The CW's The 100 is…

...Lord of the Flies. The 100 is about a far future where humanity lives on a space station and they send all the delinquent youths back to Earth to determine is the planet is habitable. … Um, they’ve proven they can’t be trusted so you send them on an important mission to see if earth was survivable? Good plan.

Murphy’s Law
Kill the pig!

All the 100 have these wristbands that monitor their vitals and let the folks up on the space station know they’re alive and thriving or dying slowly. Of course the take-charge psycho realizes you can just take the wristbands off and  let the people who “sent then down to die” think they’re dead and dying.
There’s like one black guy and he’s the noble voice of reason. While their leader is all “they’ll make us prisoners and poor again.”
But reason, neither heartfelt nor rage-filled, won’t do much when they have to face Grounders! Whats? People who stayed on Earth and survived by adapting and becoming something no longer human…
Murphy’s Law
We have fundamental, moral differences. Being good is right! Being bad is fun!

So there are a bunch of youths running around on the surface being total assholes while monsters lurk. Some want to be good, some want to be bad. That’s essentially the plot. Also, that’s essentially the plot of Lord of the Flies.
They’re nerds, bullies, brats, and followers. There’s cool kids picking on losers, noble and strong kids trying to do the right things, and a bunch of expendable others to either punch or defend.
There isn’t a conch … actually, the one guy who decided to be in charge has a gun and everyone else has shanks.
We're up here, and they're down there. We should kill people up here so people up here can live. I disagree...
We’re up here, and they’re down there. We should kill people up here so people up here can live.
I disagree…

The unique (and only interesting) aspect is the people on The Arc (Get it? like Noah’s.) trying to survive and figure out what’s going on. The council keeps talking able a culling and the engineers are noticing that that drop ship that was ejected because of a serious malfunction didn’t leave any damage and no one’s heard from any of the prisoners who are under some mysterious quarantine.
Humanity is screwed from above and below. I’m currently rooting for the Grounders to kill the 100 and the engineers to use the fact that they’re THE ENGINEERS on a SPACE STATION to their advantage.

 Here’s the super-long official summary of The 100:

 

Because The CW...
Because The CW…

Ninety-seven years ago, nuclear Armageddon decimated planet Earth, destroying civilization. The only survivors were the 400 inhabitants of 12 international space stations that were in orbit at the time. Three generations have been born in space, the survivors now number 4,000, and resources are running out on their dying “Ark” – the 12 stations now linked together and repurposed to keep the survivors alive. Draconian measures including capital punishment and population control are the order of the day, as the leaders of the Ark take ruthless steps to ensure their future, including secretly exiling a group of 100 juvenile prisoners to the Earth’s surface to test whether it’s habitable. For the first time in nearly a century, humans have returned to planet Earth. Among the 100 exiles are Clarke, the bright teenage daughter of the Ark’s chief medical officer; Wells, son of the Ark’s Chancellor; the daredevil Finn; and the brother/sister duo Bellamy and Octavia, whose illegal sibling status has always led them to flaunt the rules. Technologically blind to what’s happening on the planet below them, the Ark’s leaders – Clarke’s widowed mother, Abby; the Chancellor, Jaha; and his shadowy second in command, Kane – are faced with difficult decisions about life, death and the continued existence of the human race. For the 100 young people on Earth, however, the alien planet they’ve never known is a mysterious realm that can be magical one moment and lethal the next. With the survival of the human race entirely in their hands, THE 100 must find a way to transcend their differences, unite and forge a new path on a wildly changed Earth that’s primitive, intense and teeming with the unknown.

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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.

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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?

Under the Dome: Creepiness and…a dome

Under_the_Dome_title_screen
Source: Wikipedia

Okay, it’s summer (well, summer in TV Land, anyway), which means that there’s nothing on TV except reruns and reality shows. Let’s face it, TV’s basically boring as hell until the season starts again in the fall.
But! This summer, we get a treat — a summer series based on Stephen King’s novel Under the Dome, also called…Under the Dome. And I, your intrepid sci-fi geek, will recap the series for you (and possibly with you) weekly. The premiere episode aired on Monday, June 24, in the U.S. and Canada. Which means that if you haven’t yet watched the series premiere, you may want to skip this post until after you’ve seen it. Because there will be spoilers. You’ve been warned.
Overall, this show is creepy as hell. I’m not really sure why I’m surprised, because it’s based on a book by Stephen King. You know, the guy who wrote Carrie. And The Shining. And The Stand. But, creepy not withstanding, the first episode was really quite fascinating. (Maybe because I haven’t read the book? I should get on that…)
The episode opens with some guy — who we later learn goes by the name Barbie (seriously, what?) — digging a grave in the woods somewhere. I was immediately drawn in, because some dude digging a perfectly formed, rectangular grave by himself with his bare hands and a shovel deserves to be noticed. I’m just saying. We get a flash of the dead guy’s face before the tarp gets dropped into the grave. Which, I don’t know about you, made me ask a bunch of questions (which kind of annoyed my husband, come to think of it): Who is the dead guy? Why did Barbie kill him? What does Barbie do, exactly, that requires killing people in the middle of the woods outside of tiny towns? And why does Barbie go by the name Barbie and not by his first name, the perfectly respectable name of Dale?
Anyway. We’re then introduced to some other town residents, none of whom I could really keep straight in my head. (Honestly, in my notes I have “Who are these people?!“)
And THEN. There’s this earthquake thing and then the dome drops over the town, making a noise like someone dropping a glass into a bowl of water. Or possibly the sound of a wet-dry vacuum sucking up that container of juice your kids knocked over because they were running around the kitchen when they weren’t supposed to. Ahem.
And then we see the cow. The poor, harmless, bisected cow. We’re treated to a few closeups of it — possibly a few too many — which was gross and yet strangely fascinating at the same time. Also, why didn’t the cow have bones? (Or at least, I didn’t see any; maybe I just wasn’t paying attention since I was looking at the INSIDE OF A COW. A cow that happened to be in TWO PIECES.)
The centerpieces/antagonist of this show is The Dome. So what do we know about it?

