Vlog #11: Getting Excited for Season 2 of Orphan Black

19 Apr

It’s time for another new vlog!

As I’m sure you’ve figure out by now if you have been reading this blog, watching my videos, or following me on Twitter, I’m a little bit obsessed with Orphan Black. The show FINALLY returns for season 2 TONIGHT (video posted yesterday, so I say tomorrow), and this week’s video is all about the things I’m excited to see this year.

It could basically have just been a list of the clones – I love all of the characters on this show so much – but there’s a TON of great story lines I’m hoping the show explores this year, and I talk about all of them in the video.

Are you guys as excited as I am for the premiere? What are you looking forward to this season? Let me know in the comments!

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What I Watched – April 12

12 Apr
@copy; NBC

© NBC

Kind of a slow week, but time for the weekly wrap-up post!

Episode of the Week

It’s worth noting Agents of SHIELD was probably my favorite thing on TV this week, but I did a full review of that earlier in the week, so I’m excluding it here.

Parks and Recreation – “Flu Season 2″
This was one of those wonderful episodes of Parks and Rec where every plot worked, all the characters had something great going on, and there were plenty of laughs to go around. All directed by the wonderful Nick Offerman, to boot! When this show nails it like it did this week, there aren’t many other comedies that can compete.

First off, the title is a reference to Season 3’s hilarious “Flu Season” (STOP. POOPING.), but the episode only vaguely builds off that idea. Gary/Jerry/Larry is quarantined in an ABSURD flu tent because Leslie won’t let him go home but also doesn’t want to catch the flu. When she starts barfing all the time, she assumes it’s from the flu, but turns out – she’s pregnant (thanks for giving that away, by the way, NBC promo department)! BEN AND LESLIE BABY! I could not be a happier fan girl. Her excited reaction and phone call to Ben when she found out was the sweetest (“Ben! It’s your me!”), and I loved that of all people to be with her at the moment she discovered the news, it was an oblivious but super-supportive-without-even-realizing-it Andy.

Ben was unable to receive the news immediately, of course, because he was off with Ron (and the rest of the gang) at a wine-tasting event. Ben was bothered by some family stuff and tried to confide in Ron – a mistake you’d think these people would have stopped making by now – and they bought a bunch of blueberry wine and went for a walk. I will never grow tired of drunk Ben Wyatt. Especially when he’s got blue teeth, is jumping over fences, and dealing with Eagleton Ron. Such hilarity. All of which helped him reach the conclusion that he wanted to start a family, just in time to get home to Leslie’s big news.

While Ben and Ron were off doing their thing Tom was using the wine-tasting event to try to hire a sommelier for Tom’s Bistro. April, Donna, and Craig were along for the ride, and various levels of shenanigans ensued. Donna paid for April to enter the event (can I just say that I love that those two are friends now, by the way?) so she could basically make an elaborate point about how snobby and ridiculous they all are. Craig entered for real because he swore he was great at wine – and, ultimately, wanted the job at Tom’s restaurant. When Tom couldn’t afford any of the high-end sommeliers from the event, the group gave Craig a HILARIOUS test to see if he could keep his temper in check – which he did, at least while he was in the room with them. Billy Eichner has been a really fun addition to the cast and I hope they keep Craig around next year.

This episode hit all the right notes for what I look for and enjoy in a Parks and Rec episode and it was one of my favorites this year.

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Episode Review: Agents of SHIELD 1.17 “Turn, Turn, Turn”

9 Apr
© ABC

© ABC

Spoilers ahead for Captain America: The Winter Soldier (which I highly recommend if you haven’t seen it).

After seeing Captain America: The Winter Soldier this weekend, I was unbelievably excited to see what would happen next in Agents of SHIELD. There were so many possibilities for what might happen next. Were some of the members of Coulson’s team going to be revealed as members of Hydra? How does a show called Agents of SHIELD continue to exist when SHIELD itself was effectively disbanded at the end of the movie? “Turn, Turn, Turn” addressed many of these questions and was a terrific outing for the show – probably the best of the series so far.

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What I Watched – April 5

5 Apr
© ABC Screencap via screencapped.net

© ABC
Screencap via screencapped.net

Another week, another round-up post!

Episode of the Week

Agents of SHIELD - “End of the Beginning”
For starters, I am SO glad this show is now on for seven weeks straight until the finale. The constant off-weeks are such a drag and make it so hard to really engage, even as the story has gotten substantially more interesting over the past few episodes.

