Recap Review: The Muddiness of Death

MEDIUM: 3.15 “The Boy Next Door”

I actually don’t watch Medium too often. I watched a few episodes in the first season and enjoyed it, but I just have never made an effort to sit down and watch it week to week. But now that it’s syndicated on Lifetime, I’ve had an opportunity to catch a few episodes that I missed. Most recently, an episode from season three, where instead of following Allison and her family, we followed Allison from high school who has visions of her future self.

Honestly, this episode was so intriguing. So much so that I stayed up until about 2:30 in the morning just to make sure I found out what happened. To give the cliff’s notes version, young Allison starts dreaming about the future–moments where they describe her meeting her husband, running into an old classmate at the grocery store, and most importantly, discovering that this old classmate raped and killed teenage girls. Unfortunately, young Allison can’t tell if these are dreams or visions, and she’s torn, as no one around her wants to hear about it. It all becomes that much more confusing when the classmate in question moves in down the street.

Plotline aside, the most interesting thing is the question of whether killing someone you know will do wrong is actually good in the end. We discover that Stephen, the classmate in question, had a moment where he was considering shooting himself as a teenager, only to be interrupted by his crush, Allison, unknowingly knocking on the door. In the end, Allison stops by the house but remembers that tidbit of information. She hesitates for a moment, then breathes a sigh of relief as no gunshots were heard. As she reaches to knock again, the gun goes off, shocking the poor girl.

However, through this act, we the audience find out that the girls he hurt–and the one he killed–were fine, so was it for the better?

While the idea isn’t new, it reminds me of the major dilemma that I’ve seen as I’ve been introduced to Dexter this summer: Is it right to kill someone if you know they will hurt others in the future? Sure, young Allison wasn’t the one that pulled the trigger, but she was certainly starting to believe her visions, and if that were the case, should she have run to his house and taken away all the guns on the premises, despite people thinking she was crazy? Well, if she had, we would have had at least one dead teenager on her hands and others that were raped.

Of course, the grey area was there. You really never knew the truth until the very end of the episode, so for a while, you wanted to be as innocent as Allison to think of the best in her neighbor. It was implied that he killed a cat, and he did almost rough up her friend, but nothing was proven to show her he was a bad guy. Only the audience was allowed to figure it out.

So given that, what’s right? Don’t get me wrong; I certainly don’t think anyone should be taking the law into their own hands, but it does intrigue me that the question of right and wrong and the blurred line is there right in front of us. It’s definitely something to think about, which I like. TV that makes you think: what a concept.

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Thursday Open Thread: How would you fix NBC?

I have to say that growing up, I’ve been a big fan of NBC. Must-See TV Thursday nights were fantastic, and I even remember tuning in to some great comedy on Tuesdays as well. Plus, it aired Sisters, and any show that revealed that George Clooney was a hottie before ER gets mad points in my book.

Even if he did get blown up.

But anyway, nowadays, NBC doesn’t really have the best reputation. With the Leno/Conan controversy, the failing shows, and the crappy Olympics coverage, there’s only one thing to ask you great readers:

How would you fix NBC?

I guess the bigger question is, would you fix it, and if so how. But I’ll let you decide what you really want to answer.

Personally, I don’t want to see NBC fail. If CBS can make itself one of the top networks after being so miserable in the early ’90s, NBC can fix itself, too. I mean, if the Peacock disappeared, it’d be the end of an era. But maybe that’s something we need? Do we even need NBC anymore?

Suggestions, vents, and laments are welcome. So have at it in the comments.

On a side note, I find it ironic that this image has Patricia Arquette from Medium on it. Talk about your NBC errors. TGICBS, my friend. Thank goodness, it’s CBS.

*image from NewYorkTimes.com

Monday Memorial Day picks

The problem with holiday weekends is that nothing is not. I mean, you can always watch marathons, but for some reason this year, nothing speaks to me. I mean, Intervention? Jon and Kate Plus Eight? Not so much.

This is part of the reason I’ve left my Thursday Open Thread up for an extra day on the home page.  Give you something to do.

Meanwhile, I’m hoping I can help. How about a couple new episodes tonight? Say, Greek and Medium?

I haven’t watched Greek all year, and I missed most of last season, too, which is rather disappointing. I mean, I really like the show. It’s a lot of fun, and Casey, who was the one I got most annoyed with in the first season, has really grown to be someone that I like. Now that my comedies are stuck in reruns, I finally get to watch the new episodes. So there’s a fun option tonight.

And the other? Medium. Contrary to NBC’s execs, this is one show worth watching. I’m glad CBS appreciates this, as they picked up the show for next fall once NBC dropped it, and it will now air on Fridays after Ghost Whisperer–which might just be a brilliant matchup, as long as it doesn’t seem like there are too many ghosts in one night.

Anyway, until the season’s over, it’s still on NBC, and we’ve got a new episode on tonight at 10. Again, this isn’t a show I tend to watch a lot, but the episodes I’ve caught are quality, so you should check it out tonight.

