Monday, 3 October 2011

Luck of the Irish! The Good Wife S03E02

So I was away last week and didnt get the chance to update the blog so Ill be starting each entry this week with a mini recap of last weeks episode!

So last week The Good Wife returned last week and continued to be one of the best dramas on TV. We learned the Peter/Alicia split is more permanent then before after his past indiscretions with Kalinda. After finally hooking up with Will in that steamy elevator scene relations seemed cold between. Of course that was until that to hot for network TV "Dont move" scene. Tensions are still high between Kalinda and Alicia and as ever any scenes involving Cary and Peter were highlights of the show.

That brings us to this week and some very excellent guest stars including Eddie Izzard and ,a definitely not from Co. Kerry, Simon Delany. The case of the week proved really interesting, something The Good Wife manages far better then other shows. Izzard and Delany really shined throughout the episode and Im really hoping they can return in some capacity.

The long awaited meeting of Kalinda and Eli finally took place and their plot was a great way of showing how cold yet fantastic at their jobs both characters are. As always Panjabi and Cummings remained consistent. What I really like about these two is how subtle their acting is. They dont really need to do a whole lot to show how brilliant they are. While everyone was looking forward to those two finally meeting I always find myself most excited when we get just Diane and Will in the same room. These two play off of one another so well and the closing conversation to last nights episode was fantastic.

How can we talk about last nights episode with focusing on Diane showing up at Alicias home in search of Peter? Well I suppose we cant. This interaction between these two characters just showed how perfectly cast this show is. Margulies and Barinski as two powerful women coming so close to blows brought a great tension to it. Whats fantastic is that both of these women are, at least supposed to be, playing for the same team and Im really hoping we get to see some more conflict between these two over the season.

Over all The Good Wife still remains as one the best dramas on televison. If you're not watching you really need to start!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Bridgette vs Siobhan round 2! Ringer S01e02 review!

In the aftermath of killing the man sent to murder her we find Bridgette as confused as ever. She gets in contact with her sponsor with a plan to flee New York, but of course nothing goes to plan. Bridgette gets caught up within everyones drama and I find myself not caring about half of it!

Her stepdaughter is developing a drug problem and being just a general bitch to be fair. Of course no one else notices and despite her mean attitude throughout the episode Bridgette ends up on the bathroom consoling her. I get that the writers are trying to get us to be empathetic towards Juliette but I dont see how anyone can be? She storms around acting the moody teenager and expects everyone to bow to her by the look of it. Now that shes apologetic about the drug use is that her arc over? And if so can we get the writers to do something interesting with her?

Next Siobhans best friend is fretting over who her husband is sleeping with. Unbeknownst to her he was sleeping with Siobhan and Bridgette is the only one who knows. Again, are we supposed to care? We get it Siobhan was a bitch and no one knew about it but Id rather see the drama that would unfold if some people found out about the affair! At the very least Id like them to give Henry a bit more to do.

Next up we have Siobhans husband Andrew and his business dealings and sexy partner. This story confuses me more than the others. Im not certain which story we're supposed to be following. Is something gonna come out of his business dealings or is an affair incoming? He seems to be thankful for the way Siobhan, but really Bridgette (keep up), is acting so I dont see him cheating now.

Bridgette had all of this to deal with this week as well as the fact that she just killed a man and she has an event to throw in the loft where shes storing the body. The most interesting aspect of this arc, and the whole show really, is the fact that no one is aware that Siobhan is still alive and trying to kill her sister (and thereby fake her own death) from Paris. If the writers had any sense they would shift some of the focus onto Siobhan and not only have her pop up at the end of the episode.

The episode ends with Siobhan wanting to speed up her plans for faking her death while someone has stolen the now lifeless body of the hitman she sent after her sister. If the show can shift focus to this aspect then it should do fine but if it keeps taking the focus away from it people are gonna tune out!

Overall the episode was OK and a bit more polished than the pilot but when it comes down it, it needs to do more to live up to the potential it has.

