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39 reviews in total 
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I Have A Soft Spot For This Episode, 24 September 2014

I was able to binge-watch all episodes of the first three seasons of Drop Dead Diva, just about the time that the fourth season was set to premiere on Lifetime.

Those 39 episodes were wonderfully entertaining, with a great continuing storyline and engaging performers. The saga of Jane/Deb and the course of her romantic life in those three seasons will always be among my favorite moments spent in front of a TV screen.

I'm commending this particular episode because I kept watching the show into season four, then season five, and I'm now debating whether to spring for a season six download on I-Tunes. I would be numbered among the fans who disliked the many changes and troubling plot choices that were made in the final three seasons of the show. Yet I loved the overall story.

This episode, the so-called cliffhanger of Season Three is the last of what I would call the 'sublime' episodes of the show. This episode, coupled with the first episode of season four, make a great resolving two-part finale in my mind, and I would recommend it as such.

"Forever" (2014)
18 out of 23 people found the following review useful:
A Promising Start, An Imaginative Premise, 23 September 2014

It was exciting to see the premiere episode of this show this week on ABC. Let's hope it was the start of something big.

We are introduced to a NYC medical examiner named Henry Morgan, his lab assistant, his best friend, and a police detective with a lot of questions; not to mention an elusive villain and a clear promise of seasons of intrigue.

A show like this, high-concept, is always problematic for fans. For many fans of milder reality-based sci-fi concepts, the risk of diving into such a show carries the possibility that it will grind to a halt in only a dozen episodes or so, like Awake. Or that the story ideas will end up twisted into some kind of poorly written Gordian knot like Alphas did.

I'm forging ahead on faith in the talented players, and the track record of the main show runners, Brad Anderson and Matthew Miller. What I saw in Monday's premier of Forever was well within the best that I'd expect from this duo.

This is gonna be GREAT and I personally hope a lot of other people feel that way as well.

9/24/14 ADDENDUM - following episode two: after an outstanding premiere which aired Monday, episode two was amazingly tedious, with a plot borrowed from 85 episodes of "Bones." I still expect more of this show in the coming weeks but wow, let's bring the 'a' game.

Series Six was outstanding, 25 August 2014

I would heartily recommend this series to any and all fans of romantic comedy/drama, and I would give a hearty thanks to the creators, producers and actors involved with Doc Martin.

I want to take this opportunity to single out the most recent season, season six, for special commendation. Thank you for not giving in to any temptation to provide the so-called 'storybook' happy ending to the courtship of Dr Ellingham and Louisa, which some fans seemed to be calling for. Both have personal baggage related to their upbringings that reinforces the impasse they face in their relationship, and it's this slow passage through the process resolving their issues which makes these stories such a joy.

I personally found season six to be greatly interesting and entertaining, in the stories and the life-changes faced by all of the regular characters. And I absolutely was not prepared for the emotional impact of the final moments of the season's final episode.

Well done. I'm ready for much more.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
I Really Really Liked It, 1 March 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

More than a few actors have commented on the difference between television and movies; namely that movies have a start, middle and end, while television is "all middle." I'm not surprised that many longtime fans of the show didn't know what to make of the ENDING. TV isn't supposed to end, after all. Yet this show did end, and I think it did so excellently.

I'm in the midst of watching Battlestar Galactica 2004 all the way through for the fourth time. It is not only the finest science fiction show I've ever seen, it is so great that it has positively ruined my ability to watch most other television shows. So I don't mind watching it again, even through to the somewhat controversial ending.

The four seasons of this series accomplished an amazing amount of things, from engaging action and adventure, to a compelling study of the human condition. It went to the extent of examining human religion and notions of God, and even to the extent of building a bridge of sorts between God and Science. There's where the atheist and agnostic find fault.

When the non-religious react to the mention of God, it's troubling when they leap to the central tenet of their own 'religion', which is the belief that anyone who believes in or needs God is weak minded or defective in some way that the non-religious are not.

