Saturday, April 19, 2014

EastEnders - Who/What Killed Lucy Beale?

Last night's episode of EastEnders, interestingly aired on Good Friday saw the death of long term character, Lucy Beale and after weeks of knowing that the character wasn't long for the world, the episode ended with her body left in the Walford Common in mysterious circumstances.

The character played by several actresses over the 20 years she's been on the show and recently by Hetti Bywater has had something of a few interesting weeks in the time leading to her death. We've seen her this year going into some kind of business with best mate Lauren Branning while sleeping with both Max Branning and Lee Carter in the last month, coming to blows with her father, Ian Beale after young sister Cindy tipped him off about some of her past antics in Devon and her recent use of cocaine. But who or what actually done in Lucy Beale in last night's episode? Some suspects.

Cindy Williams (Mimi Keene): The younger sister jealous of Lucy and one of three people who left a voice message for her at the end of last night's episode. It's probably a long shot and as unlikely as Peter/Ian too but like Peter, Cindy was seen recently to be put out by the way Ian seems to prefer Lucy over the rest of the Beale kids. However with the teenage pregnancy plot, would they really make Cindy into a killer?

Danny Pennant (Gary Lucy): They were lovers and business partners but Lucy was also part of Danny's downfall and saw him exit the Square back in February. Perhaps he came back to get revenge on the aspiring businesswoman? Whoever bumped Lucy will be facing jail time and I can't see a major character being sent down, so Danny is a likelihood. As is Jake Stone (Jamie Lomas) and his creepy staring at Lucy in Thursday's episode when she was with Lee at the restaurant.

Lauren Branning (Jacqueline Jossa): Okay, while I don't actually believe that it will be Lauren, I do believe that she's going to be one of many obvious suspects questioned/possibly framed or falsely arrested over the next few months and it's likely that she might have become privy to her best mate sleeping with her father and snapped. After all, someone knew about Lucy/Max and sent the latter a suggestive photo of them. Even Jossa herself wants to be the killer and it wouldn't be the first time Lauren has snapped in relation to her father's clandestine activities.

Lee Carter (Danny-Boy Hatchard): The recent love interest of Lucy and guaranteed to be one of the first people to be suspected of her death. Lee is only a character we've known for about a fortnight and there certainly seems to be more to him than meets the eye. Is he capable of murder? I rather hope not but you can never tell really, can you?

Max Branning (Jake Wood): Not only was his deeply annoyed when Lucy finally ended their rather implausible affair, but he certainly seemed to take great exception to the much needed dressing down she gave him as well (citing his desperation). Could Max have snapped and killed Lucy? There's blood in the car lot from her fall the other day and he's definitely going to be one of the main suspects but even I can't see Max capable of murder. I mean the guy has a skewered moral compass at times but murder would be extreme, even for him.

Then again, there is the possibility that Lucy wasn't killed by someone but instead something. The bump on her head, a reaction to some dodgy drugs or other unknown health problems perhaps? Either way, we will have to wait until February 2015 before it's properly revealed who or what caused Lucy's death and the next couple of months are going to have a ripple effect on the Beales and the Square as a whole. The trailer released by the BBC after last night's episode had a wonderful Twin Peaks vibe to it (with a great use of Lana Del Rey's Gods & Monsters) and it will be interesting to see if the various twists and turns and reveals about Lucy will be able to sustain the story organically until next year. So far though, this does look like a genuinely gripping storyline for the show which has improved over the last few months.

There's A Killer Among Them Trailer:

EastEnders continues to air Mondays/Fridays at 8pm and Tuesdays/Thursdays at 7.30pm on BBC1.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Orange Is The New Black - Season 2 Trailer/Elle Photoshoot

In my opinion, Orange Is The New Black (the series based on the novel by Piper Kerman) was one of the best new shows of 2013 and with the release of the trailer for second season, it looks we're going to be getting another dozy of pure craziness as well, which will help to make it one of the continuing best shows of 2014 as well.

Taylor Schilling (Piper) and Laura Prepon (Alex) are amongst many of the cast members posing in some rather beautiful photos for the latest issue of Elle Magazine and while it's been mentioned for a while that Prepon's role in the second season will be shorter than it was in the first, the Jungle trailer released for the upcoming season does seem to imply that both Alex and Piper will be getting closer again, even if it's just for a short time.

