May 31, 2013


Final installment: SCANDAL season two & THE VAMPIRE DIARIES season four

SCANDAL season 2 finale
When it comes to pushing the envelope with regard to how gray characters can be made, SCANDAL overdoes it. Even with gray characters, there has to be empathy, which is an integral part of telling any story. In SCANDAL, I don’t care for any of the characters. On the contrary, I want Olivia, Mellie, Cyrus, Hollis and Fitz to get caught for rigging the election, I want Mellie to actually have some integrity and make good on all the threats she made to Fitz, I want Fitz to grow a pair and stand by the woman he loves or cut her out of his life for good, and I seriously want Cyrus to go to hell. I understand that politics is a dirty game and people do horrible things to get ahead, but the way that these characters act as though that the wrongs that they’ve done is for the better good of the country, or whatever, is infuriating. I like gray characters, but I like them to be conflicted, struggling with their conscience, or at least show some sign that they aren’t pure evil deep down. The season two finale started on a promising note, with Fitz standing up for Olivia and telling Mellie off with a plan, which would make for a really interesting pushing-of-the-envelope storyline, ended right where things had begun. Defiance was covered up. Fitz went back to Mellie with his tail between his legs. Olivia decided to stick with her team (am I the only one that still thinks that calling themselves ‘gladiators’ is ridiculous?). What else I found ridiculous was Cyrus’ speech to Olivia about candy and bubbles and Romeo and Juliet and made-for-each-other. It was terrible, but not worse than Cyrus himself. He’s probably the worst of them all, and when he had the heart attack or whatever, I really wanted him to die. Even David Rosen, who I thought was the only one left with some integrity, when it was uncovered that he was shacking up with Pope & Associates for ulterior motives, turned out to be the biggest opportunist of all. And then there was Jake, who was locked away by Rowan for disobeying orders. And then Rowan turned out to be Olivia’s dad. That was a surprise, but not necessarily a good or an exciting one. But the questions that I do have are: What were Rowan’s true intentions behind killing the Fitz-Olivia relationship? (It was definitely not simply to protect his daughter. Also because Roman seems like the most likely person to have leaked to the press that Olivia was the president’s mistress.) If it wasn’t Rowan, who was it? And what was Rowan’s whole mission with Jake actually about anyway? What will Governor Reston’s next plan of action against Fitz be? How will David Rosen’s character be explored further, now that he’s the US Attorney? One thing is for sure, if the show is actually never going back to its original premise—that of being a crisis-management procedural—the writers really need to move on from a lot of things that they unraveled this season. And they need to put an end to the Olivia-Fitz back-and-forth. That has becoming very tiring and annoying. 

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES season 4 finale
In true TVD fashion, the season four finale had a lot of stuff happening throughout, and all in fast-paced storytelling. From the ghosts making a comeback to Bonnie’s death, from Damon fighting with his life to the whole passing-the-parcel game they were all playing with the cure, from graduation to final goodbyes, from Elena choosing the one that she loved to Klaus letting Caroline have the one that she loved… What I liked was that Elena actually chose Damon, even after the sire bond was broken, because them coming together earlier was kind of ruined because of the sire bond factor. So now we can truly appreciate them being together, which we’d been waiting for (but I doubt it’ll be as exciting now). I liked that Rebekah and Matt kind of got together. They have a good connection and even though I admired Matt for standing by certain principles and not giving in to her, she’s pretty awesome, and I think someone like Matt will make her even better. On the other hand, Klaus coming through for Caroline and letting her have Tyler was sweet, especially when he tells her that Tyler was her first love, and he intended to be her last. Meanwhile, Alaric, Jeremy and Elena had some quality time together as a family, saying their final goodbyes. Little did they know that Jeremy would live, while Bonnie would die! I don’t know how they’re going to stick with that development. I mean the show needs at least one witch, right? And Bonnie was the only one; even though I don’t really care about her being around, as a character. And that brings me to the Silas part of it all. Silas is now Stefan, while Stefan is buried alive. That makes things a little exciting or the season five premiere. However, how they’ll manage to make Silas a more exciting adversary in the longer run is yet to be seen, especially with Klaus (and Elijah) off in New Orleans for THE ORIGINALS. Now that Silas has assumed Stefan’s identity, was his whole game plan to kill his shadow self? And what’s his plan of action now? If he still wanted the cure, like he said he did, to be reunited with his eternal love (although I doubt it), he’s going to be pretty pissed off that Elena made Katherine take it. Speaking of, the idea of Katherine as human is probably the most exciting development in the season finale for me. Since they all went on that mission on the island to find the cure, I was wondering who would take it, and the way it eventually happened, so swiftly, took me by surprise. However, it made a lot of ironic sense for Katherine to be the one who was forced to take it, considering that her motive in this whole game was to become immortal. In a way, Elena got the ultimate revenge and now, Katherine will have a serious bone to pick with her. But what will she do, now that she’s human? A lot is going to change next season, with the primary focus completely off the originals, and no more pre-established mission, with Silas as Stefan and his next step a question mark… I’m not sure how excited I am about season five, but I’m intrigued. 

May 28, 2013


NASHVILLE season one & REVENGE season two

NASHVILLE season 1 finale
This show started out as just one of those soapy dramas that I would enjoy as a guilty pleasure (besides the great music, of course, me being a country music fan), but by the end of the first season, I’ll say that I like it for a lot more than just that. The characterizations are pretty impressive. There are layers to almost every character that’s important in the show and the writers have played with those strengths to give us stories of relationships with the kind of depth that leaves us wanting more. One such relationship was the very complex one between Juliette and her mother Jolene. I was really impressed by how far Jolene had come, before she decided to kill one and self to protect her daughter. It was admirable, but as a viewer, I feel like I’ve been robbed of being able to continue watching the relationship that was filled with restraint and suppression of emotions that were overshadowed by anger and pain from the past. That being said, I applaud Hayden Panettiere for her fantastic performance towards the ending of the season, from dealing with Dante’s blackmail, to her anger and drunkenness, to her grief and pain on losing her mother, the only person who genuinely cared for her. It was probably the most compelling part of the season finale for me, and I’m glad that Panettiere did justice to it. On the other hand was Gunnar’s proposal to Scarlett, which was understandable and sweet, but I’m not that interested in those two. I am interested in Will, and I think that he’s a character that has potential. I hope we see more of him in season two as he weaves his way into the world of country music. I can see Scarlett, Gunnar and Will becoming real BFFs. Another very interesting character is Avery, and I think he was under-explored through season one. But that’s probably good, ’cause it’s left me wanting more of him in season two, especially after seeing his chemistry with Juliette, who is definitely my favorite character. Rayna and Deacon—I know they’re the ‘it’ couple and all, and while their relationship is complex, their characters are quite one-dimensional and that makes their relationship rather uninteresting for me. And that brings me to the cliffhanger. A protagonist in a car crash, stupid, no-brainer cliffhanger, and completely unjustified, based on the development of the storylines up until then. But then, maybe they’ll get injured, maybe Deacon won’t be able to play guitar again. That should be interesting.

