Friday Night Lights: East of Dillon
I've seen all of Season 4. I had planned to post about the season as I watched, which obviously never happened, so I figured I'd just wait until NBC aired the episodes. I will not spoil anything that is to come, but I will say, for anyone who has not yet seen this season of Friday Night Lights, it is fabulous. Still, me being me, I have some quibbles that can be addressed with the season premiere.
I found it WTF that, until the end of Season 3, we were unaware of East Dillon, the school, and East Dillon as a whole other part of town people didn't want their children to step foot in. It's obvious the writers didn't have a far reaching plan for the series, otherwise, we likely would have had hints to this Whole Other World from the beginning. It's one thing to tell us East Dillon didn't have a football team or athletic program; it's another to ignore the existence of half the town.
J.D. McCoy may have been cocky in Season 3, but I never thought of him as an asshole. I wanted an explanation as to the change in behavior. Joe taking over the football program could certainly cause J.D.'s ego to swell, but it doesn't explain manhandling Julie and attempting to throw her in a pool (and I totally supported Matt tackling him to the ground). There is some explanation as to why he's acting as he is later in the season, but it would have helped had the explanation come sooner.
While I eventually grew a bit more sympathetic towards Becky as the season progressed, I still found her the most irritating character of the season.
So now I have my quibbles out of the way, what I liked:
Vince: It was hard to get a read on him early on, and I was concerned with all the cast changes, but he really grew on me. And his arc rivals those of his predecessors.
Billy: I haven't always like Billy, but I completely understood his anger at Tim. He did everything in his power to get Tim to college and a better life and Tim quit after a month.
Matt: It breaks my heart to see him still in Dillon and having to deliver pizzas when he could be following his dream. And he shouldn't listen to the bitter art professor! He's eighteen! He's producing drawings because he's still learning to draw! You go to school to find out what you want to say!
Julie: It's not a smart decision to go to East Dillon simply because her friends are now there, but I was amused at her using Tami's words against her. Tami can't claim the schools are equal, then argue with her decision to transfer.
Tami: The coin toss! HA! And what the hell was Wade doing explaining to her what “D” meant? Like she hasn't been a coaches wife for twenty years? Ass.
Stan: On the one hand, his enthusiasm for the game and eagerness to work for Eric, for free, is touching; on the other hand, I feel sorry for Eric that he has to put up with so much enthusiasm each day!
Eric: Calling the game was one of the most painful things he's ever had to do in his life, but I didn't see he had another choice. The team wasn't just worn out; they were too physically battered to go on. Eric watched his star quarterback become paralyzed on the field. I can't see him sending the boys back out in the shape they were in to possibly be injured worse.
I'm still two episodes behind with Doctor Who, but I feel compelled to ask, can we destroy ALL the Daleks PERMANENTLY? Please? Were they ever scary? I just find them incredibly annoying at this point.
Iron Man 2
I had read some mixed reviews, but I really enjoyed it! I'll agree it's not quite as good as the first film. There were some pacing issues in the middle, a few unnecessary scenes and Hammer was too much the stereotypical corporate bad guy. I also think Hammer was too similar to Stane from the first film, though Stane seemed vastly more intelligent.
I wish we had seen more of Ivan. If you have Mickey Rourke, use him. There were interesting parallels between Ivan and Tony which I would have liked to have seen explored further. Tony was able to see his father wasn't the man he thought he was; I wanted to see Ivan learn the truth about his father as well.
Scarlett Johansson I expected to suck. She didn't! And Don Cheadle was, as usual, good. I approved of the recasting before I saw any footage. :)
The footage of Howard Stark may be setting up a key plot element of IM3. I read RDJ and Jon Favreau are interested in addressing Tony's alcoholism (a story arc in one of the comic books series) and it seems clear clear Tony's drinking, at least in part, is something inherited from his father.
There were two scenes I felt RDJ was drawing from real life experience. The first was the opening with Tony making a grand entrance, listing his various accomplishments and reminding everyone how awesome he is - and even mentioning Phoenix rising from the ashes. Then second scene was the birthday bash where my embarrassment squick was in force. The scene was necessary to show Tony had become self-destructive to the point of being dangerous, but it was also painful to witness. As was Tony being surrounded by a room full of people who didn't give a damn.
