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MerBearHou

S01.E01: X Marks the Spot

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I was hooked from the first 5 minutes. Didn't even recognize Milo till the last 15 minutes! I like how, so far, the stories and characters somewhat intertwine. I agree that the child actors are doing a good job, and I'm usually a harsh critic of kid-actors. Hope they can sustain the intrigue and good storylines -- if so, this will be on my must-watch list.

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I love scary stuff and was hoping for a good supernatural story. It does seem like other things are going here though, like some top secret spy stuff. I really hope not-I want to see Drill be a demon!

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The child actors are good. My only complaint is that is rather clunky in the writing department. That, hopefully, will improve. If it doesn't, I will still watch for Lily Rabe. I will watch anything with Lily Rabe.  Also, another minor quibble, I don't think they gave her a very good supporting cast.  This show could have been really creepy, spooky....oh, just something it isn't as of yet. Fingers crossed.

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Oooooo, I *like* it!  That probably means it'll be cancelled, gah...

 

I just hope they can sustain it.

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I was kind of bored.  Didn't Spielberg go down this route in 'Super 8' and that kind of sucked too ?  Is Spielberg going to rip off any more ideas from his own films ? Because that scene with the plane in the desert far from where it went missing smacks of 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind'.  If this creature/entity/whatever it is has that kind of power, why does it need to manipulate children to do its bidding ?  If they end up going the religious route and Drill turns out to be the Devil, there's already a show on 'The CW' like that and it has already been canceled.

 

They've implied with the lights and cell phone interference that Drill is some kind of invisible electrical creature that apparently has a great command of the English language (including big words that children don't normally use) that can't open doors on its own (it needs the door to already be open in order to force its way through, so it can manipulate physical matter on a limited level).  It's kind of sad that a super powerful alien entity that can move a fighter jet across the planet doesn't even have the basic ability of a Raptor to turn door handles.

 

There's no way that in the minutes that Harper was missing from the house (in the time it took her mother to make a sandwich) she could have made it out to that treehouse and loosened/cut those boards (the incredibly thin floorboards -- who built this thing ?).  A 6 year-old who has probably never handled tools before in her life even with guidance couldn't do that, let alone so quickly.  As soon as the mother stepped on the boards and found them so flimsy, why did she keep standing on them ?  Was she unaware she was in a treehouse far above the ground ?  Does she do everything her child says in order to keep Harper from hating her ? Did Harper also remove the supports from under the floor -- because they appeared to be about at least 4 feet apart in both dimensions in order for her mother to easily fall through (which is just bad construction) ?

 

When Claire was talking to the woman at the psych hospital, the mother basically said that her son showed up where she worked and blew up her office, but not before saying he did something bad ?  How would the kid have gotten into an office unnoticed ?  Then again Drill is probably omnipotent and knows all the back doors and secret places and can guide these kids like Morpheus tried to guide Neo out of his office in the first Matrix movie.  Which again begs the question, if Drill has that kind of power, why does he need children to do his bidding ?

 

ETA:

WHO in the HELL names their little girl MINX?

 

Did Minx's mom not bother to look up what the definition of 'minx' was before naming her ?  Because I'm pretty sure you won't find 'minx' in the big book of baby names.

Edited by ottoDbusdriver
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I liked it...a lot.

The kids had the right amount of cute/creepy going on. Whoever hired them did a good job. Plus the concept of kids playing "a game" with their imaginary friend that turns deadly is intriguing.

The irony is its the adults who are stupid and boring (except for Lily Rabe.). Hey grown ups man up you are going to lose the game.

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Last night while watching it, I kept thinking, "What in holy hell is this???"  Then I read this forum.  Aliens?  Gah!  Oh well, it held my interest, and summer TV viewing is sparse (although I do like "Aquarius" and can't wait for "Hannibal").  I'll hang in for a while.

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Ooh, Lily Rabe. I'm in!

 

 

I love anything Lily Rabe is in 

 

I will watch anything with Lily Rabe.  

Me too. Count me in for the Lily Rabe (though Stevie Nicks is on my head soundtrack as soon as she's on screen).

 

Are we going to have an ep thread for this one? If so, I'll move this there when it's available:

 

The pilot was good enough for me to record the series. Atmosphere and pacing were better than I'd hoped, especially since I was really disappointed in the pilot for the other spooky summer short run, Wayward Pines. Why does a Network (big four, non-cable) put a show with a big pedigree and a decent to good pilot on in the summer? :::shrugs:::: Anyway,  I'm trying to refrain from high expectations.

 

I could have done without the six degrees. Though it was clearly not the case, I was hoping against hope that Agent Lily was smooching with Director Alan Ruck. Take that Agent judge-y Mc Judges Alot! Lily's sharing intimacy with the boss!

