Greetings, stream queens and kings. We are gathered here at different points during today to witness another joining of you and everything sci-fi that hit streaming websites this past week. Admittedly, it wasn’t the strongest week for movie releases, but quality TV gives everybody more stuff to enjoy anyway, so take it in the face, movies. By the authority vested in me by Giant Freakin’ Robot, I now pronounce the names of these shows correctly.
Prophets of Science Fiction (Netflix)
This Science Channel series was produced and hosted by Ridley Scott, though Jonathan Adams narrates each episode, which focus on eight different monoliths who meshed science and science fiction. It doesn’t go much deeper than a cursory research session would go, but the subjects are interesting ones nonetheless. Philip K. Dick is the entryway to virtual reality, H.G. Wells’ work begins a look at time travel, and George Lucas’ filmmaking is used to talk about energy weapons. It’s well produced and a lot better than reading Wikipedia for 40 minutes.
Tron: Uprising (Netflix)
Taking place between 1982’s Tron and 2010’s Tron: Legacy, this 2012 Disney XD animated series tells the story of Beck, a young program trained to lead a revolution inside The Grid and to reach his destiny as the next Tron. A step up from the usual brand of licensed animations, this series boasts a slew of stars, both from the films and beyond. Beck is played by Elijah Wood, and his world is filled by the voices of Bruce Boxleitner, Mandy Moore, Lance Henriksen, Nate Corddry, Paul Reubens and Reginald VelJohnson, with appearances from Aaron Paul, Kate Mara and Olivia Wilde. Disney XD is trying to push their programming in this direction, and it’ll be interesting to see what other properties they adapt.
Dead Snow (Netflix)
You say you still haven’t seen Norwegian director Tommy Wirkola’s Dead Snow, the best film about zombie Nazis ever to hit the small screen? Well, now you can. The sequel is currently filming, so you’d do yourself a favor, mein readers, to check this flick out with the exact amount of expectations that the phrase “Nazi zombie movie” produces. It doesn’t do anything revolutionary, but it’s a fun ride, has a bunch of good laughs, and a guy gets his face literally ripped in half, which was one of the coolest and shocking deaths I’ve ever seen in a horror film. So there you go.
American Dad! Season 7 (Netflix)
This is a show with an alien in it, so there is no reason to think this wouldn’t appear here. The very first episode features Cee-Lo Green playing a hot tub that slowly gets more and more menacing, like HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey, and it features a classic American Dad musical parody from Steve and Roger. A few episodes later, Stan creates an avatar of a beautiful girl for Steve to fall for, and when Steve becomes interested in someone else, Stan’s odd attempt at jealousy leads to some familial discomfort that just doesn’t happen to any other TV households. Incidentally, “Ricky Spanish” is my favorite episode in the entire series, utilizing Roger’s zany history to create some ridiculously violent situations. Good shit.
Community’s fourth season finale (Hulu Plus)
By focusing more on Britta and Troy’s relationship, and for a bucketful of other reasons, the writers on NBC’s Community made it glaringly obvious that creator Dan Harmon wasn’t anywhere near this fourth season. It suffers from just about every problem a good show can carve out of its former success. This finale is all that in a nutshell. Arguably the series’ most championed episode, “Remedial Chaos Theory” introduced a set of different timelines the show’s characters followed, based on Jeff’s roll of a die. The finale exploited that episode’s Darkest Timeline tag ending by forcing all of these characters together in mostly unfunny ways. But none of it is actually real, and it’s all so Jeff can feel better about himself. Not cool cool cool.
There you have it, folks, a whole bunch of Netflix shit and one episode on Hulu. Kind of a shame, really. If I can throw out my occasional non-sci-fi flick for you guys to check out, it would definitely be Ben Wheatley’s dark thriller Kill List, which is one of the more horrific films I’ve ever experienced, and it isn’t even a horror movie. Get your tolerance for dread-induced panic up before putting this one on, and utilize those subtitles, as the British accents are thick. Thanks for reading, and see you next week!