Monday, September 30, 2013

My Review of Atlantis's 1x01: "The Earth Bull"

Written by Howard Overman
Directed by Justin Molotnikov

Hercules: “Whoever heard of a hero called Jason?”

Okay, let’s get some basics out of the way first, shall we? If you’re looking for a historically accurate show about Greek mythology, you’re going to have to avoid this one like the plague. It’s going to play fast and loose and pretty much merge various myths and do some rewriting of it’s own. In other words, not quite unlike it’s predecessor Merlin there.

Leading to the second bit – the comparisons between this show and it’s predecessor are hard to ignore and watching this episode will certainly give you a sense of déjà vu or whiplash, depending on your levels of patience. Aside from that, this was actually a decent enough start to what the BBC are hoping will be another success story for them in terms of Saturday night tea time dramas.

Jason himself (Jack Donnelly) pretty much enters the show by being from the present day, going down into the ocean in a submarine in a quest to find his father’s wreckage and then gets transported to the mythical city of Atlantis. Once he’s there and getting into scrapes, he’s also making friends with both Pythagoras (Robert Emms) and Hercules (Mark Addy) respectively.

The dynamic between the three is certainly played for laughs with moments of seriousness as both Pythagoras and Hercules seemed to be at odds with Jason staying with them while the former and Jason then ended up saving Hercules from deserting the city on the night before being forced to pick between being spared or sacrificed to the Minotaur itself. Again, best not to expect historical accuracy here folks.

The Minotaur plot is an oddity for this opening episode. Personally I’m not bothered that it’s being reworked so that Jason, Pythagoras and Hercules are the ones facing it but despite all the hype with the black (sacrifice) and white (spared) stones, the Minotaur itself was actually dispatched with too quickly and only served to add some more mystery into Jason being in Atlantis in the first place.

I have to give the episode credit for not wasting time in revealing some stuff, thanks to the Oracle. While I hope Juliet Stevenson is given more weighty material as the series progresses I did like that the Oracle informed Jason that he was originally from Atlantis and that many people will try to kill him if they realise who he actually is. I guess we’re going to have to wait a little longer before finding out who his parents are though.

When the episode wasn’t dealing with various prophecies, discussions on destiny and Minotaurs, we also got to see the rulers of Atlantis as well. Pasiphae (Sarah Parish) definitely seems to be the tyrant of the bunch compared to her husband (Alexander Siddig) while Ariadne (Aiysha Hart) seemed more sympathetic to the civilians’ plight with the Minotaur while barely concealing her attraction to Jason.

None of the characters aside from the three leads – Jason, Pythagoras and Hercules seem to be drawn out just yet but it’s the first episode and there are twelve more to see how layered the likes of the Oracle, Minos, Pasiphae, Ariadne and by next week, Medusa will be. Hopefully the show won’t let us down on that front.

In terms of the friendship between Jason, Pythagoras and Hercules, it’s clearly going to be the heart of the show and the dynamic between Jason and Pythagoras in particular will inevitably drawn comparisons to Merlin and Arthur. Though whether or not it will be as hyped as theirs was remains to be seen. I think it will be a success though.

Also in “The Earth Bull”

Jason’s necklace was the symbol seen in the Oracle’s temple and guess what the submarine was named as well? Ariadne also gave him hers to guide him in the Labryrinth as well.

Pythagoras: “You’re in Atlantis.”
Jason: “Atlantis? As in the lost city of Atlantis?”

Amazing how Jason wound up naked and there was a set of clothes handy for him to change into upon his arrival to Atlantis.

Jason: “You’re the triangle guy.”
Pythagoras: “How did you know I’ve been thinking about triangles?”

The Oracle (to Jason): “You have many enemies here in Atlantis. You must tell no-on that you’ve journeyed through the gateway.”

In case you were wondering – Pythagoras/Jason have been given the name of Python.

Pythagoras: “They’ve released the hunting lions.”
Jason: “Hunting lions? Who the hell has hunting lions?”

Pasiphae: “How dare you question your father! You bring shame on your family.”
Ariadne: “It is not I who bring shame.”

This episode managed to pull in over five million viewers for BBC1 during the weekend. It’s a good start, hopefully they can keep it going.

Ariadne: “Do you believe you can succeed where so many have failed?”
Jason: “I cannot explain it but it was as if for the first time in my life I am absolutely certain of what I must do.”

The Oracle: “The earth bull has been slain.”

Chronology: Present day for about two minutes before Ancient Greece of course.

