Ratings - Monday

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Final Monday broadcast primetime ratings for Monday, March 25, 2013
TimeNetShow18-49rating18-49 ShareViewers Live+SD (million)
8:00PMNBCThe Voice (8-10PM)4.81313.64
CBSHow I Met Your Mother2.786.99
ABCDancing with the Stars (8-10PM)2.4614.47
CWThe Carrie Diaries0.410.83

8:30 PMCBSRules of Engagement2.266.30
9:00PMCBS2 Broke Girls3.088.76
FOXThe Following2.366.66
CWHart Of Dixie -R0.100.42
9:30PMCBSMike & Molly2.668.99

CBSHawaii Five-O2.158.61
Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2013 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.


REVIEW - The Walking Dead - S03E15

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It is the penultimate episode of the season and after last week’s Woodbury focused episode all eyes are back on Rick’s group in the prison as the final pieces are moved into place ahead of the season finale.

The episode revolves around Rick trying to decide the best course of action for the group and whether he can accept The Governor’s offer of sacrificing Michonne to save everyone else. Elsewhere, Daryl and Merle take a look at themselves and how they fit in while Glenn makes a decision about his relationship with Maggie.

During the course of the episode, Merle and Michonne are thrown together and they make for a very watchable pairing as they discuss their respective pasts and how they have changed. There are some very well written and engrossing scenes and the irrepressible Merle, played with great relish by Michael Rooker, is at the heart of everything good about this episode.

This is an episode that features a fairly slow build but it all leads to a highly charged and emotional climax that features the episodes only, yet highly crucial, appearance of The Governor.

The last few episodes have all been about certain characters choosing their sides and making choices that will have consequences come next week’s finale. This has been a high quality season that has gone a long way to restore the faith of disillusioned fans that were disappointed by season 2. Here’s hoping that this season’s final episode can deliver on all the promise and potential that has been developed.

Review by Jonathan Gray


Ratings - Wednesday

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Final broadcast primetime ratings for Wednesday, March 20, 2013:
TimeNetShow18-49rating/ShViewers (millions)
8:00FOXAmerican Idol (8-10PM)3.6/1012.94
ABCThe Middle -R1.2/44.78
8:30ABCThe Neighbors1.4/44.76
NBCWhitney - R0.8/22.52
9:00CBSCriminal Minds3.0/811.58
ABCModern Family - R (9-9:31PM)1.8/55.42
NBCLaw & Order: SVU1.6/45.51
9:30ABCSuburgatory  (9:31-10PM)1.5/44.19
NBCChicago Fire1.7/56.39
ABCNashville - R0.6/22.47
Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2013 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.


REVIEW - Grimm S02E14

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As of ‘Natural Born Wesen’, it looks like we’re back to the usual Monster of the Week routine; last week we encountered bank robbers that use their wesen appearance to conceal their identity. This reveals to Nick the greater implications of wesen exposure in the Grimmverse. This episode is a little more newbie friendly thanks to some exposition delivered by Hank and Renard, but it’s still better to watch in sequence. We also get to see an episode that involves Juliette without her swooning over Renard and has her questioning her grip on reality.

Grimm is no stranger to claiming that historical events were either orchestrated or caused by wesen. It’s time to add the Witch Trials to that happy little list; in the past, when malevolent wesen were exposed to the populace, it set off a chain reaction that ended in a purge of all discovered wesen. As a result, there’s a code against wesen showing their faces to us mere mortals.

Where was this code in the past 36 episodes?

Most episodes don’t have wesen revealing their faces, but I feel that this deserved a passing mention in at least one (I’m looking at you ‘Big Feet’). This episode also introduces the Wesen Council that exists to deal with wesen that roar and beat their chest too much. It’s through this revelation we get some backstory for Rosalee’s family; her father was a former member and her family has a contact in said council. Though Nick and Juliette are the focus again, Munroe and Rosalee mull over contacting said contact throughout the episode. It’s nice to see our supporting cast get airtime despite all the recent drama.

I like this episode because it explores why a Grimm shouldn’t be a policeman. Lately we are getting more situations where operating as a Grimm might get the job done more quickly and efficiently...but would also push Nick into a more grey area. This episode best illustrates this problem so far. Nick doesn’t seem to struggle with this much, but I get the feeling that this is going to become a recurring theme in the series.

For now, Renard and other forces are just going to keep bailing him out.

I mentioned before the break that I had grown to really like Juliette and wanted to see her make it out of the ‘amnesia arc’ in one piece. At first, I though this episode would undo that; like many a fan, I am frustrated by her inability to accept that maybe Nick isn’t crazy. Keep in mind that we have seen her researching wesen DNA and thrown into the damsel in distress role more than once. The last time I checked, she only lost her memories of Nick, not all the wesen she has encountered.

Then her new subplot began and I felt sorry for her again.

After Nick’s done impersonating a tomato, Renard and Juliette take their potion and the ordeal is done. However, as Rosalee notes after Juliette leaves the spice shop, she doesn’t know what effect it’s going to have on the both of them.

