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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

TV Time: What's Currently on My Sched...

So it's been some time since I did I what I'm watching post, and since we've now entered mid-season programing I felt the need to update:


Bones (starting 4/2)

Hart of Dixie
Touch (starting 3/19)



The River


Apartment 23 (starting 4/11)

Psych (starting 2/29)
The Soup


Community (starting 3/15)

The Finder

Awake (starting 3/1)

Scandal (starting 4/5)

Face Off
The Voice
Comic Book Men

Interestingly enough I watch most of my reality competitions On Demand. In fact I just started watching The Voice this weekend while I sick in bed, mostly because I realized that I knew three contestants on it already so I might as well. Words can not even begin to express how excited I am for Awake  to start, between that and the return of Community NBC and I may have temporarily come to a truce in our long standing fight, but we shall see.

I admit as much as I hate that ZoĆ« Gulliksen was cut from the show, because she is insanely awesome and the eipitomy of awesome female geeky fandom, seriously this girl knows her shit, follow her on twitter at @bookishbelle if you don't already, trust me you'll be glad you did, and let's face it would be nice to have a female POV on that show, Comic Book Men, is starting to grow on me. What can I say I like comics and Kevin Smith, it was bound to happen. 

I'm sure by the spring this will be revised yet again, but for now, this is what I've got.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The River: AKA: Apparently I am a Wuss...

Alright I've always kind of known that. I mean sure I talk a real good game, and in my mind I have the fearlessness Xena and the fighting abilities of Buffy. In reality I have neither of these skills, though I attempting to at least improve my fighting skills, but that is a slow, ongoing process.

When The Huffington Post referred to The River as "The scariest new show on broadcast television," they weren't kidding. The show is just the right mix of suspenseful and terrifying. At the very least it has ensured that a vacation in the Amazon is nowhere in my near future.

The show has a fabulous way of mixing legend with fear. You fear it, they've got it. Doll tree? Boogeymen? Sudden blindness? Cave ins? Evil trees? I know what you're thinking, what's so scary about trees? Well, I point you toward the tree rape scene in The Evil Dead. You can't tell me that the idea of trees coming alive to harm you isn't freaky. In last night's episode, we find that the jungle foliage not only came alive to take Jonas, but also kept him just clinging to life for over six months, the man prayed for death just to end the pain. Remind me NEVER to piss off anything in the Amazon, okay, thanks.

 After last week's lack of new leads to Emmet, because let us not forget that is the primary reason for our little journey down the river, it was nice to get such a big lead. Kudos to the writers as well, for not only figuring out a way to introduce a new character, but also how to solve the pesky "we are short a cameraman, since the first evil entity killed our other guy in the first episode", in a way that was believable. Well, as believable as a show about magic and hauntings on the Amazon River could be. I'm curious to see where they are heading with his character, I think it's going to add an interesting new dimension to our little motley crew. If nothing else, it will give Lincoln a rival for Lena's affections.

Speaking of Lincoln, he gets major points for standing up to the whole crew about the fate of Jonas. It was nice to see him show tremendous backbone for what he knew was the right thing to do. Although he ended up not really having a choice in the matter, the point is he at least tried.

Mini points are also awarded to  Clark for knowing that they should always listen to Jahel when she's spooked, because let's face facts, thus far, she's ALWAYS been right. I'm actually glad that in the past to episodes they are making him less of a caricature. He's not just the hotshot producer who'll do anything for a "good show". Yes he wants good ratings, but he also cares about the crew, whether or not he chooses to show it.

I have to say the "jungle magic" for lack of a better word, seems very forgiving. You give back what you took, or prove yourself "worthy" and it spares you, at least so far. Part of me wants to believe that there is some meaning in that, but I find it almost too soon to fully commit to that.

Seriously, I can not wait for next week's episode. Although I find myself significantly spooked each episode, I'm excited to see what twists and turns are in store.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Revenge "Chaos": AKA: Seriously Guys? WTF?

Ok first off if you are not caught up on Revenge, GO! Do it now. I will wait.

Ok, now that you've returned let's all just take a moment for a brief collective WTF? Now I fully admit to adoring Josh Bowman an his portrayal is Daniel Grayson. I am quite happy that he still has a job, and will continue to make weekly appearances in my living room. However, the way they handled the shooting was SUCH a cop out! The Revenge Powers that Be need to take a lesson from Joss Whedon here, some times even beloved characters need to die to further a story. Daniel was supposed to die, and when the pilot was originally written he did. He was supposed to be further collateral damage for Emily, both of the men she loved would have then experience escalating violence in direct result of her actions. I don't care hell bent on revenge you are, that's enough to give anyone pause.

