Thursday, April 30, 2015

Revenge - Cancelled After Four Seasons

I think we all saw it coming but yesterday ABC finally confirmed that Revenge will be ending for good after four seasons.

The show which debuted in 2011 will conclude with it's final two episodes Plea and Two Graves, the latter of which will air on May 10th. Executive producer Sunil Nayar told Entertainment Weekly ....

“We’ve been talking to the network and we all just wanted to make sure that we felt very confident. Now that everybody has seen the finale—which is fabulous—everybody understands that as much as we all adore the show, it has hit exactly the mark it needed to to end. This is the series finale of Revenge that will be airing in a couple weeks.”

Personally I think Revenge's ending is one of the least surprising cancellations we've had. Aside from the ratings sadly declining and ABC's lack of decent promotion this season, the fourth season has had so many moments where it looked like the show was wrapping up anyways - David being alive/exonerated, Daniel's death, Charlotte fleeing the Hamptons, Emily revealing to the world that she's Amanda and of course, Victoria blowing herself up as well. Now I love the show to bits but there's no way it could've logically justified a fifth run (even a truncated season would've been pushing it) and four seasons is a good run for the show. I'll miss Emily's weekly take downs and the wonderfulness that is Nolan but all good things have to end and hopefully the final episode will wrap things up in a satisfying way for the show.

Press Release:

Revenge's final episode will air on May 10th on ABC and later in the month for RTE1 viewers and in June for E4 viewers. Season 4 will be released on DVD later in 2015.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

My Review of Revenge's 4x21: "Aftermath"

Written by Shannon Goss And Christopher Fife
Directed by Rob J. Greenlea

Emily (re Victoria): "That bitch set me up. I'm innocent."

Of course this happened. It would've been a remiss had it not. Emily had the perfect scheme to fake her death and see Victoria go to prison for it. Sadly for her, Victoria thought it was a neat thing to do as well and having Mason being part of the frame job was a nice touch. Emily screwed them both over and now they've done it to her in style.

I'm not actually praising Victoria and Mason here and I certainly don't see Emily going to prison as karma in any form but I do think she should've seen this one coming. With two episodes left in the series, I'd be extremely annoyed if Emily is sent to prison for a murder she didn't commit, but right now it does look like the odds aren't in her favour.

Along with Victoria's two minions Louise and Margaux acting like the woman was a saint, Ben well and truly turned on Emily this week too. I know that he had to consider the possibility of Victoria's death being a murder but it's almost like was too quick to believe that Emily murdered the woman and that scene with Jack at the station did come across as sour grapes as well.

Speaking of Jack - I understand that he momentarily considered the idea that Emily might have done it too (as did Stevie in a way but ultimately I am glad that some awkwardness aside that he was mainly on Emily's side in this episode as well, even if Nolan had to convince him of Emily's innocence as well. He also seemed happy when Ben told him that Emily chose him as well.

As for David - I'm glad the episode raised the notion of him being a suspect, considering that he had plotted to kill Victoria earlier in the season. Of course this also ended up being used as a means for Emily to find out that her father was ill, even if David didn't tell her everything. Isn't his condition actually worse than he's letting on?

The rest of the episode moved at a good pace too. While I hated that Nolan and Tony broke up, I am glad that at least the latter wasn't killed off or vilified in the process though. That being said - the adoption storyline for Tony literally came out of nowhere and a part of me is still hoping he's back for the last episode but I guess not, eh?

Also in "Aftermath"

Of course Emily wouldn't be bothered about Grayson Manor being blown up. It was never really her home in the first place.

Nolan (to Emily, re Mason): "Can't anyone follow a simple revenge plan? Oh right you didn't when you revealed yourself as Amanda."

Nolan's nickname for Mason - Crazy Capote. I think even if Mason sold his soul to the devil, he probably wouldn't have half of Capote's talent though.

Emily (re Victoria): "She wanted to die at Grayson Manor."
David: "That house was a symbol of everything Grayson stood for - wealth, power, status."

Stevie (re Victoria): "That woman changed the course of my life. She stole my husband, she drove me to drink and she ran me out of town."
Jack: "You're not the only person whose life she destroyed."

Of course Victoria's little video message would quickly delete but even though are retrievable though. Emily better hope so.

Louise (to Margaux): "I knew it. This wasn't a suicide at all. This was murder."

Nolan: "I wish I had met you a year ago."
Tony: "Me too. Goodbye Nolan."

Standout music: Not really anything this week I think.

Victoria (to Emily): "The only difference, you never had the guts to kill yourself but I do so I suppose that makes me the victor in our little game but who's keeping score? Enjoy your life in prison my dear. May you suffer greatly."

Chronology: From where "Burn" left off.

A strong follow up episode, "Aftermath" might have had some frustrating moments (airport security?) but it was still a great episode, even if things might not be looking so rosy for Emily at the moment.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Empire - Season 1 Debuts On E4 Tonight/Season 2 Wishlist (Spoilers)

Well, it's finally here. The first season of FOX's mammoth hit Empire finally airs for UK and Irish viewers tonight on E4 and Digital Spy have rounded up seven compelling reasons to watch the show (the link's below). However for those of us who've already seen the first season (either at US pace or otherwise), here are a few things that I think the second season could do. Don't read on if you haven't seen all the first season.

Episode Count: Personally I think it should stick to 12 episodes. It’s a good number, ensures that certain storylines aren’t bloated and it means that we mostly avoid having filler episodes as well. I know FOX probably want more and are slightly nervous about gaps between seasons but if a show like Game Of Thrones can have 9-10 months gaps between seasons and still continue to pull in great ratings (amid book spoilers, episode leaks etc), there’s no reason Empire can’t either. Sometimes less is more and this show will burn out fast if FOX try to take it to 20 plus episodes - Glee certainly did. At a push though, they could do 16 episodes - eight that air during October/November, break for December and then air the remaining eight between mid January/early March but really, twelve episodes is more than enough for the show.

Father & Sons: I don’t mind that Jamal has a little bit of a ruthless streak but what I don’t want is the show to try and turn him into Lucious 2.0 though. Show the similarities between Jamal and Lucious but also continue to highlight the differences between them as well. Also continue to develop the relationships that Lucious has with Jamal, Andre and Hakeem as well. Same with Cookie and her sons too.

Develop Other Characters: I get that this show is about the Lyon family and that’s perfectly fine but I do hope for the second season we are given more insight into the likes of Anika, Rhonda, Porscha, Becky etc. Look at Michael - the guy was in six episodes and aside from something to do with cooking, we knew absolutely nothing about the guy.

Don’t Go Overkill With The Guest Stars: I get that the popularity of this show is going to be tempted all sort of people to want to appear in the show and I’m cool with that but at the same time, I hope the show continues to strike the right balance here. The super talented main cast should not play second fiddle to any of the special guest star types.

More Flashbacks: That’s probably a guarantee anyways but so far I am loving them. Basically, I’m a sucker for a good old flashback really.

Duets Ahoy: Again another thing I greatly enjoyed during the first season. More please.

Jamal’s Love Life: Should he stick with Ryan or should Michael come back and the two of them work it out again (the actor who plays the latter certainly seems keen on returning via his Twitter lol) or should Jamal get another love interest? I guess it depends but I do like seeing a loved up Jamal too. Although come to think of it, maybe we should also see a single Jamal for a few episodes too as we haven’t had that yet either.

Rivalries: Lucious needs a proper rival and I don’t mean members of his family. Beretti came close but appeared too fleetingly to really nail it so either that old guy that Cookie/Anika/Andre/Hakeem were seeking advice on a hostile takeover as a potential rival or someone else from Lucious’s past with a similar backstory and a similar rise to the ranks of being poor to owning a strong recording company. Someone Lucious can properly go toe to toe with as well. Plus you can imagine the fun this show would casting that role. The rival could also have his own family to rival Cookie and the boys as well.

Seven Reasons To Watch Empire:

Empire airs Tuesdays 9pm on E4 fron tonight.

My Review of Gotham's 1x21: "The Anvil Or The Hammer"

Written by Jordan Harper
Directed by Paul Edwards

Jason: "Don't worry, I'm going to set you free. You're the one, Barbara. You're the one."

And they say romance is dead. Well, by the end of this episode, Jason did end up dead and Gordon a hero but not before he managed to do a total number on Barbara, who had something of a mixed bag this week.

