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  1. The people of the island are clearly playing Sam like a fiddle based on his traumatic past, but he is certainly making it easy for them. I really like the weird atmosphere of this show and am decently interested in seeing where its going, especially as October is coming up and I am all about those spooky vibes, but we are also falling into the trap of characters in a horror story making stupid choices just to keep the plot going. Just keep driving! Drive back to civilization and then call the cops and tell them that there could be a child in danger and let them freaking handle it! Also, while Sam might have been tricked into thinking that this isnt some kind of creepy cult, is it a great idea to do drugs in a place you dont know well right after having a kind of psychotic episode and are having hallucinations? I also dont think the story that Jess told about her abusive husband totally lines up. So she is so worried about her controlling and abusive husband finding out that she had a one night stand with some guy and that this will keep her from seeing her daughters, but has also been going to this big pagan orgy/low rent island Cochella for years? I am pretty sure that she is totally in on this. I also think that this has something to do with Sams grandpa being stationed on the island during the war, did he have a kid on the island during orgy mask night? Of course, maybe he cant leave because he died and this is his Bad place or something.
  2. So...these guys gonna wheel the Wickerman out now, or are they saving that for the grand finale? I am often a sucker for these "creepy little town with a dark secret" stories, and this one is very Wickerman-ish (obviously I mean the one from the 70s, not the hilariously stupid Nick Cage remake) right down to the guy getting dragged into this weird town out of concern for a girl who may be in danger and this seems like it could be fun, although it could also really quickly dive into being overly weird for the sake of being weird. The cinematography is really nice, so even when I inevitably get super confused by the plot, I will have something pretty to look at.
  3. RIP Kriegers van. Again. I missed mission episodes, they always take so many ridiculous turns, so it was fun to get one again, even though I am curious if they are going to keep the "everyone is doing ok then Archer screws everything up and everyone regresses" story going. I do like that Archer isn't just back and everything is like it was, him being around again is still awkward and kind of weird. So now we are also reminded why Pam and Krieger dont do a lot of field work, even if they did bring their turtlenecks. I am sure that the school AJ was sent to is nice, but isn't she still really little? Did Lana really just want to get rid of her now that she has a new husband? She did see how things went for Archer after he went to boarding school right? Like, she has met the guy before?
  4. I had the same clear phone, around 2002! I thought it was the coolest thing ever!
  5. Considering Madi was apparently rendered brain dead and Clarke almost had to mercy kill her, in one of the last few episodes of the whole series, its amazing how not invested I am. The only parts I was really interested in was the fight to save Emori, because I still love her and she and Murphy are some of the few characters I still care about, the rest was just shockingly boring. More running through boring halls, more boring bad guys doing boring bad guy monologues, more of "MADI! MADI! MADI!" over and over, I just want this show to end so I can enjoy my memories of when this show didn't suck. We are really going to end not with a bang, but with a whimper arent we? So everyone in Bardo gets the fight training, even the med tech guys! So I think it finally officially got through to Octavia's boyfriend that his side might just be the bad guys, which is good because he is pretty much the only person we actually know from Bardo. Really, thats a big issue with all of the new factions introduced this season, we dont really know them, so how can we care about them and what happens to them? I know I shouldn't complain about spending more time on random idiots instead of our actual main characters, but if we are spending so much time on all of these new people and their drama, couldn't they at least make us care about them or establish anything really about them? I dont hate Madi, and I think the actress is doing a good job, but she suffers from a problem that happens when shows add a new kid/teen character, they are given this really undeserved sense of importance by both the narrative and the characters. Suddenly its all about protecting the kid character and everyone running around bending over backwards for the kid character and the kid character is now the key to everything, and the new chosen one, and now cousin Oliver is the new main character and the center of the world for the actual main character. I dont hate the idea of giving Clarke a kid exactly, but I dont really like how its played out. The best things about Clarke are her strengths as a leader, that she is willing to make terrible hard choices for the greater good, that she tries to put the needs of the many over the needs of the few, even if the few is her or the people she loves, its what makes her so compelling. She cares deeply for her people and will do anything to protect them, while trying to hold onto a moral core. Now, while she does still care about people, its all MADI MADI MADI and Madi always comes first and she will sacrifice anyone for Madi and she talks about Madi all of the time and while Clarke used to have complicated motivations, now her motivations are basically "Save Madi and yell her name over and over" and cry about Madi and maybe get some other stuff done too. And its not just Clarke, everyone is all about Madi and Madi is what everyone will give everything up for, its just this intense level of importance given to this one character, when no one else has ever really been given that treatment. I mean, way back in season one, pretty much all of our characters were teens in a constant state of danger, some even younger than Madi, and no one was endlessly fretting about them. Hell, the whole reason they got dumped on Earth in the first place was to be used as the radioactive equivalent of those birds they sent into mines to see if there was anything toxic in them. I guess maybe thats the point, that our gang want to do better than the generation before them, but its really annoying how its all playing out. So Clarke finally gets an idea of what Abby went through whenever Clarke would throw herself into danger because now Madi is doing the same thing and the cats in the cradle and the silver spoon... So with Madi running off to give herself up to Bill the Boring, this just makes Bellamys death even more pointless. It would be hilarious if it wasn't so sad. I am hoping that, now that Murphy and Emori have almost died about twelve times this season, they are in the free and clear for the finale, but you never can tell with this show. Their plot was decently intense, and I usually spent most scenes away from them hoping to get back to them.
