Archive | January, 2012

Revenge: “Infamy” episode review

24 Jan

Sometimes in a series there are episodes that just don’t grab me.  This one falls into that category.  I had to restart it 7 times.    There is too much and not enough happening at the same time.  Instead of wasting my time, writing about an episode that took me about 3 hours to watch with me continually zoning out, I’m going to give a very short recap.

Conrad (Henry Czerny) gives Daniel (Joshua Bowman) partial access to his trust.  He can have the cash but he can’t have voting shares in the company until he is 30 or married.  Gee, I wonder where that story line is going…

Mason Treadwell (Roger Bart), an author made famous by writing about David Clarke (David Tupper), comes back for a visit.  We get to watch flashbacks in which poor Emily, then still Amanda Clarke, decides to trust Mason Treadwell and sadly believes the lies he ends up writing about her father, having no idea at the time the Conrad and Victoria (Madeleine Stowe) bribed him.  I do like how Emily (Emily VanCamp) decides to get this wanker back though… first she sends faux Amanda (Margarita Levieva) to talk with Treadwell and sets up a contentious meeting between the two, then (SPOILER ALERT),Emily burns down Treadwell’s house while Nolan (Gabriel Mann) pretends to be interested in hiring him to do his biography.  At the same time, Victoria wants Treadwell to find out from faux Amanda why she has returned to the Hamptons.

Amanda is ramping up in every sense of the word.  Kissing girls in the bar, pretending like she’s staring in Coyote Ugly, and getting more jealous by the minute about Jack’s (Nick Wechsler) closeness with Emily.

One thing Emily rescues are the taped interviews with her father and she finds out some news I know I suspected from the start – that Charlotte (Christa B. Allen) is his daughter.  We all know Emily won’t be welcoming her with open arms.  Poor Charlotte is probably really screwed now…

Once Upon A Time: “Desperate Souls” episode review

13 Jan

This is the episode where we learn exactly how Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle) turned… evil.  Not that he didn’t have his issues before he was imbued with magic.  And in Storybrooke, Emma (Jennifer Morrison) and Mr. Gold join in an unlikely alliance for her to become sheriff.  He also gives Emma Sheriff Graham’s old walkie talkies so she and Henry (Jared S. Gilmore) can play together.   A rare moment of kindness on Mr. Gold’s part.

It’s almost disarming to witness Rumplestiltskin as a kind, loving, and protective parent.  His son (I actually thought it was a girl at first oops!), is about to turn 14 and be drafted into the ogre wars (seriously?  ogre wars?).  He’ll do anything to make sure his son doesn’t have to fight including running away.  And this isn’t the first time, apparently, as a young man, he deserted his army and caused many lives to be lost in the ogre wars.  Who knew ogres could move so fast and fight so efficiently?  So now a chief knight has it in for Rumplestiltskin once he and his son are caught but the son shows he has integrity.  He’s willing to be drafted and fight.  And while he gets high on his own testosterone, Rumplestiltskin gets some advice from a beggar (Brad Dourrif) on the side of the forest road:  he should get the dagger that holds the Dark One’s name and then he will have power over the Dark One (at this point we have only seen the Dark One be commanded by the knight and he can do some magic but we don’t know the full extent of his power).  Rumplestiltskin takes his advice and with the help of his son, sets fire to the castle, breaks in and retrieves the dagger.  It turns out the old beggar is really the Dark One and Rumplestiltskin ends up killing him with the dagger and inherits all the magic powers.  Now at least we have some idea about him.

In Storybrooke, Mr. Gold deliberately starts a fire at City Hall and Emma saves Regina (Lana Parrilla).  She becomes a hero but discovers Mr. Gold was the culprit and outs him at the debate for the upcoming Sheriff election.  She stands up to Mr. Gold and Regina then walks away from her political debate resulting in her getting elected as Sheriff.  Later, Mr. Gold reveals that he orchestrated everything because he knew she’d stand up to him and gain the people’s trust.  Either way, now Emma has moved into a better position against Regina.  I’m hoping for a lethal, nasty fight.  Because that’s just the way I am…

House of Lies: Pilot “The Gods of Dangerous Financial Instruments” review

12 Jan

I’ve been a fan of Kristen Bell ever since Veronica Mars so I was enthusiastically looking forward to this series. But this isn’t really in any way Veronica Mars especially since it is a Don Cheadle vehicle.  So if you were in any way hoping for any type of Veronica Mars-like elements, just let it go.  I had to.  This show is all about Don Cheadle’s character, Marty Kaan, the Hank Moody of Management Consultants.  Now, the only real problem with this is that Management Consultants are not actually glamourous.  They are um…. boring.  At least all the management consultants I’ve met.  So, I’m looking forward to seeing if House of Lies created by Matthew Carnahan (Fastlane, Dirt) can keep me entertained this season.

