Friday, March 28, 2014

TOP ENTERTAINMENT MOMENTS: What were the best moments in television this week?

Most dramas are pulling out all the stops as the season winds down – which is exactly why I like this time of year.

This week was no exception.

I don’t watch The Good Wife, but I hear they had a big death – and we know this Sunday’s season finale of The Walking Dead is going to get bloody (and then the following week we’ll get a whole bloody season of Game of Thrones).

So, what were this week’s highlights?

5. The Walking Dead: While not as grim – or effortlessly breathtaking – as last week’s episode, this
week’s episode held a lot more hope. Not only was a determined Glen (finally!) reunited with a desperate Maggie, but the new rag-tag group also made it to Terminus. I’m a little curious about the timeline on The Walking Dead. For some reason, I have a feeling we’re going to get the explanation for the burning bodies that Mika and Lizzie saw two weeks ago in the season finale on Sunday – and I’m guessing it’s something Daryl and Rick do to Daryl’s new traveling companions. That’s a guess, though. I think everyone (sans Beth – I don’t think we’re going to find out what happened to her until next season) is going to reunite in Terminus in the season finale before a whole new set of horror besets them next season. Bring it on!

4. Justified: Boyd Crowder is nothing if not inventive. When you’re dealing with him, you can’t help but root for him – and this is a guy that killed his own cousin earlier this season. This week, Boyd’s partnership with Wynn Duffy is put to the test when Boyd smells a set up. The oily Duffy decides to go another route – his name is Picker, yes, like nose picker – and when he informs him of this Boyd takes drastic action. He takes the cigarette package he’s been playing with – one that’s apparently rigged to be an explosive device – and dumps it in Picker’s lap and watches as Picker is blown to smithereens – while Duffy watches. Something tells me that  Duffy isn’t going to try and cut Boyd out of the action anytime soon again. Now, if we could just get Ava out of jail and reunited with Boyd.

3. Bates Motel: It’s hard to watch a show and root for a teenage kid when you know that kid is going to
grow up to be a serial killer. That’s the dilemma viewers are faced with every week when they try to root for Norman Bates, a kid that has a boatload of problems and his narccisstic mother and (possibly) incest bred brother are only minor parts of Norman’s psychosis. This week, Norman took a step towards his destiny when he confronted the uncle that may (or may not) have raped Norma Bates and impregnated her with Dylan, Norman’s older brother. When Norman approaches his uncle to confront him, he does so not as a teenager trying to protect his mother but as a woman that is fighting off her own attacker. In other words, Norman starts channeling Norma. It’s a bitter and cold pill to swallow for fans that know exactly how Norman is going to end up.

2. Hannibal: Who doesn’t love a bone-chilling moment that’s left up for debate? All season long, Hannibal fans have been treated to a cat and mouse game between Hannibal and Will as Will struggles to win a fight that he can’t possibly claim victory in. That’s half the fun. We know, at a certain point, Jack Crawford is going to figure out exactly what Hannibal is – and it should be coming relatively soon. Still, when Will convinces Beverly to break into Hannibal’s house to try and find some proof that he’s right – viewers know this won’t end well. We get to watch with muted trepidation as Beverly finds her way to Hannibal’s dungeon, drops her mouth open in horror and surprise, and then turns to find Hannibal not only watching her but cutting off her avenue of escape. We know Hannibal rushes her – and we know a bullet is fired into the ceiling – but we don’t know Beverly’s fate. I’m guessing she’s dead – because it’s not going to be that easy to take down Hannibal – and we all know he doesn’t keep prisoners alive.

1. Psych: This final season of Psych hasn’t been great, but that was one heck of a series finale. The writers 
managed to weave the show’s trademark humor into the early moments of the episode and also remain true to the roots of the characters as Shawn left DVD messages for everyone in Santa Barbara before leaving town to reunite with Juliet. While’s Shawn’s goodbyes were heartfelt – and the Dobson gag with Val Kilmer was delightful – it was Shawn’s poignant goodbye message to Gus that broke my heart. Sure, I loved when Lassiter stopped the DVD – crushing it in his hand – just as Shawn was about to admit that he’s not psychic. The most important moment to me was when Shawn admitted his failings and said he felt guilty for keeping Gus from a life. Then, of course, Gus quit his job (went back and then quit again) before joining Shawn a “couple hundred miles further south” to live his adventurous life. Oh, and Shawn proposed to Juliet –but told her that he and Gus were a package deal. Psych fans always knew that was the case.

Honorable mentions go to:

Switched at Birth: This is a guilty pleasure of mine. I can’t explain why I watch it. I can say that Bay and Emmet (finally!) getting a chance to reunite at the very end of the episode was so long in coming I was starting to give up hope. I’m sure Tank will be crushed when the show returns in the summer but, for now, I’m totally happy.

