Helix (SyFy) – Episode 1 – Pseudo-Recap

There’s a new show on the SyFy channel called Helix. It’s about a mysterious compound in the Arctic (Antarctic?) where scientists play with the kind of science we have a healthy fear of. Obviously, something goes terribly wrong and plots ensue.
Episode one opens with two guys in hazmat suits going into a room where two men are decomposing on the floor. They seem unconcerned. One guy isn’t dead, he’s alive and suffering. He’s all like, “Water…”
One guy (Sinister Asian Guy) gives him water and the he reacts like it was hydrogen peroxide and the second hazmat guy says, “What was that?” Sinister Asian Guy says, “Progress…”
Okay.
Meanwhile, at the CDC Lead Scientist Guy is  looking for things while his competent assistant hand-holds him through the basics of walking and talking at the same time. This idea of Super-Scientists being too dumb to live is consistent throughout the episodes I saw.
So, Lead Scientist Guy is  delivering an orientation speech to a bunch of new scientists about how they’re the only thing between the human race and certain death. Applause from his audience and the TV audience is assured he’s REALLY smart and qualified.
Back in his office some dude from the army is like, “There’s a secret base in a place that’s technically no country’s territory and they have something that needs investigating and the US military wants you to do it… By the way, tor brother is there.” It’s all very vague and specific at once.
Lead Scientist is all like, “I choose my team. I have reasonable questions.”
Army Guy, “Yeah, cool. Don’t worry about the details or the secrets.”
Apparently everyone is totes okay with the lack of details, jurisdiction, and trust. On the plane to the secret base we get back story and details.  The Assistant has a thing going with the Lead Scientist; Lead Scientist’s Ex-Wife is part of the team; Ex -Wife and Brother Mike cheated together.

s01_e0101_cast_14_138678111681___CC___685x386
From Left: Army Guy, Sinister Asian, Security Guy, Ex-Wife, Lead Scientist, Brother Mike, Assistant, Country Bumpkin.

At the base Sinister Asian is consistently sinister, his lead security officer is dopey and takes his job very seriously even though he seems way under qualified and was somehow adopted by Sinister Asian who looks to be in the same age range as him.

Lead Scientist is checking his brother out and it seems, based on the fact that he looks to be decomposing, he’s sick… But with what?!
Everyone leaves to go mull it over. Lead Scientist watched Brother Mike’s video diaries and sees a weird hand gesture they use to use to tell each other their drunk father was drunk. Ex-Wife asks, “What’s it mean?” Lead Scientist, “Run like hell.” DUN DUN DUUUUUUN.
While everyone’s off lubing up their thumbs to put in their asses, Brother Mike breaks out of his room and  into the ceiling.
After a quick round of who’s fault is it, we cut to the Country Bumpkin Scientist and Army Guy. Apparently Army Guy’s specialization is essentially plumbing and Country Bumpkin’s is looking at stuff. She looks at the rats and the mice and asks where she can find some monkeys to look at. Security Guy says, “There are no monkeys here.”
Bumpkin is all, “But there MUST be monkeys.”
“No monkeys means no monkeys.”
So Army Guy is swabbing pipes and Bumpkin is all like, “lemme look at that.” She finds MONKEY HAIR in the pipe!
Brother Mike is on the loose and everyone is bickering.
Bumpkin and Army Guy go hunting for monkeys. After breaking into a locked area (no alarms go off and neither of them think make there’s something on the other side of this door we’ll want to keep locked in), they find a bunch of empty cages and one monkey. He’s all bald and angry so Bumpkin calls out to him like he’s a declawed kitten. Well, surprise, her attacks her face with his mutant monkey strength and rage.
Everyone is off in their separate corners doing science and pointing fingers. Brother Mike finds a group of scientists (the base if full of them) and spits black goo in their mouths… Somehow the CDC team determines that the virus of Brother Mike is looking for a perfect host. Knowing Brother Mike and a deadly virus are on the loose every one separates to  make themselves easier targets.
Army Guy uses a secret satellite to make a secret call. ( Outside he discovers a but load of frozen monkeys running away from the base.)
Bumpkin is alone in a basement with her monkey cadaver.
Ex-Wife is thinking in the locker room shower.
Assistant is having hand tremors alone in her room.
Lead Scientist is mulling.
Apparently the CDC doesn’t believe in the buddy system, common sense, or proper containment.
Army Guy bops it and they pat themselves on the back.
I guess there’s a big mystery around what the virus is, who Sinister Asian is, who pays for all this, and why everyone, despite years of education and field work, is so stupid.
Helix isn’t a bad show. I just feel it’d be a better movie. It’s a good enough premise but how long can this last. You’re so far from civilization, there’s no reason you can’t just lock it up and throw away the key. How long can they run around this base making bad decisions?

