Sunday, March 31, 2013


Oh what a glorious weekend!  Not only is it Easter, we have gotten new Doctor Who, the premier of Orphan Black and season 3 of Game of Thrones had finally started.  Oh HBO, why must you make us wait so long between seasons?!  Well I guess absence only makes the heart grow fonder.  It's so amazing to see all of the characters we've fallen in love with back on screen (well a few of them weren't in tonight's premier but soon)... of course when it comes to GoT we have to spend every single episode fearing for their lives.  Nobody is safe in George R.R. Martin's fantastic little world.

So, to give a blow by blow of what happened in this episode is just impossible.  GoT is quite possibly the most complicated show on TV, following more characters than I can count at the moment as my brain is still on fire from watching the new episode.  Not to mention everybody has a completely different plot line... yes most of them are out to get the iron throne, but so many are sneaker than that.  So I'll give the most important plot points in the characters most followed in this episode.

Samwell Tarly:  Oh gosh the White Walkers are active again.  The show opens with their horrifying cries followed by the screams of a dying man... Sam is thankfully saved by one of the White Walker zombie minions by Jon Snow's dog and whats left of the Night's Watch.

Jon Snow:  Jon is taken to Wildlings camp where he sees things he has never seen before.  He is taken to the leader where he pledges allegiance.  Of course, it's hard to believe Jon would actually betray the Night's Watch, but when he tells the Wildlings of the White Walker's and the Night's Watch feigned ignorance of them, the Wildlings accept him into the pack.

Davos Seaworth:  IS ALIVE?!  That's right, despite his ship (and his son) being blown apart by dragon fire last season Seaworth made it through!  Not only that, but he is immediatly able to flag down a ship to rescue him... and who's ship is it?  Why none other than his pirate friend Salladhor Saan!  Well that all worked out rather well for him.  Saan tells Seaworth that Stanis has... lost his mind.  He spends all his time with the Red Woman and does nothing but burn prisoners.  After much begging, Saan takes Seaworth to Stannis... but Stannis won't leave the Red Lady and when Seaworth goes after her with a knife Seaworth is imprisoned.

Robb Stark:  Robb goes to Harrinhal to pick a fight with Tywin Lannister but comes up short as... well everybody is dead.  No, really... Everybody.  Is.  Dead.  Still pissed at his Mom for setting Jaime free, he has her imprisoned there.

Tyrion Lannister:  My how the mighty have fallen.  Tyrion is first accosted by his sister, they have a battle of words but tensions are high.  Tyrion's going to meet with Daddy dearest (or not) and it has Cersei on edge.  But the meeting with Dad doesn't go so well.  See Tyrion just wants Casterly Rock, it's his birthright and he just kicked ass in battle.  Well, Daddy doesn't want his freaky mom-killing son to have Casterly Rock, telling Tyrion that he will be given a job, a salary and a better home but he will never have the family castle.  Never.  Poor Tyrion.

Margaery Tyrell:  Now on her way to being queen, Tyrell's whorey-ness has been toned down.  Actually she's quite lovely, stopping at an orphanage, speaking to the children and giving them toys.  In fact, her kindness seems to melt Joffery's douchey little heart.  It may have grown three sizes that day.  But Tyrell isn't impressing Cersei, oh now a battle of tongues begins.  Cersei is one crazy bitch, Tyrell better watch her half naked back.

Sansa Stark:  Nothing too exciting, but Littlefinger is planning on taking her away.  Of course Shea vows to protect her but when Littlefinger is involved... well this plot will prove to be interesting.

Daenerys Targaryen:  Calm down Daenerys, they're fine.  In fact, they're growing up! SEE:
 Dani finally has her boat and is traveling with what's left of the Dothraki that were following her.  Apparently horse travel and sea travel are way different because those men are puking their brains out.  Daenerys is after The Unsullied, an army of slave soldiers who all look like Shredder from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  These guys are intense, one has his fucking nipple cut off like it was a haircut.  While Daenerys considersbuying these ruthless men, a little girl captures her attention... but FUCK THAT LITTLE GIRL IS A SORCERER!  The girl tries to kill Dani with some horrifying looking scorpion thing, but she is saved by a hooded figure.  Turns out to be Ser Barristan Selmy who we last saw renouncing Jeoffry.  Selmy pledges alleigence to the Targaryen name.  Oooooh things are getting interesting

Of course this is only the first episode, but already we are building up to sooo much!  I can't wait to see where all of this goes!

Orphan Black: Series Premier (spoilers)

Last night was the series premier of BBC America's new show Orphan Black.  Now, the premise of this show excited me almost immediately.  Everybody thinks about what it would be like to have a doppelganger, right?  I even remember a month on facebook where everybody changed their profile pictures to their celebrity dopples.  Honestly, it's amazing that a show like this hasn't come up before, especially with the advent of cloning.  The concept of Orphan Black feels new and fresh which is exciting since now-a-days everything on TV just seems like re-hashing of old concepts.

The show revolves around a con girl named Sarah who is on a train on her way back to New York.  While on the platform waiting for her connecting train, Sarah sees a woman going through some odd ritual, putting her bag down, taking of her shoes and when she turns around well... she looks exactly like Sarah.
The doppelganger then proceeds to jump in front of the train.  What does con girl Sarah do?  Steals her purse of course.

