I haven’t given up on ‘Falling Skies’…yet.

falling skies lexie ben

At the end of last season of Falling Skies, I had no idea where it was headed. We had an odd season with two different groups of aliens, only to end with a war between aliens and the humans walking away to their inevitable deaths. Given that this is a TV series, “inevitable” could really mean anything, but ultimately, it was ominous.

Fast forward, and we have this season. At first, I was absolutely thrilled with the direction. Seeing the group torn apart by the electric fences was startling and dramatic. It really set a great tone for a new series. Then, we see that months in the future, everyone’s in separate groups. Ben, Lexi, and Mags are in one (peaceful) camp. Hal, Weaver, Tom, and Pope are in a ghetto camp. Anne and soldiers are on the road. And Matt’s by himself at what we discover to be an education camp for children.

Interesting, right? Until…things become nonsensical and you discover that everyone’s basically back to their old tricks. Ok, perhaps that’s too black and white. Let me get more specific.

I’m really frustrated. Separating everyone and having them work with people they don’t generally share scenes with really shakes up the cast for a new seasons. I liked the idea.  But the individual situations are falling flat for me.

We’ll start with Anne. Her story is the one most like what came before, out on the road fighting monsters while on their way somewhere. This story is fine (though who knows where it goes from here, now that they found Lexi’s camp). In fact, what I like about it is that Anthony (Mpho Koaho) is getting his moment to shine. But Anne is too one-dimensional in her pursuit to find Lexi. I find shows that lean on the “I must find my baby” — and do nothing else — as lacking dimension and power. Yes, she’s pushing her troops really hard. And that’s about it. It just needs something more.

Then there’s Matt. Matt’s development in the series has always been something that I’ve enjoyed watching. So seeing that he was stuck all alone on one side of the electric fence was really interesting. However, I would have really enjoyed seeing how he survived instead of jumping right into this education camp. And while I am mildly invested in seeing how he brings down the camp from the inside, his supporting characters are really bugging me. For one thing, when an entire room is sitting like statues staring ahead, seeing the girl beside Matt rolling her eyes and turning her head to look at him is obvious. It could just be done better.

That bring us to Lexi and her camp, which, sigh, is another I care little about. I’m not much of a Ben fan; he’s fine. He’s a good enough character. I just don’t tend to want to spend a lot of time with him. And he and Mags just don’t have the chemistry that she and Hal have. And Lourdes in her worshippy state (odd, since she was such a devout Christian before) is annoying as all hell (pardon my language). Lexi isn’t all that much of a mystery to me — at least not one that I care about. Perhaps it’s because we don’t really know her yet, but I don’t care much about her magical powers or Anne’s alien pregnancy. And they haven’t given me much to like about her.

So while all that is bugging me, I’m pushing through it. And it must go somewhere. So I’m watching to see where it goes.

But then there’s the ghetto camp. Or the group that used to be the ghetto camp. What’s the problem here? This is the same thing we’ve been watching season after season after season. We’re seeing the same righteous, know-it-all Tom. We’re seeing the same Pope. We’re barely even seeing Hal. It’s almost like taking all the supporting faces from around these people we’re forced to focus on the same things we’ve been watching episode after episode after episode.

I just want Tom to shut up for a while. I wanted to see people stand up to him instead of blindly following him and another one of his plans. For example, these people, who have been running from aliens and death for years, have finally found somewhere where they can stay in one place, be provided for, and live. Yes, it’s in terrible means. But for people who have been living for survival for so long, wouldn’t they just want to do that finally? Especially the old couple in the last episode. They wouldn’t be the adults that get harnessed; why not live their final years in as close to peace as they can?

I would have loved to see Tom offer the plan and everyone just say no. Go against him. And just go from there. Now that would have been interesting. But instead, we’re outside the fence, back where we started. It’s just frustrating. There’s no development and these characters are just stalled.

