So who remembers this guy? I’m sure a lot of you do because he was a big part of our childhood television experience.
I remember watching this show faithfully on Kids WB. This was among my first animated superhero shows that really got me into superheroes. I used to watch the Christopher Reeve Superman movies (1 & 2) all of the time, I watched Batman Returns (I did not know the first Batman existed), and then of course all of the animated shows.
HE IS NOT RELATED TO BLACK LIGHTNING IN ANY WAY.
Why It Should Be A Live Action TV Show
So I’ve always loved the idea of this show being live action because it’s so relevant. Now that we have the amazing Black Lighting on The CW and the success of Black Panther, there’s even more reason for Static Shock to be a show. Virgil is a 14-year-old African-American teenager. He’s definitely an ‘everyman’ which is always a great person to look up to on television. Virgil is smart, so he can think his way out of situations and he does well in school. He’s well-known but he’s not popular by any means, he gets bullied and teased but he usually takes it in stride because at the end of the day, he has people who love him and he’s really cool for that. When he gets his powers, of course the first thing he wants to do is be like the heroes in the comics. He does the suit montage and at first he’s kind of bad at it but he learns along the way and he evolves into a great hero. Virgil is likable too. He’d be the type of lead that everyone can see themselves in because he’s just like a normal teenager.
Static Shock had a very unique roster of characters and obviously there is a lot to pull from which is why I prefer it to be a TV show instead of a movie because a movie (unless a series) limits how many characters can be introduced and used without the movie feeling bloated, or some characters not receiving the attention they deserve IE. the X-men films. Don’t get me wrong, I very much enjoy those, minus The Last Stand, but those movies either focus too much on Wolverine OR Mystique going forward that other characters that should get a strong introduction in movies, don’t because the movie wants to follow Logan or Raven. I get it, Logan’s popular and it’s Jennifer Lawrence, but honestly, Wolverine was never my favorite and Mystique is a villain, no matter how many times they try to act like she’s not. I don’t want that to happen with Static. He has a LOT of villains and most of them are teenagers who went through the same thing Virgil went through to get their powers. I would love the chance to see all of them come to life because they’re all so interesting. Well, there’s a lot of them but at the same time, there isn’t a lot of them. We see the same ones quite a bit.
Virgil Ovid Hawkins/Static (Phil LaMarr). Virgil is a high school student in Dakota City. He’s really smart, he loves comics and superheroes and he’s considered to be a bit of a nerd, which causes him to get picked on a lot. He gets involved with some gang nonsense that forced him to be on the docks one night. So, due to accidental exposure to an experimental mutagen he gains the ability to control and manipulate electromagnetism. The accidental exposure is later known as the “Big Bang” and Virgil becomes “Static”. Unlike other “Bang Babies” who were exposed to the mutagen and use their powers in bad ways, Virgil uses his powers to protect the city. Virgil is a happy-go-lucky kid, he usually finds the good in everything. He’s really intelligent and he uses his intellect to help him win against his adversaries as well. He’s the younger brother so he often has to deal with his older sister Sharon, he nags her and she nags him. He also has a close relationship with his father, but he very much misses his mother. He’s 14 so he does deal with girls, in the beginning he has a massive crush on Frieda but when he meets Daisy, they definitely develop a close friendship which transforms down the line. Phil LaMarr is the man! He does Virgil’s voice and he manages to keep the innocence about him even though he deals with some crazy stuff.
Richard “Richie” Osgood Foley/Gear (Jason Marsden). He is Virgil’s best friend and confidant. In the beginning, he’s more along the lines of the “man in the chair”, he makes gadgets for Virgil and even helps cover for him to protect his secret identity. Later, in the third season, it was learned that Richie was passively exposed to the mutagen, from Virgil which altered his brain and gave him enhanced intelligence. He was able to invent rocket-powered boots and “Backpack”, a highly intelligent multipurpose device worn on the back capable of surveillance and other semi-independent activity. With this equipment, he adopted the superhero identity “Gear” and becomes Static’s full-time partner in crime-fighting. Richie is Caucasian, and I loved the fact that he and Virgil had a strong friendship and that he was the “support” compared to the many times that the black kid was the support. But at the same time, when he became Gear, he was never treated like the sidekick. Sure, they had arguments about it, but they’re teenagers, it happens. Richie is also smart, loves comics and I always thought he was a bit more awkward then Virgil was.
Robert Hawkins (Kevin Michael Richardson). Virgil and Sharon’s dad, he runs the Freeman Community Center as the head counselor. He is a social worker and a widower. Robert strongly dislikes gangs and the destructive attitudes of most Bang Babies, but he believes that he can motivate teens to do good things, and he’s motivated himself, to counteract the bad influence of Bang Babies on other teenagers. Robert is a good father, there are times where he comes down hard on Virgil and I remember watching as a kid thinking he was being extra, but as an adult, he just wanted to protect his son. He has a great many seeds of wisdom and the episode where he finds out Virgil is Static is a lovely episode full of great father/son moments.
Sharon Hawkins (Michele Morgan). Sharon is Virgil’s older sister, she attends college but still lives at home. She volunteers at a hospital and counsels young people at the Community Center. Sharon is that typical, annoying and nagging older sister but it’s obvious that she really does care about Virgil (and vice versa). She will come to his defense quick fast and in a hurry whenever he’s in danger. After the death of their mother, Sharon took it upon herself to be the woman of the house, especially when it comes to giving out chores and cooking (which apparently she isn’t good at according to Virgil). I like Sharon though, yeah she can be very annoying, but I love when the Hawkins family has their Hawkins moments. It’s very sweet.
Adam Evans/Rubber-Band Man(Kadeem Hardison). He is a meta-human whose body structure is basically rubber. He can change his form. He is the younger brother of Static’s archenemy, Ebon. Rubber-Band Man first shows up as a tragic villain who just wants his due after a record producer stole one of his songs, but he is caught and sent to jail, only to later break out of prison. However, he decides not to become a criminal and instead have an alter-ego as a musician, date Sharon and kind of sort of, works with Static. They clashed a lot in the beginning but after a while, Virgil accepts Adam’s relationship with Sharon and they fight crime together without problem and Adam even at times becomes a brother figure to Virgil. I like Rubber-Band Man because his powers are cool, and he’s a nice guy but he still has a temper on him. He’s the character that we know could easily be a villain but chooses not to be one. I like characters like that. They’re in that grey area.
Ivan Evans/Ebon(Gary Anthony Sturgis). So Ebon is Virgil’s archenemy and Rubber-Band Man’s big brother. He the head of a large group of Bang Babies called “The Meta-Breed” and he’s the main antagonist. He is very powerful and extremely strong, probably one of the most powerful meta-humans. He is basically a living shadow. He is able to create inter-dimensional portals and can manipulate pure darkness and shadows. he can also transport others to various locations of his choice. Ebon is frankly quite scary. I think in the first two seasons though, or mainly the first one, he is at his scariest because we haven’t been introduced to other big villains yet so he really takes the cake. He’s really strong and he really puts Virgil through it. I think we got to see him one time before his powers, because I always wanted to know what he looked like lol and he just looked like some punk, so honestly his powers were probably a good thing for him lol.
Francis Stone/F-Stop/Hotstreak (Danny Cooksey). Francis was one of the gang members who was at the docks when the Big Bang happened. He was exposed to the gas and was given fire powers where he changed his name from “F-Stop” to “Hotstreak”. His powers added to his hotheadness where he is able to create fire and shoot fire blasts. At first, it seems a lot of his bullying is fueled by his crush on Frieda but let’s be real, Francis is a douchebag. He does some good things in the show, mostly in the episode where a lot of the Bang Babies are kidnapped and Hotstreak and Static manage to escape before being captured, but they work together to save the others. He has some moments but otherwise, he’s a giant bully with fire power. He was definitely one of Static’s first rivals and he probably is one of the villains who gives him a challenge every time they meet. Definitely personal in ways since they were rivals before the big bang. In the end, we don’t know if he survived because he and Ebon merged together when Ebon tried to stage a new big bang and Virgil and Richie had to fight them and blew them up, so who knows if he survived. But I enjoyed watching him.
Frieda Goren(Danica McKeller). She is one of Virgil’s friend and his first crush. Frieda is very lively, outgoing and popular at school. She is very feisty and be short-tempered, especially with bullies and impulsive. People call her “Hurricane Frieda”. She is also an active participant of the school’s newspaper. I’ve always liked Frieda, she does get pushed to wayside when Daisy joins the show but I think she would be greatly utilized if they did a live action show because I think it’s important to have a strong female who is her type of character. Plus, she was always Latina to me, so boom diverse cast as well. I read that in the original comics, she was more important and that’s what I want for her in the live action show.
Daisy Watkins (Crystal Scales). She attended Vanmoor Institute, which is an academy for the gifted and that’s where she met Virgil because they wanted to recruit him (see ya boy is a genius!) and after an event where two fellow students were culprits, she enrolls in the same school as Virgil. Daisy and Virgil create a strong friendship and she ultimately becomes the girl he crushes on.
So obviously this is my opinion of who should play some of the key roles in the show. It would be fantastic if they hired unknowns, especially for Virgil and Richie but since I’m not a casting agent, these are my picks after doing some extensive research.
Nadji Jeter as Virgil Hawkins/Static
So, I’ve seen him in a few things, of course the Grown Ups movies, he’s in Wonder which I thought he was good and likable in and he’s in The 5th Wave but that doesn’t really mean much since I thought the movie was terrible and forgettable. BUT, while I was doing the research for young black actors, he came up and I thought “ya know, I kind of like him” and compared to the other young actors I saw, he’s probably my favorite. I can see him playing the awkward Virgil, who is a nerdy teenager just trying to make it through high school while also serving some witty quips and getting the job done as Static. I can really see it. So Nadji Jeter is my top choice. I think it’s important that since Virgil does start off being 14 (they can make him 15 or 16 if they need to), I want someone who looks youthful enough that as they get older, they don’t suddenly look like a grown man. I think Nadji still has a lot of youth on his face and he’s 21 so that works. I also want the locs. He needs to have locs. There are a lot of male heroes that have a close cut, so it would nice to have Virgil with nice locs because it would be different.
Jacob Latimore. Ironically, he is also 21 but he just looks older to me. I thought he was older. It’s really because of Sleight, that I really started thinking about this. I’ve always had it in my mind but his character Bo, really reminded me of Virgil in ways that I was like “whoa”. So he’s not my first choice but I wouldn’t be upset. But again… locs.
Quincy Fouse. So, I’ve only seen him in Logan and I liked him in that, enough to make me tweet him and ask if he would play Virgil if the opportunity came. He tweeted me back and said he would! It was exciting! I could see him pulling it off, but he did say in his response, he was interested in Miles Morales, so I would be more okay with that than with Virgil but he’s still on my list.
Algee Smith. Now I haven’t seen him in anything so I can’t attest to his acting ability but I have seen him come up a lot for people’s fan casting when it comes to Virgil. I mean, I wouldn’t be upset going off of physicality but he’s also 23, so I don’t know how much room he’d have with playing a teenager.
Skyler Gisando as Richie Foley/Gear
So when it comes to Richie, he obviously has to have good chemistry with Virgil, but he also has to be able to stand on his own because he does become a hero in his own right. He creates a lot of Static’s stuff and he later makes his own tools to be “Gear”. Richie also can sometimes come off “cool” but he definitely gets bullied, just like Virgil and I think Skyler is perfect. Of course, he’s not blonde but I would be okay with that because he would be Richie so well. I can even see him being all frazzled like Richie would be. I can also see him being really jealous just like the times Richie wanted powers. I think he’d be great.
Kevin Michael Richardson as Robert Hawkins
He did the voice on the show. Enuff said.
Shanice Williams as Sharon Hawkins
So, I really wanted to find someone who looked like they could be annoying but when I came across Shanice Williams in my research, I decided she looks like she would be related to Jeter and Richardson so that works. She was great as Dorothy in The Wiz Live! and I haven’t heard anything about her since. I would love to see her on tv and I think she’d have fun as Sharon. I would dial down her nagging and make her a bit more of an independent person. She is a college student so I would like to see her go to school and be studious as well. I think Shanice would be great at trying to be the mother figure, while also thrive on her own.
Stephan James as Adam Evans/Rubber-Band Man
I think Stephan James would be a good choice because for one, he looks a bit like him AND I think he could play that complex character. Someone who starts off bad because he’s been slighted but who later becomes a hero because he wants better for himself. Plus, I think he’ll have good chemistry with Sharon and Virgil and he has maturity about him that makes him seem like he’s been doing this a while, even though he technically hasn’t lol.
Kofi Siriboe as Ivan Evans/Ebon
I mean obviously Kofi is a gorgeous man but I think he can play Ebon to a T. I’ve seen him in Kicks and he was the main villain and he was scary. He’s bad from the get go and I really think that Kofi has the charisma that Ebon needs to even recruit people over to his side. I mean, the dude has a girlfriend who is pretty much ride or die (until she gets the chance to be human again)… he has to be good with people and words. Kofi definitely can do that.
Daryl Sabara as Francis Stone/Hotstreak
So Francis or “F-Stop” at first, was kind of hard to cast. I wanted to find a ginger so when I came across Daryl Sabara, I was like “hmm…” I liked the idea but then I wasn’t sure because he has to definitely be a douche. Francis is such a bro to me that I wasn’t sure about Daryl, but a friend agreed with the idea so it was confirmed. I think he could do it. He has played mean before and I think he would have fun. I would want Francis to be a bit more than just a bully since he is such a long time antagonist for Virgil. I would like to see him have some depth and other character than just being a bad guy who likes fire. He doesn’t necessarily have to become “sympathetic” but at least where it’s not just mindless evil.
Becky G as Frieda Goren
So I think in the comics she’s Caucasian, I’m not sure, but in the show, I always thought she was Latina so in my mind, Frieda is Latina. Looking for a Latina actress who I could see with red hair, if instead of having her be a redhead, she can dye her hair red. My friend mentioned her, I wasn’t sure because she’s a power ranger, but who knows what will happen with that. But anyway, I think Becky G can be sassy like Frieda, she has a big smile and she looks like she could portray the kind of personality that would make people like her but also be afraid of her. She’s supposed to be the super popular girl who is nice, she’s friends with everyone, she is involved in all the clubs and she’s very involved in the school. It would be awesome to see Becky G do that. Plus she can mean mug like no one’s business for when the times Frieda is upset. Plus, I think she would be a great best friend to Virgil and great chemistry since he does like her for a while in the beginning. Plus, I think she’d have great chemistry with my choice for Daisy since they become best friends. I also would want her to know Virgil’s secret earlier on. In the show her role is very small, I would definitely have her have a larger and more active role.
Victoria Justice. She was my first choice because she can rock the red hair, but she can also have the darker hair. At first Frieda’s hair was more red, then when they upgraded the animation, her look changed a bit and her hair was darker. Frieda can be frazzled and all over the place and she can be intimidating which I think Victoria Justice can do. I just think she might be too old at 25, but she’s my close second choice.
Isabela Moner. I saw her and I wasn’t sure how I felt but I think she’s cute and she has the look I was thinking about for Frieda. She’s the youngest of the bunch being 16 and is basically the perfect age but ya know, it could also be a bit odd being that she isn’t technically an adult like the others. But she does have the look I was thinking of.
