Friday, April 17, 2015
Monday, March 30, 2015
I never really understood the term “hate-watching” when it comes to a television series. Why would you watch something if you hate it? Why spend the time doing that instead of doing something you love? I think I’m starting to understand it a little bit more. Now, if this post comes off sounding harsh, it’s only because I just finished watching the most recent episode, and I can’t hold my frustration in anymore. I just have to get it out.
Once Upon a Time has become so ridiculous, and the plot has become so out of control that I should just stop watching it. Yet I haven’t stopped yet. Why, you ask? I loved the first season. I loved the premise. And I so desperately want it to be that good again. The first season was fresh, and had a specific goal in mind: introduce us to these fairy-tale characters living in our modern world with no memory of who they really are, while giving us flashbacks of who they were and what happened prior to being thrust into their current state. Oh, yea, and break the curse that was placed on them.
During the first season, I wrote a post about Once Upon a Time and wrote that I liked the idea of the series, but I felt the premise seemed more suited to being a mini-series (much like 10th Kingdom) more than a series with a full 22 episodes, not to mention multiple seasons, and I worried where it could go. Well, I can tell you where I feel it’s gone. The show and its characters are flailing about in a sea of plot-hole-filled episodes, tossed about by every cockamamie idea that comes into the show runners’ heads. I want to see the show back to being anchored in a firm idea, and not just a pit stop for any villain based in a Disney film to come in with their evil goals, rear their ugly, villainous heads and then leave, never to be heard of again (with the exception of Zelena, it looks like from the preview). Whew! Okay, I said it.
I understand why they've broken the season into two halves with a different plot and different villains, it’s because the plots are so thin that it’s hard enough to spread it out into even 11 episodes. The stories could probably be told in fewer than six episodes. The plot drags on for so long, that by the time it's resolved, you can't remember how you even got there, and can't decide it you even care.
So, the main plot for the second half of the season 4 of Once Upon a Time is villains trying to find the author of Henry’s book so they can get the “happy ending” they think they deserve. And I have to say, this is about the most flimsy plot line they've come up with yet. The idea that they even think that a writer is deciding their fate, and not that they have any hand in it is laughable. And the writers felt they needed to bring in three villains for this one. Three!
And what’s all this nonsense of having the villains actually call themselves “villains”? I have never heard of a villain ever actually refer to themselves as a villain before. Not even in movies based on comic books, where there are lots of villains. Characters who are the “villain” in a story usually feel they have good reason to be evil or bad. That’s the reason we get books and films like “Wicked” and “Maleficent.” When you look back into the villain’s past, there is usually a reason they became the way they are, a reason that either they believe excuses or justifies what they end up doing that we call wrong. And they would most likely call themselves a hero before they ever called themselves a villain.
And speaking of heroes, guess what they call themselves? That's right - "heroes." It just leaves me speechless.
I feel that the show runners for Once Upon a Time are at a loss of what to do with this show. Just adding new villains every 13th episode is getting to be old and boring. I am begging you (although I’m sure you’ll never read this) to bring back the magic of that first season. Give new stories to our core characters and quit introducing more characters that we’re expected to care about immediately, just to have them disappear at the end of the season.
Looking at the ratings, I’m sure that many people still love Once Upon a Time. Or maybe they’re “hate-watching” just like I am, hoping to see a glimpse of the magic of season 1 that made them start watching in the first place.
Saturday, March 28, 2015
So, picking up where I left off so long ago, on to season 3's episode, "Enemies."
This episode has one of the best "I didn't see that coming" moments. If you've never seen the episode before, I envy you the thrill of that twist, because after you've seen it, you'll never get that "whaaaaat?" moment ever again. It's kind of like after you see The Sixth Sense the first time, you'll never look at Bruce Willis's character the same the next time you watch it.
If you've yet to see this episode, I recommend that you don't read the rest of this post, because there are ***Spoilers ahead.*** Just come back after you've watched the episode.
I'm going to repeat this ***Spoiler ahead. *** Don't read the rest of the post until you've seen the episode. I really don't want to ruin the surprise. Okay, you've been warned. It's not my fault if you don't head my warning. *wink*
Two important things happen in "Enemies:" 1) Buffy and the Scooby gang discover that Faith has slipped over to the dark side, and 2) Angelus returns.