In addition, it just makes no sense. Why did I spend a season watching two alien factions fight it out with human alliances if one of the species was going to leave Earth within months of their “win”? Do we really care about adult harnesses? Or education camps? Or Lexi’s powers? There’s a lot going on, and I think the writers are so desperately trying to keep mystery building instead of filling in holes so storylines make sense. It’s frustrating and without having faith in the characters to take me there, there’s not much keeping me going.

That being said, it’s Falling Skies. I’ve stuck with this series for three years so far. I care about this bunch. So I want to know what happens. So I’ll keep watching…for now. But don’t let me down Falling Skies. Or I’m siding with the Espheni.

*image courtesy of TNT

Pop pop! Yahoo renews ‘Community’ for sixth season


In the news you never thought you’d hear, Community has been renewed for season 6 by not Hulu, not Netflix, but of all places, Yahoo. Yahoo Screen has ordered a 13-episode season, allowing the series to live out half of its #sixseasonsandamovie prophecy. The other half, I suppose, we’ll have to wait and see.

The decision come in at the eleventh hour, as options on the cast were set to expire today. To be honest, I figured the show was long gone a while ago (probably with the cancelation news). The show has had its share of ups and downs, and while I always hope that shows will be picked up by another network or online streaming place, I don’t get too excited about it. Sure, it worked for Southland and Cougar Town, but there are a whole lot of other series that just fade into oblivion.

But clearly not Community. I’m not sure what to expect with the new season (with the exception of more cursing; according to Joel McHale, they can swear now). Sadly, it looks like Donald Glover and Jonathan Banks will not be available for the sixth season. But we still get the rest of our crazy ragtag team, so I’m not complaining. Dan Harmon is back at the helm.

No word yet (that I’ve seen) about when the 13 episodes will be aired (posted?) or whether Yahoo Screen will take the binge or episodic approach (I’m hoping the former). A lot is left to be seen.

But hey, welcome back, Greendale. It’s good to see those Human Beings back again.

(Now, if they would only work on Enlisted next. Suddenly, I have hope…)

My Thoughts on the ‘Drop Dead Diva’ Series Finale


Yesterday I wrote that I really had no idea what Drop Dead Diva was going to do in its series finale. There just seemed to be a lot to cover in a little time. I suppose the writers ran into the same issue. To be honest, I don’t know whether this episode was written before or after the show was announced as cancelled, and while the episode was tied up in a tidy bow to some extent, it wasn’t the series finale I was hoping for for a show that watched and enjoyed for years.

For one thing, it didn’t really celebrate the show much. For a show that celebrated musical numbers and even a duel, last night’s finale just felt lackluster. The cases were standard. The tension was blah. And where were the stakes?

Sure, I suppose it was a big deal that Jane left the firm. And while I assume she probably went back to it once she and Owen got over their issues, I don’t think it was explicitly said. We don’t really know where she and Ian will go from here, just that they’ll be together (I almost thought we’d see them flying off to Mexico to start their lives all over again or something, but no, we didn’t even get that).

Actually, the most satisfying endings were from people like Owen, Stacy, and Kim. While we didn’t get to see Stacy’s brand-new kiddos (or even hear their names), they were born healthy, and Stacy and Owen are happy. Her drugged-up speech to Jane was just sweet, and those 10 seconds really made the show feel like a series finale for the first time in the episode.


Kim, too, got a happy ending. I mentioned in my last post that I’ve enjoyed her character development, showing the softer side after having a baby. But now we got to see her break down her walls even further, falling for a guy that she was so against on paper. And it was sweet. And I was happy for her. That’s what I want in my season finale.

Even Teri got her happy ending: an opportunity to live her dreams as a musician.

And I suppose I can admit that Jane and Grayson — er, Ian — got their happy ending, too. But still, there was something about it that just still fell flat for me. Even with the tacked-on video montage, I felt like the heart wasn’t really in it. The song was nice. The memories were nice. But…where were the six seasons that I watched and loved?