Jessica Sula as Daisy Watkins
So in the show, Daisy is biracial, her mother was black and her father was Asian, I think. So, I really wanted to make sure I kept that in my casting. Jessica Sula is a name I saw a lot for Frieda but I think, since I can’t really find a biracial actress that I liked, I decided that Jessica Sula would probably be a better fit for Daisy anyway. She is biracial of Asian, African and Latina descent which works for what I wanted. I think she would have great chemistry with Nadji, and since she’s practically a genius, I definitely want to show that, and give her a larger role in the show. Since it would be diverse, I want her to be seen having a family. She also has a motherly kind of personality, so I would also give her younger siblings. I haven’t seen a ton from Jessica Sula, only from Split and she was sweet for the most part. I think she would be a good fit.
As for all of the other characters, I could sit here and cast them but that’s a lot of work lol. I wanted to make sure I cast the main characters of the show. I think this group should be a good focus. Virgil and Richie are definitely the leads so I want them to get a lot of character development and growth, but since it’s a TV show, I think it would be beneficial to the other “main” characters to get arcs as well. All of the other villains, will be guest stars and reoccurring. There are a few that would require mini arc like Edwin Alva, but some would just be like lower level villains who could show up every now and then.
So I believe in the Static Shock comics, it was confirmed, or at least after the run, that Virgil and Frieda got together. Sure, that’s fine. But I think in the show, it should be Virgil and Daisy. I liked them together more anyway. When I was a kid I thought that Richie and Frieda would be cute together but ya know that’s fine lol. Daisy and Virgil meet at the smartypants institute, and they immediately click and when she comes to his school, he’s happy to see her. In the show, I would want them to really develop Daisy. Show indications that they are crushing on each other, they were comfortable with each other and it would just naturally progress. Plus, I think Jessica Sula and Nadji Jeter would have great chemistry together, they look good together. Plus, they liked a lot of the same stuff in the animated show. That’d be so great!
So Virgil’s power set is to control and manipulate electromagnetism HE IS NOT RELATED TO BLACK LIGHTNING! Anyways, that’s really cool and different. He is very resourceful with his powers, plus he has to deal with static cling a lot, so that would help with the humor. But his power allows him to fly thanks to electromagnetic levitation. He has a lot of abilities:
Amplified Electrical Aura
Electromagnetic force fields
Flight via Electromagnetic levitation
Then of course he can be immune to mind control and electrocution which was shown when Brainiac took control of the Justice League with mind control technology but Virgil’s body shorted it out. However, his powers can be temporarily shorted out if he comes into contact with water. Unlike Richie, he did not rely on gadgetry unless he had to, especially during the solar flares which sometimes took his powers away lol. All of this would be sooo cool to see on TV, and if it’s handled correctly, it would be fun for him to use. Plus, he understands science so he’s able to use his powers in ways his villains may not really understand so he can out think them.
As for Richie, since all of his stuff is technology, all of that is pretty simple. Backpack would probably be the most difficult considering how it does everything lol. But it would be cool!
I can imagine that Rubber-Band Man’s power would be challenging, especially to keep it from being cheesy and lame looking but they do alright with Ralph Dibney on The Flash, I think it can be redone, plus, anything he turns into is always purple lol which I like because it’s different and his power isn’t perfect.
Ebon’s power is scary and he’s very powerful. He is a shadow. I don’t really want him to be CGI’ed but I think there are ways around him just being a physical shadow. I don’t know how but I really want to see how it would look on screen before I completely dismiss the idea especially since he’s so cool looking. *sighs*
I would really want them to take the action and fight scenes seriously. Yes, it’s a superhero show but whoever does the choreography for Black Lightning, I want them to do Static Shock as well. There should be stakes in the fights. I’m not expecting it to be dark and gritty since young people would be leading the show, but where I’m nervous for them while they fight because in real life, Ebon and even Hotstreak can do some damage. It shouldn’t always be easy.
Look, the music in Black Lightning is amazing. When I rewatched Static Shock, the music was always kind of R&B and Hip-hop and I think they should maintain that because it was unapologetically black and I don’t think the live action should shy away from that. Virgil is a black teen and his high school was mostly people of color, the music should also reflect that. I definitely want an awesome theme song, shoot they could find some way to incorporate the very first Static theme song in the show, they could even throw a nod at Lil Romeo’s theme song or just re-record it and BOOM. There’s really nothing wrong with that theme song lol. Also, Shanice Williams can sing, so they could use her if they need to lol.
So in the animated show, they did sometimes touch on some tough situations. It was a little “after school special” sometimes but they were important. The ones I remember the most, are the ones where Virgil has a run in with Richie’s racist dad (Robert was the MVP in that episode), the one with the kid who was bullied so much that he tried to shoot up the school and the episodes where Static went back in time to meet his mom and the whole thing with gang violence… powerful. Those episodes were deep, albeit cheesy in ways, but deep. I would want the show to carefully handle mature storylines. I’m not asking for them to try to “teach a lesson” because I find when you have that intention, it comes off preach and I don’t want that. I want them to handle it like its real life. These are very delicate situations and they don’t really have to be those I mentioned before, but when it comes to relationships, or prejudice and racism, bullying, domestic violence, sex, all that kind of stuff, I want it to be handled seriously. Yeah, they’re kids but it’s not like kids these days don’t see this stuff every day. I bet you’re thinking “dang, the show was lighthearted” and yeah it was and I’m not saying it shouldn’t be, I want it to be light-hearted but I also want it to be taken seriously.
The main thing about this show would be the heart at the center. Virgil’s relationships are what matters because they’re important to him. Sure, he argues with his dad and his sister, but he loves them. The family dynamic should be a strong one. They should feel like a family and the dialogue and writing should reflect a real family. His friendship with Richie is also extremely important to him. He makes a lot of choices because of his love for his best friend. Virgil is a good kid. It’s his heart that makes him a hero and I think that’s important to be maintained. My biggest problem with The Flash is that Barry makes such egregious mistakes and sometimes the consequences are not really felt, or whatever, I mean terrible and there was a time where Virgil almost made a terrible one, he tried to save his mom from her fate but he wasn’t able to alter time and I don’t remember him trying again. Her legacy meant to much to try to change it. He was so emotional about it. *cries* Ugh so much potential.
I just want a live action show because I think Static deserves it. I did extensive research into his background and what happened with the comics and how DC bought him from the creator and pretty much everything that could have been got pushed back. The show just ended and while it has a lot of re watch value, it does look a little dated and I think a lot of people would watch the live action show because of the nostalgia and the diverse cast.
Look, I’ll write it lol.
Let me know your thoughts down below on Static Shock becoming a Live Action TV show. Who would you cast in these roles?
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Summary: A new take on the story of the Monkey King, Pigsy, Sandy and Tripitaka the monk, on their journey to restore the world.
I remember hearing about this show because of whitewashing rumors. This show is based on Chinese legend “The Monkey King” and people seemed to be upset that the main cast were white actors. When I looked at the promo picture they displayed, I was kind of confused because everyone is a person of color minus the woman on the far right. I recognized the actor playing the Monkey King from Mako Mermaids and I remember he’s Australian-Thai. The other two actors look like POCs as well, so I was confused but I clicked off and didn’t think about it again.
When it was finally put on Netflix, I noticed it, and saw Chai Hansen’s face and I went “Oh yeah, it’s that show… sure.” So while at work, I decided to watch it on my break and I have to say I loved it. I literally finished it in a day. Then I watched it again in a day and a half. I love this show and I hope they get a season two because I’m not playing games with Netflix.
Don’t cancel this show.
Cast and Characters. There isn’t a character in the show, regular or guest appearance that I didn’t like. I liked everyone. Everyone is written differently, they stand out from each other, and I think all of the actors (everyone is not always consistently good) do a good job for a majority of the show.
Chai Hansen as Monkey.
Monkey is a brash, childish and kind of arrogant young man. Not sure what his age is, I would assume somewhere in his 20s but in human years since he’s a God. He was supposed to be something great 500 years ago, but because the alleged crime he committed, he was seen as a traitor and thief and later sentenced to spend eternity in a rock. When Monkey was released, he lived on fanfare and there’s obviously much for him to learn but he doesn’t shy away from learning something. I mean, it might take a moment, but he won’t shy away. He’s always up for a fight, and he has no problem speaking his mind, he’s uncensored. I usually love characters like him, he’s kind of rude and arrogant but he’s sweet at the best of times. He’s also a source for a lot of humor in the show. I think Chai Hansen was a great choice for the character, his comedic timing was on point. He was charismatic, handsome in the role, and it’s easy to tell he enjoyed playing Monkey. He had great chemistry with Luciane Buchanan, which might mean something down the line, who knows, I won’t mind either way, but the chemistry is there if it does. His emotional moments were strong, and I can’t wait to see more into his back story. Also, the snarl lol, his snarl was great. He reminds me a lot of Inuyasha and I love that character so Monkey was easy to love.
Luciane Buchanan as Tripitaka.
We don’t know her real name. She is a young woman, I’m assuming about 18, who was left as a baby at a… school? I don’t know lol, but she’s been learning from The Scholar, until a demon comes on night, takes the Monkey King’s crown and kills everyone, including the real Tripitaka. So, when she finds the demon, after running to the nearby town, she steals the crown and releases the Monkey King. In order to escape the town after the demon causes ruckus, she receives help from a monastery. So, they help her pose as a monk, so she’s not only pretending to be a boy monk, she wasn’t named Tripitaka, she took it on herself in order to keep Monkey from leaving and preventing her from fulfilling the quest that Tripitaka is supposed to complete. I like her. I wasn’t sure at first because the first episode, her acting is a little meh, but as the show goes on, she gets better, she fills her role better and I definitely ended up liking her in the end. She’s like a mixture of Katara and Kagome, which I mean, they are kind of the same character lol. I love that she just takes on the mantle to get the job done, she’s headstrong, stubborn but also kind and tries to see the good in people… tries. The way she cares about her friends is sweet. She has no idea who her parents are, all she has is a letter from her mother, so there is an episode where she goes to find her old village and we learn a lot about her and she has to learn a lot. She definitely has a great arc throughout the show. I’ve never seen or heard of Luciane Buchanan before, but I think she does a good job. Like I said, in the beginning I was like meh, but she grew on me and I think she grew into the role.
Josh Thomson as Pigsy.
Pigsy is also a God, but he starts off working for the demon Princess Locke. He gets a little push into his morals and what he is, that he ends up going with Tripitaka and Monkey. He likes to eat and he almost is like the big brother figure in the group, he’s seen a lot but he’s been on the wrong side of things, so sometimes his ideas, are kind of crazy lol. However, he definitely grows to care about the others. He and Monkey have some great moments together and I we get to see them learn from each other even more in the second season (Not playing Netflix, second season). He also is a source for a lot of laughter, it just seems natural for the character and the actor. I’ve never seen Josh Thomson in anything but he’s great and likable as Pigsy, even when he was being “bad” I liked him. He’s just likable and his comedic timing is great.
Emilie Cocquerel as Sandy.
Probably one of my favorites in the show. Sandy is a God, perhaps a water God since she has the ability to control water. She lives in the sewers, and she meets Tripitaka when chasing after a demon that disguised itself as a little boy. We don’t really know much about her. She’s living in the sewers, but we don’t really know why. I think it’s okay to say that Monica at least knows her since she gives her food, or gives someone food. Sandy is always willing to fight and when she meets Tripitaka, she’s ready to go on the quest to find the scrolls to rid the world of demons. She doesn’t really fight the ideas, she might give her two cents but she’s always down. She’s sassy, but she grows close to Tripitaka and she’s like the eccentric older sister. Her back story is also a little sad, we learn about her in Tripitaka’s episode and it helps give an idea of how Sandy came to be who she is. I love her. Never heard of Emilie Cocquerel before either, but she’s great. She’s so likable and cute, that I can’t help but to love her character.
Supporting Characters. We meet a lot of characters throughout the ten episodes. There are a few that we see more than others, that have more to do than others.
Jarred Blakiston as Font Demon.
He is the demon we see from the beginning, he kind of reminds me of an evil Elf lol. The first episode when he faces off against Monkey, it’s hilarious because his facial expressions of being unimpressed are the best. His job is to hunt down and the find the others, mostly at the beginning, and we see him again later. I think since he’s a demon, he can be killed and then reborn as another “Front Demon”, it’d be interesting to see what happens with him in the second season.
Josh McKenzie as Davari. I don’t want to spoil anything, I kind of guessed his role but he is Monkey’s old friend from back in the day. He manages to have a lot of influence over Monkey, he’s like that hype man who doesn’t always hype for good reasons lol. I enjoyed him though lol.
Jordan Mooney as Raxion. He is a demon who is tasked to find Gods to bring back to Jade Mountain to translate the ancient scrolls. He first comes in contact with the others when he brings them to the shaman. We see a lot more of him throughout the season and he’s cool too. He feels ignored and glossed over by the boss and he wants to do something that will gain him favor.
Rachel House as Monica. I recognized her from the start, she was Moana’s grandmother in Moana and in Thor: Ragnarök as the Grandmaster’s henchwoman. She is the tavern keeper. She meets Tripitaka first, she even employs her. We see her a few times throughout the show. I like the voice she puts on for the character lol.
Daniel Watterson as Shaman. I feel like if this was a serious movie, Jared Leto would play this part because he reminded me of Jared Leto lol. But he creates this “Breaking Room” where he has the Gods that Raxion kidnaps and he buries them in their minds so they can mindlessly translate the scrolls. He’s cool, calm and collected. I’m interested to see what he does in the second season.
The Story. It’s a 10 episode show so it gets the job done pretty quickly and I think it’s handled so well. Of course it ended too soon but I think the fact that there is a consistent narrative and the story flows naturally, even the detours are for character development, it’s a fantastic adventure. I don’t think there is really any plot holes that are glaring. At least not that I noticed the first two times.
Emotional. There are some really good emotional moments throughout the show. We learn parts of characters backstories and most of the time it’s kind of sad. We learn why Monkey was imprisoned, and it’s kind of sad learning it. Sandy’s back story was very sad, she tells it to Tripitaka who thinks the Gods didn’t have families. We don’t know about Pigsy, but I’m sure it’s kind of sad. There are also some emotional moments during the episodes where they’re trapped in the “Breaking Room” because Monkey goes too far into his sub conscience, he says some heartbreaking things. The show has a LOT of heart and surprisingly it’s very emotional. I didn’t cry or anything but I felt those emotions.
Chemistry between Characters. I think the main four characters have great chemistry with each other. They go on the adventure together and spend the show together, they should be able to feel like a unit, and they do. They all have their strengths and they make up for the others weaknesses. They can bounce off of each other well. We don’t really know how long they’ve been trekking, I want to say like a week, but they trust each other enough where they will do things to make sure the other is okay.
