Sunday, March 29, 2009

Damages Season 2 Episode 12 ~ Look What I Dug Up This Time


"He that loves the law will get his fill of it." ~ Scottish Proverb

Thoroughly enjoyed Damages Season 2 Episode 12 "Look What I Dug Up This Time", but i do have a few of bones of contention. When Purcell yellow lab Tillie---and who the hell names a male pet Tillie---digs something up in the backyard, Daniel flashes back to when he burned and buried that something [a remote control]. The time line given for the burial is 51 months prior. This time line is also applicable to the death of Purcell's wife. 51 months---that's 4 years and 3 months that have preceded. Now i don't mean to be a nit-picker---well in point of fact i guess i do---it didn't seem that that much time had passed in the action. i know that others have had beef with some of Damages' time lines in previous seasons and episodes, but i was not in that camp until S2.12. The pain of his widowed status feels much more recent than 4 years. i mean, i know everyone mourns in their own way and time, but as far as the empathy meter for this character goes, if anything it feels more like 51 weeks. There is nothing comedic about Daniel Purcell but whenever i see him i am reminded of the Seinfeld episode when Jerry polls the staff at the coffee shop to see whose romantic status scores more points---his broken engagement or George being a widower [sort of], and it turns out that George's status "is testing through the roof". It's a bit of a sick commentary, but let's face it in many cases, society sees widowers as hot. i've always enjoyed his performances, but i don't know what it is exactly about William Hurt---i'm usually not partial to blondes, but there is just something about him that i find extremely sexy and masculine. Particularly as Daniel Purcell. It's subtle, but whatever he's pulling out of his bag of tricks, it's working for me.

Uht-oh, better change that to was working for me, because as the action progressed in S2.12 we learn that the remote that Daniel burned and buried was one that Christine the missus [played by Paige Turco] hurled at his noggin after she told him she was going to call the EPA about Ultima National Resource's polluting. Daniel was like 'aw HELL NO!', bonk went the remote, and he went a little nuts and strangled her. He thought he'd killed her and in his panic, he didn't check for a pulse or to see if she was still breathing. Instead he called for the UNR clean-up man and i don't mean the toxic waste kind. Lo and behold when he gets to the Purcell home the missus is indeed alive if only barely, but alive. That's a problem. One that he solves by giving her [an off screen] coup de gras. So all this time when the fans have been thinking 'poor widower Daniel', he's been hiding a guilty conscience. O.K. technically he didn't kill his wife, but he thinks he did. The UNR scoundrels have enough dirty laundry in their basket, so they figure if Daniel thinks he did her in, they're not going to inform him otherwise. In this ep, Daniel can't take the guilt any longer, and goes to the police to confess. The scene just before he enters the police station is worth it's weight in gold. Even though i'm angry with him, i still have a soft spot for the guy, and when he's on the phone with UNR head Walter Kendrick, and spouting philosophy about the 9 circles of Hell, i thought 'oh dear, he's gonna do something desperate, he's gonna blow his brains out'. In addition to Mr.Hurt's performance, i applaud the director and the writers for not opting for high velocity lead poisoning, since another character had done that in season 1. Not that that plot device couldn't work again, it's just a fresher approach that it wasn't chosen.

Same compliment for the scene with Ellen in the woods with Wes [Timothy Olyphant]. i thought she was going to be bumped off like Drea De Matteo's Adriana from The Sopranos. Nope, and i was glad of it.

Back to my bones of contention: why would Tom Shayes, a partner in Hewes & Associates law firm, say one word to the FBI without his attorney present. i know the man comes off as a doofus but he is a lawyer. O.K. he's a litigator, but still, he knows better than to say anything without representation. But he doesn't acknowledge that right until he's been blabbing for all the time it took to be taken downtown and sitting in an interrogation room for several minutes. Alright he's a little distracted, because before he was taken into custody he found out his wife was going into labor, but this is not their first pregnancy, and he's smarter than that. When he is presented with a lawyer by the FBI BTW, it's Ellen. Does he have the presence of mind to say, 'um, thanks but no i'll wait until my lawyer or whomever else i can get down here to represent me who practices criminal defense before i talk'. Nope, he does not, and i was not happy about that.

