BBC Scraps Plans for 3-D Downton

The BBC has ditched plans to have a 3-D episode of their popular hit Downton Abby, claiming the process would be too much of a hassle. Aww, Man, I was really looking forward to really experiencing the tea.

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Downton Abbey Season 3 episodes 1&2


Season Three and Laura Linney is so excited to see what will happen!
It’s Spring of 1920 and Mary and Matthew are having their wedding rehearsal. Sybil is not coming to the wedding due to lack of funds and Mary prods her father to do something but he believes Branson’s arrival would lead to too much gossip from the neighbors. Cousin Isobel of course thinks it’s all ridiculous and wants to pay for the couple to visit. However, someone sends them the money because Sybil arrives with Branson in tow, but neither the family nor the servants welcome him warmly.
The family is obviously shocked at Branson’s lack of proper wardrobe and he is his usual charming self at dinner talking about hopes that Ireland will finally be free of English rule. Carson is appalled by his conduct and his opinion doesn’t change when he comes to show the servants he’s still one of them.
Sybil wants the family to see man she sees and encourages Branson to buy proper clothes for the wedding and, maybe, stop dissing Mother England for a few days, but Branson stays firm. The next day, Matthew runs into Branson in town and they discuss the awkwardness at dinner. Matthew points out Branson doesn’t make it easy for the Granthams to like him but says brothers-in-laws should stick together.
At a pre-wedding party, (featuring colorful cocktails!), Sybil’s old beau, Larry, takes some pot shots at Branson’s wardrobe and slips something into his drink so at dinner he appears drunk as a skunk, carrying on about his political leanings until Sir Anthony announces that he has been drugged by Larry! Despite Larry claims that it was just a joke, the family is shocked and Matthew decides to make Branson his best man to show solidarity.
Cousin Isobel and Maggie Smith offer Branson some of Matthew’s old clothing to wear to the wedding but he politely declines, calling them the chains of oppression, or some political nonsense that will go ignored, because when Maggie Smith tells you to wear a jacket you wear the jacket! We later discover that Maggie Smith paid for the couple to come to the wedding. Yay, everyone tolerates Branson now!
Lord Grantham gets a suspicious phone call and has suspicious business to tend to in London. Turns out his fortune is all but gone due to bad investments. Downton’s fate is unsure but the Lord refuses to be the one who let it fall. When he returns home, he basically looks at everyone as if they are eating him money.
While the Lord is having money troubles, Matthew is rolling in it, as he discover he may inherit his former fiancé’s father’s fortune but he feels too guilty to accept it seeing that he is marrying the other woman from that relationship. Matthew is also on a whole “I’m a big boy, I can put on my own pants!” kick and wants to live a simpler life after the wedding.
When Mary learns of both men’s conundrums, she sees one as the solution to the other. Matthew will save Downton! But Matthew doesn’t want to accept money from a man after breaking his daughter’s heart and stealing her will to live. The two fight and Edith walks in on them with a total “Are you fighting?” smile on her face.
At dinner, Mary becomes upset and leaves the table crying. The wedding might not happen, damn you Mary and Matthew!!!! But wait, Best Man Branson comes to the rescue and helps the two realize their stupid for each other and the two patch up.
With the wedding fast approaching, Carson needs a new footman and O’Brien suggests her nephew, Alfred. Carson doesn’t think it’s a good idea, but when has a no ever gotten in O’Brien’s way? She brings up the matter with Lady Crawley who hires him immediately. O’Brien thinks Thomas could help show her nephew the way and maybe help his rise to valet. Despite their previous alliance Thomas has no interest in helping another person. And poof goes that friendship. This is going to get ugly.
And we have found something that makes Maggie Smith shake in her boots- Lady Crawley’s American mother Shirley MacLaine! She swoops down on Downton insulting the house, the entire country of England, and all three of her granddaughters in record time. She is anti-tradition, being a very modern women 20th century woman (possibly the world’s oldest flapper). Before the episode it over she gets into a bitch off with Maggie Smith and wins! This woman is a goddess.
In other happenings: Anna has discovered Vera’s diary and hopes she will find a way to prove Bates’ innocence. Bates has a new roommate and the two are like two peas in a pod- not!
Edith is still trying to woo Sir Anthony with flattering words and a new hairstyle! Can something nice happen to this chick, she bums me out!
Daisy was promised a promotion and will not stop pouting until she gets it!
Episode Two brings us the Matthew and Mary wedding… finally! Lady Crawley tries to give Mary THE TALK but Mary reminds her this is not necessary- classy, Mary. The whole house is buzzing with excited, except Mrs. Hughes who always thought Mary was a brat. But we don’t even get to see the whole wedding or a wedding night love scene! Boo, Downton, boo!
Matthew still refuses to use his newly gained inheritance to save Downton, so Mary and Maggie Smith decided to ask Shirley MacLaine for the money. Mary believes they must show her grandma how grand Downton is so they plan a dinner to win her over.
However, as the guests arrive Matthew and Lord Grantham are without tails! And the stove is broken so there will be no food! The dinner is a disaster! But Shirley MacLaine to the rescue with her modern American ways! They will have an indoor picnic, where guests can eat anywhere they want and there will be singing! She basically wants to mortify Maggie Smith to death.
While Shirley MacLaine saved the dinner, she cannot save Downton, as her late husband made it so no more of the family money could go into the home.
Meanwhile, Thomas makes the first move in a prank war with O’Brien’s nephew but giving him advice that leads the lad to burn a hole in Matthews tails! However, the guy’s first mistake we trusting Thomas. Carson is furious at Alfred’s mistake, but O’Brien smells a rat.
O’Brien steals all of the Lord’s shirts putting Thomas in quiet the spot the night of the dinner. This is going to be an interesting battle as Alfred seems to have taken after his aunt in the scheming department so it’s two against one.
The Lord wants Edith’s Sir Anthony obsession to be nipped in the bud so he asks him to break up with her via a letter. But Edith sees through the letter and knows it is her father’s doing and she begs the Lord to let her have the man she wants lest she end up an old maid. With Shirley MacLaine’s insistence, the Lord agrees to stop interfering and Sir Anthony finally promises a proposal. He’s going to die isn’t he?
Also in this episode: Cousin Isobel is now helping disgrace women and former maid Ethel may need her assistance.
Also, Mrs. Hughes may have cancer and Mrs. Paddmore is the best person ever to have by your side during such a delicate time- NOT she talks to her like a child and freaks at the first sign of concern. But Mrs. Hughes does not want the rest of the staff to know and take pity on her.
And it continues to be nothing but giggle with Bates and his cellmate. But at least at night Bates can dream about Anna and her new garter, oh la la!