It’s Funny! I cracked up a lot during the show. I thought it was really funny. I think all of our leads get to have chances to be funny. I think Monkey is the source for a lot of the humor, due to his arrogance and the trouble he gets into. The episode where they meet the Monkey Clan was a great one because the followers of the Monkey King were a bit eccentric and I very much enjoyed them. Or the interactions between Monkey and Tripitaka because he has to save her, or they get into arguments and his facial expressions are hilarious. Sandy has a lot of great humorous lines as does Pigsy. The humor is lighthearted and I think there’s laughs in there for everyone. I find it hilarious how Monkey has to summon his cloud and the fact that it doesn’t work, so he tries to either play it off, or act like it doesn’t hurt his feelings that his magic isn’t working right lol. It’s so cute!
Fun Adventure. It’s fun to watch. Being that it’s 10 episodes, it really gets moving and it’s kind of nonstop, I never felt a lull in the show. Maybe in the beginning but that’s to be expected. I love the fact that the villain was kept in shadows until we learned who it was. I loved the action scenes, the choreography wasn’t always good but the actors (and their stunt doubles) do a good job with making it look real. I also believe that Chai Hansen can do most of his own stunts so his stuff looks really good. Plus, just watching them go on their adventure, and the different places they go, the different people they meet, it’s just fun. It’s a good time.
Cheesy. Not gonna lie, it’s very cheesy. I mean, it’s not like annoyingly cheesy but it’s endearing and cute cheesy. Some of the action isn’t always good so it looks kind of lame. The effects, like when the Gods are moving really fast is kind of meh sometimes too. Also, the Forest Kin, they should have been scary I thought but they were kind of meh too. So while there is a lot of good, it has some cheesy mehness too.
Inconsistent Acting. So I don’t think this is a problem throughout, mostly in the beginning but I think the acting gets hammy when they take themselves too seriously. It’s a fun show and I think for the most part, they know that’s it’s a fun show and when they do that, it just feels natural and the characters feel real. In the first episode the most, I think they try to do too much and I was like “meh” but it really picked up later.
Familiar. I don’t really find this a negative, at least not completely but I think this show feels a lot like other things I’ve seen. It has a lot of elements of Inuyasha, Avatar: The Last Airbender and something else that I can’t remember right now. Throughout the show, I’ll go “Oh that reminds me of…” and I’ll kind of be taken out of the adventure. For example, Tripitaka can “sit boy” the Monkey King with his crown and when it happened, I was like “oh, that’s like Inuyasha”, except I don’t find it funny like you would in the anime. “Sit Boy” is funny in that it just drops him to the ground, in this show, there is a chant she says, that if her intent is to teach him a lesson or something, the crown will kind of tighten or cause pain or something. He was shocked the first time and the second time he looked hurt that she did it. I mean, he was being rude so there was a lot of emotions going on in that scene. It’s still familiar but during my second watch, I was able to just enjoy it without comparing it to other stuff, but I can imagine someone being really annoyed by that if they’ve seen those other shows.
Overall, I very much enjoyed The New Legends of Monkey, I very much enjoyed all of the characters and their antics. I think all of the actors do a great job having fun and making these roles feel like real people even if some of them remind me other characters. Chai Hansen and Emilie Cocquerel are stand outs for sure. I think the main four have great chemistry with each other, being that they feel like a friend unit. I also thought the show was very funny and it’s just fun all around to watch. It’s a great adventure and I had a great time. It’s also emotional, not like cry emotional but it has some moments that gets you right in the feels. With that said, it does have some negatives in that it’s very cheesy in places, the acting was inconsistent in the beginning and it is familiar being that it reminds me obviously of other shows. But overall, I loved it and I can’t wait for season two. SEASON TWO NETFLIX!!
Rating: 3.80 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen The New Legends of Monkey? If not, seriously go watch it and have fun. It’s 10 episodes. If so, let me know your thoughts down below!
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Summary: A coming-of-age comedy about four bright, street-savvy friends navigating their way through high school in the gritty inner city of South Central Los Angeles.
Cast and Characters:
Sierra Capri as Monse Finnie a headstrong, bossy tomboy of Afro-Latino descent who is the leader of her friend group. Raised by her single father, she is star-crossed lovers with one of her best friends, Cesar. In Season 1, she makes an attempt to connect with a woman she believes is her birth mother. Throughout the show, Monse seems to be the “leader” of the group, in that she’s the one everyone might look to. She’s bossy so she kind of just takes that role on as well but it works. She also seems to be a bit hot-tempered, in that she has to keep her anger in check because she seems like she’ll be ready to fight you if she has to. She also is holding a big secret in that she has experienced her sexual awakening and she’s a bit on the passionate side, it’s almost uncomfortable sometimes lol. I like Monse, she feels like a teenage girl. I think Sierra does well with balancing Monse’s maturity but also her immaturity because she can go from 0-100 real quick and it’s just too much.
Jason Genao as Ruby Martinez. He is a smart-aleck math whiz of Mexican descent often serving as the group’s conscience. I love Ruby, he’s probably my favorite. He’s the shortest of the group but he has a bit personality and a big heart. Ruby cares about his appearance, he wants to always make sure he looks good. He gets a little jealous of Cesar who is just cute without even trying. He’s very organized and a bit methodical in how he does things, but he does it for his friends. He spends like two episodes trying to throw a quinceanera for Olivia because he wanted it to be special for her. That’s so sweet. He is a ladies’ man but he’s awkward too so it doesn’t always work out. Jason Genao is just so great, I feel like Ruby could be very annoying but Jason manages to keep that from happening. Instead, I love him. Plus, he loves to talk, he thinks he can talk his way out of things and sometimes he makes things much worse. I love it. Plus, his little quirks that Jason does for him, like the way he’ll cut his eyes at something. AH! I just love him.
Brett Gray as Jamal Turner. He is the nerd of the group and African-American. He believes that there is a hidden treasure scheme surrounding Roller World. Jamal reminds me of a conspiracy theorist. Someone who just believes all kinds of crazy things, and who is even willing to go searching for it. He also manages to really dedicate himself to things that would be so much easier if he would just speak up, but ya know, teenagers are dramatic lol. His parents love football, his father used to play and he wants the same thing for Jamal but Jamal isn’t really into sports. He’s definitely the most awkward of the group, he is clumsy but he’s also really funny. The entire subplot with Roller World is just hilarious, especially all of the scenes with the gnomes. He can’t keep a secret so there is a great scene that deals with that. Brett Gray was great. He’s really funny and since he has a lot of scenes with Ruby, they really work well together.
Diego Tinoco as Cesar Diaz. Cesar is that kid who you often ask, “how is he friends with the others?” because he just seems too cool for them. He’s handsome, he’s suave but he’s also very intelligent which makes sense as to why he manages to find solace with the others. His older brother gets released from prison which puts pressure on Cesar, who is forced into gang life. A lot of his story, is him trying to find the balance between being in the gang but trying to live a normal teenage life with his friends and his new love interest. Things get a little rocky and he definitely relishes in some of the chaos. He doesn’t like it per se, but it’s like easy for him to exploit it. He’s super cute lol, and I very much enjoy watching him ruffle some feathers. However, he’s also a tragic character because he’s forced into something he doesn’t want and it hurts him but he does it. Diego Tinoco is great as Cesar, he’s likable even when you don’t want to like him. He has great chemistry with his love interest and their moments together can be sweet, and sometimes they can be… dramatic.
Ronni Hawk as Olivia. She is a friend of Ruby’s family, they take her in after her parents get deported back to Mexico and she becomes a member of the friend group. Olivia is like the pretty girl, she’s nice, she’s fashionable and she fits right in with the friend group. She ends up developing a crush on Cesar which in ways, causes some problems within the group, but nothing that she does intentionally. I like Olivia fine, she’s one of those characters that I could take or leave. If she wasn’t around, that’s cool but since she was, that’s cool too. I didn’t mind Ronni Hawk, I don’t know anything about her, but I thought her Spanish was terrible.
The Story is Mature. At its core it’s about friendship. Our group is getting ready to go off to high school and Monse comes back from summer camp to find that Cesar has made up a rumor about her and has left the group. She is determined to find out what happened, so most of the first episode is her reuniting with Ruby and Jamal and trying to find out what she missed over the summer. She learns that Cesar was forced into the same gang as his older brother who was released from jail that summer. So, the season focuses on them trying to find a way to rescue their friend, while trying to navigate high school, friendships, family and romance. It’s all handled really well, while I do think the school aspect does get a swept under the rug compared to everything else but I understand that that’s not as important as everything else.
The Humor. Being that it’s set in current time, a lot of the dialogue is just funny because I think the way teens talk is already hilarious. So put them in a show like this, where you have characters like Ruby comparing himself to a Ruben sandwich (since his full name is Ruben lol). It’s hilarious. Plus, characters are awkward and they get into situations that teens shouldn’t be in, but they find themselves in so they have hilarious reactions. Plus, Peggy Blow as Ruby’s abuela steals a lot of the scenes she’s in. Jamal has some great scenes with his parents and this creepy dude and his shop with a bunch of gnomes. Oh man, I was cracking up. Expect to laugh throughout the show.
The Friendship. I think the chemistry between the four main kids is really strong and they feel like they’ve been friends for a long time. They’re all different in ways, but they just fit together. When Olivia is introduced, she fits in with them as well. I also believe some of the drama they have, in a friend group, things are bound to happen and friendships will be strained, that’s just how life is.
Very Relatable. The show is very relatable in how the kids deal with their problems. I don’t think problems get solved and that’s that. A lot of happens and it has long-term consequences or it’s no solved so quickly. That’s life and I like the fact that the show doesn’t gloss over the problems. It feels authentic which I think a lot of teen dramas miss out on these days, I may enjoy them, but I know it’s fiction. On My Block feels real. All of the characters are relatable in that kids get older and experience physical body changes, pressure from parents, from friends, romance, gangs, family, it’s all very real. I also like the fact that they just live day by day. Yeah, they have plans for what they want to do tomorrow, but that’s not what they focus on. It’s all about that moment.
Mature Storylines. Even though these characters are like 14-15, their reality is legit. They live in an inner city Los Angeles neighborhood and they witness a lot. There are times where they hear gunshots and they’re scared about it but then to lighten the mood, they try to guess what kind of gun it was. There are gangs, violence, drugs, and that’s just their environment and the show doesn’t make a big deal about it, it just is. The sexual moments of the show are also handled well. They are minors so it can be a little squick but that’s legit too, teenagers do have sex, so don’t be afraid to talk about it. Also, the stuff about families and how Monse does a little research to find her mom, it’s really emotional and I felt that. It’s all handled very well and with maturity.
The Acting. It wasn’t all bad, nor was it always bad but sometimes in certain moments or episodes, the acting got really over the top, or like they were trying to hard. I think this is mostly notable in Sierra Capri. Her character seems like the defacto leader of their little group and whenever she got invested in something, she liked to raise her voice or yell and it just was too much. Or certain expressions she would make. It was just weird. I even though that Brett Gray sometimes did too much but his character was kind of the “over the top” character in ways too so it wasn’t as noticeable.
Overall, I really really liked On the Block. I think the first season is worth the watch and I am super excited for season two. Every bit of this show feels measured, and carefully planned out. Nothing was wasted. The 10 episodes we got, showed so much but at the same time, left a lot to explored. It’s such a strong show right out the gate that I literally have no complaints other than the acting. I think all of our main actors are great in their roles, they have great chemistry with each other, and they bounce off of each other so well that I believe they’ve known each other for years. It’s really funny as well, none of the humor feels forced, it almost feels like the young actors ad libbed and the director just let them. It’s so organic. I love how it just feels like I’m watching the lives of real teenagers instead of a tv show. It’s very relatable, the mature storylines really help the show from veering into a dramatic teeny bopper show. My only complaint is that not all of the acting is the best, mostly from Sierra Capri, she’s a bit inconsistent but her best scene was definitely the one when she was babysitting. Otherwise the show is great and definitely worth the watch!
Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen On My Block? If not, watch it. It’s on Netflix. If you have, let me know your thoughts in the comments below! Don’t forget to like and follow this blog for more reviews!
Summary: High school principal Jefferson Pierce, who retired from his superhero persona Black Lightning nine years ago after seeing the effects it had on his family, is forced to become a vigilante again when the rise of the local gang called the 100 leads to increased crime and corruption in his community of Freeland.
There will be some spoilers ahead. I’m going to try to keep them minor because the show just ended.
Cast and Characters.
Cress Williams as Jefferson Pierce / Black Lightning. Jefferson is a retired superhero with the ability to harness and manipulate electricity. He’s like a battery. He is the current principal at Garfield High School. Jefferson returns to fight crime after his daughters are kidnapped by a local gang. He immediately knows what he has to do and Jefferson will do whatever it takes to protect his family. Now, because he is a family man, he does protect his family but he considers his students to be his family as well. He’ll do whatever it takes to help them. He is stubborn, and can be a bit too determined sometimes but he always means well. Jefferson wants to protect his town from those who want to do it harm. Jefferson feels like a real person, it’s hard with superheroes sometimes, because they don’t feel human, like they don’t have human problems but Jefferson does. He has a family, even though he isn’t married to Lynn, he obviously still loves her and does whatever he can to protect her just as he does his daughters. He’s also very sad and angry about the death of his father and he even tries to take it upon himself to get revenge for it later in the season, but he’s never unreasonable. I like that about him. He gets his mind-set on something but he can still be talked down from it, it’s unpredictable, you’re not sure what he might do. Unpredictable. Cress Williams is fantastic as Jefferson. He’s also a beautiful man lol. He’s so… inspiring when he talks to his students but I also believe he’ll get you right.
China Anne McClain as Jennifer Pierce. Jefferson’s younger daughter, who is very independent, outspoken, smart and an athlete. She has a bit of a wild streak, but I think that was shown mostly in the first two episodes and then that kind of went away probably because of the kidnapping. She is a teenager so she does some teenagery like things, like wanting to go to the next step with her boyfriend, or being a bit of a smartass, and of course stealing her sister’s clothes. Jennifer in ways, reminds me of my younger sister (she’s in college now), but she loves her family even if they can be a bit hard on her. Jennifer gets her powers way late in the game, she shows that something might be different about her when she gets in a fight with this girl (who came at her) and she breaks her wrist. She has strong feelings for Khalil and even though he hurt her, she still loves him. When he comes back, she even is willing to see him but of course he comes back different. We finally see her gain her powers and she’s like a generator and I think she might be more powerful than her dad. I hope to see her use her powers more in the second season because I want to see some LIGHTNING! China Anne McClain is great, I’ve always enjoyed watching her, and she’s great as Jennifer. Her emotional scenes are definitely some of her strongest.
Nafessa Williams as Anissa Pierce / Thunder. Jefferson’s elder daughter who is in medical school and teaches part-time at Jefferson’s school. Anissa learns about her powers early on, she has the ability to manipulate her density, allowing herself to have superhuman strength and near invulnerability. She can also create powerful shock waves in which she can do that THUNDER CLAP!! She also has a rapid healing factor. She starts off fighting crime alone as Thunder because she thought she was alone in it (not knowing who BL was yet) but she eventually learns it’s her father and they become a team because she would keep doing it without him. Anissa is strong, determined, very stubborn and will do things her own way, especially in the beginning. We do see her grow to make more mature decisions on how things are handled which is great. Anissa also is bold in everything she does, from her hair to her clothes… I love her. She had a girlfriend in the beginning but she wasn’t feeling it, which I’ve noticed, if she’s not feeling it, then she’s not in it. She does meet Grace, later on, we’ll see what happens with that later on. Nafeesa Williams is great! She has great chemistry with everyone around her. She is strong and she answered my Twitter questions which was awesome. I love how she does the deep breath to allow her powers to do their thing. I also love her hair, I have hair envy every time she’s on-screen. Killing the game.
