Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Private Practice: Season 4, Episode 17 "A Step Too Far" Review

When it comes to commitments, many are at odds for several reasons. We try to tell ourselves that we are in a particular situation, because we give in to that selfish desire. It's human and Addison has embarked on that journey for a long time, but here she showed how mature she was and admitted it to herself. "A Step Too Far" definitely embarked on the journey of going a bit too far on the selfish.

A husband who turns an affair into a righteous act of love, manages to tear two sisters' relationship apart. Cooper suggesting to Sheldon that he could lose Violet if he forged a relationship with one critic opposing Violet, boldly telling Sheldon that he should not be happy because of Violet. Then we have Sam who once protested to Addison that they should be together, that he loved her and he wanted to be with her, and when they finally are together he goes a step too far and gives into temptation, limiting Addison to just that. If he truly loved her, he would want her happiness and he would not be so cold, but we know what it means to go a step too far to get the 'wants' and the 'needs', sometimes not even for the benefit of others.

Private Practice has been my favorite series since season 1, mainly because of how much Addison's conflicted character and human flaws made her out to be interesting. Lately Addison has annoyed me, based on the decisions she has made before. I was not for an AddiSam relationship, but this episode brought Addison back into perspective for me. She showed her flaws and she owned up to it. She is loving and she wants to have love. Which made me question why she stood with Sam after his kiss with Naomi. Saying nothing happened is not enough, because it points out that something did happen emotionally. Sam isn't perfect, but he is as flawed as anyone else and is still finding out what his values mean to him. Addison wants a child and he cannot just tell her that he has a family already and make that be enough. He cannot tell Addison to wait. Addison is a passionate person and she needs to have someone in her life that brings that out in her.

I believe this was a comeback for Private Practice, because lately they have resorted to fillers that make up the series. As much as Addison's mother brought perspective into her life, everything surrounding that storyline was held up by a string. So this episode had exceptional writing and beautiful acting. I enjoyed the two cases, they underlined conflict with self and morals. The case with the pregnant sister and her affair with the husband crossed many unethical boundaries that could not be simplified within this hour. The husband's actions felt like a slap in the face, he gave into his selfish desires and estranged sisters because of it. Had the circumstances ended with the sister taking that child away and leaving with the husband, I would have been enraged beyond words. I was happy that they came to an agreement and did not make the child suffer through the case of adulthood mystery that lead to unnecessary fights. I was disappointed in the husband, even as he was upset with his wife through their arguments, his actions were cruel and he was willing to take away the one thing his wife wanted. Any man willing to hurt someone like that should be looked over thoroughly. Even with love that self indulgence should turn away anyone. The wife came out victorious in the end still opening the door for her sister to be an aunt.

The second case with Cooper was heart warming; the boy with the dilemma of choosing between a scholarship and his life. Cooper was pushed on taking risks and choosing that the end should justify the means. At one point I thought Cooper would have overreacted and the boy's risks would have been taken as an eye opener for Cooper. Instead, Cooper's concern panned out and the boy was left in a coma state after disregarding Cooper. Then to top it off, he did not even have to wrestle at all, because he had his scholarship already. What a sad story, had he listened to Cooper, her would have been celebrating anyway. Sometimes we often wonder whether these risks would be worthwhile, and if we leap a hard fall would follow, or would we simply land on our feet?

Violet's book has been coming and the picture taken by Pete was the defining moment of all chapters. This storyline seemed somewhat isolated. I am happy for Violet, the fact that she could turn all her challenges into a book that helps others is inspiring for anyone. She has often sought help from her colleagues through her decision making and the claims from the critic was probably on point, but harsh. Knowing the critic's meaning of her words brought clarity, and Violet has done some crazy stunts, but it makes her as complicated as anyone else around her, she's not perfect either.

Oh and Sheldon, you could date whoever you want, Violet would get over it. Oh and Cooper well, it's interesting to have you comparing yourself with others achievements. It was good to have Charlotte by his side. Since Audra McDonald is leaving Private Practice this season, her absence this hour was not unexpected, but her appearances should point more towards her exit. That would put a dent in a Naomi and Sam reconnection. We've have hardly seen Maya since she gave birth, I wonder if those storyline would come into play. How would Naomi leave her granddaughter behind. Last tie she mentioned helping others in a different way, maybe she might do that solo. The writers might try to keep a window open in case Audra McDonald decides to make some guest appearances, if in case that is possible for her. She would be missed.

A Step too Far
3.5 Stars - That one B Plot really annoyed me


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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Castle Season Finale: Was it a "Knockout"?

The court scene was an epic twist
The series definitely gave some unexpected twists. It was reported that someone would be killed off at the end of this season and my first thought was Captain Roy Montgomery since we hardly saw his character anyway. We usually saw Montgomery behind the scenes and rarely did he ever get his own centered episode.When the moment arrived for him to have his last dance, it had an impact. I sensed the writers tried to add a few layers on to him at the last moment.

We had him asking around for the best anniversary present, showing more screen time with him, his wife and children. All of those are definitely bad signs, because just as we are warming up to him, his character could be plucked away leaving a dent behind.

How many of you felt Beckett overreacted a bit when she realized Montgomery was willing to sacrifice his life for hers. I actually didn't, even if it was dramatized, I believe Beckett loved him and would rather her life be taken, instead of having an incredible guilt for his kind actions. When the episode broke into Kate's past zone, I knew everything would unravel from there. What shocked me was Montgomery's involvement, but I was happy the writers chose to give him a heroic exit, instead of making him a villain. He was young, naive and he wanted to do better by Kate. It worked fine and it made me actually miss him deeply after his courageous act.

My favorite scene would be the montage between Beckett and Castle, alongside Montgomery's murder. Beckett's reaction was priceless and Castle's comforting showed character. Castle had to lift a broken Beckett up to get her out of the room, he then had to comfort her, while trying to be subtle and sweet. That was an intimate scene between them. Another scene preference came more at the end of the finale, but first I must mention how cute it was to have Castle and Becket argue with each other.

