Titans – Season 1

I spent my day off watching the first season of DC’s Titans on HBOMax. This was the series that tempted me to purchase DC Universe streaming channel but I held out when I heard they were bringing all the DC shows to HBOMax when they created the service.

Titans is an adult and live-action version of the animated series, Teen Titans, with Dick Greyson as the lead character. In season one, we find that Dick has left Gotham for Detroit as he is trying to distance himself from Bruce Wayne/Batman.

Quickly we are introduced to another handful of DC characters that will eventually make up the Titans. We have Starfire, Raven, Gar, Dove, and Hawk. Others we meet along the way is The Doom Patrol, Donna Troy, Jason Todd (the new Robin), and our villains. Even during the finale, we get a little Batman and Joker action.

Season one is more of an introduction of characters and some backstory, but not a lot. We get glimpses of who the characters are but the story arc revolves around Raven (Rachel Roth) and stopping a lot of people from killing her. It takes all season to find out why people want her dead and season two will be that reason.

DC and Warner Brothers really didn’t skimp on the quality of writing or special effects. While I think the acting could have been better, that is what you get with a lot of unknowns. Ultimately, the first season has caught my attention and I am ready to watch season two. I was able to finish the first in one sitting.

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist – Season 2

Season 2 of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist dropped this weekend and while I am sad to see it end, I am kind of glad about it.

Last season, something happened in Zoey’s world that allowed her to hear people’s innermost thoughts through song and dance. What a genius show and what a fun show. I loved everything about it and could not wait for a new episode.

Besides the fun of the music, Lauren Graham was on the show and that made me super happy. At the end of season 1, we lose that. We also lose the fun of the romance as Zoey falls for a co-worker at the same time her best friend falls for her because in Season 2, Zoey hooks up with Max. Then breaks up with Max. Hooks up with Simon. Then breaks up with Simon. This off and on became very tiresome, very quickly.

It was different when she couldn’t decide but Zoey became too moody and melancholy throughout the entire season, you wondered how she still had friends.

I don’t know who I am rooting for Max or Simon; and at one point during the season, I wanted all of them to just quit and give up. Maybe the season finale redeemed itself. If you have not watched the season and hate spoilers, stop right now…

Because at the finale, Zoey chose Max and for the spinner… Max can hear her innermost thoughts via song. It might make season 3 a little more interesting.

The Handmaid’s Tale – Season 1

After watching Mad Men, I wanted to watch The Handmaid’s Tale because of Elisabeth Moss. We watched it as it originally aired but recently went back to watch it with the announcement of season 4. When we originally watched, we only made it through season 2 so we are a little behind.

In season one, parts of the United States were taken over by a religious cult that embodies the life before woman’s lib. Men controlled everything; women could not do anything. And this new country has an odd hierarchy or social classes to it. You have commanders, their wives, the handmaids, and the Aunts.

While the show’s first season does not get into detail about how this actually happened, the show begins already in progress. Flashbacks of Offred (Elisabeth Moss) show how she comes into the program of being a handmaid, which is a surrogate for the infertile wives of the commanders. Handmaids are essentially raped by the commanders because they were enslaved to the job from the old country.

The first season really gets into detail on the rituals of the handmaids and the story of June Osborne and her life as a handmaid. The watch can be pretty grueling and at times the torture is a little hard to watch. Even for me, it was hard to watch at times. The second go-around, I am tougher and can tolerate it.

Elisabeth Moss is excellent at her role and deserved every award she won for this season. We are on to season two now. We’ll discuss more later.

Allen v. Farrow (The Mini-Series)

This was not on my agenda to watch. Elisabeth turned on the first episode of the 4 part mini-series and I just happened to sit down on the sofa tired of writing as it began. Anyone who knows movies, knows Woody Allen and Mia Farrow. They are staples in the film world and over the past decades have created movies that you either loved, or hated, or we’re indifferent to. Just because you watch movies, doesn’t mean your are invested into the personal lives of the people behind the movies.

While I did know about the Woody Allen and Soon-Yi debacle, the story that shocked me was that of Dylan Farrow, Mia’s daughter and Woody’s adopted daughter. This docu-series took a look at the controversy and accusations of Mia/Dylan against Woody for sexual molesting and assaulting Dylan as a child around the age of seven. WOW! I didn’t even know any of it took place. I am not a news person. I don’t follow personal lives. So this entire situation was a shock to me.

