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Archive for the ‘Season Premieres’ Category

Alphas has been written and directed by Zak Penn who was also the writer of X-Men 2 and 3 movies. He also serves as an executive producer in the show which airs on the Syfy channel. So it shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody that this show has an X-Men feel to it. Other than that it also seems to derive some elements from another hit show ‘Heroes’ and the movie ‘Wanted’. Here, people with special ability are called ‘Alphas’ and their incredible powers come with a price, which is refreshing to see.


Characters:
Now that’s out of the way, lets dive in to the story and characters. Dr. Lee Rosen is the leader of a group of people who have superpowers. He is more of a doctor, like Xavier, than the leader you would expect and its refreshing for a tv show. He juggles between babysitting and his work of a therapist who gets the desired results from his team of Alphas. Watching him interact with Don, an agent, offered comedic elements which will be a breather in the days to come.

Bill Harken has superhuman strength and he is also a FBI agent. His chemistry with the team is lacking and he just doesn’t seem to consider the others as his equals, probably because all of them come from normal upbringing and don’t have the necessary professional quality in them. Nina, the hottie, has the power of hyperinduction. She can override the willpower in others and that’s a cool Jedi mind trick. Rachel has the power of synesthesia. that is she is able to enhance any one of her senses while all other senses shut down. Gary has the power of transduction. He is able to see all wireless electromagnetic wavelengths, making him the ultimate snoop.

Cameron is brainwashed into murdering a police suspect in a closed room, using his hyperkinesis. In my opinion, his story will be the most interesting and has the most potential since he has a troubled past, a problem with following orders though he served in the military and having this extraordinary ability which Angelina Jolie had in Wanted.

Recap:
Dr. Lee Rosen is called in by the Department of Defense to investigate how this could happen in a sealed room with only two guards and no windows. Rosen calls in his team of Alphas to investigate why. Nina uses her powers of influence to talk herself into the room and Rachel uses her enhanced senses to figure out where the bullet came from. Bill is able to piece together a profile using all this information, leading them back to Cameron.

The alphas soon figure out Cameron was brainwashed by someone and use him as a decoy to draw that person out of hiding. Gary is able to trace who that person is by finding their unique cellphone signal. The alphas storm a hotel and believe they find the brainwasher who jumps off the roof of the hotel after a quick chase. Come to find out, the brainwasher brainwashed a bell boy to trade places with him. Thus the bell boy is the one who ends up killing himself.

The brainwasher is able to escape and manipulate Bill into trying to kill Rosen. The alphas figure this out with Nina heading off to help Rosen and Cameron running after the brainwasher. Meanwhile, the brainwasher has taken Rachel hostage while attempting to escape before being caught. Cameron is able to shoot and kill the brainwasher before he kills Rachel but not before he tells them “you’re on the wrong side of this.” Nina and Rosen are able to subdue Bill. The pilot ends with Rosen officially welcoming Cameron to the team.

I actually liked the pilot very much. Granted, it has all been done before, but it was still exciting to watch the 90-minute pilot. Ordinary people with extraordinary powers, an evil force out to get them. It is a classic plot and I am a sucker for it. I think this is going to be another show on my must watch list.

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Summertime has become the perfect time for broadcast networks to experiment with their shows. Since, they know they aren’t going to get the same ratings as they do during the regular fall season, they are not worried if a show doesn’t have stellar ratings. This leads to shows such as Switched At Birth, The Nine Lives of Chloe King and Teen Wolf. ABC Family’s latest summer offering, The Nine Lives of Chloe King is being touted as the next Buffy. I decided to give the show a try since I love teen dramas and fantasy in teen drama is even more exciting! The show is written by Liz Braswell and is based on Alloy’s series of three young-adult books by Celia Thomson.

The story begins with our main protagonist, Chloe King being chased by someone. She inadvertently runs into a tower where she is pushed off the top from a scar-faced assassin. Chloe lies on the sidewalk with blood oozing out of her brain and is dead. That’s it people, show’s over! Well, not yet. The dreaded “2 Days Earlier” flashes on the screen and we are taken into the life of Chloe King a day before she turns sweet 16. We get to know that Chloe is very good and quiet girl and she wants that to change. She and her friends, Amy and Paul sneak into a dance club, despite being underage. At the club, she meets a boy Xavier and dances with him and has the wildest night of her young life. She kisses him, something she’s been longing to do for a very long time when we see the mysterious assassin stalking her. Next day in school, she grabs the basketball from Alek, an obnoxious jock and sends it flying to the trash can perfectly. All of a sudden Alek seems to notice Chloe and makes his move on her. Before he can kiss her, his cousin, Jasmine stops him.