Argument Excerpt
Castle: Walk away, they are going to kill you Kate. If you don't care about that at least think about that is going to affect the people that love you. You really want to put your dad through that? What about Josh?

Beckett: ...and what about you Rick?

Castle: Well of course I don't want anything to happen to you, I'm your partner! I'm your friend!

Beckett: Is that what we are.

Castle: All right you know what I don't know what we are. We kissed and then we never talk about it. We nearly die frozen in each others arms, but we never talk about it so no I've got no clue what we are. I know I don't want to see you throw your life away!

Beckett: Yeah well last time I checked it was my life not your personal jungle gym, and for the past three years I have been running around with the school's funniest kid and it's not enough!

Castle: You know this isn't about your mother's case anymore, this is about you trying to hide, because you've been chasing this thing for so long you are afraid to find out who you are without it.

Beckett: You don't know me Castle! You think you do, but you don't!

Castle: I know you crawled inside your mother's murder and didn't come out. I know you hide there, same way you hide in these no where relationships with men you don't love. You could be happy Kate, you deserve to be happy (Just say the rest Castle, You deserve to be happy with me!), but you're afraid.

Beckett: You know what we are Castle we are over now get out! (Ouch)

The entire time Castle was telling Beckett that he loved her, without saying the exact words. I appreciate writing like that, acting done so well like that. Castle and Beckett have been an ongoing theme for a while and I was happy Castle was picked up for a second season, then a third and now we are having a fourth. It is shows like this that make you happy to know that they can possibly be around for a long time. Castle and Beckett are good friends and that doesn't come around often. To point out the piece that Castle mentioned; they did kiss and it wasn't discussed after that. I enjoyed having Kate call Castle, Rick. We all know that is his first name, but if you look at that scene closely, it made things more intimate and personal between them.

I enjoyed having Martha counsel Castle after his argument. She knows how Castle feels about Beckett and her wisdom as a mother to her son shows. It is good to know Castle has two rational people in his life. Even if Alexis is going away, she would still stay close to her father.

Beckett was just acting out of rage and when she wanted Castle out of the station, Montgomery said okay. Beckett's expression to his response was comical, it was obvious she had just gotten into a fight, but her rational side made her realize that Castle was right and she had to be careful.

"I forgive you" I thought it was big of Becket to forgive Montgomery. She saw him as a father and saw his selfless act. It made him human for his past mistakes. I actually knew he wasn't going to trick Beckett, I would be surprised if he did. He practically told his wife he loved her before she left and embraced his children. Showing signs of affection at the final minutes of a series is not good, he knew what he was going to do. I felt for his wife at the funeral. Beckett got one step closer to lose another person close to her.

On to the final scene, Beckett got shot? She couldn't be dead, that would be critical for this series. Castle finally telling Beckett the obvious, that he loved her, I only hoped that they wouldn't use the 'You thought she was dying right' cliche, to get out of it. I hope Castle repeats himself, and stop being so afraid.

Memorable Selections

Beckett in a cop uniform - she actually looked like a real life cop.

Martha's Advice to Castle
For Someone who is better than halfway through the movie, don't waste another minute of it!

Special Mention goes to Ruben Santiago-Hudson as Roy Montgomery.

Castle "Knockout" Season 3, Episode 24
5 Stars

Castle Season 3
4.5 Stars

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Hellcats: Just as surprised by cancellation

Last week's series finale of Hellcats didn't go out with a big BANG. Instead it went out with a big HUH(?), leaving viewers flabbergasted by so many unresolved story lines left dangling in mid air. Hellcats was one of the recent pitfall subjected to the canceled series 'vibe' going on. It was sudden and it seemed as though Hellcats was just as surprised as its viewers.

Not only was Hellcats thrown out of the competition altogether, Vanessa was thrown out of her position as coach, definitely in that order. Red's ex-wife has been stirring up trouble for Vanessa the minute she arrived. There ain't nothing like a woman scorned according to Lady Antebellum (seems like an appropriate quote right?), because it seems like Emily was crushed by Vanessa and Red's affair. She set out deliberately to hurt Vanessa the minute she arrived.

How devastating it would be to see your ex, after having an affair, still happy with the woman he cheated with? Emily could tell the story and as much as she appears unlikeable, it's understandable where the rage comes from. Vanessa and Red show no remorse or guilt. Sometimes through hurt, the worst sides overcome characters. We have only known Emily through her hate for Vanessa, but it is all wasted energy. Emily appears to still be single, which meant she spent years focusing on one thing, that she couldn't move past and that could be depressing.

Writers waited too long to reveal Emily to viewers and that could be a major setback for this series. They also waited to long to bring Marti's sister into the picture. They just pushed what seemed to be the most thrilling story lines at the end and dragged out the relentless ones like the Marti-Dan-Savannah triangle. Alice and her craziness with Jake, all could have been cut short. So now I am left wondering had they done that, would things be different?

As much as Marti and Julian was unexpected and interesting for most, he still came of as Marti's professor. Their relationship should have been explored much deeper before they became so intimate. Their romantic scenes were well covered and acted through, but their was still this detachment in character chemistry. I wanted a little more conversation. Although most characters are well in their twenties and going to college, the show still came off like high-school drama without the classes and the bells and well you know that stuff.

There were also other dangling themes:
The Nasty Kathy
Savannah's pregnant sister - Savannah's ex 'the baby-daddy'
Savannah's father on the run
Dan not best best friends with Marti anymore
Alice and her father
Alice-Lewis-Marti-Lewis-NastyKathy-Lewis-Alice-Lewis (maybe we could have had a Savannah-Lewis(?))

As much as I appreciate these arcs, they could have been dealt with on a more subtle way. Savannah's sister definitely began to annoy me after a while. As for Savannah's choice to stay out of the competition, very noble, but it came off very naive of a captain to abandon her team. They could have at least had Charlotte attempt to convince her to support her team, to make it more realistic that Savannah's absence was for loving her sister and not some scandal to keep the Hellcats out of the competition for convenience and ratings.