Downton Abbey


Spoilers!
Every year there is a new show that everyone praises so much you think it can’t possibly be as good as they all act it is (but it usually is pretty damn good television). A couple of years ago, the in show to obsess over was Downton Abbey, and after two seasons of fighting it, I have recently gotten up to speed just in time for the season three US premiere. Like with Mad Men and Breaking Bad before it, Downton Abbey does live up to the hype with first class acting, writing, etc. Everything about this strong and shows what television can do as a medium.
Downton Abbey follows Robert Crawley- the Earl of Grantham, his family and servants that live in his home. His has three daughters, all at the age where they should be married off, a American born wife, and a nosey mother played by Maggie Smith. What I love about the cast is that none of the main characters are bad people. They all have their flaws which leads to the bulk of the drama, but deep down all them mean well, most of the time. Ever Thomas and O’Brien have their moments where they’re not total pains in the ass! The family cares deeply for their servants and appreciate all the perks their wealth provides them with. I’m not sure how accurate it all is, but it’s refreshing to watch a show that doesn’t make you hate half the cast. Even the stuffy Maggie Smith shows compassion towards the help.
One of the center stories revolves around the Earl’s valet, John Bates. He enters the house a man with many secrets and must battle the jealous and crafty Thomas who feels the position was rightly his. Bates developed a relationship with house maid Anna while still tethered to his first wife who bitterly fought the legal end to their marriage. Every time Anna and Bates find some happiness, the first wife would pop back in to make their lives hellish, finally killing herself in a way that would make it look like she was murdered by Bates. Where we last leave them, Bates is serving life in prison after narrowly escaping a death sentence. It sometimes boarders on misery porn because they are such good people, it’s frustrating to watch their happy ending consistently just beyond their reach.
Another ongoing story involves the Earl’s oldest daughter Mary and his heir (daughters cannot inherit the title) Matthew. As Mary was engaged to the previous heir (who was killed on the Titanic), there is the assumption that they will pair off, but they don’t get along when they first meet. Over time they build a friendship that turns into love, however, their happiness is first thwarted by Mary’s brattiness (as she ignores Matthew in order to show up her plainer sister, Edith) and later Matthew is engaged to another woman, but the last shot of season two had the ready to give romance a final try. I really can’t get too invested in them as I find Mary too obnoxious but I’ll root for them as long as their relationship doesn’t ruin anymore lives.
One of the major themes in the show is the ways the options for women were changing. All three daughters have found themselves wanted more purpose than a life of primping and being waited on, none more that youngest Sybil, who defied her father by marrying the family’s chauffeur and moving to Ireland.
I am going to be a bit controversial and admit I don’t think Maggie Smith deserves all the awards she’s winning for her role. While she’s a lot of fun in the role, there’s not much meat there compared to some of her counterparts from other shows. Last year Christina Hendricks knocked it out of the park in Mad Men and it was tough to see her lose. Award shows tend to favor supporting characters who are amusing, as she is a very respected actress with a long career so she’s most likely being awarded for her legacy.
Season three premieres in the US this Sunday (Jan 6) and I’ll be recapping all episodes right here. Stay tune!

