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Tag Archives: Season Premiere

2014 Fall Preview: FOX

RETURNING SHOWS:

Hell’s Kitchen (9/10)
New Girl (9/16)
The Mindy Project (9/16)
Sleepy Hollow (9/22)
Bones (9/25)
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (9/28)
The Simpsons (9/28)
Bob’s Burgers (10/5)
Family Guy (9/28)
Master Chef Junior (11/7)

NEW SHOWS:
Utopia (9/7)
Red Band Society (9/17)
Gotham (9/22)
Gracepoint (10/2)
Mulaney (10/5)

SHOWS I AM MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO:
Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Sleepy Hollow
Gotham

SHOWS I AM LOSING INTEREST IN BUT WILL GIVE ONE MORE SEASON TO:
New Girl (after a strong first season, the second season was bad)

SHOWS I COULDN’T CARE LESS ABOUT:
Glee
The Mindy Project
All the Animated Shows
Hell’s Kitchen
Utopia

WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
Glee’s Final Season:  This is it.   The dreck that has been Glee the last few seasons is finally coming to an end.    And it’s been a long time coming.   These characters have been destroyed (Rachel leaves what was ALWAYS her dream of being on Broadway and playing Fanny Brice to be on a shitty TV show) the stories are worse than ever, and I just don’t care what happens to them anymore.   FOX also realized no cares anymore and lowered the original 22 episode commitment down to 13.   I won’t be checking it out but I’m sure some people will.
Sleepy Hollow Sophomore Season: It’s been 8 months since Sleepy Hollow was last on air.   And that can be dangerous with a show with so much mythology behind it.   But I can’t wait for this to return!!!  Abbie is now in purgatory.   Jenny was in a car crash.  Ichabod was buried alive by the Sineater (who turned out to be his son.)   And Katrina is now running around Sleepy Hollow with no one who knows her.  And Sineater/Jeremy is working with the Headless Horseman (who is also one of the 4 Horseman of the Apocalypse) to open the gates of hell to release all the Horseman.   Nice!!!  I just hope we get more than 13 episodes this year and Sleepy Hollow is every bit as strong in its sophomore year as it was its freshman year!
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Moving to Sundays: This is how FOX treats it’s best new comedy of last year?   Which also happened to win the Golden Globe for Best Comedy by the way.   You move it to animated comedy Sunday?    With so much already on Sunday, I’m really disappointed to see this show move.   I hope it doesn’t hurt a show that was not a ratings juggernaut.   It picked up steam at the end of the season with the GG win and word of mouth.   But how will it fare if people have to DVR it for football or other big Sunday night shows.

EARLY THOUGHTS ON NEW SHOWS:
As if I don’t have enough superhero shows to watch on TV these days, but I am excited to check out Gotham.   Gotham is a different twist on the superhero genre focusing on a name we all know very well (that is those of us that follow DC Comics)…Commissioner Gordon.  We know Gordon from the Batman comics.   But before Batman was Batman as we know him, Gordon and Gotham City had their own stories to tell…full of villains and vigilantes.   This show is the compilation of those stories.   It is an origin story.   It stars Ben Mackenzie as Detective James Gordon.   Gordon is called to the scene of a crime involving the murder of one of the wealthiest families in Gotham City…the Waynes.   Thomas and Martha Wayne are murdered and the only survivor is their son…Bruce (who eventually becomes Batman.)  Gordon and Bruce connect instantly (a kinship that will continue for years to come) and Gordon promises to track down the killers.   As the series evolves we’ll meet all the people we come to know in their adult lives…Selina Kyle (Catwoman), Edward Nygma (The Riddler), and Oswald Cobblepot (The Penguin.)   Between Arrow, Agents of SHIELD, and other newcomer shows The Flash and Constantine, I don’t know how much comic book TV I can stomach.  I watch the Marvel movies so SHIELD isn’t going anywhere.    And I love Arrow (and Stephen Amell.)   But can I add The Flash, Constantine, AND Gotham all to my viewing landscape?   I will and we’ll see if they all stick.

Gracepoint is another show I will be checking out.  It reminds me a little of Twin Peaks and a better version of The Killing.   I’m a big fan of these 10 episode shows that have a brief period of time to tell their story.  It leaves little room for fluff and gets right into the meat of the show.   But since I’m a big character person, it’s hard for these shows to really get us in tune with the characters with such little time to get to all the show runners need to get to.  True Detective did a masterful job of it last year.    So can Gracepoint do the same?   For other people, it might not matter.   This is a murder mystery event.   It might not matter to some about characters.    It does to me though.    But with powerhouses Anna Gunn and David Tennant leading the way, I feel confident this show will be short but mighty.