 

Speaking of Judge-y Mc Judges Alot- they need to find something for him to do immediately. Or kill him off. 

 

I'm of two minds about the Milo V. reveal- kinda glad they didn't drag it out for three episodes but hope that he gets in on the reveal soon or else they should have delayed the reveal for the other characters. 

 

I guess I really don't care what the entity is? Honestly, the entity's actions seem awfully vendetta-ish therefore human, not alien. There's some kind of targeting happening. If these actions are only to get the attention of The President or maybe a Presidential candidate (assuming that's Minx's (?!?!?!?!?!?)'s target as per her drawing and Harper's drawing)- I don't think anything with the knowledge the Entity has would believe that killing off as many parental units as possible would have the desired "Hi, come talk to me!" effect. If this is a vendetta- as every action we've seen from it is malicious- then it is awfully human to twist the kidlets to get to the parents. And- except for bomber boy- it doesn't even seem like it's the targeted parents but rather the spouses that are in the cross hairs. Add an extra helping of "You hurt me, I'm gonna hurt you more."

 

Not to mention the ugliness of healing Agent Lily's son in order to exploit him. Blech.

 

AND- not that this would EVER be the resolution, but it could be cool if the energy involved in Milo's crash actually took on part of his consciouness- his id maybe? and the Entity had become or embraced a base human need for revenge. Or something. Much better than Aliens or other dimensional beings want to kill someone who is or might be the President.

 

On that note, I hope this whole run does not involve a primary Save. The. President! plot. 

 

What else? Nice to see Barry Sloane but it looks like his character's an egotistical ineffective moron here too. 

 

Overall, happier with it than I thought I'd be.

 

And I thought Super8 was AWESOME!!!! But that might say more about the generation to which I'm a part rather than the exceptional nature of the film.

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Not a bad pilot. It did fairly well at setting up all the various plots for the season, decent at introducing the characters, but less well at actually developing them. No one except the lead woman and the first girl's mother (sorry, it takes me awhile to learn names) had any sort of character. And I guess a few of the kids. Everyone else was just there. It was only the pilot, so that's forgivable.

 

The plot is looking to be a sort of mashup between political thriller and sci-fi thriller. I guess that's okay, but it's so hard to get politics right that I hope it leans more toward the sci-fi side of things. 

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The plot is looking to be a sort of mashup between political thriller and sci-fi thriller.

 

'24' meets 'Close Encounters' ?

 

Why would an alien want to kill the president ?  It's not like there aren't lots of people lined up to replace him in case that happens.  Jumping to the conclusion that the crappy drawing was the same one as the picture of the President in that magazine was a hell of a stretch.

 

How did Milo Ventiglia's character (Sean) know to write down the names of the people that Drill had contacted ? Jackson, Harper and Minx's names were on the list before he passed out and the paper was either blown away or taken away by Drill ?  In addition there were four other names higher up on the list -- Baba, Bahira Safar, Jean Luc Fournier and Audrei Vodolayev.  Let alone how did Drew get into the US from Africa ?

 

ETA:  And the President's name is Chip Winters -- seriously ?

Edited by ottoDbusdriver
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So, another series thrown on the summer trash heap. The sci-fi elements had promise, but you can just tell that everything is just going to be a hot mess of illogical consequences and nonsensical shenanigans. 

In addition to the nonsense mentioned above, we also had these: 

 

  • "Yes, you've been absent from work for three months -- but we need you  back now -- like, right now -- like in ten minutes, now." 
  • A five(?) year old who apparently cannot tell that Mommy has been hurt --- or even cares where Mommy is afterwards.
  • A five(?) year old who apparently can use tools she can barely lift.
  • The FBI co-worker whose  job is to ignore all  evidence that is being pointed to with neon signs.
  • The female FBI agent is a psychologist -- but she "cannot deal" with her missing husband's plane being found? Really? 

 

It the right hands, the premise could be interesting. But, alas, it is not to be .. 

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Edited by shrewd.buddha
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I liked it; it could be a fun summer show.

 

The think I liked about the way they used the kids was that they attempted and were pretty successful at using lighting and camera angles to add some of the nuances that the kids couldn't achieve because they're just too young.

 

So, is this going to be a good show with a mediocre pilot or a bad show with a mediocre pilot?  We'll see.

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I liked it, overall.  I could've done without Agent Lily Rabe having had an affair with the dude working on the magic alien rock in the desert and having her husband be the now tattooed missing pilot in the hospital.  That said, the premise really grabbed me.  There's something blood-chillingly involving about something using little kids (who can't fully appreciate their actions on a moral level) to do evil stuff.  I liked that the kids came off as kids and not "Children of the Damned" or something.  I agree that Drill's targeting of primary caregivers seems kind of vicious and not especially useful on a practical level.

