Thursday, March 31, 2011

Soap Discussion - March 2011

And here's a look into what happened soap wise during March ... EastEnders: Okay, apart from the Whitney sex exploitation storyline and the Comic Relief scene that actually utilised Janine, Lauren and to a lesser extent, Ricky, Max and Carol, it was another dire month on the Square. Glenda left in underwhelming style, both Kat and Ronnie were frustrating to watch and Jack's jjumping back and forth between businesses was also pretty boring to watch along with Darren and Jodie being on and off again. Still, we got an interesting new friendship with Syed and Tanya and a nice romance between Abi and Jay, so it wasn't all bad.
Coronation Street: Oh Becky, why do you always self-destruct? I guess having to face some consequences from her actions from Dev/Sunita was one thing but Liz, Tracy and Kylie continuing to rub it in was another, eh? Still, frustrating as that was it was better than this hasty marriage plot with Xin and Graeme and David/Kylie really do make for a nasty couple. It was also nice to see more of Sally vs. Kevin, Janice's departure amongsts other storylines.

Emmerdale: Want a soap cliche - give Jimmy both amnesia, the return of Kelly and a son named Elliot from the saucy girl and a rivalry between her and Nicola. Daft as it sounds, it's actually a fun storyline and this month we needed the fun. With the fallout of Lisa's rape and Jackson's further depression, Kelly's return was definitely something of a more lighter affair as well as Chas and Diane going into partnership and Andy/Alicia making for an oddly fun couple as well. Good work, show. Oh but the less said about Cain/Charity/Jai and Faye's rubbish exit, the better though.
Hollyoaks: And the award for best soap of the month goes to this show. From the silly Heat inspired photoshoot to Warren and Brendan knocking the crap out of each other, this one delivered in both the comedy and serious stakes. On the srious note, there was Ste's coming out and putting Brendan in the hospital, Lindsay nearly becoming another of Silas's victims as well as Jacqui and Gilly in the rape trial, which has dominated this week. I won't tell you the verdict but it's definitely an interesting resolve for this different look at a tricky subject matter.

Fair City: It was the month of Louis and Carol being publicly shamed with their affair, thanks to a spiteful Bob and a broken hearted Christy selling his shares of McCoys. It was also the same month of Finn opening up a trendier bar and the Bishops beating the crap out of a dodgy uncle and getting a cousin named Sasha, who manages to be even more chavvier than they are as well as a plot with Cass in pajamas but it was mostly amusing as well.

My Review of Brothers And Sisters 5x11: "Scandalized"

Written by Veronica Becker And Sarah Kucserka
Directed by Bethany Rooney

Nora: “Kitty’s not even a politician anymore.”
Kevin: “I know. I can’t believe the attention she’s getting either. She’s even trending on Twitter. It’s like the good old days.”

Okay, so we’ll never be rid of Twitter then. Thanks Kevin, at least I have a reason to still keep my account open now but in all seriousness, Kitty and Seth’s relationship is proving to be this scandalous? I don’t know whether to laugh or feel like my intelligence is being insulted. There are good arguments for both cases actually.

Kevin might have spent way too much time in this episode sniping about Seth but that and a few idiot tabloid hacks that we didn’t even meet, no-one else seemed to really give a crap about Kitty dating a younger man. Even Seth’s mother, who could’ve blown up on Kitty wasn’t all that bothered.

Well, she did give Kitty a little insight into Seth and raised some fears that Kitty had herself about the relationship but as a viewer, it seemed that she was doing it more for concern and honesty rather than any outwardly malice, even if Seth himself didn’t seem to think so.

The age difference was always going to be an issue between Kitty and Seth because unlike Sarah and Luc, there’s an actual age difference but I really hope to goodness that this episode more or less got that out of the way. Kevin’s pretty much my favourite character but I actually thought he was rather nasty towards Seth in this episode.

Also, what 27 year old bloke hasn’t heard of Robert Redford at least in passing at one point or another? That came across as rather false and just seemed tacked on to make Seth look like an idiot when he’s a grown man. Nora for all her inappropriateness in this episode at least made a better to talk to Seth as did Scotty.

Usually some humour can be derived out of Kevin and Kitty quarrelling and while there were some funny one-liners, both of them were annoying. When Kevin wasn’t being snide, Kitty kept treating Seth like he was a child and neither of them made all that much of an effort to talk to Karl either.

Now Karl was another issue of this episode – why so shy about your book? Maybe it’s not the most interesting of stuff and maybe you aren’t a cocky git about it but you could’ve at least talked a little about the book and then tried your hand at another conversation. Karl didn’t even attempt to try to and interact with Kitty and Kevin either and spent most of the time during dinner looking pissed off.

However he had a point about the Walkers and their lack of boundaries. Time and time again we’ve seen the negative element of that and I couldn’t blame Karl for leaving at the end as well, though at least he wasn’t being ridiculed like Seth had been during that dinner.

As for Karl and Nora’s break up, that was definitely something I saw coming rather quickly. The fact that it was on air and not played for laughs was a bit surprising though. Seriously, Nora, you need to stop bringing your kids over during romantic meals but at the same time, Karl also could do with lightening up a little as well. Is it too much to hope that because of this latest break up, Nora has finally learned something?

Speaking of learning something, Kevin and Scotty’s progress for fostering kids certainly progressed in this one. The role playing scene seemed to be a vehicle for Kevin to getting over his own grief over the miscarriages from last season and the introduction of Olivia was sweet but a little contrived.

Olivia chose Kevin and Scotty off the bat – I’m not heartless, it was sweet and Olivia seems interesting enough but it had no subtlety to it at all and I am also hoping that the remainder of the season will finally solve the parenting issue for Kevin and Scotty and give them other storylines as well. Now that is something that I expect from the series.

Last but not least – Justin and Annie, I do like them but I already know this one isn’t going to last, so I don’t intend to get invested. It’s a shame though because the ambulance ride along was nice and Justin as a paramedic is a nice move for the series too. He’s definitely at his best with as well.

Also in “Scandalized”

When the episode first opened, I did almost think that one of the Walkers was going to be in hospital, so it was a relief that it was just Justin at his new job.

Justin: “I’d kiss you right now but I’m covered in blood.”
Annie: “Yeah but it’s better than vomit though, right?”

Karl’s book was called The Empowered Unconscious and it was thanks to Nora that we got the whole Robert Redford debacle.

Kitty: “You look like you’re sixteen in that picture.”
Seth: “That’s because I am sixteen in that picture. It’s my high school yearbook photo.”

Kevin: “Um, Karl likes us, right?”
Nora: “Yes. Yes, he likes you very much.”
Kevin: “Good.”
Nora: “In moderation.”

So that’s Kevin, Sarah and now (again) Kitty that have had relationships that have attracted media attention. Oh and Skinny Minnie was mentioned again.

Kevin (to Seth): “Don’t tell me you don’t know who Barbara Streisland is?”
Kitty: “Newsflash, he’s straight, Kevin.”

Nora: “I’m sure it wasn’t that bad, was it?”
Karl: “Oh yeah, yeah, definitely. It was a bit of a tantrum.”

Standout music: The Strange Familiar’s “Angel”.

Kevin (to Scotty, re Olivia): “I think she just chose us.”

Chronology: It’s the start of 2012 and there was no Sarah, Luc, Saul, Holly or David in this episode.

Despite Kevin and Kitty being both quite annoying in parts of this one, “Scandalized” was though another episode in a row that I quite enjoyed. However apart from Kevin and Scotty’s progression with parenting, it does seem like this season is still aimless though.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Doctor Who - Series 6 Official Trailer - Spoilers

River Song: This is the Doctor's darkest hour. He'll rise higher than ever before and then fall so much further. This is the day he finds out who I am.

Come on, was anyone honestly not expecting at least one Doctor/River kiss this season? If the costume is anything to go by, this could be from opening two parter, The Impossible Astronaut/Day Of The Moon or possibly the game changing seventh episode, which will either be titled His Darkest Hour or A Good Man Goes To War, according to DWM. It's certainly a smoocher, especially in light of a certain episode title that was revealed this week. The Doctor's looking a little possessed in this one, though whether it's from the Silence, who are the main threat for Series 6 or something else, I can't really tell. This episode briefly had a shot of the Doctor and Idris (Suranne Jones) on a planet looking at a ship. The episode featuring Idris was revealed to be titled, The Doctor's Wife and whether or not Idris will literally live up to the title is another thing. Some are speculating that she won't or that she's a literal manifestation of the TARDIS, which I think is also more likely.
Amy and Rory in the TARDIS and it seems that these two will be put through the ringer this season as well. Expect Rory to make one hell of an error and Amy might be containing a secret or two from the Doctor. We have no confirmation of whether or not both characters will make it past this upcoming series either whereas Matt Smith has been confirmed for the 2012 series.

It looks like we're seeing the TARDIS from the RTD era of the series, though I have no idea as to why but it looks cool again, right? There's rumours that we might be seeing a regeneration this season. Also, there's an incredibly interesting conversation between the Doctor and an unseen menace about killing Time Lords. The Doctor naturally wins that one of course.

