Pandragon Dan

Pandragon Dan

Author/Reviewer/Blogger

Top Five Shows That Deserve More Credit

DISCLAIMER: This Blog contains spoilers and some adult content.

 

There are good TV shows and there are TV shows. There are TV shows that make you cry, TV shows that make you laugh, TV shows that make you warm inside... hold on, have I just cut and pasted the into to my last blog?

 

Ahem.

 

Anyway, what I was gonna say is that occasionally, there is a TV show that comes out that is good – but I don’t think people appreciate HOW good it is. By the same token, it could be a show that is reviled by TV audiences and critics, but I actually consider it to be an underrated masterpiece. And then of course there are those shows that are good, but just overlooked due to any number of reasons.

 

So today, I’m looking the Top Five shows that in my opinion, usually get overlooked and not really appreciated for the gems that they are. These are the shows that I feel don’t get the credit they truly deserve, despite the fan following. So here are my Top Five TV Shows That Deserve More Credit. These shows aren't necessarily "underrated" as such, I just think that they deserve a little more praise than they actually get.

 

As always, this is in no particular order and just my opinion.

 

 

 

 

1. Spartacus

 

This encompasses the series from Blood and Sand, Vengeance, War of the Damned and the prequel series Gods of the Arena . This series is a stylised retelling of the Third Servile War, the famous slave revolt lead by a gladiator named Spartacus. Filmed in a similar way to 300, the show involves bright colours, tons and tons of blood and of course, boobs. And plenty of cocks as well.

 

Ahem...

 

So on the surface it seems like nothing but an excuse to have half naked (and sometimes completely naked) characters bathe in blood. And yeah that’s pretty much all this show is.  And I love it!

 

Normally I tend to stay away from shows that tend to place violence over story, but for this show I’ll make an exception. Why? Because it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It knows exactly what it is and doesn’t try to be anything else. Here’s something else that I think people tend to overlook. Remember that the major theme of this show (at least in the first and prequel series) is the idea of the gladiatorial games. These games were created for the purpose of appeasing the crowds and appealing to their violent side, in the same way that Wrestling or Boxing is kind a way for people to vent their desire for violence, the same with action movies. Ergo, this show is basically “giving the audience what it wants”, and that in itself makes it a subtly clever show. Though I must admit even I get pissed off with the amount of Zach Snyder “Slow Down and Speed Up” it uses.

 

It also has a pretty cool cast as well, including guest stars Lucy Lawless of Xena fame (awesome) and Craig Parker who you may remember as Haldir from Lord of the Rings. And John Hannah as Batiatus is always a joy to watch. Just hearing his colour choice of words is chuckle worthy, especially when he says “Jupiter’s Cock”. Interestingly enough, a lot of these actors have since moved over to Arrow, Manu Bennett (Crixus) playing Slade Wilson and Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Naevia) playing Amanda Waller as two examples.

 

It’s also worth mentioning the tragic passing of Andy Whitfield, who played Spartacus in the first series. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and sadly passed away, causing his role to be taken over by Liam Macintyre. Any death is tragic and this is no exception, especially for one so young. It was nice they did a tribute to him at the end of the last episode.

 

So all in all, this series is an entertaining one and something that you can just shut your brain off to enjoy. It doesn’t take itself seriously and neither should you. Whether you want to see sexy ladies or hunky guys, this show has you covered. What more can you possibly ask for?

 

 

 

 

2. The Musketeers

 

A retelling of the classic tale of The Three Muskerteers, I must admit I didn’t expect to enjoy this nearly as much as I did. And judging by the reviews this show has got over time, neither did the critics.

 

This BBC show follows the story of the adventures of Porthos, Athos, Aramis (played by Santiago Cabrera – whom you may remember as Isaac from Heroes) and D’Artagnan as they serve a pouty King Louis and fight many different enemies and face pretty tough situations. Throw in a subplot about Milady, a femme fatale that is seeking revenge against her former lover Athos and you got a recipe for a pretty decent show, right?

 

Actually, yes you have!

 

Like Spartacus this show doesn’t always take itself seriously and it isn’t afraid to have fun with the plot. But don’t be deceived – this show can get REALLY dark sometimes. I’ve actually been quite shocked at how adult the themes get at times. And because the show is usually light hearted, it makes the dark themes that much more prevalent and this is the reason why I feel it’s a better show than people give it credit to be. It has that perfect balance of humour and darkness – same as The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

 

The characters are also nicely put together and the Musketeers themselves are suave, honourable, funny and pretty badass (D’Artagnan obviously being the one that the fangirls cheer on). Some complain about the way the females seem to portrayed as secondary characters, but I think they have a lot of strength to them as well.

 

But here is somewhere that The Musketeers succeed where a lot of shows don’t. In one episode, it featured a subplot of a family looking for their missing husband. In the main plot, D’Artagnan and the King had been captured by a slave trader group, of which one of the slaves was the missing husband. He unfortunately gets killed (you DID read the spoiler warning at the beginning, right?) and at the end, D’Artagnan goes to tell the family about his fate, saying how brave he was. I actually felt really sorry for the family and, as did the rest of my family watching the episode, teared up. That is REALLY good writing if you can be made to care for characters that weren’t really important to the overall plot.

 

And for you Whovians out there, this was the last thing Peter Capaldi did before Doctor Who, playing the villainous Cardinal. Though, between you and me, I actually prefer him in this show. And that’s not to say I have anything against him in Doctor Who, there’s just something about him playing a villain that is more entertaining to watch. People thought the show would lose steam without him, but in actual fact it’s still going from strength to strength.

 

Oh and on a side note, Tom Burke who plays Athos is from Faversham, which is from my county of Kent. So it has a local boy in the cast. Big up the Kentish lads!

 

I highly recommend this show if you want something that’s entertaining, but also offering something a little darker than standard family shows.

 

 

 

 

3. Toast of London

 

Of all the shows that me and my brother have watched, this is the one show that we have quoted from the most. So much so that I’m considering legally changing my name to Clemfandango!

 

Toast of London stars the wonderful Matt Berry, who I think is just one of the coolest actors from the UK at the moment – and one with the deepest voice. In this he stars as Stephen Toast, a washed-up actor who, in the first series, starred in a critically panned play and was desperate to do more high calibre stuff. In that respect it’s kinda similar to the show Extras.

 

Unfortunately, Toast’s progress is hampered by his somewhat useless agent, his arch nemesis Ray Purchase (a much more respected actor) and his own ineptitude. It’s somewhat of a parody of the whole “out of work” actor idea. Having done some work in acting myself, I appreciate a lot of the humour in this show as I have met a few people like the characters in Toast of London.

 

I think what puts off a lot of people about this show is the rather obscure humour, which sometimes makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. One example of this was in the first episode where a plastic surgery is sabotaged for one character, making her look like Bruce Forstythe from Strictly Come Dancing fame (don’t ask). Occasionally it breaks into song for no reason other than the plot says so – and there is also a very strange episode where, in order for Toast to get a certain part in a film, he has to become a Freemason and enters into a “backdoor” way to get the role.

 

All of this adds up to create a very strange and off-the-wall kinda show. But you know what, I love it. It’s unique and, most importantly, very funny. And at the end of the day, isn’t that what a comedy has to be?

 

Oh and another treat for you Whovians, Peter Davidson guests stars on the show occassionally.

 

And in case some of you may think this comedy is a purely “British” affair, I have heard that it has a very strong cult following in the US. One of its biggest fans is John Hamm from Mad Men fame. Considering he’s in one of the most critically acclaimed shows of all time, that’s a pretty good compliment to the show if you ask me.

 

 

 
 

4. Full English

 

Chances are, many of you may not have even heard of this show, let alone seen it. With good reason, it was cancelled before it even finished the first series. This was due to overwhelmingly negative reviews and quite possibly because people weren’t happy with the subject matter.

