Sunday, October 20, 2013

Drop Dead Diva: One More Thing...

The irony of the "Stacy is so...kind!" comments flooding in during episode 5.10 "The Kiss" was not lost on me. Considering this is the same person who fooled around with her co-star, got a big head, alienated her friends, attacked a real star, and kissed Grayson, all while dating Fred in season 3, makes Stacy the epitome of stank. However, when Fred returned to Heaven and took her memory of him, she got what I consider a restart on her life and from all the selfish choices she had made. I'll admit, Jane kissing Grayson on her wedding day to Owen was vile. However, she tried to make true amends to Owen (who made some mistakes of his own during the engagement period) and give him space to decide what he wanted to do moving forward. Therefore, the writers' current attempt to make Jane seem like the lowest of the low, in a perpetual state of atonement, while everyone around seems to commend Stacy's choice to get knocked up by and begin a relationship with her best friend (and roomate's) ex-fiance, is sloppy writing at its finest. The ratings have plummeted and I'm not surprised. No viewer appreciates their intelligence being insulted; especially not this viewer. This season has three more episodes with the season finale 5.13 titled "Jane's Secret Revealed." That seems to imply all Heaven is about to break loose with the possibility of a return from Fred not too hard to imagine. At this point, a cameo from Fred or Jane getting feisty and standing up for herself are the only two things that could really resuscitate this show for me. I don't need to see Jane ride off into the sunset with some man because, honestly, none of the former suitors of Jane are above par to me. And I think Jane has lost a lot of herself (x2) in her quest to pin down a love. We'll see what these next episodes hold. We shall also see if DDD gets a renewal for next summer....

Monday, October 14, 2013

Drop Dead Diva: Pain and Jane

In a Facebook Q&A with Drop Dead Diva creator Josh Berman last night, Berman asked fans to give him four more episodes to wrap up the current dysfunctional storyline, which has been alienating many viewers, revolving around the capricious love triangle between Jane, Owen, and Stacy.  If it takes four more episodes, on top of the five already aired episodes, to tie up a storyline which has played out like a tasteless soap opera, you've most likely jumped the shark and I imagine the wrap-up will just be a cliffhanging ploy to get fans to tune in for season 6, pending renewal. As I posted on the DDD Facebook page, ever since Fred left, the show has lost a many of its moral elements and no longer depicts characters attempting to better themselves. The season started off strong with the return of Old Jane (Natalie Hall) and I would very much love to see her return. However, lately DDD has felt like a relay race. Often there will be a very promising storyline within reach, and then it is released in favor of a more melodramatic, unappealing storyline. Case in point:

·         Stacy established her own mature identity with the Pakery, an original idea merging cakes and pies. However, she then gets discouraged, sells the Pakery and, on a whim, decides she wants to be a mother. She slithers back into Jane/Deb’s (love)life, asking Owen for his sperm. Her donor choice is also glaringly questionable considering Owen’s heart related health issues which she was privy to when Owen left Jane high and dry immediately after their engagement. Stacy clearly has no life of her own outside of Jane’s bubble to find a new beau to make babies with. She, more than Jane, should be out on blind dates.

·         Fred is back on “soul return” desk duty, but did he retain all of his memories from his time on earth? Can he still see what’s going on in Jane’s life from above? Just find a way to bring back Fred, even if only recurring.

·         Brittany, aka Old Jane, had her own personality and ended up connecting with Jane in a positive way. And though their paths probably shouldn’t cross too often considering the body-switching circumstances, if we have to sit through Grayson reuniting with his pregnant ex-fiancĂ©e, we could use some more Jane/Brittany time.

·         Last season Harrison and Kim made a baby and Harrison made her partner. This season? Harrison is written off like a deadbeat dad and boyfriend who essentially chooses one child over the other, leaves his pregnant girlfriend high and dry, and turns his back on the firm it took him years to establish.

·         The sassiness of Terri has barely seen the light of day this season. However, her scene during the “hostile takeover” phone call last night was a refreshing escape from the gloomy scene of Jane confronting Owen and Stacy on a date, while subsequently getting her car stolen.

·         Just when Luke was trying to be a better guardian angel to jane, Paul comes along and is so much more self-absorbed than Luke ever was that it’s hard to take his role seriously or believe that he finished baking upstairs.

·         The lack of any musical dream sequences or comedic guest stars has eliminated much of the unique, quirky nature of the show.

·         Madchen Amick’s character Gina Blunt appeared to be an evil counterpart to the guardian angel, Luke. It would have been interesting to explore the opposite end of the spectrum of “dark side” characters attempting to thwart the work of the angels.

