Category Archives: Drama
Dear David Tennant: the next time you’re cast in an American drama series and some network honcho tells you to lose your beautiful Scottish brogue, you fight it.
My own biases aside, there’s much to be said about Fox’s new drama Gracepoint. I don’t want to be yet another person stuck in the abysmal “British originals trump American remakes” mindset, nor do I necessarily want to focus on how foreign Tennant’s accent sounds to me, a fan of both his run on Doctor Who and the original Broadchurch, from which Gracepoint is directly influenced. But in its relocation from the English county of Dorset to a northern California town, it seems to have forgotten parts of itself along the way.
The pilot episode of Gracepoint is structurally almost identical to its cousin. Young mother Beth Solano (Virginia Kull) wakes up one day to discover her son Danny is mysteriously missing, and makes the usual calls and inquiries into his whereabouts. Meanwhile, Detective Ellie Miller (Breaking Bad alum Anna Gunn) returns to work after a vacation to find that the job she was being considered for has been given to Detective Emmett Carver (David Tennant With An American Accent, whoops, there I go. I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry.). Carver is an out-of-towner hoping to put some demons of an undetermined nature to rest, and Miller is rightly pissed that he’s muscled his way into her limelight. But these characters’ normal lives all come crashing together when Danny Solano’s body turns up on a Gracepoint beach, jump-starting the worst breakdown of “love thy neighbor” in TV history.
Last summer, Doctor Who fans were crushed to hear that Eleventh Doctor
and clumsy baby giraffe Matt Smith would be stepping down from the iconic role the following Christmas. Two months later, in a live, worldwide special, Smith’s successor was announced: Peter Capaldi, arguably the first veteran actor to assume the role and a household name in the UK for his many memorable TV characters, including spin doctor Malcolm Tucker on the BBC’s The Thick of It. The feedback was generally positive, with some scattered ageist comments that we’re going to pretend were never uttered, but it would be another year until Capaldi’s real debut, where fans would be able to see him in action.
Now halfway through Series 8, Capaldi appears to have breathed new life into Doctor Who. His version of the enigmatic time-traveler is the most alien in recent memory, and it’s making for some cracking good TV. Here’s a brief look at his tenure so far, broken down by episode.
MAJOR EPISODE SPOILERS AHEAD.
Ladies and gentlemen, your hybrid show with an undying protagonist for the 2014 fall season is ABC’s Forever, and it’s anyone’s guess how long it’ll stick around. Taking all bets now.
Genre shows are all the rage these days, whereas crime dramas are a dime a dozen. The success of smushing together elements of the traditional and the contemporary depends on how seriously a show takes itself, and while Forever is a bit of a romp through established TV tropes, it also elicits a decided “ehhh” in terms of staying power. Starring The Fantastic Four’s Ioan Gruffudd (sporting the most wonderfully Welsh name, damn, lookit those consonants in places they shouldn’t be), this show has the potential to be a good palette cleanser in an era of sobering television, especially in a post-Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. timeslot. It’s unclear, however, if that title is inadvertently writing a check the show can’t cash.
Fair warning: spoilers.
Series finales are always bittersweet. It means that a beloved show is coming to an end but now we don’t have to suffer all of those emotional traumas. Generally, series finales tend to be great masterpieces that tie all loose ends. This year, on the other hand, we were presented with rushed and just down right disappointing series finales. It seemed like as each show ended, you’d hear someone on the Internet commenting, “well this beats [insert show that recently ended] for worst finale ever”
I’m going to get this one out of the way. I have not watched this show, but I plan on watching it one day. I’m not going to go into why it was terrible in fear that it will ruin something from the first four seasons. That’s when you’re supposed to stop watching Dexter, right?
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.
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.
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.
Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead continued to follow the formula of showing only a few characters at a time. This week we followed Rick, Carl, Michonne, Glenn, Tara, and the new group of survivors. Fans of the comics knew exactly who they were, but were the new survivors were introduced to the audience as Abraham, Rosita, and Eugene. They are traveling to Washington D.C. because Eugene is a “scientist” and he is going to “save the world.” I think it’s safe to put those in quotes because you cannot trust a man with a mullet. Especially one that claims to be a scientist.
Michonne asks Rick what their plans are- whether they are going to stay in the house or continue to travel. Rick doesn’t have a clue, so he just makes her take Carl scavenging while he takes a nap. Rick is woken up by a group of strange men that have broken into the house. Since he is still weak from being beaten by The Governor, he hides under the bed. Things get awkward when a man walks into the room and decides to take a nap. Then things get really awkward when another guy comes in and demands to have the bed. Then things get super awkward when that guy chokes the other guy just to have the bed. He sees Rick hiding under the bed before he’s choked to sleep. Rick slips out under the bed while the both men are sleeping/passed out.
Last night’s episode of The Walking Dead showed how it’s going back to its roots. The show, finally making its way to the comic’s second compendium, picked up where it had left off in the midseason finale. The prison is destroyed and the group is split up. Rick and Carl are together, Daryl is with Beth, Glenn and Maggie have each other and Tyreese is with the girls. Michonne, on the other hand, is alone again. Each episode looks as if it’s going to focus on a few of the groups at a time. This week focused on Rick, Carl and Michonne.
Rick isn’t doing too well after being beaten up by The Governor. He has a hard time putting down a walker, and Carl ends up shooting it. Rick scolds him for using bullets because they no longer have a stockpile of ammo. He takes Carl into an abandoned home to recover. Carl just wants his father to take him seriously. Rick then sleeps for most of the episode, forcing Carl to prove that he can live without Rick. So, of course, Carl gets into trouble because it’s in his nature.
In just eight episodes, HBO’s True Detective will take detectives Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey back to a case they couldn’t solve in 1995 Louisiana whose killer may now be resurfacing. After the first two episodes, seemingly occult-based murders have begun to lead the two down a path of drugs, flop houses, and a burnt-out, backwoods church of ‘redemption’ looking for answers.
The ‘history’ of the case in True Detective unfolds through a series of flashbacks as the former partners retell their tale(s) to two current detectives who lost the files to storm Rita. The pace flows slower than most television crime shows as if McConaughey and Harrelson are actually reliving their partnership and a case nearly two decades old (within a slow, southern atmosphere no less). The show’s mystery and acting help carry the viewer through the proceedings at a decent pace, but the current detectives are quite distracting when you’re trying to figure out if they’re hiding something or if they’re just giving each other goofy looks whenever they can because they think it’s funny.