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Monday, March 12, 2012

The River "Doctor Emmet Cole": AKA: Will He Won't He Eat The Dog

Intense. I have mulled it over for a few days now, and have come to the decision that is the best word to describe last week's episode of The River.

Armed with the knowledge that Russ had given them about where Emmett was last headed, our fearless crew heads to the Sahte Falls to continue the search. While they don't find Emmet, come on that would be too easy, plus we still have two more episodes to air, they do discover a major find, Emmet's camera bag, chock full of tapes.

What we now get to witness is the good doctor's decent into madness, and what may have been one of the most suspenseful/heartbreaking/gut wrenching hours of television I've seen in a long time. On top of that it was also a very informative episode, we learned a lot more about what made the characters who they are. How Tess was the mastermind behind "Undiscovered Country" as a way of helping Emmet cope withe the death of their first child, a baby named Alice. The want/need to see Alice again also gave us tremendous insight as to why Emmet was so desperate to find "The Source". He thought he had found the loophole between life and death and was desperate to use it to once again see his baby girl.

We learned more about the doomed original crew as well. We saw again how Russ, who'd had enough, stayed behind on the non functioning Magus, while Emmet and his two camera operators, Manny and Rabbit, along with Salsa the dog, headed deeper into the Baunia. One can only imagine that is how The Exodus crew found him, alone and stranded.

Emmet also reveals in an argument with Russ that Lena is "marked for this", which to her credit, Lena goes to investigate and discovers "THE MARK" hidden beneath her hair. A discovery she, somewhat wisely chooses to keep to herself. She does however confide in Jonah, that she is the one who set off Emmet's beacon, the one that gave them all hope and brought them all on this journey in the first place. Apparently now she feels guilty about it. One can't help but wonder then, why she didn't feel more guilt when A MAN DIED in the first episode, seeing as him being there in the first place was her fault, but I digress.

Back to Emmet's suicidal mission to find "The Source". Things start off fairly lighthearted and fun, Emmet even busts out a spot on Clark impression at one point, causing the viewing Clark to smile. It was brief, but in that moment you could see, despite their differences, the mutual love and respect the two men had for each other. Then when Rabbit attempts to make a move on Emmet, while they are sitting around the campfire, he reveals that even though they are separated he still loves Tess.

Of course, things soon take a dark and sinister turn. It starts off small, a skinned monkey, stolen provisions, nothing unsurvivable. Then freaky shit starts going down, there's a weird whistling noise, and poor Manny who just can't keep up, gets himself skinned and impaled on a tree.

Rabbit, gets understandably freaked, and suggests they head back. When Emmet refuses she decides to sneak off and leaves poor Emmet with no gear, save for a bag of camera equipment and a satellite phone. Scared or not, that was definitely a shitty thing to do, and I for one sincerely hope Rabbit got eaten by the jungle because of it.

What we now witness is Emmet's lonely, and treacherous trek on through the jungle. He becomes, feverish, starving, struggling to just survive. Eventually near starvation he finds a mango tree, and climbs it in a feeble attempt to gather food, but at this point he has become so weak he is unable to keep his balance. He falls from the tree, breaking his leg, forcing him to drag himself along the jungle floor in order to continue. At one point he becomes so desperate he even contemplates killing his dog and eating it just to survive. Thankfully this does not occur, despite a few terrifying moments of debate.

But what maybe the most heartbreaking/gut wrenching scene of the whole episode though, was watching Lincoln realize that the last time he spoke to his father, when he kind of blew him off, was while Emmet was on this trek. His father had reached out to him, while he was essentially dying, and he couldn't be bothered. Of course, at the time he hadn't know, but still. It was a great reminder of the fact that Lincoln's relationship with his father wasn't perfect, in fact up until Tess convinced him to come in this search, it was anything but. Watching him sit there seeing his father reach out to him, and now knowing that may have been the last time he would ever speak to him, literally made me feel sick to my stomach for him.

Then, just when we think we've seen the end of Dr. Emmet Cole, as he lays starving, sick and broken on the jungle floor, he is somehow granted a reprieve. What appears to be the tribe he has been looking for all along comes along, scoops him up and brings him to what seems to be a busy outpost.

