TV 411: Scorpion, An Introduction

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All right. I was all ready to go ahead and give Season 2 a review when I realized that I never did any posts about Scorpion. Not an intro. Not a single episode review. Not even a preview.

So, here I am. Writing an intro and I’ll have to see if my mind can slow down enough to give a review of Season 1 and Season 2 or I just might have to skip it until I decide to binge watch it again. Sighs.

Creator: Nick Santora
Network: CBS
On air: September 22, 2014 – present

The Hook: A team of geniuses who work for Homeland? Yeah, that’s worth a peek at.

So, the show has successfully made it to the end of Season 3. The over all story arc follows Walter O’Brian, a genius who is the leader to a small team of other geniuses. They start off as freelancers doing the odd job like hooking up security systems and such when they catch the eye of Homeland Security. And that’s when all the magic happens.

This basic plot line has so much potential, as with any crime-solving, problem-solving, mystery-solving story line. Add to that different relationship combinations among a crew of seven characters and you got yourself a self-sustaining show for a few good years.

I also like the broad approach. Instead of only being a murder-solving type of show or an action type of show, you can have things like black market art dealing to operations with MI-6. There is so much to work with you just have to make sure it all makes sense.

Cast of Characters:

Walter O’Brien (Elyes Gabel) – The genius of all genius. He’s good at computer coding and design and math and … well, mostly everything. Or a little bit of everything with computer coding being his forte. He’s the one who kind of took everyone else under his wing and gave them purpose by forming Scorpion.

Paige Dineen (Katherine McPhee) – As with all genius, there is a down side. While they are really smart, they kinda don’t know how to mix with people, which is what Paige is for them. She kind of keeps them in check emotionally, making sure they understand the sensitive side to the clients they’re helping and making sure their clients understand why Scorpion is the way they are.

Ralph Dineen (Riley B. Smith) – He is Paige’s son and he’s a genius himself. Paige had a hard time understanding some of his oddities until she met Walter, who explained those oddities. I sometimes think of Ralph as Scorpion’s mascot. He’s still going to school and such, but he can also keep up with the team. He helps Paige keep her cool when dealing with Scorpion since a lot of Ralph’s behaviors can be seen among the members, except in overdrive.

Sylvester Dodd (Ari Stidham) – Math genius. He’s good with numbers and can whip out some calculations in less than a minute. And he loves comics! Or, well, Super Fun Guy.

Happy Quinn (Jadyn Wong) – Mechanical genius. She’s wicked good with all kinds of machinery. She can whip up just about anything the team needs, machine wise.

Tobby Curits (Eddie Kaye Thomas) – Behavioral genius. He can profile anyone within a minutes. I knew understanding human behavior and such is kind of important, but sometimes that can get over looked when put up against someone like Sylvester, but wow. Watching this show and seeing just how much of an asset someone like Tobby has given me a deeper appreciation for this skill set.

Gabe Callo (Robert Patrick) – Homeland Security liaison. He and Walter have a history and so he kind of pushes Homeland to consider Scorpion for some of the jobs where … well, you need a genius. He’s their muscle. Being a military man, he does the heavy lifting for the crew, in terms of keeping everyone safe that is, and helps Paige in terms of being a translator for genius speak to average human speak.

And I love this cast. They have great on-screen chemistry. The characters feed off each other and create a very real, and very plausible, if not very strange, relationship among crew. They all have something their good at and through their combined efforts they survive life.

And there you have it. The foundation for Scorpion. So, sit back. Relax. And enjoy!

TV 411: Young and Hungry, An Introduction

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#SpoilerAlert! You have been warned.

Created by: David Holden
Network: Free Form (formally known as ABC Family)
Debut: June 25, 2014
On Air: 2014 – present
The Hook: Did she just do that? On the first day?! Shut up!

Okay, so when I first stumbled upon this show it was because I saw parts of the pilot on my way out the door and couldn’t help but laugh! And that she slept with her boss? On the first day?! I had to go back to see what exactly happens. I was hooked.

The show has been on air for a little over a year now with three seasons behind them.

Season One10 Episodes (So funny! I love the way this season ended)
Season Two20 Episodes, with a Winter Special (Funny, but also a little frustrating because “come on and wake up Josh!” but then there’s a cute “Aw, Elliot” moment and I love the way this season ended)
Season Three10 Episodes (Still funny, still a little frustrating because “Why, Josh, why?!” and “Why, Gabi, why?!” and “Come on the two of you, wake up!” And I am pissed with the way this season ended. Ugh! Pissed, but I gotta hand it to the writers, that was a good one)

Overall Story Arc:
So, the show focuses on Gabi Diamond, who applies for a job as a private chef for a very successful tech guru, Josh Kaminski. She’s given the chance and on her first night her new boss gets depressed, drinks a bit too much, and hooks up with his newly hired private chef.

