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Once Upon a Time – S01E12 – “Skin Deep”

ABC's Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time – S01E12 – “Skin Deep”

Another classic fairytale gets the spin treatment as Princess Belle willing goes into the service of Rumplestiltskin in exchange for her kingdom’s safety. A refreshingly excellent episode amongst a string of ever degrading fare, “Skin Deep” proves that Rumple/Mr Gold is the most interesting character in the whole show. If they had ditched the lame B-plot and focused more on the Rumple/Belle relationship then this could have been a Five Star episode.

Score: 4 of 5

>Spoilers<

It’s official, I’m a Rumple/Belle shipper, or as I’m calling it, a Rumelle. Being that Beauty and the Beast is my favorite fairy tale, “Skin Deep” had to go a long way to impress me, and it did.

Once Upon a Time – S01E12 – “Skin Deep”

Belle goes with Rumple in exchange for her kingdom's safety.

First up, they changed Belle into a princess since obviously she wasn’t going to marry into royalty with Rumple as the Beast. And she’s the one to make the choice to be traded to Rumple in exchange for her kingdom’s protection against Ogres. Belle was always the Disney Princess with the most strength and gumption and Emily de Ravin pulled this off better than could be expected. Especially when she comments that she went with Rumple because it was the “brave thing to do” and didn’t fancy a life with the brainless Gaston. This helps to soften the Munchausen Syndrome prevalent in the Beauty and the Beast story.

The episode does skip through much of the romancing side of the story, taking the stance that everyone already knows what’s going to happen anyway. It would have been better if they dropped the lame Valentine’s Day subplot and spent that time on Rumelle. At least we get a ‘time has passed, been able to get to know a lot about you’ throwaway line to explain Belle’s true love in Rumple. (See writer’s, it’s not so hard!)

Once Upon a Time – S01E12 – “Skin Deep”

Belle has gotten to know Rumple and sees the person within.

The loveliest part of “Skin Deep” was the tea cup. In the animated Disney Beauty and the Best one of the most beloved original characters was Chip, the chipped tea cup. Here, Belle drops a cup and chips it on her first day after Rumple gives her a fright. This worries her as she hasn’t quite figured out Rumple isn’t all that bad, and it becomes the only thing Belle physically brings to the relationship. Rumple becomes sentimental over it when he believes she is dead. (Personally, I think Rumple was too quick to trust Evil Queen but hey, it made for a good scene).

The most engaging scene was Regina confronting Mr Gold as he sets in prison in a wonderful call back to the first episode. It’s confirmed that Mr Gold remembers being Rumple and that there is some kind of power play going on. Both of the characters have an end game, but what exactly is it? Regina seems more transparent but Rumple, well, all magic does come with a price.

However, this episode is drug down by a horribly lame B-plot where real life Snow, Cinderella and Red Riding Hood go out on Valentine’s Day as a girl’s night out. Cinderella does nothing but whine and David gives Mary the wrong Valentine’s card. Total waste of screen time.

A good episode among crap ones, I have a feeling next week won’t be any better. Let’s hope for more Rumelle in the future.

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2012 in Television

 

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Castle – S04E15 – “Pandora”

ABC's Castle

Castle – S04E15 – “Pandora”

Castle and Beckett track down a murderer, only to have him calmly disappear from their holding cell. The partners soon find themselves in the middle of a conspiracy between the CIA, an ex-operative, and an ex-asset. A solid episode with a few fun quirks but basically it’s a rehash of last season’s “Setup” and “Countdown”, right down to the cliffhanger.

Score: 3 of 5

>Spoilers<

The good parts about this episode are:

Castle – S04E15 – “Pandora”

I hope they cleaned the bag...

  • Alexis interning with Laney and Castle is the last to find out. This is going to add a different dynamic to the situation and I hope it’s not a plot line that will be over quickly or forgotten about in later episodes.
  • Beckett’s jealousy of Castle’s CIA ex-flame (Jennifer Beals). The whole set up is very similar to when the show had Dana Delany’s FBI agent but the CIA agent is actually an ex-flame this time and Beckett is more aware of her feelings for Castle.
  • Drop Dead Diva’s Josh Stamberg’s supporting roll as a CIA agent. Of course, this means he’s instantly the number one suspect in my eyes but I’ll forgive him because he does such a wonderful job on Diva.
  • The bags over Castle and Beckett’s head when they go to the CIA headquarters, but probably only made funnier because of Burn Notice’s Michael Weston’s comment: “The worse thing about going to clandestine meetings… they never wash the bag.”

