Castle 7.01 Review: “Driven”

Castle 7.01 Review: “Driven”

When the news broke this summer that Andrew Marlowe was stepping down as Castle showrunner, I can’t say that I was actually all that nervous. David Amann was already a Castle writer and I just had a lot of faith in the writing staff to protect Marlowe’s project, especially since 1. He’d still be around (he’s writing 7.02!) and 2. His wife still writes for the show. And after that premiere, I feel safe in my faith in the show going forward. Six plus seasons is a long time to keep things fresh—a typical procedural relies to cycling through “ripped from the headlines” cases and replacing the cast when necessary, not Castle. They somehow brought us fresh dynamics to fuel us throughout the season while keeping the characters the same.

The beginning of the episode was stunning. Kate in her beautiful dress reaching towards the flames, then getting doused in water as she waited for the confirmation that Castle wasn’t in the car. (I’ll forgive them for letting Kate stay that close to a car that could explode at any moment.) After the moment of despaired silence, the action kicks into gear as Kate does what she does best, look for clues. I loved the Sergeant who was so eager to help out, especially after Kate’s “he’s one of our own.” Castle has been granted this treatment before, but it’s always so great to hear. Esposito and Ryan are dashing detectives as they start the investigation still in their tuxes, doing whatever they can for two of their favorite people. Our team finds the SUV that ran Castle off the road, just as it’s being flattened—Beckett takes that to heart as she tackles the junkyard employee flat to the ground.


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HAPPY NEW YEAR, TV LOVERS!

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May this year give us awesome television, more awesome and diverse characters of color, and may I actually write something! Be happy and creative in 2014,

<3ConStar

ConStar Watches Scandal “Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington”

The last two episodes of Scandal were explosive through and through; this one simmered more before delivering some blows. Even though Mary took up most of the screen time in today’s episode, the scene with Huck and Olivia and Mellie’s scene with Fitz carried the most emotional weight this episode, but let’s start with Mary.

Poor Mary. I had a feeling she would blow herself up if she found out her son was a terrorist. It really does suck because Liv had a choice to tell her the truth, she chose the lie, and her lie cost her. I’m surprised they didn’t give her a wardrobe change towards the end of the episode; but I suppose the soot on her light colored suit speaks for itself. I suppose she who wears the white hat must always be wary of dirt getting on it.

Olivia/Huck/Eli. There was no answer Huck could give that would save the relationship between Huck and Liv: Either Huck kills Papa Pope (I guess I’ll call him Eli now?–thanks cell phone caller ID) and Liv is destroyed or Huck doesn’t kill him and Huck is destroyed. We got treated to the latter, but I won’t be surprised if the former also happens sometime down the road. It’s a no win situation. The bond they had before is irreparably damaged. Eli is awful, but I love him for it; I love what he brings to the show and the depth he’s brung to the characters. And I love the lines they give him, so deliciously theatrical. So clearly he is going to be around for a while. it was never going to be that easy.

It’s interesting to me that Huck never met this man before, so the commands coming from Command were always faceless, yet Huck felt the man’s power over him enough to kill that man (who we’ll get to briefly later). But I guess if I met someone who I was told was God (obviously I’d have to have very good reason to believe such a claim–just go with me here), after listening to him all this time, and he told me to go do something, I suppose I’d just do it too. Out of fear, out of loyalty–there are many reasons why Huck went and did what he did. Let’s not also forget, though, that Huck loves this stuff. It’s his drug. And Eli handed him a hit on a platter. Huck kind of had no control over his actions. Poor, poor Huck. He and Liv are basically brother and sister: they suffer from the same damaging “parental” figure who they can’t escape from.

“He owns me too.”

Yes, girl, even that wine you’re drinking is a product of his influence on you. Huck is back in the hole and Eli is trying to drag Liv in too. She says “Nobody walks away from him,” not realizing that both Huck and Jake are alive because of his love for her (which I still believe must be the one genuine, non evil thing about him). If Liv liked every member of B6-13, I don’t wonder if he wouldn’t shut it down.

[Anyone else catch Eli’s eye twitch when Huck’s gun was in his face? I think he stood his ground, but thinks that Huck is a real threat to him. He’s just aware of his power over him and knows he’s able to make use of it. But I don’t think Eli underestimates Huck. I think he might be very afraid. Let’s not forget that Huck, while possibly unaware–and possibly unwilling to use this tactic–has Olivia. Huck could threaten Olivia in some way and Papa Pope might change his whole perspective on things. Just something to think about.]

Fitz/Liv: I bet that 4th fellow in the office when Fitz was telling Liv about Mary’s son was like “Oh, Miss Pope is about to lose her job or something for hanging up on the president,” not knowing he’s her boo. Also Fitz had to tell Liv that guy was on the phone very clearly so she didn’t slip and say something he wasn’t supposed to hear.

Let’s talk about the quiet, but powerful scene Mellie had. It’s the most imperfect we’ve seen her, if I’m remembering correctly. Her hair is loose, she has little make up on, and she was so relaxed. Drunk!Mellie might be my favorite Mellie. Even a bit of an accent popped out there, especially as she talked about her Daddy’s “hootch.” Homegirl knows what’s up. She knows that if Olivia Pope died, she’d have nothing. Fitz wouldn’t have the time or the energy for her; it would all go in to grief and trying to champion some sort of monument to “Saint Olivia Pope.”

I am spectacular but I cannot compete with religious fervor.