REVENGE season 2 finale
Season two of REVENGE was quite a rollercoaster ride, for me. While many thought that season two was a big disappointment after season one, I didn’t think season one was all that great to begin with, so I wasn’t as disappointed. However, I did feel like the writers had lost the plot, moving too far away from the original premise, sensationalizing the mystery of ‘The Initiative’, without even giving us enough to really care that much about it. The season two finale took care of that. I was very glad to finally know exactly what ‘The Initiative’ was. I suppose the idea was to keep us guessing, but that was more annoying than exciting. But again, coming back to the finale, with Conrad’s big revelation to Victoria about his knowledge of the bomb at Grayson Global, and his profitable ventures with ‘The Initiative’ and what it really was, made him out to be the mega-villain, which left me with mixed feelings. I was glad that Victoria wasn’t completely evil, after seeing so many layers in her character that made me want to root for her in a strange way. But I was disappointed that now Emily’s real war is with Conrad and not with Victoria. That leaves me to wonder what Victoria’s role will be in the central scheme of things. I do hope the writers have a good plan for her. The return of Patrick, Victoria’s son suggests that there might be a whole new story arc in that for her. I’m intrigued for sure. Among the other big cliffhangers was Nolan being arrested for orchestrating the ‘cyber-attack’. I suppose that will shift Emily’s priorities from Jack and the Graysons for a while in season three. And then the big one, Emily stopping Jack from assassinating Conrad, to avenge the death of poor Declan, by revealing that she’s Amanda. That is probably the most amazing cliffhanger that they could leave us with. It came at just the right time, there’s a lot at stake, and it can throw the entire show onto a whole new level. Will Jack forgive her for the lies and betrayal? Will he love her again? Will he understand all that she did for her revenge, including her re-engagement with Daniel? Will he join forces with her and Nolan to take down the Graysons? One thing is for sure, the show may have lost focus from its original premise over time, but it sure has stayed true to its name. Now the ‘REVENGE’ is not just Amanda’s/Emily’s against the Graysons, it’s also Nolan’s and Jack’s!



ELEMENTARY season one & GLEE season four

ELEMENTARY season 1 finale
Maybe others did too, but I certainly had a strong feeling that Moriarty would turn out to be Irene Adler herself. Irene turned out to be alive, which is not how it is in the original Sherlock Holmes stories (as far as I know, and I don’t know too much about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original). Secondly, there was more mystery behind the identity of this ‘Moriarty’ character than there was in BBC’s SHERLOCK. They definitely wouldn’t be able to justify the suspense if it had turned out to be someone that we hadn’t seen before or heard of as having been a significant part of Sherlock’s past. And thirdly, if they made Dr Watson a female in this version of Sherlock Holmes, what was stopping them from going a step further and making Sherlock’s nemesis also a female. Having said that, I think it was a great decision, in order to really spin things around, and give us a completely different (and very original) interpretation of the phenomenon that is Sherlock Holmes. Die-hard Sherlock fans might disagree with a passion, but I think that the writers of ELEMENTARY made the whole Moriarty mystery a lot more exciting and unpredictable (almost), than it could’ve been. What I didn’t like was how they trapped Adler/Moriarty in the end. It seemed a little too convenient for them to catch someone who had eyes and ears everywhere and was smarter than Sherlock himself, despite the fact that it made for a good twist when it turned out that Sherlock had faked his overdose. More disappointing than that was the fact that they just ended it in season one itself. Maybe not, because Adler/Moriarty could escape from prison and go back to playing mind games with Sherlock eventually, but this season finale had a sense of finality to it, leaving no loose ends that would leave us guessing. What I’ve loved throughout the season is the evolution of Sherlock and Joan as characters, handled very well by the writers, through all the subtleties and limits in exposition. Their working relationship and camaraderie especially stood out for me in the season finale, and that’s one thing I’m looking forward to seeing a lot more of, even as they go about solving regular homicides of a more procedural drama nature.

GLEE season 4 finale
The season four finale of GLEE didn’t give us anything that was all that exciting, except for the whole Ryder’s-mystery-girl storyline coming to a heartbreaking end. I’ll admit that I didn’t guess that it was Unique, but I wasn’t convinced at all when Marley owned up to being her. I felt Ryder’s pain when he thought that it was this prank that had gone too far, but I actually felt worse for him when it turns out to be Unique and that the whole connection was very real, except that it was with someone that he couldn’t be with. That, I felt, justified his anger towards Unique. And while I think we were supposed to feel bad for Unique, I was more like, ‘Okay, you had your fun, dreamed your dreams; but it’s not like there was any future there, so move on already!’ And liked that this twist was quite consistent with how Ryder has felt about Unique in the past, being a little old-fashioned, but not out of spite, not accepting or understanding Unique’s gender-identity issues. And this whole storyline really made me realize that I’m actually quite happy with the new kids in GLEE. And while the New York and NYADA storylines started out with excitement and the novelty factor, they’re now already tired and I don’t know if I really care what Rachel does any more. On the other hand, I wanted to slap Blaine for being impulsive and stupid in wanting to propose to Kurt, despite the sage advice that Kurt’s had given him earlier. I understand that the writers want to play with storylines involving ultimate commitments like marriage, despite the fact that these kids aren’t even 20 yet, but there’s a limit. They should’ve let Kurt’s dad’s advice to Blaine remain as a lesson for him, and instead, focus on rebuilding Kurt and Blaine’s relationship. Then there was Brittany’s offer from MIT. It’s ridiculous how it happened, but then, I stopped taking this show seriously a long time ago. I will miss Brittany’s ridiculous humor if Heather Morris does leave the show for good though. And finally, Will and Emma got married. I’m glad it finally happened. That’s all I’ll say. And, while my reason for sticking with the show is only that the music and performances are entertaining, I’m still kind of glad that Fox has renewed it for not just one, but two more seasons.

