Careful how you binge.

Love this video, but sorry to say I'm not following their guidelines and killing approx. one season a week in my current Sons of Anarchy binge.

Pilot Review: 'Red Band Society' on Fox

After watching the pilot on demand, Red Band Society has definitely earned a spot on my DVR list this fall.

When I heard that Dave Annable and Octavia Spencers were the stars of this "young soap," I was skeptical. Is this about the kids or the adults? But after watching the pilot, I think the two are in the episode just enough. (Okay, lie. It needs more Annable, looking particularly salt-and-pepper sexy.)

In fact, Spencer may be my new uptight idol (Dr. Bailey on Grey's has gone to soft). At one point, she interrupts a eager nurse with, "Don't use 'like' like that." Preach, sister.

The cast of kids is great, too – and kudos for the choice to introduce the characters one at a time in the pilot. That could have been cheesy, but really worked with a large cast. There's some possible love triangles going on. Some father-son drama. And I'm particularly intrigued by Dash – bets on Spencer being his mom!?

That is what's most promising about this pilot – there are so many storytelling possibilities. Most pilots end with one cliffhanger, or introduce one big story. And this one planted seeds for many.

The Daily Beast compares RBS to Glee, which I actually think is a disservice. RBS is really more like Parenthood, in my opinion. Big cast. Mix of humor and heartbreak. I laughed. I cried.

Okay, I cried twice.


Pilot Review: 'Selfie' on ABC

Caught the pilot of ABC's Selfie on demand this week... and poor, poor John Cho.

First off, the lead is so unlikeable. I understand she is supposed to be narcissistic and social-media obsessed. But that doesn't mean she has to be... dumb. It feels like someone gave the Jack In The Box intern a half-hour show.

This is a girl that was the top sales rep for her her (clearly successful) company. Does she have to wear fur vests to work and use 'omg, lol, hashtag, whatev' in normal speech? Does she have to wear sunglasses on her head... while she is inside... at work?! (Sorry, pet peeve of mine...) I get it, she's very Cher. She's supposed to need a little self-improvement. And for a brief, brief moment, I liked her.

The moment in question was when she was texting all her friends when she was sick, musing that maybe she didn't have any 'real' friends. I feel ya, girlfran. That was deep. And depressing. And I wanted to give her a hug. But moments later, she was back to her annoying antics.

Second – and I love John Cho – but not like this. Cho's character just doesn't seem like a good fit. Maybe I'm too attached to the cool guy friend he's usually cast as. Maybe this is against type. Seeing him smile and let loose in the final scene was so refreshing because it finally felt like.... him. This buttoned up version is not the one I love.

And third... WTF is up with all the rhyming? I know it is based on My Fair Lady, known for it's 'the rain in Spain' or whatever rhyme, but still. Is that necessary? Is it going to continue? Please, say no.

Verdict is... I may hate-watch a few more episodes and wait for the cancellation.


Thoughts on the 'True Blood' Finale

There's a lot of people disappointed with the finale, ranking it among the worst in television history, but honestly – what did you expect? True Blood has been less than stellar the last few seasons. You really expected them to churn out some amazing final episodes after not being able to craft an amazing season-long arc the last 2-3 years?

Here's what I did expect – 
  • Sookie crying. 
  • Bill dying. 
  • Some save-the-day scenario for Eric and Pam and the town (mostly Andy and Jason) to rally behind, giving Sam a reason to return, albeit temporarily.
  • Sookie and Eric to "have a moment," even if it was in friendship (as Jessica and Jason had a few episodes ago), but not end up together. How meaningless would Bill's death be if Sookie ended up with a vampire anyway?
  • Jason and Bridget. Hoyt and Jessica. Arlene and what's-his-name. Lafayette and Jessica's ex-boyfriend. 
  • Some flashbacks to notable characters (for Sookie) like Gram, Tara, Alcide, her parents. (No flashbacks to Terry, his story has already ended)
  • Some heart-to-hearts for Sookie and Bill, Sookie and Eric, Sookie and Jason and Sookie and Lafayette – arguably the main characters / relationships on the show. Arlene and Sookie already got a great scene together earlier this season. And Pam and Eric already had enough heart-to-hearts this year. I just want to see them have fun, kick ass, yell at people. 
Now, some of that happened. Some of it didn't. And to be fair, I did not hate everything in the finale.

The good stuff first –
I felt like Bill's death was rather well done. I held my breath when Sookie was finally able to listen to his thoughts (a sign of his humanity) and gasped when she broke the shovel in half to steak him. I do, however, think that story arc was kind of beat to death this season – by the time he refused Sarah's blood, I wasn't surprised. It was obvious he was ready for the true death and to let go of Sookie. I was kind of sick of hearing him explain it time and time again.

I do think this was a missed opportunity to have a sweet moment between Eric and Sookie. I wish he would have "felt" her pain and shown up to be by her side following the death of Bill. Not romantically, just to console her. After all, Bill was his longtime frenemy, too.

I also didn't hate Jessica and Hoyt's wedding. I think Andy's speech at the wedding, and the fact that it was attended by the core characters was really appropriate. But - where was Lafayette?! Wouldn't that have been an easy scene to add him in? More on that in a minute...

And now.... the bad. 

One of my biggest complaints about the season overall – not just the finale – was the focus on characters that I didn't care much about. Willa, Tara's mom and the pastor, these Japanese dudes, Jason's weird girlfriend, Andy's daughter, even Sarah Nelwin. I even got called out on Twitter by Lauren Bowles for not caring about Holly's fate earlier this season. But we only get like 13 hours with these characters – don't waste my time!

In this final episode, we had meaningless scenes dedicated to Sarah (don't get me wrong – I love Sarah and Steve.... but their story is over.), Sarah and Pam, mentions of Willa (who then reappeared in the final scene, where has she been?!), and even a heart-to-heart between Sookie and the pastor. That's right, a guy who had about 3 lines up until this season got an entire scene of screen time with our heroine. And you know who didn't have a single line in the whole episode? Fan favorite, Lafayette. Let that sink in? Lafayette did not have a single line in the finale... but the pastor did. Wtf. 

But mostly, it wasn't fun. In fact, it was downright depressingly normal. For a show that pushed some boundaries, dared to be unexpected and embrace differences... it ended like an episode of Duck Dynasty. Sure, I guess the Stackhouse table was lined with vampires, shifters, black, white, gay, straight... but didn't it all seem so conservative, traditional, normal?

This EW article sums it up perfectly,
... Something about the blandness of True Blood‘s finale felt almost offensive. Jessica and Hoyt got hitched, because it was Bill’s greatest wish to see his progeny married off? Bill just had to lecture Sookie about how having children makes life worth living? Sookie needed to chat with the Reverend about God’s plan? For a show that once skewered Ted Cruz and other self-proclaimed defenders of “family values,” this was pretty conservative stuff.... How did two of Bon Temps’ proudest outsiders end up wanting so badly to be “normal”? Since when did True Blood develop such a fixed definition of what “normal” is?
I mean, how awesome would it have been for Sam's kid to jump out of the car and turn into a puppy. You know, weird it up a bit?

So.... What do you think? Would you have preferred it without the various flashforwards? Did you want to see the face of the man Sookie ends up with?


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