Posts Tagged ‘Teen’

Review – The Vampire Diaries – The Dinner Guest (S02Ep15)

Saturday, February 26th, 2011

 

Oh Katherine. Sex as a weapon? Isn't that just a little passe?

This week:
Elena and Stefan are still at the lake house, reading the half mad diaries on Jonathan Gilbert. Rick and Damon, using John’s gift and some information from Katherine, decide to kill Elijah during a dinner party. What could possibly go wrong?

Pluses:
Rick and John doing virtual penis waving over Jenna and Isobel.
How many times have they tried to kill Elijah now?
Double cross.
John sowing seeds of doubt for Jenna.
Rick being honest (as much as he can) for Jenna.

Minuses:
Elena has here whinge pants on again.
Stefan backstory – mega yawn.
Jeremy and Bonnie (I seriously dislike that character).
Bonnie’s acting whens he loses something important.

This wasn’t a great episode. While watching I thought there was too much going on, but then I realised nothing really happened, other than the great double cross at the end (which got me totally by surprise).

#twoandahalfaveragepandas

Review – Skins (UK) – Mini (S05Ep03)

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

An insight into the compulsions and insecurities that make Mini the bitch that she is.

This week:
Mini is on the table and we get a bird’s eye look into her life. A fashion parade brings things to a head and Mini, for all her bravado and lies is afraid to have sex. We find out why.

Pluses:
Amazed that they got me to care about a character I really don’t like.
Good use of supporting cast (and characters we want to see more of).
Final scene with her mum.
Mini’s insecurities that are driving her life.
Mini’s make over.

Minuses:
Mini doesn’t look like someone who has that disorder.
Took a bit too long to care about Mini. Maybe if the end scene was brought forward a little it would have worked better.

Overall this was a solid episode – not as good as Rich, but still great. It avoided the forced humour of Season Three yet allowed us a window into the Queen Bee with a laugh or two.

#threeselfconsciouspandas

Review – The Vampire Diaries – Crying Wolf (S02Ep14)

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

At the lake house I will ponder the big questions. Like, why I am such a whining annoying character?

This week:
Elena wants to get away from all the craziness in her life. The werewolves want some payback and the moonstone. Jeremy finally gets the girl. Tyler man’s up.

Pluses:
Tyler’s speech to Matt.
Elijah kicking butt.
Elijah 2, Damon 1.
Damon coming “clean” with his new romantic interest.
Bonnie getting her freak on to get the truth about Elijah’s plans.
Nice twist in direction even if we all knew it was coming.
Elena’s parent’s secret room.
John’s demands.

Minuses:
Why is Tyler still trusting Jules after she clearly lied to him?
Too much Elena.
Elena being victim girl.

I must admit I am going to miss Tyler from the mix, but seeing him come back more in touch with his puppy side will be great. I am hoping there is another full moon before the end of the season – puppies vs fangs with Elena and pals caught in the middle is going to be great. Bring on Klaus!

#threepandas

Review – The Vampire Diaries – The Descent (S02Ep12) Mid-Season Return

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Damon, I am going to emotionally manipulate you because I know you love me. That doesn't make me a bad person, but it does make you a bad Vampire if you follow your nature.

This week:
Rose is suffering the effects of the werewolf bite. Damon has to come to terms with no longer switching off his feelings. Elena babysits an hallucinating vampire (what could possibly go wrong). Caroline gets kissed, twice. Stephan has his own little side mission.

Pluses:
Jules is a lot more complicated than initially thought.
Damon’s dream with Rose. I admit I cried.
Return to Damon 1.0.
John is back!
Caroline and Tyler (really enjoying this story line).
Not Elena centric.
Werewolves can hold a grudge like a vampire.

Minuses:
When I first watched it I thought, WOW a lot just happened, but in retrospect, not so much.
Elena is still trying to emotionally manipulate Damon.
No-one is really trusting anyone, yet expecting others to trust them.

I did enjoy the Damon arc this episode. As you know, I rewatched season one before Christmas as part of my holiday viewing, and I had forgotten the old Damon. This was almost a return to form. This could get very interesting very fast.

