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  1. Though I agree with your point, in fairness, the audience for sci-fi are humans, so I assume creators may be worried that they will upset their audience if they don't make the humans the ones who are ultimately "right". Although maybe it's time a creator mixes it up and doesn't have the humans as the ones that "have all the answers"- in today's age, audiences are likely more receptive to that.
  2. Two things: 1) I don't really see Dex as an anti-hero. I think of anti-heroes as Dexter Morgan or Raymond Reddington types who knowingly do what society would consider "wrong" (generally by breaking the law) yet do it for the "right" reasons. Dex may be cavalier about societal norms and the law and operates on the fringes of society, but she still at least wants to "follow the rules", so to speak, as much as she can. I mean, correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think Dex has committed a murder or even physically beat a confession out of someone- the worst she's arguably done was break into someone's house, but she had to do that since she knocked on the door and no one answered. I do believe she could be on the path to becoming an anti-hero, though. 2) I'm personally not bothered by a "flawed" woman as a character. I don't think there are enough of them in general, let alone on TV (unless it's the generic "tough cop woman" who is cold on the outside but warm on the inside). What gets me about Dex's characterization is that it feels like the writers are just slapping flaws on to her without any thought if they all "fit". @Elbow mentioned that someone as screwed up as Dex would likely not have custody of Ansel (who would need to be in a more stable environment). Dex reminds me a lot of Charleston Tucker, Katherine Heigl's character on State of Affairs, who was drawn up almost the same way- Tucker too had a drinking problem, a commitment problem, trust issues, PTSD...and on and on. Not sure if she had a gambling problem too but it wouldn't surprise me if she did. Just like in State of Affairs, it feels like the writer felt we wouldn't sympathize with Dex unless we knew "without a doubt" that she's a "screwup". Mileage will vary but Dex doesn't feel "organic" to me. ...and I don't think of this in a gendered concept. I've had plenty to say about how bad Criminal Minds has been in its later seasons at trying to sympathize its "flawed" criminals (many of whom are men) not to mention all the crap the later seasons have done to poor Spencer Reid. I just don't think Dex is believably flawed as a character, period. It's getting better but I think the writers still have some sorting out here to do.
  3. OK, so I haven't exactly been keeping up with this show...and I'm not sure if it's done enough for me to call this "appointment television". ...but I think Stumptown just may have found its winning formula. Let's be honest- there's still a lot this show needs to sort out, chief among them being Dex's 500 different flaws. I don't really think the show has struck the right balance in terms of displaying Dex's competence despite her many personal issues and struggles, as there are still times when I roll my eyes and think the show lays it on a little too thick about how miserable Dex is. Plus this episode had quite the pacing issues- right at the end, after they caught the bomber, Sue Lynn decides she actually has a heart and wants him to be forgiven? With only a line of dialogue to establish that? OK then... ...and...well, that's quite the love triangle (quadrangle?) to untangle. ...but... Colbie Smulders makes it all work and gives Dex- and this show- a humanity it badly needs. This show is built upon the quirky and the weird amped up to 12, and it takes a grounded performance to make sure that stuff doesn't come across as silly. Well, Smulders grounds it as best as anyone could, and focusing on her strengths and letting her run with the material was the show's best decision. Stumptown is built around its star, and letting its star shine is what it needs to do in order to have continued success.
  4. "What I would give for five minutes with Vargas in a back alley." "I only need four." That was great and so was Deacon's heartfelt speech about Luca and the reality of life- "once you hit 35, it's hard to bounce back". I'm 37, so I know all about that. (By the way, Luca wasn't in this episode...but the actor who plays him tweeted a few days ago that he's back filming so Luca will eventually be back on the show) (Piper Lynch also wasn't in this episode...wonder what happened to her. Not that I miss her, really) Other than that...well, it's your basic S.W.A.T. episode. There was a bit of a twist with some new gadgets- and a father taking things into his own hands- but other than that, it was just a rudimentary walk in the S.W.A.T. park. For this go around, it was an episode about saving the damsel in distress...while saving many other damsels in distress. They bang on a few doors, things blow up, loved ones cry and plead for the team to find their daughter, the team says "we can't make any guarantees" only to find a way to actually make that guarantee but not before finding the Big Bad at the last minute and getting into a giant gun battle. Rinse...repeat. I mean, the show tries to mix it up a little, but the formula is still the same- open with a target and watch as the team almost literally races to find that target, with things getting blown up and the action moving quickly to feign a sense of urgency. I'd congratulate the writers for finding their groove, but the problem is this groove got old pretty quickly. Mindless action is great for a few hours or the first season or when the series needs a "breather"...but the show has been mindless and aimless too much this season. It's like someone in the writers' room thought, "this show needs to get back to the basics" when I'd argue that no, it doesn't. What it does need is a larger narrative, something to spice up the show to give the episodes more meaning...and I'm not talking about Hondo's dad or Piper Lynch or the throuple. No...I'm talking about doing something "outside of the box", like last season's trip to Mexico or having a more serialized story where the team needs half a season to catch the Big Bad (like the Korean drug lord story, only longer). I think we're past the point where we can simply rely on things blowing up. In Seasons 1 and 2, you don't stray too far from the formula. By Season 3, it's time to give that formula a shakeup. This show needs it badly.
