My TV and Me

June 21, 2011

A tale of two finales, part one: The Killing

Filed under: reviews — Tags: — gina64 @ 4:03 pm

Who killed Rosie Larsen? After 13 episodes and almost as many red herrings, your guess is as good as mine.

AMC’s The Killing had its season 1 finale on Sunday, and I was left unimpressed. There is a lot – a LOT – of anger out there, but I don’t really feel as strongly as that. I think there’s a big part of me that knew they wouldn’t identify the killer by the end of the season. I’m just left feeling underwhelmed by the show overall, and a bit let down that it didn’t quite live up to what I thought it was going to be.

There are things about the show that I really like – the acting is fabulous; the setting and atmosphere and cinematography I love – but I think the writing leaves quite a bit to be desired (why the hell wouldn’t Stan just TELL Mitch that he bought that house?), and the pacing is WAY off. For instance, if they had intended on stringing this mystery out to another season – which I think they did all along – they should not have spent so much time on Bennett and that stupid Muslim/Somali thing, and should have done a much better job of fleshing out the characters – Linden, Holder and especially Rosie – early on, so that the viewer would have enjoyed watching even if they didn’t get the “ending” that they wanted. Instead they spent so much time on the Larsen’s grief that could have been better spent exploring Rosie’s life, talking to her friends more; they could and should have aired the Linden/Holder character episode, where they search for Jack, MUCH earlier in the season. Instead we got scene after scene of the Larsen misery – Mitch went from a sympathetic figure to freakin’ Lady Macbeth without any real frame of reference. Even after 13 episodes and all of that grief porn, we still don’t know very much about what the Larsen family was like before this happened. I want to like these people more than I do.

Despite all of my complaints, I did think that the finale was actually an enjoyable episode. I think people’s opinions greatly depend on what they expected from it. If you expected to find out who killed Rosie Larsen – as many did and were right to do so – you are pretty pissed right now. Many critics I read (Alan Sepinwall, Mo Ryan, James Poniewozik) have vowed to never watch the show again, they are so angry. Me, I’m OK with not knowing who killed Rosie at this point, and if there is a larger conspiracy afoot, that may – MAY – explain some of the more bizarre writing choices.

I did not like the development of Holder as a (possible) bad guy. Not because they didn’t lay the groundwork – they actually did for this twist, with the secret envelopes filled with cash, the weird pay phone call that Linden walked in on, the fact that he was just a lowly undercover Narc methhead who gets promoted to Homicide…it’s that we just spent an entire episode getting to know him and Linden better, and they seemed to portray him as a really decent guy. It really feels like a rug-pull to me and not earned properly.

What’s my theory at this point about the murder? To be honest, I don’t really have a fully-formed guess, just a vague notion that Gwen is involved and her father, the Senator, was driving the car that Holder got into at the end.

So, will I watch it next year to find out if I’m right? Yeah, I think I will.

A Tale of Two Finales, Part Two: Game of Thrones, coming soon.

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April 14, 2011

Chatter: An Idiot Abroad

Filed under: reviews — Tags: , , , , — gina64 @ 1:38 pm

I’m heading to the land of pints and crisps, of football hooligans and Royal Weddings, the home of the original Idiot Abroad, Karl Pilkington – yes, I’m going to England tomorrow! I’ll be in London for about 5 minutes – 3.5 days, actually – and will be back on Wednesday. Yay!

Before I go, a few things…

Speaking of Karl Pilkington, Science Channel has announced that they have ordered season 2 of An Idiot Abroad. Most excellent! In the first season, poor Karl was sent out in search of the 7 wonders of the world; season 2 will find him travelling the world to fulfill a “bucket list” of adventures. If you haven’t seen An Idiot Abroad, I strongly suggest you remedy that by catching up on the episodes here. It sometimes feels a bit cruel, what they put Karl through, but it’s all worth it for the little gems of “wisdom” he spouts.

The best show on television is back with a new episode tomorrow night at 9:00 – “Lysergic Acid Diethylamide” will find Walter and Peter taking an LSD trip into the mind of Olivia, in an attempt to free her of William Bell’s mental control. It looks like a doozy!

I still owe you 2 Fringe recaps, for “Stowaway” and “Bloodline”, and those will probably be done over Easter – at which point I will still be trailing by 2 episodes. Sorry about that.

I’ve been catching up on a couple of new series on my DVR: A&E’s Breakout Kings and FOX’s Chicago Code. I’ve seen all 6 episodes of Breakout Kings so far, and while it’s entertaining and easy to watch in a quick-paced sort of way, I don’t see much depth there. It’s basically another crime procedural. Chicago Code, on the other hand, I’ve only seen two episodes so far and its ongoing story of Chicago cops fighting city corruption in one of the most corrupt cities in the United States is far more engrossing. The acting and writing are exemplary, and Jennifer Beals nails her character’s Chicago accent. How good is it? It isn’t often that I tear up at the death of a tertiary character in the second episode ever – well done, show. I’m really looking forward to catching up on the story. (Made by the guys behind The Shield, Terriers, Lie to Me and The Unit)

I am completely enthralled by The Killing. I love everything about this show, and I mean everything. The lead character – homicide Detective Linden – is very Scully-ish and the actress who plays her (Meirelle Enos) has a powerfully quiet way about her; Michelle Forbes’s grieving mother Mitch is like an open wound (if she isn’t nominated for an Emmy, well, you know…); even the secondary characters, like Linden’s friend Reggie, is well cast. The pervasive, ominous sense of doom laying over the entire production is right up my alley. (I had a Twin Peak’s Sheriff’s Department mug back in the day) I love a good murder mystery, and after some online reading and some re-watching, I’ve come up with this theory:

Rosie was involved with a wealthy, older man (the expensive shoes). The wealthy, older man had some connection to the Waterfront Project (Mayor’s pet project). Perhaps there was an environmental issue (dead seal in the Pilot) that Rosie found out about. Powerful, wealthy, older man – or someone connected to him – kills Rosie to stop her from talking.

