April Premieres to Look Forward to!

So it seems like April is becoming quite the month for premieres, whether it be season or series. Here’s what I’m looking forward to this month!

LIP SYNC BATTLE [Spike TV] (Apr. 2nd)

The popular segment featured on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon is now a TV show! LL Cool J hosts, with Chrissy Teigen as co-host/commentator. Each episode will feature two celebs doing their best lip sync on two songs. As evidenced by the preview above, it’ll feature props, costumes, and so much more shenanigans. In summary, it is going to be SO MUCH FUN!

OUTLANDER, Season 1 Part 2 [Starz] (Apr. 4th)

I wasn’t sure what to make of Outlander when it began late last summer. But with each passing episode, I found myself engrossed in the unfolding story, with Claire being stuck in the past, trying to find a way back to her husband, and yet all the while developing relationships in 1743. It’s been a brutal 6 months, but I can’t wait to see what happens next.

SALEM Season 2 [WGN America] (Apr. 5th)

It’s a bat-shit crazy show and I love it. Witchcraft, dark magic, possession, and a whole lot of other things that I didn’t think I’d like, and it all works somehow. Season 2 will be a full on witch war, as Lucy Lawless joins the cast!

DAREDEVIL [Netflix] (Apr. 10th)

I don’t know much about Matt Murdock/Daredevil beyond that terrible Ben Affleck movie (but hey, it brought together Ben & Jennifer Garner, so it’s something!), which is a lot more than I can say for pretty much any comic book entity. I am very much intrigued by this first show to come out of the Marvel/Netflix deal, though again that’s par for the course these days.

ORPHAN BLACK Season 3 [BBC America] (Apr. 18th)

It’s Project LEDA vs. Project CASTOR! After the events of the season 2 finale, we were left with the fact that there was a pack of male clones that exists. This season will delve further into that development, with Ari Millen taking on the four male clones that we know of at this point, and how our sestrahood must deal with these unexpected forces. SO excited to spend more time with Clone Club!!

NIKITA Recap: 4×01 “Wanted”

Nikita 4x01 - Wanted

I’m not one to usually do recaps because I’ve read enough of them to know that there’s a fine line between a play-by-play of an episode and a summation that includes some analyzing of what happened in the episode with a little personality. A professional journalist/critic/writer I am not. However, I wanted to stretch myself a little and try my best at doing my own version of a recap for the final season of Nikita. Anyone knows who knows me or has read this blog, knows that I am a huge Nikita fan and I am just so incredibly sad to see it go. I’m still mad that we only get six episodes for this final season, but I’m just happy knowing that we will get closure. That being said, I also kind of wanted to do these write-ups as a way to cope with the finality of it all. So let’s just dig in, shall we?

We start off with Nikita running through the woods, escaping the FBI, when she comes across blood that she realizes is not hers. Michael appears behind her, telling her that they took the hit for her, and subsequently gets shot. Nikita then notices that Ryan, Birkhoff, Sonya, and Alex have all been shot dead as well. But it was all a nightmare, and hopefully not a twisted sense of foreshadowing.

It’s three months after the events that transpired in the season 3 finale, Nikita’s been on the run, hiding in Canada (how convenient!), until she makes the fateful decision to cross back onto American soil. As always, Nikita is a woman with a plan and sets her sight on Dale Gordon, a news anchor/conspiracy theorist for the Equinox News Network, who’s doing really well in instilling fear in the general public by proclaiming Nikita to be the most dangerous woman in the world. He’s not entirely wrong – nobody messes with Nikita or her team/family because she can and will kick your ass. Nikita corners Gordon in his office and tells him her story – that she didn’t kill the President, that she’s found some evidence that questions why some powerful people (the President included) weren’t acting like themselves. This was something we as the audience were given a little knowledge of at the end of last season, when we saw that the President was actually alive and held captive somewhere. It all leads to the question of: what are we dealing with here? Dopplegangers? (Too supernatural for this show.) Clones?! (I may be obsessed with this idea since, ya know, Orphan Black.) Your standard body doubles? (More logical.)