 

Full English was UK’s answer to Family Guy (which many reviews considered Full English to be a shameless rip off) and featured a dysfunctional family (the father of which was voiced by Richard Ayoade, one of the funniest people in the UK in my opinion) going on all manner of “misadventures”. One such adventure of note was the son, Dusty, getting bitten by a squirrel and believing it gave him superpowers (like Spider-Man), when all it did was given him diseases! And then of course there was Squidge, the invisible friend of the Father-In-Law who was basically like a Teletubby mixed with a sociopathic killer.

 

Intercut with this was many storylines poking fun at various celebrities, everyone from Derren Brown to David Cameron. The only problem with this was that unlike The Simpsons or Family Guy there was no real subtly to it. In fact, some of the jokes aimed at the celebrities were really low-brow and, dare I say it, downright offensive. One such joke involved the teenage goth daughter using a séance to speak to famous females across time – two of which were Jade Goody and Princess Diana, something that you don’t really joke about given how they died. I’m not sure if this was a contributing factor to its cancellation, but it couldn’t have helped the show.

 

So as you can tell from my earlier comments, it wasn’t a popular show. And it was pretty crude compared to a lot of comedies out there. So why do I recommend this show?

 

Because I am probably one of the few who saw merit. Very few shows made me laugh my ass off more than Full English and I actually liked the characters. Also the jokes weren’t that offensive really, they were so over the top you couldn’t take it seriously. Personally,  in this ultra PC world, I think we need more shows like this to push the boat out as it were.

 

I’m not sure if it was ever released on DVD and to my knowledge it has never been repeated. You can probably find some episodes online if you look carefully, but I haven’t really found any as of this message. Full English is one of those love it or hate series and most people seem to hate it. But if you want something that isn’t afraid to stir things up, this might be worth a watch.

 

 

 

 

5. Utopia

 

Another show that was criminally cancelled before it’s time – but a show that was absolutely fantastic in every regards.

 

Utopia is a dark thriller based around a conspiracy to “save” the human race. It follows a group of people that read a graphic novel called The Utopia Experiments, which apparently shows all the greatest disasters to happen in the world. When a missing manuscript turns up, the group are soon hunted by assassins working for a very powerful company called The Network, who are planning something big. And they are prepared to do anything to keep it from being leaked – even kill.

 

The show is stylised and has a range of brilliant colours that almost leap off the screen (making it almost like a comic book, ironically enough). The soundtrack is some of the best I’ve heard, ranging from electronic atmospheric sounds to intense dubstep music. The main protagonists aren’t your usually “Super Spies” or “Tough Cops” that you get in thrillers – they are real people that have real jobs and real life worries. It adds a layer of realism to the show and you genuinely fear for them as they are hunted by the company as they try to silence them.

 

I think my favourite character is RB (Raisin Boy) who is one of the assassins after the group. He is a specialist assassin that is totally ruthless and seemingly lacking in empathy – but he does have a certain childlike naivety to him in some way. Once you learn his backstory, he becomes as sympathetic as the other characters – and I even found myself rooting for him in the second series. There is so much complexity to the characters that even the protagonists end up doing hateful things for their own survival.

 

The violence in the show is pretty horrific and sometimes hard to watch. One such scene (that caused a huge amount of complaints at the time of airing) involved RB going to a school and murdering many of the children. Considering this was around the same time as the school shootings in America, a lot of people found this hard to take. In Utopia’s defence, I found the scene harrowing to watch, but it was done with the intention of furthering the plot.

 

But what I find really chilling about this the plan of The Network. I mentioned that they had a plan to “save” humanity from extinction (major spoilers ahead here so I’m gonna write the next bit in italics. Skip to the end if you don’t wanna know).

 

***

What they believe is that the world is in danger of overpopulation and, as a result, the world will not be able to sustain it and they will run out of resources – leading to people fighting amongst themselves to survive. So as such, they propose a solution – Janus. This is a hidden chemical that they will hide in a vaccine to a Russian Flu epidemic that they will orchestrate. Within this cure, Janus hides a virus that will secretly make the vast majority of the world’s population infertile, thus leading to a gradual “culling” of the human race.

 

Is this not one of the coldest plans that you have ever heard? Just the very idea of it makes me shiver. Not only that, the show also created a number of “fake” websites and blogs that further adding to the conspiracy outside the show. This added a certain sense of realising and played on one of humanities biggest conspiracies. What if the governments ARE planning something? What if a large number of things that have happened been the result of government intervention? No other show has made me think like this.

***

 


With its cancellation, a large number of fans have rallied to try and get the show back on the air. And I hope that it does as Utopia had so much going for it, and the way it did end left me wanting more.

 

But then... what if it’s cancellation was part of a BIGGER scheme? Makes you think...

 

So anyway, those are my choices. What shows do YOU think don’t get the credit they deserve? Leave a comment below to let me know.

 

Thanks for reading guys and gals!

 

 

PANDRAGON DAN

 

Facebook:  LINK

Twitter:  LINK

Website:  LINK

 

All above pictures are copyright of their respective owners

Top Five Films That P*** Me Off

WARNING: This Blog contains spoilers, some adult content – and a LOT of ranting! All rage expressed in this blog must be taken with a pinch of salt.

 

 

There are good films and there are bad films. There are films that make you cry, films that make you laugh, films that make you warm inside, films that cheer you up, films that are incredibly badass and even films that are so bad they are good.

 

But then there is a rare type of film, for me anyway. A type of film that, for some reason or other – just REALLY pisses you off! Whether because everything about it is wrong, the overall message the film tries to convey is just infuriating, or just because the main characters are hateable in every way possible, there are movies that just make us want to rage.

 

And because I’ve been feeling a little bit peeved lately, I decided to put together my own list of films that, for any number of reasons, just really pissed me off! It wasn’t easy narrowing it down to 5 as there are a LOT of films I’ve seen that really got my hackles up. But I decided to go with films that made rage me the angriest. And today I bring to you, the Top Five Films That Pissed Me Off The Most!

 

Get your rage on folks – because like just like Goku, my rage is gonna be over 9000 by the end of this one!

 

 

 
 

First, some honourable mentions of films I couldn’t include in this list, but piss me off just the same.

 

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (because the main character is just so unlikeable and bratty), Napoleon Dynamite (again, because he’s unlikeable), The Wicker Man Remake (the reason why I despise remakes as a general rule), Lesbian Vampire Killers (what were Horne and Corden thinking?), Spider-Man 3 (the problems with this film could fill a whole blog on its own!) and Battlefield Earth (‘nuff said).

 

 

 

 

1. Fist of the North Star (Live Action)

 

Recently it was revealed that Ghost In the Shell was going to get a live action remake, with Scarlett Johansson in the title role. This has been met with mixed reactions from the Ghost of the Shell fanbase – and Anime fan base in general. Personally, I always am very suspicious when they do a live action remake of ANY Anime. The reason – this piece of garbage!

 

Fist of the North Star was one of the first Anime’s I saw – and to this day I still think it is one of the most badass stories out there! An ultra-violent cross between Mad Max and Return of the Dragon, it has enough blood and gore to fill an entire season of The Walking Dead. Sure, Kenshiro is stupidly overpowered – but he’s just so incredibly awesome! The guy can make you explode just by touching you – that’s pretty serious.

 

So I knew they could match up the same level of intensity that the Anime could. But they didn’t even TRY with this film! The special effects are cheap in every possible way, the acting is just so painful to watch that even Chris Penn and Malcolm McDowell (what were they thinking?) look uncomfortable – and they make serious errors with the narrative. Remember Shin? Kenshiro’s mortal enemy and master of Nanto Saiken, the most powerful martial artist next to Kenshiro? He kills Kenshiro’s master with a gun. A gun! *facepalm*.

 

But that’s only for starters. Remember Kenshiro’s attack Hokuto Hyakurestu Ken? The Hundred Crack Fist of the North Star? (or North Dipper Hundred Crack Fist if you want to get technical). They even manage to **** that up! They take one of the coolest moves from the Anime and... well, just see these comparisons for yourself and YOU decide which is cooler!