The bad parts about this episode are:

Castle – S04E15 – “Pandora”

Castle is confronted by his ex-flame, a CIA agent.

  • Everything else.
  • We have a plain murder once again and it all leads to a plot to cause some major damage with global repercussions. A federal agency gets involved, heads are butted, but ultimately Castle and Beckett are two steps ahead. Of course, this gets them into trouble. It’s the same plot as “Setup” so much so that at the end of “Setup” Castle and Beckett were trapped in a freezer, at end of “Pandora” they are trapped in a car that’s been plunged into the water.
  • The second part of this episode should hopefully diverge more from “Countdown” (“Setup”’s second part) because you don’t have the same ‘person is being set up to take the fall’ angle going on (or maybe they do, who knows). However, this isn’t going to distract from the point that “Pandora” is too much a direct rehash of “Setup”. Did they not think we’d notice? It’s pretty insulting actually.

And you know what’s worse, we get an episode named after Pandora and it even mentions the myth… yet not a single comment from Castle that Pandora’s box was actually a jar. Castle. I.am.disappoint.

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2012 in Television

 

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Castle – S04E14 – “The Blue Butterfly”

ABC's Castle

Castle – S04E14 – “The Blue Butterfly”

A man is found murdered in the remains of an old nightclub and at the center of his death, a sixty-five year old mystery. Castle is on the case, his imaginative mind dreaming up a film noir world in which those closest to him take on the visages of the past. It starts out feeling like high school dinner theatre but ends up as a hilarious trip down a classic trope which has been turned up on its head. However, “Blue Butterfly” ultimately leaves too much unanswered.

Score: 3 ½ of 5 (4 ½ if you can get past the plot holes)

>Spoilers<

Castle – S04E14 – “The Blue Butterfly”

Castle and Beckett as Jerry and Viola circa 1947

“Blue Butterfly” starts out with a tease. Castle, sporting a horrible 40s New York accent and dressed up in whatever the wardrobe dept could borrow from Boardwalk Empire, is grabbing a drink at a classic nightclub set. He turns, sees Beckett dressed with whatever could be snatched from Mad Men and he utters the line “Where have you been all my life?” Instant groan. My heart literally sank because seriously, that’s where they want to take this?

Flashing to real time, Castle and Beckett arrive in an old building, the same nightclub as it is today, and find Laney over another plain jane murdered body. Some quick exposition and the victim is Stan, an amateur treasure hunter looking for “The Blue Butterfly” with creditors on his back and nothing to show for it. Castle finds an old P.I.’s diary amongst his things and can’t help but want to explore it.

As he reads the journal the images come to life. Castle takes the role of Jerry, a P.I. from 1947 and his mom becomes his secretary. (I love Nathan to death, I really do, but that outfit did nothing for his figure.) A young woman, played by Alexis, comes in and asks for Joe’s help in finding her sister. Jerry agrees and we end up back at the beginning, Castle standing at a bar, seeing Beckett as the beautiful Viola. The scene continues from there and it’s revealed that the “Blue Butterfly” is a necklace.

Instant pop back to the real world where Castle proceeds to explain what is going on and what it all means. He promptly finishes the scene with the words, “And why am I narrating?”

Okay… this I can do.

Castle – S04E14 – “The Blue Butterfly”

The Blue Butterfly is a diamond necklace.

Taking a page from the right book, “Blue Butterfly” knows what it is and has fun with the trope, lampshading and lampooning it at every turn. Castle asks Ryan to say Irish words since he sees the detective as an Irish gangster who is Lucky Charms incarnate. The writer even accidently calls Viola, Kate, and she calls him on the fact he is imaging her in his head. It’s lots of little moments like this which really pull the episode up into 4-4 ½ territory.