As an opening episode goes, “The Earth Bull” won’t go down as the most innovative of introductions and perhaps the over familiarity of certain tropes from Merlin will not work in the series favour but I plan to stick with Jason and the gang at least for the next few months.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Soap Discussion - September 2013

Penultimate blog of the month, so here goes ...

Coronation Street: The show is in a great place at the moment with it's storylines. Hayley's ongoing battle with cancer and her determination to complete a bucket list of things (including getting Roy to drive) has been both touching and amusing in parts. Other great storylines this month has included wrapping up Karl's general plot as he was finally exposed (September seemed to be a month for this in soaps) and David having to deal with the consequences of nearly trying to kill Nick. Overall, a great month for the show.

EastEnders: Not the worst month going but hardly the show at it's best either. Ronnie's return, Peggy's brief appearance and David Wicks showing up to interrupt both Carol and Masood were the highlights because honestly, everything else sucked here. I don't care about Alfie, it's hard to be bothered about Tamwar and Alice and Carl continues to be a rather unconvincing baddie as well. Maybe the critics are reveling a bit too much in taking the show down a notch but it's hard to deny that it's in need of an overall. Various axings and characters returns aren't enough - it's better writing/plotting that is overall needed here.

Emmerdale: I liked this month but mainly Cameron finally being exposed as a murderer and getting his comeuppance and as for Steve being exposed as a creep and having to leave the village after he caused devastation with Bernice, Nicola and Jimmy - good stuff, though I think they could've gotten a bit more mileage with the character. Also the fallout of Rhona's pill addiction and Amy reuniting with her son by deceiving his adopted grandmother had it's moments as well.

Hollyoaks: An okay month here - Will killing Anna, Fraser getting more prominent, the Darren reveal and Browning getting his comeuppance all had their hit and miss moments. The show is still great but there are too many moments where it can feel like whiplash at times, especially given the recent fire set by Freddie and the obvious connection made between Fraser and Clare as well. The Roscoes and the Osbournes did seem to be the dominating families of the month and there has been some good fallout with them as well.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Doctor Who - Series 7 Minisodes Review

Okay, so we're got an interesting conundrum - Series 7 of Doctor Who is finally released on DVD completely and it's got extras but it's only been released in the US since Tuesday. UK and Irish viewers have to wait until next month to get their hands on it and this is the cover we get ...

The set includes every episode from The Doctor, The Widow And The Wardrobe up to and including The Name Of The Doctor, along with four episode commentaries (The Snowmen, Cold War, Hide and The Crimson Horror), behind the scenes videos, episode prequels, the Good As Gold/Pond Life minisodes, a Creating Clara feature and several BBC America features focusing on companions, science and Comic-Con to name a few. Plus these three scenes which have leaked online ...

Minisode 1: Clara And The TARDIS (Steven Moffat)

Clara (to herself): You think you've got problems? We've got to share a bed.

Steven Moffat certainly loves to revisit a trope and while that tends to generate a certain level of derision from some fans, can you really complain when it's confined to a tiny scene? Well, it might not stop some fans but this little gem is a lot of fun, even if it rethreads old ground such as multiple Claras (holograms I think) and Clara getting a crash course in some of the previous occupants in the TARDIS (her reaction to Amy alone is amusing). It's also a nice reminder that the TARDIS doesn't actually like Clara all that much either as she takes great pleasure in annoying the current Miss Oswald. Good fun, though not for Clara of course, 8/10.

Minisode 2: Rain Gods (Steven Moffat)

River (to the Doctor): We should be burning on the stake right now. It's lucky for you you're pretty.

For those of you hoping that we'd get another appearance from River Song, well I hope you liked this one. Clearly it's set between The Angels Take Manhattan and The Name Of The Doctor and more to the point, it's a scene that originally featured Amy and Rory when it was intended for The Doctor's Wife. It's a fun scene where the Doctor and River nearly get sacrificed to the Rain Gods before they're saved by lightning and head back into the TARDIS. The married couple bickering actually worked pretty well in the scene's favour too, 7/10.

Minisode 3: The Inforarium (Steven Moffat)

Info Man: Who the hell are you?
Doctor: How could you forget? I’m the Doctor, and this is the Inforarium…

Has anyone wondered how the Doctor managed to delete all the information about himself in the universe? It's one of  few things Steven Moffat seems intent on answering before the Doctor regenerates into his Twelfth form and here we get the answer - the inforarium. It's a place with all top notch info on the Doctor that the hapless guards have been giving to his enemies and without barely blinking, the Doctor quickly deletes by following the Silence's example. It's probably the weakest of the three minisodes but entertaining enough though, 6/10.

