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Once Upon a Time (2011)
Once a upon a time, a series began by hitting the right note...
In 2004 millions of people were hooked to a series right from its pilot. The series- "LOST" went on for six successful seasons and ended on a high note. It is far from forgotten, many are introduced to it everyday through home video and it had become a part of the present pop culture.
From the same show's writers comes 'Once upon a time', starring Jennifer Morrison(House MD) as Emma swan a loner who on her birthday is visited by her son(Henry)(Actor:Gilmore) whom she had given up for adoption a decade ago. While trying to get him home ,Henry tries to convince her that she is a part of the "Fairy Tale" world like all of his neighbors in 'Storybrooke'. He even points out that his mother(Parilla) is 'evil'. Emma of course, never believes him. After meeting his teacher Mary(Goodwin), she realizes his life is not unlike hers. Orphaned at birth, lonely and in need of love. She also sees why Henry would find it hard to like his adoptive mother who she thinks is a "Hard ass".
Meanwhile, like their previous series, the writers have infused this one too with parallel flashback sequences. It takes place in the fairyland where snow white(goodwin again) and her husband-prince are trying to find ways to beat the evil queen's(Parilla!) impending curse.
The pilot hits the right note everywhere. There is not a moment of unnecessary drama, action or even unwanted CGI. Morrison seems at ease with her role as a clueless 'chose one' , who needs to slowly unravel the mystery of the town. The supporting characters seem perfectly cast and the child actor Gilmore does real fine acting for a 10 year old. The plot looks promising too.
However if past instances have taught us anything it is that even great series can take a fall by- 1. Running out of good ideas(like Heroes) 2. The channel canceling it abruptly due to poor Nielsen rating(V).
If 'Once upon a time' can survive these two dreaded pitfalls, then we may have a potential 'LOST' in making. This one is surely the season hit!
Mildred Pierce (2011)
A slow yet captivating mini-series, but...
-> continuing from the title <- But it is not for everyone.
Mildred pierce is not like other movies/series "based" on novels. This one is more like it "picturization " of the novel. If you have read the James Cain novel by the same name, you will be stunned how this movie 'sticks' to the source faithfully. So this should be great right? Ironically we learn from this that sometimes being too faithful to the novel has its drawbacks.Read on:
This is a film about a middle class divorced , single mom raising her kids , trying to be successful and riding the waves of success but making the mistake of trying to woo her 'rotten' daughter that leads to her downfall.
Here is Kate winslet as the heroine, Mildred Pierce. She is in every frame of the film and this must have been an extremely tiring performance for her. But Ms.Winslet is nothing short of spectacular. She gets every emotion right and delivers every dialogue flawlessly. Morgan Turner as the young Veda Pierce is rightly cast and builds up a neat foundation for Evan Rachel Wood to play her adult counterpart. Wood plays the role just right. Mellisa Leo and MAre Winningham as Pierce's friends Lucy and Ida, are perfectly cast. Brían F. O'Byrne as Bert is surprising good and in the final scene, he truly shines.
Now we have a good story and perfect cast so what could go wrong? Its the faithfulness! The novel is a good read, but picturizing it frame by frame into a movie would not attract many audiences. Its a film noire and is very realistic. The scenes unravel slowly and in detail. for some this may seem like a 'drag'. So if you find yourself yawing at movies like 'Revolutionary Road' or 'The English Patient' then stay away. Also the devotion Mildred shows to her, clearly sick and evil daughter is something I found hard to understand. In today's sensibility a mother wouldn't go this far I assume but this is debatable.
Other than that the film is a joyful companion to the novel. It would actual be difficult to imagine Mildred Pierce as anyone other than Kate Winslet, if you both, read and watch the movie over the same course of time. In conclusion, If you like good acting, good music, Pre-World war II era-films with a touch of realism then do not miss this.
Body of Proof (2011)
Give it a chance....it has potential and is medically accurate
The series is about a defamed neurosurgeon Dr.Megan Hunt who has now left her profession as a surgeon and has become the medical examiner . She uses her expertise as a brilliant neurosurgeon to solve murders. ### THIS is the review based on PILOT ###
Just by seeing a pilot one can never decide if the show is good/bad...one can only guess how it might turn out..Most reviews here seem to judge it too early.
Dana Delany was good, not excellent. She tried her best in the pilot to portray in forty minutes , how a woman would feel in her position. It is tough to make an impression in the very first episode because an actor needs to build a solid foundation upon which her character would develop richly and as something people will connect to in the coming episodes. If in some scenes she seemed to falter I feel the writers are to blame because they seem to try hard to stuff all the emotions and past story in just 40 minutes and hey don't forget, there is a murder to solve too. Her character seem to unravel in a hurry and it's not Delany's fault.
The supporting cast were okay, actually they seemed like stereotypes taken from series like house(boss of hunt seemed like cuddy), the detectives(csi and castle?) and so on...yes the writers need to develop these characters better, although the confused doctor played by Geoffrey Arend (Dr. Elliot)and the frenemy played by Middlebrooks(Dr. Curtis) were unique and entertaining.
And for the plot, I cannot think of any plot holes and as a person in the medical field I can say that the medicine part was not slouchy like some soaps ( cough..grays anatomy)and was actually convincing.
So in conclusion, I would not write off the show this early...Let's wait and see how it develops.