave is a villain of pure id.

A Faithful Sidekick (Good): As a longtime Marvel Comics reader, I’m curious to see where the show goes with Patricia “Trish” Walker. Jessica Jones’ best friend, the two have a long and complicated relationship. I loved how Trish’s background as a child actress was used throughout the series. While she doesn’t have her bestie’s super powers, she’s a strong woman in her own right. Trish grew from a manipulated child star with a hellacious stage mom to a confident and capable adult. Comics fans know that she becomes Hellcat and joins The Defenders. With The Defenders series looming, I’m hoping that Netflix Trish follows a similar path. Plus, the It’s Patsy (the show she starred in as a kid) theme song is funny.

Jessica Jones Trish Walker

Fizzled Nuke (Bad): The Will Simpson character had lots of potential, but ultimately didn’t live up to it. Simpson started out in an interesting way — a cop controlled by Kilgrave that tried to kill Trish. After coming to his senses, he was remorseful and started a relationship with his victim. He interrupted the dynamic between Jessica and Trish while adding a direct connection to the police…and then he got powered up by super drugs…and became an uninteresting psycho. This character was better off as a somewhat meddlesome good guy than a generic baddie.

Sweet Christmas! (Good): Also looming in Netflix’s future is a Luke Cage series. A supporting character in Jessica Jones, Luke shines in the time that he’s given. In the show, he’s a bartender that’s getting over the senseless death of his wife and hiding several secrets. He’s a great complement to Jess, as they’re both damaged, but deal with things in different ways. I really liked this version of Luke Cage as a supporting character and am looking forward to seeing him star in his own show. I love that they kept his “Sweet Christmas!” phrase, but wish they slipped in an old photo of Luke wearing a yellow silk shirt and a metal tiara. That would have been awesome.

Jessica Jones Luke Cage

Atypical Heroics (Possibly Bad): If you like your heroes large, loud, and bashing things then Jessica Jones isn’t for you. As I mentioned in the intro, the show is cerebral. This isn’t a beat-em-up action show. Daredevil was beaten up a lot in his show. By contrast, some of the biggest hits Jessica takes are mental and emotional. While there are some nice action sequences in Jessica Jones, there are even more mystery, thriller, and film noir elements. When Daredevil first aired, I enjoyed how different it was from anything else in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Jessica Jones takes it to a whole other level.

Contrary Backlash (Bad): Some people are hating on the show because it’s so different. Some feel that critics are overly praising Jessica Jones because it has several strong female characters. RPadholic Smartguy mentioned that he thought the show was about sexual abuse because of an article he read. Try to ignore all the backlash, because you’ll be missing out on a great show. Yes, Jessica Jones has several strong female characters, but that’s a wonderful thing. It also has physically and emotionally strong male character in Luke Cage. Yes, Kilgrave has sexually abused some of his victims, including Jessica, but the show and the characters are about much more than that. This is a complex television show and some people are oversimplifying it.

Bottom Line: While I loved Jessica Jones and think that’s it’s even better than Daredevil, I understand why some people won’t like it as much. It is, perhaps, too different from the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It has more in common with CSI than it does with The Avengers. As for me, I enjoyed the show’s distinct tone and characters. The protagonists are all wonderfully flawed and layered. While he’s not as powerful as Loki, Kilgrave is an even scarier villain. Jessica Jones has continued Marvel’s tradition of exceeding expectations with its Netflix series. In many ways, what’s happening in the small-screen corner of the MCU is more interesting than what’s happening on the big screen. Jessica Jones is a big reason why.

AMC Releases First Trailer For Preacher TV Series

AMC has released the first trailer for the Preacher television series. Based on the outstanding Preacher comics by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, the television show is being written and produced by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. A wonderful combination of heady writing, bizarre characters, and grotesque violence, the comics are some of my all-time favorites. When the show was announced, I was excited and apprehensive. The trailer, embedded below, gives a clearer picture of where the show is heading, but I shall continue to temper my excitement with caution.

