Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Soap Discussion - August 2011

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

Coronation Street: I've found this month extremely dull. Maybe it's my lack of investment of Fiz as a character that prevented me from caring about her ordeal (and if the place is such a danger, why bring Hope into it?) in prison or even Becky momentarily considering child abduction as an option. Even Frank proposing to Carla and Kylie's exposing of Marc as Marcia didn't really hit the spot either. I hate to admit it but maybe the soap is going through the motions at the moment. Something like Sylvia and Norris's rivarly should be entertaining but it's not as much as I hoped it would be.

EastEnders: Okay, a better month. Well, both Anthony and Tyler are duds, played by extremely rubbish actors but they might improve if we're lucky. Thankfully, Michael is still at his scheming best and trying to use an exiled Vanessa to take down his father is pretty interesting - well, more interesting than the pressure of Darren/Jodie's wedding but it's also overshadowed by ridding us of both Ryan and Rob and exposing Max/Tanya's affair in a nicely explosive fashion. And then there's Ian's involvement in the return of Mandy. I hope for the show's sake this doesn't end up the same way that Claire's return in 2008 wound up.

Emmerdale: Oh, Aaron, ever the ray of sunshine, isn't he? When he isn't trashing Jackson's grave in anguish, he's nearly killing his own mother in a car crash. I get that the writers have a strong actor in Danny Miller but the neverending angst with Aaron has made him into such an unlikeable, it's actually hard to care about. I cared more about Leyla's hasty departure and Amy's pregnancy this month than the latest in the saga of Aaron angst. Still, the lower points of the month were revealing that Jai was Mia's dad but at least boring Adam/Ella affair is out in the open and destined to be forgotten soon, right?

Fair City: Did anything really happen this month, at all? There was still the tedium of Jo and Tommy's badly thought out affair, some rubbish with Mark and the Bishops and Suzanne revealing that she was pregnant and that was it, really. It does seem that next month will finally deal with Barry admitting that he killed Sarah, so that should be interesting. Well, more interesting than this month anyways.

Hollyoaks: Okay, this did have an exciting month. Brendan's insistence on staying in the closet, due to the presence of his son might be dull as fuck but at least the Silas storyline finally got it's ass in gear. Loved the mind games between Silas and Lynsey during the month, even if it would've been nicer if Lynsey hadn't been so easily pushed out of town because of it. As for the Jason/Bart/Sinead 'triangle', it wasn't that bad but it's not gonna end well. It's also more plausible than the forced obstacles they kept chucking at Carmel/Francis and Lee/Amy as well.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

American Horror Story - Another Hit For Ryan Murphy?

He's had his successes with both Popular and Nip/Tuck and Glee has become a worldwide phenomena but can Ryan Murphy strike again with, anthology themed show, American Horror Story?

The 13 part series, scheduled to air on FX in October features a family who move to a decrepit house, which happens to be haunted. The family are psychiatrist husband and wife Ben and Vivien Harmon, played by Dylan McDermott and Connie Britton as well as teenage daughter Violet, played by Taissa Farmiga.

Also featuring in the cast are Jessica Lange as Constance, Frances Conroy and Alexandria Breckingridge as the Harmon's housekeepers, Denis O'Hare as Larry Harvey and Evan Peters as Tate Langdon (one of Ben's patients). I'm not sure if an anthology series will work but knowing Ryan Murphy and company, this won't be as straight forward as it sounds.

Season 1 Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOugYXSfNow&feature=related

American Horror Story premieres on FX from October 5th at 10pm. A UK broadcaster has to be confirmed.

Monday, August 29, 2011

My Review of True Blood's 4x10: "Burning Down The House"

Written by Nancy Oliver
Directed by Lesli Linka Glatter

Tommy (to Sam/Alcide): “I’m gonna disappear like I never was. That’s what I want.”

Wow, I actually did not expect that to happen. I mean, I knew there was a possibility that Tommy might not make it into the next series but I didn’t actually think he was going to die two episodes before the finale. I guess this should serve as a cautionary tale for any shifter thinking of becoming a skin walker, shouldn’t it?

Even though Tommy did cause a lot of trouble for Sam in the last two seasons, I like that they sort of made up before Tommy actually died. Tommy’s death wasn’t exactly heroic and while I’ll hate the character for what he did to Luna more than anything else, it was interesting that his last actions in the series were trying to put things right, even if he messed up royally.

Of course, there is an upside to Tommy’s death. There’s a potentially interesting partnership between Sam and Alcide and there’s the lovely hope that Marcus will not make it out of the next two episodes alive. What, I gave Marcus a chance as a character, he turned out to be a total asshole and now he can die. Is there genuinely anyone watching this show who would actually miss him?

Character wise, Marcus’s imminent death would mean that Luna and Emma wouldn’t have to live in fear of him and not only would both Sam and Alcide have one less obstacle in their lives but it’d also mean that another bad man that Debbie chose to let into her bed would be a goner. It sounds terrible but I really cannot think of a down side to Marcus being killed off.

As for Debbie, going on the V clearly fucks with her brain, doesn’t it? I mean, Cooter was bad enough but really, Marcus? Was that she that desperate for a baby that she had to sleep with that scumbag? I really hope to hell for her sake that he didn’t get her pregnant because something tells me that a baby will not solve Debbie’s problems one bit.

Speaking of problem solving – you know those other witches are really just a bunch of idiots, aren’t they? Thank goodness both Holly and Tara actually decided to use magic of their own to try and escape from Marnie/Antonia. It’s just a bummer that after all their good work, it basically blew up in their faces but points for trying.

My respect for Holly went up a couple of notches this week. Not only was she actually researching spells (again, why didn’t anyone think of this?) to try and break the ‘protection’ barrier but she even managed to curb Tara’s sarcastic disposition long enough for Tara to actually be proactive. When this season ends, I want more witchy hi-jinks with those two – and Lafayette/Jesus too.

As for Jesus, he was excellent last week in getting Mavis to leave Lafayette’s body and this week he tried to reason with Marnie/Antonia before realising that who was really running the show. I haven’t always been the biggest Jesus fan (never hated him either) but these last two episodes have really made me hope that him and Lafayette last another season as couple. Am I alone in thinking that?

As for Marnie actually run the show – er, thanks show, my sympathy for the character has been terminated. While Antonia actually showed remorse for the danger her antics at the tolerance meeting resulted in, Marnie was of the belief that humans who sympathise with vampires also deserve to die.

I loved that we got more of Antonia’s back story and that her motives for necromancing were actually altruistic but I did hate the fact that Marnie managed to manipulate Antonia into reconnecting with her as well. Marnie might feel like a social pariah but considering that Antonia actually endured worse hardships, it’s actually looking more and more likely that Marnie will have to die now.

Even Bill was determined that Marnie had to die and organised an attack on the Moon Goddess Emporium in a horrifically cheesy end to this episode but it would’ve helped if any of the vampires had made sure that Sookie was out of sight first. Now they’re gonna have to rescue Sookie (and Lafayette, Tara, Holly and Jesus) from Marnie/Antonia before taking the witch out.

The other big event of this episode was Eric regaining his memories. It’s interesting that Sookie’s love for Bill got her fairy powers to work to break the spell on Eric and to be honest, I liked that. It also means for shippers that Sookie and Eric will probably have an honest relationship if she doesn’t get together with Bill.

However, while Eric and Sookie’s scenes were good in this episode, I actually loved Eric’s reunion with Pam too. Pam might be happy to rip most people’s throats out with her fangs but her love and loyalty to Eric cannot be denied and with any luck, Sookie might be able to cure her too if Marnie/Antonia’s death doesn’t reverse the spell.

As for Bill and Nan’s dynamic, it’s interesting how quickly that went down south, isn’t it? I knew Nan wouldn’t be pleased with Bill lying about Sookie’s abilities but image aside, is it really in her best interest to have him executed? At this rate, no-one vampire will have dominion over Louisiana, given how quickly she falls out of favour with people.

Last but not least the subplots – well I liked Terry’s method of getting Andy off the V but it felt more of a distraction than an asset to the episode and Jason wanting Jessica to glamour away his memories of sleeping with her was just tactless on his part. I’m glad Jessica had the sense to refuse on that matter.

Also in “Burning Down The House”

Okay, there is something seriously disturbing about Roy as a character. He had far too much glee in seeing people massacred by vampires at the start of the episode.

Nan: “We have to help these poor people. Bill, image.”

Apart from Jessica, Nan seemed to promise the true death for our main vampires, which probably means that she’s the most likely to die. I hope not though.

Holly: “We are strong, angry women, Tara. All we gotta do is force a crack in her wall.”

