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Category Archives: Mid Season

The Season So Far…Grimm

This appears to be a love it or hate it type of show based on what I read on-line, hear on podcasts or through people I talk to.  I don’t love it or hate it.  I enjoy it.  Grimm is a solid show.  It takes a TV formula that works (the cop procedural) and gives a supernatural twist that make it different from the typical cop procedural.  Does it have some room for improvement, sure.  But lots of shows do.

My biggest problem with the show is most people’s problem…the lead, David Giuntoli.  I don’t think he’s as horrible as some people have cast him, but I do think he’s not connecting with the audience.  He’s not very engaging.  While I like him because he’s a nice guy, I don’t find myself rooting for him.  Eddie Monroe (played by Silas Weir Mitchell) is someone I root for.  He’s awesome.  Even Russell Hornsby’s Hank (Nick’s partner) is more layered and interesting than David’s Nick.  How can someone with Nick’s background be so boring?  Is it the actor or the writing?  I can’t believe it’s the writing because the other characters are pretty strong.  So it has to come down to the way Giuntoli is playing Nick.  He’s very stiff and approaches most scenes the same way. It’s almost as if he’s wearing an ear piece and the director is telling him in his ear (ok David in this scene I need you to be forceful because your mad and in this scene I need your delivery to be comical because this is a light-hearted scene.)  It’s not natural.  Luckily for him, everyone else is so good and the stories, to this point, have been compelling enough, that I don’t need to protagonist to carry the show.   And maybe he’ll get better as the show moves forward.  I think it’s going to be renewed so the more he gets used to the character (and maybe takes some classes) he should be fine.

My one request from Grimm is to get more into the history behind the mythology in the show.  We got the most we’ve seen series-to-date in “Three Coins in a Fuchsbau” when we learned (we think) who killed David’s parents.  But there seems to be more to this story.  Quite honestly, I’m surprised we haven’t seen more of Nick doing family research on his background after Aunt Marie told him the powers of the Grimm family are passing to him.  But his parents (at least one of them) were Grimms.  They were holding onto the coins that many creatures were after.  So how involved were they and for how long?  Also, how many Grimms can have their “powers” at one time?  It doesn’t seem Nick has been able to see the creatures until Aunt Marie’s visit and likewise, the creatures haven’t been able to tell Nick is a Grimm before now either.  Why is that?  How does that work?  Also, how do they know he’s a Grimm?  Is it like being blinded but if someone sticks a skunk in your face, you know it’s a skunk?  Is it sensory?  Does Nick’s face change?  Does Nick have cousin’s who are also Grimms that can see what he sees?  If he and Juliette have kids, will the “power” pass to them?  I would really like more information on all of this.

The big question is, what the hell is the police captain?   He must be something powerful because Nick has yet to see his face contort into a creature and we all know he is.  So what is he?  And why is he actually being protective of Nick right now?   Is it because he has a bigger plan for him? I’d like to see this storyline start to progress.

We are at the point in the season, where I think we are ready for some answers and some more back story.  At least I am.  So I want to see the show go down that path.  I enjoy it and I really like it.  I think the stories are fascinating.  It reminds me a little of Season 1 of Supernatural when you had all these different urban legends/creatures from mythology that we had to learn about.  I just want some progression on the mythology.

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REVIEW: Survivor One World “Total Dysfunction” S24 E2

It’s official.  I hate these people.  Between the cocky Mike, Matt, and Jay to the most annoying Survivor ever in Colton.  And don’t get me started on the idiots that is the women’s tribe.  This reminds me of Season 3 Africa where everyone (except Ethan) was so grating and agitating that I hated the season.  Unfortunately, this may be another one of those seasons.

This has to be the dumbest group of Survivors I have ever watched.  Wait, I think I still have to give the nod to the crew from Redemption Island.  I am still steaming that Ashley and Natalie and the like allowed Boston Rob to walk all over them like the Godfather and his minions.  Not that I am upset at the way Boston Rob played because it was genius.  It’s because I hate people who go into Survivor but don’t want to PLAY Survivor.  If you aren’t going to play the game, stay the hell home.  I digress.  But this group is a close second.

