Thursday, October 31, 2013

Soap Discussion - October 2013

Last blog of the month so here's a look at the month in soaps folks.

Coronation Street: A great month for the show. It was nice to see David get a bit of a comeuppance for nearly killing Nick and to finally have all of that stuff out in the open. Of course, Roy and Hayley were still the highlight of the month and their story continues to be poignant and heartbreaking to watch. As for the return of Liz and the rivalry between Tina and Tracey, not bad plot wise but not overly compelling to watch either if I'm being honest.

EastEnders: A dull month, except for Michael and Alice's ludicrous scheming to bump off Janine, which will thankfully be done with by tonight's episode. Aside from that, Jack left Ronnie, Roxy and Alfie continue to be unconvincing as a couple, Sharon's demon child Denny is annoying and to be honest, I just struggled to care about any real plot this month. I suppose David's return has been entertaining though.

Emmerdale: I think this was a great month for the show. With Cameron's whole siege at the Woolpack, it's no wonder that this show is beating other soaps in the ratings at the moment. Those episodes alone were the show at it's best and some of the other subplots came together nicely as well. The recent tribute to Alan Turner as well was another great moment for the soap that seems to be flying high at the moment.

Hollyoaks: I like a good death as much as the next person but between the week of the explosion and Hollyoaks Later itself, perhaps too many characters were killed off too quickly though. On the plus side, at least most of this month was great to watch. However I do feel the show needs to lay off the sensationalism just a tiny bit though. At the moment the show is awash with it.

Recap/Review: American Horror Story: Coven - Fearful Pranks Ensue

It's Halloween folks and for American Horror Story once again, that means acknowledging the scariest time of the year in the only manner that they can.

Written by Jennifer Salt
Directed by Michael Uppendahl

Council Arrival: The last few episodes have thrown allusions to the Council and this episode decided to actually introduce them properly. Myrtle along with Cecily (Robin Bartlett) and Quentin (Leslie Jordan) showed up at the school because of Madison's disappearance and Cordelia not only blurted out about not watching the girls properly but also about her recent encounter with Marie as well, which didn't go down too well. I do like that Myrtle can see Fiona for the murderous little madam that she is but given how easily Myrtle tends to explode, it's no wonder Fiona constantly gets away with bumping off fellow witches. Quentin and Cecily were moderately entertaining but I don't see we saw enough of them to make a real impression though. Hopefully there will be some future appearances from the Council in the season.

Mother/Daughter Bond: This episode began with both Fiona and Cordelia sniping at each other in relation to their visits to Marie but during the episode, it was actually nice to see the two of them bond a bit. Misguided as Cordelia's defense might have been, it was nice to see her defend her mother against the Council and it was also nice to have some confirmation that Madison wasn't the Supreme and that she had a heart murmur (it's looking likely to be either Zoe, Nan or Misty, isn't it?) and their bar hopping session was a lot of fun too, until Cordelia got acid chucked into her face. So who did it? I think it was either Myrtle or one of Marie's lackeys. Either way, this has kind of been a shit episode for Cordelia.

Bad Husband: Oh Hank, I actually thought you were a decent guy but not only did you cheat on Cordelia with art gal Kaylee (a wasted appearance from Alexandria Breckenridge) but then you went and shot the poor girl just because she showed some signs of affection that went beyond meaningless sex. I have to admit I am kind of disappointed that they made Hank into such a bastard so quickly but I guess it now justifies Fiona's hatred for the bloke (though she's one to talk really). Hank, you utter bastard. At least Kyle (even in his zombie form) and Luke (given that he brought Nan cookies) are flying the flag for decent blokes on the show at the moment. We're in short supply of them at the moment.

Tea Party, Anyone?: I was wondering when we'd learn something about Spalding and this episode was something of an info dump in relation to the guy. If you're like me and you kind of found Drusilla's tea parties with her dollies in Buffy The Vampire Slayer utterly creepy, then Spalding outdoes that crazy vampire lady by having them with Madison's corpse and dressing up. Even in death, Madison can't seem to catch a break and Spalding's devotion to Fiona even extended to a bit of self mutilation as well back in the day. Denis O'Hare with the limited dialogue he's been given is playing a blinder with the role and I certainly liked that we learned about Spalding as a character, even if it mainly creeped me out though.

Truce Is Over: I've not been the most sympathetic towards Marie in the last two episodes, probably because her vindictive side has overridden her character but with this episode, I actually was on her side. While it was her fault that Bastian attacked poor Queenie, I did feel bad for her when his head was returned to her the very next day. Marie's ability to use zombies to attack the house and cause LaLaurie some personal distress was an interesting end to this episode (and I loved that she used the same method in 1961 to avenge her friend Cora's son's death against some racist bastards). Basically this episode did a lot to make Marie a lot more layered as a character. Aside from the Marie stuff, I did like that Nan was concerned for Madison's safety, even if Zoe and Queenie couldn't be bothered. Overall, this was a better Halloween episode than the previous season's one.

Next week it really does look like the zombie attack from hell and someone's getting burned on the stake as well.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My Review of Revenge's 3x05: "Control"

Written by Ted Sullivan
Directed by Allison Liddi-Brown

Emily (to Daniel, re losing her father): “I still feel that pain like it was yesterday, so I push people away.”

Well, this episode was certainly a mixed bag for Emily, wasn’t it? On one hand, she managed to succeed in pulling two of the men in her life back in line while potentially driving two other of them away from her. Let’s focus on the latter for a moment, shall we?

Jack wasn’t best pleased when Aiden threatened him and when he found out that Emily knew Aiden, it seemed to annoy him all the more. While I do think that Jack does have a right to be angry with Emily, it does seem that nothing he says to her at the moment is sinking. This is probably setting up an inevitable shooting for Emily but at the same time, I can see why Emily herself isn’t so keen to take Jack’s advice on board.

Similarly Emily didn’t seem that receptive this week when Nolan advised her to be more careful as well with her general scheming. However while Emily didn’t really pay attention to Nolan on that front, she did at least have the sense to take his advice on sharing something with Daniel to reel the latter back in.

I have to admit the Daniel stuff this week was actually a lot more interesting. I liked that both Victoria and Margaux both pointed out that he didn’t know his fiancée as well as he thought he did and that he listened to. More to the point, I did kind of like Emily feeding Daniel some of the real her in order to sate him. For the time being, it’ll probably work but it’s becoming obvious that Daniel is wising up a little towards Emily though.

Then there’s Aiden. Aiden made a blunder this week by putting Jack in harm’s way and threatening him in order to get him to leave. However I do like that he did amend the situation by actually figuring out who really did try to kill Conrad and that he told Victoria about it as well. That did make up for his behaviour in the last two episodes as did his final scene with Emily in this episode as well.

As for Conrad’s would be assassin – Patrick. Of course it had to be him but I did like that Victoria got Charlotte to lie while the latter thought she was protecting Jack. As twists go, it’s a pretty neat one but if Patrick is willing to try and kill Conrad then it’s certainly likely that he might try to shoot Emily as well. His fixation on Victoria alone would certainly give him a reasonable motive to do so.