Yes, this episode gave David Boreanaz the chance to inhabit the character of Angelus again, which means he can show a different emotion other than aloofness, internal torment, and angst. David has some great subtle expressions after the Shaman takes his soul away, where you can glimpse Angel behind the mask, being tormented by what he has to do. When the Mayor takes the letter opener out of his hand that Angelus just threw at him, and the wound heals instantly, you can see Angel’s look of discomfort and surprise. Angelus never would have reacted like that. Or, when he is chaining Buffy to the wall, there's a look that passes between them, as if he's saying, "Sorry."
Speaking of Angel's personality in Buffy (when he isn't Angelus), how do you play a character who is a 200ish year-old Irish vampire who has tortured and killed for centuries, who gets his soul back when he's cursed by a gypsy, and is immediately racked with guilt for all of the horrible things he's done? It isn't like you can rely on The Method for that. *wink*
Angel: I'm sorry. I wanted to take you out somewhere fun. It's been a long time since I've been to the movies. They've changed.
Angel: Feels nice – to feel.
Demon: Ow! What are you, nuts? Going around punching people?
Demon: So, what, I’m a demon. That makes it okay?
Mayor: And what exactly did this demon look like?
Mayor: First, you load up on calcium, you find that demon, kill the heck out of him, and bring the books to me.
Mayor: Oh, come on, drink up. There’s nothing uncool about healthy teeth and bones.
Wesley: And you say this demon wanted cash? That's very unusual.
Giles: Demons wanting money. What ever happened to the still-beating heart of a virgin? No one has any standards anymore.
Giles: There's a reference here to the journal of Desmond Kane, pastor of a town called Sharpsville. "May 26, 1723. Tomorrow is the Ascension. God help us all." It was the last anyone heard.
Wesley: Of Kane?
Giles: Of Sharpsville.
Cordelia: What are you doing Friday night?
Wesley: Uh, uh, as always my sacred duty as a Watcher prevents me from... Why?
Cordelia: I have a paper to write for English, and you're English, so I thought...
[at everyone's looks]
Cordelia: What? Is it so wrong to be getting an insider's perspective?
Cordelia: I study best in a good restaurant, around eightish? Think it over?
Xander: And on the day the words "flimsy excuse" were redefined, we stood in awe and watched.
Angel: It’s okay.
Faith: No, it’s a couple of counties over from okay.
Mayor: There's more than one way to skin a cat. And I happen to know that's factually true.
Wesley: Find anything?
Giles: Six course banquet of nothing with a scoop of sod all as a palette cleanser.
Wesley: Wait for Faith.
Buffy: That could be hours. The girl makes Godot look punctual.
Xander: Found your demon. I beat it out of Willie the Snitch personally.
Buffy: You beat up Willie?
Xander: Sure. Well, actually, let’s just say I applied some pressure. Or more accurately, that I asked politely, and then… Okay, I bribed him.
Buffy: How much?
Xander: Twenty-eight bucks. Does the council reimburse for that kind of stuff?
Giles: Did you get a receipt?
Buffy: It's down by the bus station. Not the nicest part of town.
Giles: Again, see? No standards. Any self-respecting demon should be living in a pit of filth or a nice crypt.
Buffy: I went to Angel's last night, and Faith was there. They looked sort of... intimate.
Willow: No way. I know what you're thinking, and no way.
Buffy: You're right. Faith would never do that.
Willow: Faith would totally do that. Faith was built to do that. She's the "do that" girl.
Buffy: Comfort, remember? Comfort here.
Willow: I mean, please. Does Angel come up to Faith's standards for a guy? Let's see... is he breathing?
Buffy: Actually, no.
Willow: Buffy, I too know the love of a taciturn man, and you have to look at their actions.
Buffy: I was.
Faith: You wanna be smart, you listen to me.
Angel: Funny thing about vampires, Faith. We don’t establish meaningful dialogue with slayers.