Sarah takes this all rather casually and goes to meet up with her fabulous friend Felix.
We get a lot of Sarah's back story here.  Her an Felix both grew up in the same foster home somewhere in the UK.  Both of them live on the other side of the law now, but as the closest either of them as to family they help each other out.  As it turns out, Sarah has a daughter named Kira who she up and left months back.  Sarah has been gone for 10 months with her bad bad boyfriend Vick and nobody had heard a word from her since she left, including Felix.  In order to change the subject, Sarah tells Felix about what she saw at the train station and decided to go to Elizabeth's apartment.

Now to skim through.  Sarah goes to Elizabeth's apartment and finds she has 75K in a bank account.  Sarah decides to pull off the ultimate con, watching videos of Beth, mastering her accent, dying her hair, giving herself a quick "Being Beth 101" course.
Well it looks like things are going to be easy as Sarah is able to convince the bank that she is Beth and she wants to withdraw from her account.  Sarah even goes as far to go into Beth's safety deposit box which is full of birth certificates, all with the same birthplace and date.  Sarah thinks herself pretty high and mighty...  Then it all goes to hell as Sarah finds out that Beth is a DETECTIVE.  Not only that, but she is a suspended detective who is in the middle of a hearing... for what?  Sarah has no idea.  So she drinks soap and barfs in order to get out of it.... but then, UH-OH, Beth's boyfriend shows up early... how does Sarah deal with this next bump... well she sleeps with him of course!  But finally, Sarah is able to get Beth's money and is rather proud of herself.  Little does she know that Beth's detective friend Art is following her... as is some other mysterious car.

As Sarah is busy taking over Beth's life, Felix is dealing with the other side of the con.  ID-ing Beth's body as Sarah.  In the process he even tells Sarah's baddie BF "Vick the Dick" that she's dead which devastates him. Sarah keeps telling Felix not to tell too many people she is dead, but frustrated with her antics Felix goes against his word and throws a makeshift wake.

Sarah is annoyed with Felix, but gets a bit of a rise watching her own funeral from a distance   That is, until Mrs. S, the woman who has been taking care of Sarah's daughter Kira.  Sarah freaks out, she doesn't want her daughter to think she's dead!  She begins to panic and on her way back to the car she finds herself face to face with another woman who looks exactly like her.  This version is German and... coughing up blood.  She quickly realizes that Sarah isn't Beth but not soon enough as A SNIPER SHOOTS HER IN THE HEAD.
WHAT IS HAPPENING!!!!  Sarah drives away as the sniper continues shooting.  Beth and the now dead clone's cell phone begins ringing off the hook.  The mystery begins.

Pros:  The acting is superb.  Tatiana Maslany is playing all the clones, and damn is that girl good with accents.  As Sarah pretending to be Beth, she does an amazing job at a bad American accent, slipping in some English sounding vowels here and there...  Jordan Gavaris (Felix) is also fantastic, his Canadian accent undetectable under a nearly flawless British accent.  I am also very impressed with the writing, the show is engaging and original and I can't wait to see where it goes.  One last fantastic aspect is the effects, when Sarah is with the clones, you don't get that weird "Split Screen" feeling, it really looks like they are all together.

Con:  Really I have just one.  At the beginning of the show, at the train station the conductor announces the next train to New York.  Now, I don't know if they meant NYC or just somewhere in New York State, but I live in New York City... this does NOT feel like NY in any way, nor does it feel like Brooklyn or Queens.  Now if this is meant to be upstate or Long Island, fine, but if not epic fail on the NYC vibe.

All and all I will absolutely be checking out the next episode to see where this crazy train is headed.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

THE DOCTOR IS BACK: The Bells Of Saint John (spoilers sweetie)

Oh boys and girls he's back!  Our favorite nameless Doctor returned tonight in the first new episode since DECEMBER.  Well, Merry Christmas and Happy Easter because I am always down for the Doctor.  Really it's just in time to because I was beginning to get sick of reruns... no... seriously... I re-watched every episode from Christopher Eccleston on... most episodes twice.  Okay, maybe more than twice!  Don't judge me!  Anyway, in tonight's episode "The Bells Of Saint John" finally sees the 11th Doctor officially making Clara Oswin Oswald his next (and as rumor has it Smith's last) companion, even though she's already died twice on him.  Also as a side note, I am digging this whole BBC America "Supernatural Saturday" thing.  It's almost better than Snick!

Now, let's be honest... It's hard to see Matt Smith's Doctor with anybody other than the Ponds, which may have been the curse of having them be his companions for nearly 3 full seasons.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, David Tennant's Doctor went through companions like Hogwarts went through Defense against the Dark Art's teachers, and since Eccleson only did one season it kept Rose's plot line and chemistry with the Doctor fresh for two seasons, adding a bit of extra excitement when she briefly returned.  Jenna-Louise Coleman has a lot to live up to as it could be argued that the Ponds are two of the most beloved companions the doctor has ever had.  Not a dry eye was to be had after "The Angels Take Manhattan"... I'm pretty sure the internet broke overloaded with "SO MANY FEELS".  Having watched this episode, I have decided I am a Clara fan!

