Friday, October 31, 2014

The Simpsons - Top 5 Best Treehouse Of Horror Episodes

So, today is Halloween and while I'm hardly the first person to do a list of my favourite Treehouse Of Horror episodes from The Simpsons, I have however decided just to pick my five favourites.

1: Treehouse Of Horror I

In some ways the first one of these (from the show's second season) was by far it's best with a trio of wonderful instalments - Bad Dream House, Hungry Are The Damned and The Raven. Out of the three, they're all great but it's the last one that truly stood out with Bart being his most malevolent as the creepy raven of the piece, tormenting Homer.

2: Treehouse Of Horror VIII

From the ninth season, I always found this one rather underrated. The stories here - The HΩmega Man, Fly Vs Fly and Easy Bake Coven are delightfully bonkers tales. Bart becoming a fly was well executed along with a zombie infected Springfield and it certainly felt plausible that from centuries past Marge and her sisters would be dangerous witches too.

3: Treehouse Of Horror IV

Four stories from this particular episode - Wraparounds, The Devil And Homer Simpson, Terror at 5½ Feet and Bart Simpson's Dracula. All of them brilliant but it's really the second and last one that are the true standouts from this particular episode.

4: Treehouse Of Horror XVIII

Probably the most recent of ones to make my Top 5 (from the nineteenth season), the trio of stories here are superb. Whether it's a hostile alien invasion with ET Go Home, a certain movie parodied in Mr & Mrs Simpson or Ned Flanders being given the ability to scare the living daylights out of Bart, Lisa, Nelson and Millhouse in Heck House, they're all great here.

5: Treehouse Of Horror XVI

From the seventeenth season, you've got Bart replaced with a robot son in B.I.: Bartificial Intelligence, Mr Burns going on a hunting spree in Survival Of The Fattest and the best of the bunch - the residents of Springfield being cursed by a witch into becoming their Halloween costumes in I've Grown A Costume To Your Face. While the last one was a storyline previously done on Buffy The Vampire Slayer, the results here are still hilarious to watch.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Recap/Review: American Horror Story: Freak Show - Edward Mordrake Part 2

The second part of our Halloween special and once again, this managed to be quite the episode with a few notable deaths and some surprising character backstories.

Written by Jennifer Salt
Directed by Howard Deutch

I Was A Good Clown: Twisty got the most interesting backstory of the episode and arguably the most tragic as well. The reveal of him being a rather dimwitted clown whom the freaks falsely accused of being a paedophile along with a botched suicide attempt (hence the jaw) and the fact that he wanted to do well by kids was surprisingly powerful stuff. Kudos for a fantastic backstory but at the same time, his death at the hands of Edward Mordrake wasn't so shocking when you think about it. It was however still effective though and with one dangerous clown taken out of the equation, there's always room for another.

You Ruined My Halloween: With Twisty now dead, someone has to scare the bejesus out of the Jupiter residents and Dandy seemed more than happy to take on the role. He had no problem kidnapping Jimmy and Maggie in this episode and even tried to saw the latter in half before receiving a well deserved punch from Jimmy. More to the point when he realised that Twisty was no longer alive, he took both his jawline and his homicidal tendencies as well. Much as I liked Dora as a character, it was obvious that she was going to end up becoming one of Dandy's first victims and the last minute of this episode. It's a shame to see her go and Gloria certainly better watch out as well now that her spoiled son has a taste for murder.

Snuff Movie: The best thing about this episode was giving us something of an insight into some of Elsa's troupes past, courtesy of Mordrake scouting for another soul to join his own troupe. While Mordrake was too charmed by Pepper and her friend's innocent playing to ask for their backstories, we did find out more about Paul the animated seal and Legless Suzy, but it was Elsa's past that was more interesting. I loved that Mordrake ripped through her delusions of grandeur to find out that she was a dominatrix in Germany who ended up having her legs cut off during the making of a snuff movie. A part of me was surprised that Elsa wasn't taken by Mordrake but I was also annoyed that her hubris came back again when Stanley showed up at the camp and pretended that he was a talent scout. I guess she's going to be in for some fall in later episodes.

Hero Of The Hour: Well, that award fell to Jimmy. He did save Maggie from being chopped in half by Dandy and also got everyone else to flee from Twisty. I didn't mind that the police and locals believed that he killed Twisty, mainly because he told Elsa the real story and also because in general, he's a fairly decent guy. I do think he's a little too taken in with Maggie though, so hopefully in the next few episodes he wises up to her and also finds a better way of getting back at Dell too.

Soul Claimer: So far we've seen Mordrake interact with Ethel, Elsa, Pepper and her friend, Legless Suzy and Paul before he claimed Twisty's soul. I get the impression that like Papa Legba from Coven that he's going to show up again and claim a few more souls, probably around the time we get to the finale. As for the rest of the episode, Bette and Dot got demoted in the performing hierarchy, Desiree dealt with a child's curiosity with sassy humour, Ethel was nowhere to be seen (or was she?) and Dell looked like he had a slapped arse on him.

Next week, a lot of screaming, Matt Bomer looking like an extra from Grease and pink cupcakes.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

My Review of Revenge's 4x05: "Repercussions"

Written by Ted Sullivan
Directed by Kate Woods

David: “I have come to learn that evil takes many forms, including those that we think we can trust the most.”

Actually the only think David has learned is to take the wrong end of the stick really. Even without Victoria and Charlotte feeding him misinformation and using him to get back at both Emily and Jack, David came to the wrong conclusion about who wronged his little girl at the end of this episode.

The trailer for next week saw him punching Nolan and when the latter tried to explain that he did everything David had wanted (money, infinity box etc), David didn’t seem at all convinced by Nolan’s sincerity. That to me is both annoying and understandable (given David’s current mental) but mostly annoying.

It’s frustrating to think that David might actually consider Nolan a traitor almost as it’s frustrating to see that Emily still hasn’t informed him that she’s really Amanda. At least with the latter storyline, Emily did manage to move David into their old beach house with Daniel and Margaux’s help but how much longer can Nayar and company drag this plot out?

I like that David is suspicious about Amanda’s death and even that he questioned Jack and Carl as well but I wish he would show a bit more mistrust and suspicion towards Victoria as well, even if both Emily, Daniel and Margaux managed to knock the wind out of her sails this week.

The confrontation scene at the hotel with Emily and Victoria was pretty good though. If this series does end with Victoria well and truly losing everything, then I’ll be happy but somehow even when David inevitably turns on her for lying to him, I still get the feeling that Victoria will somehow manage to get a last laugh of sorts anyways.

As for Daniel – when he wasn’t lording it over Victoria with his act of generosity, he was also getting further caught up in crazy Louise as well. I did like that he tried to keep things professional towards the end but it seems like Louise’s inane obsession with Victoria won’t be ceasing anytime soon and Daniel just fodder for the fire really.

On the plus side though, at least this episode finally gave us some decent Nolan moments. His scenes with Emily, Jack and David were all the highlights of this episode and if he can finally manage to convince the latter not to trust Victoria (which he did try to here), then it will feel like the character’s getting back on track. Provided David doesn’t kill him first, that is.

Also in “Repercussions”

How many more tedious scenes of Charlotte using and hooking up with assholes do we have to endure this season?

Victoria: “I’m afraid you won’t like the answers.”
David: “I don’t care. I’m gonna find out what happened to my girl.”

Charlotte’s little stunt with getting David to believe that Carl was his grandson was a new low for her.

Louise: “I’m from the South dear. If they’re not gossiping about you, you might as well be dead.”
Daniel: “Maybe I like to maintain a little mystery about myself.”

Margaux: “You should learn to govern your emotions, Emily. This is such an unflattering colour on you.”

In surprising news, Ben was actually kind of likeable this week but only because he seemed genuinely concerned about justice when looking into Conrad’s murder. The fact they kept him away from Emily probably helped too.

Emily (to Victoria): “You know what I see is a frightened woman about to lose the last person she could trick into loving her to his daughter.”

Charlotte (to Jack): “Wow, you are not a good cop. Terrible deductive reasoning.”

Victoria: “What are you doing?”
Daniel: “Atoning for my father’s sins.”

