review

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


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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.

How To Bore Your Audience (As Told By ABC’s “Secret & Lies US”*)


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*This post is based on season 1. Spoilers ahead!

Season 2 is shaping up to be just as silly but some of my favourite people are in it. DORIAN (Michael Ealy). O’LAUGHLIN (Eric Winter). PETER MILLS (Charlie Barnett). LEM (Kenny Johnson). Wait. Those are fictional characters. Anyway.

Ben Crawford is a self-employed contractor, married to Christy with whom he has two daughters, Natalie, 16, and Abby, 12. His best friend, Dave, lives in their summer house. They have a neighbor, Jess, who is estranged from her husband Scott, who is in the military. Jess and Scott have a five year old son named Tom.

While out for an early morning run, Ben discovers Tom’s body; he was evidently taken from his bed into the woods and killed by six blows to the head from a flashlight.

Detective Cornell is convinced Ben is the killer, Ben cannot prove his innocence because he suffered a blackout after going out drinking with Dave following a fight with Christy over her suspicion of an affair with Jess.

Here’s how to bore your audience.

1. Lull us into a false sense of Ryan Phillippe being attractive enough to keep us watching 

He’s not.

(more…)

How To Screw Up A TV Show (as told by ABC Family’s “Twisted”)


I’m about three years too late but this show was supposed to be easy viewing for me…but I ended up hate watching the last half of the season due to the foolishness.

Anyway, here’s how to screw up a show as per Twisted.


1.Have a decent plot

When charismatic Danny Desai returns to his hometown after spending five years in juvenile detention, he sees that things are no longer as he remembered them. His mother’s socialite status has plummeted due to his incarceration, and his childhood friends Jo and Lacey have grown apart and are at opposite ends of the social spectrum. Lacey is popular and dating the captain of the soccer team, while Jo struggles to put the trauma of the past behind her. Jo wants to give Danny a second chance, but when she asks for answers about the motive behind his crime, he won’t — or can’t — reveal the information. When a fellow student is found dead in her home, the town spins into a frenzy of suspicion and mystery — with Danny as prime suspect. Jo and Lacey must decide if their childhood friend is guilty or just a victim being persecuted for his twisted secrets.

(more…)

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Bad Movie Marathon #2: Scooby-Doo (2004)


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(POTENTIALLY)

BAD MOVIE MARATHON #2

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

[previous movie]


Scooby-Doo | 2002

Yup. You read that right, lol.

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Zoinks! Two years after a clash of egos forced Mystery Inc. to close its doors, Scooby-Doo and his clever crime-solving cohorts Fred (Freddie Prinze Jr.), Daphne (Sarah Michelle Gellar), Shaggy (Matthew Lillard) and Velma (Linda Cardellini) are individually summoned to Spooky Island to investigate a series of paranormal incidents at the ultra-hip Spring Break hot spot.

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Rotten Tomatoes rating: 30%

Review excerpt: The acting is stiff, the story lacks all trace of wit, the sets look like they were borrowed from Gilligan’s Island — and the CGI Scooby might well be the worst special-effects creation of the year. (more…)

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Thoughts on Blood Ties (TV | 2007)


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Plot: While trying to solve a complicated murder case, Toronto private investigator Vicki Nelson encounters dashing Henry Fitzroy, who looks to be in his 20s but claims to be a 450-year-old vampire. Vicki isn’t sure she buys Henry’s story, but since he seems to have insight into her case, she teams up with him. Their relationship becomes even more complex, however, when Vicki’s former police partner and ex-lover, Mike, takes an instant dislike to Henry.


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Ah. Blood Ties. I spent a week watching this show while getting some things done and it was a roller-coaster of emotions. A mixture of ‘man, this show is stupid‘ and laughing at the terrible special effects. And also at one of the character’s choice of bedroom attire. Red kimonos will never be sexy or even acceptable. Blue, maybe. But red? Nope. Goodbye. You don’t exist to me. They automatically remind me of cheesy dance moves, cheap cologne and stripper music. I tried to find a picture on Google but I’m assuming that someone up there is saving me from myself. (more…)

Film Reviews: ‘Edge Of Winter’, ‘Pacific Rim’ & ‘The Boy Next Door’


I don’t know why every movie I end up seeing is pants, but well. Apparently I am drawn to pants.
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‘Hand Of God’ (Amazon Original Series)


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Hand of God follows Pernell Harris (Ron Perlman ), a corrupt judge who suffers a breakdown and believes God is compelling him onto a path of vigilante justice.