This episode kicked things into high gear, though, and I really loved it. The show had some pacing issues earlier in the season but they’ve dug into the major stories (and mostly discarded the case-of-the-week stuff) and the show is better for it. We jumped right back into the search for Deathlok/Mike Peterson – and along with him, the Clairvoyant – this week, and got to see nearly every SHIELD agent come along for the ride. I’m happy the show is building out the peripheral agents a bit more – I’m particularly enjoying Bill Paxton’s Agent Garrett, who had a great scene with Skye in the early part of this episode. It makes the team feel much less cut off from SHIELD (and the larger Marvel universe) as a whole.

I was very excited to see Skye officially become an agent. It’s probably debatable whether she’s actually done enough training and what-not to deserve it at this point, but for the sake of the story and not having to deal with “but I don’t have clearance for that!” anymore, it was the right move. Plus, I love her relationship with Coulson and it was a sweet moment between the two of them.

This show has had a handful of pretty high-profile guest stars, but my favorite may be Brad Dourif this week. He was PERFECTLY cast as Thomas Nash, who the team was briefly led to believe was the Clairvoyant. His robotic voice being pumped through the computers, psyching out Coulson and company was delightful. I just wish Ward hadn’t shot him so we’d potentially have the opportunity to watch him be creepy again.

They leaned pretty hard on the May-is-being-shady angle early in the episode, so I bought it completely when it briefly looked like she was the SHIELD mole working with the Clairvoyant. You should see my notes from the last few minutes of the episode. Lots of caps lock and incoherent shouty-words. I think it speaks volumes about the mental place Coulson is in now that he is immediately willing to believe someone as close to him as May would do something like this, without even hearing her out. I also think, in retrospect, it’s so obvious Agent Hand would be the mole, because she’s always been at best a little shady and at worst downright mean.

I’m extremely anxious to see what happens next week – based on some early Twitter reactions to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, it seems like there’s a pretty big movie tie-in (which is AWESOME). I imagine my level of excitement will only get higher once I see the movie.

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Vlog #10: Brooklyn Nine-Nine

4 Apr

It’s time for another new vlog!

This week, I talk a bit about how much I loved season one of Brooklyn Nine-Nine – which, if you read my weekly round-up posts, shouldn’t surprise you!

What did you guys think of Brooklyn Nine-Nine this year?

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Episode Review: How I Met Your Mother 9.23 “Last Forever”

31 Mar
© CBS

© CBS

Well, at least it’s finally over.

I wish my sentiment were a little different, but after several sub par seasons, my overwhelming feeling about How I Met Your Mother is that I’m glad they’ve finally reached the end. There were many weeks I wondered why on earth I continued to watch this show. I stopped really loving these characters a long time ago. But, out of my own strange need to complete this thing after already putting so many years in, I was determined to get to the end.

Now, here we are.

Everything I feared most happened in the finale. The mother (who we found out is named Tracy McConnell) had gotten sick and died six years before Ted starting telling this story to his kids. After finishing the story, the kids basically called him out for wanting to date ‘Aunt Robin’ and told him he should ask her out. So, in what I will admit was at least a nice callback, Ted showed up at Robin’s apartment with the blue French horn. And, I assume, they lived happily ever after.

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What I Watched – March 29

29 Mar
© USA

© USA Network

Time for another weekly round-up!

Episode of the Week

Psych - “The Break Up”
Series finales are hard. There are so many stories to tie up and things to address to make it feel like a satisfying ending, while still feeling like a mostly-normal episode of the series. Psych absolutely nailed it this week.

At its core, the show has always been about Shawn and Gus, so it seems fitting the finale should focus on their relationship. Despite his antics, it’s pretty obvious Shawn has matured a lot since the early days of Psych – he’s had this ‘job’ for eight years, he’s settling down with Juliet, and he’s got a much better relationship with his father. But it’s still a huge step for him to take to shut down Psych and move to San Francisco to be with Juliet.

It would have been very easy for the show to not even bother with a case (or have it be a throwaway in the first half of the episode) in the finale, but I liked that they built Shawn’s freaking out about how to tell Gus into them working a real case. It allowed Shawn to have nice parting moments with both Lassiter and his dad.

I’m not going to lie, the goodbye videos got me teary eyed. Particularly Lassie’s – I was hoping Shawn would come clean, it would have felt a little cheap if the series ended and he never really admitted he was faking this whole time. Lassie’s reaction – stopping the video and snapping the CD in half – was perfect.

