Monday, October 31, 2011

Lip Service - Season 1 Review


You gotta give BBC3 their dues. Their comedies might have an alarming hit and miss rate about them but their dramas are solid stuff and tackling a lesbian themed one set in Glasgow could draw comparisons to The L Word but actually this is a better show with a likeable set of characters and intriguing triangles here and there.

Episode 1: Interesting opening episode. We learn that Cat's ex-girlfriend Frankie is back in town and she's on a mission to learn more about her past while Cat becomes friendly with a cop named Sam. Elsewhere Tess has the hots for the seemingly straight Lou as well as an embarrassing run in with an ex-girlfriend.

Episode 2: It's the one where Frankie meets the reckless and light fingered Sadie while continuing to look into her past and it's also the one where Tess makes an eejit of herself on live television and Cat and Sam begin their relationship.

Episode 3: One of the strongest episodes but sadly the one where Tess is dumped by Lou so she can date her horrible co-host while Jay fools around with an office intern with some disastrous results.

Episode 4: Frankie and Jay get a bit too close to each other after spending time together, Tess learns the hard way that internet dating isn't a good idea and Cat lies to Sam, putting their relationship in danger.

Episode 5: The best episode of the bunch Tess having the worst birthday (bad botox, Ed admitting his real feelings for her) and also the one where Sadie is given the elbow and Frankie and Jay's one nighter is revealed to everyone.

Episode 6: Good finale, even if the Cat/Frankie/Sam triangle takes a pretty predictable turn but the solution to Frankie's search into her past is a clear indicator of better storylines in the second season. It's also nice to see Tess with a suitable love interest in Finn as well.

An excellent series and also proof that when BBC3 put some concentration into it, they can produce a good drama that isn't supernatural. I'm definitely hoping that the second season is going to be just as good.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Soap Discussion - October 2011

And here's a soap blog. I'll have something different as my final blog for the month of October.

Coronation Street: The sad real life death of Betty Driver aside, October did seem more eventful for the show than it has been for the last while. The aftermath of Carla's rape and the arrival of Frank's horrible mother certainly made things difficult for Underworld's running but the return of John Stape for the billionth time and his subsequent death did make for some oddly entertaining viewing, even if his quest to get Fiz out of jail didn't really go to plan. I think that will be Stape's legacy as a character - a man whose plans never take off the way he wants them to.

EastEnders: Definitely a good month for this - both Eddie/Vanessa left with no fuss, Michael and Janine realise they have a tolerance for each other, Amira's timely returned to create more havoc with Christian and Syed and everyone is still stupidly being manipulated by Yusef, though that one is set to change. Also, I have to praise the show for the surprising way in which Phil handled Ben's sexuality (though did we really have to see him and Lola test it out?) and Ian and Mandy's bumbling romance is way better to watch than Kat and Alfie's deteriorating marriage again. Oh and it looks like Pat's exit has well and truly been set up too.

Emmerdale: Did we need a new family in the village? Maybe not but so far, while I can't stand Sean (one Aaron is more than enough on this show), I do like that we have an older gay couple with Ali and Ruby and I haven't really minded Rachel or Amelia either. Speaking of Aaron, this has been one of his better months with less antics than usual. As for the Marlon/Laurel and Cain/Moira affairs, neither are compelling and seem to be there to fill up airtime rather than anything else.
Fair City: Not that interesting a month. Suzanne's pregnancy seems to have clogged up most of the storylines as Carol seemed to have given birth with little fuss while the Bishops have seemingly petered in the background, apart from Sasha's mother arriving. Oh and no show, I really don't care about Dermot and Jo's financial problems.

Hollyoaks: Yes, it was Fright Night and in a month where Silas toyed with Lynsey, abducted Mercedes and generally seemed to dominated the voiceovers on Channel 4, even I didn't expect the twist on Friday's E4 episode. Not spoiling it here, because you can see it tomorrow on Channel 4 but either way, this really should be instrumental to Silas's downfall as a murderer. As for the fallout of Carl and Mercedes's affair and the departure of Lee - better than the Freshers antics for the time being. Good month overall.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Misfits - Season 2 Review

First thing is first, this article will contain some spoilers in relation to the second season, which aired over a year ago, so if you haven't seen it, then don't read on. If you have seen Season 2 and read some of the TV jumble blogs from last year when I talked about it, then nothing I'll be talking about will be that much of a spoiler. I'm not trying to be discourteous to anyone but there will be some spoilers here and I've given fair warning.

Episode 1: It's another set up episode for the series - first with Nathan being back into the mix, following the first season finale and then setting up the arrival of a super-hoodie who has been watching over the gang. The antics with a shape shifter from Simon's past also drive the opening story quite well.

Episode 2: Nathan gains a brother for the whole of an episode and then disaster strikes, while he deals with lingering issues with his father. There's also more to Nathan's powers that are revealed in this one as well while new girl Nikki is introduced towards the end of the episode to the gang.

Episode 3: A big one for the series. The identity of the hoodie is revealed when Alisha digs deeper while Curtis gets involved with Nikki and both Nathan and Kelly are up under the influence of a tattoo artist and it's up to Simon to save the day.

Episode 4: One of the most bizarre episodes going. The Gamer plot was interesting enough but it seemed like they got rid of the hoodie plot a little too quickly, even if Alisha is well aware of who the mystery person was under the mask. And Nikki gets a power of her own in an unusual way.

Episode 5: A costume party and an unusual love interest for Kelly? Also one of the best episodes we've had. The Jessica plot, despite being a bit unoriginal also worked rather well and even Curtis and Nikki getting together played out nicely.

Episode 6: For a brief moment, the gang became famous and a disgruntled freak took it upon himself to create as much havoc as he could with the strangest power going. This episode is probably more remembered for Simon and Alisha getting closer and Nathan's meaning behind the word, 'tripling'.

Episode 7: If ever there was a Christmas special that couldn't be described as typical, it's this one. Well, we did get a birth, a death, a classic line from Kelly and one hell of a game changing moment in the last scene.

In terms of a second year, this was a superb success from start to finish. It improved upon the first season, developed the characters even better and never lost it's coarse veneer throughout. I'm definitely glad I got into this show.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Review of Dexter's 6x01: "Those Kinds Of Things"

Written by Scott Buck
Directed by John Dahl

Dexter (to Joe): “What would Jesus have done? Seriously now?”

It’s amazing that we’ve actually long enough within this show’s lifespan and the character of Dexter that it’s only now where religion seems to have finally been addressed at all. I’m not sure if it’s necessarily a good thing as such but like with many a plot I have uncertainty about, I shall do my best to keep an open mind.

Let’s start the religious spiel into Dexter’s personal life. I get that Angel’s a great friend and his attempts of explaining God were reasonable enough but why does Dexter think it’s a good idea to send Harrison to a school run by nuns? Does he really think that a sense of enlightenment and rules will keep Harrison on the straight and narrow? I just don’t think that Dexter would be that naive on the matter.

I did however find it rather interesting when Deb broached Dexter’s own little guidelines with Harrison halfway through the episode. It’s time like this where I do hope and wonder that Deb is beginning to see deeper and deeper into who her brother really is but the more she does, the more it will inevitably change the way she sees him entirely altogether. I don’t know if I’m sure that I want a Deb who isn’t on her brother’s side even if her reactions would be understandable in the circumstance.

Dexter blew it with the nun initially when he openly admitted to having a lack of a religious belief in anything but somehow managed to redeem himself and get Harrison into the school by being a bit more honest and appealing towards the nun in question. At least that’s one worry in terms of religion that Dexter can stroke off the list.

Too bad for him that another one comes in the shape of a Professor Gellar and his creepy little acolyte named Travis Marshall (occasionally Wikipedia can deliver the accurate goods) who certainly made an impression in this first episode alone. I’m not sure if they’re going to usurp the likes of Brian Moser or Arthur Mitchell but they’d definitely give Jordan Chase a run for his money.

Watching them capture a pregnant water snake to steal it’s babies and then put them inside an unfortunate vendor that Travis decided to machete to death was a new level of disgusting for this show. It also gave Deb another appropriate reaction as well. Holy Frankenfuck anyone? I’m not exactly sure what these two have intended for Miami but whatever has begun, I’m sure it’s going to give Dexter no end of worries in the next few weeks, that’s for sure.

