Lilith Luvs TV

I'm just a girl sitting in front of her TV asking it to entertain her.

Zero Hour – 1.01 – Strike – Review: A Poor Man’s Davinci Code– A to Z Challenge – Day 26


“A Poor Man’s Da Vinci Code”


‘Everyone loves a conspiracy.’

― Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code


Prologue

I literally only choose this because I didn't want to end my A-Z challenge reviewing an animated TV show (sorry, Zeta Project). I watched this pilot in a constant state of second hand embarrassment for all involved. Poor Anthony Edwards, such a long fall from ER and a far cry from the coolest dude ever – Goose from Top Gun.

About the Show
Seasons: 1| No. of Episodes: 13
Premiere Date: February 13, 2013 | End Date: August 3, 2013
Genre(s): Action, Drama

The Show in a Nutshell: Hank (Anthony Edwards) runs the magazine Modern Skeptic with his friends, Rachel (Addison Timlir) and Arron (Scott Michael Foster). They find themselves involved in a dangerous, centuries-long, worldwide conspiracy after Hank's wife (Jacinda Barrett) is kidnapped.
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Title: Strike | Writer: Paul Scheuring | Director: Pierre Morel

Episode Summary: Hank Galliston publishes the magazine Modern Skeptic, which focuses on the paranormal. His wife Laila buys a unique-looking clock from a boardwalk vendor and is later abducted. FBI Agent Riley arrives to show Hank and his copy editors, Arron and Rachel, video footage of Laila's abduction. The screen freezes on mercenary White Vincent, with whom Riley is familiar. Hank disassembles Laila's clock to find a flawed diamond. With light shone through it, the stone refracts a map. Hank shows the map and its markings to Father Mickle (Charles S. Dutton), a priest who talks of a language that died in the 2nd century. The priest also mentions the Rosicrucians, a group of Christian mystics of the 17th century, and place called New Bartholomew. The map diamond is left with the priest and Vincent later assaults him, collecting the diamond. Hank leaves his team behind and travels to where New Bartholomew should be, with Agent Riley in tow, as she tells him White Vincent's terrorist history. Aaron and Rachel travel to Bavaria to find the clock maker (Jan Tříska), who wears a Rosicrucian cross. He informs them that after the Nazis created a new "eternal life", the Church appointed twelve new "apostles" that assembled in 1938 to protect the war-torn world from doom. A clock was created for each. The apostles then scattered to hide from the Nazis. New Bartholomew was not a place, but one of the apostles. Hank finds the place on the map where New Bartholomew is located. It is a German submarine, stuck in Canadian ice, with some dead people inside including New Bartholomew, who resemble Hank. Outside, Vincent arrives as the clock maker's voiceover warns of the approaching tumultuous "zero hour".
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Awards


Character of the Night
• Hank
Best Character Interactions
• Hank and Father Mickle

Best Scene
• The end scene, which I will admit was a pretty darn cool cliffhanger and it actually made me want to watch the next episode to get a little resolution.

That Awkward Moment
• That awkward when you keep expecting Robert Langdon to burst onto the scene at any moment. This show really was a few years too late on trying to capitalize on an international Easter egg hunt trend that Dan Brown’s Da Vinci code reinvigorated.

The ‘Who thought this was a good idea?’ Award
• Nazis, again? Indiana Jones did it first and did it the best. Knock it off…

Miscellaneous


Fun Facts: On March 1, 2013, the series was removed from its airing schedule by ABC due to low ratings. On April 26, 2013, it was announced that the remaining episodes will begin airing June 15, 2013, with two back-to-back episodes

Tasty Tidbit: The premiere of Zero Hour marked the lowest-rated in-season debut for a scripted show ever on ABC.

Side Notes: I like when a show’s pilot actually has a real title, I don’t know why, I just do. Most of my favorite shows have this in common for some random reason.
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Grade: C-
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Comparable Shows
If you like shows based on conspiracy theories with a thriller aspect then may I suggest that you check out one, some or all of the following TV shows: The 4400, Haven and/or Continuum.
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Epilogue
Well, that’s it, that all she wrote folks (at least for the A-Z Blogger Challenge, that is)!
I hope you have enjoyed the past 26 days that were filled with reviews of some of the interesting TV shows past and present that I’ve watched. I hope I have inspired you to watch a few, start a marathon of some cult classics with friends and/or also managed to help you avoid wasting your precious time on an unworthy hot mess.

I do hope you continue to come to my blog as it is forever evolving and improving. I’m always on the lookout to make new internet friends, especially bloggers to chat and exchange ideas with, so hit up my inbox, tweet me on Twitter, follow me on Instagram, Google+ or Pinterest, or even friend me on Facebook, all that information can be found in the ‘Contact Me’ tab.

It was a fun run. I’m proud of myself and all the bloggers who attempted this challenge and even prouder of the ones who completed it. See ya next year (or tomorrow, tomorrow’s good also)!

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Young Americans – 1.01 – The Beginning – A to Z Challenge Day 25

“Wait, Dawson’s Creek had a spin-off?”

‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’

- Nelson Mandela


Prologue

Up for discussion today is the network premiere and not the actual unaired original pilot of the WB summer series Young Americans.

About the Show
Seasons: 1 |No. of Episodes: 8
Premiere Date: 07/12/2000| End Date: 08/30/2000
Genre: Drama

Story in a Nutshell: Young Americans is set in the town of New Rawley at a prestigious boarding school, Rawley Academy. Will Krudski, a working class New Englander, earns a scholarship to his hometown's posh boarding school, starting with the summer session, as a means of escaping his abusive father. In a moment of carelessness he confesses to his roommate, Scout, that he cheated on the entrance exam. Their professor, Finn, overhears Will and Scout discussing what to do. Before making a final decision about expelling him, Finn has Will write an essay on who he is.
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Title: The Beginning| Writer: Steven Antin| Director: James Whitmore, Jr.

Episode Summary: Will settles in at Rawley Academy, where the teacher Finn learns a secret Will shared with Scout. When Scout's dating Bella turns serious, Mr. Banks explains why he won't allow it. The rowing team's cox Jacqueline "Jake" Pratt, who also has a secret, makes a profound impression on Hamilton. Hamilton is surprised by this and starts to question his own sexual orientation.
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Awards

Character of the Night
• Will

Miscellaneous

Favorite Actor
• Ian Somerhalder

Favorite Main Character
• Hamilton Fleming

Least Favorite Main Character
• Jacqueline "Jake" Pratt

Favorite Side Character
• Lena

Least Favorite Side Character
• Senator Calhoun

Fun Fact: Jeremy Sisto was originally cast to play the lead role of Wll.

Grade: C+
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Comparable Shows
If you are interested in finding more shows like Young Americans then please be sure to check out one, some or all of the following shows: Beverly Hills 90210, Dawson’s Creek and/or Gilmore Girls.
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Up Next: I’m writing about the pilot of Zero Hour for the last day of the A to Z Challenge.

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Playing House – 1.01/1.02 – Pilot/Bird Bones – Preview: Celebrate Me Home

“Celebrate Me Home”

Playing House was not on my radar until a few weeks ago when the call for someone to write a preview for the show was put out to the writers here at Spoiler TV. I haven't been on great terms with the USA network as of late but was pleasantly surprised to see that they were trying to get into the original scripted comedy game. The name alone invoked a vision of an up to date version of Full House (a childhood favorite of mine) and to tell you the truth, my estimation wasn't that far off the mark. At least from what I can gather from the first two episodes USA provided.

Playing House stars Lennon Parham as Maggie Caruso and Jessica St. Clair as Emma Crawford. I wasn’t familiar with these two leading ladies but apparently they've starred together in another show, Best Friends Forever back in 2012 on NBC (apparently if you blinked you missed that show and its run). I like shows that feature females, especially females who are good friends in a healthy adult relationship and not backstabbing hussies who are mentally stuck in high school and border on being frenemies. For years now, I have craved the female version of JD and Turk from Scrubs only to be bombarded with varying incarnations of Blair Waldorf and Serena van der Woodsen from Gossip Girl. Playing House seems well aware of this fact and might just be looking to fill that niche.

The premise of the show is a little predictable, I’ll give you that: Maggie who just happens to be pregnant ends her marriage upon discovering her husband's affair with a woman online, she turns to her best friend Emma for support. In order to help Maggie in her time of need, Emma gives up her successful business in China to return to their hometown of Pinebrook, and help her friend raise her unborn baby.

But what isn’t predictable is the writing style. Apparently, most of it is improvised and the best stuff transcribed and then made into script and acted out. I think that is what gives the show a natural, nay, conversational tone. It probably also helps that lead actresses are best friends in real life as well, so they play well off each other.

The pilot was cute and the setup fairly simple. Emma returns home for Maggie’s baby shower and through a very awkward revelation during the baby shower we discover Maggie’s husband has weird fetish and is essentially cheating on her via an odd online relationship. Meanwhile, Emma messes up an important meeting and is ordered to return to Shanghai to fix it. Emma opts not to and offers to stay and raise the baby with Maggie but Maggie is reluctant as Emma has bailed when things got tough on several occasions. But of course in the end Emma stays and she and Emma are about embark on journey with plenty of adventure and hijinks to come.