As Nikita does all this, little does she know that the team has been trying to track her and help her along the way, trying to clear her name. It’s not what Nikita wanted at all when she left, but they have become such a unit and like family, that there was no way the team wasn’t going to help. Now, had the show received a bigger episode order (I was personally hoping for 13 or hell, even 10), we probably could’ve expected to see Nikita on the run being a lone wolf for a few more episodes. With only 6 episodes to tell the rest of the story, plans had to change, so it wasn’t long before we have Nikita come into contact with and gets direct help from Michael, Birkhoff, and Ryan. Michael has reverted back to his season 1 ways and tries his best to stay detached from Nikita, even while helping her. Ryan also goes back to his season 1 self, as we see him be as analytical as ever, and also the one who truly understands Nikita’s reasoning for leaving. It’s the interaction between Nikita and Birkhoff that serves as a great reminder of their strong relationship. Birkhoff acts like the little brother, hurt that Niki left, but knows why she had to do it because she’s a “first degree martyr. Act first, think later.”

Anyways, the FBI tracks Nikita to ENN and ever the multi-taskers, the boys try to find a way out for Nikita and dig up dirt on Deputy Director Matthew Graham so he can help them get her out. A quick Photoshop picture of the deputy director’s wife, plus a gun to his head by Michael, Graham folds and agrees to let Nikita go free this time. Away at a distance, Nikita takes possession of Graham’s car to meet Michael at the rendezvous point, only to end up shot and terribly wounded. Once Graham makes his way back to ENN, he has a short conversation with Gordon about Nikita and the evidence she gave him, before planting an explosive and killing Gordon in the process. Turns out, Graham’s corrupt, playing double agent for Amanda and The Shop.

Where was Alex during all this? Mumbai, India using her public persona of Alexandra Udinov to shut down The Shop’s human trafficking centres. By day an heiress, by night (or mid-afternoon by the look of things) a super-spy. Or as Birkhoff put it, she’s playing Batman, making Sonya her Robin. I like that Alex and Sonya are apart from the boys, trying to do their part in taking down The Shop (though I still prefer when the entire team is together), but the parts with Alex hiding on the site of where a transaction was to occur dealt us more questions as to what The Shop does. Oh, and Owen/Sam reappeared, having followed Alex for some time. I’m guessing we’ll get more intel next week on what Owen/Sam’s been doing.

Other takeaways:

  • Amanda and Mr. Jones are being as cryptic as ever with whatever their plans are.
  • Ryan’s doing his best Carrie Mathison with his own “wall of crazy”
  • Being a super-spy, you’d think Nikita might’ve changed up her appearances more so she wasn’t so recognizable. The only major difference is the hair’s much more wavy/curly than straight. Not great story-wise, but she still looks good! And that’s just me being nitpicky from watching too many spy shows (including having just watched the season finale of Covert Affairs)
  • When Nikita has been recognized by the entire ENN staff, I find it just a little bit funny/ridiculous that all of them immediately whipped out their smartphones to record what was going on, instead of the usual “drop to the ground and hide in fear”
  • And the new headquarters is a plane! Or the “l’air” – lair in the air, as Maggie Q called it at SDCC. Already knew that coming in, but still cool to see.

In previous seasons, the show was never known to have “filler” episodes; each episode mattered in telling the story. With only 6 episodes, it felt like they got an extra kick of adrenaline and fired away from the word go. If it didn’t feel like it before, each episode this season will definitely feel like a mini-movie, and I am perfectly happy with that. Also, it must be said, shout-out to the wonderful Kristen Reidel for writing this episode.

So Nikita fans, thoughts on the final season premiere?And how are my recapping skills (you can be honest – serviceable at best?)

2010 Fall TV Season – Week 1 Roundup

Although some TV shows (namely CW shows and a few here and there) had premiered since early on in the month, this past week (beginning Sept. 20) was truly the official start of the fall TV season. In lieu of posting every day for the past week, this is going to be just one big megapost on the first full week of the new season. [Note: this may just end up being my thoughts on the shows than the particular episode that aired]