Christine Adams as Lynn Stewart. A neuroscientist at Bowman College and Jefferson’s ex-wife. Lynn is kind, loving but she will not take your crap. She will lay you out as well. Lynn still loves Jefferson and she of course loves her daughters, she is very much involved in everyone’s lives. She is intelligent and while she may not have powers (I think they should give her some lol), she is a strong part of the family by being the human backbone. She’s watched Jefferson be a hero for years, and now she has to see it again, with her daughters being caught in the mix. She doesn’t like it, but she has to accept it because it’s the reality of the situation. I also love the fact that she knows her family enough that she knows when something is wrong, but she doesn’t pry. Christine Adams is great! Whenever she’s being sassy, I’m like YASSS and whenever she is letting someone have it, I’m like YASSS! I also love her mother/daughter scenes with her girls, and her passionate scenes with Cress Williams.
Main Supporting Characters.
Marvin “Krondon” Jones III as Tobias Whale. A former politician who rose through the ranks of local government through corruption but was brought down by Jefferson’s father, Alvin. Tobias was exiled after killing Alvin but he became the leader of the 100. He also gets involved with the A.S.A in hopes of capturing and studying Black Lightning, but Tobias just wants him out the way. Tobias is an interesting character. He’s Albino and he definitely seems to hate black people, or at least the “typical black person”, whatever that means. He does have some great monologues though. He is super strong, seems to be aging slowly and has extreme anger issues. He trusts very few people, like his sister Tori and Syonide. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to get what he wants. He’ll take everyone out. Krondon Jones is great! He’s a scary dude and his voice is awesome. I believe he’s gonna take over Freeland, and I also believe he could kill Black Lightning if he’s not careful. Dude can mean mug like nobodies business.
Damon Gupton as Billy Henderson. A veteran detective inspector with the police, he’s friends with Jefferson and I think he was an ally to Black Lightning previously. While he may help BL, he’s still a detective and he doesn’t care for vigilantism. However, he does his part because he sees that cops are corrupt. I like him, he can be a bit annoying but I think he’s a good man and I hope nothing happens to him in the future but I kind of feel like something will. Damon Gupton is fine in the role, he’s a nice guy and he doesn’t make me want to punch him so that’s good lol.
James Remar as Peter Gambi. Jefferson’s oldest friend who became a father figure and mentor to him and works as his “tailor” while having connections with Lady Eve. His real name is Peter Esposito and was a former member of the A.S.A. until he turned against the organization and gave information to Alvin Pierce, resulting in his murder.
Reoccurring Supporting Characters.
Skye P. Marshall as Kara Fowdy. She is Garfield High’s vice-principal. In the beginning, it’s easy to tell that she has a crush on Jefferson and that sometimes she tries to hard. She isn’t a major character but it’s imperative that viewers pay attention to her because we learn something about her later on, that I totally saw coming and it makes sense. However, she does seem to feel remorseful about her decisions but ya know, once you get in too deep, it’s hard to get back out. Kara Fowdy does well in her role, I’m curious to see if we see more of her in the second season.
William Catlett as Latavius “Lala” Johnson (mild spoilers). A member of the 100 who is in charge of the Seahorse Motel that 100 use as a front for their prostitution ring. I think he also does a bit of drug dealing. Lala used to be a student at Garfield High, so Jefferson feels a little responsibility for him in that he could get through to him but Lala has his “empire” and he’s not going to give that up. Something happens to him that when he shows back up in the show, something is definitely up with him and you have no idea what’s going on. It’s a bit weird but at the same time, it’s dope. He starts to show some changes himself. One of those changes is that he starts seeing the ghosts and these ghosts leave markings on his body. It’s really cool to be honest. He has some great scenes in the latter half of the season. William Catlett does a great job at making you really dislike Lala (his nickname is also stupid, I can’t always take him seriously) but later on, as things are discovered, he makes you really feel bad for him too.
Charlbi Dean as Syonide. Tobias Whale’s henchwoman and enforcer. She doesn’t say much but she will kill you with a look and she’s a bit scary. She has a great fight scene with Thunder and we really get to see her physical prowess as a fighter. She also talked in the season finale and I was like “Oh! She talks… weird.” Like she had full on sentences, when usually she just looks, smirks and threatens. Charlbi Dean is fine in the role, she manages to make me feel unsettled by her looks.
Jordan Calloway as Khalil Payne (mild spoilers). He is a track star at Garfield High and dating Jennifer. He is on the road to becoming something great with track. He has a great scene with Jefferson when Jennifer tells her parents that she might be ready to take the next step with Khalil. He’s sweet, a bit awkward and hopeful. He goes on a march with some residents in Freeland and he gets shot which paralyzes him from the waist down. Him losing the use of his legs, depresses him and he gets really moody and even treats Jennifer wrongly. I feel bad for him honestly, especially since his depression leaves him wide open for negative persuasion. He disappears for a while and when he comes back, things are definitely different. It’s a little jarring at first, mostly the appearance but it grew on me and I’m definitely interested to see what happens with him in the second season, I hope he becomes more prominent because he’s interesting. Jordan Calloway is not only *swoons* but he does a great job at playing the many faces of Khalil we’ve seen. The sad part of him, the mean part (though I’ve seen him be mean in Riverdale lol), and the part that he is currently.
Jill Scott as Evelyn Stillwater-Ferguson / Lady Eve. The owner of a funeral parlor who connects Tobias Whale with a secret group of corrupt leaders that gave him leadership over the 100. She is AHMAZING! She has some kind of control that allows her to be like this big boss in Freeland, but everyone also loves her. I can’t help but wonder how she looks and acts outside of her little corrupt group because the fact that people love her, and aren’t suspicious of her makes me wonder. Jill Scott is always a win and she killed it in the times we saw Lady Eve, every bit of line delivery was her just chewing it up.
Strong Family Dynamic. So Jefferson and Lynn are divorced but they have a working relationship that allows their daughters to still have that parent connection even though Lynn doesn’t live with them. They have Friday dinners where they all come together and eat dinner together and most times Lynn is there helping Jefferson prepare the dinner. Lynn and Jefferson also still have amazing chemistry and it’s easy to tell that they are still in love with each other, even though they divorced because Lynn couldn’t handle him being a superhero (the getting hurt part, not the saving part). But she obviously still cares for him. I also love how they are with Anissa and Jennifer. I think Anissa is in her early 20’s and Jen is 17-18 and they aren’t treated like children but in a mature way. They want to protect their girls but they also understand that they’re getting older and they must make their own choices. Nafeesa and China also have great sisterly chemistry, they feel like they’re sisters and I love their dynamic, especially in the beginning when Jen would steal Anissa’s clothes or when Jefferson and Anissa were being all weird and Jen knew something was up. I loved that they know each other so well that they know when something is wrong. I love the Pierce family. I also love how they look related, Anissa looks like Lynn and Jennifer looks like Jefferson, it’s really good casting.
Great Villains. The show has a main villain in Tobias Whale but we’ve seen a lot of people who are villainous in the show. They’re all great. Lala, Lady Eve, Tobias and Proctor are all very different villains, with different ways of going about their agendas but they’re all memorable. A lot of that is definitely the performances of these actors and how they deliver the dialogue. I can’t wait to see what Tobias does in the second season.
The Soundtrack. Now, I don’t always pay attention to the music in TV shows because I just don’t think about it. Unless it doesn’t go with the scene. But I think Blake Neely is the composer for the CW superhero shows, or probably all of the CW shows, and while the music is fine, it usually all sounds the same. Black Lightning’s soundtrack stands out because the music not only fits the show, fits the scenes, but it feels steeped in black culture. Kurt Farquhar is the composer for BL and the songs they choose for scenes, especially emotional and action scenes are so good. For example, in the season finale, they played “Stairway to Heaven” by the O’Jays, during an emotional scene with Jefferson and I teared up. Take a gander for yourself. There is a link below that has the music for each episode in Season 1. I really wish the CW would do what they used to where they would tell us who the artists and the songs were after each episode. GET BACK ON IT!! I would love that.
Get Ready for the Thunder and Lightning! The action in this show is so cool to behold. First of all, whatever Anissa does as Thunder is freaking awesome. Watching her use her powers, especially when she becomes bullet proof (Look there is nothing like seeing black people be bullet proof), and she can just walk through a rain shower of bullets… or how she does her thunder-clap. I love it. Also, when she fights alongside her father, they work so well together AND AND AND he did this awesome thing where he made stairs out of lightning and Anissa uses them to go up before coming down and doing like a Thunder stomp or something. Oh man, it was so awesome. The season finale was also great, Jennifer did this great move where she uses her powers and like body slam this dude and just her whole move was great. Also, Thunder and Black Lightning squared off in a fist fight as well and that was pretty cool too.
The Messages/The Story. I think because it’s only 13 episodes, the first season had the ability to be more intimate and focus on the characters more (which I think is part of Riverdale‘s season 2 problem). We really got to know the Pierce family and our villains. We really got to see what makes them tick and we’re learning more about them in each episode. The story is realistic in that it’s not centered around a young hero making choices that people constantly judge for being stupid (looking at you Barry and Oliver). But it’s about a man, who was already in his prime, whose lived that life and returned to it to save his family. I like that. I also love that it’s focusing on a black family that isn’t in pieces, even though Lynn and Jefferson aren’t together, they’re still a unit. That’s positive. I also love how they are showcasing things that black people go through, just in the guise of a superhero show. I can imagine this might be hard for some people, especially if you only want to see superheros superheroing but it’s set in the real world, so I think that’s legit. I mean, drugs, relationships, gangs, gun violence, police brutality… all of that is real and I think so far they’ve handled it well, for the most part.
Not part of the Arrowverse. While this is a CW show, it’s not in the arrowverse, at least not yet, and I kind of hope it stays separate. It has a more mature and serious tone compared to the other shows, and I want it to stay in its own bubble because I really don’t want to see Oliver Queen try to tell Jefferson Piece what to do and how to do it. Nor do I want to see Felicity try to be nerd friends with Lynn. I just… don’t want it. Now, if somehow Iris could meet Anissa and become best friends, I’m down with that lol, but that’s it. I like how different it feels compared to the other shows. I like that it’s more serious and family oriented (some of the other shows kind of had that going for a while, but it’s been lost I think). I don’t want any type of Damien Darkh-like nonsense to seep into Black Lightning, it has it’s down magic and science thing going on… let it stay that way.
The Serious/Mature Tone. It definitely takes some risks, the show handles a lot of material that I can imagine some people find a bit too heavy-handed, or they feel like it’s “invading” their show because they just want to watch a superhero show. I understand that, but I think not expecting a show to tackle current issues, or to even talk about them at all is a bit ignorant. They’re not all just fiction, a lot of their stories deal with reality. A black superhero is still a black person, they still have to live as a black person. I like that about Black Lightning. I like that. I also like that it handles a strong family dynamic. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, I mean it does, but it doesn’t try to be all dark like how Arrow feels like it’s trying to do now.
The Theme Song. I just want them to choose a new song. I don’t really care for it. It’s very… juvenile compared to the mature feeling of the show and how they use some of the other songs throughout. Let’s upgrade the theme song!
The Costumes. So I have a love/hate relationship with Black Lightning and Thunder’s costumes which is why it’s here and not in the “pros”. So Jefferson’s suit, is like a suit of armor, it’s bulletproof and it has lightning bolts down the front and they’re yellow and blue as shown below.
I don’t really like his suit, it looks kind of weird to me, it also fits him weird. I also do not like the yellow on his suit. Jefferson’s lightning is blue and I think his suit should just have a blue and maybe a kind of white going on, since lightning isn’t yellow. Or at least have the yellow only be the outline and not be so prominent.
Like how it is on this picture left. It’s there but it’s not so big and bulky looking. I definitely don’t want spandex because that doesn’t translate, but maybe something that looks more workable.
As for Anissa’s suit, in the beginning she went thrift shopping and found something to make work for a while. Then when she started working with her dad, Gambi made her suit and while I think she wears it very well and it does look good overall, there’s something about it I don’t really like. I think it’s the neck/collarbone part.
The picture on the left is the outfit she had at first, and while it’s cute, she looks like she’s trying to be Beyoncé in a spandex outfit but it’s not feasible for crime fighting which I think becomes evident when she first fights Black Lightning. Now, her official costume, the one on the right, I think looks good overall. I like the color and I like how it fits, but the little part above her chest plate, I think looks too big when she’s moving in it. It seems loose. Otherwise, I like it.
This is from an animated show and the comics, and I kind of like this look better. I definitely see the inspiration, but the one on the left, in terms of the top, I think looks better. Don’t get me wrong, I like realistic looking superhero uniforms, but I don’t think “realistic” means “unflattering” either. I can’t seem to find it but they showed a look at his old costume and I remember liking that one way more.
Heavy Handed. I don’t think this happens all the time but there are times where it feels like they’re trying to really hammer in some messages and they don’t really have to make it feel preachy. It only happens a few times, but those times do happen and I’m like “Okay, we get it, less is more.” I like the fact that it focuses on things that minorities, especially black people go through, but I do think, for a superhero show, it could fall into that thing that Luke Cage fell into where it hits a glass ceiling because it comes on too strong. This may seem like I’m contradicting myself from my earlier comment but I think I would be remiss to ignore that I have thought that.
Dumb Choices. There aren’t many but I hate, and it burns my grits every time, but I hate it when characters go and investigate stuff and DON’T WEAR GLOVES!!! You are searching for things, YOU SHOULD BE WEARING GLOVES! Ugh I drives me insane. Black Lightning was framed for a murder and Jefferson and Anissa are just running around all willy nilly, breaking into places and just touching stuff. *sighs* Also, Lynn is a neuroscientist, there are too many times where she’s doing science stuff with other people around, or she’s talking to her family in her lab like people can’t hear them. *sighs* There was a scene in a hospital I think, where Anissa and Jefferson or Lynn and Jefferson were talking but they were just casually walking down the hallway… I’m like “really y’all? It’s a secret!” *sighs* stuff like that man. They should really think about that.
Overall, I love Black Lightning. It’s probably my favorite of the CW shows right now. It felt fresh compared to the others, which I guess would happen since those have been on for a few years now. I just loved the family dynamic, I think that is definitely the strength of the show. Not to mention, I think all of the actors do a great job, it’s not always the best, but I think it’s overall good. I like the Pierce family and I like the villains. I think the music is used in a fantastic way in the show. It really amplifies the show and makes it feel so different. The action is handled very well, Anissa and Jefferson work very well together and I can’t wait to see them handle the villains even more in the second season. I love how they handled a lot of the messages, such as gang violence, drugs, police brutality, family issues, identity among many things. I don’t think it handles anything negatively but I can understand if people feel like it’s too heavy-handed and I can agree in some places. I also like that it’s not part of the Arrowverse, I hope that it stays that way. Now, I don’t really like BL’s costume and there are parts of Thunder’s that I don’t care for and I definitely think characters make some really dumb choices. HOWEVER! I loved this show! Second season whoooo!!
Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Black Lightning? What do you think about it? Are you interested in it at all? Let me know your thoughts down below!
There’s a spoiler below… don’t read any further if you haven’t seen the show or at least haven’t finished it.
So in the finale, Lala died, at least I think he died. He seemed to have been blown up, in that Tobias winter soldiered him and made him have a grenade or something inside of him that made him choke up the little pull thing. I don’t know but it was weird. I thought it was weird, how Lala seemed to be the big bad but I knew Tobias was going to be probably the biggest baddie, but then Lady Eve seemed to be even worse than him… then we have the A.S.A. So, I just hope we don’t villain hop anymore because while I definitely think Tobias is the biggest threat for now. I am curious though, is he going to be taken down in the second season and if so, who’s going to top him? They killed Lala, they killed Lady Eve and Proctor (the lead dude of the A.S.A) is dead now, so… I’m curious to see what happens next.
So, it took me a long time to figure out what to call this piece. I wanted to make it part of the “Diminished Characters” list but there’s only been one season so far and I don’t really think he was diminished… at least not yet. Not completely. Kind of…*sighs* I don’t know. I just know I’m a bit irritated.
But this is about Alex Wilder from Marvel’s Runaways. It also took me a long time to do because of the fact that I wanted to rewatch the show to try to notice things I might not have noticed before and I read the comic up to his death so I really wanted to notice things.
There will be spoilers from the show AND the comics, so read at your peril. I’m spoiling everything… I kind of already did in my review but definitely here.
I finished watching the show with my friend and we both enjoyed it. Probably finished it in three days. I was also reading the original comic run through Hoopla (I like reading comics online, it’s a lot easier to just blow through them) and I wasn’t finished with the story yet but I knew at some point that someone in the Runaways team was the mole. They were feeding information back to Pride and I was like “hmm… who could it be?” So let me give you some back story on the comic. This might be long but please read if you’re curious or if you feel the same way.
The Runaways- Comics
So the story starts off with Alex Wilder gaming, it’s clear that he loves superheroes, especially Captain America, as the character he is playing as is Cap himself. His parents make him stop (his dad even makes him cancel the subscription because he didn’t want to be paying a monthly fee even though they live in Malibu, which Alex points out lol) because they’re getting ready for their annual meeting and they want Alex to hang out with the kids of the group. He doesn’t want too because they’re all weird but he of course does.
We meet the others and their parents. Chase Stein, Gertrude “Gert” Yorkes, Molly Hayes, Karolina Dean and Nico Minoru. They all come back together in the Wilder’s house and when Alex comes down, he immediately sees Nico and love at first sight, it was cute lol. But moving on, Alex suggests that since it was all awkward and stuff that they should spy on their parents. They witness a weird ceremony and they all freak out about it. They meet that night, and they end up going to each house to see if they could find any clues, the others all learn about secret things about them. Karolina can glow and is an alien, Gert has a telepathic dinosaur (they also find the Abstract that details everything, they just need Mrs. Dean’s decoder ring), Chase finds the X-ray goggles and fistigons, Molly (who was being held hostage by her parents) is a strong mutant, and Nico absorbs the Staff of One after her mother attacked her with it.
They go to a hideout that Chase found, and they sit tight while Alex is trying to decode the Abstract with the ring they stole from Mrs. Dean. A lot of shenanigans happen and we find out there is a mole among the Runaways. Long story short, Alex decodes the abstract, while also being very distant from the others, he almost treats them (outside of Nico) as children… which Molly is lol. But they go after their parents, there’s a fight, Chase is put out of the fight and he gives Alex his weapons so he can fight. Everyone gets incapacitated and turns out Alex is the mole.
He dies, the parents are assumed dead and the others at the end basically run away after being separated.
Marvel’s Runaways-TV Show
So in the show, it starts off with Alex playing a game but instead of his father coming in to tell him to stop, he tries to play with him because Alex has been distant for the last two years due to a mysterious something that happened. We meet the others as well, and we learn that they all used to be pretty close but whatever happened, which we find out was the death of Nico’s older sister (suicide) they’ve fallen apart. Alex is against having the others over just because Pride was meeting, but after seeing everyone apart, especially Nico sitting alone, he tries to get them to come over that night.
They all kind of get into an argument when Alex talks to Chase first about coming over and no one does. It’s not until everyone’s plans fall through that they decide to go over to Alex’s house. They’re awkward and what not, Chase suggests that he needs alcohol if they’re gonna have to talk it over. So Chase goes towards the study where the parents are supposed to be, Nico and Alex have a brief conversation about why he didn’t go to the funeral. They all go into the study and Chase starts raiding the cabinet, Alex tells them they’re not supposed to be in there, but no one leaves. Gert and Chase talk, and Alex moves to get a coaster for her which reveals the secret passageway.
So moving forward, the show takes a longer time to allow us to get the parents and the kids. But for a while, Alex tries to make sure everyone is keeping their cool and acting natural. He basically becomes the man with the plan throughout the show. After Gert and Karolina find evidence on Leslie’s computer, Alex finds out that the information shows the amount of kids “runaways” that Pride has sacrificed and that Leslie Dean has been the one choosing their victims. Nico was with him and she wanted to go to the police, especially because she’s starting to think that Amy didn’t commit suicide but was murdered. Everyone was against this, but eventually, Alex comes around and says that he didn’t want her to be alone so they go together. Then he’s kidnapped and episode 5 is a Wilder-centric episode.
Side Note: I saw some people state that this episode was odd, or it seemed kind of weird, which I can understand, but Alex already doesn’t get enough credit so it was nice to have an episode centered around his family, more so his father, but still. Plus this was also when everyone (minus Gert) uses their abilities and weapons they gained. Sure, it was a bit odd in how they all came together to use their abilities, like how Chase’s unfinished Fistigons worked, or how Karolina popped her bracelet off and just blinded Darius to death… I don’t think she needs that bracelet to stop her from doing anything considering how it takes so long for her rainbow lightbulbs to come on. Not to mention in the finale, she wasn’t lit up the entire time and the bracelet is supposed to inhabit the lights and her powers. But anyway, I appreciate the “Kingdom” episode.
So Alex shot this kid in the shoulder to protect his father, as the kid had a gun on him. So Alex is determined to save Andre, who was just following orders. They don’t find him and Alex feels guilty that he basically killed that kid. Now, I’m sure the Alex haters could say that he could easily have done that to help with the sacrifice since he’s “the mole” but unlike the comic, this Alex is a lot more emotional and attached compared to the comic who is way more cold. Not to mention, there isn’t an abstract so how would he know what the sacrifices were for??? So he and Nico make out after she comforts him through his guilty feelings. At the gala, they have a plan, Alex and Nico break into Tina’s office and this is where it goes downhill. Alex puts the password in without trouble and Nico is suspicious and he tells her “I’m just that good” but she doesn’t buy it. So skip other stuff, Alex is working on decrypting the hard drive they stole from Tina Minoru and Nico basically forces him to tell her how he knew Tina’s password. So he comes clean about Amy.
Amy’s Truth: So basically, while playing I believe Star Wars Battlefront, Amy’s computer starts acting up and Alex tries to help her out being a computer genius. He discovers that her computer was hacked and that someone is seeing everything she’s doing on it. Amy freaks out and runs off. She was snooping on Wizard’s servers trying to see what she could find to knock her mom down a peg (Wizard is created and owned by the Minorus). When she ran off, she was caught by Kincaid, who works for Tina, they knew someone hacked Wizard and he was warning her to back off. But someone else found out and was worried that she found out something she wasn’t supposed to. So Amy did talk to Alex on the phone as she prepared to run away, he tried to get her to calm down but she told him to promise not to tell, which he kept her promise.
So back to the story, so Alex tells Nico all of this and she’s upset. Don’t get me twisted, she has every right to be hurt that he didn’t tell her, but I don’t think her attitude and hostility to him the rest of the show is necessary. He was 14 and Amy was the oldest and she confided in him and I think he confided in her in ways, they were close, and she knew he liked Nico. It’s a natural thing to do. Keep a secret because you think it might do more harm than good, not to mention, he probably felt responsible once he found out she was dead. Imagine what that could do a teenager who knew what he knew. Again, I’m not saying that Nico doesn’t have a right to be mad, I just don’t think her nasty attitude to him afterwards was warranted. Give the kid a break. He’s done everything he can to help everyone. He finishes decrypting the hard drive and calls the others over to let them know what’s on it and how it could finally bring their parents down. Due to all that’s happened with Chase, he doesn’t want to turn the parents in anymore, Karolina is on his side since she’s talked to her dad (Frank) and thinks he’ll help. They argue, Chase and Alex have a fight and Chase deliberately breaks the laptop so all of their evidence is gone.
So, episode 9 is basically the lead up the finale in which the kids have their plan to try to find out what’s on the construction site, since Alex pieced together that the site is probably a front for whatever they’re doing. Before the dance, Nico called Alex from Amy’s phone. Oh yeah, she found the bag that Amy was going to use to runaway which confirmed that Amy was killed, which had her phone in it, which Nico charged IN AMY’S ROOM INSTEAD OF TAKING IT BACK TO HER OWN ROOM! This is why y’all need Alex around because that’s stupid. But she calls him from her phone, which would have freaked me out, and he goes over to her house to look at the text message on her phone. They have a chat, Robert Minoru comes in, Alex compliments Nico and she says “Oh you think I look nice?”
Alex: Yeah, you look great.
Nico: Too bad I don’t give a shit anymore.
Alex: You know how sorry I am Nico.
Nico: Not as sorry as I am.
JUST UGH!! WHHYYYYYY!!??? GIVE THE KID A BREAK!!
So, they go to the dance, Gert and Chase hook up, Nico suggests looking for them and Alex says “Want some company?” and out of spite she says “Sure, Karolina want to come?” just UGH! And this is where Karolina reveals her feelings to Nico by kissing her. So jump forward to the construction site, they get there and Alex is going through making sure everyone is ready and I feel like Nico’s little “and what are you bringing to the party Alex?” was snooty and I’m over it.
So they go in, try to shut it down and the parents show up. They all argue and then Jonah shows up and he blasts everyone. Karolina tells everyone to run while she stands off against Jonah since they have the same powers. So, the others run and everything around them is fried. It was very anticlimactic, the fight we didn’t see between Karolina and Jonah. Nico wants to go back for her and Alex tells her to be smart, and to look at everyone… and everyone is terrified, tired and it’s time to go. She runs off anyway “We’re missing someone!” and ends up having to run anyway!! You’re mad that he said y’all need to go but y’all had to go anyway because the parents were coming after ya’ll. *rolls eyes*
She gets mad at him again because when they ask what do they do after waking up since they’re all tired, Nico says “Save Karolina” and Alex says “Get out-of-town” and Nico says “You’d seriously leave without her” and Alex says that they don’t know where she is, or how she is and Gert tacks on, if she even is still alive. Look, I get it. Karolina is part of the team, I would never want to leave without my full team, but I’m also not going to get bent out of shape when the smart thing to do is regroup and come up with a plan. A SMART PLAN. I swear, these teenagers are so flip floppy, it’s so frustrating but they’re teenagers. Because it’s Karolina, everyone’s like “okay yeah sure”. It’s just so ARGH! Because Alex says they need to leave he looks bad and he’s the last one to get on board, he looks bad. I don’t think he was doing that to be cold, or anything like that, just that he was trying to think of the group and how everyone needed to get themselves together. I would have deduced and I’m sure with how smart Alex is, he would have, or at least should have deduced that Karolina and Jonah were the same. I would doubt that they would hurt her which would give us more time. It’s smart.
But ya know, it’s totally smart that Old Lace doesn’t go with them because they could get caught with her. Everyone is on board with that plan from Alex… yup.
After they rescue Karolina, Nico finds Alex looking at the view and asks her how long do you think it’ll take to walk back home and she tells him that they’re never going back. This is probably the one time Alex shows a hint of weakness in terms of maybe, possibly doubting anything. Everyone else has had their chances to be on their parents’ sides, or to doubt that they’re criminals whereas he’s been pretty steadfast. I know that could mean a lot of things, but he was already distant from them, so this was pretty much a nail in the coffin for him, not to mention the stuff he learned about his dad in episode 5.
But he does leave and he calls someone. We don’t know who he calls but in the next scene with him, we see Darius pull up and Alex tells him that he needs something from him, and that the enemy of his enemy is his friend. Alex came back and spoke with Nico, she asks him if he called his parents and he told her no, she asked who he called and he said it doesn’t matter, he got what he needed and he shows her a roll of money. She says “must be some friend” and her expression seemed a little suspicious to me. Look, you’re mad or whatever, get over it, he just got y’all some money. None of ya’ll thought about that. Then literally in the next scene, we see the Wilders and Cat says to Geoff that he can’t will the phone to ring, she’s tried. I think that implies that Alex did not call them otherwise, why would she say that? Unless he only called his dad and Geoff didn’t tell her yet, but why wouldn’t he tell her? No reason not to.
So we don’t know who called them in as kidnappers, we can assume it was Geoff as he does it in the comics, and Destiny’s death is also included in this so it wouldn’t have been Molly’s aunt. He said he was going to get them to safety and then go to war, and getting them arrested would get them safety, relatively speaking.
So they run.
The Mole Storyline
So in the comics, a note is left behind in the Hayes’ house, after the kids manage to get Molly and the decoder ring, that basically says “I love you mom and dad and I’ll always be loyal to you. I understand why you’re doing this” and I was like Oh snap, one of the kids is on the parents’ side, this is crazy. WHY WOULD YOU BE? What could you possibly understand just from seeing your parents murder someone? So, we deal with the hijinks of the group and their parents trying and failing to find them, while wondering WHO IS THE MOLE. So, the mole tipped the police off to their whereabouts and they sold out Cloak and Dagger (the Pride erased their memories). They finally get down into the lair of the Gibborim and after they revive Chase, who technically died, the rest go to fight their parents. Now, I thought it was strange how Karolina kept suggesting they do the Heimlich on Chase to revive him while Molly was screaming that it was CPR. Now, we all know that CPR is what you do when someone can’t breathe, or swallowed water or whatever right? So, why is Karolina suggesting the Heimlich and she was so sure of it. So I of course started to think that she was the mole. But it didn’t make sense as she technically did not see the parents kill that girl, I think Alex told her to take Molly away so Molly wouldn’t see it.
Anyway, they get to the temple, there’s a fight with the parents. Molly uses her strength, so of course she goes to sleep. Gert is knocked unconscious by the Hayes or Deans (neither of them like her anyway), Nico was frozen by her parents and Chase was left behind because he was hurt. So Alex and Karolina were left, so Alex takes Nico’s staff and he knocks Karolina over the head with it and mind you, he has Chase’s fistigons and X-ray glasses and I’m like “NO!” So then we see this picture.
