Monday, January 31, 2011

Soap Discussion - January 2011

And to end January off, here's a soap blog for you all ....

Coronation Street: This show has continued to improve over the last few months and the residual consequences of the tram crash storyline have been gripping stuff. It served as a motive for Claire being the one responsible for Tracy getting her head caved and there was an interesting sense of community spirit as everyone helped her escape the police. Tracy's going to have find some other way to vent her rage now. Also when we weren't dealing with Janice being burgled or Fiz's growing financial woes (and the unwise choice of helping to claim Joy Fishwick's will), there was John having a breakdown. He's really sensitive for a killer, ain't he? Gary's continuous breakdowns are also apt but the writers do need to give him to do as well and Eileen's stealing off Owen was surprisingly short lived. Highlight of the month was Sally's means of trying to dissuade buyers from her house. Take that, Kevin Webster.

EastEnders: For a show that won Best Soap at the NTA's last week, I'm struggling to think of one of the many big storylines in January 2011 that was actually likeable. I'm not gonna further comment on the baby swap storyline because it's so damn tedious that I don't want to care. Similarly I can't bring myself to care about Christian and Syed's boring quest to have a baby with Roxy because the writers can't be arsed to actually develop them as a couple. Nor do I care about Phil's near but not deadly heart attack or his tiresome feuding with Ian. Plus, if I go into the Carol/Connor and Phil/Glenda/Ian affairs, I might just throw up and unlike Heather's fecking sneezing about the place last week, I would be convincing. Overall, this was a month that gave and gave bad storylines in spades.

Emmerdale: Maybe the producers were feeling left out with the tram stuff but did they really think a fire storyline was going to ignite the same talk? Probably but it wasn't as good and given that both Terry and Viv were long time characters, they deserved better an exit. Plus, I don't believe Katie's really worth the effort, Henshall, though he didn't have to do much to convince the village that Andy was responsible though, did he? Better thought out storylines was Lisa's rape by creepy Derek, Maisie and Will's more subdued but effective exits and the recent antics with Faye, Cain, Charity and Jai, even if it does make Cain look like a dolt. Also, why do I get the bad feeling that Aaron and Jackson are effectively doomed? Those recent video diaries of Jackson's are not a good omen and neither is the arrival of Flynn, who I did find rather cute by the way.
Hollyoaks: A really great month for this show, even if I couldn't care less about Mercedes cheating on Riley with his dad. Overall, I'm loving the inclusion of Mitzee into the Brendan/Ste plot, enjoying the weird but interesting partnership of Brendan and Warren, the fallout of Jasmine/Jason's GID storyline with the Costellos and even little Tom trying to defend Jack from an intruder. For a soap that's heavily youth obsessed, it can be quite brilliant with storylines that other soaps aren't at times. Even the return of the rather annoying Gaz for a brief time couldn't deter the greatness of this month, though Nancy's moaning about Darren being a new dad was a little tiresome. Plus, no overkill on the McQueens as well certainly helped matters.

Fair City: I won't be talking about this soap every month (or maybe I will) but I have to admit that I like it when a soap gives us an odd coupling and Turlough and Neasa perfectly fit that trope. Not only have I managed to actually like Turlough and feel bad for him but it was nice to see one male character on the show not treat Neasa like a bimbo either. Too bad Bob has to be a perennial spanner in the works with his inane glee in trying to wreck both Turlough/Neasa and Carol/Louis whenever he got the chance to. And while I'm finding the whole trying to normalise the other Bishop brothers a bit too rushed, points to the show for the brief Come Dine With Me subplot with Niamh, Orla, Yvonne and Carol as well this month.

My Review of Being Human's 3x02: "Adam's Family"

Written by Brian Dooley
Directed by Colin Teague

Nina: “Stay in touch, yeah?”
Adam: “You so want me.”
George: “Good luck, yeah?”
Adam: “George, one more thing – you are such a sad arse.”

And it’s goodbye to you, Adam. If we ever wanted to see George and Nina in parental mode (and I have a feeling this episode sort of set that up), then their taking care of young vampire Adam was a pretty good case in point of proving how great they would be whenever they have their own kids. Notice I didn’t say if there, right?

I liked that Adam’s arc in some ways was more or less resembling Jessica’s from True Blood or even Caroline’s from The Vampire Diaries. Take a baby faced teenage vampire and try to help him survive in the big bad world now that his father has passed on. George and Nina didn’t have to help the lad but they’re better people for doing it though.

Adam didn’t make it exactly easy for them with his initial werewolf-phobic behaviour and penchant for running off and nearly snacking on a random girl but I did feel incredibly sorry for the guy when George and Nina originally handed him over to rich vampire couple, Richard and Emma. Thank goodness the pair of them saw sense.

Richard and Emma as vampires pretty much proved that all the money and privilege in the world still makes you a total div. They had care for the humans they drank off, in spite of their nifty little system and their attitude towards George and Nina definitely made me want to stake them as well.

Fortunately when it came down to the crunch, Adam chose a more complicated life over the idea of being stuck in a rich nightmare freak show with Richard and Emma. I’m guessing the idea of numbered gimp and having to shag Emma on a billiards table wasn’t exactly up Adam’s alley after all.

However while George and Nina did step up to the plate and got Adam away from the mad pair, why do I get the feeling that Richard’s threat of repercussions wasn’t just him blowing hot air? This season is supposed to be giving all kinds of villains and I would definitely be surprised if Richard and Emma didn’t surface later in the season to get their own back on George and Nina.

As for the goodbye scene with Adam, I thought it was absolutely a nice way of sending the character off. He’s already got his own journey to make and online spin-off with Becoming Human, so it’s definitely not the last we’ve seen of him. That’s great, because despite some of his doltish behaviour and the fact that he looked horribly unkempt for the first half of the episode, he was definitely a more entertaining vampire than Vincent was in the previous episode.

Less entertaining this week was Mitchell. I can understand his reluctance in telling the gang that he’s got a werewolf related death coming his way but I found myself getting annoyed with him throughout this episode for multiple reasons – taking so long to help Adam out being one of them.

But the main was his attitude with Annie. Yes, he had some great moments with her and while he was right to tell her not to define herself by the gang, he’s also doing a lot of harm to her by lying to her as well. I really do hope that we don’t have to wait until the finale for Mitchell to let everyone else know that he’s got a nasty prophecy hanging over his head.

Also in “Adam’s Family”

Becoming Human can be seen on the BBC3 website as well as the red button and will continue for the rest of this series.

Annie: “It wasn’t actually all that bad.”
Nina: “Annie, you were in purgatory.”
Annie: “Yeah, I know but I’ve been to the Isle Of Wight, so it’s not really that much of a culture shock.”

Adam's dad mentioned having a thing for Anneke Rice. My bad.

Nina: “I know what you are.”
Adam: “So you know what I can do to you if you come any nearer, Goldie.”

Richard (re Mitchell): “I expected some demon. What do I find? The last Russell Brand in the shop.”

Richard tried to get Mitchell to go to South America on behalf of the Old Ones. Mitchell should be a lot more worried that Richard knows about the Box Tunnel Massacre.

George (to Adam, re Annie): “You’re a 46 year old vampire who dresses like a child. Don’t call her freaky.”

Adam: “Just because you’re a vampire doesn’t mean you have to smell like the undead. One word, Mitch: deodorant.”

Despite no appearances from McNair and Tom, more hints of Mitchell’s death by werewolf came with a fantasy sequence news announcement. In better news, he managed to bag another cleaning job.

Richard (to George/Nina): “You may not understand our little arrangement here but at least accept that it works.”

Who was that hand that we saw at the end of the episode? I don’t remember anyone being turned in this episode.

George: “Did you just realise that I’m zipping up my coat and going back there?”
Nina: “Yeah and I’m coming with you.”

Richard (re George/Nina): “These are not your people. These animals ...”
Adam: “Yeah, tell it to someone who gives a shit.”

I couldn’t find any of the music credits for this episode and not much time has passed since “Lia”. Annie mentioned a day or something.

“Adam’s Family” isn’t as good as the opening episode but it’s certainly a nice set up for the character and his online spin-off and while the Mitchell/Annie bits were a little disappointing, I think George and Nina more than made up for it.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

Doctor Who - NTA Sketch

Written by Steven Moffat
Directed by Richard Senior

Dermot O’Leary: “I’ve missed the National Television Awards. I’m an idiot.”
The Doctor: “Can I help?”

Can you go back to last Wednesday and stop Waterloo Road from scooping best drama because that would be a tonic and a bit? Um, bitterness aside, this proved to be one sketch too many.

