3.1 – Slumberland Dreamin’

Welcome to an all new season! Scene ‘N Nerd is now proudly partnered with GWW Radio. Today, Pete, Matt, Sarah, and Casey are joined by Everett Harn, editor for Geeks With Wives. The gang also interviews creative director Fede Ponce on his upcoming crowdfunded, scifi/fantasy tale “SEBASTIAN: The Slumberland Odyssey.” But first, the gang tries the intro live, Pete gives us new movies coming out in theaters and on DVD, Matt redacts our mistakes, Casey sleeps through the weekly entertainment news, and Sarah does her homework. Then in TV Talk, the gang reviews Limitless, Blindspot, Heroes Reborn, and Agents of Shield. Season three of SNN promises more interviews, new shows and movies reviews, same old crew. Tis’ the season to be nerdy, it’s an all new Scene ‘N Nerd!

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2.31 – Returning shows and technical difficulties

Send comments or questions to SceneNNerd@gmail.com to have them read on the show! On today’s show Pete, Sarah and Matt welcome back Amy and Lauren from The Flash Podcast and Assembly of Geeks and Jon G from Friday Night Fandom. Pete makes HUGE announcement then runs down what’s new in theaters and on Blu ray. Lauren does her best Casey impression for the “Entertainment Whatever” and the gang tackles RETURNING fall shows. It’s crazy, a bit laggy, but still somewhat entertaining. It’s Scene N Nerd!

 

2.30 – The FALLt in Our TV

Send comments or questions to SceneNNerd@gmail.com to have them read on the show! On today’s episode Pete, Matt, Sarah, and Casey are joined by John of Friday Night Fandom to discuss Zack Snyder’s comments on the Marvel Cinematic Universe. First, Matt redacts our incorrect moments from last week, Pete gives you the new movies coming out in theaters and on DVD this week, then Casey barrel rolls through this week’s entertainment news (Stephen Colbert, Top Gear, Steven Spielberg), while Sarah calmly reminds them she knows best. Then the gang runs down all the new shows coming out this fall to NBC, ABC, The CW, and more. Puns are made, shots are fired, and there’s at least one dick joke, it’s an all new Scene ‘N Nerd! Be sure to check SceneNNerd.com for Sarah Belmont’s latest insights on hot new shows.

Netflix Narcos: Brave Men & Bold Druglords

Netflix Narcos Ep.4-6 Recap

“In America the mafia makes witnesses disappear, so they can’t testify. In imgres-1Colombia Pablo Escobar makes the whole court disappear.” –Steve Murphy (episode 4)

Narcos episode four, A Place in Flames, begins with Colombia passing a law for extradition. This means that in Colombia if you are found guilty for drug trafficking then you will be sentenced to serve your sentence in the American prison system. “Now Pablo had someone to fear…us,” explains Steve Murphy. The only problem is that while America declares their victory they proceed to set their sights on a new enemy, communism. Murphy and Peña find themselves forced to take a step back from their present investigation on Pablo Escobar. Then through the use of real life footage Murphy explains just how absurdly true this story is, “Colombian cocaine coming through a communist country and into America. I couldn’t make that up…it’s too good.” Just like that, Murphy and Peña make the connection that will allow them to continue their investigation on the Medellín cartel. America may have won a battle when the law for extradition passed in Colombia, but for Pablo Escobar it only started a war.

images-1“It’s been said that nothing gives the fearful more courage than another’s fear.” –Steve Murphy (episode 5)

This war on drugs is primarily fought in the Colombian political arena. During the fifth episode’s opening scene, we see Luis Carlos Galán continue to run for president on a pro-extradition campaign platform. Galán never did become a Colombian president, as Pablo Escobar ordered a hit against him. In a well-crafted montage sequence we see just how devastating the assassination of Luis Carlos Galán was to the Colombian public.  In his wake, the tragedy sparked the brave turn of Galán’s own speechwriter, César Gaviria, to pick up his predecessor’s fallen torch against the Medellín cartel.   In a single episode we see a brilliant character arc. During the opening scene Gaviria is shown as the nervous man behind the curtain; in the end, he is the brave man standing at the podium; the new brave face of Pablo Escobar’s political opposition.images

“At the time, the only thing more dangerous than being a Colombian cop was being a Colombian presidential candidate.” –Steve Murphy (episode 6)

