Best of 2014: TV – Best New Series

Another year is in the books, and we here at Hush Comics couldn’t pass at the chance to rank our favorites of this year’s releases in all types of mediums. Some of the winners will surprise you; heck, some of the results surprised  us. The results are completely subjective, and therefore were chosen with infallible logic. We would love to hear your opinions on what we have chosen, or if you thought we missed anything. This should be a fun review before we gear up for 2015.

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Click on the link to take you to the “Best of 2014” homepage.

Best New TV Series

  • Constantine (NBC)
  • The Flash (The CW)
  • Gotham (Fox)
  • How to Get Away With Murder (ABC)
  • Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (HBO)

WINNER – Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (HBO)

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver has done one thing for Americans who subscribe to (or steal) HBO: made them feel down right stupid.  Me included.  But you know what is so great about that?  John Oliver gets to educate us on our own country, and many other countries, too!  Being British makes him sound automatically smarter than us young Yanks, but there is a lot of research to back up his exposés.  Thanks to John Oliver, I now know about FIFA, mass incarceration, payday loans, beauty pageants, and of course the Russian Space Sex Geckos.  It could be construed as a comedy, but John Oliver and crew are masters at educating through humor, and sometimes, even doing something about the issues they have talked about. – Adrian

Second Place – The Flash (CW)

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DC and Marvel have been duking it out on the big screen for years now, but this year DC has declared an early victory in the battle of the small screen. Jumping off the success of Arrow, the CW’s newest superhero show, The Flash, made its debut in November. Since then, the series has introduced a butt-load of DC characters – and hinted at even more to come. I love this show because it has BALLS.The Flash is still susceptible to the “that’s so C-Dub” tropes, but it has an enjoyable cast, impressive special effects, and more Easter Eggs than we know what to do with at times. After only two months, The Flash can already keep pace alongside Arrow. – Sherif

Third Place – Constantine (NBC)

Constantine Best of 2014 TV Series New Series Runner Up

John Constantine is one bad man, and it’s about damn time we get a television show that shows us that. The best way I can describe the show Constantine is that it’s the guy version of Charmed, but much more terrifying. Or a way better version of the 2005 Keanu Reeves movie. The show itself has even dug itself out of an early grave, as it was handed the time slot most associated with shows sentenced to death – Friday nights. Anybody with a social life or without a DVR was almost guaranteed not to be able to catch Constantine, so the fate of the series rested on the hardcore fans of the demon hunter. In spectacular fashion, the voices of the fans (and a surprising amount of casual viewers, as well) convinced NBC, the same jerks that canceled Community, to move the show to a more feasible time slot. So there’s one demon down; now they just have to get renewed for a second season. – Sherif

RUNNER UP – How to Get Away With Murder (ABC)

How To Get Away With Murder Best of 2014 TV Series Best New Show Runner Up

Well, I’m not surprised us at Hush felt that How to Get Away with Murder was one of the year’s best shows. For me personally I was hooked by the first episode, and since I don’t have a television, I found every which way possible to watch it as soon as it was available. I never hit fast forward and always found myself hovering at the edge of my seat holding my breath. I was riveted by the storyline, the characters and the nature in which everything unfolded. And I was honestly and genuinely surprised by the mid-season finale. What I find most intriguing about the show is how it articulates its reality and the ways different characters deal with murder. The emotion is raw and intense and at times hard to stomach, not to mention the sexy-time is wonderful. If it’s not a show on your watch list it should be. Binge it right away so you’re ready for when it comes back. Because we are all wondering what is to come next for all of these dynamic characters. – Jené

RUNNER UP – Gotham (Fox)

Gotham Best of 2014 TV Series New Series Runner Up

I’m not going to lie… new TV this year was pretty bad, but somewhere near the top of this pile of suck is Gotham, a show all about the humble, murderous roots of Batman’s hometown.  Joy!  Kinda.  As my brother so aptly put, “it’s a show about Batman without any Batman.”  That’s not completely true.  Adolescent Bruce Wayne is a part of this show, but this series focuses primarily on Jim Gordon pre-Commissioner title and his police partner Harvey Bullock.  The show had its moments – mostly anytime Robin Lord Taylor (Oswald Cobblepot aka The Penguin) was on screen.  Strung together by a series of fairly unrelated events and peppered with B-list (maybe even D-list: Balloon Man?) villains, Gotham provided mild relief from the boredom plaguing Monday night primetime.  It wasn’t a bad show.  It wasn’t a great show.  But for trying something new and delving into the DC universe, Fox and Gotham get props and for at least an earnest attempt at creating something special. – Taylor

