Sunday, October 31, 2010

My Review of Dexter's 4x10: "Lost Boys"

Written by Charles H. Eglee And Tim Schlattmann
Directed by Keith Gordon

Harry: “You always did have a soft spot for kids. They reminded you of what you lost that day in the shipping container.”
Dexter: “Innocence.”

Rarely to never do I have a genuinely hard time watching this show – I’m pretty unflappable but if I never see this episode again, it won’t be a moment too soon. It’s not an awful episode but it is without doubt the most difficult episode I’ve ever had to watch when it comes to this very show.

I should’ve known that killing in threes would turn out not to be entirely true for Arthur Mitchell but even I was shocked to find out that his cycle of violence actually started with a young boy whom was associated as Arthur himself and that the child’s death was some scary means of preserving their innocence.

It makes sense given that the other victims always represent his sister, mother and father but it certainly made for serious uncomfortable television as Trinity stalked the arcades and kidnapped a young lad named Scott in order to act out the cycle all over again. Even with Dexter on the trail, I actually thought that Arthur would get away with murdering another child.

The scenes with Trinity and Scott were certainly some of the most uncomfortable ones that the series produced and Dexter himself definitely was leaving it to the last minute to rescue the child. It’s not that he wasn’t trying to help; it’s just that Trinity seemed to be one step ahead of him until the very end.

Trying to bury Scott alive in cement was certainly a demented way of keeping the kid innocent but during the scuffle with Trinity and Dexter, I’m surprised that Trinity didn’t try to kill two birds with one stone and also bury Dexter. Similarly it can be argued that Dexter should’ve given Arthur a far deadlier whack over the head with the shovel before he rescued Scott too.

Trinity’s been a fascinating villain all season long and the last few episodes have definitely increased that fascination. His actions have always been incredibly monstrous and the tyrannical hold he wields over his own family didn’t make for great viewing last week but his murdering of kids really escalated him into sheer levels of scariness. Forget learning, Dexter, this guy needs putting down and fast.

As for Trinity’s relationship with Christine, therein lie some more complications. Unlike Jonah who seems to know that his father has a deadly side (but might not know the extent), Christine is all too aware of her father’s murdering ways and desperately tried to get his attention. Had she not mentioned that Deb was on her case, I can safely assume that Trinity would’ve adhered to his original arrangement with his daughter this week.

If Sally and Rebecca fear Trinity and Jonah despises him, then Christine falls into the scarier category of wanting to impress her father. She willingly shot both Lundy and Deb in order to protect him and openly admitted that she knew about his killing sprees, despite his staunch denials to her during their scene in the parking lot.

I did actually think that she admitted to killing Lundy that Trinity was going to react by killing his own daughter. His foul mouthed about her after she left confirmed his disapproval and if Deb doesn’t get Christine put behind bars by next week, then Christine might have the misfortune of becoming her father’s latest victim.

I wasn’t all that interested in Christine at the start of the season, so now having her firmly connected to Trinity and responsible for Lundy’s death has made her a better character. I also like the fact that she was seemingly aware of Deb trying to trap her, even if Christine herself wasted too much time trying to contact her father instead of legging out of Miami. Judging by the trailer for the next episode, she might not be in custody for long either but points to Deb for the effort, eh?

Deb, unlike her brother this week was far more on fire. She went about confirming her suspicious about Christine in a sneaky way and even though Quinn was pissed with her, even he managed to help Deb out in the end. I got the impression that Quinn was devastated that Christine was the shooter but I felt worse for her than I did for him for some reason.

Speaking of bad, I also felt for Dexter in this episode as well. I think the whole experience with Trinity is teaching him a harsh lesson about his family and the fact that his secret life can have consequences for them, such as Cody’s fight this week but overall, the domestic scenes with him and Rita have actually been some of the best on the series in a long while.

Also in “Lost Boys”

Dexter’s now keeping all his equipment in a shipping container, following Cody’s accident from last week.

Rita (re Harrison’s booster shots): “I don’t know how you’re not a complete wreck.”
Dexter (to himself): “Serial killer, remember?”

I really hope the writers aren’t going to drag out Masuka’s anxiety of wanting to tell Dexter about Rita and Elliot.

Dexter: “I’m calling the police.”
Trinity: “I so much as see a police car, the boy pays the price. You like protecting children, don’t you, like my son?”

Masuka: “I’m still figuring out how to phrase it.”
Deb: “How gay are you?”

Quinn let slip to Deb that he had issues with Dexter. Also that CI Valerie returned as well, even though Deb ignored her.

Harry: “How does a guy like this make a body disappear?”
Dexter: “The gulf stream does it for me.”

Dexter: “I don’t have email.”
Jonah: “Who doesn’t have email, Kyle?”
Dexter: “On the top of my head, people who don’t exist.”

Christine exhibited a lot of resentment for Jonah, Sally and Rebecca, which seems to confirm that she’s a child from a previous relationship/marriage.

Christine: “I’m your family too. I need you more than they do.”
Trinity: “Sorry, sweetie, it’ll have to wait. Love you.”

Dexter (to Trinity): “Burying a child in cement? That’s not very Christian of you.”

Chronology: Set with December 2009, give or take.

As I said at the start of the review, “Lost Boys” was a pretty uncomfortable episode to watch. It’s fantastically written, well acted, advanced plot lines, gave genuine thrills and surprises and had plenty of satisfying moments but again, it was an uncomfortable episode to watch.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Friday, October 29, 2010

It's Just A Jump To The Left

If you haven't seen certain shows, then spoilers people.

Glee - Well, the much hyped episode of The Rocky Horror Picture Show finally took place and it was definitely an entertaining episode for Halloween. Not the best of the five we've had so far but in terms of the actual songs, I don't think anyone put a foot wrong to be honest. Personally, There's A Light and Time Warp were my favourites (but no Planet Schmanet Janet - boo!) and the more cleaner Touch-A, Touch-A also worked pretty but the story wasn't the best from a plot point. Finn and Sam's body issues almost seemed to have come out of nowhere and Will's little scheming against Emma and Carl was uncalled for. Even Sue's attempts of bagging a local Emmy managed to blow up in her face - for now. Still, even this episode continues to show that the series isn't a one season wonder and Becky's line about threatening to cut Will if he didn't give her chocolate was the highlight of the episode.

The Vampire Diaries - I will catch up with the second season at some point but right now, the first one is getting better and better. I liked the flashbacks to the great vampire massacre but at the same time, I already know that Katherine didn't perish (or isn't entombed) and I certainly thought Stefan was a dolt for trying to get his vampire hating father on side as well. Stefan and Elena trying to hide things from Damon though wasn't a smart move on their part and I kind of wished that Jeremy would get the hint about Anna being more than a stalker. That being said, it'a actually a relief that Stefan is aware of Alaric being more than a historian though.

Desperate Housewives - Erm, not really all that fussed about the last two episodes I've seen. I mean, I like the dramatic implications of Gabby/Carlos's baby swap and Bree's pursuit of Keith is amusing enough but I still think Susan's main plot is dumb (even if we've seen some consequences from a rival girl) and her financial problems aren't being written realistically but both Lynette and Paul's plots are boring the shit out of me. And three episodes in and I still think that Renee isn't working out for the series, though she's marginally better than Paul's wife (who seems like a spy or something).

Smallville - Interesting finale. We've had better ones but I did like the fact that Tess has been seemingly rescued/revived by Granny Goodness, that Lois finally realised who exactly the Blur really is and that we got some lovely moments between Chloe and Oliver and the Justice team. I also liked the final scenes between Clark and Zod, which are more than enough incentive for me to watch the tenth season all the more.

The Event - I tried to watch both episodes of this last week on Channel 4, I really did but I couldn't stick it. I resisted Flashforward last year because I thought it was little more than a Lost rip-off and I wished that I hadn't bothered with this show either. It's dull, predictable, the overuse of flashbacks annoyed the heck out of me and none of the characters really stood out at all. Plus aliens - it's been done better on about seven different shows. I definitely won't be watching anymore of this one.