The second episode is all about Emma and Maggie having brunch with Mark's wife. While that’s going on Mark looks into the robbery of a garden gnome. We learn that Mark proposed to Emma and not only did she say no, she left town and got as far away as she possibly could. Ouch! Also back in high school Emma and Maggie use to make fun of Mark’s wife. They nicknamed her Bird Bones (which is mentioned in the pilot). Mark warns Emma and Maggie not push his “fragile” wife over the edge. Emma and Maggie definitely sell their friendship even harder in this episode as they trade inside jokes and mock people they know/don’t like from afar together.

All in all, these two episodes make me curious about the next eight episodes and I will definitely be checking in on the show from time to time.

BOLO (Be on the Lookout For): Jane Kaczmarek as Emma’s mom

Fun Fact: Playing House is only the second original comedy series for the USA Network

Tasty Tidbit: Both Parham and St. Claire were in the Upright Citizens Brigade.

Grade
1x01: Pilot - B-
1x02: Bird Bones – B+

Playing House premieres tonight at 10 pm EDT over on the USA network.

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X-Files – 9.19 – The Truth– A to Z Challenge – Day 24


“The truth is out there but we’ll never find it.”


‘It's no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.’

- Mark Twain


Prologue
Up for discussion today is the series finale of X-Files, 9.19/9.20: The Truth Part I&II. X-Files is the show that started me on my journey of learning to love and obsessed about the Sci-Fi genre. I discovered the show in its fifth season when I was 10 and the show ended when I was 15. It was bittersweet and even now every time I watch it, I feel a different way about the ending.

About the Show

Seasons: 9| No. of Episodes: 202
Premiere Date: 09/10/1993 | End Date: 05/19/2002
Status: Off-Air
Genre(s): Science fiction, Horror, Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Story in a nutshell: The series revolves around FBI Special Agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) investigating X-Files: marginalized, unsolved cases involving paranormal phenomena. Mulder believes in the existence of aliens and the paranormal while Scully, a skeptic, is assigned to make scientific analyses of Mulder's discoveries to debunk his work and thus return him to mainstream cases. Early in the series, both agents become pawns in a larger conflict and come to trust only each other.
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Title: The Truth | Writer: Chris Carter | Director: Kim Manners

Episode Summary: After not knowing Fox Mulder's (Duchovny) whereabouts for the past year, Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) and Scully learn that Mulder is being held for the murder of a military man he could not possibly have killed: Knowle Rohrer (Adam Baldwin), one of the government's secret "Super Soldiers". Mulder breaks out of prison with the help of Skinner, Reyes, Doggett, Scully and Alvin Kersh (James Pickens, Jr.). Mulder and Scully travel to New Mexico where helicopters destroy an Anasazi cliff dwelling ruin along with The Smoking Man (William B. Davis).
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Awards


Character of the Night
• Mulder

Best Character Interactions
• Mulder & Scully

Best Scene
• When Mulder and Scully arrive at Anasazi ruins to find a "wise man" who they believe can make sense of the classified documents Mulder has read. They discover the so-called "wise man" is none other than The Smoking Man (William B. Davis), who is hiding to survive the colonization.

Best Guest Star
• William B. Davis

Miscellaneous


Favorite Actor
• David Duchovny

Favorite Main Character
• Dana Scully

Least Favorite Main Character
• Reyes

Favorite Side Character
• The Smoking Man

Least Favorite Side Character
•Alex Krycek
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Grade: A-
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Comparable Shows
If you are interested in finding more shows like X-Files then I recommend you watch one, some or all of the following shows: Fringe, The Lone Gunmen and/or Millennium.
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Up Next: I’ll be writing about the series premiere of Young Americans.

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Reign – 1.19 –Toy Soldiers– Review: It’s hard out here for a dauphin.

"It’s hard out here for a dauphin"


‘Wise men look to the future.’
- Christian the Duke of Guise, Reign 1x19: Toy Soldiers


Preface
Hey, Royals! Did you love the latest episode of Reign as much as I did?

This episode started off so light and airy, at least imagery wise. I’m absolutely smitten with the opening scene of Mary and her ladies having a snowball fight. But of course it’s didn’t stay all puppies and rainbows for long.

I’m happy for Greer and feel Mary’s conflict about loving her husband and trying to do the best she can for her country without stepping on his toes. Lola’s drama took a back seat and Kenna is back to being a sexpot but this time I approve.

Well, it looks like it’s time to break down the latest episode of Reign…

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Title: Toy Soldiers| Writers: Mike Herro & David Strauss | Director: Chris Grismer

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Long Story Short


It is one month later after the events of the previous episode and news arrives that Marie de Guise's castle is under siege by Scottish Protestants. Mary asks for help from her war-mongering uncle Christian, Duke of Guise (Gil Darnell), who wants to become Francis' Lord Magistrate as reward. To Mary's disappointment, Francis decides to use Christian's army to help Henry take Calais from the English.

Penelope pretends to be pregnant but the ruse is uncovered by Catherine; Penelope agrees to be sent to Italy to be trained as one of Catherine's spies.

Castleroy meets Greer's family and disapproves of the way Greer's father treats his daughters. Castleroy gives the marriage contract to Greer to decide, and arranges for her to oversee her sister's dowries and future husbands. Greer is grateful, and the pair kiss. Bash still has feelings for Mary, but consummates his marriage with Kenna.

Francis leaves with Christian and his army to invade Calais.
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Character Contemplations


Bash – – I’m just going to say that I wanted to actually see Torrance Coombs out in the snow riding on a horse looking sexy while searching for the darkness and not just hear about it but I suppose that is what fan fiction is for. I was absolutely giddy with the seduction scenes between Bash and Kenna. But I was a little bummed out that they made it appear that Bash rushed the rest of his seduction with Kenna because he saw Francis and Mary kissing. Either way the marriage of Bash and Kenna has now officially been consummated and there is no turning back. They both seem to be trying to make the most of their forced marriage and things are looking up for them so that can only mean one thing: disaster is about to strike.

Catherine – Catherine was once again, very understated in this episode. I did like that she offer Penelope a way out. Why she did it, I’m still not sure. Catherine always has at least five schemes on the burner at once so we’ll find out her true motivations in no time, I’m sure. Henry finding out that Catherine has been wrestling power away from him went a lot smoother than I ever imagined. I’m yearning for her to spend some more time with her younger children. The screaming miserable witch routine is wearing thin and I need some more motivation as to way I’m rooting for Catherine (besides the fact the she is played by the lovely and talented Megan Follows). What I love best is that Catherine is a fierce mother bear and I just miss that personality trait being on display. If they continue to go the route of Catherine subverting Henry’s authority then we are most definitely going to need a foil for her and it as each episode passes it looks like Mary may not be up to that task right now.

Francis – Francis, my sweet little, well-meaning prince. The poor lad is just always stuck between a rock and a hard place. I feel for him. The man loves his wife but his country is dire straits, it’s constantly one thing after another and to compound problems and make matters worse his father is absolutely barking mad. Francis always tries to do what he feels is best and thinks his plans are fair compromises but it just never works out the way he wants them to.

Greer – Greer gets to be happy and that is all that matters to me at the moment. I love that she gets to be the one to have a happy, healthy relationship with a man who adores her and goes above and beyond all in the name of wooing her. But the more I think about it the more I wonder when the other shoe is going to drop.

Henry – Henry was more a zany king than a mad one in this episode. I'm really itching to get to the bottom of this situation. He is off his rocker and putting France in danger. I wonder if Catherine is going to put him out of his misery. If so, how and when?

Keena – We didn’t really get much out of the character of Keena this week. She was mostly just a snarky side kick in the background of most scenes that didn’t involve Bash and a sexpot in the scenes with Bash. This was however the first time that I saw some good sexual chemistry between the characters of Bash and Kenna. Kenna is much more astute and keenly aware of situation now and I like that. The character of Kenna has come a long way but there are still some things I would like to see out of the character.

Lola – Well, I guess it was her turn to be shoved out of the spotlight. Blinked and you missed her. Lola didn’t say much, she was just pretty wallpaper during this episode. That is something that I find odd because there are so many burning questions about Lola’s situation at the moment. But if less Lola means more Greer than I’m happy with that choice every time.

Mary – I like that they keep giving us both sides of Frary. They have been giving us happy moments only to dash them to pieces a few scenes later. Tis the life of rulers to constantly have to make choices and sacrifice things and break promises for the betterment of their countries. Mary loves Francis and he loves her right back. But it does seem like Mary is the one constantly having to make the biggest sarcirfices and it starting to become a frequent event. It looks like Mary is mad as hell and she’s not going to take it… I’m curious to see what she has up her sleeve and whether or not it will blow up in her face like a lot of other plans around the castle (that aren’t Catherine’s) are prone to do.

Penelope – Nice try girl. Ain’t nothing more despicable and desperate than trying to hang onto a man by telling him you’re having his child and you’re not. Now, add on to the fact that you are trying to pull off this scheme on a mad king who has a queen that has a flair for poisons and an axe to grind, things could have gone much worse for Ms. Penelope. Am I the only one who hopes she craps out of ‘secret seductresses’ program in Italy? I really don’t want to see her back in the castle.
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Awards


Character of the Night
• Lord Castleroy (Fight me about it, I dare you, lol)

Best Character Interactions
• Grand Prize – Lord Castle Roy & Greer
• Runner up – Francis & Mary


Most Memorable Moment
• Lord Castleroy and Greer kiss

Line of the Night
• Greer: It wasn't that long ago that we were all talking about out first kisses and now you're all married.