One of the frustrating things about Barbara's character is that she's been little more than just the girlfriend or damsel in distress and it's like this episode heightened both of those things by mainly having her as Jason's captive before he gave her a horrible choice - who to kill. For a moment, I expected Leslie to be in the firing line but going for the parents, that was pretty dark of Barbara, wasn't it?

I'm kind of hoping that Barbara surviving her ordeal with the Ogre (even if her parents weren't so lucky) will mean that the character does descend on a dark path. At this rate, despite Jim prioritizing her safety, any chance of them getting back together seems to have gone the other way. I think the writers have realised that Barbara doesn't work as a love interest (no different to Laurel on Arrow then) but at the same time also seem keen to keep onto the character for a bit longer.

It's almost a shame that Jason didn't make it into the finale to a degree. Sure, he was the type of cliched serial killer that Criminal Minds trots out about every other week but he was a fairly interesting adversary for Gordon and I'd almost take his antics over some of the more tedious gang war stuff we've had in the series as well. Hopefully though with the Ogre arc, the writers will now realise that more invented for the show criminals are a way to go rather than bringing in nearly every Rogue Gallery member at once though.

Of course when we weren't dealing with the Ogre storyline and it's swift conclusion, Oswald really showed his hand this week. Like everyone, I assumed his plan to have Maroni killed was going to blow up in his face. We even had Maroni's would be killer come a cropper, so the reveal that Oswald just intended to properly start the inevitable gang war with Maroni and Falcone was actually pretty satisfying to watch instead. Oswald's certainly cottoned on to getting things done now. Even Butch looked a bit impressed.

As for Bruce - I knew that Bunderslaw was going to outsmart him but I did like the introduction of Lucious Fox and the fact that he opened up to Alfred about what really happened to Reggie. Of course Bruce isn't always going to get the results he wants but this was a good learning curve for him about good men having secrets as well.

Last but not least - Nygma really does seem to have slipped into the dark side as well. He took great risks with the way he disposed of Tom's body in GCPD and he couldn't help himself with that 'note' he left for Kringle as well. Although I think they should've left this for the second season, I'm enjoying this side to Nygma as well though.

Also in "The Anvil Or The Hammer"

It's brilliant that Nygma can walk around the station with two big suitcases of body parts and no-one batted an eyelid.

Jason: "The night we met I was going to kill you."
Barbara: "That's not funny."
Jason: "But then I saw something in you, Barbara. I saw the real you."

Yes, between drugging her, having her bound and gagged and brandishing a knife at her throat, Jason really did love Barbara. Sarcasm of course.

Nygma: "Okie doke. No body, no crime. No body, no crime."

Oswald: "Jim, I do love our give and take relationship but it's starting to feel one sided."
Gordon: "Fine, I'll owe you a favour."
Oswald: "You already do."
Gordon: "Then I'll owe you another."

Bullock's scenes at the Foxglove brothel party were hilarious. He somewhat scrubs up well enough too.

Kringle: "I don't know how you do this job. Death all around you."
Nygma: "One must have a sense of humour."

Sally (re Jason): "Promise me when you find him, don't arrest him. Kill him."
Gordon: "You got it."

Both Selina and Fish were missing from this episode. I did like that the former sent Bruce Bunderslaw's key though.

Alfred: "Your father was a good man."
Bruce: "I know but even good men have secrets."

Chronology: Not long from where "Under The Knife" left off.

Not as good as the previous episode, but I do think "The Anvil Or The Hammer" wrapped up the Ogre well enough and the set up for the finale was pretty fantastic too. I can't believe by this time next week, the first season will be done.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Monday, April 27, 2015

My Review of Atlantis's 2x09: "The Gorgon's Gaze"

Written by Julian Jones
Directed by Lawrence Gough

Medusa (to Pythagoras): "The curse I received for killing the Oracle is not a physical one, but it is no less painful."

And this was finally a good episode. No, I was pleasantly surprised by this one. Unlike the previous two, there was proper tension and some actual character progression as well, not to mention a notable sacrifice. This is where the Medusa part of the episode came to the fore.

I'm actually really bummed we lost Medusa in this episode. On one hand because it meant we'd never see Jemima Rooper go all deliciously evil on us and also because her sacrifice was genuinely poignant and Medusa's desire to right the wrong she had caused by killing the Oracle was beautifully handled as well.

I knew that she would get Pythagoras and Jason to aid her suicide mission into becoming the gorgon again and having Jason use her severed head in his own mission to rescue Ariadne was actually pretty surprising as well. Of course the bigger surprise came from Jason when he learned directly from Pasiphae that she was his mother.

The last five minutes of this episode actually made for the best of the week. Jason's disgust over learning Pasiphae's true connection to him was actually handled pretty well along with his grudging feelings for Medea as well. As for Ariadne - she endured some torture courtesy of Pasiphae and Medea and lost poor Delmos but other than that, Jason's attempts to rescue her actually worked, even if we're now led to believe that he's heading for darkness.

- Daedalus from the previous series appeared briefly in this episode along with his son, Icarus. The latter will be back for more episodes.
- Cassandra angered Pasiphae by telling her the truth about the gods being angered by the latter's usurping of Atlantis.
- Given that Medusa was the central image for the second half of this series, I'm surprised they didn't keep her for a bit longer.
- Hercules choosing pie over wine. Another unexpected thing of this episode.

Now if Atlantis produced more consistent episodes like "The Gorgon's Gaze", I honestly think the show wouldn't be counting down to it's last episode. This was a solid character piece that actually pushed things forward. More of that please.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Suicide Squad - First Look At The Joker

The movie might not be out for another year but after months of speculation we finally know what actor Jared Leto will look like as the Joker in Suicide Squad, thanks to director David Ayre revealing the look via Twitter yesterday. Without further ado, here he is ....

Well, where to begin on this one?

The hair is suitably green, the teeth with silver bits in them look very creepy and the lips are as red as the Joker's should be. I'm also getting a kick out of the purple glove as well. However, the tattoos seem a tad excessive and I would've liked to have seen a full costume picture but I'm sure that will happen over the next few months anyways.

That being said, it's something to go on though. What are everyone else's opinions on the look?


Suicide Squad will air in cinemas from August 5th 2016.

American Horror Story: Hotel - Three Regulars Return

With a slew of new cast members such as Lady Gaga and Cheyenne Jackson and former guest actors like Matt Bomer, Wes Bentley and Chloe Sevigny being upped as regulars for American Horror Story: Hotel, there are of course at least three regulars from previous seasons who will be appearing this year as well.

Kathy Bates, who in previous seasons has played murderous slave owner Madame Delphine LaLaurie and bearded lady Ethel Darling will be a regular in the upcoming season. While the name of character has not been revealed, Ryan Murphy has confirmed via his Twitter account that Bates's character will own the hotel in question. To me that sounds like it's Bates who has inherited the usual leader type of role that Lange usually has had rather than Lady Gaga, right?

Also coming back will be Sarah Paulson. The actress who has previously appeared in the last four seasons playing characters such as medium Billie Dean Howard, lesbian reporter Lana Winters, the Supreme herself Cordelia Foxx and conjoined twins Bette and Dot Tatler. Sarah will be playing the baddest girl in the upcoming season, again according to Ryan Murphy. I've been wanting to see Paulson as a villain for ages on this show and I'm so psyched that it's finally going to happen.

Last to be confirmed (for now) is Evan Peters. Like Paulson, Peters has been in the previous four seasons  first playing the rather homicidal Tate Langdon before moving onto more sympathetic characters such as Kit Walker, Kyle Spencer and lobster boy, Jimmy Darling. The only thing we know about Evan's role is that he's checking into Room 64, whatever that may mean. It's nice to see a few more of the familiar return to the show but I am hoping for at least one or two more new blood to round off the casting for this particular season as well.

Press Releases:

Filming for American Horror Story: Hotel will start in the summer with the series scheduled to air from October onwards on both FX and FOXUK.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Scream Queens: First Look Promotional Pictures/Spoilers

While we have to wait a while before a trailer is released, FOX and Ryan Murphy have in the meantime released several promotional pictures and various soundbites as to what we can expect from upcoming horror/comedy anthology series, Scream Queens.

Chanel Oberlin (Emma Roberts): The president of a Kappa society at Wallace University and something of a ruthless little madam, who rules the roost and has a great boyfriend (played by Glen Powell), I have to admit that while I don't mind Roberts as an actress, it does seem like Chanel is no different to the characters she's played in the previous two seasons of American Horror Story. Hopefully I'm wrong and Roberts does genuinely surprise.