Liz and Dick


Not that I was expecting much from Lifetime’s latest made for tv movie Liz & Dick, but I feel like the entire project can be summed up with one important detail, the Burtons were known for indulgent lifestyle and in preparation for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf, Taylor packed on the pounds and struggled afterwards to lose the weight, however, when this time period is dramatized in the movie, no effort is made to simulate Taylor’s weight gain, they just make a point of saying she’s gotten kind of chubby with no visible evidence to back this up. This telling without showing plagues the project and Lohan’s phoned-in portrayal of the legendary screen goddess tells you all you need to know about the future of her comeback.
Lifetime decided to frame the story as being told by Taylor and Burton in heaven set up as if they are giving an interview (with God I guess?). This device adds nothing, as they often just confirm facts the audience should have picked up from the previous scene- after showing their rocky introduction they say they didn’t like each other at first… duh! After Burton refuses to attend the Oscars out of fear of losing again, Taylor says she understood how he felt but worried he was going to miss his change of accepting his award in person… duh! When Burton’s brother becomes paralyzed after falling down their stairs when tending to their house for them, Burton says he always blamed himself for his brother’s injury and eventual death… duh! The entire devise could be removed from the movie and nothing would be different. The story is also oddly paced. They go from disliking each other to being madly in love so quickly, and with so little explanation that I wondered if I passed out momentarily and missed something. Their fights are always anticlimactic and their reconciliations so quick it’s like nothing has happened at all. And while this is supposed to tell the story of their epic love, the reasoning behind their first divorce are so rushed it’s like the two were playing relationship chicken. You come away seeing them as nothing more than spoiled children, who only stayed together as long as they did because Taylor made sure he didn’t make a movie without her for ten years, knowing he would bang whatever actress played opposite him. Some romance!
Everything about Lohan’s performance tells you why her career has struggled so much over the years. This is her big chance at a comeback and she couldn’t even be bothered to maybe watch one or two of Taylor’s films and try to work on an accent. It comes off like she thinks all she has to do is show up in a movie and America will welcome her back with open arms, but if she wants to change her image she needs to do more than play dress up. I felt bad for Grant Bowler who plays Burton and much of the rest of the cast who do their best to try to rise above the poor script and their misguided leading lady. Hopefully these legends will get their story told in a higher quality production and the cast members who tried here are not held back by having this on their resumes.

Dr Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Blog


During the 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America strike, Joss Whedon collaborated with his brothers (Jed and Zach) and writer/actress Maurissa Tancharoen to create something of quality on a limited budget that would not conflict with the issues at the heart of the strike. The series three episodes were released through Hulu for free and was later available through iTunes, Amazon Video on Demand, and Netflix as well as being released on DVD with a variety of extras including Commentary the Musicals, where cast and crew sang songs related to the DVD commentary. Starring Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion, and Felicia Day the series was a hit with fans and critics and won multiple awards including a Creative Arts Emmy Outstanding Special Class – Short-format Live-Action Entertainment Programs, a first for Whedon despite his many years in television.
Through his video blog Dr. Horrible (as known as Billy) updates followers on his quest to become a member of the Evil League of Evil, his rivalry with local hero Captain Hammer, and his crush on Penny, a girl he often sees at the laundromat but is too shy to talk to. While enacting a plan to steal a case of wonderflonium for his freeze ray, he runs into Penny who is trying to get enough signatures to convert a condemned building into a homeless shelter. Distracted by the heist, Dr. Horrible appears uninterested in Penny’s cause. Suddenly Captain Hammer appears to stop the heist and save the day. He destroys Dr. Horrible’s remote which controls the getaway car, causing it to veer out of control and almost hitting Penny. Captain Hammer saves her by pushing her into a pile of garbage and she is completely enamored. Hammer continues to foil Dr. Horrible’s plans and gloats about his budding romance with Penny. Disappointed by Horrible’s performance as a villain so far, the Evil League of Evil says he must assassinate someone in order to join their ranks. Hammer is of course his target. During their showdown, Dr. Horrible succeeds in humiliating Captain Hammer, but, unfortunately, his Death Ray accidentally kills Penny. While, he has achieved his goal of entering the Evil League of Evil, he lost the only thing he cared about and the whole thing ends on a bit of a downer, damn you, Whedon!!!
Bummer ending aside, Dr. Horrible is a lot of fun. The music is great, makes one wonder if Whedon would ever want to stage a full-on Broadway musical one day. Neil Patrick Harris shines as the leading man. Fillion is a lot of fun as the obnoxious Captain Hammer. While Felicia Day is great in other roles, her character is under developed. There’s a lot of interesting stuff going on in terms of who is a good guy and who is a bad guy. We’re supposed to root for Dr. Horrible despite his quest of destruction, and the traditional hero figure is a shallow jerk. We want Billy to get the girl, but his alter-ego was doomed to spoil things with sweet, innocent Penny. A really great take on the sometimes predictable world of superheros.

