Monday, April 30, 2012

Soap Discussion - April 2012

And here's my final blog of the month. It's been an odd month.

Coronation Street: Definitely a better month. Okay, I still don't care about Sunita/Karl or the latter's gambling problems but with the death of Betty, near miss reunion between Sally and Kevin, the return of Terry Duckworth for the billionth and David and Kylie's antics causing Audrey a heart attack, it's been a really good month for the show. Still, though it seems like Kylie is taking over Becky's mantle of messing up and not accepting responsibility for her actions. Meanwhile the hinting of an abusive relationship between Tyrone and the controlling Kirsty is becoming increasingly interesting to watch.

EastEnders: I'm gonna get accused of being a heartless bastard for what I'm about to say but here goes nothing - why the hell am I supposed to feel bad for Bianca? She's poor - big freaking deal! Nearly everyone in Watford is poor and given that she's repeatedly allowed her pride to prohibit her from getting proper help, this storyline which resulted her being thrown in jail after stealing a moneybag was badly written and researched. We had this crap last year with Heather and it didn't work then. I'm all for the show giving us a storyline in relation to poverty but this wasn't it. On the plus side, Derek's been less annoying, Shirley is still investigating Heather's death and the Alfie/Roxy plot isn't that annoying.

Emmerdale: Aaron's departure might have a lame letdown and Chas and Cameron's affair might be a deathly dull one but props to the show on at least two storylines. First of all, there's Zak's increasingly worrying behaviour and downward spiral and then there's Ashley's abuse of his own father. The latter being an especially shocking and effective storyline, resulting in the guilt stricken abusive vicar confessing his crime in the Woolpack (this is a soap after all). It's easy to see why everyone has turned on Ashley because of this storyline but it has made for fantastic, if uncomfortable viewing.

Hollyoaks: It's been a bit of a mixed bag. The whole dynamic between Brendan and Joel has gotten increasingly tiresome to watch as had Maddie and her never ending insecurities/pathetic attempts of retaining a queen bee status. Even Tilly's relationship with Jen is lacking a fun factor but on the other hand, I've actually enjoyed most of the Phoebe storyline with Jacqui and Rhys and I'm keeping an open mind in relation to Doug's attraction towards Ste as well. We've had better months though.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

First Look: Wizards Vs. Aliens

And it's been months since the announcement of the latest television project from Russell T. Davies but now we know more on the slightly renamed, Wizards Vs. Aliens. Casting wise, newcomers Scott Haran and Percelle Ascott will play the roles of Tom Clarke and Benny Sherwood, two friends whose lives are changed when the aliens Nekross (sounds familiar that) decide to invade Earth. It seems Tom comes from a family of wizards and Benny is the supersmart one of the duo.

Premise wise, it seems to be a reasonably straightforward enough story but while there's some support adult cast wise with the likes of Don Gilet and Nina Sosanya as Benny's parents, as well as the likes of Annette Badland, Michael Higgs, Gwendoline Christie and Jefferson Hall, I can't help but thinking there's a lack of female teen characters in the mix, which is odd when you think of how successful Maria and Rani were in The Sarah Jane Adventures.

The 12 part series will feature episodes written by Russell T. Davies, Phil Ford, Gareth Roberts, Clayton Hickman and Joseph Lidster to name but a few as well as directors such as Daniel O'Hara, who has helmed some of the opening installments of the series. What does everyone else think? I'll give it a go but I won't be reviewing it episodically though.

Press Release:

Wizards Vs. Aliens will air on CBBC during the Autumn.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Doctor Who - Series 7 And She's Back

I should've put these ones up a few days ago but here are some spoiler pics for Series 7 that I'm sure have been seen at this point. Massive spoilers, so look away if you don't want to know.

River Song is back in all her glory and if that dress is an indicator, then it's a River from The Time Of Angels/Flesh And Stone as well. However, she's outside the TARDIS at a graveyard, which cannot be good. Apparently, it's not as Rory is supposed to have been sent back in time, courtesy of a Weeping Angel, resulting in a rather drastic decision from Amy as well.

Elsewhere, it's been announced that actor Mike McShane will be playing a villain in Amy and Rory's final episode as well. As of now, both episodes 1 and 5 have completed filming and according to Karen Gillan's recently Twitter update, they're currently reading for episode 4, penned by Chris Chibnall. We really are getting towards the end of the era for the Ponds now.

Meanwhile, after filming for the fourth episode is completed, filming for the Christmas special, the first episode to feature Jenna-Louise Coleman's as of yet unnamed companion will begin. I have to admit I am increasingly looking forward to seeing her and Matt Smith on screen together, regardless of what her character will be or what she'll be called.

Doctor Who returns to BBC1 later in 2012.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Top 40 TV Characters Part 8

And here is my final list of sorts of my current five favourite characters on TV.