Chloe discovers that there is something very special about her when she leaps onto a car to escape from a runaway cyclist and she runs like hell to find out what more she can do. Turns out she is quite agile, has an acute sense of hearing, has superhuman strength and sharp eyes. When she’s attacked by a creepy homeless guy in an alley, she scratches the bazeejus out of the guy and finds out that she has retractable claws, not unlike Wolverine. She then meets Brian at work and later goes on a coffee date with him, where a dog acts strangely around her. Now, she has a weird feeling and begins to run away when we find out that she’s being chased and eventually is pushed from the tower. In keeping up with the title of the show, Chloe comes back to life and finds out that two of the shadowy guys following her were actually Alek and Jasmine who were there to help her. They inform her that she is a Mai; the descendants of an ancient and powerful race who are not completely human, nor Gods, but the offsprings of them and she, Chloe is actually the Uniter, saviour of their race since she has 9 lives. They make sure she knows that she can never be intimate with a human, without harming the human and Chloe rushes to Xavier’s place to find out that he had died.

Scarface calls Chloe to inform her that she should come alone to a warehouse if she wants Paul to live. Amy and Chloe drive to the abandoned warehouse, where Chloe fights the assassin. She is helped by Alek and Jasmine, where Jasmine takes a hit for Chloe. Later we find out that Brian’s father was actually the one who was giving the orders for the murder of the Mai’s. One more thing revealed to the audience is that Chloe was actually adopted from a Ukrainian orphanage. In the final shot of the premiere, we get to see that Chloe had received an email from her dad who warns her not to trust anybody. Thing is, her dad left them a long time ago.

I know what you all thought when you saw the premiere! Who needs another fantasy based teen show! And who the hell runs into a tower when somebody is chasing you! That’s so cliché. Well, I don’t mind these kind of teen shows as long as they have a good storyline, direction and acting. And the mother-daughter relationship seems more like two teens relationship. The mother is more excited about Chloe’s dating life than any normal mother should be. And our main character Chloe went from being loser to player in a matter of hours. One moment she’s dreaming about kissing any guy and the next moment she’s juggling three handsome guys. That came across rather unconvincingly. The scar-faced assassin, the evil boss in the black hooded car are some other clichés. Both of her friends are incredibly cool when they learn about Chloe’s inhuman origins. Amy and Paul are very quirky characters and likable, especially Amy. Since Chloe’s dad was being mentioned a lot during the promotional interviews, he obviously has a big part to play in the show.

All in all, this show looks sweet and exciting. The dialogues are funny and sometimes clever, when it’s not dealing with Chloe’s dating life. And Skyler Samuels can definitely act. This girl has the potential to make it big. I think I will stick to the show. I am interested in finding out about the origins of the Mai and how Chloe fits into the Mai world. Also, this show doesn’t have anything to do with Vampires, Werewolves or Witches and that makes me want to watch it all the more.

Best line:

Alek – Why are you giving me such a hard time?

Chloe – Believe me, if I knew it was going to have this kind of effect, I would have never touched your ball. Don’t say it.


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This USA network series is based on the true story of a female psychologist who worked for the ‘New York Jets’.

The show centres around the life of Long Island psychotherapist, Dr. Dani Santino (Callie Thorne from Rescue Me and Prison Break). After finding out that her husband is cheating on her, she throws him out and files for a divorce. After a few weeks she has a fling with Matthew Donnally (Marc Blucas from Knight and Day) who happens to be the football team’s trainer. She helps Matthew to quit smoking and after her credentials are confirmed, the coach hires her as the therapist for star footballer, Terrence King aka T.K whose personal life is affecting his game and could possibly destroy his future in football. This new job and the stress of being a newly minted single mother takes toll on her personal life. Meanwhile, her husband is filing for custody of their two children. Somehow she has to work through all the hardships and the seemingly insurmountable task of treating T.K.