Cathy Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis): The dean of the university, Cathy is determined to get rid of the racist aspect of the Kappa society, even if she has to disband the society in order to do it. She's described as a woman who's going through a bad divorce and someone who has had enough as well. Ryan Murphy has talked about wanting to work with Curtis for a while now and it seems like he's written her an interesting role here.

Hester Greenwold (Lea Michele): Originally rumoured to be called Brittany, former Glee actress Lea Michele confirmed on Twitter yesterday that her character is in fact called Hester or the less affectionate moniker of "Neckbrace" (courtesy of Chanel). Murphy has revealed that Michele's character suffers from scoliosis and will want everything that Chanel has and will do anything to get it while wearing tracksuits from 1995 and no make up. Lea did mention that her character on this show wouldn't resemble Rachel Berry and it turns out that she might be right here.

Zayday (Keke Palmer): A girl with a genius IQ who joins the sorority in order to bolster her resume and change things, which will impress Cathy. As for the other girls, it seems that Abigail Breslin, Ariana Grande and Billie Lourd will all be playing henchwomen to Roberts Chanel as they fear Cathy bringing their reign of terror to an end while Skyler Samuels character has been named as Grace, who is also rumoured to be a rival to Chanel as well while Niecy Nash's security guard is called Denise. No name has been revealed for Nasim Pedrad's character yet.

Boone (Nick Jonas): Not too much has been revealed about the male characters as such but we do know that Jonas's character will be funny but also possess a dark side and will be a part of a golfing fraternity with Glen Powell's Chad called Dollar Scholars. Murphy confirmed that there will be lots of sex in the series (not a shocker) while Oliver Hudson will play Rodrigo and Julian Morris will play a character named Jack. The name of Lucien Laviscount's character has not been released yet.

Pete Diller (Diego Boneta): One of the POV characters of the show, it seems that Pete will also not be into fraternities but will play something of a role in trying to find the Red Devil killer (named after the university's mascot and the costume the killer wears) as he's the editor of the university's paper. Other spoilers that Murphy has disclosed in an interview with Entertainment Weekly will be that the show will open with a flashback to a horrible event in 1995 that factors into the present day killings and we will lose a character an episode apparently as well. The more I read about this show, the more fun it's sounding. However unlike Murphy's other anthology series, this show won't be resetting itself if it gets a second season. All we need now is a proper trailer and a confirmed airdate and we're all set.

Entertainment Weekly Spoilers:

Screams Queens will air on FOX from September. A UK broadcaster is yet to be confirmed.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

First Look: MTV's Scream: The TV Series

Yeah, this was released last week, but it's now that I decided to talk about the trailer for MTV's television version of Scream.

The 10 part series, due to air in the summer premiered it's proper trailer (after a few pointless teasers for the trailer) and I have to admit, I wasn't particularly blown away by what I saw. On one hand, it looks like the series is going to be very influenced by Scream 4 (you can just tell MTV will certainly be coming up with various hash tags as the show airs) but so far in the trailer, it's hard to spot who exactly will take on the Sidney Prescott role of the show. I do like that they're trying to conceal Ghostface's general look for a little longer until the series does air though.

In a bit of casting news, Amelia Rose Blaire has joined the cast. The former True Blood actress has bagged the recurring role of Piper Shay, the smart, quirky host of a wildly popular podcast who comes to town to investigate the recent deaths. More than likely, she'll probably also end up as another of those recent deaths too but other than that, it's solid casting.

More Information/Trailers:

Scream: The TV Series will air on MTV Tuesdays at 10pm from June 30th. A UK broadcaster has yet to be announced.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

My Review of Revenge's 4x20: "Burn"

Written by Ted Sullivan
Directed by Kenneth Fink

Victoria (re her chair): "It's a memento of a bygone era."

What the fuck just happened there? Did Victoria really just blow herself to fricking bits just to 'end' her ongoing battle with Emily? I can't believe it but only because Victoria is so much of a narcissist to end her life but her pretending to frame Emily, I absolutely could.

However before I watched this episode, I had already been aware of the spoiler and I did read an interview with Madeleine Stowe (is it me or has she been rarely interviewed in relation to this show?) who explained that the death was real and that Victoria had been feeling suicidal. Victoria certainly came across as defeated and extremely paranoid in this episode but even I'm not sure if it were enough that she would willingly do herself in.

With this show increasingly unlikely to get a fifth season (and why bother when the upcoming The Kingmakers in production has a similar premise), the end definitely couldn't have been more spelled out that before. Heck, Emily even managed to get that troublesome flashdrive out of an agent's hands thereby taking away the only remaining leverage that Victoria had against her before the blow up at Grayson Manor.

Speaking of which, if Victoria had to die, then I'm glad it was there. I even got a kick out of seeing her placed on her throne one last time. That was a nice bit of closure I guess. Also with nearly everyone else in her family either dead or scarpered, she'll at least have both Margaux and Louise to romanticise her passing while Emily inevitably ends up getting arrested for the murder of course.

Seeing Margaux and Louise both as Victoria's support was amusing and annoying in equal measures. Any bit of endearment that Louise had earned evaporated in this episode where she outed Nolan and Tony's relationship and foolishly tried to extract a confession from the former about Emily attacking Victoria in the parking lot. Louise certainly backed the wrong horse here.

Keeping with Nolan - I think this was a great episode for him too. It was nice to see both him and Emily make amends and for one last time (possibly) he tried to push both her and Jack together. Also we got to see both him and Tony as a united front as well. After a series of failed/crazy romantic partners, it's nice that as the show begins to properly wind down, the writers finally found someone nice for Nolan to be with.

Of course while Nolan's love life seemed to sorted out, we had the ugly break up with Emily and Ben and the tedium of Jack sloping off to LA. I know we're supposed to feel for Jack but I was on Emily's side here more than his. Jack is just too much of a whinger at times and there's still three episodes left for him and Emily to properly get together anyways. As for Ben - I felt a little bad for him but given the trailer for next week, it does looks like Margaux and Louise will have another person for their 'We Hate Emily' club now that the chairperson blew herself up.

Also to keep with the shock factor of the episode (aside from Victoria/Grayson Manor going boom), this episode also revealed that David has lymphoma - something he confided in Stevie about but couldn't tell Emily while Mason Treadwell reappeared at the end to basically inform Emily that her revenge mission has destroyed her future happiness etc. Basically he's a little pissed off that he doesn't have dibs to her story now, though he did raise a little point in his scathing cutdown of her.

Also in "Burn"

For confirmation that Victoria's properly a goner, read this ....

Margaux: "Victoria, I beg you don't let this woman into your life."
Louise: "Well someone has to lighten the mood around here. You're about as depressing as a Yankee groom at a Southern wedding."

Was this show trying to do their own brief version of Once Upon A Time's Queens of Darkness with Victoria, Margaux and Louise?

Tony: "Everything is fixable."
Nolan: "That is debatable."

Victoria (re Emily, to Louise): "She's taken everything away from me - my son, his child, Charlotte. She will not stop until I'm dead and I refuse to give her that satisfaction.

I just realised that Josh Pence who plays Tony actually played a younger version of Ras Al Ghul in The Dark Knight Rises. Maybe Margaux/Louise can get Victoria to a Lazarus pit.

Emily (re Tony): "I hear he's a really great guy."
Nolan: "Go finish this."

Louise: "Good on you, wreck a marriage, get a sugar daddy."
Tony: "Now that's not true."

This episode saw the real Emily's gravestone change (she was born on October 3rd 1985) as well as Stevie getting Carl's birth certificate changed too.

Jack (to Nolan, re Emily): "I'm asking you as a friend, don't ever tell me she loves me again."

Nolan: "I've never met anyone like you."
Tony: "Now you have."

Standout music: Talking Heads "Burning Down The House". Oh, how very fitting for this episode.

Mason (to Emily): "Like the little pyromaniac you are, you started a fire and convinced yourself you could contain it but I know your dirty little secret. You can't exist without revenge."

Chronology: From where "Exposure" more or less left off.

"Burn" certainly lived up to it's title. Whether it was that scathing commentary Emily received courtesy of Mason at the end or Victoria's suicide, this was just an incredible episode. ABC might as well just admit it now that the remaining three episodes will end this show.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

My Review of Gotham's 1x20: "Under The Knife"

Written by John Stephens
Directed by TJ Scott

Jason: "Barbara, I know what it's like to be one person on the inside and have the world see another. I've lived like that."

