Castle 7.21 Review: “In Plane Sight”

This week’s Castle had all eyes in the sky as Castle solved a mystery on his way to London. After last week’s jumble of an episode, it was refreshing to get a solid plot with great suspense and well used supporting characters. Though I will add in that Castle’s seeming hesitance about solving the crime in the air and possibly preventing a terrorist attack would be easier if he KNEW WHAT HE DID FOR TWO MONTHS. Still not over the ridiculousness that if Castle saved the world, that he would choose to forget. But anyway, check the recap:

As if we didn’t already know, Castle has the Angela Lansbury curse, where murder follows him everywhere he goes. On this week’s episode of Castle, he cashed in his frequent murder miles and solved a case in the sky.

Castle and Alexis are on a trip to London (on a known to be deadly Oceanic Air… no wonder they come across trouble), where Castle will be speaking at the Sherlock Holmes Society. He’s a bit upset that Alexis won’t come with him, but soon they have other concerns as the air marshal is found dead in the cargo hold. The pilot thinks Castle’s assistance is necessary: “You’re the closest thing to law enforcement we have on this plane.” “Which itself is cause for concern.”

Read more: Castle Season 7 Episode 21 Review: “In Plane Sight”.

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PaleyFest Previews

Me at the Paley Center in front of their fun step-and-repeat.

Me at the Paley Center in front of their fun step-and-repeat.

The Paley Center for Media “leads the discussion about the cultural, creative, and social significance of television, radio, and emerging platforms.” There are two locations, in Los Angeles and in New York, the two entertainment capitals of the world. The New York Center has archives of classic TV shows, historical videos only found there, and has events and screenings dedicated to television and media. I’ve been there before for an airing of the Lost pilot that they did right before the series finale, and I think I went to a pilot previews event before as well. I think it’s a great institution to have, focusing on keeping records of media that can sometimes be transient—they have one of kind footage of early TV shows as a part of their collection and mission. The PaleyFest pilot previews are a great event to host, to get fans of television (if you know about the Paley Center and don’t work in the industry, you’re probably a big fan of television) to watch the upcoming season’s show; they also hand out surveys for feedback–not sure where they go, but it made me feel a bit like my voice was counted.

It’s always really fun to see shows with an audience and to see and build off their reactions. I did so once for a screening of Scandal and it remains to be a fantastic way to watch TV occasionally. There’s something different about watching TV than watching a movie—obviously people will shush you during both if you’re too loud, but it’s still more of a vocal atmosphere, even during dramas, probably a cultural sense memory of all television being live (that’s my crack theory anyway). I think it heightens the viewing experience, but could also skew the way I see a show, in that I laugh when others laugh, sometimes when something isn’t necessarily funny. But today, I think I was able to see those moments and grasp whether or not I’d laugh at home alone when there are other distractions available to me. There were some great shows though and I’ll go through the ones I saw (I missed Selfie and most of Manhattan Love Story, but I caught the end of that one) in various posts and some of my thoughts!

Links to each show are below as I post them through the day:

Some common things I noticed among the shows are a reliance on voice overs (done most cleverly by Jane the Virgin and most dryly by Forever) and I noticed there were a lot of fistbumps.

My top choice among the ten I watched? Jane the Virgin

My least favorite? Forever

Biggest Surprise? Cristela

Biggest Disappointment: Mulaney

Check each individual post to find out what I thought and tell me if they’re on your Fall Schedule or not! If you’ve watched any early (some are available on Hulu or their network website), what do you think? Am I right or wrong?

Let’s discuss!

Fall TV 2014: How Packed is Your Primetime Schedule?

I’m trying to blog more, I really am. But work-life and attempting to write scripty things has taken away my energy. Also my obsession with the show Arrow. BUT Fall is approaching and I wanted to take a look at the shows I’ll be watching this season.

Here’s TV Line’s full Fall Schedule.

And here’s mine! [Sept 13 edit, after I’ve watched several of these pilots, check out how and read reviews here.]

Screen Shot 2014-09-13 at 2.31.27 PM

What should I be watching that’s not on here?

