review

Bad Moviethon #10 – A Cinderella Story (2004)


(POTENTIALLY)
BAD MOVIE MARATHON #10

…in which I examine if bad movies really deserve their woeful rotten tomatoes score.

A Cinderella Story

IMDB | 2004

Plot:

Sam (Hilary Duff), a teenager in California, is obliged to work as a janitor and dishwasher in the diner of her stepmother (Jennifer Coolidge). After a cell phone mix-up, Sam begins an anonymous text-messaging and e-mail relationship with a boy. They agree to meet at a school dance, but when Sam finds out that her secret pen pal is none other than Austin Ames (Chad Michael Murray), the cutest boy in school, she panics and looks for a way to make herself cooler.

Review Excerpts:

You can say of this movie, truly, that they took the most famous tale in the world and broke it.

Let me get quickly to the word that best describes this movie. It is horrible.

Haaaaarsh.

Technically, I refuse to call this a bad movie because it’s a classic, but it has a rating of 11% on Rotten Tomatoes.

On behalf of Chad Michael Murray’s astounding acting ability, I am offended. Heck, Hilary Duff doesn’t deserve that either.

Anyway, I loved this movie when I was a kid. I learnt how to make DVDs with this movie. Actually, I have a VCD with this movie on it. If you don’t know what a VCD is, you haven’t lived. This movie basically set me up for a life where I could use computer software without getting confused. I will cherish it forever. 

Plot wise, this movie is uh, well, I’ll give you a brief recap.

Recap

The plot of this movie is basically – Chad Michael Murray and Hilary Duff have been texting and Iming each other but they don’t know what they look like. In real life, he’s the star quarterback and popular guy and she works at the diner her Dad owned before he died, has an awful stepmother and two terrible stepsisters.

They agree to meet on Halloween at a dance. Sam is unable to go until the last last minute when she turns up as Cinderella, complete with a face mask that does little to disguise who she is.

Despite that Austin has no idea who she is. Once it hits midnight, she runs back to the diner and conveniently drops her cellphone.

In true creeper fashion, Austin puts up posters requesting that people call him if they know anything about Cinderella. Cue lots of girls trying to make out likd they’re Cinderella just to get with Austin.

Eventually, Sam’s sisters find out, tell Austin’s ex-girlfriend, and they group together to humiliate her and Austin in front of the entire school by reading their emails out loud and revealing that Sam is Cinderella. Shock horror, the star quarterback is secretly in love with diner girl!

By the way, we keep hearing about a drought throughout the movie….

Classic line

…so…fast forward to the end and Austin skips out on The Biggest Game Of His Life™ to stop Sam from leaving and the skies open and it rains like it’s never rained before.

They go to Princeton together and live happily ever after.

Woo!

I see three main reasons why it got an 11%

1. The script sounds like it was written by someone who had never stepped foot in a high school.

2. The acting leaves a lot to be desired. Hilary is on point (let’s face it, she’s always on point) and Chad Michael Murray is good looking enough for me to overlook any less than stellar performance (plus his brooding pensive look is also on point), but the rest of them kind of sucked.

3. They used a terrible cover of a Jesse McCartney song, unless that was him singing and there’s something wrong with my ears.

4. Teenage love ending the drought? Really? Seriously? Cringe alert.

5. Somehow Sam manages to work before school and after school and whenever her stepmother requires it and still be a straight A student. I’m not saying that’s impossible, but it’s a stretch.

6. The annoying best friend was annoying.

7. It’s a comedy, but it’s more of a laugh at the movie than laugh with the movie kinda deal.

8. Most of the movie doesn’t make any real sense. The premise is that Austin ends up looking for Sam, but she didn’t disguise her voice and her eyes were all that was covered. The next time he sees her, he should recognise her. If he had selective hearing, I’d get it, but he’s the star quarterback with perfect grades, perfect cheekbone structure and perfect eyesight. There’s no reason why he wouldn’t know it was her.

