Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Best TV Characters Of The '00s

The decade is almost at a close and it’s time to look back at the last ten years of TV’s best characters. Unlike other lists of the same sort, this one consists only of characters that were introduces within the ‘00s. So, here is Keep Up TV Tome’s list of TV’s best characters for the ‘00s.

‘Admiral William Adama’ BSG
‘Dr. Gaius Baltar’ BSG
‘Leoben Conoy’ BSG
‘Lora Roselyn’ BSG
‘James “Sawyer” Ford’ Lost
‘Dawn Draper’ Mad Men
‘Roger Sterling’ Mad Men
‘Jesse’ Breaking Bad
‘Lew Ashby’ Californiacation
‘Hank Moody’ Californication
‘Wash’ Firefly
‘Gregory House’ House
‘Dexter Morgan’ Dexter
‘Charlie Day’ It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia
‘Clay Morrow’ Sons Of Anarchy
‘River’ Firefly
‘Alpha’ Dollhouse
‘Eric Northmen’ True Blood
‘Jonny Drama’ Entourage
‘David Brent’ The Office
‘Seth Bullock’ Deadwood
‘Mr. Wu’ Deadwood
‘Al Swearengen’ Deadwood
‘Trixie’ Deadwood
‘Ellsworth’ Deadwood
‘Sheila Keefe’ Rescue Me
‘Joan Holloway Harris’ Mad Men
‘Walter Bishop’ Fringe
‘Sock’ Reaper
‘Denny Crain’ Boston Legal
‘Alan Shore’ Boston Legal
‘George “Job” Bluth II’ Arrested Development
‘Rodney McKay’ Stargate Atlantis
‘Dean Winchester’ Supernatural
‘Doug Wilson’ Weeds

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Brittany Murphy Dies At 32

It was recently announced that actress Brittany Murphy has died from a cardiac arrest at age 32. People can speculate as to why this happened, but as it stands it seems she has died from cardiac arrest. Brittany was reported to have been fired from her last film project and on account of that had been the but end of many late night talk show hosts since then. It is a shame that she passed away, especially around the Holiday season. Condolences all around to her family, friends and fans.

Her Most Memorable Films Were:
Cherry Falls
Just Married
Don't Say A Word
Boys Don't Cry
Sin City

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Best Episodes of Paranormal State | Which Ones & Why

There are few people familiar with Paranormal State, it has a steady cult following and with the new season about to start it will be interesting to see if the show will gain more popularity. It is filmed in a documentary style with narration often provided by the team’s leader, in a kind of overly optimistic narrative usually in regards to the battle of good versus evil. Unlike shows like Ghost Hunters or Ghost Lab, Paranormal State has both a technical way of investigation and a spiritual/religious way of investigation. The show follows the invitations of a paranormal research community that is based out of Penn State University lead by Ryan Buell. The investigators will set up the now traditional array of cameras and sensors in hopes of catching a ghoul on film. On the other side of the investigatory spectrum is the use of mediums and spiritual ceremonies to either expel or release spirits or anything supernatural in nature. That’s what makes Paranormal State much creepier than your average ghost hunting show. The incantations and prayers used to ward off evil spirits along with a medium making claims of being touched by ‘something’ or sensing that something is angry or evil in the room, along with the seemingly authentic fear in the (perhaps gullible) members that make up the team, adds to the show. The most common medium they use on the show is Chip Coffee, who is overly dramatic and gives the most ambiguous readings, though, he is very entertaining… you have to admit that.
Now don’t be confused, this show and its investigations are most likely over dramatized for the purposes of television and the original suspicious activities that led the team to investigate in the first place are usually based off of the fearful ramblings of people who seem ready to believe anything.
There are some episodes of the show which really are spooky and entertaining. These are the episodes I thought were very entertaining and should serve as an introduction to those who have not yet watched an episode of the show.

