Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Arrow "Pilot" Review - Lost and Found

The Man in the Hood- Courtesy EW.com
Imagine the prospect of the superhero that has your back. Except Oliver Queen has his own agenda, focused on corruption in the heart of where he grew up. Many would know Arrow from Justin Hartley's representation on Smallville, but the pilot was far from that persona. There is a dark edgier side to Arrow which probably caused the writers to strip away the 'green' image. He is a many shades of grey Arrow and as the creators explained, they need to go in that direction.

Stephen Amell has a lot going for him other than his rocking bod. He introduces a new perspective to a hero complex that is more human than anyone would expect. Off the comic pages the pilot opens to a mad man running through what seemed like a deserted island. You hear 'mad man' because that was my first impression of this person with a long beard, dirty musky face and ruffled clothing suited for time deserted on an island. Did a picture of Toma Hanks's "Cast Away" come to mind? This movie showcased the length a man can endure for survival.

Unlike any traditional story, Oliver was lost and not in the literal sense. He had probably lost his sense of humanity, shooting arrows that created an instant fire. How long was he there? What happened to this lost man? Already you form a connection with the plot. When Oliver alerted a random boat off coast to help his escape, his transformation back home was flawless. Does he now shake off the years of struggle that caused his hard appearance. His body aimed to be the perfection women fall for, but he was far from perfect. His bruises protruding through the cracks.

We learn this lost man had a family; a mother and sister, but we did not know what he had lost. Five years is a long time to survive. A long time to watch over your own back and to be alone. No one really knew from his return how much Oliver suffered. His scars alone tell you a story, or even a cautionary tale. We were introduced to Oliver's new life. Everyone else had time to move on, build a career, start a family and waste their lives away. It's difficult to put yourself in the frame mind of this boy turned man. Some people take longer to grow up.

We also learn from some well placed flashbacks, that Oliver was spoiled-rich. His ex-girlfriend Laurel now despises him for sleeping with her sister and blames him for her death. Every emotion is expected.

"Did you even try to save her"

Words uttered from Sara's father as the memories of his daughter filled his brain causing him to act irrationally. Already I wonder why this man was put on Oliver's case, when Oliver was abducted. He's too close to the matter. 'A man in a hood' Nowadays anything is possible. Why the hood? Why so specific? Does it represent an icon of what he was on the island? Can we say that Oliver is sane? He witnessed his father's suicide so that he could barely survive. Is there something slightly off about Oliver's prophecies? Maybe his time on the island made him the opposite of insane. Maybe he's more focused on what his father tried to tell him.

There were also two identities Oliver portrayed; the strong alpha male out to make his city right and the arrogant boy. He showed us his true identity. It's clever watching Oliver train his body then execute relentlessly and escape someone who was looking out for him. This series provides so many arcs for exploration that you lavish at the many possibilities. The strength of this series also lies in the family ties. Learning his mother moved on, you can somewhat understand, but it was troubling to accept. Along with his sister's escapades.

As Arrow risked his neck for his first mission, we can only see a taste of what is to come. As a pilot, Arrow not only pulls you in, but pushes you along for the ride. You dare not touch that remote, because one missed scene would feel as though you missed out so much. Lurking in the dark in the end, Oliver/Arrow may have discovered his ex and his best friend's affair. Still it only seeks to add layers to this already complex character.

Series Premiere "Pilot"
5 Stars


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Monday, November 19, 2012

The Good Wife "Here comes the Judge" Review

In the game of politics, it sometimes creates a perception that you had not yet considered. The Good Wife creates thought provoking topics that pulls you in either way. Sometimes you can't look away. In 'Here comes the Judge' Will certainly could not run away from his past. Even though he is hardly seen lately this season, his contribution to law comes with a wittiness. Which eventually ties everything to this game politics encourages, where there is one side that tries to win you over.

Lockhart/ Gardner vs The State Attorney's Laura Hellinger

Laura is sinking into her role well. She even bested the firm. We've seen The Good Wife deliver some thought provoking cases and this one was minor. We did not get a sense of who their client was, nor did we care to. The accused seemed guilty without even saying a word. The guy she influenced to have kill her husband , seemed so one dimensional. Maybe she saw that and easily manipulated him. However, this was one case Lockhart/Gardner took because of the money needed to get out of debt. Which probably explains the lack of knowledge towards her true innocence? Shouldn't Kalinda been on that?

Since the case bore little importance, none of those questions mattered. The focus shifted to the judge. For the first time in a while, Will ran into his old flame Giada, coincidentally around the judge that was presiding over his case. Giada was the law student Will got in trouble with as a 'pretend judge'. Which is uncanny as she returns during Will's confrontation with the judge in front of her. Does Giada have a thing for judges? Who knows. I just couldn't care for Will's relationship with her. No offense but $180 for a glass of wine, could Will really afford that luxury at this point?