With renewed hope our crew sets out to find the outpost and hopefully a fully alive Emmet. As the near the. Out post they are happily greeted by Salsa, the lucky he didn't get eaten dog. However, when they reach the outpost it is immediately clear some thing is not right. It no longer looks like the bustling place full of people we see on the tapes. Something appears horribly wrong, the place looks deserted, and as though things were left in a hurry.

The question once again becomes, what happened to Doctor Emmet Cole. Honestly I can not wait till tomorrow night to find out more.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Terra Nova Canceled: AKA: Another One Bites The Dust

Well the other side to pilot season rears its ugly head. The side where last year's new shows start fully getting the boot. Sure there are some shows that get the axe quick, The Playboy Club, Free Agents, Work It, jut to name a few, and then there are the other casualties. The ones the network has allowed allowed those who watched to fall in love with.

This week FOX announced they are giving Terra Nova the axe, although they did say they would shop the show to other networks, but with it's super sized budget, it's hard to imagine many networks jumping at the bit to pick up the tab. While I didn't personally get full into Terra Nova, I am saddened by the amazingly talented Stephen Lang, otherwise know as "The Silver Fox", being out of a job. Though there are reports that Netflix is looking to maybe pick it up.

Now is when I go into panic mode, okay panic may be being a little over dramatic, but I am growing concerned for The River on ABC.  I've made it absolutely no secret that I hooked on this freaky little Tuesday night show, and with only two episodes left I can't help but be antsy over whether or not "The Powers that Be" over at ABC will renew.

I know the ratings have not been stellar, but it really is a good show. I feel like a lot of people tuned out after not "loving" the first hour of the two hour premiere. This frustrates me to no end, I am of the firm belief that pilots, with a handful of exceptions,  just aren't good. There's too much exposition and introduction to take care of, which is why I abide by the rule of three. Always give a show three episodes to decide whether or not it's worth watching. If you aren't hooked by the third episode you probably never will be.

I actually find it quite sad that our culture seems to become so impatient. Shows no longer have a chance to grow and find their audience. Not all shows are going to be breakout hits. Neither Cheers or M*A*S*H had very high numbers their first seasons and both went on to have very successful runs. It just feels like currently the networks are so concerned with finding the "next big thing" they have forgotten they need to give the audience time to get to know/love the characters/storyline/shows they already have.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Carrie Diaries: AKA: You Win CW

So I have to admit, so far I have been a little disappointed in the CW's new pilot casting. Over the years I have come to expect a certain kind of casting for them. While the ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX seem to cast "stars" are at least well know actors in their shows, I have always been able to count on the CW to cast less well known talent. I'm a sucker for new talent, so this whole trend of casting well know established actors in new tv shows, has not exactly thrilled me.

This year the CW seemed to merely be casting "kind of know" actors and recycling their own actors. A perfect example being their new pilot Arrow. Side bar, I'm in no way knocking Arrow, as I've mentioned before I am ridiculously excited for this series. The cast includes, Stephen Amell, who has guested on a few episodes of The Vampire Diaries, Katie Cassidy, who played characters on Gossip Girl, Supernatural and 7th Heaven, and Willa Holland who also appeared on Gossip Girl.

But now? All is forgiven. I know I am a little behind on this announcement, but hey give me a break I was out on vacation. On March 4th Deadline released an article announcing Brendan Dooling had been cast in the role of Walt in the CW's new pilot The Carrie Diaries. The series is based on the book of the same name which is written as a prequel to the Sex and the City series, and Walt is described as "Carrie's best guy friend who is most likely gay but doesn't know it yet as it isn't an easy thing to come to terms with in the mid-1983." For those interested the article can be found here.

Brendan Dooling is an awesomely talented up and comer, most recently heard as the voice of Chippy the Elf in the animated holiday film, An Elf's Story: The Elf  on the Shelf, and exactly the type of actor that the CW should be casting. I am beyond excited to see The Carrie Diaries now. CW you have totally redeemed yourself in my least for now.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Awake: AKA: Alright NBC You Have My Attention

Last week was the premiere of NBC's new series Awake. I'm not going to lie I have been looking forward to this show since I read the script last pilot season. Although I was saddened when the premiere got pushed back from its original air date, because the "Awake Powers that be" needed to take some extra time to work on continuity, I was happy to see that the series was treating the complex story line with the care and commitment that it deserved.

