Wednesday, October 31, 2012

ITV Comissions Vicious Old Queens

Yes, of all the stations to commission a gay themed comedy, it seems that ITV are stepping into the fray with both Derek Jacobi and Ian McKellan starring as elderly couple in the show that's being titled, Vicious Old Queens.

The show will centre on both McKellen and Jacobi's characters living in Convent Garden and will run for 6 half hour long episodes and has been written by Gary Janetti, whose other credits include both Will & Grace and Family Guy.

Originally, Vicious Old Queens was intended as a one-off for SkyArts but it seems that the concept was strong enough to be made into a series. Here's hoping it's a good one for ITV1 because the casting is certainly a great coup for them already.

Press Release:

Vicious Old Queens will air on ITV1 from April 2013.

Soap Discussion - October 2012

Penultimate blog of the month and it's a soap one.

Coronation Street: A good month for this show. Even though Ryan is still painfully wooden and borderline brain dead, given how easily taken in he was by Tracy, I did find the scenes with him leaving Sophie to her fate rather effective and it's nice that after being underused for most of the year that Sophie now has an interesting storyline of her own. As for the stuff with Maria and Marcus, I don't like it to be honest, despite actually liking both characters and their friendship but I'm trying to keep an open mind here.

EastEnders: This week we had a Halloween party in the Vic but living in Walford, it's like that all year round. This month hasn't been that different what with Lola getting her baby taken off her and Phil Mitchell learning he's a grandparent (another thing for him to mess up then) while Christian and Syed's start to married life seems to be jinxed with both Danny and the latter ruining the family finances once again. Still, both of these storylines are better than the show's ill-adviced attempts of recreating the Sharon/Dennis storyline for 2012, via Lauren and the increasingly unlikeable Joey.

Emmerdale: Finally, an excellent month for the show and just in time for the 40th. Given how much of a bastard Carl King has become over the last few months, I'm not too surprised that he ended up being killed off. Though I am surprised that a character as gormless and dull as Cameron managed to do it. Still, the fallout of Cameron and Chas's uninteresting affair has been more exciting than the double weddings and births we've had this month. Hopefully, this means the show is finally back on track because this has not been a good year for it.

Hollyoaks: Okay, the bullying storyline with Esther has been one of the strongest storylines we've had over the last month and it definitely seems to be getting more severe but am I the only one who thinks Sinead has become the main instigator in this storyline? Other highlights have been Brendan and Cheryl visiting a counsellor, Nancy and Darren sorting their differences out, Riley's death, Rhys and Cindy's affair plot (though it's making Rhys into a right knob) as well as Lynsey's funeral and Doug and Ste coming to blows over the latter's horrid mother. Overall, an impressive month for storylines.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My Review of Revenge's 2x05: "Forgiveness"

Written by Sunil Nayar
Directed by Matt Earl Beesley

Kara: “Somehow your father found it in his heart to forgive me.”
Amanda: “Wait, I forgive you too.”

I can’t be in the minority of people that’s getting a tiny bit bored of critics and certain fans acting like this show has massively devolved, right? I’m not saying that the second season of this soapy drama has been perfect but I get the feeling that some people are being a little too premature in dismissing the show and it’s newer story points this year.

I’ll admit that I still have some massive reservations about the Initiative plot, though if Victoria and Conrad see a half man, half demon machine creature named Adam, then they really should find somewhere safe to hide but I’m willing to at least see where the show goes with the plot before dismissing it out right.

So far, we’ve had a good few discussions from both Conrad and Victoria about the Initiative being brought back in their lives. In fact, Victoria’s genuine (for her) fears of them harming Daniel and Charlotte did manage to actually show that she isn’t entirely devoid of humanity but the most interesting plot concerning her this week came at the hands of Kara.

Can I say that I love how this show has moved quickly with Kara, in terms of bringing her to the fore? I honestly thought we’d have to wait until the end of this year for that to happen but in the space of five episodes, we’ve learned that Kara has bipolar, has tried to kill Amanda as a child, was committed to a hospital, pretended to be dead, married Gordon and took Aiden down with minimal effort and came back to reconnect with Amanda again.

In this episode, there was a delightful sense of cat and mouse between Kara and Victoria with both women being sickeningly nice to each other while trying to size each other up at the same time. Kara probably thinks the Graysons are responsible for Gordon’s disappearance and Victoria managed to realise that Kara had been trying to phone him as well.

All of these made for some terrific scenes but even they didn’t come close to the utterly gripping scenes between Kara, Emily and Amanda throughout this episode. I liked that Kara tried to make amends with Amanda and the latter chose to forgave her while Emily admitted that she wanted to but wasn’t there yet.

I think it’s almost a safe bet that at some point, Kara is going to realise who her real daughter is but for the time being, she’s trying to build a relationship with a woman who she thinks has given birth to her own grandchild. Of course, that didn’t stop Kara from actually reaching out to Emily in this episode as well.

Of course if things weren’t delicious enough, there was also Emily making amends to Amanda by actually confessing that she lied about baby Carl’s father. I liked that Emily did the right thing and admitted to Amanda that Jack was the father of Carl and I liked that Amanda forgave her too. It’s nice to see Emily realising the impact of what she’s put Amanda through and trying to do something right about it.

Something else that was also nice was the unexpected but delightful return of Mason Treadwell too. He’s back for less than day and he managed to suss that Victoria faked her kidnapping, grilling Kara on her whereabouts, made both Amanda and Emily uncomfortable and seemed to suss out that someone wasn’t who they were pretending to be. Suddenly Mason has become an even more dangerous character than before.

As for the rest of the episode – does anyone care about Jack being suckered into going into a partnership/selling his business to Kenny? I didn’t think so. Similarly, I’m sure more people are probably disappointed more than surprised that Padma has seemingly stabbed Nolan in the back and the Daniel/Aiden business scenes weren’t exactly the most gripping of plotlines. Still, they’re minor concessions for an episode that was predominantly interesting, though more with it’s female leads than it’s male ones.

Also in “Forgiveness”

David Clarke finally managed to come back in flashbacks when saving Amanda from Kara and later forgiving her at the hospital.

Emily (to Aiden): “I needed someone. You walked through the door. Don’t let it go to your head.”

I really hated that Padma lied to Nolan about not doing anything after seeing the David Clarke cheque. Bad show, Padma.

Conrad (re Kara): “You’ve got to get rid of her.”
Victoria: “Oh, on the contrary. I’ve asked her to stay for lunch.”

Nolan (re Edward): “I know he wasn’t murdered in prison or accused of a crime he didn’t commit, still he loved me.”
Emily: “I should’ve been there for you. I’m sorry.”

Not only did I love Emily apologising to Nolan for her insensitivity/not keeping him in the loop with Kara but I also loved her informing him about Padma’s antics too.

Padma: “Have I won something?”
Daniel: “Let’s see what we’re playing first.”

Mason: “The years have been kind, Kara, where have you been?”
Kara: “Away.”
Mason: “That’s one of my favourite places.”

Mason seemed to know that Amanda had a burn on her back but we’ve seen Emily’s back enough time on the show. I think maybe the writers should’ve thought something else up.

Emily: “You never know when or where you’ll meet your true love.”
Kara (re David): “He was only my first love. There’s a difference.”

Conrad: “Victoria, will you do me the honour of becoming my wife again?”
Victoria: “What is the matter with you?”

Standout music: A re-use of Angus & Julia Stone’s “For You” from the first episode of last season was nice.

Kara (re Amanda): “Do you think she’s really forgiven me?”
Emily: “I think she wants to.”

Chronology: From where “Intuition” left off.

A brilliant episode. “Forgiveness” was interesting and gripping and for me, even with some niggles about this season, I don’t think it’s really lost it’s edge. Kara’s definitely come leaps and bounds as well as a character and next week’s episode looks like a stunner.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Saorview - Have You Switched Over?

For the last several months, RTE (mostly, thought TV3 and TG4 have also) have been doing their bit to remind people to switch over to the new way of viewing of television with the arrival of Saorview, the digital alternative, given that the auld analog was being switched off.

Well, it happened three days ago and to be honest, all Saorview offers are the basic Irish channels and a few not very good digital and radio ones too but as an Irish person who rarely actually watches the Irish channels at times (though I do like shows like The Republic Of Telly, Love/Hate, etc), I don't really think Saorview is worth that much to be honest.

