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Live-Blogging Lost 5.14 The Variable April 30, 2009

Posted by Amy Yen in Lost, TV.
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8:59 – Previously on Lost, there was a lame clips show. Seriously, ABC, I expect better of you. Also, Daniel Faraday was unaccounted for for like half the season, then showed up in Dharma-time in a sub full of scientists from Dharma home base Ann Arbor. Dan sent Des to his mother and after he did that, Ben shot Des on the port before failing to kill Penny. And Des totally got right back up & pummeled Ben in the ocean! Awesome! PS: Happy 100th episode, Lost.

9:01 – We open in the hospital where Desmond is being wheeled off with a gunshot wound. Aw man, I thought with the pummeling & all, he was okay, like Ben missed or something. Penny is frantic. Me, too, Pen, don’t die, Des! Penny’s with lil’ Charlie. In the waiting room, she is approached by Mrs Hawking. Hi Mama Faraday! Mrs Hawking asks after Charlie, noting that he looks like his father. Penny realizes this isn’t some random woman & gets up. Mrs Hawking says she thinks it’s her son’s (meaning Dan’s) fault that Penny’s husband got shot. (Um, PS: Did we know that Penny & Desmond got married?? I don’t think we did! Whoa!) Penny is appalled this is the mother of Ben, but it’s not. It’s unclear whether Penny realizes who Mrs Hawking means when she says her son is Daniel Faraday.

9:02 – Flashback noise…it’s back in 1977. We pick up in the last scene of “Some Like it Hoth.” Miles takes the suitcase Dan hands him & is shocked to see Dan come out of the sub. He asks WTF Dan is doing back here, he thought he just went back to the mainland & got rich inventing the DVD or something. Heh. Dan shows Miles the picture of the 1977 recruits, with Hurley, Kate & Jack. He says that’s why he’s back. (more…)

Notes from Fringe 1.18 Midnight April 29, 2009

Posted by Amy Yen in Fringe, TV.
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Um, first of all, I kind of loved the NCIS spin-off backdoor pilot tonight, I just thought I’d mention that. As successful as NCIS has been this year, I’ve actually thought it’s been kind of slow-moving…there’s been no week-to-week investment. It’s a true procedural, built on & dependent on the likability of its characters. But at some point, you actually have to go somewhere with these folks. It’s about time for things to pick up. Anyway, back to Fringe, I thought it was a solid episode with a nice mix of monster-of-the-week & ZFT mythology mojo. Maybe not as sharp or significant as “Bad Dreams,” but there were some really killer moments.

  • You know Fringe is approaching X-Files-level creep factor when the idea of a serial killer is totally not scary at all. Of course, then they got me with the gross torn open neck. Ew! Okay fine, cold open, you get an extra half point on my scale, but for Fringe, that’s still pretty tame. I give it a 6.5.
  • This Two-Singles-Together couple is creepier than the cold open spine vamp.
  • Well, Rachel. What did you expect? I didn’t even remember you HAD an ex-husband. Also, heh, I was typing that while watching & totally typed “vampire” instead of “ex-husband.”
  • “You know what this reminds me of, Peter?” “No, but I can guess that it’s something unbelievably disgustin—” “Shrimp cocktail!” HA! And ICK!
  • “When you finally meet a nice girl, I would avoid bringing her home as long as possible.” YAY! Astrid gets to snark this week! More Astrid! More Astrid!

Notes from Fringe 1.17 Bad Dreams April 22, 2009

Posted by Amy Yen in Fringe, TV.
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First of all, beautifully done episode, just the entire mood of it, it was just a dreamy, chilling hour of television. Yes, I thought the pace was a little slow, but I thought it made up for it in the creepy/disturbing factor. Also, I can’t believe it’s only been two episodes since “Ability,” I totally forgot that Walter might have written the ZFT Manifesto.