With the tagline – ‘Everybody has issues to tackle’, USA Network’s latest offering seems to provide quality entertainment for those who love their drama. In my view, the 90-minute premiere wasn’t bad, but it doesn’t seem to be the kind of show that requires one to be excited about for the new episode. The direction is quite good, but the story doesn’t seem like a fresh idea. The premiere reminded me a bit of ‘The Blindside’ with its tough love lead character. While that is not necessarily a bad thing, it kinda bugged me a bit and I have no idea why, since I liked ‘The Blindside’ movie. Anyway, the children are your normal teenage brats. The son, following up in his father’s footsteps, is juggling multiple girlfriends in high school and the daughter is your everyday wannabe cool, sexy chick with issues.

But since its summer and there aren’t many quality shows to choose from, I guess I will stick to it for another couple of episodes before deciding whether I should continue with it or not.

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The premiere was a 2 hour event. Since I was moaning about the Bloodgood’s barely there presence, they decided to give her more time by making her character look weak in front of commanding officer Weaver. According to him, the needs of the military are greater than the needs of the civilians.

In this episode, we meet Uncle Scott, a biology teacher. In one of the brainstorming sessions, a student had the same questions about the Skitters that I had. About the difference in the Mechs body and the Skitter’s own physiology. Tom reasons that may have to do with the psychological impact that the shape of the Mechs will have on the humans. We tend to be more afraid of robots which look like them since its been ingrained into our minds through movies and social events that robots are inherently evil. Then there was the awkward scene where he walks in just when his son was about to get lucky.

Well, the 13-year-old Jimmy is no longer going on active fights because he messed up earlier at the armory when he went after his dog which was about to be killed by a Mech. Tom and the rest of his fighters go to the armory to check if there are any weapons left leaving little Jimmy behind. John Pope and his band of thugs who were staking the place, attack and capture them at the armory. Pope has a bit of cruel fun with them. Of course, in time-honored tradition of post apocalyptic stereotypes, he is a cynical and psychopathic marauder who is better at killing a Skitter than the military or anyone else is. He thinks the mass murder of 90% of Earth’s population is a boon for him. Hal is sent back to make a deal with the 2nd Massachusetts commander. They are to give them 50 cal and a GTO in exchange for the prisoners. Hal tries to reason with Maggie, his handler, by offering her a place in their camp, but we all know how that goes, she didn’t go along with it and Hal got his ass kicked.

Pope and Tom have a seemingly friendly chat, all the while Tom trying to get closer to the gun on one of the wounded thugs and Pope obviously notices Tom’s intentions. Back at the camp, Weaver dismisses any notion of going to rescue Tom and the others or negotiating with the terrorists, since they neither have enough fighters nor does Hal know the exact position of the thugs hiding place. Dr. Glass goes with Hal to offer her services for the wounded thug in exchange for their release. Pope isn’t happy about it, but lets her treat the injured thug and goes to the camp with his demands. The demands have now escalated, now he wants all the food too. If there’s any kind of shootout, the aliens will detect it and he has already signalled a flare which would attract them to their position. So, Weaver backs down and concedes to the demands.

Back at the thugs hideout, the now treated scumbag treats Karen like a piece of meat. Maggie opens fire and kills both the thugs. She joins forces with the 2nd Mass and they eventually capture Pope along with the help of Weaver. The alien drones which were attracted by the flares blast away Pope’s band of thugs. Later Weaver concedes to Tom and lets him and his group to go rescue his son, with Maggie’s help.

It always makes my blood boil in situations where the girls are harassed upon. Why can’t they be humane and treat everybody with respect no matter what the situation is. That said, Pope wasn’t the one who did anything to her, but he didn’t stop his men from molesting Maggie and as a result he’s a scumbag too, but he is an interesting character and the show just got a bit more exciting because him. Now we know that 90% of humans are dead, that makes it much more difficult to fight the invading aliens.

Next episode, what’ll they do with Pope now? Will Tom be able to rescue his son, Ben from the aliens? If he does, can he remove the harness without causing death to Ben? Will everybody survive the rescue operation?