The show starts with a video blog, which warns the world no to connect to a certain unknown WIFI... because it will steal your soul!  As the camera pans out and we find a bunch of people stuck in TV screens very much like in "The Idiot's Lantern" but I'll let it slide.

Flash to Columbia 1207 where a monk proclaims that the Bells of St John are ringing.  They run to tell a cloaked figure who is of course the Doctor who is sitting next to a portrait of Clara "The Women Twice Dead."  Jump to Clara who apparently knows nothing about the internet.  Again, she is a Nanny who is amazing with kids.  While searching for an internet, the soul stealing WIFI pops up.  

Uh-oh.  But Clara is on the phone on a mission to figure out how to use the internet .. and that phone call connects to the TARDIS... AKA the Bells of St. John.  Who gave Clara that number...?  We are only told it was a woman.  River??????  MAYBE!

Finally Clara is given the WIFI password  RYCBAR123.  Run. You. Clever. Boy. And. Remember.  Stop the fucking presses.  Of course the Doctor runs to Clara and kind of freaks her out.  She is just Clara Oswald this time.  They have the great "doctor who?" conversation I posted above.  

We then find ourselves in some weird computer headquarters were the WIFI is coming from.  Apparently they are looking for clever people and Clara may be one of them... despite her total lack of knowledge of technology.  They are obviously a ruthless corporation and we get a very early Torchwood vibe.  They have not only hacked into the internet, they have hacked into minds and can apparently screw with peoples emotions.

The Doctor shows up and explains things to Clara, he's the man he talked to on the phone!  Clara is still freaked out but hears something upstairs.  She finds some weird random girl coming down the stairs.  She parrots whatever Clara says and is a creepy, scary, weird girl way.  Clara realizes she is the girls from the cover a of a book as  this girl TURNS HER FUCKING HEAD AROUND.  

She shows her weird android brain and Clara gets sucked in.

The doctor is busy re-donning his classic outfit, ditching monk garb.  When the doctor comes back he finds Clara panicking "I DON'T KNOW WHERE I AM!"  Well... she is stuck in the back of the head of creepy android girl.  The Doctor sonics the "walking WIFI station" that is "hoovering up people."  Thankfully this time the Doctor saves her, sending a message to the WIFI company "under my protection".  The boss women of said company video chats her client saying "the doctor is back".  But who is the client?  Dalek?  Cyberman?  Who knows?

The Doctor saves Clara and they have an adorable conversation where the doctor tells Clara he is guarding her.  Things get crazy though as the lights start coming on all around them while all the lights in the city turn off.  WHAT'S GOING ON!?  And... oh shit is that a PLANE CRASHING!?  The doctor then explains that there is something in the WIFI trapping human souls.  People are being hacked... Even Clara was hacked and she is suddenly knowledgeable about the internet.  But there is no TIME!  THINGS JUST GOT REAL!     The Doctor shoves Clara in the TARDIS (which is totally different now).  They end up on the crashing plane and even though the Doctor apparently can't fly a plane but... he saves the crashing plane anyway.

The doctor takes Clara back to the TARDIS and takes her to the next day... and end up... on a motorcycle?  Which is for some reason in the TARDIS.  OK?  The show goes a bit "Person of Interest" as the weird WIFI company trails Clara using street cameras. 

Clara gets everything about the doctors in a quick lesson, yes alien  yes bigger on the inside and yes going to save the world.  
Now that Clara has had her internet smarts turned up, she is able to actually outsmart the Doctor and find the location of the company that is responsible for hacking minds.  The Doctor goes to get coffee and the company starts hacking into people in the cafe to threaten the Doctor.  They can hack anybody through the WIFI.  As the Doctor deals with hacked cafe people, Clara uses the web cams to take pictures of all of the company's employee's, which is how she can figure out where they are using SOCIAL MEDIA.  Love it.  Unfortunately, Clara is sucked away by the robot thing which is now disguised as the Doctor.  

Fortunately, Clara left the info on her laptop so of course the Doctor uses his motorcycle to... drive up the Shard.  Yeah.  The Doctor demands Clara back, but she is now fully integrated.  But.... it's not actually the Doctor... he HACKED THE DROID which then sucks in the leader of this crazy internet company.  OH DOCTOR I HAVE MISSED YOU!  Having no choice, the company has to give back all the "souls" for lack of a better word in order to save their boss... but when Clara wakes up... the Doctor is gone.

Flashing back to the company, they are in big trouble and we find out who the client is... it's the Snowman builder from the Christmas episode!  BUT WHY?!  Of course, nobody can remember what's happened so the company deletes the memories of every person working there and in a devastating twist, the company director's memory is overly-wiped and all that's left is a little girl in a woman's body.

The TARDIS comes back, and the Doctor asks Clara why she's a nanny.  She admits she was going to travel, but after some person tragedy she never went.  The Doctor asks her to go with him, but she asks him to come back tomorrow.  Of course, with a time machine that's no problem... and the Doctor is ready to find out who she is.