  6. I finally got to see Tell Me a Story, which is quite good and does a pretty solid job at the whole "fairy tale but in the real world and no magic" story, and I was surprised to see Murderella herself, Dania Ramirez, as one of the main characters. Even more surprising to me though is that she is actually pretty good. She isn't delivering, like, an amazing Emmy worthy performance or anything, but she is perfectly solid as a badass with a dark past and all that stuff that I think they might have been going for here, certainly miles better than on Once, and, unlike when she was Murderella, she is perfectly capable of showing emotions beyond bland and pissy. It retroactively makes me feel bad for her, I dont think that she is really a bad actress, but she got stuck playing a terribly written role. I can imagine that an actress, especially a working actress not especially famous, would be thrilled to take a leading lady role on a show on a major network, and especially one as iconic as Cinderella, and it really sucks that the show fell apart as soon as she joined, and that her character was so poorly written. Maybe a really great actress could have sold the part more (a lot of the shows success was based on how their first main cast was so good they could raise above the less than great material) but I lean towards either her being miscast or the writing basically tanking the character. I was really unsure, watching the show, if it was the writing or the acting that made her such a crappy character, but now I lean more towards it being the writing. Very few actors could make a character with such inconsistent and awful writing any good.
  7. I am only a few years younger than Anna and Maya, so this really hit that nostalgia button for me! The first few episodes might have actually been a bit too cringy for me, but I really liked the back half of the season, even if seven episodes seems like kind of a weird number of episodes. The slumber party was so alternately hilarious in how awkward it got, but in really recognizable ways, and uncomfortable in how you could see how Maura was throwing off the dynamics between Anna and Maya. I like that, while Anna and Maya are certainly likable and are basically nice kids, they could also been mean and petty, mostly out of awkwardness and insecurity, the way that lots of kids that age are. Middle school "relationships" are so weird, no wonder all of Anna and Mayas are so messy. Kids that age are often really just starting to hit puberty and get interested in dating, but arent really sure what dating looks like. Really funny and heartfelt, even with all the awkwardness.
  8. This is super Ryan Murphy, just so very Ryan Murphy, so it had the good and bad aspects of most of his work. The production was lavish and beautiful, taking full advantage of the late 40s/early 50s setting, lots of reds that really pop especially and sets that seem almost surreal in how they are both colorful and exotic. The plot frequently goes from frantically paced to slow, with tons of characters and subplots that appear and disappear at random, the camp is mostly fun but can sometimes go so over the top that it hurts the shows emotional investment and requires too much suspension of disbelief, and is filled with morally ambiguous characters mixed in with derraged monsters. For the most part I thought this worked quite well and while it fell into some of the aforementioned Ryan Murphy problems, especially in how many subplots and characters kind of just disappeared or were just randomly tossed in, but I still had a lot of fun watching it. I am certainly curious about how Ratched goes from the person we see here, who is certainly scheming, manipulative, and alright with a certain amount of collateral damage to get what she wants but isn't at all the terrifying sadist from the book/movie. I am guessing that Gwen dies at some point in the near future and that makes her snap, or its something to do with her brother coming back for her. The puppet show where they explained the horrible backstory of Ratched and Edmund really used the stylized Ryan Murphy story telling really well, and was probably my favorite episode. Super super creepy. I wish that in the back half of the show they had focused more on the mental health field of the time, it really was really interesting as well as horrifying, as we saw in the first half of the show, especially in the lobotomy episode. I didn't expect to like Nurse Bucket as much as I did, and I liked seeing her and Ratched become friends. I was shocked when Huck got shot, the poor guy. He was such a decent person and he ended up being collateral damage in the middle of a number of schemes of other characters and increasingly tragic circumstances.