I’m most excited for The Flash, Arrow S3, and Brooklyn 99 S2, but of course my other returning shows bring me much joy as well. I’m watching the Nolan Batman trilogy as I type this–Batman Begins at the moment–so I’ll check out Gotham (hopefully it goes more the way of Arrow and less the way of Agents of SHIELD in maintaining my interest). I’m gonna check out Cristela (even though it’s a multi-cam comedy) because diversity needs a shot on television. black-ish also gets my views for that reason, but also just missing the existence of a black sitcom, and having a TV that might speak to my experiences as a black nerd (hopefully).

How to Get Away with Murder should be very interesting. Shondaland Thursdays are in full effect–if only I still felt like watching Grey’s Anatomy. Sleepy Hollow and Castle are my Monday mainstays–hopefully I’ll still be able to blog about them come fall. New Girl and Mindy help BK99 fill the void of Parks not coming back till mid-season, but only just barely. Finally, I’ll check out Mulaney and Jane the Virgin, but those could go either way for me.

Screen Shot 2014-08-26 at 10.50.20 PM

On September 6th, I’ll be at the Paley Center here in NY watching the FOX, ABC, and CW pilots, so I’ll have a bit of an early preview regarding those, with an audience no less! Should be fun! I’ll try to blog about the experience. I know some pilots are available already, but like I said, other concerns have taken precedence. I’m working on getting back to blogging as fall approaches, hopefully I can start posting more. [Edit: Full post with links to episode reviews here.]

If you’re following along, what fall shows are you most looking forward to watching? So far my schedule is 14 shows deep! That’s not including Key&Peele, Whose Line, The Tonight Show, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report…! Phew! I hope my DVR can handle it all!

How packed is your primetime schedule?

ABC Heralds Diverse Lineup Of Shows At TCA

“Let’s not pretend we’re there yet,” when it comes to the television industry accurately reflecting the demographics of America, ABC president Paul Lee said at the Television Critics Association press tour Tuesday. “I think we’re taking a very good step along that journey. But to be able to pull this off, you need not just stars on air […] [y]ou need the storytellers and you need the executives. I’m very proud of the fact that if you look at the executives who do development and do programming and marketing, across ABC, it’s a very diverse group of people.

via ABC Heralds Diverse Lineup Of Shows At TCA.

Seems like the president of ABC, Paul Lee isn’t trying to say they’ve reached Diversity (yes, capital D) on TV just yet, despite ABC’s wide selection of both supporting actors, leads, and full series that feature diverse families as the lead (though not sure how I feel about Asian “clan,” you already used family twice, either use three different words for family or all the same. Anyway–). It’s nice to see that ABC isn’t trying to say they’ve won anything or that there isn’t more work to be done. There definitely is.

‘Castle’ Producer David Amann to Replace Creator Andrew Marlowe as Showrunner – TheWrap

‘Castle’ Producer David Amann to Replace Creator Andrew Marlowe as Showrunner – TheWrap

Wow! Big news for my favorite show!

Andrew Marlowe hopefully feels very strongly about this decision and the team backing Amann, but Lord knows fans will be in an uproar. Seasons past cries of “In Marlowe We Trust” are being thrown back at us as we face the fear of a new showrunner (even one whose been on the show for so long). After some fans felt disappointed by the season 6 finale (leaving Castle and Beckett pointedly NOT married), for there to be a new showrunner will certainly cause more angst and anxiety as we fans wait for season 7 this summer.

Let’s hope that Marlowe’s presence will still be “day to day” as the article says, though this probably also means no more episodes penned by Marlowe and wife, Terri Miller, which is definitely a bummer for fans of their joint episodes. Hopefully more on this as the writers get back to work in full…

 

*I guess this means I’ll have to adjust my “Andrew Marlowe” showrunner category!

Upfronts 2014: Black-ish

Could this be the return of the black sitcom?

This is the question on everyone’s minds as the Laurence Fishbourne/Anthony Anderson comedy gets slated for ABC’s post Modern Family time slot. It’s definitely a strong lead-in, both because of Modern Family’s consistently high ratings and Emmy nominations as well as being similar family programming. Check out the teaser trailer below:

Based on Barris’ own life (loosely), Black-ish will follow an upper-middle class black man, intent on raising his kids with some sense of cultural identity, in the face of an assault of constant contradictions and obstacles coming from various directions, insisting that his children be color-blind.

decided to do this project when I looked up and realized that everywhere I go I’m constantly the fly in buttermilk… I’m usually THE Black guy at work. We’re THE Black family in the neighborhood. My kids are basically THE Black kids at school. I think it’s kind of a situation of be careful what you wish for. It’s almost in like moving on up, I’ve sort of priced myself “out” of being Black,” said Barris.