Mothman: Why the Mothman episode, it’s interesting and the stories given by the town’s people during the episode sound insane, but so may people say they saw the same thing. And how the episode ends off is almost laughable, with Chip Coffee declaring a presence, as usual, but one of pure intelligence. It was creepy and as a skeptic, pretty funny.

The Devil in Syracuse: This episode is all about a demonic possession in a trailer park, and the highlight is when the subject of the investigation and the one being possessed declares, yes declares during the exorcism “Get out of my body!”, need I say more.

Church of the Damned: The Team investigated a condemned Church that is being renovated by a group of people until they are too terrified to continue. The Team finds evidence of devil worship that has been conducted in the abandoned structure. The best part is when Ryan the team leader is ‘attacked’ by something in the Church.

Room & Board: The Team investigates another cabin in the woods but this time the last occupant committed suicide. It is also revealed that the now deceased tenant was a transvestite and a heavy practitioner of occult rituals. This one is kind of funny and kind of sad, but entertaining none the less.

Californication Season Three | The Worst Season With The Best Ending

For the sticklers and crybabies this post will be full of spoilers, so if you are still working on a backlog of previous episodes from season three stop reading, or not. I don’t care, I love to spoil. The most revealing part of the season comes at its end but there is another moment which speaks to the character of out beloved drunken writer of a protagonist Hank Moody that comes in the form of a meal. For a person to claim that they know someone loves them by the fact they are will to make them breakfast is truly telling. Love is an egg in the hole for Hank, made by his lady love Karen. There were other storylines of little consequence played out this season. Starting with…

Hank and Karen: One is in California while the other is in the NYC for at least half of the season allowing Hank to whore about with the ladies of his choosing.
Hank becomes a university professor when he eggs a fellow writer and professor into drinking at a dinner (hosted by his daughter’s BFF’s parents who are also faculty at a local University). Not wise, with what seemed like gentle nudging to have a good time, turns into a full blown and at some point’s fully nude binge drinking extravaganza, forcing the professor into rehab leaving an open spot in the University. Luckily, Hank is there to fill this hole (no pun intended) the professor left in his absents and there is the bulk of season three of Californication.
Various situations revolving around Hank sticking his wee hank into women he shouldn’t be. Those on this bang list for this season, the Dean’s Wife, Hank’s Teaching Aid, A Busty Coed/Stripper who was played by Susan Sarandon’s daughter, and of course Hank’s life long lover.

Sub Plots:

They include Charlie’s professional and private problems, e.g. being seduced by his employer i.e. the lady from Romancing The Stone. He also has to deal with a forgotten Teen heart throb as a client none other than Rick Springfield, who coincidentally was Runkle’s wife’s teen crush. Marcie, Charlie’s soon-to-be divorced wife, actually starts to see Springfield creating a bit of tension between client and agent. There is nothing like fucking Rick ‘the dick’ Springfield banging your estranged wife to put a damper on your mood.
Also, Hank’s daughter has a few storylines of her own, involving drinking mushrooms and a bit of sex. Nothing to mind blowing, Becca essentially is the only thing keeping Hank on the straight and narrow and acts as an anchor for Hank throughout the season and the series as a whole keeping him from straying too far.

The Season itself seemed to rely to heavily on its former glory, in episodes of season three they actually reminisce about long past episodes and the highjinks they committed. That would have been fine, but they never topped those events e.g. The Squirt-er episode, the episode where Hank banged a dinner guest on Karen and her fiancĂ©’s bed only to vomit all over it and a valuable painting, and lets not forget the only other character on this show to out man-whore Hank, Lew Ashby, possible the best character to come out of the series.
(Big Spoilers Beyond This Point)
The Climax of the season came very late, and kind of revealed the season to be a big tease season as a whole, only leading up to the very important game changing final episode. In which, the young miss who seduced Hank in the show’s first episode, only to iconically punch him in the face as she came, returns after a book tour. She was on this whirlwind tour with a book that Hank wrote about their accidental/violent time together and the good times that ensued. The young Miss, Mia Cross, wants to come clean after a year of bullshitting her way through interviews about the book she did not write and could not write, to the media. But by revealing the fact that she and Hank hooked up while she was still of grounding age, could and did destroy his family and land Hank in jail. In great dramatic form, all of these issues come to the surface, compounded by the fact that Hank beat the shit out of Mia’s manager/older boyfriend, leading to his more immediate arrest. But not before Hank could return to his long time lady Karen, to confess his misdeeds. All this happens to occur right before Hank is about to leave the city he despises with the people he loves the most, to go to the city from which Hank is actually from and doesn’t hate. Hank can never have a happy ending and the viewers of this show know that. It’s because we don’t want to see Hank happy; we like to see him in the mud, fucking, punching and the like. At least Hank will have some time to write while in jail.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Steven Seagal | And His New A&E Show Lawman Overview

