tv shows

Top Ten Thursday: TV Series Finales

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[No worries, this is spoiler-free!] There are so many shows out there, yet so little time to watch all of them. We may choose to watch only popular or critically acclaimed ones, but the truth is regardless of whether a show has had a good or bad course, the last episode can always go the other way. There are bad shows with great endings, good shows with bad endings, and if I’m being honest I’m not sure which case is better. Here’s my list of favorite top 10 series endings till today (do note there are countless shows I haven’t seen).

  • 10 – Lost

I’m listing this here not because of its greatness but because it marked this show’s end. Okay, jokes aside, it wasn’t horrible. It was something and it was likely the best it could have been after everything that happened in the previous seasons. This show got so complex, with double and triple meanings and “it’s up to you to decide what that is” that I was expecting it’d have a joke of a finale. And while the finale doesn’t really reveal much, it was decently done and managed to wrap up a series that should have ended way sooner.

  • 9 – The Sopranos

I’ve previously mentioned (might not have been here on this blog but I’ve definitely expressed that previously) that this show wasn’t really my cup of tea — but I cannot deny that it was quality TV. Its finale was controversial, some people still aren’t over how it ended, but I believe it was a bold move and something unique. If you’ve watched it, whether you loved it or hated it, it’s definitely something you’ll remember.

  • 8 – House MD

To be upfront here, I started hating this series because it got so ridiculously repetitive and lost all signs of a plot in it. It was basically running season after season because of the main character and his responses to those around him. Except in their final season it improved significantly, and managed to deliver a satisfying end to what was becoming a tiresome song on repeat.

  • 7 – 30 Rock

I feel this show was starting to become slower as time went by, but it picked up the pace for its ending and it certainly delivered a quality finale. So many references, so many jokes, so many references to jokes, and yet it also provided a lot of sweet and touching moments. It was a refreshing episode that shows the spirit of the whole series.

  • 6 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer

A fantastic wrap up, a lot of highly emotional farewells, and overall a great ending for a great series. I

  • 5 – The Office

Small time jump, a reunion for all employees throughout the series, and a wedding. Maybe it’s all of those things that, maybe it’s the emotions, maybe it’s the humor, but the Office’s finale was a satisfying end to a very long (yet always funny and true to itself) series. I don’t believe it could have ended any better.

  • 4 – Friends

Another comedy, another very long series, and another fantastic ending. Everyone takes their separate way (except Ross with Rachel and Chandler with Monica), some sad farewells are said, a final cup of coffee is to be taken at the one and only place, and we have a final look at the now-empty apartments which look so sad.

  • 3 – Six Feet Under

I loved their series finale for two very simple reasons — it gave closure for all characters, but all of that was done by an episode completely different from how they ran the whole show. And it was the good kind of different. In many aspects I believe this show can teach every writer or producer a thing or two, because despite all their flaws it will go down in history as one of the best series.

  • 2 – Parks and Recreation

This one just took place but it has strongly placed itself near the top. After their previous season’s final episode I thought they will never manage to produce anything better for a finale. That episode in itself was better than most series finales, making anything as good as that was mission impossible. Yet, they managed to accomplish said impossible mission and delivered a finale which not only wraps up everything, but provides a lengthy and detailed view at the happenings of many characters from the series (both leading and supporting ones). Humor mixed with sadness, laughter mixed with tears. Ron Swanson would likely say “crying: accepted at funerals, the Grand Canyon, and the series finale of Parks and Recreation.”

  • 1 – Breaking Bad

There was a lot of talk about this one and it’s clear everyone didn’t enjoy it. But to me, it was perfect. It featured everything I think it needed to have, nothing less and nothing more. That’s how the whole series was, in my humble opinion, and I love that they stayed true to their goals. I had many scenarios in my head about which direction the show will take for the finale, but in the end I’m pleased with how things actually went down.

Top Ten Thursday: New Summer/Fall TV Shows

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I’m basically cheating at this point but whatever, I’m doing another weekly feature – Top Ten Thursday. Except this time around I’m not limiting it to a single theme, meaning one week it may be about my top then books of 2014, while the other week it’s about my top ten ways of wasting time when you’re bored at home (here’s me hoping I don’t actually end up publishing the latter). I haven’t yet covered any shows from this summer/fall period so I’m doing this now.


HONORABLE MENTION

Or in other words, shows I haven’t seen yet that could be good based on description and reviews. Feel free to skip these if you’re only interested in the top 10 list.

Jane the Virgin (CW) – TRAILER

Feels weird opening the list with this title, but apparently the show’s not as cheesy as the title itself. A woman who’s decided to remain a virgin suddenly finds herself pregnant – no miracle though, a doctor just accidentally inseminated her artificially. I’ve strayed away because it doesn’t seem that funny to be worth watching, but it’s actually got good reviews.