First you have Matt pounding his chest about having the “strong man, cool clique” alliance that makes him completely comfortable in his position.  Hey asshole.  You only have four people in your alliance.  You know how many people are on your tribe?  Nine.  If the other 5 team up, which they will, you’re screwed dumb ass. Then you have Kat.  “What does ambiance mean?”   Really?  I know it’s not polite to pick on people’s vocabulary (especially when mine isn’t the greatest either) but come one.  Kat also has problems following the rules of a challenge.  It’s simple..get around the other people on the beam but you can only touch one person at a time, otherwise you have to start all over again.  In fairness to Kat, Cristina was also brain-dead during this challenge as well.  Between Cristina constantly touching other people and Kat jumping in the water wasting time when she didn’t need to, they were dead from the start with their challenge.  Finally Monica said, move away, I’m doing this.   Again, in fairness to Kat, if the other girls were so annoyed at her stupidity (like Nina) then why didn’t some one tell her to get at the end of the line and let someone else go through all eight people? After 3 failed attempts, that’s what should have happened.  Then you have foul-mouthed Alicia who likes to pick fights with everyone.   I would love to know where Survivor finds all these educators who are completely psycho.  Remember NaOnka everyone?   If I were the parents of the kids she teaches, I would move them to another school.

Finally, there’s Colton.  OMFG!!!!!  Easily the most annoying Survivor to date.  All he does is bitch that he doesn’t fit in with the men.  Then he annoys the only people who liked him by constantly begging to live in their camp.  In the course of 3-5 days he has managed to alienate everyone.  How about this Colton?   If you want to fit in, TRY!!  Don’t lounge around camp doing nothing pissing your tribe mates off even more.  Don’t always run to the girls complaining about the guys and how you are more a girl than a guy anyway.  Try to find a way to get along.   I know it’s hard but you had to know going on Survivor that at SOME point you would have to try to work with men on your tribe.  Are you kidding me?

The only people I like right now are Sabrina, Kim, Chelsea, Leif, and Bill.  So in no particular order, I am rooting for them.  Here’s the biggest problem with Survivor these days…people make alliances WAAAAAY too fast.   Idiot Alicia took a look around and saw 4 other girls who “looked” young, strong, and athletic so she created her alliance with them on the walk to the beach.  You haven’t known these people for an hour and you’ve already decided who’s in your alliance?  I give her credit for one thing….at least she can do math.  Maybe she could teach that to Matt.  I have to imagine that Sab, Chelsea, and Kim are kicking themselves aligning with Alicia and Kat.  They even said it at TC last night when they said they would make different alliances at this point in the game.  But what are you going to do?  If someone comes up to you wanting you to be part of the power alliance, what are you going to say?  No?  Let me get to know you first?  You would screw yourself.  What I would do if I were Sab, Kim, and Chelsea?  I would regroup with Monica and Cristina and vote of Kat and Alicia next.  It’s early in the game so they won’t be part of the jury and you won’t have to worry about that coming back to bite you.  It was a mistake to vote off Nina.  Kat should have gone.  And I think changing your alliance at this point, doesn’t make you a liar or fraud.  In this case, it would make them smart.  But I have a bad feeling that won’t happen.

What do you guys think of One World so far?  I think the two biggest things I like are no redemption island and returning castmates.  Other than that, two thumbs down….so far.  We still have 16-17 episodes more to go.  Plenty of time to turn the season around.

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2012 in CBS, Mid Season, Recaps and Reviews

 

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NEW SERIES PREMIERE REVIEW: Smash “Pilot” S1 E1

I know I said I was on hiatus this week because of work.   But I had to pull away and forego my lunch break to talk about the show I was MOST excited for this mid-season (the other was Alcatraz.)   Smash was even better than the pilot that I watched last summer.  Which is silly to say because it didn’t change all that much (except for one scene that I noticed.)  But I watched it so long ago and I remember loving it, but I forget how incredible it was until last night.  I really don’t want to jinx poor NBC but…….could this finally be the hit show they have been looking for since ER and Law & Order went off the air?