A television show with a concept that is so crazy sounding it may actually work.
What if someone was to tell you that Steven Seagal, the Aikido master of action films gone by, had got his own reality show based on his secret life as a town Sheriff? Well, that is exactly what is happening with Seagal’s new A&E show entitled Lawman. In the opening credits the aged action star goes on telling the story of how he became a deputy sheriff and that he chose to keep this fact on the down low for the twenty years he has been doing it. That is right Seagal has been training cops and going on patrol for two decades, all the while making movies like Glitter Man. The show itself is shot not unlike Cops, with camera crews taking up the back seats of the police cars that Seagal and his crew of equally old cops drive around in. The best parts of the show are made great because they are either completely unbelievable or completely surreal. For example, Seagal is a master marksmen, (that’s right he is actually a master marksmen) and in an episode helps one of his fellow cop’s pass his firearms readiness test with a little Zen tutelage a la Steven Seagal. As well, the narration provided by Seagal where he makes claims that his Marshal Arts training has made him a living weapon of sorts and that he can tell what an assailant is going to do before he or she even does it. Any little thing can tip off his highly attuned senses. And whenever that happens in the show the camera will cut to that shift of the foot, glance of the eyes or ask of an autograph. Seagal is an imposing figure standing a whopping 6’ 4”, though he is not exactly in the best shape of his life (he is in his late 50s). Lawman is made very entertaining by the surreal nature of the show, you are watching a man who has been playing a cop for years, as an actual cop busting actual criminals. This show is the best thing Seagal has done since Under Siege.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Enver Gjokaj A.K.A. Victor is the best actor on Dollhouse

Dollhouse has come back after a month long hiatus in November with back to back episodes. And these back to back episodes will continue for another two weeks. Over the short life of this FOX show few of the actors have shown any real aptitude for portraying multiple personalities/characters as the show sort of demands, as the main concept of the show is the taking on of different personalities at any given time. There is one exception to this cast of misfits lead by Eliza Dushku (who is the worst offender of them all, she could not act her way out of a paper bag, let’s be honest), and that actor is Enver Gjokaj. Who? The guy who plays Victor on Dollhouse, Enver Gjokaj even with his awful early attempts at a Russian accent in the first few episodes of the show, his ability to take on other characters really does demonstrate one thing, he is the most versatile and best suited actor in the Dollhouse. For example, in the episodes Belle Chose, The Public Eye and The Left Hand, Gjokaj showed that he could imitate other cast members pretty spot on. In Belle Chose he became one of Echo’s imprints (a fun loving party girl) imitating Dushku’s go-to-character on the show, not afraid to step into the realm of silly Gjokaj managed to pull of this gender/character switch. And again he displayed his acting chops with his almost unsettling impersonation of the character of Topher during the episodes The Public Eye and The Left Hand, where Victor is imprinted with the only other man Topher trusts, himself. Gjokaj impersonated Topher’s speech and mannerisms it bordered on creepy. That just goes to show you how he is the best actor on the show. You would not have seen Serra or one of the no name dolls who are always doing Yoga put in the position of acting like Topher, that is because they are just pretty people. Gjokaj can actually act. Don’t get me wrong there are some lovable characters on Dollhouse, but for a show about identity and the taking on of other personas there isn’t much in terms of diversity of character, that is what makes Gjokaj stand out among the other actors on Dollhouse. Even though this show is on its way out don’t be surprised if you see Gjokaj in another TV show or movie in no time at all.
If you want to see Enver Gjokaj in something else other than Dollhouse, check out Taking Chance. It is a made for TV movie staring Kevin Bacon, and it features Gjokaj as an Iraq veteran.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Sons of Anarchy Season 2 Finale - Recap and Highlights

