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May 6 2013 2 06 /05 /May /2013 19:26

I know I'm crazy, but sometimes, fiction shakes me up.

Sometimes it's a book - every since reading Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire, I've learned that I can cry reading a book. That first time was weird.

Sometimes it's a film - the gates have always opened easily for those. 

And sometimes, it's on TV. I think the first time this happened, I was 8 or 9 and watching the Sailor Moon anime on TV. I still remember the episode and it was - wow - 20 years ago.

Sailor-Moon.png

I've had these moments with TV shows every since I became a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Then followed Grey's Anatomy. Right now, I'm really, really into Castle.

Usually, such reactions happen for season finales, or "double episodes" that have a big cliffhanger at the end of the first episode, because those are deliberately epic. But last week's episode of Castle caught me completely by surprise, and swept me off my feet.

 

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>> Assume spoilers from this point on <<

We already had the double ep of the season, and the season finale will be episode 24. So I got completely caught off guard by what begun like a completely normal/regular episode. I was even disappointed at first, because it seemed to repeat the scenario of a Grey's Anatomy episode, so I was kind of sad and thought "oh, no, they copy other shows now, they won't do anything original anymore".

It's quite hard, after 5 seasons, to be original, so that would be understandable, although still disappointing to me. Especially for Castle.

Anyway. Kate steps onto a bomb and cannot move for fear of triggering it (hello, Meredith Grey holding a bomb in a patient's body). Then the flashbacks begin (just like in GA, when Meredith starts imagining McDreamy is here instead of the bomb squad guy). But then...Then I got that awesome feeling I get when I watch a Castle episode that I know they made just for us, the real fans. Those who don't "just" watch Castle because it's a funnier version of CSI or Law & Order. Those who watch Castle because the character building had been too good, the history and the stories too realistic to pass on.

I get these feeling in movies sometimes, when they make geeky references only the true fans can understand. Last week, I got caught up in an episode of Castle that was just like a fan vid. They showed all the good moments from the past seasons, all the good times, as if Kate and Castle were remembering them while talking. That was surreal, and exactly perfect at the same time.

 

This episode was epic, because it was different, a tribute of the show, yet it stayed very true to the characters.

And that "I love you" confession was simply perfectly worded and perfectly timed, as always.

 

This relationship could have ruined the show, the chemistry, the tension. It's only made it better so far. So worth the 4 season wait.

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October 21 2012 1 21 /10 /October /2012 11:31

Not unlike people, TV shows come and go in my life (but fortunately I change shows more often than I switch friends :)) 

 

Last year, I definitely dropped Grey's Anatomy and How I Met Your Mother, something that I had seen coming but felt sad nonetheless.

I also dropped newer additions to my following list, and that is rarer. So I stopped following Games of Thrones, a show which, in my opinion, takes itself too seriously.

I dropped The Good Wife as well, as I find these kinds of stories always end up running in circles. I had the same feeling about Damages.

Likewise I stopped watching Being Erica, an overall nice show but which struggled to find a new breath in my opinion.

 

I'm still watching Royal Pains, but in a non regular way: I dont follow the show every week, but prefer to watch a bunch of episodes in a row.

I love Awkward, a good thing this is a summer show so that when we hit season finales I have something to look forward to.

 

And I've become so addicted to Castle it's kind of scary. I can't wait to watch the next episode, I've watched the first 4 seasons several times and I know the thing by heart. This show just feels good! 

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I have also discovered the genius show Downton Abbey, for which I'll write a complete article. This show is amazing, the cast is amazing, the Britishness of it all is amazing.

DowntonAbbey.jpg

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May 17 2012 5 17 /05 /May /2012 12:32

Castle-4x23.png

It's been a while since I last posted here, but I really found something blog-worthy.

Last week was Castle's season 4 finale. I've rarely, if ever, seen such an epic season finale. Or, rather, although I am often hooked and swept by an episode (or a film) I've rarely become so swept that I didn't foresee what was coming.

There are many reasons why I love Castle, mostly because I love Kate Beckett's character; I find it so true. The show is never too much or not enough, it just is. Like it could really happen like this, in real life. Of course I see past the crazy murders and near death experiences here, I see through the plots and only focus on the characters. They're true.

Besides my love for this show, I love season finales because, let's face it, I love epic things, and season finales are meant to be like "super episodes". They are meant to be more than your regular mid-season episode, to close most of the seasons' plots, while still leaving you wanting for more and hanging on till the next season starts. Most issues that appeared throughout the season are solved, most times after an epiphany, or a big suspense-laden fight or conflict.