Now instead we have Daniel, with conveniently no memory of all of what Tyler revealed about his fiance, and most likely going to be charged with Tyler's murder. Which, let's be honest, isn't really a nail bitter, combine Tyler's off his meds performance from a few weeks ago when pulled a gun on all who were present at Daniel's birthday dinner, and the Grayson name and well his self defense plea basically writes itself.

Furthermore it pisses me off that BOTH Charlotte AND Victoria are freaking out about the body being Daniel and then they roll him over and it's just Tyler. First off, they are not THAT similar looking. Tyler is shorter, his face is fuller, his shoulders are broader and his got a little more mass on his body than our darling Daniel. While, I'm willing to accept that those slight differences are something a casual observer/acquaintance may not have noticed, you mean to tell me that his sister AND his mother, both of whom at one point were hovering over and/or clutching the body in hysterics didn't?

You can argue they were distraught, and not thinking clearly enough to notice those small details, but then why did Charlotte ever think it was Daniel in the first place? Victoria, maybe, because Charlotte came screaming that Daniel was shot, and she hadn't been able to find him for a while, but Charlotte? Why would she just assume the dead body belonged to her brother?  Not to mention all the now untapped potential that Daniel's death would have had on Charlotte. Seeing as she wants nothing to with her mother and having just found out that the man she called daddy her whole life isn't her actual father, Daniel was the only real family she has left. If you think she's on a downward spiral now, just imagine how much worse it could have been had "The Powers That Be" stuck to the original plan, pure devastation.

And what about our beloved Queen Victoria? Think of how Daniel's death would have shattered her, don't forget she sent the man she loved to jail and ultimately his untimely death, largely in order to protect Daniel, to loose him too would have made all her efforts pointless. She would have lost the only two men she truly loved.

I have to admit I am truly disappointed with this turn of events. It seems like such a cop out, especially because it means that they have abandoned whatever plan they had set out at the beginning of the show. From the very beginning it was supposed to be Daniel that was shot, and now that they have seen how much the fans love him, they have decided to take the safe route and keep him around. While the episode itself was amazingly suspenseful and well written, in the grand scheme of things, it changes nothing. Tyler was already gone, and side bar, how did he escape from where ever he was carted off to anyway? His death really doesn't change anything except for the fact that now he will not be able to return later in the series to create havoc, oh Tyler, I had such great plans for your return, and now, they are gone. Also you want me to believe that Daniel now knows all about Emily's plan for revenge, but has conveniently forgotten it? We're getting a little too soapy here, and besides didn't we already go through the whole memory loss thing with Lydia? It seems a little soon to bring that back, don't you think?

So yes, Revenge, I do still love you and I will continue to watch, however you have, at least in this instance, greatly disappointed me. I am curious to see how you work your way out of this one.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Top Five Fave Films: Movies I Couldn't Live Without

 Ok so all this  excitement over The River premiering last week, has renewed a long of the movie Across the Universe in me. It got me thinking about my top fave movies. Everyone has them, those movies tat you know every word by heart, and will watch over and over and over again, and even though you obviously own them, you HAVE to watch them every time they come on tv. So here, in no particular order are my Top Five Fave Films:

1) A League of Their Own - This may be my all time favorite movie ever. I remember going to see it in theaters with my mom and sister, which is slightly odd since I couldn't have been more that 7 years old at the time. Something about the movie really stuck with me, I even played softball for an entire season, which if you know me is kind of a big deal. Seriously though, the movie has an amazing cast, Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Bill Pullman, not to mention it's one of the few movies Madonna was actually good in. Plus the dialogue is great, "There's no crying in baseball" is listed at number 54 on The American Film Institute's Top 100 movie quotations in American cinema.

2) Clueless - This is another movie with an awesome cast, baby Paul Rudd, baby Jeremy Sisto, baby Breckin Meyers and baby Donald Faison, just to name a few. Not to mention the fact that this movie added a ton of new phrases into my generations lexicon, Betties, Barneys, Monet, just to name a few. Also the soundtrack was incredible with songs from, No Doubt, The Cranberries, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and my personal favorite, The Muffs version of "Kids in America".