Series 7 Minisodes:

Doctor Who - The Complete Seventh Series is out now for US buyers and will be available for UK/Irish buyers from October 28th. The Day Of The Doctor airs on November 23rd for both BBC1 and BBCAmerica.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

American Horror Story: Coven - Cast Pictures/Character Details

With only less than a fortnight to go, FX have finally released some cast shots and character details from American Horror Story: Coven. Without further ado, here they are ...

Fiona Goode (Jessica Lange): A Supreme Witch in the series, a mentor to some of the new witches in the series and the mother of ...

Cordelia Foxx (Sarah Paulson): Fiona's daughter and possibly a witch herself, though not confirmed yet.

Madame Delphine LaLaurie (Kathy Bates): based on a real person, LaLaurie is a socialite, serial killer and rival to Fiona. Brought to modern times in the series.

Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett): A Supreme Voodoo queen who is working with Fiona to bridge the gaps between the magic rivalries.

Spalding (Denis O'Hare): A butler at Miss Robichaux's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies and also a mute.

Joan Ramsay (Patti Lupone): Another adversary for Fiona and also a character who has lost a husband in mysterious circumstances.

Myrtle Snow (Frances Conroy): Not much is known about this character at the moment.

Misty Day (Lily Rabe): A rumoured to be prominent character in the new series, it's also rumoured that Misty is a witch.

Zoe Benson (Taissa Farmiga): One of the main young witch characters in the school that Fiona is running. Zoe is also harbouring a dark secret secret and gets romantically involved with ...

Kyle Spencer (Evan Peters): A frat boy who develops a crush on Zoe. Has been described as a bit of a Romeo as well.

Nan (Jamie Brewer): A recurring character/witch at the school for exceptional girls and also described as enigmatic.

Madison Montgomery (Emma Roberts): Another recurring character/witch, she is also described as a party girl and teen pop star.

Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe): Another witch at the school and described as a tough girl.

Overall, not the most descriptive of character details but certainly enough to keep us going and with the exceptions of both Spalding and Kyle, this is definitely going to be the most female centred television for the next few months.

Season 3 Promo Posters:
Season 3 Title Sequence:

American Horror Story: Coven airs Wednesdays at 10pm on FX from October 9th and will premiere on FOX for UK viewers in the same month.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Batman: Gotham Origins Pilot Commissioned

With the likes of Smallville and Arrow being massive successes over the past decade, could it be that we're finally getting some live action Batman TV series after all? Well, kind of.

It seems that FOX (what, not the CW this time?) have landed the rights to Gotham from Bruno Heller (Rome, The Mentalist). The pilot, which has the potential for a series will actually focus on Commission Gordon (who is unlikely to be played by Gary Oldman) and will explore his origins along with some of the city's most infamous of villains.

However the show if picked up will not feature Batman himself. The Caped Crusader as the show will be more focused on the younger years of Gordon but if the show is a success, I wouldn't rule out seeing Batman at some point. I hope this series takes off.

Press Release:

I'll post more information when it becomes available.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Glee - Season 5: Beatlemania, Proposals & More

Yes, that means there's some spoilers as we get closer and closer to airing of Glee's fifth season for both US and UK viewers.

I've looked around and so far I have not managed to find any prominent cast shots for the upcoming fifth season or any individual ones of the characters. I do hope that FOX intend to release some fairly soon but until now, here's one (including the late Cory Monteith as Finn) until I can find some.

Here's a nice picture of Darren Criss (Blaine), Jacob Artist (Jake), Blake Jenner (Ryder) and Chord Overstreet (Sam) as opening episode, Love, Love, Love is focusing big time on Beatlemania. Various songs that will be performed in the episode (which is getting it's own album - no surprises there) include Help (Blaine/Sam), Go To Get You Into My Life (Blaine/Kurt) and Yesterday (Rachel) to name a few but there are more than will be spread out over the second episode, Tina In The Sky With Diamonds.

Songs in that episode will include Santana and Dani (Demi Lovato, playing the former's love interest this season) perform Here Comes The Sun. Other spoilers for the upcoming season include a resolutuion to Blaine's attempted proposal to Kurt, Sue returning to McKinley in a new role, the return of Roz, the departure of Emma, a new mean girl in Bree (Erinn West), a love interest for Sam named Penny (Phoebe Strole), Tina bidding for Prom Queen, Rachel and Santana working in a Broadway diner and of course the third episode titled, The Quarterback will be a tribute episode to Finn and actor Cory Monteith before the show goes on break for a bit (it's back in November). Overall, it looks like there's quite a bit will be happening in the first three episodes of the season.