I've watched so many shows with deep interest, sometimes adoration, that I'm used to these mechanics, and I always expect as much from any 42-minute format show. I always wait to be in a very special, focused mood when I watch a finale, to enjoy it to its full extent. Same goes for season premieres, although they are generally less epic. They're about discovering the new axes, the new conflicts, that will be solved when the finale comes. And, of course,should there be a cliffhanger during the previous season's finale, getting rid of that tension. 

Anyway, although season finales have become a good old tradition throughout the years, it doesn't mean that I enjoy them any less.

SPOILER ALERT STARTING RIGHT NOW.

But I really, really, really wasn't expecting that level of epic.

I wasn't expecting so many axes closing in one episode. Or, rather, I wasn't expecting four years of tension and character development and relationship building to come crashing in a climax of such intensity. I knew - or, let's be honest, I hoped - that when all the things they had hold back would be put out on the table, it would be intense, crazy while remaining simple, but the thing is I wasn't expecting it to happen then. I was so slow, and so fast at the same time, but most of all it was so right.

This show continues to be right, and true, year after year, but this episode totally took me by surprise and blew my mind. Part of me feels they made it for the fans, the true fans, not just the regular audience. I love it when they do that, in a show, in a film. They put up all the details only the fans notice, like the "dance" between calling the other by their first name / last name / title depending on the level of anger or intimacy. Or the biting of one's lower lip only on certain occasions.

It was all there, and it was beautiful, unexpected on my part, but so right! I loved every minute of it.

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September 24 2011 7 24 /09 /September /2011 22:24

Two years ago, when I started this blog, I was a TV show addict and I had my favourite shows well sorted.

Today, I'm still a TV Show addict but there's been a lot of changes in the aforementioned shows ranking.

 

Grey's Anatomy ranked first, and then there were other shows that I loved: Skins, How I Met Your Mother, House MD, Private Practice, Greek, Gossip Girl.

One Tree Hill was already on the decline, but I had high hopes for Fast Forward.

 

Well, two years later, I can honestly say that only Grey's Anatomy and How I Met Your Mother made it, but only barely.

The plots in both shows are seriously getting tiresome and, most of all, least credible in each episode. Even in GA. And, well, the rational person that I am cannot stand non credible stories, I just don't buy them and if I don't buy them, I don't escape into them and so there's just no point of watching the shows. This applies to books and films likewise, but the credibility of the story doesn't lie in the environment or the abilities of the characters, but rather in their personality and their interactions with others. In short, Harry Potter is, to me, one of the most credible stories of all, even though the main characters are wizards and witches and they use magic all day long. What I cannot stand is a story (however realistic it may be) in which the protagonists take out of character (OOC) decisions or change their behaviour drastically for no reason. And this is clearly happening in Grey's Anatomy right now (to Meredith and Derek, and also to Callie, Alex, Yang... and even Bailey).

As for HIMYM, I'm just getting tired of waiting for Ted to meet his wife and Barney & Robin to get back together.

 

Gossip Girl I dropped when Dan, Serena, Blair and Chuck got so OOC it was insulting (two seasons ago). Same for House MD and One Tree Hill. I watched 5 minutes of the Fast Forward Pilot and realised that a huge speculative bubble had hung aroung the show pre-launch but that the show itself was crap. 

And I simply got bored watching Greek & Private Practice but might save them for later. I also dropped Make it or Break it out of boredom, and Skins because they changed all the characters as the original ones had graduated.

 

So what's new in my shows list?  

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The Big Bang Theory is THE big hit, being so nerdy and funny at the same time. Like millions, I heart it.

 

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Then there is Being Erica, a Canadian drama show that's quite original and fresh. The main character, a woman in her late twenties, undergoes a therapy that have her go back in time to understand her regrets and past decisions.

 

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Castle is running along the same lines as Bones does, but better. I'm quite biased when I watch Bones, because I feel that the story is so much better in Kathy Reichs' books than in the show. With similar dynamics, but a different plot, Castle manages to convince me.

 

Also, The Good Wife and Games of Thrones  are recent additions I've already reviewed on this blog. They sound promising for next season.

Royal Pains.jpg

I've recently discovered Royal Pains, where a NYC emergency doctor ends up being an MD for the very rich in the Hamptons. The show is a nice distraction.