Mellie knows how to run what’s given to her, but a curveball like that would take things out of her hands. As she said,

“As long as she’s still alive she’s your flaw. your achilles heel. She’s the string I’ll pull to make my puppet husband dance.”

Mellie y’all! They both, but she especially, are done playing. They are even over playing for the public; Cyrus was going to have a coronary trying to get them to go to Camp David together. Poor Teddy, he’s going to have some deep emotional scars from them yelling at each other in his face like that. Mellie intends to play the Olivia card to get what she wants; I wonder what she has planned…

Remington UpdateLet’s see: The man Huck murdered wanted to speak to the president about Remington. He though he was the only honorable person involved. Does Jake’s release have anything to do with all the Remington stuff coming out? Why did that man not try before to speak to the president? What prompted him to want to do it now?

I don’t like David and Cy in the same room together. They’re more than opposite sides of the coin, that implies shared traits. I worry Cy will corrupt David, but David shocked me (and twitter) tonight when he showed up and OUT against Cy. I was proud of him. I wonder what this might mean for their interactions in the future. Cyrus is always trying to blackmail or guilt or extort something out of somebody; David isn’t letting that happen. You go, David!

This week and (it seems) next week are sort of back to the case of the week format, but so far it hasn’t lost the serial edge that it seemed to last season after the Defiance arc ended. Is it next Thursday yet?

Quotes

“I’m all killed out today.”
“Wrap it in plastic and put it in a dumpster so it never bothers you again.”
Ok Dexter…

One last thing: Liv’s phone blowing was UP tonight… oh wait, too soon? 😉

ConStar Watches Sleepy Hollow “John Doe”

In which Sassy Ichabod realizes he is Sassy.

“You look good for 200.”

Stop checking him out Abbie (don’t.)

“It is a language of which you too are familiar with.”

Ichabod is very, very sassy. It’s been pointed out before, but it gets more and more noticeable. Especially with the sarcasm references in the episode.

I don’t trust Morales (the ex-boyfriend) at ALL and I wonder what his endgame is. Does he merely not trust Crane because he’s an outsider (which I’m sure is very much the case for any new person entering such a small town; especially one with such weird things happening of late) or is there something deeper? Is he just jealous? ALSO, who is covering for Ichabod over at Oxford?! Who had his cover story lined up for anyone who asked? I suspect Irving… but then sometimes he seems like he’s not in on the supernatural stuff. I can’t tell what his story is sometimes.

(aside: but clearly something deeper lies with him (besides his deep, mysterious looks) or else they wouldn’t have given him the name Irving. It could have been anything. The sheriff who was beheaded in the pilot could have been Irving (as he basically introduces the story to us). What is Irving’s role in all of this?

Abbie clearly didn’t pay attention in school if she’s asking about the Lost Colony of Roanoke. Most of us know what it is and having Abbie ask was definitely over exposition. She totally could have been like “oh right, we learned about that in school.” But FOX isn’t known for thinking their audience is smart, so they force things to be episodic rather than serial (I think this show is getting away with as much serialization as it can, which is a lot compared to most FOX shows barring maybe 24. Also we must remember that Abbie is the audience surrogate who has to ask things the average viewer might need to know. (Myself and others who are into sci-fi/fantasy — aka you happening to read this post (thanks!) are above the average viewer. It’s easy to forget that.) I think that makes Crane kind of the Unfazed Everyman– he’s not supernatural (again, I think the Witnesses are the two sisters and that they have supernatural witchy powers in their line), but he’s surrounded by all this weird stuff and it doesn’t really faze him. In the trope, it’s usually someone who is surrounded by magical people and that’s why it doesn’t faze them, but Ichabod hasn’t knowingly been around magic. He was, but he didn’t know.

Anyway, I think it’s important for us to remember that sometimes the network intervenes and sometimes makes the writers spell things out they don’t need to, and it’s American Network TV (despite the shortened season, it’s not cable or British TV); they cater to the LCD. I wish they wouldn’t, but despite popularity of the show, they’re not going to write for the sci-fi savvy/fantasy lover audience. Not at its base. It’s going for the average person checking this show out on a Monday night, not for the diehard fans who visit and edit Sleepy Hollow Wikia’s and want to cosplay the characters. It’s a sad but unfortunate truth. (Not that I’ve thought about doing those things–yet. ;-))

I want to know more about Ichabod’s father issues. We can hear his eloquent speech, so we knew he had a high class upbringing, but he didn’t seem to enjoy it. I wonder if we will get more about that, or perhaps they’ll save that for season 2. We’ve kind of got enough to deal with for this 13-episode season.

I suspect Abbie’s childhood forest has a similar supernatural portal spot much like the Roanoke one.
We have now met 2 out of 4 of the Horsemen. I didn’t think we’d meet another one yet until season 2. I wonder where he disappeared too? How do we keep him there?

I thought the thing that creepy Roanoke girl was trying to give Abbie was a plot device, but apparently not? Was it a plant? A leaf? I wonder if it might still pop up in a later episode.

Abbie got her sign, but the Bible says to walk by faith not by sight. God (I suppose it’s God in this story–with all the Revelations verses) gave her a physical sign, but she is going to have to start walking by faith if she’s going to continue saving the town/the world.

“I cannot make it without you”

“Believe me when I say, you belong in Sleepy Hollow.”

Girl he just saw his wife in forest!purgatory, he ain’t thinking about you right now.

