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TV Review: Another Week Of TV

Another week of TV has gone by. Like last week, this shall be a spoiler-filled rant/recap/review of Empire, Scream Queens, HTGAWM and Scandal. So if you haven’t seen the episodes and you detest spoilers, then I suggest you leave while you can. If you haven’t and you don’t mind spoilers, feel free to enjoy. If you have seen the episodes, then by all means read on and lets ki-ki.

SCREAM QUEENS:

So following what was a decent series premiere last week, Scream Queens seriously dropped the ball this week. I have no idea what happened but this was a weird-ass episode. The whole point of this genre is to be campy, funny and mildly scary. This week, it was none of that. Apart from a few entertaining scenes here and there, this episode committed the criminal sin in entertainment. It BORED me!!!

Emma Roberts’ Chanel #1 has been consistently one note so far. Chanel #5 didn’t do much but whine about having a threesome and being “spit roasted”. Chanel #3 (the one with the ear muffs) had a weird scene with predatory Lez, where she confesses to being the daughter of Charles Manson, so I’m sorta curious to find out more about that. Oh, and she is totally going to hook up with predatory Lez before the season is over. Ryan Murphy needs to be careful; both the way the character is written and portrayed reminds me of Brittany from Glee, and that’s not a good thing

Chanel’s transformation of Hester ‘Neck-brace’ Ulrich was meh at best. Every high school/college movie or show always has that nerdy girl who undergoes a cliché transformation; so therefore, this was a horrible transformation for Lea Michele’s Hester. I mean, what was that? What was that hair? Where was the makeup? And what was that prom dress? This pains me to say, but all I got from that transformation was Rachael Berry from Glee. Huge fail!

I am not convinced by the character, Grace, played by Skyler Samuel. She is supposed to be the protagonist that we the audience root for. But she’s a walking cliché and very bland. Both the writing for the character and the acting have been mediocre at best.

Niecy Nash’s Denise, the security guard character, was a huge part of what kept this episode afloat, and that is largely because of how Niecy plays her. Her scene with Keke Palmer’s ZayDay was one of the few scenes that got a chuckle out of me.

Jaime Lee Curtis’ Dean Munsch’s shtick joke with the noise machine was some of the most cringe-worthy things I have seen on TV. The joke – if that is what it was – kept floating out there and didn’t remotely come close to landing.

The red-devil, backstreet-boys fight sequence was fun to watch and was the highlight of the episode, and is exactly what I expect from the show – something so silly that it actually works.

The episode comes to a somewhat exciting close when the red devil breaks into the Kappa House and attacks Gigi, who – God bless her soul – doesn’t run, oh no. She stays and plays ring-around-the-Rosey with the serial killer, and then pulls out some kung-fu-esque moves to defend herself.

What we did learn plot wise regarding the red devil mystery is that there is at least two of them. So we have more than one character to suspect now.

Best Character in Episode: Niecy Nash’s Denise. Enough said.

Favourite Quote: “In my experience, whenever somebody asks, ‘Oh, I wonder if that is blood’, it’s almost always blood. I mean, you know how many times it’s like ketchup? Zero percent of the time.” – Denise (to Grace and Zayday)

Favourite Scene: Easy pick. The backstreet-esque fight scene with the Dickie Dollar Scholar’s fraternity was both enjoyable and clued us in to the fact that there is more than one red devil.

Rating: 3/10. Boring! This series is meant to be funny. Where was the funny this week?

 

HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER:

How to get away with murder… Sigh. This is why Thursday nights (or in my case, Friday mornings) was made, people. I still don’t understand how this show hasn’t lost any steam from the first season, and that’s down to the incredible work of Peter Nowalk and the cast.

So last week, I didn’t mention the case that Annalise and Co treated because there was already so much to talk about. Like I said last week, Nowalk doesn’t do basic writing; instead of giving us Season-1-style case-of-the-week format, he has taken one case and seemingly built an entire season around it. And not just any case, but one of the weirdest ones I have ever seen dynamic wise. And that’s what I think makes it intriguing, because there are so many layers to be discovered with these adopted kids accused of killing their parents. I can’t be the only one getting some incestuous vibes from those two – and this is HTGAWM, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

That poor prosecutor though… Right from when she breezed in last season, feeling like she was the doro, I knew she was gon’ get it. She did put a good fight against Jean Grey at Nate’s preliminary hearing. And then she put Annalise on the stand and I laughed internally, because I knew she was about to be eaten alive. And Viola Davis does everything in this scene; she brings that dominating power and aggressiveness that we’ve come to expect from Annalise in the courtroom – and she was just a witness. Homegirl is eyeing a second Emmy, y’all.

Poor Michaela (I feel like I’ve been saying that a lot), she can’t catch a break. Last week she was hitting on a gay dude, this week the guy she gets interested in a most likely another round of bad news. Eggs 911, anyone?

Wes took a back seat to a lot of the action this week. Other than using his puppy eye super powers on murderous sibling Number Two, he didn’t have much to do.