Maybe it’s because most of the TV personalities who contributed to it are ones that annoy me or maybe it’s because I don’t ever want to think of Amanda Holden being Prime Minister or Becky MacDonald being the Doctor’s future wife. Either way, this three and a half minute sketch struck a bum note.

Dermot O’Leary – nice bloke but sort of bland and not really all that great an NTA host. Similarly wasn’t that great in this either, I’m afraid. As for Matt Smith, I was kind of embarrassed for him with this one. Even if this had been a Children In Need sketch, it still wouldn’t have worked so well.

On the plus side, it doesn’t last that long, still is nowhere near as bad as Dimensions In Time and we did get to see a new outfit for the 11th Doctor but aside from that, it just didn’t gel all that much.

- There were mentions of canaries in mine shafts before Dermot had to meet Bruce Forsyth.
- Is it wise to have a top rated BBC show slag off the BBC itself?
- Dermot O’Leary, okay he did look nice in that tuxedo but I still didn’t find him that great an NTA host.
- Shame about Matt Smith losing out to David Jason but at least he had worthy competition in one of his categories.

A bit overblown but I think some people will have enjoyed this one more than me. I expect a better sketch/missing scene for Children In Need or Comic Relief this year though.

Rating: 5 out of 10.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Doctor Who - Series 6 Monsters Return

Okay, I was desperately hoping for some major casting for Doctor Who but even I was pleasantly surprised when the press today revealed that Downton Abbey's Hugh Bonneville would be joining the series. He's guesting in the Steven Thompson episode, playing a pirate captain called Avery and while things are getting more secretive on the spoiler front, it seems the director for this episode is Jeremy Webb from Merlin. This is the third episode of the sixth season that is currently being filmed. The cast will also be travelling to Cornwall next week to film in Charlestown for this episode.

Meanwhile back to the game changing, 7th episode (or the series 777th episode if you like), it seems that Dorium, the alien from The Pandorica Opens that River acquired a vortex manipulator off is back in the mix. He's not also the only thing returning as both Cybermen and Sontarans (Dan Starkey playing a character called Strax) will be appearing in this episode as well. Other casting for episode 7 include Annabel Cleare and her son, Henry in two undisclosed roles, Lydia Fewell as Child Alien, Dan Johnston as Thin Man and Charlie Baker as Fat Man. This episode is directed by Peter Hoar.

There's also been some recent speculation on Twitter that Gareth Roberts could be writing an upcoming episode and Toby Whithouse has been confirmed for an episode as well, which means nearly all the writers for the season have been announced. Episode 7 is also due to heavily twin babies as well, which could add more fuel to the fire about Amy/Rory being River's parents. It's the current popularity theory in regards to River's identity being bandied about the place, despite no concrete proof yet to support it.

Welcome To Bristol, Franky

NB: After this blog, I will not be talking about either Skins US and UK in the same TV jumble. Today is an exception to the rule though.

Skins UK: Wow, a freaking return to form. Much as I loathed the overt depression of Series 4, I was hoping that Series 5 would get this show back on an even keel and this episode managed to mostly do that. Generation 3 are definitely going to be an interesting bunch and androgynous Franky's domination of this episode was the best thing ever. Some of the scenes were uncomfortable to watch (who the fuck seriously would cyber bully someone on that level?) but I did enjoy the character's various interactions between superbitch Mini, promiscious Liv, happy people pleaser and occassional thief, Grace, mystery man Matty and Alo and Rich. The only new character so far who didn't make a strong impression was Mini's meathead boyfriend, Nick. Overall, it's nice to see this show back to it's glory.

Skins US: After an underwhelming pilot episode, the second one really needed to make an impression. It's only a shame that for MTV, the show's lost over half it's viewers because this was a step in the right direction. Tea is definitely shaping up to be a fascinating character and she's got more of a command than this version of Tony could ever muster. Heck, even during their scenes together, Tea totally wiped the floor with him and her whole family dynamic certainly proved that this show has more substance than the PTC want to credit it with. Please MTV, let this show last for a second year because if we keep getting quality episodes like Tea's, this show will be fine.

Being Human US: Not a bad second episode, but definitely a little patchy in bits. I like Josh, I do but I hated his rejection of Emily in this one and I'm not sure if I like the co-dependant aspect of him and Aidan's friendship. The flashbacks for all the main players backstory was nice and Rebecca has a certain viciousness that makes her a fine threat, even more than Bishop. The Sally and Danny stuff sort of dragged in parts though but two episodes in, I definitely think this is a decent take on the UK series.

Primeval: I'm just about ready to jack this show in. I realised once again why I don't want to watch it - it just doesn't emotionally engage me. I don't care enough about the characters, the whole dinosaur plot is pretty limiting and the whole arc with Matt and the old guy is petering out and Philip isn't that much of an interesting antagonist either. On the plus side, the Emily and Ethan is sort of effective and some of the guest actors are interesting. I also didn't mind some dino attacks in the school either in the fourth episode.

Mrs Browns Boys: I'm still curious as to how this will do whenever BBC1 start airing it. Recent episodes still kept rehashing stuff from the DVDs such as Maria's hen night and the appearance of petty crook Buster Brady as well as Cathy's dire love life. It's still funny stuff but not as much as it could be I guess. Maybe because I've seen most of the jokes before and they were better done back then.
- Callum Blue will be reprising his role as Zod for one episode of Smallville.
- Former Skins actor, Luke Pasqualino has been cast as a young Adama in the upcoming Battlestar Galactica: Blood And Chrome.
- Kate Walsh will be appearing in the musical episode of Grey's Anatomy. The episode airs on ABC on March 31st.
- Kevin and Scotty will have to deal with Olivia's brother in an upcoming episode of Brothers And Sisters. Matthew Rhys will also direct another episode as well.
- Will Ferrell will be guesting in an upcoming episode of the US version of The Office.
- Paul Wesley has promised an upcoming episode of The Vampire Diaries will feature a new flashback. Joseph Morgan has been cast as Klaus.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Review of Brothers And Sisters 5x02: "Brief Encounter"

Written by Molly Newman
Directed by Jonathan Kaplan

Nora: “You think I’m gay?”
Kitty: “Yeah. Aren’t you?”
Nora: “No, I’m not a lesbian, I’m a florist.”

Without a doubt the above quote comes from one of the most amusing scenes we’ve ever had on this show but as funny as it is, I just gotta face palm (Picard style) Kitty for a bit. Nora’s gay? The show barely focuses on Saul’s homosexuality, so why would they make Nora gay at all?

Of course, it’s all a rather stretched out misunderstanding. Nora spent too much of the time acting evasive about her new job, Kitty overheard and misunderstood a phone conversation and came to the wrong conclusion after she decided to follow her mother to a mystery woman’s house.

Also in typical Walker style, Kitty then decided to tell everyone her theory about Nora having a girlfriend before actually asking her mother what was going on in the first place. It’s the type of thing that the show’s done to death at this rate and while it was funny, it was also very stupid as well.

Kitty had the flimsiest of proof going and made a blunder. Not the worst going though but still pretty bad. Nora’s protests of her heterosexuality in response to Kitty’s false findings though were brilliantly acted out but the thing I don’t get was why she felt the need to hide her florist job in the first place?

There’s no shame in working in a florist, though realistically with a house like Nora’s, I’m not sure if working in one would keep her afloat but every little helps I guess. However, I do find this Zoe woman a pain in the arse and this week we only had to put up with her on the phone and it’s a little too contrived that Nora would bag a radio gig opportunity with Zeke in the manner she did.

Zeke might have liked Nora giving her children a verbal dressing down in public but I reckon he’d quickly change his mind if he made the mistake of getting on her bad side, which would be a likely plot point. I’m going to assume that Nora will take the job – if not by next episode then soon enough, because it’s definitely clear that working with Zoe is going to drive her nuts pretty soon.

As for Nora’s dressing down of her kids again, I agreed with most of her comments but I think the ones with Kitty were a little harsh. Kitty’s just buried her husband, I think she’s entitled to a little moping and to be fair, Kitty did spend more of this episode house hunting and prying into Nora’s private affairs than she actually did mope.

Also I do want to see Robert’s death affect Kitty. I don’t need scene after scene of her lamenting about Robert, but I don’t want his death swept under the carpet either. He was a crucial part of the show and there does need to be a certain level of respect attributed to him as well, that’s all I’m saying.