And of course, the reunion in San Francisco was so perfectly Psych. Barging in on a crime scene, hugging over top of a dead body, Gus recounting his ridiculous resignation at his job, and a fun reference to Monk working in the other room. And all wrapped up with maybe the best on-screen proposal I’ve ever seen on TV. “Yes, I will marry the crap out of you, Shawn Spencer!” Love it.

I didn’t love a lot of this last season – I hated that Maggie Lawson wasn’t around for a big chunk of it, and some of the episodes fell flat to me, but they really finished strong in the finale.

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Vlog Episode #9: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

22 Mar

I have FINALLY gotten a new vlog up after my lengthy breakup-induced hiatus. This episode, filmed back in January (as I mention in the intro), is about Agents of SHIELD, why I’m enjoying it, and some thoughts on the rather loud internet hatred the show has received. I also talk a bit about my feelings about that sort of internet vitriol in general.

Are you guys enjoying Agents of SHIELD?

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What I Watched – March 22

22 Mar

twd-thegrove

Time for another weekly round-up!

Episode of the Week

The Walking Dead  - “The Grove”
It’s been nearly a week and I’m still not sure I have proper words to articulate the emotional impact of this episode. There was no doubt in my mind from the second it ended Sunday evening it was going to be the best thing I watched this week.

It’s been pretty apparent since Lizzie was introduced that she wasn’t quite right. She didn’t understand the walkers and wasn’t afraid of them like you’d expect a little girl would be. It sure looked like she tried to smother baby Judith a few weeks ago. I figured something tragic was bound to happen. But I had no idea how tragic.

Carol has been my favorite character on this show by a pretty wide margin for quite a while now – I think she’s had a fascinating story arc and, unlike many of the other characters, actually grown and developed as the series has progressed (It helps, of course, that Melissa McBride is such a terrific actress). I am so glad that after her “banishment” in the early part of the season she’s back again – and dealing with such heavy, heavy material to boot. She’s already lost one daughter. To have taken in these girls, only to see them lost in such a horrific manner – one at her own hands – even a week later, I can’t quite get my head around it. Such immense sadness and loss.

Meanwhile, Tyreese is still trying to cope with the new world and his anger about the person that killed Karen and David – unaware that person just happens to be his new traveling partner and friend, Carol. It hadn’t been terribly clear initially if Carol felt remorse about having to kill Karen and David in trying to contain the outbreak at the prison, but as Tyreese confided in her, the pain on her face was apparent, and it was clear she was struggling to keep the information a secret. It was only after their shared horror at Lizzie’s actions (and the losses that followed) that Carol felt safe confiding in him – and I think it was only then that he finally understood the bigger picture enough to forgive her.

I know not everyone has been a fan of the small groups approach of The Walking Dead this half-season, but if it allows for episodes like this, I am completely on board. An absolutely stunning (and heartbreaking) hour of television.

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What I Watched – March 15

15 Mar
hannibal-hassun

© NBC

I’m finally back! I’ve moved into my own place, gotten settled, and found something that resembles normalcy and routine in my new life. I’m excited to add “blogging and vlogging” back into that routine, starting with this week’s round-up post.

Episode of the Week

Hannibal  - “Hassun”
I have a feeling Hannibal is going to show up in this spot a lot over the next handful of weeks because it is just blowing me away right now. The writing, the acting, and the cinematography are all top notch. I cant wait to see how the season unfolds.

This week, we got to watch Will Graham’s trial begin (and reach an untimely and gruesome sort-of conclusion – for now). It is fascinating to watch Hannibal and Will dance around each other. It’s increasingly obvious that, despite all the awful things he did to Will last season, Hannibal does consider Will a friend, and doesn’t especially want him to wind up on death row for all of this. But is he committing crude, copycat versions of his own crimes in an attempt to get Will off the hook? I’m not sure. And I don’t think Will is either.

It was also interesting to watch Jack Crawford grapple with his guilt over what has happened to Will. He clearly feels that Will’s situation is at least partially his fault – he was warned over and over again not to push Will too hard (side note – I wish someone would listen to Alana on this show, like, ever. She’s usually right!). And even if Will didn’t have a psychotic break of some sort, it doesn’t look very good for him to have missed a psychopath on his own team, as the FBI director (portrayed wonderfully by Cynthia Nixon) has been so quick to point out. Lots of shades of gray to go around.

Overall, another terrific hour of television, and the season is only beginning.

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