THREE WEEKS?!??! Oh come on! I forgot that baseball interrupts television on FOX. Sad.

Until we meet again.

 

ConStar Watches Parks and Recreation “Doppelgangers”

I don’t have a lot to say except to quote some of tonight’s fabulous lines. But it was fun seeing Ben and Chris be good cop/bad cop. I’m sad for Leslie, but her acting out was great. Again, it’s interesting that the plot is being introduced so early, as I believe they’re leaving in episode 13 and we’re just in 4(?). But ample time for all the characters to say their goodbyes, which is nice and well deserved for Chris and Ann.

I loved the distraction waffles and distraction Joe Biden.

Donna is fabulous and I love that she got to mention Scandal referencing her real life love for the show (it’s even better that Scandal airs on Thursdays as well.)(aside: I can’t wait for Retta to watch the premiere! Her livetweets will be EPIC!)

Sugar mustard.

April was brilliant and hilarious as Tynnyfer’s counterpart. It was merely funny at first until you realized that April was a genius in bonding with the girl to get her to leave her position.

One thing I would’ve like to have seen was the Eagleton Parks Department interact with each other. I was going to say that I wanted to see them act like our Parks Department, but then I realized that of course they wouldn’t act like our department–our department is a family; the Eagletonians aren’t. But it still would have been nice to see if Craig went to alt!Ron for advice and what the answer might be. I also might have liked to see what an Eagleton Jerry might have looked like. I imagine they would have just been like a Pawneean (poor, unworthy, lol) and everyone thinks he’s awful because of it. Leslie would be a Jerry in Pawnee.

I had more to say than I thought, but quotes below!

Ron is basically a better version of George Washington.

OH MY GOODNESS IS THAT JOE BIDEN ON A HORSE SHIRTLESS??

Craze-mazing

Sorry for the delay ladies, I was busy being ambushed by treachery.

You’re developing an accent from that town you might move to!

You’re like skinny Mother Teresa.

Giving into hate is like drinking salt water. The thirst only gets worst.

“The meth-like high of solving accounting puzzles”

ConStar Watches Castle “Need to Know”

THE BODY OF THE WEEK! YIIIKES.

The videochatting scene is right out of many, many fans’ headcanons.

Perlmutter! “Castle, you’re back. And not by popular demand.” I love all his quips against Castle. 

Oh but why does this nerdy guy on the show have flip up glasses? lol They’re not as cool as Dwayne Wayne’s though.

I hate that McCord makes Beckett give the boys the FBI Wall. She knows she’s coming in to an already established relationship, and she’s really gonna make Beckett be the bad guy? Smh.

I love that the boys have so much fun messing with Castle about him being there the same weekend Beckett shows up. They missed that lightness and being able to mess with him because he’s not a cop. A break to the mundaneness and gravity of their jobs.

OMG the in universe Nikki heat movies went straight to DVD! That’s a great way to get around the fan desire to see a Nikki Heat movie premiere (which would probably be expensive, is kind of hackneyed, and doesn’t really work for their characters nowadays). I love that they made it a joke, which totally works even better for Castle the character (he wants to be all of that and a bestselling author with a hit film but really he’s just ok [despite real world bestseller-ness)). If the movie had worked out, it could have changed his in universe status quo too much. (not that they don’t mind changing it up, as evidenced by the DC arc.)

Like I said about the latest SHIELD episode, the episode suffers from a unified team having too many different agendas. makes it lose focus. With Beckett with McCord with a semi-contest to who wins the case due to the Boys’ competitiveness, PLUS the addition of this CIA agent, somewhere in the middle it gets cluttered with too many badges. The episode suffers from Castle and Beckett not being teamed together. Some of the least liked Castle episodes deal with a lack of Castle and Beckett. If we don’t get them relationship wise, we need them solving cases together. In this episode we got some good Castle/Beckett scenes in the beginning and end, but I missed them solving crimes together. But with the premiere being the season’s two parter, it’s hard to see the formula for this season. Or, perhaps! I just thought: since they are together romantically, perhaps the tension switch up will be that they have trouble solving crimes together? That part of their relationship is now the new tension? Not sure.

Aww The Espo Beckett hug =)

Yoo Beckettt. Poor girl handed the pink slip! I really thought she’d decide to leave herself! (Hope Castle can get that deposit on the new place back. Also, she’ll prob move in with him at the loft, which is already crowded!) But again, this goes back to my lack of visible formula for this season. I can’t tell yet if that’s good or bad. Switching it up could be good, but then, I don’t know where we’re going and that potentially makes me nervous. 

*I worked extra hard to make sure this post saved, as my Sleepy Hollow Post got eaten by WordPress when I pressed “Save Draft.”

‘Sleepy Hollow’ Gets First 2nd-Season Renewal of 2013-2014 – TheWrap

via ‘Sleepy Hollow’ Gets First 2nd-Season Renewal of 2013-2014 – TheWrap.

 

My favorite new show of the fall has already been renewed! This is one of the fastest network TV renewals I can remember hearing about (I’m sure I’m missing one). It’s only been three episodes! I know that cable networks, like HBO, pull this card all the time (I remember when HBO renewed Game of Thrones the night of it’s premiere), but it’s rare to see a network do it.

Also, I didn’t know that they were sticking with a 13 episode season. This should be great. As we see with cable and British television, shorter seasons lead to great acclaim and better storytelling, so I’m excited to see what a 13 episode season across two seasons could hold. This could be the beginning of a trend on network television.