Speaking of respect, there’s a reason why I’m glad that Paige does not appear in every episode of this show and this episode sort of reinforced that point. She’s not the worst kid on TV but she can be a little annoying and her teen rebellion storylines aren’t that much interesting to watch. Like Nora, I also don’t think Sarah should’ve let her gone to that celebrity launch for Luc’s underwear either.

Some of those scenes actually focused more on the Walkers than women gushing over Luc, so I have to commend the episode for that but Paige getting drunk made me laugh because compared to the likes of Skins, it looks so lightweight and tame by comparison. I did like the later scenes with Paige and Sarah connecting a little more and it’s nice that Luc is sort of taking a Scotty type calm role within Sarah’s chaotic family world. For that alone, I will commend him as a character.

However when it comes to commending, I actually am finding myself oddly engrossed in Holly’s amnesia storyline. I don’t know why because in the back of my head, I don’t have much investment in her and David as a couple and now really is the perfect time for the show to get out of both of them but for some reason, this storyline is working.

Maybe I should cite it to Justin’s involvement and the fact that Holly’s lack of feelings towards Rebecca is both sad and kind of chilling. Plus, it’s also Justin in a noble type of role, even if he is desperate to be back with his wife but overall this plot is a lot better than I thought it would be.

As for the Kevin and Scotty segment of the week – Kevin, you dolt. I probably would have some similar mistrust about Matteo as well but without Nora’s powers of perception, it was blindingly obvious that the lad broke into Scotty’s restaurant because he wanted to reach to him and Kevin. Sometimes Kevin doesn’t really think and he’s usually one of the smarter Walkers.

I did like the later scenes where Kevin actually did listen and allowed Matteo to talk about his father. Also, even though I was surprised that Matteo didn’t end up living with Kevin and Scotty, I don’t mind the twist of him being sent to his grandmother. I think I really do need a few more episodes of Kevin and Scotty together without a child being added into the mix for the time being.

Also in “Brief Encounter”

We’ve been there and done that over Sarah being critical over Paige’s choice of attire. Remember Season 3, writers?

Sarah (re Nora): “Where would she go so early?”
Kitty: “Well, I’m thinking that maybe her bed wasn’t slept in at all.”

I had to laugh at Paige picking Luc’s suit, if only for Sarah’s reaction. Now that was one thing I did agree with Paige in this episode about.

Kevin (to Matteo): “You had a good lawyer. I can’t be your lawyer anymore, now I’m your victim and you’re about not getting any money. Intent is intent, so don’t think you’re so smart.”

Nora: “I’d love to go house hunting with you. Anytime, you name it.”
Kitty: “Tomorrow.”
Nora: “Tomorrow’s not good for me.”
Kitty: “You busy all day?”

If this show has jumped a year, surely Nora has to be older than 63, right? Also where the heck was Saul this week? I also found Justin and Kevin’s reactions to the idea of Nora being gay more amusing than Scotty accidentally downloading granny porn on Kevin’s phone.

Kitty: “Why are the police calling you?”
Scotty: “Maybe your phone’s tapped.”
Kevin: “Scotty, it’s not illegal to look at grandmas doing it.”
Justin: “Are you sure?”

David: “I can show you these and give you a sense of who our daughter is.”
Holly: “I can’t feel something I don’t feel. Sorry.”

Standout music: Simon Lynge’s “The Future”, which was played at the end of the episode.

Nora: “No, Kitty, living in limbo and avoiding the future is not going to help you one bit. Neither is inventing a fictional life for your mother. You need to take the first painful steps for your new life.”

Chronology: No specific time has been mentioned since “The Homecoming”.

“Brief Encounter” wasn’t a bad episode but it’s definitely not one of my favourites. The Nora mishap was amusing but the show has done funnier and I could’ve done without the Paige plot as well. Other than that, the rest was fine.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

Ringer - Sarah Michelle Gellar's Heading Back To TV

It's been a while since the lovely Sarah Michelle Gellar's been on our TV screens. Eight years since the end of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, the actress has starred in some hit and miss movies, had a baby and nearly a series on HBO (The Wonderful Maladys), which sadly didn't make it to the airwaves but now CBS have her in a dual starring role in a series called Ringer by Peter Traugott.

The series sees Gellar playing the role of Bridget, a woman who goes on the run from the mob and assumes her twin sister, Siobhan's identity, only to learn that Siobhan too has a hit on her from the mob (what did both these girls do to piss off the mob?). In further details released, it also seems that Siobhan ends up being killed in a boating accident and Bridget (whilst posing as her sister) has to uncover the circumstances behind Siobhan's death as well.

Traugott has maintained in recent interviews that the Bridget/Siobhan are somewhat different to Gellar's most famous TV role (I should hope so) but that there's an edge to the character as well. As premises go, this one definitely has a lot of potential and it would be nice to finally have Sarah Michelle Gellar back on our TV screens. God knows she's been absent long enough.

What does everyone else think of this?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

NTAs 2011 - And The Winners Are Mostly Rubbish

Okay, I don't usually like to bitch about award ceremonies and I certainly don't need them in order to validate my support in certain programmes, actors, etc, but wow, tonight's National Television Awards certainly dropped the ball in a big way, huh?

Doctor Who lost out to Waterloo Road, Fatboy from EastEnders scored Best Newcomer and EastEnders gets Best Soap? Have I slipped into a parallel world where mediocrity has suddenly been rewarded? I mean, seriously, I've heard of bad winners but this takes the biscuit to be honest. Let me know what you think of the result linked below ...

NTA Wins:

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My Review of Dexter's 5x04: "Beauty And The Beast"

Written by Jim Leonard
Directed by Milan Cheylov

Lumen: “How do I know you didn’t kill these girls?”
Dexter: “You don’t. It’s a leap of faith for the both of us.”

Hmm, it’s not everyday in which you’re put in a position where the most trustworthy person in your life happens to be a serial killer but unfortunately, Lumen’s life has been far from normal in the last while. Kidnapped, sold, tortured and presumably raped repeatedly? Who the hell would do that to Lumen or anyone for that matter?

Even before her reveal at the end of the episode, I already knew that it wasn’t just Boyd who was subjecting her to all this brutality but I did find it interesting how until then, it hadn’t occurred to Dexter that more than one person was involved in all the barrel girls and Lumen’s horrible fate.

So far, I definitely like Lumen as a character and even if I didn’t, it’s incredibly hard not to feel incredibly sympathetic towards her plight. Julia Stiles is definitely impressive and the way she’s playing off Michael C. Hall only means that this Dexter/Lumen dynamic is going to be one of the most memorable that the series has done so far.

Dexter was certainly in a pickle this week. He knew that morally he had no right to kill Lumen but at the same time, he couldn’t (or simply wouldn’t) let her die, even if holding her against her will wasn’t an obstacle for him. Plus, Harry’s narrations in this episode really annoyed the heck out of me.

It was like Season 4 again with all the unhelpful stuff with Harry. Would killing an innocent, traumatised young woman really have been the best option for Dexter? I’m glad he didn’t go there and instead made the effort to try and gain Lumen’s trust. Going to the motel to collect her things was a good start in that direction.

However much as I liked Dexter trying to be the good guy, I totally believed in Lumen’s reluctance to trust him at first. Why would she? She just saw him kill a man and given that Dexter knocked her out and held her against her will for most of this episode, he really did need to earn her trust.

Taking her to where Boyd intended to dump her body and talking to her about Rita’s death was an interesting way of gaining Lumen’s trust. Maybe it was too easy but given that she’s clearly being set up for a main arc here, perhaps it’s wise that Lumen did come around to putting her faith in Dexter after practically cutting him. He doesn’t want to see anymore innocent people getting killed and that’s good. Hopefully Lumen doesn’t become a casualty then now that she’s involved in Dexter’s life.

As for the fact that it was a gang of men who were holding Lumen against her will, I don’t need to be a genius to see where this plot is going to go. Given what Lumen’s been through. I actually both her and Dexter catch every single one of her attackers and make them suffer multiple times over. That might not be the politically correct solution but come on, it’s not like the law are going to end up solving Lumen’s dilemma.

Speaking of dilemmas, Lumen wasn’t the only woman to cause Dexter trouble this week. Sonya had every right to call Dexter out on lying to her and while it did feel a little easier for her to come back working for him, I am glad that she gave Dexter another chance. It turns out that lying to Sonya is definitely a big no-no in her book. Here’s hoping that Dexter bears that in mind next time he pulls an all-nighter.

Outside of Dexter’s crazy world, this Santa Muerte plot really is running longer than expected. I’m not actually complaining because it’s an interesting subplot but Deb really could’ve come off worse during her confrontation with the machete guy if she hadn’t been careful. I’m sure the unfortunate hostage with his throat slit will be fine but with the guy on the loose, Deb might want to watch her back for the next episode or two.