How The Mystery Kills the Mystery on How I Met Your Mother

As How I Met Your Mother ended its seventh season, Ted Mosby ran away with an old flame, Victoria, just minutes before her wedding. This could be an interesting way to end a season, the lead getting back with the one who got away, if this was any other show but How I Met Your Mother. Viewers know nothing will come of this because, while creators have sprinkled “clues” throughout the series’ 164 episodes, they really haven’t led anyone closer to figuring out the identity of the ever elusive mother, but they have made it very clear who she certainly is not.
So far, viewers know the mother is in possession of a yellow umbrella, took at least one class at Columbia University, has ankles, showers, and, at this point, has not met Ted Mosby. Ted’s narration has repeatedly told us he has yet to meet Mommy Dearest, so having him drive off into the sunset with an ex-girlfriend is just the creators’ way of telling the audience “We’re going to waste your time and you’re going to take it!” We know this is going to end and, most likely, it’s going to end horribly. The creators rely on the old adage, that sometimes the journey is more important than the destination, but what makes a journey so magical, is not knowing what the destination will be and here viewers are constantly told exactly where they are heading.
The season ender also had another major development, professional womanizer Barney Stinson proposing to his girlfriend Quinn. However, as the finale came to the close, it is revealed in a flashforward that Barney’s future bride is not Quinn, but Robin. This means in season eight not one, but two relationships will fall apart. What a way to say good-bye to your fans for the summer.
When the series first began, creators were unsure how successful the show would be and wanted to make sure the mother was met. Rumor has it the creators had back-up mothers, just in case the show was canceled. These early seasons had a sense of fun to them, as viewers kept their eyes peeled for possible mother sightings. However, the show wasn’t cancelled and since the creators seem to want the show to end with the initial meeting of the mother, they have been forced to stall, shoving in random girlfriends as a way to kill time. As with many other high-concept series, the gimmick weighs down on How I Met Your Mother as seasons progress.
Two major characters making life altering decisions should be a solid and exciting way to close a season, leaving viewers eagerly awaiting what the future holds for their heroes. However, the writers of How I Met Your Mother botch the execution and spill the beans that we are still no closer to the mother than we were when we first met Ted and the Gang seven years ago. If the writers kept their “clues” to themselves and stopped making promises to the fans early in the season, only to have to scramble when the finale comes, then maybe fans wouldn’t be so eager for the mother and still be enjoying the journey of finding her.