The show progresses based on this awkward first day of work and the relationship that evolves between Gabi and Josh.

The Cast:
The core characters are portrayed by these actors/actresses:

Gabi DiamondEmily Osment
Josh KaminskiJonathan Sadowski
Gabi’s best friend, Sophia RodriguezAmiee Carrero
Josh’s Assistant, Elliot Park – Rex Lee
Josh’s Housekeeper, Yolanda – Kym Whitley

They are awesome! The chemistry among this core cast shines through each episode. Emily Osment nails her delivery in every episode so far and I love the energy she brings to the screen. Jonathan Sadowski is the same way. His character is not as … exuberant? … as Gabi and Josh has a touch of arrogance (you know, being a young, successful, and not too bad-looking tech guru) which Jonathan portrays well. The back and forth between these two keeps me tuned in.

The remaining characters help balance and add depth to the over all story arc, which is what they are supposed to do. We have tensions between Elliot and Gabi, which I love, because Elliot does not like Gabi, not one bit. Not in a hateful way, more like in a “ugh, I can’t believe I have to put up with you” kind of way. But Elliot is like that with everyone and I love how Rex does such a good job with it. However, the core focus and tension with Elliot between him and Yolanda. Working together for as long as they have they know how to push each others buttons and they know when to be friends, even though they still pretend not to like each other. And Kym Whitley pulls off the sass just as good as Elliot. It’s a good balance and it’s hilarious to watch their banter. These two are what really keeps me tuned in.

Sophia is the yin to Gabi’s yang. She’s more down to earth than Gabi and is really Gabi’s anchor through most of Gabi’s chaos. She’s the voice of reason, Gabi’s Jiminy Cricket so to speak. Sophia embeds herself into Josh’s staff as one of them, but not really one of them, since she’s caught up in Gabi’s chaos most of the time. Sometimes I feel bad for her, always catering to Gabi, but I’m starting to think she doesn’t mind it as much as I do, especially since that’s what BFFs are for. And it’s not like Gabi doesn’t help out Sophia. It’s just that Sophia doesn’t have as much drama as Gabi does, you know?

They all play off each other, both in character and in cast and I love watching them.

And I love that the cast and characters can stick to these four and it works well. Some core casts get so big it’s hard to follow at times, but I am glad this cast is mainly this four. I am sure they will introduce a fifth person sometime to add a bit more to the storyline, but I will be okay if they don’t. These four work. And introducing semi-main characters that support the supporting cast (does that make sense? Cause it did in my head) throughout the season works.

And the Crew:
Directors include Andy Cadiff, Phill Lewis, Katy Garretson, Anthony Joseph Rich, Robbie Countryman, Arlene Sanford, Linda Mendoza, John Nussabaum, Alfonso Ribeiro, Jean Sagal, and Michael Shea.

Writers include David Holden, Ryan Shankel, Caryn Lucas, Lucas Brown Eyes, Michael Dow, Devon Kelly, Jenny Lee, Ali Schouten, Andrea Abbate, Cindy Appel, Diana Snyder, J. Michael Feldman, Peter Marc Jacobsen, Debbie Jhoon, Jonathan Schmock, and Adam Stein.

Every episode has been well done and I love the flow of it. From the cut aways to the plot twists and the interwoven sub plots. They are doing a great job, overall. If I have anything to nit pick at it’s that with the last season ending the way it did, I’m starting to think the overall story is getting dragged out a bit. I get it, and don’t mind it too much, but I do feel like Gabi and Josh should make up their minds already. Although, in S3x8 “Young & Getting Real” I like what Jonathan says about it. He said something like “I don’t think it’s so much as whether Gabi and Josh end up together or not as it is how they get to that point, whether they choose each other or not.” So as much as I feel it’s dragging on a bit, I can see that perspective.

Verdict:
I do hope they make it past Season 4. They have a lot of room to work with. It will be sad if they cancel when they can do so much more! Don’t know if there really needs to be a verdict, but Young and Hungry is a show worth watching, even if only for an episode or two. It’s entertaining, engaging, and just plain old fun. I love watching this show between all the heavier toned shows like Lucifer or Scorpion or Supernatural or The Vampire Diaries (and I just realize how much shows I watch that are more drama and suspense. Then again, I am more of a suspense/mystery kinda person). With its adult themes and content, it’s not something I would recommend for tweens and younger, but of course that’s up to you. Young and Hungry is light and comical. And it’s also the perfect show to watch on your lunch break too!

