Thursday, February 27, 2014

'Arrow', "Time of Death" -- 13 Things We Learned

Arrow Time of Death screencaps Oliver Queen Stephen Amell Sara Lance Caity Lotz John Diggle David Ramsey shirtless abs bulging muscles photos pics
Hangin' with the big boys...

 A lot happened on "Arrow" this week, including a little bit of War of the Girls. The nice thing about "Arrow" is the girls usually resolve this by kicking ass, or at least speaking their minds, instead of a lot of catty BS. Rock on, Awesome Women!

Here are the 13 things we learned in episode "Time of Death."

Arrow Diggle Sara Oliver fight scene staff kicking ass Stephen Amell David Ramsey Caity Lotz photos shirtless sexy pics

I'll show you mine if you show me yours...

1. Felicity is feeling jealous. There's a new girl in the Lair, and she can spar with the muscly shirtless boys and hold her own in the "who has more scary scars" game. She's smart, strong, and can even analyze blood. And oh yeah, there was that whole lesbian thing, too, and we know guys like that.

And the worst: Sara is pretty nice to our favorite geek girl, which makes it kinda hard to hate on her.

Sin Bex Taylor-Klaus Roy Colton Haynes Thea Willa Holland Sara Caity Lotz party pictures
Thea realizes she should have specified a dress code...

2. Every family has their own style. "When you come back from the dead, you get a's a Queen family tradition," Oliver informs a reluctant-to-be-social Sara. She shares the Lance family tradition: "Holding grudges forever." As whiny as Laurel has been lately, you gotta admit she's got some solid reasons for grudge-holding, though.

Arrow Laurel Sara Lance family dinner Katie Cassidy Caity Lotz photos pics images

3. Oh, and if you want to keep your relationship with a dude secret from your family, don't invite him to your family-only make-up dinner. Laurel can totally smell the shared lust on you.

4. At that same dinner, we find out momma Dinah has a new boyfriend. There goes daddy Quentin's dreams of reuniting. Really, maybe that grudge thing was a better idea.

John Diggle David Ramsey Felicity Smoak Emily Bett Rickards Arrow screencaps

5. When your whole high tech computer system gets infiltrated and fried, and you're feeling down about being the Most Useless Girl Ever, it turns out Diggle is a really good listener. He's also really hot and super strong. Maybe you've been pining over the wrong dude, Felicity!

Sara Black Canary Felicty Diggle leather masks

6. Apparently on Arrow's Super Sekrit team, only Sara and Oli need to wear masks. Because no one will go after Felicity and Diggle, they're the B Team. And who would ever figure out what dude those two have in common, right?

Sara Black Canary Felicity Caity Lotz Emily Bett Rickards shot on the ground saving

7. Felicty does know how to Kick Ass, as if it was ever in doubt. She takes a bullet for Sara, and then electrocutes the bad guy by hacking and frying his phone. After she helps Diggle figure out how to save them all from going BOOM. Top that, Hooded Withholder Of Affection!

Sara stitching up Felicity in turquoise bra bullet wound Arrow Time of Death episode Diggle and Oliver watch

8. Secret Lair rules: Boy or girl, seeing each other in your underwear is no big deal. And we don't need no stinkin' hospitals, when we have needle and thread and a semi-sterile environment. Oh, and "aspirin" = "oxycodone".

Sara Caity Lotz Sin Bex Taylor-Klaus heart to heart leather jacket spiked hair surrogate big sister

9. Flashback reveal: When a plane was shot down over the Island, Sara stayed with the dying pilot, and promised to look after his daughter if she ever got back home. Guess who that orphaned daughter is? Yep, that explains the whole Sara/Sin bond, though we don't know if she's ever told Sin about her dad.

10. Grudge fests can be broken! Lance apologizes to Oliver at Sara's party, saying he was too hard on him after his return, when he'd basically just been a kid like Sara. And when Oli lays the tough love down on Laurel, she decides being mad at a sister who's alive is preferable to angsting over a dead one.