So it begins!  A new adventure with a new companion!  I can't wait to see what this season has in store!  WHO ARE CLARA!  I can't!  I can't wait!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Face Off Season Finale (SPOILERS)

So, this was it, the final three, Anthony, Wayne and Chris (sorry for the wonky photos, they wouldn't upload how I wanted them too).  So after what I think has been the most talent filled season it's time for that nail biting last episode... and I really think this one delivered as far as tension is concerned.  Now I really want Anthony to win... despite some flubs I thought he has consistently had my favorite make ups.  Though, I have to say that I was really disappointed that Fox didn't make it to the final three because I really felt his makeup, originality and personality were amazing.... but it is what it is.  But who won?  Well...  We'll get to that.

So the final challenge is that each artist has to come up with a "dream thief"  concept for the new Las Vegas show "La Reve: The Dream".  Which is a water show.  Yes.  Their makeups must be able to survive being fully submerged in water.  Yikes.  So each of the final artists gets a team and a theme, coming up with a concept of a hero being chased by a villain that wants to steal something from them.  So, I will go through it all finalist by finalist.

Wayne:  Wayne picks a supernatural theme, choosing Fox and Meagan as his teammates.  Wayne's concept is that a demon is after an angel who is budding wings.  As in most lore, his demon is actually a fallen angel and all he needs are wings to get back to heaven.  The concept is strong and as always with Wayne the sculpt is amazing but time is an issue.  Oh Wayne will you never learn?

Kris:  Kris goes with an ethereal theme, choosing House and Alam as his team.  Kris is immediately plagued by the limitations of this challenge.  He wants to go big and show the judges what he can do, but with the water element he has to scale down.  He also has the least focus as far as a story goes.  He tells the judges that his villain can't dream but his hero can, so the villain wants to steal her dreams.  I didn't really get that, but whatever.

Anthony:  Anthony chooses sinister has his theme, his team being Eric Z... and Autumn... yeah.  Anyway, Anthony's concept is that his villain has had his soul ripped out symbolized by a gaping hole in his chest, while his hero has a beautiful glowing soul at the center of her chest piece.  Anthony has a ton of issues in the work room.  First his hero's face piece comes out all wrong and he literally has to re-sculpt the whole thing.  Then Autumn fucks up his chest piece... but thank God they were able to save it. 

So after three days working, everybody flies off to Vegas and get really awesome hotel suits.  We get the same old application day we always get where everybody says they don't have time and they edit it to look really intense but really everything was fine... except Wayne didn't get to paint a few things (like always) but honestly it wasn't a grievous error.

All three makeups were really awesome.  Here is how I felt about each, these are my reactions as I watched (yeah that's right I typed these out as I watched):

  • Not sure how I feel about Chris's... I love his bad guy but don't feel that his female character is very ethereal, if anything she seemed hard.  The villain has a smooth coolness while the hero is harsh and really bright... I really don't get that choice
  • LOVE Anthony's sinister... BOTH characters looked quite sinister bad and good.  It's obvious they are from the same world and they both kind of creep me out.  Well done!
  • Wayne's looks kind of like a Buffy the Vampire Slayer rip off...  There was something very "I've seen this before" to me, but the sculpture is quite good.

Thankfully, the judges do a pre-water close up of the make ups.  If I had to guess I thought they were most impressed with Anthony, but they only had good comments for everybody.  And then the water... I knew they would be getting wet but I didn't realized the would be FUCKING SLAMMING into it from CRAZY heights.  I couldn't even enjoy what I was seeing because I was holding my breath in terror that a cowl or chest piece would fly off.  Not only do all the makeups stay on, but they look perfect post water.  All three men nailed it

But... in the end their could only be one winner and BOY was it close.  I really had no idea who would win and when the commercial break popped up I nearly died... I just wanted to know... and who was it...


That's right, for once my favorite won!  I am so happy, but really he deserved it!  This season was so full of talent and I really think it was a close call but it's just wonderful that Anthony got it.  Now we have to wait until August to see what the next group has to offer.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Nice Town You Picked Norma: Bates Motel Episode 2 (spoilers)

So tonight was episode two of A&E's new show Bates Motel.  Now after the first episode I was left on the fence.  The show is quite entertaining, well directed, well acted and even well written, but as I said in my last post, the show has a lot to live up to.  We're talking Psycho here, one of the greatest horror/suspense films of all time directed by the most famous horror/suspense movie director of all time Alfred Hitchcock.  That's taking on a lot... especially when modernizing it.  But I have to say I find the show is sucking me in, even if I want to judge it against Psycho.

The opening scene was fantastic.  We see Norman looking at the creepy anime-esque book he found in one of the rooms.  He is looking at a shower scene while clicking a flashlight on and off.  Brilliant use of foreshadow, forever reminding the audience of the life this character is going to lead, which is smart on the part of the director.  The modernness of the show could throw people off, we must constantly be reminded of who Norman Bates is going to become.

Anyway, as Norman is being creepy his brother Dylan shows up and brings high tension even higher.  He keeps calling his mother "Norma" and making it clear that he hates her.  Even Norman seems to hate his brother, storming off to the bus stop after exchanging un-pleasantries with Dylan.  Breaking from the plot for a moment, I have to commend Freddie Highmore on his mannerisms as Bates.  He has a great awkward stiffness  even when he walks I just adore it.  There is something about the way he sets his shoulders that really gets me... I really see Norman.
He meets Bradley at the bus stop and then we see a personable Norman.  I wonder if that is a trait Norman will shake off as the seasons go by because Bates in the movie is almost always awkward around people, seeming to want to jump out of his skin at the sight of another person.  But with Bradley he is very kind and very nearly warm.