Glee goes in New Directions! Glee S03E01 review!

There's no denying that Glee has a certain quality that keeps people coming back. Maybe its the music, maybe its the fact that its probably the most positive show on TV, whatever it is no matter what happens you go back for more. This quality pretty much saved the show last year. After a stellar opening season the show took a nosedive. It became to caught up in its own hype and it got so messy. There was no coherent story arcs and it was used more as a way to sell records rather than be a quality TV show. With a promise from the shows creators that the musical numbers and guest stars will be toned down we're all back for the first day of senior year.

The episode follows the kids as they return to school after the summer and their still stinging defeat at nationals last season. Finn and Rachel are still playing the happy couple despite the fact that Finn has zero idea what he wants to do with the rest of his life. Rachel on the other hand has her strict life plan bound in pink notepad. One of the high points of the episode was Rachel and Kurt going to a mixer for potential students at a New York performing arts school. While these two kids have prided themselves on being the best singers in glee they got firmly put in their place here. The competition between the two new best friends is going to be an interesting story arc this year. What I most like about it is that it has the potential to last all season which shows structure, something that last season was seriously lacking.

Not only was Kurt planning his life ahead of him he was also trying to perfect the present. Early in the episode Kurt is seen begging perfect boyfriend Blaine to transfer schools and come join his glee club. Heres my problem with this story. Kurt started out as a well rounded character who had his flaws. Over the course of last season Kurt and Blaine were transformed into these perfect beings. Their flawlessness stepped out of the realm of possibility. However, the two characters didnt really bother me as much they had previously and I find myself interested in how their story plays out.

Next up we have Will and Emma living the happy life as a couple. Well almost. It appears that although shes getting closer Emma still cant commit to some fornication! It seems to be taking its toll on Will, and the problem isnt helped by Sue. Sue is now running for Congress and her stance against the arts is her main selling point. Apparently this is gonna be 20 episode arc for the character which is awesome. Jane Lynch is one of the funniest people out there and she was treated horribly on the show last year. What need is for Sue to be nothing but cruel 99% of the time with small shout outs to her more vulnerable side.

Elsewhere Brittany is building a time machine and Sanatana was booted from New Directions for setting fire to their piano. Quinn on the other has decided to quit Glee and join "The Skanks!". And her absence wass notable. The two most interesting storylines from last year were Max Adlers Karofsky dealing with his sexuality and Quinn post pregnancy. These two were very obviously missing from this episode and I really hope their presence is felt throughout the season.

Overall I thought the premier brought the show back on track and for the most part the story arcs proposed here look like the making of a good season.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Buttercups and Groove Is In The Heart! How I Met Your Mother returns. HIMYM S07E01/2 review.

We open at last years close. Ted as best man at Barneys wedding. Im still finding it hard to believe that Barneys getting married, and so is he based on his choice of tie. While I sincerely hope he doesnt marry Robin I just cant see him getting married to Nora in such a short space of time. But we're getting ahead of ourselves. We flash back to Ted as best man at his high school friends Punchys wedding and for some unknown reason all Teds new friends have been invited. The gangs all dealing with something rather big. Ted has just featured on the cover of New York magazine, Marshall and Lilly are trying to hide the fact that their pregnant, Barney is wrestling with his feelings for Nora as he awaits her call and Robin, well Robin is all of a sudden in love with Barney again.

The most interesting scene of the hour long premier was the balcony scene with Ted and Robin. We really see these two characters getting back to their roots and it shows how great these two are as friends. An interesting point of this conversation is that we were reminded of Robin and Teds arrangement that if they are both single by the time they're 40 they will marry one another. Now is this a throwaway comment or is this really a possibility? Regardless, we see Ted commit to finding love again, and at what an appropriate time.

