The Walking Dead: Season Two (2011)


Am I the Only One Zen Around Here?

The Walking Dead: Season 2 (2011)Season one of The Walking Dead was so good, I couldn’t help but continue.  Especially since I knew that season four was starting.  Truth be told, season four has already started by this point, and I’ve already caught up and readied myself to start the fourth season, but I’ve resolved to finish putting out the reviews before I start watching.  So let’s rush through this, shall we?  I had a little bit of trepidation before starting season two even though season one was so good because I had heard this was slow and more about human interaction than zombies.  Let’s see what I thought as I review The Walking Dead: Season Two, based on the graphic novel series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard, developed for TV by Frank Darabont, and starring Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, Scott Wilson, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Laurie Holden, Jeffrey DeMunn, Emily Kinney, Chandler Riggs, Norman Reedus, Melissa McBride, IronE Singleton, Madison Lintz, Pruitt Taylor Vince, and Michael Zegen.

After the CDC turned out to be a bust, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his group set off for Fort Benning.  On the way, the group gets stuck in dead car traffic and must hide while a large group of walkers passes through the area like a herd.  In the confusion, Carol (Melissa McBride)’s daughter, Sophia (Madison Lintz), is chased into the woods by walkers.  While searching for her, Rick’s son, Carl (Chandler Riggs) is accidently shot by a local farmer named Otis (Pruitt Taylor Vince).  Otis hurries them back to the farm of Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson), a former veterinarian, who attempts to fix Carl up.  Lacking the necessary supplies, Rick’s former partner Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal) sets off to find them with Otis while the rest of the group continues their search for Sophia.

Y’all people be trippin’!  This season didn’t seem to suffer in my opinion at all.  I guess people complained that there wasn’t enough action in this season and that it was too much about interpersonal relationships.  …Who cares?  The show is awesome BECAUSE of that stuff, not in spite of it!  I don’t think I’d be that into this show if it was all mindless action and zombie killing.  They need some of that (and they get plenty enough for me) but I like it better because it’s more about the human interactions than just the zombies.  So anyone that told me that is a stupid jerk and I hate you.  The Sophia situation kind of slowed things down in the lives of the survivors, but I liked it on a human level.  It probably would’ve been more effective if I hadn’t watched Chris Hardwick’s All-Star Celebrity Bowling before I saw this season, enabling me to put a few things together with a joke that he made to figure out exactly what the outcome of the situation would be about five episodes before it happened, but that’s really my fault for not having watched a great show earlier.  I was still able to get angry early on when that dumb little bitch ran off in the first place.  I don’t want to sound harsh or anything, but maybe she deserves to die in order to punish Carol for not raising her daughter to listen to what adults tell her while trying to save her life, or for running off in the first place when the herd of zombies were about to pass by.  And speaking of bad parenting, why the hell did Rick let Carl approach that reindeer?  Even if he didn’t get shot while trying to pet it, that thing could have gored or kicked him to death pretty easily.

There were lots of very effective moments in this season as well.  The entire scene of the zombie migration was intense and aptly handled.  I also found myself crying, “OH NO!” out loud while Andrea pointed the rifle at Daryl.  My love affair with this show could have ended right there if one of my least favorite characters on the show had killed my favorite character in her stupidity.  I also really liked Daryl’s story about the Cherokee Rose.  Later on, Beth drops a pretty heavy argument in favor of suicide.  Her logic was strong on that one.  It was also effective when Rick admitted he had killed Shane and that if anyone stuck around, it was going to be his way or the highway.  It was like the “This is not a cheerocracy; this is a cheertatorship” speech from Not Another Teen Movie.  I wish he had said it was now a zombtatorship and not a zombocracy.  There were also a couple of moments that were less than effective.  I was not at all surprised by the results of the pregnancy test.  They wouldn’t even have included it if it was negative.  That would’ve just been a giant waste of time.  I think the reveal of what was in the barn wasn’t that much of a surprise either.  Maybe when they got more specific about what was in the barn it was a surprise, but the general contents were not.  The reason for locking them up in the barn seemed much stupider than was typical for Hershel, but I guess he wasn’t in his right mind about it.

I can’t really say much about the look of this show.  Still great.  That swimmer in the well was exactly as disgusting as it should’ve been, and the part where the walker was peeling off his face while trying to stick it through the hole in a windshield was pretty awesome.

All of the performances in the show remain fantastic.  About half of the characters remain assholes.  I didn’t have many thoughts about Rick this season.  He may have spent too much time whining around his unconscious kid.  I couldn’t really get behind how quickly he let Lori off the hook for cheating on him.  Sure, she thought he was dead, but maybe take more than a month to mourn before moving on.  Now that I think about it, that’s more of a complaint about Lori.  And here’s a couple more!  I hate that bitch so much!  Not that I was on board with Shane through most of this season, but this bitch could have stopped dragging him along.  Do you want him or not?  “Stay away from my son!”  “I’m so happy you risked your life for my son!”  You don’t know what you want so much it’s like you’re a woman or something.  Speaking of which, she’s also terrible at driving!  She crashes a car and almost gets killed by walkers because she’s full on reading a map while driving.  I assume she was on her way to pick up makeup that she could put on while driving on the way back.  I got mad at her again when she was shitting on Hershel because he was trying to save her sons life and he was just a veterinarian.  Alright, bitch.  Go pick from one of the thousands of human doctors you have at your disposal.  Animals basically function in the same manner as humans do, and you don’t have a whole lot of choices.  The worst thing she did was getting pissy when Rick killed Shane.  He was trying to kill him!  Are you just mad because he narrowed down your options of men to cheat on him with?  Now you have to start considering Hershel?  I also don’t understand her logic in not wanting to let Carl learn how to shoot.  I’m not saying let him carry around a gun all the time, but would you rather he get killed by walkers because he can’t hit shit?  Speaking of which, Carl was a bit of a little shit in this season.  Most of the time I couldn’t tell if he was gravitating more towards his dad or Shane.  There’s even a point where we’re not sure if he’s going to shoot his dad or Shane.  It was a good shot when he finally made it though.  Of course, the little asshole is the cause of one of the nicer people on the show dying because this little asshole had to go and pester a trapped walker until it was able to free itself.  Never really got on board with the Andrea character either.  First off, she shot Daryl.  She also sucked with a gun for most of the season, and she fucked Shane.  I don’t think I disliked her enough to just forget she existed when abandoning the farm as the other survivors did, however.  I don’t know what the kid’s name was, but I also thought the young kid that lived on the farm was a dumbass.  Why didn’t he start driving off once Carl and Rick jumped onto the RV?  Fuck letting them climb down while you wait so you can get eaten by walkers!