However, it's not just Piper and Alex that are getting focus. This story might be largely told from Piper's point of view but it's biggest strength was that it is an ensemble series and that definitely seems to be maintained in this trailer with Red (Kate Mulgrew) getting a blast from the past and Daya (Dascha Polanco) being torn between her loyalty with her fellow inmates and lover, Benett (Matt McGory) as well as there being a new slew of characters also thrown into the mix.

As for the fate of the volatile Pennsatuckey (Taryn Manning) - well, she's back and as a regular for the upcoming season (though she virtually was in the first season anyways), so I can imagine there will be another confrontation with her and Piper to look forward to while Lorraine Toussaint's Vee will be a major character in the new season and there's also a non prison setting with two main characters to look forward to as well. This is going to be a great piece of summer television to watch.

Season 2 Trailer:

Season 2 of Orange Is The New Black will air from June 6th on Netflix.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Green With Envy, Purple With Death

Be prepared - there will be eight shows covered here and some major spoilers for one of them.

Arrow: I really have enjoyed this season immensely and while I'm two episodes behind with US viewers (still watching it at UK pace), the last few episodes have been great. It's been nice to see Slade out in the open in his vendetta with Oliver, the formation of the Suicide Squad and of course, the welcome return of Helena with her and Sara predictably butting heads as well. It's also been nice to see Diggle get some much needed attention as well too.

Game Of Thrones: The first two episodes of the fourth season have been two of the most talked about and trended episodes going and for good reason. In those episodes alone, we were introduced to the brilliant Oberyn Martell and his paramour Ellaria, we saw Arya getting her Needle back as she coldly bumped off Polliver and of course, there was also the Purple Wedding, which saw the much anticipated demise of Joffrey. And there's still eight episodes to go. Welcome back, show.

Girls: I actually enjoyed the last two episodes of this show, weirdly enough. The finale itself saw Hannah actually behave like a mature adult and seize on an opportunity for her career while Adam's opening night was a minor disaster for him and Shoshanna found out about Marnie and Ray (seriously, why would you care?). Jessa's plot with the elderly artist was a bit nuts and Elijah is still pretty okayish as a character but overall, a decent end to a decent enough run of episodes.

Glee: I hate to admit it but the last three episodes have been somewhat dull to watch. I mean, it's nice that we've seen some proper tension with Kurt and Blaine and I guess Sam and Mercedes are nice together as well but the topics of gay bashing and STDS (in seperate episodes) just weren't handled that well and there's that element of coasting as well that's becoming all too noticeable at this point. Plus for some odd reason, Rachel was a bit underused in this week's episode, though I do like her renewed friendship with Mercedes.

Marvel's Agents Of SHIELD: This show is definitely getting a little better. While I'm aware of a certain character reveal, keeping with UK pace, I am still intrigued to learn more about well, the Clairvoyant and yet again, any scenes with Coulson and May usually tend to be the best as well. The crossover episode with The Winter Soldier however was pretty great and having Bill Paxton join the show was another way of showing that this show can attract a pretty great guest cast as well.

Once Upon A Time: I've got to admit that while a lot of Zelena's plotting has generally been a bit too predictable, she has managed to be a rather enjoyable villain to watch. Her own centre piece episode certainly had an interesting spin on the usual stuff we'd expect from Oz and her present day battle with Regina has been entertaining enough. I'm still intrigued though as to what she exactly wants with Snow and Charming's baby and her fixation with the captive Gold is a bit off putting but overall, she's certainly a contributing factor into the second half of Season 3 being far more enjoyable than the first half.

The Musketeers: I haven't been greatly impressed with this show. Like Atlantis before, it's been entertaining but seriously lacking and the finale itself, whilst good, didn't exactly blow me away either. It had a chance to dispose of both Milady and Richelieu and oddly enough, chose not to. Hopefully the upcoming second season (which has started filming) will be a lot better.

True Detective: After eight episodes and knowing that next season will be a whole new story and cast, I have to admit that while this has been an engaging series, I'm just not entirely sure I would be quick to declare it as the best show ever as some critics have done (then again, I don't even feel that way about Breaking Bad or The Wire). The finale for this episode was solid and I will miss both Rust and Marty as a team but it was a great ending for an interesting series. I'll be intrigued to see what the hell HBO devise for the second season though.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My Review of Revenge's 3x19: "Allegiance"

Written by Ted Sullivan
Directed by Jennifer Wilkinson

Victoria (to Pascal, re Emily): “All this time I thought she was waging war on our family but this goes much farther. It’s revenge for David.”