Someone else who should watch his back is Quinn as well. I know he’s trying to do his job but confronting Jonah in the manner he did was reckless and I’m actually glad that Maria busted his chops over. However even with suspension, I can only see Quinn’s pursuit of connecting Dexter with Kyle Butler going further and now that him and Deb have resumed sleeping together, it’s only going to get even further complicated.

Last but not least – this Angel plot already. Apart from causing strain between him and Maria and Lopez refusing to press charges, it really seems that it’s Jim who has his bee in his bonnet over Maria and Angel. We just managed to get Matthews off Angel and Maria’s backs and now we have to deal with this guy? Ugh!

Also in “Beauty And The Beast”

Julia Stiles is now listed as a special guest on the show, so that definitely proves that Lumen will be around for the rest of the season then.

Dexter (re machete guy): “Okay, what else?”
Deb: “Just machete. We’ve been up all night. We’re too tired to think. That’s why we called you.”

Deb had her own little freak out over Dexter and Harrison invading her personal space in this episode. I think she’s allowed at least one.

Masuka (to Dexter): “Good to have you back. In a supporting role. Assisting me.”

Dexter: “I’m reliable.”
Sonya: “Well, I guess we use different dictionaries.”
Dexter: “It’ll never happen again.”
Sonya: “Do you think?”

Is it me or has Maria Doyle Kennedy slightly upped her Irish accent for this show? She wouldn’t be the first non-American actor to do that for a US show and she won’t be the last either.

Maria (re Harrison): “He looks like his mommy.”
Masuka: “He’s got his daddy’s eyes.”
Angel: “And your penis size.”
Deb: “It’s much bigger.”

Dexter: “The babysitter doesn’t trust me because of the lies. Lumen doesn’t trust because of the truth. There’s a name for that. Oh right, Dexter Morgan.”

Lumen lied to Dexter about being called Rachel. Her full name is Lumen Anne Pierce and her family are convinced that she’s a runaway.

Masuka: “I’m willing to share. All you had to do was ask.”
Quinn: “Okay, I didn’t take your meds and I’m not getting down and dirty with Debra.”

Lumen (to Dexter): “I’m sorry I cut you. I thought you were a monster like Boyd. I thought you were gonna kill me or worse.”

Chronology: Exactly from where “Practically Perfect” left off.

Easily a good follow up episode with “Beauty And The Beast” but also a mixed bag as well. Harry’s appearances aren’t particularly being helpful with Dexter so far but the plots with Lumen definitely could be. Everything else also worked reasonably well this week.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Monday, January 24, 2011

My Review of Being Human's 3x01: "Lia"

Written by Toby Whithouse
Directed by Colin Teague

Mitchell: “You’re letting me go?”
Lia: “Well, as punishments go, it’s pretty cruel and interesting, isn’t it?”

And then there was Lia. Note to Mitchell, really pay attention the next time your basic instincts kick in and you go on a mass murdering spree. It was pretty damn obvious that Lia was going to be revealed as one of Mitchell’s victims, maybe even obvious that she would be one of the tube station ones but boy, didn’t this episode have a lot of fun getting to that point?

I’ll keep the praise to Lacey Turner to a minimum but needless to say that in her first role, post EastEnders, she did a great job here. Equally matching Aidan Turner well for the majority of her scenes but also adding a much layered performance for a character who could’ve easily become one note.

Lia’s anger towards Mitchell’s inability to recognise her was nicely played. Underneath all the joking, flirting and recounting some of his past kills, Lia was playing her own little waiting game and given what Mitchell had strayed into purgatory for – Lia certainly had plenty to mull over with him.

The reveal of the victims was nicely done, especially with the deliberate contrasts. Mitchell had gone merciful on Arthur when killing him but his generosity didn’t extend to poor Sally though. Then again, Mitchell does have something of a history for mixing sex with violence, so the whole parallels between both Arthur and Sally weren’t that shocking after all.

What was shocking was Lia to an extent. Not only did she get Mitchell to finally drop the victim card but she also promised him death by werewolf in exchange for Annie’s release. So, within the next seven episodes, Mitchell’s a dead man walking and while there are two other candidates, I’m not ruling out the possibility that either George or Nina could also be the ones to kill him as well.

What I found really sinister about Lia in this episode however was the glee during her scenes with Annie. I mean, there was a certain level of malice when she was telling Annie that she and Mitchell were fated and the stuff about playing the long game. For someone who hasn’t been dead for very long, Lia is a lot more versed in ghostly stuff that she ought to be, isn’t she?

Still, I should concentrate on some temporary positives – Annie’s back and it seems that she and Mitchell are going to be a couple. It’s hard for me as a viewer to not care about that, given their dynamic and I certainly got a laugh out of her reaction when she had discovered that they had all moved to Barry, Wales. It’s just too bad that Mitchell has left everyone in the dark about Lia’s dark omen. I don’t know what he thinks he’s going to achieve with that.

Speaking of achievements, it’s pretty damn interesting that Mitchell, George and Nina were able to come up with the cash for the B’n’B so quickly as well, especially given that none of them are exactly flush but while I’ll miss the Bristol location and that house, I think I can get used to the Hawaiian paradise of their new digs.

It was also nice that while a large section of this episode was dedicated to Mitchell’s mission to save Annie, that George and Nina also had their own storylines as well. Nina was the one instrumental in Mitchell’s mission and it was also up to her in preventing George from killing an innocent person as well when the two of them weren’t able to get any action.

I had to laugh at George getting mixed up with a group of doggers and then getting arrested for it but I also did fear for a tiny moment that he was going to end up killing Bob when they were locked in the cell together. It’s a bloody good job that Nina’s an excellent liar, otherwise, the whole gang would be leaving Wales rather sharpish now, wouldn’t they?

Also good was the whole fact that in spite of the near fatal antics with their transformations that both George and Nina are in a happier place as a couple. They both said their ‘I love yous’ and even had werewolf sex, which I’m glad we didn’t really get to see. Who needs overwrought angst when you can just settle for a couple actually being happy on a TV show and still be interesting as well.

Even more interesting are the father/son werewolf duo of McNair and Tom. On one hand, I am more than delighted that vampire Vincent’s fight club antics are over and done because I wouldn’t have wanted that in any more episodes but at the same time, are these two friend or foe?

McNair doesn’t seem to particularly care for vampires (and why should he when they kidnap him and force him to fight humans?) but I’m not sure if it’s the same for Tom. I did love Tom’s reaction upon discovering George to be a werewolf and it will be interesting to see all four werewolves interact later in the season but at the same time, it also can’t bode that well for Mitchell either though.

Also in “Lia”

Much as I love the fact that this season has episodes titles, I have to wonder – why now? Why didn’t Toby Whithouse do this when the show first started?

George: “I thought this was exactly what you wanted – a place of our own?”
Nina: “Yeah, but this isn’t, is it? It’s you, me and Count Dupree upstairs.”

Nina was the one who told Mitchell that Sean Hancock’s death had to be dignified. Wow, a nurse on TV behaving professionally. Awesome.

McNair (to Tom, re werewolf movie): “Even old people are weird now.”

Mitchell (re Sean): “Is he even Jewish?”
George: “It doesn’t matter. His body’s let him down, medicine’s let him down. It’s a gesture of sympathy.”

I was kind of expecting to see the men with sticks and ropes in this episode as well but I guess that will be a later development. Also no sight of Daisy, Cara or Herrick, though none were needed for the plot this week.

Lia: “I’ve always been lucky, you should rub me. I’m serious, rub me.”
Mitchell: “Do you know who I am, Lia?”

Lia: “Oh, that’s nice, toilet talk. I’m missing Countryfile for this.”
Mitchell: “Is this a joke to you?”

Lia – simple facts: she’s 22, was sitting at H-12 when she was killed, had a wheelchair bound relative, a younger brother she adores, a peanut allergy, an ex-boyfriend with a tattoo and she wanted to be a vet. All of which was dropped in at different points without feeling intrusive to the plot.

Mitchell: “Why are you bringing me to these places, to punish me? Is that it?”
Lia: “You chose the door. Next time pick one where you’re building an orphanage on the other side.”

George: “We can’t be together. We’d killed each other.”
Nina: “We don’t have a choice.”

Other interesting actors in this episode were Robson Green as McNair, Michael Socha as Tom and Paul Kaye as Vincent, though the latter was dispatched pretty damn sharpish though. Oh and Kai Owen as the overly friendly dogger, Bob.

