Sunday, July 31, 2011

Soap Discussion - July 2011

And here's a soap blog to end the month of July ...

Coronation Street: It's been a strange month for this soap. Unfairly picked on in the press and by former actors for being too gay/crime fuelled/humourless, it's almost a shame that the actual storylines themselves were overshadowed. Ken's grandson turned out to be a bad egg and fleeced him, Leanne suffered a miscarriage, Gary held Izzie hostage and even Tracy got her own back when Steve rejected her for the millionth time. Still Amber returned, there was less of Becky and Fiz and Sylvia remained amusing, so the month wasn't all bad.

EastEnders: You lose a Mitchell, you gain a Mitchell. With Ronnie getting sent down and finally ending this ridiculous baby swap nonsense, Billy and Julie gained a mouthy granddaughter in the shape of Lola, whose only purpose so far is arson and getting between Jay and Abi. Meanwhile as Max and Tanya's affair continued, Lauren made a tit out of herself and Rainie spiralled yet again, the arrival of Eddie's other sons, Tyler and Anthony proved that some people really do get hired on this show without the need of basic acting ability. On the plus side, at least I managed to go through an episode where Zainab managed to get her points across in relation to Christian and Syed's adoption process that I could agree with.

Emmerdale: Aw, here I was hoping they might actually send Aaron down for his part in Jackson's death. Nope, I guess we're stuck with the misery guts for another while. I know the acting in this storyline has been great but it doesn't mask how much I've hated Jackson's death and how bored I am with the never ending angst surrounding Aaron. There are limits and Paddy and Chas's overprotectiveness as well has been more headwrecking than endearing too. In other storylines, it doesn't take much to see that Leyla's inches away from telling Jacob who his real mother is and even I'm confused about Sarah's bruises. Could Samson really have done it? The stuff involving Declan and Ella on the other hand is boring me senseless.

Fair City: Bit of a dull month on this show. Carol's pregnant and we're still not sure who the father is, Jo and Tommy's affair is still nonsensical as it's dull, while I struggle to see what David sees in the miserable Suzanne. At least they sort of progressed the Sarah arc a bit by introducing her mother, even if Barry was a little too successful in getting her off the scent.

Hollyoaks: Ah, Bart and Sinead - love's young dream those two certainly aren't and the Romeo And Juliet style antics were not all that amusing to watch either, well, at least not as funny as Ethan getting his comeuppance via Theresa, Liberty and Rae publicly humiliating him with milkshake. Less impressive was Noah's crappy exit at the hand of Brendan once again finding away to sabotage Ste's love life. Oh and wasn't there a serial killer supposed to be looming about the village?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

My Review of Torchwood's 4x04: "Escape To LA"

Written by John Shiban And Jim Gray
Directed by Billy Gierhart

Gwen (re shot assassin): “He was just about to tell us.”
Rex: “Thanks, anyone? Thanks?”

Oh, Rex, I really do believe if you could go five minutes without being such an asshole, people like Gwen might be more appreciative when you come to their rescue. Granted, its good thing Rex did shoot that guy – the assassin was absolutely rubbish, wasn’t he?

Okay, so he presumably used dirtier methods to break into PhiCorp than Jack and Gwen did and he certainly had a glee during his scenes with Jack and Gwen but as an episode threat, he wasn’t that very engaging to be honest. I didn’t doubt for a second that would’ve slit Gwen’s throat but it still didn’t make me care about him as a villain.

On the plus side, at least he actually served a purpose with the info dumping exchanges between him and Jack in this one. This episode seemed to practically confirm that Jack’s responsible/connected to the miracle and there are families out there who have an axe to grind with the now mortal Mr Harkness.

Who they are exactly we didn’t find out, thanks to Rex shooting the trained assassin in the throat but I have a feeling that this series is finally going to get to the point and soon enough, we’ll find out who exactly is responsible for the miracle and why. At this point, PhiCorp only seem to be benefitting from the miracle rather than being the cause behind it.

Ah, PhiCorp – until someone other than Jilly steps out as a representative, they’re still very much a faceless group. Still though, their level of nastiness hit an impressive if scary this week when they found a unique way of dealing with politician Ellis Hartley Monroe.

I might have disagreed to a certain point about her whole ‘Dead Is Dead’ philosophy but even I didn’t expect that it would come to bite her on the ass so soon. Ellis believed that those who should’ve died should be segregated from the rest of society and now, thanks to PhiCorp, she’ become one of ‘Dead Is Dead’ herself given that she was crushed in a car.

Then again, things were going wrong for Ellis even before all of that, thanks to Oswald. Oswald was able to use his own ‘Dead Is Dead’ status to show a beacon of support for the same people in his position and managed to win himself some more press coverage, much to Vera and Ellis’s disgust and Jilly’s delight.

Four episodes in and Oswald is still a strange villain for me. On one hand because he’s a paedophile, he still makes my flesh crawl but on the other hand, I’m still not as compelled by him as I should be. Bill Pullman is doing a decent job with the character but at the same time, something about Oswald is lacking for me and this series to an extent.

Jilly on the other hand completely works for me in the villain stakes though. While she might be openly disgusted with Oswald in general, she’s also more than happy to be a good little PhiCorp lackey and benefit from Oswald’s successes with the general public. It certainly makes for a more interesting character in an episode devoid of decent villains too.

And when we’re not dealing with villains, our main players are also remembering they’ve still got families out there. Seeing Rex confront his angry and sick father should’ve made me feel bad for him but Rex blew it when he let his hypocrisy getting the better of him and started yelling at poor Esther.

Yes, it was reckless for Esther to go and see her sister and nieces and maybe even more so for causing her nieces to be sent into care but I can’t help sympathising with Esther’s plight more than I should do. Maybe it’s just nice that we finally got something on Esther’s background for a change.

As for Gwen – her phone conversations with Rhys were lovely, seeing Anwen was lovely but having her father taking off to Wales’s version of the Overflow Camp at the end of the episode made for a predictable cliff hanger. That being said though, I guess it was to be expected though.