Arrow Oliver Queen Stephen Amell Thea Willa Holland bar Verdant eyeroll suspicious glance hands around face

11. Meanwhile, exchanging stony glares with your mom is eventually going to get even Thea to notice something is up. And she's totally not going to believe your "Everything's fine" BS.

Slade Wilson Arrow Manu Bennett sexy eye patch goatee suit and tie photos pictures images screencaps

12. This is the least of Oli's worries, however. After all, his mom's meeting at the house with Slade, who is totally making that eye patch work.

13. But who cares about all that!? The most important thing we learned was that Felicity will always be Oliver's "girl." You know, not his *girl* girl...his girrrrl. Felicity knows that sounds like the same word, but it's not. Hell with Girl Friday, Arrow has a Girl Felicity. And that's soooo much cooler.

Watch for more on "Arrow", Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.

PHOTOS: "Arrow" episode "Time of Death" screencaps, 2014 The CW, fair use.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

'Star-Crossed', "These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends": 13 Things We Learned

Star-Crossed These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends Roman and Emery Matt Lanter Aimee Teegarden
The lovebirds angst.

I thought a lot happened in the pilot episode of "Star-Crossed," but it turns out that was just the appetizer to the complicated whirlwind stirred up in Episode 2, "These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends." Here are 12 things we learned, including a few big reveals (more cool blue glowing!) and lots of choosing sides.

Officer Beaumont uniform photos screencaps Tahmoh Penikett Star-Crossed pics
Supernatural sighting. No, really, we'll get to that later.

1. "Star-Crossed" has made things even more complicated for Emery and Roman. In case you didn't catch it last week, Emery's dad accidentally shot and killed Roman's dad in an altercation in The Sector. As you might guess, this has increased tensions between the humans and aliens. Mr. Whitehill takes a leave of absence and Galadriel from "Supernatural" takes his place on the force. Well, technically his name is Officer Beaumont.

2. At a school board meeting to discuss the all-important Homecoming (is Caroline from "TVD" on the planning committee?), we learn there's a crazy, conspiracy-theory-loving-alien-hating group called the Redhawks. When the board votes down allowing the Atrians to come to the dance, Emery makes an impassioned plea for unity. Which her good friend Lukas of course films. The video goes viral and Emery is insta-famous for her bad-ass standing up the The Man. Or something.

Johnathon Schaech Uncle Castor Star-Crossed
Doesn't seem suspicious at all, nope.

3. Roman has a creepy uncle Castor who shows up to take over the burial ceremony (which Roman says is his own duty.) When Castor takes our hero to meet with the Atrian's Four Elders, it appears he wants to take over tribal leadership as a "temporary" measure until Roman is old enough to take his father's place. Roman, suspicious, protests, saying he can do the leading himself.

Grayson Emery fried pickles Aimee Teegarden Grey Damon photos

4. Meanwhile, Emery and Grayson bond over fried pickles, and no, that's not a euphemism. He confesses to understanding Roman's loss, as his own brother was a National Guardsman killed on Arrival Day.

The moment before her *mic drop*.

5. We find out that Gloria Valdez has bosses in DC, giving her all the power she needs to veto the board's decision to leave the Atrians out of Homecoming. Party on, aliens!!

Drake Star-Crossed biceps tats tattoos screencaps pics Greg Finley

6. Drake, the hunky Alien with the big biceps, claims there are free Atrians running around in the swamplands of Louisiana, presumably hunkering down with Hayley's wolf clan from "The Originals." One of the Redhawks crazies seems to think there are also Atrians who had some laser-tattoo removal and are embedded amongst the humans, waiting to strike.

The Trag welcoming party.

7. Roman learns that the Trags, a rebel faction of Atrians, are stockpiling weapons for a big attack. He plans to infiltrate them and stop them, but then finds out that they're also targeting Emery's family as vengeance for Roman's dad's death. Roman decides this is too much to handle alone, so he goes back to his creepy uncle and asks for help, hoping Castor can use his former ties to the Trags to stop war from breaking out.