Explosivos, episode 6, contains three significant story threads: Colonel Horatio Carrillo’s (Maurice Compte) and Javier Peña’s (Pedro Pascal) manhunt for Pablo Escobar’s affiliate, José Rodriguez “Gacha” (Luis Guzmán); Steve and Connie Murphy’s mission to smuggle former M-19 solider, Elisa out of the country and Pablo Escobar’s assassination attempt on pro-extradition presidential candidate César Gaviria. The manhunt storyline illustrates that there are not only American officials waging war against Pablo Escobar, but local officials too. Murphy’s Colombian allies are shown to be merciless as they gun Gacha down in cold blood. The Murphy mission thread reinforces the idea that Steve Murphy comes from the wrong side of the border. Only, in Colombia would he find himself simgresmuggling a communist out of the country, an American act of treason. Meanwhile, the Pablo Escobar storyline subtly illustrates an all too familiar image of the past reflecting the future. In the final moments a young man aboard an airplane picks up his brief case, while the other passengers casually relax during the flight. He nervously opens up the case to reveal a cassette recorder, Pablo had instructed him to record the conversations of his fellow passengers. Then the young boy hits the record button and the screen dissolves to white, as an explosion cries out. Narcos chronicles the Colombian war on drugs, yet during episode six’s closing sequence it parallels America’s present war on terrorism.

Narcos episodes four, five, and six showcases the tension found in a country on the brink of civil war.  Country allegiances are tested, presidential candidates are sacrificed, and courts are up in flames, but remember, “I couldn’t make that up…it’s too good.”

By Sarah Belmont
Featured Writer
@sjbelmont

iZombie S1: Liv, Lilywhite, & Avoid

imgres“You’re a zombie well, you’ve been a zombie since that night at the lake.  Instead of telling me the truth you decided that it would be easier to break my heart.” -Major Lilywhite (1×13)

Liv Moore is a zombie.  A former doctor, now a mortician; formally engaged, now terminally single; former foodie, now eats brains drenched in hot sauce; a former healer, now psychic; formally alive, now mostly dead.  Throughout the first season we watch as Liv remains stuck in her former life, with her best friend/roommate, Peyton; pinning for her ex-fiance, Major Lilywhite and navigate a strained relationship with her mother and brother.  Meanwhile her new boss Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti almost immediately discovers Liv’s secret and becomes her confidant.  They form an unlikely partnership with Detective Clive Babineaux and help solve various homicides.    images

“You couldn’t ask that of me, but you turned me into a zombie without my permission.”-Major Lilywhite (1×13)

Blaine DeBeers is also a zombie…the one who turned Liv, along with a bunch of others.  During the first season co-showrunners Diane Ruggiero and Rob Thomas, masterfully retain the relevance of Major Lilywhite’s storyline in the show, while leaving him in the dark about Liv. They carefully allow him to act as the hero in this story as he discovers Blaine’s entire operation, from the “brains” running, to the turing of the city’s most wealthy and influential citizens into zombies.  Too bad Major Lilywhite is no match for Blaine, on his own, and winds up in a freezer for the majority of the finale.  Liv comes to the rescue where she finds herself for the second time, with the opportunity to kill Blaine once and for all.  If she kills him then what happens to all of thimages-5e zombies that he has created?  Yes, Blaine creates the demand for brains, but he is also the supplier too.

“That’s what helps you sleep at night?  What about me?  What’s the greater good for me?” –Major Lilywhite (1×13)

Liv decides to just shot Blaine, not kill him.  Only to the discover Major slowly bleeding out in the freezer, after Blaine shot him just moments before.  In a fit of rage, Liv uses one dose of the cure on Blaine.  Then selfishly scratches Major Lilywhite in an attempt to turn him into a zombie, instead of losing him forever. Ironically in the previous episode the writers began to set up a storyline of having Liv’s little brother work for Blaine.  We see her brother arrive for work the next day, only to have the shop blowup, with him standing right outside the front door.

images-1“It’s not what fate dealt me…You did, the same person who let me check myself into a mental hospital…who let me think I was crazy.” –Major Lilywhite (1×13)

The finale ends with Liv standing outside of the intensive care unit, as she watches her brother go into cardiac arrest.  The screen dissolves to black after Liv says, “No,” in response to her mother’s pleas for Liv to save her brother.  Overall episode thirteen was the best episode in the first season, as the writers ended the Liv versus Blaine storyline.  While allowing Major Lilywhite and Liv to have the first honest conversation about their relationship all season. The same one being quoted throughout this entire post.  This scene echoes the theme of “avoidance” that can be found in most shows dealing with supernatural creatures.  Liv was turned into a zombie, and in turn avoided death.  After someone finds a way around the finality of death, then their first instinct when confronting it again, is to avoid it…or prevent others from experiencing it as well.  Later, in an act of penance Liv gives Major Lilywhite the second dose of the cure.