Oh yeah Marti's father revelation could add for a great cliffhanger, but it was poorly handled. We barely got to know Marti's sister, so when she acted irrational towards Marti's affections, I couldn't tell if it was because she didn't have enough trust in her life, or if she was just trying to be annoying. Clearly Marti loved her, because she was the only other family she knew. She deceived Marti by leading her on to the idea their father was possibly dead, when she knew for a fact that he was alive. So instead of running out and saying 'you promised', how about an 'I can explain'. Cliched, but she could connected the pieces, who else calls her phone? Her father obviously regularly enough for her to be more careful if she was keeping a secret from Marti. What was her game anyway?

I am just disappointed that all of that was just left there, incomplete. Like an exam you are taking, you just walk out knowing fully well things would fail and this series failed to deliver in the end. It actually had high hopes and I like the fact that Tom Welling was the producer, way to have an idea of Smallville still on air, even though the shows aren't related. So goodbye Hellcats, it was sudden, short and sweet(?) who knows what it could have been.

Series Finale Rating:
2 Stars


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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Private Practice: Season 4, Episode 22 "To Change the Things I Can" Finale - Good Bye Naomi

This means good bye to Audra McDonald who spent four years having us get to know Naomi. McDonald has taken this opportunity to spend more time with her family in New York, departing from her 'series regular' role. Although there may be a chance for use to see her again in season five, I doubt she would get much of a storyline. The real question remains, would this departure hurt the series?

I don't think it would, Addison has been the drive for this series' existence. Even though each character has grown over the past four years, Naomi's relative absence from the series this season didn't leave much of a dent. Her absence alone would however be missed. She became part of the reason Addison came over to the practice and now she's not even going to be around.

I was upset with Naomi mostly for the latter part of this season. Her spontaneous trip away from the practice, then she came back all judgy about her 'practice' family. She was once a part of their decision making and grew up with them, formed bonds with them. She angered me when she returned in 'What we have here' with hostility to Addison and Sam's relationship. 'Addison's Testimony' can shed some light on how Addison could react to that situation.

Coming down to the end, it felt like the writers were pushing story-lines her way. Fife following Naomi around until she agreed to travel with him and Naomi taking Betsey under her wing; as much as these both sound sweet, it felt rushed and unsettling. Betsey's storyline particularly felt like an easy way to get Betsey the home she needed and off the show fast.

Given the change in events had McDonald stayed on another season, they might have handled the Fife story better. They might have even removed the desperation attached to him and have him do something while he stayed to swoop Naomi away. I liked Fife as a 'mean a#^' and now he is just too soft and unlikeable as he was before. *Hmm* I liked him better when he was meaner, that's something.

For the rest of this episode Addison's new 'way of living' felt like she was in a crisis. I was happy that she and Naomi mended fences, so I was hoping Naomi would be the voice of reason. Unfortunately Addison had to deal with 'supermarket guy' alone. I call him 'supermarket guy' because I don't think we got his name. The guy gave Addison the option to travel with him and have 'hot sex'. I wondered how many times Addison met with this guy with no name, for a vacation like that to be an option. 'Supermarket guy' also looked a little creepy, don't let his apparently sexy voice fool you Addie, that's probably all that could be good about him.

What got me really upset was Addison and Sam taking one for the night. Sam admitted that he missed Addison and next she is seen in bed with him, has the 'wanting a baby' situation changed? They would only fight again if the situation is not resolved. I just figure they both do not want to be alone anymore and decided to shack-up. I don't blame them for wanting something together without knowing what could be apart, but Sam hurt Addie and right now I don't like him that much.

Another couple that is shaky right now is Violet and Pete. Pete just cannot accept any form of compromise, forcing himself to believe an ultimatum would work instead. Pete works himself up too much and is stubborn about it. Violet can be selfish and strongly motivated by her convictions and so could Pete, and there is where they clash as a couple. They are both controlling, but they could hardly control each other. It was heart wrenching watching Pete plummet to the floor in agony from what seemed like a heart attack. Pete has too much stress in his life, what was even worse was that poor Lucas saw the whole thing and couldn't do anything about it.

Everyone is having their own crisis, so who would think to make a stop by Pete just to check on him and get him to the hospital in time? My guess, Violet changes her mind and returns home in time. That might be a plot changer. Way to leave season 4, with poor Lucas traumatized. I didn't like one bit of it.

'To Change the Things I Can', is an interesting piece of advice to leave the season with. You can only change the things you are capable of changing. People try to over-exceed their limits and end up stressing themselves out. What's the use of wearing yourself down to complete a task when you could rest and live to do it another day? Charlotte had to face a past trauma, and she did it the best way she knew she could. Amelia is dealing with her drinking and she is crying out for help. Charlotte and Amelia have a close friendship and maybe she could help her, but the rest is up to Amelia.

So what can we expect next season? Who else didn't believe the words coming out Sam's mouth when he flat out told Naomi to leave and be with Fife? I expected Addison to say that, but Sam seems appropriate for the only one Naomi would listen to. Your ex-husband is telling you to run off with someone, maybe there is plausibility in that relationship right? I don't know. I am just happy that Audra McDonald would be spending more time with her family, the leave seems more worthwhile. I mean we all want her to be happy, but she will be missed as a regular cast.

Here's for a promising Season 5.


Picture Courtesy:

To Change the Things I Can
4 Stars

Private Practice Season 4
4 Stars

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Desperate Houswives: Lynette and Tom Seperated?

Stop fighting already!
I admired this couple for what seemed like an inseparable marriage. Didn't it give you guys hope that in the long run things could actually work out? That's the problem with using television couples as role models to your relationship, if the writers say 'divorce' chances are Lynette and Tom would not survive the pitfall. It was clear the writers set them up for a pitfall since the beginning of the season. It became most apparent when they began arguing for the little things. This could be a real life factor, one minute things are close to perfect, then there is the fallout and you wonder 'how did things get so horrible'.

