That Magic Moment When I Fell for Lost Girl

I saw a tweet the other day recalling when someone first got hooked on Lost Girl. It included a photo of Bo and Lauren. It started me thinking about when that moment was for me – when did I know that this show, this character, would be one I would really like?

For me, that moment came about 3 minutes into episode 1 of season 1. At that point we didn’t know any character names. All we knew was that a gorgeous bartender served two drinks to a creepy guy. Creepy guy secretly tossed a pill in one of them and then drugged a young woman who was pickpocketing wallets as she toured the bar. The bartender watched as creepy guy followed the young woman out of the bar.

Creepy guy followed young woman into the elevator, where she reeled from the drug and he prepared to rape her. Ding goes the elevator, the doors open, and there’s the gorgeous bartender.

Love at not quite first sight with Bo in Lost Girl
Love at not quite first sight with Bo in Lost Girl

Gorgeous bartender leans against the wall, looking kickass and dangerous as hell. She enters the elevator and checks on the young woman. On my gosh, gorgeous bartender is a savior, a protector, a promise of hope for mistreated and misguided young women. That’s it. That’s the moment. I’m Bo’s forever. She’s my hero. She’s my woman. She’s my avatar. I will watch anything she wants to do until the end of time (or for 5 seasons, sob).

Of course, immediately after I swear fealty to her forever, she succubus kisses creepy guy to death and things get complicated.

I had so much fun thinking about this magic moment. It’s something that happens early in any show you commit to. Something grabs you. We could play the magic moment game for any show, but I thought it would be interesting to play it for Lost Girl.

Do you remember? What was your magic moment?

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CBS Sunday: Madam Secretary & The Good Wife

Madam Secretary promises to be good. What it does not seem to be is some kind of pre election exploration, either good or bad, of Hillary Clinton. It’s more of an underdog story.

Téa Leoni in Madam Secretary
Téa Leoni in Madam Secretary

Téa Leoni as Elizabeth McCord is not a politician. She comes from a background in the CIA. The President (Keith Carradine) came from a background in the CIA himself. When the current Secretary of State dies under mysterious circumstances, the POTUS asks Elizabeth McCord to take over. She does. If the first episode is any indication, she’s a rule breaker who finds ways to do what she knows is right whether the political machine – in the person of the President’s Chief of Staff (Zeljko Ivanek) – likes it or not.

She comes to Washington from a bucolic life on a horse farm. With her are a husband (Tim Daly) and her two teenaged kids (Kathrine Herzer and Evan Roe). The relationship between Elizabeth and Henry McCord seems solid. The family dynamics seem solid. Son Jason has declared himself an anarchist, yet seems awfully interested in politics. We didn’t see much of the daughter in the first episode.

The series is a great concept. We’ve had several female Secretaries of State. It’s not such a shocking idea as a female president. It’s a good place to put a smart woman who can exercise power and write stories around what she does with it.

The Good Wife

Returning for a 6th season, The Good Wife gets off to a rip-roaring start.

Julianna Margulies and Christine Baranski in The Good Wife
Julianna Margulies and Christine Baranski in The Good Wife
  • Cary Agos (Matt Czuchry) is tossed in jail on trumped up charges and the police and the judge seem out to get him
  • Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) decides to join Florrick and Agos
  • Alicia Florrick ( Julianna Margulies) gets pestered to run for State’s Attorney while trying to raise Cary’s bail and bring Diane Lockhart into the firm
  • Kalinda Sharma (Archie Panjabi) misses a date with Cary, but gets hit on by Sophia (Kelli Giddish), who hasn’t been around for two years and whom Kalinda no longer trusts

The fast paced, multiplexed stories go on with this series. I do hope we get to see more of Kalinda. Diane made it a condition of her coming in with Florrick and Agos that Kalinda come too. Much as I love Alicia and Diane, Kalinda is so much more interesting. The possibility of Kelli Giddish coming back is exciting. Kalinda and Sophia were good together and more fun than Kalinda and Cary’s current romance. Having said that, Sophia’s contact with Kalinda in this episode was 100% hidden motivation, so there’s a lot to process before it could happen.

