Another cancelled Marvel show which I’m hoping might get another home at Disney’s own channel is Cloak and Dagger. This duo was created in 1980s and it showed in their stories where they mostly battle drug dealers. Truthfully, I was a bit worried that the show would be too teenagey for me, because the characters are teenagers.

But it’s not. It feels like a very well done update. It’s set in New Orleans.

Tyrone Johnson (Cloak) is more typical US teenager. He’s in a private High School and in the basketball team. He’s interested in a black girl whose family is into voodoo. However, when he was a child he witnessed a white cop shooting his older brother, whom he adored. He tried to tell people but nobody believed him. The death of his brother deeply impacted the family. His picture is still up and Ty is partly in the team because his brother was an excellent player and Ty wants to live up to his memory. Yet, when we see young Ty around his brother’s death, he’s trying to steal cars and hustle people for money.

Tandy Bowen’s life is a mess. She hustles young rich jerks for money. Her mother is an addict and she must hide her money from her mom. At the start of the show, her mom has a new boyfriend, a lawyer, and Tandy is convinced that he’s just using her mom. Tandy has a boyfriend who is also a hustler. Tandy’s dad died the same night as Ty’s brother. Tandy adored her dad and both she and her mom are broken up about his death. Her mom is still trying to prove that the company he worked for, Roxxon, is responsible for his death. Yet, when we see young Tandy, she’s a little ballet dancer whose parents obviously have money.

This isn’t a regular superhero show. No costumes or masks. The first season revolves around Tandy and Ty getting to know each other, getting to grips with the powers, and solving the deaths of their family members.

Their connection is a mystical one from the start: when Roxxon Oil’s oil rig explodes, a cop startles at the explosion and shoots Ty’s brother. Ty dives in to save him. At the same time, the car where Tandy and her dad are has an accident and ends up in the water, too. Tandy and Ty find each other in the water right after the explosion. They’re washed to the shore but Tandy wakes up first and just leaves.

The show also has voodoo elements.

What I really appreciated is that Tandy and Ty aren’t romantically linked, at least in the first season. In the comics, the Cloak needs Dagger’s light and that’s why they have no choice but to be together. Hopefully, that element isn’t brought to the show.

A third character from the comics is Detective Brigit O’Reilly. She’s in the show, too, as a reluctant ally to the duo. She’s a world-weary cop who tries to advice the youngsters that world isn’t a fair place.

The show tackles race and class issues, as you might expect with a black man and a white woman as the leads. It’s also very character-driven, exploring the past and present of Ty and Tandy and they developing friendship.

Their powers aren’t clear from the start and have been changed somewhat from the comic.

The first season has ten episodes. The end of the season isn’t a cliffhanger but some things are left unresolved.

I enjoyed this show a lot.

This series was created by Fox and after the way they canceled Firefly, I’ve been wary of watching their shows (yes, Fox, some of us remember…) But I loved this show!

It’s an alternate reality which has a handful of new characters but also takes some familiar characters and turns them sideways.

In this world, the X-Men and the Brotherhood have vanished after a catastrophic event where many humans were killed because of mutants. Now, mutants are persecuted not just by ordinary racists but also a government organization Sentinel Services and violent vigilantes called Purifiers.

The first group of main characters are the Strucker family: father Reed, mom Caitlin, 17-year old Lauren, and 15-year old Andy. Reed is a prosecutor who goes after mutants. He believes that most mutants are dangerous and shouldn’t be free. However, when he and Caitlin find out that both their children are mutants, without a second’s hesitation they leave their lives behind and run. Through his job, Reed knows something about the mutant underground movement which smuggles mutants out of US and tries free those who have been locked up in jails or mental hospitals.

In the underground, we have John Proudstar, or Thunderbird, who was a US soldier and now is one of the leaders of the underground movement. He also tries to teach the younger mutants how to use their powers. Lorna Dane is Polaris. This version of her has a bipolar disorder. Her father, who is never named but is alluded to as Magneto, left her with a foster family and she’s very bitter about it, even though her foster mother tried her best. She teaches younger mutants to fight. In the second episode, she finds out that she’s pregnant. Eclipse, Marcos Diaz, is a former drug smuggler and now one of the leaders of the underground in addition to John and Lorna. He and Polaris are lovers. Blink is a teenager who has a hard time trusting anyone. She can’t control her teleporting abilities, either.

On the Sentinels Services’ side we have Jace Turner whose only child died because of mutants. He believes that he’s doing the country and all humans a service.

The group has a nice mix of personalities and all sides think that they’re doing the right thing. Also, the mutants have hard time trusting the Struckers.

