Review - Homeland S2E05

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Last week Homeland left us hanging, wondering if the suspense had already been stretched to full capacity. We feared a let down. With Brody exposed, where was left for it to go? We needn’t have worried.

Everything the show has been leading up to culminated in ‘Q&A’ in a perfectly executed exhibition that, true to form, managed to keep us hooked and wanting more.

The interrogation scenes between Damian Lewis’s Brody and Claire Danes’s Carrie play out flawlessly. Highly revealing, almost intrusive, camera close-ups capture every emotion-charged expression.

Doing away with the bravado and showing him her own vulnerability, Carrie breaks Brody down, peeling him back methodically using the disconcerting truth. “Aren’t you sick of all the lies?” she appeals to him. We watch as Brody begins to unravel and make some key admissions. When all is said and done, he curls up on the interrogation room floor just as he did way back in Season One when under Nazir’s captivity.

As Brody lies curled on the cold concrete, Carrie rattles off his options; public humiliation and a prison sentence or impunity under the proviso he works for the CIA as a double agent.

A man repeatedly torn and broken, Brody’s is on a terse emotional tether. He wears the hat of newly appointed congressman, loving father and instrument for his former captor. It’s difficult to know where Brody’s loyalty lies; does he even know? And that’s where Homeland blurs the line between black and white, bad and good. In a political thriller that challenges stereotypes and confronts our greatest fears, it’s strange to find we empathise with and even like Brody, this would-be terrorist.

It’s testament to an engaging plot, exemplary dialogue and well-rounded characters.

This episode also showcases the side-story of Brody’s daughter Dana and her new boyfriend Finn, the son of the Vice President (yep, the guy Brody holds responsible for the death of his beloved Issa). We’re not sure yet where this one’s headed but it’s sure to be a bumpy ride (pun intended!).

As Homeland steers in another direction, the highly-relevant-to-today content and heart-pounding drama continue to keep us on the edge of our couches.

It will be interesting to see how the relationship between Carrie and Brody plays out.

Is it too early to say‘Q&A’ is up there among the best thing you’ll see on television this year? We don’t think so.

Review by Catherine Jones


Ratings - Monday

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Due to power outages last night, many shows only aired repeats and had to be adjusted down. Only Revolution, The Voice, Dancing With th Stars and Castle, which aired original episodes, had to be adjusted down in ratings compared to last week.

Final Monday broadcast primetime ratings for Monday, October 29, 2012
Time Net Show 18-49 Rtg/Shr Viewers (millions)
8:00 NBC The Voice (8-10PM) 4.8/11 12.44

ABC Dancing with the Stars  (8-10PM) 2.3/5 13.90

CBS How I Met Your Mother - R 2.3/6 6.78

FOX The X Factor - RS (8-10PM) 0.7/2 1.99

CW 90210 - R 0.3/1 0.81

8:30 CBS Partners -R 1.8/4 5.249

9:00 CBS 2 Broke Girls - R 2.5/6 7.48

CW Gossip Girl - R 0.3/1 0.62

9:30 CBS Mike & Molly -R 2.2/5 6.963

10:00 NBC Revolution 3.0/7 7.90

ABC Castle 2.2/7 10.84

CBS News Special - S 2.1/5 7.87

Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2012 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.


Ratings - Sunday

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Once Upon a Time, America's Funniest Home Videos and The Mentalist all went up compared to last week's ratings, while 666 Park Avenue, Revenge, The Amazing Race and The Good Wife dropped from last week.
Broadcast primetime ratings for Sunday, October 28, 2012:
TimeNetShow18-49 Rating/ShareViewers (Millions)
7:00FOXNFL Football - Live9.8/2627.99
NBCFootball Night in America Part 1 - Live1.9/55.28
CBS60 Minutes1.7/410.80
ABCAmerica's Funniest Home Videos1.6/46.52
7:30NBC Football Night in America Part 2 - Live2.5/66.58
8:00FOX2012 World Series (some pre-game) - Live5.3/1317.12
NBC Football Night in America Part 3 - Live4.9/1212.61
ABCOnce Upon A Time3.4/89.66
CBSThe Amazing Race2.4/69.38
8:30NBCNFL Football : Saints at Broncos  Live (8:30-11PM)6.3/1416.17
9:00FOX2012 World Series  - Live3.7/812.37
CBSThe Good Wife1.8/49.54
10:00CBSThe Mentalist1.8/410.09
ABC666 Park Avenue1.6/44.77
Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2012 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.


