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SEASON FINALE REVIEW: True Detective “Form and Void” S1 E8

WOW.   What a season.    This show brought story telling and acting to a whole new level and the finale certainly didn’t disappoint.   I know there were so many wild and crazy theories out there about how this was all going to go down.   Ultimately, I didn’t care.   And I don’t say that in a dismissive sense.  I say it in a respectful sense.   Nic Pizzolatto has told such a glorious story from start to finish that I wasn’t concerned with where it was going because I trusted that it would end as it should….and it did.

With so many people speculating as to who the Yellow King was and how all this tied together, it’s easy to get caught up in the prognosticating.  But in my humble opinion, the point of the narrative is lost if people only focus on the “who done it.”   This show is not Criminal Minds or CSI or even Castle.  It’s not about solving who’s the killer at the end of the arc.  It’s not about trying to put the pieces together to figure it out.    It’s about the story of these two dark, broken men who are solving this crime and how this case has impacted their lives and their journey together as partners and eventually, friends.   Now don’t get me wrong, I still wanted to know who the damn Yellow King was and why/how this all happened.   But I wasn’t as curious about that as I was to see how the resolution impacted Marty Hart (Woody Harrelson) and Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey.)   I wanted, more than anything, for this story line to come to a resolution for their characters.   To wrap up their characters’ arcs.    See, when you look at this show, they could have been anything….truck drivers, CPAs, tennis pros, salesmen…it didn’t matter.  Whatever their profession, the story revolved around how these two men came to be both as individuals and as partners.   It just so happened that they were detectives solving a crime that personally connected with both of them (for different reasons) and that was the catalyst to help them work through their inner demons and move away from the darkness and towards the light.   And they needed each other to do it.

Marty’s biggest issue was trying to be, in the most benign of descriptions, “the man.”  Both at work and at home, Marty wanted to be everything to everyone.   Master of his domain.    And the harder he tried, the more he went in the opposite direction…whether by his own doing or as the result of someone else’s decisions.   At work, he was the guy everyone liked, but maybe not always respected.   When he partnered with Cohle he wasn’t happy about it but to appease him, he was told he was the lead, the point man for all cases.   Eventually, after several years, that really just became a title with no meaning behind it because everyone knew that Cohle was the one solving the crimes, getting the confections, making the arrests.   Marty was just the paperwork pusher.  Instead of being the lead dog, he was the ultimate  lap dog.  Reduced to nothing more than administrative assistant to Cohle.   At home, his daughters couldn’t stand him and didn’t want to be around him and his wife (because of her own frustrations at being married to a man with such little inner strength) could be quite the ball crusher when she saw Marty asking and speaking in ways that were less than authoritative.   He could be meek and timid and that frustrated her.   Marty’s solution?    Start banging all these younger versions of his wife to make himself feel like a man again.   In the end, albeit way too late, Marty realized that he pushed away the one woman he really loved, destroyed his relationship with his daughters, and is now left with nothing.   Or is he?

Rust is the complete opposite of Marty.   He never cared about being “the man.”    All he cared about was justice.  No one liked Rust.  No one understood Rust (no one cared to.)  And Rust didn’t care.  He was on a mission…to seek justice for Dora Lange and the other young children who were kidnapped, raped, and murdered.   And he could go after these thugs with reckless abandon because he doesn’t care if he loses his life in the battle for truth.   It was that way when he was undercover (and probably why he stayed as long as he did), it was that way when he went undercover again with the Iron Crusaders, and it was that way last night when he went after Eroll Childress.   Why did he value his life so little?   Because that meant he would be closer to his daughter.   If he dies, he’s back where he belongs…with her.   I think that’s why Rust was moving around like a breathing corpse because nothing mattered without his little girl and her mom.  His soul and spirit died the same day his daughter did.  And even though it’s pretty much assumed that’s why Rust is the way he is, you never really understand his level of grief and pain until last night when the walls come down and the vulnerability shines through and we get our first look at the real Rust Cohle.

The best part of watching this season, was watching the partnership/relationship of Marty and Rust evolve into what it became…friendship.   These were two men who really didn’t like each other.   Actually, I would say Marty didn’t like Rust.   Rust’s feelings were buried so deep I don’t think he felt anything.   I think it would be fair to say that these were two men who didn’t understand one another.   But over the course of the season, as each man grew to know the other better (whether they wanted to or not), an understanding developed.   Eventually, that understanding grew to kinship.  Because at the end of the day, all they have is each other.   They came to learn that the only people who really understood them, were each other.   These were two dark, broken men.   Whether they were broken at someone else’s hand or their own, their inner selves were destroyed in such a way, it was no wonder they couldn’t have a normal life.   Marty and Rust both suffered losses.   Rust lost his daughter to God and his wife to grief while Marty lost his daughters and wife due to negligence and self loathing.    Either way, their families were gone.    What was left?   A lot of shattered pieces to be picked up and put back together and inadvertently and painfully, that what Rust and Marty did for each other.  Now they needed to shatter those pieces just a little bit more (with Rust sleeping with Maggie) and those pieces were left there for a long time before someone picked them up.  But this case brought them back together and as mad as Marty was and as guilt ridden as Rust was, they teamed up to finished what they started.   Years later, even when Marty was forgiving Rust, in his own way, Rust wouldn’t have it.  He would let Marty let him off the hook.   Hell we knew Rust hadn’t let himself off the hook because he never fixed his tail light that broke when they fought in the parking lot.  It was his reminder of his weakness and betrayal.  And I think that’s how Marty was able to start to forgive him.   But once they had their man and they went after him to finally get the justice those victims deserved, you really see how these men grew to trust, respect, and care for each other.    When Cohle was being gutted by Childress, Marty came in to stop it and save him.  Then when he turned his attention to Marty (after throwing an ax into his chest) Cohle mustered up all his strength to kill Childress.   Then Marty crawls over to Rust and holds him in his lap until help arrives.  He never leaves his partner’s side.    Even in the hospital after he wakes up and Rust is banged up but ok, Marty is still by his side.   And even though Rust doesn’t show it to Marty, after he kicks him out with his one finger salute asking him to never change, a smile comes over his face.  The kind of smile you get when your friend has made you laugh over something that should be painful.  That comfortable acknowledgement that no matter what, they are there for you.   That satisfying feeling that you have someone in your corner.   It’s confirmed even more so at the end of the show when both men are outside and Marty gives Cohle a present (his Camels) and then rolls him away to enjoy them.   We see Rust, not just break down his wall, but throw grenades and set off bombs to bring it down.  After everything they’ve been through, he lets Marty inside.  He beautifully and tearfully gives Marty what Marty has wanted since the day he met Cohle…and understanding behind the psyche of a disturbed man.  And boy does he paint a clear picture.  You see it in Marty’s face as he watches him explain how he never felt like he should be here because with each dangerous scenario he put himself in, it was one step closer to reuniting with his little girl.  Because at the end of the day, Rust wants happiness and peace.  And in his mind, for the longest time, only death could bring that because he would be with his daughter again.   But as Marty explains to him that while there is much darkness out there, there is also great light, he lets Rust know that he can find the inner peace he so desperately seeks if he focuses more on the light than the dark.   For the first time, since probably his daughter passed away, Rust believes him.    As such, he makes Marty take him away and arm and arm they go off into the darkness to seek their light….with one another.