Until the next episode (or article on the greatness that is Nicole Beharie)!

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

ConStar Watches Parks and Recreation “The Pawnee-Eagleton Tip off Classic”

“Knope out!”

Glad to see Kristen Bell on my TV! This Pawnee/Eagleton merger will bring more. She’s more the straight man, as her only humor is in how rich Eagleton is, so maybe more humor will come from Eagletonians being fish out of water in Pawnee situations. I think I like that there is a clear arc for this season; I wasn’t quite sure what it was going to be last episode. This gives it a clear arc beyond just a recall election.

Ron moved in with Diane!! I figured he’d build them a house, but maybe he hasn’t decided to do that yet. He needs to get off the grid first. It’s so sweet that he’s got the girls on his old phone. The Tom&Donna bit with social media has great. I’ve known so many snapchat-ers who’ve done exactly that scene. I really missed Donna last week, so I was glad her lines were so great this week.

“I live for the grid. It’s where I meet 40% of my jump offs.”

Aww, Ann practicing her mothering skills on April as well as the spark for her and Chris leaving. Where is Ann from? I wonder if leaving Pawnee is easier for her bc she was born elsewhere? Her parents don’t seem to be in town, so I’m not sure how deep her Pawnee ties are besides Leslie and the gang. I didn’t think they’d introduce this thread so early, but ‘m glad it’s not all introduced in the same episode, of course. Though this may hurt if they decide to tell Leslie early and then we’d see Leslie slowly breaking down over the episodes as she anticipates her best friend leaving her. But watch, April is gonna react the hardest. She’s gonna act out and then be the most upset.

I love how Ben makes Leslie an even better person. They are an amazing pair.

Finally; hold up: how does Leslie have the power/authority to just merge the towns. Is there no one else on city council or the mayor or anyone else who has anything to do with this decision? Lol. Seems a bit of a big decision for just Leslie to announce. I’m anticipating to see where they take this arc.

WELCOME TO PAWNEE!

Why Are Black Sitcoms Less Available to Us?: Black Sitcom DVD/Streaming Distribution Disparity

Black Sitcoms Distribution Article Cover

In this digital age of streaming and DVD and Blu-ray, its seems we can watch anything we want, on any device we want, any time we want. Despite the number of networks and outlets available, there are what feels like the fewest black sitcoms on today. Compared to the heyday of the 80s and 90s, the lack of black sitcoms is especially obvious when you consider there is not one on network television. So you’d think we’d be able to go back to those great 80s and 90s TV shows to fill the void of black faces on our television screens. And yes, there are plenty of shows in syndication thanks to BET and TV One and other minority niche networks. But, as I said, in this digital age, you’d think we could watch whatever we want, whenever we want. This is not the case.

When I fell in love with A Different World this summer, I immediately went searching for it on the internet. I found it: terrible quality, 3-parts per episode YouTube videos. Ok. What about on DVD? Only season 1. Netflix? Nope. Hulu? Hasn’t even heard of the show. I currently have 30 episodes stored on my DVR thanks to TV One syndication. Then I thought of other popular black sitcoms and decided to do some research.

Shows like The Cosby Show, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Family Matters had major audiences. Diverse audiences even; these shows aired during some of the most popular ratings time slots on TV: The NBC Thursday Must-See-TV block and the ABC TGIF block. The first two shows have full series on DVD, but Family Matters remains at only 3 seasons of its total 9 on DVD and none on any of the major streaming sites. Martin and Girlfriends also have all their episodes on DVD, but again, no streaming. Other shows from these eras and time slots, some with lesser ratings or critical acclaim are available but not black shows.

Check out this chart I made, featuring about 48 black sitcoms spanning from the ’60s to the ’00s (only 1 currently running sitcom is on the list)(It’s a bit ridiculous that it only took me a couple of hours to compile this list. It should be a longer list).

Black Sitcom DVD Release/Streaming Chart

Black Sitcom Streaming Availability Chart

Preview of the chart. Click through for the full and most updated version.

Only a quarter of the series on this list have full DVD releases. Only 3 are available on Netflix. Only 5 are available on Hulu. Some can be seen on the WB website or other network/studio pages (not listed on the chart), but I’ve watched shows on the WB website before, it’s not a pleasant experience (perhaps they’ve made some changes).

Why are our shows not available to us? Why must we hunt through DVD bins and “Save Until I Delete” on our DVRs or suffer through terrible quality YouTube versions (missing episodes or muted scenes because of song copyrights)? Why did so many Wikipedia pages say “Season 1 was released on DVD, but future seasons haven’t been made available due to poor season 1 sales”? Are people really not interested? Or were those cop-outs for those companies (more often than not, these shows were distributed by Warner Brothers)? I know that in the case of A Different World, season 1 differs greatly from the other 5 seasons, so of course DVD sales were low. The fans were waiting for season 2-6 to come out. What about The Jamie Foxx Show or Living Single or The Bernie Mac Show? Who is preventing these shows from being available to the (African-) American people?

I put African in parentheses above because here’s the thing: if shows featuring black people aren’t made available to everyone–not just black people–then how will a wider audience of people come into contact with black shows? If they were available as easily as [insert random show that people rarely watch or talk about but is streaming], we could get more than just black people watching these shows. We could expand the typical audience of these shows to include other races and the next generation. And in doing that, we could inspire writers and producers and networks to give more black written/black-led TV shows a shot (especially on network television). Then, more people would have exposure to great television programs and then realize, oh right, the cast was all black.