MONDAY

  • Dancing With The Stars: The 11th season started…and I don’t really care. I think it has a lot to do with the cast this season, which sure, got a lot of people talking but I’m not that excited to be watching it every week. If it wasn’t for the fact that we watch this sort of as a family over dinner, then I’d probably just watch it later and watch my other Monday shows in their actual time.
  • Chuck: It’s so nice to have Chuck back! So at the end of last season, Chuck promised Ellie that he was quitting the spy game for good, but that was before he was sent on a mission from his dad to search for his mom. With this first episode, it really set the story of the season. The Buy More has been rebuilt and is now CIA-operated. Chuck and Morgan are on the search for Chuck’s mom. Sarah and Casey are now on missions without Chuck, but of course, it didn’t take long for Team Bartowski to be reunited. While the quality of some shows suffer as they continue, Chuck just keeps getting better. Constant fear of cancellation assures that the writers are always on their A-game?
  • How I Met Your Mother: We’re back to actually looking for the mother! It’s an interesting dynamic to consider that the show’s about looking for the “mother” and logically speaking, when we meet the mother and Ted gets married for real, the show will be over. We want to know who the mother is, but we don’t want the show to end. With shows like this, I almost feel like they should set an end date (like Lost did), so we know it’s coming and the writers can work on getting to that end point.
  • The Event: I wanted to watch this new NBC show because of the overlying mystery surrounding it. I love watching mystery thrillers. That’s why I watched FlashForward last season…and then it got increasingly worse and eventually cancelled. It’s hard to explain the show, because the show is about finding out “What is the Event?” The style of the show is slightly different as well, in that they show what is happening in the present, and then they jump the story back to show something that led to what is happening now. With a lot of characters and individual stories, jumping back for all of them seemed like overkill. It could take some getting used to. Plus I don’t feel much for the characters. The only one that’s connected is Jason Ritter’s character, Sean. Everyone else is more like caricatures or just structures of characters; there’s no sense of character development. I’ll continue watching for a couple weeks to see if it hits its stride, but if it doesn’t pick it up and make us care, I’m gonna have to leave by the wayside.
  • Hawaii Five-O: There’s action and it’s a lot of fun to watch. I don’t watch a lot of the other CBS cop shows, so I can’t really judge them fairly. But the look and tone of the other shows seem so serious. With this show, maybe it’s the fact that it’s located in Hawaii so it gives it a more vibe-y, less serious feel, but there’s a natural humour/lightness with the chemistry of its stars, which makes the show fun to watch.
  • Gossip Girl/90210: It’s kinda hard to believe that already, in their 4th and 3rd seasons, these shows are now shows I watch out of habit. I think the thing that’s getting me to come back right now are the guest stars – Katie Cassidy on GG, Kyle Riabko on 90210.

TUESDAY

  • Glee: I’ll write more on Glee later when I discuss the Britney episode, but I’m happy it’s back. New music every week. Ryan Murphy did say that this season will go back to learning more about the characters and I really hope that’s true. But at least in the first episode back, they had a sense of humour and poked fun at themselves by addressing what others have critiqued them on (i.e. Mr. Schue’s rapping).
  • One Tree Hill: Only in the world of OTH do two people get shot, don’t get discovered for 2 days and still survive. It’s one of those things that fans of the show have come to love about it – the sometimes ridiculousness that comes with a lot of heart. Speaking of the heart of the show, the theme song’s back! I honestly forgot how much I missed hearing Gavin Degraw’s “I Don’t Want to Be” during the opening credits. And now as much as it pains me to say it, I kind of hope this season’s the last one. I love OTH, I really do, but I sort of feel like it’s time to move on. I’ll still watch if it continues obviously, but the thought of it getting a nice send-off lingers in the back of my brain.
  • Life Unexpected: The thing that gets me watching this show are the relationships. Said it before when it first premiered, but it’s like a throwback to the old WB days with shows like Felicity and Gilmore Girls. You don’t get those types of shows that often anymore. It also helps a little that Shaun Sipos is a recurring guest star this season. Melrose Place might have been predictable at times, writing decent at best, but it was a guilty pleasure.
  • Running Wilde: Will Arnett + Keri Russell + the creator of Arrested Development = comedy gold? It wasn’t as funny as I hoped it would be, but I’m willing to stick it out for a while and see if it gets better. Community was hit and miss for the first half of its freshman season, and then it hit its stride and was so consistently funny for the rest of the season. I’m holding out hope.
  • No Ordinary Family: So it didn’t premiere until last night but I look forward to watching more of it. The big thing with this show is how they find the right balance between family drama and superhero concept. And we’ve got more O.C. people back on TV; this time, Autumn Reeser aka Taylor Townsend!
  • Parenthood: Great writing, great acting, great to see it come back for a second season. Tuesday’s really become a night for some great family dramas.