9. She dropped her cellphone. I get it, that’s the modern equivalent of leaving your shoe behind, but once again, all Austin had to do was call a number on the phone to figure out who his mystery girl was. Maybe Sam didn’t have any minutes, but she definitely has texting credit (and presumably texts from other people). It’s a bit like having a key for three doors. You have to try them all to figure out which door they key is for. That’s commonly known as common sense, but I guess that doesn’t translate well on-screen.

10. I love how I said three main reasons and then wrote nine. Anyway, the most visible teacher in this movie was some odd woman who has a crush on one of the students, is generally incompetent and serves no real purpose in the movie.

11. At the end of the movie, something ‘drops’ out of a book that Sam’s father gave her. His original will. This just conveniently happens after she snags herself a boyfriend. Apparently Chad Michael Murray is the key to finally being able to claim your inheritance, who knew? It seems odd that she’d have that book for years and never drop it, but that’s just me seeing things through my clumsy lense.

All of that being said, the movie is still entertaining and I feel like it aged well. It deserves way more than 11%! I’d give it 50 at least. I mean, the epic kiss at the close of the movie ENDED THE DROUGHT! You’ve got to give them props for that. True love conquers all. Even the weather.

Verdict: 5/10

Bad Moviethon #8-9: R.I.P.D. (2013)/Space Jam (1997)


(POTENTIALLY)
BAD MOVIE MARATHON #8-9

…in which I examine if bad movies really deserve their woeful rotten tomatoes score

R.I.P.D. | 2013 | IMDB

Veteran lawman Roy Pulsifer (Jeff Bridges) works for the R.I.P.D., a legendary police force charged with finding monstrous spirits who are disguised as ordinary people but are trying to avoid their final judgment by hiding out among the living. When Roy and his new partner, Nick Walker (Ryan Reynolds), uncover a plot that could end all life, they must discover a way to restore the cosmic balance or else watch the tunnel to the afterlife start sending angry souls back to the world of the living.

Rotten Tomatoes: 13%

Review excerpt: So generic a cut-and-paste job is the film’s every aesthetic cue, it’s surprising to even find a director’s name surface in the closing credits.

FINALLY. This was supposed to be #2!

Verdict: I had to quit after half an hour because whatever Jeff Bridges was doing gave me a headache and it was just boring. 

Also, why can’t Kevin Bacon ever play a good guy? The Following does not count.
Anyway, the writing was on the wall when the opening scene was some nonsense about an orange tree and Ryan Reynolds frolicking in bed with his girl. That’s nice and all but not really the best way to entice the viewer.

Next, we hear about how Ryan Reynolds can’t keep the gold that he and his partner (Kevin Bacon) found. So, not only have they not turned this gold in, they’re contemplating keeping it? And Ryan Reynolds sees no issue with telling said – and now potentially corrupt – partner that they have to turn the gold in. Not only that, he then goes back on the road with him and surprise surprise – his partner kills him.

From there the movie takes a drastic turn. Ryan Reynolds becomes an RIPD rookie, T-Bone from Prison Break shows up. From whatever the fuck Jeff Bridges was doing (is that how he sounds or was this accent put on for this movie? You know what, I don’t even want to know) to the fact that they appear as a busty blonde woman and an old Chinese man back on Earth – I quickly realised that this movie is deserving of it’s status as a bad movie.

I think I sat through more of the horrible Point Break remake which is saying something.

Moving on….

Yo, this movie is either the worst film ever or the best worst film ever but I enjoyed it.
Anyway, let’s get the formalities out of the way first.

Space Jam | 1997 | IMDB

Swackhammer (Danny DeVito), an evil alien theme park owner, needs a new attraction at Moron Mountain. When his gang, the Nerdlucks, heads to Earth to kidnap Bugs Bunny (Billy West) and the Looney Tunes, Bugs challenges them to a basketball game to determine their fate. The aliens agree, but they steal the powers of NBA basketball players, including Larry Bird (Larry Bird) and Charles Barkley (Charles Barkley) — so Bugs gets some help from superstar Michael Jordan (Michael Jordan).