Next Category: Best TV Series

Denver Comic Con 2014 – Arrow Actors

Click on the link to take you to all of our Denver Comic Con 2014 articles

Panel NameArrow Actors

Topic: Q&A with the stars of The CW’s Arrow

Featured GuestsStephen Amell (Green Arrow), Caity Lotz (Black Canary)

We arrived a few minutes late due to the overlap of the Batman 75th anniversary panel, but were pleasantly surprised to find the place filled to the brim with people. This is selfish of me but the more fans of this show there are, the longer it will be on air. I am hoping for a strong ten years like we got out of Smallville and I wish the same for the upcoming Flash show. By the time we arrived, the moderator had started a few questions of his own and I made it just in time for the audience to start asking questions. On a very basic level, I learned that these two people are totally awesome and in a different life, Stephen and I might have been best friends.

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There were tons of questions about the show, which is great, but I am surprised that there weren’t any questions asked about his time on Hung or any of the other popular shows he was on. There was no way that I was going to get a question answered because the line to ask questions was almost out the door on both sides of the room. We did learn that DC is very open to allowing them to use name and places from the universe and that will be a pretty big deal going further into the show. Stephen also divulged that he prefers a recurve bow to a compound, as he considers compounds to be cheating, and that he preferred the pain on his face to the mask he currently wears. The panel was filled with fan questions like these, and while I could fill up a page alone with the answers to these questions, I would tell you to check out the YouTube video that Stephen posted on his Facebook account.

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I didn’t get the opportunity to ask a question of either of them during the panel, after a combined wait time of an hour and a half, I was able to get the autograph of both actors and ask each a question or two. I can confirm that they are both genuinely nice people and are truly appreciative of their fans, which made talking to them all the more awesome. Caity all but confirms, quite coyly I might add, that we haven’t seen the last of Black Canary and Stephen assures us that SPOILER!! we haven’t seen the last of Oliver’s child that Moira pushed away. I can’t wait to see if they bring in Connor Hawke next season and I think this was a question that generally surprised Stephen so I don’t think he has been asked it yet. I also go the chance to ask Stephen about his charities and the video he did for BatKid. Check out the YouTube video for this and also take some time to look into the vineyards he has as well as the breast cancer charities he supports. Overall, this was an awesome experience and knowing that the actors of the show are such nice people, it will make watching next season that much better for me. I also hope that we see this version of the Arrow in the upcoming Justice League movie.

“Respect My Craft” – Stephen Amell

In this consumer-based industry, it can be easy to forget the years of hard work that the people in the business put in. Behind every panel, it takes a skilled writer, artist, inker and colorist to make the product complete. Behind each scene goes hours of preparation. Hush Comics’ weekly article “Respect My Craft” will dive into the history of these comic book and pop culture greats that will hopefully give a new perspective on how the men and women behind the pen (or stylus) contribute to the collective awesome-ness of the nerd world, or at least give you a reason to invest in their work.

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Name: Stephen Amell

Profession: Actor

Notable WorkArrow (2012-present), Hung (2011), Private Practice (2012)

“We’re making a kick ass show. We will continue to make a kick ass show. And I will continue to interact and provide interesting content for our fans. Because I love our fans. If every once and a while, some dickweed wants to pull a headline out of thin air to generate page views, then that’s the price we pay.” – Stephen Amell

 

The quote you see above is from an angry Stephen Amell in response to a member of the media “leaking” fabricated rumors that Amell was in talks to be a part of the Justice League movie, announced for 2016. You see, that kick ass show that Amell was referring to is Arrow, one of the hottest television shows out right now – and possibly the best live-action superhero show ever on the small screen. I’m actually sitting here writing this article as I re-watch the Season 3 finale of Arrow. I realize that, even though this is really Stephen Amell’s breakout role – his presence on it has been a contributing factor to why it is so phenomenal.

The Canadian sensation has stayed humble through the transition into stardom. It hasn’t been an instant rise to fame for Amell; it took nearly a decade-long career to get casted as Oliver Queen in Arrow. Like many actors without a pedigree, he got his start with small roles in popular television shows. The first of which was Showtime’s Queen as Folk, where he played a spin instructor. Spin class, for those who don’t know, is a gym class where a group of people vigorously ride stationary bikes to the tempo of music. Vigorously. Ironically enough, Amell was actually a spin instructor in real life prior to breaking into the business – which he had been training for since taking acting classes in high school.

