Since J.J. Abrams and his production company, Bad Robot, hit it big with LOST, the pressure has been on to get new genre shows on the air. Sometimes they’ve been successful and other times, they just fall flat. Notably, however, the successes seem to always be linked to Abrams, Bad Robot, or former LOST producers striking out on their own. These shows often spend more time on character development than the other LOST clones out there, but is it too much of a good thing?

One of the staples of Abrams’ post-LOST work, including Revolution and Person of Interest, is the use of flashbacks. For those in the know, LOST was full of flashbacks. Sometimes these trips to the characters’ past were well done, but sometimes if you weren’t paying enough attention, you lost track of where they were in the time stream. Both of Abrams’ subsequent shows have doled out information on the main characters in pieces over time. Person of Interest is a prime example of how dishing out the history of your characters slowly over time creates a deeper connection between the character and the viewer. Also, it has the handy device of the Machine to keep you fully aware of what you’re seeing, and where it falls in the overall timeline. Since Revolution is currently in its infancy, it hasn’t built up quite as much connection. However, it does appear that they are slowly dispensing backstory to build well-rounded characters.

Another thing Bad Robot shows have done well since leaving the Island is creating intriguing mystery. Once again, Person of Interest seems to exemplify the use of a season-long (or in its case seasons-long) arc. To the writers’ credit, it’s not as silly as putting the plug in the hole in the glowing cave at the middle of the Island. The Machine’s existence and purpose is revealed piece by piece. But you don’t have to wait six seasons to find out what’s really going on. This time, the creative team has been giving answers along the way and then posing new questions. To an extent, this move of answering questions in a semi-dystopian setting is paying off on Revolution as well. The writers answered the “what caused the blackout” question mid-way through season 1. Again, they are learning to keep the viewers engaged while still creating a drama that makes people want to keep tuning in.

While the productions of Bad Robot and its former writers have largely sustained genre television as a commercially viable enterprise, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. There are certain notes that all of these shows seem to hit, and that can lead to burnout. Sometimes the LOST nods are obvious and somewhat amusing…the first few times they happen. Oceanic or Ajira flights on Fringe or Once Upon a Time are rather minimally intrusive shout outs. Apollo candy bars have also been known to appear on Once Upon a Time. The number of LOST nods on Once Upon a Time is especially interesting, considering it is not a Bad Robot produced show. Showrunners and executive producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz were long-time LOST writers and producers, however, so this goes to show how the LOST/J.J. Abrams influence has spread beyond the Bad Robot brand.

It’s one thing when these shows include small nods to their common roots or have a similar feel now and then (they all seem to involve a lot of wandering around). It’s another when they adopt some of the worst aspects of their roots wholesale. Again, Once Upon a Time is the prime example. Early in the second season, several of the characters found themselves in the present day Enchanted Forest. All of the Enchanted Forest has been affected by a curse except for a Safe Haven. Safe Haven was forcibly reminiscent of the Temple, which figured prominently in the early sixth season of LOST. The Temple story arc was not one of LOST’s shining moments, and neither was the Safe Haven arc.

It’s clear that J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot have had a lasting effect on the genre television landscape. In some ways, this is a good thing, as it means that genre shows often feature an interesting, non-linear story structure and a decent attempt at character development. It becomes more problematic, however, when the shows start to all have a similar feel and start embracing each other’s worst elements. Has pop culture reached the Bad Robot saturation point? Considering that Abrams and company are now in control of both Star Trek and Star Wars, the answer is, apparently, no. For more opinions and recaps on your favorite shows, check us out at

With Captain America: Civil War coming to theaters this week in the U.S., the Russo brothers are teasing their plans for Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 and Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2!

In an interview with Uproxx, the Russo brothers revealed that they believe that the current titles for the next Avengers films are misleading. Joe Russo stated, “The movies are two very different movies.” However, the current title makes it feel as though it’s the same story just split into two different films. It looks like that’s not what they’re going for, though.

“The intention is we will change it, we just haven’t come up with the titles yet. But, yes, we will change it. And, yes, that is a scoop: we will retitle them,” Joe Russo went on to say in the interview. Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 is currently scheduled for release on May 4, 2018 so it may be quite a while before we learn what the new title is. Thanos will be serving as the main antagonist in both of the films, with the conflict revolving around the Infinity Stones.

Before we even get to Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1, Marvel still has several movies to release. Including, Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok, and Black Panther.

Marvel recently pulled Inhumans from their upcoming Phase Three slate. It was supposed to be released July 12, 2019 after the release of Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2. It’s still unclear whether the film is cancelled entirely or if it is simply being pushed back.

Are you glad to hear ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ will be retitled?

Another nail has just been placed through the cable box coffin: Hulu has just confirmed reports that they’re putting together a live TV service.

Speaking in front of advertisers on Wednesday morning, Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins said that live TV on Hulu is in the pipeline and will offer consumers a way to watch network and cable channels live via Hulu’s suite of apps.

Hopkins’ comments arrive on the heels of a report in the Wall Street Journal which first revealed the streaming service’s plans. According to that report, ESPN, ABC, Disney, Fox News, FX are the first channels set to join Hulu’s live TV service. Hopkins didn’t confirm any channels during his presentation this morning.

When it launches, Hulu will likely have one of the best shots at making a live TV streaming service take off, and it may seriously disrupt the traditional cable box business. The only other major service currently offering live TV via streaming is Sling TV (with plans starting at $20/month), but unlike Hulu, Sling lacks brand recognition.

