Wednesday, November 27, 2013

White Collar - 5.06 - Ice Breaker - Recap

Previously - Hagen ordered Neal to steal a chapter from the Musconi codex, Neal's theft got a poor archivist fired, Seigel died which probably involves Neal as well, the most evil therapist on the planet got under his skin, and he's tired of being a puppet. Neal's had a hard season so far.

Pretending to play chess, Neal exchanges cash for fake ids. Anyone who has watched White Collar knows it's an FBI sting, so it's no surprise when they come busting in. Like that Nick Halden is back in play though. Peter, on the other hand, is ticked Neal went off script with follow-up questions. Neal: "If I were up to something, you really think I'd do it when you had ears on me?" Peter and I say yes. You've done it before, Neal. Peter finally brings up the $2 million Neal snatched for Mozzie, but he denies it. Peter: "Dr. Somers had a tendency to take bad guys who want to be good and turn them into worse guys. What exactly happened during your therapy session?" Neal: "She encouraged me to be the man I really am. I think Lucy told Charlie Brown that and only charged him 5 cents." Yippee, Charlie Brown reference. No research. Peter: "And what kind of man might that be exactly?" Neal: "We were going to discuss that at our next session. Now I have to wait 20 years." Ha! Luckily Neal escapes the handcuffs and ceases the discussion. At the FBI office, Neal looks at the passports and realizes one person made them all so Peter sends Jones chasing parking tickets but confiscates the Nick Halden passport before leaving. Ha! Neal protests, but I agree. No need for temptation. Jones finds traffic footage, while Peter exposits about "Doris Day parking." He loves Doris Day too. Woo hoo! Now that I think about it, she did always get premiere parking. Maybe she knew about that underground street system as well. Mozzie would approve. Not so much of books on cryptography. Moz: "The history of cryptography, oddly cryptic." Bwah! They are stuck on deciphering the codex and not even Sudoku has the answers. Neal: "Well in a happy accident, you may have proven the Riemann hypothesis." Ha! Go collect $1 million. Moz concludes that the codex is alien. Neal: "I think you're right." Huh? Say what? Oh, he agrees they need help. Moz suggests a monk in Berlin. Neal: "You think Hagen's using monks." Moz: "I think Hagen's using you…and me." Ouch, but sadly true.

No time to chat though. Middleman's parking tickets are all from the same abandoned building…er, ice skating training center? Neal and Peter appreciate a skater's technique. Neal: "First Doris Day, now figure skating. It's nice to see your softer side." The skater's less impressed. At first glance I swore she was Alona Tal from Supernatural and Burn Notice, but actually it is Annet Mahendru from The Americans. Either way she's ticked about Peter's badge. "Put that away or you will get all of us killed." Baddie du jour, Sergei, interrupts so Neal sells himself as a sports agent and Peter as an ice skating coach. Ha! What fun. Sergei says no deal but reconsiders as Peter and Neal walk away. Too bad because Peter wants to get a warrant rather than talk figure skating. No dice. It's off to the FBI to create coaching pictures for a fake website. To be honest, it should be too little, too late. Sergei would check Peter out the second he left. Neal, however, has bigger fish when Rebecca, formerly called Archivist, shows up at the FBI. She's suspicious of Neal and wants answers. I like her. She remembers her key card went missing after meeting with him. Yeah, that's a problem. Rebecca wants to see Peter, but Neal convinces her that Agent Groytsner is the agent in charge instead. Since he doesn't exist that can only mean one thing…Mozzie. Neal arranges a meeting and rushes her away before segueing back to the counterfeiting case with Peter and Jones. He's good. The case gets interesting since Sergei is using fake passports to move Russian criminals into the US without suspicion. Yikes! Oh and Sergei is a hockey aficionado. Wrong cover there, Neal. Peter: "Alright, don't you worry about me. You just worry about becoming a top sports agent." Neal: "Con men taking 10%. I think I can handle it." Ha! Neal definitely has the easier job. Elizabeth is called in to help Peter become a skating coach overnight. They banter about their second date at an ice rink, where Peter was a pro from playing youth hockey while El did her best Bambi impression. Aww. Peter promises to teach El how to skate and she lays out a Tonya Harding-Nancy Kerrigan curriculum. Hmm, that's a long, contentious time ago. Hope figure skating hasn't changed much since the 90's.

What has changed is Mozzie's attire - he would fit in at any corporation. Looking snazzy, Moz. Love the tie. Neal's concerned Moz will go off book, but that's a pot-kettle situation if I ever heard one since they both improvise well…um, when the script needs it, and this one does. Neal's scheduled to meet with Peter and Sergei at the same time he's introducing Rebecca to Mozzie. No problem. Neal will be off anklet in the meeting and can slip away to Mozzie's chiropractor's office, which he scoffs at. Hey, I've seen you work more magic with less. The biggest shock is the chiropractor takes his staff out to lunch each day. Sign me up for that job. In a brilliant move, Neal plans to ask Rebecca to decode the codex to get needed answers and her off his back. Hmm, this could go so wrong but I like more Archivist time. Moz: "So you can reward her for your misdeed by having her reward us with her information." Ha! Best news about this con though is June as receptionist! Neal and I approve. I've missed her. The next day Neal tries to give Peter drinking tips via a trick glass, but he declines. You'll regret that one Peter. He also undoes Neal's anklet, which he may regret even more. At the vodka bar, a drunk accosts Neal about dating his ballerina sister and almost blows the con. Peter: "Why does your love life always end up affecting me?" Ha, yet not so true. Neal now has reason to leave, while the drunk has feedback for his Fiddler on the Roof audition. Ha! It's not just Neal who has to do some fast talking though. Sergei looked up Peter Neevens to zero results. Sergei: "How can you be famous if you don't exist?" Peter calls it a spelling mistake and sure enough Peter Nevins pops up complete with fake website - just in the nick of time.

It's nothing compared to the fake FBI offices Moz and June create. Neal introduces Rebecca to June: "Our office couldn't function without her." June: "He's not exaggerating." So true! Moz gives Rebecca a letter exonerating her from any museum theft culpability, but she still has questions. Not as many as they have for her. They create a classified codex case to lure her in without having to give details. Moz: "I'm afraid you're on a need to know basis, as in we need to know what you know and not the other way around." Neal adds it could be dangerous since Hagen's not above killing. Rebecca's intrigued but wants more time. While Neal escorts her out, Moz and June impersonate whirling dervishes, de-FBI-ing the office before the chiropractor's crew arrives. Ha! Back at the bar, Peter and Sergei aren't even halfway through the bottle. I foresee a painful morning in Peter's future…if he gets that far. Sergei attacked Katya's former coach out of jealousy, so Peter plays up his marriage - smart. Several rounds of vodka later, Sergei hires him but with a caveat: "Stay on the ice and out of my business." Yeah, not suspicious at all. Finally free from his vodka-loving "boss," Peter heads outside. Neal hurries over with coffee but Peter's suspicious of where he was. Neal though is delighted to see a staggering drunk Peter. It is pretty funny. While Neal gets the car, Jones confirms Neal left but he thought it better to be Peter's backup than chase Neal. Agreed. Sergei's vicious. The next day, Peter looks less than well but better than last week. He looks for his ASAC files, but El wants to talk about his return to field assignments. Peter deflects with humor but realizes something's wrong. El: "Hon, every day you're in the field, every day I…I can't exhale until I hear you walk through that door at night and I don't like that feeling." Peter says Seigel's death was random and promises to be safe, but El's not convinced. I get her anxiety, but it feels contrived and I'm not for that. The Burkes are one of the few TV couples who love AND respect each other. Their relationship is not based on fault finding, put downs, or cheating. It's rare and special. If they need extra drama, don't get it from the only TV marriage I respect.

