18 February 2012

The Watcher: 02/12/12 - 02/18/12

BEING HUMANS02E05 - "Addicted to Love" (13 February 2012) - The U.S. Being Human is on fire right now. Each of the characters are being tempted to indulge in their darkest urges, and to watch them cross the line, and what happens after that – it’s great television. I absolutely love it when characters we know and love are pushed into crazy situations and make drastic choices, so naturally, I’m enjoying the hell out of this season right now. Sally’s addiction to inhabit bodies and get her sex on – thank you, by the way creators, for giving us the opportunity for Sally to show off her pleasing body outside sweats – is becoming more and more dangerous for her spiritual self, and her human host. Nora has the most interesting development, as the ex that scarred her years ago resurfaces, and, in wolf form, she decides to…take care of it. The final moments of the episode, as Nora wakes up next to her fellow wolfs, the slow panning right to left, and the serene smile on Nora’s face – it’s electrifying and chilling all at the same time. She’s in a very dark place, and I can’t wait to see where this choice leads her. Aidan is getting back to his blood-addicted roots, immersing himself in the desires Suren promises. The chemistry between Witwer and Lachman is exhilarating, and these two onscreen make for some riveting television. More and more, Sam Witwer impresses with his portrayal of Aidan. And finally, Josh’s animal side is slowly taking over as he beats the snot out of Nora’s ex. His darkness was inevitable, and quite enjoyable, but I wish there was a bit more lead in to this development. Overall, Being Human has been one hell of a pleasure week after week, and season 2 has been nothing short of outstanding. Score: 9.7/10

BEING HUMAN [U.K.]S04E02 - "Being Human 1955" (12 February 2012) - With cast members biting the dust one by one, it’s weird times for Being Human, but surprisingly, with none of the original cast save one, the show somehow, miraculously, still works. Series creator Toby Whithouse introduced the ‘War Child’ arc in the premiere, as George and Nina’s baby girl will herald the end of all vampires, as prophesied in the oldest vampire text. That’s heavy stuff, and a far cry from the central mission statement of the first series: monsters trying to be human. Yet against this backdrop of a child with a great destiny, the product of two werewolves, and a whole clan of vampires wanting that child very much dead, the series does stay committed to that original mission, with the same problems but some new faces. It’s always a curious time for any show when the cast gets a major shakeup, and the Being Human crew must be commended for their amazing job integrating these new characters into the narrative in a way that feels organic in a way, and, most importantly, works. “Being Human 1955” brilliantly shines light to three new characters, and in the span of one hour, grabbed me into their story, and genuinely got me all worked up with the abrupt – but sweet – exit of two of those characters in the climax. The original werewolf and vampire we knew and loved for three seasons are gone. We have newbies Tom and Leo (with the always hilarious Annie) battling their own demons, fighting the good fight George and Mitchell did for three years, and it works. New cast, same show, and I can’t wait to see where this goes. Score: 9.1/10

COMIC BOOK MENS01E01 - "Junk" (12 February 2012) - I like Kevin Smith, and I like comic books. Natural fit, really, no? "Junk" is the premiere of Smith's six-episode AMC series Comic Book Men, and for the most part, I found it a pleasant hour of television. Nothing ground-breaking or amazing per sae, but it was simply a solid hour. The workers at The Secret Stash definitely know their stuff, and a lot of the series' fun derives from these guys simply talking about comic book characters in a fashion very similar to Smith movie scripts. That's great, I love that. But, of course, the show can't just be about grown men talking comics, so there's the pawning component of the show. It's interesting in that it gives screentime to merchandise and rare memorabilia I wouldn't know ever existed, and to see some of this obscure stuff - such as a old Batman and Robin first edition drawing - is a real pleasure, but judging from this premiere episode alone, Comic Book Men isn't an instant grab. The employees know their stuff, sure, but some can also be obnoxious or come across too assholey, which, in its own way, I guess, generates good TV. Overall, I'll tune in for its entire freshman run - after all, six episodes is nothing - but I'm excited to see where Smith takes the format in successive episodes. One final, random thought: Bryan (?) looks like the unmasked Michael Myers in Rob Zombie's HalloweenII: hillbilly freakiness, son, hillbilly freakiness. Score: 7.1/10