Also the Doctor once again mentioned that he was running and has to stop but from what, exactly? The trailer is rather cryptic on that end of things and I have no idea what is up with the suits in the above picture either. Anyone else notice that there's no familiar race of aliens in this trailer too? Literally all of them are new.

Keeping with episode titles, Toby Whithouse's one has been called The God Complex and it's the one set in a hotel with nightmare scenerios (clowns, strange bull like creature) and the other highlights included some clips of the pirate episode as well as those creepy dolls and some dubious scenes with Amy as well. April 23rd can't come fast enough.

Merlin - Season 3 Review



UK Airdate: September 11th – December 4th 2010

The third series of the Saturday drama sees Morgana finally making her choice as both Merlin and Arthur seemingly get closer to their respective destinies and Uther’s relationship with Morgana changes forever.

One Year Later: You have to admire this show, don’t you? It can be the epitome at times of adopting a ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix’ approach to storytelling while every now and then making some little changes and ending with some big ones that will hopefully pay off in the long run. And that is also the show’s third season in a nutshell too.

Doing a year long time jump has its pros and cons and often, it’s usually the latter that are felt. By skipping a year, it’s like the writers have skipped a vital part of Morgana’s development as a character. The Morgana of old would’ve shown traces of conflict and unease with turning sides but the version we’re left with this series is sadly devoid of those qualities.

It’s almost a shame to see that because not only does it make Morgana too black and white as a villain but it also seems odd that everything she seems to despite with Uther are the very things that she embraces a little too liberally here. From her open hostility with Merlin throughout the season through her various attempts of putting both Arthur and Gwen’s lives in danger, I’m not sure I like this Morgana all that much. Katie McGrath is on fine form though but not only is Morgana too narrow as a villain, she’s also one at times that is rather incompetent too.

The psychological warfare she inflicted Uther too in the opening two parter, “The Tears Of Uther Pendragon” was fantastic but her failed attempts of trying to murder him in “The Crystal Cave” were laughable by comparison.

It’s only in the two part finale, “The Coming Of Arthur” (minds out of the gutter, people) that both her and Morgause seem to be a match for the good guys and actually manage to run Camelot for a short time period before both of them are defeated by Arthur and his newly appointed knights of the round table. Here is hoping that by next season, both sisters of evil are more capable of realising a scheme without being stopped by the totty brigade.

Morgana aside, this is also a season for Merlin. Not so dependant on the dragon (whose reduced appearance are a help rather than a hindrance), it’s nice to see him mostly go it alone and get it right. He’s the guy who still puts up with Arthur’s putdowns but is getting better at delivering his own and he’s the guy who is still saving people, even if they’re unaware of it at the time.

He’s also getting seemingly closer to his destiny with various episodes in the season working his progression quite nicely and it’s not just him. For every time Arthur acts like a berk, he’s given reason and moments to prove that when he does get Camelot, he will be more than a worthy king to the land.

As for Gwen, well I’ve always liked her and Arthur as a couple and I love that this season finally progressed it to the point where Arthur stood up to Uther for her but I also loved the inclusion of her brother, Elyan and her own role in helping the guys take down Morgana and Morgause in the finale. When given the right material, Gwen certainly seems to shine and hopefully next season continues that too.

People who get to shine less are Uther and Gaius. The latter has two big episodes but they’re a mixed bag. “Goblin’s Gold” is horribly unfunny but “Love In The Time Of Dragons” is quite moving, given that Gaius manages to get himself a love interest. It’s just a shame that said love interest incurred Uther’s wrath but that man is so easy to get on the wrong side nowadays.

This leads to my main issue – Uther. I think Anthony Stewart Head is wonderful and while there are times where I feel bad for Uther, they’re becoming few and far between. Uther seems to be turning on people too quickly and I have a feeling that thanks to Morgana holding him prisoner and admitting her hatred for him (despite the show revealing that Uther is her actual father), Uther will probably continue to harden but then again, maybe I’ll be proved wrong.

In terms of guest characters this season, this is something of a strength. Okay, Morgause could’ve used better and Cenred’s not as nasty as he could’ve been but with the nice formation of the knights of the round table with Sir Leon, a returned Lancelot, loveable rogue Gwaine, Gwen’s brother Elyan, hunky Perceival, this show does work out nicely in that respect.

DVD EXTRAS: With all of this season being released on DVD together, shortly after it finished transmitting on BBC1, the extras are reasonable. There’s a good making of feature for the season, bloopers, deleted scenes, commentaries from cast and crew as well as download wallpapers and character profiles.

EPISODE RATINGS:

3x01: The Tears Of Uther Pendragon Part 1 = 9/10, 3x02: The Tears Of Uther Pendragon Part 2 = 8/10, 3x03: Goblin’s Gold = 4/10, 3x04: Gwaine = 8/10, 3x05: The Crystal Cave = 9/10, 3x06: The Changeling = 8/10, 3x07: The Castle Of Fyrien = 7/10, 3x08: The Eye Of The Phoenix = 8/10, 3x09: Love In The Time Of Dragons = 8/10, 3x10: Queen Of Hearts = 9/10, 3x11: The Sorcerer’s Shadow = 8/10, 3x12: The Coming Of Arthur Part 1 = 9/10, 3x13: The Coming Of Arthur Part 2 = 9/10.

Red Rain

And here are some more highlights over the last few weeks ... V: I watched most of the first season on and off because after a rather good start, this show kind of became a little middle of the road. The first episode of Season 2 that aired last Thursday served well enough catching people up with the basic premise of lizard alien creatures Visitors pretending to be of peace but at the same using healing centres, blue energy and now red sky and rain as weapons for turning the Earth into a breeding ground. Erica and the 5th column really do need to get off their backsides and be a little more assertive in trying to tackle Anna and her race but the most discussion worthy of this episode was obviously the return of Dianna from the original series, imprisoned in this one as Anna's mother. Here's hoping Jane Badler gets some good moments to shine. Grey's Anatomy: Season Seven has also been something I've been watching off and on and to be honest, I've never been the biggest die hard fan of this show. It can be entertaining but it also be damn frustrating and this episode that aired on ABC and RTE2 within the last week maintained that. This has been a season devoid of Izzie, no baby for Meredith and Derek, a speedy marriage for Cristina and Owen, more developing for Jackson, April and Teddy and their various love interests and apparently one where Alex wants to date a snarky girl named Lucy and Bailey's screwing a sexist nurse named Elijah. Even more frustrating is that Callie/Mark/Arizona have become a source of tedium now that Mark has gotten Callie pregnant and Arizona's mission on the show is to look pissed off all the time. The girly baby shower aside, who didn't see both Callie and Arizona winding up in a car crash? This week's musical episode should be interesting or disastrous. Desperate Housewives: Ah, now there's some needed improvement. The last two episodes saw Bree and Keith breaking up as the latter grappled with becoming a father, Lynette gaining and losing a father in law in a short space of time as well as the show reminding us for the billionth time how pathetic the men in her life are, Carlos and Gabby trying harder to deal with their loss of Grace, Susan gaining a stalker but no kidney and some development on Paul, Zach and Beth but not nearly enough sadly. Still, there's some improvement. Skins US: While I side with most people criticising this show, I actually thought the last two episodes of this were rather decent. Tea finally faced up to her responsibilities with both Tony and Betty, Abbud and Daisy's relationship deepened, Stanley and Cadie did a great version of Shout and there's a mildly interesting triangle with them and Michelle while Tina and Eura got decent centric episodes, with Tina actually having to suffer consequences for her relationship with Chris, thanks to a spiteful Dave. Only Chris and Tony didn't seem to fare as well from these ones though. I still can't warm to Tony and I've been somewhat put off Chris in this one too. Being Human US: It's taking me longer to watch the episodes and when I do, I'm liking them but I'm not being impressed by them. Which is odd, because the writing has gotten better, the acting is definitely tighter and the shows attempts of fleshing out Bishop, doing the dog fights and dealing with Bernie's death have all been handled nicely but I don't have the same emotional connection to any of these characters as I do with the UK series. Maybe it's time I realised that this version isn't for me. White Van Man: Another week, another BBC3 comedy series being dolled out. It's not a bad one but it's not a great one either. Will Mellor is good enough in the role of a guy taking on his dad's business and lusting after a woman who is literally the Doctor's daughter and soon to be wife in real life but I guess it's just not my bag, show wise, though some of the supporting cast show promise.
- AMC have confirmed that Mad Men will not return for a fifth season until 2012.
- Glee's April 26th episode on FOX will be a 90 minute episode that will feature Lady Gaga's Born This Way in it. An Adele song may also appear in the second season's last few episodes.
- Both Elizabeth Mitchell and Jeremy Irons will appear in an upcoming episode of Law And Order: SVU.
- Fringe has been renewed for a fourth season.
- John Rothman, Cristine Rose have been cast as Cooper's parents while Tess Harper has been cast as Charlotte's mother as they all take part in the couple's upcoming wedding in Private Practice.
- Shonda Rhimes has promised that this season's finale to Grey's Anatomy will be a more quiet affair compared to the previous year.
- Balthazar Getty and Sonia Braga will be both back for the finale for Brothers And Sisters.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Secret Diary Of A Call Girl - Season 4 Review


Okay and with the last episode that aired on ITV last week, I thought I might as well finish up my season reviews earlier than later, so here goes ….

