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  • Brian Alex Clark 1:38 am on September 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: alcohol, , comedy central, dick in a box, drunk, , nipple, television, weed, workaholics   

    Workaholics Episode 1 Review 

    In what world of sexting is a shot of a girl’s nipple supposed to be followed by a picture of a dude’s dick? That is a question Anders Holmvik (Anders Holm) didn’t bother to ask when his two best friends Adam Demamp (Adam DeVine) and Blake Henderson (Blake Anderson) were messing with him. I mean, if they tell you they heard it on Dateline, what are you supposed to do but believe it, right? Well, now Anders has to live with the fact that everyone in their friend Vanessa’s phone have a very interesting–and oddly tan–new wallpaper. As his pranking friend Adam reveals “the nipple of your dreams is really the tipple of nightmares.”

    If you’re wondering why the main actors of Workaholics have names eerily similar to their characters, it’s not an accident. The first season of the very funny Comedy Central show was ordered after an executive of the popular cable channel saw a series of YouTube videos the three actors/writers/producers had posted on youtube. It’s another success story that bears the same universal message all got-famous-quick Hollywood stories have: you just have to go out and do it.

    So does this show about three alcoholic, pot smoking, proudly degenerate telemarketers deserve to share the same airspace with such long-living series’s as South ParkThe Daily Show, and The Colbert Report? I’d have to give one big ass, happy ass resounding “YES” to that. I mean, they even named it with the right frame of mind. Workaholics was a play on words, implying alcoholics in the workplace.

    So what wrench is thrown into these three immature and lovable friends’s monkey for their premiere episode that would rock their world and inspire a complete 22 minutes of mayhem and antics? It’s brilliant in it’s simplicity: drug test. Dun dun dun.

    Let’s just say when they turn to a playground of kids to get a clean sample of urine you’ll have no doubt this show is a melding of insane brilliance and *&^%ing insanity that reminds you of those great SNL shorts everyone loves like Jizz In My Pants or Dick in a Box. And with a finish intentionally channeling Die Hard, is there anything that this series can’t get right? Don’t answer that, it’s a rhetorical question.

    If after you watch this you feel the need to buy the following two seasons (which are not at home on Netflix, unfortunately), there is nothing wrong with you. You’re only problem is that you have excellent taste.

    So if you have Netflix or are considering the 30-Day Free Trial, this is a must to watch. Don’t add it to your Queue, just search, play, and enjoy this wonderful season on Netflix.

    And don’t forget, the easiest way to stream Netflix is through the #1 Rated Netflix Streaming Device, the Roku, with a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee, just like Netflix.

    If you’re still on the fence, check out this clip.

    Let us know what you thought about the show by clicking “reply” at the top of the article.

    Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/Netflix-Critic-Review for future reviews.

    For those who like their Special Features and Audio Commentaries, here are a few helpful links to the physical copies and digital copies of the 3rd season:

    Workaholics: Seasons 1 & 2 [Blu-ray]

    Amazon – Workaholics: Season 3 [HD]
    iTunes – Workaholics, Season 3

    A head’s up: Seasons One and Two are sold separately on DVD for $13 a pop, while both are sold together on Blu-Ray for $16.

     
  • Brian Alex Clark 11:05 pm on September 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , cinderella, , fables, fairytale, lost, mystery, once upon a time, prince charming, snow white, television, wicked witch   

    ONCE Upon A Time Episode 1 Review 

    When you add all the pieces together, this is an excellent television series. A brilliant and innovative concept, created by two writers of the critically acclaimed show Lost, and with a wealth of talented actors ranging from Ginnifer Goodwin (Big Love) to Jennifer Morrison (House). At least, that’s what it should have added up to.

    What happens when all the happy endings from all the fairytales suddenly get taken away, with all the fairytale characters sent to a horrible place (our world) where there are no happy endings and no one remember who they really are?