Review excerptVisually, it’s a mess: the attempts to blend 2- and 3-D animation with live-action and computer-generated images produce scenes that are fuzzier than the storyline.

Rotten Tomatoes %: 37

~

This movie doesn’t make much sense from the offset. In fact, it’s a little slow to begin. We see a young Michael Jordan say that he wants to win championships and baseball. We see him flying and various clips of his career, we see his retirement announcement and the beginning of his baseball career and then suddenly…

We are transferred into the alien theme park, wherein, the boss wants the Looney Tunes to be his latest attraction. He sends these tiny aliens to capture the Looney Tunes. After LOLing at them, the tiny aliens show that they actually have some serious juice… Just not enough to go up against the Looney Tunes in a basketball match. So the aliens steal the talent of some top basketball players. And the Looney Tunes steal Michael Jordan.

There is lots of breaking the fourth wall in this. In one memorable scene, Daffy and Bugs gripe about how they don’t see any money from the Looney Tunes lunch boxes or merch, which means that they need to get better agents. LOL.

Oh and the acting… well….good thing that MJ decided that Hollywood wasn’t for him. His lines were delivered with about as much gusto as my first words of any given day before I’ve had coffee. Stiff and awkward. Everyone else is just as bad.

All in all this movie is like a bad acid trip, but the final basketball match is quite funny. My favourite part is when Bugs Bunny tricks the rest of the  Looney Tunes into taking ‘secret stuff’ to help them improve on court, but it’s only water.

It was funny because I didn’t realise it was water until a harried Michael Jordan was informing a clueless Daffy Duck. 😂 In my defence, I was half asleep… lol.

The Looney Tunes manage to win the game, but only with the help of  some HILARIOUSLY bad special effects and Bill Murray.
Verdict: 8/10

Yeah, you read that right. It should have a 50% RT score at least!

snarkview: Hit The Floor, seasons 1-3 (VH1), part two


This is longer than intended so I need at least one person to read all of it. You’ll get a prize!

The series follows Ahsha Hayes (Taylour Paige), the talented yet naive daughter of single mom Sloane Hayes (Kimberly Elise). She joins the NBA cheerleading/dance team called the Los Angeles Devil Girls. She quickly discovers that her mother lied and kept secrets involving life as a Devil Girl herself. Unsure whom to trust, Ahsha must navigate her own way through the dangerous and temptation-filled world of pro basketball. Derek Roman (McKinley Freeman) tries to lure Ahsha away from her boyfriend, German Vega (Jonathan McDaniel). The more she resists his advances, the more persistent [and tempting] he becomes as German’s insecurity overwhelms him. Ahsha’s teammate, Kyle Hart (Katherine Bailess), tries to bring him to his senses and reveals her own agenda as she explains how the world works and how she’s making that world work for her. Ahsha’s father, Pete Davenport (Dean Cain), knows firsthand how difficult that life can be as a former all-star player for the Devils. He becomes the new head coach and discovers that his past is even more complicated than he thought. Players and dancers are forbidden to date, which only makes breaking the rules more tempting as history seems to repeat itself. Devil Girls’ team captain, Jelena Howard (Logan Browning) is dating player Terrence Wall (Robert Christopher Riley) flouting the rules as the classic “mean girl” trying to keep Ahsha off balance because she sees her as a threat

Oh, where do I start! I’ve been joking that I could just post this with a blank page and it would make no difference but that’s mean and incorrect. This show has an abundance of plot. It’s just that most of it was… well, let’s get into it.

First of all, this is one of those shows where I’m instantly hardwired to dislike the main character. The actress is fine (for VH1, lol) but the character is just, well talented but naive is an understatement. She’s just stupid and annoying.

I love you, stupid

Season 3 sees Raquel now married to Kyle for green card purposes (this is after Kyle spends all of season two ripping people off so she can get her divorce papers from some loan shark, but okay).

Oscar is in jail due to Sloane handing in a recording that incriminates him in a murder case.

Lionel is running the team but… Jelena and Terrence are trying to buy it from her. Or the League are forcing a sale. I have no fucking clue.