I must admit that when I started watching the show I wasn’t convinced that putting a family with the last name of Strucker as the main characters was a good choice. In the comics, Struckers are the bad guys. However, during the two seasons Struckers’ family history is revealed and is explored nicely, so in the end I think it worked well.

I also really enjoyed Caitlin and Reed’s relationship. It is tested from time to time but they’re a very solid couple who can always depend on each other. I really didn’t care for how the show treated Lorna and Marcos but their relationship did have quite a few dramatic twists.

However, my favorite character was John in the second season. He’s lost so much and is desperately trying to keep the underground together. Yet, he’s always there for his friends and bottling up everything to be the best hero he can be (yeah, not healthy).

The show explores themes like family (both blood families and otherwise), oppression, and inner strength. Most superhero stories deal with power and how it’s used. So does this show. It has both individuals who are powerful but also government and various groups. The second season especially deals with various groups and how they use power.

Most of the time the answer seems to be fear. Fear of mutants, both their individual powers and their collective potential. But the mutants also live in fear of humans. Fear drives people to do things which look senseless. Both Purifiers and one mutant group which emerges in the second season are examples of this.

The show was canceled after just two seasons. It might be possible that Disney could pick it up but I’m not optimistic. However, the two season hold up good. The final episode ties almost all loose ends but gives a glimpse of more exciting things in the future. So, while I was disappointed that it was canceled, it did get a decent ending.

I’ve always thought that the X-Men are more suited to TV than movies and the Gifted pretty much proved that.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Yesterday, the topic was Top 10 most Bingeworthy TV Shows/Amazing Movies.

Aren’t all TV shows you love worth binging on? I tend to binge more on shorter comedy shows, but sometimes on older and newer favorites, as well.

1, Frasier
I just love the characters and the cast. Frasier and his brother Niles are such snobs and often trying to one-up the other, but in the end they all stick together. It also has outrageous minor characters, like Frasier’s agent Bebe and Niles’ wife Maris.

2, Yes Minister/ Yes Prime minister
A parody show about British government.

3, Black Books
Another British comedy show, this time about a second-hand book store owner who’s really bad at being a store owner and his two strange friends.

4, Star Wars: Rebels
The new cartoon Star Wars is surprising good.

5, Buffy
I can’t have a list like this without Buffy. It came out when episode shows were changing into more continuous story lines so it has a mix of both. Another show where I just love the characters: Buffy, Willow, Xander, Giles, Faith, Spike…

6, Flash
One of the best new shows I’m following. Another show with great characters, with lots of superhero action and some (family) drama.

7, Legends of Tomorrow
Sillier than the Flash but still oddly addictive

8, Firefly
With only 14 episodes and one movie, it’s quick to rewatch. Basically a western in space with awesome characters.

9, Orphan Black
This show really builds on the previous episodes so it’s great to watch back-to-back.

10, Fringe
Another show which benefits from back-to-back watching especially when the big plot kicking in near the end of the first season.

My brother bought me the DVDs for Christmas and we watched it in just a couple of weeks. I really liked it mostly.

I liked the science part of it, even though it’s superhero science (magic really). Barry Allen is a crime scene investigator in Central City. He’s obsessed with his troubled past: his mother was murdered when he was young and his father was convicted of the murder and is in prison. But Barry knows that his father didn’t do it and is looking for evidence to free his father. When a particle accelerator malfunctions when its turned on during a violent storm, Barry is hit by lightning and becomes superhumanly fast. Other people also get powers during that event and Barry joins forces with S.T.A.R. labs’ people to fight superhuman crime.

The Flash is more lighthearted than Arrow, about the same as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the first season, before that show went significantly darker. Right from the start Barry has a large cast of supporting characters: Star lab’s director Dr. Wells, Star labs employees Dr. Snow and Cisco (an engineering genius), Barry’s adoptive father detective Joe West, Joe’s daughter (and Barry’s love interest) journalist student Iris, and Iris’ boyfriend and Joe’s partner Eddie. Iris and Eddie don’t know that Barry is Flash. But Iris starts a blog about Flash and follows the sightings eagerly.

The show has both “monster of the week” episodes and an underlying larger story arch which worked nicely. Pretty much the only thing I didn’t like was that Barry was ‘protecting’ Iris by not telling her who he was. We’ve seen that so many time, in fact Arrow has exactly the same thing: Oliver ‘protecting’ his sister Thea and his love interest by keeping them in the dark. The problem is, of course, that things you don’t know can still hurt you. And we’ve seen this so many times; couldn’t they have thought of something else? Another problem is that it makes the woman (and it’s almost always a woman kept in the dark) so stupid when she doesn’t figure it out. The longer the story line is dragged the stupider she seems.