Also keeping with the religious overtones of this episode – Dexter went to his high school reunion and got to achieve a lot of things. He got a memorable encounter with a hot girl named Trisha and he probably fulfilled every geek’s fantasy by getting to kill a mean jock named Joe Walker towards the end of the episode.

Dexter at his school reunion was definitely a good highlight of the episode but there seemed to a lot more focus on it than I thought there would be. The bad dancing and myriad of people who wanted to talk to Dexter (mainly about Rita) was all well and good but it was his final confrontation with Joe that was a personal highlight.

Not just because Joe was killed for abusing and murdering his wife Janet but because Joe was pretty happy to talk about repenting before Dexter did him in. Funny, how Joe seemed to be okay about killing his wife and repenting for it but not believing that Dexter couldn’t repent for killing him in the end.

Elsewhere when Dexter wasn’t bumping mean jocks off, it seemed that he bought the apartment next door to him and Angel’s sister Jamie wound up becoming Harrison’s babysitter. I didn’t even know that Angel had a sister but it was funny how the episode had both Dexter and Angel correcting the audience and a waiter about who Jamie was to them on seperate occasions.

As for the character, Jamie seems nice enough and probably had more dialogue in this one episode than Sonya did in all of the previous season but I can’t help but wonder if we really need the character, unless they’re setting her up for something more in the next few weeks. I kind of hope so but I’m not sure what though.

As for Angel – divorced from Maria, really show? I was hoping they would’ve worked through their problems rather than throw the towel in. Still, it was nice that Maria actually made Angel into a Lieutenant after blackmailing Chief Deputy Matthews into making her a Captain.

If Matthews was a more likeable character and Maria’s history was different, I might actually have felt sorry for the former and appalled by the latter but them are the breaks when it comes to this show. I don’t doubt that Matthews will find a way to get his own back on Maria pretty soon in the same way I don’t doubt that Maria will do something to annoy the other main characters as well.

Last but not least – Quinn and Masuka. They didn’t really seem to have much to do in this one but with the former trying to find a way to propose to Deb while helping her with a gunman at a restaurant and the latter choosing a smart intern and then having to settle for a hot one instead. I’m pretty sure they’ll get more to do later in the season anyways.

Also in “Those Kinds Of Things”

The Previously On bit was longer than usual with a recap of the first five seasons, which really does show how much has happened on the series.

Dexter (to himself): “There are times in our lives where everything seems to go wrong.”

The opening scene was interesting – Dexter killing the EMT’s Ben and Roger but not in the same ritualistic manner that he later did with Joe.

Nun: “What do you believe in Mr Morgan?”
Dexter: “Nothing. I don’t believe in anything.”

Matthews: “Watch your back, Maria; you’re playing with the big boys now.”

From the dialogue we had at the end, it turns out that though they’re siblings, both Angel and Jamie did not live with each other.

Harry: “Put all those things together and it makes you ...”
Dexter: “... Popular.”
Harry: “How does it feel?”
Dexter: “I hate it.”

Maria: “Okay, my motives are not unselfish. I need someone who I can trust, someone who has my back.”
Angel: “I don’t know. I’m someone who needs to be on the streets.”

There were a few cult actors in this one. Brea Grant from Heroes is Ryan, the attractive intern for Masuka, Edward James Olmos from Battlestar Galactica is Professor Gellar and Travis Marshall is played by Colin Hanks from Roswell.

Angel (re belief in God): “It’s very hard to put into words.”
Dexter (to himself): “Because it makes no sense.”

Deb: “How do you know Greek?”
Quinn: “I dated some sorority chick back in the day.”
Deb: “Of course you did.”

Standout music: MC Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This”, purely for Dexter’s awkward dancing and hammer time references in the episode.

Dexter (re Joe): “Fast reflexes. I hate jocks.”

Travis: “So, it’s begun?”
Gellar: “Yes, it’s begun.”

Chronology: I read somewhere that nearly a year has passed since “The Big One”, which would seem to explain a lot of the changes in this episode.

As an opening story went, “Those Kinds Of Things” isn’t necessarily the best one we’ve ever had on the show but it was definitely interesting enough and had plenty of good moments. I’m not sure if the religion theme can be sustained throughout the season or how Gellar and his protégé will pan out as villains but I am looking forward to finding out on both counts.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Misfits - Season 1 Review

This was another show I caught sort of late (but not too late to catch). The series surrounding five teens in community service dealing with superpowers after a freak storm – Kelly/reading people's thoughts, Alisha/driving people wild sexually, Simon/invisibility, Curtis/turning back time and Nathan/being unable to die but once I started watching it, I became bloody hooked to it.

Episode 1: Pretty much sets up everything. Introduces us all to the five main characters, gives them their superpowers and also sees them killing their probation officer in self-defence, setting up a quest for the man's girlfriend to be looking for answers for the rest of the series.

Episode 2: It's the one where Nathan gets a hot new girlfriend and it turns out that Ruth is actually an older woman who becomes younger thanks to the freak storm. It's also the one where Nathan realises that his mother's new boyfriend has been affected by the storm as well.

Episode 3: Simon deals with the possibility of the bodies being discovered but mainly this episode seemed to one in which Alisha grew closer to Curtis and they tried to find ways of being intimate without actually touching each other.

Episode 4: An excellent flashback episode where we learned what led to Curtis's downfall originally as well as what the other kids were up to on the same night. Curtis's attempts of rewriting his own history and dumping his girlfriend also seemed to keep backfiring on him as well.

Episode 5: Maybe the best episode of the first series. It's the one where Nathan was put in the position of caring for a child and the same one where Simon ended up killing Sally after she discovered the truth about her boyfriend's disappearance.

Episode 6: The subplot with the cult called Virtue was nicely done but after six episodes, the most important thing about this episode was finally learning that Nathan could actually be unable to die. A nice way of ending the first year.

An incredibly impressive first run of episodes, it's no wonder this show has generated so much love. It's a refreshing incorrect take on the superhero genre with five genuinely interesting and diverse characters. As for the best part – the second series is even better.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The King Is Dead, Long Live The King

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

Downton Abbey: If you haven't read this week's Radio Times (the Crawley ladies are on the cover), then it's become apparent from some critics that Season 2 is a little too soapy, especially with the turn of events here - William's deathbed wedding to Daisy, Matthew's paralysis, Vera's much welcomed demise, more obstacles for Bates and Anna, Carlisle having Mary in his grasp and even Robert seemingly being tempted by a new housemaid whose circumstances have some slight similarities to Ethel. On the plus side, the war is finally over but on the flipside, Lavinia is back. Can both her and Carlisle just do one already?

Merlin: There are plenty of ways a young prince might want to celebrate his birthday. Nearly being assassinated and witnessing his own father's death probably aren't that high on the list. Much as I like Anthony Stewart Head, I just won't miss Uther as a character (though Aggravaine is becoming just as annoying) and his death has been overdue. More interesting was Morgana's sense of conflict when she learned that Uther had perished due to one of her spells interfering with Merlin's attempts to save. The next episode featuring the birth of a white dragon was also interesting, even if Game Of Thrones handled that plot much better.

Smallville: Interesting set of episodes. Apart from some nice progression with Darkseid and Lois holding off on marrying Clark, I think the returns of both Zod and Kara in the last two episodes, particularly considering the effect they both had on Oliver. I can't wait to see how the last two episodes wrap up ten years of superhero antics.

The Fades: I am really loving this show now. After a slow start, it's really picked up considerable pace and while some of the female characters (apart from Sarah) still need improving, I am loving the rivarly between Angelics 'leader' Paul and Fades leader John and Sarah becoming a fade was definitely not something I expected to see. Unfortunately, the writers really are not doing a lot in Neil's favour, are they? Having him resort to taking Mac hostage to get Paul onside isn't the best way of getting us to understand his point of view.

The X Factor: It's amazing how crazy this show gets and not in a good way. Who do the producers think they're fooling? The petty squabbling between the judges is old hat and Kelly and Tulisa are acting like spoiled brats doesn't help matters. Misha B's a bully? If true, there are better ways of handling it and for the love of God, get rid of that insufferable Frankie once and for all, please. Even Gary was forced to admit he was dire and the show's handling of rock week was unbelievably bad on so many levels. Tulisa, I know you're 23 but you do realise that Kesha, Salt 'N' Pepa and Gnarls Barkley aren't rock, right? Count yourself lucky that Sami's cruise ship singing doomed her on Sunday or it would've been one of your acts for the chop.

