TV

snarkview: ‘paternity court’ and ‘hot bench’


Quick note: To anyone that I owe a reply to – I am the world’s slowest replier to comments but I always get around to them eventually 🙂

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After a year long hiatus from reality TV, I have returned to it because I’m watching an actual TV for the first time in a long time. Mostly it’s been cooking shows, but I have stumbled upon the court based reality shows. Obviously Judge Judy is one but meh. I love her eye roll but not how she rolls (if you know what I mean).

I decided to do a post about them because technically this blog is about me watching bad television. Let’s call this my on-topic post of the month 😀

Anyway, first up we have… (more…)

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.

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Alternative New Year Resolutions


January is always accompanied by a bunch of new years resolutions that nobody keeps up with. Gym CEOs sit behind large desks and rub their hands with glee because ‘lose weight‘ is usually number one on the list. And fair enough, that’s a reasonable resolution. Or y’know, a personal goal people probably had before January 1st. Let’s be honest, a lot of resolutions are things that people should and probably will be doing anyway. And in light of 2016, nobody who wanted to be a better person last year was truly successful.
So here’s my alternative list of suggestions for people.

**Be Less Of An Asshole**

This one goes out to the deplorables, liberals, brexiteers, remainers, bigots, racist, general assholes. Just try to turn it down a notch and *listen* to other people. Even if you don’t like what they’re saying, acting like a bunch of school girls won’t help anybody. Being a bully doesn’t help anybody. (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.

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This is the only Days Of Our Lives storyline that I will ever remember.


The possession story line will always be hilariously delightful.

Marlena goes to Louisiana in search of John but is captured by a criminal mastermind, Stefano DiMera. He forces her to call her husband, Roman Brady, and tell him that she is with John Black. This is the final end to Roman and Marlena’s marriage. John and Marlena escape, but Stefano also returns to Salem. He begins giving Marlena mind-altering drugs. Marlena completely switches personalities, and it is soon revealed that she has been possessed by the devil. John Black, who was a priest at the time, is forced to perform an emergency exorcism

I kind of wish that I had the patience to find the episodes and watch the full storyline but until then, YouTube clips will have to suffice. 😀

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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…)

‘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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UnREAL (Lifetime)


 

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Unsurprisingly, the first I heard of UnReal was when I saw that it was on Amazon. With ten episodes in its first season, I figured that it would be the perfect antidote to my Sons of Anarchy marathon, which was a nightmare in itself.

This show, though. I feel like everyone likes it because everyone else likes it. I’d watched 4/5 episodes before I saw any reviews and my reaction was, ‘whaa’. It has a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critics have spoken!

It started off well but then I realised it was just another show about terrible people doing terrible things, and oh look, something sad happens and…they go back to being terrible. The aspect that intrigues people is probably the whole Bachelor (which I’ve never watched) scenario. However, the show mainly focuses on the nasty shit the producers do and acts like some kind of expose. The showrunner apparently worked on The Bachelor, so I guess she’s in her element here. However, is it really an expose when anyone with some common sense knew exactly how much the producers manipulated things? It’s not rocket science.

Either way, I’ll probably continue to watch the show because of Michael Rady. I’m weak. I’ve also seen some interesting commentary on the second season, so…watch this space.