Eric: “I remember everything, us. Nothing’s changed.”
Sookie: “Except you.”

Jesus’s demon was shown to Marnie/Antonia, Sookie and Jason in this episode. I wonder will demons become something we see more of in the series.

Holly: “Your attitude isn’t helpful, what we need is some faith.”
Tara: “Well, that’s not really my thing.”

Marnie: “Fate brought us together to fight evil. Did you really think no-one was going to get hurt?”
Antonia: “No.”

Nan organised a huge glamour in order for the media not to get wind of the disaster at the tolerance meeting. That woman sure knows how to cover herself.

Marnie/Antonia: “Marnie trusts you.”
Jesus: “We trust each other.”
Marnie/Antonia: “I’m a little harder to convince.”
Jesus: “Tell me what I have to do.”
Marnie/Antonia: “Come to me.”

Marnie (to Jesus): “This is not a possession, this is a union.”

Standout music: The Used’s “Burning Down The House” and chronology wise, this took place straight from where “Let’s Get Out Of Here” left off.

We’ve had better episodes but “Burning Down The House” was good for breaking Eric from his memory loss, giving Tommy a better send off than other characters this season and of course, Marnie/Antonia too.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Sunday, August 28, 2011

My Review of Doctor Who's 6x08: "Let's Kill Hitler"

Written by Steven Moffat
Directed by Richard Senior

Mels/River (to Rory): “Oh, shut up, dad. I’m focusing on a dress size.”

Well, it’s certainly a better line than “I always dress for the occasion” or “carrot juice”. So, the pretty volatile, TARDIS hijacking Mels turned out to be River Song. Even without being spoiled, you would’ve easily guessed that revelation within a minute of her introduction.

The antics in the cornfield with Amy, Rory and the Doctor, the Leadworth flashbacks – could Moffat have been any more obvious with who Mels was going to turn out be? Still, for those of us who wanted to see another adult version of River, this was a great way of doing it, I think.

Nina Toussaint-White made for a good version of the child of the TARDIS, even if she was given far less screen time than I actually expected and her regeneration into Alex Kingston is one of my favourite regenerations, right after the Derek Jacobi/John Simm one of the Master. Actually, watching this episode made me think of the Master for some reason too. Oh yeah, I want see him and Eleven face off next series but that’s neither here nor there.

River’s always had a duplicitous side to her manner and this episode exploited it for all it was worth. As Mels, she might have grown up aside Amy and Rory (and that’s a whole other issue to contend with) but being kidnapped and programmed by Madame Kovarian and the Silence meant that she was always going to kill the Doctor and she bloody well became both his executor and saviour all in one go in this episode.

I loved the poison kiss, even if it lived up to every femme fatale cliché in the book and seeing River for the first time made for a daunting experience. It also made for Alex Kingston’s best performance so far in the show. The way she was getting to her body, insulting the Third Reich and stealing clothes. I’m surprised the sets were intact with the amount of scenery that was being chewed in this one.

Joking aside, River’s dangerous side was definitely felt here though. She had no problem using her regenerative energy to knock soldiers out of the way and her ‘murder’ of the Doctor attracted the attention of the Tesselecta, who came pretty close to ending her existence as well, were it not for the Doctor, Amy and Rory.

The interesting thing for me in this episode however was the Doctor’s attempts to survive. Even when he was on the verge of dying, he made damn sure that Amy, Rory and River were all safe and although it took a while, River finally cottoned on to the fact the Doctor was very important to her as well.

River sacrificing her remaining regenerations in order to save the Doctor was one hell of a gesture to make but does it mean that she’s human now or still partially Time Lady? One thing is certain though are the fact that River now has a certain diary in her possession and somewhere in time, she’s taking on Archaeology as a vocation. I wonder what that could possibly all lead to.

However, getting back to a main issue of the episode though – is this it for both River’s story arc and Amy and Rory’s search for her? Is River soon about to stop recurring in the Doctor’s life and are the Ponds ever going to raise their daughter? I mean, it’s interesting that they grew up alongside Melody but is that satisfying enough for an audience to accept. Should we accept it? I’m not sure if I want to, if I’m being honest.

I liked that in the end of the episode, Amy and Rory questioned whether or nor they’d get their own child back and considering that we’re guaranteed five more episodes with them, it’s likely they’re not going to be reunited with Melody just yet.

Of course, River/Melody/Mels wasn’t the only talking point of this episode. After all, this is an episode called “Let’s Kill Hitler” and surely Hitler needed to be an important character too? Actually, no – Hitler was anything but important to this story at all because apart from being punched and locked in a cupboard by Rory, he had nothing to do.

Perhaps that was smart thinking on Moffat’s part too, considering that if Hitler had an expanded role in this one, the show would’ve been forced into some murky territory. Using him more as an idiot and promptly doing away with him after the gang accidently saved him was probably the best approach after all.

The only thing that’s arguably less successful than Hitler in this episode were the Tesselecta. We’ve had enough justice enforcers in the series and this lot didn’t add anything too new, other than disguising ship as the people they miniaturise and give hell too. It also didn’t help that the Doctor treated them more as an inconvenience than an asset to him either.

Also in “Let’s Kill Hitler”

There was a previously on bit containing clips from “The Impossible Astronaut”/”Day Of The Moon”, “The Almost People” and “A Good Man Goes To War”.

The Doctor (re newspaper headline): “Seriously?”
Rory: “Well, you never answer your phone.”
Amy: “Okay, you’ve had all summer. Have you found her? Have you found Melody?”

The scene in the cornfield was actually the last bit of filming for the sixth series and it was only filmed about a month ago.

Mels/River (to Amy, re the Doctor): “You said he was funny, you never said he was hot.”

Rory: “I’m not gay.”
Amy: “Yes, you are.”
Rory: “No, no I’m not.”

And that wasn’t the only gay reference in this episode. Anyone care to go to a gay gypsy bar mitzvah for the disabled? River seems to like them.

Hitler: “Thank you, whoever you are. I think you have just saved my life.”
The Doctor: “Believe me, it was an accident.”

Mels/River (to the Doctor/Amy/Rory): “Last time I did this, I ended up a toddler in the middle of New York.”

So that little girl was River? Okay, obvious but what question is so bad that a religious order like the Silence have to program an assassin to stop the Doctor from asking? Assuming that he actually asks/uncovers it.

The Doctor: “I thought we were getting married.”
River: “I told you, I’m not a wedding person.”

River: “It was never gonna be a gun for you, Doctor. The man of peace who understands every kind of warfare, except perhaps the cruellest. Kiss kiss.”

There were brief cameos of Rose, Martha and Donna in this episode, but only as pictures whereas Amelia got to be the voice interface of the TARDIS.

River (to Nazi soldiers): “Tip for you all. Never shoot a girl while she’s regenerating.”

River (to people in a restaurant): “Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t have a thing to wear. Take off your clothes.”

The Doctor got himself a nice new green coat in this episode and even dressed up in his coat and tails again.

Amy (to Antibodies/Tesselecta): “We come in peace.”
Rory: “When has that ever worked?”

Ship Captain (re River): “Why would you care? She’s the woman who kills you.”
The Doctor: “I’m not dead.”

The show has been moved back to a 7pm timeslot. I think that’s the first time since at least one episode during Season 4.

River: “Look at you, you still care. It’s impressive, I’ll give you that.”
The Doctor: “River, please.”
River: “Again, who is this River? She’s got to be a woman, am I right?”

The Doctor: “Find her, find River Song and tell her something from me.”
River: “Tell her what? Well, I’m sure she’ll know.”

It was also the TARDIS that taught River how to fly her, if this episode was anything to go by, not the Doctor.

River (to Amy/Rory): “He said no-one else could save him but he must have known I could.”
The Doctor: “Rule one, the Doctor lies.”

The Doctor (to Amy): “Haven’t you figured that out yet?”

Chronology: Both 1938 Berlin and a couple of months after “A Good Man Goes To War” and the Doctor’s still fated to die on April 22nd 2011 at Lake Silencio.

Well, this was certainly an interesting way of picking things up. “Let’s Kill Hitler” continued on it’s timey-wimey madness, delivered a lot of laughs via River and seemed to be wrapping up her overall story. Both Hitler and pre-WW1 Berlin could’ve been put to better use but that’s a minor quibble for such an excellent story.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Saturday, August 27, 2011

My Review of Torchwood's 4x08: "End Of The Road"

Written by Ryan Scott And Jane Espenson
Directed by Gwyneth Horder-Payton

Oswald: “They want to burn me alive.”
Jilly: “Oswald, you were always sentenced to death. What you had was a wonderful delay and now it’s time for that adventure to come to an end.”