Glenn Close's Patty on the other hand makes me happy. Always. Even when she is being a monster, which of course is almost always. Poor Patty, she forgot her own advice that she gave Ellen when she was courting her to join the firm. The gist of it being, no matter how relentlessly you pursue your goals as a lawyer, take care not to lose yourself as a woman, and take the time to take care of your man. i'm not excusing her husband Phil's infidelity, and i'm angry that the character doesn't seem to get that it's not the cheating per se that Patty's pissed about, but the fact that she's having her nose publicly rubbed in it. She might be able to forgive him but for the sloppiness of it all. But i do think her forgetting her words of advice to Ellen went a long way to pushing him closer to choosing to cheat. Or as my hubby tex put it "who wouldn't cheat on Patty---there is nothing feminine about her and she's such a bitch". i know i know, but it's so true, and you know it too. Lest there be any misunderstanding, these comments are referring to the fictional Ms. Hewes, not Ms. Close.

Can't hardly wait for Damages Season 2 Episode 13 Season Finale. It will run for 90 minutes so set your recording device of choice accordingly. No joke, Damages Season 2 Finale will air Wednesday April 1, 2009 on FX at 10:00pm [please check your local listings].

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Battlestar Galactica ~ Colossal Ratings For Season 4 Episode 22, Series Finale, Daybreak {Part 2}


Did fans enjoy Battlestar Galactica series' finale? Abso-frackin-lutely, so say we all! 4th season episode 22 and series finale, Daybreak {part 2} pulled in 2.4 million viewers. That's a 56% jump from the 3rd season's final ratings 2 years ago.

Even though i hate it when a show i really feel connected to ends, Battlestar producers Ronald D. Moore, David Eick and crew made this a painless goodbye. Again the script, performances and direction were flawless, and the visuals were perfection. So often when the objective of a show is to take the viewer to a different reality or representation of the future it can miss the mark because it goes a step too far or not far enough. Not so with Battlestar, it was just right.

i especially enjoyed the scenes on the Great Plains. Despite some commenters who thought otherwise, i didn't think it was "stupid" when Kara vanished. For me the device was plausible. And when Gaius was telling Six that he "knew a bit about farming" it set me to weeping. The moment was just so pure, and he was so vulnerable. Even now i get a little ferklempt at the thought. And the scenes in Times Square, i thought not only a perfect visualization of future NYC, but when Six said she was proud of Gaius, and had always wanted to be, i think she spoke for the fans as well.

As satisfying as the finale was, for those who are not quite ready to let go, David Eick's final video blogs are the best coping mechanism i can recommend. It was a very happy surprise when i went to SciFi.com and found 13 nuggets of remembrances and behind the scenes goodies [find the link in the text of this post]. i haven't had the chance to watch all 13 yet because i couldn't wait to share the ratings news with everyone, but so far my favorite vids there are "Do you believe in angels?", "How will it be remembered?", and "Reflections".

Well done Battlestar Galactica, well done.

Related Link: American Museum Of Natural History Hayden Planetarium

Sunday, March 22, 2009

HBO's Big Love ~ Season 3 Episode 9 Outer Darkness



video


Tavis Smiley Bill Paxton Interview Clip Monday March 16, 2009

Tavis Smiley Bill Paxton Full Interview Monday March 16, 2009

Tavis Smiley Bill Paxton Interview Transcript

HBO's Big Love, Season 3 Episode 9 Outer Darkness: Written by Eileen Myers
Directed by Michael Lehmann[synopsis]

Kidnapping, conspiracy, extortion, sketchy real estate deals and plea bargains. Murder investigations, polygamy, sacred ceremonies and rituals, church tradition, crisis of faith, ex-communication, and oh yeah, sex.

The 3rd Season of HBO's Big Love has had all those elements to the delight of viewers, but not so much the real life elders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

It is not my intent to diminish or blaspheme anyone's beliefs, but i'm glad about the controversy, because it has motivated me to learn more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. According to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: Mormons believe in being "in the world, but not of it". i'm not taking it as my faith, and i'd hardly classify myself an expert, but i've always been curious about different religions. As a polytheist, i've always thought that all religions are connected, and what i'm learning about the Mormon beliefs, have served to strengthen my theory. For example, when Barb Henrickson partakes of the temple of the veil ceremony, it reminded me of charismatic southern baptisms---the wearing of white for purity, the cleansing and anointing [even though this episode did not include that ritual on screen]. The clasping of hands, the assignment of new names, and the engagement of call and response with the clerics and worshipers, etc.

It also has a sorority/fraternity feel---small wonder since many of the ceremonies and customs are adapted from free masonry ritual. For example the compass and the square symbols of the temple garment. According to an explanation by LDS Church President John Taylor in 1883, the "Square" represents "the justice and fairness of our Heavenly Father, that we will receive all the good that is coming to us or all that we earn, on a square deal", and the "Compasses" represents "the North Star".