  9. You gotta love a show that requires me to spell check the word orifice more than once.
  10. I suspected that it might have been the mom that had the affair and not the dad, and he was keeping it from his daughter to preserve the memory she had of her mother, but I so did not see it being the teacher who is stalking Kayla coming. Not only was he having an affair with Kayla's mom, but he murdered her and has now followed her to New York! Really did not see that one coming.
  11. See, this is why you always have to be super careful when it comes to making any kind of deal with a supernatural entity, there is always some kind of catch or ironic twist or some such thing, you gotta go over those magical contracts with a whole legal team before you sign a single thing, make sure you know exactly what your getting into before you've accidentally sold you first born or something. This is why I said no to that two for one deal on monkeys paws!
  12. Watched the first episode, and it was very Ryan Murphy, to the point that it almost felt more like a sequel to American Horror Story: Asylum than a prequel to One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. Its very lavish and high melodrama and mixes camp with horror, with themes surrounding LGBTQ issues, violence, corruption in society, bright colors contrasted with creepy stuff going on. In a way, a lot of his horror based work reminds me of a modern version of old Hammer Horror films, with all of the bright colors, campy atmosphere, queer subtext (although in Ryan Murphy stuff its just text), tons of sex and violence, often intertwined together, Gothic atmosphere, combining societal issues and trends with supernatural creatures and bloodthirsty killers, a reoccurring stable of actors who show up over and over in different roles, weird religious imagery, and actors all trying to see who can chew the most scenery.
  13. I was a bit unsure about this one going in, mostly because I was worried that I would spend most of the episode missing everyone back in Chicago or that it would hurt the momentum of the main story, but I ended up being quite fascinated by this episode, and I ended up being invested in Ji-Ah and in the romance between her and Tick. So not only did Tick have a thing going with a Korean nurse he met during the war, she ALSO happens to be a Kumiho, a Korean fox spirit that has to eat the souls of 100 people to become human, because thats just kind of how Ticks life is going these days. I always like Jamie Chung, and she carried this episode really well, and I am excited to see if she comes to the US and gets more involved in the story, as it looks like she will. I have been all about Tic/Leti so far, but Tic has a ton of chemistry with Ji-Ah as well. As much as Ji-Ah’s mother said that she is incapable of real love or feelings because she isn't a human, that is clearly not true. She can very much love, and have feelings of happiness, sadness, and remorse, so I was glad that both Ji Ah and her mother seemed to finally realize that. So the Ji-Ah that we met is the Kumiho who was summoned to kill the abusive step father of the "original" Ji-Ah, while the first Ji-Ah is basically laying dormant inside of her. So what happens if she does take that last soul, will the Kumiho take another form, or essentially stop existing, at least on this plane of existence, or lose all of her memories of her life? Its not fair that the original Ji-Ah is gone for now, but the Kumiho Ji-Ah deserves to live as well, its not her fault that she took this form and entered this body because of the deal Ji-Ah’s mom made, so what will happen? Really, there has to be an easier way to kill a person that doesn’t involve magic. I wonder if Ji-Ah will end up taking her last soul to save Tic, and will give up her existence to save him? Kumihos are a pretty well known creature from Korean mythology, and nine tail fox spirits in general are common across east Asia, with one of their most famous in the west being the Japanese Kitsune, who often pop up in video games and anime, and has also shown up in a number of western stories, although how much they have in common with the mythological creature is often all over the place. Interestingly, in most stories, the Kumiho is rather on the bloodthirsty and murderous side and enjoy eating human hearts, while the Kitsune is more likely to be more playful, intelligent and lovelorn, some are good and some are bad, and often end up marrying a human and settling down. They usually appear as young beautiful women, although not always, and almost all of the fox spirits have been known to possess women in folk tales, and seduce men, so there is a lot of the mythology in this, although I dont think I have heard many stories where their tails come out of all their orifices and they tear people apart and eat their souls. I felt sad for Ji-Ah when that guy she seemed to connect with wasn't interested in her, but it did turn out to be for the best for him at least. I echo the comments above, was speed dating a thing in 1940s