It might have literally taken to near the end of the season but flipping hell, the writers have finally managed to find something interesting to do with Barbara. Granted being a potential victim for a typical serial killer like the Ogre might not sound like the most inspiring of plots (I can imagine certain segments on Tumblr grousing about this storyline already) but at least this episode finally injected Barbara with a bit of life as a character.

This darkened, jaded version of the character could've been better played/written in earlier episodes but in this episode, it actually worked. A part of me even felt a tad sorry for Barbara when she told Jason that no-one would care if she was dead. I have to admit, I certainly wouldn't have cared until this episode actually did wonders for the character. I might even miss her if Jason actually does kill her within the next two episodes.

After being disappointed about not having a connection with the unfortunate Grace in the previous episode, Jason did seem to see a bit of himself in Barbara. That might for a time being keep her alive a little longer but wouldn't it be cool if the show did a proper twist and it turned out that Jason might be in danger from Barbara? Or Barbara properly kills him herself. Why should Jim be the shining knight in this situation?

The good thing about this plot as well is that Erin Richards and Milo Ventimiglia have a strong chemistry as well and they certainly both looked dapper at the Wayne Enterprises charity ball as well. I also think what helped this episode was that the war between both the Ogre and Gordon also stepped up a notch too.

I liked that Jim didn't back down to his threats (with Leslie's encouragement) and actually outed the Ogre's previous crimes to the public while both him and Bullock learned more about the individual himself. The plot might still feel a tiny bit cliched but this episode certainly injected some genuine surprises into the mix and not just with the Ogre stuff as well.

For instance, Bruce and Selina came into conflict over the latter taking Reggie's life but at the same time teamed up to go to the ball to get Bunderslaw's key as well. Any episode where those two are working together is definitely going to rate highly for me, even if the two will clearly be at odds over the things they're willing to do.

Keeping with the shocks - I really wasn't expecting blood to be on Nygma's hands so quickly. I know that he was going to snap at some point but I really thought it was going to be next season. Having him kill Kringle's abusive boyfriend was a genuine shocker and a brilliantly played scene for Cory Michael Smith as well. Welcome to the dark side, Eddie.

As for Oswald - well, this episode made him more determined than ever to bump off Maroni. Having the latter come after Oswald by informing Gertrud about her son's killer tendencies was another shocker of a moment. Seriously, one of the best scenes we've had, especially as the blinkers that Gertrud had with Oswald have well and truly been lifted. Perhaps Oswald might actually succeed in taking down Maroni after all.

Also in "Under The Knife"

The Ogre's name is slightly literal as Jason was previously disfigured before he murdered his first victim. The backstory with his butler father and the latter's rich employer was interesting too.

Leslie: "You wanna protect me? Find him! I'm gonna stay here and do my job but I do like that you think of me as a loved one."
Gordon: "I do love you."

Is Ivy still living with Barbara? Selina clearly is but she wasn't mentioned at all by either of them. I hope we see her in the finale.

Barbara (to Jason): "I don't have a boyfriend and if a bus hit me tomorrow, no-one would care."

Alfred (re charity ball): "You're not going alone."
Bruce: "I won't be alone. I've invited Selina Kyle."

A lot of indiscretions this week - Oswald tried to hire a hitman almost publicly, Nygma killed Tom in the street, Jason opened threatened Gordon twice and Bruce/Selina argued about Reggie at the ball. Discretion people.

Gordon (re Jason): "He's used to intimidating cops. We have to show him we're not afraid."
Essen: "And how do we do that?"

Bruce: "You look very nice."
Selina: "The shoes hurt."

Some nice shades of Batman Returns, The Dark Knight Rises and the 60s Adam West Batman movie with Bruce and Selina at the ball this week. Also no Fish and some seriously messed up hair from Nygma during his killing of Tom.

Maroni (to Gertrud, re Oswald): "When did you realise that you had given birth to a monster?"

Barbara: "What's through there?"
Jason: "See for yourself."

Chronology: From where "Beasts Of Prey" left off.

I loved this episode. Not only did "Under The Knife" finally give Barbara a much injected personality transplant in a good way but it elevated the Ogre story, set up some further dark paths for Oswald and Edward and the Bruce/Selina scenes alone were priceless. The final two are going to be a blast.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Monday, April 20, 2015

Doctor Who - Series 9 Latest Rumours/Movie Rumours

I didn't think I was going to do another one of these until Block 4 kicked off but over the last week, some interesting stuff has surfaced in relation to Doctor Who I couldn't ignore blogging about.

It was rumoured back in 2011 that a big screen version of the show could happen and in both 2013 and 2014, audiences were given a chance to see 50th anniversary episode The Day Of The Doctor and 12th Doctor debut Deep Breath in cinemas but according to the latest Wikileaks documents (the gift that keeps on giving it seems), apparently both Sony and BBC Worldwide are keen to produce a big screen adventure for the Time Lord. However, it was also revealed that it won't be happening any time soon, which as far as I'm concerned is more than a good thing. Let's just concentrate on the series itself.

Meanwhile, following the return of the Master as Missy, played by Michelle Gomez last year (and in this upcoming series two part opening story, The Magician's Apprentice/The Witch's Familiar), the latest rumour doing the rounds is that Davros will be returning for Series 9. According to the Mirror (so take with some salt pinching here), the Dalek creator last seen in Series 4's The Stolen Earth/Journey's End will appear in a storyline in the upcoming series where the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) travels to the Daleks' home planet Skaro and encounters Davros on the battlefield. He will then be presented with the moral decision as to whether or not murder the young Davros in order to stop him from creating the mutated monsters. I'm not sure how true this is but right now, regardless of stories, I really do hope we get to see Davros in Capaldi's era pretty soon.

Elsewhere, it seems that we have another cast member for the currently filming The Girl Who Died/The Woman Who Lived story. David Schofield (DaVinci's Demons) has been cast in the role of Odin for the story, which has now been rumoured to be a Viking story. Interestingly enough though it was revealed that originally cast for the role was Brian Blessed (Yrcanos in Mindwarp) but the actor had to pull out due to illness. Hopefully Brian gets better soon but I am looking more and more forward to this particular set of episodes all the more.

Editing this blog piece as the BBC have revealed the monster/robot creature for the episodes currently being filmed. A cryptic photo was released first and then this one soon followed. It's not the scariest looking monster we've had (actually doesn't it look a bit similar to a certain monster from a Colin Baker story?) but it's certainly something alright.

Davros Rumours:

Series 9 of Doctor Who continues to film and will air on BBC1 and BBCAmerica from August 2015.

My Review of Atlantis's 2x08: "The Madness Of Hercules"

Written by Richard McBrien
Directed by Lawrence Gough

Pasiphae: “Are you suggesting I turn a blind eye to blasphemy because it was committed by my own son?”

Well, I know someone who won't be winning mother of the year anytime soon. Yes, Pasiphae seemed a little too content in this episode to allow her son to possibly die for a crime that she was responsible for and one that everyone knows she's responsible for and yet this episode ventured into the nonsensical by prolonging the inevitable.

Within the forty five minutes of this episode we had Jason sentenced to death, Ariadne looking like she didn't give a toss that her beloved was about to be roasted inside a bull and Hercules manning an easily botched attempt to rescue his friend as well. Only for Ariadne to have a semi-clever escape plan up her sleeve with Delmos's help, which then blew up in her face.

Watching this episode again was like watching a slightly less interesting version of the first season finale. No matter how hard it tried to ratchet up the tension, it just didn't come across so well. Ariadne was almost showing her smarts in this episode and then she allowed her deceitful council to get the better of her with Pasiphae usurping her at the end of the episode.

As for the rest of the episode - a lot of running about the place but the bright spots were both the still savagely underused Pythagoras and a mournful Medusa. The latter really does seem to have come to the grim conclusion that happiness will never come her and Hercules's way. Unfortunately she's right on that one.

- The episode aired later than scheduled on BBC1 due to football.
- Pasiphae and Medea are holding the Oracle's successor, Cassandra captive. That's why Melas betrayed Ariadne. At least he's showing some turmoil over it.
- Hercules's staged fight with that guy in the tavern actually did surprise me. I wish the show just did that more often.
- Did I just spot Icarus in the trailer for next week's episode?