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Amell expanded his repertoire when he was cast on the gay super-natural soap opera, Dante’s Cove, home to some pretty risqué dude-on-dude scenes – Amell excluded, sorry ladies and/or fellas, if you’re into that. He proved early on that he is comfortable with his sexuality, playing a gay prostitute in the third season of HBO’s Hung, a role that he apparently didn’t tell even his parents about (probably because he didn’t have this awesome video to break the news with). Aside from playing Arrow, his role of Jason has been his longest-running. His openness to trying roles like this led to a slew of other opportunities, from CSI and NCIS to the award-winning Canadian shows like HeartlandRent-A-Goalie and ReGenesis. Amell also played Brady the Werewolf in The Vampire Diaries. The CW, the channel that hosts both TVD and Arrow, likes to keep their actors in the family, which led to his audition – and prompt casting – for the part of Oliver Queen, the Green Arrow.

If you’re going to choose a character to get type-casted as, a billionaire crime-fighter isn’t the worst. Green Arrow has been a dark horse favorite among DC Comics characters – which is great, considering he is often in the shell of Batman (oddly enough, Arrow will be competing with FOX’s Gotham drama based on the Dark Knight). Nothing comes easy to Queen, and it shows through the stream of flashbacks to the island Queen was stranded on.  This is such an impressive feat for Amell, who must portray both a character living a current-day double life, and a character in progression – a guy who goes from entitled douche to unlikely hero.

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The dreaded Salmon Ladder. Stephen Amell does his own stunts, thank you very much.

Now, Stephen Amell doesn’t just play a hero on television; he’s kind of one in real life. Most people by now have heard of Batkid, but just in case you haven’t, I will give a little background. Miles was a kid who had battled leukemia and was in remission. His one wish was to save the city of Gotham with Batman. The entire city of San Francisco was transformed in Gotham City and Batkid went around foiling the nefarious plots of many of Batman’s greatest foes. In what could be considered the greatest nod to Batkids work, Stephen posted a video on his Facebook as Oliver Queen with Diggle and Felicity. He is talking to his partners about how there is absolutely no criminals to fight thanks to the heroics of Batkid and thanks to him he gets to go out and enjoy dinner for a night.

It goes further than that. He has one of the best Facebook pages known to man, which he frequently uses to interact with fans and post hilarious memes making fun and promoting the show. Amell also found time to voice the Arrow version of the Green Arrow (regular version played by Alan Tudyk) character in the Injustice: Gods Among Us video game. Aside from posting memes, Amell uses social networking as a platform for the various cancer research causes that he believes in, stemming from his mother’s diagnosis with breast cancer. To name a few: he recently auctioned an autographed Arrow statue away (going for over $25K on eBay at time of writing) for a cancer patient, he attends fundraiser balls in the name of awareness (Boobyball and Fuck Cancer, to name a couple).

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How he manages to juggle being the hardest working actor in television with his wife, former America’s Next Top Model contestant, Cassandra Jean, and their baby girl, Mavi, is anybody’s guess. Plus, he’s now an expert archer, or at least what he told us at his panel at Emerald City Comic Con, he has the form of an expert archer. The humanitarian aspect he brings to the table, coupled with his work ethic – and workout ethic, sets him apart from the rest of the industry. How lucky we are to have Amell spearhead the superhero television revolution. Oliver Queen should take notes.

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None of the media in this article belongs to Hush Comics; it all belongs to their respective properties (DC Comics). Join us tomorrow as we continue our countdown to Denver Comic Con with the voice actor that raised a generation, Jim Cummings.

So Far this Week… April 2, 2014

With the expansion of Hush Comics, we have decided to give bi-weekly news updates.  Anything we find news-worthy will be posted here bi-weekly.  Have anything to add?  Post it in the comments!

That awesome April Fools’ Day tradition of the media tricking us into thinking really cool ideas are really real cool ideasis back. Here are some of our favorites that we’ve found around the nets:

 

Microsoft finally revealed Cortana, the Windows Phone’s answer to Siri. Anybody who has an iPhone can tell you that she is a complete idiot, so the there’s no reason to think that the Halo babe could make Appleheads jump ship.

Robot Chicken DC Special 2: Villains in Paradise airs this Sunday on Cartoon Network. Check out this sneak peak from DC: All Access. Solomon Grundy want pants, too!

Tonight’s episode of Arrow is titled “Deathstroke.” After the events of last week’s “Birds of Prey,” Things have gotten so real! Manu Bennett AKA Crixus AKA Slade Wilson is killin’ it right now!

