Archive for May, 2010

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LOST Series Finale — Insta-Reaction

May 24, 2010

Ranted by Alicia Glass

Warning! Totally Spoiler Alert!

What the hell was that? I could’ve lived with it, if it was just Sun and Jin who had died towards the end. A sacrifice of the pair of lovebirds would have been worth it, if the dying had stopped there. Boy howdy, it didn’t. Come on TV Gods, it’s a terrible joke when I’m yelling at the tv, “You’re killin’ me!”

Now I know, I know, everyone who died came together in the waiting room of the afterlife, so they all move on together. That’s peachie, but, did it have to be a church? I realize putting it in a jungle island-like setting would’ve just confused the hell out of the viewers, but LOST made a point of staying pretty far away from much religion, implied or otherwise. It’s kind of pathetic they succumbed to that for the very last episode, it almost seems as though the creators thought if they didn’t have the dead ones meeting together in a church, the audience wouldn’t get it. And come on, we’ve made it through LOST’s total weirdness this far, give us some credit – I think the audience would’ve appreciated something else more.

That said, yes it was lovely to see all the peoples still alive in the Sideways world reunite, alive and whole, and remember the Other life they had together. Even the more unlikely ones, like Sayid and Shannon. However, yes I do have another quibble live with it, doing that seems a little like a cheap way to bring back every single cast member who was ever on LOST and give them a last cameo on the very last episode of the show. Whatever. Seeing the main cast-away-mates reunite with those they’re supposed to be with, such as Sawyer and Juliet, and Jack and Kate, is indeed poetic and beautiful. The Locke-ness-monster (I do so adore that nick the tv press came up with for Smokie) got a death, Locke himself got a redemption kind of, and even Ben finally got what he always wanted – recognition for a job well done. Claire and Charlie tearfully reunited in more or less the same way they did on the island, the irony of which wasn’t lost on me. It was kind of a shame there really wasn’t time to give the Hero, Desmond, and his beloved Penny a fine send-off, but seriously – there wasn’t enough time for everyone even with a record 2 and a half-hour end show!

We’re going to miss our beloved cast-away-mates, but you can’t say LOST went out without style. And as always, yet more unanswered questions!

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ABC’s V Season 1 Finale!

May 24, 2010

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Warning! Total Spoiler Alert!

So things for Erica and the 5th Column aren’t going well, as far as reactively trying to subvert the Visitors. More and more people are joining the torturous live-aboard program, Anna’s soldier eggs are ready to hatch any time, and oh yeah, the hybrid baby from turned-V Ryan is about to be born too. Can it get any worse? Maybe, but finally opportunity is knocking in the form of Erica’s smitten son Tyler, who’s wrangled a dinner invitation with Anna and her daughter Lisa, aboard the flagship. Oh yes. So nothing would do but for the 5th Column stragglers to make a last desperate plan to fix most of it all at once!

So Ryan’s lost a human girlfriend, but regained a Mistress and a new baby, poor thing. Poor Joshua, whom I decided frankly was THE best V out there, ends up taking the entire wrap for most of this mess, which is good for the rest of our protagonists. And the scene where Joshua calls Lisa, “My Queen” is just phenomenal. Anna loses her soldiers and endures her first human emotional reaction, as her Second in Command called it, and decides to launch a response she apparently had in the works the whole time. It looks like the Visitor’s are boiling the skies of earth, because after all, lizards like heat right? And that’s about where Season One ends. Oh drool. We cannot wait for more. And yes, choosing to drop Flashfoward in favor of V was one of the smartest moves ABC’s made in a long time!

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Happy Town

May 14, 2010

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Creator: Andre Nemec, Josh Applebaum

Studio: ABC

Age: 16+

Website: Happy Town

After a five year vacation from the mysterious machinations of the villain called the Magic Man, Haplin Minnesota (“It’s a happy town!”) endures a murder and a whole bunch of strange phenomenon.

I wasn’t sure what to make of this new attempt at an on-going horror/sci-fi show about the oh so traditional murder committed in a small town – how many of you remember Twin Peaks? Started off well and went completely bonkers at the end. Well, Happy Town seemed to be following the now-standard formula of murder in a small town leads to all sorts of other evil and weirdness, but now begins to throw it’s own Stephen King-like spin on things. The Sheriff who babbles about someone named Chloe who isn’t there (so we think), the dangerous redneck boys called the Stivelettos, the boarding house with the Ladies who Lunch and the Blue Door, and my personal favorite, Sam Neil as the curator of a movie memorabilia shop. Followup episodes have thrown in Greg Bryk and Peter Outerbridge of Regenesis fame, which is awesome and brings more drawing star power.

It’s not bad, so far. One really has to be a master storyteller to weave all these elements together to make a truly unique horror series in our time. Happy Town starts off with solid foundations and fantastic actors, I just hope that writers don’t succumb to any kind of peer pressure and cave to the revealing of the entire Magic Man plot before the first season is over. And if they do, they have a ready replacement plot.

