EXPeriencing Fox’s Monday Lineup (And Saying Goodbye to ‘The Bachelor’)

Cover image via Know Your Meme.

I had every intention of bringing my laptop home from work this evening so I could live tweet the second half of The Bachelor and then write a blog post about what I thought of the show four weeks in.

That plan was derailed when I kept my TV on Fox after the second episode of The X-Files reboot to watch the premiere of Lucifer.

Before four weeks ago, I had only ever seen one episode ever of The Bachelor. It was the most recent season finale in which the Bachelor Chris proposed to one of the two girls he had been dating on the show, Whitney, in a barn. They are no longer together.

I watched this episode not because I was suddenly struck with the desire to watch The Bachelor 19 seasons in, but because my friend was hosting a cupcake-decorating party—cupcakes and wine provided. Duh I’m going to enjoy that social time instead of sitting home! While the finale of the show was ridiculous, partly because I had zero context, it was a fun time hanging out with friends and eating sugar.

So, when this season of The Bachelor began, I again joined my friends for wine, but this time I was going to get the full Bachelor story from the beginning.

What. A. Train wreck.

There are some much more established, much funnier blogs out there with episode recaps of The Bachelor so I won’t wade into that, but what I saw in the first episode truly blew my mind. Girls getting out of limos with unicorn masks on, breaking bread on the curb, crazies getting drunk and getting mad at the Bachelor for not making eye contact. What.

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Why is this a thing that happened? Via.

But I was hanging out with friends, we all made fun of the situations equally, and all-in-all, it was a pretty entertaining evening. I attempted to watch the second episode on my own the next week, but no dice. Watching it alone just made me irritable at the ridiculous situations. Week three, I joined my friends again and had a blast watching the weirdest, most outrageous show on television.

But, last week’s foray into The Bachelor may have been my last for a time, because Fox’s Monday lineup from 8-10 is much more my speed.

At 8: The X-Files reboot. Tonight was the second episode, and all aboard the Feel Train! I didn’t watch The X-Files much when I was a kid, mostly because I was too addicted to Nickelodeon to change the channel, but also because Goosebumps gave me all the nightmares I needed, thankyouverymuch. However, Terry watched all nine seasons with his brother and mom when they aired in the ’90s. Of course I was going to force him to watch the reboot with me. He’s experiencing some deeper nostalgia-driven feels than I am, but I can appreciate the 15-year-old relationship between Mulder and Scully and the continuation of their story. And aliens.

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Duh. Via.

Then, at 9: The series premiere of Lucifer. I heard about this show for the first time about 24 hours ago when watching the NFC Championship Game, but the previews played a song that fits right in with my favorite Pandora station, so I at least knew the show would have good style. Because it was premiering after The X-Files on the same channel, I figured, why turn to ABC when I could stay on Fox and watch a show with witty banter and a sexy British antihero? There’s no more quintessential antihero than the Devil himself, after all.

Lucifer was the right decision. A stellar soundtrack, good dialogue, and an intriguing plot of the Devil helping a detective solve a murder added up to a pretty solid pilot episode. The X-Files and Lucifer will be on again next Monday from 8-10, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be watching.

Sorry, Ben. No more roses for this girl.

(And with these ten extra words, I’m at 666 words. Boom.)

EXPeriencing Marvel’s ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ (Season 2)

Cover image via Hypable. Caution, contains some spoilery things.

I have previously noted my fangirl love of the Marvel cinematic universe, so it’s probably no surprise that I’m a big fan of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I was a little iffy about it when the first season premiered on ABC, so I didn’t watch it as it aired. I waited until it was on Netflix, which was both an excellent and poorly timed decision. It was an excellent decision because it reeled me in immediately and I was hooked from the first episode so I could watch them all in basically one sitting. (In fact, I liked it so much, my husband, Terry, bought me a S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy Alumni phone case for Christmas. It’s awesome.) It was poorly timed because by the time I was done binge-watching it, Season 2 was already several episodes in on ABC, and I couldn’t find the first episodes streaming online anywhere. Rather than steal/buy them, I waited.

Finally, a few weeks ago Season 2 went up on Netflix, and Terry and I got to bingeing. I really enjoyed Season 2. It plays off of the end of Season 1 and the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D. well as Coulson and his team work to rebuild the organization. It also incorporates the smaller story arcs–particularly the character-driven ones–nicely: Fitz/Simmons, Skye and the search for her parents, Coulson and the fallout from the TAHITI project, new characters who have joined the team (like mercenary Lance Hunter, played by Nick Blood. I’m a fan.), etc. Together with the overarching enemy of Hydra, these story and character arcs really make the season.

NickBlood

Hey, Nick. How are ya? (Source)

As Terry and I were getting to the last few episodes of the season, I realized one of my favorite things about the show, particularly Season 2, is how well-crafted the antagonist(s) are. I say “antagonist(s)” specifically because there’s not just one. Far from it. Yes, Hydra is the “main” enemy and will be until all its heads are cut off. But throughout the season, other enemies rise and fall, become allies, or go from ally to enemy. From Ward, to Skye’s father, to the “enhanced individuals,” to S.H.I.E.L.D. itself, Coulson and his team’s antagonists are ever-shifting–and that’s a good thing. If they were just going after Hydra for 22 episodes, it’d get kind of boring. With several different people and organizations squaring off against S.H.I.E.L.D., though, the show always stays interesting, and you never know what ride is in store for you each episode.

As my husband put it, it’s very much like The Walking Dead in that regard. The walkers are always there, and they’re always the overarching enemy (like Hydra). But there are other bands of people, individuals within the group, cannibalistic towns, and so much more that creates a threat to Rick and the group. You never know who to trust, and when you add the threat of zombies on top of it, it makes for an incredibly compelling show.

At this point, if you like the Marvel cinematic universe movies but you’re not watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., time to get with the program. In fact, if you’re not watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., you’re likely going to start missing out on important details in the movies (for instance, if you didn’t know that S.H.I.E.L.D. had fallen when Age of Ultron came out, that was probably a bit of a shocker for you). So, if you like Captain America and Thor, all the action those movies provide, and a sprawling interconnected world, I would highly recommend you check out Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Also, let me remind you that this is a Joss and Jed Whedon show. Picture Firefly and Buffy the Vampire Slayer with established superheroes and all the force of ABC/Disney behind it. There are strong female characters all over the place, great action scenes that almost always further the plot, and intricacies and mysteries that can only be etched out over 22 hours, rather than 2. So if you were feeling a little underwhelmed by Age of Ultron, I think Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will help you feel like your action can be smarter.

If I haven’t made it clear enough, I really like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. When Terry and I finished watching the last episode Thursday night, we both wanted more, and not just because the cliffhangers were intense. The show and characters really captivated us, and when the season ended, we didn’t want to let go yet. All weekend we’ve been lamenting that we finished the season and now we don’t have anything else to watch that even comes close to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. So in the meantime before Season 3 premieres, I guess we’ll just keep re-watching Daredevil, and I’m going to search for a gym that trains you to work out and fight like a spy…