The Rain is an 8 part Danish sci-fi thriller about a rain-borne virus that wiped out much of the population of Scandinavia, and perhaps the entire world. I’m not aware of a 2nd season, but the ending left the idea open. Continue reading “Review: The Rain”
Many people want to know more about Nina Sosanya. It’s hard to learn much about her. Nina Sosanya is either elusive or not interested in fame. Whatever her reasons for being shy about seeking the spotlight, information on her is hard to find. Continue reading “Absolutely Everything About Nina Sosanya Isn’t Very Much – Updated”
Season 4 of Orange is the New Black is on everyone’s mind now. I’ve barely had time to watch it all. This post collects some random observations and stray musings on season 4. It is not meant to be a review of the season, but there are some spoilers. Continue reading “Orange is the New Black: Musings and Observations”
There are some shows I started, then stopped watching. I originally found them interesting, but I they lost me somewhere along the way. I try to explain why. Continue reading “Not Watching: Empire, Gotham, Fear The Walking Dead, Shadowhunters, Stitchers”
Maybe it’s just this election cycle, with the leading Republican earning supporters by promoting hate, but I am sick and tired of television plots about nothing but killing. This week’s episodes of The Walking Dead and Quantico are good examples and feature characters who may be getting sick and tired of it all, too. Continue reading “Sick and Tired of all the Violence”
Alyson Hannigan tends to take parts in shows that turn out to be wildly popular and last for years. For that reason we usually see her as a sweetheart of a character for long stretches of time.
The result is that when we think of Alyson Hannigan we think of the nerdy and loyal best friend in Buffy the Vampire Slayer or the funny, mild-mannered wife on How I Met Your Mother. A 7 year run and a 9 year run. Long runs as one character.
Her long-running gigs make us forget something: Alyson Hannigan can do a whole lot more than we think she can as an actress. She’s had these two iconic parts in two iconic long-term shows that prevent her from showing different stuff. I believe she’s got different stuff to show.
Dark Willow in Buffy the Vampire Slayer was awesome. Alyson Hannigan nailed Dark Willow. Scary and very sexy. Alyson played flamboyant and over the top in Veronica Mars, even though her part was small there. I’m giving you those two cases as examples of different stuff.
She’s been in about a billion things since her first listing from 1985 on IMDB – movies, TV series, animated shows. Obviously, she can act. My point is, you probably don’t think of her as one of those talented actresses who can do everything well.
I think you should.
As the unappointed and unwanted life coach for Alyson Hannigan, I have some post How I Met Your Mother suggestions. I hope she’ll spend some time doing a few guest spots on wildly different shows – a lone survivor on The Walking Dead and some evil archetype on Once Upon a Time and a quirky visiting doctor on Grey’s Anatomy and a murderous Soviet spy on The Americans. Mix it up. Remind everyone that she’s got the different stuff.
Then she can go find another steady job that will last 7 or 8 years.
Casting directors everywhere should be reading this and taking it to heart. Hello? Casting directors?
I read a wonderful article called 33 Experts Share Their Notable Female Characters Of Recent Years at Bang2Write.
Bang2Write asked screenwriters, directors, literary agents and other industry pros to talk about the female characters they thought were most important in recent years.
The names they mentioned were absolute favorites of mine: Carrie from Homeland, Kalinda from The Good Wife, Lizbeth from the Millennium Trilogy, Catherine from Happy Valley, Stella from The Fall, the women from Scott & Bailey and Last Tango in Halifax, Hushpuppy from Beasts of the Southern Wild, Michonne and Carol from The Walking Dead, various clones from Orphan Black, practically everyone from Orange is the New Black.
There were many more names mentioned by these experts. I loved reading their reasons and explanations for why they picked certain characters. I loved the females they named.
As I read each of the picks by the 33 experts I was surprised that no one mentioned Bo from Lost Girl. There are some awesome female characters on Lost Girl. Particularly Bo, who is strong and growing increasingly more powerful. She wears her power with grace and uses it with heart. She’s unaligned with either side in her world. She’s protective of those she loves. She makes mistakes – huge ones. She’s less than perfect, but she’s searching, yearning to improve.
