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Monthly Archives: January 2013

SEASON FINALE RECAP & REVIEW: Parenthood “Because You’re My Sister” S4 E15

I hate that it’s Jan 25th and Parenthood is over for the season.  But I’ve said it before, I’d rather have a 15 episode season of Parenthood, than no season at all.  So if 15 is all I get and it keeps Parenthood on the air, so be it.  But I’d still rather have the full 22…it has to be said!

Adam and Kristina

It’s been a pretty emotional season.  Kristina’s cancer storyline has really dominated the tear factor, with a handful of other stories vying for their Kleenex moment, so you knew there was going to be a decision at the end of the season…was Kristina going to be in remission or was she going to die?   I’m not going to lie.  I was worried Katims was going to kill Kristina off.  Because the storytelling that would happen in the build up to her death and in the preceding episodes dealing with her passing would be so incredibly powerful and interesting, I thought Katims might go that route.  At this point, luckily, he has decided not to go in that direction.  Although I fear seeing her friend Gwen might have been a foreshadowing of things to come.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I am by no means wishing for this to happen.  NO.  WAY.  I’m just putting on my forecasting hat and, as usual, reading too much into everything.

Kristina had one more scan to make sure that the cancer hadn’t spread because something looked off in her test.  But the doctor was just being cautious thinking it was probably just her body reacting to all the treatment.  Turns out that exactly what it was!    Yeah!!!  Now he did warn her that she can’t use the “C” word (cured) for 5 years but at this point, she is cancer free!!!

I’m so happy for her and for Adam.  This whole storyline was told so beautifully.  It showed how scary and lonely it can be for a cancer patient.  But it also showed how difficult it is on the spouse.  And it showed that both sides can be flawed in their actions.  There were times Adam was trying to be supportive but in his quest to support (like with bought Kristina the trip to Hawaii to celebrate her clean health), it pushed negative buttons in Kristina.  Likewise, when Adam was doing his best to be supportive (like when he bought Kristina the wig) Kristina really overreacted to what her husband’s intentions were.  Showing the side of the cancer patient in a supportive light is a dangerous and tricky storyline to go down.  You never want to show a patient unfavorably because of what they are going through but if you are going to show this as real as possible, then you have to cross that line.  But Katims did it so well that it was never disrespectful or insensitive.   But it was a perfect ending to a very well told story from start to finish.

Joel and Julia

Speaking of a well told story, this story had some mixed emotions over the course of the season.  I didn’t have as much of a problem as some people did…until the last two episodes.   Now I am going to chalk up the fast turn around to only have 15 episodes to work with and wanting to wrap this story up on a happy note this season and not drag it out into the next one.  But is that the fastest turn around you have ever seen in a kid?  He went from being really nasty and mean to Julia and Sydney to now begging Julia to adopt him and asking Sydney to show up at his adoption ceremony because she’s his sister.  This from the kid that just 2/3 weeks earlier was saying Julia wasn’t his real mother.  It didn’t make sense to me.  And there seemed to be no explanation as to what caused him to have this major change of heart.  That’s the only part that really disappointed me.  But my assumption is that Katims really wanted the adoption to happen in the finale and there was only so much time between certain episodes to make that happen.

Other than that, the adoption was wonderful and classic Braverman.  Of course the ENTIRE family would be there to support J&J.   And I LOVED how each one of them stepped up to say how they now related to Victor and how there certain areas in life where he should reach out to them for advise.  (Oh and really Sarah, YOU’RE going to suggest relationships for your area of expertise.   Ugh.)   But the best part was at the end of the scene when they were running out and Victor said to Julia “Mom can we get ice cream?”   The look on her face when he called her mom was priceless.  I love it.

Crosby & Jasmine

I still don’t agree with Jasmine on how her mom should have been handled.  Are there some sensitivities to the situation that should be respected because of who Renee is and what she has been to Jabbar?  Absolutely.  Does that give her the right to tell Crosby and Jasmine how to parent their son?  No.  And Crosby had every right to be upset with Renee interfering with their way of raising Jabbar.  Renee wasn’t happy with their routine (Crosby getting in late and having dinner as a family when he got home.)  so she just changed it.  That isn’t right and Jasmine should have put her foot down more.  She was just as much to blame in this for putting Crosby in the position of having to be the heavy and that’s why it became worse than it needed to be…because she didn’t have his back, even though she agreed with him.  Ironically, I think Renee was right that Jabbar shouldn’t be eating dinner at 8:00pm during the week.  That should be closer to a bedtime than mealtime.  But you know what, it doesn’t matter what I think or she thinks.  The only thing that matters is what his parents think because it’s their decision.  And quite frankly, I think it’s nice that they try to do what they can to have dinner as a family, no matter what time it is.   But because Jasmine didn’t have the guts to have an honest, but respectful conversation with her mother, the situation and the tension built up and exploded when it didn’t need to and Renee’s feelings were hurt.  And somehow Crosby had to apologize, which was wrong.  If anything, Jasmine should be apologizing to Crosby and her mother, because this whole thing is her fault.

I forgave Jasmine very quickly though because I LOVE the way she told Crosby she was pregnant.  Even more, I love the fact that they went to see Renee and let her be the first one they told.  And the way Crosby told her was so sweet and adorable, it just melted my heart.  So it looks like all if forgiven and another happy ending for another Braverman sibling.