Scene of the Night
• Francis makes a deal with the Duke of Guise to save Scotland for Mary.

Favorite Lady-In-Waiting
• Greer

That Awkward Moment Award
• That awkward moment when your lie has been uncovered by soon to be husband. – Lord Castleroy loves Greer just as much (if not more) as most of the fandom loves her and only wants to give her the world and make her happy. [Insert goofy smile here]

Highlights


Memorable Moments

• Mary and her ladies have a snowball fight
• Catherine smirks as she leaves Penelope lock away in a tower
• Francis tells Henry not to speak to his wife 'that way'
• Catherine putting her crown back on


Laudable Lines

• Mary: I can now talk to him without screaming. Does that count as better?
• Henry: I do not need a lesson from you on geography.
• Mary: Threats don't bother me either. Losing does.
• Mary: Trust is a luxury I can no longer afford.


Superb Scenes

• Francis tells Mary that instead of saving Scotland straight away he has to go to Calais first
• Francis persuades his father to let him take The Duke of Guise's army and flank the English army from behind to ensure a victory
• Lord Castleroy has dinner with Greer's family



Lowlights


• Come on, you saw this coming… NO Nostradamus.
• Not much on the Lola front and she’s in the most interesting situation, next to Mary at the moment.

Miscellaneous


Biggest Surprises of the Episode
• Bash and Kenna consummated their marriage
• It has been confirmed that the writers do indeed remember ‘The Darkness’ plot point
• Lord Castleroy shows his true colors as a knight in shining armor

Style Spotlight:I guess I'll change it up a bit and go with Greer's accessories.

Fun Fact:The Duke of Guise was married to Anna d’Este Anna was the granddaughter of the French king Louis XII which means she too was related to Henry II and his sons.

Tasty Tidbit: The Duke of Guise was a cousin to Henry II

History Lesson: The Duke of Guise had a nasty scar on his face. He was struck with a lance through the bars of his helmet. The steel head pierced both cheeks.

Grade: B+

Side Notes: I don't know why they named him Christian for the show when his name in real life was Francis (I guess to avoid confusion, kind how they renamed all Mary’s ladies-in-waiting).


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

Do Your Part
Even if you don't have Nielsen's box you can still help the ratings (a little) in your own way by live tweeting with show. You can pitch in by using the show's hashtag (#Reign) and the show's episode title in every tweet you make about the show on Thursdays. Prime tweeting hours to get the show trending are usually between 7 pm EST until about 1 am EST (after the west coast airing has gone off).

If you are Canadian and you’d like to help the show on the social media front, don’t live tweet on Wednesdays; do it on Thursdays instead with the US Royals. If you really have your heart set on trending, make sure not to over use the episode title in tweets prior to 7 pm EDT.

Also, pre-ordering the DVD/Blu-Ray and/or ordering season passes on iTunes are other ways that can show the network higher ups that this is and can continue to be a profitable endeavor.

Social Media Checklist:
• Have you liked Reign's official Facebook page?
• Do you make sure to visit the Facebook page at least once per week and leave comments and interact with other fans?
• Do you follow Reign's official Twitter account?
• Do you follow all of the show’s cast and crew that is on Twitter?
• Are you retweeting all relevant tweets from the cast and crew throughout the week?
• Do you live tweet with the show every Thursday using the show's hashtag (#Reign) as well as the episode tile hashtag between the hours of 7 PM EDT and 1 AM EDT?
• Are you checking in and leaving comments about the show on TV Tag?
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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.

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Weeds – 1.01 – You Can't Miss the Bear– A to Z Challenge – Day 23


“Suburbgatory”


‘The American dream has now morphed into an expectation. And if it isn't provided, or if it doesn't happen, then people feel cheated.’

- Rush Limbaugh


Prologue

Up for discussion today is my favorite episode of Weeds which just happens to be the pilot, 1x01: You Can't Miss the Bear.

About the Show

Seasons: 8| No. of Episodes: 102
Premiere Date: 08/08/2005 | End Date: 09/16/2012
Status: Off-Air

Genre(s): Satire, Dark comedy, Comedy-drama

Story in a nutshell: Nancy Botwin is a single mother who lives in Agrestic—a fictional suburb of Los Angeles—with her two children, Silas and Shane, aged 15 and 10 respectively, when the series begins. The pilot opens a few weeks after the untimely death of Nancy's husband Judah, who died of a heart attack while jogging with their younger son.[16] Nancy starts to sell cannabis to maintain her upper middle-class lifestyle originally provided by her late husband's structural engineering salary. The series follows the events in Nancy's life as she gets drawn into the criminal system, develops a client base, starts a front to hide her selling, creates her own strain of weed called MILF, constantly relocates her family, and tries to stay out of jail and protect her children. ======================================================================
Title: You Can't Miss the Bear| Writer:Jenji Kohan |Director: Brian Dannelly

Episode Summary: Recently widowed housewife Nancy Botwin has turned to dealing marijuana to support her two sons and maintain their position in the picturesque suburb of Agrestic, CA. She sells some of her product to Josh Wilson, a fellow dealer. When Celia tells Nancy that Josh has been dealing to young children, she uses newly found personal information about Josh to stop him. Shane is harassed by his classmates and retaliates by spraying them with paint from a squirt gun. Silas and Quinn conspire to have sex together. Quinn records an affair between Dean and a tennis pro; Celia later sees the recording and is forced to deal with her husband's infidelity.
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Awards


Character of the Night
• Nancy

Best Character Interactions
• Nancy & Shane

Best Cameo
• Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Judah Botwin

Miscellaneous


Favorite Actor
• Mary Louise Parker

Favorite Main Character
• Shane

Least Favorite Main Character
• Andy

Favorite Side Character
• Conrad

Least Favorite Side Character
• Principal Dodge
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Grade: A-
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Comparable Shows
If you are interested in finding more shows like Weeds then I recommend you watch one, some or all of the following shows: Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, The Sopranos and/or The Shield.
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Up Next: Well, be sure to check back in here on the blog come Monday, April 28, 2014 because I’ll be writing about the series finale of X-Files.

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Beauty and the Beast – 1.07 – Out of Control – Retro Review: The One with the Reddest Red Herring


“The One with the Reddest Red Herring”


“Life is to be lived, not controlled; and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat.”

― Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man


Preface

Up for dissection this week is episode 1x07: Out of Control. It’s not really an episode I hear or see a lot of Beasties clamoring over but I think it is a very important episode in regards to the evolution of the VinCat relationship.

This is episode is one of those episodes that have grown on me over the course of the show. I felt like the VinCat thing was moving way too fast and had no idea how they were going to slow things down. When the fugues first started happening, I thought it would be too obvious that Cat was the cause. But this episode had me questioning my logic.

I also thought it would have been more interesting had Vincent actually been the one to kill the frat guy and to see how Cat would have handled that so soon in the relationship. But what actually transpired was also a good way to create conflict in the relationship with not only Cat and Vincent but JT and Vincent as well as Cat and JT.


The Recap & Review



Title: Out of Control |Writers: Brian Peterson & Kelly Souders | Director: Rick Bota

Episode Summary: J.T. thinks Vincent may somehow be involved in Cat's homicide investigation after she mentions a local college fraternity brother was brutally killed. J.T. examines Vincent to determine the cause of his increasingly frequent blackouts, but when Vincent starts to beast out, J.T. is forced to tranquilize him.

Meanwhile, Evan and his new intern find a strange cut on the victim's ankle, which matches that of a female cadaver left on campus a year earlier. As Evan works to uncover more clues from the crime scene, he is kidnapped.

Cat begs Vincent to help find Evan and save his life, yet she doesn't realize that she's putting Vincent's life in serious danger. Vincent blacks out again and Beast Vincent rips the murderer apart and becomes the top of the NYPD's most wanted list. Evan heard the whole thing and starts investigating mysterious killings.

Vincent locks himself in a cage. He and J.T. have determined the common thread in his blackouts. He is either going to visit Cat or, most recently, was with her.
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My thoughts on the writers…
I really like the writing team of Brian Peterson & Kelly Souders. I think they do a really good job of keeping the positive aspects of the show front in center and doing their best to put the flaws of Beauty and the Beast in a dark corner. This episode focused on the core four. Even though Tess was not an integral part to the main event Vincent plotline she was still in the foreground a lot (something that season 2 hasn’t been too great about). The pacing was just right, not too fast but it also didn't plod at all. The dialog was very good as well. I have so many favorite lines in this episode which is odd because Beauty and the Beast is usually all about the moments, silent storytelling and clever Easter eggs for me.

My thoughts on the director…
Rick Bota is one of my favorite directors for Beauty and the Beast. Almost all of his episodes are very beautifully shot. He knows how to let a scene breathe and he knows how to make an insignificant scene sing. He uses a lot of natural light and balances tight close ups with wide shots. But what I like best about his directorial eye is the unconventional ways he captures scenes with more than two people, he tends to come in on an unexpected angle and sometimes even shifts the focus from what we would normally expect.