Suits: Just when it looks like Louis was about to win – he ultimately loses. When Louis and his lady love can’t come to an agreement about kids the union is essentially dead in the water. Something tells me this is going to make Louis even crankier than usual.

Once Upon a Time: Call me a cynic, but I think Hook is in league with the evil green witch. I think it’s
convenient that just when Emma is about to uncover something he convinces her to get help and, when the duo return with David and Regina, the basement where Rumplestiltskin was being held is conveniently empty. It seems a little too easy to me.

The 100: I’m still a little wary of this show – mostly because most of the kids are pretty but talentless – but I am enjoying parts of it. I like the mystery, and I can’t wait to see what happens when Desmond starts time travelling. Wait, wrong show. Still, I think there’s more going on than a Lord of the Flies analogy.

What do you think? What were your favorite entertainment moments of the week?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Walking Dead is heading for a bloody showdown in season finale on Sunday

The Walking Dead is barreling along towards its fourth season finale on Sunday, which means it’s time to look back on this season with something of a critical eye.

What do I think? Frankly, it was a mixed bag.

When the season opened, we were introduced to farmer Rick, he of the long stares and garden cultivating. This wasn’t the Ricktator – a man bent on keeping his people safe. He wasn’t the wishy-washy coma victim that let Shane railroad him for months either. This was a man who was desperate to keep his son and daughter safe – and he wanted to remove himself from the action to do it.

When he did that, Rick left a void in the leadership at the prison – one that Daryl and Carol filled.

By the end of the episode, sickness had hit the prison and people were dying left and right and the safety that the prison dwellers were feeling was already gone.

This was, essentially, a group in transition.

We found that Carol had turned from a battered woman and shattered mother to a warrior with a cold heart
and  keen mind.

We found that loner Daryl was thriving in the group, not only helping with the day-to-day operations of his new community, but also bringing new people in and going out of his way to save them. This wasn’t the emotionally stunted man we’d watched for three previous seasons.

We found that Hershel had calmly adjusted to being the patriarch, and he was pragmatic about his future – and yet hopeful for the future of his daughters.

We found that Carl had done a lot of growing since having to put his mother down – and that he also was harboring some deep resentment where farmer Rick was concerned.

We found that Maggie and Glen were comfortable in their union, but they also had trepidation about what the future would hold for them.

We found that Michonne was a woman on a mission (one the others shouldn’t have abandoned) but she was also content returning to a home from time to time.

We found that Beth continued to waffle between singing sensation and moody teenager at the drop of a hat.

The first crack in the wall – other than the sickness ravaging the prison (which was basically a way to eliminate all the Woodbury people) – was when two of the ailing denizens were dragged outside and burned to eradicate the sickness.

Rick quickly deduced that it was Carol that had done the deed. And then, with a heavy heart, he took Carol
on a long walk that I was (slightly) worried would end in her death. Instead, Rick banished her for the good of the group.

Then, in short order, the Governor returned and everything our heroes had come to rely on was blown to smithereens.

By exploding the prison – and killing the Governor – the writers were essentially letting our survivors start over from scratch from a point of weakness. The group found their strength when they were together – so separating them was a great way to show the fractures that were endangering them all.

Rick, his body ravaged by a beating from the Governor, was dealing with the “death” of his infant daughter and the rage of a teenager that blamed him. The blame may have been irrational, but if Rick had dealt with the Governor back when Andrea died, then they wouldn’t have lost the prison and Judith wouldn’t have been lost.

Michonne, ready to give up after losing the group, saw something of herself in the walking dead and decided to live. She stumbled upon Rick and Carl and their makeshift family was stronger because of it.

Daryl was laden down with the annoying Beth but, to just about everyone’s surprise, she showed the grizzled hunter that he was more than Meryl’s brother. Of course, the loss of Beth has crippled Daryl again – although something tells me he’s going to find a new strength in the finale when his group collides with Rick’s group.

Carol had the most powerful growth of the season, not only owning up to what she did at the prison to Tyrese – with the knowledge that he very well may kill her ever present – but also  having to put a sociopathic Lizzie down like Lennie.

“Look at the flowers, Lizzie.”

Glen and Maggie already had their happy reunion – and they’ve made it to Terminus. I don’t think we’re
going to find the “scary” truth out about Terminus until next season. I’m guessing we’re going to get something of a happy ending this season, with Rick and Carl being reunited with Judith, Tyrese being reunited with Sasha and everyone else (sans Beth) just basking in the knowledge that most of them survived.

Do I think there’s going to be any big deaths? That’s a good question.

I think that the main action is going to revolve around Rick, Carl, Michonne, Daryl and all those losers Daryl is running around with. I don’t think anyone in that group is going to die -- which may be wishful thinking, but it's the conclusion I've come to.