FRINGES04E13 - "A Better Human Being" (17 February 2012) - Olivia has all her memories back! Yes! And Peter, god bless him, the willpower to not just grab the gorgeous Anna Torv and smooch her like crazy – he’s a man amongst men. The big Case of the Week I can honestly say I didn’t pay too much attention to; it simply wasn’t all that engaging or unique. Everything was about Peter and Olivia, and I ate those scenes up, and was very much satisfied. The final scene with Olivia and Peter in the car is the most interesting of all. I won’t get into timelines and all that jazz here, but if we are to understand that the timeline Peter wants to get back to no longer exists (as I understand, but yet how did Olivia gain all those memories?), then Peter is perfectly justified in kissing her in the end. What makes up a person? If it’s their memories, then by all means, this Olivia Dunham is exactly the Olivia Dunham he was fighting to see again. He even remarks how he can see her in her eyes, his Olivia. For the last seven episodes, Peter’s been restraining himself from getting too close because she didn’t remember him, didn’t have any knowledge of him, so she was different in that respect, but altogether the same. So, then, is it memories and experiences that make a person? Blah blah whatever. Fringe is getting really frakking interesting. How did Olivia get her memories back? Why? What’s this FauxNina doing and why is Cortexiphan such a big problem? Etc, etc. So much to do in nine more episodes! Fringe, I love you. Score: 9.0/10

JUSTIFIED S03E05 - "Thick as Mud" (14 February 2012) - Dewey Crow, you gave us the single best line of the series, I think: “You mean I had four kidneys?” What a perfect, perfect way to close out for an act break. I’m sure plenty will argue with me for saying this, but season three, I feel, has been far more coherent and enjoyable than the much-praised about season two. At the very least, I feel there’s more interesting stories and character dynamics going on. Boyd’s seemingly directionless enterprise, the introduction of two villains who are smart bastards, Raylan screentime which feels more than normal, more funny bits (in each episode, there’s definitely plenty of laugh-out-loud moments), and the promise of more exciting stories. It’s a good time to be a Justified fan, and if you ain’t yet, get your arse in gear. And finally, how Raylan dispatches (super conveniently, but I’ll let it slide) the bad girl at the end – priceless. Score: 8.7/10

REVENGES01E15 - "Chaos" (15 February 2012) - Not nearly as fulfilling as I hoped it would be. On the bright side, Tyler is finally, finally and forever gone! He overstayed his welcome by his second episode, so I did quite the victory dance with the (rather obvious) reveal that it wasn’t Daniel, but Tyler who is now with the deadness. Since the premiere opened with someone getting killed, I expected this development to be a major game changer for the series, but instead, it really isn’t. “Chaos” could have been any other episode. So this is what we have: Amanda is bleeding, possibly from a bullet fired by Tyler, and she didn’t kill him, so who did? Whose hand was it that we saw in the teaser? What the hell is Emily Thorn’s Japanese master doing with Amanda? Are Japanese Master Guy and Computer Guy in cahoots? And when will Emily get her revenging on again? Overall, decent episode, but could have been so much better. Score: 7.6/10

SUPERNATURALS07E15 - "Repo Man" (17 February 2012) - Good, solid episode, made worthwhile entirely by Mark Pellegrino’s return presence as Nick/Lucifer tormenting Sam’s noggin. It’s not as fun as “Slice Girls”, but the story was interesting. A man who liked being possessed by a demon and seeking to reunite with it, and Sam’s wall now officially broken and all hell loose in there. I genuinely hope the writers don’t cop out with Sam and the Wall, because this is a very big story that shouldn’t just be casually addressed. It’s already a miracle Sam’s mind didn’t roast as Death predicted in season six, that he’s even remotely able to function, so the consequences of that wall breaking better be severe and presented with the remainder of this season. Score: 8.0/10

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