Friday, June 24, 2011

Rookie Blue: The Butterflies Begin

Well my favorite series is back, although I was a bit harsh with it last year, it is a fresh idea that could last a long time. I expected Rookie Blue to step up its game. It already established itself as amateur cops learning the way, they had to now take it a step up. Without hesitating, this cop show removed the melodrama nonsense which soaked up last season and focused solely on these cops' hearts. It worked, shined and above all delivered.

A huge break between Season 1 and Season 2, could leave most people out in the wilderness when it came to remembering a cast that was off screen for a long time. Their personalities happened to leave a memorable impression that stuck, so these characters were not forgotten. One thing I could not put down was McNally and Callaghan. I am not satisfied with the McNally and Callaghan pairing. I wanted them to take a break since last season their relationship seemed false. It was as though the handsome detective hooking up with the rookie was too cliche. We know nothing about Callaghan except that he was McNally's boyfriend.

Callaghan often came off false in the end and it made his input to the series pointless. Still we did get to know his ex in "Butterflies" and it seems that the writers are aiming to improve on the big question mark dangling over Callaghan. Callaghan's ex "Detective Jo Rosati" (Camille Sullivan) also starred as Emily (Red's ex-wife) in Hellcats. It was uncanny how much her role here mirrored the same role she portrayed in Hellcats. The typical ex reigning on her ex's new relationship. It would be too much of a replica if she ends up trying to break McNally and Callaghan up. She looked pretty upset seeing McNally and Callaghan together.

The surprise element when McNally was shot, was the highlight of the episode, completely unexpected. At first it seemed as though McNally was shot herself, but it had greater impact knowing that the sweet girl, was the real target. Swarek is so head over heels for McNally, that it became overwhelming to watch him comfort her after she was checked out. I kept thinking, why aren't they together?

Still this show had so much promise for this series premiere. A little more Nash getting screen time with Williams would have added a little push to the already interesting premiere. Also when McNally had the man who shot her at gunpoint, when the friend ran into her saying he's going to kill her, it was really annoying. McNally had the guy, to have this girl run into her. It had me thinking she was in on it somehow, but she was just crazy scared. McNally redeemed herself by catching the guy with such wit (no pun intended).

Other than that this was a solid introduction to season 2.


Season 2, Episode 1 "Butterflies"
4 Stars

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Monday, June 13, 2011

In Plain Sight: Mary, Mark and Baby?

Thinking long and hard. This aint gonna be easy!
For as long as we've known Mary, family is not her strong suit. While most people dream about finding the one, settling down and eventually raising a family, Mary is more the type to sit back and nod at their silliness. Still, what does this mean for her and Mark? Could Mary really sit back and raise a child, or would Mark now be in the picture?

I have been loving the character Mary McCormack portrays as Mary Shannon. It is uncanny that they both share the same first name and now playing similar roles on screen and off screen. Mary McCormack's real life pregnancy was rumored to filter on screen. I only expected the father to be, well someone other than Mark. He's a sweet guy, but unfortunately too sweet for Mary's liking.

Mary is also not known for her subtlety, she speaks her mind and she goes all in with her well represented believes in humanity. She is a fearless woman and her strong presence on screen has made 'In Plain Sight' a huge success. What I have probably wanted more from Mary, is a relationship with Marshall. He knows her inside out and might be the only person that she could share her life with. It didn't surprise me that he knew about her pregnancy before she did. Their final scene together made me appreciate their closeness.

I hoped Marshall's new girlfriend was an attempt to get a rise out of Mary and change the odds of their relationship, but Mark came along and I just kept hoping that he was simply a distraction. Unfortunately it was just the opposite, he was quite the obvious solution to the real changes occurring off screen.

What this challenge has presented for Mary, is the ability for her to parent. Supposing she hasn't found other alternatives to counter her reality, she would learn ways to become a mother. All of these new changes could alter the perception Mary would have about families and she may instead nod her head in agreement to the everyday struggles, rather than stand from a distance and laugh at it. Mary handles relations in her work life better than her personal life. This makes her an incredibly great person, but limited to one side of her life. Separating lifestyles can only split you at both ends.

Mark's influence in Mary's past was a simple quick marriage, that ended just the same. Years later, trying to rekindle an old flame, he stumbled into another quickie with Mary, but could he handle being a father? Would Mary even let him know?

These are new arcs that could be beneficial for this series and for Mary. I personally enjoy Mary's transition throughout this series and watching her grow. As much as she is closed off, she has a huge heart, and great strength in her personality. Dealing with a pregnancy is one step, but a baby, a child, can affect you in an even bigger way.

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Friday, June 10, 2011

Human Target: Character Study "Guerrero"

When you saw Guerrero he was always on a job. You could tell how much he loved his car, there was either somebody in his trunk or a load a guns in that persons place. Doesn't all that sound a bit dangerous?

At first he came off cheesy and typical wannabe bad-like. The random way that Chance called on him as though he had all the chops, it didn't surprise that he was supposed to be the 'off the books' type.