I don’t know what the solution is. Petition letters for shows like A Different World and Living Single have gone around, but they don’t seem to do much good. Hopefully, Netflix and Hulu will reach out to the black audience. For goodness sake, in their “Categories” section, Hulu has a Spanish Sitcom section while Netflix has a Korean TV Shows section. Why is there no “Black Sitcom” section, why are those shows not available? Maybe we need to create a streaming site that can get the rights to black TV shows; but there are already so many ways in which black television is being propelled backward (maybe you feel this way about Tyler Perry shows, maybe you don’t, but you definitely can’t ignore the complete lack of any black sitcoms on network television–and only three black led dramas, two which premiere this season)–we don’t need to add segregation to the list.

Let your favorite streaming service know that Black Sitcoms are worthy of being viewed. Make them talk to distributors to give them the rights. And support syndication reruns. Somewhere, I’m hoping something will change.

Are there any black sitcoms I left off the list? Any that have DVD/streaming availability that I neglected to mention? How do you think we can get better access to black television sitcoms?

*CORRECTION* I miscalculated on the chart: there are 12 shows with full DVD releases. Not much better. It has been corrected.

Related post: https://constarstudiestv.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/constar-studies-90s-black-sit-coms/

What I Watched Today – The Mindy Project “Music Festival”

I think I’m getting really ambivalent about The Mindy Project. It’s kind of on in the background. There might be a couple of funny moments, but I dunno, it doesn’t excite me as much as my other shows do.

But in this episode, I wasn’t fan of:

  • the Bro doctor. I get that he’s supposed to be annoying, but what purpose is it going to serve?
  • Pastor Casey becoming a DJ and then randomly (finally?) breaking up with Mindy. I get that it’s slightly a part of his character as the “cool” pastor, it’s still a random about face which was an obvious forcible set up for Mindy and Casey to break up. Why is he suddenly extra hip-hop pastor THEN an event planner after a trip to Haiti?? Suddenly he has no direction and wants to explore himself? It was too much of an obvious set up for tearing up their relationship. especially since it happened all in one episode. This is something they totally could have set up over 2 episode at least.
  • Why is Dr. British (I don’t remember his name) still randomly fat?

Also funny how her hair is growing so fast, time changes. She clearly wants her normal hair back lol.

I don’t know how I will continue to feel about The Mindy Project. It seems a bit all over the place sometimes, so I don’t know if it will find direction or if this is the path it will continue to take. Hope this isn’t a sophomore slump for them, as it might not survive it. I really want it to survive as it is one of the few shows with a non-white lead, but good storytelling is an important part of allowing a show with that extra factor to succeed.

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.”

Essence.com | Nicole Beharie on Her New Show, ‘Sleepy Hollow,’ Being Black on Primetime TV

EXCLUSIVE: Nicole Beharie on Her New Show, ‘Sleepy Hollow,’ Being Black on Primetime TV | Essence.com.

“ESSENCE: It’s so great to see a Black woman on prime time as the lead. Besides Kerry Washington, there’s you. Pressure?

NB: Yes, I think you just put the pressure on. [Laughs] My shoulders just fell. One thing I have considered is that the success of a show like Scandal and [Kerry’s] presence and Shonda Rhimes has opened up the minds of studios and executives. They know it’s possible. Even before that I liked Living Single. To me, all those shows were proof that of course it’s possible. Not only is it possible, but extremely entertaining and enriching.”

“I’m 5’1’’ and an African American woman. I just didn’t think anyone would hire me to play the cop. There’s a certain demographic of girls who look the same in every action piece and I didn’t think that that was going to be me. I’ve always been a big sci-fi person. I love fantasy, so when the opportunity presented itself I wanted to take a shot at this. Getting to hold a gun and running away from witches and incantations…there’s so much more that you’re going to see in the season that just doesn’t really fit into what I keep seeing on Twitter or what I keep hearing some people saying like ‘Yes, you’re the Black person who doesn’t die.’ A lot of people were like, ‘You’re going to die soon right?’ and I’m like I don’t know you have to watch. I haven’t died. It’s kind of a joke in the community like we always die within 20 minutes.”

Nicole Beharie is my new favorite person. She like sci-fi/fantasy, is a black nerd girl it seems, and I love her voice. I’m so excited that there is another black female lead, and as she says, the success of this show and Scandal will show producers and networks that choosing a black lead works. People will watch it (Sleepy Hollow and Scandal are doing extraordinarily well). I can’t wait to see what this inspires next.

I, for one, am very happy that this is a sci-fi/fantasy show, a realm you don’t get to see many black people (or black females) act in (outside of an ethnic magical person or wacky disbelieving sidekick) so black girls like me can know that black people do like sci-fi, we do like fantasy, we do act in these things and it’s ok to write them and explore them.

This show is making me very happy.

What I Watched Today – Sleepy Hollow “For The Triumph of Evil”

So there’s both the Icabod recap AND a “last time on…”? AND a full theme? That seems like a lot and/or a time filler to fill the episode length? I’m sure soon enough little by little, each of those (except maybe the “last time on…” will dwindle. As most shows grow, they need the time, so themes get cut to a blip and a title card.

