Friday, December 31, 2010

Blood On The Cobbles - Soaps December Review

Okay, this is my last blog for 2010 and I might as well end the year with a soap one. It's been an interesting TV year for the most part and here's hoping 2011 maintains that in every TV medium.

Coronation Street - Tracy Barlow is a woman who certainly knows how to turn an entire cast against her, isn't she? Less than a week back on the cobbles, she's managed to insult everyone, bed David Platt (yuck) and got her head caved in as well. I think it's obvious to assume that Steve and Becky aren't guilty of this one, even if the next few weeks will keep them in the frame. Apart from that, Gary's PTSD storyline as well as Sally and Tyrone turning on Kevin have been the only other strong storylines going, post-tram. Oh and if Leanne can stop berating Nick for five minutes that would be nice too. I also have to admit to enjoying the presence of Claudia during tonight's New Year's Eve episode as well.

EastEnders - Every now and then, a soap writer gets the idea to ACTUALLY allow someone to get away with murder and despite Janine's best efforts over the Christmas, Stacey Slater managed to leave Walford without Ryan but with her baby and enough cash from Max to escape the coppers. As frustrating as I've found Stacey a lot of the time, a part of me was pleased that she did get away with killing Archie. However tonight's episode pleased me less with Ronnie's one day old son dying and her taking Kat's baby. I'm not a sensitive viewer but even I think this upcoming baby swap storyline is a little too cruel, despite the fact that I'm confident with both Jessie Wallace and Samantha Womack being able to deliver. On the plus side, Kim is still bags of fun and the less I focus on Carol/Connor or Ian/Glenda/Phil, the more bearable certain episodes are to watch.

Emmerdale - Ooh, I like a good wedding, especially if it's one where Chas finally got her revenge on Carl and Eve before the latter scurried off. As storylines went, the build up to this one has been great and the pay off was fun but in spite of all her hatred for him, I'm still betting that Chas will get back with Carl in 2011. Other highlights of the month have been the return of Eric's other son, the arrival of Declan's father Dermot and Aaron and Jackson actually getting some scenes together where it isn't an angst fest. Any chance things can be lighter for the pair next year?

Hollyoaks - For a soap aimed largely for teens, this has definitely been a darker and more hard hitting month for it. India got murdered in the most horrible way going, thanks to crazy Silas and Jasmine/Jason's GID storyline has finally become public knowledge with some predictable reactions from her family (and some humorous ones as well, courtesy of Mitzee). On the plus side, the show's also making progress in trying to develop Brendan as a character as his dyanamics with Danny, Ste and Warren have all taken interesting turns. I'm not sold on him still but he's definitely improving as a character.

Doctors - I rarely watch this show and with an episode called The Living Gaylights, I have to admit that I've probably seen better acting in panto but even I find Simon Bond rather cute. The episode where he was dreaming about being a gay James Bond, replete with hot scantily clad men and being tied up was definitely one of the sillier soap storylines done in a while. On the serious side, they also tackled a near suicide attempt with the character as well but luckily, there's still a hot gay guy in this soap.

Being Human - Season 3 First Trailers

Okay, an airdate still need confirming but there are some small bits for the new season to behold.

First up, Lacey Turner is appearing in the first episode of Season 3 of Being Human, playing a character called Lia that's instrumental in helping Mitchell locate Annie and it'll be interesting to see how she fares as this is her first role after leaving EastEnders. It'll be interesting to see what lays ahead for Mitchell, Annie, George and Nina this year.

Elsewhere, Michael Socha (This Is England 86 and brother of Misfits actress, Lauren Socha) will be part of a father/son werewolf duo. His character, Tom and father McNair (played Robson Green) will be hunting vampires but over the course of the season, Tom apparently bonds with Mitchell and this year, the villains are many and different. Expect Herrick to be different than the character we knew in the first year and also expect a zombie in the mix as well. I'll do another blog when an airdate for the new season and some proper promotional caps surface.


2010 - A Year In General

Best Show (UK): Misfits. Spent the last five months catching up with this superlative series. So glad a third season is coming.

Worst Show (UK): The Deep. Just terrible to be honest.

Best Show (US): True Blood. Because both Seasons 2 and 3 kept me hooked like no other show.

Worst Show (US): The Event. More like non-Event to be honest.

Best Villain: Arthur Mitchell in Dexter. Honorable mentions go to Dream Lord in Doctor Who and Russell Edgington in True Blood.

Worst Villain: Smoke Monster in Lost. Much as I liked Season 6, I grew tired of that fecking monster.

Best TV Death: Um, everyone's in Ashes To Ashes. Not many TV deaths affected me this year.

Worst TV Death: Freddie's in Skins. I was never a big fan of the character but he deserved better.

Shocking TV Moment: Bill being revealed as a total bastard in True Blood. Also Rita's death in Dexter.

Sexiest Male On TV: Matthew Rhys in Brothers And Sisters. Just cos.

Sexiest Female On TV: Going with Karen Gillan in Doctor Who. Even I'm drawn to Amy Pond.

Best Finale: Dexter's fourth season finale, The Getaway.

Yes, Kids Are Annoying: Cooper and Paige in Brothers And Sisters. Sorry, but they irritated me this year.

Neither Use, Nor Ornament: Holly Harper and Ryan Lafferty in Brothers And Sisters - again. Though at least one of them is long gone and forgotten by all.

Good Reality TV: The Apprentice. Both Irish and UK versions this year.

Bad Reality TV: Big Brother 11. Well, the parts that were the John James and Josie show.

Best Gay Couple: Kevin Walker/Scotty Wandall in Brothers And Sisters. Emily and Naomi from Skins come a close(ish) second for the second and last time.