- Balthazar Getty will be returning to Brothers And Sisters for the show's 100th episode, due to air in 2011.
- Caprica has been cancelled by SyFy but another Battlestar Galactica spin-off is on the way.
- Sara Ramirez has teased that there's a "rough road ahead" for Callie and Arizona in Grey's Anatomy.
- Misfits second season begins on E4 from November 11th at 10pm.
- Merlin has been renewed for a fourth season but will only have 10 episodes, which are due to be filmed in March 2011.
- Zach Braff will appear in an upcoming episode of Cougar Town in animated form.
- ABC are developing a fairytale themed series, called Once Upon A Time which will modernise many popular fairytales and has a female protagonist with a unique background.
- Glee will release it's Christmas album on November 16th, three weeks prior to it's own Christmas themed episode. The album will have Kurt and Blaine doing a cover of Baby, It's Cold Outside.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Review of The Sarah Jane Adventures 4x03: "Death Of The Doctor"

Written by Russell T. Davies
Directed by Ashley Way

The Doctor: “Have you been telling people I’m dead?”
Shansheeth: “I apologise. The death notice was released a little too soon but I can rectify this immediately. I’m so sorry for your loss, Doctor. Rest in peace.”

Hands up who believed even for the tiniest of moments that the Doctor was actually dead? Nope, didn’t think so and because of that, I would’ve been far more perturbed if both Sarah Jane and Jo were convinced of the Doctor’s death either.

I’m forgiving of Clyde, Rani and Santiago perhaps believing the idea of the Doctor’s death but I loved that even with UNIT and the Shansheeth talking of the Doctor’s demise that Sarah Jane knew in their guts that their mentor wasn’t exactly. Yes, it’s the type of thing that could’ve underestimated the drama of this charade but it didn’t.

Sarah Jane and Jo both came to the mutual conclusion that if the Doctor ever died, they would feel it and given that Sarah Jane showed awareness over her last encounter with the Doctor involving a regeneration, it’s damn believable that her instincts would kick in again and Jo’s too, despite nearly four decades passing since her last encounter with the Doctor.

The gathering of remembrance scene with the Shansheeth at the UNIT base was interesting. Sometimes you can accuse the show’s use of flashbacks of being self-indulgent but they served a genuine purpose here for more than just the gang remembering the Doctor as even Clyde’s memories proved that this was a continuation to “The Wedding Of Sarah Jane Smith”.

Having Sarah Jane and Jo however was the one thing that demanded the most attention. Like a lot of people, I’ve always loved Jo and the one thing I was hoping for upon her arrival her was that Russell T. Davies wouldn’t give another companion who had an empty life after travelling with the Doctor. Thankfully he didn’t.

If Sarah Jane’s existence in “School Reunion” had dissatisfaction in them, then Jo’s more fuller life with seven kids and thirteen grandchildren along with her marriage to Cliff was a welcomed relief. More than that, it seems that age has done little to destroy Jo’s chirpy and scatty personality either.

I laughed at her entrance during the gathering and the ease she had with the Shansheeth’s appearances but more importantly, every scene she had with the Doctor and Sarah Jane was just sheer joy. I love the kids on this show but I’m wondering if it’s time that Sarah Jane needs another adult in her life that’s aware of the alien fighting that she does.

The memory trips with Jo and Sarah Jane during their meditation nicely reminded us of the histories they’ve had with the Doctor but the feelings of the good old day really came to the fore when both girls and the Doctor were on a planet together and two of my favourite scenes came as a result.

First of all, I loved that Sarah Jane asked the Doctor about his last regeneration, even if he was rather evasive about it, which is something the Doctor can be a lot in a script by Russell T. Davies and I don’t mean that in a bad way. He was also evasive at the end of the story with Jo in relation to the Time Lords, which slightly bothered me to a degree.

However the scene where Jo wondered if she was stupid was pretty powerful. Jo’s dippy but she’s never stupid and there were enough times during her tenure with the Doctor where her resourcefulness was pretty dominant so I loved that the Doctor went into great detail of how proud he actually was of her. After everything, he definitely owed Jo that much.

I don’t know why Russell T. Davies decided after so long to bring back Jo but I’m glad he did. I’m also glad that the close relationships that the Doctor had with both Jo and Sarah Jane were also key to the Shansheeth and Tia Karim’s plot to open up the TARDIS for their own schemes but I gotta wonder – why the complicated plot?

Don’t get me wrong – it’s clever to use both Jo and Sarah Jane’s memories of the TARDIS key to instantly drum up a spare copy via a memory weave but wouldn’t have been easier just to have taken it off the Doctor instead. I knew the second that memories were a big part in operating that machinery that they would also be the reason for it to break down as well.

I liked that the Doctor, Rani, Clyde and Santiago got Sarah Jane and Jo to remember everything and the fact that a lead line coffin saved them from being blown to bits unlike the Shansheeth and Tia was also a nice move as well.

As for the Shansheeth, it seems that they fall into the category of being a bad lot from an otherwise noble race. I can understand that being intergalactic undertakers might get to a point where you would take extreme measures in order to prevent death but I wish that Tia’s motives had been better explored. Laila Rouass had a lot of potential but Tia wasn’t as utilised as she could’ve been to the end.

As for the scenes with the Doctor, Sarah Jane and Jo in the TARDIS, I sort of wished they had been longer. I still got a kick out of seeing all three of them together and I really hope that after this story that both Sarah Jane and Jo make their way back onto the main show with the right storyline of course.

In terms of other interesting storylines in this story – Santiago. If there was ever a replacement for Luke needed, Santiago clearly fits the bill. He worked well with Clyde and Rani and on more on one occasion he mentioned his frustration of moving all the time and never seeing his parents. Maybe him and his grandmother could set up shop on Bannerman Road for a little longer. I can only hope, right?

Also, one interesting thing – the Doctor might not have died (though the Shansheeth did try at one point) but the fact that even he said the universe would shiver upon his death seems to me that it’s a storyline that could be explored much sooner than we think. After all, come 2011, we should finally find out who that good man River killed and what the hell the silence is and something tells me that this story might have given a hint to at least one of those upcoming events.

Also in “Death Of The Doctor”

Luke appeared in the first half of this story and even Haresh managed three scenes that involved him revealing how Gita dealt with the death of her parents.

Tia: “I’m sorry, Miss Smith for your loss, sorry for the whole wide world because he’s gone, the Doctor’s gone. He’s dead.”

Going by an educated guess here, but I’m going to assume that Santiago is the oldest of the 13 grandchildren that Jo has.

Tia: “Then you’ll come?”
Sarah Jane: “Oh yes. Nothing’s going to make me miss this. I’ll be there.”

Clyde (to Tia): “You got a moon base? Oh man, I am running out of reactions.”

Companion updates: Brigadier is stranded in Peru again, Liz is on the moon, Amy/Rory are on a planet married to an asteroid, Tegan is fighting for aboriginal rights, Ben/Polly are running an orphanage in India, Ace is running A Charitable Earth, Harry is dealing with vaccines and Ian/Barbara are professors at Cambridge.

Rani (re the Doctor): “Think of all the lives he touched. The whole planet should be in mourning but no-one knows.”

Sarah Jane: “We never actually met but it’s Jo Grant, isn’t it?”
Jo: “It’s a long time since I’ve been called that. It’s Jo Jones since I got married.”

The Doctor mentioned casually to Clyde in this story that he can regenerate 507 times and a lot of the revelations in this story contradict some established stuff from various audios.

Rani: “Honestly, it’ll be fine. We do this kind of thing all the time.”
Santiago: “Hey, my grandmother’s handcuffed herself to Robert Mugabe, I’m loving it.”

Sarah Jane: “I think there’s something wrong.”
Jo: “Wrong? You mean like ‘the old days’ sort of wrong?”

The use of a Groske here (basically a blue Graske) was nice, especially given that apart from teasing Clyde, it was actually an ally rather than an enemy to the gang in this story.

Jo: “Did you think I was stupid?”
The Doctor: “Why do you say that?”
Jo: “Well, I was a bit dumb. Still am I suppose.”

Jo: “Fight it, Sarah Jane. Try to think of something else.”
Sarah Jane: “I can’t.”
Jo: “Neither can I.”

Both Jo and Sarah Jane went through a list of old foes but what amazed me more was the Doctor mentioning that he went to see every companion during “The End Of Time”. Nice to have that confirmation.

