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My TV season wrap-up – Part 4 (Grey’s Anatomy, FlashForward)

28 May

May is here and that means the most recent television season has come to an end.  Season finales are usually filled with just enough drama to keep the viewer invested so that they return three months later.  This year’s group of shows really upped their games and were probably some of the best finales in quite a few seasons.

I wish I had enough time to watch every show that I love during the TV season, but that just isn’t possible.  I’ve picked some of the shows I love and have been devoted to all year to breakdown how they ended their seasons.  There will be some spoilers, so be warned.  The shows I will focus on are House, One Tree Hill, Modern Family, Cougar Town, Bones, Fringe, Grey’s Anatomy, Life Unexpected and FlashForward.  The final part of my series will focus on Grey’s Anatomy and the now defunct FlashForward.

Grey’s Anatomy:

The two-hour finale of Grey’s definitely reinvigorated the show as it ended its sixth season.  Creator Shonda Rhimes threw caution to the wind and wrote an episode that was filled with emotional good-bye’s, drama and mystery.  Having a shooter enter the hospital and take the lives of many characters was risky, but it totally paid off. 

Grey’s has been more popular the last few years for the behind the scenes and off-screen drama than for its storylines and artistic qualities.  With most of the buzzworthy actors now gone from the show (Katherine Heigl, T.R. Knight), the cast and crew can get back to what this show started out as: a fun, medical drama with an ensemble cast that draws viewers in for the story as well as the superficial attraction to the actors.

Some of the best acting from the last few years was on display in the finale.  Chandra Wilson gave an Emmy worthy performance as she watched one of her fellow doctors die in her arms.  The acting from the other cast members was top-notch as well, but the bigger story was the story.  Derek was shot, Meredith was pregnant…and miscarried, Owen chose Cristina, Alex called out for Izzie, Arizona and Callie decide to have a family, etc. 

The drama and character development in the finale alone should provide for much entertaining material next season.  I love the addition of Jesse Williams to the cast and look forward to what they have in store for him next.  I like Sarah Drew as an actress, but her role on Grey’s has been rough for me.  Her character has been very whiney and I’d like to see her grow a bit and the finale gave the perfect opportunity for that if she returns for season seven.

FlashForward:

I am absolutely bummed that this show will not be around for a second season.  I think there were just too many creative changes behind the scenes for a real shot here.  It also didn’t help that they took a very lengthy break half-way into the season.  This show was dubbed as the next LOST, but never caught on with viewers. 

Basically, the show was about a worldwide blackout that occurred and no one knew why or how it happened.  Over the season, the FBI got involved and it was revealed that there were double agents and others trying  to make sure that the answers were never found.  I don’t think the plot was as confusing as some made it out to be.  The problem was that many of the resolutions didn’t come until the last three or four episodes.

As I watched the final episode, I could definitely see a future for the show, but that’s just not going to happen.  I would love to know how the writers intended for the story to progress.  The show was built of an ensemble cast that included veterans from LOST (Sonya Walger, Dominic Monaghan) and other established actors (Joseph Fiennes, John Cho, Courtney B. Vance).  I really think the show started to come into its own and it’s a shame that the full vision won’t be realized.

You can check out the other parts in my series here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

My TV season wrap-up – Part 3 (Bones, Fringe)

25 May

May is here and that means the most recent television season has come to an end.  Season finales are usually filled with just enough drama to keep the viewer invested so that they return three months later.  This year’s group of shows really upped their games and were probably some of the best finales in quite a few seasons.

I wish I had enough time to watch every show that I love during the TV season, but that just isn’t possible.  I’ve picked some of the shows I love and have been devoted to all year to breakdown how they ended their seasons.  There will be some spoilers, so be warned.  The shows I will focus on are House, One Tree Hill, Modern Family, Cougar Town, Bones, Fringe, Grey’s Anatomy, Life Unexpected and FlashForward.  Part 3 of my series will focus on Bones and Fringe.

Bones:

I’ve loved this show since it began five years ago, but I’m hoping what they tried in the finale will actually lead to some change.  Bones (Emily Deschanel) and Booth (David Boreanaz) have been working side by side with sexual tension for years.  This past season, Booth finally admitted to Bones how he felt about her and she rejected him.  The 100th episode of the series, which focused on that reveal, was the beginning of change for the two.  Bones, a forensic anthropologist, has a difficult time relating to others. Booth, a FBI special agent, has been the one person who loves her for that and takes the time to teach her the socially acceptable way to behave around others.  When Booth revealed how he felt, Bones cried (which is highly uncharacteristic of her).