Many viewers defend the chaos of this season of DDD citing that this type of love triangle dysfunction is reality. Well, last I checked, souls popping into lifeless bodies at the press of the big “return” key in the sky isn’t realistic, so I’ll take my DDD with a little less soap opera overkill and a little more quirky fun which originally made the show a hit. Last week saw the lowest ratings for Drop Dead Diva in all 5 seasons, so hopefully Berman has some aces up his sleeve to resuscitate this show.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Supernatural 9.1 "I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here" Recap (Spoilers)

“THE ANGELS HAVE FALLEN!” I literally can’t watch that Supernatural 8.23 scene and not hear Gerard Butler’s voice in my head from Olympus Has Fallen. The season 9 premiere of Supernatural was jam packed with the humor, action, mythology, and brotherly bond true fans have grown to love and appreciate from the show over the last 9 years. The episode was well paced with Dean, Sam and Castiel going through separate crises, with scenes interspersed throughout with Sam and Dean together.

Revenge of the Fallen: The fallen angel community is gunning for Castiel, believing him to be the source of their predicament. As angels do their best Patrick Swayze, roaming around in search of vessels, they also deal with the major identity crisis that comes with losing their grace and attempting to find their way in a world they have to share with the same humans many resent. Castiel is also thrust into his humanity, experiencing pain and the inability to heal instantly. In an extremely comedic scene, Castiel uses the bass in his voice to order a biker off of a payphone. When that doesn’t work, Castiel comes to the harsh reality that placing his fingers and hand on another man’s forehead only results in the response, “first I’m going to finish my call. Then I’m going to stab you.” In a sequence of events that play out like the film Misery, Castiel meets a fellow angel named Hail who looks to Castiel as an Obi-Wan of sorts. She then knocks him out and later tells him that she plans to take over his vessel because hers is too weak to contain her angelic essence. Cas puts on his seatbelt and crashes the car, throwing Hail out of the windshield and leaving her body a tattered mess. She threatens to put out an APB to all angels about his location if he doesn’t give her his body, forcing Cas to stab and kill her. Nobody puts trenchcoat baby in a corner! 

Can you hear me now?: While in the hospital with a comatose Sam, Dean sends out a city-wide prayer to any angels in hearing distance to come and help Sam. A hottie on a bus, a businessman and a man on a tractor all appear to hear and respond to the prayer. However, angel businessman assaults Dean trying to find out where Castiel is hiding. Angel hottie stops the assault long enough for Dean to stab the other. I don’t remember seeing Footloose arrive on his tractor. It’ll probably take him a minute… My Dollhouse boo, Tahmoh Penikett, guest starred as fallen angel hottie, Ezekiel. In Hebrew, Ezekiel means “May God strengthen him” and as we saw in this episode, Dean implores Ezekiel to heal Sammy and revive him from his coma. Little did Dean know that a deeper battle for the will to live was being waged inside Sam’s own head… Sam’s head is a bit of a clusterfuzz. Then again, he has died five times, ingested mass amounts of demon blood, gone to hell, lost his soul, and then had it returned at warp speed, practically ripping his head apart. If you remember from the season 8 finale, Sam now believes that he has been a burden to his brother and the world. He was more than willing to sacrifice himself in the final of the Dante Inferno type trials, and could not understand Dean’s desire for him to survive. It was a heart wrenching scene of Sam acknowledging and regretting making bad choices leading to Dean’s disappointment. Dean, however, reassures Sam that he is his rock and the only reason he keeps going. [Insert epic hug]. Visions of Dean and Bobby danced in Sam’s head as Dean represented Sam’s desire to survive and Bobby represented Sam’s desire for eternal rest. It’s always a joy to have Bobby back on screen with the boys. The bond and chemistry between the three is so close that even them snuggly sharing the front seat of a ’67 Chevy Impala was only slightly awkward. After Bobby takes Sam to a place where he can throw in the towel, Dean stabs Bobby through the heart and Sam let’s Dean (his desire to survive) go. Julian Richings definitely plays the coolest depiction of Death I’ve seen in a long time. (I wouldn’t bump into him on the street, though.) Death tells Sam that the prospect of taking him away is a true honor. Sam tells Death that if he goes he does not want to be resurrected ever again.

Choices: Ezekiel informs Dean that he can heal Sam if Dean allows him to merge with Sam and heal them both from the inside. Initially Dean is against the idea of possessing Sam with anything, but relents upon realizing it’s his only hope. Ezekiel appears in Sam’s mind as a vision of Dean. Sam unwittingly gives Ezekiel permission to enter his body and Dean once again has a “Sammich”: Sam on the outside, but a very monotone entity running the show from the inside.

It will be interesting to see what happens when vessels are unable to contain the angels. However, we now know that Castiel's vessel is coveted since it is strong enough to contain his angelic essence. But there's no angel like Cas; only he could make drinking a bottle of water possess more depth than most actors' death scenes.

What did you think of the season premiere of Supernatural season 9? Are you as excited about the rest of the season as I am?!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Drop Dead Diva 5.9 "Trust Me"

Good evening guys and dolls! The fall return of Drop Dead Diva premiered tonight and it definitely started off in full force. The title "Trust Me" was pretty fitting, considering Jane asks Owen to trust her at least seven times throughout the episode. Jane has been plagued with dreams of Grayson and Nicole making out and getting hot and heavy in elevators while she's standing right there trying to break it up like a middle school hallway monitor.