Sarah Jane: “It’s daft though we were both saying, we have this theory that if you ever died, we’d feel it somehow. We’d just know but that’s silly, isn’t it?”
The Doctor: “I don’t know, maybe not because between you and me if that day ever comes, I think the whole universe might just shiver.”

Sarah Jane (to Clyde/Rani): “Echoes of the Doctor all over the world. With friends like us, he’s never going to die, is he?”

Chronology: None is directly specified, though it’s been six months since Santiago last had contact with his parents.

“Death Of The Doctor” is a triumph of a story for the series. If you loved Jo Grant/Jones all those years ago, you’ll love her in this one and the banter between her, Sarah Jane and the Doctor is a masterpiece. Despite looking silly, the Shansheeth were interesting villains and although UNIT could’ve been used in a more positive light, this easily beats last year’s “The Wedding Of Sarah Jane Smith” for Doctor related stories.

Rating: 10 out of 10.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sunday Catch Up

I know I put up a blog two days ago talking about these two shows but I wanted to use this one to talk about their respective third episodes.

Single Father - I liked the third episode arguably more than the first two put together, the pace was somewhat better. Dave pretty much seems to be in a terrible predicament of not knowing if any of the kids he's had with Rita are biologically his and Sarah sensibly got annoyed when Dave admitted that he slept with her after learning of Rita's ongoing contact with Stuart. I don't know if I've just seen Rupert Graves playing so many jerks (excluding Sherlock) over the last few years but I really don't like Stuart all that much and the trailer for the finale suggested that him and Dave are both going to go head to head over custody of Lucy as well. After three well written and interesting episodes, I only hope this mini-series gets the ending it deserves.

Thorne:Sleepyhead - I didn't like this ending as much as I hoped I would've. I think it's because while the reveal of Frank's son being the culprit made sense, it just felt a little too dragged out and Tughan's steadfast hatred of Thorne could become just as irritating as it's potential for further storylines. He knows that Thorne killed Frank and both Phil and James managed not to blab about it - for now. The use of flashbacks and intregrating the characters in them for Frank's murder were done particularly well. That being said, while Allison's ending made more sense here than the book's version, I don't think Anne was as utilised as she was in the first instalments. Still, Scaredy Cat starts on Sunday and Sandra Oh showed some great potential in the ads for it.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Torchwood - Season 4 Character Details/Casting Rumours

We still have yonks to wait for The New World but thankfully some information is coming our ways in regards to production and characters.

Okay, first thing's first - characters. We've finally gotten some descriptions of them. Rex Matheson is 28 and the main CIA agent that we're focusing on whilst Esther Katusi has a "faith in mankind" and is madly in love with Rex. Can you say Owen/Toshiko 2011 already? Oswald Jones is "dangerous and twisted" and fated to "become the centre of terrifying events". A fourth character called, Dr Vera Juaraz will be caught up in Torchwood's missions as well throughout the 10 episode season.

Right now, it's being rumoured that the roles of Rex and Esther have been cast. Operative word - rumour. Apparently EW are speculating that both Enver Gjokaj (Dollhouse) and Chad Michael Murray (One Tree Hill) are frontrunners for the role of Rex and Amber Stevens (Greek) is up for the role of Esther. Personally I wouldn't object to seeing Enver on this show myself but for the time being, we're still in the dark about who Rex and Esther will be played by, though I'll bet we'll learn before Christmas though.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Siblings Reunited

Okay this is going to be brief runover of what I've seen in the last few days and sorry for the delay.

Merlin - Two very interesting episodes here. With the first one I've seen, there was the return of the fairy creatures from the first season and a young woman named Elena, who sensibly did not want to be Arthur's suitor. Top marks to the writers for keeping the goofiness at the right level and for the sympathy drawn for Elena. As for the second episode, nice to see Gwen's brother and the return of Cenred but I would like the Morgana/Morgause stuff to move a little more forward now.

Lip Service - I really do like this show. Okay, so the comparisons to The L Word probably won't end soon but it's certainly more believable and less elitist take on lesbian culture and the characters are definitely interesting to watch. Frankie's not too likeable but she's fascinating and it's hard not to lovbe/feel bad for Tess, given that Lou's pretty much messing her about and she lost her job after impersonating a child psychologist badly. Plus Cat's burgeoning relationship with Sam is nice to watch as well. Not really too bothered about Jay and Ed or Becky - yet.

Thorne: Sleepyhead - Going on the second episode alone, this is definitely taking a different route than the books, which isn't a bad thing. Thorne and Phil's fractured friendship over an old secret is definitely interesting and it was nice to see some of Holland's home life as well as a means for Allison to try and communication with Thorne and Anne but the cliffhanger at the end of the first episode seemed resolved a little too quickly, even if a fair amount of time passed for Tom. I'll comment about the last part of Sleepyhead in a later blog.

Single Father - I'm not going into hyperbole about how this is a brilliant show but the hype surrounding it is certainly justified, that I will admit. Taking Dave to the levels of seeking out Lucy's bio-dad and then sleeping with Sarah after learning that Rita had one secret too many did all make sense, even if it was terribly predictable. The acting in this, especially from the youngsters does continue to impress but I can see some difficult decisions ahead for Dave in the next two episodes.

The X Factor - Ah, the last two weeks of this have been fun. In the space of four shows, we've lost Storm Lee, Diva Fever and John Adeleye (the latter I was sad to see go) but more importantly, we've also had Cheryl plug her latest rubbish song as well as a totally manufactured feud between her and Louie to endure. Um, guys, this show is about the contestants, not the judges. Speaking of contestants, I find it hilarious that for all the negative publicity she's generated that Katie has still managed to be saved for the last few weeks. And my sister keeps nagging me about the greatness of Mary Byrne. I get it, already - Dublin should be proud.

The Apprentice - Ireland/UK Versions - I'm beginning to think that I need to seperate these two because at the moment, I'm enjoying them in equal measures and find myself supporting certain candidates and bemused by others. In the UK version, Shibby bemused me but his bad decisions with the task made it just for Alan Sugar to give him the boot, whereas I also find myself a little taken with Jamie. The Irish version makes me wonder why Dave hasn't been booted out but I guess it had been fair for Caroline to get the chop over the ad fiasco, even if her comments about certain people coasting along might be true. Either way, I bet BBC1 and TV3 are very happy with the ratings for these shows nonetheless.

- Keith Carradine has been cast as Penny's father in an upcoming episode of The Big Bang Theory.
- Robert Englund will be guest starring in next week's Halloween themed episode of Chuck.
- Kristin Davis is set to star in upcoming NBC series, The Happiness Project about one woman's quest for true happiness.
- Mariah Carey is being rumoured for the US version of The X Factor.
- Chandra Wilson has recently directed an episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

My Review of Dexter's 4x09: "Hungry Man"

Written by Wendy West
Directed by John Dahl

Dexter (re Trinity): “What kind of father keeps a coffin in his garage?”
Harry: “What kind of father keeps blood slides in his shed?”

Isn’t Harry rather less helpful with Dexter this year? There was a time when I enjoyed his appearances but now, they’re starting to become a little annoying a degree. I get they serve a purpose in pointing out a lot of Dexter’s thoughts/foibles but sometimes I wish we would get some more encouraging ones for a change this season.

Having one Thanksgiving meal is tough but when your first one involved having a front seat row to Trinity seriously losing his shit, then be thankful to getting out of that house is an understatement. Nice way for the writers to show us just how truly nuts Trinity really is.

It’s not a shock that Trinity’s controlling ways have his family both living in fear and hating his guts in equal measures but seeing it played out didn’t exactly make for pleasant viewing in the slightest. Trinity’s the type of man who breaks his son’s fingers and locks his daughter in her own room. I can only imagine what he does to his long suffering wife.

Dexter’s penchant of making rash decision this season doesn’t seem to be letting up. It’s nice that he wanted to help Jonah but if anything, Dexter should’ve just killed Trinity before the Thanksgiving meal instead of attending it and making a bad situation ten times worse as a result of stopping by.