However, the show leaves too many nagging questions that need to be answered:

  • What was the daughter/Alexis’ game plan? Did she expect Jerry to fall for Viola and vice versa? You can’t exactly predict that. And as soon as he mentioned a sister Viola would have known something was up like she did when he finally got around to it. Jerry came up with the go-between plan that stalled Viola finding out. Was the daughter going to set Viola up, kill her at a meet? How? Viola would never go because she knows she doesn’t have a sister, so did the daughter not know that? A quick throwaway line explanation would have been nice.
  • You’re telling me that it has been suspected for over fifty years that the necklace is in that building and no one thought to check behind the wall panels? Seriously? That would be the second place I’d look right after ripping up all the floor boards. Hello, metal detectors people!
  • As far as I could tell there was no door/hatch in the basement to get outside, only the entrance. So if Stan went down and came up with the necklace it must have been in the safe. How did it get there when Jerry stashed it in a very good hiding place and Dempsey died only months later? Why didn’t Castle go back to the alley and look, you know, just to see if the hole was there, just because he could and it’s part of the story? /headdesk

Castle has been doing a lot of this lately, focusing on the theme and forgetting that this is still a detective show. It’s really starting to get on my nerves but my parents found the episode absolutely entertaining and said I think too much into things. They are probably right… but still… I don’t remember it being this bad in the first few seasons. Rose colored glasses? I think a Castle marathon is in order. Don’t mind if I do…

The cast of ABC's Castle does film noir.

The cast of ABC's Castle does film noir.

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2012 in Television

 

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Wack-a-mole: Pilot season starts with a lot of misses.

The pilot season for 2012 has started, this is the time of year that hopeful studios, execs, writers, etc, pitch their tv pilots and what results is akin to a plate of mash potatoes being thrown against the wall… we see what sticks.

There isn’t a lot to go with right now but EW.com has given us a handy-dandy list of this year’s hopefuls. These write ups don’t give us a lot to go by but here is my initial reactions to some of them.

NBC

Beautiful People
Logline: An imaginative and thematically rich ensemble “what if” drama set 10 minutes in the future where families of mechanical human beings exist to service the human population — that is, until some of the mechanicals begin to “awaken.”
From: Writer-EP Michael McDonald; EPs Robert M. Sertner, Stephen Hopkins; Universal Television and ABC Studios

Been there, done that. Terminator and I, Robot pretty much covered this for us.

The Munsters Mockingbird Lane
Logline: From writer-executive producer Bryan Fuller, Mockingbird Lane is an imaginative reinvention of The Munsters as a visually spectacular one-hour drama.
From: Writer-EP Bryan Fuller; EPs Bryan Singer, John Wirth; Universal Television and Bad Hat Harry Productions

So… if it’s not a half-hour comedy but an hour drama without the monster make-up… then it’s not really The Munsters then. I see by the name change they noticed too.

The Frontier
Logline: In an intense tale of survival a group of disparate travelers embark on an incredible cross-country adventure through the West, where danger stalks them at every turn.
From: Writer-EP Shaun Cassidy; EPs Thomas Schlamme, Jeff Kwatinetz, Josh Barry; Sony and Prospect Park

I assume this is a pre-gps era period piece but how long do they think they could run this concept? Unless it’s 24 style then there is only so many wolf attacks and land slides we can watch until we get sick of it.

Midnight Sun
Logline: This thriller follows the mysterious disappearance of a group living on a commune in Alaska. Based on an acclaimed Israeli format, a female FBI cult specialist starts an investigation that uncovers a larger conspiracy.
From: Writer-EP Lisa Zwerling; EPs Peter Traugott, Rachel Kaplan, Alon Aranya, Efrat Shmayadron, Minit Toovi, Noah Stollman, and Oded Davidoff; Universal Television

Initial thoughts: The Event meets Alcatraz. Also, Americanizing a foreign show can work but often goes horribly wrong.

Revolution
Logline: A high octane action drama from J. J. Abrams following a group of characters struggling to survive and reunite with loved ones in a world where all forms of energy have mysteriously ceased to exist.
From: Writer-EP: Logline: Eric Kripke; J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk

You know, I got my BS in History, but even I’m pretty sure that ‘all forms of energy ceasing to exist’ is pretty impossible, especially since the 1st Law of Thermodynamics is quite clear about how energy can not be created nor destroyed. I mean, just breathing takes energy of a sort. The Earth spinning. Gravity! Inertia! Flowing water! This is one is so full of fail…

Bad Girls
Logline: From the producers of Shameless, and adapted from the long-running U.K. hit series of the same name, Bad Girls follows the ins and outs of a group of unlikely women in a federal prison: a scandalous female warden, her new protégé and a host of inmates – some mothers, some friends—who struggle with loyalties to people on the inside and the outside.
From: Writer-EP Nancy Pimental; Warner Bros. Television, John Wells Productions, and Shed Media U.