It’s been 63 episodes and Victoria finally susses out the very thing that she probably should’ve copped onto a long time ago. I guess this (finally) means that the finale will result in each Victoria realising that Emily Thorne is actually Amanda Clarke or she’ll have to be told but either way, it’s a small bit of progress in another episode that felt like coasting.

That’s not to say the episode didn’t have some good points though. Victoria’s whole contrivance with making sure Luke Gilliam and Emily became brief pals at least confirmed her suspicions and was probably more effective than Daniel’s piss poor attempts of getting at Emily by using Javier but at the same time, why did it really take Victoria this long to suss this out about Emily?

If she hadn’t wasted so much time judging Emily by her own social climbing/gold digging standards, she might have been better prepared for Emily but at least now we have something to get potentially excited about. How will Victoria actually react when she realises/is told that Emily is Amanda? Will she show some actual remorse for ruining the girl’s life and setting her on the revenge path? Dramatically there’s potential here the writers better explore to the hilt once it all comes out about Emily Thorne.

It’s also a damn sight more exciting than Victoria and Pascal’s dull as ditchwater relationship as well. Even Conrad trying to play them off each other wasn’t that amusing to watch but I do like that Conrad tried to enlist Aiden in order to take Pascal down. That was an interesting enough turn.

Speaking of Aiden – I enjoyed seeing him and Nolan teaming up to track down Oscar Chapman (or Brenda in disguise) but aside from revealing that Mathis Sr was murdered instead of killing himself, I did think that the character was disposed of by Pascal a little too quickly though. As for Pascal killing a man in cold blood – hardly that shocking but handy enough to further cement Emily and Conrad’s pet cause in taking him out of the equation though.

Getting back to take downs though – I actually enjoyed the fact that Emily and Victoria in their own ways took down Luke Gilliam the sharpie parallel at the end of the episode with the two of them was pretty amusing as well. As for Luke – aside from casting Tim DeKay, he was a pretty nondescript character but he served his purpose well enough though.

Last but not least – I love the idea of Nolan waging war on Daniel over Javier. I’ll however love it even more if Nolan actually delivers on his threat and actually manages to take Daniel down a notch or two as well. As for Javier himself – I hate to admit it but I am beginning to tire a little of him as a character so I’m not too concerned as to which side he ultimately chooses in the next episode or two.

Also in “Allegiance”

I suppose the scene at the races with Emily and Pascal was a way of reminding viewers of his gambling addiction.

Emily (to Pascal): “What do you know? I win.”

This wasn’t a great episode for Margaux, was it? She might have got her father’s business empire but she was insensitive with Jack and tried to snare Javier with Daniel. It does look like her and Jack might be over fairly soon.

Victoria (to Emily): “I’d love to stay and chat but I have less boring people to talk to.”

Jack: “I want in.”
Emily: “Let’s do this.”

Emily’s becoming quite the ‘pretty poisoner’ isn’t she? Last week it was Mason and this week it was Luke. Let it be Pascal in the next episode.

Charlotte (to Javier): “You can either be standing next to Nolan Ross or you can be the next Nolan Ross.”

Javier: “No-one plays me.”
Nolan: “Oh but you’ve been played.”

Standout music: Temples “Shelter Song”.

Nolan (to Daniel): “I just want you to understand this is war.”

Chronology: Not long from where “Blood” left off.

Another mixed bag of an episode with “Allegiance”. Aside from Victoria finally getting a clue about Emily and Nolan honing in on Daniel, not too much actually happened in the episode.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Monday, April 14, 2014

My Review of DaVinci's Demons 2x04: "The Ends Of The Earth"

Written by Marco Ramirez
Directed by Charles Sturridge

Nico (to Riario): "Told you. We're all gonna die."

I'm beginning to wonder if last week's episode title was the one that should've been given to this one. DaVinci might have spent a while talking about the Earth being round and failing to get his newly acquired crew to trust him but it was really this episode in which the voyage really did feel like it was damned.

I don't think I can blame the crew for having their misgivings about DaVinci's credentials as an expert of the sea given that it took him until practically the end of the episode to actually figure out where they were actually going but at the same time, their mutiny put DaVinci in a pretty unenviable position. Zoroaster might have been right to be disgusted with his friends putting Yana and her company back in chains but given Amerigo's suggestions, it might have been the better of the two options here.

