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TV REVIEW: Another Week Of TV (Edition 9)

DISCLAIMER: The following article contains spoilers from TV Shows and movies. So if you detest spoilers, then I suggest you leave while you can. If you don’t mind spoilers, feel free to enjoy, read on and lets ki-ki.

This will be my first entry of the New Year, so forgive the length. There’s a lot to cover.

REVIEW OF THE WEEK: How To Get Away With Murder – S02E10 (What Happened To You Annalise?)

Last time we interacted with our murderous little gang, Asher had killed the ADA and the others had ‘helped’ cover it up. They also legit framed Murder Sister. Also dead was Asher’s dad, who apparently committed suicide. Asher’s mum disowned him. And of course, Wes shot Annalise because he’s crazy, and he almost killed her had she not uttered the safe word “Christophe”.

We pick up where we left off, and Wes has just heard the safe word and decided against finishing Annalise off. Laurel collects the gun from him and asks, “What is wrong with you?” Seriously that’s a legitimate question that needs answering because it’s one of this show’s biggest mysteries. What is wrong with Wes Gibbins?

Michaela comes in and naturally thinks Laurel shot Annalise, because she sees the gun in her hand. And Laurel doesn’t disabuse her of the thought. Why didn’t she? You ask. Well, because she is awesome. Period!

Two weeks later (because this show cannot jejely stay in one timeline, they must jump forward or leap backward), Bonnie escorts Annalise home from the hospital, and she is cranky and bitchy to Bonnie, which means things are going to be normal in this episode, right? LOL. WRONG!

Annalise convinces Bonnie that she is good enough to take care of herself, and as soon as Bonnie leaves, she makes a beeline for the liquor cabinet, only to find that Bonnie don clear everything comot. Lol. Weep not though, because when there is no booze, there is Vicodin. And so she takes bucket loads of it.

Also here to mark attendance for being a cranky bitch? Wes of course! Laurel, being the queen of Awesome, tries to get him out of bed. She eventually succeeds, and brings him to the new Murder House hangout – Frank’s Apartment. So nice of Frank to put up these murderers. So nice.

Then cut to Annalise snoring, and then KNOCK-KNOCK! Annalise gets up, opens the door and – TADA! – it is a hysterical woman with a baby. She hands the baby to Annalise and she freaks out. At this point, I’ll admit, I was confused and beginning to get irritated.

Back at new murder house, Asher is getting paranoid about the fact the cops haven’t gotten back to him. Flashback to two weeks earlier and we see that that ‘statement’ Asher made on that murder night was actually about his theory of his father’s suicide being a MURDER!

And then, Annalise calls Bonnie over to the Keating house. Bonnie gets there to meet her all panicked, and passing the baby to Bonnie. And behold, it’s not a baby, but an empty blanket.

A hallucinating storyline – Really?! Color me disappointed.

Anyhow Annalise is obviously not okay in the head, and so she can’t testify against Murder Sister, and so the students draft a statement. We flashback and we see Laurel legit asking Annalise if Rebecca was actually dead, and true to form, she lies and says she only said so to rile Wes up. Nate also goes to see Annalise, they talk, it’s boring, we move on.

Then finally, some actual drama: it is Murder Sister’s day in court, and look who is there – Murder Brother. Dude is disgusted with Michaela and the rest of the Murder Children. He says to her, “You all belong in hell.” Seriously dude? Just because they are framing your sister? Where is your sense of humor? Dramatic much?

So they present the statement to the judge, who expectedly throws it out. Laurel, Queen Awesome that she is, tips Annalise off and – dun-dun-dun! – she shows up in court, high on Vicodin, in pain, but ready to give her test-ti-money! She gets on the stand and is obviously not okay and is still wonky in the head, she screws up her testimony, and just when you thought she was about to ruin everything, she breaks privilege by saying something Murder Sister told her, something that should be protected by attorney-client privilege. And as such her entire testimony is thrown out.DC MMS 2

Annalise meets with Murder Brother later on, suddenly seeming lucid and okay, which leads me to believe that the courtroom testimony act was just that – an act. She convinces Murder Brother that her testimony just saved his sister, leading him to convince his sister of Annalise’s plan, and for some reason, she goes along with it. And so, just as the judge is about to announce her decision, Murder Sister gets up and says she totally shot Annalise, but that it was Murder Cousin who drugged her? And I’m like, Wait, what the actual fuck is going on!

Murder Sister ends up getting a plea deal of up to 5 years, which I still don’t understand!!! Why would she take this deal! As far as we know, YOU ARE INNOCENT! HIAN!

