Television Review

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Breaking Bad's big "Felina" finale

Posted By on Thu, Oct 3, 2013 at 3:12 PM

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Breaking Bad is the most complete story I’ve ever seen told on television. Period. No other show has ever stayed the course with one character, telling his story and not diverging into B storylines as well as this. It was a tightly wound, meticulous Greek tragedy from beginning to end. No wasted dialogue, no superfluous plot lines. It was as pure as Heisenberg’s blue meth.

Walter White died a few seasons ago. Not physically, but emotionally and spiritually. Heisenberg died in the desert with poor Hank Schrader. It was Mr. Lambert, he of hair and beard, wearing the same green shirt and khaki slacks as Walt did in the pilot, who died in the Nazi meth lab while BadFinger’s “Baby Blue” played on. In typical Breaking Bad fashion every I was dotted and every T was crossed before his demise. He even got to say goodbye to Holly and gave Skyler a sense of closure.

I’ve seen some say the finale felt too exact. That wrapping up every thread was somehow unsatisfying. If the series had ended with Ozymandias or Granite State that would have been fine. They were great episodes. This series was the story of one man, beginning to end. His life and his death. “Felina” was the finale this wonderful show deserved. I wish I could take credit for this line, but I have to give credit to my lovely girlfriend who beautifully summed up the final scene, saying “Walt died in the only place he ever felt alive.”

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Tensions heat up in Breaking Bad's "To'Hajiilee"

Posted By on Fri, Sep 13, 2013 at 5:56 PM

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Michelle MacLaren is trying to kill us.

Or at least give us irregular heartbeats. The 48-year-old Canadian director has tried before with episodes like season three’s “One Minute”, but we all knew, or had a pretty good idea, Hank wasn’t going to die in that shootout with the cousins. It was clear then that the show was heading toward a Walt vs Hank showdown at some point. In “To’Hajiilee” Hank has his moment. He has triumphed. He is at his highest while Walt is at his absolute lowest, handcuffed, dejected and beaten. As viewers of great drama know, when a character has too much good going his way it’s bound to come crashing down.

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Friday, September 6, 2013

Breaking Bad: The Jesse Situation

Posted By on Fri, Sep 6, 2013 at 7:11 AM

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The Jesse Situation

For as much as everyone wanted to see Hank confront Walt, having Jesse do the same is what’s ultimately going to be satisfying. We as an audience have more emotionally invested in Jesse, who has become the heart of the show. It’s an unlikely path considering originally he wasn’t supposed to live past the first season. It’s a credit to the writing staff who has found ways to keep his character important and interesting, and to Aaron Paul, who has picked up two Emmy Awards (with a probable third in a few weeks).

The thing is, we don’t know what the hell Jesse is going to do. Which is the point, I guess. At the beginning of “Rabid Dog” Jesse is in a rage, ready to burn down the White house until Hank intervenes. By the end he’s calm and collected with a new plan formulated telling Walt he’s coming for him and is going to get him “where he really lives”. There are three things Walt cares about: his family, his money, his ego. Let’s break them down and try and predict where Jesse will attack.

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Breaking Bad: Three key characters (who are not Walt)

A look at Jesse, Lydia and Skyler and how their roles are crucial to the show's plot.

Posted By on Tue, Aug 20, 2013 at 4:45 PM

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Instead of doing a standard recap of Sunday’s episode of Breaking Bad – you watched it and don’t need me going over everything, plus there are too many exceptional ones out there already – let’s talk about where things are likely to go from here by highlighting a few key characters from this week’s episode.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Mad Men Season 6 finale — has Don changed?

Posted By on Wed, Jun 26, 2013 at 1:46 PM

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As Don Draper looked at Sally, standing in front of the Pennsylvania whore house of his formative years, I thought to myself, has he changed? Is he capable of it?

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Friday, May 17, 2013

The Office ends on a high note

Posted By on Fri, May 17, 2013 at 6:14 PM

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I’ve watched a lot of shows to completion. All of them have one thing in common; I used DVD or Netflix to finish them. Until now. The Office is the first show I’ve kept up with in it’s entirety week by week. As ridiculous as it sounds, I’ve grown up with the show. It’s spanned virtually all of my adult life as I transitioned from a student to working in an office not too dissimilar from Dunder Mifflin.