  5. Don't know what happened, but there is good news:
  6. Still on a Friday show. Not exactly what you would consider to be a high profile gig.
  7. Right...I should have double-checked it...so long since I saw it. Saw on Wiki that it ran for 22 episodes, which is a standard broadcast season. I'll agree it was still way too short.
  8. Surprised the thread has made it this far and no one has mentioned Jerry O'Connell. How many shows has he been on that went south right after he shows up? Dylan McDermott, post The Practice, seems to do this too. I'll also add- grudgingly- Chi McBride. I love him as an actor, but, for some reason whenever he gets a prominent role it just never works out for him. Boston Public had one, maybe one and a half good seasons before it went off the rails. Pushing Daises lasted one season, and Killer Instinct and Golden Boy (which I liked) didn't even get a whole season. He may be on Hawaii 5-0 now but he's not a major character there...plus 5-0 airs on Fridays, so it's not exactly a hit. Which is a shame, as I think he should be a bigger star than he is.
  9. I'm just going to start this by saying, "something felt off". I don't know what it was...I mean, the ingredients were there for a good episode. The pacing was fine, the characters all hit the right beats and the story choices were all bang-on (except the part about not breaching the house with a baby inside...I'm sure they still could have done it). Even the characters and the acting were pretty good. I mean, this should be a stellar episode. ...but it's not. I guess this is the part where the series has hit a funk and things start to get a little tired. The case itself? Little more than the standard "main character as a hostage" episode that has no meaning because we know Robert Hicks is making it out alive since it's not the season-ender. Hondo and his love life? Been there, done that. So Nichelle is playing "hard to get"...c'mon, this is Hollywood...when has there ever been any mystery surrounding the "getting" part? It also feels like a retread of Nia Wells, a storyline done much better because Nikivia Dionne was much better. I miss her. What about Chris' struggles? Lina Esco does forlorn very well, I'll admit...but it feels like it's time for something new. If she's not pining for her lost dog, she's pining for Street or pining for Kira or another woman or man she'll never have...it's overkill at this stage. She needs a new story...or a happy relationship at this point. Even if her and Street are endgame...we should at least see her happy for once. ...and Papa Harrelson? There really feels like only two directions for his story to go- he's terminal so his kids will have to come to grips with all the pain he's caused them against the realization that he's their dying father...or, his cancer is not terminal so he'll have all the time to redeem himself. Which probably should have been his story all along...no need to throw in a health scare. If there was a silver lining...no Piper Lynch to drag down the episode with her blandness. Which makes me miss Stephanie Sigman even more...talk about your wasted talents. This show really misses the edge and the intensity she brings every scene. Maybe that's what's missing...someone that can really bring the fire (and I don't mean the literal one in this episode). S.W.A.T. badly needs a spark- but where is it going to come from?
  10. There's a difference between putting up a front at Comic Con and slogging through the long days actors have to slog through. At the very least I'm sure Seth talked to both Scott and Adrianne to make sure they could still work together. If they were still upset with each other, things on set become tricky. Yes, I'd expect them to stay professional but they are also humans- they can't be perfect every single time they see each other, which, as cast regulars, it would be a lot. I'd also imagine one or both wanted time off to deal with the divorce...no matter how you slice it, that's not something you bounce back from overnight.
  11. It's a common Hollywood tactic- make the one person the smartest in the room by making everyone else dumb. It's infuriating, to say the least, since many times you wonder how the other characters managed to get their jobs in the first place. So I agree that CM is great for eschewing this tactic. Elementary, in its prime, was also great in this regard. For CM, I think the Bernero and Davis years were good in this regard, especially Bernero at his height because he understood best that stories have multiple different angles and he knew how to juggle them all. Erica Messer...I find she's hit or miss in this regard. While I don't believe any of her episodes have ever featured the cops being shown to be actually inadequate, many times I've seen episodes where I wondered why the local police couldn't solve the crimes themselves. I also think the locals are less active in the stories than they were before- as someone else (I forget who) said on these boards, they're pretty much reduced to "providing coffee and doughnuts for the BAU" and little else. Sometimes, if a cop gets a "personal" story, they will be a participant (like in "Submerged") but it's rare under Messer's tutelage.
  12. Whoops. I knew I misspelled it...I should have double-checked it instead of relying on my memory. Anyhow...I know mileage will vary but I didn't see any sparks between Savannah and Derek Morgan on Criminal Minds...but Shemar Moore must have felt differently and looks like he guessed right. The only issues I have is that the episode seemed to have two different names for the character (though that could just be on Moore) and that Aytes' character seemed to channel Nia Wells a bit too much...but, Nia was a great character and I guess if we can't have Wells back, Aytes' character might be a good substitute.