And with that sentence, I recommend that Jilly probably should never be in a position to tell people when their loved one have passed away. Still though, I can’t help but love the idea that scumbags like Oswald still get the module treatment after all.

This really wasn’t Oswald’s week at all, was it? The man deluded himself into actually believing that because he became a TV celebrity, he got a ‘get out of jail’ free clause forever. Jilly was right to scold him about his fate and even more so when he turned on her.

Oswald and Jilly’s partnership has always depended on them needing each other, so it bound to end in violence at the same time. Maybe Jilly shouldn’t have told him about the Category Zero situation being set up in place for people like Oswald but at the same time, thanks to Claire, she didn’t really have a choice.

The scenes with Oswald and Claire were actually quite chilling in their own way. For a girl who was willing to re-enact a schoolgirl fantasy with Oswald, Claire certainly had a bigger problem when he tried to have a normal conversation with him. Not that you could blame her but even still, would you really want to even consider taking Oswald on as a client? Claire certainly changed her mind pretty sharpish, didn’t she?

It’s interesting that Claire also talked about women her age fighting back. Jilly certainly tried to physically take Oswald down when he assaulted her and then tried to set her own witch hunt on the guy after he stole from her too. Of course, being smacked around by Oswald wasn’t the only dilemma for Jilly this week.

For some reason, the Families seem to be interested in getting her on their team and that Blue Eyed Guy managed to get her into accepting an offer from them. Now, I like Jilly heaps as a character but what is it about her that the Families find especially interesting for recruiting, aside from her ruthlessness and cunning?

Speaking of the Families, we got enough of an information dump on them this week as well, courtesy of Olivia. Of course she was going to turn out to be Angelo’s granddaughter and her own divisiveness on Jack aside, it’s interesting that the Families disapproved of Angelo’s relationship with Jack but were happy to experiment with his blood for the last nine decades in preparation for Miracle Day.

Jack’s scenes with the older Angelo provided a nice emotional hook to the action heavy-ish hour. Despite Angelo betraying him in the worst way possible, it did seem like Jack really cared for the man that he even tried to conceal why Angelo was alive for so long/suddenly able to die from Shapiro for as long as he could.

Much as I love Esther, she kind of dropped the ball here by insisting on asking Jack about his cryptic behaviour. Soon enough then, we ended up with a dangerous piece of alien technology and Gwen ended up being deported. In all fairness, Gwen being deported back to Wales is the least dramatic thing to happen in this episode.

And funnily enough, so is Jack getting shot too. I know I should be worried about him, given that he’s currently mortal and being driven away by Esther but I’m not. Apart from Gwen, he’s the only character who’ll definitely make it out of this whole saga alive and I’d also like to think that Esther will get him some medical attention too.

In terms of operations skills, this was classic Torchwood at its murkiest. You had Rex being a genius at the start of the episode by tricking Friedkin into revealing his allegiance to the Families but you also had Esther still making rookie mistakes too, while Jack and Gwen were trying to keep secrets or mouthing off at Shapiro. I hope for their sakes, they actually do come through with fixing the world in the last two episodes.

As for Friedkin, I so did not miss him one bit and was pretty happy when he blew himself to smithereens. It’s kind of a shame that he had to take Olivia with him because while she was a bit of a bitch, her snarky banter was delightful. At least we still have Jilly and Charlotte’s suddenly become a more interesting character now that we’ve learned she’s in cahoots with the Families.

Also in “End Of The Road”

I know that there were a lot of flashbacks to the previous episode, but I could’ve sworn at least one scene with younger Angelo was new.

Rex: “You’re telling me the whole world got screwed over because two gay guys had a hissy fit?”
Gwen: “Rex, get back in your cave.”

Rex’s Neanderthal comments aside, I noticed that him and Gwen seemed to have a mutual respect for each other in this one.

Jack: “I’m not as special as I thought.”
Olivia: “You never were.”

Shapiro (re Gwen): “People seem to be talking over me, which is fascinating and rare and forbidden. I’ll come back to you.”

We met Sarah again, who seems to have volunteered herself for a Category 1. I know some fans don’t care about Esther’s personal life but I do, so it was a nice scene. Oh and there was a reference to Ianto.

Gwen: “Jack, did we just join the CIA?”
Jack: “I think we did.”

Oswald: “Get me a girl.”
Jilly: “How old?”
Oswald: “Legal age.”
Jilly: “Seriously?”

Oswald made off with Jilly’s iPad after he assaulted her and Charlotte (when she isn’t working for the Families) also helped Sarah out as well at the psych ward.

Rhys (re Gwen): “Tell her yourself.”
Mary: “I’m watching TV.”

Claire (to Oswald): “I think I should warn you, the girl my age fight back but you know that already, don’t you? That’s why you prefer kids.”

Why did Shapiro assume that both Gwen and Esther had slept with Rex? Also the names of Ablemarch, Costerdane and Frines didn’t exist and the blessing occurred again.

Blue Eyed Man: “We’re way above PhiCorp.”
Jilly: “Then who are you?”
Blue Eyed Man: “We’re a family business. Are you interested?”
Jilly: “Yes. Yes.”

Chronology: From where “Immortal Sins” left off.

It may have started shaky (and lost some viewers as a result) but the series has more than found it’s groove back. The events of “End Of The Road” were certainly the most compelling we’ve had and the last two episodes look nothing short of amazing.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Friday, August 26, 2011

Man's Best Friend

And here's another TV jumble for you all to feast on ...

Angry Boys: It's been a fortnight since the last episode aired on BBC3 but it was certainly a good one to end the series with. It might have been predictable that all the legends wound up arriving at Nathan's leaving do but it worked perfectly with ending the season. It'll be interesting to see if this show is picked up for a second run, I hope it is but it's hard to say where it'll go if it does continue.
Smallville: An interesting selection episodes. The one showing us a parallel world with Clark and Tess as lovers and parallel Lionel slipping into our world was probably the best. The other two, dealing with further attacks on vigilantes and Chloe's return also kept the pace a going but the time jump at the end (five years, really?) took me by surprise. But more on Alexander soon and parallel Lionel too, please show?

The Hour: The second half of the series hasn't been perfect but it's been enjoyable. The reveal of Clarence being a Soviet spy should've been more shocking but it seemed to peter out a little and you didn't have to be a genius to see Bel getting screwed over by losing her job and Hector in one fell swoop. Freddie was still his doggedly determined self but if this show gets a second run, it does need to focus with it's conspiracy plotting a little better. Still, this was a great bit of telly. Mad Men it may not be but it was worth watching.

The X Factor: Don't shoot - I'm still watching this and while it's going to crucify both Doctor Who and Merlin in the ratings for the next four months, this series is starting off well. No Simon/Cheryl double act of naffness to contend with, though Louis's determination for novelty is ever present if Goldie is anything to go by and the show's attempts of staging drama is also a constant if George was anything to go by. As for the new lot - Tulisa and Kelly are actually pretty decent and while I admire the fact that Gary is trying to take the damn show seriously, he's trying to be Simon a little too much for my liking. Other than that, a good start, some decent potential with certain contestants as well as some rubbish ones too.

The Vampire Diaries: I still have to watch the episode dealing directly with Tyler's transformation, the last two I did watch were fun. Loved the flashbacks into Katherine's lurid past almost as much as I loved Stefan getting entombed with her. Other highlights have been Damon's rapport with Rose, the Jeremy/Bonnie/Luca triangle, Elijah's return and learning more about the mysterious Klaus. Yeah, this series is definitely shaping up as a good one.

Wilfred: When one comedy ends on BBC3, another begins and it's funny how their funniest ones nowadays seem to be the imported ones. The US version of a hit Aussie comedy has been a joy to watch with Wilfred being the most incorrigible of mutts you could possibly meet. Elijah Wood is really excelling as the repressed Ryan and characters like Jenna and Spencer work reasonably well too. Definitely worth catching.

- Billie Piper and David Tennant will be appearing in a five part BBC1 drama next year called True Love. Also featured as Gemma Chan, Jane Horricks and David Morrissey.
- Charlie Brooker and Daniel Maier have written a two hour crime spoof called A Touch Of Cloth starring Suranne Jones, Julian Rhind-Tutt and John Hannah.
- BBC have bought the rights to upcoming ABC drama, Pan Am.
- There's a possibility we'll be getting another time jump in the eighth and final season of Desperate Housewives.
- Game Of Thrones will film in both Iceland and Croatia as well as Belfast and Malta this year.
- A gay character will feature at some point during the first season of Ringer.
- Jamie Lee Curtis will be guest starring in NCIS as a love interest to Gibbs. Great coup there.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Glee Project Winner/Glee - Season 3 Trailer

With the show back on our screens next month, here are some bits worth knowing ...