The Leftovers (HBO) – TRAILER

2% of the world’s population mysteriously disappears. The “leftovers” have to rebuild their lives and continue without their lost ones, unable to understand how they disappeared or where to. Okay when you put it that way it doesn’t actually sound very appealing.

Murder in the First (TNT) – TRAILER

The series focuses on a single murder case, from the committing of the same to the trial for it, and everything in between. Depending on the details of the case, that  could be great.

Red Band Society (FOX)TRAILER

From the point of view of a boy in coma, we see the lives of a group of teenagers in a hospital. Comments see to go along the lines of “this is what Glee should have been like”, but this doesn’t seem similar to Glee to me.

Rush (USA) – TRAILER

An “on-call” doctor who does surgeries for cash. Except it’s never just that simple, is it?


TOP TEN NEW TV SHOWS

10. Power (Starz) – TRAILER

A drug dealer struggles to juggle his business, family life, covering up the drug dealing by opening a new club, and rekindling fires with an old love interest. Yeah, it’s messy and not that good but it’s still decent and can keep you entertained.

9. Tyrant (FX) – TRAILER

This show had such huge potential yet it decided to throw it all out of the window (it’s still good, but boy it could have been way better). A Californian pediatrician is  a son to a Middle Eastern dictator. As a form of vacation he agrees to take his family there for his nephew’s wedding. But things quickly get complicated and the family gets pulled into events that prevent them from leaving.

8. Outlander (Starz) – TRAILER

Based on the series with the same name by Diana Gabaldon, in which a certain Claire Randall, a combat nurse from 1945 is sent back in time to 1743 under mysterious conditions. With no obvious way to go back, she’s forced to adapt, pretend, and live in her new world while looking for a way back home.

7. Constantine (NBC) – TRAILER

We’re gonna have to file this under disappointments – when I hear “Fantasy” and “Horror” I certainly expect a lot more than what Constantine puts on the table. And yes, this is in essence the same John Constantine from the movie “Constantine” back in 2005. A man knowledgeable in the art of magic and demons goes on the hunt to prevent the uprising of a great evil. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not bad, but it certainly isn’t anything special or something that hasn’t been done.

6. Penny Dreadful (Showtime) – TRAILER

Speaking of things that haven’t been done before, Penny Dreadful. Which I can’t really explain because of all the characters and plots it tries to juggle at the same time. It uses A LOT of characters from 19th-century British and Irish fiction (Dorian Grey, Victor Frankenstein with his monster, Abraham van Helsing and Mina Harker, etc.) but changes them for the show’s purposes and to fit with what they’re trying to do (and I’m still not fully sure what that is, but the cast is fantastic so the show’s easy to digest).

5. Extant (CBS) – TRAILER

If there ever existed a goddess of disappointment, it’s Halle Berry. I genuinely liked the plot of the series — an astronaut goes on a 13-months-long solo space mission, yet returns home pregnant. While she tries to understand what has happened, she has her baby (which is developing with a crazy speed) extracted from her. And no mother ain’t leaving her baby, human or alien, so she sets on a mission to find it. Meanwhile her husband’s struggling to keep the development of their prototype android son (a “humanich”), Ethan, in order.

4. The Strain (FX) – TRAILER

Look folks, it’s Mr, Filch! To address the elephant in the room, the acting is poor and the writing is ridiculously convenient for the events that take place (read: the writers seem to doing things the way they suit them). A virus outbreak starts in New York City, and surprise, surprise, it’s pretty much the zombie apocalypse. Except it’s not. They’re not actual zombies, more like zombie-vampire hybrids because their master is in fact a vampire. But the scary, creepy, fantasy-type of vampire and not Twilight’s sparkling twink-type of vampire. Despite all its flaws (weak acting and writing), the potential in this show is huge and one can only hope the crew decides to step up their game.

3. Gotham (FOX) – TRAILER

Basically, the place before Batman. It focuses on James Gordon’s rise in Gotham, but it includes a plethora of characters from the DC world. Some are obviously shown for the sake of showing them, earning themselves extra credit with the audience. But it’s definitely worth the watch if you ever get the time.

2. How to Get Away with Murder (ABC) – TRAILER

The show starts with a Criminal Law class which the professor likes calling how to get away with murder. The professor is a defense attorney and she has the students analyze her cases in order to provide them with some actual practice on the matter. She gives them a test and selects a group of 5 students which will remain to work for her. However, not everything in the professor’s life is as smooth as she’d like the world to believe and events soon unravel that change everything for the whole group. I can’t get enough of this, honestly.