1: The Doctor (William Hartnell-MattSmith) - Doctor Who

It was always going to be the Doctor who topped this list for me. The most unconventional of leading men and while it might have been easier to have picked a specific Doctor, I've decided that all 11 versions and actors who've played him deserve equal praise. William, Patrick, Jon, Tom, Peter, Colin, Sylvester, Paul, Christopher, David and Matt, you've all been bloody fantastic and I'm sure whoever plays the role next will be too.

2: Jessica Hamby (Deborah Ann Woll) - True Blood

Sometimes I hate this show. Picking favourites always seems to be a frustrating task in hand but out of the vampires, I guess Jessica has that wonderful duality of retaining some of her innocence and embracing her more ruthless nature as well. Out of all the things Alan Ball added to the show that did not originate from Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse series, Jessica has been by far the best of them, hasn't she?

3: Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) - Game Of Thrones

Again, another show that it was hard picking favourites from. Other candidates did include Daenerys, Jorah, Renly and Arya but as the second season has proven, Tyrion Lannister is a far more interesting leading character than Ned Stark (and I say that as someone who liked Ned a lot) and given that his family are a rotten bunch, it's amazing how Tyrion is not only the best of a bad lot but the best character on the bloody show right about now.

4: Emily Thorne (Emily Van Camp) - Revenge

Female protagonists like Emily Thorne are sometimes a rarity on television. Like a female version of Dexter Morgan, minus the killings, Emily's trail of destruction in pursuit of avenging her father has been consistently fascinating to watch. Also this show has really opened Emily Van Camp up as an actress with her performances getting increasingly better as the show has progressed. The only characters who come to excelling her are Nolan and Victoria at this point.

5: Henry 'Hal' Yorke (Damien Molony) - Being Human

Had I done this list a year ago, it would've been either George or Nina who would've been my favourite character but it's interesting a difference a series can make. Hal didn't come in as a poorly placed successor to the popular Mitchell - he was his own character, a wonderfully OCD, uptight Old One vampire whose dynamics with everyone throughout the fourth series made him the most fascinating character to watch.

I'll be doing two Honorable Mentions lists next week. If you enjoyed this rundown of favourite characters or want to tell me your favourite characters from the shows I talked about, let me know.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

My Review of Revenge's 1x18: "Justice"

Written by Sallie Patrick And Liz Tigelaar
Directed by Bobby Roth

Nolan: “So, that’s what this is all about – protecting Jack?”
Emily: “He might be willing to sacrifice himself for Amanda. I’m not willing to let him.”

Of course, we all forget that Emily truly is the most altruistic person on this show. Okay, sarcasm aside, it was nice that Emily actively went out of her way to protect both Jack and Daniel in this episode, even though once again it nearly blew up in her face.

I have to admit that stealing the troublesome hoodie from Jack and using it to frame Lee the thug Tyler’s murder (plus taking into account that he beat up Jack not so long ago) was a masterstroke on Emily’s part. Did I feel bad that Lee was going to be punished for a crime he didn’t commit? Morally, I probably should’ve but I just couldn’t sympathise with him all that much to be honest.

However, even I was a bit shocked when Conrad had it arranged that Lee would end up being hung in prison before he could expose the Graysons but considering how ruthless that family are and that Conrad was cleaning up after Victoria throughout this episode, it probably shouldn’t have been that much of a shocker.

Lee’s arrest and death should be a nice way of ending the whole trial saga with both Jack and Daniel but considering the damage it’s caused with Declan and Charlotte as well; it’s not going to be that easy. Declan couldn’t be swayed when it came to discrediting his former girlfriend’s reliability as a witness and that too was something of a conflict to watch.

Perjury aside, I didn’t blame Declan for trying to protect Jack yet again (and I certainly didn’t blame him for being frustrated with his brother as well) but I couldn’t help feeling bad for Charlotte. Victoria and Conrad are continuing to fail her and Declan should be the one she should be able to turn to but she can’t.

It didn’t help that Victoria tried to get Charlotte to seduce Declan in order to make sure Daniel wasn’t screwed during the trial and the rather unwelcome return of Adam supplying Charlotte drugs was another bummer moment as well. It looks like things are only going to get much worse for Charlotte than better.

As for the whole Jack/Emily/Daniel triangle – that got rather interesting as well. Jack managed to inadvertently create tension between Emily and Daniel to the extent that the latter was reckless enough to violate his own bail conditions. I didn’t like seeing Daniel shoving Emily in this episode but given that he’s being lied to left, right and centre, it’s easy to see why he lost it in this episode.

That being said though, whatever doubt Daniel might have had with Emily’s love for him didn’t seem to last that long. He was about to do something stupid before Mr Brooks stopped him and he did seem to instantly regret losing his temper with Emily as well. It’s also Emily who may make or break him on the witness stand as well, given that she’s next in line to speak at the trial.