As for Utopia, Red Band Society and Mulaney, these show may be the result of nothing more than I have no time to watch and their premises haven’t warranted me finding time to watch them.     First of all, Utopia is a reality show about people leaving their lives behind and moving to a remote location to create a whole new civilization.   Yeah, no.  Don’t care, won’t be watching.    Red Band Society stars Octavia Spencer and Dave Annable as part of the medical staff at Ocean Park Hospital.    It focus on a young group of “rule benders” (great more of those) who would never in a million years become friends except for the fact that they are all patients at this hospital.   The show explores relationships between the patients and the staff with both humor and drama.    It appears to have a ton of warmth and heart (with a touch of over the top lessons to be learned.)   Although I have to ask, was Diana Agron too busy to play another blonde, bitchy cheerleader?   Seems all teen shows have those these days and she’s played quite a few of them.    I love the cast (you had me a Octavia Spencer) but I just don’t know if I have time for this show.   It might be one I catch up on in the summer if it hangs around and gets renewed…which I doubt.  The ratings were really bad out of the gate (with no competition) so that doesn’t bode well for the show.   And I love Dave Annable but he is a jinx when it comes to new shows where he is the headliner.   Finally we have Mulaney, which is a Seinfeld rip off.   I’m serious.  Even the shows star and creator, John Mulaney, joked that it is.   “I just watched Seinfeld and I copied it.”    Wow.  That takes balls.   Even if you are just kidding, you are basically setting yourself up for failure if the show is even average because people will automatically compare the two shows.   Early reviews are really bad for the show.   I keep reading the same thing….John Mulaney is a talented writer and great stand up comic.   His show, is bad.  No laughs at all.  Not a glowing endorsement for a new comedy.

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SERIES PREMIERE RECAP & REVIEW: Brooklyn Nine-Nine “Pilot” S1 E1

Even better than the 3 minute previews I kept watching over and over again.  Brooklyn Nine-Nine (BNN) was fresh, funny, engaging, and touching.   Yes you read that right, touching.  I’ve heard many comparison to this show and old classic, Barney Miller.  I was too young to watch Barney Miller so I can’t comment but I do know how highly regarded Barney Miller was so for BNN to get that type of analogy is a HUGE compliment.  I just laughed the whole time and throughly enjoyed each and every character.

BNN follows Detective Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) and his fellow team of detectives as they figure out just how their new CO, Captain Ray Holt (Andre Braugher) will lead their precinct.  See their last Captain let them have fire extinguisher races, so JP is hoping Holt will be just as deferential.   Yeah, not so much.  In a hilarious meet cute, JP is doing his best robot impersonation of the CO while Holt is standing right behind him.   You think Holt is just going to rip into him.  Instead, he tells him that he does a terrible robot impersonation and that he’d like to see him wear a tie.  This back and forth, power play between the two men continue throughout the episode with Holt telling JP he’s been doing too much manscaping and being relished to the records room by not following orders, to JP telling him he’ll dress more appropriately while he’s wearing the tie but no pants and speedo.

The best part of the Holt/JP relationship is that this isn’t the typical smart ass cop getting one over on his boss.  Holt is smart, driven, and very in tune with his crew even though he’s only been there for a few days.  So just when JP thinks he’s gotten one over on his new Captain, Holt turns the tables on him and gets the upper hand.  I love that!   And I think it helps that Samberg and Braugher have fabulous chemistry.  They play off of each other very well with Samberg’s razor-sharp wit and silliness and Braugher’s monotone and stone face delivery.   What makes this work is that Samberg is playing JP as a guy who likes to have fun yet takes his job very seriously.  And while most people want to hate the guy who’s the best and who is also a jokester, push the envelope type of guy, Samberg has such charm and a good balance between the silliness and seriousness that you can’t help but love him and wish you worked with him.   And Braugher, with his deep, commanding voice and huge presence on-screen, is able to play off that because he takes his job just as serious but also has a sense of humor that can have his people relax around him, but also know, they need to follow his command.