The following episodes up until the finale showed that even though Bones rejected him, that didn’t mean she didn’t have feelings for him.  The two main characters were given the opportunity to work apart and they decided it would be best to be separated for the one year that each project requested of them.  They said their final goodbye’s in an airport and although they didn’t share a kiss, the love could be felt even more because they didn’t.  The chemistry between the two characters is impalpable.

Obviously, the characters will not be split up for a year (hello, this is TV people!).  It will be exciting when the show comes back in the fall to see how they tackle the separation.  The supporting cast also dealt with changes in the finale and we’ll see if they go through transformations as well.  I’m a huge fan of the Hodgins/Angela relationship, so it was more than satisfying when they finally got married a few episodes ago.  The character of Sweets is hysterical and John Francis Daly (of Freaks and Geeks fame) was such a great addition to the cast a few seasons ago.

Fringe:

This show just finished up its sophomore season and it just keeps getting better.  Revolving around the fringe division of the FBI, the show tackles the unexplainable.  The cast is filled with veterans and newcomers alike.  John Noble is so deserving of an Emmy for his role as Dr. Walter Bishop that it boggles my mind he hasn’t even been nominated yet.  He has fantastic chemistry with his on-screen son, played by Joshua JacksonAnna Torv is a little one-dimensional for my liking, but toward the end of season two she’s been given more emotional scenes to play, which I like.

Along with the presence of fringe science and the ridiculously insane things that the characters come across, the show deals with two alternate universes.  Peter (Jackson) found out that he is not from the universe we all know of, but the alternate universe.  Walter was responsible and Peter travels to that other place.  Walter and Olivia (Torv) go to find him and Olivia reveals her feelings toward Peter once she finds him. 

The problem with the alternate universe is that there are doubles of everyone.  Whoever is in one universe is also in the other, but just because the outside may look the same, the people couldn’t be more different.  Olivia was captured in the finale and her double went back to the other universe with Peter and Walter, but no one knows of the switch. 

The stories on this show are outlandish, but so well executed.  Most of the characters could easily be cartoons of a character, but they are developed in such a way that gives them diverse layers.  As much as I think I want to see a Peter-Olivia relationship, I don’t know how I feel about it.  Luckily, with the switch that took place, the relationship will be postponed somewhat (at least with the real Olivia).  The decision to move the show to Thursdays resulted in a pretty large slashing of the number of viewers, but it is paired with a great lead-in in Bones.  Hopefully, season 3 will be a breakout season for the show said to resemble an X-Files type series.

*Part 4 will focus on Grey’s Anatomy and FlashForward

Click to read Part 1 & Part 2 of my TV wrap-up.

‘LOST: The End’ Review

24 May

Whew! Ok, so after that lengthy recap of Sunday night’s final LOST episode, I am ready to talk about what the heck it was all about.  I loved the finale.  I thought it was pure television excellence.  Of course, not all questions were answered and the finale produced even more questions, but what great storytelling from Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse.  To have 2 1/2 hours of a series finale include so much emotion and heart is just unbelievable.  I would love to talk to someone who didn’t shed at least one tear during the show.  I know I had the box of Kleenex next to me for the entire show and went through many.  I felt happy, but emotionally drained when it had all come to an end.  As a lover of television and film, I couldn’t ask for more. 

Sure, there will be those that are upset with the ending or the religious overtones that it produced, but the production value, acting performances and writing trump any personal frustration in my opinion. 

I truly think the show was about love and redemption.  The reunions proved the love factor and over the course of season 6, redemption seemed to be a driving force.  Ben helping Hurley in the end, Sayid’s self-sacrifice with the bomb and Jack risking everything to save the island are examples of that redemption.

Here are some of my questions, comments or random thoughts about the final episode:

*First off, where was Walt??  I get that the actor grew like 10 feet since the start of the series, but they could have found a way to incorporate him.  I was kind of disappointed about that, honestly.  I was waiting to see him at least in the church at the end, but nothing.

*Here are a couple of my favorite lines from the episode.  Ben was trying to walkie-talkie Miles to find out the status of the plane and Lapidus picks up the device and says, “Don’t bother me!”

After being given duct tape from Lapidus to fix something inside the plane, Miles says, “I don’t believe in a lot of things, but I do believe in duct tape.”  Obviously the characters of Miles and Lapidus brought some needed comedic relief to the finale.

*Michael Giacchino, the composer for LOST, did such a fantastic job of incorporating dramatic music to accompany the scenes.  Every reunion scene was made all the more emotional with the addition of the music in the background.  Well done!

