Outhouse tvphile Nightfly scathingly reviews the ridonkulous sixth installment of Stan Lee's (so-called) Superhumans on the History Channel.
Not a winning group of would-be heroes this week. Actually, they were so bad as to be funny (unintentionally). When I wasn't watching the clock hoping it'd end soon, I was LOL'ing at the oafish assemblage Stan grouped for this wildly disappointing entry. Only one week after offering one of my favorite epis of this series, this week's 'Superhumans' was literally pathetic. Lee's stunning pink shirt, beyond getting old, clearly reveals he filmed all his intros and outros in a single day. Perhaps someone should tell him next time, if this series gets a second season, to bring more shirts so it at least looks like it wasn't all done in a day.
Superflexible Daniel Brown Smith, Stan's roving reporter, first flies Samurai Isao Machii to Los Angeles to scientifically test whether his Katana has a soul or not... just kidding. Actually, in the end, it's Machii-san's Ki spirit that passed the tests more than anything else. Beyond the dimensions of sight and sound, with sword in hand, this Modern Samurai possesses anticipatory processing powers that cannot be scientifically explained. Daniel marvels at Isao-san's slicing an 83.5 mph (rubber) baseball in half, pitched by an MLB pro, and at his awesome ability to strike a (nearly invisible) Sixlets sized ballistic projectile hurling towards him at approx. 200 mph. As superhero martial artists go, Isao Machii qualifies, and then some. Besides being a 'superhuman' I'd welcome onto any team, Samurai Machii-san is the only man profiled this week I believe deserving (of inclusion in this show).
Daniel next traveled north to Sacramento to profile a professorial bee keeper (er, scientist). Dr. Norman Gary a.k.a. The Human Bee Hive doesn't control bees, but rather uses chemicals (pheromones, to be more precise) to direct certain limited responses - much like "controlling" a cat by knowing how it'll react around cat nip. Crazy people clothing themselves with bees, including young kids, is hardly superheroic - in fact it's so common the Guinness Book of Records has a special category for it. Just to amuse myself I pondered how funny it'd be if, like the bug demon in Keanu's 'Constantine', Dr. Gary walked around fully covered in bees with their angry pheromone in a squirt gun; instigating bee attacks on those who dare oppose him! Hehe. He'd be a lame villain, but if you're allergic to bees he'd be a serious threat. This segment was so ridiculous as to nearly offend me.
Another non-superhuman was featured in Ontario Canada, Steve Santini - dubbed by Stan, Extreme Escape. Similar to Super Balance (Eskil Ronningsbakken), but tested to a lesser degree, Extreme Escape controls his involuntary fear respones to stay calm while escaping deadly devices he constructs to race against, picking locks (etc). As a Houdini enthusiast myself, "escapology" & "escapologists" are subjects that intrigue me,... but I don't know what color cape it calls for? Being able to escape bondage shouldn't really be a superhero's power (unless you're Emp or Wonder Woman). That's all I have to say about that.
Back down in the states, in the Las Vegas desert, Rusty Haight serves as the starring attraction at an Accident Investigation Conference as the industry's famed Human Crash Test Dummy. Deciding that sensor covered dummies weren't good enough, Rusty thought crashing the cars himself (with only standard seat belts as protection) would be best. Over 937 crashes later we watch Haight successfully crash his 938th car, this one at over 40 mph, to the scientific delight of fellow 'investigators.' Apparently, he's developed a bracing technique that's prevented him from suffering serious injury or even the most minor (common) side effects from his hundreds upon hundreds of crashes. No doubt his [physically] reckless 'research' has helped the general public, but I can't help but think I he's pervertedly screened Cronenberg's 'Crash' a couple too many times.
for Rusty a.k.a. Human Crash Test Dummy
If this review seems short it's because I'm greatly disappointed with what I can only hope was filler - because thinking that Stan believed these guys are 'Superhuman' really worries me (for Stan). This was yet another Ripley's Believe It or Not episode. The Samurai guy was fun and exciting to watch, but the other three 'superhumans' would not even make competent C-level villains much less heroes of any sort. Is Chris Angel (Mind Freak) 'superhuman' too? How 'bout Johnny Knoxville? Kate Gosselin? Rachael Ray? Regis? Stan wasn't thinkin' too good when he assembled this motley crew. Please do better next time, and change your shirt.
Till Next Time.
Written or Contributed by: Nightfly
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About the Author - Nightfly
A proud member of NBCUniversal's and A+E Television Networks’ Digital Media Teams, Nightfly routinely interviews producers, creators and stars of various network programs and films with a concentrated emphasis on the Syfy channel. Formally educated in Communications, Computer Science and Music, his résumé reflects more than a decade broadcasting in the fields of television and radio. With pieces routinely published at ScreenFad and Press Pass L.A., his primary areas of interest include TV, film, music, web series, comic books, fashion, pen 'n paper RPG gaming as well as various other pop-culture topics. An avid Twitter user, Nightfly supports the arts, the entertainment community, numerous charities and crowdfunding projects through his journalistic netizenship and non-partisan, multicultural-centric activism.
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