First off, Rick is the main character. I think he will eventually die – but not until the final season. Carl is the new “heart” of the show, and he’s probably safe because of that. Daryl is the most popular character and fans would literally riot if the writers killed him off. We’ve also barely scratched the surface on Michonne.

Amongst the other characters, I think Sasha and Bob are the easy choices to kill off relatively soon – but I look for them to be fodder in Terminus next year. I also don’t think we’ll find out what happened to Beth until then (although that actress did have a gruesome ending on The Following this week). There’s too much emotion between Carol and Tyrese and Rick to ignore, so she's probably safe, too.

That leaves Glenn and Maggie. I am honestly worried about Glenn’s longevity, at this point (less so on
Maggie since there are so many men and fewer women). I think he’s probably a goner next season. I think they’ll wait until the mid-season finale or something, though, and then I think Glenn is going into the great beyond.

Of course, I stay spoiler free on The Walking Dead – so I could be completely wrong about everything. All I do know is that I’m sad the season is ending – and it’s going to be a really long spring and summer.

What do you think? How do you feel about this season of The Walking Dead?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

GENERAL HOSPITAL: The 10 best things that happened this week

I know I give Ron Carlivati a lot of flack for some of his storylines on General Hospital – but this past week was an example of what he does right.

Kind of.

Okay, it wasn’t perfect, but it was better than the bad storylines we had lined up before it (like Robin’s ridiculous departure and Ava talking to a comatose AJ for ten minutes before trying to off him). So, yes, I’ll take it.

RC doesn’t take criticism well (just follow him on Twitter to see that), so I thought I would do something a little different this week. Let’s talk about the things that RC is getting right.

And, yes, I know that people don’t always see things eye-to-eye – but I did see a lot I liked this week.

10. Sonny and Spencer: We usually see Sonny tossing barware at a wall, falling in love with a woman in
five minutes flat or swearing up and down that someone is dead to him. So, it was a nice change when we got to see Sonny comforting a morose Spencer. We hardly see Sonny and Spencer interact, but Sonny was the one thing Spencer needs right now: The voice of reason. Spencer’s father is too caught up in his own life to actually pay attention to what he’s doing. Sonny told Spencer a sage bit of truth: That it sounded like he was in the wrong here. That’s something Spencer needs to hear a little more often, if you ask me.

9. Fluke: It’s become obvious that Luke isn’t really Luke. I’m sure the real Luke is being held captive somewhere and Fake Luke – or Fluke – has taken over his identity. There are tons of options out there for who Luke really is, including Faison, Trevor Lansing, Lily’s father Hernando Rivera (which might explain – and anchor – Carlos’ character), Harry (Sonny’s former henchman that loved Lily and hated Brenda), etc. There are a lot of options. It’s just nice to see Anthony Geary having fun playing a bad guy – so I’m willing to suspend disbelief to watch Geary chew some scenery.

8. Alexis the spy: Any time Nancy Lee Grahn gets to do some physical comedy, I have to laugh. She’s just
so emotive. Her antics as she chased both Ric and Julian around the engagement party was a joy to watch – especially when she thinks she’s discovered Ric up to something nefarious and he’s only helping Cameron. Rick Hearst and Grahn have great chemistry. I wish the writers would acknowledge how in love Ric and Alexis were – and that he became an actual adult when he was paired with her.

7. Lucas shows that he’s a Spencer: Lucas has been something of an enigma since his return. The actor is definitely charismatic, but his obsession with Brad right off the bat was off putting. Lucas’ reaction after he found out what Brad was hiding was outstanding. He pointed out that he has ties to just about everyone on the canvas – and it was nice that he pointed out that he was sick of Brad trying to blame everything on Ellie – and that Brad purposely hurt both of his cousins. Welcome home Lucas!

6. We finally got some back story on Nathan: Listen, I’m not pretending the actor playing Nathan isn’t
wooden. He’s incredibly wooden. He’s so wooden he makes Pinocchio look malleable. Still, he is good looking and I’m interested enough (mostly about the possibility of him romancing Maxie) that I’m willing to continue giving him the benefit of the doubt. I’m really over the stunt casting that RC seems obsessed with – but Donna Mills (as long as she doesn’t hang around too long) is offering up some camp.

5. Silas and Sam have a little fun: The one thing that Kelly Monaco’s Sam never did when she was paired with Jason was smile. She was essentially a walking doormat 50 percent of the time and an extra appendage for Jason to bag on the other 50 percent of the time. Even through all the doom and gloom that a soap throws at you, Silas and Sam are having some flirty fun and it’s nice to see Sam get to enjoy life a little bit. Even her explanation of her past with Ric was nice because Silas didn’t judge her for it. And, let’s face it, Monaco and Michael Easton have smoking chemistry.

