SONS OF ANARCHY Recap: “Poor Little Lambs”

by     Posted 12 hours ago

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Sons of Anarchy‘s great wave of carnage continued in “Poor Little Lambs,” but in between were a few reintroductions to great characters from the past (like Walton Goggins as Venus Van Dam, and the always great Kim Dickens as the hooker with a heart of gold, Colette).  There was also a 1990s revival.  Jax once again met with Ron Tully (Marilyn Manson) to work out a drug deal to offload some of that heroin he acquired, and Gemma dropped Abel off at his new school, where one of the teachers is played by Courtney Love (the horror!)  Hit the jump, beautiful people.

Fall Pilot Review: SELFIE

by     Posted Yesterday

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Based on Pygmalion and My Fair LadySelfie follows Eliza Dooley (Karen Gillan) as she comes to learn that there is more to life than social media.  Helping her along on her journey of self discovery and manners is Henry Higenbottam (John Cho), who works with Eliza, and who is a master of rebranding (she, naturally, works in sales).  The series is created by Suburgatory‘s Emily Kapnek, who gives it her trademark fast-paced style.  Hit the jump to see if this ABC comedy deserves a spot on your DVR.

MASTERS OF SEX Season 2 Finale Recap: “Untitled”

by     Posted 2 days ago

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Intriguingly, Showtime withheld the advance screener of Masters of Sex‘s finale, “Untitled,” until after it aired.  Ray Donovan, on the other hand, was posted almost a week early.  What was it about “Untitled” that was perceived as so Earth-shattering that the network was afraid of spoilers?  Even the twists at the end, which were genuinely interesting (especially as they incorporated, briefly, old characters), all played into a theme that has been running through the show since the beginning: Bill is in control, and anyone who gets in his way should prepared to be mowed down by his hubris.  There’s no surprise there.  Hit the jump, but only “if we put touching genitals back on the agenda.”

BOARDWALK EMPIRE Recap: “Cuanto”

by     Posted 3 days ago

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The past is coming alive on Boardwalk Empire, and not just through Nucky’s flashbacks.  As things begin to take a turn towards the end for the series, Nucky is confronted not only by how his experiences and choices as a young boy shaped his future, but how things like his relationship with Margaret also changed him.  The business of being a gangster is changing, too, with the new guard (led by Lucky Luciano) is looking to squeeze out the old, one way or another.  As Lucky tells Al Capone, his vision is to have the Italians unite and run things.  “Nucky Thompson ain’t Italian,” Capone opines regarding Atlantic City.  Lucky assures him: Nucky is being taken care of.  Hit the jump for what that means, and why “I haven’t blushed in 40 years.”

THE STRAIN Recap: “Last Rites”

by     Posted 3 days ago

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One of the problems with The Strain is that for every step forward, it then takes a leap back.  Last week’s “The Third Rail” was a great hour that worked on all fronts, particularly when it came to its monsters.  While “Last Rites” had some great creepy moments (including an always welcomed appearance by the Master), it floundered — as it often does — when it revolves around anything deeper.  But, it also teased the cloaked man/vamp again, as well as some other dark portends for the finale.  Hit the jump to answer the ad for antisocial anarchists.

THE KNICK Recap: “Get The Rope”

by     Posted 5 days ago

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In the last episode of The Knick, some of its narrative strands started coming together, bringing its characters together in ways they hadn’t bumped up against one another before (sometimes quite literally).  “Get the Rope” took that even further, tying up some of the The Knick‘s more disparate parts into the show’s most linear and contained episode yet.  And amid a great deal of violence, “Get the Rope” also managed to work in some humor, and even a little romance.  Hit the jump if you are like a comet in the sky.

SCANDAL Season 4 Premiere Recap: “Randy, Red, Superfreak and Julia”

by     Posted 5 days ago

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Scandal is back, and full of drama from its first frame onward (one would not expect anything less).  Olivia is also back, one of OPA is gone, and “Randy, Red, Superfreak and Julia” found the rest of the Gladiators in very different places than where we left them.  Series creator Shonda Rhimes has promised that this season will not only focus back on the core cast, but also be a season where Abby Whelan will finally get a major arc all of her own.  Hit the jump, but only when it’s your turn. 

Fall Pilot Review: HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER

by     Posted 6 days ago

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Shonda Rhimes has just become a triple-threat on ABC, getting her own 3-hour block of television; How to Get Away with Murder, created by ShondaLand writer Peter Nowalk, will air after Rhimes’ series Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal.  And for fans of Scandal in particular, there’s a lot about How to Get Away with Murder that feels familiar, though in a good way.  Plus, there’s Viola Davis as another strong, complicated (though not angry!) black woman at the heart of the series.  Hit the jump for whether the show deserves a spot on your DV-R, or should even be watched — gasp — live!