Meanwhile the only character in this episode that actually felt short changed was Vera. The endless hospital scenes might be needed but they are becoming something of a chore to watch and Vera needs more to do than just churn out exposition. The sooner she joins Torchwood at this point, the bloody better for all of us.

Also in “Escape To LA”

Esther’s sister was named Sarah and her nieces were Alice and Melanie. Sarah was put into psych I think during this episode.

Esther: “Can I see them?”
Sarah: “Esther, I’d never hurt them.”

Rex’s gay jokes and comments – are they supposed to highlight homophobia or is it him trying to be funny?

Jack (to biker landlord): “We’re travelling circus folk.”
Rex (re Jack): “Yeah and he’s the clown.”
Gwen: “I’m the bearded woman but I’ve shaved.”
Jack: “Yeah, you missed a bit.”

Jilly (re Ellis): “Looks like you got a rival. You better think of a line, Oswald or you’ll be yesterday’s news.

I had to laugh at Jack using the John Smith alias during his interaction with Nicholas but Gwen’s attempts of an American accent were terrible.

Jack (to Gwen): “You are so never doing that accent again.”

Oswald: “Dead is not dead, no, not anymore. Life is life. Look at her and I can promise you with all my heart, this little girl is going to live forever and ever and ever and ever.”

Four episodes in and at this point, we could really do with some more scenes outside of the US – particularly in Wales.

Vera (re Oswald): “This is disgusting.”
Jilly: “I know.”

Gwen: “Who are you?”
Assassin: “Names aren’t important right now.”
Gwen: “Oh great, he’s cryptic.”

Chronology: A couple of hours from where “Dead Of Night” left off. No further signs of the Soulless in this one though.

Easily the weakest out of the four episodes aired so far. Though it’s nice that “Escape To LA” progressed some stuff, the episode itself wasn’t as engaging as the previous one and I still doubt that whether or not this whole premise can be sustained for such a lengthy time period.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Top TV Pairings Part 5

Sorry for the slight delay but here's the fifth installment in my TV Pairings.

Desperate Housewives - Gabrielle Solis/Carlos Solis

If I had done this list a couple of years ago, there's no way in hell these two would've been my favourite pairing but unlike nearly every relationship on the show nowadays, Gabby and Carlos are the only ones who have actually grown, so they get my vote for that alone.

Lost - James Sawyer/Juliet Burke

When I found out these two were going to be become a couple in the fifth season, I had my doubts but damn, they so worked as a pairing. Far better than Jack/Kate or Kate/Sawyer and their reunion in the series finale was just lovely as well.

Skins - Naomi Campbell/Emily Fitch

Yeah, this one might have been a cliche choice (my other one would've been Chris/Jal) but apart from the choppy treatment they got in the fourth season, I actually do like Emily/Naomi. Both actresses have genuine chemistry with each other and they rightfully became the popular couple of the second generation and considering the dull as dishwater triangle between Cook/Effy/Freddie, is anyone surprised?

Life On Mars - Sam Tyler/Annie Cartwright

Being stuck in another time cannot be all that bad after all. Sam certainly might have been desperate to get home but he ultimately chose to stay in 1973 with the Guv and the lads and most importantly, Annie too. Personally, I've never seen anything with Sam/Gene but Sam/Annie were a nice pairing.

Nip/Tuck - Sean McNamara/Christian Troy

No, they're not gay, no, this isn't a slash entry but six seasons of mostly toxic relationships, Sean and Christian's friendship is the closest to something decent and even that was marred with problems from time to time.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Glee - Comic Con 2011 Clips Season 3

And here's my final Comic Con themed blog, this time it's for Glee.

Okay, so the best bits from this panel - well we learned that Sam is not returning at all for Season 3 but at the same time, Finn, Rachel and Kurt are not leaving either. We're also going to be meeting Mike Chang's parents, Mercedes is getting a new boyfriend and Kurt and Blaine will have their problems but will be a solid couple.

The most interesting sounding plot was the reveal of Sue's motives for Congress running - apparently she's out to sabotage all Glee clubs by getting the arts removed from high schools and there was the reveal that Tina was a junior. Definitely an informative panel but sometimes the likes of Ian Brennan and Brad Falchuk seemed a little snappy.

Comic Con Panel:

Glee Season 3 will air Tuesdays at 8pm on FOX from September 20th and premieres on Sky1 shortly after.

Monday, July 25, 2011

My Review of True Blood's 4x05: "Me And The Devil"

Written by Mark Hudis
Directed by Daniel Minahan

Adele (to Sookie): “Sweetheart, this woman poses great danger.”
Marnie: “No, how can I be a danger to someone? I have never hurt anybody.”

Even from beyond the grave, Adele Stackhouse is one hell of a savvy woman. It’s just a shame that voice aside; we didn’t actually see her in this episode visually. Sookie certainly needs to listen to her grandmother’s words of wisdom.

In less than a minute, Adele gave Sookie three sensible heads ups – one, she needs to look after Jason. He might not want to let her in about his own ordeals but sooner or later, he’s going to need his younger sister and Sookie should be there for him. Two, Sookie and Eric will not last – the fan girls are probably incensed with that one but hey, at least the show’s being practical.

And then there’s three – Marnie poses a great danger. The fact that Marnie doesn’t consider herself to be a threat kind of speaks volumes. Granted there are sociopaths and psychopaths out there who genuinely believe their actions are right or for some good but is Marnie either one of those categories?

From what we’ve seen she’s been a somewhat mild mannered woman who’s gotten in over her head by becoming a conduit of sorts to Antonia (not Hallow then) and struck out against vampires – but only when she has been provoked herself as well. And this week, she was kidnapped by Bill’s men and glamoured by the head vampire himself but I have my qualms with this witch storyline.

For the life of me, it’s been five episodes and everything we’ve seen with Marnie and Antonia in the past and the present and it’s occurred to me that the witches are more victims than villains. Antonia herself had her coven and herself fed on and burned at the stake by vampires, so why should I feel outraged that she got her own back by summoning some of them into the daylight?

