In the first season of Showtime’s Penny Dreadful, horror fans were treated to familiar characters like Van Helsing, Victor Frankenstein and Dorian Gray, shown in the gothic settings of Victorian London. The melding of classic literary characters, and the strength of a cast that included Timothy Dalton (Hot Fuzz), Josh Hartnett (Sin City) and was headlined by Eva Green (Casino Royale), was enough to bring Showtime around 5 million viewers a week across all platforms. That’s rather respectable. Continue reading Penny Dreadful: Season Two Trailer – When Lucifer Fell
Even though the supposed “Brain Surgeon” was killed by the Dexter/Deb duo, ‘This Little Piggy’ was one of the more boring episodes of season 8 so far. Certainly not as entertaining as last week’s ‘Scar Tissue’.
Dexter and Deb have a therapy session with Vogel and suddenly, after a brief angsty bitch session by Dexter, everything is okay again between the brother and sister. Deb wants to help Dexter kill Yates after the “Brain Surgeon” kidnaps Vogel because, as she said, “…the family that kills together…”. They are successful in ridding the world of Yates, but something tells me that the world is not rid of the “Brain Surgeon”. Why would it be Yates? If he is this easily manipulated and this precise thus far, how did he let himself get caught and why would he suddenly kidnap Vogel? I guess he could be the Brain Surgeon, but I wouldn’t like how little sense that makes. Also, usually there is much more of a chase than this has been with Yates. I would want it to be someone stronger; someone like Dexter.
Quinn goes to get a DNA sample from a man who is very wealthy and contributes a lot to the community, so when he gets a bad feeling about the man’s son, Matthews shoots him down. Here’s the thing….. the “feeling” Quinn got? Yeah, we all got that as well. What f-ckery is this, where they make the supposed psychopath look like an outright… well… psychopath! He is obviously up to something when you first see him. If that wasn’t telling enough, the kid asks Quinn a bunch of questions about the murder. So even dumb as rocks Joey Quinn can tell that there is something obviously wrong with this Hamilton kid. They should just play ominous cheesy 80s horror film music as he appears on camera.
There were other things that happened in this episode, none of which I particularly care about. Jamie brought over a cute friend for a double date with Dexter, but he had to leave (Vogel/Yates/Deb situation) and she was very cool about it. Blah. It is too far into the season to be adding new characters and expecting me to care about them.
The reason that Dexter is such a great show is because you get attached to these characters (Rita, Miguel, Lila, Maria, etc…) and you get to watch Dexter destroy their lives, leaving the audience feeling some sort of emotion about it. In the season 4 finale when Trinity killed Rita, the second I saw Harrison in the blood pool I began sobbing. When I saw Rita’s face, I cried my eyes out. John Lithgow still haunts my nightmares! But this adding new characters for a few episodes and then expecting me to give a shit? I dislike that. Like that woman detective who is trying for sergeant…. I cannot remember her name off the top of my head. If she wasn’t in the next episode, I probably wouldn’t even notice. I understand that the series is ending, I just thought it would go out with a bang!
Overall I give this episode a 2 out of 5, and mainly only because Deb and Dex are back together again.
The first official teaser trailer for Season 8 of Dexter has released! Take a look:
As has already been said several times, this will be the final season of Dexter. This little preview suggests that Season 8 picks up a couple weeks after Season 7 ends, as Dexter tells Deb she hasn’t talked to him in weeks. Obviously Deb isn’t handling the fact that she *SPOILER* killed LaGuerta *SPOILER* very well, since she missed her memorial and is very clearly drunk.
Oh… and then there’s this:
Chilling! Is Deb going to kill Dexter this season? Is that how it all ends? Or will he kill her? Or will they run off into the sunset together? Sigh… I suppose we have to wait.
Season 8 begins June 30th at 9 pm on Showtime.
There was a time when a show premiered in January or February it usually meant it was crap. I think it is safe to say that this is no longer that case, and to prove my point, a list of the top new and returning shows that are premiering (or have premiered in the last week or so) in the coming weeks.
In order of premiere date, the top eleven shows that you should be on the look out for this winter. Why eleven? Well I had come up with ten and then realized I’d forgotten one and by that time I was too attached to the ten original so eleven it is!
