I would like to declare BATES MOTEL a massive victory for A&E. Heavy on reality-type shows but light on scripted series, it could have easily been an epic failure from many fronts. Would A&E make it too vanilla? Can FREDDIE HIGHMORE act post-puberty? Is there enough material from the iconic movies to build an entire series from? Will MIDWEST MIKE ever regularly post to the blog again? Sorry, I got carried away with my hypothetical questions there.
In Monday night’s finale, we saw Norman finally snap after weeks of struggling with his many layers of sexually fueled frustration. Norma also came clean with some of her past demons to comprise the single most awkward conversation a mother can ever have with her son before a school dance. The Jake Abernathy issue was solved once and for all by Sheriff Romero and Dylan finally softens a bit to his mother. Overall, a great conclusion to a fantastic season.
Was the season completely perfect? Find out inside. Continue reading
Warning: mild spoilers abound.
The 8th season of SUPERNATURAL wrapped on Wednesday to a phenomenally cool scene with a nearly-dead Sam, Dean and Castiel standing outside a chapel watching thousands of angels being expelled from heaven as they rain down to Earth in fiery comets.
With as great as the last twenty seconds of the season were, one would imagine the rest of it would have been equally as good. Sad to say no, but glad to say that it was an enormous leap forward from an abysmal season 7. With SERA GAMBLE tapping out as showrunner from 7 and JEREMY CARVER triumphantly returning, it was almost as if Cpt. Smith handed the wheel to his co-captain right after drunkenly blasting the Titanic straight into the iceberg and blaming him for not keeping it afloat. Luckily, Carver was able to get back on track quickly but not without hiccups.
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“Before we begin, you must all be warned: Nothing here… is vegetarian.”
At risk of sounding like a broken record, this week’s episode of HANNIBAL was simply outstanding. I know that I have bragged about this show in the past, but tonight’s episode far exceeded anything I would have ever expected.
We were treated to a much more Hannibal-centric episode of HANNIBAL this time around. The show, much like the movies, has Dr. Lecter existing as almost an incidental character with the major action revolving around Will and Jack’s manhunt for the Chesapeake Ripper. This time around, we see much more of Hannibal’s day-to-day and get to understand a bit more of what makes him tick.
GILLIAN ANDERSON guest stars as Dr. Lecter’s psychiatrist because for some reason psychiatrists also need psychiatrists much like Barbara Streisand champions the notion that people need people. The addition of Gillian Anderson was great, and we finally got to see some of the murderous side of Hannibal, but the real ‘meat’ of the episode (so to speak) was all of the scenes of ‘culinary delight’ as he prepares a feast for his crowd of artsier friends. MADS MIKKELSEN’S performance was nothing short of mesmerizing and everything being set to symphony and opera was a great touch. The concluding thirty seconds of the episode were brilliant.
I would like to lodge a passionate and heartfelt plea to the higher powers within NBC making renewal/cancellation choices over the next several days: Please do not cancel this show. I would argue that the singular reason ratings have been less than stellar is your doofus-quality decision to stick it in a Thursday night timeslot. Renew and rework the overall schedule, and this can easily be one of your top drama shows for the duration of BRYAN SINGER’S seven-season vision.
A+++ and easily the best episode of network television I have seen so far this year.
It has taken me a little while, but I have finally gotten through the entire first season of HEMLOCK GROVE. Posting an entire batch of 13 episodes all at once sounds great in theory, but as silly things like ‘real life’ and ‘responsibilities’ take over to filch my time away from the finer things.
I quite enjoyed the first half of the season and equally enjoyed the second half of the season. As previously stated, it’s not the greatest television show in the history of television, but it was darn good with fleeting moments of greatness that totally deserves a second season renewal.
Think of HEMLOCK GROVE collectively as one big 10-ish-hour-long pilot episode. It’s rough around the edges at some points, had a couple of dead ends and made a few really stupid decisions but it was an awful lot of fun and a refreshing departure from many of the recycled ideas that float around out there these days.
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NBC’S HANNIBAL has been an extremely good surprise so far in its freshman run. Up to now, I have raved about the series premiere and the garden of mushroom people from the second episode. While the third episode was solid (unfortunately seeing ratings drop a tad), tonight vaulted the series to new heights. My concern for the series as a whole was that it would run out of creative gas after the premiere buzz died down, but each episode has brought something new and better to the table week after week.
One of the biggest things I love about HANNIBAL is that it is unapologetically stylish. Much more so than every other generic-looking procedural cop drama out there today. Many of the shots are simply gorgeous ranging from the grotesquery of the serial murders to the simpler shots of Dr. Lecter treating his patients. This week’s episode has Dr. Lecter cooking dinner for Jack and his wife and he garnishes the plate with an animal’s jawbone. Little touches like that give a great balance between beauty and creepy.
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Or: “Where Netflix succeeds, Amazon falters.”
Pop quiz: What is the opposite of good? Answer: You’re about to find out.
It’s “Pilot Season” at Amazon and what does that mean? We get 14 ‘Amazon Originals’ whose overall popularity will dictate which ones move forward from pilot to full order. Introduced by MIDWEST MIKE earlier in the day, Amazon made a pilot for a ZOMBIELAND series based on the movie by the same name.