  • It’s high: A plane crashes into it and and explodes, leaving only a purse and a leg as evidence that it had people on board. (The purse would’ve sufficed when making that point, really.)
  • It’s soundproof. Firefighters and Chester’s Mill police are trying to talk to each other through the dome but end up looking like mimes in uniform. The miming reporters are even more entertaining.
  • It’s electrified and sends off electrical signals that disrupt things that rely on electricity. But it might not be electrified and may not injure/maim/kill you if you keep touching it and/or throwing yourselves at it. (Go on, keep trying. I dare you.) Or, if you’re the police chief, you keep touching the dome over and over and over, even though you know it fucks up your pacemaker. And then your pacemaker launches out of your chest like something out of Aliens. (Can pacemakers do that?) BUT KEEP TOUCHING IT.
  • It’s strong like transparent titanium. We see a plane crash into it. We also see a truck smash into it head-on; afterward, the truck only had a cargo section left since the cab was completely obliterated. It can cut buildings in half. It can cut people in half. And, as we so plainly see, it can cut cows in half. Basically, this is not a thing you want to hit under any circumstances.
  • You can’t see it from the inside, but (based on the closing shot), you can actually see it from the outside. Well, you can see the outline of it, at least.

Now that the dome is in place, it’s like a giant fishbowl (so says Angie, one of the characters). Only the fish are human. So what do we know about the residents of Chester’s Mill?

  • For a small town, there are a lot of residents I can’t keep track of.
  • The councilman (Big Jim) looks sort of like the dude off The Commish, but actually turns out to be the dude off Breaking Bad.
  • Big Jim has Weird Tension with the police chief (he of the launching pacemaker). What IS the story behind the propane? Hmm…
  • The vampire lady off Twilight is now a reporter/editor. She is married to a doctor, who seems to have disappeared. Only he really hasn’t, because remember the dead guy in the opening scene? Yeah. (And the plot thickens…)
  • Big Jim’s son is Junior (Angie’s boyfriend/bed buddy), who seems like a total psychopath. So basically, this family’s just completely fucked up. In a really creepy way.

The show sounds interesting already, right? I mean, just the characters alone are pretty compelling. Throw in a giant, see-through, electrified dome and I am hooked. What was even more interesting (to me, anyway) was that whenever someone had a seizure (and it’s not established if these characters have a history of seizures), they would say, “The stars are falling in lines.” The stars are falling in lines? WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? Maybe this guy was right all along, and it all comes back to aliens!
Or, I don’t know. It’s based on a Stephen King novel, after all.
So, I have to say, this show looks interesting. I mean, it’s creepy to begin with, and with everyone cut off from the outside world, people are bound to get creepier. Or Junior will completely lose his shit and kill everyone in town. I don’t know, it’s hard to say.
Is Under the Dome a science fiction-y show? No, not really. Honestly, it almost seems like a character study to me.
But on the other hand, it also strikes me as a great (albeit fictional) case study for a post-apocalyptic situation. Okay, so a giant dome isn’t really an apocalypse, but for the people of Chester’s Mill, it could be. They’re cut off from the rest of the world, they can’t get in or out, they can’t get supplies into the town, people will start panicking pretty soon (probably), a psychopath is running around the same town as a guy named Barbie (who kills people in the woods)… Sounds pretty post-apocalyptic to me.
Personally, I’m curious to see where this will go.
Stay tuned for next week’s recap!

The changing face of zombies.

Zombies are boring now. They’ve been done. Old news. I am no longer afraid of a zombie apocalypse, because everyone has a plan. Not only will we survive it, we’ll crush it.
Zombies have already said everything they, as a horror monster, say about our fears and our culture – our panic about communicable infection, our overwhelming terror about the slow, creeping inevitability of death. Or have they?
Continue reading “The changing face of zombies.”

Post-Apocalyptic kickstarters.

Recently, my favourite gaming magazine did an article on kickstarter funded games. There were a surprising number of post-apocalyptic games on there, which made me happy. The one I’m am most looking forward to is Wastleand 2. It’s not the only post apocalyptic thing on kickstarter, though it is one of the best funded. This week, what I am doing is finding some exciting looking, not fully funded post-apocalyptic kickstarters, and telling you to go and spread your cash around.
Continue reading “Post-Apocalyptic kickstarters.”

Fangirlin' for Jericho

So, remember back in the 90s when Scream was some seriously groundbreaking shit? That was when Skeet Ulrich was famous. It was one of the things that had me puzzled when I started watching Jericho . I knew I’d heard the name but just couldn’t place it. But, once it was placed it was unforgettable. Everything about him just screams, “I love the 90s!” But maybe that’s just what bad boys in the Midwest look like… maybe.
However, Jericho isn’t about Skeet Ulrich’s heroic reascent to become a famous person — because, I’m fairly sure this show didn’t actually make him famous again. According to wikipedia, Jericho is about:

Jericho is an American action/drama series that centers on the residents of the fictional town of Jericho, Kansas, in the aftermath of nuclear attacks on 23 major cities in the contiguous United States.

Continue reading “Fangirlin' for Jericho”