Thursday, November 20, 2014

Arrow - 3.06 - Draw Back Your Bow - Review: Your Love Is My Drug


AUSTIN BUTLER (“THE CARRIE DIARIES”) JOINS THE CAST AS CHASE; OLIVER DEALS WITH CARRIE CUTTER — Oliver (Stephen Amell) must stop an Arrow-obsessed serial killer, Carrie Cutter (guest star Amy Gumenick), who is convinced that The Arrow is her one true love and will stop at nothing to get his attention. Unfortunately, her way of getting his attention is to kill people. Meanwhile, Ray (Brandon Routh) asks Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) to be his date for a work dinner with important clients. Thea (Willa Holland) auditions new DJs for Verdant and meets Chase (Austin Butler), a brash DJ with whom she immediately clashes.

To read more click here.


Episode Awards


Character of the Night
• Oliver

Best Character Interactions
• Oliver and Diggle
• Felicity and Ray

Scene of the Night
• Oliver and Roy go to Diggle's place for a late dinner.

Most Memorable Moment
• Felicity and Ray kissing

Best Action
• Cupid and The Arrow fight

Screenshot of the Night



If you'd like to hear more of my thoughts I have a podcast dedicated to Arrow and it's called Queen Consolidated. Give it a listen, if you like it please be sure to rate, review and subscribe.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Reign 2x07 - The Prince of the Blood – Review: The Brave and the Bold


Hey, Royals! It’s time to discuss another episode of Reign. This week’s installment of Reign really saw things heating up. This was a really fantastic episode that saw every single character get a chance to shine, put some wind in the sails of all the fandom ships as well as break our hearts and to be honest I wouldn’t have it any other way. A story of this nature is all about the ups and downs and it’s amazing how much I’ve been enjoying the ride for most of season 2. More on that later… Let’s just jump straight into the review, shall we?


This week’s episode was written by, not even going to lie, my favorite writing pair on the show (technically it’s a tie but whatever) Drew Lindo & Wendy Riss Gatsiounis. The last episode they wrote was episode of this season so I was very pleasantly surprised to them back and so soon to boot. They really brought their A game for this episode (like always). I was over the moon with how great this episode turned out.

Deborah Chow directed this week’s episode and I have to say it was visually stunning. I really do love when the show is able to film outdoors and make use of natural light. I loved all the wide shots, especially during Claude’s party and how the fireworks sequences were captured. But I think my favorite shot of the night was that of Francis sitting all alone on his throne, his image getting more distant and then it fading to black. It pretty much summed up Francis journey during this episode.

If I had to make a long story short here’s how I would sum up the episode’s course of events: Princess Claude returned home. Narcisse demanded that Francis sign an edict that would force everyone in France to openly declare their faith. Francis turned to Bash for help, confessing the truth that he killed Henry. Francis also asked Lola to plant false evidence that could get Narcisse killed, but she declines, because Francis refuses to share his reasons while Narcisse was immediately honest with her that he's blackmailing Francis with his patricide. Mary, who was kept out of the loop, went to Louis for help. Also Catherine saw the ghosts of her two young daughters threaten to harm Claude, so Catherine orders Claude to leave court.

“The opposite of bravery is not cowardice but conformity.” - Robert Anthony

Character Contemplation


I’m elated that Bash finally knows the secret. I love that he did not judge Francis or scold him. Bash simply wanted to do whatever he could to help carry the burden of the secret. I’ve been waiting all season for this moment and it was all that I hoped for. As long time readers will know, I’ve been disappointed by the lack of brother bonding moments as of late. This episode marked the return of Bash and Francis against the world and I seriously couldn’t be happier. The lack of character development for and hid storyline has been driving me crazy but it appears to be on the upswing at the moment. Heck we even got a few adorable Benna moments as well as a what the hell moment with his sister Claude. They do love to make the boy a wild one in every sense of the phrase it seems. Glad to have this character back on track and right by his brother’s side (where he needs to stay).