Standout music: Harry Nilsson’s “Everybody’s Talkin’”.

Daniel (to Louise): “Trust me I’m doing you a favour. You really don’t want to be a part of my family.”

Chronology: Five days since the last scene of “Meteor”.

“Repercussions” was a better episode than expected, maybe even better than last week but there’s still unengaging plotlines and still a sense that this show cannot go beyond this season. I don’t want to be harsh, but it’s kind of how I feel at the moment.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My Review of Gotham's 1x06: "Spirit Of The Goat"

Written by Ben Edlund
Directed by TJ Scott

Dix: “He always thinks he’s the smartest one in the room.”
Gordon: “I know, right?”
Bullock: “That’s because I’m always in a room full of idiots.”

I’m not gonna lie – a Bullock themed episode wasn’t high on my list of things I was clamouring for with this show, even though I do somewhat like the character. However this episode was a great one for him nonetheless.

Not only did it give us a little bit of a back story on him but his former relationship with former partner Dix from a decade ago wasn’t that dissimilar to the one he has with Gordon, only back then the roles were reversed, until the titular villain managed to cripple Dix that was and the present day brought about a copycat killer.

I couldn’t have been the only one who got a little Batman Returns reminder when the Goat’s MO involved kidnapped the first born kids. Only unlike Oswald from that movie, the Goat targeted both sons and daughters and seemed to like disposing them in a rather clichéd ritualistic manner. Oh and did I mention the killer was a copycat?

I should mention it because a decade ago, the Goat was someone called Randall Milky and in the present day, a janitor named Raymond Earl. However what stopped this from being a typical case of the week with a side order of Bullock angst/memory lane shots was that the therapist to both men was really the one calling the shots.

While Marx’s motives were no different either Balloonman or Viper guy from last week, I did find her a lot more charismatic as a villain and I liked that it was Bullock himself who actually pieced everything together without Gordon’s help and actually solved the case. When Bullock makes the effort, he’s actually a decent cop and person.  Of course, that’s probably only something we’ll see sparingly though.

At the heart of things, he’s still massively intolerant towards Jim’s goody two shoes approach to police work and looked set to kill him when Oswald strolled into GCPD as well. Oswald’s simple little gesture has probably managed to wreck things for Gordon, Bullock, Montoya and Allen as well as Fish and Falcone too for good measure.

Oswald didn’t have as much to do in this episode as previous ones but even with the lesser screen time, he still made the most of it. The last scene alone, his actual scenes with his mother were just downright creepy. I’m not sure how Oswald is supposed to be in this series, but he’s definitely too old to be getting a bath from his mother and that’s probably one scene that managed to be more terrifying than anything the Goat did this week.

As for the rest of the episode – it was a good one for Edward Nygma. When he wasn’t helping with the Goat case, he was trying to be helpful with rearranging records girl, Kristen Kringle system, which only managed to annoy and creep her out in the process. It’s nice that Nygma finally got more than one scene this week but I’m still cool with him staying in the background for a little while longer though.

Also in “Spirit Of The Goat”

I’m hoping with Oswald revealing himself, both Renee and Crispus will actually give Jim a break now, but somehow I doubt it.

Dix: “Gotham’s golden rule, Harvey, no heroes.”

It seems that Bullock has been financially supporting Dix since his accident. The fact that he makes sure Dix gets his dirty magazines was a surprisingly perfect touch.

Nygma: “Are you alright, detective?”
Bullock: “No, I’m not alright. I already solved this case.”

Renee (to Crispus): “We got the son of a bitch. We got Gordon.”

Dix referred to Bullock as a white knight. Er, wrong Harvey but that one will be showing up fairly soon though. I also loved Nygma’s on the nose mug as well.

Nygma (to Kristen): “I want you to keep your job.”

This week in terms of Selina cameos, she broke into Wayne Manor, looked at Bruce’s detective work and then stole a box. As you do.

Renee (re Gordon): “He’s right not to.”
Barbara: “Why?”
Renee: “Because it’ll get you killed, okay?”

This episode was the first one not to feature Fish. Also both Falcone and Maroni were nowhere to be seen as well.

The Goat: “You will never stop the Goat. I will always come back.”
Bullock: “Quit saying that.”

Seeing as the Goat was targeting Gotham’s elite kids, I’m actually surprised that he didn’t go after Bruce. At least Alfred considered the possibility of it though.

Essen: “Bullock, look happier.”

Gordon (to Barbara): “Somehow they cornered me, they tied my hands.”

Chronology: Not long from where “Viper” left off. The ads for the episode almost implied it was supposed to be Halloween.

“Spirit Of The Goat” had some nice elements of horror to it, even if parts of the case felt a little too similar to most cop series. I did like the twist with the therapist and the last scene certainly made this episode as well.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Monday, October 27, 2014

My Review of Doctor Who's 8x10: "In The Forest Of The Night"

Written by Frank Cottrell-Boyce
Directed by Sheree Folkson

The Doctor (to the children): “Class project – save the Earth.”

What a difference an episode can make. For the last two weeks, even the most ardent of critics towards the Moffat era were praising the ground that Jamie Mathieson walked on for his two contributions towards the show. However, it seems that acclaimed author; Frank Cottrell-Boyce wasn’t on the same receiving end with this offer here.

In some ways I can sort of see why this episode wasn’t so lauded. First of all, the fairytale aspect, whilst beautiful and thematically appropriate has already been something that was given so much focus on when Amy Pond was a companion during the majority of the Matt Smith era that perhaps certain fans didn’t want reminding of it. Of course, there’s also the other criticism as well.

Much as I love Moffat’s era, even I cannot deny that it’s often been too child centred for its own good and after having Courtney taking on a guest companion role a few weeks ago, I wasn’t exactly enthused about the idea of a class trip with Clara and Danny’s students going wrong. Perhaps this was finally one child centred episode too much for Moffat’s particular run but no doubt we’ll get another one in Series 9, which may be better or worse than this one as well.

There’s also the fact that while this episode looked stunning and lush, it also didn’t make a great deal of sense. Overnight London becomes one massive forest that cannot be burned down, except for a solar flare and it’s also somewhat brought about by a young girl named Maebh, who also can’t send the forest back.

Speaking of Maebh, out of all the children she was by far the most likeable and memorable with Abigail Eames working brilliantly with Peter Capaldi during most of the episode’s poignant scenes. Also like the previous two episodes, I’ve noticed that Capaldi’s Doctor has begun to soften a little without totally becoming unrecognisable towards his current incarnation as well.

I did get a bit of a laugh with his exasperation with Coal Hill Year 8 invading his TARDIS but I also liked that he admitted he was wrong not to listen to Maebh and that he also went out of his way to rectify the situation before realising that all he had to do was let the solar flares do their business and London would no longer be a forest. In a lot of ways I think that actually took away the danger the episode was attempting to portray in the first place.

As for the rest episode – last week the Doctor realised that Clara was lying about Danny and this week, Danny realised Clara was lying about the Doctor. It would be nice if somewhere in the finale, Clara sat both of them down and was honest about what she really wanted. Mainly because the whole hopping back and forth is clearly not working as well in her favour as she thought it would do.

As for the other bits of the episode – the Missy plot/Operation Cobra both felt horrible tacked on and the more I think about the way Maebh’s missing sister plot was resolved, the more terrible it actually was. Perhaps that was a subplot that should’ve been nixed at the early stages of this episode as it ended this one on a note too saccharine for its own good.

Also in “In The Forest Of The Night”

Despite the title, this episode was set during the day, even if there was an overnight stay at a zoological museum.

The Doctor (to Maebh): “You need an appointment to see the Doctor.”

The little girl who played the overly chatty Ruby actually voices Peppa Pig.

Danny: “Trees don’t just disappear, Ruby.”
Ruby: “They just came, why don’t they just go?”

The Doctor (re Maebh): “If a child is speaking, listen to it.”

This episode really could’ve been used as a chance for the Doctor and Danny to have actually resolved their issues instead of sniping at each other.

Clara: “I’m actually frightened. I never get frightened. Why am I frightened?”
The Doctor: “Just lost a little girl.”

The Doctor: “Those wolves are terrified.”
Clara: “What are wolves frightened of?”