My thoughts on the case of the week…
I think I would have liked this case a little better had they not spent so much time trying to convince me that Vincent MIGHT have killed the frat guy because it was painfully obvious that it wasn’t going down that road ( even though I honestly would have preferred that road). The perp of the week was a young budding serial killer with a "tragic" (I'll use that word very loosely) past. He was weird and creepy right from the start and when the ominous music started playing in the lab with him and Evan, well quite frankly it tipped their hand (not to mention the kid was new and little too helpful).

My thoughts on the theme…
Here's what I got for the theme in this episode: The world is grey but some things will always be black and white no matter what.

===================================================================
Important Incidents

• A frat boy is killed.
• Vincent comes home bloody and he was near the vicinity of where the frat boy was killed.
• The introduction of the tranquilizer gun
• Vincent fugues out and attacks JT and it forces JT to tranquilize Vincent
• Evan gets a new intern.
• Evan gets kidnapped.
• Cat asks for Vincent’s help.
• The vigilante gets moved to the top of the most wanted list

===================================================================
Character Contemplations


Cat – This is the episode that made me wonder what Cat’s deal was. I mean does she even understand the serious consequences and repercussions that are involved with being with Vincent (whether it is a friend or lover situation)? It sure didn’t seem like it until it was too late. I found it so odd that she didn’t use the tranquilizer on Vincent once he found the area where Evan was being held for her. She could have easily apprehended Peter herself. She also didn’t seem to understand that he could have just as easily killed an innocent person when she encouraged him to run off in his fugue induced beastly rage. There was just so much to hate about Cat in this episode that I just can’t keep talking about it.

Evan – Evan comes across as a lone wolf to me and I love that he was highly irritated with Peter the whole entire time. I also love that Evan is competent at his job. One might even say a little TOO competent. He was fairly mild mannered this episode and I appreciated that. Professional and reserved is my favorite Evan. At this point in the show I didn't fear Evan’s demise so the whole setup built no tension for me about the character’s well-being. But he did have good dialog and poignant (well it was supposed to be and it fell flat) with Peter. I also liked the scene between Cat and Evan where she tries to persuade him on the fact that he didn't hear what he thought he heard. But ever the scientist, physical proof trumps pretty girl’s distracting poppycock.

Joe – Blinked and you missed him. One of my biggest disappointments for the series overall was the criminal under use of Brian White. He is a talented actor and was always (and still is) so gracious with the fans and supportive of the show. Joe had potential but they squandered it and then ruined the character twice over. The first ruination of the character was his romantic relationship with Tess and the the other was his personal vendetta against the vigilante. But before all of that he was just in the background and not a very hands on kind of boss. But his "rousing" speech did make it into the highlights about this episode so there's that. I was sad when it was announced that Brian White wouldn't be in season 2 but I was relieved that the character of Joe was off my screen.

JT – This is the JT that I love the most. Concerned about Vincent and screw everybody else. He was always there with a theory and a way to test it. He was vigilant and mindful of the stakes. He was the voice of reason but most importantly, he was front and center and vital to the plot. Something I took for granted in season 1 and learned to cherish in season 2 anytime an episode didn't feature him.

Tess – Tess was on fire in this episode. Snarky, sassy and fun. She showcased her best friend skills to the max. I love the happy moments between Cat and Tess. I love their friendship. It’s nice to see woman be genuine friends in a healthy adult way and not backstabbing hussies that seem to be mentally stuck in high school. Bold and brash is just the way I love my Tess. I think this is one of the best episodes that has been written for the character, which is probably why it made my Elite Eight list whereas most people overlook this episode.

Vincent – At this point in the show we had really only heard about how much of a danger to others Vincent was. We hadn't really seen it. Nor had we really explore the implications of Vincent’s beastly condition. I think the writers cooked up this fugue subplot to illustrate just how dangerous Vincent could be and how scary the results could be when he hurt someone close to him. But then again, this started me down the path of thinking that Cat and Vincent’s bond go much deeper than they (and us the audience) know because Cat basically got the beast side of Vincent to leave without having to shoot him with her gun or the tranquilizer. She did it all with a pleading look. I love that we got a glance into that head of Vincent’s and really begin to see and understand the struggle he has with this burden. I think this was also done to really make Cat (and us the audience) understand that Vincent’s plight isn't just about not being able to lead normal life because Muirfield is after him, it’s because he is potential danger to others.

VinCat - Come on, you didn’t they were going to actually go on that camping trip did you? I like that Cat just wanted to have fun with Vincent first and foremost because quite honestly they both needed it. But it was too soon for them to be gallivanting off into the sunset for a weekend trip. This episode also brought up some interesting things about how Cat sees Vincent. On the one hand she thinks he’s a good person but on the other hand he has unique ability that could come in handy. This was the first time I kind of didn't want them to be together any time soon. Things were definitely moving way too fast so I’m glad that they put this obstacle in their way
===================================================================
The Highlights


Memorable Moments

• Cat smiling as she enters a murder scene
• Cat smiling as she is packing to go on a camping trip with Vincent
• Tess ogling and objectifying the firefighters openly


Laudable Lines

• Cat: I’m not going anywhere. Trust me.
• Tess: Try not to look giddy when approaching a murder scene.
• Peter: I can hear your sarcasm.
• Tess: Couple sneaks out to do the nasty in the bushes and finds cut up fraternity brother.

Scenes I'm Smitten With

• JT tries to keep Cat from seeing Vincent passed out from the tranquilizer dart incident
• Cat being socially awkward at the NYC Fireman’s calendar launch
• JT and Vincent try to figure out what’s causing the fugue states.
• Cat confides in Tess (kind of) about ‘the guy’
• Cat goes to check up on Evan and tries to convince him that there is no beast.


The Nitpicks


• Did they really have to show the tranquilizer dart in slow motion?
• Cat could have stopped Peter once Vincent pointed her in the right direction
• Cat and Tess didn't clear Peter’s apartment the proper way
• Cat and Tess weren't holding their guns the proper way cops are taught


Awards


Character of the Night
• Vincent

Best Character Interactions
• Cat & Tess
• Cat & JT
• Cat & Vincent

Most Memorable Moment
• Mike ‘The Firefighter’ writes his number down on Cat’s calendar .

Line of the Night
• JT: You may have saved Evan, but you didn't think about the price Vincent would pay

Scene of the Night
• Cat goes to check on Vincent and sees that he has locked himself up and Vincent tells her that he and JT think she’s the trigger to his fugues.

That Awkward Moment
• That awkward moment when you wake up from a bender but instead of a pool of puke, it’s a pool of blood and not being sure whether the fact that it isn't your own is a good thing or not.
• That awkward moment when your friend hulks out and you have to shoot him.

The ‘Giving JT a Run for His Money’ Award
• Tess & Evan - These two were slaying me with their comments the whole entire episode which was a good change of pace because sometimes witty repartee needs to spread around.

The ‘Fan Fiction Inspiration’ Award
Grand Prize: While Cat and Tess are interrogating the kid who dropped out of the frat he utters the words ‘lady cops’ and the rest is history, the fandom began writing fan fiction about the cases Cat and Tess were doing before Vincent was in the picture and the results were usually pretty funny (at least the ones I saw on Tumblr).
Runner Up: Anytime JT and Vincent start doing science stuff together, I have to fight the urge to drop what I’m doing and start on an idea I've had for quite some time, JT and Vincent as alternate universe ‘Science Bros’.


Miscellaneous


For Real?
• Vincent says that he doesn’t think he should be out in the world roaming around but a few minutes later he’s out trying to explain to Cat why they can’t go on their hiking trip and that he might be the killer she’s looking for.

Burning Questions
• Whose blood was Vincent covered in?
• If Cat was truly the trigger for the fugues then why hadn’t they happen (before they went to scene of the subway attack) when they were alone together and how come no one brought that up?
• Who still says 'rad'?
• Why didn't nosey neighbor lady become a recurring character?

Recurring Elements
• Newspaper clippings
• Wall of Weird
• Cat’s leather jacket and motorcycle boots combo

MY Biggest Beef with this Episode

• Cat’s logical leap about where the next crime scene would be. Not only did she get it from a single newspaper clipping but the incident in the subway wasn’t a “famous” murder, also did it not happen in an abandoned subway tunnel, it happened in a well light, in use, subway station.

Things I Miss
• JT doing cool science stuff

Biggest Surprise of the Episode
• Vincent saving Evan triggers the vigilante moving to the top of the wanted list

My Music Picks
• St. Christopher by Michael Logen
• Sweet Rock N Roll by Vibrolux


Fun Fact: It takes 7 minutes and 58 seconds to get to the title card.

Grade: B-
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Side Note: Was it just me or were there a ton of shirtless Vincent scenes? (Not that I will ever complain about that).
===================================================================
Elite Eight Review Line Up

Here’s a list of the episodes that I will be writing Retro Recaps for until the hiatus is over:
Pilot – April 8, 2014
Saturn Returns – April 15, 2014
Out of Control – April 22, 2014
• Bridesmaid up/Seeing Red – April 29, 2014
• Trust No One – May 6, 2014
• Insatiable – May 13, 2014
• Heart of Darkness – May 20, 2014
• Anniversary – May 27, 2014
• Bonus Review (on my blog): Date Night – June 2, 2014

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Plugs & Shameless Self-Promotion
If you’re bored and you’re re-watching season 2, how about you listen to my podcast for a fresh perspective, theories or just have a listen to a couple of gals who just really love talking about Beauty and the Beast.