Defiance [the show]

defiance - irissa and nolan Defiance is a SyFy original show about a race of aliens who sought refuge on Earth only to accidentally terraform the planet into a whole new, and dangerous world for everyone. The show is set 33 years after the arrival of the aliens where they’re now integrated into the world in a semi-hostile land-share with Humans and newly evolves wildlife.
Defiance is a new city build on the bones of what use to be St.Louis. The city is a (mostly) harmonious blend of “the eight races” suffering from the same power struggles found in most post-apocalyptic rebuilds. Everyone thinks their way is better and everyone wants to seize the next opportunity for power.
Nolan and Irisa are the first of the cast we meet. They’re average grifters looking for a hearty pay day any way they can get it. Irisa, an Irathient, refers to Nolan as her father in the journal but rarely speaks enough to others to divulge anything personal and Nolan, a human, refers to to her as his traveling companion. Nolan is “one of the defiant few” who fought in The Battle of Defiance where soldiers on both sides stopped fighting to save civilians. He eventually divulges the fact to the mayor, explaining that Irisa was an orphan in Denver and he took her in and raised her.
Defiance - Team Tarr
In the pilot we see a number of groups clashing inside and out of Defiance. The Sprint Riders are a wild band of Irathient thugs who run about looting and generally being dickish. The ones with dark hair don’t like the super pales ones, they bald ones are industrious and unassuming, and the large ape-like ones are usually body guards or oh-so-gentle giants.
The set up is interesting but the dynamics and interpersonal conflicts are a bit too … dynamic. There’s a lot to catch up on because we’re just peaking into into a lit of lives already in progress. There’s a mafia and a mine overlord and political strife and Ark falls and one black guy.
Defiance isn’t really about aliens or New Earth or man vs. nature. Defiance is about people and power in the face of limited structure. It’s an interesting lens to look at people and relationships through; part western, part crime noir (Nolan is the quintessential anti-hero) all set in a futuristic post-apocalyptic wonderland.
The show is  beautiful and the Pilot takes about an hour to warm up to the major plot point:
[wpspoiler name=”SPOILER” ]Aliens are coming and they’re only goal is to conquer and destroy and the sweet old lady who use to be mayor is helping “clear out the town.”[/wpspoiler]
[rating:3/5]
It’s good but not amazing. Check out the Defiance pilot  for free on defiance.com and if you can sit through it, the show might be for you.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Winter Apocalypse Movie Round Up

Sometimes, here in the northeast, we have snow days. No, not just for school children, we get them for adults too. Another strange northeastern behavior: Every winter we act like it’s the first time we’ve seen or driven in snow. We have headlines comparing the weather to the apocalypse and news stories about what records the current cold or snowfall is breaking.
This year, we had almost no snow and nearly no days with the temperature below freezing. I didn’t mind it, not in the least, but it was a strange perspective to have on the months of November through February.
Well, due to our underwhelming and mild winter and the start of daylight savings time I thought it appropriate to log some hours indulging in other people’s winter-related misery.
Unfortunately, most of these movies are really bad made for TV SyFy channel movies…
The one-sentence summaries are provided to help set the scene. But, I didn’t summarize the movies because, honestly, for some of them, there are just no words. They’re generally inexpiable thing you have to see to believe. Continue reading “Winter Apocalypse Movie Round Up”

Movie review: Stonehenge Apocalypse

Movie info: Stonehenge Apocalypse. Starring Misha Collins, Torri Higginson, and Hill Harper. Released by SyFy in 2011.

Disclaimer: I got a copy of this movie via Netflix–ICoS did not receive any copies of this movie for review.

Amazon blurb:

When a disgraced scientist discovers unusual spikes in the Earth’s electromagnetic field emanating from Stonehenge, it is up to him to warn the world of a possible apocalypse. As his claims are disregarded by his peers, the ancient structure begins to move independently, build up an electromagnetic charge, and release enough energy to vaporize people within a certain radius. Can he convince the military and his peers of his findings before it is too late and all life on Earth is destroyed?

Holy fuck, you guys. This movie. THIS MOVIE. Where you following my live tweets while I was watching it? Yes? Good. No? WHY NOT? (Shameless plug alert: follow my apoc self on Twitter @ApocMom).

WARNING: SPOILERS AHOY.

Continue reading “Movie review: Stonehenge Apocalypse”