images-2When you had a chance to play God and decide wether I die, or became this…Did you decide based on what you wanted, or what you thought I wanted?” -Major Lilywhite (1×13)

iZombie season two will premiere on the CW network on October 6th.  Liv, Clive, and Ravi will continue to work together solving various homicides. Viewers will learn through both Major Lilywhite and Blaine about the side effects of the cure.  I am particularly interested in watching how Blaine re-adapts to theimages-3 world without his power as a zombie.  Will Major Lilywhite ever make peace with Liv? Will Peyton not only forgive Liv, but Ravi too from keeping the secret from her? Hopefully the writers creativity will seep down from the over-arching story lines and into the case storyline found in each episode.  If you missed season one do not be dissuaded into just starting with season two…as things are just getting interesting here in this zombie land.

By Sarah Belmont
Featured Writer
@sjbelmont

Mr Robot Decrypted S1: Part II

Hello friend.

“Please tell me that you’re seeing this too…”-Elliott (1×01)

There are imagestwo water paintings hanging up outside of Krista’s office.  The one on the left features a family heading into an old farmhouse, with one figure remaining behind, by the fence.  The one on the right features the same family, now behind the farm house playing together in the fields.  The fourth figure does not appear in the painting on the right, he only appears in the other one. The first time that we see these paintings is in episode two, right after Elliott decides that Vera, “can’t be allowed to exist anymore.” Then we observe his therapy session with Krista, where they discuss the “allusion of control.” Elliott is only comfortable when he feels in control. He assumes power by hacking into the personal lives of others online, and then constructs boundaries within his personal relationships. Elliott would choose to remain behind, by the fence, while his family goes to play in the fields.  That’s an easy choice for him, the hard ones come when others are involved.  Adding Shayla to the equation made Elliott force his hand in terms of Vera. But did he make a decision, or was the choice already “pre-paid” for him a long time ago?

“Intentions are irrelevant, they don’t drive us, daemons do.”-Elliott (1×3)

imageThe paintings can be see again, in the background as Krista lets Elliott into her office at the end of episode seven. Unfortunately, moments later Krista discovers that by having Elliott as a patient, she’s letting him into her entire life. Beneath the bank statements, online site profiles, pornography, beneath everything; Elliott finds their one honest connection; they are just two lonely people in the world. “I want out of this loneliness, just like you, is that what you wanted to hear?” cries Elliott in episode seven.  After the end of the title sequence during episode eight, we see Elliott facing the paintings again, as his monologue begins, “But you have to admit, she’s just like everyone else, too afraid to peek over their walls for fear of what they might see.” The camera zooms in on the lone figure standing by the fence.

When Shayla was still alive he could of possibly wanted to join the others and play behind the farmhouse.  Now that she is dead, he wants to remain behind while the others go ahead without him.  He wants to remain by the fence to control who comes in and who leaves.  Again, is it Elliott’s choice, or did a “daemon” already make it for him?  Is he in control, or under the false allusion imageof control?

“People who are violent get that way, because they can’t communicate.” –Mr Robot (1×03)

During the third episode’s opening sequence we see Tyrell Wellick come undone, and still remains in control. Now that Terrance Colby has been removed from the situation, Tyrell has the opportunity to become the youngest CTO that E-Corp has ever seen. Then Philip Price awkwardly turns him down, because Scott Knowles has taken the position, right out from under him. Instead of causing a scene at the office, Tyrell takes his anger to the street, literally. He exchanges money with a homeless man, and they agree to fight one another. Tyrell retains control as he stripes away pieces of his business attire; his watch, sports coat, tie, and undoes the top buttons on his dress shirt. Then he pulls out a pair of surgical gloves, not boxing gloves, or a knuckle brace to wear during the fight…but surgical gloves. Tyrell is a man of discipline, order, cleanliness, and sustainability. Therefore he is a man who needs to keep his imagehands clean; of dirt, germs, blood, but mostly importantly clean from failure.

Tyrell is without his control, his surgical gloves, while on the rooftop with Sharon Knowles during episode seven. “Scott plans on firing you, and you are clinging on to any chance you can get…you seem desperate,” explains Sharon moments before Tyrell chokes her to death. Yes, in the face of failure Tyrell is desperate for control. In one moment of pure impulse Tyrell takes the life of another, which simultaneously sends his own life into a tailspin. During the next two episodes Tyrell loses both his job and family to his mistake, his failure.  Again, did Tyrell decide to take the life of Sharon Knowles, or did the impulse stem from the “allusion of control,”pre-paid for” by a “daemon”?