I do like a lot of the people in the show, however.  Daryl is the best.  He seems like such a nice guy under his gruff exterior, and he’s the most useful person in the group.  He can track, his weapon can be used at any time, and he carries around a giant baggy of useful drugs.  I loved how dedicated he was to finding Sophia, and I kind of hope he winds up with Carol.  She looks like she needs a little lovin’.  Glenn is also great, but I think my favorite thing about him is Maggie Greene.  It’s about damned time I got to see some of that sexy ass Lauren Cohan!  I also liked Otis, and I was pretty sad to see what happened to it.  I wasn’t surprised by it because that Shane is a piece of shit, but I was sad.  Hershel was also very likeable, especially since he was supportive of Glenn’s relationship with Maggie.  I wasn’t expecting that conversation to go that way.  She wasn’t named in this season, but the lady with the samurai sword seems like she’s gonna be my jams.  That’s exactly how I’d roll in the zombie apocalypse.

Season two of The Walking Dead was every bit as enjoyable to me as the first season.  I suppose if all you want out of a series is random glory shots of zombie’s heads exploding then you might find the human drama a little boring.  I would also find you a little boring.  The only problems I’ve had with this series so far are that some of the characters are assholes and idiots.  But I only hate those characters, not the performers.  They are also awesome.  And I suppose the show wouldn’t be as interesting if there weren’t some assholes for me to want dead.  Check this season out on Netflix.  I already purchased it.  Moving on to season three as soon as possible.  The Walking Dead season two gets “Merle Dixon’s clap is the best thing that ever happened to you” out of “If I hadn’t done what I did, you would be dead now.”

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The Walking Dead: Season One (2010)


You Just Rang the Dinner Bell.

The Walking Dead: Season One (2012)I believe I intended to write a review for this TV show last October but I must’ve forgotten.  This year I would not make the same mistake.  The October Horrothon has given me the excuse to watch the Blu-ray that I purchased when it released in 2011.  It sat on my shelf for 2 years, forgotten.  It was not intentional on my part.  I’ve heard nothing but great things about this show, but it got filed away with the other shows like Game of Thrones, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad that I subconsciously refuse to watch because they’re supposedly so good.  Maybe I’m afraid that these shows can’t possibly live up to the expectations that the world has set for me for them.  But it’s October, season four is about to start, and I need to find out if I wasted money on The Walking Dead Season One, based on the graphic novel series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard, developed for TV by Frank Darabont, and starring Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden, Emma Bell, Steven Yeun, Jeffrey DeMunn, Norman Reedus, Chandler Riggs, IronE Singleton, Jeryl Prescott Sales, Melissa McBride, Adam Minarovich, Andrew Rothenberg, Michael Rooker, and Noah Emmerich.

Sheriff’s Deputy Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) is shot in an altercation with some criminals and slips into a coma.  After an undetermined amount of time, he awakens to find the hospital torn apart, with blood and bullet holes lining the walls.  He returns home to find it deserted, his wife Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) and son Carl (Chandler Riggs) apparently having escaped.  While trying to wrap his mind around the situation, a young boy named Duane (Adrian Kali Turner) hits him in the head with a shovel.  When he wakes up, Duane’s father Morgan (Lennie James) explains that while Rick was unconscious the world was overrun by zombies, or “walkers.”  Rick gets them into the police station where they get stocked up on guns and ammunition, and then Rick sets off alone to Atlanta, where it’s said there is a safe zone.

This show gets a mighty “Hell Yeah!” from me.  And I’m told this isn’t even the best season!  I can only hope that’s true because this season was fantastic.  It’s awesome because it’s equal parts zombie horror and human drama, and both of them work fantastically.  The show opens very effectively, giving the audience the zombie stuff that we need because that’s what brought us in before giving us the backstory we also require.  And it gives us so much in that small amount of time.  It shows how long things have been like this, how bad they’ve gotten, and the scene with the little girl zombie shows us that Rick is a good guy.  He tries to save her until he realizes half her face his missing.  The length of time was well-illustrated by the deserted cars at the gas station, but poorly illustrated by the mail overflowing from the mailbox.  How does that make sense?  It was bad enough for Lori to abandon her home but the mail service continued for a week?  But that first episode doesn’t only open strong; it also closes with a bang.  The reveal of the picture at the end of the episode was harsh.  The second episode taught me a couple of things.  The first is that women really do like to fuck in dangerous situations.  I thought that was just a thing they did in bad horror movies because they wanted to get some boobies in their movie.  But when this show does it I believe them.  The second thing I learned is that this show is good enough that they can make me feel bad for a racist dick like Merle Dixon.  When they reached episode four, I was surprised to see that the Vatos Locos from Blood in, Blood out apparently survive the apocalypse.  They weren’t kidding when they said “Forever” were they?  Then they started making me angry because they were acting like Rick’s crew started the fight.  You guys jumped them!  And if you’re going to argue that those guns could’ve belonged to everyone since they were just left in the street, then you’re right.  So it’s a good thing that the first people that came across them were the actual owners, I suppose.  Then they take a rather interesting and unexpected turn with the Vatos, catching me off guard yet again.  I was also expecting some huge reveal near the end of the season that Merle brought the walkers to the camp.  That’s not the way they went, but what they did was still very emotional.

I can’t really say a whole lot about the look of this show.  It’s fantastic.  There’s not much more to say than that.  The corpses are amazing, the walking corpses are amazing, everything is amazing.  I specifically use the term amazing because I think about how amazed the people that inspired these stories would be if they realized what was possible now.  On TV no less!  Romero’s first movie couldn’t even imagine this level of zombie effects.  All they did was white face paint!