To me, this whole series was about Deb and Jane. Deb becoming Jane — and then Jane becoming someone all her own as half Jane, half Deb. She became her own person. And Grayson will have to do the same, which we won’t really ever see…and I’m fine with that. While the relationship between Jane and Grayson was always threaded through the series, I never saw this series as one only about Grayson and Jane. So to end with a montage about the two of them — one I felt was pretty weighted toward Grayson — just felt rather odd to me. I had no problem with ending on a picture of Grayson and Deb. That seemed right. But I just wanted to focus in on Jane.

But I suppose Jane’s happy ending is too tied with Grayson/Ian to deny such a montage. I don’t know how to express it, but I was hoping for a little more depth with the ending. To end where they became and to go full circle makes sense, but at the same time, it felt a little hollow. The show was more than that.

So that’s what I’ll aim to remember with the end of Drop Dead Diva. Not this finale that seemed hastily put together and somewhat lackluster. Instead, I’ll remember that vibrant girl with the bright pink heels, the great friendships that surrounded her, and of course, the musical numbers.

*images courtesy of Lifetime

What’s On Tonight: The Drop Dead Diva Finale

Lifetime, Drop Dead Diva, BPG

We’re only a few hours away from the end of Drop Dead Diva. And I have to admit, I don’t know what’s going to happen.

It’s funny. You’d think that’d be the case for most series finales. And while you may not know exactly what’s going to happen in a given series finale, you might generally have a sense. For example, you kinda knew where Rory was headed in the series finale of Gilmore Girls, and you could guess that they’d try to wrap things up for Luke and Lorelai. At the end of Buffy and Angel, you knew that our favorite characters were headed toward one hell of a battle (pardon the puns), and you could generally guess that the world wouldn’t end (though in retrospect, I suppose Joss Whedon has made that choice before).

But with Drop Dead Diva, I really don’t know what’s going to happen. I imagine something uplifting (it is Drop Dead Diva, after all). I bet that Stacy will have her babies. I bet that Ian and Jane are going to end up together in some way. But I don’t know where Jane’s going to go in regards to her job or the law firm. I don’t know what Ian’s going to do in the future. Really, there just seems to be a lot to be covered in one hour that’s left. My guess is that a lot is going to be left to the imagination.

It’s been an interesting season, though. While I wasn’t too surprised what happened with Grayson (the moment he was shot, I was sure he’d be killed and brought back in one way or another), I suppose they had to do something to make their relationship interesting after they got together. (The beginning of the season, by the way, was a little annoying in regards to the will-they-won’t-they factor after Grayson found out about Jane/Deb. I got very tired of Grayson’s intense earnest face.)

What I’ve really enjoyed, though, was the character development of the side characters. Stacy and Owen have been adorable. Paul has finally become an actual person, which is especially nice since I wasn’t sold on him last season. But I’ve been especially in love with Kim’s development. You always hear that your life changes after having a baby (and hey, as a new mom, I can say that’s true), and it’d been amazing to see the hard-as-nails Kim become a kind, compassionate person now that she’s a mother. I wish we saw that more in television shows. And I’m glad we’re going to be left with an uplifting note with Kim, after so many years in a love-hate relationship with her (fortunately, I tended to fall on the “love” side of the equation, even if she did tick me off from time to time).

Anyway, it looks like we’ve got a lot to discover in tonight’s series finale. And I’m sure I’m not the only one that will miss Jane, Deb, and the team after it’s gone. I can’t complain too much; the show was already given a second life after being cancelled once — we’re already living on borrowed time. Deb and Grayson would be pleased.

Orange Is the New Black: My Thoughts on Season 2

oitnb season 2

If you haven’t seen the second season of Orange Is the New Black, I’d recommend watching and then coming back here to avoid any potential spoilers.