“A really weird dream” “Ah really? What was I doing?” #hahah #shipping

Wow that eye pop was, ooh! *shivers* Really great job at the eyes popping, great effect. The sound really helped sell it. They’re doing a great job with the creepy factor.

“You had a prophetic dream” “…captial W Witness” Yeah, more like capital W Witch? I thought Icabod was the other Witness, but it’s probably actually Jenny.

What happened to the girls’ parents? Is Mills their original last name? Or a foster parent name? I have so many questions about this part of their backstory right now.

I also wonder about Morales, Abbie’s exboyfriend. Is he apart of the thick of things? I can’t believe he is just the exboyfriend who has nothing to do with her wanting to leave for Quantico and get out of there? And the Captain’s interest in him and their relationship…

LOL at Orlando Jones calling for and tweeting fanfiction requests and now every time something happens between them, people will be thinking of the fanfic possibilities. Like that scene where they wake up half-dressed and alive on life. Haha.

This show is really shaping up! I enjoyed this episode and am excited to see where they are going to take it. Currently they’ve got a case of the week deal going on (as is typical of FOX) but hopefully, an arc will continue to develop. If the writers do it smartly, they can have an arc and follow FOX’s villain-of-the-week rule.

I’m staying tuned!

What I Watched Today – Parks and Recreation

(really, yesterday, but I had to rewatch because I was so tired and couldn’t blog)

Parks is easily one of my favorite shows on television. From lovable, hilarious Amy Poehler, to snarky and dark April, and tough as nails but the best giggler on television Ron Swanson; comedy fans across the nation have fallen in love with Parks and Recreation. The only people who don’t seem to love Parks is the Emmy nomination committee, who nominate it but don’t acknowledge the brilliance of the show or its lead. So of course I am super excited it is back on my television.

Ron Swanson is a fantastic character. I love how rough and gruff he is, but how deep his sensitiveness goes. His romantic yet brief gestures for Xena (sorry, I must) Diane are completely sweet and completely in character. (He built her a canoe!!) And you can tell why he loves her so much because she’s also brief and to the point but still with a sly sense of humor. I can’t wait to see what kind of Dad he’s going to be. (I’m surprised he doesn’t already have older children but then again, with either of the Tammy’s, those families would have been jacked up.) I loved everything about their impromptu wedding, best of all Leslie’s joy and excitement, which as some posts on tumblr claimed, are how we all feel when watching our favorite TV show. Image

Everything about the Teaser was the perfectly the show.

London was a fun trip and I see some of the seeds of the rest of the season developing (Andy’s character development to match his hair and ab changes lol), also Ron and Chris/Ann becoming parents (and the latter’s departure). But I have to say that Tom’s storyline kind of bored me. There were perhaps too many Saperstein’s in the episode and they kind of cancelled each other out for me. Jean-Ralphio is my favorite, but mixed with Mona Lisa and their dad, it didn’t hold as much weight or excitement for me. I wonder, though, where the Tom/Jean-Ralphio relationship is heading, considering how frustrated Tom was with Jean-Ralphio in this episode. “I need some better friends.” Dr. Saperstein wasn’t as dynamic as he perhaps should have been for a father of JR and ML. He was kind of normal and oblivious to his children’s antics.

I am really in love with Leslie/Ben and it rivals my other 2 current TV couples for best post-will-they-won’t-they relationship upgrade. (Castle/Beckett and Nick/Jess are the other two.)

The best parts of the episode were the beginning and Jerry’s epic Jerry-ism with Chris and Ann. That scene cracked me up!

“When did you make the switch to boxer briefs?” More Donna, please!

I need Leslie Knope in my life, so she can help me figure out my life and get me awesome, super personalized and thought out gifts. LOL

“One bearded lady. She got all offended when I marveled at her.” I really dig April’s character development and how she showed her love of Leslie and supported Andy. And got to be Ron Swanson’s best man. She would’ve been the only choice for the job even had they decided to have a real wedding. Her letter to the committee about Leslie was so beautiful and made me tear up.

“I’m basically Babyface.”

Parks and Rec is not only super funny, but it’s got the most heart of any sitcom on television. And that’s why I love it. People can love Breaking Bad and Mad Men and things that focus on what’s dark in this world–and that’s fine–but we also need shows that focus on the good of people and friendship and love. We should focus on that equally as much.

Link: Key & Peele explain how they created ‘Substitute Teacher’ – The Week

Interview: Key & Peele explain how they created ‘Substitute Teacher’ – The Week.

But when you bring someone back, you want to make sure it’s not just a cookie-cutter, by-the-numbers version of the original sketch, where you have the exact same gag with different names. It was very, very difficult for us to figure out how to do it. [The concept] really goes back to the difference between the cultures of an inner city school and a more privileged school in the suburbs.”

I really like reading people break down their craft, especially (tv) writers, and especially comedians because I always get so lost in the funny that I forget and then later remember that there is such an intricate science to comedy. Sometimes I’ll hear a joke and then think about how it was constructed (something is said, then the turn or element of surprise at the end) but I’ve never been good at setting up a joke or constructing one myself. I think that if I think about it enough, when the time comes to write one, I’ll have picked up the basics by osmosis and it will become innate.

So reading this is fun for me, to learn how this duo comes up with one of their more popular sketches. It also offers insight into how this particular group works and the way their writing dynamic seems to play out.

