Supernatural Season Nine Review/MAJOR SPOILERS: Go Back to Heaven

MAJOR SPOILERS…

I’ve often mentioned that my relationship with “Supernatural” can be a bit of a love hate relationship.  This season was no exception, except maybe in that by the end of it, the season was just purely a hate relationship.  “Supernatural” is a show that’s had a long run, nine seasons, so it’s not exactly unexpected that by now the show would be losing steam(even if this has been going on for a while now).  However with a tenth season on the horizon, a possible eleventh, and whispers of another attempt at a spin-off(after the failure of “Supernatural:  Tribes”), I just don’t see much life left in the show.

I know a lot of folks believe these last two seasons have been a step up in quality in comparison to the seventh season, but having re-watched Season Seven a few times I feel like it’s definitely my favorite of the post-Kripke seasons. Season Seven received a lot of mixed reactions, mostly due to the Leviathans being sort of lackluster enemies, but Season Seven took a lot of risks. They killed off Bobby and brought him back as a vengeful spirit, they wiped Castiel’s memories clean, they introduced a new group of Big Bads with farther influence, they brought on Meg and Kevin, the season completely rebooted the show while keeping the essentials and bringing back a lot of fan favorites.

This season has just felt…so old. Here are the angels, they’re evil but also angelic forces of power so moral ambiguity, and there are demons, and hey sometimes there are monsters, and the brothers fight and keep secrets from each other(a lot). The show has also stretched the realm of believability, like how is there a full on Angel war going on here on Earth and no one has figured it out yet? Season Nine is the show really showing it’s age.

The beginning of the season presented a lot of really interesting angles for the show to go in with Human Castiel getting hunted down by his own kind, Kevin being full integrated within the team, the whole Ezekiel storyline, the Men of Letters, Crowley changing(which to be fair was actually touched upon quite a bit and was one of the most positive aspects of the season for me), Abaddon as the Big Bad, and even the Angel stuff was pretty interesting. Early Season Nine was great, it had some of the best monster of the week episodes in years(that talking dog episode was hilarious, admit it!), and the plot seemed to be going somewhere. Then things started to slow down a bit, and then they had that really good episode with Cain, and then bam everything went wrong.

The Monster of the Week episodes became pretty bland and useless(I feel like the MOTW episodes are at their best when they A) have great guest stars like recurring characters or notable genre actors like the episode with James Marsters and Charisma Carpenter B) are just funny little episodes that embrace the show’s comedic elements or C) really experimental and meta. There were some episodes with some of these qualities(guest stars, experimental episodes like “Meta Fiction” which was just kind of a mess, though not many comedic episodes) but they just kind of fell flat. That’s not to say there aren’t some really good episodes in the second half(Cain episode, Ghostfacers episode, and the Misha Collins directed Men of Letters episode).

Let’s talk about “Tribes” for a second. There were some really cool aspects of the “Tribes” episode, but they never really went all in on the whole “Mobsters meets Monsters” described premise. Another issue was that it just wasn’t really a spin-off anyone was dying to see happen, I’d long hoped for a spin-off due to my clingy nostalgic need for things to not end, but this wasn’t really so much as spin-off so much as some vaguely changed unused script of “The Originals” with Sam and Dean thrown into spin it off. A spin-off should stand on it’s own, but it’s a spin-off because there are some actual connections to the predecessor, not just vague well it’s got monsters and hunters so let’s call it “Supernatural” except with Tribes at the end. The cast was there, and so was the premise, but the show itself just didn’t really do much to get you hooked, so I can’t say I’m going to sob too much that the spin-off wasn’t picked up(Abaddon and Henry spin-off anyone?).

One big issue this season was the angels, who quite frankly my dear, haven’t been interesting since like Season Six(Castiel aside, because we all love Castiel). Also Metatron, motherfucking Metatron, so fucking much. Sorry for the incoherence that was that sentence, but gosh do I not like Metatron. He’s just like a poor man’s Crowley, except not nearly as interesting. He also doesn’t make for a particularly interesting big bad, I really miss Amanda Tapping as Naomi . I wish they would have just gone all out and made Ezekiel the big bad(Tahmoh Penikett was pretty much wasted here).

