Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sons of Anarchy | Season Two | Episode Three Recap

Main Plot:
The White Supremacists have come to the town of Charming and they brought meth. More accurately, the leader of the White Supremacist who masks his agenda in a nice suit in his yet to be opened cigar shop has provided the funds to the local Nords; another white power group that has a history of cooking meth in and around Charming. The ‘No Drugs in Charming’ position of the SOA is in part why they are tolerated and some what praised in the town among the locals. The club then goes to work in nipping the meth problem in the bud, by first interrogating the dealer who set up shop out side of the town’s mill. After a short and painful encounter with the SOA the dealer tells them where the cook house is. In true form, the SOA assemble in a military style assault of the Nords’ Meth house, resulting in a bloodless encounter but ending in a boom.
Gemma and Clay: Gemma is still dealing with her rape. Tensions mount with Clay and Gemma. Because Clay is still unaware of the attack, he is beginning to lose his patience with Gemma, who he thinks is just shaken from a car accident.

Jax and Doctor Tera: Terra worries about about porn actress after Jax, and Gemma suggest a throw down to claim her territory. Instead, Terra just has her way with him in front of her in a public bathroom.

Opie: During the raid on the Nords’ Opie nearly blows himself up with the meth house in a risky manner of setting the charges. A similar thing happened during a firefight with the Mayans earlier in the season where Opie tried taking on the Mayans in a kind of kamikaze run at the other gang members.

The Adult Film Industry in Charming:
The newly acquired partnership between the SOA and a local adult film production company starts to get rocky when Clay gives one of his guys, Bobby A.K.A. Elvis (impersonator), the bookkeeper position for the production company. It turns out that Lou-Anne, owner of the production company has been keeping two books in order to keep the SOA from digging to deeply into her pockets. Bobby lets Luanne know that he is going to have to bring this up in a Club meeting and Luanne, the classy woman that she is, reminds Bobby, in hope of clemency, what her specialty was while she still worked in front of the camera… in the clearest way possible.
Note: The latest adult film to come out of the new partnership between the SOA and Luanne’s production company wrapped during this episode. The fictional adult film was a wink and a nod to a popular AMC show, Mad Men. During the shooting of this fictional adult film, one adult film actors addressing the other a Mr. Draper, along with the 50’s era set and costumes it was clearly referring to Mad Men.

The would-be Sheriff Hale and the White Supremacists: With lines being drawn between White Hate and the SOA in Charming the club concocts a plan to see where Deputy Sheriff Hale’s loyalties lie. Before the SOA blew up the meth house they gave the law a chance to do its job. Jax approached Deputy Hale and informed him of the meth house’s location asking him to check it out. If the Deputy did nothing then he is in concert with White Hate; if he raids the house then he is still uncompromised. Deputy Hale shows up at the cook house and has an informative confrontation with the Nord’s local leader (Skinner from the X-Files). The Skin-Man hands the Deputy a coupon for the grand opening of a new cigar shop opening in downtown Charming, the one owned by Ethan Zobelle (White Collar + White Hate = Ethan Zobelle). This is news to the Deputy and he has a meeting with Zobelle about the use of meth to increase his control over the town. In the end though, Deputy Hale becomes complicit and allows Zobelle to continue his meth venture in order to bring down the SOA once and for all. All that Hale did though is affirm to the SOA that he can not be trusted and is in concert with the White Supremacists.

Monday, September 21, 2009

FlashForward Pilot Review

A great concept can’t save this lacklustre version of Lost. FlashForward has been the most anticipate series of fall 2009. Critics have been buzzing about the pilot episode for a while now, and they have proclaimed it the new Lost. Some people may expect that mean it’s as good as Lost, or the pilot episode was as surprisingly as Lost was when it surprisingly debuted with a great pilot and lots of followers. But when you see the first episode of FlashForward, you realize it’s not the new Lost, it was just meant to copy it. The very first scene is a flat out copy of Lost’s. Stunned people awaken in a daze to find a catastrophe around them and rush to help those in trouble. I thought: very familiar, if only they had a plane crash, a polar bear, and a dinosaur (there was a dinosaur in that first episode of Lost, believe that). Then there is the mystery of the flashforward, a world-wide event where every person on the planet blacks out for 2 minutes and 17 second, during which they see their futures, set at the same date and time, April 29th, 2010 10pm. . When it’s all over, a group of people, FBI agents in this case, investigate this mystery. On top of that, there is a strange person, probably a part of a larger group, who is captured on camera awake during the event and curiously calm about it. So there is this mysterious event, a similar opener, a mysterious group they also call the others. You see by the end of the episode, you realize that Flash forward was meant to have all the elements of Lost that made it popular, but their version falls short. It has the details but lacks the essence, so to say.

