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Ed McCauley

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  1. Ed McCauley

    S17.E11: All-Star Duets (2) (2019.04.09)

    I thought the same thing. Bobby seemed to get a little better as the show went on, but he's definitely the Brian Dunkleman to Ryan Seacrest. Katy Perry's closing comments to the contestants sent home were REALLY ungracious and catty.
  2. Ed McCauley

    S03.E01: Enter the Phoenix

    The showrunners for Into the Badlands and Fear the Walking Dead must have gotten the same memo from AMC for the new season: “Basically ignore whatever happened at the end of last season and just time jump the story forward and go on from there. But maybe that will let you work in some “Lost” style flashbacks throughout the season which will tie everything together. Good luck and have a great year!” I don’t think the new “bad” guys are from Asra (sp?). I suspect they are the flip side of the monks, but rather than trying to carefully control the black eyes, they use the power to their own ends. Maybe they really detected Henry’s birth or it’s simply time as told in their prophecies. And that would mean the “real” Asranians are still out there, even though they didn’t notice/respond to Bajie triggering the signal. Seemingly. Bajie was almost dead when we last saw him though, so I’m really not sure he would have been able to recover on his own. Like, did he find a stash of mre’s to eat while he was convalescing in the tower? Nice to see that the Widow is now 2nd billed. Now all they have to do is figure out who she is - flawed anti-hero or true heavy – since she’s been vacillating back and forth for the last year.
  3. Ed McCauley

    S04.E01: What's Your Story?

    I generally enjoyed this episode even though I’m not super invested in Morgan’s journey. It didn’t seem to lag, and the total absence of ANYONE connected to the previous seasons was a big plus. It felt like watching a new show. But then the old gang had to show up and spoil it: in fact, the only scene that did lag was the slow reveal of Alicia from behind her big hair cloak of protection +1. Random thoughts: I am not familiar with the actor playing the cowboy (John Dorie), but I spent much of the first 15 minutes trying to figure out if it was Jeffrey Combs! That would have been all kinds of awesome. Keeping it on a Deep Space Nine theme, the arrival of Morgan in the first episode of an already established series parallels Worf’s arrival on DS9 in season 4. That show didn’t full morph into the “Worf Show”, but will Fear stay a true ensemble show or push Morgan more into the forefront? If they are going to steal the Dead Reckoning from Land of the Dead, can’t they bring Simon Baker too? I don’t think he’s busy with the Mentalist anymore?
  4. Ed McCauley

    The Mist

    Well, if this was the episode that needed to win over a wavering audience (or perhaps win them back), I’m not sure if it succeeded. Promos indicated there are only 3 episodes left, but I remember quitting on first season ‘24’ after the penultimate episode, and I was far more invested in that than I am in the Mist. I still think the show is doing a reasonable job in moving forward story lines, the main problem is a lot of what is progressing just isn’t super interesting. Cases in point: The Adrian/gay jock story. There’s nothing wrong with pursuing this story within the context of what is happening around them, and last night’s scenes were pretty well acted; it’s just that I really am not interested in Adrian at all, and even less in Tyler. They also missed a great chance to wrap up the still awkwardly dangling story line about Alex’s rape when they were having their true confessions moment. Tyler could have admitted to being the one who raped Alex (to “prove” he’s not gay even if he wouldn’t admit to that) but Adrian only saw Jay who had found Alex’s body first and just assumed what happened. In the end, the whole rape story has been nothing more than a plot contrivance to create distrust, and otherwise it tends to be ignored when convenient. Alex “bonding” with her possible attacker doesn’t seem realistic (and will be creepy if Jay is the culprit), but they should have never used rape as a plot point in the first place. This isn’t American Crime. Adrian being kidnapped by the crazy and having to be rescued by Kevin? Well, ok, I guess it could happen, but it feels like filler. At least Kevin knows the double tap rule. Priest vs. Mrs. Raven – The outcome of this “battle” could have been predicted by just about anyone. You knew the 4 horsemen were coming for the priest, but why? Is he afraid of them, he probably understands them better than most? And somehow, I was hoping this scene would end up with a homage to Good Omens (the book by Neil Gaiman), but, alas, it was not to be. And Mrs. Raven comes off as self-righteous in the end too. She’s still on the “to eat” list. The cop: He seems to have a weird moment of clarity when he talks (sensitively!) about being able to identify liars and those consumed by guilt, but then he goes rabid and starts wailing on the priest! The mall manager’s number looks like it is soon to be punched, but that is about the most interesting development concerning the mall people. I feel sorry for the Muslim-American who is in Eve’s group, because he deserves better than his likely fate. The best part of the episode occurred during Mia’s “flash” detox scene: Jonah (aka not Bryan) starts remembering things and has flashes of being strapped down and gagged on an examination table. This is obviously the hook (maybe the only one) going forward. Can there be enough of a payoff to make it worth the slog?
  5. Ed McCauley

