Posts Tagged ‘DRAMA’

Review – Ringer – Pilot + She’s Ruining Everything (S01Ep01-02)

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

When one Sarah Michelle Geller just isn't enough.

Synopsis:
Bridget is a screw up – has been for a long time. Alcohol, drug addiction, stripping and/or prostitution. She witnesses a murder and finds herself a protected witness, getting clean. One of her steps in AA is to get forgiveness for her wrongs, so she contacts her twin sister, the successful and wealthy Siobhan. On the day of the murder trial, Bridget does a runner to her sister’s. Her perfect sister commits suicide and Bridget becomes the happy and perfect Siobhan. Only her perfect sister isn’t quite so perfect after all. And that folks is just the lead in!

Pluses:

Sarah Michelle Geller.
Really well written.
Such depth to the characters.
Ion Gruffudd. You forget how well he can act with those big movies, but wow. So under acted and perfectly portrayed.
Nestor Carbonell.
Great supporting cast too!
Just when you think there can’t be ANOTHER twist or turn, there are TWO!

Minuses:

Not sure on a couple of the characters yet, especially Bridget’s sponsor.
The boat scene looked super fake.
The twists and turns aren’t solved before more come along, so there is no sense of resolution, but in a way this just continues to build the suspense.

This show asks some interesting questions. How similar are we really and how far would we go to be happy? The depths of the human animal they explore, within a modern society, is really interesting. On top of this, it is a great character driven piece that had me hooked by the second commercial break.

#fivebuffywassolastseasonpandas

Review – The Playboy Club – Pilot (S01Ep01)

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

Pick a bunny, any bunny.

Synopsis:
It is 1960’s Chicago, and the Playboy Club is the hottest “key” in town. The bunnies are the most liberated women around, they can be whomever they want, including the African American “Chocolate” Bunny. Into this mix we have the movers and shakers, corrupt and not, in Chicago. What could possibly go wrong?

Pluses:

Interesting concept.
Liberation and repression with false expectations all rolled into one.
OMG it was David Krumhotlz as Billy Rosen.
Could be an interesting series arc if it gets its full run.
I like the gay rights subplot (including Sean Maher).
Nick Dalton is the name of the main character – I know a Nick Dalton.

Minuses:

For all its sexy bunny outfits, and Bunny Mansion parties, it was decidedly unsexy.
Not tightly written.
Characters need a lot of fleshing out.
Didn’t really have much suspense – even the big suspense scene.

This show didn’t really gel in the pilot. It has the potential to be an interesting character driven piece, they just have to work out what type of show it is – it doesn’t quite know yet. Is it noir? Is it T&A? Is it Mad Men lite?

#twoandahalfpandaswithabunnytail

Review – True Blood – She’s Not There (S04Ep01)

Saturday, July 2nd, 2011

It is good to be the King, no?

This week:
She’s back (via the fairy dimension) but time has moved on, just like the people in Sookie’s life. The world comes crashing back in on Sookie and we find out what our favourite Bon Temps residents have been up to.

Pluses:
Bill did his house up finally.
Jason finally got his wish to be a Deputy.
Tara’s arc totally makes sense given what she has been through.
Pam being Pam.
Eric has lost a lot of his bulk from last season.
The poo is finally off Sookie’s walls.

Minuses:
Fairy realm. So poorly done and hopefully the end of this arc.
Necromancy (though I know where it is going).
Jesus and Lafayette.
Jessica and Hoyt.

This episode was a bit disappointing. As soon as they did the time jump I was really interested in seeing how some characters had developed – Everyone’s favourite baby vamp, Jess, was a character I was really interested in seeing. I know it is early days, but what was portrayed wasn’t very Jessica. I felt like they were trying to cram too much in to cover everything. Given how short a time span a series is, I hope we get to see more of the development and never go back to the fairy kingdom.

#twofangtasialovingpandas

Review – Tree of Life (2011)

Saturday, July 2nd, 2011

Sean Penn's character ponders the meaning of life.

Synopsis:
Middle aged dude in current time period spends the day pondering how he got to where he is now. He does this by going back to the primordial ooze and works his way forward, spending a large part of the movie in space, under water, with the dinosaurs and reliving a Summer in his childhood.

Pluses:
No denying that Brad Pitt’s acting was the best this about this movie.
It finally ended.

Minuses:
Where to start?
Dinosaurs?
Jesus H Christ the amount of David Attenborough-esque shots was a joke.
Way too much time trying to be existentialist.
The time line was totally out. If he grew up in the 50’s, how can he be in his 40’s now?
The promise of nature vs grace was ignored.
It’s ok because a carnivourous dinosaur did’t eat a dying dinosaur. WTF?

