Archive for ABC

Pushing Daisies (S02E03): “Bad Habits”

Posted in Pushing Daisies, TV with tags , , , , on October 16, 2008 by scenescreen

Grade: A

More than any other show on TV, I can count on Pushing Daisies to give me a reason to smile every week. That’s because Daisies has yet to truly let me down, even in its roughest weeks, and “Bad Habits” sticks to the very good habit of crafting an hour long escape that leaves my cheeks feeling the slightest bit tingly and my heart a little warmer.

Olive and Ned are both dealing with abandonment issues this week: Olive feeling abandoned emotionally by Ned, and Ned still not over being dropped to the curb by his father. Their separate but related issues collide when one of Olive’s sisters falls from a bell tower and she brings Emmerson, Ned and Chuck in to help solve the case. So these dilemmas are nothing new, but their finally coming face with them and with each other. Olive’s run away to keep her guard up and her secrets inside it, but she gets the chance to spill it all to Ned in the nunnery and can instantly feel a heavy burden pulled off her like a plastic bag from the head.

This season has demonstrated in more than one way its insistence on these characters to move forward, out of the past and into the future. The problem is that they’re scared of both their pasts, with all its dark corners, and their futures, clouded by uncertainties that point back to the past. Olive’s admissions to Ned and his subsequent apology to her, for not being the slightest bit sensitive to her feelings in his whirlwind romance with Chuck, allows her to finally move out of the past and toward that future.

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Grey’s Anatomy (S05E03): “Here Comes the Flood”

Posted in Grey's Anatomy, TV with tags , , on October 11, 2008 by scenescreen

Grade: B-

Grey’s managed to pick itself back up a little after last week’s near-unbearable premiere by making the cast more likable and the stories more sincere, but still suffered from the “ER Syndrome” of adding unnecessarily dramatic events into the hospital setting. Last week it was an icicle, this week it’s a flood, and it’s hard not to think that these freak accidents could become a pattern.

Last week was about reshaping the Hospital to get up its ranking, while this week starts with the Chief addressing all his staff and talking of cutting out malignancies, which should start with the people that work their and trickle down. He says he wants no more personal relationships interfering with work, whether it’s between employees or between doctors and their patients, and he doesn’t want people, aka Christina, being allowed to specialize in only one area. And just like last week was a clear double-sided message, this one very clearly bleeds behind the scenes as well. They need to get ratings for Grey’s up, so they’re cutting out the bad stuff and trying to change things up. Shonda isn’t keen on subtlety it would seem, but the message is still a sign of better episodes in the future. Hopefully. Unfortunately, while baby steps were made this time around, certain watery disasters held this hour back from being really good.

Grey’s first season had very few episodes that had any kind of extraordinary events in them, and the individual patients and the characters had enough going on that you didn’t need anything added on top of them. Somewhere along the way, though, Shonda decided there needed to be a disaster every week, perhaps starting after the Ferry incident and spiraling out of control afterward. It’s annoying and takes the show into further depths of the unreal, and the fact is that the show could thrive just as well without them. In this episode, there’s a busted pipe somewhere in the hospital that begins by causing minor leaks until it eventually floods a good portion of the hospital. Water’s rushing into elevators, dropping into patient’s abdomens and causing general over-the-top chaos.

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Ugly Betty (S03E03): “Crimes of Fashion”

Posted in TV, Ugly Betty with tags , , , on October 10, 2008 by scenescreen

Grade: B

With news that Rebecca Romijn would be leaving the show early on this season circulating the web for some time, this episode was bound to happen. It has that feel that most shows do when real life drama seeps into the fictional world, seeming just a little forced and raising all sorts of “what ifs” as to where the characters would have gone had the writer’s pen not been guided by outside influences. Tonight’s story certainly felt propelled along by the need to find Alexis an exit door, but that said it was still enjoyable even if the weakest episode in the still fledgling season.

“Crimes of Fashion” is all about the aftermath of Christina’s classic soap opera moment last week–pushed down the stairs by an unseen hand. Betty gets wrapped up in the middle of it all, trying to prove Daniel’s innocence after she unintentionally lets the police know that Daniel had asked her to lie about his whereabouts on the night of the incident. It’s of course very clear by this early revelation that Daniel is not guilty, but it’s all about finding the evidence to prove this. The episode flashes back and forth between the present and the slowly connecting pieces of the puzzle from the night of the MODE party, presented in drunken sepia tone.

What was a nice touch in Betty’s sleuthing was the humanizing of almost all of our characters. Usually, one or maybe two might have a tender moment in an episode, but tonight they all let their guard down for Betty, albeit only briefly. Amanda shares her financial woes and we learn just how she affords (or doesn’t afford) her fancy lifestyle, Marc reveals he likes to slap around Wilhelmina’s Mannequin, which looks a lot like one of those Real Dolls, and Claire admits she can’t drink one cocktail without drinking fifty. These little moments of insight into the real thoughts of the characters versus the personas they’re always putting on are always enjoyable, and these were no exception.