The clip shows Dominic Cooper as Jesse Custer (the titular preacher), Joseph Gilgun as the vampiric Cassidy, and Ruth Negga as Tulip. As far as the protagonists go, Jesse and Tulip don’t really look the way the comic-book characters do in my head, but I could get used to them if they play the parts right. Cassidy seems on point, with his high-pitched voice and Irish charm. Considering that this is the first trailer for the series, not a lot was shown, but the clip did indicate that the show would be as wacky and violent as the comics were. Hopefully the next trailer has more scenes with The Saint of Killers and Arseface.

Again, since this was the first footage AMC has released, this was more of a teaser than anything else. With that in mind, it did make me more curious about the show. While Walking Dead has been a popular television show for AMC, there are some purists that are…unhappy with the liberties the showrunners have taken. I’m hoping that Rogen and Goldberg are fanboy enough to stick as close to the source material as possible while deftly adapting parts of the comics that translate poorly to television.

I have faith that Rogen and Goldberg will make a supreme effort to make Preacher nerds proud, but I also worry about the scale of the whole thing. Preacher was one of the most unique and brilliant comics ever made. Adapting it to television — without pissing off fanboys — seems like an extremely difficult task. While it was nice to finally see a trailer for Preacher, I remain apprehensively excited. How about you guys and gals? Please share your thoughts on the trailer in the comments section.

Preacher will premiere on AMC in 2016.

Coffee Talk #665: ESPN’s Closure of Grantland is Disheartening

On October 30, 2015, ESPN made the horrible decision to shut down Grantland. The website offered a fantastic combination of sports and pop-culture coverage. It quickly became my favorite website on the Internet shortly after it launched. Grantland’s writing was longer, smarter, and sharper than most of what you’ll find on the Internet. The site’s closure is disheartening on several levels.

As a readerGrantland’s closure is disappointing because it had some of ESPN’s best writing. The site excelled at long-form articles that were informative and entertaining. It had a wide variety of writers that skillfully covered a wide variety of topics. While sports was Grantland’s emphasis, it also covered movies, music, television, pro-wrestling, and more. No matter the topic, I could always depend on a well-written article on Grantland that always entertained me and often left me a bit smarter than I was before I read it.

As a reader, I also appreciated Grantland’s simple layout. The design emphasized content and the advertising was tame by today’s standards. Grantland loaded quickly on desktop and mobile devices, unlike some of my other favorite websites (I’m looking at you, The Verge). Sadly, a website with great writing and user-friendly design is uncommon these days. That Grantland offered both was extraordinary.

As a longtime Internet writerGrantland’s closure is depressing. It shows that corporate hacks are unwilling and/or unable to support great content creation. It’s sad that the dozens of fantastic editors and writers at Grantland no longer have jobs, while ESPN continues to pay Stephen A. Smith to act like an idiot on television. It makes me wonder what kind of support the website had from the suits, its advertisers, and its readers. Obviously something was missing. The high-quality content was there, but did the suits support it with enough marketing? Did the site not get enough ad dollars? Were people uninterested in longer articles? It’s baffling.

As a longtime ESPN.com reader, I’m amused that Grantland’s closure killed the best writing the company had to offer. I used to love ESPN.com, but it has become garbage. While the site is ESPN’s Internet flagship, the writing on Grantland and FiveThirtyEight (another ESPN-owned website) was superior to anything on the “main” website. ESPN.com has devolved in a mashup of moronic click bait, AP reposts, thoughtless opinion pieces, daily LeBron James updates, and the occasional solid article. Copyediting is, sadly, optional on ESPN.com.

Add it all up and it’s disheartening. My favorite website is gone. Another corporate overlord has pissed on the value of quality content. Instead of enjoying my daily dose of Grantland, I’ll have to read the crap on ESPN.com. Oh well, maybe it’s time to give Yahoo! Sports another look.