If i had to guess, the church's beef with the HBO is not so much the re-enactment of the temple rituals per se, but more because they consider these ceremonies to be something that should be left to private experience. Also possibly they're not too thrilled with some of the language in this episode: specifically when Bill calls his brother-in-law Ted a prick---frankly hubby and i thought Ted would have been better categorized as a pussy, but perhaps that really would have been a bridge too far. Punk?---is that more acceptable? i also thought that when Barb asked the church elder if he was asking her to describe her undergarments, she reacted as if he would have been doing so in a prurient way, when in fact it would have been within his rights during their meeting to ask her as a point of purity and conformity [see the link re: temple garments]. While the church frowns upon discussion of the topic as part of public conversation, she was engaged in private conversation during a religious hearing to determine whether she should be ex-communicated. Smart mouthing the elder at that point, while satisfying, was not pragmatic. Ultimately she is ex-communicated, but it had more to do with her being involved in plural marriage and not so much whether or not she wore temple garments. Also the church may not have been too keen on the part of the plot that suborns counterfeit recommendations, that would allow Barb to participate in the veil ceremony, receiving of her endowments, etc.

Poor Barb, she truly is devout, and she misses being an active member of her church, rather than just observing it in her heart. But i'm glad she stuck to her guns and did not abandon her sister-wives when put to the test.

But Henrickson drama hasn't ended yet. Bill has made arrangements to be un-sealed from Nikki---a decision that neither Barb or Margene are supporting. Yes Nikki has lied, betrayed, and transgressed in their marriage, but that doesn't mean the ladies want to lose her. And there's still all that unfinished business about "the letter", the Greenes, the casino deals, Juniper Creek, and solving Kathy's murder---i say technically it was manslaughter since i don't think it was Roman's intent to kill her, but to use a quote from another fav show of mine 'potato,patahto,french fry'---poor Kathy isn't any less dead just because Roman didn't kill her on purpose. And that fall that Bill took in the barn---is he o.k.? Will Joey come back to check on him? And where the heck has Bruce Dern's Frank Harlow been and when will he return?

i would estimate i watched HBO's Big Love Outer Darkness, no fewer than 5 times, great script, really strong performances. i don't know what resolutions the season finale will bring, but i know it's gonna be juicy.

HBO's Big Love Season 3 Finale Episode 10 "Sacrament" airs Sunday March 22, 2009 at 9:00pm [please check your local listings]

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Natasha Richardson ~ May 11, 1963 - March 18, 2009

Natasha Jane Richardson May 11, 1963 ~ March 18, 2009

Images On Left And Right NYC UWS Outside Residence Of The Late Natasha Richardson by tex Center Image Natasha Richardson From The Roundabout Theatre NYC
"All things grow with time, except grief." ~ Yiddish Proverb


Broadway Remembers The Late Tony Winner Natasha Richardson

From IMDB News:
The lights of Broadway's theatres will be dimmed for a minute on Thursday night as a mark of respect to tragic actress Natasha Richardson, who died on Wednesday.

The 45-year-old British actress suffered a traumatic brain injury after falling while learning to ski in Montreal on Monday.

She was transferred to New York's Lenox Hill Hospital on Tuesday. She was taken off life support on Wednesday morning and was pronounced dead hours later.

Theatres along the legendary avenue will dim their lights for one minute at 8pm local time (midnight GMT) in memory of the star.

Related Links: Michael Phillips Talking Pictures, Conversations About Film The Bad And The Beautiful

Richardson: A Star Always Worth Watching By Richard Corliss

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Battlestar Galactica ~ Season 4 Episode 22, Series Finale, Daybreak {Part 2}


"Galactica has seen a lot of history, gone through a lot of battles" ~ Admiral Will Adama

Battlestar Galactica series' finale, Daybreak {part 2}, airs Friday March 20th at 9:00pm on the SciFi Channel. Keep in mind the finale length is 2 hours, so be careful when setting your recording devices of choice, you wouldn't want to miss the show's final hour. But if you should have a mishap, the SciFi Channel website is great for catching BSG recaps and full episodes. Something that i have come to really value. Lately i find that in this bustling information overload prone world we live in, i enjoy the security of knowing that if i'm in need of reminder of who stepped to the starboard side of the tape that Admiral Adama laid when announcing the call for volunteers for what is to be the venerable ol' girl and her crew's final showdown with the bad Cylons---Brother Cavil and the like who've kidnapped little Hera [could she be the true key to guiding all to the promised land?] vs the good Cylons who are willing to lay it all on the line with the humans to rescue the child before she's vivisected or worse.

