Its season three for one of the most bizarre but very entertaining crime thrillers TNT has ever brought to the small screen. After season two falling in with the Russian mafia, and surviving a deadly marriage, the season closed with an assassination attempt on Desna’s life. Virginia sadly suffered the bullet meant for her sister in law. “Claws” returns taking off immediately from the last scene from season two and it takes off like a rocket. It’s the same lunacy as always for “Claws” with bizarre fantasy sequences, some genuinely darkly funny comedy, and a brand new pair of villains that might just be the undoing of Desna and her crew if she isn’t careful.
After FOX Studios revived comic book property the X-Men and paved the comic book movie as bonafide moneymaker, the canvas of pop culture was carved from the gateway “Blade” forged. After the 2000 cinematic adaptation “X-Men” and its sequel “X2,” both films and the franchised built shocking influence, not just on other genre properties, but comics in general. With X-Men once again being celebrated, the iconic series and comic book team was primed for an animated reboot, after the end of “X-Men: The Animated Series.” Marvel and Film Roman approached the series from a different angle by establishing a new continuity of the “merry mutants” in contemporary times. They changed the focus of the series, as well as the ages of the entire group to appeal to a wider young audience.
And it worked.
“Previously on, X-Men…” was one of the trademark openings kids in the nineties heard every Saturday morning while watching the FOX Kids line up. It was during this time, in the midst of the networks third year (which also included “Batman: The Animated Series”), that FOX and Saban Entertainment teamed up to take on on yet another very popular and ambitious comic book property: Marvel Comics’ “X-Men.” The series came to be widely known by FOX and hardcore fans as “X-Men: The Animated Series.”
“Pryde of the X-Men” (also known as “X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men”) is an animated pilot I mostly remember thanks to its VHS release in 1989 that my brother and I must have borrowed from my cousin a thousand times over. Despite its obscurity, however, this relic of the early Marvel Entertainment days is one of the many abandoned projects from Marvel that’d inadvertently become a classic. Before 1992’s “X-Men: The Animated Series,” there was 1989’s “X-Men,” a series that begun development after constant guest spots from the team during “Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends.” Watching it years later, it’s surprising just how much of the early episodes of the 1992 series were based on the “Pryde of the X-Men” pilot.
Nostalgia entertainment is about as popular as ever and modern streaming services and networks are banking on the fascinating topics that can be mined from the mementos of pop culture. One of the most entertaining documentary series to be brought to the popular Netflix service has been by Brian Volk-Weiss’s “The Toys That Made Us.” While most studios would cut corners by merely making a series that relies on “Remember this?” and “Remember when…?” what “The Toys That Made Us” instead does is examine the importance and relevance of iconic toy lines from the eighties and nineties.
It’s tough to believe that The Asylum is behind “Black Summer.” It’s definitely one of the biggest surprises of 2019 as I’ve made it no secret about my disdain toward the company and “Z Nation.” I thought the show was insanely dumb and boring, but I was very much open to “Black Summer.” Keeping my expectations rock bottom (because The Asylum has done horribly with zombie entertainment consistently) I was stunned to very much enjoy “Black Summer.” In fact if it continues its course and settles down a bit in season two, it might end up being one of the great zombie TV series.
The 90s were a turbulent time for Marvel Comics. While they nearly saw financial ruin, they also met with success by teaming with Saban Entertainment to introduce two of the most beloved animated series of the decade: “X-Men: The Animated Series” and “Spider-Man: The Animated Series.” Boosted by their success with Saturday morning cartoons, it wasn’t long before Marvel attempted to bring even more of their biggest properties into the world of animation… with varying results.
While Marvel Comics has dabbled in animation since the mid-60s, it wasn’t until 1999, when they joined forces with Saban International and 20th Century Fox, that the publisher offered up its first animated series based on The Avengers. The series, “The Avengers: United They Stand,” was heavily promoted and much hyped among Marvel and comic based publications. The collective fan response upon its debut on FOX Kids, however, was less than enthusiastic, and even to this day, there’s a relatively middling response to “United They Stand” especially in the face of superior fare like “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.”