Category Archives: TV

Best month in TV ever??

I’m sure by now everyone has heard about that train wreck Charlie Sheen, and his firing from Dr Kronner’s favorite show Two and a Half Men, placing said show, and its future in limbo. Hopefully it never recovers and is lost forever.

While Charlie Sheen was “winning”, and getting paid close to two million per episode of complete crap, NBC had yet to renew two of television’s best shows. As of Wednesday, the fate of Parks and Recreation and Community were still up in the air, as both shows had yet to be renewed for next season.

Yesterday however, NBC pulled their heads out of their Peacock’s ass, and green lit another season of life for some of the only network shows worth watching. Let’s hope these shows find some better ratings next season.

So in the last month, Two and A Half Men has become doomed, and now NBC has renewed their 2 most under rated shows. That’s good stuff. Now here’s hoping that reality TV suddenly explodes as well.

Also in case anyone cares it looks as though Outsourced and Perfect Couples weren’t so lucky. With any luck they replace one of those with a spin-off about Ron Swanson, Ahbed, and Troy spin-off, where Ron becomes their butler like on Seinfeld‘s show within the show…

– B. VanGorder

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Star Wars: The Clone Wars – 3 Episode Review (The Citadel, Counterattack, Citadel Rescue)

The following is a review of a three episode story arc including the episodes The Citadel, Counterattack and Citadel Rescue. So, obviously, there will be spoilers.

I loved the recent Citadel arc of episodes. As I mentioned before in an earlier article, the first half of the season seemed a little stale, and even boring at times. It wasn’t until after the show’s winter break that it was back with a vengeance. Beginning with the Savage Opress trilogy, followed up by the Mortis episodes, and now making a dash towards the finishing line with the Citadel three episode arc.

The scheme of ‘episode trilogies’ has definitely paid off. I, like so many other watchers enjoyed the show, but thought that some stories felt rushed trying to fit into a 22 minute show. Having three episodes with a continuous story just makes it have that much more impact. In season 2 there were four episodes that interlocked to deal with the second invasion of Geonosis, and it paid off well.

Now to the Citadel. The Citadel is a heavily defended prison on the planet Lola Sayu (think what you will of that planet name) that specializes in imprisoning Jedi. It is run by the sadistic and butt ugly Warden Osi Sobeck and is boasted to hold no escape for any prisoner.

The newest residents at the Citadel are none other than Jedi master Evan Piell and Captain Tarkin. The two hold information that the Separatists desire, which are the space lane codes for the core worlds of the Republic, known as the Nexus Route. Of course this aggression will not stand man – So the Jedi council dispatches a strike team to rescue Piell, Tarkin and the codes stowed away in their brains. The method they used to infiltrate the fortress prison is a familiar one, borrowing from both Return of the Jedi and the Clone Wars digest titled Shipyards of Doom.

A team made up of (surprise!) Anakin, Obi Wan, Rex and Cody have themselves frozen in carbonite to avoid detection by lifeform scanners, while R2-D2 leads a squad of re-purposed battle-droids to fly a captured Separatist shuttle onto Lola Sayu. The animators for the Clone still continue to outdo themselves. The environments and visuals throughout the story arc are breathtaking. Lola Sayu is an impressive sight when seen for the first time. The purple hued planet looks it had a bite taken out of it by something, it’s core completely exposed and chunks of creating a debris field above certain parts.

The fun starts as the Jedi infiltrate the planet and free the captives, Tarkin having one half of the codes and Master Piell the other. The episodes go very fast because of all of the action occurring with our heroes throwing down against shield wielding commando droids, crab droids, STAPs and Anoobas (tracking animals).

A very hungry Anooba

Besides all of the action, there were nice interactions in between to sort of foreshadow the future relationship between Tarkin and Anakin. Tarkin makes it clear throughout all three episodes that he doesn’t approve of the way Jedi are handling the war. He believes that peace keepers cannot lead a war effort because they don’t have what it takes to make certain decisions that go against Jedi teachings. Anakin agrees with Tarkin, stating that sometimes the Jedi code inhibits their efforts to do things that are sometimes necessary. And as we all know, Anakin has certainly skirted the edge of the Jedi-Code. In the season 2 when he choked out ‘Poggle The Lesser’ in Jack Bauer fashion to get information. Not to mention his Padawan days, spent slaughtering families of Tusken Raiders. They both also make clear to one another their personal relationships to Chancellor Palpatine which makes the three of them standing before the Death Star at the end of Revenge of the Sith all that more powerful.