    “Nothing very interesting” is sadly the answer. In fact, I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t get past the first minute, it is so boring. It starts at the smart and logical point, considering the story they set up: the ending of Snow White, where Prince Charming rides in and kisses his pale love interest back to life. Except, if we’re to assume they both just went through the most trying ordeal in their life, there would have been a lot more emotion to the scene. And “saying goodbye” wouldn’t consist of a boring kiss and her immediately waking up. Take a clue from Patrick Dempsey, dude. He rocked that moment in Enchanted.

    And then they’re married, the Wicked Witch crashes and says shit’s gonna go down, and yada yada yada. What we end up getting is essentially Lost, except the flashbacks is where the sci-fi stuff happens instead of the present. With obvious (read: unoriginal) transitions between the two story lines, horrible–yes HORRIBLE–visual effect, very mediocre lines being pushed through the character’s mouths, and even some bad acting from actors we know are talented elsewere, it’s no wonder I kept checking how much time was left in the episode. The story, unfortunately, is paper thin. But wait, let me explain.

    In the fairytale land, the characters do for a whole episode what would have been 10 minutes at most in a well handled movie or tv show. Back in the real world, they take just as much time roping the daughter of Snow White into coming to live in Storybrooke, home of the amnesiac fairytale characters, through her given-up-for-adoption and kinda weird son. Are the writers afraid they’ll run out of story if they pack their episodes with plot? At least it would have caused them to breeze faster past the stale plot they were serving us.

    I know action can work on television. Even though it’s nothing groundbreaking in the two episodes I’ve seen, Nikita is a show that can nail an action scene as good as the big boys in Hollywood. But the fight scenes in Once Upon A Time are lackluster at best, mainly because of the poor cinematography–which, by the way, will randomly zoom around characters like the moment is important when it’s not. Some might see this as sad, but they really need to take a page from the camera crew on Glee. Check it out for yourself. That show’s on Netflix, too.

    Are you guys tired of me bashing on Once yet? Because I was about 3 paragraphs ago, but continued on because this wouldn’t be much of a review if I just said “it was bad.” You guys deserve to know why. But I’m really left wondering: how did that show keep upwards of 11 million viewers an episode in it’s first season? I can’t believe it’s just the added benefit for viewers at being able to point and say “ooh, ooh, that’s supposed to be Little Red Riding Hood.” So I guess I might watch a couple more episodes just to see if they finally bring the A game.

    If you have Netflix or are considering the 30-Day Free Trial, this is something you might want to go to after you exhaust all the really good stuff you want to see. It can wait. There are better things on Netflix.

    And don’t forget, the easiest way to stream Netflix is through the #1 Rated Netflix Streaming Device, the Roku, with a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee, just like Netflix.

    If you’re still on the fence, check out the trailer below.

    Let us know what you thought about the show by clicking “reply” at the top of the article.

    Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/Netflix-Critic-Review for future reviews.

    For those who like their Special Features and Audio Commentaries, here is a helpful link to the physical copy:

    Once Upon a Time: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray]

    Strangely, the Blu-ray is $2 cheaper than the DVD. If you’re looking for an excuse to pick up that well-priced Blu-Ray player you’ve been eyeing.

     
  • Brian Alex Clark 7:22 pm on September 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , doctor, , , house, hugh laurie, miniseries, , television   

    Fortysomething Episode 1 Review 

    To start things off right, I watching the entire first episode of Fortysomething, a miniseries staring Hugh Laurie (House) as a doctor (yes, doctor) named Paul Slippery, thinking that his character’s wife, Estelle Slippery (Anna Chancellor), was played by the same actress that portrays his House foil and love interest Lisa Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein). They looked so similar I just thought Hugh brought his previous costar to share the screen with him again on American television screens.

    So, once we collectively get past the mistake we’ve all made (read: the mistake only I made), does Fortysomething live up to the legacy that is House?

    Unfortunately, while it is good, it is not on the same level as the bitingly perfect television series Hugh Laurie is most commonly known for. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have it’s upsides. Fortysomething is the story of a doctor in his mid-40s who is all too comfortable talking about sex and drugs with his 3 sons, but who recently has started losing his memory about certain things (like when the last time he had sex with his wife was). To top it off, at the start of the episode he starts hearing people’s thoughts.