The DVMPE’s Beauty and the Beast Podcast
The Podcast’s Facebook Page
The Podcast's Email

===================================================================
ps: Don't forget to promote this and all positive Beauty and the Beast 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.


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Veronica Mars – 2.06 – Rat Saw God– A to Z Challenge – Day 22


'Mars for Sheriff'


'Clever tyrants are never punished.'

- Voltaire



Prologue
Up for discussion today is one of my favorite episodes of Veronica Mars, episode 2x06: Rat Saw God.

When people tell me that they’ve never watched or heard of Veronica Mars, I kind of just stare at them blankly. This show was the bomb.com. It was smart, it was snarky and it felt real in an odd kind of way. The cast was just aces all around.

The Veronica Mars fandom never went away we just simmered in the background. Our patience was rewarded with a movie (and maybe even a few sequels, a graphic novel or two is the works along with some companion books to hold us over in between movies). If you haven’t given this show a chance, now is the time to check it out.

About the Show

Seasons: 3| No. of Episodes: 64
Premiere Date: 09/22/2004 | End Date: 05/22/2007
Status: Off-Air
Genre(s): Drama, Mystery, Neo-Noir

Story in a nutshell: Set in the fictional town of Neptune, Veronica Mars starred Kristen Bell as the title character, a student who progressed from high school to college during the series while moonlighting as a private investigator under the wing of her detective father.

Why I Love the Show: It has this incredible offbeat humor and the social commentary was always snarky and never preachy.
======================================================================
Title: Rat Saw God | Writers: John Enbom & Phil Klemmer | Director: Kevin Bray

Episode Summary: After Keith loses the sheriff election, Veronica gets asked for help by the last person she ever thought she'd see: Abel Koontz. His daughter, Amelia DeLongpre, is missing and he wants to see her before he dies, so Veronica tries to track her down. This leads to surprises and shocks as she encounters Clarence Wiedman as well. Also,Logan and his father have a conversation in jail before Keith has a talk with Aaron.
======================================================================
Important Stuff


• Woody Goodman is elected to the Balboa County Board of Supervisors. The town of Neptune, being unincorporated, has no officers of its own; the Supervisor whose district includes Neptune is unofficially known as "mayor" of Neptune.
• Keith again loses the sheriff election to Lamb.
• A witness turns up for Felix's murder, so Logan is arrested again.
• Abel Koontz succumbs to stomach cancer.
• Amelia DeLongpre was in Neptune, outside Kane Software, a week ago. Her boyfriend wanted her to get more money out of them and Clarence Wiedman complied. Veronica tracks Amelia to a motel in rural California, and finds her body in the ice machine, just as Wiedman shows up; they investigate together. Amelia's boyfriend starts using the (marked) money in Las Vegas, so Weidman goes there, presumably to kill him.
• Keith visits Aaron and tells him that if one hair is hurt on Veronica's head, Aaron will pay for it.
• Keith breaks into the area where the bus is kept and finds a rat taped under one of the seats.
• Logan's house is burnt down, by the PCHers or Weevil, and he now lives with Duncan.
======================================================================
Awards


Character of the Night
• Veronica

Best Character Interactions
• Veronica & Abel Koontz

Best Scene
• Logan and his father have an overdue chat.

Best Cameo
• Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer


Miscellaneous


Favorite Actor
• Kristen Bell

Favorite Main Character
• Veronica Mars

Least Favorite Main Character
• Duncan

Favorite Side Character
• Mac

Least Favorite Side Character
• Jackie Cook

Fun Fact: In January 2014, it was announced that a digital spin-off of Veronica Mars was in development with creator Rob Thomas involved in the project. The web series will air on The CW's digital content website, CW Seed. The metafictional concept will feature Ryan Hansen portraying himself in an attempt to make a spin-off based on his character, Dick Casablancas, and will likely consist of six to eight 10-minute segments

Tasty Tidbit: A novel, titled, Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line written by series creator Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham was released by Random House on March 25, 2014. The novels are canon, and will not be negated by a future film.
======================================================================
Grade: B+
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Comparable Shows
If you are interested in finding more shows like Veronica Mars then I recommend you watch one, some or all of the following shows: Gilmore Girls, Life as We Know It and/or Pushing Daisies.
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Up Next: Be sure to check out the blog tomorrow because I will be discussing my episode of Weeds.

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Undeclared – 1.01 – Prototype – A to Z Challenge – Day 21


“A Different World”

‘Months are different in college, especially freshman year. Too much happens. Every freshman month equals six regular months—they're like dog months.’

― Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl


Prologue
Up for discussion today is an episode that can fall into two categories, firsts and favorites. But for this writing exercise I will file it squarely under ‘Favorites’.

I didn't fins Undeclared until two years later after it's original run when I, myself was headed off to college at the tender age of 16. I really liked the show and now looking back wish Judd would stop making the same movies over and over again and get back to writing TV series. The landscape has changed and I think his brand of writing in the sitcom realm of TV would very refreshing.

About the Show
Seasons: 1| No. of Episodes: 17
Premiere Date:09/25/2001 | End Date: 03/12/2002
Status: Off-Air
Genre(s): Sitcom

Story in a nutshell: Undeclared centers on a group of college freshmen at the fictional University of Northeastern California during the early 2000’s.

Why I Loved the Show: The show was not a cliché of college life, it was pretty accurate in an overly exaggerated way as I would come to find two years later when I headed off to college.
=====================================================================
Title: Prototype | Writer: Judd Apatow | Director: Jake Kasdan

Episode Summary: On Steven's first day at UNEC, he meets and has a one night stand with Lizzie, unaware of the fact that she has a boyfriend. Steven's father Hal shows up at the floor party and announces that he's getting a divorce.
=====================================================================
Awards


Character of the Night
• Steve

Best Character Interactions
• Steve & Lloyd

Most Memorable Moment
• Steve rips his X-Files poster to prove that he is leaving his geeky ways behind him much to the dismay of his best friend.

Best Line
• Steve’s Dad: Hey, nice new fancy haircut. You look like you should join the Backstreet Boys. Hello, ladies!

Best Scene
• Steve meets his new roommates.

That Awkward Moment
• That awkward moment when you don’t realize your shirt is actually fugly.

Best Cameo
• Tom Welling

Miscellaneous


Favorite Actors
• Kevin Hart, Seth Rogen and Busy Phillips

Favorite Main Character
• Steven Karp

Least Favorite Main Character
• Tina Ellroy

Favorite Side Character
• Percy Madison

Least Favorite Side Character
• Susuki

Fun Fact: In 2012, Entertainment Weekly listed the show at #16 in the "25 Best Cult TV Shows from the Past 25 Years

Tasty Tidbit: An alternate version of the second episode, titled "Full Bluntal Nugety" is included on the DVD release of the series.
=====================================================================
Grade: A-
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Comparable Shows
If you are interested in finding more shows like Undeclared then I recommend you watch one, some or all of the following shows: A Different World, Boy Meets World and/or Freaks and Geeks.
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Up Next: In the queue for tomorrow is a Mini Recap/Retro Review for yet another one of my favorite, ‘gone too soon’ shows of my hipster youth, Veronica Mars. I’ll be writing about the pilot so be sure to come back and check out the blog tomorrow.






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Twisted – 1.01 – Pilot – A to Z Challenge – Day 20


“... and I don't give a damn 'bout my bad reputation”


“We cannot expect people to have respect for law and order until we teach respect to those we have entrusted to enforce those laws.

- Hunter S. Thompson


Prologue

Today, I’m writing about the pilot of ABC Family’s latest teen mystery: Twisted.
I was excited about this show beyond belief but things managed to go from bad to worse and never got any better. It never made it on to my ‘must see TV’ list unfortunately. I adore almost all of the actors and actresses young and old alike but the writing is lackluster and the pacing tends to plod along.

About the Show

Seasons: 1| No. of Episodes: 19
Premiere Date: March 19, 2013 | End Date: N/A
Status: On-Air

Genre(s): Teen drama, Mystery, Thriller

Story in a nutshell: The series focuses on charming sixteen-year-old Danny Desai (Avan Jogia), who was charged with killing his aunt when he was eleven. Having spent five years in juvenile detention, he is released and returns to his hometown of Green Grove, New York. While trying to rekindle old friendships and facing the challenges of dealing with his judgmental peers, Danny becomes the prime suspect in the murder of a classmate. Realizing the town does not care about the truth and only wants to see him charged with the crime, Danny becomes determined to clear his name. Meanwhile, he must maintain a secret he has never told anyone: the reason he killed his aunt.

