Thursday Open Thread: Bad DVD Cover Art

I’m a bit miffed. I’m super excited about the upcoming release of The Unusuals on DVD (April 6!). But then, I do something crazy. I look up the cover art for the DVD. And instead of seeing the familiar promo poster I’ve been eying since the show aired, I get a load of this! See the monstrosity at the bottom of this post. Seriously, it looks like they’re making this show into a 1980s action thriller!

And trust me, this one isn’t the only DVD with bad cover art. So why don’t you tell me…

What is the worst DVD cover art you’ve seen?

I’m expanding this to DVDs for movies or TV, but between The Unusuals and the heinous cover art of Hannah Montana that I shared a few weeks ago, clearly there’s a cover artist out there making a lot of money for terrible work.

Photoshop isn’t for everybody, people.

So tell me yours. Share links, describe why you hate it, and do it all in the comments! I’ll even try to post a few of these guys back on this post–thumbnails for your perusal.

Don’t judge a DVD by its cover, folks…

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Becoming the best in the end

ELI STONE: 2.12 “Tailspin”

I’m in Boston, so last Saturday  night I spent the evening watching the July 4th fireworks. In other words, I missed Eli Stone, and I had to watch it later. In the meantime, I saw a post discussing whether ABC really needed to air these last four episode of Eli Stone. Their argument? The show’s getting better and better…just as we reach the series finale tonight.

And I didn’t think much of it. I’ve always been a fan of the show, and I’m just glad that someone else was reaching my point of view. Then I saw last week’s episode. And it was fantastic.

I’m a sucker for my favorite shows. As I mentioned in my series finale post of The Unusuals, I’m an EIV. Emotionally Invested Viewer. And I tend to get a little sentimental when I know a show is ending. Series finales get me every time. But what can you do?

So as tonight’s episode gets closer and closer, I couldn’t help but think about it when watching this fantastic episode. When Jordan won the humanitarian award, hearing Taylor’s speech, and seeing the surprised, sentimental smile on Jordan’s face…ok, so I watered up. He just looked so genuine. It meant so much more to him than to Posner–which just meant so much to us. I’m going to miss Jordan! And the fact that he changed so much and risked everything, just to follow Eli in his belief system for a better world. The fact that they’ve turned Taylor, Keith–even Matt Dowd–into the arena for good and not money. Amazing.

And then bring in what Eli discovered about his father. He risked it all for the dark vision, all so that he could save as many people in a plane as possible. And one of those people? Grace.

I’ve said it before and I’ve said it again: I’ve always wanted Eli with Grace. I think they’re perfect with each other. And maybe now that the show is ending, they’ll rewrite the ending so that he does end up with her. But what about that vision? The one with “Live Brave,” and Maggie and Eli’s child?

I’d give anything for that not to happen.

And what about Maggie? We saw a connection between her and Paul in this episode, when he explains the fake persona that he wears as a partner. But isn’t it odd how they were arguing the entire episode when we saw them drive off together in the last episode? That wasn’t a vision of Eli’s (like Rome was). But it happened. So did I skip a step here?

Anyway, this episode also made me appreciate the show on another level: They’re not afraid to put these characters in a current-event situation. I mean, the idea of overpaid CEOs getting bonuses while people are unemployed and laid off is huge right now. And I loved that they gave it to the underdog. I thought they’d pay him 43 million dollars–the bonus of the ex-CEO–but over 200 million? Wow. That was just great.

Overall, a fantastic episode on many levels: We got the reveal about Eli’s father, more stuff about Grace (also a reveal), making up with Chen and Nate, happiness for the firm, an award–one much better than Posner’s–for Jordan. Happiness. Plus, Gina Torres appeared. Who could ask for more?

I could. I want more. More episode. More seasons. More than just one episode tonight. Eli Stone, I’ll miss you.

Past, Porn, Pleasure, and Pain

THE UNUSUALS: 1.10 “The E.I.D”

Greetings. I am an EIV. Emotionally Invested Viewer. I love The Unusuals, and we might’ve just seen our last episode.