    I’m not sure if this will be a running theme through the series because halfway through when he asks his coworker if she thought what he heard (that he looks like he hadn’t had sex for 6 months) she corrects him quite honestly (she thinks he looks like he hasn’t had sex for a year) and he doesn’t have any more “mind reading episodes” for the episode. If it is something that will continue into other episodes, it wasn’t handled very well.

    During his troubled day off (he forgot he doesn’t work Tuesdays) during which he acts as what can only be described as House Jr. (he tries saving a patient who doesn’t need saving), his wife goes to the first day of her new job only to find out the position she was hired for isn’t needed anymore and his oldest son Roy (played by Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch–the reason I had to check out the series) has to deal with his younger brother Daniel trying to sleep with his girlfriend. It’s strange and fun to see Roy get calmed down and convinced to wait downstairs for nearly forty minutes while they pretend not to hear Daniel succeeding. It’s the kind of thing that would make me never talk to my brother again forever, but Roy seems to forgive him by the end.

    So through an episode filled with 23 fridges being dumped on his lawn and his wife going AWOL on a walk through the park while he is desperately trying to get a hold of her driving him to come to the lesbian conclusion, it’s definitely not a boring show. But having seen it just yesterday, I’m already not interested in continuing on, which I can’t explain.

    If you have Netflix or are considering the 30-Day Free Trial, this is something you might want to check out. After all, I remember enjoying it while watching it and Hugh and Benedict were very good, but ultimately it’s up to you whether to put it in your Netflix Cue or not.

    And don’t forget, the easiest way to stream Netflix is through the #1 Rated Netflix Streaming Device, the Roku, with a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee, just like Netflix.

    If you’re still on the fence, check out the trailer below.

    Let us know what you thought about the show by clicking “reply” at the top of the article.

    Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/Netflix-Critic-Review for future reviews.

    For those who like their Special Features and Audio Commentaries, here is a helpful link to the physical copy:

    Fortysomething, The Complete Series

     
  • Brian Alex Clark 6:16 pm on September 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , british television, , , , television, the inbetweeners, twat   

    The Inbetweeners Episode 1 Review 

    British television is quite brilliant in it’s way of getting people to keep coming back every week. In it’s second season, Luther edited clips from the next episode into the credits sequence. The Inbetweeners, a show about a school reject trying to make friends at a new school, doesn’t wait that long into the episode. In the first minute while the main character Will McKenzie (Simon Bird) is still doing his voiceover listing his woes about the coming year, we get what can only be described as a funny highlight reel of things that won’t happen this episode, but later down the line. That’s the benefit of a 6 episode season: everything’s filmed before you air.

    But is the actual show interesting enough that you want to stick around to find out what caused all these glimpses into the future?

    In a very short answer, yes. In a slightly longer answer, The Inbetweeners is a great example of brilliant television programming. We follow Will, a kid that screams “bully magnet” so intensely that his own newly estranged mother doesn’t believe him when he tells her he wasn’t bullied at his last school (I’m not sure we’re supposed to believe him either) and who on his first day can’t walk down a hall without at least 5 different people insulting him on his clothes (posh wanker) or his suitcase (Charlie Bartlett would call it an attache case) or the big, green, stupid button the school makes all the new kids wear. AKA Will and “The Freaks” as he calls them. Even an 8th Grader gets in a shot. Hell, even the teacher gets in a couple good ones. This definitely isn’t a school that screams “the children are our future.” Punching bags would be more accurate.