What I understood from Lynette's perspective, she's gotten used to having her husband around, holding him tight. The moment he got this job it was a trap, Lynette no longer had control over him. In their world it leaves you thinking whether their problem was there all along and we just did not see it. Lynette seemed worried when Tom preferred work over everything else. Money began flowing and Lynette became the prize wife. What set things off further was when Lynette was invited to a function with Tom, she got the visitor's ID. Close to nobody just visiting for a day. Lynette winded up embarrassing herself and Tom after stealing a VIP pass for a lady who had to give the main speech. 'Big Ouch!' I felt bad for Lynette.

She pushed Tom to defy Carlos, for the 'better opportunity' and she ended up being screwed. It sucked the way things degenerated. Each week became more painful to watch on Desperate Housewives, just because Tom and Lynette refused to really communicate with each other. Instead of arguing over remodeling Tom's office and the way Tom 'should have it', Lynette should have sat him down and admit that she was afraid of him changing. She has clinged to this reality of her life that is no longer there and as Tom changes she is unable to keep up. That explains everything they are going through. So many arguments could be avoided if she just chose to tell him why she was upset instead of yelling and Tom should stop being arrogant for one second to realize that shouting back would not have helped the situation.

When Tom admitted to sleeping with Renee during his 'break' with Lynette earlier this season, I thought of the Ross and Rachel situation on Friends. Ross' justification 'We were on a break'. The mere fact that his solution to a problem was having a meaningless fling without actually facing the problem head on, showed their maturity level. That judgement reflects that if their is a problem later down the road, you wouldn't choose to sleep with the random stranger, instead you would learn how to deal with the issues head on. This isn't a shrink session, but honestly Tom lost any appeal when he stood up for what he did and used his children to guilt Lynette into staying with him. I was more upset with Lynette for giving in.

I sensed something a bit off in their relationship then as to how strong it was. They just let simple, petty things destroy their relationship, now their baby is going to have to endure living with separated parents. How is that going to work out anyway? I am disappointed in them both. They have so much to be thankful for and they are using each other as weapons. Wake up Lynette and Tom! Both of you are looking for a reason to stay into a relationship, guilting a poor couple into spending their time instead of facing your dilemmas. It's not a puzzle, it's probably more simple, just find the love you already have in your hearts, so those that do look at you for support might have that hope.


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Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Good Wife: Character Study "Alicia"

Alicia's orientation with the ideals of her husband are flawed. Peter himself is a man of deception. He is the master of politics, after all he was tainted by his convictions, but reappointed anyway. Alica had a big part to play in his rise, which is ironic since he is the one responsible for the obstruction in her lifestyle.

Housewife?- Could you imagine what Alicia did before she became this powerful? She has risen above her husbands success and shenanigans. The first hint of Alicia's strength was seen in her interview before Peter was elected. Alicia was asked if she was going to run and it wasn't that funny a mention by the reporter. It would be no surprise if Alicia ran and won. I imagine Eli by her side routing for her, possibly even turning against Peter. Her relationship with Eli has grown into a deep friendship, established out of respect. Not even Peter has that.

Alicia carries this admirable love for her children. She's not getting into politics because of them. The way the game of politics is played, both Zack and Grace's name would be dragged into the mud. People play dirty, she doesn't want her children subject to that again.

Alicia and the Guys
Peter doesn't love Alicia.
He only became attracted to her when she came out of the shadow of the household and into the work world, and even that remained a physical attraction. I don't think Peter cares much that Alicia kicked him out, but that she bruised his ego. He set out to hurt Alicia before, when she seemed invaluable. All the pieces fit together. There was always a smirk on his face, even when he was in prison, but now things are really falling apart for him. He doesn't like lack of control.

In "Closing Argument" Peter was willing to set Will up, he sent the package directly to Will's office hoping to get a face to face meeting. Peter blames Will for his marital problems, because he doesn't want to take blame or admit that things are crumbling in his life. Alicia and Kalinda were friends and in Peter's mind, Alicia is at fault because his 'fling' with Kalinda was in the past. The way Peter sees it, Will is to blame even if he wasn't in Alicia's life at the time.

Alica on the other hand put everything Peter did closed up. Everything was supposedly alright and nothing pushed her to deal with it. Soon enough work was going well and what was past remained past, but that was until her past caught up to her work. It more seems like Alicia is reacting to a few stabs in her back that now revealed itself. Alicia always had feelings for Will, but she told herself that maybe with her job and her children, she could be happy without any drama or risky chances. I was happy to have Alicia finally call it quits and realize there was nothing good. Peter is not good for her . Although Will comes and goes for me when dealing with Alicia, the final scene between them in "Closing Arguments" was a decent end to the series. This is a huge leap for Alicia. I do not agree with her having her one-nighter with Will while married. I have a feeling Peter would do all he could to defer Alicia from happiness. Not to mention the press that could paint her entire relationship from a biased angle, making her look like the bad seed.

Alicia and Friendship
Alicia doesn't trust many many people, so she has a handful of friend in her life. The awkward tension between her and Kalinda was uncomfortable and funny to watch. I hope this does not deteriorate their friendship completely. Although Alicia takes things very personally, Kalinda is more of a free thinker. Kalinda is relatively detached from everything in her life. What ever happened to Kalinda's husband reference, they didn't mention anything of it after Blake left?

Alicia is cold when she upset, and the slightest things roll over her, so when she is upset, it is definitely a deep scar. She doesn't let anyone get under her skin. What about the coldness in her eyes when she told Kalinda to 'buzz off'. She doesn't like being made a fool of. She even 'handles' Peter's mom now, when before she used to possibly ignore her. Now Peter's mother sees no wrong in her son, she should at least admit his faults. I don't know if that makes her loving or just naive. I even thought she and Alica were becoming friends once, I guess that's history now.

Character Appeal
I admire Alicia's growth in 'The Good Wife'. Some do not think Alicia would really leave Peter because only then the show would be called 'The Good Ex-Wife'. Peter is bad for Alicia, I am only glad the show is being practical by even having Alicia consider a divorce or having an ounce of happiness. It doesn't mean that Alicia cannot be remarried or still remain 'The Good Wife' for what she was. Alicia is intelligent, so she deserves the chance to visit the best options to cure her beyond happy lifestyle.

