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The Walking Dead Season 4 Finale Review

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.

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Doll & Em is Very Very British

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.

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Slimed Teaches You Nickelodeon’s History

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.

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‘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.

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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.

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‘Hello Ladies’: Same Schtick Over and Over Again

Hello Ladies is mildly entertaining and kind of sad. The show relies too much on Stuart Prtichard, who is a fish out of water and a jerk.

Stuart Pritchard doesn’t deserve his friends. For some reason, Wade puts up with Stuart’s wannabe Casanova lifestyle and allows Stuart to control his life, even though all Wade wants is his wife to take him back. In “The Limo,” Wade rents a limo, so that he could take his wife, who he is currently separated from, on a special date. Wade’s wife tells him to get lost. Instead of having Wade cancel the limo, Stuart decides to have a party in it on Wade’s dime.

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AGT’s Final Performance Night

David Garibaldi and His CMYK’s stand in front of their painting of Albert Einstein.

After a long season of America’s Got Talent, Wednesday was the last chance for the six remaining acts to prove they were worthy of a headline show in Las Vegas. This season has had a lot of ups and downs, but the show was certainly more entertaining in the latter stages of the competition.  This finale had more variety than past seasons, so the show  will finally have a second non-singing winner. Some of these acts will probably have a  promising career in show business. However, the performances on Wednesday were good, but not great.

David Garibaldi and His CMYK’s 
David Garibaldi and His CMYK’s have a unique combination of music and art, but the novelty wears off fast. This time, the group danced to The Who’s “We Won’t Let Go Again.” The attraction of this act seems to be waiting for the reveal of the painting. As with the previous performance, it took a bit too long to show the audience the art. In the end,  the massive canvas revealed Albert Einstein The art was well-done, but the performance was not exciting enough. It was reasonable to be confused about the content of the painting during most of the performance, which took away from the dancing. If the only especially strong moment in a performance is the last second reveal, the act does not have a shot at winning.

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‘Go On’ Shoots and Scores

Only two episodes into the series, Go On has already exceeded expectations. When Matthew Perry says that the show has heart, he means it. His character, Ryan King, just wants to grieve his wife’s death and help people at the Transitions therapy group in the process.

In the second episode of Go On, viewers find out that Ryan forces his assistant, Carrie, to work late just so he does not have to go home to an empty house. Carrie is clearly worn down because she has not had a social life in weeks. She wants to help Ryan, but needs a life of her own. When Ryan finally allows Carrie to have a social life, he invites himself to Carrie’s girls’ nights out. Ryan clearly has problems that he should not be imposing on Carrie. However, the man just lost his wife, so it is hard to get angry with him. Eventually, Ryan and Carrie set boundaries.

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“The New Normal” Embraces Stereotypes

This review is not meant to incite a political debate. It is based solely on the quality of the show, not on the politics behind it.

Depending on your point of view, The New Normal is either novel or controversial, which is to be expected since the show features a surrogate mother having a gay couple’s child. However, novelty and controversy cannot carry a show that lacks quality. If the rest of the series is like the pilot, The New Normal will get old fast because the show embraces the stereotypes its creators, Ryan Murphy and Ali Adler, intend to dispel.

The New Normal‘s pilot episode opens with Bryan Collins making a video for his unborn child. A few seconds into the video, Bryan realizes he is getting ahead of himself, since no one knows how he came to the decision to have a child with his partner, David Murray. The majority of the pilot is spent providing the audience backstory through a flashback.

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The Cliched “Ben and Kate”

Ben and Kate is one of those shows that has been done in one form or another a million times. Kate is the responsible sister and single mother, who has settled down with her daughter to live as normal a life as possible. Ben is her annoying brother, who has never grown up and always arrives at Kate’s house unannounced with a problem. The dynamic is not original, but that does not mean the show has to be completely clichéd. The pilot episode seems to forget that even unoriginal concepts can be done in an original way. Anyone who has ever sat through more than one sitcom will be able to spot the obvious jokes before they come out of the characters’ mouths.

The pilot of Ben and Kate starts with a prologue from Kate’s point of view. It basically says what the audience picks up in the first 5 minutes: Kate grew up too fast because she got pregnant at a young age, whereas her brother never grew up and always ruins anything remotely adult. There are times when Ben acts less mature than Kate’s 5-year-old daughter, Maddie.

Kate and her British female friend, BJ, work at Buddy’s Bar & Grill, which is also the place Ben and his friend Tommy hang out. The bar seems to exist solely as a place to set up overdone jokes. Kate walks around wearing a fanny pack, which the guys and BJ hate. This results in a nasty, yet playful, exchange of insults between BJ and Kate. BJ asks her friend, “Do you know what fanny means in my country?” Kate retorts, “Do you know what BJ means in my country?” To which BJ just responds, “Very well, very well, indeed.” Once the girls are away from the boys, Kate refers to her desire to have sex with her boyfriend George as having “the sex” and says guys want to do her all the time. Of course, BJ feels the need to point out they are not going to have sex if Kate keeps on calling it “the sex.”

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