Keeping with Patrick in this episode – is it too much to hope that he genuinely likes Nolan? He certainly acted that in this episode by being hurt with the latter investigating him and then kissing Nolan again at the end of the episode. I do want to root for the pair of them as a couple but if Patrick does turn out to be Emily’s shoot, then his time on the show and relationship with Nolan won’t be too long for this world sadly. It’s also another reason why I am now hoping Emily’s shooter does turn out to be either Charlotte or Ashley.

Also in “Control”

Why do I get the feeling that Victoria and Margaux are going to team up at some point in the season against Emily?

Conrad (re Jack): “You believe you can help me with that?”
Aiden: “I guarantee it.”

Conrad seems to think that Aiden and Victoria are sleeping together. Going by Aiden’s exchanges with Victoria though, it’s obvious he’s not.

Margaux (re Emily): “You’ve never seen her parents?”
Daniel: “No.”
Margaux: “Well, it seems then that we both have to learn about your elusive fiancée.”

Jack (re Conrad): “I don’t care what he wants.”
Aiden: “Well, you need to.”

Not surprisingly enough, Patrick is working in Victoria’s gallery. I do like that Patrick and Daniel put their differences aside in this episode too.

Nolan: “You say that Ems but the more strings you pull the easier is it to get strangled.”

Nolan: “I’ve always been wired a little differently, which is great when it comes to inventing gadgets, not so great when it comes to dealing with people.”
Patrick: “I get that. I’ve been here for six months and I still feel like an outsider.”

Standout music: Silversun Pickups “Ribbons & Detours”.

Victoria (to Margaux): “You can spend your life being controlled by powerful men or you can control them.”

Victoria (re killer): “Who was it?”
Aiden: “One of your children.”

Chronology: Not long from where “Mercy” left off.

“Control” was definitely a stronger episode than the previous one. I still think this season is a marked improvement on the last one but it does also feel like we’re just counting down to the moments where Emily gets married and shot at the same time. Still, this was a great episode with some nice character moments though.

Rating: 9 out of 10

My Review of Wizards Vs. Aliens 2x01: "100 Wizards"

Written by Phil Ford
Directed by Beryl Richards

Tom: "You belong with us now."
Chloe: "I've never belonged with anyone before."
Tom: "You do now."

The first season of Russell T. Davies and Phil Ford's joint venture of Wizards Vs. Aliens was certainly something of a mixed bag but as the series progressed, the writing did improve a bit. With the opening story to the second series, there's still some room for improvement but there's also a lot here that really should be praised as well.

First of all, the addition of new wizard and love interest for Tom, Chloe Martin turned out to be a great new character. In the space of this opening story we saw Chloe use her 'telekinesis' for some TV fame before learning that she was a wizard and eventually she suffered a rather unfortunate fate at the hands of the Nekross just as she was bonding with Tom as well.

I've never really found the Nekross that threatening or interesting and I kind of feel that their continued presence on the show is somewhat holding the series back as well. Aside from their malicious dealing with Chloe at the end of this opening story, their scheme to drain a hundred wizards in a TV studio was easily the type of plot that could've been done within the first series.

It was fun to see Tom and company best them for the millionth time again but it's a reminder that this show really does need some new enemies if it stands a chance of making any further progress though. It's not that they're terrible antagonists but aside from the odd bit of conflict of interest with Lexi and Varg, there's not a whole else that can seemingly be done with them I think.

- Katie dumped Tom in this episode and the latter thinks that Chloe is no longer interested in him. At least he's still got Benny for now.
- It was nice to see some new wizards with Miranda and Nathaniel. I thought Ursula's crush on the latter (even if he threatened to endanger the Neverside) was a little sweet.
- Jodie Prenger played Chloe's guardian, Mrs Meeks. Did anyone else think she came across as a tad similar to Gita from The Sarah Jane Adventures?
- I liked that Michael had a bit more to do in this story than he did in the first series. I hope that's a sign of more character development for him. I also enjoyed Benny's geek off with Jathro as well and seeing the likes of Chancellor Kooth as well and Varg in human form.

For an opening story, "100 Wizards" did a good job of returning the show. The writing is still not entirely perfect but there was a lot of fun in this story and the twist with Chloe at the end was a nice stinging moment as well. I think there's definitely a sign of improvement here.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

My Review of Atlantis's 1x05: "White Lies"

Written by Howard Overman
Directed by Alice Troughton

Ariadne (to Pasiphae): “I no longer care what you believe. I see you exactly for what you are.”

Was anyone shocked when watching this episode that Pasiphae and Heptarian were involved in a scheme to discredit and ostracise Therus? I somehow doubt it and yet, despite being aware of how much of a power hungry bitch her stepmother is, Ariadne seemed a tad surprised that Pasiphae would stoop to such levels to seize power in Atlantis.

This episode should’ve been the making of Ariadne as a character and break her out of being a cipher/generic love interest role she’s been saddled with so far but sadly it really didn’t to be honest. Sure there were some nice scenes here to have with the likes of Minos, Jason, Pasiphae, Korinna and Therus but none of them really helped to break Ariadne out of her cycle so far.

The scenes with Ariadne and Jason for me are seriously lacking spark. Even back in Merlin's earliest days there was some kind of spark that made you believe in Arthur and Gwen but it’s virtually nonexistence here. I know there was moments with Jason helping Ariadne escape the palace to see her brother and plenty of flirty exchanges with them but none of it really engaged or felt organic and that is going to be a problem for the show later in it’s run.

Then there’s the reunion itself between Ariadne and her brother, Therus. First of all, it was too short, secondly Therus told us stuff about Pasiphae that virtually every member of the audience had guessed from the start and finally, I wasn’t too thrilled with Therus’s attempts of getting Ariadne away from Atlantis, even if he did have the right intentions. That being said though, I do hope we see the character and I’ll assume that we will as well.

As for the banter with Ariadne and Korinna – you know there’s something worrying about the show when the minor characters seem to have more personality than the main characters. I don’t dislike Ariadne but five episodes in and she’s coming across as the weakest character we’ve had. Korinna’s been in fewer episodes than her and she has more of a spark with Jason and the gang than Ariadne does.

The scenes however with Pasiphae were a little better but no different than beforehand. Mostly throughout the episode we had both women sniping at each other and trying to outsmart the other. Ariadne got the upper hand this week by seeing her brother without Pasiphae succeeding in killing him but other than that, the exchanges between the two of them could be a lot punchier too. Ariadne is coming across as more passive aggressive than spirited if I’m being honest.

The best scenes involving Ariadne in this episode though were her exchanges with Minos. It’s nice to see that Minos does actually care about his children (even if he believed that Therus was trying to kill him too easily) and this episode did a better job of making him a little more layered as a character too but only by a tiny margin. Hopefully it’s a sign of something good to come though.

As for the non Ariadne elements of the episode – Pythagoras continues to be woefully underused, Medusa popped up in two scenes and Hercules had a plot involving a beetle named Extrabacus. This plot was a mixture of mild amusement and some slight tedium (it did drag on a bit) but at least the next episode looks like it will give Hercules something more substantial to do. Now if only the writers could come up with something for Pythagoras.

