Veronica Mars airs on July 26 as a Hulu Original.
Sometimes when I log on to Netflix or any streaming service for that matter, I can get overwhelmed by making choice on what I want to watch. I’m not that old, but I am old enough to remember when the TV Guide channel had a set list of what was coming on that night.
And if you didn’t like it, maybe you’d read a book.
When I log on to my platform of choice now, unless I already know what I’m looking for, I need a magic 8-ball to tell me what to watch.
There are so many options and that’s great. But can somebody break things up for me?
I’m focusing on Netflix right now because I remember when the service offered Max.
Get the Max with Netflix!
There are so many options on Netflix. How am I supposed to find things when I don’t know what I’m in the mood for?
When I had my PlayStation 3, Max would always help me out.
Picture yourself on a lazy night. You want to relax so you turn on Netflix and prepare for a night of entertainment. But then, you see 18 different categories, a bunch of suggestions for shows or movies you’ve already seen, and stuff that you’re not even interested in.
Then you click on Max, artificial intelligence embedded in Netflix and ready to help make your life simpler. You hear a cute little jingle, he asks you a few questions and BOOM, you’re watching a Korean drama that you didn’t know existed and you’re having a great time!
That’s why Netflix should bring back Max! There are so many choices and those suggestion categories do not help, but Max can. My experience with Max always positive and helped pinpoint a show or movie that I give a try without having to surf for an hour before starting to watch something.
So Netflix, feel free to bring Max back at any time.
Last week, I watched Swamp Thing for the first time. I watched it without referring to any source material and without any preconceived notions. The only thing I knew about the series was that it had been canceled. With only one episode available, the Swamp Thing series on DC Universe would end after episode 10.
After watching the first episode, I had a few opinions but I didn’t see anything that would warrant such a hasty cancellation. I actually enjoyed episode one. So I’ve decided to continue watching it. Episode two turned out really weird, so I’ll start with the easy stuff first.
Last weeks episode left me with a theory of my own regarding Avery Sunderland. The first episode set him up as the wealthiest man in the town and we found out that he was Holland’s employer. This led me to believe that he had to be the person hiring boats to drop the mutagen accelerant in the swamp.
I was proven correct in this episode. Turns out that Avery is the reason that the accelerant is being dumped in the swamp. Apparently, he consulted two scientists (Jason and Caroline Woodrue) to find out ways to make use of the swamp.
The accelerant was their idea. It was supposed to help the swamp thrive, but of course, that backfired and now the townspeople are dying. Jason Woodrue stands firm that an accelerant would not cause disease. He pretty much said blame the swamp for doing swamp things.
Avery is definitely the big bad! All through this episode, he made strides to keep people from investigating the swamp and the dumping. He denied Abby the help she asked for to find Holland (who is presumed dead as far as the characters are concerned). He also threatened the scientist he consulted with blackmail, and he admitted to those same scientists that he is “handling business” to keep his name away from the swamp problem.
So, if we read between the lines, we can deduce that Avery had Holland killed by the mysterious man with the rocket launcher from episode one. Remember, Holland went up to Avery after a town hall meeting and told him that something was happening to the water. This must have prompted him to kill Holland so that he would not figure out the full scope of the conspiracy.
Little does Avery know, he created a swamp monster with a vendetta.
Here is where weird things start. Apparently, patient zero (Susie Coyle) has a psychic connection with the swamp.
I don’t understand how because she was not in the swamp when the initial attack by the vines happened. But okay.
In the last episode, when her father (Eddie Coyle) revived on the autopsy table, Susie had a moment where she called out to the dead corpse that was being controlled by vines. In this episode, she escapes the hospital in order to go meet the Swamp Thing.
The first time she tries to escape the doctor catches her. He asks her why she is trying to leave. Susie says it’s because the man in the dark is scared and needs her.
What could he possibly need from her? Does she hold the cure?
Eventually, Susie does escape and the sheriff’s office and doctors are looking for her in the swamp. Abby is scared because she has seen the Swamp Thing before and no one has believed her up to this point about the dumping, the monster, or the Holland conspiracy.
Susie ends up on a boat with some men who have been hired to dump by Avery. They don’t know she is there and after they have a disagreement, one of them kills the other.
This death prompts the Swamp Thing to rise from the water and save Susie. He rips the boat henchman apart and Susie is saved. However, Abby finds them just in time and takes Susie away.
After they escape the swamp, Susie tells Abby that the Swamp Things name is Holland.