SONS OF ANARCHY Recap: “Playing with Monsters”

by     Posted 8 days ago

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Sons of Anarchy has always seemed to pride itself on having the twistiest of plots, and “Playing with Monsters” played right into that.  The issue is, episodes like these cut deeply into character development time, which last week’s great “Toil and Till” thrived on.  But “Playing with Monsters” also showed how Jax’s single-minded devotion to taking down the Chinese is making things very, very complicated on the street.  Meanwhile, the person who was really responsible is the one he is working so hard to defend.  Hit the jump for IMDB information on Stankenstein.

Fall Pilot Review: FOREVER

by     Posted 9 days ago

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ABC’s Forever is essentially a patchwork of other successful television series.  In fact, Forever may be the most calculated of the fall premieres by following a simple formula for success (one that CBS is usually champion of).  There’s a procedural aspect, a little bit of the supernatural, romance, mystery, and all of it is tied together by the handsome Welsh face of Ioan Gruffudd (Fantastic Four), a doctor with a little bit of a death wish. Sure we’ve seen it all before, but is there something about this one that’s different?  Hit the jump to find out if that alchemy works, and if Forever deserves a spot on your DV-R.

THE STRAIN Recap: “The Third Rail”

by     Posted 10 days ago

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Hunting down and fighting monsters is what The Strain does best, and “The Third Rail” was an excellent showcase for it.  As the gang assembles in order to attack the Master in his lair, chaos and looting carries on all around them.  But the rag-tag bunch on the hunt, as well as those left back at the pawnshop, have a difficult time with one another.  The vampirism also claims another victim close to home.  Hit the jump for why, “you’ve been waiting for this your whole life, haven’t you?  Well congratulations on the vampire apocalypse.”

MASTERS OF SEX Recap: “One For The Money, Two For The Show”

by     Posted 10 days ago

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For so many reasons, it’s difficult to believe that “One for the Money and Two for the Show” is Masters of Sex‘s penultimate episode this season.  It was a season that started out with such excellent potential regarding a shifting paradigm in Ginny and Bill’s relationship, even introducing a race-related storyline that was primed for something so different on television (one that could have even made Masters fully step out of Mad Men‘s shadow by meaningfully incorporating minority characters and perspectives).  Instead, the show dropped that Buell Green narrative quickly and unceremoniously, jumped forward in time, and ended back at a place emotionally before “Fight” or even the season opener.  Hit the jump for why maybe the show needs someone to tell them they look weird in this tie.

RAY DONOVAN Recap: “Rodef”

by     Posted 10 days ago

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As has been Ray Donovan‘s trajectory all season, Ray’s attempts to manage his family — even under the guise of protecting them — have finally unravelled completely.  Though he spent much of “Rodef” covering his bases with Ezra, Abby, Avi, Lena, Cochran and others (should he end up in jail), in his final scene of anguish, he was unable to protect the two most important people in his life: Conor and Bridget.  Yet, as always, it wasn’t chance or fate that led to that outcome, but Ray’s own choices.  Hit the jump to find out how many Vietnam vets it takes to screw in a lightbulb (“You weren’t there, man!”)

BOARDWALK EMPIRE Recap: “What Jesus Said”

by     Posted 10 days ago

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Even for someone who likes Boardwalk Empire‘s slowest and most meditative episodes, “What Jesus Said” necessitated the use of caffeine to get through it.  The summation of its vignettes seemed to be that you can’t escape who you are.  In the end, almost everyone was haunted by the past, or faced with the reality of a life they preferred to keep hidden.  Boardwalk‘s final season seems to be, in part, about consequence, and there’s no better way to drive that home than to consider what it is that got you there.  Hit the jump, boy!

THE KNICK Recap: “Start Calling Me Dad”

by     Posted 12 days ago

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The threads that The Knick has laid down for its first five episodes have started to intertwine in its sixth.  Algernon’s secret medical practice has an unexpected visitor, and Cornelia takes steps to apprehend Typhoid Mary.  Even Thackery’s desire to figure out where Christiansen went wrong in his treatment of previa patients turned a corner.  And though it wouldn’t be an episode of The Knick without a death, “Start Calling Me Dad” was, on the whole, one of the series’ lighter episodes.  Hit the jump, or away, moldy rogue, away!

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