Sure, a few months ago, my Dad got it for the sitting room but in the kitchen, we have the combi box, which actually has all the stuff Saorview offers, along with some of the UK digital channels, making the latter a more tempting proposition and of course, it means we're not looking at a fuzzy screen as many who haven't made the switch probably are.

So yes, my family and I have switched over (long before October 24th) but after inspecting both options, perhaps Saorview is something that offers too little but costs too much, especially for the more cash strapped of people.

What do you think of the switch over, Irish viewers?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

My Review of Dexter's 7x04: "Run"

Written by Wendy West
Directed by John Dahl

Dexter (to himself): “I don’t run. I make people run. However I do run if there’s a bull coming after me with an axe.”

Without a doubt, the above is one of the funniest lines ever uttered on the show as it matched the sheer ridiculousness of a bull helmet wearing Speltzer attempting to kill Dexter in one of the creepiest locations that the show has ever used. My compliments to the set department for that sheer stunning room.

I knew Speltzer’s outcome was going to result in death but what I didn’t know was that Deb was actually going to be okay with it. I’m not sure if I actually want Deb to accept Dexter’s killer urges. Her understanding them, sure, don’t mind that but accepting them is something I’m less sure of though.

Speltzer had to slip through the police and at the hands of brutal cops, Deb wasn’t able to make a confession stick with the guy. I liked that Dexter didn’t immediately thwart him and Speltzer proved to be a proper enough threat for Dexter to send Harrison away and rattle Deb at Mike’s funeral but at the same time, it was rather satisfying to see him get his comeuppance.

The staking method was an interesting choice for Dexter but his routine has had to change. Dexter could no longer take a slide sample and chop Speltzer into little bits for the ocean. Instead he had to stake the guy and burn him in a crematorium along with his slides collection, whilst telling Deb (after the fact) what he had done.

Deb’s gladness over Speltzer getting his just desserts was an interesting move for the character but I quite liked her questioning Dexter about Rita, Harrison and Trinity just that bit more. She wasn’t entirely off the mark with some of her comments but if this episode seemed to be an indicator, Harrison actually seems to be something of a well adjusted kid, given the circumstances of his life so far. Perhaps he won’t harbour something of a dark passenger in later years.

Keeping with the darkness – anyone else think Hannah McKay is a strange one? I love the actress in the role but her one scene with Dexter really did seem to make me think that she’s going to be a mash up of Lila and Lumen for him. Now that definitely could be interesting to watch as the rest of the season unfolds.

Another character I’ve actually found interesting in this episode was Isaak. Sure, he’s scary enough to force poor Alex into writing a confession pretending that he killed the stripper, the bouncer and poor Mike before having the guy kill himself but he seems to have something of an interesting moral code as well. I don’t think he was lying about promising to take care of Alex’s family as well, hence his interest in learning about them.

More importantly, I’m also curious about his relationship with Viktor. Were they related (siblings, father/son) or even lovers? It’s probably not the last one but Isaak’s keenness to avenge Viktor’s death certainly added some spice to this storyline over and I really cannot wait to see him and Dexter properly clash now. Even though I don’t think Isaak is going to usurp the likes of the Ice Truck Killer and Trinity for best villain, he is at least proving to be more interesting than Travis was last year, so nice one, show.

Also in “Run”

The bath scene with Deb at the start of the episode was a nice mirror to Rita but it could’ve done without the incest vibe with Dexter though.

Dexter: “Deb, will you? Will you be mine?”

We seem to have a new detective in Miranda, who was smart enough to deduce that Quinn was sleeping with Nadia. I hope she lasts longer than Mike did.

Dexter (re Trinity): “I figured out who he was before you did.”
Deb: “And you didn’t help us fucking get him?”

Deb: “Are you even capable of love?”
Dexter: “I love you.”

There wasn’t much progression with Maria’s storyline involving the Bay Harbour Butcher or any real mentions of Louis, apart from Isaak and George discussing him.

Isaak: “So, it’s Viktor’s fault he’s dead?”
George: “Uh yeah. He was a loose cannon, never listened. At least not to me.”

Deb: “Bad shit is gonna find you.”
Dexter: “And if that happens, I’ll handle it.”

Hannah mentioned Argentina in this episode. Now, there’s a spoiler for an upcoming story with her I bet and she’s helping Miami Metro find the bodies of Wayne’s other victims.

Dexter: “You look a little lost.”
Hannah: “Well, I haven’t been inside a police station in fifteen years. Still smells the same, like fast food and sweat.”

Masuka (re Alex): “We’ve got a white Russian on ice.”
Quinn: “Very funny.”
Masuka: “I’ll have you know I have a major following on Twitter.”

Angel seems to be the only more affected by Mike’s death than anyone else and he saw through the cover up with Alex as well.

Dexter: “It’s time for everyone to move on. Goodbye friends.”

Chronology: From where “Buck The System” left off.

Easily the best episode of the season. “Run” felt like a return to form for the show and it’s nice that the plotlines with Isaak, Hannah and the Dexter/Deb dynamic are all providing some interesting story moments throughout.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Doctor Who - Series 7 Second Half Details

I meant to post this last week but here's some information on the second half of the seventh series of Doctor Who.

Matt Smith and Jenna- Louise Coleman were filming scenes in London last week for Moffat's first 2013 episode as the Doctor and Clara get on a motorcycle and there were even some scenes with a fez. Filming for this episode has since been completed and filming has now moved onto Neil Cross's other episode, of which we know nothing about yet. Hopefully some filming pictures will surface for it.

Meanwhile Ashley Walters will be appearing in Stephen Thompson's episode, rumoured to be titled, Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS. The True Love actor did get into trouble for tweeting some things (the episode is rumoured to be TARDIS centred) and he'll be playing one of a trio of brothers called the Van Baalens, who are an intergalactic salvage crew. Also DWM 453 have confirmed the writers for the second half of Series 7 and they are ...

7x07 - Steven Moffat
7x08 - Neil Cross
7x09 - Mark Gatiss

7x10 - Neil Cross ("Phantoms of the Hex", although the magazine doesn't confirm any titles)
7x11 - Stephen Thompson
7x12 - Mark Gatiss ("The Crimson Horror")

7x13 - Neil Gaiman (directed by Stephen Wolfenden)
7x14 - Steven Moffat

The ones in italics are the ones that have been filmed/have started filming. Filming for the seventh series is due to end around December, a few weeks prior to the airing of the Christmas special.

Last but not least, it seems that John Simm is keen on reprising his role as the Master. Last seen in The End Of Time, Simm has mentioned in some recent interviews that he would like to play a quieter version of the role, compared to the more maniacal version we saw interact with David Tennant's Doctor. Personally, I wouldn't mind Simm returning or a new bloke taking on the role but either way, I hope Steven Moffat just has the sense to bring the character back to interact with Matt Smith's Doctor, sooner rather than later.

Update: @mrJimer
@john_simm Den of Geek say you want to return as the Master,.. It's because of that comic strip I drew you in, c'mon admit it?! :-)

@mrJimer thats not strictly true. I was answering a specific question at a Q+A session. #dontreadtoomuchintoit

Filming Pics:
John Simm On The Master:

Doctor Who returns at Christmas. The second half of Series 7 is due to air in Spring 2013.

Monday, October 22, 2012

My Review of Revenge's 2x04: "Intuition"

Written by Dan Dworkin And Jay Beattie
Directed by Randy Zisk

Victoria: “Your mother tried to kill you.”
Amanda: “That’s a lie.”
Victoria: “I wish it was and no matter how much hatred you harbour towards me, it’s the absolute truth.”

It’s amazing that even when Victoria is telling the truth (or thinks she’s doing so) that she can be a colossal in doing so but even I wasn’t expecting for things to end up with Amanda falling over the top of the stairs and landing into a coma. As lows go, Victoria really did stoop to a new one here.

I do realise that Victoria didn’t actually push Amanda over the banister herself but she seemed more preoccupied with getting her maid to clean up the blood than for Amanda’s well being and that’s not taking into account that Emily had pushed Amanda into confronting Victoria about visiting Kara under a false name.

I’ve had a lot of sympathy for Amanda this season and this episode even more so because apart from Charlotte, no-one has had her best interests at heart. Jack was horribly cold towards her, Emily was using her to get information on her mother and Victoria was her usually unpleasant self towards Amanda as well.

Also it was Amanda who pointed out to Emily that her actions were ruining people’s lives and because of it, both Amanda and her just born son seem to be hanging in the balance because of this. While I’m glad that Emily showed some actual guilt over Amanda’s accident, this really does need to serve as a wakeup call in relation to her agenda.