Season 5 Promo:
Season 5 Spoilers:

Glee's fifth season will air Thursdays at 9pm on FOX from September 26th and Fridays at 8pm on Sky1 from October 4th.

Monday, September 23, 2013

My Review of Dexter's 8x12: "Remember The Monsters?"

Written by Scott Buck And Manny Coto
Directed by Steve Shill

Deb (to Dexter): “Remember the monsters?”

Oh boy – I was hoping for so much more here. I knew the writers weren’t bullshitting when they said the last ever episode was going to polarising for viewers but this was something else altogether. Much as I loathe to admit, I can see why there are a load of annoyed viewers right about now and I’m including myself in the mix of them too.

For a show that has ran for eight seasons and had more than enough time to come up with a satisfying ending, you have to wonder what the writers were thinking here. I could handle Deb dying, just about and I certainly wanted to cry when Dexter took her body out of the hospital to dump in the sea but it also pissed me off too.

Deb didn’t deserve to be dumped at sea like many of Dexter’s victims in the last eight years. She deserved a proper funeral where Dexter could visit a grave and where her friends and colleagues could also see her. I think what Dexter (much as I understand it) was rather cruel in a way. Yes, he was guilty for Deb’s ultimate fate and felt terrible for it but dumping her at sea wasn’t the way to honour one of the few people he genuinely loved. Basically, Deb deserved more here and so did we as viewers.

Then there’s Harrison and Hannah. I think Dexter ruined their lives too in his own way. Letting the world believe he was dead was fine and feeling guilty that he might ruin both his son and girlfriend’s lives if he was a part of it, I could believe but ultimately abandoning them in Argentina was another unsatisfying resolution here. I did like that Hannah was able to outsmart Elway but that wasn’t enough for me either.

As for Dexter’s actual fate – a lumberjack in the arse end of nowhere, really? That was the best thing they could’ve come up with him. I think this finale had the misguided intention of trying to have Dexter get away with his crimes but pay some kind of a price (losing Deb, Hannah, Harrison) but instead of satisfying either side of the audiences (those who wanted Dexter to pay and those who wanted him to get away), it failed to satisfy either, myself included.

Having read former show runner Clyde Philips intended ending for the series, I actually think this show should have manned up and killed Dexter off in death row. It might be the more grim alternative but it would’ve given this show a sense of closure that overall this episode lacks in spades and that would’ve gone down better with the audience I think.

As for Saxon though, he managed to finish Deb off completely in the hospital before learning that the pen really was mightier than the sword. Killing Deb should’ve made Saxon more of a memorable villain but overall his scenes felt more like fodder and the fact that both Angel and Quinn witnessed Dexter murdering him and glossed over it just proved that as a final antagonist, Saxon was a disappointment.

Also in “Remember The Monsters”

We got two flashbacks between the third and fourth seasons where Harrison was shortly born and Deb got Dexter to hold him.

Deb: “I thought I was getting what I deserve.”
Quinn: “What you deserve? Why would you think that?”

I’ve never been Quinn’s biggest fan (has anyone really?) but I really felt bad for him in this episode. I think I could’ve gotten used to him and Deb back together had things ended differently.

Dexter: “Deb.”
Deb: “Next word I wanna hear you say is goodbye. Say it already or I’ll crawl out of this bed and kick your ass.”
Dexter: “Goodbye.”
Deb: “See you soon.”

Dexter: “Stay away from me.”
Elway (re Hannah): “Storm’s coming buddy and it’s gonna be real hard to find a way out. Don’t go down with her, Dexter.”

Are there wild penguins in Argentina? I think it’s the most interesting thing from this episode I learned really.

Dexter: “What you’ve actually done is open my eyes. Forced me to look at myself.”
Saxon: “And what do you see?”
Dexter: “A trail of blood and body parts.”

Hannah: “I am happy right now, Dex.”
Dexter: “Me too.”

It’s a shame we didn’t get past character cameos in this episode, wasn’t it?

Dexter: “I destroy everyone I love. I can’t let this happen to Hannah, to Harrison. I have to protect them from me.”

Chronology: From where “Monkey In A Box” left off.

“Remember The Monsters” will succeed in being a memorable series finale for the show but sadly, it will be for the wrong reasons. Maybe in time, people will be kind to it but I also have a feeling in time even the producers themselves will have wished they had given the show a better send off than this.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Thursday, September 19, 2013

My Review of Dexter's 8x11: "Monkey In A Box"

Written by Tim Schlattmann And Wendy West
Directed by Ernest Dickerson

Harry (to Dexter): “I never thought this day would come. You don’t need me anymore.”