The cast did their best with the work given, Jensen is still a genius at comedic timing, and Jared is still great at getting angry, and Misha kills it with the awkward puppy angel routine. Mark Shepard was fucking fantastic, and a real highlight this year(good news is he’s been upped to regular next year, though considering that Cas is regular and still appears in about the same number of episodes it might just be a credit thing). They had some great guest stars as well.

I’m interested in where this whole demon Dean thing will go, though let’s be real it’ll be abandoned by the mid-season finale. Another note is that I was super pissed they brought back Tessa for no reason(that was nothing like the Tessa we knew) and killed her off as soon as the brought her back. I really hope that next season will take more risks and change up the status quo a bit in terms of Big Bads. Less angels please, more Charlie, more Kevin, bring back Meg, show some ghost Bobby from time to time, and maybe make the stories more personal and less epic. Overall, this season had great promise, but by the end of the season a lot of that promise had been squandered.

GRADE: B- 80%

Hannibal Season Two Finale “Mizumono” Review/MAJOR SPOILERS: Dinner is Ready

MAJOR SPOILERS FOLLOW…..

They know.

I honestly don’t have words to even say.  I’m speechless, “Mizumono” started crazy, and it just never really stopped.  It was truly a perfect cap off to a perfect season, it neatly wrapped up all the loose threads in a blood soaked bow.  It was great how many past characters resurfaced in the finale from Bella, Freddie, Kade, Abigail, and finally the beautiful and very likely dangerous Bedelia Du Maurier in the episodes final moments.  It was kind of like Hannibal’s greatest hits, it’s a shame we couldn’t have gotten a hallucination of Bev or a comatose update on Chilton(I beg thee Bryan Fuller, Gillian Anderson, Cynthia Nixon, and Raul Esparza for regulars next year).  Minor selfishness aside, this episode was superb.

 

If I did have an issue with this episode, it would be Will and Jack’s plan, in that is was in no way a good one.  It wasn’t exactly un-addressed how poorly thought out the plan was, we had FBI head Kade Prurnell(Cynthia Nixon is great here, I really hope to see her upped to regular next season) to tell them how stupid the plan was.  Though I guess there was really no way that Jack and Will weren’t going to go through with it, and it’s actually kind of funny had they listened to Prurnell none of the tragic events that befall the characters in the episode’s final act would take place. 

The scene with Freddie and Will was great.  Lara Jean Chorostecki has been killing it, while I think the character works better in a recurring capacity, I do hope to see more of Ms. Lounds next year.  I feel like I felt a bit of suspicion about Abigail maybe showing up, when once again they brought her up, but it was more of a quick little “hey maybe”, that just kind of disappeared soon after.  Nothing could really prepare me for her return later in the episode. 

The opening scene of the season, Jack’s fight with Hannibal, finally happens here.  The thing is it’s not even the craziest thing to happen in the episode, the fight choreography was fantastic, Laurence Fishburne was great and he really presented a sense of brutality as he pummeled Hannibal, only to have the tables turned on him.  Then Alana shows up, there was a lot of skepticism about Alana’s arc this season, I’m guilty of it too, but this episode made everything so much clearer.  Seeing her final confrontation with Hannibal was beautiful, the whole the gun isn’t loaded felt kind of contrived but it really didn’t bother me.  Then the episode’s big twist occurs when Alana seems to finally find sanctuary and pack of bullets to finally take down our favorite cannibal, that is until a third party makes itself known.  The one, the only, the formerly deceased Abigail Hobbs.

Abby?

Caroline Dhavernas’s delivery of that line was pure gold, it was just one line, but damn was it good.  The Abigail reveal was brilliant, in one way it made a whole lot of sense that she would still be alive, but once they revealed Miriam’s survival, I thought we knew what Beverly had seen in the basement, I didn’t think they’d go there again, but Abigail makes a whole lot more sense.  The visuals when Abigail pushes Alana out the window were beautiful.  The rain, the glass, and Caroline Dhavernas just makes the scene.