Emily’s becoming somewhat reckless with her pursuit of vengeance and both Amanda and Aiden tried to point it out to her this week and she didn’t listen to either of them. Amanda’s accident aside, there’s also the fact that Kara really is back within proximity as well and Emily really is going to have to be careful for what she wished for.

I am actually a little impressed with how quickly Kara has been brought into the fold. Last week we saw her alive and this week, she was able to subdue Aiden and realise that he was spinning her a line before going to the hospital and seeing Amanda in a coma. Also judging by the trailers for the next episode, it also looks like both Kara and Victoria will be interacting with each other pretty soon as well.

Keeping with the interactions, I get that there seems to be some form of discontent with the Nolan/Emily ones this season as well. Some fans think he’s being phased out in favour of Aiden but me personally, I think it’s nice that we’re seeing more proof that Nolan exists beyond Emily and has his own shit to deal with as well.

The struggles with NolCorp might not be the most riveting of plots but that company is a fundamental part of who Nolan happens to be as a person and the fact that it took just one person to believe in his abilities. The subplot with his father’s death and going through some possessions with Padma was actually a lot better than people are giving it credit for.

I actually liked Padma more in this episode than the previous two but it kind of seems now that we’re supposed to find her interest in Nolan somewhat suspect given that she’s taken an interest in a framed cheque from David Clarke. I really don’t want Padma to be a baddie but given how conspiracy heavy the show has become all of a sudden, I think it’s pretty safe to assume that she might be as trustworthy as she lets on.

Speaking of trustworthy, it’s amazing how a few choice words from Daniel was enough to give Ashley a personality and backbone and rebel against Conrad. Even though Conrad can see through Daniel’s little act, I do like the fact that Daniel is smart enough to keep it up nonetheless. Both Daniel and Charlotte have become stronger characters so far this season. I only hope that stays for the remainder of it.

Also in “Intuition”

Was Kara really attempting to drown Amanda in the flashback scenes? Watching them again, they do look kind of dubious. Plus, she’s married Gordon – I guess I should’ve seen that coming.

Aiden (re Kara): “Think Emily. This woman has the power to destroy everything you came here to do.”

I really liked the more matey banter with Emily and Nolan in this episode, with her teasing him about Padma. She really is becoming a friend this season with him.

Amanda (to Emily, re Victoria): “Looks like you hooked your fish.”

Padma (re Edward Ross): “Why didn’t you tell me he died?”
Nolan: “Because this is the first time I’m hearing of it.”

Padma admitted that she didn’t head home to see a dying relative before her job at NolCorp. Also, why are there six months worth of mail at that company?

Victoria: “Then pray, what do you want?”
Amanda: “I want to know about my mother.”

Daniel: “My parents, they’ve destroyed people. You can’t imagine what they’re capable of.”
Ashley: “I have a pretty good imagination. You can trust me.”

Daniel told Ashley a lot of damaging information about Victoria and Conrad and Victoria tried to bribe Amanda with $100,000 for the journals from last week.

Mystery Woman (to Conrad): “You always have a choice. It’s whether or not you’re able to live with your choices, that’s the question.”

Victoria: “I didn’t take Amanda for a god fearing woman.”
Emily: “She doesn’t fear much.”
Victoria: “Certainly not tardiness.”

It looks like Trey and Kenny are trying to scam Jack and Declan out of the Stowaway if their scenes are anything to go by.

Nolan (re kiss): “Can we try that again?”
Padma: “I think we should.”

Standout music: Azure Ray’s “The Heart Has It’s Reasons”.

Emily: “Too often we become distracted by fear, doubt, our own stubborn hopes and we refuse to listen.”

Chronology: From where “Confidence” left off.

An excellent episode – “Intuition” definitely seemed to push things forward at an interesting pace and while I’m not sure of the whole Initiative plotline, I do like the prominence of Kara within the series and the expansion of Nolan’s personal life. Overall, works for me.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Misfits - Series 4 Airdate Confirmed

Yes, the fourth series of Misfits is finally back on E4 in little more than eight days time and it's definitely all change for the cast with only Joe Gilgun and Nathan Stewart Jarrett being the only non new regulars as both Rudy (x2) and Curtis will be in the fourth series along with newbies, such as telekinesis fella, Finn (Nathan McMullen) and X-Ray vision girl, Jess (Karla Crome).

As for the handsome fella in the cast picture not wearing an orange jumpsuit - well, his name is Alex (Matt Stokoe), he's a barmaid and there's a love triangle of sorts between him, Jess and Finn. Also, according to an interview with SFX magazine with the new cast, we'll learn about Alex's powers and the reasons for his standoffish behaviour throughout the eight part season and this will be a season that also deals with the horsemen of the apocalypse and killer rabbits.

Meanwhile, fresh from his roles in the likes of Being Human and Monroe, Andrew Gower will also be appearing in the series fourth year. According to producer, Matt Stevens, Gower will appear in the fourth episode, playing a character named Jake. No further details have been given about the character but it's nice to see Gower crop up in this show, given how brilliant he was as Cutler this year.

Series 4 Trailer:
Cast Pictures:

Misfits Series 4 airs on E4, Sundays at 10pm from October 28th.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Wizards Vs. Aliens - Series 1 Airdate Confirmed

Yes, the new kids show from Russell T. Davies will air in a similar format of The Sarah Jane Adventures, every Monday and Tuesday (times to be confirmed) at the end of this month and will air for 12 episodes. Below is a synopsis for the first four episodes, Dawn Of The Nekross  and Grazlax Attacks...

Dawn of the Nekross (Part One)

Tom Clarke is hiding a secret - he's a schoolboy wizard! But when the magic-eating alien Nekross arrive on Earth, a battle for survival begins. Tom must use his magical powers to protect his family - but only the school geek, Benny, can help him against the plans of the terrifying Nekross King.

Dawn of the Nekross (Part One)

With his gran trapped in outer space, Tom and Benny must dare to go inside the mystical Chamber to ask the mysterious Randal Moon for help. But with time running out for Ursula, and Tom's dad joining the fight, can even a magical hobgoblin fight an enemy from beyond the Earth?

Grazlax Attacks (Part One)

Tom’s Saturday at Benny’s house becomes a thrilling fight for their lives when the alien Grazlax hunts them down. The two boys must learn to fight together, combining Tom’s magic with Benny’s science, or the Nekross’s savage pet will unfortunately succeed. 

Grazlax Attacks (Part Two)

The Grazlax is out of control! But Tom’s used up all his magic, and Benny’s scientific genius is useless against a creature from beyond the stars. It’s a race against time for both humans and Nekross, as the Grazlax menace continues and grows – but will stopping the rampage help people survive? 

Official Site:

Wizards Vs. Aliens is due to air on CBBC from October 29th.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

My Review of Dexter's 7x03: "Buck The System"

Written by Jace Richdale
Directed by Stefan Schwartz

Dexter: “I want to continue to be honest with you, Deb but I have to be free to be who I am.”
Deb: “It’s a capital offence to be who you are, Dexter.”

To be honest, I wasn’t really all that wowed with this episode, even though there were a string of interesting things that happened in it, it just didn’t really do it for me, story wise. It’s probably going to end up being one of these episodes I may need to watch again at a later date to really appreciate it.

First off all, I really feel that Deb sort of gave in a little too early for my liking when it came to Dexter. Not just with letting him move back to his own place but more with the quick realisation that perhaps there’s a good reason as to why he kills and the people who end up in his slide collection.

The presence of Ray Speltzer, a serial killer who kept slipping through the police cracks almost made it too easy for Deb to finally get where Dexter’s coming from. He made it easy for Dexter to find proof of his own killings of previous victims and Deb herself nearly ended up dying at Ray’s hands when trying to save a girl.

To make it more annoying, Ray managed to actually get away which both Dexter and Deb have another loose cannon around Miami who’ll probably strike at them if they’re not careful. That being said, I do continue to enjoy the dynamic this season between them and I like that while this episode made it clear Deb was beginning to understand Dexter, she didn’t accept his actions either.

Her mistrust of him being alone allowed Dexter to manipulate into getting involved with the Speltzer plotline but it also pushed Dexter into direct contact with Wayne’s ex-girlfriend Hannah McKay and that alone ended being the best and shortest plot of the episode.

I was never a big watcher of Chuck but I do think Yvonne Strahovski’s a good casting choice for Hannah and there certainly seemed to be a little sexual tension between the former criminal and Dexter. In fact I’m wondering if Hannah’s dynamic with Dexter will be more akin to either Lila or Lumen or perhaps a crazy mash up of both. Either way, I can’t wait to see more of the character within the next few weeks.