Soooooo, Alex Wilder turned out to be the mole. Old Lace listens to him because Gert told her that should anything happen to her, then Old Lace was to listen to Alex. So, he has the dinosaur, the Staff of One AND Chase’s weapons. He tells Nico that he’s watched her with the staff and pretty much has figured out how to use it. So, I was devastated and in my mind, I couldn’t comprehend what I’d just read. Alex Wilder, my namesake, who this entire time, had been leading his team, who was in love with Nico, who while a bit short with the others, tried to be patient with them. Alex. *Cries* I was so upset but I had to keep reading. It’s such good writing and a damn good twist that I DID not see coming. He didn’t even cross my mind to being the mole. At all. So Nico is all shocked and stuff, and he releases her from her frozen spell and she’s demanding to know why and what not. He wakes her parents and his parents, who I believe were unconscious and he explains everything. He tells her that he came across the secret passageway a year prior, he saw what Pride did, and he found the Abstract in his parents house and he did tons of research to understand it. He knew what they were planning to do, to put forth their children into the 6 spots the Gibborim offered into the Utopia after they destroyed all humans. He goes on to say that he also overheard the Deans and the Hayes talk about killing the other families and their kids because they didn’t deserve the Utopia since they were the only ones not human. The Deans are aliens and the Hayes’ are mutants. So because they were gonna betray everyone, he decided that he would betray them and instead, he would take care of it. He loves her, so he wants to be with her in Utopia and since he loves her, he wants her to have her parents and of course they’re his parents. Nico does not like this and they argue, he doesn’t seem to understand why she’s acting this way. He gets a little beat up by the others as they all come to. Molly destroys the box holding the offered soul, the Gibborim appear and blame the parents, Alex doesn’t like seeing his father subjugated so he takes full blame aaaand he’s killed on the spot by the Gibborim.
So, I was so engrossed in this that when it happens, I paused and I think I screamed out loud lol. Since I work at the library, I have seen Runaways comics before, and I don’t ever really remember seeing a black kid on the cover, I mean Alex is very distinct with his afro, glasses and swag, so I guess in some way, I knew it… thinking about it now but I was devastated. Such good writing and part of me isn’t mad because it was handled so well but other part of me is pissed and I still am.
Alex’s Role in the Show
One of the biggest thing is that Alex starts off a bit more somber in the show. There’s a tragedy that pushed all of them apart and that will ultimately bring them together as Alex watches Nico be alone at school that he decides to bring everyone together. Or at least try.
So as you can see, in the comics, he was on the road to become a villain in the end, but he did his job in protecting the others until that point. In the show, I don’t see any indication that he’s going to be a villain, at least not yet. I see why people might be wary of him due to his comic book counterpart, but I don’t think that’s fair to him in the show right now.
Like in the comics, he didn’t want to have a get together, but he does it after seeing Nico by herself at school and he’s watching her. He sees everyone else as well but he’s watching Nico and he decides that he wants to have this get together for her. When he approaches Chase about in class, and after Chase, Karolina and Gert all leave, he says to himself that he wanted this for her. They’ve been apart for two years, and maybe their parents meeting would give them an excuse. But, as in pure teenage fashion, no one shows up.
Alex was not the first one to suggest going into the study like in the comics, it was Chase, who wanted alcohol. Alex knew he wasn’t supposed to be in the study, he even said his dad said “there is no reason for him to be in there without him” and he went for the coaster because obviously they can’t be in there and Chase gave Gert a drink and obviously they’re not supposed to be in there! Why leave evidence? He already asked them not to go in there, he already said don’t touch anything… in the comic, it was his idea to spy on the parents. Like out of the gate.
Molly also suggested going into the secret passageway first, it wasn’t really until he said “alright, let’s go” that everyone followed but still. He also did try to stop Molly from taking a picture.
When Alex suggested they split up to search their parents’ houses whereas in the comics they went to each house together. He wanted everyone to find their parents’ secrets so he could learn what they were. In this, he didn’t do that. What benefit would he have to do that if he was going to turn on them later? In the comic, he kind of kept a tight leash on everyone, but in the show, he led but he wasn’t a dictator or anything. Half the time, he would have an idea and someone would say something, or Chase would say “why does he come up with all the plans, what if someone else has a plan??” AND while his plans don’t always work, at least he tries. Everyone else goes along with it without offering anything to add. Alex is just there to be the plan man I guess.
It was Alex’s idea to shut off the power like a surge to hide the fact that there was a flash from Molly’s phone. If he was being set up from the beginning to be the mole, how would he know that Gert wouldn’t let Molly see, and that Molly would still try to see and take a picture? He’s a genius, not God. In the comic, he tells Karolina not to let Molly see but in the show he didn’t say anything to Molly. Alex is probably the only one we don’t really get to see be emotional about any of this until the end, he’s been keeping it together. Yeah, he’s been short with his parents, especially after episode 5, but he’s been the one that’s been pretty resilient the entire time.
I think it’s important that Alex thinks ahead as well, in episode 5 “Kingdom” which is a Wilder-centric episode, pretty much the only one, where he’s kidnapped by Darius, an old friend of Geoff’s. He asks Alex to give him his phone, Alex fingers the gun he took from his dad’s desk, he took it because he’s the only one without anything, and you can tell that he’s thinking “I could use it, but am I fast enough to get them all before they get me?” so he pushes it back down and gives him his phone. Plus, I think a part of him wanted to know more about his father’s past… which to me shows that this Alex, is more compassionate than the one in the comics. It may just be Rhenzy but so far I can’t see it.
I just think that his role is reduced. It’s not about screen time but more about his need in the group. Tv show Chase is secretly smart, which in the comics I’ve read, he’s not that intelligent but he’s very street smart and has a lot of wisdom whereas Alex is extremely intelligent but also extremely wise which he is in the show, but still a teenager, but by making Chase smart like that, kind of makes Alex seem unneeded which bothers me. Why do that exactly? To make Chase more three-dimensional? I don’t think he was ever one-dimensional, he seems really interesting and a good character, they didn’t have to do that to make him “special” in the show. He already was. By doing what they’ve done, they took what really made Alex “special” in the group where he has nothing else, away. I don’t understand that. Plus, he’s treated suspiciously, Nico gives him attitude after she learns about Amy and it just dries me up the wall to know that he’s been keeping it together, doing all he can to find evidence, he’s pulling a lot of the weight just to have Nico shout at him, freeze him out and pretty much decide “oh I don’t like you anymore” and then have Chase destroy his laptop. I mean are you kidding?
Alex & Nico
So from the beginning, it’s clear that Alex has a thing for Nico. It’s also, I think, clear to see that they were probably the closest in the group. Not only were they embracing each other in their picture, but he wanted to have them get together for Nico. He went to her, and he spoke with her… how he missed her. She made it seem like she couldn’t hear him with her headphones but we know she heard him.
Understandably, Nico was upset because he knew this secret and he didn’t tell her.
It’s hard for a 14-year-old kid, to want to tell a secret, even if it’s to the girl he loves, who happens to be the sister of the girl who committed “suicide” to not be afraid of the repercussions. Alex is a genius but he’s still human. He’s calculated but when it comes to Nico, he doesn’t always get it right. I think it’s unfair to expect so much from him and then treat him like he killed Amy himself. He did what he did to protect Nico and Amy, both whom he loves.
It seems like they wanted to add a reason, a more emotional reason, to push them apart. I don’t think they needed to do that, especially since it just makes Alex look bad, and then if they do go forward the mole storyline it makes him seem like a vindictive dick and we don’t need that on top of him being okay with destroying the world and his parents killing kids.
I’ve seen a lot of people say that since the show has done different things compared to the comics, that the whole thing between Nico and Alex could cause him to go bad.
That’s stupid. Why would Alex allow his feelings for Nico make him go bad just because she decided she liked someone else and didn’t tell him?
Alex being the logical person he is, I cannot imagine that being the reason. He would be hurt yes, but I doubt that would do anything.
It would be out of his character right now. We do not have any indication that Alex is a vengeful person. So far, he’s been very caring, yes a bit methodical but not to the point where he would ruin the others because of Nico. That’s dumb.
There is no reason for this situation to make Alex a bad guy. If they do that… dumb and I’m already over it. Just the implication of it I’m over it. I really want there to be a heart-to-heart conversation between him and Nico, where they stop playing games and actually talk. Or she actually listens to him without being extra. Season 2, make it happen. Redeem my boy.
Alex & Amy’s Secret
I think this whole thing with Amy is the biggest reason as to why people say “he’s making it hard to like him…” which this HAS to be the only reason because otherwise, Alex is likable. I can’t see it otherwise. In the beginning we knew something happened to Nico’s older sister Amy, it was part of what drove everyone apart. It’s also said that Alex did not attend her funeral, Nico even asks him about it earlier on but he doesn’t get the chance to tell her. So we know that’s a big thing in the group, Alex didn’t go which made everyone upset. We still don’t know why so I hope season 2 gives the reason and I hope it’s not something dumb. The whole password thing started it, she doesn’t let it go rightfully so. I would want to know too. So, she demands to know more, so he finally tells her that he knew something was up with Amy prior to her death. Like I’ve said many times throughout this, Nico is mad. He tells her that Amy made him promise. Of course, Nico is like “she’s my sister, I deserved the right to know!” Especially since it looked like a suicide and Nico thought it might have been something she did. So going forward, it’s smart-ass comments, but this child is so wishy-washy I get whiplash. Sometimes she speaks to him normally and other times she’s just UGH!
For the 50 millionth time, I’m not excusing him for not telling her, but at the same time, Amy trusted Alex to not tell her secret and he honored that. He also didn’t want to make things worse for Nico and how would him telling her that help? Amy was still going to be dead. The only thing that would change is that Nico wouldn’t feel responsible but whose to say that that’s even true? Alex did the smart thing, the thing he thought was right, to protect the people he cared about. I get it. It was a secret, but that hardly merits him being distrustful at least to the point where people are like “I don’t trust Alex” outside of that… someone PLEASE tell me what he’s done.
The first season only covers a few issues of the original run of comics. The season ended with them running away after seeing that they’ve been framed for murdering Destiny Gonzalez and kidnapping Molly Hernandez. So, as of right now, anyone could be the mole IF they do this storyline. I don’t think they should because I think it would ruin the dynamic of the show and unless they allow the character who betrays the Runaways to be redeemed (and alive), then I don’t think they should do it. All of the teens are good characters and they are interesting. Making one of them mole, at this point, especially with Jonah and possible the actual Gibborim being at the bottom of that hole, it just doesn’t feel right to me. However, if they do go through with it, it doesn’t have to be Alex, it doesn’t make sense for it to be him right now. PLUS HE COULDN’T EVEN HANDLE THE STAFF OF ONE!! IT BURNED HIM WHEN HE TRIED TO TOUCH IT WHEN HE WAS TRYING TO HELP NICO WITH THE SNOW SPELL!!!!!!!
If anything, it should be Chase or Karolina.
Chase because he has a lot to lose in his mind. Pride is taking care of his father, he knows that Pride is up to no good but he loves his father, who has been an abusive dick all of his life. But that’s his dad, so he gets a pass right? No. Chase destroyed the laptop. That’s already a red flag. He also used the fistigons to destroy the computer console that he was sure he could understand because his father designed it, caused the alarm to go off. Which he could have let Gert press the big red button the screen. Just saying.
Karolina because there was a text to Jonah in the finale that said “Mission Accomplished: Let me know what’s next” which kind of indicates there could be a mole if that’s from one of the kids. I mean, who could that be from? Jonah dismissed Leslie and Frank from Karolina’s side, he wakes her up and they talk. We have no idea what they talked about, what he might have said or anything. SOOOO it could be her. It definitely indicates that someone is helping him. His only other close supporters are the Deans. Frank? But what mission? We’ve see him directly helping Jonah and he seems like a major pawn. Leslie Why, especially after she helped make sure Karolina was rescued. I’m just saying.
At this point, what reason would Alex have to be the mole? People were complaining about Alex running off as soon as the team saved him from Darius but I don’t think that holds up. He shot Andre who had a gun on his dad. I mean, Geoff is still his dad just like Victor is still Chase’s dad. He ran back because he KNEW that he was in danger and he wanted to help, especially after learning that Andre was only following orders. Andre’s face said ‘don’t make me…please’ and he looks scared. Alex and his dad fought because he not only learned more about his father’s past and how he’s gone back on his word, he also knows that could happen to Andre. So he tried save that kid too. I don’t think him leaving the others to go and save a stranger, merits him being distrustful or ungrateful. I think that’s a flimsy argument.
This was long and if you made it through, I appreciate that. I just had a lot of things I had to get out and this is my outlet. I really want season 2 to explore the kids more, we understand the parents a lot which I think was a good choice but unfortunately, it was at the expense of the kids in a lot of ways. I hope season 2 really focuses on them. I really want Alex to get his chance to be the strong leader he obviously can be. It’s exciting to see a prominent character, who is a black teenage boy, who is a black nerd, who is smart, who gets the girl (a bit), and who is the defacto leader of the group. All of that is awesome and we don’t see that often. After re-reading the comic, I saw the little hints of Alex being… untrustworthy and the mole but in this show, I don’t understand how he’s unlikable. I don’t understand the dislike of him, nor do I see the purpose in making him the mole.
Movies and shows deviate a lot from their source material all of the time and sometimes they’re good changes. This should be one of those times where it should be deviated. He is a strong and interesting character who deserves more than what has been given to him so far. Plus, Rhenzy Feliz has been so great and he’s made some great choices for the character and I think he deserves to be on the show for a long time and not in flashbacks.
I think his character has a lot to offer and I don’t think he should be a scapegoat, a mole, or written off for any reason.
I guarantee you though, that if they do kill him off I’m not watching it anymore. At this point, it would be a big mistake. I was devastated when they killed Wes Gibbons on How To Get Away With Murder and I know I’m probably in the minority but he was also a good character. I haven’t caught up with the show this season and after thinking about it, that’s partly the reason. I’ll get to it eventually but I’m sure the same thing will happen to this show if they kill Alex Wilder.
It’ll be a big mistake. Don’t kill Alex Wilder. Don’t ruin Alex Wilder. He’s too important.
P.S. Let the boy smile more too. Rhenzy Feliz has an adorable smile.
So I just watched Marvel’s Runaways and I have to say I quite enjoyed myself. I wanted to watch it initially but hadn’t gotten around to it. I also just read the 2003 comics which I very much enjoyed. I’m hoping to keep reading soon.
**There are spoilers ahead. Be warned. Do NOT read this if you don’t want to know details about the show or even the comics.
Cast and Characters. So the main characters are the six Runaways and then their parents are also important. It’s gonna be a lot, but I am going to make mention of each kid and the parents involved.
Rhenzy Feliz as Alex Wilder. He is my favorite character in the show. He is a solitary person in the beginning. He’s considered a nerd due to him being into computers and gaming. Alex has a high intellect and he becomes the leader of sorts of the Runaways. It’s clear to see that Alex wants to reunite with his childhood friends but he recognizes that they’re all into their own worlds but he leaves the invitation open and he’s hopeful. As things are discovered, he gets very upset and feels betrayed by his parents. I feel like he takes it the hardest and he’s also the first one who wants to find proof. He’s always on the move, wanting to do something, find something, understand something. He makes tough decisions and while he doesn’t like it, he does it because it’s the smart thing to do. That type of personality does help him be a good leader, though I can understand why he may not be likable to everyone. He also has a thing for Nico, it’s clear in how he speaks with her, acts around her and in how he looks at her. He’s a bit awkward about it but everyone else pretty much knows it. He’s usually really calm in situations, he’s terrified (Rhenzy does a great job of showing Alex’s fear in his eyes but maintaining a calm facade otherwise) but he can think clearly. I like that about him. He’s not irrational… unless you smash his computer lol. I think things are hard on him because he doesn’t want to see his parents like this (he actually seemed to be the closest to his parents, even if he was distant at the beginning of the show) but the facts say otherwise… especially after what they did in the finale, I cannot imagine him being able to handle that… but he’d be silent about it. I mean if they were the ones to do it, they were the ones who did it in the comics. He’s a suffer in silence type. He shows that he’s very compassionate because he cares about his friends, he does make some questionable decisions but in the end, he’s always down. I also love his clothes, he always dresses so nice and he got swag lol.
