31 December 2012

Thank You 2012, I Was Entertained This Year

If you are reading this feature, it means the world didn't end on the 21st December and I have recovered from the family Christmas madness. I know some of you are disappointed about the end of the world -- especially one super X-Files fan who believes in Chris Carter for the past 20 years. The truth is most of us are happier to see other people saving the world from the apocalypse or living in one or killing zombies on TV shows and movies. I don't know about you, but my entertainment is set for the next few years! The world is not perfect, but at least we are giving the opportunity to escape into another dimension the moment we turn on our entertainment devices.

An affogato isn't the same without ice cream. When it's Supernatural, if there is no angst no drama, it isn't fun. 

One of the biggest changes that we saw this year was the changing of the guard from previous showrunner Sera Gamble to Jeremy Carver. I was very sad and worried to see Sera go but the announcement of the return of Jeremy Carver at the same time was comforting. Apart from Ben Edlund, I cannot think of anyone else but Jeremy Carver to helm the show I love so much.

I am very happy with the direction of season eight. The core of the show still remains the same -- it is about the brothers saving people hunting things, the family business! But Jeremy and the writing team are putting details under the microscope. We are digging deeper into details within details, just like when we write academic papers -- we dig, we research, we focus on different aspects, but the paper is still the same subject matter. On Supernatural, we are seeing our heroes -- Dean, Sam and Castiel -- gaining different perspectives about each other, family, life, friendship, hunting and monsters. These new perspectives are hovering over the core theme of the show -- the brother relationship. 

Off the set, the cast has a very busy and fun year too -- Jensen's Angeles is like one of the best songs I've heard all year; Jared and Gen became first time parents; Misha, Vicky and West welcomed a new family to the family; Supernatural was in Hall H once again at Comic Con; and I am proud to be an attendee at one of the conventions this year in Chicago. The magnitude and charisma of Supernatural is unbelievable. As Eric Kripke said, Supernatural is like seeing his kids growing up and going to colleague. We are proud to be fans of Supernatural

In terms of other shows, I was really sad to see the end of Lost, 24 and Smallville. I asked myself: what am I going to watch and blog about now? I was desperately looking for good new shows to watch and I was concerned that I won't find any. But time has changed! We live in the beginning of the golden era of the genre shows!

We are seeing a wave of awesome genre shows in recent years and most of them are worthy to stick around -- Arrow, A Game of Thrones, Once Upon A Time, The Walking Dead, The Vampire Diary, Grimm, True Blood, Revolution, Dr Who, Falling Skies, Being Human and Warehouse 13. With S.H.I.E.L.D is in development, television is going to be better! And I hope we will see medical dramas and procedural cop shows to die down a little, because I think TV viewers have enough of them! They are all the friggin same! And if anyone is looking for a new reality show idea, STOP! JUST STOP! Unless it involves the Ghost Facers or Derren Brown, I don't want to know! 

Eric Kripke's new show, Revolution, is kicking ass! Comparing the show with Lost and Supernatural is not unheard of, but Revolution is the new Lost in terms of the scale and epicness. I told myself, this show cannot fail! Kripke's work deserves to be seen by more people and people need to know he is very good at what he does! Now we have to wait until March to see the second half of season one of Revolution.

Apart from Revolution, I most look forward to the return of A Game of Thrones. I love a HBO show and I hate a HBO show. The hiatus of A Game of Thrones is as long as a season of Supernatural being on air. How is that NOT insanity? I am currently reading A Dance With Dragons, I probably will revisit A Storm of Swords soon to get ready for season three of A Game of Thrones. The TV series is known that the TV series will not follow the book chapter by chapter, in fact I am a little disappointed how little Dany's prophecies were covered in season two, but it is still more than acceptable for television. A Game of Thrones is a great show! The book series is much bigger than Lord of the Rings. It is the most epic thing I've read. I hope season three will be really epic. Mr GRRM, please hurry up and finish writing The Wind of Winter and A Dream of Spring.

Once Upon A Time is becoming a favorite show of mine. I really look forward to the arrival of Hook and Cora, and how things will develop with Emma. I hope we get to see Baelfire. Please! Please let Nail be Baelfire! I am rewatching season one now, and I want to get up to speed so that I can blog about theories and my wishlist.

2012 has been a game-changing year for Joss Whedon and Marvel going forward. The battle between DC and Marvel intensifies in 2013 as Superman, Iron Man III and Thor 2, and more to follow in 2014 and 2015 with Captain America II, The Avengers II and (hopefully) Justice League. Marvel's phase II is in place, and DC is playing catch up. But this battle will set the trend and define the entertainment business for the next decade. It will also be the decade that belongs to the geeks!

But who will come out as the winner? Let's not kid ourselves, it is war! Fans love Whedon, it was the best decision from Marvel to involve him for The Avengers and other projects such as S.H.I.E.L.D. What would the complacent DC do to compete? We will compare them, we will criticize them, we will see Comic Con as the main PR battle ground for the studios. This is exciting for fans! I cannot wait to see Twilight to get out of the way (and I wish the 50 Shades movie will never see the living daylight). I want more superheroes movies.

What do you most look forward to in 2013 and beyond? 

As this is the last post of the year, I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for sharing and caring this year. I wish you all a wondering New Year and a very awesome 2013.