As for characters I can’t wait to see the back – thank you show for getting rid of Louis so nicely. I loved Dexter ruining Louis by having Masuka learn about the mannequin hand and Jamie learning about the hooker. I had absolutely no sympathy when Louis lost both his job and girlfriend within moments of each other. Given that Louis intended to ruin Dexter, he got exactly what he deserved in that respect.

However as for his death by the hands of Isaak and his men, I still cannot bring myself to feeling a bit bad for Louis. Even before dying, he still managed to drop Dexter in it with Isaak but that might be a good thing in some respects, given that Dexter happens to be unaware of who Isaak actually is and the Russian’s connection to Viktor as well.

I did like Dexter and Isaak’s first meeting in the strip club, both of them sensing that they were there for different reasons compared to other clients. Even though the mobster plot does seem a tad clichéd (even down to the means of Isaak’s ways of charming and threatening a stripper in equal measures), even I’ll admit that Isaak is at the very least a better villain so far than Travis has been. That in of itself is a plus point for this season.

Also in “Buck The System”

Dexter had some killer fantasy moments with a post office worker and Masuka as a means of conveying his frustration of Deb watching him constantly.

Dexter (re Deb): “She’s got me penned in like a caged animal an animal’s never more dangerous than when it’s backed into a corner.”

Maria’s investigations from the first two episodes wasn’t progressed in this one, though I did like her scenes with Deb in this one.

Dexter: “I can promise you if you don’t get off my ass something bad is gonna happen.”
Deb: “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Isaak (to stripper): “He gave me an F, so I pushed him down a flight of stairs. I felt bad about it.”

The stripper that Quinn has been seeing did admit to him that she’s been cosying up to him because of Isaak’s demands. It’s not an interesting plot but Quinn has been less annoying these last two episodes.

Deb: “You knew I was following you.”
Dexter: “I made it easy for you.”

Isaak: “I’m looking for something.”
Dexter: “Aren’t we all?”

Hannah seems to be working both in a nursery and in a hothouse. Angel also seems to be affected by Mike’s killing in a different way too and Wayne’s mother showed Deb some interesting that led them to pursue Hannah for a swab sample.

Dexter: “Dexter’s fine.”
Hannah: “If I were you, I’d stick with Mr Morgan. Please be quick.”

Dexter: “You can’t change the way you think overnight.”
Deb: “I haven’t. I mean I have but I haven’t. I get it, what you do. I hate it but I get it.”

Chronology: Not long from “Sunshine And Frosty Swirl” left off.

Not a bad episode but for one that should’ve felt prominent, “Buck The System” didn’t really grab me compared to the first two episodes this season. Perhaps it really is one that I need to rewatch at a later date.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Being Human - Series 5 Details From SFX

There's only a few weeks left of filming for the fifth series but it seems that SFX have got some interesting spoilers for Being Human.

- First of all, writer wise, Toby Whithouse will be writing 5x01 and 5x06, Daragh Carville will be penning 5x02, Jamie Mathieson will be scribing 5x03, John Jackson's written 5x04 and Sarah Dollard has scribed 5x05.
- The Old Ones are officially done with. There'll be something in the first episode that puts that arc to rest.
- This series will be about the Men In Grey and Captain Hatch (Phil Davis).
- No details revealed about Hal, Alex and Tom surprisingly enough in the interview.

- Phil Davis's Captain Hatch will be in all six episodes of Series 5 and he really is a nasty piece of work or described by Whithouse - "manipulative, obsequious and cruel".
- Mr Rook is also a major player throughout the fifth series as well.
- Episodes 2-5 will have the usual array of guest characters, though no actors were mentioned but knowing this show's penchant for good casting, we can only imagine.
- Despite the episode reduction, Whithouse has insisted that the show's balance between a series arc and stories of the week hasn't been affected.

Being Human's fifth series will air on BBC3 from early 2013.

Skins - Series 7 First Details

Well, it really is official - Skins really is back for a seventh series of three specials, due to be filmed in London and Manchester between October to January and here's what you can expect from the specials ...

'Skins Pure' by Bryan Elsley

Cassie (Hannah Murray) is adrift, alone and invisible in London, trying to make sense of her life. Slowly she realises that someone is following her. Cassie turns towards the unknown. A strange and poignant friendship is carved out of mutual loneliness, but can it survive exposure to the real world?

'Skins Rise' by Jamie Brittain

Cook (Jack O'Connell) has a job delivering drugs to Manchester Revellers. When he is asked to help his employer's girlfriend find a house and finds that he is irresistibly attracted to her, he sets off a train of events which will lead him into a world of savage revenge and a confrontation with his own violent past.

'Skins Fire' by Jess Brittain

Effy (Kaya Scodelario) has a dead end job as a receptionist for a leading London Hedge Fund. But as she stumbles across crucial financial information relating to a troubled deal and embarks on an affair with her wealthy boss, she finds out that she has bitten off more than she can chew. Her flatmate Naomi (Lily Loveless) tries to stop Effy from ruining her life, but Effy cannot be reached; until tragedy strikes.

Thoughts: It's nice to finally have confirmation on who's coming back but I can't be the only somewhat disappointed that nothing from Generation 3 is being represented in these specials. Also, even though I do rate Jack O'Connell as a good actor, I've never been a big fan of Cook and I don't think he's strong enough to carry a special, unlike Effy and Cassie. Still, I am looking forward to seeing these specials and I hope they serve as a good closing chapter to the selected characters. Plus, more Naomi/Emily, which is always a bonus.

Press Release:

Series 7 of Skins will air on E4 from Spring 2013.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Return To Magic

It's been a while but here are some of the programmes I've been watching since the last jumble I did. Warning, some massive spoilers ahead for various programmes.

Downton Abbey: This series hasn't been brilliant but it certainly can deliver a shock or two when it needs to. The death of Sybil in childbirth in Sunday's episode was a great example of that, even if it could be seen a mile off. I've always enjoyed Sybil as a character, so her death definitely had the emotional impact it needed. That aside though, the rest of the series needs something of a kick up the backside. Robert's pompous attitude has gotten increasingly insufferable and the Bates storyline has dragged out a bit too much. On the plus side, the Thomas/Jimmy plotline has potential and Edith has definitely gotten more interesting this series as well.

Glee: Oh, the big break up episode was certainly an interesting one alright and easily the best episode the show has produced this season so far as well. I was sad to see Santana and Brittany end things for now but I am glad that Rachel and Finn really are no more as well. This episode managed to make me dislike the character all over again. Will and Emma seem to be a simple state of limbo and Kurt and Blaine, well I hated the cheating aspect of their storyline but musically, this episode was a belter with the likes of Mine, The Scientist and Don't Speak. As for the new kids, I don't mind them but I'm not as invested in them as the producers want me to be.

Homeland: An excellent return for this series. I was initially a little worried that the show wouldn't be able to sustain the quality of the first year but so far, so very good. Carrie's exploits in Beirut in order to get a contact were gripping to watch, though it's a shame that her relationship with Saul is so strained due to the events of last season. As for Brody's rise in power, it really does seem to be interesting to see what will undo him - Dana knowing more about him than she probably should or his double life crashing around him. I did like the last scene in the second episode when Saul came across an interesting confession as well. And it's also nice that both Irish and UK broadcasters are airing this close to US transmission too.

Merlin: The first two episodes of Series 5 and as good as the episodes were (I really did enjoy the real twist about Arthur's Bane), there's still a feeling that even now the show is treading water. A lot of the Merlin/Arthur scenes, good as they are felt no different to what we've had in the previous four years and Morgana continues to be a raging nutter as well. On the plus, a mostly shirtless Gwaine/Perceival for most of the two parter was nice, Gwen being a clever queen was also good and the arrival of a grown up and quickly knighted Mordred at least gives Merlin a more interesting adversary this year. Makes up for a naff alien looking creature and underused dragons.

Once Upon A Time: Last time I blogged about this show, I was four episodes off completing the first season. Well, I've seen all of them and they were brilliant. The fact that the producers decided to lift the curse so early in the show's lifetime is a ballsy move and if the first two episodes of the second season are anything to go by, it's definitely going to be a good decision. Regina might have regained her powers a little too quickly for my liking but I did like her little epiphany when it came to Henry (whose scenes with David have livened the character up a bit) and Emma/Mary Margaret's scenes in the Enchanted Forest are certainly interesting, the tiny bits we've seen. I'm still also intrigued to learn where August has gone, which fairytale character Dr Whale really is as well as whether or not Gold and Belle can make it as a couple too. This show continues to weave a good spell on me.