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Stargate Universe

May 9, 2010

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Creator: Robert C. Cooper & Brad Wright

Studio: Stargate Universe on SyFy

Age: 14+

After a massive accident on a separate planet where scientists, civilians and military were working on the fabled Ninth Chevron of the Stargate, a very mismatched crew finds themselves aboard the Destiny, off on a brand new Stargate adventure!

I adored the original Stargate movie, so much so in fact that it took me ages to agree to watch the first show, Stargate SG-1. Then there was Stargate Atlantis, who only had a five year run for some reason. Now, there’s SGU, and the creators of the show themselves have been quoted as talking about furthering the Stargate franchise. Have we seriously gotten this low, run this far out of ideas? Because, basically what we long-suffering fans of Stargate now have is Lost in Space tossed into the SG universe, that’s mostly it. This new incarnation of SG is trying desperately to bring in new fans to the franchise, that much is evident in the new camera angles, the huge teenage nerd, and the fact that a good deal of the cast is in their early twenties, or at least made out to be that way. And personally, I don’t care much for the pandering. SG is supposed to keep the elements that made it so popular in the first place, like plots, not attempt to replace them with new fangled shiny things just to get your attention.

So a bunch of scientists and politicians and others (apparently most of the Earth now knows about the Stargate) were on another planet studying the Ninth Chevron of the Stargate and how to activate it. Things go from bad to worse, a lot of people die, and the survivors end up on an Ancient-built ship that ends up being named Destiny. Typical SG so far, but it really helps if you were an SG fan before this and not a newbie to the whole thing. The Destiny is stuck on a loop out there somewhere in space, visiting a bunch of planets that have Stargates already on them, and the new crew is just along for the joyride, trying to get back to Earth. But now we have to deal with things like mutiny from the civilian parts of the crew, brand-new alien bad guys who look so typical for aliens it’s surprising they’re even on Stargate at all, and a we’re-not-sure-if-he’s-a-bad-guy-or-NOT Dr. Rush. (He’s our Lost in Space Dr. Smith counterpoint, for those of you paying attention.)

The characters are fairly strong, each have their own backstory that the show is going into by inches, and we can grow to love them if given a chance. But if the Stargate franchise folks decide this new incarnation isn’t popular enough and decides to replace it again, we just wasted a lot of time we could have been enjoying V with.

The Stargate creative team really does listen to their fans opinions, so let your voice of this latest Stargate Universe attempt show!

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NCIS Los Angeles

May 7, 2010

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Creator: Shane Brennan

Studio: CBS

Age: 16+

Naval Criminal Investigation Services of Los Angeles fight crime among the sand and tanned bodies!

After enjoying CSI Las Vegas for years, and having several family members formerly of the military, I figured I’d give this show a try. And comparatively, I am sorry to say, NCIS LA doesn’t hold a candle to those other CSI-style shows out there. It often seems to me as though the show is reaching very hard to include the Naval element, generally concentrating in particular on SEALs, which seems to me almost a cop-out – there are a lot more unsung incredibly hard and skilled jobs in the Navy besides just them.

In true California style, most of the cast is already famous for doing other things – movies, a singing career, other tv shows, etc. And while throwing them together all in one show might have worked, it would have behooved these guys to pick a different show premise. Take the two lead investigators: Special Agents G. Callen and Sam Hanna, played by Chris O’Donnell and LL Cool J, respectively. Callen is usually the compassionate lead, while Hanna is the overly passionate former SEAL who always wants to beat the snot out of the bad guys – they work well together, but it’s so stereotypical, it makes your brain hurt. The female lead of the team as far as Investigators go is Special Agent Kensi Blye, portrayed by Daniela Ruah, is the oh so predictable attractive agent who’s tough and can kick even the former SEAL’s butt, but is of course vulnerable when it comes to just the right heart string pulled. Eric Beal, played by Barrett Foa, is the gang’s geek tech, who wanders around the office in shorts and flip-flops, but oh, he can fix a laptop tossed into a pool in under an hour! Adam Jamal Craig plays Special Agent Dominic Vaille, who recently on the show got himself kidnapped by terrorists for a few months, and then when he finally got rescued, his character was of course killed. How’s that for gratitude? The person trying to hold it all together as the head of this elite NCIS unit, Hetty Lange, portrayed by the ever-amazing Linda Hunt, is the only character who really gets the opportunity for fleshing. Hatty gets one-liner jokes, tea and philosophy, to disperse the wisdom of the ages, and despite her complete lack of height, manages to radiate a presence that holds all these pathetic elements together for awhile longer.

Despite it’s current time slot, NCIS Los Angeles right now holds about as much appeal as daytime tv – but with potentiality, there is always hope of improvement.