Category Archives: Recaps & Reviews

Review for ABC’s For the People

This new legal procedural show is basically How to Get Away with Murder without Viola Davis, and is exactly as disappointing as it sounds!

For the People is so excruciatingly self-conscious that, at times, especially during the pilot, it seems as if every actor is frantically waving their hands about and shouting for you to notice that they are in a TV show, finally!
 
Transparent Emotional Manoeuvring

When friends and roommates Sandra, played by Britt Robertson, and Ali, undertaken by Jasmin Savoy Brown, interact with one another in the stilted first episode. The subtext is very obviously that the best-friend-dynamic needs to be established as quickly as is possible. With the kind of emotional manipulation that it so obvious it is almost cynical, For the People tries to present the Shondaland ideal standard of six-odd youthful overachievers who all talk too fast and are simply smouldering with unresolved sexual tension, but falls very short.

Yawn. Personally, I would rather be spending some time at the kind of online casino New Zealand has to offer!
 
Subtle as a Battleship

Right from the first frame of For the People, the characters are scrambled up together in a variety of heterosexual romantic pairings, like they’ve been shaken up like dice in a cup and thrown down to see what will happen next.

But, unlike Rhimes’ greatest shows, For the People lacks even the pretence of subtlety, which is very often provided by the lead actor, a Kerry Washington, a Viola Davis, or an Ellen Pompeo. It’s spirited, and follows all the correct patterns, but I found For the People very difficult to invest in.
 
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Arrowverse “Crisis on Earth-X” Crossover Recap

Okay, last week was another amazing November sweeps crossover extravaganza in the Arrowverse, and this year’s “Crisis on Earth-X” was totally worth the hype! Starting slow on Supergirl, the story initially followed all the pre-wedding preparations. It was an episode that went heavy on the soundtrack, a theme that peaked in Kara singing a beautiful song, that I think(?) was an original tune, at Flash & Iris’s wedding. Until – of course – the alternate dimension Nazi Super Villain Army burst in. For real. It was rad. It was what we signed up for. And this round the good guys won.

The second episode in the series was on Arrow, which revealed some key plot points to us but didn’t end great per se for the good guys. We learned that the army of genetic purists from Earth-X were led by that dimension’s version of Oliver “Green Arrow” Queen & Kara “Supergirl” Danver, who were also in evil-love and unhappily married. Unhappy why? Cause of a super-cancer that was destroying her heart. So they needed Earth-3 Kara’s heart. A veritable War of the Worlds erupted, and by the end of this one, everybody but Iris & Felicity were in an Earth-X concentration camp.

Next up in The Flash, they got rescued from certain death by that Nazi boot stomp dimension’s version of Captain Cold. And as if him being a good guy wasn’t surprising enough, he was also there to rescue his gay lover and fellow fascist fighting superhero, The Ray. But Kara was still held by the evil version of Oliver and would soon go under the knife. Professor Stein took a bullet (that would eventually kill him), saving the day in this chapter, and at the end, tables were slightly turned with only Kara, Iris, & Felicity being captured. But everyone else didn’t have it easy – they were fighting the Red Tornado, who was summarily kicking their collective asses.

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My Latest Must-Watch: Hulu’s Future Man

I have not been a huge fan of Hulu in recent years. They used to be a go-to platform for me when they had a bunch of my favorite shows, morning after they aired, on major network comedies & Bones. Then they started wanting to charge me money at the same time they provided LESS new content. So I strayed from the site. But this past week, two things have brought me back ready to rave about their content: Marvel’s Runaways with it’s hawt debut episodes, and the best comedy sci-fi since Red Dwarf, (huge statement there if ya didn’t know) is clearly Future Man. They dropped it like a Netfilx show, all thirteen episodes at once. I started last Friday and finished Sunday afternoon. Two minutes in and I was hooked.

The story revolves around Joosh Future Man (né Josh Futterman), young adult, in the year 2017 working with Tiger and Wolf, two deadly warriors from the year 2143, naive to the ways of the distant past they have come to. They seek to employ Josh’s help in toppling the “evil” plans of scientist Dr. Kronish. We learn that Kronish really just wants to cure herpes, but the way his cure effects the deep future is a bit insane. The show has an all-star cast featuring Ed Begley Jr. and the recently departed Glenne Headly as Josh’s parents and Haley Joel Fucking Osment (6th Sense) as a bumbling but important-in-some-moments-of-history scientist Dr. Stu Camillo.

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Recap/Review – Dragon’s Den – 08/15/17

Dragon’s Den first aired back in 2005 and has since contributed 15 series of investment entertainment to the world. In the most recent episode, five investors pitch their ideas to the Dragons, with ideas ranging from gluten-free cakes to colorful pocket squares. The judges decide on who to invest in based on the product, the numbers, and the people. It’s all or nothing in the cut-throat business world!

It must be a daunting prospect to enter the realm of seriously successful investors and come under their scrutiny, but that is exactly what each entrepreneur must do if they are to secure the cash and assistance they need to carry their business to the next level. The odds of becoming rich are not great, but with a Dragon on your side, they are pretty much guaranteed.

The first entrepreneur to enter the Den was Australian Sarah Hilary with her “Be Tempted” range of gluten-free cakes. She came prepared with a temptress whose role it was to hand out snacks and wink at the Dragons to sweeten them up. Sarah presented a pretty classic story: She went gluten-free but couldn’t find enough delicious cakes on the market, so she made her own. We’ve heard it all before, and so had the Dragons, but did her numbers add up and would they be willing to invest £75,000 for just 5% of her business?

Hilary stumbled and fumbled over her figures; never a good move in the Den. Despite outlining a £500,000 turnover since 2012 and describing her connections with high-end stores like Harrods, she stuttered when asked to share her gross profits, and it quickly became obvious that her £1.5 million valuation of the business simply didn’t add up.

That was enough to turn off most of the Dragons, who couldn’t see an opportunity to make their money back and weren’t satisfied with the overvaluation and lack of business strategy. Tej Lalvani picked up the pieces of her shattered pitch, offering the full amount of money but demanding 40% of her business. The pair settled with a 10% buy-back, and the first deal of the day was made!

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Recap/Review – The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – 6/5/17

A few years ago when 30 Rock went off the air, I almost thought for a minute that there would be nothing left for me to laugh at. I picked up some other comedies and got through it somehow. And then Tina Fey returned to TV – almost. Her latest brainchild, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was actually nixed by NBC before it aired a single episode. The project was then sold to Netflix, where it has gone on to complete three seasons. Most recently, season three came out last month, just in time to fill the vacuum of all our favorite shows going on summer vacation.

The show features perennial cutie pie Ellie Kemper as a cult survivor who was kept in a bunker for 15 years and led to believe that the world outside had been destroyed. Kimmy and her sisters were rescued in the pilot, and ever since she’s been living in New York City with her new best friend/roommate Titus Andromedon. Titus is in many ways a caricature of a struggling gay black man trying to make it as a singer in the big city, but he is based on the actor who portrays him, so it’s not as grating as it sounds. Fey herself appeared in the first season, for three episodes, as a satirical version of OJ lawyer Marsha Clark, when Kimmy had to face her captor in court. She returned in season two as Dr. Andrea Bayden, an alcoholic psychiatrist who gets entangled into Kimmy’s life when she moonlights as an Uber driver.

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