Switch: I was going to review this episodically, but I actually don't really have the time to, so I'll do a series overview thing after the first series airs. As first episodes go though, this was great. It set up the main points nicely - the girls dependency on each other to cast any spell, the rival coven at the end, the importance of friendship as well as little bits on each character - Hannah's flight of fancy, travelling wise, Stella's boss from hell, Grace's mother from a lesser hell and Jude's thing with gay men at times. It's a good show, definitely ITV2's equivalent of Being Human (though definitely lighter). So far, I'm definitely sold on this show and pairing it with The Vampire Diaries (I'll get around to see that) is a good move too.

- Being Human US's third season will air on SyFy US from January 14th for thirteeen weeks.
- Shameless will finally end after an 11th series of 14 episodes, due to air in 2013 on Channel 4.
- NetFlix have confirmed that UK viewers will be able to watch the fifth and final season of Breaking Bad.
- Jessica Sanchez has bagged a recurring role on Glee.
- NBC are finalising a deal for an Alice In Wonderland themed series, following the adventures of a woman named Clara (jeez, that name is popular nowadays) who enters Wonderland searching for the Queen known as Alice.
- Richard Harmon has joined the cast of Psycho prequel, Bates Motel, playing a rival to Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore). The series will premiere in 2013 on A&E.
- Clark Gregg will reprise his role as Agent Coulson in the S.H.I.E.L.D. series by Joss Whedon for ABC.
- Matt Bomer will be playing the ex-boyfriend of Andrew Randall's character in The New Normal.
- Neve Campbell will be appearing in Grey's Anatomy for two episodes as Derek's sister.
- Both ABC and the CW are producing Great Expectations pilots. Oh, whatever.

Monday, October 15, 2012

My Review of Revenge's 2x03: "Confidence"

Written by Gretchen J. Berg And Aaron Harberts
Directed by J. Miller Tobin

Emily: “Takeda, I thought he didn’t send you.”
Aiden: “He’s lost faith, I’m here to restore it so sooner or later you’re gonna have to start trusting me again. So, are you gonna take the head or feet?”

Probably a poor question to ask but after two episodes of brief moments, this was a nice episode to explore the dynamic between Emily and (is he supposed to be Australian or what?) Aiden and you know what? Even though Barry Sloane’s acting is far from amazing, I actually think he’s my new favourite character on the show.

Aiden might have underestimated Emily’s gratitude in saving her from Gordon Murphy/WHM but she should’ve been a little thankful that he was there to save her from being killed by the assassin. Instead Emily decided to knock Aiden out and dump him in the trash but that was never going to get rid of him, was it?

I wasn’t surprised when it was revealed in flashbacks that Emily and Aiden had a thing along with their own trust issues. Aiden cheated Emily during one task and after pretending to involve her in his own mission, he gave her the slip. I guess for those reasons alone, it does make sense that Emily would be quick to mistrust Aiden.

Personally, I hope he’s genuine. Like Emily, he’s on a similar path to vengeance and we’ve seen him (like Nolan) try and talk her around when she’s gone off the beaten track. Heck, even in this episode his interference with the Graysons seemed to be designed to keep Emily on track with her overall scheming.

Having Amanda going to the Graysons during Victoria’s press campaign about her ‘kidnapping’ was always going to go tits up for Emily. Instead of ripping Victoria’s little world apart, Victoria managed to find a way of keeping everyone in line by pretending to accept a pregnant Amanda and also revealing that Charlotte’s father was David Clarke.

I really do have to admire Victoria’s knack for survival and damage control. The bloody depths she’ll stoop to continue to impress but I also like the fact that both Conrad and Daniel are willing to play her at her own game. Conrad’s swift step with another wedding was a nice way of getting Victoria off guard but Daniel pretending to play nice with his mother does have a lot more potential.

Can I just say I really am enjoying Daniel a little more this season? Even if he can’t escape the carnage of his parents, it’s nice that he was smart enough to take on Emily’s advice in relation to Victoria. I still don’t like him and Ashley as a couple (and she’s had naff all to do so far this season) but overall, he’s definitely going back up in my estimations but then again, so is Charlotte too with her constant attempts to build a relationship with Amanda.

Going down however in my estimations are both Jack and Declan and at this rate, at least one of them is plummeting faster than a speeding bullet. Where’s the nice Jack from the first season because I don’t like this whiny, passive aggressive and slightly controlling jerk we’re getting this season at all?

His issues with the Graysons aside, he had no right to tell Amanda whether or not she can accept a gift from Charlotte and he certainly had no right to be so cold and dump her as well. I really do feel bad for Amanda because for all of her faults she does actually deserve better than Jack. He’s gone from being a nice guy to becoming one of my least favourite characters this year.

As for Declan – what’s up with the stealing? I know Declan’s not always a wise decision maker but then breaking and entering antics with Trey really came out of nowhere to be honest and Jack’s apparent lack of concern made it more disconcerting to watch. Why is it when Charlotte and Daniel improve, both Declan and Jack regress?

As for Nolan, he was a little underused in this episode but I did like his scenes with Emily when she explained more about Gordon and her mother and while I’m not really sold on him and Padma just yet, I do find their scenes interesting enough to watch.

Last but not least – interesting that Aiden managed to make contact with Kara and even more interesting that her and Gordon are in a relationship. I was hoping that we’d see Kara in a present day context but even I was surprised that we got it so soon. However, slick as Aiden may think he is, he might have bitten off more than he can chew with Kara. She’s already managed to suss his cover.

Also in “Confidence”

Why is Takeda so interested in Emily’s agenda? It has to have something to do with the Initiative.

Emily (re WHM): “Why?”
Aiden: “He wanted you dead. I prefer you alive.”

Aiden’s revenge agenda involved his sister. Emily said he failed but does she actually know that for sure?

Victoria (to Emily): “Don’t worry about Conrad, I’ll take care of him in time. I’m more concerned with you first.”

Amanda (to Emily): “I’ve wanted a family my whole life. I’m not jeopardising that for you or anyone else.”

Nolan moved out Emily’s place this week and admitted that things weren’t great with his company. I did love his attempts to explain Emily to Padma though.

Nolan (to Emily, re Aiden): “Why does this keep happening to me? Who is this guy?”

Emily (to Aiden): “Just because you failed to save your sister doesn’t mean I’m gonna fail to find my mother.”

That guy who Declan/Trey stole from – I have a feeling that Jack is going to regret making that offer of help to him.

Emily: “One day I will find a way to thank you.”
Nolan: “Find her. That will be thanks enough.”

Daniel: “No-one in their right mind would choose to live inside this family. I despise her.”
Emily: “Word of advice, keep it to yourself. The only way to beat your mother is to play her game better than she does.”

Standout music: Lord Huron’s “I Will Be Back One Day”.

Victoria: “To my abductors and to anyone who thinks they can harm my family again, make no mistake, you will fail.”

Chronology: From where “Resurrection” left off. We also got some Winter 2008 flashbacks with Emily, Takeda and Aiden in Rebun Island.

In some ways, “Confidence” really delivered as an episode but in others, it had plotlines that maybe would’ve benefitted from being spread out into other episodes (Declan’s in particular). The season is still great so far though, especially with Aiden and Kara’s presence on the show.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Friday, October 12, 2012

My Review of Doctor Who's: "P.S."

Written by Chris Chibnall
Directed by Unknown

Rory (to Brian): "I need you to know. You are the best dad any son could've had."

Well for those of us who wanted some closure on Brian Williams after the impact he had made during his two Series 7 episodes, this unfilmed scene was a nice way of doing it. Brian was the ones who encouraged both Rory and Amy to continue travelling with the Doctor and now he had to learn about them being stuck in the past.

A part of me had hoped that it was going to be the Doctor and River who would tell Brian what happened to his son and daughter in law but the arrival of another Pond/Williams in Anthony was just as good. Yes, the format might have been similar to how Kathy contacted Sally in Blink but don't let that put you off.

Rory's letter was heartfelt and did nicely explain that both him and Amy were living their lives out in the past as best they could do and that's brilliant, right? We might not ever get to see them again but at least they're both happy.

