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Sunday, November 11, 2018

Power Rankings: Superhero TV [Updated 11/11/18]

You love lists and Look to the Cookie doesn't do enough of them. So here are the rankings and reasons for the 21 modern comic-based super-powered television series, as determined by the entire LTC staff, which is currently just Germar. The list is updated as seasons conclude and series premiere.

21. Inhumans 5/10 Years of optimism, anxiety, and backtracking resulted in this, universally agreed upon, worst part of the MCU. Scott Buck may be MCU's kryptonite. Please, Marvel, don't let him ruin another series (e.g., Iron Fist). 

20. Agent Carter 6/10 Yes, I hosted the show about the show, but it always felt like a lukewarm Marvel offering. The pieces fit snugly, and Hayley Atwell shined, but did anyone even watch the second season?

19. Iron Fist 6/10 No one likes this show. And no one fears the surfer dude-voiced, Ramen noodle-haired, prince of privilege no matter how many times he says he beat a dragon or calls himself "immortal." Colleen Wing and Bakuto almost saved this atrocity. And I almost worked at Fox Sports. Cue that Brandy song. And then he improved slightly in Defenders and season two of "Cage." And the second season of Iron Fist was almost fire because they decided to focus on all of the amazing women while diminishing the lead. Ultimately, it got the axe anyway.  

18. Gotham 6.1/10 Gotham will probably be really good once it's all on Netflix, and we all finally decide to watch it. The first season got everything wrong--especially allowing Jada Pinkett to perform like an amateur starring in a Spelman College production of Wicked

17. Legion 6.5/10 Is this a period piece? Style over substance? Maybe, but beautiful still, plus ambitious. It's not a great show yet, but it's better than almost all of the X-men movies.

16. Jessica Jones 6/10 Two Js is da realest! She single-handedly saved The Defenders (literally and also from us critics). In her debut, she overcame the #1 true villain in the MCU (twice). She also laid out Luke Cage. And maybe she can fly. And then the second season sucked hard. The former #1 has dropped like the best beat. Somehow this MCU Netflix show is NOT canceled . . . . Things that make you go hmmmm.

15. The Gifted 6.7/10 This is the best way to realistically represent, on television, the best team of heroes in the history of comics. No, they're not the X-men. But if the X-men X-isted they'd be a lot more like The Gifted than that awesome Saturday morning cartoon. It's inconsistent at best, but there's definitely something there. 

14. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 6.7/10 Its debut was a meandering mess. But for the fans that stuck around, Agents of Hydra/Agents of Nothing got good fast. And more recently, we've been gifted the best live action Ghostrider, top notch action, intelligent political commentary, and the best possible "what if"-styled virtual world story. 

13. Arrow 6.7/10 Arrow has quickly become the can miss DCTV CW show of the week. But we keep watching. I look forward to its ending, followed by frequent character cameos on the other shows. It started too fast and left little room to grow. Team Arrow was Justice League lite before we got the Legends, Team Flash, or Supergirl. Pacing. And now they may be taking the street justice a little too far OR maybe just far enough.

12. Legends of Tomorrow 6.8/10 If you don't like this show, you don't like smiles, fun, or good times. Remember when The Avengers was the best thing to happen to the '10s? DC decided to do that with 200th of the budget, but weekly. And now, maybe it's a little too much fun. I'll still ride the wave, but this could fizzle fast. 

11. Cloak & Dagger 6.9/10 I want to love the show, in the way I love its young stars. And I might, if I could stay awake. I think they realize they have superpowers in episode five . . . I think. Who's this show for?--moody-artsy-poetic-horny-virgin 13-year-olds? I'm guessing. They get bonus points for flipping the most common racial stereotypes. And like all of the best things, once it ended, I begged for more. Cloak & Dagger may have something just yet.

10. The Punisher 7/10 It's nothing like other shows on this list. They chose to ignore the superhero world setting. It works, but may have worked better as a standalone. Ultimately, it was more predictable than most comic book-based shows because it was a lot like every gritty revenge, PTSD flick we've ever seen.

9. Krypton 7/10 So far, so good. They did it. They borrowed from the beautiful Man of Steel opening, and made their own Krypton. The black Zods are awesome and their story has stolen the show. Plus, it sets up Zods better than any previous source. Seg-El is that dude.

8. Supergirl 7/1Every week entertains. Each episode plays out like an updated, less whiny, less soap opera-y version of Smallville. The weird episode where she was "kid" Supergirl was weird. Pro tip: Superman is your problem, not your solution. Last season went deep on race, LGBT matters, relationships, and it remained a top comic book-based show. Kudos. I still watch, but the politics may be so on the nose that it's become a distraction.

