'Puzzle' is Well Made, but a Few Pieces are Missing

Based on the film Rompecabezas, Puzzle is one of those little-known independent films that sneaks into theaters with little to no fanfare, although the fact that it is being promoted “from the producer of Little Miss Sunshine” should help it get noticed somewhat. Puzzle is a quiet, little film about a woman who discovers that jigsaw puzzles are the key to changing her life. While the subject matter doesn’t sound all that exciting, the film really isn’t about puzzles but instead about one finding their voice, or so it appears. It’s also a message film that has its own agenda expecting the audience to agree with the choices of the main character and applaud her “brave” behavior. Frankly, it just feels manipulative.

Directed by Marc Turtletaub, Puzzle’s most impactful scene comes within the first few minutes. We see Agnes (Kelly MacDonald) cleaning up the house and they decorating it for a birthday party. Then we see her serving appetizers while being ignored by the guests. …

Superhero Invasion on TV

The live action Adventures of Superman ran on TV from 1952 to 1958. The silly over-the-top Batman came on the scene from from 1966-1968. Wonder Woman hit the airwaves from 1975-1979. Over the year, superhero-based TV series have come and gone on TV with usually only one show per season and on only one network. But that was then.

There is a slew of comic book heroes on TV today.
(Top: iZombie (CW), Arrow (CW), Wonder Woman, Center: The Flash (CW), Batman, Supergirl (CBS),
Bottom: The Adventures of Superman, Agent Carter (ABC), Daredevil (Netflix)

Today, every channel has to have at least one superhero show. For some networks, the more, the merrier. The comic book/superhero genre has proven to be very lucrative in recent years and some shows have shown up in surprising places like AMC. Case in point: The Walking Dead has been a huge hit, but I wonder how many fans have been aware that the series is based on a comic book. The show has been so popular, that AMC recently announced that the network is developing a spin-off series. 

It's kind of ironic that we no longer have Saturday morning cartoons on the traditional TV networks, but this fall/spring, we can expect to see at least 14 live action comic book series airing on the follow networks: 

For years, the CW network has hardly made a dent into the ratings of other networks, but that changed after they started airing shows like Arrow, The Flash and the new hit iZombie. Next year we'll be introduced to the DC's Legends of Tomorrow which will feature characters from both Arrow and The Flash including White Canary, Captain Cold, Heat Wave, the Atom, Firestorm and more. 

After a short but successful run on Netflix, the violent Marvel TV show Daredevil has been greenlit for a second season. Netflix also has three other Marvel-based TV shows in works, based of more obscure comic books: aka Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Ironfist

Though ABC had made plans for a spin-off of Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, it appears that the network has scrapped those plans. Instead, fans will have to make due with another season of both SHIELD and Agent Carter

FOX has had great success with Gotham, a Batman-themed show without Batman, which is a feat in itself. They had planned to add the comic book Lucifer but scrapped those plans. It is probably just as well. 

NBC hasn't had much luck in this genre as of late. NBC first tried their own comic book-type of show, The Cape (which was NOT based on a real comic book) in 2011. It did miserable in the ratings and was canceled. This last year they tried out DC's Constantine, but it too failed. A few years ago they did a fail job with another made up comic book-type show, Heroes, but fans felt that the network messed up the show after the first season. This fall, they have a chance to redeem themselves with the reboot, Heroes Reborn

CBS has been late to the costume party and has finally made plans to air a new superhero show this fall in the form of Supergirl.


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