What I Watched Today – New Girl, The Mindy Project, and Brooklyn 99

New Girl – Wow, this show is just so perfect. Almost too many jokes to mention. This show makes me laugh every commercial break, which is so important for a show. Genius move. Also cut on a hilarious joke and this show did that every act out for me.

I love the Nick/Jess moments. I love how much he wants to help her. I love watching Nick trying to juggle Jess’ AND Winston’s crazy. I’m really pleased with the Nick/Jess post hook-up dynamic. This has been a good year for couples I love getting together and getting better as characters/duos rather than falling flat or the writer’s trying to force them apart every moment they get. Let the characters get together and explore where that can take you! Too many shows give them 2 episodes together (this could be New Girl‘s approach, it’s honestly too early to tell, but I have hope) and then split them up and give them loads of angst. In this episode, you get the moments where they were together, but they also have the same dynamic as before which only makes watching their interactions even better. Great job to the writers.

I’m definitely Team CeCe. And I am so nervous for her and Schmidt’s dynamic when she finds out. She seems so pleased he picked her and happy to see him, her heart is going to be so broken. She really opened up her heart to him. Yikes, the angst will hurt. Hopefully they will keep Nick/Jess the way they are to keep me sane.

Poor Winston. But his “cat killer” crazy was hilarious and well-played. A broken heart made him a little psycho. Still thinking about how uncomfortable the licking sound the cat makes on Schmidt made me.

The Mindy Project –  One piece whipped cream suit was an amusing sight gag. Though I’m still having trouble seeing Mindy and the Rev together. I don’t know if it’s because I approve of Mindy/Danny or if they just feel forced together.

Also, as I tweeted last week, I am super over James Franco. So I don’t care about him on this episode. And I maintain that Mindy is always less funny after the brilliance of New Girl. If they switched the times, Mindy might be funnier in comparison. Or perhaps it’s Sophomore Slump? One day I will stop saying this, sorry.

The theme song remains the best thing about this show.

Brooklyn 99 – I enjoy the theme song for this too. They feel similar, so I wonder if they were done by the same person? Or one inspired by the other.  I liked the locker vs dumpster joke. Really good joke construction and delivery. Before the first act out, I laughed or smiled more than when I watched Mindy, but found myself not really caring about the plot. It was on in the background as I wrote these posts, but didn’t grab me to distraction from this task as trying to blog through New Girl did.

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!

What I Watched Today – Sleepy Hollow

Hmm I hope that introduction narration/recap thing isn’t always like that. Maybe it’ll work with some retooling, but it was awkward and kind of jumpy…? Yeah, the tape may say he did that himself, but uhm is no one concerned that IT ISN’T POSSIBLE!?

In this episode, they “revealed” that Icabod has an eidetic memory. Ugh. I’m liking this show, but either the writers or the network forced that line in the excuse away things they want Icabod to automatically know or remember (but watch him “forget” something later that would have been useful. Watch them forget they gave him this character trait. OR overstate it). I would have preferred if they showed us his eidetic memory for several episodes before stating it as a fact; here it was forced exposition. Or just have him have an eidetic memory and not mention it. Viewers aren’t as dumb as writers/networks think they are. (Well, maybe they are. But I wish they weren’t. Raise the LCD, don’t dumb down towards it. Hopefully now that they see this show has a pretty big and wide, varied audience, they can realize that we are enjoying it without thinking we won’t get everything.

What I Watched Today – HIMYM

*One post was super long so I’ve split them up by show. Shorter posts but more of them is probably better than one long one.

How I Met Your Mother – Aww. The last season. This show often slows down across a season when watching it live, but as I’ve discovered before, it can hold up with a Netflix binge-watch. Here’s hoping the last season holds up better. That’s hard to imagine as most of the 24 episodes will be during a 55 hour weekend. Really having a hard time seeing how this will work, but I’m gonna keep it up until the end. I’ve lasted this long, with a few watching hiatuses before binge catching up; can’t quit now!

Really glad the Mother’s first line made me laugh. Looking good for her. Since I’ve hated all of Ted’s girlfriends. All of them. (Except Robin, but I definitely ship Barney/Robin so she doesn’t count.) She’s so much like Ted, it’s almost scary. I bet they won’t meet until like November sweeps at the rate this is going. But already, my fears of Mother casting have been assuaged (which they were even as of that summer photoshoot with Ted and The Mother kissing. Really great chemistry between them there.)

“You’re a 21st Century toilet!” “!!!!!”

Lady Tedwina Slowsby.

Of course Barney is on Joffrey’s side. #gameofthrones

Creepy telepathic murder thoughts.

You have certainly peaked my incest–interest.

“I’ve got you. I don’t have to wait for it anymore.” d’awwww. As well as the photo moment.

And one grizzly murder.

As usual, the second episode is slower and not as funny.

NO SHE’S LITERALLY AROUND THE CORNER THOUGH.

I enjoyed watching Ted and The Mother in that last scene! Good job!

Quote: SNEAK PEEK at Shonda Rhimes – Black Bloggers Connect™ Official Blog

MG Media: How much pride do you take in the fact that your casts are much more racially diverse than most other shows?

Shonda: I don’t take pride in it at all. I think it’s sad, and weird, and strange that it’s still a thing, nine years after we did “Grey’s,” that it’s still a thing. It’s creepy to me that it’s still an issue, that there aren’t enough people of color on television. Why is that still happening? It’s 2013. Somebody else needs to get their act together. And oh, by the way it works. Ratings-wise, it works. People like to see it. I don’t understand why people don’t understand that the world of TV should look like the world outside of TV.

via SNEAK PEEK at Shonda Rhimes – Black Bloggers Connect™ Official Blog.