7. The Defenders 7.1/10 The first four episodes were the highlight of my year. The Defenders are to the Avengers what the X-men are to the Justice League. They are the heroes we might be, not the gods that save us. They blended four distinct tales better than I imagined possible--style and mythos. To enjoy: 1) ignore the villains' plot; 2) remember that we witnessed an even more annoying Iron Fist earlier.

6. The Flash 7.1/10 So maybe skip the second season. And maybe they do the same arc each season. But this is the most pleasant series on the list. It's like a '90s Saturday morning cartoon for grown-ups. This is the team that every Millennial would join if given the opportunity. And I'm in love with little Flash-et junior - sue me.

5. Luke Cage 7.5/10 Cage, one of the strongest characters on the list, started weakly and ended weakly. But that midsection does work. Ummmm. Cottonmouth is the King. And if you're black, this should feel like a moment . . . for us . . . because it is. And in the second season, a strong show got stronger. It's a shame this moment is partially wasted on Mike Colter. Bushmaster saved the series and washed the diamond-backed taste from our mouths. Annnnnnnd it's canceled. A record-breaking black-ass show that did impossible numbers for Netflix is gone.

4. Daredevil 8/10 Hallway scenes started here. It's a shame they didn't end here. Foggy is as whack as Charlie Cox's accent (both improved by season 3). If you are anti-shadowy fight scenes, then Kingpin kept your interest. This series was redeemed by the Punisher's arrival. Ssssooo many ninjas. And then season three was maybe the best thing I've seen "on TV." Yes, Daredevil season three is "Wire," "Sopranos," "Lost," Breaking Bad"-good.

3. Black Lightning 8/10 It's only the most important show in the history of television in the United States. They deal with everything, better than most shows deal with anything--race, violence, cops, sex, LGBT matters, relationships, schools . . . and superpowers. "This one's for the streets." So far season two has not matched season one, but they remain "the people's champ."

2. Runaways 8.3/10 At the episode three mark, this show is far better than anything on this list. Performances, cinematography, drama, use of powers, relationships, representation--perfection. The problem with being on top . . . is that long tumble down. How will they handle powers or the discovery of the teens' discovery? How will they handle the budding and realistic romances? And is this really the MCU? Did it need to be? (3 months later . . . show was dope)

1. Titans 8.5/10 We saw that corny-ass trailer and scoffed. The first episode wasn't much better. But Titans has become my #1 must-see-TV each week. If this dropped Netflix style, I wouldn't have the left the seat. It would've been my first "diaper show." Starting with the Hawk and Dove episode this is the grittiest, most realistic, non-fantastical fantasy show (read: best) of all time. This is not our Teen Titans (coming soon). It's not like the Titans as seen anywhere before. That black Starfire that you hate is one of the best characters on TV this year. DC should stop making movies. They really get television. 

Sunday, November 4, 2018

LOL @ Joe Rogan Experience #1191 - Peter Boghossian & James Lindsay

Episode 421 is seriously NSFW. Joe Rogan did a podcast and talked about things that he's talked about a lot: racism, safe spaces, privilege, liberals . . . . So, two academics faked 20 scholarly articles to prove that modern feminism based academia is b.s. Here, Germar responds. Follow Germar everywhere @GermarDerron. Today's show is sponsored by

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Californication and Venom and Me Pt. IV

In Episode 419, Germar finally finishes Californication, and of course he has some thoughts. Plus, he finally got back to a theater to see the "record-smashing," Venom. But first, he's mad at everyone, and deleted 25 minutes from this episode. Find Germar everywhere @GermarDerron. Today's episode is sponsored by

Friday, October 5, 2018

Californication and Me Pt. III Shortie

For the first time in a long time, Germar drops a shortie episode. Here, he wraps up the Californication trilogy and has one more comment on the Predictive Index. Follow Germar everywhere @GermarDerron.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Californication and Me Pt. II

This is part two of Episode 418, so go listen to that one first. Here, Germar defends statutory rape, legally, not as a principle or right. And if you're a fan of Californication, you understand the context. Then, he uses a work communication-personality-magic assessment to explain the world and how you can be a better part of it. Today's episode is sponsored by

Californication and Me Pt. I

Episode 418 is a two . . . podder. Get it? Every. Single. Time. Germar returns to talk about his stress-induced super infection and favorite new-to-him show that was ripped right from the pages of his life, Californication. Today's episode is sponsored by