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As soon as I saw Steven Spielberg was an executive producer on TNT network’s “Falling Skies” show and Moon Bloodgood and Noah Wyle starred in it, not to mention being a sci-fi fan and drama fan, I knew I had to watch this show. This is the review for the first episode – Live and Learn.

The premiere opens with drawings of how the aliens attacked and took over the world from the perspective of the children. Soon we are introduced to the main characters in this post-apocalyptic tv show. Tom Mason (Noah Wyle) and his son Hal, along with some other military soldiers are scavenging for gas, food and anything which might be useful to their survival. The aliens are hot on their trails and destroying everything in classic Star Trek style laser beams. Some of them die in the battle and the remaining come back to camp after the aliens destroy a vast portion of the city. Here Commander Porter issues an order to move out in units of 300 – 100 fighters and 200 civilians, as the alien sensors are starting to detect groups of people over 500. Mason has his reasons to not want to go because his second son Ben has been harnessed by the aliens. Finally with Weaver as head of the 2nd Massachusetts and Tom Mason, the history professor as the second in command, they move out on a predetermined path. Tom wants to lead a group of fighters who can scavenge for more food and Weaver barely gives him any proper heavy ammo to defend himself and his group. They set out and Mason finds a young dead boy with a horrible harness cut halfway across his back. In another part of the city, Hal accidentally discovers his younger brother, Ben along with other kids and a bunch of Skitters and Mechs. Tom convinces his son and himself that it is not the right time to rescue Ben and go ahead to scavenge for more food. Here Hal finds out a way to kill a Skitter, just go really close and shoot off the head! Apparently, they didn’t know that a Skitter could be killed so easily.

There’s a poignant moment in the show when Tom weighs two books in his hands and mind – Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne and A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens and chooses the Two Cities book to carry along with him, tossing the Captain Nemo aside. Of course, A Tale of Two Cities is about the French Revolution where the French civilians fight the Aristocrats. So, its understandable why he would choose that particular book. 13-year old Jimmy plays a fighter who is considered good by every fighter, travels with the fighting group and this was very shocking to me and so would it be to others.

The interaction between Tom and Hal with the kid, Matt is very nice and heartwarming. There’s a scuffle between the father and son and the eventual plan to rescue Ben is met with a hopeless feeling. So our dear professor indulges them to a bit of fun historical facts where the invading armies are overthrown by the natives due to their relentlessness, like Athenians, Scots vs British, French Revolution. Everybody look like they were hearing somebody talking in Latin. So our professor says the only thing everybody can understand, Red Socks Yankees ’04. With smiling faces and renewed hopes, they set away to do some good old scavenging.

The story seems to be pretty derivative from so many other sci-fi shows. You have the main character, Mason who is a nerd (history professor) and has someone (son) whom the aliens have abducted, the doctor chick and a serious looking asian guy. The young handsome guy (Hal) with a hot blonde (Karen) and another cute girl (Lourdes) who has the hots for him. Even though it has all these clichés, I find the show interesting and I am gonna stick to it. The show will obviously be more about the human drama rather than the technical mumbo-jumbo which most sci-fi shows have. It isn’t flashy and try to be cool. The dialogues are very real and the alien ship, Skitters and Mechs CGI look awesome, in a realistic way.

I didn’t like the fact that Bloodgood barely had any screen time here. And the ending where Matt and the other kids take turns on a Rollerblade and everybody stand around them watching, like as if they have not got anything to do rather than watch, smile and clap for a bunch of kids! And the aliens who could disable all the latest human technologies don’t have a single infrared camera? They could wipe out every last human with that device easily. And North Vietnamese victory over the U.S Military was one of the greatest wins for the natives, why wasn’t it mentioned when the professor was going on about greatest upsets in history!

Anyway I am very interested in why the Mechs look like our robots – 2 arms and 2 legs, while the Skitters have 2 arms and 6 legs. Maybe the aliens were here long before anybody had known and studying the humans and their strengths and frailties? And why did the aliens only harness teenage kids and not adults or young children? And will we ever see how the aliens actually destroyed our world? If you have anything to share, any views, hit the comments people.

P.S: The premiere of  “Falling Skies” had the biggest opening in cable history. More than 6 million viewers tuned into the show.

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