(Coming Up Next: Part III – NASHVILLE and REVENGE)


CASTLE season five & CHICAGO FIRE season one

CASTLE season 5 finale
So I made an observation after watching the CASTLE season finale that BONES and CASTLE had quite similar cliffhangers. Both shows, crime procedurals, have had this building chemistry between their respective protagonist pairs. And in recent seasons, the pairs ended up as couples. And now, here we are, both the shows had proposals in the season finales. One engagement had to be terminated, and the other, well, it’s not an engagement yet. But I like that CASTLE didn’t conclude its season with the big central story of Kate bringing her mother’s killer to justice. I suppose they’re saving that for a later season, having already established that it’s a big powerful politician. It’ll probably require a lot of strategizing on Beckett’s part to bring him down. Meanwhile, there’s this big career opportunity, which is coming in the way of her relationship with Castle. I liked that they built up, towards the end of the season, the whole question of where they were going in the relationship, having completed a year of being together. However, while I understand the need to end in a cliffhanger like they did, I think that even if Beckett moves to DC, they could still manage their relationship. DC is on the east coast. Castle could travel there, and his job doesn’t require him to be at an office or anything. He could write from anywhere. But, it’s quite clear that Beckett will not move to DC, because that would kill the premise of the show. She’s going to stay and continue solving murders with Ryan, Esposito, Lanie, and even Castle, whether or not she’s in a relationship with him. Although, I do hope that they resolve this new-job-offer-and-proposal issue well in season six, so as not to make the job offer simply feel like a season-ending gimmick. Imagine this: Beckett and Castle break up, because she decides to go to DC. And by the end of the season six premiere, the job offer falls through, and she has to stay back in NYPD homicide. But, she doesn’t get back with Castle, because the rejection of the proposal leaves a gaping wound in their relationship. That would give the writers a season or two to explore the dynamic between two exes working together solving crimes. It would give them the opportunity to again play with the emotional and sexual tension between Castle and Beckett, which we saw through the first four seasons, but on a whole new level. I’d like to watch that in season six!

CHICAGO FIRE season 1 finale
This fire department procedural ended its debut season with quite a bang, with all that went down with the smoke and blackout and lockdown and hostage situation and paramedic emergency and everything else with the one big rescue mission that the team undertakes. It was all quite well played out, and made for some good season finale material, but what caught our attention in the end, as we look forward to season two, is the turmoil that people’s lives were left in. Shay didn’t get pregnant and Renée shows up, pregnant with Severide’s baby, making Shay feel even worse, ’cause she was trying to have a baby with Severide. Mills doesn’t make Squad, but heads over for a Chicago PD application. Dawson revealed to Mills, in not so many words, that she does have feelings for Casey, but of course, Casey is a total mess, while dealing with Hallie’s death. It’s not like we should’ve expected Casey and Dawson to get together in the first season itself. I see them as the show’s ‘it’ couple, and they’re going to be on a long rollercoaster ride before they come anywhere close to being happy together. Which brings me back to Hallie...Her death made it clear that her return to Casey’s life was a good means to stop him from getting together with Dawson, as well as a good way to set the ball rolling on the spinoff! I must commend the writers at the good job they’ve done through the season, with subtly interplaying the working of the CPD with the CFD. They gave us a character, Voight, whom we hated, and then brought him back, making him turn over a new leaf, so that we get on board with him as a crucial part of the spinoff. What I liked is that Voight still maintains his relationship with the influential criminals out there, but will now use them for more constructive purposes. On the other hand Antonio Dawson is going to be a prominent part of the spinoff and, as it seems, so will Peter Mills. I think that the close connections between the characters in CHICAGO FIRE and CHICAGO PD, and the fact that they’ll both be set in the same place, offers them a lot of scope for crossovers. However, for the latter to stand on its own, I’m sure they’ll try to avoid crossovers, which will make us question why and how the characters in CHICAGO PD will suddenly get cut off completely from those in CHICAGO FIRE. More than the CHICAGO FIRE cliffhangers, I’m more interested in how the showrunners of the two shows will manages to keep the two shows apart and also keep the audience satisfied.

(Coming Up Next: Part  II – ELEMENTARY and GLEE)

May 20, 2013


GREY’S ANATOMY season nine ended with a storm that changed the lives of almost everyone at Grey + Sloan Memorial Hospital. Here's why it was a good way to end season nine...

Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of the doctors at Grey + Sloan Memorial Hospital becoming patients themselves. From Meredith’s drowning to Izzie’s cancer, from George’s accident to Derek being shot, from Christina’s abortions to Callie’s accident and delivery, almost every doctor has been a patient there, and it’s always fun to see how doctors make the worst patients. But in the season nine finale, they gave us Meredith’s C-section and subsequent complication, through which she herself guided Ross through the procedure, until Bailey took charge. It was indeed one of the most amazing moments on the show, especially since it ended with Bailey rising to the occasion and letting go of her latest baggage, coming to Meredith’s rescue after a gut-wrenching meltdown. On the other hand, there was Christina being guided by Webber through a surgery in the dark. That was quite amazing too, and it was a way for the writers to show us how important Webber still is to the other doctors, still mentoring and inspiring them to be great surgeons, even years after he stepped down from being the chief of surgery. Of course, it was also meant to make us feel even worse about seeing Webber in the basement, unconscious from being electrocuted, just when Bailey felt the need to apologize to him for all the hurtful things she’d said to him earlier. While that was probably the most prominent cliffhanger, the storm pretty much changed everyone else’s lives as well.

