“Oh god no. We’re still on the air?!”
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland took a big risk reuniting Alice and her long-lost love Cyrus in episode eight of the first season. Perhaps they worried viewers were tired of her quest to find someone she’d barely shared the screen with.
They were wrong. This is worse. So much worse.
Now that they’re in the same room, it’s apparent that Alice and Cyrus have no chemistry. Each time they kiss, you’re expecting to hear raw, sandpapery sounds. As for the journey now, they’ve teamed up with Queen Big Lips to find the Knave who — plot twist! — has turned into a genie.
It’s a transference of problems. The plot’s exactly the same: Jafar needs a genie, someone who loves the genie is trying to save him, friends help find the genie. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a plot twist that gave us the exact same plot as before. So I suppose that’s an accomplishment.
“Wait, you’ve got to be like, 28 years old, right? And you’re supposed to be a junior in high school?”
There’s a misconception that the CW casts a bunch of awful young actors for their awful new shows. Wrong! The CW also casts equally awful grown-ass men (and women)!
Take the school meeting scene from episode two of Star-Crossed. Parents are debating whether or not the aliens should be allowed at school functions like the homecoming carnival. And before I leave you hanging on that detail — yes, it’s an actual carnival. With games and ferris wheels and funnel cakes. School graft on a scale that would make Putin jealous is apparently an integral part of The Future.
Some parents are bringing up safety issues. Others are mentioning fights at school. And then a lady stands up and says, ”WHAT ABOUT THE HOMECOMING CARNIVAL?”
Scale back the outrage, lady. This is a CW show about an alien and Coach Taylor’s daughter from Friday Night Lights falling in love. You will not be winning your Emmy here. Continue reading
“I’ll be here all day. Giving zero fucks.”
At the halfway point of its first season, the writers of Reign have stumbled onto an unfortunate truth: Their only character worth a damn is Queen Catherine, and no other character on the show is smart enough to unseat her.
In episode ten, Mary leaves her ladies-in-waiting in charge of watching Queen Catherine in her tower jail cell. Yes, Kenna, Greer and … Whatserface are supposed to rub their four brain cells together to keep Catherine in custody.
Catherine’s insult game is predictably strong. She makes fun of Kenna for being the king’s rejected whore (totally legit), Greer for selling herself to gain wealth for the family (fair) and … we’ve got nothing for the third one because who are you again?
Meanwhile, acting king Bash — who is left in charge of the entire nation of France while his father King Henry seeks his legitimization by the pope — is attacked by an old lady with a letter opener in the world’s weakest assassination attempt.
“Do you think Lord Hugo is behind it?” Mary asks, as if we’re supposed to know who Lord Hugo is. Continue reading
“Why are we doing this? Is this supposed to be some kind of E.T. thing?”
Ah, the future. So elusive, so unknowable. So filled with wonders.
Or, in the case of Star-Crossed, exactly the same as the present except with more roombas and twinkle lights.
The CW’s latest pilot begins mere months in the future — it starts on Sept. 17, 2014 in case its teen audience has too much trouble imagining events beyond spring break — and opens with a direct ripoff of District 9. An alien spacecraft is hovering over America and its inhabitants are forced to live in a ghetto below the moored ship. Stop us if you’ve seen this before.
Our future star-crossed lovers, Emery (Aimee Teegarden from Friday Night Lights) and Roman (Matt Lanter from the 90210 reboot), meet as six-year-olds. Roman and his fellow aliens come to earth wearing Asian-inspired sleepwear so we know right off the bat that these Atrians are real connoisseurs of comfort.
Emery finds Roman hiding in her shed, brings him cold spaghetti and forces him to sit through a boring demonstration of how cat’s cradle is played until he’s likely contemplating either building a spaceship to go home or just killing himself right there. So great plan, little girl. Continue reading
“Is she dead yet? Oh great, she is!”
From the last two weeks of Beauty and the Beast insanity, as the show draws ever closer to its cancellation date…
- In episode eleven, Cat, Vincent and Gabe try to find the owners of the necklace that has beast-controlling properties. This escapade begins with Vincent luring the potential goons to his apartment. And then he kills one by throwing a kitchen knife at him while Gabe, the district attorney of New York City, shoots the other guy dead. Luckily, that won’t hurt Gabe’s election chances because they can just toss those bodies in the waters off Vincent’s houseboat. And to think Chris Christie can’t even say the word “bridge” without people freaking out.
- Ah, Beauty and the Beast returns to its bread and butter: police ineptitude. In an unbelievable turn of events, six men with cartoonish Russian accents hold the entire precinct hostage! Also, beloved Freddy, a desk cop we met mere minutes ago, is shot and killed. Sad music reminds us that we’re supposed to be sad.