WEDNESDAY

  • Survivor: It’s gonna be hard for this season to beat the Heroes vs. Villains season, but they’re trying. 2 weeks, and 2 people who got sent packing because they dug their own grave by not shutting up. Self-destruction, bad for the person, great for the game.
  • Undercovers: It’s like Mr. and Mrs. Smith but with more humour. Well, this is JJ Abrams, so let’s rephrase that. It’s like the next chapter of Sydney & Vaughn. The pilot was a little all over the place, but it’ll get better hopefully.
  • Better With You: New ABC comedy starring Joanna Garcia and Jennifer Finnigan. I want to like the show, honestly, because of the actors involved. And again, I hope it gets better because judging by the pilot alone, for one thing, they overdo the laugh track. It’s really noticeable. The writing is pretty standard relationship comedy; there’s nothing really new to it.
  • Modern Family: So full of laughter and heart, with amazing writing and acting. I mean seriously, the show completely deserved the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy. Gloria the protective Colombian mother. Mitchell, the not-so-handy man. Cameron reading celebrity gossip to Lily because he’s tired of reading “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” Too funny.
  • Cougar Town: A show that has become something more than what it started out to be. One-two punch of Modern Family and Cougar Town is so perfect for Wednesday night. There’s just nothing else to really say about it.
  • Hellcats: I talked about the premiere and now I can honestly say, I’ve really enjoyed watching it so far. After seeing so many high school shows, it is sort of nice to have a show set in college, and to give it a different depth, set in the world of cheerleading. I think that’s what makes college-set shows stand out a little because there’s so many options as to what the back ground can be. Like Greek is settled in the world of frats and sororities, along with the usual relationships and what not. So yeah, Hellcats, will definitely keep watching.

THURSDAY

  • The Vampire Diaries: Definitely keeping things interesting with not only the return of Katherine but Caroline’s now a vampire too. Plus the werewolf storyline.
  • Nikita: I love the show for the fact that we’ve got Maggie Q kicking ass every week. My only concern is the style of the episodes. For 3 consecutive episodes, it seems like the episodes are very procedural-like. Alex finds out the mission for the week, feeds it to Nikita, Nikita attempts to beat Division to the punch, some sort of altercation between Nikita and Michael, and end. There’s bits here and there of development, but I’m hoping they get further along in the storytelling.
  • Fringe: Fringe is back and soooo good. The first episode back was set “Over There” with our Olivia trying get back to our world. Our Olivia has been dosed with the memories of Other Olivia, so now she’s not entirely sure who she is. The ending minutes showed our world with Peter kissing the Alt-Olivia, so obviously he has no idea that she’s not the right Olivia. Oh Fringe, and all you’re mind-twisting and alternate universes. Just awesome.
  • The Big Bang Theory: Continuing the nerdiness of Thursdays, Big Bang is back and still funny. The awkward “date” between Sheldon and Amy Farrah Fowler, with Penny ‘chaperoning.’ Wolowitz’s robot arm used for something that it shouldn’t be used for, which resulted in a slightly overdone but still funny sight gag. The one thing I enjoy most about BBT is the slight references to things that have been mentioned in the past (i.e. the Check Engine light in Penny’s car).
  • Community: I kind of hate that Community and Big Bang are on at the same time, but thinking positively, maybe that’ll make writers of both shows stay on their A-game to see who can be funnier. Which is really hard to determine because BBT is funny for all its nerdiness and Community is funny for all its snarkiness and constant pop culture references. The premiere featured Betty White as the anthropology professor (who by the way, would also make a fantastic memaw for Sheldon) and again the ending bit during the closing credits just is so funny on so many levels.
  • The Office: It’s Steve Carrell’s last season but you couldn’t tell by the premiere that that was happening. Same old Office shenanigans with new pranks by Jim and Pam. Like OTH, I kind of hope Office ends this season. Because again, as much as I love it, it has sort of run its course. And whoever ends up replacing Michael Scott, it just won’t be the same.

SUNDAY

  • The Amazing Race: Still entertaining because you never know what’s gonna happen to these racers. First of all, producers, you gave them SMART cars to race out of Boston?! Seriously?! LOL. SMART cars are not a very smart choice for RACING. Just no. Second of all, did you see that girl get hit by the watermelon? And then she picked right up and finished the task. Crazy awesome. If the rest of the season is as good as this leg of the race, we’re in for a very fun ride.
  • Brothers and Sisters: Back to the drama of the Walker clan. Still watch this show out of habit but it was a return to form with the first episode back. We jumped forward a year after last season’s car accident and everyone’s lives has changed. And you know it had been a rough year full of change when Nora’s house had not a single bottle of wine. Walkers with no alcohol? As Justin pointed out, they were not the same Walkers. I don’t know how this season will hold up, but it was kinda nice to see the whole Walker clan back on my TV.

