September 23, 2009

The Good Wife (CBS) Tuesdays at 10:00 p.m. ET

We've seen it happen again and again, the wife standing by their man despite their past mistakes. Even more specifically, many question those women whose husbands play with their political power, why do they stay and how do they get through the scandals that haunt their family? The Good Wife follows Alicia Florrick, played masterfully by Julianna Margulies (seen in E.R and The Sopranos), as she becomes more pragmatic in life.

As the wife of a politician, her and her children's lives are turned upside down when her husband, the Attorney General Peter Florrick, is accused in a public sex and corruption scandal. So how does she deal with this? In moves the mother-in-law, and out goes the husband, as she turns her back and returns to her career in law, after 13 years.

She is having to start all over again, while juggling two teenage children and her estranged husband who is currently in jail but hoping to get out soon and let 'everything return to normal'. During a powerful scene while she visits her husband to get his signature for sale documents over their home, he thanks her for taking the reigns, for being the breadwinner while he is incarcerated but it won't be for long. Although literally she walks away from his, the consequences of his betrayal are far bigger than he thinks. It wasn't even the use of public money that effected her, it was his affairs.

But The Good Wife tackles the subject of these women head-on. At one point, Alicia’s new co-worker, Kalinda (Archie Punjabi), tells her, “You know what I don’t get? Why you stuck by him.” She finally asks the question which most people around Alicia were thinking.

The use of the word 'Good' in the title is ironic, as she is meant to represent the wife who never leaves the side of her husband, as seen in the first scene of the show. But when she is reminded of him sleeping with other women, she leaves his side and the audience is left wondering whether this is a show of forgiveness or whether the marriage is over.

Her first case when returning to work is on a pro bono murder accusation, while collecting together the facts and being through head first into the proceedings, Alicia finds that returning to work isn't going to be as easy as she thought. With a great performance from David Paymer, who plays no nonsense Judge Questa, he plays with Alicia throughout the case to get her to better herself every time. And then we return to that scene where she visits Peter, played by Chris Noth, he tells her about evidence being hidden, something he learnt about while in office. She uses this piece of advice and although it's not legal, it does shine questions over their relationship and the ethics of Alicia in both her business and home life.

What I have found with The Good Wife is that it doesn't become too self obsessed with itself. It gets past the whole wife going to work scenario and does what CBS does best, become slightly procedural from the lawyers point of view while contrasting the home life story seeping into her work life.

“I love how complicated she is,” Margulies said. “This is a woman who thought her life was going one way for many, many years. She trusted that life and that world she lived in. And then everything crumbles."

What we have learnt about Alicia though, what has been cemented is the many different sides to her, mother, breadwinner, lawyer and woman. This may not just be another legal show; it may be an exploration of relationships and a portrait of a woman making sure she doesn't go over the edge.

What is imaginative about this show is that although it is fictional, the ideas which come from it and the characters which have started to become established are very much real. It seems to represent a microcosm and deal with issues which aren't spoken about on television. The idea of Alicia having her own opinion, her own job, leaving the side of her husband is something that I am sure many women are going to appreciate watching.

I look forward to the next episode and think CBS have done well in establishing the show with it's pilot.

September 13, 2009

The CW: TV To Talk About

It's officially here, the 2009-10 Fall Season has begun and thanks to The CW, it's started in style. As someone who over the past few years has slowly realised that The CW is a network which although aimed at a quite specific demograph, they unusually, managed to capture the minds of many, many more.
They may be the only network with original programming which is
constant, which may not get the highest ratings but also delivers with the biggest buzz and gossip. Maybe thanks to the many years of hard work put into it, pre- CW, it finds itself in a pretty good position.
The network features a lineup of shows that, according to its President of Entertainment, Dawn Ostroff, "appeal to women 18 to 34-years-old." It has styled it's viewer, which may
not come as a surprise to many since the majority of its show are about exactly that: style. Money, sex, glamour, scandal; these are just some of the keywords that come to mind when describing some of the best rated shows on the network. Shows like One Tree Hill, Gossip Girl and 90210, have revived the teenage drama (not since the days of Beverly Hills 90210, Dawson's Creek and The OC) have such shows managed to capture the minds of so many and yet, according to Nielsen, so few!
It therefore doesn't surprise many that their shows do so well thanks to modern day technology, if their demographic is as they say it is, it's those people who use computers,
mobiles and mp3 players in the day to day life. They have never had to live without them, they stream, they download, they email, they recommend, they instant
chat, they record, they do pretty much everything but sit down on the sofa in prime time and watch. Their lives are too fast paced for schedules, they need options, watching on the go. Knowing they can travel to school, to work or to the shops with a copy of the latest episode on their iPods to be watched at their leisure. In the time of PVR's where television can be
recorded without a videotape, it is up to the viewer when they watch the show and therefore despite Nielsen Ratings being quite low for primetime, they don't take into account the fact that Gossip Girl is now the most downloaded programme in the world. They don't take into account that thanks to the internet, people all over the world stream before it's even hit their television screens, people don't want to wait, they want it now and if they can, they want it free.
That is why The CW have it so right. As I said before, they have consistency, ABC, FOX, NBC, CBS, HBO and Showtime, they all may have brilliant shows that we all watch, they may in fact have award winning, ratings winners but they don't quite create the media buzz that The CW shows do. That's because people, all people, pick and choose, there isn't a strict demographic per network, rather per show, some may watch three or four shows from ABC, two from FOX... you get the picture. Many people who watch The CW, watch the majority of it's original output.
Now, I just want to look at it's demograph, first they say they are aiming towards females... where does that leave the guys? Watching Desperate Housewives on ABC? American Idol on FOX? Perhaps I'm being biased, probably, the networks do present shows with a strictly male demographic as well, but well, how can any studio executive exclusively say they want a certain gender watching? I watch Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, Brothers & Sisters (shows which many may feel are slightly girly) but on the same hand I watch 24, House, LOST, Dollhouse (shows which many would see as more action, bulky, maybe aimed more at men)
and therefore perhaps networks are forgetting the middlemen, the people who are actually the cross section of television watchers, the TV fiends maybe (I would classify myself as
one!). I'll take a hint of Bree, mixed with Jack and top off with a bit of Serena anyday.
Perhaps, any given network needs to look at itself and understand a little more about the people that watch rather than the statistics?
Look at the new Fall schedules, FOX for example, what is the connection between The Simpsons, House, Glee and So You Think You Can Dance... apart from Glee and Dance having the music aspect, I don't see very much. Look any most other networks, there doesn't seem to be any keywords to describe what the network is presenting, but look at The CW and the story changes.