Apparently your entire ground floor becoming a bottomless, whispering pit and your staircase stretching to infinity is a side effect.

The effects aren’t the best in the show, but the idea is still unnerving. It’s made clear that Juliette is hallucinating, but the only reason I can think of her hallucinating this is to represent the blanks in her memory. Otherwise, it’s just Grimm doing its best to inject some more nightmare fuel into the episode. Yay.

Review by Greta Rehak


Ratings - Tuesday

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Broadcast primetime final ratings for Tuesday, March 19:
TimeNetShow18-49rating/ShViewers (Millions)
FOXHell's Kitchen2.0/64.59
NBCBetty White's Off Their Rockers1.0/33.66
CWiHeart Radio Album Release w/Justin Timberlake0.4/11.01
8:30NBCBetty White's Off Their Rockers1.1/33.70
9:00CBSNCIS: Los Angeles (9-10:01PM)2.9/816.84
FOXNew Girl (9-9:31PM)2.3/64.26
ABCDancing with the Stars (9-10:01PM)2.1/69.76
NBCGo On1.0/32.87
CWBeauty And The Beast - R0.2/00.52
9:30FOXThe Mindy Project (9:31-10PM)1.7/43.07
NBCThe New Normal0.7/22.11
10:00CBSGolden Boy1.7/59.26
ABCBody Of Proof1.5/48.42
Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2013 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.


REVIEW - The Walking Dead S03E14

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For one week only, the attention of the show switches entirely onto the residents of Woodbury with specific focus on the conflict of interests that Andrea is facing. Other residents also get their moments, but this is an episode that strives to provide Andrea with some much needed character development.

After learning about The Governor’s plan from Milton, Andrea sets off to warn Rick and the group at the prison about an imminent attack. She leads to trouble when The Governor finds out and sets off in hot pursuit.

Elsewhere, Milton’s loyalty is tested and Tyrese faces a crisis of conscience when he witnesses some of the darker aspects of the seemingly picturesque Woodbury.

This proves to be another solid episode that keeps moving pieces into position with just two episodes of the season left. It serves the show well to shift focus off Rick and company for a week and bring some of the other background characters to the fore.

It is an episode that digs into the façade of Woodbury and offer us the chance to see what certain characters are going through and where their loyalties may lie come the season’s end.

There is also further exploration of The Governor’s psyche and an illustration how just how dark a place it has become.

The cast and script certainly maintain the standards of the season so far and there are some truly exceptional effects work on display which help to demonstrate what happens to a zombie when you barbecue it. The results aren’t for the squeamish!

This proves to be another entertaining episode and brings what is certain to be an epic season finale closer into view.

Review by Jonathan Gray


REVIEW - The Big Bang Theory S06E19 ‘The Closet Reconfiguration’

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The latest episode of The Big Bang Theory, ‘The Closet Reconfiguration’, attempts to be both funny and serious, unsure of what it wants to be.

Sheldon sees Bernadette and Howard’s messy closest, is seized by his compulsive desire to clean, sort and organise the world around him, and tidies it up. In the process, he finds an unopened letter from Howard’s father (who left Howard and his mother when he was a child), intended for his eighteenth birthday. Sheldon, being who he is, opens and reads it in order to know where to file it.

Howard is outraged, kicks Sheldon out, and burns the letter without reading it. Since Sheldon has an eidetic memory and cannot keep a secret, soon everyone but Howard knows the contents of this letter.

This upsets Howard further, as he feels all of his friends, and his wife, have betrayed him. In an attempt to make it up to him, rather than tell Howard what was in the letter (since he really does not want to know), they each tell him a possible version of what the letter said, with only one of them telling the truth, leaving it up to Howard to decide what he wants to be true.

This was quite an emotionally in-depth episode for The Big Bang Theory, so to counter this, many quite obvious jokes were thrown in to lighten the mood. To me, this was not as well done as it could have been, because every emotional moment was followed by an over the top joke in the same scene, which gave the episode quite an erratic quality. I was not sure whether I was meant to feel sorry for Howard and what he was going through, or whether I should be laughing at those around him struggling to deal with his emotional display. I think it would have been better to have kept Howard’s story quite serious, and to have the second story light and amusing (like ‘The Killer Robot Instability’ in Season Two - I know it’s been done before, but it works). I guess since the Howard storyline was quite large they didn't have the time to properly develop a second story.

The other story this week was quite basic: Leonard and Penny want to host a formal dinner party, and they do. Although it was simple it served as the backdrop to the dénouement of this episode, with everyone dressed in their formal best as they each tell Howard their different versions of his letter.

Review by Heather Bale.


REVIEW - The Big Bang Theory S06E18 ‘The Contractual Obligation Implementation'

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This week’s episode of The Big Bang Theory, ‘The Contractual Obligation Implementation’, is all about women... Well, sort of...