So like, is haunting contagious or something? Is Catherine going mad? Is Clarissa lurking around dosing Catherine’s wine to make her hallucinate? Ever since we found out that Caroline was a hoax I no longer trust any seemingly supernatural occurrences. When it was announced Claude would be returning I thought I would get to see Mama Bear but no all I got was Catherine giving her daughter the cold shoulder. Drat! I fear the wheels have stopped spinning in the writers’ room in regards to Catherine but I hope that isn’t true. We all know Megan Follows slays and really gives the character of Catherine that je ne sais quoi. Catherine also brings an amazing dynamic to nearly every relationship she has with all other main characters. There are so many ways both big and small to put her to use so here’s hoping the well hasn’t run dry on that front.

I don’t know what to make of Conde. I don’t see his angle just yet. But I do like the character (which means he’s probably evil incarnate). Conde certainly does spice things up quite a bit and let’s be honest Sean Teale is very easy on the eyes. I enjoy the chemistry between Kane and Teale every single time they are on screen together. I don’t know if he will be Francis’ salvation or ruination but I do know I’m going to enjoy this character’s journey for as long as he is around. But I swear if beds Mary, I’ll be the first to demand his head go on a pike. Conde definitely gives off a ‘Dangerous Liaisons’ vibe and I think the writers would do best with moderate flirtations than doing the Full Monty.

The Francis in this episode was amazing. Toby Regbo nailed it and absolutely killed it. I literally cheered for Francis when was in the stables with Bash and basically said that he was ready to take responsibility for his actions. He finally sounded like a real king. He was worried about the integrity of his kingdom. He wants to be a man that Mary can be proud to call her husband and king and little did she know he was really trying. Francis finally has Bash back by his side and I having feeling together they will get stuff done and put an end to Narcisse. I feel for Francis he has not only managed to push Mary away but Lola as well. I can’t wait to see what else the writers have in store for Francis but the deeper and darker the better. But just so you know, I’m never going to be over that faux haunting. Missed opportunity.

Damn it, man! I only want nice things for Greer. I feel for the girl. Who steals a woman’s wedding dress? Barbarians, that’s who! Why do things like this keep happening to her? Is it because she is woman in medieval times who wishes to be more than the property of her husband? I just can’t figure it out. Being a founding member of Team Castleroy I thought when they got married we’d have very little to worry about other than maybe Greer backsliding on the Leith thing. But the stakes are way higher than that now. I didn’t know that if a woman married a man she had to take on his faith as well. That was a new one to me and quite a doozy. Not sure how this will play out but eventually a main cast member will have to die this season as the laws of writing a serial drama mandate it. No offense but if it comes down to it, off with Castleroy’s head and spare Greer. Am I right?

Is it just me or are the writers having trouble deciding what to do with the character of Kenna? I love whenever she is on screen but something is a bit off. I guess it has to do with how her husband and friends are always off doing more important things for the most part and while they continue to try and paint Kenna with some of the same brush strokes as last seasons. Kenna has grown so much since we first met her but sometimes that writing doesn’t support it and I’m borderline sick of it. For the love of all things lacey and beaded please get Kenna back into the fray.

Well, I have to say I didn’t see Lola choosing Narcisse over Francis coming. My biggest question at the end of this episode was about whether or not Lola removed the cipher. She didn’t tell Narcisse her real reason for coming whilst she soaked in his tub (at least not on screen) so that could be reasoned out to assume she didn’t remove the envelope or tell Narcisse about it. Is Lola the new Caroline? Is she playing a role? I sure hope so. I mean Narcisse came right out and said that if he deploys his plan her son will get hurt in the crossfire to her face so it would probably be best to go with Francis on this one no matter how she felt about either of the men in her life. I really enjoyed Lola this week, she’s the best she’s ever been in a very long time. I see hints of the old Lola who was strong and fierce and definitely not one to be trifled with and I loved it. Glad to see they’re giving Anna Popplewell something to sink her teeth into.