The Walking Dead: I'm always mystified that it takes nearly a year for FXUK to air the latest seasons of Dexter and True Blood but somehow they're able to air this show within days of US transmission. The second season of this show started on Friday and it's still as slow moving but interesting as ever. I'm hoping with thirteen episodes that the show has enough time to utilize every character better than the first one did. Oh and the cliff hanger at the end of the first episode was certainly a good shocker.

- Kristofer Polaha has mentioned that there are more interesting times ahead for Henry in the next couple of episodes of Ringer.
- Pan Am is expected to be picked up for a full first season as Steve Maeda has joined the series as executive producer.
- Lea Michele has recently mentioned that she was grossed out filming a sex scene for an upcoming episode of Glee. Er, too much info there.
- Both John Hannah and Ryan Philippe will be appearing in the fifth season of Damages. Season 5 will also be the series last season as well.
- Courtney Cox and David Arquette has sold a pilot named Skinny Girl to ABC.
- True Blood's fifth season will introduce a vampire named Nora, who is one of Godric's progeny and a sister to Eric as well as a mysterious character called Salome.

Monday, October 24, 2011

How Bad Are We?

And here is the first of two TV jumble blogs to look forward to during the week.

Pan Am: If I needed a reminder that there was no more Brothers And Sisters, then the arrival of ABC's new air stewardess drama on Irish TV was a nice way of doing so. It'd be easy to dismiss the series as a Mad Men for ladies but actually, it's a bit more interesting than said show to be honest. The most interesting character to emerge out of the ladies is Kate and the fact that she's working for the FBI. It's hard to tell if this show will be a long runner but I'm intrigued enough to give a few more episodes a go.

Shameless: The last two episodes of the eighth series ended the show on a reasonable enough note. Okay, I'm not a fan of Mimi and Billy as a couple, so their wedding wasn't that much of a highlight but Carl's out of nowhere decision to become a policeman and the breakdown of Kelly and Shane was surprisingly a lot more effective. Frank was still his unfortunate useless self (why is this character still on this show?). Here's hoping that Series 9 next year is better paced. The series certainly suffered from pacing problems.

Spy: Sky1's latest take on comedy is thankfully a lot better than their last few efforts. Spy will not win points for originality and Robert Lindsay's hammy acting does rear it's head but Darren Boyd is excellent as the hapless Tim who accidentally became a member of MI5. Also oddly funny is the Stewie Griffin-ish son Marcus, whose pithy observations might not be realistic for a nine year old but they are entertaining to watch. Definitely one of Sky1's better efforts.

The Apprentice (Ireland): I've been relegating this to a Sunday afternoon repeats but blimey, I wasn't expecting Eoin to actually leave. Typical. One of the most irritating contestants and we're denied the satisfaction of actually seeing him getting fired. Oh, and didn't Bill fire yet another female contestant? Any chance he can stop doing that so frequently because even I don't this series to be a boys club.

The Vampire Diaries: I really love this show and the last two episodes have made me so glad I actually took up watching. The flashbacks and reveals galore in relation to Klaus have been fun to watch and even more so, the renewed alliance with Elena/Damon and Bonnie being crafty enough to fake her own death while Jenna finally became privy to vampires and Klaus got his own body back. Of course, there's a few downers - Katherine largely being underused and Damon acting like his usual petulant/violent self when Elena took control of the Klaus and tried to find other ways of defeating. Gotta love the girl's gumption. Damon on the other hand, can just do one.
Threesome: Yay, another new comedy that I actually found myself enjoying. If this Comedy Central's attempts of doing flagship shows, then it's off to a terrific start. Even though I wasn't sure I needed to see yet another show where a gay man fathers a kid for a straight couple (during an awkward three-way during Alice's birthday), I can't help but enjoy this series. Alice, Mitch and Richie make for an interesting troika and Alice's mother in the second episode was fun to watch as well but that might be down to my soft spot for Pauline McLynn. Can't wait to watch the next few episodes.


- Jamie Bamber will be appearing in Body Of Proof as a love interest for Dana Delany's character.
- E4 have the rights to both Charlie's Angels (which was cancelled) and New Girl. Both are due to air on the channel in the next few weeks.
- Chord Overstreet will be returning to Glee after all, reprising his role as Sam in the eighth episode, due to air in December. Matthew Morrison will also be directing the Christmas episode this year.
- Marc Cherry is developing a new series for ABC called Devious Maids.
- Lena Hedly has said that the second series of Games Of Thrones will be even crazier than the first one.
- Catherine Tate will be reprising her role as Nellie in the second half of the eighth season of The Office.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

News Bit: ITV Have A Scapegoat

Yeah, I don't do this a lot for every one of my favourite actors but alongside his role in the upcoming two-parter, The Mystery Of Edwin Drood, it does seem that Matthew Rhys is signing up to some very interesting UK projects.

Matthew Rhys and Eileen Atkins have signed to star in The Scapegoat, a screen adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's 1957 novel.

Rhys, best known for his long-running role in Brothers and Sisters, will star in the movie version penned and to be directed by Charles Sturridge.

Billed as a psychological thriller, the script details the story of a man who meets his perfect double and takes over his life.

The project marks the debut movie production from Island Pictures, the U.K. film and TV production banner unfurled byDominic Minghella and Sarah Beardsall.

The movie is due for transmission on ITV1 in 2012, and will be followed by a worldwide theatrical distribution rollout plan to be managed by Content Media Corporation.

ITV and Content Film, Content Television and Digital have provided financial backing for the project.

The movie will be produced by Beardsall and Minghella.

Beardsall, a former high flying casting director whose resume boasts Four Weddings and a Funeral, The Talented Mr Ripleyand TV's Inspector Morse described the project as a "landmark" for Island Pictures.

"This [The Scapegoat] is our calling-card, and a statement of intent - to produce film and television with the highest of ambitions," Beardsall said.

Sturridge said it was a daunting prospect, trying to bring du Maurier's novel to life on the screen after both Alfred Hitchock and Nic Roeg had previously done adaptations of the writer's work.

"I loved the story from the moment I read it and the extraordinary mix of brilliant characters surrounding these mirror image men,” Sturridge said.

Should be interesting to watch, even if I can't help thinking it could be seen as a male version of Ringer (which is silly considering the novel came out 54 years before that series).

Saturday, October 22, 2011

My Review of Ringer's 1x06: "Poor Kids Do It Every Day"

Written by Robert Doherty
Directed by Jerry Levine

Bridget: “I would never hurt Gemma.”
Henry: “Stop lying to me, Siobhan, where is she?”
Bridget: “It’s funny. You’re trying to convince me I did something to her when you clearly look like the one who’s snapped.”

There are a lot of things that are funny but as a person, Henry really doesn’t seem like a barrel of laughs, even on a good day. So, on a bad day, he’s even surlier to be around and this episode tried to inject sympathy for him but kind of failed in a way.

I didn’t believe that Henry actually killed Gemma in the first place in the same way that I actually don’t believe that Gemma is even dead but Henry certainly doesn’t make things easy on himself. Being evasive with Andrew is one thing but getting up in Bridget’s face twice during this episode was another.

I wish I was surprised that at one point during their affair that Siobhan had gauged the idea to Henry of having Andrew and Gemma killed but Siobhan so far has been portrayed as someone who goes to ridiculously extreme lengths that her involvement in Gemma’s disappearance seemed more of an odd relief more than anything else.

It still didn’t help Henry though flying into a rage and throwing accusations at Bridget before being gullible enough to tell her where he stashed all the materials he had used to clean up the apartment as well. What I don’t get is why Bridget handled the situation in the way that she did.

Wouldn’t alerting the police to Gemma’s disappearance just attract unwanted attention her way? Oh right, that’s exactly what it did because now Victor has another new reason to harangue Bridget and figure out what she’s up to and I don’t know if trying to shaft Henry is her best course of action anyways.

Henry’s not exactly Mr Slick and I wouldn’t be surprised if with a few more police visits about Gemma if he doesn’t end up blabbing about his affair with Siobhan and then Bridget really will be screwed. No, Bridget’s only best course of action is keeping Henry sweet and hoping her little fingerprint antics don’t result in her being chucked into the slammer.