Every actor in this deserves the accolades they’ve been given.  They’re all amazing.  I was especially impressed with Andrew Lincoln when I watched the Behind the Scenes stuff.  That dude’s from England!  He has an English accent!  Never would have guessed that from the show though.  And beyond that, he’s still one hell of an actor.  Lennie James was also fantastic, particularly in scene in the when he was about to shoot his wife.  I would’ve liked a little resolution with his story, but the story is so well-written that I have to imagine they will pay it off at some point.  They did with the grenade and I was all but sure they forgot they had that.  I did get irritated with his son though.  I understand the reason for him crying when he sees his mom as a zombie, but do you have to be so fucking loud about it?  I know people can cry without screaming; I’ve seen it happen.  I might have smothered him with that pillow instead of getting him to cry in it.  I would have to say I never really got on board with this Lori Grimes lady.  Sarah Wayne Callies does a great job playing her, but that woman works my nerves something fierce.  Much more in season two, but she did her part here too.  I could say it was because she fucked Shane, but I don’t really blame her for that.  Now when she fucked Rick in the same tent where her young son was sleeping, I can blame her for that ickiness.  How do you know he won’t wake up?  Did you test that theory out with Shane a few times?  I kept going back and forth on my feelings about Laurie Holden’s Andrea character.  I hated her when I was first introduced to her, when she got all up on Rick’s jock for getting them into the situation with the walkers.  He didn’t do shit to you!  He got HIMSELF into the situation.  Glen got you all into the situation by choosing to rescue Rick.  Rick owes you a thanks, but you can go ahead and shut the fuck up.  Then I got a little confused by her when she started complaining about having to do the laundry, but mainly because it was an instant before it cut to four of the menfolk risking their lives to save Merle.  But you’re right: rubbing clothes against a washboard is tough stuff.  I did get back on board when I thought she might make a critical (and cliché) zombie survival mistake involving her sister, but thankfully she did not.  I also found myself quite fond of Steven Yeun as Glenn, especially since we meet him as he’s dressed like a grown up version of Short Round or Data from Goonies.

I’m done wasting time on season one of The Walking Dead.  I’m almost done with season two by the time I’m finishing writing this.  Season one is real good.  I was not disappointed, and that says a lot with the level of praise I had heard for this series.  Season two seems to be turning out well also, but we’ll get to that later.  For now, I will recommend you find a way to watch this series.  I had already purchased season one, and season one caused me to purchase season two.  I’m told it’s on Netflix.  Do it whichever way you like.  Season four is not far away, as I have been told.  GET INTO IT!!  Season one of The Walking Dead gets “I remember my dream now; why I dug the holes…” out of “We’re going to need more guts.”

WATCH REVIEWS HERE!  YouTube  OTHER JOKES HERE!  Twitter  BE A FAN HERE!  Facebook  If you like these reviews so much, spread the word.  Keep me motivated!  Also, if you like them so much, why don’t you marry them?!

Game of Thrones: Season Two (2012)


Any Man Dies With a Clean Sword, I’ll Rape His Fucking Corpse!

Game of Thrones: Season Two (2012)It stood to reason that I put out my review for Season Two of Game of Thrones a week away from my review for Season One since that is about the time it took me to finish both of them.  That may come as a bit of a spoiler to the eventual review of this season, but I don’t care.  I have a review to write and this is the thing that I’ve watched.  So let’s jump right into my review for Game of Thrones: Season 2, based on the novels by George R. R. Martin, and starring Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Maisie Williams, Sibel Kekilli, Michelle Fairley, Emilia Clarke, Aiden Gillen, Kit Harington, Alfie Allen, Jerome Flynn, Iain Glen, Charles Dance, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, Sophie Turner, Jack Gleeson, Stephen Dillane, Liam Cunningham, Richard Madden, John Bradley, Conleth Hill, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Gwendoline Christie, Rory McCann, and Carice van Houten.

Robb Stark (Richard Madden) continues his campaign against King Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson).  He sends Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) to gain the support of his father, Balon (Patrick Malahide), and sends his mother Catelyn (Michelle Fairley) to seek help from Renly Baratheon (Gethin Anthony), who is fighting with his brother Stannis (Stephen Dillane) over who has claim on the throne.  Stannis has sex with the priestess Melisandre (Carice van Houten) when she promises to give him a son, which turns out to be a shadow creature that kills Renly, causing Catelyn to flee with Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie).  Robb tries to trade Jamie Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) for Sansa (Sophie Turner) and Arya (Maisie Williams) Stark.  And then Stannis sails against the King.  Also, Arya is posing as a boy while travelling back to Winterfell, gets taken hostage and taken into the house of Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance).  And, across the ocean, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) is trying to lead her people across a desert and they almost die before they finally reach the town of Qarth, where shit is also going down.

Here’s something crazy: the writers of this movie didn’t go on some crazy drug binge and decide to start ignoring the excellent material they were working with.  Seriously.  After two seasons of this show I’ve almost broken down and decided that I should check out these books.  And I hate reading!  But I’ll probably just wait until the DVD’s come out.  The second season was just as good as the first, and I refuse to decide which is better.  That’s not necessary for a review, right?  I would say that, in my opinion, this season didn’t have as much by way of emotionally impactful moments as the first season had.  Ned Stark was beheaded in front of his family in the first season.  This season didn’t have that.  It didn’t have Khal Drogo dying.  It had some great moments, but maybe I’m not thinking of them as much because the battle in episode nine was so epic it overshadowed the rest of them.  It was badass.  Disembowelments, ships exploding in green fire, and a feel of the battle of Helm’s Deep mixed with storming the beaches at Normandy.  The only part I took issue with was not really clearly understanding what happened to Dinklage at the end of it.  He seemed like he was fatally sliced in the face.  It didn’t really look like a fatal wound, but they tried to act like he might have died from it, probably for the cliffhanger.  But at first I thought they were going for one of those slow reveals where the top of his head slid off because the cut when all the way through his head.  There were other great moments in the story, like the tense part where Arya was trying to covertly serve drinks to Tywin Lannister and Petyr Baelish and not get recognized by Petyr.  There were also little parts that I didn’t care for.  The only one I can currently think of is the fact that episode five had two separate occasions where “You can’t avenge him when you’re dead” worked to convince people.