So what is wrong with it, you might ask? Well, for a show centered on a mystery, there is nothing that makes you excited about solving it. It’s not very exciting to watch people discuss calmly what’s happening in the episode instead of doing something, which is what a TV series is supposed to be all about, if I’m not mistaken. There is a feeling that the producers of this show failed to make the show as interesting as it could be with such a great concept. When something as big as a global black out happens, the importance of that needs to be shown. However, what they did produce was, let’s just say, anti-climactic. Basically, they show various people pass out during their activities and wake to find the inevitable chaos and harm a global blackout would obviously cause. It turned out a little tamer than the sublime chaos there should be in such an extreme circumstance.

FlashForward Pilot Episode Recap

The episode opens with the lead character (officer Mark Benford) awaking in his crashed upside down vehicle. He exits to find chaos in the street, every car stopped or crashed, fires, burning buildings, injured people, and everyone experiencing the same wonder and surprise. Cut to the beginning of the day, before the events of the opening sequence. The lead and the rest of the main cast begin the day. Bedford says goodbye to his wife and daughter as he heads off, greeting the family babysitter on his way out. Another man stands on the dock of a beach that seems intent on killing himself with a visible gun. Bedford attends his AA meeting while listening to another member speak of his daughter who was killed in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Bedford’s the babysitter fools around with her boyfriend. Bedford and his partner tail a suspected terrorist on her way to supposedly detonate a dirty bomb in the capital. A car chase ensues during which the agents’ car slides toward an oncoming truck, but suddenly they and everyone on the planet blackout. A multitude of fragmented and hazy flashes appear depicting each person’s future. At this point, time catches up to the point of the intro scene.

Awaking from the blackout, one man finds himself stuck hanging precariously from atop of a power pole, the babysitter finds herself on the ground and rushes to see if Bedford’s daughter is fine only to find her saying all good days are gone, and (as it was shown before) Bedford emerges from his flipped car. Bedford has a vision of himself looking at a board of leads and drinking right before a group with guns storms in with the seeming intent to kill him.

Upon finding that his family is fine, Bedford returns to FBI headquarters and has a meeting with his peers. They discuss what happened to them and reveal the visions they saw, which they conclude are visions of the future which lasted exactly 2 minutes and 17 seconds and were set at the same date and time, six months from now, April 29th, 2010 10pm. (And it happened to every person on the planet, or so they think.) Each character contemplates the meaning of what they saw in their vision. Bedford thinks his vision relates to whoever was behind the event and believes it is the key to finding them. His partner saw nothing during his blackout and believes he must be dead in the future. Bedford then meets with his sponsor to discuss his apparent future drinking and death and how much he does not want that to happen; however, his sponsor goes on to tell him he saw himself finding his presumed dead daughter and says he wishes his future will come true. Our protagonist returns home to wife. She tells him that her vision was her with another man. He tells her what they saw is not necessarily going to happen. Later he goes outside and is visited by his daughter, who gives him a homemade bracelet to wear (the very same bracelet he saw himself wearing in his vision). Meanwhile, Demetri (partner of Bedford’s character) is back at their office looking at videos of the blackout and finds one where there is a man awake walking through a stadium of unconscious people.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sons of Anarchy: Recap of Season 2 Episode 2

After the rape and assault of Gemma by the white supremacists in the previous episode, she is found by the sheriff but refuses to go to a hospital because then people will know what happened to her. Instead they go to Jax’s girl friend for treatment. Back at the SOA club house, passed out members and strippers are strewn about the bar (of course, this is a regular morning). Clay is called by the Mayan leader looking for some guns to take out the One-Niners for killing a member (the one Clay actually had killed), but he refuses because he says there is too much heat from the ATF. You see, Jax posed the body of the Mayans’ murdered man showing the One-Niners sign, instead of the SOA A that was originally carved into the gang members chest by a SOA member looking for some payback. Jax did all of this without the rest of the clubs knowledge or approval. Meanwhile, the sheriff crashing Gemma’s car to help cover up her assault with a car accident. Later as Clay sells some guns to the One-Niners to “mend some fences”, the sheriff tells him of Gemma’s “car accident”, so the entire club heads to the hospital to see her. At the same time, Gemma goes to the hospital under the pretences of bringing Jax’s baby there for tests. The sheriff then tells her about the car crash he staged as a cover up and that the entire club is waiting for her. She tells him that they can never know about what really happened to her because it was only meant to hurt Clay and Jax and will have failed if she keeps it secret.