The touching moment came at the end of the episode when they are on a stake out and we learn that Holt captured the notorious disco killer in the 70s (loved the hair and suit on Braugher by the way) and JP wants to know why it took him so long to have his own command.   Holt tells him it’s because he’s gay and that the NYPD, at that time, wasn’t ready for a gay commanding officer but when they were, they used him as a publicity stunt and put him in roles that would promote the NYPD as a gay friendly organization.  Now that he finally has his own command, he doesn’t want to blow it.  JP, apologizes to Holt and tells him he feels like a jackass.   This is the type of scene that let’s me know what a great show this will be.   I love comedies when they have heart.  They can take a step back from the humor and give us a real moment with these characters that draw us in and then can find a way to seamlessly and subtly bring the humor back to return us to the comedic element of the show without being disrespectful to “the moment.”  And that’s what happened here.  Holt beared his soul and we got some good insight into why he is the way he is and JP was honestly upset for how he’d been behaving.   Samberg played this scene so well because it could have come off as insincere when after his apology he immediately sees the killer they are targeting and he announces how awesome he is.  But it didn’t.  JP was very genuine in his remorsefulness but Samberg found a way to make that stick when he was very careful about the tone he used in bragging about how he spotted the killer…it even made Holt laugh.

As far as the supporting cast, I was interested in each one of them and can’t wait to find out more.   You have tough as nails Det. Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz) who is as scary as they say and absolutely perfect in her delivery.  Det. Charles Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio) who has a crush on Diaz and is as clumsy and awkward as they come, but a hard worker and sweet man.  I’m sorry but that muffin scene has me howling every time I watch it. Sgt Terry Jeffords (Terry Crews) is a former field detective turned sergeant because once he had his twin girls, Cagney and Lacey (LOL!), he was fearful of losing his life…cue the scene where he shoots up a mannequin at a department store because of his sheet panic…priceless.  Gina Linetta (Chelsea Peretti) is the office manager and a civilian who is the eyes and ears of the office who has yet to learn she has a filter.  And finally Det. Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero) who is partners with Peralta and has a contest with him to see who will have more arrests.  She’s very driven and just wants to prove she’s one of the boys and tough as they come.  I love this girl already and let’s face it, it’s only a matter of time before she and JP are together romantically.

It’s a fabulous cast, a great show, and I can’t wait for next Tuesday already.   If you haven’t checked this show out, this is a must watch!

DVR RATING: 5

 

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SERIES PREMIERE RECAP & REVIEW: Sleepy Hollow “Pilot” S1 E1

This was one of the shows I couldn’t wait to premiere.   I have always love Washington Irving’s story of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.  I loved the movie with Johnny Depp (my husband and I watch it every Halloween.)  So when I found out it was going to be a TV show, I was thrilled yet skeptical at the same time.   How are they going to pull this off for a TV series?   It’s a pretty simple short story so how do you stretch it out over 22 episodes a season for potentially 5-6 seasons?   You put a spin on the original story…that’s how!  Are they going to be able to pull it off?   Time will tell but for now, I’m in 100%.

We start off in the 1700s during the Revolutionary War where a British Ichabod Crane (played by Tom Mison) is fighting for General Washington and the Americans against the British.  Huh?  We learn he defected to our side and became a spy for Washington.  Anywho, here comes the Hessian with his broad axe and super creepy mask to fight Crane.  They duke it out colonial style and the Hessian gashes Crane across the chest while Crane chops his head off.  He is rushed to the infirmary where his wife Katrina is there trying to nurse him back to health.  He blacks out.  Next thing we see, he waking up in a cave 250 years later.   He’s walking around surprisingly well for a man who was frozen in a cave for 250 years.   But he does almost get run over by a tractor-trailer because he’s admiring this amazing material he’s noticed on the ground….asphalt.   Suddenly, Crane realizes he isn’t in Kansas anymore and runs to town.

Meanwhile, we meet Abbie Mills (played by Nicole Beharie) who is having dinner with her partner talking about how she’s heading off to Quantico.  Let’s pause for a minute.   I’m not sure why shows do this.  We learn that Abbie has been accepted to the FBI and there are only a handful of these positions available and she’s received one of them.  It’s obvious this is something she wants and is a huge deal.  But you know what’s going to happen already…she’ll meet Crane, she’ll get wrapped up in this case and she’ll blow off Quantico.  Now, I’m not an expert in the area of law enforcement but I do know that if I received an offer to go to the FBI, our nation’s top law enforcement agency, meanwhile a revolutionary war solider and a murderer with no head is running around my town, I’m out of there as fast as you can say Quantico.  I’m not sure why this needs to be interjected in because in my opinion, it knocks her decision-making prowess down a few notches in my eyes.  Just let her be the detective in Sleepy Hollow when this all goes down.  Sheesh.  Ok, back to the story.   She and her partner get a call about wild horses at a property not to far away and they go check it out.  The wind picks up and the thunder and lightning start…..you know that’s never a good sign….and when they get there, the owner has been decapitated and the partner and Abbie meet the not so dead Hessian sans head.  Promptly the partner loses his and Abbie watches the Hessian ride off into the moonlight.   Why didn’t the Hessian go after Abbie?