"Don't mess with me or you'll be sorry" It seemed all a bit too cliched for me. Which is also why I gave 'Human Target' a bit of a hard time in the early stages.

In order to truly get 'Human Target', you have to go a few more episodes in. After a decent while 'Human Target' was well spoken of, by a few colleagues and after watching an episode mid season, the flavor was in. Guerrero was really the bad egg, but it complimented this group.

-- "Just don't cross me"

He has this brotherly way about him, so it showed that he had a human side. Even while he got his hands dirty, he still had compassion. So that sets him apart from any other character on television. Still, where does this compassion come from? This was hardly revealed in the first season, as it focused solely on Christopher Chance and the mystery that surrounded him, but Guerrero had a story to tell as well.

What we gathered in Season one was that if anyone could get the job done, Guerrero was your guy. His conflicting relationship with Winston added for a laughable drama. Indeed 'Human Target' had a lot of Macho tension, showcasing only males and romantic interests at a minimal. It worked for this series later on and Guerrero had a lot to offer. The action literally jerked your attention, and one would admit Guerrero knew his stuff.

If you want a good, trusting friend Guerrero's your guy. This was revealed later on in Season 1 and embraced in Season 2. Although he handled a lot for one person, he became his own army. What made me appreciate him more was the Season 2 side of him, when he embraced his family in Chance, Winston and surprisingly Ilsa Pucci. Guerrero surprised me when it was revealed he spent his off time following his peers, to ensure their safety. That came off both creepy and humble at the same time. He always put his family first.

Writers added the extra touch by revealing he was a parent. Honestly as bad a Guerrero was, he seemed to be more loving as a father. I would have actually liked to have this explored on a deeper level.

Not everyday you would meet a character like Guerrero, someone you warm up to eventually. His bad reputation took a life of its own, from the moment his name was mentioned, people actually ran away in fear.

This character study was meant to give a full insight into who Guerrero is, and it was also meant to give the production team a thumbs up. FOX needed this one on its schedule, nothing else works without it. Jackie Earle Haley made an excellent interpretation of this character and I hope to have him on television again ...sooner rather than later.

If there is any chance for another station to pick up the series, or FOX to make an exception many fans would appreciate this. Why not? I am certain the actors and actresses would not mind. I did not grow to appreciate this character then to have it meet the axe.

Jackie Earle Haley as Guerrero
5 Stars

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Covert Affairs: Season Premiere 'A Hit or a Miss'?

When this first aired last season, I was not completely a lover. Usually when a show sucks for me I move on pretty fast. I watch series that show growth and genuinely entertain. I was happy to give Covert Affairs a chance, because it did impress -- eventually.

After re watching Season one on DVD, which I felt was pretty short lived, I could not wait until Season Two aired. Honestly I did not like Annie and Ben Mercer in the beginning. Their 'love' was exaggerated and that could play either for or against this couple, because their chemistry had to be just as on point when they finally met post honeymoon. Besides, I was holding out for a Annie and Jai Wilcox romance.

Regardless the season still impressed in the end. Annie did not present herself as spy material when she first joined, but that fits the unrecognizable criteria they go for. She was sweet and hardly that bada%$ type you would recognize on screen. The series opened many arcs to explore:

Joan and Arthur - The conflicted in house 'agency' marriage with spy conflicts. Joan is particularly a unique character. She clearly knows what she wants and is willing to own up until she gets it. Arthur is more laid back and subtle, but he gets the job done.

Auggie - He is definitely a character fit for television screens world wide. I admire his charm and his growing relationship with Annie. He plays his character's weakness as his strength, so that shows some moral growth in character and strength through an audience.

Liza Hearn - The reporter that stirs up trouble and probably the most interesting driving plot line for this series. At least just until the others blossom to its fullest. Until then, I want to have this story line gradually surface, nothing good comes from too much information all at once.

Conflict with being an agent and balancing love with duty - This definitely came up a lot last season. At one point Annie did not know who she could trust in the agency. She had to negotiate whether Ben's words were those she could trust outside agency regulations. I specifically admired this conflict because it showed her human side and made her more likeable. Joan was also forced to balance her love for her husband with her duty to the agency. I wonder if they would always choose love.

What sets this series apart is its characters. The premiere touched on every inch of character growth, while delivering a good action segment. Annie's hysteria towards 'doing the right thing' came off too strong at times and it became a concern as to how she figured out the real villains in the story. The clues just didn't add up when she painted the picture.

Surprisingly, Ben and Annie did have a spark. Even in his weak state Ben was willing to risk it all to save her and that makes me like him a bit. I am still rooting for Annie and Jai, he is just too handsome to not have a romance arc. He had concern for Annie when it came to Ben and his 'solo act'. Could Ben actually believe in a partnership?

So even if this wasn't a big hit of a season premiere, it is still worth it. Ben working with Arthur does have it's perks as a new twist and Auggie and Annie make decent friendship pals, so give the series that. I couldn't bare the 'C' word attached to this one, I want a third season, if only to have those characters on screen a little while longer. So get cracking guys, it's actually better than you think.