While Alex and Jo kind of got their happy ending, there was Christina and Owen finally having the conversation that they’d been avoiding like the elephant in the room, while having sex like horny teenagers these past few months. It may have been a divorce of convenience for Christina and Owen, but the issues they had before the divorce were conveniently forgotten over the season, and I’m glad that they finally confronted them. In a way, Christina showed how much she cared for Owen by letting him go, being admirably pragmatic about it, acknowledging that he would eventually resent her for not having children with him. Is this the end of the road for them? Not at all! Their complicated relationship is surely going to see several more twists and turns before the end, whether they end up together or not. Then there were Callie and Arizona, and how Arizona finally gave in to Lauren’s charms and cheated on her wife. While it was clear that that was going to happen, I was somehow not convinced of the fight that the couple had when Callie figured it out. I mean, I understand that a part of Arizona still resented Callie for cutting off her leg, but I wish they’d shown even hints of that resentment in Arizona, after the initial rough patch, during the rest of the season. Instead, Arizona became positive about using her prosthetic leg; she and Callie even seemed to be in a good place finally. And then as soon as Arizona gets some attention from a beautiful, new surgeon, her resentment resurfaces. I think she just enjoyed being with Lauren and found a way to justify her actions by playing the leg card. I love Arizona and all, but I was disappointed to see her character take this turn. I wish she would take responsibility for her actions, instead of making Callie feel like shit. Will they break up for good? Nope! Shonda loves sending her fictional couples to hell before bringing them back for a happy ending. And that’s what she’s doing with ‘Calzona’ right now. I suspect that they’ll struggle through the tenth season, but will get back together before almost getting divorced, or something.
Let’s look at the Jackson-April-Matthew triangle. Jackson and April are meant to end up together, eventually, but for now, I really would like to see her being happy with Matthew. He’s a great guy and they have a lot in common, and he loves her (remember the hilarious proposal?). She did ask Jackson to give her a reason to not be with Matthew. However, Matthew did see her wild reaction to Jackson risking his life, so regardless of what Jackson does, I think Matthew will be the one to let her go. Speaking of Jackson risking his life, I was almost sure that Shonda had done it again and killed someone in a finale, until he came out of the smoke with that traumatized little girl. 

And then we were left with Webber on the basement floor. I don’t think he’ll die, because it would be stretching it. Shonda does kill off many people, but she wouldn’t kill two major characters in the same season. Besides, Webber has been through a lot, and he’s like a father figure to everyone. He deserves a happy ending with Catherine Avery. And while everyone’s happiness is at stake right now, I was happy to see at least Meredith and Derek happy with their new baby.
      With that, season nine came to an end. I personally thought that it was a good, solid season. They followed through with the repercussions of the plane crash, with the lawsuit and the personal problems that the crash caused for everyone. There was the hospital take-over and name change. Bailey’s wedding, Adele’s death, and so many other things… And finally, even though some would say that ending with a disaster was so typical, I think that while it may have been a means to put everyone’s lives in turmoil, it presented a set of very real challenges before the hospital: casualties, a busy ER in a storm, the blackout, the lack of resources like meds and batteries, emergency surgeries, and professional growth for doctors like Yang and Ross. It was the perfect end to the season and it gives us a lot to look forward to from the tenth season. I’m sure Shonda Rhimes and her team will make it a big season, but after seeing so much happen over the last nine odd years, it’ll be very interesting to see how they make the tenth season big. 

What did you think of the GREY'S ANATOMY season nine finale? Were you expecting a death? Do you think Callie and Arizona's relationship will survive? Do you think Richard Webber is dead? Do share your thoughts on what all we might see in the tenth season...


90210 ended with quite a simple and unexciting series finale that could have been just any other episode of the show!

In comparison with the storm in GREY’S ANATOMY season nine finale, the 90210 series finale disaster episode was rather mild. The only lives at stake were Adrianna’s and Navid’s, and they eventually got out from under the collapsed stage without much of a challenge. What I didn’t understand was why the writers didn’t follow through with what caused the explosion. It was the inflammable or explosive substance that Campbell had planted in Liam’s bag, which Liam forgot at the auditorium when he left with Sydney. If they didn’t want to explore that further, I found it absolutely pointless to have Campbell’s character make an appearance in the penultimate episode. As far as everyone’s personal lives were concerned, the finale was a good way to wind up everyone’s stories, especially Adrianna and Navid getting back together once and for all, and Liam finally proposing to Annie. What didn’t make sense was Silver’s cancer at the end. However, with her confiding in Dixon, I guess it was probably a way of implying that those two would get back together while he’d help her fight the cancer.

Silver really went around the group, didn’t she! She dated Dixon, Navid, Liam, and even Teddy before he came out of the closet. The only guys she didn’t hook up with were people like Raj, Austin and Max. Speaking of Max, I was really hoping to see Naomi get back with him at the end. I wonder why the writers screwed things up for Naomi and Max after bringing them back together. Their relationship died a pathetic death with the post-break-up sex and eventual divorce. The writers could have easily avoided all of that and given one of the most interesting couples of the show a proper end. Instead, they put Naomi with the very weak and uninteresting Jordan. The rest of the storylines leading up to the finale weren’t all that interesting either, from the drama with Naomi and Jordan’s family; to Navid being charged with cheating, despite his efforts to set Campbell and his friends up, and how the writers completely forgot about that in the end. At least Annie ended up with a career as a writer through her ’50 shades of grey’ storyline! All in all, the series finale felt like any regular episode, except for parts like Adrianna and Navid talking about growing old together, and Liam proposing to Annie in a grand, dramatic gesture. The writers really should have set up a stronger central story arc over the last five to seven episodes to make the end feel more final than it did, regardless of whether or not everything would be resolved.

What did you think of the 90210 series finale? Was it up to the mark in your opinion? Did the big proposal scene make it worth your while? Comments welcome!