Much as I like Bridget, the woman doesn’t half make it hard for herself this week. Aside from mishandled Henry, there was also a moment where it did look like she was nearly about to fall off the wagon as well when Juliet gave her the stash of drugs to get rid of too. I suppose in this respect, it’s a good thing she did call Charlie but a) I still don’t trust him and b) I’d rather she started asking questions about Malcolm.

Speaking of Malcolm – the torture needs to stop. I’m sick of seeing the poor guy being forced in taking drugs by Macawi and his crappy sidekicks more than I’m sick of seeing Macawi in general. I was really hoping that this episode was going to put an end to all of this but sadly, it seems that’s not the cause.

Even when Victor was actually able to get a warrant to search the strip club, Macawi and his rubbish goons were able to get rid of Malcolm before Victor could get to him. I’m having a hard time taking Victor seriously at times myself but when he’s being outwitted by Macawi, I’m beginning to wonder if being a detective is Victor’s true calling in life. He doesn’t especially seem to be good at it. Unless needling Bridget counts, which it shouldn’t.

At least Siobhan seems to be covering the villainy a little more convincing than anyone else. She wanted Gemma out of the way and for the time being, her wish is in place and I’m pretty sure she’s still getting her money’s worth out of Tyler’s interest in her but personally, we need more scenes with her and a better explanation as to what’s motivating her actions as of now.

Last but not least, Juliet got an interesting enough subplot that felt less distracting to the antics of this episode. Her snobbery aside, you can’t exactly blame her for not wanting to take crap from the likes of Tessa. If you’re stupid enough to bully someone because you think they’re a soft touch, be prepared for the consequences. My respect actually went up for Juliet by not taking crap from Tessa, even if it nearly got her in trouble.

I also felt bad for her when her new principal and Andrew were both quick to decide that she started the fight, so Mr Carpenter stepping in to defend her was quite nice. That being said, I’m not sure if it’s wise for this show to go into a student/teacher hook up but it does seem that’s exactly where this show will go in relation to Juliet and Mr Carpenter though.

Also in “Poor Kids Do It Every Day”

Is every episode now going to have an opening of the city? We get that it’s based in New York, though is it actually filmed there?

Andrew (re Juliet): “Would you tell her that’s not appropriate attire for her first day of school?”
Bridget: “It’s a little fabric challenged.”

The cop Bridget beat up from the first episode – Jimmy, made a reappearance in this episode and he did not seem pleased.

Henry (re killing Andrew/Gemma): “Oh my God, you’re serious, aren’t you?”
Siobhan: “Do you want me to be? God, I’m joking. You’re gullible. It’s a good thing you’re so adorable.”

Henry (to Bridget, re Gemma): “Do you really think it was me? She’s the mother of my children, Siobhan. Now I know you may not love me anymore but please tell me you still know me. Tell me that you know I would never hurt her.”

Mr Carpenter was played Jason Dohring, who played Logan in Veronica Mars and the principal was played by Adina Porter, otherwise known as Tara’s mother in True Blood.

Bridget (to Charlie, re drugs): “Yeah, you can. These are the relics of my old life. Today’s about protecting my new one.”

Mr Carpenter: “Everyone deserves a fresh start.”
Juliet: “Thanks.”

We learned that Mr Carpenter was an army child in this episode when he was trying to comfort Juliet. Andrew had also a business meeting in Tokyo with Olivia as well.

Siobhan (re Gemma): “I didn’t want it to have to come to this.”

Chronology: It’s October if we’re going by Juliet starting public school and Gemma did not appear in this one.

Despite a rather dodgy title for an episode, “Poor Kids Do It Every Day” is still a rather good episode. It’s nice that we know who is behind Gemma’s current predicament but some more motivations and scenes with Siobhan is really needed at this point though and can Bridget please save Malcolm now?

Rating: 8 out of 10

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fandom And Black Female Characters

A few days ago, a follower/friend of mine on LiveJournal linked an article (which I'm linking as well) on fandom's attitude towards black female characters and pointed out four different shows in order to raise a point. Here's my response/opinion to what the article addresses.

Merlin: I remember reading a lot of whiny/bitchy comments about Angel Coulby's casting as Guinevere being PC, whereas I thought she was cast because she was the right person for the role. And four seasons into Merlin, I can't imagine anyone else bringing Gwen to life in the same way that Coulby has done so effortlessly.

Glee: I like Mercedes more than Rachel at times but I was divided with the both of them in the Asian F episode. Mercedes does need more to do as a character. Amber Riley does have the ability to deliver. The writers just need to get off their lazy behinds and realise that all the female characters on this show matter, not just Rachel Berry.

True Blood: Tara's hostility towards vampires in the series is justified IMO. The poor girl was kidnapped, raped and has been repeatedly threatened by them. If Franklin wasn't played by an actor that some fangirls didn't fancy or if Tara didn't have the sense to tell Sookie how destructive both Eric/Bill are, I doubt these idiots would care to ciritique.

Doctor Who: As for Martha Jones, I've never understood how such a wonderfully compassionate character like her has been the figure of hatred for certain fans. It's genuinely mind boggling stuff. How can someone this kind, resourceful, intelligent and interesting can generated that much hatred? All is proves to me that there are some fans out there who are genuinely stupid.

Article: http://www.racialicious.com/2011/10/18/fandom-and-its-hatred-of-black-women-characters/

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My Review of The Sarah Jane Adventures 5x03: "The Man Who Never Was"

Written by Gareth Roberts
Directed by Joss Agnew

Sarah Jane: “I’m gonna stop this. I’m gonna stop you.”
Harrison: “Oh, what are you gonna do? Hit me with your handbag?”

And so it is – the last ever story for this series. I’ve been looking forward to and dreading this story in equal measures, once again being reminded of the tragic passing of Elisabeth Sladen but also wondering and hoping that this story would be a good send off for the character of Sarah Jane Smith and the wonderful woman who played her.

You know what? I shouldn’t have worried because while this isn’t an epic finale, it’s a story that perfectly captured everything about the series and a story that does the opposite of what a series finale does. And unlike the recent season ender of Torchwood, the last scene will not have you wanting to bang your head against a wall in frustration.

Gareth Roberts comes up with a simple but so well executed storyline with plenty of nice surprises to keep the momentum going. In stories of the past, the Serf board/portable laptop that was about to go worldwide would’ve been an elaborate scheme to take over the world but here, they really are just laptops.

You have to admire the sheer cheek of Clyde and Rani initially wondering if Mr Smith has been affected by the portable laptop itself because he managed to put them both in their place but it was a fair question that needed addressing. Similarly the board’s creator Joseph Serf would’ve been the main villain of the piece, maybe even alien.

In this story, he’s merely a hologram for a far nastier piece of work and the real Joseph Serf’s whereabouts are actually unknown. If I was going down the theory mode, then a part of me would assume that Mr Harrison had disposed of him in some way but maybe he didn’t. Either way, we’ll never know what really happened to Joseph Serf but there were also more important bits to be getting on with, story wise.

Namely Sarah Jane and the gang stopping Mr Harrison, who didn’t so much want to take over the universe but had great pleasure in exploiting the alien aspect of it for his own good. I don’t want to use ‘saving the best for last’ but Harrison genuinely was a nasty piece of work when it came to villainous human characters on this show.

His complete and total callous treatment of the Skullions (whom he forced to maintain the presence of Joseph Serf’s existence via hologram) was more shocking than his utter willingness to kill Sarah Jane. I literally wanted to jump the air when he got his comeuppance but I get the impression that whatever punishment the Skullions subject to him on their home world, it won’t be anywhere near as terrible as the way he threatened their lives and abused their talents as a race.

With Harrison being the very worst of humanity in this story, it was nice to have Adriana stepping up as the best of it. Sure, the Skullions had no choice but to lock her up but I liked that she didn’t need Sarah Jane’s influence to have compassion towards them. I also found it rather interesting that Sarah Jane recommended her to go and see UNIT as a future career choice but it felt more natural than the last time the Doctor did it to be honest.

As for Luke and Sky, I have to praise the series for the realistic way in which it handled the transition. Luke went through the motions of feeling replaced by Sky and even being impatient with her before his ‘protective big brother’ instincts took over. Similarly, Sky did come across as the mischievous younger sibling before she also became more sensitive to Luke’s feelings. It’s too bad that we’re not going to see anymore of this.

Clyde and Rani – or Clani as Luke called them (since when was Luke into shipper names?) were also on fine form. They went from feeling a little excluded from the main adventure to being instrumental in taking down Harrison and even if they were faking it, they do make for a rather nice married couple, don’t they?