What did you think of last night’s finale and the season overall?    Will you be back next year because I sure will!   And who would you like to see as the two main leads next year?    Let me hear from you!


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Mid Season Premiere Dates – UPDATED

Make sure you check out the main page for an update on the 2014 Mid Season Premiere Dates.  Game of Thrones, Mad Men, About A Boy, Believe, Survivor, the Amazing Race, and more have all been added.

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Posted by on January 15, 2014 in AMC, CBS, HBO, Mid Season, NBC, Premiere Dates


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SEASON FINALE RECAP AND REVIEW: True Blood “Save Yourself” S5 E12

Now that’s a season finale!  After a pretty lousy season, to be quite honest, True Blood kicked it into gear the last two episodes leading up to last night’s finale and WOW what a finale it was.  Talk about one jaw dropper after another!!

One of my big problems with True Blood this season (and all other seasons where I haven’t like it) is that there are too many stories running throughout the season.  Here’s a quick run down of the stories and characters we had at some point this season:

  • Sookie and Lafayette helping Tara’s transformation
  • Tara and Jessica getting into it over Hoyt
  • Hoyt inadvertently joining a mini KKK
  • Hoyt’s relationship with Jessica and Jason
  • Jessica turning into sex crazed party girl with Bill gone
  • Bill, Eric, and Nora fighting together against the Authority
  • Roman’s leadership of the Authority vs the Sanguinista movement
  • Salome bringing Russell back and Russell killing Bill
  • Salome turning Nora and wanting her to help lead the new Authority (which involves another 4 people)
  • The Authority wanting to destroy the idea of peaceful living with human
  • Russell and Rev. Newlin forming a bond
  • Luna and Sam being hunted and Emma being kidnapped
  • Emma’s grandmother being very protective of her while Emma stays with her to keep her safe
  • Luna, Sam, Andy, and Jason all learning that the former Bon Temps Sheriff is part of the mini KKK and is led by a female dragon that he was sleeping with
  • Alcide and Sookie finally hook up only to take time off after he finds out she killed Debbie
  • Alcide fighting over who should be pack leader
  • Alcide sleeping with one of the members of the pack who backs him
  • The wolf pack being high on V
  • Alcide going to see his dad and his dad being a douchebag
  • Andy gets a Fairy knocked up and could possibly hurt his relationship with Holly
  • Terry going off the deep end with Patrick and going after their old Army crew
  • Terry having to kill Patrick to have the curse lifted
  • Tara dealing with her new life and new relationship with Pam
  • Pam on the hunt for Eric
  • Eric trying to keep Bill from becoming a psycho on Lilith V
  • Lilith going after everyone in the Authority saying they are the chosen ones

See what I mean?   We only have 12 episodes a season and to me, that is WAAAAY too many characters and stories going on….and I didn’t touch on everything.

The two guest stars I was most excited about this season that ending up failing miserably were Scott Foley and Christopher Meloni.   Christopher Meloni was awesome when he was on, but he was only on for 3 episodes before he was killed.  What a waste!  It was better for the story but the way his appearance was pumped up, I thought we would see him for more than 3 episodes!!  As for Scott Foley’s character, he was a victim of a boring storyline.  Because there were so many other things going on, and since Terry has always been a background character, I could have cared less about what was happening with them.  Plus, their storyline always felt like filler to me.  The best part about it was that it brought Arlene into the fold more, and I love her character, but I FF every time Terry and Patrick were on the screen because their story did nothing for me.

Because we had a lot going on this season, I was glad the writers chose to wrap up the Terry/Patrick storyline and the Hoyt/Jessica/Jason storyline 2 episodes early.  Very smart on their part.  That way you aren’t clouding the finale with these side stories, and Hoyt got the proper send off he deserved vs. being an after thought.  I’m sad Hoyt is gone because I always liked the character and the actor but his character has run his course and True Blood really does need to thin out the crew.

There were three main storylines happening last night: the Authority (which I’ll get to last), Sookie and Jason’s investigation into their parents’ death, and Sam and Luna being hunted and getting Emma back.  Let’s start with the latter.