4. The performances:  Every single actor stepped up and delivered some meaty and heart-
rendering performances this week. As much as I was rooting for the truth about Ben’s parentage to come out, I felt bad for Britt when it did. I laughed at Alexis’ antics, I smiled as Sonny consoled Spencer, I was intrigued whenever Ric was on the screen and I was mesmerized when Nikolas finally learned the truth and lost it. Bravo everyone. There was no weak link in the chain.
3. Nikolas called it like it was with Liz: Listen, Liz found out the truth and she had no choice but to tell Lulu the truth. Period. I don’t believe she should have kept it quiet until after the party. People seem to forget, Liz has known Lulu since she was a baby – and they were really close for a long time. Liz should have told Lulu – the woman was suffering. However, Liz WAS reveling in Britt’s downfall, which was a little hypocritical considering her past with two of the kids she’s birthed. There are times that Liz has a hoity-toity quality about her – and Nikolas saw exactly what she was doing and called her on it. That doesn’t mean Liz was wrong, it just means that Nikolas was right on more than one front.

2. Lulu and Dante (finally!) know the truth: Baby stealing storylines drag on so long they’re often painful
by the time you get to the end. This one was no different. Watching Lulu obsess about baby Ben was starting to get painful. I still think they miscast Emme Rylan when they were looking for a new Lulu – but she was much more likable this week than she has been for her entire run on the show.  The fact that we’re now dealing with a contrived baby napping on top of everything else would actually go on the “Why RC Sucks” list – but I really shouldn’t complain. I’m just finally relieved the truth came out and Lulu can stop screeching like a banshee.

1. Nikolas finally found his backbone: Longtime fans know that Nikolas is not someone that usually falls for a woman that is obviously lying to him. The truth is, Nikolas is a prince and he romances like a Disney stud on steroids. As much as I dislike Natalia Livingston’s Emily, she will always be Nikolas’ soul mate. While I like the chemistry between Britt and Nik – she so often made him look like a moron that I dreaded their time together on screen. Now that Britt has hit rock bottom (and I’m sure she’ll save Ben and hand him over to Lulu and Dante as the first step of her redemption) I think she’s got some hard truths in her future before she reunites with Nikolas. Maybe, next time, we can get a relationship that’s not rushed to the altar. Again.

What do you think? What is Ron Carlivati doing right?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Saying Goodbye to Psych: Best episodes, best quotes

I love Psych.

I love everything about it.

I love the irreverent humor. I love that Shawn and Gus never really grew up. I love that Shawn seems to get satisfaction from driving his father nuts (something I like to do myself from time to time).

What don't I like about Psych? That it's ending.

This Wednesday, after eight great years, Psych is coming to an end and it's bittersweet.

As much as I love Psych -- and I do -- this final season hasn't exactly been great. Still, I'm going to miss the show and I can only hope that, in the end, Shawn and Gus find their happily ever after (and they're not too far apart when they do).

With the finale of the show upon us, I thought I would take a chance and revisit my favorite episodes. So, in no particular order:

Scary Sherry: Bianca’s Toast: This season one finale really embodies everything good (and hilarious) about
Psych. From Juliet going undercover to Shawn and Gus freaking out because of the “haunted voice” to Henry admitting that what Shawn and Gus thought they saw on that Halloween night so many years ago wasn’t really what they saw (and they created an urban legend), the whole episode is a gem.
Quote of the episode:
Gus: Listen, Shawn! I will not enter a room first. I will not enter a room last. I will not investigate any suspicious noises or go looking for a fuse box. And you will not, under any circumstances, leave me by myself without a weapon of some sort. Do you understand and agree to my terms?

Shawn vs. The Red Phantom: This season one episode isn’t Psych’s only trek into the geekdom of science fiction conventions, but it may be the funniest one. Between George Takei’s hilarious spoof of himself, to Shawn’s realization that everyone at the convention seems to know who Gus is to the fact that everyone seems to point out how ridiculous nipples are on a rubber super hero suit – there’s nothing here not to love.
Quote of the episode:
Shawn: This place is trashed
Gus: Maybe Johnny Depp stopped by.
Shawn: I'm sorry, did that joke just arrive in a time machine from 1992?
Gus: He used to trash hotel rooms.
Shawn: *Used* to. The guy has kids now, he lives in France.
Gus: You got a better version?
Shawn: Of course I do. How about that lame-o who's dating Kate Moss?
Gus: He's British, and nobody knows who he is.
Shawn: Okay, fine, too inside. Stephen Dorff - always solid.