Also in “White Lies”

The show has been renewed a second series. It might not be wowing critics and viewers but it’s at least got more time to prove itself.

Pasiphae: “I can give you jewels or pain, that’s all. What is it you want with Ariadne?”
Messenger: “I meant to rob her.”
Pasiphae: “Then you have made your choice.”

Pasiphae used magic as well to torture Therus’s messenger in this episode. I did like her exchange with the Oracle in this episode as well.

Pasiphae: “And what about your own future? What do you see for yourself?”
The Oracle: “The Gods will not allow me to see my own destiny.”
Pasiphae: “Then do not make the mistake of thinking that you are untouchable. Mislead me again and I will determine your future for you.”

Pythagoras (re Korinna/Therus): “What are they doing in there?”
Hercules: “Really, Pythagoras? Do I have to explain with diagrams?”

I take it that was meant to confirm that Pythagoras is supposed to be a virgin then. Seriously show, give him something worthwhile to do now.

Therus (re Ariadne): “You would do this for me?”
Jason: “I would do this for your sister.”

How many times do we need to be reminded that Hercules is fat? It’s not that I find it offensive but it’s beginning to wear thin the constant referring to it as well.

Ariadne: “He has a beetle for a pet?”
Jason: “Yes, Hercules is a man of many odd and disgusting habits.”

Chronology: A while since the events of “Twist Of Fate”. I wouldn’t mind knowing how Jason has been in Atlantis now.

There’s no denying that “White Lies” was something of an improvement on the previous episode but while I do appreciate the light hearted nature of the show (and it’s fast and loose approach to the myths), it’s hard to ignore that five episodes in the show is certainly underwhelming at times. This episode had all the right ideas but just didn’t execute them as well as it should’ve done.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Monday, October 28, 2013

My Review of Halloween (1978)

Written by John Carpenter And Debra Hill
Directed by John Carpenter

Sam Loomis (re Michael Myers): "I met this six year old child with this blank, pale, emotionless face, and the blackest eyes; the devil's eyes. I realized what was living behind that boy's eyes was purely and simply…evil."

There are no words to describe how much I love this movie. Heck, I'd even go as far as to say that I've enjoyed some of the sequels, even if the majority either a) fail to live up to the original or b) have a tendency of contradicting their own basic continuity but either way, this is a movie I hold in a very hight esteem.

It's now thirty five years since this movie came out and seven sequels and two remakes of the first two movies later, it's still an all time classic with Michael Myers, aka the Shape (Nick Castle) being the most frightening of movie killers ever to hit the silver screen as well.

So, what was it that made Michael so scary for me? I think the opening sequence of him as a six year old boy in a clown costume stabbing his sister to death certainly did it but it was more than that really. The fact that nothing seems to slow him down for any length of time is a major factor in how frightening he can be. The fact that he killed several teenagers in this movie was another thing (and animals aren't safe from him either) but I think it's the quote from his shrink Dr Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence) that really summed it up for me.

Michael literally is an emotionless character, maybe possessed by the devil (which would certainly explain the fact his can't be killed) but predominantly just simply evil. He seems to have no motive at all for killing, certainly doesn't say anything aside from the odd grunt and his pursuit of babysitter Laurie Strode (played excellently by Jamie Lee Curtis) throughout this movie and at least three of the sequels is probably the closest to a driving force Michael seems to have, even if the connection they share is made patently obvious on several rewatches of this particular movie, let alone the follow ups with the two of them.

Personally, he's a character that for over three decades and ever since I saw this movie as a child that has continued to fascinate and scare me a little bit. While the likes of Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees have their moments and Ghostface has an air of sophistication about them, it's Michael Myers that truly continues to terrify the living daylights out of me.

Every year I remain a little disappointed that this movie doesn't seem to air during the Halloween period, but I make up for it by actually watching it on the very day itself. Once again this year, I intend to do the same again. There's a reason this movie is a classic as well as a reminder of just how modern day horror movies pale in comparison. If you've never watched this movie before, certainly do yourself a favour and check it out on one particular night. You might not thank me for it if you're unable to sleep that night but you'll be grateful for checking out a horror movie that really does deliver on the scare factor.

Rating: 10 out of 10

Saturday, October 26, 2013

My Review of Hocus Pocus

Written by David Kirschner & Mick Garris & Neil Cuthbert
Directed by Kenny Ortega

Winifred: "Sisters, All Hallow's Eve has become a night of frolic, where children wear costumes and run amok!"

It's nearing closer and closer to Halloween and given that we're in the realm of anniversaries, it's been twenty years since this particular movie came out. I have many films I've enjoyed as a youngster and this is by far one of the best movies I have ever seen. I could easily watch it all year but for obvious reasons, this is definitely a movie that's best enjoyed during this time of year.

The plot is fantastically straightforward with three sister witches Winfred (Bette Midler), Mary (Kathy Najimy) and Sarah Sanderson (Sarah Jessica Parker) all being hung back in 1693 Salem when they chose to kill the wrong girl and turn her unfortunate brother, Thackery Binx (Jason Marsden) into a cat. Of course, being hung doesn't mean remaining dead as three hundred years later prove.

Having the ladies resurrected through the inadvertent actions of brother and sister duo, Max (Omri Katz) and Dani (Thora Birch) managed to spell disaster. However, Max and Dani along with the immortal cat version of Thackory and Allison (Vinessa Shaw), did make it their mission to save their town from the chaos that the Sanderson sisters had in store for the town and there are some great action scenes to behold during the movie, including some at a graveyard and school dance.

I have to admit that this movie is just a sheer joy to watch. Midler, Najimy and Parker ham it up like mad as the three witches but their OTT performances are what makes them such a joy to watch that you almost end up rooting more for them than the kids and cat that are trying to stop them. Seriously, it's really one of those movies that if you don't laugh a little at least once, then there's something wrong with you.

The kids however are a little less compelling though. Max, Dani and Allison are likeable enough but they don't really steal the limelight from their witchy enemies and the bullies in the movie that we see for a few scenes just feel a bit like filler at times.

Still those are minor complaints about a movie that has deservedly gone on to be a cult classic over the last few years. If you have somehow managed not to see this movie at some point in the last two decades, do yourself a favour and watch it and even if you've seen it one too many times, well, watch it again. I certainly intend to over the next week.

Rating: 9 out of 10

The Horseman's Got No Head

I know, it's a little lame but it gives you a very vital clue as to one of the five shows that I am watching at the moment.

Arrow: Now, Agents Of SHIELD, take some notes here because the dynamic with Oliver, Felicity, Diggle and even Roy is how you do a great team dynamic, even if most of the first episode during the second season was trying to actually get Oliver back in the game. Watching the first two episodes alongside each other on Sky1, the writing has certainly improved, the losses of Malcolm and Tommy have created a great divide with the Hood and Laurel and the fallout of Moira's actions have had some great consequences for Oliver's family business as well while the island flashbacks are remaining interesting. That along with some foreshadowing for Roy's future and a few new/old enemies surfacing, this is certainly a great start for the new season.