It might have taken him nearly four decades of his life but it seems that Dexter Morgan has gone from everyone’s favourite serial killer to a real boy in touch with humanity instead of pretending one existed. I realise that I’m falling into that minority of viewers that has actually enjoyed this season but Dexter’s last scene with Harry felt delightfully cathartic.

Harry and Vogel may have been the ones to have given Dexter his code so he could kill deserving victims and pretend to live a normal life but over the years it’s been Deb, Rita, Cody, Astor, Harrison and even Hannah (polarising as she may be with viewers) who have brought out his humanity.

This was the episode that confirmed what had been become obvious for a while – Dexter’s Dark Passenger is slipping away. It practically fell away with Harry fading out in this episode but perhaps in hindsight, Dexter should’ve just killed Saxon to be safe. It certainly would’ve prevented Deb from being shot by the guy at the very least.

Saxon hasn’t been the best villain this show has ever produced (I don’t think anyone can truly beat either the Ice Truck Killer or Trinity himself) but he did manage to be more effective in this episode. The threat he made on Dexter’s loved ones he lived up to but not just because Dexter made things too hot for him in Miami but because Dexter foolishly spared him.

I suppose this means we’ll get a good confrontation scene with the two of them in the next and last ever episode but Dexter’s personal growth made him reckless with Saxon. If he wasn’t going to kill him, he should’ve at least waited until Deb had back up and the police arrested him. Instead Saxon killed Clayton and left Deb for dead.

This leads me to two other things – will Deb die? Vogel’s death was poignant enough (both Dexter and Deb were affected by it in this episode) but having Deb would certainly be a big thing for Dexter to deal with as well. It could happen in the last episode, it just might not. Maybe, just maybe Dexter will get his happy endings after all.

As for the second bit – Hannah really did leave it until the last minute to get out of dodge, didn’t she? I’m still not sure if both she and Dexter can successfully live a happy life in Argentina or that they even should be allowed to. Both of them could either end up in jail or be killed next week. Either way, at least we won’t have to wait too long to find out now.

Also in “Monkey In A Box”

The second Quinn pulled out that engagement for Deb was the same one where it was obvious that something bad was going to happen to her.

Dexter (re Vogel): “If it weren’t for her -,”
Deb: “- We might have found our way back to each other.”

Further proof of Dexter’s humanity appeared with his genuine upset for Vogel’s death and Angel’s speech at her wake/his leaving do.

Sylvia: “So, why the sudden move?”
Dexter: “Too many memories.”

Deb (re Saxon): “Don’t you want him for yourself?”
Dexter: “I just want him taken care of.”

Sylvia’s appearance was a bit random in this episode but nice enough. I wonder if we’ll see any old faces in the last episode.

Saxon (to Dexter): “You know what it’s like to kill. It can be cathartic and it was. That’s why I’m giving you a choice – go on with yourself or come after me.”

Hannah (re Dexter): “I really love this man.”
Deb: “Me too.”

I loved Dexter and Deb having one last meal together and the two of them teaming up to trap Saxon. The fact that Dexter was willing to let the law take care of him surprised Deb too.

Dexter: “I don’t need to kill you.”
Saxon: “Then don’t. Walk away.”

Chronology: From where “Goodbye Miami” left off.

I know this has been a polarising final season and that in some parts it could’ve been better but as a penultimate episode, “Monkey In A Box” did a great job in hammering home that this really is the end for this show and good or bad, I am going to miss it. This episode however was very good, even if it was reckless in parts too.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wizards Vs. Aliens - Series 2 Press Release

The second series of Russell T. Davies and Phil Ford's magic/science mash up series, Wizards Vs. Aliens is upon and the BBC have given us a taster of what to expect with this press release ...

- First of all the series is back for fourteen episodes, so basically seven stories.
- Tom and Benny will be meeting new Wizards and new Aliens as well.
- Both lads will be facing their greatest challenges so far this series.
- Expect not only to see suburbia and spaceships this series but we'll also be seeing Tibet as well.
- Haunted castles and galactic wars will also factor into the new series.
- Tom Bell will also be appearing this series too.
- The Nekross will also be threatening their most powerful attacks yet.
- Tom and Benny's friendship will also be centre stage again this series too.

Overall, sounds like an interesting second run of episodes to look forward to. I'm also interested in seeing how that intended story for The Sarah Jane Adventures will translate on this show as well.

Press Release:

Wizards Vs. Aliens - Series 2 will air on CBBC later in the autumn.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Downton Abbey - Series 4 Spoilers

It's back on Sunday and already the promotions are coming thick and fast for the fourth series of Downton Abbey, so here are some things to watch out in the upcoming series ...