Crane, who almost gets hit by a police car, get arrested for the murder because, I’m not really sure why.  Abbie comes into the station with her Capitan, Frank Irving (played by Orlando Jones) and when telling him the story of who she saw, Crane completes the description for her.  I thought one of the most well constructed parts of the show happens here when Crane asks if Abbie’s been emancipated and Abbie calmly tells him that yes she is a female detective to boot.  He’s thrilled because slavery always bothered him.   This was very well done because it nodded to the audience that they know we aren’t stupid and that logically, Crane being from the 1700s, would have a much different opinion on a black woman interacting with him.  So they address it with humor and dignity at the same time.  It was great.  Irving wants Crane in an asylum but Abbie thinks he can help her figure out what’s going on.  So she goes against her Captain’s orders and takes Crane to his “cave dwelling” to get some more answers.  While taking him there, he passes a priest whom he recognizes from his time in the infirmary.  Strange.  Is everyone in this town over 200 years old and looking fabulous?   Unfortunately, Crane never gets to chat up the padre because the Hessian has found him and lopped off his head while the priest tells him “I’ll never tell you where it is.”  Where what is?   I realize how dumb this question in later on.

As the rest of the episode unfolds, we learn Abbie has a sister and when they were young, were in the woods when they came across four strange white trees.  They also claim to have seen some sort of object around the trees.   They weren’t sure if it was a person or an animal of some sort, but when no one believed them, Abbie’s sister went insane.  We learn Ichabod’s background when he’s strapped to a polygraph (another great scene.)  We also meet Katrina.   Now I’m not sure where Katrina is.  She’s in some land where she’s trapped and she’d really like to get out but only Ichabod can help her.   She tells him that the Hessian is actually one of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse (yes you read that right and no this didn’t turn into a Supernatural review) and that if he finds his head (which is buried in her grave) it will awaken the other Horseman and bring them to their land which would cause a cataclysmic problem.  She tells him that the Hessian was buried under water and Crane was buried to protect himself because on the battlefield, their blood mixed and now Crane and Hessian are forever linked…which is why they arose at the same time.   Utterly confused and scared, Crane urges for more information but Katrina forces him to wake up and he and Abbie start working together to figure out what the hell is going on.   Abbie goes to her partner’s office and learns that he has been investigating these strange phenomenons for quite some time.  He even knew the story of her and her sister.  When she tells Crane what she found, she realizes she needs to complete the work of her partner and help Crane in stopping this Apocalypse from happening.   Um, this would be a great time for her to call the Winchester Boys for help…just a suggestion.

Wow, so a lot happened in that episode.  As pilots go, I thought it was VERY well done.  I like the idea of putting a twist on story we’ve all come to know.  Actually, the writers didn’t have a choice if they want this to last a few seasons.  I think the chemistry between Mison and Beharie is fantastic and they play off each other very well.  Especially their timing comedically.  Their banter is very natural and when you’re taking a heavy topic and putting a comedic spin on it, you need actors who call pull it off and they do.  I’ve always loved Orlando Jones (although he’ll always be Clifford Franklin from the Replacements for me.)  But I wonder if he knows more than he lets on.  Maybe it’s unfair because Captain Renard from Grimm was part of the scheme that now I think every police Captain is in on it, but when Abbie was leaving her partner’s office, Irving had a look on his face that said “boy I hope she didn’t find the secret stash of information I know about in here.”   Because it’s clear there are some town folk who know what’s going on.  John Cho’s unfortunately short-lived performance cleared that up.   Usually if a headless solider from the Revolutionary War shows up in your apartment, chances are you’re slightly freaked out and running for your life.  But Cho’s character simply told him “I know where it is.”  The “it” Cho was referring to was of course the horseman’s head.   So it’s clear there are some people around town who know what’s going on and many who don’t.  I’m sure over the course of the season and series, we’ll be introduced to many towns people who may or may not know or who may have a connection or rooting interest in seeing these Four Horsemen come to life.  And I think the big question for me right now is what does Abbie have to do with all of this?  She and her sister saw the trees and the creature all those years ago, she’s the only one willing to give Crane the benefit of the doubt, she saw said creature again at the end of the episode (which nearly made me jump out of my skin), and the Hessian didn’t kill her when he had the chance.  Why?  I can’t wait to find out!!!   Finally, how is it that some people have made the journey 250 years and look exactly the same?   How did that happen?   Are there more people from that era walking around we haven’t seen yet?   And where the hell is Katrina?   So many questions.