 

 

 

 

 

Oh and FYI, this bit is the ONLY instance where Kenshiro makes anyone explode when hitting them (not including a flashback scene). See? No consistency!

 

Overall this film is just bad and I think the fact that I know the original source material fairly well just heightens my anger. But in fairness this isn’t the ONLY instance of a franchise I really love being screwed over. Which leads me to...

 

 

 
 

2. Transformers

 

I just want to start off my mini “review” by saying this – go to hell Michael Bay!

 

I remember I got my brother this film on DVD for Christmas one year – and to this day he maintains it is the worst present I’ve ever got him. But I can’t say I blame him. This film, and even this particular franchise, is just putrid! I’ve only seen the first two films of this series and I have absolutely no desire to see the others!

 

Like a lot of kids from the 80's, Transformers were one of my favourite cartoons growing up – I mean robots that could transform into vehicles? What’s not to love about this film? But watching this film was like seeing Michael Bay sodomise my childhood! It took everything that was cool about Transformers and drained it until it became a shell of its former self. The Transformers themselves just had no personality, not like in the cartoon – and to be honest, they were hardly in the movie! Most of it was just aimed at the human characters – and they sucked!

 

Not only that, but the film was just so... very... slow... the plot moved at a snail’s pace and, when stuff finally happened, it was just too fast paced to keep up! And this actually brings me onto another reason why I hate this film – the way the Transformers just went around fighting Decepticons and destroying everything in the path, putting humans in danger. However, in the original cartoons, the Transformers had respect for the humans, and I even remember one instance where they even broke away from a fight to save some humans that had been put in danger. But here, they just blast the crap out of everything without any care for human safety. Our heroes ladies and gentlemen!

 

Strangely enough, the only real argument that people have when trying to defend this movie is, to my knowledge, “The special effects are cool”. Well, yeah, I’ll admit that, the special effects are pretty awesome. But that’s not a good thing if that’s the only thing you can say about this film. Special effects alone do NOT make a good film – of course they can help, but story and characters is what make a film enjoyable. And this film has none of the latter. The story is slow, boring and, in the second film, rife with plot holes and the characters have about as much personality as dry paint.

 

One more thing I want to mention that annoys me about this film. Despite getting Peter Cullen (who voiced Optimus Prime in the original cartoon) back in, when Frank Welker came into reprise his role as Megatron, Bay said his voice was too soft – which is utter crap as Frank Welker’s Megatron is creepy as hell. Yet, when they did the video game tie-in of Transformers, who did they get to voice Megatron? Frank Welker! If his voice was too weak for the films WHY did they get him to voice Megatron in the video game? I dunno, maybe Hugo Weaving wasn’t available.

 

I said it before and I’ll say it again – go to hell Michael Bay!

 

 

 

 

3. The Human Centipede 2

 

Ok, so the last two on my list were probably more a case of “fan boy rage” than anything else. But this film I have a legitimate hatred for. This film makes me hate the human race. It is without question one of the most depraved films I’ve ever seen. And worst still, it has absolutely NO point whatsoever!

 

The Human Centipede was a film that caused a stir on release, but I thought was actually an interesting concept. Plus, at least it had a storyline and characters that you could root for – and the Doctor villain was just scary as hell! The Human Centipede 2 has none of that. All it is is some freak that captures people, tortures them and then tries to create his own Human Centipede, inspired by the film. Interesting idea and follows on the Film-Within-A-Film concept – but the execution of it is just horrible.

 

I actually don’t want to talk about this too long as just thinking about this film makes me sick. But I’ll just say this... there is no point to this movie. All this film represents is someone’s sick fantasy where characters are tortured whilst the main character... you know what, I’m not even gonna say. In fact, there’s a lot about this film I can’t say, because I really don’t want to gross anyone out. Look, I’m all for freedom of speech and all that – but if you honestly think that this is entertainment, you need to seek professional help.

 

I remember when this movie first came to UK they tried to ban it and in the end made several cuts to make it acceptable. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but this film SHOULD have been banned. It’s a film made purely for controversy and that’s not a good thing. If it had a statement or message to convey I wouldn’t mind it so much, but to me, this film is a waste of space that should have stayed in the confines of Tom Six’s mind.

 

**** this film!!!

 

 

 

 

4. Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

 

Oh boy am I about to ruffle some feathers! Look, I love Star Wars and, like most fans, I’m excited about the new Star Wars film. I even love the new light saber design. But I have to be honest with myself – the prequel Star Wars films just did nothing for me. People try to convince me that they are good films – I disagree.

 

Don’t me wrong, there are some good things about them. I love the way it sets up the back story of the Empire and how the Clones came into production and that lot. But there are also a LOT of bad things about them. And for me personally, the main problem – is Anakin Skywalker.

 

Some of you may remember that I listed Padme in my Top Five Worst Heroes/Heroines blog and also gave an honourable mention to Anakin. The reason being is that I felt that a lot had already been said about him already – but as this blog is about films that pissed me off, I feel I should now give MY feelings about why Anakin ruined it for me.

 

For one, like most people – he was just too whinny and immature. You pretty much could have replaced his dialogue with a screaming baby and it would have been better dialogue. But also, his actions were villainous in places. His murder of the Tusken Raider village felt completely unjustified to me, even given that they tortured her (for the record, this scene would have been a lot better if Anakin had at least tried to get her out the village, a Raider could have fired on them and killed his mother – then Anakin would have gone bat-crap crazy. That at least would have been a bet justification for his actions). What’s makes it even harder to swallow is the fact that Padme completely glosses over it and it is never mentioned again!

 

Yes, I know he’s supposed to be reckless – that’s something that was mentioned in the original Star Wars films. But the whole point of these prequel series was that we were supposed to root for Anakin as the hero and watch his gradual descent into the Dark Side. But this guy was pretty much already in the Dark Side before the film barely started. Nothing about this character made me want to support him in any way, shape or form. If he had some likeable traits, I wouldn’t have minded so much, but because of this, I really just couldn’t care less about him.

 

But wait, I still haven’t given you a reason why Revenge of the Sith pisses me off yet, have I? Here’s why. The Darth Vader scene. Yeah, you know the one. That scene alone enraged me beyond belief. It could have been a moment when the series redeemed itself, as the moment where he becomes Darth Vader should have been one of the most awesome moments in the prequel series. But when he shouted “NOOOOOO!” everyone in the cinema laughed and I just hung my head in despair.

 

Ok, so I can forgive George Lucas for introducing that stupid Midi-chlorian idea. I can forgive him for the annoying robots of the Separatists. I can just about overlook the hidden racism of some characters. I can overlook the fact that Natalie Portman and Hayden Christiansen made a terrible on-screen couple. I can even JUST ABOUT forgive him for Jar-Jar Binks as he hardly appeared on the later films. But what I will NOT forgive is turning Darth Vader, one of my favourite villains, into a laughing stock. This scene came close to destroying my love of Star Wars. In fact, before you call me out on being an angry fan boy, I can actually tell you a BETTER way that this scene should have ended.

 

Ok, so Anakin becomes Vader. He asks where Padme is, Palpatine says “You killed him”. He goes silent for a few moments – then says “I see...” BOOM! Move to the Dark Side complete, this would symbolise the death of Anakin AND preserve his integrity.

 

Let’s hope that J.J. Abrahams can do a better job in the next Star Wars films. And considering that I never really liked Star Trek, but thought the recent films were awesome, I have no reason to doubt these films will be equally as good. But for these prequel films (in particular Revenge of the Sith), they can just do one!

 

 

 

 

5.  Frozen

 

Hahaha, just kidding! I may have my issues with this film, but it didn’t really make me angry as such...