May 15, 2013


The season eight finale of HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER was supposed to show us the wedding that we’d been waiting to see for almost three years, but it didn’t. What it did show us was ‘the mother’—a face that we’ve been waiting to see for eight years. Here’s how that went down, along with all the questions that I have about the forthcoming ninth and final season of the show…
In the episodes leading up to the HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER season eight finale, almost everything was understandably about Robin and Barney’s big wedding—the wedding planner, the bachelor party, the bonding with in-laws, the ‘something old’ and finally the ‘something new’. I had fun watching these episodes, not because they were excellently written or anything, but because they gave longtime fans of the show, like me, a lot to enjoy. And while that maybe one of the few things that are still awesome about the show, it works perfectly fine for me. The show has reached a point where it doesn’t have to be great; it just has to give me elements of these amazingly developed characters that I have grown to love and enjoy over the last eight years. And while an episode like the ‘bro-mitzvah’ wasn’t ‘ha-ha’ funny throughout, it was funny to see Barney at the receiving end of a scheme put together by the others. Of course, seeing former guest stars like Frances Conroy (as Barney’s mom) and Becki Newton (as Quinn) return to the show was the icing on the cake.

After that, right before the finale, we learnt about Robin’s secret ‘something old’ and that episode ended with Ted looking into Robin’s eyes in the rain, and I was mad! As someone who’s always been a big Ted-and-Robin fan, it was very frustrating to see them teasing me like this, after I’d finally accepted Robin and Barney together and even learnt to like them as a couple. The writers were probably just dropping that cliffhanger to ensure good ratings in the finale, as almost all broadcast network shows do these days. But they followed through with that, when Ted tells Lily he’s moving to Chicago, and Lily figures out that it’s because of Robin. For a second there, I was rolling my eyes, but then I was glad that Ted wasn’t actually leaving New York because he hasn’t found a partner. Still, I was mad at the writers for teasing me again. I guess there’s some truth there, as far as thethe development of the character is concerned. Ted does need to resolve his feelings for Robin before he can move on, and I hope they do explore that in the final season, especially when they get into Ted’s future relationship with ‘the mother’ of his kids.

Moving on with the finale, I was disappointed to not see a wedding! Wedding episodes are always so much fun, and especially when we’ve waited for this one for almost three years! In the season six premiere, they first teased us with the line that would soon become so annoying: ‘a little ways down the road…’ That was when they showed us that there was going to be a wedding, but whose, we didn’t know. In the season six finale, they revealed that it would be Barney’s wedding, but to whom (Nora or Robin), we didn’t know. In the season seven premiere, they further teased us over who the bride was, and in the season seven finale, again ‘a little ways down the road…’, they revealed that it would be Robin. In the midst of all of that, they explored the Ted-Robin-Barney love triangle and they revealed that ‘the mother’ would be at the Robin-Barney wedding, as a part of the band. In the season eight premiere, they showed us Ted at the Farhampton station after the wedding, and ‘the mother’ was there with her (now iconic) yellow umbrella, but there was no interaction between them. So finally, I was expecting something of the wedding in the season eight finale, even if that didn’t include the actual first meeting between Ted and ‘the mother’, but I guess now they’re making us wait for three years to end before we see the big wedding! However, with all these hints and teasers of the wedding, over the years, I’m sure the writers will have a field day over finally filling all the blanks and give us the whole picture of the wedding. I know that I will enjoy seeing that whole picture. And that’s what’ll make the season nine premiere very interesting to watch.

But now that Ted will finally meet the mother at the wedding, I hope the writers not only fill in the blanks they left around the wedding storyline, but even the blanks that they left in the teasers they’ve given us over the last eight seasons—like ‘the mother’ being at that St Patrick’s Day party, when we first saw the yellow umbrella, or ‘the mother’ being in the classroom on Ted’s first day as a professor, and so many others that I can’t remember right now. I also wonder if Rachel Bilson will return to reprise her role as Cindy in the season nine premiere, in which they’ll hopefully show us the wedding. She’s in the band that’s going to perform at the wedding along with ‘the mother’. And we first learnt that Cindy was ‘the mother’s’ roommate back when Ted was with Cindy.

Apart from everything else, it would be nice to see a sixth person in the group, who’ll actually stay this time. After seeing temporary guest starts that I thought would be perfect additions to the group, like Jennifer Morrison (as Zoe, who I’d once hoped would be ‘the mother’) and Becki Newton, it will be nice to have a permanent addition. Having said that, I don’t have any opinion on the casting of Cristin Milioti as ‘the mother’ just yet; and I won’t until I see her chemistry with Josh Radnor, and with the rest of the cast in that booth at McLaren’s! As co-creator of the show Carter Bays said in this (click here) TV Line article, “It [going to be] a pretty big umbrella to fill!” Bays also teases us with a little something about how season nine will tell “the epic story of the longest wedding weekend ever.” I’m guessing he’s talking about Ted’s wedding, because hopefully, after three years, they’ll finally end the Robin-Barney wedding in the season nine premiere. There are so many possibilities of what can happen at the ‘three-year long’ wedding, and there could be so many interesting ways in which Ted and ‘the mother’ first make each other’s acquaintance. I wonder what her name will be, and what she’ll be like as a person. Will she remind us of any of the women that Ted has been with over the last eight years? How will the writers explore her character as they weave her into the group? Will she first become a part of the group, or will she and Ted get involved first? Will we now see (or hear) her in the flash forwards? Will we hear her perspective on the things that Ted tells his kids? This is probably the most I’ve looked forward to being properly introduced to a character before knowing almost nothing about her. And then there's the Marshall-Lily cliffhanger also. Marshall's going to be a judge, and Lily might not end up going to Rome? I'm sure there's some big stuff ahead of us in their story too, and I look forward to that! Given how well the showrunners and writers have planned the longer story arc over the last three years, and all these other recent developments, I think that they’re going to give us a legen-(wait for it)-dary final season.

What are your thoughts on ‘the mother’ of revelations? Do you have any thoughts on the casting of ‘the mother’ or any expectations of how ‘the mother’ will become a part of the group in the ninth season? Share your views here!