The performances are still fantastic.  They’re also the same people, so it’s not very surprising.  One thing I still find weird about Game of Thrones so far is that all I ever heard about the series before I started watching was how awesome Khaleesi was.  First off, her name isn’t Khaleesi like everyone made it seem like it was.  It’s Daenerys.  Emilia Clarke is sexy and great in the show, but she hasn’t made that much of an impact.  There was kind of a drought of her through most of this season, and the parts she was in weren’t always that interesting.  Wandering around a desert, then almost marrying a black man, then getting her pets kidnapped by the lead singer of REM, then they light that guy on fire and it’s the end of the world and he knows it.  But he feels fine.  She doesn’t even have much impact on the story in general, which is exemplified by the fact that she’s the only big character on the other side of the ocean.  The rest of the world in this show doesn’t even know she exists yet.  My favorite character in the series remains Maisie Williams as Arya.  I don’t know why, but I like this kid’s moxie.  And I like all the characters that are nice to her, like Tom Wlaschiha as Jaqen H’ghar.  I also think he reminds me of Gambit.  Plus he was the one that answered the question I kept asking early on: Why does no one realize Arya is a girl?  Why does no one say to Arya as she’s pretending to be a boy, “Little boy, you seem to be developing breasts.”  But then Jaqen and Tywin Lannister both figure it out, so maybe she just surrounded herself with stupid people.  I like Rory McCann as Sandor “The Hound” Clegane more in this season as well, mainly because of the part where he rescued Sansa from getting raped.  It was brutal and badass.  But later, I started thinking about how highly inconvenient it would be for a warrior like him to be afraid of fire when there would be so much of it in a typical battle in this time.  And the rescue situation started making me mad at Sophie Turner’s Sansa.  Why doesn’t she escape with The Hound?!  What kind of stupid Stockholm Syndrome is she developing that makes her stick around this castle?!  Lena Headey still brings it as Cersei Lannister in this season, but I liked her most when she was getting drunk during the big battle, and especially her line about a woman’s best weapon being between her legs.  They introduced two new characters in this season that I liked as well.  Natalie Dormer had one hell of a smokin’ hot body, but looked goofy wearing that waffle cone dress she wore (See picture below left).  And there was also Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth or, as I called her, Lady Tilda of Swinton (See picture below right).

Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) Waffle Cone DressBrienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) Tilda of Swinton

Season Two of Game of Thrones was just as awesome as the first.  Not as emotionally substantial as the first, but it makes up for it with a fantastic battle in episode nine.  All of the performances are still top of the line.  Season Two became yet another overly expensive TV series I’ll have to buy on BluRay, and I recommend you all do the same.  Can’t wait for Season Three to hit the shelves.  Game of Thrones: Season Two gets “I much like my head.  I don’t want to see it removed just yet” out of “Those are brave men knocking at our door.  Let’s go kill them!”

WATCH REVIEWS HERE!  YouTube  OTHER JOKES HERE!  Twitter  BE A FAN HERE!  Facebook  If you like these reviews so much, spread the word.  Keep me motivated!  Also, if you like them so much, why don’t you marry them?!

Game of Thrones: Season One (2011)


What Do We Say to the God of Death?

Game of Thrones: Season One (2011)I have come to find recently that the quality of a show can be judged based on whether or not I have ever seen it.  Some of the shows I hear the most about  the quality of – your Walking Dead, your Breaking Bad, your Mad Mens – I have either never seen an episode or maybe only one or two.  But if I had never seen these TV shows how could I review them?  And if I hadn’t reviewed them, how would you all know if you like it or not?!  I have an obligation here.  I need to either let you people know if you can continue to love a show or if you need to burn your BluRays.  The first TV show I decided to take on was a show called Game of Thrones: Season 1, based on a series of novels by George R. R. Martin, and starring Sean Bean, Michelle Fairley, Richard Madden, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, Art Parkinson, Kit Harington, Alfie Allen, Mark Addy, Lena Headey, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Peter Dinklage, Jack Gleeson, Rory McCann, Aiden Gillen, Conleth Hill, Harry Lloyd, Emilia Clarke, Jason Momoa, and Iain Glen.

The Lord of Winterfell, Eddard “Ned” Stark (Sean Bean), is asked by his friend and king, Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy), to become his chief advisor.  Ned takes his daughters Sansa (Sophie Turner) and Arya (Maisie Williams), where Sansa is to marry the prince Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson), son of the Queen Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey).  Ned’s wife, Catelyn (Michelle Fairley), stays home with Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright), who is in a coma after he was pushed from a window by Cersei’s brother, Ser Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), after he saw Cersei and Jaime having sex.  Incest-style!  Icky…  Across the Narrow Sea, Viserys Targaryen (Harry Lloyd) sells his sister, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) to the leader of the Dothraki warrior tribe, Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa), in hopes that the Dothraki will deliver him back to the throne he believes is his by right.  It may actually be his by right for all I know, because lots of people claim the throne belongs to them and it’s hard to keep up.

As it turns out, I was indeed and inexplicably avoiding the best shows on television.  This is a great show, and one that’s right up my alley.  I love the swords and sorcery, dungeon and dragons stuff.  That shit makes me wet.  You know what else does it for me?  Naked ladies.  This show’s got it all!  I liked this show so much that I bombed through the first two seasons as quickly as I could, watching during all of my free time.  Of course there was stuff that bugged me, but it seemed all intentional.  For instance, I don’t like when shows don’t work out exactly as I’d like them to for the people I like.  Of course, the show would be over pretty quickly if Ned and the Daenerys got married and lived happily ever after as king and queen in the first season.  The same goes for my strong desire to see Joffrey get what’s coming to him shortly after I first saw him.  He’s a driving force in the second season as well, but I still don’t think I’ve seen him get the comeuppance that he needs.  I also thought I was going to call some bullshit on the show when they suggested that Tyrion Lannister was the one that put the hit on Bran and sent the assassin using a knife that could so easily be tracked back to him, but the show was aware of that and Tyrion had been set up.  You win this round, Game of Thrones.  I still feel safe calling bullshit on the guy in the Night’s Watch for saying that Jon Snow was only fit to clean the armory because he was also pretty good at beating the shit out of all of his other trainees single handedly.  The only real problem I’ve had with the story is that I got attached to Syrio Forel, the sword instructor for Arya, because we don’t know what happened to him.  Of course, with how well this story’s been written so far, I wouldn’t be surprised if this was intentional too.

There’s not a whole lot to say about the production value of this show.  It’s fantastic.  Quite frankly, I’d call it impressive.  This is movie quality work going on in this TV show.  I remember a time when you could clearly tell the difference between TV and movies, but now it’s really blurred, especially when it comes to TV on HBO and channels of the like.  You get fantastic blood and guts in equal measure to some nice titties.  I cannot complain.