  13. Sometimes I wonder if I'm watching S.W.A.T. or Days of Our Lives With Machine Guns. Tonight sure felt like the latter...wow, was this episode ever soapy. Produced some great moments- like Street with Papa Hicks, Hondo and his new flame and Chris and Kira, with Kira getting cold feet- but it was a lot of emotional drama for one episode. I mean, I don't watch S.W.A.T. for melodramatic overactors who have way more drama in their lives than anyone else could reasonably have- I came here to watch things blow up! (OK...let me backtrack a bit...I'm not against character drama because S.W.A.T. usually does it well...tonight it just laid the intensity on a little too thick) Anyway, at least we got a well-paced, action-packed episode where things actually blew up, even if the criminals were a tad generic. Unlike last week, the writer kept it simple, not doing too much with the case which allowed for a nice progression to the story. ...and I will give the show credit for having a plausible reason for Hondo and his new girlfriend meet up (Isha? Nichelle? I couldn't catch her name). I was also surprised at just how much energy and spunk Rochelle Yates has- I guess she has more free reign than on Criminal Minds, where she was a tad flat. I'm still not yet convinced that Nichelle is better than Nia Wells, but Yates and Shemar Moore did display some chemistry together, so maybe there is hope for this pair too.
  14. There comes a point in every series where you wonder, "has it reached the best it possibly can?" I guess you could call it the "shark jumping moment", but I tend to think of "shark jumping moments" as a moment where you just know the show is irreparably damaged and there truly is no way back. Basically, the point where your show goes from simply being bad relative to the standard of quality the show set for itself, to bad television, period. SWAT, simply put, isn't there yet- the show is still very watchable, but it hasn't been as good as it could be. Episodes like this, they're just "bad SWAT" as opposed to being "bad TV". I could really dig into the nuts and bolts about what went wrong with the episode- chiefly, the pacing was way off- but I'm just going to focus on one thing, which makes or breaks every TV show: the characters. Simply put, the characters felt very flat tonight to the point where you hardly cared about their struggles. First, the case- the pieces were there for an interesting episode, this being SWAT's take on Malala Yousafzai, mixed in with other Muslim activists (such as Arabian-Canadian Raif Badawi)...but the show was so bent on having all these twists and turns that they hardly developed Amina and her story at all. This should have been either a straight-up kidnapping or a staged kidnapping...shoehorning both in there made both stories feel rushed and ultimately meaningless. I also found it pretty laughable that the episode went to great pains to never mention the name of her country...c'mon guys, at least make one up. Or just not worry about the backlash at all- this show wasn't afraid to throw Italians, Koreans, Latinos, Israelis, Turks, Jamaicans, etc. under the bus, and I don't think it's a secret that places like Iran and Saudi Arabia commit many civil rights abuses. Besides, I highly doubt this show is even airing in many places in the Middle East...at least not in Iran. So, as they say in Spanish, have some cojones, show. Then there's Hondo and his issues. They're really, really, really trying to redeem Hondo Sr. and sell this story about how he regrets his past and send the message that his kids should bury the hatchet because he's daddy and he's dying...but, I just can't get into it. The show went from clearly establishing that the younger Harrelsons hate their father and don't want to see him to having them all do a 180 where they all suddenly care that he's dying. ...and why? Because Hondo Junior can say some magic words and that's enough? This should have been at least a slow burn, playing out for the whole season, where Hondo Junior really has to work to get his family back on Senior's side. Plus, they really need to do more to show Senior's remorse rather than have him mouth a few platitudes and words of regret. As the elder Harrelson sister said, he's inflicted 30 years of pain. You don't get rid of that with an "I'm sorry". I get that perhaps they want to play the "Daddy's going to die" card for February sweeps or something, but I think that could have been a better dropped bombshell at the end of the season. Or, start the season with Daddy being terminal, giving his remorse and the kids' guilt that much more urgency. Making it uncertain that he's dying takes the weight out of much of the urgency on the part of the kids' side of things and the story's drama in general. The two bright spots were Luca being really excited about his food truck (the lengths he went, getting a priest to do an exorcism...wow) and Street having a nice moment with Molly. We'll see how it goes when Hicks gets back from his sabbatical.
  15. For those who know Derek Morgan very well, SWAT has hired a familiar face: https://tvline.com/2019/11/05/swat-season-3-rochelle-aytes-cast/ I'm not sure what to make of this. I'm guessing Shemar Moore really liked working with Rochelle Aytes so he wants to bring her back (he's done this with a few former Criminal Minds alums, like Patrick St. Esprit and Meredith Monroe), but, though I liked Savannah on CM, I wasn't too particularly sold on her romantic chemistry with Morgan. Maybe this time will be different because we will likely get more than just the "fluff scenes" we got on CM, but I still have reservations. Besides, I really think if Hondo should hook up with someone it's Nia Wells (played by Nikiva Dionne), the sharp-witted DA who knew how to keep Hondo on his toes. Those two really worked well together and I could buy them in a relationship. Besides, I think Dionne is extremely talented and deserves a bigger role. We'll see. Aytes makes her SWAT debut on November 13.
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