The tragic result of this is that they're not equipped to enjoy the rich aspect of this show in its examination of religion. There ends my sermon on that topic.

To the main contrary question - did this finale do a disservice to the series Battlestar Galactica, I would have to say NO. Was it among the ten most exciting episodes, dramatic episodes, action-packed episodes? No, no and no.

Since it's "end" and not more "middle," a finale of this sort won't feel like what you loved about the show. The best you can hope for is something that comes logically forward from what has happened, that brings your beloved characters to as satisfying an endpoint as possible, and if you're lucky, still gives you one last surprise or twist on the way out. THIS is what Daybreak 1, 2 and 3 have done.

What was problematic or illogical? Not much. The metal centurions were sufficiently advanced life forms before Cavill put inhibitors on them; those were removed, and it was a complex and sentient metal race that took the final base star on a stellar exploration. The presence of technology's signals enabled the Cylons to find New Caprica, so the decision to send technology into the sun to better hide on a rich and lush planet wasn't so ridiculous either. The twist at the end, linking Hera to "Midochondrial Eve" and the genetic research of the last decade, was wonderfully inspired.

So again, I'll say well done to Eich, Moore and everyone else who earned my adoration with BSG.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
This show is making me crazy, 26 January 2014

I'm streaming this series on Netflix, and I'm having some huge problems with it.

I've had some fun reading the many other reviews of this all-too-brief series posted here on IMDb. What a variety of opinions. The show is awesome, the show sucks, it's the pinnacle of excellence, it's the low point of bad acting, yada yada yada. All I know is that watching the show gives me a problem that I do not experience with any other television series.

I only started watching the show last month, after finding it in the Netflix streaming options. I was instantly pleased to note that it was full of people I've seen and enjoyed in many other movies and series, at an early point in their careers. I enjoyed the first few episodes but thought to myself, 'hey the show was canceled part way through the first season, it must have jumped the track at some point, every show I have binged on here has had a point where it shifts focus and never gets back to its initial excellence.' So early on, I'd start each episode after reading the Netflix description, by guessing how this would be a predictable rehash of a dozen other shows and thus, finally, jump the rails and deserve its cancellation. EACH SHOW FAILED TO DO THIS. Each show would use the teaser to remind me of some real aspect of my high school years that I had long forgotten, and then the remaining show would brilliantly live the rhythm of the lives of its characters instead of having them jump through hoops of hack writing and sitcom crap. This show, in its short life, dared me to not feel it and love it.

As I move now from Episode 11, to 12, to 13, I am in the shadow of its unavoidable ending at Episode 18. And I am in the grip of admiring it, desiring it, and mourning its eventual fate; much as a person would mourn early for that friend or relative facing certain death, yet be drawn by their great love to be at their side for each moment that they could have together before the end.

I've watched the total run of a number of shows over the course of my life, and the luxury of being able to do this on Netflix gives one the ability to understand what makes a show great, and where it develops its underlying problems. And every show has problems, no matter how great its beginning. Bones, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Quantum Leap, X Files, name the show and you can graph the repetitive elements and chart where in its total run that it went onto autopilot and let the formula drive itself for a time. Once you're binging and see your series-of-choice take this downturn, you pray for that PERFECT show, the show that breaks convention, the show that looks to the depth of its characterizations for new direction and material, the show that fights to do ANYTHING except what one could predict. It's the show that would tantalize, that would stimulate great anticipation in the viewer week after week, and deliver new ways to tell stories, new destinations that would surprise and delight the audience in ways they didn't even know they COULD be surprised.

I see, in viewing this show at the rate of a couple of episodes a day, that THIS SHOW (thus far to episode 13) has DONE IT. I can't predict a single moment of where this show will go, and when it goes where it will, I can't wait to have it take me to the next place.