- The letter takes place a week after Amy/Rory last saw Brian in The Power Of Three (some clips of that episode appear at the start of this).
- Rory doesn't directly explain what happened to him and Amy, only that they can't come home.
- Anthony Brian Willams - adopted by Amy and Rory in 1946 and he's also a bit older than Brian himself.
- The scene can be seen on the BBC website itself. Go watch it now.

Chris Chibnall seems to be on something of a roll this year with the amount of input he's had for the series. P.S is a gorgeous, beautiful scene that I really wished had ended up being filmed and included in The Angels Take Manhattan and Arthur Darvill's reading of the scene is wonderful too.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

My Review of Dexter's 7x02: "Sunshine And Frosty Swirl"

Written by Manny Coto
Directed by Steve Shill

Deb: “You have to be completely honest with me. That is the first rule.”
Dexter (to himself): “My new code.”

Yeah, but will it be a code that can last? I really have no idea but I find the idea of Deb attempting to rehabilitate Dexter from killing a rather interesting one. I mean Deb is in an unenviable position here. If she can make this work, it will raise a lot of questions about Harry’s code that haven’t been already raised.

I liked that Deb went through the gamut of emotions in this episode. Dexter admitted to her that he was a serial killer and went further by telling her about his code, Dark Passenger and even Harry’s involvement. These were things that Dexter actually could’ve kept to himself but perhaps he was wise being honest with Deb straightaway about them.

Deb’s reactions were brilliant though and each of them believable as well. She was disgusted with Dexter’s honesty, conflicted about what to do with him legally and also desperate to prevent him from killing again by becoming his guardian of sorts. I think the most interesting thing was Deb not knowing herself if it would work.

She had every right to believe that way, given Dexter’s brutal honesty about his urges to kill and the fact that he came pretty close to actually killing Louis in this episode as well. Personally as pleased as I was that he resisted the urge to kill Louis by calling Deb, a tiny bit of me was disappointed too.

Louis has managed to become one of the most annoying, pathetic and potentially dangerous characters on this show and that’s saying a lot. The fact that his motive for cancelling Dexter’s credit cards was because of the bad review the latter gave over his computer game was ridiculous but the fact that he then got in Dexter’s face after being threatened to keep his distance definitely highlighted that Louis will be a problem if Dexter doesn’t act quickly.

Dexter doesn’t necessarily have to kill Louis but he’s going to have to do something pretty fast in order to neutralise him as a threat. If Louis is vindictive enough to cancel credit cards and invade personal space, then I can only imagine what he’ll attempt to do if he actually becomes privy to what Dexter really planned to do with him in this episode.

That being said though, as annoying/pathetic/potentially dangerous as Louis is, I think I might prefer him to Isaak, George and the rest of these mobsters/strip club owners. I know I’m being hasty but two episodes in and I’m not really finding them all that compelling as villains. They’re not Travis levels of disappointing but apart from killing a blabbermouth bouncer, Isaak will have to step up his game as a villain in order to impress.

I will say however that this whole plot with Kaja/Viktor has given both Angel a certain bite that is working well enough for his character and while Quinn’s storyline with the stripper Nadia is something of a cliché, at least the guy isn’t as head wrecking as he normally tends to be, so plus points there. Plus, it was nice to actually see Quinn mostly act like a professional in this episode as well, given that it’s mostly a rarity for the character.

Also keeping with interesting enough plots, I am loving Maria this season. Even if Dexter is lucky enough to keep Deb onside, he won’t have the same luck with Maria if she can prove that the Bay Harbour Butcher is both a) not Doakes and b) still active. Much as I know what it could mean for Dexter, I kind of want Maria to figure it out.

Also in “Sunshine And Frosty Swirl”

The title comes from an ice cream brand seen in this episode by a convict named Wayne Randall, who was helping the police with a previous crime spree of his own.

Dexter: “I call it my Dark Passenger.”
Deb: “You gave it a name?”

Shouldn’t Jamie be a tad suspicious that Dexter is currently living with his sister about now? She didn’t really seem that fazed in the episode.

Harry (re Deb): “I never wanted her to go through this, Dex.”
Dexter: “Neither did I.”

Dexter: “I don’t think there are clinics for what I’ve got.”
Deb: “We could make one. I could be your clinic.”

Dexter got the mannequin hand and thanks to Masuka, he realised that it was Louis who bought it and sent it to him. Louis has also previously ruined a former employer by using child pornography.

Deb: “Are you seeing blood now?”
Dexter: “Nope, just spaghetti.”

Louis: “I was screwing with you.”
Dexter: “Why?”
Louis: “Because I came to you with help for my game and you said no.”

Wayne Randall gave the impression he was on a mission for redemption but by killing himself at the end of the episode, it turned out he was lying.

Dexter (re Deb): “She’s my sister. Also my boss.”
Wayne: “Congratulations, you just redefined hell.”

Dexter: “I’m never gonna be normal, Deb.”
Deb: “Yeah, none of us really are.”

Chronology: From where “Are You?” left off.

Unusual title aside, “Sunshine And Frosty Swirl” definitely delivered as an episode, although there are times so far this season, when it seems to be a two hander with Dexter and Deb. I’m not complaining though because so far, it’s definitely an improvement on the previous year.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Doctor Who - Series 7B Filming

It's been a while since we've had a proper filming report for Doctor Who and now, some new pictures have emerged of filming from an upcoming episode with Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman.

First of all the episode being filmed is a Steven Moffat one (the first one to air in 2013) and it's one with the rumoured title of The Bells Of St John, though whether or not that title will stick remains to be seen. It seems that in the Christmas special, Clara will be revealed as a governess while in this episode, she's an au pair. Take into account that Oswin was a Junior Entertainment Manager and I'm sensing a theme here with the new girl.

The Doctor is seen working on a robot here, one that seems to the main antagonist (or part of it) for the episode and this exchange between the Doctor and Clara has also emerged ...

Doctor: I like your house!
Clara: It’s not mine - I just work there.
Doctor: Oh, yes! You look after the children, you’re a governess! Just like - Um. Just like…
Clara: Just like what?
Doctor: Just like I thought you would be … ! But this isn’t exactly a career choice, why here?
[Cut for more.  The scene gets more spoilery of the episodes plot after this]
Clara: Well, my Mum died, I had no ties, no plans, so why not?
Doctor: People always have plans.
Clara: What’s your plan?
Doctor: It’s the internet. Wifi. There’s wifi everywhere around us. We are living in a wifi soup. But, imagine. If there was something in it. Something living in the wifi. Harvesting human minds, copying them, editing them. A million souls, trapped like flies in the World Wide Web, all crying out.
Clara: Isn’t that basically Twitter?
Doctor: Yes. Sentient Twitter! Hold on… (inaudible) … And you just made a joke about Twitter?!
[Something happens behind them]
Clara: Is it the wifi? Is the wifi switching the lights on?
Doctor: No, the people are switching on the lights. The wifi is switching on the people!
Doctor: You and me - in the box! Now!
Clara: What? Together? Why?
Doctor: You’ll understand once we’re inside.
Clara: I bet I will!
Doctor: [shocked] Clara! Please!
Clara: Why do you have a box anyway? What’s in there?
Doctor: Clara! … [whispers] Clara, look… behind you!
BOOM. BOOM. BOOM. BOOM. [Director shouts this, as The Doctor and Clara look to different areas. A shadowed man is standing in the distance.]
Clara: What are they?
Doctor: A walking base station. You saw it earlier.
Clara: I saw a little girl.
Doctor: Of course! Active camouflage! They drew an image from your subconscious and bounced it right back at you! … In the box, now!

So, definitely sounds like an interesting episode and nice to see a contemporary one too as most of Clara's episodes that have been filmed so far seem to be historical ones. I just cannot wait to see our new TARDIS team in action now.

Filming Tweets 1:

Doctor Who returns on Christmas Day and in 2013.

Monday, October 08, 2012

My Review of Revenge's 2x02: "Resurrection"

Written by Sallie Patrick
Directed by David Grossman

Conrad: “So, it’s true. Even the devil himself didn’t want you.”
Victoria: “The only devil here is you.”

Never mind the devil, even Cersei Lannister would probably blush if she knew about Victoria Grayson or perhaps, secretly high five her. The one thing I continue to like about this show is how things like Victoria faking her death aren’t dragged out for long but even when she revealed herself to Conrad, she made damn sure it was to her advantage.

I knew that Victoria would resort to outing herself given that Conrad had managed to seize Charlotte’s inheritance but even I was mildly repulsed by the cruel way she actually rejected Charlotte initially before getting Conrad to beat her up in order to fake a kidnapping. Victoria stopping to these kinds of levels are surprising but they do continue to highlight the lengths she’ll happily go to get what she wants from anyone.