The flashbacks with Ruby and Bradley somewhat prove that Courtney wasn’t the only ‘disruptive influence’ that Clara and Danny have had to deal with in their classes.

Clara: “This is the human race saving you. Make it worthwhile.”
The Doctor: “This is my world too. I walk your Earth, I breathe your air.”

Missy: “Now that was surprising. I love surprises.”

Chronology: Present day London.

“In The Forest Of The Night” isn’t quite as awful as some fans seem keen to stress out, but given the previous episodes that have come before, it was somewhat lagging in parts and to be honest, I think the trailer for the next episode probably left more of an impression than this episode did overall. Still though, I am going to rate this one fairly.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Recap/Review: How To Get Away With Murder's 1x01: Pilot

Yeah, I caved in and I have decided to do review/recaps for this series for the time being. This should be interesting.

Written by Peter Nowalk
Directed by Michael Offer

The Body: This episode opened with the death (by law trophy) of a mysterious person and four frantic law students - Connor Walsh (Jack Falahee), Wes Gibbons (Alfred Enoch), Laurel Castillo (Karla Souza) and Michaela Pratt (Aja Naomi King) mostly panicking, trying to get the body out of the place of their professor Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) before eventually getting to the woods (amidst a lot of arguing and almost being caught). Like Revenge, this is actually a flashforward but one that takes up a great portion of the opening episode as the body is burned and we learn that it actually happens to be Annalise's husband, Sam Keating (Tom Verica). I guess the mystery is why Sam was killed and can Connor, Wes, Laurel and Michaela get away with murder? However the most disturbing thing about those flashforward scenes wasn't the actual murder/body disposal itself but Connor's completely inappropriate singing of Jingle Bells during the episode. That bit seriously creeped me out more than anything else really.

Professor Formidable: If you love Kerry Washington's Olivia Pope on Scandal, then you'll probably have no problem with falling in love with Viola Davis's crime law professor/attorney, Annalise Keating, who is just every bit as interesting, if possibly not more so. She also seems a lot tougher than Olivia too, what with the way she challenged her students during a 'how to get away with murder' segment before she ended up picking four of them along with frat boy like Asher Millstone (Matt McGorry). Like Olivia too, Annalise has something of an interesting private life - her affair with detective Nate Lachey (Billy Brown) got uncovered by Wes and she seemed a little suspicious about her husband's concern for student Lila Stangard's mysterious death ("I bet you the boyfriend did it.") as well. Character wise, she certainly pulls no punches and you don't have to be a genius to predict that an Emmy for this role is clearly in Davis's imminent future as well.

Bad Boy: Out of all the students, only five were on screen to make an impression from Annalise's class. Asher was the only one from the five not to be involved in the murder and while likeable, he didn't really have a whole lot to do here. As for the others - Wes is clearly the nice guy of the bunch, even trying to help out his mysterious neighbour Rebecca (Katie Findley) who blew hot and cold with him, Laurel was implied to be sleeping with Annalise's associate, Frank Delfino (Charlie Weber) while Michaela seemed to be ultra competitive and the most in denial about the murder but it was Connor who stood out the most here. Aside from the bickering with Michaela and his creepy singing, it's nice to see a gay character on network television unapologetic about their sexuality and the scene where he seduced IT guy Oliver (Conrad Ricamora) for information was fantastic. Aside from Annalise, he's definitely the most interesting character of the bunch here. Cyrus Beene would be proud and a tiny bit afraid of Connor.

Frank & Bonnie: While Olivia has her Gladiators, when Annalise isn't scouting for students to hire at her firm, she's got both Frank and Bonnie Winterbottom (Liza Weil). In terms of first episode stuff, neither of them did anything that truly stood out as such, though it was implied that Frank had a habit for sleeping with students (here's looking at you, Laurel) and both Bonnie and Annalise seemed aware of that and not particularly cool with it either. While they were overshadowed by Annalise, her students and the two murder mysteries of the episode, I'm sure we'll see both characters fleshed out in no time.

Case Of The Week: I have a feeling the case of the week bits of this show will be fine but less interesting than the flashforwards to Sam's murder, the mystery of Lila's murder (which Rebecca and some other guy might be involved with) or the various interactions with the main cast. This week's one revolved around an attempted murder of a man with both his wife and mistress looking like they have been in cahoots at different points in the episode. The various jumping about with the case as each of the students (particularly Connor, Laurel and Michaela) all trying to find various bits of evidence on what really happened was fun enough to seen. Like Scandal, there are times when this show jumps so fast, it could cause you whiplash. It's fun in parts but it can also take you out of the story a tiny bit but other than that, this was an interesting start to a promising series.

Next week, there's a case about a millionaire bumping off his wife as the students in flashforwards buy supplies to clean up their murder.

Ryan Murphy's Other TV Projects

With The Normal Heart bagging plenty of awards, American Horror Story's fourth season currently airing on TV and Glee's sixth and final season waiting in the wings, it seems like Ryan Murphy won't be resting on his laurels just yet as I round up news on his other television projects.

Open: Bad news first. This show starring the likes of Anna Torv, Scott Speedman, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Michelle Monaghan will not be running after all. It was announced a while ago that HBO decided not to pick the series up, though they had wanted to redevelop the pilot. Of course with one new show not happening, at least two others will be.

American Crime Story: Enjoying the success of American Horror Story, FX have branched out with Murphy on another anthology series, this time focusing on real life crimes. The first season of this show, due for next year will comprise of 10 episodes focusing on the OJ Simpson case. While television is already overcrowded with crime dramas than it knows what to do with, I'm somewhat intrigued by this one. Filming will begin next year on this one.

Scream Queens: To be honest, this upcoming FOX series just sounds like a mash-up of Glee and American Horror Story (milder than the latter too I imagine) with Murphy, Falchuk and Brennan banding together on a comedy-horror anthology series that will have two different female leads every season. It'll debut in Fall 2015 with a 15 episode first season. Out of the two projects actually in productions, it's probably the one I will end up watching.

Open News:
American Crime Story News:
Scream Queens News:

Both Scream Queens and American Crime Story will debut on FOX and FX respectively in 2015. I'll post more information (casting etc) when it becomes available.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Recap/Review: American Horror Story: Freak Show - Edward Mordrake Part 1

It's Halloween time (well, in one week) but for the freak show residents of Jupiter, it's more or less now and like the first and third seasons, it's enough to warrant a two parter, a very interesting one too.

Written by James Wong
Directed by Michael Uppendahl

Aristocratic Evil: Before you ask, yes, the legend of Edward Mordrake is real ( and here, he's played with eerie charm and a tiny malevelence by American Beauty's Wes Bentley. The freaks along with Ethel tell Bette and Dot the legend of the two faced man, with the latter being dismissive, though the rest of them never perform on Halloween in fear of summoning his spirit. However despite Elsa actually breaking that rule, it was a dying Ethel who ended up with the visit from Mordrake. Oddly enough, Edward seemed more sympathetic as he got her to reveal a lot more about her past relationship with Dell. If you loathed Dell in the previous episode, you'll loathe him even more by the end of this one. Actually, aside from one scene, he's just loathsome in general. As for Edward, he's looking for a pure freak to drag to hell and somehow Ethel didn't make the cut.

Innocence Lost: I wasn't particularly blown away with Elsa's version of Life On Mars in the opening episode but her version of Lana Del Rey's Gods & Monsters, well I'm listening to it as I write this recap. It's certainly better and it's almost a shame that it's a performance that isn't being viewed by a crowd, though it was enough to trigger Mordrake into action. This episode continued to highlight Elsa's vanity with Dot being overconfident about her own vocal talents and fake spiritualist Esmeralda (really it's a woman called Maggie and Emma Roberts making her debut) exploiting Elsa's desperation in order to get closer to the freaks.

The Psychic And Mr Big: Welcome aboard, Emma Roberts and Denis O'Hare. It only took three episodes for them to show up this season and already they've made an impression in their mission to acquire freak (watch out Bette/Dot). With Roberts, she's playing a slightly less bitchier character than last season but at the same time while Jimmy was too easily taken in by Maggie, Dot took an instant dislike to her and Elsa had to be tempted in order for Maggie to get into the camp. As for O'Hare's Stanley, well he seems to be the nastier of the two but it's nice to see that he has something rather freakish downstairs as his sex scene with a not convincing Thor lookalike implied more than showed. Even cable television has it's limits but I am intrigued to see this devious duo cause chaos and get further out of their depth as the season unfolds.