He already knew that Trinity was a threat to his family since the previous episode, so Dexter’s lack of inaction is starting to bother me. It also didn’t help that he strangled Trinity in front of his family at all and it really didn’t help that if Sally hadn’t intervened, Dexter would’ve stabbed Trinity so carelessly and publicly too.

Right now, Dexter’s options are limited. He’s already shown Trinity his true side and if he doesn’t act fast then Trinity is either a) going to kill him or Rita or b) sick the cops on Dexter. Either are possibilities that Dexter can easily avoid if he finally acts quickly and does away with Trinity once and for all.

I can only imagine as well the consequences that lies ahead for Sally, Jonah and Rebecca as well. Jonah especially seems to be the most at risk given that he shattered Vera’s ashes all over the place and took to smashing up some of Arthur’s awards right in front of him. If doing damage to a car earned him broken fingers, then I wouldn’t be surprised if Trinity actually tried to kill his own son. He already came pretty close to doing it in this episode alone.

However the only positive thing about Trinity that occurred this week was Dexter being made aware of the fact that he wasn’t responsible for Deb’s shooting/Lundy’s death. This episode seemed to painfully point out that the culprit to that one was Christine after all. This now makes some kind of twisted sense given that she’s also Trinity’s daughter.

I genuinely didn’t see that one coming at the end of this episode. When she opened the door, I actually expected that Trinity was coming to kill her. He could still do that but I got the impression that he’s either a) been kicked out by Sally and needs somewhere to crash b) needs someone to talk because he’s all het up or c) is acutely aware of his daughter’s dark side and wants to berate/guide her or something to that effect.

Either way, this episode served to highlight just how fantastic this whole arc has been as a whole. Making Christine a more important cog in the wheel has definitely paid off and now that Deb seems to be closely aware of who shot, I have to wonder if that was Christine’s motive all along. She did seem to feel a little guilty when talking to Deb about Lundy’s last breath and all.

Besides all of that stuff with Christine now makes her a more fascinating character to the extent that it’s even harder to care about her relationship with Quinn. That being said, I do get the impression that she genuinely cares for him but sense that he’s more into Deb than her. She more or less even said that to Deb as well during their scenes at the office.

Deb’s obsessive manner with her work this week also saw her being told to back down by Quinn during the holidays and the fact that she had been emotionally blackmailed into attending Thanksgiving was amusing. Still, it was nice that she roped Masuka into proceedings as well, especially as he was put to good use.

Okay, so while I don’t think Rita will have an affair with Elliot (despite the impression that she’s tempted to), Masuka did see a kiss between them and it will be interesting if he keeps that information strictly to himself or decides to tell. Dexter’s reaction if he does find out would also be interesting too.

Also in “Hungry Man”

The episode’s title seems to come from a brand of food that Harry used to eat during Thanksgiving after his wife passed away.

Jonah (to Dexter): “I know it looks like we have the perfect fucking family but in that house when he’s there, it’s not a life, it’s a tour of duty.”

I take it that Trinity’s beating of Jonah is following the same pattern of abuse he suffered from his own father. For a moment, I actually thought he locked Rebecca in the coffin when he went to get her.

Dexter (re shooter): “How did I not see that?”
Deb: “You were too close. That’s what happens when you make it personal.”

Dexter: “I’ll be at Arthur’s by one, home by four. A serial killer’s Thanksgiving recipe for success.”

Because of Deb’s swab ideas, Miami Metro managed to solve three rape cases, three burglaries and two murder cases.

Deb: “You have a speciality?”
Masuka: “A river of chocolate love that melts in your mouth.”
Deb: “Wow, you can make anything sound perverted.”

Maria: “You never know when you wake up in the morning what the day will bring.”
Angel: “I love you. I love you.”

I really do think it’s a shame that Angel and Maria are still being forced to keep their relationship under wraps, especially given that it’s easy to root for them as a couple.

Astor: “Are you the one my mom told me not to talk to?”
Masuka: “Awkward.”

Dexter (re Trinity): “I’m thankful to be out of that fucking house.”

Chronology: November 2009 if the main event is anything to go by.

This was an absolute riveting episode. “Hungry Man” certainly pushed the Trinity arc in the best way possible and Dexter desperately needs to do some damage control soon, it’s episode like this that make me glad to be watching the series all over again.

Rating: 10 out of 10.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Shameless and Skins US - First Trailers

Well, January 2011 is going to be interesting. Not only will Channel 4 and E4 be air the latest series of the regular editions of Shameless and Skins but both Showtime and MTV will airing their versions around the same time. Trailers for both shows have been released.

Shameless - I'm not sure I'm feeling this version. Sure, I'm aware of the fact that if a network had taken this on, it would've been sanitised to the nth degree but William H. Macy isn't shabby enough to be a convincing Frank Gallagher. However, Emmy Rossum is pretty perfect looking as Fiona (and a bit of a ringer for Anne Marie Duff) and the fact that they've cast age appropriate actors for the respective roles of Lip, Ian, Debbie, Liam and Carl is also a relief and there's also Allison Janney. Still, though it won't be a patch on the UK version, though US viewers can find out from January 9th. More4 will be airing it in the spring of 2011.

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2nAnpNouEM

Skins - Like Shameless, this version is sticking to the faithfulness of the first season and again, I'm grateful that they've cast people who actually look like teenagers but I'm not sure if I want to see the US version of a character as unmemorable as Mad Twatter. Tea is probably the only real unique selling point about this version and if MTV can somehow not make this come across as a scripted version to Jersey Shore, I'll be even more grateful. Oh and Sid/Cassie in this one are Stanley/Cadie. Plus Jal is Daisy in this one, Anwar is Abbud and Effy is Eura.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Death Of The Doctor - Preview

There's only four days to go but here are some nice promotional pictures for the muchly anticipated story of The Sarah Jane Adventures called Death Of The Doctor.

I love this cast picture of Sarah Jane (Elisabeth Sladen), the Doctor (Matt Smith) and Jo Grant (Katy Manning). Matt Smith just works with everyone nowadays.

This story is making sure that UNIT are represented with Tia Karim (Laila Rouss), the woman responsible for informing both Sarah Jane and Jo that the Doctor happens to be dead. Except he's not and both ladies are being put into a trap by the Shansheeth.

Okay, so they're not visually the most impressive of monsters but apparently the Shansheeth are more than just intergalactic undertakers - they want the means of time travel and using Sarah Jane and Jo's respective memories of their time with the Doctor is a means of achieving it. Oh and Clyde is instrumental to the Doctor in this story in a pretty unique way.

And this lad here is Santiago Jones (Finn Jones), the grandson of Jo and being wisened to the fact that monsters exist. I can't wait to see how he interacts with Clyde, Rani and the Doctor. Speaking of the Doctor, it seems that the regeneration limit is due to be tackled in this story, there's also a fair chunk of past references and Amy and Rory's absences are also addressed too. Overall, it look like RTD is going to give us quite a classic story here.

Death Of The Doctor airs Monday/Tuesday at 5.15pm on CBBC from October 25th and Wednesday/Thursday at 4.30pm on BBC1 from October 27th.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My Review of The Sarah Jane Adventures 4x02: "The Vault Of Secrets"

Written by Phil Ford
Directed by Joss Agnew

Androvax: “Sarah Jane Smith, I need your help.”
Clyde: “My hearing must be going. Did Androvax the destroyer of worlds ask us for help?”

I know, how unlikely is that? Oh, wait, this is the same show that had a Sontaran save the world two years ago, so maybe the idea of a creature as destructive as Androvax seeking the Bannerman road crew for assistance isn’t the most farfetched of ideas that this show could come with, is it?

I really enjoyed the antagonist Veil from “Prisoner Of The Judoon”, so I was happy to learn that he was due back for this season and it was timely that he would appear in this story of all of them. You would’ve thought though that after his previous encounter with Sarah Jane that Androvax would’ve been wise enough to stay away from Earth though.

Still, most aliens never learn and usually wind coming back for seconds (or multiples if they’re Slitheen) and the opening few minutes of Androvax legging it from the Alliance of Shades certainly helped to amp up the action for this story in an impressive way.

But this is a story that also showed a more depleted side to Androvax as well. He was skulking in bushes, poorly taking over Rani and then forced to admit when snared by a containment force field thanks to Mr Smith that he was on the verge of death. Even I found myself feeling bad for Androvax this time around.

