Sunday, October 24, 2010

TV Shows This Season - The FLAT syndrome

The DVR has been totally full lately. We've watched a bunch of new shows this season as well as welcome back returning favorites. And as happens every time, there are many we miss checking out entirely. Way too much out there!

This year though, something weird happened. A lot of the new shows we started watching though filled with good sounding premises and loads of actors and actresses I love just came across totally FLAT!

It really surprised me. Mostly we figured it was just a problem with the first episode or something so we watched more. Still the same! Just can't put my finger on it. This week we took several shows off the DVR record list as hubby had had enough. (He has a lower tolerance than I do!)

Here are the ones we tried and have let go and the ones we're keeping - in no certain order.

Undercovers: Love JJ Abrams. Love love Gerald McRaney in this (he does snark so well!). The premise sounded good. Ex-CIA agents now married getting called back into the fold. Has an undercurrent of 'not all is as it seems' running through it. Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw (love her hair in the recent Mentalist!!!!) have good chemistry. The ex partner in the CIA to the two of them, Leo, played by Carter McIntyre is a hoot! The locations are fab. Love that they actually have people who really speak these foreign languages with correct accents. Yet...yet... Something just doesn't quit jell. Can't put my finger on it. Maybe they're trying too hard to be serious and light at the same time.

Also doesn't help that occasionally liberties are taken with reality/plot just to make things fit. Those are always a big turn off. (Can't help it! Inner editor will not be denied!) It is gone from the DVR list... :(

No Ordinary Family: Again a show with people I've enjoyed before. Julie Benz! (Angel, Dexter) Michael Chikliz! Stephen Collins! (Star Trek!) Several story lines and problems. Peeps with powers! Big conspiracy. Moral choices to be made. Have loved specific segments and the lawyer turned sidekick with the lair is a lot of fun. Yet again when it all is combined it comes out so FLAT. Took this one off the list as well. :(

Lonestar: This one only got one episode. The premise as shown was just too depressing - lifelong conman pushed to get deeper by his father, who is in love with both of his wives and thinks he can juggle the mess that is coming. No one was going to win here. Getting vested in anyone was too dangerous! We ran away. Off the list is went. (And hubby had been so excited about this one!)

The Event: LOST wanna be. The whole 'aliens' thing is interesting. And they've definitely done a couple of very surprising twists so far. Been great to see Jason Ritter (Joan of Arcadia) again and Scott Patterson (Gilmore Girls) and many others. The show takes flashbacks a bit too far though. Frequency has been insane. Though it's mellowed out in the last episode or two. Still has my interest but it is losing hubby fast. I am fearing the old 'let's change this character from who they normally are for this one episode so we can make the plot fit' syndrome. I think they've coming dangerously close to that cop out once or twice, and that's always a MAJOR turn off for me. Still in DVR for now...

The Defenders: Had to see this just because of who's in it! Had to see them interact - Jim Belushi and Jerry O'Connell (Sliders). And what a blast they are! Defense lawyers with quirky lives and walking the line between respectable and shameless with gooey good hearts in the center. Plus it's set in Vegas! Sin City! This one has been delivering. Interesting cases too. A keeper!

Boardwalk Empire: Strong series for mature audiences only. Deals with a fascinating period of time - prohibition. Mainly follows the travails of Enoch "Nucky" Thompson, the corrupt treasurer for Atlantic City, as well as that of several people around him. The best part is all the info and small touches about that period of time. Clothes, slang, attitudes. Totally fascinating. And they throw in some historical figures and their possible origins as lovely carrots too, like Al Capone. Keeping this one too.

$#*! My Dad Says: William Shatner! He was so much fun in Boston Legal we had to check this one out. Unfortunately it is on super crowded Thursday so we've only been able to catch a couple of episodes when something else has not played for a holiday hiatus. It's pretty cute. Jonathan Sadowski, Nicole Sullivan, and Will Sasso are also a lot of fun. Will be watching this one when the DVR allows. :)

Nikita: Dollhouse meets Alias. Nothing flat about this series. Started out with a bang and hasn't much slowed down. This is the one we've been most pumped about out of everything new this season. Maggie Q as Nikita is both angsty and super bad! Shane West and Lyndsy Fonseca and all the other actors and actresses have loads of presence and complex characters. Multiple layers and lots of intrigue. Definite keeper for us!

Hm, I think that might about be it for new stuff we caught for the fall. What shows have you liked and will be keeping and which ones will you not? Let's compare!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Halloween Kindle Giveaway!

Hi, all!

Linda Hilburn has gathered a bunch of authors together, including yours truly, to create a Halloween Contest!

Grand Prize is a new Kindle e-book reader!

All you have to do is visit Paranormality's Blog, visit the participating authors' websites (like mine!) and answer a couple of questions. Then submit your answers to the email address listed on the blog.

Hopefully you will run across some awesome new authors and books on the way!

Good luck!

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Movie Review - RED


Starring: Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, Karl Urban, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Ernest Borgnine, Helen Mirren, Brian Cox, Richard Dreyfuss and more.

Premise: Frank Momses, a retired CIA operative trying to adjust to civilian life suddenly finds himself a target for termination. Having been cultivating the closest thing to a normal relationship he can manage with a customer service agent for his monthly retirement checks, he realizes that now those after him will make her a target as well. SO he must try to keep her safe even as he attempts to find out what is going on and why.

Review: The movie is based on a DC graphic novel, but I've not read this one, so can't make a comparison. But if it's anything like the movie, it should be fun!

The movie highlights one of my husband's oldest and most endeared sayings - "Don't mess with old people." Retired he might be, but Frank Moses, hasn't lost his touch. Superior gun battles and hand to hand fight scenes. A couple of places of incredible overkill, but then these people don't underestimate who they're going against, at least not if they want to live.