I am at Episode 13. That means six more episodes of a show that is unique in television history, in the way that it has exceeded the sum of its parts. Only six more episodes until the end of this fictional school year. Not only does this collection of stories and plot lines evoke the angst and joys of my own high school experience, it will in retrospect also evoke the same bittersweet remembrance of how all-too-brief and ephemeral my actual high school experience was as well.

Once I have reached the end of the passage of this show, I will emerge back into the world as a person with a mission to find more material and work from the producers, writers and actors who delivered this show to us.

If you're one of the persons who hated the show and took time to post that opinion here at IMDb, I have no words by which I can explain myself to you. I also have no way to understand your viewpoint, beyond that perhaps you simply don't demand enough of the TV shows that you DO love, and missed the whole point of this one, single, 18-episode show that got it right more than all of the rest of them ever did.

If you've never seen the show but are thinking of taking the plunge, I would encourage you to do this. Just be ready for what effect it might have. Or you might hate it. Try it and see.

0 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Pretty Darn Good (may contain spoilers), 20 December 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As a fan of the series Bones, I have an odd way of gauging my gut reaction to an episode on first viewing. I check the cadence of Emily Deschanel's vocal delivery during the first ten minutes of the episode. If she hasn't fallen into the stilted stereotypical "Bones"-speak and taken a few other co-workers with her, I think it's going to be an interesting hour of drama.

This episode passes my litmus gut-check and I'm proud to give it eight of ten stars on IMDb. The acting is excellent, and in terms of the overall story of "Bones," it explores some interesting aspects of the protagonist's life and views.

The atheism-agnosticism of Temperance Brennan presented in this series is more than a character trait, it almost qualifies for its own line in the show credits. We KNOW she has no logical path to a personal concept of God and doesn't spend time calling her own materialist worldview into question. Yet when she is mortally wounded by an assailant in her own lab, Brennan has the classic out-of-body experience described by others who have died and been revived; the vision where the subject is met by a previously-departed loved one, with bright lights and all that. Brennan has the vision of meeting her own mother, whose absence and presumed death has been a psychic scar for most of Brennan's life.

We eventually uncover the identity and motives of the assailant, through the usual diligence and processes employed by the Jeffersonian staff. Of course the science is a little dodgy (Mythbusters on the Discovery Channel has debunked the myth of an ice-bullet two different times now) Of course the whole metaphysical story isn't one that is normal or expected in the storyline of this series. But that's what is nice about it for me.

I have found that there are different levels of Bones fandom; I don't connect with the fans who crave the Bones-speak, or having the first interview subject in each investigation be the perpetrator, no matter how many red herrings crop up. I like character-driven explorations, and the best episodes of this series for me, have stretched Brennan and Booth as people in ways we couldn't expect but could feel and understand. I'm thinking of "Doctor In The Photo" and a dozen other true high-water marks in the episodes of this series. This one is a good one.

Kudos to the excellent Dave Thomas as well, the veteran entertainer and writer who wrote this episode. AWESOME JOB.

1 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
An Episode Done Earlier and Better (may be spoilers), 20 December 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I write this as a fan of the series "Bones." But as one who came to the show somewhat late, after a six-season binge on Netflix a couple of years ago.

It's weird coming to love a series in this fashion. I saw six seasons of an excellent television show, with some consistency problems, but an overall week-to-week quality. I finished my binge about a month before the start of season eight, and the release of season seven on Netflix. Sampling season seven, and peeking in on season eight were as often disappointing as they were exciting. Those two seasons imo don't stand as strong as the first six. Season nine so far has been something of an improvement.

Which brings us to The Patriot In Pergatory. Before watching this it was interesting to note the pre-airing buzz about the show, and laudatory comments in the press. But in the viewing, I personally found this episode to be especially contrived and tedious. And gimmicky.

Gimmick - the need to bring all five 'squinterns' together on a single autopsy; fan-interest aside, the dramatic and plot reasons didn't make sense. The awestruck revelation of each new fact about the unidentified remains came off as remarkably contrived as well. And I agree with other harsher critics in this forum that the tone was a little overly jingoistic, or at best catering to patriotic emotions drummed up by a revisit of the September 11th 2001 attacks.