29 December 2012

My Favorite Things of 2012

I blog about Supernatural and everything else relating to the show a lot! However, there are many other things that make me happy and appreciate life more. I wanted to dedicate this feature to other things I love that are not Supernatural related. I have named the year's best dress, photo, actors, person of the year etc. So, here they are, my version of something like a 'best of...' according to yours truly.

Photo of the year is...

Can you guess where this photo was taken? Don't peak!

This was taken in October this year when I was at the bottom of the staircase of Apple Store on 5th Avenue in New York. I love this shot so much because it fits the definition of a great 'Kodak moment.' This is the background of my other travel and food blog -- Sunny Tiny.

Apart from Supernatural, my second favorite TV series of the year is...

Between Arrow, A Game of Thrones, Revolution, Homeland, Once Upon A Time, New Girl, The Walking Dead.. it is a very hard decision to make, but I have decided. 

The winner is Once Upon A Time. It's just growing on me and I am really into the show and the mythology now! Arrow or Revolution could have been the winner, but I found the last few episodes of Arrow a bit repetitive, but they always reveal something in each episode and I do like what I saw in the mid-season finale. Revolution lost to OUAT by a hair. I just know OUAT a bit more than Revolution. Bottomline is, I can explain OUAT better and in great details to my brother than other shows. And that's the sign right there.

Apart from Jensen Ackles, the second best performance from an actor is...

Robert Carlyle! Surprise? Yes dearie, even I find my decision a little surprising! Carlyle's performance as Rumpledkiltskin/Mr Gold really make the show for me. His performance is.. well.. gold! Rumpledkiltskin/Mr Gold holds the key to everything that happens on the show. Mysterious Rumpledkiltskin/Mr Gold is mysterious!

I want to grow up just like her -- most inspiring female actress of the year is...

Hands down Zooey Deschanel! She is awesome as Jess in New Girl. She is a super cool chic. She is not your Miss Universe beauty, she is not the cliche Hollywood drop dead gorgeous hot chic with a hot body. This is a compliment, Zooey! Hehe. 

Zooey is quirky, funny and nerdy. She is not the sexy lady type. She is one of a kind and she makes wearing glasses hot! Zooey is inspirational! I want to grow up just like her! I love WWZDW! Check this out my fellow quirky ladies.. This is a website called What Would Zooey Deschanel Wear. This is OMG awesome! 

And I want a pair Oliver Peoples glasses! The closest I can find is one from Agnes B, which is what I am wearing now. 

Biggest disappointment of the year is...

Apart from Instagram? It's Smash.. it could've been a great show, but it just lacks a lot of things. But still, I'll tune in for season two and see how it plays out. 

The best burger of the year is...

Shake Stack from Shake Shack!! This, THIS, IS happiness! As I my teeth sank into the burger, a smile appeared from my face. OMFG... This burger is amazing!! Just amazing!! I went to New York for this!

Best dress of the year is...

Tangerine Tango is the color of the year in 2012. Emerald Green is the color of 2013, in case you ask. Anyway. This year at the Emmy Awards, Ginnifer Goodwin wore this STUNNING dress. I cannot get over how beautiful this is! OMG! Move over Miss Universe! 

Apart from Dean Winchester, my second favorite hero of the year is...

Apart from Dean Winchester, the green guy makes the list this year.

I've been Ruffalised. Hulk is misunderstood by me. I never get it. And what's with the pants? Joss Whedon's take on the Hulk in The Avengers changed the way I look at the character. And I think Mark Ruffalo is awesome. Although I still don't get the pants thing. 

Favorite villain of the year is...

I could make another Facebook or Instagram joke, but even I won't find it funny.

My favorite villain of the year is Loki!! Thank you Tom Hiddleston for making Loki so enjoyable to watch. I can listen to his voice all day!!

Movie of the year is...

Two words: The Avengers

Person of the year is...

Apart from Jensen Ackles, it comes down to this: between Joss Whedon and Barack Obama. 

Really? OK. It's Joss! 2012 is a payoff year for Joss. After Firefly, I don't think Joss has recovered from such stupid brutality from the MAN. Joss totally deserves the success and his works deserve to be seen as a driving force behind the cultural movement of this generation. The Avengers may not be the best thing ever for many, but it is one of the best things ever. The Avengers is the shape of things to come. Look out! Joss will be Person of the Decade!

This year's most played song according to my iTune playlist is...

No! It's not Gangnam Style!

According to my playlist, it's a race between Zooey Deschanel's Hey Girl and Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass's Spanish Flea. I don't know how it happened, but Hey Girl was played 1544 times, and Spanish Flea was played 396 times.
The best goodbye from a TV series is...

CHUCK! I cried from the moment Casey gave Chuck a hug! Don't judge me but I think 007 is lame. I dislike the whole "I am Bond, James Bond. I am so hot, it's your lost if you don't fall into my arms and let me kiss you right now" thing. What is he? Fabio?

Chuck changed my perception towards spy things. It rocks! And I even like Tim Dalton and the twist about his character!

Convention of the year is...

I've only been to one convention this year but the winner is Salute to Supernatural, Chicago

How bias is that? I've had a stressful year, this is hands down the best weekend of the year. I wish I could stop time and never leave Chicago.

Project of the year

You have your mining booms and dooms, and I got my LEGO project!

Best people I met this year is...

Taxi drivers. I know! I know cabbies are not loved by many, especially my mother. But when you are engaged in a conversation with them, you will discover stories of the city. Only by engaging in a conversation with people, you will find out more about a culture. It's an enriching experience.

