I was going to give Do No Harm a try. Really, I was. I like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and sometimes modern-day takes on classics can be … not horrible.
So I was going to watch NBC’s tale of a surgeon with an evil alter-ego (who comes at 8:25 p.m. and leaves at 8:25 a.m., like just because you’re an evil alter-ego, it doesn’t mean you can’t be punctual and reliable, right?), but then I saw this.
So I went to bed instead.
So, this weekend, after finding out a dear family friend had died, I did that thing I always do when someone I love dies: Waffle between wanting to do something productive and important with my life while there’s still time and stagnating in a pool of my own misery.
Guess which I chose?
(Hint: Did you guys know there’s a drink called the Vicious Sid? It’s got Southern Comfort in it!)
Whilst stagnating, I ended up watching 666 Park Avenue again. (I’d missed it the week before because sleep seemed much more important than a mediocre TV show.) And it was much worse than the pilot episode. Which was odd, I thought, because TV shows usually improve a bit after a pilot. Not 666 Park Avenue, though.
This week’s episode had the creepy little girl in the haunted cellar room, plus Boring Male Main Character falling deeper into the machinations of eeeeevil Terry O’Quinn, plus some stupid side-plot about an obit writer. The rest of the episode was no great shakes (like, why did they have Clark Johnson [aka Homicide's Meldrick Lewis] even bother to show up if they were just going to shove him down an elevator shaft right away?), but the obit writer plot was OH SO ANNOYING.
Like, this chick is bitching about writing obituaries (which, yeah, as a former obituary clerk, I realize it’s not the most fun job at a newspaper) because she wants to write important stories that mean something. Right then, I began to hate her and root for her eventual trip to hell. Because who cares about stories that mean something now that the Internet, right? Anyway, after speaking with eeeeevil Terry O’Quinn, she decides to completely lie in an obituary. I’m not sure how she came to this decision after her talk with eeeeeevil Terry O’Quinn, but she did. Because everyone respects a journalist who makes up stories.
And, to her surprise, the lies she wrote about this guy come true! So she makes her mom’s obit better and then she’s all of a sudden assigned an article about this bad guy she made up for the first obit, and that makes him come to life somehow and he comes to 666 Park Ave. and hurts her a lot. Which, kind of abrupt, no? Like, she barely had time to descend into eeeevil. More like stuuuuupidty. But the important thing is, she’s probably dead, so her storyline won’t be stinking up my TV anymore.
Which brings me to my next point: Why don’t any of the storylines not suck?
We’ve got the failed playwright who maybe wants to have an affair with his wife’s assistant, aka the yoga chick who strips in front of her window in the apartment across the way. We’ve got the mystery death of eeeeevil Terry O’Quinn and botoxed Vanessa Williams’ daughter. We’ve got the Boring McBoringsons, who are boring and still refuse to just hurry up and go to hell already. We’ve got NO MELDRICK LEWIS BECAUSE THEY THREW HIM DOWN AN ELEVATOR SHAFT DAMMIT.
All of this adds up to a lot of stuff going on at 666 Park Avenue and none of it worth watching.
(Also, where was Dr. Dave this week? Did he get dragged off to hell in that episode I missed?)
So, last night, rather than watching the Grammys because, like my local Burger King, they don’t realize that adding an s changes the y to an ie, and also because they are boring, I decided to give Once Upon a Time another shot.
This was no random decision. Earlier in the week, while watching a show that I just can’t get enough of for some reason, I saw a commercial for this week’s Robert Carlyle-heavy episode of Once Upon a Time, which I shall now abbrievate as OUaT, until I forget to.
“Robert Carlyle?” I said. “I love that guy. Also, nobody tell me I’ve been spelling his name wrong all along, like I do with Ian McKellan and Dan Akroyd. (Or, you know, like I just did.)” (I swear, someday I’ll get them right without googling! I love you, Ian McKellen and Dan Aykroyd! I just suck at spelling your names!)
Back on point, though: Robert Carlyle is awesome, and he’s on OUaT right now, which it turns out is really irritating to abbreviate like that, so back to spelling it out it is.