Connor… Who would have thought that of the Keating Five, he would be the one with a rather stable-ish-looking domestic relationship? With every episode, he and Olive take giant strides as a couple, and I am happy to see that. Even if he is still a mess for blurting out Oliver’s status, I am glad they were able to move past it. Also, their talk regarding how Oliver got infected pulled at the heartstrings of Yours Truly.

Laurel… Have I mentioned that she is my favourite of the five? Well, she is. She has this mystery about her that I absolutely dig. She is smart and quiet, and has a certain darkness, and that’s what makes her so intriguing to me. I still can’t get over how genius it was to steal Michaela’s ring last season, because if she hadn’t, Little Miss Bitch Baby would have spilled to the po-po. And that scene with Frank in his apartment… *fans self* Good on you, Frank. Stand up for yo self.

In the end, Nate got off, and Annalise and Famke Janssen’s Eve Rothlow celebrate by also getting off. *wink wink* Did you see how she was glowing the morning after on the porch? Under the watchful eye of Nate of course, because that’s what happens when you kiss Jean Grey in PUBLIC!

They actually have a sweet genuine moment. Annalise rarely has those real vulnerable moments; the only ones that come close are the ones she had with her mum last season. And in true HTGAWM fashion, we get hit with a flash-forward, and who do we see as the next dead bodehhh?

It’s Madam Prosecutor.

Favourite Scene: The Annalise-Bonnie confrontation was absolutely stunning to watch. We get a little peek into the dynamics of these women and why Bonnie looks up to and “looks out for” Annalise the way she always has. Incredible acting here from both women.

Best Character in Episode: Bonnie. Finally getting to see part of the reason why she treats Annalise the way she does was quite wonderful. Liza Weil held hers in what was an emotional scene, and I want to know more about this dynamic.

Favourite Quotes: “You still have me, and I hate it. I don’t hate you, but I hate how you make me feel.” – Eve (to Annalise)

“Go home and don’t kill anyone.” – Annalise (to murderous sibling Number One)

“You don’t have to take him to your parents. You just have to sit on him.” – Connor (to Michaela)

Rating: 8/10. Nice follow-up to the premiere, and we get more intriguing pieces of that flash-forward.

EMPIRE

This week’s episode opens with Cookie, Hakeem, and Andre packing their things after getting kicked out of Empire by Evil Jamal. They plan to start a new label. LOL. This whole starting-a-rival-label thing gave me vibes to The Good Wife Season 6, and that didn’t end well.

Remember sexy prosecutor lady from the premiere? Well, it turns out she means bidness. The woman is depriving Luscious of his meds. That’s just cold. I think I love her, so yeah, she can stay.

Next, we have Evil Jamal doing an interview with a Good Morning America-esque show called ‘Spilling the Tea’! LMAO! I can’t with this show, aswear. Who comes up with this stuff?

Having said that, everyone in the Lyon family needs to figure out where their loyalties lie and then frigging stick to it. Just this episode alone, we got so much flip-flopping. And frankly, I am over it. Of course, it wouldn’t be Empire without a celebrity guest appearance. This week, we get Ludacris. He plays some prison guard who seems to have a problem with Luscious. Why does he have a problem, you ask? Well, from what I understood, he has got to be a corrupt guard on the prosecutor’s payroll, yeah? But once again, this wasn’t clearly stated, and as such, this guest appearance also felt forced. Not as bad as Chris Rock’s, but still not good.

Two Words: Rainbow Sensation. Oh sweet lil Hakeem, forming all creative and shii. Seriously though, rainbow sensation… So stuuupid. lol.

The first twenty minutes of this episode was quite mellow, and that’s putting it nicely. I cringe whenever I see Jamal visiting Luscious in prison, talking like they’ve been pals all their lives. Cringe! The episode came alive though with Tiana’s appearance. The song Get No Better 2.0 was catchy and Yours Truly already has it on loop since Wednesday.

Evil Jamal tries to get Hakeem back at Empire, and he seems to consider it… Till he doesn’t? And then there is Andre who is forever the Lyon brother on the sidelines. His passionate plea for Cookie to let him go was wonderfully executed and most importantly true to his character. Andre also visits Lucious in prison to beg his forgiveness for his part in the hostile takeover and Luscious wasn’t having it, and once again, you had to feel for Andre here again. Poor dude.

We do get a flashback during that confrontation, and from what I got from twitter, most people were confused by it. The flashback showed Kelly Rowland (playing the role of Luscious’ mother) cradling him and singing Itsy Bitsy Spider to him, but then completely phasing out mid-song. It was a haunting scene and was the first time this season that a celebrity guest appearance had actually made sense. This scene was obviously a prelude to why Luscious has always treated Andre like an outsider. His mother’s apparent mental illness most likely scarred him and thus affects his relationship with Andre.

Luscious recording Snitch Bitch from prison was the funniest thing. The song is so stupid that it actually works, kinda like this show.

In the end, Luscious makes bail, courtesy of the best Lawyer that ever liveth (yeah I said it), none other than the legendary Thirsty of the University of GUAM!

Best Character in Episode: Andre. Trai Byers has always been one of the better actors on the show, and is definitely the best actor of the three brothers. He has the most fascinating storyline and always kills when he is given the material.

