Category Archives: Primetime
Surviving Jack Premiere Review
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.
Hannibal‘s Kaiseki Leaves Us Hungry for More
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.
‘The Walking Dead’: “Claimed” Recap
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.
Remembering Sid Caesar
Sid Caesar died earlier this week at the ago of 91. Unfortunately, most episodes of Your Show of Shows have been destroyed, so it’s impossible to watch from beginning to end how groundbreaking he was. Since there aren’t many full episodes, enjoy Sid Caesar, Carl Reiner, and friends in This is Your Story, a parody of This is Your Life.
For those who want better commentary on Sid Caesar, David Zurawick over at The Baltimore Sun provides it.
The Walking Dead “After” Recap
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.
Sherlock’s ‘Last Vow’ For Now
“His Last Vow” was a satisfying end to Sherlock‘s series 3. It contained everything a Sherlock fan could want: mystery, intrigue, reminders of the past, and the revelation of new secrets.
The episode began with John helping a neighbor find her son, who is a drug addict. Of course, he finds her son. What he doesn’t expect is to find Sherlock lying on the floor next to him. Because Sherlock has a long history of drug problems, no one believes him that he did it for a case. Even, the mild-mannered Molly Hooper smacks Sherlock across the face. Sherlock wasn’t looking for a high, at least not off of whatever drug he was using, he was luring Charles Augustus Magnussen onto his trail. Given Sherlock has a flair for the dramatic, it makes sense that Sherlock would pretend to resort to old habits just to get to the “one man he truly hates.”
Magnussen is basically Rupert Murdoch with a huge mansion and a malicious mind palace. Sherlock may like to call himself a sociopath, but Magnussen is one. Magnussen makes a living out of blackmailing people and publishing the results. Not even Sherlock is immune from Magnussen’s power. Granted, Sherlock gets himself into trouble and always manages to make it out okay, but Magnussen did have Sherlock good. He manipulated Sherlock via his pressure point: John. Specifically, Magnussen threatens to disrupt John’s life as he currently knows it. He can reveal Mary Watson’s darkest secrets- secrets she hasn’t told John because she loves him and doesn’t want to scare him.
‘Sherlock’: “The Sign of Three” Review
“The Sign of Three” is not Sherlock‘s strongest episode, but it’s one of my favorites. If it was not for Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, I would not have sat through what amounted to little more than a 90 minute best man speech. While the show will not go down as the best Sherlock episode, it was impressive that the writers pulled it off. It also showed that the lighter tone in the previous episode is here to stay, at least for another episode or two.
Before John’s wedding to Mary Mortsan, Sherlock has to write his best man speech. It’s the hardest thing he’s ever had to do, so who does he call? Detective Lestrade, who just happens to be in the middle of solving the most important crime of his career. Having learned his lesson in the past, Lestrade drops everything and rushes to Baker Street with plenty of backup. He expects Sherlock to need help solving the crime. Nope. Sherlock called the police because he needs help writing funny stories about John. It’s a funny scene that show’s how much Lestrade relies on Sherlock, which is entirely too much.
Sherlock Lives in “The Empty Hearse”
“The Empty Hearse” is the best Sherlock episode, so far. Unlike most Sherlock fans, I am not completely in love with the series. It has it low points and high points. There are two episodes I find completely unwatchable, yet the good episodes are markedly better than most modern television. Also, John Watson is my favorite character, not the eponymous one. That’s probably why I loved this episode: it focused mostly on John.
After a two year hiatus, in both real and fictional time, Sherlock returns alive. We all knew he didn’t die. There was always going to be a series 3. No one’s watched “The Empty Hearse” thinking that Sherlock is dead. We tuned in because we wanted to know how John is doing, which was better than expected. He grieved and moved on. He misses Sherlock, but he is in love with Mary Morstan, who becomes his fiancée.
While John wished Sherlock wasn’t dead, Sherlock came back at the worst possible time. John was getting ready to propose to Mary, but Sherlock thought it was the perfect time to act like a French waiter and refer to a wine as “a face from the past.” He doesn’t mean to be narcissistic, but Sherlock thinks everything’s about him. We know he has trouble with social cues. However, he should be aware of John’s habits, which typically don’t include dressing up in a suit and bringing a woman to a fancy restaurant. The master of deduction either can’t or chooses not to analyze his best friend. Every time John punched him, Sherlock deserved it. I found it hilarious because John’s reaction was completely natural. They love each other like brothers, yet Sherlock found it necessary to hide the truth from John for two years. John was perfectly justified in his reaction, which proves that some things never change. John and Sherlock fight like brothers, may threaten to never speak to each other again, yet they always find themselves solving crimes together.
90 Day Fiance Review
90 Day Fiance is standard TLC half-scripted reality fare. It follows four couples, each made up of an American man and a foreign woman. Each couple has 90 days to decide whether or not to get married and go through with the ceremony. Throughout the process, the couples have to deal with culture shock and family members’ concerns that the women are scammers.
In the first episode, we meet three couples: Mike and Aziza, Russ and Paola, and Alan and Kirlyam. The men live around the United States, whereas the women are vising from Russia, Colombia, and Brazil, respectively.
Out of all the couples, Russ and Paola appear to have spent the most time together prior to getting a K-1 (Fiance) visa. Russ met Paolo when he was working on an oil rig in Columbia. Their relationship is very physical. Paolo wanted to shower with Russ. They are constantly kissing and hugging. If the cameras weren’t on, they probably wouldn’t be discussing their relationship and what moving in with Russ’s parents will do to their relationship. It’s obvious his parents don’t like Paola because she’s a girly girl with a strong personality. When the family was eating dinner, the tension in the room could be cut with a knife.
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‘Chopped Canada’ Premiere Review
Food Network doesn’t like to reinvent the wheel, which explains its newest show Chopped Canada. Obviously, the show’s Chopped with Canadians. There’s nothing wrong with that. Canada deserves programming it can call its own and Americans should have the opportunity to enjoy it as well. (Seriously, Food Network should import more shows from its Canada and the United Kingdom branches.) However, after watching the Chopped Canada‘s American premiere, I’m not sure if the show is meant for Canadians or Americans with a very narrow view of Canada.
Since the show’s contestants and most of the judges are Canadian, everyone is super nice, except for the egotistical loner chef and the Indian judge with really high standards. While the judges are nice, they aren’t afraid to call the chefs out on their crap. Chef Matt, who was the loner and could’ve been told to act like that, was called out for stealing Chinese noodles from another chef’s station. No one approves of the person that shows poor sportsmanship, but technically doesn’t violate any rules.