Mitchell: “I don’t know what I can say.”
Lia: “Don’t say anything because every word that comes out of your mouth is a fucking excuse. It’s misdirection.”

Lia: “Why did you come here, for Annie or for you?”
Mitchell: “For Annie.”

Standout music: I have to say “Who Let The Dogs Out?” for the sheer inappropriateness of its use in this episode but the score music is really stepping up a notch as well.

Annie: “What happened to you, Lia?”
Lia: “A very bad thing. It’s okay. We play the long game here.”

Annie: “In the company of horrors, I learned about friendship and loyalty, sacrifice and courage. Humanity isn’t a species, it’s a state of mind, it can’t be defeated. It moves mountains, saves souls. We were blessed as much as we were cursed in this little enclave of the lost; I witnessed the very best of being human. We were safe here while outside, the monsters prowled.”

Chronology: Four weeks since the events of Mitchell and Daisy’s train slaughter.

For an opening episode, “Lia” was a bloody bold and confident way to open things up. While it’s hard to say that Season 3 won’t suffer from the same problems that occurred in the second season, what can be said is that the writers are certainly giving us what will be a rather busy and explosive year ahead.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

K9 - Another Spin-Off

There used to be a time when a Doctor Who spin-off would only result in a failed pilot episode (K9 And Company's A Girl's Best Friend) but with Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures both sating the older and younger audiences as well, can the metal dog strike out on his own? Well, K9 clearly made an attempt with this Australian produced spin-off that aired last year on a digital channel before making it's debut on Five last month.

The premise centred on a London set in 2050 with man's best friend, K9 coming back and undergoing a regeneration as he helped to protect the world from various alien threats. Helping him included Professor Alistair Gryffen (Robert Moloney) and his teenage assistant Darius Pike (Daniel Webber), rebellious orphan, Starkey (Keegan Joyce) as well as the intrepid, Jorjie Turner (Philippa Coulthard). Add in a secret government known as the Department, involving Jorjie's mother, June Turner (Robyn Moore) and the villainous Thorne (Jared Robinsen) and the Korvin and you've got quite a series to go.

Unlike, The Sarah Jane Adventures, the first season of this series ran for 26 episodes, mixing both arc storylines with the occassional standalone episode as well. The characters are reasonably likeable but the acting's choppy in parts and it doesn't grab quite as quickly, plus there's no official anything as to how canonical this actually is with the Doctor Who universe, in spite of the references that occured throughout the first season. I should also point out that over the next while, I'll review the first season as it gets a UK release. A second season is supposed to be in production but little is actually known about it yet. Either way, the series is definitely worth looking into at the very least.

Season 1 of K9 is available on DVD now from Region 4 but is being released in two separate sets in the UK from January 31st and March 7th.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Glee - Season 2 Second Half Spoilers

I know UK viewers are only two episodes into Season 2 of Glee, so I advise that you approach this entry with cautious as it's spoiler filled for the latter half of the season.

First of all both Blaine (Darren Criss) and Kurt (Chris Colfer) have gotten the cover of Entertainment Weekly in the same week of the latter's win at the Golden Globes. It seems that over the next few episodes of Glee, Kurt and Blaine edge towards becoming a couple and it also seems that the former's ordeal with Karofsky is far from over as well. In a bizarre twist, the homophobic gay jock will be joining the boys and the Gleek for a rendition of Lady Gaga's Born This Way for an upcoming episode. Another Gaga song? Okay, but seriously, lay off the superlatives. If I hear Kurt telling us how groundbreaking Gaga is, I will groan about it. Oh and Charice is coming as Sunshine for 5-7 episodes and there's both Nationals and Regionals to contend with in the latter of this season.

Speaking of upcoming episodes, not only is Gwyneth Paltrow reprising her role as Holly Holliday for two episodes and a romance with Will, but Anne Hathaway has been cast in the role of Kurt's lesbian aunt - a role she more or less wrote for herself when interviewed on a talk show a month ago. I know some will gripe about yet another high profile guest star (and increased screentime for Kurt) but when they start casting Z list reality losers from Jersey Shore, then I'll join in. It's been a good week for Hathaway - she's also been cast as Selina Kyle/Catwoman for The Dark Knight Rises as well. That being said we do need some focus on Mercedes, Tina and Mike in the latter half of the season though.

Elsewhere in the superbowl episode, called Thriller, Will and Beiste decide to enforce a truce with the Gleeks and football team by having them band together. In the pictures above, there's a Thriller/Heads Will Roll fantasy sequence/performance, Artie gets some slushy action and when some of the jocks protest, it results in some of the girls in joining the football team. The comedy potential in that is going to be a lot of fun. Also look out for Lauren getting nervous over a solo performance in where she imagines everyone in the nude and I've heard that both Will and Beiste will be singing together, Brittany gets blasted out of a cannon when Sue tries to ensure another victory for her Cheerios and another couple is due for a split.

Speaking of another couple, producer Brad Falchuk recently tweeted that Brittany/Santana will be getting it (back) on in episode 15 and that Holly brings them together. So, does that mean Artie will be single again? Maybe he join that singledom party Rachel, Mercedes and Kurt have planned as well in the future. I hope with Brittany/Santana, this is something to look forward to rather just pandering to certain fans - in other words, give us a lesbian couple properly, writers. Oh and Rachel/Mercedes will have a diva-off when they duet on Take Me Or Leave Me from Rent and the Valentine's Day episode will feature some rather familiar songs too. Also expect Rachel to take on Katy Perry's Firework and Lady Antebellum's Need You Now with Puck. Also, expect not one but two Justin Bieber songs as well from Sam. Don't worry, the mute button should come in handy for those ones. And that's what you can expect on all new Glee!

Glee returns on FOX from February 6th and continues to air on E4, Mondays at 9pm.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The US And Their Remakes

Or I was going to say - Jesus, America, Can't You Think For Yourselves? In the last fortnight the UK versions of these shows have been promoted/are back on screen and their American versions have also hit the airwaves, so what's done well?

Being Human: I was cautiously optimistic about this series. The cast looked great, the tone was promising and while the trailers were hardly breathtaking, I actually thought this would translate well with an American take. Guess what? I was kind of right. Not only has it done it extremely well for SyFy but I actually managed to sit through the entire first episode without constantly comparing it to the UK series. Some of the changes were nice - particularly the addition of a gay sister for Josh and the trio themselves - Aidan, Josh and Sally were all likeable. I might not be as emotionally invested in them yet as much as I am with Mitchell, George, Annie and Nina but if this series keeps up to the high standards of the opening episode, I could be. And Bishop is certainly a great villain. Marcus, not so much.

Shameless: For Irish viewers, this starts on RTE2, 9.55pm from January 27th (amazing, considering that channel's inability to air the UK version up to date) and after watching the pilot, it lacks the charm of the UK version. The casting's good, but William H. Macy really does have his work cut out because he's the weakest of the bunch but the storylines in the opener don't play out as compellingly as the UK series and the anarchaic spirit isn't as felt in it either. The acting's fine though, so hopefully it'll improve as it progresses and it must be decent enough if both Joan Cusack and Alison Janney are playing the Sheila and Monica roles in this one.

Skins: I really wanted to like this one and I partially didn't mind it, but it seems that this one will definitely get the axe if the Parents Television Council get their way. Bryan Elsley has done his damndest to try and make this work, but the acting's bloody patchy at best. None of the male cast members are particularly good and Tony is a rather unconvincing ringmaster in this one. Tea so far has the most potential as a character and I'm looking forward to her episode but overall, the UK version is starting next week with Generation 3 and chances are, that will be much better to watch.

So, predictions - Being Human is likely to get a second year but both Shameless and Skins have hardly wowed with ratings and the controversy with the latter could actually do it a lot of harm. Also MTV have their own version of The Inbetweeners due for later in the year and I have a feeling that someone will try to tackle Misfits within the next year as well. Oh, America - when will you ever learn?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

My Review of Brothers And Sisters 5x01: "The Homecoming"

Written by David Marshall Grant And David Babcock
Directed by Michael Morris

Kitty: “I never thought we’d get back to this table. I can’t tell you how good it felt to have dinner again. We hadn’t done that since the night of the accident. To be honest, sometimes I felt like we’d never get over it but somehow we did.”

And somehow, this was also an episode that raised a lot of mixed feelings for me as a viewer. There were parts of this opener I loved and other parts that I wasn’t so crazy about but overall, I’m glad this show is back on TV for me to review again.