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Iron Fist Season 2

In Episode 417, Germar tells you everything that actually matters about the second season of Marvel's Iron Fist. It's another D.S.E. and maybe he breaks out in song . . . again. Follow Germar everywhere @GermarDerron. Today's show is sponsored by

Sunday, September 2, 2018

OITNB and Stuff

In Episode 416, Germar finally--once again--devotes a whole-ish show to Netflix's Orange is the New Black. But first, he talks about why he needed three Facebook accounts, and how much he hates that comment sections are disappearing. Oh, and it's a D.S.E. so Germar's singing again . . . .  Follow Germar everywhere @GermarDerron. Today's show is sponsored by

Monday, August 20, 2018

Pokemon Politics

In Episode 415, Germar returns and brings the fire with him. Here, he explains how the world of "Pokemon Go" represents the type of equality we don't dare dream of.  Follow Germar everywhere @GermarDerron. Today's episode is sponsored by

Saturday, August 4, 2018

The "Mission: Impossible" Movies, Ranked

You love lists and Look to the Cookie doesn't do nearly enough of them. So here are the rankings and reasons for the six released Mission Impossible movies as determined by the sexiest single man in all of pretend media. 

Germar spent the last three weeks watching these films, just to author this piece. Yes, they took that long because they are that bad.
6. Mission Impossible 4/10 Here, an already middle-aged Tom Cruise looks comparatively young. This film is the best ever 1990s made-for-TV film, which just happens to be directed by Brian De Palma and released in theaters. You know how The Untouchables is the best movie ever, then you realize it's sorta whack, but then you realize it came out in 1987, so it's pretty good. Mission Impossible is the spy version of that, but released in 1996. So, in 2018, not only is it dated, but it's dated next to other 90s films. Yes, it has that one iconic shot that they never got tired of . . . .
5. Mission: Impossible II 4.5/10 Hey, Tom's looking like old weird-ass Tom here. He even has Tom Hank's awful hair from that one movie about a book. John Woo went out of his way here to demonstrate what an awful director he can be. Most of the movie takes place in slow motion. Then, the slo-mo stops to cut to a close-up of something that has no relevance. But hey, he also directed Paycheck, Face/Off (which I liked as a child...), and Broken Arrow. So, why do you think he's so good again? At least the love interest was black . . . ish. Wait, why were they so in love?

4. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol 6.6/10 Thin. So, I'm sure most of you like this one. When I saw, "directed by Brad Bird," I was like "the cartoon dude did a Mission: Impossible movie?!?" He did. And considering that, this was awesome. How did he get this gig? I mean how many times did he sleep with Tom Cruise to get this gig? I mean, I'd do Cruise like seven times to direct a Mission: Impossible. I might even like it, after seeing that first check.

3. Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation 6.7/10 Oh how I've changed. Initially, I thought - "decent flick." A few days ago I thought, "Rebecca Ferguson is the most beautiful, talented, perfect person to ever appear in a movie!" Plus, this one's good because Christopher McQuarrie directed it. I don't know him at all except that he's Tom Cruise's lover personal film director. Look it up. He's directed a Tom Cruise led film about five dozen times. It's a perfect match. It's like they know each other on some deeper level. I don't know. It reminds me of when I work with my girlfriends. We just really understand . . . . Never mind. Is this libel or slander?

2.  Mission: Impossible III 6.8/10 Finally, a real director. I understand that some of you don't get why J.J. Abrams is one of the best things to happen to visual media. But that's because you're old or dumb or old and dumb. This was the first good film in the series. And yes, much of that has to do with Philip Seymour Hoffman. He's so much better than every other actor in the series to this point that it's almost awkward. It's akin to Steph Curry joining a champion high school basketball team. Yeah, they were great, but . . . he just made a full-court shot, while playing PokemonGo . . . and he shot it with his elbow. 

1. Mission: Impossible - Fallout 7/10 Weird right? This film isn't better than the others, but somehow it definitely is. I haven't looked, but I bet Chris directed it. He and Tom just have a tight connection. I'll look now. Called it. This film is the best because it's smart. And it's smart by realizing that we get it now. I got it 15 years ago. But now we all get it. The guy that's the new good guy - he's the bad guy. The person who's oddly bad, or weirdly good is wearing a mask. Here, they didn't ever try to say "gotcha." They told an obvious but good story. I mean . . . plutonium again? But they brought back all of your favorites and somehow tied the entire series together. It almost makes sense now. Nah, it's nonsensical--it just follows Cruise-logic well.

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