Of course the biggest highlight of this story wasn’t the mission of the week – it was the overwhelming sense of family. Over the course of five series we’ve had Sarah Jane, Kelsey (briefly), Maria, Luke, Mr Smith, K9, Alan, Chrissie, Rani, Haresh, Gita, the Brigadier, both the 10th and 11th Doctors, Jo, Santiago and Sky and it’s been a rewarding experience seeing the characters flourish.

Sarah Jane’s closing narrative about her life on Earth being an adventure and the joys of family might not be new for the series but it’s one repetition I will never have an issue with as a viewer. The closing montage of “And The Story Goes On Forever” was arguably the best coda this series could’ve ended with.

Also in “The Man Who Never Was”

This was actually the finale intended for Series 5. If circumstances had been different, there would’ve three other stories preceding it.

Joseph: “Do you want to see tomorrow today?”

Even though he will no longer be voicing Mr Smith, Alexander Armstrong has been confirmed as one of the guest stars for this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special.

Sarah Jane (to Luke/Sky/Clyde/Rani, re top journalist): “I mean me. What do you think pays for all of this, taking in washing?”

Sky: “What’s a typewriter?”
Lionel: “Goodness, make me feel more old fashioned.”
Sarah Jane: “Oh, you were already old fashioned when I was new fangled.”

I got the impression that Lionel was being set up as a possible love interest for Sarah Jane had the series gone further and circumstances been different.

Sarah Jane: “I haven’t eaten any nuts.”
Harrison: “Well you might have been in a nutty environment.”

Rani (re Serf Board): “It needs a delicate touch.”
Clyde: “Well, I’m delicate. In a manly way. I’ve got artist fingers.”

Clyde and Rani posed as Janet and Trevor Sharpe for the Twilight Years magazine. Nothing to do with sparkly vampires for a change. Oh and I liked the mention of Ellie in this one as well.

Sky: “That’s my phone.”
Luke: “Welcome to the club. I’ve had seven phones in the last two years.”

Clyde: “The cavalry’s coming and it’s me and the missus.”

Doctor Who Magazine this month has a wonderful issue dedicated to Elisabeth Sladen, including a last ever interview, shortly before her death.

Sarah Jane: “I’ve seen amazing things out there in space but strange things can happen wherever you are. I know that life on Earth can be an adventure too. In all the universe, I never expected to find a family.”

Chronology: I’m uncertain as to when this is based in 2011 but Sky has definitely been with Sarah Jane for a while.

As a final story, “The Man Who Never Was” may seem a little small for a last dance for Sarah Jane Smith but as the ending says on screen, the story really does go on forever. It’s been an amazing five series and it’s a shame that it’s no more but as a final outing to both Elisabeth Sladen and her iconic companion; this is one fitting and beautiful tribute.

Rating: 10 out of 10

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Misfits - Season 3 Preview

During the week, I'll be doing reviews for the first two series but here's a preview of the upcoming third year.

It's all systems go as Nathan has left and Rudy (Joe Gilgun) has stepped into the breach and if SFX's preview is anything to go by, Rudy will be every bit as obnoxious as his predecessors. Power deal Seth will have something of a big presence throughout the series as the gang acquire new abilities and expect episodes to focus on Nazis and zombie cheerleaders, as well as the usually politically incorrect antics you'd come to expect from this show. Simon and Alisha's relationship will continue to develop, Kelly gets a love interest and Curtis gets a new lease on life as well.
Elsewhere, Nathan may have left the building but a twelve minute scene in Las Vegas gave the character something of a decent send off. I don't know if Rudy will warm to viewers like Nathan did but as endings go for Nathan, it could've been a lot worse.

Las Vegas: http://www.channel4.com/microsites/M/misfits/main.html
Series 3 Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50anbf8dcp4

Series 3 of Misfits airs Sundays at 10pm on E4 from October 30th.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My Review of Ringer's 1x05: "A Whole New Kind Of Bitch"

Written by Shintaro Shimosawa
Directed by Janice Cooke

Gemma: “I can’t believe Siobhan killed herself. She was my best friend. I didn’t know she was in so much pain. There’s a lot of things I didn’t know.”
Bridget: “There’s a lot of things I didn’t know about Siobhan either.”

I suppose as a friend and a stepmother, Siobhan is really the worst you could have on either front but naturally, my sympathy this week went more to Gemma than it did to Juliet in that respect. And yes, it’s because I like one over the other a lot more.

This was really Gemma’s episode and I thought Tara Summers did a really good job here with keeping the character’s reactions believable at all times. It’s nice to see that it’s not just Bridget and Siobhan who are experiencing their worlds crashing around them but also Gemma has to endure it as well.

Gemma’s been experiencing a stagnating marriage for a while and has realised her best friend has been screwing her husband and to top it off, she also knows now that her best friend is dead and being impersonated by the twin sister. Even if Gemma isn’t liked by all, it’s hard to deny that her actions in this episode aren’t believable.

I liked that she initially refused to believe Bridget at face value and resorted to an old home movie to get the truth (Siobhan has a burn, Bridger doesn’t – you’d think Andrew would’ve noticed that too). I also had no issue with the mistrust she displayed towards Bridget as well in this episode.

Yes, I do like Bridget but Gemma had every right not to trust and when she told Bridget she didn’t owe her anything, it was hard to disagree with Gemma. The only bit where she went too far however was when she tried to get Bridget to sleep with Henry so she could divorce him without him getting to her money or the kids.

I wish I could care about the kids but seeing as this show hasn’t bothered to show them; it’s really hard to do. Also Henry may be a cheat but is he really a lousy father? Granted he does seem more into his writing career than being a parent or a husband and that royally pissed off Gemma this week but is that enough to justify the lengths Gemma’s willing to go to get back at him though?

I’m glad that Bridget had the sense to call Gemma’s bluff and not go through with the plan. Bridget certainly didn’t need the extra complication in her life and if she hadn’t been so reckless to tell Henry what Gemma had been up to, she might have had a valuable ally in her corner. By trying to do the right thing, Bridget actually shot herself in the foot with Gemma.

Gemma wasn’t particularly impressed with Bridget scuppering her plans and if it weren’t for the ending, I get the feeling she would’ve gone through with telling Andrew about what really happened to Siobhan. So, did Henry kill her? I don’t think he did and I actually don’t believe that Gemma’s dead either.

Of course the evasive behaviour Henry showed at the end of the episode won’t do him any favours but it’s more than likely that Gemma’s probably being held captive somewhere so she can’t spill the beans about Siobhan rather than actually being killed. Either that or she’s faking her own death but Siobhan already has that angle covered. Would we really need another character doing the same thing?

As for Juliet, her axe to grind with Siobhan is believable but unlike Gemma, I just didn’t care enough. Her bratty behaviour throughout the episode because she learned her father was sleeping with Siobhan before leaving her mother was believable but it wasn’t necessarily interesting and during some parts in the episode, it was more of a distraction than a highlight for the series.

Also we seemed to have the same solution as to her last appearance – someone finally points out that her excessive hedonism (and why does American teen hedonism always look like child’s play compared to UK teen hedonism?) will lead her down a dark path and eventually Juliet gets a scene where she thinks she’s bonding with Siobhan while largely questioning that her stepmother would never show this level of concern.

This is also an interesting plot point of itself. For all Juliet’s harping on about how much of a bitch Siobhan, it’s amazing how oblivious Andrew now seems to be around his ‘wife’. So far, Bridget’s been able to cover her tracks rather well but eventually something’s going to have to tip Andrew off to the fact that he’s living with a woman who is a) no pregnant and b) not his wife.

Speaking of eventualities, can someone please free poor Malcolm? It’s hard watching him being doped on drugs by Bodaway and his crappy cronies and it’s excruciating to watch some of the most wooden actors trying to be menacing. I really want to take Bodaway seriously as a villain but he’s just so lame that it’s impossible to do.

Is there any chance this show could kill him off in the first half of the series and spend the rest of it dealing with whoever Siobhan has legged it from? I say this because I genuinely do not think that Bodaway is a strong enough character to be sustained and it would be an interesting game changer too, if I’m being candid.

Also in “A Whole New Kind Of Bitch”

It’s just occurred to me that both Gemma and Andrew are the breadwinners of their respective marriages. Henry’s also getting more rejections as well from publishers.