Okay, Robert’s death – or more appropriately, Robert’s year long coma. Was Justin harsh to tell Kitty that he wasn’t getting better? Perhaps, but he was also the only member of the Walkers who was willing to tell her what she needed to hear and while it took a while for it to sink in, Kitty sure as hell needed to hear.

I guess my issue with Robert being in a coma wasn’t from a moral standpoint. I knew Rob Lowe was done and dusted with this show, so it felt like they were prolonging Robert’s death when the episode should’ve been all about his funeral, rather than it being something that we didn’t even see on screen.

I’ve never been the biggest Robert fan in the whole but even I can’t deny the impact his character has had on the series at the same time. Kevin going on about Robert being his best friend wasn’t especially convincing to me but Justin’s talk about him and Robert being like two soldiers was something I actually did believe in. Mainly because it felt more organic.

Also organic was Kitty’s initial refusal to take on a job with the RNC because of Robert’s condition and the hardship she went through when finally coming to the conclusion that she needed to switch off his life support machine. Scenes like that actually made the episode for me as a viewer.

I liked the eulogies at the end of the episode and the family dinner. It’s scenes like that make me care about the Walkers as a family and given that they’re so distant in the majority of this episode, it’s also something of a relief that Justin came home when he did. He might be capable of making his own screw ups but his words were certainly needed with the Walkers this week.

Having Robert’s death being a catalyst for everyone to be distant with each other was something else I could believe but it was pretty damn shocking when even someone as vocal as Nora was unable to get her family back together. I really loved Justin’s speech about wanting his mother back. Maybe an uninvolved Nora is a lot scarier than the usually over involved one that we’re mostly used to seeing on this show.

As for the Narrow Lake plot, I’m really not sure what to make with this one. On one hand, by selling it, Sarah’s ensured that her entire family is financially secure for life but at the same time, it did feel that after all the trouble we had to get to Narrow Lake that the rug’s been pulled from under us with as well.

Okay, I should probably think positively here – no Narrow Lake means (or should mean) no more family business on verge of bankruptcy plots to deal with and after four seasons of them, we’re all due a break but apart from Nora, Saul and Kevin, Sarah doesn’t exactly have a job to go to. Why else would Luc being modelling underwear now to keep them solvent?

The Luc underwear model plot is hardly the most interesting thing they could’ve done with the character but while Gilles Marini’s acting isn’t perfect, I have to admit that Luc is a decent bloke. He obviously loves Sarah (especially highlighted when they were discussing Robert’s condition) and he certainly seems to be able to deal with the Walkers as well. Maybe he really is the one for Sarah after all and the lack of angst so far with them is a godsend.

Because with Rebecca out of the picture, all the angst has been transferred to Kevin and Scotty. Two miscarriages off-screen and Kevin doesn’t want to open up? I can understand Scotty’s frustration and as much as it was nice that Kevin did decide to let Matteo (his juvenile delinquent client) stay with him and Scotty, I kinda wished he had been a little more sensitive with the lad as well.

When it comes to the whole parenting plot, I kind of wish that the writers would drop it now. Kevin and Scotty never seem to be on the same page when it comes to parenting and I have a fear that the more the writers pursue, the less we’ll get other storylines for them. Or am I just being a little oversensitive with this one?

Still as rocky as things are for Kevin and Scotty, at least they’ll pull through. Justin went against Rebecca’s wishes and re-enlisted and now she’s left him. I actually don’t blame Rebecca but at the same time, with Holly’s condition, was it really the best thing to do as well?

Holly having amnesia isn’t the best plot they could’ve given the character but it’s not the worst one either. I even felt more for David’s struggle with trying to help Holly than I have for anything else involving him but I get a slight laugh out of Holly’s renewed dislike for Nora once again. I wonder why that was. Still, it’s better than Saul, whose storyline about a boyfriend was largely off-screen. For the love of god, writers, give the man a meaty storyline this year. Ron Rifkin deserves it.

Also in “The Homecoming”

Opening and ending narrations for this episode. Last time that happened, it was back with “Glass Houses”.

Luc (re poster): “I can’t believe they really hung it.”
Sarah: “Oh, it’s hung. It’s gonna be a real ice-breaker at PTA meetings.”

I have to admit that I have a similar standpoint to Sarah when it comes to being on life support but I could also understand both Kitty and Luc’s perspectives as well.

Nora: “Because it makes no sense. It’s crazy, you can’t go to war.”
Justin: “This is war, this is war. Where I am, right now, mom and I’m not winning. I’m dying, I’m dying and over there, that feels like my chance to make things right again.”

Sarah (to Luc): “I feel like my whole family’s in limbo, y’know, like we’re all on hold. Don’t let me be like that.”

Justin went back to the army a month after Robert’s death while Kevin seems to be doing pro-bono work in law.

Kevin: “I don’t have time to perfect my abs anymore.”
Sarah: “Anymore? Kevin, you never had abs.”

Saul: “I thought you lost your voice.”
Nora: “Not with you I haven’t.”

Nora’s working at a flower shop with a real bitchy boss named Zoe. I think it’s safe to assume that this won’t be a long lasting gig for Nora.

Kevin (to Scotty): “You have to let me do this my way, okay? I am trying to move on. Why do you think I’m doing this kind of work?”

Saul: “Where’s that Luc?”
Kevin: “Probably taking his clothes off.”
Sarah: “Kevin, that’s not funny. He will be here soon, something’s come up.”
Kevin: “Yeah, bet it has.”

Where was Tommy in this episode? Surely, he should’ve been here for Robert’s send off, right? Sally Field is now an executive producer on the series.

Justin (to his family): “I’m trying to help here. I mean it feels like after the accident you guys all went up to your room, shut the door and gave up.”

Kitty:”I always get to this point and I just can’t say it.”
Nora: “What?”
Kitty: “Goodbye. Goodbye Robert.”

Standout music: James Morrison’s “You Make It Real” at the end of the episode.

Kitty: “Like I said, it took a long time to get back here. I did the right thing, I know that now. I would’ve done it sooner if you were there to help me but you weren’t but I have this feeling I’m gonna be okay. I think we’re gonna be okay.”

Chronology: A year since “On The Road Again”

As an opening episode, “The Homecoming” certainly strained in parts and while there are certain things I didn’t like, I thought the acting in this one was incredible but the series does need to tread carefully with certain plotlines though.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Brothers And Sisters - Season 5 Premieres Tonight On More4

Okay, tonight is the return of Brothers And Sisters, which is now into it's fifth (and possibly) final season on More4 at 10pm. By next week, it'll be up against Skins, which is not good for them rating wise.
For some inane reason, ABC cannot be arsed into doing promotional shots so this largely photoshopped poster is the best we have for a Season 5 cast shot, I'm afraid. In terms of departures - Robert is gone with his death being a vocal point in opening episode, The Homecoming, Rebecca leaves in fourth episode, A Righteous Kiss and Holly even leaves by the 12th episode, Thanks For The Memories. Heck, even both Kitty and Luc are absent for various episodes in the season and Tommy resurfaces with a new girlfriend called Rose in the latter half of the season.

In terms of storylines, Kevin and Scotty are at a crossroads. They're barely coping with the loss of their baby and in Call Mom/An Ideal Husband, there's infidelity that's tackled. Adopting a young girl named Olivia has been a big thing in the last three episodes, particularly the 100th episode, Safe At Home. I'm mixed about these stories because Kevin and Scotty do need other storylines and if this show doesn't get a sixth year, then there's only so many episodes left for them to explore. Even though the writing is patchy for them this season, I'll take them over any other gay couple on TV.
As for Sarah and Luc, they're engaged and largely happy. Luc's underwear model is another way of writers telling us how sexy Gilles Marini is but ah, not for me. Luc actually is an okay character but the better storylines involve Justin getting everyone back to talking terms in the opener and even Holly's amnesia storyline isn't bad. Kitty's flings with both Jack and Seth are a distraction though but I do like Nora getting a radio gig and Saul also has a storyline with a character named Jonathan (Richard Chamberlain) in the Christmas episode, Cold Turkey.

With the 100th episode now aired in the US, the latter half of the season is gearing towards Justin meeting another war vet, Kevin/Scotty adopting Olivia, Sarah and Luc's engagement and mysteries surroundings both Nora and Kitty. The show's a mixed bag this season but regardless of it's fate, here's hoping it ends on a high, whether it's just a season finale or a series finale.

Brothers And Sisters Season 5 starts tonight on More4 at 10pm.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Being Human - Season 3 Episode Titles (Contains Spoilers)

Well, there's four days to go for Being Human UK to hit BBC3 and in an odd thing, we're actually getting episode titles for the episodes this season. Brilliant as that is, why now? I'm not complaining because after watching the US version today (a blog will surface on that later in the week), my excitement is further stoked for the UK version all the more and the title are interesting too ...