One day into the new season and already I’m bursting with excitement for the new TV season.  This was great start.  I didn’t get to see Bones yet but I heard the premiere was pretty strong.    And I have a good feeling this one might stick around because the critics were mostly positive on this show going into the premiere and I hope the ratings were solid.  They should be because there is no competition right now so it was smart of FOX to start the week early.  But what did you think of Sleepy Hollow and are you as hooked as I am?

DVR RATING: 5

 

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NEW PODCAST: Episode 31 Covers Castle, The Good Wife, Parenthood, Dexter, and More!

I know I know.  I’m reeeeeeeeeeeealy behind.  Being away makes is so hard to catch up.   So you know what that means….lots of podcasts.

This podcast is up and running here and tackles some amazing shows that had fantastic season premieres:

  1. Castle
  2. The Good Wife
  3. Parenthood
  4. Dexter
  5. Once Upon A Time
  6. Blue Bloods
  7. Grey’s Anatomy

I’ll get blogging soon guys, I promise!

I understand there were some issues with the hyperlink.  I think it’s working now.  If not, please go to iTunes and download it!

 

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2012 in Podcast, Season Premieres

 

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SEASON PREMIERE RECAP & REVIEW: Bones “The Future in the Past” S8 E1

Bones is back!  And with REALLY bad hair….poor girl.  When last we saw B&B and our favorites squints, Pelant had set Brennan up for murder, Caroline and Booth for assisting her or covering up what they new, and Brennan went on the run with Christine and her dad until her name was cleared.

Let’s get right into with Pelant. I love the episodes revolving around his character and Andrew Leeds is brilliant in the part.  I love psychological killers.  Nothing scares me more than really intelligent people who can think 10 steps ahead of everyone else and are so sinister and take so much pleasure in toying with people’s heads.   That’s Pelant.  Especially since Brennan is as smart as she is and Pelant has been playing her like a fiddle.  Bones and Hart Hanson have done a fantastic job with this arc.  I’m not going to lie, I was slightly upset when they captured him (for a few reasons) because I thought that was the end of Pelant.  But my husband and I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop.  My fear was it was going to be Pelant somehow killing one of our own. But it turned out, Pelant was not who he said he was and was able to get out and extradited back to Egypt.  Say what now?   Let’s think about this for a moment…

When this first happened, both my husband and I thought “it shouldn’t matter who he says he is because the evidence still point to him.”   The more I thought about it, that’s not exactly true.  When Brennan “solved” the murder of Pelant’s guidance counselor and was able to nail him for it, it left me with an uneasy feeling.  Brennan always needs 100% conclusive forensic evidence before declaring her findings.  But not in this case.  There were no finger prints.  No DNA tying Pelant.  Only the idea that he was once heavy-set because his gait appeared altered as if someone who used to carry around lots of weight on his joints was no longer carrying it around.  Therefore, he would need a lighter weapon (like a sword) to kill the counselor.  Well that’s great, but where’s the proof?  All of Pelant’s high school pictures were forged (foreshadowing.)  So how could they scientifically prove that?  Then there was the part about Max having lunch with Pelant’s father who told him about being either a WWII vet or someone who collects WWII memorabilia (I can’t remember) therefore remembering his father had a sword that could match the murder weapon.  Well wasn’t that convenient.  The “solving” of this case really bothered me and it felt forced and fast and very shoddy for the usually particular Dr. Brennan.  Maybe it was the really bad wig throwing her off.  Seriously couldn’t they find Deschanel a better hair piece than that?   Sweet Jesus.

So as a result of no real forensic evidence, it doesn’t matter if he’s Christopher Pelant or Christopher Reeve, there’s nothing tying him to the murder.  Now, there is all the copious amounts of circumstantial evidence piled up against Pelant.  But guess what, if he isn’t really Pelant, then nothing is tied to HIM.  All the fingerprints on Pelant say he is Bassam El Fayette (I think), and Egyptian national.  Back to Egypt he goes and out of FBI custody and jail.   Uh oh, guess this saga isn’t over just yet.     But the biggest twist of the night came at the very end.  As Pelant was walking out the door, he hands Brennan a Marigold.  Apparently a Marigold represents grief and pain.   Who knew a flower could be so cheery in its message?   She throws it in the trash.  We then see a hand reach down and pluck it out of the trash.   The hand belonged to Special Agent Seeley Booth!!!   Well shit, now that would be a twist!!!!  But no.  It was Special Agent Hayes Flynn (Reed Diamond.)