All of the performances are excellent in this show.  Sean Bean tears it up, even though his character’s name doesn’t seem to fit in the medieval setting.  Granted, his name is actually Eddard, but everyone calls him Ned.  Ned Stark seems like the first pass at naming Iron Man.  I was also a big fan of his daughters.  Sansa because she’s hot and Arya because of potential for future hotness.  Maisie Williams is far too young for hotness now, but she supplants it with tons of Moxie and I love her for it.  And Sophie Turner does a great job as Sansa, but I kept hating her for her behavior.  Even though I love animals, she deserved to get her dog killed for lying to the king and letting her sister get in trouble.  I just don’t understand her motivations.  That little shit Joffrey doesn’t deserve any kind of affection, even if you’re betrothed to him.  Is it just because he was in some of the Nolan Batman movies?  Look, I love him for that too, but the amount of asshole he is in this show overrides that.  I found myself having trouble for the first part of this season understanding why people liked Daenerys Targaryen.  Emilia Clarke does a great job at it, and is hotter than all get out, but I didn’t see anything special about her character at first.  It wasn’t until about halfway through the season that I started seeing what everyone was going on about.  That’s when she started getting badass.  When she gets her three new pets, I was cemented in a little more.  I also really dug Jason Momoa as Khal Drogo.  He was badass.  But, again, nothing good ever happens to the people I like.  I also understood pretty quickly why people talked up Peter Dinklage.  He was really the only likeable Lannister.

Definitely happy I started getting into Game of Thrones, and happy that I work with someone nice enough to be able to supply me with the first season like my friend Ashley.  And I’m also resentful for that douchebag roommate that forgot to bring his copy home with him so I could’ve gotten started early.  But I’ll probably have to resend that statement because he has season two.  Ah, I’m just kidding.  I already watched it all.  This show has a great, intricate story with lots of badasslery and intrigue, and enough tits and blood to go around, and an all-around great cast to realize it all with.  Season one is a must watch, and season two is even better, and you can check that review out whenever I get around to writing it.  Game of Thrones Season One gets “I’m good at killing fat boys.  I like killing fat boys” out of “Winter is coming.”

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Arrested Development: Season One (2003)


Say What You Will About America; Thirteen Bucks Still Gets You a Hell of a Lot of Mice.

I don’t often get requests to review TV shows, which I generally regard as a blessing, since a review of a TV show can take quite some time and I’ve never found myself particularly good at it.  But, when today’s TV show was requested, I was actually quite happy about it.  Not happy about getting to write a review of it, as I’m not nearly as practiced at it as I am with movies and even video games.  What I was happy about was getting to watch the TV show.  I’d never seen a single episode of this show as I tend to not keep up with television that much, so much so that I actually cancelled my cable service because I could do without the greater majority of them.  But I’d heard so much about how awesome this TV show was I was happy to have a reason to watch it.  So happy, apparently, that I actually bombed through all 22 episodes of the first season in one day.  Let’s see if it can live up to the hype as I review the first season of Arrested Development, created by Mitchell Hurwitz, and starring Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett, Tony Hale, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter, Michael Cera, Alia Shawkat, David Cross, Henry Winkler, Judy Greer, Liza Minnelli, Patricia Velásquez, Carl Weathers, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jay Johnston, Jerry Minor, Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts, Justin Lee, Jane Lynch, James Lipton, and John Michael Higgins.

George Bluth Sr. (Jeffrey Tambor) retires as the founder and CEO of the Bluth Company and is promptly arrested for spending the company’s money on personal expenses.  Bluth’s wife, Lucille (Jessica Walter) takes over as CEO, naming her extremely sheltered youngest son, Buster (Tony Hale), the president.  The middle son – and the only son actually equipped to run a business – Michael (Jason Bateman) leaves the company as a result, but comes back when they all realize they need him, and because his own son, George Michael (Michael Cera) wants to stay with the family.  Mainly because he’s developed a crush on his cousin, Maeby (Alia Shawkat), daughter of Michael’s sister Lindsay (Portia de Rossi) and her husband Tobias (David Cross).  The majority of the family lives in one of the Bluth model homes, with the rest of them, including the oldest brother Gob (Will Arnett) the aspiring magician, visiting frequently to try to borrow money from Michael as he tries to save the company while not even knowing what his father got into.

I don’t know if I’d say that this show has lived up to the hype so far, but it’s certainly not the fault of the show.  From what I had heard, I half expected to be laughing non-stop while watching.  That wasn’t what happened, but I found the show to be extremely well written, very funny, and even funny enough to get me to laugh out loud on more than one occasion.  The first episode was a little disappointing, but it seemed to mainly be all of the setup to get all of the backstory out of the way, but they pick up their speed pretty quickly after that.  The jokes mainly come from how ridiculous the family are, and are often shown in quick cutaways, almost like a live action Family Guy.  And, more often than not, my favorite part of the episode was actually the very end, where they show scenes from the next episode that may or may not actually happen, but they work very well as rapid fire jokes.  And a lot of the jokes were pretty smart too.  I liked when Gob got literally stabbed in the back as Michael was figuratively stabbing him in the back.  I was also a fan of the part where a guy said to Michael, “If you care about your brother, you’ll get in the car,” and Michael said, “Which brother?” and then, when the guy answered, “Gob,” he kept riding away.  Later, when George Michael was trying to find out if he was actually related to Maeby and he asked Gob if Lindsay was ever pregnant, Gob answers, “Oh yeah, dozens of times.”  I also like the part where George Bluth was talking about his twin brother and says, “You should’ve seen his face,” but then remembers that they’re twins and shows him what the face looked like.  A lot of the jokes seemed extra smart and well thought out as so many of them come together in the final episode, though this could’ve been done without planning to do it before hand.  I also liked a lot of the jokes that went on in the background, like when Gob was complaining about his girlfriend the Mexican soap opera star and saying that he’d kill someone if he ever had to smell some Mexican dish again, and the maid in the background closes her Tupperware that she was eating out of.  The story was never super important to the quality of the show, but there were a couple of reveals that were pretty obvious.  The whole part about “there always being money in the banana stand” could be seen coming from miles away, as well as the part about the blind lawyer being the Bluth’s opposing prosecutor in the trial.  Hell, they even outright spoil one themselves in the scenes from the next episode by saying that the lawyer isn’t really blind, but they say so many things in those next episode sequences that I didn’t know if it was true or a joke.  If it sounds like I’m just listing some of my favorite jokes from the show … well, I am.  But the show is well-written and funny, so you should watch it.