Maybe on a cable channel… but NBC? Sorry, if they can’t keep Playboy Club on the air then this has no chance.

Downwardly Mobile
Logline: This multi-cam comedy brings Roseanne Barr back to series television as the proprietor of a mobile-home park and surrogate mother to all of the unique people who live there in a challenging economy.
From: Writers-EPs Eric Gilliland, Roseanne Barr; EP John Argent; 20th Century Fox Television

Roseanne is back in her wheel house of representing the downtrodden middle and lower classes. While this is practically revolutionary in the 80s and 90s, I’m not sure how relevant she’d be today. Perhaps too relevant and that might not bode well for her.

Daddy’s Girls
Logline: A young woman returns home from overseas to find that her father is seriously dating the “mean girl” from her high school.
From: Writer-EP Dana Klein; 20th Century Fox Television and Kapital Entertainment

Isn’t this bordering on illegal? Ick.

CBS

Elementary
Logline: A modern take on the cases of Sherlock Holmes, with Sherlock now living in New York City.
From: Writer Robert Doherty; EPs Robert Doherty, Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly; CBS Television Studios

It worked wonderfully for the BBC and while I think you can never have too much Sherlock… I don’t mean that literally. How would it work anyway? Sherlock a transplanted Brit or an American version? What about Watson? Why couldn’t they just make another Sherlock rip-off instead… like House?

Trooper
Logline: A common-sense mother turns New York state trooper.
From: Aron Eli Coleite; EPs Aron Eli Coleite, Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman; Jerry Bruckheimer Television in association with Warner Bros. Television

Don’t know what the format is, but if it’s a dramedy then this could be awesome. Otherwise, yawn.

Golden Boy
Logline: A show about the making of a man. Tracks one cop’s meteoric rise from officer to detective to police commissioner.
From: Writer Nicholas Wootton; EPs Nicholas Wootton, Greg Berlanti; Warner Bros. Television

Don’t they know that these style cop shows are just not popular right now? Chicago Code failed and Blue Bloods is barely holding water.

Widow Detective
Logline: After losing three partners in the line of duty, a decorated police detective becomes surrogate husband, lover, and father to their families.
From: Writer David Hubbard; EPs David Hubbard, Carol Mendelsohn, Julie Weitz; CBS Television Studios

This is statistically improbable, just saying.

Untitled Ralph Lamb
Logline: Period piece set in the 1960s centered around the true story of Ralph Lamb: rodeo cowboy turned longtime sheriff of Las Vegas.
From: Writers Nicholas Pileggi and Greg Walker; EPs Nicolas Pileggi, Greg Walker, James Mangold, Cathy Konrad, Arthur Sarkissian; CBS Television Studios

Has promise but will all come down to the style and tone of the show. Viewers love Vegas.

Quean
Logline: An edgy and independent millennial-hacker girl teams up with an Oakland police detective to solve crimes.
From: Ilene Chaiken; Ilene Chaiken, Joel Silver; Silver Pictures in association with Warner Bros. Television

Can we say Girl with the Dragon Tattoo rip off?

FOX

The Asseta
Logline: A character-driven drama set in the CIA’s New York City station, focusing on a female agent with a very specialized and controversial area of expertise.
From: Writer-EP Josh Friedman; Twentieth Century Fox Television

So… what? She gets ‘close’ to her assets? Nothing really here to work with but I guarantee everyone is going to compare it to Alias.

Guilty
Logline: After being falsely convicted of fraud and stripped of his legal license, a brilliant, morally questionable defense attorney uses his unusual methods to solve the cases he’s been prohibited from handling and ultimately to exact revenge on the man who set him up.
From: Writer Marc Guggenheim; EPs Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, McG, Peter Johnson; Bonanza Productions / Berlanti Productions / Wonderland Sound and Vision, and Warner Bros. Television

So… Life, except it’s a lawyer?

Untitled Karyn Usher
Logline: The orphaned 17-year-old daughter of a CIA operative encounters a mysterious rogue agent-assassin who serves as both her surrogate father and professional mentor in the spy world.
From: Writer Karyn Usher; EPs Marty Adelstein, Shawn Levy, Becky Clements; 20th Century Fox Television / 21 Laps

So… Leon: The Professional meets Hanna?