As many other reviewers and TV writers alike would admit, Orange Is the New Black took me surprise last year. It’s not the type of series I’d normally watch. I’m not one for nudity, for one, and the subject matter — a woman in jail for drug trafficking — isn’t exactly on my list of “hey, I’d like to see more on…”

But as JC and I sped through episode after episode (and proceeded to rewatch it in January, while introducing it to my brother-in-law on a three-day weekend), I realized that this show was not only great and full of potential but creative and different from anything else that I’d really seen. I could rave about everything that made it unique, but there have already been a number of people who have talked about that, so let’s move on to season two.

I had one issue with this new season of Orange: my one-year-old son. Apparently, a one-year-old doesn’t sleep all day, which meant I couldn’t binge watch the entire series in a weekend. I had to wait until he went to bed and then gulp down three episodes at a time, so it took me about a week to complete. Now, 13 episodes in a week is still rather speedy, but it still meant that every day I found myself craving more episodes until the final one. And let’s be honest: I’m still disappointed I have to wait for another season.

What I found incredibly interesting about this season is that, unlike the last, it wasn’t a show about Piper. The show had always balanced Piper’s story with revelations of side characters’ backstories and how they ended up in prison. But in the end, it was really the story of Piper and what happened to her with some B-stories here and there. But after her incident with Pensatucky that landed her in the SHU, Piper learned a thing or two, and Litchfield suddenly wasn’t about her. She started to blend into the background, and those B-stories suddenly came into the forefront.

Red wasn’t running things anymore. And a new (but old) face appeared at the prison: Vee. I actually loved having Vee arrive (though I can’t say I loved Vee). Suddenly, the entire prison became a question of who really ran it. Red? The cooks? Vee? It became a turf war, which I just found absolutely fascinating.

More so, we got to see who really tried to fight those “in charge.” Poussey’s development as a character was in full force as she fought against Vee tooth and nail. It was impressive and unexpected. And in the end, she really won (partially because Vee’s own threats and power turned her “family” against her).

But then there were the other storylines. Seeing Rosa’s backstory (though I must admit; her younger self was probably the only one that I just felt didn’t match the older character we were watching) and her development as she became only weeks away from left. Discovering the truth about Lorna and her fiancee. Seeing how kind and compassionate Tasty was versus Vee’s two-faced cruelty.

On top of that, we had the COs. As much as I hated Healy last season, I suddenly felt bad for him as he desperately tried to make a difference. Poor Caputo did everything he could to do right by the prison — even (hilariously) bringing Fig down in the process — but I doubt we’ll see him in a permanent promotion, given the events in the final episode. And even Pornstache was interesting; oddly enough, the time away from the series made me forget how big of a jerk he was, making his arrest somewhat bittersweet. You actually felt kinda bad that he was going to jail for something he didn’t exactly do.

Probably the only part of the season I didn’t love was Larry and Polly. It just felt forced and somewhat unrealistic. Would they really just sleep together once and then get together — ending a marriage that just had a newborn child — because they were “in love”? Eh…

Nonetheless, it was an interesting season. For so many shows, the second year ends up becoming a sophomore slump, taking a hit with viewers because it just doesn’t stand up to the previous season in quality. But Orange knew what it was doing — and succeeded at that. So kudos, Orange, but do I really have to wait another year?

The Vampire Diaries: Home



I felt it only fair to come back here and share some more lucid thoughts on the heartbreaking season five finale of The Vampire Diaries. If you haven’t already, you can hop over to the post I wrote last night, which was very reactionary, very emotional, and very OMGOMGOMGWHATJUSTHAPPENED.

But now that it’s been 24 hours, I wanted to come back and share some comments that I’ve actually processed. Did Damon die? Is he coming back? Did Bonnie die? Is she gone forever? I don’t have the answers to these questions. But I do have some thoughts.

