Hits & Misses Part 2
Earlier this week, I posted on a few of the TV hits so far this season. There’s a lot of great TV – a lot of talent. There are also those relatively newer series that might have been impressive in their first season, but somehow, just haven’t kept up the momentum. And then there are those that just missed. Plain and simple – they didn’t deliver.
The Haves and Have Nots
The incredible talents of Tyler Perry came through the moment the first episode of The Haves and Have Nots hit the airways. The fact is, the cast is one of the most talented – if not the most talented – you’ll find in TV today. Crystal R. Fox is brilliant as Hanna Young, the hardworking and faithful woman who has a son she adores and a daughter she can’t stand. I think one of the most powerful moments in the series so far is the delivery of her grief and the way she expresses it in the hospital chapel. This comes after her son’s mowed down by a speeding car with a driver under the influence of drugs. The entire second season has been focused on that storyline. It’s strong enough to do that, too. Renee Lawless fills her role like nobody’s business.
The only trouble with this series is the excruciatingly manner in which the characters’ conversations can sometimes become dull. There are so many pauses and one-word conversations between the characters. They just…stall, somehow. I wish I’d saved an episode on the DVR for a specific example, but consider a 2 minute conversation between 2 characters with something like this:
These actors deserve better – far better. Why those dull conversations make their way into nearly every episode is beyond me. Despite that, more than a few of those actors deserve a bit of Emmy love. If there’s any justice in the world, they’ll get it (then again, Sons of Anarchy still hasn’t received its just rewards either). Hopefully, when the series returns in May, the viewers will notice fewer of those shallow time-passers.
Note: Not sure if it’s a new season or just a split season, but new episodes are slated for May.
Whether you “have it or have not” it – follow on Twitter: @tylerperry @only1CrystalFox @MsReneeLawless
I loved this show in its first season. Its second season showed weaknesses and now that we’re a few seasons in, it’s time for it to go away. It’s become unbelievable, silly and frankly, it’s become exhausting trying to keep up with who’s sleeping with whom. All of the random characters that come and go – it’s just annoying. We watch TV, knowing deep down that it’s not serving a purpose, but also knowing it’s an escape. When you find yourself Googling the past plot line because it’s become so disjointed, it’s time to call it a day. Between the “milked to death” infinity symbols, the breathy whispers of, “I’m gonna kill ‘em all” and the inability to keep up with who fathered which child, this is one show that’s not on my DVR as of this past week. Seriously – we know that Victoria’s (Madeline Stowe) three children have three different fathers, with one of those kids suddenly re-emerging and worked into an already overloaded story line. We know that the now-dead Amanda/Emily (Margarita Levieva) married Jack Porter (Nick Wechsler) and he’s now a widower raising a baby that’s not his. As of last week, we learn Jack’s real mother is Conrad’s (Henry Czerny) ex-wife. And seriously – how many murders can one series have?
Time to retire this one, ABC.
Revenge: Sundays 9 pm CT
I very much wanted A&E’s take on Psycho to maintain a bit of the original storyline, which, understandably, would be challenging for any writer to fill Hitchcock’s shoes. The first season was a homerun. It maintained some of the integrity of the original storyline, the acting was solid and the plot is suspenseful and intriguing. With its second season well on its way, it’s clear the writers have pulled off something many of their counterparts can’t seem to manage: a strong second season. I think part of the attraction is the dark house – which is remarkably similar to what we saw in the original film and the cheap hotel, complete with those inky black corners and clouds and shadows. It’s as though the motel sat empty ever since Anthony Perkins was sent to a psych ward, only to have our contemporary Norman Bates open the doors for the first time. The house and the motel are kitschy – when lends to a sense of authenticity. Not only that, but the peripheral plots aren’t overwhelming the heart of the story, which is both important and rare.
Vera Farmiga is one hell of a Norma Bates, partly because she’s able to keep her secrets of her true motives. It’s a great move on behalf of the writers because she’s certainly strong enough to shoulder what’s certainly a heavy burden – and she does it well. Set your DVR for this one – it’s here to stay.
Book your room at Bates Motel: @insidebates @aetv @verafarmiga
Bates Motel – Mondays 9 p.m. CT
Naked and Afraid
Discovery touts it as a “breakout series”. There is something so peculiar about this show – and I’m hooked. I’ve asked myself a million times if what happens is being accurately portrayed to viewers. Then, they aired the Louisiana swamps locale. If you’ve never been to southern Louisiana, with all of its swamps and dangerous critters, it’s hard to appreciate the potential for tragedy (and really, its beauty too). Last season, we saw two participants weather the brutal and unpredictable swamps – with hundreds of moccasins and gators and mosquitoes – it was brutal. After that, I didn’t really question the authenticity because it was obvious to me that it rings true.
A 90 minute season premiere – magical. We saw in the first half hour two brave souls that just couldn’t make it through. The last hour was dedicated to the two new people, who as it turns out, weren’t new at all. Two of the success stories from last season came in and owned the Amazon. Discovery has discovered gold.
Naked & Afraid – Sundays 8 p.m. CT
Discover the magic – @NakedandAfraid @LauraZerra @EJSnyder333 (these were the two returning survivalists who pulled off surviving the Amazon in Season 2 premiere)
This one’s going to be painful to write, but someone needs to say it: Olivia Pope needs to encourage the men in her life to keep their ponies in the barn. Seriously, she’s sleeping with, what? Two, three men? The worst part is she’s going back and forth between them. Pick one, for the love of God – just pick one. At this point, no one even cares if it’s the married president. I’m so confused with this show. It’s lost its appeal.
Who was possessed to rewrite Quinn’s character? She’s not enough of a bad girl to be a bad girl. The show’s saving grace? Mellie. The forever traumatized first lady who’s well aware of her husband’s love for Olivia Pope. I wish we could see one good wop upside the head, delivered by Mellie to Olivia. Don’t get me wrong – I’m a big fan of Kerry Washington, Tony Goldwyn and Guillermo Diaz, but here’s a tip: When the actors start whispering their lines (Revenge writers should also take note), the creativity’s gone. It’s time for Fitz and someone to kiss and make up, lose the election and go on about their merry way.
Scandal – Thursdays 9 p.m. CT
The Short Notes:
Hell’s Kitchen’s back – there’s something so…I don’t know…something about Gordon Ramsay. Pretty sure he gets me. Well, you know…if he knew me.
Crisis premiered this week, so far so good. And hey – am I the only one who thinks Gillian Anderson and Virginia Madsen could pass as sisters? Take a look –