Rosie’s “friends” – Sterling, Jasper and Kriss – are mad at her, maybe because she’s dumping them for the older boyfriend, maybe she’s sleeping with Jasper’s dad. So they decide to make a video to embarrass her. Rosie goes to the dance, but ditches the witch costume and heads out to meet the older boyfriend. Sterling, Jasper and Kriss go down to the cage and make a fake video of Rosie having sex with two boys. We never actually see Rosie’s face, or the boys actually doing anything to her. We just hear them saying things like, “You like that, Rosie?” Sterling is wearing Rosie’s pink wig. Perhaps she has a massive nose bleed that accounts for all the blood. The three friends send the video out onto the internet before they realize that Rosie is missing.

What do you think?

I may post a few items before I leave. If I don’t, this is goodbye until next week. Have a great weekend!

April 3, 2011

Reminder

Filed under: miscellaneous stuff — Tags: — gina64 @ 5:52 pm

The Killing‘s 2-hour series premiere is on tonight, at 9:00 on AMC!!

April 1, 2011

Today’s Tweets

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — gina64 @ 3:42 pm

Via @televisionaryTrue Blood returns on…Sunday, June 26 at 9:00 P.M. OF COURSE IT IS.

Via @televisionaryThe Skull Beneath the Skin: An Advance Review of the First Three Episodes of AMC’s The Killing (I haven’t read it because I don’t want to be spoiled, but will come back to it after)

Via @ScienceChannel“IT’S HERE! Spend your April Fools’ Day with your favorite fool – #KarlPilkington. The #AnIdiotAbroad marathon begins now.” (2:00 PM today) If you haven’t seen it, you should. Fascinating (and funny) stuff.

Via @moryanAOLTV’s Video Mashup salute to Butt-Kicking TV Women

March 30, 2011

New Shows!

Filed under: tv news, video — Tags: , , , , — gina64 @ 3:40 pm

I’ve got three new shows coming up that I am extremely excited about, not only because they look really good and have good buzz, but also because I think they all may actually have a chance of lasting for more than a single 13-episode season (RIP my beloved Rubicon and Terriers).

The first is called The Killing, which will air on AMC, beginning with a 2-hour series premiere this Sunday, April 3 at 9:00 PM. Jace Lacob, Televisionary and columnist for The Daily Beast, wrote a very positive piece about it. Here’s a sample quote:

In The Killing, everyone is concealing secrets. “Even a seemingly innocent victim, this dead 17-year-old, had a secret life no one knew about,” said Executive Producer Veena Sud, who comes from both crime procedurals (Cold Case) and serialized drama (Push, Nevada).

While The Killing—based on the insanely successful Danish series Forbrydelsen—doesn’t have dancing dwarves, cryptic giants, or a log lady, what it does share with David Lynch and Mark Frost’s Twin Peaks is a harrowing approach to murder and a central mystery that will likely prove to be addictive viewing.

In both cases, it’s the gruesome murder of a seemingly perfect teenage girl that kicks off the action and the gloomy Pacific Northwest (Vancouver stands in for Seattle in The Killing) serves as a backdrop for an engrossing murder mystery where every character, from the girl’s grief-stricken parents (played by Michelle Forbes and Brent Sexton) and her classmates to local politicos and their aides, are under suspicion.

Sounds like what Harper’s Island should have been, or at least what I thought it was going to be: Good.

Next up: TNT’s Falling Skies. Will this be the “anti-V“? God, I hope so! It premieres on Sunday, June 19 at 9:00 PM (that’s 2 so far that are on the same night at the same time…)

Pajiba has put up a good piece on Falling Skies – here’s a quote from them:

I sat in on a panel for “Falling Skies” at Comic Con, and the trailer looked pretty generic, the show runners and costars were all generic and saying the scripted things they’re supposed to be saying, and yet Noah Wyle sold the show’s premise to the crowd. He was unkempt, straggly hair and knotted beard, he kept interrupting with weird jokes about how of course this is on TNT, because everything he is in is broadcast on TNT at least on reruns. He cracked a couple times about how Ted Turner owned everyone of them on stage. But every time he spoke about the show, he spoke in this half-distracted, almost haunted way, rambling on quietly as if to himself about how his character was a professor of colonial American history, and how it made him strangely suited to lead. When he talked to himself about how sometimes a determined enough little group could break an invader’s will, or the hard decisions you have to make when speed matters and the weak can’t move fast enough … well, it felt like you were listening to someone telling Adama what it had been like back on Caprica before the rescue came.

Faint praise, at best, but my interest is piqued. Especially after seeing the new trailer:

Finally, the show I’ve been most looking forward to: HBO’s Game of Thrones, based on the popular series of books by George R. R. Martin (I have not read them, but I do have the first book waiting for me on my nightstand). Honestly, I don’t know what it’s about exactly, except that it’s a sword and sorcery-style epic and Sean Bean is in it. That’s enough for me! Actually, HBO describes the series this way:

So when will Game of Thrones premiere? On what night and time will it air? The season premiere will air on Sunday, April 17 at 9:00 PM. All three of these shows are going to be on Sunday nights at 9:00 PM. This is going to call for some seriously creative DVR-ing.

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