The series has two cross-over episodes with Arrow and those were a lot of fun. I really enjoyed the supporting cast: Dr. Wells was built well throughout the first season and Cisco is a great character with the jokes and upbeat spirit. Although we both wondered about why Caitlin was employed by the labs in the first place. Isn’t she some sort of medical doctor? I’m not nearly as knowledgeable about DC characters as Marvel so the series had some surprises.

The final episode ends in a cliffhanger. The series also has time travel and I’m still a bit iffy about that. But it’s going to be a long wait for the next season (Finnish Netflix doesn’t have Flash). So you US people are going to keep on watching it, right? So that we can all get another season.

Finnish TV is showing Arrow but not Flash.

This season has seven episodes, with the two part Swords of Wayland.

Episodes: The Prophecy, The Children of Israel, Lord of the Trees, The Enchantment, The Swords of Wayland 1 and 2, and The Greatest Enemy.

This season has more magic than the previous season, particularly in the Enchantment and the Swords of Wayland. The writing is still very good and otherwise, this season is just as good as the first one. With only seven episodes, there’s no room for filler.

The series starts with Herne’s prophecy about a prisoner close to Robin. First Robin and the Merry Men think that Herne means Little John who is Guy’s prisoner. However, after they free Little John, Robin hears that Prince John has come to Nottingham with a mysterious prisoner.

The sheriff is away from Nottingham and Guy has to entertain the Prince. However, that’s increasingly hard for Guy who has never been a diplomat nor a courtier. Guy also has his own scheme: one of his men has infiltrated the Merry Men. Pretty soon Guy is stripped of his position and thrown in jail. Will and Robin have a conflict over leadership which escalates in the next episode.

In the Children of Israel, the sheriff is back and shows the depths of his cruelty and greed. He owes a significant amount of money to a Jewish man, Joshua de Talmont. The sheriff doesn’t want to pay him back, so he arranges a riot and during it almost all the Jewish people in Nottingham are killed. However, Joshua’s eldest daughter Sarah has caught Guy’s eye and Guy warns them. The family flees
just in time but Guy kidnaps Sarah. He just assumes that Sarah will happily marry him, renouncing her faith and overlooking his part in the riot.

Meanwhile, our heroes are trying to ambush the returning sheriff but they fail and Tuck is hurt. Will lectures Robin about how he will never be more than an outlaw and that they should just keep the money they steal. Will leaves and later he robs the de Talmont family. Robin’s gang asks help from villages for the first time but the villagers are afraid and refuse to help them. This discourages Robin but only momentarily.

However, the rift between Will and Robin is repaired pretty easily. It seems to me that it had more to do with helping the de Talmant family, than with Robin.

In the Lord of the Trees, we see the villagers worshiping Herne. During the time of the Blessing no blood must be shed. Of course, exactly at that time Guy has invited some French mercenaries to Nottingham in order to deal with the outlaws.

The outlaws celebrate the Blessing with villagers of Wickham. Even when Herne is shot with an arrow in full view of everyone, they still keep to the time of the Blessing and even though Herne himself says that he’s “just a man” he clearly has some magical powers. Even Abbot Hugo warns Guy not to underestimate the old gods and when Guy says “they never existed” and storms off, Hugo is clearly disturbed. He has just admitted that as long as the villagers appear to behave like Christians, he doesn’t care whom they actually worship. In the previous season he’s been shown as greedy for land and power, now he’s a heretic in addition to being a hypocrite. Interestingly enough, while witched and sorcerers have magical powers in this series, the priests and monks don’t. Except of course political power.

Speaking of magic, the Enchantment has plenty of it. Lilith is a witch and a follower of sorcerer de Belleme from the first episode of season 1. She’s trying to bring him back to life and so she casts an enchantment over Robin. Because of it, Robin doesn’t recognize his Merry Men or even Marion. When the band realizes what has happened, they have to hunt him down. This is an interesting contrast to the next episode.

The two-parter Swords of Wayland is my favorite of the two seasons. The outlaws travel to Wales to protect a village from a group of horsemen called the Hounds of Lucifer. They organize the villagers to fight back when the horsemen attack and even though the outlaws are victorious, they have to fight against the covenant which is a group of devil worshiping nuns. It sounds cheesy but I think the covenant’s reputation of piety was used very well against our heroes. The covenant’s leader casts a spell over Little John, Tuck, Will, Nasir, and Much, turning them against Robin and Marion.

And the final episode, the Greatest Enemy, where the Sheriff finally gets his revenge against Robin. At the time I was shocked and dismayed by Robin’s death but of course it fits very well with the myth of Robin Hood where Robin’s identity has changed depending on the story and era. This Robin was a peasant from the village of Loxley.

Overall, I really enjoyed this second season too.