At the rink, Peter dons his coach outfit while Neal snarks and chews gum to get in character. Huh? Is he channeling Matthew McConaughey? Neal leaves to snoop despite Sergei's threat while, under the guise of lessons, Peter gets scoop from Katya. A jealous Sergei beat her and then asked her to marry him. Katya: "If I say yes, I'll be miserable forever and if I say no, I'm dead. You’re my coach. Advice?" As Neal breaks into Sergei's office to find passport pages, Peter stalls Sergei by challenging him in hockey. One Miracle on Ice reference later and challenge accepted, giving Neal time to print a list of fake passport recipients from the computer, located right next to a loaded gun. Yikes! Especially when Sergei's cousin heads his way. Neal picks up the phone and pretends to be mid-conversation, saying his cell died. Cousin is not impressed but Neal claims to hold Katya's lucrative contract, so he picks up the gun and gives Neal 2 minutes to wrap it up. Plenty of time for Neal to get the info, snap a few pictures, and get out. Meanwhile Peter and Sergei are both impressive on the ice - right until Middleman from the opener appears. Uh oh. Peter acts quickly to keep him from seeing Neal. He shoots a puck at the wall and Neal slips out. Sergei: "What the hell was that?" Peter: "That one got away." Sergei: "Hey you know what, you're a crazy person, but I like that." Not a good sign when a psycho likes you. At the office, Peter fumes about Middleman making bail as Jones cites a court miscommunication. Neal thanks Peter for saving him and Jones exposits that the list Neal got contains some bad characters. Not that Sergei needs any help, considering he killed Ivan and dumped him in the river. That's one way to take care of a problem.

In a joint effort, Russia agrees to extradite the criminals already here but that won't help if new ones get in the US clean. Peter: "I've dealt with money laundering before but Sergei's laundering people." The team ponders how to amass the needed resources, but Neal suggests getting Sergei to host a party for all his new friends. If Katya says yes to his proposal, they have an easy solution. Neal: "What kind of fiancĂ© would he be if he didn't throw a party to celebrate the happiest day of his life?" Brilliant. Katya agrees. She's done harder things than pretend to love a sociopath. Peter and Neal join the engagement celebration along with evil Cousin. Sadly he's heading out, so Peter tells Neal to stall him. Neal: "But I'll miss your speech." Peter: "I'll make sure somebody records it." Ha! Neal steals Cousin's wallet, while Peter makes a toast: "So what I'm really trying to say is it's good to put all these names to faces, so raise a glass. Oh, one other thing. You're all under arrest." Bwah! That's one memorable toast. As the police break in, Cousin confronts Neal: "You're no sport agent." Neal: "Yeah and you're not…Sammy Jordash, really?" Cousin goes after Neal but Jones takes him down. Good timing. Sergei instead grabs Katya and puts a knife to her throat. Peter pulls out his gun, but Katya saves herself by stabbing him in the thigh. I like this woman. Peter picks up the fake passports. "You were right, Peter Nevins doesn't exist. By the looks of it, neither do any of these people." Ha! Afterward, Katya leaves the FBI office on her way to Innsbruck. "Any last advice, coach?" Peter spouts about edges and axels. Neal laughs and calls him out for having no clue about what he's saying. Katya hugs Peter goodbye, Neal walks Katya out, and Jones leads Peter to the chiropractor building. Jones says the building's completely ordinary, but Peter knows nothing is ever random with Neal.

Meanwhile Mozzie interrupts Neal's codex reading to say Rebecca called. He teases Neal about liking her and I really don't need that. Call it the Sara Effect - a little is quite enough. Moz: "Personally I don't see the attraction. She doesn't want to rob you or arrest you or charge you with insurance fraud." Ha! Moz, you got Alex and Sara, but forgot Kate. Not that it would surprise me if Rebecca is a con artist as well. In fact, I hope she is. Rebecca wants to meet at a bookstore. Moz: "You know there's nothing more enchanting than a beautiful woman cradling a classic opus in her soft, gentle hands." Neal and I stare. Neal: "Would you like to take the lead on this one?" Bwah! Not this time, Neal. Moz: "No, you're the front man. I'm merely rhythm guitar." Neal: "Yeah well so was John Lennon." Awww. Moz turns serious. "Hey, leave your heart off your sleeve." I could not agree more. At the same time Peter goes to the chiropractor's office, where he finds an FBI pen they mistakenly left behind. Hmm is right. Sadly, he heads back to the office where he and Jones look at Seigel's picture in the Hall of the Fallen. It is weird scene to randomly put in especially since it cuts quickly to Neal and Rebecca. Huh? Rebecca wants to help but she has a record for a stolen tile in Marrakesh. Yeah, she's a con. The two banter and Neal says they only have chapter 13 of the codex. Uh oh. That was a mistake. Apparently Musconi was superstitious, never adding chapter 13. Huh? I don't follow any more than Neal. Strangely we jump to Peter teaching El to skate. He catches her before she falls and they kiss under the spotlight. Aww, how romantic. Now that's how I like the Burkes.

This episode, while a little slow and somewhat forgettable in the overall scheme of things, was a good standalone crime of the week except for the weird cuts at the end. I liked Peter going uncover and loved, loved, loved June's participation in the Rebecca con. They could have spent a more time integrating her in the action but I will take whatever June time I can get. As for Rebecca, I find her interesting so far. If she ends up playing Neal as much as Neal is playing her, I could go for it. I always liked Alex because she gave as good as she got. However, I'm not interested in pushing another Neal romance. It wasn't pretty last time and quite frankly, there is plenty going on so the show doesn't need it. I'm also nervous about the conflict they seem to be building within the Burke's relationship. That's typical TV drama stuff, but the Burkes are not typical and they don't need to be treated as such. One big plus in this episode was bringing back the Musconi codex issue. If it turns into a complex, season long hunt like the music box was, I think it will be a whole lot of fun. White Collar as caper is always well done. I look forward to seeing what secrets it holds. Of course I am guessing a treasure but it would be interesting if it were a whole lot more complicated than that. However it falls out, I trust the White Collar writers have something special for us.