The final showdown between Will and Hannibal though, damn.  First I feel like just when I think they can’t pack in anymore HoYay, they pack in more.  I’ve mentioned it before, but I always legitimately feel like Hannibal and Will are just going to start making out, this episode especially.  That embrace and stab was brutal and then he salts the wound by slitting Abigail’s throat and forcing the severely injured Will to watch as she bleeds out.  Hannibal leaves in the rain as Alana keeps clinging to life, and Jack believing it to be his last moments call to hear the words of his beloved Bella one last time.  It was all so cruel and bleak, one of the bleakest endings I’ve ever seen. 

Cut to credits, which is a sharp contrast to what came before it.  I wasn’t exactly expecting anything to happen as I hadn’t heard about any post-credit scene, and when we saw Hannibal on the plane I thought that was it.  It wasn’t, because guess who’s with him on the plane, Bedilia.  They sip wine and fly off to France together.  GILLIAN ANDERSON BITCHES!  I was so pumped, I seriously can’t wait to see where this’ll go next season.  Fuller has stated next season will show the origin of Hannibal, and assuming Bedilia is along for the ride full time, I think she’ll have a major part in bringing it out of him.  Also that smile she had at the end….AHHHHHHHHH GENE!!!!!!

 Overall, this season has been fucking fantastic from beginning to end.  I can’t believe we have like what eight months till Season Three.  What will I do till then???

GRADE:  A++++++  98%

 

The Mindy Project Season Two Review/MAJOR SPOILERS: ” 30 Rock” Meets “The Office”

MAJOR SPOILERS FOLLOW…

Well, tis time for our favorite Indian BBW with an ass that just won’t quit, to take a three month vacation with her new/old lover Danny C, OBGYN and occasional personal trainer.  Season Two wasn’t perfect I’ll admit, there were a few trips along the way, but Season Two was incredibly satisfying, funny, and all around just a good time.  Let’s get into what the sophomore season of “TMP” got right, and what it got wrong?  

The Good

  • ADAM PALLY AND PETER/MINDY

Adam Pally’s character, Peter, was a welcome addition to the cast.  He’s sort of like a more fleshed out version of Jeremy, it took the writers a little time to figure out exactly what they wanted to do with Peter, but once they did he’s been a great source of comedy.  The Mindy/Peter dynamic is in many ways comparable to the relationship between Liz Lemon and Jack in “30 Rock”.  It’s this purely platonic relationship between these two morally questionable co-workers, with one of them being a bit more blind to their own faults, and the two’s moments of confiding with each other have really been the heart of the show these last few episodes.  While the shipper in me wants to see the two get together, the realist in me knows that maybe it’s better this way. 

  • DANNY IS ACTUALLY KIND OF A JERK

Let’s be real, Danny’s always kind of been a jerk, I mean most of the characters on the show are actually sort of terrible people(Mindy made a girl cry because she asked her if she plans to vote), but I have to say I loved the way the writers full on embraced moral ambiguity when it came to Danny and his motivations in these last few episodes.  While Danny and Mindy ultimately ended up back in each other’s arms by the seasons end, I liked how the show quite frequently tackled the fact that, yeah, Danny is a selfish prick.  That doesn’t make Danny any less lovable, but it’s nice to see the fact that he’s kind of horrible be addressed as much as it has.

  • JOKE A MINUTE

A lot like “30 Rock”, “The Mindy Project” just keeps throwing jokes at you and never really stops, and again like “30 Rock” it nails them all.  Even the finale which dealt mostly with the dramatic elements of the season with the Mindy/Danny relationship, still managed to get in some super fun quips such as Mindy’s e-mail(mindyssecondaccount@gmail.com) and these other gems…

“If you’re a serial killer, then I’m not interested, if you’re a serial killer who kills other serial killers, then I’m very interested”

“No, do not come up!  I’m pleasuring myself to Julianna Margulies!  “The Good Wife” is on!”

  • THE GUEST STARS

The show just kept one upping itself with the amount of guest stars the show landed, from Timothy Olyphant to Tim Daly with Max Greenfield, Anna Gunn, and Vanessa Bayer thrown in for good measure.  One memorable guest actor who I wish we could have seen more of aside from his two episode guest stint was Ben Feldman, who was excellent in the role of Mindy’s polar opposite hipster boyfriend.  Also James Franco guest starred for two episodes, so uh…yeah.  

