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Timeless: S1E2 The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

I want to start this with a new tagline, but all I can think of is still “Timeless is kitschy as hell and I loved watching every minute of it.”

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After a first episode and traveling back into time to save (or unsave?) the Hindnenberg, the main character’s life has suddenly changed.  Her sister no longer exists, and her mother is healthy and well and back in her life.  But no!  Instead of dealing with any of that, they must go back into time to…the day Lincoln was assassinated.

I have to admit I have a personal issue with this episode, solely because as a student of history, Lincoln as a character, is just woefully uninteresting compared to the many other people who had a part in the Civil War.

Anyway, back to the show.  I still don’t fully understand the bad guy at all, and his reasoning for changing history.  His family was killed?  It completely doesn’t make any sense at all to me why any of this is happening.  Or why there’s two time machines in the world?  It all seems fairly implausible within the world that it’s operating in.

It’s really awesome that there is a main black character who is confronting the issue of black history in America during all these instances, and seeing and experiencing first hand all these injustices while the two white characters have other things going on.  It’s really shedding light on all the past and present issues and divisions of black history that are still continuing to this day.  The writers are confronting this head-on and it’s absolutely incredible.

The issue with going back in time is that what’s happening in the real world and in their lives is only discussed at the beginning and at the end of episodes, and not at all through the large chunk in the middle.  That’s going to be an issue we have to wrestle with throughout the show.

Television

Conviction: S1E2 Bridge and Tunnel Vision

I think I’m mostly watching this show for Hayley Atwell.

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And here we are.  The second episode.  I think a lot of people consider the first episode of a show the “make or break” of a show, but for me it’s the second episode.  The characters have been introduced, the basic storyline that’s going to control the show has been established, and now, the challenge is for the writers to keep it going.  And this is where we’ll really see whether or not this show truly has substance.

Conviction begins with the cast beginning their mornings, a good idea for reminding viewers of what they’re watching, and who these people are.

Immediately, we move into the office space where they discuss their next case, which is a former case from the D.A., a man who put them all together into this task force.

Once again, the cases are there as a backdrop against what is really happening, and act as a catalyst for other events.

Hayes Morrison, the lead character, is in an ongoing struggle with the DA Wallace.  For me, the second episode seems like a bit soon for this battle between them to truly happen, however it does make for an exciting second episode, because now, what’s the rest of the show going to be about?

There is also the ongoing dispute between Hayes and her mother, which, at only episode 2, is already becoming dull and forced.  It’s been done, it’s an old trope, and quite frankly, fairly exhausting.  It’s going to take something actually happening for this to become at all interesting.

Once again, I fall back to my love of Hayley Atwell as my reason to keep watching this show.  She controls every single scene she’s in and is a force of nature.

Television · Uncategorized

Quantico: S2E1 Kudove

Quantico’s premier of season 2 was strong, and the challenge will be to keep it up.

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For those of you who haven’t watched Season 1, I highly recommend you go back and watch it, however, you don’t really need to in order to understand what’s going on in Season 2, which is something I really appreciate.

We start with an intense act of terrorism against a summit of national leaders, and Alex Parrish is somehow at the center of it all.  In order to understand the present, we must go back to the past to understand how we and this new cast of characters reached this point.  Alex and Ryan have both been recruited into the CIA clandestine service, and are back in training.  Against this, their tumultuous relationship is playing out as well.

Why I like it: This show keeps a breakneck pace, and for entertainment purposes it’s one of the best shows out there right now.  It seamlessly goes between the past and present, action and moments of calm without feeling jolted and forced.

What is forced, however, is the entire relationship between Ryan and Alex.  The complete and total lack of chemistry between the two is exhausting, and that it’s really the only mainstay between s1 and s2 means that it’s going to be something I’m going to have to suffer through for a while longer.

This is one of the few shows I’m continuing to watch this fall season, and I’m excited to see more.

Television

Conviction: S1E1 Pilot

I may be a little biased on this review because Hayley Atwell can honestly do no wrong.

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Conviction is a crime drama that centers around an investigative task force created to exonerate wrongfully convicted criminals.  The first episode showed that this is a tour-de-force for this premier season, due largely in-part to it’s diverse range of characters.

Why I loved it: As I said, Hayley Atwell is everything and this show is here to prove it.  Her character isn’t meant to be likeable; she is a defense lawyer who has worked very hard in life to push away emotions and uses sex appeal and insults in order to get what she wants.  Filling in the cast is what I bet will be a future love interest golden-boy, a paralegal who has a few secrets from her past, an investigator whose tension with the NYPD is going to be an important part of this series, and an ex-con working their forensics.