I should have taken more time to find out what else might be one, but it’s Memorial Day, so Raked’s gotta rest. But if you know something to check out, just let us know in the comments!

Happy Memorial Day!

NBC: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Well, NBC has announced it’s upcoming new shows, as well as some shows that will be picked up. And to be honest, I can’t say I’m over the moon about any of them. Well, maybe one.

What’s original here? NBC seemed to be one of the networks we’re more curious about, what with ER‘s  good-bye and their newest pitch to have Leno have a 10:00 daily talk show. And yes, that Leno plan is still happening.

And while I have mixed feelins about Leno’s show (I think it’s a terrible idea, though at least it will be a backup to reruns at 10:00 on other networks), that now limits NBC to two hours of programming. So what do we have?

Well, in place of ER, we’ve now got two new hospital dramas, one of which has Michelle Trachtenberg as a nurse–something I doubt very heavily. Sorry, Michelle fans, but somehow that just seems odd to me. Can she play an adult? I mean, I saw her relatively try in The Dive from Clausen’s Pier, and it was painful.

We’ve also got Day One, which apparently has someone from Heroes involved (let’s hope season 1) and involves people reacting after a global disaster. Didn’t we do this a few years ago and call it Jericho? The frontrunner of that show is Julia Gonzalo, the most annoying cast member of the lost Eli Stone.

And then what? Parenthood? Oh dear, Maura Tierney, is there no hope left? At least Monica Potter’s finding work after Trust Me was canceled.

But where, oh, where are the original premises? I’m most looking forward to Community, mainly because it stars Joel McHale of The Soup, but from what I’ve read on other blogs, people are less enthused because it’s “just another multi-camera comedy.” I’ll take that any day over another Parks and Recreation, which, by the way, has been renewed.

Speaking of renewals, what about the ones we’re really wondering about? No news on Chuck, and contrary to various reports this weekend, it looks like Medium hasn’t yet been decided on yet, either. From what I can tell, you’ll have to wait until May 19, when they announce the fall schedule.

These are two very popular series. I’m still surprised they’re being debated.

Meanwhile, we can expect the return of Heroes, The Office, 30 Rock, reality TV, and at least one Law & Order series.

What else is missing? My Name Is Earl. Again, very surprised.

I should mention that all of these might not be fall shows–some may be winter or “event”–but I think there are some surprises and disappointments here. With such original series as Chuck and, of course, Kings, we’re stuck with the old and the done.

So here’s what I suggest. If you don’t like what you see, and you’re waiting for your favorite NBC show to appear, you better get moving. Write to NBC, post blogs, do what you must. You’re running out of time, and we’re running out of quality.

How ‘Ghost Whisperer’ competes with ‘Dollhouse’…literally

GHOST WHISPERER: 4.21 “Cursed”

Melinda Gordon found the Dollhouse a whole hour before Ballard did. Of course, hers was a real dollhouse, and inside it were wee dolls that were possessed by spirits. Spirits of a 16-year-old’s family–a 16-year-old that looked like she was in her mid-20s in a bad way. (Terrible casting on GW‘s part.)

If there’s one creepy thing in the world, it’s dolls. I’m not sure why because some can be so adorable, but they can be creepy things, too. I actually liked the shot of seeing the dolls in the dollhouse moving and watching–as cheesy as it sounds, I wish they did it one more time, though that might have made it too generic. Anyway, it was creepy.

And their little footsteps? Shiver.

I found it interesting that this episode of Ghost Whisperer presented us with some other death beliefs. First, that the aunt used a voodoo curse to trap the parents into the dollhouse (and the dolls themselves), and later that people assume that their souls would be lost if the place they died in disappeared.

Of course, all of that turned out untrue.

But what is it about dolls? Honestly, this episode would have been rather crappy if not for the dolls themselves. The dollhouse in a creepy attic, and a little girl being the only one that heard them speak in creepy whispers. Watching tiny shadows close the blinds and the fact that the dolls constantly returned to the places that their spirits died in.

Actually, I found it to be a refreshing way to speak to ghosts. After a while, it gets tiring to just see the usual. You know, ghost appears, is pissed off, Melinda intervenes, everything’s fine.

Plus, with the twist of assume murder–just to find out it was never true–even with the huggy ending, it seemed to veer away from Touched by an Angel cheesiness. Maybe that’s why the voodoo was interesting. You can’t have Touched by an Angel with voodoo curses.

Meanwhile, Melinda’s pregnant. By the way, she’s pulled an Amy from  The Secret Life of the American Teenager with having no symptoms of pregnancy at all–no morning sickness, no exhaustion. She’s just Melinda plus .1. I find that a little hard to believe (just as I did with the crappy Secret Life).