Sarah/Hank/Mark

Thankfully, this storyline is over.  Sarah finally made up her mind and decided to give it a go with Hank only to have her heart-broken by him when he told her he was closing the shop and moving to Minnesota to be with his daughter.  I have to say, I can’t blame him.  But he did tell Sarah that he loved her and wants her to move with him to snowy, icy, Minneapolis.  I say, go.  I’ve said this before, I love Lauren Graham, I don’t like her character.  Sarah isn’t bringing a whole lot to the table and her stories, quite frankly, haven’t been that interesting.  So I wouldn’t mind seeing her haul off and follow Hank to Minnesota.  But that won’t happen because LG isn’t going anywhere.  I also had a MAJOR problem with how she told Mark.  Are you kidding me? You walk into his classroom and stiffer than a board, tell him you’re going to make a go of it with Hank and good-bye.  Could she have been more cold?  For God sake he was her fiance.  Didn’t he deserve a little more warmth and respect than what she gave him?   Take him for coffee, take him for a beer.  But don’t do it at work and don’t be so cold and unfeeling that we’re wondering how you two were ever together in the first place.  I assume  she was trying to play it as awkward, which I’m sure it was.  But it came off as bitter and rude, than awkward.

Amber/Drew

A quick note on these two.  I’m glad Drew got to wrap up his story with Amy and we got to see her one more time and they were able to resolve their break up in a satisfying way.  What they went through was so hard and difficult for teenagers.  For anyone really but especially teenagers.   I’m also thrilled to see his moment of joy learning he got into Berkley, after all the sadness he’s had the last few weeks.  The only thing that was disappointing is that there is still no fallout from his moment with Sarah when he fell into her arms crying after it happened.  Does she know?  Did he tell her?   We still don’t know.  My assumption is that he did because when she was congratulating him on getting into Berkley, she told him “I told you everything would be ok.”  Now was that the gentle nod to let us know that she knew?  I’m still not 100% sure.   Either way, I’m happy for Drew and I’m very excited for him.   I’m going to say something cooky, crazy now.   Is it possible Amy didn’t go through with it and is still pregnant and that we’ll see her two seasons from now where Drew bumps into her with a kid in a stroller?   I’m just, throwing it out there.  My guess is no, but you know how my mind works!

Amber and Ryan are back together…yeah!!  As they should be.  I love this relationship and it’s so nice to see how far Amber has come from when we first met her and how mature she is being.  She is getting her life together and she is being very responsible and respectful to herself and Ryan in regards to making this relationship work the right way.  The chemistry between Whitman and Lauria is incredible so I hope Ryan will be a permanent fixture on the show moving forward.

So that’s season 4 of Parenthood.  Did you love this season?  Are you sad it’s over so soon?  I hope NBC does the right thing and brings it back.  I think they will.

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SERIES PREMIERE RECAP & REVIEW: The Following “Pilot” S1 E1

I read all the advanced reviews, listened to all the podcasts, saw the “Inside the Following” trailer.  This show was awesome!!!  It was so gripping and thrilling.  I haven’t been on the edge of my seat that much watching a TV show in a very long time.  Many people from the writers, to the actors, to the critics can really blow up a show’s premise, for both the good and the bad, and sometimes it can be to the extreme of what we’re really watching.  I’ve seen interviews where cast members say they are doing a show that’s really groundbreaking and thought-provoking.  Turns out the show is dull and boring.  I’ve seen show runners say shows are intelligent and  cerebral with intense twist and turns.  Then they turn out shows like The Killing, which was none of those things.    But in all the build up to The Following, I can honestly say, not one report was blown out of proportion.  The show was scary, thrilling, mysterious, creepy, gross, edgy, smart, and sadistic.  And I can’t wait until next week.

The show follows Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) who is a former FBI agent responsible for capturing the world’s most notorious serial killer, Joe Carroll (James Purefoy.)  Hardy has left the bureau under, not so clear circumstances, but apparently has perfected his ability to imbibe copious amounts of vodka out of Poland Springs bottles.  It appears, at least today, that due to being stabbed in the heart by Carroll and not playing well with others, that Hardy was out.  It also might have something to do with his relationship with Claire but I’m not 100% sure if that’s accurate.  But Hardy is recruited back once Carroll escapes from prison.  From there, things happen very quickly and what we learn in the 42 minutes of air time is not what we (I should say I) was expecting.

First there is Carroll himself, the former college professor with an obsession over Edgar Allan Poe, turned collegiate serial killer.  I always complain that shows/movies give away too much of what’s going on in previews these days, but with The Following, nothing I saw in the preview really clued me into the bigger picture.   Probably because I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed but I went in expecting to see one thing and now it’s something completely different.  I thought this was going to be about Carroll escaping and starting his rampage all over with Hardy and crew trying to capture him.  I also thought, that’s going to make the series awfully challenging for many seasons to come if they are only ever chasing Carroll.  What we eventually learn is that his escape (and eventual immediate capture) is just the foundation for a much larger, more sinister plot than anyone could have imagined.    We also learn that you can trust no one.  You can’t take one character on this show at face value or else you could get Survivor blind sided.  It makes watching the show so much more enjoyable when you just don’t know who to trust.

Then there is the romantic triangle that is so bizarre when you think about it.  Carroll was married to another college professor, Claire Matthews (Natalie Zea) who eventually falls in love with her husband’s captor, Hardy.  There are SOOO many questions here.  First, when did Claire and Hardy fall in love?  The one time line we were privy to this evening was in 2002 when Carroll comes home and throws his wife on their bed and she tells him the news that she’s pregnant.  They seem quite happy and in love at this point.  Did Claire already know Hardy at this point?  Was she already having an affair with him?  My guess is that she didn’t know about her husband’s extra curricular activities at that time, so when did she learn?  See I think, she and Hardy didn’t get together until later but my husband has a different theory.  He thinks Joey, Claire’s son, is actually Hardy’s and not Carroll’s.  Remember the scene where she hands the letter to Hardy and she says that “he knows” and Hardy tells her that he’s bluffing and he’s just pretending?   My husband thinks that in the letter Carroll tells Claire he knows Joey is Hardy’s kid.  That means one of two things.  One, that Hardy and Claire’s affair was happening back in 2002 and therefore she was pregnant with Hardy’s kid or two, that she was pregnant at that time but something happened and she lost the baby and got pregnant later with Hardy’s kid.  The former is more plausible because if Carroll is captured in 2003 (and not knowing months at this point) that could be a tight timeline for a second pregnancy.