2012 Emmy Winner Predictions

The Emmys may be the least surprising awards show. They pick their favorites and continue to nominate them long after the series or actor has past their prime. It’s isn’t a collection of the best in television as much as what the Emmy voters have on their DVR, with maybe one new HBO show to prove they know what the kids are watching. While I truly believe we are experiencing a golden age of television, there are a few major categories where I have a favorite nominee.
Here are my picks:
Outstand Comedy Series
Big Bang Theory
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Girls
Modern Family
30 Rock
Veep
Who Will Win: None of the established series had a particularly stellar series. They may give it to Girls, since it was the most talked about comedy series of the year. It could win and then never be nominated again.
Where Are?: Parks & Recreation (Amy Poehler got a best lead actress nomination), Community is doing some really interesting things with the medium, my favorite show on television, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, will never get the respect it deserves, but, to me, it’s brilliant, although last season was not its strongest. At least they gave up on Glee.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Lena Dunham in Girls
Melissa McCarthy in Mike & Molly
Zooey Deschanel in The New Girl
Edie Falco in Nurse Jackie
Amy Poehler in Parks & Recreation
Tina Fey in 30 Rock
Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Veep
Who Will Win: This is a crazy list of ladies. They really covered all their bases and, in a way, this could be anybody’s to win, although I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Miss Poehler. Leslie’s run for city council gave Poehler the chance to show a really human side to her sometimes wacky character.
Where Are?: This category is so crowded, I can’t think of anyone they missed.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Jim Parsons in Big Bang Theory
Larry David in Curb Your Enthusiasm
Don Cheadle in House of Lies
Louie C.K. in Louie
Alec Baldwin in 30 Rock
Jon Cryer in Two and a Half Men
Who Will Win: This one’s a little ugh. No one who gets me really excited. It’s a very predictable list. I could see current Emmy favorite, Jim Parsons taking it or Louie since he’s such a critic darling, although I do take points away for his literally playing himself.
Where Are?: It’s never going to happen, but it would be nice to see Joel McHale in this category for Community.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Mayim Bialik in Big Bang Theory
Kathryn Joosten in Desperate Housewives
Julie Bowen in Modern Family
Sofia Vergara in Modern Family
Merritt Wever in Nurse Jackie
Kristen Wiig in Saturday Night Live
Who Will Win: Hard to read this one, maybe Kristen Wigg for her last season on SNL. Would love to see Bialik, she’s the best part of Big Bang Theory and could have an advantage as a former child star grown up right.
Where Are?: Any of the ladies from Community. It’s also a crime that Kaitlin Olson will never be recognized for being one of the most daring ladies in comedy. Also, Maya Rudolph is fun in Up All Night.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Ed O’Neill in Modern Family
Jesse Tyler Ferguson in Modern Family
Ty Burrell in Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet in Modern Family
Max Greenfield in New Girls
Bill Hader in Saturday Night Live
Who Will Win: The Modern Family guys all kind of cancel each other out and New Girl is too much of a young person’s show, so maybe Bill Hader? Not that I would complain. He’s the most dependable cast member since Phil Hartman.
Where Are?: Any of the guys from Parks & Rec. While Poehler is great, it’s such a great ensemble cast.

Outstanding Drama Series
Boardwalk Empire
Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
Homeland
Mad Men
Who Will Win: Wow, this is a hard one. Every single show is a critical darling. Maybe Breaking Bad after not be eligible last year? Or Downton Abbey as a first time nominee in this category?
Where Are?: This is a really solid category. Can’t think of anyone missing.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Glenn Close in Damages
Michelle Dockery in Downton Abbey
Julianna Margulies in The Good Wife
Kathy Bates in Harry’s Law
Claire Danes in Homeland
Elisabeth Moss in Mad Men
Who Will Win: The Emmys do love them some Claire Danes but Moss’ Peggy went through some big changes this season.
Where Are?: Drama is really solid this year. If anything it’s “Why is Kathy Bates here?”

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Dramatic Role
Steve Buscemi in Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall in Dexter
Hugh Bonneville in Downton Abbey
Damian Lewis in Homeland
Jon Hamm in Mad Men
Who Will Win: This may be the toughest category to judge. We got to see a very different side of Don Draper, Walter White stooped to almost killing a child to manipulate his partner, and didn’t Steve Buscemi kill a guy he treated like a son (I don’t have HBO)? Could be anybody really but might root for Hamm.
Where Are?: Another category I can’t complain about.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Anna Gunn in Breaking Bad
Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
Joanne Froggatt in Downton Abbey
Archie Panjabi in The Good Wife
Christine Baranski in The Good Wife
Christina Hendricks in Mad Men
Who Will Win: I’m really hoping Christina Hendricks gets reward for all the crap they put Joan through this season.
Where Are?: Aren’t there a lot of ladies in Game of Thrones? Again, no HBO.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Aaron Paul in Breaking Bad
Giancarlo Esposito in Breaking Bad
Brendan Coyle in Downton Abbey
Jim Carter in Downton Abbey
Peter Dinklage in Game of Thrones
Jared Harris in Mad Men
Who Will Win: Feel like it could be down to Paul as as the always amazing Jesse Pinkman and Harris for his incredibly haunting departure from the show, (however I think he didn’t submit that episode to the Emmy board)
Where Are?: Surprised John Slattery got bumped for Harris, but would love to see Vincent Kartheiser get recognized for his work on the show. Hope to see Jonathan Banks fill in Esposito’s spot next year.