I liked all the performances in the show as well.  The greater majority of them are people that I liked going in, so it’s not really a surprise to me.  Jason Bateman plays a fantastic straight man, though he’s not above getting a little wacky himself.  It’s not too necessary in this show as his family does the bulk of the goofiness.  I was torn on the rest of the family for a while since most of them seemed like such unlikeable people I didn’t know why I’d want to spend time with them.  But you warm up to them fairly quickly.  I warmed up to Portia de Rossi because she was hot, especially when she was being sprayed by water and dancing in a cage in one of the later episodes.  I warmed up to Will Arnett because I’ve always liked him, and because he was one of the characters that started a lot of the funniness.  He also had his real life wife Amy Poehler in a few episodes as the wife he eloped with, and I’m always happy to see her as well.  I didn’t know Tony Hale before this show, but he gets a lot of funniness out of his Buster character.  I liked that he was able to get laughs from things as simple as standing silently in the background of scenes.  David Cross did a great deal of the comedy as well, as his character seemed totally gay and totally eccentric.  I liked the little physical things he did, like when he rolled up on the stage at the school play, or when he licked the end of his pencil and then kept licking it like he liked the taste.  He also got to work with Bob Odenkirk again in one episode, and those guys are genius together.  Michael Cera was an odd one for me.  Not because his performance in this show was not dissimilar from many of his other characters, but because of his relationship with his cousin Alia Shawkat.  Even though his crush on his cousin is pretty inappropriate, I found myself kind of wishing they would end up together.  I also liked Judy Greer in her few appearances as the assistant to George Bluth.  She’s a pretty attractive lady and I thought it was pretty funny when Gob would have her take off her glasses and her eyes would go cross-eyed, and she’d let down her hair and it’d go all crazy, and later she got a boob job and her nipples seemed to be pointing in odd directions.  Another big thing about the show is all of the guest appearances.  Liza Minnelli was in a few episodes, and was pretty damned funny as well.  Henry Winkler was usually funny as the inept lawyer, and he even busted the Fonze move in one episode.  Jane Lynch, Heather Graham, Carl Weathers, and a bunch of other random guest appearances were also great.

I’m sure a crappy show could not have kept me interested enough to actually get through 22 episodes of the first season in one day, but that was thankfully not the case with Arrested Development.  It was extremely well-written, very funny, and with fantastic performances to back it all up.  I don’t want to do it too soon and have the next review follow too quickly, but I can’t wait to get into the second season.  And, since you can stream the whole thing on Netflix, I don’t know why you’re not doing it right now.  Turns out my Friendboss Josh isn’t so much of an asshole after all.  Arrested Development Season One gets “That was a good investment” out of “It was shoplifting and I’m white.  I think I’m going to be okay.”

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Spaced (1999)


The Fuck-est Up-est

I purchased today’s review on DVD based entirely on the people involved with it, even though I knew very little about it beyond that.  I don’t have much experience with British television shows.  I don’t have a problem with them, I just haven’t seen very many of them.  But I decided to purchase the entire series (2 seasons, as we call it over in America) on DVD because I had heard it was enjoyable, and was the genesis of a couple of movies that I loved.  When I got the DVD’s, it took me quite some time to get around to watching them.  But when I saw they were on Netflix streaming, that sealed the deal.  So let’s hear my verdict on the TV show Spaced, created and written by Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes (nee Stevenson), directed by Edgar Wright, and starring Simon Pegg, Jessica Stevenson, Julia Deakin, Mark Heap, Nick Frost, Katy Carmichael, Ada the Dog, Anna Wilson-Jones, James Lance, Peter Serafinowicz, Michael Smiley, Bill Bailey, Clive Russell, Lucy Akhurst, Reece Shearsmith, with notable cameos by Olivia Williams and Ricky Gervais.

SERIES 1

The basic premise of the show is that two people, aspiring writer Daisy Steiner (Jessica Stevenson) and aspiring comic book artist Tim Bisley (Simon Pegg), have recently become homeless.  They become friends looking through the newspaper for somewhere to live until they eventually find a house that seems perfect, but is only accepting couples.  They develop a plan to pose as a couple in order to get the flat.  They meet with the landlady, Marsha Klein (Julia Deakin), and move in soon after.  They also meet the person living below them, brooding artist Brian Topp (Mark Heap).  When they finally get unpacked, Daisy decides to throw a party, but few people come.  Just Marsha, Brian, Daisy’s friend and fashionista Twist Morgan (Katy Carmichael), and Tim’s friend with aspirations of being in the Territorial Army Mike Watt (Nick Frost).  Also the paperboy.  Later, Daisy fails an interview with a women’s magazine by saying “Girl Power” and Brian gets nervous about going to to meet his former partner Vulva (David Williams).  Vulva acts like a dick to Brain, but Tim gets crazed on a combination of Resident Evil 2, Twiglets, and free boose, punches Vulva, and “rescues” everyone.  Daisy gets dumped by her boyfriend and cheers herself up by getting a dog named Colin (Ada the Dog), but Tim is horribly afraid of dogs.  Tim and Mike go paintballing, only to run into Duane Benzie (Peter Serafinowicz), the man that stole Tim’s girlfriend.  He gets his revenge by shooting Duane in the balls.  Later, Tim is forced to walk Colin and he’s abducted.  Daisy believes he did it on purpose, but he redeems himself by getting the group together for a rescue.  In later episodes, the group goes clubbing with Tim’s friend Tyres (Michael Smiley), then some trouble is stirred up when Tim’s ex wants him back, Daisy fears for him, Brian asks Twist out, Mike rejoins the Territorial Army, and Daisy finally starts writing again.

SERIES 2

Daisy uses the money she made from selling a couple of articles to go on a trip through Asia.  When she returns, Tim is still struggling to get over the pain caused by the release of The Phantom Menace.  Mike has been staying in Daisy’s room in her absence.  Later, Tim is fired from his job at the comics store for yelling at a kid that wants to buy Jar Jar merchandise.  He joins Daisy at the unemployment office to get some money.  Brian finds out that his relationship with Twist has made him happy and, thus, unable to paint.  Marsha’s daughter, Amber, runs away from home, and Mike fills her empty room.  Later, Tim and Mike have their chances of winning Robot Wars damaged by saboteurs, but they’re able to get their robot back on it’s wheels.  Tim is called by Damien Knox of Darkstar Comics, wanting to see his portfolio, but Daisy mistakenly puts a picture Tim drew of Knox saying that he’s “a massive wanker” in the portfolio.  With the help of Tyres, Mike and Tim break into Knox’s office, but the picture was already removed by his secretary, Sophie (Lucy Akhurst), who asks Tim on a date.  Later, Tim and Daisy have a night on the town, but run afoul of a group of ruffians, defeating them with a slow motion shootout with imaginary guns.  When Daisy’s birthday arrives, Sophie is unwittingly driving wedges into the group’s relationships.  Mike is jealous of how much time Tim is spending with someone else, Daisy is a little jealous of Sophie, Marsha thinks Tim is cheating on Daisy because he sees Tim and Sophie together, Brian and Twist break up, and even Colin is upset that Daisy is ignoring him so he goes to spend time with the old lady next door.  Over dinner, the truth comes out that Daisy and Tim were lying all along, and Marsha leaves feeling betrayed.  To tie it all up, Tim and Daisy must find Marsha and try to convince her to come back before she sells the house and leaves them all homeless.