Everybody’s favorite asshole doctor show, House M.D., is now streaming on Netflix. I fell off the wagon right after Season 5, so I’m excited to see how the show wrapped up.

Monday marked the end of How I Met Your Mother. The show has been a staple in American television for nearly a decade, so not matter how you felt about the finale, you gotta give credit where it’s due. I’m excited to see what Alyson Hannigan, Jason Segel and Neil Patrick Harris are going to do next.

Superman: Unchained #7 will come out whenever the hell it feels like. The series with the juggernaut creative team (Jim Lee, Scott Synder) has released six issues in eight months, and will be taking another month hiatus.

Get your sewing kit out! There is going to be a Marvel-themed Project Runway show airing tomorrow. I actually used these words: “Babe, could you DVR the next Project Runway for me?” Man card revoked.

 

 

So Far this Week… February 5, 2014

With the expansion of Hush Comics, we have decided to give bi-weekly news updates.  Anything we find news-worthy will be posted here bi-weekly.  Have anything to add?  Post it in the comments!

This week, we’re excited about several new books out, but none moreso than Ms. Marvel, which has been rebooted and features a young Muslim girl as the superhero. Read this article by The Washington Post to see why this is a BFD.

The Lex Luthor story line in the new Batman vs. Superman movie is going to be similar to something we’ve seen before.

The late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman still had a vital scene to film to complete the Mockingjay – Part II film. So what are they to do? Three words: C.G.I.

Kick-Ass news! John Romita Jr. will be coming to DC Comics to do Superman with Geoff Johns this summer. The team-up could give the Man of Steel a much-needed boost.

Voting for the 2014 Comic Alliance Readers’ Choice Awards ends soon! Go vote and feel validated!

Can anybody smell what The Rock is cooking? You can’t just Tweet out #JohnStewartCanStillWhupSupermansAss without people thinking that you will be playing the Green Lantern John Stewart in an upcoming movie.

The fairy-tale world is on fire right now – figuratively, of course. Zooey Deschanel will be producing an animated sitcom called Queen of Everything to FOX.

Long-running show Psych has been cancelled just a couple months into their eight season; the last episode airs March 26th.

Try to keep up here. The Flash’s new spin-off series, which begins filming in March, has found an actress to play Iris West, who is the love interest of Barry Allen, who is the Flash (shhhh!); her name is Candice Patton and she was in a show called The Game they also chose Broadway actor Carlos Valdez, who will play Vibe, a young and inexperienced hero who can emit powerful vibrations from his arms. He must be a hit with the ladies… Whoo, that was fast.

The next-gen release of Disney Infinity 2 will feature both Marvel and Star Wars characters. If you were looking for an excuse to buy the game, there it is!

Speaking of Star Wars, Disney has already announced that they will introduce the brand-new Star Wars Rebels series by way of original Disney Channel movie this Summer.

Sunny Day, Sweepin’ the clouds aw-Kahhhhn!!! Benedict Cumberbatch stopped by to join the cast of Sesame Street.

Bill Nye, who is like, the Guy, when it comes to science, had a debate with best-selling Christian author Ken Ham to discuss Evolutionism vs Creationism. It’s a lengthy and intelligent debate held by NPR, so get some sleep, get your grand-dad’s pipe out and watch the debate here.

It might be the news about how crappy Sochi is doing, I was just thinking the other day that there haven’t been any good movies about an Olympic tragedy in a while. Enter Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill,  who will both co-star in a film about the 1996 Atlanta bomber.

Assassin’s Creed: Freedom Cry will be its own $15 downloadable game, meaning you won’t have to buy AC4 to get in on the action. I hope they do this with every game’s DLC going forward. Arrrrrr.

FX’s Archer is about to dead a whole lot better, as The Walking Dead‘s Lauren Cohan (Maggie) will be joining the show for multiple episodes. She describes her character as “a wealthy corrupt President’s wife who is vaguely European.” SOLD.

If you’ve read our “Shut Up and Take My Money” article on RetroFit gaming systems, then you will geek out when the RetroFit TRIO comes out in the next couple months.

So… who is going to beat the living f*** out of George Zimmerman? There were apparently 15,000 people who applied to fight Zimmerman. What a scumbag… Details of the fight will be announced in a week.

Ubisoft had a little debacle with the trademark name of their high-profile game Watch Dogs when somebody had fraudulently filed to dissolve the trademark name of the upcoming game. Ubisoft is trying to correct the issue and it should not impede the game’s release.

They’re talking about another Duke Nukem game. Oh God, Why?? Just let it die!

Written by Sherif Elkhatib and Adrian Puryear