Episode 1: Belle and Ben, finally a couple. They seemed so happy in this one. Shame it’s not going to last though. Still, very interesting that Stephanie’s spell in the pokey resulted in Belle playing madam and taking care of Poppy.

Episode 2: We finally meet Ben’s mother and she’s more liberated than her son is. Who’d thought? I did like the end scene between Belle and Ben but again, it does seem like this one won’t last.

Episode 3: It’s the arrival of Harry the creepy copper and his first sexual encounter with Belle is definitely one of the show’s worst. More grating is Poppy’s meltdown when she realises what Belle is and where her mother is really staying. Even Jackie’s return is preferable to that.

Episode 4: Poppy and Stephanie rowing is hardly highlight of the week and neither is Ben and Belle falling out either. The baby stuff with the client was amusing but naff and the ending with Belle heading to New York was different.

Episode 5: Belle in New York City trying to get a movie about her life done. Made for an amusing diversion but Poppy really showed her true colours when she decided to wreck havoc between Belle and Ben, didn’t she?

Episode 6: I liked Belle and dominatrix Charlotte first competing and then admiring each other’s skills with clients. Less admirable was Ben being passive aggressive and whiny and Poppy as well.

Episode 7: The death of a client during a session was certainly an interesting moment for Belle but between creepy Harry and Ben continuing to berate Belle, I was hoping for only one outcome in the end.

Episode 8: Loved the client being someone that Belle went to school with, loved that she didn’t go with either Ben or Harry but as a series finale, what a depressing way to end things. I guess Belle will just end up becoming like the released Stephanie in another decade or two.

Like the previous season, this one had some interesting moments but overall, it felt really rushed and the ending while interesting just didn’t work for me in other ways. Here’s hoping Billie Piper moves on to better things.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Doctor Who/Torchwood - Promo Pictures

Okay next week I will be doing something more on spoilers for both shows but for now, here's some more recent updates. Doctor Who: The first promotional image of Series 6 has been launched and it's to promote the two part opening story, The Impossible Astronaut/Day Of The Moon with the Doctor, Amy and Rory being reflected inside the visor of an astronaut with the TARDIS as well. A similar themed trailer was released on Wednesday with the Doctor and a rather creepy Silent in the background. The Silent can also be seen in the released prequel for the opening story where President Nixon gets an interesting phone call and doesn't spot the monster in the Oval Office. A longer trailer will surface on Tuesday on BBC1, time yet to be disclosed.
Torchwood: Okay no trailers yet and while the above promotional poster is pretty basic, there will be new posters and promotional shots of the cast released after the Cannes Film Festival next month where John Barrowman will be heading over to promote the series. Starz have confirmed that Miracle Day will debut on July 8th 2011 and we can assume that will be the same date for the BBC1 transmission as well.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Review of Brothers And Sisters 5x10: "Cold Turkey"

Written by Stephen Tolkin And Geoffrey Nauffts
Directed by Michael Morris

Nora (re her children): “I didn’t raise them to be like this.”
Karl: “Exactly Nora. You didn’t raise them at all. Follow me.”

Okay, ever hear of the episode where Nora had a nice sleep that resulted in a nightmare scenario where her kids and Holly were plotting her death during Christmas? Well, you have now and in moments of sheer silliness, this is actually a hit for the series this season.

The idea of Nora actually deciding not to go overboard and instead just go to Santa Fe with Karl was a shocker. This is Nora and going overboard is pretty much her thing but I guess her eschewing Christmas from her kids wasn’t going to be big enough, so some predictable routes had to be taken so that this episode would feel true to the character.

The obvious one would be her non stop panicking whilst on holiday with Karl. Geez, I know his most famous role was that creep Christian Shephard but he seems like such a nice man here and to be honest, Nora, your kids are all adults and capable of taking care of themselves. The fact that not one of them called you should’ve been an indicator that they were coping reasonably fine without you.

It’s always going to be in Nora’s DNA as a character to live through her children in some ways. When she compared herself to a vampire, there was a part of me that agreed. Nora doesn’t mean to suck the life out of her children and they can be just as bad themselves but it’s not like she wasn’t ever coming back either. Take a chill pill, Nora. Oh wait, you kind of did that anyways.

Now that leads to the dream sequence of this episode and without a doubt my favourite part as well. Played completely over the top, there was a bit of a perverse reveal in what would’ve happened to the Walker kids if Nora had abandoned them earlier in their lives and it was certainly an interesting, if obvious look on things.

I could’ve easily predicted a closeted Kevin complete with dodgy moustache, a wife, twin girls and secretly shagging Scotty in the Walker kitchen in the same way I could’ve easily imagined Justin continuing on his drug induced spiral and Sarah as a cold hearted businesswoman. I guess Tommy being dead and Kitty looking like a slob and sponging off Holly were the only things that actually surprised me.

And there’s the other thing – Holly. Never have I enjoyed her in an episode as much as this one. Completely over the top, delighting in her narcissism and also complicit with the disgruntled Walker kids in plotting Nora’s demise. As nightmares go, it’s perfect for Nora and also four minutes of sheer campy fun that the episode pulls off successfully.

It’s also the very thing that had Nora coming back home to celebrate Christmas with all of her family but while she was having anxieties all over the place, the Walker kids were actually in their own world anyways – namely Kitty and Kevin’s competitive spirit to host Christmas.

What can I say both of them shouldn’t be proud of themselves. Pulling gay and widow cards aside, both of them were just a bit too overboard. Kevin’s house ended up looking like Santa’s Grotto gone bad and Kitty’s was a little too bare for its own good. As for Justin, he was a little too concerned with trying to get his leg over to be of any real help.

I was pleased to see Annie return in this episode. She’s a nice enough girl and her and Justin do seem to have an okay rapport with each other but I’m still wondering if it’s too early for Justin to be in a relationship right now. Besides two weeks ago, he was more than happy to cause havoc in Scotty’s restaurant when he was screwing two of the staff. Is he really ready for something serious again?

Elsewhere, the deal breaker between Kitty and Seth wasn’t the most shocking thing going. Of course the dean from the previous episode was going to turn out to be Seth’s mother and while the age gap between Seth/Kitty is both noticeable and will undoubtedly be talked about more, I actually do like him but like Justin though, I’m still not sure if it’s wise for Kitty to be in a big relationship right now.

Speaking of big relationships, could Saul and Jonathan actually be something to watch out for? There’s good casting with Richard Chamberlain as Jonathan and it would be nice if the writers didn’t waste either the actor or character, especially given that Jonathan is also HIV positive and may or may not be linked to how Saul contracted it. It’s definitely a storyline worth exploring.

With nearly all of the storylines having something going for them, the only one that slightly lets the side down is Sarah’s. Okay, so her going into Scrooge/Grinch mode because her kids are in Mexico and Luc is in Shanghai was understandable but it did seem like she was getting ahead of herself with firing people before she softened to Louise and that dummy. It’s nice to know that Sarah’s taking her new career seriously but she might want to be careful about treading on people’s toes while she’s at it.

Also in “Cold Turkey”

They almost should’ve called this episode “Cold Goose” given that’s what everyone actually ate this year for Christmas.

Nora (re her children): “They’re probably making fun of me right now for how I cram Christmas down their throats. For two cents, I’d chuck it all in and -”
Karl: “- And what?”
Nora: “I don’t know. If I knew, maybe I’d do it.”

Keeping with “Light The Lights” from the first season, both Nora and Saul’s Jewish heritage was also celebrated this year as well. Now there’s good continuity.

Justin: “Do you have any plans?”
Annie: “If I had any plans, would I have basically invited myself to your family Christmas?”

Kevin: “Kiss me. I’m under the mistletoe.”
Sarah: “Well, look up, frosty, there ain’t no mistletoe.”

Speaking of kissing, in nightmare world, Kevin and Scotty got some of it and in reality, Scotty gave Kevin a kiss on the forehead. That’s better than anything we’ve had so far this season.

Nora (to Karl): “Nothing like a good massacre to get you into the Christmas spirit.”

Kevin: “I’m not allowed to use the gay card but you’re allowed to pull the widow card?”
Kitty: “I can’t believe you just said that.”

Okay, missed opportunity alert but wouldn’t this nightmare have been a perfect chance to have feature William, Tommy and maybe Rebecca as well?

Nora: “What is Holly doing here?”
Karl: “You didn’t expect William to remain alone did you?”
Nora: “William married Holly? This is her house? Oh God, Karl, I can’t see anymore. Please take me back to Santa Fe.”
Karl: “Nora, it’s only just begun.”

Scotty: “Kevin, your wife is in the other room.”
Kevin: “Then we can steal away to my old bedroom. I kept all my old toys. You could pin your tail on my donkey.”

Interesting that Richard Chamberlain is now appearing in this series. Remember when Kevin mentioned the actor back in “Home Front”?