The show makes me both excited and nervous. I’m excited to see a black family on television. I’m even more excited to see a black family in a single camera sitcom (has there been one? I can’t think of one  Everybody Hates Chris was one!). But oh boy am I nervous. As a person who is often not seen as black because of the things that I like and the way I speak and the education I got, and as a member of the Black Girl Nerds community and seeing a lot of other people who struggle with being called “oreos” or “not black” and often being the only black person in your work/school/extracurriculars, there are a lot of sensitive issues to deal with. As long as the show deals with being black in a middle class environment without the characters losing their identities as black people.

The title alone is a little worrisome–black-ish implies that through their middle class lifestyle, they’re not fully black, only a little black or sort of black. Just because they have Jewish friends or hang out in affluent neighborhoods shouldn’t take away from the fullness of their blackness. It sounds like the character “insisting his children be colorblind” means that 1. they accept everyone regardless of their background and 2. the struggle the father endures through the series is that the children should be allowed to be who they are and like what they like with it having no reflection on how “black” they are. That’s not the kind of colorblindness we should have, but is often the kind we get: accepting characters regardless of their color but erasing any ethnic identity they have. I don’t know if I am explaining things right or if it’s truly the measure of how I believe things should be. Again, it’s sensitive issues and hard to define or draw the lines, but hopefully the team behind the show address these issues with comedy and class. Maybe the title was just a catchy way to express what the show is about.

So I’m excited! I’ll definitely be checking it out; I hope it’s funny and strong and I hope I can relate to the characters, as their experiences already speak to mine. But I am also nervous.

 

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Pilot Season/Upfronts 2014

It’s that time of the year, Upfronts (also here for another way to look at what Upfronts actually are), when networks present their pilot season shows and lineups to advertisers and the general public. I’ve been a bit busy or lethargic the last month or so, so I haven’t been posting (though I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the views I’ve still managed to get) but get ready for a deluge as I look at shows coming this summer, fall, and beyond, and discuss current shows’ trajectories (I’m a bit mad about NBC’s treatment of Parks and Recreation. We’ll get there).

I’ll write a bunch and try to spread them out over the week as to not spam. Also, I’ll post my current fall tv chart–it’s looking as busy as usual as I find out about all these new shows!

Let the Upfront madness begin!

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Pilot Season Diversity: Various Network Pilots

For the last few days, I’ve been showcasing some pilots being worked on this season with diverse casting. Here are some more that might be coming to our screens in the fall, but maybe I am less invested in. I found them by checking the TVLine descriptions and seeing which actors/producers are PoCs. If a show coming up with PoCs is being made but not on this list, I just didn’t notice. Definitely not an extensive list, and I’ll be keeping an eye out for more along the way.

Descriptions are from TVLine

Fresh Off the Boat (Comedy)
EPs | Nahnatchka Kahn (Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23), Jake Kasdan, and Melvin Mar
It’s the 90’s and hip hop loving Eddie is growing up in suburban Orlando, raised by an immigrant father who is obsessed with all things American and an immigrant mother who is often bewildered by white culture. With his father owning and operating an All-American Steakhouse chain, this loving family of FOB (“fresh off the boat”) Taiwanese Americans try to live the American dream while still maintaining their cultural identity and sense of family. [ABC]

I hope this makes it just because its an ethnicity we don’t get to see much of on television. The specifics of Asian culture is often grossly glossed over. I went to school with Asian students with families from all over the continent, so I got a chance to learn about different aspects of Asian life and how each nationality differs from each other, but most Americans don’t know Asian from being specifically Chinese or Japanese. Just because TV is entertainment, doesn’t mean you should never learn anything about different people.

How to Get Away With Murder (Drama)
EPs | Peter Nowalk (Grey’s Anatomy), Shonda Rhimes, Betsy Beers
A sexy, suspense-driven legal thriller about a group of ambitious law students and their brilliant, mysterious criminal defense professor who become entangled in a murder plot that will rock the entire university and change the course of their lives. [ABC]

No guarantees on who the casting will be for this one, but as a Shonda Rhimes show, it is sure to have color-blind casting.