Untitled Kevin Williamson
Logline: An edge-of-your-seat thriller about the complex relationship between a diabolical serial killer and the damaged FBI agent who took him down. After the killer escaped, the agent is reactivated and discovers that he is no longer just hunting one man, but a massive cult of serial killers created and manipulated during his time in prison. Kevin Bacon is near a deal to star as the agent.
From: Writer Kevin Williamson; Warner Bros. Television

So… Silence of the Lambs meets White Collar? Yeah, I know, the joke is getting old but Fox is making it so darn easy right now!

ABC

Beauty and the Beast
Logline: A fantastical reimagining of the classic fairy tale set in a mythical, dangerous world wherein a beautiful and tough princess discovers an unlikely connection with a mysterious beast.
From: Writer Jon Steinberg; EPs Gary Fleder, Mary Beth Basile; ABC Studios

ABC Studios HQ: “Freaking heck! Once Upon a Time is a hit! Quick, what other fairytale stories we have the rights to? Sleeping beauty sleeps all the time. Mermaid would be too expensive. Wait, Beauty and the Best, we can work with that!”

Gotham
Logline: After pursuing a seemingly unsolvable case, a female cop discovers a magical world that exists within New York City. A world that goes unseen by normal humans, and takes all of the familiar NYC landmarks and reinvents them in a magical otherworldly manner.
From: Writer-EP Michael Green; 20th Century Fox Television

No Batman? I.am.disappoint. (on a side note this is kinda similar to a book I wrote in 2010… hhmmm…)

Last Resort
An international action-thriller-soap that follows the story of establishing a new society in a world held hostage by the crew of a ballistic missile submarine. Basically, a U.S. nuclear sub crew refuses orders to fire their missiles and escapes to a NATO outpost and declares themselves the smallest nuclear nation.
From: Shawn Ryan, Karl Gajdusek

So, what happens when the sub needs to refuel and resupply? Freaking send Seal Team Six on their butts and call it a day.

Zero Hour
Logline: A bizarre twist of fate pulls a man who’s spent 20 years as the editor of a skeptics magazine into one of the most compelling conspiracies in human history.
From: Writer-EP Paul Scheuring; EPs Lorenzo DiBonaventura and Dan McDermott; ABC Studios

Has potential in the X-Files kind of way as long as they don’t go the cheesy routes of… everything that tried to capitalize on X-Files’s success.

Penoza
Logline: Based on the Dutch format, Penoza centers on the widow of an assassinated criminal who is forced to adopt her husband’s role in an organized-crime syndicate in order to protect her family.
From: Writer-EP Melissa Rosenberg; EPs Alon Aranya and Howard Klein; ABC Studios, Endemol Studios

I never watched it… but isn’t this kinda like Sopranos? And isn’t being on a network just going to water it down?

666 Park Ave.
Logline: When a young couple accepts an offer to manage one of the most historic apartment buildings in New York City, they unwittingly begin to experience supernatural occurrences, which complicate and endanger the lives of everyone in the building.
From: Writer-EP David Wilcox;  EPs: Leslie Morgenstein, Gina Girolamo; Warner Bros. Television, Alloy Entertainment

The title is going to upset the sensitive people and I’m not sure they can drag this idea out into a full season and not get repetitive. At least with Supernatural they drove around and went after all manner of demons and stuff.

Untitled Roland Emmerich
Logline: Set in New York City against the backdrop of the presidential race. Follows a young astrophysics student who finds out that his destiny lies not in science but somewhere between hell and heaven.
From: Writer-EPs Emmerich and Harald Kloser; EP Nicholas Pepper; Mark Gordon Company

I have no idea what this means… but it could be cool if Emmerich is involved.

Scruples
Logline: Based on the 1978 novel Scruples that follows the life of Wilhelmina Hunnewell Winthrop, a.k.a. Billy, a previously plump woman who loses weight, becomes fabulously cool, and survives a very rich (and very old) first husband. She ends up opening up a Beverly Hills clothing boutique called Scruples.
From: Writer-EPs Bob Brush, Mel Harris; EPs Tony Krantz, Natalie Portman, Annette Savitch; Flame Ventures LLC in association with Warner Bros. Television

Why watch a tv show when I can just watch entertainment news?

Nashville
Logline: A family soap set against the backdrop of the Nashville music scene that follows one star at her peak and one on the rise.
From: Writer-EP Callie Khouri; EPs RJ Cutler, Steve Buchanan; Gaylord Entertainment, ABC Studios, and Lionsgate

Country Song rip off?

