Swearing and darkness and streaming rights, oh my! The off-season will be filled by Powers and Preacher and goddammit I'm gonna finish Daredevil Season 2 yes I am.
Powers: "Caracas, 1969" (15% Stupid)
Powers has a new intro! It's way better than it' slash intro, and I would have considered it money well spent if, 10 minutes into the Season 2 premiere, Calista hadn't tested her new powers by lifting a pickup truck over her head in an effect so flakey it makes the CGI "building on fire" effects of every half-assed procedural in the last five years look like fuckin' Avatar. It was jarringly fake, and I am VERY forgiving about this shit. I understand budgets and reach exceeding grasp and letting the storytelling carry me through dodge effects and holy shit did that truck look fake.
Apart from that and the presence of Michael Madsen, Powers Season 2 is a lot like Powers Season 1. A solid story with strong characters told serviceable well but not masterfully. A better show might have found a less cliche way of Christian showing anguish at Retro Girl's death than shouting swear words and breaking shit in his apartment before slumping against a cabinet in despair and exhaustion. Powers didn't.
But it' still compellingly potty, with a bunch of players, including Walker, Pilgrim, the Powers Division and its beleaguered boss, Triphammer, the FBI, the teenage Kaotic Chic pawns, Retro Girl's old partners (the aforementioned Madsen among them), Calista, and the as yet unseen unknown mastermind behind the murder all swirling around the Retro Girl murder investigation. If it stays merely usually competent, I'll be pretty happy overall.
Preacher: "Pilot" (0% Stupid)
Yeah, that's the stuff. Dense, packed, and with a propulsive, compelling energy and some fantastic acting, especially Dominic Cooper as Jesse. A lot happens in the first 90 minutes. A lot is established. But it never feels expositiony and everything' so damn entertaining.
Oh, and we've gotta talk about Cassidy for a second. Cassidy's about as Garth Ennisy a character as exists in the world. He's a broad character with a broad accent and is a very difficult character to pull off without delving into obnoxiousness or self-parody. And every single time Cassidy was on screen, I was delighted, even if he needed subtitles more than Arseface did.
Is it a faithful adaptation, if you'll pardon the expression? Nope. But it's that good kind of unfaithful adaptation. See, I hadn't read Preacher in probably 15 years. Everything in the first episode seemed like it could have happened from what I remember of Preacher, but then I went back and retread the first half a dozen issues and almost none of it did.
They've made a couple of choices to accommodate the budget - the first is to ramp up more slowly than the comic and start a little earlier in the timeframe, and the second is to spend way more time in Anneville. Characters are introduced sooner and come together sooner but hang around longer.
It's also nicer. I mean, it's still very violent and funny and small-town southern ugly like it's supposed to be, but Jesse especially has been de-Ennised a bit. He may eventually turn into Comics Jesse, but right now, his personality and motivations are nicer and he's not hallucinating/communing with the ghost of John Wayne. But the show still feels like Preacher, and it's good in its own right.
Daredevil: "Seven Minutes In Heaven" (10% Stupid)
Well, that was a lot to catch up on. In a season that seemed to be about the divide between Daredevil/Elektra and Matt/Karen/Foggy, we instead have Matt ditching everyone to try and fight the Hand solo. Meanwhile, Kingpin takes over the prison to a degree that veers into the implausible, leading to the death of dozens of inmates and the escape of Frank Castle with what seems like zero outside world consequences, at least so far. The early part of this, with Kingpin and notebooks, was very cool. The later part seems to abandon the subtlety of the Wilson Fisk character, which is somewhat annoying but it also may be necessary to finish making The Kingpin.
Meanwhile, Karen goes to work in Ben Urich's weirdly intact old office, and we get the first real hint at Karen's Secret Past, and learn that both Urich and the editor both know what it is.
Meanwhile, in the main plot, Daredevil tracks The Hand to The Farm, where prisoners are feeding blood into a mysterious mystical box, guarded by the not dead very burned Nobu, who beats Daredevil's ass and escapes with the box to close the episode. Solid stuff, for what it is.