However it seemed that Androvax’s mission this time around involved bringing his race back to life. Now I’m not sure that the idea of a restored race of creatures that can take over people’s bodies is the best of ideas but despite her obvious mistrust with Androvax, Sarah Jane still felt compelled enough to aid his plight.

After all, she believed that his people deserved to live but even Sarah Jane wasn’t prepared for the fact that by aiding Androvax’s quest to restore his race that she would have to put the Earth in danger. Of course there would be a catch to this. It wouldn’t be simple enough to let Androvax bring his people back without some form of consequence.

And it also wouldn’t have been a good idea just have relegated the androids Alliance of Shades, led by Mr Dread as little more than thugs wanting to eradicate Androvax and wipe away any human memory knowledgeable of alien encounters too. The levels of grey area in this story are definitely its biggest strength.

Androvax itself was as menacing as ever as it went through the whole story possessing Sarah Jane, Rani, Clyde and even Gita at different moments and while it failed to care about putting the Earth at risk, it was hard not to sympathise a little with his desperation to want to save his own people.

Similarly the brutal tactics and all too willingness from Mr Dread and his androids to resort to extreme tactics of their own to accomplish their goal of protecting Earth, regardless of who was in their way was hardly commendable either but again, their motives were understandable to a certain degree and I can’t help but enjoy some of the scenes between Sarah Jane and Mr Dread.

Rarely has their been a story where she’s really gotten to be flippant with a main antagonist and I think there was a cheeky sense of glee from Elisabeth Sladen over certain lines she got to say to Mr Dread as well. It’s a side to Sarah Jane that might not work every week but is certainly amusing in its own right nonetheless.

However for all the jeopardy that was being thrown about over Androvax’s plan, the solution did seem pretty quick fix though and you can’t help but wonder why Mr Dread didn’t just make the sacrifice with his energy supply earlier to transport Androvax’s ship with his people into space. It certainly would’ve saved the Alliance of Shades, Sarah Jane and Androvax a lot of time when you think about it.

And speaking of easy solution, there’s one big issue I have with this entire storyline and that’s Gita. What was the point of finally having Sarah Jane, Clyde and Rani explain more about alien life to her and take a central role in the story if the end result was Mr Dread erasing her memories?

It’s like with the use of retcon in Torchwood and also, I can’t help but think that Sarah Jane made the wrong call here. I know Gita was getting overexcited about the idea of going public with alien life but couldn’t Sarah Jane and the gang have sat down and explained to her why it would be better to keep schtum instead of having her memories erased?

Plus, there’s also the glaring fact that her obliviousness to alien life may have future consequences. Haresh for example is still aware of his previous encounter with the Judoon and Androvax, so if anything, I think Sarah Jane might have caused a problem instead of trying to solve one this week. There’s no way that this can’t come back to bite her in the backside down the line (or more accurately, next season).

As for the BURPSS plot of the story, it could’ve done with some better plotting. Apart from Ocean Waters (what is it with aquatic names in this universe nowadays?), the rest of the characters were a little too background for my liking. Also, in relation to Ocean, she was crucial in Androvax getting the discs to help with his spaceship/surviving race but even with her history of alien encounters with Mr Dread, she was still kind of brushed aside as a result. Then again, maybe she’s another storyline that will have future consequences for Sarah Jane and the gang.

Also in “The Vault Of Secrets”

To get the obvious of the way, Mr Dread and his men were previously seen in the animated feature, “Dreamland”.

Luke: “You see that’s what mum does now that I’m not around to keep an eye on her – sabotages NASA projects.”
Clyde: “She’s so out of control.”

I was thinking that maybe the race that Sarah Jane was trying to prevent NASA from discovering on Mars was either the Ice Warriors or the Flood but I think for the latter, it’s 49 years too early for them.

Haresh: “Sounds thrilling.”
Ocean: “Believe me, Mr Chandra, Ealing is a thrilling place. The aliens are watching us and maybe just waiting for the right moment.”

Mr Smith: “Rani, I sense you’re not quite yourself today.”
Androvax/Rani: “You’re just as annoying as the last time I was here.”

BURPSS stood for British UFO Research And Paranormal Studies Society. Ocean mentioned a few times Ealing, indicating that there was more than her branch out there.

Sarah Jane: “We only want to save Androvax’s species. Why won’t you help us?”
Mr Dread: “The equilibrium must be maintained.”
Rani: “What does that mean?”

Mr Dread: “Impressive, don’t you agree?”
Sarah Jane: “Mr Dread, what happened? Did you call out the AA? Oh, no, no, in your case that would be Androids Association.”

I have to admit that Luke’s appearance in this episode caught me off but then again, he’s still mentioned in Clyde’s opening introduction each week so it’s nice to know that he will still appear on the series from time to time.

Mr Dread: “You have alien technology. It must be confiscated and you must be processed.”
Sarah Jane: “Sorry, hands off.”

Androvax: “And now what, Sarah Jane Smith? Will you help when the rebirth of my civilisation means the end of yours?”
Sarah Jane: “You know I can’t do that.”

There was a moment in this story where Clyde and Rani seemed to be getting closer. Clyde’s take on Terminator lines was pretty amusing as well.

Sarah Jane: “Thank you.”
Mr Dread: “I need a holiday.”

Gita (to Ocean): “I’m sorry, I don’t believe in aliens.”
Rani: “But if you ask me, my mum’s out of this world.”

Chronology: None is specified since the events of “The Nightmare Man”.

“The Vault Of Secrets” definitely continues this show’s records of quality storytelling and while there were certain things that bothered me, overall I did immensely enjoy this one a lot. Next week, it’s Jo Grant and the Doctor – Yay!

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

America Is Occupied - Doctor Who Series 6 Filming

It's that time again when some fantastic spoiler pictures emerge for Doctor Who. This time around, for the first and second episodes of Series 6.

Alex Kingston seems to get all the nice clobber to wear on this show and this time around, a scene was being filmed with River that was eerily similar to the first time we saw her in The Time Of Angels this year.

Is there a sci-fi/fantasy programme that Mark Shephard hasn't appeared in at this point? Well, now he's on this show playing a character called Canton Everett Delaware III and his first scene involves him unwisely cornering River Song of all people. Doesn't he know that River knows how to get out of tight spots already?

So far this is the only picture of Rory (Arthur Darvill), so hopefully we'll see some of the Doctor and Amy pretty soon. Details on what the actual storyline for this US based two-parter (with five days of the 26 actually being shot in Utah) are still unconfirmed. However apart from Mark Shephard, other cast in this episode include Peter Banks as Dr Shephard as well as Kerry Shale, Alex Giannini and Kieran O'Connor as a guard.

Overhead dialogue from River and Canton on last night's filming goes as follows ...

Canton: "Stop! Don't move!"
River: "There are loads of them, They're everywhere."
Canton: "America is being invaded!"
River: "America was invaded a long time ago, America is occupied."
[River moves back a little more]
Canton: "Don't move! There's no way out!"
River: [something that sounded like] "Oh really?"

Monday, October 18, 2010

Glee Does The Time Warp

You didn't think that I wasn't going to do a preview of THIS Glee episode, did you? There was no way that I wasn't going to discuss this episode.

First of all, the above official poster for this particular episode and if you're lucky to be in the LA area on Thursday, you can go to an exclusive screening of the episode.

I'm pretty fond of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and while Glee might have been forced to take some creative liberties with their take of the popular musical as their fifth episode this year, this still looks fun. Especially when you've got Emma undressing Will during one particular scene. I also like that Will would go for a performance of this for the show's Halloween episode as well. Sometimes his instincts are good.

It seems the biggest liberty extends to Mercedes actually being the Frank N.Furter of the piece, which I'm a little disappointed in. Kurt's also donning the Riff Raff role while Quinn/Santana seem to be both tackling the Magenta role at different points in the episode. I'm not sure that Artie, Mike and Brittany have big roles in this one and Puck isn't in it either. Plus, you've got Sam being Rocky and donning some golden speedos as well.

