Category: TV

“Jack Ryan: Season 4” (2023) starring John Krasinski, Wendell Pierce, Michael Kelly, Betty Gabriel & Michael Peña, / Z-View

Jack Ryan: Season 4 (2023)

Written by: Vaun Wilmott and Aaron Rabin and Steven Kane (ep. 25); Aaron Rabin (ep. 26, 30); Jada M. Nation (ep. 27); Robert Port and Aaron Rabin (ep. 28); Joe Greskoviak and Aaron Rabin (ep. 29)

Directed by: Lukas Ettlin (ep. 25, 29-30 ); Jann Turner (ep. 26, 28); Shana Stein (ep. 27);

Stars: John Krasinski, Wendell Pierce, Abbie Cornish, Michael Kelly, Betty Gabriel, Michael Peña, John Hoogenakker and Adam Bernett.

Tagline: None.

The Plot…

Jack Ryan steps down as the CIA’s Acting Deputy Director in order to go into the field.  Evidence points to collusion between a high ranking US government official(s) with one or more people in the CIA and a drug cartel/terrorist organization.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Jack Ryan has been nominated for 3 Prime Time Emmy Awards:

  • 2019  Outstanding Special Visual Effects in a Supporting Role – Nominee
  • 2019  Outstanding Sound Editing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One Hour) – Nominee
  • 2020  Outstanding Special Visual Effects in a Supporting Role – Nominee

It has been fun to see Jack Ryan develop from an brilliant analyst to a James Bond-type field agent.

Season four didn’t resonate as well with me as previous outings.  I liked it and thought it was well done.  The problem is we know Jack is going to survive.  The real danger is to the supporting characters.  John Krasinski is excellent as Jack Ryan.  The supporting cast is wonderful as well.  Kudos to Wendell Pierce, Abbie Cornish, Michael Kelly, Betty Gabriel and Michael Peña, (Soon congratulations may be in order for Peña since a spin-off featuring his character is in development.)

Jack Ryan: Season 4 (2023) earns 3 of 5 stars.

“The Continental: From the World of John Wick” | Opening Fight Scene – Sneak Peek

This looks better and better.

The three-part event will explore the origin behind the iconic hotel-for-assassins centerpiece of the John Wick universe through the eyes and actions of a young Winston Scott, as he’s dragged into the Hell-scape of 1970’s New York City to face a past he thought he’d left behind. Winston charts a deadly course through the hotel’s mysterious underworld in a harrowing attempt to seize the hotel where he will eventually take his future throne.

“The Walking Dead: Dead City” – Season 1 (2023) starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan & Lauren Cohan / Z-View

The Walking Dead: Dead City – Season 1 (2023)

Written by: Eli Jorné (eps. 1-2, 4, 6); Keith Staskiewicz (ep.3); Brenna Kouf (ep. 5)

Directed by: Loren Yaconelli (eps. 1-2); Kevin Dowling (eps. 3-4); Gandja Monteiro (eps. 5-6)

Stars: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Lauren Cohan, Gaius Charles, Mahina Napoleon, Zeljko Ivanek, Logan Kim, Jonathan Higginbotham, Karina Ortiz, Michael Anthony, David Chen and Lisa Emery

Tagline: Keep Your Enemies Close

The Plot…

Maggie’s son, Hershel, has been taken hostage by a sadist known as “The Croat”.  The Croat was an enforcer for Negan, when Negan led The Saviors. So Maggie recruits Negan to go with her to Manhattan to rescue Hershel.  Negan agrees on the condition that Maggie’s group give Ginny, a young orphaned girl, refuge.

Maggie and Negan head to Manhattan unaware that three Marshalls are tracking Negan who is wanted for murder.  Because of their past history, Maggie and Negan’s partnership is uneasy at best.  Add in the complications of the Marshalls, New York City full of zombies, dangerous survivalist groups, plus the sadistic Croat with plans of his own… let the fun begin!

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

The Walking Dead: Dead City – Season 1 clocks in with just six episodes, which is a smart move.  I think all of the Walking Dead spin-offs should come up with a story to tell and get to it,

I wasn’t too sure about the pairing of Negan and Maggie.  Maggie’s hate for Negan should override every reason for her to be around, much less work with him for a common goal.  Then the writer’s came up with a plausible reason… to save her son.  I liked how Negan put his murdering her husband back on Maggie when he asked her “How many husbands have you killed?”  Maggie also got to see how Negan using over-the-top “theatrics” when murdering a person kept a group from attacking them.  Well played, writers.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Laura Cohen are two of the most popular Walking Dead characters.  They have the star power to carry the series.  Zeljko Ivanek plays The Croat with zeal.  Gaius Charles as the Marshall is an interesting character that I believe will be come more important in season two.  Lisa (Ozark) Emery is a welcome addition to the cast. She was mean in Ozark and now she’s mean and creepy.