As for the reveal of Conrad having someone kill David Clarke in prison – I actually did see that coming. David wasn’t some casual fling for Victoria – he was the big deal and I mean that in the way that Dominik certainly isn’t and given that Conrad resorted to underhanded tactics to get rid of Dominik, having David killed doesn’t seem all that shocking to be honest.

However, I can see why maybe it shocked Emily a little in her last scene with Nolan and I definitely can’t wait to see how she’s going to deal with the Graysons now that she knows that bit of information. Maybe the performance of a lifetime in court could end up spelling doom for Daniel after all.

Also in “Justice”

It seems that both Dominik and Victoria conned Conrad with a piece of art and that’s how Victoria seperated from Dominik and met Conrad.

Emily: “Explaining all the reasons why I love Daniel shouldn’t be difficult.”
Mr Brooks: “Good, because forensic evidence is not on our side. We’re going to have to build an emotional connection between the jury and Daniel.”

Charlotte was reading Mason’s book in this episode. I wonder if Mason is going to enlighten Charlotte on who David Clarke really was.

Emily (to Nolan, re Daniel): “I came here for one reason. Nothing’s gonna get in my way.”

Victoria: “What are you doing out here? You’re going to catch your death.”
Daniel: “That seems inevitable.”
Victoria: “Oh, Daniel, don’t be so morbid.”

Both Nolan and Ashley seemed a bit underused in this episode, though I did love the scenes Nolan had with Declan in this one.

Victoria (to Daniel): “I simply don’t give my trust as freely as you do. Need I remind you who your fiancée was sitting next to in court?”

Daniel: “Maybe my mom was right about you. Maybe Tyler was too.”
Emily: “How much have you had to drink?”
Daniel: “Don’t change the subject. I saw you yesterday with Jack.”

Standout music: Crocodile’s “No Black Clouds For Dee-Dee”.

Emily (to herself): “Justice like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some see an innocent victim; others see evil incarnate getting what’s deserved.”

Chronology: It’s 58 days since the events of “Doubt”, so it’s either late November or early December.

“Justice” was certainly an interesting episode to watch. While Dominik may have ended up being a rather pointless addition to proceedings, I do like that things continue to step up a notch between our main players and the reveal of the circumstances behind David’s death were certainly overdue as well.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Smash - Some Thoughts

Like Glee before it, I was tempted to avoid watching this show like the God damn plague but after missing Saturday's premiere of it on SkyAtlantic, I caught one of the repeats of Smash and well, it made for an interesting(ish) hour.

The premise for this show is simple - songwriting partners Tom Levitt (Christian Borle) and Julia Houston (Debra Messing) decide to set up their own version of Marilyn Monroe the musical in spite of the fact that previous attempts of it had bombed and that we know live in a time where Monroe's popularity has extended to being a phone app. Amongst the plot, you've got discussions of adoptions (Julia and her husband), divorce (Angelica Huston's Eileen and her soon to be ex-husband) and two eager ladies competing for the coveted role of Marilyn Monroe as well.

On one hand, you've got the rather homely Karen Carthwright (Katherine McPhee, previously of American Idol), a mid-western gal living in New York with her English boyfriend (Raza Jaffrey) who makes an impression on Julia and company by actually turning up to the audition not dressed as the movie icon and belting out a popular Christina Aguilera song before getting a second audition of sorts with Simon Cowell lite director Derek (Jack Davenport). The same audition where her sexy routine resulted in her not bonking him for the part. Countering that, you've got the more ambitious Ivy Lynn (Megan Hilty), who I have to admit I found ten times more interesting than Karen as a character.

As an opening episode went, it set everything up nicely for Smash. The characters aren't particularly well defined just yet (the gay characters in Tom and Ellis are walking cliches and Derek is nowhere near as intimidating as the show tries to imply) but there's potential and while being a Broadway based show will not be enough to stop people comparing it to Glee, I have to admit, I'll be sticking with the show for the time being and with a second season already commissioned, it's certainly going to have enough time to really stand out. At least worth giving a glance at. Not quite addictive but maybe, just maybe it might be someday. Oh and I'm linking two of the standout numbers from the first episode as well.

National Pastime:
Let Me Be Your Star:

Smash airs Saturdays at 10pm on SkyAtlantic.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Save Your Lies For Court

And here's a rundown of some of the stuff I've been watching over the last fortnight.

Desperate Housewives: Okay, now that was an interesting episode. We've got seven episodes left until the series finale and they decide to kill Mike off now? Why? I've never been the biggest Mike/Susan fan but it seemed a rather cold thing to do, especially considering the ups and downs they've had during the series duration but it still made for an interesting final scene. Keeping with the interesting, there was also Orson's vendetta against Bree and Karen's attempts to kill herself, all of which are better viewing that Carlos's latest epiphany or the growing tedium with Lynette, Tom and Jane as well.

