Friday, April 27, 2012

Four episodes in, is Scandal a win?

Warning: This post contains spoilers about Scandal through episode four.

It seems like many times when I read an article about Grey's Anatomy, there will be a disparaging comment like "People still watch this?" or some other variation. You can feel free to send some judgment my way, but I have to admit that I'm one of those people still watching Grey's, and even more, I enjoy it.

Credit: ABC/DANNY FELD

So when I heard that Shonda Rhimes had a new show coming out, Scandal, and it looked half-way interesting (I never watched Off the Map due to a failure to meet this last criteria), I decided to give it a shot.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Take my love, Take my Land: Castle 4x21, "Headhunters"

I've never been a super-regular viewer of Castle, but this season I've been particularly negligent at watching it. I stopped watching after the mediocre season opener, but the promos convinced me to tune in for "47 Seconds." "47 Seconds" was disappointing as well, and I figured I was done for the season. When I heard that Firefly's Adam Baldwin was stopping in for a Mal and Jane reunion, however, I was determined to watch, even if it was disappointing. Luckily for me, it was not.

I liked that the episode paired up Nathan Fillion and Adam Baldwin rather than simply having Baldwin play the role of a suspect. They work well together, and it allowed them to share a lot of scenes. At the same time, Castle pairing up with a detective other than Kate flowed well with the story (as far as I could tell with having only seen two other episodes this season) and didn't feel like a contrivance solely for the sake of the guest casting. I was hoping for a few more Firefly references, but I only caught one, the "brown coat" reference (although it's very likely that I could have missed additional references). Honestly, however, it may have even been a wise move not to go overboard on the allusions because there have already been plenty on Castle. Additionally, the episode wasn't created solely to placate Firefly fans craving a revival; there are, gasp, some Castle fans who have never seen Firefly.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Can you feel the hate tonight?: 5 characters currently on TV that I despise

Like many people, I was sad when Lost aired its final episode. It may not have been a perfect show, but I grew really attached to it and miss it now that it's gone. There's one aspect of Lost, however, that I don't miss at all: Kate Austen. I didn't love every character on Lost, but there was no one I came even close to despising as much as I did her. Now that Lost is over, there are still plenty of characters currently on TV who plague me. These characters bring down their shows, and I'd like to see them gone. My desires to see certain characters disappear almost never seem to be fulfilled (e.g. Kate seeming to have 9 lives), but that won't stop me from hoping.

1. Derek Shepherd (Grey's Anatomy


I'm not a fun person with which to watch Grey's Anatomy. Every time that Derek's on the screen I can't help but feel a strong hatred towards him, and that hatred often represents itself in comment form. I actually liked Derek a lot during the first season. He was cute, charming, and basically, there was good reason to call him McDreamy. Then came the first season finale and the revelation that he was married, and suddenly, his relationship with Meredith lost its luster for me. It's not just the fact that he was married that bothered me, but also the way he treats women in general on the show. He didn't just end things with either Meredith or Addison; he juggled both of them for a long time. Somewhere in there he also dated nurse Rose while he clearly still had feelings for Meredith. Now he patronizes Meredith on a regular basis. Factor in his self-righteousness, and I just can't stand him.

How to Get Rid of Him: Derek gets into a spat with Meredith and goes to cry in his "house of candles." Then it catches on fire while he's in it, and fortunately, the burns are too severe for him to be saved.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Contagion: A hypochondriac's worst nightmare

©2011 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

If you've ever moved to another seat when the person next to you started coughing or if you constantly carry hand sanitizer with you, I wouldn't recommend watching Contagion. It contains enough coughing, sneezing, and disease spreading to freak out even a non-germaphobe.

With the semi-recent zombie craze (Is that still going on? I feel like it has kind of puttered out.), it's nice to see a movie that approaches the idea of a worldwide pandemic that doesn't turn people into cannibalistic monsters. While this isn't a completely original idea (the TV show Survivors springs to mind), I like the realistic approach that Contagion takes to the issue. It's an interesting idea because it taps into a "this could really happen" type of of fear. I don't know how accurate Contagion is, but I'm sure (well, pretty sure) it's much more realistic than an outbreak of zombies.

While I liked the realistic approach, Contagion is a little too dry at some points. I got out my laptop three or four quick times during the movie's more boring parts. As a whole, it's not a boring movie, and I certainly never wanted to leave at any point; there are just a few moments at which it becomes kind of dull.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Link Roundup: Volume 12

Parks and Recreation comes back in less than two weeks. Until then, you can watch this mesmerizing Ron Swanson loop.

I'm not quite sure why, but I kind of love Chandler Dances On Things.

Fans of Buffy/Firefly/etc., Joss Whedon recently did an AMA on Reddit that's worth checking out.

This week's installment hasn't been posted yet, but the Mad Style series is an excellent commentary on the fashions of Mad Men.

While I'm slightly skeptical of the idea of basing a movie on a meme, the Safety Not Guaranteed trailer looks surprisingly intriguing.

The creators of the trailer for Doug: The Movie have given the trailer treatment to another Nickelodeon classic.

Worried about the fate of your favorite show? Check out TVLine's handy renewal scorecard.

I don't claim to be a huge history buff, but these Twitter reactions to Titanic are pretty hard to believe.

Monday, April 9, 2012

How I Met Your Mother: 7x20, "Trilogy Time"

It feels like it's been a while since we've gotten a new How I Met Your Mother (three weeks according to IMDB). So I was pleasantly surprised to see "Trilogy Time" listed on my DVR's scheduled recordings for tonight.

"Trilogy Time" began with college-aged Ted and Marshall in 2000. As they began a tradition of watching the Star Wars trilogy every three years, they also imagined what their lives were going to be like in three years. Then the episode flashed to actual 2003 and showed the reality of their lives. This alternating pattern of their imagined lives and their real lives (including Barney's once he enters into the time frame) continued until it reaches 2015.
I think this pretty much sums up the episode.
The format of "Trilogy Time" is a fun idea, but in practice, it became a little repetitive. While the Barney ushering out a girl he never plans to see again shtick was intentionally repetitive and used to prove a point about Quinn, it grew kind of tiresome. Similarly, seeing Marshall and Ted fantasize about different versions of Lily and Robin became slightly boring as well. I did enjoy the fantasies to a degree, particularly the touches like Ted's long hair; I just wish they hadn't have been so repetitive.