Anyhow as they wait for the bus a car comes careening in.  One of the girls thinks the driver is drunk, but Bradly realizes its her dad's car as he crashes.  Norman rips the car door open, but instead of seeing and inebriated man, we see Bradly's dad really really badly burned.  What the fuck?  Turns out he owns a warehouse and somebody set fire to it.  Norma and Dylan stand around the accident and you can't help but feel like Dylan did it.  There is no evidence of that, but it's just a weird feeling I had.

As the accident is being investigated, the car of the man Norma killed is found.  Vera is FANTASTIC in this scene you can see the fear in her eyes as Sheriff Romeo basically accuses her then and there.  She stumbles and is all over the place as she is berated with questions and the tension builds and builds until you want to jump out a window.  Awesome.

Norma asks Dylan to go pick up linens but he ends up at a strip club.  As he watches the half naked women dance he notices a man crying.  At first the weepy man gets defensive, but quickly changes his tune admitting that Bradley's dad was his boss and he is broken up about what has happened.  Feeling bad, he pays for Dylan's drink with a buttload of cash.  Dylan asks where the money came from, and later on in the episode gets caught up in some shady business.  Not sure what it is yet, but he was asked if he knew how to use a gun.  Dun Dun Dunnnnn.  Also as a side note, we find out Dylan is not actually Norman's full brother but his half brother.  Norma left Dylan's father for Norman's.  More, DUN DUN DUNNNNSSSS.

So, even after seeing a man nearly burned to death in his car, Norman goes to school.  Alright.  He get's paired up with Emma (the girl with CF) and she comes over after school.  Now this scene was ah-mah-zing.  When Emma goes to Norman's house for the the project she walks in on Norman and Norma scrubbing the kitchen.  It isn't really that weird as long as you are blind to the fact that they are trying to erase all evidence of a man being stabbed to death there.  Amazing, wonderful, uber-talented Vera gives us NORMA BATES.  This is the woman who makes her son a psycho   The way she questions Emma about everything from her last name to her life expectancy is insane.  It was just words but I literally got the goosebumps I was so creeped out.  Oh, so good.  And when Dylan jokes about them making out the look on Norma's face... oh my God so good.  I can't.  I can't.

Emma and Norman have a pretty boring scene.  As Emma waxes poetic she finds Norman's book.  Emma falls in love with it (it WAS Manga!) and takes it home with her.

The next cut is really weird as we find Norma sexily putting on lotion.  We find she has a pretty intense scar on her thigh.  Her eyes linger on it and we can see her reliving some moment until the doorbell rings.  Norma finds the cops at the door and Sheriff Romero really railroads her.  Norma gets caught in some of her lies and the scene is so intense I am nearly brought to tears.  Norma takes to flirting with Deputy Shelby who takes her for coffee and a very 60s looking dinner that I ADORED it looked like something that was in psycho.  Shelby round-a-boutly asks Norma to the most Hick sounding festival of all time.

Norma gets dolled up for her date that's not a date and sort of flounces around Norman.  Norman is not happy about her going on a date even if she assures him that she is just doing it to protect them from suspicion.  Norman then proceeds to change her shirt in front of her son and he gets really weird about it.  I mean, like, turned on.  Norma reads it as awkwardness and remarks "I'm your mother, it's not like it's weird or anything," BUT YES ITS FUCKING WEIRD.  They then sit in the bed and a swear they are about to kiss and I am dying and I am loving this show.  Soooo creepy soooo good.

While Norma is at the fair, Dylan comes home as Norman is heating up dinner.  Dylan's phone rings and Norman sees that "The Whore" is calling.  Turns out the whore is Mom.  Norman freaks out and comes at Dylan but isn't able to overpower his big half-brother.  When Dylan turns away Norman... well... GOES FUCKING PSYCHO RUNNING AT HIM WITH A FUCKING MALLET!  HE IS GOING TO KILL HIM!  HOLY SHIT, HOLY SHIT!  But, whew, Dylan steps out of the way just in time and cold cocks his brother.  "She's not a whore." Norman mumbles on the ground.   OOOoooooooo.

Norma sees Norman's bruise and promises to kick Dylan out.  Norman gets an urgent text from Emma and goes to her father's shop to meet her.  Norman walks through the taxidermy shop and... OH SHIT I JUST REALIZED TAXIDERMY OH FUCK.  That's literally how I reacted mid-scene.  Well Norman had to get into it somehow.  Anyway it turns out Emma has translated Norman's book and thinks its a true story about sex slaves from Japan and wants to find the body of one of the girls who was killed and buried in the mountains.  Then she out of the blue kisses Norman, stares at him intently and moves on.  Norman looks over the moon.

So here is where I get kind of unhappy with the episode.  Norman and Emma go to the mountain where they think one of the sex slaves may be buried   Emma can't keep up, panting and coughing but she insists on finding this body.  Unfortunately they stumble across a weed field and are forced to run from men with guns.  This is not the type of tension i want from this show, Psycho deserves something more psychological not a chase scene with guns and a girl who can't breath.  I can watch Person of Interest for that kind of tension.