Sixty Five Million Years Off: This season two episode finds Shawn in a funk because Lassiter is on a roll
and Chief Vick doesn’t seem to need him. Not to be deterred, Shawn decides to solve a murder on his own – which includes unearthing a dinosaur (and getting shot at), all the while fueling Gus' need to embrace science. Pure genius.
Quote of the episode:
Henry: You still haven't answered the question of why he dug all those holes around the house.
Shawn: Dad, that's the finale. That's why I don't invite you to these things.

An Evening With Mr. Yang: Psych goes a serious when a serial killer targets Santa Barbara as a way to
take on Shawn and his abilities. Shawn, who isn’t doing well under the pressure, soon realizes he has no choice but to play when the killer targets Shawn’s mom. This episode gives Roday the chance to shine in something other than slapstick and Gus the chance to be the ridiculously overt one – and the Ally Sheedy casting is spot-on.
Quote of the episode:
Shawn: Question, regarding the whole "Mary" thing.
Mary: My father was named Mary. His father before him was named Mary. And his father before him was named Craig.

Tuesday the 17th: Roday is a huge Friday the 13th geek – and so am I. That’s why I absolutely love this
episode. The creepy camp is a great setting – and the opening, with the Rick Astley piñata – could be one of the funniest openings on the show ever. Everything is perfectly on target in this episode, including Shawn’s realization that something is amiss – even after he’s deduced that everything was a game. Great casting in this one, too.
Quote of the episode:
Gus: You must be out of your mind if you think for one second I'm going out there. I've seen enough slasher movies to know that when a brother goes off to the woods, he doesn't even sort of come back.
Shawn: LL Cool J made it all the way through "Deep Blue Sea".
Gus: That was in the water, Shawn. With sharks. And Sam Jackson's ass still got swallowed whole.

Shawn Takes a Shot in the Dark: This is another more serious outing (well, as serious as Psych gets)
where Shawn finds himself in trouble and it’s Henry and Gus (as well as Lassiter and Juliet) who must come to his rescue. The complexities of the bad guys aren’t important in this one, what’s important is that Henry acknowledges that Shawn is tough and gifted, even if it’s not in the way he always envisioned.
Quote of the Episode:
Henry: Think you can pick up the pace... Mr. Viability?
Lassiter: There's an excelent chance I was bitten by a tick back there. I think I'm going through the beginning stages of Lyme's Disease.
Henry: Man up, detective!
Lassiter: Steroids, right? You're juicing, aren't you? I knew it!

Dual Spires: This is season five’s love letter to Twin Peaks. When Shawn and Gus are invited to a local
town for a Cinnamon festival, they find murder and a host of crazy people to contend with. Most of the extras are played by Twin Peaks alumni in this one, and the shot of Gus and Shawn riding a tandem bicycle is probably my favorite from the show’s entire run. The whole episode is surreal Psych at its best, but it's the little touches that really work in this one -- including the one tiny spot where the cell phone works and the blind photographer.
Quote of the Episode:
Shawn: Do you remember the last e-mail, the one with all those weird hieroglyphics?
Gus: They were numbers and letters, Shawn.

Santabarbaratown: This is a two-parter that takes on Henry’s former police brethren – and the fact that
some of them may have been dirty. The ending of the first episode shows that Henry and Shawn have clearly come to a place of respect, but when Shawn realizes his dad is walking into a trap – and then has to watch helplessly as his father is gunned down in front of him – you realize that Shawn actually has done some growing up. In the second part, with Henry’s life hanging in the balance, Shawn decides he’s going to avenge his father no matter what. Of course, this is Psych, so Henry makes a full recovery (complete with hilarious help), but the characters still manage to show that they are growing, even if it’s in a silly way.
Quote of the episode:
Henry: I think I should also work the case.
Vick: As what? A detective?
Henry: Nobody knows it better than I do. You can reinstate me this one time.
Lassiter: Come on, Henry, with all due respect, you can't just hop back in the game after all these years. There's been a lot of changes on the job.
Shawn: Lassie's right. For example, the bicycle is no longer just one giant wheel with a tiny one in back.
Gus: And now my people can vote.

Spelling Bee: This early episode shows how different Shawn and Gus are – and yet how they complement
each other. The always entertaining flashback shows a young Gus trying to win a spelling bee (with young Shawn’s help). When he loses, we find out that Gus is still scarred by the event. So, when a chance to visit the local spelling bee to solve a murder arises – Gus is eager to go. Of course, hijinks ensue – and Shawn might just have a secret to admit to Gus.
Quote of the episode
Gus: See, the problem is that butyraceous is clearly a round one word.
Shawn: Oh God, stop talking! I'd like to pretend we still have things in common, Gus.

Honorable Mentions:

9 Lives: This season one gem features Shawn carrying around and getting “visions” from the cat of a dead person. It’s just as out there as it sounds. Quote: Shawn: You're wrong! There is a witness. There's a cat, I wanna talk to that cat. As soon as he's finish licking himself. Wow, I'm jealous.