I think Rhenzy Feliz is fantastic in this role and I think a lot of me liking him has to do with this actor. I liked him in the comics but I think Rhenzy manages to do a little bit more that keeps him likable to me. He’s so cute with his earnest face lol, but I think it’s a disservice that he doesn’t get to smile much since his character can be very melancholy. I think he manages to hold himself together and while it’s clear he’s not the oldest, he feels that way and while Rhenzy is one of the younger cast members, he holds himself very well in this role. I see bright things for him and this character and I hope the writers do right by him. I refuse to have another Wes Gibbons on my hands.
Lyrica Okano as Nico Minoru. Nico isolates herself from others with her appearance and quiet personality. She is this way after her sister’s suicide. She used to be a bit more open but the death caused her to withdraw. Nico comes off odd in the beginning, she’s into Wicca and what not, but she obviously misses her friends as well. She shows up at Alex’s house for the “hang out night” after failing to I guess bring her sister back through a Wiccan ritual. Nico is a quiet person, very observant but if she has an opinion she makes it known. Quiet yet outspoken when need be. She also has a thing for Alex and that shows in that they have a lot of quiet moments together, or he’s the first person she calls whenever she needs help or needs to talk. It’s cute. Nico feels out-of-place in her family. Her mother is closed off and her father is distant but she obviously wishes for things to be different. As the show goes on, we see her grow a bit in her confidence of wanting to learn more. I do think she can be a bit over-dramatic, I mean I get it, Alex could have told her what he knew about her sister, but it’s a hard situation because he thought he was protecting her and honoring the last wish of her older sister, I’ll get into that another time. But Nico in ways, feels like the right hand man in the group.
Lyrica Okano is very good. The emotions she can go through in a moment is always evident on her face even though Nico tries to hide it. I like that. I like the fact that she feels human and not closed off like she was in the beginning or could be. I think she has great chemistry with her costars, especially Rhenzy, and I think season 2 could allow for her to really get into the magic or “science” as her mother says, from the Staff of One.
Gregg Sulkin as Chase Stein. He is the jock of the group. A lacrosse player who most people dismiss as a dumb jock but he is very smart in engineering and science. Chase is the most different from his comic counterpart I think, which is a good thing personally. He needed to be more than that loud… whatever he is in the comics. I like the quietness in the show. It’s actually his idea to build the Fistigons. Chase does have some moments when he does come off dumb, naive or just very blind to what’s going on around him. He is also the most hopeful for his parents, especially his dad since he wants to believe that his dad actually wants to connect with him, though they do for a while. Chase is likable, though he could also be a character that people might not like due to his kind of wishy-washy nature.
Gregg Sulkin is very likable though which I think helps, otherwise I might not like Chase. His cute smile, big eyes and dimples make him have this innocence about him that just makes my heart melt for Chase whenever he’s sad about his dad. He wants to believe his dad is good. It’s kind of sad really. He’s also British, which I remember him on Wizards of Waverly Place and I think he does an American accent very well.
Virginia Gardner as Karolina Dean. Karolina is a church girl, she is one of the faces of the Church of Gibborim. People often tease her, call her a slut among other things (this is why I defended Chloe Grace Moretz’s casting as Carrie) and it bothers her but she takes it in strides due to her religious upbringing. She wants to be free, to pursue her own desires. She first experiences freedom when she goes to a party and that’s also when she discovers an inkling of her powers. Karolina’s character probably gains the most confidence as the show continues. She has the ability of flight, to glow with rainbow-colored light, and shoot beams of light. In the comics, she and her parents are aliens but I don’t think they’re gonna go that route here, at least not with both of her parents being aliens. She comes off naive as well sometimes, but she’s very compassionate and tries to connect with Molly and gets closer in friendship to Chase and she and Gert understand each other, though they probably fight the most too.
I kept wondering who Virginia Gardner reminded me of and I still haven’t figured it out, but I like her. She’s likable. She does remind me a little bit in some of her delivery of lines of Kristen Stewart (I actually like her as Twilight did nothing for me in making me dislike her). I like some of her little quirks when Karolina discovered things at the beginning, being free and discovering her powers etc. Also the episode when she learns she could fly, when she had her little attitude, I also thought she did a good job for considering she spends most of the show being the smiley one.
Ariela Barer as Gert Yorkes. Gert is a social activist, a loud personality, opinionated and the source for a lot of funny moments. She can come off too strong sometimes and I can definitely see why people would dislike her but she’s one of the characters that says what she’s thinking or feeling at all times. They need that as most of them don’t, at least not right away. A lot of her loudness is a facade as she is insecure in ways, especially when it comes to her feelings about Chase. I think Gert’s relationship with Molly is really sweet; there is a part in particular where she sings Molly to sleep. Really cute. She learns of the dinosaur her parents created that she has a telepathic link to. Gert quickly creates a bond with Old Lace and it’s like having a giant dog. I actually thought she was adopted as well as she looks hispanic and her parents are white… but ya know it’s fine lol.
I think Ariela Barer is really funny. She really plays Gert well, I actually kind of like her way more in the show than I did in the comics. I love the purple hair on her and whoever does the costume design does a great job with her. I love that she has anxiety and that she deals with that, I’m sure a lot of viewers can identify with that and I think Ariela handles that well. She has great chemistry with Gregg Sulkin and while she can be in your face with her personality, her emotional moments are really beautiful.
Allegra Acosta as Molly Hernandez. Definitely a favorite character. She is the youngest, I would say 12 or 13 and she always has a positive attitude. Molly learns that she has superhuman strength and invulnerability that tires her out after using it. She is feisty, a bit naive obviously but very wise for her age as well. She is a kid so sometimes her dumb moments I want to give a pass, but I have to remind myself that she’s really young since Allegra Acosta is 15 and looks like it. But she’s really likable and I love it when she enjoys using her powers because I enjoying watching her use them. I also love the faces she makes when she’s upset because with the eyes and her expressions… kills me. She’s great! I love Molly’s energy and she’s way more likable than her annoying counterpart in the comic.
The Wilders (Catherine and Geoffrey). Katherine is a successful lawyer and Geoffrey is a self-made business man. They are one of the two couples that are on equal footing. It does feel like Catherine is a bit more ruthless than Geoffrey is, but he’s just really protective of his kid and feels the most remorse for what they do. I like them and I think they have great chemistry and understanding of each other. They are a strong power couple who seems to keep it all out in the open with other, for the most part. I think both actors are great in their role. I think Ryan Sands (Geoffrey) is a large and intimidating teddy bear. Angel Parker (Catherine) is a caring mom who will kick your butt if you mess with her son.
The Deans (Leslie and Frank).Leslie Dean (Annie Wersching) is the leader of the religious group “The Church of Gibborim” which is pretty much a cult. She seems like the leader of Pride and one of the more ruthless of the group. Leslie is the one who finds and brings the sacrifices. Annie Wersching is great at eye acting and I think if it wasn’t her, then Leslie would just be this crazy person, but Wersching manages to have this… way about her that makes you see she has a plan but doesn’t know how to keep it together. It’s pretty interesting. Frank Dean (Kip Pardue) is a former movie star who I struggling in his acting career. He is not on equal footing with his wife, though he is closer to Karolina, but he wants to be more involved. He’s a bit of a curious cat, and gets involved when he probably shouldn’t.
The Steins (Janet and Victor). Reminds me of Frankenstein lol, maybe an inspiration? But Janet is the “perfect PTA mom” though she has a brilliant mind as well, but we definitely don’t get see that as she takes more of a passive role compared to Victor’s active one. Ever Carradine has the soft, sweet voice that keeps her from being imposing compared to the other moms, and she’s the most motherly as well. I love her facial expressions though, she has some sick burns going on in the show lol. James Marsters as Victor is quite scary. I think he’s scary anyway. Victor is extreme in that he wants Chase to live up to his potential but in the past, he didn’t feel he was, which made him frightening and abusive. Victor is the one that Pride needs the most as he’s the only one who can create and understand the little devices they use in their sacrifices. I like all of his scenes because you never know what he might do.
The Yorkes (Stacey and Dale). They are bioengineers and the most quirky and eccentric of the group. They’re probably my favorite adults as they’re the ones who care the most, at least in what’s going on and trying to understand. Dale is awkward and says whatever he wants (It’s where Gert gets it from) but he can also be very scary himself when he needs to be. I can see my bother in law playing this part. Stacey is the best! Her expressions and comments are gold! They get a bit more to do in the latter half of the season. When they have to send Molly away to protect, that entire scene was beautiful. Brigid Brannagh and Kevin Weisman have great chemistry with each other, and their girls and they’re the most likable in the group.
The Minorus (Tina and Robert). Tina is a brilliant innovator, ruthless CEO and perfectionist. A “Dragon lady” if you will. She is cold, and closed off and probably the most scary next to Leslie. She never seems like she cares, or she’s the one in Pride who makes the hard choices. She has the Staff of One that she created with science, I guess they didn’t want to deal with magic that much, but she knows how to wield that thing. She does things that’s best for her family mostly and her endgame will always be her family. I think Brittany Ishibashi is great in this role, I don’t think I’ve ever seen her in anything before but she’s very intimidating but when she has to let emotions through, I felt really bad for her. James Yaegashi is Robert, and he is fine in his role. He doesn’t get much to do as not much is known about him other than the fact that he’s closer to Nico and nicer than Tina. He is very distant and has his own thing going on but he manages to get a moment in episode 8 I think that really allows him to be a character.
Julian McMahon as Jonah. A mysterious character, but it can be determined that he is the defacto leader of Pride. Jonah knows what he wants and he does whatever he wants to get it, no matter who he is hurting in the process. Julian McMahon is a scary dude period so when he showed his face, I knew he wasn’t up to any good in the show. I’m interested to know more about his character and I hope we get to see him really let some of the other characters have it.
The Story. Six teenagers from different backgrounds unite against a common enemy — their criminal parents, collectively known as the Pride. They congregated at Alex’s house after each of their evenings didn’t turn out the way they wanted and they try to have a good night. They discover a secret hiding place in Mr. Wilder’s study and discover their parents doing a ritual together where they killed someone. The kids freak out not knowing what to do and what their parents are up too. It really goes into allowing the viewer to spend time with the parents, to understand them, to spend some time with the kids and understand their dynamics in ways. It was really smart to wait until the season finally to actually let the kids become Runaways. I think the show allows the story to progress, but it does it very slowly that really stretches out the plot… maybe a bit too much but I’ll talk about that later. It gives a lot of questions but it does answer those questions. The story is interesting and really allows for some interesting character moments. I can’t wait to see what they do in the second season with the fact that now they are all accused of murder and of kidnapping Molly. Should be good.
The Friendship. The strongest aspect of this show is definitely the friendship between the Runaways. They start off apart from each other, they’ve drifted apart and are into their own worlds (outside of Gert and Molly since they live together), but they come back together and stumble across something that unites them. It’s great to see them grow with each other, together and apart. I think as a group they’re strong but of course there are some that connect more each other than the others.
Alex and Nico. They have one of the strongest connections I think. They also have a bit of a romantic chemistry and relationship going on that I fully support. He cares about her and doesn’t really know how to go about it, but I think it shows that she knows and she feels something for him. I do think he feels more for her than she does for him, but with the right kind of growth and writing it could grow organically. Whenever they’re together, a lot of the talking is done by Nico and he’s listening or offering advice, or he’s trying to be just be there. Like the great scene during the Pride gala when they’re hiding out in Tina’s office. I thought that was a great moment between them. I also love the scene in the limo when he puts his arm around her, she leans into him and he kind of plays with her purse, it was so cute. He also tries to be supportive. He went with her to the police station and he even helped her clean up the mess she made in her mother’s office. She called him because she knew he would understand and help her. It’s not perfect, they do have arguments, but I think they feel the closest and the pair that doesn’t feel random or out of left field.
Gert and Molly. They are so cute! I love their sisterhood, it’s definitely something special. Molly is the adopted one but she doesn’t feel like she is, Gert is protective of her, though she does treat her like a little kid when Molly just wants to be involved lol. I think one of the best part is when Gert sings to her to help her sleep, or later on when Stacey and Dean have to send Molly away and she and Gert have a beautiful scene. The actresses work together so well.
Chase and Gert. Now they don’t really have a strong friendship but they definitely have a romantic one growing which is also cute. In the beginning Gert obviously likes Chase but he’s blinded by Karolina’s prettiness and aloofness, that she doesn’t stand a chance. Towards the end they get closer and it’s cute, both actors have really good chemistry with each other and while I don’t think there was really much indication in the beginning that Chase liked her, they did work well together and it clear that there might be something in the future.
The Kids and their Parents. Another strong aspect of this show is that it’s human, which helps because the comics are like that as well. The show explores the relationship with the parents a bit more which for a show, I think is a strong choice. Each kid deals with their family differently. It’s very interesting to see the dynamics in the family.
The Wilder(s) seem to be closest to an extent. Alex has been distant but it seems that he at least used to be a bit more conversational with his parents which shows in how his father and mother speak with him and interact with him. I would say their entire family is one of the stronger ones. It was great watching both of them get riled up when Julian threatened to hurt their kids.
The Yorkes are probably the family that is the closest group, with both parents and Gert and Molly. Even with Molly being adopted she feels like she’s part of the family, and Gert and Molly seem so close that I actually thought they both were adopted by Dale and Stacy. The emotions that happen towards the end with them and Molly, was extremely heart-wrenching and you could tell that it was killing all of them. As a family, they were probably my favorite.
The Dean(s) are definitely one of the broken ones, which is interesting because what they have is a front anyway. Leslie is in charge of the church and I thought there were times when it seemed that she and Karolina were close but as the show went on, it was easier to tell that Karolina was much closer to Frank than her mother. She even trusted him with secrets towards the end of the show. Their dynamic felt like a power struggle a lot of the time. A power struggle that wanted to be on equal footing… quite interesting.
The Minoru(s) are interesting and it’s hard to really say. They have tragedy in the family as Amy, the oldest daughter committed suicide which prompted Nico’s change into her gothic persona. Robert is definitely closer to Nico than Tina but I think Nico felt out-of-place anyway in her family. Tina is closed off and a bit of a hard ass but as the show goes on, it’s definitely obvious she loves her family, and Robert has his own thing going on that he doesn’t feel part anyway.