At the hospital, the sheriff tells the Sons of Anarchy that the ATF raided Luanne’s studio and ceased her assets (she is the local porn producer, wife of a jailed SAMCRO member, and friend to Gemma). Jax goes to handle it while Clay stays with Gemma, and the white supremacists realize that she did not talk when they see Clay playing with the baby at the hospital. Jax finds out that a porn director named Georgie (Tom Arnold) is bullying Luanne’s actors into working for him and stealing her business, so Jax tells him back off or there will be trouble. But Georgie, as an act of defiance against the warning of the SOA, beats up one of Luanne’s girls, so Jax and the gang thrash Georgie and his people with bats until he “convinces” Georgie to back off. SAMCRO then decides to become partners with Luanne: she gets protection from the club and the use of their warehouse as a studio, and they get 50 percent of the business. While Clay is doing a gun drop with the One-Niners, they are ambushed by the Mayans. One member of SAMCRO gets shot in the shoulder and the Mayans get away with the guns. It is revealed to the audience that the Mayans were tipped off by the leader of the white supremacists. Back at the club house, Clay confronts Jax and warns him that he will lose the respect of his peers if he does things for himself instead of the club. It ends with Jax sitting on the roof with his mother, smoking up.

Highlights Of The Episode

War was not waged with the Supremacists. It might have been expect after Gemma was brutally attacked by the White Supremacists that Clay and Jax would retaliate with bloody results. But keeping with the shows character of not being predictable, Gemma stays silent for the good of Clay, Jax, and SAMCRO.

SAMCRO gets into the adult film industry. It seems like the club is going to find new work every episode until the heat from the ATF dies down. The latest just happens to be in the adult film industry. I guess they are trying to class up this show.

The Neo-Nazi’s get hypocritical. Although the Neo-Nazi’s/White Supremacists came to the town and threatened SAMCRO because they wanted to stop them from dealings with the non-white gangs, the leader secretly helped the Mayans steal weapons from the Sons of Anarchy, and seem to have a secret business relationship. Neo-Nazi’s, cant you even stick to your word?
Clay knocks Jax off his high horse. Jax has always seemed like the guy who wants to achieve the ideal of the Sons of Anarchy that the club forgot about. But in his decision to frame the One-Niners for the death of a Mayan member to get back at Clay, Jax actually seems like the petty guy rather than the guy with high ideals. Clay makes the clear cut argument that he always looks out for the well being of the club ahead of himself while Jax did something for the reason of pissing off Clay.

Awesome Quote

Jax holding Georgie down with a bat: “If you so much as send a friendly text to any of Luanne’s girls, your next movie...Conseco does Georgie.”

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Funny Thing About The Cast Of Vampire Diaries... They Likes To Flash

According to the Los Angeles Times, stars of Vampire Diaries were arrested for flashing. It seems that they were flashing motorists from the ledge of an overhead bridge in Forsyth, Georgia. One of the flashers happened to be the lead actress of the show and three others from the supporting cast. Five actresses, four of which were in main cast, and a camera man were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. The alleged report is that motorists called 911 complaining of female flashers once they had gotten an eye full of the cast. When approached by the police, they claimed that they were shooting a promo for the vampire series. The camera man paid a $4,000 fine for the charges.

Speculation on the Flashing:

Why would all of the women from the Vampire Diaries Cast flash their breasts? Is this a calculated move on their part to create buzz around the show or are these girls just looking to have some fun. Maybe, Joe Francis of Girls Gone Wild fame showed up at the set with some t-shirts that “need to be earned”. My point is, does anyone have pictures of this event and could you please send them to me here at Thank you.
No, I am just kidding. In all seriousness everyone loves breasts and these lovely young starlets were just giving the male demographic something to drool over. Think about it, the premises of the show surrounds vampires, diaries and high school, not exactly UFC pay-per-view. So, how would you try and pull in some male viewers to a show aimed at young women. It seems Machiavellian to me.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Vampire Diaries Review