The material they have been writing for Mary these last two weeks have been phenomenal. This the queen that I always knew she could be. I love that she is a fighter, compassionate, fierce and loyal. It breaks my heart about what she thinks of Francis at the moment. But watching her with Francis is bad times is far more beautiful to me than watching her with Francis during the good times (I’m a tad twisted, I’m aware). I don’t know what it is but the way the Reign writers depict royal turmoil is just awesome to me. Mary is at her best (and yes, sometimes her most naive) when she is following her heart and standing up for what she believes in and that also happens to be when Adelaide Kane shine brightest as well. All that ask of the writers on the Mary front is to keep up the good work.

I maintain my opinion that Narcisse’s head needs to be a pike as soon as possible. I didn’t think Narcisse could get any more smarmy or douchey. But I was wrong. I seriously do not believe that his interest in Lola is about anything other than annoying the living hell out of Francis. I think Narcisse does want his throne but without all that pesky responsibility. I’m just really over this character and I hope I don’t have to put up with this character much longer.

Grade: A-

Awards

Character of the Night
• Grand Prize Winner: Francis
•1 st Runner up: Mary
• 2nd Runner Up: Lola

Best Character Interactions
• Mary and Francis
• Mary and Conde
• Catherine and Claude

Scene of the Night
• Bash pulls the truth out of Francis
• Francis tells Bash that he wants to the right thing and doesn't want to sign the edict.

Line of the Night
• Lola: Do seek to take before I give.

Most Memorable Moment
•Lola slapping Narcisse

Favorite Lady-In-Waiting
• Lola

Lowlights

• Princess Claude won’t be staying
• Narcisse’s head is not on a pike

Miscellaneous

Burning Questions
• Did Bash really have full on sex with Claude?
• When are we going to see Narcisse take a bath?
• What would Montgomery have to gain by coming forward if Narcisse is dead? Why not just prove that he is loyal to the crown and get paid off?

Biggest Surprise of the Episode
• Lola appears to be trusting Narcisse over Francis.
It seems that is Catherine’s turn to be haunted.

Friendly Reminder
Don’t forget to live tweet with the show (@CWReign) and me (@lilithhellfire) every Thursday night at 9 pm EST.

Well, now it's your turn to sound off in the comments section below. I look forward to reading your thoughts.

PS: Don't forget to promote this and all interesting ‘Reign’ articles in all the social media you can. For instance be sure to click the like button, retweet this and +1 this article if you like it and appreciate this reviewer's hard work

Friday, November 14, 2014

Benched – 1x03 – Hooked & Booked – Review: "Rage our faces off"


Raise your hand if you’re pumped to talk about this week’s episode of Benched! I know I am. Last week’s installment was a little rocky and had me wondering if the pilot episode was a fluke or not. But this week saw the charm and funny come back with a vengeance. Nothing to it but to it but to do it so let’s get jump right into the review…

This week’s episode was written by Lindsey Shockley. In the director’s chair this week was Clair Scanlon who also directed last week’s episode as well. I found the writing to be pretty solid though some of the jokes were flat at times and at other times unnecessarily over the top. The male bonding was also a nice touch but I’ll be honest I find the ladies of the show to be much more funny so hopefully we get a ‘Ladies Night Out’ episode eventually (and by eventually I mean pretty freaking soon).

I love a show that doesn’t take itself too seriously. I also love that the writers of Benched seem to revel in harpooning Nina at every turn. I’m not sure if I’d even like Nina if any other actress besides Eliza Coupe played the character. I know it’s only the third episodes but Nina needs to get it together and realize it’s time to buckle down and let go of the past. This isn’t money law and after last week she’d be lucky to live down her infamy in ten years at this point.

I don’t know if it was just me as I’m not a shipper but I didn’t like the whole Nina and Phil situation. It felt like it was getting shoved down my throat. The key to a great TV romance (especially one billed as comedy) is the slow burn and above all else SUBTLY.