Now I know this isn’t your normal narrative style movie, but this was drawn out in ways it didn’t need to be. It reminded me of that movie you saw at uni if you were stoned. Can’t remember what it was called, but that one. Totally unnecessary “bullshit wank wank whine whine oh thank god it is over” movie.

On the plus side, my friend and I went to an early preview 2 weeks before opening and we got good champagne and more popcorn that we could eat. It promised so much, and didn’t deliver at all.

#halfawankypanda

 

Review – The Vampire Diaries – Season Two Wrap Up

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

Catherine? Elena? Catherine? Loving a doppleganger and their original must be confusing.

This season:
It was the season of the witch in Mystic Falls. It was easy to work out who was a witch – they were African American. But the idea of balance – what witchcraft is all about we learn – was the underlying theme this season. From dueling and distrustful brothers (not just one set but two), double edged secrets, relationship roundabouts and giving up your life to do the right thing for once in your life: balance reigned supreme.
Caught up in the real world – I haven’t blogged an episode since Klaus. While that is only a day or two in Vampire Diaries time, it seems like years ago.

Pluses:
I freely admit to crying a heap during The Sun Also Rises.
Jenna’s choice (albeit unsuccessful) was magnificent. You could see her emotional pain and that realisation and decision. Brilliant.
Catherine having to go against everything she wanted to fool Klaus.
Caroline, Matt and her Mum.
Catherine’s last words to Elena. BOOM!
Damon getting his payoff.
The truth behind the myth.
Jeremy is seeing things?
THE BODY COUNT!!! (So many death scenes!!)
Brilliant soundtrack.

Minuses:
Bonnie – yawn.
Stefan getting blood lust (Angelus was so much cooler).
Elena being all lack of choice but still insisting she is making decisions.
Did I mention Bonnie?
Alaric woefully underused.
No werewolf vampire face off – I was really looking forward to an all out war in Mystic Falls.

From a show I started to watch because it was the funniest show on TV (after FoxNews), it has grown into a really strong, emotionally driven show. Their approach to mixed living, humour, love and loss is both fun and mature. Next season, based around the Originals I would imagine, is going to be a doozy (so long as there isn’t too much Stefan).


#fourandahalfvampypandas

Review – Body of Proof (First 8 episodes)

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

I know you think I like you Megan, but you really don't read people that well.

Synopsis:
The show follows Megan Hunt (Dana Delany – Desperate Housewives, China Beach), an ex neuro-surgeon who now works as a medical examiner in Boston (?). Hunt has an interesting backstory that is built on throughout the series giving it an arc feel rather than just the ‘case of the week’ feel. It is a procedural drama though, with Hunt fighting to solve crimes alongside her partner (Peter Dunlop) and the only two police on the force who can work with her. Along the way, she may just win back the love and understanding of her daughter.

Pluses:
I love Dana Delany.
Aussie Nicholas Bishop in the role of Dunlop.
Lots of use of iPads.
Jerri Ryan!
Great supporting cast.
Fantastic guest cast as well – some great pickups.
No romance tension.
You learn as a the team learn, so you fall for the same red herrings.
Usually good twists on each story.
Science prevails – but not “squint” science.
Often a secondary case arc in each episode.
Incredibly strong female characters but not totally unrealistic – each has their own faults.
The writing improved very quickly once they got the feel for the characters.

Minuses:
Is it in Delaney’s contract that every episode we must have a panning shot up her legs?
Who wears stilettos to crime scenes – especially ones where you have to walk across grass.
Is it just me, or does the main building look like it was CGI dropped into the shot?
If you don’t “get” the characters, I think it would be quite a dull procedural.

I describe it as a little bit Bones, and a little bit Quincy ME. I rather enjoy watching it. It is character driven, rather than cop/action driven with a solid season arc. Each week it is a solid little performer. Best of all it has been renewed for next season.

#threeandahalfreliablepandas

Review – Doctor Who – The Impossible Astronaut (S06Ep01)

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

 

So let's get this straight. You are pissy at me cause I went to get my magic drinking straw?

This week:
It is two months since the Pandorica opened and The Doctor saved the universe/world from annihilation (again). He has been having some funtastic adventures, some even with River. When mysterious numbered envelops in TARDIS blue are delivered, the team come back together in Utah for a picnic. But this is Doctor Who, nothing is idillic for long.

Pluses:
OMG the baddies are going to give the Weeping Angels a run for their money.
The power of the baddies.
How cool is it that Mark Sheppard is in this!!??
Amy Pond wears long shorts (I am sure millions of boys cried a little when that happened).
Great moment with Rory and River. The great tragedies of their lives – especially River. Rory just needs to get over himself.
Really strong development of the team as a unit.
Lying with Fish Sticks and Custard.