The Clown Took Him: The residents of Jupiter are a tiresome and intolerant lot. We know this through their attitude towards the freaks and also down to one mother being utterly dismissive of her daughter's sightings of Twisty the clown, who later kidnapped her horrible older brother. As for Dandy, he's still in psycho spoiled brat mode, both taunting Twisty's captives and coming close to killing Dora. I love that Dora challenged the little Joffrey in the making, because Gloria's mother is a lot scarier than either Mordrake and Twisty combined. As for Twisty, even he seems to be exasperated by Dandy.

Separation Anxiety: Could Bette and Dot literally end up separated? While Dot found the idea more than appealing, Bette on the other hand was pretty horrified by it. I have to admit the dream/nightmare sequence itself was freaky enough and the increasing bad feeling between the girls is believable as well but this wasn't really the episode for the twins. Other plots took precedence and aside from the scene where Dot laid into the rest of the freaks, I do think she was a little too harsh and dismissive at times. I do like that she's smart enough not to trust 'Esmeralda'. I just hope it doesn't backfire on her, along with her barely concealed feelings for Jimmy as well.

Next week, the second half of this two parter will see Mordrake paying Elsa a visit as further chaos descends on the camp and Dandy continues to lose it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

My Review of Revenge's 4x04: "Meteor"

Written by Karin Gist
Directed by J Miller Tobin

Nolan (re David): “What just happened?”
Emily (re Victoria): “She got to him first.”

I honestly thought we would have another month before the entire world knew that David Clarke was alive and only after both he and Emily had a tearful reunion where he realised that she was actually Amanda all along. This episode had other ideas.

Namely the first one being David getting arrested and both Jack and Emily having to watch him in a police line up with horrified reactions before Edward became privy to who David really was and Victoria managed to sink her claws that tiny bit more into him. I really think this episode was Victoria at her worst.

The look of glee she had the end of the episode as she posed with David and Charlotte as Emily was helpless to look was pretty low, even for her. There’s no way this show can actually end with Victoria getting everything she wanted. David at least showed some suspicion towards her in this episode. Hopefully when both he and Emily are reunited, they take her down once and for all, unless Louise gets there first.

Speaking of Louise – I’ve had enough of her mother issues and the fact that she’s clearly using Daniel to get to Victoria is a bit bizarre too, isn’t it? Louise gave some pretty obvious signs that she was rather strange, which Daniel ignored because he was too busy trying to prove that he had some business savvy after all. Not sure why as I doubt most viewers are that interested in the first place.

On the other hand, at least Daniel’s nastiness towards Victoria was rather amusing to watch and I bet anything that he was positively sickened upon learning that David was alive and with his mother yet again. As for Margaux, she didn’t really do that much this week, but she’s still too good for Daniel.

The David elements of the episode kept this one afloat but it’s also these elements that are problematic too. I know I’ve said it in previous reviews (and will undoubtedly say it a lot this season), but I really don’t see how this show can go on for another year after this one. After David and Emily do reunite and hopefully take out Victoria, there’s nowhere else creatively the show can go, is there? The writers are even struggling to give Nolan anything to do and the less said about Charlotte’s drug habit the better really.

Also in “Meteor”

Ben is starting to annoy me as a character. I know a part of me should find him charming but he’s coming across as a bit of a stalker really.

Victoria: “I didn’t mean to upset you but this is a different world from the one you left. Your re-emergence must be carefully planned.”

David told the FBI and media that Conrad had been keeping him prisoner for the last few years.

Charlotte: “What do you really want from me, mom?”
Victoria: “Nothing but to see you happy.”
Charlotte: “The Grayson mantra: lie and deny.”

Margaux seems to have sorted her hair out this season. Nolan’s is still a bit of a mess really.

Daniel (re hex): “Did it work?”
Louise: “Oh no, darling, nothing can rid the devil. My momma and I will never fix things.”

That Edward guy seems like he could another problem for Emily down the line this season as well.

Emily (to Nolan, re David): “He deserved more twenty years ago. I can’t wait one more day.”

Standout music: “All I Want” by Sarah Blasko.

David: “I prayed for this moment, this freedom and today my prayers were answered.”

Chronology: From where “Ashes” left off.

“Meteor” is easily the best episode of the first four and I certainly can’t wait for the inevitable father/daughter reunion but at the same time, it’s hard to deny that this show is starting to really show that it’s had it’s day now.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My Review of Gotham's 1x05: "Viper"

Written by Rebecca Perry Cutter
Directed by Tim Hunter

Stan: “I had hoped a demonstration using street people would’ve sufficed but it seems only bad things truly happen to important people like you.”

Did anyone else get a serious Smallville vibe off this episode? I know technically the antics of the Balloonman were the type of thing that made sure this series wouldn’t be seen as a generic crime series but the whole Viper/Venom super soldier plot courtesy of Stan Potolsky really gave off the vibe of the most famous prequel TV show in recent history.

It wasn’t actually a bad thing really but watching the effects of the venom working on mainly busker Benny and then a few other characters was definitely something I’ve seen before, TV wise. It was definitely interesting though.

The actual thing having to be breathed in and then watching as it gave people super strength before depriving them of calcium worked well enough. The actual death scene though of Benny after he stole an ATM machine however was more unintentionally funny than tragic though, even if a certain someone found the whole effects of the Viper “fascinating”.

As for Stan – like Gladwell from the previous week, I almost wish he had survived the episode, even if he did try to disrupt a Wayne Enterprises luncheon with his antics, only for Gordon and Bullock to stop him at the last minute but only because his actual demise lacked any spark itself.

As for the plot about a subsidiary of Wayne Enterprises being involved in the making of the venom/viper – hardly a shocker, but it earned points for Bruce doing some actual detective work on his parents company and not being so easily fobbed off by middle management lady Mathis, who turned out to be a bad one by the end of the episode.

Of course when we weren’t dealing with super dangerous drugs, the mob war stuff with Falcone and Maroni continued. Falcone chose not to make a move on his potential usurper but the latter himself (when he wasn’t grilling both Oswald and Gordon) decided to rob Falcone’s casino for the hell of it. Of course, Fish was far craftier in her scheming against Falcone this week.

First of all, both her and Russian mobster Nikolai pretended to hate each other’s guts in front of Falcone while engaging in some bondage fun later in the episode. Like Liza, Nikolai is clearly being set up as a means to an end for Fish’s overall scheming but I have to admit, I do like that she isn’t solely relying on only one way to get Falcone out of the picture.

With Liza, she managed to group a somewhat tone deaf, Goth chic wearing girl into an opera loving, literally white than white young lady for Falcone to fall in love with. The strange thing is a part sort of feels bad for Falcone. He’ll clearly fall for Liza, she’ll end up reciprocating and Fish will probably have her killed when the whole thing goes belly up. Right now that’s exactly how I see this whole storyline actually playing out.

Also in “Viper”

Selina made a brief cameo as she stole some bloke’s wallet while Edward was fascinated by the effects of the venom.

Bruce (to Alfred): “I don’t want revenge. I want to understand how it all works. How Gotham works.”

The venom/super soldier mention this week was clearly an allusion to Bane, a villain I hope this series doesn’t bring in just yet.

Nikolai: “Ladies are in the kitchen or in bed, depending on their talents.”
Fish: “I bet your mother was a lousy cook.”

Edward: “Fascinating.”

Oswald has managed to piss off both Falcone and Maroni and it’s only been five episodes. He also managed not to kill anyone in this episode as well.

Oswald: “Everyone calls me Penguin.”
Maroni: “You don’t like that name? Well, you’re wrong. It’s a good name. It works for you.”

Maroni: “I try to be civil, Jim but I’m not the kind of man who asks twice.”

Missing this week included Barbara, Renee, Crispus and Butch.

Gordon: “Don’t shoot.”
Stan: “That’s considerate of you. I’m leaving now.”

