By Ashley Pauls/Box Office Buzz
Luke Cage didn’t set out to be a hero. After being framed for a crime he didn’t commit, he’s sent to prison, where he becomes a part of an experiment that gives him super strength and bulletproof skin. He tries to build a quiet life for himself in Harlem, working at a barbershop and a nightclub, but fate won’t let him disappear from the spotlight. The rise of a villain and the death of a friend force him to take action, and he becomes the hero his city needs.
“Luke Cage” is the latest series to come from Marvel’s partnership with Netflix, following “Jessica Jones” and two seasons of “Daredevil.” Although the tone of these shows is much darker and grittier than the more lighthearted Marvel Cinematic Universe films, like the MCU these shows have found a template that works very well and opens the door for crossovers down the road (Jessica Jones, Daredevil, and Luke Cage will all be teaming up in “The Defenders” miniseries next year).
While anyone who knows me knows how much I love the MCU, I have also enjoyed seeing these smaller-scale Marvel projects from Netflix. It’s nice to see some storylines that are more personal, where the fate of the whole world isn’t at stake. You get to delve more deeply into the characters’ lives and watch their stories develop more intimately.
The strength of “Luke Cage” lies with its star, Mike Colter. Although Cage is a man of few words, you sense he is also a man of integrity, who’s willing to put his life on the line to do what’s right. Colter gives the character just enough vulnerability that we see his humanity beyond his superpowers. There are also many strong supporting characters, including fearless Harlem NYPD detective Misty Knight and a reappearance of Rosario Dawson as Hell’s Kitchen nurse Claire Temple. Having already appeared in both “Daredevil” and “Jessica Jones,” Temple is sort of becoming the Defenders version of Agent Coulson, which is fine by me. She may not have superpowers, but she can definitely hold her own with these superheroes. Other highlights of the show include great music and a dash of humor (there’s a great running joke about Cage’s hoodies always getting riddled with bullets, forcing him to constantly replace them).
Although the MCU is often criticized for its lackluster villains, that hasn’t been the case with the Netflix shows. Kingpin from “Daredevil” and Kilgrave from “Jessica Jones” both made for fascinating villains. Although the main villain from “Luke Cage” can’t quite top Kingpin or Kilgrave, a strong performance from actor Mahershala Ali makes crime lord Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes an intriguing character. Some flashback sequences actually give you some compassion for the character and show what Stokes could have become if he hadn’t been pushed into a life of crime. Without giving away too many spoilers, Cottonmouth doesn’t actually appear in all the episodes, and the other primary villain, Diamondback, isn’t as compelling. However, there are some interesting side villains, including Cottonmouth’s cousin Mariah Dillard, who is a crooked politician, and Hernan “Shades” Alvarez (named for the pair of sunglasses he always wears), who is good at weaseling out of difficult situations.
Overall, I thought the plot could have been tightened up just a little, and the final episode drags on for a bit. As I mentioned before, you’ll wish the show had used Cottonmouth a lot more than it did. However, I’d highly recommend this series for Marvel fans. The themes in “Luke Cage” feel particularly timely, and the show addresses issues such as racism, political corruption, and the challenges within the U.S. justice system. The show is both thought-provoking and action-packed.
On this week’s episode Josh and Gerald locate some of the best deals to look out for on Black Friday weekend. What’s a good value, what to avoid and what retailers are going all out this holiday season. Douglas Houghaboo from Retro City Games shares his thoughts on the best gaming experiences in 2016 and what titles you may not be aware of that might just meet your gaming fancy. Johnathan Ducote and Hunter Vogt from tvratingsguide.com stop by again to let us know what shows they believe may get the ax and what programs they are looking forward to in 2017. All this plus we highlight our picks for movies this holiday season and give you a taste of Wine Women and Words as they ladies share their thoughts on the Harry Potter universe. It’s another packed week here so sit back and relax…as we delve into the pop culture cosmos!
This week, we lost one of are most dearest friends, Sacha Dzuba, an actor, musician and beloved member of the Atlanta Geek Scene. JC and Rita remember Sacha and give you some glimpses into the great man they knew and loved.
We will also be talking Doctor Strange and give you the latest on the rumors of Doctor Who.
The ESO Science Team officers Dr. Scott Viguie and Lucas Garrett update Mike and Mike on the latest and greatest technology and inspirational programs currently underway. With all the science going on, Professor Dave Keep sneaks aboard the station for a quick pint, only to find himself in the Geek Seat. Plus, the usual Rants, Raves, Khan Report, and Shout Outs!
Table of Contents
0:00:00 Show Open
0:20:25 The Geek Seat w/ David Keep
0:39:58 A Look at Science and Where We Are Going
1:38:08 A Geek Girl’s Take
1:40:42 The Khan Report
1:49:32 Show Close
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Sacha Dzuba became an official member of the Oncoming Storm just over a year into it’s existence, but he’d been an unofficial member since the beginning. He was our first ‘guest star’, completely supportive of the idea from the start, and the first person we thought of when we expanded the roster. He was family, and he will be missed. This episode is dedicated to him.
Honestly, there’s not much to say this week. The Oncoming Storm has lost one of it’s own this week, and we’re devastated. Sacha hasn’t been on the show for well over a year due to his schedule and health issues, but he has remained a member of our dysfunctional family and we were expecting his return sooner rather than later. Sadly, Sacha passed away on 11/14/2016, due to complications during surgery. Episode 187 then, is dedicated entirely to the memory of Sacha Dzuba. Josh, Ashley, Rachel, and Jeff first come together to say a few things about their friend, and then because it’s what he would have wanted, they spend two hours deep in geeky Doctor Who conversation. They cover Enemy of the Daleks by David Bishop, Psychodrome by Jonathan Morris, Fallen Angels by Phil Mulryne, and in an unfair twist of fate, Absent Friends by John Dorney. The Oncoming Storm… This time, we’ve got a lot of tears. We miss you already Sacha.
Tribute to Sacha – 2:28
News – 17:40
Enemy of the Daleks – 40:15
Psychodrome – 1:08:03
Fallen Angels – 1:35:45
Absent Friends – 2:04:50
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