If the show is trying to generate sympathy for the vampires in this saga, then it’s actually failing on that front. Vampires are interesting to watch but on this show, the majority have a huge disregard for human life (look at how nearly all of them, except Bill wanted to torture and kill Marnie?) and the witches so far have only struck out in self-defence.

Granted that’s obviously set to change in the next few weeks when Marnie/Antonia come into their own but right now, I’m kind of sympathising a little more with the witches on this show than I am the vampires. Even Pam’s rotting face isn’t doing much to make me feel bad for the vampires this week. That being said, I do not support the whole necromancing thing either, so Marnie obviously loses points for that bit.

Continuing with the witching trend, it’s nice that we got some more back story on Jesus’s family history, but I kind of wish someone would tell both him and Lafayette that right now, Eric is actually the least of their worries. In fact Jesus’s crazy looking grandfather looks a lot more threatening than the memory wiped Mr Northman nowadays.

As for Eric and Sookie, I’ll never ship them as a couple but I am enjoying their scenes together in this episode. Their closeness feels organic enough and while their relationship will not last (coupled with Tara’s timely reminder of Eric’s shortcomings); even I thought the kiss between them at the end worked nicely. Too bad Pam blabbed to Bill about Eric’s whereabouts and memory loss then, isn’t it?

Speaking of blabbing, I kind of wished Tara had actually allowed Sookie to explain what was going with Eric instead of going off on one but considering that she did open up about Naomi and Sookie deliberately tried to keep Tara in the dark about Eric, I can see why she was so mad at her friend. As for Naomi – come on, show, and involve her better into the storylines a little more please.

Even Tommy has a better purpose now that he killed his awful parents, got Sam involved in disposing of their bodies and realised that his own brother has killed before. I wouldn’t trust Tommy if my life depended on it but I love this plot with him and Sam though and with Joe Lee and Melinda dead, that’s another two characters I won’t have to deal with any more.

Also, please let’s hope that this new pack master of Shreveport doesn’t last too long either. With leaders like Marcus, is it any wonder Alcide refuses to get himself bound to a pack? That guy was absolutely annoying and he was only on the air for at least a minute. On the plus side, at least this should mean that Alcide is getting more to do, story wise.

Keeping with the rest of the stories – the show didn’t waste time with Jason having sex dreams about Jessica and Hoyt but I’m not sure if I want another love triangle, plus even Jason should have enough common sense not to go after his mate’s girlfriend, though something tells me that Hoyt and Jessica are heading for a break up anyways.

Last but not least – I got a right laugh out of Reverend Daniels and Lettie Mae trying to exorcism Arlene and Terry’s house. It was actually genuinely funny to watch without being insulting but this whole baby plot with Mikey needs to step up a gear. Is it the baby or that creepy doll that Jessica gave them? Let’s not drag this one out, eh?

Also in “Me And The Devil”

HBO have this episode credited as “Me And The Devil” but other places are citing it as “I Hate You, I Love You”. What is it called?

Godric (to Eric): “You are incapable of love. You are damned.”

Nice use of Godric in this episode. Even in death, the man is still a huge part of Eric, isn’t he?

Eric: “Am I evil?”
Sookie: “You’re no Gandhi but you’re not evil.”

Pam (to Bill, re Marnie): “I can put up with a lot but you fuck with my face, it’s time to die.”

Bill’s beekeeping comments about Pam were sort of amusing but the fact that he had to glamour Portia to stop harassing him was weird, but Portia is weird herself.

Marnie (re Adele): “She misses you very much.”
Sookie: “I miss her. Is she okay? Is she happy?”
Marnie: “She’s at peace.”

This episode was written by a new writer for the series – Mark Hudis and Sookie mentioned she was a fan of Sabrina The Teenage Witch and Charmed when trying to appease Marnie.

Sookie (re Eric): “Something’s happened, he’s different. He isn’t gonna hurt you.”
Tara: “He’s a psycho murdering asshole.”

Standout music: Gil Seth Heron’s version of “Me And The Devil” naturally.

Pam (to Bill, re Marnie): “If anyone deserves the true death, it’s that witch. Let’s at least torture her.”

Chronology: From where “I’m Alive And On Fire” left off and Comic Con premiered a trailer for the rest of the season, which can be seen on HBO’s YouTube page.

I really loved this episode. “Me And The Devil” just gelled in the right places with nearly every plot just hitting the right spot. Granted the likes of Holly and Andy didn’t serve much purpose to the episode but overall, this one is a cracker.

Rating: 10 out of 10

Doctor Who - Comic Con 2011 Clips Season 6

And here's my blog on Doctor Who's day at Comic Con and boy, what a day it was ...

Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Toby Whithouse, Piers Wenger and Beth Willis were all certainly on fine form for the hour panel and when they weren't joking about, mentioning favourite Doctors or talking about how to get into acting, we did get some nice exclusives.

For instance, there's this gorgeous promotional shot for the second half of the season, a minute long trailer for the second half of the series and a two minute preview clip for Toby Whithouse's episode, The God Complex. But let's see what the trailer gave us.

Well, there's definitely going to be a lot going on in Let's Kill Hitler, including a scene where Rory actually punches Hitler as well River sporting an eyepatch, flashbacks to the Astronaut debacle from the start of the series and Madame Kovarian still being a total bitch in the mix.

And then there's this ... is the Doctor really going to snog Craig? Probably not but it does seem that James Corden will be having plenty to do with his second appearance in the series, especially as his episode contains Cybermen too.

Other monsters that are in the mix include the Silents (rumoured to be responsible for snatching Amy's baby), Amy battling it out with Handbots, the Weeping Angels, a Minotaur type creature and even Churchill brandishing a gun at one point.

Perhaps the biggest news from Comic Con though was the admission that Karen Gillan will be appearing in the seventh season. Arthur Darvill hasn't been confirmed to return but if Amy is coming back next year, Rory more than likely is too. Filming for the Christmas special is slated to begin in September.