During the series, interviews took place with Mia, Dylan, news reports, family members, and those close to the family. Each one of them having a say or recollection of the events that took place when Dylan was just a young girl. After watching the series, how can you not believe this happened. Even though Woody was found innocent and many of the steps he took to blackmail and blackball people. The evidence is and was there. Or you can chose to not. Your life, your choice.

I enjoyed the documentary, and normally I will when it is about people I know or have a connection with like these two high profile celebrities. I have watched their films and know a little about them. Now I know a lot more. Everyone will always say there are three sides to a story. Obviously with this, there is Dylan’s (a seven year old, now an adult who has never changed her story once) and Woody’s (a powerful movie mogul who can manipulate those around him, and who has never changed his story either)… and then the third? What is it, if there is one.

By the end of the documentary, I came to the conclusion of a few things. 1) I didn’t know Dylan was so damn pretty as an adult. 2) I believe Dylan and 3)… This comes to part of the series that I found quite interesting. Many of the reporters and fellow actors finally stood up, especially during the #METOO movement stating they would never work with Woody or fans and reporters saying they will never watch a Woody Allen movie again. A reporter stated it well: If you boycott every artist that does something wrong, you won’t have art. No one is perfect and the part of their work is that “negative or wrong” makes the work good. This I agree with… Just not with Woody Allen.

My #3 is that I won’t watch a Woody Allen film again… not for what he did, which I believe he did… but because I don’t like his films or his art. I have seen quite of bit of his movies over the years, and I can say that I really don’t like any of them. They are not my type of film and I can say that I have no interest in any future work because his past work just wasn’t my jam. Just now, I have a sour taste in my mouth when I think about him and what he did.

I recommend this series to anyone who is into film, movies, and pop culture should watch this film.

Menudo – Subete A Mi Moto (Episodes 1-3)

So here we are… 3 episodes into the Menudo television series, SUBETE A MI MOTO, which documents Edgardo Diaz’s recount of the group’s history. Remember, this is Edgardo’s version of the group and not actually complete reality.

The series was produced by Amazon, but it has yet to be released on Amazon in the US. It is only available in Latin American countries via Amazon. Right now, the series was picked up by Estrella TV in the US and can be seen over broadcast television at the moment, which is how I am viewing the show.

Official photo of the series – Note that during his time in the group, Sergio never went by Blass.

Over the first three episodes, I have found myself yelling at the screen – probably just like Rene Farrait did when he watched it complaining about how incorrect this series is. My reasons and Rene’s reasons are completely different but when you have members of the group stating how the facts are twisted, you know there is something seriously wrong with this picture.

I still have Menudo fan friends, and some of them have stopped watching while others are still remaining silent. As a loyal Menudo fan, and probably not a die-hard as some still are, I find offense just in the lack of accuracy with looks, timelines, names, etc… Even with the official banner that they released, there is a factual error. Look above at the back of the jackets. Sergio Gonzales never took the last name as BLASS until after Menudo and they never called anyone by their last names either. Just looking at this pisses me off.

The story begins at the beginning. Edgardo is working with La Pandilla and he comes up with the idea of Menudo and keeping them young. That information could be very true. Here they are doing fun things and all of the sudden Edgardo wants to replace Nefty. I can see the members no believing that it would ever happen but it did. There are going to be moments before popularity that we can not verify unless we begin interviewing everyone.

Things I have noticed that might not be so earth shattering, but here they are so far:

  1. The group always performed with the tallest on one side and the shortest on the other. Throughout these first 3 episodes, they have ignored this fact making the group’s performances look so comical.
  2. The wigs that they are using for the boys are just horrible. You can barely tell who they are supposed to be representing.
  3. If Ricky Martin auditioned for the first time in 1980, he would have been 8-9 years old. They clearly had a boy auditioning that was a teenager. We do know that Ricky auditioned various times, but I don’t believe it was that early.
  4. In 1981 when the group went to Venezuela and got attacked by the fans, they are shown in the hotel waiting to transfer to a different hotel. Behind the boys is a television running scenes of fans. One of the fans is holding up a poster of Evolucion, which was released in 1984.
  5. Still in 1981, Ricky Melendez grew so much that he became taller than Xavier. In the top photo on this page, Ricky is clearly the shortest member and pretty much remained the shortest member during this time in the group. They have made Xavier the shortest on the show.
  6. Outfits have been a little off based on when they wore them and the albums they are promoting.
  7. If they are going in order, some of the songs they are singing, recording, and promoting tend to be a bit off too. Like singing Claridad when they have not even recorded it. There are 2 albums before that became a hit.
Ricky Melendez (with braces) depicted on the series is shown to be taller than Johnny, Xavier, and Miguel. This is inaccurate.