Now let’s move on to something that I really did enjoy this week and that was the boys’ night out. It was great getting to see Phil and Oscar (and Larry) hang out get together outside of work. I swear, I’m going to make ‘Let’s rage our faces off’ a thing if it kills me. I liked the insight into to the character of Oscar. He’s another character that, like Nina is in transitional phase of life and is also dealing with the loss of a significant other.

I think the message of the episode got lost in translation. It is a fact that a lot of women in end up in jail and/or prison because they took the wrap for their significant other or just plain snapped and killed them after many years of abuse. But this week, unlike the pilot and last week the message didn’t resonate very well and Nina came off looking like a cold heartless witch at every turn. Or maybe that is the point of the show, I’m just not sure yet.

The theme however which was how you perceive yourself versus how others see you was spot on. While it should be no surprise to Nina how she comes off to others, it is to her and I think by going through with the ‘hooked and booked’ thing she was trying to fit in and combat her image issue as well as trying to impress Phil so let’s not make the whole thing about her mooning over a guy (even though she admitted as much).

In closing, I thought that this was a good episode but something was off and I can’t put my finger on it. I’m not sure which direction this show is going in. I do hope it keeps that savvy social commentary in tack as well as making Nina more likeable and less oblivious to her clients woes.
By, the way, I don’t know if it’s just me but I’d love to see more of Larry. Please and thank you.

Grade: B-

Final Thoughts: While this episode wasn’t as great as the pilot, it was leaps and bounds better than last week’s episode. I am eager to see the heart and the funny from the pilot return. I’m also not keen on having the romantic crap shoved down my throat. The writers need to learn how to be more subtle on that front. All in all, I’m still enjoying this show but Eliza Coupe is definitely still the only reason I’m around. I want to be here for everyone so hopefully the writers step their game up and let an ensemble cast be an ensemble cast.

Episode Awards


Character of the Night
• Carlos

Best Character Interactions
• Baby Jones and Nina

Scene of the Night
• Baby Jones and Nina bond over being in jail because of a guy.

Line of the Night
• Nina: As your lawyer, I need to advise you not to bust my white meat.

Most Memorable Moment
• Nina getting shocked by the Taser

Benched airs every Tuesday night at 10:30/9:30 central


The show’s hashtag is: #BenchedUSA
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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Arrow - 3.06 - Guilty - Review: A Vigilante's Arsenal


When a body is found strung up in the Wildcat gym, Ted Grant (J.R. Ramirez) becomes the main suspect. Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Laurel (Katie Cassidy) argue over Ted’s innocence. Meanwhile, Roy (Colton Haynes) becomes convinced he was the one who killed Sara.

To read more click here.

Episode Awards


Character of the Night
Ted Grant

Best Character Interactions
Oliver & Akio

Scene of the Night
Oliver gives Roy the official code name of Arsenal

Line of the Night
Roy: Don't abandon me.
Oliver: Never

Most Memorable Moment
The boxing glove trick arrow finally making its debut.

Best Action
Ted Grant and The Arrow fight

Screenshot of the Night




If you'd like to hear more of my thoughts I have a podcast dedicated to Arrow and it's called Queen Consolidated. Give it a listen, if you like it please be sure to rate, review and subscribe.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Arrow - 3.05 - The Secret Origins of Felicity Smoak - Review: A Blast from the Past


A cyber terrorist attacks Starling City. While Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Roy (Colton Haynes) attempt to keep the peace on the streets, Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) works to locate the virus that is attacking the city's infrastructure. Felicity quickly realizes that she designed the virus five years earlier, and that it is unstoppable. Felicity's mother Donna (Charlotte Ross) shows up unannounced. Laurel (Katie Cassidy) continues to train with Ted Grant (J.R. Ramirez) and reveals to him the real reason that she is learning to fight. Meanwhile, Roy (Colton Haynes) begins having nightmares that he was the one who killed Sara (Caity Lotz).

To read more click here.