Tag Archives: TV Recap

TV Classic Section Update/Poll

19 Oct

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Hi, all. I’m going to be starting up my TV Classic section soon, in which I will be reviewing several of the already-finished shows I’m currently watching. There are quite a few choices:

Friday Night Lights Seasons 4-5, with quick thoughts on Seasons 1-3

Band of Brothers-The Complete Miniseries

The Shield Seasons 4-7

Lost Seasons 5-6, with quick thoughts on 1-4

The Wire-The Complete Series

The Sopranos-The Complete Series

Deadwood-The Complete Series

Terriers-The Complete Series

24-Season 8, with quick thoughts on 1-7

Fringe-Season 5, with quick thoughts on 1-4

Enlightened-The Complete Series

The West Wing-Seasons 4-7, with thoughts on 1-3

I apologize that I’m not starting from the beginning on a lot of these shows, but I don’t have time to rewatch from the beginning. I’m just going off of where I’m at now.

Anyway, what coverage would you most like to see? Vote below! I’m looking forward to bringing you my thoughts!

Credit to HBO and Band of Brothers for all pictures. I own nothing.

Person of Interest “Liberty” Review (3×01)

25 Sep

627-5Just a couple quick bullets coming up…

-Although the case of the week feels a little bland at times, I like what the show is doing for Reese’s character. He sees himself in the sailor, and it coincides with a time in which he starts to let go a little. He starts revealing some more of his past, and he starts to transfer some of that Terminator-like quality onto Shaw.

-Shaw isn’t a character I was entirely sold on last season, but it’s fun watching her shoot baddies up and banter with Reese. She’s becoming a sort of mentoree, and she fits in nicely now.

-Fusco’s great. I like how one second, he can be treated jokingly, and the next second, he’s saving everyone’s lives. Also, his outfit at the beginning of the episode is perfect.

-Elias is always a welcome sight, and I like how they’re creating a dynamic between him and Carter. She’s manufactured a deal in which he stays out of person, but Reese and Finch don’t know. It’s an interesting road to explore, and I’m impressed at how much we get out of Elias’s short scenes; Colatoni does some fantastic work with this character.

-That brings us to Root. Oh, Amy Acker, how I love you. She’s insanely good at slowly building up that terrifying exterior, and the audience feels that sense of dread along with the poor psychiatrist. Her delivery of that last monologue is chilling.

-Finch feels a little shoe horned in in this episode.

-I also like how the Machine has a new name for Root, suggesting that she’s not the enemy. In fact, this Root-Machine relationship is so compelling because it could lead to it rebelling against Finch. The Machine may crave approval much like Root does; they’re both calculating, ruthless machines, but they need to feel connected as well.

-Bear needs more screen time.

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

How I Met Your Mother “The Locket”/”Coming Back” Review (9×01/9×02)

24 Sep

627-1As we head into the final season of “How I Met Your Mother”, a season in which everything is revolving around three days, I have nothing but confidence in the ability of the writers to end the series well. The main question coming into this season is whether or not the character of the mother is well done.

Right now? The answer is yes. For someone we’ve never seen before, and especially as someone who’s made Ted the way he is, the way Cristin Milioti smoothly transitions into the show’s universe is a thing of beauty. Whether it be her interactions with Lily on the train or her interactions with Ted, this adorable, endearing woman seems like a staple of the show already. I can see her as a part of the gang, and I can see why she’s the perfect soul mate for Ted. I could not be happier with the character.

Of course, everything isn’t just about the mother. Marshall spends his time having problems traveling, which is good for a few funny moments. In the second episode, Lily gets drunk and thanks Linus a lot. We also have a subplot in which a desk manager lays the pity thick on Ted, and we have a storyline in which James (Wayne Brady) reveals that he’s getting a divorce due to his cheating ways. This particular storyline is clearly a parallel to Robin and Barney, reflecting Robin’s uncertainty about venturing into the unknown. All of these plots are interesting and funny, but do start to show signs of the constraints the time period requirement has placed on the show.