This is not the worst episode of Bones. That honor likely would go to the season seven episode "The Bump In The Road," the episode which explored the dark seamy world of coupon clippers. The shining moment of that episode of course was John Francis Daley reprising the facial expressions he used years before in the opening credits of "Freaks and Geeks."

There are two outstanding episodes in "Bones" which dealt with the commitment and bond between soldiers defending this nation. See them.

S1 - EP21 "The Soldier On The Grave," and S4 - EP13 "Hero In The Hold."

7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
A FINE Start To A Season, Hint Of A New Stride??, 17 September 2013

Color me hopeful.

Kudos to Hart Hanson and Stephen Nathan for penning an outstanding opener for Season 9 of this wonderful TV series. "The Secret In The Proposal" was very good, and I want to think it promises the start of a high quality season of TV for this often great show.

As I write this the day after the airing, 90 persons have rated this episode an overall average of 9 stars, and I think that is evidence of the impact of solid writing and performances by everyone. WELL DONE.

I won't provide spoilers, but it was great to see Ms Wick as the squintern of the week, and it was great to see the characters re-emerge strongly from the inconsistent miasm presented by the course of seasons 7 and 8.

About myself: I came to a love and appreciation of this series only over the last 18 months, thanks to the availability of Seasons 1 through 6 on NETFLIX at that time. On the recommendation of a friend, and the strength of a Season 4 episode I watched one night, I started at S1 E1 and drilled straight through to S6 E23 over two months time. Frankly, I was blown away; the Achilles hill of many CSI shows and crime shows is their lame reliance on a formula, and linear action-driven plots that strain belief. I found that six seasons of "Bones" to be refreshingly literate and character-driven, and I made sure I learned the names of the half-dozen best writers of these episodes.

For me, the series maintained a rather high consistency and quality level in those six years, with a dozen truly breath-taking pinnacles of achievement; "Doctor In The Photo" almost made my head explode. My watching ended with "The Hole In The Heart," and "The Change In The Game," and the second of these made me start to worry about where Bones / Booth open co-habitation was headed.

I proceeded to purchase some Season 7 episodes a couple of weeks before the Season 8 FOX premiere, when Netflix added Season 7 to their offering. I forged ahead into S-7 (which I already knew created some fan dissatisfaction) while watching Season 8. I managed to watch the S7 cliff-hanger right before the S8 opener, and that S8 premiere didn't match the excellence of the S7 finale which set it up.

There's a part of the fan base which was and is enamored of the Bones Booth love affair, and I feared that the show would move in the direction of giving them the storybook ending they wanted; indeed S7 was taken up with the baby, and all of the characters were often written as simplistic shadows of their complex selves, jerked this way and that way by the writers in order to flesh out very weak story ideas. It was very unsatisfying save for a few high points. Season 8, same comments.

Sorry for the personal prologue - - my whole point is that THIS episode, THIS premiere for THIS 9th Season of THIS show - was an achievement in quality, an achievement in performance, and an achievement in restoration for the other part of the fan base, persons like me who WANT shocks and surprise, and drama, and we want our connection to characters who are written and developed in a fashion that lets great actors do their finest work. THIS is what I saw on the screen last evening.

Kudos to Hart and Nathan. Many who are like me look back on "Hole In The Heart," and all that came before it, and wonder if the show can rock the house like that again. The season premiere I saw last night said very clearly, "Yes It Can."

I love having hope. Thanks for that.

0 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
A Fine Movie among a selection of Fine Movies in Star Trek, 20 May 2013

I write this as a fan from the first wave of Star Trek fans, who first thrilled to the teaser commercials NBC ran on TV in the summer of 1966. Back in that day we could not have imagined what was in store for us in that tantalizing bit of sci-fi with a quick Enterprise flyby, Shatner leaping with his phaser, and Gary Lockwood's glowing visage taking a direct blast.