Bring on Season 2.

The Walking Dead: Dead City – Season 1 (2023) earns 4 of 5 stars.

“Batman & Bill” (2017) / Z-View

Batman & Bill (2017)

Director: Don Argott, Sheena M. Joyce

Stars: Marc Tyler Nobleman, Bill Finger, Fred Finger, Portia Finger, Thomas Andrae, Jerry Bails, Otto Binder,
Athena Finger, Judy Flam, Stacey C. Friends, Carmine Infantino, Stan Lee, Todd McFarlane, Daniela Nobleman  
and Bob Kane.

Tagline: None.

The Plot…

For decades one of the biggest “secrets” that insiders knew was that Bob Kane wasn’t the sole creator of Batman. Despite this knowledge, every appearance of The Dark Knight contained the credit “Created by Bob Kane”.  The truth of the matter is Bill Finger was the creator of Batman’s costume, Robin, Catwoman, The Joker, The Riddler, Commissioner Gordan, the Batcave, Gotham City and more.  Yet Bill Finger received no credit or compensation while Bob Kane got rich and famous.

Batman & Bill is the story of one man’s quest to right this wrong.  Despite overwhelming odds justice finally prevailed.  This is that story.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)

Although the general public didn’t know about Bill Finger, it wasn’t a secret among comic book professionals and many fans. Bob Kane for years claimed he was the sole creator of Batman.  The publishers of Batman and all its spinoffs knew differently.  It wasn’t until after Bill Finger’s death that Kane started to give Finger some credit.  Still, Kane was the only one listed on any Batman comic, movie or merchandise.

When Marc Tyler Nobleman learned of this injustice, he made it his life’s mission to right that wrong.  He had nothing to gain, but like a true superhero wanted justice to be served.  And it finally was.

Batman & Bill (2017) rates 4 of 5 stars.

“Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal”: Season 2 | Official Trailer

On March 2, 2023, Alex Murdaugh was found guilty of the murder of his wife, Maggie, and son, Paul. The world watched with bated breath as a verdict was announced. The people of the Lowcountry had been waiting the better part of two years to understand what happened the night of June 7, 2021.

Season 2 will feature first-hand accounts from those who were there the days leading up to and following the murders, giving more insight than ever into that deadly night, including Blanca Turrubiate-Simpson (Former Murdaugh Family Housekeeper) and Mushelle “Shelly” Smith (Caregiver for Libby Murdaugh) – who became some of the most powerful witnesses at the trial – Curtis Edward Smith (aka Cousin Eddie), and Gwen Generette, one of the trial’s jurors. Morgan Doughty, Paul’s ex-girlfriend, Anthony Cook, Paul’s friend, and Valerie Bauerlein, Wall Street Journal reporter, also return.

“Mr. Inbetween”: Season 3 (2021) written by and starring Scott Ryan

Mr. Inbetween: Season 3 (2021)

Written by: Scott Ryan

Directed by: Nash Edgerton

Stars: Scott Ryan, Justin Rosniak, Brooke Satchwell, Nicholas Cassim, Chika Yasumura, Damon Herriman and Matt Nable

Tagline: None.

The Plot…

Ray Shoesmith is a professional criminal/killer with an anger problem.  Ray’s also juggling his responsibilities as a divorced dad with a young daughter and is caretaker of his older brother who suffers from a degenerative neural disease.

In season three Ray…

  • takes in a guns deal that gets hijacked… Ray doesn’t take it well
  • gets jail time after a want-to-be-tough-guy breaks Ray’s car’s mirror
  • takes a job on another inmate while in jail
  • rekindles his relationship with his estranged father
  • literally helps his friend on a ledge
  • accepts a job to dispose of a woman’s body
  • takes on a hit for free when he learns that an older friend committed suicide after being scammed of his life savings
  • agrees to do some free work for a crime boss in exchange for giving Ray’s friend more time to pay off a debt
  • while on a drug run, is involved in a car wreck caused by a kangaroo
  • is set-up to be murdered by a friend

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Season 3 of Mr. Inbetween continues the streak of excellent shows featuring a great mix of drama and comedy. Each episode clocks in between 21 and 32 minutes which makes it perfect if time is short.

Mr. Inbetween: Season 3 (2021) earns 4 of 5 stars.

“Dark Winds”: Season 2 (2023) starring Zahn McClarnon, Kiowa Gordon, Jessica Matten & Deanna Allison / Z-View

Dark Winds Season 2 (2023)

Director:  Chris Eyre (Eps 1, 2, 6), Michael Nankin (Eps 3, 4), Billy Luther (Ep. 5)

Teleplay by:  John Wirth & Rhiana Yazzie (Ep 1), Max Hurwitz & DezBaa’ (Ep 2),  Steven Paul Judd (Ep 3), Jason Gavin (Ep 4), Billy Luther & Max Hurwitz (Ep 5), Graham Roland & John Wirth (Ep 6)  // Based on the Leaphorn & Chee novels by Tony Hillerman

Starring:  Zahn McClarnon, Kiowa Gordon, Jessica Matten, Deanna Allison, Elva Guerra, Nicholas Logan, A Martinez, John Diehl and Jeri Ryan.