I’m not a big Luna fan.  She’s always annoyed me since she came on-screen.   I can’t really put my finger on why, but she does.  And while I’ve always liked Sam, his storylines have always bored me.  This season was probably the most interested I was in his SL.  We find out that the guys in the Obama masks were mini KKK members wanting to rid society of anything that wasn’t human.  So it wasn’t a personal attack against Sam and Luna specifically, it was any shifter, vamp, wolf, etc was fair game to these people.  But with the help of Andy and Jason, they are able to track down these idiots and either kick their ass or kill them.  In the meantime, the hunt to get Emma back is on.  They find out she’s with Rev. Newlin and go to the Authority (as mice in his briefcase) to get her back.  It was great.

At some point, Luna was able to shift into Rev. Newlin (she had already shifted into Sam inadvertently in the episode prior to the finale) and therefore was able to grab Emma.   She was just about to escape but not before Rosalyn grabs “Newlin” and forces “him” to do an interview condemning the acts for which they are being accused of starting.  Rosalyn is holding Emma while “Newlin” does the interview.   Everyone can see he is really struggling and then all of a sudden starts convulsing and starts shifting back into Luna.  Luna then tells everyone what is really happening at the Authority when Rosalyn kicks over the camera.  She is about to attack a very weak Luna when Sam flies in (as a fly) into her mouth and then shifts back into himself inside Rosalyn causing her to explode.  It was the nastiest death yet but also the coolest at the same time!

The only thing I really want to say about Sookie and Jason searching for who killed their parents is that we learned that they were killed by a vampire who was promised the first fairy baby from the Stackhouse family.  Which ends up being Sookie.  And that vampire is named Warlow.  Who is he?  Why does he appear in ghost form?  I am curious about this.   I’m also interested in seeing how this is impacting Jason, who has turned into Jason the Vampire Slayer before our eyes.  Between finding out your parents will killed by a vamp, your sister’s heart was broken by one, and you have a major head injury causing you to see visions of you parents, no wonder Jason is going full board into destruction mode.  But I’m anxious to see that storyline continue next season….just not with 10 others!

Leading into last night, the storyline I was most interested in was the idea of the Authority no longer being the Authority as we know it and becoming a sanguinista society in which human and vampires do not live peacefully and the only relevance humans have for vampires is sustenance.  This was most interesting to me because this show started on the foundation that vampires wanted to live peacefully with humans and have the same rights they do.  So a little product called True Blood was created so vampires wouldn’t have to feed on humans.  Now with Lilith’s blood rushing through all of them, this is no longer the society they want and they try to come up with a plan on how to best create this war of vamps vs. humans.  Bill suggests destroying all the True Blood factories so it can’t be produced and vampires have no choice but to feed on humans.  It’s actually a great idea on his part and much easier than what the rest of them were coming up with.  The funny thing is, even though this is what they want, they are still spinning it to the public that this was a terrorist attack and they are still behind the idea of living among the human race without chaos….such politicians!  On top of it, their own people have no idea what’s going on!  Pam was telling Tara all about the Authority but she was telling her about the OLD Authority not the new crazy Authority that’s actually taking form.   But I also have to remember this whole season is taking place over the course of one week (not several months.)

I have to say, I’m glad this storyline wasn’t wrapped up this season but I am glad certain parts of it were. I wasn’t crazy about the whole Lilith angle.  The Authority was something we have come to respect as a viewing audience as the government arm of the vampires that keeps them in check.  Now that’s all gone.  Why?  Because some power hungry members of the Authority got high on Lilith blood and now the Authority as we know it is gone and a crazy cult has formed in it’s place.   I’m curious what you all thought about what/who Lilith actually was.  Because for the entire season, up until the last scene, I thought she was a hallucination.  Now I’m not sure because of what happened at the end of the episode.   Holy crap how about that!!!!!

To set it up, Eric and Nora breakout of the complex so they can warn everyone to what’s going on and they can build a little army to stop it.  Which by the way, Nora turned back to the good side a little too easily for my liking, but I digress.  Eric and Nora bring back Sookie, Jason, and Tara to take down the vamps and they do in classic Dirty Harry fashion.  It was awesome.  Jessica and Pam were in their prison cells so Sookie and Tara break them out.  To celebrate, Pam and Tara play tonsil hockey in a scene we all knew was coming, I just didn’t think I would see it until next year.  The Authority is destroyed and everyone is leaving but Eric and Sookie want to go get Bill.  You see, Lilith came to Bill to tell him over and over again that he is the Chosen One.  The problem is, she also came to about 3 other people and told them the same thing.  So Bill is one by one killing all those other people, including Salome, so there is no one left but him and a vile of Lilith blood.

Eric and Sookie rush to see him and Bill is not the Bill we have come to know.  Actually I like this Bill much better because he is SOOOOO much more interesting than polite, boring Bill.  Bill is going on and on about how humans are nothing but food for vamps and that he is the Chosen One to lead this new regime of the Authority in Lilith’s name.  Eric and Sookie are trying to get to the old Bill inside and convince him he is coo coo for Cocoa Puffs but Bill won’t listen.  Sookie gives him a tearful “if you ever loved me at all” speech and it didn’t work a lick.  He blows her off and proceeds to chug the remaining Lilith blood in the vile.

The next thing you know he is vomiting blood and blood is pouring out of every crevice in his body and then…..BOOM, Bill explodes into the pile of vamp goo all vampires explode into when they meet the true death!!!  Holy shit did I just watch Bill Compton die on my TV screen? I didn’t see that coming at all!!!  I have to say, when that happened, Twitter completely exploded in its own right last night!   But then, slowly, we start to see the blood pull together and here comes Bill (just as Lilith looked) emerging from his “remains” covered in blood and looking quite frightening.  Eric yells at Sookie to RUN and Bill flashes his fangs….cut to black and the music.

