Monday, February 24, 2014

'Pure as the Driven' -- Ripper Street 2x01

Warning: Spoiler Alert

So, I go into series two of "Ripper Street" already knowing that there won't be a series three (since it has been cancelled by the Beeb), which I find rather disappointing, since I was looking forward to there being at least a few more seasons of this show. I saw some of the comments from that article, where people said that the show was kind of cliché, and while I can't really argue with them all that much, I still really enjoy the show and want there to be more of it. So, there's a big-time frowny face over here.

I'm wondering where Reid's wife was when he got home. The writers seemed to be making a point that she wasn't there when he got there. I don't get the feeling that she is dead, but maybe the two of them have been having more trouble, and she's gone off to stay at the half-way house that she's set up? The two of them seemed to be really iffy at the end of series one, and I wouldn't be surprised if they were still really iffy now (especially since I get the feeling that she probably still thinks that their daughter is dead, and he probably still thinks that she's alive).

I liked the introduction of Joseph Merrick into the show, since I thought that it was an interesting move on their part, and I liked even more that he was friends with Reid. I worry about what is going to happen to him with our new baddie, since it seemed from the preview that the baddie knew that Merrick had seen what he did (and was going to make sure that Merrick didn't tell anyone about it). Hopefully, he will tell Reid what's going on before something bad happens to him, since I don't want bad things to be going on for the poor boy (he probably has it bad enough as it is).

I'm always struck by the way that Jackson takes the drugs sometimes to figure out what they are supposed to do. It doesn't seem like the smartest thing for him to do ... even if it may be the only way that he can really be sure of what's going on with some of them (since, like with the Heroin, it's something new, and they don't really know all of the effects of the drug). So, yeah, I know that I'm coming at this from a more modern POV, and not one that might have been feasible for the time frame, but damn ... that stuff is no good and will end up hurting him in the end if he keeps testing it on himself.

This new baddie, I'm really hoping that he turns out to be something outstandingly evil, cuz that would be completely amazing. And even though I don't think that it will happen (since the show runners probably weren't prepared for the cancellation), I would really like to get an answer (one way or the other) as to what happened with Reid's daughter.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

'Smells Like Teen Spirit' -- Castle 6x15

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Yeah, let's name an episode after an overrated song by an overrated band. That's right, I said it: "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and Nirvana are both completely overrated. I never understood the fascination with that band, and I'm exactly the right age where I should have loved them ... but I never did. But then, I always thought that their music was pedestrian at best, so there's that.

While I kind of liked the episode where there was the dude that was possibly from the future (or possibly, he just was good at hiding at just the right times), I didn't like this episode at all. The ambiguity of the ending should have been something that was right up my alley, cuz when done correctly, the ambiguity would get my brainpan working up a storm (at trying to figure out what the hell was actually going on). But this episode didn't do it for me. It looked like there might have been a bit of a Paranormal Activity thing going on with it, which may have had something to do with why it didn't speak to me (since I don't like horror movies, and that one in particular struck me as being lame). And I would have accepted finding out that what had been presented as a Carrieesk version of TK was really some kid using wires and magnets to freak a bunch of people out. But then, turning around and having Beckett say at the end that there were no wires or magnets found in the house where they had seen the girl using TK ... it felt a little too tacked on at the end; tacked on in an effort to try to seem intelligent and mindblowing (cuz we aren't supposed to know for sure which it actually was). If that last bit had been left out of the episode, I think that I might have not hated it nearly as much as I did. With it on there, I thought that the episode went from being marginally passable to being dumb.

The thing of it is that I don't understand why the writers are trying to shoehorn these type of episodes into the show. That isn't what this show is about. It's essentially a cop/detective show with a healthy helping of comedy. It is not a mindfuck. And I'm sure that there are writers out there who can do the murder mysteries as well as doing the mindfucks, but from what I have seen on this show, I don't think that the writers here are able to do that (at least, not the ones that have done it so far).

The sad thing is that the writing seemed to be the best in season two, and it hasn't been as good since. There have been times when it has almost felt like it might have started to get back to what it was before, but then, it veers off to somewhere else.

And I think that part of my problem with this episode might have also come from the fact that the stuff with the wedding feels like it is what the writers actually want to focus on, but they realize that they have a cop show on their hands, and they are trying to force themselves to keep doing the detective work. If they could somehow get Steven DeKnight to be the new head writer, and he could give the show some its old focus, I think that I might be a bit happier about the whole thing, and might consider sticking around (instead of thinking that I might not stay past the end of the season).

Thursday, February 6, 2014

'Dressed to Kill' -- Castle 6x14

Warning: Spoiler Alert

It seems to me that the writers are getting a bit lazy ... or at least, it seems like whoever wrote this episode got lazy. There were too many elements of this episode that felt like they were lifted directly from The Devil Wears Prada. That's fine if they wanted to do something with the fashion industry ... again ... but is it too much to ask if what they present to us doesn't smack of not bothering to think of something original? I don't think that it is.