Photo: JustJaredJr.com

Show Info: IMDb

TV 411: Shadowhunters, Season 1 Recap

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It’s a recap so … spoilers!

Ah, Shadowhunters. The latest addition to my TV Show queue. You can catch my intro here.

With the pilot debut in January, this show has made it through its first season on air and has done a pretty good job with it. If you want a quick summary on each episode, I usually go to Wikipedia for that. I’ll do you a solid and include the link here. Since there are so many other blogs out there that does an episode-by-episode recap, I figure I’d skip that and jump to a season highlight instead.

We have had a good introduction to the basic foundation of this world. Clary Fray has found out she is part Shadowhunter, a hybrid race of Angel and Human created to combat demons and the like. Shadowhunters are the police force for all things supernatural, or maybe the FBI of all things supernatural would be more accurate? Anyway, they keep all kinds of supernatural baddies, generally known as Downworlders (which are hybrid blood lines of human and otherness i.e. Human and Demon creates warlocks and witches), in line so the supernatural world isn’t exposed to humans. There are laws, known as the Accords, that govern this magical existence and Shadowhunters enforce it. With me so far?

So, Clary’s world is turned upside down when her supernatural powers go full force on her 18th birthday. First, an invisible boy almost knocks her over when she waits outside a club with her best friend, Simon Lewis, who can’t see this mysterious boy. Second, she finds out invisible boy is Jace Wayland, the best-in-his-class Shadowhunter, and starts falling for him. Then, Clary’s mom is kidnapped by Clary’s evil father, her best friend turns into a vampire, and just as she’s falling hard for invisible boy she finds out he’s her brother! I mean, her brother! That royally sucks. For both, since Jace finds himself falling just as hard. Happy Birthday, Clary! This is a good summary of what happens in this season. The creators took us from Clary’s intro to the Shadowhunter universe all the way until Jace joins up with Valentine, evil father of Clary and Jace.

This was a good first season. For those fans who never read the book, the creator and screenwriters did a good job introducing the major characters and set up current and future plot lines pretty darned well. As a fan of the books and knowing what should be coming around the corner, I still felt engaged and found myself excited to see what the writers would come up with next. That’s a plus in my book. When you can speak to the fans of the book as well as the newer TV audience, you’ve done your job.

Highs of the season:

  • I like that the show is staying close to the story line of the books. They added their own twists and introduced knew plot points, but the season kept the same concepts and appeals. The way I see it, the book focuses on the overall plot and character development. With a TV series, you can explore the world they live in. You know, daily routines? Because I’m sure finding Valentine, though very important, won’t be taking place every single day, you know?
  • Magnus Bane. Yep, he has a bullet point all on his own. I think it’s safe to say that Magnus is pretty much everyone’s favorite so I feel like I’m following the crowd on this one, but I can’t help it. Book-Magnus rocks (I especially like him in the Infernal Devices series) and I am happy to see TV-Magnus rocks as well. Harry Shum Jr. is seriously Magnus reincarnate. He is doing such a good job.
  • And I love Simon! I’m just going to say it. I love book-Simon and I am happy to see TV-Simon is just as good.

Magnus and Simon are my favorites in the Mortal Instruments series so I was anxious to see how they were going to be and they are turning out fine. I love it.

  • Magnus and Alex. Oh yes, we get to see the tensions between these two. In season one. I love it.

With that said, I am worried for this show. I liked what I saw well enough to keep me vested for season two, but I can’t ignore that it felt a little weak. It was a bit slow moving and some things felt overstressed. The way Clary kept on and on about finding her mother. I mean, I know I’d be freaking out if my mother was kidnapped by the number one villain in a supernatural world and he so happens to be your father, but there were certain times when it felt forced and overdone. It’s probably just me though. And I’ll probably have to rewatch the season to get a better read on it. And as much as I am enjoying Magnus, there were times when I felt he did stuff out of character. I can’t pin point exact examples at the moment which is why I am letting it slide, but it’s worth mentioning for the sake of acknowledging nagging feelings. There are weak points but I feel that’s the growing pains of a new show. Actors and actresses are finding their groove, building their chemistry. Writers and directors are stretching their muscles and testing the waters. I expect that in a first season run.

The episode I enjoyed the most was Episode 10, “The World Inverted” because of how they played the alternate dimension. It was awesome to see that.

So, will you continue to Season 2?

Yes. Yes, I will. Even though I have a few concerns, overall I like what the creators are doing and where they are trying to go. My rule of thumb is if a TV Series can make it past Season 4, they are good to go so since Shadowhunter is renewed for Season 2 (Thank you, PremiereDate.tv), I’m giving it another shot.