There’s potentially a very interesting turn on The Good Wife because Taye Diggs is joining the cast in the next episode. If he stays around all season I have my fingers crossed that he and Alicia will make sparks. Not sparks. Fireworks. Will is gone. Alicia has stopped boffing her hubby and kicked him out again. Bring on Mr. Diggs!

It’s All About Bo on Lost Girl

I’m going to say something crazy. Lost Girl isn’t about relationship stuff. It’s about Bo.

Here’s my point for today. It doesn’t matter who Bo is with. Only Bo matters.

Here's the Lost Girl
Here’s the Lost Girl

Do you love Bo with Lauren (or Tamsin or any other woman)? Do you love Bo with Dyson (or Ryan or any other man)?

The scenes between Bo and Lauren are fabulous. The scenes with Bo and Dyson are fabulous, too. Bo makes being with anyone super hot. Depending on the kind of sexy scenes you like to watch, you naturally want more of those and you root for Bo’s relationship with one character or another in hopes of having your dreams come true.

Bo is supposed to be sexy. It’s who she is. Anna Silk is great at doing her job. Anna Silk is fabulous at her job. Her sexy succubus is played with both grace and sizzle. But underneath all the sexy stuff, all the momentary relationship drama, there is an overarching theme to Bo’s life and story.

Bo’s Fae. She’s part of a Fae lineage that she has yet to completely discover, but which seems to point to her being fated to lead all the Fae. As Queen. For centuries.

The Queen of Sexy
The Queen of Sexy

Granted, she’ll be a very sexy queen, but that won’t determine how she rules Faedom.

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Think about Bo’s qualities. She’s loyal, she has a big heart, she’s brave, she’s bold, she’s smart. She values justice and doesn’t believe in pitting Fae against Fae. She loves deeply and fiercely and without attachment to gender. She’ll risk her life to protect the people she loves. She cares about the welfare of humans. For 4 seasons, Bo has learned about herself and the Fae universe. At the same time, we’ve learned about Bo. We’ve learned she’ll fight for what she thinks is right. She’ll fight for those she loves and cares about. The only side she’s willing to take is the side of good against evil.

All these qualities of Bo’s that we’ve explored so carefully for 4 seasons are qualities that will make her a good leader.

When I look what’s ahead for season 5, I think about where they have to go with Bo to conclude her story. This being Lost Girl I’m sure there will be plenty of perilous moments along the way. I’m sure there will be plenty of sexual expression along the way. I’m sure there will be plenty of love for family along the way. I’m sure Bo will gather those who matter most next to her.

But, in the end, the thing that will matter most is where Bo fits into her world when she is no longer lost, but found.

Review: The Blacklist

In the last week or so I watched season 1 of The Blacklist. I got hooked on it and just kept watching. After episode 1, I wasn’t sure I was committed, so I tried episode 2. Before long I decided to watch the whole season.

James Spader in The Blacklist
James Spader in The Blacklist

James Spader stars as Raymond “Red” Reddington, a criminal mastermind who inexplicably turns himself in to the FBI, but only on the condition that he works exclusively with FBI agent Lizzie Keen (Megan Boone). Spader’s performance is outstanding. He has Red Reddington down from the first seconds of episode 1 and plays him with sophisticated grace and depth.

Red’s thing, his deal, is that he has this list of bad guys that he will help the FBI get. He gets immunity for his information, but he only offers information about bad guys that he himself has a reason to want to catch or put out of commission. He calls the shots for a team of federal agents and they run around catching bad guys based on what he tells them. There’s the question of the connection between Red and Lizzie running through every episode.

The Blacklist is an odd combination of the completely obvious plot and the completely surprising and unexpected plot. The characters are never quite what they seem, people’s motives are always questionable, and the action is tense.

Megan Boone in The Blacklist
Megan Boone in The Blacklist

It took me a long time to get attached to the female lead. There are two reasons why this might be. Either Megan Boone plays her character as a stoic personality in control of her own display of emotions, or, Megan Boone is not a particularly nuanced actor. The expression on her face remains the same whether she’s shooting at a bad guy, talking to Red, making love to her husband, or crying over her dying father.