1. The Flash (CW) – TRAILER

The CW used to be the teenage girl’s channel, poorly written stuff with no acting, but a lot of apparent eye-candy material. I guess the Arrow started in the same way, but once they got all the cliches out during the first season, they proved they can make a quality TV show starting from season two. Having learned their lesson through the Arrow series, this year they’ve brought the Flash, which quite honestly is so good it’s a bit scary how good it is. No need to explain the plot, it sorta follows the Flash’s story from the comics. Best part? They’re doing crossover episodes with the Arrow. Worst part? Not sure how the other shows can top this.

What do you think? Agree/disagree with any points of the list? Think I’ve missed some shows worth noting (and watching – I’m always looking for new recommendations)? Let me know in the comments.

66th Primetime Emmy Awards Wishlist

On August 25th the 66th Emmy Awards will take place, honoring excellence in American primetime television programming. Or so the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences likes to say to make their awards sound important and grandiose. It was my initial intention to do a post with predictions about the winners, but unfortunately they’ve chosen to not even include some of my personal favorites in the Emmy Awards 2014 Nominees List.

So instead of doing a predictions post, I’m doing a wishlist post. Since they’ve decided to omit quite a number of quality TV shows and cast members in their categories, I decided to not care about their nominees. Not claiming to be a better TV expert than anyone else, but it’s a bit apparent they’re clinging to past strong contenders. Contenders which were strong in the past, that is, but they’d rather keep giving them nominations than to give a nod to something fresh and new.

I’ve been trying to keep my Current Top TV List up to date, but since I only include currently running shows that I’m following, it does not mention certain TV shows that ended this year (and there were some good ones — heck I still can’t get over Breaking Bad!). If you’re nosy and want a full list of what I’ve watched or where I’m at with current shows, you can always stalk my Episode Calendar Profile. Otherwise, keep reading for my full wishlist of winners.

  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie

»» Allison Tolman as Deputy Molly Solverson on Fargo (FX)

  • Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie

»» Martin Freeman as Dr. John Watson on Sherlock: “His Last Vow” (PBS)

  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

»» Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart on The Good Wife (CBS)

  • Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

»» Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman on Breaking Bad (AMC)

  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

»» Kate Mulgrew as Galina “Red” Reznikov on Orange Is the New Black (Netflix)

  • Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

»» Ty Burrell as Phil Dunphy on Modern Family (ABC)

  • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie

»» Kristen Wiig as Cynthia Morehouse on The Spoils of Babylon (IFC)

  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie

»» Billy Bob Thornton as Lorne Malvo on Fargo (FX)

  • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

»» Tatiana Maslany as Various Characters on Orphan Black (BBC America)

  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

»» Matthew McConaughey as Detective Rustin Cohle on True Detective (HBO)

  • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

»» Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation (NBC)

  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

»» Louis C.K. as Louie on Louie (FX)

  • Outstanding Television Movie

»» The Normal Heart (HBO)

  • Outstanding Miniseries

»» Fargo (FX)

  • Outstanding Comedy Series

»» Orange Is the New Black (Netflix)

  • Outstanding Drama Series

»» Breaking Bad (AMC)

Granted, out of the full list I made above only Tatiana Maslany did not get an Emmy nomination. But if one looks at their full list of nominations, they can notice quite a number of splendid TV shows are missing that should have gotten some recognition. On the other hand, after reviewing my own list I see the only repeats are Orange Is the New Black with two awards (supporting comedy actress and comedy series), Breaking Bad with two awards (supporting drama actor and drama series) and Fargo with three awards (supporting miniseries actress, lead miniseries actor, and miniseries).

Still, it’s a list of winners that I would be very happy with, though I am aware it’s not happening. Doesn’t make it any less-worthy. Yet I really hope that Breaking Bad, Orange Is the New Black, and Fargo take home most of the awards. Out of the performances, I’d support the ones I’ve listed. Yet I wouldn’t mind Peter Dinklage for the supporting actor in drama series, Bryan Cranston for lead actor in drama series, or Robin Wright for lead actress in drama series.

Do you have any favorites? Who are you rooting for? And who are you sad about that did not get an Emmy nomination this year? Comments section is below this post!

Hannibal Season 2 Review

SPOILER ALERT: This post includes spoilers from the second season of Hannibal (NBC). While it does not provide all the details of each episode, it does discuss the season in entirety and as such contains lots of elements, including some from the season finale episode. If you’re not yet caught up with it and you mind spoilers, please come back after you’ve finished the season and feel like reliving it through this post. The post also includes some details from IGN’s interview with executive producer and showrunner Bryan Fuller (which you should also read, I loved it).Hannibal Title CardMy, if that wasn’t one bloody season finale! And I’m starting with the finale because the season in fact started with a flash forward of the finale — a glimpse of a confrontation between Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen)and Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne) in Hannibal’s home. A fighting sequence so thrilling you’re not sure which character you’re rooting for. That is, until we see Jack getting stabbed in the neck with a shard of glass, at which point I’d like to think we were all hoping he makes it alive. But all we get is a glimmer of hope as he runs into another room, while Hannibal is shown grabbing a knife and trying to bang the door open. At this point we go back to the present, twelve weeks before this supposed encounter, all we know is that the show is headed toward it and that we do not have all the details (what you don’t expect is how big that final scene actually is).