- Mrs Patmore is going to have to deal with new technology in the kitchen, which isn't going to go down well with her.
- Mary will be grieving for Matthew, struggling to deal with baby George and also having to work with Branson to modernise Downton.
- Edna (MyAnna Buring) from the 2012 Christmas special will be returning this series as well. However, it's already been rumoured that Branson's love interest is the new governess.
- We will see Thomas's claws this season as well. I think that means he might actually be a competent villain for once. He'll also be teaming up with Edna as well this series.
- Expect to see a darker side to Bates as well this year.
- Gregson's bohemian lifestyle will be rubbing off on Edith this year as they grow closer to each other.
- More about Carson's past will be revealed this year as well with Mrs Hughes picking up on it.
- From the trailers, it does look like Rose will be getting involved with jazz singer, Jack Ross, doesn't it?
- Paul Giamatti will be playing maverick playboy/Cora's brother, Harold Levinson as well this series.
- Nigel Harmon has also mentioned that his chauffeur, Green is charming to a point.
- Julien Ovenden's modern thinking Blake will annoy Mary while Tom Cullen's Gillingham is an old childhood friend of the widow's.
- Kiri Te Kanawa will be playing opera singer Nellie Melba in an episode.

Overall, sounds like a rather exciting series ahead with most of the characters getting plenty to do. I think the show will survive the absences of Matthew, Sybil and Mrs O'Brien as well.

Series 4 Spoilers:
Series 4 Trailer:

Downton Abbey's fourth series will air Sundays 9pm on ITV1 from September 22nd, Wednesdays at 9pm on TV3 from September 25th and Sundays 9pm from January 5th 2014 on PBS.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Learning Is Easier When You Don't Ask Any Questions

And here's a catch up on some of the stuff I've been watching just of late ...

Bad Education: I sort of misjudged Jack Whitehall's comedy series when it aired last year. Like Him And Her, I wasn't initially impressed with the first series of this show but the first two episodes of the second run have actually been enjoyable to watch. Alfie Wickers might be a terrible teacher (because competent ones are not allowed to exist on TV) but he's actually become an enjoyable character this year, especially with his rivalry with Michelle Gomez's insane Head Teacher and the student characters are being better written this series as well. Definitely an improvement from the first run.

Bates Motel: I literally caught this last night by accident and I am certainly glad I did. I've heard some great things about this modern take on Norman Bates and his possessive mother taking over a certain motel and if the quality of the first episode is anything to go by, I'll definitely be watching the rest of the season. A gripping opening episode, drawing some sympathy for both Norma and her disturbed son as their descent in darkness began with bumping off a rather nasty piece of work and disposing of his body. You know, the sort of thing that bonds the average family nowadays.

Orange Is The New Black: I'm nearly at the end of this series but the last few episodes have been a blast to watch. So much that I kind of want to prolong watching the final three just a little longer. As for the episodes I've seen, it's nice to see more of a connection with Piper and Alex (especially considering that Larry is hardly excitement central), the Thanksgiving episode was by far the best we've had, we've lost at least two different prisoners and both Healey and Mendez have shown their nastier sides. On the flip side, the pregnancy plot with Bennett and Daya seemed a little too predictable but it's a minor quibble in an overall fantastic run of episodes.

Orphan Black: It might be starting up on BBC3 this Friday at 9pm but I've done all my viewing of the first season and again, some impressive episodes. It was nice learning more about the origins of the Clones, Sarah's family, the ups and downs of Cosima and Delphine's relationship (plus the former being ill), the identity of Alison's handler and the introduction of pre Clone Rachel. All of which are excellent material for the second season as well in terms of development.

Under The Dome: A few weeks ago, this debuted on Channel 5 and last week, Irish viewers got it as well. Having watched the first two episodes again, I can say that it's a decent show. As an adaptation of a Stephen King novel goes, we've had better and we've certainly had worse. It's got a likeable enough cast and most of the characters are interesting enough but I'm not sure if it's something I'll watch week in and week out and while it's been picked up for a second run, I'm also not that sure if it's a premise that can be sustained for too long either. Still, it's a diverting enough show.