 Best city of the year is...

New York! This city really inspires me and I would do anything to go there again! New Yorkers want you to love their city. It has a rich culture, it inspires you to do better things. It's great for walking, eating, shopping, reading, writing and taking photos. I return home with new attitude and new ideas. LOVE!

 Jensen's best look of the year is...

You know I can't help it! Jensen's appearance at the CW Up-Front in NYC this year is epic! He looks like the man in charge! Give him the Godfather role and he can nail it! HOT HOT HOT HOT! 

This is hands down the hottest look of Jensen in a public appearance.

Don Jensen.

So, there you do. What are your favorite things in 2012? What makes you happy? 

27 December 2012

Re [rey] Watch [woch] -- LOST

1. To watch [LOST] again.

My Christmas preparation was ahead of schedule this year. Apart from baking cookies and cakes for family and friends, I have been quite stress-free. Since I was not overly excited about Christmas this year, I have been channeling my energy by clearing the backlog of my to-do list, that is, to rewatch Lost. This mission has been on my to-do list for a long time, probably since its series finale.

Calling myself a writer is like writing myself as a prophet. I haven't earned the title as a writer, but I am working on it. As someone who admire the craft of story-telling and everything else that comes with the package, I find television and books shows such as Lost, Supernatural and A Game of Thrones [A Song of Ice and Fire] really help me to identity and understand the craft of structures, characterization, plots and dialogues. This is more than watching something when I get home, this is more than picking up a book to read before bed, this is like going to writing school for me. 

For something so big such as Lost, Supernatural and A Game of Thrones, watching/ reading them once is not possible because there are a lot of details I may or may not notice the first time. Rewatch is imperative so that I can pay attention to the specifics, understand the mythology and absorb information better, put the pieces together and appreciate the mysteries and writings more. The rewatch is actually more enjoyable and meaningful than the first time.

As you know, Lost is one of my favorite television shows. The only sleeper season for me was season three. Perhaps it was due to the TV schedule or I was spending a ridiculous amount of time living in a suitcase, I lost the momentum a bit until the introduction of Team Faraday. By The Constant, I was fully on board as a fan once again. I love Daniel Faraday and Desmond Hume, I think they were a great addition to the show and I LOVE the flash sideway. Their roles were vital to the development of show. I really like the fact that Lost mixed fringe science, mythology and 'magic' together. It is one of those shows you can go crazy with theories and debate them for years. It's intense viewing, it makes you think, you do get lost amongst details but it's part of solving the mysteries. 

It is almost impossible for me not to revisit Lost from the beginning, because there are so much in it! Lost has such a big assemble cast, if I focus each rewatch based on a character or a timeline -- Dharma Initiative, Faraday, Desmond, Sawyer or Jacob, Dogen -- that's at least six times already. Every time I watch it I discover something new. Like Sawyer, he was never my favorite, but I always saw him as a reluctant hero. He was the cowboy, rules didn't apply to him. He didn't have to explain himself. 

I am half way through season two, Benjamin Linus just appeared as Henry Gale. I know things will get interesting! I love Ben! I love that he is not the classic villain and it took four seasons for me to like him because he is simply a WTF character. Ben never failed to surprise me and it gets funny when everyone punch him in the face. Ouch! I have very little memory of what happened in season three, Ben obviously played a huge part in driving the show from that point onwards. Not to mention the whole adversary thing between him and Widmore; the role of Richard, the Others and Dharma Initiative etc... I think season three was the start to something more epic. To me, the tail section arc was good, but I think season three was the turning point. Can't wait to rewatch it as I have missed out a lot of details.

Speaking of the Dharma Initiative, I always find it and their stations intriguing. I love the mysteries around them and when we got to know more about the Dharma Initiative in later seasons, I just couldn't get enough of them. I must be in the minority to like the Dharma Initiative storyarc. I even want to re-label all things in my house including a banana with the Dharma stickers. Revisit reminds me about what I love about the show. How something like the Dharma Initiative and Jacob are integrated and developed into the the show. 

Lost is one of a kind! Half the shows on televisions are the same. Some shows play safe because the networks know these shows cannot go wrong as long as they stick to the familiar formula, they are the 'ever-green' genre. These shows will always attract the tradition viewers and advertisers. It's the cash flow! Only a handful of shows may risk it or try hard to be different every now and then, but then when rating fails or storyline doesn't work, the show is gone before you have the chance to like it. And sometimes you wonder why crap like reality TV shows or Neighbors are still wasting air time (but hey, they are part of the economy!) Whether you like Lost or not, the show is indeed one of a kind, we haven't seen shows like Lost before and we never will again. I for one can watch it again and again and be reminded how great the story and characters were. Lost will continue to take me to writing school forever. 

I hope in coming weeks or months, I will write more about Lost. I simply haven't blogged about this show enough when it was on air! Supernatural rewatch is a regular thing for me, so I really don't have to set aside a separate for it. But I really need to rewatch Revolution and A Game of Thrones before March. Now that I have Glee and Once Upon A Time as Christmas presents, I need to rewatch them too.

At least I know I won't be bored during any up-coming hiatus! 

Well.. that's all folks...for now! 

My Two Cents -- Supernatural 'Torn and Frayed' Description

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and got all the pressies that were on your wishlist. Good times! We have a few days before the arrival of 2013. I have a few features to wrap up 2012. Watch this space! 