Tarkin’s character model itself definitely did Peter Cushing justice and the voice actor, Stephen Stanton did an admirable job of portraying a young Grand Moff.

Tarkin and the Jedis…

Jedi Master Evan Piell was a very welcome addition to the Clone Wars, he was stern and a little grumpy most of the time which only made me like the diminutive Lannik (species) even more. It was also interesting to hear him speak with a thick Russian accent, which I think fit the character well.

The whole time these episodes went on I thought there was nothing to worry about in regards to the Jedi characters, except stowaway Ahsoka, since they all survived through the Clone Wars. But in a glaring snub to Expanded Universe continuity, Master Piell ends up getting killed in the last episode. I was very disappointed by this, not only because Master Piell was a kick-ass character, but also because that ruins continuity for the Coruscant Nights trilogy of books following Master Piell’s Padawan Jax Pavan. In the first book Master Piell is taken down fighting against Clone Troopers continuing their execution of Order 66. Sure the Clone Wars death scene was far more dramatic and touching, but I hate when they screw up established continuity. They did the same with the Mandalorian episodes last season. I suppose it is a sign that Lucas and Dave Filoni, the Clone Wars director, are becoming less and less worried about the Expanded Universe. So unless they retcon the whole issue, and Evan Piell is lava proof, fans of the books will just have to bite the proverbial bullet.

In the end, the Jedi are rescued and Osi Sobeck is chest stabbed from behind by Ahsoka. Osi Sobeck was definitely a sadistic character who despised Jedi. (What Star Wars villain doesn’t?) It was ashamed that he did not survive for another story arc in the future. And let’s face it he didn’t have a name like ‘Veryevil Badguy’ or something to that effect like most of the Clone Wars villains.

After such a good arc, it will be hard to follow up. But I’m sure with the finale next Friday Chewbacca will be up to the task to keep us entertained. Stay tuned for my review of the finale!

A Game of Thrones: HBO’s Next Potential Hit

April needs to move it’s ass, because HBO’s next big series, A Game of Thrones will soon be upon us. To geeks such as myself who have read the four books currently out, it is known as A Song of Ice and Fire. The first season of the upcoming show is named A Game of Thrones after the first book of the series, which focuses on the seven kingdoms of the land called Westeros.

Westeros is a land not long removed from war. It’s previous ruling family – the Targaryens, were forcibly (understatement) exited from power. They fled to lands far away, where they now plot their return. The Targaryens present us with about half of the story.

As the other half plays out, we are entertained by some of the juiciest backstabbing scandals and political intrigue you can imagine. Between the seven kingdoms there is more deceit than you’d find on a Soap Opera, Law & Order and Jerry Springer combined. And it is all masterfully written by author George R. R. Martin, who worked very closely with HBO in the undertaking of Game of Thrones.

Martin’s world is a rather harsh one. I would put this story almost in the same vein as The Walking Dead, although riveting, there is very little to make you smile. The main characters you love go through traumatic and downright heartbreaking events, while the characters you love to hate find plenty of good fortune bestowed upon them. I’ve never been so hateful of a group of characters than I have of the Lannisters, who are the series’ most notable antagonists, but definitely not the only ones.

After watching the trailers and seeing the posters and production photos, I can almost guarantee you that this series will not disappoint. As a reader of the books, things look spot on visually and faithful to the book. The Iron Throne itself gave me the chills. The Iron Throne being the King’s throne, is made up of all conquered enemies. One character said it is the most uncomfortable seat, because being king should never be easy.

The Iron Throne looking super uncomfortable

You will get realism with politics and many medieval aspects that are mirrored by our own world. But you also get a touch of fantasy and magic in the mix, but nothing too overboard… except for the fact that dragons existed in Westeros not too long ago.

Game of Thrones

Sean Bean leading the cast is assuredly a smart move on their part. Boromir anyone? And Sarah Connor? Awesome start right there…

Game of Thrones

And now, familiarize yourself with the Seven Kingdoms for a minute. There are maybe hints or teasers of things to come. Not many true spoilers but be wary.

The Seven Kingdoms

Winterfell: The Kingdom in the North where winters can last years, the Starks rule over the land and it’s borders to the North hold “The Wall” which holds back giants, savages and strange beings called The Others. And no they didn’t rip off Lost. You’ll find out a little more about them once the series is in full gear.