Anyway, also, Zero and Jude get back together, go public and they’re very cute, but oddly (haha, well, sort of) disconnected from all of the other characters bar Lionel and Jelena. It was like having a show within a show. On one hand, it’s good because they seem to be the only characters living on Earth and having normal interactions, on the other, it mean that they had little screen time. Ruuuuude

(more…)

snarkview: Hit The Floor, seasons 1-3 (VH1), part one


This is longer than intended so I need at least one person to read all of it. Part one and two. LOL.

The series follows Ahsha Hayes (Taylour Paige), the talented yet naive daughter of single mom Sloane Hayes (Kimberly Elise). She joins the NBA cheerleading/dance team called the Los Angeles Devil Girls. She quickly discovers that her mother lied and kept secrets involving life as a Devil Girl herself. Unsure whom to trust, Ahsha must navigate her own way through the dangerous and temptation-filled world of pro basketball. Derek Roman (McKinley Freeman) tries to lure Ahsha away from her boyfriend, German Vega (Jonathan McDaniel). The more she resists his advances, the more persistent [and tempting] he becomes as German’s insecurity overwhelms him. Ahsha’s teammate, Kyle Hart (Katherine Bailess), tries to bring him to his senses and reveals her own agenda as she explains how the world works and how she’s making that world work for her. Ahsha’s father, Pete Davenport (Dean Cain), knows firsthand how difficult that life can be as a former all-star player for the Devils. He becomes the new head coach and discovers that his past is even more complicated than he thought. Players and dancers are forbidden to date, which only makes breaking the rules more tempting as history seems to repeat itself. Devil Girls’ team captain, Jelena Howard (Logan Browning) is dating player Terrence Wall (Robert Christopher Riley) flouting the rules as the classic “mean girl” trying to keep Ahsha off balance because she sees her as a threat

Oh, where do I start! I’ve been joking that I could just post this with a blank page and it would make no difference but that’s mean and incorrect. This show has an abundance of plot. It’s just that most of it was… well, let’s get into it.

First of all, this is one of those shows where I’m instantly hardwired to dislike the main character. The actress is fine (for VH1, lol) but the character is just, well talented but naive is an understatement. She’s just stupid and annoying.

(more…)

Bad Moviethon #7 – The Perfect Guy


(POTENTIALLY)
BAD MOVIE MARATHON #7

…in which I examine if bad movies really deserve their woeful rotten tomatoes score

The Perfect Guy | 2015 | IMDB

Plot:

With a fulfilling career and a loving relationship, lobbyist Leah Vaughn (Sanaa Lathan) seems to have it all. Things come crashing down when Dave, her long-term boyfriend, questions her future plans for marriage and a family. The resulting breakup leaves Leah heartbroken, until she meets the charming and handsome Carter Duncan (Michael Ealy). Soon, the budding romance turns dangerous as Carter reveals his volatile nature, forcing Leah to turn the tables on the man she thought was Mr. Right.

Rotten Tomatoes score: 19%

Review excerpt:

The unsure tone screams that this is a director embarrassed by the film he’s making.

First of all, Michael Ealy.

Secondly, Sanaa Lathan’s hair and wardrobe were on point.

The movie begins with Leah being all domestic with her boyfriend before she breaks up with him because he’s not ready to propose. Sometime soon, she bumps into some guy callee Carter at a coffee shop. Well. More like she turned around and he was grinning at her creepily. It was like he was paid by smile and crazy eyes because there was a lot of that in the opening half an hour. Although, Michael Ealy’s smile and crazy eyes would probably work on me too. Anyway, there’s so iced coffee related flirting stuff (I think that’s what it was supposed to be).

Anyway, after that, Carter saves her from some douche at a bar. They have dinner and things progress. They go dancing and they end up hooking up in the bathroom (recipe for disaster and also unsanitary) and they begin dating. Carter charms her parents, her friends, her cat. Everybody in nearby distance.

At one point I’m sure that someone dreamily says that he seems too good to be true. 