May 14, 2013


The AMERICAN IDOL two-part season finale starts tomorrow, and as we’re just two days away from finding out who the 12th IDOL winner will be, here’s a look back at how season 12 has progressed, the talent, the judges, the competition, and so on…

AMERICAN IDOL season 12 started with an interesting mix of judges in the new panel, including IDOL veteran Randy Jackson. Mariah Carey slowly established herself as the encouraging judge, who would try and spin every critique into something positive, in an almost maternal way. Keith Urban became the guy that gave a professionally sound critique, but always making a positive comment. Nicki Minaj became known for her weird and sometimes outrageous analogies and comments, and one of the contestants’ harshest critics. By the time we were down to the top 10 girls and guys, it was already clear that the level of talent among the ladies was way higher than among the men. During Hollywood week itself, I had made note of who my favorite would be, and the one I was rooting was Angie Miller. After her performance of an original song, at the piano, which the judges (especially Mariah) kept referring to thereafter, she was the strongest contestant for me, and someone who, apart from being insanely talented, had the looks and very current sound to be a successful contemporary recording artist.

Even though the judges eventually did right by the most talented contestants in the top 20, like Candice, Kree, Angie and Amber, by giving them spots in the top 10, I felt like they really got swayed by the theatrics of some of the other performers. People like Zoanette and Charlie, who had stage presence, and were memorable for their eccentricities, really weren’t delivering well vocally. But all’s well that ended well with the top ten, and we had the five most talented contestants, namely the girls, in that group. The results over the following five weeks were predictable, as the top five guys went home one by one, and rightfully so, opening up the real competition when the remaining contestants were an all-girls group of the top five. That’s when things became really tense, and even though someone had to go home (almost) each week, it was truly sad to see Janelle Arthur, Amber Holcomb and, unfortunately, Angie Miller leave.

Throughout the final rounds, I enjoyed the performances on results nights, especially because of the number of former IDOL contestants who hadn’t won, from Colton Dixon to Jessica Sanchez to Lauren Alaina… That was bound to be encouraging for current contestants who were getting eliminated. What I also enjoyed were the judges. I think that the current judges’ panel has the most interesting mix of people we’ve seen on that panel so far. From Nicki and Mariah coming this close to having a catfight, to Randy always bowing in praise of Mariah to Nicki telling Keith not to steal her words before she says them, to Randy quipping in to second Keith’s remarks every now and then…they make a good team that can actually have a conversation around that table which is interesting, not just because it’s entertaining, but because it’s mostly productive (except for the catfighting), thought-provoking and good for anyone interested in music. What I also liked was Jimmy Iovine and his harsh critiques each week, wherein he called a spade a spade, without Mariah’s compassion, Keith’s sugar-coating, Nicki’s outrageous comments or Randy’s catchphrases. And the friction between Jimmy and the judges made it all the more entertaining. Of course, one of my favorite things about AMERICAN IDOL is Ryan Seacrest. He always does an outstanding job as host, making the show worth watching almost regardless of who the judges or contestants are!

Coming back to the remaining contestants, as Randy Jackson pointed out, we had (probably) the best top three that the show had ever seen. For me, despite whatever would go on from there, and despite the fact that my personal favorite was Angie, all three deserved to win, and the eliminations and the remaining contestants thereof wouldn’t come as any surprise. Unfortunately, the first to leave that group was my favorite, Angie Miller, and I was really sad. In my head, she was already the winner, and if anything, I would simply miss her performing in the season finale performance episode. For the first time ever during an AMERCIAN IDOL elimination, I made a mental note to myself that I would definitely look out for what she does next with her music career, because Angie Miller is one performer that I don’t want to lose track of. And with Angie’s departure, we’re now left with the two who will compete for the winning title. Both Candice and Kree are insanely talented, and I’d have a hard time choosing, or predicting the final result. (I’m personally rooting for Kree though.) But if there’s one thing we can be sure of is that this season will have one amazing finale, with two excellent performers vying for the big prize. And while we know that Jennifer Lopez and Adam Lambert will be among those performing on results night of the finale, I can’t wait to see the combinations of performers from the remaining top 10 of the season. So while Fox and the producers decide what they’re going to do with the show and the judges’ panel, with Randy having announced his exit (I personally think that at least Keith Urban should definitely stay on), at least for now, we can just sit back and enjoy the two-part finale starting tomorrow night!

What have you thought of season 12 of AMERICAN IDOL? Has your favorite made it to the top two? Who are you rooting for? And do you think that Keith, Mariah and Nicki should come for season 13? Do share your thoughts…

May 13, 2013


I recently watched CASTLE’s flashback episode and THE VAMPIRE DIARIES’ backdoor ‘pilot’ of its spinoff, THE ORIGINALS. Here’s what I thought of them…

This has been quite a big season for CASTLE. First of all, a fifth season means that the show has gone beyond the big four-season mark. Second of all, they celebrated their 100th episode this season. And of course, this was the season when Castle and Beckett finally ended the whole will-they-won’t-they question, which kept most fans of the show looking forward to this part of their relationship. While the 100th episode was a fun, off-beat way of commemorating the milestone, complete with Kate and Castle talking about having worked on 100 cases together, I thought that the episode that would have been better as the 100th episode was the episode where Kate is standing on a bomb, while Castle, Ryan and Esposito try and figure out a way to diffuse it or get her out of there. During that episode, emotions were high for all of them, but for Castle and Beckett, who were, once again, trapped in a situation like the kinds they ever so frequently have found themselves in. One might have thought that at a tense time like that, especially since Beckett was preparing herself for the worst-case scenario, joking about who liked whom first might have been inappropriate. However, by establishing that argument much earlier in the episode, and then the very good writing in the latter parts, the mirthful argument seemed to fit right into place. Not only did it offer us a chance to revisit glimpses of their early interaction, and the various stages of their personal and working relationship, it also gave us a chance to look back at some of the stories that we’ve enjoyed over the last five-or-so years. From Castle’s belief in everything supernatural during such cases and Castle and Beckett getting caught in a room with a tiger or in a freezer, to Beckett getting shot and so on. It was like a beautiful gift to the loyal viewers of the show, with perfectly compiled montages of key moments in the series thus far. I thoroughly enjoyed the episode for sure.