She spent the episode looking for her wedding bands, which of course, Jim had the whole time. I guessed that immediately. Somehow I was expecting more in that engraving on the wedding band. Something like, “More than a lifetime,” or something like that. “Forever”? Jim, I think the losing your life, coming back as Sam, remembering who you are, and adjusting to a new facade has made you lose your touch as perfect husband man.

But in the end, they get engaged for a second time. So it looks like we’ll get a white wedding soon. What would Sam’s family say?

Honestly, I’m hoping for another twist soon. I mean, I thought that Jim’s death would provide something new, and it did…for a while. Now we seem to have slipped back into the same routine. Sure, there’s a baby on the way, but what then? Finding out the infant has powers?

We’ll name it Medium, Part II.

Welcome back, Heroes

If you’re not watching the Super Bowl, you may not be aware that Heroes starts back tomorrow night with a new volume: Fugitives. If you are watching the Super Bowl, you know this based on the large amount of commercials and teasers (including a fun one with lip syncing). That is, unless your tailgating party went heartily amuck, and you’re staring at your Bud label as if it were the face of Jesus Christ himself.

Bud aside, it looks like we’re not just returning to new Heroes, but we’re returning to GOOD Heroes. I’m actually (gasp!) looking forward to it.

It’s like we’re getting a fresh start. A much-needed, desperately needed fresh start. The heroes are returning to their normal lives, I hear, and attempting to protect themselves from those who are trying to collect them. As we saw at the end of the last episode, it appears the hunting and gathering is being ordered by Nathan. It brings about a little curiosity since he himself is a hero–or at least has powers–so is he hiding them or flying himself above the rest?

Sylar’s back, as we can see from teasers. Color me not thrilled. I think he’s an overdone character and needs to disappear. Give us a new big bad that lasts more than five episodes (like Arthur Petrelli, but around longer). If Nathan happens to be him, by all means.

Perhaps this volume won’t give us a heart-pounding questions like, “Will Peter get his powers back?” (after all, he did), but I think it definitely has some promise. Of course, we need to get past the need to put every hero in every episode like we seemed to have last time. Just too much going on.

So do you think we can get back to the roots of season one? I think it’s a possibility. I’m not saying I’m expecting it, but I am excited to see where we’re going. What about you?

And in case you’re curious, let’s list the types of commercials we have. These will probably be available somewhere and somehow on YouTube tomorrow by our many Heroes fans.

  • Cast lip syncs with the casts of Chuck and Medium to “Feelin’ Alright” (aired twice)
  • Regular TV show teaser
  • Cast plays football against NFL greats
  • Another regular TV show teaser (with less dialog)
  • Regular, boilerplate Monday night shows ad

Which one was your fave? I’m thinking the lip syncing got me. Though football playing was fun.

Roadtrip! Sam Jim Jim Sam style

GHOST WHISPERER: 4.12 “This Joint’s Haunted”

I feel like I need to tag Kenneth Mitchell from here on out when I post about Ghost Whisperer. He’s the unsung hero playing Sam–the face that we only see in mirror shots and flashbacks. I mean, seriously, his agent probably offered him this audition, telling him it’s recurring role on GW, and he was like, sure! Only to find out that literally he’s just a pretty face.

Anyway, I enjoyed this episode. For someone who is bored with the whole Sam Jim Jim Sam storyline, I really enjoyed it. I think it was the merry-go-round of ghosts that Melinda encountered. It was just funny. It seemed so…less dramatic. It was a nice change.

The bad part of the episode was the entire storyline with Ned and Delia. It was almost painful how terrible this part of the episode was. If the roadtrip weren’t so enjoyable, I don’t know if I could have gotten through the entire episode.

The ghost was…annoying. I don’t understand why Delia kept figuring everything was Ned’s fault once she realized that there was a ghost in the house, let alone who the ghost was. It was just out of character and pushing too hard.

What really surprised me was that in the end, they really blamed the parents for the ghost’s death. It’s not that I want to sit there and be preached to about the good and bad of drug use, but it did shock me that in the end, it ultimately was the parents’ fault for her death. They were “too strict.” It seemed out of place for the way the episode was going, since clearly Delia was telling Ned that drugs are bad. Plus, the ghost was just…annoying.

But the Melinda/Sam Jim Jim Sam part made up for it. Well, until the end. We finally thought this engagement saga was over until his fiance showed up at the end. Sigh. Boredom returned.

Though seeing Sam Jim Jim Sam’s observations about how Melinda’s always “helping people” was interesting. I wonder if he’ll figure it out.

By the way, refresh my memory. Were there any ghosts in the hospital after the fight? I just remember an episode of Medium where the main character had to wear headphones as she walked through the halls of a hospital because all the ghosts would beg her for help. I would have found it interesting if the same happened with Melinda–or if maybe there had just been a line forming to talk to her like Santa and children at Christmastime.

Anyway, it was decent minus Delia. Looks like a haunting one is coming up next–very dark. I’m very intrigued.