Anyway, Robert Carlyle (who is awesome) plays Rumpelstiltskin on Once Upon a Time, and this particular episode was set up in a sort of “Beauty and the Beast” little dealie, with Emilie de Ravin, who is just sooooo pretty!
So I was like, OK, Show, if you can’t win me over with Robert Carlyle’s awesomeness and Emilie de Ravin’s prettiness, then you can’t win me over at all.
And, apparently, it can’t.
There were some good things about the show, like Jennifer Morrison wasn’t in it a lot, because every time she was in it, I was irritated by her character. Also her annoying little son only had a few minutes of screen time, so that was good.
But ROBERT CARLYLE IN LEATHER PANTS.
You guys! ROBERT CARLYLE IN LEATHER PANTS.
Also, the show was predictable and a bit boring, and why did Emilie de Ravin fall in love with Rumpelstiltskin anyway? Because he didn’t let her fall on the ground that one time?
Also, did the directors tell everybody to be so campy just because they’re fairy tale characters? Ughhhh, and why with the “Girls Night Out” storyline?
So, yeah, Once Upon a Time did not redeem itself in my eyes and, also, I can’t stop thinking about Robert Carlyle in leather pants.
Yea! Somebody finally decided to take House out behind the back shed and shoot it in the head! I’m so happy, but I could be happier, like, if they had done this four years ago when the show first started to suck.
I mean, look, I love seeing Hugh Laurie on my television screen as much as (if not more than) anybody, but this show was doddering along like a senility-stricken elephant.
It’s the show’s time, you know?
God bless you, Fox.
Now, please, let Fringe end on a good note.
Look, I want you to know I’m sorry I stood you up the last three Fridays. It’s not that I didn’t want to see you, it’s just that … well, I kind of assumed you’d be on holiday break, like all the cool kids. Also? I didn’t want to see you.
What? No, don’t cry. It’s not you, it’s me.
You know what, Chuck? I can’t lie to you. Not with your big pleading puppy dog eyes. Not after what we had together. It is you. It’s very definitely you. I mean, sure, I’ve changed and grown, but there could still be room in my heart for you, if you hadn’t started to suck so damn bad, that is.
No, please don’t cry. It’s not your fault.
I blame myself for this. Oh, sure, I never signed an online petition to keep you on the air, and I never bought Subway sandwiches to keep you on the air (I’m sorry, but they’re just gross, I don’t care what Big Mike says, and I love that guy!), but deep down, I always kind of hoped you would stay on the air.
But just through the fourth season, because everybody’s fifth season sucks and, dammit, Chuck, you are ruining all the good feelings I had for you. I tuned in to you because Chuck Bartowski was a sweet, cowardly little ball of fluff who was working on becoming a better person! Because John Casey and Sarah Walker were genuinely terrifying people who were willing to stop at nothing to complete an assignment. And now what do I see? Everybody’s a big cuddly ball of fluff and no one’s just flat out murdering anybody for the good of the country anymore and I really miss that dichotomy.
Also, bring back Anna Wu!
In conclusion, it’s over. For reals this time.
Good luck in your future endeavors, show. I’ll never forget you. Except for the fifth season so far, because I really really don’t want to remember that.
So I went into ABC’s Once Upon a Time with kind of mixed expectations. Like: 1) Everything I’d heard about the show made it sound like a really bad Fables ripoff, but 2) I saw some ads that made it look pretty cool.
Well, let me tell you folks: Those ads were lying. There were absolutely only three cool bits in the whole thing. 1) Robert Carlyle is Rumplestiltskin (yea!); 2) Prince Charming getting into a swordfight while holding a baby; 3) The special effects as the Queen and Snow White were swallowed up by the curse.
So why didn’t I like Once Upon a Time?
Well, first off: Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan, our heroine who is a badass chick who is Snow White and Prince Charming’s long-lost baby child! I had no problems with her portrayal, and I didn’t hate her on House, and I do think she’s quite pretty, but there is no way in hell I will buy that woman is 28 years old. Like, seriously, if Jennifer Morrison is actually 28, then girlfriend needs to start using sunblock and hydrating more.