The Glee Project: I tried to sit through this show but literally couldn't do it and thanks to it finishing in America and the winners being announced, I don't need to watch the remainder of the series on Sky1. Okay, so both Damien and Samuel were joint winners which means they get to appear in seven episodes of the upcoming third season. Runners up Alex and Lindsay will appear in two episodes and none of them are playing the new characters already mentioned (Bubba, Sheila and Sugar).

Glee: A trailer for the third season has been released and it's a lovely concept one. Basically, it features Sue hurling dodgeballs at Will, Emma, Beiste, Rachel, Finn, Kurt, Blaine, Artie, Tina, Mike, Mercedes, Puck, Quinn, Brittany, Santana and Becky's in the trailer to. The song playing in it is called We Got The Beat.

Season 3 Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Nrjz2IIFm4

Season 3 of Glee airs Tuesdays at 8pm on FOX from September 20th and will air on both Sky1 and TV3 shortly afterwards.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Doctor Who - Series 6 Part 2 Radio Times Guide

Radio Times already covered the first half of the season back in April and with the second half due to air Saturday, here's a rundown of what to expect from it ...

6x08: Let's Kill Hitler

Written by Steven Moffat
Directed by Richard Senior

If you've read the many reviews out for this episode already, then the depiction of Hitler might amuse or disappoint you, depending on your temperament in relation to the Fuhrer. Either way, this episode will have it's dramatic moments but will also be seeped in rich comedy as the Doctor is still looking for Melody, Amy and Rory return to the TARDIS with their volatile friend Mels and somewhere in between war criminals and assassins known as the Tesselecta, River also appears. Also expect to see flashbacks of younger Amy, Rory and Mels too.

6x09: Night Terrors

Written by Mark Gatiss
Directed by Richard Clark

Originally this was titled What Are Little Boys Made Of? Originally it was also meant to air during the first half of Season 6 and originally, it was also supposed to be a companion-lite story. Mark Gatiss serves up a scary delight as a nervous boy named George sees himself terrorised by giant dolls known as Peg Dolls and it's up the TARDIS team to stop them. This episode also features Ashes To Ashes actor Daniel Mays as Alex and this episode isn't the only contribution Mark Gatiss makes in the second half of the series.

6x10: The Girl Who Waited

Written by Tom McRae
Directed by Nick Hurran

Want an episode that's going to be quite the tour de force for Amy Pond? Apparently, this is exactly what you'll get in this episode from Rise Of The Cybermen/The Age Of Steel scribe, Tom McRae. This episode has quite the time travelling twists, menacing robots called the Handbots and also delves into the theme of something possibly going wrong, considering that the Doctor has been in Amy and Rory's lives longer than he intended to.

6x11: The God Complex

Written by Toby Whithouse
Directed by Nick Hurran

Toby Whithouse strikes again but instead of Krillitanes and Saturnynes, this time around the action is set in a spooky hotel, which lures people to their demise while playing on their fears. With the Doctor, Amy and Rory, it's definitely going to have a lot to go on. David Walliams plays an alien mole creature called Gibbis and it's this episode that may be featuring appearances from Amelia, Weeping Angels and Daleks to name a few.

6x12: Closing Time

Written by Gareth Roberts
Directed by Steve Hughes

You have to admire The Lodger. What could've been a filler comedy episode last year ended up being a sweet little story that only went and generated itself a follow up story. James Corden is back as Craig and the former flatmate of the Doctor's life has changed a lot since last year. This is also the episode where the Cybermen get a proper story this year too. And the Doctor working in a department store should provide some laughs too.

6x13: The Wedding Of River Song

Written by Steven Moffat
Directed by Jeremy Webb

Why not? We've seen Donna/Shaun and Amy/Rory marry in the previous two seasons, so River getting her own wedding episode isn't the biggest shocker, is it? Well, this episode contains lines like: 'I don't want to marry you/I don't want to murder you', the return of Madame Kovarian, Churchill, appearances from Simon Callow and Mark Gatiss, possible exits for Amy and Rory and all manners of time displacement. As well as resolving some of River's story, it will resolve the Doctor's death saga as well as another face off with the Silence too and end on something that will lead into the next series.

Season 6 Part 2 airs on BBC1 and BBCAmerica from August 27th.

Monday, August 22, 2011

My Review of True Blood's 4x09: "Let's Get Out Of Here"

Written by Brian Buckner
Directed by Romeo Tirone

Sookie (re Bill/Eric): “I think I’m in love with both of you.”
Bill: “You can’t be. That’s not who you are.”

And what’s that sound I hear in the background? Yes, it’s the sound of certain Sookie/Eric shippers baying for Alan Ball’s blood and they’re a tougher crowd to get through than a starved vampire or vengeful witch combined. So, Sookie loves both Bill and Eric? Let’s discuss.

Regardless of the fact that a year has passed between seasons, Sookie’s time in fairyland already meant that time passed less for her, so the fact that a part of her subconscious (fuelled by Bill’s blood) is admitting that she still has some romantic feelings for her first love shouldn’t be a radical shock to folks.

And then there’s Eric, who Sookie has been taking care, ingesting his blood like Bill and also developing romantic feelings for as well. Sookie’s relationships with both Bill and Eric are/probably should be doomed but you can’t argue with the points the girl raises in her own sex dreams, now can you?

If it’s alright for Bill and Eric to claim Sookie as theirs for the last four seasons, then it is most definitely alright for her to turn around and tell them that she owns them too. I actually like that side of Sookie for some reason. Why shouldn’t she own her sexuality and make a stand for herself? Despite their protests, Bill and Eric did somewhat seem to agree to the idea in the end.

Of course, this was all a dream and the real Bill was busy trying to keep public favour at a vampire tolerance meeting that Eric royally fucked up thanks to Marnie/Antonia wielding power over him. I can’t wait to see how PR lady Nan is going to spin this latest disaster to a vampire advantage. She’s gonna have her work cut out for her.

I sympathised with Marnie/Antonia at the start of the season but now she’s gone too far and has become just as bad as the vampires that raped and executed her all those centuries ago. Holding her own coven hostage was bad enough but her actions at that meeting cost innocent lives and it just proved that Marnie/Antonia needs to be stopped before any more bloodshed is caused.

I complained that last week Tara didn’t begin to question Marnie/Antonia’s actions and hoped that Bill saving her life would give her some perspective. Thankfully some in the writing staff was listening because Tara made me proud in this episode on a few occasions.

Not only did she question Marnie/Antonia but she also realised that the woman was fucking insane and at least made an attempt to escape with Holly and the others from the Moon Goddess Emporium. While Tara might have failed on that one, she at least managed to get Sookie out of harm’s way, so for that alone, you gotta love her this week.

However, I just realised that I really want some more scenes with Sookie and Marnie/Antonia in the final three episodes for some reason. Just a few. I don’t expect Sookie to be the one to eventually stop her (somehow I think that’s either going to be Lafayette, Bill or Eric) but some more scenes with them would be lovely.

Speaking of more scenes, I really enjoyed the whole ‘alliance’ between Sookie and Debbie in this episode as well. Debbie’s clearly on the mantra of keeping her enemies closer and while Sookie tried to assure her about Alcide, it’s pretty obvious that Sookie should be preparing herself for another showdown with the volatile werewolf soon. Debbie clearly set Sookie up for a fall with Marnie/Antonia and she wasn’t best pleased when it fell apart.

As for Alcide – dude, just break up with Debbie already. If he tries to break up with her honestly, maybe Debbie won’t go bat shit crazy on his ass and also get her away from Marcus too. It’s a shame that this week Marcus became a one dimensional douche with his beat down on Sam/Tommy but at least Alcide knows who exactly Marcus is now.

On the subject of Tommy – I’ll admit it, I felt bad for him again. Last time he posed as Sam, he tried to wreck his life; this time around he was trying to make amends. That being said though, I can’t see Sam rushing to thank him anytime soon for that. I did like that Alcide came to Tommy’s defence though.

As for Sam, Luna and Emma, I liked the whole camping trip. Seeing that caring side to Sam again is better than flashbacks where he kills people but maybe the rabbit petting was a little too much. I mean the intention was obviously good natured but it did feel a little weird too.

Keeping with the weird, I am glad the Lafayette/Mavis possession ended in this episode and more glad that Jason, Hoyt, Arlene, Terry and Andy actually saw Mavis pass on when she got her clarity by holding her dead child. Some great acting from Nelsan Ellis during this one too, though Andy’s V addiction needs to end already, especially now that Debbie’s back on the stuff. One addict per season, please show?