Now I’ve read some people’s thoughts on this who took that to mean that Flynn is going to go after Pelant in his new role in Domestic Terrorism.  I didn’t take it that way AT ALL.  I think it meant that Flynn and Pelant have been working together.  I also read people who took this as Pelant changed his identity to Fayette while in jail.  Again, I don’t agree with that.  Either one of two things happened.  Pelant didn’t change his identity from jail, Flynn did it for him.  Or, Pelant was never Pelant…that was the false identity…he was Fayette all the time.  That’s the one I’m going with.  I think he had a backup plan in place so that if he ever was arrested, his partner could easily erase his fraudulent life and become who he really is…with no criminal ties to him at all.  Pelant always thinks 10 steps ahead.  And that didn’t change here.  He was prepared for this to possibly happen and when it did, he knew exactly what he needed to do to get out of it.

The big question is, how will this all end?  I don’t think it’s going to be with Booth arresting Pelant for good like we thought happened last night.  I think it will be with one of our tried and true, killing him.  That was made pretty clear when Hodgins had his hands around Pelant’s throat and was squeezing with everything he had.  Hodgins later told Sweets about this and he told Sweets that he could tell in Pelant’s eyes that he wanted him to kill him.  Flash to later in the episode when Sweets was talking to Angela and Brennan about Ethan’s code and told them that Pelant is even scarier now because he wants one of them to kill him.  Max also mentioned to Booth that the only way this is really going to end is if Pelant is dead.   So I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say that’s how it’s going to go down.  The question is who will kill Pelant.   And as sinister as this sounds to say, I hope it’s someone significant. It can’t be Brennan or Booth…it will be too easy to get around that.  But I hope it’s Cam or Angela or Sweet…someone we aren’t expecting and I hope it has major consequences.  I’m not saying I want any of those people to leave the show, I just think from a story telling aspect that it would be sooo much more interesting to see that fallout!   But if I had to guess now, I think Brennan’s life will be in danger and Max will be the one to kill him and somehow Max will die as well.  I don’t know how that all plays out, but that’s my guess.

What did you think of the Bones premiere and are you enjoying the Pelant arc as much as I am?

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2012 in FOX, Recaps and Reviews, Season Premieres

 

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SEASON PREMIERE RECAP & REVIEW: Parenthood “Family Portrait” S4 E1

This is absolutely one of my favorite shows on TV.  And every season, I can’t wait for its return.  The fourth season of Parenthood did not disappoint with a very touching episode that surprised me because I’ve never liked Haddie.  So let’s start there because there was a lot going on in this episode.

Haddie/Adam/Kristina/Max

I had a feeling Sarah Ramos wasn’t going to be back much this season once we learned she was off to Cornell.  I wasn’t all that upset either because I’ve never liked the character of Haddie.  I never liked how whiny she was and how selfish she could be.  Plus, everything is the world seemed to annoy the crap out of her.  She was written perfectly as a typical teenager and Ramos did a great job executing it to a tee.  Still doesn’t mean I have to like her!   Most of this episode revolved around Haddie leaving for college.  Here’s what I don’t understand.  This is the week before she leaves correct?  So why was Kristina and Adam trying to cram ten pounds of shit into a five-pound bag (as my husband loves to say?)  Obviously Haddie wants to spend time with her friends before she leaves and she should have the right to do that.  Why would you put shopping, parties, family visits, and immediate family time all within the course of this one week?   Couldn’t you have spread it out over the summer?  It was already going to be stressful enough for all of you that week leading to Haddie heading East.   Why make it that much more stressful on all of you?