Finally there is the cult angle.   Like I said earlier, I was expecting this show to be about re-capturing Carroll once he escapes prison and starts his murdering ways again.  But that isn’t the case at all.  This isn’t about Carroll anymore.   I mean it is because it’s his plan, but it isn’t JUST about Carroll because there are so many people involved that it’s bigger than we even realize at this point.  It’s Silence of the Lambs meets Charles Manson!!  I’m not a huge “cult” person because I find them amazingly creepy, and not in a fascinating way.  But this I do find incredibly interesting because I want to know how someone like Joe Carroll is able to get so many people to do what he wishes.   Why would they do this?   How does he get in touch with them?  How does he develop these relationships to the point where people would spend years of their lives following his lead?  Does he have a main point of contact on the outside helping him?   It’s unreal!!   And on a side note, I find it a little disturbing that I was more upset and cringing over the scene where we saw all the puppies who had been slaughtered than I was seeing 4 police officers brutally murdered in the prison.  When I saw that video with the cop with the puppy, I had to cover my eyes because if he hurt that dog and I had to see it, I may have been done with the show.   How wrong is that?

Ok I’m going to go out on a crazy wild limb and say that Agent Mike Weston (Shawn Ashmore) is one of the followers.  I know I know, I’m nuts and it’s only the first episode so why do I want to make a crazy prediction so early.   Because it’s fun!!  This show has already proven that you can’t trust anyone.  Look at Maggie Grace’s adorable gay neighbors who loved her and were there to protect her.  Not so adorable and lovable now are they? Although I said to my husband when the second guy showed up that I didn’t trust him and that I thought he was in on it.  Then there’s Joey’s nanny who’s obviously been with Joey and Claire a long time.   Yep, she’s one of them too.  And Carroll has already gotten one law enforcement officer on his side so I wouldn’t put it past him to reach higher.  He obviously has the intelligence, the charisma, and the arrogance to pull it off.  I wouldn’t put it past him to have a FBI agent in his pocket.  Weston seems the perfect choice at this point.  He’s young, he’s smart, he has a man crush on Hardy and his work, he appears to want to get to know him better and learn from him, he knows the case backwards and forwards, and no one would suspect him.  So I’m all in on Weston being part of the cult.

The big question is why?  Why is Carroll doing this?  Is it because Hardy and his wife had an affair and he wants to get back at both of them?  Is it because he can and he wants to see how far he can take this?  Is it because he’s bored and Angry Birds just isn’t cutting it any more (pardon the pun.)  I have to believe he has a master plan that has levels we haven’t even begun to think of yet.  But I can’t wait to see where this show takes us.

One of the reasons why I think this show works so well is the chemistry between Bacon and Purefoy.  Is it Hopkins/Foster worthy?   Not quite, but it’s pretty damn good.  The scene where Carroll has been recaptured and he explains to Hardy his plan is so chilling, Purefoy knocks it out of the park.  Bacon also does a masterful job of showing his intense anger and disgust while keeping his composure.  You can see the wheels spinning in his head as Carroll unloads all this new information onto him.  It should set up a beautiful, sinister dance between the two of them for the rest of the series.  But I will say one thing.  Agent Hardy, the next time you get a hunch, please please please, bring back up with you!  Why you would go to the Lighthouse by yourself, is beyond me.  And while we’re on that, I’m heartbroken Maggie Grace was killed.  To survive an attack by a serial killer only to learn that the people you trusted for three years, worked for him and led you right back to him only so he could finish the job?  And to expose what happened to her to Hardy the way he did?  Just, evil!

I want to take one brief moment to comment on the violence of the show.  There have been many people commenting on it and since I have a forum to put in my two cents, I’m going to.  I think we live in a society today where violence is all too present.  With technology advancing, it’s easier for people to find more ways to be destructive and deadly and it’s incredibly scary.  There was no worse display of that than what happened in Newtown, CT just last month.  It’s raised many topics about gun laws and gun control.  It has also resurfaced the discussion on violence in video games, movies, and TV.   And I can understand it.  Tragedies like this hit everyone hard.  And even when there isn’t a tragedy current in our heads, many people find it unnecessary to show the levels of violence that many games, movies, and TV shows so graphically display.   But I also understand that we live in a society where people have the creative rights to depict and tell stories as they choose.  Storytellers have the right to broadcast and film their stories as they feel is necessary to tell the best story or get their message across.  And just as they have the right to do it, people who don’t agree with it have the right to not support it by not purchasing those video games, not buying tickets to those movies, or simply changing the channel on their TVs.

This show won’t be for everyone.  It’s dark, it’s gruesome.  And while I’m someone who abhors violence, especially against children and animals, I can also put shows like this in their proper context.  Because for me, I find shows like this compelling.   I want to know how the FBI would attack a situation like this.  I want to see how they profile a twisted individual.  I want to see how they learn and adapt to get smarter and better so that they continue to get evil like that off the streets.  I want to see if I can figure this out right along with them.  Now is this a documentary on the BAU of the FBI?  Of course not.  It’s a TV show for entertainment, not a History Channel expose.  But shows like this don’t happen in a vacuum.  They do research and have consultants that aid with adding realism into a fictional show.  Now scenes and situations will be dramatized for effect but there are storytellers who like to have as much realism as possible when telling a story like this.   And what it all comes down to is that this is fiction, not reality.  If people want to watch a show like this (that is brilliant right off the bat), I think it’s absolutely ok.   If other people want to crucify it for its violent nature, that’s absolutely ok too.  The beauty of this age of TV is that there are hundreds of channels for you to pick from on Monday nights at 9pm.  If The Following isn’t your bag, it’s a shame but I get it.  And I respect your right to watch something else.    Just respect my right to want to watch it.

