Regrets. We all have them. Sometimes they are little, like the time you drank too much and said those things you weren’t supposed to say. Sometimes they are big, like the time you ruined a friendship or broke the heart of someone you loved.
Sometimes they are friggin’ huge, like the time you kidnapped a baby, turned it into the biggest asshole ever, and dumped it through a time portal . . .
Oh, so you are saying you never did that last one? Maybe that’s just Snow and Charming . . .
This week’s installment of Once was all about the balance between taking responsibility for our own crappy mistakes and understanding that there are some things in life that simply cannot be changed . . . well . . . unless you happen to know an Author who can conveniently erase your mistakes for you, thereby allowing you to f*ck up to your heart’s content.
Also this week on Once, Swan Queen road trips, car chases, kids who change nationalities when they become adults, a heart that gets tossed around like a hot potato, and a baby conceived under the creepiest circumstances ever, and I’m not even talking about the one that hatched out of an egg . . .
Let’s review, shall we?
Black Smoke Monster Cometh!
Bet you didn’t know the Black Smoke Monster from Lost is also the Sorcerer on Once Upon a Time. That sure is one busy time traveling fart . . .
As the episode begins, Old Hairy Homeless-Looking Mickey Mouse is pleading with the Black Smoke Monster Sorcerer. “Please don’t vacuum me up into fart oblivion like you did to the drug runner on Lost. I really didn’t mean to play a part in sucking all of Emma’s assholeness out of her and putting it into Lily. It just sort of happened.”
“Don’t worry. It’s not your fault. I don’t know what I expected, hiring a dumb unkempt hobo to be my apprentice. I blame that Author, which is why I locked him in a book forever, where he will never be found, until those meddling kids release him 30 years or so from now. . .”
Thirty years later . . .
Cruella’s Dead. It’s Vacation Time!
Our gang mourns Dead Socio Cruella for the required three minutes and twenty seconds (I wonder whose job it was to scoop up her squished body from the bottom of that cliff?), before heading back to Granny’s to get wasted. “I’m going to kill Rumpel for making me kill Cruella,” Emma says, her eyes filled with Asshole.
“Whatchu talkin bout, Dark!Emma?”
“Hey, ease up on the killing talk, Killer,” offers Snow. “That’s just the Asshole in you talking.”
“Shut up, I still hate you and your hideous haircut,” replies Emma.
“This has been fun and all, but I have to go rescue my boyfriend from his wife . . . the fake one, obviously,” Regina explains.
Enter Maleficent. “Hey guys. I’ve decided I want to change teams.”
“You’re going to become a lesbian?” Emma asks.
“No, silly. I was always a lesbian,” explains Maleficent. “Think about it, I asexually reproduced my daughter in an egg. I’m talking about joining Team Good Guys. I think you can help me find my daughter, Lily, somewhere in Massachusetts. You might remember her from back when she was a Latina girl in that flashback. She’s no longer Latina, since her face turned into another actress. But I’m sure you can find her anyway.”
“Well, this is awkward,” says Emma, when she sees the 30-year old birth announcement Maleficent found of Lily. (How did she know it was the same Lily, especially considering the girl changes nationalities every few years? Did the birth announcement mention she cracked out of an egg?)
“I was kind of an asshole to that little asshole, back in the day,” Emma admits.
“Aint’ fate a bitch,” offers Regina sympathetically. “Hey, I’ve got an idea, Emma. You and me can road trip to Massachusetts to pick up Lily, then New York to pick up Robin Hood, then Disney World to ride the scary Snow White ride, where you and I can both get out all of our aggression against your awful mother and her ridiculous hair.”
“I’m sitting right here,” Snow White chimes in.
“Nobody cares,” Regina and Emma say in unison.
Regina and Emma quickly make arrangements for their road trip. Regina hires Maleficent to guard Belle’s heart from Rumpel. And Emma grudgingly hires her parents to watch Henry. She also sexts Captain Hook some naughty pics of her to keep him warm while she’s away. Just kidding, but they do share some serious PDA as she’s leaving and admit that they are part of one another’s happy endings . . .
It’s all very sweet. Captain Hook is going to be a brilliant housewife someday . . .
