I did manage to hang with friends for a several hours on Saturday. We continued our streak of interesting restaurant experiences. It was good that our waitress was cute and sweet because she was painfully lacking in the brains department. I mean, if you hand someone two credit cards and one has a female name and the other a male name, why would you ask which one is mine? O_o
I also have caught up on TV.
Life on Mars
The reshot pilot.....wasn’t bad! The U.S. pilot followed the U.K. pilot closely and it seems like the next episode will copy the original series as well. With American TV production schedules so much longer, the U.S. version will have to deviate soon. At that point we shall see if the U.S. version can sustain the concept. I’m still torn on watching. I consider it one of the better pilots I’ve seen this season, yet it still pales in comparison to the U.K. version. And while I’ve read criticism of Jason O’Mara’s Sam, and agree he's not as good as John Simm, I found him quite likable in the role. I felt the real problem was Harvey Keitel’s Gene Hunt. I’m not sure if it’s Harvey, the writers, or a combination of both, but, inexplicably, they’ve softened the character. Gene is still an ass, but he seems more a product of his generation rather than just being an ass.
The shot of the Twin Towers was as surprising and moving to me as it was to Sam. It wasn't used for cheap effect, it was the clearest way to tell Sam that, yes, he was definitely in a different era. Which left me a bit bewildered that he continued to question the 'reality' of his situation.
My interest waned halfway through the premiere. BBC America ran a marathon of the original series starring Patrick Stewart yesterday afternoon so I decided to watch the first episode to compare. The U.S. pilot closely follows the U.K. pilot, but one key difference is that the U.K. version runs ninety minutes with commercials versus sixty thus some significant edits had to be made. Plot points I found confusing in the U.S. version were clear in the U.K. version. Also, the U.K. version didn't portray the bad guys as cliches nor was every plot thread tied up neatly at the end. And while I am a fan of Rufus Sewell, I felt he was miscast here. I felt an older actor was needed to convey the experiences Hood was to have had.
Ultimately, the premise of both series just does not interest me. And, if I recall correctly, it didn’t interest the Brits much either since it was canceled after one series.
Oh, and Marc Blucas guest starred as a detective. KIt took me a minute to recognize him. And his acting has not improved.
Bu-Bye! Twenty-five minutes into the episode it hit me that I had NO idea what the story was, where it was headed, or what point they were trying to make. It didn’t help that they only bothered to write an A plot. I don’t know if an overlong and pointless phone call between Will and his ex was suppose to be a subplot, but since it seemed to just be thrown in there for no apparent reason I’ll guess someone just wanted to give Kandyce McClure work for the day. And if you ever thought Leah Cairns had a thankless roll as Racetrack, think again! The poor woman was in a substantial portion of the episode, yet had two or three lines.
Well, that was an improvement. This felt much more like a Season 1 episode. Both Charlie and Ted had to deal, once again, with their time in prison. Reese got to be tough, smart and funny. Lieutenant Davis was back! We still don’t have a clear explanation as to why she was demoted, but I’m hopeful with her partner off for a long rest we’ll see more of her around the department. And I loved the closing shot of, in his closet, pinning the newspaper clipping to the wall. He’s starting his investigation anew, trying to determine who the five are, what they were involved in, and how it ties to him.
Tidwell was slightly less annoying. It helped that he wasn’t actually dumb enough to keep a loaded gun in an unlocked desk. But I'm still loathing the subplot with Charlie's ex-wife. Charlie is only setting himself up for more pain and he deserves better. Plus, the actress isn’t very good. I hear she’s quite the humanitarian though.
Is anyone else watching this show? It airs Sunday on the CW. If you're not watching, you should check it out and let me share few reasons why.
- The premise involves a family run 'need money NOW' loan business. It's not a procedural! Nor is it high concept! It relies on the characters to drive the story!
- It has a fairly strong cast (though the brother-in-law could go) headed by Laurie Metcalf as the matriarch of the family. Her Bobette is an interesting character. At times she seems like a caricature, with the big hair and boisterous personality, but you realize it's part of a facade to distract people from the smart woman standing before them. And she has a propensity for not telling the truth, yet it's not born of maliciousness. It's a habit formed by someone who, I think, views reality as a bit boring and she embellishes to entertain.