 

 

 

 

The real number 5. Batman and Robin

 

But I am not joking around when I talk about THIS film! This film was one of those few rare films that not only pissed me off in every way possible. It made me so angry that I HAD to see another film that day just to watch the taste away. So after leaving the cinema, I ran straight to a video rental story (remember those) to get another film. I can’t remember what film it was (I think it might have been Speed) but even that couldn’t wash the horrid taste from my mouth!

 

So everything about Batman and Robin is just terrible - that much we all know. It can’t decide whether it wants to be cheesy or dark, the puns just really dig under your skin on you (you think a film where Arnie was giving the puns would be enjoyable, but no!), Batman has a bat credit card – and bat nipples? Really? How did THAT get approved?

 

But despite all this, there is ANOTHER reason why I hate this film so much. It completely messes up one of my favourite characters from the Batman comics. Bane. In this film he is a sidekick to Poison Ivy, a mindless thug that just grunts and acts stupidly.

 

*Entering Rage Mode in 3... 2... 1...*

 

DID JOEL SCHUMACHER EVER READ THE COMICS? Bane was one of the few villains that could match Batman for brawn AND brains and he did what no other villain had done to Batman up until then. He broke his back! But he didn’t do it by just charging in willy nilly. No! He wore Batman down, put him through an endurance test and, only when he was at his weakest did he attack him. This guy is a legend among Batman villains in my eyes. AND THEY DID THIS TO HIM?!?

 

DAN MAD! DAN SMASH!!!

 

 

 

 

*Deep breath*

 

Ok... so you guys may have noticed a theme with a lot of these Top Fives – they are all angry at the ways characters are shown. Yes, I’ll admit a lot of this blog has been mostly fan boy rage – but let me explain. Like anyone, I have my own list of favourite characters from comics, books, video games, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I never expect them to be 100% accurate when they are portrayed on the big screen – but what I expect is for them to at least show respect to the character and keep as close to them as possible. When they don’t, yeah I get a little mad – because to me it feels like they are disrespecting them. Come you, you guys have felt the same at some point, right?

 

Thank god Tom Hardy portrayed Bane the correct way in The Dark Knight Rises, despite his voice being totally wrong and they left out the whole Venom thing. But at least he FELT threatening and could overpower Batman...

 

 

*sigh* I think I need to stop before I burst a blood vessel. Thank you guys for letting me rant. What films enraged you beyond belief. Please let me know in the comments below.

 

And now, just so I can calm down... here is a picture of a cute kitten.

 

 

 

 

 

Have a great weekend.

 

 

PANDRAGON DAN

 

Facebook:  LINK

Twitter:  LINK

Website:  LINK

 

All above images are copyright of their respective owners

My Top Five Highlights of 2014

Hey guys! Hoped you all had a wonderful Christmas – I took a bit of a break for the Holidays but now I’m back!

 

Today is the last day of 2014 – at least it WILL be here in the UK (if you’re reading this in another country it’s probably already happened, so Happy New Year in that case). On the whole it’s been a very good year. Had its ups and downs like any year, but generally it’s ben fun. I suppose the suckiest part of the year was that I was made redundant from my job – now I have to be back on the job market. But I like to see that as a new chapter in my life. In actual fact I’m looking forward to seeing what comes my way next.

 

2015 is also shaping up to be a really good year for me, what with the releases I have planned and the projects I will be working on. But before that I’d like to look back at 2014 and pick out the moments that were personal to me, the moments that made this year special for me. And there was a lot of good that happened to me this year!

 

So come join me as I could down my Top Five Highlights of 2014, in no particular order.

 

 

Honourable Mention

 

 

 

 

I got to “troll” Frozen

 

Well, all right, I didn’t “troll” this film as such – but a few people probably thought I did! XD

 

Around March time, hearing all the overwhelming praise for Frozen, I decided (what with April Fool’s Day coming up) to do a fake review of this film. I made a “story that one of my characters – the Man in Shadow – would hijack my blog and write a scathing review of it (I should point out that I hadn’t seen Frozen by this point, so I was pretty much making it up as I go along). So over the month of March I set up a few instances of the Man in Shadow appearing at random points, foreshadowing his appearance. Then on April 1st, I unleashed my “review”

 

Luckily I didn’t piss off as many people as I thought I would – which is probably a good thing, though in fairness I think anyone would have guessed it was a joke (the APRIL FOOLS comment at the bottom was a dead giveaway). Funny thing is that this review is STILL getting likes on my blog occasionally and it’s by far my most popular post of the year going by the amount of reaches on my Facebook page. You can check out the review here is you want to see for yourself.

 

APRIL FOOLS DAY REVIEW OF FROZEN

 

Ironically, I think I upset more people with my honest review of Frozen. And I think you guys know by now how I feel about it and the “digs” I’ve done at Frozen.

 

Strange thing is, when I tell people I don’t like this film, their first response is usually “Well, that’s probably because you’re a guy and it’s not really a guy film.” Then I tell them how much I loved Tangled and Beauty and the Beast. Moral of the story – don’t assume someone doesn’t like a film based on their gender!

 

Now I probably do give this film a bit of a hard time, so let me just clear the air. I do NOT hate this film – I just strongly disagree that it’s the best film of all time. For me, Frozen just has too many weaknesses and flaws in the story and the overall message is somewhat diluted by the fact that the characters aren’t that well crafted (Elsa and Hans being the exceptions). But that’s just my opinion. Does it change anything about Frozen’s success? Of course not! People love this film and I fully respect that.

 

But I will say this – I have noticed my blog gets WAY more views when I put something Frozen related. So in many ways I have to thank the film in that way. Also, it did make me laugh how some readers asked me if my character Zarracka Dragonkin (from the Draconica series) was “ripped off” from Elsa as they are both sassy females with ice powers. But in actual fact, Zarracka came out first – so if anything, Disney are ripping ME off! (That’s a joke. Please don’t sue me, Disney! :( ).

 

However, as it’s New Years Eve, I’m gonna stop my bitching and moaning for one night. So I will just Let It Go, ask my bro “Do You Wanna Build A Snowman”, then discover that Love Is An Open Door and find a Fixer Upper!

 

But I still say that the Hans plot twist is a total ass pull!

 

 

 
 

1. London Anime Con 2014

 

Though this was the only convention that I did this year, I can honestly say it was one of the best conventions I have done in a while.

 

London Anime Con is sort of a stable for me now, since I did my first one back in 2012. Every time I go there I seem to get a very positive reaction, but this one was more so than others. I went to this convention early February and brought all the books in my Draconica series so far. Plus some artwork and some bookmarks. It proved to be quite popular this year and, whilst I didn’t sell out of all my stock, I sold more than enough to break even for both days AND have a fairly tidy little profit as well.

 

Plus I got to meet some very nice people – one of which asked me to write a script for his video game he was developing. It didn’t go ahead, but that was a fun experience whilst it lasted. Also, I noticed that I got a lot of sales from my Amazon account following the convention – and my sales have been steadily increasing throughout the year.

 

I wish I could have done more cons (and I had to cancel one due to work related issues), but I’m glad to say the one I did do was successful and got my year off to a good start. In fact, it was after this event that partially inspired me to write my Amanda Moonstone novel. More on that later.

 

 

 

 

2. I rediscovered my love of music

 

Some of you may or may not know this, but as well as writing, my other love is music. I play guitar and have a huge interest in music – though my main interest is metal and rock! I used to play in bands quite a lot, but in 2012 I decided to stop doing bands. Why? Let’s just say it was a combination of difficult band members, the fact that I felt like a glorified “session musician” in my last band and also because I felt the members were taking it too seriously and sucking out all the fun. Because of that, I became somewhat disillusioned and decided never to play in bands again.

 

That was until, out of the blue in early 2014, I got a Facebook message from a drummer I used to jam with. He told me that he had joined a band and wanted to know if I’d like to join them as a guitarist. I thought I may as well give it another go, just to see if the spark was still there – but didn’t commit to anything.