Bo’s bisexual. As far as I know the only other female bi characters on television are Callie on Grey’s Anatomy and Kalinda on The Good Wife. Bisexual women are misunderstood and mistreated by the culture at large and even by the LGBT community. Since I’m a believer that #RepresentationMatters, I think having a bi character portrayed in a positive light is a powerful thing.
So while I agree with every single female named by the experts, I want to mention Bo as one they forgot. I’m not an expert. I’m merely a consumer of movies and television with notable female characters – I look for them every day. I seldom watch anything that does not have notable female characters. I support notable female characters with enthusiasm.
But don’t forget Bo on Lost Girl.
It’s time for another brain dump. These are quick hits on this and that.
The Good Wife
Linda Lavin has been on The Good Wife lately. Her character is part of the plot line to put Cary Agos (Matt Czuchry) in jail. Lavin created a most particular character. She uses exacting quirks to make her character stand out in a show filled with peculiar and unusual characters. Kudos to Linda Lavin on her performance! It’s masterful.
Speaking of unusual characters, Carrie Preston’s marvelous character Elsbeth Tascioni is involved in a sex scene in the “Old Spice” episode of season 6. Elsbeth and Josh Perotti (Kyle MacLachlan) have sex on the desk in Elsbeth’s office. It’s a true bodice ripper in the trashy romance novel style. Delightful!
Did you see the announcement that Archie Panjabi will be leaving The Good Wife at the end of season 6? Kalinda Sharma is my favorite part of The Good Wife. I’m sad about the announcement. On the other hand, Kalinda has never been used enough. My hope is Archie Panjabi will find her way to a show where she plays the lead! #GiveArchieHerOwnShow
Téa Leoni as Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord is wonderful. Leoni plays her as unflappably calm, grounded, brilliant, bold, funny, and a great reader of character. All the players around her are outstanding as well, particularly Bebe Neuwirth.
Much as I love Elizabeth McCord as a character, the stories aren’t always believably realistic. Like Buffy, McCord saves the world in every episode. She does it by defying the advice of all her advisers and the POTUS. As an American who feels the system is broken, it’s nice to root for someone who does everything outside the system. Rah, rah, Elizabeth McCord! It’s great TV, but if the Secretary of State could save the world all by herself, Hillary Clinton would have done it already.
I like how much Tim Daly gets to do in Madam Secretary. If this show had a male lead, the pretty wife would be tucked away in the background and used occasionally to show that the hero is straight. But Tim Daly as the husband isn’t tucked in the background, nor are McCord’s 3 children. Daly gets real plot lines of his own. Each child has an individual personality, too, they aren’t merely bodies crunching cereal around the breakfast table in the morning. This may be because of Tim Daly’s pull as a big name, or it may be because the chief writer on the show is a woman – Barbara Hall.
How to Get Away with Murder
I’m struggling with the non-linear style of storytelling on How to Get Away with Murder. It’s meant to build suspense – it is. It’s meant to keep you coming back – but at least in my case, it’s just irritating me. I’m still watching, so obviously I’m not irritated beyond the point of hanging around. But still.
I do want to mention how much I loved the scene in which Viola Davis removes her wig and all her make up. Then she turns to her husband and says, “Why is your penis on a dead girls phone?” BAM! BAM! What a pair of moments.
The Walking Dead
A tweet from Kate Moennig caught my eye. I think she’s referring to the cannibalism scenes.
Well, The Walking Dead finally made me lose my appetite
— kate moennig (@katemoennig) October 28, 2014
I agree with Kate Moennig, the cannibals were extra gross. Actually, The Walking Dead is gross as a standard thing. In the same episode with the cannibals, “Four Walls and a Roof,” there was also a cowardly priest (Seth Gilliam). The priest locked himself in his church with a big supply of food and listened as his parishioners clawed at the door when the zombies came for dinner.
Between the cannibals and cowardly priest, I find more metaphoric fodder in the priest. Everything about The Walking Dead is a metaphor, of course. This one priest could stand in for every kind of horror and evil ever perpetrated in the name of religion. The Crusades, the notion that there’s no God but God, the Westboro Baptist Church, or dozens of other examples of evil done by religious leaders – pick your metaphor and make it work. Will Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the gang leave him alive when they move on?