I’m not going to get into a full recap but I’m sure they are out there but I will touch on the highlights.  The thing that surprised me the most about Smash is that you think this is going to be a show all about Karen Cartwright (played by Katharine McPhee) and her journey to the Broadway stage.  And while Karen’s character is the ingenue most people will want to root for, there are so many other levels to this story.  First you have Julia Houston (played by the wonderful Debra Messing) who is part of the creative writing team behind other Broadway hits and who is taking some time away from writing to adopt a baby.  I’m not going to lie, I could care less about this storyline.   The only good part about it, is that I get to see Broadway vet Brian D’Arcy James play her husband, Frank.  And somehow, someway, the producers HAVE to make sure that James sings!!!  Please!   But if they decided to do away with this storyline, I would be thrilled.  Unfortunately, Julia’s time off is short lived (much to Frank’s displeasure) because her partner-in-crime, Tom Levitt (played by another Broadway vet, Christian Borle) has been drawn down the path of creating a new musical based on a suggestion from his new intern, whom he has googly eyes for, Ellis (played by Jaime Cepero), who was reading about the life of Marilyn Monroe while house sitting for Tom.   Marilyn: the Musical is born.   I love that both Tom and Frank said “you could do a baseball number” since Marilyn was married to Joe DiMaggio.  More on that number later.

In addition you have a famous producer, Eileen Rand (played by the incomparable Angelica Houston), who is going through a nasty divorce and as a result her current project of a revival of My Fair Lady has been postponed.  So she and the man she has scheduled to direct My Fair Lady, Derek Wills (played by Jack Davenport) are now available to put all their eggs in the Marilyn: the Musical basket.  We learn that there is some bad blood between Tom and Derek, which could make this partnership slightly challenging.  We don’t know what started or caused the bad blood, but it has to be juicy (this is Broadway after all) and I can’t wait to see those onion layers peeled back!

Finally rounding out the cast is the biggest surprise in terms of character likability but certainly not in talent if you are a Broadway fan, is the woman competing with Karen for the iconic lead role of Marilyn, Ivy Lynn (played by the sensational Megan Hilty.)  I really thought the writers of this show were going to make Karen the likable person, the underdog that everyone is going to pull for while Ivy would be the bitchy, manipulative snake we would all love to hate.  But that didn’t happen at all.  I’ve already seen people say “Team Karen” or “Team Ivy” on the message boards and I think that’s a good thing.   (Team Ivy right here in case you were wondering.)  This show (and I’m talking Smash not Marilyn here) really hinges on these women.  While I think you could make each woman ambitious, you can make them both likable and make the audience torn on who they want to see play buxom beauty.  And I think the writers did that very successfully.  Two scenes really showed that last night.  The first was Karen’s scene at Derek’s apartment when he asks for a “private” call back and wants her to “do the sexy” right there in his apartment.  She excuses herself to the ladies room and while her eyes well up with tears, she pulls herself together enough to do what Derek wants her to do.   But she also stops him when he leans in for the kiss and says “Not gonna happen.”  You go Karen.  I’m not a huge McPhee fan (although you cannot deny her voice) but I couldn’t help but get in Karen’s corner after that scene.  I still don’t think McPhee has the acting chops just yet, but this scene showed she has the potential to get there because she played in beautifully.  The other scene was when Ivy was calling her mom to tell her about her call back for the role of Marilyn.  Hilty plays this scene so perfectly in that you know exactly how much her mother is blowing her off on the other end without ever hearing her mother speak.  You see it in Ivy’s face and hear it in her voice as it’s cracking.  Ivy’s a 10 year Broadway vet but has always been in the chorus.  This is her chance, her big break.  While I’m sure people will want to pull for underdog Karen, and I can understand why, I can’t help but pull for the girl who’s been breaking her neck in the chorus, who’s paid her dues, and is ready to take that next step.   Team Ivy!!!!!!

As for the musical numbers, there were some I loved, some I liked and one that was, meh.   The best number of the night was “Let Me Be Your Star.”   Both my husband and I said “Wow” at the end of that number.  This is where McPhee can go toe to toe with Hilty.  Vocally, these women are very different but can both sing the crap out of this song.  Where McPhee loses the edge, the acting.  You can tell Hilty has the Broadway acting experience because of how expressive she is during her audition, while McPhee just likes to stand there and extend her arms in the air all the time.  Edge: Ivy.  The two numbers I really liked were “Beautiful” and “National Pastime.”  Having said that, if National Pastime were just sung instead of choreographed, it would have gone in the meh column for me.  The song itself was ok but the choreography was terrific and Hilty pulled off Marilyn’s breathy flirtation with all the baseball players very well.   The meh song was “Never Give All the Heart.”  Now maybe it’s because it was just a snippet or just some one standing around belting out a tune, but it didn’t really pack much of a punch with me.