First off, a show that came back on Friday, January 6th on IFC. The brain child of SNL’s Fred Armisen and musician/actress Carrie Brownstein, Portlandia is a show you should be watching, if for no other reason than to understand why people keep talking about “put a bird on it!” and thinking it’s hysterical. Now in its third season, you can catch up on the first two seasons on Netflix which I would highly recommend. Even though the show is comprised of shorts, it does have a story arc. You won’t be completely lost if you start with season 3 but you’d at least understand why the new Geico commercial with the pig at the restaurant is so humorous. Portlandia has always been a fan of guest stars and season 3 looks to be no different. Patton Oswalt, Jeff Goldblum and Penny Marshall plus so much more!
Portlandia– Fridays at 10 eastern on IFC, check it out and feel free to thank me.
2. Downton Abbey
7.9 million Americans can’t be wrong. That is how many people tuned into the season 3 premiere of PBS’s Downton Abbey on Sunday, January 6th. A product of the Britain’s itv, Downton Abbey follows the lives of the inhabitants of a great English manor in the 1900’s. At it’s base it’s nothing more than a soap opera but the great characters and beautiful settings have worked their way into our hearts and DVR’s alike. While I really enjoy the dichotomy of the upstairs vs. downstairs, it is the individual characters that I love. Watching Dame Maggie Smith as the matriarch of the family is like watching a master class on acting; the woman can do no wrong, none! Add in Shirley MacClaine as the other mother-in-law and the personality clashes practically write themselves.
One has to wonder, given the success of shows like Downton Abbey and Sherlock, how many times Ed Begley, Jr.’s character from A Mighty Wind has been quoted by those in the PBS offices.
You can find Downton Abbey on Sunday nights at 9 eastern on PBS. Word of warning, if you are looking to record it on your DVR, it will more than likely listed as Masterpiece Theatre.
3. Cougar Town
I’m sure everyone just let out a groan, but hear me out, especially if you never watched Cougar Town beyond the first few episodes. When it premiered, this show had one of the worst premises ever; a newly divorced woman in her 40’s who is out to date younger men, therefore making her a “cougar”. Not totally sure why they thought that would ever take off, and surprisingly it didn’t. The writers saw this and changed the premise almost completely. The show’s creators even flirted with the idea of changing the name of the show, but in the end kept it. Now instead of the dating escapades of Courtney Cox, it’s a show about friends and family and friends who are family. I like my sitcoms to have an emotional element and have a story that grows with the characters. Cougar Town does that, now.
After airing on ABC for three seasons, this season will be on TBS. What effect it will have on the writing (given that standards and practices are more lenient on cable than network TV) remains to be seen, but I know I will be tuning in to find out. If I’ve convinced you, or your interest is the slightest bit piqued, you can catch Cougar Town premiering on January 8th at 10 eastern on TBS.
4. 1600 Penn
Another sitcom and one that I’m not convinced will be good but I think still needs to be given a chance is NBC’s new show, 1600 Penn. NBC needs this show to win. Their comedy schedule is taking some big hits with The Office and 30 Rock signing off this year and Community and Up All Night on shaky ground (Up All Night completely changing formats from single cam to multi-cam with live audience is almost unheard of), they need something to fill those slots. Animal Practice shockingly enough, crashed and burned and while Matthew Perry’s Go On has had a bit of success, it can’t carry the entire schedule. The only thing NBC has going for it right now is Parks and Recreation and it doesn’t have the ratings to stand alone either, which is a crime but that’s another thought for another day.
Enter Bill Pullman and Jenna Elfman as the President and First Lady of the United States. The sitcom focuses on them and their somewhat dysfunctional family including their son, Josh Gad. These are not small names which makes it all the more surprising that they’d sign on for something that doesn’t look all that promising. However I did just recommend a show that started off in the toilet and redeemed itself further down the road so perhaps I’ll be singing a different tune after a few episodes, here’s hoping.