“The lock pick, every hacker’s favorite sport.  The perfect system to crack mostly, because unlike virtual systems, when you break it, you can see it…hear it…feel it.”-Elliott (1×02)

“I don’t know what you’re master plan is, but I need to…and you’re going to tell me,” Tyrell calmly says to Elliott as he slips on his pair of surgical gloves. Instead of sharing the same guilt that Elliott felt for having a hand in Shayla’s death, Tyrell felt a moment of “pure power,”while strangling Sharon.  In this scene Tyrell posters and asserts his dominance as he describes how it felt to murder someone…by his own two hands.  Cut to Elliott letting him into the fsociety arcade.  Why would Eimgres-1lliott let in someone who diametrically opposes him?  If in the wake of Shayla’s death, Elliott chose to stay behind and be the gatekeeper, why open it for Tyrell?  Sam Esmail is the real “daemon” threatening to take down Elliott’s construction of reality. After viewing episode ten we will have completed one “perfect” maze friend.  Will you be ready for the next one?

Writer’s note:  A daemon is a computer program that runs in the background, without interference from the user in control.

 By Sarah Belmont
Featured Writer
@sjbelmont

To Fear the Walking Dead, or Not

imgresThe Walking Dead phenomenon continues as AMC premiered Fear the Walking Dead last Sunday night.  The first season is set to consist of six one hour long episodes that will build up to the season six premiere date of The Walking Dead, on October 11th, 2015.  

Kim Dickens and Cliff Curtis play Madison Clark and Travis Manawa respectively; the heads of a blended Los Angeles family.  The first episode is a slow burn into an apocalyptic world, through the lens of an already dysfunctional family.  Madison Clark is the mother to Nick, an early twenty something year old drug addict, and Alicia “the perfect child” who wants nothing more but to leave.  “I don’t want to be crazy,” explains Nick to Travis, while in the hospital.   The first scene introduces us to Nick waking up in a drug den and encountering a walker for the very first time.  Since, he is a drug addict the writers use his unreliability to make both Madison and Travis hesitate in believing Nick.  Throughout the rest of the episode both characters begin to nimagesotice more oddities in the world around them.  For example Madison stares out the window on the way home and sees what appears to be a homeless man standing on the outskirts of a playground filled with children.  The longer she stares, the more peculiar the scene becomes.  Madison, Travis, and Nick all begin to truly believe in the final scene of the first episode, as Nick makes the first walker kill in self defense.  Frank Dillane brings Nick’s fear to life as he desperately cries out to his mother to back away from the walker.  Now that Travis and Madison believe that the threat is real, the following episode is an attempt to run away, together, as one complete blended family.

images-2“Things will fall apart now. No satellites, no internet, no cell phones. Communications will fail because no one’s there to manage the servers. The electrical grid will collapse for the same reason. It’s all gonna go to hell, and that’s what they don’t get. When civilization ends, it ends fast.”-Tobias (episode 2)

After Nick discovers the walker in the first episode, he runs out into the middle of the busy Los Angeles highway screaming.  His fear is cut off by the abrupt, harsh, eclectic sounds of every day life.  In contrast episode two begins with two slow motion shots, the worlimages-1d feels and sounds a lot quieter, which in turn adds tension on screen. Madison has another moment while looking out the car window as she sees two children in the back seat of a car passing by.  Both kids are wearing breathing masks with monster smiles drawn on them.  The situation’s horror combined with our innate inability to comprehend such a reality is clearly drawn throughout the second episode.

In a great sequence, referential to the LA riots, Travis’ son finds himself in the midst of a protest against the police.  As, chaos erupts around them Travis, Liza, and Chris find shelter with a mexican shop keeper animages-3d his family.  They peek out the storefront’s boarded windows as if they are caged animals.  Meanwhile Alicia and Madison witness their neighbors kill one another across the street, both unable to do anything.   As much as the first episode established Madison and Travis as a united front, the second one split them further apart.  Now stuck in different parts of LA, it would seem that the next four episodes would revolve around Travis’ family making his way back to Madison and her family.

Do not be afraid to watch Fear the Walking Dead, because at the very least we are not in Georgia anymore.

By Sarah Belmont
Featured Writer
@sjbelmont