    So how does Will’s first day go, besides the “not bullying?” Not well, I’m afraid. The school day consists of him trying to wedge himself into a group of three guys who just barely register as better than The Freaks that were trying to be his friend from the start. There’s a school tradition where all the underage kids go out to a pub on the first day, but this group of cool cats can’t be seen with him. After all, they consist of Simon (Joe Thomas), a guy with a slightly off hairdo who gets a boner just from talking to the girl he likes, Neil (Blake Harrison), the tall stupid guy with some surprisingly excellent dance movies (that comes later in the series), and finally James (James Buckley), the one guy in the group who’s actually gotten laid “loads of times.” In fact, he’s so experienced he knows you don’t just go balls deep (which is difficult enough according to him), you go balls in. Otherwise, as Neil’s heard, “it doesn’t work.”

    So after a waterfall of bad luck, Will finally makes SOME ground when his future pals meet his mom, who is “so fit” and immediately start talking about getting with her. They go so far as to ask Will if he’d shag her if she wasn’t his mom, but he’s unwilling to accept the groundwork for the “what if” scenario question. It’s probably the one smart choice he made the entire episode, since doubtless he would have opened himself into a whole tirade of Oedipus-inclined mockery if he hadn’t.

    Alas, things don’t go smoothly after they go out. Not only do they land themselves at the wrong pub, but at both their first location and the second one (once they finally relocate) no one but James can get a drink, because only James thought of getting a fake I.D. That and the other 40 or so classmates they find at their final destination. It shouldn’t have to be said that this is the breaking point for Will, who gets so frustrated he outs every single person at the bar for being the underage blokes they are thus locking in his role as most-hated by everyone including–unfortunately for his future–the crazy psychopath of the school. Unfortunately for poor Will, his mother says the boy seems nice after Will tells her he just threatened to kill her. Parents.

    If you have Netflix or are considering the 30-Day Free Trial, this is a show you can definitely devour. And it’s a plus time-wise that there’s only 2 seasons totaling 12 episodes, though I wish the E4 Network had’t been so clever when they chose to keep the 3rd season off Netflix, forcing people to buy the 3rd season through other means if they wanted to be all caught up for the coming movie. Though it’s not perfect in that sense, the first two seasons are definitely something you should bookmark on Netflix.

    And don’t forget, the easiest way to stream Netflix is through the #1 Rated Netflix Streaming Device, the Roku, with a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee, just like Netflix.

    If you’re still on the fence, check out the hilarious movie trailer below.

    Let us know what you thought about the show by clicking “reply” at the top of the article.

    Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/Netflix-Critic-Review for future reviews.

    For those who like their Special Features and Audio Commentaries, here is a helpful link to the physical copy, as well as extra links to season 3 episodes:

    The Inbetweeners – The Complete Series

    Season 3, Ep 1: The Fashion Show
    Season 3, Ep 2: The Gig and the Girlfriend
    Season 3, Ep 3: Will’s Dilemma
    Season 3, Ep 4: The Trip to Warwick
    Season 3, Ep 5: Will is Home Alone
    Season 3, Ep 6: The Camping Trip

     
  • Brian Alex Clark 8:28 pm on September 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: art, , conman, , , forgery, matt bomer, network, orger, superman, television, , usa network, white collar   

    White Collar Episode 1 Review 

    There are certain shows that make you want to drop everything and become something else. Footloose makes me want to pick up the professional dancing career I retired from in the summer of ’07. White Collar, another show that makes me look at the USA Network and say “hey, there”, makes me feel like I could pick up a life as a globe trotting international art theft and forger. And I’d be damn good at it, too.

    Jeff Eastin’s long-enough-running crime/espionage/comedy/drama show about a convicted conman Neil Caffrey (Matt Bomer, Magic MikeChuck) who breaks out of prison 3 months before his sentence is due to finish only to get taken back in (willingly) by the only man who could ever catch him in the first place, Special Agent of the FBI Peter Burke (Tim Dekay, Tell Me You Love MeChuck).

    So what is it that inspired Neil Caffrey to suddenly buy himself four more years in the big house? A girl. But not just any girl. The love of his life. And now she’s disappeared. And very effectively at that. So in a mad gamble to not go back behind bars, Neil makes Special Agent Burke an offer: Neil gets to serve out his remaining four years on a 2-mile “house arrest” on the island of Manhattan and in exchange he works for the FBI to help them put away–essentially–Neil’s peers in the White Collar Division.