Favourite Quote: “That’s the dumbest name I ever heard, actually that might be the dumbest name known to man. Did your daddy drop you on your head?” – Cookie (to Hakeem)

“You still go to church, you still believe in God? Good. Then you pray to God that he forgives you, cause I don’t.” – Luscious (to Andre)

“For years, you rejected Jamal for who he is, and now he is running the company. Hakeem, he slept with your fiancé, apparently you want him back at Empire. Here I stand, contrite and remorseful, and yet you look at me, like I’m some kinda mutant.” – Andre (to Luscious)

Favourite Scene: The flashback scene with Kelly Rowland as Luscious’ mum, as short as it was, it was well filmed and acted. It was also intriguing and I am looking forward to finding out more about her.

Rating: 5/10. A slight improvement from last week; there was actually good Empire music in this episode and hopefully its upwards from here on out.

SCANDAL:

So this was a letdown. Following the bomb that was released in that last minutes of the last episode, I had expected a drama-filled episode filled with twists and turns and juicy DRAMA! Alas, Shonda went the other route.

Instead we get Liv working on what has to be the blandest case of the week in the show’s history. I mean seriously, who didn’t know that the boy actually killed the dad? I mean, literally no viewer cares about some rich kid and his dead daddy, not when we have an affair to handle. Eeiish! The only shocking thing here was learning that the Rich Kid, Gavin is 35!

I feel like the writers over at Scandal are working overtime to make the audience hate Fitz. At this point, I watch this show, not because of Olivia and her affair with Fitz, but despite it. He threatens Mellie with jail time. Are you frigging kidding me! Has he forgotten Justice Verna Thornton, or the fact that just last season, he went to war over his MISTRESS, thus sending soldiers to their death! Oh no, let’s forget that. Instead, let’s threaten Mellie with jail time over a crime that she didn’t actually commit and had no knowledge of. Nice work, Saint Fitz. *RME*

Okay, Sweet Shonda, I am over Huck, really. I love Guillermo Diaz, but his character literally has no purpose anymore if he isn’t going to be of use. I am bored with this character and his quirks, the way he shines his eyes and talks as if he is starving and smelling the aroma of hot dodo. It’s gotten tired.

Even the reveal of Elizabeth North being Sally’s source in the white house was poorly handled. I wasn’t shocked and I still don’t get it. Why would she leak the photos exactly? What’s her motive? Or end game? Arrrgh!

Who bought Fitz’s speech to Vice President Ross about him being a flawed person? Cause I didn’t. You’re not flawed, Fitz, you’re just a douchebag. And I wish they would have him quit playing the victim for once. I have always loved the Susan Ross Character, and I absolutely enjoyed that she called him out on his foolishness.

In the end, the case was bland, but after running from the situation the whole episode, Olivia finally addresses the press by answering in the affirmative to the question about her being the president’s mistress.

Best Character in Episode: Susan Ross. It took balls to call Fitz out on his BS. Not that the selfish dude is going to listen, but she played her part and played it well.

Favourite Scene: When the poor VP finally realizes that, well, POTUS really is having an affair. It was so sad to watch. It was like a kid finally learning that Santa Claus isn’t real.

Favourite Quote: “Do you really think she is gonna get in front of a camera and admit they are having an affair. It’s Liv. She’s the best in the business. The president is about to get POPED.” – Abby (to Elizabeth North)

“I’m wondering, do you think about us, the people who voted for you, America. Do you think about us when you’re having an affair in the white house, in our house? Do you think about why we voted for you?” – Susan Ross (to Fitz)

“Mister President, you don’t get to be like anyone else. That’s not the job you signed up for.” – Susan Ross (to Fitz)

Rating: 5/10. A dry episode saved once again by the final few moments of the episode. Here’s to hoping something actually happens in the next episode.

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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7 comments

  1. Out of all these, HTGAWM is the only one I’ve yet seen. And Deola, you’re right. The sizzle is still sizzling all over the series. There were so many favorite quotes and convos for me. Like when Connor revealed Oliver’s HIV status. And Asher intrudes.

    Asher: Wait, he has HIV and you’re gonna have sex with him?
    Connor: Yes. Lots and lots of sex.
    Asher: Dude, no! Look, I get that O-man probably has a sweet ass and all, but you could like die.

    Lol. This guy’s cluelessness is just adorable!

  2. That Annalise’s tirade in court against the prosecutor though… lol. Deola, you’re right. Homegirl truly is gunning for another Emmy

  3. Today I’m adhering to the spoiler alert, deola shall not give me a heart attack with these his spoiler fuelled review.

  4. I’m so done with Scandal. Don’t even know why it’s still on Air.
    Empire, HTGAWM were on point this week.
    I just discovered a new show, Quantico. It’s Everything I’m looking for in a Show. Be sticking to that.

  5. Yeah, I like the 2nd episode. Nd the music also added to its appeal. My major ish is Cookie’s wardrobe. It’s too 90’s. I’m looking forward to getting the complete soundtrack for the Season.

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