Random thoughts and observations on this and that as seen on my teevee.
The Walking Dead
Did you see the episode of The Walking Dead called “The Grove?” Brighton Sharbino and Kyla Kenedy as the two young girls were fantastic. Brighton, in particular, was 100% convincing. Very impressed to see such outstanding acting from two young actors.
I’m loving what they’ve done with The Walking Dead this season: splitting everyone up and charting their journeys to find each other again. (Assuming that they will be reunited at Terminus.) It’s given them a way to let characters develop with full episodes devoted almost exclusively to just one or two characters.
What about this kiss in the episode “100” of Glee. Glee has never been about grown up sex. Yes, there have been relationships but they are immature high school kinds of things. Even the teachers have immature relationships on Glee.
But in the episode called “100” (as in the 100th episode) we see a grown up Brittany, (Heather Morris) dragged into adulthood by numbers and a failure of joy.
Brittany evolved. Who’d a thunk that?
Couple that with a sort-of-grown-up Santana (Naya Rivera). I say sort of grown up because Santana still has a mouth on her that needs to embrace tolerance and forgiveness – mature ideas she hasn’t mastered yet. Nevertheless, Brittany and Santana exchange a kiss that is the first grown up, adult looking kiss I’ve seen on Glee.
Person of Interest
A whole episode of Person of Interest was built around Root (Amy Acker). The episode was called “Root Path.” Most of the time, Root is only on the screen for a few seconds. Even then she’s the most interesting thing in the show – mysterious, powerful, illusive. You know what would make me really happy? An episode that featured only Sarah Shahi and Amy Acker together for a whole show.
Is Castle getting better this season? It seems like the writing has improved. The stories are flat out good. Last year Castle frequently put me to sleep, but there is none of that this year.
The crazy adjustable bed that Stef’s mom gave Stef and Lena as a wedding gift on The Fosters is keeping them apart. I say we start a Kickstarter campaign to get Stef and Lena a new bed. A nice flat one. Or, as they put it on OITNB,
— Orange Is the New… (@OITNB) November 15, 2013
This show gets more fascinating each week with all kinds of complicated loyalty questions and emotional issues. Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys impress me in a new way in every episode. Keri Russell’s character slamming that guy’s arm over and over again with a trunk lid was really intense and surely will make her face the fact that she’s cracking. Plus Margo Martindale was back this week, which is guaranteed to make me happy.
Still ahead this week are Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. Must dump brain before then!
What is burning in your brain from this week’s TV?
We begin this episode of Lost Girl back in the conversation in which The Keeper (Christine Horne) tells Bo (Anna Silk) her blood has spoken and she’s dark.
Bo calls bullshit on The Keeper, but, alas, the gargoyle read her blood when he took that chunk out of her arm. Bo wants to know how something so momentous could happen without her approval. Seems it’s a mystery for her and whoever led the dark recently – that would be Vex (Paul Amos). The Keeper tells Bo to leave. Bo says, “If anyone’s taking a leave, it’s you and your circle jerk of doom.” She planned this as her grand exit remark, but The Keeper adds, “If you see the human doctor or that terrorist pet of yours, tell them we will see them soon. Their deaths will be most painful.”
Bo tries sucking the chi from everyone in the room, but as soon as she does it goes right back where it came from and Bo collapses on the floor.
Bo’s current choices are, 1) Pay fealty to the leader of the dark Fae, or 2) die. I hate it when The Keeper gets in the last word.
Bo and Kenzi (Ksenia Solo) go to some joint where the purpose of the place is either to make a whole lot of 69 jokes or else let Bo fill up on sexual chi.
I’ve said for 4 seasons that Bo needs a place she can pop in on her way home, a place away from her love life, to fill up on sex. A gym full of Amazons, or a biker bar full of dudes in leather jackets. A place to service her needs. All of a sudden such a place appears, serving up just what Bo craves. Welcome to Club 69. Take a number.
Once Bo’s recharged the old double D’s – her batteries, you silly – she blames her current problem on The Wanderer. She’s ready to find him and plans to use Vex to help her.