Untitled Kevin Hart Project (Comedy)
EPs | Kevin Hart, Dave Becky, Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan (Community)
Based on Kevin Hart’s life and stand-up, it takes a candid look at the post-divorce life of a couple trying to forge a friendship for the sake of their kids, despite differences. [ABC]

Kevin Hart has been everywhere. He has like 4 movies out, 3 shows in development, and who knows what else. I don’t know if that over-saturation is stifling his true funniness (some people have said his stand-up special wasn’t as good as the previous ones), but hopefully this turns out good. Kevin Hart is funny and we have zero black sitcoms on network TV. If this AND Blackish get greenlit, that would make a grand total of 2. #sigh

The Flash (Drama)
EPs | Greg Berlanti (Arrow), Andrew Kreisberg, Geoff Johns, David Nutter, Melissa Kellner Berman
DIRECTOR | David Nutter (Arrow)
CAST | Grant Gustin (Glee), Jesse L. Martin (Law & Order), Danielle Panabaker (Shark) and Rick Cosnett (The Vampire Diaries)
The Arrow spin-off follows Barry Allen, a Central City assistant police forensics investigator with a tragic past.

Jesse L. Martin is all I have to say. I bit token-esque, but I’ll let it go lol.

Cabot College (Comedy)
EPs | Matt Hubbard, Tina Fey, Robert Carlock, Pam Fryman, David Miner
DIRECTOR | Pam Fryman (How I Met Your Mother)
CAST | Bonnie Dennison (Third Watch), Jack Cutmore-Scott, Brandon Jones, Margaret Cho (Drop Dead Diva)
A women’s college begins accepting men for the first time in its history.

While I’ll give any new show from Tina a chance, it featuring Margaret Cho is a plus in the diversity factor. Also Pam Fryman from HIMYM fame is a plus for me.

Empire (Drama)
EPs | Danny Strong (The Butler), Lee Daniels (The Butler), Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo
DIRECTOR | Lee Daniels (The Butler)
A unique family drama set in the world of a hip-hop empire [FOX]

I probably wouldn’t watch this, but it could be a great black drama, which are even harder to name than black comedies…

Mr. Robinson (Comedy) — ORDERED TO SERIES
EPs | Mark Cullen and Rob Cullen (Back in the Game), Howard Klein, Mark Schulman
CAST | Craig Robinson (The Office), Larenz Tate (House of Lies), Amanda Lund, Jean Smart (Harry’s Law, Hawaii Five-0)
A talented musician adjusts to his new life as a middle school music teacher, where he maneuvers precocious kids, teacher politics, and the temptations of single moms. [NBC]

This one’s already been ordered to series and stars Office alum Craig Robinson. So there will be at least one new black sitcom coming in fall. It sounds very similar to the Steve Harvey Show, so I’ll have to check it out to see how it’s different/updated for the new millennium.

It surprises me not one bit that none of these shows are for CBS… I don’t remember any for the CW either (and with it’s WB/UPN  strong PoC cast roots, this is sad to say).

IO’m excited for all of these shows featuring people of color. It’s about time we got some new faces on our TV screens. Hopefully these survive pilot season and we get to at least give them a test run in September.

for more, check TVLine’s Pilot Scoop

 

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Pilot Season Diversity Watch: Anthony Anderson to Star in ABC Comedy Pilot ‘Black-ish’

It’s early pilot season, so it’s a good time to start looking at the shows coming to our screens in the fall. Let’s look at the shows with diverse casting or production staffs that have been greenlit by the network. This doesn’t mean they’ll air in Fall–that depends on various things and most decisions are put forth in May–but they’ve been approved to be shot.

One pilot to look for is Black-ish, starring Anthony Anderson. Here’s the  TVLine description:

Black-ish (Comedy) [ABC]
EPs | Kenya Barris, Anthony Anderson, Laurence Fishburne, Helen Sugland, Tom Russo, Peter Principato, Paul Young, Brian Dobbins
CAST | Anthony Anderson (Guys With Kids)
An upper-middle class black man struggles to raise his children with a sense of cultural identity despite constant contradictions and obstacles coming from his liberal wife, old-school father and his own assimilated, color-blind kids

Sounds interesting. I hope it doesn’t go the way of Guys with Kids, which failed to really spark anything in me and I gave up after like 2 episodes. I think this wants to hearken back to the Cosby Show, which I loved, but updated for a modern era. The Cosby Show was more insulated in terms of who the kids hung out with than this sounds like it will be.

