Tag Archives: Reviews

Person of Interest “Endgame” Review (3×08)

13 Nov

627-28

ATTENTION EVERYBODY: HERE’S MY REVIEW OF THE NEW PERSON OF INTEREST-“THE CROSSING”…..https://polarbearstv.com/2013/11/19/person-of-interest-the-crossing-review-3×09/

Although Detective Carter doesn’t start off the series as a major character, this episode is a showcase for her in an increasingly excellent season. I’m blown away by the character work done for Carter, both by the writers and Taraji P. Henson. It would’ve been easy for the storyline to feel rushed and melodramatic, but it is anything but; the episode brilliantly portrays someone not only seeking revenge, but also gaining insight about the value of cooperation and morality. This progression is paralleled with the flashbacks, both conveying her growth in similar ways and tying the concept of family to her two situations.

When you get down to it, it’s amazing how deep a supporting cast the show has, especially in regards to the women. Shaw, Root, and Carter have all had showcases this season, and each of those episodes has been compelling and exciting.

Of course, the other link to that supporting cast is Fusco; it seems as if he’s at the natural end of his story, but it’s disappointing that a complete arc for him is so much less developed than those for the other characters. Nevertheless, this episode does a nice job of emphasizing that Carter-Fusco relationship and the trust they share.

All in all, this is a fast-paced episode that barrels into a breathless cliffhanger; there are two episodes left this year, and both look to be great.

GRADE: A-

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-“Wait, that’s my grenade launcher?”

-I love that scene. I like how Finch immediately assumes the person in the video is Shaw.

-Alonzo Quinn is chilling to watch; he’s calm and collected, but he can be ruthless and is willing to do what’s necessary for personal gain.

-Bear?

-Elias is always magnificent. “Let it simmer for fifteen minutes, then stir with vinegar.”….basically a recipe for this episode, wouldn’t you say?

Credit to CBS and Person of Interest for all pictures. I own nothing.

New Girl “Menus” Review (3×08)

12 Nov

627-29Well, it looks like the show is on a groove. This week marks the second Coach episode, and it’s one of the funniest episodes to date. I’ve seen some grumblings about Coach, but I wouldn’t be so quick to jump the gun. First of all, Damon Wayans Jr. is absolutely hilarious. Second, on a character level, the show has a fantastic opportunity here; it’s just a matter of how well it’s executed.

Coach isn’t just a new presence in the loft; he’s flashier and more experienced. So far, we’ve seen him give advice to the others and call them out when they need it, and it’s a welcome change because these aren’t people that normally venture out of their comfort zones. We saw Winston stand up for himself last week due to Coach’s teasing, and that’s essentially what Coach does: he’s over the top, but it’s that personality that the others look up to. Coach fitting in better could cause Winston to reevaluate his place in the group and work to achieve something.

Do I wish Winston had more to do before? Yes. However, given the situation with his character, I feel like expanding on the Winston-Coach dynamic would help him. The writers haven’t wanted to expand on his relationships with the others, so this is the best we have. I really, really hope it leads somewhere other than Winston’s regular superfluous side stories.

As for the rest of the episode, Zooey Deschanel does amazing work as Conservation Jess, conveying the frustration of the situation and the traits that make her who she is. Her hot dog speech is comedy gold, as well as her anger at the restaurant owner as he’s closing the door (“I’m gonna burn down your building! I won’t do that, I won’t do that.”). As for Nick, I love seeing him interact with Coach; their dumpling fight is the best thing ever.

GRADE: A-

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-“You’ll be able to see your abs.” “I thought God just didn’t give me those.”

-“What’s up, Jason Street?” Oh man, this FNL reference makes my week.

-“I ain’t a quitter. IRONSIDE!”

-“Remember when you sat out that game because you were sad?” “I was also cold.”

-Ghostbusters sign.

-“I’m old-fashioned, Coney Island fat strong.”

-“Are you a doer or a dumpling-er?”

-Jess’s reaction to compliments is adorable.

-“PEANUTS stands for ‘Physical Education Activity Nuts!”

Credit to FOX and New Girl for all pictures. I own nothing.

Friday Night Lights “Tomorrow Blues” Review (3×13)

12 Nov

627-25High school is a transition phase; people have to decide what the first step in their futures should be, and it’s therefore understandable that the process would be ripe with indecision. This episode is just as much about second-guessing as it is about moving forward.

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How I Met Your Mother “Platonish” Review (9×09)

11 Nov

627-26Just a few quick bullets….