This week on Once Upon a Time, come to the dark side — we have murder. And puppies. And murderous puppies. But we should warn you that sometimes, if you’re a little too murdery, sometimes your mother will ground you for life. Just ask Young Cruella De Vil.
“So, Snow White gets to keep two kids and a hot husband, and I get nothing but a funny-looking hat and little blue balls.”
When people say, “Love makes you do crazy things,” they tend to be talking about romantic love . . . the kind of love that gives you butterflies in your tummy, a warm gooey feeling in your heart, and that awkward tingly sensation in your pants.
But what about the love a parent feels for his or her child? The kind of love that only develops when a little tiny human enters your world and, at least for the first two or three years of its life, is totally and completely vulnerable, relying on you for even the simplest of life’s necessities, including pooping.
If romantic love can make you do crazy things, well then that kind of love should have the power to render you damn near psychotic.
This week’s installment of Once was all about the great lengths parents will go to shield their little ones from darkness . . . even if that darkness happens to be coming directly from the parents themselves.
Also this week on Once . . .
. . . everybody gets away with lying to Emma, whose bullsh*t-detecting magical power seems to have been on the fritz ever since she started dating the flying monkey back in Season 2.
Alcoholism… making ugly flying monkeys look like Captain Hook since the beginning of time…
. . . Belle gets a little tongue action from someone whose name most certainly does not rhyme with Bumplebiltskin.
. . . Snow and Charming act shady and start (or continue, depending on how you look at it) sucking at life.
. . . and a plot is hatched for Regina to infiltrate Regina George’s Army of Skanks Maleficent’s Queens of Darkness, thereby indicating that I’ve been genuinely onto something with all my shameless Mean Girls references this season. (Never pegged the Evil Queen as a Cady Heron though . . .)
Greetings Galavantians! And welcome to week two of ABC’s four-week medieval musical extravaganza, Galavant . . . the show where three quarters of the songs are about male genitalia and I’m still rooting for the bad guy to win.
While most of you were off enjoying Globes that were Golden, I was busy being entertained by balls of an entirely different sort . . .
. . . or lack thereof, as in the case of this eunuch (who may or may not be Varys from Game of Thrones‘s dumber, but slightly more jovial twin brother) . . .
No seriously, watching this guy get his non-balls get kicked repeatedly was one of the highlights of this episode, which undoubtedly says terrible things about me as a human being.
Also in the balls category, as in soirees, Galavant’s first half hour featured not one, but two wild and crazy parties (i.e., the kind of balls you won’t find attached to a eunuch’s groin) . . .
. . . neither of which featured Matthew McConaughey or his beard, unfortunately.
And definitely no Meryl Streep.
The second half hour of Galavant was a dream come true for anyone who has ever laid in bed at night and wondered, “Golly gee, I wonder what Lord Grantham from Downton Abbey would look like as a pirate.”
I know I have!
. . . also MORE BALLS! This time, belonging to This Guy . . .
Welcome to the mid-season finale of Once Upon a Time, a.k.a. The Episode Where We Learn How Everything That Was Fixed in the Last Episode Will Turn to Crap Just in Time for Part B of the Season. It was an episode jam packed with ooey gooey goodness, and a heaping helping of angst thrown in for good measure. Let’s see, we got a wedding . . .
. . . well . . . part of a wedding . . .
. . . we got to see a bride look in the mirror before her wedding . . .
Two lovers rekindled their romance . . .
. . . and then . . . un-kindled it.
Rumpel had a very good day . . .
. . . followed by a very bad one . . .
. . . followed by a trip to the aquarium?
Lots of people made out with one another.
And three very fabulous Drag Queens of Darkness finally found their King.
In the weeks between spring finale time, and the summer television season, TV fans tend to do one of two things: (1) reflect on seasons past or; (2) look ahead to the new season. As for me, my intention in writing this post was to do the latter. But I ended up doing quite a bit of the former, as well.
Allow me to explain. You see, having recently watched all the new trailers from this years’ network upfronts, my original goal was to select the five new series with the most potential to end up on my new 2012/2013 TV roster, and review their trailers. However, after I made my selections, it occurred to me that all of the series I chose shared one interesting commonality: Lost.