Devious Maids: I had no intention of watching this series but then again, I mostly enjoyed Desperate Housewives for eight seasons and this is pretty much covering similar ground with a murder mystery and a band of ladies brought together by it and being maids for the rich folk of course. The fact that it's also run by Marc Cherry also brings it's own comparisons to this show and the former antics of Wisteria Lane. It's a fun, frothy show and it's nice to see a strong Latina cast as well, even if there's a little stereotyping here and there though. In terms of characters, I think Marisol and the Powells stand out the most so far but there isn't really a weak character so far.

Homeland: Much as I do like this show, even I am forced to admit that I am struggling with it this series. I'm beginning to wonder if this show really would've been better off as a miniseries rather than something will now go into a fourth season. The last few episodes just haven't really gripped me and even Brody's return hasn't been as compelling as I hoped it would be. On the plus side, the fact that it now is revealed that both Carrie and Saul are actually working together should hopefully mean that the remaining episodes are a marked improvement on an underwhelming season so far.

Misfits: The show is back and it's penchant for the deeply crass is back too. In terms of an opening episode for the fifth and final season, this one was a bit of a mixed bag. On one hand, I enjoyed Finn being possessed and the therapy group for superpowers is actually a great idea. On the other hand, I couldn't care less about Jess and Alex and the fact that the latter had to use his powers on Finn as well left a bad taste in my mouth. Still though, it's a promising enough start for the last series and this episode was mostly better than anything in the first half of the previous series.

Sleepy Hollow: Bloody hell, I remember a time when I didn't watch Universal (aside from the occasional Law & Order: SVU episode) but with Bates Motel and now this show, I've been drawn to that channel a little more. The first three episodes of this show have been a mixed bag. It's reasonably a lighter show with some darkish elements, history lessons, legends and magic thrown into the mix. In some ways, I could almost compare it to Merlin or Atlantis. However, it's also a lot of fun and the leads in Ichabod Crane and Abbie are an absolute joy to watch as well and it's nice that while the Horsemen are the main antagonist for the series, we can still get enemies like the Sandman as well thrown into the mix. This definitely makes for a diverting hour of fun.

- A reboot for Charmed is in the works. CBS are currently working on one. Um, why? I ask as someone who enjoyed that show.
- Atlantis has been picked up for a second series by BBC1.
- US viewers will be able to see the third series of Sherlock on PBS from January 19th 2014. A UK broadcaster hasn't been announced yet.
- Richard Schiff and McKayla Maroney will both be guest starring in upcoming episodes of Bones.
- Sleepy Hollow has been picked up for a second season of thirteen episodes.
- Emmett Scanlon will be playing Simon in the second series of In The Flesh. I will do something in relation to the first series of that show in a future blog.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Tributes & Downstairs Controversy

Okay, you guys gets one of two TV jumble blogs for this week (the second one is tomorrow) because a lot of shows have returned and I want to try and cover as many as possible.

Bates Motel: Seven episodes in and this show has kept a steady pace with great storytelling. The toxic relationship both Norma and Norman seem to have seems to get worse and worse and given that Dylan is caught in the middle of it, I do wonder if he'll end up dead fairly soon. Speaking of dead, Zach's quick decline into an all out bastard before being killed was kind of predictable but Romero turning out to be an ally is an interesting move. I'm not sure though the love triangle with Norman, Emma and Bradley is as compelling but it's being better handled than I expected it to be. Overall, this continues to be an extremely enjoyable show.

Downton Abbey: The last three episodes of Series 4 have been an interesting time for the show. The controversy of Anna's rape certainly seems to have divided critics more than actual viewers and the suitors seem to be fairly coming in for Mary. I'm going to take a wild stab and perhaps assume that Tony Gillingham will be husband number two for Mary but it might help if the writing for them felt a little more organic. Aside from that, it's a mixed bag with Rose and Edith's plots being decent enough, Carson's wise cracks amusing and Thomas's friendship with Baxter, but the likes of Molesley and the Daisy/Alfred/Ivy/Jimmy quadrangle along with Edna's scheming are some of the low points of this series. Plus, can we have more scenes with Violet and Isobel?

Glee: Tribute episodes are a hard thing to pull off and if ever there was going to be a scrutinized episode of the show, it would be the one that commemorated actor Cory Monteith and had the character of Finn killed offscreen. This was something of a tough episode to watch and personally, not one I ever want to watch again. I think the episode however did a great job of sending off the character and actor respectively and all of the cast pulled a blinder here. It made for uncomfortable viewing but it was the right way to address Monteith's passing nonetheless.

Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D: I'm still watching this show but it's not really gripping me. It's fun, amusing, diverting and we're seeing the team somewhat warm to each other but it's also lacking something at the moment. I think maybe there's a lack of urgency with some of the plots or that the characters don't feel too formed yet (Ward is a bit generic, Fitz and Simmons are practically the same person). I do however like that we're getting some conflict with Skye and her belief systems, Melinda continues to be great to watch and Coulson's plot with a former protege in the last episode that aired on Channel 4 was pretty impressive. That being said, I think the show could take some notes from Arrow in terms of fleshing out the team though.

Once Upon A Time: We've had a good slew of episodes here. I liked that we've seen Pan being more of a menace and the fact that he was able to finally manipulate Henry was a nice way of showing that he meant business. The history he had with both Neal and Rumple though felt a tad predictable as does Charming's frustrating way of holding back important information. Still though, we've had episodes that have introduced Tinkerbell, revealed that Robin Hood could be Regina's true love and even revealed that Mulan has feelings for Aurora. I'd say overall this has been a great start to the season so far.

- Suits has been renewed for a fourth season by USA Network.
- Expect a reboot of Murder She Wrote. NBC have picked up a pilot for the show.
- Whoopi Goldberg will be voicing the role of the White Rabbit's wife in Once Upon A Time In Wonderland.
- Kathryn Prescott has signed up as the lead in upcoming MTV series, Finding Carter.
- Sean Maher will appear in Arrow's second season as the villain, Shrapnel.
- Both Homeland and Masters Of Sex have been renewed for further seasons by Showtime.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Recap/Review: American Horror Story: Coven - The Replacements

So glad I decided to recap/review this series because this episode alone of American Horror Story: Coven certainly gave me a lot to mull over and then some.

Written by James Wong
Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

Fiona Must Die: Why is it that every single season that Jessica Lange has to play a character so monstrous that I end up wishing a painful death for her? I did with Constance, I did with Jude (though not as much as Asylum progressed) and after this episode, I really, really hope that Fiona dies horribly. I know Madison has been something of a bitch and a sociopath in these last three episodes but even I didn't think she deserved to die just because Fiona thought she was the new Supreme. I think despite Madison's growing abilities, she probably wasn't the Supreme (odds are it's either Zoe or Misty, maybe even Cordelia at a push) but Fiona did murder the last one (her predecessor Annalee in 1971) and will probably continue to stop at nothing in order to maintain her youth and her power now that we know she hasn't long to live. Personally though, I want her to suffer and I want her to suffer lots. I still think Lange is doing stellar work this season though. I also liked that we were given an explanation as to why Spalding has no tongue. The trailer for the next episode made it obvious too.