Since the series has been released, various members have come on the record to state how inaccurate the series is. Member such as Rene Farrait (who was on of the group’s most popular members), Ray Reyes, Roy Rossello, Jonathon Montenegro, and Angelo Garcia, have all said that the story was nothing like reality.

On the other hand, MDO members (Abel, Didier, and Alexis) have defended Edgardo, stating that they were never abused and they were aware of the long hours of work it took to be part of a popular group such as Menudo.

I don’t think we will ever really get a true story of Menudo because their are going to be over 30 stories, each one wrong or biased. For now, we continue on with the show and see where it goes from here. According to episode summaries, we will have a lot of jumping around. I think that Edgardo just can’t wait to get to Ricky Martin.

Luis Miguel La Serie (Episodes 1-5)

The world is watching Luis Miguel La Serie and no wonder. Any Latin pop music fan has a stake in this series as Luis Miguel plays an important part in Mexico’s musical history. From the moment Luis Miguel stepped on stage at XEW where they filmed Siempre En Domingo in 1982, everyone knew he was going to be someone.

And when I say the world is watching, I mean it. Not only fans of Luis Miguel but even celebrities are watching the life of Luis Miguel play out. Only the close inner circle knew about what he had to go through to make it to the top, but now everyone is finding out. It means a lot when even the real Luis Miguel has authorized this part of his life to be exposed.

This morning, I binged watched the first five episodes via Telemundo On Demand and hope to get through the next five episodes tomorrow for another article post. First of all, I am seriously impressed with Diego Boneta’s interpretation of the star in Luis Miguel La Serie. Nine times out of ten I lose myself and see Luis Miguel the other time I am marveling in Diego’s performance. To know that Diego recorded all the songs and went through a year-long transformation into the role shows a true dedication and commitment to the show.

Growing up watching the entertainment shows like the ones shown in the first five episodes helped to paint a picture. Siempre En Domingo with Raul Velasco, El Mundo Del Espectaculos with Paty Chapoy, and Video Exitos with Gloria Calzada were featured during this group of episodes.

Though it is hard not speaking Spanish to follow along with everything that is being said, I am following along. There are certain moments where there are just a conversation and no real action happening that I suffer. It is a disservice that Telemundo didn’t take the opportunity to English subtitle the show. Luis Miguel’s popularity goes way beyond the Spanish-speaking community that they are losing prime market shares by excluding the rest of the world.

Timbiriche and Luis De Llano’s moment in Luis Miguel La Serie

As a fan of Latin pop, it is fun to follow along and see the connection between him and my favorite artists. In 1982, Luis Miguel’s mother created the wardrobe for Timbiriche for their first performance. Jump ahead and Luis Miguel’s dad is trying to set his son up with Ex-Timbiriche member, Sasha Sokol.

We also got to see Yuri during her wedding with Fernando Iriarte where Luis Miguel first announces his relationship with Mariana Yasbek. And it is during this scene that we get to see where Stephanie Salas (who is being called Sophi, in the series). As many people know, Stephanie and Luis Miguel gave birth to a daughter in 1989. This would mean the baby conceived in November 1988. My problem with shows like this is that I am trying to blow holes in dates based on real events. Yuri and Fernando’s wedding was January 20, 1988. Within this time frame of events on the series, Luis Miguel and Stephanie Salas got together shortly after this time. Now unless we see more of Stephanie in the series, they let on that it was a one-time affair and the timeline is off by ten months.

Now all of this was taking place while Luis Miguel was recording the album, Busca Una Mujer. The series portrays that the song “Cupable O No” was his break-up track to Mariana. I am sure that going forward we will continue to see Luis Miguel romance tally card fill up since after this point per the media, Luis Miguel became a player.

The first five episodes of Luis Miguel La Serie are only the beginning but they show so much. Within the show, we jump between two time periods. The main source material comes during 1987-1988, which is where the strong relationship with Mariana is discussed, but it is also the era of when he separates from his father as he comes of age. During this time, Luis Miguel and his brother begin to realize that their mother has disappeared. If you don’t know much about Luis Miguel’s history, this is a mystery to you. Keep watching.