So we get a fancy dinner between Jack and Hannibal, where Jack tells Hannibal that Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) insists that Hannibal is to be blamed for all the crimes he may be convicted for, and Hannibal expresses his wish to be investigated by Jack in order to put those thoughts behind. Beverly Katz (Hettienne Park) inspects Hannibal’s attire and takes a saliva sample for that purpose, and Hannibal’s innocence is proved, as they cannot find any evidence pointing toward him, it all goes back to Will. Alan Bloom (Caroline Dhavernas) believes Will to be innocent as well, but without proof he cannot be saved. Hannibal visits Will in the Baltimore State Hospital, despite Bedelia’s (Gillian Anderson) disapproval of the idea, where Will tells him he is fully correct about Hannibal and that once his mind is clear and he remembers everything he currently doesn’t, he will know the full truth. And while imprisoned there, Will does from time to time receive these flashbacks of the past, such as Hannibal shoving a tube down his throat and using it to place Abigail’s ear in his system without being chewed.

On the other hand, we still have ongoing cases. The first one in the season is with a muralist, someone who is making a palette of people with differently colored skin. Their first hint toward him is in fact given by Will, due to Beverly seeking his advice on the case. Hannibal manages to locate the man before the FBI, sews him in with the rest of the people in the mural, but not before cutting off one of his legs for some delicious recipe. When presented with a photo of the mural, Will tells Beverly that the one person does not fit the mural, he is in fact the muralist and was sewn in there by someone else who took the leg as a trophy. The following two murders are in fact done for Will, by a third party murderer. One is a bailiff impaled on a set of antlers, but it was sadly proved that it was not done by the same person who impaled Cassie Boyle so the trial continues. Until a janitor finds the judge strung up dead in the courtroom, which obviously postpones  the trial.

Bedelia bids her goodbye to Hannibal, saying she believes him to be dangerous and cannot continue her sessions with him, and decides to visit Will and whisper to him that she believes him [regarding Hannibal]. Beverly also visits Will, and through their conversation she starts believing Will about Hannibal and in order to find out the truth she decides to visit Hannibal’s house. Bella Crawford (Gina Torres), who has lung cancer, takes a lethal amount of morphine before her sessions with Hannibal, who after flipping a coin she gave him as gratitude for showing her that death is not defeat, decides to save her. Beverly uses the opportunity to break inside Hannibal’s home, but unfortunately is caught when Hannibal returns. Freddie Lounds (Lara Jean Chorostecki) finds her vivisected and the parts pressed between glass panels like for a museum display.

Will is allowed to visit the crime scene as well, and realizes that she must have found the Chesapeake Ripper and the copycat killer who are the same person because those glass panels also held some organs from the muralist. Will being reassured that this was Hannibal, he sets on to stop him, one way or another. Conveniently for him, one of the orderly in the hospital reveals to him that he murdered the bailiff because he admired Will’s work, and Will asks him to kill Hannibal. What’s even more convenient is that Abel Gideon (Eddie Izzard) overhears this, and tells Alana Bloom, giving her the chance to save him. Jack and Alana come rushing to the crime scene, on time to shoot the orderly who is cutting Hannibal’s wrists, but a minute too late to see Hannibal’s revelation (the orderly asks him if he’s the Chesapeake Ripper, saying he does not have to answer him, his pupils will dilate with certain mental efforts and we see Hannibal’s pupils dilate).

Jack pays an angry visit to Will because of the attempted murder, but Will manages to pinch his thoughts with the idea that if the Chesapeake Ripper is killing, that means Hannibal is planning a dinner party. And of course, he does. After hearing a tape from a conversation between Gideon and Will, Jack starts suspecting Hannibal as well. In fact, he comes to Hannibal’s party, mentions he has to leave quickly but would love to take some food for home, but instead takes the food for testing in FBI’s lab. No worries, the food is only food (just this once) so it proves nothing (but it was apparently very good because after the party Alana gets in bed with Hannibal). However, some evidence from a case leads Jack to an abandoned cabin where he finds Miriam Lass (Anna Chlumsky), obviously missing an arm. She’s asked to confirm the identity of the Chesapeake Ripper, and she confirms it is not Hannibal, but upon seeing and hearing Dr. Chilton (Raul Esparza) she becomes disorientated and shoots him, leaving us to think that Hannibal conditioned her to think Chilton is the Ripper. All of this helps Will, as both the murders and that “confirmation” free him of his charges,and he decides to continue his therapy with Hannibal, slowly appearing to be under Hannibal’s influence.