Another fairly lifeless episode for me. I noticed that a lot of reviews for the second half of this series seem more favourable but although there were bits I liked in "The Madness Of Hercules", it still doesn't feel like the show is moving forward enough to really get going.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Ding Dong, The Witch Ain't Dead

A look at some of the shows I've seen recently.

Arrow: So, I'm keeping this at Sky1 pace and I've seen the latest episode and well, that departure I a) saw coming a mile off and b) still hated but not as much as I thought I would. Maybe instead of overly obsessing with the Ray/Felicity/Oliver triangle, characters like Diggle and Roy could've been more focused on this season. On the plus side, at least Laurel has continued to improve along with Thea and Ras not taking half measures to get his own way has helped to up the ante in Starling City but I'm still gonna miss Roy though. Not cool, show.

Game Of Thrones: It's been a hell of a week for this show's  return. Like Doctor Who last year, it had the misfortune of several episodes leaking online (haven't seen them) but even that didn't stop the opening episode getting 8 million viewers on HBO and 1.5 million on SkyAtlantic alike. The opening episode wasn't the show's best one but it certainly set up so many things - Dany's eventual fleeing for Meereen, a possibly deserved downfall for Cersei, Tyrion and Varys backing another ruler as well as new developments for characters like Sansa and Littlefinger. We've had stronger opening episodes but this one still managed to be an engrossing hour nonetheless though.

Marvel's Agents Of SHIELD: A good run of episodes. I haven't seen the big May episode yet (that's for tomorrow on RTE2) but I've heard good things about it. While the Real SHIELD thing is a little bogging down, I did like that it seems like both Fitz and Simmons finally got on the same page with each other and Skye ending up in that Inhumans sanctuary and not knowing that her would be mentor is her mother has potential, plot wise.

Once Upon A Time: I have to admit, although I'm enjoying the second half of the fourth season, I'm beginning to think this whole Queens of Darkness plot would've been better had Rumple not been responsible for it's inception in the first place. Despite some horrific plot gaps in logic (after the needless shafting of Marian), I think it would've been better had it been Zelena that reunited the trio and actually have them against Rumple/go after the Author (who we finally met)/try to channel Emma's potential darkness etc. Other than that, a solid bunch of episodes even if Zelena's long con with Robin makes little scene under even the least amount of scrutiny.

Scandal: With the kidnapping Olivia saga now behind the show (boy, did that four episode arc not go down well with certain viewers), I think The Lawn Chair should go down as one of the most poignant if somewhat on the nose episodes the show has ever attempted. It's airing (both in the US and UK) was sadly timely but it didn't detract from being an incredibly strong episode while the following episode gave us some much needed forwarding for Huck as well. Now I'm oddly intriguing by the upcoming episode with Lena Dunham next week on SkyLiving.

The Flash: Sticking with Sky1 pace here, can I just say I absolutely loved the Tricksters episode? I haven't seen the 1990s series where Mark Hamill originally played the role but watching both him and modern version, played by Devon Graye was an absolute blast as the two of them played off each other extremely well. Not to mention the use of an infamous movie quote as well. Seriously, I think this was the most bonkers episode the show has done and also my favourite as well, especially as the shocks about Harrison and Reverse Flash kept a coming and one of the least likeliest characters became privy to Barry's identity. I've said it before but right now this is still slightly surpassing the parent show at the moment.

- Daredevil has become the second most downloaded show this year since it's release on Netflix last Friday. I think I can guess the first one.
- UK viewers can watch the first season of Empire, Tuesdays at 9pm on E4 from April 28th.
- HBO have picked up Sharon Horgan's comedy Divorce, starring Sarah Jessica Parker to a full series.
- Revenge's final episode for Season 4 (or possibly ever) will be titled Two Graves. expect characters such as Mason Treadwell and Charlotte Grayson to appear in the last few episodes.
- True Detective's second season will air on SkyAtlantic from June 22nd, the day after it premieres on HBO.
- A second season for Constantine is "a long shot". I still think "unlikely" is closer to the mark.
- The BBC have renewed Poldark for a second series.
- Once Upon A Time has been renewed for a fifth season.
- The cast of Girls will be appearing in The Simpsons.
- Orange Is The New Black has been picked up for a fourth season.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice - First Trailer Released

“Tell me, do you bleed? You will.”

With the release of a new trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens yesterday, it does seem a little suspect that DC/Warner Bros would then go and release one for Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice but either way, we got one and it's an interesting enough one.

In the two minute trailer we had various/government types wittering on about power corrupting and people unwisely supporting those in power. Mainly it feels like a Superman bashing spree with even a mocking statue of the hero with the words 'False God' sprayed across it. Then there's the arrival of Ben Affleck's older and grouchier Batman too.

The trailer then ends with that cringe worthy exchange that I typed above. I hate to admit it but the trailer just didn't grab me and I was so looking forward to it. Perhaps I need to see it a few more times, but the rivalry between Batman and Superman just rubs me the wrong way. Perhaps if it didn't come across as so antagonistic, it wouldn't bother me so much. Then again, I'm sure better trailers over the next few months will get me on board though.

Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice Trailer:

Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice will be released in cinemas from March 25th 2016.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

My Review of Empire's 1x12: "Who I Am"

Written by Danny Strong And Ilene Chaiken
Directed by Debbie Allen

Lucious: "Game time bitches!"

And then the second part of this finale happened. Well, that turned out to be an interesting turn of events. The threat of a hostile takeover, a death, a pregnancy, some excellent duets and Lucious licking his wounds from a prison cell. A part of me feels like shouting "seventeen years, bitch" but I wouldn't be shocked if Lucious is out before seventeen weeks or months.

In a way I'm glad that Lucious is getting punished for killing Bunkie and I didn't even like the character but at the same time, I also found it a little unfortunate that it happened at literally the same time when both him and Jamal were making a genuine breakthrough with each other. In this episode alone, Lucious not only defended his son from a bigoted rapper at a public event but he even told Jamal something that no-one else knew. Okay, Lucious still deserves some jail time but hot damn though.

As for the hostile takeover bit - why can't Hakeem and Andre just work with Jamal instead of trying to take over the company? The only person I can understand doing this is Anika, due to her own strained relationship with Lucious but Andre, Hakeem and Cookie should be working with Jamal, not against him. I don't mind them going against Lucious but I don't want Jamal as collateral damage either.

Keeping with the company stuff - Vernon might have gotten a lame on screen death (Rhonda with the candle stick - really?) but I did like that it was him who sicced Agent Carter onto Lucious over Bunkie's death and he did seem to genuinely want to help an enraged Andre as well. The problem is though that while his death will have interesting consequences for Andre and a now pregnant Rhonda, other than the shock of it, Vernon isn't one of those characters that I'm going to miss a great deal.

As for Cookie - I knew she wouldn't go through with killing Lucious but her anger at him murdering her cousin was more than justified though. I didn't like that she and Jamal somewhat fell out in this episode but hopefully they can mend things early next season though. Those two are way too much fun to watch together as allies than as estranged in my opinion.

Lastly with Jamal getting comfortable in his new position at Empire, it didn't take much for Anika to encourage Hakeem with the hostile takeover stuff, now did it? I'm all for Hakeem being his own man but it might have been better if both him and Andre had reached out to Jamal first rather than allowing Anika to pull their strings to an extent.

Also in "Who I Am"

Lucious and Cookie's real names are Dwight Walker and Loretha Holloway. The latter's real name isn't mentioned in this episode but I thought it was important to note nonetheless though.

Lucious: "The Empire is yours, Jamal."

Lucious's gifts (wrapped in black and gold, fittingly enough) were gold wings for Hakeem, a gold cross of Judea for Andre, a gold lion staff for Jamal and a tiny pillow for Cookie.

Hakeem: "What kind of black girl name is Becky?"
Becky: "My mom's white."

Lucious (to Jamal, re Cookie): "You see son sometimes you gotta be willing to sacrifice your queen in order to win the game."

Keeping with the cameos, we had Rita Ora, Juicy J and Patti LaBelle in this episode.

Anika (to Cookie): "Who's Boo Boo Kitty now, bitch?"

Jamal (to Black Rambo): "Bitch!"

The show got seriously soapy with the Cookie/Anika scrap (flying pearls, people) and the way Jamal destroyed homophobic rapper Black Rambo in that rap off scene was an utter delight.

Cookie: "No matter what's going on between me and your daddy, I got you."
Jamal: "I know you do."