Bullock (to Gordon): “You really can have too much of a good thing.”

Standout music: Gianni Schicchi: O Mio Babbino Caro. It was used quite pointedly in the episode.

Nikolai: “Untie me.”
Fish: “Say pretty please.”

Chronology: Not long after the events of “Arkham” I assume.

“Viper” was a fairly solid episode, good in parts but nothing too taxing but as interesting as the gang war stuff is, how much longer will we have to wait before a) everyone properly realises that Oswald is alive and b) Falcone and Maroni actually share a scene together? Other than that, not the best episode really.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Monday, October 20, 2014

My Review of Doctor Who's 8x09: "Flatline"

Written by Jamie Mathieson
Directed by Douglas Mackinnon

Clara (to Rigsy): “I’m the Doctor.”
The Doctor: “Don’t you dare!”
Clara: “Doctor Oswald but you can call me Clara.”

I bet for a lot of fans complaining that this series has been too focused on Clara; this probably wasn’t an episode they were looking forward to. That’s a shame because if they put their feelings for Clara to one side, then they would’ve realised that this was an absolute gem of an episode. Two gems in a row for Jamie Mathieson in fact.

But as for Clara – yes, her screen time has been prominent but not once have I felt that it’s come at the expense of Peter Capaldi, who despite being stuck in one set for the majority of this episode was far from underused either. While this episode was definitely Clara heavy, it was also by no means Doctor light either.

While I’m not big on the idea of a female Doctor (and no, that doesn’t make me sexist, lacking in imagination etc, I just prefer the character male), I thought Clara somewhat taking on the role because Twelve himself was trapped inside a shrinking TARDIS worked fantastically here. She even got herself a companion in likeable graffiti artist/community service worker Rigsy, who made for a pretty good companion as well.

I’ve seen a lot of people over the last two days cite this episode as a justified reason for the series to eventually have a female Doctor but I think what the episode was trying to do more was give Clara a perspective into why the Doctor does and says the very things he does whenever they’re caught in dangerous situations like the one in this episode.

Even without the Doctor whispering in her ear, Clara almost instinctively seemed to be mirroring his usual actions. She told Rigsy, the unfortunate policewoman Forrest and several community service workers what she felt they needed to know at various times and provided them with hope, even when she had no idea how to fix things. Oh and there was also the issue of lying to Danny during a particular life or death situation as well.

The point is, this episode certainly gave Clara a better understanding of how the Doctor operates but I also would like to think it gave him something of an insight as well. I didn’t like that he seemed reluctant to praise her for dealing with the situation as best as she did but the last scene where Missy revealed that she chose in relation to Clara was interesting.

For one thing, it finally confirmed that Missy indeed was the woman in the shop and for some reason; she’s been watching Clara’s adventures with the Doctor. Of course we still don’t know why but seeing as we’re closing in on the finale, it won’t be too long until everything about this whole promised land/Nethersphere comes to a head.

As for the monsters of the week themselves – I quite liked the Boneless. The whole idea of messing with dimensions is such a typical Moffat era type of idea that I’m almost surprised it took until now for it to be realised. Unlike the Foretold from last week, this lot did seem to be genuinely nasty and certainly wasted no time in bumping off most of the guest characters before eventually getting banished by the Doctor. Will we see them again? I’m not sure if we should but I definitely think they can be classed as this series most standout creature for the time being, right?

Also in “Flatline”

The Addams Family way in which the Doctor managed to get his shrunken TARDIS off the train tracks was hysterical.

Clara: “Are you tiny in there?”
The Doctor: “No, I’m exactly the same size.”

I’m glad the Doctor confronted Clara about lying to Danny. Hopefully the next episode resolves this whole issue altogether. Also Fenton was one of the nastiest guest characters we’ve had in a long while.

Clara: “Rigsy, this is where we run. Stick with me.”

Danny: “Where are you and are you in trouble?”
Clara: “Uh, I don’t know. I’m fine.”

Sorry folks but Danny actually said ‘got our bench’ rather than ‘what’s up, bitch?’. How did people not hear that right?

Clara (to Fenton): “I’ll tell you who I am. I’m the one chance you’ve got of staying alive, that’s who I am.”

Clara: “You’ll die.”
Rigsy: “Of course I’ll die, now go.”

It seems that where the promised land/Nethersphere/Heaven is, the use of tablets is still a thing.

Clara: “Why can’t you say it? I was the Doctor and I was good.”
The Doctor: “You were an exceptional Doctor. Goodness had nothing to do with it.”

Missy: “Clara, my Clara. I have chosen well.”

Chronology: Present day Bristol. Actually the remaining episodes (Nethersphere aside) look like they’ll be modern day set.

With two exceptional episodes in a row, I’m not sure yet if I want to join the Jamie Mathieson for showrunner bandwagon some fans have jumped on but I definitely want another episode from him next series. I loved last week’s episode but I think having watching it three times that “Flatline” just about edged it a little.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice - Latest Casting Rumour/Possible Spoiler

Now, this one is going to be interesting, assuming it turns out to be true ...

Jena Malone best known for her roles in The Hunger Games and Stepmom has now been rumoured to be appearing in Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice, after being spotted on set recently and of course, dyeing her hair red, it seems the actress is now rumoured to be playing Carrie Kelly, who to comic book readers will be known as the female version of Robin from Frank Miller's comics The Dark Knight Returns and The Dark Knight Strikes Again.

With parts of Affleck's depiction of Batman in the upcoming movie somewhat based on Miller's take on the character, it is possible that Malone could be playing a somewhat older version of Kelly (in the comics, Carrie is a 13 year old girl, Malone is 29) but it's also possible the actress could be playing another character altogether. Either way, it'll be interesting to see if the movie franchise will actually tackle a Robin that isn't Dick Grayson for the big screen.

More Information:

Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice continues to film and will be released in cinemas from March 26th 2016.

Ice Queens

And a look at some of the show I've been watching recently ...

Downton Abbey: While this series has been a bit of an improvement on the previous one, there's still a feeling of not much really happening. How many more times do we need to see a scene where Robert loses his patience with Bunting or Edith pining for her child before something actually materialises? Similarly Mary's relationship with Gillingham has gotten more tedious and the sooner this whole 'Who Killed Green?' plot is put to bed, the better really. Halfway through this series, only the continuously spiky banter with Violet and Isobel and Thomas's storyline are the only things really keeping this series afloat.

Marvel's Agents Of SHIELD: While it may be returning to Channel 4 on Friday, RTE2 have gotten there first and having watched the first two episodes, it's not hard to see the marked improvement the series has enjoyed. The writing has definitely improved and the fallout from the first season and Ward's betrayal has certainly produced a lot of character shifts as well. It's a shame though that Lucy Lawless wasn't kept on but there's some good potential with Nick Blood's volatile Lance Hunter and the more scenes with May and Coulson, the better really.

Once Upon A Time: I'm currently catching up with the spin-off, Once Upon A Time In Wonderland but the first three episodes of the parent show's fourth season has been some of their best yet. While I wasn't keen on Frozen forming the narrative for the first half of this season, I have to admit the additions of Elsa, Anna, Kristoff etc have been brilliantly handled and having Elizabeth Mitchell as the Snow Queen has also been a great touch to this season. I will admit that while the likes of Rumple, Regina and even Snow herself have been a little underused, this has been a strong slew of episodes so far.

Scandal: The fourth season has aired at least four episodes in the US and with SkyLiving, we're still at least six episodes away from the third season finishing up. The last few episodes alone have seen the death of Sally's husband, the possible imminent death of Cyrus's spouse, Olivia's father getting one hell of a demotion, Fitz being an ass and some more flashbacks on Mellie and her relationship with Andrew as well as the tense atmosphere between Huck and Quinn. There are times when I do feel like I'm getting whiplash as everything seems to be moving so fast but at the same time, this continues to be a gripping series.

The Vampire Diaries: I did some cheating here and decided to watch the remaining episodes to the fifth season online and they've been something of a mixed bag. The finale itself was excellent and it'll be interesting to see how Damon and Bonnie get out of their little predicament but I haven't been too interested in the Travellers and Enzo's storyline took something of a cliched route at times. Plus the less angst between Damon and Elena, the better. Those two have managed to become the most tedious couple on the show at the moment. On the plus side, at least Liv and Luke managed to make it out of the season alive and I do enjoy Stefan and Caroline's scenes together.