Review - The Walking Dead S03E03

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There are already encouraging signs of a sense of momentum being built up in these early episodes of season 3. There is certainly an indication the writers have learned from their perceived mistakes of the past and are keeping the characters, and the audience, on their toes and not allowing a malaise to set in.

This week’s episode takes the risky step of moving the focus away from Rick’s group of survivors but that doesn’t mean it isn’t another piece of gripping television. In fact, the change of scenery and new characters aid the show in not falling into the repetition trap that let down season 2.

Instead, we spend the episode in the company of Andrea and Michonne. This proves a valuable opportunity to re-connect with Andrea and learn more about Michonne, as the two have been restricted to minor scenes so far this season. We are able to gauge more about their relationship over the past few months and start to gain more of an insight into the character of Michonne.

The episode begins with a spectacular helicopter crash and works hard not to let up from there. David Morrissey makes his much anticipated first appearance as The Governor, a character who is a firm fan’s favourite from the comics and the early signs are promising regarding his casting. His performance neatly balances the two sides of the character’s persona, meaning his motivations are never quite clear and leaves plenty of room for exploration. It is an intriguing performance as there are obvious parallels to be drawn with the shows other main leadership figure, Rick himself.

There is another character who makes a welcome reappearance and will provide plenty for the writers to work with over the course of future episodes.

As always the effects and make-up are exceptional, particularly for a soldier who is not quite all himself.

To sum up, this is another impressive episode. The interplay between characters is good and we get to chew over a few theories regarding the zombies. Everything is nicely set up for a return to Rick’s group next week and leaves us feverishly awaiting the inevitable encounter between the groups and their indomitable leaders.

Review by Jonathan Gray


REVIEW - American Horror Story S02E01

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If you like your drama dark, intense and a little twisted you will love what Asylum has to offer. 

Episode two, after a genius season premiere is kind of like an instant number one hit. Everyone raves about a track that sits at the top of the billboard charts for weeks on end, but the pressure really is on for a follow up track that will be just as good. If it isn’t, there rarely is a second bite at the cherry.

That was the anticipation held for episode two “Tricks and Treats” after the horrifically entertaining ride which was episode one. The solid characters, second to none performance by Jessica Lange and a rich, macabre, twisted storyline left the bar set so high I was hoping not to be disappointed as the season rolled out.

“Tricks and Treats” hits you right in the stomach from the opening scene of terror, confusion and just enough gore. I don’t want to spoil the storyline too much for those who may have not seen any Asylum episodes yet, but we leave “The Creatures” lurking in dark foggy forests and asylum patients which were strangely disappearing in the last episode right into Briarcliff’s large oak doors and into the damp, dark core of the asylum where you witness an exorcism, creepy doctors and flashing glimpses of not so holy past lives. All with a nod to great thrillers such as The Exorcist and The Green Mile.

Episode two barely lets you come up for air for the whole hour so hold your breath! The storyline is fast paced but you don’t lose the thread of the story, each character is twisted, interesting and terribly flawed. You can’t look but you can’t look away. The rest of the season has been set up well and the story lines seem to take you one way then abruptly another. You feel empathy for a character and then they do something to jar your conscience and make you think again. Are they good? Are they bad? Are you bad for liking them? Are they even alive?

If you like your drama dark, intense and a little twisted you will love what Asylum has to offer.