The second era is 1981-1982. This is when Luisito Rey (Luis Miguel’s father) is trying to be a musician but finds that his meal ticket is going to be his son. During this era, we find how his career begins and what it took for him to get his record deal and television breaks. We also see the beginning of the estrangement between Luis Miguel’s parents.

If this wasn’t real life, we would be sitting at the edge of our seats waiting to find out what happens next, but we know. What we don’t know is that inner circle and behind the scenes moments that brought us to the next moments of history.

Luis Miguel La Serie has kept me glued even though there is a language barrier. Let’s hope Telemundo breaks it with season two. The series got greenlit for a second go around.

Ricky Martin’s bloody entrance on “The Assassination of Gianni Versace”

The expected release on the second season of American Crime Story began this week and featured Latin pop sensation, Ricky Martin. With season two, the story focuses on Gianni Versace and the serial killer, Andrew Cunanan, who killed Versace in cold blood along with four others during a three-month spree.

Ricky Martin plays Antonio D’Amico, Versace’s lover of fifteen years. Fans of Ricky have been waiting to see him on the small screen again after quite a while. While Ricky had a small guest role in the TV show, Glee; it has been since the mid-nineties, since he has been a regular on a television show. Ricky is a performer, so being on stage is something that he portrays comfortably. But the stage is so different from television and his overplayed emotions and facial expressions that would be perceived as normal in front of a crowd on stage comes off forced in the emotional scenes that make up the first episode.

While Ricky makes his appearance early on, it isn’t until Cunanan shot Versace do we see Ricky come out on the steps of the Versace mansion and the overacting kicks in. It continues while the police question him about his relationship with Versace. Maybe he was trying to portray “shocked” but I know that if I was in his position, I would have been at the hospital and not sitting down with police. Again, I felt that the situation was far-fetched and overplayed. Even Penelope Cruz’s portrayal of Donatella Versace seemed forced, yet I know little about her personally to know if the portrayal is off.

But fans are happy, and so am I. It is great to see Ricky continuing to get recognition and a role in such a prominent television show that is shown all over the world. Following Ricky since Menudo, it is always nice to see him succeed and maybe one day, I won’t look at him as 12-year-old Little Ricky…but as a Menudo fan, I doubt it.

Ex-RBD, Alfonso Herrera takes on American TV in The Exorcist

After his time in the Mexican pop group, RBD, Alfonso Herrera (or also known as Poncho) dedicated his career to acting instead of music like his fellow bandmates. This fall season, Fox TV premiered a reboot of the popular horror movie The Exorcist (1973) for television. Alfonso was cast in the title role of Father Tomas Ortega. This is a huge break for the Mexican actor. It is possible that this show will open the door to a new world for him.

The television series began just two weeks ago but didn’t come bursting out of the gates with the ratings they network hoped. The second week’s numbers were slightly better. I hope that the numbers continue to climb to keep the show going.

The series is off to a slow start as we find out a lot of backstories of the characters. Alfonso, being the main character, has a lot of screen time for RBD fans. His character is approached by the mother of the Rance family, played by Geena Davis. She thinks her older daughter is possessed due to the fact that she is a loner and won’t come out of her room. In the first episode, Father Tomas (Herrera) finds out that the child that is possessed is the younger daughter. Because of this, he seeks out Father Marcus (Ben Daniels) for guidance in performing an exorcism.

Within the second episode, Father Marcus discovers that the demon is possessing more than one person in the town where Father Tomas’s church is located.

For horror fans, that this television show is geared to, the show might be a little too slow. Depending on how they progress in the show, it might take many episodes before they get to a full-on possession. The premise of the film doesn’t seem like it will translate to television easily. The film was considered one of the scariest films of the 70’s. Based on the theme, I feel that the show would have been better off on FX or a cable network that has a little more freedom. Primetime television on a public network won’t allow what is needed to even come close to what the film was able to give.

It already showed in the second episode when the young possessed girl was “feeling herself up” and it basically only shows her hugged herself. A scene like this, one could tell that it was toned down for primetime.

Alfonso Herrera does a great a Father Tomas and I am so glad that his career as an actor allowed him the recognition to grab such a prominent role. I have high hopes for the show and am rooting for success so we can see more of Alfonso each week.