The CW8:00 p.m.8:30 p.m.9:00 p.m.9:30 p.m.
MondayOne Tree HillGossip Girl
Tuesday90210Melrose Place
WednesdayAmerica's Next Top ModelThe Beautiful Life: TBL
ThursdayThe Vampire DiariesSupernatural
FridaySmallvilleAmerica's Next Top Model (E)
Once the season is in full swing, I will be watching at least seven of these shows, quite a record I think. Can you see the connection between them? One Tree Hill, Gossip Girl, 90210, Melrose Place: dramatic, sexy, scandalous. The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, Smallville: sexy, supernatural, magical, powers... I am running out of descriptive words, but I am sure you get my point. There is consistency, there is a certain sort of individual who would enjoy everything that all these shows stand for, because at the end of the day, they are all the same. Now, maybe some would argue that this is boring, they want something different everynight, they want to be surprised, they are actually the minority. The CW cater for those in need of a guilty pleasure fix, they provide what the shows stand for. Teenagers and adults a like who for an hour or so everynight want to get away from their mundane lives and see what the rich live like, how vampires live, how models live: the beautiful people. Many of the stars throughout The CW shows are pin ups, they scream sex appeal, the women and men a like. Perhaps with their newest offering, they only back up that point.
Next time you are watching a CW show remember you are watching a show which is starting to represent your peers. Teenagers with their raging hormones may not go out partying and having sex all the time in real life, it's just not practical, but within the boundaries set by the network, its just normal life. They are fun, dramatic, erotic, imaginary but best of all stylised towards the viewer, not just the females but also men throughout the world enjoy watching shows like Gossip Girl, maybe they get something different out of the show to girls,
maybe they want to be cool like Nate or they just want to watch because Blair is so sexy, but at the end of the day, people are watching. Fans are growing for these shows, there is no use hiding
from it.

90210: The second season of the recently updated show returns to Beverly Hills with a bang. After the amazing season finale earlier this year, Anne is trying to deal with her hit and run, internalising everything. While the rest of the characters finish summer school, thanks to Annie phoning the police on Naomi's post prom party and try to enjoy what is left of their summer. To the beach club, where all the characters apart from Annie are hanging out because money doesn't matter, we can afford
it, darling. Swimming, lying on the beach, sex in a cabana, it's all in a days work and at the end of the day, it's scandal as they return to high school and Naomi has two things on her mind, Liam (last seen being dragged off to Army School) and bringing down Annie (who Naomi thought slept with Annie). This season promises to be as juicy as the previous with new characters including Teddy (who has already caused a stir and looks to be part of the bigger story about the hit and run).

Melrose Place: Another revamp from the 90210 world, this time, set around the apartment block which always promised scandal and suspense. For those who are just starting this world from the 2009 series, may not get the references to older characters from the original series,
but they are cleaned up rather quickly with the death of a major character from the original series, which is becoming the major story line for the first half of this season.
We meet the residents of the Place and see their everyday lives. With a soap style noir seeming to be going on, Melrose looks to be just as big as 90210, with a murder storyline as well as all the secrets that all the characters have.

The Vampire Diaries:
One of this seasons newest shows, based on the books by L.J. Smith, it centres around Elena Gilbert and two vampire brothers, Stefan and Damon, good and evil, fighting for her heart and her soul. Some say this is Twilight for TV but after watching the Pilot, I think this has potential for being darker, more violent and more erotic. It's nice to see Ian Somerhalder back (many will recognise him from LOST where he played Boone) as the dark Damon. This show seems to have an idea of how it wants to treat vampires, not quite as deep as Buffy did, exploring the vampire history, but perhaps giving the vampires back their myths which Stephanie Meyer took away for her series. I look forward to seeing what happens.

The Beautiful Life: I am looking forward to this one starring Mischa Barton (in her first television role since the death of Marissa in The OC). The life of a high-fashion model appears glamorous and sexy, but behind the beautiful façade is a world of insecurity and cut-throat competition. Two teenage models, Raina Marinelli (Sara Paxton, “Last House on the Left”), a stunning beauty with a secret past, and Chris Andrews (Benjamin Hollingsworth, “The Line”), a strikingly handsome Iowa farm boy, living together in a “models” residence in New York, are about to discover this world for themselves. (From The CW press release). Also starring Corbin Bleu looking much more grown up since High School Musical and executively produced by Ashton Kutcher, this looks like a show which has a great idea, let's just see how they execute it.

Gossip Girl: The show gets more and more explosive every year. After the brilliant Season Two finale where the characters thought they would finally be getting away from Gossip Girl (narrated by the amazing Kristen Bell), she tells them that due to Serena's meddling in all affairs Gossipy, they would have the scandal commentator follow them through college (probably the only way to carry the show on as the characters had to leave High School at some point). What did Serena do over the Summer? (From the looks of the trailer, Carter Baizen), is Chuck remaining faithful to Blair?, what is Georgina (the character everybody loves to hate) doing back and staying?, what about Nate and his new girl (played by Joanna Garcia)? and why is Georgina kissing Dan? WTF, watch this fall to find out!

UPDATE: The debut of The CW's THE VAMPIRE DIARIES bared its fangs last night, and scored the network's largest audience EVER (4.84mil) for a series premiere, topping last year's 90210, according to preliminary live plus same day Nielsen ratings for Thursday, Sept. 10, 2009. (from

August 29, 2009

The End of Oasis as Noel Gallagher quits band

Noel Gallagher has announced that he is unable to work with his brother, Liam, any longer and therefore this indicates the end of the British Rock Legends, after 18 years.

Noel, the group's lead guitarist, BBC News reports, made the statement on the band's website. He said a series of rows with his brother led to the decision.

The guitarist said: "It's with some sadness and great relief to tell you that I quit Oasis tonight.

"People will write and say what they like, but I simply could not go on working with Liam a day longer."

"Apologies to all the people who bought tickets for the shows in Paris, Konstanz and Milan," he added.

But really where does this place the band? In 2008, the band signed a three album deal with Sony BMG and since then they have released 'Dig Out Your Soul'... but what next? And what about the remainder of their tour? It's all well and nice to say that you apologise, but what about those let down fans? And in actual fact, we have always known the brothers had an icy relationship, in the 90's, they never left headlines about their wild ways and the ways they had hurt each other. But with this announcment, there seems an air of finality according to Hamish McBain, from music magazine New Musical Express.

What do all the Oasis fans think? They swarmed to Twitter to leave messages like 'Gutted about Oasis. Live Forever!' (joelbeighton), 'Oasis spilt up, can't quiet believe it yet! So amazing to see live and to meet in person...' (TheLives) and 'oasis have split how sad :(' (lucyjade123).