The one caveat I had with this show is that it gave too much too quickly in the first episode, rather than setting up issues for future episodes.  There’s blackmail, yes, but all the characters are mostly aware of it.  There was already an emotional heart-to-heart between Atwell’s character and her mother, and the tension between her and her boss comes close to really being there, but somehow falls short of the mark.  This show will struggle with maintaining interest without any huge story arcs, and hopefully some will arise in the next few episodes.

All in all, this show is staying on my watch-list, and I’m excited to see what is going to happen with it.

Television

Timeless: S1E1 Pilot

Timeless is kitschy as hell and I loved watching every minute of it.

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Essentially, there’s three random characters: A history professor, a soldier, and a scientist who must travel through time following the evil bad man who is trying to destroy certain points in history.  Along the way they grow as people, very predictable things happen, and it remains very basic and very exciting.

Why I loved it: The kitschy-ness of it all makes it loveable.  What it lacks in actual substance, it’s saved by sheer enjoyability.  It’s altogether a simple notion and execution, and when we have an onslaught of overwrought television whose characters’s complexities are almost as difficult to follow as the actual plot, it was refreshing to simply sit back and be entertained and actually enjoy watching what was going on.

As I mentioned, it is a very basic script and execution, and that is, ultimately, going to be the downfall.  As of yet, there’s no reason for me to actually care about the characters and what is happening in this time travel world.  A troubled soldier blames himself for the past, a history professor really loves her mom, a bad guy who, as of yet, doesn’t particularly have any motivation to what is going on, and a black scientist whose story about confronting racism in the past could actually provide great chutzpah to the script is included, but almost to comedic effect.  A cliffhanger that will only be revealed by time.  In an imaginary checklist of basic adventure stories, this show would probably tick off the majority of them.

If the series continues for more episodes before getting pulled, the trick will be making the audience care about the characters by adding depth and actual emotion to the surrounding events.  Keep the kitschy-ness, but please, also grab ahold of my heart.

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Assignment: Review

The first blog I’m going to review is found at Coffee and TV Blog

I chose this one because of its similar URL, and assumed it’d be similar to what I’m working to create here.  Clicking to the homepage gives this view:

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I’m going to be quite honest, this isn’t a blog I particularly care for, and there’s a few reasons.  First, the use of an image as the background and then having images overlaid on top of it create an overwhelming and unclean visual affect.  There’s a lot, visuall going on.  There’s also a lot of colors that don’t quite correlate, including the mint, blue, and black colors that all seem to be working against each other.  In the header, there are a lot of links.  10 total, to be exact, and while I appreciate that this blog is organized and the writer has a lot to say, it’s an overwhelming amount to see when I don’t have a specific thing that I’m looking for.

When I go to the posts, I see a lot of self-deprecation, which quite frankly leaves me unwilling to read more into this blog.  What I notice a lot is the use of the word “just”, even in the description this is “just” the ramblings.  If the writer doesn’t think it’s worth the time, why should I?  I think this is an important note in moving forward with my own blog.

The next blog I’m going to examine is Classics and Craziness which is one I’m much more appreciative of.

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I really like that this feels like a welcome page of sorts because the header fills almost the entire page, and I can tell there’s more if I continue to scroll down.  It has a great color theme, and while I’m not overly crazy about the font, it does stay the same throughout the blog.

I like that the organization for the blog is located within the posts themselves.  For instance, on the About Me page, there are links to further social media.  The My Reviews page gives me an organized click-through list of all the book and film reviews that have been posted.

What I would like is organization of the information.

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Here’s a chunk of the list of films, and near as I can tell there’s absolutely no organization to the list, either alphabetical or by date, and that’s really frustrating, even just for an aesthetic idea.

The posts themselves show a lot of individuality and her own opinion, which I really appreciate, however the self-deprecation is still apparent with the author as well, especially in the about me section.

My big takeaways from this assignment is that first my blog needs to be clean and organized, and that will make it visually appealing to the audience.  Secondly, I need to not doubt myself, and be confident in what I’m saying and who I am on this blog.

When I think about the type of visitor to my blog, I imagine it’s the type of people who are interested in films.  People who especially like knowing what others’ opinions on film are as well, and who are interested in what someone who is actively studying film production has to say about a film, and the industry as a whole.  People who spend their time on Netflix, indecisively trying to find something new to watch.  People who don’t mind going to see a movie alone because they care so much about seeing it.  People who watch awards and who have actually watched a lot of the films that are nominated.  People who watch films.