I wonder why there are so many executive producers, usually we get one or two main names, rather than the list of 8 like above. And is the last time ABC had a majority/all black comedy cast My Wife and Kids (another show it relates to in terms of being a black family comedy, but again, that show was very isolated in terms of who the family interacted with on camera)?

I’m not sure how I feel about the title, or some of the implications. I can only hope that while maintaining “cultural identity,” the show also focuses on and allows the kids and the family to like “non-traditional” things and it being ok or at least a plot point. I could see Anderson’s character trying to get his kids to like classic hip-hop but they like rock instead (just a random example). Which, it’s great and necessary for black children to know their culture and where they came from, but also realize that black people are not a monolith and can enjoy a variety of pursuits not traditionally seen as a part of black culture. A fine line to walk, but one that might be necessary going forward.

I hope we hear more about this.

for more, check TVLine’s Pilot Scoop

Anthony Anderson to Star in ABC Comedy Pilot ‘Black-ish’.

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ConStar Watches Castle “Time Will Tell”

My first thought during this episode was, “wow, it’s still not October yet?” Usually we can use the current date of (most) shows to guess the time of year the narrative is set in, but here, we’re still in August. Alexis has been with Pi for (only) a month. I thought the time skips between episodes would have been longer. There was the six week jump after the engagement, now its a month after DC started. So Castle and Beckett have been engaged for 2 and a half months? She only worked in DC for 2 months? I really thought we were heading into Fall, but I guess even wardrobe wise, they haven’t started wearing jackets yet?

Which all makes Alexis’ decision really the dumbest thing she’s ever done. Castle was right! You can’t move in with someone after only a month and say that, because you’re the “smart” one in the family and you “know what you’re doing” that it means it’s a good decision and it will all work out. It’s been a month. You don’t know him, you’ve never lived on your own, and I assume she’s going to try to make it work without Dad’s money (her mention of work-study job)? All of that makes this situation even harder, and I get that it’s a story to give Alexis something to do, but it makes her character seem really out of touch with her supposed smartness. Even Castle probably waited more than one month after knowing someone, before moving in with them (even if he was 19 also). I get that Pi and Alexis mirror Castle and Beckett, but I don’t get the having them move in together. The only parallel I see is this being what might have happened between Castle and Beckett had they gotten together after that first case. They could have sped into things and then things may have blown up later. So I’m waiting for the blow up between Alexis and Pi; because there’s no way she makes a rash decision like that and it all comes out okay.

The rest of the episode was pure fun, but is it the least grounded in reality than any of the other fantastical episodes? The alien one had a logical meaning, as did the ghost ones, etc. They didn’t try as hard as previous episodes to give a real life meaning to things; they crammed that last explanation in there but it was clearly not meant to stick. (I hadn’t even noticed the coffee stain detail on the letter until it was pointed out to us at the end.) Interesting choice; but I love time travel, and it was fun to see Josh Gomez and the Beard, and his future Caskett predictions had me on the floor with squee! Senator Beckett! Three kids! Serious literature (but the impending end of the Nikki Heat series?)! I wonder what this means in an overall timeline for the show. Fans have gleamed that maybe season 7 could be the last in terms of references by Andrew Marlowe to the future and contract negotiation years and stuff. I wonder if they have an endgame planned, however vague. Because usually when things like future jobs and kids are mentioned early, it means the audience won’t get to see them. But it could have also been a way to assure the audience that they’re not breaking them up any time soon (or! it could be that they are for a bit and to assure us they will get back together–but I don’t think they’ll go that way because Andrew loves us too much). Either way, it was a fun and wonderful moment for us to imagine Castle and Beckett’s future, whether we’ll get to see it or not.

Can I be a temporal anthropologist? I want to create that major at NYU Gallatin.

DOCTOR WHO REFERENCE!! And Espo watches it!!! Loved that!

“Maybe we should put something in our vows about following each other to creepy places.”

[Usually my Castle thoughts are after my second watch with the US airing, after I watch it Sunday after the Canadians–but I’m working late all week, so blog posts will be infrequent this week.]

ConStar Watches S.H.I.E.L.D “Eye Spy”

Tired ConStar = Late posts. Other Tuesday shows coming later in the week (maybe Friday).