Gilded Lillys
Set in 1895, this epic love story follows the opening of the first grand luxury hotel in NYC, against a backdrop of vicious family rivalries, scandalous secrets, and conflict and comingling of classes.
From: Writer K.J. Steinberg; EP Shonda Rhimes; ABC Studios

Another stab at recreating Mad Men and if I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again, you can’t recreate success. Usually these shows become big because there is nothing like them on when they air. So maybe studios should think about what we don’t have and less about saturating our screens with what we have.

Only Fools & Horses
Logline: Based on the iconic British series, this classic comedy chronicles the misadventures of two streetwise brothers and their aging grandfather as they concoct outrageous, morally questionable get-rich-quick schemes in their quest to become millionaires.
From: Writers Steven Cragg and Brian Bradley; ABC Studios.

No, just no. The humor won’t transfer, they will get it all wrong. Office was easy because it was universal… this is not.

CW

Arrow
Logline: Based on the DC Comics comic book, this hour-long drama is a modern retelling of the legendary DC Comics character Green Arrow. Stephen Amell to star.
From: Writer-EPs Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg; Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television

It worked for Superman, right? But this could be perceived as an attempt to recreate Smallville so best of luck to them.

Shelter
Logline: Drama set at an historic New England summer resort where the new and returning staff attend to the practical, emotional, and often comical needs of the guests while navigating friendships, rivalries, and romances of their own.
From: Writer-EP Mark Schwahn; EPs J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk; Bad Robot Productions, Mastermind Laboratories in association with Warner Bros. Television

Faulty Towers, the teen years abroad?

The Selection
Logline: Based on the forthcoming series of books by Kiera Cass, The Selection is an epic romance set 300 years in the future which centers on a poor young woman who is chosen by lottery to participate in a competition to become the next queen of a war-torn nation at a crossroads.
From:  Writer-EPs  Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain; Warner Bros. Television

The logic of The Phantom Menace meets the wildly inappropriate subject matter of Hunger Games?

Cult
Logline: After a rash of disappearances and a likely murder, an inquisitive, young female production assistant on a wildly popular television show called Cult joins a journalist-blogger in investigating the rabid fans of the series who might be re-creating crimes seen on the program, in real life.
From: Writer-EP  Rockne O’Bannon; EPs  Josh Schwartz,  Stephanie Savage, Len Goldstein; Fake Empire in association with Warner Bros. Television

Someone has been watching too much Supernatural, but true, that was an awesome episode. “So now you’re Polish?”

Beauty and the Beast
Logline: Loosely based on the CBS’ Beauty and the Beast series from the 1980s, this is a modern-day romantic love story with a procedural twist. (Yes, this is in addition to ABC’s Beauty and the Beast project.)
From: Writer-EPs Jennifer Levin, Sherri Cooper; EPs Paul J. Witt and C. Anthony Thomas, Ron Koslow, Bill Haber; CBS Television Studios

CBS Studio Office: “Freaking Heck! You see that ABC has a hit with Once Upon a Time? They have all the Disney properties tied up, what do we have?” “You do realize the fairytales are common domain right? We just have to avoid anything specially made by Disney.” “Hey, remember that tv show with the Terminator chick? Let’s reboot that.”

 

And that is it for the initial showing for pilot season. I’ll have updates once we get to pilot orders and more plot details. So far, nothing really grabs me. A lot of obvious rip offs or completely out there shows. Who knows, I like surprises and there could be a few in there.

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2012 in Blog, Television

 

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Once Upon a Time – S01E11 – “Fruit of the Poisonous Tree”

ABC's Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time – S01E11 – “Fruit of the Poisonous Tree”

In the real world, Mr. Glass is a shamed reporter who is looking for revenge against Regina. In the fairy world, Mirror has one of the most unlikely of back stories. While “Fruit” goes a long way towards moving the fairy-tale story along, its predictability, nonsense, and indecision causes it to fall flat and be the worst episode of the season so far.

Score: 2 ½ of 5

>Spoilers<

Not sure I want to dignify this episode with a play by play so here is the list of everything that is wrong with “Fruit of the Poisonous Tree”.

– Mr Glass suddenly turning his back on Regina? Yeah, like we’re really supposed to believe that? The whole thing being a set up was obvious from the trailer but the episode seemed to try to hide it as a surprise and then gave up half way.