Still, that final scene between Ted and the mother in “Coming Back” is a thing of beauty. It’s well written, directed, and acted, and is one of the most clever things this show has done in terms of playing with time. It’s also quite perfect, and should kick off a great final season.

“The Locket” Grade: B

“Coming Back” Grade: B-

Overall: B

Other thoughts:

-“You really piqued my incest….INTEREST! INTEREST!”

-“Ma’am, it’s not a race.” “That right there is why you lost!’

-Ring bear

-Ted and the locket will probably be one of the more polarizing storylines this season, as I’m sure many people don’t want to see Ted and Robin go through everything all over again. It may seem like wheel spinning to get to Ted’s happy ending, but there are some chances for great character development here.

-This most likely won’t get regular coverage, but I’ll check in once in a while if I have time.

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

Breaking Bad “Granite State” Review (5×15)

23 Sep

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“Stay a little longer?”

Walter White is afraid of isolation. He’s always needed something: his family, his money, his business. However, he’s never been more utterly alone; he’s trapped in a cabin in the snow, forced to sit there all day and contemplate what he’s done. It’s the ultimate coffin for Walter White, a man that will be killed by cancer, but destroyed by his own mind.

Walt’s never been the kind of criminal mastermind he aspires to be. I don’t mean that he isn’t a force in his business, but rather, he can never really become Heisenberg. That’s certainly what he wants, but it’s not something that will come to fruition unless he loses everything. At heart, he’s always been Walter White. He’s made poor choices and been overcome with desperation, but none of the actions that result are truly Heisenberg’s. He’s poisoned his mind, deluding himself into thinking that all those around him should be grateful for everything he’s done for them.

In “Granite State”, he’s still reaching out for that one speck of sympathy, paying his caretaker $10,000 to stay for two hours. Cranston is magnificent here, portraying a disheveled and depressed shell of a former man. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t let go of his past. He dons his Heisenberg hat, but isn’t able to leave the property for months. He tries to use his “We’re done when I saw we’re done” schpiel on Saul, but he breaks down coughing. He, one last time, tries to contact Flynn, but is verbally assaulted in a perfect bout of acting from RJ Mitte. This is the final straw. Walt can’t get any money to his family. He can’t feel useful. He can’t feel needed. He calls the police, fully intending to turn himself in. However, he sees something that gives him pause.

The Gray Matter folks surprisingly show up again, and they’re looking to bury Walt. Everything’s changed. Walt’s going to live out his Heisenberg persona for the first time, ready to prove to the world that he’s truly a man to be feared. He’s not weak. He’s not gone. He’s angry. What’s getting him into this is what got him into the situation in the first place: a sense of honor. It’s always been about the chemistry.

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It’s a slow place-setter for the finale, but the theme song closing out the episode makes you excited to see what will happen to the once-great Walter White. The eye of the storm has passed.

GRADE: B+

Other thoughts:

-Jesse’s been so brutalized that we just can’t help but wonder if he’d be better off dead. Andrea’s death feels so cruel, pointless, and terrible, and Aaron Paul’s face after that scene reflects the anguish, the horror, and the gravity of the situation in a brilliant light.

-Jesse’s escape is extremely nerve-wracking, too…here I am, yelling “RUN JESSE RUN!” all Jenny-like.

-Todd has really become a terrifying character. He’s entirely happy to be a pawn in all of this, and his infatuation with Lydia is becoming stranger every day. Lydia’s interesting as well; she expects everything to be handed to her on a silver platter, and she avoids trouble when she can.

-In addition, Todd appears in Holly’s room and threatens Skyler. That’s a no-no.

-“I watched a few Youtube videos..the trick is finding the vein.”

-Ice cream for Jesse

-I hope Huell’s still just sitting in that room.