*Why weren’t Miles, Lapidus and Richard in the church?  They were all “good” people, so why weren’t they included in the final group when Rose, Bernard and even Libby were?  I would have loved to see what happened to Richard after Miles found a gray hair on him.

*I’m curious as to why Ben didn’t go inside the church.  Was he not allowed to?  Did he feel he wasn’t redeemed enough to move on?  I actually felt badly for him, he looked so defeated in those final moments.

*I’ve been torn as to what the sideways world actually was and I think it was more of an in-between world.  I do get confused as to the logistics though.  I mean Jack’s son’s mother was….Juliet??  So at what point did that happen?  And does the sideways world mean that all of the flashbacks from earlier seasons weren’t real? 

*I tried not to take the last scenes as overly religious.  I get that they took place in a church and all, but I tried to look it as more of a faith thing than a religious one.  Faith vs. science had always been a running theme, so I’m going to leave it as faith winning out.

*I loved the appearance of Rose & Bernard in the jungle and at the end of the episode.  They were such beloved characters that it was rewarding to have the chance to see them again.

*Matthew Fox did an incredible job in this final episode.  The entire cast was brilliant, but Fox reached down and pulled out some incredible moments for his final time as Jack Shephard.

*I would have liked to see a final moment between Desmond & Penny, as they were one of the most touching and loving couples that came from LOST.  The appearance of them together at the end wasn’t enough for me.

I suppose I could go on forever about what this show was about, who should have been involved more and so on, but LOST has come to an end and it was a one of a kind television show.  LOST will stand the test of time and whether people try to duplicate it at some point remains to be seen, but it will always be six years of original, dramatic and entertaining art.

‘LOST: The End’ Recap

24 May

As much as I wanted to write a review immediately after having watched ‘The End’ last night, there is no way I could have.  I knew that if I did I would leave out many things that I didn’t have time to process.  Even today, 12 hours after LOST concluded, I am still trying to wrap my head around what I watched.  I’m sure I won’t touch upon everything that happened, but I’m going to do my best.  There are spoilers galore in here, so please be warned.  Also, there is no way for this to be a short post, so bear with me as I tackle the finale of LOST. 

Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, writers and executive producers of LOST, took the 2 1/2 hours they were given and jam-packed it with reunions, love, loss and confusion.  Whether people agree with the way they chose to end the series, they can’t disagree with the fact that “Darlton” (as they are commonly referred to as) took you on a journey that produced many tears and tugged at the heart-strings.

From the beginning of the episode you could tell that there would be much crossover from the island world to the ‘sideways’ world.  The show started off with a back-and-forth glimpse of many of our favorite characters in each of their respective worlds.  Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick), still on his mission of getting all the characters together, didn’t have as big a role as I thought he would in the finale.  He succeeded in getting everyone together in the sideways world and he played a role in turning “the light” off on the island.  He was presumed dead, but Jack (Matthew Fox) saved him. (More on that later.)

The Man in Black/Smoke Monster/Fake Locke (Terry O’Quinn) was determined to destroy the island in order to leave it and he knew that turning off the light was key to doing just that.  After getting Desmond to do the dirty work, he thought he had succeeded.  However, apparently by turning the light off, it made everyone capable of dying now.  Jack hit Fake Locke with a rock and he bled, something that was impossible prior to the light switching off and Richard Alpert (Nestor Carbonell), who had been the same age for centuries found his first gray hair.

Fake Locke (I’ll just refer to him as Locke from here on out) managed to escape from Jack after knocking him out cold.  While Locke was trying to escape, Jack met him for the last time upon a rocky mountain top.  A fight to the death was going to take place and each man was willing to do whatever was necessary to win.  Locke stabbed Jack, which left him almost incapacitated.  Locke was going in for the kill by trying to stab him in the throat when a gun shot went off into the chest of Locke.  Kate (Evangeline Lilly) came to the rescue and once Jack was able to get up, he kicked Locke off the ledge and he plummeted to his death hundreds of feet below.

Kate tried to persuade Jack to leave with her, but his duty was clear to him.  They then professed their love for one another and Kate left with Sawyer (Josh Holloway), who even thanked Jack in a sincere manner.  Hurley (Jorge Garcia) and Ben (Michael Emerson) said they were sticking with Jack and that is when they headed for the light again.  When Desmond turned the light off, by pulling what could only be described as a stopper of some sort out of the light source, he thought that it would save everyone, but instead it was the beginning of the end for the island.  Jack thought that by going back and replacing the stopper it would restore the light and save everyone remaining on the island.  It didn’t work….at first.  As Jack lay there dying, the light eventually came back on and he had accomplished what his duty had always been.  He destroyed Locke and protected the island.  In a twist, before going down to fix the light, he bestowed his newly Jacob-annointed powers onto Hurley.  Using the same words Jacob had said to him, Jack told Hurley, “Now, you are like me.”