- Mid-hostage situation, Gabe tells Cat, ”When this is over, I’m in. I want to be with you.” Not really the best time, Gabe. Continue reading
If we stare at this long enough, maybe the plot will reveal itself.
I’ve seen five seasons of The Vampire Diaries. I watched all 118 minutes (or was it hours?) of Battlefield Earth. I own a copy of Bronson Arroyo’s album of cover songs.
It took just ten minutes for ABC Family’s Ravenswood to break me.
At the one-minute mark, I paused the pilot because I thought I’d accidentally started the second episode. No pilot could have so many choppily edited scenes in the first minute. We were flashing back constantly. But no, this was it. This was the most awesome — awesome in the way that atomic bombs are awesome; they fill you with awe — piece of narrative shortcutting I have ever seen. It was in media res as it’s never been done before.
Shot with all the quick-edits of a “last week on…” segment, the first minute of Ravenswood goes like this: We meet Caleb (from Pretty Little Liars) and Miranda (Heather from CW’s Beauty and the Beast) Continue reading
We all look very period-appropriate and not-ridiculous, thank you very much.
This week on Reign: The king of France decides to legitimize his bastard son and make him the heir to the throne; the French court lets a Scottish teenager dictate the terms of a marriage arranged when she was a toddler; and Nostradamus gets prison-shanked by a deformed manchild who wears a burlap sack over her head.
When we last left the writers of this god-forsaken show, they were apparently reading the Wikipedia page for Mary Queen of Scots while furiously huffing paint. After a strong free-association session, they went with “all of the ideas” and jammed them into this inexplicable 45 minutes of television.
There are many things that make Reign one of the most offensively stupid TV shows I have ever seen. But nothing — nothing — comes close to the plotline wherein the bastard son of the king is going to be made his legal heir. There is no precedent for it. It is laughable. Beyond ridiculous. It would upend the very concept of royal succession. No pope, let alone a king, would advocate for it.
(Quick aside: Even if the pope were to sanction this move, Continue reading
Look a little less excited to be here, guys.
The CW is lucky that no one watches Beauty and the Beast. Otherwise, the law enforcement branches of America might sue them for defamation.
The ineptitude and lack of professionalism displayed by the FBI and police on Beauty and the Beast is astounding. It goes beyond anti-cop sentiment and fringes into “basic misunderstanding of how workplaces function.”
In episode ten, Cat, Tess and Gabe are urgently summoned by the FBI. They meet in what appears to be the basement used for storage by NYPD. The FBI lady unzips a body bag to show them a dead woman inside. No one blinks. Right, standard protocol to take a dead body into a basement and show it to your friends.
“We were staking her out,” FBI lady explains. Aaaaand then they shot her. So this is going great so far. Continue reading
Great, look what happened. You pissed off the Ents.
Most of the time, Sleepy Hollow is a lot of fun. It’s campy and goofy and doesn’t take itself too seriously (cough, Dracula, cough). I’ve contemplated taking it off my list of “bad” TV altogether. But, at least for now, I’ll keep it on here. If only because goddamn, this show is lazy.
In episode eight, Abbie picks through a pile of books before she finds Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka.
“You know,” she says. “There’s been some pretty good American literature in the last 200 years.”
ARRRRGGGHHHHHH. I’m not even going to tell the writers to Wikipedia that. Nothing can help them.
Then there’s narrative laziness. Like in episode nine when the writers need to write themselves out of a locked house mystery. Instead of figuring out what’s going on in the house, suddenly Abbie has the power of second sight. Yup, that’s a solid cheat that she magically developed. Continue reading
“I’m Vincent Keller, and I’m hosting a press conference in my bathrobe for no apparent reason.”
The most annoying thing about Beauty and the Beast is how Cat and Vincent keep breaking up. They’re off for 35 minutes of the episode, then on again for the last five. It’s not love; it’s a co-dependent relationship.
Unfortunately, that’s what I seem to have with this show.
I keep telling myself I’m going to stop watching it. That I’m bored and I can’t possibly sit through one more episode. But wait, the nagging voice in my head says. Maybe this is the episode they blow everything up and start over. Maybe it will get crazy and fun like it used to be. I still remember that spark. I STILL REMEMBER.
That memory grows fainter with each week. “Don’t Die on Me” treads the same tepid water as the midseason finale. Cat’s moping around getting over Vincent. Vincent is in danger. A pointless secondary female character does aggravating things. A sampling of the inanity: Continue reading