Last but not least – Hoyt disappointed me slightly by packing all of Jessica’s stuff in a box and labelling it ‘monster’. I get that he’s angry and reacting like a real person would in the situation but it’s still rather sad to see nonetheless. And he’s going to have even more reason to be pissed when he finds out that Jason and Jessica did it in the former’s pick up truck. Come on, like that wasn’t going to happen already? I was actually pleased they got it out of the way if I’m being honest.

Also in “Let’s Get Out Of Here”

Was this episode supposed to be called “Run”, only to be changed at the last minute? That’s twice this has happened this season, title wise.

Bill (to Alcide): “Werewolf, I’m gonna need you to shut the fuck up.”

Debbie was watching an episode of Cheaters before Alcide came home. So far, he hasn’t actually cheated on Debbie, not even emotionally – yet!

Marnie/Antonia (re Tara): “Does she speak for everyone?”
Holly: “She sure as hell speaks for me.”
Roy: “Not for me.”

Marnie/Antonia: “Nobody leaves.”
Tara: “Or what?”
Marnie/Antonia: “Try it and you’ll find out.”

Marnie/Antonia basically locked the doors and made the handles hot. Anyone of those wiccans could’ve smashed a bloody window to get out. Preferably the same one Sookie got in through.

Jessica: “You’re nothing like you are on TV.”
Nan: “Aw, thanks.”

Eric: “What are you doing here?”
Bill: “Ask Sookie. It’s her dream.”

Apparently Nan has never made a vampire herself and thanks to Jessica, she seems to be content with that. I did love Nan and Bill’s sniping when they were silvered down together.

Lafayette/Mavis: “You sound like a white man.”
Andy: “You know damn well I’m a white man.”

Sookie: “Debbie, I understand being jealous but you tried to kill me. That isn’t something you can expect me to forget.”
Debbie: “That’s not what I came for.”

Standout music: Les Savvy Fav’s “Let’s Get Out Of Here” and I just realised that in the midst of all the action this week, Pam was actually missing from proceedings.

Jesus (to Mavis): “It’s time you found him and held him but now, I need my Lafayette back.”

Sookie (to Bill): “Run!”

Chronology: Straight from where “Spellbound” left off.

Blimey, this was a big one, episode wise. “Let’s Get Out Of Here” resolved the Mavis plot, really further Marnie/Antonia’s rage against the vampires and also seemed to cement the fact that there are a good candidates who will probably be goners within the three weeks. Somehow I don’t think Bill and Eric will amongst those soon to be departed.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Top TV Pairings Part 8

And here's my final installment in the TV Pairings rundown. Hope you enjoyed it.

Doctor Who - The Doctor/TARDIS

The fun thing about having a series that's run for 32 seasons so far is that the amount of pairings to choose from are thankfully, plentiful. I thought about this long and hard and after rewatching The Doctor's Wife, I felt that the Doctor and his ship (TARDIS/Idris/Sexy/Blue Box) was the ultimate TV pairing. Seriously, the connection those two share easily outclasses everything else by miles and long may it reign - them being each other's constant.

Brothers And Sisters - Kevin Walker/Scotty Wandall

Anyone who's ever had read my blogs would know that Kevin/Scotty were always going to rank high in this list. A wonderful gay couple who got plenty of guy on guy action, proper storytelling and let's face it, the chemistry between Matthew Rhys and Luke Macfarlane really does put everything on the show to shame, given how wonderful they are. I so need the Season 5 DVD like there's no freaking tomorrow.

Being Human - George Sands/Nina Pickering

Mitchell and Annie were fine and all that but for me, the heart of Being Human has become George and Nina's relationship and the two of them have gone through a lot (werewolf transformations, pregnancy, near death experiences, divided loyalties) and come out the other side each time. I can't wait to see how becoming parents works for them next season.

Six Feet Under - David Fisher/Keith Charles

A bit before Kevin/Scotty, the other most significant gay couple were David and Keith and while sometimes the show might have overdone the arguments between them, for me, these two always felt like a real couple. David and Keith were definitely landmark television in a way that Queer As Folk and Glee's gay pairings aren't necessarily. A classic couple if ever there was one.

True Blood - Jessica Hamby/Hoyt Fortenberry

Yeah, I know they've had a horrible breakup in Spellbound and there's a distinct possibility that a Jessica/Jason pairing is possible but damn it, I loved these two as a couple and even recent episodes can't mar that for me. Though I am eagerly looking forward to the inevitable Sookie/Alcide pairing too.

I might do a runner up blog or two on other pairings that I didn't catch in the previous blogs.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

My Review of Torchwood's 4x07: "Immortal Sins"

Written by Jane Espenson
Directed by Gwyneth Horder-Payton

Jack: “I’ve got this friend. He’s called the Doctor. He explores the world with a companion. It looks nice.”
Angelo: “Are you saying that I can stay?”
Jack: “Maybe.”

When I first heard about this episode, I had something of a mixed reaction to it. The idea of a Jack flashback delighted me to no end but I was also worried that it would distract from the main plot. I really shouldn’t have bothered worrying because this flashback episode was both wonderful and important in the miracle dilemma.

We’ve had plenty of moments of seeing and hearing about Jack’s former lovers – whether they’re the real Jack Harkness, Estelle, Lucia or Captain John, they’ve all added something to Jack as a character. Angelo is no exception but his was a union with Jack that was certainly fraught with a little more than usual.

Stealing Jack’s fake identity probably should’ve been a signpost that Angelo might turn out to be untrustworthy but considering that Jack placed a lot of confidence in Angelo, I was willing to let it slide. I mean Jack really had no motive to break Angelo out of prison and a part of me was surprised that he did.

The sexual part of their relationship is somewhat more satisfying than Jack’s previous on screen tryst with Brad in “Dead Of Night” but it’s the commentary on the nature of Jack and Angelo’s union that stirred a lot of debate for me here.

Was it tacked on/heavy handed that Angelo enjoyed the sex with Jack but also seemed to harbour some self loathing about sleeping with a man? Maybe it is to an extent but I think it helped later on when Angelo both betrayed and tried to make amends with Jack at the same time.

Angelo sold Jack out pretty instantly a year after their debacle with the alien in the warehouse when he was responsible for everyone’s murders on Jack but he did seem sorry for it. Sadly that soured Angelo as a character for me because while he had all this fear surrounding Jack’s immortality, he did betray him in the worst way possible and I think he got off lightly for it when Jack just dumped.

However the real shocker was Angelo being revealed as the one behind the miracle, courtesy of Olivia at the end of the episode. Tonally it made sense (otherwise, why would the episode have developed Angelo as much as it did?) but it still floored me as a final scene to this excellent hour.

Speaking of betrayals, while Angelo’s one towards Jack might have been harder to understand, Gwen’s was by far easier. Olivia and her cronies had her family hostage and Gwen really had no choice but to hand Jack over to them for her family’s safety. Jack even understood that himself but the scenes with him and Gwen in the car were just awkward.

John Barrowman and Eve Myles just acted their hearts out during those scenes. Jack was sympathetic towards Gwen’s plight but he wasn’t above trying to get out of being handed over to the mystery families and Gwen was forced to admit that her family had to be her main priority over Torchwood or her friendship with Jack.

It’s the kind of examination of Jack and Gwen’s relationship that was overdue, wasn’t it? These two care for each other and have their back but at the same, Gwen’s stepping into Jack’s world has cost her in more ways than she could imagine.

If it wasn’t for Rex, Esther and Andy, Gwen would’ve easily have lost Rhys, Anwen and Mary this week. Thankfully all three of them got their moments to shine. Esther through picking up on Gwen’s erratic behaviour and catching the last exchange with the contact, Rex for his stealth and Andy for the same reason as Rex I suppose.

It was definitely the best use of all three characters this week and hopefully, we’ll have some nice moments like that with Rex, Esther and Andy. I even had to stop myself from scoffing when Rex compared Torchwood to amateur clowns. He wasn’t exactly wrong, was he? Oh and it’s nice that Jack and Gwen made up at the end of the episode too.

As for Oswald and Jilly, well, it’s another episode without them but it seems that Oswald was busy trying to keep the category system in place. I have a feeling that line of thinking from Oswald is going to backfire on him when he does show up again.

Also in “Immortal Sins”

Most of the flashbacks in this episode took place in 1927 and 1928, New York. Jack did once mention an incident in Ellis Island, didn’t he?