  • DANNY/MINDY

The Danny and Mindy relationship was beautifully done.  I wasn’t exactly begging for the two to get together, but once they did I was as giddy as a school girl.  Then they broke up, and the feels really hit me, and then I was super pissed as Danny, and then they got back together and decided to have nine daughters together and I couldn’t help but smile.  Also kudos to Mindy Kaling who has done a kick ass job with the emotional stuff this season. 

  • TAMRA

Just a quick shout out to Tamra, who even with the limited amount of screen time she gets, has been a consistently excellent source of comedy. 

CONS

  • SUPPORTING CAST

The supporting cast with the exception of Tamra, Morgan, and Peter don’t really get a whole lot to do.  Even Jeremy has kind of been reduced to a fifth wheel, occasionally tacked on to share a story with Peter.  Beverly occasionally gets a funny line, and Betsy is lucky if she get’s a line at all.  I hope to see the supporting cast get expanded upon next season.

  •  A FEW WEAK EPISODES

With twenty two episodes, they can’t all be winners, and while I can’t really say there were any bad episodes, there were a few that were just kind of “eh okay”, especially in the second half of the season.  From what I’ve heard Season Three will be fifteen episodes, so with the reduced episode count I expect next year there’ll be maybe a bit more consistency.  Still that said there were like eighteen great episodes and like five okay ones, so I feel like it all sort of evens out. 

OVERALL

“The Mindy Project” wrapped up the season perfectly despite a few bumps in the road in the second half of the season, the finale “Danny and Mindy” brought the house down.  The second season expanded upon the first season and outdid it in almost every way(even though I did really like the first season as well).  “The Mindy Project’s” quirky cast and joke a minute style with some romance and drama thrown in make it a great way to spend half an hour. 

GRADE:  92% A-

Summer 2014 Blogging Schedule & Thoughts On Upcoming Shows

HELLO FOLLOWERS!

I apologize for the lack of posts this last week, I’ve been extremely busy and extremely lazy.  I thought I’d give you some idea of what you can expect in the coming week, as well as in this upcoming summer television season.  So here are some of the programs I’m going to be covering this summer.

The Maya Rudolph Show(Airs Mondays):  I absolutely love Maya Rudolph and have high hopes for her new variety show which starts airing tomorrow night on NBC.  The guest list so far is looking pretty solid with some names like Kristen Bell and Fred Armisen set to make appearances.  That coupled with the excellent Beyoncé sketch on last night’s otherwise okay episode of “Saturday Night Live”, has me cautiously optimistic for “The Maya Rudolph Show”. 

24:  Live Another Day(Airs Mondays):  Yeah, this one’s pretty self explanatory as I already reviewed the two part season premiere.  By Wednesday, tomorrow’s episode should be reviewed, so keep your eyes out for that.  So far the new season is incredibly solid, I’m still waiting for that WHAM IT’S “24” moment to happen, but so far so good.

Orange is the New Black(All Episodes Available June 6th):  Aw yeah OITNB is back(soon)!  I’m not shy about the fact I’m absolutely in love with “Orange is the New Black”(as my friends know, who I’ve been begging for months to watch the show to no avail).  I’m super pumped for Season Two, I’m a little sketchy on the promo(it looks to be delving into the more ridiculous crazy drama aspects, which is fine, but I rather enjoyed the show’s more realistic portrayal of prison), but ultimately I trust that Jenji Kohan will do a great job(even at it’s worst “Weeds” was still pretty good and entertaining).  Like “House of Cards” I may review some individual episodes here and there, but most of the episodes will probably be covered in a seasonal review.

The Strain(Airs…I Don’t Know):  Vampires+ Corey Stoll+ Guillermo Del Toro= a show that will likely be very awesome.  “The Strain” has a stellar cast, a cool premise, and Corey Stoll, at worst this’ll still be some great guilty pleasure viewing.  FX has a tendency to put out some very entertaining shows, and is currently the go to basic-cable-cable-channel(poor AMC, which was once hailed as the next HBO, has a programming schedule now consists of gems like “Game of Arms”, “Comic Book Men”, and an upcoming Chris Hardwick show about celebrities bowling, at least there’s “Better Call Saul” to look forward to) for me.

Extant(Airs…?):  Halle Berry basically, also alien babies.  This will either be surprisingly good, or a god awful hot mess of show that you can’t help but watch because it’s so bad.