This has to be one of the most unintentionally hilarious shows I’ve ever seen. And it really isn’t funny, but in its attempts at seriousness, it just fails on every level. The first scene literally shows this naked judge standing in a fountain, speaking in tongues. Fast forward a few scenes and we learn that that is all a reaction to his son shooting himself. And that before that, his son was forced to watch as some thug raped his wife.

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The judge comes across a young preacher and somehow leaves that interaction believing that he is Solomon. He starts to hear messages from his comatose son that supposedly lead him towards the rapist. He believes that God is using his son to help him find the culprit. Somehow, by the end of the first episode, he’s basically figured out that a cop is the rapist. He goes as far as having the cop strip down so that his son’s wife can identify his nether regions. Yes, that actually happened.
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Sons of Bromanarchy


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Sons of Anarchy ¦ FX

A man in his early 30s struggles to find a balance in his life between being a new dad and his involvement in a motorcycle club.

Well. This will go down as another show that didn’t live up to the hype. Not even during some of the earlier seasons. I can only hope that this show was just less idiotic when watched on a weekly basis. I’m not the best binge watcher, so it has taken me about 3 weeks to get through the first six seasons. Right now I’m on season 7. Imagine my shock when I saw that the first episode’s run time was 1 hr 15 minutes. Marilyn Manson showed up as a prisoner. And Courtney Love as a preschool teacher. Goodness. There has been a lot of fast forwarding to say the least. (more…)

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The People vs. O.J. Simpson


American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson 

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So, hands up if your parents still think that O.J. was set up?

Ironically enough, it’s probably likely that the prosecution and police tried to manoeuvre things. I think it is commonly known that they planted evidence and desperately tried to make certain things stick.

That being said, the biggest mistake they made was putting Mark Fuhrman on the stand. I’ve seen a lot of commenters complaining about the jury deliberating for four hours (let’s be honest, after spending nine months locked away in various hotels, can anyone blame them?) If I was a jury member, my mind would have been made up after Furhman pleads the fifth.

Hell, after the glove incident, my mind would have been made up. Not necessarily because I think O.J. is innocent but because all they needed to counteract that was basic science. The glove shrunk, it was covered blood, the material was stiff – basic science should have told them to keep the glove far, far away from evidence. Stevie Wonder could tell you that it wasn’t going to ‘fit’, posturing or no from O.J. And well, brother Johnnie ran with it and if it doesn’t fit, y’all gotta acquit.

Anyway, onto the TV show itself. It was good. Really, really good and not as theatrical as it could have been. The only person whose acting was unconvincing was Jordana Brewster, mostly because her face wasn’t moving when she was trying to emote.

I guess I will kinda review by character because the plot was a given so I can’t decimate it or anything.  (more…)

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Legend (2015)


I recall being sort of excited about Legend before but the novelty of Double Tom Hardy wore off around the time the movie came out. Probably because I remembered why I don’t really fangirl over any of these people anymore. There are a myriad of reasons why I never made an attempt to see it, but I won’t even go into it. Actors are actors and real people who suck as much as the rest of us. It would be really great if society didn’t pretend that wasn’t the case, but what can you do? All I can do personally is take everything and everyone at face value and judge them by what’s on the screen because the only thing ‘real’ about most actors is the fact that they’re acting.

Anyway, soapbox aside, I wasn’t very sold on the concept of this movie for several reasons. The first being that The Krays story has been told many, many times and it isn’t even an interesting story. They were gangsters. They did gangster stuff. One was a little bit ‘off his rocker’ and they both ended up in jail. And as I suspected, the writer did his best to ‘humanize’ at least one of them, to the point where it was almost kind of jarring when he went kind of crazy. Perhaps that was the point, but again, I was really just wondering what the story was here. (more…)