At the end of the day, eight albums later, we have learnt a lot about them and from them, they were the band who were there since the beginning of BritPop and they gave us anthems many would never forget like 'Wonderwall'.

June 01, 2009

David Lynch Presents... Interview Project

Today (June 1), surrealist film maker David Lynch (Blue Velvet, Mulholland Dr, Twin Peaks) will launch and present 'Interview Project' a 121 part documentary series featuring 3-5 minute interviews with ordinary American's all over the country.

The project has been commissioned by Lynch and sponsored by his Absurda Productions and is being distributed through his site, A team of filmmakers have travelled through America, covering the states, gathering 121 parts of personal histories by the people who really matter and make up the country.

Episode One is due to be released on launch day, with a new one appearing every three days, that is till next June (2010).

For an Lynchian preview of the project check the video below:

I would recommend taking a look at this project and following it because it could question, if done properly, what it means and what it takes to make up a person. As a compilation of histories are put together, we are able to look back where we came from and what people have had to go through. It's inspiring, sometimes sad and at others happy but at the end of it, it would have been a journey that all viewers would have been on together, through America and through the personal spirit.

To get more from the project and to watch the interviews check out
Or follow the project on Twitter at
Or become their fans on Facebook at

Eminem and Sacha Baron Cohen at MTV Movie Awards 2009

For anyone who has lived under a rock in the past 24 hours, let me recap. MTV Movie Awards usually cater for a younger audience, 'the MTV Generation' (which seems to be every generation since MTV started), they play towards the comedic side of things and a prank which took place last night has got tongues spinning.
Sacha Baron Cohen, famous for Ali G and Borat, is due to release his new film, Bruno on July 10th but last night he tried out the gay Austrian fashion show presenter to entice the audience. After being hoisted over the celebrity audience wearing an angels costume, it appeared the mechanism broke and as feathers drop from under him, he was 'lowered' towards rapper Eminem.
The 'We Made You' singer, in the past has been accused of homophobia and we are sure that having 'Bruno's' privates placed directly onto his face didn't make him happy.
Well check the video and see his reaction...

The next day, people aren't really sure what to take from this. Was is planned, was Eminem in on the entire act and was the walk out a coup to create a media buzz or was this a way of Sacha Baron Cohen showing he's back after a couple of years break and no one gets away lightly... even if they are multimillionaire rapper with huge bodyguards...

May 29, 2009

Lady Gaga - Paparazzi (Official Video)

It's leaked almost a week early but at a massive seven and a half minutes long, the new Lady Gaga video shows more what she gives on her interviews, her sense of humour.
With the recent fuss over Britney's latest, 'If You Seek Amy,' her director took the media buzz and created what I think is the best Britney video, the irony is that using the news images before and after, only creates more of a buzz and in fact instead of detracting from the lyrics and the video, more and more people have become interested. Scandal = ratings! Another clever technique that Britney uses is the contrast between 'Party Britney' and 'Family Britney', with the media bombarding her at the end. The media have the power to make or break, as the new Gaga video shows.

Mixing the formula of 'If You Seek Amy,' a little of No Doubt's 'It's My Life' and massive dose of Gaga 'gaga' equals the amazing 'novella' type 'Paparazzi'.
Set in the style of 1950's Hollywood, it tells the tale of Lady Gaga, her rise, her fall and her immanent rise to the top again after a twist ending. The dancing is spectacular, the costumes are magnificent and the cinematography is reminiscent of some of the best music videos in the last decade (Fatboy Slim's 'Weapon of Choice')...

Without further ado...

May 16, 2009

Surprise: Fox RENEWS 'Dollhouse'

Dollhouse3 UPDATED: In a stunning move, sources say Fox has renewed Joss Whedon’s “Dollhouse” for next fall.

The official announcement will not be made until Monday at the network's upfront presentation, but sources confirm a deal has been struck for another 13 episodes. Fox plans to continue the show on Fridays next fall.

The low-rated series was last seen given up for dead by the media in a field somewhere.

But the show's DVR numbers are huge (averaging a 40% bump), online streaming is strong. It’s a sci-fi show, which tend to bring in strong ancillary revenue such as DVD sales for sister-company studio 20th TV. And it’s said that Fox execs rather like the series, especially the latter half of the season. Besides, a show airing in the fall on Fox is a bit like running in midseason on most networks -- it’s not the network's strongest part of the year and maybe ... maybe ...

All right, fine.

The move is tougher to explain than most, especially based on the show's ratings. A “Dollhouse” pickup is a shock, an underdog comeback that blows away NBC’s will-they-or-won’t-they hand-wringing over “Chuck” (psst, they almost certainly will). In fact, "Dollhouse" might very well be the lowest-rated in-season scripted drama to ever get a renewal on a major broadcast network. Almost certainly if based on where the show concluded -- a 1.0 among adults 18-49.

Basically this is a case of a bunch of minor decision-making factors successfully ganging up on the biggest factor (ratings). In addition to DVD sales, streaming and DVR influences, Fox received some serious budget concessions from 20th TV and Whedon to continue the show, with 20th now shouldering a greater portion of the load.

Another factor was the show's unaired 13th episode, which Whedon shot on a shoestring budget for the "Dollhouse" first season DVD set. Whedon presented it to the network as an example of how "Dollhouse" can achieve a high-quality production with a lesser budget.

The renewal also means Fox is bringing back all three of its freshman dramas for a second season -- "Fringe," "Lie to Me" and "Dollhouse" -- which is a nice boast in challenging year for broadcasters.

Along with NBC renewing low-rated "Friday Night Lights," and strongly considering modestly performing "Chuck," and the CW stations considering bringing back very weakly rated "Reaper," there's seeming trend this spring toward networks looking beyond live-viewing ratings when contemplating the fate of shows with passionate fanbases that they can monetize in non-traditional ways.

Last year, in the wake of CBS canceling fan favorites "Jericho" and "Moonlight," the sense was that vocal minorities could no longer sway the suits.

This year, cult TV shows have been like creatures in a George Romero movie; you can never trust that they're dead.

Source: THReviews

May 07, 2009

Support Joss: Tweet to Save Dollhouse Petition

It's no secret that FOX has a hard time trusting Joss Whedon when it comes to his genius mind. I mean look at what they did with Firefly! That's why it is time for the fans to be heard, it's time to get loud! So if you're a Joss Whedon fan, please pay close attention, because we need your help to save Dollhouse!
Here's how we're going to do it, in FOUR simple steps:

Step One. Leave a comment below. Tell us exactly what it is that you love about Dollhouse. It can be anything. Is it the plot, the characters, the writing style, the suspense, whatever it is we want to know! The more specific the better. We will take all of the feedback from the comments and send it to the network explaining for our fans why Dollhouse needs to see a second season (and many more after that).