And now... the episode description of Supernatural episode 8.10 Torn and Frayed

CASTIEL MUST SAVE A FELLOW ANGEL — Naomi (guest star Amanda Tapping) tells Castiel (Misha Collins) that Crowley (guest star Mark Sheppard) is holding an angel captive and Castiel must rescue him before Crowley finds out their secrets. Castiel turns to Dean (Jensen Ackles) for help. Meanwhile, Sam (Jared Padalecki) meets with Amelia (guest star Liane Balaban) who asks him to make a choice: stay with her or leave and never contact her again. Robert Singer directed the episode written by Jenny Klein. Source: KSite

I would have liked to see we return in the new year with Sam and Amelia ALREADY sorted out their relationship. Sam had already left Amelia and he saw her with Don in the living room. Why is the Sam and Amelie storyarc going in circle like a typical chic flick? Because it IS a chic flick! This is the only thing I am not emotionally investing in. Moreover, this storyarc gets very out of place in the midst of 'saving people, hunting things, protecting the prophet'. However, this could sort of explain Sam's behaviour and state of mind -- he is distracted, he is at a crossroad (not the demon related crossroad), and he gets grumpy more easily than before. This storyarc needs to end!

But on the very positive side, we are back with the season's mythology. We are back with Naomi, Cas, and Crowley. What could Crowley be possibly find out from this angel who's been held captive? When will Naomi meet the Winchesters? 

I cannot wait!!! January 16, please come now!

22 December 2012

Once Upon A Time -- Who and Where The Hell Is Baelfire; Emma Is Harry Potter; Cora Is Palpatine

I have finally watched the mid-season finale of Once Upon A Time this week. It was a great way to wrap the 'Emma and Snow stuck with Mulan and Aurora but discover Captain Hook in fairyland' storyarc. In previous episode, when Charming was under the sleeping spell, I was like, "Great! That's gonna drag for another few episodes!" But wait! He was only asleep for one episode. I like it in a way because the Prince was under the sleeping spell and Snow has to kiss him. I hope Emma won't get to see her parents having sex. Has she called Charming 'Dad' and Snow 'Mum' once?

I have been waiting to watch the mid-season before I sum up my thoughts for season two so far. The number one burning question for me is still this: WHERE AND WHO IS BEALFIRE? I know there are a few theories about Neal and Bealfire out there, and I am one of those fans who are on board with the Neal IS Bealfire theory, just as I am fully on board about Jon Snow is half a Targaryen.

Baelfire means the world to Rumplestiltskin. Baelfire is Rumplestiltskin's biggest weakness and his reason for coming to Storybrooke. I think it is a bit redundant if Neal is just a random dude Emma met unless he was created just to get us talking. But if Neal is Baelfire, what happened to his memory? Obviously he has no memory of Storybrooke and his past. Or does he? If he really wants to go undetected, he will not say anything about the fact that he is Dark One's son. After watching the season premier, I was right, August was working with Neal! I just helped myself with the cookies.

And if Bealfire went to Neverland instead Storybrooke, there is no way Hook didn't know about it and not use him as a bait. But this is not impossible for Bealfire to go undetected in Neverland. And if Bealfire didn't go to Storybrooke or Neverland, where is he? I wish we have a little bit more clue because he is the reason Rumplestiltskin is in Storybrooke, and we are 1.5 seasons into the series already.

And if Neal is Baelfire, that makes Henry Rumplestiltskin's grandson -- may be another pawn in  Rumplestiltskin's chessgame? This means Emma is Rumplestiltskin's 'daughter in law'. This means Rumplestiltskin and the Charmings are in-law. And Regina is also considered as an 'in-law'. Right! 

I am kinda getting the vibe that Henry is capable of using magic because he is Emma's blood. Also, IF, I stress again, IF Neal is Bealfire, did Rumplestiltskin know about Henry? I mean, he did help Regina to adopt Henry, and may be this is one way of finding Neal? Enter August who told Neal not to stop Emma to fulfill her destiny. Does August know about Neal? That is, IF Neal is indeed Baelfire. August was able to escape the curse before, which made him capable to travel from the outside world to Storybrooke, can he do it again? Can he go to Neal and play a part to stop Rumplestiltskin, should the Dark One do anything dark again? The other thing about Rumplestiltskin is that, he has more than one weakness -- Belle.

Moving on to Regina. What will happen to her from now on? Will she give in again because she wasn't invited to the celebration party? I don't see Regina going against her mother in a battle. I think it could be a psychological mind game more than anything. I miss Regina being the Evil Queen though. Season two has revealed the other side of Regina more, she is softer than her mother. Henry obviously plays a huge part in Regina's life in Storybrooke. As long as Henry is around, Regina will be careful about what she does. One thing for sure, she will use magic again. It is a matter of using it for good or evil. Cora is the devil on one shoulder, and Henry is the angel on the other shoulder. Cora will be a big test for Regina but I think there is definitely a 'Cora is the Empire Palpatine to Darth Vader' vibe going in Once Upon a Time. But whatever is going to happen, the Cora/Regina and Rumplestiltskin/ Hook battle has been long overdue after 28 years in the waiting. And if Regina stays 'good' and written as such for the rest of the series, she could die as the 'good guy' soon, just like Vader was when he killed the Empire. Thoughts?