Oh, snap. Here’s more information for the town not to believe.
We also have a bit of story progression for Maria Sunderland. It turns out that she has been dabbling in voodoo and having a witch doctor communicate with her dead daughter (Shawna) for the last 14 years.
As a result, we see that Shawna has not been able to rest in peace and is stuck in a realm between the living and the dead. The witch doctor tells Maria to let her rest because the balance with the living and the dead is shifting. The witch doctor felt that bad things are happening in the swamp.
Here’s the thing. After this weeks episode, I need to understand if Swamp Thing is a sci-fi horror thriller or a supernatural horror thriller. The characteristics of Holland as the Swamp Thing remain horrific. He’s killing people and groaning in pain. Normal stuff.
However, with the addition of Maria’s seance in the swamp, I got confused. How does this play into the swamp? Was the swamp haunted before the accelerant was dumped into it? The first episode never shows Holland and Susie speaking, so how is Susie connected to the Swamp Thing? When did the connection start?
This episode may have muffled the identity of the show a bit. But, it was still interesting. There are so many questions that need to be answered. I’m hoping as I keep watching, the show can clear up some of the confusion.
Before I even had the chance to watch Swamp Thing on DC Universe, the show was trending on Twitter confirming the cancellation of the show.
I don’t know the history of shows that have been canceled, but the decision to cancel Swamp Thing after only one episode had been aired felt rushed. So instead of automatically assuming that the first episode was complete garbage, I watched it for myself.
The pilot episode of Swamp Thing gave me serious sci-fi horror vibes. There is a lot of suspense in the first episode and the creators did a great job making the contaminated swamp graphics gross and unnerving. It’s a great presentation.
What about the story?
It’s a good story. However, I think the pilot episode may have given away the biggest part of the series too early in the season.
We’re introduced to the swamp as a dark and mysterious place in Marais, Louisiana right away. A group of fishermen and a tech genius were hired to drop some sort of device in the swamp. They end up being attacked by the swamp and killed.
One fisherman, Eddie Coyle, makes it home somehow and infects his daughter. His daughter goes to school, passes out with a bloody nose and becomes patient zero.
Dr. Abby Arcane is ordered by the CDC to leave the Congo, where she is fighting an epidemic, to come back to Louisiana and cure the mysterious illness in Marais.
She ends up entrusting a somewhat awkward biologist named Alec Holland who has been commissioned by Will Sunderland, a wealthy member of the community, to run tests on the swamp. Initially, Holland is meant to help discover positive means to help the community flourish, but he discovers a fertilizer accelerate that is “jacking up” the mutagens in the swamp and causing the town to become sick.
There is also a side story line about Abby’s past where a childhood friend of hers died before they graduated high school. It turns out that friend was the daughter of Will and Avery Sunderland. Avery is not happy that Abby is back in town. At first, she attempts to intimidate her to leave the town, but then she asks her to save the town in the same breath.
Earlier, I stated that the pilot episode gave away too much information. What I am referring to is the end of the episode. Abby and Holland figure out some new information and plan to go study it more at the hospital. They are hoping that it will lead to a cure. However, Holland wants to go fish out the devices in the swamp first because they are causing the sickness.
A mysterious “I know what you did last summer” man somehow knows that Holland is going to do this and shoots him in the chest two times with a shotgun then blows him up.
While watching, I thought to myself, “Oh he’s definitely the Swamp Thing”. I didn’t realize that with 4 minutes left in the episode, this theory was going to be confirmed. That took a lot of the steam out of it. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t find out, but maybe not in the first episode.
Technically, there could have already been a Swamp Thing and Holland’s character could have been a bait to throw off the viewer. I guess he still could be, but I don’t think so.
At the end of the episode, Abby boats out to the area where Holland should be and finds fire, dead swamp bodies, and moving swamp branches. Then the branches subside and the Swamp Thing reveals himself.
Here’s a question. Why did the swamp bond with Holland and not with Coyle earlier in the episode?
I hope that we find out this season.
There are 9 episodes left before the season ends. My ultimate theory involves Will Sunderland. I think that he is the anonymous financial backer to the fishermen boats that are poisoning that swamp in Marais. He’s already been cast as the rich member of the community. And maybe he has a “V for Vendetta” because his daughter died all those years ago.
Is this series worth saving? We’ll have to see. This coming from someone who has not read the comics and is going off of the show alone. I definitely think the episode was attention grabbing.