October 16th, 2009

Scary Books

True Blood Season 1 Ep 2 Review

The First Taste

Sookie is beaten up by trailer trash. Bill saves her and kills the trailer trash. He also heals her of her injuries by making her drink his blood. Bill later on comes a courting on Sookie despite her terrible fashion sense. Dinner with the Stackhouse family is tense. Bill and Sookie get to know each other.

A tabloid headline reads: ‘Angelina adopts vampire baby’. Jason is a dumb slut as he chases after Dawn and her Daisy Duke cast off waitress outfit. The Fellowship of the Sun church debates the American Vampire League on TV. Later on the Fellowship of the Sun leader and his family die in a car accident. Or was it? Sookie comes a courting on Bill and ends up in peril, again.

This show is sultry and atmospheric, but this ep was still dull.

Best Line: “Your standards are so low, you always get lucky.”
Traveler

Sons of Anarchy Season 1 Ep 2 Review

Seeds

The SOA have a problem with some dead bodies and a cop with “a Wyatt Earp complex”. Jax suggests a no-violent solution to the problem, but his solution rapidly gets violent. The SOA have a problem with aggression and the fact that some people in town don’t get that life with the SOA around is fun. The SOA are unpleasant people but there are worse people out there.

Wendy (Drea De Matteo) is alive and Jax visits her and still finds time to bed a SOA groupie. Donna, the put upon wife of Opie, wants to distance herself from the SOA. Which won’t work. Enemies of the SOA are gathering. Gemma and her 1996 hairdo has a stare down with Tara.

Gemma hosts a dinner for the SOA and their families. There is a hint that Gemma’s dalliance with her new husband began before her first one died. Way before. I wonder if they will do a: who is Jax’s daddy plot? It ends with a Dusty Springfield musical montage. This was okay.

Best Lines:
“Everything comes round Gemma, no-one is untouchable.”

“You’re white trash thugs holding onto a dying dream.”
Scary Books

United States of Tara Season 1 Ep 7 Review

Alteration

Max talks to Tara's shrink and to her old roommate in a bid to learn what happened way back when. Meanwhile Charmaine has surgery and Tara is to be her recovery buddy. But Buck shows up instead. Charmaine and Buck bond and Charmaine seems to accept that Tara's alters aren't her playacting. Marshall takes boy advice from Kate. Max keeps secrets from Tara and the mystery of Tara's new alter grows. This was okay.

Best Line: "I like romantic comedies with women who fall down a lot."
Scary Books

Chuck Season 2 Eps 9 – 16 Reviewed

Chuck Versus The Sensei

Terrific, an episode that focuses on the less socially aware Rambo that is Casey. Casey’s trainer Ty (Carl Lumbly of ‘Alias’) has gone bad for never explained reasons. Casey fails to deal. Meanwhile Devon’s parents, played by Morgan Fairchild (of ‘Phantom of the Mall’) and Bruce Boxleitner (of Babylon 5’) visit.

This was an awful, awful, awful ep. Casey is a dislikeable jerkass, Chuck’s an idiot, there is annoying product placement, boring Buy More stuff and Ellie’s just plain rude. This was boring, dull and I guess we’re supposed to care that Chuck is looking for their deadbeat dad.

Best Lines:
My father always said a terrible nickname builds character.”

“Those seven years of ‘MacGyver’ finally paid off.”


~
Chuck Versus The DeLorean

Sarah’s con artiest father (Gary Cole of ‘American Gothic’, ‘Crusade’ and ‘Dodgeball’) shows up. Morgan is a jerk after Devon unwisely lends him money. Chuck stalks Sarah. Chuck and Sarah are dumb. Why is Chuck friends with Morgan? He’s pond scum. This was awful.

Best Line: “I’d like to report a stolen ’81 DeLorean. License plate is D-E-M-O-R-G-A-N. No this is, this is not a prank call.”

~
Chuck Versus Santa Claus

It’s Christmas and there is a hostage situation at the Buy More. The entire cast held hostage. Chuck tries to be a hero. A negotiator (Michael Rooker) negotiates. The frozen yogurt place never seems to have any customers. The ongoing Chuck/Sarah UST is just tired. Fulcrum show up, apparently it took until now for them to learn who Bryce Larkin’s college roommate was. It all ends on a downbeat note. But doesn’t the other Fulcrum agent also know about Chuck? Why do TPTB think we’ll feel sorry for Morgan? This was okay.