John Stamos is also back as Carl becomes Eddie in this one and believe me, he looks perfect for the role. His singing in particular is pretty impressive. Though the singing in the episode is a little hit and miss. All the songs have leaked online for this episode and some do work better than others, I'll admit and I'm surprised that Sue and Will seemingly don't have numbers to sing. Oh and both Barry Bostwick and Meatloaf are rumoured for this one.

Tracklisting for this episode is ...

Damnit Janet - Finn/Rachel
Let's Do The Time Warp Again - Cast
Toucha-A-Toucha-A-Toucha-A Touch Me - Emma
Sweet Transvestite - Mercedes
Science Fiction/Double Feature - Tina/Quinn/Santana
There's A Light (Over In Frankeinstein's Place) - Kurt/Rachel/Finn
Hot Patootie - Carl

The episode air on FOX, Tuesday at 9pm from October 26th and will air for Irish viewers on TV3, Wednesday at 8pm from October 27th. Do yourself a favour - watch/rewatch The Rocky Horror Picture Show before watching this episode. It helps.

Earthquake

Desperate Housewives - why I am nervous that both RTE2 and Channel 4 are airing this early? Oh, maybe because they did this before with Season 5 and that turned out to be rubbish. Might be premature to write off Season 7 though one thing I will say is that I'm not sold on Vanessa Williams's character, Renee Perry just yet. Too much like a watered-down Wilhemina for my liking and I just can't buy into her and Lynette's 'friendship' either. I'll need further convincing but on the plus side, it does look like the Paul vs. Felicia arc could be a lot of fun and the storylines with Gabby/Carlos lying to each other and Bree having the hots for her decorator, Keith have potentia. Susan's one involving cleaning in skimpy clothing for her landlady's website only seems to prove that the writers are struggling to come up with storylines for her nowadays. As for the first three minutes of this episode - some of the best/nostalgia fuelled ever.

Smallville - Martha Kent is Red Queen? What the hell? I'm all for seeing a bad ass side to Mrs Kent but not to this extent. I actually thought at one point that she was going to shoot Tess. After all, she had no problems using kryptonite on her own son, so shooting a morally ambiguous girl like Tess wouldn't have been a step too far but luckily, she didn't. I get that part of Martha's big plan was to protect her son/the world but I kind of wished she gone about it in a better way. Still, it was heaps better than the Clark/Lois stuff this week and I did like the return of Perry as well.

The Vampire Diaries - Memo to Damon, if you keep killing every person that wrongs you, eventually someone is going to get lucky and actually finish you off. There's only so many times that Damon will be able to save himself or require assistance from Elena or Stefan before meeting the end. I actually didn't blame Bree for setting Lexie's boyfriend on Damon and it's a shame that Damon killed her in this one because I'd rather see Gina Torres in this show than Gossip Girl. The stuff with Elena's adoption only served to prove how little versed I am in this world but I can already tell that Jeremy's new friend isn't what she seems. However the best stuff of this episode was the insight into Alaric's past and the Stefan/Bonnie interactions this week. I am definitely glad that I'm watching this show.

Modern Family - for a hyped episode, the earthquake episode was certainly interesting. Nathan Lane had an amusing cameo as an embarrassing friend of Mitchell and Cameron's and I certainly liked that Claire came to the realisation that she was turning into her mother but I'm beginning to think that Gloria is going a little overboard with her religious beliefs. Maybe she should accept the fact that Jay doesn't share them, instead of getting into a hissy fit over it, eh?

Lip Service - another overhyped new drama but I liked this one. Sure, it's pretty much The L Word in Scotland and certain characters here are similar to other (Frankie/Shane, Tess/Alice) but overall, this is a pretty decent series for BBC3 and while the sex scene in the funeral home won't be to a lot of people's tastes, I do think the show has the potential to be interesting enough without trying too hard to be shocking. Most of the characters are well rounded and the cast do seem to click well with each other. Even Roxanne McKee from Hollyoaks is working well on this one. Definitely one to consider.


- No Ordinary Family and Brothers And Sisters have both been commissioned four extra episodes each for their current season.
- It's looking more likely that Sam will now be a love interest for Quinn in Glee instead of Kurt. Oh, and Puck won't be pleased about it.
- Necar Zadegan has scored a recurring role as mystery character Isabelle on The Event. The series starts on Channel 4 on Friday at 9pm.
- V will return on January 4th on ABC and the series will be exploring more of the mythology behind the Visitors.
- HBO are developing a pilot for a fashion series with Tea Leoni called Spring/Fall. Six Feet Under scribe Kate Robin is writing the pilot for the series.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

My Review of Dexter's 4x08: "Road Kill"

Written by Melissa Rosenberg And Scott Reynolds
Directed by Ernest Dickerson

Trinity: “I have nothing to give you.”
Dexter: “Generosity of spirit, Arthur. I know those are more than just words to you. Tell me they’re not just words.”

As emotional guilt trips go, that’s certainly not one of Dexter’s best ones but as road trips also go, this is certainly not one of the most successful ones either. I mean, it makes total sense that Dexter would not succeed in killing Trinity in this episode but it’s also frustrating that he’s being careless as well.

First of all, why was there such an urgency to kill him right now? Dexter’s had weeks to do it and practically gate crashing Arthur’s trip to Tampa seemed rather dumb, especially for someone as smart as Dexter. He could’ve waited until Arthur returned from his trip to do the deed instead of pestering Arthur to take him along.

The way Dexter’s acting right now, he is eventually going to attract the wrong kind of attention from Arthur, especially with the longer he delays in killing the guy. Arthur snapped at him several times in this episode before Dexter tried to keep his interest with the spiel about a hunting accident and even that was problematical.

I’m not surprised that Arthur would see Dexter’s confession of accidental murder as a means of trying to unburden himself but Dexter shouldn’t feel too relieved just yet. If Arthur’s erratic behaviour continues in the manner that it’s going, then Dexter might find himself becoming a bludgeoning victim within the next few weeks.

Alarms bells went off this week when Arthur took Dexter to his old family home and told him how all his family died. I’m going to assume that in regards to his father, that Arthur actually did kill him and it was interesting to see how much of Arthur’s mask kept slipping in this episode.

He was snappy with his own family over chores, he railroaded another family with some dark subject matter and at one point in this episode, Arthur even came close to ending his own life. Had Dexter been savvier, he could’ve let Arthur drop to his death but because of divine intervention, Arthur now lives and believes that Dexter is his hero. It can only become a matter of time before Arthur realises how wrong he about Dexter.

Speaking of wrong, the one thing that can be said about Arthur is that he wasn’t the killer of Lundy and shooter of Deb. It’s a shame in a way but at the same time, it’s a great move on the show for not being so obvious and from a career perspective, it also meant that Deb got to be back on the Trinity case.

I felt bad for Deb this week when she was finally able into being open with Maria that the bludgeoning cases were Trinity related and her big coup meant being kicked off the case due to her circumstances. Still with Trinity revealed as innocent of the Lundy debacle, it does mean that Deb can kick some ass on the Trinity after all. Sorry, Dexter but your sister is kind of fantastic this year with this whole case.

However the question now becomes that if Deb wasn’t shot by Trinity, then who did it? I’m going to assume that it’s a character that we’ve already seen on the series and as much as I’d like to see the back of Quinn, I cannot see it being him. Perhaps it’s Christine. It would make some odd kind of sense.

She looks to be about the same height as the shooter and her desperation for a story would be motive enough for her to actually try and create one of her own. Plus, she’s also behaved rather oddly in this episode, especially with Quinn and some of her scenes with Deb have been kind of odd. Right now, she’s probably the only candidate to being the shooter at the moment.

In other storylines this week, I couldn’t help but enjoy most of Angel and Maria’s scenes this week. I knew they wouldn’t be able to stop seeing each other and it’s nice that they managed to get some private moments during the office. Plus it’s a lot better than Rita’s subplot with the single neighbour, Elliot, who’s still rather annoying.

Also in “Road Kill”

Thanks to Deb, every 60 something bloke in Miami is getting swabbed to see if they’re Trinity. Dexter managed to get Arthur to avoid it. Farrow has also been reported as a victim of his assistant.

Deb: “This’ll cheer you up.”
Dexter: “Not if you’re making headway on Trinity.”

With Arthur’s erratic temper in this episode, I get the impression that both Jonah and Rebecca are actually scared of their father.