It's a shame that the mutinous crew ended up embarking on a suicide pact instead just as DaVinci had managed to reach out to them as well. If things are going this bad now, I can imagine what they will be like once DaVinci and company actually enter the New World. Well, that and the fact that we already have a certain scene from the opening episode to look forward to once again anyways.

As for Riario, things weren't exactly going well for him either. Nico managed to needle him about his beliefs (along with bedding Zita) and the storm at the end also proved that Nico had a point. That being said, this was another superb episode for Riario. When he wasn't trying to manipulate Nico, we also saw his tender side with Zita as well and then there was those flashbacks to behold too.

It's nice that we didn't have to wait too long to find out that Amelia was actually Lucrezia's younger sister and that Riario had tried to have the girl spared were it not for his homicidal uncle usurping Lucrezia's father for papacy. I think this is the first time we've had a real insight into Lucrezia's past and it managed to do a far better job outlining her motivations than most of last season did.

Lucrezia might still be a lukewarm character for me but she has gotten better in the last few episodes (keeping her away from DaVinci/Lorenzo seems to have done that for her) and her grudging alliance with Lupo while trying to grudgingly let her father orchestrate her uncle's downfall has managed to become rather interesting to watch. As for that sword she's managed to acquire - well, I am hoping that her trip to Constantinople will continue to see the character on the interesting path she's now been put on by the writers this season.

Last but not least - I quite enjoyed the Lorenzo and Piero scenes but them getting captured came as no shock at all. It was nice that between being attacked by one lot and then snared by another that Lorenzo managed to get Piero to open up about his volatile relationship with Leonardo, even if it didn't reveal anything we hadn't already known from back in "The Tower". Still, Lorenzo's attempts of getting to Naples has managed to hit an obvious snag so far. I wonder how both him and Piero will get out of this one?

Also in "The Ends Of The Earth"

Sixtus himself was mainly relegated to flashbacks in this episode. The way he snapped Amelia's neck though - that was pretty chilling.

DaVinci (re slaves): "I can show them the world is round. Teach them."
Amerigo: "You don't teach their sort."

I missed not seeing Clarice and Carlo in this episode. I was kind of hoping for at least one scene with the two, especially given how the latter was introduced last week. Also no Vanessa as well.

Zita: "There is goodness in you. There is piety. There is grace."
Riario: "No, no-one looks on me and sees that."
Zita: "I do."

Yana (to the crew, re DaVinci): "He sails us to our doom."

Riario's long hair in the flashbacks managed to make him look somewhat younger too. Overall those flashbacks were actually nicely shot too.

DaVinci: "I understand why they don't trust me but you should."
Zoroaster: "Because you're a great artist?"

Lucrezia (to her assassin): "We will endure this friend. I've endured worse."

Chronology: A few weeks since the events of "The Voyage Of The Damned"

Again, there's no denying that this show has improved this season. Maybe it's the less focus on the sex, maybe it's more of a concentration on better plots but "The Ends Of The Earth" certainly made for an interesting hour nonetheless. However I am glad that by next week, it does look like we'll finally be in the New World though.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Friday, April 11, 2014

Penny Dreadful - Character Posters/New Trailers

With exactly a month to go, Showtime and SkyAtlantic's joint venture, Penny Dreadful is certainly heating up and some rather interesting character posters have been released.

Vanessa Innes (Eva Green):  The mysterious lady certainly seems to be at the very centre of things in this series and has been the most prominent in all the promotion so far as well. She is also described as beautiful, composed and a force to be reckoned with.

Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett): He's described as a charming American sharp shooter, running away from his past. He's also been extremely featured in nearly all of the promotion for the series as well and seems to cross paths with Vanessa as well.

Sir Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton): An African game hunter back in London, the former Bond actor, Dalton plays a man on a deeply personal quest.

Sembene (Danny Sapani): Sir Malcolm's long term sentry but is there more to Sembene than meets the eye? I ask because we've got very little to go on from the character description.

Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney): Like this guy needs an introduction, right? However the character biog does talk about his devil may care attitude and unnerving beauty.

Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway): The creator of an infamous monster, played by Rory Kinnear in this series, Victor is also described as a poet and surgeon fascinated by both life and death.

Brona Croft (Billie Piper): An Irish immigrant in London, Brona not only means 'sadness' in Gaelic as the character biog seems to be happy to point out but it's also revealed that Brona is suffering from consumption.