Since Aurora and Mulan are still in Fairyland, obviously they still have a role to play. It's good to have an ally on the other side. Aurora can always sleep to communicate with Snow. May be Giant Hurley will come through the portal and start eating people and Emma can tell him to eat Cora. Or just sit on her.

Can someone remind me where Mad Hatter is? Don't give me the 'he is shooting Captain America" answer! Mad Hatter and Pinocchio are my Faraday and Desmond on this show. They are my favorite characters. So naturally I want to see them MORE! 

I haven't forgotten about Emma. I think Emma will learn to use magic even thought she may or may not want to. She has the FORCE. She is HARRY POTTER! That was a great twist when Cora failed to grab her heart and Emma created this sort of a force field. Rumplestiltskin told Emma he didn't know anything about the magic within her. But Rumplestiltskin always has a way in not telling the truth. Of course he knew! He is the Dark One, of course he knew! The spell in his cell was pretty good. I find it slightly funny when Snow said "When I was a little girl, I used to watch Regina practicing magic." What is the age different between Regina and Snow?

Anyway.. Once Upon A Time has become one of my favorite new shows right now and it is going to the right direction with lots of lots of stories to tell. I know the season one DVD is one of my Christmas presents. I can't wait to rewatch. I want to focus on August and see if anything comes to my mind about anything. 

Once Upon A Time returns on January 6, 2013.

21 December 2012

CW's Happy Holidays Promotional Posters

Hello Earthling, if you are reading this, it means the world didn't end. The CW has some pretty lazy (in terms of photo shoots) but still hot Happy Holidays promotional posters for fans. You would think that the CW will use more cheerful photos? Like Dean eating pies or something.. 

Oh hello Dean and Ollie!! More can be found on SpoilerTV.

Both Supernatural and Arrow will return on January 16, 2013 on The CW.

I don't know about you but I am dying for some new promotional pics of Jensen Ackles/ Dean Winchester! How hard is it to get a photographer and book a studio to do a new photo shoot? DO IT!

Happy Holidays all!

17 December 2012

TV Shows: Who Stays And Who Goes?

TVByTheNumbers has a great article about TV network's business model and which shows they think will go and stay. 

It's a very early stage, but any good signs are good signs! All my favorites are looking great for a renewal! These shows include Supernatural, Revolution, Arrow, New Girl, Glee and Once Upon A Time, plus The Big Bang Theory has already been renewed. HBO's A Game of Thrones should get a full ride to season four, I hope they have at least six seasons! The Song of Ice and Fire is a big series! 

Also by looking at this list, JJ Abrams, Eric Kripke and Ryan Murphy own/ create/ exec produce two shows each -- Supernatural/ Revolution for Kripke; Revolution/ Person of Interest for Abrams; Glee/The New Normal for Murphy. Abrams also has Fringe, which is on its last season and Murphy has American Horror Stories, which is apparently a mini-series. Whatever! Did you spot others? Let me know.

On something completely different, but depends on how you look at it. EW has named Joss Whedon 'Winner of the Decade". This is how they justify it. I do not disagree! I think Joss and his work are awesome. With the up-coming TV series S.H.I.E.L.D, Joss' cult status is going to go off the planet! He deserves it! Seeing I am also a big fan of the Kripke Master.. the 'Winner of the Next Decade' should be Eric Kripke. Just saying!

I cannot wait to watch S.H.I.E.L.D!

11 December 2012

The Apocalypse Is Upon Us - So I've Heard

December 21 is the end of the Mayan Calender. If we are sitting in the writer's room of Supernatural, The X Files, The Walking Dead, Revolution, Falling Skies, Lost...you name it -- there is a LOT of things we can flash out that will look awesome on television. We are obsessed with the end of world scenarios in popular culture -- demons walk the earth, angels get involved, zombies eat brains, militia takes over, aliens colonize earth, cataclysmic events. Very cliche but we love the angst, the darkness and special effects that blow our minds. Our heroes will come to the rescue! Dean and Sam Winchester can pretty much handle all kinds of monsters, demons and zombies. We'll leave the aliens to Mulder and Scully, and Tom Mason. We'll leave the militia to Miles and Charlie. For everything else, there is Mastercard. 

While I am not too excited about this year's Christmas for some reasons, I am sure December 22 will see the dawn. My family has already wrapped all my Christmas presents and organised the Christmas menus. Those things cannot go to waste. Some of my friends start spamming my inbox with articles about the trending topic -- The Apocalypse. Unless it's a Supernatural or Revolution spoiler, I don't want to know! But they are interesting read! Here is one.

Business Insider has identified 14 places to hide out during the apocalypse. Great! It seems to me that some places are only for the rich and famous. But wait, the only Australia city that was mentioned was Perth. Oh Perth, you put the Dullsville in Dullsville, Dullsville! Two other locations caught my eyes. The first one is the concrete apartment buildings in Warsaw, which are like the ultimate safe houses. The second one is Mount Weather, Virginia, it is home to FEMA's National Emergency Coordinating Center. This is where they moved Dick Cheney to after 9/11. Wait.. they didn't use the Stargate? 

We are fascinated with the Apocalypse, for some of us it is our obsession with vampires and zombies. Principal Figgins thinks vampires are real. Our PM, Julia Gillard warned us about zombies. In an recent CNN article, it mentioned the work of a researcher, Jerry Piven. He said "an apocalypse almost embeds a tale of fantasy into reality and provides safe theater for exploring death." Robb Willer, an associate professor of sociology at University of California, Berkeley said "...the apocalypse can be a spectator sport and a reality show for some people." Perhaps, we hate our lives so much that we sit on our asses all day and secretly hope the world will end soon, so we don't have to go to work, pay our bills or tell our partners we want a break up because they like Michael Bublé.