-If Walt had just listened to Saul, he could’ve avoided all this. What’s terrible is that his seemingly decent phone call last week turns out to be for naught, as Skyler will always be a target as long as Walt stays hidden.

-Walt has Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium...just two of them!

-Congrats to Anna Gunn and the show on their Emmys. They’re well deserved.

-“If you look around, it’s kinda beautiful.” Walter White will never be able to fully appreciate his surroundings.

-Seeing snow in the show is weird. However, it makes sense thematically. Walt’s always been stuck in the  snow, but he hasn’t been able to realize it. Now that he does realize it, he can strip away his Walter White layer and embrace the Heisenberg. Watch out, Carol.

Credit to AMC and Breaking Bad for all pictures. I own nothing.

Dexter “Remember the Monsters” Review (8×12)

23 Sep

seriesfinaledexterA killer usually pays for his crimes. What has Dexter Morgan paid for? At the end of the 96th and final episode of the series, Dexter’s off being a lumberjack somewhere, Deb is dead, and Hannah and Harrison are living their own lives. Everything has changed, but at the same time, it hasn’t.

Let’s back up a bit. The episode is structured around Dexter’s attempts to get out of Miami, but not before he ensures the safety of Deb and the death of Oliver Saxon. Deb has been shot and is laying in a hospital bed, Dexter and Hannah are in the airport, and Saxon’s on the loose. After Dexter gets the call about his sister’s situation, he immediately rushes back to help her.

Now, this is certainly a promising plot to model the episode around, as the Deb-Dexter relationship has always been the central relationship of the show. However, instead of really honing in on the two of them, we have some contrived tension in the form of Oliver Saxon to deal with; this guy somehow kills someone in broad daylight, holds a veterinarian hostage, and enters the hospital by means of a distraction: cutting off the vet’s tongue. If this isn’t silly enough, Dexter later kills him with a pen, and Batista and Quinn study it, ask a few questions, and move on. This really is emblematic of the whole show, isn’t it? No one ever suspects Dexter, and if they do, he always gets away with it. Also, people are idiots.

It’s maddening, really, considering Season 2 explored that path with Doakes. Even that season ended with a Dexter win, though, setting up the next six years of wheel spinning. So here, after Dexter dispatches Saxon, he returns to a now deteriorating Deb that has no chance of ever living a normal life again. This is such an interesting turn of events, as Dexter has to grapple with the moral value of letting her live. However, it turns out to be just another attempt to vindicate him, making him out to be some sort of hero that is absolved of all sins. The thing is, he’s not!

Anyway, he rides off into the ocean, dumping Deb’s body into the watery grave of his former victims and disappearing. Hannah’s left with Harrison, a boy who is now free to grow up without the influence of a serial killer father. I suppose it’s a decent act, but at its core, it’s just another attempt to escape.

627-1Deb’s death is supposed to be a traumatic one that hits Dexter at his core, causing him to reevaluate his life (which should’ve happened a while ago). However, he doesn’t need to do anything except run away. It’s an easy way out for the writers, and I can only lament at the waste of potentially great storylines: Vogel, the fallout over LaGuerta’s death, and the cracking down of the law. Frankly, it’s not surprising that the show would limp off into the sunset. I just wish that the writers had pushed aside the emphasis on the supporting cast, cut the middling storylines, and really told the story of Dexter Morgan the way it was supposed to be told? This, though? This is not it.

Grade: C-

Other thoughts:

-What’s the point of Masuka and his daughter this season?

-The final shot is of Dexter sitting at a table, pondering the choices he’s made. Or, he could be thinking about what he’ll have for dinner. Who knows?

-How does a hospital hallway go from completely empty, save for a couple of killers, to full of cops in 2 seconds?

-Still, I’d like to compliment Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter. They do the best they can, and they’re both excellent actors.

-Hannah’s storyline with Elway is unnecessarily stupid. First of all, there has to be a ton of plot contrivances to even get to that scene on the bus. Second, who cares about Elway?