Some additional notes:

  • Cold open creepiness scale: 6.0. More like five minutes of total dread.
  • Interesting, the first “bumper” into commercials was the first I remember that did not have a glyph symbol. PS: Have you been translating the symbols now that someone cracked the glyph code?
  • What is Peter’s credential now, is he still considered Homeland Security? How come people just accept him without ID these days? Can I just go to random crime scenes & just start lurching around saying I’m FBI?

Live-Blogging Lost 5.13 Some Like it Hoth April 16, 2009

Posted by Amy Yen in Lost, TV.
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8:59 – Previously on Lost, Daniel (back when he was on this show) theorized that the intervals it was taking for the Left-Behinders to develop temporal displacement followed by death was related the amount of time they’d spent on the Island. But Miles didn’t understand why he had a nosebleed since he thought the first time he came to the Island was on the freighter. Kate & Juliet conspired to give an injured lil’ Ben to Richard Alpert & the Others so that he can properly grow up to become a psychopath. Miles & Hurley debated the different theories of time travel. Also, PS: Miles can talk to dead people.

9:00 – We open on a microwave. In an apartment. An Asian woman is viewing it. Honey, I’ve been there. Apartment hunting is THE WORST. (more…)

Live-Bloglet: Fringe 1.16 Unleashed April 15, 2009

Posted by Amy Yen in Fringe, TV.
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fringe-logo11

I haven’t gotten a chance to write about it much, but I am a huge fan of JJ Abrams’ newest series, Fringe (Tuesdays at 9pm ET on FOX). It’s looking good to pick up a second season, so I thought I’d try out doing a little live-bloglet of my thoughts during tonight’s Charlie Francis-heavy episode, Unleashed.

1.    “Monsters aren’t real, right?” Whatever, kid. Probably you’re already been all brain-scrambled by that computer program in The No-Brainer.

2.    The animal-activists-for-dinner cold open? I give it a solid 7.5 on the gross scale. It’s not jaw-falling-off-of-the-guy-in-the-pilot, but dude, sucks for that lab owner.

3.    Ear in the omelet! HA! And ick!

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Live-Blogging Lost 5.12 Dead is Dead April 9, 2009

Posted by Amy Yen in Lost, TV.
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8:59 – Previously on Lost, in 1977, Sayid went & shot some poor kid, who happens to be destined to grow up to be a sociopathic murderer. Kate, Juliet & Sawyer pass him off to Richard Alpert & the Others, who say that Ben won’t remember this. In season 4, Ben’s daughter Alex was killed. And, in 2008, Sun conked Present Ben on the head before heading off to the main Island with Frank. And Ben wakes up to a very much alive Locke. He kind of looks like he wants to throw up.

9:00 – Some dude arrives at a campsite. Richard is there. It’s Othersville, circa 1977. The dude is extremely pissed about Richard bringing lil’ hurt Ben to the camp. Richard said Jacob wanted it & the dude simmers down. He goes into the camp & looks at poor, unconscious lil’ Ben. Ben wakes up & asks what happened. He tells the guy that he doesn’t want to go back to his dad & Dharma-ville. The guy says that just because they send him back, doesn’t mean he can’t be one of “them.” The man tells him his name is Charles. Widmore!

9:03 – In 2008, Locke wakes an injured Ben up. Ben is stunned to see Locke all reincarnated. He tells Locke he was going back to the main Island to answer for what he did, for breaking the rules. He was going to be judged. By…the Monster! Exxxxcellent, thinks Locke.

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NBC’s Southland is Another Crime Procedural, With Potential April 5, 2009

Posted by Amy Yen in TV.
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southland_benmckenzieWhen first we saw Ben McKenzie, he was playing the fish-out-of-water with particular abomb in the sun & sparkle of shiny Newport Beach. In this week’s premiere of NBC’s Southland, he’s in one of crime procedural’s great archetypal roles, the rookie beat cop, in over his head. Except, as we find out later in this surprisingly solid late-season pilot, there’s a twist—pretty boy Ben Sherman has what is probably the best possible, & worst possible, first day a rookie cop nobody takes seriously can have. In that same way, Southland has been promoted as a typical crime procedural, of no particular note except its producer, John Wells, & its wishful thinking timeslot, Thursdays at 10pm EST on NBC, home for the last 15 years to Wells’ previous series, the epic powerhouse known as E.R. If the pilot is any indication, however, it might, despite its familiar feel, be noteworthy nonetheless.