-Cristin Milioti once again kills it as the Mother. Sure, it’s a little farfetched that she’d so accurately gauge Barney’s situation, but it’s a fantastic scene that works on so many character levels. Barney really needs this. Someone for once has the confidence not just to approach him and call him out, but to spur him on to look for that stable relationship. She’s in a similar situation here, but she doesn’t need a bunch of transient relationships just to get through the day. The fact that she understands that that is what Barney’s going through, as well as her willingness to listen and help, already makes her a great fit for the group and for Ted.

-I’m happy we get to see the group back at MacLaren’s, in their element. It’s a refreshing change from the plodding pace over at Farhampton.

-The Ted/Robin stuff actually doesn’t really bother me much in this episode. It’s much better handled here than in recent episodes; a major part of that is how inherently depressing Ted’s situation is. The only consolation is that we know he’ll meet the Mother; in fact, the whole storyline with Barney is almost a foreshadowing of what’s to come with Ted.

-If Ted was on Breaking Bad, Heisenberg could’ve been stopped early on…

Walt: I am the one who knocks!
Ted: …no.
Walt: Okay, okay, but if someone else were to knock, try and think of me, okay?

-Cranston is fantastic here, though. He’s channeling Heisenberg a bit; it’s amazing how he can switch between comedic and dramatic sides.

-“You’re waiting for a movie star…is it Clooney? DiCaprio? Zabka? Ryan…Reyn..Phill..Seac…Gosling!”

-It’s enjoyable watching Barney try to pick up the girls using dolphin sounds and unable to use “e”s. CHALLNG ACCPTD.

-Also, the girl waiting for Ryan Gosling (Stephanie Lynn) is insanely gorgeous. I have a thing for redheads.

-Final thought: Having the Mother emulate Ted’s characteristics a bit is a much better and more nuanced way of crafting the her character. Instead of making every moment a Ted-Mother moment or having them be separate all the time, we should see some of Ted’s personality traits in her. Each is essential to the other, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they have to be around each other for us to recognize their compatibility as a couple.

GRADE: B+

Credit to CBS and How I Met Your Mother for all pictures. I own nothing.

Homeland “Gerontion” Review (3×07)

11 Nov

627-19Just a few quick bullets coming up here…

-I think it’s really nice seeing how both Javadi and Quinn question Saul’s tactics past and present; as much as Carrie/Saul are a great team, there’s no doubt that he put her through a whole lot of shit. It’ll be interesting seeing that Saul-Quinn dynamic play out with Carrie caught in the middle and Lockhart off doing whatever in the middle of nowhere.

-Going off that last point, Lockhart’s cartoonish, but he makes legitimate points (not to mention being pretty hilarious). Underneath that exterior is a voice of reason, but he isn’t seen as a legitimate threat, more of an annoying child that needs to be in a timeout; this might come back to bite Saul in the ass sometime. Or, at least hopefully it does, because Saul shouldn’t always come out on top. Nevertheless, it’s a nice parallel drawn to Quinn’s storyline, where the police just ask him point blank if the CIA’s actions are really justified.

-That Quinn interrogation is a really fantastic scene. What I like about it the most is that it’s an interrogation that consists of absolutely no BS. No one’s trying to manipulate anyone into saying what needs to be said; it’s just one person bluntly asking another, “Why the hell are you doing all of this?” Also, nice cameo by Clark Johnson there.

-That stuff with Saul and Dar locking Lockhart in the conference room? Priceless.

-However, I’m not entirely sold on the whole Javadi plan. Frankly, it’s a bit implausible and way too easy, not to mention it undercuts many of the previous scenes.

-“Senator Lockhart managed to get himself locked in the conference room. Can you get facilities to let him out?” I’m really happy they’re strengthening the dynamic between those two bearded folks, even though I do feel like Dar’s a guy that’s just going to play sides.

-I like the focus on Saul this season, but I’m not sure we need to see all that cheesy homefront stuff.

-I’m happy they’re organically bringing Brody back into the fray, rather than coming up with some quick contrivance to do so. I’d rather have him not here, but I admire the restraint by the writers; or, who knows, maybe they just don’t have anything for him to do.

-No Dana, Jess, or Chris. This is a good thing.

GRADE: B+

Credit to Showtime and Homeland for all pictures. I own nothing.

The Walking Dead “Internment” Live Blog/Review (4×05)

10 Nov

walking-dead-internment-hershel-walkerSo I’m trying something different today. All times central.

8:06-So it seems as if Hershel’s coming into the “Carol” role now: actually making sensible decisions and taking control of situations. He’s always been the voice of reason; it’s nice to see him doing stuff.

8:08-Hey, it’s Maggie.

8:12-Alright, so Rick’s now out looking for validation. That’s not anything bad, but it’s really emblematic of him as a character; he’s so indecisive that he actually hurts the group more than he helps it.