Then: The adopted child seeks out his birth mother (Emma) because his real mother (the Evil Queen) doesn’t love him. Feh, it would’ve been a lot more interesting, in my opinion, if the Queen had gotten trapped in her own curse and actually forgot herself and ended up loving the kid.
Also: Snow White going on about how all adopted children wonder “Why would someone give me up?” Speaking as an adopted child myself, the answer to that question is “Because they wanted me to have a better life than they could provide.” Seriously, guys! If your birth mother didn’t love you at all, she didn’t have to give birth. She obviously loved you enough to want you to have a chance at life, and even possibly a good one. (And none of that rant was funny, and I’m sorry, but it pisses me off how people always assume adopted children have abandonment issues! Look, people, my crippling self-esteem problems come from years of being bullied, not from having two mommies who love me!)
And speaking of Snow White: I thought Snow White was supposed to be beautiful. Ginnifer Goodwin is just cute. And with that short haircut, very big-eared and boyish. And round-faced. (I guess I don’t like round faces.)
And speaking of Snow White some more: Of course she loves birds and has one nest on her finger and volunteers in the coma ward. She’s Snow White!
Oh, yeah: And Emma has the “superpower” of knowing when people are lying to her. Whatever. Of course she uses that “superpower” to be able to tell that the Evil Queen doesn’t love l’il Henry (Emma’s birth son) after all!
By the way: Red Riding Hood tossing that red scarf over her head was painful, not cute and funny.
In conclusion: The whole thing was actually very boring, except for the aforementioned sword fight, which I forgot to mention Prince Charming fought while wearing leather pants. So there’s that.
Of course: There’s no way you can do “fairy tales in the real world” and escape the inevitable Fables comparisons, unless you guys haven’t gotten round to reading Fables like I keep telling you to. So, anyway, go and read Fables. Especially if you’re thinking about watching this show, because Fables is much, much better.
(The TV show, not the titular character.)
Lately, I’ve been feeling like maybe we need some time apart. Sure, we had a pretty good run together. I’d leave work early to get home in time to watch you, and curse work for not paying me enough to be able to afford DVR and having to take a really short lunch break so I could leave early. But you know what? The sacrifice was worth it. You were so cute, with your pop culture geek references, and your espionage and your action sequences, and the way John Casey growled a lot.
And, yeah, I’ll admit it: I loved you. I loved you a lot. It made me happy to be with you.
But things have changed, Chuck (the TV show). And I’m just not feeling it anymore.
In fact, the other day, someone asked me when the new season begins … and I didn’t know. And worse? I didn’t particularly care.
And that’s when I knew, Chuck (not Bartowski, but the show he stars on). The magic is gone.
I mean, Morgan as the Intersect? Come on, show, really? And Chuck is married to Sarah? I mean, I was shipping them as hard as the next guy, but you end your series with a wedding. (Not that I blame you for not getting canceled after your fourth season. I mean, we all kind of expected it.)
And Casey? Well, Casey’s just not killing as many people as he used to do, and that makes me deeply, deeply sad.
But I don’t want it to end like this, Chuck. I’ll give you a chance. I’ll watch your fifth season. I mean, sure, it’ll feel like that relationship where the one just doesn’t go away and the other is too lazy to make them, but hey! Lots of marriages work like that.
I’m just saying, Chuck, don’t be disappointed now that I’m seeing Fringe on Friday nights. I have a feeling we were meant to be.
So, before Jerry Orbach died, Law & Order: Original Flavor was one of my absolute favorite shows. After Jerry Orbach died, I tried to keep watching it, I really did, because S. Epatha Merkerson and Sam Waterston. But it just wasn’t the same.
And during those years when I watched L&O: The First, and Best, One, there was a revolving door letting in assistant district attorneys to Sam Waterston. And the first of these (that I can remember) was ADA Claire Kincaid, aka Jill Hennessy. (Well, the character wasn’t aka Jill Hennessy, but that was the actress’s name, and … you know what? Never mind.)