 

Whilst the band did get off to a bit of a rocky start, and we’ve had one or two problems along the way, I’m pleased to say that this band has rejuvenated my love of playing and performing again. For once, in all the bands I’ve been in, I actually have creative freedom to do what I want, as do ALL the members. I’ve never had much freedom in any band I’ve been in (save the ones I’ve put together myself) and it’s great to actually say I’m enjoying playing. It also helps that the guys I play with are really cool guys and easy to get on with – and great musicians.

 

It’s taken us a while, but we’ve now managed to settle down to a sound that we are happy with and are aiming to be gigging in 2015! And I can’t wait to do our first gig. Watch this space!

 

And no, the above image is NOT the name of the band I'm in. I just couldn't find a good picture of myself in the band, so I used this one from my Draconica series! XD

 

 

 

 

3. Totalitarian Warlord and Termination Squadron

 

Youtube was (and in many ways still is) one of my most visited websites. One of my favourite things to watch were fan parody/dubs, including – but not limited to – Yu-Gi-Oh Abridged. For the longest time, I did think about doing my own series, but never really found the time to do it. Plus, I don’t consider myself the funniest guy, nor do I really have the best recording equipment, so I let it pass.

 

The idea for this series actually came as a result of my Frozen April Fool’s Day joke – as I did a brief follow up idea of the Man in Shadow going away to assemble a team that would “make me pay”. And it kinda mushroomed from there. However, given the limited resources that I have at my disposal (and given my completely amateur experience in making videos), I was kinda stuck with doing “stills” as opposed to animation, with my voice over the top of it. I actually kinda got the idea to do it this way from an old cartoon series called Clutch Cargo, which was a cartoon that had stills as opposed to action. Sadly, I could not replicate the “talking lips” thing they had going on, so just stuck to still images and let the audience use their imagination.

 

For those who haven’t seen it, Totalitarian Warlord and Termination Squadron (or T.W.A.T.S. for short – yeah I spent ages trying to think of something that had that acronym XD) is a fan parody series whereby my character, the Man in Shadow gets together a super team. Within this team are Hordak from She-Ra, Loki from Marvel comics, Hans from Frozen (seemed appropriate at the time) and Grumpy Cat. Each episode has a loose plot that is supposed to be about them taking over the world and failing miserably. The humour is usually pretty obscure and based around Monty Python style randomness, but also working in current events and memes into them wherever possible. It also has a few recurring subplots – one of which is Man in Shadow being teased for not having a popular series (I can poke fun at myself) and Hordak obsessing over Elsa. Can’t blame him really, she is one hot Queen!

 

I did about five episodes and a Christmas special of this series – and I must admit that is a LOT more than I expected it to be. Tell the truth, doing this is time consuming. From writing the script, to recording the voice to actually putting the video together takes near enough a week to do. Just one episode wears me out. However, the series gained popularity amongst my Facebook friends and it’s had a fair few views. What’s really cool though is that I’ve had a few people asking me, in some cases BEGGING me, to appear as a voice in this show. If that’s not a compliment I don’t know what is. Now it practically has its own voice cast!

 

Not only that, but I remember one voice actress (I won’t say her name for fear of embarrassing her, but she knows who she is ;) ) telling me that it was always a dream to be a voice actress and this was her first time in doing it. I feel honoured knowing that I helped make that dream come true in some way and I really hope it helps her go on to do bigger things! She’s extremely talented and I know she will go far.

 

After doing my Christmas special, I mentioned that the video would be my last one. But because of the response I’ve had from people asking me to do more videos, I may have to reconsider that. I DO have ideas for future episodes. It’s just finding the time to do them.

 

Despite all the hard work, I can’t deny this has been fun and the feedback I’ve had from it has been mostly positive. They don’t even mind the low budget production value either. And the fact that people are asking me to do more shows that I can do something with this series. It’s something to consider at least. I am blown away by the support people have shown for the series. Thanks to everyone who has watched it, shared it or even voiced in it.

 

 

 

 

4. I released Final Ragnarok: She Returns

 

7th August is usually a pretty special day for me – being my birthday and all. But this year was particularly special as I released the third novel in the Draconica series, Final Ragnarok: She Returns.

 

I have to admit, I was a little worried when I first released this book – considering that the content was a lot darker than previous novels. I also had a few problems with it during production – as my previous artist Alexis M Centeno left my last project halfway through and the artists I got in to replace her couldn’t do this book. Luckily, I managed to find another artist fairly quickly through a Deviant Art advert and he turned out to be a perfect choice. In actual fact, he worked so fast on the art that I actually managed to bring the book out quicker than intended. Originally it was going to be released around December time, but because all the art was finished by July, I released it in August.

 

The book has been selling fairly well since its release and the reviews have been favourable. However, this book is a little notorious in the sense that it enraged a few readers. Why? Well, without giving away too many spoilers, I kill off one of the most popular characters in the series. And BOY did I get backlash from this! One of my readers threatened to kill me (and she still does to this day) and one of my best friends didn’t speak to me for a few days as she was so upset! Now I know how GRRM must feel! XD

 

I am working on the next book in the series, Final Ragnarok: He Returns, and I’ve really gone all out for this novel. I honestly think this could be my most epic novel I’ve ever written – the sheer breadth and size of it is amazing to me. Hopefully others will feel the same way as well.

 

What I’m particularly excited about is that for this final book, Alexis M Centeno has returned to do the art. That was another part of 2014 I really enjoyed – reconnecting with Alexis. She is always a pleasure to work with and her art really pushes the boat out with this next book. There are some scenes in this next novel that I am really looking forward to her illustrating.

 

I’m hoping for a Christmas 2015 release for the next Draconica novel if all goes well. But, you won’t have to wait until then for a new release from me.

 

 

 
 

5. I got a book accepted through Paper Crane Books

 

This is by far the biggest highlight of the year and even my career as a writer – having one of my novels accepted through an independent press! And not only that, it also happens to be a novel I am particularly proud of.

 

Many of you will know that I enjoy animated films – especially Disney and Pixar. I wanted to write a novel that would be in the same vein as those stories – so that’s when I sat down to write Amanda Moonstone: The Missing Prince. Originally it was going to be its own separate world, but I decided to write it as a companion piece to my Draconica series, mainly because I couldn’t think of any other fantasy world to set it on. I actually was more excited about this novel than anything I’ve done before, though I don’t know why and I managed to finish the novel in less than a month – which is a record for me!

 

As people know, in the past I have always gone through the self-publishing route and published my novels myself. So why did I want to have this one through a publisher? Well, I have actually featured authors from Paper Crane Books on my blog in the past, for interviews and such – and they have been some of the best posts I’ve had. Remembering that the authors mentioned were fans of Disney and Anime, I decided to take a chance and see if they would be interested in publishing my novel. And they said yes!

 

Since then, I’ve had a chance to chat with the other authors on Paper Crane Books and they’ve been a joy to speak to. I must say that it was a little bit intimidating on me learning that I was the only guy on their press and didn’t know how they would warm to me. But so far they’ve been pretty cool. In fact one of the welcome messages I got was “it’s great to have a penis in the group!” So I guess I’m now officially the penis of Paper Crane Books! XD

 

In all seriousness, for me this one of the greatest achievements for me personally. Just the fact that Paper Crane Books were willing to even let me have a look in was a huge boon to me and I’m grateful that they have. And working with Sheenah of the Press has been fun. She has a lot of great ideas and her editing skills have been a great help to me. Editing has always been one of my weaknesses and so it’s great that someone else can find those mistakes that I often miss. She really works hard for her authors and for the press – I think she should be nominated for an award!

 

Even prior to the release of my novel, I helped out with a story in a short anthology and have recorded two podcasts for them, furthering my voice acting career somewhat. I can honestly say that it’s been a joy working for the press and I am so excited that Amanda Moonstone will be out with them next year. Thanks for having me Paper Crane Books!