Lucious: "Dwight Walker."
Jamal: "Who's that?"
Lucious: "That's my real name. Cookie don't even know that."

Standout music: Rita Ora's "NY Raining", Jamal/Hakeem's "What The DJ Spins" and Jamal/Patti LaBelle's "Nothing To Lose".

Jamal (to audience): "I am the son of Lucious Lyon."

Chronology: From where "Die But Once" left off.

A brilliant finale for an excellent first season. Empire has had some incredible highs for a show in it's opening year and whether or not it can maintain the quality in future seasons is hard to tell but either way, "Who I Am" was a perfect way to cap off this debut year and ensure that I'll be coming back for seconds.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

My Review of Empire's 1x11: "Die But Once"

Written by Ilene Chaiken
Directed by Mario Van Peebles

Lucious (to Bunky): "It's my comeback concert, cause I'm about to come back like the Phoenix from the ashes."

Oh dear - the show went there. Of course by the time we'd get to the finale (and the massively popularity of the show became more apparent) that it would turn out that Lucious might not be on the way out after all. They say you can never kill a bad thing and this episode revealed that instead of ALS, Lucious actually has MG, which won't be killing him off anytime soon.

However it wasn't until the end of the episode that Lucious became privy to the fact that he was going to live so when he wasn't having Cookie removed from Empire, thumping a seething Hakeem or grooming Jamal to take over his company, he was also trying to deal with old fashioned writers block.

Much as Lucious can be a vicious bastard at times, I really liked that it was Jamal and a visit to their old home that awoke Lucious's ability to actually write a decent song and it was also rather nice to see the two of them work together on a song. In spite of their differences, this episode also showed some similarities too when Jamal got physical with Beretti over old songs of Lucious's as well. It's not a side of Jamal I want to see often but at the same time, this was still a great episode for Jamal nonetheless.

When he wasn't connecting with his father, both Jamal and Ryan christened Lucious's desk in their own way (thank you show) and I also loved the scene where at a signing for his album, a young lad told Jamal that he encouraged him to come out. I loved that little moment - both for the young lad in question and for the way it clearly affected Jamal as well too. Thank you show.

As for the rest of the Lyon kids - Hakeem really managed to stick it to Lucious twice in this episode. First with the diss rap that earned him a punch from his old man and then by having sex with Anika in front of Lucious too. For a tiny second I might have felt a little glimmer of sympathy for Lucious but it passed though.

As for Andre - he was willing to drop being CFO of Empire Records so he could spend more time with God/Michelle and Lucious ended up putting the skids on that by tempting Michelle with a Gospel album. While I was a little disappointed that Michelle gave in so easily, another part of me couldn't blame her either. However I'm still hoping that Andre doesn't cheat on Rhonda with Michelle.

However the most exciting stuff of this episode once again involved Cookie though. Lucious highlighted his jealousy of her and Malcolm well but it was him confessing in his sleep about killing Bunky that was the gem of the episode. I know Cookie was holding a pillow over his head (and repeatedly wished for his death) but will she really kill him? I'm going to go with a resounding no but either way, Lucious screwed himself royally there.

Also in "Die But Once"

Keeping with the cameos, we had Snoop Dogg in this episode, who thankfully wasn't as annoying as he usually can be at times.

Lucious: "This is my last show."
Becky: "Come on, don't say that."
Lucious: "Well, it is."

Becky wins points for putting Lucious in his place. Porscha loses some for her lack of discretion with Cookie and Malcolm though.

Malcolm (to Cookie): "We'll take it as fast as you want because you're in charge."

Cookie (to Carol): "You want to know why I put my name on the concert? Because hell wants the devil back and Lucious is on his way."

This was the first episode not to feature Rhonda at all and Anika had no lines in this one either.

Lucious (to Andre): "There's no higher purpose than being a maker of music. That's the voice of God."

Jamal (to Lucious): "I used to worship you and even though you hated me for being who I am and tried to beat it out of me, I worshiped the way you used to make music."

I still find the wigs they use in flashbacks for Cookie seriously distracting at times.

Beretti: "You're not going to drop me."
Jamal: "My daddy thinks I will."

Standout music: Jamal/Lucious's "Nothing To Lose", John Legend's "Made To Love" and Michelle's "For My God".

Lucious (to Andre): "Let's see who's more powerful - your God or your daddy."

Chronology: Not long from where "Sins Of The Father" left off.

Now that was a superb penultimate episode. "Die But Once" might have copped out a little by revealing that Lucious had a less threatening illness but other than that, the first season of this show is shaping up to end on quite a number. Looking forward to the second part.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

My Review of Gotham's 1x19: "Beasts Of Prey"

Written by Ken Woodruff
Directed by Eagle Egilsson

Jason (to Grace): "I really thought you were the one. Don't worry, sooner or later I'll find her."

After being over a month off the air (allowing both UK and Irish stations to nearly catch up, kind of), Gotham has returned for the first of it's final four episodes and we've got a new villain in the mix. Despite his obscenely good looks, Milo Ventimiglia is the Ogre or Jason Lennon - whatever you want to call him.

Let's get the obvious out of the way - serial killers like Jason aren't nothing new or revolutionary. For all crime dramas, they tend to be the default baddie - that misogynistic scumbag who targets women and subjects them to all kinds of physical and mental cruelties before eventually killing them in a fairly horrible manner.

One of Jason's victims in this episode was a woman named Grace Fairchild, whom he seduced, imprisoned and eventually killed in a room that seemed like a mixture of Dexter Morgan's kill rooms and Christian Grey's Red Room. Of course, this happened four months ago but it became a present day problem when Gordon was duped into investigating the case by a smarting Loeb (clearly that man holds a grudge well) and Bullock had to tell his partner the consequences of looking into Jason's killer activities.

Villain wise, I like that the show is aiming to add their own ones into the roster and while Jason's only USP for now is that he targets the loved ones of those who investigate into his antics, I do think that Ventimiglia was suitably chilling enough in his flashback scenes with the unfortunate Grace. However, given that Jim opened up a massive can of worms, things aren't going to go well for either Barbara or Leslie in the remaining episodes now that Jim is in his sights.

While I hated that Jim had been easily played by Moore appealing to his good side, I did enjoy seeing him threaten Loeb in the end. I don't doubt he'll catch the Ogre but at the same time, I also imagine that there will be consequences and that taking Loeb down won't be as easy as Gordon seems to think it will be either.

Moving away from the Ogre storyline though, at long last Fish managed to escape from that island and the Dulmacher. Granted, she still got shot and it was a bit touch and go but given that we already know that Jada Pinkett Smith won't be making it into the next season, it would've been something of a cop out if she had died at the Dollmaker's hands really. I also liked that she went back for Kelly as well after selling him out in the previous episode. I guess Fish really does have her principles.

As for Bruce and Selina - I really didn't see the latter causing Reggie's death coming. I mean, I know that Selina has killed from time to time in certain adaptations but that was a shocker though and something that did highlight the different moral codes both her and Bruce have. Overall, the fallout of Alfred's stabbing has been interestingly dealt with this week.

Also in "Beasts Of Prey"

Slightly unusual that Jason's scenes were dealt with in flashbacks but it really worked. The broken heart calling card is pretty clever too actually.

The Catcher: "You're outside."
Fish: "You're observant."

I kind of guessed that Fish was setting up half the prisoners to go for the boat while her real intention was to go for the chopper.

Leslie (to Gordon): "What can I say? You had me at homicide."

Bullock: "Ed question - would you rather work more or less?"
Nygma: "Is this a riddle?"

This week Oswald managed to get a woman named Lydia's granddaughter back to her by cutting off the finger of a guitarist. He also wants to kill Maroni in Lydia's place too. Good luck with that, Oswald.

Jason: "Maybe you're right. I've had plenty of relationships but in the end they never seem to work out."
Grace: "Why not?"
Jason: "I think what I'm looking for frightens people."

Selina: "Could've smashed your head in with a brick, y'know."
Bruce: "Why would you do that? Why would you say that?"

Are Selina and Ivy still living with Barbara at the moment? I guess we'll find out next week.

Oswald (to Gabe): "All kinds of things motivate people - lust, ambition, envy."

Reggie: "I'm going to tell on you."
Selina: "No, you're not."

Chronology: Not long from where "Everyone Has A Cobblepot" left off I imagine.