But the reality is, the end of the humanity is not fictional. Global warming; an all out nuclear war between nations; the break out of an incurable disease; the low supply of resources and food; the universe can just switch itself off; and according to this website, "...a plague that wipes out 70% of humanity might actually ensure the survival of our species in the longer-term." The 'Doomsday Seed Vault' is a real place in the mountains of Svalbard and selling bunkers for people to survive the Apocalypse is not unheard of. There are things we can do individually to help prolong the life of Earth. And seriously, if our planet is suddenly hit by another planet, there is nothing we can do about it. It's not like we can evacuate everyone via space ships or a Stargate.

Natural disasters, however, happen all the time and they are happening more frequently than I've ever noticed. My household has one philosophy -- our pantry is always full, as in 'enough-for-zombie-attack-full'. And my brother actually has a bug out bag. Shit happens. Look at SuperSandy! Aussie summer can be dangerous with all the bush fire and stuff. So, it's not a bad idea to be prepared! 

I think whatever happens under whatever the circumstance, it reveals who we really are. We live in a very paranoid world, when shit happens, will we become heroes or will we become weak and selfish than we already are? Who are you likely to become if you are a character on Lost or Revolution?
And if the world does end on the December 21, what will happen to all of us? If you think demons will walk the earth, zombies will eat brains, militia will take over and aliens will colonize Earth, you can channel your inner Kripke and post your thoughts on Fanfiction.

10 December 2012

This Week In TV - Revolution; OUAT; Smash; The Walking Dead

It seems that I've watched a lot of TV this week (more like last week) and I am also doing a Supernatural season two and Lost (from the beginning) rewatch.

Revolution -- Nobody's Fault But Mine

This mid-season finale is really epic. You can go read Nicole's review on this for more details. Nobody's Fault But Mine is a great way to wrap up a few storylines. It has the Kripke trademark and I think his team is mastering the arts of story-telling. Most important, this tells me the series is well planned. To me, this mid-season finale is the end of one chapter. While there are heaps to reveal, others things that should be wrapped up were wrapped up. Everyone who should be rescued, got rescued -- Danny and Rachel. Nobody died and nobody got left behind. Charlie is growing up as a strong young woman and learning to stand up for her family. And she finally found Danny. Thank you! Rachel helped Bass to switch the power back on. To what extend? Time will tell. The helicopter scene at the end was like watching a 'supposedly not operational Death Star' functional. The show down between two best friends -- Bass and Miles were definitely the highlight of this episode and the first half the season. We still don't now what made the best buddies to turn against each other, but the guys were bitter and angry. Bass is playing sympathy for the devil, but I am sure there is more to his past. David Lyons definitely has one of the best man cries on television, like Matthew Fox on Lost or Jensen Ackles on Supernatural. Lyons' tears have so much anger, you cannot help to feel his pain when Miles told him he meant nothing to him, he was not family...Ouch! This mid-season finale did not disappoint. I really enjoyed it! Bring it Georgia Federation! Whatever you're gonna do!

Revolution is now on a super long hiatus! It returns on Monday, March 25, 2013.

Once Upon A Time -- The Crocodile and The Doctor

I know! I am a few episodes behind! There are so many shows to watch, some of them will have to wait until they get fast-tracked to Australia. Channel Seven is treating OUAT pretty good this season, we get two episodes per week -- Tuesday and Thursday. I watched The Crocodile and The Doctor, which were aired last week in Australia.

The Crocodile took us back to the weak and helpless Rumpelstiltskin in the past, which I love to watch! And I really love to see the contrast of a character's past and present all in one episode. My bro finds it confusing, but I survived Lost, so OUAT is a piece of cake! The contrast helps me to understand the story and the complicity of the character. I think this is a great way to tell a story. A show has got to give viewers layers, otherwise it will be as boring as James Bond.

I was really looking forward to see Killian Jones (aka Captain Hook). I have heard nothing but great things about him. What I love about OUAT is that you get to see the backstory and transformation of the iconic fairy tale characters. I particular enjoyed Pinocchio and Mad Hatter, who are two of my favorite characters and now Captain Hook is growing on me. 

The Dark One, Rumpelstiltskin, continues to be one of the best written and performed character on the show. Rumpelstiltskin is a very mysterious character, but now we know he and Captain Hook had a history, it makes it more interesting. Don't you love it when you see two villains face off against each other? It's not the traditional good versus evil show down. It's like watching Alien versus Predictor. One question remains, where the HELL is Baelfire?

The story of The Doctor focused on Victor Frankenstein -- he is obsessed with science, not magic. The Doctor was directed by Paul A Edwards, who also directed last week's Hunteri Heroici of Supernatural, I thought I mentioned that! What I love about this episode is the visual presentation of Dr Frankenstein's lab, this kind of black and white, almost metallic look was awesome! It kinda reminds me of Dr Horrible too! Did I see it coming -- Dr Whale being Dr Frankenstein? No. But now that I know he is Dr Frankenstein, it makes his Dr Whales more interesting, because to be honest, Dr Whales was as boring as my cupcakes! I love that he is in the story but he is probably the only one who believes in science more than magic. Where is the bride?