Step Two. Spread the word. We want you to talk about it on twitter! Log on to your twitter account and tweet out this message (exactly as it appears):

Support Joss: Save Dollhouse. Fans get their voices heard @BuddyTV Please ReTweet and join the cause.

Step Three. Follow us on Twitter. Make sure you are following BuddyTV on Twitter to get all the updates on how our campaign is going.

Step Four. Download our official Save Dollhouse wallpaper. Use it as your own twitter background our wherever you choose. Your desktop, myspace, facebook, anyplace you can think of!


We need to hurry! Even though last week's episode gained ratings, it wasn't enough. Dollhouse's fate lies in our hands. We are coming to the final episode and Execs will be making their decisions soon.

From BuddyTV

May 05, 2009

Lost Questions, Dancing with Confusion & The Tea, Coffee, Lasagna Debacle

(Can I just note at this point that any teachers mentioned from my school will be by their initial- at their request)

What would one consider a rather uncanny two days?

Here's my second attempt at writing this jaunty, vivacious bubble of fun. It may be that Tori Amos is playing in the background or that the weather was generally good today but my mind seems unusually free flowing for someone who has spent the last 48 hours, in remote control related accidents, rebel fruit affairs, Network watching, sandwich stealing, Swine Flu Manners, institutional education, rope losing, surprise social photography, theatres in dire need of noiseless air conditioning, complicated racial equality during basketball and finally, a substantial tete-a-tete between my fellow confederates.

For years to come, people will be wondering what exactly happened in the stratosphere that caused such events, what caused the Earth to spin on its axis and for one moment, present an opportune moment for momentous occasion. If any blog post were relevant, in my eyes (being that of bias), this would be the one.

My question is simple and yet complicated at the same time, some may say that is an oxymoron, some may that simply my writing falls into the moronic category (or just sitting wondering who would read this therapeutic sense of the sublime?) but the question I want answered still remains.

(Currently Tori is telling me that I 'Can Bring My Dog'. Euphemism for something? You decide.)

What gives one person or set of people the ability to enjoy and marvel at the wonders of a piece of writing, a music, a film and yet fill another with anguish and fury at the lack of care in the piece. When a piece of music is played, does one person hear the same piece as another, or do our brains translate the piece in different ways, creating different stimulus and therefore creating different reactions to the piece?

Had any day been more relevant to this question, it would be now. The morning started, much like many other before and I am sure many to come, a muesli enthused ascension to some sort of consciousness before leaving for school 'late' (bearing in mind, that I still was the first person in, even though I went to the bank!). The rest is history so they say...

The talk at first was casual, "When is the new 'Lost' on?" "Tomorrow", but then to these unsuspecting talkers, a tyrant of the wing of the upcoming storm voiced his opinion, "'Lost' is (fill in what you expect was said)." Minutes passed. It was tense. Who would say what? Well, never allowing something I like being questioned, it was left to me to fight before being joined by R & R. "It's clever." "You clearly don't understand it." (My rebuttal) "It's amazing." The other side couldn't see the point, "It's unrealistic, a black hole with a hydrogen bomb, travelling in time, what is the point?" "IT's A TELEVISION SHOW, have an imagination!" What was a conversation between friends, became a vigorous discussion between friends which finally turned into a duel, myself, R & R versus, the rest of the sixth form in our house.

(Depeche Mode are telling me about how they are 'In Chains'.)

Apart from laughing at how heated people were getting (myself included), it did give me a chance to question what actually draws a line in entertainment, for example. When these people who didn't like 'Lost' were sitting down and watching wild polar bears have savage fights with black smoke during the few episodes they preserved through, why did they see the absurd instead of the astonishing? How does what they watched on screen translate in their heads differently to what I saw?
When not even our Housemaster could round up the squabble, "It's nothing that I haven't seen before, although I am sure, as Oliver said, if you watch more and more, it becomes more interesting." Which was translated by others like this - "If you watch something more, you get addicted, if you smoke more, you get addicted. Difference? Both bad for you."
It was registration... it seems that the 'Lost' debacle would have to be cleared up another time.

The stories of the afternoon approach farce, was I right in losing track of my team when everyone looked the same? They were fast. I wasn't. Simple as. I suppose, it didn't help that I was late, I was just getting over the fact that a tug-of-war rope couldn't be found... I suppose this is why people actually love my school, it's never fails to entertain.