With the fate of the firm hanging in the balance, Jane, Owen and Grayson attempt to keep up appearances so that they don't lose clients to other firms. Jane takes on a case for a woman providing shelter to abused women, while she herself is blocked from an inheritance which could be of use to them. Grayson defends a young man who identifies himself as a vampire, apparently speaks in Parseltongue, and was removed from a flight. Jane misses a clause in the inheritance contract which results in all of the inheritance going to the skeezeball brother. Emotions ran high in the hallway as Owen reprimanded Jane for her mistake, the client declared she would sue the firm, Parker's representative Tuttle chimed in about the impending downfall of the firm, and there was lots and lots of yelling.

During her case, Jane finally breaks down on the stand, in what she would later claim was acting, about her law firm family being in danger and Owen being the potential father of her best friend's baby. I was in tears and was glad that the elephant in the room was finally addressed -in a room full of strangers and Jane's colleagues. After Jane's breakdown, Tuttle informs her and Owen that Parker removed himself as a partner, reiterating the fact that he turned his back on the firm and Jane, who you may remember took a bullet for him.

Surprisingly, Jane's client was in on Jane's "act" on the stand, giving Jane the opportunity to address another technicality in the inheritance clause allowing her client to take full control. Owen promotes Jane to partner and pretty boy Grayson momentarily attempts to play the martyr as he tells Jane of his relationship with Nicole, and adds that a guy can only take so much rejection. Boo hoo, Grayson. I don't think a guy who jumps from woman to woman is too concerned with rejection, so go have your pity party in a corner while Jane has her promotion party. Overwhelmed with emotions, Jane goes to her rooftop spot where Paul finally decides to be a guardian angel. Apparently when Kim's away, he can actually do his job. Paul throws caution to the wind and advises Jane to live her life however she wants, guardian angel punishment be darned.

Though I'm not happy that Jane's love life seems to stay in a perpetual state of limbo, I was right there with this episode of DDD up until the point in the show when I had to contain my vomit. Stacy tells Jane that she's pregnant with Owen's baby and then Owen tears up the amendment he had drafted to the donor contract, essentially saying he wants to be acknowledged as father to their baby, not just as a sperm donor. Upon learning that he will be a father, Owen and Stacy embrace and then start to make out, in the most chemistry-less scene ever, because Stacy wouldn't be Stacy unless she were swapping spit with one of Jane's loves.

Did you enjoy the fall premiere of Drop Dead Diva? What do you think will happen now that Stacy and Owen have crossed yet another line? What are you hoping to see in this second half of the season?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Episode 1.2

After the series premiere of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. last week, I wrote a post on the 5 things fans needed to know about the new hit show. This week, after being only marginally impressed with episode 1.2, I am introducing 5 things the show writers need to know in order to enhance the show and keep the momentum high:    

1. While I understand there’s a pace to things, Agent May is an interesting character with an intriguing backstory which needs to be touched on more, rather than half of her screen time being filled with silent seething in the pilot seat. Viewers know she doesn’t want to be returning to the field, but why? Why was she initially choosing to be on desk duty? No one likes desk duty. I’d also like to see more instances of why the agency refers to her as “The Calvary.” That has a nice Wyatt Earp feel to it. Very interesting character development potential there.  

2. Fitz and Simmons need to delve deeper into their inner geeks without so much mousy dialogue. With an actual rocket scientist in the mix, that leaves the door wide open for more witty jokes and awesome science projects!  

3. Pairing two unappealing characters together for numerous scenes just makes certain parts of the episode…unappealing. I’m looking at you, scenes with Skye and Agent Ward. I read an article last week saying don’t be afraid to kill off non-essential characters. Go with that. I can’t help but roll my eyes whenever Skye is onscreen aiming for quippy when she’s altogether forgettable. It’s looking like Skye is going to be the traitor in the group, so she’s typically seen standing a part, receiving mysterious Rising Tide texts. Obviously that storyline will grow, but I’d appreciate her so much more if she were similar to the character of Bella from Supernatural. I hated that gal’s guts, but she played the role of antagonist/occasional, egocentric ally to Sam and Dean flawlessly, with just the right amount of sardonic banter. Oh and let’s never again compare Skye’s role as “consultant” to that of Tony Stark’s.  

4. Please don’t get to the point where you’re relying on end-episode surprises and Marvel nuggets to be your big draw. You’re better than that. I wasn’t too impressed with all of episode 1.2, but I stuck around because I knew a Marvel Universe cameo was planned.  

5. The thing about bad guys and villains is that they need to at least make a viewer’s butt cheeks pucker out of fear and/or excitement. If not, then they’re not doing their job and need to go back to Bad-Anon. Last night’s bad guys were pretty lame, although Agent Coulson’s marksmanship, Agent May kicking more butt, and Agent Ward employing a handy dandy bad guy repellent device were high points. They don’t have to be “super” villains, per se, (although that would be a great opportunity for Fitz and Simmons to utilize some more S.H.I.E.L.D. weaponry and technology) but they do need to be more challenging than the hole in the jet, which, let’s be honest, was the true adversary for our heroes last night.