The opening of the show, and some of the general feel of the show, reminded me of 80s and 90s action/adventure shows. Just the glimpse of memory I have from seeing them on TV when I was little–so maybe that’s not the case (maybe like how Adventures of Lois and Clark or Wonder Woman or something might have felt). But it feels different than a current TV show and I think that’s where it’s losing some of it’s ground with the fans and people who want to like it.

I also think that Skye is a big problem. I’ve seen a lot of Skye hate on twitter and while sometimes I don’t feel the same way, in this episode, I agreed. Her attitude with Coulson and her cockiness, while a character trait meant for a purpose, edge beyond the line of me understanding. It’s annoying. Plain and simple. She started to really aggravate me, especially in the beginning and the end of the episode–when she felt in her zone. Her attitude is better during the middle of episodes, when she’s out of her element and afraid to mouth off. But once she’s back in the safety of the Bus, she could get thrown out the window and I’d be pleased. Also, we know she’s doing some sort of double agent move. Don’t be cocky and arrogant when you’re trying to lay low and gather secrets from these guys. It definitely makes me like you even less. Skye also annoyed me when she claimed she had an “outside the box” theory then said “super powers.” Uhm, the whole organization DEALS in super powers, this is not an original idea. I couldn’t tell if I should be more upset with Skye or the writers on that one.

As I’ve said, and will keep saying, Melinda and Coulson are my favorite characters. I did enjoy Skye’s line about them being the Mom and Dad of the gang. The scenes with them have more depth and subtlety and intrigue than most of the rest of the episodes. If the show was just Coulson and May (arguing with each other or fighting other people), I’d be perfectly content.

 

Again, the plot of the episode felt kind of retro (but I couldn’t really define from show or an exact era) and that wasn’t bad. But the audience surrogate character problems and some SHIELD gibberish problems with Fitz/Simmons (they’re cute and have great outfits, but I still kind of glaze over when they’re a focus) distracted me from enjoying the main plot. ALSO: wouldn’t the handler notice that Ward and Akila were VASTLY different heights? That should have been the first clue.

I liked that we were reminded of Coulson’s “difference” and that people who know him can see it. I also like that Coulson’s motivation is to give people a second chance because he was given one.

I hope both in the course of the plot/story arcs speeding up (hopefully in the next couple of episodes), and the writers being able to write based on mass audience feedback, that the problems it’s facing will be adjusted soon. I think people are giving up on it, but I don’t want to because it has so much potential. It’s thankfully been picked up for the full season and I live with the hope that when it’s in season 3 and I am loving it, I can go back to season 1 and be like “oh look at the babies!” like I do with so many other shows. I’m not giving up!

Related links:

SHIELD Producer Explains Why Show Kinda Had a Slow Start – I would argue it’s still having a slow start, but I always remember that Joss did this with Dollhouse and then it massively picked up, so… again. I maintain hope.

‘Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Recap: Coulson Tracks A Former Agent Gone Rogue In ‘Eye Spy’

ConStar Watches S.H.I.E.L.D. “0-8-4”

*Finally

I rewatched the Pilot first, because it’d been so long and I’d meant to rewatch it. Coulson and Mike were the most interesting parts of the pilot. I also enjoyed Maria Hill, though I really want to get more character depth. Like how we know Coulson is a super[adorable]-geek.

A quick google of Chloe Bennett (Skye) tells me she is half Chinese. Soooo I’ma need some Chinese to show up at some point. (Or, well, she was only 11 (!!) When Firefly was on, but she could have been a valuable cast member to make people less upset about the problematic Chinese on that show lol)

“Use a coaster.” Coulson is my favorite character. I need less Skye and more Coulson.

Camilla Reyes kinda looks like Cobie Smulders. In the promos I thought she was in this one too (and I wondered how she managed to work both). Well, with her hair up. She looks different with her hair down.

The action-y bits kinda make me glaze over a bit. Though the weird energy wave staff thing was pretty cool.

I think I need a ship to help me out with investment in some of these characters. I kind of don’t care about Skye or Ward but maybe I would if I were waiting for them to get together? I also think that when they start working as a team, instead of being such separate units, I can focus more. As of now, their differing agendas splits the narrative focus. I think when they solidify themselves as a team, the storytelling will get better.

Mid-life crisis Phil lol. “But you gave them something better: a common enemy.” Exactly, Phil. And he has recent experience with unifying a diverse and conflicted team.