Tagline:  None

The Plot… (beware of spoilers)

A car explosion kills a terminal cancer patient, and injures Emma Leaphorn (Allison). Emma’s husband, Sheriff Joe Leaphorn (McClarnon) arrives to check on his wife.  Once assured her injuries are minor, Leaphorn checks out the scene of the explosion and quickly finds evidence of a car bomb.  Why would anyone want to kill someone with little time to live?

Jim Chee (Gordon), no longer on the force, is now a private investigator.  Chee is hired by Rosemary Vines (Jeri Ryan).  Rosemary is the wife of B.J. Vines (John Diehl), the richest man in the state.  Rosemary wants Chee to recover a box stolen from her husband.  She refuses to say what is in the box.

When Chee visits Leaphorn to get background information, Chee learns that Vines owns the property where six men were killed in a mining explosion.  One of those men was Leaphorn’s son.  Leaphorn and Chee drive out to the remote desert property.  They are attacked by Cotton Wolf (Logan).  Chee is shot and badly wounded.  Leaphorn returns fire, but Wolf escapes.  They discover that Wolf was burning the contents of the box that Chee was hired to find.  One of the items in the box was Leaphorn’s son’s belt buckle.

Leaphorn and Chee find themselves the target of a psycho-killer who murders without hesitation.  They have also ignited the ire of B.J. Vines who is hiding more than one dark secret.


Dark Winds: Season 1 provided an excellent mystery from a perspective not often seen in television/film. There was a feeling of respect and authenticity to Navajos due to the writers being Native American.  I was happy to see this continue in Season 2.

I’ve been an A. Martinez fan since I first saw him in John Wayne’s The Cowboys.  Loved seeing him here.  Jerri Ryan is excellent as Rosemary Vines.  She reminded me of a fem fatale from the 40s.  Perfect.  Nicholas Logan was spot on creepy as the killer Cotton Wolf.  Logan was scary even in his quiet moments.

Zahn McClarnon, Kiowa Gordon, Jessica Matten and Deanna Allison have real chemistry.  I look forward to Season 3.

Mike Flannigan’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” – The Trailer is Here!

She’s coming for them all.
In this wicked series from Mike Flanagan (The Haunting of Hill House) and based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe, ruthless siblings Roderick and Madeline Usher have built Fortunato Pharmaceuticals into an empire of wealth, privilege and power. But past secrets come to light when the heirs to the Usher dynasty start dying at the hands of a mysterious woman from their youth.

“Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” starring Kurt Russell & Wyatt Russell – The Trailer is Here!

The trailer looks cool.  Add in Kurt and Wyatt Russell and I’m sold.  Deal me in!

When monsters emerge, secrets follow. Monarch: Legacy of Monsters premieres November 17 on Apple TV+

Following the thunderous battle between Godzilla and the Titans that leveled San Francisco, and the shocking revelation that monsters are real, “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” tracks two siblings following in their father’s footsteps to uncover their family’s connection to the secretive organization known as Monarch. Clues lead them into the world of monsters and ultimately down the rabbit hole to Army Officer Lee Shaw (played by Kurt Russell and Wyatt Russell), taking place in the 1950s and half a century later where Monarch is threatened by what Shaw knows. The dramatic saga — spanning three generations — reveals buried secrets and the ways that epic, earth-shattering events can reverberate through our lives.

Things Have Been Coming Up “Kolchak” Lately!

Things have been coming up Kolchak around here lately.  I recently saw the above Kolchak art on Facebook.  It brought back memories of the two Kolchak tv movies, The Night Stalker and The Night Strangler from when I was a kid in junior high.  Great memories.

I decided to find out more about the art.  Turns out it was the cover for KOLCHAK: The Night Strangler Files.  The tv movie was written by Richard Matheson. Chris Mills (writer) and Amin Amat (artist) adapted it into the graphic novel.  I’m not sure who the cover artist is, but I sure do like that art.

Then Svengoolie announced that he would be getting the two Kolchak movies in the near future.  THAT is awesome news.

And that’s your Kolchak update for the day.

“Justified: City Primeval” – Does the Twist Ending Set Up Another Season with Raylan vs Boyd?

Justified: City Primeval ended on a cliffhanger or maybe it didn’t.

Check out Justified: City Primeval Closes Out With Epic Twist: “It Was a Dangerous Idea” by Josh Wigler at The Hollywood Reporter.  Wigler talks to Justified: City Primeval creators Michael Dinner and Dave Andron about the “twist” ending.  We also learn what Timothy Olyphant and Walter Goggins had to say about it.