Mommy Creepiest: Oh dear. You can tell this is a Ryan Murphy show when it was revealed that Kyle was getting raped by his own mother, Alicia (Mare Winningham) and even when he came back to her, one of the first things she did was try it on with him again. Because of this, it's hard to feel bad when Zombie Kyle indulged in a little bit of matricide and Zoe had to witness him covered in blood. Although Misty did come across as a tad clingy this week, I think Zoe had been unwise to remove Kyle from her possession as quickly as she did. And yes, we got some more Stevie Nicks love ins (plus Fleetwood Mac's Sara this week) and a commentary about finding one's voice too. I do hope that Misty is brought into the coven soon, particularly to unnerve Fiona. Did I mention that I want Fiona to suffer?

Karma, Bitch: Any hope this show might have for me to feel bad for LaLaurie isn't emerging anytime soon. When the racist lady isn't weeping in despair over Obama being president (something which Fiona delighted in rubbing in), she's still hostile as anything to Queenie before Fiona punished her by making her into Queenie's personal slave. I did think this was a great episode for Queenie with the way she handled LaLaurie and the fact that she was brave enough to go out and confront the Minotaur as well. I really have a lot of respect for Queenie and her desire to be loved was rather affecting as well. As for LaLaurie, she did seem to soften a little towards Queenie but that racist behaviour of hers is unlikely to go away though.

Too Late For Tears: Another character on my shit list this week was Marie Laveau. I'm beginning to think she's just as much of a vindictive bitch as both Fiona and LaLaurie because her spite towards Cordelia was extremely uncalled for. Okay, she's mad at Fiona and that's fine enough but did she really need to humiliate Cordelia by denying her a ritual for fertility though? Personally I kind of hope we move away from Cordy's pregnancy plot soon and get back to her guiding the girls because a lot of shit went down in this episode with her charges and she wasn't there at all for any of it. That would be a far better use of the character at the moment in my own opinion.

New Neighbours: With a show about witches and the odd human character here and there, of course what we needed was to have a bible thumping character in the shape of Patti LuPone's Joan Ramsay, who took an instant dislike to Madison and Nan and butted heads with Fiona. As an antagonist to the latter, there's some potential here I think, though I enjoyed Fiona calling Joan out on on her hypocrisy towards sex though. On the totty front, we did get the lovely Luke (Alexander Dreymon) - Joan's sheltered son, who seemed to take a shine to Nan, despite being lusted by Madison in this one. I did like that the episode gave us a little more on Nan, though out of the four younger witches she still seems the least emphasized in the series so far. Hopefully that is going to change in the next few episodes though.

Next week, it looks like it's going to be a Halloween episode and we're finally gonna see some of the Council and Myrtle in action. Her hatred for Fiona is positively delightful if that trailer is anything to go by.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

My Review of Revenge's 3x04: "Mercy"

Written by Karin Gist
Directed by J. Miller Tobin

Jack: “I’m not gonna just sit around and let Conrad get away with murder.”
Emily: “Let me deal with him.”
Jack: “We can fight or we can get to work. I’m not going anywhere.”

I have to admit this was the first episode this season where I actually liked Jack. Not only did he relent a little with Emily but he also actively tried to help her with taking down Conrad and actually managed to be useful in the process. I think this is a side to Jack that I can appreciate a little more after all.

Granted for all the good that Jack tried to accomplish in this episode by trying to prove that Conrad played a part in Father Paul’s death, it was undermine by the fact that the car had been tampered with and also by Aiden letting his jealousy get in the way at the end of the episode.

I’m not sure if I’m enjoying Aiden as much this season as I did in the last one. It’s nice that he still wants to help Emily and even advised her against doing anything rash but at the same time, framing Jack for tampering with Conrad’s car would definitely imply that he might have been the one responsible for it after all.

When it comes to plans, it seems that this episode was the one where they fell apart for Emily. Not only did Conrad survive being killed and change his mind on confessing his sins but he also managed to cotton onto the fact that he didn’t really have Huntington’s after all. Of course, what the episode didn’t make clear was who he suspected of drugging him in the first place. I don’t think it’s Emily that will be in the firing line for this one though.

Speaking of Emily, this really wasn’t her episode at all. None of her love interests actually listened to a word she said to her. Jack defied her by helping her with the investigation, Aiden defied her by framing Jack and Daniel himself defied her by moving out of their home after she spilled the beans about his drunken past in the write up of his magazine launch.

Also thinking about it, Nolan defied her too this week by putting his assistance aside and actually investigating Patrick before kissing him towards the end of the episode this week. I’m guessing from the ex-wife and Patrick initiating the kiss that his sexuality isn’t clear cut but despite seeing a more scheming side to Patrick this week, I am kind of hoping that he isn’t going to be using Nolan. We already covered that ground with Tyler and even Padma over the last two seasons.

As for Patrick and Victoria, I am finding their interactions more and more interesting. I noticed that he did seem pretty jealous every time Victoria mentioned that Daniel and Charlotte needed her and I have a feeling that will intensify in later episodes as well. On the plus side, their plot to steal a gallery from Sheila was actually a lot of fun. It gave Patrick a little bit of backbone and also had Victoria at her bitchy best too.

Also in “Mercy”

Charlotte’s attitude towards Emily seemed to vary in this episode but I like that she seemed suspicious of Jack’s relationship with Emily though.

Patrick (to Victoria): “You have everything to change your life right now in this room.”

Sheila was a fun guest character but it might have been a little more effective had we known her for longer before Victoria scammed her out of a gallery.

Patrick: “I know when I’m not welcome.”
Emily: Yeah, the Graysons tend to close ranks in moments like these.”

Conrad: “You’re my guardian angel, Emily. Where else would I be without you?”

Nolan gave into his technological urges in this episode to investigate Patrick. I’m curious to know what else the ex-wife had to say on him.

Daniel: “You walk out that door, I’m not gonna be here when you get back.”
Emily: “Then don’t forget to turn off the alarm.”

Jack (to Emily): “So either I get to tell this truth or the other one. Your call.”

Daniel lying to the police about Conrad to save his own face and new career just further proved that he’s no different to his parents.

Aiden: “I didn’t do it. I came back here to help you finish this your way.”
Emily: “Okay.”

Standout music: Lost Loader’s “Cold Feet”.

Patrick: “That was a bit presumptuous.”
Nolan: “I’m sorry. I just thought you turned up at my party ...”

Chronology: From where “Confession” left off.

“Mercy” was probably the weakest of the episodes we’ve had this season so far but still, it was an interesting one. Emily’s plans do seem to be going south so far this season and Conrad’s moment of human decency deserted him pretty fast too. I’m still not sure if Aiden and Charlotte’s roles this season are working either as well.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Monday, October 21, 2013

My Review of Atlantis's 1x04: "Twist Of Fate"

Written by Richard McBrien
Directed by Alice Troughton

Medusa (to Jason, re Oedipus): “Poor thing. He’d probably have more chance in the mountains than with you three.”