What did you all think?  Did you like The Following?  Are you as hooked as I am?  Or were you just too creeped out by people stabbing themselves in the eye to come back?   Let me know!

 

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QUICK REVIEW: Criminal Minds, Castle, Revenge, The Good Wife, Blue Bloods

Criminal Minds

This is not a show that needs recapping every week but every once in a while, an episode or string of episodes happen that warrant discussion.  Last week’s episode broke my heart.  In the early days of Criminal Minds, I rooted for JJ and Reid to get together.  A big part of me, still does.  But I’ve moved on from the idea of those two getting together.  As a result, I was 100% on board with this romance between Maeve and Spencer.  And before you start referencing Manti Te’o asking how can you have a relationship with someone you’ve never met, this show handled it very well to the point I totally believed it.  Matthew Gray Gubler and Beth Riesgraf did a fantastic job selling this relationship that up until this episode, only existed via cryptic phone conversations.  The reason for this, she had a stalker.  So she was in hiding until the stalker was caught. Unfortunately, the stalker found her and kidnapped her and as a result, Reid, who is a very private person, needed to out his relationship to the team and ask for their help in finding her.  Turns out it was someone applying for a PhD and Maeve denied her application and therefore Diane (Michelle Trachtenberg) flipped out and murdered her ex-fiance and ultimately murdered herself and Maeve with a bullet to the head.  It was such a sad scene for so many reasons.  First, Spencer had never seen her face.  Even when Garcia had her picture, Reid refused to see it because he wanted the first time to be face to face.  He also wanted to tell her that he loved her because the last time they spoke, she said she loved him and he didn’t respond.  When he finally saw her, it was with her strapped to a chair with Diane pointing a gun at Reid’s head and Reid pretending to love Diane and not her so he could get her free.  Instead of telling her that he loved her, he had to tell her that he didn’t love her so he could protect her.  Unfortunately, Diane saw through all this and while holding Maeve against her, put a gun to her own head and pulled the trigger, killing both of them.  I told my husband I was afraid she was going to die but then I thought, there’s no way CM would do that to Reid.  Yep, well, wrong again!   Maeve is dead and Reid is crushed.  It was brutal to watch and I’m really curious to see how this will impact him moving forward.  Reid is so private and doesn’t open his heart to many people.  And for him to be ready to make a committment to this girl, only to have her murdered in front of him, will completely damage his already fragile psyche.

Castle

Still one of my favorite shows on TV and I’m loving this season.  The last two episodes were great.  Seeing Meredith (Darby Stanchfield) around making things tricky for Castle and Beckett was priceless.  But it was also a nice change of pace to see Meredith and Beckett go to dinner together and really get along.  Unfortunately before she left, when Kate asked why they didn’t work, Meredith told her the truth.   Castle knew everything about her but she really didn’t know much about Castle.  He’s fun and romantic and sweet, but he never let her in, especially when it came to his dad.  And she couldn’t handle being in the dark.  It really resonated with Kate because she’s in the same situation…to some degree.  Castle knows everything about her darkest time…her mother’s death.  But Beckett knows nothing about, what appears to be, Castle’s darkest period…his father.  And I know there were people who thought Meredith did that maliciously, I don’t agree.  I think she was honestly answering Kate’s question without trying to sabotage anything.  I also think that Kate’s relationship with Rick is VERY different from Meredith’s.  Yes, she is just in the dark about Castle’s history with his father as Meredith is, but she has seen so many different layers to Castle that I’m pretty sure no one else has.   They have been through so much together and she has been around some very vulnerable sides to Rick, that she can’t compare her relationship with Castle to his relationship with anyone else.   She has seen a deeper side to him.  But I think this issue regarding his father, could be a driving wedge between them.  I hope it isn’t but I think it’s inevitable.

I just quickly wanted to mention how much I enjoyed last week’s episode which focused on Esposito. I like when the show puts focus on another character (especially Ryan and Esposito) because I care about them just as much as Castle and Beckett.  Ok maybe not AS much, but it’s close.  Esposito is such a great guy.  I love seeing a hard-nosed, tough guy get hit in his heart (figuratively) because he has no chance to avoid showing his soft side.  I hope the show brings Joey back.  I know cop shows always have those episodes where the cop gives the troubled kid his card where the cop says to call anytime and the cop promises to keep tabs on the kid.  Well I would like to see that.  Not all the time, but I think twice a year wouldn’t be out of the question.

Revenge

I would have to agree with everyone else…this season of Revenge isn’t as good as last season.  I liked the simplicity of last season with a target of the week under the umbrella plan of taking down the Graysons.  Now we have Aiden involved and his story.  Then you have the Initiative involved.  And there’s the Ryan brothers going after the Porter brothers.   It’s too much.  I don’t know why things need to go to this massive levels of story telling.   Sometimes, less is more.  I’d rather go back to last season’s methods with twists and turns complicating matters along the way.   But having said that, I still love the show.  If we can cut down on the side stories (mainly Aiden and the Initiative) I would be ok.  I’m not a fan of Aiden would rather him go away and just have Emily do her thing.  I also don’t know why we needed some major secret group being behind some the Grayson’s decisions.  I would rather have had the Grayson’s be responsible for all their own decisions without having to drag this secret society in.  But if the show can wrap those two things up and go back to business as usual with Emily driving everything and Nolan being there to help her, things will be good again.