Game Of Thrones: A solid bunch of episodes we've managed to get over the last few weeks. We've had a slew of impressive new characters, Joffrey's cruelty towards Sansa intensifying and every scene between Tyrion and Cersei has been riveting to watch. Even the Loras/Renly/Margaery triangle has been interesting to watch along with Arya/Gendry's battle for survival and Melisandre giving birth to whatever that thing was in the last episode. A bit more of Daenerys would be nice though, considering how underused she's been this season but overall, the show continues to deliver in spades.

Glee: It's been an interesting two month wait and while the first two episodes haven't been amazing (Blaine's brother issues, a tribute to disco), they certainly haven't been that boring. They do feel more like an obvious build up to graduation with various people calling into question what they want to do with their lives, but highlight-wise, we had some sublime scenes with Quinn/Artie, a continued alliance with Will and Sue, an episode where Rachel didn't sing and Brittany using underhanded methods in order to point out to Santana that being famous for nothing isn't particularly good along with Mercedes/Sam finally getting it on.

Homeland: Now that was an episode. Okay, the one where we saw Brody in flashbacks bonding with a young boy and being conditioned to accept a political position but the one where Carrie nearly got blown to pieces was better. Carrie's becoming increasingly the best thing about this show and the closer she seems to get to a result, the more things seem to be going against her. Capturing Tom Walker in this one should've been a walk in the park but apparently not. I can't wait to see what the last two episodes are going to bring for the series.

Lip Service: And it's back. Like Sherlock, BBC3 decided that waiting nearly a year and a half for the second series of the Scottish drama was a great idea. On the plus side, this was a solid opening episode. I'm not keen on the Frankie/Cat/Sam triangle and I still don't like Jay as a character but overall, the episode was good. Tess's love life with the football fan Finn and her new co-stars (including bitchy Nora) are amusing and Lexy seems like she's going to be a good addition to the series, so welcome back ladies.

The Vampire Diaries: The arrivals of all the Originals and their mother en masse is certainly fun, up until a point, isn't it? I don't know why the writers are trying to soften Klaus by having him develop feelings for Caroline but I'll keep an open mind. Personally I love that Caroline continues to be progressively smarter than people expect her to be and as for Elena pitting Stefan and Damon against each other to learn Esther's true motives - I don't hate her for it, but it's still annoying to a large extent. I wish Bill's death and Abby's transformation had more of an impact but neither were on screen long enough for me to care and that's a bummer. Still the show is on fine form though.

Titanic: And so endeth this uninspired four parter. The more I think on this, the more Julian Fellowes and ITV should've just made it as a 90 minute special rather than four episodes. The repetition of scenes didn't help matters and the characters sadly didn't feel fleshed out enough to really engage. It's a bloody shame because this should've been so good and it really wasn't.

- If Ringer is picked up for a second season, the producers have promised that we will be getting less flashbacks and the consequences from the actions of Bridget and Siobhan will be addressed.
- House's final episode will be called Everyone Dies and Olivia Wilde will be one of the guest stars in it.
- An upcoming episode of Glee will deal with domestic violence while the 20th and 21st episodes will feature a body swap plot as well.
- Desperate Housewives last episode will be called Finishing The Hat and will feature James Denton, Dana Delany, Christine Estabrook and Brenda Strong.
- True Blood will feature an upcoming flashback to Alcide and Debbie as children.
- Adam Levine's character in American Horror Story will be part of a duo called The Lovers and it's a sexual role. It will be set in a criminal asylum.
- Upstairs Downstairs has been cancelled after two series but Prisoners Wives will be back for a second series of four episodes, according to the BBC.
- Carrie will be going under in Beirut and Brody will encounter a beautiful, Middle-Eastern woman in the second season of Homeland.

Monday, April 23, 2012

True Blood - Season 5 Waiting Sucks Part 1

Continuing with the same theme from last year, HBO have been releasing a few interesting previews for the upcoming fifth season of True Blood.

1: Sookie & Alcide

It's a nice little between the two of them in the Stackhouse kitchen when Alcide informs Sookie that Russell Edgington has been dug up from his grave. I had forgotten that Sookie wasn't actually aware of what really happened to the former vampire king so her reaction is fairly interesting here.

2: Terry & Patrick

Terry and Patrick find themselves kidnapped and tied up by an old friend of theirs who's worried about something bad coming. The writers have been promising for a while now that we'd get more on Terry's past, so it's nice they're actually delivering on that promise.

3: Sam & Luna

In this scene, Sam seems to be comforting Luna and then they both hear something. I'm guessing both of them are probably about to suffer some consequences for Marcus's death more than anything else. Not really bothered but it's a decent scene though.