Fast forward onto the late afternoon. The A Level English Literature classes were due to go to a school trip to London. We were going to The Old Vic Theatre to see 'Dancing at Lughnasa' by Brian Friel which the classes had studied (or were due to study) as dramatic context for our upcoming exams and seen as F was such a large advocate for the play, when he found that a performance was happening, he couldn't let that sort of opportunity pass by. So picture this, a group of about ten teenagers, three teachers and a mini bus, of course seeing it written down looks comical, almost 'Carry On' like. Anyway, F had taken his mini-bus license so that he could take this trip. Yes, each person did get on the coach with a little trepidation, especially seen as within about 30 seconds we had backed up over the curb by the school grounds, nearly onto the grass. Okay, laughing and slightly scared for our lives, F went forward and out of the school gates, we were on our way...
... We arrived... early... well that wasn't going to be a worry. Believe me, I was happy to be out of the bus, my friend had come and sat next to me because he didn't like sitting in front as the row ahead of that had large seats which were making him sick. It was a squeeze, you could say that. But it was a school trip it was fun, the banter especially, "Do you know what I think?" "I think you should be quiet." "Go B, telling him." (Token posh toff laughter) "Well we have comedians here don't we?"
Once we got of the coach, the teachers made a decision en route to Cafe Nero, "Be back by 7.15." So with that, it was decided, we needed to find somewhere to get a drink (hot don't worry). Myself and A coerced the group into finding a Starbucks (commercial whores, I know), we were in London, there had to be one around here somewhere. B looked like a mental escapee, dashing down the streets using his spidy senses to find what turned out to be the Waterloo Station branch of Starbucks. Once inside, we all sat in relative relaxation until another friend sneezed, "SWINE FLU!" Possibly slightly childish... let's get past it...
I haven't mentioned yet, those who had read the play (minus one person) hadn't really had the best experience with this play. The script was short, the characters seemed rather one dimensional, the plot was monotonous but what I had enjoyed was the metaphor for change, social upheaval and bringing in another culture which the traditionalist doesn't want to accept (themes which I feel are just as important today than ever). When my English class had read the play we adapted it ever so slightly with an array of our own characters, Mrs Doubtfire (D), Clint Eastwood (O), Cybill Fawlty (A) and a meercat (the mischievous W). That was a good way to get through the play but we did it for the betterment of others.
So. Here we were. Sitting in The Old Vic, staring down at the staging (which was in the round), a very realistic garden and open plan kitchen (Kirsty Allsop would be pleased). This short play, we found out, before it was due to start had been stretched out for two and a half hours. WE HAD ONLY GOT OURSELVES PSYCHED FOR A TWENTY MINUTE RENDITION!
The first act started... and continued... and still hadn't finished... I didn't have a watch to check... the heat started to rise... the hard board chairs started to get uncomfortable... and down, way down, on the stage, the story of the Mundy sisters was told. Michelle Fairley beautifully suggests the prim and proper nature of schoolmistress Kate, bossy, kind and full of foreboding about the future. Niamh Cusack wonderfully captures the buoyant humour and resilient life-force of the Woodbine-addicted Maggie, and in a notable stage debut Andrea Corr, best known as a pop singer, touchingly conveys the love Chris still feels for the feckless travelling salesman who abandoned her.
Then the interval was called...
F told me what he thought, "They aren't Irish enough!" Outside, people discussed the themes, the performances, the staging and the distinct feature of our seats... the heat. S was telling us that he was waiting for a death, an explosion... I am guessing if The Terminator drove out on his motorcycle, S may have been a little more content. This was my chance, something to cool me down. Oddly I choose a drink which could have done anything but, tomato juice with Tabasco... N looked as if I had ordered a hammer and nails, "I've never seen anyone have anything that exotic at the theatre... does Tabasco even go with a drink?" And then my favourite drink related comment, "Tomato doesn't exist... it can't... tomatoes... juice?" As I followed D back into the theatre, I wasn't even thinking and said, "At last, a drink I can understand." In hindsight, this make me look ever so slightly alcoholic like, considering I was talking to the glass... D laughed... and asked if he could use that quote in the future, he said it sounded like something Noel Coward would have written... I think I'll remember that for the future...
Before Act 2 started, F was struck with fear, "He has builder's bum," I laughed internally, I agree, it's a sight for sore eyes especially when sitting behind it in the theatre, it seemed to sum up the entire experience. It was uplifting to hear and postulate that wasn't the first time he has said that.
Act 2 began... it got hot... quickly... But funnily enough, this second act seemed to sum up the contrast between Catholicism and the pagan ritual which is a constant theme of the play. What Friel’s genre-defining play does beautifully is to hear the rhythms of life around the kitchen table and, by implication, far beyond. This is a community which lives by the church but still raises all sorts of pagan fires in praise of Lugh up in the back hills. In the play’s most celebrated scene the sisters break free from the strict protocol of the eldest, Kate, and dance to their wireless with a wild gusto that smacks of pure lust as much as lust for life.
... Then it finished... but the trip wasn't over yet, we still had to return to school... in the coach... which F said, "Is still there," almost expecting it to have disappeared into the ether of London. The main conversation back, I have aptly titled 'The Tea, Coffee, Lasagna Debacle'. Mainly is self explanatory, are you a Costa, Nero or Starbucks person? The cake or coffee? The beans or the sandwiches? Locality, price, commercialism... believe me it was all covered before suddenly turning down a strange road, who believed their were a lasagna connoisseur...

At the end of the day, this is what I had learnt. Although F was an advocate for the play which many of us were not looking forward to, he still had criticisms and wasn't impressed by the overall effect of the production. But then, how did his reading of the play differ from ours? What was it that caused F to enjoy the writing but was a great repellent for others?
I believe it to be the most interesting question of all, is it down to taste, interpretation, understanding or is there something much more chemical about the entire experience... or for that matter am I making a big deal out of nothing... is the process something much more simple. When I look at my friends, the people I spend my day-to-day life with, I see that my taste very much interprets who my friends are. Is this a microcosm for something much larger, we all have our own belief systems which may be different to someone else's, why are people so opposed to others systems? Does conflict come from this? Is there anyway to turn back? I suppose not, we are not all the same, we never have and never will... but that keeps us on our feet, it's exciting, it's always changing... there is always new stuff to learn about, but remember keep your minds open to others voices, experiences and suggestions (I, one day hope that I can practice what I say). It's fun, that's all.

May 03, 2009

The genius of Whedon, Abrams, Hirst, Schwartz, Kessler and Zelman, Rhimes and Cherry

So, what do all these names have in common? I’ll tell you… they all write top quality, high rating achieving television. Whether you enjoy a sci-fi conspiracy (Lost, Dollhouse), a guilty pleasure (Gossip Girl), historical drama (The Tudors), a law thriller (Damages) or a drama with interesting, vivid characters (Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy), these writers and creators have consistently created television really worth watching, pretty much since 2004, when ABC suddenly became the forefront of television with Desperate Housewives, Lost and Grey’s Anatomy after around a decade of silence. Now, I am more than sure that each of you have caught at least one episode of at least one of these shows (… or in my case, every episode of every one of these shows!) and whether you personally enjoyed what you saw, these shows have bought people together to discuss what’s going to happen next to the characters, it no longer becomes a matter of finding something to do and channel flicking. No, in a world where series can last years and years and stories become more and more complex, audiences have to have all the facts, they yearn for the knowledge and they return each week to get a little more information about the characters they actually care about.

Caring about characters is relatively new phenomena, which really got going in the 90’s, with sitcoms such as Friends, Cheers, Frasier and Ellen. Studies show that audiences no longer would just flick onto a channel but instead knew that for one day every week, a set of characters that the audience would have come to care about would be put into a new situation, a story for the writers to tell. Since then the craze for character development has grown and almost is as important as plot, no more are the days where soap operas rule the evening schedules, where cheap thrills and over dramatic storylines kept people happy, instead audiences wanted to know what drove the characters and how they would deal with a situation. The idea grew and is still seen today in sitcoms such as Scrubs where not only does the rather surreal life and story of Sacred Heart come to life but also the gratification that the audience receives by watching characters grow with time, it’s reality television without the reality, it’s all scripted and yet over the years characters have to weather storms much like you or me.