– Wait, Mirror was a Genie? Seriously?

– But hey, we get a Genie, and turns out he’s pretty lame. Come on writers, it’s a freaking Genie! The possibilities are endless but what do they do? Don’t let him do any Genie stuff but give him one of the most overused, cliché, romantic story lines ever… and for once I’m not really exaggerating. Mirror is freed by this guy, goes seeking love, and falls for the wife of the guy who freed him. Even Shakespeare is face-palming right now. If they wanted this story for Mirror, then why couldn’t they have made him something else and used the Genie for another story and really have a go with it. Maybe not Robin-Williams-Aladdin-wild but still, even X-Files did a better Genie story and they didn’t have a fairy world to put her in.

Once Upon a Time – S01E11 – “Fruit of the Poisonous Tree”

Evil Queen sadden by the fact the man she married in order to kill doesn't seem to appreciate her.

– So, is Snow’s dad a douche or what? This statement sparked an interesting conversation, but that aside, think about it. One moment he’s being all noble to the Genie (though it’s easy to give up wishes when you can have anything you want) and the next he is telling everyone how wonderful his first wife was while completely ignoring the fact that his new wife is only sitting a few feet away. He then proceeds to read her personal diary, steal her stuff, and send someone to find out who might possibly be making her happy… instead of, dunno, being a good husband and making her happy by being a good husband? I think the writers might have been trying to garner sympathy for Evil Queen but… something went horribly wrong from concept to screen.

– The “Stranger” is getting the LOST treatment, i.e., vague clips and references as to his real purpose and while at the moment that’s kind of cool, they keep this up and it will turn into a cheap trick stolen from, erm, LOST.

– Oh, and the trailer for this episode really made it look like it was going to be something tense but it just dragged on and on…

– And lastly, instead of admitting that he doesn’t love his wife anymore, asking for a divorce and doing all the stuff a man in his situation should do, David starts a full blown affair with Mary. Great, two classic literary characters from my childhood have now been reduced to soap opera harlots.

So, my biggest question after watching this episode is: Do the writers even know what they are doing at this point? I mean, the show started good but has slowly devolved into something just above Days of Our Lives territory. They had a clean slate with this concept and could have had so much fun, given us something so juicy without the soap opera tricks… I don’t know if they can drag themselves out of this hole they’re digging themselves into.

Next week they tackle my favorite Disney tale, Munchausen Syndrome for Kids more commonly referred to as Beauty and the Beast. Seems they already messed it up majorly but Rumple/Mr Gold has been the most interesting thing about this series, so we shall see what we see.

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2012 in Television

 

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Castle – S04E13 – “An Embarrassment of Bitches”

ABC's Castle

Castle – S04E13 – “An Embarrassment of Bitches”

Dogs are big business and when a famous dog trainer is killed the suspect pool includes everything from dog owners to drug dealers to a reality TV star. Moving back to the wit and charm of first and second season Castle, “An Embarrassment of Bitches” is no slight on the show. An adorable golden retriever steals the show and Esposito tries desperately to get over Laney.

Score: 3 ½ of 5

>Spoilers<

Castle – S04E13 – “An Embarrassment of Bitches”

Castle and Beckett share a moment.

Again we are treated to a rather plain murder with only a small twist, victim was strangled with a dog collar at a dog show. Still not up to par but at least this was a more enjoyable episode getting back to the fun of the first two seasons. The main suspect turns out to be Kim Kardashian and is it sad that I could spell that without looking it up? Yes, yes it is. But actually, it’s an analogue for Kim named Kay Cappuccio played by someone who actually has talent, actress Hilarie Burton.

Esposito is smitten for Kay while the rest wander around trying to figure out how Kay can be so popular without seemingly having a single talent. The episode gets a bit on the nose and that drags it down, especially when they go the ‘popular girl is actually miserable’ shtick route.

Thankfully it rises again with the inclusion of Royal, a golden retriever who is just so darn cute. So cute that both Castle and Beckett want to take him home and so they decide on a split custody arrangement. Casket’s are going to fawning over this episode for weeks as the romance angle between them are sweetly played, just the right level of tension and awkwardness. It was also good to see Beckett loosen up and smile, the drama angle simply doesn’t work for her.

Castle – S04E13 – “An Embarrassment of Bitches”

Beckett loosens up around Royal.

