For the first time in “Forever”

For the first time in Forever, I have finally found that show that once was Castle. That once was The Mentalist. That once was Bones. That once was Chuck. That once was (until the end) Psych.

I have to admit, I am guilty of being encapsulated by the whole will they/won’t they TV pairings. But – for the longest time, I’ve been aching to find a show with a pair that has chemistry and the same dynamics as the shows I’ve mentioned above. I’ve resorted to Googling these kinds of pairs in current TV shows but have been disappointed with all those I have found. Thankfully though I found a new show, Forever. It’s all there. All the elements I’ve been aching to see once again on TV but the best part is that this isn’t even the best part of the show. Let me delve further into what the elements I so love about it.

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First and foremost, Forever is one of those criminal shows with an overarching story but with episodic cases to sustain it. It centers around this Medical Examiner, Dr Henry Morgan, an immortal man who has seen and lived it all. Of course, yes he becomes a consultant due to his amazing gift of knowledge, solving murders and whatnot. See, I think this gives the show creators so much room to explore should they utilize this premise fully. So much historical bases to cover and so much scientific as well. Whatever direction they take, whether it’s one, the other, or both, they just have so much opportunity to play around! Great work in concept, I think.

Apart from the overall premise of the show, they’ve put together a cast that they too have given a good history to play around with. There’s Dr Henry Morgan, 200 year-old immortal. Oh come on. That’s 200 years of stories they can explore. Then there’s Abe, played by Judd Hirsh (aka Wes Mendell of Studio 60). His dynamic with the main man Henry is interesting too – being Henry’s adopted son and all. As an individual, there’s so much they can do with him as well. A survivor of the Holocaust, Abe is one of those lovable grandfathers we all probably have.

Detective Jo Martinez is one character who also has quite a lot to contribute. As of now, she’s seemingly insignificant but you can tell hers and Henry’s relationship slowly growing – may it be romantic or friendly, they have a chemistry that works very well on the show. I can see it. Her microacting is there the same kind Sarah from Chuck was.

My most favorite part of this show is definitely the ability to play around with different times and go back in history – may it be the fictional history or something based on actual events. The 4th episode so far reflects this interesting side of the show. This reminds me of one more crucial character I missed. Abigail. Dr Henry’s wife. They don’t give away too much too soon but the writers give you little glimpses here and there about this part of Henry’s life and it’s adorable.

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I don’t want to give much more about it but my God am I happy I found it.

PS. It’s no surprise the names of the writers/creators/producers are familiar. Chris Fedak, a Chuck writer is on this and this gives me even more confidence about the show.

Thank you for existing.

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Filed under Episodic, Forever, New Show Alert

TV Refresh

It’s been a while since I was on here. Real life has come in and I no longer have the time to watch as many shows as I used to and as I wish I did. Having been following more that 20 shows a week before, I could not keep up with all of them since my time abroad in which I had less time to be on schedule with my shows. After my time abroad, I had to go straight in to the working life even further taking a toll on my TV-watching marathons.

All this in mind, I’m slowly adjusting to these necessary life schedules and have more of a discipline when it comes to TV-LIFE-WORK balance. Although I no longer could keep up with some of the shows I once watched and enjoyed, I’ve kept those that I feel cannot be let go. This new show season has also been a good one, I think and have slowly started to accommodate new ones. So – here is where I stand now with the shows I have kept (and have not ended) and the new shows I’ve just discovered.

For Keeps

The Good Wife

Mad Men

Saturday Night Live

Orange is the New Black

Castle

Haven (Although slowly losing interest)

The Goldbergs

American Horror Story

The Newsroom

The Comeback (given its return after a 9-year “break”)

Game of Thrones

New and Promising

Gotham

Flash (not so much but I am giving it a go)

How to Get Away with Murder

Forever (my favorite so far)

It is 5 am and I may have missed a few but off the top of my head, these are the shows I am still and will be in touch with.

I am honestly looking forward to my rediscovery of love for television hence the revisit of this blog.

One day, someone will read.

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It’s a question of character

So I had the chance to check out the pilot episode of Political Animals. I’ve randomly been coming across some good reviews about it so I had to see it for myself. This turned out to be further proof as to why I should never trust just anyone when I am suggested to watch something.

I do like the idea. I always keep an eye out for political shows probably because I’ve had a great experience watching The West Wing. This one is no West Wing.

Apart from the good premise, what I have come to realize is that a big part of what makes this show good and what makes it bad is its characters and its actors because script-wise, it was just too full of cringe-y material. And because I’ve learned that a show is not only about the script, I try to look at other aspects and in this case, what’s left to judge is its characters and its actors. Let me just summarize by chart what I will be talking about in the next few paragraphs:

I think that in the midst of this close to catastrophic and too trying hard of a series, we have a few people who almost saves it. There’s Carla Cugino, a reporter who is after truth and after relevant news and not after gossip. Then there’s Sebastian Stan, the homosexual druggie son of Weaver’s political family and Ellen Burstyn, always a favorite. She plays the drunk and never-fearing grandmother.