The Good Wife

Alicia and Peter sitting in a tree.  F-U-C….whoa!!!!  I’m not going to go there.  But how about that trailer scene? AWESOME!!!   If the show continues down this path with Alicia and Peter doing their thing and Will possibly working on a relationship with Laura (Amanda Peet) I would be very happy.

The second half of the season is already cranking.  They got rid of Kalinda’s God awful husband storyline, the firm is slowly starting to pick itself back up again, the case of the Justice Department going after Eli (headed up by Wendy Scott Carr) resulting in bringing in George O’Malley is fantastic, and Louis Canning is now one of the firm’s creditors which should be an interesting wrinkle.  My biggest complaint?  Cary Agos.   Can we PLEASE find this man a storyline worthy of him?  I’m so tired of him being on the back burner.  It’s time to bring him to the big front burner and let him dominate a storyline.

Blue Bloods

I know I’m really late to the party in commenting on this but I think it’s really shitty the way Jennifer Esposito and her character were handled on the show.  If what she is saying is true, then it’s horrible.  The short version, Esposito had been diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  It went misdiagnosed for years and her form of the disease is pretty severe.  I know people with Celiac and there are varying degrees with some leaving people down right ill for weeks, especially when you don’t know what’s wrong.  Esposito was violently ill but when she finally was diagnosed properly her doctors suggested she have a reduced work load on the show to accommodate her illness.  According to Esposito, CBS didn’t grant the reduced work load nor did they release her from her contract.  She was put on medical leave without pay but because she was still under contract, she wasn’t able to seek employment with another network TV show.   She could do theater, film, or cable TV (as long as it didn’t air at 10pm) but she was pretty much stuck.   That’s the part I don’t get.  You won’t grant her request because it isn’t fair to the cast and crew, that’s fine.  But then let her go so she can find other work.   And they wouldn’t do that.   So she went on medical leave and now she’s gone for good.   I hate it because I thought she was fantastic and her chemistry with Donnie Wahlberg was amazing.  I think it’s a big loss for the show.  Having said that, I don’t think the new replacement, Megan Ketch has been bad.  I actually like her.  Not as much as Esposito of course, but Ketch is doing a good job.  It’s tough shoes to fill and I think no matter who it was to fill them, fans weren’t going to like her.  Now apparently Ketch is moving on and Megan Boone is set to replace her for 4 episodes with an option to be picked up a series regular.  Guess we’ll see how she does.

In terms of the season, as always, I love this show.  I know people can get annoyed at how the Reagan family always does the right thing and makes the right decisions.   But I don’t care.  I like the fact that they are good people trying to do the right thing.  What’s wrong with that?  They still have flaws.  They still struggle with decisions.  But if they always try to go the right way, I’m ok with that.

 
 

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Survivor Caramoan Fans vs. “Favorites” Cast

CBS released the next installment of Survivor’s cast this week.  There was much anticipation because this is a return to the Fans vs. Favorites theme that was probably one of the best seasons in Survivor history the first time around.  So myself and other Survivor fans eagerly anticipated who the batch of favorites would be.  Needless to say, this crew came crashing down with a loud thud (hence why favorites is in parentheses in the title above.)  Really?  This is who they came up with?  If these were the favorites, I’d hate to see who didn’t make the cut.   Let’s see who we have coming back:

  • Andrea – Redemption Island
  • Phillip – Redemption Island
  • Francesca – Redemption Island
  • Cochran – South Pacific
  • Dawn – South Pacific
  • Brandon – South Pacific
  • Erik – Micronesia (Fans vs. Favorites)
  • Corinne – Gabon
  • Brenda – Nicaragua
  • Malcolm – Philippines

Ok, let’s start with Malcolm.  I have no problem with them bringing Malcolm back because I loved his game and would love to see him have another crack at this.  But I think it’s too soon.  Three seems to be the magic number of times playing the game of Survivor so I’d rather have them spread out.   For Malcolm to come back so soon, is disappointing.  Not to mention, it’s hard to claim him as a favorite (even though casting was 100% right in their prediction) because when Malcolm filmed Fans vs Favs Part Deux, Philippines hadn’t even aired yet (these seasons were filmed back to back.)   So I wish Malcolm would come back, just a little later.

When Brenda, Dawn, and Francesca were first announced, I didn’t even remember who they were.  Once I saw Dawn and Francesca, I instantly remembered them.   Dawn I have no problem with.  Francesca, I’m glad she’s back because I thought she got a raw deal the first time around and I think she can do well in Survivor but it’s still surprising to see someone who was the first person out back as a “favorite.”  Brenda, even after I saw her, I didn’t know who she was.  She wasn’t that memorable to me.   Then I started reading about her time on Nicaragua and then I remembered who she was.  I wasn’t a fan of Brenda.  I thought she was pretty arrogant and rude but she was a great game player.

Erik and Andrea I’m happy to see back.  Erik for no other reason than to finally shed his “dumbest Survivor player ever” moniker.  And Andrea was a great player so I like seeing her have another crack at the million dollars.

Cochran and Corinne, I’m not sure about.  I liked Cochran at first but then he worked my nerves.  For someone who was a self admitted genius, he really made some dumb moves.  I hope he plays a better game this time around.  The one thing I do admire from him though, is his passion for the game.  He respects it and he plays hard, so I can always get behind that.  Corinne, I can’t stand.  She’s a nasty person.  She’ll bring ratings and interest, I guess.  But I don’t find her appealing at all.  I’ve never understood nasty, bitchy people who get off on being assholes and who actually think less of other people who are nice.  Corinne, I could have done without her.