The Vale: The Eyrie is the fortress of those in power in the Vale of Arryn and is entirely surrounded by mountains. They have an interesting array of prison cells and my favorite surprise… the Moon Door.

Rivverun: The seat of power of the Tullys who are the kin to Ned Stark’s (Sean Bean) wife. As you can probably imagine the main characteristic of their lands are indeed rivers.

Highgarden: The most fertile lands located in the region known as the Reach, these people pride themselves on their produce and flowers but they are a powerful house nonetheless.

The Iron Islands: A group of seven ridiculously harsh islands where the so-called “iron men” rule. They pride themselves on their seafaring expertise and their formerly glorious navy.

Casterly Rock: Located in what are known as the Westerlands which in turn are ruined by the Lannisters. They are basically the richest of the kingdoms, the head of the family Tywin Lannister rumored to indeed poop gold because they have so much of it. That theory is touched upon later in the series.

Storm’s End: The power located in the Storm Land’s and ruled over by the Baratheons who are an offshoot of the deposed Targaryens. A Baratheon, Robert, is the King of the Seven Kingdoms at the start of the series.

Dorne: The desert kingdom of Dorne is ruled over from its capital Sunspear by the Martells. Their kingdom was annexed into the seven by marriage to the now deposed Targaryens.

Game of Thrones

For those who skipped the trailer, the show premieres on April 17th.


Images: HBO

TERRA NOVA is Going to Crash Your Par-Tay This Fall!

During the Superbowl, I was very unimpressed with the movie previews we were treated to during the commercial breaks. Captain America seemed to be the only one that really stood out, but that was a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ affair. But there was a TV preview that looked exceptional, it was called Terra Nova.

At first glance it looked like a movie, and being it was produced by Steven Spielberg you can’t help but think it’s going to be an instant hit. Initially I was surprised to see it was made for TV and not a major theater release. And I’m fine with it being on TV so as long as the production value is top-notch and there is a good cast.

The production value will remain to be seen past the trailer, but the quality cast is already evident upon seeing THE Stephen Lang, whom many know as ‘Colonel Quaritch’ from James Cameron’s Avatar. Here at Grizzly Bomb though, he is honorably known as the Party Crasher!

The story of Terra Nova revolves around a family living on Earth in the year 2149. The Earth at this point is a dying planet due to war, pollution and Justin Bieber overload.

Bieber – Ended!

A family, the Shannons, are then transported back in time 85 million years to the prehistoric era when dinosaurs roamed the earth. There they find themselves among a colony of humans called Terra Nova.

The Superbowl trailer teased not only with the show but also a sneak preview in May. However, according to an article at IGN the show will not be seen at all until fall this year. Not even a preview due to the effects not being finished. As much as I want to see Stephen Lang crashing a dinosaur’s par-tay, it would be best if they didn’t present us a preview with half-assed effects, that would just kill it for us.

But have no fear, if you’re in need of a Party Crasher fix, he will be with us soon enough in August when he destroys Conan the Barbarian!

Justified: Cottonmouth – Harlan County’s Best of the Season

Regular readers of the site should already know my feelings on season 1 of the FX show Justified. I loved it. It was well written, excellently acted, and entertaining as hell. And it closed up with maybe the best season finale of any show since Dexter‘s fourth season. So far, through 4 episodes of it’s 2nd season we’ve seen a lot of new characters introduced, and what seems to be a promising new story arc. And while it’s been really good, it’s not been great. That is until the 5th episode aired on Wednesday night. This episode, titled Cottonmouth, is one of the single best mid-season episodes of any show I’ve ever seen. While premiers and finales are known for packing in a lot major events to kick off, or wrap up a story, here we see no less than 5 major plays made that will have effect on the rest of the season.

1. Arrested Development

Raylan visits Dewey Crowe in prison, at Crowe’s behest. Dewey is worried about getting shived and offers up a trade to Raylan – Info on the Bennetts for early release into a Half-Way-House. The scene opens with an absolutely awesome shot of Raylan sitting in the dark, the screen cap below does it no justice.