Worst Gay Couple: Bob and Lee in Desperate Housewives. Shockingly dull those two.

Best Straight Couple: Dexter Morgan and Lumen Pierce in Dexter. It shouldn't have worked but damn it did.

Worst Straight Couple: Jason Stackhouse and Crystal Norris in True Blood. Something lacks with those two.

Best Guest Appearance: Julia Stiles in Dexter. Though she was practically a regular in Season Five.

Worst Guest Appearance: Will Young in Skins. I like the guy but I found his cameo in Freddie's episode jarring for some reason.

Killed Too Soon: Ivan in Being Human. I liked him towards the end.

Difficult Season: Heroes. Even with it's fourth season, this show couldn't get it's act together. A shame really.

Best Male Character: The Doctor in Doctor Who. Because bowties, stetsons, fezzes and everything else is cool according to him.

Worst Male Character: Dave Karofsky in Glee. Just go away please.

Best Female Character: Sue Sylvester in Glee. She might be cartoonish but she is fun to watch.

Worst Female Character: Beth in Desperate Housewives. Dull, dull, dull, dull.

Most Improved Show: Misfits. Season 1 was fun but Season 2 was sublime TV.

Least Improved Show: Desperate Housewives. Season 7 has been all over the place to be honest.

Best TV Partnership: The Doctor/Amy Pond in Doctor Who. Amy might not sit well with certain viewers but damn, I like her.

Worst TV Partnership: Sean and Christian in Nip/Tuck. In the end, they went their seperate ways. Doesn't say a lot about friendship, eh?

Best Use Of Music: Skins. One of the best things of Season 4.

HoYay Award: Sherlock/Moriarty in Sherlock. The hoyay went stratospheric during The Great Game when these two finally met.

2011 Hopeful: Boardwalk Empire, which looks awesome.

Happy New Year everyone.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Skins - Season 5 Trailer/Character Thoughts

And here I thought we were going to have to wait until 2011 to see the Season 5 trailer of Skins. Nice one of E4 to get a move on, eh?

I don't have screencaps of the trailer but if you've seen it, all our main characters are falling from the sky naked and hit the ground fully clothed to an Arcade Fire song in the background. It might be well the best trailer since Season 2 from an artistic standpoint and if you watch it, it might also give us clues as to how each character interacts with each other as well.

In terms of the characters, a couple of brief thoughts from what I got from their profiles on the E4 site ... Mini's clearly a mashup of Michelle/Katie but if she veers more towards the latter, it could be fine. Nick's definitely the Tony/Cook of this group so I can't imagine warming to him all too quickly. Franky is probably the most unique one of the bunch if they're going into the gender identity root. Matty's profile seems to indicate that he's a less zany version of Cassie but possible a more interesting version of Freddie. Also how many teen lads have My Own Private Idaho in a list of fave movies?

As for Grace, I think she is definitely the Jal of the bunch on a musical front if not a logic one. Liv, I'm not too sure - a female Chris or a slightly less damaged Effy? Alo is definitely another Sid type of character, except he's into Victorian porn rather than the Asian variety and Rich sounds like a moody git to be honest but maybe he'll be better on screen perhaps.

Season 5 starts on E4 from January 27th at 10pm, so there's only four weeks to go and with the American version also looming around next month, it will be a very interesting time for the Skins franchise.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Monsters Are Real - Doctor Who Series 6 Trailer 1

Well, now that A Christmas Carol is out of the way, massive thanks to BBC1 for airing the first official trailer to Series 6.

A future raggedy version of the Doctor (Matt Smith) is chained up by the government from the looks of it and he's recruited his current self and gang to help out with something that hasn't been specified yet - the Silents perhaps?

Now I bet there were a lot of male fans who'll be looking forward to seeing River Song (Alex Kingston) in the nude but what exactly causes her wardrobe malfuncition here? In the opening two parter, both her and Amy are affected by some strange markings and Amy learns something about the mystery woman she can't tell the Doctor.

The Doctor's on another planet, a period setting one and the mysterious Idris (Suranne Jones) is also there too. Doesn't she look radiant? If Idris turns out to be Romana (still thinking of that Gallifreyan clue from The Brilliant Book), there are going to be a lot of pleased people this year. Either way, Neil Gaiman's episode looks unmissable.

Plus something must be going in order to bring the Ood back. This time, they're glowing green/yellow eyes and if the creepy dolls weren't enough for the Mark Gatiss episode, the Ood being back is definitely a worrying thing. Last time one of them showed up, the Doctor regenerated.

Rory (Arthur Darvill) seems to be coming more into his own as well if the trailer clips are anything to go by. There's rumours of a pregnancy plot for Series 6 flying about as well. Also I noticed in the trailer, the return of that other TARDIS from Series 5, so it's interesting that plot point is resurfacing again.

Also apart from the massive reveal that the Doctor is placing his life into Amy's hands, we don't exactly know who or what the Silence/Silents are but either way, Series 6 cannot come fast enough for this fan.

My Review of Doctor Who's 5x14: "A Christmas Carol"

Written by Steven Moffat
Directed by Toby Haynes

Kazran: “Think about it, Doctor – one last day with your beloved. What day would you choose?”
Abigail: “Christmas. Christmas Day. Look at you, you're so old now. I think you waited a bit too long, didn't you?”

Last year, there wasn’t a whole lot for the Doctor to be cheerful about with the Master inciting chaos and the end of his tenth incarnation abound but this year, we’ve got a special that’s little bit cheerier by comparison but still laced with plentiful of emotional content and poignancy.