    It sure is lucky for Mr. Caffrey then that the FBI just blew up–literally–their last lead into who The Dutchman is.

    So Peter signs out Neil in what is described as a tamper-proof ankle monitor. Don’t worry though, it doesn’t go down the road of a half baked Hollywood movie–Neil’s living arrangements are his own and well removed from the house of our do-gooder FBI Agent. Unfortunately for Neil, the place he’s staying in is also a shithole. Because–as Agent Burke puts it–“it costs $700 a month to house you on the inside so that’s what it costs here… You find somewhere better, take it.” He also turns him on to a great place for clothes: the thrift store.

    Neil Caffrey must be the luckiest guy in the world, because he takes the less-than-white-collar suggestion and runs into June Ellington (Diahann Carroll) donating a stack of worth-more-than-your-car suits to donate. Apparently her late husband was quite the older Neil Caffrey (convicted felony and all) and she just happens to have a walk in closet of his old clothes and a spare bedroom–suite, more like it–to spare.

    If you think things for Neil come to easily, you’re not the only one. Agent Burke has to eat his words when Neil leaves a note telling him he’s moved 1.6 miles. Commenting how even the coffee at June’s is perfect, Peter is almost tearful when he explains to Neil that this isn’t how the world works. After all, it is wildly unfair that Peter works so hard and gets what he sees himself as deserving and Neil by comparison does so little and gets so much more.

    But then again, he does have stunning good looks and a stare that would make me feel lucky to be it’s recipient, and I’m a 100% straight male.

    But do all this groundwork warrant continued viewing, all through it’s 3 (and soon to be 4) seasons on Netflix? No. Because it’s so much more than that. This is a smart, clever, and very witty show. You’ll enjoy it so much you’ll be audibly giggling. The ending of the first episode, in fact, is the cleverest ending in a television show I have the pleasure of remembering. I’ll be definitely going on to do a review of the first season–and every season–of White Collar. And just to illuminate how much of a compliment that is for the show, it means me re-watching every episode. Hell, if there was only the first season of this show on Netflix, I would still be singing it’s praises. And you’ll know exactly why when you watch the show or read my review for the first season.

    If you have Netflix or are considering the 30-Day Free Trial, you should definitely look at the words “White Collar” as the X on a treasure map, because you’ll strike gold watching this. And this is definitely the place for people who were fan’s of Matt Bomer’s turn as Bryce Larkin on the cult favorite show Chuck. To those people I don’t need to say that I wish he’d gotten the role of Superman he was up for instead of Brandon Routh, but I’ll say it anyways. So hit the play button and enjoy all the seasons available on the blessing that is Netflix.

    And don’t forget, the easiest way to stream Netflix is through the #1 Rated Netflix Streaming Device, the Roku, with a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee, just like Netflix.

    If you’re still on the fence, check out the trailer below.

    Let us know what you thought about the show by clicking “reply” at the top of the article.

    Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/Netflix-Critic-Review for future reviews.

    For those who like their Special Features and Audio Commentaries, here are some helpful links to physical copies of all the box set seasons of White Collar as well as a link to the season 4 episodes you can get buy on Amazon Instant Video:

    White Collar: Season One

    White Collar: Season Two

    White Collar: Season Three

    Season 4, Ep 1: Wanted [HD]
    Season 4, Ep 2: Most Wanted [HD]
    Season 4, Ep 3: Diminishing Returns [HD]
    Season 4, Ep 4: Parting Shots [HD]
    Season 4, Ep 5: Honor Among Thieves [HD]
    Season 4, Ep 6: Identity Crisis [HD]
    Season 4, Ep 7: Compromising Positions [HD]
    Season 4, Ep 8: Ancient History [HD]
    Season 4, Ep 9: Gloves Off [HD]

     
  • Brian Alex Clark 2:13 pm on September 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , KIDS, MTV, skins, television,   

    Skins UK Episode 1 Review 

    It’s going to be strange reviewing this considering I’d seen the first few episodes of the US adaptation prior to this one episode and I’m pretty sure I liked the US pilot better.