Pilot Episode Run Through
The first episode of Vampire Diaries started off promising. It opens on a dark highway where a traveling couple hits a person concealed by a mysterious fog. They stop and check on him only to be viciously murdered by their would-be hit and run victim, with fangs and all. But the excitement winds down from there. Following the intro, Elena (the female lead) leaves her home for school and has a strong fearful reaction to a near car incident as they drive to school, because she lost her parents in a car crash. Elena meets Sefan at school. She sees him again by the cemetery she visits to write her diary on her parents' grave after being frightened away by a suddenly emerging ominous fog, a crow, and an unseen man. The sound track is descent, featuring songs by the Silversun Pickups and the White Stripes within the first ten minutes. They chat, arrive at her house; she tells him to come in without really inviting him, but he's a vampire so he cannot enter. More than half way through the episode, the two hang out several more time, but finally meet at a party in the woods. The good music continues. Stefan's face distorts because he gets blood lusty. He leaves, but a girl gets attacked by a vampire while he's gone. It does not look good for Stefan. He takes off for his home. There he finds his vampire brother Damon, who is revealed to be the killer, and the fog and crow guy. He came for Elaina, who is a dead ringer for an old love, and to fulfill his promise to torment Stefan forever. They fight and Stefan loses because he is weak from no longer drinking human blood. Finally the episode ends with Elena writing about her day and then being visited by Stefan, and it ends with him entering the house.

Thoughts on Vampire Diaries
The entire episode, save for the final ten minutes, is all foreplay and no action. Not even foreplay, more like soft nuzzling. As I was watching the episode, I thought about the sound track and how it looked promising. There were some decent songs throughout, some MGMT, White Lies, and Silversun Pickups. The sound track to a TV show is always important because the right use of music can portray the emotion of a scene and generally make the show more enjoyable. You don't really want to hear footsteps and background all the time. The music here, however, is not used to improve the episode, but rather to hide the lag. The episode must have had around ten tracks. That is a lot for any show. The reason for this is obvious. Every scene has nothing happening, so they put a track in every scene to make it seem interesting. I guess all this just proves that the producers of the show knew there was not much substance the show. The two leads simply meat with each other throughout the episode to flirt. Nothing dramatic happens. By the end they just continue to see each other. There is definitely no witty dialogue to fill the void. Nothing happened that wasn't already seen in the trail for the show, and that's kind of sad. The mistake may have been that it seemed like Dawsons Creek. If you are going to have a show about vampires, then you might as well use them to create drama or action instead of have them linger in the background. Some Pilots are made to grab people's attention, but this definitely was not one of those. Maybe it is one of those shows that promises excitement in the future, but if it doesn't actually offer that then why is it even on television. Here is hoping it delivers on its promise because based on the pilot this is not looking very good.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sons of Anarchy – Season 2 Plot Developments

The second season of the Sons of Anarchy has begun and it looks to be a good one. Here is a run-through of the latest plot developments seen in the premier episode.

SAMCRO Needs New Work

Because of the developments of last season, mainly the DEA being on their backs, the Sons of Anarchy are forced to change their business from selling guns to running guns. They can no longer buy guns whole sale, assemble them themselves, and sell them in house because the DEA would tale them back to their gun stores. Now they must run guns for their IRA customers to keep the business going.

Clay Frames a Guy and Has Him Killed

In the after math of last season’s accidental murder of Opie’s wife, which was meant to be the assassination of Opie ordered by Clay, which no one knows about except Jax and Opie’s father, Clay allows Opie to kill the man he framed for the murder.

Jax Keeps Clay’s Secret to Save SAMCRO

Jax keeps Clay’s secret and allows Opie to believe he killed his wife’s killer to save SAMCRO and give him peace of mind. Knowing that Clay’s betrayal would destroy the club and Opie, he plays along, and secretly begins to plot his reformation of the club and overthrow of Clay.

A New Threat Enters the Town

A new and more powerful group of Neo-Nazis enters the town to take on the Sons of Anarchy. Recruited by the brother of the deputy sheriff to remove the biker presence from his town, this group seeks to shut down all business with non-white people. They confront Clay at a welcome home party for a jailed and recently released member. In a tense standoff, the Arians demand that SAMCRO stop selling guns to the ethnic gangs and only sell to white people. However, Clay does not take kindly to threats, so he tells them that the Sons of Anarchy do what they want when they want, pull their guns, and tell them to leave.