Even though James Spader is the big name, the star, his character is shadowy and mysterious. It’s really Lizzie’s story, her life both inside and outside her work, her marriage, and her early childhood memories. Megan Boone’s lack of affect in this part both put me off and – in later episodes of the season – made me appreciate the internal workings of her investigative mind.

Parminder Nagra is another FBI agent. She is a favorite of mine and I was glad she was in the cast. Gave me a female character that I liked instantly. Her part wasn’t big enough.

Other agents on the team with Lizzie Keen were Donald Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff), and Harold Cooper (Harry Lennix). I can never see Harry Lennix without thinking of Dollhouse. His part in this series is very similar to his part in Dollhouse, which contributed to my frequent recollections of the older show.

Megan Boone and Ryan Eggold in The Blacklist
Megan Boone and Ryan Eggold in The Blacklist

Lizzie Keen’s husband is played by Ryan Eggold. A good part of the personal drama for Lizzie involves Red warning her about her husband but her steadfastly believing in her man. Mostly. Maybe he’s a loving husband and fourth grade teacher. Or maybe not.

Interesting recurring characters included Alan Alda as a Senator, Jane Alexander as an FBI higher up, and Rachel Brosnahan as the mysterious Jolene who tries to seduce Lizzie’s husband.

One of the things I like about the show are the sets or locations. I’m not sure how real everything was but there were locations seemingly all over the world. The sets used for the task force and for where the criminals were caught were excellent. I liked the places where Red hung out, I liked Lizzie’s apartment. Outdoor scenes were plentiful and set in interesting places. The action scenes were very well done, too. There were all the requisite gun battles, car crashes, plane crashes, fist fights, knife fights – everything you could want in the way of excitement and action.

Season 2 of The Blacklist begins next week. I’m sure I’ll be watching to see what intricate plots involving criminals get brought into the story, and if Lizzie ever figures out the obvious in relation to who Red is.

Photos by NBC – © 2014 NBC Universal Media

Starts Today! Red Band Society

Here’s the latest preview for Red Band Society, which starts tonight on Fox. I’ll be watching. If you plan to watch, come back tomorrow and let us know what you thought.

This dramedy stara Octavia Spencer, Dave Annable, and a batch of young people whose names you’ll probably learn within a couple of weeks of watching the show. I spotted Wilson Cruz in the preview; I hope he’s a regular.

It’s about kids on a cancer ward, and the narrator is in a coma. What could go wrong?

Update!

It’s the morning after the premier, which I tried to watch. I say tried because I fell asleep about half way through from lack of interest. The series was too juvenile for me, the characters too stereotypical. This makes me really sad because I would love to get enthusiastic about anything that gave Octavia Spencer a leading role. I hope it appeals to the younger crowd and keeps an audience and a following because – Octavia Spencer.

What did you think?

Watch This: Go Back to the Beginning with Gotham

This fall Fox brings us Gotham, the origin story of Commissioner James Gordon’s interaction with all the characters who grew up to be Batman, Catwoman, the Joker, and a whole slew of other characters from the DC Comics universe.

Ben McKenzie stars, with a cast including Donal Logue, Jada Pinkett Smith, Zabryna Guevara and many more.

Jada Pinkett Smith’s character, Fish Mooney, is a new character in the DC Comics universe. She’s the character/actor who drives my interest in Gotham. I can’t wait to see how Fish Mooney figures into the world that created Batman.

Making it to live action outside the comics for the first time will be Detective Renee Montoya, played by Victoria Cartagena. Det. Montoya is a lesbian. Fish Mooney and Det. Montoya bring some much needed diversity to the Batman franchise. And let’s not forget Captain Sarah Essen (Zabryna Guevara). I will be watching and hoping for lots of screen time for all of them.

Several trailers and previews are available. Have a look.

First Look

The Good, The Evil, The Beginning

Official Extended Trailer

Fish Mooney

What do you think? Will you be watching Gotham?

