Monday, April 19, 2021

Punky Brewster - Pilot

Soleil Moon Frye returns to reprise her childhood role of Punky Brewster. Punky is all grown up, fresh off a divorce to a musician (Freddie Prinze Jr.), with a high school daughter (Lauren Lindsey Donzis) and two adopted sons (Noah Cottrell and Oliver De Los Santos). Her old friend Cherie (Cherie Johnson) works to place foster children in permanent homes which leads to the introduction of the precocious young Izzy (Quinn Copeland) who by the end of the episode becomes the newest member of the Brewster household. The reboot is typical sitcom family humor, relying more than a little on nostalgia, with an emphasis on promoting adoption, foster care, diverse families, and letting kids be themselves. Its heart is certainly in the right place, but this version of Punky Brewster could use a little help to get through its growing pains.

Somewhere Under the Rainbow with Jean Watts

Jean Watts is an American singer, actress, and dancer. You can follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Also check out her official site.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier - Truth

"Truth" picks up immediately after the previous episode with Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) chasing down the new Captain America (Wyatt Russell). For show that has been about moments rather than consistently good storytelling, the episode delivers with a strong action sequence that (along with a scene or two later in the episode) effectively ends John Walker's tenure as Captain America. While some may be wowed by the action scene which opens "Truth," it's the half-hour which follows where the series actually deals various issues it raised in previous episodes (and then promptly ran away to the next action scene). The big turn to end "The Whole World is Watching" no doubt had more people talking about the series, but it's here The Falcon and the Winter Soldier puts in the work on character development and storytelling.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Kung Fu - Silence

"Silence" feels like the show setting up the template for the remainder of its First Season. Nicky Shen (Olivia Liang) struggles with trying to fit back in with her family while helping someone in need, with an assist from an old boyfriend (Gavin Stenhouse), and relying heavily on Henry (Eddie Liu) to search for Zhilan (Yvonne Chapman). Nicky also struggles with finding the peace to properly deal with the loss of her life in China and the death of her mentor. The client of the week is a mother and daughter with an abusive boyfriend (Link Baker) who has been stealing from them to fuel his gambling habit. A visit from Nicky, first in their home and then later in an underground casino where she takes back the last of the family's savings, help put the matter to rest (and also make others aware of Nicky's talents). As for Zhilan, she makes an appearance in the epilogue as the race for the other mystical weapons has begun.

Batman Adventures: Riddle Me This

The Batman Adventures: Riddle Me This trade paperback collects five Riddler-themed stories from comics inspired by Batman: The Animated Series (which is a bit funny given the character appeared so few times on the show compared to other top-tier Bat-villains). This of course means plenty of riddles and misdirects (some of which work better than others). The best story turns out to be the last of the collection when a reformed Riddler grows bored and attempts to publicly engage the Batman in "Poker Face" from Batman Adventures #11. The reformed villains shenanigans not only tick off the Dark Knight Detective but also Mayor Penguin who frustratingly can't find anything to charge Nygma with as Riddler isn't breaking any laws.