Hail to the King, Baby

As Sam promised, we get a little weird here on Fridays and I will try not to disappoint. I’ve been waiting a little while to write about this. With the doldrums of summer in high gear, this seems like the perfect time. Just an advanced warning, if you’re looking for something that has to do with hockey, then you’ve come to the wrong hockey blog.

So Comic Con was a couple weeks ago and you can have your Star Wars trailers and whoever else Chris Hardwick was taking selfies with. For me, the only thing I wanted to see was the trailer for the upcoming Starz series “Ash vs. Evil Dead.”

Here what was known about the show heading into Comic Con:

  • It was a continuation of the original Evil Dead series with Sam Raimi and his brother Ivan back in control.
  • Bruce Campbell would be retaining the role of Ash and he is living in a trailer park.
  • The story takes off some 20 years after the events of Army of Darkness.

Other than that, it was kind of a mystery. Then there was the trailer (go ahead and watch it. If you’ve seen it, watch it again. Shia says DO IT.) and…oh who cares what the hell the show is about. Bruce Campbell is back in our lives. He’s jumping through the air to put a chainsaw on his stump and battling dead-ites and in-adamant objects that got possessed by the dead.

Even if the show is a great pile of suck, the nostalgia alone should carry it through the first season.

However, I have a hard time believing it will suck after watching the Ash vs. Evil Dead Comic Con panel. It’s 52 minutes long so you can skip around like I did. The main takeaways for me were:

  • The Raimi brothers have put a considerable amount of time and thought into this. They wanted to initially make a 4th movie but then they quickly realized there was so much Ash material they could explore, they wanted to make it into a weekly series.
  • Lucy Lawless will be playing a daughter or granddaughter of someone from Ash’s past. Not exactly a wide array of suspects of whom that could be. Unless his sawed off hand went out and had a bunch of kids.
  • They want to make multiple seasons with Sam Raimi saying they think they have about 4 to 5 seasons worth of material. Of course it all depends on their viewership.
  • They also want to merge the universes from the remake and the original. I never saw the remake but if it has Ash, I’d be down.

This is all very encouraging but the most promising thing for me is that the Raimis’ have had plenty of time to flush through ideas and sort this story out. To me, when you give writers like them this long to work with material they’re already comfortable with and a universe they clearly understand, it would be really hard to screw it up.

I suppose anything could happen but it would have to include a storyline of Ash having an evil split personality where he doubles as a lounge singer to mess this baby up.

–My last point kind of brings me to the next one. Whatever you think of True Detective Season 2, we can all agree it’s not nearly the phenomenon it was in Season 1.

Similar to Ash vs. Evil Dead, Season 1 was Nic Pizzolato’s life work. He worked on that story on and off for God knows how many years. So he had time to enrich the story to ridiculous proportions.

So I’m not really surprised that this season is kind of all over the place and sort of difficult to keep track of. There just wasn’t the time and attention to detail that season 1 was given.

The other thing that is sort of unfair to him when it comes to the critics is that his writing always seemed like more of a novelist masquerading as a screen writer. He’ll introduce a character; they may say something weird or there may be some symbolic item in a scene. In a novel, this happens basically in every chapter but not everything ties back in together at the end.

Mainstream television audiences are not wired to watch shows that way. Everything has to mean SOMETHING. If some random schmuck at a body shop is drinking a yellow cup, it’s because they’re the goddamn Yellow King!

–Can you name the most punchable face on TV? Here’s what he looks like:


If you guiltily watch “The Strain” like I do, then he needs no introduction. This kid makes King Joffrey look like Macaulay Culkin in “Uncle Buck.”

It’s the vampire/zombie apocalypse in New York. There are people running around with snakes shooting out of their mouths feasting on humans and infecting them with worms that crawl off their skin. You’re shacked up in some apartment with 5 other strangers working to find a cure and clean up the city one block at a time and you’ve got this little asshole bitching about warm Pepsi and how you didn’t get the cereal he likes. When he’s not doing that, he’s telling his dad that they’ll never find a cure and what a complete failure he is.

GTFOH, kid.

This show is so ridiculous.

It’s based off a trilogy of novels that Guillermo Del Toro collaborated on and is pretty much what you’d expect. The main draw for me is an old vampire hunter called Abraham Setrakian who’s played by David Bradley (who’s more commonly known as the old coot with ugly daughters that hosted the Red Wedding on Game of Thrones).

I’m not sure if his character is supposed to be as ridiculous as he plays him but I laugh every damn time he’s on the screen. If that’s not worth an Emmy, I don’t know what it is.

There are other draws as well. There’s a pest control guy played by Kevin Durand using some kind of Eastern European accent. He never disappoints. The “main” hero, Eph as he’s called, is mostly unlikeable but he has a killer wig which looks different in every scene.

–Another show I’m intrigued by is Mr. Robot on USA. Here’s how I imagine that pitch meeting went:

Our main character is Tyler Durden mixed from the hacker in “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” Then there’s a Swedish Patrick Bateman. Then there’s an older guy who’s basically River Phoenix’s character from “Sneakers” after he’s bottomed out. And they all like to hack.

Stylistically, it’s not a show that you’d expect to see on USA. If you’re looking for a summertime show to catch up on, this would be a good place to start. It’s got hobo Christian Slater; what else do you want.

All right, that should hold you over for the weekend. If there’s any other show you want to discuss, let me know.

  • Harry Longwood

    “in-adamant objects”


  • Kissmyanthia

    I’ve also been really enjoying Mr. Robot. The actor who plays Elliot is fantastic and the story is very intriguing. There are a couple of episodes that drag, but overall the series is very enjoyable.

  • narya

    Apparently SyFy is doing the Expanse stuff (James S.A. Corey, a.k.a. Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) as a series. I love the books, and Abraham has been involved with the series, as has Franck, so it might be good.

    • FifthFeather

      Interesting. I’ll have to keep an eye on that. I’m generally less than impressed with typical shows that SyFy picks up.

      • modnar

        the books are fantastic and the series is drawing rave reviews. the trailers look good and they showed the pilot at comicon and everyone came away impressed. extremely stoked about this show.

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    This is going to be Awesome.

    Lucy Lawless is in it, too.

  • Brain Sprain

    Reading this just makes me miss hockey even more

    • 60MinutesBaby60

      Bailed when I realized it wasn’t puck specific. But hey, to each his/her own live long & prosper-style.

      PS – I do hope “the force stays with” the Beloved. ;-).

  • Krivokravchuk

    I tried the Strain last year and found it unwatchable after about 4 episodes.

    TD season 2 is not living up to season 1 but that is pretty expected, season 1 was some of the best TV ever made

    Can never have enough Evil Dead

    • FifthFeather

      The Strain definitely needs patience to watch. I find the ridiculousness of it all appealing.

  • Andrew Cieslak

    Watched the Evil Dead trailer and was completely sold. Show looks absolutely hilarious.

    Fun fact about David Bradley – he’s a massive Aston Villa fan and since there are so few of us (in America, anyway) I choose to point that out whenever I can. Also Geezer Butler loves the Villa so fuck your team’s celebrity fans.

    I just wrapped up the 6 episode first season of Catastrophe starring Rob Delaney and the extremely charming Sharon Horgan. It was excellent – far surpassing my meager expectations. The guy who plays Chris was fucking fantastic – maybe one of the funniest supporting bits I’ve ever seen.

    Also in comedy, BoJack Horseman is truly one of the best comedies we’ve ever seen. It’s that good. Watch season 1 if you haven’t and then marvel at the leaps made in season 2. They made something very good, great. Paul F Tompkins is a god.