May livetweet the show @tuxedopengin for any that are interested.

Revolution- Pilot

In Chicago, two young children mindlessly watch Bugs Bunny. Mom tries to get them to say hi to grandma but they are too zoned out. Dad, Ben, comes home and says they need to fill the sinks and the tubs because it’s happening.
He calls him his brother Miles who is on his way back to the base after a few drinks (good role model) . Ben warns him that all the lights are going off and they are never coming back. And with that all electronic devices start to stop. Televisions, computers, even cars and planes stop working, which doesn’t seem to make much sense, but whatever.
Flash forward sixteen year, Aaron, a disgruntled teacher, tells the children that things didn’t used to be that way and the all should be asking why, but they don’t seem too overly concerned. After class he runs into Ben, who seems pretty please that everything went to shit just like he said it would, and tells him how his backyard becoming a raccoon brothel keeps him from sleeping. This one is one to watch.
We see a grown up version of those two mindless kids, Charlie and Danny, explore an abandoned bus which brings back memories for Charlie of when the lights first went out and she got to eat all the ice cream she wanted. Danny has an asthma attack and Charlie hurries him home. Back home he’s treated by dad’s new lady friend, Maggie, who Charlie’s isn’t too fond of. Ben reprimands Charlie for putting her younger brother in danger, but Charlie points out that everything is dangerous. Ben says she’s right and asks her if she wants to end up killed like her mother.
Gus Fring (!) rides into town and demands to see Ben, who sneaks some sort of talisman to Aaron. Gus (they have not given him a name yet so he’s the dude from Breaking Bad) says he wants to know where Ben’s brother Miles is and says he works for Sebastian Monroe (woah, that’s a name) and hasn’t come this far for nothing. Danny, inadvisedly whips out a crossbow and threatens Gus. This inspires Gus’ crew and other townspeople to whip out their illegal weaponry. In the confusion Danny shoots and hits his father. Fing Danny! It’s gonna be like that, is it? A full out fight breaks out, with Gus ending things by shooting the rebellious townsfolk. Danny is taken away by Gus and his men.
Charlie runs in just in time to see her father die. She promises to find Danny. However, she has company, Maggie and Aaron are insisting to tag along, despite the fact that Aaron is allergic to bees and is most likely afraid of his own shadow. I like that he’s sticking around.
Gus tells Danny it’s nothing personal, that if he couldn’t bring in his father, he couldn’t go back to his boss empty handed. He reminds Danny that he isn’t the one with blood his hands. Danny is intend to escape. Danny is kind of dumb.
The trio make camp and Aaron says he wasn’t expecting the chafing. He asks about Uncle Miles and Charlie says he’s good at killing. Aaron is thrilled to hear this, not!
The next morning Charlie runs into a fellow named Nate. Their exchange is brief but it’s clear this is someone who we will be seeing more of. She rejoins Maggie and Aaron and the trio find an airplane to make camp in. Aaron knows that there are first aid kits in the cockpits of planes because he owned one as a former big wig at Google, which does not exist anymore. I don’t think you need to own a plane to know about first aid kits, but it gives us info about Mr. Aaron.
Danny has broken out of his shackles but drew some attention. He knocks out his guard and makes a run for it.
The trio wakes up at knifepoint as their “plane as shelter” idea is a popular one. Aaron tries to play tough guy which is inadvisable. Maggie leads them to some liquor she has in her bag and then one drags Charlie off to most likely have his way with him. Suddenly the bad guys start puking blood, thanks to the poisonous liquor Maggie tricked them with and Nate is back, of course, shooting Charlie’s attacker.
Turns out Nate is going to Chicago to try to find work on a fishing crew so he, at least momentarily, joins the crew.
Danny stumbles through a field where he runs into pollen!!!! Oh no!!!! His Kryptonite! This one is going to be a problem.
The crew finds their way into Chicago and Aaron full of memories from his past life and leads the crew into the hotel he got married in. Lucky enough the bar tender at the hotel is Uncle Miles! What are the odds?
Danny wakes up in a bed with a guy to his head. He was found by someone else who can be killed by pollen.
Charlie asks Miles why he’s wanted by Monroe. He says they think he and her father know why the lights went out and might know how to turn them back on, but he doesn’t want to get messed up in all that. Charlie demands he help out of family loyalty but Miles doesn’t really know what he owes a girl he hasn’t seen in fifteen years. Ohhh snap!
The group notices Charlie is upset and when Nate sees Miles he’s ready for blood. However, Miles reveals Nate has the mark of the militia. Nate freaks and hurries out of the hotel, weapon drawn.
The group try to decide what to do next. Miles plans to enjoy the last bottle of single-malt in Chicago while waiting for the militia, summoned by Nate, to come for him. Charlie thinks that’s crazy talk and even if he doesn’t join their ranks, he can’t just wait to be killed. Uncle Miles clearly it’s the Fun Uncle and screams at Charlie to leave him alone.
Gus has followed Danny to the farm house and questions Danny’s caretaker. While she originally swears she hasn’t seen anyone for weeks, Gus sees through this since he used to be an insurance adjuster. Wow, life has changed a lot for this dude. He busts into the bedroom just as Danny escapes out the window.
As predicted, Nate leads a militia group straight to Miles who is ready for them. While seemingly prepare to fight an army all by his lonesome, Charlie and the others bust in to help save the day. Even Aaron is helpful, but I like him too much to trust that he will not be killed off. Nate helps Charlie and the two briefly face off sharing a meaningful look before Nate runs off. He’ll be back.
As Maggie tends to Miles’ wound, he agrees to join their little crew. He doesn’t think it’s going to end well for any of them but what else is he going to do, right? Charlie is still happy, nonetheless.
In a flashback it is revealed that Miles’ buddy from the beginning of the episode is Sebastian Monroe, the big baddy!
We see present day Monroe as he receives news that Ben is dead and Danny has been captured, he doesn’t seem completely pleased.
Farmer lady goes to her attic and reveals she also has the same talisman Ben gave Aaron and we see it generates power, allowing her to operate her computer and access a primitive version of the internet. She conversing with another, proving there are others.
While the premise is a bit hard to believe and everyone is a bit to pretty and clean for people surviving a kind of Armageddon, this show has potential to be ok, but, as it reminds me a lot of Heroes in tone and style, it could also become horrible.