The final image we are left with is everybody in the town moving like a hoard of zombies.  Norma is in her car and their is a crowd gathering in front of her as cops move traffic forward.  There is a burning body is hanging upside down from a flag post.  Norma has a panic attack.  WHO IS THE BURNNING MAN!? WTF IS HAPPENING IN THE TOWN!

Okay Bates Motel.  You got me.  Let's do this.  Just no more chase scenes okay?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Bates Motel: First Impressions (Spoilers)

So it's finally here, tonight was the premier episode of A&E's Bates Motel which was entitled "First You Dream, Then You Die." Before I even get into the show it should be known that Psycho is one of my all time favorite movies and in my top 5 favorite classic horror films, so this show has a lot to live up to.  I would actually go as far as saying that Anthony Perkins portrayal of Norman Bates is one of my top 10 favorite character portrayals ever.  The first time I ever watched Psycho I was was enraptured by Perkins quiet shyness and social awkwardness.  I sat through the entire movie thinking that there was no way this kind sweet, slightly off man was in fact said psycho.  Here's the other thing, A&E marketed this show specifically toward people of the American Horror Story slant.  The trailers had AHS-esque music, the posters had a very AHS feel and there's a Farmiga in it so.... Basically what I'm saying is that this show has a lot more to live up to than most pilots.

Okay, now for the show.  This pilot episode was all set up so it's always hard to tell.  The show opened with Norman looking rather ill calling for his parents.  He stumbles around the house only to find his father's dead body and his mother casually showering.  We don't find out how the father wound up on a pool of his own blood, but it's already pretty clear that Mrs. Bates is kind of creepy.  We are given a "6 Months Later" prompt and see Norma and Norman driving to their new home... the infamous Bates Motel.  Of course it's not called that yet, but God was it good to see that building again.

 My thoughts in just these few minutes of the show were mixed.  The show keeps the 50s/60s vibe with dress, music and even TV, Norman has an iPhone.  The colorization is also hard for me, as Psycho is a classic black and white, but Bates Motel is filmed with rich saturated colors.  All of that seen here:

As the episode was mostly set up I'm just going to skim through, the plot.  Basically Norma can't stand Norman hanging out with anybody but her.  First he tries to join the track team but she gives him a passive aggressive yes that really means no, than she flips out when she finds out his guidance counselor is a woman (even if Miss Watson does kind of creepily look at Norman) and when a gaggle of girls come to ask Norman to study Norma Bates really has a conniption.  Sick of Mother's bullshit, Norman sneaks out and meets the girls who take him to a high school party the likes of which no high school has ever actually seen.

Now, while Norman is out, things get totally and completely fucked up at the motel.  You see, earlier in the episode, the grandson on the original owner of the property drunkenly yells at the Bates' calling them out on having no idea how to run a hotel.  Norma gives it to him good, basically telling him to fuck off and grow a pair, just because he couldn't pay the mortgage and the bank foreclosed on the property.  Well, while Norman is at the party of the century, drunk grandson ex-owner comes in and fucking rapes Norma. The scene is disturbing and by no means is handled delicately and Norma screams for her son.  Norman walks in mid-rape, and is able to subdue his mother's attacker.  While Norman goes to find the first aid kit to deal with a cut on his mother's hand, the rapist comes too and tells Norma "You liked it," so she stabs him to death.  A proper, Psycho stabbing, multiple times, blood splashing everywhere.  Now of course, this is a pretty reasonable murder... he did just rape her, but Norma wants no police involvement, she very ironically doesn't want the property to be a murder motel.

The rest of the episode deals with how to get rid of the body.  The have to cut out all the carpets in the rooms to make up for the blood stains in one of the rooms.  It would of course look suspicious if they just de-carpeted one room.  The body is stashed in a bathtub (much like the famous Psycho shower) and Norma and Norman get to work on ripping out the carpets.  In one of the most intense moments ever on TV ever, the police pull into the motel.  They don't realize that the property has been bought and want to make sure it's not some punk kids.  The police decided to look around and of course end up in the room Norman is cutting the bloody rug in, not to mention it's the room with a body in the shower.  And then what happens... one of the cops uses the bathroom.  I think I made three or four tiny shrieking noises during those scenes.

While Norman is cutting up the rug, he finds a weird journal full of Anime-like drawings of a girl being tortured .. and he is way more into it than he should be.  At the end of the episode we see said girl getting some sort of drug injected into her vein but we have no idea who or where she is.  It should also be noted that during the episode it is mentioned that Norman has a brother.  We also meet a character named Emma who has Cystic Fibrosis and is kind to Norman when he pukes after he finds some blood on his shoe.  This is a paragraph of all the things that were only just barely hinted had but peaked my interest.