Esther: “Sorry, I don’t know how to help, except that maybe her death has changed things. Maybe they’ll shut down the camps.”
Rex: “No, they paused the camps. That’s all they’re saying – paused.”

Vera was supposedly from San Antonio and might have had a brother or sister. Despite his protesting, Rex is affected by her death.

Angelo: “I don’t understand. We just did something special, why make it cheap?”
Jack: “I suppose I do that sometimes. I’m sorry.”

Gwen (to Jack): “Well, you’ve done something haven’t you? Way back when in the long bloody life of yours. God, you’ve lived so bloody long, you can’t remember half of it, now think. Think. What the hell have you done?”

The Trickster’s brigade was mentioned here. The Trickster himself was last seen in The Sarah Jane Adventures back in 2009.

Angelo: “You made this happen; you’ve planned this, since when? Since you got on the boat to America?”
Jack: “Just get out of town, Angelo. These people are bad; you don’t want to be on their list. Get far away.”

Angelo: “Besides I always hoped that if God is love, maybe he loves me too.”
Jack: “That’s blasphemy.”
Angelo: “I think that’s Christianity.”

That alien that Jack and Angelo neutralised looked like a mini-version of the 456, didn’t it? I also loved the firebird story Jack told Gwen as well. I also bet we’ll be seeing those three men who ‘bought’ Jack as well.

Jack: “I love you Gwen Cooper but I will rip your skin from your skull before I let you take this away from me. Understood?”
Gwen: “Understood.”

Jack: “I’m sorry, Angelo, but this is the story of my life. It always end the same way – you kill me. Men like you kill me.”

Chronology: Apart from 1927-1928 in flashbacks, a few hours after “The Middle Men”.

I absolutely loved this episode. “Immortal Sins” was Torchwood to me. Everything from the writing, the characterisation, forwarding the plot in a huge way. It feels like after the shaky start we had to “Miracle Day” that the show is finally delivering and about time too.

Rating: 10 out of 10

Monday, August 15, 2011

My Review of True Blood's 4x08: "Spellbound"

Written by Alan Ball
Directed by Daniel Minahan

Bill: “I want peace but you are prepared for war.”
Eric: “Of course.”
Bill: “But I’m convinced we will win.”
Eric: “But war isn’t about whether you think you can win. It’s about being willing to die for something you believe is worth dying for.”

I don’t know if I should think Eric’s sentiments are noble or unwise or both but he actually convinced me to want to take arms against the witches, so go Eric in that respect. Can I just say how much I am loving this season? Eight episodes in and it’s been a cluster fuck of brilliance for the most part.

I love that this episode saw both Bill and Marnie/Antonia bringing the battle directly to each other. Marnie/Antonia was quick to point out that Bill came with an army but so did she and the battle in the graveyard during the last act of this episode was an absolute riot to witness. Sookie even got injured during the battle.

Okay, so Alcide did come to her rescue and chances are by next week, she’ll be fighting fit like Jessica was this week but it’s nice to see our main characters actually caught up in the fight. Bill got pounced on by Holly and some non descript male witch and even Eric became a victim of Marnie/Antonia once again.

Eric’s predicament is probably the one that we’re supposed to worry about more than Sookie being shot in this one. Considering that Marnie/Antonia won’t be content until all vampires are annihilated, Eric better hope that either someone comes to his rescue or he gets the better of the powerful witch before he becomes another Beulah Carter.

This has been quite an episode for Eric this week – more sex scenes with him and Sookie, more declarations of love, only this time complete with a V/Fairy trip for both him and Sookie. Those scenes with Eric and Sookie, intoxicated on each other’s blood were so shamelessly cheesy and over the top, it strayed into fanfiction territory. They were also absolutely amusing to the hilt.

Even the recreated shower scene with snow was a visual beauty. I remember loving these trippy scenes with Jason and Amy back in the first season and with Sookie and Eric, they also worked a treat. Still, sex stuff aside, it’s looking more and more likely that Eric will be soon reverting to his former self in the next few weeks. Sookie’s gonna have one hell of a reality check thrusted on her when that comes to pass.

Speaking of things coming to pass, Jessica might not have met the sun in this episode but she certainly got a double rejection this week too. Hoyt didn’t so much as give her a chance to dump him lightly when he turned on her so nastily and even Jason rejected her after she tried to talk to him.

Much as I felt bad for Jessica, I couldn’t hate on both Hoyt and Jason either. Hoyt might have said some truly awful stuff to her but something tells me when he’s calmed down, he will rue most of his comments to Jessica. Similarly, it’s also nice to see Jason think with his brain rather than his dick as well, even if he did kiss Jessica. That being said, this is Jason and something also tells me that he won’t be able to keep Jessica at arm’s length for too long.

Something that’s been dragging out for a long time finally has a point too – Mikey. Guess, what? He’s not a devil child and that woman haunting is Mavis, who had a child with a married man and lost him and now through Lafayette has taken Mikey. I might be in a minority but this storyline has suddenly become a lot more interesting than it was a few weeks back and unlike Antonia, I don’t necessarily think Mavis is intending to be a harmful ghost, though that’s now two main character currently being possessed.

Meanwhile, back to the debacle of last week – I actually find the idea of vampire suicides an interesting cover up story for Marnie/Antonia’s antics. I have to admit that Bill’s obviously been taking PR tips from Nan with this cover up. It’s also made more entertaining by Marnie/Antonia’s clear irritation that she only managed to make one vampire meet the sun.

The dynamic with Marnie/Antonia and Tara does need a little more work though. Tara went from actually questioning Marnie/Antonia’s motives to just complying with them again. Granted, Tara has a justified reason for her hatred of vampires and once again, Pam tried to kill her but can Bill change her mind (without glamouring her)?

After all, Bill maintained a level of civility with Tara when he realised she was on the witches side and he saved her from Pam. That might not be enough to prove to Tara that not all vampires are bad but maybe in the next few weeks, Tara might get an opportunity to return the favour. One can sort of hope, right? Because I don’t see the partnership she’s got with Marnie/Antonia lasting on good terms for much longer.

Last but not least, there’s Marcus. As a pack master, the guy is borderline flawless. He’s efficient, caring, great with sorting out fight between members, seemed sincere in his encouragement of Alcide and Debbie and had enough savvy to tell his members to stay out of the vampire and witch squabbles. Those are enough to make me root for the character.

Then there are his scenes with Sam, Luna and Emma and I can’t help but despise him. He clearly has his own child afraid of him, bursts into Luna’s home without an invite and tried to wage a fight with Sam. Now it’s a good way of making the character complicated but I’d rather see Marcus in pack master mode than tyranny mode myself.

Oh, and Debbie Pelt – the good girl acting is waning. Alcide clearly has the hots for Sookie and you can tell that being in a new pack is obviously not going to be enough to stop you from going crackers again. I really hate myself for this but I’m kind of looking forward to seeing Debbie back to her bat shit crazy self from last season. I feel awful for that.

Also in “Spellbound”

Two episodes written by Alan Ball and we’re not at the finale yet? My, aren’t we being spoiled this year?

Sam (to Luna, re Tommy): “I can forgive him for killing our folks but I can’t forgive him for what he did to you. I can’t.”

I liked that Sam explained to Luna about his parents and Tommy impersonating Maxine to scam her was flipping hilarious and morally reprehensible at the same time.

Sookie: “I’m trusting you, Eric.”
Eric: “I won’t betray you, ever.”
Sookie: “I may remind you of that someday.”

It seemed like both Eric’s Viking history and Sookie’s fae lineage were sort of merging during the trippy scenes. Am I the only who thought that or am I reading too much into it?

Andy: “Jesus, tits and God America, Jason. What the fuck is happening to me?”

Eric (to Sookie): “All is possible. You and me – possible. Loving you – possible.”

Where was Jesus this week? Actually, come to think of it, did he even return from Mexico last week? And can we move beyond Andy’s V addiction, considering that it’s adding nothing to the show, story wise?

Hoyt (to Jessica): “My mom was right all along. Maybe God does hate fangs. And you know, so do I?”

Eric: “I just wanna be with you, only you, forever.”
Sookie: “There’s no such thing as forever.”

Standout music: Siouxsie And The Banshee’s “Spellbound” of course.

Marnie/Antonia: “I am no lady. I am peasant and proud of it.”
Bill: “I’ve come in peace.”
Marnie/Antonia: “Do you? I know you are not alone.”
Bill: “Nor are you.”

Chronology: From where “Cold Grey Light Of Dawn” left off.

Cheesiness of Sookie/Eric’s scenes aside, “Spellbound” is my favourite episode of this season. Bloody brilliant from start to finish, an absolutely kick ass vampires and witches smackdown, nice character moments, this episode had everything I needed.