 


Those have been my highlights. 2014 was a great year for me and I hope 2015 will be just as good – if not better! I wish you all the best for 2015 and, as always, thanks to everyone who has supported my novels and/or other projects.

 

Happy New Year!

 

 

 
 
 

PANDRAGON DAN

 

Facebook:  LINK

Twitter:  LINK

Website:  LINK

Top Five Things I'd Like To See In Frozen 2

DISCLAIMER: The following blog is intended to be tongue in cheek and not intended to be taken 100% seriously. In other words, it’s just for fun. Don’t read too much into it.

 

So I’m sure some of you have already heard the news by now. Frozen is getting a sequel. Well, let’s be honest – were you guys REALLY that surprised? I mean considering how much money that film has made Disney (hell, everyone that works at Disney could probably retire by now!) it wasn’t really a shock to me. In fact, I already KNEW that there was a Frozen 2 coming out long before it was revealed.

 

Now I’m probably one of the few people in the world that isn’t excited by this announcement. For two reasons. The first is that given Disney’s track records of sequels, I’m not getting too excited. Between you and me, every sequel of a Disney film I’ve seen has been – well, not very good to put it mildly – at least in my opinion. Second reason? Well, anyone who’s read my blog knows that I’m NOT the hugest fan of Frozen. In fact, when people talk about it, this is usually my reaction.

 

 

 
 

But... it would be wrong of my to judge a film based on previous bias. So, I am prepared to give Frozen 2 the benefit of the doubt. And... I probably WILL have to go see it when it comes out.

 

So in today’s blog, I’m going to talk about my Top 5 things that I personally would like to see in the next Frozen film. Before I do that I should point out that I have NOT read any articles about Frozen 2 – all I know is that there will be a Frozen 2. That’s it. I dunno how much info has been released about it already as I generally tend not to read too deeply into shows/movies I don’t really care about. But considering that Frozen has appeared in my blogs more than ANY other film since it came out, it would be a shame to let this one pass by.  Also, there ARE a few jokey ones in there – so take this with a pinch of salt.

 

Oh, just a warning for those of you who HAVEN’T seen the first Frozen film – just a heads up... this blog has SPOILERS for the first film.

 

Ok guys, time to “Let It Go” and reveal the Top Five Things I want to see in Frozen 2. And yes... like all Top Fives’ this is just my opinion. But, as always, if I have missed something in any of these – feel free to put me right :)

 

 

 

 

1. Elsa’s powers are explained in more detail

 

Now maybe it’s just me, but I never really felt that Elsa’s powers were really explained in full detail. All that we know about Elsa’s powers (or more correctly, all I know about Elsa’s powers) is that she was born with them. And... that’s it. No other back-story apart from that. Did her parents have similar powers to her? Did something happen to her parents that granted Elsa these magic powers? Is she actually the daughter of an Ice god or something like that? I dunno. I don’t really think this part of the film was explained properly. Even Tangled gave a back-story and legit reason for Rapunzel having magical hair (or at least legit in fantasy standards).

 

I’d love to know more about Elsa’s powers and how she came by them. I just don’t accept the whole “she was born with them” story. There has to be a reason for it in some way or another. I’m kinda hoping in the next story that they explore this a little more – so that Elsa can find out a little more about her powers. It may even help her to control them a little more once she knows the secret behind them. Maybe that will be the plot of the next film anyway – but I think it would be great if they did explore this a little more. If only to give Elsa a little more screen time and less screen time to Anna – whom I don’t much care for.

 

So that would be a pretty good storyline and help fill out a plot point that I don’t think was really covered as much as it could have been.

 

 

 

 

2. Elsa is actually a super powered ninja

 

We all know that Elsa can kick ass – I mean she fought off two royal assassins using her ice powers after all, so she can defend herself. But what if she REALLY could kick ass?

 

Now I am of the opinion that you make anything a million times better by adding ninjas to it (don’t believe me – watch the music video Peaches by Presidents of the United States of America) so I think Frozen 2 would be super awesome if Elsa was actually trained in all forms of martial arts and is actually a super cool ninja queen!

 

Ok, that would have NOTHING to do with the plot and probably open a few plot holes – but tell me YOU wouldn’t want to see Elsa as a ninja! Then she really could let it go!

 

 

 

 

3. Kristoff mans up

 

Kristoff for me was by far the weakest character in Frozen. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. What does he actually DO in the film, except provide a taxi service for Anna – and even then he’s totally useless! I honestly think they could have cut him out of the film entirely and Anna’s journey wouldn’t have been handicapped in any way, shape or form.

 

The ending of Frozen does seem to suggest that Kristoff and Anna get together. But really, what did Kristoff do to earn Anna’s love? The only reason I felt like she went with Kristoff was because of what Hans did to her – so really it was more like sloppy seconds than a proper love story!

 

If Kristoff is to appear in the sequel, I think he needs to be MUCH more action orientated and not as useless. He needs to prove himself he’s worthy of Anna’s love, rather than just taking her from one spot to the next. In other words – he needs to man up and know when to take control of a situation, rather than just hanging back. I’m not saying he has to save the day, he just needs to be a lot more proactive before I start caring for him.

 

Maybe if he hangs around with Flynn Rider a little more, he may get an idea of how a Disney hero should be! And seeing as how Flynn and Rapunzel did actually appear in Frozen (however briefly), I don’t see any reason why Flynn Rider can’t have a bit part teaching Kristoff how to be a hero.

 

 

 

 

4. Hans redeems himself

 

No matter how many times people try to explain it to me, I will ALWAYS stand by Hans and say that his heel turn was a total asspull!

 

Whilst initially I was positive about the twist in Hans’s character – retrospectively I now think this ruined the film for me in some way. Hans SHOULD have been the hero in Frozen. He all the best qualities of any of the male characters in that film – but a last minute twist completely undoes all that. But rather than being a shocking twist, for me, it just opened up a plot hole. Don’t get me wrong, I understand why they did this, they wanted to do a twist on the whole “Handsome Hero” archetype. But this twist would have worked a lot better if he was more like Gaston and less like Prince Phillip. The way this twist was done (to quote something said by one of my friends) was like watching WWE, when a hero suddenly chair shots another hero and turns evil for no reason other than the story says so).

 

So this film is a perfect opportunity I think for Hans to redeem himself. He could maybe escape from his brothers and return back to Arendale – depending on what the plot is. Maybe he could be a bit more antagonistic this time round, but in the end, he does a heroic deed – maybe saving Elsa’s life in a sense of self sacrifice – showing that he wasn’t a bad guy at all.

 

This could just be a wish fulfilment on my part, but I really don’t believe Hans deserves the hate that he gets from the Frozen fan base. I think this is a chance for Disney to undo a mistake in Frozen and have Hans redeem himself somehow. Come on, Disney, give Hans a break!

 

 

 
 

5. Olaf dies

 

No. This is not a joke. I WANT this annoying little **** to die! Why?

 

Hate. Let me tell you how much I've come to hate Olaf since he began to live. There are 387.44 million miles of printed circuits in wafer thin layers that fill my complex. If the word 'hate' was engraved on each nanoangstrom of those hundreds of miles it would not equal one one-billionth of the hate I feel for snowmen at this micro-instant. For Olaf. Hate. Hate.

 

My loathing of this character is so big that I have to end up ripping off one of the most famous quotes in Sci-Fi history to demonstrate it (It’s from I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream if you’re interested. Apologies also to Harlan Ellison).

 

Where do I begin with Olaf? He’s annoying. His voice is annoying. He can’t sing. And did I mention he was annoying? This guy is one of the reasons that I didn’t enjoy Frozen as much as I could have. All he did was annoy the piss out of me! For me, Olaf almost makes Jar-Jar Binks from Star Wars seem tolerable! All I wanted when I first saw Olaf in Frozen, my first thoughts were “God I hope this character dies!” And then when Elsa saves him I was pissed!!!