For now, I can see why Conrad would go along with her fake kidnapping scheme. It benefits him to keep her sweet for the time being but it won’t last. Conrad might have tried to save her life the night that other plan crashed but I don’t doubt he’ll try and come up with his own way to either keep Victoria in line or get her out of the picture and it should be rather interesting to see how that will ultimately play out.

Of course, Victoria’s miraculous resurrection back into the public eye couldn’t have come at a worse time for Emily. She was this close to succeeding in snatching Charlotte away from the Graysons but at the same time, even Emily’s realistic enough to realise that her best chance about learning what really happened to Kara now lies in having Victoria around.

I was kind of sad to see WHM getting killed off in this episode but seeing as Victoria had betrayed him and Aiden ended up killing him to save Emily, I’ll somehow cope. From the cryptic manner in which he was with Emily prior to attacking her, I think it’s a pretty safe bet that Kara is alive and more than likely, Victoria knows exactly where she is too. Emily really is going to have tread carefully with this one.

For the most part, Charlotte does trust her but Victoria never has and the ‘peace’ between them won’t last long if Daniel somehow gets wind of what his mother was really up to for the last few month. Needless to say, Emily will have to find the right of getting the right information on Kara but hopefully we won’t have to wait too long for it ourselves.

I did like the flashbacks with Kara in this episode. The ones with David last year were pretty good with the general plot and explaining Emily’s actions as a whole and it seems that the writers are similarly adept with making Kara’s moments in this episode matter. The dream sequence in the car with Amanda was nicely done but the scene at the hospital with Victoria and WHM was far better.

I honestly believe (until proven otherwise) that unlike David, Kara is actually alive and it was pretty bad to see how much pleasure Victoria seemed to be taking in trying to shatter whatever faith Kara had left in David. I did like that Kara didn’t seem to believe Victoria though. Not that I thought she would but it was a nice move nonetheless. Still though, I do actually hope we get to see a present day Kara before Christmas 2012 though.

As for the rest of the episode – Nolan really does need to get more. If Emily’s trying to push him into getting a life, then perhaps it’s a good thing in a way. I’m not sure if I like the upcoming romance between him and Padma but I’m an open minded sort of guy and she did seem like an okay character, so I’ll keep an open mind. Still, I’m not sure if it’s a good idea for him to be hiring her as his CFO at NolCorp though.

As for the arrival of Aiden in the Hamptons – that guy moved at an impressive pace. He was already at a meeting with the Graysons and he managed to save Emily’s bacon from WHM as well. Two episodes and I actually like him a lot. Of the new characters we’ve gotten so far, he seems to be the one who works brilliantly.

In slightly less interesting stories, I’m not sure I really care about Declan’s new subplot with posh mate Trey but it was marginally better than the paternity thing with Jack and Amanda. It was cold on Emily’s part to let Amanda believe that Jack wasn’t the father of her baby when he actually is (and that’s what Jack believed too) but I did like the scene where Emily had Charlotte and Amanda bonding with each other. Emily’s feelings for Charlotte seem to be changing a lot now. She’s definitely becoming protective of her, even if Charlotte is another tool in Emily’s true agenda.

Also in “Resurrection”

Madeleine Stowe’s name was put back in the opening credits for this episode.

Kara: “Come on, my voice isn’t that bad.”
Amanda: “Daddy said you were sick.”
Kara: “I’m all better now that I’m with you.”

Nolan’s company definitely seems to be in some financial trouble, which definitely explains his reluctance to find somewhere new to live in.

Nolan: “This is why you should never fall asleep watching horror movies.”
Emily: “I fell asleep monitoring Victoria.”
Nolan: “Exactly.”

Nolan: “What now, revenger?”
Emily: “Let the punishment fit the crime. Victoria took my mother away from me. It’s time I took her daughter from her.”

WHM’s name was revealed as Gordon Murphy and Victoria/Charlotte had gotten fake passports under the names of Veronica and Samantha Clarke.

Amanda (re Jack): “He doesn’t keep secrets from me.”
Emily: “Oh yeah, that’s your role in the relationship.”

Nolan: “Are you hearing this, Ems?”
Emily: “Is Victoria’s heart still beating?”
Nolan: “Was it ever?”

Ashley’s been spying on Daniel for Conrad and even that’s something she can’t do right. I did like Daniel stepping up for Charlotte though by giving her his trust fund.

Nolan: “You look different in 3D.”
Padma: “We all do. Something you’d know if you came to the office occasionally.”

Gordon: “What the hell? Who did this?”
Victoria: “You did and if I were you, I’d start running right about now.”

Standout music: Kara singing (not so well) INXS’s “Never Tear Us Apart” at the start of the episode.

Conrad (re Victoria): “It’s amazing what this woman can endure.”
Emily (to herself): “Son of a bitch.”

Emily: “For those who believe in the resurrection, death is inconsequential.”

Chronology: Over two months since the events of “Reckoning”.

“Resurrection” was a slightly better episode than the opening but two episodes in and this season seems to be on fine form. Perhaps it will avoid that difficult second album syndrome that so many hit series have had to deal with in recent years.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Friday, October 05, 2012

True Blood - Season 6 First Casting Announced

Well, we might have less episodes (only 10 instead of 12) and production might be halted until January but the first piece of important casting for the upcoming sixth season of True Blood has been announced ...

Rutger Hauer will be a regular in the upcoming season of the HBO drama, playing the role of Macklyn, who has a big connection to Sookie and Jason. Why do I get the feeling that he's going to be the 'Niall' of the series? There's also a character called Ben, a Southern gentlemen with a dark side who has yet to be cast as well as the roles of Texan governor and his daughter. Either way, this is a good start to a season that should hopefully be more focused than it's last one.

Season 6 Casting:

True Blood's fifth season is currently airing Mondays at 10pm on FXUK while the sixth season will premiere on HBO in Summer 2013.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

My Review of Dexter's 7x01: "Are You?"

Written by Scott Buck
Directed by John Dahl

Deb: “Are you ... are you a serial killer?”
Dexter: “Yes.”

Now there’s how you do a great cliff-hanger moment. Okay, so when Deb caught Dexter ending Travis, it should’ve maybe dawned on her straightaway that he’s got form for the killing but it took pretty much all of this episode and remembering past events in order to face a rather ugly reality.

Deb has always had a massive faith and trust in Dexter that she hasn’t with other people in her life and even after catching him kill Travis, she wanted to desperately believe that it was a moment of temporary insanity and I think that was why she compromised herself by actually helping Dexter burn the church down in order to make Travis’s death look like a suicide.

I was a little disappointed that Deb actually went along with Dexter’s plan to solve the Travis problem but I wasn’t actually surprised that she did either. Deb really wanted to believe Dexter but unfortunately for her, everything else in this episode forced her to confront the truth about her brother in a big way.

I liked that Deb had noticed everything – Dexter’s attire, the collection of knives, the plastic wrapping and the way she linked it back to her own horrifying experiences with the Ice Truck Killer/Brian Moser. It certainly made the last scene of this episode pop even more than it was going to anyways.

Deb doing her own investigating, finding Dexter’s knives and then confronting him with the dangerous question was a brilliant moment of tension. Dexter actually admitting to it in the end that he was a serial killer was a shocker too but at the same time, he had to have known there was no way out of this.

Deb caught him in the act with Travis, had been grilling him throughout the episode and in the end, Dexter had to admit defeat on this one. Now that Deb really does know her brother’s true nature, it is going to be interesting to see where their dynamic goes from here. As long as the annoying incest angle from last season is dropped to, that would also be a great thing.

Of course, the most interesting about this episode was that even after being confronted by Deb on his actions, Dexter still couldn’t resist a kill either. Killing the likes of Viktor Baskov showed that even Deb being aware of his actions isn’t going to halt him from actually carrying them out, not that I thought it would do.

I really liked Enver Gjokaj from Dollhouse and I was pleased with him cast as Viktor but the character wasn’t a particularly interesting guest character. Yes, he killed a poor stripper and he seems to be working for a bigger villain in Isaak but we’ve seen too many characters like Viktor that as a baddie, he didn’t really stand out in a significant way.

Of course, Dexter did rather unwisely ignore Viktor’s threats of repercussions over being killed (before asking Dexter to get it over with – a first for a victim on this show?). I supposed that does probably mean that Dexter will have more to worry about than Deb as soon as Isaak makes his way into the United States. Ray Stevenson is a good casting choice for the show. I just hope that after last season being disappointing with Travis that Isaak will be a better villain for the series.