The States Attorney's office had a decent lawyer. Alicia got Laura the job, but wouldn't that be a conflict of interest? Alicia could soon ask to have her removed, but I doubt that. Could these women separate their professional lives from personal. I wondered why the writers kept Laura as a recurring character. Is it to start to build on her as a potential love interest for Will? There was definitely chemistry. It's funny, one day the firm is representing her and the next she putting them out to dry. All in the name of doing her job.

The Judge Recusal Banter

Here comes the judge; was there any relation to 'here comes the bride'. At least that is the first thing that comes to mind. Walking into something you may not know the entire outcome yet. Here there were similar parallels. Will crossed the judge and asked for him to recuse himself and he traveled down unknown territory that could have ended very badly for the firm. Maybe it still did. If Lockhart/Gardner needed a favor from a judge, then they may have to wait a while. The judge seemed drunk when he spoke to Will about the case and Will encouraged it. Will could have walked away, but the judge did speak in contempt of him.

Who knew of the fallout from Will's six moth probation? Will made a human error and is being outed for it. Sometimes going back to undo the wrong, doesn't distract from the problem being there before. I hoped Giada would testify in Will defense. The judge was rude. Did he forget speaking with Will? Did he even remember meeting him? This was a serious prelude to the problems the judge had and it only sought to make matters worse.

Alicia and her Children

Finally we get another look at Alicia's children. Zach working for the campaign team and Grace, well that was an interesting way to open this episode. I wasn't sure about the direction the team was going with Grace's storyline, but it is interesting to have her feel connection to this new guy because of another Grace's death. It was however odd that the guy started to somewhat date another girl named Grace. I hope Grace's relationship with this guy doesn't impact on her negatively. How creepy it was to have the other campaign teams follow her to school. That's a low, still in politics, that's the game played to win more votes.

Kalinda and her Men

Why would Kalinda have any interaction with Cary that suggests flirtation when her husband was in plain sight. She knows the jealous side to him. A lot of people have resented this storyline for Kalinda. As opposed to adding a few layers, it made her look weaker. We can assume that Kalinda doesn't know the meaning of a functional relationship. Maybe her husband was one of her firsts, but it would help this case along if we found out how they met. Poor Cary, he didn't have a chance. It was a sad way to treat someone.

Although this was not my favorite episode in reference to case of the week, we got some development in characters and a possible storyline for Grace, let's hope this works out for the better.

4 Stars


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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Adult Teenage Relationships we Either Love to Hate or just Hate

Now and again I think back to high school and the many series that try to represent that time spent. Most of the shows now exploit relationships, highlight the downfalls of student awkwardness and express the enjoyment in rebelling as a teen. It is something that just makes us human. Lately however, there has been a glamorization towards the student-teacher relationship. Where the hot older dude falls for the teen in school and they both cannot resist the temptation of being all over each other. This can point to the many stories we've probably concocted among each other, about the professor and Miss thing hooking up after school hours, but is it something we live to fantasize about at that age? Or just another one of those eh moments.

Here's a look at the older-younger, student-teacher love affairs that have been highlighted on television. You be the judge, should they date and play age as just a number, or should they just dump each other for the relationship being just too creepy.

Gossip Girl 

Nate and Diana Payne

Remember these two? Well I stopped being a Gossip Girl fan long before they became an item over night, but it still should be mentioned. Elizabeth Hurley was an actress I first knew from Austin Powers. Gossip Girl had the tendency to use the art of seduction for you, while having the main cast act older than their age suggested. Sure Nate was probably far from being a young boy, but he still had not grown up. Let's chalk one up to Gossip Girl that threw us this pair.

Date or DUMP

It was probably best that they did not last, even Diana had her own agenda to cause more Payne.

Jenny and Nate

Even though this pair were closer to each others ages, Jenny was still a younger version of herself. Worse yet to find Nate and Dan were like brothers at this point. Come on Nate, Jenny is like your sister here. This is why this relationship did not last. Jenny was still finding herself and trying to become too many people at once. She was not ready for a serious relationship and neither was Nate.

Date or DUMP

I am most certain you guys can come up with many more odd pairings from this series. I'll leave it to you guys, but like I said, I stopped watch Gossip Girl a while ago and stopped caring along with it. (Ouch)

Pretty Little Liars

Ezra and Aria

As much as many people may either extremely love or hate this pair, these two are up for debate. It's how they met that sets these two apart. Aria was at a bar drowning her sorrows, because at her age she has loads of problems, at least far more than the average teen. Ezra saw a girl roughly his age that spoke his language and liked his interests. Chalk one up as being 'too good to be true', but these two within minutes of knowing little of each other, began making out in the bathroom. Did they exchange numbers? Aria led Ezra to believe she was older, probably in college. She knew he was in to teaching English. Maybe everything about this relationship went into impulse and lack of thinking things through.