(more…)

The Game (The CW/BET)


Recently, I sat down and watched all nine seasons of this show (and now I’m offloading this post. Feel free to ignore it, it’s mostly for my own benefit, lol). 

The first thing I thought was:

Ah, back when there were black people on The CW!

It’s true, though. The CW literally whitewashed itself. 

Anyway, onto the plot:

While their men try to hone their gridiron talents on the field, the wives and girlfriends of pro football players sharpen their own skills behind the scenes when it comes to the power plays they have to use to get their guys the best agents, the best endorsements, the best merchandising deals — even the “in” charity. And then there’s the groupies around every corner, and the oh-so-helpful “image consultants” ready and eager to perform a makeover for any player in trouble

The show is more or less what the summary says with the addition of a whole host of stereotypes. However, the first three seasons were relatively funny. I think my favourite thing was Rick Fox playing himself. The main issue I had was with Melanie, the show’s main character for the first five seasons. She moves to San Diego over going to medical school at John Hopkins and doesn’t hesitate to let anyone else know (earning the name ‘Med School’). She’s dating Derwin Davis, the church-going, innocent rookie that’s just joined the fictional San Diego Sabers. She’s rude, judgemental and extremely annoying. Why is there always a lack of reasonable, relatable female characters on TV? They’re either a hot mess or overachievers. And annoying

I need a sort of lukewarm mess that has a unique outlook on life that I can relate to. Is that so hard?

Well, then again, maybe I should stop relating to fictional characters? That might be a plan. 

After some back and forth, Derwin ends up cheating on her with Drew Sidora and everything spirals from there. They break up and get back together. They break up and get back together. They get engaged and break that too. Rinse. Repeat. I’m sure the fans loved them but I was over it after the second season. Skip along to the third season and Derwin’s ex-girlfriend is pregnant. It only got worse from there. 

(more…)

Bad Moviethon #6 – Takers


Takers | 2010 | IMDB

The force was with Hayden Christensen’s hat

Synopsis: Gordon Jennings (Idris Elba) and his friends enjoy a luxurious lifestyle funded by bank robberies, and they avoid capture by sticking to a strict set of rules. As they celebrate the latest job, a former associate arrives with a daring plan to rob an armored car. The lure of so much cash is too tempting to resist but, unbeknown to Gordon’s men, this heist puts them on a collision course with Russian mobsters and a detective (Matt Dillon) who will do anything to capture them
Rotten tomatoes score: 28%

Review excerpts:

It seems the writers thought the essentials of a heist film were a half-baked heist sequence and lots of gunfire. They seem to forget that if there’s not a good story and characters in place to carry those extra elements, none of them will matter.

Laughable subplots about Elba’s addicted sister (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) and Dillon’s crooked partner (Jay Hernandez) only slow the action, which is all this movie has going for it.

~

This movie. This damn movie. The cast was good. Michael Ealy. Idris Elba. Hayden Christensen. Paul Walker (RIP). T.I. (okay so maybe good is an exaggeration, but still, most of them are decent actors). Chris Brown was also in this…Eh, well. Beggars can’t be choosers. He’s also down as executive producer. Welp.

Anyway, cast aside, the movie opens with the gang all happy as Larry. They’ve just pulled of a heist, woo!! Money, money, money. Conveniently, T.I. has just been released from jail. He was shot and caught during an older heist and he didn’t rat on them but he’s CLEARLY HOLDING A GRUDGE.

So what do these morons do? They listen to a tip he supposedly got from some Russians in jail. I mean, they’re suspicious but not the kind of suspicious warranted in a situation like this. It’s more ‘why is this seat warm?’ suspicious than ‘where’s my purse?’ suspicious. Goodness.

Anyway, subplots include

  • Idris Elba and his addict sister (Why? So we know why he needs the money? Who cares?)
  • T.I.’s character’s ex-girlfriend is now with one of the other members. She winds up dead.
  • There’s a cop who has his eye on them. He’s also a shitty Dad to his kid. Oh and his partner is corrupt.
  • Chris Brown’s character goes crazy (okay, technically he was running away from the police) and kills said corrupt cop

Anyway, the movie did have an impressive stunt where they steal the money. Let me see how Wikipedia describes it because apparently I was so wowed by the stunt that I don’t remember it.