After leaving L&O in a blaze of car-crashing, affair-with-Jack-McCoy-revelating glory, Hennessy went on to star in Crossing Jordan, aka that show I only watched a couple of times when there was nothing else on and books just seemed too heavy and complicated and I swear, I didn’t wait every week for it to come on. And after that …?
Let’s find out, shall we?
Jill Hennessy was born in 1968, along with her twin sister, Jacqueline, bringing joy to lovers of attractive brunettes everywhere. Well, eventually, because if you rejoiced when they were babies, then ewwww.
Her first role was in 1988′s Dead Ringers, which is a movie about twin gynecologists, which means you’ve lost me right there. Apparently, it’s quite good, but twin gynecologists. In 1989, she moved on to a television show called The Hitchhiker, which I can only assume was about someone who hitchhiked around America either solving crimes or committing them, with everybody learning a nice little moral lesson at the end. She was in two different episodes under two different names, so possibly two different characters? In 1990, she moved right on along to the role of Hooker on C.B.C.’s Magic Hour. Possibly it was a character whose last name was Hooker, but probably not.
Speaking of hookers, her first role on the Friday the 13th television series (I know! I’d completely forgotten about it too!) was Spanish hooker. I don’t think she’s really Spanish, though. She also played Vampire Woman, Secretary and Lifeguard over the course of 1989 and 1990, because somebody at Friday the 13th either really liked her or didn’t realize they kept hiring the same woman repeatedly. Also, there used to be a War of the Worlds television series, which I had no idea!, and she was in two episodes with two different names again.
A few more TV series here and there and then, boom, catapulted to fame by 1993′s Robocop 3. Ha, no, I’m just kidding. Nobody watched that. But she was in it, if it shows up one of these days and you’re just too lazy to change the station. (Seriously, though, don’t get caught in that situation.) Also in 1993, she was in some German film that I don’t care about (sorry, Germany!).
But most importantly in 1993, Law & Order: The Best One of All!
And then also in 1994, some movie called The Paper, and in 1996, I Shot Andy Warhol (is the name of the film and not a thing I did).
After her stint in Law & Order, she went on to a bunch of movies that I don’t feel like listing, except for Komodo, which I swear one of my other “Whatever happened to…?”s was in too, as Victoria the Shrink. Seriously, there are a lot of them, and I’m not listing them and you can’t make me.
In 2001, NBC picked up a show about coroners who solve crimes, and I blame CSI for that. That show was Crossing Jordan, which I only watched a few times, and mostly for Miguel Ferrer and Jerry O’Connell. Also? That show was on for six seasons, so I am feeling even less embarrassed about the few episodes I watched because I thought it was only on for two or three years, so I very definitely did not watch all of them.
Anyway, in 2007, Crossing Jordan bid the world of television adieu, and Jill Hennessy went on to some indie film called Lymelife before taking a two-year hiatus until 2010, which saw The Roadie and Small Town Murder Songs, which actually sounds like it should be a Nick Cave album.
Since 2010, I’m not quite sure what she’s been up to, but she did release an album in 2009 and sang at 2010′s Lillith Fair, so let’s just go with “she’s concentrating on her music career.”
Dear Chess, also known as Peter Fleming, also known as the best character on The Cape, the show I am only watching because he is on it,
I love you.
Why do I love you? Because you are the best character on The Cape, even better than Rollo the dwarf strongman and Lollipop the dead raccoon. (No! Lollipop! WHHHYYYY? Couldn’t they afford the animal trainer anymore?)
You are even better than Ruvi the hypnotist, whose name I keep hearing as “Ruby,” and wondering which chick that is, and you are certainly a much better character than boring, boring Orwell and too dumb to live Vince Faraday, also known as “The Cape,” that guy we are rooting for to get thrown off a building, finally.
Sure, Chess, you’re not the most original villain out there. I don’t blame you for that. You’re trapped in a universe of poorly-written dialogue, cliches and plotholes. That’s not your fault. You’re doing your best. And by “your best,” I mean, “redeeming this show.”
(Well, almost redeeming it. It’s still pretty awful, and if things don’t improve, I don’t care how much I love you, I am cutting it loose.)