    The Mist

    Nope. You aren’t alone! :) This was a pretty good episode and even further improved over last week’s. Normally, I wouldn’t comment about a tv show’s editing, but I think that was the key in this episode because it successfully interwove the action going on in different places through the use of quick cross-cutting (especially during Mia’s scenes in the house) and gave the episode a sense of pace that it sometimes lacks. This process can get tiresome, but I think it was more successful than not. This episode also has to be noted because it made Mrs. Raven into a sympathetic figure! Of course, it is only because she was on the verge of being killed by the creepy church follower Link (who looks like the puffy older brother of the crazed kid preacher in the original Children of the Corn), but, it is character development at least. Rest in pieces, Link. Why did the mostly sympathetic doctor in the hospital suddenly turn into Mengele? I don’t even think he was exposed to the Mist (which seems to cause inner traits/fears to become manifest), so he made the leap by himself to Dr. Death. If he survives Bryan’s stabbing and the mist pouring into the hospital, I hope he gets marked down on Yelp. It is interesting that Kevin saw himself in the Mist, but I do not know what it portends. Alex, Alex, Alex. You have a sort of interesting idea (that you might be immune to the Mist), bravely volunteer to go out and find help, actually try to equip yourself smartly, then get locked into a room (almost certainly not by Jay, but most probably by dead girl momma who was staring at you intently just moments earlier) which is set on fire, yet YOU DO NOT PICK UP THE FIRE EXTINGUISHER HANGING BY THE DOOR. Ugh! Eve remains unsympathetic, but she seems to have embraced it. Thankfully the car Mia “appropriated” has a Die-Hard battery in it, since she left the headlights on when she went into the house. Continuity Issue: The last shot of the remaining parishioners (aka red shirts) in the church did not show the woman of color who has been there from the beginning even though there is no reason for her not to be. Next week: Our hospital heroes check themselves into the psyche ward, and there will be a showdown of Nature vs. God. Perhaps it will end in a tie and take out both Mrs. Raven and the Priest.
  6. Ed McCauley