I was beyond excited to finally get to sit down and watch the show, which luckily did not disappoint. I don't want to write too much plot wise about the show, since its so show is so beautifully interwoven, and talking too much about the plot would spoil it.

The basic premise is about detective Michael Britten, who gets into a horrific car accident with both his wife, Hannah, and teenage son, Rex, in the car, cut to the "present" where he is sitting in therapy. Here's where things get interesting and we learn that Michael is living in two realities, one in which his son died in the accident, and the other in which his wife was the one who perished. He goes to sleep in one reality and wakes up in the other, never knowing in which he is living and which he is dreaming. In both realities, his department has assigned him a partner and sent him to therapy, the catch? Both realities have different partners and therapists, both of whom are convinced that they are the "real" world. Adding an even more interesting twist to all this is the fact that details in Michael's cases at work seem to over lap.

They have assembled a fantastic cast to tell this story, Jason Issacs, B.D. Wong, Cherry Jones and Wilmer Valderrama just to name a few."The Powers That Be" have really done an amazing job at creating a different look/feel for the different realities. In the reality where Hannah, survived the world is brighter. Everything just seems to be shot in more vibrant and full of light. In Rex's reality, everything is shot in darker, more muted tones, allowing for a more dark and gritty feel. It's really interesting to see how just the way a series is shot can completely change the tone of a show.

I can not wait to see how they keep this premise going in future episodes.

R.I.P. Davy Jones of The Monkees Dies at 66

Wednesday afternoon, while I was sitting at my desk between appointments, one of my coworkers announced that Davy Jones of The Monkees had passed away of a heart attack. News of his death came as a bit a shock, as he was, as far as all accounts, a healthy, even health conscious individual, who was still touring. Immediately I texted my mother.

As I'm sure you've noticed, I have a very strange eclectic taste/background in tv/film/music. My mother was a huge fan of The Monkees when she was younger, and when they started rerunning episodes I ended up loving them as well. Which might seem a bit strange as it was definitely a slapstick sixties era comedy and I grew up in the late eighties/early nighties, but for some reason it struck a chord with me. It was something my mother and I had bonded over. I even took her to see Aida on Broadway when Micky Dolenz was staring in it as he was our favorite.

I write this I sit at my couch watching The Monkee's marathon, I tapped off of Antenna Tv this weekend, and it becomes increasingly apparent that this marathon is not intended for anyone remotely near my age, as all the commercials are targeted toward the over 50's crowd. Still there is something inherently charming about the four musicians running about in crazy situations, more often than not involving Davy and girl of the week. Not to mention the musical interludes which essentially were music videos, before music videos existed.

It's funny how a celebrity dying can have an effect on you, to cause you to think about your own life. Music has a profound effect on people, and even though The Monkees were in their prime many years before I was born, their music and tv show, was able to bring my mother and I closer together.

R.I.P. Davy Jones. Thank you for all the laughter, love and great music.

The River "Peaches" : AKA: All the Best Cowgirls have Daddy Issues

I am officially hooked. There I've said it. The River  is my new Tuesday ritual with The Boy. Is it the most groundbreaking well written show ever created, not so much, but it is different enough, and provides me with a "that was awesome, kinda of scary in the moment but not leaving me with lasting nightmares" feeling that every great thriller should.

Last night was no exception and not only did it provide enough suspense, which may or may not have included me yelling at the tv something along the lines of "What the hell? You stupid bitch, don't you remember what happened the last time you broke open a sealed door?!?!? You got your leg nearly cut off and unleashed a beast that tried to kill everyone!!!" I'm just saying that if I were in the situation, after all that has happened, I would be a bit more cautious.

The Magus gets run a ground by a mysterious ship while attempting to travel through the fog at night, and of course the engine breaks down tot he point where parts need to be repaired. It's clear that they are not heading any where anytime soon.

Lena has spent a majority of the beginning of this episode whining about her dad, I feel like every time someone mentions looking for Emmit the next words from her mouth are always "and my Dad",which I understand she is upset, but it's getting a little repetitive and annoying.

Jonas has definitely seemed to zero in on this and is all about exploiting it. Making a point to talk to her about her dad, and how much he looked up to him. Basically they are completely setting him up, as I already predicted, as a rival for Lena's affections. To be honest I'm not all about the Lena, frankly her character kind of annoys me, but Lincoln needs someone, and I am a sucker childhood romances.