…it is discovered that two trucks will travel together but that all the money is kept in the lead truck, which holds $12 million.

…Okay.

The crew, dressed as construction workers, hide out underground while Ghost poses as a police officer so he can keep an eye out for the trucks.

Sounds doable.

Meanwhile, in order to cover themselves in case Ghost is setting them up, John heads to the top of a nearby garage to take out Ghost with a sniper rifle in case things go sour.

Oh, really, you know what the best cover would have been? NOT LISTENING TO HIM AT ALL.

 The blast, having been perfectly timed to the time the trucks had turned the last corner, occurs too far forward because the lead driver had stopped short to avoid the bicyclist, and the ruse is up. The lead driver radios the police while armed guards pile out of the rear truck.

This was probably the most exciting scene of the movie. Mostly because it was so stupid.

It is now revealed that Ghost had previously cut a deal with the Russian gangsters to kill his former crewmates in exchange for half of the heist’s take. Ghost gives the Russians the hotel room number, then escapes out the bathroom window, just before the Russians storm the room and attempt to kill the crew.

Yes, he sold them out to the Russians and what ensues is the most ridiculous gunfight ever. The director wasn’t even going for realistic or even video game realism, it was just bad. 

Jake and Jesse return home where, to their horror, Jake finds Lilly’s lifeless body and Jesse finds the safe where they kept their secret stash of money opened and cleaned out. The police surround their home and shoot the two when they make a suicide charge outside.

Remember how I said Chris Brown’s character goes crazy and kills a cop? Yeah, that ends up in them running outside guns blazing while surrounded by the police. It’s the kind of thing that normally isn’t funny, but it was so ridiculous that you just had to laugh.

And after that there’s another gunfight at the airport because Ghost/T.I. is such a master conman that he wants to steal ALL of the group’s money. So he kills their fence (who just had the money in two large suitcases, seriously, what kind of fence is he?) but not before Idris Elba shows up and starts another unnecessarily drawn out battle, along with the cop who shows up because we needed an extra layer of drama. Somehow, Ghost dies, the cop gets shot, Idris gets shot and Paul Walker gets to save the day.

Everyone (besides those who died, which is….At least 80% of the characters) then lives happily ever after.

Rating: 5/10. It was bad but entertaining, so. Half marks from me! Yay!

I really want to watch Space Jam next but every time I say a specific movie it’s never watched. So, #7 is anybody’s guess.

10 Observations About ‘Being Mary Jane’ Season 4A


Does anyone else watch this show? Nope? Just me? Well, I enjoy talking to myself anyway, so here we go!

Spoiler Alerts ahead. 

1. We’ve come along way from Turkey Baster times.

2. Michael Ealy. Once I heard he was on the show, I was all over this season like a Beyhive member in a Twitter fight.

Allllllllll over it

3. This season is much, much better now that we’re out of Atlanta? Is it just me? It’s a shame that we don’t see her family as much but the change of scenery is good. I don’t miss all of the post it notes. Definitely not.

4. Lee Truitt, Mj’s boyfriend. Oh, gosh, where do I start. He’s British-Nigerian (tick), he’s got two kids (tick), he’s divorced (tick), he has an unconventional job (comedian, tick), his ex-wife is a lesbian (tick), he’s from Primrose Hill (tick). Said ex-wife wanted him to be her sperm donor (tick).

I suppose I should be like YAY, someone I can relate to but…. Primrose Hill.

That accent.

Nope.

I’m mostly kidding.

5. Not here for PJ’s ‘my older, mature, white mentor is in love with me and gave me a Rolex/her daughter is brat’ storyline. Or the Rhonda vs Mary Jane storyline. The actress who plays Ronda is so dramatically over the top that I can’t take her seriously. Although, I can barely take Gabrielle Union seriously, so….