Rating: 10 out of 10

Saturday, August 13, 2011

My Review of Torchwood's 4x06: "The Middle Men"

Written by John Shiban
Directed by Guy Ferland

Shanghai Contact (to Stuart): “I asked my uncle what happened. He told me to never question a miracle. You might not like what you find.”

Oh great, the whole bury your head in the sand approach – because that never causes trouble, does it? Oh wait, I think it does. For the people who are aware of the horrors that the government and PhiCorp are doing but refuse to acknowledge it – shame on you.

Gwen’s rant to Dr Alicia Patel (the anti-Vera Juarez if one was needed) might have sounded a little on the heavy handed end of the scale but what do you say to a woman in the medical profession that refuses to stand up against the modules? Alicia should probably consider herself lucky that Gwen didn’t thump her but the point still stands.

The allusions to the overflow camps as concentration camps is pretty much stating the obvious but it’s barbaric how readily nearly all the world’s governments have embraced this option to deal with the patients who are near death. There is no justification for this current dilemma but at least this episode actually went out of it’s way to combat the situation.

Gwen for instance did more than just rant about the modules – she bloody well blew the one up in Wales towards the end of the episode before the next batch of people were in them (presumably) and also managed to get her father to safety. Now that’s the Gwen Cooper we all know and love.

Not be outdone, Rex managed to get through his own anguish over Vera’s horrible demise to keep filming the extent of the module and while it did look like Colin was going to get the best of him and Esther, Rex achieved a first for Torchwood – getting their message across.

I liked that Torchwood publicly outed the modules situation as well as Vera’s death. It might have taken them six episodes to properly assert themselves but at least they’re finally fighting back in a threatening way. No more skulking about the place – Torchwood are finally posing a credible threat to PhiCorp and the world’s governments who are abusing the miracle.

Of course, nothing is ever that easy and while Torchwood are on top of their game, there’s also the issue of the blessing. What exactly is the blessing and can PhiCorp middle man Stuart Owens actually be trusted? It would be nice if Torchwood had at least one ally working within PhiCorp and Stuart seemed sincere enough to Jack during their conversation.

He wasn’t exactly deceptive when he told Jack that he had been doing his own investigation into the miracle, even if it was just dead ends (literally, considering that Shanghai contact killed himself) but still – how can he not know any more about the miracle? I know he’s supposed to be a middle man but he seems like a well connected one, so it’s a bit odd.

And speaking of middle men – how glad was I that Colin did not make it out of this episode alive? Okay, so he’s a Category 1 but both Ralph and Esther deserve medals for taking that scumbag out in the manner that they did (Esther – strangling, Ralph – shooting). While Colin was nastier than Oswald has been on screen, I certainly won’t miss him as a character.

In some ways this was also a huge moment for Esther. She may have contributed to Colin’s “death” because she was trying to save Rex but it still affected her. I know some fans will gripe about that but I like the fact that Esther isn’t a hardened character. That being said though, Esther would do well to heed Rex’s advice about picking herself up quickly. I have a feeling that tougher times are ahead for Esther.

As for Rex, the writers should pat themselves on the back. This is the second episode in a row where I’ve actually enjoyed the character. Probably because Rex was responsible for getting the world aware about the module and also because when he was being tortured by the odious Colin, I couldn’t not feel bad for the guy. Either that or heaven forbid, Rex is actually improving as a character.

However while Torchwood did achieve more victories than screw ups this week, things still went down south when Rhys, Mary and Anwen got kidnapped by a mystery abductor. I’m guessing because of this dilemma, Gwen is going to have no choice but to hand Jack over for her family and that will certainly make for some interesting television.

Also in “The Middle Men”

As well as Vera being out of the series, both Oswald and Jilly were absent from this episode as well.

Rex: “No, strike that, I’m not with the CIA or the US government authority. I’m with Torchwood and we’re gonna expose everything that’s going on here. Everything I just witnessed.”

I gotta ask – why didn’t Esther come up with an actual alias when she was in the San Pedro overflow camp? Surely, she’s on wanted lists now along with Rex.

Gwen (to Alicia): “Then you’d have to face the truth, wouldn’t you? This isn’t a hospital, this is a concentration camp.”

Stuart (to Jack): “You don’t believe me? You think I’m the epitome of evil. The devil in a three piece suit.”

I have to admit that I loved Jack’s flirting with the waiter and even Janet, the now ex mistress of Stuart Owens.

Receptionist (to Esther): “How blonde are you? It’s a lockdown, we haven’t got clearance. Stay at your desk.”

Rex: “It was you.”
Colin: “I’m sorry.”
Rex (re Vera): “You killed her.”
Colin: “I’m very sorry, it’s been a long day. I wanna go home.”

Did Rhys actually admit that Jack is an attractive fellow? He seemed to when he was trying to bluff his way past security? And where’s Gwen’s dad as well? Do the mystery kidnappers have him too?

Rex (re Colin): “What happened?”
Esther: “I killed him. Oh my God, I killed him.”

Gwen: “This is the truth for the whole world to see. We let our governments build concentration camps. They build ovens in our names. Now I don’t care if the whole of society bends over and takes this like a dog, I’m saying no.”
Jack: “That’s my girl.”

Chronology: From where “The Categories Of Life” left off.

I’ve been critical about this season and I still will be until the end but at the same, I actually loved this episode. “The Middle Men” had Torchwood being competent; it had actual progress and some decent mystery. I cannot wait for the next episode.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Friday, August 12, 2011

Top TV Pairings Part 7

Here's my penultimate part in the Top TV Pairings special. I should have the next part up by next Sunday.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer - Willow Rosenberg/Tara McClay

Long before the likes of The L Word and Lip Service and certainly before Brittana, the power lesbian couple on TV were witchy duo Willow and Tara and undoubtedly, they were also the best relationship that Joss Whedon ever devised as well. So much that it stung like a fecker when Tara was killed by misogynistic nerd Warren during the series sixth season. Kennedy was an okay addition in the seventh year but the spark wasn't the same sadly.

Glee - Kurt Hummell/Blaine Anderson

Much as I love this show, at least 80% of the relationships either bore, annoy or largely make me feel indifferent. Given the overexposure of Blaine as a character, there's a chance I might feel that way about him and Kurt in Season 3 but for now, they're the best of a surprisingly uninspired lot and I say that as a huge fan of the show.

Misfits - Simon Bellamy/Alisha Bailey

Every now and then you get an unexpected relationship and the one between Simon and Alisha in the series second year was certainly. The writers did a brilliant job with this timey-wimey (ish) love arc and hopefully the more settled version of the pairing will still be a joy to watch in the upcoming third series.

Dexter - Dexter Morgan/Lumen Pierce

I was a big fan of Dexter/Rita during the show's first four years but something about Dexter's relationship with rape victim, Lumen struck a massive chord with the series. It did seem for the first time, Dexter was allowed to be emotionally honest with a woman. It made sense that their relationship came to an end after Lumen finished off her attackers, but as an arc, it was a captivating viewing experience.

Merlin - Arthur Pendragon/Guinevere

Much better than the Camelot version of the love story, this Arthur and Gwen is one we've seen develop over three years with some needed changes as well. I personally cannot wait to see how much further their relationship is explored during the fourth year.

Monday, August 08, 2011

My Review of True Blood's 4x07: "Cold Grey Light Of Dawn"

Written by Alexander Woo
Directed by Michael Ruscio

Jessica: “The sun!”

God damn it, Marnie/Antonia! Out of all the vampires I wanted to actually see kissing daylight, Jessica wasn’t one of them – even if she did seem determined to actually kill Marnie/Antonia. Then again, maybe I shouldn’t panic just yet.

Sure, Jessica managed to get out of her restraints, tricked a guard into opening her cell and ignored Bill’s pleas before trying to walk outside but considering that Jason was inches away from her aid, there is a hopeful possibility that Jessica might not be a casualty just yet. One can at least hope, right?

This was one hell of an episode for Jessica and her bonds with three prominent men in her life. On one hand, it’s looking increasingly likely that she and Hoyt are due for splitsville once again and on the other, it’s also looking rather likely that Jessica and Jason may share a connection of sorts too.

Jessica’s blood is definitely tying Jason’s loyalties up in knots as well. He tried to console Hoyt in the best way possible but also found himself compelled to come to Jessica’s aid as soon as he became aware that magic was afoot to make vampires walk in the daylight. In that respect, I gotta love Jason. He can be quite the hero when he sets his mind to it.