Kenzi thinks maybe Dyson could help, but he’s still off somewhere searching for Lauren (Zoie Palmer).
Dyson isn’t the only person MIA in this episode: Hale is missing, too. Every episode so far in season 4 has had missing persons. Is this a meaningful statement on the “lostness” of everyone in season 4, or is it budget cuts?
Bo and Kenzi storm The Morrigan’s place to discover that Evony (Emanuelle Vaugier) is back and très happy that Bo has joined the dark Fae. Since Bo thought Evony was dead, she is a bit surprised finding her here. Bo says she’s having her dark conversion annulled as soon as she gets Vex.
The Morrigan invites them to a dark Fae party. The Morrigan says Bo can get out of being dark Fae if she shows proof she was tricked before the next full moon – which is that night.
Trick (Rick Howland) promises to do dinner with someone on the phone if they will get him intel on The Wanderer. When he hangs up the phone, he looks at a pulsating seed or nut thingy. Whatever it is, it requires worrisome music as it pulsates. Trick locks it in his vault.
A man appears out of the dark to tell Trick he’s been summoned by the Una Mens for an inquisition on his life.
Kenzi, Bo, and Tamsin (Rachel Skarsten) arrive at the dark Fae party. Kenzi goes straight for the food and booze. Evony offers Bo a human to feed on. Bo sends the human and her human friends packing. Evony finds Bo’s refusal to feed off the human lame. She argues that at least the dark Fae are honest about what they do, unlike the light Fae who pretend they are better than the dark.
Evony shepherds Bo outside where they continue to argue about whether or not Bo is going to stay dark and be loyal to The Morrigan. The Morrigan repeats the story that Vex is who they both need to find. The Morrigan is “giving her every resource” to find him. To prove what a good friend she is now, Evony turns Bo around to see this.
Lauren walks across a grassy field, looking so gorgeous it’s likes she’s a Valentine’s Day commercial.
Bo smiles as Lauren walks closer in slo-mo. As Bo watches this heavenly creature approach, she frowns slightly – maybe things aren’t entirely perfect in the situation.
While the Bo and Lauren reunion is going on, Trick is before The Keeper for his inquisition. We learn the story of the Una Mens. When the Blood King became corrupt, a council was made of members willing to sacrifice their individual flaws to form a single soul without ego or ambition. The Blood King agreed, then betrayed the Una Mens. The deal involved every one of the six council members swallowing a seed of the sacred papyrus plant to be blessed as a single vessel of humility and justice. The king stole his seed and vanished. (Hey, Keeper, I think Trick has it in his vault.)
The Keeper says if the Blood King swallows the sacred seed, he can be unchallenged and take his place among them. Trick likes the unchallenged part of her remarks.
Bo and Lauren find a quiet room at the party, where they say they have a lot to talk about but can’t stop kissing long enough to say much or eat the quiche a waiter offers. Bo, in her new none-too-tender way, is ready to rip Lauren’s dress off her right there at the party. Lauren doesn’t seem offended, she only wants more kisses.
Kenzi and Tamsin are filling plates off a table covered with 9000 kinds of food, when Kenzi picks up some sushi and discovers Bruce under it. The sushi table is actually Bruce (Ron Archer). Kenzi calls him brushi.
He says it’s his punishment. He’s shirtless (hey, someone’s gotta do it – Dyson’s not here) and Kenzi pulls a tablecloth off a nearby table to wrap around him. The bride and groom whose party this is lay dead under the table, but Kenzi is more interested in Bruce. Bruce, however, feels bad because they read their vows in iambic pentameter – so lovely.
Bo and Lauren continue kissing as fast as they can. Lauren says, “Bo, I’m so glad you’re here.” She pauses, “Why are you here?” Equally interesting but unasked by Bo: why is Lauren here?
“Vex worked with The Wanderer to turn me dark.” You’re dark? asks Lauren. Lauren says she’s hiding from the Una Mens. That does not sound right – the Una Mens isn’t who had her captive in the last episode, even though they threatened Bo with Lauren’s name. Bo and Lauren promise to tell each other everything, but instead start kissing again.
Evony comes and and goes back to business. She wants a blood oath that Bo will bring Vex to her. In exchange, she offers the means to find him.