Episode Recap

Leading off from the last episode, Zobelle, his daughter, and Weston are in the town jail with SAMCRO perched outside in wait. Zobelle and his daughter are released for the drug possession because it turns out Zobelle is an FBI informant and untouchable because of it. This is explained by Agent Stahl to the Sheriff, who then inform SAMCRO and Weston. When Zobelle is released, he is given protection by the Mayans holds up in his cigar shop until it is time to catch his flight to safety from the Sons of Anarchy. However, Zobelle’s daughter goes to see her IRA boyfriend before she leaves, but finds him shot to death in his house, and then Gemma walks in and shoots her, and finds Agent Stahl, who shot the boyfriend during an operation to bring in his father. She then pins both murders on Gemma, who then flees town with the Sheriff. Jax kills Weston at a tatoo shop. Meanwhile, as Zobelle is being escorted out of town by the Mayans, SAMCRO ambushes them on the road, sending the Mayans away and Zobelle escaping to a near by ice cream shop to hide behind children as Clay waits for it clear out so he can kill him. Agent Stahls framing of Gemma has repercussions when the IRA father hears that Clays wife killed his son, as he follows Half-Sack back to Tara’s for revenge. He Stabs HAlf-Sack (killing him, probably) and steals Jax’s baby. When hearing of this, the entire club lets Zobelle go as they try to retrieve the baby, but they fail and the baby is stolen.

Episode Highlights

SAMCRO On The Steps And Car of The Police

Showing the type of relationship they have with the police and the type of people they are, the club literally sits outside the police station stalking their prey, Zobelle. they even go so far as to sit and walk all over the sheriff’s squad car as if to say, yes, we are above the law in this town. It’s a little thing they do in every episode, and the variations are becoming pretty entertaining.

It’s The Wild West Out Here

As the town they occupy seems to be a nexus of the universe where its another century where modern rules don‘t apply, there is a scene more reminiscent of westerns where the two biker gangs, the Sons of Anarchy and Mayans, line up their bikes across from each other in a standoff. the Deputy Chief very aptly describes the situation by saying, “It’s the wild west out here”. This show is becoming more Deadwood in style.

Intersecting Murders Between Stahl and Gemma

Agent Stahl’s framing of Gemma looks to be a focal point of next season. Stahl shot an unarmed man in custody and happily pinned it on Gemma. Kind of ironic since Gemma decided to kill Zobelle’s daughter because she went jesus crazy and thought God wanted her to do it, but she ended up getting framed, going on the lamb, and causing the death of Half-Sack and the kidnapping of Jax’s baby.

Road Ambush

This is one of the craziest scenes of the entire series. You’re wondering if their going to pull a terminator when they holster their shotguns to their motorcycles and ride off after the Mayan convoy. Well they don’t, but they still do something equally good. They drive a truck in front of the Mayans, pop out the back, and shoot them off their bikes with a hail of glorious shotgun fire.

Babynapped Irish Style

Damn Irish! It did seem a little over the top even for this show, but you have got to respect the style in which the kidnapping is done. Apparently, the IRA like to go the extreme route of kidnapping. Step one: plan to stab the baby. step two: stab someone else and decide to steel the baby raise as your own. Step three: escape with the baby as killer bikers chase you by finding the nearest speed boat, placing the baby on a pile of rope (because there‘s nothing safer than ran unfastened baby on a speed boat), and drive away. Well, its an imperfect plan, but the execution was perfect.