Grade: B

This week - White Collar is taking a break for Thanksgiving so there will be no new episode. I wish everyone a happy holiday if you are in the US and a great week regardless. Cheers!

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Sleepy Hollow - 1.09 - Sanctuary - Best Scene Poll

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Fighting Hiatus Blues: Pitch Your Show Results

The holidays will soon be upon us and with them comes the dreaded midseason hiatus blues. What's a dedicated TV fan to do when the shows they love temporarily go off the air? Why, find new shows to love of course. A few weeks ago we put out a call for those TV fans whose shows are faltering in the ratings to pitch their show. 336 people responded, representing 23 different shows. Since that's too many to include in one article, I've narrowed it down to no more than 4 responses per show. (A full breakdown of all comments, minus people who posted the exact same thing multiple times, can be found in the link below.) Hopefully, one of them will inspire you to start watching. As always, if you have a show that wasn't mentioned or if you would like to add to the dialogue, please comment below. Remember though that clear, detailed explanations get better results with the SpoilerTV community than all capitalized raves and triple exclamation mark hyperbole. Thanks to everyone who sent in their submissions. Can't wait to find a few new shows myself.

Complete Submissions List

The Vampire Diaries:   Airs Thursdays at 8/7 C on the CW. The first 4 seasons are available on Netflix streaming. Recent episodes are available on Hulu.

Paula1010 - The question is.. Why not? The Vampire Diaries is the best show I have ever watched. I love vampires and triangles, so why not to watch it? After four seasons it's still on air.

The Good Wife:   Airs on Sundays at 9/8 C on CBS. The first 4 seasons are available on Hulu Plus.

Tom: The Good Wife is the Drama series in terms of writing, directing and acting on broadcast television right now. In its fifth season, the show is on its creative peak and deserves one or two final seasons. Period.

The Americans: Season 2 of The Americans will premiere on FX in February. Season 1 recaps are available on the FX website. You can also get the discs on Netflix, although no streaming is available there.

H - I wanted to recommend "The Americans" on FX. Not only is the 80's setting an interesting look back at a time before technology ruled everything, but the heart of the show is the intense, deeply moving and often painful relationships between the characters. The show's two protagonists, Philip and Elizabeth Jennings, are KGB spies in the Soviet era who have been sent to the U.S. to live illegally and spy, all the while living a fake life and raising two children who have no idea who they really are. It's the relationship that forms between the two of them and their circle of contacts, enemies and friends that's so compelling, particularly that they have with their two preteen children. They've created a family that is genuine, and yet it's all built on a lie. They were assigned to bring two children into the world as "cover" for their spy work, and yet the show goes to great pains to show how "real" that family has become--illustrating that they've managed to commit the worst crime of all to those they love the most. The writing is top notch, the various themes brought up in each episode echoed in the arcs of different characters, and those characters beautifully flawed. This show lives in gray areas, milks them for all their worth. Highly recommended!

Trophy Wife:  Airs Tuesdays at 9:30/8:30 C on ABC.

Bob - This show is absolutely hilarious, and it is family friendly, it could fit well on Wednesday with modern family if only ABC changed their lineup, In my opinion it is the best comedy of the fall season so far

Lu - great show with a bad name, who can blame it? I almost missed the show because of the name, but I'm glad I watched it. Love those kids.

Ryan - It's funny! The cast is charming and quirky. Has the family dynamics of Modern Family, but feels more like Happy Endings or Suburgatory in terms of humor.

Siberia: Siberia's first season ended in September. It is available by disc only on Netflix.

Lost_At_Sea - Become weirdly addicted to this show recently, despite some acting/storyline mishaps, it quickly gets under your skin and has a KILLER cliffhanger that better be paid off! And although it was rumoured cancelled, it hasn't actually been axed...yet - and even if NBC do, the produces funded the project themselves so could shop it to other networks easier than most. Save Siberia!

Sean Saves the World:   Airs Thursdays at 9/10 C on NBC.

Pauline Chen - Sean is finally back to TV; don't let him go

Revolution:   Airs Wednesdays at 8/7 C on NBC. Season one is available on Netflix streaming. Recent episodes can be found on Hulu.

Wayliz - Great actors with great chemistry working with much better writing this season!

Revenge:   Airs Sundays at 9/8 C on ABC. Midseason it will move back an hour to 10/9 C. The first 2 seasons are available on Netflix streaming. Recent episodes are available on Hulu.

Aciel - The show has gotten waaaay better from season 2 though the first couple episodes of this season weren't great but it really picked up on the third episode the shows stakes are higher now and it really pains me to see its ratings drop every week I hope if you stopped watching you give it another chance.

Rosa - The show is just so unique right now it's totally back to how it was in season 1 I would recommend anybody who stopped watching in season 2 and loved season 1 to give this season a chance because the show just took things to a whole new level

Were - The plot twists and the characters themselves are more than enough reason

Parks and Recreation: This show had more than 4 submissions so I narrowed it down. You can see all submissions via the link above. Parks & Rec airs Thursdays at 8/7 C on NBC. The first 5 seasons are available on Netflix streaming. Recent episodes are available on Hulu.

The Bunk - Flawless ensemble and smart writing

Joe - It is the only comedy on TV that consistently makes me laugh every episode. It is the highlight of my week. Every actor is amazing on the show showing that comedy is just as much an art as drama and they are true masters of their craft.

Miller - Funny, interesting and lovable characters, it doesn't rely on laugh tracks to show its humor. Most of all, very heartwarming which one needs after watching so much negativity in almost all shows.

Renee - The show combines heart and warmth with plenty of funny moments. The first season is a little lacking but its second and beyond are fantastic. The characters are great and the series never fails to make me laugh. The series gives a funny look at small-town politics and the personal lives of those who work there. It is like The Office only in a Parks and Recreation department with plenty of laughs. It is my must-see Thursday night comedy and has been since it first began.

Parenthood:   Airs Thursdays at 10/9 C on NBC. The first four seasons are available on Netflix streaming. The latest episodes are available on Hulu.

Krystal - Parenthood is another gem, and extremely underrated. It is such a realistic show, probably the most realistic show I have ever seen. It's a comedic drama, but somehow there is not a single episode that I have not cried during. It's about the Braverman family, four siblings and their kids and also the grandparents are incorporated in it as well. They have covered just about everything from, autism, to cancer, to infidelity. marriage struggles, racism, poverty, school struggles, adoption, I mean just every real life situation. But they always find a way to make me laugh and cry within one single scene. It's really amazing how they do that. They are always struggling with ratings, and especially now that the show has moved to Thursday's with some steep competition, they are struggling with ratings again. One thing I can promise is that if you give the show a try, with even just the pilot, you will come back again and again because I can promise you that you will get attached to this family and root for them all.

