Friday, December 20, 2013

Once Upon A Time 3.11 Review: Life is Unpredictable

Any of those that have yet to watch Sunday night’s winter finale of Once Upon A Time, entitled ‘Going Home’, now would be the point in which I suggest you turn away from this blog and go do that, before proceeding ahead. For this is not a spoiler free blog. THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS! You’ve been warned.
Keep in mind as you read this review that I watched most of this episode four days ago (I rewatched the last ten minutes two days ago), and while I do have nearly an entire page of notes, I may be a little blurry on parts of the episode. As I have said numerous times, I do not have the clearest of memories, but I really did love this episode, and it has stuck with me, so it should be okay.
Anyways, I have to begin this by saying that this was a good episode, but it was by no means a great one. It did have a great final ten minutes, but the previous points in the episode (at least to me) felt a bit too much like filler, and not enough like there was a heightened sense of malice to it. I’m guessing I’m one of the few that feels this way, but that’s just how I see it.
There were a lot of great performances this week, though. I found that Jared Gilmore was surprisingly good with his rendition of Pan this week, certainly no where near as well played as Pan’s original portrayer, but good nonetheless, and much better than his portrayal of Henry in most episodes before this. Also, I did find that once he became Henry again, he seemed to step up his game. I actually found myself liking Henry, for the most part, and that, while his disposition in the flashback scene neither resembled his character’s personality at that time nor did he look the age, I did like him a great deal better. Gilmore’s acting this week was most assuredly his most well done since, likely, the pilot episode. I also have to note that, once again, Robbie Kay’s rendition of Henry was actually better than Gilmore’s portrayal of the character before this episode. Although, I did find that once he reverted back to Pan he was a bit over the top. Finally, I have to take note of Hook, and Colin O’Donoghue’s masterful depiction of him in this, and every other week before it. He is such an amazing actor that I actually believed that scene could’ve been filmed in the past, before he’d gotten over his revenge plan against Rumple. Also, all of his moments, before the final one, between himself and Emma were filled with such passion and undeniable chemistry that it’s relentlessly exciting. Anyone that saw that seemingly final exchange between them before Emma and Henry left cannot possibly deny their feelings for each other.
A few contentions with this episode that need to be mentioned. One is definitely the more obvious issue that Belle seems to better suit Neal than she does his father. I get that there is a large fan base behind “Rumbelle”, and that my main issue could be the blending of one of my favourite Disney princess movies with another fairytale (i.e. Rumplestiltskin being the Beast), but I have major qualms with this couple because I just don’t see any major chemistry between the characters. But then, I find that that can be the fault of this series a few times over. Also, it could have something to do with the twenty-year age difference, but I digress. Another problem I had with this episode is the fact that I really don’t trust that Mr. Gold is dead. In this day and age of television in the fantasy world, so often beloved characters can come back from the dead (see also: the Blue Fairy). When there’s no build up and feeling of finality to a characters death, it doesn’t quite feel like they’re done with them, and I didn’t feel much of that here, so I don’t trust that they’d actually kill his character off. Another thing, I didn’t feel like Michael Raymond-James really gave it his all this week when playing Neal. He felt very superficial, and like he wasn’t completely grounded in the scene. After his father died, it didn’t seem like he felt any grief at all, and despite their qualms he really should have, and at the end it didn’t appear like he despised the fact he would be away from Emma and his son for an unknown period of time. It’s like his character wasn’t fully there, and it really bothered me because he seemed to be the only one that did not have any issues with anything going on, despite the near 100% likelihood that he should. And, a side note, the one thing I’m not looking forward to with this whole going back to where they came from, is the fact that this likely leads to a larger quantity of CGI use, but I’ll just have to wait to see how that goes. And one final issue I had this week was with the costumed look of Snow during the flashback scenes. It felt like they were taking a page from Once Upon A Time In Wonderland’s playbook, and I wasn’t a fan of it.
There are, most assuredly, several other things that need to be noted regarding this episode. First off, I feel like there was a great deal of hate between Tinkerbell and Hook in that flashback scene, so I don’t really think there’s any possibility of romantic history between them, particularly because he was desperately gung ho with regards to avenging his beloved Mila’s death. Also, I’m curious to know who Emma would think Henry’s father is, if Neal’s gone back to Fairytale Land. Maybe she still thinks it’s him, seeing as he was never affected by the curse in the first place. Another thing, I absolutely adored the rearview mirror shots of Emma, as well as the fantastic cinematographic skill of flipping between those and the behind shots of Henry. That is a piece of television cinematography that makes me adore and want to work in television so badly. It was that beautiful. Also the use of Lou Reed’s ‘Charley’s Girl’ was the perfect music choice for that New York scene and reminded me to download the song, I only wish they’d played more of the song, and the tune they played while Storybrooke was destroyed was spectacular. I definitely think fabricating Emma and Henry’s memories so it feels like they’ve always been together will be interesting grounds for storytelling that I greatly look forward to immersing myself in. Finally, I honestly believe that it was incredibly smart of the writers to have a year pass by before Hook comes to Emma’s door because it’s both a great way to explain Henry’s aging, and also create grounds for a lucrative amount of stories. Plus, classic Lost writing.
All in all, I’m rather impressed with where this series appears to be going. I’m definitely looking more forward to the second half of the season, more so than I am happy with the first half. While I should not be surprised by such tactics being used by the likes of Lost writing alum, I am by no means unhappy with the way this series appears to be going. I am beyond excited to see where they go with this series from this point, a feeling I don’t believe I’ve felt since the first season. This series may have lost it’s way a bit since season one, but I think it may be on the way to bringing that creative vibe back that I’ve only felt sparingly since it’s first season. Also, Hook being the one to go to New York to get Emma was brilliant in my books, and I greatly anticipate how he will convince her of the time she spent in Storybrooke. Basically, this series may grow to become one of my favourite current series once again. The way this finale ended was pure genius, despite its television cliché.
My rating: 8.5 out of 10.