I hold out hope, I do. I noticed on Twitter that both Noah Hawley and TheUnusualsNYC called it a season finale yesterday. I’m hoping that’s true. Please, please, anonymous network that Hawley is talking to, please pick up this show! I know it’s a slim chance, but please? For me? And all the other EIVs out there?

So last night, we had a great mix of fun and serious plotlines. We had the entire team watching porn to catch someone breaking-and-entering. And on the absolute opposite side, we had Casey trying to find the criminals in the cold case.

Two notes: Sadly, Alvarez was missing in this episode. And I did miss him. Second, notice that Casey was an EID–emotionally invested detective. Turn that around and you get “die,” which, as we’ve seen from other procedurals, usually go hand-in-hand because you’re not careful.

Fortunately, Casey was fine. And the perfect person on the case. Casey, with her wealthy upbringing, understood what Margo grew up with–and what her attackers grew up with. She knew why people wouldn’t step up to help after Spring Break, and she was the only person who could really relate to Will in the end.

And I must say, I’m glad Will didn’t actively attack Margo. Because I really grew to like him, even if he did keep it all under his hat.

Meanwhile, wasn’t it heartwrenching to see Margo? Going from wig to wig (the blonde one was creepy, by the way) and seeing her deny the pain? Scared all the time and making up other attacks just to find someone to blame? It was really such a great way to set up an episode–and an interesting way to introduce a side of bottled-up pain that I’ve never seen before.

And then there was Cole, Beaumont, Delahoy, and Banks (man, I’m going to miss these guys). I 100% enjoyed this storyline. Banks and Delahoy watching porn–along with Banks’ “It’d be weird if I wasn’t watching it with you.” The fact that Cole could barely handle all of the references to pornography, let alone watching it–and that he got paired up with the one couple that found it funny.

You know, Cole’s really become this character that I really like. After the first few episodes with his secretive storyline, I was a little tired of him, but now, I really like him a lot. He’s become this character you can really feel for. Sigh.

Anyway, finding out the culprit was fun, but watching Cole and Beaumont undercover–man, I don’t know how these actors keep a straight face watching each other. Cole alone was a riot. Anyway, it was a good, original side plot.

But what about the end? We see now that ABC never intended for this to be a real sign-off to the show. It really just looked like it just stopped filming. Because we’re left seeing Delahoy wandering the streets after finding out the medical examiner was fired for helping him–sad in both counts. And there’s Casey, just sitting in the victim’s apartment, helpless.

It was really sad. And it definitely left room to build off of. It’s not really a fair way to leave the show–Banks still thinks he might die this year; Delahoy not only has a brain tumor, but now has no girlfriend or help; is Cole even engaged anymore?–and I want to know so much more.

I hope this isn’t our final good-bye to Walsh, Shraegar and crew, but if it is, I’m sorry they didn’t get a real sendoff.

The naked man in front of you

THE UNUSUALS: 1.09 “The Apology Line”

This was a good mix of an episode. We had the cases. We had Delahoy smelling horses. We had prank wars. And we even had a sad moment with Cole. Oh, and nudity. We had a good bit of nudity.

I have to say, the prank war won out in my view as the best part of the episode. And really, it’s what I love about this show. Sure, there are crimes to solve–and even those are quirky–but the main premise of the show are about the people. Here, we had Walsh and Alvarez in a prank war. I adored the tiny desk with the tiny fax. And the fact that their boss just didn’t care. But man, the way he got back at Walsh. I don’t care if Walsh ended up making him strip down at a “VIP’s funeral.” Just picturing Walsh’s face and confusion–and later his frustration–when Alvarez woke up next to him. That was fantastic.

And I liked Banks’ role this week. Honestly, we really never get to see him interact with the other people in the precinct, so it was nice to finally pair him up with Alvarez. Something nice and new.