All and all I wasn't overly wowed by the show, but as it was just the first episode I think I just have to give it time.  I do have to commend two excellent performances by Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore.
Now, Farmiga has a bit of an easier task as her character is nothing more than a rotting body in Psycho she doesn't have much to live up to.  She has the luxury of creating Norma's character and going a big as she wants too without crossing any lines.  Highmore has to contend with Perkins brilliance  but I have to say I was quite impressed.  He definitely bears a resemblance to Perkins which helps, but he also has the Perkins vacant stare and creepy smile down.  Now if only Highmore could really wrangle in his American accent.  But seeing how the whole episode revolved almost entirely around only these two characters they not only kept me entertained, but they kept the tension at a peak the entire time which must have been exhausting for them.  The real problem with the show is that it has to live up to Hitchcock whether it wants to or not, but I have faith and am willing to keep watching.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Ripper Street A Series Overview (spoilers if you haven't watched the whole season)

So I'm getting around to this a bit late, but whatever I want to chat about Ripper Street so I shall!  All and all I have been nothing but thoroughly impressed and entertained by this show's first season.  Though, I often wonder if the title "Ripper Street" holds the show back a bit.  We know historically that Jack was never caught nor did he murder any more women past the point the show begins, but the constant illusions to Jack and his victims get old.  I mean, obviously they couldn't call the show Whitechapel because, well, that's been done.  That being said, I still love the show's writing, I only hope that expands even farther next season.

Now, as far as season finales go... well this one wasn't at the top of it's game.  And it involves Rose, getting kidnapped and nearly dying again.  Rose, GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER.  You are literally a dumb whore.  DS Drake has practically thrown himself at you, he's gives you his whole heart, nearly commits a robbery to win your heart and what do you do?  Respond to a lonely hearts ad and get yourself kidnapped and nearly human trafficked.  Well done.

Anyhow.  The tired plot of Rose's kidnapping was made up for with fantastically beautiful shots like these:
As if to distract you from the fact that Captain Jackson had been jailed, accused of being the Ripper the episode before and it really didn't get addressed it much during the episode.  As everybody is out looking for Rose, and apparently Reed is not having a full on affair with Ms. Goren now (which, btw people who didn't watch on BBC America, did they edit the shit out of that scene?  They were just suddenly in bed, were the Americans robbed of a sex scene?).

During the episode though, Reed (after Ms. Goren pretty much tells him to grow a pair) finally tells Emily what happened to their daughter, and how, not only is it his fault, but he thinks she may still be alive.  See, the bad guy of this episode who kidnapped Rose was with their daughter when the boat crashed and he survived.  And we are constantly shown him and his kidnapping family with a little girl.  You want to believe it's Reed's, but let's be honest  this is a British show and they aren't big on happy endings (I'm looking at you Doctor Who and Being Human).  I'm going to spoil it for you now.  It's not her.  But that's beside the point, Amanda Hale NAILS this scene, she deserves a billion awards just for this one single moment.  Seriously she needs to be in more things all of the time.

Anyway, my personal favorite part of the show comes after the bad guy was shot to death before Reed could find out where he was keeping Rose (and possibly his daughter who is not his daughter).  Basically, Captain Jackson performs an autopsy on the bad guy and the whore he supposedly ripped solving both cases while fucking handcuffed.  Now that's badass, clearing your own name while your wearing handcuffs.  Loved it.
But that's not even the best part.  After he clears his name, Jackson scalps the body of the bad guy in order to convince the kidnapper's sister that they are torturing him so the police could ascertain the location of the kidnapped women.  I am very pro Captain Jackson, and he's American so woot woot!

Anyway the episode ends with a bit of a sigh of relief, everybody is safe and sound.  All three men are back together again and ready to solve a new case.

So yeah, kind of a "wah, wah" ending, but I think part of the disappointment comes with the editing on American TV.  I really hope we weren't robbed of a sex scene between Reed and Goren, but it's more than that.  Seeing blurred out body parts on the dead bodies seems kind of silly and takes me out of it.  Any how,  I loved this show and look forward to another season.  I really hope the cast gets high praise and lots of awards because they were fantastic.  Really, bravo Ripper Street, Bravo!

Being Human: The Last Broadcast... Literally (Spoilers)

UGGGHHHHHH!  First they take away Fringe, then they give me a shit season of American Horror Story and then... THEN Toby Whithouse has the audacity to end Being Human.  What is a nerd girl to do!  I'm dead, inside I died.  Dead.  I am heartbroken.  In the appropriately named The Last Broadcast we see the end of the Vampire, Werewolf, Ghost trinity forever.  Unless you want to knuckle under and watch the American version... which I will not be doing.  All and all I was hoping for something better, I was more in love with last weeks' episode, but I wasn't prepared for Inception like plot twists going in and now I feel my brain slowly leaking out my ear.  Here's how it goes.

The episode starts with Hal awaking a virtual vampire army being adorable and singing "Puttin' on the Ritz" as seen here:

Bad Hal is back again, and GOD is he hot.  Oh, sorry, no I mean bad... very very bad.  Hal tells his new baby vamps that they are an army against the werewolves.  Of course Tom comes in and ruins the whole thing, killing every new vampire.  This is followed by he and Hal have a most excellent fight, but what of Alex?

Alex, you awesome lovely ghost you.  She can't rent-a-ghost out, so she goes all Kill Bill and digs herself out of her own grave, giving us some great zombie hand as she burst through the ground.  Alex is just in time to stop Hal and Tom from killing each other.  In her own badass way, she tells the warring wolf and vampire that "Shit is getting real" and explains what is happening with Hatch... you know being the devil and all.  Hal explains that there is a ritual, kinda not explaining that it will kill anybody who performs it.  On the way out the door Hal steals a dying vamps blood, because you know he ain't going down with the rest of them.