So the idea grew, so large that writers understood what the audience wanted. The idea moved throughout the 90’s into comedy dramas such as Ally McBeal where creator, David E. Kelley, took reality and the surreal and made the blur between the both so endearing that audiences were hooked for years on the adventures of Ally (Calista Flockhart) while working at Cage & Fish Law Firm. Then in 2004 serial dramas and stories such as Lost and Desperate Housewives grew, audiences were finally getting realised, no more did they have to succumb to soaps like Days of Our Lives (USA) or Eastenders (UK) but instead were getting character development in the midst of stories that were so strikingly written that institutions such as FOX and NBC were actually afraid of showing this new material and it lay on ABC’s door to produce one of the most expensive pilots of all time for Lost, without even having the confidence that it may get picked up for one season, let alone another five since then and Desperate Housewives which has since become one of the most watched television shows in the entire world with an approximate audience of 120 million people in the target demographic.

Characters such as Bree van de Camp and Blair Waldorf became household names within weeks of the shows premièring and since then have only grown larger and larger. New York Magazine called Gossip Girl, ‘The Best Show Ever,’ and that’s taking into consideration the fact that it only gets around 2-3 million television sets tuning into The CW for the latest drama from the Upper East Side but it’s not taking into consideration the fact that groups of people watch the show together, it’s consistently the highest bought television show on iTunes US (Lost on iTunes UK) and millions watch the show online, these numbers do not affect the Nielsen rating, although if they did Gossip Girl, again would far excel numbers.

Now, it doesn’t make a difference these days whether drama is well written or not, reality television is the forefront of what to expect each television season from both sides of the Atlantic with American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance (from the Strictly Come Dancing franchise- now the most watched television franchise in the history of television) consistently getting the highest numbers in ratings. The same thing is seen in the UK, despite the decreasing favour to shows such as Big Brother, people seem to enjoy Britain’s Got Talent and The X Factor far more than any other show, with record breaking numbers (as long as a national treasure such as Doctor Who isn’t on).

But put these exceptions aside, the Simon Cowell’s of the world have enough written about them everyday (especially because most the time, music mogul Simon Cowell is putting these shows out there!), the names Whedon, Abrams, Hirst, Schwartz, Kessler and Zelman, Rhimes and Cherry are all highly recommended by my standards. Shows like Damages and The Tudors take writing to a level, which was rarely seen before the 90’s, shows like The Sopranos and The Wire started this trend of what I like to call clever TV. The aforementioned Damages and The Tudors are very simple concepts, a lawyer who doesn’t like to lost and fiction based on fact respectively but the writing teams on these shows have gone far beyond the mark of good writing, they have exceptional writing. Stories, which will keep you on the edge of your seat, yearning for the next episode and really getting involved with the story.

Damages, created by Todd and Glenn Kessler and Daniel Zelman is the story of Patty Hewes (Glenn Close) who has her own law firm, Hewes & Associates, she is a tough cookie, usually with more balls than the men she is bringing down. She is brilliant, yet ruthless and a fascinating teacher to Ellen Parsons (Rose Bryne), she blows hot and cold and don’t get in her way, her bark is worse than her bite. Clichés aside, the debut season finds Hewes attempting to win a class-action lawsuit against the former CEO of a corporation (Ted Danson) on behalf of his former workers. The second season revolves around Patty's relationship with a man from her past (William Hurt) and how she is thrown into a new cutthroat case against a big energy company, while Ellen seeks revenge against Patty. Damages has received critical acclaim and numerous television awards, including a Golden Globe and three Emmy Awards for its first season. The show is noted for its nonlinear narrative, frequent use of plot twists, technical merit, season-long storylines and the acting ability of its cast. You’re going to have to watch it to find out more, season three is currently in production.

The Tudors, created by Michael Hirst is a historical fiction television series based upon the reign of English monarch Henry VIII (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), and is named after the Tudor dynasty. Season One chronicles the period of Henry VIII's reign in which his effectiveness as King is tested by international conflicts as well as political intrigue in his own court, while the pressure of fathering a male heir compels him to reject his wife Katherine of Aragon (Maria Doyle Kennedy) for Anne Boleyn (Natalie Dormer). He also has a string of affairs, and fathers a son, Henry, by Elizabeth Blount. Season Two finds Henry as the head of the Church of England, the result of his break with the Catholic Church, which refused to grant him a divorce from Katherine. During his battle with Rome, he secretly marries Anne, who is pregnant. Anne's own failure to produce a son dooms her as Henry's attention shifts toward Jane Seymour. Season three started in April in the USA and is due over the summer to start on BBC 2. The acting from Meyers shows the King in a new light, no longer the fat old man who ate all day but instead the jouster, musician, lover and father which not too many know of King Henry VIII.

Now, if these don’t tempt you (much like maki roll in Yo! Sushi), why not try another well-written show. Medical drama’s don’t come much more popular than the Emmy Award-winning American medical drama series created by the late novelist Michael Crichton that aired on NBC from September 1994 to April 2009… haven’t guessed… ER. The show ran for 15 seasons, becoming the longest-running medical drama in American primetime television history. It won 22 Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Drama Series (1996), and received 123 Emmy nominations, the most of any television show in history and fully launched the careers of George Clooney and Parminder Nagra (Bend It Like Beckham). Except I, personally think I could do one better, leaving where ER left off, Grey’s Anatomy has taken place. Set in Seattle Grace Hospital, Grey’s Anatomy tells the tale of a group of interns (season 1) turn residents (season 3-present) and how they deal with working in a hospital with their fellow attendings and the interns that they have to look after and teach. Some say more a soap opera than a medical drama, others would say a definite mix, but I feel this is what makes it unique, the show isn’t exclusively about medicine (although with cases like pipes going through two people, huge boat crashes and bombs going off inside of people, literally!), it also deals with the love lives, the emotional train wrecks and day-to-day adventures which they all go through. The casting is beyond a doubt one of the best on today, with names like Chandra Wilson, Katherine Heigl, Sandra Oh, Ellen Pompeo, Kevin McKidd and Patrick Dempsey, this is one class A act that I wouldn’t recommend you miss. Season Five is currently airing in the US.

Still haven’t found what you like? Try Joss Whedon’s new creation, Dollhouse starring Eliza Dushku. Remember him? He created the classic Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it’s spin- off, Angel and the recent online comedy musical, Dr Horrible. Come into 2009, the 21st century where anything technological is possible, enter (or watch), Dollhouse. This is the story of an underground facility called The Dollhouse, insider are actives or dolls who are blank memory slates, they walk around all day smiling, but they real people, these are people who have signed their lives over (or been persuaded by the very British, Adelle DeWitt played by the very British, Olivia Williams). Then when someone with a lot of money wants to ‘rent’ a Doll for an assignment, they have a memory imprinted into them, they fulfil someone’s fantasy or pretend they are FBI for the day before coming back for their ‘treatment’, a complete memory wipe back to their Doll form. The point of Dollhouse? It’s not just a chance for the actors to dress up as different characters each episode and have a bit of fun, oh no. Throw in a suspended FBI agent who has been tracking the Dollhouse, sleeper actives who could be anyone, inside moles, Dolls starting to recover memories from past assignments or from their former lives and you get just an inkling of what Dollhouse is about. Season One is about to start on FX on Sky in the UK and if you want to start watching any sci-fi show this year, I would recommend this. Preserve for the first few episodes, Whedon is simply trying to get the audience to learn about the House and the characters, what makes them tick and what could be lurking behind closed doors. Also, if you want the quirky humour of Buffy, it’s here but not as prevalent, there is a lot going for Dollhouse, people just need to give it a chance.