What a surprise, Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright did something that I thought was awesome.  Not to leave Jessica Hynes out of it, but this was my introduction to her.  I already had love for Simon, Edgar, and Nick Frost.  Now I guess I have to like all of the rest of these people as well.  This show is really the kind of show for me.  It’s funny, charming, and filled to the brim with references to things I love, from movies to video games and all other things popular culture, if you know to look for them.  The show isn’t what I would call uproariously funny.  It’s just not the type of comedy they were going for.  But it was charming all the way through, and certainly had it’s share of good laughs.  I was thinking about the idea they put out in the show that men can walk up to each other and start a slow motion shootout, and any man would start to play along.  I thought that was ridiculous for a second, but then I realized I would totally play along if it happened to me.  If there’s something negative I could say about the show, it would be that I may have missed some things because I’m not British, and that’s just downright racist of them.  I thought it was interesting that they had a lot of things they could get away with on English television that we definitely couldn’t over here.  They say “fuck” and “asshole” a couple of times, as well “cunt” and “twat”.  Hell, at one point Daisy is trying to get inspiration from magazines and one of them is one called “Huge Fat Cocks”.  They don’t let us get away with stuff like that in this fuckin’ twat of a cuntry.  There’s also a good amount of drug use in the show that wouldn’t fly over here, even though they never really made a big deal out of it on the show.  They smoked weed every now and then, and had an entire episode that was basically devoted to clubbing and ecstasy.  I feel like some of the jokes in that may have gone over my head since I know next to nothing of clubbing or drugs, but I feel I got the spirit of it.  Most of my enjoyment came from recognizing the nerdy things they referenced in the show.  They reference all sorts of things, like The Shining, Scooby Doo, Resident Evil, Star Wars, Robocop, the Matrix, and Star Trek.  They made a joke about Star Trek in the show that was made much funnier after the fact when Simon Pegg said that “Every odd numbered Star Trek film is shit”, not yet knowing that he would be in Star Trek number 11.  I also really liked their Fight Club joke when they were in the Robot Club, ’cause the first rule of Robot Club is you don’t talk about Robot Club.  The second rule of Robot Club is you don’t talk about … wait, I’ve got that wrong.  The second rule is “No Smoking”.

Edgar Wright also filmed the show in the cinematic style that he would later come to perfect, with fast cuts and interesting wipes from scene to scene.  The show’s zombie episode shows signs of Shaun of the Dead being in their minds, and they also use the joke between Pegg and Frost that was used in Shaun, the one where someone says that Frost is on the phone by saying “Your boyfriend’s on the phone” and he responds with “He’s not my boyfriend”, then picks up the phone and says “Hey babe.”

The performances in this show are easily the best part.  Everybody in the cast – both main and supporting – were enjoyable and funny.  Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes were not only the main characters, but the writers of the show, so their the ones that get the most credit for the show’s clever dialogue.  Nick Frost, not surprisingly, was the character I enjoyed the most.  He was all crazy gun nut all the time, especially when he was dual-wielding in the paintball match.  I tended to think Mark Heap’s character was pretty funny too, usually seemingly like he was barely restraining some form of psychosis.  He also introduced the show to Vulva, which lead to a lot of things I though were funny as they kind of lampooned the artsy fartsy stuff I hate by showing the crazy interpretive art of a man dressed like a woman yelling random things on a stage as a guy with a vacuum attached to him jumped around on stage.  That’s basically how I view all of that kind of art.  Julia Deakin made me laugh too.  The big joke about her was that she would drink and smoke semi-constantly, but they got a lot of mileage out of it.  Katy Carmichael’s character Twist was mainly a little stupid and a little bitchy, but she was funny when she was around.  She also had a moment I found really cute when she was trying to talk Tim into letting her take her makeup bag with them on their covert mission to rescue Colin.  My favorite character that wasn’t in the main cast was Michael Smiley as Tyres.  He had a super short attention span as a result of his overuse of ecstasy, and he would talk really fast and start raving whenever things around him made noise to a beat.  One of the things I found funniest in the series was over the credits where it showed him dancing in front of a crosswalk light that was beeping.  I was amused to see Peter Serafinowicz in the show, having already known him from Shaun of the Dead.  That guy’s pretty good at playing a douche nozzle.  I liked a couple of their cameos as well, mostly Olivia Williams playing the part of a cyclist Tim and Mike had hit with their car, an obvious reference to the Sixth Sense that Olivia Williams was actually in.  Ricky Gervais had a small bit part, but it was cool to see him too.

The DVD of the show was an excellent purchase, as I found out after I had fallen in love with the show and started checking out the extras.  There’s a lot of good stuff on these DVD’s.  Unfortunately for me, my disc two DVD would not work, but each disk had some good outtakes, and I love watching them.  If you’re a fan of commentaries (like I am) you can enjoy not only the original commentary track, but ones with other fans of the show like Kevin Smith, Diablo Cody, Matt Stone, Patton Oswalt, Bill Hader, and Quentin Tarantino.  On top of that, there’s a Q&A with the cast, and a feature-length documentary about Spaced that ties up a couple of loose ends left by the show not having a third series.

I seem to have gotten a little long-winded about the show, but I couldn’t help it.  This was a pretty great show.  It’s just the type of show for a nerdy guy like me.  Very funny, very charming, and with tons of references to other nerdy things I love.  Top that off with some great directing and fantastic performances, and this is a show I can fully recommend.  If you’d like to try it out, it’s available on Netflix streaming at the moment.  If you like it, buy it.  The only thing I regretted about my purchase is that my second disc isn’t functioning.  Either way, Spaced gets “It’s a subtle blend of lateral thinking and extreme violence” out of “You’re the best auntie I’ve ever had.”

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Twin Peaks: Season 1 (1990)


Who’s The Lady With the Log?