Minuses:
I really don’t think it needed to go to the States. Yeah Spacemen are in the States, but given the actors are all Brits, what is the point?
The big emotional scene at the beginning – did anyone really think that was it? Really lacked punch.

This wasn’t the episode I was expecting. I don’t know what it was that I wanted, but it wasn’t this. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed the subtext within the episode and how it has been set up for next week. As a general rule two parters shit me, I hate waiting, but it usually pays off in the end.

#threeandahalfTARDISblueopandas

PS. ABC: Why are you showing it a week behind the rest of the world? And people wonder why we rig our computers to be from another country so we can access content internationally.

Review – The Killing – Episodes 1-4

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

I am just going to sit here and pretend to smoke dope, doing my thing. Me a cop? Nah!

Synopsis:
Based on the critically acclaimed and popularly embraced Swedish crime drama “Forbrydelsen” (The Crime), the show follows the murder investigation of a seemingly happy and well adjusted young woman in high school. A large cast, all with their own agendas and secrets, this show has already woven piece of complex yet intriguing drama that sees my hypotheses blown out of the water on a weekly basis.

Pluses:
So many familiar faces (including small roles) but also some amazing new ones.
Michelle Forbes’ Mitch Larsen – truly amazing stuff. The scene in the 3rd (I think) episode where she tries to connect with her daughter is just heart breaking.
Joel Kinnaman as Stephen Holder. I was gobsmacked at how good this actor was and why had I never seen him in anything? Turns out he is a Swedish actor – so fantastic tie in.
The level of intrigue here is insane. Just when you think you know something, you don’t.
I love how we are seeing the same story from so many different perspectives plus the mini personal arcs of the main characters.

Minuses:
Having to wait a week every time to find out what happens.

I couldn’t actually wait to see what happens, especially given the original Forbrydelsen was 20 episodes, so I got the BBC’s subtitled show and watched all of them. One thing I will say, if you think that the The Killing is like a Sara Lee danish pastry (layer upon layer) it is NOTHING on the level of intrigue, false leads, character development and emotional gut wrenching that is Forbrydelsen. I am not quite as impressed with The Killing now I have seen the original, but this review was written before I had spent a good portion of the Longest of Weekends watching Forbrydelsen – so the original rating stands. Oh and I know who did it – so going to watch for all the signs – can already think of a couple I saw but dismissed.

#fourandahalfdrownedpandas

Review – Game of Thrones – Winter is Coming (S01Ep01)

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

 

WHEE! Puppies!

Synopsis:
This is a hugely sprawling fantasy socio-political drama in a world quite different (but with relatable similarities) to our own. Factions, intrigue and a magic thoughs of years old and lost. Sometimes you really don’t see the forrest for the trees.

Pluses:
Loved the opening credits. So many shows now, the credits are all just like sex with a 16yo boy.
We meet the main players (there are a lot and this doesn’t dumb it down for you so hang in there) and get a sense of the menaces rising within and around Westeros – both manmade and supernatural.
Beauty really can be skin deep.
Deception is everything.
Power corrupts so wonderfully.
Accept the label that people give you and make it your own.
PUPPIES!
Bothers and Sisters – love, power, care and domination.
Alliances.
The ending – a great way to keep the tension.
Sean Bean – nuff said.

Minuses:
We didn’t really get a sense of the relationship between the Stark children and the dire wolves. It really should have been developed further IMHO given what is coming.

I have been following this since there were whispers of it being made, so I am just chuffed that it is finally out and I am seeing one of my favourite fantasy dramas coming to life. That HBO is doing vs Hallmark is a HUGE relief. So far it hasn’t disappointed AND it has already been renewed.

#fourandahalfpandasoftheblack

Review – Nikita – Girl’s Best Friend (S01Ep19)

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Damn it! How did I miss this terrorist? Division told me they are the ones in the shiny suits too!

This week:
The plan to get Alex out of Division hits a snag when she is called in for a “good” mission for Division. Teamed with his frenemy, Jaden, Alex’s mission involves a billionaire playboy armsdealer and a boingo boingo party. What could possibly go wrong?

Pluses:
LOVED the ended.
Jaden’s choices and her initiative.
Great opening scene.
Nice mission too – clever idea and implementionatoin.
Tech.
Alex’s choice.
Michael and Nikita’s positions (not an euphemism).

Minuses:
Sorry Nikita, but white lycra leggings?
Jaden’s mission was a bit lame.
Michael using an unsecured cell phone in Division?
It was a little slow in the delivery.

Just when we think you actually can get the warm fuzzies, out they go with the bathwater. With everything that has been happening recently, I have no idea how they are going to round this season out, but I hope it involves Noah Bean. Can’t wait!

#threeandahalfdiamondwearingpandas