Photo: Booktrib.com

TV 411: Shadowhunters, An Introduction

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Creator: Ed Decter
Season 1 Directors: J. Miles Dale  (3 episodes), Mairzee Almas  (1 episode), Jeremiah S. Chechik (1 episode), Mick Garris (1 episode), Kelly Makin  (1 episode), James Marshall (1 episode), McG (1 episode), Tawnia McKiernan (1 episode), Oz Scott (1 episode), J. Miller Tobin (1 episode), Andy Wolk (1 episode)
Season 1 Screenwriters: Ed Decter (adapted story for television), Y. Shireen Razack (6), Hollie Overton (5), Peter Binswanger (2), Marjorie David (2), Michael Reisz (2), Angel Dean Lopez (1),
Allison Rymer (1)
Based on the The Mortal Instrument Book Series by Cassandra Clare
Network: Freeform
Debut: January 12, 2016

I have to say, I was stoked to hear that The Mortal Instruments was coming to television. As much as I enjoyed the movie, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, it didn’t do quite as well as I hoped and while I was sitting in the theater, about a quarter of the way into it, I thought to myself that this would be better as a television series. There is just so much raw material I don’t think it should be limited to a two hour feature film. You know?

So, again, stoked to hear that these novels were being adapted for television.

In case you’re a newbie into this Shadowhunter world, this television series is based on books. Yep, yep, books are again the inspiration. It follows The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare and if you’re curious, you can check out this post, and this post and this page for the book perspective.

Basic Summary: The basic story arc follows Clary Fray who is your average teenage girl until she turns 18 and discovers she’s been living a lie. There’s a whole magical part of her she never knew existed because her mother kept it from her. She is part Shadowhunter. And her world does a complete 180 when she tags along with her best friend, Simon Lewis, to a club his band is performing at and almost gets knocked down by a boy only she can see. Of course Simon thinks she’s crazy and she’s pretty feeling crazy, but there’s no mistaking she saw him and there’s no mistaking that boy was just as surprised that she could see him. And the fall into chaos begins.

Main Cast: With a story as big as this one, I mean it spans six books mind you, there are bound to be so many characters and there is so many characters. But let’s start with the main cast shall we?

Clary Fray: Daughter to Jocelyn Fray, best friend to Simon Lewis, and portrayed by Katherine McNamara.

Simon Lewis: Best friend to Clary Fray and portrayed by Alberto Rosende.

Jace Wayland: Shadowhunter. Like one of the best Shadowhunters of this generation … I’m guessing, because, yeah. Oh, and parabatai to Alec Lightwood. Jace is portrayed by Dominic Sherwood.

Alec Lightwood: Shadowhunter. Second best, only to Jace, IMHO. And parabatai to Jace Wayland. Alec is played by Matthew Daddario.

Isabelle Lightwood: Shadowhunter. The second best, because she shares that spot with her brother and no, they are not twins. Emeraude Toubia plays a very good Izzy.

and

MAGNUS BANE!! The bestest character of them all (I’m biased though because he rocked in The Infernal Devices) and played by Magus incarnate Harry Shum Jr.

And … there are more people of course, but the story tends to focus around these six characters for now. Oh, what the hey.

Jocelyn Fray: Mom to Clary, and like a second mom to Simon, and she ends up in a spell where she can’t really, doesn’t quite do … anyway! Maxim Roy is doing a great job.

Luke Garroway: Best friend-slash-more-than-friends to Jocelyn, kind of like a father to Clary and Simon.

But that’s it. Okay, one more!

Valentine Morgenstern: The bad guy! The villain. The conflict in this story arc. Alan Van Sprang does such a good job, although, I have a hard time adjusting to his role as Valentine because King Henry in Reign, but … he does a good job.

Since this is just an introduction I won’t get into all the story details here because then it will get long. Like really long. But, I figure that this should orient you when I go ahead and get into the Season 1 recap because I am planning to go into a season recap and it’s on my calendar to write a season 1 recap … you know, I’m leaving it at that.

I will say that if you’re on the fence on whether to give it a try or not, give it a tryJust sayin’ *wink*.

TV 411: Television Update!

Oh my goodness, I can’t believe it’s been four months since I mentioned TV on this blog! My last post on TV, TV 411: Suits, Series Intro, was the last post and that was back in November. And I never came back to review it!

I have been busy with school work. And health issues have kept me from posting regularly for a while now. But still, that was a shocking realization.

So I need to remedy this, right now.

I was up-to-date with Suits and I splurged a little and subscribed to this season’s season pass, but I haven’t really returned to watching the rest of the season since December.