Roman and Emery holding hands Matt Lanter Aimee Teegarden Star-Crossed
Traditional handprints on memorial rock? Best excuse ever to touch the cute boy.

8. We learn that Emery is an eternal optimist, thinking she and Roman can still have a friendship/romance/thing. Ever the noble hero, Roman loves that she has his dad's endless optimism, but fears being close to her could do her more harm than good.

Emery Drake Redhawks Eric Grayson photos pics screencaps images Star-Crossed

9. Turns out Eric the Terrible's dad once owned a popular, successful restaurant. Then the powers-that-be built the detention area for the Atrians in the same neighborhood, driving business down and eventually leading Eric's father to ruin and alcoholism. So it's no surprise Eric jumps in on a Redhawk plot to kidnap Drake, though he's surprised when he finds out his rebel buddies wanted to do more than "scare" the alien. Luckily Emery and a knife-wielding Grayson are there to rescue Drake, who is too tough to say thank you.

Star-Crossed Beaumont Atrian in disguise.
Toldya. Totally supernatural dude.

10. Homecoming is a dangerous place. Roman tackles a hooded figure just as he's aiming a laser-rifle at Emery's head. The man is revealed to be...Galadriel! Erm, Beaumont! The officer flashes some blue light at Roman, and we realize those crazy Redhawks were right, there are Atrians posing as humans out there. Roman uses his father's good name to talk his way out of getting himself killed, but this ain't over.

Roman Castor handing over tribal leadership

Star-Crossed Uncle Castor Officer Beaumont Atrian conniving one was surprised.

11. Roman realizes being a teenage tribe leader may be more work than he can handle, and he gives the responsibility over to his uncle after all. Nothing blew up yet, so he's assuming his uncle is on his side, but claims he'll take away the leadership if Castor gives him any reason to doubt him. Castor sneers and twirls his mustache...well, on the inside. It's not long before we see him meeting with Beaumont, telling him to keep a spying eye on Roman and Emery.

Malese Jow Julia arm glowing Star-Crossed blue light tattoo
Well. That was weird.
 Star-Crossed Julia Malese Jow The Vampire Diaries Anna photos pictures

12. Julia's arm starts to glow when she touches Roman's arm, which we're guessing happens metaphorically to any girl that touches such a good-looking guy. But she realizes that Roman may be that blue angel she thought she hallucinated, who cured her of cancer. Hopefully she can keep a secret, because this is definitely one the Atrians don't want to get out.

Grayson Redhawks knife scary eyes pics photos images screencaps Star-Crossed These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends

13. For just one more surprise at the end of the episode, we find out Grayson is in league with the Redhawks after all, and supposedly only intervened in Drake's kidnapping because he felt it was too risky a move with all the guards around. But we suspect he might have a few true feelings for Emery as well.

Got all of that?

"Star-Crossed" airs on The CW, Mondays at 8/7c.

PHOTOS: Screencaps of "Star-Crossed" -- "These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends", 2014 The CW, fair use.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

'Star-Crossed'--Pretty Weak But Oh So Pretty

Matt Lanter and Aimee Teegarden are 'Star-Crossed.'
Other than the obvious "Romeo and Juliet" comparison, the CW premiere of "Star-Crossed" felt like a mix of "Gossip Girl," "Defiance," and "Twilight." Or something like that. The pilot episode had its finer moments, but it can be tough to get over some of the irritatingly unbelievable ones.

Take, for instance, the opening of the episode. A giant alien ship has crash-landed in Louisiana, there are flames everywhere and an intense battle breaks out when a human soldier fires on an unarmed, surrendering alien. Am I naive in thinking that we wouldn't actually kill in cold blood a human-looking dude with his hands raised in surrender?