Even though Daybreak {part 2} marks the series finale for BSG, there is hope for those who can't get enough of David Eick and Ron Moore's work. In June 2009 look for Battlestar Galactica: The Plan. That project is directed by Edward James Olmos. There will also be a BSG pre-quel series, Caprica, whose time-line occurs 50 years prior to the events that lead to Battlestar. "Two families, the Graystones and the Adamas, live together on a peaceful planet known as Caprica, where a startling breakthrough in artificial intelligence brings about unforeseen consequences." Caprica will star Eric Stoltz, Esai Morales, and Sina Najafi. No air date has been announced for the series, but it will be available for DVD purchase for April 21, 2009 shipment. Anybody else think it's weird that there's a date for DVD purchase but none for the show's TV airing? And while i'm on the subject of weirdness---SciFi president Dave Howe issued a press release stating that "Beginning July 7, 2009", SciFi will alter it's name to read as SyFy

Ostensibly the motive for this change is to broaden "perceptions" and embrace "a wider and more diverse range of imagination-based entertainment including fantasy, paranormal, reality, mystery, action and adventure, as well as science fiction. It also positions the brand for future growth by creating an ownable trademark that can travel easily with consumers across new media and non-linear digital platforms, new international channels and extend into new business ventures." What a load of hooey. An interesting bit of information from
Warren Ellis: "in Polish, "syfy" has a meaning somewhere between zits, filthy and scum." Uht-oh!, someone in marketing didn't do a thorough world-wide appeal research job. Clearly the reason for the spelling change is a marketing ploy to garner trademark status, as the term SciFi could not be. It also, to those who are not keen on the change [and yes you may count me among the displeased] serves as a not so subtle way of saying they want to distance themselves from those who proudly say, yes, i am a fan science fiction. Distance themselves from those who proclaim they are fans of graphic novels, and of Heinlein, Le Guin, Atwood, Clarke, Ellison, et.al, while simultaneously reaping the benefit of the vast market the fans inhabit. Somewhere Forrest J. Ackerman must be shaking his head in bemusement.

In other bizarre developments, the producers and some of the BSG cast members will participate in a panel moderated by Whoopi Goldberg at the United Nations. Yes you heard correctly, the U.N. i wish i had learned of this sooner. Perhaps the marketing department at Universal would have better spent it's time promoting this event rather than taking the 'new coke' approach to the change in their logo. Anywhoo, Tuesday March 17, 2009 at the U.N. 7:00pm in the Economic and Social Council Chamber. If like yours truly, you were not lucky enough to have acquired press credentials to the event, keep an eye peeled on the U.N.'s YouTube site. i'm hoping in the days to come they will post there.

Remember, the 2 hour Battlestar Galactica series finale, Daybreak {part 2} airs on the SciFi Channel Friday March 20, 2009 at 9:00pm
[please check your local listings]

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Battlestar Galactica ~ Someone To Watch Over Me {Season 4 Episode 19*}



"39,556 survivors in search of a home"...are we watching BSG---you'd better frackin' believe it! Human and Cylon refugees make up the diaspora of the 12 colonies that can no longer call planet earth home. Generations of Cylons have evolved from Terminatoresque machinery to skin jobs with A.I. that make real dolls look like stick figures. And Cylon projection makes 21st century perception of virtual reality look like shadow puppets. The down-side to their evolution is that they are no longer immortal. The up-side is that for the most part they are now allied with the humans rather than slaughtering them.

If the visually smokin' hot cast of Battlestar Galactica: Tricia Helfer as 'Six', Jamie Bamber as Lee 'Apollo' Adama, Katee Sackhoff as Kara 'Starbuck' Thrace, Grace Park as 'Sharon/Athena', James Callis as 'Dr.Gaius Baltar', and Kate Vernon as 'Ellen Tigh' to name only a few, are any indication of what the future holds population-wise, hubby and i are convinced that 99% of future beings are going to be good looking. But the cast are more than just pretty faces and hot bods, we are talking 100% major acting chops here. All more than carry their weight. Edward James Olmos as 'Admiral Adama', Mary McDonnell as 'President Laura Roslin', Michael Hogan as 'ExO Saul Tigh', Dean Stockwell as 'Brother Cavil', and Donnelly Rhodes as 'Doctor Cottle' are the veterans who head up the stellar cast. And let's not give short shrift to the scripts, direction, and production values which are all top notch. i especially give applause to the costume designer Ms. Glenne Campbell.