But the two biggest head scratchers?   Phillip and Brandon.  WHY?  Phillip isn’t a good Survivor player.  The only reason he got as far as he did was because other people hated him so much, no one would give him a million dollars, so that’s why you bring him to the end.   Boston Rob played him like a fiddle.  Then you have Brandon.  What is the fascination with the damn Hantz family?  If you were going to bring a Hantz back, at least Russell is entertaining.  This kid is annoying and creepy.  I can’t think of one reason why bringing Brandon back enhances the game.  I seriously don’t.  That kid has issues and not in a good way.   There were so many other people to pick, I’m not sure why Brandon was one of them.  Waste of space if you ask me.

I have to imagine that there were other people they had in mind for this “favorites” list and they turned the show down.  And as a result, this was the B team.  Maybe even the Q team.  It’s the only explanation because I would never in a million years classify this group as “favorites.”  Some of them yes.  But the rest, not even close.   Jeff Probst did say, if we liked Philippines, we will love Caramoan even more, it’s that good of a season.  I love Probst and I trust him on this but it’s hard to imagine this season being that entertaining with this group of returning members.   But you know what that does tell me?  That the newbies could be an amazing group of players.

What do you think of the “favorite” list?

 
2 Comments

Posted by on January 19, 2013 in Casting News, CBS, Season Premieres

 

RECAP & REVIEW: 2013 Golden Globe Awards

I always enjoy the Golden Globes.  I love it because it isn’t as stuffy as the other awards shows.  It doesn’t take itself too seriously and it’s always a good time.  Plus, as the wonderful Amy Poehler put it, I love seeing “the beautiful people of film rub shoulders with the rat-faced people of TV.”

First of all the hosts….Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.  They.  Were.  AMAZING!!  I thought Neil Patrick Harris should host every award shows…I was wrong.  Ok, he can keep the Tony’s but I want Fey and Poehler for everything else.  They were perfection!!!  So as a result of their genius, a few of their best bits from the evening:

  • “Celebrating shows that have entertained us all year and films that have been in theaters for two days”  – Tina Fay 
  • “When you run afoul of the Hollywood Foreign Press, they make you host this show two more times.”  – Amy Poehler
  • “When it comes to torture, I trust the lady who spent 3 years married to James Cameron.”  -AP  (In regards to Kathryn Bigelow’s direction in Zero Dark Thirty)
  • “When left untreated, HFPA can lead to cervical cancer.”  -AP
  • “He filmed his first films in Boston but moved this film to Iran because he wanted a place more friendly to outsiders.”  -TF (To Ben Affleck)
  • “I have not seen someone so totally alone and abandoned like that since you were on stage with James Franco at the Oscars.”  – TF (to Anne Hathaway)
  • “She had a difficult time performing with the camera so close to her face.  Then she’ll never make it in porn.  I don’t think she has any plans to do porn Amy.  None of us has PLANS to do porn Tina.”  – TF & AP (again to Anne Hathaway)
  • “The Hunger Games is also what I call the 6 weeks it took me to get into this dress” – TF
  • “The Life of Pi is what I will call the 6 weeks after I take this dress off!”  – AP
  • “Meryl Streep is not here tonight because she has the flu and I hear she’s amazing in it.”  – AP
  • “Wow, what an exciting special guest!  Hillary Clinton’s husband!  Bill Rodham Clinton!”  – AP
  • “Good night everyone.  We’re going home with Jodie Foster!”  – AP

Unfortunately my bullet points don’t have the same inflections and facial expression that the ladies do so it probably loses a bit but you get the point.  Genius, genius, genius.   My only complaint, we didn’t have enough of them throughout the show.  Actually, they could have gotten rid of some of the boring presenters and just stuck with them.  Except for one pair…their SNL counterparts…Kristin Wiig and Will Ferrell.  Again, hilarious!  Maybe went on a touch too long, but I didn’t care.  It was wonderful.  Just ask Tommy Lee Jones who seemed to be rolling on the carpet howling with laughter at their bit.  (Insert sarcasm.)

There were many parts of this show that I loved.  Some parts that made me laugh, some parts made me roll my eyes, and some parts had me scratching my head.  I loved Jessica Chastain, Adele, and Ben Affleck’s acceptance speeches.   All were really from the heart and genuine and I couldn’t be happier for each one of them.  Take that Oscars for not nominating Affleck for Best Director.  That’s a crime.  Also, just when I thought it was impossible to love Adele more, she proves me wrong.  She is delightful and the type of person I just want to go and have a few pints with.  Just as I thought my love for Adele couldn’t increase, I thought my dislike for Taylor Swift couldn’t increase.  I was wrong, again.  Sitting there with her pissed off face for losing to Adele just shows again what a phony she is.  Show some class and be happy for your colleague who, quite frankly, can write circles around you and your pedestrian crap.  Moving on.  For some reason Lena Dunham and Anne Hathaway’s speeches didn’t come across as genuine.  I love Anne Hathaway. I do.  But her speech came across as a bit rehearsed and fake.  Except for her comments to Sally Field, that felt very real to me and they were beautiful.  But the rest…eh, not so much.  Lena Dunham’s speech was very nice, but it’s harder to believe someone’s sincerity when they are stiffly reading it off loose leaf paper.  I know it’s not fair and she probably had stuff written down because she was nervous.  I get all that.  I’m just saying it doesn’t feel as heartfelt.  Also, to say you’re “so surprised” yet you have an acceptance speech ready?  If you really don’t think you’re going to win, there’s nothing for you to prepare, right?    But I will say, her thanking Chad Lowe?   AWESOME!  Kevin Costner’s speech reminded me why I’ve never liked his acting.  It was a dry and boring and he is.  But congrats!

