Archive | December, 2014

The Affair “9” Review (1×09)

15 Dec

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“Your pride cost him his life. It should have been you.”

For several weeks, we’ve seen Alison attempt to move on from Gabriel’s death, and we’ve seen her appeal not only to her own husband, but also to Noah, about simply starting over and building new lives for themselves. When she made this appeal to Noah while standing on his doorstep, she was rejected, the door shut in her face as he told her that he couldn’t keep the affair going. When she made this appeal to Cole, the tension immediately bubbled to the surface, and the quiet rage burst through as he stated that there was no moving on. In episode 9, Alison is once again forced to confront the past, forced to confront the day on which her beloved son left the world forever.

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The Newsroom “What Kind Of Day Has It Been” Review (3×06)

14 Dec

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“Good evening.”

“What Kind Of Day Has It Been” isn’t a particularly interesting finale, but it’s effective at accomplishing what it intends to accomplish: showing us how this news team came about, why it came about, why it’s still going strong, and who its members are. The episode is far from perfect, but it’s a fairly satisfying ending to a show that has spawned controversy and derision from all sides, to a show that has had peaks and nadirs higher and lower, respectively, than most other shows on television.

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Homeland “Krieg Nicht Lieb” Review (4×11)

14 Dec

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“He will never get out. It makes him feel better to say he will, but then he goes back to doing what he does best.”

Once you’re in it, you’re never coming out, and so it goes with intelligence agencies, with cycles of violence, with foreign conflicts in general. Quinn’s story is one of a single individual attempting to enact justice wherever he feels like he must, but he also encapsulates the United States’s situation perfectly: he attempts to convince himself that he’s going to escape the game, but in the end, he keeps getting pulled back into conflicts perpetuated by our foreign policies. His own moral code chips away at him because he knows it’s inherently flawed, but when something huge happens–like Fara’s death–he awakens from his stupor and decides to go full on Jack Bauer. “There’s a Taliban flag waving over my head, and I can’t let that stand.”

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Saturday Night Live “Martin Freeman/Charli XCX” Live Blog and Review (40×09)

13 Dec

SNL Host Martin Freeman (Screengrab)

CHARLIE ROSE: This is definitely a pretty clever twist on the CIA torture reports, and by the time the two clinical psychologists are going on about self checkout lines, one man shows, and auto correct, I’m pretty into it. Not the most polished sketch, but one that delivers some solid ideas. GRADE: B

MONOLOGUE: Martin Freeman–The Hobbit and Fargo star (meh to both, to be honest)–comes out and jokes about all British celebrities being friends, and we get some entertaining Maggie Smith and Alan Rickman impressions along with it. Freeman brings a pretty nice energy to the proceedings, so hopefully it’ll be a good show. GRADE: B-

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Sons of Anarchy “Papa’s Goods” Review (7×13)

10 Dec

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Over the course of seven years with SAMCRO, Jax Teller has attempted to go legitimate, to get out of the game started by J.T. and exacerbated by people like Clay Morrow. There have been glimmers of hope, instances in which he believed he could do it, but in the end, he realizes that it’s not possible. “I’m not a good man,” he says, telling us what’s been on his mind for a while now as he watches his kids leave for the last time. In the end, he realizes that in order for his remaining family to have any semblance of hope for a future, that future must not include him.

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Foxcatcher Review

8 Dec

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“How much does he want?”

“You can’t buy Dave.”

Upon hearing these words, John du Pont stares into the distance with a confused look on his face, unsure of what exactly he just heard. At the moment, he’s attempting to get Mark Schultz’s brother–Dave–to join them at Foxcatcher Farms, to get Dave to contribute to a possible gold medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. He eventually does, but this scene strikes at the foundation of John du Pont: the undercurrent of entitlement masquerading as patriotism and mentorship, the fact that du Pont’s treasure trove of wealth has led him to believe that he can buy and collect whatever he pleases.

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Homeland “13 Hours in Islamabad” Review (4×10)

8 Dec

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“There comes a point where you’re no longer responsible.”

“I’m not there yet.”

This season of Homeland has seemed intent on exploring the ramifications of spy work, the consequences that can result from drone strikes and failed diplomacy and a rapidly increasing death toll. The effects we’ve seen have been mainly psychological, but in “13 Hours in Islamabad”, Haissam Haqqani and his men bring the physical pain by shooting up a building that’s all about diplomatic relations, taking and killing hostages, and obtaining a list of assets to murder. The CIA usually carries out its missions in secret, behind closed doors, but now, Haqqani is forcing his way in.

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The Affair “8” Review (1×08)

7 Dec

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“Pure love cannot sustain in an imperfect world.”

This causes us to wonder: is there really “pure love” between Noah Solloway and Alison Lockhart, or is it merely an escape for them, an escape from the problems and people in their lives? Or, is Noah referring to the fact that their respective relationships eventually had to crumble because, well, that’s how the world is? What’s important here is that there is no clear cut interpretation, just as there is no clear cut story about the affair or about the murder in general. Reality, after all, is not always objective.

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Saturday Night Live “James Franco/Nicki Minaj” Live Blog and Review (40×08)

6 Dec

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POLITICS NATION WITH AL SHARPTON: This is a sketch in which Kenan Thompson is simply infectiously funny, from his mispronunciations to his picture with the cop to his quick interview with Jay Pharoah’s lawyer character. I really like the joke about all recordings having to be in HD and horizontal for a “more cinematic feel”. GRADE: B+

MONOLOGUE: That’s a pretty short monologue, but pictures of Rogen and Franco in embarrassing situations is only something that can last for a bit. I do enjoy the picture of Rogen teaching Franco how to read, and at the end, Franco even addresses all that Instagram controversy. GRADE: B-

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Veronica Mars “Lord of the Bling”/ “Mars vs. Mars” Review (1×13/1×14)

6 Dec

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Episode 13: “Lord of the Bling”

Whether it’s with Bone Hamilton or Aaron Echolls or even, to an extent, flashback Veronica, image plays a huge role in how they treat others and how they make their decisions. And, when they’re preoccupied with maintaining their street cred or their Hollywood status or their 09er-dom, others will inevitably be hurt. Bone (aka Antown Mitchell from The Shield), ends up pushing away both his son Bryce and his daughter Yolanda, and he ultimately isn’t able to settle things with either; his notions of masculinity and his feud with the Blooms are both tied to his image, and his son and daughter end up as the victims.

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