There has clearly been a line drawn in the sand.  One one side you have Derek and Karen and on the other you have Tom and Ivy.   Derek wants to create a star in Karen while Tom wants to support the woman who is ready for the next level in Ivy.  Julia and Eileen seem to be Switzerland at this point.   But I can’t wait to see who eventually gets the coveted role.  I think, it should go to Ivy, Karen could have a part in the chorus and be the understudy.  That’s my solution.   But as I mentioned before, the writers are going down the path of giving the audience the choice of whom to support instead of it being dictated to us, which is the smart way to go.  I think we’re still going to see some crafty sides to Ivy and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of that from Karen as well.  She may be “light” but she certainly isn’t stupid and is highly ambitious.

Ultimately, this show is about characters.  This is NOT, I repeat, NOT a Glee knockoff.  I would never insult the writers or cast by calling it that.  The only two similarities are that there are Broadway actors cast in the show and that there are musical numbers.   THAT’S IT.  This is a point I continue to drive home because other than teenagers who wouldn’t know good TV if it jumped out of their smartphones and bit them on the nose, NO ONE thinks Glee is a good show.  It isn’t.  I don’t want this to turn into a Glee bashing post (I’ll save that for another time) but I want people to give this show a chance.  I don’t want Smash to be lumped into the disaster that is Glee and people not watch it for fear of watching a terrible show.  Smash is a terrific show that has the perfect balance of plot and character development (something Glee hasn’t seen since early in its first season.) This is a show about the people who just so happen to be putting on a Broadway musical.  You don’t have to be a Broadway or Musical Theater fan to enjoy Smash.  If you like watching smart TV with a strong story and solid character development, you’ll LOVE Smash.   So you need to check it out for the next 14 episodes Monday nights at 10pm on NBC.

Now it’s your turn to tell me what you thought!

DVRs: 5!!!!

 

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NBC Schedule Shake Up

This is what happens when you give an unknown entity a guaranteed 22 episode order.  You get screwed when it fails!!!   And that is what has happened to The Firm.  It has failed…..MISERABLY.

The Firm has been assigned to the dreadful Saturday slot for the remainder of the series (which I feel pretty confident in calling it its first and FINAL season.)    This show was so bad it couldn’t even get a Friday night slot.  It got bumped to a night where no one watches TV!!!

In its place, the new thriller Awake will premiere March 1st.  In the meantime, repeats of Grimm will air until Awake is ready for its premiere.   I am anxious to watch this pilot again (after it’s been reworked.)  I watch the original pilot and really didn’t like it.  But I am willing to give it another chance.

This NBC’s last chance to make something pop in the Thursday night 10pm time slot.  Let’s see how Awake fares.

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2012 in Breaking News, Mid Season, NBC, New Shows

 

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RECAP & REVIEW: Alcatraz “Cal Sweeney” S1 E4

I’m sorry but I have to be a high school girl for a minute.   DAMN!!!   Those Alcatraz boys are HOT!!!  I may have to commit a crime to land in jail with those cuties.  Wow.  They may be heinous people committing awful crimes but they sure look incredible doing it!

Ok, now that the giddy16-year-old inside of me is out of my system, let’s break down the episode shall we?

Cal Sweeney is another terrific installment of Alcatraz.  And I think we got a peek behind the curtain (pardon the pun) at some of what may possibly be happening and who is involved.  I haven’t had a chance to re-watch the episode yet so I’m sure there are lots of things I missed but I’ll do the best I can.  As I mentioned to my boys at The Alcatraz Podcast last night on Twitter, it’s hard to live tweet and catch everything on the show.  You are bound to miss stuff!  But that’s ok, that’s why we are all on e big happy TV community and we can clue each other into the things we missed.

Recap

Cal Sweeney is hot.  Sorry.  I slipped.  Won’t happen again.  Cal Sweeney (played by Eric Johnson) is a bank robber.  He goes after tellers in their late 30’s, early 40s who are, as Detective Rebecca Madsen calls them, “average looks” and he seduces them to get into the Safe Deposit Box area of the bank.  He then drugs them, goes through the boxes to take what he needs, and leaves.  However, things will take a violent turn if he gets interrupted (or pissed off enough) and he will kill people with this nasty looking weapon that can not only opening gaping holes in your head and hands, but open safe deposit boxes as well!