When Steven Moffat brazenly decided to called this Christmas special, “A Christmas Carol”, it would’ve be almost a cop out for it not to be a timey-wimey version of the Charles Dickens classic. And before naysayers get a word in, the show waited until now to spoof it and to be honest, it’s actually a decent effort.

Michael Gambon might have been the kindly Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films but as Kazran and Elliot Sardick in different parts of the episode, he’s not a very nice fellow at all and at point, even the Doctor commented on how difficult Elliot himself was to love, given his contentment with using human leverage for those unfortunate enough to borrow money off him.

But even a miserly character has to have a spark of humanity and it seemed that the episode found a good way of getting it out of Kazran. The Doctor’s become even more of an idol for children in this incarnation and having him imprint himself throughout Kazran’s life was a genius twist.

As a boy, all Kazran wanted to do was to see the fish in the fog of his home planet and thanks to the Doctor, he got a couple of memories involving sharks along the way. The genius part was having Abigail’s voice play a big role in the story – it being the thing that calmed the shark and stopped the Doctor and Kazran being eaten by it as well.

It’s also Abigail that’s the humanity that Kazran is rejuvenated with as well. Through Elliot’s coarse treatment, Kazran became a nightmare in Sardicktown and with Abigail and the yearly Christmas visits that the Doctor and Kazran bestow on her, it’s wonderful to watch Kazran soften as a character.

I know the obviousness of Kazran’s affections for Abigail are overly telegraphed but it’s really hard not to fall in love with the pair as Kazran became a handsome young man and Abigail got the chance to see her family for one Christmas meal before another year revealed that she hadn’t long left to live.

Surprisingly enough, I had little reservations when I heard that Katherine Jenkins was cast as Abigail. This might have been her first acting gig but throughout the whole thing, she doesn’t put a foot wrong and Abigail is so damn lovely, it’s actually hard to find single fault with Katherine Jenkins at all.

And for the singing – well, I’ve never bought a CD from Katherine Jenkins but this episode is making me change my mind. The choice of music she had for soothing the whale and also becoming the solution to the Doctor’s other problem of the episode worked brilliantly in my opinion, that it actually sucks a lot that Abigail probably died shortly after her last trip with the older Kazran in this episode.

I did like that throughout the episode, Kazran softened more and more but it was also neat that when both Amy and Rory didn’t succeed, the Doctor managed to use Kazran as a boy in order to get the old man to have a heart and save the spaceship from crashing into Sardicktown after all.

The ship plot of the episode was vital for the Doctor’s whole mission – prevent over 4000 deaths by sparking the humanity back into a miserly old man but if the episode has only one thing that doesn’t work in it’s favour, it’s actually Amy and Rory.

They’re not in any way awful in the episode but it’s kind of disappointing that for a Christmas episode that had all regular crew members, that the newly married Ponds weren’t as utilised as they could’ve been. Okay, Amy tried her hand at appealing to Kazran’s better nature but Rory was incredibly underused and that’s the only thing about the episode that I would’ve changed.

However as underused as they were, I did find the last moment between the Doctor and Amy at the end of the episode to be rather telling. Amy looked sort of suspicious of the Doctor and he did of her too. Now that’s definitely one way of getting me excited for the upcoming season in 2011.

Also in “A Christmas Carol”

Arthur Darvill’s name were added to the opening credits but (and taking a different route for a Christmas special) Katherine Jenkins and Michael Gambon’s weren’t.

Amy: “I’ve sent for help.”
Captain: “Who the hell are you?"
Amy: "Look, there's a friend of mine and he'll come."
Captain: "And what are you wearing?”

For this episode again, Amy was in her policewoman outfit and Rory was a Centurion. Apparently they lost their luggage.

The Doctor (to Kazran): “Christmas Eve on a rooftop, saw a chimney. My whole brain just went 'what the hell'.”

The Doctor: “Merry Christmas, Mr Sardick.”
Kazran: “I despise Christmas.”
The Doctor: "You shouldn't. It's very you."

For a town/planet like Sardicktown that’s also rather Victorian-like, is it really shocking that there wouldn’t be anything like the lottery?

Amy: “Are you lying?”
The Doctor: “Yes I am.”
Amy: “Don’t treat me like I’m an idiot.”
Rory: “Is he lying?”
Amy: “No, no, no.”

Kazran: “Who are you?”
The Doctor: “Tonight I’m the ghost of Christmas past.”

Even I got a little shocked in this episode when I saw Kazran being hit by his father and the fact that Kazran came close twice to smacking children himself – one of them being a past him.

Kazran: “There’s a shark in my bedroom?”
The Doctor: “Oh fine, focus on that.”

Abigail (re the TARDIS): “This is amazing.”
The Doctor: “Nah, this is transport. I keep amazing out here.”

The Doctor finally told a lie to the psychic paper that didn’t work; he got married to Marilyn Monroe and half his sonic screwdriver got swallowed by a shark. Oh, and we saw a fez again.

Kazran: “When girls are crying, are you supposed to talk to them?”
The Doctor: “I have absolutely no idea.”

Amy (to Kazran): “You didn’t think it was over, did you? I’m the ghost of Christmas present.”

There’s a CD soundtrack for “A Christmas Carol” coming out in February 2011. I also noticed that silence appeared a lot during Abigail’s song.

Amy: “Time can be rewritten.”
Kazran: “You tell the Doctor. Tell him from me, people can’t.”

Kazran: “Everybody has to die.”
Amy: “Not tonight.”
Kazran: "Tonight's as good as any night. How do you choose?"