- ABC have acquired the rights to gay soccer themed comedy Men In Shorts, inspired by Robbie Rogers.
- Gotham will now air for 22 episodes instead of 16. Nicholas D'Agosto has been cast as Harvey Dent.
- Fans of Friends will be able to watch all 10 seasons of the show on Netflix from January.
- Season 5 of Game Of Thrones will feature it's first flashback scene.
- Archie Panjabi is leaving The Good Wife.
- A remake of Bewitched is in the works.
- Alexandra Breckenridge has joined the cast of The Walking Dead in an undisclosed role for now.
- American Horror Story has been renewed for a fifth season.
- How To Get Away With Murder has gotten a season order of 15 episodes and will air Tuesdays 10pm on Universal from October 21st for UK viewers.
- Andy Mientus will play gay villain The Pied Piper in The Flash.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Recap/Review: American Horror Story: Freak Show - Massacres And Matinees

It's the second episode and things are certainly moving along nicely as a few new characters are thrown into the mix.

Written by Tim Minear
Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

Mr & Mrs Strongmen: With Michael Chiklis and Angela Bassett's names already in the opening credits, this was the very episode to actually introduce both characters - volatile strongman, Dell Toledo and his wife, Desiree, a three breasted hermaphrodite. While Desiree seems reasonably okay so far (even making suggestions for Bette and Dot), Toledo is already presented as an aggressive loose cannon who has previously killed in Chicago and wasted no time in bulldozing over Elsa with the matinee idea and beating the snot out of Jimmy as well for good measure. It was also revealed that he's Jimmy's father and Ethel's ex-husband, so she wasn't best pleased to see him again.

Your Own Clown: The best thing about this whole plot was the fact that Dandy managed to freak or annoy the shit out of twisty during their encounter in the former's house. If Dandy's behaviour is so off-putting, it unnerves a homicidal non speaking maniac like Twisty. Actually throughout this episode, both Dandy and his overbearing mother creeped me out far more than Twisty's slaughtering antics but the whole teaming up of Dandy and Twisty just cannot end well, can it?

Criminally Good: Last week it was Elsa giving us an okay version of Life On Mars and this week, despite Bette being unable to sing to save her life, Dot on the other hand (the twin I find I'm liking the most as is Jimmy by the looks of it) ended up singing a bloody brilliant version of Fiona Apple's Criminal, much to Elsa's chagrin. I like that Dot did find her voice in this episode and while I do feel bad for Bette, I don't like that she's being so easily manipulated by a clearly threatened Elsa as well. Still, do I need to say that Sarah Paulson is the best thing about this season? No, but I'm going to anyway.

Saving The Show: Despite taking centre stage in the first episode, this wasn't a big one for Elsa really. Sure, she was threatened by Dot's talents, seemed to undermine Jimmy's manliness and ignored warning signs about Toledo (even she admitted he was going to be a problem), Elsa didn't do a great deal in this one. And she didn't seem that put out that Jimmy's plan to get rid of Toledo resulted in bird head biting Meep getting killed as a result. Speaking of Jimmy, I empathized with him in this episode. He's desperately trying to prove that being a freak shouldn't be a bad thing and at every turn, it wasn't panning out for me. He might have killed a cop but other than that, he does seem like a nice bloke,

Almost Out Of There: Poor Bonnie and the little boy who were held up in the camper van of hell nearly escaped this week, only for dandy to round them up again with Twisty. The opening sequence was pretty freaky as well with Twisty dispatching of two people in less than six minutes but mainly, a set up for next week's two parter was set up with all the Halloween paraphernalia on display. Oh and we got Patti LaBelle as Gloria's maid, who sadly judging by what she revealed about Dandy's private activities will probably not be around for long either.

Next week, both Stanley and Maggie arrive on the scene, Halloween is the setting and a certain legend turns out to be very much real.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

My Review of Revenge's 4x03: "Ashes"

Written by Alex Taub
Directed by Colin Bucksey

Victoria (to Emily): “I owe you so much more than a quick death. Buckle up, sweetheart.”

Well, this wasn’t a very exciting episode, was it? Victoria might think she sounded bad ass with that threat to Emily but if anything, it just served as another reminder of how unjustified her quest for vengeance against Emily really is. Another comeuppance for Victoria can’t come soon enough to be honest.

In this episode alone, she was especially annoying – first with over praising Charlotte and making it look like the latter was the one to exonerate David while at the same time, continuing to paint Emily as a menace – one that David almost tried to kill as well for good measure.

Of course on top of that, we also had to see Victoria begging for money – first to Daniel, which failed as he’s broke and then to Margaux, which succeeded because the latter foolishly bought into Victoria’s claims of affection for her. I like Margaux but every time she’s in a scene with Daniel or Victoria nowadays, it’s like the poor woman’s intelligence goes out the window, which I’m less fond.

As for David trying to kill Emily – it was the lamest would be assassination attempt the show has done but I want to believe David’s hesitance came from hopefully realising that Emily was actually Amanda. If he could recognise Charlotte as his daughter from just her eyes, then hopefully he did the same here with Emily.

Speaking of Emily, I was really disappointed with her this week. I get that she feels bad about Charlotte being lied to and all that, but I really disliked Charlotte ended up suffering no consequences for her arson of the Stowaway and attempted murder of her half-sister. Part of the reason why Charlotte is the way she is that she’s never suffered some true consequences and both Jack and Nolan were right to call Emily out on not wanting to drop Charlotte in it.

As for Daniel – aside from his meeting with Victoria, it’s almost like he exists on a different show nowadays. I honestly couldn’t care less that he’s unemployable and the fact that Louise (having been spurned by Victoria) was able to play him so easily just proved that he’s even more of an idiot than before. I’m not really sure what to make of Louise either, character wise.

Also in “Ashes”

So the police probably suspect that the Stowaway burning down is the result of arson but are happy to believe the bad wiring excuse from Jack? Only in the land of television.

David: “What about Emily Thorne? What if she finds you first?”
Victoria: “She better hope she doesn’t.”

Margaux’s hair looked a little better in this episode. It’s still not her best look but she’s the only other likeable female character outside of Emily though.

Victoria (re Emily): “Don’t you worry. That pathological creature is going to get what she deserves.”
Charlotte: “And what about me? Will I?”

Emily (to Charlotte): “I know you’re in a bad place and it’s a place I helped put you in but I want you to know whether you believe me or no, I am truly sorry.”

Ben: “You’re not ever gonna want company, are you?”
Emily: “Probably not.”

Emily turned down Ben’s pretty bad attempt of asking her out. I’m not sure I actually like Ben, something seems off with him, character wise.

Emily (re Carl): “He thought the world of you.”
Jack: “That’s why he didn’t want me to have it.”

Standout music: Nothing really stood out for me this week.

Louise: “Wanna ponder life in deep silence? Find a cave.”
Daniel: “That’s good advice.”

Chronology: From where “Disclosure” left off.

It wasn’t awful but at the same time, “Ashes” wasn’t anything to write home about either. I guess there’s this feeling that this show really should end now because after David and Emily are reunited, where else can it go? It also didn’t help that this episode felt a bit too paint by the number as well for its own good.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My Review of Gotham's 1x04: "Arkham"

Written by Ken Woodruff
Directed by TJ Scott

Bruce: “Do you really believe that? Do you believe Gotham can be saved?”
Gordon: “I believe it’s worth trying.”

In the first three episodes, we’ve already met four members of the Rogues Gallery and had been introduced to two of the verse’s most notorious mob bosses in Falcone and Maroni. Now this was the episode to introduce Arkham and perhaps not shockingly enough, it also became the pawn for both mob bosses in their quest to seize control of the city.

I found it rather amusing that both Maroni and Falcone decided to use the same hitman to take out opposing councilmen and the hitman in question certainly made an impression, even more than the Balloonman from the previous episode.