Tony and Pepper becoming a couple (we assume) was handled better than I expected it to be. I was disappointed the scene shown in commercials and trailers, in which she kisses his helmet before throwing it out of the plane and he jumps out after it saying, “You complete me”, was edited out of the final cut. It had amused me.
Legend of the Seeker: Eternity
Given the focus on Cara, it should have been an awesome episode, but I was rather disappointed. Tabrett did a great job, but I felt her story suffered as what seemed like two episodes worth of material was crammed into one. Or perhaps Cara's storyline and Richard and Kahlan's should have been split. It came down to too much was going on and too many shortcuts taken. We learn Cara bore Darken Rahl a son and a son born to him and a Mord Sith could be very powerful. Yet, Darken had “the bastard” killed the day he was born. Was it because he was not a legitimate heir? Was it because he feared his son may be too powerful to control and one day do to him what he did to his own father? I'm not clear on the why he chose to do what he did.
And I questioning how Cara could have been turned. The Sisters of the Dark did turbocharge the Agiel with the pain and suffering of all the souls Cara tortured and killed, but is that really enough to turn her?
The episode was focused a lot on The Sex. Cara and Dahlia certainly had it. Though having it a few yards away from Zedd was less hot and more, “Eww”.
I'm getting rather tired of the 'Hey, we're on your side! As long as you never leave here and do as we say!' cults. I can't even go, "Oh, Richard", on this one. Kahlan got sucked into the facade as well.
Richard and Kahlan talking about their baby girl. Awwwwww. Of course, they have to stop with the kissing because it could lead to very bad things. Interestingly, it's Kahlan, not Richard, who is concerned about not being about to control themselves.
And it would appear the TV series is following the books in terms of the progression of Richard and Kahlan's relationship (at least from what I know of the books). Richard's theory that if the Creator has a plan for them (To repopulate the world! Apparently with their children having incestuous relationships! O_o) it's because she knows they are different somehow and that maybe their love for each other will protect them.
Richard gets a new (sleeveless – convenient!) outfit! And that sure looked like Kahlan naked in bed! Maybe Richard's proposed loophole turns out to be correct. Ir it's all a dream/hallucination/AU.
For those not yet hooked on LotS, but are thinking of turning to the dark side, ignipes has a posted an awesome (and HILARIOUS) introductory post to the series - It's not a real obsession unless you inflict it upon everybody you know. Here's a favorite excerpt:
You have to do better than that.
Because it's adorable. Because there's MAGIC. And swords and sorcery and ghosts and body-swapping and accidental marriages and long, dramatic sword fights and secret pining and longing and women who totally kick ass (literally and figuratively) and a totally cheesetastic evil villain who chews the scenery like it's going out of style and a hero who is always needing to be rescued by the awesome heroine.
And also people get tortured with magical red dildos, but that only makes sense in context.
No. It doesn't make any kind of sense in context.
And for those sinking into depression over the cancellation or hesitant to start watching because the end is (maybe) near, seriousfic discusses looking on the brightside of cancellation.
Craig Engler, general manager and senior VP of Syfy digital, posted How to REALLY save your favorite sci-fi show from cancellation, which basically talks about how campaigns are doomed to fail. What's really interesting is not the article itself, but the comments, in which SyFy viewers take the opportunity to point out his network's questionable programming choices and blunders. Hee.
For those who do not normally watch Community, you MUST watch last weeks episode, 'Modern Warfare', one of the best episodes of a a half hour comedy I have ever seen. It's brilliant on many levels and, while some of the humor works better if you are a fan of the series, it can still be appreciated if it's the only episode you have ever seen. It's available on HULU and Comcast In Demand.
Finally, there has been lots of discussion about Battlestar Galactica and, specifically, 'Black Market' today. My very abridged, tweet friendly, opinion: Jamie Bamber is awesome. BSG was (mostly) awesome. And 'Litmus', 'The Woman, King' and 'A Day in the Life' I dislike far more. :)