#threeandahalflycanthropepandas

Review – Skins – Rich (S05Ep02)

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

I'm a Metal Head. That is what I am.

This week:
We follow metal head Richard in his attempt to ask out the “Angel of Death” – who happens to work in the library. Along the way he tests the strength of his beliefs, burn bridges, sees a side of Grace none of us expected and realises he can be himself without having to be someone else to do it.

Pluses:
Grace in the pub.
Grace at the gig.
Richard: Bring on the noise.
Allo’s ridiculous moral compass.
The way Richard interacted with his Dad.
Richard whimping out.
I adored the music (even though I hate death metal – I think that is what it was) every time he looked at someone, walked somewhere – really added to the feeling of the episode.

Minuses:
Only a little bit of Franky (I know, I know).
The golden record.

This was a nice flip side (see what I did there?) to Franky who was hiding her past, and trying hard not to be herself. While I loved last week’s episode, this was classic Skins, and I love this episode for that.

#fourmetallovingpandas

Review – Skins (UK) – Franky (S05Ep01)

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Even covered in mud I am beautiful! (Franky would never say that though)

This week:
We meet a whole new group of young people making bad choices and trying to find themselves. The episode focuses on the gorgeously androgynous Franky as she transfers into Bristol after extreme bullying in Oxford. What follows is a beautiful exploration of the development of one’s self, friendships, heartache and the first glimmers of trust.

Pluses:
OMG Dakota Blue Richards who plays Frankie is incredible in looks and acting.
Nice intro to the other characters we will meet, both directly and indirectly.
Really looking forward to seeing how this season plays out.
Amazing empathy created very quickly for Franky.
Her dads – perfectly loveable and embarrassing!
Did high school cruelty so well.

Minuses:
Felt that Mini (the blonde girl) was over done and over played.
Not sure on the chase scene but it did instantly ruin any chance of an easy entrance at her new school.

One thing I have always loved about Skins is that is looks at the human condition, in a comical way that will still manage to leave you with your heart breaking and tears in your eyes as you get to know the characters. I have a guess on something that happened to Frankie, and I hope I am wrong, as it is going to be a tear jerker if I am right.

#threeandhalfpandas

Review – Pretty Little Liars – Salt Meets Wound (S01Ep12)

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

I wanted carbs but instead find mum's whoring money.

This week:
Hanna is out of the hospital. Hanna discovers her mother is a bank robber. Mona throws a party. Ezra gets blackmailed by Noel. Aria continues to be stupid.  Maya meets Emily’s family. -A. finds the $$$.

Pluses:
Ezra finally waking up and smelling the coffee (I still want him gone though).
Emily’s dad.

Minuses:
How Emily’s mum deals with her daughter’s sexuality.
The amount of lying that goes on in this show.
Mum’s a criminal? Ok – moving on.
Hanna’s mother’s explanation.
Why would you hide thousands of dollars in lasagne? Surely they have a house safe.

This was a terrible episode on every level. It is the same old same old every week. -A. sees something. -A. impacts their lives and the girls thinks everyone is -A. #yawn What is happening with Aria’s parents? Hasn’t her dad noticed her staying out late all the time?

#oneovermadeuppanda

Review – Pretty Little Liars (S01Ep11) – Moments Later – Mid-Season Return

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Hi, My name is Ezra and I am a ephebophile, but this show says it is OK because we "love" each other.

Synopsis:
At the mid-season cliffhanger we had:
Hanna was hit by a car – driven by -A.
Erza and  Aria (teacher and student having an affair) are seen by someone in his car in a compromising position.
Hanna’s mother steals a bag full of cash from the bank where she works.
Emily and Spencer find a tree that suggests that Alison (the dead chick who was a real bitch) was involved with Ian (who was going out with Melissa but also cheating with Melissa’s sisters, the aforementioned Spencer).
Noel wants to go out with Aria.
Chris was arrested by the police after Emily told Spencer and Spencer told the police.
Emily is exploring her sexuality with Maya.

Are we all following?