-Quinn isn’t all that insufferable in this episode, actually.

-The flashbacks are weird. It’s just a way to show HOW MUCH DEXTER HAS CHANGED!

-Where’s Astor and Cody?

-Deb needs her own bench.

-The CGI hurricane is laughingly terrible. You know what would make it better? Sharks.

-Jamie shows up.

-Thanks for reading, guys. It’s been frustrating, yet enjoyable, covering this show, and I will always maintain that it used to be incredibly entertaining television. It’s a shame it had to turn out this way. You can also check out my Dexter retrospective, which takes a look back at the series as a whole. Thanks again.

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

Strike Back “Shadow Warfare, Episode 6” Review (3×06/4×06)

22 Sep

Strike-Back-306IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR MY SEASON FINALE (EPISODE 10) REVIEW, HERE IT IS: https://polarbearstv.com/2013/10/19/strike-back-shadow-warfare-episode-10-review-3x104x10/

Just a couple quick bullet points coming up…

-There seems to be a sense of finality with Scott and Stonebridge, and although I’m sure they won’t exit the show, they’re contemplating a life outside of Section 20. Their conversation in the car, Stonebridge’s injury, Scott’s seeking out of an ex…all are telling signs of fatigue. The diamonds represent their way out.

-Of course, Stonebridge seems to be fine at episode’s end. I feel like they hit the thematic elements a bit too on the nose in this episode, as he’s the one to take out the bad guy in a scene reminiscent of last week’s cliffhanger. His affliction was probably a mental problem, but I wish the storyline gained some more traction.

-Locke’s character seems to be getting explored more, as this episode reveals a deeper connection between him and McKenna’s brother. The episode does a nice job of reflecting Locke’s dangerous position, and we always have that feeling that the show might just kill him off. That won’t happen, at least for a couple of episodes.

-The conversation at the end between Stonebridge and Locke continues the season’s theme of past tragedy, as Locke asks whether killing Hanson satisfied Stonebridge in any way.

-McKenna dies, leaving the show without a formidable Big Bad. Al-Zuhari is waiting in the wings, but it seems like the show is reverting back to its pre-Conrad Knox times by waiting until the end to reveal him.

-The mortar attack on the embassy is really creative, and one of the better action sequences they’ve done.

-I’m extremely intrigued by Kamali’s character, and he’s inherently interesting no matter what side he’s on. However, I love the fact that the show is playing with standard conventions and having him work with Section 20. It’s obvious he has something hidden, and it’s always possible he’s playing the long con. His short-lived dynamic with Dalton was well done, though, and his interactions with the team right now are great.

-Stonebridge turns down Martinez!

-I apologize for the delay in posting.

Grade: B

Credit to Cinemax and Strike Back for all pictures. I own nothing.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia “The Gang Tries Desperately to Win an Award” Review (9×03)

19 Sep

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Just a couple quick bullet points coming up….

-The show has been, for the most part, snubbed at the Emmys every single year. This episode marks the first time that Always Sunny has addressed the issue, and it’s an episode-long meta commentary on the nature of what usually gets nominated. Suds represents the saccharine, safe, and pleasant entertainment viewers usually seek out, and there is a multitude of clever references to the type of show Sunny is (“We’re too fringe! I mean, it’s given us a lot of street cred, but we’ve alienated a lot of people in this town.” and “We know we’re cool, and our customers know we’re cool, but the industry doesn’t get it yet.”).

-Charlie Day’s a pretty good singer, and his final, drug induced song is a massive middle finger to the entertainment industry as a whole. Everyone else’s reactions to this, and his first, songs are pitch perfect as well.

-Chad Coleman returns as Z, and he’s as hilarious as ever. The episode also contains a hilarious discussion over black people and stereotypes in the media.

-Dee’s cleverly portrayed as the “pretty and benign” female character that’s rammed down our throats everyday by lesser shows.

-Mac getting confused about the jizz is hilarious.