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Ugly Betty (S03E02): “Filing for the Enemy”

Posted in TV, Ugly Betty with tags , , on October 5, 2008 by scenescreen

Grade: B+

True to it’s soap opera nature, the stories on Ugly Betty are like quickly revolving doors, bringing in new ideas just as fast as they give them the boot. The third season started with many changes afoot, but by the end of the second hour many of these shakeups have have replaced with new ones, and it’s both a good and bad thing. Overall, though, this was another fun romp with Betty Suarez and crew even if it was outdone by Marc and Amanda’s interweb exploits.

Last week, Wilhelmina finally had her hands on MODE, Daniel was head of the skanky Player Magazine, and Betty was focusing on Betty by getting her own place. This week, the only one of those plots to stick is Betty’s. By the end of hour two, Wilhelmina’s throne has been overturned and Daniel is in place to return as editor in chief, but there’s a lot that leads up to this point.

This episode seems to be about juggling what you want with what you believe in and then fighting for whatever it is you choose. Daniel finds out his son’s grandparents want him back home, leaving him to decide if he lets him go or takes the matter to court, where a long, bitter struggle could take place. Not only that, but he must decide if taking back MODE is worth a struggle, but at first he’s unwilling to take the first swing. Betty is struggling with her loyalty to Daniel and her career aspirations, and she momentarily chooses the latter. She returns to MODE as Wilhelmina’s protege, but gets a startling glimpse at what following that path might lead to. And, finally, there’s Hilda who has to choose between being the other woman or letting her married boyfriend go.

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Pushing Daisies (S02E01): “Bzzzzzzzzz”

Posted in Pushing Daisies, TV with tags , , , , , on October 2, 2008 by scenescreen

Grade: A

After pining for its return for months, the premiere of Pushing Daisies came and went like a dream that you wake up smiling from, only to realize you’re back in reality and it was, after all, only a dream. The word charming should have Pushing Daisies as one of its dictionary definitions, because this world, these characters and their stories are so delightful it’s hard to find any faults, and easy to look past the ones there are.

I can’t recall a show that puts a grin on my face several times every episode; a grin so big I can feel my face stretching to an almost uncomfortable degree. Chuck spilling out dead bees onto a shirtless Ned to revive them, Emmerson Cod and his pop-up detective book Lil’ Gumshoe (with a light up street lamp!), and Olive’s homage to the Sound of Music were all moments this hour that had my face hurting and feeling strangely warm. Fuzzy, tingly moments aside, there’s a lot going down in the first episode back after a painfully long hiatus, and it’s not all good. Case in point: The grotesque image of a dead woman covered in bee stings and harboring a colony of them inside her mouth.

This episode is all about bees, in case the title didn’t give it away. Chuck’s bees are dying for some reason and millions of girls around the world are given reason to “squee” at her plan of action: To get Ned in his boxers and pour a beehive full of bees onto his pale shoulders so they will come buzzing back to life. Meanwhile, a woman has been killed by a swarm of bees, which makes for the ugliest death on the show yet, and the lover she left behind comes to Emmerson for help. Turns out the girl, Kentucky Fitz, worked for a company called Betty’s Bees, A Burt’s Bees-esque company, but with a much cooler headquarters. She was trying to sabotage the company before she died, but someone caught on and set loose a swarm of unhappy bees on her. When Ned uses his powers on her and Asks how she planned to sabotage the company, she says something that sounds like “With might”.

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Ugly Betty Webisodes

Posted in news, TV, Ugly Betty with tags , , on September 30, 2008 by scenescreen

Webisodes are becoming a staple of some of TVs biggest shows, like LOST, Battlestar, and The Office, and now Ugly Betty has joined in on the fun, offering a web exclusive series of shorts following the adventures of BFFs Marc and Mandy.

If you’re a fan of Betty, these shorts are totally worth you’re time. The first had me chuckling, but the second had me straight out cracking up. I think Marc and Manda’s adventures are one of the best aspects of the show, and this is them at their silliest. There’s only 2 up so far, but more are coming every Thursday, though I’m not sure how many there will be total.

So get crackin’ and go watch them and fall a little bit more in love with this quirky show.

Grey’s Anatomy (S05E01) “Dream A Little Dream Of Me”

Posted in Grey's Anatomy, TV with tags , on September 27, 2008 by scenescreen

Grade: C

Last year’s season finale of Grey’s Anatomy was a good bookend to a bad season, and while I had some hope for this show’s 2 hour return to TV, I felt very little excitement over it. Grey’s hooked me early on and steadily lost me more and more as it aged, to the point that I held very few expectations and was just glad when the show delivered. After watching tonight’s premiere, I must admit I’m a little embarrassed to admit I like Grey’s Anatomy, and it has very little to do with me being a guy and a lot to do with what this program has become–a medical soap odyssey populated by the most self-centered, immature bunch of fake people ever to walk the halls of a fake earth, which I am thankful does not exist.

Is the premiere a total disaster? That big hint at my overall impression aside, no it’s not, but it’s a bigger wreck than the multiple limousine accidents that the story revolved around. As with most episodes, there are scattered moments of very good things happening, and it’s all a matter of what they add up to. So does the good mixed with the bad equal out to a satisfying product? Let’s take a look.

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