Saul: “You don’t even remember sleeping with me.”
Jonathan: “No.”
Saul: “I thought I was falling for you.”
Jonathan: “Why didn’t you say anything?”

Standout music: Lots of interesting choices in this one but The Ascension’s “Carol Of The Bells” really shone by a mile for me.

Kevin (to Sarah/Kitty): “Maybe all our fears can come true, so what? Walkers aren’t Grinches, they’re Whos and when the Grinch did steal Christmas and all the trees and presents and the decorations were gone, what did the Whos do?”

Chronology: December 2011, thanks to our time jump this season.

Maybe it’s because I’m a forgiving soul or maybe it’s because I expect Christmas episodes to be cheesy, sentimental old tosh but either way, I immensely enjoyed “Cold Turkey” a lot more than other episodes this season. For pure, campy fun, this one certainly delivered.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My Review of Dexter's 5x12: "The Big One"

Written by Chip Johannessen And Manny Coto
Directed by Steve Shill

Lumen (to Jordan): “That’s not just for me. That’s for everyone you ever hurt, even Emily. Do you hear me? Do you hear me?”

While Lumen might have decided not to pursue a hobby in serial killing any time soon, it’s nice that her last kill happened to be the man that turned her life into a living hell. It wouldn’t have felt right from a narrative standpoint if Dexter had been the one to kill Jordan and I applaud the show for allowing Lumen to be the one to end Jordan once and for all.

I guess with Lumen spending most of this episode in captivity, it really could’ve gone either way for her. Dexter for the second year in a row could’ve been unable to save a woman he loves from being brutally killed or somehow Lumen could triumph over the monster keeping her prisoner. I was delighted that we got the latter outcome.

Over the last ten episodes, the writers had done such great work with Lumen as a character, I think it would’ve been a slap in the face to have killed her off and thankfully despite Jordan’s attempts to immolate both her and Dexter, it was him who ended up being hacked to pieces instead of them.

Jordan definitely became sloppy in this one. By getting his hands dirty and underestimating both Dexter and Lumen, he more or less signed his own death warrant. Certainly deluding himself into thinking he knew the ins and outs of their relationship was one thing but his belief that he enhanced Lumen was a step too far.

Lumen certainly seemed to take no actual pleasure in killing Jordan and that was instrumental in her later decision to leave town but the fact that his death got rid of her dark passenger was something that I actually expected to happen. Lumen does have a connection to Dexter but her bloodlust isn’t anywhere near his and deep down, I suspected that Dexter actually knew that as well.

On any other show, the second Dexter smashed a plate would’ve been a worrying sign. I knew he wasn’t going to kill Lumen but I certainly felt bad for him when he realised that their relationship was over. As breakups, Dexter certainly got a clean one with Lumen and for him, he should consider that a breakthrough.

Over this entire season, Dexter and Lumen have been portrayed as two broken people brought together but I genuinely think their feelings for each other were/are real and I’m not saying that from a shipper perspective. Lumen could easily change her mind, come back next season, be in a relationship with Dexter and not die horribly but if this is the last time we’ll ever see her, then I can live with that. Dexter probably will too in his own way.

His sadness about breaking up with Lumen aside, it was nice that he focused on the positive things as well. His conversation with Astor at Harrison’s birthday party made him realise the positive influence that Lumen had on his life and also opened up the idea that he can be seen as a human being rather than a monster.

As for Deb, well her story was also very interesting as well because while Dexter embraced his humanity, Deb had to compromise some of her own moral code when it came to Jordan. She pretty much allowed Dexter and Lumen escape (unaware of who they were) and get rid of Jordan’s body. I can see that coming back to haunt her next season.

But at the same time, Deb also tried her best to be as impartial with Quinn as possible. For all she actually knew, he could’ve killed Liddy but thanks to Dexter, Quinn didn’t have to spend too long in jail to stew over. I should complain that the writers took an easy way out with the Liddy situation but given that he was one of the few weaker elements of the season, I can live without Liddy’s death being a source for future’s storylines.

Also in “The Big One”

The reprise in this episode literally had clips from all the previous episodes this season as well as clips from last season’s finale, “The Getaway”.

Jordan (re Lumen): “She means a lot to you, doesn’t she?”
Dexter: “Yes.”
Jordan: “Must be terrible for you. Going through this again. Losing your wife, the woman you loved and now Lumen. I imagine it seems to be some terrible curse.”

Jordan took Lumen to the River Jordan camp to kill her. At least we know were he got his new name from.

Dexter: “You think they’re looking at Jordan?”
Deb: “Who else would it be? It’s what this guy does for a living. Tells people what to do. He tells them how to live their lives.”

Jordan: “You remember this place. Should feel like home. Well, don’t worry, it’ll all come back to you.”
Lumen: “What are you gonna do to me?”
Jordan: “What do you think? What choice have you left me, the both of you?”

Dexter crashed his car whilst getting to the camp. Is this going to be a recurring trope for the series now or just with Dexter?

Quinn: “I think I better keep my mouth shut.”
Deb: “I’m not asking you as a detective. I’m asking you as someone you live with. Someone you said you loved. I think I deserve to know what the fuck is going on.”

Jordan: “So you were listening.”
Dexter: “I heard the words but to be honest, you have to consider the source.”

I liked that Cody and Astor are coming back to Dexter for the summer and I also liked that Maria and Angel were on better terms with each other too in this episode. Harry wasn’t as well utilised but he served his purpose too.

Dexter: “You’re right about everything, you’re right. We’re not the same.”
Lumen: “I’m so sorry.”
Dexter: “Don’t be, don’t be sorry, your darkness is gone. I’ll carry it for you, always. I’ll keep it with mine.”

Chronology: From where “Hop A Freighter” left off.

For some people, “The Big One” being more of a low key ending might not have been the most satisfactory way of ending the season but for me, I thought it was a perfect way to wrap up the year and with a sixth season due for 2011, it’s nice that Dexter’s story isn’t over just yet.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Monday, March 21, 2011

My Review of Becoming Human

Written by Brian Dooley And Jamie Mathieson And John Jackson
Directed by Alex Kalymnios

Adam: “Someone once told me the way to stay true was to surround yourself with good people but first I have to go back to school.”

Really, it’s like Being Human meets The Breakfast Club but if anything that’s more of a draw than a put off. I already liked Adam when he appeared in the parent show and now in this online spin-off, so I was more than happy to see his character expand in this adventure. I certainly wasn’t disappointed either.

Adam clearly took most of the advice given to him George and Nina to heart because why else would he integrate himself into society by returning to school and trying to make friends? I always find it weird when vampires decide to go to school. College I understand but school, not really seeing the appeal.

Adam’s attempts of fitting in though started off pretty badly. In less than two minutes he managed to incur the wrath of both Danny Curtis and Brandy Mulligan (or is it Crompton?) and it’s not until he came into direct contact with werewolf Christa and ghost Matt that his own little gang came to life.

If this is going to be a teen version of Being Human, then Adam was definitely going to need werewolf and ghost allies but there was something delightfully Scooby Doo about these three supernatural folk coming together, especially considering that Matt’s death was a mystery that needed solving rather sharpish.

When it comes to Matt, this whole online series might be carting out as many clichés as possibly – geeky, overweight, secretly fancying a girl who doesn’t feel the same way (i.e. Christa) and bullied for the last six years but never does the character feel like an overt caricature. Some of the flashbacks of Matt in the moments leading to his death are a bit cheesy though but that’s a minor quibble.

I really enjoyed the way the gang went through most of the suspects though. I knew that neither Danny the bully nor Brandy the mob girl would be Matt’s actual killers but that was more down to how early they were dealt with and less to do with the obvious clanger that Matt wanted to keep his new friendships with Adam and Christa going.

However I was a little disappointed that Mr Swann wasn’t the culprit but that was more down to the fact that I hated the jerk, even though when I did PE myself, I never had the misfortune of dealing with an idiot like him. I suppose Swann will live on as an antagonist of sorts if this gets picked up for another run.

As for the seemingly harmless Mr Rowe being the killer, I guess I should’ve seen that coming. In some ways, he was like an adult version of Matt – being berated and used by co-workers in his adult life and I guess by Matt keying his car, Rowe finally snapped and just killed the poor lad.

Of course I don’t feel all that bad for Rowe – he did kill Matt and he would’ve killed both Adam and Christa if neither of them had the sense to chuck him through the door intended for Matt. However while it might be a good thing that Matt’s here to stay, I like the fact that Adam is aware of consequences likely to occur with Rowe’s unexpected journey into the afterlife.

For a fifty minute special on BBC3, this did essentially everything it needed to do. It gave us a decent mystery and solved it respectively whilst adhering to the mythology of the parent show but more important, it gave us three likeable and interesting characters to root for in the process too.

Adam might be able to control himself a little better but he did have moments where he could’ve slipped with both Brandy and Rowe and he might need to tone the werewolf bashing a little as well but overall in spite of some resistance, I could see a romantic relationship between him and Christa developing in the future.

Christa spent a large segment of this story actively trying to deny her true nature until she was put in a position where she needed to admit it to help Matt out. As long as they don’t go overkill on the angst with her, I think she will be a great character to watch. I enjoyed most of her sarcasm with both Adam and Matt.