The writing on 'The Good Wife' is brilliant. The series can begin in the middle of a scene and still embrace continuity, while giving you enough information to go on. Regularly that show has adopted a style of editing I admire and don't even start with the acting team. For Julianna Margulies (Alicia) and Josh Charles (Will), it's interesting for Josh working with Margulies who is older, but they compliment each other on screen. I have always appreciated this series for its opening sequence, beautiful graphics to depict the ideal good wife. I hope for the best of next season.


"Closing Argument"
4.5 Stars

"The Good Wife" Season 2
5 Stars for Consistency (Not many series can pull this off)

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Chase: Why no second season?

Chase: Could have been Great
Chase started off with strong characters worth breaking their necks to send the necessary behind bars. The show pulled in villain guest appearances like Travis Fimmel, Robert Knepper, Robert LaSardo, Yancey Arias and Jennifer Morrison to name a few. The series rested on adrenaline boosts that rage fan scores. What put the dent in the flow of the series, was the scheduling misplacement. Chase took what seemed like a long vacation from NBC and reemerged recently to air on Saturdays, this definitely didn't look good. What I feared the most was that Chase would lose its appeal and decline further in ratings due to this unsettling placement.

Kelli Giddish (Annie Frost) took up a recent role in "The Good Wife". The actress has to move on, especially since a cancellation was recently announced. This was not easy news for me to take on. Chase took its name literally and gave fans a guaranteed trill of a catch. When the season returned on Saturdays, it took a hard bump. It was not as strong as it used to be, but character chemistry was still there and I had hope.

This would have been Amaury Nolasco's comeback from "Prison Break" and his stay was short lived as well. The only character I found did not fit in as well as the others, was Jesse Metcalfe as Luke Watson. He always had this 'us and them' attitude about him. It was hard to take his character seriously for me especially since I remember him from his role in "Desperate Housewives". He took on more comedy-soap opera appearances and there weren't enough layers added to make him more appealing to the Marshall world. If it was took on, they took to it too late. Daisy was used to pull him in, only their chemistry was not profound.

The changes in the series seemed most apparent after the switch to Saturdays. Before the series scored highly with episodes "Narco: Part 1" and "Narco: Part 2". These episodes placed Annie in a tight spot and created an adrenaline aside from the catches they were used to. Was it enough? Sometime after the show took a break. I wondered what was going on that the network had to push Chase into a hiatus. The storyline focused on a partial reveal to Annie's past with her father, but didn't delve too much into that front. I was routing for her and Jimmy, but they even kept pushing this perfect life between him and his girlfriend, so I felt lost in the direction for an AnJi shipper.

"Breakout Kings" is a new series which came out on A&E, and it recommends similar thrills of 'the catch'. Although they bare similarities through borrowing of guest stars and going to jail analogies, Breakout Kings has a better chance of succeeding Chase.

Why no second season? Besides all the flaws in the series, I still wanted another season. It had action, decent character chemistry and I like Annie Frost. I only hoped others felt the same way.


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Castle "To Love and Die in L.A" Review - Caskett just kiss already!

The actual set for 'Heat Wave' so realistic.
The tension between Beckett and Castle is growing. This was especially established in "Countdown" when death was close in proximity. Their love story hasn't even begun, yet they are hopeless romantics. They ache for that chance to be close, and Castle obviously wants to kiss her. So what's holding them both back? They find time to bond over cases. The irony; the most traumatic the case, the closer they become. I don't know what the writers are waiting on!

Royce's letter to Kate:
Now for the hard part kid... It's clear that you and Castle have something real and you're fighting it, but trust me putting the job ahead of your heart is a mistake. Risking our hearts is why we're alive. The last thing you'd want is to look back on your life and wonder if only.

Royce truly knew Beckett by saying those words. It gave a clear depiction of the person Beckett is. There is a clear connection between her and Castle, but she's not making anything of it. Castle is partially to blame for that, when either party is ready to attempt a relationship bump, the other is occupied. Now they are both in that zone where they realize how they feel and nothing is surfacing. Everything is just hushed like grumbles in their throats. It's all in the fear of taking the leap. The choice of risking everything for a chance at something different.

This was Dominic's Purcell semi-comeback after "Prison Break". I tweeted Stana Katic on his Terminator like appearance after she called him a "gentle giant". Who else pictured Arnold Schwarzenegger's "I'll be back" one liner, when Dominic's character (Ganz) first came on screen, pistol in hand. Almost built like an actual machine. Ganz was nothing like Lincoln Burrows; he was cold and stiff, but he was still a good looker. Even though Purcell was a guest star, he was hardly screened. The center was mainly on Beckett and her seeking revenge. When faced with Ganz there was no doubt, Beckett was going to pull that triger. She had to avenge Royce's murder.

Beckett loved Royce deeply. He hurt her and yet she was still willing to kill for him. The moment Beckett revealed to Castle the impact Royce had on her life, it was a comfortable moment. She trusts Castle and it is clearer now that Castle loves and respects her. Beckett was at ease talking to her best friend. I wonder how her conversations are with her actual boyfriend, he must see how much Castle means to her.

I enjoyed Caskett in LA. Since they visited the set of 'Heat Wave', I expected to see Natalie Rhodes from 'Nikki Heat'. It would have been so perfect had she made an appearance, but again the focus was on Beckett. I admire the transition this series has taken, relating to real life situations. The connotation are as close to the actual picture; of course after the book emerges the movie. It's good that they gave us some progress on that picture.

Castle was flashier in LA. It was where he could shine the most. He had to calm Beckett down in defense, in fact he was actually 'fitting in' to the LA lifestyle. It was nice to have these two enjoy themselves. The staged interrogation room was classic hilarious. I could just imagine the directors saying after Beckett and Castle were finished questioning the witness:

-Yeah hurry up and close the set, that's supposed to be the dressing room.

Key Extras:
Lanie & Esposito need a little more screen time, instead of sneaking a few smooches in. They did look so good together.