Over on Hydra Island, Kate, Sawyer, Richard, Miles (Ken Leung) and Lapidus (Jeff Fahey) were about to take off in the old Ajira plane that had previously been rigged with explosives.  After disarming everything and fixing the plane, the group was able to take off and leave for good.  This left Hurley, Ben, Desmond and a dying Jack on the island.  The only part of this I was confused about was that Hurley and Ben talked about there being another way to get Desmond back as well.  Nothing else was ever said about that and Hurley declared Ben as his second in command, giving Ben a true feeling of belonging for probably the first time in his life.

That just about sums up everything that took place on the island in the finale, except for the very last scene which I will discuss in a bit.  In the sideways world, Darlton managed to bring together everyone we, as viewers, loved.  There were returning cast members (Shannon & Boone!!) and reunions on a massive scale.  The romance factor of the episode was grand and were some of the most beautiful scenes I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching.  Jin and Sun (Daniel Dae Kim, Yunjin Kim) were still in the hospital after Sun had been shot in a previous episode.  They were waiting for the doctor to come check on the baby when who walks in….Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell)!  She was their obstetrician and when she touched Sun, Sun began to recall her island life…and death.  Jin grabbed her hand and in that moment he remembered it all as well.  Juliet was going to have her moment eventually, but this reunion was all about the lovers who had been kept apart throughout much of the series. 

Sawyer came to the hospital to warn the Kwon’s about the disappearance of the man thought to have shot Sun.  He came into their room and they had nothing but smiles on their faces as they knew of their past life that included Sawyer, but he did not.  He passes Jack in the hospital hallways and he looks as though he is beginning to remember something, but it wasn’t until he crossed paths with Juliet that all became clear.  While trying to get candy out of a machine, she appears and when they touch, everything comes flooding back to them of their life together.  They are both taken off guard, but the pull between them is undeniable.  They embrace and everyone is reminded of the connection and love they shared together.

Sayid (Naveen Andrews), with the help of Hurley and Boone (Ian Somerhalder), is reunited with Shannon (Maggie Grace), his short-lived love from the beginning of the series.  I would say this is the least emotional of the reunions, but it was still nice for Sayid to get a happy ending. 

The reunion of Claire (Emilie DeRavin) and Charlie (Dominic Monaghan) was iconic and brilliantly executed.  After Desmond reunited most of the islanders at a concert featuring Charlie’s band, Drive Shaft, Charlie sees Claire and is fixated on her.  He had seen her image in a past episode with Desmond, but now that she is there in person is something all together different.  Claire is also reunited with Kate, who she remembers from the taxi ride where Kate pulled a gun on the driver.  Claire then begins to go into labor and Kate follows her and helps her deliver Aaron.  During the delivery, both women have the flashbacks of their island life when Kate helped Claire deliver Aaron.  The emotion was heart wrenching and then in comes Charlie.  He wants to help and he eventually remembers as well after touching Claire.  Claire and Charlie’s island romance was so pure and innocent and to have them reconnect and remember their island family was incredible.

Locke remembers his island life after Jack successfully performs surgery that results in Locke gaining the use of his legs again.  Jack has brief flashes, but refuses to acknowledge them as real.  Jack eventually goes to the concert where he believes his son is and he sees Kate.  She approaches him and after touching his face, he sees their past life together.  He is still having a difficult time coming to terms with what he is seeing, but Kate promises that it will all make sense.  Their reunion was seriously lacking, which I found odd.  All of the other couples had their embraces, but I am thinking since they had their declaration of love on the island that is why they didn’t have it in the sideways world.

All of the characters end up at a church where Jack’s father’s casket is.  Locke runs into Ben outside and Ben apologizes for what he did to Locke in their other life.  Ben doesn’t go into the church though, saying he doesn’t think he’s ready.  Once Jack goes in, he sees his father out of the casket and speaking to him.  The conversation reveals that they are both dead….that everyone is dead.  He says that everyone has found their way back to each other and that it was time to “let go.”  Jack walks into another room where many of his island friends have gathered to join him in going into “the light.”  Sayid & Shannon, Boone, Locke, Hurley & Libby (Cynthia Watros), Jin & Sun, Sawyer & Juliet, Kate, Rose & Bernard (L. Scott Caldwell, Sam Anderson) and Desmond & Penny (Sonya Walger) are all present and reunite with one another before Jack’s father opens the door that leads them to what appears to be a form of heaven.