1600 Penn premieres on January 10th at 9:30 eastern on NBC.
I have to wonder if Lena Dunham occasionally pinches herself to make sure it’s all real. I know I would be. The first season of Girls, which she created and stars in, was met with critical and commercial success. On a network that is known more for its dramas, Girls has made a name for itself and has Dunham mainly to thank for it. That and the fact there hasn’t been a “group of girls” type of show that is actually good since the departure of Sex and the City in 2004. I happen to love this show and can’t wait to see what those crazy kids get themselves into in season 2. If I had to guess, it would be a lot of alcohol and a lot of sex.
Girls starts back up on January 13th at 9pm on HBO.
6. Ripper Street
Another British import, Ripper Street takes place in the East End of London shortly after the murder spree of Jack the Ripper. One can only imagine how crazy that area would have been given the fact that Jack the Ripper and his crimes were known worldwide. The amount of people there to just be what we today call “disaster tourists” must have been overwhelming. I do like how in the promo, there is a guy giving a tour! So it’s up to the “H Division” who investigated the Ripper crimes, are tasked with keeping that area of London under control. Ripper Street follows their story, with Matthew MacFadyen (MI-5/Spooks) as the famous Edmund Reid. I think we can all agree that the BBC usually does a very good job with their projects and this looks to be no different.
Ripper Street finds its way to BBC America on January 19th at 9 eastern.
7. The Following
As I mentioned a few weeks back, Kevin Bacon is returning to TV with a show called The Following. It’s already making news, but not in ways I imagine they’d wanted, but rather because of the level of violence in the show. Given that I just watched an episode of Criminal Minds in which an insane man was making marionettes out of live people, I daresay the violence won’t be a lasting issue. The Following has an interesting premise- a serial killer who escapes and the police then discovering that he has become a cult favorite with the psychopaths of the world- and I’ll admit this is one that I’m looking forward to most this mid-season. I’m a big fan of James Purefoy and of course Kevin Bacon is, well he’s Kevin Bacon.
You can get caught up in the mystery starting on January 21st at 9 eastern on Fox.
8. The Americans
Neon is back in style so why not Communist Russia? I’m guessing that is what the creators of The Americans thought and at first blush, it appears as if they might be on to something. Keri Russel and Matthew Rhys (Brothers and Sisters) play married KGB agents here in America in the 1980’s. I think it will be very interesting to see how this plays out. There are some who are dismissing it as just a Homeland knockoff but I daresay they aren’t really the same concept at all. Growing up in the Cold War the idea that anyone could be a Russian spy really was a thing. How many stories have come out over the years of “ordinary” people being outed as spies and their friends and neighbors having no idea? Even though I hadn’t heard much of this show before seeking it out, I’m intrigued and will certainly be checking it out.
The Americans premieres on January 30th at 10 eastern on FX.
I will not be surprised if someday in the future, Community finds its way into a textbook in a chapter titled “what not to do when trying to produce a successful television show” and it will have nothing to do with the quality of the writing or the performances of the actors. If it wasn’t so aggravating as a fan, it would be almost comical to watch NBC yank Community around like a neglected rag doll. They’ve never put much marketing into it, and have repeatedly shot themselves in the foot with time changes and taking it off the schedule only to put it back on but then change the air date… it’s a mess. Add in the drama with Dan Harmon and Chevy Chase both leaving the show and lord have mercy where do they go from here?
In my perfect world, everyone with a television would tune into Community when it airs so the ratings are astronomically high and NBC will be forced to renew Community for another season even though they are making it pretty clear with their actions that they don’t want to. That would be a perfect world. Alas that won’t happen so I’m just going to enjoy Community for however long it has left.
You can find Community on
October 19th February 7th at 8 eastern on NBC.
Kiefer Sutherland running! Kiefer Sutherland out of breath! Kiefer Sutherland’s child is in danger! No, this is not 24, but rather Touch. I’ll admit that I did not watch Touch when it aired. Just happened to come across it one day on Netflix and gave it a shot. I am thankful for this bit of kismet because it really is a good show. From Tim Kring, creator of Crossing Jordan and Heroes, Touch is about a kid who doesn’t speak or interact with anyone but is obsessed with numbers, numbers that his father (Sutherland) and social worker discover actually mean something. Every week he gives them a new set of numbers which lead them to a new clue in an even more expansive mystery involving Danny Glover and Maria Bello. If you missed the first season, find it on demand or on Netflix, it’s a good one. It of course requires a massive suspension of disbelief but if you don’t dwell on details too much, the story is quite fantastic.