Breaking Bad Episode 508 Gliding Over All

Fly. Those are always trouble on this show.
Todd reports for work to find Walt staring at a fly on the light. He has dealt with Mike’s car, insuring he was not followed and no questions were asked, but he thinks it’s pretty cool how they turn cars into cubes.
They now must deal with Mike’s body. He tells Todd it had to be done. They are about to dispose of Mike when Jesse stops by, asking if Mike got out. Walt answers in a way that to Jesse is affirmative but isn’t a true “yes”. Jesse asks what they are going to do about the nine but Walt reminds him they are not a team anymore and he will handle it alone.
Walt showers and we see the copy of Leaves of Grass Gale gifted Walt is kept by the toilet.
Hank is meeting with a prisoner willing to talk in exchange for all charges dropped. Hank doesn’t take the bait.
Walt meets with Lydia at a restaurant and she’s her typical neurotic self. She worries how it will “play” with Walt not ordering anything. This lady thinks she’s living in a spy movie. He wants the names but Lydia worries the names are the only thing keeping her alive. Walt reminds Lydia of his promise but Lydia says he would protect her from Mike, and Mike is clearly out of the picture now. Walt says if she withholds the names, then she’s truly useless to him, but Lydia says she will grow his business in the Czech Republic. While Madrigal is still under investigation, it’s a big company and Lydia can make international maneuvers with a click of a mouse. She says she was working with Gus towards expanding into this marker when he was killed. She asks for ten months to deliver and Walt agrees. Now the names can be given and Lydia’s usefulness remains intact. She leaves and Walt reveals to the audience he was keeping the power to kill her right under his hat all along. The old recin trick again.
At home, Walt hides the recin in the wall outlet before calling Todd, requesting to meet his uncle and his connections. They plot how to kill the nine within the prisons, using all their available resources. Todd’s uncle says they can all be killed but to do so in such a short time frame would even be tricky for Seal Team 6. Walt does not accept this answer. He says the question really is, is he the right man for the job. He has to figure it out.
It’s go time and they have teams of prisoners brutally murdering the nine by beating, shanking, and, in one case, burning one to death. News gets to Hank in the middle of a photo op and it’s back to square one for his case.
News of the prison murders hits the airwaves as Walt enjoys playful daddy-daughter time with Holly. Marie rushes in and shuts off the television. She says Hank is pulling into the driveway and has had an awful day at work. Hank heads straight for the liquor cabinet and pours himself and Walt a drink. He sits down and reminisces about a job he had while in college tagging trees. Every morning he could pick up where he left off the day before and he sometimes wishes he could go back to tagging trees instead of chasing monsters.
Montage! Walt’s new venture with Lydia begins. Money is pouring in and Todd is steadily learning the trade.
Time has passed as we see little Holly starting to learn how to walk. Skyler tries to extend the family time but a call from a friend sends Walter Jr out of the room. Marie thinks Skyler is doing so much better and it might be time to have the kids move back in them. Skyler wants to know if Hank doesn’t want them around anymore, but Marie says the issue isn’t the kids themselves, but whether keeping the kids is enabling her.
Skyler comes home and sees Walt sitting out by the pool. She approaches him and asks him to take a drive with her. They go to a storage facility where she has a unit containing all the money they have made. She says it’s too much to count. Too much to launder. She wants her old life back so when is enough, enough for Walt.
Walt goes in for scans, something we haven’t seen him do for a long time. Afterwards he visits Jesse, whose days are now spent almost accidentally burning his house down. Walt explains he tried to call but none of Jesse’s numbers are working. Jesse invites him in and sheepishly puts his bong out of sight. Saul told Jesse what Walt did and he’s not returning to the business so why is Walt bothering him? Walt says he saw a RV that was the same model as their old one. They reminisce about what a hunk of junk it was. Jesse points out they had money then, why were they saving it? Why did they suffer the World’s shittiest RV? Walt leaves saying he’s left something for Jesse. Jesse’s obviously cautious but it’s money he was owed from the sale. When Jesse is alone, he discards the gun he had been holding, obviously meant to protect him from Walt if needed.
Walt goes home and tells Skyler he’s out. The kids come home and the family celebrates. They are talking such banal stuff you know something big has to be brewing. Hank does to the bathroom and stumbles upon Gale’s copy of Leaves of Grass. The inscription jogs Hank’s memory and the dots connect. Walt is Heisenberg.
Now, what will the last eight episodes have in store? I’m imagining an inevitable showdown between Walt and Hank. I’ve never had a good feeling about that baby. What role will Jesse play in these final days? Will anyone make it out alive?