Now, I will give the pilot points for the clever beginning because as I watched Marty try to dress his naked and very wasted sex partner only to discover as his son walks in (SPOILER ALERT!) that this is his ex-wife, Monica Talbot (Dawn Olivieri).  Even more surprising is that about halfway through the episode we discover (SPOILER ALERT again) that she’s his chief competition in the consulting business and usually smarter than him – she has the #1 Consulting firm to his #2.  There is something refreshing about the line Marty says to Monica, “… you’re a sociopath and an addict and I can’t even stand to look at you right now…” and her reply is, “Right back attcha…”  Then you suddenly have a clear idea of the characters you are dealing with.  Fatally flawed.  The show has some hope.  Because seriously, who wants to watch normal characters?  If I want to see normal, I’ll go to Ralph’s and watch people shopping.  I don’t have to pay a monthly subscription for that.

Domestically, Marty has a full plate, his live-in retired psychologist father, Jeremiah (Glynn Turman) fully judges and doles out advice, ignoring, for the most part, the fact that he helped shape his sociopath son into what he’s become.  An even bigger handful seems to be Marty’s skirt-wearing adolescent son, Roscoe (Donis Leonard Jr.), who announces he’s trying out for the role of Sandy in his school’s production of Grease.  We learn by the end of the episode that not even Roscoe’s dreams are safe from Marty’s desires as he negotiates his son’s hard won lead role away from him so he can sleep with his stage rival’s mother — during the performance of the show.

Professionally, Marty and his Pod (his consulting group – I really hate business jargon – I’m convinced it’s created by men with very small penises) must win the New York City mortgage banking client, MetroCapital (one of the evil companies that helped ruin our economy).  His contact and rival, Greg Norbert (Greg Germann who has never failed to entertain me yet), go head to head although they really should be on the same team.  Marty and his Pod expense a night with strippers as a legitimate business dinner.  Really?  Ok that was really just pathetic.  No, I’m not a prude, but strippers?  That is just unimaginative and honestly, the only thing that saves that narrative misstep is the payoff when Marty’s stripper pretends to be his wife at business dinner with Norbert the next night.

By the end of the first episode, I’m intrigued enough to want to keep watching this show, because the characters are appropriately flawed and will do things that will get them into enough trouble to keep me entertained.   And it looks like Greg Germann will appear in more episodes and he’s a great foil every time.  Not that Marty’s greatest foil isn’t simply himself and his screwed up desires.  But a little extra always helps.

Revenge: “Duress” episode review

12 Jan

Before Christmas, Emily Thorne’s plan for revenge was starting to unravel.  Her short hiatus from the ABC broadcast schedule did not allow her time to regroup.  No.  She hasn’t regained control and it doesn’t help when you throw a psychotic misanthrope into the mix.  One of the best descriptions of Tyler (Ashton Holmes) in this episode:  Cold Turkey meets Hot Mess.  I might actually miss him once he implodes completely.

SPOILER ALERT:

Conrad (Henry Czerny) and Victoria (Madeleine Stowe) start divorce negotiations.  Both want Charlotte (Christa B. Allen) and Grayson Manor.  It seems like it might be a long, bitter battle.

Emily (Emily VanCamp) suggests they celebrate Daniel’s (Joshua Bowman) birthday by throwing a clambake.  [Aside: There are tabloid rumors these two were hot and heavy in Paris over New Year’s in real life.]  Victoria knows that’s Emily’s idea even though Daniel pretends it’s his.  And who is catering the affair?  None other than Jack (Nick Wechsler).  Because that won’t be uncomfortable.

Emily apologizes to Nolan (Gabriel Mann) and they rejoin forces.  With his help, she searches Tyler’s belongings and discovers Tyler’s psychotic and off his meds, as well as recovering Nolan’s stolen secret camera.  Later, Emily announces Tyler’s little secret to Daniel and Ashley (Ashley Madekwe).  She can’t really defend a psychotic hustler any more.  Daniel’s disturbed enough to want to take a gun to his clambake.