There was a trailer for Season Six at the end of this episode showing us a future Doctor, Amy being put in an interesting predicament, Ood, creepy dolls, a surrounded Rory and River in the nip. Spring can’t come fast enough.

Amy: “He did it, the Doctor did it.”
Rory: “Yeah, he gets all the credit, which is actually fair enough when you think about it.”

Amy (re Abigail/Kazran): "It'll be their last day together, won't it?"
The Doctor: "Everything's gotta end sometime, otherwise nothing would ever get started."

Chronology: No idea. We don’t know what time or planet we were actually on and nothing time wise has been specified since “The Big Bang”.

As Christmas specials go, “A Christmas Carol” definitely leaves you with the imagery of a shark being an interesting substitute for a reindeer but as a special, it holds up nicely, does a reasonably clever take on a classic and left me anticipating 2011 all the more.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

It's The Afterbirth You Dickhead

Okay, this is probably the last TV jumble blog for 2010 and here are the end of a few shows I've been watching over the last few weeks.

Ugly Betty - Yes, Season 4 has finally finished up on E4 and while it continues to show us that Vanessa Williams was better here than in her new gig, I have to admit the last few episodes have been fun - Betty getting rid of her braces, Hilda getting married, Justin finally coming out, Wilhemina and Cliare burying the hatchet, Amanda finding her real father and of course, Betty leaving for London and Daniel going after her. The series wasn't perfect but it was a fun, feel-good antidote that will be missed.

Misfits - I loved the last two episodes of this show. The finale might have pulled something of a reset after the consequences of milk guy nearly killing everyone but it certainly made for a fun episode and it's incredible that even with a rubbish power, Brian could manage to be a fairly credible threat as well. As for the Christmas special, well, it certainly won't go down as too schmaltzy anyways. You had Marnie giving birth with Nathan stamping on the afterbirth for gore along with Nikki's swift death, a guy pretending to be Jesus, Simon and Alisha's reltionship developing and the gang losing their powers only to gain some new ones. Thank goodness this show is due for a third run.

The Vampire Diaries - Three episodes in a row and I've finally finished off the first season and it was fun. I liked learning more about Stefan and Damon first few hours as vampires, Isobel's brief entry into Alaric and Elena's lives was amusing enough and the writers have made sure I don't feel an ounce of compassion for John Gilbert. Heck, even when Katherine in the final minute chopped his bloody fingers off, I couldn't muster any empathy for the guy. Damon had some nice moments of decency, Jeremy lost another girlfriend with Anna and Tyler was also effected by the noise of that device, which can only mean there's something supernatural about him. Here's hoping TG4 don't waste too much time and air Season Two pretty sharpish.

Desperate Housewives - I was waiting for one episode this season to truly blow me away and I actually got it. Okay, so event episodes are all spectacle and I'm still not sure how Paul's storyline can be sustained for the rest of the season but at least someone had the freaking sense to shoot him. I'm betting it'll be someone like Mitzi or even Lee if they want to be a tad risky. As for the riot, it felt devastating enough and here's hoping that the remainder of the season will finally get the show back on track too.

The Apprentice - Irish/UK Versions - Ah, it's an all girl victory on both sides. Michelle predictably bagged it for the Irish and Stella (less predictably for me) won the UK one but either way, both versions had some enjoyable moments and sure, it won't be too long before the seventh series of Alan Sugar's version hits our screens again.

- Along with Caprica, SyFy have also pulled the plug on Stargate Universe. Wow, it's really not good to be a spin-off nowadays.
- The producers of Smallville have been trying to get Michael Rosembaum to reprise his role as Lex Luthor for the show's final run.
- Ian Somerhalder has revealed that Klaus in The Vampire Diaries will make Damon shake in his boots. Sounds like my kinda character, then.
- Damien Lewis, David Harewood, Mandy Patinkin, Claire Danes and Laura Fraser have all joined the cast for new Showtime series, Homeland.
- John Corbett has landed a multi-arc role on Parenthood.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Secret Diary Of A Call Girl - Season 3 Review

And with a month to go for the last season, here's a look into the series third year and while it's not my fave year, it's still pretty watchable stuff.

Episode 1: Belle the famous author. Love that Belle has bagged herself some fame that doesn't expose her identity but it's even more amusing to see Ben trying and failing to take advantage of it when he's mistaken for the author in question.

Episode 2: Ugh, it's the arrival of Jackie and while I often tease my own sisters, I'm certainly glad that I'm not related to this woman. Poor Belle having to deal with her and Ben shagging then. As for Duncan, I don't like the guy but I liked Byron from the off and there's good banter with him and Bambi.

Episode 3: It's well and good for Duncan to critique and her writing techniques but you can't help but wish that he'd pack it in and let her get on with it. At least the subplots with Bambi and Byron are fun to watch.

Episode 4: It's the food fetish episode and it's one that's incredibly weird for this show and one that's also quite compulsive viewing to watch in a strange way. On the plus side, Byron manages to win over Bambi and Ben/Jackie break up. Thank feck for that.

Episode 5: Not a bad episode but given I don't like Duncan all that much, I actually felt nothing when he was rabbiting on about how much he loved Belle, even if Bambi/Byron's engagement encouraged to give it a go.

Episode 6: Belle and Ben break off their friendship? Yikes. Not even a James Bond fantasy client can dampen the disappointment of that one.

Episode 7: I should've guessed that Duncan would've ended up visiting Bambi, the gee-bag. On the plus side, I did like seeing Belle getting the experience of being a client in order to write a chapter for her book.

Episode 8: Decent finale, more watchable for Belle finally ditching the dull Duncan and Bambi/Byron tying the knot. Oh and Belle and Ben made up as friends. Another plus to this season ender.