An argument can be made for our inherent ruthlessness, but skip over to the home of little Emery, whose parents are concerned/terrified over the looming danger of an alien attack. Their response to this crisis is to tell the apparently ill 7-year-old to "take your pills" and then they promptly turn their backs and forget all about her. This way she can sneak off to the shed, in the dark, when she sees the door swinging open. So far, the human race is violent and really bad at parenting. Go Team Alien!

Little Emery finds Little Roman hiding out in the shed, gets him a blanket and feeds him some canned spaghetti. Then soldiers break in and, in attempting to protect Emery, the alien boy gets shot and killed. The rest of the crash-landed interlopers get rounded up and put in an internment camp, until 10 years later a new "integration" program puts seven aliens into the local human school. Lo and behold, Roman's not dead after all, he's all grown-up and totally hot and making doe eyes at Emery.

This is where my "favorite" TV high school phenomenon kicks in. There are only two decent people in the entire place, and the hundreds--perhaps thousands--of others, are total assholes or asshole-supporters. "Star-crossed" takes it to the adults as well, who are taking on a risky endeavor in the name of future peace and harmony, and yet only one guy seems to actually be interested in it. Because people who have no interest in a cause are always the ones who totally get it done, right?

The seven kids chosen are the least enthusiastic of all, and are dressed like a punky boy band and their gothy groupies. Because if your future freedom and liberty depends on a handful of kids, you definitely want to pick the ones that will do their best to screw things up. Hopefully you are sensing my sarcasm at this point.

Fights ensue, sides are chosen, and all plot lines and relationships go from zero to sixty in a single episode. We learn that Roman has super vampire hearing, and possibly has two hearts like Doctor Who. We also see him jam some super alien herb into his veins, which then glow all blue, and then his blood becomes a healing serum that cures Emery's terminally ill friend. Which admittedly was the coolest part of the premiere, and I'm hoping they didn't show their hand all at once, because it would be nice if the aliens had a few more spooky powers we don't know about yet.

The late Roger Ebert sometimes would concede that while he might find a particular movie awful, he was perhaps not the intended audience, and that intended audience might find it perfectly enjoyable. Such is the case with "Star-Crossed," which like many CW shows, could be right up the alley of their teenage audience.

After all, as I scoffed that Roman and Emery were about to kiss after spending a total of about 20 minutes together, I remembered one of my own teenage kisses: I made out with an older guy I had just met at a Halloween party...a guy who was dressed as a mouse. I suddenly realized I could not really judge Emery for wanting to snog a gorgeous guy who once threw himself in front of a laser bullet for her, and who has really cool neck tattoos.

So decide for yourselves on "Star-Crossed." You can watch the full first episode here, just click the pic below:

Future episodes of "Star-Crossed" will air on MONDAYS on The CW, 8/7c.

PHOTOS: Screencaps of "Star-Crossed" premiere, 2014 The CW, fair use.

Monday, February 10, 2014

'Silicon Valley'--Will New Entrepreneurial Comedy Be a Hit for Mike Judge?

Josh Brener and Thomas Middleditch in HBO comedy "Silicon Valley".

Mike Judge is a busy, successful man of many talents and many projects, but he's probably best known for two: Old School MTV icons Beavis and Butthead, and the cult comedy movie classic "Office Space." The latter has to be one of the finest, quirkiest satires on the mind-numbing cubicle corporate culture, and fans have always hoped to see more in that vein from Judge.

The 2009 movie "Extract" missed the mark as an heir to the "Office Space" throne, but now here comes an HBO comedy about nerdy dudes trying to capitalize on the Internet Start-Up boon that took a select few lucky geniuses from garages to millionaire mansions.

It's tough to tell the quality from this brief clip, but the Mike Judge style (and character types) are definitely visible. There's a lot of material to work with when you've got brilliant but naive guys trying to get rich in a cutthroat world, so let's hope Judge mined this universe for all it's worth. You can only rewatch "Office Space" so many hundreds of times, so it'd be great if we could watch some more workplace comedy gold when "Silicon Valley" debuts on HBO on April 6.

PHOTO: 2014 screencap of "Silicon Valley," HBO, fair use.


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