You’ve got to be kidding me?! Why?!

I know, I know. It’s a shocker to me too because I love that show! I mean, I guess I love it. I’m not sure why I haven’t returned to watch it. I guess it’s because I don’t want to see what happens next? Maybe I lost interest compared to other shows I’ve picked up? Hm. I have to think about that. And thinking about this makes me think back to another post I did, Table Talk: What makes a bad story? Is the story line getting redundant?

Well, I’ve updated my TV Shows I’m Currently Following page. You’ll notice that I’ve found some pretty good ones (which I hope to catch up on reviewing these next few weeks) and others I am forced to wait on.

Let me know if you think I’m missing out on a good series.

 

TV 411: Suits, Series Intro

Created by: Aaron Korsh
Network: USA
On Air: 2011-present
The Hook: A law firm drama and the fact that one of their best associates is a fraud!

I’m not sure what’s deal, but seems I’m a sucker for shows were the underlying premise is someone who isn’t who they say they are. I mean, love Psych. And I love White Collar. And now this? Well, I’m not sure if I love … ah, who am I kidding. Legal drama? Definitely one of my favorite topics.

So, overall story arch.

The main focus of this series is Mike Ross. The series starts of with him needing money to keep his grandma in the nursing home facility so she can continue to have the best care. Down on his luck, he reluctantly accepts a “job” from his best friend which involves him participating in delivering a suitcase of marijuana to this guy in some hotel. The thing about Mike? He has a photographic memory, so while on his way to delivering the suitcase to this guy, he notices two people who look like they work at the hotel, but they don’t. He figures them to be cops and while running away from them, he happens upon this interview session of prospective first year associates for some fancy law firm. The secretary, instructed by her boss, gets down on him, he says something witty to impress her, she sends her into her bosses office for the interview winking her approval.

This happens, that happens, and then BAM! Mike Ross becomes first year associate to the prominent Harvey Specter and a show is born.

Suits is going into its 5th season come January 2016 and I am enjoying it enough to have stayed with it this long. Granted this was a show I didn’t start watching until a few months ago, and I’m already halfway through season 4, but it doesn’t change that I like watching it.

The dialogue is witty enough and the minor story arcs and character developments are enough to pique my interest. The continuing conflict is still the fact that Mike Ross is practicing law without having gone to law school nor has taken the bar, but he’s good at being a lawyer in spite of that. And he gets along with Harvey, who doesn’t let much people into his inner circle.

There’s a growing plot line in Season 4 that I’m intrigued about, but we’ll get to that when I review each season.

Cast of Characters (#SpoilerAlert)

As with any good show, you need to have a good cast of core characters. Here is the core cast of Suites:

Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams)- First year associate to Harvey Specter at one of the top law firms in New York. He hasn’t gone to law school and hasn’t taken the bar which proves to be quite a big deal considering your working for one of the top law firms in New York.

Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht)- One of the top closers in one of the top law firms in New York. He is good at what he does. Takes on white collar head on, every time. All I can think of when I watch this show is, “I could never ever afford to hire him.”

Donna Paulson (Sarah Rafferty)- My idol! Seriously, she’s Harvey’s assistant and she totally rocks. If I was still an office assistant, I’d totally aspire to be like her. She’s sharp, she’s good at what she does, she’s … Donna.

Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres)- The top lawyer and managing partner in Pearson, Specter and Litt and one pitt bull of a lawyer. What I love about her is that she’s a female who dominates in mostly male profession, and she owns the law firm. She is awesome in her own right.

Louis Litt (Rick Hoffman)- He balances out this core cast by being the comic relief. He’s so absurd you just have to feel for him, but he’s a good lawyer. He’s the one with all these quirks and the one who is ALWAYS one step behind everyone, but when the team needs a hail mary, he’s usually he one to count on, even though he screws up. A lot.

Rachel Zane (Meghan Markle)- A paralegal in this top notch law firm and she’s so good at what she does she’s a paralegal with her own office. Between her and Louis, the share the secondary spotlight in this core cast, but she makes the starting line up as far as this core cast goes.

There are other minor, recurring characters that I’ll get into with each season, but here’s your starting line up.

I’m excited to see this show through. I’ve enjoyed the plot lines and various perspective and corporate law and how the game is played. The dialogue is witty enough (but, if you ask me, it doesn’t come close to Gilmore Girls. Na uh, no way), the characters interesting enough, and the world of corporate law contentious enough. There’s so much material to work with in white collar crime I’m thinking this show can go on for a few more seasons. Hopefully the character developments can keep up and continue to grow in the ways I’ve seen them do so far.

And there you have it. Suits. Another show to add to your TV line up.