At this point we take a different turn, adding in Margot Verger (Katharine Isabelle) as a patient of Hannibal’s, who has been abused with years by her brother, Mason Verger (Michael Pitt). The latter loves spending time with the pigs he has trained to eat human flesh, and in facts manages to catch Hannibal and hangs him there, though Will comes to his aid, after which he finds Mason in his house feeding Will’s dogs bits of his face (though he survives that and last we see him he is in the hospital telling Jack how he means to repay Dr. Lecter for his great therapy sessions). Margot, on the other hand, becomes somewhat close to Will using the “oh we’re both Hannibal’s patients” card, to the point where they have sex and she becomes pregnant. That was apparently her plan all along, as she needs a male heir in order to inherit the Verger business after she gets rid of her horrid brother. But Hannibal can’t have Will tied to the place when he envisions the two of them leaving together at some point, so he tips off Mason on it, eventually leading Margot to a car crash and waking up with the information that she’s now infertile.

Moving back to our favorite duo, we have Will appear further under Hannibal’s influence when we see him killing Freddie after she finds out human organs at his place. Technically though, we don’t see the murder taking place, we just see Freddie disappearing and her last call being panicky screaming which through her phone is tracked back to Will’s place. And that’s the beauty of it, you’re lead to believe he killed her, when in fact he’s been working with Jack to make it seem like he’s Hannibal’s partner so they can finally catch Hannibal. Jack shows the alive Freddie to Alana, so they’re all in the same boat. Unfortunately, the FBI isn’t — Jack is suspended because of everything, while there is a warrant for the arrest of Will. Alana warns Will, who in turn warns Hannibal that “they know.” Prior to this we see Hannibal and Will discussing their leave together, at which point Hannibal notes the smell of Freddie on Will and is likely when he realizes that Will has been working against him all this time.

And, 1500 words later I reach the finale again and that confrontation scene we mentioned at that start. Do you see now how different the scenario actually becomes? Jack visits Hannibal, we get to the point we mentioned (Jack’s neck is stabbed, he runs to hide in another room) and we have Alana coming in Jack’s rescue, with a gun. Unfortunately, Hannibal has previously taken out all the bullets, so she ends up running on the second floor to hide in a room, where we have the shocking reappearance of Abigail Hobbs (Kacey Rohl) who pushes her out of the window. Alas, Will arrives, and seeing Alana he phones for help. Inside the house, in the kitcher, he says “You were meant to leave.” to Hannibal, in such a way it makes me think he was secretly hoping he’d leave and none of this would have happened. Hannibal responds that he and Abigail could not leave without Will, and swiftly guts him with a knife after which he cuts Abigail’s throat just before Will closes his eyes. We see Hannibal leaving the house, and thus ends the so-called Red Dinner (a fan-made name as a nod to the “Red Wedding” in A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones where many characters died).

But, if you watched till the credits then you missed out on a lot! By pulling a Marvel move we were shown Hannibal on a plain, with a french-speaking stewardess and Bedelia sitting to him with a lovely smile on her face. What the heck, right?! Bryan Fuller says we can imagine they had a conversation off-screen which is why Bedelia decided to go with him. My own personal opinion is that Bedelia realized just how dangerous Hannibal is, and that the protection the FBI promised her would likely not suffice. She’d be better off pretending to be on his side than to openly be against him. We’ll also be getting a lot more of her next season, and apparently the first episode will focus solely on Hannibal and Bedelia, so we won’t get to find out who survived this lovely dinner this the second episode. What Fuller mentions is that we can expect not everyone will make it out alive.

Personally, I think Abigail, having her throat sliced open, will definitely not make it. I’m having trouble decide if anyone else will bite the dust — Jack would be too important now (I see him leading a hunt after Hannibal), Will as always is such a fascinating character that I don’t think they can let go of him yet (he’ll likely be helping Jack), and with Alana I just don’t think her injury was fatal. I’m practically torn here. But I do believe this was one crazy good season and would probably give it a 9.5 out of 10 or something. I know the show is not for everyone, it’s quite complicated and very graphic with the deaths, but I truly believe not enough people appreciate how good Hannibal is (it’s sad to think it keeps getting “threatened” with cancellation after every season). If you got through the whole review, please do let me know your thoughts on that ending and which character you think (or at least hope) will make it out alive.

TV Finales & Endings

Okay okay, I promise I’ll move beyond the TV show posts, just have to get down these thoughts that have been haunting my mind lately.

Note — This post/article/rant/younameit contains spoilers for the following TV shows: The Walking Dead, Hannibal, How I Met Your Mother, Dexter, Lost, Parks and Recreation, Suits, and Breaking Bad. If you’re not caught with them and you do not want spoilers, please locate the shiny red ‘x’ button and fly away somewhere safe.