Other notes:

  • I forgot to watch Blue Bloods on Friday. Seriously, new show, on a Friday? That’s hard man.
  • Didn’t watch Lonestar. Didn’t intend to. Reviews were good. Ratings were weak. First cancellation of the season.
  • On the other hand, $#*! My Dad Says got good ratings, which is a little hard to believe. I guess the return of Shatner does wonders for a show that doesn’t look all that good?
  • After passing on the majority of last season, Desperate Housewives might be able to pull me back in, what with Vanessa Williams moving onto Wisteria Lane, plus Brian Austin Green romancing Marcia Cross (original 90210/Melrose Place, what what? ahaha).

Chuck Season 3, Two-Night Premiere

3 new episodes of Chuck in two nights…LOVE IT!! I won’t go into detail about all the episodes – Chuck versus the Pink Slip, …versus the Three Words, …versus the Angel de la Muerte – but it was 3 great hours of scripted television.

Chuck having the new Intersect in his brain allows him to essentially be a kick-ass super spy. The only problem? His emotions sometimes get in the way of him being able to flash properly, to get the skills he needs to execute the task at hand. Also somewhat of an issue? His official love for Sarah. As was learned in the first episode, Chuck and Sarah were supposed to run away together, but then Chuck decided that he actually did want to be a spy and help save the world. In the second episode, Chuck officially declared to Sarah that he loved her, but as was pointed out in that episode, the cardinal rule of spying is that spys don’t fall in love. Poor Chuck. And in the third episode, we’re relegated to the “let’s be friends” speech, even though CLEARLY both Sarah and Chuck love each other. *sigh*

Overall, the first episode established the foundation of the rest of the season, with the whole Buy More gang back together (Chuck and Casey’s covers are again to work at Buy More), Ellie & Awesome moving into a place conveniently across the courtyard, how the new Intersect works, and the increased tension between Chuck and Sarah. Second episode was like Chuck’s transition into spy life. Third episode we saw pretty much how the rest of the season is gonna play out, as far as the tone. Chuck’s more confident as a spy, but he’s still the kinda awkward dork/nerd that we love, and not to forget that Awesome knows of Chuck’s double life now, which creates a rather great dynamic for the two of them.

So yeah, Chuck, season 3, off to a great start! And with the announcement that Jay Leno’s primetime talk show is done, and also the ratings increase between Sunday’s premiere and last fall’s premiere, there is now slightly more hope that we might see a season 4 premiere of Chuck.

Chuck Season 3 Premiere THIS SUNDAY

In case you couldn’t tell from the headline, NBC’s spy comedy Chuck has its season 3 premiere this Sunday @ 9:00PM with two episodes, and then another episode in its actual day and time (Monday @ 8:00PM) the following day.

I don’t get why more people don’t watch Chuck. As Margaret Lyons from Entertainment Weekly said: “It’s everything you ever liked about Seth Cohen minus everything that ever sucked about The OC plus espionage shenanigans.” Zachary Levi is great as the main character, Chuck Bartowski. Yvonne Strahovski is awesome as Sarah Walker, Chuck’s love interest and handler. They’ve got more geek cred in Adam Baldwin, who was previously part of Joss Whedon’s ‘Firefly’. And there’s a character nicknamed Captain Awesome. Like seriously.

The show has comedy, action, a little romance, and heart. Writing is witty and really, if the show wasn’t great, would it get all these amazingly awesome guest stars? To name just a few: Dominic Monaghan, Chevy Chase, Scott Bakula, Ben Savage, Tony Hale, Jordana Brewster, Rachel Bilson. Ok that was more than a few but still. And this season, we’re also getting Kristin Kreuk and Brandon Routh. Seriously, what more does the show have to do to get people to watch?! Here’s hoping that ratings will be higher this season so we get more of Chuck!

SUNDAY, JANUARY 10 @ 9:00PM ON NBC! EVERYONE SHOULD WATCH IT!