Whatever, anyhoo, the Murder Gang celebrates their victory, and of course, Wes isn’t there, because he hasn’t been useful for two seasons. Where is he? You ask. Searching for files in the Keating House. Later sha, Annalise finds him passed out on a bed. Next, she sees a bottle of Mrs. Nate Magic Death Pills on the night stand and assumes Wes has killed himself (side note: that wouldn’t be the worst thing he can do). But alas, he is very much alive and demands Annalise tell him what she knows about his mother and the safe word ‘Christophe’. He yells, she freaks out and grabs something to defend herself against him. For a quick second, I thought it was the immunity trophy she was about to smack him with! LMAO. Then he backs away, with tears in his eyes, and asks her, “You think I wanna hurt you?” Is this nigga serious? You shot her TWO WEEKS AGO!

Flashback to 10 years ago, and I swear Annalise is wearing braids! Someone is obviously getting in FORMATION! She approaches a woman on a playground, the same woman that gifted her with the baby in her hallucination. The woman says her name is Rose and her son CHRISTOPHE is playing. And guess what, Annalise is preggars! Or is she?

Other Tidbits:

  1. Asher has been staying with Connor and Oliver. Poor Asher.
  2. I have to believe the Murder Siblings are guilty of something, because who the fuck is willing to go down for something you didn’t do just because Annalise told you to?
  3. Did Annalise hallucinate her conversation with Wes? because he just seemed to disappear after their brief altercation.
  4. Remember Frank’s hysterical display at the hospital? It was apparently just to get some of Annalise’s blood to plant on Murder Sister.
  5. How is it that Mrs. Nate’s death pills haven’t finished yet?

Rating: 3/10 – A rather stale and uninteresting episode. This isn’t what we’d expect after waiting ten weeks for the show to return. And using hallucination as a storytelling device was an odd choice, because it’s been overdone and is frankly lazy. I hope this is the last we see of this ghost baby storyline. HTGAWM is already a hyper, tense and difficult show to follow; there was no need for this storyline. I have always feared that at some point, the writers would write themselves into trouble, and with 5 episodes to go, there is way too much to tie up to be bogged down by this. I’m not panicking yet, as the return episode from last season’s break was also very slow, before things kicked back into high gear again. I hope this is the case here.

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TV NEWS ROUNDUP

1. FINAL SEASON (THE GOOD WIFE): So the Lord answered my prayers and CBS has decided to end The Good Wife after its current seventh season. It’s been a great show, and I hope they find a way to make a great and satisfying ending for the fans of the show.DC MMS 3

2. SCREAM QUEENS RENEWAL: Shocking stuff, this one. I had legit expected that the show was going to get cancelled due to the bad reviews and equally bad ratings. But it would seem Ryan Murphy is to Fox what Shonda Rhimes is to ABC and Dick Wolf to NBC; basically whatever they say goes! Emma Roberts, Keke Palmer, Jamie Lee Curtis, Lea Michele and Billie Lourd have been confirmed to return. Season 2 takes place in a hospital.

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PERFORMER OF THE WEEK: Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey (Grey’s Anatomy S12E09)

When I started watching this show, her character and the actress weren’t my favorites by a long stretch. It’s an ensemble show, so I have always seen performers who were better than her. That’s not to say the actress was bad, no, I’m just saying she had never really wowed me.

But for about the last four seasons now, Ellen Pompeo has been consistently delivering these performances that are Emmy-worthy. Perhaps it has something to do with her storylines or the actress’s growth over the seasons. Either way, I am here to mark attendance.ellen-pompeo-as-meredith-greyNow Season 12 has had something of a creative resurgence, but Grey’s Anatomy S12E09 was one of the best episodes of the entire series. Meredith Grey is attacked by a patient and has to spend most of the episode deaf, and since she is our POV character, half of the episode is spent in this silence that is simply chilling and haunting. She also has her jaw wired shut, and so for most of the episode, Pompeo had to act with just her facial expressions. No words, and that somehow made this story and episode even more powerful. Directed by Denzel Washington, this was one of the best performances I have seen this TV season, and I hope she gets some recognition for this because it was nothing short of brilliant.

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TV SHOW I THINK YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT: American Crime DC 2

Not to be confused with American Crime Story, American Crime is an anthology crime drama series; anthology in the sense that every new season presents new characters and different storylines. I had heard about the show throughout its first season, but I had way too much on my plate to check it out then. Then, after recently reading a tweet about how it was the best show on television, I just had to see what all the fuss was about. So I decided to check out the current season, of which 6 episodes had aired on ABC. And guys, this show truly is a gem. The second season deals with a high school boy who accuses another boy at a school party of rape and the fall-out all the characters on the show face.