Comic Con Panel:
Season 6 Trailer:
The God Complex Clip:

Season Six of Doctor Who will air on BBCAmerica from August 27th. BBC1 have yet to confirm an airdate.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Torchwood - Comic Con 2011 Clips Season 4

And here's a look at the Torchwood panel from this year's Comic Con ....

Nearly all the cast are there bar Kai Owen, Lauren Ambrose and Arlene Tur but it's wonderful that Jane Espenson was also presented and accounted for in absence of Russell T. Davies and Julie Gardner.
The session didn't exactly reveal anything too new (though fans got to see Dead Of Night before Starz) aired but aside from a nice trailer that showed us what else was due to happen in the fourth season and the cast talking about pranks, we still don't know if the series is coming back for a fifth year.

Comic Con Panel:
Season 4 Trailer:

Torchwood: Miracle Day continues to air on BBC1 on Thursdays at 9pm and on Starz on Fridays at 10pm.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

My Review of Torchwood's 4x03: "Dead Of Night"

Written by Jane Espenson
Directed by Billy Gierhart

Jack: “What I wanted to say was – we’re good, aren’t we? You and me, good team. I missed you.”
Gwen: “I was thinking if this happened a bit sooner.”
Jack: “I know.”
Gwen: “He’d be here, Ianto.”

See, Jack/Ianto shippers – Ianto is not forgotten. He ain’t coming back to the series and the recent audios that featured him were obviously a compromise but the show hasn’t forgotten his existence and that’s good because this is the first episode we’ve had that felt like the show I watched from 2006-2009 and hopefully that bodes well for the remainder of the season.

I know there’s been controversy about this episode because the BBC are going to edit out Jack’s sex antics with Brad the barman and my personal opinion? I think they’re wrong for doing so. Maybe it’s not relevant to the overall storyline (but neither is Rex and Vera at it either) but it speaks some bad volumes to me.

To me, its like the BBC are pandering to the narrow minded morons who see the slightest hint of same sex affection and go whinging to the likes of Ofcom when stuff that’s genuinely abhorrent is not acknowledged. That level of hypocrisy annoys me to no end but this is not Points Of View, so I’ll get on with this review.

The sex scenes in this episode to me served as a breather of sorts. Both Jack and Rex are trying to deal with various problems and like every TV show on the planet, sex is seen as a temporary solution but I think people would be complaining a lot more if it had been Jack and Gwen having sex rather than him and a fir bartender.

Still though, he did call Gwen up after his night with Brad and pretty much confessed how deeply he felt about her. It’s a scene that can be construed in a lot of way but the truth is simple – Jack does love Gwen and they’ve been through so much together that for me, it’s a scene that works.

What also works excellently about the scene is its cut in to Gwen’s brief reunion with Rhys and Anwen and that just seems to prove that regardless of what she might feel for Jack, it’s her husband and child who come first in Gwen’s world. That’s right, isn’t it?

It would’ve been nice to have seen a little more of Rhys and Anwen here but the episode amends that with the absolutely brilliant rapport between Gwen and Esther in this one. I know I complained about a ‘UK vs. US debate’ but it was actually done in a fun way here.

Esther clearly has a lot of affection for Jack and Gwen and it’s actually nice to see Gwen interact with another woman. She and Toshiko weren’t exactly that close and we didn’t get enough of her and Martha during the second season, so if I have to pick something that’s the highlight of the week, it’s going to be Gwen and Esther’s friendship.

Equally fun is the pithier dynamic with Jack and Rex. Much as Rex annoys me (though surprisingly less in this episode), he had every right to voice doubts about signing up for Torchwood but I nearly cracked myself up when Jack managed to get in that comment about Rex not liking his jokes too gay. If the show keeps up the humour like this one did, it will help the series a lot more than being serious all the time.

As for moving the plot along this week, Vera does seem to be largely in a position where she gets to point out a lot of crap. This week idiot cops banging on about not being able to call an attempted murder for what it is and then there’s the whole fact that she managed to get herself sucked into helping Rex by spying on PhiCorp.

Three episodes in and I’m still struggling to see how and why a company like PhiCorp want or need Oswald Danes on their side but with Jilly Kitzinger around the place, at least this company has an interesting face representing it. Jilly really is a breath of fresh air in this episode too.

I swear for every medical scene and for every scene revolving around pharmaceuticals, we need Jilly. Her presences of klutziness, her false sincerity, her way of getting under Oswald’s skin – I think she’s actually the more charismatic character we’ve had in this series and she’s usurping Oswald a lot in my opinion. I want more of Jilly and less of Oswald if I’m being honest.

Don’t get me wrong – Bill Pullman is doing a great job and I liked the way Oswald turned on Jack during their meeting but aside from that and deservedly getting beaten up by the police, I am struggling to see how people are getting sucked in by this guy. He’s a paedophile for flip’s sake. Doesn’t that count for anything?

Still, it’s nice that Jack and the new gang have made the connection with the miracle to both PhiCorp and Oswald. I just hope that whilst they’re dodging capture they don’t wait until the last minute to actually stop the baddies and the miracle either. Oh and Vera is totally joining Torchwood by next week, isn’t she?

Also in “Dead Of Night”

This episode was written by the legendary Jane Espenson, whose TV credits really are worth bragging about.

Friedkin: “Listen, Rex, you’ll never find them, I never did. They’re everywhere. They know everything.”

Rex was surprisingly lenient with Friedkin during their meeting but damn, Friedkin just turned out to be another minion.

Esther (re knocked out security guard): “You’ve done this before?”
Gwen: “So many times.”

Vera (to Jilly): “We don’t deserve the miracle. We’re gonna screw this up like we always do. Human damn being and I’m including myself.”

Esther admitted to Gwen that she had an older sister who cannot cope. I assume we’ll be meeting Esther’s sister later on in the series.

Rex: “As far as I can see, you got all your staff killed.”
Jack: “They were my friends.”
Rex: “Yeah, dead friends.”

Jack: “Jack. You like the coat?”
Brad: “Brad. Passionately.”

The gay bar Jack visited in this was called the Golden Gopher and Gwen encountered a V For Vendetta style group called The Soulless as well.