Also, the whole thing with the employees having their homes bugged without their knowledge ... that does not sit well with me. It's a fucking fashion magazine, not anything important that would warrant needing surveillance. And just cuz the Dragon Lady wasn't the one who had done the killing doesn't mean that she wasn't doing something that was illegal (regardless of what the fine print might have said. Even if the fine print protected them while they were spying on the assistant who was murdered, her roommate didn't sign any employee wavers that would have made it ok for them to listen to her phone calls. So, even if she wasn't the killer, I still would have liked to have seen her have some kind of charges brought against her for all of the phone calls that were being listened to for which they didn't have those wavers for (and for each person who wasn't an employee to be able to bring up charges). Yeah, I'm not at all cool with breaches of privacy (no matter how someone tries to spin it).

It felt far too convenient that Beckett just happened into a dress that fit her perfectly (and which looked pretty good on her). She doesn't seem the type who likes to go clothes shopping (especially shopping for dresses), and the writers may have wanted to try and not waste time on that, but it feels a little too unlikely that she would just happen be given a dress that probably cost a crap ton. Also ... I don't recall her saying anything about getting married while she was in the company of the Dragon Lady, so how would it be known that she was getting married, or that she still needed a dress? I have a feeling that some things just aren't thought all the way through, and it might be a good idea to have a beta reader go through the script before it's presented to the head writer.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

'His Last Vow' -- Sherlock 3x03

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Yet again, another episode that makes me almost certain that everything that has been happening since the finale of series two has been inside John's mind. The fact that this episode seemed to focus so much on John (and having Sherlock tell him that the psychopaths are the ones that he choses to be around), and that we were shown a dream he was having from when he was in Afghanistan, makes me think even more that he's had a break as a result of his PTSD.

I'm still not sure how I want to headcanon Mary into all of this (who she actually is, I mean). I had originally thought that she might have been a nurse at a VA hospital, or perhaps a therapist that he was seeing, but now that she's turned into a CIA agent (and super assassin) ... I wonder if she might actually have been someone that he knew while he was still in Afghanistan (perhaps an American soldier that he came into contact with at some point). And as far as the flashdrive that had all of her information on it ... I don't see a former CIA agent having incriminating information like that in one (easy to steal) place. It just seems like a stupid move on her part, since it would put her in so much danger if someone managed to nick it from her. But then, if this really is all a psychotic break on John's part, the flashdrive was probably a representation of the part of his mind that really did know (and remember) who she was.

Having Mary be a former killer does bring a new dynamic to the character (and to the show). They could have very easily have kept her being the "little woman," even if she was really good for John (and she was good at making sure that the boys still went out and played with each other every once in a while). The fact that she was someone who was actually pretty dangerous, but who wanted to be with him cuz she loved him may say a bit about her as a person (that she's a bit tired of her old life, maybe?), but it can also mean that the boys have an added bit of muscle if they need it. I will admit, however, that it irked me a bit that Moffat seemed to feel the need to make her a for CIA agent who is able to shoot Sherlock with enough accuracy to make sure that she injured him without killing him, but had him make a comment about her inability to make the "kill shot" when she was shooting a coin that had been thrown in the air. It felt a bit like Moffat's old sexism and a need to make sure that we know that it's possible for girls to be strong and do stuff, but they're still not as good as boys at doing it. It might be that I'm being a little over-sensitive to his portrayal of female characters, but at this point, it's probably like when you build up a tolerance after using something for a long time ... after getting so many female characters (over different fandoms) that I have been at least partially unsatisfied with, I might be even more unsatisfied than I would normally be if there hadn't been a handful of them in a row from him.

I still don't know how they're going to bring back Moriarty, unless they have someone else doing his dirty work now. There was no way that he would have been able to come back after shooting himself in the head, so the only way that I can see right now for them to do something that would make a lick of sense would be if he had someone start up an emergency "If Sherlock manages to survive the pwn I'm about to lay down on him" protocol. I don't know who he would trust enough to make sure to do that for him, since I don't see him putting that video on a timer (one that would have to be reset by him every so often) without knowing that Sherlock and John were being BFFs again. It makes more sense if there was someone there who would have instructions to do some random things to get the ball going ... and what would make it even more fun would be if the person who had the instructions didn't know what they were doing, so they were causing all sorts of damage cuz they were logging into some account somewhere and clicking an ad (or something equally innocuous).

But since I really do think that this is all part of a psychotic break of John's, ultimately, Moriarty is coming back cuz John needs him to be there for some reason ... maybe so he can work out the issues he probably has with Moriarty causing Sherlock's death. So, his return will probably go just as unanswered as Sherlock's.