Tag: tv

ConStar Watches Scandal "Icarus"

“You get to ask me one question”

We’re gonna need more than one question to make it through this week’s episode of Scandal, but I’ll start with one from each major plot point and go from there. No guarantees about the amount of questions I ask. Please don’t kill my friends or try to recruit them for your evil, secret government agency, thanks.
This week’s episode went through these major storylines:
Liv and Operation Remington: Why does Fitz refuse to acknowledge Operation Remington to even Olivia—even after finding out it was her mother?
I had a feeling that Fitz didn’t know about Olivia’s mother being on the plane, but it concerns me to no end that he refuses to acknowledge his part even after he knows about her mother. Liv already knows the worst of it. She knows more than HE did, seeing as how he didn’t know about Mama Pope (Maya Lewis is her name). And yet, despite his claims of how much he loves her and they know each other, and it could be how it was before, yadda yadda, he doesn’t admit to the operation and he doesn’t even say sorry or console her. There must be more to his side of the story.
This Remington storyline is a clear mirror of the Defiance storyline with Liv at the center: everyone is plotting around her to keep her from knowing some awful truth about how she got where she is today. But Fitz needs to learn that he can’t throw that in her face anytime he wants; not anymore. This is about her mother. Who he shot down in the sky. He may not want to talk about it or the circumstances, but if he wants Liv to ever speak to him again, he’s going to need to come clean about Operation Remington once and for all.
But turning to Papa Pope for a moment: I truly believe those were real tears he shed when he was watching the news of the plane crash. What I want to know is: was he in charge of B6-13 then? He says he didn’t order the plane down. I believe him (not just because I believe in his love of Olivia, and I hope to extend that to Maya, but because of Joe Morton’s acting choice of shaking his head no before he verbally responded to Olivia’s question over the phone (homegirl needs to just chug that wine from the bottle—saves time on washing wine glasses)). The “no” was a visceral response to the question, probably not even conscious. But he can’t talk about the rest: What did he know when it was being planned? Could he have stopped it? Did he try? Knowing they killed his wife—and subsequently destroyed his relationship with his daughter—why did he accept command of the organization (or continue as leader if he was already in charge). Side note: I was DONE after seeing Joe Morton in that hairpiece and moustache! Especially knowing that he didn’t look that way back on A Different World. lol
12-year-old Olivia’s love of Fruit Loops makes me wonder if she can ever eat them again, all things considered. It might be a nice moment, to see Olivia have a box of Fruit Loops in her cabinet (but no milk in the fridge…).
Baby Huck/Charlie: What is Rowan’s plan for Quinn?
Quinn is spiraling out of control! Huck gave her the taste for darkness and she’s grasping at it. It’s interesting to me that Rowan/Charlie think they’ve “planted a seed” in Quinn that they must watch bloom, when this has been growing in her this whole time with no one tending to it but Quinn herself. They didn’t introduce the gun to her, she bought it on her own. Rowan told Olivia he wouldn’t kill her friends, but he didn’t say nothing about turning another one into B6-13! (I think fans, and possibly Olivia, won’t mind as much about this one. Baby Huck has been getting on everyone’s nerves since she arrived… I’m surprised the whole office doesn’t groan whenever she speaks.
I wonder if she will be trained to replace Jake’s would be assassin. Maybe B6-13 operates with a Token Female…
Actually, I would LOVE for Quinn to join B6-13, because then she’d be able to destroy it from the inside (not because she’s awesome, but because it would just implode due to her presence, annoyance, and incompetence).
Harrison/Cy: Will Cyrus’ threat spur Harrison into action against Olivia?
Finally some Harrison backstory! It’s been a long time coming that we find anything about Harrison Wright. What I understand so far is: Harrison was a used car salesman. Then he was involved in insider trading. This man, Saliff, is out of the country and if he is allowed (?) to return, he will kill Harrison. I suppose Harrison sold this man out to save himself. We know that Olivia “fixed” it for him. If he allows Cyrus’ threat to move him against Liv, Liv won’t fix him twice. But I think there must be more to it—they waited so long to give us a Harrison storyline, and Olivia trusts him with her company but then snubs him every time he asks her a question. I wonder what the whole story could be. I do know that Cyrus wildly underestimated Harrison’s loyalty to Olivia, but I don’t know how much more of Olivia’s dismissals Harrison will take.
The Election: How does Mellie plan to use the wandering First Vice Husband against Sally’s betrayal?
This part of the storyline was mostly set up for future chess pieces moving around. Josie Marcus’ bits were great, I know her interview with James will go viral on tumblr, due to the strength and truth of her comments. But the Sally/Mellie/Cyrus parts of the game were just pawns being moved into place. Mr Vice First Husband (Heroes’ own Horned Rimmed Glasses!) is making eyes at Mellie; but if he doesn’t know already, he is going to learn that Mellie will do whatever it takes to keep Fitz in office (including “rolling up your whore and unrolling her at your feet” !!). Whatever Mellie’s plan is, it is going to be devious.
Other thoughts:
Icarus is an interesting title choice. Obviously it involves flying and something crashing down to the ground, but it is also about parent/child relationships, escaping imprisonment (feelings of being trapped), and a tragic downfall. These themes apply to many characters. Fitz is trapped with Mellie (and kind of trapped in the White House by Mellie and Cyrus and the ghost of his father’s influence on him. Liv is trapped in the situation with her father, she doesn’t want anything to do with him, but he keeps appearing in her life and if she doesn’t stick with him, he may kill her friends. Obviously the plane crash is the prime example of the myth in action; did Maya get too excited about something for her own good and it led to the plane “needing” to be shot down by B6-13? Did someone ignore the warnings they were given to not fly too close to the sun? Is the sun B6-13 or something else?
I suppose they’ll start covering Kerry Washington’s baby bump with large coats, because I highly doubt Olivia will get pregnant and they’ve already established her wardrobe as a symbolic device.
They took all episode to get to Fitz learning that he killed Olivia’s mother. His eyebrows tell me he clearly didn’t know, but he schooled his expression real quick and continued to not acknowledge Olivia’s question. What does this mean for the coming weeks? Let the torturous wait til next Thursday begin!
Please , please, please check out my (condensed) version of this post on UnderScoopFire.com: Scandal ‘Icarus’ Discussion: “You Get One Question”
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Watch: Ava DuVernay's Filmmaker Keynote Address At 2013 Film Independent Forum | Shadow and Act