Finally, how about I throw in some Gossip Girl, Desperate Housewives and Lost. The only way you don’t know all about these is if you have been living underneath a rock for the last five years. Did you used to watch The OC? Then you surely started Gossip Girl. Watch Alias? Then I bet you started watching Lost for you JJ Abrams fix. Enjoy films like American Beauty, then Desperate Housewives is for you. Whether it be a guilty pleasure or are fascinated by what really happens underneath the sheen of suburbia, one of these shows will wet your appetites.

So, what have we learnt? Plot isn’t everything (although vitally important at the same time), character driven shows are becoming (or have become) all the rage and I watch just about everything on television. What do you watch? Maybe I’m biased but I feel that the gift of great writing, fantastic acting and beautiful cinematography is one of the best things you can be given. I thank these writers every week for granting me this gift, to be able to learn from them and they don’t even know it. It’s fascinating, slightly voyeuristic, but isn’t all television?

April 17, 2009

Susan Boyle on Britain's Got Talent or Don't judge a book by it's cover???

So, little less than a week ago, another reality show, another ITV Simon Cowell brain baby, 'Britain's Got Talent' started it's third series. After last years winner, George Sampson, dancing onto kid's television and straight off rather quickly (with his debut single entering the chart at 30 and slowly disappearing), I again was unsure how to approach this seemingly apparent way to make money, get ratings and to perhaps give Cowell yet another ego boost- Oh! did I forget to mention Cowell's underlings? Amanda Holden and Piers Morgan, this seems like nothing other than a orgy of fun where the only celebrity endorsements are those with bad press and arguments. And finally not forgetting ITV's golden boys, Ant & Dec, just another show where ITV can plug them- show that all the money that is being spent on them is going to good presenting.

Anyway, you may be able to tell that I am rather disinterested in Britain having any talent, disinterested in the fifteen minutes of fame and disinterested in the Royal Variety- maybe the point is to start at home, to clean ourselves up and out of this rut we find ourselves. I don't mean about some of the talentless baboons our country and others push onto the rest of the world but instead the education some find themselves in or for that matter uninterested in, the financial status we find ourselves in... any of this ring bells with anyone???

Susan Boyle, 47 was a prime example of judging a book by it's cover, which of course we are told at the primary never to do. Read the back, take a ponder at the first few pages but never just look at the mundane picture at the front. This was exactly what the audience of last week's 'Britain's Got Talent' did... did I say audience, I meant the three judges as well. These celebrity judges are meant to uphold the standards by which we are meant to live, we see them in the newspapers, we see them on our televisions, we follow their dramatic lives and we try to replicate what we see- these people enforce our dominant ideologies of the country and culture we live in today and therefore when Susan Boyle came onto that stage, the cheeky chappies offstage were grinning larger than the Cheshire cat and Simon, Amanda and Piers looked just about ready to click their buttons to reprimand this woman for wasting their time and wondering what she is doing on stage, let alone our television sets. A yet something wonderful happened, after quite enough laughter from those in the room, Susan opened her mouth and out came the most wonderful voice, 'I Dreamed a Dream' from Les Mis ripped through the room and literally the mouths of everyone dropped, from laughter to applause to three 'yes's' from the judges.

Susan became an overnight sensation and her fame spread by links posted on the Twitter website, including praise from celebrity couple Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore. When told about this Boyle was said not to have heard of Kutcher and although recognised the name 'Demi Moore' knew little about her but thanked them for their support. The video has also attracted the attention of Hollywood actress Drew Barrymore. Following her performance on Britain's Got Talent, Boyle was a guest on STV's The Five Thirty Show.She was interviewed via satellite on CBS's Early Show and ABC's Good Morning America, and via a telephone interview on FOX's America's Newsroom. In an interview, Simon Cowell said Boyle had received an invitation to appear on The Oprah Winfrey Show and predicted that if she did appear "there's every chance Susan Boyle will have the number one album in America".

The most popular YouTube video submission of her audition garnered nearly 2.5 million views in the first 72 hours. As of April 17, 2009, the video had been viewed more than 20 million times, making it the most viewed video of the month worldwide.

Commenting on the audience's reactions before she started singing, Boyle stated:
Modern society is too quick to judge people on their appearances. ... There is not much you can do about it; it is the way they think; it is the way they are. But maybe this could teach them a lesson, or set an example.

—Susan Boyle, The Washington Post

After Boyle's performance, Holden stated:

I am so thrilled because I know that everybody was against you. I honestly think that we were all being very cynical and I think that's the biggest wakeup call ever. And I just want to say that it was a complete privilege listening to that.

—Amanda Holden, Britain's Got Talent

And so, here I suppose is my point- how wonderful it is to be able to see something with genuine talent, who hasn't pushed herself into the limelight and people's face and who has lived a steady and blanketed life practising what she loved. Then one day, she surprises people and suddenly has acclaimed international stardom. Where are the other Susan Boyle's for today- those people who show a little glimmer of hope for humanity and that through solidarity and living a life not consumed by celebrity and leisure, one day your dreams may come true.

Susan Boyle Stuns Crowd with Epic Singing - Watch more Funny Videos

April 15, 2009

Lindsey Lohan's eHarmony Profile at

"A little bit about me. I'm an actress, a singer, an entrepreneur and according to the state of California, an alcoholic and I single-handedly kept 90% of all gossip websites in business."

Wise words from a young lady, as actress Lindsey Lohan has recorded a spoof dating advert, shortly after her split from Samantha Ronson.

In the wake of their break-up, Lohan appeared on the front cover of Us magazine, and said she was "so alone".

The 22-year-old makes reference to this by sitting on a sofa and reading the magazine during the video.

Lohan jokes that she is looking for someone to spend the rest of her life with, "or at least the rest of my probation with".

Lohan's video is a parody of adverts that appear on internet dating site eHarmony, complete with wayward camera work.

The Funnyordie website was created by comic and film star Will Ferrell.

Last year it hosted a spoof video showing Paris Hilton hitting back at US presidential candidate John McCain after he referred to her in one of his campaign ads.