It is my opinion that a TV show’s strongest potential lies within the finale episodes. Assuming that the first few, or even just the premiere episode of a season captures your interest, you’re likely to stick with the season hoping what you saw at the beginning will get even better. Taking Hannibal as an example, the season 2 premiere starts with a showdown between Hannibal Lecter and Jack Crawford, it can’t get better than that! Of course you soon realize this is just a glimpse of the future, we move back to previous events right after that scene. But the point is, you’re shown what you can expect by the end of the season, and you’re practically hooked for the rest of it. Not that I needed any more reasons to watch Hannibal, but it definitely works in their advantage.

However, whether or not I’m satisfied with the season would depend on that actual finale that features said scene I’ve been waiting for all that time. You’re showing me the candy you have in store, and I’ll gladly pay the price, but if that candy ain’t no good, you might not see me back for more. Hannibal’s season 2 finale takes place tomorrow, on the 23rd, so I can’t comment yet on whether or not it will be as fantastic as we all hope it will be, though the whole season has been great. But, again, if the end goal is not good, it would lower the value of the whole walk to said goal. The Walking Dead‘s finales, for example, are simply mind-blowing, and are probably the main reason I still watch the show. I find quite a few of the episodes to be rather boring with no progress whatsoever (and no, they’re not character development episodes, they’re simply filler material since those specific episodes do not contribute to the story or the characters at all — I still strongly believe the show could have less but stronger episodes if they just cut off some of the watching-grass-grow elements), but they keep doing these finales that ensure I come back next year for another season.

The finale of finales, the ending episode of a show, has that same impact multiplied by 10. I can still feel the disappointed some great shows have left me with their ending whenever I think of them. A rather recent example would be How I Met Your Mother‘s final episode. You know, where in the first half we got everything that the show was working toward through all their seasons, and then in the second half we see it all crumble down and we get the complete opposite. I keep seeing “it was logical” in defense of the ending, which makes no sense really. HIMYM was never logical, no episode was fully logical, it is a comedy and it had only one goal — to show how Ted met the mom. Somewhere along the way, they realized they’re making big bucks so they decided to have a full season leading to Robin and Barney’s wedding, in addition to showing the kids’ mom and having the fans become closer with her. And all that was undone in several minutes when the mom dies, the kids show absolutely no emotion regarding that, and they push Ted to go to Robin who divorced Barney (who went back to his old slutty ways but got a girl pregnant and he “fell in love” with his daughter) because her work was too important to make any sacrifice.

I’m well aware that they had this ending filmed back when the show started. However, that is no excuse for going along with it. The show went longer than planned, had a lot more content that initially planned, obviously, so that “old ending” no longer fit there. Ted and Robin kept going back and forth that them being together in the end is absolutely the last thing I wanted to see.

A similar case, but on a smaller level, took place with Dexter‘s finale. After realizing that he cannot change who he is and that those around him would always be in danger, he has Hannah and Harrison leave the country while he disappears with his boat. That would have been an average ending, leaving up to our imagination on what actually happens afterward. But they decided to show him working as a lumberjack, apparently living with the consequences his actions left him. The issue with this? Well, if he managed to become a peaceful Buddha lumberjack, that means he can go back to Hannah and Harrison. If he still posed danger to those around him, then why wasn’t he shown doing the oh so lovely deaths he used to do? Shake my head in disbelief.

A complete opposite of the Lost ending, which added more questions than resolving the plethora of mysteries we already had going. Yet I cannot decide which one was worse. It’s not about closure, giving us something that says “well, this show is over”, but rather about finalizing the story you told, the story the fans have so faithfully followed for years. You owe the audience at least that, a proper ending. It doesn’t have to be anything Disney-like (heck, I’m all for the harsh, cruel endings), but something that will truly complete the tale.

I feel like Parks and Recreation just schooled every other show on that front with their season 6 finale. Yes, it wasn’t even the actual last episode of the show, but I can guarantee you if that was in fact the last episode, 99% of the fans would have been satisfied. Leslie met Michelle Obama, the Mouse Rats reunited for the Unity Concert which also featured a Lil Sebastian hologram, Tom finally has a good business going thanks to all his friends, Leslie accepted the National Parks job but managed to find a way to work in Pawnee thanks to Ron who was fixing the third floor throughout the season, and we fast-forward in time to actually see this. If that wasn’t enough, we see Leslie’s triplets, and a cameo from Jon Hamm (Mad Men) being fired by Leslie because he was apparently worse than Garry, Jerry, Larry, Terry. Seriously, the episode had everything (with the exception of Ann and Chris) that a fan would want from the actual ending, it was that good!