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland:  Airs Thursdays at 8/7 C on ABC.

Janika - The show is actually very good. Adam and Eddy have yet again put a nice spin on the characters, making them much more complex and well-rounded than the Disney versions. I love Knave's dry humor and can't wait to see more of him and how he will develop over time. The love story of Alice and Cyrus is very interesting, and I love the flashbacks to their time together. Hopefully they will be together again soon. Even though I didn't much like the Red Queen in the first episode, she was much better in the second and there's clearly more to her than meets the eye. Jafar is also very intriguing, as is the White Rabbit, who is clearly the 'grey' character of the show. It'll be interesting to see which side he will end up on in the end. I know that the CGI may not be the best, but this is a TV show, not a movie, so they have more work with less time and money to work on. That's why you can't expect results looking like straight from the Avengers. They have never really bothered me, to be honest. So, watch the show, and don't judge it by the ratings. You might be surprised. :)

Setheriel - I think the show really has a place in the overall OUAT mythos and has the potential to set up many good stories for us. As well, there is great potential to see some glimpses into the past of certain characters (Cora and how she ended up being The Queen of Hearts, The Mad Hatter and what first brought him to Neverland, etc). The cast is strong, with Jafar being a particularly good villain. Great show folks, just give it a chance!

Mom:   Airs Mondays at 9:30 / 8:30 C on CBS.

Christian - MOM is not like most comedies out there. It dares to show the ugly side of the mom-daughter ugliness, but does it in a remarkably fun way. The daughter and the mother are two completely different personalities, which adds a balance for the viewer and gives us many hilarious moments. The jokes are quite original, and despite the popular hatred for laugh tracks (even though it uses a studio audience), I am being perfectly honest when I say that this show has made me laugh out loud in a way other comedies just haven't. The two female lead roles are perfect, and the show offers hilarious half-hours that I am quite sure will have you wanting more if you give it a try!

The Mindy Project: This show got the second most submissions, so again I narrowed it down. You can see all submissions via the link above. The Mindy Project airs Tuesdays at 9:30 / 8:30 C on FOX. Latest episodes can be found on Hulu. Season 1 can be found through Netflix discs, but not on streaming.

Haley - A clever and thoughtfully written sitcom for comedy and romantic comedy lovers alike. One of very few shows on right now featuring a coloured woman as a lead, not to mention Mindy Kaling acts, writes, produces, edits and more for the show. Also features the amazing Chris Messina who gives an emmy-worthy performance as Danny Castellano every week (especially when he’s acting alongside Mindy). Can’t rave enough about how much this show and all of its characters (main, recurring and the MANY guest actors) crack me up each week. I really wish that people would give this show a chance.

Isabella Garcia - Romantic comedy lovers and even just comedy lovers should try to watch The Mindy Project. Yes, the main focus is hopeless romantic Mindy attempting to find true love, but I feel that this show relies on the comedy and chemistry between the main cast a lot more. It’s written by witty and very talented writers and acted by what is my favorite cast ensemble. The characters all bring their own quirkiness to the office. Even though it took a bit of time for it to find its right footing, the episodes just keep getting better and better.

Sarah - It's an intelligent comedy with its finger on the pulse of pop culture that blends the best qualities of 30 Rock and The Office, with a talented cast and amazing guest stars. With its beautiful set design and popular costume design, it is a feast for the eyes as well. At the heart of the show, there is a will-they-won't-they relationship between Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling) and Danny Castellano (Chris Messina) that always leaves viewers wanting more.

Vanessa - Well, first, it's hilarious. So, if you enjoy laughing and happiness I highly recommend it. But aside from that, it is an extremely well-written show, with relatable characters. Mindy, especially, feels like your soul sister. She finds herself in situations you have been in before, trying to juggle having a career and a social/love life. And if you need a manly reason to watch it, may I introduce you to Chris Messina? Brilliant at everything he does. Give it a try! If you like New Girl, you will love The Mindy Project!

Masters of Sex:   Airs Sundays at 10/9 C on Showtime.

The Dane - Though the show is not in danger of being cancelled, I think the show could use a bit more attention. The show airs on Showtime on Sunday nights and is the true story of Dr William Masters. With Breaking Bad gone, this has become my new favorite Sunday show. It is a period drama with outstanding performances by the main actors. It is subtle and yet outrageous, with both funny and sad moments. I have quickly fallen in love with the characters and hope that a lot of you will feel the same way. So give it a try!!

Hostages:   Airs Mondays at 10/9 C on CBS.

Claudia - Has picked up the pace considerably since the pilot, features an intriguing set of characters and keeps me on the edge of my seat week after week!

Ine - My favorite show. It's exciting and awesome, and people would love it if they gave it a chance

Missy - Top notch actors, a good thriller that seems to be getting better with every episode I see.

Rachel - Excellent show, gripping, amazing actors and writers!

Hart of Dixie:   Airs Mondays at 8/7 C on the CW. Seasons 1 and 2 are available on Netflix streaming and the most recent episodes are available on Hulu.

Kristin Raab - It's light and fluffy. A great change from all the dark drama on TV these days.

Krystal - It's a fun, light-hearted show. With so many shows that cause so much stress and angst to the viewers, HOD, is one that is a goofy dramatic comedy. It's honestly a little gem. It's funny, it has drama, and love. It has a hot cast, and the main relationship of the show is one that I know could draw in many viewers interest. I know it seems like a silly show and that's probably why many people bypass it, because trust me, I thought the same. I actually live only an hour away from the fictional town of Bluebell, Alabama, which is the setting of the show, so I was pretty skeptical to watch on that alone. But boredom and curiosity got the best of me on Netlfix and I watched the first season last summer and have been loving it ever sense. LIke any show, it is not perfect, but it always finds itself back to the hart of Dixie. My only wish is for people to just try it after the first few episodes. I would hate for one of my favorite shows to get cancelled and end without resolve.

Hannibal: This show had more than 4 submissions. To see all of them, please see the link above. Hannibal's second season will premiere on NBC in 2014. The last 3 episodes are available on Hulu and the season 1 discs, although not streaming, are available on Netflix.

Barbara Brown - Do you like to be thrilled and feel your heart race because you are watching a show filled with moments of beauty and terror, sometimes at the same time? Would you like to experience television that will make you clutch at your armchair, and watch actors at the top of their game cause you to have feelings that catch at the back of your throat? Do you want a chance to witness a superbly crafted drama, that challenges you in a way that no one expects to find on broadcast television anymore? If you do, than run, go watch this show now, on DVD, on Hulu, wherever you can find it before season 2 airs in 2014. But be warned, it IS intense and violent, and you may not see the world exactly the same way after you watch Hannibal.