Gemma (answer phone): “You’ve reached Gemma. Don’t be boring.”

Given that Siobhan had a burn below her hand; it is actually amazing that no-one has spotted it until now. Bridget’s had enough contact with all of Siobhan’s main people after all.

Andrew (re Juliet): “I’m not naive. I just don’t want to think of her that way. She’s my little girl.”
Bridget: “I know. That’s why we’re gonna help her.”

Bridget (to an NA meeting): “I thought lying was bad but compared to the truth. I thought the truth was supposed to set you free.”

Bridget told Andrew that a ‘cousin’ of hers had similar problems to Juliet (who’s being sent to public school) and doesn’t Charlie the sponsor seem a little suspect?

Stripper: “Are you looking for something?”
Malcolm: “Yeah, the exit.”

Bridget: “Thank you.”
Gemma: “Yeah, don’t thank me yet. I have a favour to ask you.”

It’s not relevant to the episode in any way but I just realised that Tara Summers (Gemma) is in the Snow Patrol video for “Called Out Of The Dark”.

Gemma: “This is about your book?”
Henry: “What did you think I was talking about?”
Gemma: “You define yourself by your book? Not by being a husband or a father?”

Juliet: “You and I both know the only person Siobhan cares about is herself.”
Andrew: “I don’t believe that.”

Malcolm smashed his phone in order to prevent Bodaway from reaching Bridget. Please, someone save the poor guy?

Bridget (to Henry, re Gemma): “Your wife knows about us. She overheard us in the Hamptons. She knows about the affair, the baby, that’s why she left.”

Bridget: “Do you have any idea how many twisted things I’ve learned about my sister’s life in the last few weeks?”
Gemma: “Well, she kind of sucks.”

Standout music: Transit’s “Always Find Me Here”, which was a great piece to end the episode with.

Bridget: “Siobhan failed you as a friend. Give me a chance. Maybe I can be the friend she wasn’t.”
Gemma: “What the hell am I doing? I don’t even know who I am anymore.”

Chronology: Straight from where “It’s Gonna Kill Me But I’ll Do It” left off and both Siobhan and Victor were missing from this one.

It’s probably not as good as the previous one but “A Whole New Kind Of Bitch” maintained a good standard and the added mystery of Gemma’s whereabouts could go either way but it’s more interesting than anything Bodaway related.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Monday, October 17, 2011

Being Human - Season 4 More Casting Details

We're closer to the fourth series of Being Human and some more casting has been announced.

Irish actor Damien Molony has been cast as a vampire named Hal. The actor has mentioned in interviews that his character will be different to Mitchell, with a lot of backstory to play with and he's a bit posh too. Expect to see him in tweed suits, pressed cufflinks and the like as well. Hal is one of a few characters cropping up this series with Michael Socha reprising his role as werewold Tom McNair, Craig Roberts reappearing as Adam, Lee Ingleby as vampire elder Edgar Wyndham and Andrew Glower as Cutler. Toby Whithouse has also promised to take the characters places where they've never gone before in the eight part series.

Writers for the new series include Toby Whithouse, Lisa McGee, Jamie Mathieson, Tom Grieves, and John Jackson as well as directors such as Philip John and Daniel O'Hara. An official synopsis has also been released for the upcoming series as well ...

A vampire, a werewolf and a ghost do their best to live a normal human life whilst fighting off evil and bringing up a baby

In an old hotel in a sleepy seaside town, there lives a vampire, a werewolf and a ghost determined to live a quiet human life. But out there, lurking in every corner of society, there are vampires ready to rid the world of its humanity. The Old Ones are on their way and it’s up to our heroes to fight for the right to live in peace. Not only are there vampires to seek revenge on, there’s also a wicked ghost on the loose and someone’s trying to expose the existence of werewolves… Not to mention all the nappies that need changing!

Season 4 of Being Human will air on BBC3 from January 2012.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Doctor Who - Christmas 2011 Updates

The Christmas special is done and dusted and here are some updates on it.

Alexander Armstrong tweeted this filming picture with him and Matt Smith and it's turned out that his character is an RAF Officer named Reg Arwell. So, presumably that means that Madge (Claire Skinner) isn't a widow after all. Both Bill Bailey and Arabella Weir's characters have been confirmed as Mysterious Harvesters A and B so far. Whether that means they're good or bad is unknown.

Another filming picture of the Doctor and Madge Arwell. The Doctor's wearing a space suit, including the helmet backwards. Before the Christmas special, there's also a new video game on the BBC site from late October called The Gunpowder Plot with the Doctor/Amy/Rory battling Sontarans/Rutans and meeting Guy Fawkes. Ralf Little and Emilia Fox are amongst the cast for it.
Meanwhile DWM have their tribute issue for actress Elisabeth Sladen ready for October 20th. The issue will interview the likes of Tom Baker, David Tennant, Matt Smith and many more on the late actress and this week coming is also the airing of the final story for The Sarah Jane Adventures called The Man Who Wasn't There.
Last but not least, the complete sixth series of Doctor Who will be getting it's release on November 21st. There are supposed to be commentaries for the episodes The Impossible Astronaut, The Doctor's Wife, The Rebel Flesh, A Good Man Goes To War and The Wedding Of River Song as well as condensed versions of Confidentials, the prequels, the Comic Relief scenes, trailers, four Monster Files (Silence/Gangers/Antibodies/Cybermats), A Night's Tale and five new scenes as well.

The Christmas special airs on Christmas Day. Times have yet to be confirmed.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

My Review of Ringer's 1x04: "It's Gonna Kill Me But I'll Do It"

Written by Cathryn Humphris
Directed by Jean De Segonzac

Bridget: “Siobhan, you just can’t run away.”
Siobhan: “Don’t you dare lecture me on what I can and can’t do. Andrew loves me. I can start over.”

And if you’ve made to the first four episodes of this show, aren’t you glad you stayed with it? I sure as hell am! When the writers talked about this show having something of a fast pace and not all the mysteries/secrets would be dragged out, even I didn’t think we’d have Bridget being forced to admit that she’s not Siobhan so quickly to someone during this Hamptons set episode.

Also I am beyond glad the someone in question happened to be Gemma as well. She was after all the best choice (with Victor being the obvious candidate for the worst) and it certainly gave this character driven episode one hell of an ending as well. I can’t wait to see how Gemma deals with this one.

Plus, it’s obvious that Gemma was going to find out after Victor informed her about Bridget’s disappearance and she had a heart to heart with her best mate about previously unmentioned sister she had. It was really telling as well the way Bridget talked about herself, obviously blaming herself for the drift that had occurred between her and Siobhan for the last six years too.

It’s also too bad for Gemma that she had to overhear Henry once again bleating on about how in love he is with Siobhan but it served as a catalyst for Bridget to confess who she really was. Andrew finding out that he’s been spending time with his wife’s sister instead of his spouse probably wouldn’t go down well as the possibility that Siobhan is carrying Henry’s child in the mix.

For the first time in the series as well, this was an episode where nearly all the main characters seemed to come alive. Gemma really does care about Siobhan in the way a best friend cares and her anger when she realised that Henry had been sleeping with her was easy to sympathise with. It certainly felt palpable when she couldn’t even celebrate Siobhan’s birthday that well either.

Speaking of Henry, this was actually a great episode for him too in a way. Up until now, I wondered how deep the relationship between him and Siobhan was and it seemed that they both seemed to love each other. I actually found myself rooting for them a little during the flashbacks scenes as well.

Those were scenes where Siobhan showed a support in Henry’s writing abilities where Gemma hasn’t and also where Henry was there for Siobhan in a way that Andrew hadn’t been. The flashback to the year before showed that work had been more of a priority for Andrew than his wife’s birthday and I’m sure there were plenty of incidents like this as well, hence Siobhan and Henry seeking solace in each other.

I also liked during the flashback was Siobhan looking at the necklace that Bridget had sent her a year ago and Henry gently probing her about it. I got the impression that had Henry pushed a little further, Siobhan might have revealed a little more to him instead of pretending that Bridget was an old friend she fell out with.

It certainly stood out during the scene where Henry saw how much the necklace affected Bridget on her birthday while pretending to be cool about walking away. It’s too bad for him that he was overheard by Gemma as well. Even if she doesn’t say anything to Andrew, I doubt Gemma is going to let Henry off the hook so easily.