One of my biggest pet peeves about Parenthood (really the only one) is how the show always has people talking over each other.  I hate it.  It’s one of my biggest pet peeves in reality because I don’t think there is anything ruder than talking and having someone completely disregard the fact that you are speaking and begin to speak over you.  It’s as if that person is saying “what you’re saying is so insignificant and has so little value, that I am going to begin speaking because I couldn’t care less what you have to say.”   Sorry for the mini soap box, but it had to be said.  So when it happens in Parenthood, it drives me bonkers.  Adam/Kristina/Haddie/Max have always been the worst about this on the show.  Every scene they are in it’s as if 2-3 different conversations are going on.  It’s hard to follow and not the least bit entertaining.  The scene at the burger place was awful.  First, if you want to take Haddie out to celebrate her, why not ask her where she wants to go?  Second, knowing you have a son with Aspberger’s, wouldn’t you call the restaurant ahead of time to make sure they serve the same burger that your son always gets?  You know what will happen if they don’t and if you’re trying to make a nice family outing, keeping Max in check would be a good idea.  Third, how dare Kristina yell at the people behind them.  You all know I love her character but this bothered me.  Your son is pitching a fit, your oldest daughter and yelling back at him, and your youngest baby has just burst into screaming tears.  When the man turned to look at them, Kristina yelled to have him mind his own business because that wasn’t his family.  Well guess what?  When your family disrupts other people’s families from enjoying their meals, they have the right to give you the stink eye.  If you don’t like it, then make sure all hell doesn’t break loose when you go out to dinner.  I’m not saying it’s easy and I can appreciate how challenging it can be.  But you also can’t be upset with other people who may be annoyed that your family is keeping them from having a quiet, enjoyable meal.

Even with those few annoyances, overall, it was a really sweet episode for these guys.  One of the things I think the show highlighted beautifully is just how difficult it is on the sibling of a child with Aspberger’s.  We always see and hear about the parents view-point, but it’s nice to see how hard this has been on Haddie.  Haddie tries to have a nice moment with Max telling him how much she will miss him and loves him and that she appreciates his special qualities of honesty and directness.  She even gives him a present to let him know how much she cares.  But you see her get nothing back from Max.  That has to be hard and I thought Haddie handled herself very well.   Haddie always has to be the bigger person and when her parents don’t always discipline Max the way they should (like the way the blew off him destroying her room to look for his lizard) it’s hard to not want to take it out on him and it’s understandable when she does lose it.

We also got to see Kristina’s side of her baby girl going off to college.  You see how she really wanted some girl time with her daughter before she leaves.  She really puts it in perspective when she says “she’s never going to live here again.”  Actually, that’s a good thing.  You should want your child to be self-sufficient and independent.  It’s a sign they’ll be ok.  But from a mother’s view-point, her baby is grown up and moving on.  And while she’s thrilled for her, it crushes her at the same time because everything is moving to a new stage in their lives.

The scene that really got me, was the final scene.  Even though I knew it was coming, it still got me.  Haddie is at the airport about to board her flight and her parents are keeping it together (Adam’s just fine but Kristina is really trying hard to be strong and not cry) and Haddie is also very stoic.  But as soon as Haddie gets in line, she runs back to her parents, crying her eyes out, and gives them a huge hug.  It was awesome.  And I was so happy for Adam and Kristina because they got their reassurance that Haddie is going to miss them just as much as they will miss her.  Oh man, did I cry!!!

Crosby/Jasmine/Jabbar

I’m still not happy Crosby and Jasmine are married but I guess I’ll get over it at some point.  But I thought their story of the week was very interesting.  Crosby noticed Jabbar praying and wasn’t quite sure how he felt about that.  When Jasmine and Crosby confronted her mom about it, I loved seeing them as a united front and on the same page.  It was the first sign to me that I could start to like Jasmine again because that shows she’s grown.  Before she would have taken her mother’s side but not this time.  She and Crosby were a team and told her mom that something that significant should really be up to them to teach Jabbar.  And I agree with them 100%!  But her mom had a great response…then what do you plan on telling him and teaching him because he deserves to know something.  And she’s right.

Crosby goes to see his mom and dad and asks them about their spiritual background and how they handled this with them.  I was conflicted about this because in one sense, shouldn’t Crosby know his parents view points on religion and spirituality?  Wouldn’t that have already been discussed and wouldn’t he know the results of those conversations?  In another sense, I really respected how Crosby took this seriously.  Seriously enough to go to his parents and ask their advise since they didn’t grow up in a house where religion was prevalent.  He and Jasmine talked about it and he asked her what about her religious upbringing did she like.  Now of course Crosby said something that made me want to smack him upside the head (he’s usually good for at least one of those per episode) which was “well I don’t want my son belonging to some club I’m not apart of.”    Oh really?  So if Jabbar wants to be on the football team or a mathlete or part of the German club or drama club, you won’t let him because you won’t be part of it too?   That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard!    Ultimately, I think Crosby made the right decision and followed his mom’s advise in letting Jabbar figure out for himself what religion and spirituality will mean to him.   It’s a fascinating debate because can children really figure that out for themselves?  Probably not.  But there is nothing wrong with opening him up lots of different faith-based religions, learning about them, understanding them, and letting them choose which speaks the most to them…especially if religion isn’t a huge presence in your life.