The Stein(s) are also a broken family. First of all, Victor is a workaholic and violent. He’s beaten both Janet and Chase in the past and while we don’t really see any of that in show, we see moments where they’re both obviously terrified of him, even Chase, who is taller and bigger. There are moments where his eyes are just huge in fear and anticipation. They’re a smart family, that’s easy to tell, but there is definitely a feeling of “who’s the boss” in there. Definitely Victor. But Chase and Janet are close, that’s easy to see, but he also loves his father.
Relatable. I think when you have an ensemble cast like this, it’s important that the teenagers feel relatable and like real teenagers. Sure, their circumstances are extreme and it is set in the Marvel universe, but these kids are just kids. They still have to deal with their emotions, romance, school, bullying, puberty and the problems with their parents. I think all six of the teenagers are relatable and even if you don’t see yourself in all of them, you’ll see parts of yourself in one of them definitely.
Potential. I think this show has a lot of potential. Being that it’s based on comics, there are a lot of places it could go, I mean, I hope it doesn’t completely follow the comics as I am still upset at how the 2003 run ended but I hope they do manage to stick to some plot points. SOME. The way the season ended with them actually running this time, (great shot by the way) due to something the Wilders did (if they actually did it), follows what they do in the comics, which is pretty ruthless lol. I love it though. I hope they stick with it. Perhaps they’ll even have a chance to crossover with some of the other Marvel shows like Agents of Shield or the new Cloak and Dagger show that’s supposed to be on Freeform.
The Pacing. There are times when the show is reeeally slow. Certain moments that should be quick take forever to get there. It’s a show so things must take it’s time to an extent to make more seasons, but I don’t think it should feel like a glacial pace that I could lose interest for even a minute. Plus, some characters make really stupid decisions that affect a lot and could easily be avoided if they just, oh I don’t know, don’t charge the phone in the room you’re not supposed to go in, why not take it back to your room or something?
Missed Opportunities. Maybe this will happen in the second season but there are some things I noticed that they don’t really touch on. When I come back to review season 2, we shall see.
Alex and Chase. It seems that Alex and Chase used to be really close friends at one point, but Chase took the jock route and Alex is the nerd which pushed them apart. They have a lot of moments where they feel very antagonistic and I wonder what exactly happened if anything. I want to see more interactions between them. They’re the only guys in the group (which is cool since its always the girls who are outnumbered) and I think we should see some type of interaction that explains. I mean after the fight they had… I need to know what the deal is between them.
The Steins. We never really spent a lot of time with them, at least not with them together. We did see a flashback to show how Chase’s father was, but I kind of wish we got to see more of them as a whole. I don’t know, I like detail (though I know when too much is too much) and I wish we could have seen more of the monster that Victor was. James Marsters is a great actor and I think he would have had fun with that.
Not Enough Action. I expected a bit more action. There is some good realistic action going on. There is even a nice subplot where Alex gets kidnapped because of some bad blood with his dad and an old friend… I kind of wish that lasted longer than it did but ya know, cool. Then there is some stuff in the second to last episode mostly. Considering that Chase has the Fistigons, Gert has Old Lace, Karolina is a rainbow lightbulb, Molly has the strength, and Nico has the staff, there should be more going on. We don’t really get to see them use what they can do. Hopefully we get more of it in the second season. I’m not expecting like fights every episode, but I think outside of Molly who we’ve seen grow into her powers, the others should get the chance to show what they’ve learned with their abilities.
Alex’s Involvement/Character Growth. So he’s my favorite character. I think I have a thing for the characters that get less, because I see the potential and sometimes it’s the actor that helps. I think Alex is a really cool and interesting character, he’s a very strong one that honestly could turn out good or bad depending on what happens. So far, a lot of things have happened and it seems to just get worse and worse for him. The others have things and moments that allow them to grow into themselves and receive clarity and strength. For Alex, it goes the opposite way. I recognize that THAT IS CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT however, I feel like things could turn sour really quickly if he’s not allowed to show what he can do. In the first few episodes he naturally took on the leader role, I don’t know if he’s the oldest of the group or not, definitely seems like Chase or Karolina are older (but that may because the actors are 22 and 25 respectively) but he just oozes maturity and cleverness. If anything, he should be like the Professor Charles Xavier of the group, but more involved. He doesn’t have any abilities or weapons but he’s supposed to be really smart, we’ve seen that but not as much as I think we should have. It feels sometimes like they don’t make him feel necessary because Chase has genius potential and Alex is SUPPOSED to be a genius. He’s put pieces together, he’s made the hard choices (which everyone dumps on him for) and he spent an episode or two or three decrypting a hard drive. I feel like we still don’t really know him the way we were getting to know the other characters. I think he should get that chance in the second season. Plus, I think Rhenzy Feliz is very charismatic onscreen and I want him to really get his chance on the show.
The Romances. So, I feel like I have a problem with romances generally in tv shows but that’s because they sometimes either take waaaaay to long and do that whole “Will they, won’t they?” thing that gets really annoying OR they make it happen WAY to fast which I think is worse because if I’m not invested in their relationship then why would I root for them just because you smushed them together? I think the 2003 comics do this as well. Plus, the lead characters are teenagers and I’m not interested in seeing a good show ruined because of romance drama. That sucks.
Chase and Gert. Now I know I talked about them earlier, I think they’re cute, I do but I also think Chase decided he liked her out of nowhere. There was hardly indication that he felt for her the way she felt for him. I think he recognized the fact that he didn’t dislike her but romantic? Meh, I didn’t really see that until he called her first after his father got hurt which is about episode 8. He spent most of the time pining after Karolina, so it felt really random. I like it but I wish they would have allowed Chase to realize it and think on it more or something.
Karolina/Nico/Alex. No they’re not a thrupple, but as I stated before, I like Alex and Nico, I think they’re really cute. I also know what happens in the comics that pushes them apart and that Karolina likes Nico. I think they’re together at times in the comics… I don’t know, haven’t gotten that far but apparently there’s something there. I think the Karolina/Nico part is the rushed and forced part of this triangle. I have no problem with the fact that Karolina likes Nico or that Nico might be bisexual, it will be something she has to obviously think about… if they allow it. But we had no indication that Karolina was into Nico. I remember thinking that she obviously wasn’t into Chase, at least not the way he was into her. When she walked in on a moment between Alex and Nico, she was awkward and I was like “why is she looking like that? Is it because they were really making out… or is she into Nico or Alex?” However, she hardly had any scenes with either of them outside of being with the group that I didn’t really think about it again until they were getting ready for the school dance. She started to tell Nico something and she leaned towards her and Nico was like “ummm?” Then when she kissed her, it was a moment that was great for Karolina because she finally gained the confidence to come to grips with her feelings, but then Nico kissed back and I was like “What?” Did she kiss back because she likes her? Did she kiss back because she was just kissed? I have a lot of questions that I hope they answer later on. Then later, when Karolina goes up against Julian, they all run to safety at her request after some over dramatic refusals by Nico. After the explosion, Nico wants to go back for her but Alex says first that they should keep going, and the others agreed with him, plus they all look so haggard that I understand them wanting to take a moment. I would want to too. But Nico is all like “WHAT?” ya know dramatic and stuff and I was like “Okay, so it is weird that everyone isn’t up for rescuing her, especially after Karolina was willing to help save Alex and go see Chase previously, but Nico is being a bit much”. I get that she was mad at Alex for keeping a secret about her sister from her, and she has every right to be upset but I thought everything just happened and unraveled so quickly that it felt wrong. It just happened without preparation. Yes, I know they’re teenagers but I couldn’t help but to roll my eyes because it was so quick. I can’t even enjoy or even want to root for Nico and Karolina because I’m not over the fact that Nico and Alex never got to really hash things out. She just yelled at him. I don’t know… I don’t like love triangles, they’re annoying and I hope this doesn’t turn into anything serious at least that causes good characters to look bad. Especially Alex since he already is a character that people have mixed feelings on. I hope they don’t go the comic route for him because of love. I will be very upset if that happens. I hope they hash this out and if Nico and Karolina are the next step, that they allow it grow the way it should… realistically and organically.
The Battle. So in episode 9, the Runaways face off against Pride and more importantly Julian. They try to go and foil their plans at a construction site and the parents show up trying to get them to stop. Julian then shows up and hurts them, they all get back up and stand against him, even Alex who doesn’t have a dinosaur, weapons or powers. I was like that’s my dude! But anyway, Karolina uses her powers, tells the others to run away and she faces off against Julian and it was boring. I guess we’ll see them face off again seriously in season 2 but meh. I think it could have been better, especially if they were gonna have Karolina use her powers against Julian. I expected more to be honest. Though I do like the part when the parents show up and they’re all yelling at each other lol and Molly goes “and we’ll FIGHT you if we have too” and her eyes light up and the adults back away in shock! lol BAWSE but when Julian shows up it’s a yawn.
Potential Storylines. This isn’t really a hit against the show but I have to talk about it because I just DON’T WANT IT! So, I’m gonna spoil the comic here, I kind of have too to explain my thoughts on this… So in the comics, when they all escape, after some minor fights between the kids and the parents (in the comics the Wilders are mob bosses, which isn’t too far off I guess lol. The Steins are mad scientists, on equal footing. The Yorkes are time travelers. The Minorus are dark wizards. The Deans are aliens and the Hayes, Molly’s parents who are alive, are evil mutants), they actually run to a secret hiding place that Chase knows about. The parents find a note from one of the kids stating that they are still loyal to their parents. They don’t know which child said this but they have hope that they’ll be able to catch up with their kids because of the mole. The mole also alerts the police to their location. Later, they go to the secret location their parents meet to offer up the soul of their sacrifice to these gods called “The Gibborim” who want to destroy the people on earth and then recreate it into a Utopia. After Janet Stein reveals she’s pregnant (which puts Chase as the oldest), the others decide they would have children as well because the Gibborim told them that they would only allow six of them to live in the new utopia, so they decide that it should be their kids that get to have the Utopia. So, Chase almost dies, but he’s weak so he gives Alex his x-ray goggles and the Fistigons, and they go to fight their parents. Nico gets frozen by her parents, Gert gets knocked out, so does Molly and Alex uses Nico’s staff to knock Karolina out. He releases Nico and reveals that he was the mole the entire time. I was PISSED lol but damn that was some good writing and a good twist, I wouldn’t have thought it was him. But it makes sense. Anyway, he explains the whole thing to Nico, he reveals that he knew about Pride for at least a year, and he knew that the Hayes and the Deans plotted together to kill the others and their kids so they and their children (Molly and Karolina) could live in the Utopia since neither family are human. So he had a plan to save his family and Nico’s family since he loves her. Bruh… it’s a lot. In the end, the Gibborim show up, Molly crushes the box that holds the soul, and Alex tries to protect everyone by telling the Gibborim it was all his fault and they incinerate him… I mean, there is literally nothing left of him. UPSET. Then its assumed the parents all died when the kids escaped because their underwater temple exploded.
Alex’s future. So anyway, I don’t want them to go this route. While I enjoyed the twist, though it killed my soul since I love Alex, I don’t want that to happen in the show. So far, Alex is the character who has shown a ton of compassion for everyone. He does make the hard decisions and he does get a lot of flack because of it but I think that it shows that he cares about his group. Everything he’s done has been for the Runaways (he even tries to name them lol it was cute) or for the good of someone else. When he shot that Andre kid, he did it to save his father, but then he tried to go and save Andre because he knew what they were going to do to him. He didn’t have to do that since the kid helped kidnap him. I just don’t want him to turn against his group because at this point, it would be OUT OF CHARACTER. If it happens, they better have little moments here and there where it shows that he’s drifting away… he’s already mostly an outsider since he’s the only one without a weapon/ability. I also don’t think they’ve already been building up this “mole storyline” either. Yeah, he’s smart and he does make hard decisions, and in the finale, he does make a call to someone, we assume it was to Darius who gave him money and a gun (he is the only one without anything directly protect him and he had good aim when he shot Andre), but I don’t think those things point to him betraying anyone. I just want him to have his chance and though this is an interesting storyline, I feel like this would make things much worse and if he dies… I just can’t. I think it would actually be interesting… if they DO go this way for either Karolina or Chase to be the mole since they were the ones who wanted to believe their parents had reasons or whatever. I’d rather them NOT do the mole storyline but if so, I think Karolina or Chase would be the better options in the show.
Overall, I liked the show a lot. I really enjoyed myself. It has some issues that I hope they fix going forward but I think the strongest aspect of the show is the cast and characters. Everyone, including the parents, are extremely interesting and the actors do such a great job in their roles. The story is also very interesting and that it leaves a lot of questions that need to be answered so viewers will keep coming back for more. I appreciate the slow burn of the plot which allowed for some of the characters to really shine. I think the chemistry between the Runaways and even Pride is really strong, not to mention, certain actors and their characters really fit well together. It’s intriguing. It’s also really funny, I think the actors have great comedic timing with their delivery and facial expressions. I didn’t give its own “pro” but it’s a good thing. The characters are relatable. I see a lot of potential for the show and the characters going forward, even if they don’t completely follow the comics. Now, on the other hand, I DON’T WANT THEM TO FOLLOW THE COMICS COMPLETELY ESPECIALLY FOR ALEX’S CHARACTER. I think the action is pretty lame and not very well choreographed for the little bit we get to see, I really hope they up the ante in the second season. The battle in season 9 that was built up was quite boring. There are a lot of missed opportunities in the show that could create more mystery, or to set up future things, or even beef up the history between certain characters. I also don’t really care for how the romances are handled in the show. I don’t care what anyone says, I think they were rushed. I like some more than others but rushed. There are also pacing issues that make the show feel really slow, especially in the middle of the season. I also have issue with how they handle the writing for the Wilders, especially Alex’s character. I have a lot of feelings on that, so I’m going to have to do a separate post about. But I really like the show and I can’t wait for the second season.
Rating: 4.0 out of 5 stars.
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Ya’ll! I have some exciting news! So a while back, I was watching either “Supergirl” or “The Flash” on the CW. I always live tweet when I watch my shows because it’s so fun. So, I received a message, or a direct tweet in which someone asked me if I would like to be on her show, she told me a bit about it and I’m suspicious by nature, so I looked into her. She was legit. Just Jess hosts a show on WCCB, The CW for Charlotte, NC and she asked me to be on her show. I was super excited and I told everyone. I mean everyone I come in contact with everyday and most importantly close friends and family.
I was super excited but super nervous. Today being the day December 6, 2017, I knew I was nervous because my stomach was playing games. One of my best friends came down to be at the station with me, so thank you Tracey.
So basically, I met Jess, as well as the other guest, Wess and Jess gave us the rundown of her show and I was even more nervous but so excited. So we get started and I really tried to make sure I wouldn’t talk fast, Tracey would motion me if I got to fast lol, thanks.
I was so nervous that I kept moving, all of my energy was in my hands and in my feet. Thank goodness there was this huge block in front of my legs so you can’t see how much my feet were moving. I’m usually pretty still but I couldn’t contain myself. I know my hands moved a lot and I was like “girl calm down”.
So below, is the Meet Me part of the episode. It was filmed at the end but as you are meeting me and my fellow guest, it’s gonna be first. Please enjoy!
It was so much fun! I can’t wait to talk even more about these shows and I hope I receive the chance in the future to work with Jess again.
You can also read the article sharing the videos as well.