Probably my least favourite of the three series so far but it had it's moments and it was nice to have some new blood in the series, even if Duncan's exit couldn't have come a moment too soon.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Dexter/Lumen Cast Pictures

It's Sunday and while I was going to initially do a TV Highlight blog, I thought I'd share these pretty kick ass pictures of Dexter and Lumen that have been floating about for a while.

Girls like knives just as much as the serial killer of Dexter does as well. Personally, both Julia Stiles and Michael C. Hall look pretty damn cool.

With Season 5 ending the way it did (i.e. Lumen surviving the series), does anyone else think that she'll reappear in Season 6?

I'll do a more pointful blog tomorrow folks.

ETA: Holy shit - 300 blogs this year. Awesome.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Secret Diary Of A Call Girl - Season 2 Review

And here I am onto the second season of the hit series and arguably my favourite one of the three that have aired so far, so without further ado, here are my thoughts ....

Episode 1: Brilliant opening episode. First off all, there's the double delight of junior call girl Bambi and then Callum Blue's rather delectable doctor, Alex and there's also Belle being the only call girl in Britain desperate to not reveal her story about sexing a political to a tabloid journalist. Add in some scenes where she's godparent to her sister's baby and this is one entertaining episode.

Episode 2: Belle goes on a date with Alex, which is brief and sweet while Bambi continued to make an impression on Belle. I can see how and where Bambi exasperates Belle but overall, it's just nice to see Belle have a female friend and Belle did have the girl's back in a way Stephanie certainly wouldn't.

Episode 3: Being confronted by the wife of a client - I'm actually surprised they didn't do this in the first season but it was interesting to see Belle and wifey square off without things escalating into a physical scrap as well.

Episode 4: I really do like Ben as a character and while he's underused in the first three episodes, I didn't like him being a dick to Alex in this one, even if he raised some good pointers. Also the threeway with Belle, Bambi and that club owner was interesting and uncomfortable to watch.

Episode 5: Probably the best episode from the series full stop. Alex found out in the worst way possible that Belle was a prostitute and it was hard not to feel for both characters. Plus, this episode used music from Counting Crows, so more points there.

Episode 6: The one where Belle nearly got raped by a fetish-ish client and Bambi came to her rescue. Though sleeping with Ben at the end of the episode wasn't her smartest of ideas, was it?

Episode 7: Decent episode but Belle and Alex get back together a little too quickly and given her clear contempt for ordinary work, there's a part of me feeling like I'm being manipulating into wanting Belle to resume her prostitute gig.

Episode 8: Terrific finale. The Belle/Alex break up is handled really nice, having her become a famous author at the end would've been a terrific way of ending the show full stop but for now, it just opens up new opportunities for the character.

Definitely an improvement on the first year with some great characterisation, interesting new players and too many enjoyable episodes.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Friday, December 17, 2010

My Review of Doctor Who's: "Meanwhile In The TARDIS Scene 2"

Written by Steven Moffat
Directed by Euros Lyn

The Doctor: “That is not why you are here.”
Amy: “Then why am I here?”
The Doctor: “Because ... because I can’t see it any more.”
Amy: “See what?”
The Doctor: “I’m 907. After a while, you just can’t see it.”

Can I just say that I hope when Season 6 is released on DVD that there are more of these little gems to be had? The first one was excellent and this second one definitely hits a certain good spots as well.

First off all, there’s the cooling down of Amy’s thrusting sexuality for starters. If I hear one more person whinging about her trying it on with the Doctor in “Flesh And Stone”, I’ll lose the plot and while it takes a bit to get her to back off in this one, there are worse reasons to hate a television character. Similarly there are also worse reasons to be travelling with the Doctor.

After Amy teased him mercilessly about his prowess as a bloke (is the Doctor a typical bloke? I don’t bloody think so but Amy did raise some pointers), the moment where the Doctor told Amy that she was travelling with him because he couldn’t “see it” was perfect in a way because while it’s partially subterfuge for his real motives, it’s not entirely untrue.

Say what you want about Amy as a companion but after all the specials last year, just having a regular companion again has been a godsend for the series. It isn’t just about having a human influence to keep the Doctor in check; it’s also about having someone with him that he can show the wonders of the universe to as well. Never mind the companion for a minute – it’s the Doctor who gets to light up when he’s in a position of sharing something wonderful with a friend.

And that’s also the best part of this scene as well because not only does it end with the intent to add Rory in the mix but Steven Moffat dovetails a thorny issue by having Amy trick the Doctor into showing her visual records of most of the TARDIS inhabitants over the last forty seven years (“Miss out the metal dog, why don’t you?”). Amy, you might be in a long line of young things the Doctor’s travelled with, but you’ll definitely be one of the most remembered as well.

- This scene is set in between “Flesh And Stone” and “The Vampires Of Venice”, hence the Doctor and Amy’s attire.
- The last person to compare the Doctor to Gandalf was the Master from Season 3. Loved the Yoda allusion as well.
- “Involuntary snort of affection?” Oh, Doctor, Rory’s nose isn’t that bad. Also why didn’t we see any male companions during that visual?
- Euros Lyn has now directed for nearly every new series Doctor and companion, except for Rory of course. Here’s hoping that he gets a chance to do so soon.

