A week in film – 2016, week 49

After I missed them last week, a day off on Monday meant there was the opportunity to watch The Flash and Supergirl in time to catch up with actual UK transmission. The Flash is stepping up Caitlin’s storyline, giving her an actual subplot as she goes to visit her estranged scientist mother in search for guidance on her newfound powers. This is totally fine in principle – and Earth-Two Killer Frost was a lot of fun – but, in practice, things seem slightly off. The end of the previous episode is (at least for The Flash) fairly subtle when it comes to representing how Caitlin’s abilities are getting out of her control (she turns a shower to freezing without noticing, inadvertently turning a streak of hair white and her lips blue, and is horrified when she discovers the changes). This week, though, all of a sudden she’s trying to freeze a guy to death and doesn’t really seem that surprised when she snaps out of it. I’ve always had a bit of a problem trying to relate to Caitlin – she does work a lot better when she has people to bounce off – but come on, she seems way too (pun intended) chill for someone who has just attempted to murder someone.

Fortunately, ‘Shade’, this week’s actual episode of The Flash, gave Caitlin a bit more of a chance to act – she has to interact with other people, for starters – which is one of the reasons why I liked it so much more. The main reason, though, is because it brought the Alchemy storyline closer to the central group – and that means that it’s basically time for Wally to get powers, right? Clearly my main emotion from the Alchemy trauma (and I mean, poor Wally – those are some bad times) should not be excitement, but I’m such a fan of that character that I just want him to get powers, dammit. Although, at this point, isn’t basically everyone in Team Flash a meta?

Supergirl’s ‘Crossfire’ is a good, fun episode, even if it’s – again – got at least a couple of incidents of in-your-face exposition which make my skin crawl (seriously, we can put some of this together ourselves). Bringing the Cadmus storyline back into play is probably a good thing, and the reveal about its leader at the end is wonderfully silly. Introducing Mon-El – now Mike – into the human world and the CatCo workplace lends itself to some stupid and brilliant comedy (for someone trying to introduce an alien seamlessly into the human world, Kara didn’t really think about the basics of office work – probs should have shown him how to use a phone first). I’m not entirely sure I like where Jimmy’s storyline looks to be going – it feels a bit Ray Palmer in Arrow series three for my tastes – but he hasn’t had enough to do recently, so I’ll go with it.

Then there’s Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life, which I’ve finally gotten around to (at the very least starting). The only problem is, ‘Winter’ takes a while to gel. However, the merciful arrivals of Emily – and a fantastic Emily/Lorelai kitchen argument, which is a scene to behold – and, shortly afterwards, Paris, herald a better show and it sinks back into its comfortable, warm groove. Luke’s still the greatest man in that show’s history, there’s a killer British actress cameo (I managed to avoid who it was and was ELATED), and there’s a new boyfriend for Rory who is just another sign of how Rory is the absolute worst. Seriously, Rory. That guy is SO NICE. I mean, he’s no Jess, but how does everyone forget him?!

It is also worth saying that I’ve watched ‘Election Night’ and ‘Process Stories’ from season four of The West Wing, which is the best non-two-parter two-parter of all. From Toby’s prank on Josh to winning New Hampshire, to all the rest. You’d think watching The West Wing now would be super depressing – I thought that initially, but in the end it’s just a vision of hopefulness and sanity which is actually quite nice to wallow in.

The only film I’ve seen this week is Zootropolis – and while I say ‘seen’, it was late and I fell asleep about half an hour in. Despite this, I saw enough to remember that even in a year with Kubo and the Two Strings, I think Zootropolis might be my favourite animated film of 2016 (bearing in mind that I haven’t seen Moana yet). I’m big on the ‘anyone can be anything’ moral, the animation is STUNNING, and I love all of the characters so much. It’s a gorgeous film, and worth watching if you haven’t seen it already.

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