Beckett has a good heart, those she loves are greatly cared for.

No Alexis and Castle? I heard the actress was leaving the show, although she gains little screen time, I would miss her. She is already a big part of Castle's life.



Four and a Half Stars

Grade A-


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Cancellation Buzz Kill: Fox on a Cancelling Spree

All showed great potential.
The shock was announced the day Fox issued the massacre of shows like 'Human Target', 'Breaking In' and 'The Chicago Code'. Series in its early season got the axe; "The Chicago Code" and "Breaking In", some of which could have risen to higher success. I denounce actions like this; 'cancelled' *cringe*, the action alone could send a fan crazy.

Since the recent end to Smallville, most series have been pulled likewise. This is strange, since the series I wouldn't mind living without those that still reside on air, taunting the good ones now gone *eeehmmm* 'Gossip Girl' *eeeehmmm*.

I was routing for "Human Target". I would wait in hope of some glimpse of recognition that this series was really good. I didn't like the series initially, but each week brought an entertaining episode showing plausible continuity.

5 Reasons Why Human Target should have been be Renewed

5) Action, Action and more Action: The excitement doesn't fail. Week after week you have your sweaty guys beating each other up, which should be enough for the ladies. Then we have cleverly articulated stunts, not the average punches, but there is in-depth background from each character perspective.

4) The soundtrack is impeccable. Action sequences are well represented.

3) Christopher Chance. Is that even his real name, the mystery was one I wanted to discover. There was always this sense of familiarity in each plot. Most often it was even nice having Christopher Chance on screen, his eyes would hypnotize a damsel and his fists would kill a wolf in her path. Almost hero like.

2) Guerrero... who doesn't like Guerrero? I didn't initially, I was still trying to figure him out. Then Season 2 gave us an episode dedicated to him, and you should check it out, it was one of the best episodes that season.

1) It keeps getting better. The chances are the network could have found ways to work with the series a bit longer. They might have cut it before it got its real chance to shine.

It is difficult for me to deal with the loss of a favorite series, and they seem to be piling up. First "Dark Blue" got the axe, just as I was getting into the drama of it all. It seemed as if the feminine aspect drove both series to its fall. Human Target was criticized for its introduction of Ilsa Pucci, Chance's love interest. The testosterone in Season 1 seemed like too much initially, but it warmed up to me. Who doesn't like having a bunch of guys on screen with clever manipulative skills. Isla softened the tone of the series, and while it may not have been Season 1 quality, it worked. I was looking forward to a kiss between Chance and Ilsa as a real couple.

I have it difficult accepting the range of good shows that leave television, compared with the horrid ones that remain. I guess this may be in my opinion, there are many fans that support the ones on screen, so why should shows like Human Target get the victory dance. Terminator The Sarah Connor Chronicles didn't even stand a chance.

Shows that got the official axe on Fox:

Breaking In - Really it just started
The Good Guys - I kind of stopped watching this one, seemed typical.
Lie to Me - Just getting into it, the scheduling was way off.
Running Wilde - Couldn't stand the first episode.
Traffic Light - It just started and I don't know, a possible maybe.


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Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Office: Dwight K. Schrute, (Acting) Manager...Or Not

- Did Dwight do a good job of filling Micheal's shoes?

The Office is scampering to find a decent replacement for Michael and it shows. Deangelo's visit to "The Office" was short-lived; gone just as fast as he came. He wasn't trying to fill Michael's shoes, but to act as the best manager he could be in Michael's absence.

It was somewhat saddening to have Steve Carell's name ripped from the opening title sequence. I found myself trying to recall the scenes they had of him before. The simple things we let slip our minds matters most when it is missed, and Steve Carell was missed. Even if "Dwight K. Schrute, (Acting) Manager" was a decent episode that granted a few laughs, I am not sure whether this series would last without Michael.

There is an obvious struggle to find a suitable 'king of the office', so maybe the writers should focus on other things rather than 'replacement'. There are other ways to pull an audience in, without reminding us of an absence, because right now the series is in that stage of absence. There is this shaky feel to the overall picture.

This was Dwight's point to shine, and although there was a slight difference in his shine to Acting Manager, he failed to disappoint. Switching the Snack Machine with Dwight products, having the workers clock in and the 21 digit code, those were all hilarious and the exact impression of Dwight as a manger. I expected Jim to take lead, but he surely regretted it more when Dwight became runner up. I only imagined the torture Jim had to endure, testing his patience to listen to Dwight's in character moments. He even got to tease him like old times.

Is it just me, or is Gabe reallllllly annoying. I don't know if to laugh or smack him sometimes. Snap out of it, do you really want to be with someone that cringes at the thought of you! Erin was practically quirky as usually, I actually felt bad for her.

I would definitely like to see how Creed handles this new position. I definitely would not have thought him, but it gives Creed a chance to be in the spotlight. While "The Office" finds its niche again, I would stay tuned. The characters were what made the show and they still carry a half hour well. My favorite scene would be Angela helping Kevin with his copier code, he was like a child playing with a cool toy.



Three and a Half Stars

Grade C+


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Friday, May 13, 2011

Smallville: Curtains Close; Let us Applaud the Final Act

The Journey has just begun

So we've met the closing, the series finale, the end of Smallville or any hope of new episodes. Why look at it like that though, we have so many memories to share. Just because the directors say cut, doesn't mean fans should close up shop. We have our fan fictions and creativity to keep Smallville growing strong. So really It's the series finale, but it's not over.

Reviews would be posted later on. I want to take the time to gather a few memorable clips and quotes from each episode. No spoilers yet! Let us just share in the memory of what we've seen for a short ten years which flew by so quickly. This season flew by quickly. I want to take some time to rehash some of my favorite scenes and share it with you guys, and I hope you would do they same.


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Parks and Recreation: Leslie and Ben

Leslie: I'm allergic to fingers.

This is definitely the first I have heard of this allergy. Ben sweetly asked Leslie to make a wish on the eyelash he took from her cheek and Leslie had an immediate reaction. I applaud Amy Poehler (Leslie) for the delivery of that moment. Simply hilarious.