Dexter: “What does one pack for an out of town kill? Gotta pack light. Don’t want to raise suspicion. I just need a reliable tool, something I can count on.”

Maria: “Everything goes through you.”
Masuka: “There goes my plans.”

Dexter went to a convention in order to get time off work and keep Rita’s mind at ease (as well as an alibi). He even got his picture taken with Sonny Skies.

Trinity: “There are few things harder to bear than remorse.”
Dexter: “Remorse?”
Trinity: “Guilt, remorse, it’s what separate us from the animals. Your conscience is eating away at you but you’re gonna feel better. Confession is good for the soul.”
Dexter (to himself): “All the more proof I don’t have a soul.”

Masuka seemed to be going into interesting details to Quinn about Dexter and Lila. This can only make Quinn more suspicious of Dexter.

Christine (to Quinn): “My editor laid it out. Either I get a lead that bleeds or I’m done.”

Dexter (re Trinity): “Yesterday he was jumping down my throat; today he’s the happy dancing man. Is that mask of his crumbling?”

So, the coffin from the previous episode was intended for Trinity after all. I wonder if he’ll try to use it on Dexter when he finds out the real identity of his new friend.

Trinity (re family deaths): “I never told anyone any of this.”
Dexter: “So why did you tell me?”
Trinity: “So you’d know you’re not alone, you’re just like me. We’re both responsible for the death of an innocent.”

Dexter (re Farrow/Trinity): “I killed an innocent man and saved a guilty one. I won’t make that mistake again.”

Chronology: Pretty much where “Slack Tide” left off and this episode was a Harry free zone.

Something of an odd episode this week. There was a lot I did like about “Road Kill” but it also felt rather pointless for Dexter to embark on a road trip when it was obvious that his attempts to kill Trinity wouldn’t work.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Gay Potential Of Glee

For a while now, there's been certainly storylines of Glee that I've wanted to looked into deeper and after viewing the fourth episode of Season 2 called Duets, I thought it was time to address them.

If there's one thing that can be said about this show, it's that it's LGBT topics/characters/representation is certainly head above water over Ryan Murphy's last show but before I discuss Kurt, I'd like to talk about Cheerios girls, Brittany and Santana and their relationship. Santana might not be keen to label any of her trysts with Brittany but clearly there's enough meaning behind them if she's content to sabotage any chances of her mate spending time with Artie this week. Normally, even I would've pegged it as Santana being a bitch but whether or not the girl wants to identify as bisexual or not doesn't matter. She cares enough about Brittany in her own way that she's not willing to share her with even Artie.

Brittany might have also exhibited her own upset at being rejected by Artie (after she'd slept with him) but her scenes with Santana this week from her POV further indicated that their trysts were more than sexual to her. Brittany in her own way admitted to caring about Santana by wanting to sing a Melissa Etheridge song for their duet and when Santana rejected her, she was hurt by it. The hints of Brittany and Santana's fluid sexuality has been present since the latter half of the first season but after this week, it's going to be interesting to see where exactly Brittany and Santana's relationship heads to next. Brittany might be more in love than Santana but this is clearly not a one sided thing between the girls either. It's no wonder that the LJ community and other gay media outlets are dubbing them, "Brittana". Because let's face it, they are a lot more interesting and believable than so called "power-couple" Rachel and Finn this season.
And for a girl who doesn't take crap and enjoys being a bitch, showing any vulnerability with Santana would certainly be a fascinating thing. I can only hope that even if her and Brittany aren't meant to be that the rest of this season does flesh their romantic endeavours out fairly nonetheless. As for Kurt - this was definitely an interesting episode for him. While I don't like that he kept making potshots at Sam's hair as an allusion to the guy's sexuality, I have to admit that Finn made me a lot angrier than Kurt did this week.

First of all, I totally agree that Kurt went too far with Finn last year and while it's fair that Sam is aware of the fact that being in Glee club makes you susceptible for being slushied for no apparent reason, it really felt like Finn was projecting some of his own hang ups about Kurt's sexuality onto Sam. Even Sam questioned whether or not Finn had issues with Kurt being gay and a part of me wonders if underneath everything, Finn does. I get that Kurt was a pain last year over the crush thing and that he might have made a move on Sam if he got any encouragement but Finn failed to realise that all his little warnings to Sam about Kurt were bigoted and basically were excusing any homophobe within their school, even if that wasn't his intention. I liked that Sam was generally polite to Kurt and that it wasn't him that backed out of the duet, though I hated Kurt pulling out of it, due to peer pressure even if it meant a snappy comment from Santana about musical masturbation when Kurt performed Le Jazz Hott from Victor/Victoria.

As for whether or not Sam himself is gay - I think this episode left it ambiguous. There are so many contradicting rumours at the minute that until I see it, I don't know what to believe in regards to which team Sam bats for - maybe he'll be bisexual. Sam might have spent this episode trying to impress Quinn but even on their date after winning the duets competition, there was still a possibility that Sam may or may not be straight. Only time will tell. However points this week have to go to Rachel for picking up on Kurt's loneliess due to his sexuality and performing her own duet with him at the end of the episode. Kurt might not always been the most likeable of characters but with issues of bullying and rumours of a love interest from a rival cluband a tackling of gay suicide, he's certainly helping to educate viewers on the complexities on gay teens and after a rather shocking disservice from Nip/Tuck, it's about time from Ryan Murphy. Also Glee is actually doing more for a variant of LGBT than even Brothers And Sisters is at the moment as well and that's something I didn't think I would've said a year ago.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Review of The Sarah Jane Adventures 4x01: "The Nightmare Man"

Written by Joseph Lidster
Directed by Joss Agnew

Nightmare Man: “Get away from me.”
Luke: “So there we go. The boy that was made by aliens to destroy the world, saves the world yet again.”

To be fair, Luke’s, it’s not like you managed to defeat the Nightmare Man all by yourself. Everyone in the story literally contributed in their own way to send this particular pest packing but at the same time, there’s no denying that this is Luke’s story, through and through.

For an opening story, it definitely takes a creepier and atmospheric style than we’re used but if there’s one thing I like about this show, it’s that it does actually refuse to play safe and this is definitely a great story for Luke Smith.

Never experiencing nightmares should’ve been one of the few pleasures that Luke generated from not being human but on the last couple of days that he had left before he would head off to Oxford, all Luke managed to do was to experience them and it’s no shocker that his bad dreams would provide such a feast for the Nightmare Man.

None of the nightmares in this story that we see are in anyway original, which is perfectly fine because all the stuff our main characters fear but don’t talk about is nicely addressed. Luke’s excited about going to university but he’s fearful of the fact that he’ll be forgotten by everyone, replaced or resented for his achievements.

The sequences where Sarah Jane was delighting in Luke’s absence, marked with Clyde and Rani’s anger over him getting to leave home a year earlier than them were certainly effective moments. The kind of stuff that the Nightmare Man thrived on and that Luke would then find himself in the unfortunate position of being trapped in his head.

After seeing Thorne a couple of days, I don’t think I was in the mood to see anything that alluded to be locked inside your head but while Luke’s fate is never really that scary, it’s still frightening enough for the narrative to work. I also expected that once the Nightmare Man got free into the real world that he would target Clyde and Rani too.

Clyde’s nightmares of failure could’ve easily been traced back as early as the first year, what with his family history and his lack of academia but Clyde’s always been a street smart kid and has had the support of him mum and Sarah Jane and the gang, so in a lot of ways, I think his nightmare worked the best.

It’s clear that Clyde sees Sarah Jane as a mentor, so the fact that a demented older version of the woman on a mobility scooter berating him over his working in a fast food joint was going to hurt the most. It’s also probably a blessed relief that the story itself doesn’t stay too long inside Clyde’s nightmare as a result.

Rani’s nightmare though was probably the least predictable one in a way. She finally got success by becoming a journalist but had an irritating co-worker in Louise Marlowe desperately trying to get her to expose Sarah Jane as a menace to society. Given that Rani does actually have journalistic aspirations, I can’t help but wonder if perhaps a future plot line was being teased here. At some eventual point, Sarah Jane is going to get close to becoming exposed for her alien fighting activities.