The second episode of the premier centers on Barney showing his undying love for Nora by not leaving a diner. Seriously, I dont get how Barney Stinson has fallen so head over heels in such a short space of time. Sure Ill buy Ted doing that but Barney? Not so much! However, eventually Nora believes that Barneys a changed man and they leave the diner together. Marshall is vying for a new job at an environmental law firm and is trying his best to remove a video of him streaking from the internet. After getting heavily drunk he instead streaks through New York. Despite Marshalls drunken nakedness he still gets the job. Ted begins to date two girls at the same time in his search for love. This show never really address how much of a man whore Ted really is do they? However when faced with the choice of who to bring to a work event Ted opts for Robin (but in a friend way). This is really where things get interesting. Off all the architecture events in all the world who is serving food at this one? Teds one time love Victoria, who after leaving for Germany Ted cheated on with Robin (see Man Whore).

The episode ends with the pair spotting each other and by the looks of it Victorias gonna be around for a while. Something I can really get behind. After Robin, Victoria was my favourite of Teds exes and if she turned out to be the Mother thats something I could live with!

Castle comes in with a bang! Castle S04E01 review.

And here we go. After last seasons shocking end, like seriously who saw that coming? We return to find Beckett on the way to surgery where her unsuspecting boyfriend waits to operate on his next patient. The gang wait outside as things look worse and worse for Beckett. But this is TV so of course shes fine a day later. Well physically fine that is. In the wake of finally telling Beckett that he loved her Castle goes to visit her not really certain what to expect. He brings her flowers and witty banter in typical Castle fashion. She tells him she cant remember a single thing from the shooting, an obvious lie, and that she needs space from him.

So its now been three months since Beckett was in the hospital and its her first day back on the job. While Ryan and Esposito have been working on finding Becketts shooter the case is now closed because of new Captain Victoria "Iron" Gates. Not only is Becketts case closed but Castle is no where to be found. According the boys the new Captain kicked him to the kerb. In the months since they last saw one another Castle has been non stop working on not only Becketts shooting but also her mothers murder. However, when the two are reunited at Castles book signing hes understandably pissed. After not hearing from the women he loves after three months hes pretty annoyed about careless she is about it all. But then again she did get shot and after hearing that Beckett and Dr. Boyfriend broke up Castle is much more willing to listen.

Theres a typical murder of the week story line that really just seemed kinda thrown together and doesnt really impact the A plot at all. What we really need to take from the episode is how different things are gonna be in the precinct under "Iron" Gates. Shes not a fan of Castle and her and Beckett are getting off to a rough start. The season looks like its taking a very different turn for the show. We hear Beckett tell Castle that she'll be ready for a relationship once she solves her mothers case. Theres more than a bit of a problem with this situation though. All signs point to Beckett dying trying to solve this case! So Castle persuades her to put the case on hold, which in turn puts their relationship on hold! Oh but twist ending. We learn that Castle is gonna continue investigating Becketts mothers death without her and that *gasp* Beckett knows how Castle feels shes just not ready for that kinda relationship.

Overall the season four opener was a stellar Castle episode and has set up the fourth season really nicely!

How does Two And A Half Men get by without Charlie Sheen? S09E01 Review!

So lets be honest about this from the start. I've never particularly liked Two and a Half Men. I've seen more than a few episodes and the show also pushes the lowest of humor and after seeing three episodes you've pretty much seen them all. Sure from time to time they tried to insert emotional arcs which for the most part focused on Charlie Sheen getting engaged but the wedding not happening or Jon Cryers character getting close to happiness only to self destruct. While I would never have made a point to watch an episode of Two and a Half Men I made a point last night! I mean with all the Charlie Sheen/Chuck Lorre controversy of the last year how could you not watch? So how did the show fair with absence of Sheen?

The ninth season opens smack bang in the middle of Charlie Sheens Harpers funeral with Jon Cryers Alan in the process of giving the eulogy. As the camera pans we see the funeral attends are fill with women Charlie has wronged in the past. What was kinda striking here that from what I could gather some of the women here had ended with Charlie on good terms, the funeral scene, instead of making an attempt at some emotion serves only to throw below the belt punches at Sheen. It pretty much implies that no one cares that his gone and the show is almost better without. We see Alan and Charlies mother using the funeral as a way to pimp Charlies house out now that Alan can no longer afford it. No while Evelyn was always portrayed as a bit of a bitch was she always this malicious? And the final speaker at Charlies funeral was stalker turned fiance turned killer (?) Rose. This I got a chuckle out of. While it comes across as cold having Rose push Charlie in front of a Metero is at least some what comical.