They might yet screw up the actual ending, but the writing is so brilliant I doubt that’s possible. Let’s move to something that’s already over though — Breaking Bad. It kept going better and better and I was rather worried that moving up the ladder all the time would lead to an inevitable downfall with the ending. Oh boy, was I wrong. And I’ve never been that glad to be wrong. The highlight, and likely the best episode on TV ever was definitely S5E14 – Ozymandias, but the two following afterward, Granite State and Felina, provided a rather bittersweet yet satisfying ending. I kept imagining possible scenarios for the end and I didn’t like any of them, so thank you Vince Gilligan for providing that unique one that felt just right. Heisenberg manages to pull a final mastermind act to save Jesse, while losing his own life. But obviously ensures that the money he worked so hard to obtain will eventually be given to his family. There’s a reason why everyone was, is, and likely will still be talking about Breaking Bad for a while.

Last, but not least, I’d like to give some credit to Suits. I feel like it’s this baby show that no many are aware of but it will eventually have its BOOM because they deserves it with the outstanding writing and acting. Its finales never disappoint, are full of twists and misleading plots, and they make the impossible quite possible — I don’t believe I can ever sit down and watch full seasons of any other lawyer show. Might be because it is not your typical courtroom lawyers, but still, season after season even when I think the show might start losing its juice and will likely end soon, they spin things around and bring enough freshness for me to crave at least a few more seasons. These lawyers have some tricks up their sleeves, and they know how to use them.

So, to sum up, if you’re going to do a finale for a season or for the end of a show, make it bloody count. Because it will have an impact on who continues to watch your show, and who praises or curses your show after it’s all done.

There & Back Again

If this blog could speak up, I’m sure I would have been yelled at many, many times, and probably dumped several months ago which was like the second or third time I left it high and dry. Thank goodness it’s not that clingy to a long-term relationship. That being said, I’m excited to have it back up and running again. In fact, I’ve been excited about that since December, I just never got around to actually doing something with the excitement until I decided if I don’t start somewhere, I won’t get anywhere.

Let me do just a quick overview of some significant and non-significant elements of the past few months. I feel like some excuses (yes, plural is needed here!) are overdue.

  • September: Moving back to my Uni city, lack of internet, and a plethora of exams.
  • October : Hiding behind books, reading and getting ready for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), the month when thousands and thousands of people challenge themselves with the idea to produce a 50,000 words novel, without the use of any spells, charms, magical objects or potions. Except coffee, as per usual.
  • November: NaNoWriMo, or otherwise known as Doomsday. I’m that person that constantly leans toward writing, but never really gets anywhere with it, and it bugs the hell out of me. The number of ideas, plots, characters, and actual scenes that I go through inside my head on a daily and nightly basis, yet none of those live to see fruition or progress of any kind. This was my third, or maybe fourth year of trying NaNoWriMo (yes, I lost count), but ‘trying’ is too big of a word for what I did in the past years. The first few days I’d do some writing, and tell myself I’ll catch up eventually, and then a writer’s block would cut me off and I’d just never get back to it. This year I made myself a promise I’ll reach 50k words by the end of November even if it meant going Looney Tuns crazy.
  • December: I FREAKING DID IT!!! And spend the first five days recovering, obviously. Then it was time to cherish the rewards, as well as read some new books. Oh, squeeze continue writing the book in there too.
  • January: Christmas is on the 7th of January over here so my holidays period is basically from New Year’s till around the 10th. Obviously I squeezed some writing here as well, and thankfully am done on that front (now the book just needs to sit in the bad corner for a few months, at which point I’ll go back to it and slap myself for all the dumb things I’ve written. And throw it out of the window ala Bradley Cooper style). Another extra sessions took place to wrap up the month nicely.
  • February: And it seems the shortest month will allow me to breathe the longest. While still busy, I actually have some extra free time for a change.

Wasn’t that fun? No, it wasn’t. But it’s my blog and I had to get it out. I truly did not plan to simply disappear from the blog without a word or notice, it just happened and I kept postponing the return. What I didn’t postpone was keeping in pace with the ridiculous number of TV Shows I watch, and playing Blizzard’s Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft ever since I got in the closed beta. Really thankful I got in then, it let me get prepared for the influx of newbies now that the game is in open beta state.

To get back on topic though, I’ve come up with a few project ideas I’m working on for the blog. A list of examples, because lists are pretty:

  • 2013 TV show awards, without all the crappy politics that tend to get in the way with the actual awards;
  • Fall TV 2013, quick review of all the new TV shows that premiered this fall;
  • 86th Oscars predictions, because I somehow always watch them yet I have never seen half the movies but this year I’ve compiled a list of the ones I haven’t seen yet and will be doing that during the month of February;
  • Personal master TV ratings list for all the shows I’ve seen, though I opted for a rather complicated system and it may be a while by the time I complete my spreadsheet (have you not noticed yet how seriously I take my shows?);
  • Graphic exhibition page, because I’ve been spending extra time with PS6 and feel like showing off some of the ones I created from scratch – hey, I ain’t no Picasso but Kim Kardashian ain’t no host and look at her.