And what’d we think of Delahoy? I like the little things revealed to indicate his progressing brain tumor. A few episodes ago, everything tasted like meat. Now, things smelled like horses. Now, I’m not sure what I thiink about his new relationship (of sorts) with the M.E., but she is cute, so I wouldn’t mind seeing where it goes. Right now, I don’t have a strong feeling left or right about it.

Then there was the naked man case. I personally found this to be pretty funny, and while I called the boyfriend as the killer from his first appearance, I found the reason and story behind it completely surprising. It made up for my prediction.

But the other real part of the episode that made an impact in my eyes was Cole’s reaction to the apology  line. They’ve really transformed him into a really likable character–someone you really sympathize with. Seeing him thinking back on his friend’s death was really heartbreaking, especially when you consider that his appearance in the city was Cole’s fault, and it was Cole’s own gun that killed him. His message on the apology line was just so sad, I was sucked in.

And man, if that’s sad, how am I going to handle next week’s episode? By all accounts, this is probably the series finale. There’s still a chance, since Noah Hawley tweeted that maybe, just maybe, a cable network will pick it up, but the chance is very small. If I hear how you can help continue the show, I’ll let you know, but come Wednesday night, we might be saying goodbye to our Unusuals.

But again, that was a great episode of a great series. I mean, what other show gives you nudists and quality TV at the same time?

When being safe isn’t safe

THE UNUSUALS: 1.08 “The Dentist”

I think this episode of The Unusuals is the best yet. I think this episode could have gotten this series renewed.

I hate ABC.

This episode was fantastic. Let’s start with Alvarez and crew. Alvarez is running the station this week, and in his own incompetant way, he was bringing it to ruins. And to be honest, I think that’s what we all expected.

But it was such an intriguing case. And I loved the development of Alvarez. In the end, he was the one that solved the case–and he deserved to! He’s been the guy that’s been walked all over constantly, and it’s nice to see him develop. More so, we find out that the reason he’s made it so far was in name alone. It wasn’t his work that got him higher in rank than the rest of our cast; it was his name.

Beyond this, the plot really kept you guessing. Unlike last week’s episode, where you easily identified the answer to the plot very early, we really didn’t know where this was going. Never would I have assumed that they’d mail the cash to themselves using a box from the sergeant’s office. That was brilliant (and I want one of those bobbleheads).

Meanwhile, Leo Banks (I LOVE Leo Banks) was at home, trying to avoid disaster, just to find it in his lap. First, let me say that I loved his apartment. I loved the inflatable furniture–“You sleep in a chair?”–and everything about it. I love him. I’ll just say it. Send him along with the bobblehead.

But really, this was just kind-of interesting. I was nervous when the show first started that Banks really would need to go to a counsellor or that he’d become agoraphobic, and his character would change massively. I was glad to see that his plan to avoid danger by staying at home just didn’t make sense (clearly, too, he had never seen the Final Destination movies).

And it’s something interesting to think about. In one episode, this show took two of the places that you’d assume would be safe–a police station and home–and made them a victim to crime. Suddenly, what you thought you knew wasn’t true anymore, and you realize that everywhere is vulnerable.

I really liked this episode. True, I can’t imagine that the fake U.S. Marshall would not realize there are cameras in the interrogation rooms (though apparently they assumed they’d get caught anyway), but beyond the minor holes, it was a solid episode. Plus, seen Delahoy try to get through the indestructible barrier of Banks’ apartment door? Priceless.

Once again, I must say that I’m going to miss this show. The more I watch, the more sad I get about it going away. We’ve taken characters that we’ve disliked–Alvarez, Cole–and made them sympathetic characters that you understand now. We’ve taken the hardcore cops–Walsh, Beaumont–and given them a well-rounded softness. And yet, though all of this, we’ve got the quirkiness–yet relatability–of fear in Banks and Delahoy.

I hate ABC. Cancelling this show feels like a punch to the stomach.

All the way, or, this yogurt tastes like ham

THE UNUSUALS: 1.07 “The Tape Delay”

This was an interesting episode that had both highs and lows. The unfortunate part of this episode is that in regards to Casey and Walsh’s case, I called it almost immediately that he kidnapped himself. I confirmed my suspicion 30 seconds before Casey said it outloud.