Keeping it simple, this is the Three Men And A Baby edition of the show this week. The one where a cute little baby was found by our three heroes and was destined to die because the father of the baby was told some horrible stuff about his son’s future by the Oracle (who once again was a no show in this episode).

I guess it should’ve been obvious that the baby in question was going to turn out to be Oedipus but I was genuinely surprised until Tiresias literally spelled it out in front of a desperate Jocasta and three heroes of the show.

Needless to say, despite the many obstacles that came in the way, there was never any danger of Oedipus actually being killed in this episode, mainly because Hercules was the one who protected him throughout the episode. Predictably he had also been the one that wasn’t initially keen on rescuing the baby before Jason made it his business to do.

I’m quite enjoying the dynamic between Jason, Pythagoras and Hercules in the show but while Jason has a destiny and Hercules has started to improve as a character and both he and Jason have respective love interests with both Ariadne and Medusa, there’s also the issue of Pythagoras.

Now Pythagoras happens to be my favourite of the three but right now he doesn’t seem to be as involved as much as I thought he would be. I mean, it was great that he was able to deduce from broken things that Oedipus was left with a rattler out in the woods but aside from that, he hasn’t done a great deal to affect the overall plot really. Even Ariadne kind of had more to do in this episode to be honest.

Keeping with Ariadne, while she definitely needs more development as a character, her bitchy comments to Pasiphae did manage to be amusing enough, if somewhat passive aggressive. I do like that she’s able to see her stepmother for the power hungry schemer that she is but Ariadne needs to do more than make sly digs at Pasiphae to really engage viewers now.

As for Pasiphae – I’m not entirely sure that she needed to be involved in Laius’s plot to have his son killed but I did find it interesting that she seemed a tad unconvinced at the end that Oedipus was actually killed. I have a feeling we’ll probably see the likes of Laius, Jocasta and Tiresias at some point again, especially given Pasiphae’s bond with the former.

Last but not least – I like Medusa. Okay, so I’ve mentioned in my last two reviews but so far the character remains the best written female on the show and the romance with her and Hercules is coming across a lot better than I expected it to be. It also helped that she did slightly make the overall baby plot a little more interesting just by being in certain scenes with the lads and little Oedipus.

Also in “Twist Of Fate”

It probably wasn’t the best idea to have seen that 50th anniversary trailer for Doctor Who before this episode. It did distract me at times.

Hercules: “Why does it always have to be me?”
Pythagoras: “A question we ask ourselves every morning.”

Pasiphae and Laius were dealing with Oedipus behind Minos’s back. Does that mean he would’ve sided with Jocasta had he been privy?

Pasiphae (to Laius): “Was Artemis herself not a woman?”
Ariadne: “Of course but her prey had four legs, did it not?”

Jason: “Give me the boy.”
Hercules: “You’ll never make it.”
Jason: “Do you have a better idea?”

I liked that this episode had both Hercules and Pythagoras realise and discuss that Jason was a bit special.

Jocasta (re Oedipus): “No, I will not part with him again.”
Tiresias: “Jocasta, you have to.”

Hercules (re kiss): “What was that for?”
Medusa: “For being a good man.”

Medusa had overheard Hercules telling Oedipus about his feelings for her. I think it’s safe to assume that Medusa feels the same way too.

Hercules (re Jason): “He’s young, that’s all.”
Pythagoras: “No, Hercules, that is not all and you know it. Jason is different, special.”

Chronology: Not long since “A Boy Of No Consequence” has aired.

I have to admit that while there were some nice moments and a few funny bits, “Twist Of Fate” wasn’t the best episode we had. In fact, it did meander a bit in parts and despite the reveal of the baby’s identity, the episode just didn’t engage as much as it should’ve done.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Doctor Who - 50th Anniversary Trailer

The Doctor: I've been running all my lives through time and space.

You wait ages for a trailer for the 50th anniversary episode, The Day Of The Doctor and while BBC1 decide not to air one with actual clips, the alternative is a lot of fun. Basically, it's the 11 Doctors in one trailer, though some are more prominent than others.

The trailer managed to recreate certain segments of An Unearthly Child with the policeman, Totter's Lane and the First Doctor with various objects from subsequent eras but trying to spot the Second Doctor is slightly harder as well as the Seventh incarnation, which took some doing in parts.

Quite prominent for another Classic Series Doctor was of course, the Fourth Doctor himself who is seen falling quite epically during the airing of the trailer. Above him seems to be a sign saying 'No More' though what that means exactly, I'm not too sure. Also featured a fair bit are Daleks and Cybermen but that's only to be expected really.

One of the most memorable shots in the trailer is of course the shot of Sarah Jane and K9. The former is also holding a globe featuring both the Third Doctor and the Master dueling in the former's TARDIS while in the background are also more Daleks, Cybermen, a Sea Devil and Big Ben of course before it segued into ...

Clara of course. Being the main companion along with Rose for the anniversary episode itself, it makes sense that Clara would feature prominently in the trailer and it's a rather nice shot of the character with her leaf blowing in the background as well and a reflection of Sarah Jane in the globe that she's holding onto. It also should be noted that Rose's voice is actually heard in the trailer as well.

Then there's a big shot that not only has blink and you'll miss it appearances from both Rose and Amy, but also the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Doctors as well as the Tenth Doctor featuring pretty prominently as well as D84 Robots, Cybermen, Weeping Angels, Daleks, Ood, Bessie, a Sontaran Capsule and the Racnoss to name a few of the many things to spot.

Last but by no means, it's the Eleventh Doctor himself and he's talking about the things done in The Name Of The Doctor and counting down the anniversary himself. In the background we see The Key To Time segments, various screwdrivers (including the Master's), the Shard, a cricket ball, Gallifreyan writing amongst the many of things. It's an extremely clever trailer that manages to capture a lot from the last 50 years in the space of a minute. For a better look at some of the things featured, I'm going to link a page that analyses it better than me. Overall, this is a sublime way of kicking off the promotion for the anniversary episode.

50th Anniversary Trailer:

The Day Of The Doctor airs on November 23rd on BBC1. Series 7 is released on DVD from October 28th.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Glee - Season 6 To Be Final Season

In probably one of the least shocking but still expected news items, it seems that the sixth season of Glee (due to air in 2014-2015) will in fact be the show's last.

It seems that Ryan Murphy has now revealed that following the death of actor Cory Monteith and the recent tribute to him in The Quarterback, that his original vision for ending the series will be revised to honour the character of Finn as the final scene would've tied into both Rachel/Finn and their journey as a couple.

I have to admit that six seasons is probably a good run to end the series with. Glee has had it's time and while it's easily Murphy's most successful show to date (though American Horror Story is really gaining traction with audiences), the time has certainly come to end it though. I'll miss this show. Yes, the writing may have been choppy at times but it was never boring and it's hard to deny the impact it's had on television over the last couple of years either.