So this leads back to my question about Lilith.  I thought she was a hallucination all season.  But after seeing that, I think it’s fair to say that she wasn’t.  So now what the hell is Bill and is Lilith now gone or is he just working with her?  Is Bill dead again or not?   What the hell is he????  It’s been a long time since my jaw completely hit the floor watching a show where I didn’t see it coming and have no idea what’s about to happen next.  I was ready to leave True Blood after this season but there is NO WAY that’s happening now.

Other Standout Scenes from the Finale:

  • Pam and Tara hooking up.   Remember, this season happened over the course of one week in Bon Temps time.  While I saw Pam and Tara giving google eyes to each other all season, I didn’t think they would hook up until next season.  It seemed a bit fast for me, considering their history.   But it was still awesome to see these former foes start to fall for one other over the course of the season!
  • The Fairy Giving Birth.   That had to be one of the funniest scenes I have ever watched on True Blood.  Lafayette, Arlene, and the other lady siting there drinking Cajun margaritas as Holly is helping Andy’s mistress give birth to four fairies while apparently orgasmic at the same time, was priceless.  It was like they were watching a football game together.  That’s where Arlene at Lafayette are at their best…their witty and snarky one liners are the best on the show!
  • Russell’s Death.  I was really hoping the show wasn’t going to bring Russell back only to kill him in the finale….but they did.  I always loved his character so I’m a bit sad he’s gone for good.  I will say though, I didn’t see it coming in the first 2 minutes of the episode.  There were many jaw droppers last night and that was the first of many!

What did you guys think of the season finale and the season as a whole?  Sound off in the comments section below!

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Posted by on August 27, 2012 in HBO, Recaps and Reviews, Season Finales


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REVIEW: The Newsroom…Through Five Episodes

Wow.   There has been A LOT said and written about this show.  I see many critics and fellow bloggers ripping the show a new asshole for the misogynistic theme of the show.  And I see many Sorkin devotees screaming at the critics for not bowing to the altar of Sorkin.  Wow!!   When the word polarizing was created, I think this was the show it was created for.

There has been so much buzz about this show that I can’t believe I didn’t watch it immediately.  Actually I haven’t been around the last few Sundays, so it’s been piling up on my DVR.  But a few nights this week, my husband and I caught up on The Newsroom.  I have to say, I’m going to have a very boring spin on this…I’m in the middle of people’s viewpoints on this show.  I can see where people take major issue with the show and I can see where people love it.  What I don’t understand is the vitriol or overt praise one way or the other.

Let me start with the positive…I always like to start there.   When the show focuses more on the news stories than the personal stories, I like the show better.  It’s the strongest, most interesting part of the show.  I think if the show can tighten up some of the characters (more on that later) then the personal stories will get better.  But I like each of the characters more when they are in “work mode” vs. “personal mode”…especially Mackenzie (played by Emily Mortimer.)    I love the fast talking Sorkinese!!  I’ve missed it.  It was great on Sports Night, it was perfected on The West Wing.  I’m always happy to have it back on my TV screen.  It makes me feel so smart when I’m watching it and following it…kind of like how I feel when I wear my Harvard sweatshirt…it’s as if my IQ just went up 50 points.   The thing I like about Sorkinese is that it’s used in an appropriate setting where that type of fast talk needs to happen…in a sports production room, in the White House, in a news production room.  Unlike other shows where people are talking fast just for the sake of it (but I’ll save that for another post later) you can believe these people need to have quick dialogues because they need to make decisions even quicker.   The plot of how the news gets reported and comes together for a 1 hour show, is fascinating to me.  I know it may seem strange but I love watching the chaos of something behind the scenes come together in what appears to be an effortless 60 minutes of programming, but was anything but effortless to get there.  What stories are we reporting?   Who are our experts on both sides to debate the issue?   What happens if someone cancels?  How does the EP assist the anchor in getting to the heart of the story?    How much of the broadcast is off the cuff and how much is staged?   How does the timing of it all come together?  What happens as Breaking News is happening and how is that information disseminated and ultimately broadcast?  I love it!

So what don’t I like?  First. if you’ve read my blog before, you know I don’t like being preached at.  And there have been MANY moments where I feel like the sake of the show has been tossed out the window because Sorkin needs a few minutes on a soap box.  I hate that.  Whether I agree with the topic or not, I hate it.  It’s one thing on a show like this to have people have a slant one way or the other…I’m ok with that.  What I’m not ok with is stopping what is happening, slowing the story down, and/or throwing character development off a cliff just so the writer can propogandize (yes I just made up a word…I’m not wearing my Harvard sweatshirt right now) his/her political view-point.  When Maggie went on her rant about whether or not it’s proper to call people “illegals,” after she was finished I wanted to tweat Sorkin to say “you happy you got that off your chest?  Good.  Now can we get back to the show please?”