Black and Tan: A Crime of Fashion: Shawn and Gus go undercover as models. The slow motion walk is worth sitting through the entire episode – and that’s definitely not the only hilarious part. Quote: Shawn: I beg your pardon? My name is Black. His name is Tan. I can't believe you just made that assumption. You should be ashamed of yourself and your family.

Lights, Camera . . . Homicidio: Shawn becomes a Spanish soap opera superstar. Quote: Shawn: Do you
have any idea how many pages we shot today? Eighty-three! And I'm getting by with the Spanish I learned from Charo on "Love Boat".

American Duos: Shawn and Gus spoof American Idol – with a little help from some hilarious friends -- and they do it as a really confused pop group that involves Wham and Michael Jackson. Just start laughing now. Quote: Shawn: This is just another knock-off of the other knock-off of the original knock-off of that other show.

Gus Walks Into a Bank: If there was any doubt that Shawn and Gus were soulmates, this episode proves their misguided Quote: Shawn: And...cut! Great, dripping with swagger. Let's go again, though, and maybe ease up on the cocksure smile just a bit. I liked it, I'm just not sure it's going to play in the Midwest.

Not Even Close Encounters: Between Freddie Prinze Jr.’s hilarious cameo to Shawn and Gus wandering through the streets in masks, this whole episode is laugh-out-loud funny. Quote: Gus: He's right. It's time for you to come out of the nerd closet. Dennis: I'm sorry, guys, I just can't. I really like having sex with my wife.

Last Night Gus: This is one of those fun episodes where you start at the end and work back to solve the crime. What? Just ask yourself, how wild of a night can these guys have? Quote: Chief Vick: Detective Lassiter, why are you wearing sunglasses in an autopsy? Shawn: Chief, if I may, Lassie spoke to us all about a week ago about wearing sunglasses to all autopsies moving forward to show respect for the dead. I simply forgot. Gus refused because he has no value for human life.

Lassie Jerky: This is an ode to the Blair Witch Project – with a Bigfoot twist. And Gus may (or may not) have eaten part of Lassiter. Quote: Shawn: You tasted the meat when we all thought it was Lassie?!

What was your favorite episode of Psych? And what will you miss most?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

TELEVISION: What were the top entertainment moments of the week?

Things are starting to heat up in television land – and that’s why this is one of my favorite times of year.

Of course, I should point out, I’m also a little sad because this is the time of year where shows are being cancelled left and right, like my beloved Psych (sniffle).

Still, there’s a lot more to love than hate right now.

So, what were this week’s top entertainment moments:

5. Dallas: You need a score sheet to keep track of who is double-crossing who on this manic sudsers – and
yet it’s still entertaining to watch. One minute Bobby has the upper hand and the next minute John Ross does. Then, suddenly, it looks like Emma might be in control – that is until John Ross yanks the rug out from under her. Then you have Christopher still reeling from losing Elena – only to find out it looks like she’s double-crossing the Ewings, too. Of course, she is, but she’s doing it because JR ripped off her family first and she wants revenge. Emma is trying to prove she’s in control – but she’s losing it – and poor Pamela is going to get a punch in the gut when she realizes what John Ross is up to. This is what a nighttime soap should be. I find I have shifting alliances throughout the episode every time I watch one -- which is the mark of a good soap.

4. The Following: To absolutely no one’s surprise, Joe Carroll killed his rival cult leader this week, made a spectacle of himself on television, and was pretty much his old narcissistic self. Can’t help but be mesmerized by the performance. To absolutely no one’s surprise – seriously, anyone who has ever watched the show guessed this – Claire is alive and in witness protection. I did think it was interesting that Mike knows – and I can’t wait until Ryan finds out that little tidbit. I think the best scene of the episode, though, came when Leslie Bibb’s Jana showed her true (mentally unbalanced) colors and stabbed her ex and shot herself in the head rather than turn on Joe. Seriously, is Joe somehow magic? I really wish the police weren’t shown to be such idiots in this, though.

3. Justified: This show is good, even when it’s bad. And, when I mean bad, I mean naughty – because the
quality is always outstanding. This week was no different. You see, things in Harlan County are spinning out of control. Dewey Crowe went nuts last week and ran down a federal marshal as he made away with a huge pile of drugs that belongs to his wayward Florida kin and Boyd Crowder. Because he’s Dewey, he’s not very bright, and he goes to old friend Dickie in prison for help. Dickie, of course, sets him up and sends him to a guy that’s actually loyal to Boyd. With no other option, Dewey has to flee, leaving behind his drugs. Raylan is also looking for Dewey and, in the course of the search, he stumbles across a deranged Danny. Raylan warns Danny to put his knife down, but when Danny rushes Raylan the exact opposite of what you think is going to happen occurs. No, Raylan doesn’t shoot Danny. He doesn’t even get to scrap with him. Instead, Danny stumbles in a hole in the ground, shoving his own knife through his jaw and killing himself. Raylan apologizes to Danny – even sounding like he means it – and tells him he would have told him about the hole if he saw it. Only Justified could pull a scene like that off.