One step at a time though. I also need to catch up with the folks I’m following to see what they’ve been up to, and I do feel I need to get some sleep. Sleep is nice. Else we’d be like the gif below.

Bunny Coma

Top 5 TV Episodes, August 19th-1st

Due to the fact that I’ve been busy and will remain busy for about two more weeks, I decided to head for the impossible and try to combine two weeks worth of TV Show Episodes in two consecutive posts. By that, I mean instead of doing 4 posts, one for each week of a month’s time, I’d instead do just 2 posts and they would each cover two weeks of that same time period. By impossible, I mean placing TV Episodes of the same Show against each other. This post covers the TV Episodes I’ve seen during the period of August 19th and the 1st of September. On my cut-off position I’d like to place Dexter’s S08E09 Make Your Own Kind of Music episode. With a single episode during this 2-weeks period, it was definitely the weakest link in the pile. Now just 3 more episodes left till the Show’s end, and no sign of a big  finish.

#5 – Under the Dome: S01E10 – Let the Games Begin

This episode was full of revelations and general information discovery in many directions. Linda finding a key in Duke’s sheriff hat that leads to a safety-deposit box in Chester Mill’s bank, which reveals quite a bit of the bad work in the city to both her and Julia, who additionally opens a safety-deposit box of her own which tells her of the whereabouts of her husband. Maxine opens a bar where people gamble possessions on bare-knuckled fights and the star of the fight is the town’s new hero. Big Jim pays a visit to a lake house in hope to find information regarding Maxine and Barbie’s relationship, but might find a bit more than he’s hoping for. Dodee sets on a mission to discover what Joe and Norrie are up to and comes across the mini-dome which apparently is a character of its own now. Meanwhile, Angie realizes she knows the identity of the person whom the mini-dome’s fourth handprint belongs to.

#4 – Breaking Bad: S05E12 – Rabid Dog

This was not a weak episode for Breaking Bad, not at all, the only reason it’s placed lower than the preceding episode is because this one has less action. It was obviously there to get things rolling for the next episode. We see Jesse’s loyalties changing now that he realized Walter poisoned Brock, and we see Skyler that she’s no longer the whiny witch from the previous seasons, she’s ready to ride in Heisenberg’s car (in fact, she’d prefer to drive!). It was a good episode, I cannot imagine Breaking Bad having a weak episode at this point, but an obvious slightly slowing down with so the plot can get ready for the final race.

#3 – Suits: S03E07 – She’s Mine

Slightly behind its preceding episode, but only because I greatly missed the flashbacks we had in that one. This was a fun and witty episode, as always. I enjoyed the mock trial between Louis and Nigel as to who should get custody over Nigel’s cat. While they are very few, I’m definitely a fan of the mock trials in this TV Show. Mike heading head to head with Jessica, I think it’s safe to say he feels part of the family (Pearson Specter) when we see him just walking in Jessica’s office as he does in Harvey’s office. Then we have Donna standing up against Huntley because he screwed up Harvey, obviously proving she still loves him. And finally, that was that ending scene where Harvey delivered the beating up he promised to Huntley. Might just be one of Suits’ best endings so far.

#2 – Suits: S03E06 – The Other Time

A fantastic episode spiced up with flashbacks from 10 years ago! Suits could not have had a better scenario than this one. There is not much left to discuss here, seeing the early days of Donna, Harvey, Donna & Harvey, Jessica, Trevor, etc. The present and 10 years ago versions were mixed up together in a great fashion, capturing messages that still haunt our characters even 10 years after. We also finally found out why Mike couldn’t have went to Harvard after coming to work with Harvey (it always bugged me why no one even mentioned this, so thank goodness that possible plot hole has been filled). A look back on its own would have been great for Suits, but to add to the level of quality, it was executed brilliantly. A must-watch.

#1 – Breaking Bad: S05E11 – Confessions

Skyler, Walter, Marie, and Hank, are out for dinner which turns out to be one of the several unbearably tense dinners the show has seen in its existence. Obviously telling someone “Just kill yourself” is a bad thing to do at dinner, Marie. Could have at least waited after you finished eating. The waiter offering margaritas and tableside guacamole did not help at all. But, Heisenberg is Heisenberg and he will not let some crazy Marie who cannot differentiate between rocks and minerals have the last word. He had videotaped his confessions as a meth cook, which he made sure Marie and Hank had a copy of before leaving dinner. Your reaction was probably close to mine – WHAT?! But, as it happens, the confessions are false and point toward Hank as the muscle behind the whole operation, obviously putting the Schrader family in a tight position. Jesse on the other hand, has no idea what he’s doing but on Walter’s suggestion he decides to leave town. Except just as he’s about to pop in the getaway car, he realizes the truth behind poor little Brock’s death.

BreakingBadS05E11

Breaking Bad S05E11: Confessions