-“He’s been to Paddy’s and he says it’s just a bunch of people yelling over each other.” “That’s what we do, and if people want to tune in, then…”

Grade: B+

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

The Bridge “Take the Ride, Pay the Toll” Review (1×11)

19 Sep

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“You will be like me when this ends. That I can promise you.”

Marco Ruiz has gone through pain and suffering that no one should ever have to go through. That’s not to say he isn’t to blame for some of it, but he’s been forced down a descending path of darkness, slipping and sliding to the edge of the abyss. That edge manifests itself right there on the bridge in a standoff between David Tate and Marco, and it’s a satisfying conclusion to a storyline that needed to be wrapped up as soon as possible.

The episode doesn’t stray from the events surrounding that standoff, and it’s a tense, well constructed sequence of events. The main problem I have with it is that it’s essentially a rehash of everything that’s played out so far in the season, whether it be David Tate’s psycho-ramblings or Marco’s anguished screams. However, I’m happy that the storyline has finally come to a close. The show’s been spinning its wheels for a while, and there are two episodes left to head back into the world of El Paso. The thing is, I have absolutely no idea what the writers’ plans are for the rest of the season, and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

Anyway, both Bichir and Kruger once again do magnificent work, and where they’re at their best is during moments of silence. When Marco asks Sonya about Gus, it’s heartbreaking to see her struggle to answer the question, and the silence says it all. After Tate is dealt with (good work, Sonya!), we also get subsequent scenes of silence, none better than Marco’s scene in the morgue with Gus. Bichir conveys so much emotion there that it makes the last scene incredibly painful and beautiful to watch. Imagine how much more haunting that final image would be if the song doesn’t kick in.

One other scene I’d like to talk about is when Sonya visits Marco in the hospital. She’s devastated, having failed at the most important thing in her life right now. Marco, understandably upset, pushes her away, stating that they’re not friends anymore. It says so much for Sonya’s character growth that she doesn’t point out the fact that she actually saved him, and that everything could’ve been avoided if not for Marco’s actions. Earlier Sonya might’ve, but this case has matured her such that she’ll go out of her way not to point it out. A couple episodes ago, Marco blew up at her for stating the obvious, asking her to just tell him what he wanted to hear. In this episode’s hospital scene, Sonya goes “I told you what you wanted to hear. What was I supposed to do?”

It’s evident that she’s started to learn from Marco and truly cares for him. She’s not going to kick him while he’s down, so that’s what makes the scene that much more heartbreaking.

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This is one of the better episodes of the season, and I’m uncertain, yet kind of excited, to see where the show goes next.

Grade: A-

Other thoughts:

-I want the Tate storyline to be wrapped up, but not completely ignored later on. There are so many aspects of his character that are way too mysterious and muddled, and I’d like to glean some more information about his motivations. Right now, the storytelling for him is still absolutely ludicrous.

-I’m pleasantly surprised the show has the guts to kill off Gus. It doesn’t have the emotional impact it should have, but Marco makes it work.

-The cold open consists of Ray disposing of some bodies. That’s an interesting way to start off the episode.

-This episode seriously needs a random cutaway, right in the middle of all the tension on the bridge, to Linder dropping bodies out of a window or something.

-Why wouldn’t Marco just throw the gun over the side of the bridge? He’s just asking for Frye to get shot by basically handing the gun back to the murderer right in front of him. Honestly, though, I’m just happy that Frye somehow survives that. Lillard has done such great work with the character, and it would’ve been a crappy way to go out.

Credit to FX and The Bridge for all pictures. I own nothing.

New Girl “All In” Review (3×01)

18 Sep

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Season 2 of New Girl was one of my favorite comedic seasons of all time, unexpectedly becoming a show that I still unabashedly love. Just seeing all these characters back on my television screen is a godsend, so I probably like the premiere more right now more than I will on re-watch.