And since I just set up a perfect Segway to my next beef, I will mention that character development is a BIG problem with me right now.  There are some characters that I like, some I really want to like, some I don’t, and some who don’t really have a direction.  Sorkin has done a terrible job in this area.  And before all the Sorkin fans start yelling at me, since he just fired his entire writing staff and basically said that he writes everything and his team is only responsible for funneling ideas at him and nothing more, all the blame is going at his feet.   Especially when it comes to Maggie and Mack.  It’s as if Sorkin doesn’t know who he wants them to be.  I have more of a problem with Maggie on this than Mack.   I can’t tell if Maggie is supposed to be smart but goofy and emotional or really young and inexperienced or an annoying spoiled brat or frail and weak who needs someone to constantly rescue her.   Who is she?  If he can nail it down better, I think her character would be so much stronger.  I see potential in Maggie and Alison Pill is incredibly likable.   As soon as Pill showed up on-screen, I instantly liked her.  It’s how I felt the first time I saw Meg Ryan in a movie.   I’d rather see Maggie as the young up and comer who’s sharp but a little nervous and unsure of herself but incredibly passionate about her work.  I don’t like seeing Maggie fly off the handle at Jim, who slept with her roommate, in the middle of the office.  Not to mention, he’s her supervisor.   And I think I would appreciate the Maggie/Jim tension a bit more if it was more understated than in your face.  Because I LOVE the chemistry that the actors have with one another.  Plus there seem to be a bunch of inconsistencies.  To name one, when we first meet Maggie she was just promoted from intern to McAvoy’s assistant.  Then Mack shows up and now she’s an associate producer.  Ok.  In Episode 5, Maggie and Jim were editing video for a piece on the Wisconsin teacher’s protest and Maggie is running the editing as if she’s been there for years.  She and the Senior Producer are in perfect sync.    Now. if Maggie had been written as a burgeoning prodigy, this might not have seemed too strange.  Since Maggie is written as an intern/assistant/associate producer/emotional wreak, this was a little harder to believe.  I don’t know who Maggie is, neither does she, and neither does Sorkin.

As for Mackenzie, she’s another one that I don’t know what to think.  I’ve heard people criticize this whole email fiasco and the fact that she’s knocked easels over.  Hold on.  The email thing I can see a little bit.  She seems very inept when it comes to technology which I find hard to believe.  But I know I’ve hit the Reply All button when I certainly didn’t want to Reply All with what I said.   It was a mistake.  I looked at it as she made a mistake and hit the wrong button…what’s the big deal?   And as far as her knocking over easels and being clumsy, so what?  Does that mean Sorkin is writing her to be an idiot…NO.  That came later.  But I know very successful smart people who get nervous in new surroundings (which she was in) and sometimes knock stuff over.  I think this has been blown WAY out of proportion.   And if all the upset people are upset about the lack of “girl power” well then this shouldn’t have been so upsetting.  Many high-powered women, excellent in their jobs, can get their stomachs twisted a bit when you step into a male dominated environment and you want to prove yourself.  Especially when that environment is run by a blow hard prick like McAvoy.   So maybe she was nervous.  But when she got into that control room, when she’s in her zone, you can see why she’s considered the best.   What upset’s me about how her character has been handled is the fact she is written as someone who let’s her emotions for Will drive what she does…for good and bad.  She also, apparently knows nothing about the economy, how it works, and the difference between commercial and industrial banks.  And she condescended to Slone twice…once by asking her to go on the air to attract men because of her legs and again by basically asking Slone to explain to her everything she knows about the economy in a few since it can’t be that hard.  Slone only has degrees in undergrad, grad, post-grad, and a doctorate in Economics.  As Slone is explaining how the economy works to her, all Mack wants to do is cry about Will.  WHAT???    Get a hold of yourself woman!!!  I’m sorry….what is your problem Aaron Sorkin?  Would CJ Craig cry about Danny if Toby Zeigler had to explain to her how the Joint Chiefs of Staff make decisions?  Why is he turning her into one of “those” characters.  I hate it.

As for the other characters, Jim is probably the most fleshed out character at this point.  He’s very good at his job, smart, sharp, and a sweetheart.  He’s got a crush on Maggie but won’t make a move as long as she’s with Don.  As for Don, I didn’t like him at all at first.  But as we peel back more layers of the onion of Don, I’m liking him more and more.  I love when that happens and I get surprised!  Charlie seems pretty pointless to me.  I think he could be a better character but I don’t like the way Sam Waterston is playing him.

Will McAvoy.  I think it’s pretty obvious that I don’t like him but I haven’t really read or heard anyone that does. It’s one thing to be a tough, hard-nosed, difficult to manage, newsman, but he’s taking it to an extreme.  Plus, there is no explanation as to why he’s as nasty as he is.  Are we supposed to believe it’s because Mack cheated on him 3 years ago?  Because I find that hard to believe.  There has to be another reason and I want to know what it is.  It’s hard to get into a character (especially one such as his) when there is zero context.  I’m not saying everything needs to be revealed now because then there is nothing left to learn about him.   But it would be nice if we could learn a little something so we can understand where Will is coming from.

Another element that the show needs to work on….ACN always making the right call.  It’s really easy, now that we know how everything played out, to have your fictitious news team make the right decision as to whether or not to broadcast a story.  I know what Sorkin is trying to do here and I understand the message but I don’t think it’s right to use these other news stations as the example of “misguided journalism.”  I have no problem with the message being that too often people and networks are in such a rush to be the first to break news or report news, that they don’t have all the facts correct (see CNN the day the opinion of the SCOTUS came down on Obama Care.)  It should be more important to get the story right vs. first.  I agree.  However, in this case, the other networks didn’t have the benefit you have, as the writer, to know what played out and therefore, your anchor and news team can make the right call.  CNN, FOX, MSNBC, NPR didn’t have that luxury.   It doesn’t sit well with me.   I actually think it would be more interesting to see the fallout when you don’t make the right decision.  If you announced that Gabrielle Giffords had passed away when she hadn’t, what would happen next?    What would the fallout be?  So I hope moving forward, the self-righteousness of ACN News Night will be more fallible.   Not because I want to see news people reporting incorrect news, but they can’t be this perfect.