This is another show that was scheduled to premiere in the fall but got bumped to the mid-season so we’ll just have to wait and see what that means for the future.
For now, you can see Touch with a two-hour premiere on February 8th at 8 eastern on Fox.
11. Zero Hour
I am a closest lover of conspiracy theories. Most of the time I think they are bubkus but it doesn’t make me love them any less. I especially like conspiracy theories wrapped up in treasure hunting scenarios. National Treasure, The Librarian, Uncharted (the games)? Big fan of them all. So it comes as no surprise that I was really excited when I read the description of Zero Hour. A woman goes missing, her husband who by the way has a magazine called “Skeptics” finds a clock she bought that has some kind of treasure map inside and that leads him on a wild goose chase with people talking in whispers and riddles? Yes please.
Anthony Edwards returns to television for the first time since Dr. Green died on ER and in my opinion, he couldn’t have chosen a cooler looking show. Here’s hoping it lives up to my own hype.
Zero Hour premieres on February 14th at 8 eastern on ABC.
Of course being the somewhat indecisive person I am- a few Honorable Mentions:
Justified – Tuesdays at 8 eastern on FX
Archer – Season 4 premieres January 17th at 10 easter on FX
All the Showtime shows – Shameless, Masters of Sex, and Ray Donovan
It’s always a good thing when the hiatus is over so let’s celebrate- Happy New Year everyone!
After a rather good showing this past awards season, Showtime is looking to add a few more statues to their collection. With three trailers released recently, two new shows and one returning, their chances are looking quite good.
For awhile, I thought I was the only person watching Shameless. Then I couldn’t decide if the show was actually good or if my adoration for William H. Macy was influencing my decision. Thankfully I’ve had some third-party input to cement my idea that it really is a good show. The Gallagher’s are sad and depressing and you just want to take them all up in a big hug, but they are also smart and funny and that is what makes me turn in each week. Not surprisingly, this season 3 trailer looks promising.
So pretty much the same as the previous two seasons. As Lip so eloquently put it, they need to “steal or scrap” to get by and it seems as if they are going to do plenty of both in season 3. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it I suppose. Although I do have to disagree wholeheartedly with Veronica (Shanola Hampton)- a man with a mop is extremely sexy and the sooner men learn this, the happier we will all be.
The beginning of this episode of Dexter was simply amazing. When Dexter is dropping a package off at the post office, he imagines slitting the throat of the woman behind the counter (we’ve all been there!). Later, he does the same to Masuka. Being constantly watched by Deb is smothering him to the point that he cannot fulfill his need to kill. Deb’s babysitting solution is clearly not going to work.
In regards to his ‘Louis Problem’ – Dexter sent the ‘Ice Truck Killer Prosthetic’ and a letter to the Miami Metro PD Forensics Department, which got Louis fired. He also sent Jamie a video of Louis getting a BJ from a hooker – Louis isn’t having the best day.
His solution is to drill holes in Dexter’s boat, resulting in the sinking of the Slice of Life. Unfortuately for Louis, the last place Victor’s GPS tracking system pinged was from the dock where Dex keeps said boat. This led Issac to the dock to find Louis, who lies and claims it is in fact his boat. That lie all but sealed his fate as the next person murdered on screen. Implausible set of circumstances? Maybe. Nevertheless, it led to Louis’ death, which felt like this was a very lazy kill-off, but may very well end up Mr. Morgan’s ultimate undoing. As Issac is less concerned with disposing of bodies than Dex is, Louis’ blood is all over the boat. Sure that won’t come into play later…Unable to suppress his urges, Dexter tells Deb about Speltzer, a guy who Dex is pretty sure will kill again, and is a perfect subject to be Dexter’s much needed release. Deb is disgusted at the thought of letting her brother continue killing. However, after everything Dexter says turns out to be true, another girl is dead and Speltzer gets away, Deb tells him that she now understands why this is a necessary evil. This is the only way they could continue the show for another season and a half, making Deb accept him, though she will likely still bring about his demise in the end. She does however set him free from her gaze as she allows him to move back to his own place. Baby steps…
In an amazingly surprising turn of events, Quinn is sleeping with a woman who is directly involved in the case, who told him that her boss wanted her to get close to him, and who is a stripper… yawn. Typical Quinn. Speaking of romantic interests though, Yvonne Strahovski was introduced! She will be helping out with an old case which she was involved in. A case where she fell for a serial killer… Now, Dexter has to get a swab of her saliva from her mouth, and it was honestly sexy. How did she make that sexy? She is magical!
