TV Roundup #1

Given the number of TV shows we're watching (and loving) right now, here at The Awesome Update we've decided to switch to a TV Roundup once per week, giving you the quick and dirty run down of each episode of our favourite shows and how they rate. So, without further ado, we give you our first weekly TV Roundup!

Gotham S1E5 - “Viper” - Freakin' Awesome 10/10 

Gotham took a dive into its rich comic source material by giving us our first glimpse of superhero elements. The title won't perk up the ears of Batman fans too quickly but after the opening sequence I'm sure they'll all be pumped up – pun definitely intended! David Mazouz stood out in this episode, firmly laying some groundwork for one day becoming the Dark Knight, and Fish Mooney stepped up her plans to depose Don Falcone by unleashing her secret weapon on him.

Yeah, the show is definitely stepping up its game with this episode, and it's good to see them clearly demonstrate that it's not just another crime show this early on. I've got to give a shout out to Don Marone here as well, as he's an all round really enjoyable character; the scene where he brings Jim in to verify Penguin's story is fantastic. I look forward to seeing a lot more of him. 

The Blacklist S2E5 - “The Front (No. 74)” - Awesome 8/10 

The Blacklist also stepped up its game this week - at least in terms of the villain of the week stakes. 'The Front' were next on Red's list as they were attempting to unleash mnemonic plague (for those not familiar, it's a nastier version of the Black Death). Maddox Beck, leader of The Front, is your typical eco-terrorist taken to its extreme and serves his purpose as the guy Red needs taking out this episode. James Spader was his usual awesome self, wowing again with one of his comic book villain monologues that gets me all kinds of excited for Age of Ultron.

I've been saying it week in week – Spader is just a pleasure to watch. Every time he's on screen, he's riveting, and you don't want to look away. I enjoyed seeing some development for oft-neglected Aram, as well as mysterious newcomer Agent Navabi, and hope the characters get more room to grow next to the rest of the established cast. The show as a whole has been consistently fantastic, and it's good to see them raise the stakes. 

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D S2E5 - “A Hen in the Wolfhouse” - Awesome 9/10 

Speaking of raising the stakes, it seems like five is the magic number, as Agents' fifth episode also ups the game! We get a lot of Simmons and Hydra fun in this episode, which also introduces veteran comic Avenger and all round badass, Bobbi Morse, aka Mockingbird. The always enjoyable Raina features heavily in the episode as well, and one of the best scenes is when she meets Coulson in a restaurant; she tries to blackmail him into helping her by threatening to blow Simmons cover at Hydra – Coulson surprises her by allowing it to happen, knowing full well that Mockingbird was undercover as well and would break Simmons out. It's a great scene, that really underscores just why he's now Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Coulson gets a lot of character development this episode, not only showing off why he's Director of S.H.I.E.L.D, but also revealing the symptoms of the GH-325 drug are getting worse. Coulson continues to be the awesome character we all fell in love with even with his new rank. Other game changers were Skyes father showing his true colours and Coulson hinting heavily that Skye is not entirely human. Kyle Maclachlan brings life to a character that could've stepped straight out of a comic book and is an awesome addition to the cast. 

The Flash S1E3 - “Things You Can't Outrun” - Kinda Awesome 7/10 

This weeks Flash also had an awesome cast addition in Robbie Amell – Stephen Amells cousin. He appears in flashback sequences as Caitlins fiancé, Ronnie Raymond, who died the night of the particle accelerator explosion. Comic fans should recognise the name as one half of the Justice League veteran, Firestorm; his death is clearly a reference to this, as he literally dies in a fire storm. If that wasn't enough, Caitlin, another massive could be Metahuman in Killer Frost, reminisces about how Ronnie always said they were like “fire and ice”!

There are a lot of comic book references in this episode – well, the show so far, really, but this one in particular – with my favourite being Barry saying he doesn't want a museum or anything, a clear reference to the Flash Museum in the comics (and perhaps in the future, the show!). I'm also enjoying seeing Wells story unfold, and each little reveal entices me further; that being said, there's some frustration borne out of knowing who the character likely is (based on), so I kind of want it to be confirmed or not.

Arrow S3E3 - “Corto Maltese” - Awesome 9/10 

There's nothing vague about Laurel's development in Arrow, however, as she's blatantly going to become the next Black Canary; everything from the coat references, her trying to take on an abusive husband and on to the episode end where she goes to get trained by Ted Grant (aka Wildcat in the comics, and would you have guessed it, he trained Black Canary there, too) paints an inevitability that I look forward to as much as I do seeing her progress to that point. Elsewhere in the episode, I really enjoyed seeing other supporting characters like Diggle, Felicity and newcomer Ray Palmer get more screen time and development.

Thea made an awesome return to the show and we got a look at what shes been up to since she left Starling City with her biological father, Malcolm Merlin. Basically, Thea became badass! I'm also really enjoying Brandon Routh, who just oozes charisma; he really lightens the mood of the show during his scenes, helping to make the feel of the show more compatible with The Flash and the fledgling CW-verse. Finally, the action continues to impress, and we even get to see Oli demonstrate his skills with a gun - before pointing out to Roy that he never said he “didn't know how to use a gun". 

Constantine S1E1 - “Non Est Asylum” - Awesome 9/10 

Ollie might be loosening up some on Arrow and getting more of that wisecracking Emerald Archer feel of the comics, but Matt Ryan already has the John Constantine attitude down to a T. If this first ever episode does nothing else, it demonstrates that this show most certainly is Constantine, and it sets the tone and mood perfectly for that; I'm impressed by the way they've handled translating a tricky side of DC – the occult/magic side. I really hope we're going to see the likes of Zatanna, the Phantom Stranger, maybe Deadman, and definitely Doctor Fate – who was teased almost straight off, so I'm most definitely excited for this show!

There's no point getting too attached to Liv Aberdine, the female lead of this episode, as she won't be around much longer; a new companion for John has already been lined up. It will be interesting to see how the shows dynamic alters because of this, but regardless, it's safe to say that Heaven and Hell are going to play a big part in the show, with John being constantly watched - and helpfully reminded that his soul is damned - by an angel named Manny. The strong occult horror themes, perfect lead in Matt Ryan and potential to explore even more of the magic side of DC allow the show to appeal to both fans of the Hellblazer comics and non-comic fans alike.

All in all, we've had a great week of TV, with strong episodes across the board; I look forward to seeing more next week!

Show of the Week: Gotham

This has been Deedsy, and this has been Blacksmith, writing for The Awesome Update, over and out.

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