Let’s start with Bonnie. The struggle with Bonnie is that there’s really nothing left for her. And it’s been like this for a couple seasons now. There’s a reason that we’ve tried killing her off before. Bonnie is one badass witch — but we’ve sort-of run out of stories for her. I love Bonnie. I love seeing her and Jeremy together especially. There’s just not much left to do with her. So when the Other Side collapsed, taking her with it, there really was nothing left for her. I don’t see what could bring her back, other than loyalty to her friends. And while I would love to see the character again, it almost feels like an abuse. She really shouldn’t come back. She’s gone full circle, and I don’t know what they’d do with her.

And I think the writers might just know that. She said it herself: she’s been on borrowed time. And so has the character. So I think she might just be dead. And that’s it. Elena just lost her best friend. And Jeremy her love. (And by the way, the way that everyone realized Bonnie’s loss was just fantastic. Jeremy’s desperate screams of her name, while everyone overhears it — you can almost see the lightbulbs go off in their heads. They know what’s about to happen. It made for a highly intense and emotional scene.)

Now for more intense emotion: Damon. First of all, his good-bye to Elena was just unbelievable — and I must commend both actors on that scene. Elena was pleading with him not to leave her, while Damon just accepted what was about to happen: “Please…please come back to me.” “I love you. Good-bye.” (If you want to remember exactly what Damon said in his speech — and break your heart again — just read it all here.)

Here’s my problem with this scene. It was a good-bye speech. Damon himself said that he peaked. And when you peak…what’s left? Damon said his good-bye. He explained how his life was complete. And when that happens…what’s left for you?

Now, as a TVD fan, I naturally want to argue that, of course, Damon still has stuff to do. He’s not with Elena yet. He’s still got an opportunity for redemption. He still adds a lot to the show! But as someone who has watched a lot of series that kill characters off, particularly shows that understand when a character has, well, peaked — that might not make sense. As I said in my reactionary post, supernatural shows hate happy characters. Damon did find the love of his life and ended up with her in the end. Elena and Damon, in their own way, got back together. We got to see them tell each other what they mean to each other and prove it to each other. Damon made peace with his brother a long time ago — and again after he got together with Elena. And in blowing up the Travelers and Sheriff Forbes, he’s redeemed himself as a good person. He sacrificed himself for his brother and for the town. He really did go full circle. What’s really left for him?

Logically, I’m trying to understand how this show would continue without Damon, if that were to in fact happen. It seems impossible. Somerhalder has an amazing fanbase (not including eyes that pop off a promotional poster). But we just added two new series regulars: Alaric and Enzo. Could we have just traded one guy for two others?

Ultimately, I hypothesize that Damon will somehow make his way back, but Bonnie won’t. We may see Bonnie again, briefly, somehow, long enough to explain why she’s gone for good. But I do think that she’s gone. There’s just nothing left for her, and as someone who’s more in tune with the ways of life, death, and nature, I can see her accepting her fate more than Damon, who does have that love of Elena to cling on to. How we’d get Damon back? I don’t know. But I just feel like somehow that’s going to happen.

Either way, I have to admit that they did an amazing job with that finale. Just seeing that screen turn white with the TVD logo dripping (almost like a tear this time, not blood) while the two said that they were happy to be going into the next stage of the afterlife (or oblivion) together — the fear they had and the unexpected cutoff of Damon’s final line — it all just hit close to home with our own fears of what’s going to happen next. And generally not knowing. Plus, in cutting them off, we didn’t even get the solace of taking a breath and accepting what was happening. It just happened.

To read more, with comments based on an EW interview with EP Julie Plec, read after the jump below. Potential hints and/or spoilers included.

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The Vampire Diaries: Did That Really Happen?