One more thing, I thought Regina's not-so-evil-self in Storybrooke is weird. She is somewhat powerless and her power is limited. What will happen when her mother arrive? Regina is our Evil Queen. Be evil! I do feel sorry for Regina, her backstory is really interesting. Every girl can cry for a guy, Regina is no exception.

As for Emma and Snow, I miss them! We don't see them on every episode and when we do, there ain't enough! Also does Emma still call Snow as Mary Margaret? Will we hear her saying 'Mum' soon? 

Season two of Once Upon A Time returns on January 6, 2013 on ABC.

Smash -- Boomshell

I should know by now what to expect when it comes to Smash. This show could have been a smash hit. I get the theater business drama, backstepping, the girl next-door blah blah, the music and the story, the material was good, but it wasn't as well written as I expected. It's like my banana cake, I know I miss a step, I know I forget to add oil. I know there is something wrong with it, but it still looks ok and tastes ok. Just ok.

But I keep coming back for more! I secretly hope Smash to be a great show. It is just not! While there are heaps of WTF moments, but I still watch it! I still compare it with Glee. Now that Glee is following Rachel and Kurt to New York, every fiber in my body tells me "this is how Smash should be". I know they are different shows and of course the writers have different way of exploring the uniqueness of the shows. Anyway... 

Boomshell is a better episode of Smash. It was a good season finale. Everything was wrapped up and Karen was the chosen one to play Marilyn. I don't really care about a lot of them including Dev and Ellis. Whatever. I've learnt how to accept Smash, just watch it and don't yell at it. Don't expect anything! I particular didn't like the montage of the musical Boomshell, and we only got one full song in the end. The look on the faces of Julia, Tom and Eileen look relieved rather than proud. May be they are proud. But I see that as a relief to see the show begins and ends with no major problem on stage and off stage. As an audience, I feel relief too. Thank GOD this season is over! We can now move on to Jennifer Hudson! I saw the promo for season two the other day. Promo is always good even for The CW's Beauty And The Beast, but I think and I hope Jennifer Hudson's voice will at least move me the way Rachel does for Glee.

Smash season two returns on February 12, 2013 on NBC. Not sure how many episodes it will get. I guess depends how good or bad it is. Season one didn't exactly live up to the expectation.  

The Walking Dead 

I've started watching The Walking Dead! Yay! The first episode really grabbed me! I love a good nonsense zombie drama. It's not just zombies eating people or people kissing zombies -- who does that except Robert Carlye, right? It's one of those shows I need a break from it every two to three episode because it's so depressing! And because of the hot and sticky condition, I don't recommend watching it during a very hot Aussie summer day (or night). The show is into its third season, I am very behind. No spoilers please. Just let me enjoy it! 

It certainly has the I Am Legend vibe. But like IAL, I don't find one-man-show boring, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) is a very good actor, I've loved him since Love Actually! The story gets more interesting as more characters are introduced.

As 2013 approaches, apart from Supernatural and others, I am super excited about A Game of Thrones. I am half way through A Dance With Dragons, and I am starting to care about what Melisandra has to say. She is either very good at what she does or sucks at her craft. Either way, I think Jon Snow is the real deal in every sense of the word! 

On that note, see ya!

06 December 2012

Supernatural Review - Citizen Fang

Citizen Fang-tastic! 

Can we at least have a burger and talk about our favorite boy band?
Citizen Fang was directed by Nick Copus and written by Daniel Loflin. You may know Nick's directorial work from Alphas, Nikita and The 4400, he also directs an upcoming episode of Arrow. Daniel Loflin is the other half of the Dabb and Loflin team. They have been writing Supernatural for a few seasons. Without his usual writing partner, I thought it was a good episode from Loflin.

Supernatural is usually on its 10th episode this time of the season, but instead we are on 9th. After watching the promo of Tom and Frayed, it got me thinking perhaps Citizen Fang wasn't written as the mid-season finale, but Tom and Frayed was. Due to Thanksgiving, we had a week off, so we are one episode short in the first half of the season. Anyhoo, Citizen Fang was a great episode but it didn't feel like mid-season finale, however, it isn't necessarily a bad thing, at least a few things were moved forward. As a viewer, this is a good thing to feel so emotional about the storyline and characters. They are not written for everyone to like, this is not a children's book. Even a children's book has villains and crap, and this is Supernatural we are talking about. It must have dramas, conflicts, the WTF moments and darkness. It is written to challenge us psychologically. We are supposed to have the WTF reactions, that's the purpose of a drama. We can all debate about whether Sam did the right thing, if Martin was a douche, or if the trust issue is ever going to go away. One thing for sure, each character in this episode think they have made the best decision under the circumstances.

Let's start with Sam. I half expected Sam to do what he did. I expected him to flip and be stubborn about Benny. "Your brother chooses a vampire over you." Oh shut up Martin! But did it really cross Sam's mind? I don't think so. I'd like to think Sam was better than this. I think it was more about 'they are monsters, we want them dead, they want us dead' -- a motif Dean once shared with Sam before. Dean was never a choir boy about monsters, Sam knew it and he was willing to give Dean a few hours to investigate the case and talk to Benny.