Waiting Sucks 1:
Waiting Sucks 2:
Waiting Sucks 3:

Season 5 of True Blood will air Sundays at 9pm from June 10th on HBO. FXUK plan to air the fifth season in Autumn 2012.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Top 40 TV Characters Part 7

And here's Part 7 of the list ....

6: Kevin Walker (Matthew Rhys) - Brothers And Sisters

Easily the best thing about the ABC family drama that ran for five seasons. Kevin was a breath of fresh air when it came to gay characters on television and his relationship with Scotty is one of the best TV pairings ever done, though I might be in a humble minority there. 

7: David Fisher (Michael C. Hall) - Six Feet Under

Okay, maybe a precursor to Kevin Walker and certainly a precursor to a certain other role that Michael C.Hall will end up playing in later years, but David Fisher was both a neurotic mess at times and an absolute joy to watch as well. The repeats on SkyAtlantic have certainly attested to that.

8: Tara Maclay (Amber Benson) - Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Oh, Tara - even ten years on since Warren shot you in the back has your death made me want to weep. Damn. The most level headed, compassionate character on TV deserved a better ending than that but for three out of the seven seasons of Buffy, Tara and Willow formed one of the most poignant relationships on television.

9: Santana Lopez (Naya Rivera) - Glee

Okay, so the show may be in a hit and miss stage but even the most cynical of fans will have to admit that anything involving this fiery lady is ten times more interesting than the increasingly dullness of Finchel and this season we've had her dealing with her sexuality, ripping Will a new one over his lax teaching of her language and Brittany pointing out that being famous for nothing ain't good. Basically whatever the writers have chucked in Santana's direction, Naya Rivera has delivered with aplomb.

10: Lady Mary Crawley (Michelle Dockery) - Downton Abbey

I had a hard time picking from this show, but in the end I realised that the sometimes cold Mary was actually my favourite of the bunch. Yes, she's not always likeable but she's always consistently interesting and now that the writers have progressed her relationship with Matthew, here's hoping there's more interesting place to take her in the upcoming third series.

Part 8 will be up during the week and there'll be an Honourable Mentions blog as well.

Friday, April 20, 2012

My Review of Revenge's 1x17: "Doubt"

Written by Mike Kelley And Dan Dworkin And Jay Beattie
Directed by Matt Earl Beesley

Emily (to herself): “Doubt has the ability to call into question everything you ever believed about someone.”

Not one of Emily’s best monologues but it raises a fair enough point I suppose. There was certainly a lot of doubt that was seeping throughout this episode when it came to both the innocence of Jack and Daniel in the murder of Tyler from every main character at some point.

Out of the two, Jack is genuinely the most innocent of the bunch. All he did was get Amanda away from Tyler’s dead body and there’s no way that he deserves to become a scapegoat for the Graysons because of that. Victoria tried her damndest to nail Tyler’s death on Jack and thanks to Declan, she failed.

I know there are some fans out there who were mad about Declan betraying Charlotte’s confidence to Mason Treadwell of all people but I am not one of them. As far as I’m concerned, Declan did the right thing and my respect for him continues to grow because of that.

Both he and Charlotte do not know for certain whom they saw on the beach and Declan knew that the Graysons were desperately looking for a scapegoat, so he protected his brother. It might have come at the cost of outing Charlotte’s current drug addiction but when it comes to terrible boyfriends, there are far worse ones out there than Declan. In his own way, not only did he protect Jack but he also managed to do Charlotte a favour, even if she wasn’t thankful for it.

I think Charlotte behaved pretty appallingly in this episode. I know that she’s got her own issues to deal with and Victoria isn’t being particularly supportive but I hated how spitefully she turned on Declan as well as the fact that she was largely obstructive in actually helping Victoria and the cops try and identify who was on the beach when her and Declan found Tyler’s body.

Of course, Charlotte wasn’t the only member of the Grayson family to act out rather badly – Victoria actually organised for Daniel to be beaten up in prison. Okay, she did it so he’d get bail but it was still a rather cold thing for her to do in order to protect her son. As for her trying to plant doubt into Daniel about Emily – well, that just felt like business as usual to be honest. Daniel at least had enough sense not to succumb to it though.

It was also nice that Emily was a few steps ahead of Victoria in this episode. She automatically deduced that mommy dearest was behind Daniel’s prison beating and Emily got her own hands dirty by battering the thug who ordered the job done on Daniel. On one hand, it was a rather reckless thing for Emily to do but on the other hand, I kind of enjoying seeing Emily beating the crap out of that guy as well. I guess this is the show’s way of confirming that right now she has genuine feelings for both Daniel and Jack.