North & South


The 80s were a pretty over the top time. Hair was big, the clothes were wacky, and primetime was flooded with soaps like Dallas and Dynasty.North and South was a mini-series that married the the melodrama of a soap opera with the epicness of a period piece. Starring 80s megastar Patrick Swayze and featuring cameos from legends like Elizabeth Taylor and James Stewart, it’s a really cheesy, fun way to learn about The Civil War.
Orry Main, the only son of a Southern plantation owner, meets the love of his life and his best friend on his way to West Point. While still in South Carolina, he helps a beautiful woman named Madeline who promises to write him while he’s away. When he reaches the North, he meets fellow cadet – George Hazard from Pennsylvania. Hazard bets a doubtful Main that he will graduate and together the two withstand the cruel hazing of drill master Corporal Bent. After graduation, the two fight together in the Mexican War and start a company together. However, as tensions grow across the nation, their conflicting political beliefs test their friendship again and again.
One of the things that stands out the most about North and South is that it’s fairly pro South. The film doesn’t choose a side but implies that the real issue was extremism from both parties. One of the series’ most frustrating characters is an abolitionist (George’s sister Virgilia played by Kirstie Alley) who does not care who she hurts in the name of the cause. However, the most evil characters are Southern. It’s a bit uncomfortable to see plantation owners that beat their slaves over any inconvenience, juxtaposed with others who treat their slaves like family. In one of the series’ more powerful scenes, George takes Orry on a tour of his family’s foundry and shows him the living quarters for the workers. Orry declares them worse than where his slaves live and George reminds him that his people always have the option of leave, but Orry asks him where are they supposed to go on with such low wages. It’s an interesting point and when you read about the working conditions during the Industrial Revolution, etc where these employers any more admirable that slave owner simply because they didn’t legally own their workers. Food for thought.
North and South is a little hard to recommend because you really have to be in the right mood for it. There are a lot of giggle inducing love scenes (Patrick Swayze is the oddest kisser in this, it’s enough to make me want to rewatch his other films just to insure this was just a fluke) and some of the villains are fairly cartoonish but with the right company, it’s easy to develop a North and South drinking game. It’s also fun to pick out all the familiar faces.There were three “seasons”, but the third edition was a last ditch effort to make some money off the franchise. Much of the original cast had to be written out or replaced and there’s a few plot twists that don’t make much sense, feel free to skip it since the first 2 parts are work fine without it.