Gladwell’s method of attacking his victims with a spike like object before coming up with other ways to finish them off certainly proved that he wasn’t messing about. I’m not sure I really needed to see one of his victims being lit up like a Christmas tree but it was a surprisingly gruesome moment in an episode that had its fair share of them.

It was only however when Gladwell attacked the Mayor did he become undone in the episode but despite being shot, both Maroni and Falcone got some possession over the area surrounding Arkham. However it was the former who was the more fortunate of the bunch while the latter had to settle for housing at the moment.

This battle between Maroni and Falcone was definitely the talking point out the episode. It angered Bruce who didn’t want either of them getting their hands on Arkham and soiling his parents memories but at the same time, it also highlighted that the Mayor is as powerless against the mob as the GCPD seem to be as well.

The only other person who actually managed to benefit from this episode was Oswald. He might not have won over Gordon with his double agent offer but he did manage to cause more friction between Maroni and Falcone as well as getting a job promotion and fleecing the former for good measure. While the show probably should slow down a bit with Oswald raking up the body count, I do like that he’s getting a little smarter at this whole criminal game as well.

As for Fish, it seemed that she wasn’t bullshitting when she told Bullock that she always had a Plan B. While it would’ve been better had the Sapphic material stemmed more from Renee and Barbara than Fish trying to get girls to seduce her as though she were a man, at least her plan made some sense.

In the last episode, she made sure that Falcone’s mistress was hurt, while in this episode she wanted a seductive weapon to use against him as well. She didn’t care that the girl who ended up getting the job (in a literal beat down with the other girl) couldn’t sing, all she wanted was someone hungry and susceptible enough to mould into a weapon against Falcone. Whether or not Fish’s plan will actually work will depend on how easily Falcone is turned by a pretty face though.

Also in “Arkham”

While it was nice that we got to see the asylum, I do wish we had actually gotten to see inside it though.

Oswald: “Men.”
Barbara: “Don’t I know?”

Oswald pretended to be Peter Humboldt when talking to Barbara. He also used food to kill his accomplices at the end of the episode.

Fish: “Not bad but keep looking.”
Butch: “Really boss? That’s a good looking girl.”
Fish: “Look at me. I ain’t looking for no girl. I’m looking for a weapon.”

Gladwell (to Zeller): “And you know what they say, the customer is always right.”

While GCPD seems to have some very old computers, the office in where Gladwell was working had actual type writers.

Bruce: “Bad dream.”
Alfred: “Was I in it?”
Bruce: “Not this time.”

Gordon (re Renee): “Why does she keep coming to you? What is it between you and her?”
Barbara: “Years before I was with you, she and I were in a relationship.”

I liked that Barbara admitted to Gordon that her and Renee had dated but she does need more to do that play the worried love interest though.

Bullock: “Lazy? Maybe I work smarter than you. Ever consider that?”
Gordon: “Yeah, I considered it.”

Fish: “Don’t worry about me, Harvey. I always have a Plan B.”

Nygma got one scene here where he managed to identify Gladwell’s weapon and again irritate Bullock. Selina, Renee, Crispus and Falcone were missing from this episode.

Oswald (to Gordon): “I told you detective, Gotham is my home.”

Barbara: “You’re gonna have to make a choice, Jim. You either let me in or you let me go.”

Chronology: From where “The Balloonman” left off.

An extremely enjoyable episode. “Arkham” may not have shown us a lot of it’s most infamous building, but it certainly provided enough foreshadowing to the chaos and madness this place will both behold and cause as well.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Monday, October 13, 2014

My Review of Doctor Who's 8x08: "Mummy On The Orient Express"

Written by Jamie Mathieson
Directed by Paul Wilmshurst

The Doctor (to Captain Quell): “I’m not a passenger. I’m your worst nightmare.”

I was seriously looking forward to this episode for many reasons. Okay, two reason. One involving the mummy and the other one being to see how this episode would deal with the fallout of the Doctor and Clara’s falling out from the previous episode. In both cases, I wasn’t disappointed.

Focusing on the Doctor and Clara first, this episode dealt with the bad feeling between the two of them from their previous adventure on the Moon rather well. Several weeks might have passed but Clara was determined that if she was going to stop travelling with the Doctor, it was going to end on a positive note. Which blatantly implied that she really wasn’t ready to move on at all.

Even when the Doctor seemed resigned to her not travelling with him again, Clara seemed visibly stung by the suggestion, even to the point of suggesting that he could come around for dinner. Then there was her whole exchange with the grieving Maisie Pitt, who also recognised that Clara wasn’t prepared to give up her time with the Doctor. In fact it seemed like everyone but Clara until the last minute realised this.

While it wouldn’t win points for subtlety, I did like the contrast. Last week, the Doctor’s actions horrified Clara over his handling of the Moon being an egg and this week it looked like his handling over the Foretold picking people off was going to do exactly the same thing. That was until the Doctor turned the situation on its head, became the hero and saved the day.

Throughout the episode we saw that Clara wasn’t ready to give it up. Whether the addiction analogy is the wisest of ones to use, it’s fitting enough. Clara didn’t even wait for the Doctor to investigate the strange goings on with the Orient Express and both she and Maisie made for a great team investigating previous ships that had been killed as well as the creepy sarcophagus they were trapped with as well.

I don’t think the lying to Danny bit about resuming her travels was the wisest of ideas either. I would’ve rather Clara told him on the phone that she wasn’t ready to pack it in and for Danny to be cool with that instead of Clara telling the Doctor. That being said, it’s hard to know whether this is leading to a bittersweet or tragic exit for Clara at the moment.

As for the main of the episode itself – the Foretold/mummy looked genuinely scary and the whole 66 second thing before it killed people worked a treat. Because it took the Doctor until nearly the last moment to figure how to stop it, we got a sizeable amount of character deaths as the creature went for picking off the weakest crew members.

However as creepy as the mummy was and as sympathetic as it’s eventual reveal also was, who the hell was Gus? I get the short for sarcophagus bit but we didn’t exactly get to see who was behind the dangerous mission. I read some theories that perhaps he might be connected to Missy and maybe that’s true but there’s also the possibility that like a certain creature on the bed, we might end up not knowing for quite some time.

In terms of the guest characters, some of them were a bit non descript but I did particularly like Daisy Beaumont’s Maisie, who I thought worked well with Clara while Frank Skinner’s chief engineer Perkins worked pretty well with Capaldi’s Doctor in assisting against the mummy. That being said, I’m not too disappointed that he turned the Doctor’s offer to work with him down.

Also in “Mummy On The Orient Express”

Both Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman looked their absolute best in this episode. The costuming in general looked fantastic.

Clara: “I really thought I hated you, you know.”
The Doctor: “Well, thank God you kept that to yourself.”

Christopher Villiers who played Moorhouse previously appeared in The Kings Demons while Janet Henfrey who played Maisie’s grandmother appeared in The Curse Of Fenric.

Perkins: “Perkins, chief engineer.”
The Doctor: “The Doctor, nosey parker.”

Maisie: “Do you ever wish bad things on people?”
Clara: “Oh yeah, all the time. Whoever designed this door for a start.”

The Doctor offering Moorhouse a jelly baby from a posh case was a nice moment as was the brief tone of Tom Baker as well.

Maisie (to Clara): “Life would be so much simpler if you liked the right people. People you were supposed to like but then I guess there would be no fairytales.”

The Doctor (to Moorhouse): “This probably is the end for you but make it count. Details please.”

Clara and Maisie alluded to the Bechdel Test at one point in this episode.

Gus: “Well done.”
The Doctor: “Don’t mention it.”

Standout music: Foxes (who made a brief cameo here) singing a sultry jazz version of Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now”.

Clara: “So you were pretending to be heartless?”
The Doctor: “Would you like to think that about me? Would that make it easier?”

Chronology: About a few weeks since “Kill The Moon”.

I know “Listen” might have initially become the classic of this series but “Mummy On The Orient Express” clearly isn’t far behind. A fantastic blend of horror, pathos, light comedy, historical lushness and a wonderful final scene between our two travelling TARDIS members. Mathieson gave us an impressive debut and it’ll be interesting to see how his next one fares too.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Twin Peaks - Limited Series For 2016

In one of the most unexpected revivials, it seems that once again we can have a damn fine coffee as it has been revealed that early 1990s cult series, Twin Peaks will be coming back once again for a limited run.