Another thing I loved about Emily in this episode was her neat ability of turning Victoria and Mason against each other. She might not have been responsible for Declan selling out Charlotte but she certainly played a dab hand in getting Mason to believe that Victoria torched his house. Even though I still don’t particularly like Mason, I did like that he showed something of a conscience in this episode in both his scenes with Charlotte and Victoria.

As for Nolan – he was basically the good mate in this episode. He brought Emily food and complied with her bid to get Jack out of town by having the latter go to Montreal for Amanda. I noticed as well in this episode that Emily seemed to be more hospitable with Nolan too, which was nice.

Last but not least – I do hope the sudden appearance of Dominik the painter has more of a plot purpose than just giving Victoria some sex scenes. I like James Purefoy a lot as an actor but I’m not entirely sure what to make of the character and a part of me is wondering if Dominik is another one of Emily’s plants or someone who really does want to rekindle the old flame with Vicky after all.

Also in “Doubt”

A week before this episode aired, ABC did a recap called “From The Beginning” to bring viewers up to speed on the previous episodes.

Emily: “What do you want?”
Nolan: “World peace but I’ll start small.”

This was the first episode since “Intrigue” not to actually feature Amanda, though she’s due to make a reappearance before the season ends.

Emily (to Nolan): “Takeda was right about one thing – I lost focus. I became emotionally involved. That will not happen again.”

Conrad (to Victoria, re Emily): “That girl might just be Grayson material after all.”

That piece of dialogue is making me hope that we get some more scenes between Emily and Conrad within the next five episodes. He was the most level headed Grayson this week.

Daniel (to Emily): “At least one good thing came out of all this. My fiancée and my mother have finally found common ground.”

Jack: “I know who you are. You wrote that book about David Clarke.”
Mason: “I may yet write one about you.”

Mason got a blog courtesy of Ashley named “The Treadwell Report”. He also seems to have a thing for wine coolers as well.

Victoria: “I told you I didn’t think I could fall in love with anyone.”
Dominik: “And I never believed that.”

Charlotte (to Declan): “You’re just another puppet in the Grayson family play and it’s time for your exit.”

Standout music: Leonard Cohen’s “If It Be Your Will”.

Victoria (to Daniel, re Emily): “How do you know she wasn’t there? You see that little bit of doubt is enough to get you acquitted.”

Emily: “Nature can be cruel. Predators are everywhere. Those who don’t need to be protected from outside forces often need to be protected from themselves.”

Chronology: It’s September time with Daniel’s trial due for the first week of December.

As a return episode, “Doubt” was slightly low-key but actually a lot of fun too. I’m not sure if the Dominik plot is actually needed but the lengths that both Emily and Victoria are willing to go in order to protect the men they love and best each other continues to be fascinating to watch.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Thursday, April 19, 2012

My Review of Ringer's 1x22: "I'm The Good Twin"

Written by Eric Charmelo And Nicole Snyder
Directed by Eriq LaSalle

Bridget (to Henry): “Siobhan wanted me dead?”

As I often say to my sister, I’m the good twin (I don’t really, well maybe once or twice) but when you are Siobhan Martin, you really don’t have the right to say that you’re the good twin because it most definitely is not true. Also, after this episode, Siobhan finally got a taste of some real consequences for her actions and it was certainly overdue.

I might not have wanted her to die at the hands of the sinfully boring Bodaway but considering that she intended to have her own sister killed, it did seem like karma came back to bite Siobhan in the backside during her face-off with the idiotic drug lord. It’s also rather funny for Siobhan that it was Bridget of all people who saved her from being killed by Bodaway as well.

As for Henry stripping Siobhan bare of any financial security – here is where I’m conflicted. I get that Henry had finally lost his patience with Siobhan’s multitude of lying and constantly allowing her own needs to dominate their relationship but even I’m not entirely rooting for Henry either on this one.

Okay, she did lie about the twins being his and while I actually believed that he would’ve raised them happily knowing he wasn’t their real dad (so who is – Andrew or Charlie? It’s obviously not Tyler), Siobhan is now penniless with two babies and no matter how much of a bitch she’s been all season long, it does merit some sympathy towards her, plus Henry is no flipping angel, a fact that he seems to have forgotten himself.

Then again, Siobhan is annoyingly resourceful and when she wasn’t trying to steal stuff from Andrew, she did manage to tug at the heart strings of a nurse to stay the night at the hospital. Basically, if anyone other than Bridget can get themselves out of a dire situation, it’s definitely Siobhan. However, Henry and Andrew should be the least of Siobhan’s worries now that Bridget knows she’s alive.

I really hate that this episode didn’t actually end with Bridget and Siobhan coming face to face with each other. After 22 episodes, it felt like such a cheat and given that it’s almost safe to assume the show is not coming back, it genuinely annoys me as well to no end. I think I would’ve paid the writers myself to have seen that particular confrontation.