Review by JoAnn Duff


REVIEW - Once Upon A Time S02E01-4

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Note: This review will contain spoilers for the past four episodes. 

After a break that seemed to go on for eternity, Once Upon A Time is back! When we last saw Storybrooke, Emma had finally broken the curse she'd been denying existed all season, and the townsfolk had just regained their memories only to be consumed by a purple cloud of magic. Now in the fourth episode, magic is well and truly back.

However, since I've missed reviewing the first four episodes I'll give a quick recap.

With the curse broken, it meant we got to see the one reunion everyone has been waiting for – Emma and the Charmings! – and it was an emotional one with lots of crying and accusations from a very hurt and abandoned Emma. But not everyone was happy about the curse breaking either, namely Regina who had to answer to the whole town. That didn't stop her from causing havoc and trapping Emma and Mary Margaret back in the Enchanted Forrest, which up until now everyone had assumed was a just void.

In fact, we find out it's not a void and there's a part of the land which wasn't touched by Regina's curse – except that, like Storybrooke – time stopped for 28 years. In the Enchanted Forrest Mulan, Prince Philip and the newly awakened Princess Aurora (from Sleeping Beauty) have been dealing with the consequences of the curse breaking. Emma and Mary Margaret's arrival creates friction between the two groups of girls and it is only made worse by the presence of Regina's mother Cora, who has apparently been held prisoner in this new land.

Meanwhile in Storybrooke's world, we got a glimpse of a mysterious stranger from another city who is sent a postcard with one word “broken” which we can only assume is referring to the curse. Could this be Baelfire, Rumpelstiltskin's son who was sent to another world? And that's not the only surprise guest who has appeared. It looks like a certain vengeful adopted father came into Storybrooke's world with the curse and now that he has his memory back, he has his sights set on his 'son'.

In lieu of Emma not being there to take custody of Henry, David is taking care of his grandson, and the two of them are working together on 'Operation Scorpion' to get back Emma and Mary Margaret; meanwhile Regina has gotten her magic back, and is once again feared by the town. And Rumpelstiltskin, whose reunion with Belle isn't going so smoothly because he has yet to open up to her, has been experimentally playing with magic to break the curse stopping them from leaving Storybrooke. Why is that? He tells Belle it's to find Baelfire, the one person he cared about most in the world.

The writers of Once Upon a Time are proving again, just how complex their characters can be, and are giving new life and roundedness to classic characters. Not just fairy tale characters any more, the writers have expanded to literary figures like those from Lewis Carroll's classic stories and now J.M. Barrie. Hook's role in episode four's “The Crocodile”, explains what happened to Rumpelstiltskin's wife and adds a twist to the classic tale – think last season's episode “Skin Deep”. And having sexy Irish actor Colin O'Donoghue play the swashbuckling pirate definitely doesn't hurt either.

The first four episodes will definitely keep you on your toes, and grinning with delight as you realise just how entertwined all these characters lives are. But more than that it'll keep you asking questions. One of which (who is the mysterious Doctor Whale?) will likely be answered in this week's episode. I know I have my theories – how about you?

By Sofie Kiriakidis


Ratings - Saturday

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It was sports dominating the viewership last night with ABC and FOX earning a 2.5 and 2.4 for their respective games. While 48 Hours, the only show to air an original episode stayed consistent with last week's rating of 1.0.
Broadcast primetime ratings for Saturday, October 27, 2012
TimeNetShow18-49 Rating18-49 ShareViewers Live+SD (million)
8:00PMABCCollege Football Notre Dame v. Oklahoma (8p-11p)2.587.61
FOX2012 World Series (8-10p)2.489.00
CBSHawaii Five-0 -R0.623.41
NBCRevolution -R0.411.98
9:00PMCBSCriminal Minds -R0.934.70
NBCChicago Fire -R0.522.38
10:00 PMCBS48 Hours1.035.08
NBCLaw And OrderSVU -R0.723.03
Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2012 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.