Jilly: “These are the times that make men, Oswald, so it’s your choice – stay where you are or stand tall and stride across the skin of the world. Which is it?”

Rex: “You aren’t impaled.”
Jack: “You should see the other. Ooh, that face. Rex doesn’t like his jokes too gay.”

Oswald backed PhiCorp’s plot to give free drugs without prescriptions. It should be interesting to see how quickly that incites chaos.

Esther: “What are you smiling for?”
Rex: “I think we got them worried.”

Chronology: This episode more or less picked up where “Rendition” left off.

After two somewhat shaky episodes, I think “Dead Of Night” might be our first solid episode of the new season. Okay, logic gaps with the miracle plot are still there and people can argue about the relevance of the sex scenes in this one, but overall, I liked this one a lot.

Rating: 8 out of 10

True Blood - Comic Con 2011 Clips Season 4

And here is the third of my Comic Con themed blog. It's True Blood folks ....

The cast gathered and they were definitely the longest panelists that were there. Also much to a lot of fan joy, it seems that this year, Alexander Skarsgard was also present and accounted for. Oh and we got a trailer for the second half of Season 4.

Bill's found that Sookie and Eric are getting closer and he's far from pleased with that little tidbit of information. He's going to be even less pleased when his attempts of giving Eric the true death backfire on him too.

Jessica looks like she's about to walk in daylight but could that be down to Marnie or something else? Both her and Hoyt have issues they need to hash out and there will also be a growing bond between Jessica and Jason in the latter half of the season as well to contend with.

Marnie's going from meek mouse to witch possessed. In the trailer, she's activating a bigger coven and fighting vampires in quite a brutal manner. I was hoping for Marnie to up her game as a baddie and now she is. Thank you, show.

Elsewhere when Sam isn't pissing off Luna's ex and Andy isn't struggling with his addiction to V, it seems that Debbie's true colours are emrging again. I knew that the second Sookie and Alcide got closer (they're not a couple), Debbie's jealousy would escalate and it looks like she tries to take Sookie out, once and for all.

Other scenes in the trailer included a fire, Sam turning on Tommy again, Tara slaying vampires, Naomi being attacked, Bill,/Eric/Nan in bondage and multiple fantasies about Sookie in a slinky red dress. Oh and she's been shot in a graveyard but if a coma couldn't keep her down, then neither will a bullet, will it?

Comic Con Panel:
Season 4 Second Half Trailer:

True Blood continues to air Sundays at 9pm on HBO.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Dexter - Comic Con 2011 Cips Season 6

And here's a look at Comic Con's take on Dexter this year as the countdown to the show's sixth season begins.

A stylish photo with actor Michael C. Hall, one of the things that we learn about the upcoming year is that faith is going to be playing a huge role in the series. I'm actually surprised it's taken the show this long to add religion into the mix of murdering mayhem in Miami.

The cast seemed to be in their element talking about the upcoming season but the two minute trailer released for it really did a lot of talking to. It looks like Dexter is certainly going to have his hands full with the likes of Colin Hanks and Mos Def being added to the series.

Comic Con Panel Part 1:
Comic Con Panel Part 2:
Season 6 Trailer:

Season Six of Dexter will air on Showtime, Sundays at 9pm from October 2nd and premiere on FXUK in 2012.

Ringer - Comic Con 2011 Clips

Okay so in the next few days, expect me to be doing more of these Comic Con themed blogs. Today, it's Ringer but in the next few days, I'll also be doing ones for Dexter, True Blood, Glee, Doctor Who and Torchwood.

First of all there's a gorgeous poster released with the main cast - Sarah Michelle Gellar (Siobhan/Bridget), Ioan Gruffudd (Andrew), Nestor Carbonell (Victor) and Kristoffer Polaha (Henry) - otherwise known as the twins, the husband, the agent and the other man. Even now this show seems a little more grown up for the likes of the CW.

The cast themselves seem on fine form and Gellar in particular has been a delight in interviews with her gushing about experiencing Comic Con. As for the series itself, executive producers Eric Charmelo and Nicole Snyder have promised plenty of twists, including the fact that one of the sisters is driven by revenge and the other redemption. I bet I can guess which is driven by what. Also unlike a lot of other high concept series, the producers have also promised answers each week too. The more I read about this series, the more I look forward to it.

Comic Con Panel:
Season 1 Trailer:

Ringer premiers Tuesdays at 9pm on CW from September 13th. A UK broadcaster has yet to be confirmed.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Being Human - Season 4 Casting News

And though we have a bit to wait, here's some casting bits for the upcoming fourth series of Being Human ...

Andrew Gower has been cast in the leading role of a vampire called Cutler. The actor who's appeared in Frankenstein's Wedding with Lacey Turner and Monroe for ITV is slated to be a regular for the upcoming series, though whether or not his character will be an ally or a threat to George, Nina and Annie has yet to be confirmed.

Cutler won't be the only vampire featuring in the new series as Craig Roberts will be reprising his role as Adam from last season's Adam's Family for at least one episode. Creator Toby Whithouse has also promised that the upcoming season will feature some new faces, an old face, more supernatural threats a journey to somewhere the series hasn't gone before.

Being Human BBC Blog:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Bit Of Werewolf Slaying

I was meant to do this on Saturday but I got distracted, but here it is ...

Angry Boys: I am loving this series more and more. I don't know if we'll get a second series but I wouldn't mind seeing more of Gran Sims after last week's episode revealed that she had Alzheimer's, proving that Chris Lilley can add some poignancy to these characters as well. Even in last night's episode, I felt a little sympathetic towards the Blake character, despite him being the weakest character of the bunch. And fair play to Tim for finally getting his own back on that evil bitch of a mother he has. Only three more episodes left to watch.