Press Release:

Glee's fifth season resumes airing in November, Thursdays at 9pm on FOX and Fridays at 8pm on Sky1.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Recap/Review: American Horror Story: Coven - Boy Parts

Yeah, I've decided that after the fun I had last week with recapping the first episode of American Horror Story: Coven, that I would continue it for the rest of the season. So, here's the recap/review for the second episode, folks.

Written by Tim Minear
Directed by Michael Rymer

Let's Build A Boyfriend: It's amazing that in this episode, Madison went from not giving a shit that Kyle ended up being one of the splattered dead frat boys from last week to actually wanting to resurrect him this week. It's more amazing considering the fact that Zoe's loose tongue nearly got the both of them sent to jail until Fiona used her own scare tactics in order to protect them. Of course, Madison's attempts of raising Kyle meant taking the best parts of the other boys and sewing them together while chanting some cryptic words and breathing smoke in with Zoe. Of course, Madison didn't really bother to stick around to see the fruition of her special project but seeing as that managed to lead to a better subplot, I'm actually gonna give Madison a pass on this one. Bitchy behaviour aside of course.

Let's Make A Connection: First of all - Stevie Nicks is a witch! Thanks for the confirmation, Misty, who unsurprisingly enough (considering her speciality) actually survived being burned on the stake and began this episode by humming along to Miss Nicks's music and punishing some poachers by bringing an alligator back to life that they killed. Of course, the most significant thing that Misty did in this episode was reach out to Zoe and help with Kyle's resurrection. I feared that Misty could've been a one episode character so I'm delighted that she was very much present and a joy to watch, especially with her scenes with Zoe. Misty does seem to desperately want a connection and I hope that a) she gets one and b) doesn't turn evil in later episodes. Aside from Cordelia, I think she might be my favourite character this season.

Let's Establish Some Ground Rules: I love Kathy Bates. She is by far one of my favourite actresses going and seeing her play a character as vile as Delphine LaLaurie is certainly a strange experience alright. Delphine's only been out of her coffin for less than a day but she's already getting smacked around  by Fiona (whose obsession with staying young is actually one of the weaker plots so far), annoying the hell out of Nan for thinking too loudly and callously referring to Queenie (who is a descendant of Tituba and whose power was revealed in 2012 Detroit) as a slave before knocking her out. This episode did try to inject some sympathy by informing us on how Marie Laveau killed her husband and daughters before cursing her with immortality but aside from a really great final scene between LaLaurie and Fiona (who at least had the decency to be disgusted by LaLaurie's reputation), I'm not feeling a great deal of sympathy for Delphine at all.

Let's Make New Enemies: Fiona hasn't exactly been the most pleasant of witches on this show. Like Madison, she really does have a nasty streak about her and when she realised that Marie Laveau was the one responsibility for LaLaurie's current predicament, she went about her mission the wrong way. Showing up at Marie's salon, Fiona did nothing to appeal to the woman's better nature. Instead she insulted her, goaded her about witchcraft vs. voodoo and even made the mistake of implying that Delphine was in her company. Marie seemed to respond in kind by freeing her Minotaur lover and undoubtedly sending him after Fiona. As rivalries go, this one certainly has a lot of potential. I could watch both Jessica Lange and Angela Bassett trade sharp barbs all day and it will be fun to see who comes out on top with both Fiona and Laveau gunning for each other now.

Let's Make A Baby: Every season of American Horror Story has had a baby plot and usually established within the first half of the season. We've seen both Vivian and Lana pregnant through rape but for Cordelia and her husband Hank (Josh Hamilton), it's a case of the normal methods failing them and dark magic being used as the next step. While there's potential for a Rosemary's Baby style plot here, I was kind of hoping this season would avoid another pregnancy plot but I guess not. I'll keep an open mind but to be honest, I'd rather see Cordelia's relationships with both her mother, husband and wards explored a lot more though than another pregnancy storyline. Still, Cordelia does remain one of the strongest characters on the show and Hank seems okay so far as a character. Maybe this plot will be a lot better than I'm expecting it to be.

Next week, I'll delve into the third episode where it looks like we've got some new neighbours for the Academy to clash with, especially when Fiona goes head to head with one of them.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Misfits - Series 5 First Look (Spoilers)

It's previous season might not have been something to write home about and it's creator might be currently exploring the world of Atlantis but next week and for six final episodes, Misfits is back for a fifth and final series and the promotion is kicking off for it at the moment.

So, what do we know about the last series at the point? Be warned, there are spoilers here.

- The final series will commemorate the first year since the storm and open on the eve of it. Yes, five series of this show have taken place in the space of a year. Reminds me of another show.
- Howard Overman has admitted we won't be getting any new regulars - just Alex, Rudy, Finn, Jess and Abby then.
- Rudy will be involved in a support group for those with super powers.
- Alex has a rather rude (supposedly) new ability that we discover earlier on in the series after his operation. I hope gaining a likeable personality is a part of it this series.

- We will learn more about Jess and why she was made to do community service this series. Her relationship with Abby will also take an interesting turn this series as well.
- Abby's mysterious past will be revealed early in the series and her and one of the Rudy's will bond a bit more too.
- Finn will be possessed by Beelzebub and it will be up to Jess to save him in her own rather unique way.
- A woman can knit the future into a sweater, a character can turn into a turtle and someone else can shag powers away and there's a rival gang with better powers who will become more prominent as the series progresses.

I have to admit that while this show's best days are probably gone and that ending it with a fifth year (as the BBC did with both Merlin and Being Human in recent times) is a wise idea, it does seem like Overman's knack for the absolute bonkers and lewd certainly won't mellow in the show's final hours. I am rather looking forward to this final year a bit more now.

Press Release/Series 5 Trailer:

Misfits fifth and final series airs Wednesdays at 10pm on E4 from October 23rd.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

My Review of Revenge's 3x03: "Confession"

Written by Sallie Patrick
Directed by Matt Earl Beesley

Conrad: “Thanks for the memento, sweetheart.”
Victoria: “Oh, I will give you more than that, darling.”

You have to hand it to Emily – had things gone a lot differently in this episode, her mission would’ve been complete. She had succeeded in getting Father Paul to get Conrad to confess to the authorities and then we got a car crash where one of them ended up dead (I presume) and the other pretty injured.

Some people speculated that Victoria might have had something to do with the crash but considering that she wouldn’t have had enough time to act, it must be Conrad’s cocktail of drugs that ended up causing him to lose control of the car. Along with Paul’s life, Emily’s chances of Conrad actually doing the right thing pretty much went up in flames here as well.

I thought this was a great episode for Conrad as a character. Only a few times have we seen him show some kind of remorse for his actions with David Clarke and through his scenes with both Emily and Father Paul did it seem like he was going to end up doing the decent thing. Emily got so close with finishing her avenging here but I guess it would’ve been a little too easy had things actually panned out.

Speaking of panning out though, I did like that this episode made it abundantly clear that Aiden was actually on Emily’s side after all. Of course, that was pretty much given away during their rather staged argument in front of Victoria and Daniel at Nolan’s housewarming party but their brief scene on the beach was a nice confirmation nonetheless.