Following the funeral we get a glimpse of Charlies family mourning him in his beach house. A scene that could have used a bit more emotion is instead laced with weak insults and fart jokes. Hilarious. We jump forward again to the open house a few days later. Theres nothing much here, we learn that John Stamos and Charlie Harper once had a threesome with a girl on Charlies couch, only the girl passed out. We see Jenna Elfman and Thomas Gibson reprise their "Dharma & Greg" roles, that show was co-created by Men creator Chuck Lorre. But no ones willing to take the house. What follows this actually quite a nice scene. We see Cryer mourn over his dead brothers ashes. Its funny but not so funny that it takes away from the rare emotional scene which was surprisingly nice. And as Alan goes to scatter his brothers ashes on the beach we Ashton Kutcher standing on the balcony. Que massive screams from the crowd.

We learn Kutchers character, internet billionaire Walden Schmidt, was trying to kill himself by flinging himself in the ocean but couldnt hack the coldness of the water. After a phone call to his ex begging her to take him back and a quick strip down, hes "hung like an elephant!", we follow Alan and Walden to the bar. This is where we really start to see the differences between Kutcher and Sheens characters. Sheen was an alcoholic seemingly able to bring home anyone. Kutcher has no game and doesnt like the taste of booze. In a role reversal Alan teaches Schmidt how to pick up women and the boys bring two ladies home. However, once again Alan is left alone "masturbating and crying himself to sleep" while someone upstairs has sex with two women. Theres something very familiar about this situation.....

The episode ends with Walden deciding to buy Alans house as a TO BE CONTINUED... flashes across the screen. So what did I make of the episode? It was good, there were some laughs to be had which is really the highest praise I've ever given an episode of this show. Kutchers character is clearly written to his strengths, and while the character may be a little to Kelso for everyone I enjoyed. But the real standout here is Cryer. Playing the straight man in such a fantastical universe is hard and he really pulled it outta the bag here so kudos to him. One question remains though. Has Angus T. Jones always had this little to do?

Friday, 16 September 2011

Up All Night starts with a laugh.

The NBC freshman comedy not only brings Christina Applegate and Will Arnett back to the small screen but also couples them with "30 Rock" and Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels as well as SNL vet and Maya Rudolph. All in all the show has pretty impressive comedy chops to start with, as well as featuring Nick Cannon.

The pilot begins with Arnetts "Chris" and Applegates "Reagan" discovering that they've got a baby in there. Skipping over a concept, that lets face it has been done to death, we jump ahead Reagans first day at work after having her baby while Chris leaves his job to stay at home and bond with his newborn daughter. We're then introduced to Rudolphs talk show host "Ava". Rudolphs character is clearly here to provide most of the laughs outside of those associated with Arnett and Applegate serving as fish-out-of-water characters.

With such a talented and veteran cast theres no one to fault. Everyone performs perfectly well with what they've got, especially Arnett who thankfully isnt just playing "Arrested Delelopments" Gob again. The problem then is, does the script live up to its cast?

The script is good. But good isnt good enough. Rudolph is given the most funny material and she's clearly been set up to the funny fun loving best friend of the lead. Arnett as always shines and I really enjoyed his excitement at finding a father in a similar situation. Applegate meanwhile does well with the material she's given but she's given less comedic material and is serving as more as the heart of the series. The cursing aspect which was meant to be played for laughs really grew tired quickly and I can only hope its ditched after the pilot.

Overall the pilot plays out pretty well and while its not the funniest show on TV there are some laughs to be had and there is definitely potential here, even if it is just based on the people involved.