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The Voice (2011)
Three great judges
I use to really like this show but find AI this season much better. The talent is better on average and in general, the judges too. I like Blake, Adam and Pharrell very much but there continues to be a major problem with Christina in that she does not know how to have a camera on her and behave as though she is not the only focus of importance and attention.
It is something you can always feel and makes her comments consistently uncomfortable. Perhaps an outcome of being on camera before developing a mature and truly independent sense of self.
Surely she and many think she is very independent but is far too self aware to know and understand the full meaning of this freedom.
The mission of placing interest on the contestants is done easily and naturally by Blake, Adam and Pharrell while there is always a sense of "Now the camera is on me so I must filter my words accordingly" with Christina.
I like her and have nothing against her. I share these thoughts so that a greater sense of self freedom may be considered.
I am with aa-nassiry from Iran in that I feel outside and not drawn in by this episode though for more reasons than being somewhat confused.
I have greatly enjoyed this series and looked forward to this return only to find myself unable to return to having any real interest in the characters. They feel dried up to me. I don't find myself rooting for Don or Peggy or anyone else for that matter and with so few episodes left I am thinking why get back into it if it takes work from my side to try and love it.
Perhaps I speak too soon and in these final few it will develop into something more engaging and enjoyable. Regardless, it has been a great and memorable series.
Better Call Saul: Five-O (2015)
Great writing brings forth the best acting I can remember.
This episode reminds me of the surprising and well deserved letter Sir Anthony Hopkins wrote to Alan Cranston after binge viewing Breaking Bad. As a refresher I will quote how it began and highly suggest Goggling the remainder:
"Dear Mister Cranston.
I wanted to write you this email - so I am contacting you through Jeremy Barber - I take it we are both represented by UTA . Great agency.
I've just finished a marathon of watching "BREAKING BAD" - from episode one of the First Season - to the last eight episodes of the final Season. A total of two weeks (addictive) viewing.
I have never watched anything like it. Brilliant!
Your performance as Walter White was the best acting I have seen - ever.
I know there is so much smoke blowing and sickening bullshit in this business, and I've sort of lost belief in anything really.
But this work of yours is spectacular - absolutely stunning..." .
While later in the letter Anthony Hopkins tributes others including Jonathan Banks, it seems he could now easily be inspired to followup his praise with another about Jonathan's portrayal of Michael.
We have all loved Mikes impenetrable stoic character in BB and certainly delighted to see him back for further study in these earlier adventures of the ever entertaining Saul. But, I highly doubt anyone foresaw this further depth of Gilligan and Goulds character construction talents and impeccable story-line placement of them.
As it all came together in production, I would guess even they were blown away at these understandably rare final results.
When it comes to writing and actor portrayal on a level this transcendent it is no longer about intellectual definition, dissection, or description; but sheer personal delight that registers as indelible ink on ones private soul.
Only in an amazingly stupid alternate universes could one possibly not hear these words next winter; "..and the Emmy goes to.. Jonathan Banks."
The Good Wife: Mind's Eye (2015)
Skip this episode, you will save an hour and miss nothing.
Flashbacks, fantasies, and musical interludes float through Alicia's mind as you are taken through this slow and boring waste of an hour. I love this series and have collected every episode to date, there have been very few dogs but this was not only one of them but will be the only episode I will not include in my current 5 1/2 season collection.
It was so burdensome that when I was thinking it must be about over (and hoping) I checked my clock and was only 30 minutes in. Ouch! As one of my favorite series, any episode prior when I have checked the time it has been because I was hoping it was not nearing the end.
No harm done, nobody can get it right all the time! 6 seasons in I guess somebody just ran out of ideas and tried to get artsy to make up for weak substance.
Beauty is always the other option
As a now pale and overweight male I wonder how many people would think I am so strong, edgy and cool if I created a series where I wrote in an abundance of nude scenes for myself. Face it, most people would change the channel just fast enough to avoid the inevitable upchuck.