I’m not entirely sure what Aiden was playing at this week though. He showed up with Victoria and publicly argued with Emily could’ve scuppered the latter’s plans but yet his turnaround on who exactly took Victoria’s money could’ve easily made Victoria suspicious of him as well. In other words, I think Aiden was pretty much skating on thin ice here.

Of course with Aiden back in the frame, this episode also nicely examined Daniel’s jealousy towards Emily’s feelings for Aiden as well. Actually while Daniel technically has a right to be suspicious of Emily, I actually found him quite annoying throughout this episode, not just with his attitude towards Emily but also towards Margaux as well if I’m being honest.

In some ways this was a better episode for Margaux as a character. I liked that she was interested in learning more about Nolan and that she refused to be bossed about by Daniel too. I also didn’t mind her scenes with Jack, even if the latter clearly seemed to use her in order to make Emily jealous as well.

Last but not least – Nolan and Patrick were interesting too. I definitely think the writers might go there with the two of them and with both Emily and Victoria’s rivalry becoming more public, it could actually be interesting to see how both Nolan and Patrick are tested as well. Patrick claimed that he wasn’t interested in Victoria and Emily’s war with each other but I have a feeling he was protesting a little much to be honest.

Also in “Confession”

While Nolan’s sailor outfit looked a little naff, I did like the fact that he wore a t-shirt with a picture of his own mug shot on it. There’s a selfie for you.

Emily (to herself): “Because if death doesn’t kill you, our demons will.”

I knew the scene where Charlotte stabbed Conrad with a letter opener was going to be a nightmare. She’s still being hostile to Emily as well.

Father Paul: “Forgive me, father for I have sinned.”
Emily: “Trust me, I’m well aware. I’m willing to give you my forgiveness, something I’ve never given anyone but you’re gonna have to earn it.”

Margaux: “You live at a bar? I thought I was desperate to escape my family.”
Charlotte: “Well Jack and Carl are my family actually.”

Margaux’s magazine is called Voulez. I thought I had mentioned it before but it seems I didn’t.

Emily: “Oh, there’s so much you don’t know about me.”
Victoria: “Oh, I’m learning more and more each day.”

Father Paul: “Have you ever considered turning yourself in for your crimes?”
Conrad: “Why the hell would I do that? I’m almost home free.”

Patrick doesn’t seem to like either swans or Emily and he noticed that Nolan bought a certain painting as well.

Nolan: “I had no idea who you were, trust me.”
Patrick: “My mother warned me not to trust you.”
Nolan: “And yet here you are.”

Standout music: Lorde’s “Royals” and MS MR’s “Bones”.

Victoria (to Aiden, re Emily): “Together we are going to unravel and destroy that little bitch.”

Chronology: Seemingly around six days since the events of “Sin”.

Another extremely well done episode. “Confession” didn’t grip me as much as the first two but it certainly wasn’t a boring hour either with Emily’s mixture of fortunes and failures this week. I think this show really has gotten it’s groove back this year.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Monday, October 14, 2013

My Review of Atlantis's 1x03: "A Boy Of No Consequence"

Written by Howard Overman
Directed by Justin Molotnikov

Pasiphae (to Heptarian, re Jason): “It seems your confidence that the boy would quickly perish was unfounded. He is a born bull leaper.”

If the first two episodes of this show lacked enough decent characterisation, then I think this episode went to some lengths to actually remedy the situation. While the writing is still choppy at best, this was certainly a stronger episode to behold.

First of all – how delightfully hammy is Pasiphae? I think Sarah Parish is clearly having a ball with the character and if anything, Pasiphae was the standout character in this episode. Her determination to make sure the kingdom runs to her liking was certainly made apparent in this episode with both the arrival of her hunky but horrible nephew Heptarian and her determination to kill Jason.

You do have to wonder if Pasiphae will resort to attempted murder now when Jason and Ariadne have barely interacted, then what will she do when Jason actually does find himself falling for her stepdaughter? Ariadne might not be subtle in her attraction to Jason but so far, he doesn’t seem to be as attracted to her – at least not at this stage.

Pasiphae using some deadly black magic with Jason’s hair to wreck his bull leaping performance was a nice enough move. Of course, it might have been more effective had Pasiphae not been so easily duped by Medusa who managed to sabotage her spell and seal Jason’s victory in this episode’s main plot strand.

As for the scenes with both Pasiphae and Heptarian – it’s clear both of them are trying to use a marriage to Ariadne to seal their hold on the kingdom. It’s a little predictable that Ariadne seems to be open in his distaste towards Heptarian as well as her stepmother but it certainly helped to give the character a little more personality than the previous two episodes afforded her to have.

As for the scenes with Jason and Heptarian – they were interesting. Sure, it might have been again predictable that their dislike will intensify because of Ariadne but their rivalry certainly has the potential to be very interesting to watch over the course of the series, especially given that Pasiphae encouraged Heptarian’s dislike for Jason all the more in this episode.

The bull leaping segment of the episode was fairly engaging enough but mainly because we got some decent supporting characters such as Shabakra, Cyrus and Elpis and also because we got to see Jason, Hercules and Pythagoras implement team work in a very interesting way throughout the entire episode. The slow motion scenes were a little naff but no more than any other genre that tends to use them though but overall, it was a more enjoyable plot than I was expecting it to be.

Also in “A Boy Of No Consequence”

Minos is clearly an ineffectual leader. I’m not sure the whole bull leaping thing actually works with punishing certain types of offenders. He’s probably let a few unsavoury sorts win their freedom with this method.

Hercules: “Medusa and I have a bond that goes beyond physical appearance.”
Jason: “Does she know that?”

Medusa actually proved Hercules right in this respect when she was cheering him on at the bull leaping. I’m not surprised she managed to get a job in the palace either. We also met one of Hercules’s former conquests in Sophia this week.

Heptarian: “You dare to touch me?”
Jason: “I would dare stop you from striking a defenceless old man who’s done you no harm.”

Palos (to Jason): “You mean to say you don’t know?”
Hercules: “You’ll find the extent of his ignorance truly astonishing.”

Both Palos and Elpis were part of Pasiphae’s scheme to kill Jason. Elpis however showed remorse and tried to help Jason in the end. Cyrus ended up being killed by Palos though.

Elpis: “I dream of being killed by the bull.”
Jason: “Do you ever dream of being free?”

Hercules: “It is not in the words, it’s in the eyes.”
Pythagoras: “Is it? I thought it was about the words.”

This was the first episode to not feature the Oracle and to be honest, it really did work in the episode’s favour.

Pasiphae: “I know you think me harsh but as queen, you cannot always follow your heart.”
Ariadne: “Then you’re well suited to the role.”

Chronology: I don’t think too much time has passed since “A Girl By Any Other Name”.

This show is far from perfect but not quite the sinking ship that some are making it out to be either. “A Boy Of No Consequence” was certainly more character driven than the first two episodes and hopefully it’s a sign of the show getting stronger as we go into the next series of episodes. That being said, Pythagoras actually had bugger all to really do in this one.

Rating: 7 out of 10