Not the best episode we've had but as a set up for an interesting finale arc with Gordon vs. the Ogre, I think "Beasts Of Prey" laid down the groundwork pretty well actually. Jason might not be the most original type of villain but he's certainly one of the more interesting new ones we've had in a while though.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Monday, April 13, 2015

My Review of Atlantis's 2x07: "A Fate Worse Than Death"

Written by Howard Overman
Directed by Lawrence Gough

Pasiphae (to the Oracle): “You should be glad that the gods do not allow you to see your own fate”

It's been nearly four months and a cancellation announcement since the show has last aired and the first of the final seven episodes kicked off on Saturday with surprisingly little fanfare. I say surprising but oddly enough, unlike the lifeless two part opening for Series 2, this episode actually did something interesting. It killed off the Oracle.

I'm not going to mourn the character's loss, not because I disliked her but because Juliet Stevenson had been criminally wasted in the series that killing off the Oracle actually seemed like a good thing. One thing I am grateful for though was that we got some lovely bitchy scenes between Stevenson and Sarah Parish as both the Oracle and Pasiphae didn't hold back on what they thought of each other one last time.

Having an unwitting and desperate Medusa be the one to actually kill off the Oracle was a bold move, especially as Pasiphae remained true to her word and actually cured the former as well. In some ways, I don't think Pasiphae should've bothered. With this episode hammering home that killing the Oracle is a massive no-no, I think it's a safe assumption that Medusa's cure will be both short lived and her relationship with Hercules even more doomed than before.

Of course, the episode loses points for me with the ridiculously contrived manner in which Jason was found guilty of the Oracle's death and sentenced to death. It reeked of extremely lazy writing, considering that everyone knew that it was Medusa/Pasiphae responsible and just seemed like a contrived way of halting Jason and Ariadne's inevitable nuptials (which even the gods seemed in favour, hence Pasiphae's desperation to bump off the Oracle). Hopefully the idiotic plot is resolved quickly in the next episode.

- BBC Announcer person - it was December 20th that the last episode aired, not the 22nd.
- Yet again, another episode where Pythagoras had bugger all to do. At least Medea played a part in acquiring Medusa. Not a shocker that both Pasiphae/Medea are immune to Medusa as well.
- Emmett Scanlan popped up her as new advisor/right hand soldier bloke, Delmos. Despite his disapproval of Ariadne/Jason, it might be possible he doesn't turn traitor for the next few episodes.
- Jemima Rooper's name is back in the credits. I assume Juliet Stevenson's will be removed from next week onwards, right?

Not a bad return episode but at times, there were things in "A Fate Worse Than Death" that made me see why the show got cancelled. Aside from the wavering plotting at times for the sake of drama, the show still has a habit of plodding here and there. Pasiphae would be a lot better if she just made a better claim for ruler rather than continuing on her entitled, tyrannical spree.

Rating: 6 out of 10

My Review of Revenge's 4x19: "Exposure"

Written by Wilson Pollick And Andrew Steier
Directed by Jennifer Wilkinson

Emily: "Victoria, if you're watching, it is in your hands to end this."

Now that's how to throw down the gauntlet. Granted, Emily's on air "up yours" towards Victoria might have stemmed after Nolan realised too late that Louise had betrayed information to the demon lady herself but either way, I liked that Emily publicly slighted Victoria in the manner she did.

Victoria might be a great villain but her inability to take responsibility or even partially admit she's done terrible things as much as Emily has been growing more and more annoying over the last few seasons and having Emily allude to Aiden's murder and Victoria's part in it was pretty satisfying to watch.

On a frustrating note, this episode not only gave Victoria one ally for her cause but two of them. Louise foolishly screwed over Nolan because she stupidly bought into Victoria's little sob stories about Daniel and Margaux then returned to the vengeance after briefly having some sense in this episode about Emily. One step forward with Margaux and then several ones backwards.

As for Louise - I don't think she's really in a position to be that annoyed with Nolan. Nolan had no reason to tell her about Emily's real identity and Louise did conveniently ignore the fact that it was him who got her away from her mother's clutches as well as saving her from a trip back to Claremont. Is it too much to hope that Louise gets an epiphany and ends up helping Emily and Nolan in the last run of episodes?

Keeping with Emily - when she wasn't pissed at Nolan for keeping dangerous information about her, she was also feeling the brunt of Ben's annoyance but on the plus side, she did manage to stop a few of her former takedowns from mounting a revenge mission on her for the time being. I liked that Emily was savvy enough to realise that some of them would band together against her and that Victoria would go to the media as well. The fact that Emily got ahead on both fronts was pretty nice.

As for the episode itself - it was primarily a clip show with several clips from various seasons tying into the events of today. While I do think clip shows can be somewhat naff and a cheap way of saving money, it actually worked well enough, highlighting the progression that Emily and her mission has made over the last four years as well as reminding viewers of the people that she's lost along the way too.

Of course this episode was very much building towards things coming to an end - Emily Thorne no longer exists (but I'm sticking with the name for the remaining reviews), her battle with Victoria is close to concluding as is the whole 'will they/won't they' thing with her and Jack. Oh and there's a final enemy in sight too. Let's not kid ourselves - it's either going to be Lydia or Charlotte, right?

Also in "Exposure"

I hope for Louise's sake she isn't stupid enough to tell either Victoria or Margaux that she killed Lymon.

Emily: "Emily Thorne no longer exists."
Nolan: "It's the end of an era."

The fun thing about the flashbacks was noticing how different a lot of the characters (the male ones moreso) look now.

Ben (to Emily): "It's too late. That's why it's called live television. You don't get a do-over."

Emily (to Tom): "So get on the phone and spread the word. Stay away from David and Amanda Clarke."

One of the few decent things that Margaux did in this episode was admit to Victoria that Emily didn't cause her to lose the baby.

Victoria: "She caused you to lose your own child. Why don't you care?"
Margaux: "Because I lied. Emily didn't push me."

Emily (to interviewer): "I didn't make an accusation. It's on Victoria to take responsibility for her own actions. I do have sympathy for her though. She was born with a dark soul.

Standout music: You & Me's "You & Me", played at the end of the episode with David and Emily on the porch.

Victoria: "Amanda Clarke dug a grave for me tonight."
Margaux: "But I won't let her put you in it."

Emily (to David): "For the first time, I have no idea what's coming."

Chronology: From where "Clarity" left off.

As a clip show went, "Exposure" did a solid job of keeping things pretty interesting. The nods to the past (Sammy, real Emily/pretend Amanda, Aiden) were great and the hints of things to come should hopefully give this show a satisfying conclusion. At this point, I really do think it's done for now.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Orange Is The New Black - Season 3 Trailer

With Daredevil finally released onto the general population yesterday (will be watching that later), another of Netflix's crowned jewels released a trailer for it's upcoming season.

The trailer for Orange Is The New Black's third season with the neat tagline of No Excuses, No Apologies showed that things were going to continue to be chaotic and fun. Some of the highlights included ....

- No Larry. Yes, this season will be a Jason Biggs free zone. No offence to the bloke but Larry will not be missed as a character.
- Plenty of Piper and Alex stuff as the latter struggles to deal with being locked while the former has seemingly made peace with it.
- Boo getting quite the makeover in one scene as Tiffany plays guide to the new prisoners, one of whom has a thing for Piper.
- Bennett and Daya scenes, which should please people. Also some tension with Gloria and Sophia?
- Red's snappy comment about seeing the world in 'black and white and red'.
- Suzanne embarking on some creative writing. Involving aliens. As you should do.

You can watch the trailer below. It certainly looks like we've got another excellent season ahead of us.

Season 3 Trailer:

Orange Is The New Black's third season will be available on Netflix from June 12th.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

My Review of Empire's 1x10: "Sins Of The Father"

Written by Eddie Gonzalez And Jeremy Haft
Directed by Rob Hardy

Lucious (to Reg, re Olivia/Lola): "It was me. I'm the father. I put the baby in her, not him. I did it."

And the award for the most (or fairly most) predictable plot twists goes to .... Lucious actually being Lola's father. Of course he had to be. Just when Jamal was fully embracing the idea of wanting to be a father and also wanting to have Lola live with him. For this alone, Olivia had to resurface with her violent ex-boyfriend Reg in tow and for a near shooting to force Lucious's hand into revealing the truth.

I have to admit, I'm a little relieved and disappointed by the reveal. Relieved in one way because I'd like Jamal to be a little footloose and fancy free for now but disappointed because it felt so obvious that Lucious and Olivia would've had a child together and tried to pass it off as Jamal's in a way. As a plot, it somewhat wrote itself, didn't it?