But what scenario was Sam expecting to see after a few hours? May be he was too arrogant. To me, it was almost as if Sam was certain that the deaths in town were caused by Benny and hoped Dean was wrong about Benny. Sam wanted Dean to see the truth with his own eyes and said "Told ya!" Sam wasn't really thinking about an alternative -- what if Dean was right about Benny who didn't kill those people? To me, Sam was going to end Benny regardless. Sam was being stubborn. There was a bit of a "why am I always the one who is wrong about things and makes bad decision?" thing going on with Sam. For once, perhaps he wanted Dean to be wrong and made a bad decision. Sam was looking for a win, so to speak.

Lumberjack Benny
Sam was pissed off about the fake text message, which was well-played by Dean. It told us and Dean about Sam's feeling for Amelia, who could be a liability and in danger. Sam was willing to drop everything, including a job, to be by her side. Hypothetically speaking, if Crowley finds out about Amelia, she is gone! Sam may want a retirement and a happy life, but it is the stuff he did before as a hunter that makes it impossible for him to start a family or close to someone, because one day shit will come back to haunt him. It is a weakness and the monsters know it. For Sam to see Amelia with Don was a good thing, because he could see that she was safe and happy, so that he could move on. But for Amelia to go to Sam, this is going to drag! I don't want this to drag. The bar scene being the last shot of the mid-season finale was a little weak. Good ending to an episode, but not as cliff-hanger for a mid-season finale. This is not Grey's Anatomy, this is Supernatural. The episode was great, don't get me wrong, but that ending wasn't strong enough to wrap the mid-season.

Let me throw a few questions out there. What could possibly happen to Amelia and Sam from now on? Let's see -- Amelia is going to have an affair with Sam behind Don's back? Sam is going to drop everything and leaves Dean and hunting, again? Amelia is going to be Lisa 2.0 and tries to accept and live with the fact that Sam is a hunter? Don is going become angry and finds out about Sam being a hunter and then hire a witch to kill him? Amelia is going to be possessed by demon and then die? There is literally nothing interesting that could happen to the Amelia and Sam storyarc. I understand that this is part of Sam's character development, but either Crowley is going to find out about Amelia and uses her as an asset (which will be much more interesting), or Sam has to join Home and Away. Oh wait.. how about Don IS possessed by a demon under Crowley's authority?  

I shook that hand! I shook that big rough hand of his.
Let's talk about Dean and Sam. Dean had a point about Benny being the only one who had never let him down so far.  It was a fact, not a gut feeling. For Sam to say, "it must feel great to finally find someone you can trust after all these years" was immature. Sam was clearly pissed off. Perhaps he was pissed off because Dean trusted a vampire more than he trusted his little brother. But can you blame Dean? Like I said, Sam wished his brother to be wrong, just once! It's a sibling thing. Dean was surprisingly calmer than I expected. This was a job -- if Benny did the killing, Dean would have no reason not to end him. But perhaps Dean always knew he was right about Benny. Dean is hardly wrong, may be that one time when Dean was all buddy buddy with Gordan in his first appearance, they had a few drinks and traded stories in the bar. 

Dean was caution about Benny. He opted for the talking rather than all guns blazing, furious about the killing. And I think most importantly, he went with facts and not let his emotion clouds his judgement. But Sam did let his emotion and anger cloud his judgement for a little bit. He didn't even want to consider the fact Dean presented to him. He didn't even want to listen to Dean. So what's going to happen to the brother relationship? If you have seen the promo for the next episode, you'd know. Cas is going to tell them to get their shits together! There is no better way to saying it. Sam needs to stop being a baby. 

Let's talk about the 'almost-ok' Martin. I hate him. There was nothing adorable about him. He was a Gordan. Martin tried to get back into the game, fine! And I get that it was a hunter instinct to be suspicious about monsters. In the tradition of Supernatural, monsters are all bad. But this season, Benny was introduced as a complex character, challenging us to consider the possibility of the existence of monster with a good heart. I think that's why I like Benny, because we haven't seen anyone like him before on the show. This makes me Team Benny! Of course, I hate Martin for acting stupid and a douche for threatening Elizabeth. What was he thinking? But it wasn't about Martin, it was about Benny. It revealed who he really was. We saw his point of view. I am glad Benny is still alive and Martin isn't! Elizabeth had one hell of a job to clean up the blood and the body. Wish Cas was here to help.

Overall, I really like this episode because I secretly was hoping Dean was right about Benny. Benny is a great addition to the show. I really like this episode because Sam really pissed me off. That's right. Sam's stubbornness made half the episode, I don't agree with his action and his thinking, but I like the drama and conflict that he brings to the episode. But seriously, the Sam and Amelia storyarc has to end right friggin now! I don't want to have 1D's One Thing playing in my head whenever I see Amelia and Sam together. 

There is the hand again!
Supernatural episode 8.10 Torn and Frayed airs on Wednesday January 16th, 2013. Really, it's not that long of a wait. Yeah, REALLY!

Here is an update on the episode titles:

8.01 We Need to Talk About Kevin
8.02 What's Up, Tiger Mommy?
8.03 Heartache
8.04 Bitten
8.05 Blood Brother
8.06 Southern Comfort
8.07 A Little Slice of Kevin
8.08 Hunteri Heroici 
8.09 Citizen Fang 

8.10 Torn and Frayed (16 Jan)
8.11 LARP and the Real Girl
8:12 As Time Goes By
8.13 Everybody Hates
8.14 Trial And Error
8.15 Man's Best Friend With Benefits

8.16 Remember The Titans