But Skye is about to wreck that newly formed teamwork. I definitely don’t trust her.

HI Sam!

Melinda May is slowing increasing as my second favorite character. “You guys talk a lot.”

ConStar Studies Scandal “It’s Handled”

How I felt watching most of the episode.

Season Three came out of the gate FIRING ON ALL CYLINDERS! I’m still in shock from that premiere. *major spoilers below*

I’m rewatching the episode as I type to get some of his lines right. This episode was chock full of fantastic, fierce, and fiery one liners.

Key thoughts:

  • Joe Morton KILLED IT as Papa Pope. Act One was amazing. I basically wrote a dissertation below; lots of questions about him & his motivations.
  • I want to know what happened to Olivia’s mom and the plane crash. I have a feeling that will be important*[theory at the bottom]
  • Shonda did a great job of using dialogue to express character and relationships.
  • Fitz basically told us he leaked the name halfway through the episode.
  • Harrison is Liv’s champion and she (still) refuses him. I blame Papa Pope.

Quotes:

  • “I know more than  you could possibly imagine; about things of which you cannot possibly dream.”
  • “Just to be clear, I am the hell AND the high-water.”
  • “You have to be what?” “Twice as good.” “Twice as good as them to get half of what they have.”
  • “I am done with you and your superiority and your rudeness.”
  • “I am a monster, but honey, I’m your monster.”
  • “The White House will destroy you.” “That’s what mom used to tell me about you.”
  • “The time has come; I want it to come.”

Tl;dr under a read more cut, but just know I have a lot of thoughts. This is a long post. Continue reading

What I Watched Today – Castle “Dreamworld”

I actually watched this yesterday. Thanks Canada! But rewatching. 

 

All in all, this episode was more boring than the premiere for me, because I don’t really care about case stuff. But because I was looking for every little Castle/Beckett interaction, I was paying super close attention. This case heavy episode was better than some other relationship light episodes, but obviously, considering the threat to Castle’s life, I would have liked more than just the ending between Castle and Beckett. 

It’s really interesting how in character these guys are but how frustrating who they are makes us fans. Castle and Beckett are dealing with this crazy situation and neither of them really talks to the other about it. They joke about it at the end, but no serious discussion of “hey, if you die” or anything. Also, it happens that Beckett is kind of busy trying to save his life, so not a lot of time to swoon over his illness. She’s at work, she’s trying to hold it together as it is, and if they take the moment to talk about it, neither of them would be very useful in solving the problem in time. So they don’t talk about it. They give each other looks and hold it together so the other person has time to do what they need to do. I would be mad about it if it weren’t completely both of their characters. Castle seems like he’s the open one, but he shuts down just as much as Beckett does. He keeps so much close to the chest and hides his serious feelings in jokes and innuendo. I’m sure they discuss these things together later, but sadly, we don’t get to see it. 

I do like the ways in which we could see Beckett crack under the pressure. When they visit Reed, the cracks in her walls appear. And then her going to his house. She keeps her cool surprisingly well, but if something had gone wrong, she totally could have abandoned the badge if it meant saving Castle. 

Something someone posted on tumblr made a lot of sense to me. Pi, Alexis’ new boyfriend, is super annoying. I’m sure no one likes him but Alexis; Martha and Castle certainly don’t. But as was pointed out here, he’s Castle! He comes in, takes over, makes jokes, “has a guy” for everything, and introduces new, weird things to an already established family. Which seems like an odd pairing for by-the-books Alexis. But clearly she likes him and when you think about it, it’s totally Castle and Beckett’s relationship. I’m interested to see what this means for Alexis and Castle’s relationship, Alexis and her relationship with Beckett, and Castle’s observations about his own relationship with Beckett through the eyes of Pi&Alexis. 

Lastly, I can see where the thread of her time at the AG’s Office is going to unravel. When McCord tells her about the “gray areas,” you can basically see her heart break. She’s so used to things not necessarily being black and white (I think Castle helped her be less black and white about things) but used to people getting the justice they deserve. Or at least going to trial. Now that she knows that’s not a staple of the AG’s Office, I think there will be more and more moments where her desire to actually be a federal agent is tested. I don’t know how long this arc in DC will last, though I believe next week we’ll be back at the 12th with both the boys and the feds working together. But soon enough, I believe she will be back at the 12th. Though what that might mean for the future, I don’t know. Beckett regressing back to the 12th might mean other changes in order to keep the show fresh. I can’t wait to see! 

