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The idea behind "KINGS" is a great one. The biblical story of David told in a modern setting sounds great. But the production of this modern day telling is very lacking. It was difficult to understand how modern nations, at war, were limited to WWI type trench warfare, with WWII type tanks, but with 21st Century communications and crystal clear battlefield television. It didn't make any sense. Also, the Royal Family is completely and totally repulsive. The producers and writers of this show should be congratulated for providing some television drama that is different from the overload of police procedurals. But is is difficult to see how very many viewers could return to watch more episodes of a show that has several unlikeable characters and a plot that requires much more thought than almost any other drama on the air. It is somewhat reminiscent of the new "Battlestar Galactica" in dramatic intrigue but lacks Galactica's human characterizations. Nice try though.
Gilmore Girls: Unto the Breach (2007)
The Big Letdown
This episode was not only a huge letdown but was certainly the worst written episode in this great show's history. What should have been a celebration of Rory's long-awaited graduation and the conclusion of a fine television series was turned into a rushed and far-fetched episode. Almost all the characters were written out-of-character and the story was incredible. Just two weeks after Rory showed Logan around her home town and again showed her love for this man she suddenly found it quite easy to say no to a sincere and loving marriage proposal. Even though she was considering a possible job offer in San Francisco she still said no? Errors in characters and story abounded here. Chris was all for a marriage at Lane's wedding last year. Then he was surprised and worried at the graduation? Richard was all pro-Logan from the start but looked overly embarrassed at the party. The worst was Lorelai who talked nicely to Logan's face but then was the picture of negativity behind his back. It was not a good image for Lorelai. Did she really think that Logan wouldn't propose after a nearly three year relationship with Rory? Then she told Rory she had done the right thing in saying no. I was all for Rory having a career but it is a complete insult to think she had to choose between a career and a husband. Apparentally the two writers of this episode forgot that this is the 21st Century and women no longer have to make these types of choices. Rory & Logan didn't have to get married or even engaged to end this series. But the way this contrived break-up was handled was an insult to the viewers. It was a sad and unnecessary ending here.
Downward Spiral Now in Motion
This was the worst episode of the season. As they get ready to wrap up this season/series they have Lorelei and Luke getting back together. It's awkward at first, of course, but plainly obvious that they will end up together. It is also plainly obvious that Logan and Rory will not end up together. And they are not being subtle about it. After years of dismissing the rantings of Paris Gellar for the kooky ravings that they are Rory suddenly decides that she is going to to listen to Paris and give weight to her comments! Then she gets the rejection from the NY Times Fellowship that we could all see coming. Now we get a confused, anxious, insecure little girl suddenly stressing about her future after Yale. Not the brave, intelligent and loving Rory we've known for seven years. Now, suddenly, it is perfectly fine for Rory to consider dumping Logan so that she can pursue a career. How 1950s! We can all see it coming. Rory will reject Logan because she has to live her dream. Really? BULL! This is so contrived and cliché ridden. Rory can't have the man she loves and work too? Lots of women do that every day. The story makes zero sense and does not flow out of any of the previous story arcs. It's just..HEY...this may be the last season so let's fabricate some reason to breakup Rory & Logan and send Rory off as a single career girl. Well it doesn't work that way. Instead of making Rory look modern and independent they are making her look insecure, cold, unfeeling, and really quite stupid. I hope the writers and Executive Producer David Rosenthal are proud of the havoc they are causing on this show. They have now succeeded in even making Rory Gilmore look pathetic and unlikeable. This is all based on much publicized spoilers, of course. Until the shows actually air I continue to hold out hope that these people will have come to their senses and filmed alternate endings to this season's horrible finishing storyline for Rory and Logan.
Gilmore Girls: Hay Bale Maze (2007)
Logan & Rory---Finally a Good Story
This was one of the best episodes of the year. It was about time that Logan and Rory got some much needed screen time. The new producers and writers this year have done a terrible job with the storyline flows. The flows have been disjointed and don't follow each other smoothly. But finally we got a good episode that showcased Logan Huntzberger's natural goodness and intelligence. Logan is the most interesting and complex character on this show. He brings out the best in Rory and they have the best on-screen chemistry on television. Logan showed that he always has Rory's happiness at heart and he is perfect for her in every way. It was great to see Lorelei and Logan come to an understanding in the kitchen scene. One of the best scenes in the history of Gilmore Girls. Even Logan and Lorelei have chemistry. Logan has been totally underused this year. We get that the men on this show are secondary characters used to promote and showcase the women but the producers missed out on so many good story possibilities by using too much time on the Lorelei/Christopher debacle. What a waste! Amy Sherman-Palladino's wonderful creation (Logan) was used much better in the previous seasons. Having said that, it is obvious that they are setting up Logan and Rory for a season ending breakup. This is the most ridiculous and intelligence insulting storyline yet. So Rory is not talented enough to have a career and a husband? Hello, this is 2007 not 1957! Logan is the best thing to happen to this show. He has impacted all the major characters and is just a fascinating and intelligent person. He breathes new life into Rory and makes her a much more adult and interesting person. It will be beyond disgraceful if this once great show ends with Rory rejecting the love of her life. Talk about contrived story telling. And really, Logan Huntzberger deserves so much better. He has been falsely vilified by the insecure who automatically hate the rich. He has been used, like the other guys, as foils to prop up the independence of the Gilmore Girls. Fine, the show is about the "girls". But don't tell me that the only way Rory can be a success in life is to dump the man she has been expressing her love to for over two years now. It is so very obvious that Logan and Rory are deeply in love. It is beautiful to watch. Now the thought that the producers can wreck this beautiful love story so quickly and rudely is just absurd. If this happens then Rory Gilmore will not be a young woman to emulate. She will have been reduced to the role of a cold-hearted, selfish robot. This, along with the previous disjointed story lines will be a sad ending indeed to this season or series. Again, what a disjointed and insulting mess. One can only hope that an 8th season would be used to correct these horrors and get Rory back to acting like the loving and thoughtful person she should be.
Swimming Upstream (2002)
Compelling & Beautifully Acted Story
This film is a very moving and thought provoking story about a young man's tragic misfortunes. It is also a lesson in life on how to deal with life's setbacks. First of all, if possible, see the film from the uncut DVD. The television version is heavily edited and loses some of the film's subtle story power. This film should be required viewing for anyone suffering from domestic parental problems or alcohol abuse. The acting is quite impressive here. Matt Czuchry gives a very memorable, believable and heart wrenching performance as Morris. This gifted, athletic charmer is suddenly confronted with a life altering tragedy that coupled with problems at home would be too much for most people. What a wonderful, smooth, beautiful performance Czuchry gives here. The viewer is on Morris' side throughout, pulling for him all the way. This is an early role for Czuchry but his natural acting talent is clearly visible. The supporting cast all contribute well too. Kelly Rutherford is excellent as Morris' sister and has a very nice on-screen chemistry with Czuchry. Michael Moriarty is very effective as the father engendering both hate and love from the viewers during this film. Ben Savage and Matt Czuchry have a great scene that shows the love and friendship that can be so deep between childhood friends. All the other actors were also excellent. This surprisingly moving film was totally enjoyable to watch. The dramatic story coupled with a message of strength, hope and love is a good message from which we can all learn. I came away with an admiration for the strength of Morris Bird III and a deep appreciation for the considerable acting talent of Matt Czuchry. Very well done here.