    The basic premise is simple: Skins is the british version of the movie KIDS. It’s a bunch of drug doing, sex crazed underaged teens. It’s the validation of every psych paper saying that our youth are becoming more irresponsible and acting less mature than any previous generation. Big whoop, these kids would say. Is it really so wrong to enjoy sex?

    According to this group, not at all. Hell, it starts with the main character Tony Stonem (Percy Jackson‘s Nicholas Hoult) waking up with his blanket pulled tight. What might be on the blanket of a sex crazed underage kid? Sexy Wonder Woman perhaps? Nope. His blanket is the shoulder down picture of a naked man and a naked woman. And yes, this kid stays with his parents. No emancipated minor here.

    After making fun of his main “girlfriend” Michelle (April Pearson) for her weird nipples and checking out the naked older lady across the street (the lady knows of her admirer, by the way), he gets moving with the day’s mission: pop his best friend Sid Jenkins’s cherry like it’s a balloon and he’s got the needle. Because if his friend is still a virgin by his 17th birthday, they obviously can’t be friends.

    The plan is simple: they go a party where his Sid (played by Mike Bailey) is the big kahuna supplying all the weed and they hook him up with their recently-released-from-the-mental-hospital Cassie Ainsworth (Hanna Murray), who agreed to it because… well, Michelle said it was going to happen. It’s too bad it’s obvious Sid is in love with Michelle.

    Did I mention Slumdog Millionaire is in it, too? Yes, it’s Dev Patel as Anwar Kharral, a young sex crazed Muslim boy. In fact, the first time we meet his character is in the middle of prayer when he answers his phone and starts asking if there will be a lot of pussy at the party later.

    As you might imagine, things go worse than could be hoped. Sid is pressured by the drug dealer to take three ounces instead of one, and on credit too (he’ll have 48 hours to pay it back), the party they end up at is hosted by a snobby girl who can’t have smoking in her house because of the new new wallpaper “mommy just had flown in”, Cassie has a lot of fun on a trampoline then tells Sid he better fuck her fast because she took a lot of pills, and finally they steal a car from the party so they can dump her at the hospital doorstep but when she wakes up fine they end up driving it into a lake and down it goes. Along with the three ounces of pricey weed, I might add.

    So being a sex crazed underage kid is hardly the glamorous life we’ve all been led to believe it is. But it is interesting. The only criticism I might have is the casting of the Tony. Though I am a fan of the actor’s later work, the character is supposed to be a real lady’s man and the actor is a much better fit for the not too confident type that rises up to become a hero. This might be because I’ve seen a bit of the US version and the kid playing the main character is such an overconfident and womanizing asshole that the original just doesn’t measure up, but nonetheless it’s about 5% off from perfect.

    Personally, I think while it’s not as good as the US Pilot, which I can remember rewinding because some of the moments were so good, it’s definitely something people can get into. Most of the heat from fans of the UK series is just that: they were fans of the UK series and it’s not exactly the same.

    If you have Netflix or are considering the 30-Day Free Trial, this is something I would check out. I’d say wait till I assess both the US and the UK versions, but America went into a giant hissy fit over it and it got cancelled in it’s first season, while this show is already in it’s 7th Series (season in british) with the first 6 already on Netflix.

    And don’t forget, the easiest way to stream Netflix is through the #1 Rated Netflix Streaming Device, the Roku, with a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee, just like Netflix.

    If you’re still on the fence, check out the trailer below. Keep in mind this is a promo and doesn’t show glimpses into any of the actual scenes, but you’ll get the idea of what the show is all about from watching it. Cheers. 🙂

    Let us know what you thought about the show by clicking “reply” at the top of the article.

    Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/Netflix-Critic-Review for future reviews.