Currently, my favorite characters in THE VAMPIRE DIARIES are Rebekah and Elijah. Rebekah can be a bitch, but she has a very human side to her, a side that we saw when she told Stefan that she wanted the same things that anyone would want and when she told Matt that she’d like to be a good person. At the same time, she’s witty, sophisticated, looks good, and she’s an original! Then there’s Elijah. We haven’t seen that much of him in the last season or so, except for in the last few episodes. He’s sophisticated, commands respect, he has more integrity than most of the other vampires, and he’s also an original. On the other hand, Damon and Stefan have really bored me with their whole fight to find the cure for Elena. It’s like, over the years, it’s like their whole purpose of existence is Elena, and since she became a vampire, it’s become more apparent. I wasn’t too sure about a VAMPIRE DIARIES spinoff initially, but over the last few months, I’ve realized that the original vampires are actually the only interesting characters left on the show. Considering that, it’s no surprise that an episode, which focuses entirely on the originals, would grab my attention. I like how they’ve set a simple, yet effective premise for THE ORIGINALS, with Klaus deciding to bring down Marcel and his influence in New Orleans. Of course, knowing (creator) Julie Plec, this simple premise will eventually evolve into a complex and exciting plot. All of it will be welcome, especially if Elijah and Rebekah are among the main characters. That leaves me wondering what will become of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES! If all the interesting characters will move to THE ORIGINALS, TVD will be quite bland in season five. Even though Silas has been established as the next force that our main group will have to tackle, he’s a very one-dimensional character so far, with nothing compelling. I certainly hope the writers of up their game before going into season five, because otherwise, TVD will pale in comparison with THE ORIGINALS.

What did you think of CASTLE’s 100th and the flashback episodes? And are you also more excited about THE ORIGINALS than about THE VAMPIRE DIARIES?

May 12, 2013


Last night, I watched the season finales of two very different shows. One of freshman spy drama, THE AMERICANS, which is one of my favorite new shows; and the other, BLUE BLOODS, a crime procedural that definitely stands out from among the many shows of that genre…

When THE AMERICANS started, what impressed me the most were the performances by Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys, and over the course of the first season, while the spy drama was exciting and kept me at the edge of my seat, what really hooked me was the beautiful relationship that Elizabeth and Philip share. The mutual understanding between them about everything from assassinations to raising their kids, and the subtleties in the restraint between them, despite pure emotions and feelings they have for each other—all of it is written so well, and performed exceptionally by the two actors. Towards the end, when Philip moves out of the house, it was a direction that I didn’t expect the show to take, but I liked how that brought out so many of the characters’ emotions to the surface, while simultaneously making them even less expressive of those emotions. On the other hand, what the show managed to do really well was handle the secondary relationships equally well, whether it was Stan’s relationship with his wife, or Nina; Elizabeth’s relationship with the amazing Claudia; or even Philip (as Clark) and Martha’s relationship for that matter. Nina is a character I grew to love, and while Martha is gullible and a lovesick romantic, I still find her endearing, even if it’s just because I feel bad for her. And Claudia—well, she’s one the most fascinating old-lady characters I’ve seen on screen!

As we approached the finale, I like how the stakes went up for everyone, whether it was because of how Claudia tricked Elizabeth and Philip, or because Elizabeth’s friend Derek had to take the fall for something they’d done, or because Stan’s partner was killed, or even because of Philip’s indiscretion with an old flame. The finale itself was well conceived, with two simultaneous missions, in which the stakes were high for everyone involved, along with the developments in the Clark-Martha relationship. The discovery of the set-up and the involvement of the Russian Embassy gave way to a thrilling chase and climax. And the season ended with Elizabeth making a heartfelt but simple appeal to Philip, while there was even a subtle cliffhanger involving their daughter. The writers could pretty much do anything they want with the show from here, but it’s clear that the kids are going to feature more prominently in season two. They’ll have questions of all kinds. Philip and Elizabeth’s complex relationship is bound to get even more complicated, given the Martha situation, and Stan and the FBI are going to have to try a whole new approach. The first season captured so many intriguing plots and layers in storytelling, and I’m definitely hoping to see many more!

The two-part season three finale of BLUE BLOODS started with a suicide, which was disturbing as it was, and then they throw Santana at us with his lame hand gestures, yet coming off as pretty scary, being as daring as he was, presenting himself like that in front of the NYPD. The episode went on to thrill with other such moments, like when Danny and his partner Maria are set up to confront Santana and his people. While the Reagans have faced many situations where they’re up against misfits, something like this has not been seen on the show so far, and I was hooked. This was some really good material for the finale.

When Jamie Reagan and his partner Vinny are set up to face fire at The Bitter End, I had a feeling that it wouldn’t end well. And it didn’t. Vinny’s death, especially because of the way he struggled after beings shot (performed excellently by Sebastian Sozzi), really disturbed me, because he died at a place where he’d grown up, because he was a genuinely nice guy with an interesting bad-boy streak, because he and Jamie made good partners, and because he was an interesting character. His death upped the stakes for everyone, and rightfully so. Danny and the NYPD pulling up in front of Santana to return an earlier threat was more than called for. And what intrigued me about this story is that it was a tricky one to write, and wasn’t really predictable. Of course, the writers could’ve screwed up part two by making things conveniently fall into place, but I think that the season three finale of BLUE BLOODS was probably the best season finale of the show yet. While Danny doesn’t back down and follows through with his pursuit of Santana, the mayor gets hit, making things worse. I liked that they explored the story further with the kid from The Bitter End who had recognized Vinny, making Jamie an integral part of the finale; or even Nona, who Danny needed to get on his good side. The end offered a great sense of gratification, when Santana and his people were taken away, amidst cheers from the residents of The Bitter End. And the season ended beautifully with a classic Sunday-dinner scene. This is how a season finale should be. There need not be a big cliffhanger, as long as there’s a compelling story wherein the intensity and stakes for everyone are high, making it engaging for us.