    The Mist

    Although I missed bits of this episode due to stuff going on around me, I generally thought it was MUCH better than the last few. Why? Maybe because there was no mall (with its lax security and annoying people) and no church (with its equally annoying crazy lady and priest). In fact, if they never went back to the church until it was over, I wouldn’t miss it. The mall is the stand-in for the community grocery store from the source material (as well as homage to Dawn of the Dead) so I guess we have to go back to that, especially since Eve and child are there. And speaking of Eve and child, it is (strongly?) implied that Kevin is not Alex’s dad. Really didn’t see that coming, but the little backstory on Kevin and Eve’s relationship did put things in context of why Eve might say she was glad Kevin wasn’t at the mall, and why Kevin was always the “good cop” at home for Alex. The stuff between Kevin and “brother” Mike seemed more out of left field (was there mention of a brother in an earlier episode?), but I thought they traded a few good sibling barbs at each other. You knew Mike was a goner from the moment we see him, but he was dispatched in a suitably messy fashion (why leeches, unless reference to interfering with Eve’s ability to “love” a good guy). There was another major twist I didn’t see coming, that the black guy “Bryan” isn’t really Bryan. This left Mia, who was starting to soften towards him, to go back into rage mode since this was another trust betrayal to her, and she left the hospital in the car (not sure if she hot-wired it or somehow got the keys from Adrian who had them). This move should end up with her dead or not being seen again, but I suspect she’ll be back since she’s a regular. Adrian also had a big scene, a make-out session with the jock who beat him up at the party Alex was raped at (and beat him again here for good measure). But, of course, this was all a repressed sexuality cover-up, a la American Beauty, so he ended up kissing Adrian and they had sex. Mia to Adrian: remember your safe word, mine’s dolphin! LOL! So that leaves us back at the question, who did rape Alex since they are trying to make Jay look like he might not have done it either? I’m going to stick with the show unless it gets too dumb for me to forgive. Given the people at the mall, it may get there. Next week, Mrs. Raven is back. Boo!
  7. Ed McCauley

    The Mist

    I think this episode was easily the weakest of the bunch so far, but I still plan to continue watching because of my fondness for the source material. I have a real issue with shows that can only reach a major plot point through silly contrivances: case in point, the gamer/nerd guys. I thought it was kind of brilliant when they found a cool tool/weapon in the shop because it’s just like how you would find a good weapon in a survival video game, but then they go dumb (way dumb for gamer/nerd types) by deciding to use it to harpoon unknown stuff in the Mist. This, of course, leads to the death of the little girl in the bookstore but even, more importantly, begs the question: why hasn’t this back door been locked yet? Why is the store front even still open if for some reason the back door can’t be locked? Even though King is one of the few people who can get away with killing children, I was still surprised that the little girl died. I think the scene didn’t come off as emotionally affecting because it’s still hard to kill off children violently on tv. Hence, her “death” was bloodless, very slow, almost bland. I did like how her mom did not respond well to hearing Alex’s story about what happened and left the little splinter group to rejoin the others. I didn’t find much of the church conflict or garage drama with the “heroes” all that interesting. None of the acting was particularly good (neither the priest or the dad of the dead kid was strong enough for those key roles), and it was weird because I’m not sure if the regular black guy (the soldier) even had any speaking lines of note. I guess he did wrestle with the dad in the garage and manage to get shot in a way that should lead to death, so that’s something. Mrs. Raven continues to irritate, but why is the cop sort of bonding with her? And what’s in her jar IS interesting since priest-man stomped that spider into little itsy-bitsy spider bits. Considering they’re both from Maine, maybe the spider is related to Mr. Jingles!
  8. One nice thing about FTWD’s half season is that they moved things along briskly. TWD could learn a thing or two. As far as the episode goes… The Good: Alicia had some great moments – double call-outs on sanctimonious native American man and on Madison herself! Kudos to the actress for nailing each scene and if they have succeeded in one thing this half-season, they have actually rehabilitated Alicia into a decent character. And we also verified that she is 18 so even if there is some squickishness with her being with Jake, it’s legal. The Good: The expository scene with Strand and the cosmonaut, just for the perspective it provides us and to Strand. Apparently, the Soviet space station isn’t the ISS since you would presume there would be enough supplies to keep someone in space for at least 6 months past the day the lights winked out, and it hasn’t been that long yet. The Good: Nick cut his hair!! The Bad: It was still Nick underneath. The Bad: If the goal is to make almost everyone in the main cast unlikable, you have succeeded! Madison, Ofelia, Taqa, none of them are people you really want to sink your concern into since it’s obvious that they are all out for themselves. After being off-camera all season, Ofelia is a huge disappointment: ‘I just put the stuff in their coffee, but it was only supposed to make them sick’. Really? Really, Ofelia? Madison’s righteous anger towards Ofelia was her only good scene. And that includes her big reveal scene about her family history which I guess justifies in her mind why she can do what she does. Hint, Madison: it doesn’t. The Ugly: Thank goodness Taqa didn’t finish scalping Jake, but even the start of that was revolting and nothing I really wanted to see. I don’t think they used Dayton Callie in the right way, but his heart didn’t look to be in it either, so perhaps it’s best they just killed him off quickly. God help them if Madison ends up in charge.
  9. Ed McCauley