When they go outside everyone, and I mean everyone is dead.  Suicide after suicide.  And then there is Rook.  Rook who has already had a run in with the devil, who has asked for one last favor.  Rook, who just wanted his MIB or whatever department back, he wasn't expecting a deal with the devil.  Without knowing what the devil has asked of him, Rook is accosted by the Trinity.  He begs them to understand why he did what he did and then he dropps the bomb, the devil has the emergency broadcast codes... now he can whisper in the world's ear.  Hal, Tom and Alex leave Rook to get to the TV station, and Rook, well, he is picked up by the government guy who was shutting his unit down.  All of Rook's dreams have come true.

At the station, whoever isn't dead is zombie-fied by the devil who has already starting his broadcast.  It's a bit we've heard before, about why the devil exists, why God made us, just with a Being Human spin, saying that even without the devil, humans were able to do bad all by themselves.
But before he could whisper to the world, Hal, Alex and Tom come to interrupt him.  He pauses his broadcast with some classic Being Human and humor we get a "We will be back in a moment" message with somebody making some pottery.  Love it.

Before the ritual can be done, the Devil sends each of them to a moment in time that could change everything.  Hal ends up back to the day he was turned, the ghost of his werewolf friend Leo haunting him.  Alex is alive on the day of her date with Hal, just hours before she dies, with her dear father.  And Tom... Tom is the most difficult of all.  The devil shows Tom with an origami wolf what's missing from the picture.  The wolf.  Not only is Tom's wolf gone represented by nothing but origami, he is married to the adorable Allison who is pregnant with their child:

  But no matter how tempting these alternate lives are, they are not fooled by the devil.  In a last ditch effort the devil tells Tom that Hal isn't using his own blood, but at this point it doesn't matter.  All three of them know that while these worlds are worth while, the real world needs saving.

They end up back at the station, the devil has lost.  Tom calls Hal out for not giving his blood, knowing now that the the ritual will only weaken Hatch.  But it's too late and Alex says fuck it.  She makes Hal promise that the next time the devil gets strength he will defeat him, but before Alex could drink the blood, she drops the glass.  

The devil gets back on the air and is about to give his murderous message, but before he does, the black evilness leaves the body.  Hatch says something in some ancient tongue sounding really scared and confused... and then his brains get blown the fuck all over the wall by Rook.  Well... that was easy.  So, so disappointingly easy.

All goes back to normal, the mass suicide explained away my noxious gas.  Well... that was simple.  Thankfully I noticed there were 15 minutes left and hunkered down for some plot twisting.  Hal, Tom and Alex are back in the house.  Hal gives a lovely little speech about the want to be human is actually the act of being human, and it's touching and sweet.
But, we still have bad Hal and Tom and Alex  have planned to kill him.  Just before the stake goes in to bad Hal's heart, there's a knock at the door.  And that fist behind that knock is Rook, so Hal and Tom parlay.

Rook tells the trio that he has quit his job, but that his government team is back together.  Alex flips out, wanting to kill Rook for the part he played, she screams on and on and stupid me is sitting there annoyed that Rook says nothing because he can't hear Alex.  Boy am I stupid because Hal noticed.  And Rook confesses that he is now the devil.  

Shit get's really real and Rook lets out a scream like a tornado and Alex and Tom convince Hal that they have to do the ritual, and he gives in, adding his blood to Toms and giving it to Alex to drink it down.  The devil leave's Rook in his swarming blackness as Hal, Tom and Alex lay choking on the floor, writhing in pain.    

Hal is able to get control fast enough to tell Rook that he will be possessed again if they don't do something.  Rook finds a stake on the floor and tells him that once the devil re-enters to kill him.  And Hal does.  And all four of them lay dead on the floor and I have tears in my eyes and holy shit, holy shit they did it again everyone is dead.

And then a moan.  And then some movement.  AND THEY ARE ALL OK!  And I am relieved and disappointed at the same time.  And it isn't until they notice Alex is bleeding that they realize she is human again... and Tom finds the wolf gone and Hal... Hal can see his reflection... 
They are human.  Without the devil, they live once again.

Some time has passed by, and they are all still getting used to being alive again.  Alex eats her face off,
and Hal and Tom try to figure out what to do.  It's sweet, Hal obviously loves Alex and she love him back (though we are robbed of more sexy kisses).  The show ends with the three of them settling down on the couch to watch some TV and then it happens.

Inception.  A pan shot:
Mitchell's gloves.. Oh!  George's medal, Annie's Tea cup...
Nina's scan... Eve's bib...Hal's domino
The origami wolf the devil made Tom

Fuck.  My.  Life.  They did die.  And their heaven is happy together.

At least that's my interpretation.  Because this show has been brave since minute one and the only way for them to go out is with their deaths.

I'm happy with the way the show ended, but I truly believe that this show had life in it yet!  They could have had many more seasons... but we get six last episodes...  At least they were six great episodes, with great plots and a great cast.  I am disappointed that we didn't see the original three at all, I was hoping against hope that we would see Annie, George and Mitchell but no such luck... at least they were mentioned.

Well RIP Being Human, you gave me a ton of joy and tears and I will cherish the time we had.