The acting, the writing, the editing, the direction on the show is some of the best I have seen in a while. Very rarely do you watch a show and can’t find even one actor that is the weak link on the show. The show is slowly on its way to becoming my favorite drama (*side-eyes HTGAWM*).

Created, written and produced by John Ridley, and starring Felicity Huffman, Timothy Hutton, Regina King and Lili Taylor etc, the second season deals with homophobia, racism, social class differences and cyber bullying. I haven’t seen the first season (I hear its every bit as good as the second), but I suggest you guys check the second one out.

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AWARDS SEASON ROUNDUP

So the awards season has come and gone, except for the big one of course, the Academy Awards, which is just days away. Still a little commentary on the SAGs, Critics Choice and of course the Golden Globes is necessary.

Let’s start with the Critics Choice. There were a couple of surprises here, including Brie Larson winning for Room, and George Miller for Mad Max: Fury Road (I had expected Alejandro G. Inarritu of The Revenant to win). Leonardo DiCaprio won Best Actor for The Revenant, no surprise there. The biggest winner was Mad Max: Fury Road with 9 wins from 13 nominations.

The TV category was filled with surprises, with Mr Robot and Master of None picking up awards for Best Drama and Best Comedy respectively. Rachel Bloom (Crazy Ex Girlfriend) won the Best Actress Comedy, Rami Malek (Mr Robot) for Best Actor Drama, and Constance Zimmer (UnReal) for Best Supporting Actress Drama. Idris Elba (Luther) won for Best Actor in a Miniseries, and Margo Martindale (The Good Wife) won for Guest Actress in a Drama. The biggest winner here was Fargo with 4 wins from 8 nominations.

The SAGs made news for the diversity of its winners, with Idris Elba picking up two wins for Outstanding Supporting Actor for Beast of No Nation and Outstanding Actor in a Miniseries for Luther. Uzo Aduba (Orange Is The New Black) picked up two awards too, one for Outstanding Actress in Comedy and Outstanding Performance by an ensemble in a comedy (this one was shared with her costars). Viola Davis (How To Get Away With Murder) won Outstanding Actress in a Drama, Queen Latifah (Bessie) won Outstanding Actress in a Miniseries, and Downton Abbey won Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble (Drama).DC MMS 4

The Golden Globes has always been where Oscar/Emmy snubs and generally underrated and underappreciated performers usually get the chance to excel. It is also somewhat of a popularity contest. Else, how does one explain Matt Damon’s (The Martian) nomination and eventual win for Best Actor in a Comedy? The Martian itself won the Best Comedy over actual comedies like Spy and Trainwreck. The same goes with Jennifer Lawrence’s win for Best Actress in a Comedy for Joy. Now I luh me some J.Law, but her winning over Melissa McCarthy (Spy), Amy Schumer (Trainwreck) and even Maggie Smith (The Lady in the Van) is simply very dubious.

Taraji P. Henson (Empire) won for Best Actress in a Drama Series. Once again, I love Taraji, but nope, under no circumstances should she be winning over Viola Davis (HTGAWM), Eva Green (Penny Dreadful) and Caitriona Balfe (Outlander), especially based on her Season 2 performances. And then, of course Lady Gaga; yeah-yeah, the monsters all think she was everything in American Horror Story: Hotel as the countess. Well PS: she wasn’t! And the baffling thing is that she wasn’t even the best performer on her show; both Sara Paulson and Kathy Bates were way, way better. Yet she was nominated and won over Felicity Huffman (American Crime), Queen Latifah (Bessie) and Kristen Dunst (Fargo).

Hmmm!

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PREDICTIONS

The 88th Academy Awards will air on February 28th, and so, before then I thought I would predict the winners of the major categories.

Best PictureThe Revenant: I’d be surprised if this film doesn’t take home that prize. My heart wants movies like Brooklyn, Room or Mad Max: Fury Road to win, but I seriously doubt that’ll ever happen.

Best Director – Alejandro G. Inarritu (The Revenant): Didn’t the man win for Birdman, a movie I still do not get till this day? The Academy obviously loves him, so I figure another win for him here would be a safe choice. And we all know how the Academy likes to play it safe; I mean, look at the (White) Nominees.

Best Actor – Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant): This one is pretty much his to win. He’s won the award at all the other award shows, and after losing out so many other times at the Oscars, the stage is set for him to get his first Academy Award. Goodbye to all those memes though, it was fun while it lasted.