No seriously. It’s 2013. Why is it a thing to have a racially diverse show and why is Shonda the only really doing it? Other shows that seem like they have diverse casts kind of still have the token minority who support the lead. They don’t really have leading qualities or episodes of their own. And Shonda is right, her shows are super hits for ABC, and yet no one else has thought that perhaps her casting has helped her get her shows where they are. It’s not everything, but it certainly helps widen your audience.

What I Watched Today – Incl. “Sleepy Hollow” & “Key and Peele”

*NOTE: These posts will contain always #spoilers.

Sleepy Hollow: Maybe it wasn’t a good idea to watch this show before bedtime, especially after that last moment in the mirror. #shivers.

I love Abbie’s voice. It reminds me of someone else’s but I can’t place it. Time to IMDB her.

I think it’s interesting how they took the Sleepy Hollow story and added the Four Horseman in order to stretch the mythology to be TV show length. Despite spoilers, I didn’t know John Cho knew the Horseman, just that he dies, but how did he know what he knew!? Also: YO homegirl got a bite on her!! Yo!

7 years of tribulation… oohlala (#shipping it already, along with everyone else lol) but interesting theoretical series timeline. Also, she is very short and is very tall. I’m sure that makes it hard for the camera crew.  I’m guessing that the season ender might be the Headless Horseman getting his skull (though right now it seems in precarious hands under the protection of an unbelieving and non-powerful police department) and then the other three arriving will be the next storylines.  Obviously it’s sooo far off to tell, but it’s like knowing that on Once Upon a Time, the season would end with them getting their memories back and that’s exactly what happened. I’m ready and would be pleased for a surprise though. I really enjoyed this, it’s right up my alley: mystery, supernatural, with some religion and literature thrown in. Also a black female lead. I am definitely going to continue watching this. (Just have to remember to put it on my DVR.)

Key and Peele: Key and Peele are BRILLIANT. It’s topical and funny and really smart (both clever and use of literature and theater despite maybe some not expecting their audience to care about those things.) Watch the intro Hoodie sketch, the Rap Battle Sketch (until the end), and the Les Mis sketch. Can’t wait until next week!

I also watched:

Continue reading

Black TV 2013: Fall and Winter Preview | Old School 94.5

Black TV 2013: Fall and Winter Preview | Old School 94.5.

Check out this article, which discusses some of the [network tv] shows airing this fall that feature black characters. It’s sad we still need articles like this to point the shows out, but it’s useful. Especially since when I last looked at NBC’s Thursday Comedy Lineup, I did not spy not one black person on the posters (as much as I looove love Parks and Rec, it doesn’t add much for NBC’s lead/co-star diversity).

I am about to watch Sleepy Hollow tonight and as yesterday’s post said, I watched Brooklyn 99 and was pleased by a diverse cast. I am also interested in Almost Human and I already watch Scandal. Glad to see that there is some color on network TV, but it’s a shame that most of these shows the black character is a co-star or supporting, not the main actor/lead character. Kerry and Blair Underwood (Ironside) are leads. The Originals seems to star the black lead, while Sleepy Hollow, Almost Human, and Brooklyn 99 seem to be a dual lead deal thing going on.)

Hopefully, if there are midseason replacement shows, we can get some more diversity on network television (or some break out supporting minority characters who get increased storylines), because it feels like an all-time low right now. (Is Brooklyn 99 the only network sitcom starring a black person right now? With Mindy making 2 shows with minority leads? If there are others, let me know…)

What I Watched Today

Today I finished Orange is the New Black, after starting the season yesterday midday during a sick day at home. Interesting show, great supporting characters, I’ve grown to dislike Piper more and more as the show progressed. Daya, Taystee, Poussey, and Black Cindy are some of my favorites characters. The pre-prison flashbacks were such a small taste of these characters and I really want more of how a lot of them got to prison and their normal lives.

I also watched:

Whose Line is it Anyway?

Brooklyn 99 – Hmm. Amusing new show. Enjoying the diversity (2 black people AND 2 hispanic characters). Mike Shur is a plus, as a big #Parks fan. I’ll keep this on my DVR.

New Girl – So glad it’s back! It was sooo good and I LOVE Nick and Jess! and Winston was FANTASTIC and oh Schmidt. But the show has not lost it’s greatness over the summer.

The Mindy Project – Well. There were some good moments, but as usual, you can’t air Mindy after New Girl, it’s not as funny and for me, constantly fails in comparison. Sorry Mindy. Also, I’m bored with James Franco. *rolls eyes* But welcome back, Mindy.

The Daily Show

The Colbert Report

The Queen Latifah Show – I might check this out regularly. I don’t watch a lot of talk shows, but today’s interview with Will was funny of course and the segment with Will and Alex Trebek was inventive and fun. I still need to watch the rest of the episode though…

A Different World – expect this to go on my daily list a lot, since I love it and it’s right there on my DVR.

[New segment I will do to help me write everyday/more often. As the Fall 2013 TV comes along, I will try to at the very least, post what I watched each day. If I’m feeling write-y, I will add opinions and such. Though it may only be: “I’m so excited for this episode!” (if written before) or “this episode was fantastic!” (when written after). Hope I can keep up and keep going with this blogging thing. =)]