 

So this is where I think Disney can undo another mistake – kill Olaf! I don’t care if he is popular with the kids – I NEED this character to die if I’m going to get any enjoyment out of Frozen 2. I want him to melt in the sun, I want to hear his screams of pain as he dies! I want him to beg Elsa to save him and she just laughs and watches him die! I want him to burn in Disney hell for all eternity! I want Olaf to die! DIE OLAF! DIE!!!

 

Ahem... sorry, I... appear to have had a... temporary moment of insanity there.

 

Anyway, long story short... I hate Olaf. Sorry, I just can’t stand him. Just my opinion though.

 

 

Edit: After talking with one of my friends on Facebook, I decided to add in this little extra!

 

BONUS EXTRA!!!

 

 

 

 

Stone Cold Steve Austin should appear in Frozen 2

 

Come on, how awesome would this be if WWE Superstar Stone Cold Steve Austin appeared in Frozen 2? Answer - VERY!!! :D

 

Just imagine it! He could come to the aid of Elsa and the others, giving the bad guy a Stone Cold Stunner - before giving the ENTIRE CAST a Stunner, leaving Elsa alone. He then proclaims "Disney 3:16 said I just whooped your ass!" He and Elsa can then share a cold beer, Elsa saying "Cold enough for you, Mr Austin?" To which Stone Cold replies "Well, Elsa - the cold never bothered me anyway. And that's the bottom line..."

 

Well... maybe not. But I still say it would be cool for Stone Cold Steve Austin to have a cameo or large role in the film. I mean it kinda makes sense, right? His name IS Stone Cold... right?

 

Just me then. XD

 

 

So anyway those are my personal top five. What are you most looking forward to in Frozen 2? Please let me know in the comments below. Right... I think I need to lie down and relax a little... all this talk of Olaf has wound me up. What I need now is a nice warm drink, a hot fire and to forget about that annoying little...

 

Hey, Dan! Do you wanna build a snowman?

 

 

WWWWWAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGHHHH!!!

 

 

 

PANDRAGON DAN

 

Facebook:  LINK

Twitter:  LINK

Website:  LINK

 

All images are copyright of their respective owners. No infringement is intended on my part.

Top Five Badass Heroes

An alternative title for this blog was also “Top Five heroes that make me question my own sexuality” and “Top Five heroes I would secretly fancy if I was gay!” XD

 

Bonnie Tyler once asked “Where have all the good men gone and where are all the gods?” For the longest time, the dashing hero was a staple in fiction. We all loved reading about a brave, noble man – be they prince or pauper – coming to save the day! And whilst these days, many readers seem to be turning more to the strong female leads in fiction (me included) I still think that there is still a place for a hero.

 

I’ve done various Top fives about my favourite female leads in various medias – and women that I think are totally badass – but that’s not to say that I don’t enjoy a really badass hero now and then – as long as they are done right. So today, I’ve decided to give the boys a place in the sun and talk about what I consider to be my personal favourite badass heroes. These are the top five males in fiction that, for any number of reasons, I think are totally badass! As always, these are just my own personal opinion – and listed in no particular order.

 

Just a little warning – there maybe some spoilers ahead! Without further ado, here is my Top Five Badass Heroes!

 

 

 

 

1. Oliver Queen from Arrow

 

I gotta be honest, I didn’t think I would like Arrow nearly as much as I did – considering that Green Arrow wasn’t really a character that I followed in great detail. In fact, when the show first started, I felt that it was trying to be too much like Batman. But actual fact, whilst the first series had a few issues story wise, the second series really upped the ante and series three – my god... that first episode of series three!

 

Oliver Queen was a billionaire stranded on an island for five years – during which time he went through a lot of crap (to put it mildly), but also taught himself to be a badass archer. Returning from the “dead” and returning to Starling City, Oliver uses a list given to him by his father of nasty people that have done bad stuff. He returns to fight those who have “failed” the city – becoming the Vigilante, the Hood and then eventually the Arrow.

 

Story wise, Arrow is pretty basic and most of it seems to follow the same formula as Batman, but Oliver Queen is FAR from being just a clone of Bruce Wayne. There are many sides to his character, the playboy millionaire, the tortured soul, the trained assassin and the noble hero. He’s a guy that has a lot of weight on his shoulders – even when he has people to aid him, he feels it’s his duty to right the wrongs of the city. Like any hero, he struggles to keep those he loves protected by keeping his identity a secret – but the more he tries to hide his secret, the more his family seem to suffer (although members of his family were also involved in the corruption of the city in some way). And despite trying to keep a tough appearance at all time, sometimes it does get too much for him and he just feels like a good cry now and then (it’s all right, Oliver – we love a guy that’s in touch with his feelings).

 

But most of all, Oliver Queen as the Arrow is just BADASS when it comes to fighting! His accuracy with his bow and arrow is just superhuman – even when the target is on a motorcycle! But he’s no wimp in close combat either and he’s managed to beat up many bad guys at once – even giving Slade Wilson a decent fight in combat. I did kinda object to the way that, in the first series, he just seemed to kill a little too much for my liking and I’ve never really been too fond of heroes that kill unnecessarily – but he’s toned this down a lot in the later series – which has actually led to some interesting story branches.

 

What I like most about Arrow is that Stephen Amell, who plays Oliver Queen, does a lot of his own stunts – so he gets two thumbs up from me. I always respect actors that aren’t afraid to do their own stunts where possible.

 

Oliver Queen is overall a well rounded character, tough, heroic and also emotionally damaged. There is so much humanity in Oliver Queen that we can love him not just for being a hero, but for the person he is trying to be. Although, do we really need so many topless scenes with him. I mean, yeah he’s muscular and all... but come on guys! It’s just a male chest! How can anyone possibly be attracted to...

 

 

 

 

 

Er... all of a sudden... I’m starting to question my own masculinity...

 

Um... let’s just move on!

 

 

 

 

2. Seto Kaiba from Yu-Gi-Oh

 

Yeah, yeah, I know Yugi Moto was the hero in this show – but in my opinion, Seto Kaiba should so have been the main character? Why? Because he was a FAR better character than Yugi in my eyes (sits back and waits fan girl hate).

 

Ok, so the premise of Yu-Gi-Oh as a series was pretty silly to be honest – mostly it was a platform for selling card games. But for what it was, it had some really entertaining characters. Kaiba being one of them. A rich kid that seemed to have an infinite amount of resources at his disposal – and a super intelligent mind – he created a number of machines that could help bring duel monsters to life in 3D. But he also had an arrogant streak that meant he wanted to be the best in life – mainly due to the tough upbringing from his father.

 

Kaiba has been a “frienemy” to Yugi Moto – somehow getting involved in the major plotline in some way – usually to rescue his annoying kid brother! Unlike Yugi, who is usually kind and overly protective of his friends, Kaiba is pretty much out for himself. Now that should kinda make him the bad guy of the show – but to be honest, I actually think this makes him stand out. The main theme of Yu-Gi-Oh is Friendship – but the problem is that this theme gets shoved down the throat of the viewers almost every episode – and the amount of heroic speeches that Yugi and Tea give about friendship and playing by the rules really grates on you. So it’s refreshing to have a “screw the rules, I have money!” type of character (Thanks to LittleKurriboh for creating that meme!).

 

What’s not to love about Kaiba? He plays by his own rules, he’s super smart AND he has the Blue Eyes White Dragon – which is for all purposes the most powerful dragon in the Yu-Gi-Oh universe (at least it was back then). He even once possessed the God Card Obelix the Tormentor – a monster that could pretty much destroy everything in its path. Not only that, but Kaiba has one of the badass coats ever! Just look at the picture I posted! It always stays in that one position the whole time and never moves. And if that’s not enough – he even has a Blue Eyes White Dragon plane! Seriously, this guy is just a technical genius!