Man this show gives me a lot of feelings and a lot of words. 

“Sometimes the hardest things in life are the things most worth doing. Just because we haven’t figured it out yet, doesn’t mean we won’t.”

What I Watched Today – Castle

Castle is one of my favorite shows right now! I’ve been super pleased how they’ve mapped out the Castle/Beckett relationship over the years, and pleased at how the show has survived the two of them getting together.

The first few minutes still felt like the show, despite the differences and lack of normal supporting cast. I was interested to see how they were going to add them in along with the guest cast (or add them back.) so it was great to see them again in the limited capacity.

I really loved the humorous moments of subtle nonverbal acting. A lot of it this episode, especially Beckett who doesn’t get to do that as often as Castle does, but he had a lot too, especially the phone static bit. I’m also really loving the freeness with which Beckett shows her love for Castle and how happy she is when she speaks to him. It’s really nice to see and a great touch to her character; despite McCord trying to toughen Beckett up and distance her from her relationship. Really interested to see how much longer they’ll stay with the Feds and how Castle will interact with the 12th again without Beckett there. As well as the obvious question of how theyre going to make their relationship work long distance. When she inevitably comes back to NY, will she be a cop or a Fed? Because I know she’s gotta come back somehow…

But wow (the above was written during the episode, so I wasn’t expecting the) CLIFFHANGER!! I didn’t really think about the premiere being a 2-parter! Such a heavy one too! I can’t WAIT until next week! The way these usually work is one episode is slower and the other more faster paced. Often the 1st one ends up being the fast paced episode but since most fans wouldn’t have known it was a cliffhanger, they could slow the pace of the 1st one, and I bet next week will be a mile a minute action trying to find the antidote! Also, Castle breathed on Pi (lol yeah ok buddy) and Alexis and Ryan and Espo and his mother etc! Are they also all in danger?! Can’t wait to see where this goes!

Anyway, I really enjoyed these premieres and episode 2 of Sleepy Hollow. So glad fall television is back (and that I’ve begun some successful blogging! This might be the longest I’ve blogged before! I think I had a xanga in HS when everyone else did but yeah ok, that definitely doesn’t count and I’m not a journal writer so those were suuper forced.)

What are you watching this week?

TomorrowAgents of SHIELD premieres!

ConStar Studies Elevators and Shonda Rhimes

Watching the latest episode of Scandal, I noticed that Shonda Rhimes has a pattern placing her romantic leads (her usually adulterous romantic leads) in the world’s slowest moving elevator and cranking up the sexual tension. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s something in my “studies” that I’ve noticed about her. I’ll ramble on a bit about why I think she uses this trope. (Gotta check TV tropes for elevator tropes: yup, here is the whole index: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ElevatorTropes)

Elevators are a great space for a scene. By nature the scene can’t last too long (unless someone is trapped which can be great for drama and dialogue) and there is a sense of claustrophobia and time constraint that heighten the tension of the scene. Also elevators are inherently awkward (think about your last elevator experience, especially with other people you don’t know).

Any pair can get in an elevator, but romantic leads are a classic choice. The awkwardness. Especially between a burgeoning relationship. The space confinement. A couple who can’t be with each other for whatever reason being forced to breath the same air, smell each other’s perfume/cologne, not touch for 30 seconds. The time constraint. Trying to make out (or whatever, this is PG guys) in those 30 seconds.

Shonda loves this trope. On Grey’s Anatomy, Meredith and Derek are always in elevators (well, season 1-5 that was true, then I stopped watching. Sorry.) and now Scandal‘s Fitz and Olivia are constantly meeting in elevators. (Shonda also seems to have a thing for adulterous romantic leads.) They often can’t touch so the awkwardness and the entrapment are factors and often enough, they break the “can’t touch” rule and try to touch as much skin as they can before the elevator hits the 5th floor.

(Just a quick note on a fave Grey’s episode of mine (2.5 “Bring the Pain” – which was written as a season finale) that involves UST-less elevator usage: the season 2 episode with George and Alex in the elevator and they perform heart surgery in there. Great episode all around and great new use for the elevator other than Mer/Der secret hook up time haha.)

Just a thought on elevators and how they can work in a story.

Going up.

Ding.