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Friday, November 23, 2012

Killer Karaoke: Singing plus humiliation plus Steve-O equals fun!

Killer Karaoke is part The Voice, part Fear factor, and all guilty pleasure.

Posted By on Fri, Nov 23, 2012 at 4:00 AM

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There's something wildly entertaining about watching people make complete asses out of themselves for a chance at winning a small sum of money. It probably has to do with being a 21st-century American living in a society that gets its jollies from the humiliation of others. And so we have Killer Karaoke (9 p.m. Fridays, premiering Nov. 23 on TruTV), the new game show hosted by Jackass' loveable self-torturer Steve-O, because why not?

Killer Karaoke claims to be the only game show to ever combine the art of singing with Fear Factor-esque challenges. (I didn't fact check their claim, but I take them at their word.) Three pairs of contestants are faced with the task of singing a song while performing a stunt — walking through a patch of cacti with impairment goggles on, getting immersed in a tank of snakes, then getting immersed in a tank of larger snakes, etc. — for just the chance of winning up to $10,000. If instead you end up winning a shade over $5,000 for your troubles, what's the difference really? We're basically splitting hairs. The live audience votes after each challenge for which of the two contestants should move onto the final round, where the remaining three compete for the cash.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tasty TV Treats: the flava of Britney, Barney and Ava

Posted By on Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Summer is officially over and although that means no more beach days, short shorts or summer flings it also means it's the beginning of the fall TV season. This TV season brings old favorites, new love triangles and lots of break-ups. Curious what is going on this week in TV? Want to know who breaks-up and who makes-up? Questioning if your favorite couple is going to finally tie the knot? Read on fellow TV addicts but beware spoiler haters, don't cross this line.

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Monday, July 9, 2012

Perception is 9/10 of the law

TNT's hit-to-be takes a different look at the procedural crime drama.

Posted By on Mon, Jul 9, 2012 at 2:40 PM

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PERCEIVING IS BELIEVING: Dr. Daniel Pierce (Eric McCormack) gets up in your mental grill with FBI agent Kate Moretti (Racheal Leigh Cook).
  • PERCEIVING IS BELIEVING: Dr. Daniel Pierce (Eric McCormack) gets up in your mental grill with FBI agent Kate Moretti (Rachael Leigh Cook) in TNT's Perception.
"Reality is a figment of your imagination."

OK… Go on.

"The neuro-chemical impulses fired when we're dreaming or fantasizing or hallucinating are indistinguishable from the ones banging around inside our skulls when we actually experience those events. So, if what we perceive is often wrong, how can we ever know what's real and what isn't?"

Pretty heavy stuff to open up the next big-hit procedural crime drama, but it's just one of the reasons why TNT's Perception is breathing some new life into a stagnant genre.

Say hello to Dr. Daniel Pierce (Eric McCormack), an eccentric neuroscience professor who also happens to be a paranoid-schizophrenic; think John Nash from A Beautiful Mind meets Dr. House. Former star student Kate Moretti (Rachael Leigh Cook), an FBI agent, recruits Pierce to help solve difficult cases. While he possesses a brilliant handle on human behavior and the inner workings of the mind, he also walks around with a head full of noise.

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dallas: Game of phonies

The relaunched '80s hit is a worthy successor to the original.

Posted By on Thu, Jun 21, 2012 at 12:07 PM

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The premiere episode of the 14th season of Dallas — it's not a reboot, mind you, but a continuation 20 years removed — begins much like the first-ever episode that kick-started the five-part miniseries that was season 1.

It begins with a marriage.

The marriage has everything and nothing to do with the grander plot. It’s a muted statement of affection in the Southfork universe that is buttressed by hate and distress, and it’s a single chess move in an as yet unseen game with more players than you'll care to remember by the halfway mark of the season. Christopher Ewing (Jesse Metcalfe), the son of Patrick Duffy's gold-hearted Bobby Ewing, is the soon-to-be groom of Rebecca (Julie Gonzalo), mirroring in reverse the marriage between Bobby and Pam Ewing at the very start of the original series.

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