Tag Archives: HBO

The Newsroom “Election Night, Part 1” Review (2×08)

10 Sep

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Part 1 of the two part season finale feels like exactly what it is: a setup for the fireworks next week. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does allow for some more of the frustrating aspects of the show to seep in. This review is going to be shorter than usual, as I need some sleep, so I’ve condensed everything down into a few bullet points.

-The reason given for Leona not accepting the team’s resignations-maintaining a sense of honor-feels kind of cheap, and I don’t buy it for her character in particular. In addition, why don’t the team members just accept the fact that she won’t allow them to resign, and focus their attention on rebuilding their reputations? Will doesn’t seem like the kind of guy that’s just going to back down and acquiesce to corporate politics.

-The episode is full of side stories, most of which aren’t very good. No, I’m not really interested in the Wikipedia screw up (Sorkin also pretty much got the whole concept wrong there, anyway), and no, I’m not interested in Will and Mac’s relationship. This was hashed over enough back in season 1, and there’s no use going back to it now. Please don’t have them get back together, Sorkin.

-I did kind of like Sloan’s side story, though, about the whole book autograph scare. It’s unnecessary, but Olivia Munn makes it fun to watch.

-I’ve mentioned that I love the Genoa arc, and I still do. It reflects the difficulties of a group of people working together to tell the news, and it seems genuine. That’s why I like the election coverage in this episode. Sure, it can get tiring after a while, but it seems grounded in a way the show usually isn’t.

-Oh, and Jerry Dantana is suing Don, and Maggie cut her hair very recently. Okay.

-Reese’s long explanation for why Leona won’t accept the resignations is priceless.

-I like the integration of the two Romney campaign women, as they’re much better suited to this role than a stupid romance arc on a bus.

-AARON SORKIN’S IDEALISTIC CORNER: So, Charlie gives a whole speech about how everyone looks up to America due to our elections. Okay, first of all, America is not this perfect country, and from my experience, many other countries are perfectly content to agree with that. America is generally seen as a snobby, rich country, and its elections are not viewed as inspiring. The concept behind our elections is fantastic, but the elections themselves are kind of terrible. Second of all, Charlie lists a bunch of countries with already functioning democracies, which doesn’t really support his argument. Those countries don’t necessarily look up to America; they look up to democracy. Charlie could’ve listed countries in which many people are envious of those with democratic governments. Those people are the ones that are inspired.

Grade: B

Credit to HBO and The Newsroom for all pictures. I own nothing.

Boardwalk Empire “New York Sour” Review (4×01)

10 Sep

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This is always a show that has reveled in its atmosphere. Even in its lower points, the cool, calm ambience is intoxicating, bringing you in deep. It’s a difficult task with such an expansive cast, but Boardwalk usually pulls it off.

Season 4 opens in the aftermath of the bloodbath initiated by the delightfully evil Gyp Rosetti, the major driving force of Season 3. It’ll be interesting to see how the show regroups after losing someone as charismatic and antagonistic as him, and the premiere already shows signs of wheel-spinning. However, it’s a table-setting episode that accomplishes what it sets out do: introduce new characters and move things into place for the rest of the season.

Although Rosetti’s dead, we can already see the effects of the recently ended all-out war. Nucky’s living situation is far from glamorous, and we can see that he’s nowhere near as comfortable as he was earlier. He’s always been a guy that tries to avoid trouble when he can, and his flaw is believing that others will ignore looking into him if he says so. His way of doing business is paying people off, and he tries to grab as much as he can without entering the fray. For example, as Rothstein is leaving the meeting, he remarks that he isn’t sure if Nucky would kill him or not. Nucky seems both shocked at the content of the insinuation, as well as the idea of an insinuation itself. He wants, and believes, everything to be clean and easy, but as we know, being a gangster isn’t all sunshine and flowers.

In other affairs, Gillian’s now trying to take custody back of her son Tommy, while at the same time running a secret prostitution scheme in her house. She’s been going downhill much faster than Nucky has, and a shady Piggly Wiggly businessman can only spell trouble.

The show also checks in with Al Capone, a person that seems to be gaining confidence and poise as the days wear on. He shows restraint in dealing with a boy that spells his name wrong in the paper (the nerve!), and his business seems to be going well.

Finally, another person whose confidence is growing is Chalky White, played by the magnificent Michael Kenneth Williams. The show seems to be delving more into the African American side of the race relations, and it’s a welcome change, if not only to give Williams more screen time. He deals coolly with an especially shocking scene in which Dunn stabs Dickie Pastor, a talent manager that visits the Onyx Club. It comes after Dickie walks in on Dunn and Mrs. Pastor, and the scene eventually descends into dark, visceral madness.

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The premiere generally moves a bit slow, but that’s to be expected after last year. I’m really looking forward to the remaining 11 episodes.

Grade: B

Other thoughts:

-Richard Harrow is back, and he’s killing people! I could probably watch him doing that all day.

-The final scene is great. Harrow’s been a lonely voyager, just trying to get home. However, unlike Nucky, he’s not a stranger in his own home. The scene right before this shows Nucky staring into the distance, not sure what his place in the world is.

-Nucky’s nephew Will is introduced, which provides some interesting familial dynamics for the show to explore.

-New character Warren Knox is extremely intriguing. He seems fine on the outside at first, but he later murders a couple of people and has a drink. He’s like the Todd of Boardwalk Empire, I tell you.

-No van Alden or Margaret yet. I really hope that Shannon is integrated more into the main story this year. He’s a fantastic actor, and I want to see more of him.

Credit to HBO and Boardwalk Empire for all pictures. I own nothing.

True Blood to end in 2014, presumably after the world is overrun by fairy-vampire-werewolf hybrids

3 Sep

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(Spoilers) In news that is three hours old, but has already caused thousands of True Blood fans to cry out in anguish, Brian Buckner, showrunner of the somehow still hit show, announced that the upcoming seventh season will be the last. At the words “seventh season”, the fans all thought for a minute, then nodded their heads as if to say “Yes, this is good.”

The final season, set to air next summer, will presumably involve the aftermath of Eric’s nude inferno ice glacier book-reading whatever the hell that was. This will consist of Eric standing in the background of every scene, nude and on fire, not noticed by any of the other characters. They will apparently have more important things to do, like having sex in the woods or being uninteresting.

Buckner insists that “as we take a final walk through Bon Temps together, we will do our very best to bring Sookie’s story to a close with heart, imagination and, of course, fun.” This is, of course, interesting wording, as Sookie’s walks usually lead to danger. I can only infer that heart, imagination, and fun will jump out of the woods and tear her to pieces, but not before she meets a random hot guy that wants to kill her.

The season will consist of 10 episodes, continuing the format of the last season.

Also, Alcide will be there and he’ll take off his shirt or something.

Credit for picture to HBO and True Blood. I own nothing.

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