I feel like I’ve heard so much more about this television show than I ever knew.  Hell, even after watching the first season, I can’t say I really understand it too much.  I know I had heard the name a long time ago, but never really felt the need to research it.  I had heard about the show again when I played the game Alan Wake, as many things I read about Alan Wake drew comparisons between the game and this show.  Finally, when Kevin Smith was recalling parts of the show on his podcast, I decided it was time for me to watch it.  This show is part drama, part comedy, part thriller, but pretty much all surreal.  Let’s see how well a very confused person reviews the TV show Twin Peaks, created by David Lynch and Mark Frost, and starring Sheryl Lee, Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Ontkean, Eric Da Re, Lara Flynn Boyle, Sherilyn Fenn, James Marshall, Dana Ashbrook, Madchen Amick, Richard Beymer, Michael Horse, Ray Wise, Grace Zabriskie, Russ Tamblyn, Joan Chen, Piper Laurie, Jack Nance, Warren Frost, Peggy Lipton, Kimmy Robertson, Harry Goaz, Everett McGill, Wendy Robie, David Patrick Kelly, Walter Olkewicz, Victoria Catlin, Don S. Davis, Charlotte Stewart, Mary Jo Deschanel, Chris Mulkey, Catherine E. Coulson, and Miguel Ferrer.

The base story of the entire first season gets kicked off right in the pilot.  Pete Martell (Jack Nance) discovers the naked corpse of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) by a river.  Sheriff Harry S. Truman (Michael Ontkean) and Dr. Will Hayward (Warren Frost).  Her death becomes big news around the tiny town of Twin Peaks, especially at the high school she once attended.  FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) comes down to aid in the investigation.  Over the course of the first season, they unravel hidden motivations involving sex, drugs, but a distinctive lack of rock and/or roll.  Laura’s parents, Leland (Ray Wise) and Sarah (Grace Zabriskie), suffer nervous breakdowns, but they take turns being crazy.  There’s a small group of people in the town, but they’re practically all cheating on each other.  A guy named Leo (Eric Da Re) is dealing drugs and beating his wife, Shelly (Madchen Amick).  Some of Laura’s friends, Donna (Lara Flynn Boyle) and James (James Marshall), start their own investigation into Laura’s death, eventually using Laura’s identical twin cousin, Maddy Ferguson (Sheryl Lee), to get at Laura’s psychiatrist, Dr. Lawrence Jacoby (Russ Tamblyn).  Cooper starts investigating leads based on a dream he has.  Also, this sexy 18-year-old falls in love with Cooper.  By the end, they narrowed in a bit on who killed Laura, but I was nowhere close to understanding anything.

I was almost as confused by the show as I was in my feelings about the show.  For a while, I was just put off by how weird it all was.  Let me give you some examples.  For one thing, there’s a lady that carries around a log that she claims has seen something that will help the police solve the murder, but they must ask the log for the information.  A dude sends his ex-wife a picture of a domino from in prison.  Someone assassinates a bird.  Suspects are decided based on how close to hitting milk bottles Agent Cooper can get with some rocks.  Cooper has an entire dream that’s really off-putting.  Everyone speaks weirdly because they all delivered their lines backwards and then had them played forward, a midget got up and started dancing, and Laura was saying something about her arms bending backwards.  It seemed that each episode took me one step closer to figuring it out, but then two big steps back in the same episode.  But, as time went on in the show, I started realizing that I was still really interested in it.  It was strange, but oddly engrossing.  It was confusing in the small scale, but I feel like I was beginning to understand the big picture.  They used some really cool and intriguing ideas too.  That dream, for instance.  It really did have a strange, otherworldly feel to it because of something as simple as recording their lines backwards and playing it forward.  You could kind of make out what they were saying, but it definitely wasn’t normal.  I did get vaguely annoyed at the end of the whole season because they just had to have the whole cliffhanger thing.  I get annoyed when shows do that at the end of their seasons because, typically, that would mean we’d have to wait a number of months to figure out what happened and, sometimes, we would never find out what happened because they show got cancelled before they could end it.  I was only able to get vaguely annoyed by this because I was streaming the first season on Netflix, where the second season was available as well.  This time the cliff is hung because I had a review to write.  I am so pro!

It’s kind of hard to judge some of the performances here, because pretty much everyone was acting so weird.  I was beginning to feel bad for Sheryl Lee because she, as Laura, was the driving force of the entire show, but she was dead before it began.  She got to pop in for some flashbacks for a minute or two, but it seemed like a bummer.  Then they threw her a bone and she got to come back … as her cousin that looks just like her with dark hair.  I don’t know.  I guess that could be a thing.  Kyle MacLachlan was good, and pretty close to normal until the dream started to make him weirder.  Also, he turned down naked Sherilyn Fenn, and it don’t get much weirder than that.  She was smokin’ hot.  I enjoyed the performance of Miguel Ferrer as the forensics expert that Cooper brought in, but mainly ’cause he was an ultra dick to everyone in the town for no reason.  Until Michael Ontkean punched him in the face.  There was something that was constantly off about Eric Da Re’s performance, but I could never tell if he did it on purpose or was just a strange actor.  Madchen Amick – who played his wife – was pretty hot though.  I also found Kimmy Robertson oddly cute.  Ray Wise and Grace Zabriskie confused me.  They played Laura’s parents and, for obvious reasons, were a little distraught about the loss of their daughter.  What bothered me is that one of them would be having the nervous breakdown in one episode while the other was being strong, and then next time their roles would be reversed.  In or out, people.  It was also interesting to me that Lara Flynn Boyle was in this.  For one thing, she was very cute.  For another thing, she was in Men in Black 2.  But I never really understood her character either.  It seemed like she was trying, with James Marshall, to find out what happened to Laura, but I think they intended to cover it up for some reason.  I’m fairly convinced they weren’t the killers.  They seemed to be really good friends with Laura, pre-mortem.  Maybe the whole “three different semens and drugs” thing would’ve ruined her image or something.  Kobe seemed to get past it, though.

I’m really not sure what to tell you about this show.  It’s very interesting, but also very confusing.  I feel compelled to continue on to season 2, and possibly even to watch the movie that most people hated, but I’m also afraid that doing so will not only fail to clear anything up, but will only heap on more questions.  One thing’s for certain: Laura Palmer’s dead, and she isn’t coming back.  If you have Netflix streaming, and think you might be down with a confusing cult hit TV show, give it a look.  Hopefully season 2 will make more sense.  In the meantime, Twin Peaks: Season 1 gets “Fire walk with me” out of “She’s dead.  Wrapped in plastic.”

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