Best Lines:
“Life is unpredictable.” – Mary-Margaret explains to Henry.
“Believing in even the possibility of a happy ending is a powerful thing.” – Mary-Margaret says.
“This pink, naked, squirming little larva.” – Pan conveys his distaste for the first sights of his son.
“But I’m a villain, and villains don’t get happy endings.” – Rumplestiltskin expresses.
“And all I’ve wanted is for you to get the hell out of my life so I can be with my son.” – Regina states of her past contrivances with Emma being apart of Henry’s life and her’s.

I know this is late, like my last few reviews, but I think the weird serotonin levels in my brain are acting up again, so the low energy levels are really getting to me lately. So, don’t expect my review of Revenge, How I Met Your Mother, and Almost Human until at least tomorrow. Otherwise, once I’m done posting this, I’m off to try and get my creative juices flowing with my own television series pilot. Goodnight.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Haven 4.13 Review: Giving In to What Feels Right

For all those that have yet to watch Friday night’s episode of Haven, entitled ‘The Lighthouse’, now would be your last chance to do so before proceeding ahead. For this is not a spoiler free blog. THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS! You’ve been warned.
Well, I have to say this season finale definitely had its moments. I really enjoyed the point where William realizes a piece of his past love has clicked in Audrey when she re-Troubles Duke. Colin Ferguson is such an amazing actor, he was so great this season, especially the last few episodes, that I desperately hope he is not gone for good and that we get to see him again next season.
Also, I am extremely excited to get to know Mara more, Audrey’s original incarnation. The little bits of story that have filtered in this series certainly make sense, despite how sci-fi the whole Door business was; I am interested in this actual personality. That last line that Emily Rose spoke, as Mara, were incredibly heightening of my excitement for next season to come sooner. Audrey has been such a do-gooder, wanting to help, and that’s all very nice and good of her, but I am so beyond intrigued to learn who this more dangerous character is, and the history of her and William in that town.
That being said, there were several things I was disappointed with. Like I’ve said before, Jennifer was not written into this series well, she just seemed to take over completely. I’m really hoping she’s not back next year. Also, the extreme sci-fi nature of the Door, and what they opened. The Barn was one thing, this came across as a little much. And it wasn’t quite explained well, the whole being from another place was the four people that were needed to open the Door. I thought Audrey – or really Mara – and William were both from this place but were punished and sent into the Door. That’s one thing I’m rather confused about, and could’ve been explained better. The other thing I wasn’t happy about, was how this whole symbol ended up on Vince’s arm, and yet he had nothing to do with opening the Door, it was his brother. I didn’t understand that at all.
All in all, I am rather intrigued to see where they go with this series next season. I don’t really feel like this season was as tightly written as it should’ve been; there was a lot of filler bits to this season that weren’t necessary, and it was very slow going. That being said, Colin Ferguson was definitely a welcome addition to the show, and Duke – for the most part – was as wonderful as always. I was so happy for him to get the Crocker curse back, but I really hope he’s able to get all the curses coming to him under control. Let’s be honest, though, they’re not going to kill Duke Crocker off the series, he’s one of the best things it’s got going for him, although he could go for a haircut. Basically, this was an uneven season, but it had more things I loved than past seasons have.
My rating: 7.5 out of 10.

Best Lines:
“You saw it. I’ve won.” – William states, regarding Audrey.
“There’s a guy that knows what’s on the other side of that door. You and me should go for a beer.” – William says to Dave.
“He’s as good as dead. Now, who’s going to help me get William back?” – A freshly awakened Mara remarks.

Okay, I may get around to doing a full season review of this show next week, when I’m all done and caught up with the other four reviews. Check back tomorrow (or really later today) for my reviews of Once Upon A Time, Revenge, How I Met Your Mother, and Almost Human.