6. Detective Luke from Sleepy Hollow is on this season! (Again, I need to catch up on Sleepy Hollow). Anyway, his scenes with Kara in episode 4 were EXCRUCIATINGLY BAD. I’ve never before felt compelled to move my screen out of view, but that’s what I did.

7. Niecy’s character progression was nice. They didn’t have to make her lose all of the money, though. Can’t a girl keep her coins?

8. Garrett is Tyler from Revenge. Remember that show? Started off great, became a snoozefest after five episodes.

9. They’re going to put Mary-Jane and Justin together aren’t they? All those ticks for Lee were TV red flags. Just saying. Also, that kiss. I was just like no no no nooooo well, I don’t blame her. ETA: THEY WENT THERE. On the morning show desk no less. Painful viewing. Literally. They were in a room full of cameras. A room where anyone could have seen them. Einstein’s got nothing on them.

10. Is it bad that I don’t like Kara? She irks me. She’s irksome. (Spot The Mentalist reference!). It sucks that she lost her job, though.

Anyway, I think there’s a second half of this season so I will be back with a proper review later. Maybe.

Bad Moviethon #4: The Perfect Match


(POTENTIALLY)

BAD MOVIE MARATHON #4

…in which I examine if bad movies really deserve their woeful rotten tomatoes score

[Previous movie]

The Perfect Match | 2016 | imdb

Summary: A playboy named Charlie, convinced that all his relationships are dead, meets the beautiful and mysterious Eva. Agreeing to a casual affair, Charlie then wants a bit more from their relationship. (more…)

How To Plot Twist Your Way Into WTFVille (as told by Secrets and Lies Season 2).


s-v

Let’s start with the nice stuff first.

1. Black cast!!! BLACK CAST!

This was awesome to see even though they were surrounded by a sea of whiteness.

2. Michael Ealy.

I love his face. I love his acting. That is all.

3. Eric Winter.

Yes. Yes. Herbal Essences Yes. He looked gooood. That’s all that that came to mind when he popped up because his character was a jerk.

4. Mekia Cox

Every time she’s on TV I know her character will be up to some crazy shit.

5. Peter Mills!!

Need I say anymore? 

6. Edwin Hodge

Small role but he’s adorable so whatever.

7. He will always be John Locke to me


Now onto the snark…

Secrets and Lies Season 2: How To Plot Twist Your Way Into WTFVille

1. Start with decent plot.

Newly married to the beautiful Kate and set to inherit leadership of his family’s profitable Charlotte, N.C., equity firm, well-educated and hard-working Eric Warner seems to have it all. Everything changes in an instant when, while attending a party to celebrate his father, John Warner, officially passing the reins of the business over to him, someone murders his wife. Enter brilliant and unflappable homicide detective Andrea Cornell, as she leaves no stone unturned in her quest to uncover what happened and bring justice to the victim.

2. Depress us less than they did during season 1

Kate is made out to be this perfect, pretty woman who lied constantly – but for a good reasons. In fact, she was so perfect and understanding that I was wondering just who would want to kill her. I think the writers also struggled with that question. Anyway, given that this season was about shiny, rich people and set in a sort of glamorous big corp environment it was mich more entertaining that the suburban feel of season 1. The experienced cast also helped here.

3. Make it predictable 

Predictable isn’t always a bad thing. Kate was perfect apart from the fact that she had a secret child. She had a secret iPad. She had a secret mother who wasn’t dead like she said she was. Everything they revealed about her was no surprise. Coupled with the bright whimsical flashbacks of her being the perfect wife, girlfriend and friend – she was sort of boring. The most interesting scene she had was falling off the roof of a building.

The usual suspects were the tight-knit family members. Eric, the dreamy husband. Neil, his philandering best friend. Patrick, Eric’s drunken younger brother. Liam, the fraudulent assistant. John Locke, the conniving father in law. And so forth. 