Over the past couple of years it’s been widely report that Apple has made several attempts at creating a live TV service like the one Hulu is trying to put together, but the iPhone maker has run into trouble striking deals with the various networks.

Hulu’s current packages allow consumers to watch TV shows from most of the major channels the day after they air on traditional television. Plans start at $7.99 per month.

For some fans, watching TV shows live is important so they can live tweet or discuss their shows elsewhere online immediately after they air. A live TV service from Hulu could cause many people to get rid of their traditional cable boxes, which tend to come saddled with bad user interfaces and extra fees.

Are you tentatively interested in Hulu’s live TV service?

The price of the service will be an important factor in how many people subscribe, of course. Hopefully it’s cheaper than most cable subscriptions.

What Jon Snow’s fate means for the future of ‘Game of Thrones’

Oh, the places we'll go, the things we'll learn!

11:00 am EDT, May 4, 2016

This week, Game of Thrones continued to create more questions out of answering others.

Now that we finally know for certain what we all predicted, it’s time to speculate how this will impact Game of Thrones going forward. Yes, of course I’m talking about Jon Snow’s resurrection.

There are larger implications for the future of the show besides the fact that Jon is an active character again. Aside from how different Jon himself might be, we also must consider what his presence means for other characters and plots.

First thing’s first, Melisandre is going to die. She has two things working against her. 1) She did her part in bringing Jon back, so her purpose is done. 2) She’s getting a sympathetic edit, and that never bodes well. Start preparing yourself now, because Melisandre doesn’t have long for this world. It is known (wait, no, wrong religion!).

Now let’s talk about Jon. What Jon Snow are we getting back ? Resurrection is not new to Westeros. Most recently we saw the Mountain brought back to life through ‘scientific’ methods, and he appears to be quite obedient. He’s mute and just does what he’s told, a mere killing machine (although, you could argue that’s all he was in life too).


Then there’s Beric Dondarrion, resurrected by Thoros through magical means in more or less the same way as Jon. Though Thoros was adept at this feat (he’d done it enough times), every time Beric came back, he lost a bit of himself. Memories would go, and he seemed only capable of (re)living for a singular purpose: revenge.

This was Melisandre’s first attempt at bringing the dead back to life, so it’s possible she might have screwed up somewhere in the ritual, causing Jon to come back a little different from the Jon we know. Even if she did it perfectly, Jon is likely to be a changed man.

Having died, he has no Night’s Watch oaths to maintain, and seeking revenge on those who killed him would understandably be a high priority. We’ve known Jon to be more merciful than merciless, but will this be reversed after losing a part of himself in death?

And will Jon’s return impact other characters? Sansa is on her way to Castle Black, and after hearing what she has to say (assuming they actually do reunite), Jon will have more vengeance to seek. The Boltons have taken over his home and hurt his family, so it’s likely he’ll rally all he can to help him go after them.


Back home in Winterfell, Ramsay is planning on storming Castle Black, and if he’d done it earlier, he just might have won. The old Jon probably wouldn’t have been prepared for a man like Ramsay, but the new Jon will give no pity and show no mercy. After having died, Jon might feel he’s nothing to lose, that this is a second chance and he’ll take it guns blazing (swords slashing?). It would be the perfect contrast, the two Snow bastards who each believe Winterfell is theirs, fighting to the death.

Jon coming back is also almost solid proof that R + L = J. From the beginning we’ve heard tidbits of information about Lyanna Stark, Ned’s sister, and the mentions last season were particularly blatant and frequent. Even this season, already, we’ve gotten a Lyanna reference, when Bran visited the past. Unless it’s a giant red herring, there’s obviously a reason a long dead woman with seemingly no relevance keeps getting a shout out.

Of course, if it is true that Jon is a Stark and Targaryen, then Dany is not necessarily the ‘rightful’ heir to the Iron Throne. Being half Targaryen also means that Jon has the blood of the dragon, and he has a claim to the Throne and to one of Dany’s dragons.

Side note: He probably won’t get Drogon, since he’s Dany’s favorite. But how funny would it be if Jon just strolls in and Drogon immediately bows down and does what he’s told? That’ll teach Dany the importance of training!


Having been resurrected by the fire god and having the blood of the dragon also poses an interesting notion of Jon’s overall purpose. It’s long been postulated that the “Ice and Fire” referenced in the book series title is Jon and Dany. But what if it’s just Jon? Jon has gotten ‘looks’ from both sides: Melisandre stared him down when she first saw him, and believes him to be Azor Ahai. The Night’s King also shared what seemed like a telling look with Jon at Hardhome.

We know the war between ice and fire is coming, so what if Jon is a link that connects them? He’s the undead brought back to fight the undead, and put an end to this war. He won’t do it alone, either. Azor Ahai needed a weapon to fight the darkness, and he had Lightbringer. If we’re to assume Lightbringer is a physical sword, it’s most likely Longclaw. In season 5, both Jon and a White Walker were surprised to see Longclaw kill the White Walker. We thusly learned that Valyrian steel can kill White Walkers. But what if it was more than just being Valyrian steel? If Jon is Azor Ahai, why couldn’t Longclaw be Lightbringer, the ‘hero’s sword’ meant to fight the darkness?

Jon coming back opens many doors. There are so many possibilities his presence brings to the show. Is Melisandre finished? Will Jon be the one to kill Ramsay? Is Jon really half Targaryen? And most importantly, will he ride a dragon?!

How do you think Jon’s resurrection will impact the future of ‘Game of Thrones’?