I’d say however out of the three main characters, Matt is possibly the one that will be seen as an identification figure with his social ineptitude and terrible luck in general. I hope that if more of this spin-off comes that we see him develop beyond that though.

Also in “Becoming Human”

This originally aired online in eight instalments but BBC3 aired the whole thing together, which is how I watched it.

Christa (re Adam): “What was that anyway? The stuff he said, it was like he knew but that’s impossible. Then again, the whole what’s possible and what’s impossible thing is under review right now.”

Apart from Craig Roberts as Adam, the only other person I recognised was Emma Rigby from Hollyoaks who played Brandy in this. Craig seems to have a thing for blondes.

Matt: “This is what happens when the supernaturals get together. They use their powers to solve crimes and stuff, like the X-Men.”

Danny (re Matt): “Guessing he wasn’t stabbed then because they would’ve needed a big knife to get through that blubber.”

Fat jokes aside, there was a lot of comments about eggs with Matt. I like eggs too but probably not as much as Matt though.

Brandy (to Adam): “Do you wanna be in a story? How do you think it’d go? Silly little school boy asked too many questions.”

Christa: “How is Brandy, still alive?”
Adam: “She’s not my type.”
Christa: “Didn’t think you were such a fussy eater.”

Standout music: A lot of it was good but I didn’t recognise any of the bands in this one.

Christa: “Have you ever looked back at your actions of a drunken night and thought – was that really me? Because that’s what a full moon is like the morning after.”

Matt: “So does that mean I can stay?”
Adam: “I suppose for now.”

Chronology: None is really reference. We don’t know how much time has passed for Adam since “Adam’s Family” or where exactly this spin-off is located.

Whether you want to see this as an eight part mini-series or a potential pilot for a future spin-off show, either way, Becoming Human is definitely a worthy addition to the Being Human universe. Definitely worth watching.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

My Review of "Christopher And His Kind"

Written by Kevin Elyot
Directed by Geoffrey Sax

Christopher (to W.H Auden): “I don’t belong here. I don’t belong anywhere. I rather like being a foreigner. I wonder where we’ll end up.”

After months of wanting this to finally air, BBC2 finally decided to pick a Saturday timeslot for the 90 minute piece that gave as best an insight into writer Christopher Isherwood as it could do. 90 minutes isn’t always enough time to tell the right story but thanks to a clever script and several engaging performances, this does the best it can and then some.

The focus is definitely however more geared towards Isherwood’s time in Berlin and with good reason. It was definitely the most influential time period in the writer’s life and it’s certainly the one with the most defining of relationships as well with a great array of characters shaping Isherwood through the time period this is based in.

From a family perspective, we saw his rather suffocating mother and brother, who was casually dismissed as inferior to the famous writer but it’s probably Isherwood’s relationship with poet W.H Auden that is the most constant throughout this piece. Auden is definitely the one to encourage Christopher to go to Berlin and certainly opened up his eyes to the decadence of the gay scene as well during that period.

Isherwood’s two main relationships with men certainly go through their peeks and troughs as well. Casper was a dashing gay for pay straight man who eventually disgusted Isherwood with his allegiance to the Nazis and street cleaner Heinz was the younger man that Isherwood tried and in some ways was unable to save from the persecution of war torn Germany at the time. It’s definitely the most impacting relationship outside of Auden as well.

Speaking of impacting, hats off to fiery struggling actress and all round force of nature, Jean Ross. As a character, she’s every bit as vibrant as the creation that she would later inspire for Isherwood and her relationship with the writer is definitely one of the most endearing friendships seen throughout the whole thing. I think everyone would want a Jean Ross in their corner.

In terms of the acting, Matt Smith is on fine form as Isherwood and Imogen Poots certainly breathed a zesty life into Jean but I really cannot think of anyone who paled. Everyone, no matter how small or large the role in this excelled and in terms of sexual content, I was actually impressed with the BBC for really allowing Matt Smith and the production to go there with Christopher and his lovers. The sex scenes were definitely graphic but not salacious though I’m sure there are some viewers who have seen the Doctor in a different light now because of this one-off piece.

- This was filmed in Northern Ireland around summer 2010 as the announcer was mostly keen to remind viewers at the start.
- People such as Jean and Gerard would go on to inspire the main characters for Cabaret, which BBC2 are airing on Monday at 11.50pm.
- Matt Smith was reunited with two people he worked with on other productions with Lindsay Duncan playing Isherwood’s mother and Toby Jones playing Gerard.
- At one point we did see Isherwood as an older man while several bits had to be mentioned in the credits rather than seen.

As a production, Christopher And His Kind is definitely something to be proud of. Matt Smith along with everyone else was on exceptionally fine form and even though we’re at a point where we’re used to seeing dramatic productions of Nazi Germany, it didn’t stop the scenes here from making an impact. Definitely one of the standout pieces this year so far.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

My Review of Doctor Who's: "Time"

Written by Steven Moffat
Directed by Richard Senior

Amy 1: “Ooh, I’d give you a driving licence anytime.”
Amy 2: “I bet you would.”
The Doctor: “Oh this is how it all ends … Pond flirting with herself. True love at last. Oh, sorry Rory.”
Rory: “Absolutely no problem at all.”

And here is the second part of our Comic Relief sketch and there’s more innuendo to laugh at/being disgusted by/whatever floats your boat. Amy flirting with herself – why is it that some viewers have an issue with this? If it had been Jack or maybe River doing the same, I bet there wouldn’t have been as much annoyance from certain folks online.

Personally for me, I found it amusing. Why shouldn’t Amy flirt with herself? She’s an attractive girl and better that than eternal self-loathing, right? And Rory seemed pretty happy with the idea of two versions of his wife as well. On a serious note, we did see future versions of the Doctor and Rory, so it’s not like this was completely all about Amy either.

The resolution of fixing the problem with the wibbly lever was undercut with more humour as well but given that this entire sketch was for charity, I can’t complain, though I got a big laugh out of the Doctor telling Amy to put some trousers on. More for Rory’s agreement than anything else.

- Amy was about to ask the Doctor a big question in the first part but she didn’t get the chance to in this one. Will she ask that question in Series 6?
- Series 6 will open up with a two parter called The Impossible Astronaut and Day Of The Moon, scheduled for the Easter weekend. A new trailer for Series 6 is due today and next Saturday.
- Poor Rory for getting slapped. At least he wasn’t killed this time around.
- Over 74 million was raised for Comic Relief this year. Brilliant!

A great second part, “Time” wrapped this up nicely and now with the advent of Series 6 drawing nearer and nearer, I can’t wait to see what happens next for our TARDIS trio.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

My Review of Doctor Who's: "Space"

Written by Steven Moffat
Directed by Richard Senior

Rory: “Did you ever see Amy drive, Doctor?”
The Doctor: “No!”
Rory: “Neither did her driving examiner.”

Okay and for Comic Relief this year, we get not one but two little scenes with the Doctor, Amy and Rory and unlike the NTA sketch from January, this was a lot of fun to be honest.

The idea of two Amy Ponds might not appeal to everyone but given that this sketch also basically gave us a TARDIS inside a TARDIS, I’m willing to let it slide. The gang are trapped in a space loop and the second Amy appearing served as a decent cliffhanger as well.

So, what else happened in the first four minutes of this? Oh yeah, multiple jokes about driving, Amy’s skirt and the Doctor being a little skittish around the fiery red head. I get that some people might not have found them overly funny but I have to admit that I was giggling. Maybe the jokes were a little more innuendo than usual but some people accusing Moffat of sexism need to lighten up a little.

- Amy’s last line in this one was the same as her first line in The Big Bang.
- Loved Rory with the goggles and helping the Doctor to fly the TARDIS. It’s nice that they’re getting closer.
- TARDIS in a TARDIS – shades of The Time Monster and Logopolis anyone?
- The last time the show did something for Comic Relief was 12 years ago with Moffat’s The Curse Of Fatal Death.

An interesting start to a very fun tale. “Space” was a lot of fun and now it’s “Time” that I went and reviewed the second part. See what I did there?

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Give It Up For An Original Song That Is

And here's a jumble of some of the stuff I've been watching over the last few weeks ...

Being Human US: I need to catch up with the ninth episode (and I will) but episodes seven and eight are showing me that the show can improve. Dedicating one episode to Josh's family and Sally's attempts of getting Bridgette away from Danny was good but the other episode's attempt of retooling the paedophile storyline from the UK series wasn't as successful. The cast are gelling better with each other and Josh's developing relationship with Nora is a nice piece of normalcy for the series as well but Bishop isn't drawing me the same way that Herrick would do in the UK show and Aidan needs to be darker. He's too twee at the moment.

Desperate Housewives: Oh Lordy, we're in a dearth of uninteresting plots. You know something it worrying about a series when you have Gabby using a doll to cope with her grief as the strong point. The rest has been rubbish - I didn't care for Lynette's passive aggressive attempts of getting back at Tom and nor do I care for her mother's racist new boyfriend. Similarly, Susan's kidney plot is tedious, Renee still isn't gelling that well as a character, Bree just became a massive bitch by concealing Keith's kid from him and the return of Zach isn't doing much right now to kickstart this storyline with Paul and Beth. Damn it, show, get a flipping move on already. I don't want to be bored by you.