3) The Princess Bride - Seriously, there was no way to write this list without including one of the greatest action/adventure/romance/comedies of our time. Again the movie has an amazing cast, and wonderfully memorable dialogue. There is literally something for everyone in this movie. I won't lie, my life was made by the fact that when I saw Mandy Patinkin live in concert in Philly, several years ago, that he ended his encore by uttering the famous line: "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

4) Robin Hood: Men in Tights - I kind of feel like it is impossible to have any top of top movie list without having at least one Mel Brooks film on it. Let's face it the man is a comedic genius. Everyone has their fave, my mother's is Young Frankenstein, The Boy's is Blazing Saddles, but mine has always been Robin Hood: Men in Tights. I remember watching it when it first came out on VHS, when I was probably a little too young to be watching it, but most of the inappropriate jokes went over my head anyway. That's the great thing about Mel Brooks' writing, it's layered. You can watch one of his films over and over and constantly find something new.

5) Across the Universe - You knew it had to be on here, after all it is what started me on this topic. While this movie definitely isn't for everyone, it is one of my all time favorites. Casting was done by Telsey + Co which is actually largely a theatre casting company and so the cast of this movie, mostly the featured extras, is made up of mostly theatre actors. As one of them put it, "Bernard Telsey is a pimp, and all his hos are are in this film". There is just something that will never get old about seeing people I've known for years in the film. When my friends and I saw the film in theatres, we spent the entirety of the "A Little Help From My Friends" in fits of giggles at the actions of the people we knew, much to the confusion of everyone else in the theatre. Factor in the fact that the music is amazing, um hello it's The Beatles, I went right home from the theatre that night and downloaded the soundtrack off iTunes, and all the little references to Beatles lyrics hidden with in the film and I am on heaven.

Honorable Mentions

Ok, so I know it's supposed to be a top five, but there were two movie who came so close that I felt they had to be mentioned:

Newsies - A live action musical, with Christian Bale, Arron Lohr, and Bill Pullman? How could I not love it. This is another one of those movies I can recite word for word, and I often do while watching it. It is one of my fave movies from childhood and I still adore it. The stage show definitely doesn't even begin to do it justice.

Clue - It's hard for me to imagine anyone not loving this film. The Boy's college roommate and I once quoted the entire movie back and forth over our Facebook walls. It's a silly fun film, made for pure entertainment, plus it has Tim Curry at his finest.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The River: AKA: Ok, That Was Freaky

I may have gotten abnormally pumped for last night's two hour premier of The River on ABC. I remembered the script from last pilot season, and although I wasn't overly blown away by it, I thought it was interesting, and more importantly, I NEEDED to see it after I discovered that Joe Anderson (Across the Universe, The Grey) was staring in it. I am nothing if not loyal to the actors I love, and further more the idea of his lovely little British face being broadcast into my home on a weekly bias, but I digress.

I realize it will be hard to talk about the show with out spoiling some of it, and since it is a horror/thriller type show, you should probably go watch it first before you read on. 


You have been warned.  

Ok, so the pilot episode was fine, I mean it was a pilot, and I'm just going to come right out and say it, pilot episodes are never really that good. There's just too much that needs to be explained, too much to set up. They are necessary evils, but I've always found it unfair to judge anything too harshly before at least the third episode. Also I find it unfair, especially with these types of shows because I've read the pilots and know exactly what is going to happen and therefore miss the thrills and scares as they are intended. That being said I found the first hour, which consisted of the actual pilot, to be interesting, and I was intrigued by the fact that they got rid of their "big baddy" with in the span of the first hour. Clearly the question became where would they go next? I mean sure the Amazon itself is bound to be a frightening place, as it is pretty unknown as far as places on earth go, throw in the established fact that "real magic" good and bad exists and you open a world of frightening possibilities.

Cut to the terror inducing episode that was "Marbeley". I will flat out admit to the fact that toys, specifically, dolls and stuffed animals, adorning sculptures and or trees, that are left to the elements.  The get all weathered and gross looking and remind me of death and decay, not to mention the fact that Syfy's Destination Truth - Island of the Dolls episode scarred me for life. Seriously, if you've never seen it, go watch, but I warn you it is terrifying. Clearly, this episode was destined to freak me out from the very beginning.

I spent the next hour or so on the edge of my seat, in true genre fashion, and much to the annoyance of The Boy, often yelping and or yelling at the tv. After all who decides the best place to camp in under an offering tree, where the offerings are made to fend off a vengeful spirit? And I'm sorry, but who doesn't think that taking one of said offerings off the tree is a bad idea? I swear if I had seen Lincoln walking around carrying Marbeley I would have flipped at him to put it back.