A Possible Gang War is Started

In the end of the episode, after being dismissed and insulted by Clay, the Neo-Nazis take and assault Gemma (Clay’s wife and Jax’s mother). They tell her to get Clay to only sell guns to who they tell him to or they will assault her again. This could lead to an all out war between the Sons of Anarchy and the Neo-Nazis.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fall 2009 New Show Preview

The word is out. Everybody is in agreement on the top new shows of the fall 2009 pilots. But are these shows really worthy of being looked at? What people don’t realize, or maybe they don’t want to, is that hardly any new shows ever survive. Studios are relying on tried and true shows, popular long running series, such as lost and 24. The reason is that there is a drought in regard to both quality shows and viewership. The new show concepts aren’t so good, and the ones that are good don’t get watched, and get canceled. So here are some predictions on these so called best shows. What looks good, and what is going to make the cut?

Modern Family
This mockumentary is a comedy centered on the lives of three eccentric families: a gay family, a straight family, and a multi-cultural family. It has been described as the new Arrested Development, but it seems like an even more short lived comedy. It is somewhat funny, but it will lose your interest due to its slow pace and lack of laugh out loud scenes. It does not look like it will survive one season.

It’s a remake of the 80’s miniseries about aliens who come to earth with the appearance of good intentions but instead plot to eat humans and take the earth’s resources. The concept sounds very promising, very original, but TV shows about aliens coming to earth have a bad track record, especially one’s where the aliens have a mysterious and insidious ulterior motive that characters fight to prove and reveal to the world. Does anyone remember Earth Final Conflict? Not everything can be X-Files. This show seems far too hyped to have any real substance. The hope is that this will turn out to be good show, but it seems like it was made vie for Lost’s position, now entering its final season. You see there is no more good sci-fi now that Battlestar Galactica is gone, and their soon won’t be any mystery/fantasy when Lost ends, and V is going to fill that void. This is why V looks to be a very mediocre show that will get picked up since viewers will probably flock to it when they cannot get their weekly fix.

Vampire Diaries
A story about two vampire brothers who fall in love with the same high school girl and compete for her. It looks to be moderately watchable, yet will be extremely successful. Twilight is a hit of epic proportions, and this show looks like the TV equivalent. Vampires are in this year, and Vampire Diaries will cash in on this. Before Twilight and True blood became popular, the vampire genre was always relegated to the fringe viewer, but it has become much more popular with many other demographics. This will probably be the most successful broadcast television show about vampires.

This is the only show really worth a mention. You think it’s going to be a silly song and dance show, but it’s really a lot than that. Its Freaks and Geeks meets Hamlet II. People will come for the singing, but they will stay for the substance.

Sons of Tucson
Got to love the Sock. Starring the man who played the very memorable Sock from the not so hit TV show Reaper, this show has some talent. But shows about a crazy scenario where some kids pay some guy to act like their dad wears thin too easily. Unless you have the attention span of a goldfish you will get bored of this show within the first season.

It is about a lawyer attending a community college who has always lied and manipulated to succeed in life (which includes forging a fake law degree and pretending to know Spanish to seduce a student looking to pass a Spanish test). That is until he forms a study group of many crazy people, and finds that he can’t succeed in college without the community that is his study group. It is actually a pretty funny show. The comedy is dark and very strange. But it seems like it is the type to be over looked, so it will be cancelled.

Flash Forward
One day, everyone on the planet blacks out for exactly 2 minutes and 17 seconds and sees their futures. After that, a law enforcement agency must find out why this future and why this freak occurrence has happened (or going to happen). This is another show nipping the heels of Lost, but the setting is wrong, and the premise does not make a lot of sense. Everyone has been raving about this show. It is supposed to the new Lost. However, people are only saying this because the pilot looked great, and there is no doubt it looks great. But that was just the pilot. The pilot should be great; it was expensive, had high production value, and did something new and surreal. That is not what the show will be like though. It is a tough show to pull off, and it was only meant to take the spot of Lost. I for one do not believe this will be as great a hit as people think. It will decline in interest over time, and the most it could hope for is a second season and no further. In the worst case, it will not survive the first season.

Past Life
Will survive, but shouldn’t. What a weak concept for a show. This really looks like a bad one. Detectives solve past crimes by extracting information from the reincarnations of the victims. Lame! But this show looks like could get same success as Ghost Whisperer.

Parenthood is a one hour long dramedy about a modern family dealing with modern problems, with funny and dramatic results. This could possibly survive for a while but ultimately never become a hit and then fade out of existence. Oh yes, this will fail, and should fail.

Cougar Town
This is a show brought to us by the creators of Scrubs. The cast is unappealing, and the comedy style of scrubs has gotten tired after eight seasons and shouldn’t continue in a new show. Plus, Courtney Cox is in it, and no person from friends has made a hit show.