Glee: I've already kind of talked about the last two episodes pretty extensively already but keeping things simple, I loved the sex education courtesy of Holly and I loved that New Directions actually won for a change at Regionals, so for me, these last two episodes have been a blast. While I also think Santana's realisation of her feelings have been better handled than Blaine suddenly fancying Kurt, the show should be praised for forwarding these storylines at long last. Now if only Finn could grow a backbone and pick between Rachel and Quinn and Sue could suffer some actual consequences for her monstrous behaviour, then everything will be right with this show.
Modern Family: I haven't been catching up on this as much as I should have but the last episode I watched was the one with Chloe from 24 in it and I enjoyed it. Often I find Cameron and Mitchell too stereotypical for my liking but I really liked this episode. I sort of guessed that the child that Mitchell thought he fathered would end up being his ex-girlfriend rather short boyfriend but it was handled pretty well and I might try and make more of an effort to try and watch the remainder of the season.

Skins UK: Ah, not one but two great final episodes. I love the way certain fans went apeshit over the idea of Grace and Rich actually getting engaged. I knew they wouldn't actually tie the knot and even if they had, it wouldn't have bothered me. This finale managed to be better than either finale the second generation had and while I'm not keen on a pairing between Franky and Matty, I really am finding it interesting that Mini's attitude towards Franky has dramatically changed since the start of the season. I just hope that low ratings aside, we do get a sixth year so this lot can be seen out in style.

Skins US: I need to catch up with Tina's episode but both Michelle and Daisy's ones were enjoyable, surprisingly. Or maybe I'll just never tire of seeing Tony getting socked by Michelle, regardless of incarnation but either way, this show is improving. Michelle's episode was pretty faithful to it's UK version but Daisy's deviated quite a lot from the Jal one it was inspired by. I'm not sure about Daisy and Abbud but seeing as he's improved greatly as a character, I'll keep an open mind. I hope the last two are great.

- Kristin Chenowith and Leslie Bibb are amongst the actresses signed up for a new ABC series called Good Christian Bitches about a woman who returns to her old town after her marriage collapses.
- Being Human US has been picked up for a second season while the UK version has deservedly bagged a fourth year.
- Matthew Morrison has revealed that he thinks both Will and Emma will eventually get together in Glee. Meanwhile watch for Sue assembling her own legion of doom against Will towards the end of the season.
- It's been revealed that Season 4 of True Blood will take place a year after the events of the previous year.
- Jeri Ryan will be guest starring in Law And Order: Criminal Intent soon.
- Sonia Braga will be reprising her role as Gabriella for the season finale of Brothers And Sisters.
- Andrew Lincoln has revealed the second season of The Walking Dead will be more emotionally charged.
- Merlin has now been picked for a fourth season of 13 episodes instead of 10 as originally reported.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My Review of Brothers And Sisters 5x09: "Get A Room"

Written by Marc Halsey And Matt Donnelly
Directed by Eli Craig

Kevin: “People like me do not deserve children. I should be behind bars. Scotty, I’m gonna turn myself.”

To be fair, Kevin I could think of far worse candidates for parenting that you and Scotty but really, why did I find this episode so funny? It has the same silly humour that last week’s did and that one drove me nuts. Oh right, two words – Matthew Rhys.

This season might be sleepwalking when it comes to plotting and characterisation this year but Matthew Rhys has managed to bag two episodes that highlighted his strengths. His dramatic turn in “An Ideal Husband” was terrific and similarly, his comedic skills in this episode were priceless.

I could totally buy into Kevin not being someone with a lot of drug experiences and the fallout of being high because Matthew Rhys sells it so well in this one. The idea of Kevin getting baked from a pot brownie shouldn’t have been funny but for this week, it certainly was and I couldn’t complain.

Narrative wise, Kevin accidentally ate the brownie that Scotty’s employee had because he was getting all antsy about the social worker and as a result we got a stoned Kevin who hears people in Spanish and needed Sarah to scare the crap out of him so he could focus once again. Also in the space of nine episodes, this was actually the best use of Sarah too. Funny that.

Kevin wanting to turn himself into the police was funny. My experiences with drugs are non existent but I’ve seen enough of these types of scenes on television and while some of them are largely hit and miss, I think this one was a hit. It was silly without being too silly and it gave a little bit of an info dump on Kevin that we previously didn’t know about.

More importantly, it’s also kick starting the parenting storyline back into focus and for some people, that’s probably another strength of the episode. Kevin’s got all the worries about being a parent that we’ve seen but the problem here was that we didn’t get similar worries with Scotty. Not that I wanted to see Scotty off his face either but Scotty once again fell into that familiar role of being voice of reason.

In terms of the parenting storyline, I’m divided about it. I do Kevin and Scotty to become parents but I also don’t want it to be the be all and end all for them storyline wise either. Last season was good at addressing a balance with the parenting storyline and others for them and I’m hoping this season maintains because aside from cheating the show hasn’t been awash with enough of them.

And this leads to another – nine episodes in and very little physical contact with the guys? I could understand during the last few episodes with the Marcus saga but I do hope that we do get more intimate stuff with them this season. Even Glee has been more out there with Kurt/Blaine and Brittany/Santana just of late.

Speaking of physicality, the sadist in me sort of enjoyed the fact that Sarah and Luc’s romantic surprise was largely ruined. If it wasn’t the Walkers doing their usual bout of interruptions, it was Sarah’s own accidental moments that involved Luc being put in certain degrees of pain and discomfort that sort of hindered their time together in this one.

I don’t know if that says a lot but given the amount of screen time they’ve been getting this season, I was actually enjoying all the interruptions and I’m pretty sure that once Luc gets back from Shanghai, there will be more antics with him and Sarah for certain people to look forward to/groan about.

However while I do have a habit of moaning about Luc, he does come in handy at times. While his attempts to get Sarah not to interfere with Karl went unheeded, he deserved points for at least trying to curb Sarah’s pesky interfering and I did like his speech about men being fools to Nora, even if it was a little cheesy though.

As for Nora and Karl, I’m not totally invested in their relationship because I just know that it won’t bloody last but the awkwardness with each other is rather endearing and I didn’t mind that Karl himself mentioned his own intimacy problems as well. At least it puts him and Nora on a similar page and while I expect him to be gone in the next episode or two, I do hope that him and Nora don’t part badly.

Elsewhere – it’s like déjà vu all over again. The writers clearly weren’t content with Sarah dating a younger man, now they have Kitty doing it but unlike Luc, at least Seth actually looks younger, which means that when the writers hark on about the age differences, there will be an actual point to it this time around.

Okay, sarcasm aside, I liked Seth in the scene we got here. He seemed like a genuinely nice bloke and while I’m all for Kitty having a little fun, I can’t help but wish this show would actually focus on her grief for Robert. It’s like we’re being denied a basic required plot point by them not addressing it. Still, I like Seth, so there’s something to be positive about.

Also in “Get A Room”

Was it a coincidence that nearly all the Walkers along with Luc, Scotty, Seth and Karl were in the same hotel? On this show – yeah, right!

Frank (re vitamin ad): “They asked for her on this one.”
Nora: “Why is that? Am I more senior than he is?”
Karl: “Hardly!”

For an episode where Kevin was stoned, I’m actually surprised that Justin didn’t feature, if only to provide more amusing commentary.

Kitty (re Seth): “The barista is totally hitting on me.”
Kevin: “Kit, I’m in a crisis here.”
Kitty: “Oh no you’re not and besides this is totally gonna take your mind off it.”

Sarah (re Karl): “Anything else.”
Nora: “No but that’s not so important right now.”
Sarah: “That’s not important. That’s why you’re making out in the studio.”

Sarah buying into the media company means she owns five radio stations with Nora’s being one of them.

Luc: “How is the menu?”
Sarah: “It’s very expensive. Hello, I’m Sarah. I’m your hostess for the day, this evening and tomorrow morning. Would you like to start with an appetiser? Anything below the waist is considered a tip.”

Kitty: “If you keep doing that, I might actually fall asleep.”
Seth: “That’s not what I had in mind.”

While Kitty was wowing Seth with presidential facts, we learned that Kevin was born on April 18th 1971, which seems to be consistent with “If You Bake It, He Will Come”.

Nora: “This is awkward.”
Karl: “I would understand if you were having second thoughts.”
Nora: “I’m not having second thoughts. Are you having second thoughts?”

Luc (to Nora, re Karl): “Men can be heartless. I know most of us act like fools, the better ones admit it. I think you should hear him out.”

Standout music: “Broken” by Chely Wright.

Scotty: “I can’t win with you. You’re nervous we won’t get a kid and you’re worried we will get a kid.”
Kevin: “I’m a nervous guy, okay.”

Chronology: Not long since “The Rhapsody Of The Flesh” and this episode didn’t feature Justin, Saul, Holly or David.