Awkward.jpgFinally, MTV's Awkward, the story of a 15 year-old girl very familiar with quiproquos is quite a delight in the way that, as an MTV show, it's not sweetened by unrealistic teenage language. In Awkward, they swear and say the F word like any other teenager.

 

New Girl.jpg

I have medium to high hopes about New Girl, with Zooey Deschanel. I've only watched the Pilot but it looks quite promising, although I'm not over-enthusiastic by what I saw.


Shows come and go, and rarely do they accompany us for a very long time...

ER remains the only shows that I watched for a decade, but had to drop when I went to tv- and internet-less boarding prep school.

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July 9 2011 7 09 /07 /July /2011 00:37

 

Sex And The City

As a TV show lover, watching SATC was kind of long overdue. Truly enough, I had never stuck to the random episodes that aired on TV, and so I never took the chance of watching the whole show. Until now. I don't really know why I started this now, maybe because all my current shows are not back till September/October, but a month or so ago Sex & The City appealed to me. And so I did this the only way one should ever start watching a TV show: by the beginning.

It took me three weeks (yes, I work and I have a life - sort of) and boy, I didn't get pulled for no reason. I was swept, amazed, my fictional heart fell for Big, broke and mended alongside with Carrie's, but most of all I laughed my ass off at anything and everything.

The one big drawback of catching up on a show that's been over for seven years and of which you've seen both movie sequels, is that you sort of already know how the series' going to end. But then that's also a nice thing, actually, as things just fall into place. I'm usually this big spoiler hater, but for SATC things were slightly different, it felt as if I had already seen the show a decade ago.

Anyway, I loved it. Not only did I get to see NYC again, but "I couldn't help but wonder" at how the Internet is such a recent invention. And also, at how fashion has always been weird and will continue to be so. And also, at the unbelievable perspective of getting to spend $40,000 on shoes in a decade. Carrie's got style, that's for sure, but far from being unreachable, she's human and touching. As any fictional hero.

I really, really, really liked it.

Sex And The City - An American in Paris Part Deux

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May 9 2011 2 09 /05 /May /2011 22:50

Game of Thrones Series

The show you never knew you'd been waiting for until you've seen it.

It's epic, it's big, it's supported by a nice good budget... it's a success. Lots of characters, enterwining stories, set in a parallel world... No magic, no elves, no Hobbits, but horses, knights and power battles, as well as foreign languages and cultures, and, as it's an HBO show, "intercourse" in each episode. Based on a series of novels by George R. R. Martin. 

A great show if I ever saw one. If you like fantasy, you'll like Game of Thrones.

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April 5 2011 3 05 /04 /April /2011 23:24

My favourite drama show is Grey's Anatomy. Or, rather, my favourite drama show was Grey's Anatomy. After last week's episode, I'm seriously beginning to doubt my attachment to the show.

I mean, I really don't understand what's all the fuss about making a musical episode in general. And I really, really don't see the point of seeing/imagining surgeons sing behind their surgical masks.

That's the biggest faux-pas of GA so far. The whole episode was so unconvincing, it made me doubt of all the reasons why I usually love this show. What's more, the songs were not even original ones, but sort of famous songs. They used their old successes by having 3 or 4 characters sing important songs from the first seasons of the show. The result was both pathetic -the way they called on their old glory- and completely unbalanced -that's the way only a few characters got to sing.

As I said, I really don't get the fuss about musicals, but if you're going to do one, do a masterpiece like Once More With Feeling, Buffy's musical. It was a masterpiece in the sense that all actors sang original songs that talked about their characters feelings. That was truly amazing.

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July 11 2010 1 11 /07 /July /2010 12:59

The Good Wife

1) Amazing cast : Juliana Margulies (Carol Hattaway from ER), Matt Czuchry (Logan Huntzberger from Gilmore Girls), Chris Noth (Mr. Big from Sex and the City), Arhue Panjabi (Gemma, the hilarious assistant in the film A Good Year), Mary Beth Peil (Jen's grandmother in Dawson's Creek), Christine Baransky (Mrs Caldwell in Cruel Intentions).

2) Nice plot : "The Good Wife" is a female-driven drama about a politician's wife who pursues her own career as a defence attorney after her husband is sent to jail on charges of political corruption. Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) will not only have to deal with her career but also with keeping her family together by providing a stable home for her two children.[source : tv.com]

3) Chicago : one of the cities I am desperate to visit, and such an allusion to ER!

 

I'm 6 episodes in and I can't stop watching it.