Jada Pinkett Smith Image © Fox Broadcasting

Remembering Picket Fences

There are actors you always associate with a certain show, like Sarah Michelle Gellar always making you think of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I got to thinking about Picket Fences the other day because of a mention of Tom Skerritt, and I realized that Picket Fences was one of those iconic moments in TV history for me.

Picket Fences was on the air for 4 seasons from 1992 to 1996 according to IMDB.

Tom Skerritt and Costas Mandylor in Picket Fences
Tom Skerritt and Costas Mandylor in Picket Fences

Picket Fences was one of those shows that came along at the right time in my life, caught me at the right moment, and resonated in deep ways. When I realized that I always think of Picket Fences whenever I see Tom Skerritt in anything I started thinking about other things I remember about Picket Fences.

Lauren Holly in Picket Fences
Lauren Holly in Picket Fences

I always associate Kathy Baker, Lauren Holly and Kelly Connell with the series, no matter what else I see them in. There were so many memorable characters on the series. In fact, the odd and bizarre characters on the show, as well as the strange and bizarre plots, really appealed to me.

At the time I took note that the reason for all that off-the-wall thinking was David E. Kelley. I’ve followed his career via many more shows that I thoroughly enjoyed because of his ability to make the strange and weird apply to real life. David E. Kelley is behind The Crazy Ones, Harry’s Law, Boston Legal, The Practice, Ally McBeal and Doogie Howser, M.D. and more.

Once an actor has worked with David E. Kelley, he or she is liable to show up over and over again in things Kelley writes and produces, especially the lesser known character actors.

Costas Mandylor and Lauren Holly in Picket Fences
Costas Mandylor and Lauren Holly in Picket Fences

Even 20 years later, I remember scenes from Picket Fences. Human beings who undergo spontaneous combustion. I remember a sex scene between Lauren Holly and Costas Mandylor on the floor of her apartment. They looked directly into each others eyes during the whole scene. I remember thinking it was breathtakingly sexy and also that it must be hard as hell to actually look at someone in such a way in a moment like that. I remember the great relationship Tom Skerritt and Kathy Baker had as a married couple. (This was long before Friday Night Lights and its married couple in a good relationship.)

Scrolling through the photos at IMDB (where these photos came from) brings back the wonderful characters and moments from the show for me. There are two full episodes of the show available on IMDB, if you’ve never seen it and would like to get a taste of what it was like.

Are you old enough to remember this show? What did you think of it?

How Best to Show Texting in a Film

I need the huge ridiculous Grandma fonts to be able to read texts in a film, so I appreciate the solutions that make the text nice and big. I could read almost none of the tiny-sized texts in House of Cards, but I did appreciate the looks that Kevin Spacey threw at the camera after he read one.

I want it big, yes I do. However, I’m rooting for something that keeps the focus on the actor and not a phone.

This is going to continue to happen in films and on television. Soon we’ll be trying to read from wearable devices like tiny screens worn on the wrist. What do you think is the best solution?

Watch This: Trailer for Transparent

Amazon released a trailer for the Amazon-only Transparent, which will begin on September 26. Right now you can see the 1st episode free, even if you don’t have Prime.

This very complicated tale stars Jeffrey Tambor as a man making a gender transition late in life. There’s a huge and wonderful cast supporting Tambor with plenty of complexity to make up a family of interesting characters.

I don’t know how old Tambor’s character is supposed to be in this show, but in real life he is 70. That puts him in a generation when the opportunity – even the idea – that one could change genders was somewhere in the realm of impossible. Young people today who feel compelled to transition manage to accomplish it at a much earlier age. I think the series title, Transparent, is a clue that the reactions of his grown children to the transition will be important.

poster for Transparent

The series was created by Jill Soloway, who has worked on such great shows as Six Feet Under, Afternoon Delight and United States of Tara.

All 10 episodes of Transparent will be available on Amazon Prime on September 26.

Happy Valley, S1 E6

Everything goes to hell in Catherine’s life and work in the season finale of Happy Valley. Hang on for the ride! There are spoilers everywhere.

Continue reading “Happy Valley, S1 E6”