    For those who like their Special Features and Audio Commentaries, here are some helpful links to physical copies of everything mentioned above:

    Skins UK, Vol. 1

    Skins US: Season 1

    KIDS

    Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief [Blu-ray]

    Slumdog Millionaire [Blu-ray]

     
  • Brian Alex Clark 4:14 am on September 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: action, katie domeaux, kick-ass, , la femme nikita, maggie q, mission impossible, nikita, television, the cw   

    Nikita Episode 1 Review 

    Nikita should have sucked. That’s the conclusion I came to. A TV show on The CW based on a 1997 television show based on a 1993 remake of a 1990 movie. From what I’d read, the original TV show didn’t have a large budget, forcing it to keep the action light and the story strong–very strong, based on reviews–to keep the audience returning every week. The new show’s budget? Much higher. Meaning increased action scenes and decreased plot. The new station? The CW, meaning it probably would be more focused on looks and frequent cheap plot twists.

    I am glad to say I was pleasantly surprised. Don’t get me wrong, the title character is pretty weak. Played by Mission Impossible alum (aka actress not good enough for sequels) Maggie Q, Nikita is an expressionless toothpick who has just come out of hiding to take down the organization Division that she escaped three years previous. She just doesn’t have the badass cool about her that Uma Thurman had in Kill Bill, though that has to–absolutely has to be what she was going for. Because there was no emotion to be accounted for during the episode.

    It’s not really her fault. The series starts with a GREAT hook, introducing Alex (played by Kick-Ass love interest and How I Met Your Mother daughter Lyndsy Fonseca) in what is essentially Nikita’s origin. It’s a very clever technique. These kinds of productions are often weighed down by an overabundance of flashbacks without which would leave the audience at least slightly confused as to what happened before. Alex is busted for armed robbery and murder (her teammate escaped) and is looking at a life behind bars when Division fakes her death and recruits her to be a part of their shadowy organization. It’s not implied that she has much of a choice in the matter.

    Lyndsy Fonseca is frankly one of the most talented young actresses in the business, and she gets to show it when Division saves her from life in prison or worse to become yet another of their operatives (read: assassin). As soon as I saw this talented actress was part of the show, I did two things: I immediately wished this wasn’t Nikita when she was younger, thus eliminating the use of the actress once we see her all grown up, and then I went on Wikipedia to see how many episodes she was in. And I immediately sighed with relief to see that she has stayed to be in every single episode. Mark my words, this will basically guarantee I see every episode. This actress–as well as the other actors in her pool of fellow recruits–are quite talented. Honestly, they could have done the whole show from the perspective of the recruits and cut out Nikita as nothing more than a mark to put in their crosshairs and it would have been 3 times as interesting.

    What we get instead is not boring, you just know it could have been better if they’d gotten an actress that didn’t make you cringe from the amount of ribs you can see jutting from her when she wears a bikini or underwear (and there are a lot of scenes like this). While Nikita is on the outside toying with Division and saving their assassination targets and playing a cat and mouse with former handler Michael (Shane West, E.R.), Alex is having a tough time inside, being less than appreciative with people like Amanda (Melinda Clarke, The O.C.), whose job it is to teach her how to be a lady–so that she can manipulate others, of course.

    It all comes to a head rather anti-climactically, actually. After having played a wonderful game of cat and mouse, Nikita decides to just strut out in front of her former and Michael’s current boss, the corrupt boss of Division (think Morgan Freeman in Wanted) and then runs away when he says he wants to kill her. But when Michael gives her a head start we are promised complicated things to come, and are also revealed who Nikita has on the inside.

    Personally, I hope the further seasons of Nikita find their way to Netflix, because this is a show I’ll be watching.

    If you have Netflix or are considering the 30-Day Free Trial, this is definitely one to run your fingers through. Good for us it hasn’t been cancelled yet, so one way or another you won’t have a Firefly situation on your hands.

    And don’t forget, the easiest way to stream Netflix is through the #1 Rated Netflix Streaming Device, the Roku, with a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee, just like Netflix.

    If you’re still on the fence, check out the trailer below.

    Let us know what you thought about the show by clicking “reply” at the top of the article.

    Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/Netflix-Critic-Review for future reviews.

    For those who like their Special Features and Audio Commentaries, here are some helpful links to physical copies Nikita and the it’s previous incarnations:

    Nikita: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray]

    Nikita: The Complete Second Season [Blu-ray]

    La Femme Nikita: The Complete First Season

    Point of No Return [Blu-ray]

    La Femme Nikita (Special Edition)

     
  • Brian Alex Clark 11:57 pm on September 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , emily thorne, emily vancamp, , , revenge, , television,   

    Revenge Episode 1 Review 

    Revenge is the type of programming you consider buying on BluRay or iTunes because it’s not on Netflix but seems too good to miss out on. Of course, that dilemma would be easily avoided if you just caught it on ABC when it originally aired. But since the advent of Netflix on my phone and iPad, the feeling that I NEED to catch my shows during their weekly times is gone. (The last time I had such a need was back when Glee was in the middle of it’s third season). The problem I got tired of having was that if I missed an episode, I would inevitably fall behind since I refuse to skip episodes in ongoing stories like Glee or Revenge. It’s a little bit different if I stumble upon an episode of Family Guy with my friends.

    Nevertheless, not a month ago was I roaming the aisles of Best Buy considering if I would buy the pricey enough first season of Revenge to finally bring me up to speed with all the hype. Thankfully, I didn’t bite. Because now it’s on Netflix and the instant I saw it I was ready to rip my teeth into it. So did the long anticipated (for me) first episode live up to the praise I’ve read on the internet or Entertainment Weekly (don’t worry, I’m fully digital–I read it on my iPad app)?

    The answer is “not yet”.

    Revenge is the story of Emily Thorne’s summer in the Hamptons. Except, of course, there’s more to that. To begin with, Emily Thorne (played by Emily VanCamp) is not her real name. No, the truth is she’s Amanda Clarke, the daughter of a now deceased former Hampton-ite who was framed for a crime he didn’t commit and sent to prison for life. Choosing to not follow in the footsteps of her father, who found peace by forgiving his wrongdoers, she instead is back to get revenge against everyone who wronged her and her father. And in one episode, she gets a lot done. I won’t spoil the juicy details for you, but by the end of the episode she’s already crossing one name off her list.

    While the first episode didn’t bring the guilty pleasure giddiness I was hoping for, there is literally nothing I can complain about the first entry in what will surely develop into a long and complicated story. While things happen that you could easily see in overdramatic shows like Gossip Girl or Desperate Housewives (both on Netflix, and both shows I deeply enjoyed, at least for their perfect first seasons), a twist at the end of the episode reveals that the main character Emily Thorne is more involved behind the scenes than you might have expected. This isn’t a character who believes in waiting to get her revenge. She’s going to find the perfect moment to strike; and if she can’t find one you damn better believe she’s going to make one.

    So will I continue watching Kill Bill: Slow Burn? Yes. I would be lying if I said I was interested because a long time ago I imagined what a T.V. show would be like if it was just a vicious cycle of revenge plots. “I want revenge on these people, I get it, but now their loved ones are after me, etc.” Hopefully this is what the second season becomes. But more importantly, I hope the show is up to the hype. I’ll be watching the complete first season and coming back to you for an assessment.

    If you have Netflix or are considering the 30-Day Free Trial, this could easily be a show to check out.

    And don’t forget, the easiest way to stream Netflix is through the #1 Rated Netflix Streaming Device, the Roku, with a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee, just like Netflix.

    If you’re still on the fence about Revenge, check out the trailer below.

    Let us know what you thought about the show by clicking “reply” at the top of the article.

    Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/Netflix-Critic-Review for future reviews.

    For those who like their Special Features and Audio Commentaries (and this has many), here is a helpful link to the physical copy:

    Revenge: The Complete First Season

    Strangely, there has been no Blu-Ray release. So you might want to wait and enjoy it for now on Netflix, though there’s been no indication that anything special will be available on the Blu-Ray as opposed to what is already on the DVD release.

     
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