A total gem of a second scene. Even if you don’t have Season 5 on DVD, find a means of watching this scene. You won’t regret it.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Skins - Season 5 Cast Shot/Character Profiles

With little more than a month to go, E4 have finally given some details about the characters from the fifth series of Skins and apart from one of them, I'm not overly impressed. Let's see you've got you've got an androgynous girl named Franky, a ladies man in Nick and his girlfriend, Mini, a metalhead in Rich and the mysterious Matty to name but a few. The characters are Nick Levan (Sean Teale), Mini McGuiness (Freya Mavor), Rich Hardbeck (Alexander Arnold), Liv Malone (Laya Lewis), Aloysius 'Alo' Creevey (Will Merrick), Franky Fitzgerald (Dakota Blue Richards), Matty (Sebastian DeSouza) and Grace Violet (Jessica Sula). Thoughts anyone?

Cast Pictures:

Doctor Who - A Christmas Carol Clips

Okay, it's nine days to go and while I still have to review the last Meanwhile In The TARDIS scene, I couldn't resist one more blog in relation to A Christmas Carol ...

Fresh from the latest issue of DWM, here's hoping another sumptious Doctor/Amy/Rory promo pops up soon. From the clips I'm gonna link, it looks like Amy and Rory were enjoying their honeymoon until their spaceship got caught in some fog. The comments from the crew members on the happy couple's attire is enough to make me want to hug Steven Moffat. Sheer comedy gold.
And we're also keeping in with good looking male guest stars as Danny Horn plays the middle version of Kazran Sardick and also the one who gets to snog Katherine Jenkins's Abigail Pettigrew in the process. Oh and nice one to see Eleven rocking the tuxedo look at some point in this story. By the way, expect a Series 6 trailer at the end of the Christmas special with a rumoured reappearance of a familiar alien race (no, not the Daleks for once).

In building up to the Christmas special, Karen Gillan has seemingly satisfied every male viewer of Doctor Who with her interview and photoshoot for Shortlist Magazine. Which also means that the Daily Mail will be getting their own knickers in a twist over the thursting sexuality of Amy Pond once again.
Matt Smith in more festive-ish attire is also taking to The Times about his acting aspirations and there's also a rather fetching photoshoot for that as well. He's also mentioned that he's playing the Doctor on a yearly basis as well.
A Christmas Carol Preview Clips:

A Christmas Carol airs on Christmas Day at 6pm on BBC1.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Torchwood - Season 4 Major Castings

You wait ages for something in relation to Torchwood and then two whoppers land on your doorstep at once.

ER and Lie To Me's Mekhi Phifer has been cast in the role of CIA agent, Rex Matheson and while he's a fine actor and all, I was actually expecting someone slightly younger for the role for some reason. Still, it'll be interesting to see Rex stands alongside Jack, Gwen and Rhys as filming for The New World begins in January.

Elsewhere Independence Day/Sleepless In Seattle's Bill Pullman has snagged the role of murderer Oswald Jones who manages to become a media sensation after breaking out of prison whilst getting involved in events. Pullman's casting is definitely a big coup for the series and I guess it won't be too long before Esther's casting is announced. So, what does everyone think of our guys?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My Review of Doctor Who's: "Meanwhile In The TARDIS Scene 1"

Written by Steven Moffat
Directed by Euros Lyn

The Doctor (at the door): “Do you know what I keep in here?”
Amy: “What?”
The Doctor: “Absolutely everything.”

Ah, you gotta love the Season 5 DVD box set. While it shafted buyers out of deleted scenes and commentaries for every single episode, it did manage to give us at least two scenes never seen before with the Doctor and Amy in the TARDIS and both are a delight.

This first one here seems to be something of a culture shock for Amy. We saw her wonderment of being inside the TARDIS in the first episode of the season but this scene really had her babbling at a hundred miles an hour as she took in her new surroundings. Parts of it are staged like a sketch but amidst the babbling, there are some moments of practicality as well.

For instance, Amy asked the Doctor what kind of an alien he was and he only responded by telling her he was a nice one (while pointing out that she was alien from his perspective too) which doesn’t offer much in the way of a cohesive answer, does it? Still though, you have to be an Amy fan in order to enjoy this scene because if you’re not, it’s unlikely that this little moment alone is going to change your mind on her.

The best moment in the scene is definitely the last thirty seconds when Amy realised that there were in space and the Doctor chucked her out of the TARDIS. It’s a quicksilver moment where there’s poignancy behind Amy’s decision to leave on the night of her wedding and the sheer madness of the Doctor being blasé about his new friend’s curiosity as well.

- This scene is set between “The Eleventh Hour” and “The Beast Below”. Hence Amy still being in her nightie and the fact that she’ll end up being outside the TARDIS in space.
- I’m going to assume that the Doctor does in fact change the bulb on the top of his spaceship but nice of Amy to bring it up.
- The Doctor mentioned the TARDIS’s ability to blend into its surroundings upon arriving anywhere but he failed to tell Amy that he did at least once mend the chameleon circuit.
- Though it made a lot of sense in the context of what would follow, Amy doesn’t give any indication to the Doctor that she’s marrying Rory in the morning.

It was fast, fun and to be honest, if you love the Doctor/Amy dynamic, then all this scene is going to do is please you. If you’re not an Amy fan, then this little gem is unlikely to change your mind, I’m afraid but I sure as hell enjoyed it.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Secret Diary Of A Call Girl - Season 1 Review

I said a while back ago that I would do a review for each season of this hit ITV2 series starring Billie Piper and I wasn't lying. When I first heard about this show, I was intrigued and I certainly knew it would be something I'd want to watch but regardless of the subject matter, it's a damn well enjoyable series. So, here are some thoughts on each episode ....