- Breaking Bad will be giving viewers a spin-off with Better Call Saul, focusing on one of the show's popular characters. It will also be set before the events of the parent show too.
- Penny Dreadful will air on SkyAtlantic for UK viewers in 2014. Harry Treadaway has been cast as Frankenstein and Reeve Carney as Dorian Gray.
- Bob Newhart will be appearing again in the upcoming season of The Big Bang Theory.
- Eliza Coupe has bagged a recurring role on Showtime series, House Of Lies.
- Expect a Homeland spoof in an upcoming episode of The Simpsons.
- Erinn Westbrook will be playing a new Cheerio named Bree in the fifth season of Glee.
- Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. will air on Channel 4 from September 27th.
- The Originals will air on SyFy for UK viewers.
- Paul Adelstein will be appearing in an upcoming episode of Scandal.
- Cynthia Nixon will be playing an FBI agent in the second season of Hannibal.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Arrow - Season 2 & Spin-Off Casting

I know I don't religiously post about Arrow but some of the news and bits for the upcoming second season has been rather exciting, so here's an update.

First of all, here's a rather fetching poster for the second season of the show. Pictured are Katie Cassidy (Laurel), Manu Bennett (Slade), Emily Bett Rickards (Felicity), Stephen Amell (Oliver), David Ramsay (Diggle), Willa Holland (Thea) and Colton Haynes (Roy) and from the trailers, it certainly seems that Oliver is moving up the ladder from vigilante to hero while a slew of familiar characters will also be cropping up in the new season.

The main one being The Flash, who we now know will be played by Grant Gustin. The actor, best known for his role as bitchy Sebastian from Glee has bagged the coveted role of Barry Allen and will be appearing in three episodes of Arrow's second season with the potential of getting his own series as well as his third appearance will serve as a backdoor pilot for a potential show. Other familiar characters will include Cynthia Addai-Robinson as Amanda Waller, Navid Negahban as Al-Owal, Bex Tayler-Klaus as Sin, Teryl Rothery as Jean Loring, Dylan Bruce as Adam Donner and Caity Lotz as the Black Canary. Overall, looks like an exciting second season, doesn't it?

Season 2 Casting:
Season 2 Trailer:

Arrow's second season will air Wednesdays at 8pm on the CW from October 9th. Sky1 will have it shortly afterwards for UK viewers.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Revenge - Season 3 Cast Pictures

With a little over a fortnight to go, ABC have released some promotional cast shots for the third season of Revenge. Sadly they don't include Justin Hartley but they're rather good in general though.

A shot of the main cast. Gone are Connor Paolo (Declan) and Ashley Madekwe (Ashley) and in their place is ... well, just Barry Sloane (Aiden) but it's a nice shot of the main cast together though with Emily firmly in the centre of things. As for the individual shots ...

Emily Thorne (Emily Van Camp): She gets shot in the opening episode on her wedding day but who did it and why?

Nolan Ross (Gabriel Mann): Jail time might not be happening for him just yet but he is getting a male love interest. Now who could that be?

Jack Porter (Nick Wechsler): He's lost his wife and his brother last season and now he knows Emily's secret but will he keep it for long?

Charlotte Grayson (Christa B. Allen): She's back from Europe with a spikier personality and may be a thorn in Daniel and Emily's relationship as well.

Daniel Grayson (Joshua Bowman): He's about to marry a woman who's lying to him and that ruthless streak of him isn't far away either.

Aiden Mathis (Barry Sloane): Yes, he's alive but what role will he play this season now that him and Emily are no longer a couple?

Conrad Grayson (Henry Czerny): He's in a bigger position of power this year but what does that mean for everyone else and him? We did see him suffer an attack in the recent trailer after all.

Victoria Grayson (Madeleine Stowe): It's been six months since she's seen both Daniel and Emily and she's formed a close bond with firstborn, Patrick (Justin Hartley).

Season 3 Cast Pictures:
Season 3 Trailer:

Revenge - Season 3 airs Sundays 9pm on ABC from September 29th.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

My Review of Dexter's 8x10: "Goodbye Miami"

Written by Jace Richdale And Scott Reynolds
Directed by Steve Shill

Dexter (re Vogel): “Don’t touch her.”
Daniel: “Mother chose the wrong son again.”

We’re two episodes away from the series finale and having a major death was a bit overdue. I know for some that Vogel doesn’t count as major and that her presence in Dexter’s life this season has seemingly rewritten basic lore about him but as misguided as she could be, I was actually sorry to see her go.

It was obvious that her attempts to reach out to Daniel were going to end badly, especially given that the episode didn’t waste any time in signposting them all over the place. Daniel might have moaned about his mother choosing the wrong son again but really, hasn’t that been his role this season?

Richard was the normal son who died because of Daniel’s jealousy and Dexter was the ‘wrong’ son that Vogel was able to mould into an acceptable member of society. Daniel was just wrong and his relish for killing and recording his murders only proved that he was beyond saving.

