Monthly Archives: September 2013

Growth, Decay, Transformation: “Felina” Wraps Up “Breaking Bad”


Confession time: I am a recent Breaking Bad bandwagoner. I mean, it’s barely been a year since I started watching. I popped in season one mid-June of 2012 and barreled through the whole thing just in time for the season five (first half) premiere. When the first couple of seasons aired, I had some interest, but not enough to seek out a download link. I think I even vaguely remember being annoyed that Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul beat out a few Lost actors at the 2010 Emmys, which seems a little bizarre to me now. I want to go back in time and tell myself, “WATCH IT. You will learn, child.”

So it’s only been a year, but it feels like many more. After the pilot, I knew there was no going back. This show has absolutely consumed me since then. I’ve been nervous for the finale ever since, not due to a lack of faith in Gilligan & Co., but because I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to these characters just yet. While “Felina” was utterly nerve-wracking, a fingernail-destroyer of an episode, it did leave us with some solace. When was the last time we thought that about anything on Breaking Bad? It was the perfect end to a perfect show that never dipped or even approached a downhill slope.

The episode title guaranteed us three things: blood (iron, Fe), meth (lithium, Li), and tears (sodium, Na). A simple, straightforward formula that really could be the overarching theme of the show as a whole, but nothing else was needed. Walt’s death was inevitable, so Gilligan got in, got out, and got it done, but not before tying up every remaining loose end. He even gets continuations of almost every flashforward: leaving Denny’s, retrieving the ricin coupled with a particularly painful flashback to Hank prodding Walt to inject a little more excitement into his life from the pilot. Nothing was extravagant, save for a few masterful cinematography moments – the reveal of Walt behind the pillar in Skyler’s kitchen comes to mind.

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Stephen Merchant is Delightfully Awkward in ‘Hello Ladies’

Hello Ladies may take place in Los Angeles and air on an American channel, HBO, but it is a pretty standard modern British sitcom. Every character is an awkward person, who doesn’t know how to function in normal settings. In this case, Stuart Pritchard (Stephen Merchant) leads his group of awkward male friends around LA nightlife as an attempt to pick up women. Spoiler alert, it doesn’t have the outcome they wanted.

Stuart’s best friend is Wade, whose wife recently left him. Wade somehow manages to walk into doors that don’t exist. This is a man who introduces himself to women in a bar as Wade as in Roe vs. Wade. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he then goes on to remind the women- he and Stuart barely know, yet want to have sex with- that it was the court case about abortion. Stuart digs the hole deeper by saying, “Let’s not talk about abortion before we have to.” That line pretty much sums up Hello Ladies‘ premise in a blunter fashion: men looking for cheap meaningless sex. You could easily think of Stuart as a gawky unsuccessful Joey Tribbiani.

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‘Glee’: Beatles Week

Glee’s season 5 got underway last night. The New Directions are back. For two weeks, the glee club will be paying homage to The Beatles. Their club advisor, Mr. Will Schuester, mentions that they need to bring their A+ games so that they when they win back to back championships, they can form their own New Directions dynasty. All my life, I grew up listening to the Beatles and I thank my dad for it. When watching Glee I had very high expectations as to how the show was going to go. I thought that the show had its moments, but it wasn’t something out there.

Rachel has a call back to do a reading of “Funny Girl” in front of the producer of the show, Peter Facinelli. She has the right look for the part, but Facinelli feels that she might be too young for the part. The first song Rachel sings is Paul McCartney’s “Yesterday.” The song was so somber and melancholy that you needed a box of tissues by your side. Rachel begins to sing in an empty auditorium and passes “Sardies,” a famous New York Restaurant that she and Finn went to on their work date in the season two finale. Then she walks to the well-known Bow Bridge and begins to reflect about her love for Finn. It’s very emotional to see because these were the locations she was with Finn during the season two season finale. She views a picture on her cell phone of the entire glee club.

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‘The Crazy Ones’ Is A Half Hour Ad

Do you want to watch a half hour long McDonald’s ad? Of course, you do. Nothing’s better that 30 minutes of trying to convince a celebrity to sing “You Deserve a Break Today.”

Not really.

CBS needs a reality check. No one wants to watch a sitcom length ad, even if it stars Robin Williams. And yet, The Crazy Ones is just that: an ad disguised as a sitcom starring Robin Williams. Since the show does take place at an advertising agency, many viewers may be generous enough to give the show a pass on using real brands because it adds realism. The problem with that is the show isn’t realistic at all.

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A Hop Across the Pond for the ‘Parks and Recreation’ Gang

After what felt like forever, season six of television’s happiest show (okay, maybe I’m biased) finally premiered tonight. We’ve known for awhile that the Pawnee gang was heading across the pond – the “Parks and Recreation” cast did a substantial amount of filming in London – but the exact reason for the trip wasn’t clear. We found out in the aptly titled “London,” but not before the Swanson-Lewis-warrior princess baby was addressed.

The episode picked up right where season five ended: the pregnancy test mystery was solved. Ron took it a step further and proposed to Diane right there in his office, and since they’re already in the municipal building, they might as well just head up to the fourth floor and get it done today. Leslie was so excited, she could barely speak. I feel like her inner monologue was very similar to mine: “OMGRONSWANSONISGONNABEADADDY. OMGRONSWANSONISGETTINGMARRIED.” Ron and the the future Mrs. Swanson just want to sign the papers and get out. Leslie can’t help herself and assembles a bouquet made of highlighters while throwing paper disguised as rice in the air in typical, glorious Leslie fashion.

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‘Fangasm’: The Geek Shall Inherit the Earth

If I didn’t know any better, I’d think Fangasm was airing on a different network.

I say this with residual bitterness after Syfy’s less than savory treatment of cosplayers in the six-episode run of Heroes of Cosplay. As if nerds weren’t already unfairly stigmatized, Heroes of Cosplay managed to make things worse by applying a tired reality show format and deceptive editing, making the cosplay community seem cutthroat and joyless. While I’ve eased up on placing individual blame, it continues to be difficult for me to mask my distaste whenever the show comes up in conversation.

Fangasm, on the other hand? Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about.

Fangasm is a breath of fresh air, if the first episode is an accurate gauge of the rest of the season. It follows seven nerds of various backgrounds as they intern for Comikaze, a Los Angeles-based pop culture convention hosted by Marvel patriarch and cool dude Stan Lee. Their collective job is to market the convention and improve outside perceptions of geeks. The catty atmosphere of the show’s predecessor seems to have cleared, replaced only by the natural sort of tension one might expect when you put seven different personalities together under one roof.

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Which Returning Show Are You Looking Forward To?

We’re trying something new at Wait! What’s a Dial? In the past, we’ve reviewed shows based on their trailers. However, now that we’re reviewing a lot of pilots, we want you to let us know what you think the upcoming season of returning shows will be like based on their trailers.


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Is “Back in the Game” in the Game?

I’m going to be honest. Back In the Game is not a show I’ll be watching week after week. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad show. I’m just not one of those baseball dads or soccer moms who turned the show on and said “this is my life.”

Back in the Game focuses on the relationship between Terry Gannon, her son, Danny, and her dad, The Cannon. The three of them live under one roof because Terry had to move back home after her divorce. Terry, played by Maggie Lawson, isn’t happy about the arrangement because The Cannon always calls Danny “Donny” and pushes baseball on him., which is a problem because not only is Danny not very athletic, he’s only interested in the game to get a particular girl.

Things are complicated when Danny’s tryout is so bad he doesn’t make the team. The coach, Dick, holds a meeting for parents of all the rejected kids. It becomes clear that Dick rejected all the outcasts. The foreign looking kid. The flamboyant stereotype of gay men. The fat kids. All don’t make Dick’s team.

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No Trophy For ‘Trophy Wife’

If you’re looking for a good laugh, Trophy Wife won’t do it. The show is so dry and boring it certainly doesn’t deserve a award of any kind. It doesn’t get a trophy in my book.

Malin Ackerman plays Kate, a young, carefree, step mom to three step kids and has to deal with her husband’s two ex-wives. In a voice over, she mentions how she met her husband, Pete. She and her friend were having a good time at a Karoke Bar, dancing, drinking and she fell and broke Pete’s nose with the microphone. They rush to the hospital and to kill time they get to know each other by explaining their injuries. Pete’s first ex-wife, Diane, is a nurse, who happens to be on duty the night Pete breaks his nose. She’s the one who puts his nose back in place. With all the confusion and panic going on between the families, Pete asks Kate out on a first date. Kate didn’t expect to meet Pete’s entire family in one night.

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‘The Goldbergs’ Retread ‘The Wonder Years’

The Goldbergs is a lot like The Wonder Years. Perhaps too much. Both have an adult narrator reflecting back on his childhood and take place during what is perceived as a more idealist time. For The Wonder Years it’s the 50s; for The Goldbergs that time is the 80s. Had the similarities ended there, The Goldbergs would be described as inspired by The Wonder Years. Instead, it’s a copy.

How similar is The Goldbergs to the beloved sitcom about Kevin Arnold? Grumpy father? Check. Perky mother? Check.  Older sister? Check. Older brother? Yup. Winnie Cooper? No, but there’s a already a love interest for young Adam Goldberg. Supposedly, all these characters are based on real people, but that doesn’t help the show’s case.

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