Camelot: It's a shame this has had to come to an end because it's really been an interesting series. In the last two weeks, Morgan has upped her game as a character - first by being forced into making an example of her pet nun (thank you for that, Merlin) and then by holding Igraine captive and posing as her. However in spite of her desire to undermine/usurp her brother at every turn, I still get the feeling that Morgan cares something for Arthur, even if she's not willing to admit it. As for the Arthur/Guinevere/Leontes triangle - it's not bad but could be a little better though.
Mildred Pierce: I need to catch up with the last two episodes but the second and third instalments were pretty decent stuff though. Okay, I'm at the point where I'd ship Veda off to military school and Mildred's romance with Monty is about as interesting as paint drying but the main actors have definitely earned their 21 Emmy nominations with the powerhouse performances though.

Sirens: I've caught up with the last three episodes of this series and it's definitely been worth watching. From dealing with Stuart and Maxine's push/pull dynamic, Rachid's fear of dying alone and even Ashley's family antics, this show has been one of the best things Channel 4 has produced for a while. Here's hoping there's a second series around the corner.

Smallville: Finally Lois and Clark are on the same page. No more hiding in plain sight, no more lame excuse - they finally have honesty with each other and it's about damn time. Too bad the last two episodes have been in cliche land though - Lois possessed by an Egyptian goddess in one and nearly sacrificed by a creepy set of villagers. Better though is the current storyline with Tess and Alexander's rapid aging - he's becoming Lex and it's working well, plot wise. And I kinda like the idea of her working in Watchtower while Chloe is still gone.

The Vampire Diaries: How do you solve a problem like Mason Lockwood? If you're Caroline, you kiss his ass for threatening your friend but if you're Damon, you kidnap him, tie him up, torture him and kill him. Damon is nothing if no predictable to be honest. I felt a little bad that Mason was killed off so speedily but that only means that Katherine will just get poor Matt to cause Tyler to turn into a werewolf. I am loving Katherine in this show - her threats to keep Stefan/Elena apart, manipulating Caroline/Jenna/Matt, resistance to Vervain - the woman is unstoppable, isn't she? And the personal stuff with Caroline and her mother in the last two episodes also worked well.

- Idina Menzel will be reprising her role as Shelby for a multi-episode story in the third season of Glee.
- Jamie Murray has been cast as Andrew's business partner, Olivia in the new series of Ringer.
- Michelle Forbes has admitted that she doesn't know if she'll be appearing in the second season of The Killing.
- Jason Ritter will be reprising his role as Mark in the third season of Parenthood.
- Liam Cunningham is the latest actor to be cast in the second season of Game Of Thrones as Davos while Stephen Dillane will be playing Stannis Baratheon and Melisandre will be played by Carice Van Houten.
- Ricky Gervais and Clyde Philips are working on a series called Afterlife, a series about an atheist who ends up in Heaven.
- B.D Wong has confirmed that he will not be appearing in the upcoming season of Law And Order: SVU.
- Michael C. Hall has said that the upcoming season of Dexter will have a lightness to it.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Top TV Pairings Part 4

Sorry I didn't get to this on Sunday but better late than never, so here's the fourth part in my TV Pairings ...

Rome - Atia/Marc Anthony

Now, these two were quite a lethal explosion. I know Atia may have been traded in for Cleopatra but her and Marc Anthony were a bloody brilliant pairing during this whole series. One of the many memorable things about this HBO classic.

Game Of Thrones - Renly/Loras

It's hard to find a relationship that comes to er being sweet. I could've gone for Ned and Cat but we didn't get enough interaction with them and Drogo and Dany didn't start off sweetly, so I guess it's Renly and Loras that scoop this one. Here's hoping there's more with them in the second season.

The Vampire Diaries - Caroline Forbes/Matt Donovan

Forget the Katherine/Stefan/Elena/Damon quadrangle, the best relationship that I witnessed in the first two seasons was the one between ditzy vampire Caroline and the rather sweet Matt. Kinda like this show's version of Jessica and Hoyt really.

Smallville - Chloe Sullivan/Oliver 'Green Arrow' Queen

This show has had it's fair share of relationships, a lot of them rather stormy as well but I did like the relationship between Chloe and Oliver that developed in the last two seasons of the season but that's probably down to them being two of my favourite characters as well.

Camelot - Merlin/Morgan

This show might have gotten canned but Merlin and Morgan were the best pairing of antagonists going. Seriously, I could watch these two trying to outwit each other more than the other characters. Damn you Starz for cancelling the show.

Monday, July 18, 2011

My Review of True Blood's 4x04: "I'm Alive And On Fire"

Written by Nancy Oliver
Directed by Michael Lehmann

Crystal: “We can be together now, like we were meant to be ... mates for life.”
Jason: “We ain’t nothing but disaster. You’re the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.”

They say breaking up is the hardest thing to do but when you’ve got a girlfriend like Crystal, I’d imagine it would be the easiest thing for Jason to do. Thanks to her, Jason’s been held against his will, repeatedly raped and now more than likely will become a were panther as a result of his captivity in Hotshot.

I don’t think the writers could’ve stretched Jason’s captivity to another episode and I’m sure as hell glad that this segment came to an end this week. I liked that Jason used his smarts to escape – first reasoning with Becky to loosen his restraints and then tricking Felton before killing him off.

I’ve hated Felton since his first episode and his death here was absolutely satisfying to watch. His treatment of Jason aside, Felton was a danger to his own kind and even Crystal couldn’t muster a flicker of grief when she found him dead. Though I guess that might be down to her delight in now becoming Head Mama to all of Hotshot now that Felton is out of the picture.

The best thing I loved about this plot was Jason calling Crystal out on her crap and dumping her. I would’ve lost a serious amount of respect for Jason if he had just forgiven her but by keeping her alive, I fear that we’re never gonna get rid of this whole inbred storyline and that bothers me. At least Jessica and Hoyt were able to come to Jason’s aid as well this week.

I know Crystal will probably be needed when Jason starts turning into panther and needs some questions answered but I really want to see the back of this storyline, once and for all. Hopefully the Hotshot crew will finally be dispatched with this season. Maybe we should send Bill after them. He likes delivering the true death nowadays, doesn’t he?