Korea? We also get a look at Tic in the war, and its not pretty at all. War really can bring out the worst in people, with Tic involved in horrible things like executing innocent nurses and torturing Ji-Ah’s best friend, and that while he is terribly torn up about it, it still happened. It gives a lot of context to Tic now and his memories of the war, and maybe even how, while he was furious with his father for killing the scroll guardian, he could at least understand how a person can do such a terrible thing for what seemed like the right reasons at the time. Even as Tic gave Ji-Ah the old "I was just following orders" excuse, he seemed to know how lame it sounded, and that while, again, while he might have tried to justify it at the time, he already knows what he participated in was terrible. Possibly it’s one of the reasons why he and Ji-Ah seemed to connect so deeply, even if he was unaware of that connection, because she too did terrible things because she thought it was necessary or justified at the time for a greater goal, and now feels remorse for what she did. You could even say that she too was following orders, be it from a superior officer or from the mother she desperately wanted the love of, and that helped her to understand and forgive him for what he did. A lot of really lovely camera work this week, like Tic and Ji-Ah at the little home made theater holding hands as the movie plays over them, and the old mountain sage moving the flowers through the air with the snow in the background. This show also manages to be number one when it comes to body horror, always upping the ante every week. The flesh falling off of people as they change shape not creepy enough? Enjoy giant tail tentacles coming out of a woman during sex from every orifice of her body (including her eyes!) and them tearing someone up by taking them through their own orifices. I wonder if the talk about how the film version of The Count of Monte Cristo had a different ending than the book is foreshadowing that this show will have a different ending than the book it was based on. From what I understand it has already changed a lot, so a change in ending wouldn't surprise me.
  14. You haven't seen the last of Conway Stern! Oh Archer, everyone else had three years of character development while he is just the way he was when he went into a coma, and now his presence is throwing everything off and going back three years. Really, its amazing its taken us this long to get to an underground martial arts tournament on a secret karate island.
  15. Grimm probably hit its stride about midway through season one and managed to be consistently good (well, mostly) for a few more seasons before it went totally off the rails. Its funny that a show that was initially compared to Once so much at first, even if they didn't really have much in common, they ended up falling apart in similar ways. Both become obsessed with a female villain who became a hero despite her terrible deeds and rape of a major character (which neither show considered to be a big deal), both pretty much collapsed their own mythology, both started to overly rely on soap opera antics with long lost relatives, convoluted villains schemes, and god awful love triangles. I would say that Once got worse, with its ret-cons and bizarre morality and Regina conquering the multiverse being the happy ending, but it was sad watching Grimm fall into so many of the same traps. Grimm was also one of those shows that did much better in case of the week episodes with the greater serialized story happening in the background for the most part, and when the serialized stuff went to the foreground, it started to fall apart, as it was clear they didn't have much of a plan. Its too bad, because it was a fun show with a lot of likable characters and interesting mysteries, they did a good job exploring the world through the cases that Nick solved. I really think that Once needed to spend more time on individual cases and stories for Emma to solve more often, them abandoning that to focus on big plots that drag out forever was a terrible idea. One off stories can be used to keep the show from spinning its wheels, develop characters, and world build, but when a show becomes too obsessed with serialization (especially without a well thought out plan) it runs the risk becoming a bogged down mess where everyone is frantically running from plot point to plot point, never giving the characters, or the audience, the chance to breath. Also, much like in season one of Once, the show did a great job of creating a fairy tale like atmosphere, contrasting the regular world that the main character is used to with the supernatural goings on right underneath, especially using the woods around Portland to recreate a Black Forrest style fairytale world right around a major city, which just made for a greater contrast. Also like Once, it lost that magical feel eventually and just become a generic city/town without any feeling of magic underneath.
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