Even after I said all that, I will still watch The Newsroom every week.  I find the topic and premise very interesting.  If some the characters can be tightened up and some characters can get some direction, I think this has the potential to be a really good show.  But will Sorkin’s ego allow him to make the changes he needs to make to turn this into a great show?   Time will tell.


Posted by on July 27, 2012 in HBO, New Shows, Recaps and Reviews


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SEASON FINALE RECAP & REVIEW: Game of Thrones “Valar Morghulis” S2 E10

Holy Crap!!!!   What a finale.  I was worried going into last night’s finale because there was A LOT that needed to be wrapped up or at least formed into a plan for next season.   GoT delivers yet again with another jaw dropping final scene.   Maybe not quite as jaw dropping as last year’s but still enough to say “what the frick was that??!!”

The Stark Family

Robb got married, Bran is still aimlessly being carried about to nowhere, Jon has the upper hand, Arya has a new direction possibly, and Sansa is screwed.  That’s it…thank you and good night!   Just kidding.

Did anyone else care that Robb Stark got married to what’s her face?  I didn’t think so.  It’s nice that Robb is following his heart but I think it’s awfully sudden.  He’s basically talked to this girl 3 times and boom, love of his life and married.  Now I’m no cynic and a huge romantic at heart, but I’m not buying this for many reasons.  Number One, the Starks are people of honor.  I find it hard to believe that Robb would be promised to someone else (and agree to it) only to give that agreement the middle finger.  His mother even reminded him of that fact. I think it would have been more interesting to see Robb struggle with that a bit more, but he didn’t.  Number Two, his main focus right now is taking out the Lanisters.  Is this really the best time for a new bride when you are avenging your father’s death and trying to over throw one of the most powerful families in the kingdom?   Number Three, he barely knows Talisa.  He’s known her for what, a minute?  What if she’s a plant from a rival family?   What if she smokes in bed?   These are all important things to figure out before marrying someone you barely know, while destroying your honor in the process.

Is Winterfell gone at this point?  That’s what my husband and I were trying to figure out.  The huge clouds of smoke and debris should be clue enough but since Winterfell is so important a land (Robb is king of Winterfell, I don’t care what Theon says) I was slightly surprised that it was destroyed.  For now, I’ll believe that it’s gone and Bran and crew are on the move…again.  Seriously is Hodor expected to carry Bran all the way to the Wall?  Yikes.  Theon is surrounded by hundreds of Stark men looking to kill him and take back Winterfell.  Theon gives us his best Knute Rockne impersonation but is eventually plunked over the head. Instead of his men shouting “win one for the Gipper” it was “let’s go home.”  Way to go guys.  This bugged me because I was really hoping to see a brutal death for Theon…one he truly deserved.  Instead I see him dragged out of Winterfell and back to the Iron Islands.   So the men surrounding Winterfell ready to destroy Theon and his posse did nothing but destroy Winterfell itself since Theon and his men were long gone.

While Bran and crew are off to the wall to be with Jon, Jon is busy being dragged around by Wildlings.  His cohort, realizing the end is near for him, wants to use it as an advantage for Jon to get the Wildlings to trust him.  Not sure if it completely worked but Jon does seem to have their respect.  So much so, that they are taking him to meet the King Beyond the Wall.  Who the hell could that be and does every land have a king?  Is it like every city having a mayor because King sounds a lot more powerful than Mayor.

Arya manages to escape and ends up meeting up with Jaqen once more before he heads back home.  She wants to come him to train to fight but he tells her to stay her course.  He gives her a coin and tells her that if she ever needs him, to give that coin to someone (I forget who) and they will send for him.  He tells her goodbye but not before he transforms into….someone else.   WTF?   What the hell is Jaqen?  Is he some sort of shapeshifter?  I know True Blood doesn’t start until next week but what else could he be?  I already want the old Jaqen back.

I was talking to someone today who said they were disappointed Arya and Tywin didn’t wrap up their storyline better from this season.  That didn’t bother me because I don’t think their story is wrapped up yet.  I think now that Tywin is Hand of the King and Arya is off to learn how to fight, their paths will cross again.  And it will be more interesting when that happens because I have a feeling it will come down to one or the other or both having to make a life or death decision regarding the person they have come to respect.

If I were Sansa, I would find a way to get the hell out of King’s Landing as fast as I could.  Now that Joffrey has tossed her aside for Margaery (more on that in the Lanister section) she has no protection left in KL.  At first she was thrilled to hear she was no longer betrothed to the little asshole.  But her happiness quickly subsided when Baelish reminded her that Joffrey will still torture and possibly rape her even though he will be marrying another.  So her best bet is to get out of KL, with his help, and back to her family.  I think at this point I believe Baelish is trying to help her.  I’m not a fan of his character and certainly don’t trust him.  But because of his feelings for Catelyn, I don’t think he would do anything to harm Sansa.  Plus this would put him back in Catelyn’s good graces.

The Lanister Family

Why do I have a bad feeling that little shit Joffrey will never die?  Is that horrible of me?  Not only did grandpa win the battle for him…a battle he cowardly ran away from to hide with Mommie Dearest…but he is taking all the credit, as well as a new bride.

After defeating Stannis’ army and keeping the iron throne, Joffrey has a few people stand in front of him to reward for their efforts.  First up is Pop-Pop Tywin, who is now dubbed Hand of the King.  Then some other dude got lots of land for his family.  Finally, since the Tyrell family was instrumental in helping to defeat Stannis, they received lots of goodies as well.  To take it a step further, Ann Boleyn, was offered as Joffrey’s bride since she never consummated her marriage to her first husband and is still pure and innocent.  (Hmm, just ask King Henry VIII how pure she is.)  At first Joffrey, stunningly, shows more honor than Robb Stark by wanting to continue with his agreement to wed Lady Stark.  But that crafty Cersei, she points out that since Sansa is the daughter of a traitor and the sister to a man who is coming after them to destroy their kingdom, he can be relieved of his commitment to Sansa and marry Margaery.  Joffrey, quickly accepts.  That Natalie Dormer sure will marry anyone to be Queen won’t she?  I love her.