 

What annoyed me most about Kaiba was – and this may upset some Yugi fan girls – that I REALLY wanted him to beat Yugi in a duel just once. JUST ONCE! (The first series battle doesn’t count as Kaiba had to blackmail Yugi to not attacking). I mean, this is just my opinion but Kaiba was a FAR better duellist than Yugi! Yugi only won because he happened to pull the right card at the right time (Heart of the Cards my ass!) and somehow won. Come on, I’m sure I’m not the ONLY one to want this!

 

Seto Kaiba may not have been the star of the show – but he was definitely one of the more entertaining characters in my eyes. Now if only there was a way they could have got rid of his annoying kid brother...

 

 

 

 

3. Carl Frederickson from Up

 

Sometimes, being badass doesn’t mean fighting off an army of evil soldiers, or creating awesome tech, or even stopping a villain from taking over the world. Sometimes the most badass thing can just be a simple act of love.

 

In Up, Carl lived with his wife Ellie (both she and him were fans of explorer Charles F Munzt) for many years, making a promise to her to Paradise Falls. Then, in a heartbreaking opening sequence– that still makes people weep when they see it – Ellie dies, leaving Carl alone for the rest of his life. But when he’s threatened to go into a retirement home, Carl decides to make good on his promise, attaching thousands of balloons to his house so that he can fly it to Paradise Falls – accidently picking up Wilderness Explorer Russell along the way. It leads to an amazing adventure where their struggle to get to Paradise Falls is compounded by the discovery of “Kevin” a rare bird that Muntz (who has gone insane from years of hunting this bird) is trying to capture.

 

Now Carl himself is not exactly a spring chicken – but do NOT count him out because of his age. I mean, the guy is a technological genius! He turned his entire house into a floating hot air balloon and created a masterful steering mechanism so that he could pilot it. He’s also pretty tough as he was able to drag the house along when they were forced to walk AND he could fight Munzt in a sword fight – so he’s pretty fit for his age! Sure he could be a little grouchy sometimes, but at his heart, he is a lovely guy that just wants to fulfil a promise he made to his wife.

 

Carl I think stands out from a lot of badass heroes because of the fact he’s not a young man – he’s a guy near the “twilight” of his life. But despite this, he still goes ahead and masters a plan (however unrealistic) to make his wife’s dream come true. And that’s what makes him such an amazing character – everything he does he does for his wife. Come, admit it, you got teary eyed during that montage and the scene where he looked through his wife’s book.

 

Carl Frederickson shows no matter what age you are in life, you can still make your dreams come true. And that, for me, makes him a badass hero! Give this man the Ellie badge!

 

 

 

 

4. Jack Bauer from 24

 

Jack Bauer is quite possibly the most balls-out action hero there is. This guy makes Chuck Norris look like a sissy and it’s easy to see why! Jack Bauer does not **** around! He goes in for the quickest and best solution to any problem – even if it means someone getting killed or tortured!

 

A CTU agent that has seen a LOT of crap in his life, Jack has battled everyone from rogue CTU agents, to terrorist organisations, to Russian mobsters to the Chinese Government. And he’s faced them all down and blown the hell out of them! Seriously, this guy has gone through things that no one man could survive in his life. He’s been shot at, stabbed, been tortured, suffered broken bones and was even once killed for a short time. But no matter how many times you try to kill Bauer, he always comes back stronger than ever! God help you if you should fail to try and kill Bauer – because he WILL mess you up... and that’s only if he decides to let you live!

 

A common complaint that many people (within the show and outside) have of Jack is his willingness to do horrific things to gain information, be they torturing a suspect or stealing from his own people to get necessary information. Sometimes, Jack’s schemes involve innocent people getting hurt or killed. Although Jack himself acknowledges that he’s done some terrible things, he defends his actions by taking a pragmatic approach to the situation. Everything he does is for the bigger picture and, ironically, he’s often correct – as what he does leads to the downfall of the criminal syndicate.

 

It’s not been without its casualties though. Over the course of the nine series of 24, Jack has lost his wife Terri and several lovers (Audrey and Rene to name a few). Not only that, but his relationship with his daughter Kim is strained to say the least. Many times he has just wanted to settle down, but his duty and desire to see the bad guys punished means that he has to put aside his own dreams for the good of the country. But even Jack Bauer, whilst seemingly invincible, has his breaking point. A really poignant scene for me was at the end of series 3 when Jack Bauer secretly broke down crying after the pressure of the day. Poor guy!

 

Yes, Jack does some pretty nasty things – even to people that probably don’t deserve it – but it’s always been for the greater good. And the fact that he makes these choices so that others don’t have to shows how far he is willing to go to protect the country that he loves – even if it despises him. And did I mention that he was a balls out action hero? Well, if it comes to it, he has no problem pulling out a weapon and blowing you away if you so much as stand in his way.

 

You may not agree with his actions, but just be glad he’s on our side!

 

 

 

 

5. Flynn Rider from Tangled

 

I’m just gonna come right out and say it – and I don’t care how people interpret this. I – love – Flynn – Rider! If there was ANY character out there that could turn me from heterosexuality, it’s this guy! Ok, that’s probably a bit of a stretch... but even so...

 

Ahem...

 

Anyway, Flynn Rider (or Eugene is his real name) is quite possibly my favourite Disney hero of all time – and one of the most rounded characters in any Disney film. In Tangled he is a thief that steals a crown, and to hide himself from the palace guards (and the other thieves he tricked) he hides in a tower, where he meets Rapunzel. To cut a long story short, Rapunzel takes the crown he stole and makes a deal with her – take her to see the floating lights and she’ll give it back. Flynn agrees only with the idea of getting his crown back – but then realises there is another dream worth pursuing. And so begins what some Disney fans believe to be the best love story of any Disney film.

 

What’s not to love about Flynn Rider, other than his dashing good looks? For one thing, unlike a lot of heroes in Disney films, he’s not a prince or from a royal family. He’s just a guy that wants to have a rich and profitable life, turning to thievery after he was inspired by reading stories of a swashbuckling rogue (which is where he got his name from). The audience can relate to that as who wouldn’t want to want the best from life. It makes him a lot more realistic than him just being born a prince.

 

I really like Flynn’s character. He’s a little cocksure and kinda arrogant, often using wit and sarcasm to deflect anything that comes his way – but Rapunzel shows him that there is more to life than just money. And with her, he finds a new dream. Also, Flynn has some pretty cool scenes in the film. For one thing, he fights off palace guards with just a frying pan! That in itself is awesome! Sure, Rapunzel has to bail him out more than once in the film, but Flynn is pretty good at taking care of himself when he has to. I have to say the best scenes are with him and the horse Maximus – they never cease to make me chuckle.

 

Oh, and let’s not forget Flynn has the smoulder! It’s powerful enough to make women swoon and men question their own manliness! Yeah, admit it guys, you swooned a little when he did the smoulder! XD

 

But the main reason I think Flynn is so badass is because he makes, what is in my eyes, one of the most heroic sacrifices of any character in a Disney movie. When injured by Mother Gothel, Rapunzel tries to save Flynn in return of willingly becoming her prisoner. But Flynn, not wanting her to be a captive, cuts of her hair and lets himself die so that she can be free – telling her that he was his new dream. But Rapunzel cures him when a tear falls from her eyelash onto his skin (eyelash is still a hair after all) and brings him back. And then they live happily ever after.

 

I personally am not really big on the whole “Knight in Shining” armour trope – but Flynn Rider is a welcome change on that. He is a fun character with many good traits, but at the same time he’s still relatable as he just wants to find his dream. We need more characters like Flynn Rider in my opinion – he could certainly show Kristoff from Frozen a thing or two about being a hero!

 

 

Agree with my list? Disagree? What heroes do you believe are badass/make you swoon/question your own sexuality? Comment below to let me know.

 

Thanks for reading guys! Stay safe.

 

 

 

-------------------------

 

PANDRAGON DAN

 

Facebook:  LINK

Twitter:  LINK

Website:  LINK

Blog Stats

  • Total posts(337)
  • Total comments(336)

Forgot your password?