Review - Family Guy S11E01

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When the Fishmans share the news they are climbing Mount Everest as a family Peter tells them that the Griffins are to “stick it to them”.

Family Guy heats up for its eleventh season. What more sick, dark, random, controversial, topical, hysterically funny episodes can Seth McFarlane have left in him? If season eleven is anything to go by it’s plenty.

Episode one begins with Lois bumping into her first boyfriend Ross Fishman while out shopping. After discovering he also became happily married with children of his own she accepts an invitation to the Fishmans for dinner to catch up. Peter is instantly threated by Ross and he; along with the rest of the Griffins begrudgingly attend dinner at the wealthy, successful Fishmans.

The Fishmans are a self indulgent, pompous family, the wife is a lawyer and Ross is an investment trader. Peter is instantly jealous and sticks it to them by offering Ross to a muscle flexing competition at the dinner table and when the Fishmans share the news they are climbing Mount Everest as a family Peter tells them that the Griffins are to “stick it to them”.

The expedition for the Griffins begins in Nepal and the race to beat the Fishmans to the top is full of danger, adversity, movie references, confusion, stupidity, slapstick and even cannibalism all the way to the pinnacle of the mountain.

Stewie and Brian are still one of TV’s best double acts and their exchanges throughout this episode are classic. Family Guy sticks to a formula that works with random cut-tos. God, Weed-whackers and a Yak doing stand-up are just a few of the characters making appearances in this episode. Along with some classic Peter Griffin action you won’t be disappointed.

Review by JoAnn Duff


Ratings - Friday

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CSI: NY and Grimm were up from last week's ratings while America's Next Top Model and Nikita dropped.
Overnight broadcast primetime ratings for Friday, October 26, 2012:
TimeNetShow18-49 Rating18-49 ShareViewers Live+SD (million)
8:00 PMABCShark Tank1.866.752
NBCMockingbird Lane -S1.555.435
CBSNCIS -R1.037.353
FOXKitchen Nightmares0.932.671
CWAmerica's Next Top Model0.411.138
ABCAll Access Nashville With Katie Couric1.445.545
CBSCSI: NY1.449.965
10:00 PMNBCDateline NBC1.554.547
CBSBlue Bloods1.4510.806

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2012 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.


Sex & The City - The Carrie Diaries PREVIEW

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The CW have their first hit of the season with Arrow, but have fallen on their feet with Beauty & The Beast and Emily Owens M.D. bombing completely. But due to Gossip Girl finishing this year after 13 episodes, it seems that The CW is saving the best till last.

Sex & The City is headed back to our living rooms and transporting us back to the 80's with The Carrie Diaries. Based on the books of the same name, Diaries follow a young Carrie Bradshaw just starting out in the city from high school and will introduce us to her family and friends.

Check out the clip below....


Ratings - Thursday

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Last night Two and a Half Men, Elementary and Grey's Anatomy were down from last week's ratings, while Scandal and Person of Interest were up.
Overnight ratings for Thursday, October 25, 2012:

TimeNetShow18-49 Rating18-49 ShareViewers Live+SD (million)
8:00PMCBSThe Big Bang Theory4.81515.420
FOXWorld Series2.9 810.227
ABCLast Resort1.346.400
NBC30 Rock1.343.613
CWThe Vampire Diaries 1.2 4 2.737
8:30PMCBSTwo and a Half Men3.711 12.898
NBCUp All Night1.65 3.931
9:00PMCBSPerson Of Interest3.08 13.967
ABCGrey's Anatomy2.98 8.485
NBCThe Office2.16 4.679
CWBeauty And The Beast 0.7 2 1.875
9:30NBCParks and Recreation1.95 4.679
10:00CBSElementary2.26 10.161
ABCScandal2.06 6.313
NBCRock Center with Brian Williams1.34 4.270
Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2012 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved