Monthly Archives: March 2014
Last night’s season finale of The Walking Dead left everyone feeling impatient for the next episode. Full of intense drama, fans of the show have to wait a grueling seven months until the next episode. All of the pieces were laid down since the beginning of the season, and put most of them together last night. There are still some things that need to be answered. Most notably, where are Carol, Tyreese and Beth? The finale proved that season four certainly made up for season two.
The episode seemed to reinforce the concept that people are the real enemy during a zombie apocalypse. We see Rick, Michonne and Carl avoiding walkers, but the only time their lives were in danger was when other people were involved. First, we see Daryl’s new group of friends finding Rick. Fans like myself were right in figuring out that they are the group from the comics called “The Hunters”. They are upset that Rick killed one of their men when they took over his home. Because The Hunters follow a Hammurabian code (eye for an eye), they feel like they are justified to kill Rick for killing their friend. Daryl comes in to save the day and pleads with the leader, Joe, that they are good people.
There is absolutely no reason for Surviving Jack to be a good show. It has the same premise of half the sitcoms this season: kid with grumpy father grew up in the 80s/90s and is now reflecting on it. Television this season has basically been filled with a bunch of The Wonder Years wannabees. Despite starting from the same cliche, Surviving Jack uses the past as a tool to enhance the comedy, instead of as a distraction. There is no haha it’s the 90s, what were we thinking? It’s just a sitcom that happens to take place in the 90s.
Surviving Jack stars Christopher Meloni as Dr. Jack Dunlevy, who is a great doctor, but a rough parent. He love his kids, but doesn’t know how to get that across. Jack is forced to take over primary parenting responsibilities when his wife, Joanne, goes to law school, a move he fully supports. Like any mother, Joanne is afraid of what will happen. As it is, she has two teenage children, Frankie and Rachel, who are busy getting themselves into trouble.
In the premiere, Frankie and his friends George and Mikey steal dirty magazines from a homeless man. Not wanting to be found out, Frankie hides it in the backyard. Jack catches his son digging a hole in the backyard at 2am. He’s not mad that Frankie has the magazines. However, Jack disapproves of the fact that he stole them. A few days later, he takes Frankie, George, and Mikey to return the magazines. The homeless man jumps out from behind a tent, holding a shovel, and scares them. Jack fights the man until the boys are out of sight. Then, Jack pays the guy 20 bucks because that part was a set up. Of course, Jack would. He’s that kind of guy. Jack acts like a drill sergeant, whose convinced he’s actually a big softie. He’s not, but he cares.
Doll & Em is a lot like Hello Ladies. It’s quintessentially British, which somehow makes it really boring. In the case of Doll & Em, we’re watching two women navigate Hollywood. Everyone knows Hollywood is a strange place. Fiction likes to fill it with a bunch of self-absorbed jerks. So what happens when you take a town full of unlikable people and throw two more unlikable people into it? A very uncompelling show.
Dolly and Emily have an extremely close, but complicated relationship. When Dolly calls up Emily because she lost her job, Emily instantly hires Dolly to be her assistant. Since Emily appears to be a well-known actress, she is forced to go to Hollywood parties. After she comes home, she constantly complains about how terrible they are. You would think, by now, she would have found a way to get out of them. Secretly, Emily probably likes complaining about them because hanging around them makes it easier for her to ignore her own bad qualities. For example, Emily had no problem making out with a guy Dolly was interested in. The kicker: Emily has a husband, albeit one she never sees.
Game shows are my second favorite genre. There’s nothing quite like a contestants spontaneous response. Most of the time, contestant’s give normal answers. However, every once in a while you get responses that are either a joke or one that makes the contestant realize that yes, they did say that out loud. Here is a list of my favorites.
5. Jeopardy! – Ho
With only two episodes left in this season, The Walking Dead has finally started to answer some questions that have been bugging viewers since the midseason finale. Last night’s episode focused on Tyreese, Carol, Lizzie, Mika, and Judith. On their way to Terminus, they find a home in the middle of nowhere. It seems to be the perfect place to start over; it’s secluded, has a water pump and a propane tank, puzzles, a doll, a big comfy dad chair. Basically everything is going to go back to normal, right? Of course not.
One of the first questions that last night’s episode answered was why Carol was teaching the children how to fight. To put it simply, it’s because of Sophia. Carol described her as “not having a mean bone in her body”. She wasn’t capable of killing anything, which was her downfall. Now that Carol has two surrogate daughters, she doesn’t want the same thing to happen to them. Carol can see a lot of Sophia in Mika, in that she cannot bring herself to kill people invading the prison or even a deer except she has no problem killing walkers. Lizzie, on the other hand, cannot bring herself to kill a walker, but can kill people. And animals, Lizzie kills animals too for some reason; probably because, as Mika put it, she’s not right.
Speaking of which, we also learned that Lizzie was the one feeding walkers outside of the prison. Which doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone since she has pretty much been friendly with walkers since she was introduced. So friendly, that she gets upset when anyone kills a walker. We see her have a near emotional breakdown after Mika shoots a walker right in front of them. Luckily, Mika calms her down by telling her to look at the flowers right next to her. Then she screams at Carol for putting down a walker that Lizzie was playing with. It’s hard to believe an eleven year old could hold that much crazy, but she does.
You don’t need to know rocket science to know the name Carl Sagan. Easily one of the most brilliant and passionate voices of his generation, Sagan was an astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, Cornell professor, and prolific science popularizer, and in 1980, he captivated America with his hit show Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. It was unlike anything seen on television before, a documentary series that provided an engaging look at the history of mankind and its collective thirst to understand the universe. It seamlessly melded philosophy with life lessons, experimentation with historical re-enactments, and scientific theory with impressive visual effects relative to it time.
Like the zombies it’s currently up against in the Sunday night timeslot, Cosmos has returned from the dead, and without a moment to spare. The new season, subtitled A Spacetime Odyssey, is hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and already seems to be living up to it namesake with the thrilling journey it promises over its 13-episode run. The show is co-produced by Seth MacFarlane (proving that backing projects outside one’s typical genre can and should be done), 24 and Star Trek: Enterprise‘s Brannon Braga, and Ann Druyan, producer of the original show and Sagan’s widow. The first of what I anticipate will be a series of spectacularly informative hours of TV included a look at our “cosmic address,” the influence of a monk named Giordano Bruno, and the Cosmic Calendar, a narrative device used in the original series to demonstrate humanity’s history relative to the history of the universe. (Spoiler alert: we’re a blip on the radar.)
I’ve covered The Tonight Show a lot on Wait! What’s a Dial?. As the longest running late night talk show, it holds a special place in my heart. Regardless of what you think of Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien, those who came before them: Steve Allen, Jack Paar, and Johnny Carson were masters of the medium. Because Jimmy Fallon recently took over NBC’s signature late night talk show, here is a round up of the articles I have written about the hosts of The Tonight Show (with a video to make up for the lack of Jack Paar coverage).
If you’re over 30, you probably think of The Tonight Show as Johnny Carson’s show. However, Steve Allen was the first host of the show. He hosted it from 1954 to 1957.
As the first host of a national late night talk show, Steve Allen directly influenced David Letterman. Letterman has influenced Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, and Jimmy Fallon, so some of Allen’s attitude and antics can still be seen on current late night talk shows. For the rest of the article, see “TV Shows You Should Know: The Tonight Show Starring Steve Allen.”
As a huge fan of 90s Nickelodeon, I was excited to read the new book Slimed: An Oral History of Nickelodeon’s Golden Age, written by Matthew Klickstein. The book details the ups and downs of Nickelodeon from the 1980s and 1990s. It covers everything from starting the first kids network in 1979 to creating original programming.
One thing that surprised me is that the book chapters are in interview form rather than like a biography. The titles of each chapter represent the question that are answered by many former Nickelodeon cast and crew; some of which include actors Melissa Joan Hart, Kenan Thompson, and Michelle Trachtenberg as well as creators Craig Bartlett (Hey Arnold), Jim Jinkins (Doug), and D.J. MacHale (Are You Afraid of the Dark?). Since I associate Nickelodeon as a network for children, some “colorful” language in the book took me by surprise.
Season two of Hannibal hit the ground running. Quite literally too, as the opening scene was a flash-forward of an intense fight between Hannibal and Jack Crawford. So far, we know that Hannibal is going to get figured out, and the rest of the season is going to be dedicated to seeing how that comes together. Season two started where season one had left off, Will Graham was framed for all of the horrible things that Hannibal had done and is now imprisoned. Even worse, his new psychiatrist is Dr. Chilton, who is still full of himself even after having all of his organs removed. At this time, only the audience, Will, and maybe Hannibal’s psychiatrist Bedelia Du Maurier know that Hannibal is last season’s big baddie “The Chesapeake Ripper”. It’s unclear, as of right now, what Bedelia knows, but she has made some implications that she knows too much about Hannibal.
This season is going to stray away from the first season’s formula of featuring a killer of the week. Instead, they are going to have a “big baddie” which has already been revealed to be Mason Verger, notably played by Gary Oldman in the film adaptation of Hannibal. It isn’t known exactly when Verger is going to show up, but last night introduced an unknown killer kidnapping random people based on the color of their skin. Also the feel of their skin, that was oh so creepily pointed out to the audience when the killer complimented a man’s smooth skin on the subway. Later, this man was abducted and found himself in a room of “dead” people. It’s unclear whether or not they are dead or in heroin-induced comas even though the coma thing has been done before. The last shot of the night revealed that the bodies are arranged in a way to make it look like an eye.