Episode 1: The opening episode and a rather modest one at that too. It's established within minutes that Hannah is moonlighting as a prostitute named Belle and that she very much enjoys her line of work, even if she's not so keen to tell her family and friends about said work. Her relationship with Ben is arguably the most prominent point of the first episode and the variety of clients - one who wants experiment with farmyard fantasies and the other who wants the girlfriend experience certainly keeps the series afloat.

Episode 2: Tricky second episode but it kind of shows that while Belle might all for fulfilling fantasies, she's also a slave to wanting some fulfilled as well. The banter she has with the author she's pursuing in this one is a lot of fun and it's first episode to also introduce the sex party scene as well.

Episode 3: Not my favourite episode but an amusing one as Belle certainly has affection for certain clients - particularly, Ash, who was her first one and the one that seems to treat her the best. Doesn't stop her from bagging another client in the same hotel room while he's fast asleep though.

Episode 4: Otherwise known as the one where Belle takes on the reluctant role as madam for a very eager client. Belle might be equipped in a lot of areas but clearly this episode to prove that in spite of her confidence, there are things that even test her comfort zone to a certain degree. The Ben plot isn't as good because the character of Vanessa is someone that we never get to meet, so why should we care?

Episode 5: I loved this one. Okay, so Belle ended up losing her fave client to Naomi but up until then, it was nice to see Belle actually have some matey banter with another female character and I bet certain male viewers weren't opposed to see her and Naomi engage in some tonsil hockey in preparation for their night with Ash.

Episode 6: Two words: Matt Smith. Other stuff happened in this episode as well but seeing Doctor Eleven getting down and dirty with Belle was definitely talked about last year and it gave the Doctor/Rose shippers something to cling to. On the plus side, it was interesting to see Belle to take a day off work even if she couldn't quite hack it.

Episode 7: Possibly my fave episode from the first season. While it might not have been advisable for Ben to offer his service to Belle in order to satisfy a married couple, it was definitely to see the two of them connecting a little better in this one though.

Episode 8: Belle as a courtesan? Well, she did come close in this episode but apparently being literally a paid mistress to a man who barely acknowledges you isn't as tempting as it sounds. Still, the set back did give Belle some needed incentive to branch out on her own and get away from boss lady Stephanie for a bit. Nice finale, but a big finale.

As a first series went, Secret Diary Of A Call Girl certainly had moments to make you blush but in terms of sexual content, it's nowhere near as salacious as you would expect. It also helps that Belle's an engaging and sympathetic main character as well. Definitely recommended.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

And The Winner Is

Well, it's Matt Cardle of course. Yup the seventh series of The X Factor has finally come to an end and the winner is an okay choice with me.

I've not been the biggest fan of Matt but one reason why I'm not overly sad that Rebecca didn't win (whilst my sister swore at the TV) is because she's guaranteed a recording contract nonethless and a part of me is happy for Dannii Minogue as well, who was the only judge this year to actually work well with all her contestants instead of picking favourites. However here's hoping that Matt is a bigger success for Dannii than Leon Jackson ended up being.

As for the choice of winner songs - I have to admit that for once this show was actually inventive. No embarrassing teeny-bopper records or a classic track that's been covered to death. Rebecca delivered a beauitful version of Duffy's Distant Dreamer and Matt's take on Biffy Clyro's When We Collide was pretty decent as well. I might not even complain if he gets the number one spot this Christmas. I'll do further comments on the last two episode in my TV blog later in the week for now, congrats to Matt and I'm linking both songs for you to listen to again.
When We Collide:

And next year, it'll be me winning the bloody thing. You mark my words.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Dexter - Season 5 Preview (Contains Big Spoilers)

As I'm typing this, the fifth season of Dexter is coming to an end on Showtime tomorrow night and god knows when FXUK will get off their arses and air it but here goes nothing.

As a longterm fan of the series, I absolutely adored the fourth season of the series and thought the show had hit an all time high with the writing and characterisation that a part of me was nervous for Season 5. Would Dexter survive without Rita's humanly influence? Would the Big Bad of the season even come close to being as breathtakingly excellent as Arthur 'Trinity' Mitchell? From the previews that I've been watching, I'm glad to say that the series is still hitting the excellent button all over again, especially as opener My Bad picks up from where the previous year left off.

Every season of this show usually starts off with introducing the main baddie but this year takes a different tack of sorts. In the first half of the season, you've got Dexter coming to terms with the loss of Rita (Julie Benz) as Quinn seems to drawing closer to realising who Dexter really is but it's only by the third episode, Practically Perfect that the arrival of Lumen Pierce (Julia Stiles) that the season really comes into it's own. Lumen isn't a villain but more victim of being sold and abused by several nasty men and while Dexter has to win her trust, Lumen ends up spending the season as a mutiple of things for him - damsel in distress, ally, friend, and in recent episodes such as In The Beginning, a love interest. After Rita, I should be protesting that it's too soon but even I can't deny that there's something between Dexter and Lumen that the series has been crying out with him - an unconditional connection and unlike Miguel and Lila, there's a chance that Dexter can be himself with Lumen without things going sour - at least, here's hoping.

However while the first six episodes of the season are devoid of a big bad and Dexter/Lumen becoming quite the killing team, it's Johnny Lee Miller's turn to play a villain - the nasty Jordan Chase (who debuts in Circle Us), a nasty, police protected motivational speaker responsible for Lumen's former predicament and also quite the scary bastard as well as the season progresses. As a villain, he definitely works, especially given his manipulation over certain characters but whether or not he succeeds in his attempts of killing Lumen and defeating Dexter remain to be seen but either way, this show certainly knows how to write for their big bads. Here's hoping that season finale, The Big One puts him in the same slide collection as past nasties have done.