Tyler lets everyone believe he’s left the area but instead he attacks Nolan, ties him up and goes to the clambake to take his own revenge.  Daniel lets his guard down and puts the gun away.  Stupid move, Daniel.  Tyler appears at the clambake, threatening to divulge all the information he knows.  Conrad doesn’t look pleased.  He’s even more tense since faux Amanda Clarke (Margarita Levieva) is also a guest at the clambake and could learn the truth about her father.  But we all know that information is already common knowledge between Emily and faux Amanda.  Just as Tyler is about to shoot Emily, Nolan and Tyler’s brother appear.  Tyler’s subdued and perhaps now some of Emily’s plans can get back on track…

Once Upon a Time: “The heart is a lonely hunter” episode review

11 Jan

I have had a few female friends who are as deranged as the Evil Queen so this particular episode was particularly intriguing. This is especially true since women, in particular, can sometimes be petty and unforgiving at times. And those women usually don’t stop until they’ve destroyed anyone they think is a threat to them. I guess some people don’t realize it is healthier to let things go and get on with their lives. At least in television drama, I suppose it is better that the deranged people hold onto their grudges. It makes for good drama.

SPOILER ALERT:

Graham (Jamie Dornan) is determined to prove to Emma (Jennifer Morrison) that he is not in love with Regina (Lana Parrilla), nor does he want to be aligned with her any longer. He gets drunk, grabs Emma, kisses her and suddenly flashes back to his life as The Huntsman. He remembers his companion, a wolf, which he starts seeing in Storybrooke.

Graham/The Huntsman was hired by the Evil Queen to assassinate Snow White because apparently she told a secret of the Queen’s which ‘hurt her.’ Since the Evil Queen still possessed all her limbs, I can’t believe she was hurt as badly as she perceived but… who knows, maybe we will all hate Snow White by the time Once Upon a Time is finished with us. The Huntsman discovers he can’t kill Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) because her heart is pure so he lets her go and kills a stag in her place, presenting the Queen with the substitute heart. She isn’t fooled. She gets her revenge by tearing out The Huntsman’s heart and placing it in a box then keeping him her slave for eternity. If he defies or disobeys her then she’ll crush his heart and that will be it for the Huntsman.

Back in Storybrooke, Graham remembers his past as the Huntsman with the help of Henry’s storybook, his old friend the Wolf and Emma. He tries to locate his heart but fails. Regina finds him and Emma searching her father’s mausoleum. Graham dumps Regina, Emma and Regina get into a girl fight and Regina ends up alone at her father’s grave. But she has the last laugh because as Graham is whispering sweet nothings to Emma, or at least telling her how grateful he is to know his past, Regina is crushing his heart until it’s dust and he dies in Emma’s arms. No happily ever after in Storybrooke as yet. Evil Queen 2, Emma 0.

Californication: Season 5 “JFK to LAX” premiere review

11 Jan

I was not sure how I felt about Hank Moody (David Duchovny) coming back for another season.  Not that I don’t love Hank.  I do.  But after last season and the whole statutory rape trial and the ending, which seemed like a series finale more than a season finale (which is how the producers meant for it to look since they were not sure if the show was definitely coming back at that point in negotiations), I didn’t know where Hank could go to be happy.  Or miserable.  Since he is always happiest or maybe at peace when he is mostly unhappy with everything.  But I shouldn’t have worried on Hank’s account.   Hank is still Hank, even if Tom Kapinos takes us a few years into the future at the beginning of Season 5.  Because in this episode, Hank leaves New York City to come back to Los Angeles for work and to get away from the most recent crazy woman he dumps.  Since there are always a few crazy women in Hank’s life.  Hank’s written a new best seller, titled what else but…. Californication and now he’s been invited out to the West Coast to work with a notorious rapper/actor, Samurai Apocalypse.  Or Apocalypse Samurai (does it really matter with a name like that?) played by RZA.  Can’t anyone just have kind of normal names anymore?

SPOILER ALERT:

A plane ride with Hank would not be complete if he didn’t at least try to get laid while in the air.  He does try, but fails.  Not because his participant, Kali (Meagan Good) was unwilling, but because an old lady needs the toilet and kicks them out.  She leaves without giving him her information, but we know they will meet again.   This is Hank Moody after all.  But Hank doesn’t have time to dwell on lost partners because Charlie Runkle (Evan Handler) has arrived in the quintessential Hank Moody ride, a convertible black Porsche, complete with his two and a half year toddler in tow, spawn of Charlie and Marcy (Pamela Adlon).