On the plus side, at least with Malcolm coming to Cookie's rescue, Reg was taken out pretty quickly so we don't have to put up with him any further but at the same time, I was sad to see Lola leave. I'm not a kid person myself but she was a nice child and they still threw a tiny ambiguity about her parentage as well. I still think she has to be Lucious's now but a DNA test wouldn't go amiss here.

Having said that, I guess with fatherhood not being an option for Jamal now, they can continue the focus on who Lucious's heir apparent will. This week Lucious did seem to be going out of his way to woo Cookie and had the reveal about Lola not come out, he might have had a chance. I liked that Cookie ended the episode by knocking Lucious into touch and copping off with Malcolm.

Actually, even though the whole Cookie/Malcolm thing is a tad rushed, it still somewhat works. I don't think it's a relationship we're meant to see as a long term thing but as a bit of fun, it does work a treat. Malcolm might have resisted her charms in the previous episode but he certainly succumbed to them in this one.

Speaking of charms - this episode finally made me root for Hakeem and Camilla as a couple and then Lucious got Malcolm to escort the latter back to the airport. Naomi Campbell hasn't exactly been an acting revelation but I actually really liked Camilla in this episode - she genuinely cares for Hakeem and his career and sees his potential and the fact she refused to take Lucious's money, despite her own financial difficulties actually speaks volumes too. I say she'll return next season. After this episode, she definitely can now.

As for Andre - I liked that we got flashbacks to his first episode with bipolar and I actually liked that Lucious was aware of it even back then. I didn't like that Lucious was a prick about Andre's condition or his snide remarks towards Rhonda, but at the same time, Rhonda standing her ground with Lucious was a wonderful sight to behold. I've really grown to love her character the last few episodes and the scenes with Andre and his music therapist Michelle (hello, Jennifer Hudson) were enjoyable to watch too.

Also in "Sins Of The Father"

Aside from Jennifer Hudson, we also had Lucious singing with Mary J. Blige in Andre's flashback as well this week.

Rhonda: "No, this isn't a white person thing, Cookie."
Andre: "I was diagnosed in junior college."
Rhonda: "That was when he had his first psychotic episode."

Speaking of flashbacks - Jamal had a lot of hair back then too, lol. I also got some serious reminders of Three Men And A Little Lady during one scene with him, Hakeem and Lola.

Camilla (to Hakeem): "Cookie may be vulgar but at least she makes Jamal better, which is what I'm trying to do with you. We've got to keep our eye on the prize."

Cookie (to Lucious): "I want you to be a better father. I want you to think about our sons need instead of being self serving all the time."

Ryan admitted that he didn't want to really get involved with Jamal if he was going to be a full time parent. I can understand where he's coming from a tiny bit. After all, Michael bolted too after learning about Lola (among other issues).

Cookie (to Malcolm): "I'm going to give you a reason to arrest me for indecent exposure."

Hakeem (re Camilla): "She said we're like the new Anthony & Cleopatra."
Jamal: "Y'all know that's a tragedy when they ended up dying?"

Since when was Vernon a coke addict? I felt like we missed something here. Not sure I really care either if I'm being honest.

Lucious: "I didn't say you were dismissed."
Camilla: "You are not gonna keep me in here."
Lucious: "Sit down."

Rhonda (to Lucious): "I've been with your son for ten years and you don't know a damn thing about me but just to clarify, I came from nothing and I worked my ass off to put myself through Penn."

Standout music: Lucious/Mary J. Blige's "Shake Down", Michelle's "Remember The Music" and Jamal/Hakeem's "Lola".

Cookie (to Lucious): "You just don't want to die alone."

Chronology: Not long from where "Unto The Breach" left off - oh and no Anika/Porscha/Becky this week.

Not quite as good as the last few episodes but nonetheless, I did like "Sins Of The Father". I do think they could've resolved the Lola storyline a lot better than they did but at the same time, I could watch every female character (or a nice rotation of Cookie, Rhonda and Camilla) call out Lucious for his many failings as a person all week.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

My Review of Empire's 1x09: "Unto The Breach"

Written by David Rambo
Directed by Anthony Hemingway

Andre (to Lucious): "Andre is carefree!"

This certainly wasn't a resting on it's laurels sort of episode. The weird thing is that at the start of this episode, it felt like we had missed something because how the hell did Cookie find out so quickly about Anika's betrayal? While I'm glad that Anika/Beretti's scheming against Empire wasn't dragged out, it did come out rather quickly for my liking.

However the fallout though was delightful. I like seeing Lucious and his family banding together to keep the artists they had from dropping Empire and heading to Creedmoor and I liked that it was done in a way that somewhat bonded everyone together for the most part - especially with Hakeem and Cookie.

Can I just how great was Hakeem in this episode? Sure he had one little moment where he threw a tiny strop about having to watch Andre and Lucious woo one artist but essentially, Hakeem was able to help calm Andre with Jamal in the lift and both him and Cookie worked brilliantly together in order to stop Anika from sinking her claws into Tiana, which personally I quite liked. Hakeem even deserves points for making it clear to Tiana that it's Camilla he wants to be with and not her. Basically, this version of Hakeem can stay as far as I'm concerned.

Of course wooing Tiana was probably a lot easier than Royal T. Cookie being the last woman standing in a mostly off screen drinking contest to keep the rapper/singer was amusing as was her drunken attempts of wooing Malcolm. He didn't cave into her advances this time but the episode certainly made the impression that those two will get it on at a later date though.

As for Jamal - I love that he socked it to Lucious about coming out at the White Party. While Lucious should've gotten a clue by now that no-one cares about Jamal being gay, this episode hammered it home a little more with British singer Estelle as Delphine wanting to sign with Empire as long as she got to work with both Jamal and Lucious.

The guest stars on this show have been great and Estelle was just brilliant. She has such a lovely, vibrant presence that I really Delphine as a recurring character for the next season. Also the recording session with Jamal was glorious with the live club performances with practically all of the Lyon clan and Tiana for good measure. Yes, she definitely has to return. Delphine is way too good as a character just for a one episode appearance.

However there was far heavier material in this episode than Lucious and Beretti/Anika's vendetta with each other. Andre melted down in spectacular fashion in this episode. First there was the massive panic in the lift with Jamal and Hakeem and then there was the explosive final scene in the boardroom with Rhonda and Lucious. Some spectacularly brilliant acting from Trai Byers throughout this whole episode. I really do hope Andre gets the help he needs now.

Also in "Unto The Breach"

This was a great episode for both Porscha and Becky who worked well to try and help save Empire too. Elle decided to stay with Empire, despite not appearing on screen.

Lucious: "Were you playing me with all those wedding plans to buy time?"
Anika: "You are accusing me of betrayal? After all those women, all those lies and now her?"

Anika didn't directly tell him but it was sort of implied that Beretti might have found out about Lucious's ALS. We also learned that Beretti lost a son to leukemia at an early age.

Jamal: "We're buying loyalty with hookers and blow? That's not Empire."
Lucious: "This is the music business."

Malcolm: "You know I got rules right?"
Cookie:"Man, break your rules. Rules are meant to be broken."

Jamal and Ryan are dating and we even got some nice making out with the two prior to Porscha interrupting them.

Beretti (re Anika): "Your tragedy talks in her sleep. She mumbles your name."
Lucious: "I got what I needed from her and I got rid of her. Oops, I think I did that to you too."

Jamal (to Lucious): "You said that families put aside their differences, so put aside your played out homophobia, unless it's more important to you than Empire."

Standout music: Jamal/Delphine's "Conqueror", Delphine and Tiana with the Lyons (minus Andre) on "You're So Beautiful", Jamal/Hakeem/Andre singing "Lean On Me" and Jamal's shirtless rendition of "All Of The Above".

Anika: "You little bastard."
Hakeem: "Look, I know Dad ain't do right by you but I gotta do right by him, sorry."

Chronology: I guess from where "The Lyon's Roar" left off. Oh and UK/Irish viewers can finally see the show as E4 have bagged the rights and will air it in the next few weeks.

Aside from the rushed discovery of Anika/Beretti working together, "Unto The Breach" was certainly a great episode. It was exceptionally great for the music and moreso for the Lyons to actually all work together as a family and for Andre's bipolar being brought to the forefront as well.

Rating: 9 out of 10