I liked this one. “Get A Room” isn’t a classic but it was a lot of fun and it was fun that I enjoyed. That being said, this show is clearly drifting at the moment and apart from the parenting storyline with Kevin/Scotty and Sarah/Luc’s engagement, not much else is actually happening for the series and that’s worrying.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Glee - Paley 2011 Spoilers

Last week, I posted some spoilers in relation to True Blood that came from Paley. This week was Glee's turn to shine and here are a collection of tweets and spoilers that you can expect from the show's final six episodes, including a big one in relation to Santana ....

◦The adorable Chris Colfer on the red carpet at #paleyfest @gleeonfox http://t.co/1HGIUka
◦Ian Brennan wrote a song today for Kristin Chenoweth today called It’s 10 a.m. And I’m Drunk. #Glee
◦Kurt/Blaine kiss: chris says if they’d drawn it out any longer, fans would’ve killed themselves. D says It felt right. #glee #paleyfest
◦Darren Criss on Blaine/Kurt kiss: “It was it certainly felt right. It was a really special time.” #glee #PaleyFest
◦Brad Falchuck on writing for Burt/Kurt: “It’s really just a father son relationship. The gay stuff is just a complication.” #glee #PaleyFest
◦Kurt/burt is very personal to ryan, it’s autobiographical - his brother did the plugging his ears and running from the room thing #glee
◦Heather Morris says the vomit during the Ke$ha number “tasted like chalk.” #glee #paleyfest http://yfrog.com/h0u4xwqj
◦Darren hasn’t tried to walk into a gap since silly love songs.#paleyfest #glee
◦Heather auditioned for Brittany Spears 3 years before working with her on the show. #PaleyFest #Glee
◦Also! Chris Colfer and Darren Criss hope for longterm Kurt/Blaine relationship… Full stories & video intvus coming tomorrow! - @karawarner
◦The umbrella number w/ Gwenyth was the most challenging number to shoot. Ryan Murphy is still in a bad mood about it. #Glee#paleyfest
◦Ryan Murphy says Gwyneth and Kristin Chenoweth are “the muses” of the show. They’ll always be back. #PaleyFest #glee
◦Cory sharing stories from his odd jobs in Canada. He used to drive a school bus! #glee #plaeyfest http://yfrog.com/h7meylxj

◦Brad: We want to make sure Kurt/Burt feel real. Ryan: That comes a lot from my life. Ian is Sue, Brad is Burt and I am Kurt.
◦Darren: Recorded WIGYA in NY, flew back straight to the Gap to perform the song he had just recorded barely 24 hours ago.
◦Naya loves the fan reaction with the Britana storyline. She is honored and humbled. #glee #paleyfest http://yfrog.com/h4fyibij
◦Naya: “One girl wrote me that she was contemplating suicide. (Others) said it gave them the courage to come out.” #gaysharks#glee
◦Chris: “would you believe I actually do not own a bedazzler?”
◦Oops! Chris just said he missed the group but “I’m excited to be back.” And the crowd goes wild. “Don’t act like you didn’t know.”#glee
◦Jane discussing the League of Doom. They’ll each get their own missions to destroy Glee club. #paley http://yfrog.com/hsj2ktvj
◦“Born This Way” ep ahead. Remaining eps are really about heading toward Nationals. The Finn/Quinn/Rachel thing is huge. #PaleyFest#glee
◦When @KChenoweth returns, her all-white production of Wiz has failed and she’s started a one woman show called “Crossroads.” #PaleyFest #glee
◦Re: Britana, Brad says they’ll explore it but it’s more about Santana’s journey herself than about a romantic relationship. #PaleyFest #glee
◦Matt Morrison on Wemma: “They deserve each other and would help each other so much. So I hope it happens.” #PaleyFest #glee

◦Cory thinks it’s more interesting when Rachel and Finn are apart. Then he cowered in fear and yelled, “don’t judge me!” #paleyfest#glee
◦#Glee Scoop: Kurt and Blaine are Prom-Bound! http://bit.ly/hJ9kP7
◦Glee is going on tour this summer. This tour will be 80% 2nd season. Playing in arenas working hard to keep intimacy.#PaleyFest #Glee
◦Ryan says the last 6 are really about the battle with Vocal Adrenaline, so Charice is back. #PaleyFest #glee
◦“We love you guys, but you’re crazy.” -Brad Falchuck on #Glee fans and their passion/attention to detail #paleyfest
◦Quinn’s baby is happy, says Brad Falchuck. Ryan getting Popular love, doubtful you’ll see that cast on #Glee. “Maybe Mary Cherry,” he says.
◦Cory confirms Finn and Rachel are still very in love with each other.
◦Ryan on cast input on storylines: “if I get one more call about them wanting to do Adele songs…” YES! #glee #PaleyFest
◦Ryan doesn’t expect the grumpy pianist to have lines any time soon, he’ll just continue hating the kids. #glee #paleyfest
◦Ryan wants to do an ep where everyone sings EVERY line of dialogue. #glee #paleyfest
◦Ryan wants to do an ep dedicated to an ALBUM, not just an artist. And “Rumors” by Fleetwood Mac is the winner! It’s happening.#Paley #glee
◦The #Glee talent show airing this summer will hopefully produce a Mercedes love interest. And Amber must approve! #PaleyFest
◦Naya on how Brittana would end: “I’d get her pregnant! We’d have a spinoff! (laughs) … But Santana should be with Brittany.”#gaysharks
◦Ryan Murphy is terrified to get on Twitter. @BFalchuk just shook his head. #glee #paleyfest
◦FAN: “Darren, you’re super mega foxy awesome hot. My question is for Mark.” ***
◦Doing a prom episode and The Warblers may perform at prom, says Ryan. As long as Klaine is together, theyl be around.#PaleyFest #glee
◦Last scoop, Blaine will eventually have to audition for New Directions in Season 3. #PaleyFest #glee

So, some interesting times ahead, huh?

Glee continues to air on FOX, Tuesdays at 8pm and will return in April while E4 air it on Mondays at 9pm and TV3 Wednesdays at 8pm.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My Review of Dexter's 5x11: "Hop A Freighter"

Written by Karen Campbell And Scott Buck And Tim Schlattmann
Directed by John Dahl

Dexter (re Lumen): “Is this the only kind of love I’ll ever find? The kind that ends in blood.”

Okay, Dexter not to channel Jordan Chase or anything but try a little positive thinking. I’m fully convinced in the next episode that Lumen is totally going to kill Jordan and all will be right with the world – I totally believe it. On a serious note, Lumen – why didn’t you wait for back up?

I knew that Emily was basically trying to lure Lumen and Dexter into a trap when she called the former and I knew that Jordan was going to react in the manner that he did. Jordan was pretty much up shit creek and he finally snapped and got his hands dirty by bumping off poor Emily in this one.

I really felt bad for Emily because in some ways, she’s arguably more tragic than Lumen was. Jordan pretty much tore her to pieces in every way possible until she was nothing and then savagely blamed her for everything going wrong. I liked that Emily tried to protect Lumen before being killed but I guess it was too little, too late for her though.

As for Lumen, I am desperate for this show to not for the second year in a row kill off a woman that Dexter loves, so for the most part while Lumen is in Jordan’s captivity, I am going to go out on a limb and assume that she will survive the finale. Surely the writers couldn’t be that cruel to either Dexter or the viewers by killing Lumen off, right?

In terms of their relationship – are Dexter and Lumen really in love? Without knowing who she was talking about, Deb summed up their relationship in a reasonably succinct manner and the interactions between Dexter and Lumen did show the affection that has grown between the pair of them.

We saw them being pretty tactile with each other, Lumen more or less invited herself to Harrison’s birthday which Dexter seemed pleased about and there was also the knife at the flea market. Now some women would prefer diamonds but apparently a swish knife is the key to Lumen’s heart. Dexter, you old romantic.

Of course Jordan wasn’t the only obstacle to Dexter and Lumen this week but he was definitely the better one. Less interesting was Liddy upping his game this week. For me, Liddy hasn’t worked that well as a character so when he kidnapped Dexter, I was pretty irritated rather than fearful for the latter’s life.

I knew Liddy stood no actual chance of getting a confession out of Dexter and I sure as hell wasn’t all that heartbroken when Dexter killed him in self-defence. I know Liddy could be seen as innocent compared to the usual creeps that Dexter manages to do in but given that he was little more than a glory seeking snake who morally did not give a damn about Dexter and Lumen’s nightly activities, I just couldn’t feel bad about him dying.

I’m not trying to make light out of the situation but Dexter didn’t deliberately kill the guy – Liddy attacked first and Dexter defended him as best he could, whilst restrained as well. Unfortunately for Quinn though, I have a feeling that Liddy’s death is going to have more consequences for him than it will for Dexter – at least for the time being.

Speaking of Quinn, it is amazing what the last three seasons have done for him. I’ve gone from disliking him a bit to disliking him a lot to actually feeling bad for him. When he told Deb how and why he actually loved her, I genuinely believed he was telling her the truth and I think she more or less realised that he was as well, despite her anger at his betrayal.