Best Lines:
“This has beat down written all over it.”

“It’s an electronics store Major. Not Basra.”


~
Chuck Versus The Third Dimension

It’s in 3D, like we’re supposed to care. Rock star Tyler Martin (Dominic Monaghan of ‘Lost’) is in peril for no clear reason. Morgan is stupid and a jerk. There is more Buy More rubbish. What is the point of the 3D gimmick? It gave me eye strain. Sarah and Casey are jerks. Chuck’s dumb. This was okay.

Best Lines:
“I’m sure you’re wondering why someone would want Tyler Martin dead.”
“Not really. I mean have you heard his music? It’s overproduced, the lyrics are completely banal. I mean Facebook even has a group called ‘I want to kill Tyler Martin’. Not that I’m a member.”


~
Chuck Versus The Suburbs

It’s Valentine’s Day, another excuse for Chuck to mope and sulk. Sarah and Chuck go undercover in the burbs. Didn’t ‘The X Files’ already do this plot? Anyway in-between sporting sweater vests and having BBQ’s, Chuck and Sarah learn that their neighbours (played by Jenny McCarthy of ‘Scream 3’ and Brian Thompson of ‘The X Files’) are Fulcrum.

Soon Chuck and Sarah learn some things: Fulcrum is building their own Intersect and they’ve greatly underestimated the number of Fulcrum agents on their street. This was dull. The somewhat interesting Fulcrum plot was undone by endless Buy More scenes populated by lazy slackers. Who cares if Big Mike dates Morgan’s mother? The increased focus on the Chuck/Sarah relationship is too much.

~
Chuck Versus The Best Friend

Morgan and co stalk Anna and her new boyfriend. Devon and Ellie plan their wedding. Devon is sort of character who on a show like ‘Criminal Minds’ would be revealed as someone who makes hookers into man-vests. Nobody seems to care that Chuck now has two Intersects in his head. Morgan is a jerk. Sarah fights a Triad inside a car. What does Anna see in Morgan? Chuck’s dumb. Sarah’s cold. I don’t care about the Buy More, Morgan, Ellie, Devon or Chuck and his superiority complex.

This was appalling from start to finish. What have TPTB done to this show? Storylines are wasted to show more scenes of Chuck and Sarah’s continued bickering. This series has lost its way. Every cliché is thrown into the pot. It’s cringe worthy at times. The Buy More scenes are just plain nonsensical and the Chuck/Sarah stuff is suffocating. Even Bryce’s appearance earlier in the season was a let down, with him playing the disappointing role of love rival to Chuck. The Jill plot was overshadowed by frustrating, poorly executed storylines. Season 2 is comparatively poor. Chuck overacts at every opportunity. Morgan shows no maturity. There is unrealistic character interplay and abysmal, predictable, stereotypical hammered home metaphoric connections. ‘Chuck’ has lost its way and the villains of the week are mostly bad jokes. The Chuck/Sarah UST has become increasingly annoying. The show is drearily unimaginative. Bryce’s absence is painfully obvious. The inter character relationships are so contrived now, it’s frustrating. Nothing is genuinely amusing anymore. It’s too lightweight.

Best Lines:
“Bartowski, you’re like the poster child for friendly fire.”

“I’ve been thinking.”
“Stop that.”


~
Chuck Versus The Beefcake

Events from ‘Chuck versus the suburbs’ come back to haunt the gang. Cole, an English secret agent assists the team. Chuck whines. The Buy More has horribly sexist scenes. Cole and Sarah drool over each other. Chuck’s an idiot and puts himself, Cole and Sarah is peril. There is an interesting villain of the week and TPTB kill her off. Has the show ever explained who Fulcrum is and what their motives are? This wasn’t that good mostly due to Chuck’s endless sulking.

Best Lines:
“Everyone talks.”
“I know.”

“Fulcrum wins.”

“Ellie, Awesome. I have made a very important decision. I’m moving out.”
“Yes.”
“And moving in with Morgan.”
“NO!”