Anyway, the episode sends Nick and Jess off to Mexico on a honeymoon of sorts, which is a move that makes perfect sense. Their relationship is booming, and like any reasonable people, they don’t want it to end. Sending them to Mexico places them in a fantasy from which they never want to leave. Of course, that’s not realistic in the slightest. Nick eventually gets arrested, and Schmidt and Winston find their way across the border, emphasizing the fact that the loft shenanigans will follow them wherever they go.

It’s really a very layered, complex handling of this relationship, and it’s been pleasantly surprising given the fact that it’s a young-skewing show that tries to appeal to the masses. Nick and Jess are genuinely in love, and the show portrays both the difficulties and the delirious highs of a relationship.

Getting back to the episode itself, the one thing I have a problem with is Schmidt’s character. Season 2 made incredible strides with him, transforming him into a more endearing person due to his relationship with Elizabeth. Here, his “dilemma” is incredibly frustrating, and I wish that he would just pick someone. This isn’t the Schmidt we’ve seen recently.

As for Winston, his plot is hilarious, but has no real substance. That’s been indicative of pretty much all of his subplots, and I wish he had more to do. Still, the revelation that he’s color blind is pretty much the best thing ever.

All in all, it’s a welcome, yet flawed, return for New Girl. However, it’s still the hilarious show we’ve come to love.

Grade: B+

Other thoughts:

-“OH MY GOD PULL OVER! That piñata’s shaped like a monkey!” *Cut to commercial*

-The scene where Winston and Schmidt are mouthing at each other behind CeCe’s back is amazing. “I drove there to seduce her…and I seduced her 2 1/2 times.”

-“A blind man could feel the smooth edge of a corner piece!” I love Schmidt’s frustration with Winston.

-“If you think these shows are brown, what color do you think you are?”

-“DISGUSTING TRASH PERSON GARBAGE CHILD!”

-“He’s color blind, which basically makes him a cripple.”

-“My name is Winston Bishop. I’m color blind and I can’t do puzzles. Now let us go home.”

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

Brooklyn Nine-Nine “Pilot” Review (1×01)

18 Sep

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s pilot is one of the most enjoyable sitcom pilots I’ve seen in a while. It’s not laugh out loud funny, but it’s enough to put a smile on your face all the way through (especially after the horrid “Dads”). The series revolves around Jake Peralta, the best detective in the Nine-Nine, but also a bit of a buffoon. However, when a new CO, Ray Holt, arrives, the atmosphere of the station changes.

Whether or not you’re a Samberg fan, there’s no denying that he’s reined in his character enough to seem human. He still has that same SNL slapstick humor going, but he’s toned it down just enough to play a sitcom lead. An essential part of that is Braugher’s character, a no nonsense person that can still dish it out as good as he can take it. I love the fact that he’s aware of his sense of humor, and I love the fact that the show doesn’t go down the standard “He’s serious but he’s unaware he’s funny!” trope that we see all too much. In addition, I’m pleasantly surprised with the revelation about his homosexuality. It’s not something that defines him, and it’s something that’s never tackled with enough nuance in other sitcoms. However, Schur and co. already seem to have a good handle on his character.

In the background, we have Charles Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio, who I still find funny), Rosa Diaz, and Amy Santiago. The show has built up a great supporting cast, and while the Samberg-Braugher relationship is the focus, I’d love to see the show touch on the interactions amongst the other players.

Grade: B

Other thoughts:

-The reveal of the first clue (Newspaper headline reading “NYPD Appoints Openly Gay Man As Captain”) is hilarious, and an inversion of the standard sitcom joke construction.

-“They have adorable chubby cheeks.” Andre Braugher’s delivery of that line is amazing.

-“I will tell you on six conditions. Number one: Let me use your office to practice my dance moves. Second…”

-“It’s like a white noise machine.” “Okay, first of all, that’s racist.”

-This is a great cast.

Credit to FOX and Brooklyn Nine-Nine for all pictures. I own nothing.

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