Overall, this episode was slow. You would think that with the murder of an increasingly more important character, this would be a more memorable episode; alas, it was not. The death of Louis seemed like it was very forced, he tells the mob that the boat is Dexter’s, and gets shot. It is too easy, though it’s obvious they are using it to set something else up.
It seems like this episode is definitely setting up for the next episode. Nevertheless, 3.5/5 Grizzlies. The beginning was very well structured, and you could see the anguish in Dexter’s eyes as he tried to hold back from going all Dark Defender on everyone’s asses.
In true Dexter fashion, the latest episode, “Sunshine and Frosty Swirl“ began where the premiere of season 7 left off. The title comes from Dexter’s interaction with an inmate who decided to come clean about where some bodies were hidden, after many years. Since Dexter had to be on the scene, he inquired as to how he changed; how he got rid of his evilness, or his dark passenger. After a gruesome suicide of the inmate (he hurled himself in front of a moving semi truck) Dexter realized that he hadn’t changed, and just wanted some sunshine and the ice cream across the street before killing himself.
After Dexter had officially admitted to Deb that he is a serial killer, she had a very difficult decision to make; does she turn him in, or does she help him? As you know, Deb is a sucker for her big brother and offered to help him try to control his urges. Deb has taken on the duty of rehabilitating her serial killer brother.
Deb has blinded herself to the obvious red flags about her brother being a criminal in the past. She seems to be a great detective, yet she has been completely oblivious to all of the signs. As Deb structures this information in her head, she realizes that Dexter was the Bay Harbor Butcher. She also starts remembering other signs. If this wasn’t hard enough news for her to take, she learns that her hero father whom she has spent her entire life trying to please, even after his death, knew about Dexter’s true nature; and had actually trained Dexter.
Although she tries like hell, Deb cannot watch Dexter 100% of the time. I am not sure what is going to happen between Dexter and Louis; after this episode, Louis is clearly not scared of Dexter. Even though Louis must know many dark things about Dexter’s past, he doesn’t seem phased by what he knows. This leaves two possibilities: Louis doesn’t know just how dangerous Dexter is, or Louis sees himself as more dangerous than Dexter. I am curious to see what comes of this.
A fun little turn of events was that Dexter did not kill anyone, but we did see a gruesome death. A mob boss by the name of Isaac, played by Ray Stevenson, murdered a bouncer by stabbing him in the eye with a screwdriver! Holy shit! This was so quick and unexpected, that I got a little bit nauseous. That is how you know this was a good episode; if you feel a little bit sick at the end.
When Dexter told Deb that he’d already tried to quit before and it didn’t work, her response was something I hadn’t really considered before. We all assume that since Harry had to nurture Dexter’s urges and teach him how to use them in a more positive (uh…ish) way, that there was simply no way he could help himself. However, Deb tells Dexter that since their dad helped him to become this sick man, it might be solely because of that, that he cannot stop. Harry didn’t tell Dexter to stop killing; he told Dexter to be picky about his victims, how to clean up after himself, and how to avoid getting caught. He used his son’s illness as a means to get revenge on the criminals who slipped through the cracks in the judicial system. If Harry had tried to get Dexter help, who knows how he would have turned out? I do not think that as his age, Dexter can change his entire way of thinking… his need. I know that Deb wants to see the good in him, though.
This was a very fun episode for me to watch. Being a huge Dexter fan, and having re-watched every single episode of the show recently, I can honestly say that I am excited for what’s to come this season. I had lost a lot of hope before the premiere, because of the lazy and poorly written previous seasons, but this one seems different. Different is what Dexter needed, no? What makes the boring episodes so lackluster? Normalcy and monotony. Here, we are getting some of the missing pieces to the puzzle that is Dexter Morgan… and I like it.