Why I Wanted to Watch the Show: The reason why I initially wanted to support this show is because it was something a little different from the usual things that air on ABC Family. This show was supposed to be about a male lead who is also a person of color. It was also supposed to be more of a psychological thriller.
=====================================================================
Title: Pilot | Writer: Adam Milch | Director: Jon Amiel

Episode Summary: Danny, Jo, and Lacey were best friends in childhood. At age 11, Danny murdered his Aunt Tara and was placed in a juvenile detention center. Five years later, Lacey is part of the popular crowd, while Jo is a social outcast; the two no longer friends. Newly released, Danny tries to reconnect with the girls. Jo warms up to him and they go to a party thrown by Regina, Lacey's best friend. Lacey also begins to warm up to Danny when they share a bag of chips in Danny's bedroom later in the evening. That night, Regina texts Danny that she knows why he killed his aunt. The next day, she is found murdered, the necklace from her neck the only thing missing. Danny becomes the prime suspect, and it is revealed that he has the necklace.
=====================================================================
Awards


Character of the Night
• Jo

Best Character Interactions
• Danny & Jo
• Jo & Rico

Most Memorable Moment
• Drunk!Jo babbling on about her night to her mother

Best Line
• Regina: I've been super vicious since I went off the gluten.

Read more: http://www.tvfanatic.com/quotes/shows/twisted/episodes/pilot/#ixzz2zgSXN3iy

Best Scene
• Danny comes to Jo’s rescue when she gets in over her head at a popular people’s party.

That Awkward Moment
• That awkward moment when you ex-bestie who is a convicted murderer tries to talk to you in front of the whole school like he just got back from summer vacation.

Miscellaneous


Favorite Actors
•Avon Jogia and Kylie Bunbury

Favorite Main Character
• Lacey

Least Favorite Main Character
• Jo

Favorite Side Character
• Rico

Fun Fact: The show’s original title was ‘Socio’.
=====================================================================
Grade: C+
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Comparable Shows
If you are interested in finding more shows like Twisted then I recommend you watch one, some or all of the following shows: The Lying Game, Pretty Little Liars and/or Secret Circle.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Up Next: In the queue for tomorrow is a Mini Recap/Retro Review for one of my favorite, ‘gone too soon’ shows of my hipster youth, Undeclared. I’ll be writing about the pilot so be sure to come back and check out the blog tomorrow.





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Supernatural – 5.22 – Swan Song – A to Z Challenge – Day 19


“Carry On My Wayward Son”


Carry on my wayward son
There'll be peace when you are done
Lay your weary head to rest
Don't you cry no more

- Carry On Wayward Son by Kansas from their 1976 album Leftoverture


Prologue

Up for discussion today is hands down my favorite season finale of Supernatural. Honestly, had it not been for the last 10 seconds of the episode, this could have easily served as the show’s series finale. It was definitely the culmination of Eric Kripke’s vision for his show.

It is said that sometimes a writer’s characters take on a life of their own and the original story intended has to evolve and in the case of Supernatural, the series that was once known as the ‘little show that could’ that is just what happened.

About the Show

Seasons: 9| No. of Episodes: 188
Premiere Date: 09/13/2005 | End Date: N/A
Status: On-Air

Genre(s): Horror, Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Mystery

Story in a nutshell: The series follows the two brothers as they hunt demons, ghosts, monsters and other supernatural beings in the world.

Best Thing about This Episode: When the episode begins it frames the story with a love letter to the Impala, which the fandom calls Baby and made her the most important object in the universe.

Best Reason to Watch the Show: The chemistry between Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles is amazing and has carried the show through some very rough patches. I've seen very few actors care so deeply and genuinely about their characters and love their fans as much as their fans love them. Also the twists on mythology and urban legends is pretty dang cool as well.
=====================================================================
Title: Swan Song
Teleplay: Eric Kripke/Story: Eric "Giz" Gerwirtz
Director: Steve Boyum

Episode Summary: Chuck begins to narrate the life and times of the Impala and the boys' life inside of it. Chuck reveals their time spent in the Impala and how they made it their home throughout the years before and after they began hunting.

Remembering a comment made by Lucifer in the future, Dean realizes that the fallen angel is in Detroit. Sam and Dean confront Lucifer, who knows of their plan to use the Horsemen's rings to trap him back in his cage. Despite this, Sam offers himself as a vessel, hoping that he can overcome Lucifer's control and throw himself into the prison. Lucifer is too strong, and Sam disappears in his body.

As Lucifer tries to make Sam happy by killing the demons sent by Azazel to manipulate him during his childhood, Dean learns from Chuck the time and location of the final battle between Michael and Lucifer. The following day at the battleground—Stull Cemetery in Stull, KS (just outside of Lawrence, Kansas) — Lucifer tries to talk Michael out of fighting, but he refuses. However, Castiel interrupts the fight by banishing Michael with holy fire. An angry Lucifer kills Castiel, and then snaps Bobby's neck when he shoots him. He then starts brutally beating Dean, but stops when he notices an old army man of Sam's inside the Impala revealed earlier during Chuck's narration.

Sam remembers his life growing up with Dean, and manages to take control of his body. He uses the rings to reopen the door to the cage, and prepares to jump inside. Michael returns and tries to stop him, but he too is pulled into the pit while grappling with Sam. Castiel, resurrected again as an angel, heals Dean and brings Bobby back to life. He returns to Heaven, hoping to bring order now that Michael is gone.
As Dean attempts to move on, he seems to turn his back on hunting and returns to Lisa. Chuck smiles after finishing his narration of the story, and vanishes into thin air. Later that night, a street light flickers out and Sam is revealed outside Lisa's home, looking in the window at the "family" eating dinner together...
=====================================================================
Awards


Character of the Night
• Sam Winchester
• Baby Winchester

Best Character Interactions
•Sam and Dean

Most Memorable Moment
• Sam’s consciousness is able to break free for a moment and that allows him to jump into the pit and stop the apocalypse.

Best Line
•Chuck: So what’s it all add up to? Well, it’s hard to say. But me, I’d say it was a test. For Sam and Dean. And I think they did alright. Up against good, evil, angels, devils, destiny, and God himself - They made their own choice. They chose family. And well, isn’t that kinda the whole point?

Best Scene
• Dean arrives at Stull cemetery

Highlights


Memorable Moments

• Dean put on his mixtape that is labeled ‘kick it in the ass’
• Lucifer uses his finger to draw a pitchfork in the frozen window.
• The flashbacks to Sam and Dean as little kids making the Impala theirs.

Lines I Loved

• Chuck: Three days later another car rolled off that same line. No one gave two craps about her, but they should’ve. Because this 1967 Chevrolet Impala would turn out to be the most important car... no, the most important object in pretty much the whole universe.

• Lucifer: A wrestling match inside your noggin. I like the idea. Just you and me, one round, no tricks. You win, you jump in the hole. I win... well, then I win. What do you say, Sam? A fiddle of gold against your soul says I'm better than you.

• Sam: If this thing goes our way and I Triple Lindy into that box, you know I'm not coming back.

• Dean: Sammy? Sammy? It's okay, I'm here. I'm not going to leave you.

• Castiel: You got what you asked for Dean. No Paradise. No Hell. Just more of the same. I mean it Dean. What would you rather have? Peace - or freedom?

Scenes I'm Smitten With
• All of them, literally, except for the very last scene that closes the episode.

Miscellaneous


Favorite Actors
• Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles

Favorite Main Character
• I literally love the brothers equally though for very different reasons

Least Favorite Main Character
• In season 5 it was by and far Castiel (though I do love Misha to pieces)

Favorite Side Character
• Bobby Singer

Fun Fact: Stull Cemetery is a real cemetery near Lawrence, Kansas, where Sam and Dean were born. It has a lot of lore associated with it, including that it may be a gate to Hell.

Tasty Tidbit: The phrase "Swan Song" refers to a final work or performance, or the final part of a story. It was also the name of the record label founded by Led Zeppelin.

Side Note: After the episode fans placed an ad in The Hollywood Reporter to mark Eric Kripke stepping done as showrunner.
=====================================================================
Grade: A+
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Comparable Shows
If you are interested in finding more shows like Supernatural then I recommend you watch one, some or all of the following shows: Grimm, The Walking Dead and/or X-Files.
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Up Next: In the queue for tomorrow is another ABC Family show: Twisted. I will be breaking down the pilot. Come back and check it out!



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Revenge– 1.22 – Reckoning – A to Z Challenge – Day 18


“The game is still afoot”


'A man that studieth revenge keeps his own wounds green.'

- Francis Bacon



Prologue
Up for discussion today is the first season of Revenge’s finale.

This is the only show on the ABC network that I watch. Ever since Lost ended I just haven’t really found anything else on the network to hold my attention. I’m not really into comedies, so that pretty much rules out all of their critically acclaimed stuff.

At first blush I remember thinking I thought this was a pretty weak finale but upon two rewatches I discovered I actually liked quite a bit more than when I first watched it.

About the Show

Seasons: 3| No. of Episodes: 63|Premiere Date: 09/21/2011| End Date: N/A | Status: On-Air

Genre(s): Soap Opera, Drama, Psychological thriller, Mystery

Story in a nutshell: Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp) comes to the Hamptons and rents a beach house next to the Grayson family mansion for the summer. Emily is really Amanda Clarke, whose father was framed for treason when she was a little girl. After a lengthy trial, he was imprisoned for life, and was murdered in prison by agents of the people who framed him. Amanda was separated from him after his trial and never saw him afterwards. She has now returned to the Hamptons as an adult to get revenge on those who wronged her and her father. Her primary target is Victoria Grayson (Madeleine Stowe), matriarch of the Grayson family, who loved and betrayed Amanda's father.