- In the premiere, the youngest son (and Bobette's rock), Cooper, discovers a family secret. By the second episode he's talking to his family about what he's discovered. Yes, the family talks to each other! There is a lot of dodging answering his questions, yet it's refreshing to see a character face a situation head on rather than allowing resentment and anger to build.
- And Cooper's kind of cute. ;)
Friday Night Lights
Things I loved about this episode:
Matt! Poor Matt. There was definitely a moment there when he thought about letting his grandmother go to the nursing home. Then she had the breakdown, thanking him for his sacrifices, and all done without ever complaining. You just knew he was going to end up doing the right thing no matter what it cost him. And going to see his mother, to ask her for help, must have been incredibly painful. I was proud of him when, knowing his mother was about to criticize his father for leaving him and going to Iraq, he cut her off with, "I really don't think you are in any position to judge." Ouch. From some minor spoilers I've read, I know she has her reasons for doing what she did, but she's also had years to try to be a part of his life and hasn't made an attempt and I'd like to hear an explanation for that.
On a happier note for Matt, he seems to be reconnecting with Julie. Julie, who no longer is that awful teen from last season, but the Julie I recognize and like from Season 1.
The team rallying around Smash and helping him regain his confidence. I only wish Jason had been there to cheer them on from the sidelines. It would have been nice to see the team, as we knew them, together one last time.
And I may have gotten a little teary hearing the Williams family celebrate the good news as soon as Eric left. I really hope it works out for Smash and his family.
What I'm torn about in this epsiode:
Tami. I actually side with Tami and her decision. Panther football is very important to Dillion, but life after Panther football is more important. Those kids need teachers, up to date textbooks and dozens of other things, not a Jumbotron. However, if you've only been the high school principle for a week do you make a unilateral decision as she did and alienate everyone? People you will need on your side later. Eric knows you have to walk a fine line with the people of Dillion. It was no coincidence that as Tami asked Eric his opinion about her decision, a gentleman approached him about the new QB. He's had to deal for years with the pressure to do what is best for the team, for Dillion, and make everyone happy, even if it might not be the right thing to do.
And I had another issue with Tami. Did Tyra make some bad calls in her campaign for class president? Absolutely. But Tyra doesn't know any better. When backed into a corner, she resorts to what she knows to get what she wants. She doesn't have anyone to tell her it's wrong. Her mother and sister think the best Tyra can hope for is using her God given assets to land herself a husband. Landry is, well, Landry. And while Tami helped inspire Tyra to do better in school and think about college and a career, she's now the principle and has left Tyra in the hands of a guidance counselor who thinks little of her and feels her aspirations are a joke. Tami could have handled the situation better. Instead of chastising Tyra and making her feel like crap, she could have explained that while her actions may have won her the election, it didn't improve her standing in the eyes of her fellow students.
What I didn't like:
Tim and Lyla. Sorry, I just don't get it. Buddy may have been out of line threatening Tim, but I understand how he's feeling. Lyla can do a lot better. Tim's being approached by schools and he just blows it off. Part of me wonders if Lyla is trying to recreate the life she thought she would have with Jason - being the girlfriend/wife of a football star. If that's the case I feel as sorry for her as I do for Tim.
What's with the hair on the show this season? Both Chuck and Bryce need to control those curls.
That was some pretty good negotiating on Chuck's part. Though I love how Casey was able to reclaim the money, chase down the chip guy, and save Chuck's life singlehandedly.
Sara took the shot when Bryce was held hostage; she couldn't take the shot when it was Chuck in the same position. Well, I think we, and Bryce, knows who she loves more. Poor Bryce. Though I hope this won't stop Bryce from visiting. He's very pretty.
I was wondering how the show was going to deal with the information in Chuck's head becoming outdated. I'll buy it.
Morgan needs to marry Anna.
And Casey wants to possibly recruit Anna. Hee!
The Comic Con mug! Hee! Hee!