Grey's Anatomy 10.12 Review: Standing Up For What You Believe In

Anyone that has yet to watch Thursday night’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy, entitled ‘Get Up, Stand Up’, now would be a good time to go and do that before proceeding ahead. For this is not a spoiler free blog. THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS! You’ve been warned.
Being that I watched this episode four days ago and am really late in reviewing it, this will likely be brief. While I am happy that Meredith and Cristina were finally working their shit out and the way they were doing it was quite good, I still believe that Yang’s character is being ruined this season. I feel like the only way they think they can send Cristina’s character off, is for her and Meredith to have grown apart, and that’s just happening quite drastically this season. I mean, Meredith wanted Cristina in the room when she gave birth, and now it’s like they’re so far apart from each other that Yang will want to leave? It just doesn’t make sense, and is poorly written in my opinion.
The best character in this week’s winter finale episode, in my opinion, was definitely Kepner. She’s honestly grown into a character I actually like, when I was adamantly disappointed that she came back after being fired a few seasons ago. It’s strange that her character has grown in such a way that she is no longer intolerable and is quite fun to watch as a supporting character. That is, as long as she’s not with Avery. I really loved these two as best friends, but after they slept together they’ve never been able to get back to that point where I truly enjoy seeing them onscreen together. But, it was rather obvious the entire time at the wedding that Avery was going to stand up, so we’ll see where this goes.
All in all, this was a decent episode and winter finale. It was very beautiful that the hospital staff (that we follow on screen, at least) all wanted to show up to Kepner’s wedding. Also, I’m intrigued by what this whole business with the president calling Shepperd will get into, but it’ll definitely be dangerous waters for him and Meredith. I also really loved watching Ross finally break down, and seeing Kepner have to track all the bridesmaids down when it’s supposed to be her day. So, not a bad episode, I just think this series isn’t pushing for greatness or reasonable writing lately and it makes it only decent and easy to watch.
My rating: 7 out of 10.

Best Lines:
“I was the kid, but I was the dad.” – Karev professes to his father.
“Never be afraid to stand up for yourself. Just be sure you’re right when you do.” – Bailey shares her wisdom with Murphy.

Okay, major apologies for the extreme lateness of this. I have several excuses, but I’ll spare you the details. Anyways, check back shortly for my review of Haven. I’ll try and get to Once Upon A Time and Revenge, but I have an exceedingly early morning (at least for me), so those may not be up until tomorrow.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Vampire Diaries 5.10 Review: Revelations About Where We Stand

For any of those that have yet to watch Thursday night’s episode of The Vampire Diaries, entitled ‘Fifty Shades of Grayson’, this is the only warning you will get from me before proceeding ahead. This is not a spoiler free blog. THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS! You’ve been warned.
Let me just begin this review by stating that I am of the mind that this series has not been great since the second season, and it has not been good since season three. Season four was okay, but season five is shaping up to be terrible. Honestly, this episode was awful. There was so much potential set up last week, with Enzo being on the other table, and then he’s basically nothing in this week’s episode. And Katherine, she is just beyond disappointing this season, with her daughter coming into things and this whole mortality business. I almost wish it was back to her popping in every now and again, because she is just being ruined with everything this season.
Also, what is it with, whenever couples that are together offscreen break up, they always have to ruin that couple and break them up onscreen? It happened on One Tree Hill with Brooke and Lucas (although I was of the mind that he should be with Peyton, but it was terribly written with the offscreen couple onscreen), and now it seems to have happened here. I was so happy last season when Elena chose Damon, but they really should have ended this series there, because there wasn’t anymore that could be told. And now, they’ve actually got me wanting her with Stefan, the two have far more chemistry with each other than Elena and Damon do now. It’s bothersome that Somerhaulder and Dobrev breaking up can influence the telling of this series so heavily.
Basically, I’m finding this series very disappointing this year, much to the same affect as The Originals has become. Is it because the showrunner is having to split time between the two? If that’s the case, there really should be two showrunners. I know that my TV series idea is like my baby, there’s no way I wouldn’t put my whole heart into taking care of it. Honestly, this season is just such a mess. The whole Silas situation had to be resolved, and then we get this terribly done Augustine business. What the hell is this series problem? It used to be a pretty good series, but it hasn’t been that in a very long time. I mean, Damon breaking up with Elena MAKES NO SENSE!
My rating: 6 out of 10.

Best Lines:
“I’m gonna barf.” – Damon remarks.
“Or he’s in front of me, imagining what my kidney would taste like.” – Aaron tells his legal guardian.
“Well, you didn’t die, obviously.” – Stefan states, concerning Enzo.

Okay, that’s probably going to be it for about an hour, I have to go order my father’s Christmas gift, and thus I need to find it again. Check back later for my reviews of Grey’s Anatomy and Haven. By that, I am saying I am no longer reviewing Once Upon A Time In Wonderland, unless I get to it in a few days.