Of course, being the good twin as well didn’t prevent Bridget from suffering genuine consequences as well either. Bridget’s lies came out due to Tim exposing Siobhan and Henry’s affair and Bridget having to tell both Andrew and Juliet that she’s been pretending to be her sister all along.

As much as I do want Andrew and Juliet to forgive Bridget, I liked that their responses were genuinely believable and I also liked that Bridget had a good support system in this episode courtesy of Solomon and Greer as well. If by some crazy miracle this show does come back, I want Bridget to get her own happy ending because she definitely deserves it alright and Juliet and Andrew themselves have done far worse than Bridget as well for them to stay mad at her forever.

As for the rest of the rest of the episode – Bodaway the boring villain finally died and Victor can finally put the case behind him. If this is the last time we see Victor, it will be a good thing. Much as I like the actor, I just couldn’t care about Victor as a character and there’s no further need for him now.

Also in “I’m The Good Twin”

The wedding dream sequence with Bridget and Andrew at the start of the episode was ridiculously cheesy but actually in a rather fun way.

Bridget (at AA): “When I was using, I didn’t care about anyone. I didn’t mean anything to anyone. In the last seven months, I’ve really learned to let people in and they’ve let me in. It feels good to say that life is good.”

This episode seemed to confirm in a roundabout way that Malcolm is sadly no longer with us. I really don’t like that.

Andrew: “I’m so grateful to be given a second chance. Sometimes I feel I don’t deserve it.”
Bridget: “Everyone deserves a second chance, right?”

Jimmy: “Bridget, what are you doing here?”
Siobhan: “It’s Siobhan, I’m the good twin.”

Despite not having a lot of dialogue in this episode, we did see Bodaway killing Shaylene in flashback and Jimmy and a security guard in the present day.

Bridget: “This isn’t a fantasy, it’s real life and when I do tell them, it’ll be over.”
Solomon: “So what are you gonna do?”

Siobhan: “All this talk about honesty and you were lying?”
Henry: “The test was a test. I wanted to see how you handle the truth.”

Siobhan called her twin daughters Portia and Regan while Tim is now Andrew’s boss.

Bridget: “My life completely changed when I met you seven months ago.”
Andrew: “Seven years ago.”
Bridget: “No, seven months. I didn’t cheat on you with Henry. Andrew, I’m not Siobhan, I’m Bridget.”

Bodaway (to Siobhan): “You can’t hide forever, Bridget. This ends tonight.”

I hope the CW doesn’t delay too much in telling us the fate of this show, regardless of how it’s going to fare.

Siobhan: “I have to get my old life back.”

Chronology: It’s been seven months since the opening episode, so April 2012.

It’s been an interesting and a frustrating show to watch and review at times but as a finale went, “I’m The Good Twin” is a classic mixed bag. We got some resolutions and some cliff hangers thrown our way and while this might not have been the powerhouse vehicle for Sarah Michelle Gellar to make her TV return, the show possibly would’ve been a lot worse without her.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Companion Diversity

So, it's been a month since the announcement of Jenna-Louise Coleman as the new companion and while we'll have to wait another month before she starts filming and we learn her character's name, one criticism of her casting that has gotten my back up is this little groanworthy gem ...

Ugh, another 20 something girl. When will New Who show some diversity?

Except, in the course of seven series we have had some diversity actually. In fact, going down the list of regular and recurring companions we've had since 2005, it's been something like this ...

Female (20s): Rose, Martha, Amy and Clara.
Female (30s/Over): Donna, River, Sarah Jane.
Male (20s): Mickey, Rory.
Male (30s/Over): Jack, Wilfred.

And something like this ....

POC: Martha, Mickey, River (as Mels).
LGBT: Jack, River (arguably), Vastra, Jenny.
Couples/Marriages: Rose/Mickey, Rose/Doctor (arguably), Martha/Mickey, Amy/Rory, River/Doctor, Vastra/Jenny.
Families/Relatives: Rose/Jackie, Martha/Mickey, Donna/Wilfred, Amy/Rory/River.
Non Humans: Vastra, Strax.

In terms of diversity, New Who has actually been pretty good and while I do hope that future series and showrunners do feature more companions who are older, POC, LGBT or from the past/non Earth related, I think the criticism of another 20 something girl being the next companion is a bit childish though. And besides, why don't we wait until Christmas to see how JLC fares and who she's playing? Maybe her character will be a lesbian for all we know or from the past or an alien. Anything can happen on this show. Isn't that part of the reason why we watch it?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I Woke Up Gay

I caught this BBC3 documentary last night called I Woke Up Gay last night about former rugby lad about town Chris Birch who suffered a stroke and woke up a completely different man, even down to his own sexual orientation and I watched with an open mind.