Tyrion is recovering from his brutal injuries from battle (which we later learn was all Cersei’s doing.)  I guess, why take away someone he loves when she can just take him away..permentantly.  That Cersei certainly has been busy.  First by playing mind games with Sansa, then by trying to kill her youngest son, finally by trying to have her brother killed.  All while being completely snockered on Chianti.  She is quite the multi-tasker.

For all of his brave efforts, we see Tyrion has been relegated to what looks like servant quarters since he has been removed as the Hand of the King and replace by his father.  All his loyal subjects are gone, except for 3.  One nobleman, whose name I am blanking on, made a point to tell Tyrion that he realizes, as do many others, that they would have been defeated well before Tywin made his arrival, had it not been for him.  As a thank you, he brings Shay to see him.  She wants him to run away from his insane family (who can blame the girl) but he explains that he can’t.  He needs to keep them in check.  So she agrees to stay by his side.  It was a sweet moment.  Why do I have a bad feeling it’s only a matter of when, not if, this girl gets killed.

And then there’s Jamie.  Brienne is still carting Jamie and his smart mouth to King’s Landing.  While I don’t like Jamie Lanister, I love the scenes he is in with Brienne because his sharp wit is hilarious.  Still hate him though.    When questioning whether or not Brienne’s loyalties are to the Starks, Brienne quickly corrects him…she doesn’t serve the Starks, she serves Lady Catelyn (isn’t that pretty much the same thing?)  As this is happening, three Stark men appear and immediately start in on Brienne when they realize she’s a woman.   That has to get really old for her after a while.  But you know who has the last laugh?   Wonder woman herself! Not only does she take out the three Stark men in record time, she also scares the living daylights out of Jamie who has a new-found fear for Brienne.   That’s right King Slayer, this chick will kick your ass!!!!

Dani and Crew

As much as I like Dani as a character and I adore her portrayer Emilia Clarke, her storyline has been boring to me this year.  Basically she has been on her way “to her people” (do they know they’re her people) with no army, no ships, no money, no water, no food, no Lady Speed Stick.  It’s been frustrating to watch because I so want this girl to succeed but I have no idea how she’s going to do it!   But last night, we received a great payoff!!!

Dani goes to the house of the undying to get her babies back.  The palatial resort is playing mind games with her to try to throw her off track.   It even strikes below the belt by bringing Khal Drago and her baby boy back into the fold.  It was a great moment to see them back together but Dani knew it was all a lie.  She was strong enough to walk away and emerges in the area where the dragons are being chained.  The creepy undead dude shows up and surrounds her, taunting her, and eventually chaining her as well.  But her being reunited with her babies gave them their mojo back and baby dragon #1 proceed to scream fire at the undead dude until he is, well, no longer undead.  The chains are broken and the family is once again back together.

After all this happens, they head back to the main house in Qarth where Xaro is sleeping with Dani’s handmaid.  She realizes she has been betrayed by her and lied to by him.  She steals the emblem around his neck and both are escorted down the tomb area.  Remember this is the tomb where Xaro told Dani that all the wealth in Qarth is kept.  How funny was it that when she opened it, it was empty.  Actually that wasn’t the funny part.  The funny part was being so pissed at them that she locked them in the tomb with nothing.  If you haven’t learned this yet, learn it now….don’t piss off Khaleesi!!!!!!   In the end, she and Mormont begin collecting all the gold and jewels because that will be enough to buy a ship.   I hate to break up their happy party, but they’re going to need more than a ship.

The final thing I want to mention is the last scene.  When the 3 night watchers heard the 3 horns sounded and started to run, I had no idea what they were running from.  When I saw all the snow, I thought it was the start of Winter that we have been hearing so much about.  But it’s slightly impossible to outrun the start of a new season so it probably wasn’t that.   Then I saw the shadowy figures.  I was starting to get about as freaked out as Sam because I had no idea what or who that was.   Then we see the horse and the…person?…on top of him  look as if he came straight out of a Night of the Living Dead Part 25: The Ice Age, movie.   They were fricking creepy!!  And then more and more and more of them came.  I turned to my husband and said “what the hell are those things?”   He thought they were Wildlings but then we both remembered that they must be the White Walkers.   Right?   I still have to ask though, “what the hell are White Walkers?”  If I’m not mistaken, that’s what the night watch protect everyone from.  Not the Wildlings but those White Walkers.  Well, maybe a little of both but I have to imaging it’s more the White Walkers.  But how do they live with the Wildlings?   I can’t wait to see more of this come next season!!

Overall, it was a great season of GoT and I already can’t wait until Season 3.  I can’t believe Season 2 is over already.   Should we start the campaign now to beg TPTB at GoT to make it at least a 12 episode season?  I think we deserve that.   What did you think of the season finale?   And are you curious to read the books now because I am.   I need more detail!


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RECAP & REVIEW: Game of Thrones “The Old Gods and The New” S2 E6

It’s hard to believe we are already half way through this season of GoT.  This show is so good, I wish this would get a full 22 episode season vs. 10 episodes.  It just isn’t enough.  I WANT MORE!!!!  This anger you are sensing is probably the show rubbing off on me because there were many angry characters last night, and for good reason….Robb learns Theon has betrayed him and his family, Cersei believes she is betrayed by her brother Tyrion, Joffrey doesn’t like having pastry thrown at him, and Dani’s dragons are gone.  People are severely pissed off.