But it wasn't all thrills and chills, the first two episodes did manage to lay some groundwork for the upcoming series. Emmet Cole is indeed alive, they have given us multiple reason to believe that this is a fact and not just wishful thinking on the part of the crew.  Also some interesting foreshadowing as to the importance of the character of Lena was made. There was definitely a reason as to why Emmet choice to stay in contact with Lena and not his family while on this mission, and it is not for the reason she thinks. It wasn't because she was "expendable", it was because, as shown by the footage of her as a child, she is the strong child who the man "as old as the hills" spoke of.

By the end of the episode, I was left sitting on the couch, curled up in a blanket, next to The Boy, significantly freaked. This was the type of scare I had expected the pilot of American Horror Story to induce. Will I continue to watch the next 6 weeks of The River? Hell yes! Will I watch it alone? HELL NO!

Monday, February 6, 2012

ARROW: AKA: Please, Please, Pick This One Up

I am a super hero nerd/geek/whatever you want to call it. I would rush home from school to watch the Batman The Animated Series, and partly for that reason although Christian Bale maybe the love of my actor life, but Kevin Conroy will forever be Batman in my eyes.

Anyway, while I do not claim to be the biggest comic book aficionado, far from it, I am quite well versed in the Marvel and more so the DC Universes. Needless to say I get giddy when any of the comic book world I love gets any mainstream attention.

In what I can only assume is an attempt to fill the void left by the ending of Smallville, the CW is working on a pilot called Arrow, about Oliver Queen, better known to the world as Green Arrow. Can we all just take a moment to get excited about this? I fully admit as to not being as well versed in the Green Arrow cannon, in fact before diving further into his lore after reading the pilot script, all I really knew about this particular D.C. hero was that he sort of looked like Robin Hood and had a relationship with Black Canary, of whom I also don't know much about.

After reading what felt like endless amounts of doctor/lawyer/cop show pilots, I was beyond excited for this one. I found myself vocally reacting it, startling more then a few of my office mates at times. Soon news broke that Stephen Amell,  of Hung and Heartland,  has been cast as the title role. And lets be honest, the man is pretty easy on the eyes. If done right, this pilot could be beyond awesome. I'm really looking forward to see how they handle this show, and hopefully Arrow will make it to pick up.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Grey: AKA: Fuck Wolves

Wednesday night I did it. I picked the time, I picked the place, and I picked a really great friend and we did it. We saw The Grey. I remember back when they were casting this film, we had a lot of people go in, in fact a lot of the audition scenes made it into the final script. But I digress, before seeing the film I was presented by two very strong, very polar opinions. Everyone who saw it seemed to either LOVE it or HATE it. There seemed to be no in-betweens. Ladies and Gentlemen, I am that in between.  I didn't hate the movie, but I didn't love it either. I'm glad I went to go see it and I enjoyed it, but is it something I NEED to own and watch repeatedly? Not so much. So let's break it down a bit. By the way, if you haven't see the film yet and wish not to be spoiled, stop reading now.


The Good
1) The casting. This is a big thing for me, doing what I do, I rejoice in great casting. Well done  First of all when it comes to "surviving" Liam Neeson is the man. He is by far my "action hero" of choice.  A friend of mine once described what he "learned" from Taken as "never bring a gun to a Liam Neeson fight", meaning if you are on the wrong side of Mr. Neeson, you are going to die, regardless of what kind of weapon you have. Now let's look at the other men of our motley crew.
  • Joe Anderson. Really I don't think anything else needs to be said. I have been in love with this man, talent, looks, accent and all since I saw Across the Universe.  Despite his small role, he was still spot on for it, and I'm always happy he's working. Side bar, I am riddic excited for The River starting this Tuesday on ABC.
  • Dallas Roberts, Frank Grillo, Ben Brey, Noso Anozie were all great and Dermont Mulroney was almost unrecognizable as Talget. The man has come a long way and definitely proved that he can hold his on in a movie that doesn't include the word "wedding" in the title.
2) The wolf sounds. Ok, so I know that sounds really weird, but whenever you heard the wolves, but didn't see them, especially in the scene where they are chowing down on the wolf meat, was absolutely TERRIFYING. Throw in the fact that all you saw was there breath rising into the dark sky, and you couldn't help but feel horrified.

The Not So Good
1) The lack of Liam Neeson vs. Wolf fight scenes. So they entire time they are being stalked by a pack of ravenous, pissed off wolves and all the trailers seem to have built this movie up as Taken with wolves, yet in the movie we never actually get to see this epic wolf battle we are promised.

2) The ending. It isn't that the ending wasn't good, it was actually better if you stayed and saw the additional scene at the end of the credits, but it wasn't what I was expecting at all. I expected more of a definitive ending, and instead was given something that I like to call the "open to interpretation" ending. 