Btw… who is designing her hair and wardrobe? At least the clothes are better than the atrocities she wore last season but seriously people? If this is your take on a ‘battle scarred Beckett’ then you’ve only succeeded in making her look like my grandmother… would she still be alive god rest her.

Nathan, thankfully, looks yummy as always.

Lastly, I want to point out the wonderfully hilarious cameo from DS9 alum Nana Visitor as a dog therapist. This is the second DS9 actor to be on the show as a therapist, one more and it’s officially a running gag. I’m voting for Armin Shimerman as a sex therapist… what? It would be hilarious!

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2012 in Television

 

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Once Upon a Time – S01E10 – “7:15 A.M.”

ABC's Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time – S01E10 – “7:15 A.M.”

Snow White and Prince Charming’s story takes center stage as the wedding of Charming and Abigail nears. In the real world, Mary and David start circling each other, both unable to get past their feelings. The forbidden romance comes to a head in both worlds but what will be the consequences? Meanwhile, Emma discovers the Stranger’s reason for coming to Storybrooke and the answer opens up more questions. “7:15” is not quite as preachy as “True Noth” but the constant exposition on love and romance does start to wear thin. Nevertheless, another solid episode which pulls us further down the rabbit hole. Wait, is Alice in Wonderland applicable here?

Score: 3 of 5

>Spoilers<

Once Upon a Time – S01E10 – “7:15 A.M.”

We see Red Ridding Hood for the first time and she's helping Snow White.

As many unanswered questions as this show leaves us with, I am constantly left to wonder… if no one comes to Storybrooke, then how do they get products in their stores and how does the economy not collapse? I’m told it’s because of magic but that doesn’t really satisfy me. I could write a whole article to the effect of how Storybrooke is just not physically possible. Of course, this comes from a girl who watches shows like X-Files without blinking an eye. I get hung up on the weirdest things sometimes.

Moving on, the episode gives us a congruently running story of Snow White trying to forget Charming and Mary trying to forget David. Snow goes to Rumple, who has mad ninja skillz btw, and asks for the cure for a broken heart, which happens to be a magical memory eraser potion. That’s pretty hefty so she wants to think about it first. Rumple gives her the potion in return for a lock of her hair… yeah, that’s not going to end well.

Mary takes a less noble route and effectively stalks David. She tries to quit but finds a wounded bird which she takes to the animal shelter he works at (in mimic of the carrier pigeon Charming sends out to find Snow in fairy world). Mary becomes determined to get the bird back to its flock but a major storm is brewing, literally.

Okay, so the licensed Veterinarian… how does that work? Was he a woodsman or something and the curse just flopped him into a roll and downloaded all the information into him like Neo. “Whoa, I know Veterinary Medicine!”

Once Upon a Time – S01E10 – “7:15 A.M.”

Snow White joins the Seven Dwarves after leaving Prince Charming.

Typical blah blah trope trope later and Mary and David get stuck in a cabin waiting out the storm while Snow’s plan to see Charming lands her in the dungeon. Insert more forbidden romance hyperbole and an eighth dwarf. Now, I am all for adding more dwarfs but seriously, ‘Stealthy’. You name a dwarf Stealthy and then kill him off because you don’t give him mad ninja skillz? Writers. I.am.disappoint.

Charles Widmore then appears and goes all evil on the Snow/Charming relationship because that is what Charles Widmore does. Eventually both Snow/Charming and Mary/David split up because it’s the right thing to do. Of course, in one of the most interesting, if a bit strange, divergences, Mary/David end up kissing in the middle of the street and Charming dumps Abigail for Snow only she’s drank the magic potion and promptly forgotten him.

We know that Snow and Charming end up together, so why is it the writers chose to create more angst and obstacles in that relationship and hook up Mary and David already? It’s possible they (the writers) like the dampened angst of the Snow/Charming relationship (since we know they get together) and they also dislike the will they/won’t they trope relationship that could build with Mary and David? Time will tell and it’s these small touches which keeps us, or at least me, interested.

Oh, and the Stranger? Turns out he’s a writer who is in town because he has something he needs to get done. Could he be a descendent of Grimm or Anderson? Is he from the fairy world? Is he the writer of Henry’s book? Is he Emma’s own ‘Prince Charming’? Will this all end in a church? Actually, that would work out quite nicely…

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2012 in Television

 

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