Ah, Bill – of course being King wasn’t going to be a walk in the park. Putting the fear of something into his minions is one thing but even he cannot curb Pam’s avowed hatred towards him and Nan wasn’t particularly impressed with his handling of the witches saga as well, was she?

I thought with necromancing being such a factor that Nan would actually take Marnie and her coven seriously. Or maybe Nan is hoping that if Bill and company keep their noses out of Marnie’s business, then there will be no retaliation from the dotty witch herself. Someone really should’ve kept Pam in the loop about that this week. It might have saved her from Marnie’s wrath at the end of this episode.

Now I’ve mentioned enough times how much I love Pam as a character? Well, I do but despite all of that, I can’t help but feel that her fate in this episode was a little deserved. When are vampires on this show gonna realise that it’s best not to piss off a witch? Eric lost his memories thanks to Marnie and her little friend and now half of Pam’s face is rotten flesh because she dared to threaten the witch.

This would’ve been a perfect episode for Pam to have dialled down her snarkiness. It seems that every time Marnie’s life is endangered, that other witch spirit comes out to play and a vampire gets screwed over because of it. It’s also apparent that Marnie’s storyline is actually upping a gear as well, which is much needed.

The flashbacks to the other witches execution that Marnie dreamed of were interesting but what is it about Marnie that makes this witch come alive? I’m beginning to think that Tara, Lafayette and Jesus must hold some influence considering that they were there both times when Marnie and other witch joined forces. Either way, it’s nice to see some progression with the Marnie plot this week.

Speaking of progression, Eric annoyed me far less in this episode than he did in the last two. Don’t worry readers – I don’t find his amnesiac state cute within the slightest but I did enjoy Alexander Skarsgard’s comedic skills in this one. Drunk on fairy blood Eric was actually kind of funny but if draining Claudine didn’t give him the permanent ability to walk in the daylight, then what the hell will?

Fairy blood might be intoxicating but it seems that Eric might have to drink a whole lot of them in order to fully be able to walk in the sunlight. This should be a reminder to Sookie that perhaps she’s taking on too much by babysitting Eric. I’m not saying she should hand him over to Bill but Alcide was giving her sensible advice that Sookie seemed to dismiss a little too freely though.

Elsewhere, every time I find Tommy loathsome, the writers have to do something to make me feel bad for the little fecker. This week, he got played by Melinda and Joe Lee that I only hope he ends up killing them. It also proves that Melinda and Joe Lee are even more disgusting than Hotshot, which is impressive when you think about it.

As for Sam learning about Luna being a mother and having a dangerous ex – I smell trouble. I really want Luna to be a good thing for Sam but I got a feeling that he’s heading into some messy territory with Luna and that’s a bit of a shame really. I still like Luna for the moment though.

Also in “I’m Alive And On Fire”

Sookie briefly wondered about Claudine having folks coming after her. I think that’s proof that the fairy plot is far from done with.

Eric: “I want more.”
Sookie (re Claudine): “You can’t have anymore, there isn’t anymore. You drank the whole fairy and you’re going to your room.”

I got the impression that Nan wasn’t telling Bill the whole truth when she let rip on him. Maybe she has a history with witches herself.

Pam: “You like the feel of it, don’t you Bill? That crown.”

Bill: “You’re making a big mistake.”
Nan: “That is not for you to decide. I really don’t know what you expect me to do. I can’t take this to the Authority.”

If Jason getting raped in this episode wasn’t bad enough, those executioners in Marnie’s dream were taking a rather sick pleasure in their description of how to kill a witch.

Maxine: “Something terrible is wrong with you. There is no family feeling in your soul.”
Sam: “Well, I could point out that you’re the one who disowned your own child by blood but maybe you’re right. Maybe there is something wrong with me where family is concerned.”

Alcide: “I’m on your side, Sook, whatever happens.”
Sookie: “Same for me. Friends?”
Alcide: “Friends. Keep in touch.”
Sookie: “You know I will.”

So this week in other plots, we know that Bill and Portia are related (much to Caroline Bellefleur’s unease) and Mikey gave Arlene and Terry the creeps when he wrote “Baby Not Yours” on the wall in red marker.

Debbie: “Sookie’s okay?”
Alcide: “For now but you know her – danger on the door step every five minutes.”

Eric: “I’ll never swim in the sun again. Never feel the heat on my skin. Never see the daylight in your hair.”
Sookie: “Well, the night time’s not so bad. You’ve still got the stars in the sky.”

I don’t think Debbie was as okay with Alcide spending time with Sookie as she admitted in this episode. Why do I get the feeling that Debbie is about to revert to form?

Marnie (to Pam): “Stop saying fuck. I can’t concentrate.”

Chronology: Straight after “If You Love Me, Why Am I Dyin’?” left off and standout music was Danko Jones’s “I’m Alive And On Fire”.

Now this was a far better episode than last week. “I’m Alive And On Fire” was definitely great in progressing certain storylines but her treatment of Eric and Pam aside, how much damage can that witch really channel Marnie into doing before everyone takes notice?

Rating: 8 out of 10

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Horrible Business Partners - The Apprentice Final Four

I've been dipping in and out of the seventh season of The Apprentice and while we've had arguably stronger years, there's still no sign that Alan Sugar's all emcompassing business series is waning with the general public.

At 9pm tonight, the final four will undergo interviews and then one of them will be hired but really, who deserves it out of this lot? Jim Eastwood is a man who spouts so many cliches, he deserves a gagging order while Tom Pelleureau is proof that eccentric doesn't always make for good TV. Nah, actually, he's alright. Plus both Helen Milligan and Susan Ma might have made it this far but I can't see either of them really making as a business partner with Alan Sugar.

Either way regardless of who scoops the prize, I'm sure tonight's final show is going to blow the competion away.

EDIT: Tom won it but seemingly by the skin of his teeth. I really did think it was going to be Helen that bagged it but she shot herself in the foot in the end. Congrats, Tom.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

My Review of Torchwood's 4x02: "Rendition"

Written by Doris Egan
Directed by Bill Gierhart

Gwen: “That was your last chance.”
Lyn: “Yeah, what are you gonna do about it? If you’re the best that England’s got to offer, then God help you.”
Gwen: “I’m Welsh.”