This week:
Hanna lives (gasp what a surprise) but has made an incorrect assumption about -A (again). The friends find out that Aria is hot for teacher. Hanna breaks Justin’s (?) heart in a bitchy manner. Spencer get s a surpise. Aria lies to Ezra (the ephebophile teacher) to keep the relationship going. A tree goes missing. Fall out from Emily’s sexuality.

Pluses:
Alison in the hospital as a candy-striper. (I have read the books now and this scene is big moment in the scheme of things! I won’t say more).
Nice misdirection on -A.
The scene with Emily’s parentals discussing her sexuality.
The clue how that together, the four girls know what happened to Alison.
The look on Noel’s face when he finds out his assumption was incorrect.

Minuses:
I have said it before and I will say it again, but all the women in this show make the most stupid decisions!
When the friends find out about Aria and Mr Fitz they don’t seem that concerned – Spencer even suggests it is “hot.” It is actually a crime.
The elopement.
How quick they swing from suspect to suspect for -A.

It has been a month since I watched the last episode, and I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this. Yes, to learn from their mistakes, the girls have to make them, but can we get a good choice every now and then, or even some recognition that they are learning? The entire “hot for teacher” arc was boring after 5 minutes, and now it is nothing more than annoying distraction – I wouldn’t want to be the actor for that role, as I think he will be looking for a new gig soon… I can only hope.

Interestingly, when I was checking out some torrents for this, there were lots of comments from Australians (I am assuming girls) asking if the torrent was legit and that they wouldn’t be looking if GO! wasn’t “fast tracking” the show 2.5 weeks after the air date in the US.

#twoandahalfoverstyledpandas

Review – Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

I'll say one thing for Hogwarts, they have a good teacher to pupil ratio.

Synopsis:
Harry and co are yet again pursued by dark forces, outside of Hogwarts and within. 50% of the movie is unnecessary padding. They play some Quidditch (why?). Harry goes against everyone’s advice and puts people in danger. Snape acts all nefarious. Malfoy is all suspicious and nasty. Things end bleaker than Empire Strikes Back.

Pluses:
The comedic timing was pretty good in this movie – though added little to the over all development of the story.

Minuses:
Way too much unnecessary pap.
It is like the soul of the book has been split and hidden in its own holcrux.
Too much of the movie was irrelevant.
The charm was gone.
It didn’t have the sense of urgency of other movies.
The lovey dovey stuff was poorly done.
So many missed opportunities.

If the movie wasn’t by far the worst of the franchise so far, I would be tempted to watch it again and time how much of that movie was pointless – on second thoughts I probably wouldn’t like the answer – as I fear it would be more than the 50% I mentioned above.

For me, the best movie (and book) has been Prisoner from Azkabam (directed brilliantly by Alfonso Cuarón) – this movie, while a reasonably enjoyable way to pass the time, wasn’t the same sort of excellence as Prisoner. The movies are going down hill – like the books.

#twopandas

PS. Was the cinematic release also over 2.5 hours long? Jeez – who can sit still in a poor movie for that long?

PPS. I think I actually tried to watch this before – as I remembered the cave scene – which makes me think I fell asleep when I got the DVD out last time.

So Just Why Was Pretty Little Liars the #1 Tweeted Series for 2010?

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Number 2???

Let’s be honest, there are better shows out there – True Blood, The Walking Dead, Mad Men etc and all except Mad Men made the Television Twitter Trend Top Ten for 2010, but just why did Pretty Little Liars come in at #2 over all the the highest rated series.

According to Mashable and Read Write Web, teens don’t tweet, however the demographic for this show is decidedly teen with over a million teen viewers watching our over made up band of “heroes,” with a total weekly audience of 2.5 million – the highest ratings ever for ABC Family – coming in a whopping 41% ahead of its competition in the same time slot. Also, there has only been ten episodes of the show, so it isn’t like this is a cumulative effect over 22 eps, as the back half of the series is to be shown in early 2011 with season two (already green lighted and shooting to commence in January 2011) to hit the screens as a late Summer (US) show. Shows that are much more reflective of a tweeting demographic didn’t get up there, plus hugely successful shows such as Glee (can’t stand it) and CSI (peoples still watch that?) that came in located in the lower half of the list. If my pre-Glee blocked stream was any indication of the volume of tweets that must be required to come in at #6, I dread to think how many more tweets about Pretty Little Liars actually racked up.