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'Begin the Begin'
4 Stars

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Smallville: Finale Prelude 'Clark as Superman'


I waited in hope that this finale would be debated by the producers and we could wring another season from them.

"What were we thinking guys 'Finale'"
"Yeah right, not the F word"
--- Behind the scenes debate.

In fact, I remained in denial up until Clark flashed the iconic Superman cape.

"This is not a show about Superman" -- Tom Welling

We understand that, but as fans maybe they could have stretched the 'final moments' a bit longer, or even do a 'Pre-Superman' montage? Tom Welling (TW) must have been preparing a long time to fit into those tights. After long speculation that TW was strongly opinionated about wearing them, but when you're in a series referencing the man of steel, wearing the tights seems inevitable. The moment arrived and we hardly caught a glimpse of it.

Finally we had 'future Clark' in present; the fixed glasses, the long trench coat, the slick hairstyle. It seemed as though Clark took all the hunky tips from future Clark. Was Clark supposed to look nerdy there in present - I don't think so? He couldn't look too much like a dork marrying Lois and all. I don't think it's possible now to transform Clark into his high school clumsy days. Aside - I applaud the commitment applied to the principle of Clark as Superman.

Superman - Hmm, did they even mention Superman in the Finale?

I imagined a perfect reveal to Superman since it was clearly adopted in the future by the Daily Planet. Making the premise lean towards a theatrical closing without the theatrics, and reveal Superman by the first journalist. If the goal is to not tell the story of Superman but only the journey, then not actually saying the words while leaving the audience to assume that Clark would use the title sometime sooner when the series ends, would be classic.

"It's a bird, It's a plane, no It's ..."

The most impressionable catchphrase coined in the popular Superman movies. When you think of flight, what are the first thoughts that pass through your mind? The last thing you expect would be a man, let alone a 'super' man.

Think of Five for Fighting "It's not easy to be me" -- a perfect understanding as to the man in 'superman' -- It's not easy to be me.

The responsibilities a superhero holds, it's not one to be envious of. They face the same challenges of fitting in, understanding their abilities, learning to live and to learn from mistakes and what is worse off for them, is that the higher they fly, the harder they fall. Smallville did an excellent job of creating Clark as a human. Making him easy to relate with. The battles he had to fight were far beyond challenging and it opened him up to so many wounds. Even as Clark's journey has just begun, it hurts to think that he may have far more to over come. It is an ease knowing that he has love in his heart and it guides him in the right direction. There is much we haven't seen from him, that wasn't written deliberately, but accomplished fully.

Writers spent years teasing viewers with 'The Red Blue Blur' into just 'The Blur' since he was no longer red or blue, why not tease with a super reference? We all laughed around the names they developed, but at one point I feared they were going far past the Superman trademark to make Smallville unique, that they crossed all traditional Superman analogies. Smallville in itself is a unique series. Through adopting Chloe that has made it to the comics in a phenomenal way, but we were also introduced to Lois very early in Clark's life, which conflicted with everything Superman. I didn't care though, Erica Durance has proven to be as an effective character, warming her way in our hearts and growing into a beautiful persona. It wouldn't hurt to think of this as an alternate universe to Clark as Superman and in another world Clark's first day in the Daily Planet was his first time in Metropolis as well, and his first time meeting Lois Lane.

Series Finale Semi/Talk

This finale 2 hour special felt rushed. When you break it all down, it is as though they tried a tie all the knots, dot all the I's and cross all the T's, sort of play. CLois grew stronger clearly from the beginning of the season. Mostly initiated from Season 9 into Season 10, they shared a glow on screen. Their relationship was stronger and it was clear that Lois helped mold the finer part of Superman, but pushed Clark into clumsy mode splitting both man and man of steel. It leaves you wondering how Superman from past series and movies became the man of steel.

Remember 'Lois and Clark The New Adventures of Superman' -- Lois and Clark met in the Daily Planet. Definitely attending Smallville High changed the course of time. It would have been nice to have an episode that mirrored that lifestyle.

So we sit back, stand, dance and cry as bloggers, writers, critics and fans, to write, comment and express how we admire the closure of Smallvile or disapprove of the end. It all gives us something to share and talk about. What is the next step for Allison Mack, Erica Durance, Tom Welling and Justin Hartley? Not to mention Michael Rosenbaum, John Glover, Annette O'Toole, John Schneider and Cassidy Freeman. Where do we expect to see them next?

I know Tom Welling gave directing a shot through "Hellcats", which is now canceled. Michael Rosenbaum was recently on the now canceled "Breaking In". I am not so sure about the rest of the cast, but I do remember a guest star appearance from Annette O'Toole on Private Practice. I just don't want Smallville to be the only place we have such talented actors and actresses in one place. Sam goes for my other favorite series that were also canceled. We want to see you guys acting again!


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