2. Hannibal: Because of the timing of when this is published, I’m referring to the March 14 episode – just FYI. Anyway, this show is more psychological nightmare than anything else. Sure, it’s gruesome (boy is it gruesome), but it’s also thought-provoking. As viewers, we know that Hannibal is setting up Will Graham to take the fall for the crimes he has committed. Interestingly enough, it appears that someone (most likely Hannibal) is also working to free Will from suspicion in regards to these crimes by dropping bodies all over town. If I had to hazard a guess, Hannibal wants to keep Will behind bars – where he has access to him – but he doesn’t really want to see him convicted of the crimes. For his part, Will is starting to realize what’s going on – so the mouse is starting to hunt the cat – and the whole conundrum couldn’t possibly be any more delicious (just as long as you stay away from Hannibal’s dinner table, that is).

1. The Walking Dead: If someone would have told me during the first season that Carol would have turnedThe Grove, we got to focus in on Carol, Tyrese, Mika, Lizzie and Judith as they try to regroup after the siege on the prison. While out looking for water, Carol and Mika happen upon a house that is ideal to defend – as well as being located adjacent to the water. Things aren’t good for long, though. Viewers have known there was something seriously wrong with Lizzie for a while, and that was before she shredded the rabbits and tried to smother the baby. This time, though, Lizzie guts her younger sister to “prove” that the walkers aren’t really dead, they’re just different. She’s about to move on to baby Judith before Carol and Tyrese stop her. In one of the best acted scenes ever by Melissa McBride, Carol reluctantly leads Lizzie out to the grove where she tells her to “look at the flowers” and then shoots the child in the back of the head, reminiscent of that memorable scene in Of Mice and Men. If Twitter was any indication, fans were fired up about what happened – and the show was shaken to its core – and that was before Carol admitted to Tyrese that she was the one that killed Karen. I can’t wait until this week. It looks like some of our heroes will (finally) be reuniting with one another.
into one of my favorite characters, I would have called you a filthy liar. Yet, here we are. In,

Honorable mentions go to:

Psych: This really wasn’t my favorite episode – but there’s only one show left, so I’ve got to give it some love. I did love the “nods” to old horror movies, but my favorite moments came from the hilariously deadpan Bruce Campbell as he was hawking his book.

Once Upon a Time: This show is struggling creatively. It’s like the writers don’t know what to do, so they keep doing the same thing. Still, the scenes of Regina and her “sister” hold a lot of promise for double trouble down the road, so I’m sticking with the show (for now).

Switched at Birth: This is a guilty pleasure for me, but I am enjoying Regina’s continued growth – and the
realization that she’s being used as a pawn for a greedy conglomerate. I can’t wait for the spring finale this week – where it looks like things are going to get down and dirty between several people (fingers crossed – please let Bay and Emmet be one of the couples).

Criminal Minds: This show has pretty much fallen off the rails, but this Morgan-centric episode had enough twists and turns to keep me interested. Nice change of pace for a (really old) show.

Bones: The revolving door of interns kept revolving this week (seriously, wouldn’t we be better off with one?) and the new arrival told Brennan he wanted to have sex with her, which had to be one of the funnier scenes this tired show has pulled out in a while.

What do you think? What were the best entertainment moments of the week?

GENERAL HOSPITAL: AJ Quartermaine -- the sacrificial lamb

AJ Quartermaine is on his way out. Again.

I am ticked off. Again.

No, ticked off is too light of a word. I am flat-out furious.

General Hospital writer Ron Carlivati promised viewers (about a year ago) that AJ’s return would be the start of the “revitalization” of the Quartermaines.

In that time we’ve seen AJ and Tracy grapple for control of ELQ by trying to concoct the perfect relish recipe and . . . nothing.

Well, I guess that’s not exactly true, we’ve also seen AJ hit the bottle. Again.

AJ Quartermaine is one of those characters that has no end of potential stories to tell. So how did RC run out of story? How did he go back to the same well?

Sean Kanan announced that his time on GH was coming to an end and that he would be returning to the Bold & The Beautiful (the worst written show on the air) because he wanted a love story and better writing.

Someone should check RC’s head for a concussion – because that was a massive slap in the face from the actor to the writer.

It’s also true.

RC had a potential goldmine in front of him when AJ returned. I mean, he was Michael’s father, he was
having some pretty righteous hate sex with Carly, he had a sweet relationship budding with Elizabeth, he had office hijinks with Tracy and he had his ongoing feud with Sonny. That was all built into the character. How much more do you want?