8:15-Okay, so here’s Guy #3 with a monologue about the hopelessness of everything.

8:21-So is the rest of this episode just going to consist of a bunch of people we don’t care about dying painful deaths? I actually think that might be what the whole show is about.

8:22-Death montage!

8:24-So here’s another Rick thing. Okay, sure, it’s the apocalypse, but can you accomplish something when you don’t believe there’s anything at the end of the tunnel? Hershel technically is wishful thinking right now, but then again, he’s a guy that has to believe to keep going. Rick has to keep moving; he can only see what’s in front of him, and that’s how he survives. He can’t stop and think. This is really a show all about the various ways we survive in the midst of utter despair, which makes me glad that this season, some people are actually, you know, cracking smiles and all that.

8:25-Alright, here we go. Walkers are opening their eyes now.

8:32-Glen’s going all Walter White now, and here come the walkers.

8:33-You know, Rick, they really could use you right now.

8:38-I swear, whenever I see a “Low Winter Sun” segment, I burst out laughing.

8:39-Oh, typical Walking Dead character: falling down while in the presence of a zombie.

8:40-There ya go, Hershel. That’s how you kill ’em.

8:41-Okay, one thing this show never fails at is crafting well-shot, intense zombie sequences. The camera work and the tension here is fantastic. Also, Carl carrying a gun makes me laugh for some reason.

8:44-But…here’s a Hershel pitfall. He isn’t willing to soil that “savior” image in front of the kids. Whereas Carol was willing to do whatever was necessary, Hershel isn’t; that might end up causing his downfall.

8:47-“I didn’t want you to know.” “I had to.” Serves to support the above point.

8:49-So that’s why you don’t send a bunch of your best fighters away.

8:51-Hershel’s sobbing by himself in a cell. It’s heavy handed symbolism, but it works: he’s trapped in his own cell in a prison and isolation’s permeating the environment. He was able to survive the ordeal, but that was a cathartic and devastating moment for him. Still…Daryl: “You’re a tough son of a bitch.” Herschel: “I am.”

8:58-Rick still wants to garden! Honestly, what’s the point with his struggle over Carl right now? Jeez, grow up and realize what world you’re in. I get you want to protect your kid, but he’s shown you he’s matured.

9:00-And the Governor!

All in all, it’s a very solid hour complete with some great zombie action and a very well-done revelation at the end. Hopefully the Governor doesn’t turn into a cartoonish presence again; the plague was a good exploration of the unknown, and it transitions into that all-encompassing big bad. In a way, he embodies the plague. Anyway, I’m looking forward to see where we go from here. Please don’t mess up the season like last year, writers.

GRADE: B+

Credit to AMC and The Walking Dead for all pictures. I own nothing.

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia “The Gang Squashes Their Beefs” Review (9×10)

7 Nov

627-24It’s Always Sunny wraps up its ninth season with an enjoyable, but fairly average episode that brings back a multitude of guest stars: Gail the Snail, Bill Ponderosa, the McPoyles, etc. While the point of the episode is to pile on as much as they can to get the Gang to that final conclusion of “No, we do not want to squash our beefs”, the plot could’ve used a little work because the Gang is inherently funnier due to their own antics and beliefs. The others are a part of it, but this episode loses a bit with its main characters due to the guest stars.

Still, although the script itself is shaky, there are still some hilarious moments: Dennis considering giving away someone’s eye a better option than apologizing, Frank and Hwang swaying and staring daggers at each other, and Frank setting his rent money on fire. It’s not an episode for consistent laughter, but it’s enjoyable; I’m always a sucker for food fights, especially when flying hatchets and Nose Clams are involved.

The ending is once again pretty dark, coming full circle from that premiere. I wouldn’t put it past Dennis to leave them all in there to die, and it’s an ending that the show is able to pull off because honestly, the characters are pretty awful people. It’s nothing new, but it makes sense.

GRADE: B-

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-This was a surprisingly great season. Not many shows make it to their ninth season, much less continue to be good at that point, so kudos to Sunny for crafting a great one. “The Gang Saves the Day” is easily the highlight for me.

-This episode runs 19:27. It’s the season finale; can’t we at least get 20 minutes? Jeez.

-“Well, Frank, once something’s in writing, that means it’s set in stone. Then no one can do anything to stop me.”

-“What?! GODDAMMIT!! Beef!! No, I got beef with that!”

-“I am not honking.”

-“I may have started a money fire.”

-“I hate people who are different than me. Why pretend?”

-I didn’t cover the season regularly, and I hope to do so next year for Sunny’s tenth and (presumably) final season. See you next year.