Once Raylan is back at the office, Arlo Givens shows up to return some of the money he stole, in hopes of having Raylan remove his ankle bracelet. The suspicions of Trooper Bergen about the missing Walt McCready‘s (murdered in the first episode by the Bennetts) government checks getting cashed, trigger Raylan to question Arlo about check cashing and gets a name – the now deceased Bowman Crowder. Raylan then proceeds to lock up his father. Now

2. The Dick Tase

The second event, and the one that has elicited an entire post over at Warming Glow, happens when Raylan goes to look into the check-cashing scheme in Harlan. The Crowder lead of course takes him to Boyd, who is not alone. Boyd is in distress, but chooses not to seek Raylan’s help, but instead gives him a name and sends him on his way. Raylan follows Boyd’s info to a man Winston Banks. Mr. Banks, who runs a religious ATV tour called “The Church of the Two-Stroke Jesus”, pulls a taser on Raylan once confronted. While being attacked however, Raylan manages to turn the attackers taser back on him…in the crotch.

(from Warming Glow)

This event leads Raylan and Trooper Bergen to believe that Walt is dead, most likely at the hands of the Bennetts, who are now in custody of Walt’s daughter Loretta. Combined with what Dewey told him, all signs point to the Bennetts being responsible for more than just slinging herb…

3. Always Be Cool

The third, and most exciting of these events revolve around everyone’s favorite Ex-Con, Boyd Crowder. This is where we see Boyd, being strong armed into robbing the coal mine, prove himself craftier than the average crook. Kyle and his cronies are determined to make Boyd part of their plan.

Upon learning that they expect him to kill Shelby, (Jim Beaver – Just one of many DEADWOOD alum to appear on the show) the manager at the mine, and suspecting they mean to end him as well, Boyd uses his cell to call the house, escaping the room to answer the phone. Boyd leaves the cell open and on the chair, bugging the room and hearing his suspicions confirmed as the others discuss their plans to end Boyd as well.

It’s around this time that Raylan pulls up to question Boyd about the Check-Cashing his brother used to do. Raylan immediately recognizes the ill-intent of Boyd’s guests and basically extends an offer of help. Boyd declines, passing up an opportunity to end the whole situation there. He has instead decided to rely and his own plan to sabotage the battery of the radio detonator they plan to use for the job, thus ensuring it doesn’t happen. When his cohorts though decide to move forward as planned anyhow, with out the battery, Boyd must quickly devise a new escape.

Once at the mine, as planned they break into the manager’s office, empty the safe, and grab the explosives. Boyd however loads some of the explosives into the cash bag. Once he takes Shelby into the mine, Kyle pulls his double cross and attempts to detonate the explosives. Which are in the money bag. Which is in his truck 5 feet away. In his attempt to kill Boyd and Shelby, Kyle instead blows up himself and his crew.

Well played Boyd.

Ava Crowder: Boyd’s Object of Desire/Sister In-Law/Room-Mate/Accessory After the Fact and Alibi.

Once home Boyd gives Ava $20k he kept from the holdup so she can fight off the bank from taking the house for a while. She is now an accessory to his crimes.

4. A Mother’s Love

While Boyd is explaining to Ava what went down at the mine, Dickie and Coover Bennett pay a visit to Winston Bank’s ATV warehouse to collect money owed them. Dickie then notices Marshall Raylan Givens sitting in the dark. Having now confirmed Raylan’s suspicion, they take off and empty-handed. Come morning over, they’re dirty Police Chief brother Doyle drops by their place with the family patriarch and mother: Mags Bennett. What transpires is something the likes of which haven’t been seen in Misery. Mags, enraged to find out that Coover and Dickie have been cashing Walt’s checks and raising the attention of the authorities, decides to teach a lesson to her dumber sons. Coover must now bear the brunt of his mother’s scorn.

Mags' Hammer
“I’m saving your gun hand now.”

Wow. Coover already blames Raylan for all his problems since he is an idiot, so I’m sure he’ll blame Raylan for this too. Oh, a mother’s love…

5. Lortetta’s Knight in Shining Armor

Little Loretta McCready. Heir to the vast nothing-ness left by her father, now taken in by the very people who murdered him. Earlier saved by Raylan when he whisked her out of the trunk of a child molester, she now is surviving how she see fit and doing what her Daddy taught her – Selling weed. Raylan, now convinced that the Bennetts did in fact murder her father, but with no proof as of yet, visits Loretta and to her delivers a cell phone. With the phone, this promise:

[quote]”I kicked a hornet’s nest last night. And things may start to happen, and I need you to know, if you find yourself in trouble of any kind, you can call me. I will drop whatever I am doing and I will come for you.”[/quote]

BOOM! If that isn’t a promise of some Epic Fricking Heroics playing out, then I don’t know what is. This season is really picking up now and I can’t wait for Wednesday.