If I tell you all the sexual situations you encounter, it will take away from the fun of watching the episode yourself, which you can currently watch online at Showtime.  But you won’t be disappointed.  Marcy and Charlie are divorced.  Karen (Natascha McElhone) has remarried her former professor (also a novelist), Richard ( Jason Beghe), who got in a fist-fight with Hank in a previous season.  The only reason Hank probably doesn’t assault him now is that Richard doesn’t like Becca’s (Madeleine Martin) new boyfriend, Tyler (Scott Michael Foster), who is essentially Hank at 24.  Karma’s a bitch Hank…

Since things seem to be going a bit too smoothly in Hank’s life, we get to discover, along with Hank, the chick who almost entered the mile-high club with Hank, Kali, is Samurai Apocalypse’s girlfriend.  And seriously, wouldn’t you be looking elsewhere as well if your boyfriend has a stupid name like that?  I, for one, am looking forward to all of Hank’s screw ups this season.  And unlike a real boyfriend, I can forgive him for all his character flaws since he keeps me entertained.

Dexter season 6 finale: “This is the Way the World Ends” episode review

9 Jan

This is one of those seasons on a television show that I actually don’t care about the main storyline. I just care more about how the characters react in the story which says, yes, this show is getting a bit old. But by the end of this episode, I have hope that new life will be brought to the Dexter series next season. As this particular episode stands, they could have cut out the entire DDK segments and I would have been perfectly content.

SPOILER ALERT:

When Dexter (Michael C. Hall) gets rescued by a Cuban refugee boat as he floats in the ocean and almost gives up, it almost seems too convenient, until we see the human smuggler is a bad guy.  It makes us wonder how much fight Dexter actually has left in him after almost becoming a human marshmallow roast in the ocean.  Apparently he still has plenty.   There is something so very satisfying watching Dexter stab the coyote/human trafficker who tries to rob all the refugees.  It felt cathartic to watch Dexter openly murder someone with a group of people who were grateful for his violence and — relieved.

While I know I should be worried about Harrison’s welfare and whether this season will end with him becoming the next sacrifice in Dexter’s life, even in his cute little lion suit, I am far more concerned whether or not Debra (Jennifer Carpenter) is going to reveal her incestuous feelings to her brother.  Not concerned in a bad way because I find it sickly fascinating if the show goes there.  This just goes with my overall dislike of the DDK storyline.  It’s not that Travis (Colin Hanks) doesn’t do an excellent job at being a creepy loser, he does.  End of the world storylines just never interest me.  I was also banking on the fact that it was bad enough they made Professor Gellar (Edward James Olmos) another Harry (James Remar).  Okay, evil Harry.  But if they were going to kill Harrison as well, I would give up on the show.  Because that would signal they had run out of fresh sick ideas.  But the incest story line, in my book, qualifies as a fresh sick idea. It gives me hope that next season might be really screwed up.  And there is nothing I love more than screwed up characters.

While there is drama between Batista (David Zayas) and Quinn (Desmond Harrington) who he wants transferred, it doesn’t go very far.  Quinn fights back by talking to his Union rep and claiming he has a problem with alcohol.  As far as Quinn is concerned, he is staying put.  Perhaps there will be increased tension between the two next season.  That could get interesting.

Travis is obviously on his way out.  Nobody breaks into Dexter’s apartment, eats his cereal and drops it everywhere, steals one of his shirts and then lives.  Dexter does not violations of personal space.  Especially by those he is hunting down.  When Travis does take Harrison from the children’s pageant, it seems almost anti-climatic.  As if Dexter will let anything happen to his son… And he doesn’t.  The whole scenario quickly (thankfully!) ends with Travis knocked out and tied up in back of Dexter’s car.

In the meantime, Deb does her best to lead the manhunt for Travis.  She must be having quite a hard time concentrating, especially since at the beginning of the episode she rushes to Dexter’s apartment, hugs him while he is shirtless, looks like she’s in complete bliss and declares her love for him.  He reciprocates by telling her that he loves her too (but most likely in a brotherly way).  Too bad for Debra Travis’ actions interrupt their intimate moment and they get called to his latest crime scene.  But it’s Debra’s excitement about her declaration of love for Dexter that motivates her to go visit him while he does one last sweep of the church… just in time to watch her beloved brother plunge a knife into Travis’ heart.  And for Dexter to realize he’s actually been caught.  NOW I can’t wait for next season.

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