In walks Pietra (Samantha Espie) who is super pumped to be going on an adventure with Bo as one of “Evony’s Angels.” Evony explains that Bo also needs a certain drug that only you-know-who can provide to make Vex compliant. Evony leaves with the Scavenger and tells Bo and Lauren they have a few minutes to collect themselves.
Not much time, says Lauren. Bo figures waste not, want not, and grabs Lauren for another kiss.
Bo, Lauren and Pietra take off in the dead bride and groom’s limo to search for Vex. A Just Married sign and a string of cans decorate the back. Pietra does some scavenging and comes back with a huge knife.
The knife is the key to Vex being able to cut out some poison which prevents him from leaving town. Vex is expecting Pietra to bring him the knife.
Bruce, still shirtless, but not for long so enjoy it while you can, tells Kenzi he can be saved if another Fae masters him until his punishment is fulfilled. Kenzi immediately tells Tamsin, who is, what – 3 weeks old by now – to master Bruce.
Tamsin grabs a mic from the D.J. (so convenient there’s a D.J. at this party) and says she’s gonna master all over the big guy, Bruce.
Wait one sec. You can’t just declare yourself a master. You have to duel for it with the current master. Evony calls out the “dualist.”
The dualist is a bad ass chick that isn’t going to take any shit off of anyone. Unfortunately she doesn’t have any lines, so I can’t find a credit for her name. Just call her Awesome Personified for now.
On the street where Pietra is attempting to attract the attention of Vex by marching about with the big knife, Lauren gives Bo a syringe full of Socrates’ own hallucinogenic for subduing Vex.
Bo wants to talk because they could be there a while. She wants to know about their break, about Taft, about who Karen is. The heart-to-heart is interrupted when a tall blonde who looks like she’s auditioning for a part as a walker on The Walking Dead stumbles up and snatches the big knife. Clearly, Vex’s mesmering at work. Bo takes off after the walker.
She finds Vex in a warehouse. She tells him he and The Wanderer are going to undo making her dark Fae. He says he knows nothing about a Wanderer but legends. She intends to haul him back to the Morrigan.
Through a misshap with the girl who was on her way to The Walking Dead, Vex shoots the drug into Bo. We see that Vex’s hand is seriously messed up. We also see that Vex’s messed up hand looks something like a glimpse of arm we saw in episode 4 when Lauren’s captor revealed himself.
Bo wakes on a bed, paralyzed. Vex is boiling up something to help him with some surgery.
He must cut off his hand with the giant knife in order to save his own life. He’s the last mesmer and not about to go quietly into that good night. Bo urges Vex not to amputate his own hand. Lauren didn’t do a full amputation – just a break. Now they are back together again and Bo is humming heart happy songs.
Vex is annoyed by her happy heart and ready to cut off his right hand, Ginger, because he’ll still be able to dance with Fred, his left hand. Most guys name their junk, but not Vex.
At the party Evony flips a coin and Tamsin gets to pick the weapons for the duel over Bruce. She chooses to dance. Lucky us, there is a D.J. handy to spin some tunes.
Dance to the death commences. Tamsin’s been getting lessons from Kenzi, but she’s pretty terrible, although I judged her twerking improved.
Awesome Personified, however, is awesome, and clearly going to win the battle to remain the master of Bruce.
But wait, Tamsin has a secret weapon.
Tamsin goes skeletor on the dualist and kills her right there. One way to dance to the death, I guess. Tamsin’s a bit surprised and upset by her Valkyrie powers but the Morrigan says, “Well done, our little blooming warrior princess.”
Back at the warehouse, Bo regains some movement. Vex drinks the stuff he’s been brewing and THWACK, he chops off the hand just as Bo is able to get off the bed.
Oh, gross. She picks up the hand. Don’t mesmers bleed?
Vex uncovers a red sports car that looks like it should belong to Agent Colson on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and which he will now have trouble driving. The missing hand, you know.
Bo chases after him and learns that she should have been talking to The Morrigan’s archivist if she wanted answers. Bo realizes The Morrigan played her. Vex wants her to “take the stick” if he takes the clutch and together they can drive off in the hot red sports car.