Finally, the last shot is of Jack back on the island.  When we last saw him, he was dying next to “the light” in a cave, but he somehow was moved to near the bamboo area that Jacob had spoken about.  Jack lay down, ready to take his last breaths, when Vincent the dog appears and sits by his side as he dies.  The final shot is of Jack’s eyes and then a quick shot of Jack’s eye from the pilot episode (the first shot of the series) and it closes.

*Check back for my LOST finale review shortly.  The recap was so long that I figured a review should be a separate entry.

Quick LOST opinion (no spoilers involved)

23 May

I’m going to hold off on discussing the final episode of LOST for at least a day or so, but I couldn’t not write something.

2 1/2 hours of some of the finest television I’ve ever watched is what LOST was tonight.  Many resolutions and yes, more questions, but it was brilliant. 

Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse wrote a beautiful episode that is sure to win awards and make longtime fans happy- how could it not?  The finale is exactly what drama, acting and entertainment is all about.  The deeper meaning of the finale is running through my head and twenty minutes after the last shot, I’m still crying.

True Blood: Season 3 Trailer

14 May

I don’t know about you, but June 13 can’t get here fast enough!  True Blood is full of the exciting and the dramatic.  I just finished the most recent Charlaine Harris novel, Dead in the Family, and it makes me want season 3 to get here now!

Tuesday night TV breakdown (seriously): LOST, DWTS, Idol, Glee

4 May

Where do I begin?  I guess I’ll start by warning that there are MAJOR spoilers ahead from many of the shows I’m about to discuss.  American Idol, Glee, DWTS and LOST have put me through the emotional wringer this week.

*I began by watching Idol and except for the last 15 minutes, the show was a waste of time.  I will make one exception for the other 45 minutes and that being the always charismatic Harry Connick, Jr. He had fun with the singers and even played the piano for each number.  The show is down to five contestants and three of them definitely made their case for elimination after tonight’s performances.  Aaron, Casey & Crystal will definitely make up your bottom three on Wednesday night.

Big Mike sang one of my all time favorite songs, The Way You Look Tonight, and he did Frank Sinatra proud.  I’m still not a passenger on the Big Mike train, but I’ll give him kudos for tonight’s song choice/performance.  The big winner once again, and soon to be season 9 winner, was Lee Dewyze.  The best whole package of the night, Lee won rave reviews from Connick and the judges, with two out of the four telling him this is his show to win.

*Glee, an on-the-rise juggernaut, began with an incredible Ice Ice Baby song & dance number courtesy of Mr. Schuster.  Oh to be Vanilla Ice, chillin’ (haha) at home and hearing another version of the song he probably wishes would go away forever.  MC Hammer, don’t be jealous, they tackled U Can’t Touch This too.  Would you expect any less?

Sue added another pop culture music video to her resume, this time joined by the one and only, Olivia Newton-John.  They remade her classic 80’s video, Let’s Get Physical.  It’s because of episodes like tonight’s that keep Sue humanized.  The scenes with her sister are touching and real and without them, Sue would be a one-note, albeit funny one-note, character.

*DWTS got rid of Pamela Anderson after numerous weeks in the bottom two.  She was joined by Erin Andrews and Maks.  I’m not sorry to see her go and I’m definitely not sorry to see her special lighting tape packages go either.  Is it just me or is the results show way too long and boring?

*LOST.  Give me a minute as I wipe away the tears that have been running down my face for two hours now.  I knew that the LOST cast was not going to remain in tact for the remainder of the season and I knew it was going to be a sad loss when I watched whoever that person might be who met their end, but it didn’t make tonight’s episode any easier to watch.

The deaths of Sun and Jin were heartbreaking.  Even after what I assumed would be their deaths when they reunited (did anyone else think that as they came together by the electric fence, it would zap them?), I didn’t think it would be Kwons who would lose their battle with the island.  I was convinced Kate was going to get the ax and not just because she was shot.  The only solace I have from tonight’s episode is that they died together.  It was beautiful and the LOST writers earned every bit of their paychecks with tonight’s episode.

I love that Sayid saved the day.  That whole redemption thing is really playing out, isn’t it?  My only teeny tiny grievance is that we didn’t get to see him again.  To lose 3, count them 3(!) original cast members in one episode was tough.  I’d like to think that none of them are officially out for good though.  Four episodes left, anything is possible.  This is LOST we’re talking about.