Penny Dreadful(Airs Sundays):  I haven’t watched the first two episodes yet, but it sounds like a whole lot of fun.  Dracula, Frankenstein, and Rose Tyler make this sound like must see television.  I’ve heard it’s kind of like a more balanced “American Horror Story”, so starting next week I’ll probably start covering it.

That’s probably it for summer shows, but I still have some wrap up reviews for some of this seasons shows coming too, so here’s a sneak peak of those reviews…

THE MINDY PROJECT(GRADE:  A-, Review Date: Tomorrow):  “The Mindy Project” wrapped up the season perfectly despite a few bumps in the road in the second half of the season, the finale “Danny and Mindy” brought the house down.  Read more about my thoughts tomorrow.

ARROW(GRADE:  B+,  Review Date:  Tuesday?):  Thought the last two episodes were a bit weak in comparison, this has overall been a really fun ride, and with “Flash” coming in the fall, the CW is going be a hell of a lot more superhero-y this fall.

THE BLACKLIST(GRADE:  B-/C+, Review Date: Wednesday?):  The finale of “The Blacklist” keeps completely in line with the rest of it’s first season, it’s still super vague, you still don’t care about any characters that aren’t Red or Lizzie, and they’re still playing with the far overplayed “is he the father?” storyline.  Also they played a terrible Pearl Jam song at the end of the episode, which just felt really out of place.

AGENTS OF SHIELD(GRADE:  B+, Review Date:  Unknown):  Hail Hydra, because if it wasn’t for them, I don’t think “AOS” ever could have come into it’s own the way it did.  The finale ties up loose ends and sets up new threads for Season Two.  

I also have Friday’s episode of “Hannibal” to review, as well as the upcoming finale, and a strongly worded letter to the writers of “Supernatural” otherwise known as a review coming this Wednesday.  Stay tuned…

 

 

 

 

24 Live Another Day Season Premiere Review/MAJOR SPOILERS: We’re Running Out of Time

MAJOR SPOILERS FOLLOW…DAMN IT

I never watched “24” when it was on air, I discovered it through Netflix(like 75% of the shows I watch), and quickly just fell in love.  I’ve been anticipating “Live Another Day” for a while now, with Jack Bauer and my beautiful Australian dandelion Yvonne Strahovski, there’s no universe where this show couldn’t at the very least be entertaining.  It was, but the two hour opener never really gets beyond entertainment.  “24 Live Another Day” hasn’t hooked me yet, but I’m sure as the story goes on(and gets wilder and crazier), I’ll be all in. 

Yvonne Strahovski plays a CIA agent named Kate Morgan(no “Dexter” jokes), who is quite literally running out of time.  This is her last week on the job before she resigns as consequence of her husband’s selling of secrets.  Yvonne’s performance is great, as a newfound fan of “Chuck” it’s amusing to see her playing another CIA agent but beyond that and the obvious visual comparisons the characters are very different.  I was flashing back to the first season the way that she and that one guy operated reminded me a lot of the Nina-Tony dynamic, she herself is reminiscent of an early Jack, and the one other guy kind of reminds me of George Mason(they should just bring George, Nina, and Mason back, I don’t care how convoluted the twist has to be.  Also Mandy).  There’s a sense of nostalgia with all the new. 

The twist for why Jack Bauer lets himself get captured was great, and I couldn’t believe it took me so long to figure it out.  Jack and Chloe are at it again, kicking ass and taking names.  The scene where Kate and Jack confront each other was great, there’s a very Carrie Matheson vibe about Kate. 

Seeing Chloe and Jack back together again was great. However I found it weird how she just had all of these hacker friends, when if I’m not mistaken she had been locked up there for quite some time. That couple with the Russian girl in the second hour was so, so “24”. When she killed him and called her mother, I was just like “yep, I’m watching 24.”. The whole presidential storyline was a bit of a weak point for me, it wasn’t bad or anything, but I wasn’t exactly glued to my screen. We need more Jack Bauer damn it!

Overall, these two episodes were pretty solid. Nothing amazing, but they were a lot of fun to watch, and there were some classic Jack moments.