Credit to FXX and It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia for all pictures. I own nothing.

New Girl “Coach” Review (3×07)

5 Nov

627-23Just a few quick thoughts…

-I like Winston finally standing up for himself at the end. As much as his random subplots are hilarious, his character should be fleshed out a bit more due to the presence of Coach, a guy that seemingly fits in better with the group than Winston himself does. This is a good opportunity to make him more of a character.

-Damon Wayans, Jr. also does great work as Coach here; he’s a bit more likeable than he was in the pilot, and although the group dynamics aren’t entirely sound, he’s a great addition to the cast. Also, I miss Happy Endings.

-Also, some nice subtle work done with Schmidt this week through his interactions with Nick (he’s unable to delineate why he’s mad at Nick); it feels like he’s moving in the right direction to take full responsibility for his previous actions, except, of course, when he’s arguing about Raiders of the Lost Ark.

-Taye Diggs is delightful here; also, he’s sure to make anyone feel a little something. I’m straight, but I can recognize how gorgeous he is.

-I like how the main plot isn’t just “Jess is angry at Nick because she’s afraid he’ll get it on with some strippers”. It was more that she can’t go and hang out with everyone else, in addition to the fact that Nick can’t call her his girlfriend in front of them. It takes a tired sitcom trope and made it a little better.

-It’s frustrating to watch Cece sabotage her friend’s relationship here. While she’s justified in stating her opinions, it’s not the right thing to say to Jess at the time; I’m glad she reverts on her feelings at the end.

-“Hey, did you hear the joke about the two white guys and the two black guys who walked into a police station? The white guys walked out.”

-The guys’ drunken slapfest outside of the police station is hilarious as well.

-“Put on pants?” Also, Nick throws pizza at seagulls.

-The other great Nick/Jess exchange, aside from their last one, is early on when they’re arguing about the strip club with Coach looking on. Jake Johnson’s various facial expressions throughout that scene are absolutely perfect, and I love his emphatic “I’m REALLY sorry!”

-“YEAHHH, WE GOT BIN LADEN!!! SEAL TEAM SIX!!!”
“Huh… I thought I watched that alone.”

Credit to FOX and New Girl for all pictures. I own nothing.

Homeland “Still Positive” Review (3×06)

4 Nov

627-22So, we’re finally back on track? Yes and no. I’m happy the show is going back to its good old fashioned spy roots and trying to milk tension out of that, but I also can’t help but worry Javadi will go down the Abu Nazir villain path, especially considering the events of this episode. Hopefully there’s some more nuance and buildup for him rather than have his whole character be destroyed in one fell swoop (a la Abu Nazir late last season). I think the connection to Saul might help with making him more interesting, but I also feel like the whole “murdering the ex-wife and daughter in law” scene is a bit unnecessary.

Still, I like the focus on Saul this season; it’s not just the Carrie Mathison adventures now, and the show’s exploring his marriage problems and how he overcompensates with his job. Add on to that his ties to Javadi and you’ve got a boiling pot of Angry Beard.

As for Dana, I’m glad she’s starting to take control of her situation, but then again, this all makes her seem like an asshole and Jess an awful parent. It’s better than Dana and Leo frolicking through cemeteries and reading each other poetry, but it’s not particularly great; still, hopefully this means we’ll pull back on the Brody family for a bit.

And of course, Carrie’s pregnant. This is a really frustrating storyline already because 1) Watching Carrie Mathison, CIA agent is a lot more fun than watching Carrie Mathison, Mom. Her interactions with Javadi in this episode prove that point….and 2) The fact that she has that many pregnancy tests suggests that she’s known for a while now…you know, during that time in which she had sex with random strangers, drank a lot, and got shot up with lithium while in a mental hospital. Yes, she’s self-destructive, but come on, show; this is extreme.

Still, I enjoyed this episode; it’s a well-constructed, fast-paced episode that paves the way for some intriguing storylines.

GRADE: B+

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-Chris Brody did nothing in this episode.

Credit to Showtime and Homeland for all pictures. I own nothing.

Friday Night Lights “Underdogs” Review (3×12)

3 Nov

627-19“Gentlemen, you are champions.”

Back in the pilot, Coach gave an episode-ending speech that contained the words “We will all fall”. It’s a simple and honest sentence, but it contains the weight of every Dillon Panther that falls in this championship game. It’s devastating and reassuring all at once, and it applies perfectly here. Yet, for every person that falls, there’s another to take its place: that same person. Matt, Lyla, Tim, and Tyra are all heading off to college, but each is both leaving something behind and taking something from Dillon.

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