Deb really had some wonderful moments in this episode. Her scenes with Quinn aside, I loved the little conversation that she had with Dexter about her vigilante/accomplice theory, mainly for the muted reaction from Dexter. Deb’s not wrong to want honest relationships and it’s nice that Dexter more or less admitted to Lumen that he does feel bad about constantly having to lie to his sister in his own way.

More importantly, I loved how unfazed Deb was by Jordan as well in this one. Jordan tried his best to undermine her with his self-help rubbish and Deb didn’t fall for it at all and once she found out he was Eugene Greer, it was great to see her piece everything as well as she pursued a court order to prevent Jordan from leaving the country.

Maria also came up trumps this week as well by getting the court for Deb as well. I’m glad that despite Maria’s constant attempts of justifying her actions through politics that she was able to come through for Deb. Maybe they can salvage their friendship after all.

Also in “Hop A Freighter”

Was Sonya acting a little weird during her phone conversations with Dexter? Maybe I’m just reading too much into it.

Dexter: “I’m not gonna use you as bait, it’s too dangerous.”
Lumen: “You know I can do this.”
Dexter: “Yeah, I saw you kill Alex Tilden but we have to be careful. Jordan has more than our eyes on him.”

Dexter and Lumen plotting out a strategy with Harrison’s toys was actually funnier than the cats that farts and bumps on Quinn’s computer for some reason.

Deb: “We’re all waiting for you.”
Dexter: “This doesn’t sound good.”

Deb (to Quinn, re Jordan): “He was probably a really good liar. Men have that ability sometimes. It was his fault, not hers.”

We learned that Jordan/Eugene was from Tallahassee originally and that he had a single mother. Shades of Dexter?

Dexter (re Quinn): “Care? Present tense?”
Deb: “It’s complicated, remember?”

Lumen: “You said that you didn’t want me to leave. Does that mean you want me to stay?”
Dexter: “I do.”

No Harry in this episode but the trailer for next week shows that he’s due to appear finale wise yet again.

Quinn (to Deb): “I do dumb things. I’m a dumb guy. The one thing I did right was to get you to almost like me because I really love you.”

Lumen (re Dexter): “Maybe you should let me call him.”
Jordan: “Yes brilliant because you certainly won’t tip him off in any way.”

Chronology: None specified since the events of “In The Beginning”.

What a ticking time bomb has been set off here? “Hop A Freighter” certainly has done wonders for the anticipation of the next episode but if Lumen actually dies, I will be one pissed off viewer.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Monday, March 14, 2011

My Review of Being Human's 3x08: "The Wolf Shaped Bullet"

Written by Toby Whithouse
Directed by Daniel O’Hara

Mitchell (to George/Nina/Annie): “Thank you, all of you. You made me human.”

Wow, just bloody wow – they actually did it. They actually went and killed Mitchell and if you’ve read Toby Whithouse’s statement on the BBC blogs you’ll know that this show is coming back for a fourth year and it will be one without Mitchell. Can the show survive without him? We’ll find out in 2012.

I’m going to commend both Toby Whithouse and Aidan Turner. The former, because he’s actually did something genuinely ballsy by killing off a man character that will probably never return and the latter because it was him who suggested that Whithouse did it. Aidan Turner was a huge asset to this series and Mitchell was such a big character but for me, the character’s death made so much sense.

Given the whole atrocity of the Box Tunnel Massacre, Mitchell was on borrowed time anyways and even though Lia’s prophecy actually turned out to be a mind fuck from her, it made total sense that Mitchell would die at the hands of George but not out of revenge – out of love instead.

George had been ready to kill Mitchell when he thought Nina was a goner and when Mitchell begged George to end him, it did take a lot of convincing for George to go through it with. Even the interruption from Edgar and a new arc being put in place couldn’t deter the unavoidable – Mitchell was going to die and George was the one who staked him.

I’ve had my issues with Mitchell throughout the third season but even I cried at his death here but as upset as I am by it, there is no way in hell I’m giving this show up. This season alone has been the series at it’s best and most innovative and I am so looking forward to where it goes from here with George, Annie and Nina against Edgar and the old ones as well. Looks like a fantastic arc has been set in place.

The old ones – maybe it’s not the most innovative of names for a high vampire order but with Edgar Wyndham, they’ve got a charismatic and lethal head honcho at the top. Lee Ingleby is pretty fine casting and it’s going to be incredibly interesting to see how our trio from Honolulu Heights are going to be able to take on that lot with the limited resources and allies they have. George’s fighting words at the end were great but our trio are definitely at a disadvantage right about now.

At least with Herrick, he was just one vampire and something tells me that Edgar is not going to be as easily vanquished as Harrick was in this one. Which leads to a slight disappointment as well with this finale. I was totally expecting Herrick to die and I was definitely expecting Mitchell to do it but Herrick’s death second time round didn’t have the same punch to it than when George was ripping him to shreds.

Plus, I guess I was little miffed that Herrick didn’t get to live long enough to create even more chaos. Instead he went about trying to salvage some of Mitchell’s mess before kidnapping his progeny and George in a bid to get them to kill each other. And even then, he failed but I guess that was largely down to Tom’s welcomed interruption.

The only bits of evil that Herrick did manage to express in this episode were his utter delight in telling George about killing Nina and lamenting about having the world at his feet before Mitchell staked him good and proper. Now, much as I love Herrick, I think after this finale, it’s time to lay the character to rest like Mitchell.

As for the other plot points in this episode – am I the only one who watched this episode and didn’t care how Nina survived? I know fans like to argue about plot holes and logic gaps and so do I but I was so grateful that Nina and the baby survived, I really didn’t care because losing her and the baby on top of Mitchell would’ve been too much for me as a viewer.

Similarly I have little issue with Lia being forced into admitting that she made the whole prophecy about Mitchell up either. The girl had every right to want to get even and even her turnaround about revenge sucking made narrative sense following her conversations with Annie in this one. If it hadn’t been Lia, it would’ve been someone else that Mitchell killed.

Last but not least, Tom. I’m glad he survived this episode too and while I liked the fact that McNair left him a letter telling him to move on with his life, I really do hope that he’s a returnee for the next series. Okay, we might need another vampire for the gang (or not) but I definitely wouldn’t object to seeing more of Tom next year.

Also in “The Wolf Shaped Bullet”

Bad news male viewers, Nancy actually died in this one. I was hoping we’d see her ghost but Edgar more or less confirmed the news when he was firing all the police staff in Barry.

Annie: “Oh, Mitchell, I don’t know how to make this any clearer to you – I don’t want you to get out.”

The old ones have infiltrated the police – that makes sense but it does feel similar to Herrick’s methods as well.

Policeman: “That was me? What was I saying?”
Annie: “I don’t know.”
Policeman: “No!”
Annie: “It’s your door. It’s what happens next. I’ll come with you.”

Mitchell: “Yeah, wouldn’t expect you to understand. Your character’s always been pretty consistent.”
Herrick: “I think that was a dig.”

I’m surprised Annie wasn’t pursued by the men with sticks and ropes when she went to purgatory again. This time we saw Lia’s bedroom in it. Very girly.

Herrick: “You’ll be the villain now?”
Mitchell: “Christ, I always was.”
Herrick: “There’ll come a day when one of us will kill the other.”
Mitchell: “But it won’t be today.”

Tom (re Herrick): “He killed McNair.”
Mitchell (re George): “He’s one of your own, Tom, don’t let it happen.”

Both Lia and Edgar used rhyming to draw attention to themselves – Lia through a corpse and Edgar through a police speaker. Lia’s was more effective.

George (to Mitchell): “You don’t say my name now. You don’t even look at me now. You are not my friend. You better go, your boss is waiting.”

Annie: “I was the weapon?”
Lia: “Now she gets it.”

McNair’s name was Anthony Michael McNair and Annie mentioned Gilbert when recommending a friend to Lia. Jason Healy was also blamed for the Box 20 thanks to Edgar.

Annie: “What the hell? I was going to spend eternity in a prison cell with Mitchell, I might as well spend it with you. Besides when Nina gets here, I want her to see a friendly face.”
Lia: “Yeah, I think we’ll be great friends us three.”

Lia: “If you go then I won’t know anyone here.”
Annie: “This is not the way to make friends and influence people, trust me.”

The spin-off series, Becoming Human will air as a 50 minute special next Sunday at 9pm on BBC3.

Herrick: “Look at this world. How does it make you feel knowing that soon this will be ours?”
Mitchell: “Don’t you understand? It always was.”

George: “What you’re asking me to do -”
Mitchell: “Is heroic. George Sands saves the world.”
George: “Yeah, that was never one of my ambitions.”

The show has been officially renewed for a fourth season of eight episodes that will air in early 2012.

Mitchell: “This has to end.”
Edgar: “Sorry, you’re going to dance for me. You’re going to kill and rampage. You’re going to be my attack dog.”

George: “I’m doing this because I love you.”
Mitchell: “I know.”

Standout music: Pretty much the score music in the last ten minutes this one.

Niggles aside, I loved “The Wolf Shaped Bullet”. This season set the bar high and for me, it delivered wonderfully and while there are some who might not want to watch a fourth year without Mitchell, I however will definitely be watching.

Rating: 10 out of 10.