I have been a fan of Parks and Recreation since the first Season, but nothing keeps me as glued to the television screen like the scenes between Leslie and Ben. All week I've waiting for some advancement in their relationship, be it a conversation or just a simple smile. Adam Scott (Ben) knows how to move a scene with his expressions. They leave you either cracking up or in tears of laughter.

The moment he entered last season, I didn't like him at first, he seemed as though he was stirring up trouble. Getting to know him, I understood that he was learning Pawnee and he warmed his way in. I've seen Scott somewhere before, earlier on television. I only realized that he played Jeremy in my favorite romantic movie "Leap Year". I don't think that was where I knew him from, I didn't like or pay attention to Jeremy much in that movie.

Leslie Knope also carries a scene to its fullest. She delivers her lines with such finesse, it feels so natural. Although in the earlies Leslie came off crazy for her actions, she is humanized now and more accomplished. I admire the pace the writers move with Leslie and Ben's relationship. The kiss in "Road Trip" was unexpected and warming. After all that tension created, I would have been upset had they not kissed.

I do not see the point for the relationship barrier between workers as Chris' rule. It doesn't change the feelings they would already have. For someone who doesn't like to give bad news, he surely knows how to put a dent in something good. I was happy Chris mistook Leslie's cheap kiss with Tom seriously, Leslie and Ben would have had Chris watching them like a hawk had it been them instead. It would have been upsetting had Chris walked in on Leslie and Ben in the final minutes of the episode.

I always wondered why Chris wasn't harsh with April and Andy, but technically Andy is not officially with the department right (?).

Here's to a well established couple that I am routing for. They really like each other and it is infectious when they smile and 'hang out'. They seem like cool people to just chill with. Ben is ideal for Leslie. He accepts her for who she is and he embraces her success as just that. In "The Fight" I admired how he reached out to Ann on behalf of Leslie, it showed that he really cared about her happiness. He couldn't stand to see her unhappy.

Lexa oh I'm rating them both...

Five Stars

Just for that Leslie and Ben goodness 

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Smallville: "Season 10" The Cast is smaller but Vastly Effective

Clois: So in love

The series finale is hours here and we find ways to reminisce on the old days of Smallville. The mid-season had its ups and downs and felt shaky at times. Clark was younger, his decisions were flawed with emotion and he was still finding his way. he wanted to fit into a world that did not know he existed. I only became hooked in the later part of Season 7. Season 10 soon became golden. I admired how Clark has grown. It's been ten years and Clark found love, honor in heroism, strength in relationships, the world finally sees his bravery and the difference he has made. He appears flawless.

"Prophecy" pulled Lois into Clark's super world. this was the first time Lois had to deal with Clark's powers, from a heroic perspective. Imagine the title prophecy, the ability to create or predict from the mind. The idea of creating a destined path. The glamor and fame for being a hero doesn't highlight the struggles to control abilities and moderate an average life. Clark could save the entire world and still be lonely. Lois had to walk in those shoes and sped off at will. She wasn't in control at first, she needed a compass; something to keep her focus on the issue at hand. Jor El gave their love a test, and Lois needed to focus, if not on passing, but understanding what was most important to her.

What Jor El was trying to teach both Lois and Clark, was that a Krptonian's destiny was not simple. There would be trials and if Lois wanted to spend her life with Clark in her 'human form' she must understand the source of his strength. There is a level of control Clark has to utilize. A motivating scene for the fans would be the decisions Clark has to make. While Lois attempted to listen with super hearing, she heard the cries of many and she realized that Clark would have heard millions of cries alike; people in need of a hero. Clark is only one person and even with super speed, he cannot be two places at once. It was the first key to Lois' final decision in the end. Was she being selfish by keeping Clark to herself, and wanting him to live a human life? How could he? He has a bigger path to follow.

Smallville sucks us into this imagined world of heroes, yet it feels so real that we are lacking the very same heroes in our life. Why not, there are the very same villains. Sure they dress differently, but they bite as hard and they punch to hurt. Toyman's presence always paints a man reliving his childhood. What makes him persist and play as though life were a game and he had all the pieces? I was upset with Lois when she confronted him and gave in to his threats. That was the second straw for her, having Clark's powers she could have snapped his neck in a second. All Lois had was Clark's safety in her heart, but her actions were wrongly driven. had she waited long enough Clark could have easily protected himself.

The bond between Lois and Clark has grown stronger. It made it very difficult to watch Lois call off the wedding. She is afraid of hurting him or even standing in his way. Clark has conquered that challenge before, but because this challenge is new to Lois, she sees it as a threat. I don't blame her for being concerned, it shows that she is not selfish and she is willing to put his needs before hers.

Kara's short return was within Oliver's story arc. Oliver wanted to rid himself of the evil inside of him. Even though his intentions were clear and he wanted to stand the good fight, he should have seen through it. Granny Goodness was just as sinister as the last time we saw her. Kara put her trust in Oliver and left just when things took a strange turn for the worst. She could have figured out the good and evil analogies and seen through Oliver's misguided moment, but she trusted Clark and that meant everything to her. Oliver is human and greatly influenced. I wanted this to be a victory for him, not a defeat!

Writers of Smallville believe the show is not for a "Superman", but for just "Smallville" - Pre-Superman, giving fruit to why the series is coming to a close. I cannot believe that things are ending so soon. This would really mean no more episodes of Smallville. While I want another season, I know this was coming since the beginning of Season 10. I would miss Tom Welling, Erica Durance and Allison Mack mostly for their contributions to this epic story told. The series is not over yet, so we can stay tuned to the "Finale", then say our goodbyes.

Prophecy: Season 10, Episode 20



Four and a Half Stars

Grade A-


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Private Practice: Addison's Testimony "Something Old, Something New"

The Practice has taken a toll

"I hope it was worth it!"

Name: Addison Montgomery
Title: Director. Head of Neonatal Surgery, Obstetric and Gynecology M.D. F.A.C.S.