    The Mist

    I’m still very interested in watching this show, but I found this episode to be much weaker than the first, mostly due to shaky plotting and weak acting in spots. I thought things were going along ok up until when the mall “manager” (that description should definitely be used loosely) did a 360 in acting as a leader and decided there needed to be a lottery to determine who should go for the radio. Uh-huh. Most of those people should have (and would have) just told him to stick it at that point. There certainly was no impetus to get to the radio then, and the plan failing (in either getting a message out or bringing the radio downstairs) didn’t end up impacting anything either. And what would have happened if someone got picked to go for the radio who didn’t know how to use it? Or why would the people going down a hallway with a dead body in it not carry a baseball bat or a tire iron for protection (of course, we now know the guy was armed, but still)? Weak, weak. The church looks like it will be a focal point, but the actor playing the priest seems weak which will hurt those scenes as long as he’s alive. The cop actually seems to have some spark in comparison. Mrs. Raven is a main character, and, of course, it’s understandable why she should be in shock, but her husband’s tribute still seemed to be poured down everyone’s throats without concern or awareness of the overall situation. And, speaking of pouring, apparently germ spreading is not a concern in the Mistacylpse! There’s a reason why they have all those little dixie cups for taking Sacrament. The last thing that surprised me is how quickly they got to the soldiers’ suicide scene. After Eve dispatched the “helpful” guy and came back downstairs, weren’t there still 3 “soldiers” left? Jay only saw 2 bodies hanging in the bathroom, so what happened to the last guy?
  10. Ed McCauley

    The Mist

    The power of banner ads: I had no idea that this show was about to come on (or even existed) until I saw a promo for it on the imdb main page yesterday. As a fan of the story, I was excited to catch it, and I wasn’t disappointed. My main skepticism coming in was how do you make a series out of what was initially a short story? Since I don’t know if this show has a pre-determined length, that may still prove to be a legitimate question. Main thoughts include: I like the change to the original premise of the main people being trapped in the grocery store. With the mall, we have a more definite Dawn of the Dead feel and that’s ok by me, and it’s clear that there are other places where people will be trapped (like the church) which will be focused on. I concur with everyone who believes that the “boyfriend” of the girl who was raped is more likely the perpetrator, but there almost has to be a twist: like Jay (the football player) did drug the girl and was about to rape her but stopped, maybe because the boyfriend caught him, but he is the one who actually did it and really only to isolate her from everyone else and to draw her closer to him (not for a sexual dominance type of thing). Weird observation: Due to interference from young children, I missed about 15 minutes of the last half hour, so I watched the replay that came on immediately afterwards. And strangely the replay cut some scenes short that had been in the initial airing. So that’s something to keep in mind in case you miss it and try to hit a 2nd showing. I plan to keep watching, so I hope they can keep everything interesting in the coming episodes.
  11. Ed McCauley