Sweeney has patterns that make it pretty simple to track him down.  He always pawns his items and he always romances the tellers ahead of time and sends them flowers….giving Madsen and Soto lots of way to find him…which they do.   Sweeney, unfortunately for him, picks a teller who fights back and is able to sound the alarm before he knocks her out.  He gets trapped and he takes the entire bank hostage.   This worries Hauser significantly because he doesn’t want people finding out who Sweeney is and blowing their investigation (more on this later.)  Madsen breaks into the bank so she can break Sweeney out.  While fleeing the scene, with Soto and Hauser following them, Sweeney is not very grateful to Madsen and threatens to kill her if she doesn’t do what he says.  He realizes he isn’t wearing a seat belt, crashes the car and handcuffs him to the steering wheel.

Back in 1960, Sweeney is in charge of the laundry room as well all the contraband that is smuggled in.  In that sense, he has some power and makes some money.  He brings in a protegé named Harlan (played by Steven Grayhm) and starts explaining to him how his little business works and how you can never show any weakness for fear of someone taking over his little enterprise.

At one point, Tiller tosses Sweeney’s cell and Sweeney notices a small tin box is missing.  We eventually learn it’s the only remnant from his childhood and he wants it back…at any cost.  Tiller says he wants a piece of Sweeney’s business in order to get the tin back.  Sweeney declines.  He sets up a way to meet Tiller one on one, by being a waiter at his birthday dinner.   When Sweeney goes to confront Tiller, Tiller stabs him with a pen and tells him he now wants 50% of his business.  If he doesn’t give it to him, 60 days in the hole.  Sweeney is backed into a corner.  Back in his cell, he starts talking to his little protegé who is more like a little weasel.  Turns out Harlan was the one who stole his box and wanted him to think Tiller took it so he would get tossed in the hole and he would take over his business while Sweeney’s in solitary.  Unfortunately, Sweeney taught his new buddy a little too well.

At the end of the episode, we see the warden leading Harlan down a dark hallway to a huge door.  He unlocks the door and forces Harlan, who is quite frightened, inside telling him that his future looks very bright.

Review

Now comes the fun part!!!!  So what clues did we see last night and what happenings are making our eyebrows raise up ever so slightly.  Let’s break it down:

  1. Soto’s Conversation with Madsen at the “Diner”
    Seriously, what the hell were they eating for breakfast?  Yuck.  While this may have seemed a very innocuous conversation, I’m wondering if it was.  Madsen asked him how a professor with two doctorates suddenly owns a comic book shop.  Soto tells her he only got the degrees to make his parents happy (he has a tricky relationship with them.)  However, he was blacklisted due to the fact that he published a major breakthrough in crime prevention theory for a national criminology publication.  He says he was blacklisted because it was about Gotham City.  But I think it’s more than that.  Was Soto on to something that could have unraveled what is going on behind the scenes at Alcatraz and not even know it?  I have to wonder why this specific conversation was brought to light.  Now could I be reading into this too much?  Sure.  But on shows like this, I have learned not to take any interaction at face value.  So for now, I have to think this was something more than just history on Soto.
  2. Dr. Sangupta/Lucy’s Dinner Conversation with The Warden and Dr. Beauregard
    This was probably the most revealing of all the scenes last night.  Lucy was talking to condescending, ass-face Beauregard about dealing with the inmates and she suggested that she is formulating a study that revolves around the memories of the prisoners.  She believes that they becoming criminals due to traumatic memories from their past.  If she can remove those memories (“rewire” them so to speak), they would become less violent or not become criminals at all.That is quite interesting.  In the “previously on Alcatraz” segment of the show, we see Lucy in present day interviewing Sylvane (before Cobb shot her up) and asking him “Where have you been for the past 50 years?”  To which he responds “I have no idea.”  And when Madsen and Sweeney are in the car talking about the leather pouch he was after, he seemed very confused about why he was going after the leather pouch and who he was doing it for.So is that why Lucy was involved in this from the beginning?  Because she was working with the inmates on her experiment to remove certain memories?  If that’s true then one of two things may have happened…1. Her experiments were working and this unknown group of people behind all this had asked her to spin her experiment in a whole new direction or 2. Her experiments only partially worked but something went wrong or is missing and this is the result we have today.The inmates we have seen don’t seem to know what is going on or where they have been.  Are they frozen somewhere with Ted Williams’ head only being released when whomever is in charge needs them to do something for them..like kill people or steal keys?  And I can’t imagine these people are happy when their cronies fail.  Sylvane didn’t technically fail but he did get captured.  Sweeney failed because the key ended up in the hands of Hauser and his team and he got captured.  Unless, Hauser IS the group in question and we just don’t know it yet!  I don’t believe this to be the case.  I think there is another faction out there.   There is just so much going on, it’s hard to know who’s on the good side and the bad side.