However the best bonding scenes Jessica had in this episode were with Bill. I love how their relationship has evolved over the last few seasons and it’s without a doubt one of the best dynamics we have. Bill was determined to keep Jessica safe but he was also determined to keep her humanity intact too. Even the most ardent of Bill haters have to respect that at least.

Another thing worthy of respecting Bill for was the fact that he informed both Sookie and Eric about Marnie/Antonia’s spell casting antics. He could’ve left them defenceless or even locked Eric away from Sookie but he didn’t. I’m not saying that we’re gonna get a Bill who approves of Sookie/Eric but unlike last week, at least he was being mature about things.

Speaking of Sookie and Eric, more sex between them this week and also, some much needed dialogue as well. I’m glad that there’s a part of Sookie that seems aware that she couldn’t love the old Eric, even if it’s sort of contradicted by the fact that a part of the old Eric is also capable of being the man she now seems to love.

Eric this week finally got some decent clothing but once again, I think the writers overdid it on some of his dialogue to a degree. I get that this Eric is supposed to be in love with Sookie but isn’t the one he doesn’t want to turn back into also in love with Sookie? Also, it’s been six episodes and Eric’s still without memory. I thought at this point, like with last season’s Bill’s abduction that Eric would’ve regained his memory by now. I guess we’re going to have to wait a little longer.

One thing we didn’t have to wait longer for was Tara making a reckless decision again. Dumping Naomi might have been a smart thing to do but did she have to join up with Marnie/Antonia’s quest against vampires so easily? Considering how prone Tara is to making bad decisions, it might have been wise if she had actually spent more than five minutes thinking it through.

More amazingly is how quickly Holly and the rest of the coven also joined in on the act. It wasn’t so long ago that they were horrified over the necromancing and now they’re actively participating in genocide. I guess now I can feel some kind of sympathy for the vampires against Marnie/Antonia. Except for Luis, but thanks to Bill, that annoying vampire is no more, so there’s still a little plus side to the witches’ plans.

Keeping with the witch stuff – Lafayette’s a medium? Well, that’s nice but again why did Jesus’s grandfather have to put him through the ringer to convey that piece of information? And while we’re at it, can Jesus get something to do because as pretty as he is to look at; he’s feeling like a spare part too.

I did find the scene where Lafayette could see the spirit woman around Mikey interesting as well. I’m wondering if that spirit is genuinely harmful or not because she kind of seemed friendly. Let’s hope they don’t continue to drag this little plot out too long as well, even if it is nice to have an episode where Arlene isn’t ranting about her son being the spawn of Satan for once.

Meanwhile, there was a time when Pam struck me as a sharp vampire but now, without Eric, she’s letting her emotions get the better of her. Attacking Tara and Naomi is only going to bite her in the ass considering she was caught on camera and Dr Ludwig’s solution for the rotting flesh isn’t going to fix her either. Pam really is in one of the worst positions right now, isn’t she?

Last but no least – Tommy, Sam and Luna. I’m glad that Sam and Luna worked out what Tommy had done pretty quickly and while I sort of felt a tiny bit sorry for Tommy, I think he got off lightly, considering what he did to Luna. Sam had every right to throw Tommy out but for some reason, I don’t think we’re done with the character just yet.

Also in “Cold Grey Light Of Dawn”

Marnie/Antonia used Luis to kill Katie and attack Bill. I actually felt bad for Katie. She didn’t deserve to die.

Pam (to the crowd): “I am not a zombie.”

Maybe not, Pam but I really want to see what this show’s take on a zombie is. Maybe it’s something they should consider for next year.

Alcide: “It’s not right to leave her alone.”
Debbie: “It’s not right to be thinking about Sookie when we’ve joined a new pack.”

Naomi: “I changed my mind. I don’t like Tara and everything you’ve shown me says you don’t really like her. Fuck her, let’s go.”

Alcide/Debbie joined Marcus’s pack and it seems that Debbie has realised that Alcide is into Sookie. Well, she’s always known, hasn’t she?

Bill: “It appears the reunion was a happy one.”
Eric: “Yes, very much so.”
Sookie: “Shush, Eric.”

Marnie/Antonia: “You may call me Antonia.”
Tara: “Why should I call you anything?”
Marnie/Antonia: “Because we are alike. Because we have both suffered at the hands of vampires. They have raped us, fed on us, am I right?”

Where was Nan during this episode? I assumed that Bill warned her about Marnie/Antonia’s spell but it was odd not seeing her here.

Sookie (to Eric): “I’m sorry. I’ve lost too many people in my life, I can’t lose you too.”

Bill: “I’ve had 175 years on this Earth and I’ve accomplished little good. If we survive, when we survive the day, I’ll put a stop to it.”
Jessica: “But you have done good, you made me and we survive the day, I’m going to eat that fucking witch, starting with her face.”

Other bits: Steve Newlin’s been missing for six months, Andy’s date with Holly went awry and Maxine’s elderly neighbour was the only vampire we saw killed in daylight.

Marnie/Antonia (to her coven): “But understand this – vampires are not immortal. They are only harder to kill and that is where our humanity is our greatest advantage, for our human spirits are immortal. I stand before you as living proof of this very fact. I have matched my human spirit against their emptiness and I have now won. Now I require your support, so we may do so again. Let us show these vampires the fury and power of the human spirit. We have waited 400 years for this. Who of you will join me?”

Chronology: From where “I Wish I Was The Moon” left off and standout music wise, it’s gotta be Nick Lowe’s “Cold Grey Light Of Dawn”.

Well, while I preferred the previous episode, I have to admit that “Cold Grey Light Of Dawn” is fantastic. It’s nice to see Marnie/Antonia step up her game as a credible foe and while Jessica’s demise would be effective, I’m still hoping for Jason to save her.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Why We Don't Kill The Duplicate

And here's my second TV jumble blog of the week ...

Angry Boys: The finale has to air on Tuesday but I've loved the last two episodes of this show. Gran's Alzheimers storyline has been handled wonderful and it's nice that after weeks of Skype-ing that we'll actually see her interact with Daniel and Nathan in next week's episode. Also well handled was giving Smouse a sense of humanity but writing that song for the squashed Aborigine kid and having Tim get rid of his mother as a manager. Kind of gratifying considering how monstrous that character was, isn't it?

Camelot: Well, that was certainly an interesting finale. For a moment there, I actually thought Morgan's plan to take over was going to succeed but er, I guess Arthur is harder to kill after all. Stripping Morgan of her power and her nun (nice slicing skills there, Gawain) should've ended her chaos but erm, the ending means that she won't down without a fight. However, there were some hiccups. Merlin literally did nothing of interest at all in this one and Igraine's death lack something. Too bad we won't get a second run of this show.

Smallville: Teri Hatcher playing the mother of Lois Lane is one of the most exciting things this show has done and this show has always used Superman people throughout it's ten years. But seriously, an episode delivering some much needed backstory on both Tess and Granny Goodness was a winner for me. Too bad the next episode where Aquaman and Green Oliver were nearly killed by another bunch of anti-vigilante wasn't half as interesting.

The Hour: Okay, I am hooked to this show, so the less than impressive ratings that it's getting on BBC2 are slightly worrying. The episode at Hector and Marnie's country home was actually the best one we've had and that's despite Kish's death and Hector/Bel's affair being predictable as well. Still utterly loving Freddie as a character. He might be patronising at times but he certainly is charming and I bet I can guess Adam's secret as well. Only three more to go.

The Vampire Diaries: Two solid episodes in a row and also two that seemed to further stuff. Katherine may be entombed but I doubt she's going to remain that, especially considering the emphasis she put on her not killing Elena. As for Rose and Elijah, definitely two promising characters and ones that hopefully won't be bumped off so speedily. Unlike Damon, I want some actual badass vampires on this series. Oh and I loved the stuff with Tyler/Caroline and Jeremy/Bonnie in the last two episodes as well.

- It's been confirmed - Desperate Housewives will end in 2012 with it's upcoming eighth season. Both Marcia Cross and Vanessa Williams even confirmed it on their Twitter pages.
- Lara Pulver has been cast as Irene Adler in the second series of Sherlock, due to air in 2012.
- Wilfred, Louie and It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia have all been renewed by FX.
- The US X Factor will start on September 21st on FOX. TV3 will be airing it a day later for Irish viewers.
- John Stamos and Jenny McCartney will both appear in Two And A Half Men's ninth season premiere. Ashton Kutcher's character is called Walden Schmitz, a billionaire with a broken heart. Er, okay then.
- Ricky Gervais will be appearing in one season of Family Guy, playing a dolphin called Billy Flinn who moves in next door to the Griffins. Oh, joy!