Season 5 for The Vampire Diaries was a bit of a whirlwind. In case you haven’t been keeping track, let’s look at all the major things that happened: Silas threw Stefan into a watery grave and took over his identity, causing a killing spree around town. Damon and Elena has a fun summer of love. Bonnie dies. The girls go to college. The team tracks down Silas’ long lost love. Stefan is found and loses his memory. Bonnie comes back to life and becomes the anchor. Katherine becomes human, finds her daughter (or her daughter finds her), and grows old. Travelers are explained. Katherine takes over Elena’s body. Katherine dies. Damon is kidnapped, and his history of torture in the 1950s is revealed. Damon and Elena both get a disease where they want to kill other vampires. Damon and Elena break up. Major baddie traveler escapes the Other Side. Travelers take over Mystic Falls. Caroline sleeps with Klaus. Tyler comes back. Tyler become Julian. The Other Side starts to unravel and sucks people into oblivion. Witch baddies get involved. A lot of people died. And some people were brought back to life.

Of course, that’s in no particular order. And if you need visuals, this can help you out. But that’s a lot, is it not?

But who really cares, at this point, what happened earlier this season. Because the season finale was just…killer.

I have to admit, I was handling this episode pretty well. I’ve watched enough supernatural story arcs to discover when someone seems just a little too happy or might’ve gone full circle. Because supernatural TV hates happiness. Happiness must die, and those who are happy must die, too.

So it crossed my mind that TVD might do something ballsy like kill off one of the major characters. In fact, I had heard from a little bird that three people were going to die for good by the end of the season. So basically, I was watching, desperately trying to figure out which three people that would be. Sadly, it wasn’t Tyler (boo). And really, we saw more than three people kick the bucket, supposedly for good. Besides the many travelers, we’ve said good-bye to Silas and Markos as baddies, and supposedly Grams and Lexie, too.

And then, there’s Bonnie and Damon. Bonnie, we’ve been leading up to for a while. Damon, well, he was more of a surprise. But like I said, the supernatural stories hate happy characters, and Damon seemed to have come full circle, finally becoming a good guy and finding his love in Elena. See, I was handling this remarkably well.

But I did start to get anxious, knowing something bad was going to happen. Damon didn’t make it out, and Elena had that horribly heartbreaking scene, sobbing and ugly crying while Damon professed his final good-byes and loving messages to her, while stroking her hair. We can see his studying expressions and broke looks, while Elena is blind and unseeing to the ghost in front of her.

And then we have Jeremy, running, desperately calling out Bonnie’s name before her final moments.

Ok, it was getting rougher. I don’t know what I thought we’d see next. Them being sucked into oblivion? The group just standing in front of Bonnie and watch her disappear?

Nope, we saw something that launched me over the edge. Just…white. We had at least 10 minutes of the episode to realize what was happening and to really say good-bye to both of these characters. But then, what happens? “Do you think it’ll hurt?” “I don’t kno—“

They get cut off. We didn’t even get to see them finish. It was just…white.

Well done, TVD. Sure, I’m wrecked. Having just seen that and saying good-bye to two of my favorite characters from the show. And while I thought it was a neat little spoiler to know that three characters would be gone for good at the end of the episode, I’m now left at the end of the season wondering if these two people are now gone for good or if there will be some magical loophole that brings the two back to us next season. And are we going to see where that white light takes them? And what did Grams mean about helping Bonnie find her peace? Does that mean that they both found peace, and they’re going to a good place? But if it’s a good place, they probably are gone! Does this mean I really want them to be in oblivion for the small chance that they’ll come back?!

Ok, I might still be a bit emotional from this episode. And I might not me making too much sense. Perhaps I need a little more distance. So for now, I’m clinging to whatever good might be in store for next season: Alaric is back (and his real life doppelganger is officially a season regular next season). Tyler isn’t a hybrid anymore, so hopefully he’ll be less obnoxious. And I guess there’s a chance for a Stefan/Caroline story, as if you didn’t see that one coming a mile away. So there is something ahead, I suppose.

But I’m still stuck on a blank white screen, waiting to hear Damon’s final syllable. Did that happen? Did we just say good-bye? Jesus, TVD, you do this to us every year — killer finales that break us to pieces and leave us hanging. When will we ever learn?

To read more of my thoughts about the episode — with comments based on an EW interview with EP Julie Plec — go here.