    The other thing I noticed is that it seems these “memory methods” are having the opposite effect of what Lucy/Sangupta intended.  The criminals seem to be becoming more violent.  Sylvane was not a killer yet he turned into one.  Same with Sweeney.  He only robbed banks.  Now he’s using some nasty weapon and killing people left and right.  So what is happening?

  3. “How the Prisoner’s Jumped”
    Jumped?  What the hell does that mean?  Hauser made this comment when they were looking at the keys secured by Sylvane and Sweeney.     If he’s talking about the prisoners “jumping” doesn’t that say time travel to you guys?  I also think time travel could be involved because of the keys.  Since we’re talking about the keys..
  4. The Keys that were found by Sylvane and Sweeney
    Both Sylvane and Sweeney were tasked to find these funky looking keys for the mystery group.  I really need to figure out something to call them.  Turns out, Hauser has a whole tech team on stand by waiting for his direction and he instructs them to investigate these keys.  Upon further review, it seems these keys were cut using a laser that wasn’t available in the 1960s.  So if they weren’t available in the ’60s, when were they available and when were they made?This is another reason why I think time travel could be an element of the show.  When you look at the last scene where the Warden leads Hayden to what certainly looks like a door to hell, he uses the two keys to open a hidden compartment that had a third lock for another key.  So it appears the keys were USED in 1960 even though they may not have been MADE in 1960.
  5. Kit Nelson’s name on the wall in the room of 63s
    This wasn’t a huge revelation as much as a “isn’t that interesting” kind of revelation.  Although who knows, maybe it will become a big deal.  Did you notice the two walls in the 63s room?  One wall had all the inmates yet to be discovered and captured and the other had the four men we have already encountered.Under Sylvane, Cobb, and Sweeney’s mug shots and next to their names, the same word appeared…CAPTURED.  Do you know what was under Kit Nelson’s mug shot and next to his name?  Come on, take a guess?  I won’t laugh.  Well maybe a little.  You give up?  It said…..nothing.  Shouldn’t it have said DECEASED or KILLED next to his name?   I found it interesting that there was nothing.Now as I said, this could mean absolutely nothing.   But shows like this usually don’t have oversights like that…unless it’s on purpose.   So are we to assume that Mr Nelson isn’t dead but refrozen with next year’s Thanksgiving turkey?  I’m not sure.  But I will certainly keep it in the back of my mind.
  6. Rebecca needs to be more forceful with Hauser
    Remember how I said last week that I was so happy Sarah Jones took major steps forward in her character?  Yeah well, I’m disappointed with her again.  Here’s what is driving me crazy.  She is way too blaze about what is happening.  When she had the key and wouldn’t give it to Hauser, he threatened her.  She said she would give it back if he told her what it was for.  Then stupid Madsen gave him the key before she got the explanation.  Rebecca!!!  You have the upper hand.  You have something he wants.  Don’t give it to him until you get what you want!!!   Are you kidding me?   And then when he walks away and tells her “some other day” she should have jumped out of her skin.  Instead she just shrugged her shoulders at Soto.   WHAT!!!!  I would have followed Hauser and had a little come to Jesus talk with him (but first I would have never given him the key without giving me the information I wanted.)In all seriousness, it’s going to be very hard to buy Madsen as one of the best detectives in San Fran if she keeps acting this way.  She has to start pushing back.  She has to tell him that she is risking her life each time she gets involved and if he wants her help, he needs to include her more in what’s going on or he’s on his own.  I know she has her own reasons for doing this, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of her pride.   So she needs to toughen up and fast!