Southland has the benefit of a familiar cast, who are impressively engaging in the pilot episode. Ben’s partner, Cooper, solidly casted veteran Hey! It’s That Guy resident cop Michael Cudlitz, is jaded, rough around the edges, loud & a combination of impatient & bemused by Ben’s naivete. Although Cudlitz has seemingly been playing cops for what seems like decades now, this role is great for him, & he swaggers as he drags poor Ben around the city. Detective Bryant is likable as he works the gang squad, while Detective Adams is smartly played by Regina King, who is an actress I have a pre-set dislike for, because of dual roles in horrtomes1ible sequels Miss Congeniality 2 & Legally Blonde 2. Hopefully we’ll see more of Detective Clarke, Adams’ partner, played by the severely underrated Tom Everett Scott, of That Thing You Do fame & more recently, star of TNT’s short-lived but excellent Saved.

What Southland’s swift one-hour pilot does well is not wait around for the viewer to get acclimated. There’s nothing comfortable about jumping directly into a child abduction or senseless gang shooting in the streets of Los Angeles (particularly for me, a new LA resident). Southland has the excellent attribute of feeling more like a documentary than a drama; minus a few unneeded interludes with a detective’s angry wife & another’s mother, the hour is spent on the streets, not fixated on the personal lives of the cast. And if Wells & co. are smart, they would keep it that way…it’s a much greater challenge to show how these characters are effected if you don’t follow them home, but I think the subtle approach is much more interesting.

Southland shouldn’t dwell on the characters’ lives too much anyway, since it’s already said what it’s supposed to be about: the job. “You’re a cop because you don’t know how not to be a cop,” says Cooper. Ben Sherman didn’t know it then, but he’s already there.

Southland premieres this Thursday, April 7 at 10pm EST on NBC. Or check out the entire first episode early HERE.

Live-Blogging Lost 5.11 Whatever Happened, Happened April 2, 2009

Posted by Amy Yen in Lost, TV.
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8:57 – PS: Um, Better Off Ted? Pretty good. I watched about 10 minutes, laughed more than once! Of course the ratings suck & it’s dead in like a month, but still. I’m encouraged.

8:59 – Previously on Lost, Sawyer met Cassidy. Cassidy had a baby, Clementine, who she said was Sawyer’s. Kate & Jack broke up over Sawyer’s favor, probably involving Cassidy/Clementine, who also might have something to do with Dan Norton & the attempts to take Aaron away from Kate when they were off-Island. The O4 returned to the Island, circa 1977 while Sun, Frank & Present Ben crashed with the plane in 2008. Sawyer & Juliet covered up Kate, Jack & Hurley’s return by sneaking them into the Dharma Initiative, where Kate is working with Juliet at the motor pool, Hurley is a chef & Jack, hilariously, is the janitor. Also? Sayid got captured, then freed by pre-psychotic lil’ Ben. Despite the fact that if you turn your head to the side, lil’ Ben totally looks like Harry Potter, Sayid goes ahead & shoots him in the chest anyway, before he can grow up & become all murderous & creepy.

9:00 – We open on an unconscious Jin, who wakes up to Phil yelling at him over the radio. Jin tells him Sayid attacked him, but then sees a severely injured lil’ Ben on the ground next to him. I do still wonder how Sawyer & Juliet & Jin got to the point where they could just let lil’ Ben wander around Dharma-ville, like they don’t know he’s going to grow up to be a mass murderer.

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