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pFoBks5ly0&w=420&h=315]
via Watch: Ava DuVernay’s Filmmaker Keynote Address At 2013 Film Independent Forum | Shadow and Act.
I haven’t seen any of Ava DuVernay’s work yet, but I loved this keynote address and think it’s useful for anyone who is a media creator/artist. (She’s also directing an upcoming episode of Scandal, episode 308, so I’ll get to see a bit of her style then.)

All of the things that we try to do while trying to move forward in the industry is time not working on your screenplay [insert what your art is & what you’re supposed to be doing to work on it]. All the time you’re focusing– trying to grab– ‘I need this, I need this, I don’t have this–‘, you’re being desperate, you’re not doing. All that stuff is not active, it’s not moving you forward. All of the so called ‘action’ is hinging on someone doing something for you. Does that make sense? […]
The only thing that moves you forward is your work. […]
If you channel your desperation towards things you have, it’s passion. If you channel it towards things you don’t have, it’s desperation. It’s stagnation. […]
My whole thing, what I want is to be making films as a senior citizen. When I look at senior citizens making films, they’re only white guys. There’s no black, female Woody Allen. Or Mike Nichols. Like Clint Eastwood? Just imagine a bad ass black woman, walking like Clint, ‘I don’t care! I’m gonna say whatever I wanna say!” You’re old as hell, you’ve made a gang of films, say what you wanna say! I wanna be her. Old and making films. American women making films, black women making films into old age, actively and consistently. I wanna be Werner Herzog, I have so many films, I don’t know their names. I wanna be that. […] I just want consistency and longevity.

Watch the whole thing, you may get a nugget of something.
 

ConStar Watches S.H.I.E.L.D. "The Asset"