PS. Watch out for the 'Parent Trap' theme playing in the background, a wonderful final touch!

I just want to say, congratulations to Lohan for being such a good sport and so damn funny, 'because c'mon we've read about' her!

April 10, 2009

Dollhouse News: Episode 13 not airing

'Dr. Horrible’s', Felicia Day twittered earlier, ""Man, day getting worse and worse. Found out my Dollhouse ep, #13 isn't gonna air. Only on DVD. Such a great part too. Thx Fox. :( ..."

And so the story begins... or shall we say ends? Cleverly annoying network, FOX has decided to cut the 13th episode, "Epitaph One" directed by Whedon from the first season of Joss Whedon's 'Dollhouse', leaving Day's appearance to be scattered into the pile of DVD extras or online bonuses.

The 'Dollhouse' closer airs May 8, titled "Omega," and represents the show's 12th episode aired.

Reps from the 20th Century Fox studio and from the network declined to comment, but sources say the network has a different point of view on this news.

Many are arguing that FOX's entire season order was filled as the original pilot was never aired, another of the network's fantastic decisions (another nail in the coffin) and so therefore with the network's retooling, Whedon reshot the pilot. Therefore, the argument is that if "Epitaph One" airs it's almost as if the studio are paying for 14 hours instead of original 13.

Sources say the story in the "Omega" season finale is more or less Whedon's original vision for how the season would end, so fans watching the show should have some degree of closure.

Except fans of the show (including myself) are now thinking, there is yet another episode out there which won't get shown on television- despite the slowing increasing numbers in the ratings.

All parties, including the nuturing FOX, have insisted this is not the cancellation of 'Dollhouse' though the network declining to air an episode isn't encouraging. The most recent episode of 'Dollhouse' earned a 1.5 rating among adults 18-49, with companion 'Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles' pulling a 1.3. Sources say the odds of 'Terminator' surviving are pretty slim, but the closed-door verdict on 'Dollhouse' is not in yet.

Producer Tim Minear, says the episode will definitely be on the DVD and confirms FOX's "we're gonna count the scrapped pilot" stance: "Okay. So maybe I can help clarify this somewhat. Because we scrapped the original pilot -- and in fact cannibalized some of its parts for other eps -- we really ended up with 12 episodes. But the studio makes DVD and other deals based on the original 13 number. So we created a standalone kind of coda episode. Which is the mythical new episode 13. The network had already paid for 13 episodes, and this included the one they agreed to let us scrap for parts. It does not include the one we made to bring the number back up to 13 for the studio side and its obligations. We always knew it would be for the DVD for sure, but we also think Fox should air it because it’s awesome."

"Omega" finale description: "Alpha's reign of terror continues as his obsession with Echo endangers Caroline's survival. Ballard must make a life-changing decision, and one Doll is permanently deactivated while another's shocking past is revealed."

To see 'Dollhouse' not come back for a second season would be a catastrophe, rumours say that production costs would be less as sets are already built and despite a slow start, a following for this show has already begun and recent episodes have shown strong numbers because the show is finally starting to explore some of it's inherent mythology. The thing about 'Dollhouse' and the reason why the Network and unaccepting fans wouldn't give the show a chance is because it's new- it was trying to find its feet and explore slowing, giving time for an audience to build and for us to be able to care about the characters. Let this not turn into another cult classic from those FOX people like the amazing 'Tru Calling' or 'Drive'.

If you have feelings about the last episode not being aired, check out:


Further articles can be read here (via @foxbroadcasting) :


E! Online

The Hollywood Reporter

March 27, 2009

Grey's Anatomy - Season Five - Elevator Love Letter

Episode Overview:
All eyes are on Derek as he is set to perform his first surgery after his breakdown; attention is also set on Izzie, whose medical condition requires her to undergo a difficult surgery; and Owen has another PTSD episode that injures Cristina and traumatizes both of them, throwing the future of their relationship into question.

It may have taken a while but at last, the most recent episode of ABC's hospital drama, Grey's Anatomy (now in it's fifth season), reminded me why I watch this show. In the last two years or so, the show seemed to have turned it's back from the amazing writing of the first two seasons and although there have defiantly been some standout episodes since, no thanks to the WGA strike last year, Season Five has most certainly got the wheels back on the track.
After a touch and go storyline of the return of Denny in the life of Izzie Stevens, many viewers (long term Grey's lovers and newbies) thought that this may just be a cop out for the writers while they try and think of some respectible storylines although we have come out at the other end learning more about each of the characters and how each of them reacts when one of their own is in danger.
Justin Chambers and T.R. Knight showed sides to their characters, be it love or anger, that we have not previously seen and they excelled in this classic episode. As both Alex and George learnt, it's best to have your people around. Despite what anyone says, in my personal opinion, there is two main things about Grey's Anatomy which puts it in the top shows around at the moment, the acting and the writing. Shonda Rhimes and her team of writers always, despite the story, manage to capture the exact emotion needed and are able to put into the most beautiful words how the characters feel. I think, you always know when you are watching something by this talented group of writers, there is a repetitive sense of honesty that comes out from each character- and it never gets boring.
But the group of actors in Grey's Anatomy make the show. In this episode, Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) gripped me from the off as she was dragged through motions after her boyfriend, Owen (Kevin McKidd), had another PTSD episode and dramatically attacked Cristina in her sleep. It's wonderful to see such stories, which are rarely shown on television, being explored. This story, I feel, has not finished and when audiences are treated the stunning scene where Cristina and Owen make love all the way to Cristina saying, "I'm in your arms and afraid to fall asleep," just showed the depth that Grey's tends to go.
Television has been accused for dumbing down for a new type of audience, one's with short attention spans, one's who care very little for character development and who don't care too much for deep, important storylines which should be explored in the mainstream and yet Grey's Anatomy never fails to impress by breaking boundaries and ignoring this new audience and nurturing the fans who have been here since the beginning.
And what a finale... the engagement of Meredith and Derek, delivering exactly what the name of the episode said. Looking over at the conquests, the wins, the positives for MerDer. That just leaves Izzie, left alone for the episode to start to confront her own demons while her friends do the same. The wonderful Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) spinning her moral code for the rest of the characters : "She need's no more doctors, if you are going in there, you are going in as her friends."
So this episode will go down as being one of the most powerful, well written, engaging episodes of Season Five and probably the show. This is the reason we watch Grey's Anatomy people... it looks like there is a light ahead. The next episode returns on April 23rd entitled, Sweet Surrender and with only five episodes left till the end of Season Five it looks as if Grey's could return to it's former glory in hospital television heaven!