We miss the whole car driving experience and go straight to The Morrigan’s office for the next scene. Bo gives Evony the hand in a bag of ice, but Evony wants ALL of Vex to get rid of the Una Mens. Bo says she won’t let him be tortured. Evony says okay, if Bo agrees to be responsible for him. She says fine, so now Bo is babysitting Vex again.
Bo says, “Archivist. Now.” The Morrigan says, “Oh, you figured it out.”
The archivist (Clint Butler) enters and pulls a layer of skin off his bald head. Any pledge to the dark shows up there. He hands the flap of skin to Bo. The Morrigan, peaking over her shoulder, says, “There’s your signature. And there’s your sponsor.”
Bo reads from the flap of skin, “Who’s Raynor?”
Evony hasn’t a clue. Bo wants her to tear it up because she obviously had nothing to do with the agreement. Evony says it’s a binding agreement and the only person who can change it is her sponsor.
Bo snatches Vex’s hand back. Lauren walks in. Evony conveniently leaves her own office so Bo and Lauren can share doleful eye contact.
Cut to the Dungeon. The Keeper is still questioning Trick. She offers him the job of The Ash. He wants it.
Bo wants to take Lauren back to her place to share a giant claw-footed bathtub.
Lauren makes one of those awful speeches she does periodically when she’s protecting someone. (Speaking of Crystal, where do you think she is?) She says she can’t go back with the light. The light never looked for her, but the dark offered her protection. No one else came. With the dark she can come and go as she pleases. Lauren says, I feel free. Bo says, I could free you.
Lauren says, How? Bo says I could claim you. Lauren thinks that’s not freedom.
Lauren pats Bo’s shoulder. “It’s gonna be okay, Bo. Now that you’re dark, I’ll see you around.” I’ll see you around? What is Lauren doing?
Maybe Bo recognizes that Lauren’s speech closely resembles the cover story speech she delivered at Taft’s lab, because she says, “When you’re ready to come back to your real family, let me know.” Even so, Bo looks crushed as she leaves. No happy heart songs now.
Kenzi and Bruce talk in Kenzi’s bedroom. (Kenzi’s bedroom again. Hello room.) She tells him he’s free and he should spread his wings and fly. Tamsin, who is pretending to sleep nearby, smiles at this suggestion. I wonder, can Valkyries fly?
Bo brings Vex’s hand in a copper bucket of ice to the Dal. A drink and a talk with Trick at the Dal is the closest Bo has come to doing something normal since she’s been back. He tells her he’s been named the acting Ash. They drink to how odd it is that Trick is the head of the light and Bo is the darling of the dark.
She asks about Raynor. Trick says they need to look in the King’s book of records.
There’s a rush of dramatic music and we see something spilled on the floor but I cannot tell what it is. Maybe the empty container that once held that pulsing seed?
The Archivist enters the dungeon where he gives the succubus declaration, AKA the hunk of skin from his bald head, to The Keeper. She looks at it and opens a big book.
She looks for the name Raynor. When she finds it the letters go all squiggly. She says, “No. It cannot be. Never again.”
“The Wanderer” plays as the credits roll.
- The Bo and Lauren reunion is less than perfect, I suspect because Lauren is once again, for the millionth time, doing something she doesn’t want to do because someone she cares about is in danger. If I’m right, that may mean Ali Liebert isn’t finished with Lost Girl yet.
- The name Raynor comes from a root word that means king or leader. In Norse the meaning of the name Raynor is warrior from the gods. I’m thinking that means The Wanderer. The music at the end was a big clue, but the name tipped me off long before the final credits.
- I’m not convinced that Vex is the guy who was holding Lauren and Crystal in episode 4. It didn’t sound like Vex on the speaker. Why would Vex call her Karen? But the hand looked wonky like Vex’s hand. Who else could it be and how did Lauren get delivered to The Morrigan?
- Since Bo can be healed by sexual chi, I’ve indulged in wishful thinking that the cruel, not-our-regular Bo we’ve seen in the previous episodes this season would be healed by Lauren’s return. Healing love, don’t you know. It almost seemed like that was happening, but it didn’t quite. The jury is still out on whether Bo can return to her pure heart.