Ivy B - It might have gore and horror, but it's more of a psychological thriller, the characters are layered and fascinating, everything in the show is immaculate- visually stunning, evocative imagery, great sound design. The procedural element takes a backseat to the characters' interactions and character development. Our main hero is flawed and brittle and our main villain is fascinating and enigmatic, but they never try to pretend that he's not a villain, as captivating as he is. The whole plot of the first season was woven so seamlessly to reach its finale, you'll want to rewatch the whole season, just to admire the journey there.

Pzan - Beautifully shot, acted and presented with a 7 Season plan which will include Red Dragon, Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal. This is the definitive version of Mr. Lecter.

Renee - Hannibal deserves all the love it can get. It is a fantastic drama with great characters portrayed by a wonderful cast. If you enjoyed Dexter during its peak years and anti-heroes like Walter White this is a show for you. It provides the right balance of drama and comedic surprises to make it an effective show.

Dads:   Airs Tuesdays at 8/7 C on FOX.

Kim - It's improving

Community: Community will premiere on Thursday, Jan. 2 at 8/7 C on NBC. The first 4 seasons can be seen on Hulu Plus.

Eric Van Velson - Community is one of, if not my favorite show of all time, let's just get that out of the way. Community is such an intelligent television program and uses humor to the full effect. It blends this humor with somewhat wacky characters, some scenes of emotion and drama (albeit rarely), and a LOT of meta (mostly thanks to the lovely Abed Nadir). Every single actor is fantastic, even Chevy Chase despite his well documented dislike of the show. Every character, whether as big as Jeff or as minor as Disco Roller-Blading Guy, is fresh, new, and absolutely hilariously used. Community deserves exactly what the fans have all been asking for. #sixseasonsandamovie

Brooklyn 99:   Airs Tuesdays at 8:30/7:30 C on FOX.

Renee - This recently new series is one of the best comedies this fall season. The first two episodes are slow but the rest are a slam dunk. The characters are hilarious and the cast pull it off very well. The idea of a comedy about police officers may seem farfetched but it worked before with Barney Miller and so far Brooklyn 99 has hit all the right notes. Captain Holt and Gina are scene stealers. While the rest of the characters have plenty of great fun to add with funny one liners and physical comedy. It is one of the best comedies to watch right now!

The Blacklist:   Airs Mondays at 10/9 C on NBC.

Kat Newkirk - James Spader plays the best morally ambiguous character I've ever seen!

Betrayal: This show had over 4 submissions as well. You can find all of them in the link above. Betrayal airs Sundays at 10/9 C on ABC.

Akshay - The show has a variety of complex plots intertwined with each other, and even if romance is not your thing (and it certainly isn't mine), the show is at least intriguing. Give it some time to develop, and I think it has potential to stay.

Jennifer Grasso - Great storyline, great acting...amazing chemistry between the main characters. Sexy steamy intense and hot!!!!!

Jinx - I just love the thought of a forbidden love. It kind of reminded me of Derek and Meredith at the beginning of Grey's Anatomy. Sarah falls head over heels for Jack but they both have baggage (just like Mer, who was coping with her mom's Alzheimer's and Derek, who was married). I like the chemistry between Sarah and Jack and also the other side of the story (the murder on Lou) is interesting enough to watch the show every week!

MB Daly - Henry Thomas is a pleasant surprise in the role of a refreshing gem of a character. He should not only be nominated for an Emmy, but he should win supporting actor! This show has something for, love, family, power, politics, suspense, mystery, Original in a sea of reality and crime dramas. Beautiful acting....and James Cromwell shines! He has come a long way from Babe, baby!...and that movie rocked! All four leads are impressive and this is a show that actually keeps me guessing week to week. That hasn't happened since Lost, and that show's ending was all kinds of disappointing. Hoping for this drama/mystery to survive long enough to play out. I've got a theory...and it's a doozy;)

Beauty and the Beast - This show got more responses than all others combined. Their fan passion is legendary and actually inspired the article to begin with, so it was hard to narrow the selections down to just 4. You can see all submissions on the link above. BatB airs on Mondays at 9/8 C on the CW. Current episodes are available on Hulu Plus. Season 1 is available on Netflix Streaming.

Anne Garcia - Thank you for this opportunity for me to speak about Beauty and the Beast, a show that’s suffering in the ratings. I feel sure that if given the right amount of publicity (and, face it, a less competitive timeslot!) this show would catch on with a wider audience. First it has a terrific balance of humor, action, romance, and sci fi mythology—truly there’s something for everyone. It also has a stunningly diverse cast, which is something in itself that should be celebrated. And it’s a show that spotlights the strength of women, depicting a tough “Beauty” who can do her fair share of saving and who has an equally strong female police partner. That mix is sadly missing in television. The acting is great, the action scenes are tight, and the problems it had coming out of the gate with a few items like choppy editing and plot holes have all been addressed in changes made for the second season. Please help this show get the promotion it deserves!

JFrimpong - Do you like romantic comedies or romantic dramas? Do you like watching two people meet and discover what they love about each other and then watching them overcome obstacles to stay together? If any of that appeals to you, I highly, highly recommend the CW's Beauty and the Beast. This show is engaging, intelligent, funny, subtle television. The chemistry between the two leads will make you want to root for them. They will make you care so deeply that their every triumph, every set-back, every joy and heartache will feel like your own. This show is escapism television, and every week I watch, I'm pulled deeper into their lives. I want to know if they'll overcome the odds. I root for them as they navigate life together. What I love about this show is that the writers treat the audience as the smart, TV savvy people that we are. They don't draw out conflict, don't create conflict for no reason, don't break up the leads every fourth episode and don't let misunderstanding linger for weeks on end. The leads talk about their feelings, talk about their assumptions and work out their issues as we all do in our personal lives. And the supporting cast! They bring the funny each week. They are supportive of each other and still bring the real talk. If the leads are acting a fool, you can bet someone on the supporting cast will voice what we're all thinking. There have been times when I'm watching and I think out loud 'wait...what! noo!' And a scene or two later one of the supporting characters has the same reaction and tries to steer the leads in the right direction. I can't say enough good things about this show. Give it a chance, you won't be disappointed.

Jules - Beauty and the Beast has evolved from a guilty pleasure show into a pure pleasure. It has improved in Season 2 to be a fast-paced, more tightly written sci-fi/fantasy show that is deepening its mythology while still retaining the romance. The main female protagonist, Catherine Chandler, is a woman of color (half Chinese-half Caucasian) who loves her "beast" but also kicks butt and is a stubborn, opinionated, compassionate woman. There's also a great female friendship between Cat and her cop partner, Tess (which we need to see more of on tv). As for the "beast" part of the show, Vincent can literally turn into a beast but he is conflicted between his old self and the killing machine he was turned into. And the chemistry between beauty and her beast? Sizzling. Seriously. They give you butterflies in your stomach feelings. It's sci-fi, it's romance, and it's all built around the two leads' great chemistry. Also, it probably one of the most diverse casts on television. It's refreshing to see a show set in "New York" actually resemble the diversity of New York.