Lena is talented in many ways and I get it that people find her refreshing for getting beyond her lack of attractiveness in body and face. If this is entertainment for you, great. There is a reason why the screen favors the attractive, it has to do with natural selection.
Sure, I experienced this form of natural selection with Lena's physical limitations in my twenties after the bars were closed and my choices were very few and blurred by alcohol. But no matter how drunk I get today, I highly prefer beauty when it is an option, and it is always an option.
Masters of Sex (2013)
Losing me in the second season
I enjoyed the first season and Lizzy Caplan still remains captive while I find myself fast forwarding through much of the second season. On par with the first season in many ways, I now find the characters so deeply preformatted that only when there is an unsuspecting turn do I take the time to really indulge my focus.
Most of my dismay with the second season revolves around the now almost unwatchable Michael Sheen's character and how selfish, self-serving and downright creepy he has become. The fact that Lizzy Caplan's character is still capable of letting him to now increasing levels makes me want to barf.
I don't see how I can continue to consider this entertainment. Best to pass this one by for all the other great drama available.
All things to all people = some things to some people
The originality, natural sparkle and time between the 2009 release of Modern Family and the 2010 release of heavily worked Parenthood remind me of the difference between fresh and fun 'Google' and the later controlled contrived corporate copy 'Bing'.
This show has a wonderful cast of characters that I know and like as well as likable new ones; but the setup and writing tries so hard to be all things to all people that it lost me from the beginning proving that the sum can actually be less than the parts.
When a musician searches the truthfulness of their soul there is the potential for us to hear a voice and lyric we have never before experienced. When they sit down to write a song that is going to be as good as or better than another, it is by nature missing that deeper original spark and by nature doomed to limited results.
I do love Madeline Stowe and have in all of her roles, but sadly this series dropped me after the first season. It was fun for a time but the lifeless, stoic and poorly acted nature of the lead character Emily left me with only one bullet of entertainment and five blanks.
I do not mean to disrespect her. Not everyone is born with a deeper and more complex/resourceful soul to draw from. She is clearly doing the best she can from a very flat and colorless pallet.
There is nothing that can be done now to replace her and save this series that could have been great.
Because of Madeline, I am giving this two stars instead of one.
I was raised in Newport Beach, including Balboa Island, Lido Isle, Corona Del Mar and the peninsula where the famous Wedge is. In reality it is a wonderful city full of great down to earth people. Yes, there has been an influx of superficial people who have flocked there because of it's coastal beauty but they are as relevant to Newport Beach as the cast of Jersey Shore is to the best of the East Coast.
To this day the quiet neighborhoods of local inhabitants are no different than the best of kind and basically boring neighborhoods anywhere.
This show is nothing but a deeply cheap ploy to play on a beautiful and desirable city and fantasize on it's most imaginary superficial aspects to deliver pure crap to those who think they need a fix to accentuate their daily lives.
The residence of Newport Beach are being just as ripped off as the sorry viewers of this show.
Self indulgent and forced upon us; has no lasting future with the public
Please fade away. Please.
When I saw her last year on Leno sitting on the couch after her turn being interviewed, she was constantly trying to draw attention to herself and attempting to upstage the next guest while they were having their interview with Jay. It was so very sad and ridiculous and showed how insecure and desperate this self-absorbed self-promoting child is.
It seems as though she has slept her way to the lower edges of recognition and has done well behind the scenes but no matter how desperate to make it cannot close the deal with the general public.
There is something very manipulative and false going on within this person and people seem to sense and know this. If she was in some way more attractive or at least had some redeeming underlying talent perhaps she would get away with it but she is instead quite annoying and lacking in both of these essential areas.
Eventually whatever got her to where she is will wear out and the public will be blessed with her disappearance from all the wasted promotion that has been forced upon us. When she fades back to her rightful place she will be remembered by very few and certainly not missed.
I am sorry to say these things about her or about anyone for that matter but when you get in my face with falsehoods it is a time to ask you to back down.