Best Actress – Cate Blanchett (Carol): Logic states that Brie Larson should win this one, since she’s won at the SAGs, Golden Globes and Critics Choice. But the Academy likes Cate Blanchett and it helps that she played the role of a lesbian in a year when they have been accused of a lack of diversity. Them voters will do anything to save face. PS: I really want Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn) to win; she was really good in this movie.

Best Supporting Actress – Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl): Alicia has had a really good year and she really could have been nominated for two films, Ex Machina and this one. She’s won at all the other shows, and so, she should win here. Thing is, she is a newbie, and you know who isn’t? Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs). I predict Alicia wins, but Kate is going to be hot on her trail.

Best Supporting Actor – Sylvester Stallone (Creed): He is the sentimental and emotional choice. It also helps that he was actually brilliant in this movie. Winning an Oscar for a role he has played all his career is such a good Hollywood story and I doubt the Academy can resist that. Hot on his trail is Tom Hardy (The Revenant).

Best Animated Feature FilmInside Out: Simple!

Best Original Song: I legit have no clue who would win this one. On one hand, the Academy likes a James Bond theme song, and so, Sam Smith’s Writing’s On The Wall seems like the top choice. But then, you have Lady Gaga and Diane Warren’s Til It Happens To You, and logic goes out the window and politics comes in. Then there is Earned It by The Weekend. Eyin music lovers, oya comman judge this one.

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DEADPOOL MOVIE REVIEWDC MMS 5

The first of the six comic book movies to grace the big screen this year arrived on the 12th of February. After being stuck in development for years, FOX finally greenlit this movie and gave it a measly budget of 58 million dollars (trust me, it’s small. Just compare it to the budget of any superhero movie released in the last decade). But that amount proved to be a blessing in disguise, as it gave the team behind this movie the creative freedom they needed to make a movie true to the source material and for the fans, without the studio interfering. In fact, it’s baffling when one looks at this movie and the recently released Fantastic 4, and you realise the same studio was behind both movies.

Deadpool is a superhero movie based on the comic character of the same name. It takes place in the same cinematic universe as the recent Xmen and Wolverine films, and it stars Ryan Reynolds as the title character, Wade Wilson. It also stars Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T.J. Miller, Gina Carano, Brianna Hildebrand, Stefan Kapičić, and Leslie Uggams, and was directed by Tim Miller, produced by Simon Kinberg, Ryan Reynolds and Lauren Shuler Donner, and written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.

Deadpool is a straightforward and simple origin story; guy meets girl, couple are happy, guy gets cancer, meets bad guy for cure, bad guy scars him, and guy goes out for revenge! Pretty simple stuff. But the character, Deadpool is a fourth wall breaker. And as a guy who enjoys comedies, characters and movies that are self aware, Deadpool was right up my alley. Breaking the fourth wall is in the same fashion that Kevin Spacey’s Frank Underwood does in House of Cards, or Don Cheadle’s Marty Kaan in House of Lies. These characters are self aware to the point where they know they are in a Movie/TV. They know they are being watched by us the audience, and so, they take breaks and speak directly to us, giving us much needed commentary.

Deadpool utilizes this to devastating effect, injecting the character with so many genius lines that one never gets tired of hearing this quick witty talk! The character is supported by Morena Baccarin, as his girlfriend Vanessa, who never succumbs to the comic book troupe of making the girlfriend a damsel in distress. Her relationship with Deadpool aka Wade Wilson is what grounds the movie and gives us something to root for. Their relationship itself is nothing like the clichéd things we have become used to seeing, and it was refreshing to watch. TJ Miller plays Wade’s human sidekick, Weasel, who has his own fair share of lines to shine as a character. The bad guys, Ed Skrien as Ajax and Gina Carano as Angel Dust, are one of the two complaints for this movie, as they were very one-dimensional, underdeveloped and not memorable. A largely weakened and awkwardly CGI’d Colossus was also a drawback.

Deadpool is clearly going to be one of the best movies I see this year; amazing action, acting, direction and writing, and it has set the bar rather high for the remaining five comic book movies coming out later this year. PS: The movie is R-rated for Nudity, Violence and Language, so it’s not something you want to take the kids to see.

Rating: 8.5/10

And that’s it for the week, guys. Do sound off in the comments!

Written by Deola


About shakespeareanwalter

Walt Shakes(@Walt_Shakes) is an award-winning Nigerian writer, poet and veteran blogger. He is a lover of the written word. the faint whiff of nature, the flashing vista of movies, the warmth of companionship and the happy sound of laughter.

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2 comments

  1. I see HTGAWM. And I see Grey’s Anatomy. But no Scandal. 🙂 No surprise there. HTGAWM’s return episode may have been weak. But Scandal’s was just unimpressive.

  2. Truly, what’s wrong with Wes Gibbins?

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