Keeping with the flashbacks – I loved the plot with the necklace about Bridget and Siobhan because it obviously tied well into their present day dilemmas. Siobhan was determined to always make a fresh start and never be poor and she did that once by moving to New York and marrying Andrew. Now she’s trying to maintain in Paris with the limited funds she has.

Siobhan’s antics this week in Paris were certainly her most interesting to watch and in the last two episodes, she’s become a better character for it. I don’t doubt the actual vulnerability she displayed to Tyler when he used Martin-Charles to keep her in her hotel indefinitely but I also liked the fact that she resumed her game mode and got her plan back into action.

Four episodes in and I’m still clueless as to what Siobhan is genuinely up and who’s she both running from and trying to ruin. Is it Andrew and Bridget on both accounts or someone/something else for that matter? Either way, while it does look like Siobhan’s regained some ground, I still think it’s possible that Tyler could be well aware of who she really is. I can’t seem to shake that suspicion off for some reason.

As for Bridget, it really is about making amends though. She’s maintaining Siobhan’s life because of the people who need her and has been trying to right some of her sister’s wrongs. In flashbacks, we did see her reaching out to Siobhan at least twice while here, she was reaching out to Gemma as well.

That being said though, Bridget was also slipping in this episode too. Her continuous lying to Victor keeps egging him on (and he really is a dog with a bone here) and little things like disliking soccer and eating meat (Siobhan’s a vegetarian) seemed to rouse some suspicion as well. If she’s not careful, it’ll be more than Gemma who’ll have become privy to who she really is, won’t it?

Also in “It’s Gonna Kill Me But I’ll Do It”

I loved the opening sequence where Bridget’s nightmare including Andrew knowing who she really was and a zombie version of Siobhan.

Andrew (re Siobhan): “You let her drown.”
Bridget: “I didn’t. I wanted to save her. I tried.”
Andrew: “You lied to us all. Me, Henry, Gemma.”

Victor had gotten wind of Bridget’s distress call and Siobhan’s boat being in the wrong port. He also knows that Malcolm’s been in contact as well.

Victor: “Siobhan knows where her sister is. We’re gonna find Bridget Kelly.”
Gemma (to Andrew/Bridget): “He wasn’t looking and the vase broke.”
Henry: “No, you threw it at me.”

Bridget fell for Victor’s ruse of going back to collect her stuff. At least she had the sense to burn it all though.

Siobhan (re necklace): “We could always buy one and share.”
Bridget: “I don’t wanna share. We’ll never know whose turn it is.”

Bridget (re Victor): “What did you tell him?”
Gemma: “Nothing because I don’t know anything. I’ve known you for five years, Shiv. I didn’t even know you had a sister, a twin. How do you keep that hidden?”

Now that Victor made contact with Gemma, I suppose it can’t be that long until he actually talks to Andrew, right?

Henry (to Bridget): “What is wrong with you? It’s like you’ve forgotten the last year existed. Don’t you remember how happy we used to be?”

Siobhan (to Henry): “I’m not fussy. I’ll take presents off anyone.”

Malcolm did not appear in this episode, so no torture scenes and no Bodaway either. Juliet’s also not around too.

Bridget (re necklace): “I told you about this?”
Henry: “You don’t remember? You were pretty upset.”
Bridget: “I guess it’s hard thinking about her.”
Henry: “Your old friend? You didn’t tell me her name and you wouldn’t put the necklace on but you couldn’t stop staring at it. Does it mean you guys made up?”

It was announced this week that the series has been picked up for a full series of 22 episodes. That’s excellent news.

Siobhan: “One night with me and you’re already speaking French?”
Tyler: “One word a night. This is gonna take a long, long time. Thank God.”

Bridget (to Gemma): “I’m not who you think I am. I’m not Siobhan. I’m Bridget.”

Chronology: September 30th was down as Bridget/Siobhan’s birthday in the opening episode, so it’s been three weeks since Siobhan faked her death.

I loved this episode. “It’s Gonna Kill Me But I’ll Do It” was character driven, funny, dramatic, shocking in the right places and just enjoyable from start to finish. This show might not be to everyone’s tastes but it’s certainly worth a look at.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Friday, October 14, 2011

My Review of Ringer's 1x03: "If You Ever Want A French Lesson"

Written by Hank Chilton
Directed by Allan Arkush

Siobhan (to Tyler): “It’s getting late. I have to leave but if you ever want a French lesson.”

After last week’s episode featuring too little of Siobhan, not much changed with this week’s one but for the two scenes we actually got with her, she felt more of a character in them this week for some reason. That was probably because for the first time, there was no Bridget connection to weigh her down for a change.

At a bar she met a handsome international banker named Tyler Barrett who she flirted with and nearly ended up having sex with until a wave of sickness seemed to stop her in her tracks. Is it wrong that I was disappointed that Siobhan didn’t actually go through with it? I mean, it’s not she’s shy when it comes to cheating after all.

Okay, cheating stuff aside, I did quite like Siobhan’s reaction to finding out that she was pregnant though. More interesting was the fact that she called Henry rather than Andrew, which seemed to indicate that Henry actually is the father or Siobhan actually loves him more than she does Andrew. Either scenario I could almost live with to be honest.

Siobhan loving and sleeping with Henry could also have contributed to the fact that we learned about her marriage to Andrew being on the rocks before faking her death. She certainly had no problem seeing divorce lawyers behind his back and she also had no problem with trying to find out how much a property of Andrew’s was worth as well.

However it was through Bridget that we had to find out all this stuff about with Andrew so the episode didn’t complete define Siobhan away from her sister after all. Bridget was the one who investigated the property and actually realised that Andrew wasn’t fobbing her off but only after she had managed to piss Andrew off as well.

At this point in the show, just about anyone could’ve put a hit out on Siobhan so Bridget suspecting Andrew being behind it because of a picture wasn’t that far fetched. However I do like the fact that Bridget had enough common sense to listen to Malcolm. He told her to get proof before assuming the worst of Andrew and Bridget was sensible enough to do so in that respect.

For the time being, it really does seem like whatever Andrew is keeping secret himself, he’s not responsible for the hit on Siobhan. I really do wonder what Siobhan did that anyone would want to kill her and I also have an obvious suspicious that Tyler knew exactly who she was at the bar and was only pretending to fall for her lies to him.

At least Bridget tried to get some answers by playing cat and mouse with the fella calling her attacker’s phone throughout the episode. It’s just a shame that apart from using Victor as a means of insurance that she didn’t wind up with any answers. Still, at least Bridget’s being somewhat smart in trying to find out about her sister’s murky problems whilst keeping a healthy distance from her own.

That being said though, I do wonder how much longer Bridget can keep up the pretence to Victor and everyone else about being Siobhan. At some point, people are going to have to start suspecting that she’s not her sister and I wouldn’t be surprised if Bodaway Macawi soon gets wind of where she really is too.

Speaking of Macawi – he’s a disappointing character in every respect. Yes, he might have kidnapped and tortured Malcolm and even drugged the poor guy but as a character, he is not delivering. Instead of feeling like a big threat to the series (and Bridget mainly), he’s just flat out annoying and wooden. He better improve over the course of the series because I’m having a hard time taking the character remotely seriously at this rate.

Even Olivia is a far more interesting antagonist and thanks to this episode, she lived up to the snake in the grass comparison that Gemma gave her last week. I knew she was going to put a spanner in the works with Henry’s attempts of pulling out of his investment with Martin-Charles and she certainly didn’t waste time in getting Gemma on board with Henry’s scheming. Again Bridget would want to watch her back with Olivia. I sense trouble ahead in the not too far future.

I’m not overly enamoured with Henry and Gemma’s problems because while I like the latter, I just haven’t warmed to the former at all. I did however like Gemma giving Bridget some sound advice in relation to Andrew though but I wonder if she would’ve been so eager to dole it out if she knew that Henry had been sleeping with her best mate.

Last but not least - Victor. Three episodes in and he does need some more depth as well as a character. This episode did seem to give some decent motives behind his desperation to put Macawi away though but I guess I want a bit more with the character. Though he did seem to enjoy telling Bridget everything he knew about Siobhan’s actions for the last while. Bridget better hope he doesn’t come into contact with Andrew any time soon then.

Also in “If You Ever Want A French Lesson”

Bridget’s faking morning sickness and Siobhan is actually getting night sickness. I think it was night time when she was throwing up.