All the characters are a total hoot especially since several don't fit the molds you'd usually expect. Bruce Willis was great as 'the super efficient agent, yet totally clueless boy falling in love, who can't quite fit back into normal society' man. Mary-Louise Parker was hilarious first as the super spooked girl then blooming adrenaline junkie. Karl Urban was superb as Bruce Willis' foil and modern agent man. (The fight scene with him and Frank in Cooper's office was awesome! Even keot the wounds throughout.) All of Frank Moses' old buddies were a blast and quircky set of characters as well.

Lots of wit, lots of action, loved the post cards used for scene changes. You have to keep an eye on them as some of them move and do things. Beautifully choreographed violence. Several subplots going on as well enriching the entire thing. And to be honest, even better was just seeing several of these actors on screen again!

The Pink Pig: Never leave home without it! Heh heh. The movie was just a lot of fun!

Rating: 4 out of 5 easy!

Friday, October 08, 2010

Friday Flash - Old People

“Dude, I don’t know about this…” Rick shuffled his feet, his hand unconsciously rising to wipe the snot away from his abused nose.

“What’s there to know?” Ice turned to glare at him, his light blue eyes seeming to glow with the reflected illumination of the park lights.

Rick hunched down a little, putting more of the tree they were hiding by between them. “Still… Old people?”

“Easy pickings, fool.” Ice’s stare turned cold. “You want a hit and that takes money. You got none. So you’ve got to help entertain me if you want your fix.”

Rick looked away, only too aware of the type of things Ice considered entertainment. Assaulting old people though, that’d be a new low, even for him. It was one thing to let Ice pick on him in exchange for what he needed, but this… His ran his tongue over dry lips; hands shaking at his sides, bottomless need trilling through him. “But they’re old, Ice. They’re not hurting anyone.”

His companion snorted. “That’s half the fun right there, idiot. You want the smack or not? I got others needing what I got as much or more than you. And they can pay.”

Rick swayed where he stood, the gnawing craving causing panic to shoot up his throat at the thought of not getting what he needed. He’d hate himself later but right now the person he had to take care of was himself. “No, no, man, I’m in.”

“That’s more like it.” Ice’s smile was predatory. “Now come on. Those two old farts will never know what hit them.” He hefted the bat at his side.

They stuck to the shadows as they made their way around the park toward the concrete game tables in the center. Several of the lights had been busted out by vandals or burned out and never replaced by the city, but the two old men had brought their own with them.

Rick and Ice separated.

Though it was close to summer, both old men were bent over the table wearing heavy coats, caps, and mufflers. They both had on round John Lennon glasses with dark lenses. Really dark lenses. They stared at the board for minutes at a time and then a slow, shuddering hand would clamber up and move one of the pieces.

Taking a deep breath to fortify his courage, Rick stepped out from the bushes and walked their way. “It’s really late, isn’t it?”

Both men turned ever so slowly in his direction as if having to calculate every movement. “Look, we have company, Mr. C.”

“I see that, Mr. L.”

Rick hesitated, the voices sending creepy shivers up his arms. It was like hearing old papers rustling out words. The faces turned toward him were wrinkled and dry, as old as dirt.

One of them made a beckoning gesture. “Come on closer, boy.”

Something inside Rick screamed at the suggestion. Only his ever increasing need was able to clamp over the urge to run and allowed him to walk a little nearer. “You, you shouldn’t be out here, you know? It’s not safe.”

“Why aren’t you the sweetest thing? Worried about us like that.” The smile that cracked over the face of Mr. L seemed to be laughing at him. Rick really didn’t want to be here anymore.

Keep them distracted, fool. No smack for you if you don’t.

Ice’s parting words slapped him again. His whole body shook. He’d been without for so long. He would die. He knew he would die if he didn’t get more. So he stood his ground. “Can you spare some change?”

He spotted Ice leaving his place of concealment the bat up and ready. Ice rushed forward, aiming for the head of the closest of the two men.

Rick opened his mouth to shout out a warning despite what might later happen to him -- in that one moment forgetting about the hunger inside him. Before he could say anything though, the bat was already moving toward Mr. L’s head.

Without turning around, the old man lifted his arm and caught the wood in his palm with a loud whack. The force of the blow half unsettled the old man’s glasses exposing his eyes. They were green orbs with an up and down black line. It took Rick a second before his brain started shouting the fact they weren’t human.

“I don’t know how you did that, old codger, but it’s not gonna cut it!” Ice pulled out a switchblade and stabbed at Mr. L while still holding on to the bat. In a blink, Mr. L was no longer sitting, but standing, easily avoiding the blade.

Off balance, Ice let go of the bat to take another swing with the knife. Rick tried to warn Ice this time as the end of the bat moved in a blur to poke him hard in the stomach. Before Ice could fall gagging to the concrete, Mr. C was up and grabbing him by the collar. With a flick of a wrist, Ice’s body flew up and thumped with a bone breaking crunch onto the chess table.

Ice screamed and blood gurgled from his mouth. Mr. L tossed the bat aside to the grass then reached inside Ice’s jacket. Mr. C smiled and small tentacles played with his teeth as they reached out, as if tasting the air.

“Young man, do you want this?” Mr. L held up a packet of white powder.
Rick shook his head so hard it looked like it might come off. His eyes were wide, soundless screams issuing from his mouth, a dark stain growing on his pants.

“Off you go then.”

He was gone before Mr. C finished speaking.

The two men leaned over Ice as life left him. “You should know better than to mess with old people, boy.” The tentacles from their mouths reached down to lap the blood on his face. “You won’t ever do it again.”

The End
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