Sarah/Mark/Amber/Drew

I’ll run through this part quickly.  I’m not sure why Mark was brought back.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Jason Ritter.  But it’s pretty well-known that he’s going to be in another show mid-season that Jason Katims is creating specially for him.   So he’s not going to be around.  At this point, I don’t know why Sarah just couldn’t have denied the proposal off-screen and she comes back this season single.   I though his speech to Camille was sweet about being in the picture but at the same time I was just screaming at my TV: “come on!!”  It’s a picture!!!!  I can see if other fiances were included in the picture and now he isn’t but Kristina wasn’t allowed in until she and Adam were married.  Jasmine wasn’t allowed in.  So why should it be any different?  I don’t agree with Camille’s stance, but if that’s her decision, so be it.  She should have held her ground.  Seriously though, I can see not wanting random girlfriends and boyfriends in the picture but fiances?  That doesn’t make any sense to me.  And what if one of her children didn’t believe in marriage and lived like Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell?  Does that make the significant other any less family?  I think not.  Also, why not take two pictures?  One with mom, dad, and the kids and one with mom, dad, kids, significant others, and grandkids?

Sarah is searching for a new job outside of bartending and when scheduling the photographer for the family picture, noticed a Help Wanted picture in the window.  She asks Hank Rizzoli (guest star Ray Romano) if she can put her hat in the ring for the job.  I have to say, I wasn’t thrilled with the addition with Ray Romano because I was not a fan of his.  I never found him particularly funny and I hated his sitcom.  So I was nervous. I am shocked to say that I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed his character.  I liked his banter with Sarah.  I thought they had a nice connection…he’s the grumpy curmudgeon while she’s the bubbly, aloof, optimist.  She has no experience and she lies to get the job.  It fails horribly (from a logistical standpoint) but the family loved her and Hank couldn’t help but notice how great she was with the clients.  So he decides to hire her full-time to be the client liaison while she learns more about the photography business.  And I like where this is going!

Amber continues to make bad decisions but I don’t care because I love her character.  But I do have to ask, what happened to her job with Kristina?  I thought she was seeing that through and now she’s working at the Luncheonette?  I hope that gets explained (and I hope Kristina still has her job!)  But she sleeps with the lead singer of this band only to find out he has a girlfriend.  She tells Crosby, who tells Adam, who decides to fire the band.   (Loooooooooooooooong deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep breath and siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh.)  I was with Amber, I can’t believe Adam fired a paying customer because he upset Amber.  If anything, he should have been upset with Amber for AGAIN mixing work and pleasure to disasterous circumstances.  But at the same time, I LOVED how protective he was of her.  Ultimately, she’s still his niece.  And as he explained to Crosby who was giving Adam a hard time “you don’t have a daughter.”  I get that.  I still think it was absurd that a 20-year-old with no business experience had to explain to a 40+ year old with 20+ years of business experience that he can’t make business decisions on his personal feelings.  But I still loved the scene with Peter Krause and Mae Whitman.

Drew, kind of bores me.  I don’t know if it’s the character or the actor, but Drew is a drip.  I’m sorry.  And it looks like Amy will be breaking his heart next week.

Joel/Julia/Victor/Sydney

Wow, this is tough.  Joel and Julia are really struggling incorporating Victor into the family.  I like this storyline because I think it’s fascinating to see how you bring a child into your family who is much older.  I would guess Victor is around 7-8 years old?  So Victor has thoughts, feelings, and opinions already developed.  This isn’t something J&J can develop from scratch like they did with Sydney.  I can’t even imagine how difficult that is.  And I can appreciate the predicament of letting Victor do things they wouldn’t normally do to make him feel loved and wanted yet needing to discipline him to the point that you are truly treating him like family (to Joel’s point.)  How do you know that line?  When is the right time to stand up and say you’re in my house you need to live by my rules?   Each kid is different so how do you know?    And it just broke my heart when Julia said “I’m trying to fall in love with my son.”   You can see this is killing her.  You can see how badly she wants this but it’s hard.

I have no doubt this will work out because I think J&J are great people who want this child to have a great life.  But the process to get there will be amazing to watch.  And I’m sure it will get worse before it gets better.

Whew!!!  What a premiere!  I know it sounds like I’m being really hard on the show.  Maybe I am, but I just love it so much that when there is something I don’t like, it usually hits me harder than it should!  The ratings have me nervous, they always do so I hope Parenthood continues to have enough of a following to last a few more seasons.  Because I LOVE the Bravermans!!!

 

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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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