Which makes the perception of them being completely wrong sort of an exploit. It's complicated to say yes or no and stick to it. Frankly Ezra should have DUMPED before things escalated into a romance. When intense feelings are involve, it's hard to pull your heart away. Still, there is just enough time to make the right call before things reached to that point. Ezra was responsible for making that choice. Probably they are suited, in terms of maturity, they both match each other. Now if we're deciding if these two should date, it would be towards who they became as a couple, while struggling through a lot more than most couples.

DATE or Dump

DUMP is only highlighted for this situation before a romance. There be it, if they ended it earlier, the wound would be smaller and easier to heal than the wound now created because of the love they now share.

Life Unexpected

Lux and Eric

This was one of my favorite series for the first season. We focused on Lux's abrupt lifestyle, where she sooner had to become an adult. She did not really get to live out her childhood and be a teen, because she was too busy taking up adult responsibilities that tested her as a teenager. This could explain why as soon as she went to school, she escaped into an identity that rediscovered her childhood. Let's face it Lux and Eric looked about the same age. Eric looked about two or three years older than Lux. The only thing that made this pair seem wrong, was Eric's title as Lux's teacher.

There were so many things that did not work for them. Firstly, Lux interchanged being an adult and a teen too frequently. She imposed on her best friend and came close to sending her back into the foster system. Lux became rebellious, which only helps reinforce the belief that 'you're just not mature enough' and lastly Lux wanted to keep Eric to herself. As much as the idea seemed thought provoking, it sought to alienate this pair into nothing more than a stereotype.

Date or DUMP
This arc should not have been even considered, probably what sent this series home packing.

Switched at Birth

Daphne and Chef Jeff

Daphne showed many lengths of her maturity by aiming for so many goals that could help better herself. She even reached a point where she could help others and prove even the most judgmental wrong. Chef Jeff was introduced as a potential love interest for Daphne, probably as a way to showcase how mature she was, but it did the opposite. Daphne became jealous, angry, focused too much on her physical attributes, which didn't matter to her before, and possessive of something that was not concrete.

Daphne had a complete character transformation, which happens when you're still growing up and figuring things out. You begin to think that the good thing in your life, would be the only thing that would ever happen. What made matters worse, was that Chef Jeff was mature and knew better. As a boss and a more responsible adult, he chopped Daphne up for left overs. The chemistry people hoped for was thrown out the moment Jeff treated Daphne like a lovesick teenager, telling her she could find someone better. What an A&$.



Marti and Julian

Hellcats showcased the college side of growing up, but still managed to still be high school. It had the same recipe to what made a high school series work; the mean girl, the boyfriend, the jealous girlfriend, the love triangle, the ex, and the list goes on. To throw in the teacher student love affair or even past teacher, ex student love affair, only places the icing on the cake. Marti got to experience some of the many challenges that came with dating someone older; the ex and the child. As much as Marti was more grown up than most stereotypical teens TV represents, she still wasn't prepared for this other life.

Unfortunately this story arc felt more like a distraction from Marti actually hooking up with her best friend Dan, which might have worked better for the series. Sadly we may not ever know.

Date or DUMP

Desperate Housewives
Gabby and John

Remember these two? Many of those fans of this suburban tale would know of Gabby carrying on an affair with the young and irresistible gardener that was still in high school. At that time John was still the impressionable boy who was manipulated for his looks and as an outlet for a lonely stay at home socialite. Poor boy made this relationship into something more than it was. He did what anyone who fell in love easily at that age would do. Gaby had the responsibility to sway her temptations to get with the gardener and work on her marriage, but who are we to impose.


Jane By Design
Jane and Jeremy

Well well, if you are faking your age and representing yourself as someone older than you appear to be, then why not invest in this co-worker relationship. Sadly Jeremy's brooding body and masculine developed features made him more like a father or brother figure for Jane. Anything other than that would seem odd, like a man taking advantage of a girl. Happily Jane did not feel the same way about him, though Jeremy's choice of relationships should make for an interesting case study.

Date or DUMP



Amber and Bob Little

Saving the best for last. Not only has Amber played the parent in her life, she has also grown up far more than many others her age. She is smart and tough, both qualities some adults don't even have. Being out of school and in a job post would encourage opportunities for Amber to focus on the main side to her that showcases responsibility.

This love affair was bold, but both shared a level of confidence and maturity in what each other stood for in life so far. Even when Aunt Christina tried to break this pair up, in the midst of heat, things didn't spiral out of control. There was an attraction and a closeness that was already established. Unfortunately Amber chose her career over the romance.

Still what happened to Bob Little? He lost the campaign and was free to move on, Amber had already moved on. Still if the opportunity even presented itself again, I wouldn't mind a relationship for this pair. Even though he was the boss, they mirrored each other far more mature than irrational teens. Little is far more a character than his name suggests.


So there it is guys. You may have your own doo's and don't s for some pairings that television created for us. They already have been represented in society. Do you agree with the Date and Dump. Which couple in your opinion do have a chance of making it against all odds?


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