Okay, and great punches aside, this was something of a farcical episode for me. There was fun to be had in some parts but a fair chunk of this episode also frustrated me for some reason as well.

Rex, being the biggest example of frustration. If we’re supposed to root for this guy, then the series is going a horrible way about it. I don’t expect Rex to instantly like or even trust Jack and Gwen but he kind of went above and beyond being an asshole as well. The sort of glee he took in separating Gwen from her own child really left a bad taste in my mouth.

Granted that almost might seem like less of a deal considering the comments he made about a co-worker’s sick wife in the previous episode but it just felt Rex was being unnecessarily nasty for the sake of it. If he didn’t believe that Jack and Gwen were criminals or knew anything about the miracle, then why treat the both of them with such contempt?

For all we know, Jack could very well be responsible for this ‘miracle’. He’s the only person who can actually die now and Lyn certainly had no problems in trying to test that theory when he got Rex to actually think outside the box with the morphic field theory.

John Barrowman’s acting in that scene where Jack was battling being poisoned with Gwen, Rex, Vera and even Danny and Greta all trying to save him was unintentionally funny. I should’ve felt danger during that scene but the only time I really did was when Lyn tried to stop Gwen from administering the antidote into Jack.

As for the punch up between Gwen and Lyn – you can tell the Joss Whedon influence is being felt in this show and not just because Lyn was played by Dichen Lachman from Dollhouse but because even Gwen has never been that kick arse before on the show. It was a good little fight scene though.

It’s amazing as well that in last week’s episode, it took Rex very little time to get into the UK but here it took him and everyone else ages to get back into the US though. Arguably too long, even if the plane journey did mean that Jack and Gwen had a chance to hash out some issues with each other and be teased by Rex in relation to their closeness.

Even more fun was had at the airport when Rex finally copped on to answer Esther’s calls and realise that he was walking into a trap. I have to admit I did laugh at the irony of the situation – Rex being framed and booted from the CIA by Friedkin because more importantly was the interesting position that Lyn was left in as well. I guess someone on this show is a fan of a certain Meryl Streep classic, aren’t they?

Whereas Rex was frustrating in this episode, Esther was actually a god send this week. The issues about her being forced into taking sides by Charlotte very much meant that she chose (or had to choose) Torchwood by the end of this episode but at least she was clever and nice enough to escape from Friedkin’s clutches. I guess it really did pay to be nice to the security people this week.

As for Gwen’s opinions on Esther’s choice of car for them to escape with – is this going to be a recurring theme now? The American characters ridiculing Britain/Wales and the Welsh characters doing the same to America? It will wear thin after a while and considering that both parties need each other thanks to the miracle, maybe it’s time to get on with trying to combat the plot now?

The only person who seemed to be sort of doing that this week was Vera and I have to admit, I’m not great with medical jargon most of the time and this episode made me want to snooze through certain scenes. It seems despite the miracle, people can still age, diseases can still spread and there’s a mess load of pills that Vera could do with getting in her possession if Jilly’s comments were anything to go by.

And then there was Jilly Kitzinger. By far the best thing in the whole episode (and she was only in two scenes), Lauren Ambrose is also by far the best casting we’ve had this season as well. Jilly is certainly a woman who knew how to go after her targets. Bumming a fag off Vera was one thing but playing on the knowledge of pills was another and you just know that whatever Jilly wants Vera for; it’s probably not that good.

Similarly, I can’t wait to see what her true intentions are towards Oswald as well. I doubt for a second she believes or cares about his public apology but she certainly seemed keen to get Oswald on side though. Oswald managed to give her the brush off for now but Jilly strikes me as being relentless and will probably keep pursuing Oswald until he caves in.

Now as for Oswald – I wasn’t touched or sympathetic by his public breakdown and apology for killing poor Susie Kabina and I doubt for a second that I was meant. I loved that while some people considering forgiving him, the news presenter and even one of Esther’s colleagues were still disgusted by his actions to soften their opinions on him. See, it’s nice not to see people being swayed by a sob story. I sure as hell don’t forgive Oswald and I definitely don’t believe he’s sorry at all.

Also in “Rendition”

Both Arlene Tur (Vera) and Lauren Ambrose (Jilly) are credited as “Special Guest Stars” for this episode.

Jack (re the miracle): “Great, so this is my fault.”
Gwen: “Can’t be a coincidence, Jack.”

It made sense that Rhys and Anwen wouldn’t be arrested/kept until Rex’s custody. I hope Rhys has somewhere safe to hide though.

Esther: “Oh my God, Rex is coming back.”
Charlotte: “Well some things we can predict.”

Jack: “Did you miss me?”
Gwen: “Yes. Started to think it’d be like some kind of fairytale. I’d be an old woman and you’d come by out of the blue to visit my granddaughter. I’d be ancient, and you’d still look exactly the same. Where did you go, Jack?”
Jack: “A long way away.”

Like some viewers, even I thought the episode went a little overboard in lamenting about Danny’s sexuality.

Vera: “You sound like my ex-husband.”
Rex: “Really, so does he call wanting drugs and sex?”
Vera: “Yeah.”

Oswald: “I don’t need you.”
Jilly: “I disagree, Mr Danes. You have what we call a high media quotient.”
Oswald: “Oh, everybody hates me.”

Rex’s low sodium level is apparently the least of his problems and Vera realised that the golden hour no longer applies thanks to the miracle.

Jack: “You are not giving me formaldehyde.”
Gwen: “You can shut up.”

Jack: “Rex, you have got to work on these escape plans.”

Chronology: If it’s 2011, is it before or after Oprah Winfrey finished her show? A specific date would actually be nice to know.

“Rendition” had it’s moments but it was also something of a mess in places. Too much of the action scenes that should’ve felt high octane came across as silly (and this is considering how much I love the bazooka action of last week) and the Friedkin character needs to up his game as a chief villain as well.

Rating: 7 out of 10