Dani K - I’m not going to gush about how, ‘like, totally AMAZING’ my show is! Or inflate, ‘like, how AWESOME’ everyone and everything is. ;) Because, truthfully, it does have flaws, as do most shows, and I have no intention of creating false expectations. (I imagine you know how it is, once you become invested in a show it's easier to overlook the flaws and see the beauty within.) You may have already watched it. If so, hopefully you will find something in my submission that might make you want to give it another chance. Honestly, when I first heard about the show and saw it advertised I thought about watching it for 2 seconds flat. I made up my mind and that was that. It would come on after one of my shows and I’d quickly turn the channel, prepared to watch reality friggin TV over it! (that’s pretty bad for me! lol) But my mom convinced me, after months of trying, to give it a chance. I thought ‘well, I did talk her into Bones, Arrow, TVD, Rookie Blue, Bates Motel, so I think it’s only fair’. And those are just the ones that she took to, although I still think she missed out on Angel and Alias. So, I turned it on one night. Admittedly I wasn’t into it at first (I still had it in my head I wouldn't like it) and spent most of the episode on my phone. But something caught my attention towards the end and I found myself mildly interested about the next episode. When it came on the next week, I tuned in. By the time the episode was over I felt the insuppressible curiosity to know how this show and its characters had gotten to where it was. So I bit the bullet and bought the iTunes season pass so I could catch up. I marathon watched all the missed episodes and by the time I was caught up I could not believe I had been missing out all that time! I was officially hooked! More so than I have ever been.

So, what is it that draws me to this show? I honestly can’t say it’s one thing in particular, but all the elements put together. It’s the characters, and how they make me care about what happens to them. How complex and flawed they are, yet worthy of having their story told. They make me want to be a part of their growth and evolution as the show progresses. The supporting characters, who are equally complex and are actually relevant to the story, not just “fillers”. Ones that, should they meet a terrible demise, I know I'm gonna be pissed! lol But having 'real', compelling characters isn't enough. They need a story and a journey that I will want to explore with them. For this show, it's not about when or how these characters will come together, it's when and how will they overcome these obstacles. Not just physical and emotional obstacles, but outside forces working against them. Never knowing what or who's around the next corner, and how will it affect them and the people around them. Its plot is woven with deceit and truths for us to unravel, making us search and guess at ulterior motives and hidden agendas. Is this person really as bad as we think? Or will they be redeemed yet? And as we all know, every journey has its ups and downs, dark and light moments. It's how they tell these moments that really complete their story lines. In this show, they balance those moments in a dialogue that feels real, not polished with years of journalism that nobody can relate to. I personally, find an episode/show that can make me laugh and cry, have me holding my breath in anticipation until the action amps up, all in one episode, impressive. What I like about the action in this show is that it doesn't always come from a car chase, or a fist fight, or shooting, but when they do use a fight sequence, I am always impressed by the authentic feel it has. And it is certainly refreshing to see a female kicking some ass! As for the mythology/sci-fi tone to it, I really enjoy how they have shifted gears and are using it and telling it from a different perspective than the first season. It's become sort of a tool this season rather than a burden. And as a result has given strength and character to the characters. It's no longer boxing the characters in, but granting them some freedom….but is there a cost to this freedom? And what will be the price?

It's the small things too though. The things each actor brings to their character. The tone of their voice, the body language, the use of their eyes (which is always my favourite…..very telling!). To the music. The right song, at the right moment can turn an okay moment into something magnificent. All of these things have together captivated my attention. I know many find the fandom to be….irritating, and I can understand that, since we are all over the internet and can be very vocal, but are, in my experience, extremely welcoming. Unfortunately for us that may turn some viewers away. I believe that it comes from a good place, is motivated by an intense passion and fuelled by the fear that comes with low ratings. Especially since, in my opinion, it is a much better show than it is credited for. I really believe if people were to give it a chance, leaving all their preconceived opinions at the door, many would be pleasantly surprised. Judging from some Reviewers recaps, people are slowly starting to change their minds about this show. I hope it's not too late. Because I truly love it and hope others will too. My show, if you haven't guessed, is Beauty and the Beast. I hope you give it a chance and come to love it as much as I do. I would love to hear your thoughts or answer any questions you might have. Thanks for taking the time to read my submission. I hope it changed your mind. :)

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Arrow - 2.07 - State vs. Queen - RANT

Note - This is neither a review nor a recap. This is a full-out, no holds barred, if I cursed there'd be nothing but symbols, complete and utter rant. I LOATHE this episode. You have been warned.

Arrow season 2 has been riding a high since the premiere. The characters are better presented and more well-rounded for the most part, the storylines more gripping, new characters have worked, and the pacing has been superb. Even the flashbacks were more interesting. The writers were riding a creative high that had Arrow tied for my favorite show of the season. All that came crashing down last Wednesday. I'm not usually one to pronounce doom and gloom over one episode that doesn't go my way. I like to give shows a full 1-2 seasons to disappoint me. However the more I like a show, the more the betrayal stings when writers and show runners throw out show integrity. And this episode was indeed a fan betrayal.

I could have taken the myriad plot points that made no sense whatsoever, the horrible pacing, and senseless filler in an overly packed episode. That's simply bad writing. I cannot abide breaking your own story structure rules. Malcolm Merlyn coming back was a betrayal. To quote Dean Winchester, "What's dead should stay dead." People can fanwank his resurrection all they want but when Arrow left in season 1 Malcolm Merlyn was declared dead. I highly doubt they would have said he was dead without a body so it's not like he vanished. I don't care who he is or what resources he has, magic Romeo and Juliet sleeping potions are a huge cop out allowing the writers to hit destructive levels of fan pandering that have left the integrity of the show in ruins. Arrow itself has become an untrustworthy narrator, leaving everything that happens on the show from this point questionable. Is Tommy really dead? What was to stop Merlyn from administering a special "take away your booboos" draught that magically healed the gaping hole in his chest? When the writers run out of ideas will he come back as a metahuman villain for a "shocking" finale? With Malcolm's return it opens up the possibility no matter how farfetched it may seem now. And what about the Count? Surely he's not dead just because he fell off a high rise with arrows in his chest. Perhaps one side effect of Vertigo is the ability to instantly heal. I mean when Seth Gabel fans start whining about their favorite being gone, it will be time to resurrect him too.