I didn’t blame Evelyn for wanting to save Daniel though. I think she at least had to try one last time but Dexter was right all along and when she realised that, it came too late and she died because of it. Harry’s words about Evelyn’s death haunting Dexter might have some merit to them but in all fairness, Daniel is one of two major problems for Dexter now.

Even though Hannah didn’t seem keen on Dexter going after Daniel, Dexter doesn’t have a choice now. Daniel could easily try and kill Deb even if Dexter leaves for Argentina with Hannah and Harrison and he’s too volatile a threat to be allowed to run around. If Dexter has to kill one last time, it makes sense for it to be Daniel.

Speaking of Daniel, while I agree that he’s not up to the standard of villains we’ve had with the Ice Trucker Killer and good old Trinity, even the most sceptical of critics at least have to admit that he’s a tad more interesting than The Skinner and Travis Marshall ever were, right? As a last season threat, we could’ve had something a little more compelling than the Brain Surgeon but then again, we also could’ve had something much worse as well I suppose.

As for the second problem for Dexter – Hannah. I’m still not sure if he deserves to go to Argentina with Hannah and Harrison but I do like that the writers are at least showing that Hannah can be trusted though, especially when she risked being discovered to take Harrison to the hospital. That was a noble thing for Hannah to do, but also stupid considering that Clayton soon realised she was still in Miami.

I know I’m technically not supposed to be rooting for Clayton but I actually find him to be a likeable enough character. His scenes with Angel and Deb this week when he was trying to track Hannah down were rather good. While I don’t want him to actually succeed in snaring Dexter and Hannah, the fact that he’s being well written does make me root a little for him though.

Also in “Goodbye Miami”

While Deb got her job back at Miami Metro, Jamie seemed to be looking for other work when she wasn’t getting dumped by Quinn this week.

Hannah: “Wow, we’re really gonna do it.”
Dexter: “Yeah, we’re moving to Argentina.”

Why didn’t Hannah think of wearing a wig or dying her hair when she took Harrison to the hospital?

Dexter (re Daniel): “Why didn’t you tell me?”
Vogel: “Because you want to kill him and I don’t want that to happen.”

Daniel (to Vogel): “Trust me if I wanted you dead, I wouldn’t be holding the door.”

Daniel took Vogel to his kill room and Dexter prepared one for him with pictures of Richard, Cassie and Zach.

Daniel: “I want you to help me like you helped Dexter. I want you to show me how to exist free in this world just the way I am.”
Vogel: “As a killer, Daniel? I can’t help you murder innocent people.”

Vogel: “Please don’t let him suffer.”
Dexter: “I won’t.”

Other stuff that happened in this episode: Deb and Quinn kissed, Elway fired Deb, Nikki showed up a crime scene high and Matthews grilled Vogel about Zach.

Harry (re kill room): “It was always very important to you.”
Dexter: “People get what they deserve, at least they should.”

Chronology: From where “Make Your Own Kind Of Music” left off.

With only two episodes left, “Goodbye Miami” did feel a little slow in some parts but overall, it was a strong episode with some character moments. The fact that the show seems to be hinting at a future where Dexter doesn’t need to kill is the most interesting though.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

American Horror Story: Coven - Series Poster/Cast Trailer

It might be a month away but FX are certainly ramping up the promotion for the upcoming, American Horror Story: Coven.

First of all, there have been six trailers so far. The first five have been mini-ones focusing on witchcraft, coffins and hanging but the latest one, titled Initiation featured the whole cast, including a rather delightful final shot of Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett), Fiona Goode (Jessica Lange) and Delphine LaLaurie (Kathy Bates) looks suitably creepy.

This poster however seeing a snake coming out of the mouth of three women (Bassett/Bates/Lange?). Again, pretty creepy. On the plus side, a synopsis for the first episode, Bitchcraft has been released ...

A young girl, Zoe, is shattered to discover she possesses a strange genetic affliction tracing back to the dark days of Salem. Zoe is whisked away to Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies, a mysterious school in New Orleans devoted to safeguarding the few remaining descendants who share this unique bloodline. Harboring a secret agenda, Fiona Goode, the most powerful witch of their generation, returns to town, reigniting old rivalries with the Coven’s deadly enemies, the Voodoo.

Written by Ryan Murphy & Brad Falchuk; directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon.

And Danny Huston has been cast as a love interest for Lange's character too. Overall, this is looking more and more spellbinding. I can't wait to see this 'Coven' now. 

Season 3 Trailer:

American Horror Story: Coven will air Wednesdays at 10pm on FX from October 9th while FOX will air it shortly afterwards for UK viewers.