Then came Jodie Foster.  Foster is one of my all time favorite actresses.  If you really press me, she’s in the top 5.  She’s brilliant.  I was thrilled to see her getting the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement award because she is so deserving and I was ready to be wowed by her speech.  I was watching her feeling empowered yet confused at the same time.  I was touched and baffled all at once.  Does that make any sense?  I couldn’t tell if she was coming out or looking for a date.  If she was retiring or starting a self-help business.  It was bizarre.  But it was also beautiful.  It was just, odd.  It went off in these strange tangents but then when she focused herself back, she had some wonderful sentiments, especially about her mom.   Twitter last night was going off on her speech…some love it and some hated it.  Some were just as confused as I was.  But what no one can deny is that Foster has been a huge force in the film business for over 40 years.  And when looking back on her career, it was, and still is, glorious.

From the winners and losers standpoint, nothing was very shocking, on the TV end, except for one…Don Cheadle winning Best Actor in a Comedy for House of Lies.  Wow.  I love Don Cheadle and think he’s a great actor, but that show is awful.  And before you scream at me, yes I know he won and not the show, but he is wasted on that show.  His character is horrible, the plots are outrageous, and I can’t root for people who help slime balls out of jams they have no business being out of.  There are many awards Cheadle deserves, this wasn’t one of them.   But all the Homeland and Game Change love was well deserved.  The other one I’m not on board with is Girls.  I can’t speak very intelligently with this show because I only watched two episodes, but I couldn’t get into it.  I was bored by it.  And I know it’s the darling show right now and Lena Dunham is the darling writer/actor.  It did nothing for me.  But I’m happy for her and her cast and crew because it’s always nice when a new show can break the mold.  And hell, at least it’s not Modern Family right?   Yeah!!   The one person I’m hoping gets some love soon is Max Greenfield.  He is absolutely sensational as Schmidt on New Girl.  Please, please, please someone give this man the props he deserves!!!

The only thing I’m going to say from the movie side, since this is a TV blog after all, is that I have a TON of movies to see before the Oscars.  The last few years, there haven’t been many “Best Picture” movies I’ve wanted to see and truth be told, I think the last few years, I haven’t seen any of them.  But this year…Silver Linings Playbook, Argo, Django Unchained, Les Miz, Zero Dark Thirty, and Lincoln…wow.  What a great year for movies.  And I can’t wait to see all of these.

What did you think of the GG?  Love or hate it?

 

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2013 Golden Globe Awards Winners vs. Nominees List

 

Television

Miniseries or TV movie

WINNER: Game Change, HBO

Hatfields & McCoys, History

The Girl, HBO

The Hour, BBC America

Political Animals, USA

Drama

Boardwalk Empire, HBO

Breaking Bad, AMC

Downton Abbey, PBS

WINNER: Homeland, Showtime

The Newsroom, HBO

Comedy or musical

The Big Bang Theory, CBS

Episodes, Showtime

WINNER: Girls, HBO

Modern Family, ABC

Smash, NBC

Actor, drama series

Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire, HBO

Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad, AMC

Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom, HBO

Jon Hamm, Mad Men, AMC

WINNER: Damian Lewis, Homeland, Showtime

Actress, drama series

Connie Britton, Nashville, ABC

WINNER: Claire Danes, Homeland, Showtime

Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey, PBS

Glenn Close, Damages, DirecTV

Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife, CBS

Actor, comedy or musical series

Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock, NBC

WINNER: Don Cheadle, House of Lies, Showtime

Louis C.K., Louie, FX

Matt LeBlanc, Episodes, Showtime

Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory, CBS

Actress, comedy or musical series

Zooey Deschanel, The New Girl, Fox

WINNER: Lena Dunham, Girls, HBO

Tina Fey,30 Rock, NBC

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep, HBO

Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation, NBC

Supporting actor, series, miniseries or movie

Max Greenfield, New Girl, Fox

WINNER: Ed Harris, Game Change, HBO

Danny Huston, Magic City, Starz

Mandy Patinkin, Homeland, Showtime

Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family, ABC

Supporting actress

Hayden Panettiere, Nashville, ABC

Archie Punjabi, The Good Wife, CBS

Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story, FX

WINNER: Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey, PBS

Sofia Vergara, Modern Family, ABC

Actor, miniseries or TV movie

WINNER: Kevin Costner, Hatfields & McCoys, History

Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock, PBS

Woody Harrelson, Game Change, HBO

Toby Jones, The Girl, HBO

Clive Owen, Hemingway & Gellhorn, HBO

Actress, miniseries or TV movie

Nicole Kidman, Hemingway & Gellhorn, HBO

Jessica Lange, American Horror Story, FX

WINNER: Julianne Moore, Game Change, HBO

Sigourney Weaver, Political Animals, USA

Movies

Drama

WINNER: Argo

Django Unchained

Life of Pi

Lincoln

Zero Dark Thirty

Comedy or musical

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

WINNER: Les Misérables

Moonrise Kingdom

Silver Linings Playbook

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Director

WINNER: Ben Affleck, Argo

Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty

Ang Lee, Life of Pi

Steven Spielberg, Lincoln

Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained

Actor, comedy or musical

Jack Black, Bernie

Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook

WINNER: Hugh Jackman, Les Misérables

Ewan MacGregor, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Bill Murray, Hyde Park on Hudson

Actress, comedy or musical

Emily Blunt, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

WINNER: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

Judi Dench, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Maggie Smith, Quartet

