Category Archives: Episodic

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

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