    S03.E03: TEOTWAWKI

    Kuods to whoever thought up the pre-credits teaser scene. Lol! The infomercial was a hysterical Starship Troopers-flavored send-up. All Jeremiah needed to say “Would you like to know more? Well, for $49.95 you can!” But the over the top-ness didn’t stop there. We also get a bong scene with a severed zombie head in a parakeet cage! Did a Harold and Kumar movie crash into the Walking Dead? I have to admit that the lead prepper girl got me. I had no idea she was talking in code about bible study. Strand’s story was more routine. The main thing I got from his exchange with Dante (it can’t be coincidence that we met “Dante” in the same episode where Alicia was talking with Nick about different “circles of Hell”), is that I’m wondering if they tried to plant seeds of doubt about Strand’s sexual orientation in case they really do want to pair up Strand and Madison later. It’s great to see Ruben Blades back, but why? He probably should be dead, dead, dead. Who’s going to come back next, Celia? Ofelia is still gone, but I didn’t even notice. There has been some speculation (including the recap for this episode on this site) that the show would be better if Madison turned into a real baddie (not the wanna-be baddie she thinks she is). Well, my wife kinda went that way in her thinking when Madison had that short scene with Danay Garcia. Since Madison loves Nick more than anyone, when Luciana suggested leaving the compound ASAP, my wife figured that Madison would off Luciana THAT MOMENT since she could pin it on someone else and then Nick wouldn’t have any reason to leave. That would be cold, cold, but Madison already did that to Celia so we know she has it in her.
  12. Ed McCauley

    Batman

    RIP, Adam West. Thank you for so many memories. Although I enjoy the more "modern" takes on Batman that came from "better" actors like Michael Keaton and Christian Bale (sorry, George Clooney!), Adam West is MY Batman, a generational thing which is why Roger Moore is Bond and Tom Baker is The Doctor for so many of us. I had hoped Adam could be the male Betty White and just keep going and going towards 100, so that's why I find this news especially sad. Thanks again.
  13. Count me in your camp regarding Alicia. I don't think she's any better an actor than most of the others, and her character periodically has just head-scratching lapses in judgment. She does have more potential than most of the characters, but she seldom has gotten close to realizing it.
  14. Ed McCauley

    S02.E10: Wolf's Breath, Dragon Fire

    Anything such as feed that baby. My wife pointed out that Veil was breastfeeding that baby, and I don't think Sunny is equipped. Who's going to volunteer to be Henry's wet nurse? Walking Dead had the same problem with Judith, but they schluffed it off by having Rick (or others) always find formula, and then they had her magically grow so, ostensibly, she could be eating on her own.
  15. Ed McCauley

    S02.E10: Wolf's Breath, Dragon Fire

    None of the Tilda-Widow animus from the previous week made a lot of sense from a writing standpoint, but I’m wondering why they initially moved the Widow towards being a tragic but enlightened character mid-season only to return her to a cold-hearted, well, you know, for the last 2 shows. It’s almost like the writers sensed that some fans were starting to wonder who the central character of the show really was (and that it wasn’t turning out to be Sunny), so they needed to make some changes fast to shore up his hero status. Sunny, as a character, just wasn’t so interesting when his only goal was to save his family, but now that has been accomplished (sort of, he obviously saved who he wanted to), perhaps he’ll have something more interesting to do next season. The real problem is that I don’t think Daniel Wu is that dynamic of an actor (not fighter), but perhaps it’s just the writing. The real problem is that the character who they wanted to be central to everything, M.K., is just terrible. Daniel Wu is Olivier next to Aramis Knight. The ending begs some great geography questions. We have seen snippets of plantation lands representative of the U.S. deep South (Louisiana in reality), the wall at the border of the badlands that had a sign “Mexsol” on it, suggesting a possible (ancient) U.S./Mexico border crossing point, the hotel/gift shop that M.K., and Ava found that was in an area that hinted of the U.S. pacific northwest, and now Bajie comes to a high promontory coastal area that looks like something out a James Bond film. Except, exactly where would this be since it’s been established that this is ancient North America and mostly in the United States, and it doesn’t fit anything that would be close to the other areas already established? It was a beautiful closing teaser shot, but why tie in to real America (Wired magazine, anyone?) if you are just making up everything else? Last questions: They should probably let Bajie die off, but they probably will have the “Asrans” “rescue” him. It probably won’t be the good type of rescue. I’m guessing Lydia doesn’t come back as a regular, but she might get an episode or two to finish off her story line. Where’s Jade? Did Quinn kill her off? She shouldn’t return either. It looks like Odessa may become more important, but they may sacrifice her quickly to preserve a possible Tilda/M.K. pairing.
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