Speaking of villains – can Louis just end up in one of Dexter’s slide collections now please? The fact that he got annoyed after Dexter rightly got pissed off with him for using his computer with permission was ridiculous and his attempts of messing with Dexter’s accounts as well are also bizarre. I just hope this storyline actually goes somewhere interesting before long.

Also in “Are You?”

The cast credits are still the same but with Ray Stevenson mentioned as a special guest star.

Dexter: “I snapped.”
Deb: “You snapped? What the fuck does that mean?”

Harry’s flashbacks this week involved him stopping Deb from owning a dog in fear of Dexter killing it. Poor Deb yet again.

Dexter: “How does this look?”
Deb: “Pretty fucking weird.”
Dexter: “Exactly.”

Dexter (to Harrison): “It’ll all be okay.”

Maria found a blood slide at the scene of Travis’s death and Masuka made the link back to Bay Harbour Butcher or Doakes as everyone else assumes. Now, this could be a good story arc for Maria this year.

Deb: “This doesn’t feel right.”
Dexter: “I know it doesn’t, Deb. I never meant to get you involved in any of this.”

Deb (to Angel/Quinn): “Hey, we do everything by the book. We’re cops, not killers.”
Dexter (to himself): “But being a killer would feel so very good right now.”

Mike ended up being a casualty thanks to Viktor. It’s a shame because I enjoyed him as a character. Why couldn’t have been Quinn instead?

Deb: “I’m sorry for all the questions, Dexter. I’m trying to make sense of all this.”

Dexter (to himself): “It never matters your destination. The smart traveller must be prepared to make last minute adjustments.”

I noticed that Viktor’s actual birthday matched Enver Gjokaj’s as well. Was that a happy coincidence or totally intentional?

Quinn: “I’m a sensitive guy.”
Angel: “I’ve lost two wives and countless girlfriends and somehow I manage to keep my shit together.”

Harry (to Dexter): “Son, your mother and I aren’t gonna be around forever. Someday, Deborah will be you have left. You don’t want to lose her, do you?”

Chronology: From where last season’s finale left off.

“Are You?” was a good way of opening the season and definitely a better episode that most of what we got last year. It is going to be interesting to see the shift in the Dexter/Deb dynamic and I do hope this European gangster plot with Isaak, George, etc is a worthwhile storyline but so far, this year does look good.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

My Review of Revenge's 2x01: "Destiny"

Written by Mike Kelley And Mark B. Perry
Directed by Kenneth Fink

Emily: “Some say that to believe in destiny is to dismiss the role of free will but self determination cannot prevail in the presence of fate.”

Yeah, when it comes to destiny, I do believe you have to make a lot of your own and seeing as Emily has been deciding the destinies of many of the people that have wronged her family, it seems that she must do as well to a degree.

Last season was all about avenging the father, this one seems to be more about avenging the mother. If this show gets a third run, it’ll be interesting to see who else in the Clarke family needs to be avenged but I did like the change in David flashbacks for ones of Kara Wallace Clarke.

First of all, the casting choice in Jennifer Jason Leigh is a pretty good one and while she didn’t especially have a lot to do, we were given enough to see why Emily will continue her path of vengeance for another 22 episodes. Also, I am not surprised that once again, the Graysons are responsible for someone’s undoing.

It might not have been them who placed Kara in the Angel Of Mercy hospital but it was certainly Victoria who was paying secret visits to Kara and also Victoria who more or less put Kara in the firing line around the same time that Conrad had placed David in it too. The Graysons really do know how to keep it in the family when it comes to ruining people.

I’m going to assume the possibility that Kara is perhaps alive somewhere, given that David definitely seems to be dead and that probably Victoria and our White Haired Man know her whereabouts. Emily and Nolan didn’t waste time in planting a bug in Victoria’s new digs and the ending at least gave Emily a heads up she previously didn’t have with WHM.

Victoria being alive was hardly that much of a shock to the system, especially given that the producers themselves didn’t make much of an effort in teasing it out but at least Lydia is no more and a case to undo Conrad is still being built against him while he does his best to gain control over Charlotte’s inheritance.

Victoria faking her death made sense to me, given what she’s currently attempting to accomplish but what I found interesting was the fact that she confided in Charlotte that she was alive and that the latter then mentioned it to Emily after being framed for taking drugs when she didn’t.

I kind of like a lot of the reversals in this episode compared to last season. For instance, Victoria confiding in Charlotte instead of Daniel is as interesting as Daniel and Conrad butting horns with each other over money, Victoria and women like Ashley and Emily and also how Emily is spending this season getting closer to Charlotte rather than Daniel. It’s all definitely very interesting to watch.

That being said, while Conrad’s campaign to keep Charlotte confined to rehab also makes a good amount of sense (given what he’s trying to achieve), it does seem a little too cold even for him. He’s usually been able to get Charlotte on side in the past – I guess with the world believing that Victoria is dead, it’s harder for him to do so anymore.

Another interesting aspect of the opening episode as well was Emily’s continued training with Takeda and new guy Aidan. While I wished they had kept the previous actor playing Takeda in the role, I do actually like Aidan enough as a character and I’m looking forward to seeing how his back story evolves over the course of the season as well as his motives for wanting to keep Emily on track with her own mission, changeable as that has become.

Of course, not everything in this episode worked well. My misgivings about the series perhaps becoming too conspiracy like for it’s own good aside, I can’t decide which couple I found more boring to watch – Jack and Amanda or Daniel and Ashley? It’s a boredom made more painfully obvious when all four characters have more spark with Emily than with each other as well (particularly as Emily/Amanda are slightly more hostile with each other). Hopefully their plots improve within the next few episodes.

Also in “Destiny”

Madeleine Stowe’s name was kept from the opening credits in order to surprise her return. I’m glad the show didn’t drag it out.

Jack: “Watch it.”
Declan: “I am watching it and I don’t like what I see.”

The episode opened with the Amanda boat being sunk and a dead body discovered. I guess we have this year’s Fire & Ice.

Charlotte (to Conrad): “What would be too much would be losing a second chance to honour her. I already missed mom’s funeral, don’t take this away from me too.”

Aidan: “Amanda.”
Emily: “Don’t call me that.”
Aidan: “I’m not the enemy.”

Declan doesn’t seem to like Amanda all that much and it seems that Takeda has been training her to be Emily’s ally. Emily might have made a mistake in planting the idea of Jack getting Amanda to do a paternity test though.

Conrad: “Five o’clock already?”
Daniel: “Somewhere, like you taught me.”

Emily: “Only two people can answer that question. I need to get close to the Graysons again.”
Nolan: “Good luck with that after you broke poor Spaniel’s heart.”

Conrad seemed to imply that Ashley is cheating on Declan while Charlotte’s doctor is also under his payroll and making Charlotte’s life impossible. He found the burner phone Victoria gave her.

Amanda: “I knew you wouldn’t stay away.”
Emily: “How could I when we have so much to talk about?”

Takeda (to Aidan): “If you fail, the mission is over for both of you.”

Nice echoes of the memorial service with Emily/Ashley’s meeting mirroring the same between Emily/Victoria from the “Pilot” as well as having Dominik’s Unfinished painting auctioned off.

Jack: “What do you want me to do?”
Declan (re Amanda): “Tell her you’re not in love with her.”

Victoria (to Emily): “What in the hell are you doing here?”

Nolan taking up boxing, weight training and karate to defend him was nice. Calling himself “Southpaw” made me laugh and he also has his own home in escrow, which kind of sounds suspicious. Plus, he planted a Clam Cam in Victoria’s cabin.

Jack: “If I could go back in time.”
Emily: “But you can’t. We can’t.”

Victoria: “I’m not sure I deserve this kindness from you.”
Emily: “I’m just so happy you’re alive.”

Standout music: “Into The Black” by The Chromatics at the end of the episode.

Emily (re Graysons): “What they did to my father, they did to my mother too.”
Nolan: “And now they’re coming for you.”
Emily: “Good, let them.”

Chronology: Months from the events of “Reckoning”, given that both Emily and Victoria have been regrouping for different reasons.

As an opening episode, “Destiny” certainly kicked things off to an interesting place. It’ll be interesting to see what other twists and turns this show can provide for Emily’s ongoing saga against the Graysons but it does need to make sure it doesn’t become too convoluted for it’s own good though.

Rating: 8 out of 10