Monthly Archives: May 2015

Wayard Pines S1 E3 — Reunion

Ethan’s family arrives, but Ethan doesn’t mention Kate lives in town. Teresa and Ben get the wrong idea and trouble ensues.

We open where we left off last week, with Sheriff Pope’s sermon to the townsfolk in front of Beverly’s body still chained up on the clothing rack after he’s slashed her throat. A little girl leaves a single flower on the stage. It’s not for Beverly, but the real victim here, Sheriff Pope, on whom the burdens of office do not rest lightly. He drops the knife and picks up the flower, as he talks about the “naysayers” who say no one appreciates him. He extols his people to “BE HAPPY” and “Accept each other for who we are now, not who we were.” Then there’s the call and response as he gets them to shout out the rules, the first of which is “Do not try to leave.”

Give it up for Terrance Howard, who infuses blackness into his performance. This is the most original scene so far – the racial optics of the lynching of a white woman (for trying to escape) by a black man in a leadership role who is warning the mostly white crowd – in the manner of a pastor leading his sometimes unruly flock – that this is what happens when you break the rules. (Please read the rest of this fascinating and insightful recap at HNTP — the people who bring you TV real good, even when the shows are very bad.)

The Boring Business Stuff

Oh my! Nothing but television! It’s true I’ve been writing a lot for HNTP which is all TV all the time. This is even though they pay me in peanuts. Why? More people read them so it’s a way to get my name out there. I’m hoping The New Yorker will discover me and Emily Nussbaum will go out on maternity leave or something, even though writing about television is the perfect job for a pregnant woman and she’s great at it. I’m not trying to start a rumor that she’s pregnant and I’m not claiming to be psychic like Daphne on Frasier.

In addition to continuing with the Wayward Pines recaps — despite that I don’t give a hoot what the “mystery” is — I will also be writing more pieces on Continue reading The Boring Business Stuff

The Way We Watch Now — Allegiance, The Surprising Pleasures of a Failed Series

It may surprise some to know I don’t own a television machine. Shocking given my status as a semi-professional television recapper. I mostly watch online – legally streaming, or if on deadline, from my “standing desk” – the elliptical machine at my apartment complex’s fitness room where no one else watches the shared televisions unless it’s Superbowl time.

So Friday evening, having finished the excellent Grace & Frankie on Netflix, I checked out the options on  Hulu and came across Allegiance – a show I had referred to on the virtual pages of HNTP as a Frankenstein’s monster – an obvious rip-off of The Americans, with a damaged-genius detective like  Homeland/Sherlock/House etc, plus whacky Get Smart style top secret spy meetings in the depths of Grand Central station, and a ticking time bomb plot like 24. What a mess! No wonder it only lasted five episodes before being replaced by the meh-blandness of The Slap. (Click to continue reading this life altering post.)

Wayward Pines Recap — Also Keep Off The Grass S1 E2

Remember that really bad Wesley-centric episode of Star Trek-TNG (Okay every-Wesley-centric episode was bad but this was the worstest) the one where they visited the planet of the beautiful overly friendly people and the boy caused an intergalactic incident by stepping on the grass DESPITE being warned not to and as a result they were going to execute him, but then Captain Picard used common sense to save the day?

Turns out Wayward Pines also has a bunch of rules, which some have to learn, as Nurse Pam might put it “the hard way.” (Read the rest of those essential recap over at Happy Nice Time People that site that gives television all the respect it deserves.)

The Brilliance of the Ending — Mad Men

I’m going to write more about this later. Just wanted to throw in some stray thoughts. We should have known. One of the things that Mad Men such a fun trip was the interplay with the audience like that time that some people suspected (or hoped)  that Megan would be killed by the Manson family. We kept seeing bits thrown in that seemed to support the theory, or the idea that Joan and Peggy would go into business together — and then it comes up, but they don’t. Even Betty’s cancer had foreshadowing — her scare a couple of years before, the fact that in show where everybody smoked Betty smoked more than anyone.

Apparently Matt Wiener is sort of playing cat and mouse about the ending. A few critics have suggested that Don didn’t invent the “hilltop” ad, that we were Continue reading The Brilliance of the Ending — Mad Men