They might not be raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens, but that doesn’t mean that we love them any less. Welcome back to My Favorite Things, a weekly column where we gab about the greatest in geek. This week we’re highlighting an addictive (and at times adorable) new RPG, a promising comic book continuation of a beloved television show, a comedic sci-fi series with wonderful characters, and plenty of love for two shows on The CW. Also, our new columnist Barbara makes her Speculative Chic debut! Read on for more.
Keyes’ Favorite Thing is… Persona 5!
Truly the first half of 2017 has been an embarrassment of riches when it comes to video games. I have, in the past two months, played three games which would have easily been the best game I played all year in any other year, and we’re not getting into the games I understand are fantastic (or are by all reports my particular brand of zany) that have come out in 2017 that I haven’t gotten yet like Horizon Zero Dawn, or Yakuza 0. Since Tuesday, and for the foreseeable future, all of the other awesome gaming has been shelved so that I can be a Phantom Thief of Hearts and take orders from a mind-meltingly adorable cartoon cat. I can’t even get into the reasons I think this game is amazing without devolving into a squeeing fangirl and then running around with my ultimate Steal Your Heart edition Morgana plushie cupped between my hands like a precious, precious thing and gibbering hysterically about its tiny adorable catness with the BIG EYES AND ITS LITTLE MASK AND AND AND (ahem). Persona 5 continues the series trend of having an amazing acid jazz soundtrack, striking comic book inspired visuals, and letting you live your ultimate fantasy of attending a Japanese high school by day while beating up monsters-which-are-actually-a-reflection-of-the-collective-human-subconcious in a different layer of reality at night. Or maybe that’s just my fantasy. I don’t know. This game will also teach you how to make an excellent cup of coffee and will teach you important life lessons, like how goths can be doctors too. Just go play it and prove that turn-based RPGs aren’t dead, okay?
Nancy’s Favorite Thing is… Prometheus!
Spoiler Warning for Season 5 of Arrow
From the time traveling Legends of Tomorrow, to the alien heavy Supergirl, and the angst-ridden Flash, I am a dedicated watcher of the DC Television Universe. But lately, the show that’s been catching my eye the most is the one that started it all, Arrow. And the reason why has a lot to do with this season’s big bad, Prometheus.
For most of season five, I didn’t have that strong of an opinion on Prometheus. He was just some masked guy causing chaos in the background while the show focused on the other storylines (establishing Oliver as Mayor, building the new Team Arrow, etc). Then, everything changed when Prometheus was unmasked and we learned the District Attorney Adrian Chase was not moonlighting as the aptly named Vigilante, but as Prometheus himself.
Josh Serra, who plays Prometheus, has certainly upped his acting game since being unmasked. Just as much of a threat psychologically as he is physically, Serra plays Prometheus with a wonderful mix of amused arrogance, brutal intensity, and just a touch of madness. So far, he has proven to be more than a match for Oliver and his team. Even when they manage to surprise them, he has figured out how to turn the situation to his advantage, time and time again. With five episodes left in the season, I look forward to seeing what curve balls Adrian will throw at Oliver and his team next. I can already tell that Prometheus will go down as one of Arrow’s greatest villains.
Casey’s Favorite Thing is… iZombie!
The CW adaptation of iZombie is my current favorite thing. Spouse and I binged our way through season 2 on Netflix in approximately a week and a half. It’s got everything that I loved from the show’s spiritual big sister, Veronica Mars (snappy dialogue, smart and capable heroine, snarky blond guy, and mysteries), with the added element of articulate, self-aware zombies. The zombies who populate the iZombie universe are not the shambling monstrosities from The Walking Dead or any of Romero’s masterpieces. They aren’t even the sprinting horrors from World War Z or 28 Days Later. They are, if it could be said, just your average citizens, who just happen to require a small amount of human brains in order to maintain their own humanity. They don’t even need to acquire said brains on the hoof. No, these zombies, especially our heroine Liv Moore (and it took me a full TWO YEARS to catch that pun…I’m not proud), consume their brains via a variety of creative and (dare I say) tasty-looking dishes. Liv has cooked everything from nachos to homemade energy bars with the “special ingredient.” As for the special ingredient, it offers an additional “perk” alongside the sanity-maintaining nutrition that a growing zombie needs: when said zombie consumes a bit of brain-nacho (or spaghetti, or omelette), they acquire certain personality aspects from the brain’s former owner. They even experience flashbacks to that person’s life. Liv uses these flashbacks to fight crime. Many kudos to actress Rose McIver for mastering Liv’s personality changes every few episodes. We’ve seen Liv as a frat boy, a mercenary, an erotic author, country singer, basketball star, and a social-media obsessed “tastemaker,” to name just a few, and McIver has nailed them all. Highly recommended!
Sharon’s Favorite Thing is… Penny Dreadful: The Awakening!
Spoiler Warning for Penny Dreadful
Did you love Penny Dreadful as much as I did? Did you mourn the death of Vanessa Ives, and worry for all the characters she left behind to deal with the demimonde on their own? Yep, me too. Well something’s finally come along to fill the void — Penny Dreadful graphic novels. Not the (sorry, I have to say it) dreadful prequel that came out in 2016, with its over-stylized and inconsistent artwork, and its mangling of characters from Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
Nope, I talking about the recently released Penny Dreadful: The Awakening, set not in the prequel or within the timeline of the show, but beginning six months after Vanessa’s death. Written by Chris King and penned by illustration team Hervas, Wordle, and Mooney, The Awakening is a continuation of the Penny Dreadful story. It opens with a guilt-ridden Ethan, who turns to Dr. Seward for help in controlling his werewolf incarnation through hypnosis. He’s also convinced that Vanessa is haunting him. Meanwhile, in Egypt, Sir Lyle (my favorite character from the series) is making good on his last-season promise — he’s hunting for antiquities with a very skeevy Duke, who seems to have his own demimonde agenda.
The first in a six-comic series, Awakening 2.1 also features Sir Malcolm, Dr. Seward, Miss Hartdegen, and a tantalizing glimpse of Lily. Fingers crossed that as the series progresses, we’ll get to see Dorian, Victor, Dr. Jekyll, and the Creature, too. The stakes in 2.1 get high very fast and I can only hope that the comic can make good on that promise.
And if you didn’t have enough reason to check out The Awakening, know this: we also get the introduction of a new character — a monster from the classic horror canon. Woot!
Currently only available on Kindle and ComiXology, the second and third installments drop in May and June, respectively.
Barbara’s Favorite Thing is… People of Earth!
I recently fell in love with People of Earth, a quirky ensemble comedy in which skeptical journalist Ozzie Graham (Wyatt Cenac) becomes involved with an alien abductee support group. Given the premise, it would be easy to aim for cheap laughs at the expense of the characters, but the show achieves the kind of balance I loved about the movie Galaxy Quest — it finds humor in its oddball characters and their situations without looking down on them. They all get a chance to shine, human and alien alike. I’m particularly fond of the alien Jeff (it’s hard not to relate to his perpetual annoyance with his co-workers) and Ozzie’s talking deer hallucinations. The first season aired on TBS back in the fall, but is currently available through Amazon Video. I highly recommend checking it out before it returns for its second season later this year.
Any thoughts on the selection above? Let us know in the comments.