The simple fact is that by allowing Malcolm Merlyn to return, they've opened up possibilities that could ultimately kill this show. The premise was that Arrow would be different from other genre shows because it was grounded in reality. This plot reveal is about as far from reality as you can get. Magic potions, really? Tommy's death was the main reason why the season 1 finale was such a powerful, engrossing hour of TV. It actually hurt to see him die and the after effects changed almost everyone on the show. It set up season 2 to be great. However, in returning a villain from the "dead," they negate the power of all future deaths - turning it into Supernatural, which has become a sham as far as death is concerned. When someone dies in it, the first thing I think isn't how sad I am that the character is gone. I think, "I wonder how long it will be before this character comes back." Unfortunately, this is now my first thought on Arrow. To take away the gravitas of death takes away a powerful story component and betrays the trust fans have in the narrative.

And what did it gain them? Is it a decent trade-off for trashing their own story structure and the trust of the audience? I would argue no. First off, John Barrowman's portrayal last year made Malcolm Merlyn one of the most cartoonish and cockeyed villains in a sea of overacted baddies. He was neither plausible nor scary, and a large part of why fixing the villains was high on my season 2 wish list. Unlike Joker in Batman, Merlyn was laughable in a bad way. Almost every time he opened his mouth, I knew hyperdramatic eyebrow acting was coming. However, even the poor choice of a stunt casting do-over is overshadowed by the announcement that Thea is Malcolm's daughter. What kind of lame Passions-inspired farce is this? Are you kidding me? If I wanted to watch sexual scandal and Maury Povitch-style drama, I would Netflix Dynasty or Dallas. Is this really the best plot line you could come up with in order to bring back an already dead character? He's motivated by his love child. Is this kind of nonsense what passes for the impetus of Thea's character development? Willa Holland and Susanna Thompson deserve much, much better. Must you turn their characters into a bad soap opera cliché? Argh! Even the thought of slogging through this nonsense for the rest of the season dampens my hopes for Arrow. If you've run out of ideas, just say so and hire some new writers before you make this entire show unwatchable. Love child? Really? Go fire yourself and take your freaking canon retcon with you.

While the far-reaching, structure-killing elements of this episode are my main complaint, let's be honest. There is enough cringe worthy dialogue and absurd plot design to earn this episode an F even without the last 2 minutes. The trial alone is enough to make Dick Wolf weep. I know genre fans are not always compatible with the police procedural crowd, but egads! Do you think we've never heard of a trial before? The trial of the century took 2 days. 2 days! Did the trial take place in Iran? Opening arguments were immediately followed by Thea for the defense. Let's just ignore the fact that opening arguments of the OJ Simpson trial lasted 4 days, twice as long as this whole trial. Did the prosecution do anything at all? Did they call any witnesses or make any arguments? Was their entire case replaying Moira's confession? What exactly has the ADA been doing? At first I thought following the opening with Thea was a goof. Perhaps Starling City is actually located in a country where the defense goes before the prosecution? But no. The writers are just inept and they made the prosecution look that way too. Not that the defense looked any better. Also, shouldn't the legal world have questioned why the DA didn't take on this high profile case? I don't care if she was working with Malcolm or not, the idea that she hands their most prestigious trial over to their newest hire on the flimsy excuse that Laurel was there for 1 whole day should immediately bring her under suspicion while someone had best start a jury tampering investigation. Nothing about this entire trial made any sense and if this is how they intended to pursue it, they should have just killed Moira off. I understand trials are boring to watch, but this was a farce. Better they'd brought Oliver back on the guise of his mom's trial starting than the company freefall subplot. They could have had opening arguments in the premiere and then let the newscasters keep us updated throughout the first 10 episodes. It's not like their constant interruptions about the freaking particle accelerator aren't getting tedious at this point. Yes, we know it's a crucial plot point. Enough already. Better to have news reports move the less glamorous parts of trial throughout the season without having to cut into the pace instead of packing 32 of them into this overcrowded episode alone. That would have at least made sense unlike anything executed here.

To top that, everyone in the episode suddenly turned practically brain dead levels of stupid. Moira gets acquitted under very hinky circumstances and no one is worried someone in the Glades might execute their own justice? She ought to have more protection than the president at this time. Plus am I supposed to believe that neither Oliver nor Thea would be there to take her home? Really? They've spent all this time building them up as the family that can overcome any obstacle and they leave her to take a cab? Hitch a ride with her lawyer? Gah! There is no excuse for lazy character assassination just because you want to force a plot twist. Bad, bad writing! Speaking of, what the hell kind of lawyer is Jean in the first place? Telling Moira to slip out the back in front of all the media? I mean there were microphones in her face when she said it. Why not take out a billboard? Then in preparing the case did she really think the prosecution would leave Thea not visiting her mom in prison for so long unaddressed? I know the DA was incompetent too but really! Thea should never have been thrown by this line of questioning given that Jean should have prepared her for it. Then we got Shado, a formerly smart, resourceful woman, plucking out the hosen right in front of Sara, who was clearly working with the enemy before Oliver pulled her. Yes, people use the fact that Oliver forced Sara to go with them as an argument, but if someone was willing to blown me up over the hosen, I'd be very careful about whom I showed it to. As for blowing up the plane, what kind of mush-brained moron tells his lackey to blow the plane up before actually entering it to see if there is any evidence in it. He's looking for the freaking hosen but doesn't bother to see if it is in the plane before blowing it up? I had great hopes that even if he was far too melodramatic, at least Dr. Ivo would be a smarter criminal than most on Arrow. But no. He's the biggest nincompoop of them all. I no longer care what his role is; I'm just counting down the days until he dies. He's too stupid to take up story time.

Even Team Arrow was struck by brain deficiency. Several weeks ago they learned the Dollmaker escaped from prison in the earthquake and the police covered it up. Did they think he was the only one? Shouldn't finding out if any other dangerous criminals escaped have been a top priority? Felicity has mad computer skills so I find it hard to believe that the Count's escape was beyond her grasp. Besides, the whole police actually keeping this a secret was too farfetched the first time, much less the second. They better not have any more upcoming "surprise" villains. (These villains sucked enough the first time around, but more on that next paragraph.) Then they follow up the non-info by having Felicity go to the van alone. I'm not talking about Diggle going with her or even apprising Oliver of their plans. I can let both of those skate. I'm talking about her not even wearing the Bluetooth ear pieces that they ALWAYS use on missions. Always. Diggle might be sick but surely he can monitor Felicity from the Arrow Cave. After all, that's what Felicity does every single time she's not being used as bait. This makes Felicity a plot device in the exact same manner they made Laurel a plot device last season. It didn't work for them then, what makes them think it will work now? Felicity playing the stupid, damsel in distress so that Oliver can have a crisis moment and they can end with Ollicity is bad enough, but to do it in an overstuffed episode that already had crater-sized plot holes made it worse. The Count needed to have his own episode…