I still can’t tell how I feel about this show. I believe it will pick up, but waiting for it to pick up in the way that I want is rough. But I can tell they’re laying some foundations and working out relationships so I’m giving it more time. And it has both the money and the audience to actually give us time to watch it grow. Unlike every other Whedon show. I remember not being sure how I felt about Dollhouse and then episode 6 came along and I was in for the ride.
Why can’t Skye have a tech S.O.? lol I suppose Ward does tech stuff as he showed when he cut off her offer to do some techy bits.
i enjoyed Fitz/Simmons’ outfits. 
I think I’m not alone when I say I’m not a fan of Skye’s double agent act (though most people, from what I gather, are not fans of Skye herself. I don’t quite like her too much either).  I think her cockiness is what i dislike about her. And she’s selfish? Though, perhaps, maybe that’s just in the context of SHIELD. She doesn’t really know or care about these people yet and the show hasn’t given her an opportunity to yet. Maybe she cares about other people on a larger scale? but her cockiness is annoying. I did enjoy her “Nope!” though. Skye’s cockiness drops quick when there are like 5 dudes after her!
Whats wrong with Coulson’s muscle memory? There’s definitely more to this than we know (what happened in Tahiti? Did he actually ever go to Tahiti? What did SHIELD do to him to bring him back?). What are they foreshadowing to be wrong with him? I really want more Coulson. And more Melinda May! She’s definitely my second favorite character and I want to know more about her and her backstory (and why she didn’t want to join in–what happened in her last mission– and does that have to do with not liking being called The Cavalry). More Melinda and Coulson being Agent Bros, please!
Hmm, I don’t know why I wasn’t feeling Skye’s emotional turn around at the end. Her life was threatened in the two episodes before, why was this one so much more traumatic for her? Half of the time she was threatened in the episode, she was being her normal, cocky self. I get that it’s a defense mechanism, given when we could assume about her even before she revealed her backstory, but I don’t feel like we earned that story based on what she went through in the episode. I could get some introspection, but not a full out reveal to Ward about her past. I don’t get if she’s suddenly on their side or if she’s playing the “hide deception in honesty” card as she did with Quinn in the episode. I just don’t think we earned her confession.
I liked the tag more than the episode as a whole. As a non-comic book reader, I didn’t quite understand what was happening, but tweets sort of made me pull it together at the end. I think my problem with this episode is that it’s exposition for Graviton the Villain and exposition can be the most boring part (even in a great story). It’s why I’m giving SHIELD so much of a chance (that’s a lie. It’s because it’s Joss. and because it’s not bad, it just hasn’t really found it’s footing yet, but I know it’s coming), all of these beginning episodes are exposition for something greater to come. I don’t think Disney/Marvel would have greenlit it yet if they weren’t shown a larger, fuller story trajectory that we’re not seeing yet.
I’m interested in seeing how the Graviton arc plays out (as I think that’s what this show really needs, to start showing us it’s arcs. A comic book story, a Whedon story doesn’t work story of the week; those stories are best told in arcs. We’re just getting the seeds right now.

'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)!

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

A discussion on the lack of availability of black sitcoms via DVD or streaming services. Includes a chart of where you can access certain black sitcoms.

Read more

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.

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 – Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

I just need to say this title is way too long. Either just SHIELD or maybe the abbreviation could be AOS (I guess MOAS could work? but I dunno…what the fandom will decide on as a group? I was just glad for Twitter’s auto hashtag feature so I didn’t have to type it every time as I live-tweeted)
This show did really well (for me) to start off with J. August Richards (I watched him on my absolute favorite show Angel). Also points for diversity (which even minority nerds who love this stuff were wondering if this show would have much of that, or be like most other shows on TV right now). Though I see it only says “Guest Starring” for J. August so we’ll see what that means for his character appearing later. (Gunn on Angel started only as a guest role… so I have hope.)
Melinda May, an Asian American! Two points for diversity. Let’s hope it increases as the show continues. ABC seems to be the best at the diversity right now, but mostly that’s because the other most diverse shows on the network are run by Shonda Rhimes.)
(Ron Glass?! Hi Shepherd Book! What other Whedon alum will we see? It could be a fun game!)
COBIE SMULDERS!! Now that HIMYM is ending, I wonder if she’ll be back for season 2. Or if she’s somehow doing double duty. It must be nice for her knowing that should the show survive (and really, are we doubting at this point? Between the promotion it got and the sheer number of Avengers/Marvel Comics fans) , she’ll have a guaranteed gig after her other show is over.
I think I got a little lost in the plot towards the middle, but nothing a rewatch and a careful eye on clues (a Whedon thing) can’t either cure or peak my intrigue for later episodes. But the episode really had a lot to do, more than most pilots I think, so it’s understandable that a few things end up lost in the shuffle. It had to do the normal character/tone/dynamic introduction, but it also had to connect to both the Movie and Comic Book canons (there were many references to both) and there are just so many characters already. The premiere had so much to do, but I believe it will just get better, because it’s the Whedons.
“With great power comes… a ton of weird crap that you’re not prepared to deal with!” Great Joss style line as well as Marvel canon humor.
Even when I watch Angel, the pilot (as with most shows) is rough to watch and I just rewatch the early seasons to remember the character beginnings so when the great character development arcs hits, I can appreciate it again. I’m sure in a few weeks, there will be a great arc in play.
Really looking forward to this to watching this grow and unfold!

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!