I hope it was worth it, those words must have rang in her head and left Addison flabbergasted. "Was Naomi serious!" she must have thought "I thought she was my best friend". In all fairness, sleeping with your best friend's ex could put a dent in the relationship, but Addison felt that dent. She was open with her feelings and she felt guilt before anything was ignited. Sam made it clear to her that she may have been the one for him. Addison did not deceive Naomi, so where did that come from. "I hope it was worth it", as though she stabbed Naomi in the back.

Addison had it rough from the moment she was introduce in Grey's Anatomy. She was labeled the backstabber, a bi%#@, pathetic and inhumane for her action. From what was grasped in all perspective, Addison was searching for happiness. She met her husband at a very young age, still growing in her profession. She was seeking some meaning, a family that wanted her. Derek was not it, but it doesn't excuse the way he isolated her. After the affair he fled to another city and makes him flawed. He refused to face his problems head on and created more baggage to carry.

After that phase, Addison was still searching. Like any human being, she wants love and what might be a unique practice, she cherishes it. Even through her escapades, she has experimented with every possible ideal before she gets involved. She moved to LA for that better life, to life with her friends and share fond memories. She lived ten times as much. Some way down the line she was a turn, unexpected and now it seems like a lot of people are turning against her. The man she loves or loved, turned her away for wanting a child with him. This was strange since he once claimed to love her and he placed her in the very difficult situation with her best friend to a "I hope it was worth it!"

Sam already has a family, there is just no room for anyone else. He has Maya and her baby and her husband and...

These all sound like excuses, like he was playing Addison like a fiddle. It was as if everything that happened between them turned into a joke. Time wasted and for what? Addison's ultimatum was a way to test Sam, but he failed. She saw a side to him that would make anyone resent him. The breaking point for Addie was surely Pete. When times were tough, Pete turned on her in one snap. His wife came first and even though Addison was thinking of the Practice and what Violet made them prone to, Addison was wrong for it. You have your friends, and while there would be concern for them, it would be better to think long term than be small minded.

Addison is now struggling to fit in. Her pain is reflected with every hurt, and mistrial. Every time she tries something new, she loses more. Addison is strong.

What I admire about Private Practice is it's ability to set aside the human mistakes made in everyday life. Not every one knows what they want in this life and it becomes a trial when focus is placed on figuring it out. Addison is a classic example. She still hasn't found it, but she still fighting and she is still trying. Addison has accomplished a lot, she is trying to keep the Practice firm even though it is like a battle field.

Naomi's rage is misplaced. She has too much on her mind and yet she tries to express her stress through anger. There is only so much hurt one human can take, and that is all Addison is, human.


Pictures Courtesy:

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Nikita: Season 1 Definite Big Leap into Season 2

There are moments in life we try to amend for our mistakes. Revenge is sought and the truth is hidden, yet we still surface and try to do what is right. When we met Nikita in the pilot, it resembled a similar fraction of a show I once loved and missed dearly ‘La Femme Nikita’. I missed actors like Peta Wilson and Roy Dupuis on screen and felt like nothing could replace what was created. I didn’t expect Nikita to win me over, but the series did. The series direction was independent of thought and unique in direction. The show had its similarities to the previous premise, but eventually took its own form into what could be considered one of the ‘best series on television’.

I took a break from reviewing the series and just sat back and watched with enjoyment. Each week brought on an addiction to the remote control at that hour, and everyone saw my excitement when the episode began. I always expected something phenomenal. The camera work is exceptional and unique. They not only have the best actors and actresses to work with, but the directing staff is owed great commendation. Often flawless use of continuation and remarkable fight scenes unlike anything I have seen on television. Maggie Q as Nikita shines best when she puts up a defense and exemplifies a glow in caring for those she loves.

A particular comment was made by few surrounding Shane West’s acting; this series should put a dent in their hesitations towards him. He is a skilled actor, and uses ideal techniques to deliver each sequence. I fall for him every second he is on screen. The plot mirrors an interesting writing team. The writing is ahead of the audience, which is entertaining. Just when the moment passes and you believe you understand the direction of the series; it takes a spin at you. Even the characters confusion is highlighted in the plot. Particular mention should go to the episodes where we felt like Division’s days were numbered and Nikita and Michael had leverage, but that in itself was misguided and Percy had the upper hand all along. That was clever writing, the pieces are not all laid out and the feedback is phenomenal.

The arc resembles life on a whole; we are only faced with the puzzles that are in front of us. There is no telling what agendas people have up their sleeve, but we can prepare ourselves enough to prevail on hostile ground. Michael and Nikita were faced with an overload. They came close to losing their necks, but succeeded because of their hearts and true intention to make for better. Although Alex’s intension was motivated elsewhere, she loved Nikita. Her direction in this series was confusing to me at first, but I understand what the writers are doing now. There are no longer good and bad guys and the fight, there are human beings that were bruised, that loved and have scars that need to be healed. It’s that simple and complicated, it’s what makes Nikita shine as a series. I have no doubt of a renewal coming this way. Michael and Nikita’s relationship have not been typical either. They both have their baggage and are willing to work together to find something that works for them both.

Those who have not begun watching this series yet, should begin now. Buy the entire season when it comes out on DVD. This is coming from someone who had harsh doubt about this series’ success in the beginning, and I have fallen in love with everyone on screen. You would be won over as well. What probably heightened this success was the actual actors and actresses behind the scenes. Maggie Q (Nikita), Shane West (Michael), Lyndsy Fonseca (Alex), Aaron Stanford (Birkhoff), Melinda Clarke (Amanda), Xander Berkeley (Percy) and Tiffany Hines(Jaden) all have warm personalities off screen. You can tell when a cast works well together behind the scenes, it shows. “Pandora” was particularly the best episode for the season. Characters are humanized and you relate with them in this agent world. As for the revenge sought, it relates with the plot. Our lives can be seen as a narrative, we create our own escapes and we love deeply. Here’s to Nikita and for waiting until the next season renewal is announced and Season 2, Episode 1 is aired.


Season 1 Rating

Five Stars

Grade A+

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