You guys remember Lost, right? You know, the show about the plane crash, where the writers promised that the characters weren’t in Purgatory, until the last season, when it kind of / sort of turned out that was exactly where they were . . .
Why? Personally, I think these shows failed because they focused too much on trying to emulate the crazy plot twists, erudite literary references, and rampant conspiracy theories of the older series, while virtually ignoring the one thing that really made Lost shine . . . its characters. After all, before all the flashbacks, flash-sideways, and flash forwards . . . before the polar bears, Hurley birds, and omniscient dogs . . . before there were Others, Dharma Initiatives, donkey wheels, hatches, and secret videos starring a guy with one arm . . . Lost was simply about fourteen fascinating people, who just so happened to be flying on the same ill-fated plane.
As I mentioned earlier, all five of the news series on my Most Likely to Watch list all seem to possess certain qualities that make them seem particularly Lost-like. (Well, actually four of them do. But I’ll get to why I chose the fifth one, in a bit.) The question is, will any of these series be able to pull off the unique mix of script, characters, plot, and mystery necessary to become TV’s Next Big Thing?
Let’s analyze, shall we?
666 Park Avenue – ABC
Clearly, the most obvious connection between 666 Park Avenue and Lost is this guy . . .
Terry O’Quinn . . . a.k.a John Locke. In a clever (and possibly slightly tongue-and-cheek) bit of casting “the producers of Gossip Girl and Pretty LittleLiars” have opted to hire Oceanic Flight 815’s resident Man of Fate, Denizen of Destiny, and an eventual alter ego for The Black Smoke Monster / a.k.a. The Man in Black to play the Devil. So now we know that at least one character on this show will be exceptionally well-acted. But stunt casting alone is not enough to make for a successful show.
As for the concept of the series, intriguing as it is, it’s nothing new. 1997’s The Devil’sAdvocate boasts a similar premise, in which the Devil takes Manhattan, and faces off against a similarly upwardly mobile late twenties to early-thirty something couple, by tempting them with riches, and only partially disclosing their true cost . . .
And yet in 1997 we weren’t reeling from a recession caused by the burst of a very large real estate bubble. What better time to explore a television series in which the much maligned 1%ers actually ARE evil incarnate? So, the series boasts not only a solid cast (Vanessa L. Williams also stars), but also a timely premise. But there are other Lostian aspects this show offers, which could end up making it a success, if the writers handle them correctly.
Just like that “other show,” 666 Park Avenue offers an over-arching mystery, along with some tantalizing questions that, if producers play their cards right, viewers can chew over and discuss for seasons to come. What exactly is the Devil doing in real estate? What happened to the last managers of the Drake Apartments (I think most of us know the answer to that already. “Warmer climates?” HA!) What’s the deal with the dragon etched on the basement floor? And, perhaps, most importantly, what are the HOA fees for living in a place like that?
But what’s really going to make or break 666 Park Avenue, I think, is its cast of characters. Lost explored the lives and backstories of its various survivors with great sensitivity, and depth. 666 Park Avenue has the opportunity to do the same thing with its various apartment tenants. Who are these people who live in the Drake? What drives them, and what ultimately enticed them to sell their soul for some extra square footage, a view of Central Park, and an on-site gym?
Only time will tell . . .
CULT – THE CW
Folks who have spent these past few weeks wondering what happened to vampire-slaying history teacher, Alaric Saltzman, after he croaked on The Vampire Diaries, can breathe a sigh of relief now . . .
Though often written off as a “teen television” channel, over the past few years, the CW has enjoyed a surprising amount of success producing shows for a slightly younger, hipper audience who are seeking series that are a bit darker, and grittier than your typical “bright and shiny” network fare. And from the looks of it, Cult might just prove to be the darkest and grittiest of them all. Just watching the trailer gave me chills . . . probably because that TV Guy / Possible Cult Leader looks and sounds like a cross between Hannibal Lecter, Kevin Spacey’s character in Seven, and, of course, Benjamin Linus from Lost . . .
But of course, Cult shares more in common with Lost than just an average-looking, kind of creepy, but still oddly charismatic, intellectual type, who might be a cult leader. Much like it’s predecessor, Cult will offer its fans countless conspiracy theories, clues to unravel, mysterious happenings to be explained, lots of oddly dressed folks with dubious motives to puzzle over, and most importantly, confusing, but compulsively rewatchable, YouTube videos . . .