Meryl Streep, Hope Springs

Actor, drama

WINNER: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln

Richard Gere, Arbitrage

John Hawkes, The Sessions

Joaquin Phoenix, The Master

Denzel Washington, Flight

Actress, drama

WINNER: Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty

Marion Cotillard, Rust and Bone

Helen Mirren, Hitchcock

Rachel Weisz, The Deep Blue Sea

Naomi Watts, The Impossible

Supporting actor

WINNER: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

Alan Arkin, Argo

Leonardo DiCaprio, Django Unchained

Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master

Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln

Supporting actress

Amy Adams, The Master

Sally Field, Lincoln

WINNER: Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables

Helen Hunt, The Sessions

Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy

Screenplay

Chris Terrio, Argo

WINNER: Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained

Tony Kushner, Lincoln

David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook

Mark Boal, Zero Dark Thirty

Original score

Alexandre Desplat, Argo

Dario Marianeli, Anna Karenina

Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek, Reinhold Heil, Cloud Atlas

WINNER: Mychael Danna, Life of Pi

John Williams, Lincoln

Best Original Song

Keith Urban, For You (Act of Valor)

Taylor Swift, Safe & Sound (The Hunger Games)

Hugh Jackman, Suddenly (Les Misérables)

WINNER: Adele, Skyfall (Skyfall)

Jon Bon Jovi, Not Running Anymore (Stand Up Guys)

Animated feature film

WINNER: Brave

Frankenweenie

Hotel Transylvania

Rise of the Guardians

Wreck-It Ralph

Foreign film

WINNER: Amour

The Intouchables

Kon-Tiki

A Royal Affair

Rust & Bone

 

 
 

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SERIES PREMIERE REVIEW: Deception “Pilot” S1 E1

I’ve read a lot of reviews on the series premiere of Deception.  I had a conference call this morning and I was bored so I read reviews!   Just kidding boss…(not really.)  It was fascinating to see the early reports.  People either all out hated it or loved it and thought it was better than Revenge.   My opinion, somewhere in the middle.  I didn’t think the show was awful or incredible.  It’s a decent show that has potential.

The basic premise is Joanna Locasta (Meagan Good) is an NYC detective who was informed by her old partner and current FBI agent Will Moreno (Las Alonzo) that her best friend Vivian Bowers (Bree Williamson) has died of a drug overdose.  Since the FBI was already looking into the Bowers family for other crimes, he wants her to go undercover and infiltrate the family to see if she can find out what really happened to Vivian (both think she was murdered.)  He asks her because Joanna grew up with the family because her mother was the Bowers custodial manager and she and Vivian were best friends.  She agrees and the story begins.

We meet the Bowers family, the patriarch Robert (Victor Garber), the step-mother Sophia (Katherine LaNasa), troubled son Edward (Tate Donovan) and his “estranged” wife Samantha (Marin Hinkle), playboy Julian (of course he’s named Julian) (Wes Brown), and youngest sibling Mia (Ella Rae Park.)   Basically, everyone is a suspect (except Mia in my opinion) and they all have issues…drug, sex, something creepy and mysterious.  They’re nuts.  Who can you trust?   Absolutely no one!   Last night on Twitter, I went out on a limb to say that I wouldn’t be surprised to learn, eventually, that Sophia and Edward were the “good guys” on the show because they are coming across as the biggest asses right now.  However, if Sophia stayed deliciously nasty, I wouldn’t hate it!

There were many twists and turns for the pilot!  With the big one being that SPOILER ALERT……Mia is really Vivian’s daughter not sister……….SPOILER OVER.  And it confirmed the idea of something more sinister happening to Vivian when we see the close up of a wicked bruise on her check that has a distinct imprint on it and at the end of the episode we see SPOILER ALERT…….Julian hunched down and crying on the docks with a ring in his hand that matches the same pattern on Vivian’s face.  He then hurls the ring into the Hudson River………..SPOILER OVER.   We also see that Edward and Samantha are having issues.  I would go out on a limb to say they are separated over something Edward was alleged to have done.  They have their typical soap opera type cryptic conversation that leads to much speculation as to what the hell they are talking about. He also grabs her quite a bit, which I don’t like.  But she’s very afraid of him and he’s very aloof about life in general.  So what’s going on there?  The big question is can Joanna keep her secret about who she is, other than “Who Killed Vivian” of course!  We did have someone find out that she’s really a cop but he was killed before that storyline could have gotten really interesting.  But who killed him?  Is it the same person/people who killed Vivian?

What did I think?  I liked it.  Was it the greatest hour of TV I ever watched?  Nope.  Was it the worst?  Nope.  I was surprised how harsh some other critics were on the show.  It’s a nighttime soap so it’s going to be campy and silly at times.  I mean seriously?  Tate Donovan is Victor Garber’s son?  Did Garber turn 75 and I didn’t realize it or is Donovan really 40 years old?  I think not.  Garber’s 64 and Donovan is 50.  You do the math.  But this is not the first nor the last time there would be age issues on TV shows (see Kelsey Grammer and John Mahoney on Frasier.)   The one comment I saw in a few reviews that I agree with is that if you’re going to be a nighttime, campy soap, act like it.  Don’t try to be a serious show when you clearly aren’t.  And Deception does seem caught in a little bit of that “are we a serious show or a soap?”  Except LaNasa.  She got the memo.   And she’s great!  If Deception can realize who/what it realize is, I think the show will be fine.  I’m still not sold on Good as the leading lady yet.  She doesn’t command the screen the way Emily van Camp, Kerry Washington, Jada Pinkett Smith, or Kyra Sedgwick can.  But I’m willing to give her a chance.  She’s good but not as dominant as I’d like her to be.

What did you think of Deception?  Will you keep watching?  Did you hate it as much as some of the critics did?

DVR Rating: 3 DVRs

 

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