I find it particularly interesting that the good actors in this whole thing are those that play the most cliched characters. Maybe that’s failure on the part of the show runners for they don’t know how to handle the supposedly more uniquely conceptualized characters.

What I love about the three is that they are just amazingly convincing and believable showing emotion so effectively that I have grown attached. Almost well enough for me to stick around for a next episode. Almost.

The most terribly done was in the character of James Wolk. I can’t tell if it is overacting on his part or it’s just terrible direction, terribly written or maybe it’s a combination of all three. I particularly cringed most in his scene in the Situation Room. In here, Sigourney Weaver as the Secretary of State was disrespected because she wasn’t informed of an issue she was supposed to be informed in. My god was that a pain to watch. He reacted as if someone stabbed his mother right in front of him. And that was definitely not how the set up was put into context. That scene, the characters and the emotions were just not at par or on the same level as each other, it was unsettling to watch.

Then the Undecideds. I don’t know if it’s because I have high respect for both Sigourney Weaver and Ciaran Hinds (I’m a pretty big fan of HBO’s Rome) but they had their moments. Then those where they missed the mark. I’m sure they become more likable in the following episodes but I don’t care too much to continue watching. So – I guess I’ll never really find out. But that’s alright coz I don’t care too much to find out.

I will give this show props for a scene I particularly found impressive. It was at the dinner/engagement dinner scene. I like how you could see the internal struggle between appearing very civil (all smiles and laughs and all that) and the hidden angers within the family. They show Cugino well as the outsider, noticing what’s really going on beyond what they try to appear during the whole dinner. I also find it quite interesting how there is an attempt to foreshadow how all-political Wolk’s character is. There was discussion about his wedding and he tries his hardest to please both his wife but at the same time, he’s still trying to take into consideration how best to appear with the press (since he’s all-political and everything).

The bad trumps the good. With more good characters, they are overshadowed by the bad one. That plus the messy script and cringe-full of other things. In one episode they reveal these things: drugs, homosexuality, bulimia, and so many other things that could have been stretched out a season. Because now, there’s no suspension of disbelief.

Overall, I won’t give this show another shot. I’ll just keep an eye out for Cugino, Burstyn and Stan after this show fails or after they realize it will fail and they move on to better gigs.

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Filed under Episodic, Political Animals

Sorking High

While I have the chance, let me just share what I believe are the highs and lows of Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom so far.

Forgive my bias but I am a loyal Sorkin fan and any haters out there…could well just shut the fuck up. I do promise to try my very best to be objective (whether or not it is good enough is all up to you).

First of all, any true Aaron Sorkin fan would know that he recycles lines, issues, references, actors, jokes, speeches, formulas, anything.

And any true Sorkin fan would love the fact that he does this. It’s what makes us know it’s a Sorkin masterpiece. When we see Felicity Huffman or when we see someone storming into a room saying all kinds of things like whoremonger, blowhole, Machiavellian jerk, etc. or when someone jokes about a dangling modifier or when the main character has daddy issues…I could go on and on.

My point is…other than to brag about my knowledge of Sorkin tv shows…is that no matter how many times he reuses and reuses things, he makes it work.

So – let’s get on with my thoughts on the show so far.

I love the mix of the characters. Many are familiar and others are just unfolding. I love how every character fits into the story and how relevant they are but….those are characters. I have to admit, as much it pains me to do so, I don’t fully agree with the casting of all of them. Some play the ’emotional’ type a little too much, some play the ‘nerd’ type just a tad more awkward than I’d hope and one is just out of place.

All these things are pretty get-past-it-able but like I said, I am trying to be as unbiased possible by pointing out all things that I have noticed.

To be honest, if there’s anything wrong with this show is the lack of more classic “Sorkin” elements. Where is Schlamme? Snuffy? Huffman? If the finale isn’t called What Kind of Day It Has Been, that might be quite a problem. (I joke of course…just a bit anyway).

The only real thing I can see wrong with this show is Olivia Munn. I don’t see her place in it, but I guess we’ll see. The things I have mentioned are just not good enough (not nearly good enough) reason for me not to watch and enjoy it.

I mean come on, the end of each episode has given me chills like no other writer, creator, auteur can ever do. And The Newsroom is still way up there with any other show on TV right now.

Biased or not, there’s no doubting how much The Newsroom trumps more than 50% of what a lot of us watch today. It’s definitely up there. Probably not Sorkin’s best but it’s up there.

Oh and last thing, to those who debate whether the show is too leftist…or was it too rightist (?)….does it even matter!?  This show is on HBO now. Aaron Sorkin won’t be writing to please every single person with eyes anymore. At least I hope not.

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Filed under General, The Newsroom

The Beauty in a Comeback

At the end of season 6 with the bomb Brennan brought on Booth and us fans many people were already turning their backs to Hanson and the Bones team. I, on the other hand said to myself that I trusted the writers and that with the good they’ve done for 6 seasons – they can do no wrong.