What did you think of the season finales of THE AMERICANS? Are you glad it’s returning for a second season? Which part of the BLUE BLOODS season finale did you like the most? Share your views here…

May 5, 2013


After season seven’s finale, the season eight finale of BONES left me desiring more than what I saw. Season seven ended with Pelant sabotaging the credibility of the Jeffersonian ‘squints’ and even Booth, framing Brennan for his then most recent crime. That was one tense and action-packed season finale that had me at the edge of my seat. The cliffhanger—Brennan taking off with baby Christine, becoming a fugitive—was what made my jaw drop, making it one of the best season finales that the show had delivered in its seven years. This season, they followed through with Pelant’s game, when he returned, sometime midway through the season, and narrowly escaped with a gun-shot wound on his face, which Booth gave him. In my opinion, that would’ve been a more fitting season finale than the one I watched last night, even if they had to hold off on the Pelant story for the entire season. What I watched last night was action-packed and tense alright, but it was only as good as any case on the show could be. That Pelant was behind it all, playing mind games and wreaking havoc was a bonus for sure, but by the end of the episode, it’s like the writers were trying desperately to throw in a cliffhanger, and decided to make Pelant threaten Booth, forcing him to break off his engagement with Brennan. Now if that had been a complete break-up, with higher stakes for Booth, then it would’ve been understandable. As of now, Booth has simply told Brennan that getting married isn’t a good idea. Yes, that will probably affect their relationship in season nine, but they’re still together, and Booth can easily tell her the truth without Pelant finding out. I even think that maybe they should’ve ended the Pelant story altogether. At this point, we need a really mind-blowing end to the Pelant story, and I hope the writers deliver that next season.

Ever since SCANDAL put the whole election-rigging storyline to rest—albeit temporarily, I’m guessing—I’ve been happy to see that they’ve gone back to the procedural drama, with a central story running in the background, instead of being the complete focus of the show. Although I do feel that the cases that Olivia and her team are getting are more suitable for private investigators than for crisis management people, especially the one in which Hollis Doyle’s daughter is ‘kidnapped’. Anyhow, the entry of Jake has kept me intrigued, with the whole mystery surrounding who the mole is, how he’s involved, and why he’s spying on Olivia. In episode 18, my jaw dropped when Olivia discovered what Jake had been doing. It was refreshing to see vulnerability in her character that wasn’t caused by her very infuriating romance with the president. While that mystery left me guessing, the Cyrus-James storyline was quite annoying. I was all for James to uncover the election rigging, but then he just perjured himself, which made him no better than Cyrus. And as much as I hated Cyrus being arrogant and smug about James choosing the (dishonest) man the Cyrus was, I have to admit that Cyrus was right. I guess the only person with a shred of integrity left on the show is David Rosen, but unfortunately, he has no one on his side to prove the things that he knows. But sooner or later, I do hope that the election rigging is uncovered. It would be even better if it is found out that the president killed Verna Thorne.

The DALLAS season two finale offered the audience a great deal of gratification, as the Ewings bring down Cliff Barnes and Harris Ryland, both of whom are arrested for different things. While Pamela has defected to the Ewing camp, the writers have given Elena a motive to go against the Ewings. It seems like between season one and two, they’ve conveniently put both these younger women on a seesaw, wherein both can never truly be on the same side. What Elena will do is something we’ll have to wait and watch, but if her fight against the Ewings has to be strong enough, Barnes will have to back her, and that can probably happen only if he’s proven innocent. On the other hand, I didn’t quite get what Emma’s game was, when she was going back and forth between her mother and her father, and then brought all the evidence to implicate her father back to Ann. She seemed like this weak character who couldn’t make up her mind, and then we see that she’s in bed with John Ross. Obviously, John Ross has no scruples, and even though he does have feelings for Pamela, he’s clearly not above betraying her to get absolute power, even over the Ewings themselves. However, with Barnes and Ryland being brought down, I did suspect that the writers would have to go back to the Christopher-John Ross feud, because obviously the Ewing cousins can’t be in together in one big, happy family after they’ve both achieved what they wanted to by being allies. Where Emma fits in to John Ross’ scheme is something I look forward to seeing, and I’d also like to know what Pamela will do when she finds out about his betrayal, and realizes that she and Christopher are on the same side again. With the convoluted tale that DALLAS is, one can never know for sure who’ll be fighting whom in the next season.

Moving to Tennessee, NASHVILLE doesn’t seem to have a central story arc, so one can’t know what the finale will have in store for us, but the latest few episodes have offered us interesting developments. There’s nothing really to write home about Rayna’s story, except that it’s a relief to see her and Deacon finally giving in to their feelings and attraction, after being annoying about it for so long, even though I thought that Stacey was good for him, despite the fact that we all knew it wouldn’t last. One character who I really enjoy in NASHVILLE is Juliette. She’s this bitch and a high-maintenance diva, but at her core, she’s just someone who’s desperate to make a human connection with someone. While her troubled relationship with her mother doesn’t allow her to depend on family, she’s been with two guys this season who she didn’t manage to form that connection with. With Sean, she got into it too strong, too soon, and screwed up. But then, Dante, who seemed like this stand-up guy who could be great for her, ended up betraying her. It was sad to see her go back to her cynicism of not being able to trust anyone. I was hoping that they’d show us a good mother-daughter moment when Juliette would apologize to Jolene and thank her for looking out for her. But right now it seems like the only good relationship that Juliette has is probably with her assistant. The relationship that is going right at this point is the one between Scarlett and Gunnar, but realistically, not without initial obstacles. I did appreciate the moments that Scarlett has with Avery, when he’s working as a roadie. It was kind of nice to see them make peace after his rough patch. I like that Avery didn’t spiral out of control after things didn’t go his way with the contract he had signed. Even Gunnar dealing with his brother’s death was handled quite well, followed by his endearing friendship with Will. It’s always sad to see a gay person develop feelings and an attraction towards someone who can’t reciprocate them, so I do hope that Will can salvage his friendship with Gunnar even after jeopardizing it by making a move on him. All in all, as a show that tells simple human stories, against the backdrop of the country music industry, I like how NASHVILLE is going.

What did you think of the BONES season finale? What, according to you, going to be the big feud in S3 of DALLAS? Where does Jake fit into the whole ‘mole’ story in SCANDAL? And whose story on NASHVILLE are you enjoying the most? Share your views below…