~
Chuck Versus The Lethal Weapon

Ellie nags, Cole escapes Fulcrum, Chuck’s a jerk. Anna and Morgan have more tedious unfunny issues. It’s never a good thing when TPTB make you dislike the lead character. Chuck comes across as pathetic and you just want him to shut up and die. An obnoxious scientist gives Chuck info about the Intersect. Chuck pines for the pencil shaped Sarah. Cole the cut price Gerard Butler leaves. It is revealed that Chuck has a font of information about all the Intersect goings on hidden behind his much derided ‘Tron’ poster. Where did he get all the photos? Why is the ‘slept with Jill’ comment still beside Bryce’s name? Who is Orion the creator of the Intersect? It’s a nice visual and the only good thing about this ep.

Best Lines:
“I’m going to die underneath a yogurt shop.”

“Someday you’ll thank us. Not you, you’ll be dead.”
Scary Books

Stargate Universe Episode 3 Review

Air, Part 3

The away team face a race against the clock to find lime that will scrub the carbon monoxide from the ship’s dwindling air supply. The away team are on a hot desert world; at least it’s not a medieval village with English speaking aliens.

Young contacts Earth and body swaps with Telford. So Telford’s alive. Telford wanders around the Destiny in Young’s body which he has no respect for. Chloe also body swaps so she can tell her drunken mother that her father is dead. Young in Telford’s body tells O’Neill about their situation and the overbotoxed O’Neill couldn’t care less.

On the desert world, the away team wander around lots of dunes and Scott encounters wind that could be sentient. People act like unprofessional idiots. Greer’s a nut. Scott sweats and gets one bag of lime that saves the ship, for now. Telford is knocked out so that “Colonel Young can return to a body in working condition.”

Rush suddenly works out a way to over-ride the 12 hour countdown. Eli (David Blue of 'Moonlight' and ‘Ugly Betty’) is helpful and not a trouble maker. Two idiots get stranded. Why is O’Neill such a callous jerk? Who cleaned out the disgusting air filters? How long will that one bag of lime last? What was the point of the musical montage? What was the shuttle launch about? This was boring but this show has potential. I like Young and TJ, plus Eli is growing on me.

Best Line: “Look! More sand.”
Scary Books

Book Reviews: Generation Dead + Unworthy

Generation Dead by Daniel Waters

Something is happening to teenagers in America. Not all teenagers who die are staying dead. Some come back; they’re almost like they were when they were alive. Almost. And everything is changing as a result. So much for death being the undiscovered country from which no traveller returns.

In one high school, the students are both alive and dead. Various people are dealing with this in different ways. Phoebe is drawn to the late Tommy. Margi cannot deal with the return of her deceased friend Colette. Adam finds himself playing football alongside Tommy. And school bully the disturbed Pete plans to make a violent statement about what he sees as a sinister phenomenon.

This is very good. It’s superior to ‘The Forest of Hands and Teeth’. This is a compelling tale of prejudice, love and a society desperately trying to deal with momentous events. But what of the dead themselves? Why are some coming back? Do they have abilities? What is their agenda? Maybe some questions will be answered in the sequel ‘The Kiss of Life’.

~
Star Trek Voyager: Unworthy by Kirsten Beyer

Voyager is, once again, far from the friendly stars of the Federation. Voyager under the command of its new captain, Eden, is leading a fleet to explore the Delta Quadrant. Problems caused by the mission, the emergence of new enemies, old enemies resurfacing and the lingering memories of the Borg could overwhelm the fleet before their mission gets going. The crew are still putting themselves back together. The aftermath of the Borg being conquered still resonates and secrets among the crew cause problems even among friends. The new and old crew have to pull together. This is an enjoyable read as new aliens and situations are encountered.

However the novel has some flaws. Captain Eden comes across as petty and paranoid. Seven of Nine is the Mary-Sue to end all Mary-Sue’s as everyone loves her and moonbeams and magical particles fly out of her ass. And don’t even get me started on the ridiculous Meegan character and the idiot set-up of what seems to be an ongoing new enemy.

Still the good outweighs the bad and if there are any more Voyager novels, I would read them.