The first storyline this week continues the Raj/Lucy saga, with Raj and Lucy going on their first date. Raj organises for them to meet in a library and have a texting date, since they both struggle in social situations. 

Their date is very cute, as typos are made, laughs are shared, and they get to know one another better. I really enjoy seeing these two together, and cannot wait to see what they do for their next date.

Meanwhile Howard, Leonard and Sheldon give a talk at Howard’s old middle school to encourage young women to pursue careers in science.

Predictably, many jokes were made about how these guys were picked on in school, and that now, even though they are successful scientists/astronauts, they can still be intimidated by anyone acting aggressive, and are still really ‘uncool’. I felt this was a bit over the top - we get it, they were bullied for being ‘nerds’ in school, and since they are still ‘nerds’ they are still bullied sometimes. We’ve seen this from the show many times before, we don’t need such emphatic reminders. Besides, what about geek chic?

Anyway, Amy, Bernadette (two women who did pursue a career in science) and Penny decide to skip work for a day to go to Disneyland and get princess makeovers (oh, the irony). These two stories dovetail nicely when Sheldon decides the best way to encourage the middle school students to pursue careers in science is to let them listen to real female scientists speak. He calls Amy and Bernadette on speaker phone, and Amy gives a speech about how from a young age women are taught to value how they look more than what they can do (this is again laced with irony as Amy is saying this while applying lipstick and dressed as Snow White).

Although these two story lines were juxtaposed for a laugh, I found the end of this episode to be quite troubling: when Leonard sees Penny dressed as Sleeping Beauty he immediately starts undressing because he finds her so attractive, and does not listen to what she has to say about her day. To me, this makes the whole storyline of encouraging women in science even more superficial than it was, as the episode seems to be leaving us with the message that it is all about looks for women. I don’t know, maybe my inner academic is reading too much into this, but what did you think? Was the episode making a serious comment about the (lack of) women in science and the messages the media (and other sources) are giving women today, or do you feel it was purely played for laughs? Leave a comment below!

Review by Heather Bale.


REVIEW - Bates Motel S01E01

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When I first heard about this television series based on Alfred Hitchcock's immortal cinema characters I was extremely sceptical, but placing the show on a cable network gave it "American Horror Story" potential and casting some outstanding actors filled me with even more hope that this could be a good thing. The pilot has just aired in the USA on A&E and was I impressed? Sort of....

Bates Motel centres around a boy Norman (Freddie Highmore) and his mother Norma (Verma Farmiga) as they escape their sordid past to buy a motel in a new town and move on with their lives together. The pilot episode introduces these characters in a new way, we have never seen the character of Norma before, she was always a figment of our imagination or a gooey mummy (ha!)

Norma is an incredibly over-bearing mother, who uses her love as a way of controlling Norman into doing what she wants and disguising this as love. This was one of my favourite parts of the show, this is emphasised so much through cooking him an outstanding meal when he gets from school, but not allowing him to get involved in the school track team or go to the library and study with new school friends. The pure and unadulterated love between the two of them is commendable.

This is highly due to Highmore and Farmiga who are outstanding in these roles, Farmiga had an extremely hard job on her hands, and she is mesmerising, I could not look away whenever she was on screen, her portrayal and redefinition of this iconic character is nothing short of commendable. Highmore shines as equally as Norman, fulfilling the socially awkward, Norman who is dearly devoted to his mother.

The show is set in the modern world, even though the novel and film were set in the 50's and this is meant to be a prequel. Now before I got any further I did some research and the show's creators Anthony Cipriano and Dameon Lindelof that this is simply inspired by these characters, not a direct prequel. It is important that you understand this, as I was picking it apart until I found this out.

Horror wise is this show too much? Sort of...the main drama in this episode happens when the old owner of the hotel breaks into the Bates residence and assaults and rapes, yes that is correct rapes (quite unnecessarily!) Norma Bates who gets some help from Norman, ties him up and stabs him to death. They hide the body in a bath and wrapped up in sheets from the beds and carpet.

Keep in mind that this is only the pilot, a lot of explaining had to be done about these characters, who they are and how this show is going to actually work, and they achieved this quite well. It has a lot of potential and now that the premise has been explained, I am looking forward to were the show is headed and getting further into the psyche of Norman Bates.

Some great nods to Psycho and Hitchcock are placed all throughout the pilot, the original black and white Psycho is playing when the episode begins on a tv in the background, the bath and window shots are also great winks.

Visually this show is stunning, the motel and house are an exact replica from the original film and the CGI and stage sets are an achievement in television. Norman and Norma dress from the 50's, while everyone at school, outside etc is set in modern day clothes. This can get a little confusing but it oddly works, also the use of mobile phones and door bells are just a little odd and seem out of place.

If you are a fan of American Horror Story, or just like drama/horror shows this is definitely one to check out. I will definitely be checking back in each week to see were this series takes goes. Bates Motel is showing on A&E Mondays at 9pm.

Review by Alaisdair "Arrow" Dewar