The titles for the first three episodes of the eight part series have the names of Night Work, Seance and Resurrection and both Showtime and SkyAtlantic have been airing more and more trailers for the upcoming series. It certainly looks like it's going to be a worthy series, especially given that True Blood's final season is also upon us and it's months before we can all settle down to see American Horror Story: Freak Show.

Season 1 Photos/Trailers:

Season 1 of Penny Dreadful will air Sundays 10pm on Showtime from May 11th and premiere on SkyAtlantic shortly afterwards.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

My Review of Revenge's 3x18: "Blood"

Written by Karin Gist
Directed by Wendey Stanzler

Aiden (to Emily): “Thinking about the past doesn’t make for restful sleep.”

Okay viewers, this was an Aiden episode and actually pretty decent one as well. I know I am partially biased given that I like the character but aside from the continuing flaws that have been apparent with recent episodes, this episode did have some good moments though.

First of all we got some more insight into the death of Aiden’s father and the self-isolation of his mother when Aiden and Emily decided to visit Mother Mathis in Jolly Old England for the duration of this episode.

Of course by doing that, Aiden was forced into finally admitting to his own mother what actually happened to Colleen while clarifying some stuff on his father and a mystery character named Oscar Chapman (connected to Pascal – of course).

I have to admit, I actually liked Aiden’s mother, though the actress playing her had a dodgy delivery of an English accent on a US production (and there are plenty of US shows guilty of that), which was distracting at times but overall, the character was engaging enough and I didn’t actually mind seeing Emily almost take a backseat in her own scheme to take down Pascal for some odd reason.

Thankfully though with some vital information handed over from Mason Treadwell, at least both Emily and Aiden are that one step closer to actually removing Pascal from the equation and royally sticking it to Victoria as well. That in itself was something of a minor victory for the episode.

Speaking of Mason – long time, no see. His scenes with Victoria and Stevie certainly had their biting moments but his fake out death with the face cream from hell was a surprising move. I kind of wish someone had let Stevie in on it though considering that she believed she was responsible for Mason’s demise and succumbed to the demon drink once again.

I really hope this isn’t the last time we see Stevie though. The character has actually worked over the last six episodes and I do want some more scenes with her and Victoria as well. I also like that Jack’s first instinct upon seeing his mother drunk was to help her rather than judge her but even when drunk, Stevie picked up on Jack’s not so hidden feelings for Emily.

Speaking of which – I get the impression that Jack and Margaux won’t be playing house anytime soon. Last week, she was jealous of him and Emily and this week, the roles reversed with him being jealous of her and Daniel. Daniel’s shameless sabotaging of Margaux’s relationship with Jack might be fuelled with his own personal desire to get back at Emily but it also seems like he does have some feelings for her too.

A lot of emphasis was seemingly put into Daniel and Margaux’s history in this episode, especially with him persuading Pascal to have more confidence in Margaux. In some ways, it did remind that Daniel had a sense of decency but at the same time, shooting Emily really did put him in a corner as a character and it’s hard to root for him, even if he does actually care about Margaux as a character.

Also in “Blood”

Aiden had his own little Dexter moment by seeing his father’s dead body in the garage when he was a child.

Daniel (to Charlotte, re Jack): “And what if you’re blindly defending the man whose helping Emily demolish this family? You’d never forgive yourself.”

Charlotte and Javier have both turned on Jack and Nolan and are aligning themselves with Daniel. I kind of expected it but it’s still rather annoying.

Victoria: “You look well, Mason.”
Mason: “And you still lie elegantly, Victoria.”

Margaux (to Jack): “Daniel and I are friends. I don’t like jealous men.”

The sooner Pascal goes, the sooner the show can drop the purely contrived romance with him and Victoria and Conrad’s sniping about it.

Mason (to Emily): “Tick-tock goes the clock.”

Emily: “We’ve always been there for each other.”
Aiden: “Missed you too.”

Standout music: Fitz & The Tantrums “Out Of My League”.

Nolan: “I never thought I would say this but it’s good to see you, Mason.”

Chronology: Not long from where “Addiction” left off.

A better episode than the previous one but “Blood” still gives off the feeling that the writers are kind of coasting a bit until the finale. Thankfully though, at least by next week’s episode, at least Emily will finally have taken Pascal out.

Rating: 7 out of 10