I was a little disappointed. I mean, I thought there was some real originality–the fact that something might’ve happened as soon as they went to fight a real crime. But then everything seemed to go in that storyline twist that was considered new in 1995. Maybe I just watch TV.

The secret room in the cargo boxes, though–that was cool. You gotta give them credit for that.

Beyond that, I love that Casey was finally “outed” for being a rich girl. I loved that Walsh already new about her background. In retrospect, it seemed unlikely that he wouldn’t have figured it out. Plus, I always wondered how people didn’t notice that her last name was Shraegar when the 25th richest family in NYC had the last name (probably why at the beginning of the series, I thought she was going by Traegar–note: she wasn’t).

Really, the greatness of this episode was in the storylines of Delahoy and Banks. I loved the old man storyline. It was perfectly quirky for this show. I couldn’t stop laughing at the fact that he grabbed the money and ran, but then had to sit down and rest for a while. And while it looked like it got a little too serious at times–the old man’s speech on going “all the way” and his getting shot in the warehouse–all was lightened again by Bank’s stepping on his oxygen and the fact that the warehouse felt so bad that they made a donation to his nursing home.

But Delahoy is the one that really made a silent impact. It was funny–all of his food tasting like meat. But then again, if you really sat down and thought about it, it was heartbreaking. I mean, it’s really true that the next day he could wake up blind or paralyzed–and even though the medical examiner said it rather upbeatly, it’s a rather frightening impact.

And really, I think that’s one key element to this show. There are really some tough things that are discussed and dealt with, but you get it bubble wrapped in humor. And it’s not like the girls of Grey’s Anatomy calling people McDreamy or saying, “Seriously!” It’s a humor that disguises the pain, so much so that unless you take a good look backwards, you might just shrug it off. But then you miss the greatness of the show and the depth of each character.

Damn. I’m really going to miss this show. As I’ve mentioned before, if you’re a supporter, make it known. I’m hoping there’s a chance that another network will pick it up, but maybe I’m just too late. Either way, don’t stay silent. Go all the way.

Don’t forget your favorite ABC rejects

So it’s summer. Nice, right? Well, in your maddening sea of reruns, I hope you remember to pull ashore in time to watch the end of your favorite ABC shows. You know, your ABC favorites like Pushing Daisies, Eli Stone, and Dirty Sexy Money. And, of course, The Unusuals.

I’m more upset over Eli Stone‘s cancellation than I am about The Unusuals, but it’s a pretty slim margin. I loved The Unusuals. You could probably tell by my unusual attachment to Leo Banks and the fact that I adore any show with Amber Tamblyn. And the writing didn’t suck, too.

Honestly, I think the only cancellation this year I’m happy about is Cupid, just because if you were going to cancel it ten years ago, why bring it back with a sloppier cast? Anyway…

The Unusuals returns tonight at 10/9c to show their final eps. Why should you watch? Well, obviously, because it’s a good show. Also, because Noah Hawley (creator) twittered about a possibility of continuing the show elsewher, and if you support it now, maybe that will happen, no matter how fleeting it is. Honestly, I don’t know where and I don’t know how, but if it were to continue, I’d be a happy girl. A very happy girl. After all, we need to make sure Leo makes it to 43, right?

So watch tonight, and while you’re at it, write an email to ABC about how mad you are. Not sure what it might do, but show your support in some way. I’m hoping there might be a soft, faint glimmer of hope in what Noah twittered (should this be tweeted?), and I think the show deserves it.

Beyond that, don’t forget the rest of your ABC shows.

Pushing Daisies returns May 30 at 10/9c for three episodes (yeah, that’s this Saturday)

Eli Stone returns June 20 at 10/9c for four episodes

Dirty Sexy Money returns July 18 at 10/9c for four episodes

And while you’re at it, catch Kings on NBC, which returns sometime in June. Man, even though there’s good stuff on, this summer’s gonna be heartbreaking.