I thought the ending to Justified: City Primeval was perfect.  Dinner and Andron were right in not having Boyd Crowder show up sooner.  I agree having Raylan visit Boyd in prison to help get a read on Mansell would have felt a little too Silence of the Lambish.  It would have also taken a bit of the luster off of Mansell (who was a great character in his own right).

If we get another season of Justified, it should involve the final confrontation between Raylan and Boyd Crowder.  But if that happens, how do you top it?  Would that mean the series ends? (Say it wouldn’t be so.)

I would love Justified go on for several more years.  Each new season would be Justified: __________.  That’s Justified with a subtitle.  ; )

I wrote earlier that I thought the ending to Justified: City Primeval was perfect.  Fans of the series were hit with a surprise that we didn’t see coming.  Kudos to all that kept Walter Goggins’ appearance a secret.  The ending flawlessly set up a potential next season.  But if we don’t get another round of Justified, fans are left with the ability to imagine their own ending.  I think Elmore Leonard would have liked that.

“Justified: City Primeval” (2023) starring Timothy Olyphant & Boyd Holbrook / Z-View

Justified: City Primeval (2023)

Written by: Dave Andron & Michael Dinner (eps. 1 – 2, 7 – 8); Eisa Davis & Chris Provenzano (eps. 3, 5); Taylor Elmore (ep. 4); Taylor Elmore & V.J. Boyd (ep. 6)

Directed by: Michael Dinner (eps. 1 -2, 8); Jon Avnet (ep. 3); Gwyneth Horder-Payton (ep. 4); Kevin Rodney Sullivan (ep. 5); Sylvain White (ep. 6); Katrelle Kindred (ep. 7)

Stars: Timothy Olyphant, Boyd Holbrook, Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Adelaide Clemens, Marin Ireland, Victor Williams, Norbert Leo Butz, Alexander Pobutsky, Terry Kinney, Regina Taylor, Yosef Kasnetzkov, Paul Calderon, Amin Joseph, Walton Goggins, Keith David, Natalie Zea, Luis Guzmán  and Vivian Olyphant.

Tagline:  None.

The Plot…

Raylan Givens (T. Olyphant) is a US Marshall and part time father to his 15 year old daughter, Willa (V. Olyphant). Raylan is sent to Detroit to testify in a court case.  While testifying, Raylan tests Judge Alvin Guy’s patience.  That evening the judge is murdered by a sociopath named Clement Mansell.. Raylan is assigned to the team tracking down the killer.

Mansell is known as The Oklahoma Wildman.  He has no fear and kills without remorse. Before it is over, Raylan will find himself dealing not only with Mansell, but an attorney willing to cross the line in her efforts to become a judge, a dirty cop, and the Armenian mob.

“You want a shootin’ match?  Let’s go.”

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

The Elmore Leonard novel City Primeval: High Noon in Detroit doesn’t feature Raylan Givens.  It was adapted to bring back Justified.  The novel’s protagonist is Homicide Detective Raymond Cruz.  The Cruz character also appeared in Leonard’s Out of Sight novel.  When Out of Sight was transformed into a feature film starring George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez, Paul Calderón played Detective Cruz.  Calderón also appears as Cruz in Justified: City Primeval.

A hero is only as good as the villain he’s facing.  Clement Mansell is a great one.  Boyd Holbrook is perfect.  Other standouts include:

  • Aunjanue Ellis as Carolyn Wilder.  Wilder is Mansell’s defense attorney who ends up in a complicated relationship with Raylan.  She’s strong, vulnerable and willing to cross lines that shouldn’t be crossed.
  • Vondie Curtis-Hall as Marcus “Sweety” Sweeton.  Sweety was once a talented musician, crook and friend to Mansell Clement.  Now Sweety owns a bar.  Sweety is drawn back into the life with the return of Mansell and his plan to get rich.
  • Adelaide Clemens as Sandy Stanton.  Sandy is Mansell’s woman girl. She’s in way over her head and sees no way out.
  • Victor Williams as Detective Wendell Robinson.  Williams is best known for his comedic role on The King of Queens.  Here he shows his dramatic chops.
  • Keith David as Judge Alvin Guy.  Keith is only in one episode, but he shines.

Some actors/actresses are born to play a character.  Timothy Olyphant is a perfect example.  He IS US Marshall Raylan Givens.  Everyone remembers the great lines and Olyphant’s delivery.  I also love the quiet moments when Olyphant uses his body language, eyes and facial expressions to sell a scene.

It’s not often a series returns and is as great as the original.  Justified: City Primeval is a great example that it can be done.  There’s an excellent set-up for another season at the end of Justified: City Primeval.  I hope it happens.

Justified: City Primeval (2023) earns 5 of 5 stars.