4. Add a whole bunch of random subplots 


Halfway through the season, the writers decided to give us some insight into the main character’s life. The question was did the audience suddenly want a diversion away from the main story? One minute we’re wondering who killed Kate and the next…we’re watching as Cornell’s alcoholic daughter relapses and also suddenly expected to care that her partner was shot at some kind of police house visit. It was kind of random. 

Also falling into the random column was the case of Danny, a cop introduced to the story to reinforce their Saint Kate theme. His daugher ran away from home shortly before his partner killed himself but not before leaving a note confessing to abusing Danny’s runaway daughter. Somehow he manages to find a picture of his daughter at the party Kate was at. He confronts Kate and she texts him on the night she dies when she sees his daughter at Eric’s party. 

Okay, that’s fine and all but…the link was so tenuous that I couldn’t understand why Danny was in every episode. Until he ended up being Danny Ex Machina. 

5. Build on the random subplots by adding even more ridiculous subplots. 

  • First, we find out that Patrick (drunken baby bro) has committed major fraud
  • Said fraud leads to him and his wife opening a whore house
  • VICE just happen to be monitoring said house
  • John Locke is a bigamist with a secret son that tried to blackmail his first son with wife #2
  • His first wife has cancer which is why he disappeared for half of the season
  • John Locke loses everything because he conveniently used wife #2’s money to build his company and he was never legally married to her.
  • Eric is the reason why his mother is in a coma – he pushed her downstairs. 
  • …but only because she was an alcoholic and somehow Patrick doesn’t remember this until he does (this wasn’t ridiculous but it was surrounded by ridiculousness)
  • Somewhere between that they manage to suspect that Kate’s son’s adopted mother killed her and we see the son and stepfather
  • Neil slept with Eric’s sister Amanda whose marriage broke down because she can’t have children — although this ended up counting in the end.
  • Danny’s daughter is found at another whore house and he gets a happy ending? Whee, I guess. 

6. Make the killer obvious but leave us in the dark regarding the motive

After the first episode, my money was on Amanda because they showed her sweating and popping pills. However she seemed genuinely distraught so I was thinking hmm, the reason must be something shocking like Kate having an affair! 

That was before the whole Saint Kate nonsense so by the end I had a bad feeling. We learn more about Amanda’s fertility than we do about her. She’s also a lawyer, so all of her animosity towards the police is to be expected. However the writers made it sort of obvious that it was her by:

  • Having her leave a cigarette butt right in front of the detective who is investigating her family for murder
  • Having her freely admit to dry cleaning the clothes she wore on the day of the murder – this was a lie but that any lawyer would claim to tamper with evidence is suspicious. 

And fair enough. It had to be somebody. However, in what has to be the most ridiculous twist, the police arrest Eric for Kate’s murder. And this is after a lot of talk in the crime lab about it “being the wrong jacket” and there being “skin cells from China” on the jacket. They then manage to match the blood at the crime scene to a mystery person but I was just thinking — we already know that a specific character gave you clean clothes! 

Anyway, so all of that nonsense aside, they essentially use some weird psychology to get Eric to remember who wasn’t at the party in the moment when Kate disappeared. We then see a flashback of everyone but Amanda. After some denials, she basically admits that she did it. 

The reason? Because Kate was pregnant. Yes, the heavily medicated infertile woman pushed another woman off a roof because she was jealous. 


And the ridiculousness doesn’t even end there because it turns out that Amanda isn’t infertile. She’s actually pregnant! 

I literally said to myself, “Fucking, really? Da fuck is this shit?”
It was just so stupid.

In the end she agrees to plead guilty but only if Eric agrees to look after her child. Neil has three ex-wives and a tendency to bail on people as evidenced by his no-show when he is meant to visit Amanda in prison. Eric walks out on her so we never know if he agrees to look after the kid. 

The show ends with Eric calling Kate’s son because, well. They wanted to end on a happy note after all of the fuckery.

Wait

The show decides to end with more fuckery. Cornell arrives home to find her daughter drunk/drugged up amd her gun missing. There’s a noise and then a gunshot rings out. 


Verdict: 7/10. Despite the silliness, I enjoyed it and it’s only ten episodes so I recommend it. Sort of.