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March 8 2010 2 08 /03 /March /2010 22:59
Who Do You Think You Are?
This is a new show from NBC.
Actually, the concept was created by the BBC in 2004, and I really hope the British version is better...

Seven episodes, seven celebrities looking for their ancestors. 

Sarah Jessica Parker stars in the 1st opus. She looks for her family history, up to the 1600s. It is interesting in a way because you see a very new and unexpected part of the celebrities in the show. Indeed, most of the time celebrities talk about their latest film or show, their private life, their faith, or the cause they defend. Here you go deep into the history of the stars' family. It is quite a new concept (at least if you haven't watched the BBC version, I expect).

The format was, however, badly chosen. 42minutes is too short to be substantial, so there is a lot of staging. For example in this first episode, SJP goes on a journey from NYC to New Jersey to Ohio to California, etc, and she meets those key people who help her explain the past of her family, which could have been interesting because they are historians, genealogists, etc... The only problem is that when she goes to them, they have already looked up files and printed records and photocopied birth certificates for her. She doesn't look for anything, she's just handed her genealogy on a silver platter.

Sarah Jessica Parker doesn't even use the mouse!

The dialogues are not natural, either, which is understandable in the off comments, but quite annoying when she meets all those researchers, experts etc. In short, you feel manipulated from the beginning to the end, trapped into a staged show, with fake conversations and explanations. CSI does better in teaching us stuff, they seem more natural.

I think they are trying too hard here, the tone isn't set right. They offer a mix between going live and staging drama; the style makes me think of Man vs. Wild. Only in Man vs. Wild, there are reasons to be frightened, relieved and amazed. In Who Do You Think You Are?, SJP appears to go through tall these types of emotion, only I really don't buy it because of the lack of naturalness I explained before. Another comparison just popped into my mind: It's Blair Waldorf in history class. If you can already hear the Oh My Gods and all the gossiping about Queen something and Prince blahblah, you get the picture.

Finally, the US has a very short history compared to Europe's, and it seems even shorter when measured to that of Asian countries... What I mean by this is that you can only go this far... The 1600s is quite the limit if the family was born in America, and the show seems to be a eulogy to America's history - quite understandable for an American show, you don't want to go through the Turkmenistan history in a French show focusing on a French person, either.
I might be wrong, but I think the British version should go back to the Middle Ages at least, for there were already records by then... Of course I won't let this be empty words and will try to watch a BBC episode or two.

In short, it's Genealogy For Dummies. Interesting because of the guest stars, otherwise really cheap in terms of history and directing. Maybe it's because of the guest of this episode. I was no fan of Sex And The City, but I've always considered SJP as a NOT shallow person, contrary to the image she conveyed in her famous show.
I'll still be watching the episodes focusing on Lisa Kudrow and Susan Sarandon because I like the personality of both actresses.

FYI, the remaining episodes will star Brooke Shields, Spike Lee, Matthew Broderick and Emmitt Smith.
 
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March 3 2010 4 03 /03 /March /2010 20:25
Life Unexpected Poster
Give a try to this new show: Life Unexpected, if only to see Kerr Smith & Shiri Appleby! It has the Summerland plotline, only without the surfing (a shame, IMO) nor the dead parents.


This kid, Lux (probably standing for LifeUneXpected, although it does mean Light in Latin as they say so in the show), was given up for adoption 15 years ago by her teenage mother. She comes back to her biological parents' life for administrative reasons: she wants to be emancipated. Only the judge doesn't grant her emancipation but gives custody to her biological parents, both 30 and in no way experienced to raise a teenager.
Because of a heart condition she was never adopted. Indeed, in the US they do have this crappy social insurance (or rather, lack of such) which would mean, for any adopting parents, extensive bills (dozens of thousands of dollars, if not hundreds) to pay for surgery when she was a baby. And when her condition was solved, she was too old hence less atractive to prospective parents.
Anyway, long story short, her dad learns of her existence when she knocks on his door to sign the papers, and her mom is scandalized that she was never adopted but given to foster care, and takes her in with her arms wide open.

I like those TV shows where everyone's adorable and no one is ever really mean. It's a pastime at the moment, I'm not that hooked, but I'm giving it a chance.
As it is a CW show (Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill...) I'm not very confident to where it's gonna head, but although I dropped Gossip Girl after 2 seasons, I watched 6 whole seasons of One Tree Hill, and all of Gilmore Girls, so, you never know!
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