3) The dialogue. So I imagine that being trapped in the frozen wilderness while being hunted down by rabid wolves would not create an environment where you would be spouting Shakespeare, but some of the dialogue was just awful. Hendrick's whole speech towards the end, when it was down to him and Ottway, about how he saw Ottway on the last night of camp and never expected to see him alive again, came off more homoerotic than thoughtful. 

The Rando
1) Okay, so this film basically shows you all the most terrifying ways to die, plane crash, drowning, falling across a large chasm and through a ton of trees, freezing, eaten by wolves. I have to say if I have to die I vote freezing to death, Burke had no idea how lucky he was.

2) Part of me was a little annoyed that Hendrick and Ottway gave up on Diaz so quickly. I get that it was for their own survival, and that they probably not to change his mind anyway, but I can't help but think that I wouldn't be able to deal with the fact that I left him there, if I ultimately survived.

All and all I didn't love the movie, I didn't hate the movie, I just liked it. I'm glad that I saw it, and if I walked into a room and someone was watching it I wouldn't walk out, but I don't know that I need to own this one. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Top Five: Shows of Last Pilot Season...Sorta

Well we are in the thick of pilot season now, which accounts for my lack of updates, sorry guys.

As I wade through scripts for countless doctor/lawyer shows and the inevitable copycat shows, already looks like there is a "new" American Horror Story and a "new" Homeland, I am reminded of what the last pilot season had to offer. So I've decided to do a Top Five of my favorite shows to come out of last pilot season. Here they are in no particular order:

1) Revenge - Ok, I admit it, when I first heard about the show I really didn't understand how they were going to make this premise work as a weekly show. As a movie or mini series sure, but I couldn't see how they could continue out this story week after week without it going stale. I am beyond pleased to say how wrong I was. Revenge has become one of my favorite shows, you know one of those shows you just devour. The cast is amazing, I don't even have words to describe how amazingly talented I find Madeline Stowe. It's a show that I look forward to week after week.

2) American Horror Story - I have mixed feelings about this show, but for reasons that will soon be explained, feel it had to be included in the Top Five. The show wasn't as terrifying as I had initially been lead to believe it would be. The first episode I unnecessarily forced The Boy's Brother, who is our other roommate and 6'5 to watch with me in case I freaked. Was the show creepy? Yes. Disturbing? Often. Terrifying? Not really, well except for the underutilized "infantada". That thing was the stuff of nightmares. But I digress, despite being littered with plot bunnies, often time confusing/frustrating, American Horror Story did do one thing I loved. It got people talking, discussing, theorizing. I'm a big fan of shows that get you thinking. While it was airing, Thursdays, and Fridays too for those of us who would DVR it, meant that the office was a buzz with conversation about that week's episode.

3) Hart of Dixie - I grew up in what I like to reffer to as the "Glory Days of the WB". It was the station to watch, they had Buffy, Angel, 7th Heaven (when it was still good), Dawson's Creek, the short lived Young Americans (which had Ian Somerhalder) and Dead Last (which had Tyler Labine). Side bar if anyone remembers those last two shows we need to be friends. Anyway Hart of Dixie brings the CW back to the WB hay day, with it's cute, feel good vibe and really, it's hard not to love a show that has Scott Porter and a very often shirtless Wilson Bethel.

4) The Finder - So I know we have just recently gotten a taste of this new show but as a fan of Bones since the beginning I felt it had to be given a spot. The show, although still finding it's legs,  has made some positive changes since the backdoor pilot during an episode of Bones last year. Saffron Burrows Ike is no more, replaced, without any mention, with Mercedes Masohn's Deputy U.S. Marshal Isabel Zambada and Maddie Hasson's Willa Monday. Throw in the riddiculously awesome guest stars, Brett Davern (Awkward), John Francis Daley (Bones), Wilson Cruz (My So Called Life), my random adoration Ian Reed Kesler (guest star on EVERYTHING), with Geoff Stults and Michal Clarke Duncan and you got some serious gold.

Okay, okay so after mulling this over for two days I have only come up with four. Sure, there were other shows I like that came out of last years pilot season, The New Girl, Once Upon a Time,  2 Broke Girls, Person of Interest, but they haven't made it to my MUST view lists. Then of course there is Alcatraz, and Touch, which haven't been on long enough for me to officially proclaim them, and factor in the scores of shows I am still DYING to see, Awake (can we just please get that on the air ASAP), Apt 23, The River top that list, by the way. So there you have it my Top Four pilots of last year.