Malcolm (re photo/Andrew): “That doesn’t exactly make him the killer.”
Bridget: “I know it’s a stretch but Siobhan killed herself for a reason. I know that she and Andrew were having problems. If he’s behind this, I kind of need to know.”

The matching pictures of Siobhan were during a holiday she had with Andrew and even Gemma had one on a postcard.

Bridget (re Andrew): “Why do you think he’s doing this?”
Gemma: “Who cares why? You’ve got to stop being so suspicious, Shiv and just enjoy.”

Olivia: “Do I need to remind you what’s at stake?”
Andrew: “Drop it. I’m not looking to make enemies.”

Nice gesture on Andrew’s part with the fashion and Swan Lake (which Gemma ended up going with Isobel) and Juliet’s off to see her mother for this week.

Andrew (to Bridget): “Why can’t you trust me, hmm? You used to tell me that I was the only man in your life you could trust. Now you’re sneaking behind my back, going to divorce attorneys. I was a fool thinking things were getting better between us.”

Malcolm (re Bridget): “She’s not a problem as long as she doesn’t come back.”
Macawi: “Exactly. I don’t like loose ends.”

Olivia seemed a little too interested in Gemma’s father during her conversations with Andrew. I assume we’ll be meeting him at some point then.

Hitman: “Come on, Siobhan, you don’t want two dead bodies. I already took care of the first one. Give me the damn phone.”

Bridget: “I don’t know where you’re getting at but I don’t like threats.”
Victor: “It’s not a threat, it’s a question. I’m not your enemy. I just want to know where Bridget is.”

Siobhan went by the alias of Cora Farrell in this episode. I guess she has some money left over because that hotel she’s staying in definitely looks expensive. The divorce lawyer was called Aubrey Zimmerman.

Bridget (to Andrew): “I realised that if we’re gonna move forward, I have to stop listening to other people and trust you. Do you think you can forgive me?”

Chronology: Pretty much from where “She’s Ruining Everything” seemed to have left off.

I liked this one better. “If You Ever Want a French Lesson” seemingly indicated progression within the show and while it’s not become the breakout show the CW have envisioned, it’s certainly more than done enough to secure a full first run. I’m definitely sticking with it.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Thursday, October 13, 2011

My Review of The Sarah Jane Adventures 5x02: "The Curse Of Clyde Langer"

Written by Phil Ford
Directed by Ashley Way

Clyde (re begging): “You do this every day? Even in the rain?”
Ellie: “You’re hungry, I’m hungry. It’s either this or going through bins. I’ve done that too.”

I’ve said it enough times about this show and I’ll say it again – it doesn’t matter how much this show is billed as a kids series, it’s just amazing how much it refuses to dumb things down for the younger audiences. Even the topic of homelessness (which I wasn’t expecting to see here) is handled in a realistic manner without being patronising to the core audience.

Homelessness is always going to an issue in society and this story nicely highlighted that it’s a fate that can fall on anyone from any kind of a background. Ellie Faber explained that rather succinctly to Clyde when she took him to a soup kitchen because for this story alone, Clyde became a victim of society turning it’s back on him.

Daniel Anthony has always been one of the best things about this series and Clyde has certainly progressed as a character throughout the five series we’ve had and here is the story which really did him justice both for his acting abilities and his character too. Who would’ve thought the whole world would turn against Clyde Langer?

It’s exactly what they did do though and all because Clyde happened to get a nasty splinter of a totem pole of the god Hetocumtek in a museum and it was certainly an effective curse. I think having it set into place the moment his name was mentioned was actually really clever but led to a series of mishaps for Clyde.

His scene with Sarah Jane where she was admiring his drawing and then soured towards him after his name was mentioned was interesting. Even I got a little upset for Clyde when she turned on him for his friendly teasing of Luke and then forced him to leave her house. Of course the other two important people in his life quickly followed.

Rani launched into a tirade about how much she hated him and Haresh seemed to have a certain glee in excluding him from school (either that or I’ve been seeing Ace Bhatti too much as Yusef in EastEnders nowadays) as well but having even Carla turn on Clyde seemed to hammer home the most how bad things were for him.

I guess the least was that Steve fella who we only met here but it was nice that Clyde actually tried to find out about the curse with the totem pole before Dr Madigan turned on him as well. In the end, the only person Clyde had in his corner from his point of view was Ellie and that was because she didn’t know his name.

I liked the connection that Clyde forged with Ellie in this one. He showed her kindness earlier in the episode by giving her money for a sandwich but didn’t seem too sympathetic to her plight until he was put in the same position and got a better understanding. It also helped tremendously that Lily Loveless had such a good rapport with Daniel Anthony as well for this story.

I’m not sure if the romantic subplot between Clyde and Ellie was actually needed but it worked nicely enough too because it was subtle and the actors played well with each other. I also have to admit that I was relieved when Ellie’s talk of the Night Dragon actually turned out to be something more helpful to the homeless than harmless. I still have memories of homeless people on another show winding up as Cybermen.

I also hope that the incident with the Night Dragon meant that Ellie got a better life than the one she was enduring on the streets but it’s a shame that she’s gone too. I quite liked the character and it was nice to have seen Clyde forge a connection with someone who wasn’t in the Bannerman Road gang.

Of course Ellie wasn’t the only person that was in Clyde’s corner. I don’t give a monkey’s how ‘Mary Sue’ it was but I actually liked the fact that Sky was unaffected by the curse too and quickly realised how it was being triggered. Even if she is an alien, it’s nice to see her figuring things out and being helpful and if it wasn’t for her, then Clyde never would’ve been able to defeat Hetocumtek.

The defeat of the god seemed a lot simpler by comparison to everything else that actually happened in the story but it’s a minor quibble for such a quality story. It’s also wonderful to see (when he’s not being shunned) hoe well this new team of sorts are banding together. It actually feels like Sky has always been a part of the gang in a way, doesn’t it?

Also in “The Curse Of Clyde Langer”

The episode opened with Clyde asking a question about the storm of trout and it turned out he was asking the question to Ellie. Also, I liked the change of cliff hanger moment at the end of the first part. It definitely suited the tone of the story.

Clyde (to Ellie): “Where were you the day of the storm? You know the one I mean. No-one’s ever gonna forget that.”

One again, this episode played on Clyde’s drawing talents, including a moment where him and Ellie thought to make money from it.

Haresh: “Excuse me, Sarah Jane, Sky. Some of our pupils have an overdeveloped sense of humour.”

Sky: “I love this planet. Just when you think you get fish in the sea, then they start coming out from the sky.”

I know with the cuts to the BBC that most kids programming has been relegated to the digital channels but it is a shame this series isn’t airing on BBC.

Sky: “So what’s in a museum?”
Rani: “Dead things mostly.”

Sky (re totem pole): “Isn’t it pretty?”
Rani: “I think the word you’re looking for is creepy.”

This story did actually state how natural it is for some fish to actually fall out of the sky if they’re caught up in a tornado but not fish as big as trout though.

Clyde: “This is crazy.”
Sarah Jane: “You want crazy, I’ll give you crazy.”

Sky (to Sarah Jane): “Why do I have to be brave at school? Will people try to hurt me there?”

We found out from Rani that her parents met in a museum and why was Luke (not seen on screen) affected by the curse as well if Sky wasn’t?

Ellie (to Clyde): “If you had a row with your folks, go home. With any luck, you’ll be nice and warm in bed tonight.”

Mystic Mags: “Something bad is coming?”
Clyde: “You mean like the Night Dragon?”

Mystic Mags was played by Angela Pleasance who played Liz the first in “The Shakespeare Code”.

Rani (to Haresh, re Clyde): “I don’t know. It’s like something’s wrong. It feels like I’ve lost something really special and I don’t know what it is.”

Sarah Jane: “None of this makes sense, Sky.”
Sky (re Clyde): “You turning your back on him doesn’t make sense. Even his mum’s thrown him out.”

Clyde’s opening narration has been tweaked a little to talk about Sky. He referred to her as Sarah Jane’s adopted daughter.

Clyde (to Hetocumtek): “My name is Clyde Langer.”

Chronology: Not sure how much time has passed since “Sky” to be honest but I don’t think it’s been a lot.

I think as a story, “The Curse Of Clyde Langer” really is a personal best for the series. It might not have focused on the alien in question as heavily but what we got here was a fantastic character piece for Clyde and with one more story to go, this show will be a loss to TVs everywhere.

Rating: 9 out of 10