Referencing an earlier crash site re-con mission, in the "Someone To Watch Over Me" ep, Kara 'Starbuck' Thrace asks "how is it possible that i found my body and i'm still here?" That's what's got me scratching my head too. Is she human? Is she a cylon? Is she a hybrid? Another question is, will there be any survivors when the series ends? hubby thinks no, i vacillate between that theory and 'Starbuck' being the sole survivor. 2 eps left to find out. If you're new to BSG or want re-caps or want to experience full eps again, or check out the contests and other cool things, find them at SciFi.com/Battlestar
Battlestar Galactica will air the next ep on Friday the 13th 2009 on the SciFi Channel at 10:00pm
[please check your local listings].

* SciFi Channel lists "Someone To Watch Over Me" in it's 4th season, but has no number assigned to it. IMDB lists it as the 17th ep of the 4th season. Of the 4th season episodes that SciFi Channel has assigned a number, 3 episodes preceed the one that would fall at the number 19 position, so for all practical purposes, that's how In A Lather is keeping track of them. Anybody got a problem with that---too frackin' bad

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Nip/Tuck Season 5 Episode 22 ~ Giselle Blaylock & Legend Chandler



Wow those eight episodes of Nip/Tuck Season 5 part 2 sure went by quickly.

In the season finale ep Giselle Blaylock & Legend Chandler "Christian searches for immortality as he prepares for his wedding. Kimber reacts to the news of Liz and Christian getting married."

Nip/Tuck Season 5 finale episode airs tonight at 10:00pm on FX.

In a sidebar note, Julian McMahon is among the nominees for Best Actor on Bravo's A-List Awards. Check it out at

http://www.bravotv.com/a-list-awards/


There are no restrictions on the number of times per day you may submit your vote. Voting ends Tuesday March 31, 2009 at midnight.

Damages Season 2 Episode 6 ~ "A Pretty Girl In A Leotard"





In Damages' first season, for Patty Hewes & Associates, it was all about bringing down stock manipulating billionaire Arthur Frobisher. In season 2 for the toughest movers and shakers in the worlds of law and finance it's "all about Ultima National Resources". After renowned scientist, Daniel Purcell [played by William Hurt] committed perjury, sinking the environmental pollution case Hewes & Associates was bringing against UNR's head honcho Walter Kendrick [played by John Doman], Patty is spoilin' to give a smackdown. With the pollution case gone bust [for the moment], she sets out to prove Kendrick commissioned a 'hit'[in which Purcell is complicit] on Purcell's wife Christine, because she let it be known she was not going to keep quiet about UNR's dirty deeds and was encouraging her hubby to blow the whistle. Patty throws down the gauntlet when she publicly accuses Kendrick of murder when she guests on Greta Van Sustern's "On The Record".

That's the quirky thing about this show---every episode is peppered with cross promotional references. hell, the show's main sponsor, Cadillac, has it's products incorporated into the plot lines---but it works. It never feels like an intrusion or a non sequitur. It's the skill with which the writers manage this collaboration that makes this show fun for me.

That and the fact that the scripts are always entertaining, the cast is first rate, and NYC is shown at her best and grittiest. i also like the intersecting of the characters and their motives. The maneuvering they do reminds me of square dancing. Patty has enlisted the help of Arthur Frobisher a prominent UNR shareholder to help bring Kendrick down. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend". 17 years previous Patty and Daniel Purcell had a son. Patty has only recently informed Daniel of this. Daniel is the independent scientist charged with testing the water etc. that Kendrick's energy conglomerate is accused of polluting, but he's also being bought off and blackmailed by the company. Kendrick's council Claire Maddox [played by Marcia Gay Harden] has literally been in bed with Daniel, Kendrick, and anybody else she damn well chooses, and is an excellent opposite number to Ms.Hewes. Patty's hubby Phil's [played by Michael Nouri] business ties and extra-marital affairs overlap with the very people she's investigating and/or bringing to trial. Ellen [played by Rose Byrne] is working with Patty and trying to nail her for trying to have her killed and for the feds who are investigating Patty. There's also Ellen's tricky fledgling friendship with grief group therapy member Wes Krulik [played by Timothy Olyphant] who's spying on her for Kendrick. Krulik being told thanks but no thanks to his 'I'd like us to be more than just friends' advances, figures the best way to get to Ellen is to make a play for Katie [played by Anastasia Griffith] the woman who would have been Ellen's sister-in-law had her fiance David not been murdered.

And promenade her home.

Damages airs on FX Wednesdays at 10:00pm
[please check your local listings].