What intrigues me most about Cult is how unabashedly “meta” it seems to be. I mean, here is a show that blatantly eviscerates the one thing it needs to survive as a series: a diehard fandom. This, of course, begs the question, could Lost fans be driven to commit murder, simply because Benjamin Linus asked them to do so? Well, maybe if he asked really nicely . . .
Revolution – NBC
Here’s another timely premise, in light of the world’s increasing dependence on technology to survive (not to mention Facebook’s catastrophic failure as a stock IPO.) Imagine a world completely without technology, that’s populated by folks like us, who can’t remember a time before the existence internet, and who can’t let a day go by, without checking our e-mail, sending a text message, or asking SIRI if it’s raining outside.
Of all the shows on my new TV viewing roster, this J.J. Abrams-produced one probably wins the prize for being the most Lost-like. Let’s see, we’ve got an unexplained supernatural phenomenon and/or terrorist act, that has cut off our main characters from technology, a sustainable food source, and the benefits of generalized medicine, forcing them to spend hours wandering aimlessly in the woods, looking dirty . . . and hot . . .
We’ve got repeated flashbacks to a climactic event, which, when viewed together, at the end of the series should explain everything . . . almost. We’ve got various factions of people, some who want things to remain as they are now, and others who want to “go back” to the way things once were . . .
We’ve got snarky rogue-loners, who begin the series looking out only for themselves, but inevitably “learn to love” and become the series’ obvious unlikely heroes . . .
We’ve got nerdy professor types who spend the entire series looking vaguely confused, while trying to “figure it all out.”
Heck, we even have weird ancient-looking symbols, and those dopey, green-screen computers from the 80’s . . .
But beyond all those superficial similarties, I think “Revolution” has the potential to be a true character study, just as Lost was. After all, nothing exhibits the true nature of a person better, then putting them in a completely unfamiliar situation, without the benefits or camouflage that modern-day luxuries provide. In the words of Hugo “Hurley” Reyes, “DUUUUUUUUDE.”
The Last Resort – ABC
Forget, “You sunk my battleship.” Something tells me, come this fall, everybody will be yelling at their TV screens, “YOU SUNK MY SUBMARINE!” If Revolution is the series that most resembles Lost in terms of plot points, The Last Resort most resembles its tone, high production values, and cinematic quality. In fact, if I hadn’t spied the ABC logo on the corner of screen, I could have sworn this was war movie. Heck, they even hired That Movie Guy with the Oddly Deep Voice to do the narration! Conspiracy theorists, war aficionados, and political pundits alike will find much to love in this series, which, like it’s famous predecessor will revolve around an international cover-up . . .
. . . the result of which will strand our main characters on an island, separating them from the people they love, and putting their lives in constant imminent danger . . .
Hey, this place even looks like Lost island. Where’s Vincent the Dog? WAAAAAAAAALT!
And of course, there will inevitably be dealings with “those pesky others.”
But mostly, I’ll just be watching this one, because Ben from Felicity will be there . . .
Speaking of completely shallow reasons to watch a television program . . .
Chicago Fire – NBC
At the beginning of this post, I admitted to you that really only four of the five series I chose for my Watch List were like Lost.Chicago Fire doesn’t resemble Lost at all . . . unless you count the repeated obligatory shots of Sometimes dirty-faced and slightly bloody cocky alpha males who never met a shirt they actually liked to wear . . .
I’d be lying if I said the prospect of having a naked Taylor Kinney on my television screen every week, wasn’t a big draw for my choosing Chicago Fire for this blog post. But personally I think the trailer for this series boasts more than good looking shirtless guys with bad attitudes. The in-fighting between the squad members, caused in part by the oh-so-cliched concept of The Fallen Comrade shows promise for solid character development. The kickass females in the series make my feminist heart proud. And if done right, those inevitable Burning Building sequences are going to look really awesome in HD.
Besides, who doesn’t love a man in uniform . . . or out of it?
And there you have it folks, my five Lostian . . . and not so Lostian picks for the best new shows of Fall 2012. So, what’s on YOUR Must Watch List?