So that wraps up this week’s episode of Alcatraz.  As you can see, there is A LOT that came out.  What did you think?  Did you like “Cal Sweeney”?  What are your thoughts on the issues I raised and was there anything you saw that missed?  Let me know!

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2012 in FOX, Mid Season, New Shows, Recaps and Reviews

 

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RECAP & REVIEW: Alcatraz “Kit Nelson” S1E3

How flipping creepy was Kit Nelson?  Seriously, I wanted to take a shower after watching that episode (especially the solitary scene with the warden.)  Yikes.   But “Kit Nelson” is just another strong episode from the new series Alcatraz.  I don’t want to jinx it, but I think FOX, may have a hit on their hands.  The ratings for the second week will be interesting to see.

Recap:

This week’s convict of the week follows the story of Kit Nelson (played by Michael Eklund) who was convicted of kidnapping and murdering 11 year-old boys.   I love how criminals have an honor code.  Isn’t that the biggest oxymoron there is?  Since murdering a child puts a criminal at the bottom of the scum barrel, everyone at Alcatraz is giving Nelson a hard time…from the warden to his fellow inmates, everyone hates this guy.  The inmates nearly beat the guys to death.  The doctor who treats him, has a son around the age of the murdered boys, so he gives him the minimum treatment, and the warden also has sons around that age as well.  What does he do?  Well he forces a guy, who can barely walk, as far away from his cell as possible in a wheelchair, forces him to get up, and then leaves him alone to get back to his cell, without the wheelchair.  Later, he puts him in the hole and forces to reveal what really happened to his brother.  To everyone, including his own father who tries to get the truth out of him, he says his brother (age 11) died of scarlet fever.  After 4 lit matches in the hole, Nelson finally acquiesces and tells the Warden that he killed his brother because he got all the attention in the house while he receive little to no attention.  And the little he got was to tell him how horrible and freaky he was.  The parents weren’t wrong, let me tell you.  He even described and showed his brother’s facial expression as he was struggling to survive.  Nelson took great pleasure in that!   So to “win his mother’s love” he strangles his brother.  That way, the only son she can focus on, is him.    Well that backfired royally.  As a result, Nelson went on killing young boys the same age as his brother.   I’m telling you Eklund played this character so well.  I was severely freaked out by him and that rarely happens to me with TV characters.  Ok, maybe it does happen frequently, but I can’t remember one as good as Eklund in a long time.

Leading us to present day, Nelson is back and has kidnapped an 11 year-old boy named Dillon.  Madsen and Soto are on the case and desperate to find Dillon because Nelson always kills the children 48 hours after abducting them.  This particular case seems to hit closer to home with Soto but aren’t sure why until later in the show.  They were close one time to getting Nelson and rescuing Dillon after Soto remembered Nelson liking cherry pie and the diner where he and his brother would get slices.  But it wasn’t meant to be.  I mean really how could it?  It was only 32 minutes into the show at that point.   They can’t rescue Dillon already!!  Which really made me nervous that the kid was going to end up dead.

Spoiler Alert (although really, if you’ve read this far are you really worried about spoilers at this point) I was wrong!  Dillon didn’t end up dead, he was rescued by Madsen and Soto ( and Mr Personality Hauser.)  You know who did end up dead?  Our creepy, nasty, repulsive, disgusting, vile, Kit Nelson.  Sorry, I ran out of adjectives.  I know Hauser wants to keep them all alive for questioning, but I’m glad he put this one down like the dog that he is.  Actually, calling him a dog was too kind.  The best part was at the end of the show, when Hauser brought Nelson into the morgue of the Dharma Station (sorry to keep calling it that but I have no other name for it yet but I’m open to suggestions) and laid his body bag on the table where the doctor from 1963 proceeded to play a song about how awesome a day it is!

Analysis:

I threw a question out to my friends at Alcatraz Podcast (follow them on twitter @PodcastAlcatraz) and I’m going to throw the same question out to you.  How big of a role does Grandpa Tommy Madsen play in all this?  We’ve now seen him in two episodes where he was behind the curtain getting his blood taken.  At first, with Sylvane, he seemed panicked and scared warning him about the bad things happening at Alcatraz.  But then when we see him tonight with Nelson, there is an eerie calm that is over him about what’s happening to him.  Is it because he was talking to a jerk like Nelson who he could care less about?  Or was it because he has become involved in whatever experiment or other “bad thing” is happening at Alcatraz?  I really believe Tommy is involved in this in a big way and Hauser has that hunch as well.  Which is why he wants Rebecca investigating with him.