As for Sarah Jane, she was the only main character not to fall asleep, so it meant that there was a nice little confrontation scene between her and the Nightmare Man. I liked that Sarah Jane tried to goad him in making her fall asleep but after Luke’s failed attempts of tricking him, I also knew that Sarah Jane wouldn’t succeed either.

Still defeating the Nightmare Man itself will probably be criticised but to be fair, it was a logical enough solution. Of course having Luke, Clyde and Rani join forces in their nightmares and stand up to the Nightmare Man would do it and seriously after witnessing Amy Pond literally willing the Doctor back into existence a couple of months ago, is it really that much of a cop-out solution? Not really to be honest.

As much as I liked the Nightmare Man as an overall villain (and one I suspect could return), he was just background to the bigger issue of Luke’s departure. Although it was never really announced during the build up towards the fourth season, it’s been known for a while that Tommy Knight was going and this was a great exit story for him.

Luke got to go to Oxford but at the same time, we managed to get believable reactions from Sarah Jane, Clyde and Rani from it as well as Luke wondering whether or not he was making the right decision. There was no overly sentimental mush, just a well told story for the end of a long serving character to the series.

Speaking of long serving, I was slightly sorrier to see K9 go than Luke but packing him off with Luke made a lot of sense too. If there’s one thing I will definitely miss, it will be the sarcastic banter between K9 and Mr Smith. I even felt bad for Mr Smith when he admitted that he would miss the tin dog.

Now that it’s Sarah Jane, Clyde and Rani, it will be interesting to see how the dynamics shift in this series. I know there’s a new character due for the fifth season and that Luke will also appear in another story in this year but overall, a big change has kind of swept the show and I can’t help but wonder if Rani and Clyde’s respective parents will get suspicious over their children’s continued involvement with Sarah Jane Smith.

Also in “The Nightmare Man”

For once, it was Luke who got the big narration in this story but that makes sense, given that this was his big exit.

Luke: “Mum, Oxford?”
Sarah Jane: “I think you need to do what’s right for you, so yes, Luke, I think you should go.”

Obligatory Slitheen appearance at the start of this episode as one of them tried to blow Sarah Jane and Luke up. Their green was somewhat different.

Sarah Jane: “For years I was alone, just K9 and me. You gave me my life back. You gave me something real to live for. I’m terrified of what’s gonna happen when you go. I’m so scared.”
Luke: “Why?”
Sarah Jane: “Because it feels like I’m gonna lose you.”

Mr Smith: “I thought Luke didn’t dream.”
Sarah Jane: “That’s why I’m asking you to scan him.”
K9: “Do you require everything to be pointed out to you, Mr Smith?”

Julian Bleach has previously played the Ghost Maker in Torchwood and Davros in Doctor Who and now he played the role of the Nightmare Man in this one.

Luke: “Who are you?”
Nightmare Man: “I’m the Nightmare Man. You belong to me.”

Old Sarah Jane: “Are you still serving burgers? I always knew you were a stupid boy.”
Clyde: “Sarah Jane?”

Sarah Jane in the mobility scooter almost reminded me of Nan from The Catherine Tate Show.

Luke: “Come back and face me.”
Nightmare Man: “Hmm, no.”

Rani: “Why do you want to destroy Sarah Jane?”
Louise: “Why do you think? She’s a menace to society.”

The Doctor was referenced at least twice in this story and in two weeks time, Sarah Jane will meet the 11th Doctor and Jo Grant in “Death Of The Doctor”.

Louise: “Breaking news, Rani, Luke’s leaving you. He’s got his A-Levels and he’s going to university. He’s leaving you behind.”
Rani: “I know.”

Sarah Jane: “I’m not scared of you. What’s wrong – not used to someone answering you back? If you’re so strong, send me to sleep.”
Nightmare Man: “You want to have nightmares?”

CBBC are airing the series this year, Mondays/Tuesdays at 5.15pm with BBC1 airing them on Wednesdays/Thursdays at 4.30pm.

K9: “You were adequate company.”
Mr Smith: “You could always contact me, if you need to.”
K9: “I knew you would miss me.”

Chronology: September 10th 2010 by the end of this story.

“The Nightmare Man” certainly opened up the new season on a great note and with so many other stories along the way, the next few weeks should definitely be a blast of entertainment for kids and adults alike.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Wildcards

Merlin has had a mixed couple of weeks, especially with the last two episodes I've seen. Gwaine gave us a dashing knight who got exiled from Camelot, even after saving Arthur's life from two disgruntled thugs using magic to disguise themselves as knights but The Crystal Cave was an episode where a lot actually happened. Merlin tried to change the future but instead his interference caused it and Morgana herself became more incensed with rage when she learnt that Uther was her actual father and made a few more failed attempts to kill him. Somewhere in these last two episodes - Arthur, Gwen and Gaius had middling roles, the Dragon became irritated with Merlin's authority and Morgause was a surprising voice of reason with her volatile sister. The season is having a hit and miss quality but it's still better than mostly everything else that airs during the weekend.

Sky1 deserve a medal for bringing Thorne: Sleepyhead to the small screen. If the first episode alone is anything to go by, this is going to be a fantastic series. David Morrissey is brilliant in the leading role and the ongoing plot with the killer trying to get his victims into a state of locked in syndrone is just as creepy to watch as it was to read and I've read the book. The ending where Thorne got attacked in his own apartment by the killer desperate to connect with him totally took me by surprise. I can't wait to see where this further goes and the supporting cast as also brilliant.

There's been so much hype for Single Father over the last couple of weeks that I wasn't sure if I would end up liking it myself but you know what? I did and them some. David Tennant definitely is a masterful actor and his depiction of Dave's anguish over the death of his wife and trying to keep his family together is certainly a performance that's deserving of major awards within the next year. The writing's not particularly original but it's utterly believable and there's a brilliant cast here, especially Suranne Jones and the actors playing Dave's children are very good as well. I think the kiss between Dave and Sarah was a little rushed at the end of the episode (even if 10 weeks passed since Rita's death) but overall, this is another series I'm looking forward to for the next three weeks.

The Apprentice - well, I've been watching both the UK and Irish versions of the show and it just goes to show that both versions continue to entertain me. Last week's premiere of the UK one showed that Alan Sugar can still startle the bejesus of the show-offs vying for a position in his company. Dan Harris wasn't soon packing his bags after blundering in the first task and there's already a departure of another contestant for personal reasons as well. The Irish version in the last two weeks saw both Niamh Humphries and Kieran Walsh getting the boot through their own incompetence and misfortune. Still though, I'm actually surprised that scheming Tara survived Bill Cullen's wrath this week and then I remember that the argumentative madam makes for interesting TV. Well more interesting than Panos's all too familiar fear of power tools.

If I read more about Cheryl Cole being the most hated woman in Britain because of The X-Factor, I'll scream. I don't remember her generating this amount of hate when she beat the crap out of a toilet cleaner all those years ago, so it's interesting that not putting Gamu through has earned her such grief. Granted both Katie and Cher messed up and shouldn't have gone through but fans tends to go overboard with these sort of things. The use of wildcards was predictable though but the exits were interesting. How did Belle Amie and Katie Waissell fare better over Nicolo Festa and FYD? Oh well, I guess congratulations to Mary Byrne, whose version of It's A Man's Man World really did bring the house down. I always worry when I find myself agreeing with Louis Walsh but even I couldn't fault his hyperbole of the Tesco worker this week. Still think it'll be either Cheryl or Dannii who'll snag the victory this year though.

- Christopher J. Hanke is playing the guy that Scotty cheats on Kevin with in Brothers And Sisters. Richard Chamberlain is also guest starring as a love interest for Saul. Ryan Devlin is also playing a grad student who might interest Kitty.
- Glee's Rocky Horror Picture Show episode will air on FOX from October 26th.
- HBO have announced that William Hurt, Cynthia Nixon, Paul Giamatti, Topher Grace, Ed Asner and Billy Crudup will appear in upcoming adaptation of Andrew Ross Sarkin's best seller Too Big To Fail.
- Katerina Graham has admitted that Bonnie may be getting a love interest in the second season of The Vampire Diaries.
- Kristin Bell is being linked to NBC's upcoming remake of The Munsters.