The show which ran on ABC for two seasons/30 episodes from 1990-1991 and generated a prequel movie named Fire Walk With Me in 1992 will air for nine episodes on Showtime in 2016. Creators David Lynch and Mark Frost will pen the episodes for the cable station and the limited series will be a direct continuation instead of a remake. Both Lynch and Frost have also confirmed that the revived series will bring back classic characters, though it has yet to be confirmed who exactly.

I've seen bits and pieces of the show and with SyFy UK currently doing a run of the series, I'm going to make sure I'm fully up to speed as without this series influence, there would be so many shows that wouldn't have made it on television. This was also the series that brought people like Kyle MacLachlan and Sheryl Lee to public attention and even had David Duchovny in an early career role as well.

Press Release:

Twin Peaks will air on Showtime in 2016. The first two seasons are being repeated nightly on SyFy UK.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Recap/Review: American Horror Story: Freak Show - Monsters Among Us

Come one, come all, you must be this tall to ride at the carnival!

And the Freak Show is officially opened for business with this slightly longer than usual opening episode. So let's get this crazy show on the road, shall we?

Written by Ryan Murphy And Brad Falchuk
Directed by Ryan Murphy

The Ringmaster On Mars: Meet Elsa Mars - a German ex-pat/chanteuse who is desperate to save her freak show from closing down and more importantly is desperate for the spotlight as she confessed to right hand woman, Ethel at the end of the episode. It's only one episode so far, but with Jessica Lange's past characters, there's something already about Elsa that I wouldn't trust, even if my life depended on it. She definitely had no problem being a killjoy with Jimmy's flirting with women and also the way she manipulated both conjoined twins, Bette and Dot Tatler into joining her show. As for her version of Life On Mars - it wasn't a match on The Name Game but I have a feeling that's somewhat intentional. On the plus side, Elsa is kind of likeable but clearly manipulative and I'm not entirely sold on Lange's German accent either.

Sweet & Surly: The main attraction of the episode however was Sarah Paulson, this time taking on the dual role of conjoined twins, Bette and Dot. While one may appear sweet and innocent and the other one something of a mood killer, both ladies have murder on their hands and are now forced to be a part of Elsa's troupe of freaks given that the authorities have deduced that their mother died at their hands. Between the two, I found myself like Dot all the more, even if she was relentlessly scathing throughout the episode. However, at least one person managed to dent her frosty demeanour but I like that she's not instantly trusting of Elsa, which will undoubtedly lead to bigger problems as the season progresses.

Freaks Among Us: While Bette and Dot were the obvious attraction of the episode, there was still the fact that we had lobster hands Jimmy (who made use of his hands in this episode), his bearded lady mother, Ethel (Kathy Bates's accents kept struggling here), Ma Petite, Pepper from Asylum (which seemed to be foreshadowed at), a guy who bites the heads off animals called Meep, a cortortionist as well as a drugged out candy striper named Penny to name a few. You think with this crowd, the shows wouldn't be dying out but the episode made it clear that residents of 1952 Jupiter were not happy with them and the episode ended up with Jimmy getting everyone to make a deadly stand against any future oppressors while a certain someone looked on. Leading to my next point.

The Clown: Yup, let's meet Twisty, shall we? I'm not gonna say he's the scariest clown I've ever seen in popular culture but he's certainly menacing enough to make an impression. In this episode alone, he killed one family and an unfortunate bloke named Troy while keeping the former's son and latter's girlfriend hostage in a caravan. Physically he looked gruesome enough with John Carroll Lynch being creepy without uttering a word and the fact that he's made it onto Elsa's patch should be very interesting in the next few weeks.

Money Can't Buy A Freak: But seriously spoiled brat Dandy Mott (Finn Wittrock) and his coddling mother, Gloria (Frances Conroy) certainly tried to when it came to acquiring both Bette and Dot. I'm not sure how they're going to factor into the rest of the season but there's already something rather off with Dandy (his fascination for freaks didn't seem like it was out of sympathy), which means that he could become seriously unhinged or annoying as the season progresses or likely both. Also likely to be killed off within the first half as well.

A fun, enjoyable enough opening episode that did what it needed to do. Next week, we're meeting Ethel's ex-husband and his new wife.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

My Review of Revenge's 4x02: "Disclosure"

Written by Joe Fazzio
Directed by Kenneth Fink

Charlotte (to Emily): “Goodnight sis.”

Okay, I wasn’t expecting that. I knew with nearly everyone else being privy to whom Emily really was by now that of course Charlotte would find out but I didn’t expect it to be in this episode. I actually thought it would’ve been left for the sweeps episode but what the hey, right?

So, how did Charlotte take the news about her former sister in law being her actual sister? Not very well, which by now we all know is Charlotte’s default setting. I expected the rant about choosing revenge over embracing family and actually agreed with it but then Charlotte hit a new low this week.

I get that she’s pissed off with Emily lying to her for so long but knocking her out and leaving her to burn in the Stowaway was a bitch move on her part. I think the annoying thing that despite the fact Emily will of course survive being nearly burned alive, Charlotte will suffer no actual consequence for her murder attempt on her sister. Unless Emily decides to initial some tough love and I certainly hope that she does.

For a lot of people, this episode probably wasn’t the most enjoyable because of all the focus that Charlotte got in this episode. Even before her little murder attempt, we had to endure scenes of her whining over Gideon cheating on her (aside from Declan, Charlotte continues to show bad judgement with blokes) and that almost laughable suicide attempt.

The thing is a few seasons ago, I would’ve felt bad for Charlotte but I ended up being more disappointed that Emily didn’t push her off the balcony and spared us more of Charlotte’s whinging. When are the writers going to realise that Charlotte in either ‘woe is me’ or superbitch doesn’t work because Christa B. Allen cannot pull either off with any real conviction? It’s an overdue lesson by now.

Speaking of lessons, I will praise both Daniel and Margaux this week by banding together and getting rid of Gideon. Planting drugs on him was a smart enough move and if we never ever have to see the character again, then at least Daniel will have done one decent thing in the last while. As for his renewed partnership with Margaux, that I’m less bothered about. In general, both of those characters seem disconnected from the important plot strands of the season so far.

Getting back to the important bits, the David and Victoria scenes were such a mixed bag. At least unlike Victoria’s other lovers (Conrad excluded and is it wrong that I miss him?), the chemistry with her and David is solid but I don’t like the idea of David buying into her bullshit so readily and I already hate that Victoria is setting him against Emily. I really hope there’s going to be a reveal that David is actually double crossing Victoria and is far savvier than he’s letting on, otherwise this plot is going to disappoint a lot.

Also in “Disclosure”

Nolan has had fuck all to do this season of real interest. This worries me, especially when characters like Gideon have gotten more to do.

Nolan: “I don’t like being on the defensive.”
Emily (re Victoria): “Then find her and I’ll end this for good.”

I noticed there was no opening or closing narration in this episode.

David: “This isn’t a dream, Victoria.”
Victoria: “But you were murdered. I’ve seen your grave.”
David: “This is my grave.”

Emily: “I’m your sister, Charlotte. I’m Amanda.”

Another thing that Charlotte did to annoy me – smashing the Infinity box. Right now, that means only Daniel, Margaux and David are the only main characters left to know that Emily is Amanda Clarke.

Charlotte (to Emily): “You spent three years fighting for a family that was right in front of you and instead of embracing me, you used me and lied to me.”

Ben’s interest in Emily isn’t coming across particularly well. I did like that Jack told him to back off a bit though.

Victoria: “What have you done?”
David: “I killed Conrad.”

Emily (to Nolan): “Charlotte was right. I chose revenge over her.”

Standout music: “Up In Flames” by Icon For Hire.

Daniel (re Gideon): “You got rid of him first.”
Margaux: “I didn’t have a choice.”

Chronology: From where “Renaissance” left off.

This wasn’t the most exciting of episodes and that is a shame because between Charlotte finally knowing who Emily really is and the Victoria/David stuff, this should’ve been a far stronger episode than it was.

Rating: 7 out of 10