In as much as he needed to be brought back at all. I have no idea why they didn't get rid of him 2 episodes ago. One of the biggest flaws of season 1, according to most people I talk to about Arrow, was that the villains were too over the top. They came off as silly and were hard to take seriously. They also didn't have the depth any serious foe should have, making them like cardboard cutouts of villains in a theme park. It became a sticking point and one of the top items on my season 2 wish list. In fact, I wholeheartedly agreed with @NakiaSamuels' Twitter assessment: " I am tired of drug guy, Deadshot, & the Asian mafia chick." They were bad enough the first time around, why test drive them for a second? Then came last week's episode and imagine my surprise when for the first time, Deadshot actually felt like a human instead of something off Cartoon Network. They gave him a meaty part and included him in Diggle's character growth. It was all I could want from a recycled villain. I was eager to see if they could do the same thing with the Count, a character sadly in need of major overhaul. In fact, comparing and contrasting how they presented recycled villains in season 2 was to be the subject of this episode's review before they shot the whole series to hell in 2 minutes flat. The Count would not have come off well in that article anyway. Combine some of the most atrocious dialogue yet with Seth Gabel's sing-song, lispy delivery, and I was longing to go through the computer and push him out a window myself. Lilith says the Count is supposed to be Arrow's Joker. If so, they have missed that mark by a country mile. The Count would actually have to be entertaining instead of irksome to achieve that. Plus the Joker should be clever and witty. The only thing the Count screams is the need for a dialogue coach. If he is well and truly dead, which is intensely debatable these days, it is the only great thing that happened this episode. Sadly, I expect him to be resurrected into Blood's army by February sweeps.

Other nitpicky items that bugged me in an already abhorrent episode:

1. When the Count moves the camera away from ADA Adam to himself, he is right by the gigantic records department symbol. The Count is another in a long line of unworthy opponents who have learned nothing from other villains on this show. Why not go on TV, Mayor, and let everyone see your face? Go ahead. Blow up everything in sight and then hope that the one small item you've been searching for for years didn't just get blown to bits, Ivo? Why not give a long-winded victory speech detailing your entire plan before going for the kill, 70% of Arrow baddies? Argh! How villains manage to step out of the prison without falling is farfetched in Starling City. My only hope for a smart, chilling villain so far this season is Blood and he brings his own set of problems.

2. Namely, the super soldier serum. Call it what you will, but we've got the beginning of metahumans here. For a story grounded in reality (compared to other superhero stories of course), the producers are sure walking the line here. Before this episode I would have been wary but trusting. Now I expect people to be flying and glowing rocks to shoot forth alien people by the end of the season. Bring on the outside underwear and cape, Guggenheim. I dare you.

3. Why does Oliver take time to change into his Arrow outfit if the Count already knows who he is? He's already proven a couple weeks ago he can fight just as well in a suit. Grab a bow and go. It's not like he was pressed for time between Felicity being kidnapped and jury deliberations for his mother's trial or anything?

4. Oliver the Oversensitive. I was the loudest person on Arrowcast calling for Oliver to stop being a douche last year, so I truly appreciate a kinder, gentler, more caring Oliver this year. He makes Team Arrow scenes far more enjoyable, but even I call foul on the courthouse scene with Oliver and Laurel. Either Oliver traipsed the Black Forest opium flowers with Alice in OUaT Wonderland this week, or he's a pod person. No way anyone is that solicitous to the person who for all intents and purposes just sealed their mom's fate not 10 minutes earlier. Rationally, Oliver should be able to understand it and maybe come to grips with it after some time had passed, but not 10 seconds later. Laurel is right to be incredulous. So am I. No human being acts this way.

5. If the Count can piece together that Oliver is Arrow from Felicity's id badge, why the heck can't anyone else? Quentin has Felicity, Diggle, and Roy as puzzle pieces and he can't make that leap? Heck he's been practically nose-to-nose with the magic eye shadow and still couldn't guess despite figuring out Sara was Masked Blonde with far less clues 2 weeks ago.

6. Plus the Count calls Oliver "Arrow" but the entire time Count was around, he was called The Hood. No one officially has called him Arrow yet so how would he or Blood know about the name change. Even the media still calls him either the vigilante or the Hood. The only ones who don't are Quentin and Oliver himself.

7. And this is a big one. In less time than it takes Oliver to change clothes and hear his mom's verdict, Queen Consolidated's Applied Science department has a cure for Vertigo addiction and Diggle is magically better. Perhaps they should try cancer. They'd have it cured in a week. There is a remarkable lack of consequences for anyone's actions on Arrow these days. People rise from the dead, poisons that threaten to take down an entire city 1 season ago have fairy godmother cures, collusion in killing 503 people is a 2 day side conversation, the targeting of an entire class of people is simply political rhetoric, etc. For a show supposedly grounded in some kind of reality, there is no gravitas. If nothing has consequences, it is hard to become invested in the drama since the fallout will be minimal. That's bad drama. If someone doesn't shoot Moira in the next episode, I give up on consequences of any kind…and I love Moira.

Despite cutting the show's foundation underneath it, the character idiocy, horrid pacing, and all around execrable writing, there were a couple of positives in the episode. Of course the Count's "death" is debatable goodness, but there's no denying the touching scene between Thea and Roy when he has her vent her anger through boxing. Willa Holland is the best actress on this show so giving her a meaty scene in the midst of the chaos was a nice way to slow the pace and allow at least one character to actually react to the unfolding events. I like their dynamic anyway, but Roy has shown that he really gets Thea in the last few episodes and theirs is a nice switch from love triangles. I also found Laurel a saving grace
here, which is unusual for me. Her scene in the prison with Moira is tied for best Laurel scene in Arrow. It demonstrated how much she really cares for the Queens, beyond just Oliver, and I hope they get more scenes together. I also thought their scene in court and the one with ADA Adam grilling Thea were well done. Shocking since the trial was such a mess, but it goes to show that they could have done it much better if they had allowed it to flow throughout the season. Despite my distaste for Ollicity pandering, I also thought the scene at the end with Felicity and Oliver was well done. I don't see it as a declaration of Oliver's love for Felicity as some do, but it was a necessary scene to show the partnerships Oliver is allowing himself to have this season and good character growth on his part. The no killing rule was always going to be problematic, so it's nice to get it over pretty quickly. He would have had no choice whether it was Felicity, Diggle, or Thea and I like that he acknowledged that. Other than that, the acting was good as always and we even got an island explosion to cover the utter lack of action. Still, these small victories in no way cover up the massive failures.

Grade: F

Only Reason to Watch - tie - Thea and Roy

Screencaps by and Perez Hilton

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Arrow - 2.07 - State v. Queen - Best Scene Poll

I loathe this episode. Not only was much of it a great waste of time, but the soap opera tactics and clown villains like the Count and Malcolm Merlyn make me question what has been a superior season. Arrow is currently skating on thin ice with me. The writers had best do damage control quickly or it will go to the marathon later pile. That's how much I hate this episode, since it was previously tied as my favorite show of the season. For more on exactly why this episode sucked out loud, my rant (not review or recap) should be posted here on Sunday.