GRADE: B 86%

Hannibal “Ko No Mono” Review/MAJOR SPOILERS: On The Verger of Destruction

MAJOR SPOILERS FOLLOW….

Tell me, how was my funeral??

Thank God NBC renewed Hannibal, had it not I think I would go absolutely insane.  Yesterday was a horrible day for me, with “The Neighbors”, “Community”, “Suburgatory”, “Trophy Wife”, “Crazy Ones”, “Enlisted”, among others getting the axe, I was just about to go cry alone in the corner.  Also combined with the fact like only two of the pilots I was rooting for got picked up, I needed “Hannibal” to calm me down.  “Ko No Mono” wasn’t the best episode of “Hannibal” ever, but man was it good. 

To start I have to just say, holy fucking shit what was that opening?  How awesome was that?  Seeing the flaming wheelchair was awesome enough, but when it hit the “F.  Lounds” bumper, I thought I was going to scream.  That ranks among the best cold openings I’ve ever witnessed.  The Freddie storyline in this episode was fantastic, Freddie isn’t my favorite character(she’s cool don’t get me wrong, but there are cooler characters) but these last few episodes have definitely made me appreciate the character more than I did.  Seeing Freddie’s death bring out the inner awesomeness of Alana was great.  That final scene with Alana basically interrogating Jack was so badass, right before it’s revealed that, yes Freddie is alive, and yes she’s still smug as shit.  Seriously how delicious was the final line “How was my funeral?”? 

Much like Hannibal, I feel Mason is just way too much.  Michael Pitt’s performance just doesn’t really fit the tone of the show for me, it’s a bit too over the top.  Having said that though he ranks high among the sickest characters this show has introduced, I can’t put into words how badly I want Mason to become pig chow.  Margot’s pregnancy affects Will in ways he never thought he could be.  Hannibal’s line “parents can be killers” gave me a flashback to Ghost Harry from “Dexter”, luckily the show doesn’t go down that route(frequently when shows introduce babies they serve no real purpose, and quickly just become background scenery, see Harrison Morgan).  That dinner table scene with Will and Hannibal was superb, with the two relating Abigail with Mischa.  Next season is supposed to show us more of Hannibal’s past, so I assume we’ll learn about Mischa’s fate.

That look of disbelief on Katherine Isabelle’s face when the car got hit was great, I hope we get to see more of Margot next season(as well as Gillian Anderson, crossing fingers).  Will going after Mason and revealing that he should be targeting Hannibal, not Will or Margot, was an excellent scene.  Seeing Will go further down the rabbit hole has been one of my favorite things about this season(that “I’m not innocent, but I’m not the Chesapeake Ripper” line is one of my favorite lines of the season). 

Overall, this was a really good episode, but it’s the first one where I feel like they were starting to slow down.  Having said that it still had a lot of wham moments, and I can’t wait for next week.

Grade:  89%  B+

“Enlisted” Has Been Put On Permanent Leave…and I Don’t Know How To Feel

HEY NO SPOILERS IN THIS ARTICLE!

Today Fox axed “Dad”(never watched), “Surviving Jack”(also never watched, poor Detective Elliot), and… “Enlisted”.  If you remember correctly I wrote an article a while back trying to gain more viewers for “Enlisted”, “Hannibal”(Easy renewal at this point, I’m not even worried), and “The Neighbors”(I’m rooting for you, you strange beautiful majestic beast, you can do this, we can do this).  I talked a bit about how despite some hesitance I felt “Enlisted” had a whole lot of comedic potential to be mined, it had a wonderful cast, and the early episodes were pretty great. 

While the later episodes seemed to kind of be more miss than hit, I still can’t help but think “what if?”.  While I felt the show became almost too dumb towards the end(that fart machine episode, God, I can’t even, I was not a fan of that episode), there was this certain amount of sweetness about the show, and it’s cast was superb(CHRIS LOWELL KILLED IT!).  It was almost like an early more flawed version of “Community”.  There is a silver lining as Geoff Stultz and Parker Young are co-starring in an upcoming CBS(shutters) pilot called “Cuz-Bros” made by the people behind “Happy Endings”.  This is a sad day, because while not perfect “Enlisted” had a lot of potential, it may have been flawed but it had so much going for it(a lot like the “Crazy Ones” whose fate is still TBD).