Best Reason to Watch the Show: If you are looking for a show that is just good, soapy , ridiculous fun this is the show for you. It may be a bit over the top but the character motivations and relationships are compelling enough to keep you coming back for more. Also, if you are into live tweeting, I personally think this is best Sunday night shows to do it for.
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Title: Reckoning| Writer: Mike Kelley & Mark B. Perry| Director: Sanford Bookstaver

Episode Summary: Emily moves forward with the final phases of her master plan for revenge against the Graysons as their empire is slowly self-destructing. When Emily discovers her closest ally, Nolan, has been kidnapped and held hostage by the white-haired man, she comes face to face with him and a battle to the death ensues.

Ashley has to make an important decision regarding her loyalties to Conrad and Victoria, and she betrays Emily once again by telling Daniel what she saw happen between Jack and Emily. Daniel confronts Emily, and Emily says the reason she did what she did was because he was not the person she fell in love with and he is turning into all the things he never wanted to be, a Grayson. She gives him the engagement ring back.
Emily decides she will tell Jack that she loves him and reveal her true identity. However, she finds that Amanda is back and is pregnant, leaving Emily heartbroken.

Charlotte reveals an affair Jaime had with a history teacher to the whole school, embarrassing Jaime publicly; Declan tells Charlotte to never talk to him again.

Because of John McGowen, Victoria discovers Conrad signed contracts to kill David Clarke. Victoria and John McGowen fly to Washington D.C. for the incriminating trial of the century regarding Conrad Grayson and the recent terrorist allegations that have been released to the SEC.
The "white-haired man" pulls the wheel brakes off the plane with both Victoria Grayson and Lydia Davis on board, causing the plane to crash. After hearing that no survivors have been found, Charlotte calls Declan to tell him, but he yells that he will never speak to her again before angrily hanging up the phone. Charlotte overdoses.

Nolan reveals to Emily a dark secret from the evidence that Conrad tried to destroy and that the framing and death of her father involves so much more than the Graysons; many others played a role in the false accusation. Emily finds out her mother is still alive from a very old security camera tape of Victoria, and she tells Nolan to resume playing the tape so she can presumably find her mother.
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Awards


Character of the Night
• Emily

Best Character Interactions
• Emily & Daniel
• Emily & Victoria

Most Memorable Moment
• Emily waiting on ‘The White Haired Man’ with an axe

Best Line
• Emily: In every life, there comes a day of reckoning, a time when unsettled scores demand their retribution. And our own lies and transgressions are finally laid bare.

Best Scene
•The fight scene between Emily and ‘The White Haired Man’

That Awkward Moment Award
• That awkward moment when your plan quite literally blows up in your face.


Miscellaneous


Favorite Actors
• Emily VanCamp, Josh Bowman and Connor Paolo

Favorite Main Character
• Nolan

Least Favorite Main Character
• Ashley

Favorite Side Character
• Takeda

Least Favorite Side Character
• Tyler

Fun Fact: The show is inspired by the Alexandre Dumas novel The Count of Monte Cristo.

Tasty Tidbit: The pilot episode scored a 3.3 Nielsen rating in the 18-49 age demographic and 10.02 million viewers, winning the 10 pm hour time slot against CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Side Note: During the show’s first season it was ABC’s highest-rated series overall in Wednesday’s 10 p.m. hour in more than 4 years since Lost during the 2006-07 television season.
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Grade: C+
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Comparable Shows
If you are interested in finding more shows like Revenge then I recommend you watch one, some or all of the following shows: Arrow, The Good Wife and/or Scandal.
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Up Next: Tomorrow I will be writing about my favorite season finale of Supernatural. That episode would be 5x22: Swan Song.




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Beauty and the Beast – 1.05– Saturn Returns – Retro Review: The Perks of Being Catherine Chandler


Beauty and the Beast – 1.05– Saturn Returns – Retro Review: The Perks of Being Catherine Chandler

“The Perks of Being Catherine Chandler”


‘The soul of the newly born baby is marked for life by the pattern of the stars at the moment it comes into the world, unconsciously remembers it, and remains sensitive to the return of configurations of a similar kind.’
― Johannes Kepler, Harmonies of the World


Preface

Well, I just want to say that I was really impressed with turn out last week on my inaugural Beauty and the Beast Retro Recap. It was the second most viewed review here on Spoiler TV so I just want to say thank you. I love my Beasties and I’m proud to be a part of this fandom. Always have been and always will be.

Up for discussion this week is actually the first episode I ever watched of Beauty and the Beast, 1x05: Saturn Returns. It was only after this episode that I decided to give the pilot a shot and well, the rest is history. ..

So, obviously, this episode holds a special place in my heart but objectively this is just a really well-crafted episode that runs the gambit of emotions and situations. Every character gets their chance to shine. The pacing was great. The dialog was fun. The party was great and a breath of fresh air. It gave us as the audience a chance to see most of our characters let loose and have fun.

So onwards and upwards with the second installment of my Beauty and the Beast Retro Review...


The Recap & Review


Title: Saturn Returns
Story by: Blair Singer/Teleplay by: Blair Singer & Kelly Souders
Director: Steven A. Adelson

Episode Summary: It's Cat's birthday, and things get complicated when she has to cancel her plans with Vincent because her sister throws her a surprise party where she shares an unexpected moment with Evan.

Vincent is caught on security camera preventing a robbery, leading his photo to appear in the newspapers, and Cat investigates the disappearance of a woman after her fiancé puts their engagement notice in the paper. It turns out that the missing woman was in witness protection and trying to live a normal life.
She disappeared when she saw her photograph in the engagement notice, worried that the gangster she was to testify against might have seen it. The gangster kills her case officer and shows up in his place, as he tries to find her.

Cat tracks the missing woman to a motel and arrives before the gangster. Cat and the gangster fight, with Cat winning. The missing woman is reunited with her fiancé. Cat pretends to be surprised at the party.

At the end of the evening, Evan kisses her, and they are seen by Vincent, who leaves a present for Cat on the window ledge and wanders off.
After the party, Cat goes to see Vincent and invites him for dinner.The last few scenes show Cat preparing dinner and Vincent walking to the date. However, he blacks out and does not show up. The candles burn down. Vincent wakes on one of the Brooklyn Bridge pylons.
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My thoughts on the writer…
I really liked this writing team but they were never put together again and more notably not asked back for season 2. While Blair Singer went on to write other episodes solo as well as one with Roger Grant, Kelly Souders was often paired with Brian Peterson (who was also not asked back for season 2). I really liked how they went out of the way to give every character a moment to shine as well as balanced the time between Cat and her life, Vincent and his life and his time together. The dialog was fun while also very realistic. They even managed to capture a few moments that felt very believable between Cat and Heather as well as Cat and Tess. I honestly can’t say enough good things about this duo and the work they did on this episode. My only regret is they never got the chance to work together again on Beauty and the Beast.

My thoughts on the director…
While this episode marked Mr. Adelson’s Beauty and the Beast directorial debut, this episode certainly wasn’t his last. Adelson has a clean and almost blunt directorial aesthetics for the most part. But he also has a way of getting the most out of the scene without the frame feeling crowded. I like that he really thrives on capturing not only the emotions of the actors but manages to even encapsulate the scene’s emotional aurora.
I’m very much looking forward to the next time he directs an episode of Beauty and the Beast which will actually be episode 2x20: Ever After.

My thoughts on the case of the week…
During the first season, for the most part, (and if you listen to the podcast, you know in the second season I still wouldn’t bat an eye if one week Cat and Tess were suddenly no longer cops but instead private detectives) I really didn’t care for the case of the week. It made the show feel too procedural in nature and the cases were often thinly veiled morality plays that tied into the theme of the week. After numerous re-watches, I’ve decided they were charming plot devices that helped build a bridge that eventually connected to other things and was a necessary evil.

Another problem with the cases of the week was the lack of originality. After watching the Law & Order franchise for quite literally more than half my life, not to mention CSI and NCIS, I can spot a red herring and ferret out the real perp in about 5 minutes flat in almost in procedural show but in the case of Beauty and the Beast, you can cut that time in half. I even figured out the ‘surprise’ twist long before it was said.

But for some reason, this really is one of my favorite cases of the week. I guess because the parallels to Cat and Vincent are so blatant yet poignant and not to mention the couple gets their happy ending thanks mostly in part to Cat.

My thoughts on the theme…
The theme of the week was very obvious but at the same time tied nicely into the case of the week.

The prevalent theme of the episode was: You can’t just assume what is right for someone else; they need to be allowed to make that choice for themselves.


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Important Incidents

• JT and Vincent go for a walk and Vincent stops a convenience store robbery a story that makes the papers.
• Heather throws Cat a surprise party with the help of Tess.
• With the help of JT, Vincent realizes just what is at stake for Cat if he continues to encourage her to spend time with him.
• Sarah asks JT out and he says no (later he takes her up on the offer of going out for coffee)
• Cat kisses Evan at her birthday party while Vincent looks on.

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Actor Assessments

Nicole Gale Anderson – This was some A+ casting because despite Nicole being Filipina and Kristin being of Dutch and Chinese descent they really look like they could be sister. Throw in the bonus that they both look like they could be Khaira Ledeyo's daughter and the wow factor of the casting is to be commended.

I've loved Nicole since the day she showed up on ABC Family's Make It or Break IT as the quintessential mean girl with a messed up family life.