I talked about the first two episodes of Pretty Little Liars a couple of weeks back and have since watched the entire front half of season 1.

This show is much more teen, tween and family orientated that HellCats, yet here in Australia on GO! it is shown at 9.30pm, with HellCats at 7.30pm. Don’t get me started on GO!’s idea of programming times (remember Chuck?) but I don’t understand why a show that is much more family friendly than HellCats is on after Vampire Diaries, a show with very young adult and supernatural themes.

Love that they are done as dolls - posable yet empty.

In the States however, it was on at an age appropriate time and racking up the ratings and as such the tweets. However it isn’t just the television show. Pretty Little Liars is taken from the very successful tween novels by the same name. Out of curiosity I did buy the first book from iBooks and found it remarkably well written. None of this unnecessary fluff that filled out JK Rowling’s later books, but crisp, clear writing with drama, suspense and real character development. It is also written for the parents who are reading with this children, leading to discussions about age appropriate issues, to ensure that their young girls learn from the mistakes of the main characters and have a strong sense of self worth so they can make the right choices. However it does all this without being preachy and a little bit salacious (as much as it can be with teens).

There are some major differences in the show to the books, but over all it stays true to the themes, plot twists, suspense and character development of the books. In my first review, I said it was intriguingly engaging crap. And to be honest, that does still hold true, but I can certainly see its appeal of the family market. Some times though I want to shake the females in that show until they demonstrate some sense.

Every cliche is in this show. Every single one. From the student having a relationship with her teacher, to the fat girl now thin and popular, to the step siblings having a technically not incestuous relationship, sister in love with her sister’s boyfriend, and let’s not forget the divorce storyline and “sexual tension” between some of the parents. Add into this a mix of Gossip Girl style texts knowing all their deepest and darkest secrets and you can see why this show is so popular.

We are pretty, but also dirty and naughty.

But being popular isn’t enough. If Twitter is about sharing information in real time (which according to Read Write Web teens are not want to do) why is Pretty Little Liars Tweet Rating so high? Some of the tweets tell the answer as they are a direct reflection of not only the books but also the show’s style – cliffhanger after cliffhanger after cliffhanger. A lot of the tweets were watchers hypothesising on what they think might happen, given their knowledge of the books and what has happened in the show. There is also an awful lot of discussion about why characters made the choices they made – whether they agree with the decisions or not – and this reflects nicely back on the books – encouraging the readers to learn from the mistakes of the characters to make the right choices. And of course, there is a fair bit of discussion on what is being worn. Looking at the most recent few pages of search results it is filled with tweet after tweet of how they can’t wait for the show to return on Jan 3rd (US release). That is one loyal fan base.

So the buy in from those watching and therefore tweeting is higher than other shows. Anecdotally, if I love a show, I tweet I am watching it, jump on the occasional discussions regarding it on twitter but that is about it, and I certainly don’t keep mentioning the show in my tweets (I am just too verbose to fit it all in), however these tweeters do and the amount of retweets is just insane.

Finally, it should be noted that I don’t actually know anyone who watches Pretty Little Liars. According to gomiso, none of my friends watch it, and it has been very slow on the uptake with viewers who use gomiso with only 120 people following (compared to the 2k+ Fringe follwers). Also, from people who read my first review of Pretty Little Liars, a whopping 83% came from the US. Now I know my blog is read predominately by Americans and Europeans but even for HowManyPandas that was pretty full on – but then given the lack of suitable time slot for the show here in Australia it isn’t that much of a surprise that there is little to no interest here.

So if we all believe Twitter is the temperature gauge to what is “so hot right now” to quote Mugatu, we should all be turning on Justin Bieber and watching Pretty Little Liars. For a deomographic that doesn’t tweet, they sure have an impact on trends.

PS. Anyone know where I can find top trends in Australia for 2010? Will even accept LMGTFY.com responses.

PPS. The Last Airbender came in at #6 on the top ten tweeted movies – I bet 99% of those tweets were about how bad this movie actually was.