But, Chess, I do love you. I want you to know that. The way you flirt with chicks who are trying to murderize you. That’s great. The way you look good in cowboy hats and hang underneath trains, cutting their brake lines (which somehow makes the train stop, don’t ask me, I don’t live in a comic book TV show).
The way you’re apparently being written as having disassociative identy disorder all of a sudden. (On a related note, I wish it was still called multiple personality disorder, because that was easier to spell.)
Chess, I love you so much that I don’t even mind that you’ve taken your supervillain moniker from one of the most boring of all the board games. (Better than Battleship, I suppose.)
If you ever want to escape the poorly written horror of an existence you’re living, call me! I could write beautiful fan fiction for you!
So, watched the premiere of NBC’s The Cape last night. And, as I’ve said before, my mother never taught me “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all,” so, boy, do I have a lot to say!
First off, I was a bit hesitant to be excited about The Cape, because it seemed like a ridiculous idea. But so ridiculous it could be awesome? I wondered, and decided to give it a try. Commercials for the show seemed to support the “so ridiculous it’s awesome” theory, with villains named “Scales” and “Chess,” and a little person kneecapping someone with a giant wrench.
But it turns out it’s so ridiculous it’s ridiculous.
First off, the main character. He is so stupid. How stupid is he? He is so stupid that I can’t even finish this sentence with an appropriate metaphor. He is seriously the stupidest superhero to ever live, and I say that as someone who has read Invincible and is aware of the existence of Rex Splode.
I mean, there’s this bit where he sets up some sort of machine to throw knives at him, right? And then he’s surprised by the knives suddenly flying at him and he’s barely dodging and, look, I get the bit was supposed to be funny, but everybody knows you start training with non-lethal objects first and then work your way up to the heavy stuff.
And then there’s this part where his mentor says, “Don’t ever forget who it is that’s wearing that cape,” which is supposed to be some sort of rallying statement, except you’re worried he is actually telling the guy like, “Seriously, I am afraid you will forget your own name because you are that stupid.”
And THEN he tries to sneak into the head supervillain’s evil headquarters, like he’s Batman or something, only he’s Batman after a severe brain-traumatizing event, and of course they catch him.
“Did you think I would let you get this close to me if I didn’t want you to?” says the supervillain.
“OF COURSE HE DIDN’T,” I said. “HE IS DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED.”
Just so you know, this is no reflection on the actor, who was actually pretty good. Which leads me to my next complaint, his awful, awful wife who can’t fake crying AT ALL.
And then there were the ridiculous lapses in time! I don’t even notice shit like that, and it was so glaringly obvious that I actually noticed! I noticed hard! Something was supposed to happen within one day, and yet there was time for our hero to get good enough at avoiding knives somehow while also making a mask for his costume while also staying in touch with Summer Glau while also doing I don’t know what. SERIOUS TIMING ISSUES, people.
Oh, and then our hero’s evil partner (of COURSE when he’s a cop, he’s got an evil partner) is now part of the evil corporation and his password is the same as it always used to be, which is FLOWERS, like, c’mon, even the evil corporation I work for makes me mix up my password with a number here, capital letter there. (And they’re not even going for world domination, as far as I can tell.)
Plus there was the dumb bit where his wife got a job as a lawyer by yelling at her interviewer about how she shouldn’t be judged without a trial like her (framed, I forgot that stupid plot point) husband. And the interviewer was like, “Wow! You’re a jerk! You’re hired!”
Also, how did they find the mystical black man who gave our hero the cape? The supervillain was like “Find him,” and then they found him, and then he escaped, so why didn’t they just magically find him again? And just because the hero blocked cell coverage so the villain couldn’t blow up a boat with his cell phone, why did the villain just give up? Why didn’t he try again later, when it was fixed? Because he didn’t get rid of the explosives, did he? Was it in a scene that got cut? And how could our hero not notice the guy who nearly killed him leaving the bar WHEN THEY BUMPED INTO EACH OTHER? Is he being willfully stupid? Was it because he was testing the poison on himself for some reason that was never explained? Why did this show suck so bad?
And don’t get me started on the dialogue.
Oh, and er, spoiler alert!