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[i could've done without Agent Lily Rabe having had an affair with the dude working on the magic alien rock in the desert and having her husband be the now tattooed missing pilot in the hospital.

 

That seems a little TOO convenient.  Seriously, what are the odds ?

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I loved Super 8, and it seemed like the rest of the audience did, too, the night I saw it. 

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I was hoping that this was not a modern "V."

It was creepy and I flove me some creepy.

And agree with above, who names their kid "MINX?" Seriously?  

I was a little confused about the John Doe dude in the hospital, but maybe I should pay more attention.

Edited by ari333

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I've just seen it and it was ok I guess. You're standard creepy kids tropes and bits of political thriller. My biggest WTF was Autumn Reeser playing a full on Mom role. Gah, it's not been *that* long since the end of The OC.

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I was hoping that this was not a modern "V."

It was creepy and I flove me some creepy.

And agree with above, who names their kid "MINX?" Seriously?

I was a little confused about the John Doe dude in the hospital, but maybe I should pay more attention.

I forgot about the name MINX, gah!! What idiot writers came up with that one? By comparison it makes the discussion of using the name Emma in the sixties drama Aquarius laughable.

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FBI child specialist Claire Bennigan investigates when kids are persuaded to play dangerous games

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I forgot about the name MINX, gah!! What idiot writers came up with that one? By comparison it makes the discussion of using the name Emma in the sixties drama Aquarius laughable.

 

Frank Zappa named his four children Ahmet, Diva, Dweezil and Moon Unit.  People name their children weird things sometimes.  I've pretty much decided to drop Wayward Pines in favor of this if for no other reason than this show at least has its internal logic down fairly solidly: A mysterious, malevolent force called "Drill" manipulates the children of powerful people into committing acts of sabotage, spying and (attempted) murder.  That's a good, solid hook for at least a season's worth of entertainment.  And if they have Lily Rabe running with her child out of a collapsing building to the tune of Stevie Nicks' "Landslide" I will be a happy person.

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This has potential.  I don't usually like stories with creepy kids but the first episode left me wanting to watch more.  I hope it winds up going more traditional sci-fi than demon driven though.

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Creepy kids are the best. Plus creepy kids who murder their parents because some unknown entity tells them it is just a game. Whoever hired these kids did a great job.

Shows not perfect it has some major flaws and tonal issues. Ironically if the adult actor isn't Lily Rabe I don't care about them. That could be a problem.

Still unless the show bottoms out in episode 2 I am in for at least the season. Why the hell not?

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Little kids are inherently creepy, especially little blond girls, so cheers to the show for exploiting that natural resource. I'm a bit disappointed that there isn't much mystery about what the whispering thing is.

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Well my comments were lost because the other thread locked just as I posted - which pissed me off.  So I may or may not be back with my comments.

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So far so good. I have bailed on so many similarish shows, couldn't get through that one with Jason Isaacs (way too "epic") or the one on HBO, Leftovers I think, and the Returned. All interesting ideas but boring. This one held my attention. It doesn't hurt that I adore Lily Rabe, I find the kids cute and believable, and I appreciate that they didn't drag out who John Doe was. They actually hinted at it all through the ep so I was pleased we got a reveal so soon and they didn't keep "teasing" us with it.

 

My only complaint with the ep was having a hard time seeing what that tree like thing was that had the airplane in it. I may end up complaining about just how intertwined they all are, but I'm waiting to see if that goes anywhere, like if there's a reason these kids are being chosen. For now I am assuming that all the parents were working on some similar project, that's why they are connected and why they are targeted. I could be proven wrong but I do have hope at the moment that I will stick around long enough to find out.

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I liked it.  The kids were creepier than I thought they would be. 

 

The only thing I didn't like was the soap opera relationship stuff.  The Strain did the same thing and It just got in the way of a good show.

 

Does every show have to have a couple at odds?

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I liked this a lot, except...well, I always feel bad talking smack about child actors, but Harper wasn't doing it for me. Some of it was the dialogue and some was her delivery ("My mooooommmmy is alwaaaays on the phoooone"). Minx is properly creepy, though.

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I gave this a shot because of Lily Rabe and Milo Ventimiglia but I ended up enjoying the pilot. I will give it a few more episodes.

I was surprised the mom survived the fall. I wondered if Drill would be able to give her son his hearing back and it happened faster then I thought it would.

I did not see Milo being the husband until the phone call started and she was waiting for the picture to load. Then it hit me. I thought his John Doe was like some alien nut or something lol.

Cool to see Dee Wallace pop up. Been a fan since The Howling and E.T.

