I shall begin this entry with a tribute to Dexter
- a TV series I've followed religiously since it first began in 2005, and which concluded last month after 8 seasons.
Those who read my blog regularly will know the depth of my affection for this show and its characters. And while I agree that seasons 6, 7 and 8 lost the lustre of its predecessors ( blonde femme fatale Hannah is a major thorn in my side ), there was always a lot more that kept me intrigued.
The final 12 episodes never quite met fans' expectations, with an ending which felt messy and cliched ( at least to me ). There was no monumental nail-biting conflict, and most disappointing of all, the writers failed to dream up a villain who could surpass season 4's memorable Trinity Killer.
But despite my irritation, Dexter still remains at the top of my favourite TV shows list, at least for now. It's extremely rare for me to stick with a series for 8 years (aside from all the Law & Order variants, which are super-addictive! ), and Michael C. Hall
will always have a very special place in my heart.
Is it too much to hope for a resurrection at a later date? Dexter's clearly alive and his Dark Passenger will surely become restless again soon. Rubbing my hands with anticipation. :)
Oh well, on the upside, I now have more time to binge-watch Breaking Bad
. A detailed review to be posted soon. :D
This movie deserves special mention. Directed by none other than large-scale mayhem blockbuster maestro, Michael Bay
, this comedy absolutely blew my mind - not with eye-popping special effects a la Transformers, etc. - but with perfect execution in directing, acting and editing.
Based on true events which are too insane to comprehend, the film traces 3 not-too-bright beefcakes' attempt to make money through kidnapping, which later escalates to murder. The plot sounds simple on paper, but so much happens within the space of 2 hours, buoyed by priceless performances from Mark Wahlberg
, Dwayne Johnson
, Tony Shalhoub
, Ed Harris
and Anthony Mackie
, it feels like drinking 10 cans of Red Bull.
Johnson, in particular, should win an award for Freaking Awesome Breakthrough Performance. I'd never really considered him a "real actor" - until now. His portrayal of Paul Doyle is multi-faceted and hilarious. I honestly don't know how anyone could keep a straight face during the shoot!
A must watch, highly recommended. :)
Next, a list of new TV series I'm sampling.
First, Sleepy Hollow
, which boasts Roberto Orci
and Alex Kurtzman
among the list of creators. Why is this important? Because both have collaborated with J.J. Abrams on Fringe, Alias and the Star Trek reboots.
In this update, Ichabod Crane is somehow resurrected in the present day, and has to battle a variety of monsters to prevent the onset of the apocalypse.
Sounds ludicrous, yes, but so far, I've found it highly entertaining, mostly because of the appealing lead actors - Tom Mison
( Crane ) and Nicole Beharie
( the deputy sheriff who helps Crane and has a few of her own secrets as well ).
Mison is dashing and entirely believable, while Beharie is feisty. Both share wonderful chemistry on screen, and if at some point, a purple unicorn shows up, I'll still keep watching ( haha ).
Great job with the casting, people! :)Masters Of Sex
is very unlikely to come to local cable, and I think you can guess why. ;)
But don't be fooled into thinking it's a "dirty show" - that honour goes to True Blood, which has degenerated into vampire / werewolf / shapeshifter porn. Rather, MOS traces the history of world-renowned sex therapists, William Masters and Virginia Johnson, hailed as "pioneers of the science of human sexuality whose research touched off the sexual revolution" ( from IMDB ).
The YouTube trailer is delightful, but there're many more treasures sprinkled throughout each episode, mostly in the form of double entendres, zingy one-liners and feminine insights which leave you in stitches.
And yet again, the cast is top notch, with Michael Sheen
as Masters, and Lizzy Caplan
as Johnson. Both handle their scenes with class and finely tuned restraint, yet dazzle effortlessly. Caplan is especially charming, with her understated, smouldering beauty and deadpan humour. I can't wait to see what happens next!
Last but not least, we have The Blacklist
, starring James Spader
, whom I've had a huge crush on since childhood. He doesn't look anything like a heartthrob now, but during his heyday, he had a thick mane of wavy hair, a sinewy physique, and bedroom eyes to die for.
He also had an affinity for sexually charged roles, e.g. White Palace, Secretary and Sex, Lies and Videotape.
In the last 10 years or so, he's put on weight and developed alopecia, but remains as captivating as ever on screen, as evidenced by acclaimed performances in legal drama series The Practice and Boston Legal.
As Raymond "Red" Reddington in The Blacklist, he's truly in his element, playing a criminal mastermind who inexplicably gives himself up to the FBI, then helps authorities foil terrorist plots. Even more puzzling is his insistence on speaking only to a certain rookie agent who has no known connection to him.
The pilot episode was a little too action-packed for my liking, but episode 2 is much more satisfying, peppered with witty repartee and a plot revelation which propels Reddington's agenda in an interesting way.
I have my own theories about what's going on, and I'm curious to see if my predictions come true. Welcome back, Mr. Spader! How I've missed you. :)
In the next installment: Marvel's Agents Of SHIELD, Betrayal, Elementary season 2, and whatever else premieres before I blog again.