Instead, AJ kept dropping to the floor with panic attacks, he got one romp with Elizabeth before she started pining over Nikolas (her worst pairing ever) again, Carly moved out of his orbit to prop the serial killer with a brain tumor and AJ then went to jail (offscreen) for months for possibly killing Connie.

Wow, RC, you’re right. That really did revitalize the Quartermaines.

Now, AJ is in a coma after Sonny shot him, and Ava is trying to unplug him every chance she gets. So Sonny gets to ruin AJ’s life. Again.

I realize that RC is a plot-driven writer and he cares nothing about character but, come on. Fans are willing
to settle for scraps at this point and RC has tossed us out into the desert where we have to watch him prop his favorite characters while ours wither and die.

At some point, RC is going to have to learn that we don’t appreciate our favorite characters being decimated. I would have thought he learned his lesson when he sacrificed Marty on the altar of Natalie on One Life to Live. Unfortunately, he did almost the same thing when he sacrificed Robin on the altar of Sabrina.

Now, AJ is being sacrificed on the dual altars of Ava and Sonny (who are destined to hit the sheets soon to really gross me out).

So, RC, you failed again. Which beloved vet are you going to ruin next?

What do you think? Are you angry about Kanan’s departure?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Robin’s (really long) goodbye

As a Robin fan, I’m not exactly thrilled with her departure from Port Charles.

Big shocker there, I know.

Still, there were a number of different ways for Robin to exit the canvas that weren’t also tantamount to character assassination.

Robin was held captive for two years. Maybe she was having trouble with her HIV meds and had to go to a clinic in Europe for treatment? Then, even though she was off screen, Patrick and Emma could mention visiting her there.

Or, Robin’s parents are spies. Maybe she had to go somewhere to help Robert or her godfather, Frisco. Maybe Sean Donnelly needed help with his polonium treatments? He was her godfather, too, don’t forget.

Or, if he wanted to go for maximum drama, maybe Robin should have told Patrick to “stick it” when
he said he had to think about his decision about whether or not he wanted to be with her or Sabrina.

Personally, if I were Robin, I would have told him to go to Sabrina and taken Emma and ran at that moment. It was so out of character for Patrick, a man that had been pining for his dead wife for two years, that it was insulting to viewers to sit there and actually watch him struggle with a decision between his soulmate and the babysitter.

The man was looking for his dead wife an hour before he was going to marry another woman, for crying out loud.

As you can tell, as a longtime viewer, I’m still insulted by the whole thing.

Robin and Patrick could have easily split up without making Robin a bad mother. As it stands now, though, she joins a long list of deadbeat parents that include her own parents, Lucky Spencer, Frisco Jones, Felicia Jones, etc.

Why couldn’t Ron Carlivati just have Robin and Emma visiting off canvas? Is that so hard to do?
Instead, we were treated to Robin leaving her family – mere months after reuniting with them – to save Saint Jason of the Docks, the patron killer of mob foes everywhere. Really? Will Robin propping Jason ever end?

On a side note, though, anyone else want to die laughing when Robin approached the frozen receptacle that supposedly housed Saint Jason’s earthly remains? That was inadvertent soap comedy at its finest.

Personally, I know people online are buzzing about a possible recast for Jason, but I don’t see that
happening any time soon. This is just a tease. Robin is going to be working on resurrecting Helena and Stavros first – off screen. I don’t think we’re looking at a Jason recast in the near future. To be fair, though, he’s not really needed right now.

Back to Robin’s goodbye parade, though. I can’t help but feel Robin’s departure feels rushed (despite her saying goodbye to everyone multiple times) because so much of her early return was spent lounging around Spoon Island with super villains and acting like an idiot. Boy did Carlivati screw that one up.

So, as it stands, Robin is gone again and Patrick is left an emotional wreck. Again.

I see some Sabrina fans clamoring for her to reunite with Patrick and I’m all for that. I have not hated a character as much as I hate Sabrina since Courtney (and Lily before her). I think Sabrina deserves a man that will never pick her as first choice and made out with another woman at his wedding to her. She’s the perfect character to end up second choice, because she’s always been fine acting as a walking doormat for Patrick as it is.

The simple truth is, Robin will return to GH. Whether it’s to usher Patrick off the canvas when Jason Thompson is finally ready to leave or whether it’s when General Hospital is finally cancelled, it is going to happen. So all the complaints about a “revolving door” kind of fall on deaf ears where I’m concerned.  Kimberly McCullough’s return boosted GH’s ratings to the highest level in years. I’m always going to welcome Robin back.

It’s her current departure that has me fuming.

What do you think? Are you a fan of how they wrote out Robin this time?