Ep 1: Lia - Toby Whithouse
Ep 2: Adam's Family - Brian Dooley
Ep 3: Type 4 - Jamie Mathieson
Ep 4: The Pack - John Jackson
Ep 5: The Longest Day - Sarah Phelps
Ep 6: Daddy Ghoul - Lisa McGee
Ep 7: Though the Heavens Fall - Toby Whithouse
Ep 8: ????????? - Toby Whithouse

Season 3 Trailer 2:

Being Human airs Sundays at 9pm from January 23rd on BBC3.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Secret Diary Of A Call Girl - Season 4 Promotional Pictures

It's the final season of Secret Diary Of A Call Girl and you can expect it to air Tuesdays at 10pm on ITV2 from February 1st. The spoilers aren't exactly jumping out at the place but it does seem if the promos are anything to go by that both Bambi and Byron are gone. The first pictures shows that Belle's torn between both Ben and a new guy called Harry (played by Paul Nicholls), who's a vice cop. Harry's rumoured to be in a few episodes this season.
The woman in the second picture with Harry, Belle and Ben is called Poppy (Lily James) and again, it does seem that she's a love interest for Ben and a quadrangle is afoot here. Not the most exciting of stories but after four seasons, I'll be genuinely surprised if Belle and Ben don't end up together because it's certainly been leading to that for quite some time now. Poppy is also the daughter of Madam Stephanie, who's spending this season in the slammer, leaving Belle to run her agency.


Monday, January 17, 2011

My Review of Dexter's 5x03: "Practically Perfect"

Written by Manny Coto
Directed by Ernest Dickerson

Boyd: “I did them a favour. They were all suffering and I put them out of their misery.”
Dexter: “You’ll be doing one more favour tonight.”

Oh, Boyd, if you knew that Dexter was a hot mess from the moment you met him, then why the hell did you not take any precautions with the guy? Oh well, after two episodes, Boyd’s journey came to the best ending ever – him on a table, killed by Dexter. Too bad that this kill didn’t go off without a hitch.

First off all for Dexter was his attempts to do the deed when luring Boyd into collecting a dead alligator. Dexter’s had his moments of sloppiness but getting hit by Boyd’s tranquiliser gun after knocking Boyd out was actually pretty comical but on a serious note, it was also bad for Dexter.

Boyd might not have gotten the opportunity to have gained a further upper hand but Dexter being in hospital, no matter how brief could be a problem down the line when Quinn continues to investigate everyone’s favourite serial killer. Well, that and the fact that Boyd is now dead could be another thing for Quinn to link to Dexter as well.

It’s almost a shame that Boyd did die in this episode because even though he was a nutter, I actually thought Shawn Hatosy was a lot of fun in this episode. Boyd had a pretty interesting way at looking at certain things and he was astute enough to piece that Dexter had been married as well.

Also his last few words were interesting. Before being finally killed, he told Dexter that the women whom he dumped in barrels of formaldehyde were having their misery ended. Boyd saw himself as a mercy killer and Dexter was snarky enough to use a similar phrasing when he ended Boyd’s life.

However with Boyd out of the way, it does seem like a set of new arcs have been opened up. Jordan Chase and his self-help tapes seem to be something a lot deeper than just something that helped Boyd work through issues and if death was a mercy, then what exactly were the poor women being subjected to that Boyd saw himself as a saviour of sorts to them?

Of course, the real meat of this episode wasn’t Dexter killing Boyd and being unable to feel good about it (I’m sure Dexter will get his killer groove back later in the season) but it was the young woman who was Boyd’s next victim. The same woman who looked badly beaten and witnessed Dexter murdering her captor as well.

I knew Julia Stiles was appearing in this series and I’ve always liked her as an actress but her first appearance here only sets up some question. We don’t know her character’s name, she doesn’t have any dialogue and aside from learning that she’s one of Boyd’s prisoners/victims, there’s nothing else we do know about her. That being said, I can’t wait to find out. Dexter had better not kill her.

And if the murder quotient wasn’t enough with Boyd, there’s also the Santa Muerte stuff as well to deal with. I am enjoying the pairing between Deb and Officer Manzon in trying to figure out why no-one wanted to talk about the deaths but I knew that as soon as that shopkeeper opened up a little, that he was a dead man walking. Sadly, I was right as well.

Even though the Santa Muerte stuff isn’t going to be a big arc this season, it’s certainly an interesting one. Particularly given the ways in which Deb, Manzon, Quinn and Angel all looked at the husband/wife killings and the neighbourhood’s reticence to speak at different angles. And I also laughed a little with some of Masuka’s inappropriate humour as well when the shopkeeper’s body was found.

Less of a laugh riot though was the Angel and Maria. I’m not really sure why some fans hate this pairing so much because I continue to root for them as a couple myself, especially after this episode. I want them to last as a partnership and even though Angel’s bar fight ended up doing damage to Officer Lopez, I’m not sure if he will end up in jail for it. I can easily see this causing further tension between him and Maria and maybe a suspension but definitely not jail.

In other plots, Quinn continues to have his weird moments. Counting the days since he last shagged Deb made him look like a desperate loser but I am finding it interesting how he’s managed to crack the connection between Kyle Butler and Dexter with ease. Looks like mystery girl isn’t the only problem that Dexter will have on his hands soon.

Also in “Practically Perfect”

I loved the opening sequence with Deb interrogating prospective nannies before Dexter settled on Irish one, Sonya. Maria Doyle Kennedy is excellent casting.

Girl: “I’m totally clean.”
Deb: “Then why are you so nervous?”
Girl: “Because I wasn’t expecting on getting these kind of questions. I mean, you sound like a cop.”

Sonya sang “Bye, Bye Bunting, Daddy’s Gone A Hunting” to Harrison. If only she knew. And cheesy as it sounded, but I thought the Prince Harry nickname she gave the child was sweet.

Masuka: “True warriors are humble men.”
Quinn: “Oh please, you got a reason to be humble. You got fucked up running the other way.”

Deb: “You’re counting?”
Quinn: “I can’t help it. I have an internal clock.”
Deb: “Well, unplug it.”
Quinn: “I’m just saying at this point we might as well be married.”
Deb: “Shit on my face. You ever use words like ‘we’ and ‘married’ in the same fucking sentence again ...”

I don’t want to comment on it too much but thanks to other forums, I have realised that Desmond Harrington does look a bit gaunt this season.

Harry: “That’s the problem.”
Dexter: “What?”
Harry: “This kill won’t just make everything right. It won’t bring Rita back.”

Dexter (re routine talk): “Where did you hear that?”
Deb: “I am capable of independent thought, Dexter. Oprah.”

Hey, Deb, want to know why Sonya’s left Ireland – ask Brian Cowen! Oh and clearly, Johnny Lee Miller is being earmarked to play Jordan Chase.

Dexter (to paramedic): “Crazy asshole, you were supposed to shoot the gator.”
Boyd: “You got in my way, fucking numbskull.”

Masuka: “Another head? And I was in such a good mood.”

Chronology: It’s been nine days since “My Bad” and we also learned that Harrison is 10 months old, thanks the child psychologist.

I really enjoyed this one. “Practically Perfect” certainly had moments of humour that cracked me up big time but it’s also given us an arc for Dexter outside of his own personal trauma and the next couple of weeks now look even more exciting as a result.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My Review of "A Touch Of Dead"

Written by Charlaine Harris
Released in 2009

Niall: “Merry Christmas, Sookie.”

With this book franchise continuing to be popular for Charlaine Harris, I am delighted that she found the time to give us a book where we got a couple of short stories that decided to tie up some loose ends in between certain books.

The first story in this book, “Fairy Dust” gave an official introduction to Claude but more than that, it also saw the vain stripper and his sister Claudine rope Sookie in to find out who killed their sister, Claudette. Out of the three suspects, each of them had different motives – Jeff the bouncer, due to Claudette sabotaging his relationship with Claude, Barry the shaver for being spurned by Claudette and Rita the strip club owner over the possibility of losing one of her biggest assets. I won’t spoil the culprit but I can tell you that Claude and Claudette do have a very interesting method of getting their own back nonetheless and proves how ruthless a fairy can be in this verse.