But when season 7 came, I was slowly (not fully consciously) losing interest. I haven’t talked about Bones with anyone for a long time. I’ve been purposely avoiding it simply because I didn’t want to admit the fact that I was losing interest. I was ashamed of it because for the longest time I raved about that show nonstop. I was about 5 episodes behind when I finally decided to give it another shot. It was so-so but not as magical as I remembered it. Sad to say, it was slowly suffering the Moonlighting curse. Then, I caught a small moment from episode 11 that gave me the slightest bit of hope.

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It’s scenes like these that make me feel the thrill of a TV pairing. I’m glad that part was snuck in there. With that – I kept watching…up until the finale.

That finale…ahh that finale. I would have to admit that that was probably the most mouth-opening finale I’ve seen this season (it beat Castle by a hair).

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I was on edge that whole episode. I was pinching myself so hard for all the events that led up to the end. I mean, of course we all know Brennan is no murderer (Although I was being doubtful of the show, I am loyal to Temperance Brennan) but everything that psycho Pelant was doing was just pure…twisted. It was frustrating and wonderful. Damn.

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Then came the idea of running away…which they made seem was out of the question up until the very last few minutes of the episode. Now seriously I did not see that coming. And – now that it has happened, I cannot even begin to describe how full of promise the next season is going to be. Hart Hanson probably got that feeling that with the tension slightly gone between B&B, he had to go a whole new route. And – his decision was perfect.

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Bones is back…with a vengeance. This opens a whole new kind of Bones madness and I am proud to say that I should never have doubted Hart Hanson and the Bones family. And I will never doubt again.

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Goodbye Ruby Tuesday

I’m a little late to the party and was considering not posting about SNL anymore but I can’t help it. I am big Kristen Wiig fan and as much as I would love for her to do her own thing, it’s just sad that I won’t be seeing Dooneese (Lawrence Welk show), Kat (Garth and Kat), Target Lady, Judy Grimes and that lady on the Secret Word game.

The finale was generally alright, I don’t remember much since the whole send-off to Kristen Wiig out shined everything else. So if you’re reading to hear about SNL and any rants or praise I have for it (I have a few), I won’t be doing that now. I just have to dedicate a whole post to how great of a part of SNL I think Kristen Wiig is was.

I know she has quite a few haters and I’ve read a lot about how her characters are annoying. I couldn’t agree more. But – that’s what I love most about them. It’s how “annoying” they are but not to the point of wanting to change the channel (for me anyway) but it just keeps me even more entertained.

But – it’s not all that way with Wiig. She has a number of stand out non-recurring characters. I can’t forget her Lana Del Ray. I don’t know who gets the credit for that (I don’t know who wrote those brilliant lines and quips) but she delivered the hell out of them. And – if she wrote them as well, then I bow down to her.

What I probably love most about Wiig is how she’s just all over the place (in a good way) on the stage but then off it, she seems quite shy and humble. The funny is there no matter what but it astounds me how everything is turned around once she’s acting. I think that shows how truly one must give her props for her work and being who she is.

With that, I just know she’s going big. Although I am sad to see her characters go (maybe not completely – I’m sure SNL will bring them back once in a while the way they do with Fey and Poehler), I am looking forward to what Kristen Wiig stirs up next.

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Filed under Saturday Night Live

And a crash she gave us

I have been a loyal Grey’s Anatomy fan since the beginning. And the finales always leave me with tears, but this one fell short.

I was hopeful when the episode started because we were given a short glimpse of George and Izzie. Thinking we were getting some flashbacks, I was excited. Flashback episodes never fail to get viewers nostalgic and get us loyal fans to remember the good ol’ glory days of our favorite shows. But – that didn’t happen.

Instead, Shonda and the Grey’s team left us with some awkward dramatic acting (very disappointing McSteamy, very very disappointing) and a quick kill of one of the few likable characters left on this slowly flailing show.

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Shonda lost a lot of good ones over the years and we were left with a lot of characters we couldn’t care less about. Then she lost Lexie (Chyler Leigh) – whether she was fired or quit – we lost one of the few characters we even remotely liked. It’s a shame really. I miss those days of Grey’s where they started trends like “vajayjay” or Mc(nicknames). I miss scenes like Izzie curled up on the floor or Addison in the rain outside hers and Shepherd’s front door. Those days are long gone and this show has run its course.

I do have to give it to Shonda for the few times I still felt connected with the show: Henry and Altman (which of course she had to break up because she just can’t stand happy people); Torres and Arizona; whatelsewhatelse….

To be honest, the only ones left in this show I feel are still relevant are Christina, Meredith (once in a while at least), Altman and Bailey (if she could only have those amazing preachy teachy scenes again like she had in her scenes with George).

I can’t even say much about the relatively new characters like April and Jackson. If anyone had to go, it should have been one of them…not Lexie, definitely not Lexie.

I hate to say this but at this point, I am ready to say goodbye. Let it end while we still have the slightest of interests because if this goes on when we’ve all turned our backs to it, it will lose all hopes of becoming a show that we will carry on with us and think back on as that epic doctor show it used to be.

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Filed under Grey's Anatomy