My friend is a super fan of Nicole's and alerted me to the fact the she was on this show as Kristin's character's little sister and we made a date to watch the show together and well, it was right after the episode ended that I became willing to give this show a shot.

Nicole and Kristin's chemistry is so awesome. They play off each other really well and it is so easy to believe that they are sister. I hope Nicole gets to come back before the end of season 2 (if indeed the show gets cancelled like so many are predicting, but I'm not counting Beauty and the Beast out, just yet).
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Character Contemplations


Cat – Cat was already starting to feel the burden of keeping Vincent's secret and instead of running away from it she was leaning into it. I find it interesting because Cat essentially has everything Vincent had to give up: friends, a family that loves her, the ability to celebrate a birthday, the freedom to do as she pleases when she pleases as well as working a job where she is making an actual difference in the world. I really liked that Cat was feeling guilty. But I also like that she was following where her heart was leading her. I think that was something very difficult for Cat to do previously up until this point. I was a bit shocked that Cat didn't push Evan away and actually tried to use her being "tipsy" as an excuse. But the most important thing of all is that even with all this drama in her life, she still managed to be a good a cop and save the day and Vincent was even, indirectly (just the way I like it), able to help her solve the case. She also got a glimpse that a happy ending for her Vincent was possible.

Evan – This was strike one for Evan. I just couldn't believe he kissed Cat while his date was waiting on him. His saving grace is that it was done at the last moment and not right away and that he was obviously uncomfortable being alone with Cat, especially after such implied copious amounts of alcohol had been consumed. I too also couldn't believe that Evan Marks was on an internet dating website. But you just can't take away his good looks, charm and winning personality. I still find myself loving the chemistry between Max and Kristin to this very day. Mandler FOREVER, LOL!

Heather – If I had the opportunity to pick who could be my younger sibling, it would be Heather Chandler. Cute as a button, fiercely loyal and protective yet loves and knows how to party. Heather was just all sunshine, puppies and rainbows in this episode and she even got to interact with Tess and Evan.

Joe – Not much on the Joe front. But I did notice they were really going out of their way to make sure we noticed his wedding band in this episode. But I did like that we got to see both Boss!Joe and Downtime!Joe. I have to admit while I was never a fan of the Joe and Tess relationship, their scene in the photo booth was adorable. Hell, I even loved the little kiss and hug he gave to Cat. That really made it seem like the 125th precinct or at the very least the special victims unit was a close knit unit with nothing but love for each other.

JT – JT annoyed the living hell out of me this week in the first half of the episode because he came across as a nagging wife for the first time ever. It wasn't until we got a little backstory about how JT had to give up his life and go on the run with Vincent that things start to click with the JT and Vincent scenes. I also loved that they were trying to let JT have a life since Vincent was pursuing Cat. In the end JT had the most zingers and one liners and still managed to get back on track as the heart of the show before the episode was over.

Tess – Tess knows something is up. She even knows that it more than likely has to do with a guy. Tess feels a little left out of the loop but she is still there for Cat and trying to stay close with Cat. I love that Cat understands Tess (knows that the flowers are from her)and Tess is willing to give Cat leeway in their relationship. I also like that their personal disconnection does not affect how either one of them do their jobs in this episode. They are still able to have silent conversations and read each others signals and manage to save the day.

Vincent – I just want hold Vincent and never left him go. He is so turned around and conflicted about Cat. He is drawn to her, has been watching over her for so long and now he finally gets the chance to know her but there are so many perils when it comes to being in a relationship with him. He's already basically ruined JT's life in his eyes and really wants to take JT's advice and let Cat live her life without getting caught up in the negative consequence that being with him can cause. But that pull won't let go, not even after seeing her kissing another guy. Vincent even buys her a very thoughtful gift. There is a stereotype, especially in media that guys don't listen to women, so I think that is awesome that Vincent took the time to get her something meaningful that was based on a good memory about her mother. I was a little bummed out that Vincent was prevented from having dinner with Cat but deep down on the first watch, even I knew it was too soon for them to get together. PS: Boy was I relieved to learn that Vincent's fugue states weren't really caused by Cat.

VinCat - This is the episode that takes their relationship that has pretty much been classified as an uneasy "friendship" and transitioned it to a case of them both wanting to find out what this mysterious pull they both feel for each other really is. Of course it was just a tease but I love that Cat was the one to initiate it and tell Vincent that at the end of the day it was her choice to make about whether or not she wanted pursue any kind of relationship with him despite the dangers. It made me feel like their relationship, when it got to a serious development stage would be on equal footing. I really like both of the protagonists and I enjoy romantic relationships on TV that are built on strong foundations of friendship, equality and neither partner being perfect. This was a good building block for the relationship, in my opinion.

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The Highlights


Memorable Moments

1. Now that’s how you open an episode, with a restless and more importantly shirtless, Vincent tossing and turning in bed.
2. JT puts his finger in the string so Vincent can make a perfect bow for Cat’s birthday present
3. Cat practices her surprise face.
4. Cat and Heather hug.
5. Cat and Tess in the photo booth
6. Joe throws up air quotes at a crime scene
7. Cat practices her surprise face.

Laudable Lines

1. JT: … and I’m not asking her out because I live in an abandoned warehouse with a complicated roommate.

2. Vincent: I need some air.
JT: Open a window.

3. Vincent: JT, she makes me feel like… like I have a life again.
JT: Awfully dangerous for a guy who is supposed to be dead.

4. JT: What’s got you so amped up? OH! You must have seen Cat.

5. Cat: You seriously have something called phase B?

6. Evan: I didn’t know you thought my accent was sexy?

Scenes I’m Smitten With

1. JT and Vincent talk about Sarah. – It’s refreshing to be talking about someone else’s love life.
2. Cat goes to Evan’s lab to get the results and witty sexual tension type hijinks ensue.
3. Sarah confronts/asks out JT in the stairwell while he’s trying to steal stuff for the home alarm system he’s building.
4. Cat, Heather and Tess trash talk Claire as she walks away to the bathroom
5. JT embarrasses the crap out of Vincent by telling Cat in the most flowery way possible how Vincent feels since having actually met her.

The Lowlights

1. I was too easily able to solve the case of the week.
2. Not enough time spent with Cat and Heather (I really love them together).

Awards


Character of the Night
• Cat

Best Character Interactions
• Cat & Heather
• Cat & Vincent
• JT & Vincent

Most Memorable Moment
• Duh, you had to know this was coming, shirtless Vincent. (Excuse the fangirl moment, please)

Line of the Night
• Heather: Surprised, pissed or both?

Scene of the Night
• Cat and Lily/Amy have a heart to heart (and the parallels are uncanny)

That Awkward Moment
• That awkward moment when you tell a woman you like to move on and you catch her doing what appears to be just that with another guy.

The ‘Nosiest Little Sister’ Award
• Heather is as equally adorable as she is nosey

Miscellaneous


Recurring Elements
•Newspaper clippings

For Real?
• Evan kisses Cat while his date, Claire is waiting for him
• Michael just happened to be a doctor just like Vincent use to be?
• How the hell did Cat manage to get the thumb drive into the USB port without even looking on the first try? Witchcraft, I tell you!
• Evan's online dating profile, it justs more funny with each thing you notice.

Biggest Surprise of the Episode
• Vincent ends up on the Brooklyn Bridge.


My Music Picks
Raise Your Glass by Deana
• Take A Walk by Passion Pit


Things I Miss
• The Cat and Vincent character intros at the beginning of an episode
• The way Cat use to light up when she talked about her mother
•Cat feeling guilty about lying to everyone almost all of the time

Fun Fact: Vincent gave Cat flannel pajamas for her birthday (because that is what Cat’s mother use to get her for her birthday).

Tasty Tidbit: This episode has one of the shortest openings (the time before we get to the title card)of the series (03:19)

Style Spotlight: I absolutely love the shirt in the picture to left. I just had to hunt it down and make it mine. I love that is was soft and feminine but basic and could be dressed up or dressed down. It is also super comfy. Cat's wardrobe consists of a lot white flowy tops, so much so it could almost be considered a 'recurring element' to be honest. But this is one of my favorite tops.

Grade: A

Side Note: A lot of fans, me included, think that this is the episode the show came together and began to gel. It is frequently mentioned among Beasties I know as one of their favorite season 1 episodes.
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Elite Eight Review Line Up

Here’s a list of the episodes that I will be writing Retro Recaps for until the hiatus is over:

Pilot – April 8, 2014
Saturn Returns – April 15, 2014
• Out of Control – April 22, 2014
• Bridesmaid up/Seeing Red – April 29, 2014
• Trust No One – May 6, 2014
• Insatiable – May 13, 2014
• Heart of Darkness – May 20, 2014
• Anniversary – May 27, 2014
• Bonus Review (on my blog): Date night – June 2, 2014


Plugs & Shameless Self-Promotion

If you’re bored and you’re re-watching season 2, how about you listen to my podcast for a fresh perspective, theories or just have a listen to a couple of
gals who just really love talking about Beauty and the Beast.

The DVMPE’s Beauty and the Beast Podcast
The Podcast’s Facebook Page
The Podcast's Email
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I would love for you to leave your thoughts and comments about when you first watched the pilot and some of your initial thoughts about the show below. I look forward to reading your comments.

ps: Don't forget to promote this and all positive Beauty and the Beast 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.

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