Second story, “Dracula Night” finally confirmed something I had been wondering about in relation to this verse for a while now – the existence of Dracula. Not only does the Count in fact exist, but he also gets a day to himself and if a vampire bar is lucky enough, he might honour them with his presence. It’s a decent motive for explaining Eric’s panicky behaviour and while the bartender pretending to be the Count was a cop out, Sookie/Eric fans might enjoy the bouts of sexual tension between the pair in this one. Sadly, Bill and Pam are both rather underused in this one.

Third instalment, “One Word Answer” proves that even in short story form, we’ll never see Hadley alive (something I am grateful for the series doing then). It dances about the place with Sookie coming to the conclusion that albino vampire Waldo was responsible for her cousin’s death, even though that’s not technically true. However the real meat of the story is in Sookie’s brief but interesting encounter with vampire queen, Sophie-Anne. Now that’s something the series had better get over with in its upcoming fourth season already.

“Lucky” might be the fourth story in this bunch but it’s a bloody cracker. I’ve enjoyed Sookie and Amelia’s friendship in previous books and having the pair of them band together to find out who’s trying to ruin Greg Auburt’s business is definitely full of interesting twists and turns. The actual culprit itself is also a far better pay-off than the lists of presumed suspects that Sookie and Amelia have to wade through but points for the inclusion of Terry during this one as well.

However my favourite story is the fifth and final one, “Gift Wrap”. Being on her own, Sookie’s having a rotten Christmas, so great-grandfather Niall decided to give her the most unorthodox of presents. Sookie wasn’t speaking to Jason, so her brother loaned out her woods for a were pack, she loves helping and protecting others, so the rather delectable fairy Preston posed as a were and because Sookie hasn’t gotten laid in a while, Preston promptly seduces her before exiting. As presents go, it’s definitely memorable but while Niall was trying to be kind, it also showed the more manipulative side of the fae quite excellently too. Still, it’s the best of an impressive bunch of stories.

- Each of the stories are set at different points in the books but they’re all after “Dead To The World” and before “Dead And Gone”.
- Dracula drinks Royalty – very rare and part synthetic, part real blood. Well, only the best for the Count, eh?
- The cover for this book has lips with blood dripping down. It’s definitely one of my favourite covers.
- Sookie doesn’t approve massively of her great grandfather’s choice in ties and we’re told that Niall’s not Christian.

As a collection of short stories go, “A Touch Of Dead” is a lovely addition to this book verse. The stories all work wonderfully, add more layers to existing books and with any luck, maybe we’ll get another collection of short stories one day.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Best Casting Ever - Doctor Who/Torchwood Spoilers

Um, excitement for both Doctor Who and Torchwood's upcoming seasons is reaching fever pitch right now, especially with casting for the latter ....

DWM Issue 430 have given us these little nuggets in relation to Season 6 ....

- Mark Gatiss's episodes has been pushed from episode 4 to episode 9.
- Steve Thompson's episode will now be episode 3.
- Neil Gaiman's episode will be episode 4.

Recent set pictures for the opening two-parter have indicated that Rory too is covered in tally marks along with Amy and River, so I'm wondering if the Doctor gets infected at some point as well in that story.

Steven Moffat has also written several endings for episode 7 so that the plot isn't given away. With any luck, they'll all be filmed and included on a Series 6 DVD as well.

Episodes 3 and 7 are the episodes currently being filmed in the same block as well.

Karen Gillan has also said that Amy is "going to be involved in the most traumatic thing - like, emotionally traumatic. She's been quite guarded, and doesn't like to show vulnerability, but we're going to see that start to crack in a massive way".

It's also been hinted that it will be episode 7 that will be featuring Cybermen and that they will NOT be in Steve Thompson's episode after all. A poster on GallifreyBase has also suggested that the new-series Cybermen might be foot soldiers of an old-series officer class of Cybermen and that they will be scary, they won’t say “delete” or “upgrade” and they may look different.

Even better than that is that Torchwood have Six Feet Under actress, Lauren Ambrose in the role of PR girl, Jilly Kitzinger, who happens to be a 'sweet-talking PR genius with a heart of stone who's just concerned the most important client of her career..and maybe all of time'. As for the client - Oswald I presume but either way, I am so stoked to be seeing her on this show. Lauren will appear in seven out of the ten episodes for the new season as well.

Exciting times, yeah?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Skins - Season 5 Trailer 2

With two weeks to go, a second trailer for Series 5 of the UK version of Skins has been released and it's certainly promising a lot. In the space of a minute, it really does indicate that Franky will be a big focus on the series, especially given her scenes with both Matty and Mini in the trailer. It also seems that Mini's little clique isn't as solid as she likes, Nick's not averse to vandalism, Rich/Grace seem to be an attraction waiting to happen and some stuff on Alo and Liv as well.

Character Spoilers:
Trailer 2:

Series 5 of Skins starts on E4 Thursday at 10pm from January 27th.

Skins US Character Profiles

So four days left until Skins US hits MTV and here are the comparisons/contrasts that the US version of Generation 1 have on their UK counterparts.

Not much differences here between Sid and Stanley or Anwar and Abbud. Even their character trailers give that impression.

Again little differwnces between both Chris's apart from hair but with Jal and Daisy, there are some. Daisy having a sister and working in a burger joint but both of them are still the sensible (not boring) ones from Generation 1.

I'm going to be controversial (or not) but I actually think Tea is a shit load more interesting than Maxxie. It seems like we really could have a fantastic lesbian character on our hands with her (to be honest, Tea's the biggest selling point for the US version for me) but it seems that Eura will be every bit as enigmatic/mute as Effy if her character is anything to go by.

I agree with the write ups here. US Tony seems far less nasty than the UK version but both Michelle's pretty much seem the same to me.

Cassie and Cadie, hmm? I loved Cassie and Cadie seems to be pretty likeable too from her trailer. The eating disorder isn't an arc for her but I'm sure something else will surface in it's place.

Character Trailers:

Skins US begins on MTV from January 17th at 10pm.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

More TV Families

11 days into 2011 and here are some of my highlights for the year so far ...

Parenthood - Given that Brothers And Sisters future isn't looking too promising at the minute, could this show end up filling a respective void? Possibly. It's certainly has the same type of tropes as the Walkers with the Bravermans being eerily reminiscent to them in ways and it's certainly got an impressive cast with Peter Krause, Lauren Graham and Craig T. Nelson to name but three. The opening episode saw Sarah moving back in with her parents and dealing with an unruly daughter while older brother Adam found out his son had aspergers and younger brother Crosbie learnt he fathered a child from a previous relationship while flying mother Julia is definitely Sarah Walker by another name. Overall, definitely worth looking into.

Primeval - I've never been into this series and watching the first three episodes of the fourth series made me realise why. It's not particularly awful but for some reason, it just lacks spark and even though I generally don't mind the characters and the new setting with The Ark, I'm not that emotionally invested in the series. Connor/Abby are okay, Jess is a bit too perky, Becker's just there and I'm not sure what's up with Matt but I don't think he's a baddie. Lester is probably the most standout character with Philip being the least interesting of the bunch. On the plus side, I am enjoying the time travel lady that appeared in the last episode I watched.

Mrs Browns Boys - Ah, Brendan O'Carroll. It's amazing how well he plays the role of an older Dublin woman with a dysfunctional mouth and a potty mouth to boot. If you've never seen this live on stage or any of the DVDs released, then you're in for a treat with this series. The humour is typically Irish, so it'll be interesting to see how it fares on the BBC when it airs but it's definitely one to watch.

Come Fly With Me - Another show from Matt Lucas and David Walliams, it's not a bad effort but some of the jokes aren't as original or as funny as they might have been seven years ago. The characters are a mixed bunch and none of them would've been out of place on Little Britain either, which is possibly not the greatest thing either. On the plus side, it's better than their last show and I do like Lindsay Duncan's narration as well.

This Is England 86 - I meant to get back to this one at some point. I watched the rest of the episodes over the Christmas and I really have to admit that even though it's not the best thing I've seen on TV, it was definitely a good series. The ending was a bit dark for my liking but here's hoping that Channel 4 commission another run of the series soon.

- Brothers And Sisters Season 5 airs on More4 from January 20th at 10pm. However the series has not been renewed for a sixth season. It hasn't been officially cancelled either.
- Glee's superbowl episode will feature an unique performance of Thriller and while an upcoming episode will (unfortunately) feature a song from Justin Bieber, an episode won't be dedicated to him. Plus Gwyneth Paltrow's back for two episodes to romance Will.
- Paola Tubay has signed up for True Blood, playing a recurring character Antonia.
- ABC has renewed Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, Modern Family, The Middle, Cougar Town and Castle.
- Adrian Pasdar has landed a two episode arc on Castle.