They did a good gob with the kids which is very important since they are just as important to the show as the adults. I wonder if Drill is picking these kids because of the parents work. The mother of the first boy who died did not seem to be connected to things as far as I could tell.

Edited by ShadowHunter
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The first and second half felt like two different shows. I am a huge fan of horror films, so I enjoyed the first half more with the creepy kids. The second half was pretty boring for me. I thought the kids were pretty good - child actors usually annoy me, but they did well here.

 

I see Milo Ventimiglia still has the power to annoy me with just his voice. Still, I'm in - I am a sucker for anything creepy.

 

The twist ending was great but Milo looks too young to play a dad. I think it's because I still think of him as Jess.

Edited by EarlGreyTea
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Just as I was watching the part where the boy goes into the tunnel at the playground my raccoon loudly sneeze/coughed at the back window, scaring the everlovin' jebeezus out of me.  That's when I realized this was one creepy little show.  :-)

 

I was actually a little disappointed to see the alien angle, but since they scare me less than other supernatural stuff, I will continue to watch.

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The twist ending was great but Milo looks too young to play a dad. I think it's because I still think of him as Jess.

 

 

Milo is almost 38 years old.

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Milo is almost 38 years old.

 

I know. But he still looks so young to me. Lily Rabe looks older than him (to me ) and she's five years younger. I think it's just my inability to separate him from Jess.  Glad to see him getting work, though, he's really dropped off the face of the earth after Heroes.

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I posted a link to Merriam Webster definitions of 'minx' but it got locked.  Some things that are equal to minx:

trollop

slut

wanton

whore

etc

etc

I mean, really.

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I wasn't sure what to think of it from the commercials. I thought I'd check it out though for Milo Ventimiglia at least. I rather liked it!

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Hey, it motivated me to google 'petrified lightning' so there's that. The kids were impressive and it was nice to see Lily Rabe away from American Horror Story.

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Glad to see him getting work, though, he's really dropped off the face of the earth after Heroes.

 

He has been very busy since Heroes. You should check out his IMDB page. More movies than television, though, mostly independent films. 

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If Henry had only lost his hearing 2 years earlier than why wasn't he speaking?

Milo also has his own production company which has kept him busy since 'Heroes' as well.

Edited by Dot Com
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I thought it was obvious the kids were being chosen based on their parents' work.

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I wonder if Drill is picking these kids because of the parents work. The mother of the first boy who died did not seem to be connected to things as far as I could tell.

 

And ABay's post above:

 

All the families, so far, have ties to the military industrial/ political complex. Bomb boy blew up his mother's place of employment- a defense (weapons?) contractor. Harper's dad is chairman(?) of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Minx's dad Wes is a "special projects" investigator/coordinator. Probably the odd ball is Agent Lily's son Henry- going to assume that Drill's got intel Agent Lily is on his ass and is preparing to get her out of the picture through manipulating Henry. I'm concluding that Drill's involvement with Henry is because of Agent Lily and not because of Pilot Bennigan (Milo) because of timing; I would think that Drill would have acted earlier with Henry- within the three month window between crash/MIA and "present"- if his purpose was related to Milo.

 

For me, the biggest problem with the villain characterization so far is that Drill is- seemingly- nigh on omniscient. I guess this could be hand waived with a Google algorithm and unlimited internet access, but it still seems like a stretch and kind of diminishes Drill's menace- for me anyway. But it's early- Drill may have pretty severe limitations that will be revealed next week!

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My only complaint with the ep was having a hard time seeing what that tree like thing was that had the airplane in it.

 

I had the same issue. If the Sahara soldiers had to show Wes this thing why not wait until daylight? Especially since all the lights had just gone out? I couldn't make heads nor tails of it and I've got a fairly big HDTV.

 

I'm also finding all the inter-connections between the characters a might contrived, but at this point I guess there's a chance that there's a logical reason for that. But the timing of Claire a.) learning her husband might still be alive and b.) seeing the suspect's picture pop up on her screen was really hokey.

 

So far I'm on the fence. Like someone else posted, summer TV is slim pickin's, so I'm not being overly choosy at the moment. 

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I liked this a lot... but who names a child Minx? Is it a nickname or is this family planning on naming their future child Vixen? 

Everyone keeps mentioning this, but I was taken aback by Drill.  Drill?!?  What kind of alien names their kid that?

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^^ Love this!!!  What kind of alien names their kid Drill -- funny!

 

Wasn't familiar with Lily Rabe but looked her up after becoming intrigued by everyone's raves about her.  My goodness, she has quite the pedigree.

 

I'm stunned that the first mom didn't die from the treehouse fall. Will be interesting to see how that plays out.

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