I write this: WHAT A SPECTACLE OF A MOVIE. Outstanding. Engaging characters, a vicious villain and a real sense of peril. I won't post spoilers, but I will advise any fan of Star Trek to see the movie.

I'm a constant lover and fan of all the Star Trek TV franchises, and I've been mildly to moderately annoyed with every one of the movies, but for the same general reasons; that movies by their nature are subject to complex and flawed assembly and writing, overly simplistic and broad performance, and sad to say a constant sense that what you see is so over-calculated for effect, rather than springing naturally from an engaging story.

Against this presumption, Star Trek Into Darkness does not fail more, and in fact succeeds much more, than the previous Star Trek movies as an interesting and watchable film.

I would post instead my general list of annoyances, for what they're worth.

1. Comment for JJ Abrams - too much borrowing from existing ST and past movies ... the promise was for something new to emerge from the reboot

2. Another comment for JJ Abrams - too much reliance on Star Wars sci-fi parlance and imagery, and perhaps not enough attention to what basic conventions specific to Star Trek should survive and apply past a sweeping time-incursion reboot of the franchise. I wouldn't be the first to advise Mr Abrams of the zero-sum net effect of discarding expected conventions up front, only to borrow from past story lines anyway.

I think the vast demographic appeal-demands of the movie medium makes it a harder place to try and tell a story with sufficient nuance and complexity. The previous movie series presumed the conventions of the TV series, but glossed over it for the movie-viewer and casual fan. This movie series pays no tribute to the previous conventions at all and that's what rankles fans the most.

IF this new series makes it to television, I look for it to greatly improve, so I hope that's in the cards.

If not, GO to this movie. It's fun, and it's got some wow-power.

Satisfying, Taut and Precise, 27 February 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Homage is such an inadequate term.

If you truly love something, a person or a thing or an idea or an art form, you will strive to plant yourself in the rich soil from which it sprang, and strive to bring forth the same or even better fruit. This is how I try and view that thing that others call "homage" when they compare movies like this to Hitchcock.

"The Machinist" is beyond Hitchcock, the same way that Lynch, Coppola and Tarantino are beyond Hitchcock and I don't think I can put it better than that.

I became a Brad Anderson fan the instant I completed my first viewing of "Happy Accidents" nearly a decade ago on IFC. When you feed from the vast trough of U-S media, you remember and cherish the rare times that true brilliance races through you and past you in a great teleplay. I was enchanted by the way Anderson's tale of time travel, and longing and loss, and loneliness were all handled and resolved. The story pushed the boundaries of suspended-disbelief to new limits, yet via the artist's talent it landed from that great height like the greatest ballet dancer, gently on the tip of a single toe.

Only the best of Chris Carter's "X Files" pull off this same outrageous fulfillment of the transaction between artist and patron with such power and grace.

Happily, "The Machinist" while radically different from "Happy Accidents," is every bit the equal and superior of the best films to which it is compared. And I would go further and derive more comparisons, not to detract from the work but to celebrate its sublime balance and power.

A previous commenter pointed out the bifurcation of reality, where the dreamworld pops in and out of Resnick's constant waking life. There were echoes of Lynch in the pause that occurs with each reach for the cigarette lighter, each look at the clock at 1:30, felt in the way that each pause evokes the deja-vu of dreams.

There was Hitchcock homage in the sense of unending and unresolvable tension. You suspect a nod to Coppola (and Brando) as you look at Ivan and wonder to yourself what Colonel Kurtz would have done after the war, had he lived.

And there is over all of it, the constant and obvious excellence of Christian Bale, doing what few if any others could ever do; fitting his every molecule to the role of Trevor Resnick. THAT sets this film apart and puts it where not many others will ever go.

I cannot stress enough the importance of seeing this film, and unlike others who have said they probably won't endure it again, I will see it again and relish its greatness again. Join me.

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