Hauser doesn’t come across as the kind of guy who would host your Fantasy Football draft party.  He seems a loner Dottie, a rebel.  Where in the world did that Pee Wee Herman reference come from!!!!   Ok moving on.  Hauser doesn’t seem the type to be very inclusive with what he is doing (whatever that is.)  So why was he so willing to include Rebecca and by proxy, Soto, so easily?  It was a question many people asked last week.  I think it has to be her family’s involvement in whatever this is.  Whether it’s Grandpa Madsen or Uncle Ray, someone is involved and Hauser has that same gut feeling.  And since Robert Forster usually plays a shady, up to no good character, chances are he knows more than he lets on.  But in my mind, this is why Hauser is putting up with Rebecca and Soto.  He either thinks she knows more than she realizes or she is the key to getting to the bottom of whatever he is trying to get to the bottom of.

I’d like to give a shout out to Sarah Jones and Jorge Garcia.  Jones was light years better in this episode and much more believable in her role as Detective Madsen.  Some of the elements I was looking for in her character last week (which showed signs of possibly being there but weren’t) showed up this week.  I liked how tenacious she was Nelson yet very nurturing with Soto.  I like how she never came across as condescending either with Soto.  With him being new to all of this real world investigating and police work, he naturally spooked many times.  She has shown patience and respect to him which I really admire in her character.  She was forceful when she needed to be with Hauser and backed her partner up 100%.  So I think Jones has the potential to be a solid presence on this show if she can keep that up.

Garcia was fantastic.  I’ve heard people describe his portrayal of Soto has Hurley with a brain.  I think to say that gives Garcia very little respect.  Just because Soto is caring and nice, doesn’t make him Hurley.  Soto is a very intelligent but mature character.  While he is insecure regarding his skills as a law enforcement ally, he is very cognizant of his worth in regards to Alcatraz history in information.  I think when people make the comparison to Hurley (which is natural) it’s because you see Garcia’s natural personality shinning through at times, like it has with both characters…which isn’t a bad thing.  But he is definitely playing a much different character.  In that regard, his final scene with Dillon when Dillon was back home was sensational.  We learned that the reason Soto was so invested in this case was because he was also taken around Dillon’s age.  But he was able to escape and be stronger as a result.  He likened it to having super powers…like in comic books but real.   Can you say back story?   It was awesome and it made me want to learn so much more about Soto after that scene.   Actually, with each passing week, I want to learn more and more about the characters we are introduced to (except Nelson and he’s dead now, so we don’t have to worry about him.)

I have to wonder if we are going to have any “name” guest starts become inmates in the future?   Alan Dale seems to pop up on every thing.  I’m waiting to see Charles Widmore on this show.  What about David Anders?  It’s always good to see Sark from Alias play a baddie?   How about you?   Who would you like to see as one of the inmates with a secretive past?

What did you think of week 2 of Alcatraz?  I know it’s the 3rd episode since we had back-to-back episodes last week, but I’m curious if you’re still tuning in.   Because you know what?  YOU SHOULD BE!!!  If you aren’t, I’ll tell those people to tell Jack Sylvane to come after you next?  Who are those people?  Well I don’t know yet.  But I’m sure we’ll find out.  But you won’t if you don’t watch.   And you must watch!!!!   Also make sure you check out my other friends on twitter @podcatraz and on their website here Podcatraz.

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2012 in FOX, Mid Season, New Shows, Recaps and Reviews

 

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Cougar Town Returns!!! It’s About Flipping Time.

After the disaster that was Work It, ABC has finally stopped sniffing glue and put Cougar Town back on the schedule.  Cougar Town returns Tuesday February 14th…the perfect way to spend Valentine’s Day!   Which is the dumbest holiday on the planet but that’s another story.

Woo hoo!!!  Penny Can!!!!  Big Joe (oops sorry Big Joe died).  Big Carl and the cul-de-sac crew is back and not a moment too soon.  The new comedies this year were awful and it’s about time a real comedy was back on the air.

If you need to find me, you know where I’ll be on Tuesday Feb 14th at 8:30pm.

 
 

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