I think dying at the hands of a direwolf, as I have suggested before, would be too kind for Joffrey.  We have to find something more excruciating for him.  What is this kid’s problem?  In all seriousness, I wouldn’t mind diving into what makes Joffrey such an angry young man.  He hasn’t been alive long enough to be that belligerent with everyone who crosses his path.   And what, for the love of God, did Sansa ever do to him that he leaves her to the savages to rape and kill her?  I started crying my eyes out during that scene.  I was so terrified for her.  But luckily Tyrion, the only one who seems to care about Sansa, made sure she was ok and had someone save her just in time.   This girl is slated to be your wife and she has been nothing but loyal to you.  So why is Joffrey treating her like garbage?  Oh that’s right, because he’s an asshole.

From one person who has no business being that upset, to another who has every right.   If you thought Robb Stark was mad before, his head is now ready to explode!   While moving towards King’s Landing to take out the Lannisters, a person he trusted, whom he thought was on his side, has betrayed him.  Theon, who initially went back to his father to ask for his help in taking down the Lannisters and teaming with the Stark army, has flipped sides and now is with his father’s army and has stormed into Winterfell and claimed that he is now King of the North.  He threatens Bran and manipulates him that the right thing to do, to keep his people safe, is to back down and turn Winterfell over to Theon.   Bran does exactly what Theon asks.  One of the Stark’s most loyal compatriots doesn’t take the news so well and challenges Theon and his newly found power.  He really puts him in his place and as a result Theon orders him to prison.  However, one of Theon’s advisors tells him that he will never be respected if he allows people to speak to him that way and must put him to death.  Another loyal Stark follower tells him it would be a bad idea to do this in front of his new people and that he should punish him another way.  Theon ops for beheading.  And in one of the most brutal death’s I’ve seen in a while, Theon struggles to get the head off with his sword and eventually has to kick it off, his head.  That’s a rough way to go!   The part that really breaks your heart is that you can see Theon doesn’t want to do this.  He wants no part of this.  But he is so desperate to be accepted that he will do what he needs to do for that acceptance.  He was raised by Ned Stark but for someone reason, all of sudden, doesn’t feel like a true part of the family.  So he is making decisions to get back into the good graces of his blood family, the Greyjoys.  I’m not sure of his logic.  The Starks treated Theon more like family than his own family ever had, yet when push comes to shove, he sides with the family that shunned him?  Stupid!  It’s going to get him killed.

Just when Dani thinks she may have worked her way into the leader of Qarth’s good graces to use his ships….access denied.  He appreciates her passion and fire but she has no army, she has no connections in King’s Landing, she really has no plan.   She has nothing other than her passion and her ambition which, until he laid it out the way he did, I didn’t realize it either.  He’s right.  What does she have.  She’s making some HUGE assumptions about what will happen in King’s Landing but she doesn’t have anything to back it up.  As a result, he denies her use of the ships.  Meanwhile, the other member of the 13 keeps telling her, marry me and I’ll help you get the throne.  How?  Why not help her and if you do and succeed, then she’ll marry you.  That’s how I would play it.  But this isn’t even the worst thing that happens to Dani.   After coming back and seeing a blood bath in Qarth with many people murdered, you just knew what had happened and Dani sensed it too.  She runs to her room and her worst nightmare has become a reality…the dragons are gone.   At some point this chick is just going to snap.  I think we’re going to see that next week.

This may be an unpopular opinion, but I kind of like Tywin Lannister.  Tywin comes across to me an incredibly powerful and tough man but he also seems fair and learned.  I love the way he is treating Arya.  He seems genuinely interested in her and sees something special in her.  While everyone hates the Lannisters, it’s more Cersei, Jamie, and Joffrey that people have a problem with.  And some people do have issues with Tyrion, but it’s mainly Cersei, Jamie, and Joffrey.  I don’t really hear the venom towards Tywin.  Maybe there will be more to come out about the type of leader he is, but as of right now, I am ok with him.  Now time will tell if he’s known all along that she’s a Stark or if Baelish was able to tell him who she really is (if he recognized her, which I think he did.)

While all this is going on, Jon Snow is falling in love.  I’m kidding…or am I?  The poor Stark boys.  No time for romance in their lives.  Robb turns into a pile of goo each time he sees Talisa and his mother basically tells him that he has no time for that.  Fighting a war, you have to make some sacrifices and romance is one of them.  Or is this a mom not wanting her baby boy to have another woman in his life?  Then you have Jon Snow, basically in the same position Theon was in of having to prove himself by murdering someone he doesn’t want to murder.  But unlike Theon, he doesn’t kill her.   Their camp has captured a wildling but since she has no bargaining chip, they want her dead and they want Jon Snow to do it.  He can’t it.  She escapes but he tracks her down and basically takes her hostage until he figures out what to do with her.  In the meantime, some spooning time is in order with Ygritte grinding against him as if she is trying to awaken little Jon.

I can’t believe we only have 4 episodes left!!  It isn’t enough!!!  I want more!!!!  But just like wanting Ned Stark to come back to life, it isn’t going to happen.

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Posted by on May 7, 2012 in HBO, Recaps and Reviews


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RENEWED SHOWS: Girls and Veep

HBO announced a pair of renewals today.  Both freshman comedies Girls and Veep were renewed for a second season.   Both shows received 10 episode orders and are averaging just over 3.6 million viewers per week.

While I’m not a fan of Girls, Veep is awesome so I am thrilled it will be coming back!   But congrats to the cast and crew of both shows and to the fans of the shows!!

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Posted by on April 30, 2012 in HBO, Renewed Shows


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