As for the rest of the gang - well, Deb's sleeping and falling in love with Quinn, verbally tearing Jordan asunder, being cautious of Lumen whilst seemingly coming closer to realising that her brother might not be all he seems but it's better than Angel and Maria's marital problems and Masuka having naff all to do again. In terms of reviews, I'm actually going to tackle the series in early 2011 instead of the summer.

What A Way To Go 50 - Corrie Spoilers

So there were the numerous specials, the repeat of the first ever episode and every media website going into overdrive but the more critical thing were the eight episodes this week that actually celebrated the 50th anniversary of Coronation Street. So, where they any good?

Actually yes and not just because they were the celebratory episodes but because for an entire week, this show was at it's most consistent, most devastating, most poignant and genuinely most gripping in the longest of times. Crashing a tram isn't exactly new for the street but it was certainly an interesting way to celebrate things. Lives were lost, most were shattered but it was definitely a week that kept things very interesting.

John was always going to bump Charlotte off and after caving her brains in with a hammer, he got the (for now) perfect get out of jail clause when it was assumed she was a tram victim and her parents wanted to shut off her life support machine. Then after Fiz's all too realistic screeching, John also became the proud father of a little girl named Hope. On another parenting note, Becky stole from Dev's trashed shop in order to pay off her despicable sister in order to keep Max in arguably the least riveting storyline of the week.
As for the deaths, Charlotte's can't count because the tram didn't kill and unless that father of three in a car turns out be someone we know later on, he doesn't either, so we only got two out of the four deaths we were promised. I've never been big fans of Ashley and Molly but even I found their deaths sad to watch, namely because of Claire and Tyrone's devastation and also because Sally now knows that Kevin's fathered another child.
As for the false alarms - way to scare us with almost killing off Sunita, Peter and Rita. All three managed to survive but that didn't stop Carla from spitefully rubbing Leanne up the wrong way as well. I have a feeling this quardrangle between Nick/Leanne/Peter/Carla will only intensify all the more, regardless of Peter and Leanne being married. And unlike most people, I didn't believe for a second that any child would die during this week and I was right. Also a special mention to the way Gary's PTSD also played into the week as that's a plot I'm looking forward to seeing further explored in the next few weeks. Overall, this was an incredible week (especially the live episode) with everyone raising their game and hopefully a sign of better storylines to come during Christmas and 2011.

Friday, December 10, 2010

You're A Bad One Miss Grinch

And here's another TV blog in the space of a week. I think I might be on a roll of some sort.

Glee - Christmas episodes are always going to be and should probably always been rather cheesy and this show made no exception to that long accepted rule. Here was an episode where a 16 year old Brittany still believed in Santa Claus and Sue herself actually dressed up as the Grinch when she did a spot of sabotaging at Will's expense. In terms of the songs, Rachel and Finn's rendition of Last Christmas and Kurt/Blaine's take on Baby, It's Cold Outside stodd out the most. US and Irish viewers will have to wait until February for the remaining episodes of the second season.
Misfits - With a finale and a Christmas special to look forward to in the next nine days, last night's episode was the oddest thing ever. Kelly finally nabs herself a bloke who adores her and he turns out to be a gorilla. Interesting to see that the storm affected animals along with humans but it was certainly the weirdest thing going. Less weird, however were Nathan and Alisha's attempts of protecting Simon from Jessica's psycho father while that mystery behind Curtis and Nikki's superhero encounter was finally resolved. The finale certainly looks like a bit of a game changer and while this episode was the weakest from the series, it still amused for the most part.
Desperate Housewives - I can't lie that I've been feeling widely disconnected from this series because even though this season isn't awful, it's just dawned on me that there's very little left it can actually offer. Paul's plot for the neighbourhood is tedious rather than terrifying and the potentially good plot with the baby swap is seemingly resolved, following the departures of Grace and her family. Oh and do I look like I care about Renee pining for Tom? On the plus, I am still enjoying Bree/Keith and the latter's parents for some reason. Hope their 'event' episode is much better though than these last two have been.

The Vampire Diaries - The good news is by December 22nd, TG4 will finally be finished with the first season. The not so great news is that there's no word as to when they'll air the second season but it'll be something to look forward to. As for the last two episodes I've viewed, well apart from the arrival of John Gilbert and the whole Miss Mystic Falls saga, things have felt a little quieter but from what I've read about the last three episodes, I am excited for events to come. Oh and while I won't ship Elena/Damon, they do look sorta good together.

The Apprentice - UK/Irish Versions - Ooh, things are getting good, aren't they? Liz Locke got the boot on the UK version of this show due to her tour guide team being bad and in the Irish version, it's a girl/girl final next with both Michelle and Niamh pitted against each other as Barry, Will and Panos all got the boot. So, who would I like to see win - Michelle for the Irish one, Jamie for the UK version.

- Skins will premiere on MTV from January 13th 2011. I'll be doing another blog in relation to the US version and one on the fifth series on the UK version.
- Glee will also be doing songs by Destiny's Child and Maroon 5 in the second half of Season 2, which premieres on E4/Channel 4 in January.
- Larry Hagman will be appearing in Desperate Housewives as a love interest for Lynette's mother, who's returning in the New Year. There's also rumours that Keith will have a child that he's unaware of.
- Look out for a proposal in an upcoming episode of Smallville.
- Brothers And Sisters could be doing another storyline about someone not being a Walker when an old flame (played by beau Bridges) of Nora's surfaces. Kevin and Scotty will also be adopting later in the season as well.
- MTV have announced that Bubba Lewis, Joey Pollari, Zack Pearlman and Mark L. Young will be the main cast for their version of The Inbetweeners.