Wesley: We seem consistently to be one step behind him. Now he has the Books of Ascension. We must take definitive action.
Cordelia: You have the greatest voice. Have you ever thought of doing books on tape?
Xander: Way to stay focused, C.C.
Buffy: I’ll go home and stock on weapons. Slip into something a little more “break-and-enterish.”
Giles: Wesley, why don’t you take the group and start looking.
Cordelia: I’m in Wesley’s group.
Giles: There is just the one group.
Cordelia: Yes. And I’m in it.
Mayor: No trouble with the transition? No side effects?
Angel: Had a soul. Now I’m free.
Mayor: That’s terrific! Poetic too. Not that I read much poetry. Except for the little ones in Reader Digest. You know, some of them are quite catchy.
Mayor: My question is, now that Faith has brought you back, what are your intentions?
Angel: Well, gee, sir, I thought I’d find that slayer that’s giving you so much trouble and torture, maim, and kill her.
Mayor: Fine. You know, it’s nice to see you’re not one of those slacker types running around town today.
Mayor (to Angel, regarding Faith): Try to have her home by eleven.
Angel: You know, I never properly thanked you for sending me to Hell.
Angel: Yeah, and I'm just wonderin', where do I start? A card, fruit basket, hmm? Evisceration?
Buffy: Faith, listen to me. Angel’s a killer. When he’s done with me, he’ll turn on you.
Angel: She’s right. I probably will.
Faith: No one can stop the Ascension. Mayor's got it wired, B. He built this town for demons to feed on, and come graduation day, he's gettin' paid. And I'll be sittin' at his right hand - assuming he has hands after the transformation, I'm not too clear on that part.
Buffy: I never knew you had so much rage in you.
Faith: What can I say? I'm the world's best actor.
Angel: Second best.
Willow: His debt to you is repaid? What did you do?
Giles: I introduced him to his wife.
Willow: At least Angel’s not bad, though. That’s good, right?
Xander: Yes. I feel so much better knowing that he broke my face in a good way. It’s a good bruise.
Mayor: I've got two words that are gonna make all the pain go away. Miniature. Golf.
Angel: You still my girl?
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Of course there isn't going to be a big celebration like the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, but let us pause for a moment on this most special day (which, by the way, just also happens to be my niece's birthday, who is a big Who fan. Although, she is a little older than 10), and think about the many wonderful ways Doctor Who has influenced our lives. And if you haven't yet watched it, what are you waiting for?
The biggest surprise of all, is the birthday wish from my favorite Doctor, namely the Ninth (Christopher Eccleston). He has not forgotten. :)
I could go on forever about how much I love Doctor Who, even when some episodes didn't satisfy my high expectations. But for now I will just say, "Here's to many more years of The Doctor and his adventures!"
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Three cast members of the CW's series, The Flash, thanked Joss Whedon for donating to their Kickstarter for their project, The Letter Carrier, a short musical film they're collaborating on. Their thanks consisted of this acapella version of Firefly's theme song, "The Ballad of Serenity" (which, by the way, was written by Joss).
I have two questions: Where's Grant Gustin? When will they have a musical episode of The Flash?
I have two questions: Where's Grant Gustin? When will they have a musical episode of The Flash?
Friday, January 16, 2015
I was watching a rerun of Fantasy Island (it sounds funny calling it a rerun when the show’s been off the air for about 30 years. Every episode of Fantasy Island is now a rerun, obviously. Anyway…), and I was surprised when Mr. Roarke told Tattoo the fantasy of a young girl played by Genie Francis (yes, Genie Francis of “Luke and Laura” fame on General Hospital).
Genie’s character is engaged to be married, and she has recently found letters belonging to her mother, and from those letters she discovers that her real father is a man her mother met in the Philippines, and her mother lost track of him after she got pregnant so the young woman has never met her real father. She wants to find her father so he can walk her down the aisle when she gets married. It turns out that she meets three men who think that they could possibly be her father.
If you’re a musical theatre fan, you may think this plot sound a little bit familiar? Just substitute an island in the south pacific with a Greek island.
Did the writers of Mamma Mia get the idea for their plot from Fantasy Island?