Let’s quickly review Amazon’s logic: Create a series from an iconic near-cult-classic-status comedy horror movie and replace amazing cast WOODY HARRELSON, JESSE EISENBERG, EMMA STONE and ABIGAIL BRESLIN with three no-name hacks and Earl from FORREST GUMP. Ok, make that four no-name hacks. I have never wanted four people to be more savagely mutilated by a zombie hoard in the history of zombie cinema.
On top of that, for some confounding reason, OnStar still works in Zombieland and is manned (womanned?) by what must be an ex-Discover Card employee.
The ZOMBIELAND Pilot might have worked better as an Ikea catalog, OnStar plug, Ensure ad or GMC Yukon commercial with the pompously obnoxious use of product placement. Note to self: actively boycott these companies for thinking that any exposure is good exposure. Hopefully the ad space was cheap.
Unoriginal, unintelligent, and infuriatingly stupid, I can only hope that Amazon’s “Pilot Season” fizzles out before some moron thinks it’s a good idea to actually produce more of this garbage. ZOMBIELAND earns a strong F.
Against my better judgement, I re-upgraded to Netflix over the weekend. I was one of the few who cancelled at the time that they split their discs/streaming services and hiked the rates, merely on principle (read: out of stubbornness). I did kind of miss it though, especially now that I have a nicer computer that can handle quality video streaming.
I have been intrigued lately with the new trend of non-major-networks featuring original programming, such as Netflix and Amazon (review of Zombieland forthcoming) and couldn’t possibly pass up the new ELI ROTH-helmed HEMLOCK GROVE. Reviews have generally been mixed from what I’ve seen so far and for reasons unbeknownst to me seeing as I don’t want spoilers yet and I hate for my initial opinion to be tainted by other less meaningful opinions (which includes almost all opinions other than my own).
To call HEMLOCK GROVE a ‘werewolf show’ doesn’t quite hit at the heart of it and now that I am halfway though the first season, it’s difficult to tell exactly who/what the story really revolves around. It is very much enjoyable albeit not perfect, but its flaws can be easily overlooked by its strengths.
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PARKS AND RECREATION. I don’t watch PARKS AND RECREATION. And I’m not going to watch PARKS AND RECREATION. But I do watch PATTON OSWALT and appreciate him both as a comedian and as his brilliant guest-starring stint on season 4 of JUSTIFIED.
A special thank you to MWTVG superfan MIDWEST MILLER for pointing this out… PATTON OSWALT recently filmed a fantastically detailed eight minute tirade filibuster channeling his inner Rand Paul on the floor of the town’s council meeting on PARKS AND REC. The best part? It’s completely unscripted and totally hilarious. Chewbacca’s severed head? Count me in.
This dude clearly knows what he’s talking about. He publicly advocates for a ‘three franchise tie-in’ among STAR WARS, THE AVENGERS, and CLASH OF THE TITANS sprinkling in a little X-MEN at the end. To be honest here (don’t lie, you’re thinking it too), I would probably watch his movie pitch.
“I need to do a Marco Rubio, can we please cut.”
SYFY’s new videogame-crossover extravaganza DEFIANCE premiered on Monday to extremely good ratings for the network, getting 2.7 million total viewers. This makes DEFIANCE the highest-rated SYFY premiere since 2006’s EUREKA.
I was finally able to sit down and watch the two-hour premiere last night in part because my son’s 2nd birthday trumped all other possible Monday night activities as we took him to the standard children’s party destination… Chuck E Cheese. Between being bombarded with A/V overstimulation, terrible pizza and overpriced trinkets, I was nearly brain dead when I got back home. Ironically, that very same feeling (for similar reasons) occurred to me right after watching the series premiere of DEFIANCE.
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The fringe benefit of re-upgrading to three free months of HBO means that the rest of the premium channels are usually pegged along with the free ‘trial’. Although you can’t really call it a ‘trial’, because you get as many trials as you want as long as you keep cancelling. However this ends up being a profitable model is way beyond me, but then again I might be some sort of cheap s-o-b. Scratch that, I am definitely some sort of cheap s-o-b.
I almost completely forgot about DA VINCI’S DEMONS premiering last night if it wasn’t for some random web banner ad I saw in my virtual travels. In all honesty, this is the first time I’ve ever watched a show on STARZ. It might be more of a bias issue as I’m not particularly fond of their trendy use of the letter Z, but even attempting to watch SPARTACUS a time or two never really got me interested in it. STARZ always struck me as the bastard ginger kid of HBO and CINEMAX. While I might not be necessarily incorrect, I’m probably not giving it enough credit.
The premise of the show is very interesting. Taking Leonardo Da Vinci’s mysterious past and unaccounted years, weave a story involving him and some of the other major characters of the same period. For instance, he is close friends with Zoroaster and ends up meeting Dracula while working for the Medicis and secret societies to supposedly undermine the Vatican. It is a short run only ordered for eight episodes, but I have a feeling it will be ordered for more and possibly be a suitable replacement for the recently ended SPARTACUS.
So how was it? Much more inside! Continue reading