I know strokes can definitely change people's personalities (as we learned in the documentary with former block layer turned artist Robbie) but even I had a hard time believing that it could change someone's sexuality and throughout the documentary, Chris did seem to seek out both medical advice and renew contact with his former friends and girlfriends in order to learn if there had been any indication that he might have been gay before his stroke.

To be fair, the documentary explored both the possibility that the stroke could've changed his orientation and also the fact that it didn't (something which Chris's partner Jak and many people who've heard about the story seem to believe), but ultimately, it didn't seem to give off a definitive answer either though it did end with Chris coming to terms with both his former life and current one, where he now works as a hairdresser and has a new set of friends, who've become a family sorts for him.

Overall, a fascinating documentary from BBC3 and certainly one of their more insightful ones as well.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Revenge Returns

Well, within the next two days the ABC hit returns and if the trailers and preview clips are anything to go by, it's gonna be a blast to watch as well. I was going to review the From The Beginning special that ABC aired last week to bring new viewers up to speed on Revenge but apart from Emily Van Camp narrating in character, I decided not to instead.

When it comes to the previews though, there's a wonderfully delightful five minute recap courtesy of Nolan that also brings viewers up to speed as well. Definitely one to watch.

Nolan's Recap:

Revenge airs on ABC, Wednesdays at 10pm from April 18th for it's last six episodes while E4 will air the series later this year.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Top 40 TV Characters Part 6

And here is the sixth part of this list. I was going to leave it until next week but now seems like a good time to post it.

11: Simon Bellamy (Iwan Rheon) - Misfits

In the first series, he was a weird sociopathic kid who murdered a probation officer (kind of standard in relation to this show) while the second and third series, he became a futuristic hero and had a timey-wimey relationship with Alisha that could outshine the Doctor and River's too. Weirdness aside, Simon was definitely someone you wanted as an ally rather than an enemy.

12: Merlin (Colin Morgan) - Merlin

Merlin has always been an interesting show to watch because for the most part, I've never had a definitive favourite character but for the intent and purpose of this list, I weighed up all the main characters and ultimately found myself picking the title character. What can I say? Merlin the character has for the most part grown throughout the four series we've seen and continues to intrigue at every turn.

13: Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) - Torchwood

Oh, Jack. Sometimes I can't help but wonder if having a spin-off has enhanced the character or sort of ruined him a bit. Jack works better as a more campy action hero than an intense, Doctor-like brooder at times and somewhere between the last two series of Torchwood, I think RTD lost sight of that. Still apart from a certain Time Lord, he's still one of the most unconventional leading male characters on a sci-fi/fantasy programme and that alone means he deserves to be on my list.

14: Cordelia Chase (Charisma Carpenter) - Angel

The most unbridled, meanest character on television or at least during her Sunnydale days anyways, though she still had her moments in LA. I'm going to be brutally honest - Cordelia was the best bloody thing about Angel and I hate the fact that we ended up losing her in favour of Spike in the show's last season and similarly uninteresting characters like Eve and Illyria as well. The comics tried a bit to redress the balance but Cordelia was the heart and soul of that show.

15: Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) - The Sarah Jane Adventures

No list would be complete without the most iconic companion featuring on it and let's face it - Sarah Jane Smith is a bloody icon. This woman has seen most of the Doctors incarnations, has fought many a monster whilst travelling with the Time Lord and with her own team in Bannerman Road. Elisabeth Sladen may sadly no longer be with us but her iconic character will long live in people's hearts.

Part 7 will be up early next week.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Doctor Who - Series 7 Filming In New York

And filming in New York too place this week for the final episode of Doctor Who to feature Amy and Rory but not the final episode that both Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill have to film though. That would be 7x04, written by Chris Chibnall.

The Doctor engages in reading a book while Amy and Rory appear to be very much loved up. Considering that we saw divorce papers in filming for the opening episode, I guess this is another reassurance that Amy and Rory won't be splitting up - or is it?

Look, the Doctor's reading the book about someone called Melody Malone and the woman on the cover looks suspiciously similar to River. Alex Kingston will be in this episode and there is supposed to be at least one scene where she'll be saving her father from gangsters.

Rory seems to have gotten himself into a spot of bother with some gangsters but seeing as this episode also features the return of the Weeping Angels, I'd say the gangsters are going to be the least of Rory's problems. Also some of the newspapers that him and Amy are reading suggests that some of this episode is set in September 2018 for some reason.

And here's one of the Doctor and Amy goofing about. On a slightly unrelated note, Karen Gillan has now joined the ranks of Twitter along with the Moff and Arthur Darvill. I wonder if this means that at some point Matt Smith, Jenna-Louise Coleman and/or Alex Kingston can be persuaded. You can follow Kazza here ...!/KarenGillan2 just no marriage proposals, lads!

Filming Pictures:

Series 7 of Doctor Who will air in November on BBC1.