Then low and behold a small boat called "The Exodus" full of a small friendly crew, comes to their aid, or at least that's how it appears, clearly that is not how The Amazon works. As the crew of the Magus is having a merry old time getting drunk with their new "friends", Lena and Jonas, after noticing what seems to be another person aboard the Exodus, sneak off to investigate. Really? After all you have been through, you guys think that this is a good idea?

Shocker, the crew of The Exodus is not what they appear. After hearing noises behind a sealed door and breaking in, because Lena and Jonas make excellent decisions, they discover Russ Landry. Turns out the "helpful crew" are really just  lost souls tied  to their ship until they can find others to take their place. With Lena and Jonas now trapped aboard their ship, the ghost crew now only needs two more souls. Kurt, who is the only one who seems to notice something is not right with these friendly visitors, discovers that they can not be killed by bullets, and gets himself captured. Three down one to go. Of course the ghost crew picks an easy mark for their last target, Tess. They tell her they have a map of the Bouina on board their boat, and she is all about going over to check it out. With all the souls they need on board, The Exodus takes off to hide until sunset when the soul capture switching will take place.

At this point, Lincoln has been searching or Lena for awhile, the fact that both she and Jonas are missing is not lost on him, and now that they hear the boat leaving realizes that the rest of their crew has been kidnapped.  He alerts Clark, and the two of them rally, grab A.J. and the mini boat, in order to go out and search for them. Kurt is making himself useful attempting to breakdown the door to their cell, while Lena and Jonas have managed to get their camera feed linked to The Magus so that hopefully their crew can trace the link back to their location and rescue them before sunrise.

In classic thriller/horror story genre, both Lincoln and Clark walk past the tape room with out seeing Lena's cry for help. However, leave it to Jahel to save the day, while running upstairs to grab some steel wool from the kitchen she spies the feed and is able to radio Lincoln and Clark and tell them where to find the missing members of the crew.

We've already established that the ghost crew is unaffected by bullets, however as one clumsy crew member already showed us, they do burn. So armed with a bunch of flairs, Lincoln and Clark storm the boat to rescue them. There is one problem however, Russ' soul has already been claimed, he can't leave the boat. Naturally Lena doesn't want to leave him, and has a major melt down as her father says his last goodbyes to her, and Lincoln basically drags her from the boat as it goes up in flames.

Can't take credit for this picture, found on tumblr.
If it's your's please let me know & I'll credit.
I have to say one of the most touching moments was as the small boat pulled away, and Lena was in hysterics, Lincoln just held her tightly and kissed the top of her head.

Dear Guys Everywhere,

Please not, the kiss on the top of the head move? Completely swoon worthy. Thanks, that is all.

Women Everywhere.

Seriously, that one action spoke volumes about their relationship, more that all the flashback footage ever could. It is also why I am in full support of a Lena/Lincoln.

We have now discovered what happened to three of Emmet's original crew, producer Cam Travers, died of Malaria and then turned into that weird creature that was locked aboard the ship. Cameraman Jonas Beckett was left for dead in the jungle after becoming cursed. Finally lead cameraman, Russ Landry, ended up being taken by a ghost ship. The question now becomes, how many people were on the original expedition and what happened to them. We know there was at least one female on the trip, we saw her in the tape that showed what happened to Jonas, so you  have to figure there is at least her, and if she is not the engineer, there has to be one of those as well, meaning there are at least one if not two other crew members out there somewhere.

We are now another step closer to finding Emmet Cole, and I know it sounds harsh, but I'm glad that we got some closure on Russ, so Lena will stop pouting about no one caring that her father is also missing. The image of him going up in flames was very touching and in a way poetic. He accepted death, and now having gotten to say goodbye to his daughter, had found closure. Despite the obvious hellish connotations, fire is thought of as a purifier. His soul was purified and set free, I was both surprised and touched by the in memorandum card at the end of the episode. It completely added to the "realness" of the show. I don't think I've ever seen one for a fictional character before.

I am excited to see what this week's episode will bring, as we are taken further into The Amazon on the search for the truth of what happened to Dr. Emmet Cole.